Posts tagged as: special

Kumi Host Nkumba in Varsity League

By Elly Kyeyune

Nkumba University can consolidate their top position of Group D with victory over Kumi University when they travel to Kumi for the Nile Special University Football League (UFL) tomorrow.

Coach Patrick Sebuliba’s men have been sensational this term, picking up four points from their opening two top flight fixtures and he is happy with his team’s progression. Sebuliba says his side will be aiming for nothing but a positive result away to ease pressure on them in the second round.

“I believe we have a strong squad which can get a good result away from home. Our goal is to get a good result in Kumi. Our preparations have gone pretty well and the mood is great among the players,” Sebuliba said.

Last week was phenomenal for Sebuliba’s team, which hammered St Lawrence University 4-0 and followed up with a goalless draw at Makerere University Business School (Mubs).

“We shall build on that result we picked against Mubs and improve on our scoring on the road. I think we just need to carry on playing as we have been; the boys know their job and we want to continue our run,” Sebuliba added.

However, Kumi University will have to put in a countless performance against powerhouse Nkumba University side to pick up their first win of the season. Kumi University picked up a vital point in Kampala against St Lawrence, and this is the motivation they have when they take on Nkumba.

“We basically played a good game, but we failed to convert most of our chances and that haunted us after the 90 minutes against St Lawrence University but there is great improvement within the team,” Kumi’s coach Simon Opio said.

“We have heard they are a very good and strong team and we have put in extra effort in training this entire week to handle them.

“A point against Nkumba would do us better,” Opio added.

Uganda

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

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Concern for Girl Child, As Early Marriages Kick-Off Fresh Debate

Dodoma — Lawmakers yesterday tasked the government to explain when it will specifically revise the heavily criticized Law of Marriage Act of 1976 in order to protect young girls from being married off at a tender age.

MPs from the opposition and ruling parties sounded the ‘red’ signals here Tuesday when debating budget estimates for the Ministry of Constitution and Legal Affairs, tabled by Prof Paramagamba Kabudi.

They said there was need for the government to reinforce the law in the face of “increasing numbers” of child marriages and school drop-outs across the country.

“This is against the constitution … a number of girls are denied their constitutional rights and the existing law is too discriminative,” Ms Amina Mollel, Special Seats MP (CCM), said when debating the ministry’s budget estimates. So, she queried: “When will the government bring to parliament a proposal to amend the outdated marriage law?”

Debate on the marriage act started since 1994, with mostly contested sections being 13 and 17 of the law that allows a boy child to marry at age of 18 — while a girl child could marry at the tender age of 14. Special Seats MP Ms Salome Makamba (Chadema) said the government was taking (too) long to revise the law – at a time when a number of women were dying on delivery beds.

“Maternal mortality is on rise because of child marriages … as a woman and a representative I need answers from the government,” she said.

She highlighted that the marriage act of 1967 was against the convention of children’s right and contravened global sustainable development goals 2030 which, among others, seeks to promote equality for all.

However, Attorney General, Gorge Masaju said the government was taking appropriate steps to revise the law.

For his part, Constitution and Legal Affairs minister Prof Kabudi acknowledged the law was under review, but stressed that more time was needed to facilitate consensus building among all parties. He said Tanzania had a good marriage law, for a start, saying other countries had failed to write the same documents due to customs and religious differences.

“This law has some positive elements … we cannot just come up with a new law … we’re working on it to ensure we remove the outdated sections and retain the good practices without affecting religious and cultural beliefs,” he said. The National Assembly subsequently endorsed the ministry’s budget for FY 2017/18.

Tanzania

Magufuli Fires 9,932 Civil Servants

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Emerusenge On Her Career As a Sign Language Translator

interviewBy Sharon Kantengwa

As a child, Gisele Emerusenge experienced communication challenges with her friend with hearing impairment. This motivated her to learn sign language interpretation to effectively communicate with her friend and, contribute to the wellbeing of the deaf community. The graduate in Business Management Procurement and Logistics also works at Starkey Hearing Foundation as a counsellor and coordinator in aftercare service. She is often times found at conferences and meetings interpreting for the deaf. The 24-year-old had a chat with Women Today’s Sharon Kantengwa about her journey so far.

