Malawian first lady blames social media for frustrating fight against HIV/AIDS

Malawian first lady, Dr. Gertrude Mutharika, the increased usage of social media among youths in Africa is frustrating the continent’s efforts to fight HIV/AIDS.

Mutharika is the President of the African First Ladies against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA) -an organisation that brings together all first ladies in Africa to combat HIV.

Speaking during the during the Africa Health Agenda International Youth Conference held in Nairobi, Kenya over the weekend, Mutharika noted that whereas many youths have used social media such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp among others to create innovations that have promoted good health behavior among their peers, many have misused it to promoting acts that have increased the number of HIV youths infections.

Margaret Kenyatta, Kenya’s First Lady promised the youth that OAFLA is committed to support them against HIV. She notes that African governments need to understand and engage youth to establish youth led interventions to fight the HIV scourge.

Anderson Tsuma, a youth activist and chairperson of Youth Action Movement Kenya, notes that although social media and mobile technologies  have the potential to prevent HIV by spreading awareness, there  is a challenge of control.

He notes that there is need for African governments to sensitize the youth on the proper use of the media, that girls have been reported in the main stream media to have been raped  by strangers they met via social media.
Catherine Chiboola, a youth activist from Zambia says that youth have used these technologies to get online resources, information, and learning opportunities and health information including on HIV/AIDS.

She notes that governments should make establishment of ICT centers in rural areas a priority so that youth in remote and hard to reach areas can also benefit from what social media can provide.

According a 2016 report by Unicef,  an estimated 36.7 million people were living with HIV worldwide in 2015. Of these, 1.8 million were children under 15 years of age and about 17.8 million were women and girls.

The report also revealed that each day that year, approximately 5,700 people were infected with HIV and approximately 3,000 people died from AIDS-related causes, mostly because of inadequate access to HIV prevention care and treatment services.

However, according to the report new HIV infections among children are declining rapidly – approximately 70 per cent since 2001 – largely due to scaled-up efforts to prevent mother-to-child transmission.

The toll of HIV and AIDS continues to be harsh, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2015, sub-Saharan Africa accounted for the vast majority of the world’s people living with AIDS, new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths.

 

 

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Uganda recognized for aggressive fight against Malaria

Uganda is among eight other African countries honoured for their commitment and innovation in the fight against malaria.

At the 28th African Union Summit in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) awarded the 2017 ALMA Awards to Uganda, Botswana, Cape Verde, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia and Swaziland.
Uganda achieved a more than 40 percent decrease in malaria incidence and malaria mortality from 2010 to 2015, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

To enable the country build upon its momentous headway, Uganda has also secured a US$188 million commitment from the Global Fund for 2018 to 2020 for malaria.

This success was the result of a significant scaling up of insecticide-treated nets and indoor residual spraying as well as case management through public health facilities, the private sector and integrated community level activities.

According to AU press release, the 2017 ALMA Awards for Excellence come just six months after the adoption of the ‘Catalytic Framework’ at the 27th African Union Summit last July. The framework provides a road-map for African countries to increase domestic resources, expand the use of innovation and technology, and improve health infrastructure to eliminate malaria by 2030.

Since 2000, malaria mortality rates across the continent have fallen by 62 percent in all age groups and by 69 percent among children under five. These achievements come at a time when African countries are providing more domestic funding to fight malaria.

The AU statement says that the increase in those sleeping under long-lasting insecticidal nets, or protected by indoor residual spraying, as well as diagnostic testing of children and treatment of pregnant women has contributed to significantly lowering incidence and mortality in Africa.

The growing role of African leaders is also reflected in the recent formation of the End Malaria Council, a group of committed business and public sector leaders that has come together to ensure malaria eradication remains a global priority. The council will explore innovative approaches to mobilise political will and resources to help end malaria.

Malaria remains a critical threat in Africa, according to WHO. In 2015, 195 million of the 212 million new malaria cases and 394,000 of the world’s 429,000 malaria-related deaths were in Africa.

 

 

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Yahya Jammeh leaves Gambia with more than $11m worth State coffers

More than $11m (£8.8m) is missing from The Gambia’s state coffers following the departure of long-time leader Yahya Jammeh, an adviser to President Adama Barrow has said.

Mai Ahmad Fatty said financial experts were trying to evaluate the exact loss.

Luxury cars and other items were seen being loaded on to a Chadian cargo plane on the night Mr Jammeh left the country.

Mr Jammeh flew into exile on Saturday, ending his 22 years in power.

He had refused to accept election results but finally left after mediation by regional leaders and the threat of military intervention.

President Barrow remains in neighbouring Senegal and it is not clear when he will return.

However, West African troops entered the Gambian capital, Banjul, on Sunday to prepare for his arrival.

