LOCAL AFRICAN REALITY

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Showing posts with label Africa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Africa. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Ghana declares end of Marburg virus disease outbreak



Ghana has declared the end of a Marburg virus outbreak, a highly infectious disease similar to Ebola, that was confirmed in July, the president's office said on Monday.


Ghana's Marburg outbreak was the second in West Africa. The first ever case of the virus was detected last year in Guinea, with no further cases identified.


"The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has officially declared Ghana free from the Marburg virus disease outbreak that was confirmed nearly two months ago," the presidency tweeted on Monday.


Two people who died in Ghana tested positive for Marburg at the start of July, after which the West African country's government confirmed its first outbreak of the disease on July 17.


Two more cases were confirmed around 10 days later, one of which died at the start of August, bringing the total number of fatalities to three.


There have been a dozen major Marburg outbreaks since 1967, mostly in southern and eastern Africa. Fatality rates have varied from 24% to 88% in past outbreaks depending on the virus strain and case management, according to the World Health Organization.


(Zawya)

Monday, August 15, 2022

Monday, August 15, 2022

Africa: Mali rights situation ‘poisonous’: UN expert

 




The human rights climate in Mali is “poisonous”, the UN’s expert said Monday after witnessing evidence of “atrocious, cruel and barbaric torture” by its security forces.

He also referred to reports that Russian “foreign military personnel” had, working alongside members of Mali’s armed forces, been involved in rights violations.



Following a 10-day visit to Mali, Alioune Tine welcomed steps to restore constitutional order and civilian rule, but voiced grave concerns about the resurgence of extremist violence and a rapidly deteriorating human rights situation.

“There is a poisonous climate marked by suspicion and mistrust, with a continuous narrowing of civic space, the hardening of the Malian transitional authorities, and a malaise,” Tine added.



“This poisonous climate led several actors to self-censor, fearing reprisals from the Malian transitional authorities and/or their supporters,” he said.



The Senegalese expert is mandated by the United Nations Human Rights Council, but does not speak on behalf of the UN.

Tine noted the resurgence and frequency of attacks and violence committed by violent extremist groups in Mali’s north, centre and around the capital Bamako.



“Violent extremist groups continue to be the main alleged perpetrators of human rights violations and abuses in Mali, but the high number of violations attributed to the Malian defence and security forces is of great concern,” the expert said.



“I was particularly shocked to see with my own eyes victims with visible signs on their bodies of atrocious, cruel and barbaric torture they had suffered at the hands of Malian security forces,” Tine added.

“Their testimonies were unbearable.”



Russian presence 


Tine also said credible sources had reported that some violations had been committed by Malian forces, “accompanied by foreign military personnel described as Russian military officials”.



Malian authorities continue to deny reports that a Russian private military company is operating alongside Malian security forces, he said.



They insist Russian military personnel in Mali are military trainers deployed as part of bilateral state-to-state cooperation.

Tine’s statement came as French chiefs of staff said Monday the last soldiers belonging to France’s Barkhane operation in Mali had left the country.



French forces have been supporting Mali against insurgents for nearly a decade, but President Emmanuel Macron decided to pull out after France and the Malian junta fell out in the wake of a military takeover in August 2020.

The junta snubbed French appeals for an early return to civilian rule and then turned to Russian military operatives — “mercenaries” from the pro-Kremlin Wagner group, in France’s view — to help its anti-jihadist fight.

Tine said Mali must ensure that victims of rights violations receive just and effective remedies for the harm they have suffered.

Tine has been the UN’s independent expert on the human rights situation in Mali since May 2018.



He will present his annual report to the UN Human Rights Council in March. 


AFP

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

'Threat from the IS extremist group growing by the day in Africa' - Expert warns UN




The threat from the Islamic State extremist group is growing by the day in Africa and the continent could be “the future of the caliphate,” an African security expert warned the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday.

Martin Ewi said the Islamic State “has expanded its influence beyond measure” in Africa, with at least 20 countries directly experiencing the extremist group's activity and more than 20 others “being used for logistics and to mobilize funds and other resources.”

“They are now regional hubs, which have become corridors of instability in Africa,” said Ewi, who coordinates a transnational organized crime project at the Institute for Security Studies in South Africa’s capital Pretoria and was previously in charge of the African Union Commission’s counter-terrorism program.

