Posts tagged as: united

Uganda:Building Energy Celebrates the Beginning of Production At Its Photovoltaic Power Plant in Uganda

press release

Tororo, Uganda — The Tororo 10 MWp plant, with 16 GWh of renewable energy generated annually, will cater for the energy requirements of 35,838 people and help reduce CO2 emissions by 7,200 tons.

Building Energy, multinational company operating as a Globally Integrated IPP in the Renewable Energy Industry, announces the Inauguration of the Tororo Solar Plant, its first photovoltaic system in Uganda. With a capacity of 10 MWp, this plant is among the largest in Eastern Africa. Building Energy was also responsible for the development of the project, arranging the financing, as well as the construction and commissioning of the plant. The beginning of operations has been celebrated on the occasion of the ribbon cutting ceremony in Tororo, in the presence of Matteo Brambilla, MD Africa and Middle East at Building Energy, and Attilio Pacifici, EU Ambassador and Head of the EU Delegation to Uganda.

The Tororo solar plant will generate around 16 GWh of energy annually, catering to the energy needs of more than 35,838 people. In addition, the plant will foster clean industrial development in the town of Tororo and at the same time save atmospheric emissions of more than 7,200 tonnes of CO2 per year. Community Development initiatives are also underway.

The Solar Park was developed under the Global Energy Transfer Feed in Tariff (“GET FiT”), a dedicated support scheme for renewable energy projects managed by Germany’s KfW Development Bank in partnership with Uganda’s Electricity Regulatory Agency (ERA) and funded by the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund, the governments of Norway, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

The EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund has provided funds through the GET FiT Solar Facility in the form of a top-up payment per kWh of delivered electricity over 20 years. This financing fills the gap between the generation costs and the feed-in tariff set by Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL) through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

The overall $19.6 million construction investment at Tororo was financed by FMO, the Dutch development bank which, as Mandated Lead Arranger, coordinated the provision of a $14.7 million term loan facility. Fifty percent of the funding was syndicated to the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), while the overall equity contribution of the shareholders was $4.9 million.

Contacts:

Building Energy

Maria Grazia Tiballi

+39-02-49527730

m.tiballi@buildingenergy.it

buildingenergy.it

Uganda

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Morocco:SAP Commits to Youth Employment in Morocco

By Savious Kwinika

Johannesburg — THE attainment of the United Nations’ sustainable development goals (SDGs) in Morocco has received a major boost after SAP, the global software company, organised its first Social Sabbatical in the North African country. The initiative is ongoing until November 4. The SAP Social Sabbatical, a pilot project in 2012 and now a globally recognized CSR initiative, is a portfolio of volunteer programs in which SAP employees make available skills, expertise and know-how in single, short-term missions. Selected employees dedicate a month of their time to supporting and empowering emerging market organizations in the areas of education and entrepreneurship. The Moroccan leg will have 12 high-level SAP employees working with four local organisations – Enactus Morocco, Moroccan Center for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship (MCISE), Start-Up Morocco and the United States Agency for International Development Career Centre. The organisations promote innovation, social entrepreneurship, economic growth and employability of young Moroccans. Frederic Alran, Managing Director of SAP Afrique Francophone, said the Social Sabbatical supports and complements the 17 SGDs of the UN by ensuring no one was left behind as the modern workforce prepared to interesting and rewarding jobs. He said SAP adopted the idea that training workers in a digital economy was its corporate responsibility. SAP believes large companies have a moral obligation to initiate people into the world economy, whatever their origins, the executive said. “The launch of social sabbaticals in Morocco perfectly complements our broader social development skills and initiatives in Morocco and provides local organizations with global skills and ideas to stimulate local development,” said Alran. “In the globally integrated economy as we know it today, SAP needs leaders and talents who understand the global implications of our world that has digitized at a tremendous rate, adopting the idea of diversity and lifelong learning and committed to embody our vision and leadership principles.” Meanwhile, of all countries participating in the SAP Skills for Africa,continental initiative for digital skills development, Morocco is the most committed with more than 165 000 young people. More than half of them women have been trained in basic skills in coding for the year 2016 alone.