Cheering crowds gathered outside the State House to watch soldiers secure the building.

 

 

 

-BBC

ECOWAS issues an ultimatum to Jammeh to leave office before noon today

Mr Jammeh has been given until noon on Friday to leave office or be forced out by UN-backed regional forces.

Troops have been told to halt their advance until the deadline passes.

The Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) is acting in support of Adama Barrow, who was sworn in as the new Gambian president on Thursday.

His legitimacy as president, after winning last month’s election, has been recognised internationally.

Last-ditch mediation talks, led by Guinea’s President Alpha Conde, are due on Friday morning.

Chairman of the Ecowas commission, Marcel Alain de Souza, said that if the meeting with Mr Conde proved unsuccessful, militarily action would follow.

“If by midday, he [Mr Jammeh] doesn’t agree to leave The Gambia under the banner of President Conde, we really will intervene militarily,” he said.

Ecowas said that its forces had encountered no resistance after entering The Gambia on Thursday.

Troops from Senegal and other West African countries crossed into The Gambia after an initial deadline for Mr Jammeh to stand down passed with his resignation.

Mr Barrow, who remains in Senegal, has said that he will not return to Gambia’s capital, Banjul, until the military operation had ended.

The threat by the West African regional bloc Ecowas to remove Mr Jammeh by force is supported by the 15-member UN Security Council, although the council has stressed that a political solution should be the priority.

A Senegalese army spokesman, Col Abdou Ndiaye, told the BBC that troops who were now in The Gambia were prepared to fight if necessary.

“It is already war, if we find any resistance, we will fight it,” he said, adding: “If there are people who are fighting for the former president, we will fight them.”

But Col Ndiaye said the main goal of Ecowas was to restore democracy and to allow the newly-elected president to take power.

 

 

 

-BBC

Gambia’s Yahya Jammeh accepts to handover power and go to exile

Barely a few hours before his mandate expires, President Yahya Jammeh of the Gambia is reported to have accepted a last-minute deal to relinquish power peacefully and go into exile.

According to reports from Banjul which are yet to be independently confirmed, Mr Jammeh agreed to step down in the interest of peace and stability of the Gambia after a tense closed door meeting with the visiting president of Mauritania, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz.

Reports added that Mr Jammeh will leave for Mauritania tonight with President Aziz.

It is not clear whether he will settle there permanently or move to another country.

Mr Jammeh’s mandate expires at midnight tonight after his surprised defeat in last month’s election by opposition candidate Adama Barrow.

He had vowed to cling to power after accusing the country’s electoral commission of rigging the election in favour of the opposition.

His attempt to overturn the election result at the Supreme Court has been delayed because of a shortage of judges as most of the judges come from neighbouring countries.

Neighbouring Senegal and Nigeria have threatened to storm Banjul militarily and enforce last month’s election results unless he steps down by midnight.

 

 

-Jollof News

In his new track, Olamide says he sold his soul to the devil

Multi-award winning rapper, Olamide Adedeji a.k.a Baddo recently released his 6th studio album titled “The Glory” on the 26th of December 2016.
Reports reveal that all songs on the album were awesome as the YBNL boss dazzles his fans with incredibility and uniqueness of style.
Olamide spat fire on the intro of the track titled ‘Letter To Milli’ where he talked about selling his soul to dine with the devil.
In the track, Letter to Milli, Olamide said:
“In every level, there is a different devil.
“I sold my soul to the game just to dine with the devil…”
The first verse of the song read;
“Hey, son! What’s up?
“This is your dad. I’m writing this to motivate you whenever you’re down
“Just remember my story and the things that people told me
“9-million-miter to my head couldn’t hold me
“Part from the fact and all the things that I believed in
“And how I treat the special woman with the womb I lived in
 
“How I used to go- go; how I used to go- get
“How I used to go to shows with no cash in my pocket
“I’m talking 08, 09, O10, O11
“For every level, there’s a different devil
“I sold my soul to the game just to dine with the devil
“I hope I make heaven; ahn
“And sometimes, I don’t even think about the fact that my daddy is a driver and my hood is Lady-Lak
“I just grind like am crazy like a maniac
“To make my daddy proud and get all the things my lady lacks.”
-Tori

#TBT: Do you remember Xi in Gods must be crazy?

If you talk about childhood movies, it is certain a large percentage of Ugandans watched God’s must be crazy. The main African actor Xi, is one not so many people who have watched the movie will forget.

Nǃxau ǂToma (short: Nǃxau, alternative spelling Gcao Tekene Coma; 16 December 1944 – 5 July 2003) was a Namibian bush farmer and actor who was made famous by his roles in the 1980 movie The Gods Must Be Crazy and its sequels, in which he played the Kalahari San (Bushman) Xixo. The Namibian called him “Namibia’s most famous actor”.

