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ECOWAS allows movement of citizens with use of biometric ID cards

ECOWAS allows movement of citizens with use of biometric ID cards

first_imgThe West African Regional bloc ECOWAS has reached a landmark decision for its 15-member states that will allow ease of movement across borders for its citizens with the use of biometric identity cards. The announcement comes after the 48th Ordinary Summit of ECOWAS Heads of Government meeting held in Nigeria’s capital Abuja.Amidst heightened security and high expectation leaders of the Economic Community of West African States ECOWAS met to discuss their regional challenges and how to mitigate them.“This occasion provides us stakeholders the opportunity to reflect on the progress so far made towards achieving the objectives of ECOWAS over the past 40 years the challenges confronting our community and the way forward toward to fast- tracking deeper integration.” Said Nigeria’s President Muhammadu BuhariThat deeper integration was made more evident by the introduction of the bio-metric identity cards which allows passport-free movement of citizens across ECOWAS member states . A measure aimed at boosting trade potential, creating a labour market, and having one set of rules in policing the borders.“We have crossed yet another step of our process of economic and political integration That is the adoption of the ECOWAS biometric identity card. It will be the same card for all the ECOWAS citizens when we start issuing in January 2016.” Siad  Kadre Desire’ Ouedraogo President ECOWASThis fundamental freedom of movement is what some Nigerian’s seemed to have been waiting for.“The world is a global village you have to move from one country to another for business.. schooling. I would like to move to another country to do business.”Said  Kayode Fa Kayode, a traderPerhaps the most controversial outcome of the state summit is the recommendation to side-step religious requirements of dress especially for women in identifying it’s citizens.“in taking into account the local situation and after that environment are encouraged to take measures in order to forbid this kind of code that will not allow the security personnel to make sure of the identity of the person so this is the content of this decision but of course the implementation is at the national level, but ECOWA has discussed the matter and head of state has recommended these to all ECOWAS member states.” Said Kadre Desire’ Ouedraogo, President ECOWASThe bio-metric identity cards will be issued at the beginning of January 2016 and each member country tasked to implement the new border policy.ECOWAS hopes to build upon its 40- year legacy by continuing to confront political volatilily in the West Africa region, and foster equal economic growth but perhaps the biggest gain for the regional partnership is the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons and Goods.last_img read more

Zimbabwe government rejects WhatsApp proposal ban

Zimbabwe government rejects WhatsApp proposal ban

first_imgZimbabwe government rejects WhatsApp proposal banZimbabwe’s government has rejected a proposal by mobile phone firms to ban Over The Top (OTT) services such as WhatsApp and Skype, a Cabinet  minister has revealed.The Herald Newspaper reported that the firms requested that OTT services be regulated, arguing they were knocking their profits.The introduction of OTTs which allow mobile phone users to communicate at far less charge than the mobile phone operator are levying while riding on their very networks, saw hard pressed consumers opting for the cheaper alternatives.As a result WhatsApp, Viber and Skype are among applications that have taken over the communication landscape at the expense of the network.Information Communication Technology Postal and Courier Services Minister Supa Mandiwanzira said that the operators last year approached the government seeking to have the OTTs banned or stifledThe Minister said that the government told the operators to look at the development as an opportunity to facilitate young Zimbabweans to develop applications suitable for local and global use than can rival those coming from abroad.“We did mention that as a progressive government, which promotes access to technology, we were averse to the idea of stifling these technologies or banning them,” Information Communication Technology Minister Supa Mandiwanzira saidlast_img read more

Nigeria inflation hits 17.6 percent in August

Nigeria inflation hits 17.6 percent in August

first_imgNigeria’s inflation for August has risen to 17.6 percent, the country’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Friday.In a statement, the bureau said that the Consumer Price Index, which measured inflation, increased to 17.6 percent (year-on-year) in August from 17.1 percent recorded in July.Increases were recorded in all classification of individual consumption by purpose divisions, which contributed to the headline index reflecting higher prices across the board, the NBS said.Also, urban and rural prices continued to rise in the month of August.Urban inflation rate increased in the month to 19.3 percent (year-on-year) from 18.9 percent recorded in July, while the rural inflation rate increased to 16.1 percent, up from 15.5 percent the previous month, the NBS report added.last_img read more

