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South Sudan: Medical crisis looms following Pibor violence

March 4, 2016 mtadmin 0

When heavy fighting broke out and bullets started flying around the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) medical centre in Pibor, South Sudan, Dr. Marisel Mendez was treating a two-year-old boy in the pediatric ward, a concrete room with six hospital beds and cartoon drawings on the walls to make it a welcoming space for children.

While caring for the boy, Marisel heard the first gunshots in the distance but stayed focused on her patient.

As the sound of gunshots grew closer and closer, Marisel saw staff and patients beginning to run towards the designated safe area of the MSF compound.

Yet Marisel stayed, sitting on the floor of the ward beside the child’s mother to stay low while attending to the sick child. She remained as long as possible, but eventually it became clear it was getting too dangerous to stay.

Marisel also ran to the designated safe area, arriving as the first sounds of bullets whizzing through the air could be heard.

Evacuation from the medical centre

With the increasing sound of heavy weaponry, the MSF team moved out to the UN base on the other side of town.

As the MSF team left, some patients who managed to make it to the front gate of the medical centre were able to jump into the vehicles that whisked the team away, but the two year old boy Marisel had been treating with was not among them.

When the MSF team arrived in the UN compound they began supporting the treatment of wounded patients. One of them was a six-year-old boy, hit by a bullet in the stomach.

Despite the best efforts of the medics who poured their energy into saving him, the wound was too severe and the child died the following day.

Fighting continued in Pibor for three days, from February 23rd to the 25th. Thirty-five other patients wounded in the fighting all survived.

But as Marisel and the other MSF nurses, midwives and logisticians were scrambling to provide life-saving care, the MSF medical centre that has served the community for over 10 years was being ransacked and looted to the point of being totally unuseable.

Conditions in the UN compound

Presently in the UN compound, women and children make up most of the two thousand people taking shelter.

They have only one latrine for every 350 people, less than 1.5 liters of water per person per day and no food distributions. But people stay here out of fear, and for some, because they know they have nothing left at home.

“All I was able to take with me was one jerry can,” says Mary, sitting in the waiting area of the MSF clinic that was hastily set up to provide a basic medical environment.

She holds her sick two-year-old son David in her arms as she explains that her house has been burnt and she had to beg for plastic sheeting while inside the camp so that her family of six could have any shelter at all.

“We have nothing to build a new house with,” she says.

Marketplace destroyed

Pibor used to be the biggest market town for hundreds of kilometers and many people relied on trade to earn their livelihoods. Now, almost every corrugated steel shop in what used to be the region’s commercial hub is gutted or burned to the ground.  

Behind one looted shop, the charred, skeletal remains of a person killed in the fighting still lies in the dirt, surrounded by burnt and collapsed structures.

MSF is treating 140 patients in Pibor every day and the medical team is working urgently to resume some level of emergency response in the looted health centre.  

Zero babies delivered in Pibor maternity ward since @MSF was looted. Attacking medical care hurts women & children pic.twitter.com/4yDNxNB4Yc

— MSF South Sudan (@MSF_SouthSudan) March 4, 2016

In spite of the hardship, there are still moments of celebration. For Marisel, those moments come especially when she is reunited with patients who were under her care at the MSF healthcare centre when the fighting started.

In each case there is feeling of jubilation, especially with the mothers. 

“They give me a big hug when they arrive. I think for them it makes a difference that they know we stayed and we are still here for their children,” she says.

“For me, it’s just such a relief. I worried for them, and it makes me so happy to know they are safe and that they are alive.”

But Marisel still thinks about the two-year-old boy she stayed with as the fighting started. “I hope he will also come back,” she says. 

Read the latest news from MSF in South Sudan

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Brussels: Senior EU Official in Morocco over poor EU-Moroccan relations

March 4, 2016 mtadmin 0

Kigali, Rwanda (PANA) – The acting Deputy Secretary General in charge of Finance and Administration at the East African Community (EAC) secretariat, Liberat Mfumukeko, has been appointed secretary-general of the regional body for a five-year term, replacing Rwandan Richard Sezibera, official sources told PANA on Wednesday in Kigali. Full text…

©-Panapress-02 march 2016 15:45:57-thread Politics (201words)

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World: Sustainable Development Online Certificate Course.

March 3, 2016 mtadmin 0

Capacity Africa Institute is pleased to announce Sustainable Development Online / Distance Learning Certificate Course from 1st April 2016 to 1st June 2016.

