Posts tagged as: presidents

Angola: Agriculture and Industrialization Top João Lourenço’s Speech

Malanje — The promotion of agriculture and industry, food self-sufficiency, tourism, as well as the construction of monuments to honor national heroes dominated the intervention of the MPLA candidate for President of the Republic, João Lourenço, on Saturday in Malanje.

In his public presentation as head of the MPLA’s list to the general elections of August 23, in this region, João Lourenço paid tribute to the heroes of the resistance to colonial occupation and the national liberation struggle and promised to build monuments so that the history of Angola perpetuate.

He said that the Angolan people have lived in peace and harmony since April 4, 2002 and the country is in full development despite the universal crisis.

João Lourenço stated that the main current challenge is to promote the economic and social development of the country, stressing that there is still much to do to continue the work initiated by Presidents António Agostinho Neto and José Eduardo dos Santos.

He spoke of the need to increase the capacity of production and distribution of energy to contribute to the production of goods and announced that four new dams could be built.

He pledged special attention to private entrepreneurs to invest in agro-livestock farming, as well as to continue demining programs for farmers to work on secure land.

The party intends to give special attention to the transformation and industrialization of agricultural production, in order to meet the increased production and supply of food products produced in Angolan soil, and its flow to consumption centers in perfect conditions of hygiene.


Cuando Cubango – People Urged to Vote in Next Elections – Official

The Deputy Governor for the Political and Social Affairs of the southern Cuando Cubango province, Pedro Camelo, asked… Read more »

Celebrating the 53rd Union Anniversary – Has the Country Succeeded in Meeting the Union Goals?

columnBy Pius Msekwa

I am very happy to be back in this ‘Current Affairs’ column, after a temporary absence of a few weeks during the month of April, 2017.

It is during that temporary absence that the country celebrated a major national event, namely, the 53rd anniversary of the Union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar, which was marked on 26th April, 2017.

As usual, the newspapers were awash with comments regarding this event; with most of the commentators concentrating on the achievements of this Union during the past 53 years.

For example, the Daily News of Wednesday, 26th April, 2017′ reported the statement made by Hon January Makamba (the Minister of State in the Vice-President’s Office responsible for Union Affairs), that “the Union Government has made positive headways in addressing the Union challenges”.

The Daily News also reported the comments made by Dr Bashir Ally, a lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam, who generally concurred with Minister Makamba, but added that “each issue which is resolved adds value to the sustenance of the Union”; and further that “building the Union is something sustainable, and the country must not relax upon successfully addressing a specific number of challenges . . .

It is better to look at whether the country has succeeded in meeting the Union goals, particularly regarding the state of peoples’ lives”. It is this last sentence of Dr Bashir Ally’s comments which quickly caught my attention. Namely, his pertinent question : “has the country succeeded in meeting the Union goals”?

But in order to answer this question correctly, one needs to know exactly what, specifically, were ‘the goals’ of this Union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar.

The search for an answer to this crucial question, is the subject of my article today. What, indeed, were the goals of this Union?

It must be remembered that the main product of the Union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar was the creation of an entirely new nation of “Tanzanians,” which emerged out of the previous two separate nations of “Tanganyikans” on one side, and “Zanzibaris” on the other.

It is easy to identify what the goals were when the previous two nations of ‘Tanganyikans’ and ‘Zanzibaris’ were created, which, in both cases, were, quite simply, ‘to get rid of colonial domination’; under which the entire life of the people of these nations had been shaped by foreign rulers, who had totally different customs and beliefs.

These foreign rulers had determined the forms of government, the type of economic activity, and even the amount of education and health services to be provided to the indigenous people of these previous nations. But we are now talking about the new nation of “Tanzanians”. What then, were the ‘goals and objectives’ which were envisaged in creating this new nation of “Tanzanians”?

The most reliable answer can only be found in the statements made at the material time, by the founding fathers of this Union, Presidents Julius Nyerere of Tanganyika, and Abeid Amani Karume of Zanzibar.

These can be found in the relevant records, a reading of which reveals that according to the founding fathers of the Union, there were three substantive reasons which created the basis for the formation of this Union.

One was the ‘burning desire, (shauku kubwa) for African Unity; the other was the existence of ‘a long beneficial association between the peoples of these two countries,’ plus their ties of kinship and amity; and the third was the urgent need to enhance the defence and security status of these two nations. The desire for African Unity, and the need to strengthen the existing ties of kinship and amity.

