Driving environmental awareness in Mauritania

Proving small initiatives can have great impact

JOHANNESBURG, Aug. 08, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Wanting to raise awareness about the unhealthy and unsanitary conditions in her home country, now 26-year-old Aminetou Bilal launched the “Selfie Mbalite” campaign in February 2017. She was inspired by the “Selfie Déchets” campaign run by blogger Fatoumata Cherif in Conakry, Guinea.

Bilal is the president of Selfie Mbalite, an NGO that focuses on awareness campaigns against unsanitary conditions and promotes ecological development in Mauritania. She is also part of the first class of 200 Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa programme.

Born and raised in Mauritania, Bilal completed her Bachelor’s degree in Geosciences and is currently busy with her Master’s degree in ‘Territorial management of the effects of climate change and environmental risks’ at Sup Management University in Nouakchott.

Bilal decided she wanted to make herself useful after completing her studies and integrated into the NOG ‘Rim Youth Climate Movement’ fighting climate change. Even though she is no longer a member, she is grateful for her learnings.

“When I launched Selfie Mbalite, I did not expect such quick reactions. Everyone was taking selfies near waste on the national territory and posted them on Facebook with the Hashtag #SelfieMbalite,” says Bilal. Thanks to this initiative, authorities in Mauritania have reduced the contracts of companies that manage waste and have started to review their strategies.

Bilal also went to be an AU-EU Youth Ambassador. “Being part of the AU-EU Youth Plug-In initiative is one of the most beautiful things that happened to me and is the result of my civic commitment,” says Bilal. This lead to her being chosen by the African Union Commission to represent and deliver the speech on behalf of the African Youth at the “Women in Power” Conference on the sidelines of the 31st African Union Summit.

On being chosen to be part of the Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa programme, Bilal said that it was more than a pride and honour. She added that “President Obama is an inspiration to the whole world.”

Bilal sees herself as a business leader in the environmental sector in the future. She’s made a promise after her pare in the Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa programme to pass on her knowledge and skills to the young people of her country through a mentorship program that she will launch shortly.

beverley.bradley@mslgroup.com Laura Lucas Magnuson llucasmagnuson@obama.org

Mnangagwa Wins Zimbabwe’s Presidential Election

Emmerson Mnangagwa has won Zimbabwe’s presidential election in a poll marred by violence and charges of fraud.

The election commission gives Mnangagwa 50.8 percent of the vote, barely ahead of opposition leader Nelson Chamisa.

Chamisa is calling the results fake and promises a court challenge.

Before the final results were announced about 1 a.m. Friday, an opposition spokesman appeared on the stage in front of multiple microphones and cameras to denounce the results and say his party has not verified them.

He was shouted down and could scarcely be heard before security escorted him away.

The election commission said turnout was high in most provinces and that a large number of votes had to be rejected.

The commission declared the election an unqualified success, but it also said it deeply regrets the violence between protesters and police that left at least six people dead in Harare.

Mnangagwa was vice president when he took over the presidency when the authoritarian Robert Mugabe was forced from office last year after 40 years.

But Mnangagwa was elected with a bare majority, and Chamisa says he has no interest in being part of a coalition.

Mnangagwa and the ruling ZANU-PF party must try to fix Zimbabwe’s ailing economy and poor international image on its own, while also dealing with a population demanding change after 40 years of Mugabe.

Mnangagwa has also said he will call for an investigation into election violence when hundreds of Chamisa supporters, angry that the election results were postponed, threw rocks at police outside commission headquarters Wednesday.

Police responded with tear gas and water cannons. The army was called in and witnesses say soldiers beat and shot at marchers, leaving at least six dead and 14 wounded.

Chamisa said the place to challenge the election results is in the courts, not in the streets.

Source: Voice of America

Developing Africa’s pharmaceutical sector crucial, says Economic Commission Africa’s Soteri

There is an urgent need to develop the pharmaceutical sector in Africa to reduce the continent’s dependence on imported pharmaceutical and medical products, says Economic Commission for Africa’s Soteri Gatera.

Mr. Gatera, Chief of the Industrialization and Infrastructure Section at the ECA, says Africa bears a disproportionate burden of disease with, for example, more than 70 percent of the world’s HIV/AIDS cases and 90 percent of deaths due to malaria raising the need to encourage local production of drugs.

Non-communicable diseases are also becoming increasingly prominent across the continent given the demographic changes that are taking place,rdquo; he told participants in the meeting hosted by the ECA, the African Union Commission and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

Non-communicable diseases are predicted to overtake infectious diseases as the leading causes of death in Africa by 2030.

The situation is worsened by the continent’s significant challenges in accessing high-quality pharmaceuticals, exacerbating a continued high burden of disease.

