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Friday, 19 April 2024

Khama trails in African leadership award

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Former president Lt. Gen. Ian Khama is currently running behind in race to scope the African leadership award. Khama has been selected for the 2018 African Leadership Magazine Persons of the Year.

The award is a vote-based awards program, reserved for African business, political and diplomatic leaders, who are considered to have blazed the trail in different categories in the year under review. The awards enjoy one of the most participatory processes, as Africans get to decide who takes the coveted crown in different categories.  For the award, Khama is trailing on the second spot at 2.45 percent of the votes against Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia with a whopping 96.70 percent.

In the same category, Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo, the Secretary General of Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Nigeria is sitting at a paltry 0.85 percent. In terms of the ALM Young Person of the Year 2018, another category, a Botswana’s 31 year old trail blazer and new Minister of Investment, Trade & Industry, Bogolo Joy Kenewendo is leading the votes at a whopping 71.62 percent.

Kenewendo is followed by Sibeth Ndiaye, Press Secretary to the President of France with 5.17 percemt while the head of Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth & Advancement (YIAGA) in Nigeria Samson Itodo is at 6.50 percent. At last, Iyinoluwa Samuel Aboyeji, Co-founder of Andela at Nigeria only amassed 4.51 percent. For the prestigious ALM Person of the Year 2018 under Political Leadership, the well celebrated President of Tanzania John Pombe Magufuli is leading the polls by a mammoth 63.61 percent.

Magufuli is then followed by Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana at 18.46 percent, while Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Nigeria is at 9.49 percent. The newly selected President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa is sitting behind at 8.44 percent of the vote.

With regard to the category of the African Female Leader of the Year 2018, Amina J Mohammed who is the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations (UN) from Nigeria is on top with 77.20 percent while the wife to the late South African anti-apartheid stalwart Nelson Mandela, Graça Machel is at 9.45 percent.

The first African Female Anglican Bishop in Swaziland Ellinah Ntombi Wamukoya comes second with 4.94 percent while Grace Maria Sanchez, President, Network of Women Parliamentarians, Cape Verde is at 4.70 percent and 3.72 percent for Bridget Radebe, Mmaku Mining from South Africa.The Publisher of the prestigious magazine, Dr. Ken Giami, who unveiled the nominees at the group’s corporate head office in the United Kingdom, observed that the nominations for the 2018 edition of the Persons of the Year, attracted submissions from East, West, South, North and Southern Africa.

The publisher also stated that “all the nominees have risen above the obvious challenges that their milieus have thrown at them to achieve greatness in their own unique ways but in different roles.” The shortlist was preceded by a call for the nomination which attracted over 250 entries, from within and outside the continent. The eventual winners would be decided via a voting process. Meanwhile voting for all the categories closes on the 10th December 2018, at midnight Central African Time.

The African Leadership magazine is published by African Leadership (UK) Limited, a company registered in the United Kingdom (Company No. 07435198). The magazine focuses on bringing the best of Africa to a global audience, telling the African story from an African perspective; while evolving solutions to peculiar challenges being faced by the continent today.

Since its maiden edition, African Leadership Magazine has grown to become a leading pan-African flagship leadership-focused publication read by over 1, 000, 000 targeted international investors, business executives, government policy makers, and multilateral agencies across Africa, the Middle East and Asia, Europe, and the US.

It is distributed at major international and African Leadership events around the world. The magazine has over 850,000 subscribers/Followers on Facebook and a virile readership on other social media platforms. It is a niche and unbiased African voice born out of a desire to ameliorate a lot of Africans by focusing on individuals and corporate bodies that are known for their legacy-based approach to leadership.

The publication believe in building sustainable leadership in Africa through the exchange of ideas in tandem with global best practices. The magazine shall continually seek to herald the dawn of a new Africa as the continent of promise and global leadership, championed by people of integrity and resilience who are rising from the challenges of an unpleasant past; thereby preserving a legacy for future generations of our people.

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Nigerians, Zimbabweans apply for Chema Chema Fund

16th April 2024

Fronting activities, where locals are used as a front for foreign-owned businesses, have been a long-standing issue in Botswana. These activities not only undermine the government’s efforts to promote local businesses but also deprive Batswana of opportunities for economic empowerment, officials say. The Ministry of Trade and Industry has warned of heavy penalties for those involved in fronting activities especially in relation to the latest popular government initiative dubbed Chema Chema.

According to the Ministry, the Industrial Development Act of 2019 clearly outlines the consequences of engaging in fronting activities. The fines of up to P50,000 for first-time offenders and P20,000 plus a two-year jail term for repeat offenders send a strong message that the government is serious about cracking down on this illegal practice. These penalties are meant to deter individuals from participating in fronting activities and to protect the integrity of local industries.

“It is disheartening to hear reports of collaboration between foreigners and locals to exploit government initiatives such as the Chema Chema Fund. This fund, administered by CEDA and LEA, is meant to support informal traders and low-income earners in Botswana. However, when fronting activities come into play, the intended beneficiaries are sidelined, and the funds are misused for personal gain.” It has been discovered that foreign nationals predominantly of Zimbabwean and Nigerian origin use unsuspecting Batswana to attempt to access the Chema Chema Fund. It is understood that they approach these Batswana under the guise of drafting business plans for them or simply coming up with ‘bankable business ideas that qualify for Chema Chema.’

Observers say the Chema Chema Fund has the potential to uplift the lives of many Batswana who are struggling to make ends meet. They argue that it is crucial that these funds are used for their intended purpose and not siphoned off through illegal activities such as fronting. The Ministry says the warning it issued serves as a reminder to all stakeholders involved in the administration of these funds to ensure transparency and accountability in their disbursement.