Nǃxau was a member of the San, also known as Bushmen. He spoke Juǀʼhoan, Otjiherero and Tswana fluently, as well as some Afrikaans. He did not know his own exact age, and before his appearance in the films he had little experience of typical “modern” living: he had only ever seen three white people before being cast and was unaware of the value of paper money, allowing (according to legend) his first earnings for The Gods Must Be Crazy to literally blow away in the wind.

He earned only $300 for his work in The Gods Must Be Crazy, but by the time of the first sequel he was educated about the purpose and value of money within the modern world and negotiated a much larger sum (R800,000) for the film.[2]Regardless, he did come from a culture that did not value the material things that money could buy and consequently had never before learned money management skills; “he did not have the skills to manage his income,” although he used some of it to build a brick house with running water and electricity for his family.

In addition to The Gods Must Be Crazy, N!xau starred in a series of sequels: The Gods Must Be Crazy II, Crazy Safari, Crazy Hong Kong and The Gods Must Be Funny in China. After his film career ended, he returned to Namibia, where he farmed maize, pumpkins and beans and kept several head of cattle (but no more than 20 at a time because, according to The Independent, without the complex farming systems of the “modern world,” he had trouble keeping track of more).[2] The Namibian local daily New Era stated that he simply could not count further than 20.

N!xau converted to Christianity. In July 2000, he was baptised as a Seventh-day Adventist.

On 5 July 2003, he died from multiple-drug-resistant tuberculosis while he was hunting guinea fowl. According to official estimates he was about 58 or 59 years old at the time. He was buried on 12 July in a semi-traditional ceremony at Tsumkwe, next to the grave of his second wife. He had six surviving children.

 

 

 

-Wikipedia

It has been five years since Gadhafi died, has Libya moved on?

Moammar Gadhafi died five years ago today — ignominiously pulled from a drainage pipe and executed by a young fighter whose parents had likely been children themselves when the Libyan dictator first came to power in 1969.

In the intervening years, Gadhafi systematically stripped the country of its ability to self govern, installing a cult of personality where his mercurial political predilections prevailed.
In short, he was creating a state ready to fail as soon as he did.
I clearly remember being in the luxurious Rixos hotel in Tripoli, as NATO bombs were falling outside, when one of Gadhafi’s trusted lieutenants told me “you will see,” no one but Gadhafi can keep this country together. “You in the West think this is easy but when he is gone you will understand.”
He told me this without rancor, without grimace or smile. He spoke as someone who knows what they’re talking about because they’ve done it. He had the precise certainty that comes from spending years experiencing Libya’s equally mercurial and endlessly scheming tribes.
Libya has more than a 100 tribes — with some spreading across the country’s borders with Egypt and Tunisia — but only a few of them hold sway politically.
Libya’s chaos, explained in five graphics
Today his words haunt me. If there was ever a vision shared by former British Prime Minster Cameron and former French President Nicolas Sarkozy as they rushed NATO towards airstrikes over Libya, then it evaporated long ago.

Libya in chaos

Libya is in a mess. Three governments vie for power, multiple tribes compete for influence and a slice of the country’s dwindling oil wealth, and ISIS managed to take a foothold in the city of Sirte — Gadhafi’s home town.
Like the Roman emperor Septimius Severus who diverted the treasure of his empire to build up his home town — the splendid coastal city of Leptis Magna — Gadhafi did the same in his own home hamlet, lavishing it with hospitals, homes, highways, and even conference centers. His fall bred a lot of resentment there, which ISIS perhaps exploited.
Today, Sirte is under siege by western-backed local militias trying to drive out thousands of ISIS fighters, who moved in a little over a year ago.
ISIS saw the chaos in Libya as ripe for exploitation and ideal for an expansion of their barbaric cult. Al Qaeda tried to seize the same opportunity several years earlier.
Their leader Ayman al Zawahiri sent trusted lieutenants there to establish a base.
Recent reports from sources in Sirte suggest ISIS is regrouping for another phase of the fight to defend its position in the city.
Some fighters loyal to ISIS have dispersed across the country, while others have sent their families to live with local tribes. The influential Warfalla tribe, upon whom Gadhafi relied to prop up his leadership, are believed to have taken in some with ISIS links.
These are roots Libya and the West can ill afford to see grow.

