The United States Cyber National Mission Force, has stated that its success depends on the ability to defend malicious cyber threats against foreign malicious cyber actors.
Maj.-Gen. William Hartman, Commander of Cyber National Mission Force, at U.
S. Cyber Command, said this in a virtual brief titled: “A Look at the U.
S. Government Security Cooperation Overseas”, on Friday.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the programme is organised by the U.
S. Department of State’s Foreign Press Centres in collaboration with Meridian International Centre.
Hartman said the U.
S. mission force proactively pursues foreign adversaries abroad to defend its critical infrastructure.
“We proactively pursue these foreign adversaries abroad to defend our critical infrastructure.
“Our defence industrial base and the Department of Defence information networks work missions from election security to nation state espionage and are often involved in tackling some of the most significant challenges that our nation faces.
“So, this is a critical aspect of the defence to the military, the nation and about our ability to respond to these threats.
“We understand collective cybersecurity is about trust so we do everything in our power to be the absolute best partner possible,” he said.
Hartman said the mission force operates across the spectrum of cyberspace to execute offensive and defensive information operations to proactively disrupt ongoing threats targeting the U.
S. “Our operations are specific, they’re targeted, and they’re deliberate.
They are coordinated actions that align with international norms that work to disrupt malicious cyber actors before they can threaten us or our key partners.
“But something is more and more clear to us every day.
It is the same actors that are threatening the U.
S. military in its homeland that are threatening so many others around the world.
“We have learnt it is better to work together than alone when these shared threats we face are global, they are in our computers, they are in our systems, they are in our networks.
“The force mission operates across the spectrum of cyberspace, and by that we execute offensive and defensive information operations to proactively disrupt ongoing threats targeting the U.
S. and our key allies and partners,” Hartman said.
In her remark, Ms Holly Baroody, Deputy Commander of Cyber National Mission Force, at U.
S. Cyber Command, said an excellent cybersecurity posture starts with excellent people.
Baroody said that the increased complexity of U.
S. technology and threats required highly skilled individuals with diverse perspectives and creative approaches.
“As a global community, we need more cybersecurity talents in both the public and private sector, and we need to increase the diversity of our workforce.
“This is something that Hartman and I work on every day,” she said.
Senior officials from the US Departments of Energy and State will head to South Africa to attend Africa Oil Week (https://Africa-OilWeek.com) and its sister event, the Africa Green Energy Summit, which will take place here from October 3 to 7 and October 4 and 5, 2022, respectively.
The US delegation's participation in these landmark events will be an opportunity for the United States to meaningfully engage with its African partners on challenges such as expanding energy access, improving energy security, and addressing the climate crisis.
“Africa's efforts to address its energy access, affordability and security goals, while diversifying its energy mix, building sustainable supply chains and protecting the continent's ecosystems and diverse natural resources, are critical to Africa's prosperity.
Africans, as well as to help address the global crisis.
climate crisis,” said US Under Secretary of Energy David M.
Turk. “We are pleased to attend Africa Oil Week and the Africa Green Energy Summit, and the United States will work closely with African countries to determine how to best meet their energy needs in a safe, affordable and sustainable way, including search for national energy.
access to energy and economic development objectives through the deployment of a wide range of clean energy technologies”.
Billed as "The Home of the African Upstream", Africa Oil Week is Africa's premier oil and gas event and attracts energy sector decision makers from national governments, global energy companies, independents, exploration companies, investors and suppliers.
The event will feature hundreds of delegates from the public and private sectors, sharing insights into industry trends, making deals and discussing energy policy ideas that will affect the future of the sector.
This year's Africa Oil Week will attract more than 1,800 delegates, representing more than 80 countries, including more than 30 government ministers, more than 150 national representatives and more than 25 oil companies.
As the world's second largest producer and consumer of energy, the United States plays an influential role in global energy markets.
“With proven natural gas reserves of more than 473 trillion cubic feet in 2020, Africa has an important role to play as a key global producer of gas,” said Brad Crabtree, Under Secretary for Fossil Energy and Carbon Management.
“And the responsible development of natural gas provides great opportunities to expand energy access for Africans, further develop domestic industries and exports, and help achieve net-zero emissions by deploying technology and infrastructure to manage emissions.
of carbon and methane.
Africa Oil Week will be an excellent opportunity to discuss these opportunities with African stakeholders.” Africa Oil Week is a five-day event and will feature presentations, exhibits, panel discussions, national exhibits, an Africa Independents Forum, a dedicated South Africa Day and a ministerial symposium.
Its sister event, the recently added Green Energy Africa Summit, runs for two days and will feature presentations and panel discussions to accelerate low-carbon and renewable energy adoption in Africa.
