The mayor of the Czech capital Prague, Zdenek Hrib, vowed Friday to further strengthen exchanges with Taipei, noting that the partnership is non-political and mutually beneficial.
The two capital cities established sister-city relations on Jan. 13, prompting the determination of a Prague-Shanghai sister-city partnership next day.
In October 2019, Beijing cut its sister-city ties with Prague as Hrib expressed concerns over the “One-China” article in the partnership agreement.
“We wanted to have non-political cooperation with our partnership cities and that was the reason why we tried to negotiate some of our previous partnership agreements,’’ Hrib said at a joint news conference with Taipei Mayor, Ko Wen-je, on Friday.
On the last day of the Czech delegation’s visit, Hrib issued a joint statement with Ko about future cooperation in a number of fields, ranging from combating COVID-19 to animal conservation, education and cultural exchanges as well as smart cities and start-up innovations.
Hrib also announced that the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra is scheduled tour to Taiwan in October next year.
The Czech orchestra’s scheduled tour to China in 2020 was unilaterally cancelled by Beijing last year over the escalating “One-China” principle dispute.
The visit of an 89-member Czech delegation led by Senate President Milos Vystrcil ends on Friday.
China had previously warned Vystrcil the country would pay a “heavy price” for the visit.
The Czech Republic does not have formal relations with Taiwan.
Taiwan has had an independent government since 1949, but China considers the democratic island part of its territory.
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)https://nnn.ng/prague-mayor-vows-to-deepen-non-political-partnership-with-taipei/
Foundation urges Nigerians to promote peace, stability
An NGO, Helpline Foundation for the Needy, on Monday urged Nigerians to promote peace and stability in the country.
President and Founder of the foundation, Dr Jumai Ahmadu, made the call while addressing a news conference, as part of activities to mark this year’s International Day for Peace in Abuja.
Ahmadu, who stressed the need for Nigerians to retrace their lost values, warned of the danger of western influence especially among youths.
She called on all those involved in communal clashes to to lay down their weapons and focus on peace building, adding that peace was the only panacea for economic growth and development.
Ahmadu stated that the 2020 International Day for Peace was remarkable especially for health workers and other frontline workers who have demonstrated commitment in the battle to defeat COVID-19 pandemic.
”Global solidarity and peaceful coexistence was imperative in the ongoing fight against COVID-19.
Commenting on this year’s theme, “Shaping Peace Together,”Ahmadu, said peaceful coexistence was not just moral but everybody’s business.
She urged government to do more to listen to people demanding change and seized the moment to build a more equal and inclusive society with respect for human rights.
“This year, it has been clearer than ever before that we are not each other’s enemies, rather, our common enemy is COVID-19 that threatens our health, security and way of life.
“COVID-19 has thrown our world into turmoil and forcibly reminded us that what happens in one part of the planet can impact on others elsewhere,” Ahmadu said.
She enjoined all stakeholders to focus on the battle against the unprecedented global pandemic, noting that cooperation was needed to win the fight against the worst public health crisis.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the International Day for Peace, celebrated yearly on Sept. 21, is devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire.
It was established in 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly.
Two decades later, in 2001, the General Assembly unanimously voted to designate the day as a period of non-violence and cease-fire.
Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Sadiya Hamza
Again, Buhari challenges Kaduna indigenes on peace, harmony
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday in Abuja urged Kaduna State indigenes to cooperate with government and security agencies to secure peace and harmony in the state.
The president made the call at the virtual opening of the Fifth Kaduna Economic and Investment Summit, with the theme KADInvest 5.0, Infrastructure, Industrialisation and Innovation.
According to him, development will only take place when energies are collectively channelled to building, instead of destruction of lives and property.
He said: “We must live together as brothers and sisters because without peace, development cannot take place.
“I wish to commend the efforts of the Kaduna State Government to establish its credentials as one of the new investment destinations of choice in Nigeria.
“These efforts have received just recognition in the response of the business community which has put in new investments in the state.
“This is a further affirmation of the ranking of the state as Number One for Ease of Doing Business by the World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2018.
“I call on the Kaduna State Government to keep up these laudable efforts and surpass the impressive results already attained.’’
He noted that the success of state governments in attracting investments, creating jobs and increasing their internally generated revenues would be critical to the development of the entire country.
“Therefore, I am impressed that the Kaduna State Government has from inception used KADInvest as a serious platform for showcasing its investment potentials.
“The state’s commitment to consistent implementation of the Ease of Doing Business Charter is exemplary, including its ability to increase its Internally Generated Revenue to N44bn in 2019 from N13bn in 2015 without hiking tax rates. This is very laudable.’’
