Posts tagged as: youth

Fans Now Want ’24-Hour Weddings’ Scrapped at Rugby Festivals

By Mwende Kasujja

A section of rugby fans are signing an online petition to stop tournaments organisers from allowing 24-hour mock weddings to be held in their events.

The symbolic unions are usually among off-field activities held in rugby tournaments in the spirit of merry making.

But a petition launched on Citizen Go dubbed #StopMockingMarriages is urging the Kenya Rugby Union to ban the holding of such weddings in its tournaments.


The petitioners argue the weddings allow “immorality to prevail during tournaments” and may water down achievements that rugby players have made locally and internationally.

The petition comes after Nairobi News reported how fans at the September Prinsloo Sevens Rugby tournament in Nakuru were afforded the privilege of getting married for 24 hours only.

The presiding priest, one Mr Fidel Castro, said 120 couples enjoyed the privilege after he led them in reciting wedding vows before issuing them with specially printed certificate and wedding rings.

The symbolic union allowed couples to enjoy the benefits of marriage without carrying any baggage after the expiry of the deadline.

In the petition addressed to Kenya Rugby Union chairman Richard Omwela, the petitioners urge him to put a stop to the mockery.


“We write this petition urging you to ban fake 24 hours “marriages” that are instituted during rugby tournaments where participants are allowed to enjoy privileges only allowed to legally married couples that include among others, sex. The unfortunate ceremonies have seen hundreds of youth being involved!” stated the petition.

“Previously, Kenyan rugby games have been synonymous to free sex, alcohol and drug abuse and scanty dressing. We are very proud of the Kenyan Rugby team for the far they have soared while flying the Kenyan flag but they can’t allow their events to be home to evil, mischief and mockery of very vital societal norms,” read the petition.

Over 1,400 Kenyans have signed the online petition so far whose target is 2,000 signatures.

Here is a link to the petition.


Election Boss Reads Riot Act to President and Opposition Leader

Electoral commission chief Wafula Chebukati on Wednesday cast doubts on the possibility of holding credible elections… Read more »

Malawi:Salima Youth Scheme Searching for Tomato Markets

By Mphatso Nkuonera

A tomato scheme for the youth in Salima says it is in the process of searching for reliable markets for its produce to prevent unscrupulous buyers from ripping them off.

A multitude of vendors is said to be flocking pressing for orders at very low prices, according to Vice chair for Ubale Scheme Ireen Robert.

“We organized ourselves into this agricultural activity to uplift our lives. As such, we need reliable markets that can offer good prices,” Robert said.

She said they a lot of tomato produced from a one and half acre piece of land.

Ubale tomato scheme is one of the products from Evangelical Association of Malawi (EAM) through community empowerment projects the faith based organization is implementing in Group Village Head Chifundo in Salima.

Treasurer of Ubale Youth Project Chikayiko Maso said their youth scheme has benefitted much from EAM through trainings that have helped many youths to refrain from common problems in the area that include early marriages, drug and alcohol abuse.

Maso added that school dropout rate in villages surrounding the scheme was worse because lack of role models and life skills education for the youths.

“This agriculture project has proved to the community that the youth can be productive citizens if they consider farming as a business,” Maso said.

He added that proceeds realized from the project assist vulnerable children like orphans and the poor by providing school fees that promotes education in the process.

The youth scheme is looking forward to replace obsolete treadle pumps to make their farming appealing, according to Maso.

“We work together with People Living with HIV and who find these treadle pumps difficult to use and this has led to some quitting the project.

“We want to buy an engine that would make our work easier because the water will be pumped electronically,” he said.

Apart from agriculture, EAM established Star Circles to assist in fighting discrimination of PLHIV who are now able to demand services from office bearers


Workers Union Appeals to Govt for Minimum Wage Enforcement

Malawi Congress of Trade Unions (MCTU) has appealed to the Ministry of Labour to put in place monitoring mechanisms to… Read more »

Africa:This Country Figured Out How to Stop Teen Substance Abuse, So Why Has No One Else?

Find out which nordic nation radically cut teenage smoking, drinking and drug use and how they did it.

It’s a little before three on a sunny Friday afternoon and Laugardalur Park, near central Reykjavik, looks practically deserted. There’s an occasional adult with a pushchair, but the park’s surrounded by apartment blocks and houses, and school’s out – so where are all the kids?

