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Prince Charles, Nigerian leaders discuss peace, girl-child

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The Prince of Wales Charles met with some Nigerian traditional leaders to discuss, among other issues, peace and security, and educating the girl-child.
Prince Charles received the traditional rulers in Abuja on Monday during a visit to Nigeria, the final leg of an eight-day tour to three West African countries.
The prince and his wife, Princess Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, who are visiting together, were in The Gambia and Ghana earlier.
Speaking with newsmen, following closed-door meeting, the Emir of Kano, Muhammed Sanusi II said the prince gave a brief summary of discussions held with President Muhammadu Buhari on a range of issues from climate change to demographic explosion.
Sanusi said that the proper education of the girl-child would address the issue of demographics in the country.
“We talked about town planning. Now take the north for example We have had a huge demographic explosion in the last 40 to 50 years but we have not yet changed the way we build our houses.
“So every time there is pressure for housing, the government takes over farmlands. Very soon we will not have enough farmland to feed Kano and we are not going to have grazing routes.
“We have got to start thinking how we could build vertically so that more families live on one plot, we free up the land, improve the yield on agriculture and begin to confront some of these challenges of demographics.
“Educating the girl child basically kills so many birds with one stone; we had a conversation around and the whole idea is how to work with the British Government in dealing with these issues and see how we can learn from each other’s experience,” the Emir said.
The Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba Ewuare II also told newsmen that the issues of human trafficking and youth empowerment were discussed adding that “I made my commitments”.
The seven traditional leaders received by Prince Charles are the Obi of Onitsha, Nnaemeka Achebe; Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar and the Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II.
Others are the Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba Ewuare II; Shehu of Borno, Gabai El-Kanemi; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi (Ojaja II) and the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III.
Prince Charles and Princess Camilla would visit Lagos on Wednesday, where they will engage the business community on a wide range of businesses, trade and investment. (NAN)

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Foreign nationals to be allowed to serve in British Army even if they don’t live in Britain

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Foreign nationals will be eligible to join the Armed Forces in greater numbers, Ministers will announce, as British residency requirements for service are set to be scrapped.
The Ministry of Defence will remove the need for Commonwealth citizens to have lived in the UK for five years before applying for service, it will be announced on Monday.
An extra 1,350 personnel from oversees are hoped to be enlisted to the the Navy, Army and Air Force every year.

The move comes as the Armed Forces struggle to recruit enough personnel to fill a shortfall in their ranks.
Applicants from nations including India, Australia, Canada and Fiji will be considered for all roles in the forces, without having lived in the UK.
Until now, they had to have resided in Britain for five years and their recruitment was capped at a maximum of 200 per year.

The Army will begin the admissions from early next year, while the Navy and RAF will commence the process immediately.
Other than the Nepalese Gurkhas and applicants from the Republic of Ireland who can enrol under a special arrangement, those from outside the Commonwealth will still need British citizenship to apply.

In April, a National Audit Office report said the full-time military was running at a 5.7% shortfall.
An extra 8,2000 regulars and 2,400 engineers were needed to fill the “largest gap in a decade”, the report added, while intelligence analysts and pilots were also in demand.

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Trump, Birthright Citizenship and the US Constitution

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WASHINGTON — Ferocious legal and political battles await any attempt by U.S. President Donald Trump to end birthright citizenship for the children of undocumented immigrants, according to a wide range of scholars, many of whom saw no viable means for Trump to achieve his stated goal.
“There’s no way President Trump can end birthright citizenship by an executive order,” Georgetown University law professor Nan Hunter said. “This is a constitutional provision.”
“I can’t imagine there is a single judge in the entire country who would uphold such an executive order — it is a legal nonstarter,” said Ilya Shapiro, a senior fellow in constitutional law studies at the Washington-based Cato Institute.
The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution — ratified in 1868, three years after the end of the Civil War — states: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.”
“To say that citizenship occurs upon birth or naturalization — that’s about as specific as our Constitution ever gets,” Hunter said.