The president congratulated the Kaduna State government for making KADInvest a regular fixture on the investment calendar, held annually since 2016.
“It is a fitting statement of the resilience of the Kaduna State Government that it is able to host the 2020 edition amidst the severe disruptions to the normal order caused by Covid-19.
“This is the sort of determined focus that can help the country to navigate the challenging consequences of the pandemic.
“It was my pleasure to commission the Olam Hatchery and Feed Mill project in 2017, about 18 months after the ground-breaking was done at the first edition of KADInvest in 2016.
“It is commendable that investors like Tomato Jos are creating jobs in the agribusiness sector, taking advantage of Kaduna State’s prioritisation of agriculture.
“I also note with delight the success of new investments in renewable energy like Blue Camel and tractor assembly and the revitalisation of poultry farms across the state.’’
Buhari commended the ongoing development of iron mining and steel processing capacity in the state through investments by African Natural Resources and Mines Limited.
He said the federal government would continue to support efforts to attract job-creating investments.
“We believe that much can be done at the sub-national level to drive human capital development and expand economic opportunity.
“I note with delight the massive investments in infrastructure upgrade Kaduna State is executing through the urban renewal programmes in Kaduna, Kafanchan and Zaria.
“Given the track record since 2015, I have no doubt that the Kaduna State Government and its private sector partners will take full advantage of the economic windows that are being opened by Federal Government investments such as the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano gas pipeline.
“The state government should afford full cooperation and support to cross-border federal projects such as the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano pipeline and the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Highway,’’ he added.
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza
Man City’s Gundogan tests positive for COVID-19
Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has tested positive for COVID-19, the Premier League club said on Monday.
Gundogan is the third player in the squad to return a positive test in recent weeks.
City winger Riyad Mahrez and defender Aymeric Laporte previously tested positive for the novel coronavirus earlier this month.
“Gundogan is now observing a 10-day period of self-isolation in accordance with Premier League and UK Government protocol on quarantine,” the club said in a statement.
Gundogan is likely to miss three matches for City while he self-isolates, including Monday’s league clash against Wolverhampton Wanderers, Thursday’s League Cup tie against Bournemouth and Sunday’s league game against Leicester City.
Both Mahrez and Laporte returned to training last week but City boss Pep Guardiola said only the Algerian winger would be available against Wolves — City’s opening game of the season.
Edited By: Maharazu Ahmed
Edited By: Joseph Edeh
Environmentalist harps on mitigation of climate change effects
An environmentalist, Mr Adewole Taiwo, on Monday listed tree planting, use of alternative energy sources, and proper waste sorting as some strategies to mitigate climate change effects.
Taiwo, a Director at Recyclepoints, made the recommendations in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Lagos.
He said it was imperative for Nigerians to clean up their environment and address climate change issues with more commitment.
“We must all take responsibility for our immediate environment, clear our drainages, bag our waste properly and sort recyclables.
“Some people still do not believe in the impacts of climate change just like some do not believe that the COVID-19 pandemic is real.
“However, the impacts of climate change are getting more glaring every day, for example the flooding we currently experience can testify that climate change is real and we need to carry out more awareness about it.
“The major challenge in sensitising Nigerians on the negative impacts of climate change effects has to do with lack of information, education and proper enlightenment among the people,” he said.
Taiwo urged Nigerians to practice sustainable lifestyles and habits to help curb the negative realities of climate change effects in the country.
He also encouraged the imitation and replication of developed countries strategies of mitigating climate change effects in their environment.
“To mitigate climate change effects, we can start by reducing our carbon footprint generation by making use of alternative sources of energy and fuel.
“We can also reduce the emission of green house gases into the environment when we live sustainably by walking where necessary instead of riding a car or vehicle.
“We need to plant more trees and reduce waste generation to curb the increasing greenhouse gas emission into the environment.
“We are imitating more developed countries in adoption of their strategies to mitigate climate change effects by observing some of these international events, already we have so many organisations that are now into renewable energy.
“We commend the German delegation in Nigeria doing everything possible to promote renewable and alternative energy sources in the country.
“We also have many non-government organisations embarking on tree planting and clean up with support from these developed countries,” Taiwo said.
According to the environmentalist, the government at all levels can play a vital role in curbing climate change impacts on the environment through policy implementation.
“We have lots of environmental policies out there but the problem has to do with government implementation.
“An important point to note here is that the world’s worst polluters are human beings and not plastics,” he said.
Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma