Posts tagged as: information

Malawi: Man Arrested Over Fake Kwacha Currency

By Blackson Mkwapatila

Malawi Police in Mulanje have arrested a 36-year-old man for allegedly being found with fake currency.

Mulanje Police Public Relations Officer, Gresham Ngwira said officers at Muloza police post received a tip that Daniel Mandala was carrying fake notes.

Working on the information, police officers followed the suspect and found him at Sayama turn off along the Mulanje-Muloza Road.

When the officers searched the suspect, they found MK215,000 in MK1,000 notes, MK53,000 in MK500 notes, MK64,000 in MK2,000 notes and 8000 Mozambican metical, about MK96,000, all totaling to MK332,000.00.

Following this, the suspect was arrested.

Meanwhile, Ngwira says the money would be sent to Reserve Bank of Malawi for examination.

The suspect will appear in court soon to answer an offence of being found in possession of fake currency contrary to section 374 (A) of the penal code.

Daniel Mandala comes from Mongolo village, senior chief Nkanda in the district.


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Zimbabwe: Mugabe Computers Obsolete Before Use

Thousands of computers donated by President Robert Mugabe to rural schools have remained unused years on and have become obsolete still in their packages owing to widespread technological illiteracy among the teachers, a senior government official has said.

President Mugabe has, since 2000, been “donating” computers to primary and secondary schools around the country.

But according to deputy Information Communication Technology and Courier Services minister, Win Mlambo, government’s efforts to intensify internet uptake was being hampered by digital illiteracy among teachers.

He was officially opening the second internet governance multi-stakeholder conference organized by the Media Institution of Southern Africa -Zimbabwe chapter (MISA) in Harare on Thursday.

Mlambo said as a result thousands of computers which President Mugabe donated to schools have not been used owing to lack of digital knowledge.

“Most of these computers which the President is donating to almost 9000 schools which we have in the country are becoming and have become obsolete in their packages,” said deputy minister Mlambo.

“Some of the reasons given by headmasters and teachers in these schools are that they are illiterate and they ask us that how we can teach the children when us the teachers do not have that technological knowhow,” he said.

Mlambo said the civil society should assist communities in the ICTs training so that the country joins the information society.

“You need to involve everyone in these discourses so that no one is left behind and this can be done through increasing knowledge on the use of computers and these new media technologies to key and decision makers,” said minister Mlambo.

In 2012, the president launched the national e-learning programme aimed at improving the education sector through Internet learning at primary and secondary school level.

The uptake of these computers has been also affected by lack of electricity in most rural schools where these gadgets had been donated.

There are also reports of theft of some of these computers by the teaching staff.


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EACC Says IEBC Cleared People With Integrity Issues to Vie

By Macharia Mwangi

At least 106 candidates, including governors with integrity queries, were cleared to run for various seats during the August 8 General Election, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has disclosed.

The anti-graft agency further disclosed that more than 60 county officials, including governors, had appeared before court in the various stages of prosecution.

“We have one governor with 29 of his officials in court for abuse of office,” said the EACC vice-chairperson, Ms Sophia Lepuchirit.

In her address Thursday to senators during their induction workshop at Simba Lodge in Naivasha, Ms Lepuchirit said some of the candidates who were facing integrity queries were elected for the August 8 polls.

She said a majority of the candidates who were cleared were eyeing parliamentary seats while others were running for governorship, senate and county assembly seats.

“They were cleared to run by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission despite us having raised integrity issues,” said the EACC vice- chairperson.


Ms Lepuchirit said EACC did its part in raising concerns but quickly added that the IEBC is also an independent body.

She cited the procurement department as the hardest hit by graft issues with a number of officers having pending court cases.

The EACC vice-chairperson said executives in charge of finance were the major culprits in misappropriation of funds in counties.

“We have in some cases the entire procurement (department) in court and this is the route we want to take,” said Ms Lepuchirit.

The commissioner highlighted some of the agency’s achievements, including 17 successful convictions in cases touching on procurement.

She hailed the Integrated Financial Management Information Systems (Ifmis), saying the technology had assisted in the fight against graft in the devolved system of governance.

Ms Lepuchirit called for closer collaboration with various agencies in the fight against corruption and in slaying the graft dragon.

