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  •   The ECOWAS Commission convened an inaugural Regional Awareness Raising and Awareness Virtual Event on the West African Unique Identification for Regional Integration and Inclusion WURI program on 29 September 2022 The event was convened under the chairmanship of the Chief of the ECOWAS National Office in Guinea Bissau Ms Cristina da Silva Pedreira to provide a platform for the WURI projects that are implemented by the Member States and stakeholders to share information and their experience so that the institutions of the Member States with digital identification immigration and security management functions and the Heads of ECOWAS national offices are better informed about the WURI program The event was attended by representatives from Benin Cape Verde C te d Ivoire Gambia Ghana Guinea Bissau Niger Nigeria Sierra Leone Togo the World Bank and the ECOWAS Commission The Director of Free Movement and Migration speaking on behalf of the Commissioner for Economic Affairs and Agriculture Ms Massandj Tour Litse explained that as the regional component of the program is gaining momentum the Commission considers it necessary to convene this virtual meeting to raise awareness stakeholders with roles related to ID management in the ECOWAS region about the WURI program and also provide a platform for WURI participating Member States to share their experiences in implementing their respective projects He encouraged member states to learn more about the program and highlighted that the beauty of the program lies in its flexibility as other countries can join when they are ready and willing to subscribe to the regional goal of interoperability of foundational systems and mutual recognition of the founding identity Credentials for access to services The Director of Regional Integration Africa and the Middle East and North Africa of the World Bank Ms Boutheina Guermazi expressed the Bank s gratitude to the ECOWAS Commission for creating the platform to learn how the WURI program is being implemented in the pilot countries She pointed out that the program has a continental perspective and adopts a regional vision so its scope extends beyond the six 06 participating Member States She also expressed her confidence in the political will of the participating Member States and in the capacities of the countries to achieve the established goals before reiterating the Bank s continued and constant support to ensure the successful implementation of the program for the benefit of all The World Bank presented the general description of the WURI program that covered the development objective of the program the multiphase approach adopted to reach some 100 million people in the region by 2028 among others while the Commission explained its role the objectives regional cross border interoperability and mutual recognition of credentials prioritized activities for 2022 and achievements to date The exchange of experiences from Benin C te d Ivoire Niger and Togo indicated that the Member States implementing the program are at various stages of implementation and each has its own challenges However countries highlighted key milestones achieved that they hope will be a springboard to drive implementation The presentations made by the Member States during the deliberation session will be taken into account in the course of the execution of the programme The WURI is a multi phase program financed by the World Bank and implemented by Benin Burkina Faso C te d Ivoire Guinea Niger and Togo and the ECOWAS Commission with the aim of increasing the number of people in participating countries have a unique proof of identity recognized by the government that allows access to services Specifically the Commission aims to foster regional dialogues and cooperation for cross border mutual recognition of foundational identity systems for access to services
    Inaugural Regional Awareness Raising Event on the West African Unique Identification Program for Regional Integration and Inclusion (WURI)
      The ECOWAS Commission convened an inaugural Regional Awareness Raising and Awareness Virtual Event on the West African Unique Identification for Regional Integration and Inclusion WURI program on 29 September 2022 The event was convened under the chairmanship of the Chief of the ECOWAS National Office in Guinea Bissau Ms Cristina da Silva Pedreira to provide a platform for the WURI projects that are implemented by the Member States and stakeholders to share information and their experience so that the institutions of the Member States with digital identification immigration and security management functions and the Heads of ECOWAS national offices are better informed about the WURI program The event was attended by representatives from Benin Cape Verde C te d Ivoire Gambia Ghana Guinea Bissau Niger Nigeria Sierra Leone Togo the World Bank and the ECOWAS Commission The Director of Free Movement and Migration speaking on behalf of the Commissioner for Economic Affairs and Agriculture Ms Massandj Tour Litse explained that as the regional component of the program is gaining momentum the Commission considers it necessary to convene this virtual meeting to raise awareness stakeholders with roles related to ID management in the ECOWAS region about the WURI program and also provide a platform for WURI participating Member States to share their experiences in implementing their respective projects He encouraged member states to learn more about the program and highlighted that the beauty of the program lies in its flexibility as other countries can join when they are ready and willing to subscribe to the regional goal of interoperability of foundational systems and mutual recognition of the founding identity Credentials for access to services The Director of Regional Integration Africa and the Middle East and North Africa of the World Bank Ms Boutheina Guermazi expressed the Bank s gratitude to the ECOWAS Commission for creating the platform to learn how the WURI program is being implemented in the pilot countries She pointed out that the program has a continental perspective and adopts a regional vision so its scope extends beyond the six 06 participating Member States She also expressed her confidence in the political will of the participating Member States and in the capacities of the countries to achieve the established goals before reiterating the Bank s continued and constant support to ensure the successful implementation of the program for the benefit of all The World Bank presented the general description of the WURI program that covered the development objective of the program the multiphase approach adopted to reach some 100 million people in the region by 2028 among others while the Commission explained its role the objectives regional cross border interoperability and mutual recognition of credentials prioritized activities for 2022 and achievements to date The exchange of experiences from Benin C te d Ivoire Niger and Togo indicated that the Member States implementing the program are at various stages of implementation and each has its own challenges However countries highlighted key milestones achieved that they hope will be a springboard to drive implementation The presentations made by the Member States during the deliberation session will be taken into account in the course of the execution of the programme The WURI is a multi phase program financed by the World Bank and implemented by Benin Burkina Faso C te d Ivoire Guinea Niger and Togo and the ECOWAS Commission with the aim of increasing the number of people in participating countries have a unique proof of identity recognized by the government that allows access to services Specifically the Commission aims to foster regional dialogues and cooperation for cross border mutual recognition of foundational identity systems for access to services
    Inaugural Regional Awareness Raising Event on the West African Unique Identification Program for Regional Integration and Inclusion (WURI)
    Africa1 day ago

    Inaugural Regional Awareness Raising Event on the West African Unique Identification Program for Regional Integration and Inclusion (WURI)

    The ECOWAS Commission convened an inaugural Regional Awareness Raising and Awareness Virtual Event on the West African Unique Identification for Regional Integration and Inclusion (WURI) program on 29 September 2022.

    The event was convened under the chairmanship of the Chief of the ECOWAS National Office in Guinea-Bissau, Ms. Cristina da Silva Pedreira, to provide a platform for the WURI projects that are implemented by the Member States and stakeholders to share information and their experience so that the institutions of the Member States with digital identification, immigration and security management functions and the Heads of ECOWAS national offices are better informed about the WURI program.

    The event was attended by representatives from Benin, Cape Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Togo, the World Bank and the ECOWAS Commission.

    The Director of Free Movement and Migration, speaking on behalf of the Commissioner for Economic Affairs and Agriculture, Ms. Massandjé Touré-Litse explained that as the regional component of the program is gaining momentum, the Commission considers it necessary to convene this virtual meeting to raise awareness stakeholders with roles related to ID management in the ECOWAS region about the WURI program and also provide a platform for WURI participating Member States to share their experiences in implementing their respective projects.

    He encouraged member states to learn more about the program and highlighted that the beauty of the program lies in its flexibility, as other countries can join when they are ready and willing to subscribe to the regional goal of interoperability of foundational systems and mutual recognition of the founding identity.

    Credentials for access to services.

    The Director of Regional Integration, Africa and the Middle East and North Africa of the World Bank, Ms. Boutheina Guermazi, expressed the Bank's gratitude to the ECOWAS Commission for creating the platform to learn how the WURI program is being implemented in the pilot countries.

    She pointed out that the program has a continental perspective and adopts a regional vision, so its scope extends beyond the six (06) participating Member States.

    She also expressed her confidence in the political will of the participating Member States and in the capacities of the countries to achieve the established goals, before reiterating the Bank's continued and constant support to ensure the successful implementation of the program for the benefit of all.

    The World Bank presented the general description of the WURI program that covered the development objective of the program, the multiphase approach adopted to reach some 100 million people in the region by 2028, among others, while the Commission explained its role, the objectives regional cross-border interoperability and mutual recognition of credentials, prioritized activities for 2022 and achievements to date.

    The exchange of experiences from Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, Niger and Togo indicated that the Member States implementing the program are at various stages of implementation and each has its own challenges.

    However, countries highlighted key milestones achieved that they hope will be a springboard to drive implementation.

    The presentations made by the Member States during the deliberation session will be taken into account in the course of the execution of the programme.

    The WURI is a multi-phase program financed by the World Bank and implemented by Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Niger and Togo, and the ECOWAS Commission, with the aim of increasing the number of people in participating countries have a unique proof of identity recognized by the government that allows access to services.

    Specifically, the Commission aims to foster regional dialogues and cooperation for cross-border mutual recognition of foundational identity systems for access to services.

  •   Liquid Dataport a Cassava Technologies company brings much needed affordable internet access to South Africa Liquid Dataport has acquired a pair of fiber cables on Equiano the new West Coast submarine cable capable of delivering up to 12 Terabytes of new internet capacity giving the South African economy the boost it needs to ensure the successful digital transformation of South Africa businesses and individuals See www LiquidDataport com The additional capacity augments Liquid Dataport s existing pan African fiber network global satellite connectivity and submarine cable backbone that ensures businesses on the continent have access to reliable and affordable high speed connectivity a vital element as take advantage of the digital economy The Equiano Sea Cable is the highest capacity landing cable in South Africa Liquid Dataport sees a much needed drop in Internet connectivity prices and better quality in South Africa and many sub Saharan countries As existing and potential Liquid clients implement digital operations to improve client services the proliferation of connectivity becomes increasingly important to success According to David Eurin CEO of Liquid Dataport The lack of access to affordable internet connection across the continent whether in the largest cities or the most remote villages is a major barrier for Africans and organizations who adopt digital technologies Therefore Liquid Dataport s landing of Equiano capacity in South Africa will significantly foster business development in Southern African countries through better access to high speed connectivity and increased access to digital technologies such as the cloud and cybersecurity to name a few The Equiano submarine cable has planned landings in Sesimbra Portugal Lom Togo Lagos Nigeria Swakopmund Namibia Rupert s Bay Saint Helena and Melkbosstrand South Africa with more landing stations planned in the future The move expands the reach of Liquid s One Africa Digital Network and Cassava s Africa Data Centers will house Liquid Dataport equipment for Equiano s submarine cables The Equiano cable system will be available at all data center facilities in Africa and will give Liquid Dataport customers access to large amounts of capacity at a reduced price Liquid Dataport plans to interconnect Equiano s landing stations to its East West network in Africa further strengthening its global IP path between Asia Africa and the US This new submarine cable landing is yet another addition to our network ever growing pan African network including satellite connectivity submarine links and our intercontinental terrestrial fiber network the largest independent network of its kind in Africa It adds to our ability to provide Cyber Security Data Centers Cloud Services Renewable Energy and Fintech Services and more to our clients ranging from Enterprises SMEs and Governments directly and indirectly concludes Eurin
    South Africans can now access the internet faster and more affordably thanks to Liquid Dataport landing Equiano in Cape Town
      Liquid Dataport a Cassava Technologies company brings much needed affordable internet access to South Africa Liquid Dataport has acquired a pair of fiber cables on Equiano the new West Coast submarine cable capable of delivering up to 12 Terabytes of new internet capacity giving the South African economy the boost it needs to ensure the successful digital transformation of South Africa businesses and individuals See www LiquidDataport com The additional capacity augments Liquid Dataport s existing pan African fiber network global satellite connectivity and submarine cable backbone that ensures businesses on the continent have access to reliable and affordable high speed connectivity a vital element as take advantage of the digital economy The Equiano Sea Cable is the highest capacity landing cable in South Africa Liquid Dataport sees a much needed drop in Internet connectivity prices and better quality in South Africa and many sub Saharan countries As existing and potential Liquid clients implement digital operations to improve client services the proliferation of connectivity becomes increasingly important to success According to David Eurin CEO of Liquid Dataport The lack of access to affordable internet connection across the continent whether in the largest cities or the most remote villages is a major barrier for Africans and organizations who adopt digital technologies Therefore Liquid Dataport s landing of Equiano capacity in South Africa will significantly foster business development in Southern African countries through better access to high speed connectivity and increased access to digital technologies such as the cloud and cybersecurity to name a few The Equiano submarine cable has planned landings in Sesimbra Portugal Lom Togo Lagos Nigeria Swakopmund Namibia Rupert s Bay Saint Helena and Melkbosstrand South Africa with more landing stations planned in the future The move expands the reach of Liquid s One Africa Digital Network and Cassava s Africa Data Centers will house Liquid Dataport equipment for Equiano s submarine cables The Equiano cable system will be available at all data center facilities in Africa and will give Liquid Dataport customers access to large amounts of capacity at a reduced price Liquid Dataport plans to interconnect Equiano s landing stations to its East West network in Africa further strengthening its global IP path between Asia Africa and the US This new submarine cable landing is yet another addition to our network ever growing pan African network including satellite connectivity submarine links and our intercontinental terrestrial fiber network the largest independent network of its kind in Africa It adds to our ability to provide Cyber Security Data Centers Cloud Services Renewable Energy and Fintech Services and more to our clients ranging from Enterprises SMEs and Governments directly and indirectly concludes Eurin
    South Africans can now access the internet faster and more affordably thanks to Liquid Dataport landing Equiano in Cape Town
    Africa1 day ago

    South Africans can now access the internet faster and more affordably thanks to Liquid Dataport landing Equiano in Cape Town

    Liquid Dataport, a Cassava Technologies company, brings much-needed affordable internet access to South Africa.

    Liquid Dataport has acquired a pair of fiber cables on Equiano, the new West Coast submarine cable, capable of delivering up to 12 Terabytes of new internet capacity, giving the South African economy the boost it needs to ensure the successful digital transformation of South Africa.

    businesses and individuals See www.LiquidDataport.com.

    The additional capacity augments Liquid Dataport's existing pan-African fiber network, global satellite connectivity and submarine cable backbone that ensures businesses on the continent have access to reliable and affordable high-speed connectivity, a vital element as take advantage of the digital economy.

    The Equiano Sea Cable is the highest capacity landing cable in South Africa.

    Liquid Dataport sees a much-needed drop in Internet connectivity prices and better quality in South Africa and many sub-Saharan countries.

    As existing and potential Liquid clients implement digital operations to improve client services, the proliferation of connectivity becomes increasingly important to success.

    According to David Eurin, CEO of Liquid Dataport, “The lack of access to affordable internet connection across the continent, whether in the largest cities or the most remote villages, is a major barrier for Africans and organizations.

    who adopt digital technologies.

    Therefore, Liquid Dataport's landing of Equiano capacity in South Africa will significantly foster business development in Southern African countries through better access to high-speed connectivity and increased access to digital technologies.

    such as the cloud and cybersecurity, to name a few.” The Equiano submarine cable has planned landings in Sesimbra, Portugal, Lomé, Togo, Lagos, Nigeria, Swakopmund, Namibia, Rupert's Bay, Saint Helena, and Melkbosstrand, South Africa, with more landing stations planned in the future.

    The move expands the reach of Liquid's One Africa Digital Network, and Cassava's Africa Data Centers will house Liquid Dataport equipment for Equiano's submarine cables.

    The Equiano cable system will be available at all data center facilities in Africa and will give Liquid Dataport customers access to large amounts of capacity at a reduced price.

    Liquid Dataport plans to interconnect Equiano's landing stations to its East-West network in Africa, further strengthening its global IP path between Asia, Africa and the US “This new submarine cable landing is yet another addition to our network ever-growing pan-African network, including satellite connectivity, submarine links and our intercontinental terrestrial fiber network, the largest independent network of its kind in Africa.

    It adds to our ability to provide Cyber ​​Security, Data Centers, Cloud Services, Renewable Energy and Fintech Services and more to our clients ranging from Enterprises, SMEs and Governments directly and indirectly”, concludes Eurin.

