Posts tagged as: world

Namibia:First Commercial Flight Lands On St Helena Via Windhoek

Windhoek — The first scheduled commercial airline service to the remote British island of St Helena in the south Atlantic touched down safely on Saturday, having made a stopover in Windhoek from Johannesburg, South Africa.

The virgin flight, an SA Airlink service from South Africa, ends the island’s long-standing reliance on a ship which sailed every three weeks, reports BBC.

It is hoped that the service, funded by the UK, will boost tourism and help make St Helena more self-sufficient.

But British media have dubbed it “the most useless airport in the world”.

Built with £285m ($380m) of funding from the UK Department for International Development (Dfid), the airport should have opened in 2016, but dangerous wind conditions delayed the launch, BBC further reports.

After further trials this summer, the weekly service between Johannesburg and St Helena was passed as safe.

St Helena had for decades been one of the world’s most inaccessible locations, served only by a rare ship service from South Africa.

It is chiefly known as the island to which French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled after his defeat in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, and where he died.

The Embraer E190-100IGW aircraft took off from Johannesburg on Saturday morning, carrying 78 passengers. It reached St Helena in the afternoon after stopping in the Namibian capital, Windhoek.

“I for one am getting really excited about the new chapter in St Helena’s history,” BBC quoted St Helena governor Lisa Phillips as saying.

Previously travel to and from the tiny island, with its population of just 4,255, was only possible on the RMS St Helena, which took around six days to complete the journey from South Africa. The ship’s final voyage is scheduled for February.

St Helena relies on British aid of £52m a year and officials hope increased tourism will make it more self-sufficient.

“This is an important moment in St Helena’s route to self-sufficiency,” a Dfid spokeswoman said.

“It will boost its tourism industry, creating the opportunity to increase its revenues, and will bring other benefits such as quicker access to healthcare for those living on the island.”

Africa:Food Insecurity and Forced Displacement of People – Where Do We Draw the Line?

By Idriss Jazairy

Geneva — The World Food Programme estimates that more than 100 million people worldwide face severe food insecurity. The situation is most severe in countries affected by conflict and violence including Afghanistan, Nigeria, Syria, South Sudan and Yemen affecting more than 40 million people. Another 22 million people in Ethiopia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Haiti and Mozambique are affected by the adverse impact of climate change and environmental degradation.

On top of this, more than 30 million people in several of these countries and Somalia are at risk of famine and starvation. The combination of violence and conflict and the adverse impact of climate change have contributed to a global food crisis that is affecting more than 40 countries in the world.

This year’s 2017 World Food Day theme highlights an important subject that is often neglected by international decision-makers as violence and conflict are often seen as the main triggering factors of the protracted migration and refugee crisis. “Change the future of migration. Invest in food security and rural development” is an important occasion to raise awareness of the adverse impact of food insecurity, environmental degradation and climate change which exacerbate the refugee and migration crisis.

During a high-level event at the United Nations in September 2016 on food insecurity and the refugee crisis, the Secretary-General of the United Nations observed that providing access to food to displaced people remains a critical issue:

“Food is a matter of life and death – especially for people in need, like refugees. Many of the millions of refugees in our world are food insecure. They face the grave risk of malnutrition. We have a moral obligation to help them.”

But if food had been available locally in the first place, there would also be far fewer migrants.

The Sahel region of Africa has been in the spotlight for decades owing to the severe environmental alterations that have transformed the region’s outlook. Since 1963, Lake Chad has lost 90% of its volume disrupting the livelihoods of 21 million people living in Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon who rely on the lake’s resources to meet their basic needs.

The lack of access to resources owing to the adverse and disruptive effects of climate change has impeded the ability of countries in the Sahel region to create a sustainable economic model fostering economic growth, development and prosperity.

Lingering food insecurity and lack of rural development as a result of climate change and armed conflicts have exacerbated the refugee and migrant crisis. The “protective fencing” of Europe and mass expulsions of forcibly displaced people are not adequate solutions to respond to the unfolding crisis.

Climate change is exacerbating already adverse natural conditions leaving affected people with no other choice than to flee. With the population of Sahel set to increase three-fold to 300 million people by 2050, it is likely that food insecurity and lack of access to natural resources will become issues of growing concern to the region.

