Posts tagged as: officer

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

Liberia: Liberian Leader Lauds Global Fund Support to Health Sector

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has lauded the Global Fund active support to the Liberian health sector through its malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS program.

She also praised the partnership between Liberia and the Global Fund that has brought about immense impact on the nation’s population.

President Sirleaf , however, called for increased support that would target rural health programs intended to enhance access healthcare.

The Liberian Chief Executive was speaking when she received in audience the Chief Executive Officer of Global Fund, Dr. Mark Dybul, at her office in Monrovia.

According to an Executive Mansion release, the Liberian leader thanked Dr. Dybul of Global Fund for his organization’s support to Liberia during a critical moment in our history.

Earlier, Dr. Dybul thanked President Sirleaf for the opportunity, her extraordinary support and strong voice for the work of Global Fund.

He described President Sirleaf as an advocate and champion of the aspirations of Global Fund and noted that the level collaboration in the health sector remains on course and praised Liberia for its robust Post-Ebola Resilient Healthcare Program.

Dybul acknowledged the need for support to the roads to health agenda of the government during discussions with the Ministry of Public Works officials aimed at addressing huge challenges that occasion the rainy season especially in rural parts of the country.

He expressed the need to make health services available to all sectors of the population in spite of the season.

Dr. Dybul assured that Global Fund was willing to partner with other actors, including the World Bank to critically respond to demanding infrastructure issues that will enable essential health, education and economic opportunities become accessible.

On Global Fund overall programme implementation towards its Liberia Program, Dr. Dybul noted that tremendous progress has and continues to be made in those critical facets of interventions.

Liberia

Gambia’s Barrow Meets Sirleaf

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Potentials for food fortification

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

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

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

Source: FAO

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 »

Senator Peter Mositet Ditches Jubilee

By Joseph Ngunjiri

Kajiado senator Peter Mositet has ditched Jubilee party.

The Senator lost in the party’s nominations to a newcomer – Philip Mpaayei.

In the later dated April 27 and addressed to Raphael Tuju, the party secretary-general, Mr Mositet writes: “Following the party nominations in Kajiado County that were neither free nor fair, and were characterized by result manipulations, I hereby notify you of my resignation as a member of the Jubilee Party. The decision has not been an easy one and has been made after thoughtful consideration and meaningful consultation, with the people of Kajiado whom I serve.”

On Wednesday, Mr Mositet stormed the Kajiado County tallying centre, at the Maasai Technical Training Institute and engaged County Returning Officer Jeremiah Ole Ncharo in a heated argument and demanded to be shown forms that were signed by returning officers in the constituencies.

He was ejected from the tallying hall and the place cordoned off by armed policemen.

The results announced Mr Ole Ncharo, showed that Mositet polled 52,022 against Mr Mpaayei’s 62,077.

Mr Mositet was accompanied by Mr Tarayia ole Kores, who lost to former Internal CS, Joseph ole Lenku, in the gubernatorial nominations, and Parsimei Gitau, who lost to Joseph Manje in the Kajiado North Parliamentary nomination.

Kores and Parsimei also followed Mr Mositet in quitting JP. They promised to teach ‘Mr Ole Lenku a lesson’ in the August general elections.

Kenya

Millions Needed to Battle Armyworms

The Agriculture ministry requires an additional Sh320 million emergency funding to combat crop-eating caterpillars known… Read more »

KDF Airstrikes in Somalia Reportedly Killed Militants

Photo: Jared Nyataya/Nation

Kenyan soldiers during their “Operation Linda Nchi” against the Somali Al-Shabaab militia.

A Somali military officer says several Al Shabaab militants and commanders were killed in series of KDF airstrikes in War-Gaduud area near El Wak city in Gedo region in this week.

The official who spoke condition of anonymity, told Radio Shabelle that those killed in the aerial bombing include deputy commander of Al shabaab in Gedo region Ali Shangalow.

The Military source confirmed that the operation also killed two other al-Shabaab militants.

