Other Vice Presidents Should Emulate Osinbajo’s Good Model – President Weah

President George Weah of Liberia has showered praises on Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo describing him as good role model for other Vice Presidents to follow.

Prof Osinbajo who is in Liberia to speak on leadership and women empowerment at the International SHEROES Forum paid a courtesy call on President Weah in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia on Wednesday.

Mr Weah who spoke glowingly of Osinbajo said Africa needs more leaders like him, given his brilliance and loyalty, particularly during his stints as acting President of Nigeria.

“You kept your country together in peace while President Muhammadu Buhari was away. That is a good model for other vice presidents to follow,” President Weah said.

But President Weah was not alone in praising the good works and integrity of Prof Osinbajo.

Also commenting on Osinbajo’s giant strides at the SHEROES forum, keynote speaker Joyce Banda, who is the former President of Malawi said she was perplexed while listening to VP Osinbajo’s speech.

“When I heard you speak (as VP in Nigeria) I asked who is he? They said he is a pastor. I was grateful because what we really need in State houses in Africa are God-fearing men.”

Banda also echoed the sentiments of President Weah urging more African leaders to follow the footsteps of Nigeria’s Vice President.

While in Liberia, Prof Osinbajo participated in the formal launch of the Jewel Starfish Foundation.

The foundation is an organisation founded by the Vice President of Liberia, Jewel Howard Taylor, to provide educational opportunities to women and empower young women with capacity building tools that would enable them to achieve sustainable means of livelihood.

It also aims to inspire and provide mentoring for women, among other numerous objectives.

Other distinguished personalities at the event include former Liberian President, Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, who is the keynote speaker; former Vice President of Zimbabwe, Dr Joyce Mujuru, among other personalities.

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Kanye West, Kim Kardashian Get Ugandan Names

Kanye West and Kim Kardashian were both given Ugandan names on Monday by the country’s President, Yoweri Museveni.

The couple met with the African leader while on their campaign to promote tourism in East Africa.

Kanye, now called Ye during the meeting presented a pair of his brand sneakers signed by himself and his wife to Museveni, who in turn gave the couple new names.

The President dubbed Kanye “Kanyesigye”, a common name among the Banyankore, the ethnic group that Museveni hails from. Kardashian was granted the name “Kemigisha”, meaning “the one with blessings from God,” the President’s office said in a statement.

Reacting, Kanye “expressed happiness at being in Uganda, describing it as his second home,” the statement said. It added that the 41-year-old rapper pledged to put up a “world class tourism school in the country saying it will be a foundation of tourism not only in Uganda but the East Africa region in general.”

The couple arrived the country on Friday and are staying at a luxury safari lodge in a national park that boasts spectacular waterfalls and wild game including buffaloes, antelopes, lions, giraffes and warthogs.

Museveni, 74, has been in office since 1986 and in January signed a law that scrapped a 75-year age cap for presidential candidates, a move critics said was aimed at him remaining in power indefinitely.

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ECOWAS Set To Sanction Members For Disobeying Court Judgments

The Economic Community of West African states (ECOWAS) on Monday disclosed that plans have been concluded to punish member states that are in the habit of disregarding and disobeying judgments of the ECOWAS court of justice.

President of the ECOWAS court of justice, Justice Edward Asante, made the disclosure while declaring open a regional capacity building workshop for law enforcement agencies on promoting best practices on structure, investigation and techniques of criminal asset seizures, freezing, confiscation, recoveries, management in compliance with United Nations security council resolutions in Abuja.

The Inter-governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) has identified the absence of necessary skills by relevant government agencies as responsible for the low record in the recovery of looted funds by African countries.

Answering questions from journalists on the flagrant disobedience of judgments of the ECOWAS court by some member States, Asante said all that would soon come to an end as heads of states have reached a decision to sanction erring members. “Heads of States met and decided that member states should set up focal points in their various countries that would be responsible for the enforcement of the judgment and that has been put in place except that they have not started the regulations.

“We hope that they would start it and there is also sanction for those who do not embark on that, so I think in the very near future that would be carried out so that they would enforce the judgment for the court to have its prestige”.

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President Buhari Receives Accolades From Nigerians In Diaspora, Urged To Do More

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Friday, received praises from Nigerians in the Diaspora Organisation (NIDO), for securing the country and reviving the economy.

The President, who was presented with an award by the Nigerian community in the United States of America, in appreciation of his performance, was also urged to do more.

Addressing the community on the sidelines of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York, President Buhari said he will keep doing his best for the country.

The diaspora Nigerians in their scores drawn from various fields expressed the wish to come back home and contribute their quota, to which the president replied: “You are contributing to this great country (America). If you want to help back home invest in education in your constituencies. If you educate people, they won’t accept nonsense from anybody.”