  •  Google on Wednesday announced its intent to establish a new Google Cloud region in South Africa its first on the continent that would help create jobs and increase Africa s presence online This was made known at the second Google for Africa hybrid event in Lagos and the Google Cloud is one of the ways Google is delivering on the 1bn investment commitment made in 2021 by the company s CEO Sundar Pichai Niral Patel Director of Google Cloud Africa said that the new Cloud Region would help users developers businesses and educational institutions across Africa to move more information and tools online Patel said it would improve access options for customers and in turn create jobs The Director Google Cloud Africa said that Google believed in growing an open and healthy ecosystem of technology solutions to support Africa s digital transformation goals Patel said that the establishment of the cloud would lead to more opportunities for businesses in Africa According to Patel It is part of the company wide ethics to respect the environment which is why it operates the cleanest cloud in the industry supporting sustainable digital transformation Along with the cloud region we are expanding our network through the Equiano subsea cable and building Dedicated Cloud Interconnect sites in Johannesburg Cape Town Lagos and Nairobi In doing so we are building full scale Cloud capability for Africa he said The director said that Google Cloud is already working with customers across the continent helping them solve business critical challenges get online and access the benefits of digital technology According to him while in Kenya Google Cloud works with Twiga Foods a technology driven company addressing and improving food security in Africa He said it would help them connect 1 000 farmers to 140 000 vendors delivering 12 000 orders every day and storing two million kilograms of fresh produce Nitin Gajria Managing Director Google Africa said that Africa s internet economy has the potential to grow to 180 billion by 2025 5 2 per cent of the continent s GDP Gajria said to support African entrepreneurs in growing and developing their talent Google continues to support African small businesses through the Hustle Academy and Google Business Profiles He said that it helps job seekers learn the skills needed through Developer Scholarships and Career Certifications Gajria said that Google through its 50m Africa Investment Fund that targets equity investments in tech startups has since invested in three businesses over the past nine months He said that the investments were SafeBoda a transportation app in Uganda and Nigeria Carry1st a South African mobile gaming startup and Lori Systems an e logistics company based in Kenya The Managing Director Google Africa said that Google was collaborating with governments policymakers NGOs telcos business leaders creators and media to help accelerate Africa s digital transformation He said that it is the talent and drive of the individuals in the countries and communities of Africa that would power Africa s economic growth Gajria said that the Milestones achieved include the subsea cable Equiano now running through Togo Nigeria Namibia and South Africa with is efaster lower cost internet to the continent He said that a recent economic impact assessment conducted by Africa Practice and Genesis Analytics found that by 2025 the cable is set to accelerate economic growth with GDPs of Nigeria rising by 10 1b South Africa 7b and 260m in Namibia According to him Equiano should indirectly create 1 6 million jobs in Nigeria 180 000 in South Africa and 21 000 in Namibia driven by the expansion of the digital economy and peripheral sectors Deputy Minister Communications and Digital Technologies South Africa Mr Philly Mapulane said that the National Development Plan 2030 calls for stimulating growth in the Information Communication and Technology ICT sector Also at the event Google announced the opening if its first African product development centre in Nairobi to develop and build better products for Africans and the world Also Sandy Ritchie Speech Technologist Google announced the launch of voice typing support for nine more African languages in Gboard Ritchie said that on the Google keyboard the nine languages were isiNdebele isiXhosa Kinyarwanda Northern Sotho Swati Sesotho Tswana Tshivenda and Xitsonga He said that 24 new languages are now supported on Google Translate including Lingala used by more than 45m people across Central Africa Williams Zacky Software Development engineer Google said that to make Maps more useful Google also refreshed Street View in Kenya South Africa Senegal and Nigeria with nearly 300 000km of imagery Zacky said that this helps people virtually explore and navigate neighbourhoods on Google Maps He said that Google was also extending the service to Rwanda meaning that Street View is now available in 11 African countries NewsSourceCredit NAN
    Google announces first Cloud Region in Africa
     Google on Wednesday announced its intent to establish a new Google Cloud region in South Africa its first on the continent that would help create jobs and increase Africa s presence online This was made known at the second Google for Africa hybrid event in Lagos and the Google Cloud is one of the ways Google is delivering on the 1bn investment commitment made in 2021 by the company s CEO Sundar Pichai Niral Patel Director of Google Cloud Africa said that the new Cloud Region would help users developers businesses and educational institutions across Africa to move more information and tools online Patel said it would improve access options for customers and in turn create jobs The Director Google Cloud Africa said that Google believed in growing an open and healthy ecosystem of technology solutions to support Africa s digital transformation goals Patel said that the establishment of the cloud would lead to more opportunities for businesses in Africa According to Patel It is part of the company wide ethics to respect the environment which is why it operates the cleanest cloud in the industry supporting sustainable digital transformation Along with the cloud region we are expanding our network through the Equiano subsea cable and building Dedicated Cloud Interconnect sites in Johannesburg Cape Town Lagos and Nairobi In doing so we are building full scale Cloud capability for Africa he said The director said that Google Cloud is already working with customers across the continent helping them solve business critical challenges get online and access the benefits of digital technology According to him while in Kenya Google Cloud works with Twiga Foods a technology driven company addressing and improving food security in Africa He said it would help them connect 1 000 farmers to 140 000 vendors delivering 12 000 orders every day and storing two million kilograms of fresh produce Nitin Gajria Managing Director Google Africa said that Africa s internet economy has the potential to grow to 180 billion by 2025 5 2 per cent of the continent s GDP Gajria said to support African entrepreneurs in growing and developing their talent Google continues to support African small businesses through the Hustle Academy and Google Business Profiles He said that it helps job seekers learn the skills needed through Developer Scholarships and Career Certifications Gajria said that Google through its 50m Africa Investment Fund that targets equity investments in tech startups has since invested in three businesses over the past nine months He said that the investments were SafeBoda a transportation app in Uganda and Nigeria Carry1st a South African mobile gaming startup and Lori Systems an e logistics company based in Kenya The Managing Director Google Africa said that Google was collaborating with governments policymakers NGOs telcos business leaders creators and media to help accelerate Africa s digital transformation He said that it is the talent and drive of the individuals in the countries and communities of Africa that would power Africa s economic growth Gajria said that the Milestones achieved include the subsea cable Equiano now running through Togo Nigeria Namibia and South Africa with is efaster lower cost internet to the continent He said that a recent economic impact assessment conducted by Africa Practice and Genesis Analytics found that by 2025 the cable is set to accelerate economic growth with GDPs of Nigeria rising by 10 1b South Africa 7b and 260m in Namibia According to him Equiano should indirectly create 1 6 million jobs in Nigeria 180 000 in South Africa and 21 000 in Namibia driven by the expansion of the digital economy and peripheral sectors Deputy Minister Communications and Digital Technologies South Africa Mr Philly Mapulane said that the National Development Plan 2030 calls for stimulating growth in the Information Communication and Technology ICT sector Also at the event Google announced the opening if its first African product development centre in Nairobi to develop and build better products for Africans and the world Also Sandy Ritchie Speech Technologist Google announced the launch of voice typing support for nine more African languages in Gboard Ritchie said that on the Google keyboard the nine languages were isiNdebele isiXhosa Kinyarwanda Northern Sotho Swati Sesotho Tswana Tshivenda and Xitsonga He said that 24 new languages are now supported on Google Translate including Lingala used by more than 45m people across Central Africa Williams Zacky Software Development engineer Google said that to make Maps more useful Google also refreshed Street View in Kenya South Africa Senegal and Nigeria with nearly 300 000km of imagery Zacky said that this helps people virtually explore and navigate neighbourhoods on Google Maps He said that Google was also extending the service to Rwanda meaning that Street View is now available in 11 African countries NewsSourceCredit NAN
    Google announces first Cloud Region in Africa
    General news2 days ago

    Google announces first Cloud Region in Africa

    Google on Wednesday  announced its intent to establish a  new  Google Cloud region in South Africa – its  first on the continent that would help create jobs and increase Africa’s presence  online.

    This was made known at the second Google for Africa hybrid event in Lagos, and the  Google  Cloud is one of the ways Google is delivering on the $1bn investment commitment made in 2021 by the company’s CEO, Sundar Pichai.

    Niral Patel, Director of Google Cloud Africa  said that the new Cloud Region would help users, developers, businesses and educational institutions across Africa to move more information and tools online.

    Patel said it would improve access options for customers and in turn, create jobs.

    The Director, Google Cloud Africa said that Google  believed in growing an open and healthy ecosystem of technology solutions to support Africa’s digital transformation goals Patel  said that the establishment  of the cloud would lead to more opportunities for businesses in Africa.

    According to Patel,  It is part of the company-wide ethics to respect the environment, which is why it operates the cleanest cloud in the industry, supporting sustainable digital transformation.

    ‘’Along with the cloud region, we are expanding our network through the Equiano subsea cable and building Dedicated Cloud Interconnect sites in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Lagos and Nairobi.

    “In doing so, we are building full scale Cloud capability for Africa,’’ he said.

    The director  said that Google Cloud is already working with customers across the continent – helping them solve business critical challenges, get online, and access the benefits of digital technology.

    According  to him,  while in Kenya, Google Cloud works with Twiga Foods – a technology driven company addressing and improving food security in Africa.

    He said  it would  help them connect 1,000 farmers to 140,000 vendors, delivering 12,000 orders every day and storing two million kilograms of fresh produce.

    Nitin Gajria, Managing Director, Google Africa  said that Africa’s internet economy has the potential to grow to $180 billion by 2025 – 5.2 per cent of the continent’s GDP.

    Gajria  said to support African entrepreneurs in growing and developing their talent, Google continues to support African small businesses through the Hustle Academy and Google Business Profiles He said that it helps job seekers learn the skills  needed through Developer Scholarships and Career Certifications.

    Gajria said that Google, through its $50m Africa Investment Fund that targets equity investments in tech startups, has since  invested in three businesses over the past nine months.

    He said that the investments  were SafeBoda, a transportation app in Uganda and Nigeria, Carry1st, a South African mobile gaming startup and  Lori Systems, an e- logistics company based in Kenya.

    The  Managing Director, Google Africa said that Google  was collaborating with governments, policymakers, NGOs, telcos, business leaders, creators and media to help accelerate Africa’s digital transformation.

    He said that  it is the talent and drive of the individuals in the countries and communities of Africa that would power Africa’s economic growth.

    Gajria said that the Milestones achieved include  the subsea cable, Equiano, now running through Togo, Nigeria, Namibia  and South Africa, with is efaster, lower cost internet to the continent .

    He said  that a recent economic impact assessment conducted by Africa Practice and Genesis Analytics found that by 2025, the cable is set to accelerate economic growth with GDPs of Nigeria  rising by  $10.1b, South Africa $7b and  $260m in Namibia.

    According  to him, Equiano should indirectly create 1.6 million jobs in Nigeria, 180,000 in South Africa and 21,000 in Namibia, driven by the expansion of the digital economy and peripheral sectors.

    Deputy Minister,  Communications and Digital Technologies, South Africa, Mr Philly Mapulane , said that  the National Development Plan 2030 calls for stimulating growth in the Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) sector.

    Also at the event, Google announced the  opening if  its first African product development centre in Nairobi to develop and build better products for Africans and the world.

    Also , Sandy Ritchie, Speech Technologist, Google announced the launch of voice typing support for nine more African languages in Gboard.

    Ritchie said that on  the Google keyboard the nine languages  were isiNdebele, isiXhosa, Kinyarwanda, Northern Sotho, Swati, Sesotho, Tswana,Tshivenda and Xitsonga .

    He said that 24 new languages are now supported on Google Translate, including Lingala used by more than 45m people across Central Africa.

    Williams Zacky, Software  Development  engineer,  Google  said that to make Maps more useful, Google also refreshed Street View in Kenya, South Africa, Senegal and Nigeria with nearly 300,000km  of imagery.

    Zacky said that this helps people virtually explore and navigate neighbourhoods on Google Maps. He said that Google  was also extending the service to Rwanda, meaning that Street View is now available in 11 African countries.


    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  Kwara United Football Club has rounded up its preparations for the First Leg First Round match of the 20222023 TotalEnergies CAF Confederation Cup competition against Renaissance Sportive de Berkane of Morocco billed for Mobolaji Johnson Arena in Lagos on Oct 9 After eliminating AS Douanes of Niger Republic in the Preliminary Rounds of the competition the team has played series of friendly matches to tune up for the game on Sunday Aware that the RS Berkane challenge is more crucial the technical crew stepped up its trainings especially on the backdrop of their resolve to qualify for the Group stage of the second tier inter club competition in Africa The team left Ilorin for Lagos on Wednesday in continuation of its preparations as the coaches expressed optimism that they will achieve the set goal of scalling the RS Berkane hurdle Nickname The Oranges Boys RS Berkane was founded 84 years ago in 1938 to be exact and it is a professional football club based in Berkane Morocco that competes in Botola the top flight of Moroccan football They are the current holders of the CAF Confederation Cup title and Champion of Champions After the first leg at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena in Lagos on Sunday Kwara United will visit Berkane Morocco for the second leg on Sunday Oct 15 with the 10 000 capacity Stade Municipal de Berkane Morocco hosting the match The winner over the two legs qualifies for the Group stage Just like the match against AS Douanes Kwara United need to win and win well on Sunday to reduce the presuure on the team in the return leg in Berkane This is Kwara United s third participation in CAF organised inter club competition after the 19992000 and 20062007 seasons CAFCC SECOND ROUND FIXTURES Al Akhder Libya v Azam FC Tanzania Hilal AlSahil Sudan v Pyramids FC Egypt AS Kigali Rwanda v Al Nasr Libya ASCK Togo v USM Alger Algeria Elgeco Plus Madagascar v M Gallants South Africa AS FAR Morocco v Anglogold Ashanti GBS Guinea Fasil Kenema Ethiopia v CS Sfaxien Tunisia Ferroviaro da Beira Mozambique v Diables Noirs Congo Kallon FC Sierra Leone v Future FC Egypt Kipanga Zanzibar v Club Africain Tunisia Kwara United Nigeria v RS Berkane Morocco Royal AM South Africa v Zesco United Zambia Sporting Gagnoa C te d Ivoire v JS Saoura Algeria St Eloi Lupopo DR Congo v GD Sagrada Esperan a Angola St Michel Seychelles v DC Motema Pembe DR Congo AS Real Bamako Mali v Accra Hearts of Oak Ghana The second preliminary round of the CAF Confederation Cup is scheduled for Oct 7 8 and 9 for the first leg and Oct 14 15 and 16 for the Second leg NewsSourceCredit NAN
    CAFCC: Kwara Utd brace up for RS Berkane challenge
     Kwara United Football Club has rounded up its preparations for the First Leg First Round match of the 20222023 TotalEnergies CAF Confederation Cup competition against Renaissance Sportive de Berkane of Morocco billed for Mobolaji Johnson Arena in Lagos on Oct 9 After eliminating AS Douanes of Niger Republic in the Preliminary Rounds of the competition the team has played series of friendly matches to tune up for the game on Sunday Aware that the RS Berkane challenge is more crucial the technical crew stepped up its trainings especially on the backdrop of their resolve to qualify for the Group stage of the second tier inter club competition in Africa The team left Ilorin for Lagos on Wednesday in continuation of its preparations as the coaches expressed optimism that they will achieve the set goal of scalling the RS Berkane hurdle Nickname The Oranges Boys RS Berkane was founded 84 years ago in 1938 to be exact and it is a professional football club based in Berkane Morocco that competes in Botola the top flight of Moroccan football They are the current holders of the CAF Confederation Cup title and Champion of Champions After the first leg at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena in Lagos on Sunday Kwara United will visit Berkane Morocco for the second leg on Sunday Oct 15 with the 10 000 capacity Stade Municipal de Berkane Morocco hosting the match The winner over the two legs qualifies for the Group stage Just like the match against AS Douanes Kwara United need to win and win well on Sunday to reduce the presuure on the team in the return leg in Berkane This is Kwara United s third participation in CAF organised inter club competition after the 19992000 and 20062007 seasons CAFCC SECOND ROUND FIXTURES Al Akhder Libya v Azam FC Tanzania Hilal AlSahil Sudan v Pyramids FC Egypt AS Kigali Rwanda v Al Nasr Libya ASCK Togo v USM Alger Algeria Elgeco Plus Madagascar v M Gallants South Africa AS FAR Morocco v Anglogold Ashanti GBS Guinea Fasil Kenema Ethiopia v CS Sfaxien Tunisia Ferroviaro da Beira Mozambique v Diables Noirs Congo Kallon FC Sierra Leone v Future FC Egypt Kipanga Zanzibar v Club Africain Tunisia Kwara United Nigeria v RS Berkane Morocco Royal AM South Africa v Zesco United Zambia Sporting Gagnoa C te d Ivoire v JS Saoura Algeria St Eloi Lupopo DR Congo v GD Sagrada Esperan a Angola St Michel Seychelles v DC Motema Pembe DR Congo AS Real Bamako Mali v Accra Hearts of Oak Ghana The second preliminary round of the CAF Confederation Cup is scheduled for Oct 7 8 and 9 for the first leg and Oct 14 15 and 16 for the Second leg NewsSourceCredit NAN
    CAFCC: Kwara Utd brace up for RS Berkane challenge
    General news2 days ago

    CAFCC: Kwara Utd brace up for RS Berkane challenge

    Kwara United Football Club has rounded up its preparations for the First Leg, First Round match of the 20222023 TotalEnergies CAF Confederation Cup competition against Renaissance Sportive de Berkane of Morocco, billed for Mobolaji Johnson Arena in Lagos, on Oct. 9. After eliminating AS Douanes of Niger Republic in the Preliminary Rounds of the competition, the team has played series of friendly matches to tune up for the game on Sunday.