Not so, according to Trump.
“So-called Birthright Citizenship … will be ended one way or the other,” the president tweeted Wednesday. “It is not covered by the 14th Amendment because of the words subject to the jurisdiction thereof.'”
Some conservative scholars agree, arguing the 14th Amendment’s language contains a loophole.
“The question is, what does it mean to be ‘subject to the jurisdiction thereof’?” Heritage Foundation legal policy analyst Amy Swearer said. “Based on the legislative history at the time, the 14th Amendment’s framers intended to give citizenship only to those who owed their allegiance to the United States and were subject to the complete jurisdiction of the United States.”
Swearer added, “The primary purpose of this amendment was to grant citizenship to the newly freed slaves, who were themselves lawful permanent residents. They were not subjects of a foreign power. They didn’t owe allegiance to a tribe or to any other authority.”
Who in America is exempted from U.S. jurisdiction and federal laws? Almost no one, according to Shapiro and others.
“Subject to the jurisdiction thereof’ excludes diplomats or foreign armies. Even those who are here illegally are subject to American jurisdiction — they can be punished for crimes they commit,” Shapiro said. “That’s different than diplomats, for example. Russian diplomats at the U.N. rack up millions of dollars of parking tickets [in New York], and they can be expelled from the country, but they can’t be forced to pay the fines.”
American University political historian Allan Lichtman said any reading of the original debate surrounding the 14th Amendment shows its proponents intended near-universal birthright citizenship.
“The framers made it crystal clear that it had very broad coverage, that it applied even to the Chinese who, at that time, were not eligible for citizenship. They couldn’t vote, they couldn’t serve on juries, but their children were U.S. citizens,” Lichtman said.
In a famous exchange in 1866, then-Republican Senator Lyman Trumbull of Illinois was asked by a fellow senator if birthright citizenship would “have the effect of naturalizing the children of Chinese and Gypsies born in this country?”
“Undoubtedly,” Trumbull replied, adding that “the child of an Asiatic is just as much a citizen as the child of a European.”
In 1898, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the American citizenship of a U.S.-born child of Chinese parents, setting a legal precedent that today’s Supreme Court would consider if a new case came before it, either as a result of an executive order or an act of Congress limiting birthright citizenship.
“There is a (federal) statute that essentially repeats what’s in the 14th Amendment, and Congress today could amend that statute. But if they did, that new statute would contradict the Constitution, and that is exactly the kind of situation in which the Supreme Court would rule,” Hunter said. “I think it’s a very strong bet that the Supreme Court would strike this (potential executive order or act of Congress) down.”

Some Republican lawmakers are undeterred.
“There is a statute regarding the 14th Amendment, so I think it is something Congress would have to weigh in on,” North Dakota Republican Senator John Hoeven said. “We have to make sure we are securing the border, that we’re not creating incentives to come here illegally. So, we have to have something common sense.”

If an executive order or congressional action are unlikely to succeed, a new constitutional amendment would be the only avenue left to end birthright citizenship for the children of undocumented immigrants.
“It’s an extraordinarily difficult process to amend the Constitution,” Georgetown University professor Hunter said. “It’s a two-thirds majority [in Congress] required to propose an amendment to the Constitution, and ratification requires a three-fourths majority of the states. That’s a super-majority consensus, which is why it’s been done relatively rarely in our history. It’s an extremely tough lift.”
Trump’s focus on birthright citizenship and illegal immigration has spawned an outpouring of often acrimonious debate across America. Many observers believe the president’s pronouncements have nothing to do with serious policy proposals.
“I think ultimately this is a political maneuver,” Shapiro said. “The president decided that ahead of next week’s [midterm] elections, it would be good to raise this issue.”
“What lies behind this is hard politics, not constitutional understanding,” Lichtman said. “Floating this idea that, with the stroke of a pen, he [Trump] is going to deprive people of their citizenship rights is just part and parcel of demonizing immigrants and making people fearful of a so-called immigrant menace.”

Conservatives reject the charge.
“It is not inhumane to have borders, to attempt to enforce those borders, and to reverse some of the enticement to come here illegally and have citizen-children,” Swearer said. “This is not motivated by racial animus, by hatred for foreign nationals or that we want to keep non-white people out. It simply means that we have laws, and we want people who come here to follow those laws.”
Lichtman noted that many of today’s arguments over immigration echo battles of the past.
“The fear of the immigrant is nothing new. This kind of nativism, extreme nationalism, goes back to the earliest days of the republic,” he said. “For a very long time, America’s naturalization laws did not permit naturalization of Chinese and other Asians. The targets have changed over time, but the rhetoric and the nativist sentiment has not.”