He added: “I’ve tried to do my best since I came,” he stressed, adding: “Security-wise, we are better. Boko Haram still conducts cowardly attacks, but the insurgency is not the same as it used to be. They are terrorists, and have nothing to do with religion. We will continue to deal with them. Ask people in the North-east, especially in Borno State, they will tell you they can sleep with two eyes closed now.”

The parley was organised by Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Diaspora Matters.

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UNGA 2018: President Buhari Meets With US Secretary Of State

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday met with the United States Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.

The President and Pompeo met behind closed doors and details of the meeting have not been made available.

This followed the President’s meeting with Nigerians in the United States on the sidelines of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York.

 

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African Development Bank Seeks Partnerships To Lift One Billion People Out Of Hunger

The African Development Bank (ADB), has called on global partners to join hands to lift one billion people worldwide out of hunger and said it was leading the way by investing US$24 billion in African agriculture over the next 10 years in the largest such effort ever.

“We are not winning the war against global hunger,” Bank President Akinwumi Adesina told an agriculture conference at Purdue University in Indianapolis on Tuesday, 25 September.

“We must not get carried away,” he added, referring to statistics showing a decline in the global population living on less than two dollars per day. In reality, the number of hungry people in the world had increased from 777 million in 2015 to 815 million in 2016, he said citing the latest World Food Security and Nutrition data.

Adesina told the audience that included researchers, implementing organizations, business leaders, policymakers and donors that simple technical and scientific methods were already making a whole difference to farm yields and income in Africa. While such technologies to deliver Africa’s green revolution exist, they are mostly just sitting on the shelves, he said.

“The release of water efficient maize varieties now allows farmers to harvest good yields in the face of moderate drought,” he noted. “Today, rice varieties exist that can give yields of 8 tonnes per ha. Cassava varieties exist with yields of up to 80 tonnes per ha. Heat tolerant and disease resistant livestock and technologies for ramping up aquaculture exist.”

Bank experts put current comparative yields at 1.5-2 tonnes per ha for rice and 10-15 tonnes per ha for cassava.

What was needed urgently was deployment of supportive policies to ensure technologies are cascaded down to millions of farmers. “All Africa needs to do is to harness the available technologies with the right policies and rapidly raise agricultural productivity and incomes for farmers and assure lower food prices for consumers.”

The Bank has launched its Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT), a $1 billion initiative to extend the use of farm technologies. TAAT is currently engaging seed companies, public and private entities, and financial institutions in 27 countries to make technology available to a total of 40 million African farmers.

Combining targeted subsidies for farmers with a market-based system for rapidly expanding access to financing for farmers and agricultural value chains is the fastest way to get many people out of poverty to a sustained pathway for economic growth, Adesina added.

The conference on “ Scaling Up Agricultural Technologies for Transformation” marked Adesina’s fond return to his alma mater.

“It was here, as a graduate student, that I began the journey of searching for ways to get technologies into the hands of millions of farmers,” he said. Adesina was to go on to make a huge impact on the transformation of agriculture in Africa, including implementing game-changing policies in his years as Nigeria’s Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development before taking up his post at the Bank in September 2015.

Adesina said the situation in Sub-Saharan Africa needed particularly urgent intervention due to the ravages of climate change. The International Food Policy Research Institute estimates that Africa will add 38 million to its number of hungry people by 2050 as a result of climate change.  The Institute forecasts that Africa will experience major food shortages by 2020 and beyond, while malnutrition will be on the rise over the next 20 years.

The Bank’s ongoing initiatives had the objectives of growing income for farmers, stabilizing prices for staple crops, reducing losses and stimulating multiplier effects in local economies.  With its Staple Crop Processing Zones and other initiatives, the Bank is demonstrating how this can be done.

“The African Development Bank put feeding Africa as one of its topmost priorities when it launched its Feed Africa strategy in 2015 and is investing $ 24 billion in agriculture for Africa over 10 years – the largest ever such effort,” the Bank President said. Across Africa, the Feed Africa Strategy is supporting the development of policies, markets, infrastructure and institutions that will ensure that agricultural value chains are well developed and that technologies reach several millions of farmers.

Adesina called for global partnerships to establish Staple Crop Processing Zones across Africa.

“The SCPZs will provide several advantages for rural economies. They will create markets for farm produce. Raw materials will no longer be moved out of rural areas, but as finished value-added products. Post-harvest losses will be substantially reduced. Well integrated agricultural value chains will develop, with supportive logistics, especially warehousing and cold chains,” Adesina added.

The African Development Bank has already started investments to develop these SCPZs in a number of pioneering African countries, including Ethiopia, Togo, Democratic Republic of Congo and Mozambique. It expects the processing zones to be active in about 15 countries in the near-term.