A global framework to respond to the adverse impact of climate change on agricultural production, food security and other related issues is needed more than ever.

The situation in Syria is an example of a country that has been severely affected by food insecurity owing to the escalation of armed conflicts. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, more than 9 million Syrians are in need of food assistance as a result of decreasing agricultural output and lowered yields. Syria – once described as the “the breadbasket of Rome” as agriculture constituted once 24% of the country’s GDP – is on the brink of a severe famine that could further starve the majority of its remaining inhabitants. This shows that food insecurity will contribute to forced migration of people as the conflict has severely disrupted farming and food production putting severe pressure on the remaining population. The emigration of farmers has rapidly deteriorated Syria’s agricultural production to a historic rock bottom level.

These examples show that lingering food insecurity and lack of rural development as a result of climate change and armed conflicts have exacerbated the refugee and migrant crisis. The “protective fencing” of Europe and mass expulsions of forcibly displaced people are not adequate solutions to respond to the unfolding crisis.

Providing for adequate livelihood opportunities and revitalising the agricultural sector in countries severely affected by the loss of human capital as well as empowering rural women constitute an Ariadne thread towards the solution. Furthermore, countries hosting and providing protection to displaced people also deserve support.

Refugees and migrants in the Middle East are in need of food assistance as the steady arrival of displaced people is putting pressure on host countries to identify solutions to their plight. The solution to the crisis is not just national or regional. It is global.

This article is part of a series of stories and op-eds launched by IPS on the occasion of this year’s World Food Day on October 16.

Africa:World Food Day 2017 – Change the Future of Migration. Invest in Food Security and Rural Development

By IPS World Desk

Rome — Large movements of people is one of the most complex challenges the world faces today. In recent years there has been a huge increase in the number of people migrating around the world. Why is this happening and do they have a choice of staying in their own homes ?

Addressing migration is an important part of Agenda 2030 and is critical for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

About one-third of all international migrants are aged 15-34 years. Nearly half are women.

The United Nations estimates that more than 60 million, or nearly 1 in 100 people worldwide, have been forced to flee their homes due to increased conflict and political instability. That’s more than at any time since the Second World War.

Hunger, poverty, and an increase in extreme weather events linked to climate change are other important factors contributing to the migration challenge.

Almost three-quarters of the extreme poor base their livelihoods on agriculture or other rural activities. Creating conditions that allow rural people, especially youth, to stay at home when they feel it is safe to do so, and to have more resilient livelihoods, is an essential component of responding to the migration challenge.

Rural development can address factors that compel people to move by creating business opportunities and jobs for young people.

The international community can also harness migration’s potential by investing in rural development and building the resilience of displaced and host communities, thereby laying the ground for long-term recovery and inclusive and sustainable growth.

This year the theme for World Food Day, celebrated annually on 16 October – a date commemorating the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945 – will focus on the link between migration, food security and sustainable rural development.

The drivers and impacts of migration are intimately linked to fighting hunger and achieving food security, reducing rural poverty and promoting the sustainable use of natural resources

Africa

Is Business Trumping Peace Efforts in Libya?

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It’s Victory and Challenge

By Editorial

The women’s national volleyball team deserves kudos for qualifying for the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship for the sixth time. The girls trained under difficult conditions for the women’s Volleyball Africa Nations Championship held last week in Cameroon, but they gallantly managed to reach the finals of the competition and clinch one of the two tickets reserved for Africa.

Despite this achievement, failure to defend the African crown is a blot on the fabric of their world championship qualification, as it reveals a tidal shift from Kenya, the dominant nine-time champions, to Cameroon. The West Africans, who won their very first continental title last weekend, have been on an upward trend in the past three years, while Kenya appears to have stagnated in performance by both the national team and clubs.

RIO OLYMPICS

Cameroon qualified for the Rio Olympics last year at the expense of Kenya, and their clubs continue to perform very well in African competitions.

Our top teams Kenya Prisons and Kenya Pipeline have not won the competition in the last four years despite lifting it nine times between 1998 and 2013.

