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EU, four member countries pledge to provide over 1bln euros for climate adaptation in Africa -official

EU climate policy chief Frans Timmermans told the COP27 summit in Sharm El-Sheikh on Wednesday the bloc and four member countries will provide over 1 billion euros for climate adaptation in Africa.

He added the four members are France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Denmark, and other countries can join.

The sum is a starting point, he said.

Timmermans also said the EU will provide 60 million euros for loss and damage and will present ideas today on how to take loss and damage negotiations forward.

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AfricaAfrica AsiaNews

Civil servants plan protests to pressure govt over wages in South Africa

South African civil servants will march to the National Treasury in the administrative capital Pretoria and in the country’s other eight provinces next Tuesday to pressure the government over a wage dispute.

The largest trade union federation in the country, COSATU, and other federations representing the majority of the more than 1 million public sector workers told a news conference on Thursday that they would continue to protest until the government improves its 3% salary increase offer.

Wage negotiations between unions and the government collapsed in early October, with the government subsequently saying it would unilaterally implement the 3% increase outlined in October’s mid-term budget.

The Treasury has been trying to rein in spending on civil servants’ compensation, which makes up around a third of consolidated spending.

“This is the beginning and it will go on until we declare an indefinite strike. Whether it happens now or early next year will depend on how the government responds on November 22,” December Mavuso, deputy general secretary of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union, told reporters.

If the marches mushroom into a full-blown public sector strike it would be the first major one since 2010, potentially disrupting critical government services in places like hospitals and border posts.

The Public Servants Association (PSA), a union representing 245,000 civil servants, earlier this month held a separate march over the wage issue in Pretoria, handing over a list of demands. Union officials said on Thursday that the government had not yet responded to the PSA’s demands.

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Sports News: FIFA, UN bring football training to classrooms in Ivory Coast

Children at primary schools in the Ivorian commercial capital Abidjan traded classrooms for football fields last week to take part in a FIFA initiative to make the sport more accessible and contribute to education.

Ivory Coast is the first country in West Africa and the fifth on the continent to join FIFA’s Football for Schools (F4S) programme, launched in 2019 with pilot projects in Puerto Rico and Lebanon.

Children in yellow bibs and white jerseys practised passes and dribbled between cones under the guidance of FIFA instructors.


“When they play on football fields they banish violence, build leadership (skills) and communicate with others,” F4S manager Fatimata Sow said in Abidjan.

The programme is run in collaboration with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and aims to contribute to the schooling of around 700 million children by combining sports and education.

“The workshops … connect football with education. Life, football and technical skills are taught in a session,” said F4S instructor Antonio Buenano

According to FIFA’s website, each of its participating member associations will get a one-off grant of $50,000 to run the programme. It remains unclear how many member associations will be involved.

Learning equipment will also be distributed to schools.

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World population hits eight billion- Report

The United Nations says the world’s population is projected to reach the eight billion mark on Tuesday.

The projection came in a UN report released in July, which said much of the growth expected between now and 2050 is coming from just eight countries.

A boy takes in a view of the Los Angeles skyline from the Griffith Park Observatory Trails Peak, California, US [Jae C Hong/AP Photo]
A boy takes in a view of the Los Angeles skyline from the Griffith Park Observatory Trails Peak, California, US [Jae C Hong/AP Photo]
Half of those are in sub-Saharan Africa: Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, and Tanzania. The UN said populations in that region are growing at 2.5 percent, more than three times the global average.

Still, experts said the bigger threat to the environment is consumption, which is highest in developed countries not undergoing big population increases. The report also said that India is expected to overtake China next year as the world’s most populous country.

The upward trend threatens to leave even more people in developing countries further behind, as governments struggle to provide enough classrooms and jobs for a rapidly growing number of youths, and food insecurity becomes an even more urgent problem.

It is projected that the world’s population will reach approximately 8.5 billion in 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050 and 10.4 billion in 2100. Other countries rounding out the list with the fastest-growing populations are Egypt, Pakistan, the Philippines, and India.


