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Monday, 01 October 2018

Mozambique's main opposition party, the former rebel movement Renamo, has promised to build 24 football fields in the next five years, if it wins the 10 October municipal elections in the city of Maxixe in the southern province of Inhambane.

According to the head of the list of Renamo candidates, Simiao Welemo, if he becomes the next mayor of Maxixe he will build a football field in each of the 24 neighbourhoods that make up the city.

He said Renamo wants the young people of Maxixe to be always occupied, including through the practice of sport.

"Renamo will set up youth associations", he said, "and through these associations it will draw up projects to occupy thousands of young people who have graduated from the universities, the schools and other institutions, but who are currently unemployed", Welemo told AIM.

"These youths have nothing to do and they spend their lives selling sweets, cigarettes and cell phone air time on the streets of Maxixe', he said.

He also promised that Renamo will rehabilitate all the markets in Maxixe, and will install refrigerated facilities in the fish market, so that the sellers in this market will have somewhere they can leave their products.

Welemo's promises extended to rehabilitating all the streets in Maxixe that are currently potholed, building new police stations, building an arts and crafts college in coordination with religious bodies, and setting up a municipal creche and children's playgrounds.

Asked where the money for all this would come from, Welemo said "the city of Maxixe has a lot of money that is badly managed".

The second opposition party, the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) complains that the ruling Frelimo Party in Maxixe is taking down MDM posters and replacing it with its own posters.

Frelimo, however, indignantly denies the charge. The Frelimo mayoral candidate Fernando Bambo told AIM "the Frelimo brigades will never rake down anybody else's poster because they know full well that this is illegal".

He said that if the MDM thinks Frelimo is removing its posters "then it should take proof of its accusations to the relevant bodies". Since Frelimo had not received any legal notification about the matter, it assumed that "the MDM accusations are false".


- Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique

Published in Economy

For 10,000 years, the bacterium Mycoplasma mycoides has infected goats, cows and other livestock, annihilating entire herds in days.

In sub-Saharan Africa, the disease, contagious bovine pleuropneumonia CBPP or “lung plague,” is still difficult to control. It causes more than US$60 million in annual losses to cattle owners and affects the livelihoods of 24 million cattle producers.

Although infected animals can be treated with antibiotics, they can be hard to come by. They often come from illegal sources and are of poor quality, resulting in ineffective treatments and antibiotic resistance.

The quickest and most effective way to control lung plague is to cull the infected animals. But there is another way: vaccination.

Working with researchers in Kenya, we have developed a new vaccine to help fight the spread of Mycoplasma mycoides mycoides (Mmm), an especially lethal subspecies of the bacterium that causes disease in cattle.

Unstable solution

Lung plague was eradicated in North America in the 1890s after an eight-year campaign of quarantine, slaughter and disinfection.

Botswana successfully adopted this approach, but it will not work for other sub-Saharan countries because of the high costs of replacing cattle that are not insured.

To date, there is only one vaccine on the market to control lung plague. It is an attenuated vaccine, which means it is created from a live version of Mmm that has been altered so that it becomes harmless. The live-attenuated Mmm vaccine is injected into the tail of cattle and, after a few weeks, the animal begins to produce antibodies against the bacteria.

Although this vaccine works well, it does have drawbacks. It deteriorates quickly unless it is kept on ice — a problem in Africa where temperatures often run high — and, in some cases, vaccinated animals develop inflammation and ulcers where the vaccine is injected or even lose their tails due to extreme immune reactions.

New approach

Looking for a better solution, our team applied for and received funding from the International Development Research Centre and Global Affairs Canada through the Canadian International Food Security Research Fund to develop a new vaccine for lung plague.

Vaccines are made up of two parts: an antigen, a substance capable of inducing an immune response, and an adjuvant, a compound that improves the efficacy of the vaccine.

The new lung plague vaccine uses protein antigens from a variety of strains of Mmm found in Kenya which makes the new vaccine safer, easy to manufacture and stable at room temperature.

Our team identified these protein antigens using “reverse vaccinology.”

Reverse vaccinology uses computer programs to analyze the DNA of the bacteria and point out possible antigens, the ones most likely to cause the cattle to produce an immune response. The selected proteins are then manufactured, purified, mixed with the adjuvant and tested.

Increasingly, reverse vaccinology is being used to develop vaccines for diseases when traditional vaccine development has failed. This approach has been used for a human Meningococcal vaccine now on the market.