Kenya Volleyball Federation officials must find ways to ensure that Malkia Strikers maintain their position as the African queens, and this calls for better strategies and preparations for major future competitions.

Kenya

Police Killed Over 33 During Demo – Report

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Agriculture Minister Orders Sacking of Three Officials

By Rehema Matowo News@tz.nationmedia.com

Geita — Agriculture and Livestock minister, Dr Charles Tizeba, has directed the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mr Methew Mtigumwe, to sack three officials and suspend three others over corruption allegations.

The minister issued the directive on Sunday during the commemoration of World Food Day, which was held here on Monday, October 16, 2017.

Dr Tizeba said the officials caused the government a loss of Sh29 billion by disbursing agricultural subsidies to unqualified farmers in the 2015/16 agricultural season.

The minister also directed the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) to launch investigations against the officials.

Those who face the axe following the minister’s directive are deputy director of Agricultural Subsidies Shenal Nyoni, agriculture officers Michael Mayabu and Frank Kamhabwaa.

Those who will be suspended are director of Crop Production Twahir Nzallawahe, director of Procurement And Extension Services Burhan Shaban and acting director of Agriculture Subsidies at the ministry Canuth Komba.

Tanzania

‘Family Planning Clinics Can Help Screen for Cervical Cancer’

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Tanzania:Agriculture Minister Orders Sacking of Three Officials

By Rehema Matowo News@tz.nationmedia.com

Geita — Agriculture and Livestock minister, Dr Charles Tizeba, has directed the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mr Methew Mtigumwe, to sack three officials and suspend three others over corruption allegations.

The minister issued the directive on Sunday during the commemoration of World Food Day, which was held here on Monday, October 16, 2017.

Dr Tizeba said the officials caused the government a loss of Sh29 billion by disbursing agricultural subsidies to unqualified farmers in the 2015/16 agricultural season.

The minister also directed the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) to launch investigations against the officials.

Those who face the axe following the minister’s directive are deputy director of Agricultural Subsidies Shenal Nyoni, agriculture officers Michael Mayabu and Frank Kamhabwaa.

Those who will be suspended are director of Crop Production Twahir Nzallawahe, director of Procurement And Extension Services Burhan Shaban and acting director of Agriculture Subsidies at the ministry Canuth Komba.

Tanzania

‘Family Planning Clinics Can Help Screen for Cervical Cancer’

AS cases of cervical cancer increase, screening services with existing family planning clinics can increase access to… Read more »

Ocampo Revelations Exposing Hypocrisy of ICC, Opponents

By Rasna Warah

Revelations that Luis Moreno Ocampo, the former chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court, was compromised by people who were suspected to be war criminals, should interest Kenyans because they do raise the question of whether the Kenyan cases at the ICC were similarly undermined.

Documents leaked by Mediapart, a French investigative website, and the German magazine Der Spiegel suggest that Ocampo may have been bribed by a Libyan billionaire who was involved in their civil war and that he may have interfered with the court’s investigations by revealing confidential information about Muammar Gaddafi to the French Government.

The revelations expose a dark, devious and egotistical side to this Argentinian lawyer who had promised to “make an example of Kenya” when he was pursuing cases again the so-called Ocampo Six, who were charged with post-election violence, and whose cases were bungled so badly by the ICC that the six suspects ended up “making an example” of the ICC instead.

MOVE FORWARD

It appears that the Kenyan cases did not move forward not just because of lack of sufficient evidence but also because Ocampo – after initially pushing hard for the cases to be heard – nudged his former colleagues to give Uhuru Kenyatta an “honourable exit” after he became president, and even advised a Kenyan diplomat about how the case could be closed without damaging the ICC’s reputation.

Yet had it not been for Ocampo’s determination to hear the Kenyan cases, Mr Kenyatta and Mr William Ruto might not have won the 2013 elections. His obsessive zeal to take the duo to the ICC polarised the country ethnically.

It appeared that the international court was unfairly targeting the numerically and politically significant Kikuyu-Kalenjin bloc. The UhuRuto campaign exploited this victimisation narrative to garner votes in 2013 (though the jury of public opinion is still out on whether that election was free and fair.)

