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Thursday, 18 April 2024

Editors from Lebanon, The Philippines and Zimbabwe receive the 2022 WAN-IFRA Women in News Editorial Leadership Award

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WAN-IFRA Women in News (WIN)  is proud to announce the recipients of its 2022 Editorial Leadership Award.

Faith Zaba, editor of the Zimbabwe Independent, has been named 2022 Laureate for Africa; Diana Moukalled, co-founder of Daraj Media in Lebanon, has been named 2022 Laureate for the Arab Region; and Regina “Ging” Reyes, Senior Vice President and Head of Integrated News and Current Affairs Division of ABS-CBN Corporation in Philippines, has been named 2022 Laureate for Southeast Asia.

The annual WIN Editorial Leadership Award recognises the exemplary contribution of an editor to her newsroom, and under her leadership, her media organisation’s contribution to society. 2022 Laureates were honoured at WAN-IFRA’s World News Media Congress taking place from 28-30 September in Zaragoza, Spain.

In his congratulatory message, WAN-IFRA’s CEO Vincent  Peyregne said: “Equality and inclusion in the media are essential for a healthy and representative society. We are happy to welcome our 2022 laureates, Zaba, Moukalled and Reyes to the group of media leaders who play an exceptional role in making a difference in media while contributing to these fundamental ideals.”

Faith Zaba, who is the first woman editor of the Zimbabwe Independent, the country’s leading business and investigative weekly, owned by Alpha Media Holdings (AMH), has more than 27 years of experience in the news industry. She was also the first woman to be appointed deputy editor in 2016, and the first of many other appointments after this point until being named top editor in Zimbabwe independent.

“This award is a message to young women in the media and those who have the beautiful dream of joining this amazing profession; they too can sit at the table. Through sheer hard work, perseverance and determination, glass ceilings can be shattered. My message to the young women journalists is to never give up. You are worthy and, yes, you can. I am deeply humbled and honoured to receive this prestigious global recognition,” said Zaba

Diana Moukalled is the co-founder of Daraj.com, an independent media platform addressing controversial issues in the Arab Region. She is a Lebanese journalist and documentary producer and director with almost 30 years of experience in the media industry. She has covered hot zones in Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and other conflict zones, and has shot more than 50 hours of documentaries, tackling socio-political issues in the Arab region and globally. Diana is also a columnist and a media and gender trainer.

“I am deeply touched by this award. It’s an acknowledgment that goes beyond individuals to highlight the challenges journalists in general and women journalists in particular face. The current political, economic and security conditions in the Arab region may lead only to more discontent and frustration. The situation simply doesn’t encourage optimism. It is, however, a road worth taking, with genuine commitment, patience, and enthusiasm,” said Moukalled

Regina “Ging” Reyes,  a seasoned news executive with more than 30 years’ experience as a journalist, is currently the Senior Vice President and Head of Integrated News and Current Affairs Division of ABS-CBN Corporation, one of the Philippines’ leading media and entertainment companies. A premier news personality in the Filipino-American community, Reyes established and expanded ABS-CBN’s News operations in the US and Canada.

“This honour comes at a time when our news organisation continues to be severely challenged on many fronts.  I am deeply moved and humbled to receive this recognition on behalf of my entire news team, most especially the women in our newsroom and in the field. They are at the forefront of our battle to defend media freedom in our country and preserve the values of our profession,” said Reyes.

Previous Laureates of the WIN Editorial Leadership Award include: Toyosi Ogunseye, Head of West Africa at BBC World Service, Karima Kamal, columnist and contributing editor for the Egyptian daily Al Masry Al Youm, Pamella Sittoni, Executive Editor for the Daily Nation in Kenya, Noura al-Hourani, Lead Arabic Editor at Syria Direct, Barbara Kaija, Editor-in-Chief of the Vision Group in Uganda, Anna Nimiriano, the Editor-in-Chief of the Juba Monitor in South Sudan, Acil Tabbara, Senior Editor at the French-language Lebanese daily L’Orient Le Jour, Mary Mbewe, the Executive Editor of Zambia’s Daily Nation, Etaf Roudan, the director of Radio al-Balad in Jordan, Edyth Kambalame, Editor at The Nation on Sunday and Vice-President of the Malawi Editors’ Forum, Samia Nakhoul, Middle East Editor at Thomson Reuters and multi-award winning journalist, and Nyein Nyein Naing, Editor-in-Chief at 7Day News digital in Myanmar.

The Laureates are selected by members of the Women in News Global Steering Committee based on criteria such as commitment to editorial excellence, gender equality and supporting the next generation of media leaders.

 

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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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