Posts tagged as: state

Gambia: PS Ceesay Says Malaria Control Requires Joint Partnership

By Momodou Faal

Dawda Ceesay, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare has stated that Malaria control requires joint partnership, as the task for Malaria control is colossal but it has to be tackled head on by the Gambian population.

PS Ceesay made this remark on Monday at the commemoration of World Malaria Day at Essau in the North Bank Region (NBR).

The event was organised by the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare through support from the Global Fund and partners.

PS Ceesay pointed out that The Gambia through the National Malaria Control Programme has put in place key strategies to combat Malaria in the country and among them includes the following interventions; free distribution of long lasting insecticide treated nets, to meet universal coverage, targets free access to reproductive and child health services, including prompt and effective treatment for Malaria, Indoor Residual spraying across the country and wide spread community education for behavioural change among others.

Ebrima K. Dampha, the governor of NBR, in his welcoming remarks, said Malaria is the leading cause of deaths for children under five years of age and World Health Organisation estimates that 3000 people die of Malaria everyday.

He pointed out that pregnant women and their unborn babies are particularly vulnerable to malaria, when a woman is pregnant, her immunity is reduced, making her more vulnerable to Malaria infection with dangerous consequences such as abortion, stillbirth, premature delivery and low birth weight.

He thanked the National Malaria Control Programme and their partners for hosting the event in his region.

Balla Kandeh, programme manager of the National Malaria Control Programme stated that World Malaria Day set a platform for intensive debate so that education and awareness levels on malaria are substantially and widely disseminated, noting that the day came as a result of the historic Abuja Summit where 44 African heads of State and Government representatives met in the year 2000 and made a declaration to halve burden of Malaria by 2015.

He added that the day provides countries the opportunity to soberly reflect on the efforts made on tracking the scorch of malaria, noting that it is a moment for stock taken and to renew political commitment, increase advocacy, communication and social mobilisation for Malaria control and prevention.

He thanked Global Fund, WHO, UNICEF and all the partners in the Roll Back Malaria for their support towards the fight against Malaria.

In another development EcoBank donated D52,000 to the NMCP as part of their contribution towards the fight against Malaria. Ebrima Jammeh presented the cheaque noted that the bank has made similar donations to 32 countries in Africa.

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 »

Ethiopia to Open First Embassy in Rwanda

Photo: Timothy Kisambira/The New Times

Both Rwandan and Ethiopian flags sway at Kigali International Airport.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn who is on a three-day state visit to Rwanda will open his country’s first embassy in Rwanda.

The news was announced by Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo at a State Banquet hosted by President Paul Kagame and First Lady Jeannette Kagame in honour of Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and First Lady Roman Tesfaye who arrived in the country yesterday.

Ethiopia has been carrying out its diplomatic relations with Rwanda through its embassy in Uganda. Rwanda opened its first embassy in Ethiopia in 1978.

Prior to the embassy opening slated for this evening, Premier Hailemariam and his delegation will hold talks with their host President Kagame on how to further strengthen and deepen relations between the two countries.

The two leaders are expected to discuss regional cooperation, trade and investment ties, and how the two nations can learn from each other’s experience in peace and security. Delegations from both countries will ink agreements in new areas of partnerships.

On the first day of his visit, the Ethiopian Prime Minister visited Ntebe Integrated Model Village in Rwamagana District, Eastern Province where he commended Rwanda’s move to promote modern settlements in rural areas to improve citizens’ welfare focusing on poor families.

Concluded on Tuesday, 25 April 2017, a Joint Permanent Commission involving experts from Rwanda and Ethiopia identified new areas of cooperation. These include tourism and education.

Rwanda

When Art Confronts Politics and the Corporate Boardroom

Nelson ‘Madiba’ Mandela remains an international figure many hold dear for his leadership and rectitude. It was… Read more »

Zimbabwe: Timber Processing Giant Courts Suitors

THE country’s largest timber processing firm, Allied Timbers Zimbabwe (ATZ), a strategic parastatal sitting on 130 000 hectares of land, is courting suitors to help it construct electricity generation plants at its saw mills across the country using bio waste.

The Financial Gazette’s Companies & Markets (C&M) can report that the State-owned company, which has more than 10 estates in Manicaland, Midlands and Matabeleland provinces, made moves last week inviting potential suitors to partner it in the proposed power projects.

Investors into these projects are expected to design, build, finance, operate and transfer the facilities under Public Private Partnerships.

Allied Timbers, which falls under the purview of the Ministry of Environment, Water Resources and Climate, which is headed by Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, however, could not say how much was required to generate renewable energy using bio waste.

“ATZ aims to establish fuel briquette processing plants and electricity generating facilities at its sawmills and processing sites across Zimbabwe that are mainly in the Eastern Highlands to optimise and fully convert these huge quantities of post harvest and post processing waste that include saw dust, off cuts, lops and tops,” the company said in a statement.