Walking with me are Gudberg Jónsson, a local psychologist, and Harvey Milkman, an American psychology professor who teaches for part of the year at Reykjavik University. Twenty years ago, says Gudberg, Icelandic teens were among the heaviest-drinking youths in Europe. “You couldn’t walk the streets in downtown Reykjavik on a Friday night because it felt unsafe,” adds Milkman. “There were hordes of teenagers getting in-your-face drunk.”

We approach a large building. “And here we have the indoor skating,” says Gudberg.

A couple of minutes ago, we passed two halls dedicated to badminton and ping pong. Here in the park, there’s also an athletics track, a geothermally heated swimming pool and – at last – some visible kids, excitedly playing football on an artificial pitch.

Young people aren’t hanging out in the park right now, Gudberg explains, because they’re in after-school classes in these facilities, or in clubs for music, dance or art. Or they might be on outings with their parents.

Today, Iceland tops the European table for the cleanest-living teens. The percentage of 15- and 16-year-olds who had been drunk in the previous month plummeted from 42% in 1998 to 5% in 2016. The percentage who have ever used cannabis is down from 17% to 7%. Those smoking cigarettes every day fell from 23% to just 3%.

The way the country has achieved this turnaround has been both radical and evidence-based, but it has relied a lot on what might be termed enforced common sense. “This is the most remarkably intense and profound study of stress in the lives of teenagers that I have ever seen,” says Milkman. “I’m just so impressed by how well it is working.”

If it was adopted in other countries, Milkman argues, the Icelandic model could benefit the general psychological and physical wellbeing of millions of kids, not to mention the coffers of healthcare agencies and broader society. It’s a big if.

“I was in the eye of the storm of the drug revolution,” Milkman explains over tea in his apartment in Reykjavik. In the early 1970s, when he was doing an internship at the Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital in New York City, “LSD was already in, and a lot of people were smoking marijuana. And there was a lot of interest in why people took certain drugs.”

Milkman’s doctoral dissertation concluded that people would choose either heroin or amphetamines depending on how they liked to deal with stress. Heroin users wanted to numb themselves; amphetamine users wanted to actively confront it. After this work was published, he was among a group of researchers drafted by the US National Institute on Drug Abuse to answer questions such as: why do people start using drugs? Why do they continue? When do they reach a threshold to abuse? When do they stop? And when do they relapse?

“Any college kid could say: why do they start? Well, there’s availability, they’re risk-takers, alienation, maybe some depression,” he says. “But why do they continue? So I got to the question about the threshold for abuse and the lights went on – that’s when I had my version of the ‘aha’ experience: they could be on the threshold for abuse before they even took the drug, because it was their style of coping that they were abusing.”

At Metropolitan State College of Denver, Milkman was instrumental in developing the idea that people were getting addicted to changes in brain chemistry. Kids who were “active confronters” were after a rush – they’d get it by stealing hubcaps and radios and later cars, or through stimulant drugs. Alcohol also alters brain chemistry, of course. It’s a sedative but it sedates the brain’s control first, which can remove inhibitions and, in limited doses, reduce anxiety.

“People can get addicted to drink, cars, money, sex, calories, cocaine – whatever,” says Milkman. “The idea of behavioural addiction became our trademark.”

This idea spawned another: “Why not orchestrate a social movement around natural highs: around people getting high on their own brain chemistry – because it seems obvious to me that people want to change their consciousness – without the deleterious effects of drugs?”

By 1992, his team in Denver had won a $1.2-million government grant to form Project Self-Discovery, which offered teenagers natural-high alternatives to drugs and crime. They got referrals from teachers, school nurses and counsellors, taking in kids from the age of 14 who didn’t see themselves as needing treatment but who had problems with drugs or petty crime.

“We didn’t say to them, you’re coming in for treatment. We said, we’ll teach you anything you want to learn: music, dance, hip hop, art, martial arts.” The idea was that these different classes could provide a variety of alterations in the kids’ brain chemistry, and give them what they needed to cope better with life: some might crave an experience that could help reduce anxiety, others may be after a rush.

At the same time, the recruits got life-skills training, which focused on improving their thoughts about themselves and their lives, and the way they interacted with other people. “The main principle was that drug education doesn’t work because nobody pays attention to it. What is needed are the life skills to act on that information,” Milkman says. Kids were told it was a three-month programme. Some stayed five years.

In 1991, Milkman was invited to Iceland to talk about this work, his findings and ideas. He became a consultant to the first residential drug treatment centre for adolescents in Iceland, in a town called Tindar. “It was designed around the idea of giving kids better things to do,” he explains. It was here that he met Gudberg, who was then a psychology undergraduate and a volunteer at Tindar. They have been close friends ever since.