 

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As Americans Vote, Facebook Struggles With Misinformation

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SAN FRANCISCO — As U.S. voters prepare to head to the polls Tuesday, the election will also be a referendum on Facebook.
In recent months, the social networking giant has beefed up scrutiny of what is posted on its site, looking for fake accounts, misinformation and hate speech, while encouraging people to go on Facebook to express their views.
“A lot of the work of content moderation for us begins with our company mission, which is to build community and bring the world closer together,” Peter Stern, who works on product policy stakeholder engagement at Facebook, said at a recent event at St. John’s University in New York City.

Facebook wants people to feel safe when they visit the site, Stern said. To that end, it is on track to hire 20,000 people to tackle safety and security on the platform.
As part of its stepped-up effort, Facebook works with third-party fact-checkers and takes down misinformation that contributes to violence, according to a blog post by Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO.
But most popular content, often dubbed “viral,” is frequently the most extreme. Facebook devalues posts it deems are incorrect, reducing their viralness, or future views, by 80 percent, Zuckerberg said.

Disinformation campaigns
Recently Facebook removed accounts followed by more than 1 million people that it said were linked to Iran but pretended to look like they were created by people in the U.S. Some were about the upcoming midterm elections.
The firm also removed hundreds of American accounts that it said were spamming political misinformation.
Still, Facebook is criticized for what at times appears to be flaws in its processes.
Vice News recently posed as all 100 U.S. senators and bought fake political ads on the site. After approving them all, Facebook said it made a mistake.
Politicians in Britain and Canada have asked Zuckerberg to testify on Facebook’s role on spreading disinformation.
“I think they are really struggling and that’s not surprising, because it’s a very hard problem,” said Daphne Keller, who used to be on Google’s legal team and is now with Stanford University.
“If you think about it, they get millions, billions of new posts a day, most of them some factual claim or sentiment that nobody has ever posted before, so to go through these and figure out which are misinformation, which are false, which are intending to affect an electoral outcome, that is a huge challenge,” Keller said. “There isn’t a human team that can do that in the world, there isn’t a machine that can do that in the world.”

Transparency
While it has been purging its site of accounts that violate its policies, the company has also revealed more about how decisions are made in removing posts. In a 27-page document, Facebook described in detail what content it removes and why, and updated its appeals process.
Stern, of Facebook, supports the company’s efforts at transparency.
“Having a system that people view as legitimate and basically fair even when they don’t agree with any individual decision that we’ve made is extremely important,” he said.
The stepped-up efforts to give users more clarity about the rules and the steps to challenge decisions are signs Facebook is moving in the right direction, Stanford’s Keller said.
“We need to understand that it is built into the system that there will be a fair amount of failure and there needs to be appeals process and transparency to address that,” she said.

 

 

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Political Unrest Drives Moroccans to Join Africa Exodus

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TANGIER, MOROCCO — Moroccans are increasingly joining other Africans in the dangerous sea crossing to Spain, driven by what they see as deteriorating social conditions and a crackdown on political dissent.
Morocco’s government has recently accepted $160 million from the EU to act as its regional “gendarme,” curbing a growing flow of Europe-bound migrants from sub-Saharan Africa. But its own citizens now are piling onto boats pulling up at its windswept beaches for the illegal journey across the Mediterranean.

The government does not provide figures on the number of Moroccans leaving illegally. But navy patrols intercepting migrant-laden boats plying the narrow Strait of Gibraltar between Morocco and Spain report they are finding them filled with Moroccans at a growing rate.