It is unlikely that ATZ would find a domestic investor for its proposed projects due to the liquidity crunch in the country, meaning that the company would therefore be forced to court offshore investors for the power projects.

If this happens, the company would have to deal with the contentious indigenisation law, a situation which might make the deal unattractive.

In fact, ATZ has been in the market for more than two years now, seeking about US$5 million for retooling and recapitalisation.

The company only secured a US$2 million line of credit from Agribank last year.

ATZ early last year was forced to abandon contract milling.

The company had about 50 contracted saw mill operators in an arrangement where the harvested timber was equally shared between the company and the contractors.

This arrangement was to cover ATZ’s production shortfalls since it did not have adequate capacity and was also used as a black empowerment tool.

The contractors were significant contributors towards ATZ’s overall production until it decided not to renew the contracts last year, citing massive timber leakages and to instil a sense of order in the manner the company managed its estates.

It also said the rate at which the forests were being extracted was unsustainable.

Further, the company claimed that prices for its products were much higher than prices charged by contractors for similar products.

The fact that ATZ is a huge company, its overheads are huge and its break-even price is also high when compared to prices charged by contractors.

ATZ, however, lifted the suspension of contractors in June last year, re-hiring them to augment production.

The company said it had instilled order and had re-hired them in a manner that helps it to manage harvesting of trees on a sustainable basis while at the same time empowering locals.

Government in 1988 separated assets and liabilities of the Forest Commission into State Forestry and Commercial Forestry leading to the birth of Forestry Company of Zimbabwe in 2001, which took over commercial operations then housed under Forestry Commission.

The idea of unbundling the commission was to separate regulatory activities from commercial activities.

The intension was to enable both institutions to effectively pursue their mandates, with funds from the commercial wing supposed to assist in funding regulatory functions.

So the commercial wing gave rise to Forestry Company of Zimbabwe, later rebranded to ATZ while regulatory activities were reconstituted into Forestry Commission.

Its operations involve plantations, harvesting, and processing, marketing and selling of both pine and gum. It has been exporting its products to Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa and has plans to expand its export market.

We Can’t Employ All Graduates – Govt Admitted

Photo: Jonathan Kalan

Graduation ceremony at a secondary school in Tanzania.

By Valentine Oforo

The government has admitted that it has no capacity to offer employment opportunities all youth who are graduating from higher learning institutions.

The admission was made on Friday morning in the Parliament by deputy minister of State in the Prime Minister’s office dealing with Labour, Youth and Employment, Mr Anthony Mavunde, during question and answers session.

He was responding a basic question from Special Seat Member of Parliament, Ms Ester Mmasi (CCM), who sought to know why the government shouldn’t ban employment for foreigners in order to employ locals, who are graduating from higher learning institutions.

The deputy minister advised graduating youth to think of self-employment as a solution instead of looking at government as source of employemnt.

Tanzania

Magufuli Fires 9,932 Civil Servants

President John Magufuli has instantly sacked 9,932 workers who have been found using fake certificates. Read more »

Nigeria: Edo-Azura Power Plant Excites World Bank, IMF

By Adibe Emenyonu

Benin City — The Edo State Government’s performance index in promoting Independent Power Plants (IPP) as a business model and opening up economic opportunities has received international recognition, as it became the cynosure of over 10,000 international personalities at the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Annual Spring Meetings last week in Washington DC, THISDAY reliably gathered.

This was as the Azura Independent Power Plant, financed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which was expected to provide electricity to 14 million consumers, was highlighted to display how the World Bank Group’s collaboration supports the development and implementation of infrastructure development.

The Azura Power Plant project was initiated during the administration of Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, in which Governor Godwin Obaseki, as the Chairman of the State’s Economic Team, facilitated the project to the state, thereby making Edo state an investor destination in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Azura power project included the construction, operation and maintenance of a 459 megawatts gas-fired open-cycle power plant near Benin City, and was necessary to add power to the national grid while being considered a priority project for the federal government.

With the ability to produce 459 megawatts in the first phase alone, the plant is expected to be the first greenfield Independent Power Project post sector reform to come online and has been described as a ground-breaking project set to pave the way for future private sector driven IPPs in Nigeria.

A statement from the office of the Chief Press Secretary (Interim), Mr. John Mayaki, disclosed that in a special publication widely circulated at the World Bank IMF Office Complex where over 10,000 participants were in attendance titled: “Nigeria: the Azura-Edo Independent Power Plant”, it was revealed that the power plant was part of a scheme called the Energy Business Plan (EBP).

It was further explained that the sponsors raised a total of $868m through equity contributions, while the power plant would deliver much-needed additional power to Nigeria, and, in turn, the broaden the West African power grid.