The National Radio and Television Administration (NRTA), China, has reiterated its commitment to deepen cooperation with African media to boost growth of China-Africa relations.
Dr Yan Chengsheng, Director-General, International Cooperation Department of NART, said this during the interactive session with Journalists in Beijing under the auspices of China Africa Press Centre (CAPC) Programme 2022. He spoke on the development of the media industry of China and its international exchanges and cooperation, saying the administration would exchange media programmes on philosophy that suits China-Africa.
Yan said, “To improve the level of cooperation between China and Africa; actually we have been thinking about that all the time, we should continue to focus on programme exchange.
“This is a good way to learn about each other and meet people’s needs on various cultural products.
“China promoted screening of Chinese TV-dramas and documentaries in the past decade; I think it is a way to help our African friends learn about the real situation in China and deepen China-Africa relations.
“During the China-Africa media cooperation programme in August, we screened Chinese platforms of over 30 programmes from 20 African countries.
” He said that measures were taken to get feedback on results of African media contents in August, also that some user platforms reflected that it was nice to have watched African contents in China.
According to him, media programme exchanges will promote knowledge sharing between China and Africa.
“China’s philosophy of media operations is quite different from Western media.
I have studied in the United States and Japan and can say Western journalism focuses on critical thinking.
“It is definitely not wrong that they will have negative opinions about something that they view about society, in China we emphasize social responsibility practice of the media.
“The media can play a more constructive role in reporting events and the phenomenon, because lots of criticism does not solve problems.
“We hope the media improves the situation, solves problems and plays an active role in meaningful development; we see achievements about Africa’s development and are happy to report them.
“At the same time, there were of course some problems in Africa we report but focus on educating people, which is much better than criticising the problems,” he added.
He reiterated the need for dialogue among journalists on media programme exchanges to be encouraged in ways that suit development of China and Africa.
The director-general further said that China established its journalism philosophy in ways that suit the traditional situation of the country, adding that such formed the basis of the culture of China.
On willingness by China to provide technological support for media growth in Africa, he said that such could be related to the economic situation and social development of the country.
“China had a low level of development of media, but after several years of efforts we can say in some areas like 5G application China is leading in some technological areas.
“What we can do for Africa is first with content; we can provide Chinese programmes for you to broadcast and you also provide your programmes to China.
This is “to support each other in our development of media outlets globally; between China and African countries there have been aiding projects between the governments.
“We can try business and commercial promotions in the media sector; we should attach importance to both governmental levels.
“The Chinese government will provide assistance to African countries; the market is important for us in China with various enterprises and institutions having capabilities in broadcasting services; you can rely on,” he added.
He, however, said that a lot could be learnt about the history and situation from China’s regional development through such exchanges.
NRTA, a ministerial-level central government agency directly under the State Council of China, is responsible for administration and supervision of radio, television and online audio-visual programme service in China and promotion of industrial development.
No fewer than 90 Journalists from 67 countries across Africa, Middle East, Europe, Latin America, and Asia Pacific, are participating in the programme which began in June. The programme, which is being hosted by the China Public Diplomacy Association (CPDA), is expected to end in November.
The Government of Madagascar, including six Malagasy government ministries and agencies, joined the US Embassy, US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and US Command in Africa (USAFRICOM) for a two-day water resources management workshop on September 27-28 to develop sustainable, practical steps Madagascar can take to improve the nation's water security.
US water security experts helped Malagasy government officials consider ways to address the critical challenges that drought, flooding and changing weather patterns pose to the nation's agriculture and economic development.
In her remarks, US Ambassador Claire Pierangelo stated, "Access to clean water is a critical human need and essential to the business and agricultural needs of the nation."
This workshop is part of the US Government's broader commitment to improve water and sanitation in Madagascar.
In addition to ongoing efforts by the US Department of Defense and USAFRICOM, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) has provided $46 million in water and sanitation assistance since 2017, improving access to clean water in rural and urban areas around the world.
The United States stands with Madagascar as the mpirahalahy mianala to help improve the health and well-being of the Malagasy people.
Assets of Afghanistan that were frozen by other countries belong to the Afghan people and should be used for their benefit, said a UN spokesman.
“We believe that Afghanistan assets that were frozen last year by a number of states belong to the Afghan people and every effort should be made to find ways in which these funds can be used for their benefit.
“It is critical that all such funds need to be handled in a transparent and accountable way, respecting international sanctions and need to ensure no money is used for illicit purposes,” Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General said.
“We believe that Afghan assets belong to the Afghan people, and they should be spent in a transparent way that benefits the Afghan people.