At least 15 dead, five others injured in food stampede in…

At least 15 dead, five others injured in food stampede in…

first_imgAt least 15 people have died and 5 others injured in a stampede in Morocco while food aid was being distributed, local media reports.According to the Moroccan state TV Channel 2M, the stampede took place on Sunday in the village of Sidi Boulalam in the southern province of Essaouira, approximately 90 miles west of Marrakesh.Some reports have indicated that up to 40 people were injured in the crush with the local media reporting that most of the victims were women and elderly people.The stampede has been blamed on “disorganization” of the distribution by an unnamed charity organization that was carrying it out.Pictures on social media showed bodies of women lying on the ground with fears that the death toll is expected to rise.Distributions of food especially in remote parts of the country are common. The distributions are organized by private sponsors and groups as well as by the country’s authorities.last_img read more

Rivals in DR Congo blame each other for pre-election violence

Rivals in DR Congo blame each other for pre-election violence

first_imgRenewed violence in DR Congo interrupts Ebola care DR Congo Massacre DR Congo army donates vehicles for December electioncenter_img On Monday, three weeks before a crucial Congo presidential vote, opponents and supporters of Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila traded accusations of electoral violence.The pro-Kabila coalition said opposition supporters attacked a march over the weekend, injuring dozens while opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi’s UDPS party said police detained more than 40 of his supporters in 48 hours.Kabila’s FCC coalition said “young delinquents, drug addicts who are Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) supporters” attacked a march for Ramazani Shadary supporters on Saturday in Mbuji Mayi in Eastern Kasai province.“We have 35 seriously injured and with fractures,” an FCC statement said.East Kasai governor Alphonse Ngoyi Kasanji on Monday revealed there were 15 wounded treated at a local hospital.A source at Tshisekedi’s UDPS party said police encircled its headquarters in Mbuji Mayi between Sunday night and Monday morning and detained dozens of his supporters over the weekend.“Around 20 of our activists were arrested on Saturday and are still in police custody. One of our parliamentary candidates is still reported missing,” regional UDPS representative Denis Kalombo told AFP.Vincent Ngoyi, a local official, said police had been deployed to the UDPS headquarters in the region for “security reasons” because they were responsible for unrest on Saturday.Tens of thousands of supporters turned out to welcome Tshisekedi, whose father Etienne was the face of DRC opposition for decades, as he returned to Kinshasa last month to kick off his campaign to replace Kabila.Rich in diamonds, the Kasai region was caught up in militia violence between September 2016 and mid-2017 after a powerful local chieftain was killed by security forces.Around 3 000 people died in the violence and 1.4 million more were displaced by fighting.Election preparations are also being tested in eastern DR Congo, where the army is fighting militant and inter-ethnic violence and dealing with a deadly Ebola outbreak.Western powers are closely watching the December 23 election in the mineral-wealthy former Belgian colony that has never seen a peaceful transition of power since its 1960 independence.Under international pressure, Kabila agreed to step aside, but critics worry he will engineer a victory for his handpicked successor, former interior minister Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary.Relatedlast_img read more

EU calls for DRC vote results to reflect people’s will

EU calls for DRC vote results to reflect people’s will

first_imgEU expands sanctions against DRC to 16 people US calls for credible DRC elections The European Union called on Friday for voting results in the Democratic Republic of Congo to reflect the people’s will at what it called a “historic moment toward a democratic transition”.Elections held last Sunday will determine who succeeds President Joseph Kabila, at the helm of sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest country for nearly 18 years.“The Democratic Republic of Congo is at a historic moment toward a democratic transition,” a spokesperson for the EU’s diplomatic arm said.“The EU joins calls from the African Union election monitoring mission and the AU commission chairman, among others, to ensure the upcoming results conform with the Congolese people’s vote,” the statement said.All of the DRC’s “political actors have a duty to contribute to the success of this transition in a spirit of reconciliation and peace,” the EU’s external action service added.African Union chief Moussa Faki Mahamat called earlier on Friday for the DRC voting results to be respected, as tensions grow over delays in the counting process.Three days before the elections, the EU lashed out at DRC’s decision to expel its ambassador, calling the move “completely unjustified”.DRC Foreign Minister Leonard She Okitundu had told the EU it had 48 hours to withdraw its representative in retaliation for sanctions against 14 officials, including Kabila’s handpicked candidate for the long-delayed vote.The election was the country’s first presidential ballot in seven years. It has not had a peaceful transfer of power since gaining independence from Belgium in 1960.Relatedcenter_img DRC opposition calls off talks with Kabilalast_img read more