“The project is expected to provide access to affordable electricity to about 14 million residential consumers at a fraction of the cost of self-generated power”, the statement added.

Nigeria

Economy Would Be Out of Recession By Second Quarter – Central Bank

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Sudan: Memorandum of Understanding On Producing Biofuel in Sudan Signed

Khartoum — A memorandum of understanding was signed , Thursday, between the Higher Council for Environment and Urban Development in Khartoum State, the Africa City of Technology and the Malaysian Bionas Group during a workshop organized by the National Assembly’s Agriculture Committee.

The projects set to produce two million tons of Jatropha plant oil.

Representative of the Parliament Agriculture Committee aims to fight poverty and raise standard of living , increase capacity building for small producers at rural areas by targeting five million and 600 thousand people.

Director of Africa City of Technology, Dr Osama Al-Reis said the production of biofuel was a national project set to bridge the gap in production of electricity especially at rural areas.

The Minister at the Higher Council for Environment in Khartoum State, Maj.Gen. Omer Nimir indicated to importance of Parliament role in enactment of laws and legislations for environmental field, stressing importance of partnership to make use of Malaysian experiment in domain of production of biofuel.

Sudan

Sudan to Announce National Accord Government Next Week

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Museveni Opens Up to Legislators About Oil Money

Photo: The Observer

President Yoweri Museveni.

By Sadab Kitatta Kaaya

In a revealing testimony to a Parliamentary committee investigating the controversial Shs 6 billion cash reward to 42 senior government officials, President Museveni said he has had to endure ever since “he discovered oil in 2006”, according to a source.

Behind closed doors on Wednesday at State House, Entebbe, Museveni testified before Parliament’s committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) that is investigating the cash reward, which was christened the “presidential handshake.”

Museveni told MPs that the issue they were investigating was not a small one because ever since the discovery of oil in 2006, it has been a source of big fights which drew in several African presidents. He named South Africa’s Jacob Zuma whom he said had sent an agent to lobby that Museveni accepts the passing of the upstream and midstream oil laws in Parliament.

“There has been a big war since the discovery of oil in 1996; people have been fighting over industrialisation and tax collection, this is where Zuma sent me an agent to convince me to accept some of these issues,” a source quotes Museveni as having said.

Museveni also indirectly named his former prime minister, Amama Mbabazi, among the people who were involved in the fights. Museveni veiled Mbabazi’s name under a tagline of “Katuntu’s Kanungu friends.”

Museveni also blamed Nakaseke MP Syda Bbumba, who he said signed a waiver to Energy Africa (Tullow Oil) as energy minister in 2001, which caused the country a loss of $157m (Shs 549.5bn).

Before he opened up to the committee, Museveni first chased out his press unit led by Don Innocent Wanyama, the senior presidential press secretary, who had earlier also asked the nine journalists present out of State House and back to Kampala. Parliament’s press unit led by Mohammed Katamba was also not allowed into the meeting room.

MUSEVENI CONFIRMS

Before Museveni ordered his press unit out, he had confirmed to the committee that he indeed wrote a letter authorizing the bonus payment with an intention of appreciating the officials for winning the country $434m (Shs 15.1 trillion).

The payments, which were made in August 2016, stemmed from their contribution to a 2014 tax arbitration case against Heritage Oil and Gas.

“Those girls, [Doris] Akol and [Allen] Kagina and their group are economic freedom fighters who did a job and, to me, the intention was to appreciate them; where the money came from, and the process [of paying it] was the work of technical people,” Museveni reportedly told the MPs.

“I wonder why the attorney general never advised me because that is why he is there [in the position],” he added.

Had he been well advised, Museveni said, he would have got the money from his donations budget, rather than the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) budget.

SHOCKED

Museveni made the statement after committee chairman Abdu Katuntu had offered a brief on the background of the probe. The Bugweri MP told Museveni that much as URA had won $9m (Shs 31.5bn) in court awards for cases that the tax body won both locally and in London, six years on, it had not filed court documents to claim the payments.

Museveni was also “shocked” to learn that the money was spent without the approval of the URA board of directors and was never sanctioned by the ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, as required by law.

Katuntu also told Museveni that the Shs 6bn had been included in URA’s budget for the next financial year but Parliament’s Budget committee had declined to approve it.

Museveni also expressed shock that URA had failed to account for Shs 5.8bn of the Shs 56bn that is indicated in the auditor general’s report as having been spent on the case. He was also shocked that provisions of the Public Finance Management Act, which requires oil revenues to be transferred to the Petroleum Fund, were not followed.

“In fact, you are opening my eyes with this information. I have not been briefed on the oil revenue,” Museveni reportedly said.

