The International Human Rights Commission (IHRC) has enjoined the African Union (AU) to use the African Union Day to push for the promotion of peace and social-economic development in the continent. This is contained in statement issued by Dr Edward Olutoke, a director in the commission, in Abuja on Friday. The statement quoted the of the Africa Region Headquarters of IHRC, Dr Tivlumun Ahure, as saying that AU Day should be used to stimulate Africa’s development. Ahure commended IHRC Human Rights Radio for the roles it played during the observance of the day which takes place on every Sept. 9. He emphasised that “the IHRC’s apex committees on Africa are to honour, celebrate and pay homage to black people building synergies to contribute in the emancipation of Africa. “The mandates of the committee members will henceforth include the recognition of those of African origin, both within the continent and Diaspora, who have made a significant contribution to the development of African culture. “The intention is to inspire our youth, and then to empower them to holistically reach their full potential”. Ahure stated that the IHRC Africa Region Headquarters decided to participate in the activities marking the 2022 AU Day. He said the commission had also given notice to the structures of the union on the upcoming African Businesses in Diaspora Awards which will hold in Dublin, Ireland, on Nov. 11. According to him, the event is organised by African Businesses in Diaspora Network in collaboration with Ikeja Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture. He said the sixth region of Africa which had been adopted in the resolutions of the AU, earned a status of a state with the new State of African Diaspora. He also said that this had begun to receive confirmation of friendly relations with African countries such as Liberia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mauritania, Nigeria and Benin Republic, among others. “The IHRC Africa Region Headquarters is sending a delegation to the event to contribute in the deliberations that will aim to empower the African youths to become holistically developed. “It is our conviction that they will become so by aspiring to something not only good, but bigger than themselves,” he said. NewsSourceCredit: NAN
All football fixtures in Northern Ireland have been postponed this weekend following the death of Queen Elizabeth, the Irish Football Association (FA) said in a statement on Friday.
“As a mark of respect following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, this weekend’s fixtures across all affiliated football in Northern Ireland, and all other organised football activity, at all levels, have been postponed,” an Irish FA statement read.
The queen, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, died peacefully on Thursday at her home in Scotland aged 96. The British government officially declared the start of a period of national mourning for Queen Elizabeth on Friday, publishing “national mourning guidance”.
The document carried guidance on flying flags, information on travel, and other business and public services.
It stated that the mourning would continue until the end of the day of the state funeral.
The government said there was no obligation to cancel or postpone events and sports fixtures, or close entertainment venues during this time.
It added that this it was at the discretion of individual organisations.
All sports events scheduled for Friday have already been postponed, including the third cricket test between England and South Africa in London and the BMW PGA Championship golf tournament at Wentworth.
The British Horseracing Authority also suspended all events for two days.
President of the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly, Abdulla Shahid, has extended his heartfelt condolences to the royal family, the people of the United Kingdom, and of the Commonwealth on the demise of Queen Elizabeth II.
Shahid, in a statement on Thursday, said he was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
“Queen Elizabeth steadfast leadership during these turbulent times has been a source of stability and resilience for people around the world.
“Her Majesty had dedicated her life to public service and the service of the Commonwealth,’’ he said.
According to him, his country, Maldives is a member of the Commonwealth, extolling the support of the great leader.
“I am grateful to Her Majesty for the support she has shown to its 56 members who have championed the cause of small islands over the years.
“The international community has lost a great advocate for peace, sustainable development and human rights,’’ he said.
Queen Elizabeth, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch and the nation’s figurehead for seven decades, died at the age of 96 in Balmoral, Scotland, the Buckingham Palace said on Thursday.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Thursday, paid tribute to late Queen Elizabeth II for her unwavering, lifelong dedication to serving her people.
Guterres in a statement said he was deeply saddened at the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.
Queen Elizabeth, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch and the nation’s figurehead for seven decades, died at the age of 96 in Balmoral, Scotland, the Buckingham Palace said on Thursday.
“I extend my sincere condolences to her bereaved family, the Government and people of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the wider Commonwealth of Nations.