Al-Shabaab is yet to release a statement on the reported air strikes by Kenyan military jets.

Somalia

EU Condemns the Recent Executions in Somalia

The European Union considers the death penalty to be a cruel and inhumane punishment, which fails to provide deterrence… Read more »

Agri-Exporters to Benefit From Export Growth Fund

Photo: The New Times

Horticulture exports (file photo).

By Emmanuel Ntirenganya

Donatilla Nibagwire acquired a $100,000 (about Rwf80 million) loan from Export Growth Fund in 2016 to further her market penetration. She doubled her export volumes from two tonnes of fruits and vegetables.

Nibagwire exports bananas and eggplants, among other produce, mainly to Belgium, Gabon and India. She has been engaged in the business since 2001.

“The airline that used to charge me $1.6 a kiliogramme has since reduced the charges to $1.25 because the trade volume increased,” she said.

Nibagwire was speaking on Wednesday during a local producers and exporters’ breakfast meeting in Kigali, which intended to find solutions to financial, production and market related issues.

The Export Growth Fund (EGF) was initiated by the Government in November 2015 to help spur the country’s export mainly through supporting small and medium enterprises engaged in exporting local products, which had difficulties accessing financial services.

The Fund was started with Rwf1.5 billion from the Government and, in 2016, KFW, a German development bank, bankrolled the facility with Euro 8.5 million, bringing the total amount in the Fund to about Rwf10 billion.

Farmers and exporters who attended the meeting said that they used to get bank loans at interest rates of between 16 to 20 per cent. But due to the intervention, interest rates now stand at between 10 to 14 per cent, thanks to a 6.5 per cent subsidy.

However, Dr Livingstone Byamungu, the chief investment officer at the Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD), said there is a low uptake for the facility’s support as only eight projects have been financed at a tune of Rwf1.35 billion.

He said there was little interest to use EGF’s services due to lack of awareness about the facility and how it works.

“We want the agri-business sector to use the money to scale up exports,” Byamungu said, pointing out that the Government will be injecting Rwf1 billion annually into the Fund.

Kinazi Cassava Plant managing director Emile Nsanzabaganwa said EGF can support farmers to solve the issue of lack of raw materials.

The Rwf10 billion plant, which processes cassava for both the local and export markets, has been operating at about 30 per cent of its daily capacity.

How the facility works

The president of the Chamber of Rwanda Farmers at the Rwanda Private Sector Federation (PSF), Christine Murebwayire, said, thanks to the Fund, farmers will help ensure sustainable produce and market and lessen the country’s import bill.

“As farmers, we have to change our mindset and improve operations. We should use this facility and other government financial opportunities to increase both the quality and quantity of our produce,” she said.

Epimaque Nsanzabaganwa, the horticulture division manager at National Agriculture Exports Development Board (NAEB), said they have been negotiating with airlines such as RwandAir and KLM to reduce transport charges for agro-exports.

EGF is designed as a single facility with three separate interventions.

The first is an investment catalyst fund which provides a 6.5 per cent subsidy on the interest rate of loans targeted toward private sector investments in export oriented production.

The loan currently does not exceed Rw900 million, according to Byamungu, who revealed that the government wants to go beyond such limits to further support exporters.

The second support is a matching grant for market entry or penetration related costs. This grant covers 50 per cent of the cost of the exporter’s needed promotional activities for their product and does not go beyond $100,000. The beneficiary should prove that they covered the required 50 per cent before being given such a facility.

The third assistance is an Export Guarantee Facility, which provides transaction-related guarantees to commercial banks to secure export finance transactions up to 80 per cent of the value.

This facility is intended to help an exporter carry on their business when they have not yet been paid for their products. The beneficiary has to settle the dues after being paid for their exported commodities. The facility is valid for nine months.

Byamungu said that about three weeks ago, BRD signed a memorandum of understanding with Bank of Kigali and BPR to offer financial services under EGF, adding that it seeks to work with more banks.

Rwanda’s agricultural exports generated $272.46 million in the Financial Year 2014/15 up from $217.62 million in 2013/14, according to NAEB’s 2015 report.

