Friday, December 11, 2015

#PODCAST: Interview with Pan-African Parliament Hon Dr.Bernadette Lahai at 4th High-Level Dialogue

In this exclusive interview with the Vice-President of the Pan-African Parliament Hon. Dr.Bernadette Lahai, she opens up to Africa in Focus Show on challenges of ‪#‎WomeninPolitics‬. She talks about some of the challenges she encountered as her Professor-husband looked after her two daughters while she was into full-time politics in Sierra Leone. An outspoken and candid politician, Lahai is arguably one of the most interesting Pan-African Parliamentarians out there. She was vocal about Ebola when it broke out, and continues to advance the cause of the PAP by encouraging countries to ratify the protocol that will finally enable it obtain full legislative capacities. ‪#‎africaWeWant‬ ‪#‎BetheVoice‬ ‪#‎PanAfricanParliament‬

#PODCAST: Interview with Head of AU's African Governance Architecture's Dr.George Mukundi

This is an exclusive interview I conducted with Dr.George Mukundi, Head of the African Governance Architecture of the AU.
I took opportunity to ask him to expatiate on the AGA; its relevance in the democracy conversation the AU is seeking to foster.
Finally, we touched on why Burkina Faso is an important model for citizen engagement in their democratic dispensation; plus an intimate insight into the #DGTrends hashtag, which hit its millionth-plus reach at the Kigali meeting.
Few will know the genesis of DGTrends. It was mooted at the earlier High-Level Dialogues on Democracy in Dakar and was, according to Dr.Mukundi, "appropriated" by the AU. He does not accept credit that the AU created it, but states the hashtag, which stands for "Democratic Governance Trends", is owned by citizens.
Follow Dr.George Mukundi on @mukundigeorge, and follow the African conversation on democracy by searching "#DGTrends" on twitter.
The podcast was produced by Executive Producer E.K.Bensah Jr (ekbensah) for Africa in Focus Show (@africainfocus14)
Comments much appreciated.
On facebook, reach us on, where, with 617 likes, you can obtain latest news & issues on AU; Ecowas; East Africa.

#PODCAST: Best Podcasts Produced by Africa in Focus Show in Kigali, Rwanda at 4th High-Level Dialogue on Democracy, Human Rights & Governance

a selection of some of the best podcasts recorded & produced by the Africa in Focus Show in Kigali, Rwanda, at the 4th High-Level Dialogue on Democracy, Human Rights & Governance (7-8 December, 2015) #DGTrends

NEW!>Podcast: Interview with NDC's Mr.Gedel at 4th AU High-Level Dialogue on Democracy, Human Rights & Governance #DGTrends #WomeninPolitics

In this interview with Mr.Gedel, he explains what the United Nations Development Programme - UNDP with Ghana's political parties are about; how they received training in Kenya on ICT; and some insights into the future of the project. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

NEW!>Podcast: Interview with NPP's Peter MacManu at 4th AU High-Level Dialogue on Democracy, Human Rights & Governance #DGTrends #WomeninPolitics

Conducted at Serena Hotel, Kigali on the sidelines of the 4th High-Level Dialogue on Democracy, Human Rights & Governance, E.K.Bensah Jr spoke to former Chairman of the National Patriotic Party(NPP), who is the point-person for his Party in a new UNDP Project that seeks to facilitate and foster transparency among Ghana's political parties; as well as build their internal capacity, including that of appreciating Women in Politics; and Youth.

NEW!>PODCAST: #DGTrends Special for the 4th African Union High-Level Dialogue on Democracy, Human Rights & Governance; #Chad; #FOCAC

Executive Producer of Africa in Focus Show E.K.Bensah is currently in Kigali to cover the 4th African Union High-Level Dialogue on Democracy, Human Rights & Governance. Working in close contact with the media team, the idea is to expand and ramify conversations around the theme of this conference.

On twittersphere, the two hashtags --  #DGTrends and #WomeninPolitics -- are being used to aggregrate views by tweeting participants on the topic.

This special edition of the #ECOWAS@40Podcast seeks to elucidate the little-known African Governance Architecture of the African Union, but more importantly, offer listeners an insight into some of the more popular conversations/tweets that emanated from the conference underway in Kigali, Rwanda.

Happy listening!