These twin goals, or objectives, are readily confirmed by the following records. One is the preamble to the “Articles of Union” (which were signed by Presidents Julius Nyerere of Tanganyika, and Abeid Amani Karume of Zanzibar).

That preamble reads as follows: “WHEREAS the Governments of the Republic of Tanganyika and the Peoples’ Republic of Zanzibar, being mindful of the long association which has existed between the peoples of these lands, and of their ties of kinship and amity; and being desirous of furthering that association and the strengthening of these ties; AND of furthering the unity of African peoples; . . .

It is therefore AGREED between the Governments of the Republic of Tanganyika and the Peoples’ Republic of Zanzibar as follows: (i) The Republic of Tanganyika and the Peoples’ Republic of Zanzibar, shall be united into one Sovereign Republic . . .”

The second relevant record is President Nyerere’s article which was published in The Journal of Modern African Studies, Cambridge University Press,1963. In that article, President Nyerere stated as follows: “There is one sense in which African Unity already exists.

There is a huge sentiment of ‘African- ness’, or a feeling of mutual involvement, which pervades all the political and cultural life of the African continent. . . Our goal must be a United States of Africa.

This does not mean that we can achieve this goal tomorrow, in one single step. We must make progress towards it as and when we can, by taking appropriate steps towards African Unity in different areas of Africa . . .”

This is what explains President Nyerere’s great enthusiasm for the quick formation of the East African Federation, as an important step towards the eventual unification of all the African countries.

But when that goal appeared to fail, his enthusiasm quickly turned to the Union with Zanzibar, in the same hope that this would constitute one positive step towards the desired unity of all African States, or the United States of Africa.

The third relevant record is President Nyerere’s address to the Tanganyika Parliament on 25th April, 1964, when he was asking the Parliament to ratify the said Articles of Union; in which he said the following: “Leo hii kuna tamaa kubwa sana ya umoja katika Afrika. Mioyo ya Waafrika ina shauku kubwa ya ajabu ya kuungana ili tuwe kitu kimoja.

Lakini pamoja na kujivunia shauku hii, yafaa tukumbuke kwamba umoja huo hautakuja kwa sababu ya shauku tu, na maneno matupu. “Hatua mahsusi lazima zichukuliwe za kuonesha kwamba shauku hii, na matumaini haya, si ndoto tu isiyowezekana, bali ni jambo halisi linaloweza kutimia.

Hivyo basi, ikiwa nchi mbili ambazo ni marafiki, na ni jirani, zikiweza kuungana; muungano huo utakuwa ni uthibitisho wa vitendo kwamba matumaini ya umoja wa Bara letu si ndoto tu. “Kwani kama nchi mbili zikiweza kuungana na kuwa nchi moja, basi nchi tatu pia zinaweza.

Na ikiwa nchi tatu zinaweza, basi hata nchi zote thelathini za Afrika pia zinaweza kuungana.” President Nyerere elaborated further as follows: “Tanganyika na Zanzibar ni nchi ndugu.

Tunashirikiana kwa historia, lugha, mila, tabia, na siasa. Udugu wa Afro-Shirazi Party na TANU wote mnaufahamu. Udugu wa viongozi wa vyama hivi viwili haukuanza jana. Basi tunazo sababu zote hizo za kutufanya tuungane na kuwa nchi moja.

“Na juu ya yote hayo, kuna shauku ya Umoja wa Bara la Afrika. Basi, kwa kuzingatia yote hayo, mimi kwa niaba yenu, na Rais Karume kwa niaba ya ndugu zetu wa Unguja na Pemba, tulikutana mjini Zanzibar siku ya tarehe 22 mwezi huu, tukatia saini mkataba wa umoja baina ya nchi zetu mbili.

“Endapo Bunge hili, pamoja na Baraza la Mapinduzi la Zanzibar, yatakubali kuridhia mkataba huu, nchi zetu hizi mbili zitakuwa zimeungana na kuwa ni nchi moja.” The need to enhance the defence and security of these countries. We have listed this as the third principal objective for the Union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar.