Morocco

Morocco to Host CHAN in 2018

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Nigeria:Emefiele – CBN Will Not Rest Until Nigeria Achieves Sustainable Growth

interview

Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele has assured Nigerians that the central bank will continue to implement policies that would help the economy attain sustainable growth. Emefiele, who said this while receiving the Forbes’ 2017 ‘Best of Africa Achievement’ award in Washington D.C., also urged global investors to come and invest in Nigeria. Kunle Aderinokun, Chika Amanze-Nwachuku, Obinna Chima and Nume Ekeghe present the excerpts:

Recalling the Turbulent Times

I want to thank Forbes for finding me worthy of receiving this award on behalf of the Central Bank of Nigeria tagged: “Best of Africa”. But I think what is most important here is to thank Nigerians for standing with us particularly during the very difficult times. I say difficult times then, although I make bold now to say we are out of it.

Like you all know, the last three years have been tumultuous not just for Nigeria, but the global economy, arising largely from the external shocks that hit, particularly the commodity exporting countries.

The shocks no doubt led to the plummeting of Nigeria’s reserves as crude oil price fail to a point where it dropped by February 2016 to as low as $28 per barrel. If you compare this price to the time when it averaged $100 per barrel for five straight years from 2009 to middle of 2014, you will all agree with me that we have gone through a lot.

Another shock that hit Nigeria like other countries was the United States normalisation to the point that in the last quarter of 2016, about $40 billion left emerging and frontier markets back to US.

Geo-political tensions also affected flow of funds, including Nigeria and these climaxed when we recorded negative growth. It also got to a point in the third quarter of 2016, where we got negative 2.3 per cent. We also saw inflation hitting us badly. By January 2016, inflation was just nine per cent, but by January 2017, prices have gone up and inflation had hit us up to 18 per cent and Nigerians no doubt became uncomfortable.

We, at monetary policy committee, felt that at this level, something needed to be done. In a study at CBN, we came to a conclusion that at the level it would be difficult to stimulate growth. So we decided to take inflation head on. We are happy today that we are doing about 16 per cent now and will be tamed with other policies in place.

It is also important to talk about what happened to our reserves. By June 2014, Nigeria’s reserves stood at about $37 billion. As a result of the shock, by October 2016, with all the measures we have taken, it dropped to about $23 billion. We felt that having taken all the measures so far -currency adjustments three times, from N155 to N168 to N197 and above N200- and February this year, a section of the market hit N525- we said something had to be done. But I am happy today that we are here. We also want to thank our friends, who have shown confidence in us. The foreign investor community has also been very supportive. We took some of the decisions that they didn’t like, but I know that we have taken one this time around that excited them. The opening of the investors and exporters fx window has been particularly exciting to them.

Where We are Today

And I must say that in six months, we have seen about $10 billion in inflows into Nigeria as a result of the opening of that window. We feel so grateful to them for showing the confidence in Nigeria again. But I think all this also is because President Muhammadu Buhari has always said that: we had unfortunately been hit by this exogenous shock and it had resulted in inflation and plummeting in reserves, but that we needed at some point to look at the items Nigeria imports into the country.

Nigeria is a big market, no doubt, 180 million people growing at an average population rate of three per cent annually. It is certainly a big market. But then, it is important to cast our mind back and begin to ask ourselves: There was a time in Nigeria when we produced everything we were eating. We were producing rice, palm oil etc. Nigeria was the highest producer and exporter of palm oil in the world with over 40 per cent market share sometimes in the 60s and 70s. But unfortunately because we found oil, we decided to take things easy. What we are saying is that: the President said we had tested this before, we had done it before, it is not about re-inventing it again.

