South Africa to Host African Utility Week 

South Africa to Host African Utility Week 

The African utility week is to be hosted in South Africa’s city of Cape Town, the organizers have confirmed.

They said in a statement that regional collaboration in the power and water sectors, the untapped potential of renewable energy and investment challenges will be top of the agenda at the 15th  African Utility Week and Clean Power Africa conference and exhibition, returning to the Cape Town International Convention Center (CTICC) in Cape Town from 12-14 May next year.

According to the communication manager of the event, Annemarie Roodbal ,the event is expected to attract more than 5,000 attendees and feature 250 exhibitors, 190 speakers, eight conferences, free technical workshops on the expo floor, three high-profile plenary sessions and the coveted industry awards gala dinner.

“The event brings together utility professionals from across the globe to learn, share knowledge and debate the key topics that will secure the future development of Africa’s power and water industries,” she said in a statement.

The new event director for Africa Utilty Week, Evan Schiff said “Based on consultations with the industry, we have extended the conference and exhibition by an extra day, so we now offer three days of conference sessions, networking and an extra plenary session. The theme of our opening plenary session is: ‘Africa is open for business’. We have a few surprises up our sleeves in terms of keynote speakers and at this stage we can confirm that the Rockefeller Foundation’s Managing Director for Africa, Mr. Mamadou Biteye, is part of our high-level line-up.”

He added on, “Our most important aim is to remain relevant by providing the best industry insight and knowledge to attendees. To ensure we are plugged in to the most up-to-date information, we work very closely with leading and pioneering individuals and companies in the sector. Our high-level advisory board is a veritable who’s who of the power and water industries and our conference and technical workshop programs reflect this with topical, up-to-date discussions and presentations.”

With regards to challenges in the industry, the African Utility Week director said,“There is a growing need for regional collaboration: establishing a regulatory framework for the entire region and cross-border power supplies and exchanges. Furthermore, there is vast untapped potential in solar PV, wind, and geothermal that can be used as power generation sources.”

Footballers Unite in Campaign to Fight Ebola

Footballers Unite in Campaign to Fight Ebola

At the Official Draw for the 2015 OrangeTM Africa Cup of Nations today, in Equatorial Guinea, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) joined football stars, celebrities, international health organizations and corporations to announce the launch of Africa United, a global health communications campaign aimed at preventing the spread of Ebola in West Africa.

A statement issued by ‘Africa united said that the campaign, which is supported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Foundation and driven creatively by actor Idris Elba, is designed to recognize the vital role of frontline healthcare workers, as well as to provide critical education and resources for the people of West Africa. Educational messages will be delivered on local and national radio and TV, billboards and by SMS to audiences in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and neighboring countries.

In a new TV spot titled “We’ve Got Your Back,” Elba and a group of football players committed to the fight against Ebola in West Africa, including Yaya Touré, Carlton Cole, Kei Kamara, Patrick Vieira, Fabrice Muamba, and Andros Townsend, are voicing their solidarity with the healthcare workers who are risking their lives every day to fight Ebola. In the video, the players acknowledge that, although fans regard them as heroes, healthcare workers tackling Ebola are the true heroes. Each player wears the name of a healthcare worker on his back as a symbol of respect for “the world’s most important team.”

“For me the battle against Ebola is a personal one. To see those amazing countries in West Africa where my father grew up and my parents married being ravaged by this disease is painful and horrific,” said Idris Elba, actor and the creative force behind the development of the campaign public service announcements.

“Imagine having to sit down and tell your family that you were going to fight this disease. That conversation is happening across West Africa and around the world every day. I am in awe of the bravery of these health workers, who put their lives at risk day in and out to stop the spread of this terrible disease. My hope is that, in some small way, through the development of these PSAs and the creation of the Africa United campaign, we can ensure that these workers get the support they need and that health messages are delivered to people on the ground to help them in their fight.”

In another campaign video titled “West Africa vs. Ebola,”  Elba stars as a soccer coach giving a rousing and educational team talk to West Africa in preparation for its “life or death” game against Ebola. Elba explains the symptoms of Ebola and tactics for how to beat the virus, which includes spreading the word and working as a team.