The availability of essential drugs in the public sector across the continent has been reported to be less than 60 percent. The major factor being that Africa is hugely dependent on imported pharmaceutical and medical products.

It is estimated that more than 80 percent of ARVs used on the continent are imported from outside the continent with 70 percent of the pharmaceutical and medical products market being served by foreign imports.

An international standard, commercially viable pharmaceutical industry in Africa can contribute to improved access to effective, safe and affordable essential medicines and economic development,rdquo; said Mr. Soteri.

From the health perspective, he added, a key potential benefit is to develop a source of quality assured medicines across products including those for the pandemic diseases (HIV, TB and malaria) as well as the broader range of essential medicines.

Through proximity of production, resource-constrained regulators can properly oversee the manufacturing of products produced in the region compared to the level of scrutiny that is possible for distant suppliers, said Mr. Soteri.

The immense need for drugs presents a potential market opportunity for pharmaceutical companies on the continent.

For example, he said, the current number of persons on ARV treatment on the continent represents a market opportunity of over US$ 1 billion.

This market will more than treble over the next decade as more people are placed on ARV treatment and other uses of ARVs are expanded.

The total pharmaceutical spending for the continent in 2012 was estimated at US$ 18 billion and it is projected to reach US$ 45 billion by 2020.

In addition to providing a secure source of medicines and a potentially large market, local production of pharmaceuticals also:

* advance industrial development,

* move the continent towards sustainability of the health sector response,

*reduce external dependency,

*facilitate stronger regulatory oversight to curtail counterfeit products,

*enable production of drugs for diseases that primarily affect Africa,

*improve the trade balance,

*create jobs

*and could serve as a catalyst to developing a broader manufacturing and knowledge-based economy.

Mr. Soteri also enunciated a number of measures taken by the AUC and its partners to promote the manufacture of medicines in Africa in line with the accelerated industrialization initiative for the continent’s socio-economic transformation.

The untapped opportunities lend themselves to a wide array of partnerships for the promotion of inclusive and sustainable industrial development. The partnerships would create higher-skilled jobs, build equitable societies and safeguard the environment, while sustaining economic growth,rdquo; he said.

The workshop sought to validate an ECA report titled; Review of Policies and Strategies for the Pharmaceutical Production Sector in Africa: Policy coherence, best practices and future prospectiverdquo; in which policies and strategies for the pharmaceutical sector in Africa are reviewed with a view to assess the level of policy coherence, capturing best practices and painting future prospects for the sector.

The report provides an overview of the status of pharmaceutical production in Africa and identifies levels and quality of production on the continent.

It is hoped, the final knowledge product will influence African governments to take appropriate actions that will transform the sector from being a coffer-drainer to a substantive contributor to Africa’s GDP, said Mr. Soteri.

Source: United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)

Zimbabwe Human Rights Groups Condemn Post-Election Violence

Zimbabwean human rights activists on Thursday strongly condemned soldiers’ actions in post-election violence that left at least six people dead and 14 wounded in Harare, the capital, as the nation’s electoral commission promised that tensely awaited presidential poll results would be issued soon.

“There’s absolutely no skulduggery or anything untoward happening,” said Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairman Emmanuel Magade, when asked why the results had not yet been announced. Legally, officials said, they have until August 4 to release results, and promised they would do so “very soon.”

Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa held firm, just hours before the announcement was due. Chamisa maintained that he had won.

“You can’t rig an election, or manipulate an election, and then use that as a basis of engagement,” he said. “That’s deceitful.”

When asked what he would do if the results did not come out in his favor, he said, “We’ll do a lot of things within the confines of legality and the constitution.” When asked if he had had any contact with President Emmerson Mnangagwa, as the president indicated on Twitter, Chamisa denied it.

“There’s no communication,” Chamisa said.

The president’s side also claimed victory.

“I know we have won the presidential election, but we will wait for the proper announcement of the results. Nevertheless, in the unlikely event that we do not win the presidential election, we will still request our supporters to accept the verdict of the people and allow Chamisa to take over,” said Paul Mangwana, spokesman for the ruling ZANU-PF party led by President Mnangagwa.

Mnangagwa appeared to strike a conciliatory tone on Twitter, saying he would call for an investigation into the violence. In contradicting Chamisa, Mnangagwa also said, “We have been in communication with (presidential challenger) Nelson Chamisa to discuss how to immediately defuse the situation, and we must maintain this dialogue in order to protect the peace we hold dear.”

On Wednesday, hundreds of angry Chamisa supporters thronged the election commission. Protesters threw rocks as police fired back with tear gas and water cannon. Later, army vehicles rolled through the streets, and soldiers were seen beating and shooting at pedestrians.

The streets of central Harare, usually a hive of activity and a snarl of traffic, were eerily quiet Thursday morning as soldiers and police manned them and told shopkeepers to close early and go home. Police also surrounded opposition headquarters in central Harare, ratcheting up the tension even more.