Still on the 41 Items

Our climate is good, let us fold our sleeves and begin to feed ourselves again, and save our reserves for some of those items that we cannot produce as a country. And that has led to where we are today. We are delighted we put forex restriction on 41 items. We were castigated and I was reading in the Economist magazine that what we did was to just move around the home and pick items including toothpicks. I think it is important to know what we are doing. If you go to China, where they are producing the toothpicks, those things can be produced in a place that is less than a quarter of a room. How much does it involve to invest in the equipment that is used in producing toothpicks. We were importing toothpicks. Bamboo is what is used in producing toothpicks. And there is a company in Nigeria today, where people come out of school and are now producing toothpicks, creating jobs for our people. That is what is found in the spirit of Nigerians. A couple of weeks ago, I picked up a toothpick that is being produced by a Nigerian. That toothpick is stronger than the one that is being imported from China. But I think as far as we are concerned, it is about creating jobs for our people. Nigeria is the largest producer of cassava. We were importing starch and glucose. Nigerian companies that could produce starch and glucose would go to companies that needed starch and glucose and all the companies were telling them was our stock levels are high. They said they would visit them when their stock levels go low. But unfortunately, their stock level did not go low until we imposed the forex restriction on these items. Their stock level went low and they started to now patronise Nigerian companies that were producing starch and glucose. Today, companies that require starch and glucose for their pharmaceuticals and formulations patronise Nigerians. This has created jobs for us. That is the spirit of Nigerians. This is part of the reasons the President said we needed to patronise Made-in-Nigeria and I am happy that we are doing this. But I think it is also important that we thank everybody, particularly Nigerians.

Exiting Recession

Yes, we have just managed to exit the recession with a fragile growth of 0.5 per cent; we have seen inflation trending downwards, we have seen exchange rate and reserves looking stronger and firmer. But I think we are determined to continue to push further to see to it that Nigeria returns to its historical growth path. 0.5 per cent or two per cent is not the historical growth path for Nigeria. Nigeria is a country that must grow at a rate that is at least twice the population growth rate (six per cent or seven per cent). And until we achieve that, we are not going to rest on our oars. To see that Nigerians are happy again and that we grow the country. God has bestowed us as leaders; he has given us the opportunity to serve our people. God has put these in our hands and we do owe them the responsibility to ensure that we put policies in place that will make Nigeria good for everybody. We want to continue to join hands with our friends in the foreign investment community to do that.

Nigeria Ripe for Investment

Nigeria has a lot of potential. The environment is good, the climate is good. Nigerians are hospitable and good people. That is why we make bold to say Nigeria is good for business. There are very big countries in the world you will visit today and say you want to invest. The returns are not as high as you have in Nigeria. We want to invite you and that for me is the message we have here today. Come to Nigeria, Nigerians will receive you. Come to Nigeria, you will be happy in Nigeria. We are battling with unemployment in Nigeria, and that is the reason again the President called on the Federal Ministry of Agric, CBN, Minister of Employment, Labour and Productivity, and some important stakeholders including the governors together and said there is a need to start thinking about how we can create jobs for our people through agriculture; that agric should not be seen as business that is meant for the poor, that you can make money from agriculture. Countries that have progressed have done so because they took the agric sector very seriously. We are determined to make agric the sector where people make money and we have decided to put in place the Anchor Borrowers Programme. Before we introduced the ABP, farmers go to farm rice and all the yield they were getting was one to 1.5 metric tonnes per hectare. After we started the ABP, today we are beginning to see farmers getting yield as high as eight metric tonnes per hectare, reducing their costs and making it possible to make their money in rice cultivation. We have seen that there is a need for us to think about how we improve the wealth of our rural community. We started that journey and through rice, we have achieved that. The Nigerian government is confident that through agriculture, the wealth of our people can be boosted. And that is the journey we are on. We want to invite all of you, our friends and foreign investor friends; I heard the President of the Corporate Council for Africa talked about the fact that there are foreign investors that are interested in agriculture in Nigeria. We welcome you. Come, Nigeria will receive you.

Nasa Leader Odinga to Address Rally After Retreat

By Mohamed Ahmed

National Super Alliance (Nasa) leader Raila Odinga is expected to address his first major rally in Mombasa on Sunday after he withdrew from the presidential race.

Mr Odinga, who was on a tour in the United Kingdom, is expected to address the highly publicised rally at Mama Ngina Drive grounds.

Speaking after inspecting the venue on Saturday, Mombasa deputy governor William Kingi said all the four Nasa principals will attend the rally.

“Our preparations are going on well and tomorrow we will be given directions on the way forward by our four principals together with their host the governor.

“We have been asking for reforms, which have not been addressed and tomorrow we will get to know what stand we are taking,” Dr Kingi said.

POLICE BRUTALITY

The other co-principals are Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula and Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi.

Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir said the leaders will also address police brutality during Nasa demonstrations pushing for electoral reforms.