“I wanted to support this campaign for so many reasons. I could not sit back without doing something to help fight Ebola. It is important we don’t treat this as something we just discuss with work colleagues or simply follow on the news for updates – instead our focus should be to do something,” said Yaya Touré, Ivorian professional football (soccer) player.

“I also wanted to get involved with this campaign as it pays tribute to the many, many African heroes who are in the villages, towns and cities using their skills, resourcefulness and intelligence to battle Ebola. Those people on the front line are often forgotten. African mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters are doing everything they can to fight Ebola – we have to support them.” he added.

The 2014 Ebola epidemic is the largest in history, infecting nearly 16,000 people with more than 5,600 deaths to date. While the spread of Ebola is a threat to people, health systems and economies around the globe, West African communities in particular are being crippled by the disease as a result of already-strained healthcare systems, mistrust of healthcare workers and fear and stigmatization of those infected.

Uganda Vows to Fund AIDS Treatment At All Cost

Uganda Vows to Fund AIDS Treatment At All Cost


President Yoweri Museveni has said government will fund AIDS treatment for its people with or without foreign aid even if it means diverting money meant for the roads to the cause.

“We shall fund our AIDS treatment with or without foreign aid. This should not waste our time and become a song like circumcision. Even if this means that we shall not fund some of our roads to do this,” he said. He was responding to claims that there was a funding gap for AIDS treatment.

The President also called on Ugandans to redirect their efforts in the fight against AIDS to prevention, saying advocating condom use and circumcision have not been very helpful.

In the 90s when HIV infection rates reduced from 18-6% our message was not to resort to condoms but abstinence. We managed to bring down the rates of infection through prevention messages until other people brought in condom use and circumcision. People became complacent,” he said, warning that circumcision does not stop AIDS.

The President called on the parents to counsel and guide their children about morals and AIDS and urged the youth to abstain from sex as the best mode of preventing HIV/AIDS infection.

“Children grow without moral guidance, they need advice. For a young person to get AIDS is to betray their parents who have invested so much in them. If you don’t trust someone, why do you sleep with them that because you have a condom? Put padlocks on your private parts,” he said.

The President was yesterday speaking during activities to commemorate the World AIDS Day at Booma Grounds in Fort Portal, Kabarole. It was held under the theme”Getting to zero my responsibilty.”

Museveni said the 7.3% AIDS prevalence rate at the national level is exceptionally high, adding that more work needs to be done to reverse the trend. Kabarole District has a prevalence rate of 12% the highest in the country.

According to the Uganda AIDS Commission there were 137,000 new infections last year as compared to 160,000 new infections during the year 2012, translating into a rate of 380 people being infected daily.

He challenged the health personnel and leaders at large to work harder to ensure that services reach the people.He criticized people promoting circumcision as one of the methods of controlling the scourge and gave the example of the people of Kasese and Bugisu who practice circumcision and still get infected. He informed the people that Kasese District has a prevalence rate of 9% in spite of practicing circumcision. He reminded them that the Muslim community which is known to circumcise their flock was equally affected by the disease.

He called on all the stakeholders to identify the gaps and strive to eradicate the disease.

Mr. Museveni concurred with the Omukama of Tooro, Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV who informed the gathering that some of the girls succumbed to the disease due to poverty. He challenged the parents to work hard and generate money so that their children especially the girls are not exploited and infected by men who lure them into sex for money.

He said that the Government’s target was to have zero new infections and zero deaths. He said that it was the responsibility of everyone to address the situation.

The Omukama of Tooro, Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi the 4th saluted the President for his able and good leadership which has led to the transformation of the people. He said his kingdom has been involved in the drive to eradicate AIDS and stressed that they were committed to bringing the AIDS prevalence rate to zero.

The State minister of Health, Opendi saluted President Museveni for championing the fight against AIDS for several years. She revealed that the expanded treatment portfolio has led to a decline in the death rate attributed to HIV/AIDS.