He said the Lake Chad Basin -- which borders Chad, Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon -- is the extremist group’s biggest area of operation, areas in the Sahel are now “ungovernable” and Somalia remains the IS “hotspot” in the Horn of Africa.

A recent attempt to take over or destabilize Uganda failed, but Ewi said an IS affiliate, the Allied Democratic Forces, “remains a serious threat.” In addition, he said, the Islamic State Central Africa has made some regions of Congo and Mozambique “human slaughterhouses.”

The Islamic State, also known by its Arabic acronym Daesh, overran large parts of Syria and Iraq in 2014 and set up a so-called Islamic Caliphate in the region it controlled spanning a third of both countries, brutalizing the population for years. The group was formally declared defeated in Iraq in 2017 following a three-year bloody battle that left tens of thousands dead and cities in ruins, but its sleeper cells continue to launch attacks in different parts of both countries.

Ewi told a Security Council meeting on Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ latest report on the threat posed by the Islamic State that after the extremists established the caliphate in Syria and Iraq, an international coalition came together and mounted a military campaign to defeat IS.

Terrorism was driven south into Africa, he said, “but no similar coalition was mounted to defeat Daesh in Africa … meaning that the continent was left to bear the consequences of those who are fleeing Syria and finding safe havens on the continent.”

Ewi also pointed to several other factors that have made Daesh “so successful in Africa” -- the presence of natural resources which enable groups like Daesh to fund themselves, poverty and the lack of political will to deal with the Palestinian issue that are the main source of “radicalization” for many African youths and Daesh’s ability to work with other terrorist and criminal groups on the continent.

He also cited the absence of new initiatives in Africa to fight terrorism and the “ostrich approach” of many countries that ignored early warnings of terrorist threats.

“The international community is then called upon to help at the time that the threat has gotten out of hand,” Ewi said. “We are seeing this phenomenon playing out in Benin and Togo, which are the latest coastal countries in Africa to experience concentrated attacks of Daesh and other terror groups.”

He added that this same phenomenon was seen previously in Mozambique when terrorism erupted, and also in Nigeria, Cameroon and many other countries “where the threat was misdiagnosed and the responses were also inappropriate.”

To defeat Daesh in Africa, Ewi said, “the strategy must transcend the group and include its alliances with al-Qaida and other criminal groups including bandits, herders, gangs and various organized crime groups.”

He urged the Security Council to mobilize equipment and funds to support the many peace support operations going on in different regions and ensure that its sanctions on groups and individuals are enforced.

U.N. counterterrorism chief Vladimir Voronkov also warned the Security Council that the threat from Daesh has been rising ever since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020.

Voronkov said the border between Iraq and Syria “remains highly vulnerable, with up to 10,000 IS fighters estimated to operate in the area."

“From there, the group launched in April a global campaign of enhanced operational activity to avenge senior leaders killed in counterterrorism operations,” he said. Africanews

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Europe looks to Africa for energy security





As Europe takes action to reduce imports of Russian gas, the continent's leaders have been looking to Africa as an alternative energy supplier.


New deals have been signed with Algeria, Angola, Congo, Nigeria, and others are thought to be on the way.


This week, while welcoming German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Senegalese President Macky Sall said his country was "ready to work" on supplying liquid natural gas (LNG) to Europe, but that "first we need to be supported in our participation under better conditions than those currently offered by our partners."

Senegal is believed to have significant deposits of natural gas along its border with Mauritania. 


Europe's interest is good news for African energy producers who have endured years of low prices, and a pandemic that affected demand.


But many gas-rich countries, with the exception of Algeria, face capacity problems and won’t readily satisfy European demand.

In 2020, Algeria was Africa’s top natural gas exporter followed by Nigeria, Egypt, and Libya, according to Statista.


Other producers such as Angola, Equatorial Guinea, and Congo lack the requisite infrastructure to enable them to increase production.


A European ban on financing new oil and gas projects in Africa has also locked up capital for aspiring producers such as Uganda.

As Europe scrambles to secure its energy supply, questions are being asked if a ban on financing fossil fuel projects will be reversed.

Carole Nakhle is an energy expert and CEO of Crystol Energy. She is our guest on the show to discuss whether Africa can become a major gas player in Europe.



Port wars: Dar outwitting Mombasa



Twelve years ago, Kenya was rocked by deadly post-election turmoil. The violence also blocked rail and road transport to Uganda and Rwanda, stopping imports of fuel and essential goods.