She said EACC had recruited 400 staff with the number increasing to 750 which will help in speeding up cases before the anti-graft body.


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Government Enters Shs2b Trade Information Portal Deal

By Ismail Musa Ladu

Kampala — For a long time, traders in Uganda have had difficulties accessing relevant information about exportation, importation and transit processes.

But this is about to change, thanks to a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed on Tuesday between the ministry of Trade and Trade Mark East Africa-Uganda (TMEA-U).

The deal between the two will enable the start of the implementation of a trade information portal, an initiative that has already sparked interest among private sector players.

The initiative is funded by TMEA with support from its partners such as UNCTAD and the International Trade Centre to the tune of about $500,000 (Shs2 billion) for two years.

It will, among other things, allow the ministry to control and manage a one-stop portal with information about export, import and transit.

“The information portal will go a long way in enhancing the doing of business environment in Uganda by reducing the cost and time spent looking for the information, making traders more productive,” the acting assistant commissioner for external trade – ministry of Trade, Mr Richard Okot, said during the signing of the MoU.

The trade information portal is an online platform where all the information regarding export, import and transit of goods in Uganda will be availed to traders, government agencies and all interested parties for free.

Electronic single window

According to the TMEA-Uganda country director, Mr Moses Sabiiti whose organisation secured the $500,000 grant, to achieve the full benefit of the portal, it should be integrated with the Electronic Single Window which allows traders to clear their goods online.

He said: “Trade Information Portal will provide the traders with all the necessary information to enable them undertake the transaction on e-Single Window. And this is why the two platforms that are complementary should be integrated.”

Establishment of the trade information portal is provided for within the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation, which Uganda ratified and came into force on February 22, 2017

In her remarks, Trade minister Amelia Kyambadde said: “For a long time, we have faced challenges accessing relevant and accurate information about export and imports. The trade information portal will therefore relieve us from that pressure.”

She added: “We will have to make sure this succeeds and the Permanent Secretary here will ensure that the portal is monitored and properly managed and ensure all necessary information needed to enhance trade is availed, including legislation and policies we have passed.”

Tanzania: Govt Looking for Financiers to Extend SGR

By Rosemary Mirondo

Dar es Salaam — The government is looking for investors to finance the construction of the remaining part of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) that will connect Tanzania with some landlocked countries.

The government wants to upgrade the railway from Dar es Salaam to Kigoma and Dar es Salaa-Mwanza into the standard gauge.

Already the construction of the first part comprising of 205km from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro and the government expects to sign a contract for the second part (Morogoro-Makutupora in Dodoma) soon.

The Minister for Works, Transport and Communication Prof Makame Mbarawa now says the government was looking for investors who will finance the next part which stretches from Dodoma through Tabora to Isaka and Kwanza.

“For the second part of the construction from Morogoro to Makutupora, 336km, we expect to sign a contract in two weeks’ time,” he said during the 8th East and Central Africa Road and Rail Infrastructure summit 2017 yesterday.

He said Tanzania plans to connect with neighboring landlocked countries of Burundi, DR Congo, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia which depend on the Tanzania Sea and Lake Ports for their imports and exports through the Standard Guage Railways.


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Teu Speaks Out About Grisly Accident That Killed 13 People

By Valentine Oforo and John Namkwahe

Dar/Dodoma — Former deputy minister for Finance, Mr Gregory Teu, whose relatives perished in a road crash in Masaka, Uganda, spoke about the loss of family members.

Mr Teu said he learnt of the sad news, when he and his wife landed at the Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA).

Mr Teu revealed that after the wedding ceremony on Saturday in Kampala, Uganda, he and his wife boarded the plane from Uganda to Dar es Salaam via Nairobi while the rest left Uganda for Dar es Salaam aboard a mini-bus on Sunday at around 4pm.

“We left Uganda for Dar es Salaam by plane at midnight and landed at JNIA at around 2 am.” Adding “After landing at the Airport, I received a call from Uganda informing me about the deaths, we were very shocked and saddened by the reports.”

Seven out of 13 bodies of Tanzanians killed in the road crash in Kampala, Uganda, will be transported to Moshi while the remaining will be ferried to Mpwapwa in Dodoma Region for burials tomorrow.

The accident occurred on Sunday in Kampala, Uganda when the family of the ex-deputy minister was returning home from the wedding of his daughter.