Rapid population growth also means more people vying for scarce water resources, and it leaves more families facing hunger as climate change increasingly affects crop production in many parts of the world.

The population growth in sub-Saharan Africa can be attributed to people living longer, but family size remains the driving factor. Women in sub-Saharan Africa on average have 4.6 births, twice the current global average of 2.3.

At the same time, a small portion of the world’s population uses most of the resources and produces most of the greenhouse-gas emissions, said Poonam Muttreja, executive director of the Population Foundation of India.

“Over the past 25 years, the richest 10 percent of the global population has been responsible for more than half of all carbon emissions,” Muttreja said.

Charles Kenny, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development in Washington, said environmental concerns surrounding the eight billion mark should focus on consumption, particularly in developed countries.

“Population is not the problem, the way we consume is the problem – let’s change our consumption patterns,” he said.

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South Africa: Ramaphosa to focus on the poor citizens as he seeks ANC re-election

President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the plight of poor South Africans left out of nearly three decades of post-apartheid prosperity, he promised on Sunday ahead of a governing party election that will decide if he can run for a second term.

Ramaphosa was concluding the African National Congress (ANC) executive committee meeting before an elective conference next month to choose the party’s candidate for the 2024 national elections.

The president faces multiple challengers from within the party, mostly allied with his predecessor Jacob Zuma. Much may depend on whether Ramaphosa is seen as the best candidate to revive the fortunes of the ANC, the popularity of which is at an all-time low.

“No political democracy can survive and flourish if the mass of our people remains in poverty; without land, without tangible prospects for a better life,” Ramaphosa said in his speech.

“Attacking poverty and deprivation must therefore be the first priority of a democratic government.”

Ramaphosa added that the global cost of living crisis had worsened the poor’s plight and that the ANC would seek to enlarge the system of social grants that was expanded during the COVID-19 pandemic and has proved popular among working-class ANC voters.

He also pledged to forge ahead with policies to improve the standard of public education and introduce universal health insurance.

The ANC’s black empowerment initiatives were also mentioned, with Ramaphosa saying the measures need to be more “broad-based”. The initiatives have created some extremely wealthy black businessmen, Ramaphosa included but done little to lift millions out of poverty

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AfricaAfrica AsiaNews

After official visit to South Sudan, UN Peace Chief Roots for Lasting Peace

The United Nations head of peacekeeping operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, has wrapped up a visit to South Sudan where he called for greater efforts to stabilize the war-torn country. South Sudan is struggling with the impact of climate change in addition to inter-communal conflicts, all of which have led to a growing need for humanitarian aid.

During his official visit, Lacroix traveled to the town of Bor in Jonglei state, where communities have been gravely impacted by cattle raids, flooding, and a lack of basic resources.

Lacroix met with U.N. personnel, humanitarian partners, and the donor community and said he hopes to encourage more progress in South Sudan’s ongoing peace process.

“There are many urgent humanitarian crises around the world, but the political and financial resources that are available to cope with this crisis are by definition limited. And therefore, our advocacy will be strong,” Lacroix said.

He added that “We do recognize there is an expectation from the international community to support South Sudan, that there has to be a sense that there is a way forward. The ultimate solution is political. We have recognized several positive steps in the revitalized agreement, and we realize that a lot needs to be done.”

Climate shocks have made South Sudan’s dire humanitarian situation worse as the country deals with some of the worst flooding in nearly a century.

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AfricaAfrica AsiaNews

AFRICA: New directive could put us at greater risk- Somali journalists cries out

How to describe a militant group? It’s a question in Somalia where for years the government and media have tussled over how to refer to al-Shabab.

In its latest order, issued Sunday, the government directed journalists to replace the word “al-Shabab” with “khawarij,” which means “a deviation from Islam.”

Deputy Information Minister Abdirahman Yusuf Adala said the directive is a government policy based on the advice of Islamic scholars.