As another general election looms in East Africa’s largest economy, importers and shippers are diverting business from Kenya’s Mombasa port to Dar es Salaam of Tanzania.


Both ports have invested in expanding their facilities in recent years and are giving incentives to importers in a bid to outcompete each other.



Ethiopia Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) grows 18%



Ethiopia shrugged off a pandemic, conflict in its north, and sanctions to record $2.4 billion in foreign direct investment in the first nine months of the current financial year.

Much of the investment went to manufacturing according to Addis Ababa’s national investment authority. Africanews 

Monday, June 21, 2021

Monday, June 21, 2021

Google set to support African startups with $6m funding programmes




Google has announced new initiatives to help African startups get access to capital and best of its resources.


The programmes, which include a $3 million Black Founders Fund for African startups and a $3 million Google.org grant to help low-income communities develop entrepreneurial skills and funding.


Nitin Gajria, managing director of Google Africa, and Rowan Barnett, Head of Google.org Europe, Middle East & Africa, disclosed this in a joint statement on Monday.


“Through the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund Africa, we are supporting early-stage Black-founded startups and startups that are benefitting the Black community on the continent. We want to bridge the existing fundraising gap for Black startup founders in Africa’s fast-growing technology landscape,” the statement reads.


“The programs, which include a $3 million USD Black Founders Fund for African startups and a $3 million USD Google.org grant to help low-income communities develop entrepreneurial skills and funding, will help Black founders grow their businesses not only by providing capital but also by providing access to the best of Google resources.”


They further explained that the fund will be allocated across a pipeline of 50 investable startups in Africa and is open to all startups that meet the criteria.

“The $3M non-dilutive fund will be allocated across a pipeline of 50 investable startups in Africa, with each firm receiving up to $100,000 in cash awards. Each selected company will also receive $220,000 in Google Cloud Credits and Ad Grants, as well as mentoring, technical and scaling assistance from the best of Google. The equity-free fund is available to entrepreneurs developing for Africa, on the continent,” the statement added.


Meanwhile, applications are open from today until July 7 and eligible startups can visit goo.gle/BFFAfrica now to apply. TheCableng

Monday, June 21, 2021

Africa: FG pays N20,000 stipends to 394,433 beneficiaries of 774,000 jobs




Three hundred and ninety – four thousand four hundred and thirty- three (394, 433) participants of the Federal Government’s Extended Special Public Works Programme have so far been paid as of Friday, 18, 2021, document showed last night.

In the document shared by Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, 639, 947 participants registered for the programme meant to provide a stop- gap three month jobs to mainly artisans to earn N20, 000 monthly doing public works.


The document showed that 463, 742 participants have so far been verified and are ready for payment by their various banks.


According to the document, Fidelity Bank has paid 92, 394 participants of the 104, 596 that registered with the bank while UBA has paid 73, 531 participants of the 100, 800 that registered with the bank and Heritage Bank has paid 61, 800 participants of the 102, 800 that registered with the bank.


Also, Zenith Bank has paid 58, 732 participants of the 92, 700 that registered with the bank while Access Bank has paid 58, 638 participants of the 105, 000 that registered with the bank and FCMB has paid 32, 696 participants of the 118, 209 that registered with the bank.


And Yobe MFB has paid 16, 642 participants of the 16, 642 that registered with the bank.


The programme, which was flagged off in January by Keyamo, has come under scrutiny with participants complaining of non – payment of their N20, 000 stipends after competing their assignments.


But on Monday, officials from the National Directorate of Employment, participating banks and the Minister’s office, met at the Minister’s conference room to review the progress so far made in the execution of the programme.


Those present at the meeting on Monday included: Olua Davidson; Faniyi Fatogun; and Christopher Omoaghe (Representatives of the Minister); Olaomi Roseline Silvia; Dauda Idris; Samaila B Mamman (Rep of NDE) and representatives of banks)

At the end of the meeting, all parties affirmed that they will continue the rigorous process of registering and verifying all the participants before payments in order to avoid wide-scale fraud in the programme.


The meeting also agreed that those who have already been selected for the ESPW programme and have issues should approach their various banks to regularise their registration.