NEW!>PODCAST: Episode 20 of #Ecowas@40Podcast: #MaliAttacks; #WestAfrica; #ECOWASMonetaryInstitute

In this latest edition of #ECOWAS@40Podcast, we ask some burning questions around the #MaliAttacks; and update you on what is trending on #westAfrica. We explain what the  #EcowasMonetaryInstitute is, and why it matters to Ecowas' integration.

The ECOWAS@40Podcast is an innovative knowledge product of the "Africa in Focus Show". It is produced by Executive Producer Emmanuel.K.Bensah Jr.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

“Young People to become agents of change” – Forestry Commission

ACCRA, 18 Nov (AIF SHOW, E.K.Bensah)-Mr. Yaw Kwakye of the Climate Change Unit at the Forestry Commission says he wants young people “to become agents of change” on climate change. Speaking in an exclusive interview with Africa in Focus Show recently, the Head of Climate Change said that to this end, a campaign, dubbed “REDD-eye” would be launched on 21 November at the headquarters as part of activities to sensitize the youth to become involved in fighting climate change.

Although the Forestry Commission has a mandate to protect resources of the country, and ensure posterity is left with, as Kwakye put it, “better forest endowment than we inherited”, they have spent an inordinate amount of time working on climate change – specifically REDD+.  An acronym for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, with the + representing activities that offer co-benefits such as biodiversity conservation, sustainable forest management and carbon stocks enhancement, REDD+ is an activity whose successful implementation will help reduce the impacts of climate change in developing countries like Ghana.

Yaw Kwakye believes forests are of immense benefits, and have both tangible and intangible benefits. The tangible ones include timber and timber products, with the intangible ones representing the wildlife, which provides an important “component of our food (protein), particularly for our forest-dependent communities”, he added. The problem, he went on, has been an over-harvesting of wildlife “to such an extent [they have been] unable to sustain wildlife population because of over-hunting.”

According to the Forestry Commission official, “the forest provides protection for water heads, which form sources of various important rivers in this country, including Atiwa Forest”, which serves 75 percent of the Greater Accra region.

Pressed on some of the planned activities, Mr.Kwakye said that there would be two major activities: the first is the “REDD Eye” Campaign. The other is the First National REDD+ Forum, which will be held on 25 November.

Under the auspices of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, the Climate Change Unit will together with the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology & Innovation (MESTI), launch the REDD Eye campaign.  The idea of these two activities is to sell and secure buy-in for the REDD+ mechanisms from Ghanaians.

Scheduled for Saturday, 21 November, the objective of the campaign is to create awareness among the youth, who are considered future leaders of Ghana. By targeting them early, the Commission believes they can be sensitized to plant and nurture trees as one of the ways to mitigate climate change. Those invited included second-cycle schools and youth groups across the country. There will be presentations from youthful resource people on a number of climate change-related issues, including the impacts of it on Ghana; impacts of deforestation and forest degradation in Ghana; and an overview of REDD+ and Ghana's Emission Reduction programme.

There will ultimately be “REDD EYE” Clubs established in various schools, where sensitization, tree-planting and other REDD+ activities will be implemented to assist in the fight against climate change. There will also be a nation-wide campaign in all ten regions, which purpose would be to sensitize the youth on climate change.

The second most important activity is that of the first-ever National REDD+ Forum, which is organized by the National REDD+ Secretariat of the Forestry Commission, which aim is to climax activities to sensitize Ghanaians and obtain buy-in for the REDD+ mechanism
Planned for 25 November at the Accra International Conference Centre, the theme for the event is “Conserving our Forests for Better Lives and a Better Climate”.

On the bill as keynote speaker is Ghana's former president and the UN Special Envoy for Climate Change H.E. John Agyeman Kuffuor. The Chief Executive of the Forestry Commission, Mr.Samuel Afari Dartey, will launch Ghana's National REDD+ Strategy, while Mr. Ishmael Yamson, Chairman of Unilever Ghana, will chair the event.

Some of the topics for discussion include “REDD+, the State of Play”; “National Efforts to Combat Climate Change”; the role of the private sector in addressing climate change; and mobilizing climate finance in Ghana. An interactive session will follow the presentations, where participants will obtain the opportunity to ask questions to resource people. There will also be an exhibition by REDD+ actors as a side event, including musical performances by Climate Change Ambassadors Okyeame Kwame and MUSIGA President Bice Osei Kuffuor (Obuor).

