Angola committed to diplomacy to generate business – President

Angolan Head of State João Lourenço said Wednesday that Angola makes diplomacy a fundamental instrument to generate coherent business capable of changing the status of its economy, for the sake of the country’s prosperity and progress.

In a message posted on his Facebook account, the Angolan statesman noted that in an increasingly interdependent world, it is wise to seek mutually beneficial partnerships for those who accumulate experience, sensitivity and technologies that allow to make investments capable of providing more jobs and more wealth for families.

“That is why we have also chosen Italy, an essential partner in this era in which Angola is making diplomacy a fundamental instrument to generate business”, he stressed.

President João Lourenço has been in Rome, capital of Italy, since Tuesday (23), for a two-day state visit, at the invitation of the authorities of this European country.

President João Lourenço’s working programme includes a meeting this Wednesday at the Quirinal Palace with his Italian counterpart, Sergio Mattarella.

At the beginning of the afternoon, the Angolan Statesman and the delegation accompanying him attended a lunch hosted by the President of the Council of Ministers, Giorgia Meloni.

João Lourenço will lay this afternoon a wreath on the “Altar of the Fatherland”, a monument to the unknown soldier, which will be followed by a meeting with the President of the Senate, Ignacio La Russa.

In the early evening, the Angolan statesman will go to the Chamber of Deputies where he will be received by the President of Parliament, Lorenzo Fontana.

On Thursday, the last day of the visit, the Angolan Head of State has on his agenda a visit to the Chamber of Rome, where he should sign the institution’s honor book.

On same day, João Lourenço will participate in the opening of the business forum with Angolan and Italian businessmen.

The state visit to the Italian Republic is part of the economic diplomacy with which the country attracts more foreign investment, with Italy being a priority.

The two countries formalised diplomatic and cooperation relations on June 4, 1976 and on August 3, 1977 signed the Technical Cooperation Agreement, as well as the Memorandum of Intents by which the Angola/Italy Joint Commission was created.

The two states signed the first legal instrument called the Air Transport Agreement on April 10, 1976.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

Angola and Italy leaders address bilateral cooperation

Angolan President João Lourenço was received Wednesday by the Italian Head of State, Sergio Mattarella, at the beginning of his visit to Rome, which includes meetings with the Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni.

Speaking to the press at the end of the meeting, the Italian Head of State, after praising Angola’s performance in favour of peace in Africa, considered President João Lourenço an important actor for stability on the African continent.

Sergio Mattarella highlighted the existing exchange between the two countries in the energy sector and hoped that it would extend to other sectors, including higher education.

While the Angolan President said that the visit to Italy is meant to reciprocate the visit the Italian statesman made to Angola in 2019.

“We are here to seal the ties of friendship and cooperation with Italy”, said the Angolan Head of State.

João Lourenço expressed Angola’s desire to receive Italian businessmen who intend to invest in the national market.

“We have the doors open for Italian investment”, underlined the Angolan statesman.

The visiting agenda of the President João Lourenço, who arrived Tuesday in Italy, include laying of a wreath on the “Altar of the Fatherland”, a monument of the unknown soldier, followed by a meeting with Senate leader Ignacio La Russa.

The programme also features meeting with the Speaker of Parliament, Lorenzo Fontana.

The visit to the Italian Republic is part of the framework of economic diplomacy with which the country has been attracting more foreign investment, with Italy being a priority.

With this visit, the Angolan Head of State fulfils the invitation made by his Italian counterpart President Sergio Mattarella, who was in Angola on an official visit, in February 2019, to strengthen bilateral cooperation.

On the occasion of that visit, the parties signed a memorandum of understanding in Luanda between the Angolan Ministry of Finance and Casa Depositi e Pretiti.

Angola and Italy also share interests in the oil sector, with the oil company ENI playing a significant role in the Angolan national economy.

Angola is Italy’s third-largest trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa, after South Africa and Nigeria.

The Italian Government considers Angola a priority country for its cooperation strategy in sub-Saharan Africa since 1989.

The two countries formalised diplomatic and cooperation relations on June 4, 1976 and on August 3, 1977 signed the Technical Cooperation Agreement, as well as the Memorandum of Intents through which the Angola/Italy Joint Commission was created.

Both States signed the first legal instrument called the Air Transport Agreement on April 10, 1976.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

Africa’s first female president arrives in Luanda

Former president of Liberia Ellen Johnson – Africa’s first democratically-elected female head of state – arrived in Luanda Wednesday to attend the First International Women’s Forum between 25 and 26 May in Luanda.

Ellen Johnson, 84, was welcomed at Luanda’s International Airport by the minister of State for the Social Affairs, Dalva Ringote Allen.

Johnson told the press that she was very pleased to be returning to Luanda, after a long time, to join the programme of activities for celebration of the Africa Day (May 25).

She also said she was very happy to receive the invitation to participate in the first International Women’s Forum, along with many Angolan women (…..)”, she said.

The former president of Liberia congratulated the country’s development, stressing that the forum, included in the Biennial, will allow participants to have the opportunity to meet some Angolan leaders.