Milkman started coming regularly to Iceland and giving talks. These talks, and Tindar, attracted the attention of a young researcher at the University of Iceland, called Inga Dóra Sigfúsdóttir. She wondered: what if you could use healthy alternatives to drugs and alcohol as part of a programme not to treat kids with problems, but to stop kids drinking or taking drugs in the first place?

Have you ever tried alcohol? If so, when did you last have a drink? Have you ever been drunk? Have you tried cigarettes? If so, how often do you smoke? How much time do you spend with your parents? Do you have a close relationship with your parents? What kind of activities do you take part in?

In 1992, 14-, 15- and 16-year-olds in every school in Iceland filled in a questionnaire with these kinds of questions. This process was then repeated in 1995 and 1997.

The results of these surveys were alarming. Nationally, almost 25% were smoking every day, over 40% had got drunk in the past month. But when the team drilled right down into the data, they could identify precisely which schools had the worst problems – and which had the least.

Their analysis revealed clear differences between the lives of kids who took up drinking, smoking and other drugs, and those who didn’t. A few factors emerged as strongly protective: participation in organised activities – especially sport – three or four times a week, total time spent with parents during the week, feeling cared about at school, and not being outdoors in the late evenings.

“At that time, there had been all kinds of substance prevention efforts and programmes,” says Inga Dóra, who was a research assistant on the surveys. “Mostly they were built on education.” Kids were being warned about the dangers of drink and drugs, but, as Milkman had observed in the US, these programmes were not working. “We wanted to come up with a different approach.”

The mayor of Reykjavik, too, was interested in trying something new, and many parents felt the same, adds Jón Sigfússon, Inga Dóra’s colleague and brother. Jón had young daughters at the time and joined her new Icelandic Centre for Social Research and Analysis when it was set up in 1999. “The situation was bad,” he says. “It was obvious something had to be done.”

Using the survey data and insights from research including Milkman’s, a new national plan was gradually introduced. It was called Youth in Iceland.

Laws were changed. It became illegal to buy tobacco under the age of 18 and alcohol under the age of 20, and tobacco and alcohol advertising was banned. Links between parents and school were strengthened through parental organisations which by law had to be established in every school, along with school councils with parent representatives. Parents were encouraged to attend talks on the importance of spending a quantity of time with their children rather than occasional “quality time”, on talking to their kids about their lives, on knowing who their kids were friends with, and on keeping their children home in the evenings.

A law was also passed prohibiting children aged between 13 and 16 from being outside after 10pm in winter and midnight in summer. It’s still in effect today.

Home and School, the national umbrella body for parental organisations, introduced agreements for parents to sign. The content varies depending on the age group, and individual organisations can decide what they want to include. For kids aged 13 and up, parents can pledge to follow all the recommendations, and also, for example, not to allow their kids to have unsupervised parties, not to buy alcohol for minors, and to keep an eye on the wellbeing of other children.

These agreements educate parents but also help to strengthen their authority in the home, argues Hrefna Sigurjónsdóttir, director of Home and School. “Then it becomes harder to use the oldest excuse in the book: ‘But everybody else can!'”

State funding was increased for organised sport, music, art, dance and other clubs, to give kids alternative ways to feel part of a group, and to feel good, rather than through using alcohol and drugs, and kids from low-income families received help to take part. In Reykjavik, for instance, where more than a third of the country’s population lives, a Leisure Card gives families 35,000 krona (£250) per year per child to pay for recreational activities.

Crucially, the surveys have continued. Each year, almost every child in Iceland completes one. This means up-to-date, reliable data is always available.

Between 1997 and 2012, the percentage of kids aged 15 and 16 who reported often or almost always spending time with their parents on weekdays doubled – from 23% to 46% – and the percentage who participated in organised sports at least four times a week increased from 24% to 42%. Meanwhile, cigarette smoking, drinking and cannabis use in this age group plummeted.

“Although this cannot be shown in the form of a causal relationship – which is a good example of why primary prevention methods are sometimes hard to sell to scientists – the trend is very clear,” notes Álfgeir Kristjánsson, who worked on the data and is now at the West Virginia University School of Public Health in the US. “Protective factors have gone up, risk factors down, and substance use has gone down – and more consistently in Iceland than in any other European country.”

So why is no one following in Iceland’s footsteps?

Jón Sigfússon apologies for being just a couple of minutes late. “I was on a crisis call!” He prefers not to say precisely to where, but it was to one of the cities elsewhere in the world that has now adopted, in part, the Youth in Iceland ideas.

