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Open Letter to Liberia Ministry of Youth & Sports

Open Letter to Liberia Ministry of Youth & Sports

September 8, 2017  Dear Madam Asst. Minister. Please accept my sincere compliments and best wishes, as I seek your indulgence to draw your attention to pertinent issues hampering the growth and development of young people in Liberia, especially girls. In today's Liberia, the young people in general are unfortunately endowed with many difficulties, and the scars of these difficulties are acutely visible among girl children in their teens. On this note, I would like to emphasize on teenage pregnancy and why practical actions or considerations must be given to this societal menace. According to the Liberian Demographic and Health survey in 2013, 31% of female children between the ages 11-19 in Liberia have given birth. This number is expected to hit 54 percent by 2017 if the necessary actions are not taken. The survey highlights acute poverty, family pressure/peer pressure, illiteracy and the lack of family life education, among others as the

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 500 Homes could have saved 500 lives

500 Homes could have saved 500 lives

O n the 14th of August 2017, torrential rainfall caused massive flooding and a devastating mudslide, which left at least 500 confirmed deaths while the search continues for hundreds of missing bodies. This unforgettable occurrence has so far attracted attention from all around the globe. At home in Sierra Leone, I have [both] read and heard messages from mostly religious and political perspectives. As a religious nation by practice, though not mandatory by constitution, many views have been wholly spiritual ignoring sensitive scientific viewpoints which are equally worth mentioning. We are allowing rational processes to be thwarted by religious standpoints thus interfering with empirical reality. To hear people continuously saying "we are cursed", that "the wrath of God is upon us as a nation" further endorses the flimsy excuses politicians will make during such incidents, forgetting their responsibilities. The question I normally ask

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Barriers to Education in South Sudan

Barriers to Education in South Sudan

Martin Woja Santino The issue of personal safety remains the largest barrier discouraging youth from attending school in South Sudan. If both the journey to school and the school environment itself are not safe, parents will not register their children to attend. As a result, early marriage is on the rise; as girls [not attending school] eventually marry at a young age. They are often married early to alleviate their families' financial burden, far before they are mentally or physically ready for marriage. The ongoing political and military conflict in South Sudan has left the future of youth education under trees after schools were destroyed by our civil war. It is common to see young people in military fatigues, guns slung over their shoulders. Those lucky to be students in South Sudan are often squeezed into overcrowded classrooms [or make do with learning under trees]. Without proper schools or jobs, drug abuse has also become a pastime, which only [fuels the cycle

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Triumphing Over Corruption - Shaming the Thieves

Triumphing Over Corruption - Shaming the Thieves

The issue of corruption has been a bane to Africa’s development. From the head to the tail, corruption continues to starve the continent of the resources needed to marathon her into development. Despite the clamoring, campaigns and statutes to prevent it, corruption still continues to be perpetuated as if it were as acceptable as the green light in our daily lives. It would take [no more than] few hours, after arriving in most African Countries, to feel the pinch of corruption.  At airports, you would meet Immigration officers as beggars with premeditated intention to trade state security for money. On the streets, you would see a traffic policeman whose sole aim is to extort as much money as he could possibly count, not seeing any danger in his breaking the law. GRAPHIC ONLINE - www.graphic.com.gh  In government institutions, you would come to find a morally weak civil servant whose primary concern is augmenting his pittance of a salary. In Market and business places; you

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Addressing Unemployment Challenges in Ghana

Addressing Unemployment Challenges in Ghana

One of the most pressing problems for Ghana is certainly unemployment. The World Bank (2016) reports that 48% of youths in Ghana are unemployed. The official government definition of this part of the population includes those of 18 to 35 years of age — about a quarter of the population.  The growing rate of urbanization without the creation of an adequate or proportional number of jobs, coupled with the relatively high growth rate of the population, has caused unemployment to be extremely high. Young people are worse off, with some estimates suggesting that only as little as two percent are able to find employment. The rest are left to engage in [small-scale] activities in the informal sector to make ends meet. The government has, however, undertaken a number of countermeasures, most notably the National Youth Employment Program spearheaded by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, in order to see to the alleviation of this pressing issue, yet to no avail! Addressing the Challenge

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The "Fancy Job" Search in Rwanda

The "Fancy Job" Search in Rwanda

www.newsofrwanda.com - 2012 Although Rwanda has relatively low youth unemployment rates compared to other countries in Africa, there is so much to be done for those without employment. Unemployment rates in the country were 4.7% in 2001 and increased to a record 13.2% in 2016. This increase in the unemployment rate directly corresponds to youth in Rwanda, since about 70% of the country’s population are youth (below 35 years of age). For young people who need to make their own future this is a crucial issue. Rwanda has established different policies to reduce youth unemployment. Youth talents are now being considered, free professional courses are provided, primary and secondary studies are free for public schools and entrepreneurial training is available. Despite all these efforts made by the government, youth unemployment continues to be a problem and worsens almost every day. We are forced to wonder if the policies we have introduced are not enough to prevent the increase

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Youth Champions for The Africa We Want