“As the United Kingdom’s longest-lived and longest-reigning Head of State, Queen Elizabeth II was widely admired for her grace, dignity, and dedication around the world.
“She was a reassuring presence throughout decades of sweeping change, including the decolonization of Africa and Asia and the evolution of the Commonwealth,’’ Guterres said.
The UN chief said Queen Elizabeth II was a good friend of the United Nations, and visited the New York Headquarters twice, more than fifty years apart.
According to him, she was deeply committed to many charitable and environmental causes and spoke movingly to delegates at the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow.
“The world will long remember her devotion and leadership,’’ he added.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has sent his warmest congratulations to Ms. Liz Truss on her appointment by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
South Africa and the UK enjoy historically strong and friendly relations and the President expressed confidence that this strategic relationship will continue to grow.
Bilateral cooperation between South Africa and the UK covers a variety of areas including but not limited to trade and investment, science and innovation, health, energy and the environment.
South Africa and the UK collaborate within the multilateral context to address global challenges such as peace and security, underdevelopment, poverty, economic growth, climate change and prevent future pandemics.
President Ramaphosa looks forward to working with Prime Minister Truss to further strengthen the ties of cooperation and friendship between the two countries.
On behalf of the Government and People of Seychelles, President Wavel Ramkalawan sent a message of congratulations to the Rt. Hon Elizabeth Truss MP, for her appointment as the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
President Ramkalawan's message reads: “Her official appointment of her as Prime Minister comes at a time when the world is facing unprecedented challenges and is in dire need of strong leadership and political will to overcome them.
I am sure that you and your government are up to the tasks that lie ahead.” “The UK and Seychelles share common perspectives on many issues, including the need to promote sustainable economic growth, global security and climate change.
Our two countries also have a long history of friendship and cooperation, continually strengthened bilaterally and multilaterally, especially within the Commonwealth, the United Nations and other international organizations," President Ramkalawan added.
President Ramkalawan expressed his confidence in Rt. Hon Elizabeth Truss to further elevate and diversify the collaboration between the two nations and pledged her support and that of the Government of the Republic of Seychelles during her tenure as Prime Minister.
Rachael Warwick, who oversees three schools in southeast England, has had to sign a new contract to heat and light their buildings at tariffs that she describes as “eye-watering”.
The executive head teacher of Ridgeway Education Trust in Oxfordshire calculates that if the schools she runs use the same amount of energy as before, their annual bill will go up from £250,000 to £1.
1 million ($290,00 to $1.
“It’s massive… We are looking for £900,000 pounds additional, unbudgeted money,” she told AFP, saying that paying this would exhaust financial reserves within a year.
The schools in the trust will do “sensible things” to cut energy use but raising such a large amount would require firing 30 teachers, she added.
Publicly funded schools in England are sounding the alarm as soaring energy prices hit their already tightly constrained budgets.
This comes as schools are expanding activities after pandemic curbs.
UK households and businesses are also facing severe financial hits from energy bills that have soared in the post-pandemic era, exacerbated by Russia’s war on Ukraine.
A spokesperson for the government’s education department told AFP: “We are aware of the inflationary pressures facing schools and know that rising costs will impact schools differently.
” The department pointed to a £4-billion rise in funding for schools announced last year and said it was recommending energy deals.
England’s commissioner for children, Rachel De Souza, vowed “schools must absolutely not close” in an interview with The Telegraph late Friday.
ForgottenIn the campaign to become the next Conservative party leader and UK prime minister, neither Liz Truss nor her rival Rishi Sunak, made firm commitments to help schools cover huge additional costs.
“I really hope that when we have a new PM, things will be done with the urgency it requires,” said Warwick, stressing that while the energy crisis affects all sectors including health, “schools can’t be forgotten.
It’s an essential public service.
” She called on the government to set an energy price cap for schools, similar to that for domestic users.
“I think Liz Truss has been quite clear about what her priorities are — a lot of stuff about tax cuts — but there hasn’t been any mention of bailing out public sector bodies,” said John Dickens, editor of the Schools Week newspaper.
“The public sector — schools and other institutions — they seem to have been forgotten about a little bit.
” Head teachers and unions are urging the government to do more.
