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Merkel Begins West African Tour In Senegal

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Merkel Begins West African Tour In Senegal

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in Senegal on Wednesday, at the start of a west African tour, with Berlin hoping that development of the continent will help stem migration and boost the fight against jihadism.

Signalling that Germany means business, Merkel was accompanied by around a dozen German business leaders.

In Ghana, Merkel plans to visit a start-up hub and in Nigeria she will meet with Ecowas head Jean-Claude Kassi Brou.

On her arrival in Dakar late Wednesday the German leader was greeted by Senegalese president Macky Sall and a guard of honour by dozens of Senegalese marines.

After the playing of the national anthems, the military orchestra belted out two popular German songs, including “Schoene Maid, hast Du heut’ fur mich Zeit”, which roughly translates to “Beautiful maiden, do you have time for me today?”

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“All three countries (on Merkel’s agenda) face huge challenges when it comes to economic and social development,” a German government official said ahead of her trip.

The three nations are considered important dialogue partners for the German government and there is a need to strengthen and shape their economic growth to benefit all citizens, the official added.

Merkel has placed a strong focus on African diplomacy in recent years, and has called on African countries to do their bit in stemming the flow of migrants to Europe — an issue over which she faces criticism at home.

Like China and more recently Britain’s Theresa May, export-nation Germany is also eagerly eyeing the burgeoning economic potential of resource-rich African nations with young, dynamic citizens.

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British Prime Minister May on Wednesday held talks with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on the second leg of her maiden Africa tour, aimed at drumming up post-Brexit trade deals outside the European Union.

Senegal is enjoying economic growth of around seven percent annually, while equally booming Ghana is seen as a haven of stability in the region.

Nigeria, despite grappling with a Boko Haram insurgency and oil price volatility, remains Germany’s second-biggest trade partner in sub-Saharan Africa.

Economic ties

The push for closer economic ties is part of a wider bid to help stabilise African countries in the long run, offering youngsters opportunities at home in the hope of dissuading them from setting off for Europe.

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Senegalese, Ghanaians and Nigerians are among the thousands of migrants trying their luck in Europe, even though their chances of winning asylum are slim. In July alone, nearly 950 Nigerians applied for asylum in Germany.

It is important to “stop people from making the illegal and extremely dangerous journey to Europe”, the government official said.

Instead, efforts should be focused on legal methods of entry in Europe, for example for young Africans who study in the EU and then put their education to use at home, it added.

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African News

NYSC Introduces Biometric Clearance System To Curb Corruption – DG

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NYSC DG Sulaiman Kazaure

Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps, Major Gen Suleiman Kazaure, has disclosed that the corps has introduced a biometric clearance system to eliminate corruption and compromise by officials and corps members.

The DG stated this on Monday during a leadership and anti-corruption sensitisation workshop in Abuja, designed to raise a crop of officials that would imbibe good leadership qualities and enthrone a culture of transparency and accountability.

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He also revealed that the scheme had ensured strict compliance with government policies on the treasury single account, integrated personnel and payroll system, and government integrated financial management information system.

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The D.G says the introduction of biometric clearance system for corps members has virtually eliminated all chances of compromise by officials, as well as absenteeism and abscondence by corps members.

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The biometrics system now ensures only deserving corps members are paid the monthly and other statutory allowances.

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African News

Zimbabwe: Party Accused Of Partisan Distribution Of Aid To Victims Of Cyclone

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Zimbabwe: Party Accused Of Partisan Distribution Of Aid To Victims Of Cyclone

Zimbabwe’s ZANU-PF lawmaker for Chimanimani East, Nokuthula Matsikenyere, has been sucked into the eye of a storm over the partisan distribution of aid to victims of cyclone idai.

Chimanimani and Chipinge in the south east of Manicaland were the worst affected areas by the storm that left a trail of destruction and more than a hundred forty persons dead.

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Affected villagers have accused ruling ZANU-PF officials, including Matsikenyere, of politicizing the disaster relief donated by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).  They said the aid was given to only ZANU-PF supporters.

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In a heated meeting on Saturday in a village where the relief aid was distributed, Matsikenyere was quoted as openly saying to the disgruntled villagers they deserved to be deprived of the disaster relief because they did not vote for her during last year’s elections.

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The lawmaker later confirmed to a news crew that she directed the aid distribution, but that she was not involved in compiling names of recipients.  She did not admit to saying what the villagers attributed to her.

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Study Shows Millions In Africa Live In Fear Of Losing Their Homes

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Study Shows Millions In Africa Live In Fear Of Losing Their Homes

A new study Prindex shows tens of millions of urban dwellers in Sub-Saharan Africa live in fear of losing their homes against their will.

The study shows that in eighteen countries surveyed, nearly thirty-two million adults in urban areas are “insecure in their rights to their home and land.”

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The study says this means that more than sixty million adults living in urban areas are tenure insecure.  If the trend continues, the study says insecurity could afflict more than two hundred million by 2050.

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Measuring security of tenure is one of the indicators used to assess progress in attaining the first of the sustainable development goals, which is the eradication of poverty.

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Prindex is an initiative launched by two think tanks—the global land alliance, and the London-based overseas development institute.

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