BRD Provides Roofing Materials for Genocide Survivors in Kirehe

By John Mbaraga

Emerida Mukasharangabo is a Genocide widow living in Kigina Sector of Kirehe District. For years, the 44-year-old has lived in a dilapidated house waking up every morning with a sigh of relief that the roof did not cave in on her.

“I lived in a mud and wattle house. My only hope was that it could collapse on one side and I move onto the other part as I was unable to renovate it or construct another one,” she told the media.

Mukasharangabo is among 99 families of Genocide survivors that will soon get shelter in Kirehe thanks to a partnership between the district and Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD).

On Wednesday, BRD provided roofing materials for 22 houses in the first phase of construction activities. Provision of other materials will be done by the district.

Speaking at the construction site of one of the housing units, Peter Rwambara, the chief risk officer at BRD, said the bank started to support Genocide survivors in the district in 2015.

The bank staff had earlier visited Nyarubuye Genocide memorial site and met a tailoring cooperative of women survivors and decided to support them.

“It is a cooperative which had one old tailoring machine, the bank management decided to buy them five more machines and a generator for machines which operated on electricity. This gesture significantly changed their living conditions,” he said.

Another group that received support was that of vulnerable widows and widowers (incike) whose family members were all killed in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, according to Rwambara.

The district wanted to construct houses for the group but it was still looking for partners, so we thought that we should be the first to support the act by providing roofing materials for the 99 houses that the district wanted to construct, he explained.

Rwambara said, despite providing loans for people’s projects, they thought of activities that would link them with population as part of giving back to the community.

Kirehe mayor Gerard Muzungu said they had a total of 103 Genocide survivors that the district wanted to construct houses for.

He said the BRD support will accelerate the exercise.

“This roofing support is reducing the cost of construction. It has helped increase the number of houses we planned to construct because if you had to get funding from the central government for the whole construction, including the roofing, it means the cost would be higher,” he said.

Emotional gratitude

Mukasharangabo, a mother of six, said: “I couldn’t imagine myself getting a modern house. I thank these people who thought of vulnerable persons like me. I’m sure that in this house my life will be secure.”

Rwambara said the roofing materials they provided Wednesday for 22 houses were worth Rwf8.5 million. The whole roofing materials for 99 houses will take Rwf46 million.

Rwanda

Ethiopia to Open First Embassy in Rwanda

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn who is on a three-day state visit to Rwanda will open his country’s first… Read more »

Uganda: We Have Capacity to Cover Govt Assets, Insurers Say

By Eronie Kamukama

Kampala — Insurers have said the sector has more than enough capacity to take on government assets in case it heeds to their appeal made last month.

“Yes, we do have the capacity to underwrite those assets because what happens is that the whole market pools their resources which is addressed as capacity to make sure that they can undertake that risk. We also work with external markets to make sure the risk is appropriately covered as well as managed,” Uganda Insurers Association (UIA) chief executive officer Miriam Magala, said. According to UIA, insurance of government assets would drive penetration up by 1.5 per cent.

Insurance Regulatory Authority chief executive officer Ibrahim Kaddunabbi, said what the Central Government owns is very manageable when one looks at the treaties vis-à-vis the capacity of insurance companies.

IRA is currently having discussions with the Central Government because the losses that it incurs as a result of not taking on insurance are tremendous according to Mr Kaddunabbi.

They made the remarks on Monday in Kampala while announcing the 44th African Insurance Organisation conference to be hosted by Uganda in May.

More than 800 insurance professionals from Africa, Middle East and Europe are expected to attend the four-day meeting to be held from May 21 to 24.

Speaking to journalists, Mr Kaddunabbi said the meeting will focus on driving the uptake of insurance services not only to the ordinary Ugandans but of the continent as a whole.

The conference comes at a time when Uganda is ready to take on bancassurance, Islamic insurance and agricultural insurance, among other new products.

