Friday, May 29, 2015

10 Most Corrupt Countries In The World

...US Receives 'Honourable Mention'

Corruption and economic turmoil often go hand-in-hand. In western nations like the United States and many European countries, we often see corruption come to light as the result of whistleblowers or journalistic efforts. But in many other areas of the world, however, corruption plays a major role in fostering staggering poverty and broken economic systems in a much more blatant way.
Oftentimes, specific power structures and government architectures provide an easier means for corrupt politicians, businessmen, or military officials to exploit the system. Many governments have their roots in constitutions from generations ago, and have outgrown their current systems. Many other countries are ruled by a variety of independent tribal leaders and often lack a centralized power structure with any meaningful sway.
Transparency International developed a comprehensive list of the world’s most corrupt nations last year, and the countries that top the list probably won’t come as much of a surprise to many. The study ranks countries on a scale from 0 to 100, with zero being the most corrupt, and 100 being the least.
Of course, corruption comes in a variety of forms, so getting a precise gauge is difficult. But perception itself is a very strong tool, and can have a big effect on its own. If the study reveals anything, it’s that the world overall has a huge issue in terms of corrupt officials. By looking at the Corruptions Perception Index, along with the existing power structures and economic systems within each country, the picture does become a bit clearer. That’s why we dug a little deeper, examining the rankings for ourselves.
Although not among the top ten, we’ve included the United States on the list to give perspective as to where America ranks internationally in terms of corruption and economic strife. By Transparency International’s calculations and scale, the U.S. is sitting fairly pretty, although it’s common knowledge that there are definitely issues with how things are run in Washington. Other countries you might expect to see like Russia, Mexico, or Venezuela all have their places as well, and the full list of 177 nations can be viewed straight at the source from Transparency International.
Here are the most corrupt nations in the world, as ranked by Transparency International, with additional insight into the issues and factors plaguing each one.
Click Here To See The Ten Countries 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

African Banker Awards: 'Africa's Top Bankers Celebrated'

Embargoed until 22.59 on the 27th May 2015
Wednesday 27th May 2015, Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire

Morocco’s Groupe Banque Populaire triumphs as this year’s African Bank of the Year, while Ghana’s Albert Essien, Group CEO of Ecobank wins the award for African Banker of the Year. Ivorian Tidjane Thiam, the first African CEO of a FTSE100 company and Nigerian Jim Ovia, Chairman of Zenith Bank win in the African Banker Icon and Lifetime Achievement categories, respectively. In theAfrican Bank of the Year category, Groupe Banque Populaire beat stiff competition from four shortlisted nominees to win the coveted title. Groupe Banque Populaire is one of the most important financial services groups in Morocco. It has recently taken a major stake in West African group Banque Atlantique and helped to turn around its performance significantly.
Veteran Banker, Albert Essien from Ghana was awarded the African Banker of the Year prize. He inherited a bank in a precarious position last year, but has managed to steady the ship and bring in some important shareholders to strengthen Ecobank’s capital base.
The incoming CEO of Swiss Bank, Credit Suisse, Tidjane Thiam was honoured with this year’s African Banker Icon award. Thiam is one of Africa’s global leaders, the first African head of the top 100 companies listed on the London Stock Exchange, as well as a former Minister of Finance of his country Côte d’Ivoire.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

e-Learning Africa: African Union Warns Of Threat To Skills Revolution

Joint Press Release

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 21st May 2015:
African leaders are warning that the continent’s lofty dreams may not be realized without a determined focus on information and communication technology (ICT), skills development and innovation.
Speaking during the opening session of the 10th edition of eLearning Africaconference, H.E. Mr. Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission, emphasized that the African Union’s dreams of catalyzing an education and skills revolution are not going to be easily realized, unless the current creative and innovative capacities are properly harnessed. “There is an abiding imperative for Africa to foster innovation and creative technologies as the basis for advancements in ICT and sustainable economic development. It is the duty of our governments, the private sector and all segments of our society, to participate actively in maximizing the use and application of ICTs to create competitive, knowledge economies, as well as economies of impetus. Such is the foundation of gainful capital in human resource development," Mr. Mwencha said.

The Deputy Chair also made reference to the African Union’s Pan African University Program which demonstrates the practical efforts being undertaken by the Commission, to facilitate and implement Africa’s collective aspiration for meaningful development underpinned by rapid transformations in science, innovation, research and technology-driven education. “Such initiatives, firmly anchored on the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA), represent hope and potential for the future generation of Africans. Under the STISA, the Commission will continue to pursue the elevation of Africa’s role in global research, technology development and transfer, innovation and knowledge production,” he said.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

How Will History Treat Governor Rotimi Amaechi?