According to the Madrid government, 13,000 Moroccan migrants reached Spain in August, an “unprecedented” number, according to Mohammed Ali, a human rights activist and consultant to the regional council of Tetouan from where most migrant boats set sail.
“People are being forced to migrate for the same social and economic reasons they are revolting inside Morocco,” said Ahmed El Goatib, a Socialist Party militant who served jail time for offending King Mohammed VI. “The government might even be encouraging migration as a social escape valve and as a way to pressure Europe for money,” Ali said.
Moroccan navy sailors killed a 19-year-old Moroccan law student, Hayat Bellcacem, and seriously wounded a teenage boy when they fired machine guns to halt migrant boats in separate incidents last month, touching off large protests in the victims’ home towns of Tetouan and Agadir.
Supporters of Tetouan’s Moghreb Athletic soccer team marched to the city stadium chanting, “With our soul and with our heart we will avenge Hayat.”
A similar stadium protest in Agadir centered on demands for freedom to emigrate. The crowd hissed when the national anthem was played and shouts were heard rejecting Moroccan nationality. Someone in the crowd unfurled a Spanish flag.
Tetouan and Agadir were part of a Spanish protectorate in Morocco until they were ceded back to Morocco in 1958.
Popular revolts in Morocco tend to be short-lived. The soccer protesters and Hayat’s mother — who vociferously denounced the government following her daughter’s death — had stopped talking to the press by last week.
Local journalists say the family had been visited by the all-pervasive royal secret police, or DGST, and that some protest leaders in Tetouan had been jailed.

The EU may be relying on Morocco’s extensive police powers to control waves of migrants moving toward the Mediterranean from neighboring Algeria and Mauritania.
When hundreds of sub-Saharan Africans broke through border fences surrounding the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in July, Moroccan police rounded up hundreds more migrants gathering in the hills and forests around Ceuta and deported them back to the border with Algeria.
But political unrest within Morocco may in some cases feed the migration. Hundreds of people fled to the beaches of Tetouan from the Riff mountain region of Alucemas following a government crackdown on a local rebellion last year, according to activists. The protests were sparked by delays in the construction of a hospital.
“At the fourth day of the declaration of martial law, 150 people from the Riff were gathering at beaches in Tetouan to board boats to Spain,” said a Socialist militant in the coastal region.
He said it is in the EU’s interest to pressure the Moroccan government to respect human rights and social needs to avoid a social explosion that would drive even more people to attempt the crossing to Spain.

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Morocco Imposes Online Entry Permit Rule for African Travelers

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African migrants build a makeshift house after their houses burned, on the outskirts of Casablanca, Morocco, Oct. 29, 2018.

RABAT — Morocco, struggling with an influx of African migrants seeking passage to nearby Europe, on Thursday imposed a new rule requiring such travellers to fill out an online travel form for approval at least 96 hours before leaving home.
The procedure on a website carrying the Moroccan Foreign Ministry logo applies to a range of African countries whose citizens currently can enter Morocco without visas, except for Algeria and Tunisia.
The North African country has been grappling with a surge in migrants, arriving mainly on flights into Casablanca. Many intend to get into Europe and claim asylum by taking boats across a narrow Mediterranean strait to Spain, or scaling fences into the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta or Melilla bordering Morocco.
The new procedure “aims to facilitate passenger traffic . It will help Moroccan authorities know in advance the identity of travellers before boarding (planes),” reads a document issued by Morocco’s embassy in Mali and seen by Reuters.
Morocco has come under European Union pressure to reduce crossings of illegal migrants to Spain and wants Rabat to set up “disembarkation platforms” – centers where migrants’ asylum applications would be processed. Morocco has rejected the idea.
In Africa, Morocco offers visa-free entry to the nationals of Algeria, Tunisia, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Guinea Conakry, Congo Brazzaville, Gabon and Ivory Coast.
The new travel regulation took effect on Thursday for citizens of Congo Brazzaville, Guinea Conakry and Mali, according to a document from the Moroccan airline RAM.
Mali, Guinea and to a lesser extent Congolese nationals comprise the bulk of Europe-bound migrants coming to Morocco.
More than 40,000 African migrants have reached Spain’s southern Andalucia coast by sea from Morocco since January.

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Ethiopia’s First Female Supreme Court Chief Hopes to Rebuild Trust

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Meaza Ashenafi is the first woman to lead Ethiopia’s Supreme Court.