Youth in Europe, which Jón heads, began in 2006 after the already-remarkable Icelandic data was presented at a European Cities Against Drugs meeting and, he recalls, “People asked: what are you doing?”

Participation in Youth in Europe is at a municipal level rather than being led by national governments. In the first year, there were eight municipalities. To date, 35 have taken part, across 17 countries, varying from some areas where just a few schools take part to Tarragona in Spain, where 4,200 15-year-olds are involved. The method is always the same: Jón and his team talk to local officials and devise a questionnaire with the same core questions as those used in Iceland plus any locally tailored extras. For example, online gambling has recently emerged as a big problem in a few areas, and local officials want to know if it’s linked to other risky behaviour.

Just two months after the questionnaires are returned to Iceland, the team sends back an initial report with the results, plus information on how they compare with other participating regions. “We always say that, like vegetables, information has to be fresh,” says Jón. “If you bring these findings a year later, people would say, Oh, this was a long time ago and maybe things have changed… ” As well as fresh, it has to be local so that schools, parents and officials can see exactly what problems exist in which areas.

The team has analysed 99,000 questionnaires from places as far afield as the Faroe Islands, Malta and Romania – as well as South Korea and, very recently, Kenya and Guinea-Bissau. Broadly, the results show that when it comes to teen substance use, the same protective and risk factors identified in Iceland apply everywhere.

There are some differences: in one location (in a country “on the Baltic Sea”), participation in organised sport actually emerged as a risk factor. Further investigation revealed that this was because young ex-military men who were keen on muscle-building drugs, drinking and smoking were running the clubs. Here, then, was a well-defined, immediate, local problem that could be addressed.

While Jón and his team offer advice and information on what has been found to work in Iceland, it’s up to individual communities to decide what to do in the light of their results. Occasionally, they do nothing. One predominantly Muslim country, which he prefers not to identify, rejected the data because it revealed an unpalatable level of alcohol consumption. In other cities – such as the origin of Jón’s “crisis call” – there is an openness to the data and there is money, but he has observed that it can be much more difficult to secure and maintain funding for health prevention strategies than for treatments.

No other country has made changes on the scale seen in Iceland. When asked if anyone has copied the laws to keep children indoors in the evening, Jón smiles. “Even Sweden laughs and calls it the child curfew!”

The little country that could?

Across Europe, rates of teen alcohol and drug use have generally improved over the past 20 years, though nowhere as dramatically as in Iceland, and the reasons for improvements are not necessarily linked to strategies that foster teen wellbeing. In the UK, for example, the fact that teens are now spending more time at home interacting online rather than in person could be one of the major reasons for the drop in alcohol consumption.

But Kaunas, in Lithuania, is one example of what can happen through active intervention. Since 2006, the city has administered the questionnaires five times, and schools, parents, healthcare organisations, churches, the police and social services have come together to try to improve kids’ wellbeing and curb substance use. For instance, parents get eight or nine free parenting sessions each year, and a new programme provides extra funding for public institutions and NGOs working in mental health promotion and stress management. In 2015, the city started offering free sports activities on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and there are plans to introduce a free ride service for low-income families, to help kids who don’t live close to the facilities to attend.

Between 2006 and 2014, the number of 15- and 16-year-olds in Kaunas who reported getting drunk in the past 30 days fell by about a quarter, and daily smoking fell by more than 30%.

At the moment, participation in Youth in Europe is a haphazard affair, and the team in Iceland is small. Jón would like to see a centralised body with its own dedicated funding to focus on the expansion of Youth in Europe. “Even though we have been doing this for ten years, it is not our full, main job. We would like somebody to copy this and maintain it all over Europe,” he says. “And why only Europe?”

The balance between state and citizen

Data from other parts of Europe, including cities such as Bucharest with major social problems and relative poverty, shows that the Icelandic model can work in very different cultures, Milkman argues.

In the US, the need for similar programmes is high: underage drinking accounts for about 11 per cent of all alcohol consumed nationwide, and excessive drinking causes more than 4,300 deaths among under-21 year olds every year.

But a national programme along the lines of Youth in Iceland is unlikely to be introduced in the US, however. One major obstacle is that while in Iceland there is long-term commitment to the national project, community health programmes in the US are usually funded by short-term grants.

Milkman has learned the hard way that even widely applauded, gold-standard youth programmes aren’t always expanded, or even sustained. “With Project Self-Discovery, it seemed like we had the best programme in the world,” he says. “I was invited to the White House twice. It won national awards. I was thinking: this will be replicated in every town and village. But it wasn’t.”