It will be remembered that President Karume was ushered into power by the success of the Revolution which took place on January 12th, 1964. Hence, during the short period immediately following the said event, there was, quite understandably, considerable fear and apprehension among the Zanzibar Authorities, of the possibility of a counter revolution being organised by the forces which they had just overthrown, as a result of the success of their Revolution.

Furthermore, during that short period following the success of that Revolution, the new Government of Zanzibar had not yet been able to put in place its own defence and security forces, which would have the capability to repel any such counter- revolutionary attempt.

Thus, Zanzibar’s security threat was a real threat, and must have influenced the decision made by Presidents Karume and Nyerere, to seek Zanzibar’s ‘security assurance’ by uniting that country with Tanganyika, in compliance with the wise old adage, that “in unity, there is strength.”

Have these Union goals been met? That is precisely the point which was raised by Dr Bashir Ally, whose comments are quoted above.

In his remarks, Dr Bashir Ally asks whether our country has succeeded in the fight against the three enemies of poverty, diseases, and ignorance.

With regard to this point, I would like to remind our readers that the Constitutional structure of our Union provides for a two-government structure; whereby the Union Government has responsibility for the said matters (i.e. the fight against the said three enemies) only in the Mainland part of the United Republic.

Responsibility for such matters in Zanzibar is the exclusive reserve of the Zanzibar Revolutionary Government, hence any assessment of the success or failure in this particular endeavour, must be carried out separately in respect of each of the two Governments.

This is because such matters are described in the Union Constitution as “non-Union matters” which, in the case of Zanzibar, fall under the exclusive responsibility of the Zanzibar Revolutionary Government. The goal of African Unity has not been met.

The goal that our Union was intended to be just one step towards the unity of all African States, has obviously not been met.

This is because the ‘burning desire’ for the unity of all African States which, we are told, had “pervaded all the political and cultural life of the people of the African continent” which was so candidly described by President Nyerere in his article quoted above, has now completely disappeared!

However, the remaining goals and objectives of our Union, have indeed been accomplished. The ‘long established beneficial association between the peoples of these lands, and the ties of kinship and amity between them’ have been successfully maintained and strengthened.

Similarly, the important objective of enhancing the safety and security of our United Republic has also been achieved, as was exemplified by the total defeat and annihilation of Uganda’s armed forces, which were under the command of Iddi Amin Dada, the then President of Uganda, which had invaded the Kagera Region of our country in 1978; and resulted in the said Iddi Amin fleeing his country and running to a foreign country, where he lived in exile for the remainder of his life.

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Regional Heads of State Summit Now Set for May 20

Photo: Samuel Miring’u/The East African

Regional heads of State during the 17th Ordinary EAC Summit in Arusha Tanzania.

By Christabel Ligami

The East African heads of State Summit has been postponed for the third time to May 20, raising concerns about the EAC leaders’ commitment to regional integration.

The Summit, which had been scheduled for April 28 in Dar es Salaam, was postponed following a request by Kenya through its Ministry of East African Community, Labour and Social Protection. The ministry cited undisclosed “other commitments,” — April 28 would have coincided with party primaries in preparation for the August 8 general election.

Originally scheduled to be held last December, the Summit was first moved to March, and then to April at the request of Burundi and Tanzania respectively.

Top of the agenda is giving direction to the Community after what has been a year of sluggish implementation of projects. The year was also marked by a dispute on the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU and differences between Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda on the route of a pipeline to evacuate oil from Uganda.

The heads of State Summit is usually held in April and November but was postponed to January 2017 following a request by Tanzania for time to consult on whether the EPA was viable.

Kenya’s Principal Secretary for East African Affairs Betty Maina said there was no cause for alarm in the delay. “Although decisions on key matters are pending, it can only be a big issue if the presidents go for a year without meeting,” said Ms Maina.

“We are hoping that there will be no more postponing from the current date. Burundi has confirmed availability for that day and we are waiting for the other partner states to do so.”

Wanyama Masinde, an expert on EAC integration says it is likely that the presidents are reluctant to meet because of the EPA issue; this especially so for Tanzania, which has taken a step back from the partnership.

“It is important for the presidents to meet because most decisions are pegged on the Summit’s outcome,” said Dr Masinde. Ms Maina, however, said the EPA was no longer a major sticking point because there were no timelines attached to it.