S. President Joe Biden froze more than nine billion dollars of Afghan assets in 2021 after the Taliban took over.
Biden in February signed an executive order to free seven billion dollars out of the money and split between humanitarian aid for Afghanistan and a fund for victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States.
The Federal Government on Wednesday restated its commitment to ensure eradication of dog-mediated human rabies by 2030. The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mustapha Baba-Shehuri stated this at the inauguration of the nationwide free anti rabies vaccination exercise in Dukku Local Government Area of Gombe State.
The exercise tagged: “Nationwide Free Vaccination against Dog-mediated Human Rabies,” is part of activities to mark the 2022 World Rabies Day. The theme of this year’s commemoration is “One Health, Zero Death”.
Rabies is a fatal but preventable viral disease.
It can spread to people and pets if they are bitten or scratched by a rabid animal.
It is mostly found in wild animals like bats, raccoons, skunks, and foxes.
In Nigeria and many other countries dogs still carry rabies, and most rabies deaths in people around the world are caused by dog bites.
The minister said rabies was endemic in Nigeria and many other African countries, adding that the disease killed many people annually, especially in rural settlements.
“Rabies remains a global threat as it is responsible for the death of approximately 59,000 people in the world annually,” he said.
According to him, the Federal Government is working with critical stakeholders to eliminate the disease by 2030. In her remarks, Chief Veterinary Officer of Nigeria, Dr Maimuna Habib said the choice of Gombe for the launch of the vaccination exercise was due to increase in reported cases of rabies in dogs and humans in the state.
She said the exercise was also to create awareness on the dangers and the impact of the disease on public health as well as prevention and control measures.
The chief veterinary officer said the Federal Government had developed a National Strategic Plan for the control of rabies in the country.
According to Habib, the document will guide the implementation of the National Programme for the Control of Rabies approved by the National Council on Agriculture and Rural Development.
Gov. Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State, appreciated the Federal Government and other partners for renewed commitment towards ensuring total elimination of the disease.
Represented by his deputy, Manassah Jatau, Yahaya said, “rabies threatens the existence of wildlife species, cause deaths of human beings and it is a great burden in animal species.
“We are challenged to do all we can to stop its transmission to humans, other animals and even to the dogs”.
Also speaking, Mr Jamilu Shabewa, Chairman, Dukku Local Government Council, disclosed that four people died of the disease a a result of dog bites in the area.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the event was organised by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and state ministries of agriculture in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Breakthrough Action Nigeria.
All governments that receive US foreign assistance must undergo a fiscal transparency assessment.
As a recipient of US foreign assistance, the Government of The Gambia has been congratulated for being one of seventy-two (72) governments that meet the minimum requirements for fiscal transparency in the 2022 report.
The assessment includes ensuring that the publication of key budget documents be publicly accessible, substantially complete, and generally reliable; publish data on public debt, including state-owned companies; maintain independent and effective supreme audit institutions; maintain transparent processes for awarding government prizes for natural resource extraction; and, where appropriate, guarantee the sound legal structure and transparency of the sovereign wealth fund.
Fiscal transparency is a critical element of effective public finance management, helps build market confidence, and underpins economic stability and sustainability.
Transparent tax systems provide information to legislatures, private markets, civil society, and citizens who have a stake in financial decision-making processes and equip them with the information necessary to promote and promote economic growth and development.
It should be noted that the report does not purport to cover all aspects of fiscal transparency.
For example, the report does not currently assess the transparency of most public procurement procedures, nor does it assess how closely the government consults with civil society in budget development.
The report also fails to assess the presence of corruption or the overall quality of a government's fiscal policy.
Additionally, the applicable law requires that the minimum fiscal transparency requirements continue to be updated and reinforced annually.
The criteria applied to perform this year's evaluations may change in future years' evaluations.
The determinations may change in future reports due to the updating and strengthening of the minimum fiscal transparency requirements as required by law, changes in the performance of governments in public fiscal management or new information that comes to the attention of the Department.
The United States applauds The Gambia for meeting the requirements for this 2022 report and looks forward to a continued partnership to help promote both economic transparency and overall prosperity.
A hurricane warning has been extended southward on the west coast of the southeastern U.
S. state of Florida to Chokoloskee, forecasters said Tuesday evening.
S. National Hurricane Centre updated in a public advisory that Hurricane Ian was about 85 kilometres south-southwest of the Dry Tortugas.
S. national park made up of a series of islands.
The Category three hurricane, which has maximum sustained winds of 195 kilometres per hour, is expected to bring life-threatening storm surges, catastrophic winds, and flooding to the Florida Peninsula.