When did you start your career in sign language interpretation?

I can’t really trace when I started because I have been doing sign language interpretation since childhood. Growing up in a deaf community, with a close friend who had hearing impairment, I had to learn sign language to make it easy for me to communicate with her. The more I got close to her, the more I learned.

Girls your age have many aspirations. What makes you passionate about helping people with hearing loss?

The difficulty my friend had in communicating with her mum and teachers, and my ability to offer help pushed me to realise that there is an intervention that I can give to people with hearing impairment. I was encouraged to get some training because in my community, nobody was willing to learn and help people with hearing impairment. After completing secondary school, I joined Rwanda National Union for the Deaf (RNUD) and I got the basic skills in the language.

Having qualified in the business field, have you thought of venturing into something else?

Since I graduated, I have not had time to do anything else other than sign language interpretation because it is a very demanding job due to the few interpreters we have in this country. I got to work with Starkey because it also deals with people with hearing impairment. I don’t even have time to think about another career. I feel like I belong to my work.

A few months from now, I will be pursuing a Master’s degree in ‘Special needs and Rehabilitation,’ and sign language is part of it. I don’t need to further sign language though because I am fluent in it but I want to stay in that community of helping people with special needs.

Why do you think we have few interpreters in this country?

Having a few of them is one of the reasons I chose to take this career seriously. Many people are not aware of the need for sign language interpretation, and most of the deaf find it odd for someone without hearing loss to communicate with them. Due to the Rwandan history, the disability movement is new and we are only starting to develop it by harmonising the Sign Language dictionary. It’s a new language and people are not aware of it. Even the interpreters we have are not professional because we don’t have a school for it. We need more schools because RNUD only teaches the basics. Interpreters here get better by experience.

What do you find challenging about your work?

People forget that it is just like any other language. Many times, I have encountered situations where people want me to volunteer for sign language interpretation yet they pay other interpreters. Some organisations and individuals do not value sign language yet it’s a language like any other. Most organisations that get to pay us are those that work with disability issues.

What do you like most about your job?

That moment in a meeting when I’m interpreting to the deaf and I see them giving ideas that contribute to society. I feel proud of my services.

Have your parents been supportive of your work?

Right now they are supportive because they see the rewards that come with sign language interpretation. Initially I wanted to pursue a course in sign language but my parents were not so supportive of the idea and having no one to look up to, I gave up on the idea. They became supportive when they saw the value of my work.

In your career, have you seen young people look up to you?

Yes. The first is my sister, a high school graduate who is planning to study sign language interpretation. She knows some basics but wants to specialise in that field. I always encourage her to go for it, even if I didn’t get the opportunity to study sign language. I encourage young girls to go for what they are passionate about.

International Olympic Committee’

Rwanda

Rwanda, Ethiopia Expand Bilateral Ties

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Namibia: Kids, Youngsters Invited to Coding Workshops

Windhoek — CodeBus’ 100-day tour across Sub-Saharan Africa has been in Namibia since Monday with five stops – in Rundu, Windhoek, Mariental, Otjiwarango and Walvis Bay – until May 6.

This year the republic of Finland is celebrating 100 years of independence. The main event for “#Finland100” on the African continent is the CodeBus Africa initiative. During these visits, a total of four one-day programming workshops will be organised by Aalto University and the Embassy of Finland in partnership with the Namibian University of Science and Technology and the National Youth Council. The workshops target youngsters aged 12-20 years, with a special focus on girls, who will learn to code their own piece of music with a free open source platform Sonic Pi. At the end of the day, the youth get to perform their own song for the group. The workshop curriculum is designed for beginners.

CodeBus Africa is a 100-day adventure into creative technology and youth empowerment. It brings together African and Finnish innovators in technology and education to organize creative coding workshops for young people in 10 African countries between February and May 2017. CodeBus Africa strives to inspire African youth to discover and make use of technology in their lives, and empower especially girls to explore technology’s possibilities for their future.