The rally comes hot on heels of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto’s last weekend visit to the county where Jubilee harvested big, following defection of opposition leaders.

Among the defectors, who also lost in the August 8 elections, are former senator Hassan Omar, former Taita Taveta Governor John Mruttu and former Likoni MP Suleiman Shakombo.

DEFECTORS

The ruling party also received a boost after Taita Taveta governor Granton Samboja and Nyali MP Mohammed Ali indicated that they will work with Jubilee administration to enhance growth in their areas.

Mr Ali, a former journalist, said he will work with the Jubilee “to serve his constituents”.

This has left Nasa fighting to consolidate it’s backing at the Coast following the defections.

The Nasa rally, which is organised by Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, comes at a time when calls for Mr Joho and his Kilifi counterpart Amason Kingi to be made Nasa principals owing to their huge popularity in the region, pile up.

VOTES

Mr Kingi and Mr Joho have also announced that either of them will run for the presidency in 2022.

Complaints have also been rife following failure by Nasa to name Coast lawmakers to top parliamentary committees.

During his defection last week, Mr Omar mocked the opposition leaders, saying they could not be given top positions due to their academic backgrounds.

Jubilee has been campaigning in the region hoping to take away a huge slice of the opposition’s support.

STRONGHOLD

The opposition received more votes than the ruling administration both in the 2013 and August elections.

The Coast is regarded as a Nasa fandom.

However, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party won the Kwale and Lamu gubernatorial seats.

Governor Salim Mvurya (Kwale), who defected from ODM, beat Wiper candidate Chirau Mwakwere and ODM’s Issa Chipera.

Mr Fahim Twaha won the Lamu top seat that was previously held by Issa Timamy, who was a member of Amani National Congress.

Just like in 2013, Jubilee lost all the top seats in Mombasa with a majority of the MPs, ward representatives and the senatorial seats going to ODM.

Zimbabwe: Bitcoin Reliance – Central Bank Loses Out On Interest Rates

By Hazel Ndebele

The increasing reliance on Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency, by Zimbabweans, is disastrous, as the country is losing out on monetary policy interventions, which can be useful when the Reserve Bank has a currency it can control, a leading American academic has said.

A cryptocurrency is a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange using cryptography to secure the transactions and to control the creation of additional units of the currency.

Bitcoin is a digital token, with no physical backing, that can be sent electronically from one user to another, anywhere in the world. All Bitcoin transactions are made with no middleman, meaning banks are not involved and therefore there are no transaction fees.

Zimbabwe is reeling from a severe liquidity crunch, with most businesses facing collapse, as they struggle to access foreign currency to import critical inputs due to depleted nostro balances. As a result, desperate Zimbabweans have resorted to using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin to make online and foreign payments.

African Leadership School for Business vice-dean for strategy and research and former professor at America’s Harvard Business School, Catherine Duggan, recently warned that it is not economically viable for a country to rely on a cryptocurrency. She said if she was the central bank governor of a country relying on a cryptocurrency, like Zimbabwe, she would be extremely worried because it would mean that she is not able to control such a particular currency. Duggan was speaking at a workshop a fortnight ago, whose theme was “The Political Economy of Currency Movement; Factors Driving the Value of the Dollar and a Framework for Understanding the Intersection of Politics and Economics”, which was organised by the British Council.

Currently, banks are prioritising the processing of telegraphic transfers based on the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s priority list, while Visa/Mastercard payments are also being controlled or culled altogether. This leaves Zimbabweans with few options on how to make external payments and, as the scarce United States dollar continues to disappear from the market, the demand for alternative payment options such as Bitcoin, is expected to increase.

On the US dollar, Duggan said the currency is overvalued in Zimbabwe.

“For a country like Zimbabwe, the US dollar is overvalued because it is valued the same as to how it is valued in the United States of America and yet the economies are totally different,” Duggan said. The US is an economy doing well, whereas Zimbabwe has been going through an economic crisis for nearly two decades.

Duggan said people need to believe in their own currency and have confidence in it, but if that lacks, then the currency is reduced to just pieces of paper. “The US dollar is just a piece of paper, but the United States government and Americans have confidence in it and the reason why we use this currency is that we all agree that it is worth something,” she said.