The centre of the storm is forecast to move over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, passing west of the Florida Keys later in the day, and approach the west coast of Florida within the hurricane warning area on Wednesday.
Over 2.5 million people in Florida are now under some type of evacuation order, Gov. Ron DeSantis told reporters on Tuesday evening.
At least 1.75 million people are under mandatory evacuation orders, according to a tally by CNN of local city and county governments.
S. President Joe Biden said at the White House on Tuesday afternoon that Florida is now preparing for Hurricane Ian to make landfall.
“Forecasts can change, but for now, the experts say this could be a very severe hurricane, life-threatening and devastating in its impact,’’ Biden warned.
The latest predicted path of the hurricane shows that “it may land a little further south than first anticipated,’’ Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said at a news conference.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has deployed 700 personnel to Florida, and DeSantis has activated 5,000 state National Guard members, with another 2,000 coming from other states, according to the White House.
Universal Orlando Resort theme parks and CityWalk in Orlando, Florida, would be closed on Wednesday and Thursday due to the hurricane.
The company tweeted Tuesday.
Disney said its theme parks in Orlando will also be closed ahead of the storm.
The commander of the U.
S. 4th Fleet, headquartered at Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville, Florida, has ordered all ships and aircraft to make preparations for Hurricane Ian’s expected arrival, according to a press release.
Ships began departures from Naval Station Mayport on Tuesday and will complete heavy weather mooring if required to stay in port.
And aircraft would initiate evacuations from area airfields or be secured in hangars rated to withstand hurricane force winds.
Four ships and multiple rotaries and fixed-wing aircraft were expected to relocate and remain out of the local area until it was determined safe to return, the U.
S. 4th Fleet said.
The Edison Electric Institute, an association that represents all U.
S. investor-owned electric companies, said on Tuesday that electric companies in Florida and the southeastern part of the United States have activated their emergency response plans.
“They are prepositioning crews and equipment to be ready to respond to any power outages quickly and as soon as it is safe to do so,’’ the association said in a press release.
“More than 30,000 workers from at least 23 states already are mobilising to support the response.
’’ The storm system comes a week after Hurricane Fiona hit Puerto Rico, bringing heavy rainfall and flash flooding to the U.
S. territory while cutting power to the entire islands.
More than 460,000 customers were still out of power in Puerto Rico as of Tuesday afternoon, according to an online tracker.
President Muhammadu Buhari has charged the National Council on Climate Change to formulate appropriate policies toward achieving green growth and sustainable economic development for Nigeria.
The president gave the charge while inaugurating the Council before the commencement of the Federal Executive Council meeting in the State House, Abuja, on Wednesday.
The president said the inauguration marked the commencement of the implementation of the Climate Change Act 2021 and a new chapter in the renewed response to climate change in the country.
He also directed the Attorney General and Minister of Justice in conjunction with the Minister of Environment to initiate appropriate amendments of ”noticeable implementation challenges” inherent in the Act. While highlighting the losses and damages caused by the recent increasing floods in several parts of the country as well in Pakistan, Bangladesh and other parts of East and Southern Africa, Buhari described climate change as one of the biggest challenges facing humanity.
”It (Climate Change) is complex and dynamic; and requires multidimensional and multi-sectoral initiatives to address its impacts and avert its rapid advance.
”Updated data show increases in sea level rise, heat waves, wild fires, floods, desertification, drying wetlands and many more disruptive climate occurrences.
”The latest Intergovernmental Panel on climate change report warns that rising GreenHouse Gas emissions could soon outstrip the ability of communities to adapt.
”The window for taking decisive steps needed to spare our planet from the gravest impacts of climate change is rapidly narrowing.
”We cannot ignore what is happening in our local environment.
The increasing re-occurrence of floods in several parts of the country is a wakeup call,” he said.
The president decried the loss of lives, damage and destruction of infrastructure such as roads, bridges, schools and agricultural production.
Buhari, therefore, reiterated the determination of his administration to strengthen national response to climate change and accelerate the implementation of decisive actions to reduce its impacts on the people and economy.
According to him, Nigeria is a party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which is an established international treaty to combat “dangerous human interference with the climate system”, in part by stabilizing GreenHouse Gas concentrations in the atmosphere.
Buhari said: ”It is against this background that in Nov. 2021, after COP 26 in Glasgow, I signed the Nigeria Climate Change Act despite noticeable implementation challenges inherent in the Act. ” This is to set the framework for mainstreaming climate change action, carbon budgeting and the establishment of the National Council on Climate Change.
”The council is tasked with the responsibility of formulating appropriate policies and other mechanisms for achieving low GreenHouse Gas emissions, including green growth and sustainable economic development for Nigeria.