    Aware that the RS Berkane challenge is more crucial, the technical crew stepped up its trainings, especially on the backdrop of their resolve to qualify for the Group stage of the second-tier inter-club competition in Africa.

    The team left Ilorin for Lagos on Wednesday in continuation of its preparations, as the coaches expressed optimism that they will achieve the set goal of scalling the RS Berkane hurdle.

    Nickname ‘The Oranges Boys’, RS Berkane was founded 84 years ago, in 1938 to be exact, and it is a professional football club based in Berkane, Morocco, that competes in Botola, the top flight of Moroccan football.

    They are the current holders of the CAF Confederation Cup title and Champion of Champions.

    After the first leg at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena in Lagos on Sunday, Kwara United will visit Berkane, Morocco, for the second leg on Sunday Oct. 15, with the 10,000 capacity Stade Municipal de Berkane, Morocco hosting the match.

    The winner over the two legs qualifies for the Group stage.

    Just like the match against AS Douanes, Kwara United need to win and win well on Sunday, to reduce the presuure on the team in the return leg in Berkane.

    This is Kwara United’s third participation in CAF organised inter-club competition, after the 19992000 and 20062007 seasons.

    CAFCC SECOND ROUND FIXTURES Al Akhder (Libya) v Azam FC (Tanzania) Hilal AlSahil (Sudan) v Pyramids FC (Egypt) AS Kigali (Rwanda) v Al Nasr (Libya) ASCK (Togo) v USM Alger (Algeria) Elgeco Plus (Madagascar) v M.

    Gallants (South Africa) AS FAR (Morocco) v Anglogold Ashanti GBS (Guinea) Fasil Kenema (Ethiopia) v CS Sfaxien (Tunisia) Ferroviaro da Beira (Mozambique) v Diables Noirs (Congo) Kallon FC (Sierra Leone) v Future FC (Egypt) Kipanga (Zanzibar) v Club Africain (Tunisia) Kwara United (Nigeria) v RS Berkane (Morocco) Royal AM (South Africa) v Zesco United (Zambia) Sporting Gagnoa (Côte d’Ivoire) v JS Saoura (Algeria) St Eloi Lupopo (DR Congo) v GD Sagrada Esperança (Angola) St Michel (Seychelles) v DC Motema Pembe (DR Congo) AS Real Bamako (Mali) v Accra Hearts of Oak (Ghana).

    The second preliminary round of the CAF Confederation Cup is scheduled for Oct. 7, 8 and 9 (for the first leg), and Oct. 14, 15 and 16 (for the Second leg).