Ellen Johnson led Liberia from 2006 to 2018, during which she focused in fight against unemployment, public debt and the Ebola epidemic.

Among other deeds, in 2011 she won the Nobel Peace Prize for fighting for women’s safety and rights, as well as the Ibrahim Prize.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

Interconnection of the country’s eastern, southern regions among priorities

Angolan government has mentioned the interconnection and electrification of municipalities in the country’s eastern and southern regions, with the use of water and solar sources, as one of the main challenges until 2025.

The strategy is intended to improve the services, currently restricted to 42.8% of the population only, estimated at over 33 million inhabitants.

In these regions, like the provinces of Lunda Norte, Lunda Sul and Moxico (East) and Cuando Cubango, Namibe, Cunene and Huíla (South), still report a high consumption of diesel for energy production, which makes the very high costs.

Of the total of 164 municipalities that make up Angola, 90 to 100 need interconnection and electrification, a challenge that is on the Government’s agenda.

Therefore, the priority of the Ministry of Energy and Water for the coming years is to interconnect the Center and South, via Huambo/Lubango and the East (Capanda/Malanje/Xamuteba/Saurimo), the incumbent minister João Baptista Borges told the ““Grande Entrevista” programme of the Public Television of Angola (TPA).

Among other challenges, the minister pointed out the growth of cities, with the emergence of new neighborhoods and residences, which will also need electricity.

He added that in terms of production, the country has a surplus, but still with a distribution deficit.

The minister also announced several projects underway and others are yet to start in some parts of the country.

As example he referred to the near completion of the rehabilitation and expansion of the Luachimo (Lunda Norte) and Matala (Huíla) dams, increasing the respective powers from 18 to 40 megawatts and 8 to 34 MW.

He stated that these megawatts will add to the hydroelectric potential exploited of 3,648.82 MW, out of a total of 18,000 MW of potential in the country’s main hydroelectric basins, such as Kwanza, Longa, Catumbela and Cunene.

In addition to hydroelectric potential, the country also has thermal power stations and solar panel centres.

Reach half the population

The sector’s strategy, said the minister, includes actions that will allow, by 2025, half of the population to have access to electricity, so the sector will have to make close to 370,000 connections per year, to reach the recommended target. .

Currently, estimates point to 42.8%, and, to reach 50% by 2025, the sector will have to execute around 1.7 million home connections throughout the country, said João Baptista Borges.

The minister was revealing the existence of planned projects in the field of energy distribution, using recent lines and solar energy.

As for the solar energy, he recalled that Angola has projects that will cover around 160 locations in the east and south of the country, with plans to provide access to electricity for six million people.

On solar energy, he recalled that Angola has projects that will cover around 160 localities in the east and south of the country, with plans to provide access to electricity for six million people.

Optimistic and without revealing the investments to be made, he only referred that the Executive would resort to the external financial market.

He announced that a line had been mobilised for the East project that would make it possible to cover the three provinces already mentioned, as well as those of Bié and Malanje.

The electrification of the southern region is waiting for a credit line to be approved in June this year.

In Angola, the energy matrix has the potential of hydropower, thermal power stations and solar panels, which work in synchrony among the five regions of the country.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

PCC Moderator condemns kidnap, torture of women by Ambazonia forces in Babanki

It was the first time to read such words from the head of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon. The words were raw, brutal but firm- the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon has just taken a stance- the war of independence is an illusion.

The Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon, Rt. Rev. Fonki Samuel Forba, in an emotional outburst on Tuesday, condemned the detention and torture of women for protesting against what he described as “unlawful taxes” issued to them in Babanki, Mezam division of the Northwest region.

Rev Fonki Samuel said exercising strength on armless civilians is unacceptable.

“ It is culturally and traditionally abominable to dececrate women. It is against article 27 chapter iv of the Fourth Geneva Convention for the protection of civilians, women and children in particular in times of war…, it is a war crime to use live ammunition on armless civilians,” he reiterated.

On Friday, May 19, 2023, about 30 women protested the imposed levy of FCFA 10,000 per male and FCFA 5000 per female and pleaded with the separatists fighters to abolish such monthly levies. These women were however held hostage with several others injured.

The Man of God called on those concerned to release the women and to put an end to forceful taxes “ liberation tax” and extortions meted on the population.

He also urged the International community to bring charges on those who are directly or indirectly dehumanizing Cameroonians’, human rights violations.

Source: Cameroon News Agency

Organization drills magistrates, forestry staff on combatting illegal logging in Cameroon

The organization, African Alliance for Development Action (AADA) is striving to educate and enlighten magistrates and forest administrative staff on how to combat illegal timber exploitation and associated trade in Cameroon.

The workshop took place in Yaounde, between May 23- 25, 2023.

According to the Chief Executive Officer, CEO of AADA, Ayuk Raphael, the main aim is to build capacity for magistrates and forest administrative personnel in order to contribute to nation-building.

“He who sees a crime and doesn’t act is also a criminal. We seek to interact and look at situations of deforestation in Cameroon. Deliberate on issues and bring about recommendations through conversation,” he bemoaned.