“Kenya has already signed and ratified the EPA which makes it safe for the country to sell to the EU market. We are only awaiting the decision of the other countries on the matter to decided the way forward,” she said.

“We expect that Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza will attend since the government had officially asked for the postponement of the Summit,” noted Dr Masinde.

Sudan: Khartoum, Abu Dhabi Agree to Enforce Several Agricultural and Livestock Production Projects

Khartoum — A delegation from Khartoum State headed by the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Mohamed Salih Jabir and the Commissioner of Khartoum Locality Lt. Gen. Ahmed Ali Osman Abu Shanab have got acquainted with the experience of the central markets in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates within the framework of regulation and modern design of the markets to ensure circulation of agricultural and animal products of high quality in preparation for transferring the experience of the city of Abu Dhabi in this domain to Khartoum State.

The Khartoum State’s delegation discussed with the Director of the Office of the Head of Business Department of the President of the State Sheikh Mohamed Bin Khalid Al-Nahyan His Excellency Abdul-Jalil Al-Baluki, the Presidents of a group of UAE companies, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Gulf Bank-Khartoum and the Chairman of the Emirates Investment and Agricultural Production Company in Khartoum, ways of joint cooperation and the implementation of a number of projects during the coming period for the benefit of the two peoples in various development, agricultural and livestock production besides activation of tourism work in Khartoum and push all projects that will achieve sustainable development in the state.

For his part, Gen. Abu Shanab said that the visit came in response to the desire of the group of UAE companies to invest in Khartoum after the visit of paid by their delegates during the past month where the two sides agreed to study a number of projects in the framework of the construction of markets, revitalization of tourism work and establishment of the largest animal park in the country.


Sudan’s Silent Conflicts – State Censorship in the War Zones

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Ghana: Government Will Regulate Indecent Social Media Content – President

By Esther Tagoe

President Nana Akufo-Addo on Thursday said his government would institute regulations to guide and control indecent social media content.

He said regulating indecent communication was essential and could help control content posted on social media, which would also avoid denigrating Ghanaian societal norms and values.

The President noted this would instill some level of sanity and decency in the way information was disseminated in the advent of social media and technology.

President Akuffo-Addo said this when he paid a courtesy call on Osagyefo Oseadeyo Agyemang Badu II, the Paramount Chief of Dormaa Traditional Area on the final day of a two-day working visit to the Brong- Ahafo Region. He had been to Goaso in the Brong-Ahafo on the first day to launch the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ initiative.

The visit was also to thank the people of Dormaa for voting him into power.

The President was responding to a remark made by the Omanhene to the effect that many Ghanaians were deliberately employing social media to indiscriminately and unreservedly malign, castigate, abuse and destroy the hard-won reputation of some highly respected and prominent personalities in the country.

President Akuffo-Addo expressed his government’s preparedness to cooperate and work with traditional rulers irrespective of their political, ethnic and religious inclinations.

He reiterated his government’s commitment and resolve to fight the galamsey menace and called for a concerted effort towards its total elimination noting that it was extremely crucial and vital to safeguard and preserve the country’s natural resources for posterity.

He added that although the resources bequeathed to him by his predecessor was meagre and his government was determined to prudently find ways of managing and generating resources to prosecute Ghana’s development agenda.

Touching on the emergence and activities of vigilante groups, he said people who committed criminal offences should be made to face the full rigours of the law irrespective of their status in society.

“Nana, even if you should go against the law you will be punished. Because the law is not a respector of persons”, he stated. He indicated that he would continue to seek the advice of the country’s former surviving Presidents and hold periodic meetings with them to draw on their valuable experiences and wisdom to shape his government. “This will not be nine-day wonder”, he added.

The President tasked the Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister to work with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to ensure that a veterinary laboratory facility was provided to help poultry farmers in Dormaa to diagnose diseases of live birds and for research purposes.

“In the same manner, I will work to find solutions to taxes on medicines for poultry and construct cocoa roads”, he emphasised.

On victims in Dormaa-Ahenkro whose households were struck with severe rainstorm in March causing extensive damage to property and several injuries, he tasked the Regional Director of NADMO to work together and help provide assistance to the victims.

The President expressed his determination to fulfil all campaign promises including executing and implementing the one district one factory agenda, free SHS policy and restoration of nurses training allowance.