By Nnaemeka Oruh 
In a statement sent out after President Jonathan conceded defeat to General Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria's former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, made an assertion which will continue to reverberate through history.He said of Jonathan: "History will be kind to you". It was a ringing endorsement of the selflessness of the outgoing president.

*Gov Amaechi
Passing a judgement on Govenor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi on the other hand presents a conundrum. Lauded in some parts of Nigeria (especially outside Rivers State) as democracy's stand up guy owing to his battles against President Jonathan, and his monumental support of the incoming 'saintly' president, Amaechi comes across as the proverbial father who does more for outsiders than his own family members.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Buhari Why?

By Onyemaechi Ogbunwezeh

Fellow Nigerians!
I can't still wrap my head around this!
The election of Muhammadu Buhari is gradually unravelling as a hagiography ghost-written by Big oil and other vested-interests of imperial atrocity that has continued to rape Africa for 600 years now.
Two days ago, General Muhammadu Buhari, elected President of Nigeria on the 28th of March, 2015, and who was about to be sworn in on the 29th of May, left Nigeria under the clouds of darkness, whose opacity is unparalleled, and jetted out to London for reasons no one has been able to decipher.
Buhari Why?
His press team came out to say that he went to London to rest. He travelled in the company of Deziani Allison Madueke. Was this an accident? This would be an accident if you believe that a politician would never lie.
This journey raises serious questions of fundamental importance to all Nigerians. Who actually owns Nigeria? And who actually rules Nigeria? And for whom do they rule this country?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

ICTs Boosting Growth But Teachers Reluctant To Change

eLearning Africa Report:

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is the key to improving education and thus boosting growth across Africa – but there is still widespread reluctance among teachers, trainers and managers to abandon traditional methods in favour of new solutions.That is one of the key findings in this year’s eLearning Africa Report, which will be launched this evening (Wednesday) at the eLearning Africa conference in Addis Ababa by the Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Dr Debretsion Gebremichael. A sneak preview of the report will also be given to African education and information technology ministers at the 8th eLearning Africa Ministerial Round Table today.

“Worryingly,” say the report’s editors, Harold Elletson and Annika Burgess, “our survey of 1500 African education and ICT professionals shows that, despite the importance of ICT in education, there is insufficient awareness in many schools, colleges, institutions and government departments of the benefits it brings.”

New Ebola Cases In Guinea, Sierra Leone

By Stephanie Nebehay

GENEVA (Reuters) - Guinea and Sierra Leone reported 35 new Ebola cases in the past week, four times as many as the week before, in a reminder that the virus "will not go quietly", a top World Health Organization official said on Tuesday.

"It will take an extraordinary effort to finish the job," the WHO's special representative for Ebola, Bruce Aylward, told a briefing attended by health ministers.
"With the start of the rainy season today, the doubling of effort will be that much more difficult, that much more important," he added, referring to increased logistical challenges for health workers.
The 35 new cases in the week to May 17 were in six districts of Guinea and Sierra Leone, with most infections in Guinea, Aylward said, giving no breakdown of the preliminary figures. A total of nine were confirmed the previous week.

Monday, May 18, 2015

New African Language Helping To Heal Tribal Division

A new African language is helping to reduce tensions and bring young people together in areas previously torn apart by tribal violence. And academics are so impressed by the language’s potential that a social media platform promoting it will form the subject of a major presentation at this year’s eLearning Africa, the continent’s leading conference on technology-assisted learning, training and development.

The language - ‘Sheng’ – combines Kiswahili, English and a number of Kenyan tribal words, along with a smattering of Arabic, Hindu, French, German, Spanish and Italian. It was born on the streets of Nairobi, in some of the areas hardest hit by eruptions of post-election violence in 2007- 2008.
Now a ‘social enterprise initiative’ in Kenya, ‘Go Sheng’, is helping to celebrate and promote the language, which is almost exclusively used by young people – so much so that it has become the first language of many young Kenyans in urban areas.
The initiative provides a platform for social dialogue for the language’s growing numbers of speakers. In so doing, it is giving a voice to a powerful alternative culture in Kenya and celebrating the many tribal languages that contribute to Sheng. In turn, this helps to bring some welcome cultural harmony and mutual understanding to a country, which has too often been divided against itself in the recent past

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Why Next Senate President Should Be Christian

By Dan Amor
At a time when the alleged acrimonious campaign to Islamize Nigeria by an emerging power bloc is almost gaining currency, few members of the public, the Press, or the political class have never actually presumed – in context or in full –the hidden agenda of the new clique of powerful anti-Christian elements whose ultimate design is to implement the secret accord they had with their sponsors using Professor Yemi Osinbajo, a pastor, as dress rehearsal. The clamour by a section of the political class to push for the emergence of a Muslim as the new Senate President in spite of the its inelegant religious statement since the President-elect General Muhamadu Buhari is a Muslim and the sure bait of another Muslim emerging from the Northeast as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, flies in the face of rationality.