The document reads: “All parties affirm that they will continue the rigorous process of registering and verifying all the participants before payments in order to avoid wide-scale fraud in the programme. The banks will continue the role of registering and verifying the participants from their local branches in different LGAs in order to ensure that most of the participants are resident in those LGAs to achieve the aim and design of the programme of empowering 1,000 Nigerians in each of the 774 LGAs in Nigeria.


“The meeting agreed that those who have already been selected for the ESPW programme and have issues should approach their various banks to regularize their registration. The Bank branches are directed to attend to all participants duly selected using https://banks.specialpublicworks.gov.ng. On no account should they be turned back.


“Those who have been duly captured by the banks but with incorrect or inconsistent BVNs are advised to go back to their banks to rectify the inconsistencies. A link will be provided on the ESPW and NDE websites (www.specialpublicworks.gov.ng and www.nde.gov.ng) for participants to check their BVN status. For those who cannot use the internet they should go to the State NDE offices, Liaison Officers of the NDE in their various LGAs or approach the Chairman of their State Selection Committee to avail them the list of those with issues with their BVNs.


“For those who do not have problems with their BVNs but have not received payments, they should go to the banks that registered them to clarify the issues.

“The banks are mandated to issue ATM cards to all participants. Participants are therefore encouraged to collect their ATM cards from the banks so that they can access their payments from various cash points without necessarily going to the banks.


“Participants are assured that their stipends would be paid as soon as all issues are resolved.


“The meeting agreed that banks are no longer restricted to their initially allotted Local Governments. Consequently, selected participants are at liberty to approach any of the seven selected banks nearest to the Local Government where they were selected. The Banks are namely Access, FCMB, Fidelity, Heritage, UBA, Yobe MFB and Zenith.


“So far, the NDE has authorized the payments of one-month stipends to all those that have been verified. As shown above, all parties are making strenuous efforts to resolve issues of those yet to receive the first month stipends before the commencement of the second tranche of payments.”


The SPW is an adhoc programme designed by the federal government to provide a stop – gap three month jobs to mainly artisans to earn N20, 000 monthly doing public works.


1,000 youths were hired from each of the 774 local government areas in the country as beneficiaries, bringing the figure to 774, 000 councils.


N52 billion has been earmarked for the programme expected to last for three months, with the monies used for the purchase of equipment, payment of salaries and other logistics.


But only N26 billion has been released for the programme. Thenationonlineng 

Monday, June 14, 2021

Monday, June 14, 2021

Africa: Herdsmen attack angry Kwara rice farmers, chop off hand




Suspected herdsmen have reportedly cut off the right hand of a rice farmer, Saheed Zakariyau, in Bindofu village, Lafiagi Emirate, in the Edu Local Government Area of Kwara State.

The farmer, according to sources, was allegedly attacked on his farm in Bindofu village last Saturday after accusing the herdsmen of using their animals to destroy his farm.

It was gathered that the victim, in company of his colleagues, got to the farm on Saturday and discovered that the herdsmen grazed their cattle on his farm and destroyed the crops.

The farmer and his friends reportedly chased away the herdsmen.
However, one of the herders reportedly drew out a cutlass and chopped off the farmer’s hand.

A spokesperson for the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Kwara State, Babawale Afolabi, said the incident happened on Democracy Day around 1pm.
He said, “One Mr Saheed Zakariyau, with his colleagues of Bindofu area, Lafiagi, came to the NSCDC office, Lafiagi division, and said they went to their farm around 9.30am. On getting there, they met a large herd of cattle and some Fulani herdsmen grazing on their rice farm.

“As they were trying to pursue the Fulani herdsmen and their cattle, one Fulani removed his cutlass and cut off his right hand and the Fulani ran away.”
Afolabi said the command had commenced investigation into the incident with a view to apprehending the suspects. Punch

Tuesday, June 01, 2021

Tuesday, June 01, 2021

Africa: Senegal’s ‘Escape Ace’ Breaks Out Of Jail Again




A Senegalese prisoner notorious for staging daring jail breaks has mounted another escape from a high-security facility in the capital Dakar, a prison official said Monday.

Dubbed the “Escape Ace,” Baye Modou Fall slipped out of a penitentiary in the north of the seaside city on Saturday night and is still at large, according to prison spokesman Mbaye Sarr.

Police in the poor West African country have opened an investigation, Sarr added.
Fall, who is also nicknamed the “boy genie,” has been arrested several times for crimes including armed robbery and association with criminals, according to local press reports.

