Ghana will preside over the United Nations Security Council in November in New York, a historic moment in the country’s two-year tenure at the Security Council.
The significance of Ghana presiding over the Council’s affairs for the month of November stems from the fact that the UN Security Council is the principal organ for the maintenance and furtherance of international peace and security.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration in a media outlined some programmes of activities in November towards Ghana’s Presidency of the UN Security.
It said on Tuesday, November 01, there would be a press briefing by Mr Harold Adlai Agyeman, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Ghana to the United Nations in New York, to the UN Press Agencies at 4:30 pm.
It said on the same day at 7 pm, Mr Agyeman would also brief the wider UN Membership on the Programme of Work and Ghana’s priorities during the month.
The release said on Thursday, November 03, there would be an Open Ministerial debate to be chaired by Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration on the topic, “Integrating Effective Resilience Building in Peace Operations for Sustainable Peace” from 2pm to 5pm and 7pm to 10pm in the UN Security Council Chamber.
It said on Thursday, 10th November, from 2pm to 5pm, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo would chair a debate at the Heads of State level on the topic, “Counter-terrorism in Africa: An Imperative for Peace, Security, and Development”.
The release said the Permanent Mission of Ghana to the United Nations, New York, has informed that UNTV sends out feeds of meetings and briefings via fiber outbound lines through two companies, “Encompass” and “IDB-The Switch”.
It said UNTV also covers all briefings at the Press Briefing Room, and it is always assigned to the outbound Line “Encompass 4025” as well as the Switch UNN TV.
It noted that, however, UNTV does not cover United Nations Security Council (UNSC) wrap-in briefings to member states, but WebTV does.
Volta Aluminium Company (VALCO), the public aluminium manufacturing company plants have been shut down over agitation by the workers.
The aggrieved workers say their salary is below US$300 per month in cedi equivalent as has not seen any upward adjustments since last year.
They blame the situation on the continuous stay of some retirees at the company, hence the need for management to let them go.
The workers want some top executive management members to be relieved of their posts because they have attained the compulsory retirement age.
Some of the workers abandoned their posts at the production unit and they were seen dancing to music from loud sound systems which were mounted at the frontage of the company.
The remaining workers were also seen in groups and chatting during working hours.
Prior to that, the frontage of the company was blocked, using a 40-footer container to prevent the top management from getting to the company.
A baker in Yaounde is making bread from sweet potato flour. And it is a relief for his consumers who are increasingly finding bread made from wheat flour pricey .
Guy Marcel Nganta, with his big, colorful hat screwed on his head, has been making baguettes with sweet potato, cassava, and other legumes flour for 13 years in Yaoundé. A godsend for this small baker now that in Cameroon, as elsewhere, the war in Ukraine is making wheat supplies more expensive.
From the outside, there is no sign of his little shop - four exposed cinder block walls topped by a corrugated iron roof - below a road in the working-class neighborhood of Nkolndongo. But it is still full and, since Russia invaded Ukraine more than a month ago, his customers, whom he supplies only on order, have increased from about twenty to about fifty, according to him.
A sweet smell escapes from a small rudimentary bread oven. The craftsman kneads, kneaded, and molds bread made only with food "made in Cameroon", says Guy Marcel proudly.
Cameroon, like many other countries on the continent or elsewhere, is affected by the war between Russia and Ukraine, respectively the first and fourth-largest exporter of wheat in the world, a commodity whose prices soar since the beginning of the war.
Russia was accused Tuesday before the UN Security Council of having caused a "global food crisis", even to run the risk of "famine" throughout the world, with its war in Ukraine, the "breadbasket of Europe".
Word to the ear
The 44-year-old baker's bread has the same appearance as that made with wheat flour, but it is heavier and more consistent in the mouth. And the taste, slightly sweet.
"I do very well with local flour," Nganta says. Because if he cannot sell his baguette more expensive or cheaper than his competitors because of a price fixed by the state, at least their production cost is lower and therefore his profits are higher.
He claims to earn between 50 and 60 CFA francs (7 to 9 euro cents) for each baguette, while the wheat baguette earns only 40. The price of 50 kg of wheat flour has risen from 19,000 CFA francs (about 30 euros) in 2021, to 24,000 francs today, or 36 euros, compared to 20,000 francs (nearly 30 euros) for sweet potato flour and 17,500 (about 26 euros) for cassava.
It is word of mouth that has allowed the artisan baker to see his clientele more than double in recent weeks.
"The taste is really different for bread made in Cameroon and it fills the belly more," enthuses Lewis Ateba, an electrical engineer who leaves the shop with several baguettes.