”In a clear demonstration of our commitments as enshrined in our Nationally Determined Contributions and the Net Zero-Target by 2060, I also approved, on July 25, 2022, the appointment of the Director General and Secretary for the National Council on Climate Change.
” The president, therefore, maintained that those lapses earlier alluded to – which included the establishment of states and Zonal offices creating a huge and costly bureaucracy would not be tolerated.
According to the president, the Act also takes out the Commissioners of Environments from the states as members of Council.
”It also did not make transitional provisions capturing the work of the Inter-ministerial Working Group.
”This group was responsible for Energy Transition, the supervisory oversight of the Ministry of Environment and the establishment of an Executive Management structure at the secretariat level to support the DG in running the Council Secretariat.
”Accordingly, I hereby direct the Attorney General and Minister of Justice in conjunction with the Minister of Environment to initiate the appropriate amendment to reflect these observations,” he said.
Ahead of COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, the president expressed optimism that the National Council on Climate Change would harmonise all issues relating to Climate Change, Energy Transition Plan, Emissions Trading Scheme and the Carbon Trading Framework.
According to him, this is in line with its mandate under the Act, so that Nigeria could have a robust and impactful outing that captures Nigeria’s Climate Change priorities.
He said the composition of the council was a reflection of the magnitude of the problem and the seriousness of the nation’s response.
Buhari added, ”it comprises the highest level of governance and a representation of all key sectors of the economy.
” Buhari also used the occasion to thank Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo for heading Nigeria’s Energy Transition Plan, presiding over the global launch of the plan and initiating its marketing by engaging key stakeholders in the United States.
He urged the Council to consolidate on these first steps and ensure a sustained marketing of the plan.
Earlier, the Minister of Environment, Mohammed Abdullahi, thanked the president for ”walking the talk” on climate change at the international, regional and national level.
He also lauded him for demonstrating immense leadership towards Nigeria’s quest for net-zero by 2060. The Council is chaired by the President with the Vice President as Vice Chairman.
The Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum, is also a member.
Other members of the Council are the Ministers responsible for Environment; Petroleum Resources; Budget and National Planning; Justice; Mines and Steel Development; Finance; Agriculture and Rural Development; Power; Women Affairs; Transportation; and Water Resources.
The Governor of Central Bank; the National Security Adviser; President of Association Local Governments of Nigeria; a representative of the private sector on climate change or environmental related matters (representative of National Conservation Foundation)are also members of the Council.
Others are; a representative of National Council on Women Societies; a representative of National Youth Congress, and a representative of the Civil Society Organisation.
The Director-General of the National Council on Climate Change, Dr Salisu Dahiru, will serve as Secretary.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that after the inauguration, FEC observed a minute of silence in honour of Ayodele Ogunlade, a former Minister of National Planning, under former Head of State, Sani Abacha, who died on Tuesday aged 88.
Williams, a trained agricultural specialist, has taken the helm as USAID Madagascar's new mission director.
His appointment follows the US government's designation of Madagascar as a target country for both the global Feed the Future initiative and USAID's new resiliency initiative, which promises significant new investment by the American people to help Madagascar improve its food security and develop its agricultural sector.
At a recent swearing-in ceremony for Williams, US Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power emphasized that Madagascar needs someone who understands the country's political, economic and cultural context; she can earn the trust and respect of those who work for her; and can be decisive, yet collaborative, informed, and curious.
"In all of those respects, Anne is the perfect person to take on this new role."
The US Ambassador to Madagascar and the Comoros, Claire A.
Pierangelo, highlighted USAID's work in the region: “The entire Mission has worked hard on initiatives to increase resilience, improve health outcomes, strengthen management of natural resources, promote sustainable economic development and address climate change.
.” Williams described Madagascar as "a unique and fascinating country" that, however, "faces many daunting challenges stemming from both climate-related impacts and extreme poverty."
USAID, she added, works to implement programs "to help where we can most."
Williams, a career member of the US Senior Foreign Service, joined USAID in 2000.
Previously, she served as Deputy Director of Mission in Mali and held assignments in Senegal, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, and Washington, DC For nearly four For decades, the US Government, through USAID, has been Madagascar's most important development partner, working side by side with the Malagasy people as “mpirahalahy mianala” to help the country achieve its development goals.
In 2021, USAID provided Madagascar with $182 million in development assistance, including $72 million to control malaria and improve maternal and child health, family planning, water and sanitation, and nutrition.
The United States also donated $87 million for food security and emergency assistance, $13.5 million to combat COVID-19, and $8.25 million to protect the environment.