“We are Muslim people,” said Adala. “After these men (al-Shabab) claimed to be Muslims and tried to use Islam wrongly, the Somali scholars reached a decision and concluded that the culture of these men is the culture of khawarij, and therefore they are recognized as khawarij.”

Order puts journalists at greater risk

Samia Ali, a freelance journalist in Mogadishu, said the directive could put journalists who already work in a dangerous environment at even greater risk.

Ali said the term “khawarij” could endanger the lives of journalists who do not have protection or bodyguards and are not using bulletproof vehicles.

“As the media is neutral, we urge the Somali government not to force the media to use the word and rescind its directive,” she said.

The minister said the directive is not aimed at suppressing freedom of expression.

“Journalists are, of course, guided by rules, regulations, and journalistic ethics,” said Adala. “We stand to encourage freedom of opinion, encourage democracy, and encourage freedom of speech. And journalists are required to report what is right, so the correct definition of those men is that (khawarij). What we stand for is to protect the lives of journalists. Of course, every journalist is an enemy of these men (al-Shabab), and that is why they kill journalists and harass them.”

“It will put Somali journalists in great danger”

Somalia is one of the most dangerous countries for media, with rights groups saying militants are responsible for many media killings. A bombing in late October killed one journalist and injured two others, including a contributor to VOA’s Somali service.

Maryan Seylac, the executive director and founder of the Somali Media Women Association, said such attempts to change how media refer to al-Shabab are not fruitful.

“With this issue in place, if the government orders the use of the word ‘khawarij’ and directs the media to use it, it will put Somali journalists in great danger,” said Seylac. “It will cause fear and unrest, and it will increase the number of journalist killings because al-Shabab will directly target independent media, which they will see it to have sided with the government.”

Seylac told VOA that journalists are not a party to any conflicts and should be allowed to operate independently.

“The media knows what is legal and what is not,” said Seylac, “so in my opinion, I don’t expect the term khawarij can be implemented.”

The directive comes weeks after Somali media protested a separate order on coverage of al-Shabab. Authorities later arrested the secretary general of the Somali Journalists Syndicate, Abdalle Ahmed Mumin, on what they say are security-related charges.

Journalists have decried the directives, saying the actions put them in harm’s way.

Ahmed Mohamed in Mogadishu for VOA News))

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Sports News: Golfers Sets For 2022 Cancer Awareness Golf Tourney In Ibadan

In a bid to keep enlightening golfers against the deadly disease called cancer, all is set by the organizer of the annual golf event tagged: Cancer Awareness Golf Tournament scheduled for between 25 and 26 November this year at the prestigious Ibadan Golf Club (IGC).

The unique golf tourney was conceptualized by a concerned golfer and former Lady Captain of IGC, Mrs. Lizzy Afonja who claimed to have lost scores of loved ones to cancer, but believed enough awareness about cancer, using golf could reduce the scourge.

While speaking ahead of the tournament with newsmen in Ibadan, Mrs.Afonja, the initiator of the tourney said most people lack enough knowledge about the dreaded disease which is responsible for the rise in the volume of victims.

“We are using this golf tournament to carry out advocacy against the deadly disease called cancer; it is killing people around us irrespective of age or background. The campaign is to enlighten people on tackling it if the symptoms are noticed early in the body.

“Cancer can happen in any part of your body, it’s very painful to me because I have lost many loved ones to cancer, for the past 24 years I have lost over 20 friends, and that was why I came up with this idea to use golf to advocate for cancer awareness whereby doctors will come around and enlighten us about scourge”, Afonja noted.

The respected Lady gofer who once managed the lady section of the Ibadan Golf Club in the past added that golfers will have a touch of the lush-green course of the IGC, while medical practitioners will also hold a health talk to enlighten the participants about the preventive measures against cancer on the 25th, the first day of the tournament. The following day, Saturday 26th will be for the competition and closing ceremony.

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Senegal: Journalist Arrested on National Security Charges

A Senegalese journalist has been arrested after being accused of spreading information harmful to public security. The arrest comes after the journalist published articles about rape charges facing main opposition leader Ousmane Sonko.