The bond note, whose value has been eroded by up to 60% in some instances against the US dollar, faced a crisis of confidence in the market even before it was introduced.

Zimbabwe

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Zimbabwe:Bitcoin Reliance – Central Bank Loses Out On Interest Rates

Photo: Bitcoin

Bitcoin (file photo).

By Hazel Ndebele

The increasing reliance on Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency, by Zimbabweans, is disastrous, as the country is losing out on monetary policy interventions, which can be useful when the Reserve Bank has a currency it can control, a leading American academic has said.

A cryptocurrency is a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange using cryptography to secure the transactions and to control the creation of additional units of the currency.

Bitcoin is a digital token, with no physical backing, that can be sent electronically from one user to another, anywhere in the world. All Bitcoin transactions are made with no middleman, meaning banks are not involved and therefore there are no transaction fees.

Zimbabwe is reeling from a severe liquidity crunch, with most businesses facing collapse, as they struggle to access foreign currency to import critical inputs due to depleted nostro balances. As a result, desperate Zimbabweans have resorted to using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin to make online and foreign payments.

African Leadership School for Business vice-dean for strategy and research and former professor at America’s Harvard Business School, Catherine Duggan, recently warned that it is not economically viable for a country to rely on a cryptocurrency. She said if she was the central bank governor of a country relying on a cryptocurrency, like Zimbabwe, she would be extremely worried because it would mean that she is not able to control such a particular currency. Duggan was speaking at a workshop a fortnight ago, whose theme was “The Political Economy of Currency Movement; Factors Driving the Value of the Dollar and a Framework for Understanding the Intersection of Politics and Economics”, which was organised by the British Council.

Currently, banks are prioritising the processing of telegraphic transfers based on the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe’s priority list, while Visa/Mastercard payments are also being controlled or culled altogether. This leaves Zimbabweans with few options on how to make external payments and, as the scarce United States dollar continues to disappear from the market, the demand for alternative payment options such as Bitcoin, is expected to increase.

On the US dollar, Duggan said the currency is overvalued in Zimbabwe.

“For a country like Zimbabwe, the US dollar is overvalued because it is valued the same as to how it is valued in the United States of America and yet the economies are totally different,” Duggan said. The US is an economy doing well, whereas Zimbabwe has been going through an economic crisis for nearly two decades.

Duggan said people need to believe in their own currency and have confidence in it, but if that lacks, then the currency is reduced to just pieces of paper. “The US dollar is just a piece of paper, but the United States government and Americans have confidence in it and the reason why we use this currency is that we all agree that it is worth something,” she said.

The bond note, whose value has been eroded by up to 60% in some instances against the US dollar, faced a crisis of confidence in the market even before it was introduced.

Zimbabwe

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This is My Worst Season as a Coach – Nsimbe

By Timothy Olobulu

Nairobi — The pressure cooker is expected to start hissing on the ears of Tusker FC head coach George ‘Best’ Nsimbe as the postmortem for the 2017 season begins at the Ruaraka based club, following a season where the 11-time Kenyan Premier League champions will finish off without a medal on their necks.

Ugandan Nsimbe came into the side with the huge task of filling the boots of fellow countryman Paul Nkata who guided the side to a double last season, but the efforts have driven on flat tyres.

The Brewers are a massive 20 points behind leaders Gor Mahia with seven rounds of league matches left while the wheels came off their defense of the GOtv Shield title at the Quarter Final stage when they lost 2-0 to National Super League side Vihiga United.

As he looks back to what he terms as a ‘dead season’ Nsimbe, speaking to Capital Sport has admitted this is his worst year as a coach.

“This is the worst season I have seen in my coaching career. I have been in Uganda and Tanzania where I did well and won titles but for me, this is the worst. But I will not give up; I know I can do so much more for this club,” the Ugandan said, in huge faith that the top management at Tusker will retain faith in him.

“Honestly this was a dead year for us and we have to go back and plan for next season. Our problem was that we conceded so many goals and we didn’t score. That’s why we are where we are now,” he added.

Even as he maintains a brave face that his squad will walk off the tumultuous hot-coal path unscathed for 2017, the players have thrown their weight behind the soft spoken man whose debut season in Kenya has not been as ‘best’ as his name.