A mini-bus that was carrying the victims was involved in a head-on collision with a truck on the Mataka Highway, leaving eight others seriously injured. Speaking today with The Citizen over the incident, Mr Gregory Teu’s sister, Ms Mary Teu, said the bodies were expected to arrive today in the country at around 20pm by air from Kampala.

“The bodies will be received by soldiers, who will take them to Lugalo General Military Hospital in Dar es Salaam for preservation until tomorrow when a Requiem Mass for the repose of the souls will be held at Lugalo,” said Ms Mary. She added that two vehicles have already been prepared for transporting the bodies tomorrow to different places.

“We will go to Mpwapwa for burials this Thursday while others will go to Moshi for burials of seven other bodies. After the burials in Mpwapwa, we will go to Moshi for burials of the seven bodies this Friday.

“This is because both sides belong to us as they are relatives of my sister in-law and they are relatives of my brother too,” she said.

She clarified that this Thursday the late relatives of her brother (Gregory Teu) would be laid to rest in Mpwapwa and this Friday again the late relatives of her sister-in-law ( the wife of Gregory Teu) would be laid to rest in Moshi.

She mentioned the names of the bodies being transported to Moshi as Edwin Kimario, Aristarick Shayo, Vivian Msacky , Digna Bosco, Happy Soka, Dr Einoth Laizer and Easter Teu, saying they were coming from different families in Kilimanjaro Region.

According to her, the bodies to be transported to Mpwapwa are those of George Teu (father of former MP Gregory Teu), Alfred Teu (young brother of former MP), Paulina Ndagala (aunt), Rehema Kamwaga (sister), and Boniface Njenga Sakas Teu (son of Gregory Teu).


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Sudan: Union – Govt Selling Ports to Foreign Parties

Port Sudan — The Sudanese government is accused of selling its ports to foreign companies in secret deals, an act that is condemned by political forces, civil society organisations and trade unions in eastern Sudan, says a Sudanese workers’ union.

Political parties, civil society organisations and trade unions have refused to sell, lease or manage Sudanese ports to foreign companies of ports in Dubai ports and elsewhere. Abdallah Musa, a leading union member in eastern Sudan: “The government, which has sold the country’s resources and manipulated them, is now moving towards selling or renting ports to foreign companies in secret deals whose details, terms and the form in which it was agreed upon is not known”.

Abdallah Musa is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Sudanese Democracy First Group (SDFG), which issued a detailed report on the progress of privatisation of Port Sudan and the manifestations of corruption and mismanagement. “Such deals should be open to the Sudanese people so that the Sudanese people know what is going on.”

He stressed that this issue “should not be hidden in accordance with corrupt deals, but should involve all workers in the Sudanese ports and all residents of eastern Sudan in general, in addition to its political forces, civil organisations and national figures.

Thousands of people work in the Sudanese ports and are at risk of losing their income in case of a take-over by foreign parties, Musa stressed. His main reasons behind his refusal to sell, lease or manage the Sudanese ports by foreign parties, are based on the fact that the Sudanese “have the skills and expertise over a century of management of the Sudanese ports.

“The port is a vital part of Sudan’s policies that cannot not be handed over to a foreign country to manipulate it.”

Sudan Democracy First Group

The think-thank Sudan Democracy First Group (SDFG) has called upon the Sudanese government in the past to disclose the Sudanese people the information and details of offers made by foreign companies to manage the ports.

In a report on the privatisation of Port Sudan and its mismanagement, the group asked that the government abandons economic trends that allow foreign companies to have the right to manage any of the Sudanese ports.

For example in July 2016, the Sudanese parliament approved a bill that allows Saudi Arabia to reform and cultivate more than a million acres of land in eastern Sudan.

SDFG recommended to involve Red Sea State nationals, port workers, clearance agents, shipping agencies and civil society organisations in its decisions to update the port.

The think-thank launched the Sudan Transparency Initiative (STI) Project in March 2015 “to investigate, analyse, document and disseminate credible and reliable information about the scope and scale of corruption and the lack of transparency in Sudan”.


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Spanish Oncologists to Train Local Health Professionals in Cervical Cancer Prevention

By Hudson Kuteesa

More than 88 health professionals from 45 institutions in the country have started training in cervical cancer prevention.