He thinks that is because you can’t prescribe a generic model to every community because they don’t all have the same resources. Any move towards giving kids in the US the opportunities to participate in the kinds of activities now common in Iceland, and so helping them to stay away from alcohol and other drugs, will depend on building on what already exists. “You have to rely on the resources of the community,” he says.

His colleague Álfgeir Kristjánsson is introducing the Icelandic ideas to the state of West Virginia. Surveys are being given to kids at several middle and high schools in the state, and a community coordinator will help get the results out to parents and anyone else who could use them to help local kids. But it might be difficult to achieve the kinds of results seen in Iceland, he concedes.

Short-termism also impedes effective prevention strategies in the UK, says Michael O’Toole, CEO of Mentor, a charity that works to reduce alcohol and drug misuse in children and young people. Here, too, there is no national coordinated alcohol and drug prevention programme. It’s generally left to local authorities or to schools, which can often mean kids are simply given information about the dangers of drugs and alcohol – a strategy that, he agrees, evidence shows does not work.

O’Toole fully endorses the Icelandic focus on parents, school and the community all coming together to help support kids, and on parents or carers being engaged in young people’s lives. Improving support for kids could help in so many ways, he stresses. Even when it comes just to alcohol and smoking, there is plenty of data to show that the older a child is when they have their first drink or cigarette, the healthier they will be over the course of their life.

But not all the strategies would be acceptable in the UK – the child curfews being one, parental walks around neighbourhoods to identify children breaking the rules perhaps another. And a trial run by Mentor in Brighton that involved inviting parents into schools for workshops found that it was difficult to get them engaged.

Public wariness and an unwillingness to engage will be challenges wherever the Icelandic methods are proposed, thinks Milkman, and go to the heart of the balance of responsibility between states and citizens. “How much control do you want the government to have over what happens with your kids? Is this too much of the government meddling in how people live their lives?”

In Iceland, the relationship between people and the state has allowed an effective national programme to cut the rates of teenagers smoking and drinking to excess – and, in the process, brought families closer and helped kids to become healthier in all kinds of ways. Will no other country decide these benefits are worth the costs?

This article first appeared on Mosaic and is republished here under a Creative Commons licence.

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Seychelles:New Juice Business Made From Seychellois Fruits Seeks to Beat Out Sugary Imports

A Seychellois entrepreneur is turning local fruits into fresh juice in a bid to promote a healthier lifestyle in the island nation.

Keryl Bristol began making juice full time in February after noticing that the local market has been saturated with imported juices laden with sugar and preservatives. Her company is called Tropical Juices Seychelles.

“Also, I saw different programmes on SBC TV where more Seychellois were being diagnosed with cancer, diabetes, obesity and other chronic diseases, all relating to lifestyle. That is when I came up with the idea,” said Bristol.

Bristol said her juices are 100 percent natural with no sugar or preservatives added.

Earlier in August, Tropical Juices Seychelles was amongst six local projects chosen to receive funds from the Conference of Ministers for Youth and Sports (CONFEJES).

The conference is an inter-government institution founded in 1969, which works to promote youth, sports and leisure within the French-speaking countries. CONFEJES is commissioned to summon up the countries, the resources and strengths so as to promote the youth’s involvement and social integration.

Bristol said her business has come a long way from selling local juices on and off, on the beach at Beau Vallon, one of the most popular beaches in the northern end of the main island of Mahe.

“I received such good feedbacks from my clients, both visitors and locals, that I decided to formalise the business by getting a license in February this year.”

Bristol currently runs the business from her home at La Gogue – in the district of Anse Etoile. She hopes to improve her business by buying more equipment from the around $3,680 (SCR50,000) she received from the Conference of Ministers for Youth and Sports.

However, Tropical Juices is not without its challenges. “I have to import bottles with labels from Singapore, and this has come with its constraints. Stock runs out quickly. Currently, I do not have bottles and waiting for new consignment.” Bristol says she is optimistic about finding a long-term solution.

Tropical Juices uses all fruits available and which grows abundantly in Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean. These include mango, guava, soursop, starfruit, golden apple, water apple and local apples amongst others.

Bristol says that her products are available all year round as she makes use of whatever fruits are available per season. “Some juices such as that of the jackfruit is not something that locals are used to but is well appreciated. Our best seller is the soursop juice.”

Soursop is a fruit with medicinal virtues and can help with insomnia, can be used for skincare and can prevent cancer. Tropical Juices also has a page on social media detailing the health benefits of fruits it uses for juice making.