For the first time, Ethiopia’s Supreme Court will be led by a woman.
Meaza Ashenafi, a lawyer and women’s rights advocate, accepted the offer Thursday, after deliberating for about a week. “I know the weight that comes with this responsibility,” she told VOA’s Amharic service after assuming her new role. “When an opportunity like this comes, it comes once in a lifetime. I decided to accept it.”
Meaza previously sat on the high court from 1989 to 1992. Later, the Ethiopian Constitution Commission appointed her as a legal adviser. She also served on the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.
In her extensive career as a lawyer, judge, legal advocate and business leader, Meaza has focused on women’s rights and economic empowerment. She founded Ethiopia’s first women’s bank, “Enat Bank,” or “Mother Bank” in Amharic. The bank specializes in loans to underserved communities, including women and young people.
Meaza also founded the Ethiopian Women Lawyers’ Association, a group focusing on issues of sexual and intimate partner violence.
Improving the legal system
Meaza hopes to restore respect for the legal system in the eyes of Ethiopians who sometimes view the courts as biased or slow to respond.
“The people of Ethiopia love the law, and they respect the law. However, because justice is hard to come by for the people, they have lost trust in the law,” she said.
Meaza wants Ethiopians to view the court as able to hold all to account, including those in power.
“It is not enough for the law to remain on paper,” she said. “What makes the law purposeful is the court in the end. If one person is killed by a government body or is killed by another person, where he can find the solution is from the court. Therefore, if the court cannot afford the person speedy justice that is free of political pressure and corruption, the law loses meaning.”

‘Common vision’
Meaza believes she has an ally in Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Ethiopia’s young, reform-minded leader. In a speech Wednesday to thousands of Ethiopians in Frankfurt, Germany, Abiy highlighted the role the court will play in strengthening Ethiopia’s civil society.
“Justice and democracy aren’t granted simply because we want them,” Abiy said. “They are not trees planted through peaceful protests and social media in the morning and grown overnight. They need institutions to grow and bear fruit.”
Abiy told Meaza he wants the court be independent of political influence, she said.
“The prime minister confirmed that this was one of his biggest visions,” she said. “Therefore, this is the common vision we share to build the court. If there is an agreement on this level, what comes next is, even though it is not an easy task, I believe can be done.”
Meaza has been a crusader against harmful practices that victimize women. One of her most famous cases involved a 14-year-old girl who was kidnapped by a man trying to force her into child marriage, a traditional practice in some parts of Ethiopia. The girl shot and killed her abductor, but was cleared of charges due to Meaza’s work. The incident was dramatized in an award-winning film, “Difret.”
She hopes her understanding of Ethiopia’s culture and people will be an asset in her new position as she seeks solutions to seemingly intractable problems.
“One of the big advantages I have is that, even when working with international organizations, I never left my country. I didn’t leave Ethiopia,” she said. “I live within the society, and I meet with legal experts, and I have a general knowledge. But I will have to learn the key aspects of this position in detail and understand how we can find solutions.”



Salem Solomon
Salem Solomon is a multimedia digital journalist with the Voice of America’s Africa Division. She covers the latest news from across the continent, and she also reports and edits in Amharic and Tigrigna.
Salem’s multimedia and data-driven projects include How Western DRC’s Ebola Outbreak Was Contained, Unrest: Ethiopia at a Crossroads, Zimbabwe in Transition, Hunger Across Africa and How Long Have Africa’s Presidents Held Office?
Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Poynter.org and Reuters. She researches trends in analytics and digital journalism.

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China and UNDP partner to highlight the impact of China’s agriculture cooperation in Africa

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“UNDP welcomes these joint assessments, which illustrate China’s commitment to partnerships that support the achievement of national development goals and the aspirations of Africa’s Agenda 2063 and 2030 Agenda” said UNDP Regional Director for Africa Ahunna Eziakonwa

In its first visit to the United Nations New York headquarters, the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA) joined with the Chinese Permanent Mission to the United Nations and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to launch results of China’s partnership with Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique on agriculture development.
With both African countries working to expand agriculture production — a challenge heightened by climate change — the two programmes linked local farmers and officials with Chinese knowledge, technology, and market-inclusive systems to boost food production.
The report launched today assesses the two partnerships — the Agricultural Technical Cooperation Project in Guinea-Bissau and the Agricultural Technology Demonstration Center in Mozambique — as examples of what South-South collaboration can achieve.

