April 28, 2018

Joseph Warungu: The handshake that left millions of Kenyans confused

Letter from Africa: The handshake that left millions of Kenyans confused Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Mr Odinga and Mr Kenyatta shook hands to end a political standoff following last year's controversial election In our series of letters from African journalists, Joseph Warungu reflects on the plight of supporters of Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga following his reconciliation last month with his bitter rival, President Uhuru Kenyatta. One of the games I enjoyed a lot in my childhood was called "kauka" in Kiswahili, which roughly translates as "freeze". The idea was, you would go about your normal business until your play partner shouted "freeze". This command forced you to stop dead in the middle of whatever you were doing, and keep very still until your friend "unfroze" you. The strategy was to catch you in an extremely awkward, embarrassing or uncomfortable moment, such as having your mouth wide open with houseflies hovering nearby. Unfortunately some ..
April 28, 2018

Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani on the teenager fighting school bus sex pests

Letter from Africa: The teenager fighting school bus sex pests Image copyright Our Cries In our series of letters from African journalists, Nigerian novelist and writer Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani admires a teenager's tenacity in tackling the harassment of pupils on the school commute. Allegations of physical or sexual abuse against teachers in Nigerian schools sometimes manage to grab a headline, but then fade without any follow-up story on how the case was resolved. In 2016, girls at a prestigious boarding school in Lagos abandoned their exams in protest at pervasive sexual harassment by a male teacher. Those of us who endured similar unchecked bad behaviour during our school days cheered them on. I know from personal experience of studying in Nigeria, how powerless students can sometimes feel when faced with abusers who act with impunity, knowing that the cultures of silence and respect for elders are on their side. So, I was impressed when I recently came across a Tanzanian tee..
April 28, 2018

MORE COUNTRIES AND INSTITUTIONS RENEW THEIR COMMITMENT TO PROMOTE COOPERATION WITH ECOWAS

Six new personalities presented their letters of credence to the President of the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, on 16 April 2018 at the headquarters of the Institution in Abuja, Nigeria. They were the Ambassadors of Niger, Alat Mogaskia, Mexico, Alejandro Garcia Moreno Elizondo; Spain, Marcelino Cabanes Ansorena; Italy, Dr Stefano Potesili; Israel, Guy Feldman and the titular Archbishop of Sutri and Apostolic Nuncio of Holy Sea in Nigeria, Rev. Msgr Antonio Guide Filipazzi. While receiving their letters of credence, Mr Brou congratulated them on their appointment and assured them of his support to succeed in their mission. He reviewed the status of cooperation between their respective institutions and countries and the regional organisation. He pleaded for concerted efforts in strengthening their collaboration in the regional economic integration process. Taking the floor, the Vatican’s Rev. Msgr Antonio Guido Filipazz..
April 28, 2018

ECOWAS AND EACS TO COLLABORATE TOWARDS THE STRENGTHENING OF EARLY WARNING MECHANISMS

The Early Warning Directorate of the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is committed to collaborating with the East African Community (EAC) in order to share experience and best practices in the process of establishing and operationalizing national early warning structures which will strengthen the early warning mechanisms of both Regional Economic Communities. This was stated by Mr. Kebba Touray who represented the Director of Early Warning of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Abdou Lat Gueye during a benchmarking visit of the EAC to the ECOWAS headquarters on 23rd April 2018 in Abuja, Nigeria. The experts from the EAC were familiarized through a detailed presentation on the ECOWAS Early Warning Directorate, its structure, legal framework, modules and products such as daily highlights, situation reports, incident reports, security alerts and early warning and thematic reports. During his presentation, Mr. Touray stated that, ‘The ECOWAS’ Commission Early..
April 28, 2018

ECOWAS COMMISSION PRESIDENT TO PARTICIPATE AT THE SIDELINE MEETING ON SUSTAINABLE PEACE IN NEW YORK

The President of the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Mr. Jean-Claude Kassi Brou is among the leading figures who are billed to speak at the sideline event of the High-Level Meeting on sustainable peace, on the 25th of April 2018 in New York, U.S.A The sideline event is to be hosted by the government of Switzerland in Collaboration with ECOWAS, the Group of Most Developed Countries (G7), the United Nations Peace building Support Office as well as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in association with the Center for International Cooperation and Institute for Security Studies. The leaders are to discuss majorly: Sustaining Peace in Action–Windows of Opportunity to Build More Peaceful, Just and Inclusive societies. Among other objectives, the sideline meeting is expected to draw on national experiences in exploring windows of opportunity for sustaining peace. It will also explore how countries identify, assess, and prioritize risks, ..
April 28, 2018