The event is open to the public, and Mr. Yaw Kwakye wants people to “think development; think sustainability; think REDD+!”


Friday, October 9, 2015

EVENT: Africa Week at the UN General Assembly (12-16 October, 2015)

Africa Week at the UN General Assembly


Africa Week at the UN General Assembly

Oct 12 2015 - Oct 16 2015, New York, United States

Monday, October 12

High-Level Event - Role of African Regional and Sub-regional Organizations in Achieving Regional Integration: The Continental Free Trade Area within the Context of the First 10-year Implementation Plan of Agenda 2063
9:30 am - 1:00 pm | ECOSOC Chamber
Concept note [DOWNLOAD]

This high-level event, which will serve as the formal opening of the Africa Week activities, will focus on the importance of African regional and sub-regional organizations in achieving integration for Africa’s development. The event will focus on highlighting progress made towards regional integration, next steps, and the role of the international community in supporting Africa’s integration efforts. The event will particularly highlight the 10 June 2015 launch of the Tripartite Free Trade Area as the first step towards the achievement of the Continental Free Trade Area envisaged by Agenda 2063 and its First 10-Year Implementation Plan. In addition to featured speakers, the event will provide an opportunity for engaging with Permanent Representatives of Member States and other relevant stakeholders. The event will be structured in two parts, consisting of both an inaugural and a thematic session.

Media Roundtable with African Regional Economic Communities on “Silencing the Guns in Africa: the Nexus between Peace, Security, Governance and Development”

1:30 pm - 2:30 pm | Permanent Observer Mission of the African Union to the United Nations
This will feature the USG OSAA, the Chief Executives Officers or Senior Representatives of the RECs, the Adviser to the AUC Chairperson on the RECs and the AUOM. The event will be moderated by the Director of the AUC Directorate for Information and Communications.

Annual High-Level Briefing by African RECs on “Silencing the Guns in Africa: the Nexus between Peace, Security, Governance and Development”

3:00 pm - 6:00 pm | ECOSOC Chamber
Agenda [DOWNLOAD] 
Concept note [DOWNLOAD]
This annual briefing, which marks a new approach of engaging the RECs in the Africa Week, will focus on the African Union’s Silencing the Guns agenda – a theme that was agreed with the RECs in January 2015. The overall thrust of the briefing will be anchored on Agenda 2063’s First 10-Year Implementation Plan, as Silencing the Guns constitutes one of its flagship projects. The briefing will specifically focus on the role of the RECs as implementing agencies in addressing the four interrelated dimensions of the agenda, highlighting persistent challenges and the role of the international community in supporting the RECs in this regard. The meeting’s structure as a “briefing by the RECs” will be maintained, although the Chairs of the RECs as well as the delegations from the AUC, NEPAD and the APRM will also participate. As is the practice, the event will provide an opportunity for Member States and other relevant stakeholders to directly engage the RECs.

Tuesday, October 13

UN Interdepartmental Taskforce on African Affairs: Briefing on Agenda 2063 and its First 10-Year Implementation Plan and PAIDA
3:00 pm - 6:00 pm | ConferenceRoom 8
This briefing will aim to raise awareness of PAIDA and highlight the next steps in developing the PAIDA action plans as well as the role of UN system entities in this process. The briefing will also provide insights on the process of reconfiguring the RCM-Africa cluster system to enhance its effectiveness in delivering UN system support to Africa in the implementation of Agenda 2063. This briefing will be a closed meeting comprising mainly of IDTFA members and the key African implementing bodies of PAIDA - AUC, NEPAD, APRM and the RECs. In addition to featured speakers, the event will allow for interactive discussions and exchanges between members of the IDTFA and the delegations from ECA, AUC, APRM, NEPAD and the RECs.
 **This briefing will be a CLOSED meeting of UN System Principals and Representatives of the AUC, NEPAD, the APRM and the RECs**