RECONCILIATION

Meanwhile, arguments by the Ugandan political scientist Mahmoud Mamdani that a post-conflict political reconciliation between warring factions was preferable to a judicial process in an international court were met with fury and disdain. The ICC and some prominent Kenyan activists would hear none of it.

The revelations also lay bare the hypocrisy of some African leaders who vilify the ICC as “racist”, yet use it when it suits them. When Jubilee won the 2013 elections, President Yoweri Museveni described its victory as “a rejection of the blackmail by the ICC and those who seek to abuse this institution for their own agenda”. Yet the Ugandan president has no problem with the ICC prosecuting the Lord’s Resistance Army’s Dominic Ongwen, who as a child soldier was himself a victim of the LRA.

The Ocampo revelations have exposed the hypocrisy of both the ICC and its opponents.

***

Dear Hassan Omar,

They say that there are no permanent friends or permanent enemies in politics, but your defection to the Jubilee Party last week indicates that is it not friendship or enmity that is at stake here but integrity.

OPPOSITION

There are few politicians in this country, both in the ruling party and in the opposition, who display high levels of moral uprightness.

The majority of our leaders have sold their souls to the devil so many times that it is hard to tell what side of the political divide they are on.

I truly believed that you were different. You stood out as a person who believed in truth and human dignity. But your actions suggest that you were never interested in promoting human rights or social justice; you only crave power and wealth.

ALLIANCES

Nobody is saying that you do not have the right to switch political allegiances; but changing political alliances is not the same as changing one’s beliefs. If what you claim to have stood for in the past can be so easily be forgotten, then I shudder to think what you may say – and not mean – next.

Power is not always obtained through the ballot box or the bullet. Some of the most powerful people in this world hold no political office nor do they commandeer armies. However, their influence will be felt even after their death because their ideas, convictions or inventions are so life-affirming or revolutionary that they have changed the world for the better. You might have been such a person. Alas, you have lost that opportunity!

Angola:Crashed Aircraft Wreckage Found Without Survivors

Dundo — The wreckage of the aircraft that crashed in the province of Lunda Norte on Thursday, were found Saturday in the town of Lunhiga, near the villages of Cabunta, 55 miles from Dundo, with no survivors among the occupants.

According to the coordinator of the commission and head of the department of the Office of Prevention and Investigation of Aeronautical Accidents (GPIAA), Pedro Gonçalves, the wreckage was found and the search work was completed, the collection of the mortal remains began and part of the wreckage is located in a site, at 90 kilometers off Cuílo.

Pedro Gonçalves assured that the next steps will be the continuation of the collection of evidence, in the early hours of tomorrow where a medical team will go to carry out the work for the study and investigation of the occurrence.

“The black boxes of the airplane have not yet been found, so it is premature to pronounce on the technical problems of the aircraft” – said the person in charge.

On board the plane were three crew members, namely João Oliveira da Silva, commander, Afonso Pedro, co-pilot, and Cláudio Manhico, flight attendant, and four passengers namely Paulo Miranda, Jack Lombard, Paulo Carvalho and Bonifácio Cataca.

Angola

Africa’s Growth Expected to Lag Behind, Says IMF

Projected economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is on average lagging behind that in the world generally, says the… Read more »

Angola:Seven Killed in Plane Crash

Photo: The East African
By Arnaldo Vieira

Seven passengers and crew died in a plane crash in Cuilo, a town in northeast Angola near the DR Congo border, a government official said Friday.

According to Mr Luís António Solo, head of Aero Accidents Investigation and Prevention Office (GPIAA), the Brazilian-built Embraer aircraft crashed shortly after take-off killing three crew members and four passengers.

“The plane left Kamakenzo airport in Dundo for Luanda at 4:58pm (1558 GMT) on Thursday. We lost contact shortly after take-off,” he told a press briefing in the capital Luanda.

The flight, operated by Air Guicango, is thought to have crashed into Nacarumbo lake just south of Cuilo municipality.

Among the seven aboard were a Portuguese national and a South African.

The cause of the crash is still unknown but Mr Solo said the aircraft had recently suffered “malfunctions”.

Two military helicopters were dispatched to the region to locate the wreckage and the victims’ bodies.