“UNDP welcomes these joint assessments, which illustrate China’s commitment to partnerships that support the achievement of national development goals and the aspirations of Africa’s Agenda 2063 and 2030 Agenda. We will continue to facilitate increased South-South cooperation to help address the Global Goals’ financing gap, supporting the full national ownership of partnering African countries in the process,” said Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Africa.
“Expanding food production and creating new markets for agricultural entrepreneurs is helping to tackle poverty and food insecurity. We welcome the technology, expertise and financial investments of China as we work together to advance our national development plans,” said Ambassador António Gumende, Permanent Representative of the Mission of the Republic of Mozambique to the United Nations.
Speaking at the event, the Vice Chairperson of CIDCA, Mr. Deng Boqing said: “Agricultural assistance has been a cornerstone of China’s global engagement over the past decade. We look forward to expanding our South-South cooperation to help countries accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.”
UNDP and China also showcased their partnership through a photo exhibition highlighting disaster recovery work in Antigua and Barbuda, Bangladesh, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Nepal, and Pakistan. China provided US$17 million through its South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund in 2017 to aid recovery and reconstruction efforts in the five countries, reaching more than 600,000 affected people.
CIDCA was established in April 2018 to strengthen strategic planning, policy guidance and the overall coordination of China’s international development cooperation. CIDCA and UNDP are now expanding their partnership through South-South cooperation projects that introduce Chinese expertise, technologies and resources to developing countries and design tailored solutions to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.

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Remarks by Regional Director for Africa Ahunna Eziakonwa at the launch two joint case studies on China’s agricultural cooperation with Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique

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“This excellent initiative should be complemented with technology transfer, enhanced knowledge and experience-sharing in value addition to agricultural products and corridors to accelerate economic diversification and industrialization in Africa”, said UNDP Regional Director for Africa Ahunna Eziakonwa.

Remarks of Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa
UNDP Assistant Administrator and
Director of the Regional Bureau for Africa
on the launch of the joint UNDP-China Case Studies on
Experience and Innovation of China’s Agricultural Assistance in Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique
New York, 29 October 2018
United Nations Headqauarters, Conference Room 6

Your Excellencies,
Mr. Ma Zhaoxu – Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the UN
Mr. Deng Boqing – Vice Chairman of China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA),
Ambassador Fernando Delfim da Silva, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau to the United Nations,
Ambassador António Gumende, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Mozambique to the United Nations,
Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my great pleasure to join His Excellency Mr. Ma Zhaoxu in welcoming you to today’s event, launching two joint case studies on China’s agricultural assistance programmes with Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique.
We are privileged to have Mr. Deng Boqing, Vice Chairperson of the newly-established China International Development Cooperation Agency here present for this occasion, and I would like to thank the Chinese Permanent Mission to the UN for co-hosting the event with UNDP. I also wish to recognize the presence of the Permanent Representatives of Guinea Bissau and Mozambique at this important event. Excellencies, thank you for your strong partnership and support.
Over the past three decades, the world has witnessed tremendous progress in human development. Extreme poverty was cut by close to three-quarters. While Africa has made significant progress, as the UN Secretary-General stated at the UN General Assembly, change is not happening fast enough. 1.3 billion people across the globe – 560 million in Africa – still live in multidimensional poverty. As we know, poverty transcends borders and continents. Therefore, the best way to tackle it is by working together to unlock the vast potential that exists and accelerate progress in sustainable economic and social transformation in ways that leave no one behind.
Partnership and capacity development are important elements of the Means of Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. I am pleased to celebrate the spirit of South-South Cooperation—partnership and capacity development in action — we are witnessing today, which is vital in accelerating progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Africa’s Agenda 2063 recognizes the importance of promoting investments in agriculture and industrialization to improve the continent’s socio-economic transformation over the 50 years. Specifically, the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) emphasizes the need for significant investments and strong partnerships in promoting agriculture and agribusiness development in Africa. In prioritizing agricultural development, the national development plans of Guinea Bissau and Mozambique also reflect the aspirations of Agenda 2063 and CAADP.
The convergence of the implementation of CAADP’s priorities and China’s focus on agricultural transformation, particularly in Guinea Bissau and Mozambique, provide some key principles for accelerating progress in agribusiness to drive Africa’s structural economic transformation namely, the importance of — (i) national leadership and ownership in identifying the right mix of assistance and market-based approaches to boost agricultural productivity and enhance trade and investment; (ii) identifying common priorities as a start in promoting joint research and innovation; (iii) engaging and fostering partnerships with stakeholders and local communities, ensuring initiatives are relevant to promoting economic well-being and livelihoods, to ensure sustainability; and (iv) mobilizing private sector investments to leverage existing public sector initiatives is central to scaling up agri-business initiatives.
I want to underscore some of the additional emerging lessons including building capacity for climate resilience and promoting access to markets. I want to especially commend the willingness of the People’s Republic of China to share their experiences on agricultural transformation with Africa, particularly Guinea Bissau and Mozambique. This excellent initiative should be complemented with technology transfer, enhanced knowledge and experience-sharing in value addition to agricultural products and corridors to accelerate economic diversification and industrialization in Africa.
In Guinea-Bissau, the project worked with local communities and farmers to conduct demonstration, training and extension of rice varieties using modern technology and established good partnership providing incentives to farmers to produce rice. How can China’s agricultural development assistance can better serve partner countries? It should focus on smart agricultural practices which integrates agricultural management and climate change adaptation strategies and where capacity development initiatives combine improvement in farmer skills and competencies to building national institutional capacity for applied agricultural research.
UNDP welcomes these joint assessments, which illustrate China’s commitment to partnerships and capacity development that support the achievement of national development goals and the aspirations of Africa’s Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We will continue to facilitate increased South-South Cooperation to help address the financing gaps more sustainably, supporting the full national ownership of partner countries in the process.
UNDP remains committed to supporting agri-business, industrialization and economic transformation. We will build on initiatives such as the UNDP Africa Agribusiness Supplier Development Programme, where we supported the development and expansion of sustainable and inclusive agricultural value chains across the continent, with the aim of raising agricultural productivity and incomes, as well as building capacities to meet quality standards and access to growing domestic and regional markets.
In UNDP, we look forward to seeing our collaboration deepen and grow, particularly in accelerating green revolution and agriculture-led industrialization, through inclusive and affordable special economic zones, business incubation centres and industrial parks, in Africa.
Thank you.

