Sunday, March 19, 2017

MTN Resumes Sponsorship Of Cameroon Champions League

Yaoundé—The local subsidiary of South Africa mobile telecom firm, MTN will resume sponsorship of the Cameroon soccer league one and two championships five years after it backed out allegedly due to poor relations with the country’s football authorities.

Cameroon Elite two club, Bang Bullet FC of Nkambe 
The telecom giant’s Cameroon CEO, Philisiwe Sibiya made the disclosure after an audience the Minister, Secretary General at the Presidency of Cameroon, Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh granted her on Friday March 17.

The MTN Cameroon CEO told the press that she discussed the modalities of the sponsorship with the chief scribe of the Cameroon state house as the mobile telecommunications network firm is about to sign a contract with the Professional Football League of Cameroon (LFPC) to sponsor local soccer for the next three years.

“We will be sponsoring the premier leagues one and two. We are hoping that it is going to go beyond just three years. As Africans we all share the passion of football,” Philisiwe Sibiya said.

The firm sponsored Cameroon’s premier league from 2002 but backed out a decade later and since then, the national divisions one and two championships have been limping due to lack of sponsorship.

The launching of the 2016/2017 football season in the country for instance witnessed repeated postponements largely due to a chronic logistics and financial deficiency.

The telecom firm had been investing in soccer in the country financially and infrastructural wise. It had helped in promoting sports in Cameroon, especially football through a total financial disbursement of FCFA 7 billion for the organization of the league one and two championships from 2002-2012; about FCFA 700 million annually.

MTN also rehabilitated two major stadia in the country’s Mbouda and Guider stadia in the West and North regions respectively.

Though the telecom giant’s new sponsorship is yet to be signed, soccer promoters in the five times African football champions see the resumption of sponsorship by the telecom firm a sigh of relief.

Kengong Johnson Bang, president of Bang Bullet FC, a local league two side in the country said he was happy with the announcement.

By Ndi Eugene  Ndi

Thursday, February 2, 2017

DR Congo's main opposition leader, Tshisekedi dies ahead of Kabila's exit

DR Congo's main opposition leader, Etienne Tshisekedi has died in Brussels at the age of 84, sources reported Wednesday.

According to UN-backed Radio Okapi, the opposition icon left Congo on January 24 for a medical check-up in Belgium, the mineral-rich Central African's former colonial master. The historic heavyweight had made a triumphant return to Kinshasa in July last year after two years of medical treatment in Brussels.

The opposition leader who founded the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) party in the country in 1982(then Zaire) was supposed to head a National Transition council with a prime minister to be named from opposition ranks under a deal to pave the way for President Joseph Kabila’s exit at the end of this year according to a deal reached last December.

The cause of his death has not been divulged as neither family nor his political party has officially commented on that, but Radio France Internationale (RFI) said “the Old Man”, as Tshisekedi is affectionately known among his political allies died from a pulmonary embolism.

His death deprives the opposition of its principal figurehead as talks over implementation of the December accord falter. His son, Felix, who recently became a prominent political figure and headed the coalition of opposition parties known as the Rassemblement is tipped to be named prime minister in a forthcoming power-sharing government.

Elected president

Joseph Kabila who took over the reign of the chronically unstable DR Congo in 2001 was re-elected for a second mandate in 2011, but showed no signs of wanting to relinquish power after his reign expired in December 2016 despite being constitutionally barred from seeking a third term.

Tshisekedi unsuccessfully fought the 2011 presidential poll against Kabila but supporters of the opposition supremo referred to him as the "elected president" of the vote which was allegedly marked by massive fraud.

Another opposition leader in the country, Moise Katumbi has been sentenced to a three-year term in prison in an alleged case of property fraud and faces another trial in an alleged case of mercenary recruitment.

Observers fear Kabila may tinker the constitution before the end of 2017 and scrap the two years presidential term limits in the country.

By Ndi Eugene Ndi in Yaounde

Monday, January 16, 2017

Microsoft’s new tech event, NexTech Africa to take place in Nairobi

How can we build technology that best supports African creators? How can companies start to breed a data culture for success? What does it mean for African innovations to be globally relevant? These are some of the questions that Microsoft will be exploring at NexTech Africa 2017, the organisation’s new flagship Africa technology event to take place in Nairobi, Kenya on 2-3 February 2017.

Created by a group of passionate Africans at Microsoft, the event will connect technology and business leaders, Microsoft engineers, local developers and entrepreneurs, in an effort to listen, engage and collaborate on developing more locally relevant technology, the body has said in a statement.