Organised by King Faisal Hospital, Kigali, the training, conducted by Spanish oncologists, opened on Monday and will run through to December. It is administered online by specialists from the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO), a specialised cancer institution based in Catalunya.

The local professionals being trained under the programme include doctors, medical specialists, public health professionals, nurses, health planners, health programme managers, researchers and educators.

They will, among others, be tipped on the impact of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection on other cancers and benign disease, HPV vaccines currently available and their effectiveness and safety, factors to be considered in the introduction of HPV vaccination, and the effective methods of primary prevention.

Other areas include the different cervical cancer screening methods, and the impact of HPV infection in special populations, for example in pregnant women, immunosuppressed people, among others.

In an interview with The New Times yesterday, Andrea Malet, the corporate social responsibility manager at Oshen Health Care, said the training is meant to keep health professionals up-to-date with the advances in their profession.

“The objective of this course is to keep updated medical professionals involved in preventing and treating cervical cancer in the latest procedures,” she said.

A specific virtual classroom in cervical cancer prevention, run online by the Spanish oncologists, has been created for professionals involved in this area of healthcare where they will have free access to the e-Learning platform.

This is the second edition of the training after one in 2016 that was dedicated to the College of Medicine and Health Sciences of the University of Rwanda.

It lasted two months.

According to the final evaluation of the trainees in the first training, 96 per cent said the content of the course is relevant to their work and practice techniques, and all of them recommended the course to other professionals.

Up to 92 per cent of the participants rated the course as good or excellent.

Through its e-Learning programme, “e-Oncologia,” the Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO) offers a consolidated teaching methodology of virtual training grouped into 5 programmes, 80 courses that have been translated into seven languages, with more 17,000 participants in all continents.

E-Oncology is the ICO portal specialising in ongoing training for every area of oncology, and is the first online teaching project devoted solely to provide training in this area of healthcare.

Its main goal is to create virtual spaces where specialists in training, practicing doctors and non-specialist professionals can learn about cancer.

According to the ICO Information Centre of HPV, Rwanda has an estimated 3.5 million women who are at risk of developing cervical cancer – the most common type of cancer in women between the ages 15 and 44.

Ethiopia: Ethio Telecom Gears Up Monopoly

By Abiy Solomon

The monopoly telecom operator, Ethio telecom, will begin registering new mobile phones into the system starting from tomorrow in a bid to prevent smuggled phones in the local market and prevent a telecom fraud committed by breaching the company’s satellite network.

Ethio telecom announced the registration in a press conference at Hilton Hotel last Thursday, September 14, 2017.

Ethio telecom, the state monopoly telecom provider, is going to make 2.7 million mobile phone apparatuses out of operation within a year. This marks the commencement of the national Equipment Identity Registration System (EIRS) jointly undertaken by Ethio telecom and the Ministry of Communication & Information Technology (MCIT).

EIRS aims at modernising the country’s telecom service and is recognised by Global System Mobile Association (GSMA) while maintaining users’ advantages in terms of better service, enhanced security and national revenues.

It will also block illegally imported gadgets, that are capable of bypassing the service provider’s satellite network and enabling them to make international calls.

The system is designed to take out invalid mobile phones that are cloned or are of substandard production, according to Abdurahim Ahmed, a corporate communications director at Ethio telecom.

“The existence of such products deters the quality of the telecom service and poses a threat to the users’ well-being,” said Abdurahim, while briefing the issue to the press at Hilton Hotel last Thursday.

To this end, mobile apparatuses are automatically registered with their specific identification number known as IMEI, which binds a particular SIM card to a particular device.

The system will also prevent mobile phone theft, health hazards caused by substandard devices and the revenues the government loses from illegally imported apparatuses.

All the active mobile apparatuses are automatically registered whereas unused devices will be registered after inserting Ethio telecom’s SIM card by September 18, 2017.

Users can dial *#06# to identify their phone’s IMEI number and dial *868# to have a look at & use the available registration alternatives, according to Ethio telecom.

The new system will bond the mobile apparatus with the SIM card of the particular user using IMEI, which is a unique number given automatically to identify GSM, WCDMA, and iDEN mobile phones, as well as some satellite phones. IMEI is only used for recognising the device and has no permanent or semi-permanent relation to the subscriber. The number is used by the GSM network to know valid devices.