The project is led by Aalto University, the leading innovation university in Finland, and organized jointly by the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and local technology hubs, NGOs and educational institutes. Finnish corporate partners include Nokia, the project’s main sponsor, and Mehackit, a technology education startup based in Helsinki. The key objectives of the project are:

To support equal opportunities in technology. The project aims at advancing equal opportunities for children and youth to explore technology’s possibilities for their future. Special focus is placed on engaging girls.

To partner with local tech hubs to build capacity for teaching beginner-level programming. The project aims at building digital literacy among youth at the grassroots level through local partners.

To boost cooperation between Finnish and Namibian innovators. The project aims at making Finland more known in Namibia, and Namibia in Finland, and facilitating a dialogue between Finnish and Namibian youth and young professionals.

Namibia

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Registrar Calls for Action Over CUF Violence

By Khalifa Said

Dar es Salaam — The Registrar of Political Parties, Mr Francis Mutungi, yesterday asked security agencies to act after a news conference called by CUF was violently disrupted last weekend.

He said the perpetrators should be identified, arrested and made to face the full force of the law.

Masked men stormed Saturday’s press conference at a hotel in Kinondoni, Dar es Salaam, and several people, including journalists, were attacked and injured.

The incident has raised concern that acts of violence were now becoming synonymous with CUF. Mr Mutungi was yesterday the latest high-profile figure to add his voice to the chorus of condemnation.

“I strongly condemn the senseless violence, which threatened peace and security and left innocent people injured,” he said in a statement.

Mr Mutungi added that his office and the Police Force were there to handle any complaint about the running and activities of political parties, adding that there was no need for CUF members to turn to violence in flagrant disregard of the law.

“I would also like to remind political parties that they are not above the law. They are supposed to respect and obey the country’s laws for the sake of preserving our peace and security,” Mr Mutungi said.

CUF secretary-general Seif Shariff Hamad also strongly condemned the storming of Saturday’s press conference by “hired criminals”.

He apologised to the Tanzania Editors Forum and journalists in general for what happened.

Mr Hamad asked the Police Force to arrest and those behind the pandemonium and swiftly bring them to justice, saying the incident had caused fear and anxiety among the public.

Meanwhile, CUF interim chairman Julius Mtatiro wrote on his Facebook page that they met with Dar es Salaam Special Police Zone Commander Simon Sirro and handed over to him evidence of all “criminal” acts committed against the party since August, last year, adding that the perpetrators were being protected.

“We also discussed in detail Saturday’s invasion and demanded that appropriate measures be taken immediately,” said Mr Mtatiro.

Mr Sirro said in a press briefing later yesterday that three people had been arrested in connection with Saturday’s incident.

“No group is allowed attack other people…if a person feels they are aggrieved, they are supposed to seek legal redress. People suspected of habouring criminal intent should be reported at the nearest police station. People must not take the law into their own hands. Nobody is above the law,” he said.

CUF has in recent months been embroiled in a protracted conflict which has split the party into two factions supporting Seif and chairman Ibrahim Lipumba.

Despite being expelled from the party by the Hamad faction, Prof Lipumba insists that he is still chairman.

Mr Mutungi said last year that he still recognised Prof Lipumba as CUF’s bona fide chairman, prompting Mr Hamad to accuse the registrar of fanning conflict within the party.

SADC Mission Favours Govt of National Unity in DR Congo

Photo: ONU/Stuart Price

Tanzania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Augustine Mahiga.

Kinshasa — Ministerial Committee of the Organ Troika (MCO-T) mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has said there is need for peaceful and transparent elections in the vast African nation.

President John Magufuli deployed mission to DRC ruled that there was consensus on the need for the credible elections to move the mineral-rich country into a new political and democratic dispensation.

The mission made the remarks after it was deployed by the President John Magufuli, chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.

Dr Magufuli, as the Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, dispatched the team to assess the current political and security situation in the country, including the execution of the Episcopal Council of Catholic Bishops (CENCO) mediated Agreement of last December.

The mission, led by Tanzania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Augustine Mahiga also urged all political stakeholders to support the establishment of the government of national unity, which will encompass inclusiveness, national unity and reconciliation.