    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •   The Human Rights Council this morning continued with its agenda item on technical assistance and capacity building holding an interactive dialogue on the situation of human rights in South Sudan and concluding the enhanced interactive dialogue on the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Christian Salazar Volkmann Director of the Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said the activities of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan continued to yield positive impact on the beneficiaries particularly in terms of heightened awareness of human rights concerns in the different communities From January to August 2022 the Human Rights Division of the Mission delivered 225 capacity building and sensitisation activities to a total of 8 874 participants These technical assistance and capacity building activities were strengthening the human rights architecture of South Sudan as well as networks to promote freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly and other rights The support of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan to the rule of law institutions would contribute towards the creation of a conducive environment for transparent inclusive and genuine consultations in relation to transitional justice constitutional making and electoral process Ruben Madol Arol Kachuol Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs of South Sudan speaking as a country concerned said to promote and protect human rights the President had established a National Human Rights Council to conduct public awareness advocacy monitor investigations and to provide advice towards addressing human rights violations in the country A technical committee was established which conducted public consultation throughout the country The Government was consulting with the African Union Commission on the guidelines for the establishment of the Court In April 2022 the Council adopted a resolution to urgently provide technical assistance and capacity building to South Sudan To have meaningful technical assistance and capacity building for South Sudan the Government was requesting the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to set up a mechanism for implementation of the resolution In the discussion on South Sudan some speakers remained shocked and deeply concerned about the ongoing grave human rights violations in the country The excessive use of repression and force by State security forces against civilians was appalling especially reports on widespread and systematic sexual and gender based violence The perseverance of the Government to lower levels of violence and to bring about peace and stability was welcomed There should be urgent reforms to bring out better living conditions in the country and ensure respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms with free and transparent elections Some speakers said that the situation in South Sudan clearly continued to require the Council s attention and assistance whilst respecting the cultural and social specificities of the country sovereignty and non interference in respect of the United Nations Charter and the territorial integrity of the country with genuine dialogue and cooperation without politicisation selectivity or double standards The establishment of the National Human Rights Advisory Council was an important step in achieving lasting peace and stability in South Sudan At the beginning of the meeting the Council concluded the enhanced interactive dialogue on the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Marie Th r se Keita Bocoum Member of the Team of International Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo in concluding remarks welcomed progress made on the issues raised but reiterated that what was needed was practical funding from the international community Transitional justice was important and should be better structured and lessons could be learned in this regard Abdul Aziz Thioye Director of the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in concluding remarks welcomed the convergence of ideas to establish a peaceful and human rights based approach to elections It was important that the Democratic Republic of the Congo adopted the necessary legislative bills for democratic progress particularly concerning public demonstrations such as against hate speech and promoting freedom of association and access to information Albert Fabrice Puela Minister of Human Rights of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in concluding remarks thanked all those who had spoken and congratulated the Democratic Republic of the Congo on their human rights efforts it was not an easy task moving from a repressive regime to one that was respectful of the rule of law The Government wished for transitional justice to become truly effective and national conversations were underway in several provinces Christian Salazar Volkmann Director of the Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in concluding remarks said this was a very delicate moment of transition The Democratic Republic of the Congo was pushing for accountability of transitional justice and it was fragile and complex There were some signs of hope and the international community should continue to support the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the United Nations Organization Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo In the discussion on the Democratic Republic of the Congo some speakers commended the High Commissioner and the Team of International Experts for their efforts towards the continuous improvement of the human rights situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Some speakers noted with concern that violations of humanitarian law in the Democratic Republic of the Congo were ongoing condemning the excessive use of force by all parties and calling on authorities to protect civilian populations Authorities were encouraged to continue their efforts on transitional justice administrative reform security and judicial sectors which would contribute to dialogue and national reconciliation throughout the Congolese territory Some speakers said that the international community should provide constructive assistance to the Democratic Republic of the Congo for maintaining peace and security and improving the human rights situation Diplomatic efforts to pursue dialogue and de escalation were welcomed and the High Commissioner was called on to continue its technical assistance to the Democratic Republic of the Congo Speaking in the interactive dialogue on the Democratic Republic of the Congo were Senegal Egypt Switzerland Ireland France Venezuela Russian Federation Mauritania China United Kingdom Benin South Sudan Belgium Angola Togo Netherlands Malawi Tanzania and United States Also speaking were Minority Rights Group International International Federation of ACAT Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture Lawyers for Lawyers Rencontre Africaine pour la defense des droits de l homme International Federation for Human Rights Leagues International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination International Bar Association World Organisation Against Torture Elizka Relief Foundation and Centre du Commerce International pour le D veloppement Speaking in the interactive dialogue on South Sudan were the European Union Iceland on behalf of a group of countries C te d Ivoire on behalf of a group of African States Sierra Leone Senegal Libya Costa Rica Egypt Ireland Democratic People s Republic of Korea United Nations Children s Fund Ethiopia Luxembourg Australia Russia Mauritania China Netherlands United States Sri Lanka United Kingdom Burundi Mali Sudan Eritrea Botswana Kenya Tanzania Saudi Arabia and Venezuela Also speaking were East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project Organisation internationale pour les pays les moins avanc s Rencontre Africaine pour la defense des droits de l homme Elizka Relief Foundation Lawyers Rights Watch Canada International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination Amnesty International and Meezaan Centre for Human Rights The webcast of the Human Rights Council meetings can be found here All meeting summaries can be found here Documents and reports related to the Human Rights Council s fifty first regular session can be found here The Council will next hold an interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia This will be followed by an interactive dialogue with the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia Enhanced Interactive Dialogue on the Situation of Human Rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo The enhanced interactive dialogue on the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo started in the previous meeting and a summary can be found here Discussion on the Democratic Republic of the Congo In the discussion some speakers commended the High Commissioner and the team of international experts for their efforts towards the continuous improvement of the human rights situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo They welcomed the extension of the mandate to cover the whole of the Congolese territory Some speakers appreciated the efforts of the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo aimed at achieving stable conditions in the country striving to preserve human rights and protecting civilians Some speakers noted with concern that violations of humanitarian and human rights law in the Democratic Republic of the Congo were ongoing condemning the excessive use of force by all parties and calling on authorities to protect civilian populations The violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo particularly in the eastern region of the country was a serious concern and speakers called for a coordinated response Recent violence by armed groups especially the Allied Democratic Forces and M23 had led to human rights abuses jeopardising efforts to pursue peace and exacerbating the already severe humanitarian situation There were also many cases of conflict related sexual violence This raised dire concerns about the protection of civilians in the conflict affected regions with some speakers stating that it was the Government s responsibility to protect its people and to take concrete action Speakers were also concerned about the recent violent protests against the United Nations Organization Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo which resulted in the deaths of civilians and peacekeepers A number of speakers called on all armed groups to immediately cease violence and participate unconditionally in the political process and the disarmament demobilization and reintegration programme The importance of countering impunity to put an end to violence was crucial access to justice was a key tenant to combatting impunity and needed to be afforded priority Speakers were also alarmed by hate speech welcoming the bill to suppress hate speech calling on authorities to take all measures to implement the law once it had been enacted It was important for the Government to guarantee free and fair elections the protection of civic and democratic space was essential including in provinces under siege Authorities were encouraged to continue their efforts on transitional justice administrative reform security and judicial sectors which would contribute to dialogue and national reconciliation throughout the Congolese territory Some speakers said that the international community should provide constructive assistance to the Democratic Republic of the Congo for maintaining peace and security and improving the human rights situation All actors were urged to address the humanitarian impacts of the violence ensuring the affected people including the 5 9 million internally displaced civilians received the assistance they needed Diplomatic efforts to pursue dialogue and de escalation were welcomed and the High Commissioner was called on to continue its technical assistance to the Democratic Republic of the Congo Some speakers said they would stand by the Congolese Government to support it in improving human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Concluding Remarks MARIE TH R SE KEITA BOCOUM Member of the Team of International Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo welcomed progress made on the issues raised but reiterated that what was needed was practical funding from the international community The Government needed such support The international community should ensure that reparations for victims were taken into account and harmonised The funds for these reparations should be strengthened Ms Keita Bocoum said that transitional justice was important and should be better structured and lessons could be learned in this regard The mandate of the Human Rights Commission was not for human rights but for technical assistance in the area of transitional justice and therefore it was more difficult for her to comment on human rights conditions ABDUL AZIZ THIOYE Director of the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office in the Democratic Republic of the Congo welcomed the convergence of ideas to establish a peaceful and human rights based approach to elections It was important that the Democratic Republic of the Congo adopted the necessary legislative bills for democratic progress particularly concerning public demonstrations such as against hate speech and promoting freedom of association and access to information It was important for the Council to demonstrate support for those groups working to establish this Mr Thioye also called for members of the diaspora to take action against hate speech On the state of siege he said that the United Nations Organization Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo would spare no effort to support the authorities in making the necessary adjustments and re establish civilian administrations ALBERT FABRICE PUELA Minister of Human Rights of the Democratic Republic of the Congo appreciated the advice which had been provided by former High Commissioner for Human Rights Michele Bachelet to manage the transitional justice system thanking her and assuring that her successor had the full cooperation of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in promoting human rights in the future Mr Puela thanked all those who had spoken and congratulated the Democratic Republic of the Congo on their human rights efforts it was not an easy task moving from a repressive regime to one that was respectful of the rule of law The President and the Government had made respect of human rights the cause The Government wished for transitional justice to become truly effective and national conversations were underway in several provinces A draft decree had been passed to provide protection for victims of violence and other serious crimes There was an indigenous representative in the provisional Government and an entire programme had been established for the protection of indigenous peoples The major enemy of the public was clear how could elections be organised in a climate of conflict Mr Puela thanked the Councill for the support asking for the Council s assistance to ensure decent prison facilities for children adapted to their needs CHRISTIAN SALAZAR VOLKMANN Director of the Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said it was important for the Government to continue to push for compliance and oversight as it set the example for everyone else It was important for lasting peace but also to tell the people that times had changed It was a call to the Government civil society and political parties to stop hate speech Hate speech was divisive and dangerous and a situation which could really lead to backwards movements in many areas and was thus a whole society responsibility This was a very delicate moment of transition the Democratic Republic of the Congo was pushing for accountability of transitional justice and it was fragile and complex There were some signs of hope and the international community should continue to support the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the United Nations Organization Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo It was important to continue this both technically and financially Interactive Dialogue on the Oral Update by the High Commissioner on Technical Assistance and Capacity Building for South Sudan Presentation of Oral Update CHRISTIAN SALAZAR VOLKMANN Director of the Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights presenting the oral update on the human rights situation in South Sudan including the challenges faced in the post conflict transition said the activities of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan continued to yield positive impact on the beneficiaries particularly in terms of heightened awareness of human rights concerns in the different communities From January to August 2022 the Human Rights Division of the Mission had delivered 225 capacity building and sensitisation activities to a total of 8 874 participants The trainings included issues on international human rights law international humanitarian law conflict related sexual violence the South Sudan Police Defence Force Act 2009 and the rights of suspects during arrest and investigations The trainings delivered to personnel of the South Sudan People s Defence Forces and the National Police Service had improved their understanding of basic human rights and core principles as well as in the monitoring and evaluation of their actions These technical assistance and capacity building activities were strengthening the human rights architecture of South Sudan as well as networks to promote freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly and other rights They were crucial for expanding and protecting civic space The support of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan to the rule of law institutions would contribute towards the creation of a conducive environment for transparent inclusive and genuine consultations in relation to transitional justice and the constitutional making and electoral process The activities would also help to strengthen and expand the Mission s Human Rights Division s local alert networks leading to an increased and timely sharing of early warning and human rights related information The Office of the High Commissioner and the Mission s Human Rights Division continued to support the Government to fully implement the Peace Agreement and advocated for an open and pluralistic civic space Statement by Country Concerned RUBEN MADOL AROL KACHUOL Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs of South Sudan said the challenges of a lack of financial resources and logistical and prolonged sanctions among others had made the parties to the agreement extend the transitional period for another 24 months The Government had recently graduated the first batch of about 20 000 unified national army police and other security forces which would strengthen capacity in the protection and promotion of human rights through putting an end to the ongoing intra and inter communal violence in the country To promote and protect human rights the President had established a National Human Rights Council to conduct public awareness advocacy monitor investigations and provide advice towards addressing human rights violations in the country A technical committee had been established which conducted public consultation throughout the country The Government was consulting with the African Union Commission on the guidelines for the establishment of the Court A Judicial Reform Committee was established which would review the laws and structure of the judiciary and recommend the establishment of an independent constitutional court Several committees were established to investigate communal violence in several states These investigation committees were currently deployed to the sites and one had submitted its final report for consideration In April 2022 the Human Rights Council had adopted a resolution to urgently provide technical assistance and capacity building to South Sudan To date the Government was not aware of any mechanism set up by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to deliver technical assistance and capacity building to the Government of South Sudan However there had been some sporadic and uncoordinated efforts by various United Nations agencies operating in South Sudan in delivering some technical assistance and capacity building The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs requested the Special Representative of the Secretary General to South Sudan to invite all the United Nations agencies in South Sudan for a joint meeting with the Government to discuss the establishment of a coordination mechanism To have meaningful technical assistance and capacity building for South Sudan the Government was requesting the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to set up a mechanism for the implementation of the resolution Discussion on South Sudan In the discussion some speakers remained shocked and deeply concerned about the ongoing grave human rights violations in South Sudan The excessive use of repression and force by State security forces against civilians was appalling especially reports on widespread and systematic sexual and gender based violence The perseverance of the Government to lower levels of violence and to bring about peace and stability was welcomed There should be urgent reforms to bring about better living conditions in the country and ensure respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms with free and transparent elections Some speakers said food security continued to deteriorate exacerbated by the ongoing insecurity and displacement of civilians They said donor partners should fulfil their pledges under the Humanitarian Response Plan South Sudan remained one of the most dangerous countries in the world for humanitarian workers and speakers urged the authorities to do all in their power to protect civilians and ensure safe and unhindered humanitarian access A number of speakers said the situation in South Sudan clearly continued to require the Council s attention and assistance whilst respecting the cultural and social specificities of the country sovereignty and non interference in respect of the United Nations Charter and the territorial integrity of the country with genuine dialogue and cooperation without politicisation selectivity or double standards The Government of South Sudan and all actors involved should act swiftly ensure criminal accountability and work towards sustainable peace for the people especially women and girls of South Sudan Support for victims and survivors of sexual and gender based violence including conflict related sexual violence must also be provided The extension of the transitional governance arrangements and the postponement of elections until late 2024 should be used to shape the electoral system and create a conducive environment for a peaceful and stable South Sudan Together with the implementation of the peace agreement in its entirety these elections were what South Sudan needed for the completion of the transitional period and the establishment of lasting peace Some speakers said the establishment of the National Human Rights Advisory Council was an important step in achieving lasting peace and stability in South Sudan The seemingly perpetual humanitarian crises in South Sudan would not be addressed through humanitarian action alone long term and systemic investments were required to ensure the realisation of the rights of all in the country in particular with regard to social protection The Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General in South Sudan should provide technical assistance bolstering further technical assistance in the country The international community should pursue the provision of technical support to allow the country to build its capacity to protect and promote human rights All parties to the Revitalised Peace Agreement should implement remaining benchmarks and ensure that free fair and secure elections were held according to the agreed timeframe The road to peace was long and challenging and the Government of South Sudan was encouraged to step up its efforts to prevent any further delay Concluding Remarks CHRISTIAN SALAZAR VOLKMANN Director of the Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said one of the key topics had been the advancement on transitional justice and what could be done to establish this mechanism It was vital that the Government with support from regional and international actors acted swiftly to revitalise the agreement it was vital for effective accountability and transitional justice Sustainable peace in South Sudan was dependent on accountability for violations of human rights The Government had taken steps to develop enabling legislation but much more was needed to ensure rapid progress The international community should continue to engage in the high level discussion with the South Sudanese authorities to demonstrate commitment to accountability The African Union had an important role to establish the hybrid court for South Sudan The Government had requested technical assistance and capacity building and an overview had been drawn up to determine the technical support required Going forward the Office would continue to provide technical support for the drafting of legislation for the Commission on Truth Reconciliation and Healing and to address the capacity issues of the national justice system A letter had been sent to establish a coordination mechanism for technical assistance and capacity building and Mr Salazar Volkmann looked forward to further discussion on this request It was important that efforts were made to establish the hybrid court as soon as possible and whatever support was provided should allow victims to participate at all stages of the accountability mechanisms In terms of justice accountability the international community needed to continue to support the United Nations human rights work in the country Mr Salazar Volkmann acknowledged the Government s engagement with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and human rights mechanisms The Office stood ready to continue to support the Government of South Sudan in its efforts towards lasting peace
    Human Rights Council Holds Interactive Dialogue on the Situation of Human Rights in South Sudan, Concludes Enhanced Interactive Dialogue on the Situation of Human Rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
      The Human Rights Council this morning continued with its agenda item on technical assistance and capacity building holding an interactive dialogue on the situation of human rights in South Sudan and concluding the enhanced interactive dialogue on the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Christian Salazar Volkmann Director of the Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said the activities of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan continued to yield positive impact on the beneficiaries particularly in terms of heightened awareness of human rights concerns in the different communities From January to August 2022 the Human Rights Division of the Mission delivered 225 capacity building and sensitisation activities to a total of 8 874 participants These technical assistance and capacity building activities were strengthening the human rights architecture of South Sudan as well as networks to promote freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly and other rights The support of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan to the rule of law institutions would contribute towards the creation of a conducive environment for transparent inclusive and genuine consultations in relation to transitional justice constitutional making and electoral process Ruben Madol Arol Kachuol Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs of South Sudan speaking as a country concerned said to promote and protect human rights the President had established a National Human Rights Council to conduct public awareness advocacy monitor investigations and to provide advice towards addressing human rights violations in the country A technical committee was established which conducted public consultation throughout the country The Government was consulting with the African Union Commission on the guidelines for the establishment of the Court In April 2022 the Council adopted a resolution to urgently provide technical assistance and capacity building to South Sudan To have meaningful technical assistance and capacity building for South Sudan the Government was requesting the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to set up a mechanism for implementation of the resolution In the discussion on South Sudan some speakers remained shocked and deeply concerned about the ongoing grave human rights violations in the country The excessive use of repression and force by State security forces against civilians was appalling especially reports on widespread and systematic sexual and gender based violence The perseverance of the Government to lower levels of violence and to bring about peace and stability was welcomed There should be urgent reforms to bring out better living conditions in the country and ensure respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms with free and transparent elections Some speakers said that the situation in South Sudan clearly continued to require the Council s attention and assistance whilst respecting the cultural and social specificities of the country sovereignty and non interference in respect of the United Nations Charter and the territorial integrity of the country with genuine dialogue and cooperation without politicisation selectivity or double standards The establishment of the National Human Rights Advisory Council was an important step in achieving lasting peace and stability in South Sudan At the beginning of the meeting the Council concluded the enhanced interactive dialogue on the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Marie Th r se Keita Bocoum Member of the Team of International Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo in concluding remarks welcomed progress made on the issues raised but reiterated that what was needed was practical funding from the international community Transitional justice was important and should be better structured and lessons could be learned in this regard Abdul Aziz Thioye Director of the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in concluding remarks welcomed the convergence of ideas to establish a peaceful and human rights based approach to elections It was important that the Democratic Republic of the Congo adopted the necessary legislative bills for democratic progress particularly concerning public demonstrations such as against hate speech and promoting freedom of association and access to information Albert Fabrice Puela Minister of Human Rights of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in concluding remarks thanked all those who had spoken and congratulated the Democratic Republic of the Congo on their human rights efforts it was not an easy task moving from a repressive regime to one that was respectful of the rule of law The Government wished for transitional justice to become truly effective and national conversations were underway in several provinces Christian Salazar Volkmann Director of the Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in concluding remarks said this was a very delicate moment of transition The Democratic Republic of the Congo was pushing for accountability of transitional justice and it was fragile and complex There were some signs of hope and the international community should continue to support the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the United Nations Organization Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo In the discussion on the Democratic Republic of the Congo some speakers commended the High Commissioner and the Team of International Experts for their efforts towards the continuous improvement of the human rights situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Some speakers noted with concern that violations of humanitarian law in the Democratic Republic of the Congo were ongoing condemning the excessive use of force by all parties and calling on authorities to protect civilian populations Authorities were encouraged to continue their efforts on transitional justice administrative reform security and judicial sectors which would contribute to dialogue and national reconciliation throughout the Congolese territory Some speakers said that the international community should provide constructive assistance to the Democratic Republic of the Congo for maintaining peace and security and improving the human rights situation Diplomatic efforts to pursue dialogue and de escalation were welcomed and the High Commissioner was called on to continue its technical assistance to the Democratic Republic of the Congo Speaking in the interactive dialogue on the Democratic Republic of the Congo were Senegal Egypt Switzerland Ireland France Venezuela Russian Federation Mauritania China United Kingdom Benin South Sudan Belgium Angola Togo Netherlands Malawi Tanzania and United States Also speaking were Minority Rights Group International International Federation of ACAT Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture Lawyers for Lawyers Rencontre Africaine pour la defense des droits de l homme International Federation for Human Rights Leagues International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination International Bar Association World Organisation Against Torture Elizka Relief Foundation and Centre du Commerce International pour le D veloppement Speaking in the interactive dialogue on South Sudan were the European Union Iceland on behalf of a group of countries C te d Ivoire on behalf of a group of African States Sierra Leone Senegal Libya Costa Rica Egypt Ireland Democratic People s Republic of Korea United Nations Children s Fund Ethiopia Luxembourg Australia Russia Mauritania China Netherlands United States Sri Lanka United Kingdom Burundi Mali Sudan Eritrea Botswana Kenya Tanzania Saudi Arabia and Venezuela Also speaking were East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project Organisation internationale pour les pays les moins avanc s Rencontre Africaine pour la defense des droits de l homme Elizka Relief Foundation Lawyers Rights Watch Canada International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination Amnesty International and Meezaan Centre for Human Rights The webcast of the Human Rights Council meetings can be found here All meeting summaries can be found here Documents and reports related to the Human Rights Council s fifty first regular session can be found here The Council will next hold an interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia This will be followed by an interactive dialogue with the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia Enhanced Interactive Dialogue on the Situation of Human Rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo The enhanced interactive dialogue on the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo started in the previous meeting and a summary can be found here Discussion on the Democratic Republic of the Congo In the discussion some speakers commended the High Commissioner and the team of international experts for their efforts towards the continuous improvement of the human rights situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo They welcomed the extension of the mandate to cover the whole of the Congolese territory Some speakers appreciated the efforts of the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo aimed at achieving stable conditions in the country striving to preserve human rights and protecting civilians Some speakers noted with concern that violations of humanitarian and human rights law in the Democratic Republic of the Congo were ongoing condemning the excessive use of force by all parties and calling on authorities to protect civilian populations The violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo particularly in the eastern region of the country was a serious concern and speakers called for a coordinated response Recent violence by armed groups especially the Allied Democratic Forces and M23 had led to human rights abuses jeopardising efforts to pursue peace and exacerbating the already severe humanitarian situation There were also many cases of conflict related sexual violence This raised dire concerns about the protection of civilians in the conflict affected regions with some speakers stating that it was the Government s responsibility to protect its people and to take concrete action Speakers were also concerned about the recent violent protests against the United Nations Organization Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo which resulted in the deaths of civilians and peacekeepers A number of speakers called on all armed groups to immediately cease violence and participate unconditionally in the political process and the disarmament demobilization and reintegration programme The importance of countering impunity to put an end to violence was crucial access to justice was a key tenant to combatting impunity and needed to be afforded priority Speakers were also alarmed by hate speech welcoming the bill to suppress hate speech calling on authorities to take all measures to implement the law once it had been enacted It was important for the Government to guarantee free and fair elections the protection of civic and democratic space was essential including in provinces under siege Authorities were encouraged to continue their efforts on transitional justice administrative reform security and judicial sectors which would contribute to dialogue and national reconciliation throughout the Congolese territory Some speakers said that the international community should provide constructive assistance to the Democratic Republic of the Congo for maintaining peace and security and improving the human rights situation All actors were urged to address the humanitarian impacts of the violence ensuring the affected people including the 5 9 million internally displaced civilians received the assistance they needed Diplomatic efforts to pursue dialogue and de escalation were welcomed and the High Commissioner was called on to continue its technical assistance to the Democratic Republic of the Congo Some speakers said they would stand by the Congolese Government to support it in improving human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Concluding Remarks MARIE TH R SE KEITA BOCOUM Member of the Team of International Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo welcomed progress made on the issues raised but reiterated that what was needed was practical funding from the international community The Government needed such support The international community should ensure that reparations for victims were taken into account and harmonised The funds for these reparations should be strengthened Ms Keita Bocoum said that transitional justice was important and should be better structured and lessons could be learned in this regard The mandate of the Human Rights Commission was not for human rights but for technical assistance in the area of transitional justice and therefore it was more difficult for her to comment on human rights conditions ABDUL AZIZ THIOYE Director of the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office in the Democratic Republic of the Congo welcomed the convergence of ideas to establish a peaceful and human rights based approach to elections It was important that the Democratic Republic of the Congo adopted the necessary legislative bills for democratic progress particularly concerning public demonstrations such as against hate speech and promoting freedom of association and access to information It was important for the Council to demonstrate support for those groups working to establish this Mr Thioye also called for members of the diaspora to take action against hate speech On the state of siege he said that the United Nations Organization Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo would spare no effort to support the authorities in making the necessary adjustments and re establish civilian administrations ALBERT FABRICE PUELA Minister of Human Rights of the Democratic Republic of the Congo appreciated the advice which had been provided by former High Commissioner for Human Rights Michele Bachelet to manage the transitional justice system thanking her and assuring that her successor had the full cooperation of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in promoting human rights in the future Mr Puela thanked all those who had spoken and congratulated the Democratic Republic of the Congo on their human rights efforts it was not an easy task moving from a repressive regime to one that was respectful of the rule of law The President and the Government had made respect of human rights the cause The Government wished for transitional justice to become truly effective and national conversations were underway in several provinces A draft decree had been passed to provide protection for victims of violence and other serious crimes There was an indigenous representative in the provisional Government and an entire programme had been established for the protection of indigenous peoples The major enemy of the public was clear how could elections be organised in a climate of conflict Mr Puela thanked the Councill for the support asking for the Council s assistance to ensure decent prison facilities for children adapted to their needs CHRISTIAN SALAZAR VOLKMANN Director of the Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said it was important for the Government to continue to push for compliance and oversight as it set the example for everyone else It was important for lasting peace but also to tell the people that times had changed It was a call to the Government civil society and political parties to stop hate speech Hate speech was divisive and dangerous and a situation which could really lead to backwards movements in many areas and was thus a whole society responsibility This was a very delicate moment of transition the Democratic Republic of the Congo was pushing for accountability of transitional justice and it was fragile and complex There were some signs of hope and the international community should continue to support the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the United Nations Organization Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo It was important to continue this both technically and financially Interactive Dialogue on the Oral Update by the High Commissioner on Technical Assistance and Capacity Building for South Sudan Presentation of Oral Update CHRISTIAN SALAZAR VOLKMANN Director of the Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights presenting the oral update on the human rights situation in South Sudan including the challenges faced in the post conflict transition said the activities of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan continued to yield positive impact on the beneficiaries particularly in terms of heightened awareness of human rights concerns in the different communities From January to August 2022 the Human Rights Division of the Mission had delivered 225 capacity building and sensitisation activities to a total of 8 874 participants The trainings included issues on international human rights law international humanitarian law conflict related sexual violence the South Sudan Police Defence Force Act 2009 and the rights of suspects during arrest and investigations The trainings delivered to personnel of the South Sudan People s Defence Forces and the National Police Service had improved their understanding of basic human rights and core principles as well as in the monitoring and evaluation of their actions These technical assistance and capacity building activities were strengthening the human rights architecture of South Sudan as well as networks to promote freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly and other rights They were crucial for expanding and protecting civic space The support of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan to the rule of law institutions would contribute towards the creation of a conducive environment for transparent inclusive and genuine consultations in relation to transitional justice and the constitutional making and electoral process The activities would also help to strengthen and expand the Mission s Human Rights Division s local alert networks leading to an increased and timely sharing of early warning and human rights related information The Office of the High Commissioner and the Mission s Human Rights Division continued to support the Government to fully implement the Peace Agreement and advocated for an open and pluralistic civic space Statement by Country Concerned RUBEN MADOL AROL KACHUOL Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs of South Sudan said the challenges of a lack of financial resources and logistical and prolonged sanctions among others had made the parties to the agreement extend the transitional period for another 24 months The Government had recently graduated the first batch of about 20 000 unified national army police and other security forces which would strengthen capacity in the protection and promotion of human rights through putting an end to the ongoing intra and inter communal violence in the country To promote and protect human rights the President had established a National Human Rights Council to conduct public awareness advocacy monitor investigations and provide advice towards addressing human rights violations in the country A technical committee had been established which conducted public consultation throughout the country The Government was consulting with the African Union Commission on the guidelines for the establishment of the Court A Judicial Reform Committee was established which would review the laws and structure of the judiciary and recommend the establishment of an independent constitutional court Several committees were established to investigate communal violence in several states These investigation committees were currently deployed to the sites and one had submitted its final report for consideration In April 2022 the Human Rights Council had adopted a resolution to urgently provide technical assistance and capacity building to South Sudan To date the Government was not aware of any mechanism set up by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to deliver technical assistance and capacity building to the Government of South Sudan However there had been some sporadic and uncoordinated efforts by various United Nations agencies operating in South Sudan in delivering some technical assistance and capacity building The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs requested the Special Representative of the Secretary General to South Sudan to invite all the United Nations agencies in South Sudan for a joint meeting with the Government to discuss the establishment of a coordination mechanism To have meaningful technical assistance and capacity building for South Sudan the Government was requesting the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to set up a mechanism for the implementation of the resolution Discussion on South Sudan In the discussion some speakers remained shocked and deeply concerned about the ongoing grave human rights violations in South Sudan The excessive use of repression and force by State security forces against civilians was appalling especially reports on widespread and systematic sexual and gender based violence The perseverance of the Government to lower levels of violence and to bring about peace and stability was welcomed There should be urgent reforms to bring about better living conditions in the country and ensure respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms with free and transparent elections Some speakers said food security continued to deteriorate exacerbated by the ongoing insecurity and displacement of civilians They said donor partners should fulfil their pledges under the Humanitarian Response Plan South Sudan remained one of the most dangerous countries in the world for humanitarian workers and speakers urged the authorities to do all in their power to protect civilians and ensure safe and unhindered humanitarian access A number of speakers said the situation in South Sudan clearly continued to require the Council s attention and assistance whilst respecting the cultural and social specificities of the country sovereignty and non interference in respect of the United Nations Charter and the territorial integrity of the country with genuine dialogue and cooperation without politicisation selectivity or double standards The Government of South Sudan and all actors involved should act swiftly ensure criminal accountability and work towards sustainable peace for the people especially women and girls of South Sudan Support for victims and survivors of sexual and gender based violence including conflict related sexual violence must also be provided The extension of the transitional governance arrangements and the postponement of elections until late 2024 should be used to shape the electoral system and create a conducive environment for a peaceful and stable South Sudan Together with the implementation of the peace agreement in its entirety these elections were what South Sudan needed for the completion of the transitional period and the establishment of lasting peace Some speakers said the establishment of the National Human Rights Advisory Council was an important step in achieving lasting peace and stability in South Sudan The seemingly perpetual humanitarian crises in South Sudan would not be addressed through humanitarian action alone long term and systemic investments were required to ensure the realisation of the rights of all in the country in particular with regard to social protection The Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General in South Sudan should provide technical assistance bolstering further technical assistance in the country The international community should pursue the provision of technical support to allow the country to build its capacity to protect and promote human rights All parties to the Revitalised Peace Agreement should implement remaining benchmarks and ensure that free fair and secure elections were held according to the agreed timeframe The road to peace was long and challenging and the Government of South Sudan was encouraged to step up its efforts to prevent any further delay Concluding Remarks CHRISTIAN SALAZAR VOLKMANN Director of the Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said one of the key topics had been the advancement on transitional justice and what could be done to establish this mechanism It was vital that the Government with support from regional and international actors acted swiftly to revitalise the agreement it was vital for effective accountability and transitional justice Sustainable peace in South Sudan was dependent on accountability for violations of human rights The Government had taken steps to develop enabling legislation but much more was needed to ensure rapid progress The international community should continue to engage in the high level discussion with the South Sudanese authorities to demonstrate commitment to accountability The African Union had an important role to establish the hybrid court for South Sudan The Government had requested technical assistance and capacity building and an overview had been drawn up to determine the technical support required Going forward the Office would continue to provide technical support for the drafting of legislation for the Commission on Truth Reconciliation and Healing and to address the capacity issues of the national justice system A letter had been sent to establish a coordination mechanism for technical assistance and capacity building and Mr Salazar Volkmann looked forward to further discussion on this request It was important that efforts were made to establish the hybrid court as soon as possible and whatever support was provided should allow victims to participate at all stages of the accountability mechanisms In terms of justice accountability the international community needed to continue to support the United Nations human rights work in the country Mr Salazar Volkmann acknowledged the Government s engagement with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and human rights mechanisms The Office stood ready to continue to support the Government of South Sudan in its efforts towards lasting peace
    Human Rights Council Holds Interactive Dialogue on the Situation of Human Rights in South Sudan, Concludes Enhanced Interactive Dialogue on the Situation of Human Rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
    Africa2 days ago