 

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Video : Trump Says He Will Void Birthright Citizenship Law Through Executive Order

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President Trump is planning to use an executive order to strip birthright citizenship from America’s laws, rather than trying to change the Constitution through an act of Congress.
The potential move, which would very likely trigger numerous legal challenges, would seek to end the conferring of citizenship to children of noncitizens who are born in the U.S. — which is currently guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.
“It was always told to me that you needed a constitutional amendment. Guess what? You don’t,” Trump said. He discussed the plan in an interview with Axios on HBO that is slated to air Sunday.

A constitutional amendment would require an act of Congress — and after Trump’s remarks made headlines, House Speaker Paul Ryan said the president’s plan to end birthright citizenship with an executive order would be unconstitutional.

 

 

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Pik Botha, South Africa’s Last Apartheid Foreign Minister, Dies at 86

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Suffice it to say that longtime South African foreign minister Roelof “Pik” Botha, who died on Oct. 12 at age 86, danced to the beat of his own drummer.
The Economist noted in his obituary that he liked to liven up governmental retreats by throwing live ammunition into campfires, and that he was also known to eat roses at stuffy dinner parties.
So there’s that.
And when it came to the far weightier matter of apartheid, he was not averse to bucking long-held norms. He would defend the racist policy during his extended governmental career, while at the same time acknowledging that change was inevitable.
According to the New York Times, Botha made clear his stance on apartheid well before he began his long stint as foreign minister (1977–94), urging that the government subscribe to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1970 and saying four years later that discrimination on the basis of skin color was indefensible.
Then, in 1986, he told reporters it would “possibly become unavoidable that in the future you might have a black president of this country” — remarks that the president at the time, P.W. Botha (no relation), forced him to retract.
Pik Botha’s time as foreign minister ended with South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994, and he would then serve for two years as minister of minerals and energy under Nelson Mandela.
“Black and white in this country need each other to succeed,” Botha told the BBC in 2013, the year Mandela died.
According to The Guardian, his nickname was an abbreviation of pikkewyn, the Afrikaans word for penguin. The moniker was first affixed to him because of the proud pose he struck when he donned his first suit as a youngster — and it stuck.
That would suggest a certain impishness, something it appears he never lost.
But neither did he ever lose his desire to dance to the beat of his own drummer. And that made all the difference.

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