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Niger To Compensate Child Fluoride Victims

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$100m In New Bank Notes Not Missing

Niger is to pay out at least $3.5 million in compensation to hundreds of children of the central town of Tibiri who suffered deformities after drinking water with high fluoride content, state TV reported Sunday.

Local health authorities calculated back in 2001 that 4 918 youngsters suffered serious bone malformations after drinking the water which state water company SNE distributed between 1985 and 2000.

“We are going to pay. There is no reason for the government not to comply with a judicial ruling,” Finance Minister Hassoumi Massoudou told parliament.

“There is no problem with resources to pay these young people,” Massoudou said, adding “arrangements will be made for the ruling to be applied” though he did not say when the payments would be forthcoming.

A judicial ruling three years ago found that the victims in the region some 650km east of Niamey should be compensated.

Massoudou said the government will “make available two billion CFA francs ($3.5 million) to compensate the Tibiri children who were victims 20 years ago of contaminated water.”

Niger’s Niger Human Rights Association (ANDDH) broke the scandal in 2000 after doctors highlighted a growing number of bone deformations of local children aged between 15 months and 15 years.

Symptoms included skull enlargement, convulsions, severe bone pain and fragility, as well as discoloured, reddish teeth.

An international study found that the local water had fluoride content of 6.9 mg per litre – more than four times the 1.5 maximum permitted by the World Health Organisation.

French group Vivendi bought SNE in 2001.

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Ghana Opens First Round Of Bidding For Exploratory Licenses

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Ghana Opens First Round Of Bidding For Exploratory Licenses

President Nana Akufo-Addo announced the opening of the country’s first open and competitive round of bidding for energy exploration licenses, with three offshore blocks being offered. Previously, Ghana had awarded leases through a closed negotiation process.

All of the blocks are located in ghana’s central basin. To undertake the exploration and extraction.

Bidders have to show financial capacity and technical expertise and present a timetable for their exploration and development program.

President Akufo-Addo also announced a review of all licensing agreements covering blocks that were inactive, where concession holders had not undertaken the required exploratory or development work.

This move could see a number of blocks re-enter the market, either through competitive bidding or direct negotiations, generating further interest in the upstream component of the industry from both independent operators and major players.

Although the development of these offshore sites will require significant investment, rising international oil prices could well justify the expense.

Development of major offshore oilfields is set to boost export earnings and stimulate investment inflows.

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Namibia National Council Chairperson Tasks MPs On Safe Driving

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Namibia National Council Chairperson Tasks MPs On Safe Driving

As the Namibian National Council adjourned for the holidays on Thursday, chairperson margaret mensah-williams gave an unusual advise to members of parliament. She asked them to take the lead by being safe drivers and obey traffic rules.  She especially harped on obeying speed limits.

She referred to some highways in the country that have historically recorded high numbers of accidents, some of which had involved members of parliament.  One of such fatal accidents recently occurred on the country’s b-one highway.

Mensah-williams advised everyone to be responsible drivers this holiday season, asking drivers to be more patient on the roads.  She said it is unacceptable that road accidents have become the leading causes of death in the country.

She warns against drinking and driving and gender-based violence, appealing to namibians not to rape, kill or abuse their partners and children in anyway whatsoever.

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Angola Admitted Into Gas Exporting Countries Forum As Observing Member

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Angola Admitted Into Gas Exporting Countries Forum As Observing Member

Angola has been admitted into the Gas Exporting Countries Forum as an observer member. GECF is an international governmental organization based in Doha, Qatar.

The group brings together the world’s leading gas producers and supports the sovereign rights of member countries over their gas resources.  It also helps them with their rights and capability to manage, develop, use and conserve those resources in a way that is sustainable, efficient and environmentally friendly.

Executive Chairman of African Energy Chamber, N.J. Ayuk said this is a step in the right direction for Namibia, and it’s in line wth the country’s  economic goals and projects.  He also said this would help in expanding economic diversification.

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