Wednesday, October 14

High-Level Event - 15 Years of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in Africa: Stocktaking & Perspectives
9:00 am - 11:00 am | ConferenceRoom 12
Concept note [DOWNLOAD] 
This high-level event is being organized in the context of the African Union 2015 “Year of Women's Empowerment and Development towards Africa's Agenda 2063” and the 15-year review of the United Nations Security Council resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. As the world gathers at the United Nations Headquarters to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of UNSCR 1325, the event provides an opportune moment for Africa to share her experiences in the implementation of this landmark resolution, including with respect to resulting AU instruments. It also creates an opportunity for reflection on ways to accelerate the implementation of resolution 1325 and its subsequent resolutions in the face of new and emerging threats to women, peace and security in Africa, such as terrorism and violent extremism, and climate change. In addition, it provides an opportunity to strategize on transformative actions to address women’s peace and security in a comprehensive and integrated manner in the context of implementation of the remaining years of the African Women’s Decade, Africa’s Agenda 2063 and the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The event will culminate in the launch of a booklet on Africa & UNSCR 1325. The event will feature participation of a wide range of stakeholders, including Member States, regional and multilateral organisations, civil society, and global and regional women’s organizations. 

Africa Week 2015: Press Briefing
12:30 pm - 1:00 pm | Press Briefing Room, Second Floor, Secretariat Building
This press briefing will feature the USG for OSAA; AU Commissioners; the CEO of the NEPAD Agency; the Chairperson of the APR Panel; and the Permanent Observer of the AU to the United Nations. The event will be moderated by the Director of the AUC Directorate for Information and Communications.

“African Continental Framework on Youth Development: Mainstream into Agenda 2063”
3:00 pm - 6:00 pm | Conference Room 6 (CB) 
Concept note [DOWNLOAD] 
This high-level event will focus on the forthcoming African Continental Framework on Youth Development, which aims to assist African Member States to define national employment policy schemes with operational action plans in line with the objectives of inclusive growth and the creation of decent and sustainable jobs. In this context, the event will also highlight progress and challenges in the implementation of the African Youth Charter (2006) as well as the important role of youth employment in accelerating achievement of the aspirations of Agenda 2063. The event will also address the role of global, regional, sub-regional and national actors in youth development on the continent, including the role of the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency in forging partnerships between stakeholders and in mobilizing public and private sector support for youth development.

Thursday, October 15

Annual Briefing to UN Member States on Two Reports of the Secretary-General and Presentations by NEPAD and the APRM
10:00 am - 1:00 pm | ConferenceRoom 6
This annual briefing will be structured in two parts. The first will be a presentation of the UN Secretary-General’s reports: “New Partnership for Africa’s Development: thirteenth consolidated progress report on implementation and international support” and “Causes of conflict and the promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa.” This segment will also feature remarks by partners on the two reports: namely by the Executive Secretary for ECA and the Permanent Representative of Senegal to the United Nations (in his capacity as Chair of the African Group for the month of September). The second segment will feature thematic presentations on “The Key Role of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development in Implementing Agenda 2063” and “The Role of the African Peer Review Mechanism in Monitoring of Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. This annual briefing, based on OSAA’s mandated reports, is aimed at raising awareness of Member States and UN system entities on Africa’s emerging issues on peace, security and development and providing in-depth analysis and policy recommendations. Interactive Q&A discussions will follow each part.

NEPAD Lecture at Yale University- Implementing the African Union’s 50 Year Vision: NEPAD’s role in Agenda 2063
04:15 pm - 05:45 pm | Room 4400, Evans Hall, Yale School of Management, 165 Whitney Avenue, New Haven, CT
This lecture will be delivered by the CEO of NEPAD at the Yale University.

Friday, October 16

70th UN General Assembly Debate on the Development of Africa
General Assembly Hall
Development of Africa based on the Secretary-General’s Reports on: Progress in the Implementation of NEPAD; and the Causes of Conflict and the Promotion of Durable Peace and Sustainable Development in Africa

For more information on Africa Week, go to:

Event Information

Event Location

New York, United States


Thursday, October 8, 2015

STORIFY Feature: What you missed from the Press Briefing of African Union's Commissioner for Rural Economy & Agriculture

#STCAgric: Nepad, AU Want STC to Focus on COP21

Nepad, AU Want STC to Focus on COP21

George Mhango
October 06, 2015

A meeting of experts convened by the African Union and Nepad aimed at establishing specialized technical committee (STC) has agreed to present agriculture, water, rural development and environment as major issues during the Cop21 in Paris, France.

The Conference of Parties (COP) 21 is expected to be held in December this year with continental experts likely to present what they perceive as challenges following thorough research and consultations.

Cop21 Logo

News has it that COP21 will be a crucial conference, as it needs to achieve a new international agreement on the climate, applicable to all countries, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C.