Uganda

Equatorial Guinea’s Obiang Tells Museveni to be Careful With Oil

Uganda is looking to tap into Equatorial Guinea’s experience of oil production, in order to build its own capacity… Read more »

Liberia: Mysterious Deaths ‘Not From Ebola’

Photo: Liberian Observer

Liberian Health Minister Bernice Dahn

By Cewhy Kwanue

Authorities at the Ministry of Health (MoH) yesterday reported that results of the initial tests conducted by investigators on specimen from the seven persons that died on Tuesday in Greenville, Sinoe County, ruled out Ebola virus disease (EVD) as the cause of the deaths.

The tests were conducted at the Liberia Institute for Biomedical Research (LIBR) in Charlesville, Lower Margibi County.

“Of the 17 persons who have fallen ill so far as of Tuesday, April 25, nine have died, while eight patients are currently admitted and are undergoing treatment at the Francis J. Grant Hospital in Greenville,” the MoH said.

According to the ministry, investigation is ongoing to establish the actual cause of the deaths.

The County Health Team and the local authorities are currently coordinating the response activities and the ministry has dispatched a team from the central level to provide additional support, the ministry said.

The ministry meanwhile assured the general public that it has put in place all the necessary systems, measures, and capacities to handle any outbreak of infectious diseases.

On April 25 at 10:30 a.m., the Sinoe County Health Team informed the ministry about a series of unexplained deaths in five communities in Greenville District.

More on This

Mysterious Deaths in Liberia ‘Not From Ebola’


Strange Disease Outbreak in Sinoe County – Nine Persons Already DeadSeven Die From ‘Strange’ Sickness in Sinoe

On Tuesday, the FJ Grant Hospital reported seven deaths that were later linked to a death that occurred on Sunday, April 23, of an 11 year-old female from Teah Town Community, Greenille. The child had, on the same day, shown symptoms of diarrhea.The child, according to eyewitnesses, was taken to the Grant Hospital, but died within an hour of being admitted in the emergency room.The child, according to other accounts, had attended the funeral of a religious leader (not named) on Saturday, April 22 in Greenville. The religious leader was diagnosed with high blood pressure at the JFK Medical Center in Monrovia.Prior to her death, the child presented signs and symptoms that included weakness, and abdominal pains associated with vomiting accompanied by diarrhea.One other account recalled how on Monday, April 24, another patient from Down Town Community (Greenville), who also attended the funeral of the same religious leader, was overtaken by headaches, body pain and skin itching, and was admitted at the FJ Grant Hospital. The patient expired early Tuesday, April 25 by 2 a.m.A third patient, a lady who also attended the same funeral, arrived at the hospital in the morning with diarrhea and vomiting. She also died, upon arrival at the hospital.Meanwhile, as of 11 a.m. on April 25, eight deaths and six cases were reported from the FJ Hospital.In the wake of the development, Liberia’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Francis Nah Kateh has called on the public not to panic as the ministry is working in collaboration with partners to contain the situation.

Nigeria: Kad ICT Hub Trains 5,000 Youths

By Christiana T. Alabi

Kaduna — The Kaduna Information and Communication Technology (ICT) hub in partnership with Google, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the state government have trained about 5,000 youths across the state on digital skills as part of efforts towards diversifying the nation’s economy.

The training according to the chief executive officer of the hub, Engineer Yusuf Bashir is to empower unemployed youths in the state to become self reliant as well as to equip them with the necessary tools needed to move their businesses forward. “We are interested in entrepreneurs who are willing to start their own businesses and who want to do their businesses online,” he noted.

Speaking at the training, one of the Google trainers, Charles Eromosele urged Nigerian youths to shift focus from seeking white collar jobs, admonishing that they could create hope for themselves by being self dependent. According to him, the world was growing in technology while Nigeria was growing in size, as such, Nigeria cannot afford to remain a consuming nation.

Nigeria

Truck Crushes Motorcyclist to Death in Lagos

A commercial motorcyclist was crushed to death by a heavy duty truck at Daleko area of Lagos on Thursday. Read more »

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