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UNGA 2018: President Buhari Urges World Leaders To Emulate Mandela’s Values

President Muhammadu Buhari, has admonished world leaders at the 73rd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), to emulate values of former South African President, Nelson Mandela, by placing human dignity at the centre of their action to build a just, peaceful, prosperous, inclusive and fair world.

Buhari said this at the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, on Monday.

According to him, the Centenary celebration of the anti-apartheid icon was an opportunity for the leaders to rededicate themselves to the service of humanity by championing democracy, conflict resolution, disarmament, mutual respect, reconciliation, gender equality and the fight against poverty.

Buhari observed that even though the world is facing diverse challenges ranging from conflicts, climate change, terrorism, desertification, poverty, arms trafficking and extremism among others, it is a time of great hope and renaissance if inspiration is drawn from Mandela whose lifestyle he said symbolized uncommon humility, compassion, courage and forgiveness.

President Buhari noted that the Centenary Celebration provided an avenue to reflect on the legacies of Mandela and his unwavering advocacy for human rights, social justice and peace.

President Buhari said Nigeria want all nations to recognize that the United Nations is built on pillars of peace and security, development and human rights which are the foundations for the world’s collective wellbeing which he said also emphasize that “there can be no peace without sustainable development and no sustainable development without peace and full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all.”

He also stated that by the declaration, the world recognizes the contribution of women to advancement of society and their contribution to the prevention and resolution of conflicts, saying that Nigeria is committed to the promotion and protection of the rights of all women as well as providing an enabling environment for them to realize their full potentials.

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British Prime Minister, Theresa May To Visit Nigeria This Week

British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Paul Arkwight, has revealed that the Prime Minister, Theresa May, will visit Nigeria this week.

Arkwight, made known via his Twitter handle, @paulTarkwight.

The tweet read: “Delighted to welcome British Prime Minister to Nigeria this week. A huge opportunity for both our countries to work in partnership on trade, security and tackling the scourge of #modernslavery and human trafficking.”

Below is the full text of the press release announcing her visit:

Theresa May will lead an ambitious trip to Africa this week on her first visit to the continent as Prime Minister.

She’ll be the first British Prime Minister to visit Sub-Saharan Africa since 2013, and the first to go to Kenya for over 30 years.

This visit comes at a time of enormous change across Africa with a unique opportunity, as the UK moves towards Brexit, for a truly Global Britain to invest in and work alongside African nations, with mutual benefits.

The Prime Minister’s central message will be focused on a renewed partnership between the UK and Africa, which will seek to maximise shared opportunities and tackle common challenges in a continent that is growing at a rapid pace – from the Sahara to South Africa.

She will use a speech on the opening day of the visit in Cape Town to set out how we can build this partnership side by side with Africa, particularly by bringing the transformative power of private sector trade and investment from the UK to a continent that is home to 16% of the world’s people but just 3% of FDI and 3% of global goods trade.

As Africa seeks to meet the needs of its growing population the visit will also emphasise that it is in the world’s interest to help secure African stability, jobs and growth because conflict, poor work prospects and economic instability will continue to encourage migration and dangerous journeys to Europe.

Because nations cannot prosper without security, the Prime Minister will also use the visit to announce further support to tackle instability across the region.

Prime Minister Theresa May said:

Africa stands right on the cusp of playing a transformative role in the global economy, and as longstanding partners this trip is a unique opportunity at a unique time for the UK to set out our ambition to work even closer together.

A more prosperous, growing and trading Africa is in all of our interests and its incredible potential will only be realised through a concerted partnership between governments, global institutions and business.

As we prepare to leave the European Union, now is the time for the UK to deepen and strengthen its global partnerships. This week I am looking forward to discussing how we can do that alongside Africa to help deliver important investment and jobs as well as continue to work together to maintain stability and security.

I am proud to be leading this ambitious trip to Africa and to become the first UK Prime Minister in over 30 years to visit Kenya.

The Prime Minister will be joined by a business delegation made up of 29 representatives from UK business – half of which are SMEs – from across all regions of the UK and its devolved administrations. The delegation shows the breadth and depth of British expertise in technology, infrastructure, and financial and professional services.

Delegates include:

the London Stock Exchange Cardiff-based cooling technology firm Sure Chill solar tech provider Northumbria Energy from North Tyneside London-based start-up Farm.ink who have created a knowledge-sharing mobile platform for farmers Northern Irish agri-tech leader Devenish Nutrition the world-renowned Scotch Whisky Association and Midlands manufacturing giant JCB.

Also travelling are Trade Minister George Hollingbery and Minister for Africa Harriett Baldwin. Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns will join the visit in South Africa to support the Welsh companies in the business delegation, while the Lord Mayor of London Charles Bowman is also accompanying the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister will begin her trip in Cape Town in South Africa where she’ll see President Cyril Ramaphosa and meet young people and business leaders.