Better protection

Out of the 66 Mmm proteins we identified, four protected cattle against lung plague. We used them to create a new vaccine that has demonstrated significant potential to be more stable and offer better protection than the current live-attenuated vaccine.

This new vaccine, which is cheaper to produce and more stable at room temperature, may solve many of the challenges faced with the current vaccine and may also protect against multiple bacterial strains. It has been licensed for production by a vaccine manufacturer in Kenya and is currently under production for testing in field trials using large numbers of cattle.

The reverse vaccinology approach could work to develop vaccines for other important livestock diseases, including Johne’s disease and bovine tuberculosis, as well as infections with Histophilus somni, Escherichia coli and Mycoplasma bovis (chronic pneumonia and polyarthritis syndrome).

CBPP has had negative impacts on livestock production in Africa, drastically reducing the contribution of the livestock industry to Africa’s gross domestic product.

This project, which benefits from a partnership between Kenya and Canada, used advanced vaccine development technologies to achieve the ultimate deliverable — a novel vaccine that has the potential to improve food security and mitigate millions of dollars in livestock losses.

This Mmm vaccine was developed in collaboration with Hezron Wesonga of the Kenya Agriculture Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO), Jane Wachira of the Kenya Veterinary Vaccine Production Institute (KEVEPAVI), Jan Naessens of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Andrew A. Potter, Volker Gerdts and Emil Berberov of the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization – International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac) at the University of Saskatchewan.The Conversation


Jose Perez-Casal, Research Scientist - Program Manager, University of Saskatchewan

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Published in Agriculture
Monday, 01 October 2018 09:04

Zimbabwe: RBZ to Address Prices, Forex Woes

The monetary policy to be announced by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr John Mangudya today is expected to proffer solutions to prices that have been going up and announce measures to create financial stability in the economy.

Speaking ahead of the Monetary Policy Statement, Dr Mangudya said the statement will be designed to deal with the various challenges facing the economy.

"The Monetary Policy Statement will be issued tomorrow (today) and is aimed at addressing price and financial stability in the economy," said Dr Mangudya.

"As you know, our responsibility as defined in the RBZ Act, is to ensure price and financial stability, so that is what we will be addressing in the statement."

Dr Mangudya said the RBZ would also address the foreign currency shortages that have seen the emergence of a parallel market for the greenback. Zimbabwe is facing foreign currency shortages that have seen prices of basic commodities rising as companies struggle to raise money for the purchase of equipment and essential raw materials.

"We also need to deal with the foreign currency issue," said Dr Mangudya. "As you know, demand for foreign currency is outstripping supply and it is a challenge that we have to address."

Dr Mangudya said a team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was in Zimbabwe for consultations ahead of the institution's annual meeting in Bali, Indonesia.

"The IMF team arrived in the country on Thursday for review meetings ahead of the IMF and World Bank annual meetings in Bali, Indonesia," he said. "We expect to also hold several bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the meetings in Bali."

Zimbabwe has failed to access lines of credit from the multilateral institutions because of arrears in payments of previous loans and also due to the illegal Western sanctions regime that bars multilateral lending institutions with dealings with the United States from extending balance of payment support to Zimbabwe.

Government has, however, been engaging with the Bretton Woods institutions.

The arrears include $1,2 billion owed to the World Bank and $600 million owed to the African Development Bank (AfDB).

President Mnangagwa has prioritised re-engagement with foreign governments and multilateral institutions to assist in turning around the fortunes of the economy that has been affected by years of isolation and sanctions imposed by the West.

Zimbabwe intends to achieve middle income status by 2030, with the President's emphasis being on growing the economy and less on politics. Several initiatives have been embarked on as part of measures to achieve the desired target of achieving the growth of the economy.

These include creating a conducive environment for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and fighting corruption in all sectors of the economy.


Source: The Herald

Published in Bank & Finance
Monday, 01 October 2018 06:52

Trump in love with Kim Jong. UN

US President Donald Trump said he and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un have fallen “in love” –- their bromance fuelled by “beautiful letters” he received from the leader of the nuclear-armed state.

Trump on Saturday elevated his recent praise of Kim to new heights, at a West Virginia rally in support of local candidates for his Republican Party.

“And then we fell in love — OK? No really. He wrote me beautiful letters and they’re great letters. We fell in love,” Trump told the crowd.