Overall Course Overview:

The satisfaction of human needs and aspirations is the major objective of development. The essential needs of vast numbers of people in developing countries for food, clothing, shelter, jobs – are not being met, and beyond their basic needs these people have legitimate aspirations for an improved quality of life. A world in which poverty and inequity are endemic will always be prone to ecological and other crises. Sustainable development requires meeting the basic needs of all and extending to all the opportunity to satisfy their aspirations for a better life.

The course therefore introduces participants to this new realm of Development which was first brought into focus by the Brundtland Commission in their report which was titled: – “Our Common Future: Report of the World Commission on Environment and Sustainable Development.” The Commission defined Sustainable Development as, the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Module objectives

By the end of this course participants should be able to:

· Define sustainable development.

· Identify and understand the social aspects of sustainable development.

· Understand the concepts of vulnerability and resilience.

· Appreciate the usefulness of risk assessment in disaster management and in climate change

· Understanding the MDGs

Course Organizers:

Capacity Africa Institute (www.capacityafrica.com) is an organization that was founded in 1999 with the objective of building capacity for development professionals to enhance effective delivery of development services in Africa. The organization runs training programmes in Kenya, Somalia, Chad, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Congo and South Sudan training over 4000 development workers in the last ten years. We have presented hands – on training to over 200 International organizations among them Action Aid , Unicef , UNDP , UN Women, OSIEA, Population Services International, World Health Organization, Ministry of Health, Federation of Women Lawyers-FIDA, Amref, Danish Deming Group, Pact World, Oxfam, War Child, World Relief, Tear Fund, Shell International, Path, Techno serve, Norwegian People’s Aid, One Love One World, Freedom to Create, Center for British Teachers, JRS Sudan, Christian Mission Aid, Sudanese Red Cross, Mercy Corps International, ADRA South Sudan Sector Programme among others.

Who Should Participate:

Actors in development sector (the state, international organizations, multinational

Corporations, civil society organizations, NGOs, and CBOs)

Course Outline:

I. Introduction to Sustainable Development

II. What is Sustainable Development

III. Underlying themes on Sustainable Development

IV. Challenges to Sustainable Development

V. Energy and Sustainable Development

VI. MDGs

VII. Climate Change

VIII. Urbanization

IX. Opportunities to foster Sustainable Development.

Computing Requirements:
Participants will need to use email, upload and download word docs,
PowerPoint files and PDFs, and post on the discussion board or send
assignments by email. If you do not have internet speed sufficient
to download materials, an offline DVD or hard copies course may be the
right alternative for you.

Materials Provided:

Online delivery of curriculum materials, exercises and the templates.

Exercises:
After they have read the material for each unit, students are expected to test their own Learning by completing some relevant exercises and tasks.

Assignments:

In order to demonstrate their understanding of the course content, students will be required to submit three assignments.

DURATION AND COURSE LOAD: 4 Weeks – 8 to 10 hours per week
DATES: 1st April 2016 to 1st June 2016 (2 Months)
PARTICIPANTS: Development Professionals
REGIONS TARGETED: Global
COURSE FEE: $500
ORGANIZERS: Capacity Africa Institute
LANGUAGE: English only
FORMAT: Web-based and Distance Learning facilitated
GENERAL COURSE CONTACT:info@capacitybuildingonline.com

Participants must submit Four assignments before certification.
Training Package offers Value for the Money. Training will be moderated by professional with hands on skills and great wealth in Sustainable Development

Kindly confirm your participation with:
Online Training Coordinator

Capacity Africa Institute

info@capacitybuildingonline.com

www.capacitybuildingonline.com

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Precision Aviation Group (PAG), announces Precision Aviation Controls (PAC) is Now Honeywell Approved for Pratt & Whitney PT6 Series Fuel Accessory Support

March 3, 2016 mtadmin 0

ATLANTA, March 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Precision Aviation Group, Inc. (PAG), a leading provider of products and value-added services to the Worldwide Aerospace and Defense industry, is pleased to announce formal approval from Honeywell to provide Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) services for various PT6A and PT6T Engine Accessories through its subsidiary Precision Aviation Controls […]

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Imani Insight: Five Reasons Tu

March 2, 2016 mtadmin 0
Turkey President, Erdogan

Turkey President, Erdogan

In view of President Erdogan’s visit to Ghana this week, this paper seeks to highlight five reasons why Turkey could well be one of the best partners Africa could count on to support the continent in its efforts to provide sustainable peace to its populace.

