Wednesday, March 18, 2015

#ECOWAS@40Podcast -- Ep.8: #AUBlames4SouthSudan, #MaliinTrouble, #WestAfricaRising

Ecowas@40Podcast – 10 March, 2015

Welcome to the 8th edition of the Ecowas@40Podcast, where we give you insights into all that is ECOWAS.

The ECOWAS@40Podcast is divided into four parts. We start off with an overview of what stories are trending under ECOWAS/West Africa/the AU. We then move on to what ECOWAS and/or AU accounts are tweeting. Third, we give listeners an ECOWAS Fact; and, finally, “What’s my ECOWAS Beef?” where I offer candid views on a trending topic. In today’s edition, we are looking at events the Show is involved in one may have missed.

The nettlesome issue of South Sudan is reprised here in this Podcast for obvious reasons: there is lack of clarity around the report, which now cites US, UK, & Norway as being responsible for the mess that that country faces.

Let’s take a look at some of the tweets with the highest RTs:

1.     148RTs – @UN: “Sometimes a woman’s greatest support comes from the men in her life. A man in #SouthSudan talks about his mum #IWD2015”
2.     132RTs – @RT_com: “African Union blames US, UK, Norway for #SouthSudan civil war”
3.     49 RTS – @guardian: “Leaked African Union report notes “ethnic cleansing” in #SouthSudan”
4.     28 RTs -- @Oxfam: “#SouthSudan 2.5 m people at risk of sever hunger by month’s end, and no end in sight as peace process fails yet again.”
5.     16 RTS -- @OXFAM: “#SouthSudan’s leaders must work to reconcile communities who are in desperate need of healing…#peace”

On Mali:

1.     29RTS -- @NewsHour: “In Mali, artists fight to save the country’s ancient cultural treasures”
2.     28RTs -- @NewsHour: “Musicians in Mali are raising their voices to call for peace as extremists threaten a vibrant music culture…”
3.     7 RTS -- @UNMEER: “Border checkpoints like this one in #Mali are key to stopping the spread of Ebola. #EbolaResponse”
4.     5RTs –  @FRANCE24: “Mali restaurant shooting an “attack on the peace process”
5.     3RTs -- @mashanubian: “Mali Counter-terrorism investigators arrived from Paris overnight to aid hunt for the killers of five people, including a French national.”

Ecowas account on twitter now has 2 more followers from last week making it 41; it is STILL not following anyone yet. It has tweeted 18 times since its first tweet on 10 February. The last tweet was 3 days ago, when it tweeted “Today is the 58th anniversary of the Republic of Ghana’s independence. Happy Independence Day!”, with a pic…the inevitable flag of Ghana!

Let’s look at some of the highest RTs under the #westAfrica:

1.     18RTS -- @allafrica: “Africa gets a new superhero in Lagos” (Graphic novel; animated)
2.     10RTS -- @allafrica: “Sierra Leone’s Vice President in Ebola Quarantine…#SierraLeone #WestAfrica”
3.     6RTS – @FHWCoalition: “#WestAfrica Costing Analysis…finds $573M in 5yrs to double #healthworkforce + comprehensive #CHW program #Ebola”
4.     5RTS – @OSIWA1 – “#WestAfrica: New #railway network aims to boost inter-regional #trade”
5.     4RTs – @WBG_Agriculture: “Ivory Coast aims to become the rice bowl of #WestAfrica…cc:@AfricaRice”
6.     3RTs – @EcobankResearch: “#CEMOI to launch EUR6mn #chocolate factory in #Abidjan in May…will manufacture chocolate for export to #WestAfrica”

1.      It is the Revised ECOWAS Treaty of 1993 that enjoins supranationality over Member States. This means that ECOWAS has what is called a legal international legal personality, meaning it has rights and obligations under international law;
2.      The Revised Treaty is 42 pages, and has 93 articles;
3.       Article 72:
a.      “There is hereby instituted a Community levy for the purpose of generating resources for financing Community activities.
b.      The CL shall be the percentage of the total value of import duty derivable from goods imported into the Community from third countries.
c.      The actual level of the CL shall be determined by the Council
d.      The conditions for the application of the CL, the modalities for the transfer to the Community of the revenue generated and the utilization of the Community levy shall be defined in the relevant Protocol.
e.      Member States undertake to facilitate the application of the provisions of this Article.”
Given Ghana has a momentous – and auspicious -- opportunity under the ECOWAS Chairmanship to celebrate one of the most vibrant regional economic communities on the continent, really, is this the best it can do as far as celebrations are concerned? A press conference to launch #ECOWAS@40 celebrations?
What you missed!
The three-day Eighth Pan-African Congress ended on 7 March with a call to hold a second phase of it in 2016 h ere in Ghana, so as to prepare for a delegates Conference in Brazil, which offered to host the 9th Congress in that country.
Speaking to a plenary on Day 2, avowed and reputable Pan-Africanist Professor Horace Campbell revealed the imminent establishment of a North American Reparations Commission. This is in the spirit of efforts made by CARICOM countries’ call for reparations against the trans-Atlantic slave trade. CARICOM is a region AU member States can learn a lot from on advocacy on reparations.
One of the key outcomes of PAC8’s work is the establishment of the Network of Pan-African Communicators to prosecute the agenda of Pan-Africanism, and the century-long work of Africans. AIF is one of the founding members of the Network, which include seasoned journalists like George Koomson and Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng. We already have  established a list-serve and whatsapp group.


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