The mission was within the mandate received from the Extraordinary Summit held in Lozitha, Swaziland on April 2017, whereby Summit had “mandated the Organ Ministerial Troika to immediately conduct a follow-up mission to the DRC.

The committee welcomed the efforts of DRC President Joseph Kabila to push for the political process, despite the obstacles encountered in the implementation of the Political Agreement and, in particular, the Special Arrangements.

It noted with concern that the demise of the leader of the Opposition, Etienne Tshisekediwa Mulumba, has complicated the implementation of the Special Arrangements, resulting into political procrastination in the appointment of the Chairperson of the National

Africa

Kagame, Deby, Conde and AU Chair Call for Urgent Reforms

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Trial Against Rwandan Terror Suspects to Be Heard in Camera

Photo: Cyril Ndegeya/The East African

Some of the suspects accused of terrorism at the High Court of Rwanda in Kigali.

By Robert Mbaraga

The trial of the 44 Rwandans accused of having links with the terror group Al Shabaab and the Islamic State will be heard on May 2 in camera, a court in Kigali has ruled.

The special chamber of the High Court of Rwanda that tries international crimes upheld the prosecution’s plea that an open hearing would compromise national security.

In its plea, the prosecution raised fear that a public hearing would lead to more radicalisation and cause clashes among the families of the accused because “some of the accused were apprehended because of information provided by their fellow suspects.”

The defence lawyers had insisted that the prosecution explains what it meant by national security, arguing that all persons connected to this dossier have been arrested and detained and cannot thus cause any security threat.

On their part, the accused said that only a public hearing would be fair.

“All our pre-trial hearings were conducted in camera, and our families have never had a chance to know the details of our charges. Our trial in merit should be heard in public and this will help our brothers avoid what we are charged with,” one of the accused told the court.

The accused said that they would appeal against this ruling.

The Rwandan criminal procedure law allows the court to order that a case be heard in camera “when its public hearing may be detrimental to public order or good morals.” The same law does not, however, define public order or good morals.

The court set the next hearing for May 2. This date could, however, be affected by the appeal filed by the accused.

The three-judge bench also ordered that the case be disjoined for minors and be heard by a specialised chamber.

Four of the 44 are below 18. Their trial will now be heard by the Gasabo Intermediate Court.

The ruling on the two main objections which had paralysed the trial for almost two months, now raises hope that the fate of the 44 terror suspects will finally be known.

They have been in detention for more than a year.

The details about the charges brought against them have not been made public, but their indictments indicate that they are charged with complicity in a terrorist act, membership to a terrorist organisation, formation of a criminal gang, formation of an irregular armed group and conspiracy and incitement to commit terrorism.

Rwanda

East Africa’s Cecafa Moot Joint Afcon Bid

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Nigeria: Task Force On Failed Banks Returns

By Babajide Komolafe

THE Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, NDIC, yesterday, said that the task force on failed banks will soon re-arrest for prosecution of directors and officers of licensed banks who had committed banking malpractices and absconded.

The corporation said in a statement entitled, “Task Force on implementation of Failed Banks Act to re-arrest accused persons that have absconded,” that the taskforce, an offshoot of the Failed Banks Decree of 1994 under late General Sani Abacha, was constituted in 1998 by the General Abdulsalami Abubakar’s military government to co-ordinate the different agencies involved in implementation of the criminal aspects of the Failed Banks Act.

Banking malpractices

The members were drawn from the Federal Ministry of Justice represented by the Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation, the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Failed Banks Inquiry (now Financial Malpractices Investigation Unit), the Special Fraud Unit of the Police and subsequently, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

According to the statement signed by the Director of Legal Department, NDIC, and chairman of the taskforce, Mr. B.A Taribo, “the Task Force had at its 38th meeting held on March 13, 2017 reviewed some pending investigations by the Police Financial Malpractices investigation Unit (FMIU) under the Failed Banks Act comprising 17 cases involving 10 closed Microfinance Banks (MFBs) in which 15 former directors of the MFBs were involved.