EXPERTS’ MEETING ON HERDERS-FARMERS CONFLICT KICKS-OFF IN ABUJA

A two-day Experts’ meeting on Herders-Farmers conflicts started in Abuja on Tuesday, 24th April, 2018. It was attended by delegates from ECOWAS Members States, as well as Mauritania, Chad and Central African Republic. Experts from the concerned countries as well as other stakeholders are meeting to propose solutions to address the challenges posed by conflicts between Farmers and Herders in the region ahead of the ECOWAS Ministers of Security and Agriculture/Animal Resources meeting on Thursday, 26th April, 2018. In his speech at the opening ceremony, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr. Sékou Sangaré, highlighted the complex factors presently complicating conflict between the concerned parties and noting that the “21st century demands continuous structural transformation of animal husbandry”. Mr. Sangaré added that the meeting will provide ECOWAS the opportunity to tap from the experiences of participants in order to improv..
April 28, 2018

FINDING LASTING SOLUTIONS TO RESOLVE CONFLICTS BETWEEN FARMERS AND HERDERS IN WEST AFRICA

Proposals and recommendations for peaceful resolution of conflicts between farmers and herders in the Community will be submitted to the Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) at their next session in Lomé, Togo. This was stated by the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, in a statement by his Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, at the opening on Thursday 26 April 2018, in Abuja, Nigeria, of the joint high-level meeting of Ministers of Security and Agriculture/Animal Resources from ECOWAS, Cameroon, Chad, Mauritania and the Central African Republic on pastoralism and cross-border transhumance. He welcomed the joint initiative of his country and ECOWAS to hold this meeting aimed at finding lasting solutions to the escalating conflicts between herders and farmers in the Community and other African regions. In the words of Yemi Osinbajo, and Nigeria’s Interior Minister, Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (Rtd), these conflicts have too often p..
April 28, 2018

ECOWAS COMMISSION AND FRENCH DEVELOPMENT AGENCY SIGN PEPISAO AGREEMENT

The President of the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, and the Regional Director “Sub-saharan Africa Department”, French Development Agency (AFD), Philippe Chedanne, signed a subsidy agreement for integration and security of livestock farming and pastoralism in West Africa. The event took place on 26 April 2018 in Abuja, Nigeria, in the presence of Denys Gauer, the French Ambassador to Nigeria. The agreement was signed on the sidelines of the high-level meeting of Ministers of Security and Agriculture/Animal Resources from ECOWAS Member States, Cameroon, Chad, Mauritania and the Central African Republic, on pastoralism and cross-border transhumance. The purpose of the meeting was to propose concrete and lasting solutions to the current challenges facing pastoralism in the region. The “Integrated and Sustainable Livestock Farming and Pastoralism in West Africa” project (PEPISAO), financed by AFD, aims to ease conflict among ..
April 28, 2018

ECOWAS MEMBER STATES REPRESENTATIVES BEGIN CONSULTATIONS ON ECPF 2018-2020 PLANS OF ACTION

Representatives of Member States of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have begun consultations towards their eventual validation of the ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework (ECPF) Action Plans 2018-2020. The Consultative Workshop holding in Lagos, Nigeria from the 25th to the 26th of April 2018, is meant to identify and strengthen the roles of Member States in supporting ECOWAS interventions during the implementation of the Plans of Action (PoA) while increasing regional collaboration in the prevention of conflicts as well as the promotion and consolidation of human security in West Africa. Welcoming participants to the Workshop, the ECOWAS Commission’s Director Political Affairs, Dr. Remi Ajibewa stated that the ongoing effort is part of the initiatives aimed at strengthening the level of preparedness and response to conflict situations by the ECOWAS Commission, Member States, Civil Society and external partners. Addressing Representatives of Member States who..
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