Pape Ale Niang, who runs the news website Dakar Matin, was detained Sunday while changing a car tire in downtown Dakar, according to local reports.

Niang is an outspoken journalist known for his investigations into abuses of power.

Details about the rape allegations against Sonko were reportedly taken from a classified military document that implicated a leader of Senegal’s gendarmerie in spying on Sonko.

Sonko placed third in the 2019 presidential election and is running again in 2024. He was arrested last year on what many believe were dubious accusations of rape. The incident ignited a week of rioting that led to the deaths of 14 people.

FILE - Ousmane Sonko, president of the opposition party Senegalese Patriots for Work, Ethics and Brotherhood (PASTEF), gives a press statement, in Ziguinchor, Senegal, July 3, 2022.
FILE – Ousmane Sonko, president of the opposition party Senegalese Patriots for Work, Ethics and Brotherhood (PASTEF), gives a press statement, in Ziguinchor, Senegal, July 3, 2022
.The second round of demonstrations erupted in June over the government’s decision to keep Sonko and other members of the opposition off the ballot in the legislative elections.

Sonko, who has been under judicial supervision since March 2021, appeared before a judge Thursday for the first time.

Senegalese President Macky Sall, who is in his second term, is set to leave office in 2024. But fears are mounting that he will run for an unconstitutional third term — accusations which he has neither confirmed nor denied.

Senegal’s press regulation body, the Council for the Observance of Ethics Rules and Professional Conduct in the Media, on Monday issued a declaration to condemn Niang’s arrest.

“It is very unfair,” said Mamadou Thior, chairperson of the organization. “We know that if we don’t protest against that, it’s Pape Ale Niang today, and tomorrow it will be me or someone else. We are supporting him, no matter what happens. Because Pape Ale as an investigative journalist did his job.”

Thior said the gendarmerie are at fault for failing to protect the document.

Niang is facing three charges, including the violation of professional secrecy and making public information that could harm the national defense, according to a statement given by Niang’s lawyer to the French news agency, AFP. A third charge accuses Niang of acts liable to compromise public security.

Journalist arrests in Senegal are rare. Senegal was ranked 49th out of 180 on the Reporters Without Borders 2021 press freedom index. But the country fell to 73 in 2022 — a level considered problematic.

“It’s a regrettable situation in a country like Senegal, where for so long the freedom of the press has been something which has been applauded,” said Sadibou Marong, who heads the Reporters Without Borders West Africa bureau. “The fact that he, as part of his investigative reporting, is being arrested — it is nonnegotiable.”

Marong also said Senegal’s decrease in press freedom rankings occurred largely due to threats to journalist safety and the forced closure of media stations.

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Cameroon: Youths calls to end Biya’s 40-year presidency

Two generations of Cameroonians have been born under the presidency of Paul Biya who, on Sunday 6 November, was marking 40 years of undivided rule.

Known as the “Sphinx”, Biya is now 89 years-old and in poor health according to Africanews

Some people think it may be a good time for a change but fear the instability that may follow.

“We don’t even live on hope anymore. You can’t live on hope, you can’t live on hope in this country.”

Many younger Cameroonians have never known a leader other than Biya but, after seven re-elections, they are beginning to say it is time to see someone else in charge.

Michel Tsefack is a 34 year-old mechanical engineer.

“I was born in 1988 and I have only known His Excellency Biya in power,” he says.  “And I would like to know another president. For me it is important. I’m not in politics but I want to see at least another person governing.”

But longevity in power can also provide stability; especially when compared to neighbouring Nigeria, Chad and the Central African Republic. And some citizens feel major change is a long way off.

The motorbike taxi driver, Carlos Toko, says: “There is tribalism and racism that must be eliminated in this country. Because as long as we don’t get rid of that – even if the youth take over – it will always be the same thing.”

Cameroon is not entirely stable. Bloody conflicts in the north and west and a population with more than eight million poor people is fuelling calls for a major change in leadership.



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