One local commentator said it is important to highlight the impact of fronting activities on the local economy and the livelihoods of Batswana. He said by using locals as a front for foreign-owned businesses, opportunities for local entrepreneurs are stifled, and the economic empowerment of Batswana is hindered. The Ministry’s warning of heavy penalties is a call to action for all stakeholders to work together to eliminate fronting activities and promote a level playing field for local businesses.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Trade and Industry’s warning of heavy penalties for fronting activities is a necessary step to protect the integrity of local industries and promote economic empowerment for Batswana. “It is imperative that all stakeholders comply with regulations and work towards a transparent and accountable business environment. By upholding the law and cracking down on illegal activities, we can ensure a fair and prosperous future for all Batswana.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Merck Foundation and African First Ladies mark World Health Day 2024

15th April 2024

Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany marks “World Health Day” 2024 together with Africa’s First Ladies who are also Ambassadors of MerckFoundation “More Than a Mother” Campaign through their Scholarship and Capacity Building Program. Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation emphasized, “At Merck Foundation, we mark World Health Day every single day of the year over the past 12 years, by building healthcare capacity and transforming patient care across Africa, Asia and beyond.

I am proud to share that Merck Foundation has provided over 1740 scholarships to aspiring young doctors from 52 countries, in 44 critical and underserved medical specialties such as Oncology, Diabetes, Preventative Cardiovascular Medicine, Endocrinology, Sexual and Reproductive Medicine, Acute Medicine, Respiratory Medicine, Embryology & Fertility specialty, Gastroenterology, Dermatology, Psychiatry, Emergency and Resuscitation Medicine, Critical Care, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Neonatal Medicine, Advanced Surgical Practice, Pain Management, General Surgery, Clinical Microbiology and infectious diseases, Internal Medicine, Trauma & Orthopedics, Neurosurgery, Neurology, Cardiology, Stroke Medicine, Care of the Older Person, Family Medicine, Pediatrics and Child Health, Obesity & Weight Management, Women’s Health, Biotechnology in ART and many more”.

As per the available data, Africa has only 34.6% of the required doctors, nurses, and midwives. It is projected that by 2030, Africa would need additional 6.1 million doctors, nurses, and midwives*. “For Example, before the start of the Merck Foundation programs in 2012; there was not a single Oncologist, Fertility or Reproductive care specialists, Diabetologist, Respiratory or ICU specialist in many countries such as The Gambia, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Central African Republic, Guinea, Burundi, Niger, Chad, Ethiopia, Namibia among others. We are certainly creating historic legacy in Africa, and also beyond. Together with our partners like Africa’s First Ladies, Ministries of Health, Gender, Education and Communication, we are impacting the lives of people in the most disadvantaged communities in Africa and beyond.”, added Senator Dr. Kelej. Merck Foundation works closely with their Ambassadors, the African First Ladies and local partners such as; Ministries of Health, Education, Information & Communication, Gender, Academia, Research Institutions, Media and Art in building healthcare capacity and addressing health, social & economic challenges in developing countries and under-served communities. “I strongly believe that training healthcare providers and building professional healthcare capacity is the right strategy to improve access to equitable and quality at health care in Africa.

Therefore, I am happy to announce the Call for Applications for 2024 Scholarships for young doctors with special focus on female doctors for our online one-year diploma and two year master degree in 44 critical and underserved medical specialties, which includes both Online Diploma programs and On-Site Fellowship and clinical training programs. The applications are invited through the Office of our Ambassadors and long-term partners, The First Ladies of Africa and Ministry of Health of each country.” shared Dr . Kelej. “Our aim is to improve the overall health and wellbeing of people by building healthcare capacity across Africa, Asia and other developing countries. We are strongly committed to transforming patientcare landscape through our scholarships program”, concluded Senator Kelej.

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Interpol fugitive escapes from Botswana

15th April 2024

John Isaak Ndovi, a Tanzanian national embroiled in controversy and pursued under a red notice by the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol), has mysteriously vanished, bypassing a scheduled bail hearing at the Extension 2 Magistrate Court in Gaborone. Previously apprehended by Botswana law enforcement at the Tlokweng border post several months earlier, his escape has ignited serious concerns.

Accused of pilfering assets worth in excess of P1 million, an amount translating to roughly 30,000 Omani Riyals, Ndovi has become a figure of paramount interest, especially to the authorities in the Sultanate of Oman, nestled in the far reaches of Asia.

The unsettling news of his disappearance surfaced following his failure to present himself at the Extension 2 Magistrate Court the preceding week. Speculation abounds that Ndovi may have sought refuge in South Africa in a bid to elude capture, prompting a widespread mobilization of law enforcement agencies to ascertain his current location.

In an official communiqué, Detective Senior Assistant Police Commissioner Selebatso Mokgosi of Interpol Gaborone disclosed Ndovi’s apprehension last September at the Tlokweng border, a capture made possible through the vigilant issuance of the Interpol red notice.

At 36, Ndovi is implicated in a case of alleged home invasion in Oman. Despite the non-existence of an extradition treaty between Botswana and Oman, Nomsa Moatswi, the Director of the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP), emphasized that the lack of formal extradition agreements does not hinder her office’s ability to entertain extradition requests. She highlighted the adoption of international cooperation norms, advocating for collaboration through the lenses of international comity and reciprocity.

Moatswi disclosed the intensified effort by law enforcement to locate Ndovi following his no-show in court, and pointed to Botswana’s track record of extraditing two international fugitives from France and Zimbabwe in the previous year as evidence of the country’s relentless pursuit of legal integrity.

When probed about the potential implications of Ndovi’s case on Botswana’s forthcoming evaluation by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), Moatswi reserved her speculations. She acknowledged the criticality of steering clear of blacklisting, suggesting that this singular case is unlikely to feature prominently in the FATF’s assessment criteria.

 

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