Osagyefo Oseadeyo Agyemang Badu II, Paramount Chief of the Dormaa traditional area commended President Akufo-Addo for his recent initiative to seek the advice and consult the former Presidents of the land.

He described it as unprecedented in the history of the nation and asked him to make it a routine occurrence. He appealed to the President to continue with the good works started by his predecessor in the provision of infrastructure for Dormaa including roads, development of a University Campus in Dormaa, and to complete the Community Day SHS in Danyame. Osagyefo Oseadeyo Agyemang Badu II, pledged his full support as well as that of his subjects towards the success of Akuffo-Addo administration.

Magufuli Cannot Succeed Without a Competent Team

Photo: Daily News

President John Magufuli.

columnBy Prof Zulfiqarali Premji

I have in my writings pointed a couple of times the importance of teamwork in order to succeed. Lately some disturbing events have taken place that show there is lack of teamwork in the current government.

First the owner of Dangote cement had to fly in and see President Magufuli in person to sort out the pending problems in the cement factory in Mtwara and secondly Swahaba Shosi, a widow from Tanga seeking justice in a public place by raising a placard that caught Presidents attention.

The logical question is what is the root cause of this, why did this situations have to reach the President for solutions, is this the standard procedure?

Previously I wrote that some of us still believe in Ujamaa and the Arusha Declaration but these did not achieve the goals because those surrounding Mwalimu had their own suspicions and were not supportive. Internet is full of documents why President Magufuli is the most popular not only in the region but in Africa and globally.

From one site I was able to download eight reasons why he has been so successful:

1. He came from humble beginnings

2. He’s shown integrity

3. He campaigned for the presidency on a platform of hard work

4. He’s been keeping his promises

5. He’s been leading by example

6. He’s been channelling Tanzania’s monetary sources to more important ventures

7. He made education free for children

8. He keeps civil workers on their toes, so they don’t mess up

But the problems are so many and so huge that on a solo basis he will not be able to resolve and he may not succeed. The two events amplify that his chosen and selected team is not helping him. Why should the investors problems reach the President-where was the minister and high officials within the ministry of trade and the ministry of energy, why were they not able to resolve the problems the plant was facing and why was it resolved in one meeting with the President maybe lasting an hour or so? These are pertinent questions and similarly why the minister of justice, head of policy not able to solve the problem of the widow. These are deep and serious problems – inertia on the part of civil service workers, corruption, dishonesty, lack of accountability and more seriously not being in line with the policies and functionaries of the President.

For any successful leader teamwork is absolutely a prerequisite and essential. Melodious music only comes out when the orchestra plays the instruments in harmony otherwise what comes out is bad music. The top five characteristics of some of the world’s most successful political leaders include:

Honesty: Being honest can sometimes be difficult because it makes individuals vulnerable. It reveals who we really are and discloses our mistakes, which gives others the opportunity to criticise or reject openly. Honesty develops character and builds credibility and trust, which are the foundation to evoke confidence and respect from those around you, and in the case of political leaders, teammates and constituents.

Compassion: Compassion is the humane quality of understanding the suffering of others and wanting to do something to alleviate that suffering. While many see compassion as a weakness, true compassion is a characteristic that converts knowledge to wisdom. Good political leaders use compassion to see the needs of those he or she leads and to determine the course of action that would be of greatest benefit to all those involved.

Integrity: The word integrity is defined as ‘the adherence to moral and ethical principles; the soundness of moral character.’ It is a synonym for honesty and uprightness, and is a vital characteristic for those in political leadership. Political leaders who possess integrity can be trusted because he or she never veers from inner values, even when it might benefit them to do so. A leader must have the trust of followers. This requires the highest standard of integrity.

Confidence: Having confidence in a political leader is about having faith or belief that he or she will act in a right, proper, or effective way. A good political leader needs to be both confident in himself or herself as well in their ability to lead. Leaders who possess this quality inspire others, drawing on a level of trust, which sparks the motivation to get others on board and get the job done.

Flexibility: Flexibility for a political leader is about understanding the give-and-take aspects of politics, and the ability to find the common ground. Good politicians listen carefully to all sides, to not only hear their arguments but to especially learn what it will take on behalf of all parties involved to reach a consensus. This characteristic allows political leaders to recognise setbacks and criticism, to learn from them and move forward.