Senegalese media say the 32-year-old has already escaped from prison about 10 times.

On Monday, the fugitive said in a recorded statement broadcast on a private television channel that he was still in Senegal.

He explained that he broke out of jail “not because I am bandit” but because of the slow pace of his trial, adding that he would show up for his court date once it is scheduled.

Rights groups regularly criticise the widespread use of pre-trial detention in Senegal, which contributes to overcrowding in prisons.

In 2019, the government put forward a plan to use electronic monitoring tags as a substitute for pre-trial detention, but it has yet to be implemented.

AFP

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Africa: Senegal issues denial after media report of deaths linked to AstraZeneca




Senegal’s health authorities issued a denial after a newspaper on Friday said three deaths had been caused by the AstraZeneca anti-Covid vaccine.

National vaccination coordinator Ousseynou Badiane confirmed that three people who had died several weeks ago had received the vaccine, but there was “no established link” between the jab and their deaths.

“A causal relationship has yet to be established. It is the experts who will determine this,” Badiane told AFP.

A local daily, L’Observateur, earlier reported that the vaccine had caused “three deaths… and 53 hospitalisations” in Senegal, nine of them serious cases.
Badiane said that this account had previously been reported, adding that he did not believe it would have an impact on Senegal’s vaccination campaign.

AstraZeneca’s safety is in the spotlight in many countries after potentially serious blood clots emerged among a small number of the millions who have received the jab.

The West African state is administering AstraZeneca and the Chinese vaccine Sinopharm, in a campaign initiated in late February.

It has so far inoculated nearly 380,000 people in a population of 17 million. The authorities have recorded nearly 40,000 cases of coronavirus infection, of which 1,087 have been fatal.

“There has not been a single death caused by vaccine, either Sinopharm or AstraZeneca, since the start of the vaccination campaign,” health ministry spokesman and National Prevention chief Mamadou Ndiaye said on the radio.

Even though immunisation in Senegal is free, quick and available to all, many vaccination centres have been empty — an apparent sign of widespread reluctance among the public.

Some of the reporting in local media “may harm the vaccination process, because it inflates rumours,” Ndiaye told AFP.

(AFP)

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Africa: Kogi couple nabbed for torturing 12-year-old boy with hot pressing iron






A couple, Alatile and Omowumi Olamilekan, have been arrested for allegedly using hot pressing iron to inflict severe burns on a 12-year-old boy, Gbenga Oreniwon.

The Chairman, Yagba West Local Government Area of Kogi State, Pius Kolawole, ordered the arrest of the couple.

The Senior Special Assistant to the Chairman, Toba Abraham, said immediately Kolawole got wind of the incident through a Facebook post, he ordered the security team of the council to find the couple and hand them over to the appropriate authorities.

One Fikayomi Aaron had on Saturday, March 10, 2021, posted on her Facebook page that Oreniwon sustained serious injuries inflicted on him by the couple, who were suspected to be the boy’s guardians.

When the council chairman got the information, he vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Kolawole, who condemn the abuse of the child, described the action of the couple as evil, saying it was wickedness against humanity.

A resident of Egbe, Jacob Oluyemi, who described the action of Kolawole as showing capacity for leadership, expressed appreciation to the council boss for his quick action to apprehend the couple. Punch

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Africa: AfBA hails ECOWAS decision on detained Venezuelan envoy




African Bar Association has expressed satisfaction with the judgment of the ECOWAS Community Court delivered on March 15, 2021, in which the Court ordered the immediate release of and payment of compensation to Mr. Alex Saab a Venezuelan Diplomat illegally detained by the Government of Cape Verde.

In a statement after the Quarterly Meeting of the Human Rights Council held in Monrovia, Liberia, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity Mr. Osa Director,  quoted the Executive Council of the African Bar Association as endorsing the decision of the Court insisting that from the investigations carried out by the Association following a Petition from the wife of the detained envoy, Ambassador Saab was on a humanitarian mission to Terhan Iran to source food for the suffering people of Venezuela when the Aircraft he was travelling in stopped to refuel in Cape Verde. He was immediately arrested by the Cape Verdean authorities on a non-existent Warrant for unproven charges.

According to the statement, “the Ambassador has been in detention since June, 2020, and all efforts to secure his release or allow him access to his Lawyers and family members have proved abortive despite an earlier ECOWAS Court ruling to that effect. It is the belief of the African Bar Association that Cape Verde is setting a very dangerous precedent that will soon come back to hunt her and her Government and we warn that Cape Verde cannot be bigger, wiser or stronger than the whole of ECOWAS Community.

“We are also of the opinion that the actions of Cape Verde is not only putting her Diplomats at risk but that of other ECOWAS and African envoys and this is enough to tarnish the image of the Sub-regional body and break her cohesion as a responsible organization.

“To safeguard and uphold the sanctity of the Rule of Law and her obligations under the United Nations Conventions and other International Laws, we hereby request the Government of Cape Verde to immediately and unconditionally release Ambassador Alex Saab and comply with other aspects of the ECOWAS Court Judgment.” Vanguardngr

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Africa: IMF Approves $2.34bn for Kenya




The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved new three-year financing arrangements for Kenya valued at $2.34 billion to help the African country continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and address its debt vulnerabilities.

Approval of the new loans under the Fund’s Extended Credit Facility and Extended Fund Facility will enable immediate disbursement of about $307.5 million that Kenya can use for budget support, adding to $739 million it received in emergency COVID-19 aid in May 2020, the Fund said in a statement.

According to Reuters, the IMF said Kenya’s debt remained sustainable, but it was at high risk of debt distress, and authorities should focus their near-term agenda on urgent structural policy challenges.

For nearly two years, Kenya has abandoned expensive commercial debt to cut back on ballooning repayments, while revenue collection has been squeezed by the pandemic.

It also faces huge budget deficits that have been deepened by the coronavirus crisis.
“The program supported by EFF/ECF arrangements with the Fund provides a strong signal of support and confidence,” IMF Deputy Managing Director Antoinette Sayeh said in a statement. “The Kenyan authorities have demonstrated strong commitment to fiscal reforms during this unprecedented global shock, and Kenya’s medium-term prospects remain positive.” Thisdaylive
Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Africa: Itsekiri Traditional Council Announces Olu Of Warri’s Demise, Names Successor




The Itsekiri Traditional Council has officially announced the demise of His Majesty, Ogiame Ikenwoli, who was the Olu of Warri until his death.

Speculations of the monarch’s death had emerged in December but the palace did not confirm at the time.

To make the announcement, the Iyatsere of Warri Kingdom, Chief Johnson Atseruleghe symbolically broke three earthen pots containing white native chalk on the floor, followed by twenty cannon shots.

Also, 37-year-old Prince Utieyinoritsetsola Emiko was presented as the successor to the throne.

Prince Emiko is a serial entrepreneur, founder of Noble Energy and Corral Curators.
He is also the chairman, Ocean Marine Security and Director, Gulf of Guinea Limited, as well as Vessellink Nigeria Limited.

Plans have commenced for his coronation.

The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, was represented at the occasion by Oba Akinola Oyetade Aderera, the Olubosin of Ife and Adekunle Adeayo Adeagbo, the Ore of Otun Eketi. ChannelsTv

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Africa: Lawmakers train youths, women on paint production, marketing





A House of Representatives member representing Ikorodu Federal Constituency, Lagos State, Benson Babajimi, has reiterated his commitment to eradicating poverty and unemployment through various empowerment programmes aimed at helping his constituents to achieve financial freedom.

Babajimi stated this during the empowerment training for some youths and women on paints production held in Ikorodu, Lagos State.

The supervising agency of the training programme, Bio-resources Development Centre, Owode, under the National Biotechnology Development Agency coordinator, Dr.Henry Oshagbemi, said the skills acquisition and entrepreneurship development programme was an opportunity for more youths to gain sellable skills.

The training anchored by Benson under the facilitator, Emegs Ltd, was held under two phases with Phase 1: 40 participants and Phase II: 20 participants.
The Coordinator of Bio-resources Development said the programme was geared towards the job and wealth creation drives of Babajimi, knowing that skills-gap exists in the country.

According to him, “Bio-resources Development in partnership with Hon Babajimi Benson has successfully trained youths and women in Ikorodu area of Lagos State as part of efforts to groom and empower youths as entrepreneurs and employers of labour.

“We prefer innovation and creativity of our young people being put in use instead of them roaming the streets in search of non-existent jobs.

He added: “Entrepreneurship development will further address the problem of poverty, hunger, unemployment, and ever-rising criminality, among the youths. We are confident to produce reasonably skilled paint designers and manufacturers who can set up their own small-scale paint manufacturing plants and employ more hands.”

He further urged the participants to put what they have learnt to good use, assuring of constant monitoring and assistance all the time. Theguardianng

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Famous Prophet loses daughter



Popular Pastor and leader of the Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) Kenya, Prophet Shepherd Bushiri, has announced the demise of his eight-year-old daughter Israella.

Israella passed away in the Intensive care unit of a hospital in Kenya after suffering from a liver infection.

He made the announcement via his Facebook account @ Prophet Shepherd Bushiri.
He lamented she would have made it if she was not obstructed at the airport.

The Police authorities in Malawi recently delayed Isabella from seeking medical assistance when they blocked the prophet’s children, cousin Esther Bushiri and mother-in-law Magdalena Zgambo from departing from Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe in a private air ambulance.

They were later allowed to travel after a week.

According to him: ”It is with deep sadness that I announce the passing on of my daughter, Israella Bushiri.

“As a Father it was my desire to see her grow and serve the Lord, however, the will of God was for her to return back to Him.

“Israella was born during a time when my wife and I were going through great persecution, and she has lived her life witnessing what it means to fight and labor for the Lord despite trials and battles.

“She came at a time when we really needed her and through it all, she offered my wife and I, including the entire church great comfort and enlightenment.
“We are a church built on faith and if we aren’t careful to observe the ways of the Lord, we can mistake God’s will for God’s punishment.

“If things could be reversed we would have desired it to be so. However, the will of the Lord is above our desires. We have experienced it and have accepted it.”

He added: “Israella was a strong young girl who loved to worship and serve God, despite her young age. She was brilliant in her speech and possessed a divine excellency in the way she spoke and even tackled her studies.

“Today, all those that encountered her testify that they felt a certain special aura that oozed divinity. She was a walking angel. In our darkest moments she gave us light and in our lowest moments, she lifted our spirits. I am grateful to God to have fathered an angel of such spirit and beauty. She will always be my little girl.

“When I spoke to the doctor, he highlighted that if she had not been blocked at the airport the first time she needed to travel to Kenya for medical assistance, she wouldn’t have passed on.

“It is very disheartening and sad, therefore, that my daughter has become a victim of the persecutions that we are facing from South Africa.

“However, my wife and I bow to God’s sovereignty and as this is his will, it could have happened anyway.

“Today, my wife and I choose not to mourn her but to celebrate her life. I do not believe that the devil could take the life of my daughter.

“She was a child of God and she passed on to be with Him according to His will. We prayed and we fasted, we commanded out- and in this week, when the Lord spoke to me that it will be a week of His will- His will has taken place.” Thenationonlineng

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Africa: Sierra Leone Launches Coronavirus Vaccination Campaign




Sierra Leone launched its Covid-19 immunisation campaign on Monday, with the country’s president receiving a jab during a public ceremony in the seaside capital Freetown, an AFP journalist said.

“This is a major milestone for us,” President Julius Maada Bio said during the ceremony held at his office, adding that all Sierra Leoneans should take the vaccine.

The start of the campaign comes after the West African state received 200,000 doses of the Chinese-made Sinopharm coronavirus vaccine in February.

Last week, Sierra Leone also received 96,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine through Covax, a global vaccine distribution scheme for poor countries — just as safety concerns were beginning to be raised in European nations.

Sierra Leone’s infection rate is far below those in the West, having recorded 3,937 cases since March and 79 deaths.

But the government nonetheless imposed a nationwide curfew in January as Covid-19 cases flared.

On Monday, Sierra Leone’s Health Minister Austin Demby said that people over 70 years old will be first in line for jabs, as well government ministers and other public workers such as police officers and teachers.

However the campaign is taking place amid rising concern over the safety of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

European nations such as Germany, Italy, France, Ireland and the Netherlands have already suspended its use, for example.

Sierra Leone’s health ministry said in a statement over the weekend that the safety concerns related to a particular batch of AstraZeneca jabs, which were not delivered to the country.

Demby, the health minister, also said that both the Sinopharm and AstraZeneca vaccines “had undergone many tests and (are) proven to be safe and effective”.

Sinopharm is 79-percent effective against COVID-19 , according to its developers, and is being deployed in other African countries such as Senegal, Algeria and Zimbabwe.

AFP

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