    Human Rights Council Holds Interactive Dialogue on the Situation of Human Rights in South Sudan, Concludes Enhanced Interactive Dialogue on the Situation of Human Rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

    The Human Rights Council this morning continued with its agenda item on technical assistance and capacity building, holding an interactive dialogue on the situation of human rights in South Sudan and concluding the enhanced interactive dialogue on the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    Christian Salazar Volkmann, Director of the Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, said the activities of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan continued to yield positive impact on the beneficiaries, particularly in terms of heightened awareness of human rights concerns in the different communities. 

    From January to August 2022, the Human Rights Division of the Mission delivered 225 capacity building and sensitisation activities to a total of 8,874 participants. 

     These technical assistance and capacity building activities were strengthening the human rights architecture of South Sudan as well as networks to promote freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly and other rights. 

    The support of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan to the rule of law institutions would contribute towards the creation of a conducive environment for transparent, inclusive, and genuine consultations in relation to transitional justice, constitutional-making and electoral process. 

    Ruben Madol Arol Kachuol, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs of South Sudan, speaking as a country concerned, said to promote and protect human rights, the President had established a National Human Rights Council to conduct public awareness, advocacy, monitor investigations and to provide advice towards addressing human rights violations in the country. 

    A technical committee was established which conducted public consultation throughout the country. 

    The Government was consulting with the African Union Commission on the guidelines for the establishment of the Court. 

    In April 2022, the Council adopted a resolution to urgently provide technical assistance and capacity building to South Sudan. 

    To have meaningful technical assistance and capacity building for South Sudan, the Government was requesting the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to set up a mechanism for implementation of the resolution. 

    In the discussion on South Sudan, some speakers remained shocked and deeply concerned about the ongoing grave human rights violations in the country. 

    The excessive use of repression and force by State security forces against civilians was appalling, especially reports on widespread and systematic sexual and gender-based violence. 

    The perseverance of the Government to lower levels of violence and to bring about peace and stability was welcomed. 

    There should be urgent reforms to bring out better living conditions in the country and ensure respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, with free and transparent elections. 

    Some speakers said that the situation in South Sudan clearly continued to require the Council’s attention and assistance, whilst respecting the cultural and social specificities of the country, sovereignty and non-interference, in respect of the United Nations Charter and the territorial integrity of the country, with genuine dialogue and cooperation, without politicisation, selectivity or double standards. 

    The establishment of the National Human Rights Advisory Council was an important step in achieving lasting peace and stability in South Sudan.

    At the beginning of the meeting, the Council concluded the enhanced interactive dialogue on the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    Marie Thérèse Keita-Bocoum, Member of the Team of International Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in concluding remarks, welcomed progress made on the issues raised, but reiterated that what was needed was practical funding from the international community. 

    Transitional justice was important and should be better structured, and lessons could be learned in this regard. 

    Abdul Aziz Thioye, Director of the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in concluding remarks, welcomed the convergence of ideas to establish a peaceful and human rights-based approach to elections. 

    It was important that the Democratic Republic of the Congo adopted the necessary legislative bills for democratic progress, particularly concerning public demonstrations, such as against hate speech and promoting freedom of association and access to information. 

    Albert Fabrice Puela, Minister of Human Rights of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in concluding remarks, thanked all those who had spoken and congratulated the Democratic Republic of the Congo on their human rights efforts; it was not an easy task, moving from a repressive regime to one that was respectful of the rule of law. 

    The Government wished for transitional justice to become truly effective and national conversations were underway in several provinces. 

    Christian Salazar Volkmann, Director of the Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, in concluding remarks, said this was a very delicate moment of transition. 

    The Democratic Republic of the Congo was pushing for accountability of transitional justice, and it was fragile and complex. 

    There were some signs of hope, and the international community should continue to support the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the United Nations Organization Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

    In the discussion on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, some speakers commended the High Commissioner and the Team of International Experts for their efforts towards the continuous improvement of the human rights situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

    Some speakers noted with concern that violations of humanitarian law in the Democratic Republic of the Congo were ongoing, condemning the excessive use of force by all parties, and calling on authorities to protect civilian populations. 

    Authorities were encouraged to continue their efforts on transitional justice, administrative reform, security and judicial sectors, which would contribute to dialogue and national reconciliation throughout the Congolese territory. 

    Some speakers said that the international community should provide constructive assistance to the Democratic Republic of the Congo for maintaining peace and security and improving the human rights situation. 

    Diplomatic efforts to pursue dialogue and de-escalation were welcomed, and the High Commissioner was called on to continue its technical assistance to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    Speaking in the interactive dialogue on the Democratic Republic of the Congo were Senegal, Egypt, Switzerland, Ireland, France, Venezuela, Russian Federation, Mauritania, China, United Kingdom, Benin, South Sudan, Belgium, Angola, Togo, Netherlands, Malawi, Tanzania, and United States.

    Also speaking were Minority Rights Group International, International Federation of ACAT (Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture), Lawyers for Lawyers, Rencontre Africaine pour la defense des droits de l'homme, International Federation for Human Rights Leagues, International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, International Bar Association, World Organisation Against Torture, Elizka Relief Foundation, and Centre du Commerce International pour le Développement.

    Speaking in the interactive dialogue on South Sudan were the European Union, Iceland on behalf of a group of countries, Côte d’Ivoire on behalf of a group of African States, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Libya, Costa Rica, Egypt, Ireland, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, United Nations Children’s Fund, Ethiopia, Luxembourg, Australia, Russia, Mauritania, China, Netherlands, United States, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, Burundi, Mali, Sudan, Eritrea, Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela.

    Also speaking were East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project, Organisation internationale pour les pays les moins avancés, Rencontre Africaine pour la defense des droits de l'homme, Elizka Relief Foundation, Lawyers Rights Watch Canada, International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Amnesty International, and Meezaan Centre for Human Rights.

    The webcast of the Human Rights Council meetings can be found here. 

    All meeting summaries can be found here. 

    Documents and reports related to the Human Rights Council’s fifty-first regular session can be found here.

    The Council will next hold an interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia. 

    This will be followed by an interactive dialogue with the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia.

    Enhanced Interactive Dialogue on the Situation of Human Rights in the Democratic Republic of the CongoThe enhanced interactive dialogue on the situation of human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo started in the previous meeting and a summary can be found here.

    Discussion on the Democratic Republic of the CongoIn the discussion, some speakers commended the High Commissioner and the team of international experts for their efforts towards the continuous improvement of the human rights situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

    They welcomed the extension of the mandate to cover the whole of the Congolese territory. 

    Some speakers appreciated the efforts of the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo aimed at achieving stable conditions in the country, striving to preserve human rights and protecting civilians.

    Some speakers noted with concern that violations of humanitarian and human rights law in the Democratic Republic of the Congo were ongoing, condemning the excessive use of force by all parties and calling on authorities to protect civilian populations. 

    The violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, particularly in the eastern region of the country, was a serious concern and speakers called for a coordinated response. 

    Recent violence by armed groups, especially the Allied Democratic Forces and M23, had led to human rights abuses, jeopardising efforts to pursue peace, and exacerbating the already severe humanitarian situation. 

    There were also many cases of conflict-related sexual violence. 

    This raised dire concerns about the protection of civilians in the conflict-affected regions, with some speakers stating that it was the Government's responsibility to protect its people and to take concrete action. 

    Speakers were also concerned about the recent violent protests against the United Nations Organization Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which resulted in the deaths of civilians and peacekeepers.

    A number of speakers called on all armed groups to immediately cease violence and participate unconditionally in the political process and the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programme. 

    The importance of countering impunity to put an end to violence was crucial; access to justice was a key tenant to combatting impunity and needed to be afforded priority. 

    Speakers were also alarmed by hate speech, welcoming the bill to suppress hate speech, calling on authorities to take all measures to implement the law once it had been enacted. 

    It was important for the Government to guarantee free and fair elections; the protection of civic and democratic space was essential, including in provinces under siege. 

    Authorities were encouraged to continue their efforts on transitional justice, administrative reform, security and judicial sectors, which would contribute to dialogue and national reconciliation throughout the Congolese territory.

    Some speakers said that the international community should provide constructive assistance to the Democratic Republic of the Congo for maintaining peace and security and improving the human rights situation. 

    All actors were urged to address the humanitarian impacts of the violence, ensuring the affected people, including the 5.9 million internally displaced civilians, received the assistance they needed. 

    Diplomatic efforts to pursue dialogue and de-escalation were welcomed, and the High Commissioner was called on to continue its technical assistance to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

    Some speakers said they would stand by the Congolese Government to support it in improving human rights in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    Concluding RemarksMARIE THÉRÈSE KEITA-BOCOUM, Member of the Team of International Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, welcomed progress made on the issues raised, but reiterated that what was needed was practical funding from the international community. 

    The Government needed such support. 

    The international community should ensure that reparations for victims were taken into account and harmonised. 

    The funds for these reparations should be strengthened. 

    Ms. Keita-Bocoum said that transitional justice was important and should be better structured, and lessons could be learned in this regard. 

    The mandate of the Human Rights Commission was not for human rights but for technical assistance in the area of transitional justice, and therefore it was more difficult for her to comment on human rights conditions. 

    ABDUL AZIZ THIOYE, Director of the United Nations Joint Human Rights Office in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, welcomed the convergence of ideas to establish a peaceful and human rights-based approach to elections. 

    It was important that the Democratic Republic of the Congo adopted the necessary legislative bills for democratic progress, particularly concerning public demonstrations, such as against hate speech and promoting freedom of association and access to information. 

    It was important for the Council to demonstrate support for those groups working to establish this. 

    Mr. Thioye also called for members of the diaspora to take action against hate speech. 

    On the state of siege, he said that the United Nations Organization Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo would spare no effort to support the authorities in making the necessary adjustments and re-establish civilian administrations.

    ALBERT FABRICE PUELA, Minister of Human Rights of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, appreciated the advice which had been provided by former High Commissioner for Human Rights Michele Bachelet to manage the transitional justice system, thanking her and assuring that her successor had the full cooperation of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in promoting human rights in the future. 

    Mr. Puela thanked all those who had spoken and congratulated the Democratic Republic of the Congo on their human rights efforts; it was not an easy task, moving from a repressive regime to one that was respectful of the rule of law. 

    The President and the Government had made respect of human rights the cause. 

    The Government wished for transitional justice to become truly effective and national conversations were underway in several provinces. 

    A draft decree had been passed to provide protection for victims of violence and other serious crimes. 

    There was an indigenous representative in the provisional Government and an entire programme had been established for the protection of indigenous peoples. 

    The major enemy of the public was clear; how could elections be organised in a climate of conflict? 

    Mr. Puela thanked the Councill for the support, asking for the Council’s assistance to ensure decent prison facilities for children adapted to their needs.

    CHRISTIAN SALAZAR VOLKMANN, Director of the Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, said it was important for the Government to continue to push for compliance and oversight, as it set the example for everyone else. 

    It was important for lasting peace, but also to tell the people that times had changed. 

    It was a call to the Government, civil society and political parties to stop hate speech. 

    Hate speech was divisive and dangerous, and a situation which could really lead to backwards movements in many areas, and was thus a whole-society responsibility. 

    This was a very delicate moment of transition; the Democratic Republic of the Congo was pushing for accountability of transitional justice, and it was fragile and complex. 

    There were some signs of hope, and the international community should continue to support the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the United Nations Organization Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

    It was important to continue this both technically and financially.

    Interactive Dialogue on the Oral Update by the High Commissioner on Technical Assistance and Capacity Building for South SudanPresentation of Oral UpdateCHRISTIAN SALAZAR VOLKMANN, Director of the Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, presenting the oral update on the human rights situation in South Sudan, including the challenges faced in the post-conflict transition, said the activities of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan continued to yield positive impact on the beneficiaries, particularly in terms of heightened awareness of human rights concerns in the different communities. 

    From January to August 2022, the Human Rights Division of the Mission had delivered 225 capacity building and sensitisation activities to a total of 8,874 participants. 

    The trainings included issues on international human rights law, international humanitarian law, conflict-related sexual violence, the South Sudan Police Defence Force Act 2009, and the rights of suspects during arrest and investigations. 

    The trainings delivered to personnel of the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces and the National Police Service had improved their understanding of basic human rights and core principles, as well as in the monitoring and evaluation of their actions.

    These technical assistance and capacity building activities were strengthening the human rights architecture of South Sudan as well as networks to promote freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly and other rights. 

    They were crucial for expanding and protecting civic space. 

    The support of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan to the rule of law institutions would contribute towards the creation of a conducive environment for transparent, inclusive, and genuine consultations in relation to transitional justice, and the constitutional-making and electoral process. 

    The activities would also help to strengthen and expand the Mission’s Human Rights Division’s local alert networks, leading to an increased and timely sharing of early warning and human rights-related information. 

    The Office of the High Commissioner and the Mission’s Human Rights Division continued to support the Government to fully implement the Peace Agreement, and advocated for an open and pluralistic civic space.

    Statement by Country ConcernedRUBEN MADOL AROL KACHUOL, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs of South Sudan, said the challenges of a lack of financial resources and logistical and prolonged sanctions, among others, had made the parties to the agreement extend the transitional period for another 24 months. 

    The Government had recently graduated the first batch of about 20,000 unified national army, police and other security forces, which would strengthen capacity in the protection and promotion of human rights through putting an end to the ongoing intra and inter-communal violence in the country. 

    To promote and protect human rights, the President had established a National Human Rights Council to conduct public awareness, advocacy, monitor investigations and provide advice towards addressing human rights violations in the country. 

    A technical committee had been established which conducted public consultation throughout the country. 

    The Government was consulting with the African Union Commission on the guidelines for the establishment of the Court. 

    A Judicial Reform Committee was established which would review the laws and structure of the judiciary and recommend the establishment of an independent constitutional court. 

    Several committees were established to investigate communal violence in several states. 

    These investigation committees were currently deployed to the sites and one had submitted its final report for consideration.

    In April 2022, the Human Rights Council had adopted a resolution to urgently provide technical assistance and capacity building to South Sudan. 

    To date, the Government was not aware of any mechanism set up by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to deliver technical assistance and capacity building to the Government of South Sudan. 

    However, there had been some sporadic and uncoordinated efforts by various United Nations agencies operating in South Sudan in delivering some technical assistance and capacity building. 