“We will be making representations to the new government ministers when they are in post next week to put this at the top of their priority list,” said Julian Gravatt, deputy chief executive of the Association of Colleges, which includes institutions teaching children aged 16 to 18.
“We need to do something.
It is a national problem and I think we should view it like that,” said Paul Gosling, headteacher of Exeter Road Community Primary School in Exmouth, southwest England, who is president of the NAHT headteachers’ union.
– Deficit – From next month, Gosling’s small school of several hundred pupils will have to switch to a new energy contract at current market prices.
He fears that will cost up to £60,000 — three times more the current sum.
“If the government doesn’t step in to help, many schools are predicting that they will be plunged into deficit this year,” NAHT general secretary Paul Whiteman said.
Education is a devolved issue, with schools and policy the responsibility of the devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The UK government in London is in charge in England, where state schools are either funded directly by local authorities or classed as “academies” with greater autonomy on budgeting, a reform introduced by former premier Tony Blair.
While schools are not profit-making businesses, the UK government has not committed to further help with energy bills.
Schools are going to have to “fire staff, stop doing extra-curricular activities, all these things that would have driven a recovery in our schools,” said Dickens.
“These things are going to have to be cut just so schools can keep heating and lights on.
” Schools have been “cash-starved” since 2010 when Conservative PM David Cameron’s government brought in “austerity policies” after the 2008 global financial crash, Dickens said.
Recently, the government has boosted money available but the newspaper editor said this will be “iped out” by “new unforeseen costs” including energy.
Education stakeholders have called on all tiers of government to prioritise education by ensuring that policies are backed up constitutionally.
The stakeholders were speaking at the 14th Total School Support in Lagos on Thursday.
The event was put together by EDUMARK Consult, an Education Marketing Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO).
The theme of this year’s seminar is: “Building a Sustainable Education Ecosystem in Africa’’.
The Keynote Speaker at the event, Mrs Adeola Azeez, noted that aside backing such policies constitutionally, implementation was also key.
Azeez is currently the West Africa Partner at Sigma Risk, an international financial organisation.
She said that there was an urgent need for the country to explore high quality education that was inbuilt, with the ability to be sustained in a long time to come.
“By this, it simply means to build a system that will self-regulate, self-maintain and built to last.
“A system with effective quality control built in, regardless of the personality, opinion or political affiliation of those at the helm of affairs.
“In all, we are charging ourselves to institutionalise expertise at every level within the education space, to change the fortune of the country.
“A nation that flourishes often has education ecosystem that flourishes.
When done correctly, education can be the greatest spring board that takes the disadvantaged, challenged and displaced in our society to unfathomable heights.
“A sustainable education ecosystem is truly the greatest,” she said.
According to her, though the various governments had been doing their best to tackle issues concerning education in the country, a lot still need to be done.
She said that there was the need for all education stakeholders to strive to also influence policy makers, both at the national and regional levels and ensure they hold them accountable for their policies on the sector.
Azeez noted that education was for the citizens, saying that key stakeholders were not doing enough to put it where it rightfully belonged.
“Education remains a tool for social justice, equity, national development and preservation of human civilisation and a foundation for building Nigeria of our dream,” Azeez said.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folashade Adefisayo, said that the various challenges facing the country could be attributed to lack of education.
“We have got a huge task ahead of us and we must not play with it at all.
“I want to seize this opportunity to commend the private education providers in their efforts to collaborate with governments to keep the nation going.
“We have to face the reality that the provision of education will have to be done by private schools.
We need to create education access.
“We will continue to work on our part to ensure that the poorest of the poor will also have access to education.
“It is not about us, but about the country, about how we will collectively move our great country forward.
In the face of the 21st century technology, there is also the need for collaboration,” the commissioner said.
Adefisayo commended the organisers of the yearly event for their foresight and tenacity in a bid to proffer solutions to various challenges facing the education sector in the country.
The Executive Director, EDUMARK, organisers of the event, Mrs Yinka Ogunde, noted that her key value was a relentless decision to always add value to stakeholders.
She noted that it was important for the stakeholders too to keep beating their own records in that regard, saying that this should be built on a foundation of crystal-clear school vision.