While in South Africa the Prime Minister will present the Mendi bell to President Ramaphosa in a ceremony at Cape Town’s presidential office the Tuynhuys – over a century after it was lost in a shipwreck.

Over 600 troops, the majority black South Africans, died when the Mendi tragically sank in the English Channel in 1917, on their way to join the Allied forces on the Western Front. It was the worst maritime disaster in South Africa’s history, and the Mendi has become a symbol of the country’s First World War remembrance.

In Nigeria the Prime Minister will meet President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja and spend time in Lagos meeting victims of modern slavery – a cause Theresa May has worked passionately to tackle.

In Nairobi she will meet President Uhuru Kenyatta and see British soldiers training troops from Kenya and other African countries in the techniques needed to identify and destroy improvised explosive devices before they go to fight Al-Shabaab in Somalia.

She will also commit to helping support the next generation of energetic, ambitious young Kenyans as they seek to build a more prosperous country in the years ahead.

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Myanmar Military Leaders Must Face Genocide Charges – UN

A UN report has said top military figures in Myanmar must be investigated for genocide in Rakhine state and crimes against humanity in other areas.

The report, based on hundreds of interviews, is the strongest condemnation from the UN so far of violence against the Rohingya.

The army’s tactics are “consistently and grossly disproportionate to actual security threats”, it says.

It names six senior military figures it believes should go on trial.

It is also fiercely critical of Myanmar’s de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, for failing to intervene to stop the violence.

The report calls for the case to be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The government has consistently said its operations targeted militant or insurgent threats.

But the report says the crimes it has documented are “shocking for the level of denial, normalcy and impunity that is attached to them”.

“Military necessity would never justify killing indiscriminately, gang raping women, assaulting children, and burning entire villages.”

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Pope Begs Forgiveness For Clerical Child Sex Abuse

Pope Francis has begged forgiveness for clerical child sex abuse and reiterated his wish to see justice served.

The pontiff made the comments at the Marian shrine in knock, during the second day of an historic trip to the republic of Ireland.

He said no-one could fail to be moved by stories of those who “suffered abuse, were robbed of their innocence and left scarred by painful memories”.

It is the first papal visit to Ireland in 39 years.

Later on Sunday, 500,000 people are expected to gather in Phoenix Park in Dublin as the pope celebrates mass to close the world meeting of families.

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Just In: Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan Is Dead

Kofi Annan, the former United Nations Secretary-General, has died at the age of 80.

The official Twitter account of the United Nations Migration Agency revealed the news of Annan’s death early Saturday.

He is said to have died in Switzerland, Saturday morning after a short illness.

Annan was appointed the seventh Secretary-General, the top post of the UN, by the UN General Assembly in December 1996. He began serving his four-year term of office on January 1, 1997.

In the summer of 2001, the United Nations unanimously appointed Kofi Annan to his second five-year term as Secretary-General.

On October 12, 2001, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded jointly to the United Nations and Kofi Annan. The Nobel citation pointed out that Annan had brought new life to the peacekeeping organization, highlighted the United Nations’s fight for civil rights, and boldly taken on the new challenges of terrorism and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS; a disease of the immune system).

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U.S. Ambassador Brownback Urges Nigerians To Strengthen Ethno-Religious Tolerance

The U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, Samuel Brownback, has urged Nigerian political office holders, representatives of civil society and religious leaders to avoid amplifying ethno-religious tension in the country and to focus on peacebuilding.

At a one-day national youth dialogue on ethno-religious tolerance organized by the U.S Consulate General Lagos, in partnership with the African Youths Initiative for Crime Prevention (AYICRIP), Ambassador Brownback, who met with a group of religious leaders during a recent visit to Nigeria in June, commended increased inter-faith engagement and dialogue in Nigeria, but noted that the country can do more to protect citizens’ right to religious freedom.

“When I visited Nigeria in June, I met with communities from all different faiths located all over the country and heard about how interfaith groups and people from every religion have come together to begin stopping the violence at the community level, which is a great starting point,”  Brownback said.

“However, we need to do better than just achieving tolerance; we need to truly care for each other. The people who stand for peace do not do this because they are from the same ethnic group, or because they share a common religion.  They believe the lives of everyone are sacred,” he added.

U.S. Consul General John Bray, who opened the event, reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to supporting initiatives that promote peace and admonished Nigerians to ensure that cyclical communal violence does not threaten national unity.

“Each of us has a role to play in tamping down tensions between communities of all kinds,” Bray noted.

“It is in your hands to ensure that this tragic violence does not descend into broader ethnic and religious fighting, and a cycle of reprisals.  We must all make sure that the fighting does not eat away at the fabric of Nigeria, the multi-religious and multiethnic tolerance that makes this a great and unified nation,” he concluded.

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