Angola has a poor air safety record and all of the oil-rich African country’s airlines are banned from operating within the European Union except for the flag-carrier TAAG.

-Additional reporting by AFP

Angola

Africa’s Growth Expected to Lag Behind, Says IMF

Projected economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is on average lagging behind that in the world generally, says the… Read more »

Aim Higher Than Eliminating Extreme Poverty, Kagame

By Collins Mwai

President Paul Kagame has said that investment in the development of human capital remain a top priority for Rwanda in a bid to empower citizens and unleash human freedoms.

Kagame was speaking at the World Bank Human Capital Summit in Washington DC as part of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund Annual meeting.

The president said that investment in human capital is a precondition of high income growth and prosperity.

Continuously developing human capital through investment in healthcare, education and creativity, he said is with the aim of turning citizens into individuals with the ability to think and act for themselves and for the benefit of their communities.

“Human capital is without doubt the driver of high-income growth and the foundation of prosperity. This is not an abstraction. We are talking about people in real terms… .. By investing in health, education, and creativity, we turn our people into individuals who have the ability to think and act, not just for themselves but also for the benefit of their communities,” he said.

It is that reasoning that Kagame said drives Rwanda to aim beyond elimination of extreme poverty to achieve prosperity and well-being for everyone.

“Unleashing human freedom and ability is a force multiplier that creates limitless potential. For that reason, I would like to challenge us all not to limit our ambitions to “eliminating extreme poverty”. That just doesn’t sound good enough. Our aim is prosperity and well-being for everyone. That is the essence of what keeps bringing us together here, time after time,” he said.

In Rwanda’s approach, government’s role in developing human capital is beyond provision of funds as it has involved ensuring a secure, stable environment.

“Government does not just provide funds, it also creates public goods through an environment of security, stability, policy predictability, and the rule of law,” the head of state said.

Filling the void of human capital created in pre-genocide Rwanda, Kagame said had enabled the country to achieve security and stability over the last 23 years.

“Twenty-three years ago, as you know, Rwanda was utterly devastated. It is no accident that human capital was a low priority in the years before the Genocide. As we worked to rebuild the nation, we had no choice but to put our people at the centre of our strategy. It was simply a question of security and survival,” the president said.

Among the top investments and efforts in development of human capital has been through ensuring access to quality education for all citizens as well as universal healthcare coverage.

Due to these efforts, over 90,000 Rwandans complete tertiary education annually while national healthcare insurance covers close to 90 per cent of the population.

“In the decades before 1994, access to secondary and higher education was a political favour subject to ethnic quotas. The country produced only about 2,000 university graduates in that period. Today, around 90,000 Rwandans complete tertiary education every year. Our national health insurance programme covers nearly 90 per cent of Rwandans, and tens of thousands of volunteer Community Health Workers are deployed across the country,” he told the audience.

This has consequently seen an 80 per cent reduction in maternal mortality and a 70 per cent reduction in infant and child mortality since the year 2000.

The government has also made equality of access and opportunity for girls and women in schools, in the workplace, and in front of the law, a cross cutting requirement further ensuring economic resilience.

Other efforts have been through rollout of broadband and expansion of technical and vocational education to ensure relevance to the labour market needs.

Other efforts by the government and stakeholders have involved setting up sector working groups constituting national agencies to coordinate Early Childhood Development (ECD) programme focused on nutrition, sanitation, and pre-school education.

As a result, the rate of stunting has dropped drastically from over half of children in 2010 to closer to one-third today with targets of reducing it further to 15 per cent by 2020.

Kagame commended the partnership between the World Bank Group and the government developing human capital saying that with the joint efforts there is optimism that targets will be achieved.

“Rwanda still has a long way to go to reach high-income status. Given our starting point, we are accustomed to difficult journeys, so there is no doubt that eventually we will get there. But we cannot derive full benefit from our natural resources or seize the opportunities of globalisation without first making the inherent potential of our people a reality,” he added.

World Bank President Dr. Jim Yong Kim called on countries to invest in their citizens, saying that there was evidence that it would lead to a high Gross Domestic Production.

Kagame spoke alongside other leaders including World Bank President Dr. Jim Yong Kim and Cote d’Ivoire Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly among others.

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