Ethiopia PM meets U.N. rights boss: Human rights, democracy top agenda

10 hours 46 minutes ago

The Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Wednesday held a meeting with Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the United Nations Human Rights chief who is on an official visit to Ethiopia.

According to the Facebook page of the PM, the main issues of discussion by the two parties was the subject of human rights and democracy.

Zeid arrived in the country on Sunday for a follow-up visit to an earlier one in 2017. He has since held meetings with the African Union at its headquarters in the capital Addis Ababa.

Another area of discussion was on political reforms being pursued by Ethiopia’s ruling coalition, the EPRDF. The last time Zeid was in the country, he met with other top government officials including the speaker of parliament and head of the country’s human rights body.

Aside the A.U.-U.N. high-level meeting in Addis Ababa where he emphasized the need for governments to respect rights of citizens because it was in the interest of the country so to do, he also delivered a lecture at the Addis Ababa University (AAU).

“Human rights are not an afterthought. They are not a second-stage, which countries can begin to construct after development is well underway. Human rights are not a project which unfolds after peace has been established. Rights are the drivers of development. Rights are the constructive elements of peace,” Zeid stressed.

The Commissioner urged AU to strengthen the role as well as the independence of African human rights institutions, especially the African Commission on Human and People`s Rights.

AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat said on his part the fight for human rights is an integral part of the agenda of the African Union. “It is an essential component of the effort that we are making for the development of African people”.

He pointed out that there is still a long way to go in order to fully attain the aspirations with regard to promotion and protection of human rights.


Cameroon 'Genius Centers' seek to promote technological innovations among youths

10 hours 55 minutes ago

Learning the basics of technological transformation in Cameroon has been the main objective by the Genius centre in the West African country. Located in Douala the economic capital of Cameroon,

The Center offers computer classes where youths between the age of 4 to 17 years can learn various technological innovations that also include basic programming.

Danielle Akini heads the project and she aims at levelling up basic technological awareness among youths in Cameroon.

“Children do use various forms of technology today and the consumption is very high, they want to have smartphones, computers. Generally as they have these gadgets, they use them to play simply because they are not aware on how to use them differently. But the Genius Center directs youths on how to effectively make good use of technology, and create technological content,” said Danielle.

Children are directed at the workshop on different programming contents, from Robotic Designs to mounting robotics.

“In term of vocational training, sometimes when there is a societal problem to solve, we must choose special codes and be sure to solve our own problems just from the tools that are available,” said Danielle.

The Genius project has already began bearing fruits. Youthful Kamel Hassoun, at 10, has established an application that acts like a calculations. A regular calculator, thanks to a tool in free access known as scratch.

“This is a regular calculator, not scientific or well whatsoever. It is a calculator that I created myself from scratch. I have posted it online since since I began, anyone who is online can see my calculator and can also be verified,” said Kamel.

The Genius center owned by Danielle has already trained nearly 4000 youths in Cameroon. Learning these tools allows one to exceed the simple technology awareness, according to Danielle. She intends to create other Genius centers across the country and even in the sub-region within the Central Africa.


Opposition walks out as Sierra Leone elects speaker of parliament

11 hours 43 minutes ago

Dr. Abass Chernoh Bundu of the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) has been elected as Speaker of the 5th Parliament of the Republic of Sierra Leone.

The former ECOWAS Secretary General was elected unopposed as members of the main opposition All People’s Congress party (APC) were not present in the House to participate or nominate a candidate for the election of the Speaker.

The APC legislators boycotted the vote after 16 of their colleagues were asked to leave the chamber because of high court injunctions issued against them on Monday.

The APC is the biggest party in parliament with 68 seats against the ruling party’s 49, but it lost the presidency to Julius Maada Bio of the SLPP.

Less than half of the 146 legislators (71) voted for Bundu, while four members of the another opposition party, NGC abstained. Eight members of another opposition party and 13 paramount chiefs voted for the ruling party candidate.

Earlier, the session which had swearing in of the new MPs and election of the speaker and his deputy as the order of business for the day, was adjourned after fighting broke out as APC members protested the decision to bar some of their members from voting.

Meanwhile the election of the Deputy Speaker has also been concluded with the SLPP’s Sengehpoh Solomon Thomas getting the post. 72 out of 76 lawmakers present voted to him, he was also unopposed in the process.

Eric Kawa, Africanews Correspondent

43 seconds ago
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