“It also reviewed two cases of closed Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) involving their former directors. One of the closed DMBs cases currently under prosecution was FRN vs. Prince Adekunle Adeyeba & Ors where the accused persons being erstwhile directors of the closed Gulf Bank of Nigeria Plc. were facing trial over banking malpractices involving N15.1 billion of depositors funds in that closed bank.

“The Task Force also reviewed about 16 criminal cases being prosecuted under the Failed Banks Act in which prosecution had been stalled as a result of the fact that the accused persons in those cases had jumped bail and had absconded from the country in the heat of their investigation and prosecution. The sureties that took them on bail had also disappeared.

“The Task Force noted that some of those accused persons had sneaked back into the country in the hope that their prosecutions might have been terminated. It is against this backdrop that the Task Force gave the notice that such accused persons would be re-arrested and prosecuted to serve as a warning to other bank offenders, while the Task Force would leave no stone unturned to ensure that erring bank offenders were brought to book.”

It would be recalled that the Failed Banks (Recovery of Debts) and Financial Malpractices in Banks Act 1994 (Failed Banks Act) was promulgated by the regime of late General Sani Abacha to recover debts owed to Failed Banks which had remained outstanding as at the date the banks were closed or declared failed and to prosecute directors and officers of licensed banks who had committed banking malpractices.

In July 1995, the office of the Inspector General of Police established a special Police Unit called the Failed Banks Inquiry to assist the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Central Bank of Nigeria implement the criminal aspects of the Failed Banks Act through investigation of criminal complaints referred to the Unit by the Regulatory Authorities.

Nigeria

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Legislators Want Magufuli to Apologise Over His Earthquake Remarks

Photo: State House/Daily News

President John Magufuli hands over more than U.S.$.200,000 to Prime Minister, Kassim Majaliwa, the money was donated by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni for relief of earthquake victims in Kagera (file photo).

By Athuman Mtulya

Dodoma — Opposition lawmakers yesterday took a swipe at President John Magufuli over several of his remarks, arguing that they were disturbing to members of the public and civil servants.

Debating the proposed budget for the President’s Office yesterday, Ms Severina Mwijage (Special Seats-CUF), asked the President to retract his statement to the victims of last September Earthquake in Kagera Region.

Responding to growing concerns that his government had neglected the victims, the President said it wasn’t him or his leadership that had caused the disaster and challenged the victims to bring normalcy to their lives on their own.

“That statement discouraged us, the people of Kagera. All we want of him is to retract the statement, even the Prime Minister (Kassim Majaliwa) can stand here (in Parliament) and retract it,” she said.

According to her, the infrastructure, including two schools that the government promised to rebuild with all the donations, were yet to be completed.

For her part, Ms Upendo Peneza (Special Seats-Chadema) said the President started off on the wrong foot with abolishing indicative seminars for leaders (ministers and regional commissioners), while he too (the President) required one.

“The President is on record saying he tried his luck and got the presidency, he wasn’t sure of himself. So, he needs an indicative seminar as well,” she noted.

According to her, this has led to blatant violation of good governance and the rule of law principles in the country.

“President Magufuli started by criticising his predecessor, but things are hard on him now as well,” she said, prompting the Minister of State in the President’s Office (Regional Administration and Local Government), Mr George Simbachawene, to tell the House that there was no way President Magufuli would have criticised Mr Kikwete.

Ms Peneza then retracted the word ‘criticise’ and said “Dr Magufuli started by pointing out the errors of Mr Kikwete’s presidency.”

For his part, Rev Peter Msigwa (Iringa Urban-Chadema) branded the whole government as “bullish”, “shouting” and “intimidating”.

“When we criticise the President and his government it is for the greater good of the country. We (MPs) are like a mirror to you (government), so if you don’t like criticism, why are you even here?” he queried, adding: “We’ve intimidating, incompetent and unskilled people appointed leaders to lead very competent and skilled civil servants, and now the civil service is paralysed.”

According to Rev Msigwa, even CCM lawmakers and ministers are afraid of the President and can’t give him sound advice.

The deputy minister of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Development, Ms Angelina Mabula, countered the statement, saying no one in the Cabinet was afraid of the President.

Contributing to the debate, Ms Angelina Malembeka (Special Seats-CCM) said the President wasn’t obliged to listen to MPs since they “were always insulting him and his government.”