 “We believe in the power of the emerging technologies to connect people to key services and boost productivity, while utilising unique and differentiated business models. Our goal with this event is to bring various players together and collaborate, so that we can equip our innovators with the right technology-based tools and infrastructure, helping them create and scale more of these solutions,” said Kunle Awosika, Country Manager of Microsoft Kenya in the release.
Mr. Kunle Awosika

Attendees will within the two days take part in a series of talks, sessions and forums on topics including cloud, cloud, big data, machine learning, the Internet of Things, e-commerce, digital transformation and technology in emerging markets. Also, entrepreneurs and developers will have the opportunity to engage with Microsoft engineers on a one-on-one basis.

“Through initiatives like 4Afrika, Microsoft has greatly contributed to the development of local innovations in Africa,” said Amrote Abdella, Regional Director of Microsoft 4Afrika.  She enlightened that the initiatives permits Microsoft not only to know how mobile and cloud technology is accelerating growth for Africa, but also how continental innovators are using the platforms to accelerate technology for the world.

“NexTech Africa is an opportunity to fast-track the application of products and services, tailored to meet our needs in Africa. Similarly, NexTech will also showcase world-class African solutions that are ready to go global,” Amrote Abdella said further.

Among a dozen speakers at the two-day event that will be running under the theme: Building for Africa, is Mr Joseph Mucheru, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology. He was Google’s first Sub-Saharan employee and was key to setting up of Google’s presence in Africa from 2007.

By Ndi Eugene Ndi in Yaounde

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Four Boko Haram bombers kill selves as gov’t claims progress in fight

Maroua—Four suspected Boko Haram suicide bombers were killed in two foiled attacks the Mayo Sava division of the Far North region of the country early last Wednesday  January 11 in an attempt to strike, the Governor of the Far North region told the Cameroon Radio Television, CRTV.

Midjiyawa Bakary said members of the vigilante group spotted two teenaged girls of approximately fifteen years. “One detonated her explosive killing only herself while the other one was neutralised by elements of the Rapid Intervention Battalion, BIR.”

Shortly after the two young girls, BIR elements identified two young boys of about sixteen years old in another locality still in the border division. Both detonated their suicide vests that killed only them, the administrative officer of the Far North region explained congratulating members of the vigilante and the security forces in the area.

The two foiled attacks occurred a day after Communication Minister and Government spokesperson, Issa Tchiroma Bakary told a press conference in Yaounde the military offensive against Boko Haram across the Nigerian border has made major progress, with scores of jihadists killed and hundreds of hostages freed since December.

“Several manufacturing units of explosive devices were destroyed, a dozen of explosive devices was neutralized, training camps were dismantled, a hundred of terrorists were definitively neutralized, over thirty fighters were captured and handed over to Nigerian Forces, hundreds of hostages were freed and handed over to Nigerian Forces,” Issa Tchiroma said of the progress made by the defense force in the locality of Ngoshe and its surroundings in the Nigerian territory. This reporter could however independently verify the government claims.

He said the operations were carried out “in perfect synergy” with the Army of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under the banner of the Multinational Joint Taskforce.

The victories however did not come without a price as three elements of the Cameroonian forces were killed, the minister regretted.

Since Nigeria announced a key victory against Boko Haram in December, claiming the group had been routed from its Sambisa Forest bastion, Cameroon has intensified operations along its northern border.

“Thanks to the commitment of our Defense and Security Forces, of administrative authorities, of vigilance committees and of the entire Nation, it is clear today that Boko Haram is experiencing its last moments in this aggression led against our country,” Issa Tchiroma said urging for vigilance because “although it has been considerably weakened, this nebula still has some capacity to harm.”

Boko Haram's brutal insurgency, launched in northern Nigeria in 2009, has spread across the border to Cameroon, Chad and Niger.

By Ndi Eugene Ndi in Yaounde

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Macdonald Ayang is New Managing Editor at The Guardian Post

Yaoundé— Macdonald Ayang has been appointed first ever Managing Editor of Cameroon’s lone English language daily newspaper, The Guardian Post.
Macdonald Ayang

Appointed on Monday January 9, the 29 years old former desk editor who becomes the second in command at the media outfit takes over from Cyprian Ntiamba Obi Ntui who served in that capacity(with a different label)  for over three years.

Monday’s shake-up at the media enterprise according to the Chief Executive Officer of The Guardian Post Newspaper is part of plans to restructure the daily tabloid to meet the expectations of its readers and partners.

Ngah Christian Mbipgo said the new Managing Editor will among other things be responsible for the general coordination of editorial work at the daily journal—including supervision in his absence.

“Unlike the now erstwhile Editorial Coordinator whose job was limited to the activities in the newsroom, you will also coordinate activities at The Guardian Post Printing Press and other institutions of The Guardian Post Media group,” Mr Ngah said as he announced the shake-up in at the head office of the media group in Yaoundé.