Bristol says that currently her products are sold in bottles of 250 ml at $2.20 (SCR30) and 350 ml at $2.58 (SCR35). These are currently sold at Spar supermarket on Eden Island, on the eastern coast of the main island Mahe. Bristol says in future the juices will be made available in shops at Beauvallon and in the south of Mahe. Tropical juices already have regular clients, which it supplies on a weekly basis.

Nigerian Lifters Grab 13 Gold Medals in Uganda

By Gowon Akpodonor

It was celebration time for Team Nigeria’s athletes and officials yesterday, as the country won a total of 13 gold, four silver and one bronze medal at the Africa Junior/Youth Weightlifting Championships in Entebbe, Uganda.

Though, Nigeria lost the top spot to Algeria at the end of the championship, the President of Nigeria Weightlifting Federation (NWF), Mohammed Yahaya told The Guardian in a telephone chat from Uganda that the performance was ‘excellent.’

Nigeria had its dominance in the female category, where all the three athletes who flew the nation’s flag won three gold medals each. In the 53kg, Yusuf Islamiyat opened the floodgate by grabbing three gold medals in the snatch, clean and jerk and total even, while Yusuf Fatima dominated the 58kg by winning all three gold medals at stake. Monica Uweh did the same in the 48kg, winning all three gold medals.

In the male category, Umofia Joseph (62kg) grabbed a gold medal in the youth, while Agboro Favour (62kg) secured a gold, three silver and one bronze medals in the junior category.

According to Yahaya, the excellent performance by Nigerian lifters was as a result of the just concluded National Youth Games in Ilorin. “I can say now that we have better days ahead for weightlifting in Nigeria with the new board,” Yahaya stated yesterday. “With this performance, we have the chance to participate in next year’s Commonwealth Games.

But we still need to participate in another championship to meet the requirements of the World Weightlifting Federation.” Also at the championship, some Nigerian weightlifting Grade Two referees were promoted to Grade 1 category. They are Nurudeen Salihu Suleiman (Bauchi), Evelyn Okuofor (Edo), and Bilkisu Musa (Jigawa).


Govt Brokers Food Security Partnership With Brazil

Nigeria and Brazil Thursday in Abuja explored an inter-ministerial framework for partnership on food security. Read more »

Three Girls Return Home After Escaping Isis Captivity in Libya

Three girls who had left Kenya to join ISIS in Libya have been brought home.

The three girls, Firthoza Ali Ahmed, Aisha Mafudh Ashur and Tawfiqa Dahir Adan, were rescued in the streets of Cairo, Egypt trying to find their way to the Kenyan Embassy in Egypt, after escaping their captors in Benghazi, Libya.

Firthoza says she was job hunting online when she was contacted by someone known as Umm Mariam on Twitter.

Umm Mariam seemed to know her well from the questions she asked. She also knew that Firthoza was looking for a job.


Thereafter, Umm Mariam offered to help get her a job in other parts of the world, especially Europe, urging that they paid their employees well. Consumed with the desperation of getting a job, she accepted Umm Mariam’s help.

Firthoza, did not have travel documents, but Mariam, assured her, that she knew people who could fix her problems, so she should not worry.

That is how the trio was lured to embark on a dreadful journey to Libya, to Join ISIS.

The safe return of the girls to the country is the successful efforts of the multiagency security approach employed by the Kenyan government in conjunction with other foreign governments to prevent the youth from leaving the country and to track those who have left and bring them back home.

Sources say that, many youth fighting for terror groups in Somalia, Libya and Syria, have reached out to the government to seek for amnesty.


They have expressed their willingness to cooperate with the government in the fight against terrorism. Most of the Kenyans fighters are being executed for spying on the terror groups.

The girls joining the group suffer the most because they are exposed to inhumane treatment, where they are sexually abused and beaten up if they resist.

Many girls die within weeks of getting into the militia controlled territory as a result of the adverse conditions they are subjected to. For instance, while there, the girls are treated as communal wives, to serve all the fighters at the battle front.

Psychologists opine that parents have a huge stake to play in the fight against radicalization into the terrorism.


Govt Bans Demos in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu CBDs

The government has banned demonstrations within the Central Business Districts in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu following… Read more »

14 Arrested for Attacking Police During Nasa Demo

By Justus Ochieng’

Fourteen people have been arrested following the attack on two police officers and destruction of property in Homa Bay town during protests by the opposition on Wednesday.

Nyanza Regional Coordinator Wilson Njega said the arrests also followed destruction of a firearm belonging to one of the officers by the attackers, who threw it in a burning kiosk during the protests by National Super Alliance (Nasa) supporters.