EIRS prevents phone theft as it blacklists a reported stolen phone, making it out of operation in the service provider’s network territory by recognising the IMEI number.

“Since our phones are tightly interwoven with our daily lives in many aspects, the recurrent phone theft is a significant issue troubling users,” explained Ayalneh Lemma, head of legal services at MCIT. “Thus, we believe, the system will eradicate the threat rendering stolen phones useless on the network.”

Moreover, the registration enables 14 legal phone assemblers, and importers in the country to regain a fair business competition ground, which has previously been manoeuvred by contraband phone traders, according to MCIT.

The use of IMEI will enable mobile phones in Ethiopia to be recognised in GSMA’s database. Hence, being registered in GSMA’s database is the major criteria for having a valid device.

“Our registration system is intended to take out substandard and cloned apparatuses that cost users due to below standard device speed, battery life and network signal quality,” said Balcha Reba, director of Standardization & Regulatory Directorate at MCIT. “These counterfeited devices don’t have a valid IMEI number, making it easy to revoke their registration system.”

Shimeles Tessema, a Computer Science instructor and software Developer, agrees with the registration’s advantage, though in a different way.

“The IMEI registration is more relevant in enforcing standard mobile apparatuses than preventing theft,” he elaborates. “The low-cost substandard mobile devices often use cheap and lower specification elements such as modems, battery and processor, which consequently hang up the quality of the telecom service we ought to get.”

The registration, thus, would instruct and encourage users to go for standard apparatuses, which in turn lets them have better service.

“Given there is only one telecom operator in our country, we can’t choose between the best service,” Shimeles said. “Our only resort remains to be conserving the service Ethio telecom delivers to us at its best.”

Responding to the argument whether device registration, which entails to making some phones invalid, is a priority than improving other telecom services, Abdurahman claims that both are parallel priorities.

“We can boldly say that we have been successful in telecom infrastructure development,” he said. “We were privileged to be named the second largest telecom infrastructure in Africa.”

Ethiopia is a country on the 107th rank of Internet penetration. However, there is a dramatic shift in the development of telecom services. Starting telecom service in 1999, Ethiopia currently has over 50 million subscriptions, of which 16 million use Internet services, representing for 15.4pc of the total population. About 17 years ago, the number of people who used Internet was only 10,000 in the country.

What the New Iso Certification Means for Central Bank

By Collins Mwai

The National Bank of Rwanda early this month received International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) certification for meeting standards in Information Security Management System.

The bank received ISO 27001:2013 certification becoming the first institution in the country as well as in the East African Community.

The certification means that the regulator has met global standards in processing transmission and storage of digital information and information processing assets of the bank.

According to experts, the certification means that bank’s systems can protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information assets from all threats in relation to the processing, transmitting and storing sensitive information.

The certification follows processes of establishing and implementing risk based information security controls as well as updating operational procedures of business functions.

According to the regulator’s ICT officers, the bank also moved to comply with statutory regulatory requirements and contractual security obligations as well as spreading security awareness amongst staff, interns, service providers, third party contractors and end users of the bank’s information systems.

The certification comes at a time when the country and the central bank are embarking on rolling out cashless economy systems and financial technology which could be compromised by cyber security threats.

Information security

According to a statement by the central bank, in light of the ever-growing cyber security threats, the development adds a layer of information security governance where by the bank’s key ICT infrastructure are protected and administered according to the accepted international standards.

“BNR being ISO 27001:2013 certified as the central bank and a regulatory body in the financial sector was also determined by its parties including staff, service providers, network providers, assessors and auditors, vendors and suppliers of goods and services, customers both financial sectors, public institution, ministries, statutory authorities like World Bank, IMF, African Development Bank (ADB,” the statement reads in part.

Justin Rurazi, the director-general of ICT development at the central bank, told The New Times last week that the global certification is a chance for them to set standards for players in the financial sector in the Information Security Management System.

“Now that the National Bank of Rwanda is certified, it serves to increase the confidence in the security of our systems amongst players as we roll out cashless systems in the country,” he said.

The ranking also serves to build trust and confidence among the interested parties that their data and other information is protected, thereby improving the value and customer satisfaction.


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