“Every business cycle or every school year, as is our case within the education ecosystem, there are usually new goals to attain.
“New road blocks and bottlenecks to manoeuvre, new strengths and opportunities and of course, new weaknesses and threats.
“It is by successfully navigating this terrain of the business world, building capacity along the way, that businesses survive, thrive and become sustainable,” Ogunde said.
According to her, the yearly seminar and exhibition has continued to make its mark in the education space, not only in Nigeria but globally.
Ogunde expressed satisfaction at the turnout out of participants, who came from across the world for the event.
”I want to say this is another big one after the COVID-19 and we feel very excited.
Today, we have participants from all over.
“We have those from U.
S., Spain, Switzerland, Ireland, Zimbabwe and Benin Republic.
“From within our country, we have participants from Kano, Enugu, Imo, and of course all the states in the Southwest and others.
It has been quite impressive; I cannot wish for more.
“It has been quite a journey and we are grateful that we have been able to continue and have people who have been with us since we started,’’ she said.
According to her, this year, we are firmly on ground and we are trusting that by March 2023, we will be carrying the event to Ghana.
“We have actually been planning this since 2020. We have discovered that through collaboration we can achieve a lot as a country and continent at large.
“So we hope to bring some measures of cooperation between countries across Africa.
“Nigeria has great companies that need to be showcased outside the shores, in a bid to promote the country,’’ Ogunde said.
She urged participants to remain creative in a bid to flow with the trend and remain relevant in the face of the 21st century technology.
The high point of the event was the display of various school materials by both local and international exhibitors.
Babajide Akeredolu, the President, Nigeria America Football Association (NAFA) on Thursday said that a committee had been setup to organise a camp to select players for an U-18 championship coming up in 2023.
Akeredolu said that the players would be in camp for three days from Sept. 15 to Sept. 17 and other consequent days before the tournament kick off in a yet to be announced date in 2023.
He said that the committee would ensure that all modalities were put in place for a successful camp.
“The committee will ensure total concentration on training and selection of no fewer than 80 quality players(40 boys and 40 girls) that can do the nation proud in Ireland, in 2023. “Following several periods of camp, the players would be cut to (25 boys and 25 girls) for an eventual final selection,”Akeredolu said.
Meanwhile, another development in NAFA is the ongoing coaching referee clinic which kicked off on Aug.1 and ends in Sept. 30 in eight different states of the country.
The Secretary to NAFA, Lawrence Ojaideh told NAN that no fewer than 100 were participating in the training.
He said the officials were trained in Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Ondo, Oyo, Abuja, Akwa-Ibom and Delta respectively.
According to him, the essence of the training is to prepare the teams who will be participating in the upcoming edition of the Nigeria Secondary School Flag Football League which comes up in January 2023.
On August 30-31, Foreign Minister and Defense Minister Simon Coveney TD will attend an informal meeting of EU Foreign Ministers, organized in Prague by the Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
During the meeting, the ministers will take stock of the current state of EU-Africa relations, six months after the African Union-European Union Summit in Brussels.
Ministers will also discuss the broader implications of Russia's aggression against Ukraine and the long-term impact of Russia's actions, including on the EU's overall political approach.
The meeting will be followed by an informal lunch with the Foreign Ministers of Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
Speaking before the discussion on Russian aggression against Ukraine, Minister Coveney said: “The EU remains committed to supporting Ukraine in the face of Russia's illegal and unjustifiable military aggression.
Our discussion will be another opportunity to review the support we have already provided and consider how we can further counter the challenges created by Russia's reprehensible actions.
Given the broader geopolitical impact of the war, it is important that we now also consider the broader implications of the deteriorating EU-Russia relationship and discuss how the EU should approach Russia in the future."
The Minister commented on EU-AU relations: “The EU's association with the AU is essential for the future peace and prosperity of our two continents, and the Summit earlier this year was an important milestone.
Since then, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has had serious consequences for the security and prosperity of both Europe and Africa.
The EU, including Ireland, is committed to ensuring that our partnership is further strengthened in the face of those challenges and our discussion is an excellent opportunity to consider how we can achieve this."