Skipper James Situma has admitted that the season has been tough for them, but maintains confidence things will be better in 2018, urging the club’s management to keep faith in the coaching team.

“We have to support the coach as players because its football. Sometimes you are up and sometimes you are down. Whether there are changes depends with the management but for us we are behind the coach and we will play to our best to ensure we finish the season on a high,” the experienced defender noted.

“Always as a club, our target is to go for the title but this season we started on a low and it really turned out to cost us. We have to learn from our mistakes and now we need to keep fighting till the end because getting to number two is possible,” Nsimbe stated.

Tusker have struggled to be consistent this season after Nsimbe started his tenure with snail pace. They ultimately picked up and had a decent run of seven wins on the trot between April and May.

However, just after travelling to Tanzania for the SportPesa Super Cup, they returned to their domestic campaign for a struggle as they won only two of their next 10 domestic matches. One of those two wins was a GOtv Shield clash against lowly Butterfly FC.

Their surge to keep their title was further dented when Zoo Kericho plucked three points right under their feathers after winning a case at the Disciplinary Committee after the brewers beat them in Kericho without presenting player cards.

If given another opportunity to lead the Kenyan giants for one more season, Nsimbe has promised he will flight them back to the top, but he has hinted he will have to rake into the transfer market for ‘younger players’.

“We have to at least reinforce the squad. We have had a problem with scoring and majority of the players, almost 50 percent are a little bit aged. We need at least some young boys who can reinforce the team. We will not make a lot of changes but at least we have to bring in strong players,” Nsimbe hinted.

He says their target for the remaining seven games of the season will be to push for a top three finish. They are placed sixth in the standings with 40 points, five off second placed Sofapaka and Nsimbe is strong convinced with a last ditch effort they can rake into second spot.

After their stalemate with Kariobangi Sharks on Wednesday in Nairobi, the alemen turn their daggers on relegation fighting Muhoroni Youth who they face on Sunday at the Ruaraka Complex.

Tough FGM Laws Keep Numbers Down in Uganda, But Hotspots Still Rampant

opinionBy Evelyn Lirri

Beatrice Cheptoyet underwent female genital mutilation (FGM) at the age of 16. That was three decades ago.

At the time, it was common practice for girls from her Sabiny tribe as well as a section of the Karimojong tribes of eastern and northeastern Uganda to undergo the procedure as a rite of passage into womanhood.

A girl who was not circumcised was considered impure. She was called promiscuous and faced daily ridicule. She had little chance of getting married and was not be allowed to pick food from the granary or cow dung from the kraal.

“Even if you got married and bore children, you would still be called a child,” said Cheptoyet, who is now an anti-FGM crusader. “Every girl was therefore eager to undergo the rite, not knowing what dangers they were exposing themselves to.”

The mother of 10 has four scars on her right arm, known in the local Sabiny language as “mamitek,” which identify a girl who is circumcised. None of her five daughters is circumcised.

“I never wanted my daughters to go through the same pain I underwent,” said Cheptoyet.

She says her mission is to see an end to female circumcision, even though she admits it is a tall order.

Big threat

A law passed in 2010 banning FGM in Uganda has helped to bring the number of incidents down. Communities that continue to perform the rite do so secretly. Anti-FGM crusaders refer to such communities as hotspots.

Female circumcision often involves partial or total removal of the clitoris and labia minora.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) says there are about 200 million girls and women around the world who have gone through the cut. The consequences are both physical and psychological and can last a lifetime.

The procedure can cause severe bleeding, infections as well as complications urinating and during childbirth, UNFPA notes.

“FGM is a big threat to the reproductive health of women and girls,” said UNFPA country representative for Uganda Alain Sibenaler.

According to the Uganda Demographic and Health Survey (2011), the FGM prevalence in the country stands at 1.4 per cent, but the figure rises in communities where the practice continues. This is despite the tough penalties imposed on those convicted.

Penalties

Such a person faces up to 10 years in prison. If the cut results in death, disability or infection with HIV/Aids, the punishment is life imprisonment. Anyone who provides aid or takes part in the practice in any way is liable, upon conviction, to a prison term of up to five years.

Kenya passed the law against FGM in 2011, while Tanzania did so much earlier in 1998.