On Wednesday, police announced that they had called in the army to assist in keeping order, invoking the controversial Public Order and Security Act. That act was used during previous elections under the iron-fisted rule of President Robert Mugabe, who held power for close to 40 years before resigning late last year.

Activist Jestina Mukoko, director of the Zimbabwe Peace Project, described the soldiers’ response to the protests as “outrageous.”

“Reports indicated that the police were in control of the situation when military vehicles were observed driving into the central business district,” she said. “Gunshots were fired randomly throughout the central business district, and forum observers witnessed soldiers randomly firing live bullets and beating up bystanders who were not involved in the protest. The military’s conduct fell short of internationally accepted standards in controlling protesting crowds.”

Lizwe Jamela of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said the country’s leadership needs to do more than make statements.

“What is needed is a commitment that what happened yesterday will never happen again,” he said. “The statements may just be words loaded with promises, but the real issue is: what are they telling the soldiers that are on the street, what are they telling the police that are on the street in response to what is going to happen if citizens protest? What are the orders that are being given?”

Source: Voice of America

imToken annonce la version internationale 2.0, imToken Venture

Avec le lancement d’imToken 2.0, la société annonce un fonds de capital-risque pour le développement de DApp au sein de son écosystème, et de nouvelles fonctionnalités Tokenlon

SINGAPOUR, 1er août 2018 /PRNewswire/ — imToken, le plus grand portefeuille d’actifs numériques Ethereum au monde qui supporte à grande échelle 30 000 tokens, annonce imToken 2.0, le portefeuille de cryptodevises de prochaine génération d’imToken qui supporte un écosystème entièrement décentralisé.

Ben He, CEO and founder of imToken, introduces imToken 2.0

À la suite de son investissement de série A de 10 millions de dollars par IDG, imToken présente aujourd’hui le navigateur DApp, Tokenlon (échange décentralisé d’imToken) et imToken Venture.

La société a également annoncé 5 millions d’utilisateurs mensuels actifs et 45 milliards de dollars de transactions à flux identiques entre janvier 2017 et juin 2018, rivalisant avec le volume annuel de Venmo de PayPal.

« Nous croyons que le futur de la technologie de la blockchain (chaîne de blocs) repose sur une décentralisation complète », a déclaré Ben He, fondateur et PDG d’imToken. « Nous pensons que les initiatives d’aujourd’hui pour imToken 2.0 définiront la feuille de route pour un écosystème entièrement décentralisé qui sera soutenu par l’industrie et les utilisateurs. »

imToken 2.0

Navigateur DApp : le navigateur DApp d’imToken supporte les DApps les plus populaires et les échanges décentralisés.

En outre, imToken annonce imToken Venture, qui investira dans DApps et des projets d’infrastructure innovants, et en fera la promotion.

Échange décentralisé : l’échange décentralisé d’imToken, Tokenlon, offre désormais deux fonctions de trading uniques.

  • « Instant Exchange » (échange instantané) : sélectionne les meilleurs taux de change à travers plusieurs réserves pour des conversions jeton-à-jeton équitables.
  • Carnet d’ordres et trading au comptant : les utilisateurs de Tokenlon peuvent laisser des ordres d’achat et de vente à cours limité ou passer des ordres au prix du marché directement depuis le carnet d’ordres.

Portefeuille multichaîne avec BTC, ETH, EOS : les utilisateurs peuvent importer et gérer plusieurs portefeuilles de cryptodevises, parmi lesquelles Bitcoin, Ethereum et EOS, sous une phrase de passe et identité mnémotechnique unique.

L’annonce fait suite à l’ouverture du siège d’imToken à Singapour.

« Nous considérons qu’avec un environnement règlementaire mature, Singapour est le tremplin idéal pour nous permettre de donner un coup de fouet à nos ambitions internationales », a déclaré He. « Des pays comme l’Indonésie deviennent rapidement l’un des plus grands marchés d’imToken, et nous avons hâte de développer nos initiatives en Asie. »

Pour en savoir plus sur imToken, rendez-vous sur token.im.
Pour le kit destiné à la presse, visitez ce site.

À propos d’imToken

Fondé en 2016 par Ben He, le PDG d’imToken, le plus grand portefeuille d’actifs numériques au monde est utilisé par les principaux investisseurs en cryptodevises du monde entier. Soutenu par IDG Capital, imToken offre un support pour 30 000 tokens et est reconnu internationalement pour ses fonctions de sécurité en tant qu’outil de gestion des actifs numériques. Le siège social d’imToken est situé à Singapour.

Pour en savoir plus sur imToken, rendez-vous sur : token.im.

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/725237/benhe_imtoken_2_0_launch.jpg