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Melania Trump To Visit A Hospital In Ghana

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Melania Trump To Visit A Hospital In Ghana

US First Lady Melania Trump on Tuesday kicked off her first major solo trip in Ghana’s capital Accra, aiming to cast a positive light on her embattled husband’s administration.

A relaxed-looking Trump smiled and waved as she stepped off an overnight flight from Washington to be met on the red carpet by her Ghanaian counterpart Rebecca Akufo-Addo.

She beamed as she was welcomed by a troupe of traditional drummers and dancers. “Thank you very much,” she said with a smile.

The former model, whose choice of clothing is keenly watched, changed from a safari-inspired departure outfit of suede trench coat and leopard print heels to a red and white striped dress with white pumps by the time she arrived in west Africa.

She is scheduled to visit a hospital in Accra to learn about newborn health and also have tea with Mrs Akufo-Addo at the presidential residence, Jubilee House.

The 48-year-old is promoting her Be Best initiative, her official agenda unveiled in May designed to improve children’s well-being.

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Her office said it will also “showcase” the work of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), even at a time when her husband’s government is looking to slash US aid across the world.

But unlike her predecessors, her visit will be followed closely to see if she can build bridges after the president reportedly dismissed Africa as a collection of “shithole countries”.

In addition to Ghana, she is due to visit Malawi, Kenya and Egypt before returning to Washington early on October 7.

‘Rorschach test in Louboutins’ 

The enigmatic US first lady has typically stayed out of the spotlight since her husband became president yet she has made headlines for rare public appearances.

In June, she made a surprise visit to Texas to visit detained children at the Mexican border, wearing a jacket emblazoned with the words “I really don’t care. Do U?”

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No one knew who the message was intended for, leaving it – and her – up for interpretation.

This ambiguity has led some pundits to describe her as a “Rorschach test in Louboutins” after the interpretative ink blots used in psychoanalysis and the luxury shoes.

But as Melania Trump attempts to step out of her husband’s shadow, this trip has been seen as an attempt for her to carve her own diplomatic path.

She has previously travelled alone to Canada and joined her husband on several foreign visits.

Spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said the Africa tour is close to her heart. “This is her trip, her initiative,” she said.

That hasn’t stopped Donald Trump from weighing in last week, when he told journalists that his wife was “making a big trip to Africa”.

“We both love Africa. Africa is so beautiful, the most beautiful part of the world, in many ways,” he added.

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The US president has yet to travel to Africa since taking office.

Melania Trump’s visit to Ghana will inevitably draw comparisons to when former president Barack Obama and his wife Michelle visited Ghana in 2009.

During that visit, Barack Obama gave a speech to parliament saying “Africa doesn’t need strongmen, it needs strong institutions”.

He also toured the Cape Coast Castle, a former slavery outpost, with his family.

Ghana is seen as a haven of stability in an often turbulent region but despite the interest back home, the first lady’s visit did not appear to have generated similar fervour locally.

Unlike the Obamas’ visit, the roads from the airport were not packed with onlookers while there was little fanfare in the local media, according to an AFP reporter on the ground.

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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African News

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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