Officials from the Sebei region of eastern Uganda say that despite the decline in the number of incidents the hotspots remain a challenge.

In Kapchorwa district of eastern Uganda, officials said the number of women who have undergone the cut declined from 970 per circumcision season in 1990 to as low as 120 cases by 2012.

In Kween district, a senior community development officer Saul Chebet said that while there have been no recent studies on the FGM prevalence rate, there is evidence to show the numbers have reduced drastically.

While this is encouraging, Kween resident district commissioner Kennedy Adolla Otiti said a lot more work still needs to be done to eradicate the practice.

“This is a deep-rooted culture and you cannot wipe out a culture in one go. But one day we hope we shall end it as more girls attend school and become aware of its dangers,” said Mr Otiti.

Yet even as pressure mounts to end the practice, former circumcisers like 61-year-old Prisca Yapkwobei feel that they have been left with no alternative source of income.

“We used to get a lot of money and many gifts including chicken and goats. We were also respected. Now we have been left with nothing,” said Ms Yapkwobei.

In the hotspots, female circumcision is no longer a ceremonial event held once every year. It happens sporadically such as when a woman is giving birth.

Uncircumcised married women facing stigma opt for this route in later years, officials said.

“Those who want to be circumcised seek the services of traditional birth attendants to perform the procedure during childbirth,” said Lillington Mukhwana, an official from Bukwo district.

Others take a trip deep into the forests and mountains at night and perform the rite.

Eliminating FGM

The UNFPA notes that the global target of eliminating FGM by 2030 will only be achieved if efforts are intensified to address the problem.

“We need to ensure adequate allocation for efforts to keep girls in school and provide access to health, legal and psychological services for survivors,” said Mr Sibenaler.

Over the past three years, UNFPA alongside the Church of Uganda and the Ministry of Gender, has been staging the annual anti-FGM marathon to raise awareness about the dangers of circumcising girls.

This year’s event was held on September 16.

The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda Stanley Ntagali said since the inaugural event in 2015, at least 15 communities from the three districts of Kapchorwa, Kween and Bukwo have abandoned the practice.

“There are still a few hotspots, but with improved education and road networks it is possible to phase out FGM in the region.”

Reflecting On the Legacy of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere

By Nkwazi Mhango

On October 14, 1999, Tanzania lost its Founding Father Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere at Guy’s and St Thomas Hospital in London. Now, it is 18 years since Mwalimu or the Teacher, as he is fondly known, sadly passed on.

In reflecting on Mwalimu’s legacies, as we celebrate his exemplary and unique life, it is better to wholeheartedly and thankfully bring him back to our memories and prayers. The crème de la crème per se, small man with a big heart; and, above all, unparalleled virtuous man; yet a mountain-like leader, no doubt; Nyerere contributed superbly and enormously to Tanzania and Africa in general.

Due to such unrivalled makings, sans doute, his persona and stature have glowingly been growing exponentially as the days go by so as to outpower some living leaders. His shoes, too, have grown so big that nobody can slink and fit in. This is Nyerere I commemorate. I must admit from the outset. It is not easy and possible to enumerate Nyerere’s good deeds as opposed to his shortfalls, despite their good intent.

In commemorating Mwalimu, I’d like to revisit his shining heirlooms, though in a nutshell. Who’s Mwalimu Nyerere? He’s Tanzania’s first honest and selfless president who truthfully and practically said what he did and did what he said. Despite ruling Tanzania for 24 years, Nyerere left no hanging cloud over his people. He died a pauper by today’s standards when presidency is a lucrative money-spinning business that makes freebooters, their families, friends and hangers-on filthy rich.

For Mwalimu, nothing was more important than seeing Africa liberated from the fangs and pangs of colonialism, injustice and all criminality that made it stroppy in all spheres of life. Practically, Mwalimu fought for the dream of an independent Africa. His vision was to see Africa freed from disease, ignorance, injustice and poverty, which he vehemently fought.

Secondly, Nyerere wanted a united Africa. He tirelessly tried to actualise and realise this dream to no avail thanks to his bit-by-bit approach as opposed to his counterpart Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s founder who desired and worked for a single-stroke one.

