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Cultivating Future

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Wednesday, 7 December 2016

23 die in clashes in central DRC

In weekend clashes started by tribal rivalry in the Democratic Republic of Cocentral Tshikapa region around 23 people died, the deputy governor of Kasai province said on Monday. A lot of fighting has occurred from Friday to Sunday between police and troops on one hand and the members of a local militia on the other. This has caused the death of 13 people and 14 others have been injured among security forces. The fighting was due to the rivalry between the new traditional chief and his uncle, who came to oust his nephew and seize power.

At ICC, LRA commander Dominic Ongwen pleads not guilty to war crimes

Dominic Ongwen, the first former child soldier to appear at the International Criminal Court. Dominic, the commander of ‘Lords Resistance Army’ (LRA) is accused of leading attacks on four camps for ‘internally displaced people’ (IDPs) in northern Uganda, murdering and torturing civilians, and forcing women into marriage and children to take part in the fighting. Dominic Ongwen said the LRA was responsible and he had also suffered from the barbarity. Ongwen, who is now in his early 40s, was a young boy when he was abducted by this rebel cult. He is charged with 70 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Uganda. Ongwen argued that the charges should be brought against the LRA and its leader Joseph Kony who was originally responsible for all this. "It is the LRA who abducted people in northern Uganda, killed people in northern Uganda and committed atrocities in northern Uganda. I'm one of the people against whom the LRA committed atrocities. It is not me who is the LRA," said Ongwen.

South Africa court rules out the right-to-die for the terminally ill patients

The Supreme Court of Appeal or SCA of South Africa has ruled out a High Court that 
granted the ‘right-to-die’ to a terminally ill cancer patient. The High Court of Pretoria last year ruled that the patient had the right to commit suicide with a doctor’s help. The case involved the Cape Town advocate 65-year-old Robin Stransham. The High Court’s decision was appealed by the State. This appeal involved the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, the Minister of Health, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Health Professionals Council of South Africa.  Mthunzi Mhaga, the spokesman for the Department of Justice and Correctional Services said, ‘‘Our argument has always been that the right to life is enshrined in our constitution – and equally doctors took an oath to save and preserve life, not to end it.”

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

The 2017 edition of the Sub-Saharan Africa Islamic Finance Convention in Uganda to advance financial deepening & inclusion, bridge funding gaps and mobilise investment for new growth opportunities

As the global business environment adapts to the new normal of Brexit, the Trump presidency and the implications of a post-oil economy, Sub‐Saharan Africa continues to be an increasingly important component of global economic growth. In particular, the expansion of Islamic finance in the region is providing new growth opportunities and propelling stronger trade & investment ties across Sub‐Saharan Africa and internationally. For Uganda, specifically, 2016 has been a landmark year for Islamic finance as important new legislation has moved its way through the legal enactment process and 2017 promises to be even more significant for the progress of Islamic finance on the continent.

1st December 2016, Kampala, Uganda: The inaugural 2016 international gathering of the Sub-Saharan Africa Islamic Finance Convention, the first of its kind to be held in Uganda, was convened by Ethico Live UK in collaboration with ABL Dunamis and supported by the Private Sector Foundation of Uganda (PSFU) and the Islamic Chamber of Commerce in Uganda (ICCIU). The convention attracted over 200 delegates and speakers from key regional and international markets, including: Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, the UK, India, Ethiopia, Chad, Rwanda, Nigeria, Egypt, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.
The purpose of the Sub-Saharan Africa Islamic Finance Convention is to provide a strong platform for the growth of the Islamic finance industry that will help to further establish Uganda as an exciting investment destination and also enable the development of the broader Sub-Saharan Africa market. The event was attended by several high-level delegations from the Ministry of Finance in Uganda and Bank of Uganda as well as major private sector financial institutions from across Africa and internationally.