    The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs requested the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to South Sudan to invite all the United Nations agencies in South Sudan for a joint meeting with the Government, to discuss the establishment of a coordination mechanism. 

    To have meaningful technical assistance and capacity building for South Sudan, the Government was requesting the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to set up a mechanism for the implementation of the resolution.

    Discussion on South SudanIn the discussion, some speakers remained shocked and deeply concerned about the ongoing grave human rights violations in South Sudan. 

    The excessive use of repression and force by State security forces against civilians was appalling, especially reports on widespread and systematic sexual and gender-based violence.

    The perseverance of the Government to lower levels of violence and to bring about peace and stability was welcomed. 

    There should be urgent reforms to bring about better living conditions in the country and ensure respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, with free and transparent elections. 

    Some speakers said food security continued to deteriorate, exacerbated by the ongoing insecurity and displacement of civilians. 

    They said donor partners should fulfil their pledges under the Humanitarian Response Plan.  South Sudan remained one of the most dangerous countries in the world for humanitarian workers, and speakers urged the authorities to do all in their power to protect civilians and ensure safe and unhindered humanitarian access.

    A number of speakers said the situation in South Sudan clearly continued to require the Council’s attention and assistance, whilst respecting the cultural and social specificities of the country, sovereignty and non-interference, in respect of the United Nations Charter and the territorial integrity of the country, with genuine dialogue and cooperation, without politicisation, selectivity or double standards. 

    The Government of South Sudan and all actors involved should act swiftly, ensure criminal accountability and work towards sustainable peace for the people, especially women and girls, of South Sudan. 

    Support for victims and survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, including conflict-related sexual violence, must also be provided. 

    The extension of the transitional governance arrangements, and the postponement of elections until late 2024, should be used to shape the electoral system and create a conducive environment for a peaceful and stable South Sudan.

    Together with the implementation of the peace agreement in its entirety, these elections were what South Sudan needed for the completion of the transitional period and the establishment of lasting peace.

    Some speakers said the establishment of the National Human Rights Advisory Council was an important step in achieving lasting peace and stability in South Sudan. 

    The seemingly perpetual humanitarian crises in South Sudan would not be addressed through humanitarian action alone: long-term and systemic investments were required to ensure the realisation of the rights of all in the country, in particular with regard to social protection. 

    The Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in South Sudan should provide technical assistance, bolstering further technical assistance in the country. 

    The international community should pursue the provision of technical support to allow the country to build its capacity to protect and promote human rights. 

    All parties to the Revitalised Peace Agreement should implement remaining benchmarks and ensure that free, fair and secure elections were held according to the agreed timeframe. 

    The road to peace was long and challenging, and the Government of South Sudan was encouraged to step up its efforts to prevent any further delay.

    Concluding RemarksCHRISTIAN SALAZAR VOLKMANN, Director of the Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, said one of the key topics had been the advancement on transitional justice and what could be done to establish this mechanism. 

    It was vital that the Government, with support from regional and international actors, acted swiftly to revitalise the agreement; it was vital for effective accountability and transitional justice. 

    Sustainable peace in South Sudan was dependent on accountability for violations of human rights. 

    The Government had taken steps to develop enabling legislation, but much more was needed to ensure rapid progress. 

    The international community should continue to engage in the high-level discussion with the South Sudanese authorities to demonstrate commitment to accountability. 

    The African Union had an important role to establish the hybrid court for South Sudan. 

    The Government had requested technical assistance and capacity building, and an overview had been drawn up to determine the technical support required. 

    Going forward, the Office would continue to provide technical support for the drafting of legislation for the Commission on Truth, Reconciliation, and Healing and to address the capacity issues of the national justice system. 

    A letter had been sent to establish a coordination mechanism for technical assistance and capacity building, and Mr. Salazar Volkmann looked forward to further discussion on this request. 

    It was important that efforts were made to establish the hybrid court as soon as possible, and whatever support was provided should allow victims to participate at all stages of the accountability mechanisms. 

    In terms of justice accountability, the international community needed to continue to support the United Nations’ human rights work in the country. 

    Mr. Salazar Volkmann acknowledged the Government’s engagement with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and human rights mechanisms. 

    The Office stood ready to continue to support the Government of South Sudan in its efforts towards lasting peace.

  •  The Secretary General of Niger Republic Community in Nigeria Mallam Sidilghabit Tarwaq has commended the warm relationship between Nigeria and Niger Republic Tarwaq made the commendation while speaking with newsmen on Monday in Kaduna on Nigeria s 62nd Independence anniversary He added that Nigeria has been a great partner that has supported Niger Republic in various ways Nigeria being the giant of Africa and the most populated black Nation on earth it becomes mandatory for me to join Nigerians to celebrate its independence to strengthen the good relationship among the two countries Nigeria and Niger Republic have many things in common which makes the two countries to have a close relationship he added He congratulated Nigerians on the country s Independence anniversary and prayed for peaceful elections in 2023 As 2023 general elections approaches l appeal to Nigerians for peaceful conduct of campaigns while encouraging youths participation in the general elections he added Similarly a Togolese Mr John Barry and some Africans residing in Northern Nigeria congratulated the country for attaining 62 years of independence They called for more peace and unity in Africa and appealed to African youths to join in developing the continent rather than escaping to Europe and other countries for greener pastures www ng NewsSourceCredit NAN
    Nigeriens hail Nigeria at 62
     The Secretary General of Niger Republic Community in Nigeria Mallam Sidilghabit Tarwaq has commended the warm relationship between Nigeria and Niger Republic Tarwaq made the commendation while speaking with newsmen on Monday in Kaduna on Nigeria s 62nd Independence anniversary He added that Nigeria has been a great partner that has supported Niger Republic in various ways Nigeria being the giant of Africa and the most populated black Nation on earth it becomes mandatory for me to join Nigerians to celebrate its independence to strengthen the good relationship among the two countries Nigeria and Niger Republic have many things in common which makes the two countries to have a close relationship he added He congratulated Nigerians on the country s Independence anniversary and prayed for peaceful elections in 2023 As 2023 general elections approaches l appeal to Nigerians for peaceful conduct of campaigns while encouraging youths participation in the general elections he added Similarly a Togolese Mr John Barry and some Africans residing in Northern Nigeria congratulated the country for attaining 62 years of independence They called for more peace and unity in Africa and appealed to African youths to join in developing the continent rather than escaping to Europe and other countries for greener pastures www ng NewsSourceCredit NAN
    Nigeriens hail Nigeria at 62
    General news4 days ago

    Nigeriens hail Nigeria at 62

    The Secretary-General of Niger Republic Community in Nigeria, Mallam Sidilghabit Tarwaq, has commended the warm relationship between Nigeria and Niger Republic.

    Tarwaq made the commendation while speaking with newsmen on Monday in Kaduna on Nigeria’s 62nd Independence anniversary.

    He added that Nigeria has been a great partner that has supported Niger Republic in various ways.

    “Nigeria being the giant of Africa, and the most populated black Nation on earth, it becomes mandatory for me to join Nigerians to celebrate its independence, to strengthen the good relationship among the two countries.

    “Nigeria and Niger Republic have many things in common which makes the two countries to have a close relationship,’’ he added.

    He congratulated Nigerians on the country’s Independence anniversary,  and prayed for peaceful elections in 2023. “As 2023 general elections approaches, l appeal to Nigerians for peaceful conduct of campaigns, while encouraging youths participation in the general elections,’’ he added.

    Similarly, a Togolese, Mr John Barry and some Africans residing in Northern Nigeria, congratulated the country for attaining 62 years of independence.

    They called for more peace and unity in Africa and appealed to African youths to join in developing the continent rather than escaping to Europe and other countries for greener pastures.

    www.

    ng
    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited NNPC LTD has completed the acquisition of OVH Energy Marketing Limited OVHEM downstream assets under an Accelerated Network Expansion ANEX Initiative Unveiling the acquisition on Saturday in Abuja Sen Margery Okadigbo NNPC Ltd Board Chairman said it would strengthen the downstream business portfolio to enhance profitability and guarantee National Energy Security The News Agency of Nigeria reports that downstream assets acquisition which were from OVHEM operators of Oando filling stations include reception jetty ASPM with 240 000MT monthly capacity and eight LPG Plants Others include three Lubes blending plants three Aviation Depots and 12 warehouses Okadigbo said the acquisition would bring over 380 additional filling stations under NNPC Retail brand in Nigeria and Togo to its journey of attaining 1 500 stations We will be the largest petroleum product retail network in Africa We are going to have the Biggest filling station collection in Africa OVH has given us so much to look after the investment we have you on the package to continue to work with us Okadigbo said Malam Mele Kyari NNPC Ltd Group Chief Executive GCEO said the merger was achievable through NNPC Ltd robust system and network being an institution with the capabilities to deliver to shareholders Kyari said the acquisition was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari s zeal for the NNPC to consistently provide energy security for Nigeria which involved access to products and management of the every transition By this merger we are the largest downstream company with robust network in the country and in Africa This is vehicle to ensure we deliver on the energy transition in the country We will use it to deliver Liquefied Petroleum Gas LPG and Compressed Natural Gas C into the market Poor citizens who rely on biomass to cook 70 per cent of Nigerians don t have access to clean cooking fuel downstream company with robust network in the country and in Africa This is an opportunity for us to utilise this privilege and expand it Today what we have struggled for years have been attained We will deliver value to our stakeholders and guarantee energy to all he said In a remark Huub Stokman OVH CEO said the company was enthusiastic of the future potential and capabilities of the combine entity and was ready to bring efficiency in leading business Stokman said this acquisition from NNPC which would transform downstream energy sector in West Africa came at a critical time in the Nigerian energy sector and in the light of the enactment of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 PIA As the demand is still increasing also there should be deliberate effort to increase the supply in consumption of Natural Gas energy transition The combined entity will be well positioned to take advantage of these opportunities in a way the will really positively impact oil and gas downstream sector he said NewsSourceCredit NAN
    NNPC Ltd acquires OVH energy marketing limited assets
     The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited NNPC LTD has completed the acquisition of OVH Energy Marketing Limited OVHEM downstream assets under an Accelerated Network Expansion ANEX Initiative Unveiling the acquisition on Saturday in Abuja Sen Margery Okadigbo NNPC Ltd Board Chairman said it would strengthen the downstream business portfolio to enhance profitability and guarantee National Energy Security The News Agency of Nigeria reports that downstream assets acquisition which were from OVHEM operators of Oando filling stations include reception jetty ASPM with 240 000MT monthly capacity and eight LPG Plants Others include three Lubes blending plants three Aviation Depots and 12 warehouses Okadigbo said the acquisition would bring over 380 additional filling stations under NNPC Retail brand in Nigeria and Togo to its journey of attaining 1 500 stations We will be the largest petroleum product retail network in Africa We are going to have the Biggest filling station collection in Africa OVH has given us so much to look after the investment we have you on the package to continue to work with us Okadigbo said Malam Mele Kyari NNPC Ltd Group Chief Executive GCEO said the merger was achievable through NNPC Ltd robust system and network being an institution with the capabilities to deliver to shareholders Kyari said the acquisition was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari s zeal for the NNPC to consistently provide energy security for Nigeria which involved access to products and management of the every transition By this merger we are the largest downstream company with robust network in the country and in Africa This is vehicle to ensure we deliver on the energy transition in the country We will use it to deliver Liquefied Petroleum Gas LPG and Compressed Natural Gas C into the market Poor citizens who rely on biomass to cook 70 per cent of Nigerians don t have access to clean cooking fuel downstream company with robust network in the country and in Africa This is an opportunity for us to utilise this privilege and expand it Today what we have struggled for years have been attained We will deliver value to our stakeholders and guarantee energy to all he said In a remark Huub Stokman OVH CEO said the company was enthusiastic of the future potential and capabilities of the combine entity and was ready to bring efficiency in leading business Stokman said this acquisition from NNPC which would transform downstream energy sector in West Africa came at a critical time in the Nigerian energy sector and in the light of the enactment of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 PIA As the demand is still increasing also there should be deliberate effort to increase the supply in consumption of Natural Gas energy transition The combined entity will be well positioned to take advantage of these opportunities in a way the will really positively impact oil and gas downstream sector he said NewsSourceCredit NAN
    NNPC Ltd acquires OVH energy marketing limited assets
    General news6 days ago

    NNPC Ltd acquires OVH energy marketing limited assets

    The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC LTD.

    ) has completed the acquisition of OVH Energy Marketing Limited (OVHEM) downstream assets under an Accelerated Network Expansion (ANEX) Initiative.

    Unveiling the acquisition on Saturday in Abuja, Sen. Margery Okadigbo, NNPC Ltd Board Chairman, said it would strengthen the downstream business portfolio to enhance profitability and guarantee National Energy Security.

    The News Agency of Nigeria reports that downstream assets acquisition which were from OVHEM, operators of Oando filling stations, include reception jetty (ASPM) with 240,000MT monthly capacity and eight LPG Plants.

    Others include three Lubes blending plants, three Aviation Depots, and 12 warehouses.

    Okadigbo said the acquisition would bring over 380 additional filling stations under NNPC Retail brand in Nigeria and Togo to its journey of attaining 1,500 stations.

    “We will be the largest petroleum product retail network in Africa.

    We are going to have the Biggest filling station collection in Africa.

    “OVH has given us so much to look after the investment we have you on the package to continue to work with us,” Okadigbo said.

    Malam Mele Kyari, NNPC Ltd. Group Chief Executive (GCEO), said the merger was achievable through NNPC Ltd robust system and network, being an institution with the capabilities to deliver to shareholders.

    Kyari said the acquisition was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s zeal for the NNPC to consistently provide energy security for Nigeria which involved access to products and management of the every transition.

    “By this merger, we are the largest downstream company with robust network in the country and in Africa.

    “This is vehicle to ensure we deliver on the energy transition in the country.

    “We will use it to deliver Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and Compressed Natural Gas (C into the market.

    “Poor citizens who rely on biomass to cook.

    70 per cent of Nigerians don’t have access to clean cooking fuel downstream company with robust network in the country and in Africa.

    This is an opportunity for us to utilise this privilege and expand it.

    “Today what we have struggled for years have been attained.

    We will deliver value to our stakeholders and guarantee energy to all,” he said.  

    In a remark, Huub Stokman, OVH CEO, said the company was enthusiastic of the future potential and capabilities of the combine entity and was ready to bring efficiency in leading business.

    Stokman said this acquisition from NNPC, which would transform downstream energy sector in West Africa, came at a critical time in the Nigerian energy sector and in the light of the enactment of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021 (PIA).

    “As the demand is still increasing, also there should be deliberate effort to increase the supply in consumption of Natural Gas energy transition.

    “The combined entity will be well positioned to take advantage of these opportunities in a way the will really positively impact oil and gas downstream sector,” he said.