 Mark of confidence

The new Managing Editor said he was humbled by the appointment which he described as a mark of confidence and recognition of his little contribution to the news establishment.

“I welcome the appointment in good faith and I wish that the collaboration we have always demonstrated should continue. It is only in working that way that we can get the best for The Guardian Post Daily and for our professional lives,” Ayang said promising to demonstrate professionalism in the daily discharge of his duties.

The new Managing Editor is holder of a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with Second Class Honours obtained from the University of Buea in 2010.

Prior to joining The Guardian Post in January 2016, Ayang served as reporter and later Buea bureau chief of Limbe-Based Eden Media Group.

With just over half a decade in journalism practice, the ex-student of GBHS Bamenda Ntamulung has already gathered a huge wealth of experience not only due to his inquisitive and open-minded attitude, but also because of his unflinching love for the profession.

He was honoured with an award by Kumba-based weekly newspaper, The Scoop, as uprising young print journalist of the year early last year.

Besides The Guardian Post Daily, Ayang also writes for US-based portal, The Cameroon Journal.

Source: The Guardian Post Daily

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Striking Cameroon lawyers, teachers declare ghost town on Monday Jan. 9

Yaoundé—Cameroonians in the two English-speaking regions of the Northwest and Southwest have been urged to observe a ghost town on Monday January 9, 2017 by staying at home in solidarity with striking Anglophone lawyers and teachers in the country.
GBHS Santa students on campus in Nov 2016 without teachers/ Nko Dogo

The Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium (CACS) said ever since the teachers and lawyers ‘raised critical issue’ relating to their existence, the Yaoundé regime has not taken any concrete measures to resolve them.

“The Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium is calling on the general public of West Cameroon (Northwest and Southwest regions) to stand up as one man and embark on a sit-in strike on Monday January 9, 2017”, the body said in a statement late Wednesday.

It urged that adherents should avoid street and public demos which may lead to confrontation with government forces.

The Central African nation’s two English speaking regions have been rocked by social upheavals ever since Common Law lawyers started a work boycott in October 2016, protesting against the use of French in courts and the lack of the English versions of some legal documents. Teachers also joined the protests, forcing schools in the two regions to remain closed since November 21.

The released signed by Barrister Felix Nkongho, Dr Fontem Neba and Mr Wilfred Tassang called on all Anglophone Cameroonians to stand together and continue the ‘peaceful resistance’ until the lawyers’ and teachers’ demands are satisfactorily addressed.

Both the lawyers and the teachers have also been calling for a two-state federation; a demand that has attracted much sympathy from other groups and political parties in the regions.

Schools resumption

Schools are expected to resume in the Central African nation on Monday January 9 for the second of three terms of the 2016/2017 academic year but the release advised students to stay at home “and bear in mind that” their teachers are still on strike.

Recent moves by the government to dialogue with the striking professionals have ended in a stalemate with both teachers and lawyers walking out of the talks.

Not fewer than five people were shot dead in the opposition stronghold city of Bamenda in the Northwest region of the country following a confrontation between anti-riot soldiers and unarmed civilians who joined the Anglophone teachers' protest early December 2016. The government however says only one person was killed in the fracas.

With a population of over 22million, Cameroon has ten semi-autonomous regions eight of which are French speaking. The two English speaking regions constitute over 20 per cent of the population.

By Ndi Eugene Ndi

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

‘No sex charges’ for French soldiers in CAR

Six French soldiers accused of sexually abusing children in the Central African Republic (CAR) have not been charged following a criminal inquiry.

Investigating judges found no evidence to warrant further investigation, the prosecutor's office in Paris confirmed to the BBC.

The assaults allegedly took place at a camp for displaced people near the airport in the capital Bangui.

French soldiers were sent to CAR after the outbreak of the civil war in 2013.

The assaults allegedly took place between December 2013 and June 2014.

The prosecutor's office make the final decision over the charges, but its decision is expected to reflect the finding of the judges,

There is however a three-month window for interested parties to demand fresh investigations.

The UN whistleblower who exposed the allegations in 2015 condemned what he called the "complete impunity" of the perpetrators, and criticised the UN for failing to properly investigate.

There are still other investigations taking place into alleged abuses carried out by French and UN peacekeepers in the CAR.

A 2015 study by independent experts revealed "gross institutional failure" by the UN in the way it responded to abuse allegations.

The study said that children as young as nine were encouraged to have sex in exchange for food or money by troops stationed in the conflict-hit country.

France withdrew its force from CAR in October, saying they succeeded in the mission to stop fighting in the country.

However, some 350 French soldiers stayed behind to provide back up to Minusca, the UN mission in CAR.

By BBC Africa