Power struggle

From an urgency to see stability and stop ISIS’ growth in Libya, the United Nations hastened in a Government of National Accord (GNA) earlier this year.
The idea being that once established, the GNA as a sovereign government could call on allies to help it tackle ISIS. But from the moment the GNA’s leadership arrived in Tripoli in March by boat from Tunisia, they have struggled to gain legitimacy.
They compete with the Islamist-dominated General National Congress (GNC) — also known as the Government of National Salvation — under Prime Minister Khalifa Ghwell.
In 2014, the GNC ousted the previous internationally recognized government — the Council of Deputies — that has since set up camp in the east of Libya, adding weight to fears the country could split along old regional lines — east, west and south.
The latest setback to international plans came only last week when the GNA was surrounded by elements of the GNC, a coup of sorts, but in essence nothing more than a reset of the equilibrium back in favor of Islamist militias. On top of this ISIS is proving more resilient in Sirte than many imagined.

Libya may haunt Clinton

The chaos after Gadhafi’s fall has also had implications for US Presidential candidate Hilary Clinton, who served as Secretary of State during this time. In 2012, a US diplomatic compound in Benghazi was attacked, killing US ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
The White House initially described it as a spontaneous response to an American-made video mocking Islam, rather than a pre-planned terror attack by militants. To make matters worse, critics questioned whether the State Department had provided adequate security at the outposts in strife-torn city.
The incident also showed how difficult the situation on the ground was for foreign powers to navigate — not least because of the clashing factions and difficulty in knowing who to trust.
During the course of an investigation into the attack, it was also discovered that Clinton had used a private email server to conduct official business while running the State Department — though she says she “never sent or received” classified information.
In any analysis of Libya, the killing of Stephens and Clinton’s subsequent emails has its biggest impact in making the world’s super power more cautious and less likely to engage where it’s heft in finding a solution is critical.

Oil to the rescue?

Libya’s ultimate salvation lies in its oil. This could fund the rebuilding of the country and spread the wealth wide enough so that enough competing factions can come together to impose a peace.
In recent weeks, oil output has doubled from 250,000 barrels per day to 500,000 thousand — far short of the Gadhafi-era production levels in excess of 1 million barrels.
But while this may look the kind of forward momentum many in the West wish to see, it masks significant complications in Libya’s spiraling conflict.
The boost in oil sales came off the back of a military offensive by the de facto defense chief of the former internationally recognized government, General Khalifa Haftar.
He took control of key oil facilities in the east. To the West’s surprise, Libya’s National Oil Corporation chief stationed in Tripoli allowed Haftar and his allies to sell the oil.
The move makes a mockery of the UN-backed GNA’s ability to lead the country, put it under their control and own the oil. Haftar had refused to back the GNA and in this development has outmaneuvered them and put further question marks against their legitimacy.
So while the oil news looks good for now, the country has many more hurdles to clear, not least the need to address the competing regional interests. Haftar’s explosive territorial expansion in the east did not come out of a vacuum.
Haftar is widely understood to have neighboring Egypt’s backing, not just because they want strategic depth — read influence — in Eastern Libya, they also abhor the Muslim Brotherhood and their Islamist allies who hold sway in Tripoli. In 2011, Qatar threw its support behind the Islamists. A tussle of interests that has yet to be resolved.
Yes, those words uttered to me by Gadhafi’s envoy in the Rixos five years ago still resonate deeply.

African legislators appeal to European states to fund political parties

By Alice Lubwama
Members of African parliaments meeting in Brussels Belgium have called for an increase of funding of political parties by European states to develop principles of democracy.
The African legislators say it is important that the European Union considers funding all the political parties in the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries to foster democracy. But Uganda’s head of delegation, Deputy Speaker of the Parliament Jacob Oulanyah, is of the view that member states should fund their democratic processes.

Heavy rains leave many in Ibanda homeless

A heavy down pour has left a trail of destruction in Kicuzi Sub County in Ibanda district. Twenty households are homeless after their houses were destroyed by the heavy rain that pounded the sub county for close to five hours on Wednesday.
The rain also destroyed Irimya police post injuring three people critically. They include Juliet Ampire, Ketty Ampaire and her 2- year- old child.  They were rushed to Ishaka Adventist and Kyamuhunga Hospitals respectively.  The most affected residents are from Kitooma, Rwenzigye, Ryakazo, Karuhisi villages.
John Tushemereirwe, the Kacuzi Sub county LC V councilor, says the rain started on Tuesday at 2pm and stopped before resuming in the wee hours of Wednesday morning. Fred Baryaija is one of the residents who lost their houses in the rain. According to Baryaija, in addition to losing his property, where his entire property was lost, his banana plantation is no more because of the heavy destruction.
Denis Ocama, the Ibanda District Police Commander, says they are hunting for the suspects who took advantage of the destruction of the police post to escape from lawful custody. The duo had been locked up in Police post for theft. Melechuides Kazwengye, the Ibanda LC V chairperson, says the district has dispatched a team to the area to the affected assess the magnitude of the damage.
According to Kazwengye, the district intends to petition the primate minister’s office for intervention due to lack of funds to support the disaster victims.

 

-URN