*David Mark: outgoing senate president 
(pix: Sun)

This dangerous maneuver puts at risks, to say the least, nothing less than the survival of the structure of our government as set in place by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which in its wisdom recognizes the Federal Character and ethno-religious paradigms of our Union. If this terrible gamble scales through, what now passes for constitutional theory in our most prestigious law schools, in many of our courts, and in much of liberal society is not legal theory at all, but an egalitarian political agenda which no elected legislature will enact, thereby prompting an elite intellectual and political minority to use the courts as a means of fighting the imposition of religious agendas. 

APC Should Face The Real Issues

By Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye
Recently, the Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Mr. John Oyegun, was quoted as saying that he was “sad” that his party could not produce a lawmaker from the South East to be elected as senate president or speaker of the House of Representatives when the new national assembly would be inaugurated in June. This was because during the last elections, the APC performed so poorly in the South East that it was unable to win a single seat in the two houses of the national assembly in the region

*Bola Tinubu, Muhammadu Buhari and John

Ordinarily, this should have been an exclusive problem of the APC, but given the way Mr. Oyegun spoke, someone might be deluded into thinking that some really monumental tragedy had hit the South East – for which the people of the area should be in deep mourning by now. 

Since the presidential election which the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega, told us was won by the APC’s General Muhammadu Buhari, one has lost count of articles ecstatically celebrating how the “wrong voting” of majority of South Easterners has now put the zone to a “great disadvantage.”

Some solutions have also been “kindly” proffered by quite a number of people to “help” the South East out of its predicament, like the very absurd suggestion that a senator-elect from Enugu State should decamp to the APC so he could become the senate president; or even the much more off-putting call on a female Senator-elect from Anambra State to step down for the APC candidate she defeated, since the man is a “very good material” for the senate presidency. One could go on and on, but what is of concern here is that Mr. Oyegun’s assertion would seem to have somewhat elevated these clearly pedestrian views and clothed them with the false robe of serious discourse.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Congo: Is Democratic Change Possible?

Africa Report N°225
The presidential and legislative polls scheduled for 2016 are a potential watershed for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC); they could be the first elections held without an incumbent protecting his position. The prospect of these elections is testing nerves on all sides of the Congolese political spectrum and has already caused deadly violence. There is an urgent need for President Joseph Kabila to commit to the two-term limit contained within the constitution and ready himself to leave power. Consensus is also needed on key electoral decisions, in particular regarding the calendar and the voter roll. This will require high-level donor and international engagement. Absent agreement and clarity on the election process, or should there be significant delays, international partners should review their support to the government.

*Kabila  (pix:ewn)
The fragmented governing majority is running out of options to avoid the 2016 deadline. The government’s attempts to amend both the constitution to allow Joseph Kabila to run for a third term and election laws face strong, including internal, opposition, as was evident in the January 2015 mini-political crisis over proposed changes to the electoral law. This mini-crisis, which triggered deadly violence and repression against pro-democracy activists, gave a first hint of what could be in store for 2016. In this tense domestic context, engagement by international actors is met with an increasing insistence on national sovereignty that affects in particular the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO).

Ebola Found In Doctor's Eye Months After Virus Left Blood

For the first time, Ebola has been discovered inside the eyes of a patient months after the virus was gone from his blood.
The new report concerns Dr. Ian Crozier, a 43-year-old American physician diagnosed with Ebola in September while working with the World Health Organization in Sierra Leone. Ebola has infected more than 26,000 people since December 2013 in West Africa. Some survivors have reported eye problems but how often they occur isn't known. The virus also is thought to be able to persist in semen for several months.
He was treated at Emory University Hospital's special Ebola unit in Atlanta and released in October when Ebola was no longer detected in his blood. Two months later, he developed an inflammation and very high blood pressure in one eye, which causes swelling and potentially serious vision problems.

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