“All his efforts are nothing to you (opposition). I’m of the opinion that even some MPs here are in need of indicative seminars as they don’t understand why they are here,” she said.

Meanwhile, debating the budget a number of MPs called for the government to address challenges experienced in the implementation of free education policy.

Mr Dua Nkurua (Nanyumbu-CCM) said, while a number of recruitment remarkably improved in his constituency, still there remained three main challenges: a shortage of classrooms, of toilets and of teachers houses.

“Last year Nanyumbu registered one of the worst results in national Standard Seven exams. There are internal factors that we can sort out at local level, but other factors like a shortage of 450 teachers is beyond our reach. Our students are like a football team without a coach. They can’t register good results,” he noted.

The problem of teachers was also raised by Ms Mwijage and Mr Suleiman Mourad (Mvomero-CCM). The latter said in his constituency there was a shortage of over 200 teachers.

Ms Juliana Shonza (Special Seats-CCM) advised the government to pay teachers their dues on time and ensure a capitation grant was spent as intended.

U.S Blocks Ugandan General to Army Summit Over Kasese Massacre

Photo: The Observer

Major General Peter Elwelu.

By Edris Kiggundu

Organizers of the 2017 African Land Forces Summit, which is due in the Malawian capital Lilongwe, are still holding onto the invitation of Maj Gen Peter Elwelu, the UPDF commander of land forces, The Observer has learnt.

Gen Elwelu had been invited for the summit scheduled for May, but the decision was rescinded after the United States government cited his lead role in the army attack on the Rwenzururu king’s place in Kasese last November, which killed more than 100 people.

The decision came after the US military, one of the main sponsors of the Malawi summit, expressed reservations about Gen Elwelu’s attendance. Efforts to talk to Elwelu were futile but someone who picked his phone yesterday and identified himself as his military assistant, insisted the general will attend the summit.

Christopher Brown, the public affairs officer at the US embassy in Kampala, said he was not aware of the development.

“We [the US embassy in Kampala] are not part of those organizing the summit; so, I cannot be of any help,” he said.

Army spokesperson Brig Richard Karemire, too, said he was not aware of anything regarding the Malawi summit. Gen Elwelu was commander of the UPDF 2nd division before he was promoted to his current position. He led the November 26-27, 2016 attack on the palace of Charles Wesley Mumbere, which sparked off the killings.

In the aftermath of the killings, he said he did not regret anything, referring to some of the people who had died in the exchange, particularly the Rwenzururu royal guards, as “terrorists.”

In March, Human Rights Watch issued a critical report that blamed government security forces’ highhandedness for the massive killings.

“The assault on the palace in Kasese, which killed more people than any single event since the height of the war in Northern Uganda over a decade ago, should not be swept under the carpet,” said Maria Burnett, associate Africa director at Human Rights Watch, in a statement that accompanied the release of the report.

“People in Kasese are still looking for their family members, including children, and they deserve answers and justice for these gruesome killings.”

Government dismissed the report.

Elwelu follows in the footsteps of senior security officers who have been denied visas to some countries over what the would-be hosts perceived as active participation in human rights violations at home.

In April 2014, we reported that the former assistant inspector general of police, Andrew Felix Kaweesi (RIP), had been denied a visa to the USA after Uganda enacted an anti-homosexuality law.

He had been scheduled to attend a three-month course at the FBI Junior academy. Last year, after the elections, there were reports that the then deputy commander of the Special Forces Command (SFC), Brig Sabiiti Magyenyi, had been stopped from travelling to the USA for a military course.

The land forces summit is an annual, weeklong seminar that brings together land force chiefs from across Africa to discuss and develop solutions to regional and continental challenges and threats.

The theme for this year’s summit is Enhancing Capacity through Partnership in Africa.

According to a tentative programme of the summit, speakers from the U.SA, Malawi and African partner nations will address topics such as standardizing forces and concepts, building logistics institutions, peacekeeping and peace support operations.

“This is not a small exercise,” said Brig Gen Paul Phiri, the Malawi defence chief in charge of training, last week during preparatory activities for the summit.

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