She informed the gathering that there was an increasing number of prostitutes in the country. She condemned some medical personnel for the vice of giving out AIDS results without testing the people.

The United Nations Coordinator, Eziokonwa- Onochie said that there was need to fight the discrimination of people living with HIV and called on all stakeholders to close the gap and end the scourge by 2030. She urged the religious and cultural leaders to work with the Government in efforts to combat AIDS.

The Chairman Council of Presidents, Inter religious Council, Bishop Mihiirwa Akiiki saluted the President for the work he has done in combating AIDS. He called on the youth to lead responsible lives. He tasked them to avoid sex until they get married.

A Board member of the National Forum of People living with AIDS, Prossy Namakula paid tribute to their colleagues who lost their lives to AIDS. She thanked the President for the AIDS act that was passed recently. She pledged their commitment to stop the transmission chain. She thanked the International Community that has enabled them to have quality lives.

The LC 5 Chairman of Kabarole District, Richard Rwabuhinga said that more efforts were needed to reverse the AIDS prevalence rate.

Article originally posted here 

Tanzanian Authorities Refutes Plans to Evict Masai Tribesmen

Tanzanian Authorities Refutes Plans to Evict Masai Tribesmen

The government of United Republic of Tanzania has refuted allegations that it wants to evict 40,000 Masai tribesmen and sell off the land on which they live to a tycoon from the Middle East.

The Masai,who are nomadic, live in northern Tanzania near the border with Kenya. Part of the land they occupy also contains Masai Mara national game park.

Tanzania’s authority have said that  it has never had any plan to evict the Masai people from their ancestral land as falsely reported by the media in recent days. It adds on that the information circulated through the media outlets globally was misleading, malicious and meant to tarnish the image of our country and her international standing.

The Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism Lazaro Nyalandu said,”The claims that 40,000 Masai were being evicted are false, unfounded and baseless. The argument that the land in question is being sold to a wealthy Middle Eastern family are a total fabrication and in contrary to the Tanzanian law.”

Members of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Land, Natural Resource, and Environment are due to visit the Loliondo area to bear witness to the government position and speak directly to the Masai people. The Minister, Lazaro Nyalandu, will also be leading a team of government officials and Media Houses to visit Ngorongoro in the next few days.

Tanzanian Telecommunications Company Pay Profit Mobile Money Users

Tanzanian Telecommunications Company Pay Profit Mobile Money Users

Tanzania’s telecommunications company called TIGO Tanzania has become the first mobile money service in the world to pay profit to its users.

Tigo announced today the first of its regular quarterly payments worth 3bn/$ 1.8 million to Tigo Pesa users.

A statement issued by Tigo said,”This payment comes three months after the company paid a staggering profit of 14.25 billion Tanzania shillings (equivalent of $8.64 million) accumulated in the TigoPesa Trust Account to become the first mobile money service in the world to pay profit to its users. Tigo Pesa has a subscriber base of 3.6 million customers.”

Tigo General Manager Diego Gutierrez said, “This second round of profit disbursement shows the company’s continued commitment to benefit and improve the lives of Tanzanians. The payment goes to all Tigo Pesa users including super agents, retail agents and individual users of the service.”

“The first payment was bigger due to the fact that the profit had been accumulated over a period of three and a half years. This second payment is the profit accumulated from funds held in trust in commercial banks for three months in the quarter July to September 2014,” the General Manager said.

Gutierrez explained that, as before, the average return to a customer will vary based on their average daily balance in their Tigo Pesa e-wallet. This applies to super-agents, retail agents, and individual customers.

The next installment for the quarter of Oct. to Dec. 2014 will be paid out in Feb. 2015.

Tigo Tanzania is the leading innovative telecommunication company in the country, distinguished as a fully-fledged digital lifestyle brand.

Offering a diverse product portfolio in voice, SMS, high-speed internet and mobile financial services, Tigo has pioneered innovations such as Facebook in Kiswahili, Tigo Pesa App for Android and iOS users, and East Africa’s first cross-border mobile money transfer with currency conversion.