To this effect, the STC, which comes into effect this week following revision and examination of terms of reference (ToRs) is expected to do just that on behalf of the continent with clear backing of Nepad and AU.

Head of Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Dr Augustin Wambo Yamdjeu said in an exclusive interview on Monday in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa that the idea to have the STC makes the work of the department easier because water, agriculture, rural development and environment are directly linked.
The STC will have to have something in their folders ahead of the COP meeting. This also follows what the Malabo Declaration called for and that is multisectoral approach as backed by the AU decision in 2011 to have a fully-fledged integrated governance structure to champion such matters,” he said.
The Malabo Declaration, which calls on African leaders to walk the talk on championing agricultural matters, is a follow up to the Maputo Declaration which called on various governments to commit 10 percent of their budget towards agriculture.

Initially, Malawi is one of the shining examples of a country in which has over the years committed about 10 percent towards the annual budget for the farm input fertilizer subsidy programme (FISP), according to local and international economists.

Dr Yamdjeu said a lot of research findings show that climate change has had an impact on food security, water and environment, despite that CAADP is advocating for climate smart agriculture (CSA) and conservation agriculture.
We hope that after Paris something will be agreed upon for Africa and other countries. Africa needs to critically rethink on the matter, hence the need for the committee to come up with pertinent issues to be presented to COP21,” he said.
He said ministers responsible for agriculture, water, rural development and environment as part of the specialized technical committee will take the matter to the conference of parties (COP) 21 as an area that needs more attention.

Currently experts through the established bureau are behind closed doors to craft a working template for the STC.

The STC, which will comprise ministers from member states of the AU will have a mandate of examining, reviewing and considering adoption of policies and strategic frameworks designed to develop agriculture, water, rural development and environment on the continent, among others.

Notes from the 2011 meeting also show that STC’s shall be responsible to the executive council of African Union in championing water, agriculture, among others for the betterment of the African continent.


West Africa Launches Regional Police Info System to fight Organized Crime

ACCRA, Sept.30 (Xinhua) -- The West African Police Information System (WAPIS) has been inaugurated in Ghana's capital, Accra, to fight organized crime and terrorism in the sub-region.

The WAPIS Programme’s third phase will see its implementation in all ECOWAS member states and the development of a regional police data sharing platform under the aegis of ECOWAS. -- INTERPOL

Experts believe one of the main challenges in fighting transnational organized criminality is inaccurate statistics and data on reported occurrences.

The initiative is therefore aimed at creating a common police-information system across West Africa to share criminal information on a timely basis.

It will also ensure greater law enforcement cooperation within the region and the rest of the world in fighting organized crime and terrorism.

The European Union is providing funding to the International Criminal Police Organization for the development and implementation of the initiative for member-countries within the region and Mauritania.
Addressing the media, the Minister for the Interior, Mark Owen Woyongo, said the center stemmed from the sub-regional bloc's concern over the spate of transnational crimes and terrorism affecting the area.
"WAPIS will enable police officers in west African countries to access critical police information from their national criminal databases, thus improving the identification of criminals and supporting ongoing investigations," he said.

Woyongo said his ministry had signed a contract with Ahui Communications Services Limited, a subsidiary of China Communications Services International, to carry out a feasibility study on the introduction of CCTV cameras on roads in Ghana at no cost to the government.

He said the project would help the police maintain discipline on the roads and also reduce crime.

Copyright2015 Xinhua News Agency



Monday, September 28, 2015

MEDIA ADVISORY: Dialogue on conflict and development; unraveling three ECA studies


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE            CONTACT: Abel Akara Ticha
26 Sept 2015                                                                                                             
Dialogue on conflict and development; unraveling three ECA studies

What are the root-causes of conflict in Africa? What are the political, social and economic costs of conflict on the continent? Why have situations of conflict persisted in the horn of Africa and the Great Lakes regions and why have some recently emerged along the Sahel Belt?

At the behest of the African Union Commission, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa has undertaken three studies to dissect the complexities of conflict in these regions. The findings have been extensively reviewed and beefed up and are now ready for appropriation by those who drive intra-regional diplomacy in Africa. How would they want to tailor policies that sustainably ward off conflict in order for Africa to concentrate its structural transformation efforts to attain the goals of Agenda 2063?

Come and follow the compelling dialogue on the complex situation of conflicts based on ECA’s empirical research.