“We have arrested 14 people in Homa Bay following Wednesday’s attack of two police officers and confiscation of a firearm, which was later destroyed by the youth. They will be charged in court,” Mr Njega told the Nation.

He said two suspects, who were arrested in Kisumu following Friday’s break in at Tumaini Supermarket have already been charged.

“They have been charged with robbery with violence for breaking into the supermarket,” added Mr Njega.

During the Wednesday protests in Homa Bay Town, two police officers were injured after being cornered by protesting youth.

One firearm was lost but later recovered without a magazine.

The protests have been called by Nasa to push for electoral reforms and resignation of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission CEO Ezra Chiloba and ten other officials following the bungled August 8 elections.


Govt Bans Demos in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu CBDs

The government has banned demonstrations within the Central Business Districts in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu following… Read more »

South Africa:Deputy Minister Thembisile Majola – Annual SAYNPS Nuclear Youth Summit


Keynote Address to the Annual SAYNPS Nuclear Youth Summit by Ambassador Thembisile Majola (MP), Deputy Minister of Energy Jeffreys Bay, Eastern Cape

Programme Director

SAYNPS Executive Chairperson Mr Gaopalelwe Santswere

The MMC for Local Economic Development, Cllr Bryan Dhludhlu

Our Permanent Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Ambassador Tebogo Seokolo

Our special guest from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Ms Kate Rojkov

The residents of Kouga, particularly the young students and the Youth

Members of SAYNPS

Ladies and Gentlemen

I am pleased to be here with you in Jeffreys Bay to be part of this strategic and visionary conference. A special word of thanks goes to the South African Young Nuclear Professionals Society for inviting me to the Summit and to allow me to deliver my remarks this morning.

This being my first interaction with SAYNPS let me take this opportunity to commend you for establishing an organisation that truly serves as a “home” for young nuclear professionals in our country. Indeed since your formation in 2006 you have actively championed the interests of all young professionals in the nuclear sector, not only influencing debates on the benefits of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, but also practically providing a pool of dedicated practitioners in the entire nuclear value chain in our country. SAYNPS has been an ardent advocate for youth skills development, preservation and propagation of nuclear knowledge, expertise and its application.

Programme Director,

It is significant that this Summit is taking place in this Province of the Eastern Cape. This Province has traditionally been a thriving hub for the automotive sector. However, most recently the Province has been diversifying into other sectors such as infrastructure development as well as gearing itself to taking advantage of the enormous potential in the ocean economy, such as oil rig maintenance; aquaculture and expansion of port facilities.

However, without access to affordable, sustainable and reliable energy, all these positive developments will not be fully realised. It is in this context that our Government has created conducive and enabling environment that has attracted massive investments in the renewable energy sector, with the Eastern Cape Province leading in the field of wind energy.

Our country needs to take urgent action in order to ensure security of supply for the country for the next 20 years. The integrated Resource Plan (IRP) sets out a path for South Africa’s long term energy future introducing new players and diversifying sources of energy. Importantly, the IRP envisages a balanced energy mix with nuclear as an integral part of our baseload, as is the case currently.

The Eastern Cape Province, and Thyspunt specifically, is a possible site for the envisaged nuclear expansion programme. This development will serve as a catalyst for major growth of the economy of the Province. In order to harness and optimise the benefit of this programme, we would require a sustained supply of skilled workforce across a broad spectrum of expertise in various engineering fields, technical and social sciences, artisans and technicians amongst others. This will create massive possibilities for this region to be a hub for research and development, innovation, technology development, training and skills transfer. Needless to say this would be a major boost for the development of local business and employment opportunities.

Programme Director,

This SAYNPS Annual Summit takes place at an opportune time in our country when unemployment especially amongst the young people is at its highest. Many of the unemployed young people lack the skills required by the knowledge economy. With the advent of the fourth industrial revolution, there is a need for the youth to acquire the requisite skills, expertise and experience so as to be able to contribute effectively to the development and growth of the economy of our country. As the late president of the ANC OR Tambo said: “The Children of any nation are its future. A country, a movement, a person that does not value its youth and children does not deserve its future”.

As I conclude may I invite to ponder on the following matters:

Firstly, what is the role of SAYNPS in facilitating and enabling the youth in meaningfully participating in the nuclear sector;

Secondly, how does SAYNPS leverage international partnerships for the benefit of the youth of South Africa.

I hope that during this Summit you will find an opportunity to reflect and exchange views on these and other important matters that face the youth of our country. I hope you will take advantage of the attendance of the presence of the Director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as well as our Representative to the IAEA.