“We have seen a lot of issues and problems going on in terms of deforestation and transboundary. When we talk about transboundary, it is no longer a national issue. We take the example of Cameroon and Nigeria, a lot of our resources are being taken away, Nigeria has lost about 25% of their forest and now they all depend on us” he continued.

The Minister Delegate to the Minister of Justice, Jean de Dieu Momo, while declaring open the workshop, encouraged the participants to share their experiences and collaborate.

According to a Senior Special Agent of the United States Department of Agriculture, Brandon A. Robinson, “Our presence here shows our commitment to helping Cameroon combat illegal timber trafficking here in the country. We hope this is a beginning of a long partnership with Cameroon and that we can share our experiences, and teach investigative techniques to help Cameroon overcome this horrible plague”.

The workshop saw the participation of officials of the US Department of Justice, the US Ambassador’s representative, magistrates from different parts of the country as well as officials of the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife.

Source: Cameroon News Agency

Minister urges mayors to respect laws governing urban planning

The Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Celestine Ketcha Courtes has urged council mayors to be vigilant on the laws governing urban planning in order to fight urban disorder in the country.

This was during an awareness-raising workshop that was held on May 23 in Yaounde, the country’s capital.

According to the minister, the main aim of the workshop was to take stock of the laws governing urban planning and review a document containing recommendations geared towards fighting urban disorder, dubbed the “Bertoua declaration” following last year’s declaration of World Habitat Day in the capital city of the East region.

“We are gathered to share the directives of the Prime Minister, head of government, to be aware of the reoccurring landslides that we observe more and more in our cities, buildings that collapse, repeated floods. I think consolidation actions are an effective collaboration with locals are needed to achieve sustainable development goals in their various constituencies” the Minister stated.

“We examined in Bertoua, with all the actors alongside UN-Habitat, all the causes of these phenomena. We realized that Cameroon has a couple of laws sometimes unknown by the actors that must be implemented. So we came out with the Bertoua declaration and some recommendations. Decentralization is going to be reinforced and will be completed on these recommendations. It is up to the mayors to appropriate these recommendations to share them with actors of the different cities.” She continued.

Going by Minister Courtes, the international laws will help them carry out their missions well especially with the already signed contracts with certain town halls.

Giving his opinion on the meeting, the Mayor of Batchenga Council in the West region, said “The problem that we all have and for which we ask for the help of the public authorities, is to ensure that the mayors on the ground have a good environment to work. I believe that a workshop like this is a real advocacy that must lead these different actors to understand that our country, Cameroon, can only develop through decentralized territorial communities”.

Source: Cameroon News Agency

GCE: Can examination leaks be avoided?

Official examinations in Cameroon are underway, and authorities in charge are making sure the sessions unfold smoothly.

For the General Certificate of Education (GCE) in the Anglo-Saxon subsystem, the students are rounding off with the practical phase and will commence with the written part by May end.

One of the challenges that authorities have faced over the years has been the prevention of examination leaks.

Reports indicate that despite the efforts made by the organizers, the examination board still finds itself vulnerable to malpractices.

While noting that rigidness is exercised from the conception, and printing to transportation of examination question papers, some authorities indicate that the procedure followed now is different from what used to be in the past.

“In my time, we used military aircraft to transport the question papers. From script conception to dispatching to the different examination centers, the process was cumbersome, yet well defined” Bisse Bea, former Director of exams in the Ministry of Secondary Education indicates.

He, however, notes that despite all the current frailties, “the activities are still done in all confidentiality and security” such that if there is a leak, “the ministry or the authorities responsible are able to know who has done what, where and when”.

In recent examination sessions, several schools have faced sanctions with some results withheld for fraud.

Source: Cameroon News Agency

Onana disrespected Rigobert Song- team captain

The captain of Cameroon’s senior national football team, the Indomitable Lions, Vincent Aboubakar has revealed that the former team keeper, Andre Onana, who plies his professional trade with Inter Milan, disrespected their head coach, Rigobert Song during a training session at Qatar World Cup.

The session had ended prematurely and Onana was asked to leave but Cameroonians demanded to know the trust Onana scandal: Cameroonians demand the truth as Coach Song threatens to take legal actions

The Besiktas forward, Abubakar how now cleared the story as an observer and captain of the team. In an interview with Canal + Sport, Vincent regrated that it was an issue of insubordination on the part of Onana, “The coach speaks, Andre Onana speaks, the coach speaks, Andre Onana speaks, and then they started arguing at the training ground that same day. The coach then spoke and spoke telling Onana ‘you have to shut your mouth and respect me,”

But Abubakar also revealed that it was the coach that asked Onana to leave and not the other way round.

The captain advised Onana to keep a low profile and learn how to adapt anywhere he goes,

“We could say lack of respect towards the coach…Today, he has to understand that he has to fight and whatever the situation is in the national team, he must keep a low profile.”

A few days after the world cup exit, Andre Onana quit the international stage and will be replaced by Epassy, whom Cameroonians are yet to come to terms with due to his shaky nature at the goalpost.

Today, Onana is making history with Inter as the side qualified for the finals of the UEFA champions league.

Source: Cameroon News Agency