Kenya seeks funds to meet huge rugby budget for 2020 season,…

Kenya seeks funds to meet huge rugby budget for 2020 season,…

first_imgKenya’s Malkia Strikers qualifies for Tokyo 2020 Olympics volleyball Kenya Rugby Union Board of Directors Chairman Oduor Gangla./Emmanuel Orlale via KRU Kenya rugby teams will have to spend over 400 million shillings ($4 million) to honor their calendar of events in 2020.Kenya Rugby Union Board of Directors Chairman Oduor Gangla./Emmanuel Orlale via KRUOduor Gangla, chairman of Kenya Rugby Union (KRU), said Wednesday unless sponsors and the government come to their aid, they may have to forfeit some competitions as the country has enacted two teams – men and women – in this year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.Kenya Sevens team, Shujaa, is already out in Los Angeles, the USA for the World Series fifth leg after stops in Cape Town, Dubai, Hamilton and Sydney.Simbas, the Kenya 15s rugby side, will have their biggest assignment this year as they will be playing in a revamped Africa Cup while the women side, Lionesses, have a World Cup qualifier in April as well as an assignment in the World Sevens Series.The Junior team, Chipu, will be taking part in the Barthes Cup on home soil in April.“Kenya Under-18 team, which will be going to Namibia for a Sevens tournament, are also factored in. All the four teams will each require $1 million to cater for their budgets,” Gangla said.Shujaa is also mooting to pitch camp in South Africa next month to utilize the lull brought about by the postponement of the Singapore and Hong Kong Legs of the World Series.The camp will help in their preparations for the Tokyo Olympics from July 24 to August 9 in Japan.Related Australia rugby legend holds clinic for rugby sevens teams in Kenyacenter_img Kenya 7s wins Africa Men’s Sevens to qualify for Tokyo 2020 Olympicslast_img read more

Sharing of information, resources vital to COVID-19 fight

Sharing of information, resources vital to COVID-19 fight

first_imgSeychelles bolsters preparedness for COVID-19 fight Chinese President Xi Jinping attends the G20 Extraordinary Virtual Leaders’ Summit on COVID-19 via video link in Beijing, capital of China, March 26, 2020. /Xinhua Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speech during the virtual summit of the G20 leaders continues to draw reactions across Africa.In South Africa, Professor Amanda Gouws has welcomed the strengthening of international cooperation and formation of a joint force that can defeat the virus. Ugandan military joins fight against spread of COVID-19 CMG Journalist clarifies fight against COVID-19 Relatedlast_img

Kenya’s COVID-19 tally nears 500 mark

Kenya’s COVID-19 tally nears 500 mark

first_imgThe Chief Administrative Secretary in Kenya’s Ministry of Health, Dr. Mercy Mwangangi, speaks at a COVID-19 briefing in Nairobi on Monday 4 May, 2020.Kenya has reported 25 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the country’s total tally to 490.The figures were announced on Monday by the Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Mercy Mwangangi, who called upon Kenyans to continue adhering to the laid-out guidelines aimed at curbing further spread of COVID-19.“We must observe social distancing. We must continue to wash our hands frequently. We do call on you to stay at home and only go out when it is absolutely necessary. And whenever you are in public, one must wear the face mask,” Dr Mwangangi said in her press briefing.The CAS noted that all the new infections were local transmissions as none of the 25 new patients had a recent history of foreign travel.In her briefing, Dr Mwangangi said that some Kenyans were defying the regulations and only seem to toe the line when in the presence of enforcement officials.Kenya is one of 52 countries in Africa that have reported COVID-19 cases. The continent has reported more than 43,000 cases and over 1,700 fatalities, according to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.Related Kenya confirms 16 new COVID-19 cases Kenya’s COVID-19 tally jumps to 172 with 14 new casescenter_img Kenya reports eight new COVID-19 caseslast_img read more