However, despite his fiasco in actualising his dream for Africa, he left us with a token in the Union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar that gave birth to the current United Republic of Tanzania the only existing and exemplary union in Africa.

Thirdly, Mwalimu fought and established an egalitarian society that did not have evils such as tribalism, greed, and holier-than-thou. He established Ujamaa na Kujitegemea or African Socialism and Self-reliance. Under his rule, Tanzania was a shining star, thanks to his probity, intellect and insight.

As a leader, Nyerere introduced free social services to his citizen in order to make sure that they all moved equally and together, which Tanzania lost after Nyerere willingly relinquishing power in 1985 after admitting that his policies had failed. Again, did his policies fail? Not at all; they were sabotaged by internal and external capitalistic and imperialistic enemies who didn’t get an opportunity to bully and exploit Tanzania as they deemed fit back then under Nyerere’s watch. Many Tanzanians, particularly his party the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) beseeched him to soldier on, but he told them that he was not ready to turn back and become a biblical pillar of salt to which the wife of Lot, Ado or Esther, turned into after turning back contrary to God’s instructions as they escaped from a wicked Sodom.

Before retiring, Nyerere admonished Tanzanians to pull together. However, soon thereafter, things changed dramatically and negatively. Slowly, the lust for illicit wealth became a norm. The story is very long. For, three regimes that followed after Mwalimu corrupted and destroyed almost everything the man had stood and lived for. Some of his successors started to illicitly accumulate wealth so as to make the gap between the haves and the have-nots grow exponentially.

It reached a point at which many Tanzanians wished Nyerere would have soldiered on. Corruption became legalised through the back door while ethics were replaced with ineptitude, greed and venality. However, if Nyerere were to raise from the dead today, at least, he would be happy due to the arrival of the current President John Magufuli, who seems to readjust Tanzania back to the right direction, shall he stay the course.

Nyerere’s flipside

Nyerere was referred to as a benevolent dictator under whose rule democracy was stifled. So, too, Nyerere has a role in some of the noes that transpired after vacating from office. One of them is his superimposition of his handpicked candidate in the 1995 general elections who ended up betraying him and his cause. Notably, Nyerere saved the country from one evil to end up settling on another. Apart from that, Nyerere’s name will always be embossed in gold as far as the history of the liberation of Tanzania and Africa is concerned. RIP Julius Kambarage Nyerere Burito, a true son of Africa.

Nkwazi Mhango is a Tanzanian writer who is based in Canada

Kenya Move One Place Up in Zimbabwe

By Larry Ngala

Victoria Falls — Kenya made a slight improvement, moving to eighth position as South Africa increased their lead to 22 shots in the third round of this year’s Africa Amateur Golf Team Championship at the par 72 Elephant Hills Golf course on Thursday.

Leading the day for the Kenyans was Edwin Mudanyi, who shot two over par 74 as team captain Alfred Nandwa and Kibugu Mutahi both carded five over par 77 each for an aggregate of 228 and a team total of 684.

“We made a slight improvement though not good enough to make us move to our first round position but there is one more round to go,” Nandwa, who made several three putts due to the slow greens, said.

Meanwhile, the South Africans posted 216 for a three rounds total of 636. The team’s top player Malcolm Mitchell carded one over par 73 to assist Clayton Mansfield on 71 and Gerrik Higgo’s level par 72.

Hosts Zimbabwe made a strong showing to move to second place after firing 218 for the day from David Amm on 70, Tonderayi Masunga’s level par 72 and a 76 by Tatenda Makunde.

Egypt dropped to fourth place on 666 while Re-Union remained in third place with 664. In the chase for the individual title, South Africa’s Mitchell remained at the top with eight under par with Zimbabwe’s David Amm and Egypt’s Issa Abu El Ela tying on three under par.

Kenya’s Alfred Nandwa dropped to eighth place on five over par. The fourth and final round of the championship is set for Friday morning from 7am.

LEADERBOARD

South Africa 211, 209, 216 = 636

Zimbabwe 225, 215, 218 = 658

Reunion 222, 221, 221 = 664

Egypt 219, 220, 227 = 666

Swaziland 226, 224, 225 = 675

Zambia 226, 229, 221 = 676

Tunisia 229, 225, 228 = 682

Kenya 224, 232, 228 = 684

Kenya

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