INTERACTIVE MEETING

The meeting had been scheduled for 10am but the MPs waited in one of State House’s holding rooms till about 1pm, when Museveni showed up after presiding over a cabinet meeting at his office on Parliamentary buildings.

Several MPs that spoke to The Observer said the session was interactive and, at some intervals, Museveni cheekily threw barbs at opposition MPs in the group.

After a giving a two-hour testimony, Museveni asked Katuntu to reschedule the meeting because he had to receive the visiting Equatorial Guinea president Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbagoso.

He had suggested that the MPs wait until he was through with Obiang’s welcome ceremonies, but the legislators couldn’t wait and rescheduled the meeting for yesterday (Thursday) at 4pm.

Interviewed, Katuntu confirmed the committee’s return to State House but declined to delve into details of their Wednesday’s engagement.

“I have an obligation to tell you [the media] but I won’t tell you piecemeal [information],” Katuntu said. “Wait until after [Thursday’s meeting]; I will address you,”

Govt Suspends Work At Parliament Printing Press

Photo: The Independent

Parliament of Uganda.

By Olive Eyotaru

The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development has ordered Parliament to suspend the operations of its printing press.

The suspension, which took effect three weeks ago, was prompted by a directive from the ministry’s department of occupational safety and health (OHS), which followed an audit on the state of the printing press room.

According to sources in Parliament, OHS officials made the decision after their inspection of the printing press last November confirmed concerns raised by some staff about its health and safety standards.

Key among the concerns was the location of the printing press room. It is located in the basement of Parliament’s south wing, with no windows for proper aeration, no air conditioning facilities and is always stuffy. OHS officials said the conditions pose a grave threat to workers’ health and safety in case of a fire outbreak.

The ministry recommended that Parliament urgently re-locates its printer to a well-ventilated space. In response, the Parliament’s management board convened a meeting on April 10, 2017 to discuss the ministry’s recommendations. In the meeting, they agreed to set up a sub-committee to discuss the issues in the report.

Subsequently, in a letter dated April 10, the Clerk to Parliament, Jane Kibirige, directed that the operations of the printing press are suspended until further notice.

“Parliament will suspend the operations of the printing press with immediate effect. Staff will, however, be required to report to work,” Kibirige stated in the letter, which she copied to the Editor of Hansard, Andrew Walube.

The Director of Communications and Public Affairs (CPA), Chris Obore, confirmed the development, adding that they are making plans to move the printing press outside Parliament precincts, to the nearby Development House.

“The ministry recommended that we improve the air circulation and buy an air extractor. We decided that it was not necessary to keep the employees there following the recommendations,” he said.

Currently, there are 10 lithographers working at the printing press.

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 »

Nigeria: Customs Fou Zone C’ Owerri Destroys Imported Poultry Products

By Johnkennedy Uzoma

Owerri — Over 102,099 cartons of frozen poultry products worth N1.27 billion illegally imported into the country have been destroyed by the Nigerian Customs Service.

The Customs Area Controller FOU Zone ‘C’ Owerri, Comptroller Mohammed Uba, told newsmen yesterday that poultry was still under import prohibition and any of such found would be seized and destroyed.

He said the truck conveying the imported frozen poultry products with Reg. No AJL 861 XA was intercepted along Benin Ekiadolor axis by Lagos Expressway, Edo State, and the poultry items included turkey parts, chicken parts, and poultry gizzard.

He urged Nigerians not to patronize or import frozen poultry products as they were adversely affecting the nation’s poultry industry and had been adjudged by health authorities to be injurious to health.

Nigeria

Economy Would Be Out of Recession By Second Quarter – Central Bank

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Zimbabwe: Company Fined U.S.$17 000 for Not Banking Its Cash

HARARE based firm, Builders Home, was Thursday fined $17,000 for not banking its cash as monetary authorities crack down on the private sector in a bid to address the country’s cash shortages.

Zimbabwe has been struggling with a cash crisis for some time and the central bank has since warned that businesses would be prosecuted for not banking their daily takings.

Builders Home, located along Rezende in the capital, is in the business of selling building materials.

According to the State, it was served with a disclosure order which was signed by one of its directors.

The order was to the effect that the company submit returns on cash sales and deposits on a daily basis to Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe as required by the Bank Use and Promotion Act.

During Thursday’s court hearing, Builders Home was represented by administrator Charles Mutseka who pleaded guilty to the charges.

According to prosecutors the order was served on January 14 this year.

However, in violation of the requirements, the company did not submit returns to RBZ resulting in it being dragged to the courts.

The company will however pay $15,000 cash after magistrate Hosea Mujaya suspended $2,000 on condition the firm is not convicted of the same offence in five years.

Prosecutor Timothy Makoni appeared for the state.

Zimbabwe

Minister Kasukuwere Suspends Entire Town Council

Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere has suspended Chitungwiza Mayor Phillip… Read more »

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