    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •   Nigeria 62 FG must sustain non oil campaign financing to boost manufacturing An analysis by Rukayat Moisemhe News Agency of Nigeria As the Federal Government rolls out the drums to celebrate the country s 62nd independence anniversary stakeholders in the manufacturing industry insist targeted campaigns and financing must be sustained to boost non oil exports in order to achieve economic growth The call is indeed imperative seeing that the country s economy 62 years post independence is said to be a mixed bag of lows and highs At 62 Nigeria remains the biggest economy on the continent with a Gross Domestic Product GDP of over 510 billion dollars The country is also ranked sixth among the top ten manufacturing destinations on the continent Economic indicators reveal that the country s GDP grew in the second quarter of 2022 by 3 54 per cent year on year in real terms while its oil sector has consistently recorded negative growth for the ninth consecutive quarter contracting by 11 8 per cent Combined key drivers within the non oil economy accounted for 78 3 per cent of total GDP in Q2 Compared to countries like Cameroon Togo Madagascar Somalia Gabon Senegal Mali and Mauritania and a host of others that attained independence in 1960 experts believe that even though Nigeria is not doing badly there is great room for improvement Dr Chinyere Almona Director General Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry LCCI stated that the country s economic growth trend measured by the performance of GDP had generally been positive over the last two decades She however noted that the growth of 1 2 per cent recorded for agriculture and the 3 per cent for manufacturing were comparatively low when compared with other sectors that grew at above 5 per cent She stated that the quality of the business environment remained a concern to investors especially in the manufacturing sector According to her weak infrastructure uncertain policy environment and institutions have continued to adversely affect the efficiency productivity and competitiveness of many enterprises in the economy posing a major risk to job creation and economic inclusion across sectors The LCCI DG noted the need to address the weak government revenue base caused by oil theft and pipeline vandalism rising and unsustainable debt profile over dependence on oil revenue exposure to foreign shocks through inadequate forex supply and double digit inflation In view of this Almona stated that the Federal Government must sustain its targeted interventions in selected critical sectors like agriculture manufacturing export infrastructure and tackling insecurity She added that if oil revenue made up more than 80 per cent of government revenue government was expected to tackle the menace of oil theft and pipeline vandalism with sterner approach It is impossible to have a vibrant manufacturing sector in the face of cheap imports into the country and high production and operating cost in the domestic economy For most manufacturing businesses it is a nightmare yet production is critical to enduring economic and social stability The way forward is to address the fundamental constraints to manufacturing competitiveness in the Nigerian economy Our nation is at a crossroads and in dire need of big decisions to drive the drastic transformation the economy requires to return to economic prosperity she said Looking back Mr Segun Ajayi Kadir Director General Manufacturers Association of Nigeria MAN said the discovery of oil ushered in a period of prosperity in the form of huge oil revenue from export of crude oil and more domestic infrastructural development was embarked upon The MAN DG stated that the manufacturing sector had been largely unimpressive as the country remained largely import dependent He noted that the coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing Russian Ukraine war had compounded the familiar challenges that had limited the growth and development of the manufacturing sector He added that inflation which had risen to 20 per cent interest rate at double digits high rate of foreign exchange and the non prioritisation of allocation to the sector truncated its growth prospects disrupted its operations and continued to limit the potential of the sector for expansion There is therefore the need to address the binding constraints that have continued to militate against the performance of the manufacturing sector and limited its share of contribution to the GDP he said He recommended that investments in local raw materials through direct incentives must be encouraged and significant proportion of available foreign exchange must be allocated to the productive sector particularly manufacturing Ajayi Kadir stressed that export support policies like the Export Expansion Grant EEG must operate as planned and other support policies must be allowed to gestate before they are changed The country must improve power supply by removing the impediments to access of the eligible customers scheme by manufacturers We must review the curricular of tertiary institutions to align with industry skill requirements and subject to update based on the direction of global changes Existing major economic road corridors must be rehabilitated and new ones must be constructed for seamless movement of raw materials to factories and finished goods to the markets Also the capital base of the Bank of Industry BOI must be improved to allow for adequate lending to the productive sector by the bank he said Dr Muda Yusuf Founder Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprises CPPE noted that the Information and Communication Technology ICT aviation transportation education sector health sector print and electronic media and many more had been significantly transformed over the past six decades Accordingly Yusuf said the economy had witnessed impactful private sector footprints in many sectors which had made the Nigerian economy to grow in leaps and bounds over the years He however stated that the country s macroeconomic management framework continued to pose serious challenges to investors in the economy as the fragile macroeconomic conditions remained a major cause for concern The situation he posited had been compounded by the shocks and disruptions inflicted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the lingering effects of the coronavirus pandemic For the manufacturing sector Yusuf said high infrastructure deficit cargo clearing challenges worsening at the ports weak productivity regulatory challenges and policy inconsistency among others continued to beat down the sector s potential As way forward he stressed the need for urgent steps to be taken to ensure a better macroeconomic management framework to stabilise the exchange rate eradicate the challenge of illiquidity in the foreign exchange market and stem the current depreciation of the naira Institutional reforms are necessary to ensure that the regulatory institutions have better disposition to support the growth of investment and focus less on the generation of revenue The international trade process needs to be reformed to prioritise trade facilitation The current obsession for revenue generation is hurting the international trade processes and impacting adversely on domestic and foreign investment Therefore the orientation of the Nigeria Custom Service Nigerian Ports Authority the shipping companies and the terminal operators and the security agencies at the ports need to change in favour of an investment friendly international trade processes he said The journey thus far for the Nigerian economy particularly manufacturing has no doubt been fraught with daunting challenges But experts believe that the country has the potential to attain economic growth and development NewsSourceCredit NAN
    Nigeria@62: FG must sustain non-oil campaign, financing to boost manufacturing
      Nigeria 62 FG must sustain non oil campaign financing to boost manufacturing An analysis by Rukayat Moisemhe News Agency of Nigeria As the Federal Government rolls out the drums to celebrate the country s 62nd independence anniversary stakeholders in the manufacturing industry insist targeted campaigns and financing must be sustained to boost non oil exports in order to achieve economic growth The call is indeed imperative seeing that the country s economy 62 years post independence is said to be a mixed bag of lows and highs At 62 Nigeria remains the biggest economy on the continent with a Gross Domestic Product GDP of over 510 billion dollars The country is also ranked sixth among the top ten manufacturing destinations on the continent Economic indicators reveal that the country s GDP grew in the second quarter of 2022 by 3 54 per cent year on year in real terms while its oil sector has consistently recorded negative growth for the ninth consecutive quarter contracting by 11 8 per cent Combined key drivers within the non oil economy accounted for 78 3 per cent of total GDP in Q2 Compared to countries like Cameroon Togo Madagascar Somalia Gabon Senegal Mali and Mauritania and a host of others that attained independence in 1960 experts believe that even though Nigeria is not doing badly there is great room for improvement Dr Chinyere Almona Director General Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry LCCI stated that the country s economic growth trend measured by the performance of GDP had generally been positive over the last two decades She however noted that the growth of 1 2 per cent recorded for agriculture and the 3 per cent for manufacturing were comparatively low when compared with other sectors that grew at above 5 per cent She stated that the quality of the business environment remained a concern to investors especially in the manufacturing sector According to her weak infrastructure uncertain policy environment and institutions have continued to adversely affect the efficiency productivity and competitiveness of many enterprises in the economy posing a major risk to job creation and economic inclusion across sectors The LCCI DG noted the need to address the weak government revenue base caused by oil theft and pipeline vandalism rising and unsustainable debt profile over dependence on oil revenue exposure to foreign shocks through inadequate forex supply and double digit inflation In view of this Almona stated that the Federal Government must sustain its targeted interventions in selected critical sectors like agriculture manufacturing export infrastructure and tackling insecurity She added that if oil revenue made up more than 80 per cent of government revenue government was expected to tackle the menace of oil theft and pipeline vandalism with sterner approach It is impossible to have a vibrant manufacturing sector in the face of cheap imports into the country and high production and operating cost in the domestic economy For most manufacturing businesses it is a nightmare yet production is critical to enduring economic and social stability The way forward is to address the fundamental constraints to manufacturing competitiveness in the Nigerian economy Our nation is at a crossroads and in dire need of big decisions to drive the drastic transformation the economy requires to return to economic prosperity she said Looking back Mr Segun Ajayi Kadir Director General Manufacturers Association of Nigeria MAN said the discovery of oil ushered in a period of prosperity in the form of huge oil revenue from export of crude oil and more domestic infrastructural development was embarked upon The MAN DG stated that the manufacturing sector had been largely unimpressive as the country remained largely import dependent He noted that the coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing Russian Ukraine war had compounded the familiar challenges that had limited the growth and development of the manufacturing sector He added that inflation which had risen to 20 per cent interest rate at double digits high rate of foreign exchange and the non prioritisation of allocation to the sector truncated its growth prospects disrupted its operations and continued to limit the potential of the sector for expansion There is therefore the need to address the binding constraints that have continued to militate against the performance of the manufacturing sector and limited its share of contribution to the GDP he said He recommended that investments in local raw materials through direct incentives must be encouraged and significant proportion of available foreign exchange must be allocated to the productive sector particularly manufacturing Ajayi Kadir stressed that export support policies like the Export Expansion Grant EEG must operate as planned and other support policies must be allowed to gestate before they are changed The country must improve power supply by removing the impediments to access of the eligible customers scheme by manufacturers We must review the curricular of tertiary institutions to align with industry skill requirements and subject to update based on the direction of global changes Existing major economic road corridors must be rehabilitated and new ones must be constructed for seamless movement of raw materials to factories and finished goods to the markets Also the capital base of the Bank of Industry BOI must be improved to allow for adequate lending to the productive sector by the bank he said Dr Muda Yusuf Founder Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprises CPPE noted that the Information and Communication Technology ICT aviation transportation education sector health sector print and electronic media and many more had been significantly transformed over the past six decades Accordingly Yusuf said the economy had witnessed impactful private sector footprints in many sectors which had made the Nigerian economy to grow in leaps and bounds over the years He however stated that the country s macroeconomic management framework continued to pose serious challenges to investors in the economy as the fragile macroeconomic conditions remained a major cause for concern The situation he posited had been compounded by the shocks and disruptions inflicted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the lingering effects of the coronavirus pandemic For the manufacturing sector Yusuf said high infrastructure deficit cargo clearing challenges worsening at the ports weak productivity regulatory challenges and policy inconsistency among others continued to beat down the sector s potential As way forward he stressed the need for urgent steps to be taken to ensure a better macroeconomic management framework to stabilise the exchange rate eradicate the challenge of illiquidity in the foreign exchange market and stem the current depreciation of the naira Institutional reforms are necessary to ensure that the regulatory institutions have better disposition to support the growth of investment and focus less on the generation of revenue The international trade process needs to be reformed to prioritise trade facilitation The current obsession for revenue generation is hurting the international trade processes and impacting adversely on domestic and foreign investment Therefore the orientation of the Nigeria Custom Service Nigerian Ports Authority the shipping companies and the terminal operators and the security agencies at the ports need to change in favour of an investment friendly international trade processes he said The journey thus far for the Nigerian economy particularly manufacturing has no doubt been fraught with daunting challenges But experts believe that the country has the potential to attain economic growth and development NewsSourceCredit NAN
    Nigeria@62: FG must sustain non-oil campaign, financing to boost manufacturing
    Features6 days ago

    Nigeria@62: FG must sustain non-oil campaign, financing to boost manufacturing

    Nigeria@62: FG must sustain non-oil campaign, financing to boost manufacturing An analysis by Rukayat Moisemhe, News Agency of NigeriaAs the Federal Government rolls out the drums to celebrate the country’s 62nd independence anniversary, stakeholders in the manufacturing industry insist targeted campaigns and financing must be sustained to boost non-oil exports in order to achieve economic growth.

    The call is, indeed, imperative seeing that the country’s economy, 62 years post independence, is said to be a mixed bag of lows and highs.

    At 62, Nigeria remains the biggest economy on the continent with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of over 510 billion dollars.

    The country is also ranked sixth among the top ten manufacturing destinations on the continent.

    Economic indicators reveal that the country’s GDP grew in the second quarter of 2022 by 3.54 per cent year-on-year in real terms, while its oil sector has consistently recorded negative growth for the ninth consecutive quarter, contracting by -11.8 per cent.

    Combined, key drivers within the non-oil economy accounted for 78.3 per cent of total GDP in Q2. Compared to countries like Cameroon, Togo, Madagascar, Somalia, Gabon, Senegal, Mali, and Mauritania, and a host of others, that attained independence in 1960, experts believe that even though Nigeria is not doing badly, there is great room for improvement.

    Dr Chinyere Almona, Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), stated that the country’s economic growth trend, measured by the performance of GDP, had generally been positive over the last two decades.

    She, however, noted that the growth of 1.2 per cent recorded for agriculture and the 3 per cent for manufacturing were comparatively low when compared with other sectors that grew at above 5 per cent.

    She stated that the quality of the business environment remained a concern to investors, especially in the manufacturing sector.

    According to her, weak infrastructure, uncertain policy environment, and institutions have continued to adversely affect the efficiency, productivity, and competitiveness of many enterprises in the economy posing a major risk to job creation and economic inclusion across sectors.

    The LCCI DG noted the need to address the weak government revenue base caused by oil theft and pipeline vandalism, rising and unsustainable debt profile, over-dependence on oil revenue, exposure to foreign shocks through inadequate forex supply and double-digit inflation.

    In view of this, Almona stated that the Federal Government must sustain its targeted interventions in selected critical sectors like agriculture, manufacturing, export infrastructure and tackling insecurity.

    She added that if oil revenue made up more than 80 per cent of government revenue, government was expected to tackle the menace of oil theft and pipeline vandalism with sterner approach.

    “It is impossible to have a vibrant manufacturing sector in the face of cheap imports into the country and high production and operating cost in the domestic economy.

    “For most manufacturing businesses, it is a nightmare; yet, production is critical to enduring economic and social stability.

    “The way forward is to address the fundamental constraints to manufacturing competitiveness in the Nigerian economy.

    “Our nation is at a crossroads and in dire need of big decisions to drive the drastic transformation the economy requires to return to economic prosperity,” she said.

    Looking back, Mr Segun Ajayi-Kadir, Director-General, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), said the discovery of oil ushered in a period of prosperity in the form of huge oil revenue from export of crude oil and more domestic infrastructural development was embarked upon.

    The MAN DG stated that the manufacturing sector had been largely unimpressive as the country remained largely import dependent.

    He noted that the coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing Russian-Ukraine war had compounded the familiar challenges that had limited the growth and development of the manufacturing sector.

    He added that inflation; which had risen to 20 per cent; interest rate at double digits, high rate of foreign exchange and the non prioritisation of allocation to the sector truncated its growth prospects, disrupted its operations and continued to limit the potential of the sector for expansion.

    “There is, therefore, the need to address the binding constraints that have continued to militate against the performance of the manufacturing sector and limited its share of contribution to the GDP,” he said.

    He recommended that investments in local raw materials through direct incentives must be encouraged and significant proportion of available foreign exchange must be allocated to the productive sector, particularly manufacturing.

    Ajayi-Kadir stressed that export support policies, like the Export Expansion Grant (EEG), must operate as planned and other support policies must be allowed to gestate before they are changed.

    “The country must improve power supply by removing the impediments to access of the eligible customers scheme by manufacturers.

    “We must review the curricular of tertiary institutions to align with industry skill requirements and subject to update based on the direction of global changes.

    “Existing major economic road corridors must be rehabilitated and new ones must be constructed for seamless movement of raw materials to factories and finished goods to the markets.

    “Also, the capital base of the Bank of Industry (BOI) must be improved to allow for adequate lending to the productive sector by the bank,” he said.

    Dr Muda Yusuf, Founder, Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprises (CPPE), noted that the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) aviation, transportation, education sector, health sector, print and electronic media and many more had been significantly transformed over the past six decades.

    Accordingly, Yusuf said the economy had witnessed impactful private sector footprints in many sectors, which had made the Nigerian economy to grow in leaps and bounds over the years.

    He, however, stated that the country’s macroeconomic management framework continued to pose serious challenges to investors in the economy as the fragile macroeconomic conditions remained a major cause for concern.

    The situation, he posited, had been compounded by the shocks and disruptions inflicted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the lingering effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

    For the manufacturing sector, Yusuf said high infrastructure deficit, cargo clearing challenges worsening at the ports, weak productivity, regulatory challenges and policy inconsistency, among others, continued to beat down the sector’s potential.

    As way forward, he stressed the need for urgent steps to be taken to ensure a better macroeconomic management framework to stabilise the exchange rate, eradicate the challenge of illiquidity in the foreign exchange market and stem the current depreciation of the naira.

    “Institutional reforms are necessary to ensure that the regulatory institutions have better disposition to support the growth of investment and focus less on the generation of revenue.

    “The international trade process needs to be reformed to prioritise trade facilitation.

    “The current obsession for revenue generation is hurting the international trade processes and impacting adversely on domestic and foreign investment.

    “Therefore, the orientation of the Nigeria Custom Service, Nigerian Ports Authority, the shipping companies and the terminal operators and the security agencies at the ports need to change in favour of an investment friendly international trade processes,” he said.

    The journey thus far for the Nigerian economy, particularly manufacturing, has no doubt, been fraught with daunting challenges.

    But experts believe that the country has the potential to attain economic growth and development.