Great political leaders have all of these qualities and more. Each aspires to respect different views, analyse problems, and identify the best solutions – not based on loyalty to political party, but rather based on what is good and right and in the best interest of the nation as a whole.

Mr President we sincerely want you to succeed and you are the hope of millions in Tanzania and Africa. Please ensure that you have the right team with you.

Zulfiqarali Premji is a retired Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (Muhas) professor Currently living in Canada

Malawi: Heath Equity Network Bemoans Accountability Gaps in Councils

By Solister Mogha

Malawi Heath Equity Network (MHEN) has appealed to government to consider deploying internal auditors to all 28 district councils in the country to effectively manage the public finance resources.

MHEN Executive Director, George Jobe said in an interview Sunday in Lilongwe that according to the research the institution conducted in Ntcheu among other challenges, it was discovered that lack of auditors was seriously affecting management of funds in the councils.

He said auditors are supposed to provide guidance and direction on how the financial resource should be used and that their absence was a big threat.

“It is not a surprise why some councils are failing to account for the money they received because the internal auditors who could have been providing direction and advise the authorities how to use the money are not there. May we humbly request the government to act with urgency and deploy auditors to our councils to avoid wastage of public funds,” Jobe explained.

The Executive Director observed that, “There still is a challenge when it comes to budget and programme implementation, the council does its own budget and programmes and the same happens with NGOs and CSOs. We cannot progress if we keep on doing thing in separate ways, councils and its partners must come together and put their resources in one basket or share responsibilities and work as a team,”

Furthermore, the research discovered that councils did not involve people from the rural areas when preparing their annual budget a development which was described to be sad as the needs of the rural mass were obviously left out.

“From now own may we ask the councils to consider inviting people from villages to be part and parcel of the budget committee,” said the MHEN boss.

Planning and Economic Analyst for the Local Government Finance committee, Yohanne Nyanja said government was as well concerned with the absence of internal auditors and that plans to send them to the councils were at an advanced stage.

“The findings of the research are a true representation of the situation on the ground but let me assure Malawians that government will soon deploy auditors to all the 28 district councils. We expect these auditors to assist in managing the finance resource and improve transparency,” he said.


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West Africa: Ecowas Ministers Want ‘Special Attention’ On Post-Ebola Era

Photo: Dominic Chavez / World Bank

Liberian health professionals provided most of the care for patients – often without adequate protection – and have been essential to rebuilding a ravaged health system.

A two-day ECOWAS Ministers of Health meeting has adopted a five-count resolution that would allow Member States to pay special attention to the necessary interventions required for post Ebola national health reconstruction.

The resolution also calls for the necessary support for all the Member States of the community, in particular, countries which were most affected by the Ebola virus disease – Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

According to an Executive Mansion release, the ministers’ recommendations came at the close of a Three-day Regional and Targeted Actions of countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), especially those most affected by Ebola Virus Disease outbreak.

The regional meeting was aimed at preventing future outbreak of such infectious diseases in the region.

The West African Health Ministers called for active support to all regional strategies and interventions that fall within the priority goal of building capacities in the region and in the country for the early prevention, detection and control of epidemics by paying keen attention to “One Health Approach.”

They also want governments and partners to substantially maintain and increase their financial contributions of the respective states to the ECOWAS Regional Solidarity Funds.

The ministers are urging member states to work resolutely toward steady increase in the national budget of their states earmarked for health in accordance with the “Abuja Declaration” adopted at the OAU Summit of Heads of States of and Governments on HIV/Aids, Tuberculosis and other related infectious disease, held in Abuja, Nigeria in April, 2001.

In remarks at the closing ceremony, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf called on member States of the West African Health Organizations (WAHO) to find a way as to how medical experts can combat, control and prevent the disease in case our future outbreak.

The Liberian leader noted that the outbreak has taught leaders and citizens of the region lessons, ranging from individual to community engagement, strengthening of community and national health facilities.

Referring to health statistics, President Sirleaf said the Ebola Virus Disease also took the lives of at least 11,300, while 17,000 suspected cases were identified.

She paid tribute to the role of Togolese President Faure Gnassingbé who was appointed by ECOWAS as Regional Coordinator for Ebola Response and Eradication tasked with mobilizing assistance from Member States in the region, the African Union, the World Health Organizations among others.

She hoped that the deliberations would help the sub-region in combating, controlling and preventing infectious diseases.