In this vast central African country of about 25 million people, a quarter of whom live in extreme poverty according to the World Bank, the price of a baguette had been imposed by the state at 125 CFA francs (20 euro cents) for the past 13 years, but it rose to 150 francs (23 euro cents) on March 16, almost 20% more expensive, which immediately provoked discontent and concern.
Kenya's top court ruled Thursday that President Uhuru Kenyatta's bid to change the constitution was illegal, dealing a blow to him and his allies ahead of key elections in August.
"The president cannot initiate constitutional amendments or changes through popular initiative under article 257 of the constitution," six of the seven judges overseeing the case at the Supreme Court said, ruling against Kenyatta's proposal to expand the executive.
But the court left open the possibility for the reforms -- popularly known as the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) -- to be instituted by parliament or through other means, so long as the president did not have a hand in the changes.
The reforms would have been the biggest change to Kenya's political system since the introduction of a new constitution in 2010.
The initiative has left the East African nation's political elite divided.
Kenyatta had argued that the change would make politics more inclusive and help end repeated cycles of election violence.
Thursday's decision came after the High Court and Court of Appeal ruled against the proposed amendments last year.
The appeals court even said Kenyatta could be sued in a civil court for launching the process.
But the Supreme Court ruled against this idea.
"Civil proceedings cannot be instituted in any court against the president or the person performing the functions of the office of the president during their tenure of office in respect of anything done or not done under the constitution," it declared.
BBI's detractors -- including Kenyatta's estranged deputy William Ruto, who is running for the top job in August -- say the plan is a little more than a naked grab for power by a two-term president who cannot run a third time.
The timing of the reforms spurred speculation in recent years that Kenyatta is seeking to remain in power by establishing the post of prime minister as part of the BBI.
United Nations-commissioned investigators on Wednesday painted a grim picture for migrants in Libya, just days after they said they were seeking to verify the presence of mass graves at a human trafficking centre in the country's northwest.
Chief investigator Mohamed Auajjar said the group documented "consistent patterns of serious human rights violations" against migrants in government-run detention centres and trafficking hubs.
Libya has in recent years emerged as a popular, if extremely dangerous, route toward Europe for those fleeing poverty and conflict in Africa and the Middle East.
The North African nation plunged into turmoil following the NATO-backed 2011 uprising that toppled and killed long-time leader Moammar Gadhafi.
In the northwestern town of Bani Walid, the investigators, commissioned by the U.N.'s top human rights body, found that "migrants were held captive, murdered, tortured and raped."
They said in the report that at least eight migrants spoke about mass graves in the town, something the investigators said they needed to verify. Auajjar told the Human Rights Council that they were also examining the existence of secret detention facilities including some controlled by armed militias.
The investigators said in an October report that they had evidence of possible crimes against humanity and war crimes in Libya. Many of the alleged crimes, they say, were committed against civilians and migrants detained in the country while trying to get to Europe.
Germany stops training Libya’s coast guard
Hundreds of thousands of migrants hoping to reach Europe have made their way in recent years through Libya, where a lucrative trafficking and smuggling business has flourished.
They pack desperate migrants into ill-equipped rubber boats, then embark on risky voyages across the Mediterranean Sea. Many of those who have been intercepted and returned to Libya — including women and children — are held in government-run detention centres where they suffer from abuse, including torture, rape and extortion, according to rights groups.
Germany on Wednesday announced it will stop training Libya’s coast guard because of concerns about its treatment of migrants. "The German government cannot currently justify the training of the Libyan coast guard by German soldiers in view of the repeated unacceptable behavior by individual units of the Libyan coast guard toward refugees and migrants," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Andrea Sasse said.
South Africa's judiciary has rejected former President Jacob Zuma's appeals to further delay his corruption trial due to resume in April, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said Thursday.
"The NPA welcomes this ruling and will now work to ensure that the trial resumes on April 11, 2022," it said in a statement.
The 79-year-old former head of state is accused of taking bribes from French defense group Thales in a case that is more than 20 years old. He is charged with 16 counts of fraud, corruption and racketeering. Thales is also charged with bribery and money laundering.
Mr. Zuma's corruption trial began last year in May, after numerous postponements and delays due to a number of appeals.
In an unreviewable decision, of which AFP has a copy, the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that Zuma's claims have "no reasonable prospect of success on appeal and that there are no other compelling reasons for an appeal to be heard".
In October, the court rejected the former president's request that the attorney general, Billy Downer, whom he accuses of bias, be removed from the case. Jacob Zuma asked the Supreme Court of Appeal to rule on his ability to appeal the decision and filed four appeals. All were dismissed.
In another development, Jacob Zuma was sentenced to 15 months in prison for stubbornly refusing to appear before a commission investigating state corruption under his presidency (2009-2018).
His imprisonment in July triggered an unprecedented wave of violence and looting in South Africa. He was released on health grounds two months into his sentence.