What: High Level Policy Dialogue on Conflict and Development for the Sahel, Horn and Great Lakes Regions; three ECA reports on the causes of conflict, the impact of conflict on Africa’s development and policy implications for states. 

Who:  The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the African Union Commission, the Regional Economic Communities, Directors General and/or Permanent Secretaries in Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Continental development partners

When: Friday 02 October 2015 from 8:30 am to Saturday 03 Oct 2015 from 9:30 am

Where: La Palm Royal Beach Hotel, La Bypass, P.O. Box OS 3000 Osu, Accra - Ghana

Photo opportunities? Yes, available upon request from:

COMING UP!>>Ep.53: West Africa’s Disaster Preparedness: Is the sub-region ready?(1)

Episode #53:
West Africa’s Disaster Preparedness: Is the sub-region ready?(1)

Since July 2015, ECOWAS, in collaboration with Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) and Ghana's National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), has convened reps from governments to participate in AFRICOM-sponsored West Africa Disaster Preparedness Initiative (WADPI) training.

Following up on the ECOWAS Plan of Action on Ebola, which seeks to strengthen regional coordination between ECOWAS; the African Union; and partner nations; and international partners, WADPI seeks to capitalize on lessons learnt from recent Ebola epidemic to strengthen national capacities on disaster-preparedness.

In what will be the start of a relationship between "Africa in Focus Show" and KAIPTC to promote visibility of WADPI, Emmanuel K Bensah Jr. will be hosting participants/trainers/policy-makers from BOTH anglophone & francophone ECOWAS Member States LIVE on the show to explain to listeners why it is important to have a conversation about disaster-preparedness at the national; regional; and continental level.

The 3 June floods in Ghana, which spawned the hash tag #Accrafloods , runs the risk of becoming a lost opportunity to re-transform Accra to a city ready to counter any disaster -- unless the country is actively-seized by the urgency of having important and critical conversations on disaster-management.

Ghana's NADMO certainly cannot have all the answers -- for which reason "Africa in Focus Show" is pleased to partner KAIPTC in this unique partnership that will yield tremendous dividends for, among others, tackling National Emergency Plans; Ebola-Awareness Training; Communication during Disaster Response; and bio-threat preparedness from lessons learnt from Ebola.

Call us on the following numbers when we open the phone lines at 14h30 GMT
+233(0)289.000.931 // +233(0)289.931.000

Join us if you can at 1pm on 29 September, 2015.

Guests in the studio:
Ø  Faith Akovi Cooper, MPA-Regional Advisor for West Africa Disaster Preparedness Programme(WADPI)
Ø  Leroy Harris, WADPI

Ø  Col Kennedy Osemwegie, WADPI Course Director

Thursday, September 17, 2015

BURKINA FASO: A Ghanaian Expat’s view of the latest Burkina Coup; and the Role of the AU/ECOWAS

A Ghanaian Expat’s view of the latest Burkina Coup; and the Role of the AU/ECOWAS

I have lived in Burkina Faso for the past 10 months. Needless to say I am disappointed but not surprised for various reasons at the recent turn of events. One of which is that when Heads of States and their goons get used to seeing a country as their personal ATM and when three quarters of all buildings in the country, gas supplies, hotels and businesses belong to the president, his brother, wife and goons it is kinda hard to simply let go of of your personal investments like that. (You know what they say about coming between a man and his money.)

Secondly the transition process could have been better supported by the AU, ECOWAS (actually other african countries and bodies). I refrain to use the international community because they are not responsible for africa. ( We are happy to claim neo colonialism when it suits us and in the same vein decry their absence when it is time to clean up our mess so i don't go there anymore.)

ECOWAS refuses to be bold about capping presidential terms to a maximum of 2. Long standing oligarchies are a major part of the reason why people refuse to leave power till they croak and until that is tackled we will continue in this trend. It is because of this similar mindset and outcomes that i am still frozen shocked as to how africans and even civil society advocates fail to see that amending the constitution for Paul Kagame to run a 3rd term is bufoonery in the highest of orders and setting precedents that we will live to regret. However to be fair to them hindsight has never been our forte.

Given the problems that Africa has i have always found the mandate of AU and ECOWAS at tangential proportions to the real causes which is why to me the AU especially is now an official white elephant. I actually wrote about the AU being a white elephant at the age of 12 as part of an essay competition by the Non -Aligned Movement. I am 36 now so that is a heck of a long time to stay white and to be an elephant smile emoticon. We do not need any institution that cannot make bold decisions nor enforce anything at this stage in our history. The path to victory calls for a revolution nothing less.