One of the major outcomes of last year’s convention was the publication of The Kampala Islamic Finance Declaration 2016, which is a unique document focused on advancing the dialogue with the broader economic stakeholder community beyond the confines of the conference room. The Declaration built on the core objectives of the convention, which included: advancing the key opportunities within the Islamic banking sector in the region; creating consumer awareness about Islamic banking; deepening the talent pool in Islamic finance on the continent; attracting investors to Islamic financial institutions; facilitating meetings and networking to create relationships for capacity building between experienced international players and emerging African leaders; dispelling the myth that Islamic banking is only for Muslims; providing a platform for policy makers and regulators to communicate to domestic and foreign investors in both the private and public sectors; and establishing Uganda as a meaningful hub for Islamic finance in the region.

2017 promises to be an even more dynamic year that will firmly establish the role that Islamic finance (including newly enabled Islamic insurance legislation) can play in positioning Uganda and the larger region to more effectively tap into FDI from key sources across the Middle East as well as the broader OIC markets. Islamic finance mechanisms, in particular Sukuk, are well placed to meet the funding needs 
of large-scale infrastructure requirements on the continent and can bring new sources of capital to the local markets. In addition, Islamic banking provides a powerful catalyst for improving financial inclusion across the region, including technology innovations such as mobile money that will help boost consumer banking penetration on the continent.

Against this dynamic backdrop Ethico Live and ABL Dunamis, joint organizers of The Sub-Saharan Islamic Finance Convention, are delighted to announce that the 2nd annual edition of this important gathering will take place on the 6th of April 2017 at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel in Uganda, and will focus on further advancing these opportunities.

Speaking at the announcement of the launch of the 2017 edition of The Sub-Saharan Islamic Finance Convention, David McLean, President of Ethico Live, said that: “Africa is expected to see a massive population boom, with favourable demographics which will help drive further demand for Islamic financial products and services on the continent. However, much work still needs to be done if the Islamic finance industry is to deliver on its potential in Africa. Nevertheless, 2017 promises to be an even more dynamic year that will firmly establish the role that Islamic finance can play in enabling key African markets to advance their strategic economic priorities through Islamic finance. The Sub-Saharan Africa Islamic Finance Convention 2017 is an important tool for furthering debate and accelerating the progress of the industry across the continent and, following the success of the first year of the Sub-Saharan Africa Islamic Finance Convention, it is my pleasure to announce that we will be continuing our collaboration with ABL Dunamis to make the 2nd edition in April 2017 an even more relevant and outcome-focused platform for Islamic finance in Africa.”

Echoing these sentiments, Abubaker B. Mayanja, Managing Director of ABL Dunamis Ltd. said that: “2016 has been a transformational year for Islamic Finance in Uganda. Uganda may be somewhat late to adopt the Islamic banking model but the country has an important strategic advantage of being a member of the IDB group and this will over time result in long term capital from IDB giving it an advantage in the race to become an important hub for Islamic finance in Africa. Islamic finance offers an opportunity for Uganda to tap into Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from across the Middle East as well as broader OIC markets, while the Sukuk instrument is well suited to meet the funding needs of high-priority infrastructure projects on the continent as the instrument can provide state institutions with access to a new international investor base and broaden their sources of fiscal funding. In addition, Islamic banking provides a powerful catalyst for improving financial inclusion in Africa that will help boost consumer banking penetration. We look forward to welcoming an even larger delegation of international industry leaders to at the Sub Saharan Africa Islamic Finance Convention in Kampala in April 2017”.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Up, close and personal with the 7 presidential candidates of the upcoming Ghana elections

There are six candidates racing against John Dramani Mahama in the elections to be held on December 7, 2016 to secure a second four-year term.

The 54-year-old Mahama is flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC). Nana Addo Danquah is one of the contender of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), a former first lady and also an independent presidential aspirant.

Get to know about the profile of all the the seven candidates aiming to win Ghana’s seventh presidential poll.

John Dramani Mahama – NDC
President Mahama, 54, leads the National Democratic Congress (NDC) which has won four out of Ghana’s six previous polls.