On Monday at the United Nations General Assembly Trump lauded the North Korean strongman — who is accused by the UN and others of widespread human rights abuses — as “terrific”, one year after Trump eviscerated Kim from the same platform.

Trump followed those comments by saying Wednesday he had received an “extraordinary letter” from Kim, and sounded optimistic about prospects for a second summit between the two leaders “fairly quickly.”

Trump used his debut address at the UN General Assembly 12 months ago to threaten to “totally destroy” North Korea and belittle its leader as “rocket man,” prompting Kim to respond by calling the president a “mentally deranged US dotard.”

Those were among a series of playground-type slurs the leaders of the two nuclear-armed states hurled at each other, setting the world on edge.

Last August, after US media reported Pyongyang had successfully miniaturized a nuclear warhead to fit into a missile, Trump warned Pyongyang not to threaten the United States or it would face “fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

Kim had earlier compared comments by Trump to the bark of a “rabid dog,” and Trump derided Kim as a “sick puppy” — before the apparent outbreak of puppy love.

Trump met Kim in Singapore in June for the first-ever summit between the two countries that have never signed a peace treaty.

The summit led to a warming of ties and a halt in Pyongyang’s missile launches, but there has been little concrete progress since.

North Korea’s foreign minister Ri Yong Ho on Saturday told the UN there was “no way” that his country would disarm first as long as the US continued to push for tough enforcement of sanctions against Pyongyang.

Published in World

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), says its awareness campaigns against the menace of pre-registered SIM cards, which has been a recurring trend in the country’s telecom sector is yielding results.

Mr Salisu Abdu, the Head, Enforcement Unit of the commission, made this known in a statement in Lagos on Sunday.

Abdu said that the commission had carried out a three-day comprehensive enforcement in some major markets in Lagos to fish out perpetrators of pre-registered SIM card.

He said that the latest enforcement exercise was largely informed by a report from the office of the National Security Adviser about the prevalence of pre-registered SIM cards at some locations in Lagos.

He said that the adviser however expressed some measure of satisfaction that the trend seemed to be on a downward trend when compared with what obtained few years ago.

“We visited computer village, some markets in Ikorodu and we also visited one in Bariga with the objective of identifying where the sale of pre-registered SIM cards is ongoing.

“Fortunately enough, it was only in computer village we were able to buy only one Airtel SIM card from a mobile agent.

“We appreciate the level of compliance in Lagos; it apparently means that there is adequate awareness campaign that people are now aware that the sale and buying of pre-registered SIM card is criminal,” he said.

Abdu said that the commission had addressed the media on the outcome of the outing at the Lagos Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), where some of the apprehended suspects were taken for interrogation.

“We went to two locations, Alaba International market and Orile market along Badagry expressway.

“At Alaba market, we purchased a pre-registered SIM card from an agent, a Globacom agent and in Orile we found pre-registered SIM cards on a market woman who, in fact, was seated with a lot of SIM cards being sold to members of the public.

“It is those same cards that criminals are using to commit a lot of crime and you can now understand why it had sometimes been difficult for security operatives in the course of their investigations of criminal offences to identify people who have actually committed such crimes,” Abdu said.

The enforcement official said that the last day of the raid of phone markets in Lagos was concentrated largely on the Saka Tinubu market in Victoria Island where two more persons who were found selling pre-registered SIM cards and were picked up by the combined team of NSCDC and NCC officials.

While speaking on the commission’s next line of action, Abdu said that investigations would first be carried out by the NSCDC, which accompanied the enforcement team during the exercise.

“We have to get to the root as to where they are getting the pre-registered SIM cards and I am sure the old woman and some of the persons arrested are not the ones doing the registration, there must be somebody who is supplying the SIM cards to them.

“We will need to find out the people who are behind it and we believe some of these challenges are coming from registration agents.

“So, we have been trying as much as possible to warn network operators to ensure that they checkmate their registration agents.

” We will also look into all the SIM cards we recovered in this exercise and ensure that we communicate necessary sanction to the mobile operators,” he said.

Abdu recalled that in 2017, the Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta hosted a stakeholders’ meeting with telecom network providers at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja where he expressed displeasure at the persistence of improperly registered and pre-registered SIM cards.

Abdu said that the commission had subsequently launched a nationwide television commercial in major national television and local television networks in all the states of the federation in March to sensitise telecom subscribers on the dangers of pre-registered SIM cards.



Published in Telecoms
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