Africa's number one problem continues to be that the very leaders and institutions she has mandated to lead her to independence are cowards and half baked bureaucrats themselves who will do anything to avoid conflict or hard issues. It is a job, a salary and a let me do my minimum best in order not to rock the boat.
No boat ever served its purpose by staying in the harbour( but maybe that is another subject for another time).
I am currently not in Burkina as i have been on leave. My staff tell me they are safe but the situation is precarious.

Let us not spit out platitudes and eulogies this time. Instead we should roll up our sleeves, stand up and be counted in laying the ax at the root of the problem to stem the incessant hemorrhaging of our nations which always always end up costing the lives of our people.
I continue to weep......

This was posted on her Facebook page. Used with permission

STORIFY Feature: Here's how the Coup in #BurkinaFaso unfolded on Twitter on 16 September, 2015

Monday, September 14, 2015

COMING UP!》Ep.53: Towards Afro-Democracy? (1): Commemorating International Day of Democracy (15 Sept, 2015)

Episode #53:
Towards Afro-Democracy? (1): Commemorating International Day of Democracy

Ghana joins the global comity of nations to celebrate International Day of Democracy on 15 September.

We at Africa in Focus Show want to therefore use that day to have a very critical and important conversation about the State of Africa's democracy. True, it's a never-ending conversation, especially when Ghana likes to self-plaudit over its entry into democratic dispensation since 1992.

The raison d'être of the show means that this cannot only be about Ghana's democracy, but an attempt to evaluate how far Africa has gone with its democracy.

The show will take place a week after civil society organisations met in Dakar, Senegal, to further-pressurize ECOWAS member states to get serious on two-term democracy. The attempts by ECOWAS at the last ECOWAS summit in Accra, which proved unsuccessful in convincing countries like Togo and Gambia to follow the two-term mandate, may give vent to speculation of a cosmetic attempt for a democratic West Africa. That this recent CSO meeting has taken place so soon reminds us how serious civil society is in contributing to a democratic sub-region.

And how apt!

The theme for the day centres on the centrality of civil society and how it remains the oxygen of democracy.
As UN SG Ban Ki-Moon put it:
"Civil society is the oxygen of democracy. Civil society acts as a catalyst for social progress and economic growth. It plays a critical role in keeping Government accountable, and helps represent the diverse interests of the population, including its most vulnerable groups."

Small wonder, then, we have a distinguished panel populated by Centre for Democratic Development (CDD); West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP); and AIF's partner West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) to help speak to the State of Africa's Democracy. 


Call us on the following numbers when we open the phone lines at 14h30 GMT
+233(0)289.000.931 // +233(0)289.931.000

Join us if you can at 1pm on 15 September, 2015.

Guiding questions
·       Has democracy become an overly-expensive enterprise?
·       Is democracy best-applicable in Africa?
·       Is & should democracy be synonymous with economic growth?
·       What should the role of CSOs be in facilitating democracy ? How do we assess CSO contribution to deepening democratic dispensation?
·       Peace & security first? Or democracy first?
·       Is the conversation on two-term limits in West Africa over-flogged?
·        Why are we not talking enough about the AU's African Charter on Democracy, Elections & Governance in our democratic discourse?

Guests in the studio:
Ø  Mohammed Awal, Research & Documentation Officer, Centre for Democratic Development(CDD)
Ø  Chukwueneka Eze, Executive Director, West Africa Network for Peacebuilding(WANEP)
Ø  Isaac Hubert Arthur, Head, Research & Documentation, West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI)

Guests on the line:
Ø  Dr. Emmanuel Tambi, Policy & Advocacy Manager, Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa(FARA), Accra, Ghana @13h20. Tambi will seek to answer the following questions:
o   1. A week after the STISA2024 Consultative workshop has ended, what is the way forward on the AU's STI agenda, and what will be FARA's central role in helping with implementation?

o   2. What is the way forward for Member States and RECs on the STI agenda?

o   3. What are some of the key activities FARA will be involved in between now and Dec 2015? Any big plans for 2016?

o   4. It is International Day of Democracy on 15 September? What are FARA's thoughts on how STISA advocacy can help facilitate ...
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