    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •  Some Members of the ECOWAS Parliament have bemoaned the restriction of its powers by the ECOWAS Commission which have limited them to exercising their mandates They made this known on Friday during Parliament s High level Seminar in Lome Togo with the theme Application of the power of the Parliament in light of the restructuring of the ECOWAS Commission This is also as experts charged Parliament on exercising its Parliamentary Powers The Member of Parliament insisted it was imperative for the Parliament to start executing its powers as enshrined in its Supplementary Act which indicates the powers of the ECOWAS Parliament to include a law making role among other functions Sen Ali Ndume representing Nigeria at the ECOWAS Parliament said that it is worrisome to discuss the enhancement of Parliament s power when these powers have been overly restricted It is odd to discuss the powers of the parliament at this point I think we need to look at the whole process and ensure that it is worth it The powers of the Parliament have been overly subdued and if we are going to be what we are then we should be what we are The ECOWAS Parliament is so much important now most especially as we have a lot of challenges bedevilling the sub region hence we need to start working and not to start talking of power enhancement We should do the right thing and doing the right thing should not be personal we can be in the position today and tomorrow someone else take over Going forward this seminar should provide an opportunity for us to look at the document that we are currently using it is not the issue of enhancement but the issue of amendment One of our problems is the Commission and we can t expect them to correct it the Parliament Legal Director should be made to handle this Acts and then we should have other MPs to look at the law and jointly amend it Ndume said Mr Stephen Zargo a lawmaker from Liberia said that Articles 7 and 9 of the ECOWAS Parliament Acts give parliament an enhanced power but the power has not been well utilised We are arguing because you need leadership to make it happen if the Act gives us the power we are crying because we have a leadership deficit Zargo said Hon Fatoumatta Njai from the Gambia however called for the strengthening of the legal department of the ECOWAS Parliament As a Parliament our Legal Department must be strengthened it should be a directorate and not a department We should have started on the implementation on how to use our enhanced power and without a strong directorate we cannot achieve this course Njai said said Preceding the reactions from the lawmakers were presentations and recommendations by experts which includes the ECOWAS Commission s Legal Director Daniel Lago and the Legal Adviser of the ECOWAS Parliament Isatou Njia The experts spoke on the operationalisation of the new institutional Reforms and on Exercising Parliamentary Powers Bodo in his presentation charged Parliament with the establishment of a Groups in other to deepen their powers Isatou in her presentation noted that it is left to Parliament to take control and fully implement the provisions of the Supplementary Act This she said can be achieved by developing necessary guidelines in conjunction with implementing institutions and agencies of the Community Concluding the session Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament Sidie Tunis agreed to the call of the MPs and added that their concerns have long been pondered by individuals and he feels more pain over these issues raised Listening to what we have all been yearning for I think this is the beginning now we have an opportunity to come up with an outcome document with the support of the Director of Legal Affairs Because at the end of the day even in the Commission he is the one to respond to this issue The Director of Legal affairs is for all institutions now that we have him here working with our own legal adviser I really hope we can come up with a document at the end of this seminar Because it is so timely with everything that is happening in this region trust me it is the MPs that can do the job not technocrats but those MPs must have the powers Tunis said NewsSourceCredit NAN
    Ndume, ECOWAS lawmakers regret subdued powers of Parliament by Commission
     Some Members of the ECOWAS Parliament have bemoaned the restriction of its powers by the ECOWAS Commission which have limited them to exercising their mandates They made this known on Friday during Parliament s High level Seminar in Lome Togo with the theme Application of the power of the Parliament in light of the restructuring of the ECOWAS Commission This is also as experts charged Parliament on exercising its Parliamentary Powers The Member of Parliament insisted it was imperative for the Parliament to start executing its powers as enshrined in its Supplementary Act which indicates the powers of the ECOWAS Parliament to include a law making role among other functions Sen Ali Ndume representing Nigeria at the ECOWAS Parliament said that it is worrisome to discuss the enhancement of Parliament s power when these powers have been overly restricted It is odd to discuss the powers of the parliament at this point I think we need to look at the whole process and ensure that it is worth it The powers of the Parliament have been overly subdued and if we are going to be what we are then we should be what we are The ECOWAS Parliament is so much important now most especially as we have a lot of challenges bedevilling the sub region hence we need to start working and not to start talking of power enhancement We should do the right thing and doing the right thing should not be personal we can be in the position today and tomorrow someone else take over Going forward this seminar should provide an opportunity for us to look at the document that we are currently using it is not the issue of enhancement but the issue of amendment One of our problems is the Commission and we can t expect them to correct it the Parliament Legal Director should be made to handle this Acts and then we should have other MPs to look at the law and jointly amend it Ndume said Mr Stephen Zargo a lawmaker from Liberia said that Articles 7 and 9 of the ECOWAS Parliament Acts give parliament an enhanced power but the power has not been well utilised We are arguing because you need leadership to make it happen if the Act gives us the power we are crying because we have a leadership deficit Zargo said Hon Fatoumatta Njai from the Gambia however called for the strengthening of the legal department of the ECOWAS Parliament As a Parliament our Legal Department must be strengthened it should be a directorate and not a department We should have started on the implementation on how to use our enhanced power and without a strong directorate we cannot achieve this course Njai said said Preceding the reactions from the lawmakers were presentations and recommendations by experts which includes the ECOWAS Commission s Legal Director Daniel Lago and the Legal Adviser of the ECOWAS Parliament Isatou Njia The experts spoke on the operationalisation of the new institutional Reforms and on Exercising Parliamentary Powers Bodo in his presentation charged Parliament with the establishment of a Groups in other to deepen their powers Isatou in her presentation noted that it is left to Parliament to take control and fully implement the provisions of the Supplementary Act This she said can be achieved by developing necessary guidelines in conjunction with implementing institutions and agencies of the Community Concluding the session Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament Sidie Tunis agreed to the call of the MPs and added that their concerns have long been pondered by individuals and he feels more pain over these issues raised Listening to what we have all been yearning for I think this is the beginning now we have an opportunity to come up with an outcome document with the support of the Director of Legal Affairs Because at the end of the day even in the Commission he is the one to respond to this issue The Director of Legal affairs is for all institutions now that we have him here working with our own legal adviser I really hope we can come up with a document at the end of this seminar Because it is so timely with everything that is happening in this region trust me it is the MPs that can do the job not technocrats but those MPs must have the powers Tunis said NewsSourceCredit NAN
    Ndume, ECOWAS lawmakers regret subdued powers of Parliament by Commission
    Foreign1 week ago

    Ndume, ECOWAS lawmakers regret subdued powers of Parliament by Commission

    Some Members of the ECOWAS Parliament have bemoaned the restriction of its powers by the ECOWAS Commission which have limited them to exercising their mandates.

    They made this known on Friday during Parliament’s High-level Seminar in Lome, Togo with the theme “Application of the power of the Parliament in light of the restructuring of the ECOWAS Commission”.

    This is also as experts charged Parliament on exercising its Parliamentary Powers.

    The Member of Parliament insisted it was imperative for the Parliament to start executing its powers as enshrined in its Supplementary Act which indicates the powers of the ECOWAS Parliament to include a law-making role among other functions.

    Sen. Ali Ndume, representing Nigeria at the ECOWAS Parliament said that  it is worrisome to discuss the enhancement of Parliament’s power when these powers have been overly restricted.

    “It is odd to discuss the powers of the parliament at this point, I think we need to look at the whole process and ensure that it is worth it.

    “The powers of the Parliament have been overly subdued, and if we are going to be what we are then we should be what we are.

    “The ECOWAS Parliament is so much important now most especially as we have a lot of challenges bedevilling the sub-region, hence we need to start working and not to start talking of power enhancement; “We should do the right thing, and doing the right thing should not be personal, we can be in the position today and tomorrow someone else take over.

    “Going forward, this seminar should provide an opportunity for us to look at the document that we are currently using, it is not the issue of enhancement, but the issue of amendment; “One of our problems is the Commission, and we can’t expect them to correct it, the Parliament Legal Director should be made to handle this Acts, and then we should have other MPs to look at the law and jointly amend it”, Ndume said.

    Mr Stephen Zargo a lawmaker from Liberia said that Articles 7 and 9 of the ECOWAS Parliament Acts give parliament an enhanced power, but the power has not been well utilised.

    “We are arguing because you need leadership to make it happen if the Act gives us the power, we are crying because we have a leadership deficit,” Zargo said.

    Hon. Fatoumatta Njai from the Gambia however called for the strengthening of the legal department of the ECOWAS Parliament.

    “As a Parliament, our Legal Department must be strengthened, it should be a directorate and not a department.

    “We should have started on the implementation on how to use our enhanced power and without a strong directorate, we cannot achieve this course” Njai said said.

    Preceding the reactions from the lawmakers were presentations and recommendations by experts which includes; the ECOWAS Commission’s Legal Director, Daniel Lago, and the Legal Adviser of the ECOWAS Parliament, Isatou Njia. The experts spoke on the operationalisation of the new institutional Reforms and on Exercising Parliamentary Powers.

    Bodo in his presentation charged Parliament with the establishment of a Groups in other to deepen their powers.

    Isatou in her presentation noted that it is left to Parliament to take control and fully implement the provisions of the Supplementary Act. This she said can be achieved by developing necessary guidelines in conjunction with implementing institutions and agencies of the Community.

    Concluding the session, Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Sidie Tunis agreed to the call of the MPs and added that their concerns have long been pondered by individuals and he feels more pain over these issues raised.

    “Listening to what we have all been yearning for, I think this is the beginning, now we have an opportunity to come up with an outcome document with the support of the Director of Legal Affairs.

    “Because at the end of the day even in the Commission he is the one to respond to this issue.

    “The Director of Legal affairs is for all institutions, now that we have him here working with our own legal adviser, I really hope we can come up with a document at the end of this seminar .

    “Because it is so timely with everything that is happening in this region, trust me it is the MPs that can do the job, not technocrats, but those MPs must have the powers,” Tunis said.


    NewsSourceCredit: NAN

  •   In view of the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties COP27 to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change UNFCCC to be held in Sharm El Sheikh Egypt from 6 to 18 November 2022 West African regional integration institutions are actively preparing for joint participation The first milestone of this joint participation is the regional workshop on the preparation of the climate negotiations This strengthened regional cooperation is the result of several years of partnership especially in preparation for the international climate negotiations Historically the regional institutions ECOWAS UEMOA CILSS and BOAD have been joining forces and organizing a regional workshop every year to prepare the COP with negotiators from the member states to discuss the priorities and challenges of the region As usual this year s discussions will be facilitated by the ECOWAS Regional Support Group for International Climate Negotiations GRANIC and will be the subject of a common regional position to be published at the opening of COP27 The workshop will take place from September 27 to 29 in Lom Togo with a new scientific component coordinated by CILSS Work on carbon measurement and monitoring in West Africa will be presented especially to deepen negotiators understanding of the carbon storage potential of the various ecosystems found in their countries West Africa a region united to counter climate change To symbolize this regional collaboration a West African pavilion the African COP will be erected at COP27 Co piloted by the ECOWAS Commission and BOAD in collaboration with UEMOA and CILSS this pavilion will be equipped with a conference room and will be a perfect platform to promote climate action by regional institutions and their member states thus strengthening Africa s voice Occidental on the international climate scene The pavilion which is more than a symbol shows the will of regional institutions to strengthen their cooperation to face the common challenge of climate change This approach aims to improve the coordination and effectiveness of the response for the benefit of the population of the region The basis of this cooperation is the complementarity between the respective regional mandates and the action of the Member States It is the coordinated intervention of the various levers of regional institutions financing capacity development normative and regulatory framework scientific resources that will allow efficient and effective support to Member States in the implementation of their Nationally Determined Contributions NDC under the Paris Climate Agreement This cooperation thus responds to a principle of regional solidarity and embodies the adage that says If you want to go fast go alone If you want to go far go together 2022 a symbolic year for the climate commitment of West African regional institutions The year 2022 marks the culmination of the process of developing the ECOWAS Regional Climate Strategy and its action plan established for 2030 adopted by the 88th Session Ordinary of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers held from June 30 to July 1 2022 in Accra Ghana Led by the ECOWAS Commission the Regional Strategy incorporates collaboration between West African regional institutions BOAD UEMOA and CILSS were stakeholders in the development process and will be partners in implementation By adopting this strategy ECOWAS is working together with its fifteen 15 Member States to make climate a priority for political action in the region in line with its Vision 2050 This Vision is based on the observation that the effects of climate change transcends borders and that only together the ECOWAS Member States can address this challenge It is also an opportunity to raise the region s voice on the international stage by advocating for a united and supportive region in climate negotiations
    West African regional institutions move towards the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP27)
      In view of the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties COP27 to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change UNFCCC to be held in Sharm El Sheikh Egypt from 6 to 18 November 2022 West African regional integration institutions are actively preparing for joint participation The first milestone of this joint participation is the regional workshop on the preparation of the climate negotiations This strengthened regional cooperation is the result of several years of partnership especially in preparation for the international climate negotiations Historically the regional institutions ECOWAS UEMOA CILSS and BOAD have been joining forces and organizing a regional workshop every year to prepare the COP with negotiators from the member states to discuss the priorities and challenges of the region As usual this year s discussions will be facilitated by the ECOWAS Regional Support Group for International Climate Negotiations GRANIC and will be the subject of a common regional position to be published at the opening of COP27 The workshop will take place from September 27 to 29 in Lom Togo with a new scientific component coordinated by CILSS Work on carbon measurement and monitoring in West Africa will be presented especially to deepen negotiators understanding of the carbon storage potential of the various ecosystems found in their countries West Africa a region united to counter climate change To symbolize this regional collaboration a West African pavilion the African COP will be erected at COP27 Co piloted by the ECOWAS Commission and BOAD in collaboration with UEMOA and CILSS this pavilion will be equipped with a conference room and will be a perfect platform to promote climate action by regional institutions and their member states thus strengthening Africa s voice Occidental on the international climate scene The pavilion which is more than a symbol shows the will of regional institutions to strengthen their cooperation to face the common challenge of climate change This approach aims to improve the coordination and effectiveness of the response for the benefit of the population of the region The basis of this cooperation is the complementarity between the respective regional mandates and the action of the Member States It is the coordinated intervention of the various levers of regional institutions financing capacity development normative and regulatory framework scientific resources that will allow efficient and effective support to Member States in the implementation of their Nationally Determined Contributions NDC under the Paris Climate Agreement This cooperation thus responds to a principle of regional solidarity and embodies the adage that says If you want to go fast go alone If you want to go far go together 2022 a symbolic year for the climate commitment of West African regional institutions The year 2022 marks the culmination of the process of developing the ECOWAS Regional Climate Strategy and its action plan established for 2030 adopted by the 88th Session Ordinary of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers held from June 30 to July 1 2022 in Accra Ghana Led by the ECOWAS Commission the Regional Strategy incorporates collaboration between West African regional institutions BOAD UEMOA and CILSS were stakeholders in the development process and will be partners in implementation By adopting this strategy ECOWAS is working together with its fifteen 15 Member States to make climate a priority for political action in the region in line with its Vision 2050 This Vision is based on the observation that the effects of climate change transcends borders and that only together the ECOWAS Member States can address this challenge It is also an opportunity to raise the region s voice on the international stage by advocating for a united and supportive region in climate negotiations
    West African regional institutions move towards the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP27)
    Africa1 week ago

    West African regional institutions move towards the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP27)

    In view of the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to be held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, from 6 to 18 November 2022 , West African regional integration institutions are actively preparing for joint participation.

    The first milestone of this joint participation is the regional workshop on the preparation of the climate negotiations.

    This strengthened regional cooperation is the result of several years of partnership, especially in preparation for the international climate negotiations.

    Historically, the regional institutions (ECOWAS, UEMOA, CILSS and BOAD) have been joining forces and organizing a regional workshop every year to prepare the COP with negotiators from the member states to discuss the priorities and challenges of the region.

    As usual, this year's discussions will be facilitated by the ECOWAS Regional Support Group for International Climate Negotiations (GRANIC) and will be the subject of a common regional position to be published at the opening of COP27.

    The workshop will take place from September 27 to 29 in Lomé, Togo, with a new scientific component coordinated by CILSS.

    Work on carbon measurement and monitoring in West Africa will be presented, especially to deepen negotiators' understanding of the carbon storage potential of the various ecosystems found in their countries.

    West Africa, a region united to counter climate change To symbolize this regional collaboration, a West African pavilion, the African COP, will be erected at COP27.

    Co-piloted by the ECOWAS Commission and BOAD in collaboration with UEMOA and CILSS, this pavilion will be equipped with a conference room and will be a perfect platform to promote climate action by regional institutions and their member states, thus strengthening Africa's voice.

    Occidental on the international climate scene.

    The pavilion, which is more than a symbol, shows the will of regional institutions to strengthen their cooperation to face the common challenge of climate change.

    This approach aims to improve the coordination and effectiveness of the response for the benefit of the population of the region.

    The basis of this cooperation is the complementarity between the respective regional mandates and the action of the Member States.

    It is the coordinated intervention of the various levers of regional institutions (financing, capacity development, normative and regulatory framework, scientific resources) that will allow efficient and effective support to Member States in the implementation of their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) under the Paris Climate Agreement.

    This cooperation thus responds to a principle of regional solidarity and embodies the adage that says “If you want to go fast, go alone.

    If you want to go far, go together”.

    2022, a symbolic year for the climate commitment of West African regional institutions The year 2022 marks the culmination of the process of developing the ECOWAS Regional Climate Strategy and its action plan established for 2030, adopted by the 88th Session Ordinary of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers held from June 30 to July 1, 2022 in Accra, Ghana.

    Led by the ECOWAS Commission, the Regional Strategy incorporates collaboration between West African regional institutions.

    BOAD, UEMOA and CILSS were stakeholders in the development process and will be partners in implementation.

    By adopting this strategy, ECOWAS is working together with its fifteen (15) Member States to make climate a priority for political action in the region, in line with its Vision 2050.

    This Vision is based on the observation that the effects of climate change transcends borders.

    and that only together the ECOWAS Member States can address this challenge.

    It is also an opportunity to raise the region's voice on the international stage by advocating for a united and supportive region in climate negotiations.