The world is currently reeling from the wake of global terrorist attacks and regional conflicts. From Asia to Europe, the Middle East to the Americas, countries and regional blocs are under enormous pressure to find sustainable ways to deal with the menace of terrorism and regional conflicts which have left citizens all over the world in a state of agitation as their security and by extension economic conditions continue to worsen.

The result of such security fears has had massive impact on the political thinking and choices of people the world over. The 2015 Nigerian presidential election for instance, found many Nigerians who once backed former President Goodluck Jonathan, widely reject him as a result of what was considered a ‘weak’ approach to dealing with the Boko Haram threat, among other things. The current President, Mr. Muhammadu Buhari was largely favoured to deal with the threat more decisively as a result of his military background and ‘no-nonsense’ approach. Only time will tell how well he lives up to this billing.

Even in the USA, GOP Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump’s very radical approach to tackling the threat of terrorism from ISIS is gaining widespread support from the rank and file of the American society.

To deal with this threat of terrorism and resolve conflicts, African countries have historically relied on old colonial powers and other imperial powers for support. However, changing global dynamics and the perennial failure to find lasting solutions has necessitated a rethink of our entire peace-building approach. In doing so it is also important to reconsider the possibility of engaging new partners with demonstrated interest, ability and influence to support Africa’s quest in finding lasting solutions to its security and conflict challenges. Here are five reasons why an African-Turkish alliance should be considered.

1. Turkey’s neutral political interest on the African continent

Neutrality in a mediator’s role is pivotal because it pre-empts a guarantee of fairness. In conflict resolution, concessions, sometimes very difficult ones, need to be made to achieve the required peace. For the parties to wholeheartedly agree to such concessions, they have to be convinced beyond reasonable doubt that the key parties involved in brokering the peace have no other ulterior motives as this will undermine the process ab initio.

Unfortunately, this challenge has often plagued our peace-building efforts on the continent. As earlier indicated the key peace brokers have usually been former colonial powers and other imperial powers, many of whom have shown or at least are perceived to have vested interest, beyond the peace they seek to broker. A classic example is the peace-building efforts in Francophone African countries, where France, often perceived as the ‘instigator-in-chief’ of conflicts as a result of its continuous political meddling, also doubles as the primary peacemaker. It is little wonder then that such peace-building activities are usually fleeting at best.

Turkey’s ‘neutral’ political interest on the continent, built on a culture of ‘moral’ diplomacy coupled with the country’s locational proximity to continental Africa places it in a very good position to host peace talks between feuding parties as well as offer crucial diplomatic support to conflict-ridden countries across the continent.

2. Turkey’s historical and cultural connections to the African continent

Many people particularly on the African continent are oblivious to the strong historical ties that existed between several African countries and the once powerful Ottoman Empire (now Turkey). In fact, the Ottoman Empire is credited by some historians to have provided military support to a number of African countries thereby delaying colonization for significant periods as imperial powers shied away from countries with such arrangements. Turkey’s more recent political and economic struggles which include military coups and stints with the IMF is very akin to what still prevails in many African countries today..

Furthermore, Turkey’s strong Islamic roots and culture resonates with more African countries than many other western powers. This strong historical and cultural connection puts Turkey in good stead to act as a crucial ally in Africa’s search for regional peace and security. Clearly, the Turks are in a superior position to deeply appreciate the political and socio-cultural nuances that usually fuels these conflicts in the first place.

3. Turkey’s growing geo-political influence in world affairs

Neutrality and historical/cultural ties notwithstanding, a mediator in any conflict requires a certain level of gravitas or influence to gain the attention and cooperation of the feuding parties. This is fundamental to any peace-building effort. Over the past decade or so Turkey has leveraged its strategic location in the Eurasia region, its massive tourism appeal, its incredibly entrepreneurial and educated human resources backed by strong and able leadership to the extent that the country is now Europe’s 6thlargest economy and the fastest growing one at that. Still only a developing economy, with a population close to 80 million, Turkey clearly has the potential to surpass the major economic powers in Europe in the not-too-distant future if it continues on its current trajectory.

The massive economic growth has brought the country widespread political influence as well. Currently a member of NATO and the G20 as well as a crucial ally to the United States in its war against the Deash(ISIS) and the Assad regime in Syria, Turkey’s geopolitical influence continues to soar. Such influence makes Turkey a very credible partner in supporting the efforts of African governments in their quest for lasting peace and security on the continent.

4. Turkey’s history of dealing with internal terrorist activities

Many may be tempted to point to Turkey’s own internal struggles to deal with terrorists and insurgent activities as a major flaw in the argument that Turkey is a credible peace-building partner to the African continent. Indeed, Turkey is no stranger to political fanaticism and insurgency.