I would like to leave you all with some food for thought. We all know the generation of the young leaders from the 1930s who have dominated our political lives for over six decades amongst them Anton lembede, Yusuf Dadoo, Albertina Sisulu, Walter sisulu, Lillian Ngoyi, Ray Alexander and Nelson Mandela amongst others. These leaders changed the face of the national liberation struggle. These leaders were followed by the generation of the 1970s such as Steve Biko and Rick Turner who inspired multitudes of young people to play an active role in the Durban strikes of 1973 and student uprisings of 1976, events that brought about the changes that led to our freedom.

What is common about these leaders that are from different generations, and at different times is education. Many of them received education at a time when education was not necessarily considered a key to a better life. Yet the parents of these young people had the foresight to invest in the education of their children. They had already grasped the fact that the times had changed, and that their traditional ways of living had been affected irreversibly, and that their children’s successes in futures would largely influenced by their level of education and skills. I am therefore confident that with the educational opportunities and possibilities that you have access to today, many of you will play significant leadership roles in our society tomorrow and help shape your own destiny. I leave this meeting confident that our goal of a secure energy future is in good hands.

Unlike during my student and youth days, the sky is not the limit for you – it is just the beginning! There are opportunities out there for those who are curious, who are thirsty for knowledge, who believe that they can make a positive contribution to our country, our continent and the word. I urge you to grab these opportunities and be trailblazers. As OR Tambo said: ‘The future belongs to the Youth of our country.’ Take responsibility for that future.

I thank you.

Issued by: Department of Energy

Taxes Pose Big Challenge to Investors, Says TCCIA

By Godfrey Kahango

Mbeya — The Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA) in Mbeya Region says some taxes are among the causes that discourage investors from investing and promoting businesses in the region.

TCCIA Regional Coordinator Emily Malinza said this yesterday during TCCIA’s regional general meeting that took place at the Youth Centre.

Mr Malinza noted that some taxes were a big challenge discouraging investors willing to invest in the region.

“We, as TCCIA in Mbeya Region, want investors to come and invest in various sectors of the economy not only in Mbeya Region, but also in the country in general. There are complaints about some taxes. This is true because we conducted an in-depth research that showed it was a perennial problem facing them,” said Mr Malinza.

He said they planned to meet the relevant authorities so that they could present their research findings and hold talks with a view to advising the government to form only one organ with the duty of collecting tax unlike now as every department had its own procedures of demanding and collecting tax.

Earlier, participants, who were mainly traders in the region, said none of them refused to pay tax as they were aware that it was the backbone of any nation in terms of having a strong tax base, but they were complaining about too many taxes imposed on them.

A businesswoman running a sunflower oil processing plant in Mbalizi, Ms Bahati Nkubilo, was of the opinion that the government should form only one organ to collect tax.

Another trader, Mr Leornad Nyirenda, from the city, said many of them had no big area to carry out their small-scale industry activities, a situation that slowed that the government’s goal of attaining industrialisation.

He appealed to the government, as it was looking at the issue of taxes, to create a good environment for entrepreneurs by allocating areas to them to establish their own industries unlike now they were carrying out their activities in residential areas.

Mbeya is one of Tanzania’s regions with the investment potential because of its favourable climate and the fact that it borders Malawi.


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Jaguar – I’m Sorry for Fighting Babu Owino

By Samwel Owino

Starehe MP Charles Njagua alias Jaguar has apologised for fighting his Embakasi East counterpart Babu Owino in parliament on Tuesday.

Jaguar said he only wanted to talk to Babu as a friend and fellow youth.

“I just wanted to tell him to respect President Uhuru Kenyatta and not to fight with him,” Jaguar said.

The legislator said his actions, however, did not reflect a good picture of the people of Starehe who elected him.

“I was not elected to fight in parliament. What happened was unfortunate and I want to apologise to my friend Babu Owino,” Jaguar said.

He noted that both of them are youth and should work together to champion the agenda of the youth and not fight.


He, however, warned Babu that he will deal with him if he does not stop his “unfortunate” remarks against the head of state.

“He should stop insulting the President, I have never insulted Raila Odinga,” Jaguar noted.

He said it was Babu who started throwing punches at him and therefore had to act in self defence.

“I just approached him to talk but he started shouting at me and started saying that this country does not belong to one community… and I had to act and I just pampered him a bit,” Jaguar said.

He added that he was ready to face the Powers and Privileges Committee of Parliament and also ready for any disciplinary action that will be meted out.


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