As vice-president, he was ‘promoted’ to President following the death of the then president, John Evans Atta Mills in 2012 with barely months to the elections. The party unanimously fielded him and he eventually won the vote.

The last four years is his official first term and he is gunning for a second term – the law allows for only two terms. Mahama, a graduate of the University of Ghana, has served in different political capacities; as Member of Parliament (MP) for Bole, located in the country’s north.

He has also served as deputy minister in the first NDC government and rose to substantive minister at some point. He is married to Mrs Lordina Mahama.

Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo Addo – NPP
The 72-year-old Akufo Addo, leader of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is Mahama’s main contender. He is hoping to be third time lucky. He participated in the last two elections, losing in 2008 to the Late John Mills and then to the incumbent in 2012.

The trained lawyer has been at the forefront of Ghana’s return to democracy having participated in some of the famous protests and mass action against the military government of Jerry John Rawlings in the late eighties and early nineties.

He has also served in ministerial capacities – he was Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs at some point in the NPP government led by John Agyekum Kuffuor from between 2000 – 2008

Dr Paa Kwesi Ndoum – PPP
Ndoum, 63, is a seasoned politician but also an astute business man known for his investments in the hospitality, the finance and sports circles. He is founder of the Patriotic People’s Party (PPP).

Ndoum is also a former MP under the Convention Peoples Party (CPP) the party he left to form the PPP. He also served as a minister of state under the NPPgovernment.

This is not his first shot at the presidency, he contested on the ticket of the CPPin 2008 and on the ticket of the PP in 2012. Like Nana Akuffo Addo, this is his third attempt despite hardly garnering 2% in the last two elections.

Ivor Kwabena Greenstreet – CPP
Ivor Kwabena Greenstreet is candidate of Ghana’s oldest existing party, the Convention Peoples Party (CPP). The CPP was founded by the first president of the land, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah.

In an earlier Africanews story, we described him as a unique aspirant because the trained lawyer is with a disability but he doesn’t allow it to hamper his political pursuits.

He worked his way up the political ladder within the CPP. He served as a spokesperson of the party at some point before being elected as the General Secretary, incidentally he beat Nkrumah’s daughter to secure the bid to represent the party on the presidential ballot paper.

Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings – NDP
Nana Konadu, aged 68, is the only female in the current race, she leads the National Democratic Party (NDP) a break away faction from the ruling NDC. Before joining the NDP, she was a vice chairman in the ruling party.

She is also a former first lady of the country. Her husband, Jerry John Rawlings ruled Ghana for almost two decades, first as a military ruler with the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) before overseeing Ghana’s transition to democracy in 1992.

Konadu over the period that her husband served as president (1992 – 2000) and even the period after has been a strong champion of women and children affairs. She is president of the 31st December Women’s Movement. – 31st December was the day her husband staged his second successful coup leading to the establishment of the PNDC regime.

Dr Edward Nasigre Mahama – PNC
Dr Mahama, a trained physician, is a veteran presidential aspirant, this is his fifth attempt at securing the presidency on the ticket of one of Ghana’s traditional parties, the People’s National Congress (PNC).

With his presence on the ballot, he is on record to have contested against every president that Ghana has had. He stood against Jerry Rawlings in 1996. He came up against John Kuffuor in 2000 and 2004, he contested Mills in 2008 and is up against John Mahama this year.

His party’s candidate, Dr Hilla Limann, was the last president in the third republic. Rawlings overthrew Limann. Mahama will be looking to rekindle the spirit of Limann to annex the topmost political seat in the West African country.

Jacob Osei Yeboah – Independent Candidate
Jacob Osei Yeboah 44 years old (28 October, 1968), is a trained engineer, he is also an entrepreneur and a philanthropist gunning for the top political seat in Ghana.

Jacob holds an MBA from Warwick University, UK with Masters in Global Supply Chain Management from Mannheim University, Germany. He is married to Hilda Osei Yeboah (Mrs.) in 1996, with four (4) children, Jacobel, Janice, Jeremy and Jeffrey.