In fact, as I write, the country is battling on three fronts, first the local terrorist group PKK, ISIS and the Assad regime in Syria. This notwithstanding, the Turkish government has displayed remarkable resolve and military savviness in dealing with these challenges to the extent that despite isolated cases of terrorist acts, the general populace are largely secure.

Recent developments in Europe, Asia and even the USA has brought the world to the realization that no country is completely immune to the global wave of terror. The real challenge is when the terror syndicate is local and seek to wave a long term battle as we have seen with Boko Haram and Al Shabab in West and East Africa respectively and of course the PKK in Turkey. Turkey has so far proved to the world that a combination of strong, decisive military activity backed by a strategic plan can be very effective in significantly curtailing the disastrous effects of terrorists.

The Turkish Prime Minister, Professor Ahmet Davutoglu, recently launched a master plan which details how the Government plans to combat the terror activities in the areas affected as well as develop these regions. Such a combination of tough yet strategic actions doesn’t only help to combat the actions of insurgents but also builds the confidence of the citizenry who then support the Government’s efforts.

What the Turkish government has been able to achieve in the face of arguably its biggest challenge is clearly an example to African governments facing similar challenges. Better still, close collaboration with Turkey could prove useful in helping governments facing similar perils to learn from Turkey’s example.

5. The Turkish Government’s interest in Africa as an partner

All the above points will count for nothing if the Turkish leadership has no interest in partnering the continent in this important venture. Gladly this is far from the case. The Turkish government has over the years displayed remarkable interest in the affairs of the continent and invested heavily in building diplomatic and economic ties to the continent, particular since 2005, a year the Turkish leadership christened the year of Africa.

Currently, Turkey has diplomatic missions spread all over the continent. Turkish businesses are investing heavily in key areas like energy and infrastructure in Africa. Turkish Airlines plies more routes in Africa than any other carrier.. TIKA, Turkey’s official aid agency already works in about 15 countries in Africa whiles Turkey is at the moment the 4th largest provider of official development assistance to the continent. Furthermore, there are over 6000 African students and academics on various scholarships in Turkey sponsored by the Turkish government.

Turkey’s remarkable interest in the continent was perhaps most evident in its support of Somalia. After years of civil unrest, the country was neglected by the world. Its Airports had not seen a plane in about two decades as it was deemed a ‘no-go’ zone. And yet, at the height of such hopeless isolation, the Turkish President (then Prime Minister) Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his family, senior members of his government, businessmen etc flew in to offer a helping hand. For many young kids who were born in wartime, this was their first opportunity to see an aircraft. What followed was a huge bilateral nation-building effort. Indeed, President Erdogan in a few years is credited to have resuscitated Somalia from near death. These actions earned the President the nickname the ‘hero of Somalia’.

In the just ended ‘High Level Partnership’ meeting held on the 23rd of February, 2016 to discuss Somalia’s security and political future ahead of the country’s 2016 elections, President Erdogan, was adamant that Turkey “will not leave Somalia and Africa alone”. He cited the fact that Turkey is currently building its largest ever embassy in Somalia as evidence of Turkey’s commitment to Somalia and Africa as a whole.

Thus the framework for strong collaboration between Turkey and Africa has already been laid. Indeed, Turkey is playing a mediating role in the conflicts in Chad and Mali, while the negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan were hosted by Turkey. All that’s required is for such collaborations to be scaled up through broad collaborations and partnerships.

In conclusion, it is important to point out that Africa needs all the help it can get in order to overcome its security challenges. As the geopolitical scene of the world changes it’s imperative that we change too. Crucially, Africa requires new partners who will not merely seek to milk the continent of its raw materials or to keep it subdued. What we need is to seek partners, emerging powers whose own interest align with ours, and who will seek to work with us on the basis of friendship and mutual interest. I am convinced that Turkey is precisely that type of partner.

Aboagye Mintah is Head of Business and Associate Director of International Affairs at IMANI Center for Policy and Education, Africa’s second most influential think tank.

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DJI Launches New Era of Intelligent Flying Cameras

March 2, 2016 mtadmin 0

New DJI Phantom 4 features obstacle avoidance, intelligent tracking and a simplified flying experience NEW YORK, March 1, 2016 /PRNewswire — DJI, the world’s leading maker of unmanned aerial vehicles, on Tuesday launched the Phantom 4, the first consumer quadcopter camera (or “drone”) to use highly advanced computer vision and sensing technology to make professional […]