Speaking earlier, WAHO Director General Dr. Xavier Crispin welcomed the dignitaries and said the presence of Presidents Sirleaf and Togolese President Faure Gnassingbé as well as Special Envoys of Presidents Alpha Conde and Ernest Bai Koroma of Guinea and Sierra Leone respectively was a demonstration of commitment to free the region of infectious diseases.

The ceremony was attended by high-profile guests, including the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Marcel Alan Du Souza; Dr. Abubakar Fofana, Minister of Health and Special Representative of President Ernest Bai Koroma; Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations; Speaker Emmanuel Nuquay of the Liberian House of Representatives; Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Mustapha Cisse Lo; Ambassador Abdoulaye Dore, Doyen of the Diplomatic Corps and Liberia’s Health Minister, Dr. Bernice Dahn, among others.

EAC Heads of State Summit Shelved

By Marc Nkwame

Arusha — Presidents of the six countries making up the East African Community who were to gather here for the 18th EAC Ordinary Heads of State Summit Meeting, have postponed their schedule.

The Head of Corporate Communication and Public Affairs at East African Community Secretariat, Mr Richard Owora Othieno, said the EAC Heads of State Summit which was to be held in Arusha on the 6th of April, 2017 under the Chairmanship of President John Magufuli, will now be convened at a later date.

“The 6th of April is a special day for Burundi and therefore the Chairman of the Heads of State Summit agreed to push forward the meeting to a later date,” said Mr Othieno.

Heads of State who were to meet in Arusha under the Summit Chair, John Magufuli, include President Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya), Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), Paul Kagame (Rwanda), Pierre Nkurunziza (Burundi) and for the first time, Salva Kiir Mayardit of South Sudan which is the newest member State in the EAC fold.

East Africa

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Broadcaster Suspends 9 Journalists Over Trump Fake News

By Fred Obera

Nine journalists from a public broadcaster in Tanzania, Tanzanian Broadcasting Corporation (TBC), were suspended following the publication of a fake news story alleging that U.S. President Donald Trump had praised the Tanzanian President John Magufuli as an “African hero”. The issue of fake news has become topical, and the suspension highlights the need for journalists to adhere to the highest ethical codes to provide fair, verified, and accurate news.

Nine journalists from a public broadcaster in Tanzania, Tanzanian Broadcasting Corporation (TBC), were suspended following the publication of a fake news story alleging that U.S. President Donald Trump had praised the Tanzanian President John Magufuli as an “African hero” as compared to other leaders who are “doing nothing”, in Africa.

According to the report President Trump had called to emphasize the excellent performances of President Magufuli, said to be working hard to create good governance, praising his efforts against corruption, and calling on other African leaders to follow the example of Magufuli’s good leadership style. The story was published by TBC, and online site Fox Channel.

The TBC Director General Ayub Chacha issued an apology statement immediately following the hoax publication by the journalists stating that the report went against the TBC editorial policy.

The excerpts of the published fake news by TBC also stated the reason why President Trump excluded Tanzanians from a recent travel ban issued by the US government.

The TBC fake news quoted President Trump as saying.

“This law will affect countries like Zimbabwe, Uganda and other African countries where Presidents have declined to leave power doing nothing. Tanzania is not one of them since my namesake there President John Magufuli is doing a wonderful job. Actually Magufuli should be used as a good example but his neighbor Museveni should be used whenever bad example is needed.”

Fake news and journalism ethics

Last year, Tanzania’s government issued a statement refuting the unverified claims reported in the media that President Magufuli had banned miniskirts. The statement noted that the “false report,” was “reckless, totally unwarranted” and called on the publishers to retract the wrong information.

Journalism ethics and codes of practice have become a topical issue of late, and the issue of fake news has been making headlines. The suspension of the journalists indeed highlights the need for journalists to adhere to the highest ethical codes to provide fair and accurate news coverage.

President Magufuli who came to power in 2015 has been nicknamed “bulldozer” because of his leadership style, cracking down on corruption in the public sector, under-performance, and misuse of public resources. The approach has won him support locally and internationally.

Magufuli, whose campaign slogan was Hapa kazi tu (Work and nothing else), made some solemn campaign promises on various issues such as tackling corruption, fixing the economy, improving education, and health service delivery in the country.


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