Youth Champions for The Africa We Want

‘The time is now for African Youth to champion Africa’s integration and unity for the Africa we want before 2063! Three weeks ago, I was engaged in a Pan African conversation with 15 young leaders between 22 -29 years old. Among the several issues examined was the Agenda 2063, especially in line with potential dividends for African youth. One of these youth posed a question as to whether we believe Agenda 2063 is realistic enough and how we thought youth could be engaged to ensure its effective implementation. Another puzzle was raised regarding alternative measures to ensure effective realization of the Agenda considering that it was largely conceived and drafted by the very African governments and leaders whose failures with previous ambitious development Agendas cannot be over emphasized. These preoccupations are just few of the many concerns that various African stakeholders have been expressing vis-à-vis Agenda2063.  PHOTO: LIVE NEWS ALGERIE How realistic is the Agen

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When a Crisis Brings Opportunity

When a Crisis Brings Opportunity

Aspiration No. 2, of the continental vision known as Agenda 2063, is for Africa in the next 50 years to become an “An Integrated Continent, Political Unity based on Pan-Africanism & African Renaissance.” This vision has been informed by the historical abuse Africa received under colonialism. Current events throughout Africa, specifically focusing on Zimbabwe’s currency problems, highlight the potential for Southern Africa to unite economically. Unfortunately though, it seems as if we might miss this chance, making Agenda 2063 - like most African policies - a pipe dream. AFP -Aaron Ufumeli The Zimbabwean Dollar’s ($ZD) fall from grace is well documented and well known. The currency had the highest inflation in recent world monetary history. This crisis highlighted an opportunity and more specifically the question of which currency Zimbabwe would use to stabilize its monetary problems. The Zimbabwean Finance Minister in 2009 proposed adopting the South African Rand as th

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Kenya's Stroke - Corruption

Kenya's Stroke - Corruption

Kenya Suffers The Corruption Stroke Kenya House of Assembly - Photo Credit ( buzzkenya.com ) A stroke occurs when the supply of blood to the brain is either interrupted or reduced. The brain does not get enough oxygen or nutrients which cause brain cells to die. In Africa and more especially in my country Kenya, corruption is the stroke that has destroyed my beautiful motherland. Just like a stroke attack, corruption extends from high ranking officials to low ranking officials in both public and private sectors. It is these officials who embezzle funds by employing ghost workers or paying a lot of money to non-existent projects, making sure all that diverted money finds its way into their pockets. This makes organizations collapse and [as a result] several people lose their jobs due to retrenchment or early retirement [in order for] the organization to be revived. With the loss of jobs, the gap between the rich and the poor widens and unemployment increases. Right now

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CORRUPTION: The Need To Strengthen Our Enforcement Agencies

CORRUPTION: The Need To Strengthen Our Enforcement Agencies

Corruption has been in existence since time immemorial. However, over the past fifty (50) years, especially after the attainment of Independence for many African countries, it has reached an alarming level! If care is not taken to put proper checks in place, Africa will continue to wallow in poverty. Most countries around the world experience some level of corruption, but in Africa, it can simply be described as outrageous. You have a Member of Parliament or a minister siphoning money and other resources, meant for the provision of portable drinking water, accommodation and food, to his foreign account without even thinking twice. When investigations are done and the culprit found guilty, then the long bureaucracy sets in.  You find many people, mainly in the ruling party, backing the culprit and playing all sorts of delay tactics with the case and its procedure. Many institutions have been put up to check cases of corruption as well as the legal instruments to make their wo

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Corruption in Malawi: The "Hot Chick" in Town!

Corruption in Malawi: The "Hot Chick" in Town!

Photo Credit: SABC News It is unfortunate that corruption has  become a serious problem among many countries in Africa. It's even worse that the corrupt practices are usually associated with the swindling of public resources by some state officials. What makes it unimaginable is that the resources being misused are the resources that are meant to benefit a greater community of those people who really need such resources for their daily survival. In Malawi, corruption has gone way too far! So much so that the future of economic development in Malawi is just too hazy. Considering that Malawi was rated  the poorest country  in Africa by World Bank rankings (2015), shows we have a huge problem that seriously needs to be addressed otherwise it will be hard to call Malawi a developing country - rather it is an non-developing country. Statistics from Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index show that Malawi is rated 31%. This tells a huge story about how, ou

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The Rotten Windfall

The Rotten Windfall

Photo Credit: Reuters 2015 The rotten windfall we all scorn but don’t want to throw away... We have all at some point moaned against corruption. According to a 2016 article by The Guardian, corruption robs Africa of US$50bn annually. I don’t know how much every single country contributes to this leaked bucket, but I’m certain my country has a substantial allotment pouring into it. Corruption has so many evils. Rightly, we ought to be past the stage of such discourses because the phenomenon is no longer alien. The question we should be attempting now is: why is fraud and embezzlement in public offices still towering debates on the continent at a time everyone claims to be corruption’s sworn enemy?   The most important perspective to the response lies in the question itself. It makes corruption appear as a phenomenon that is projected onto Africa by some alien forces bent to rid the continent of its citizens. Corruption has been othered in our discourses. When governments, Ci

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#IgniteConvo - Public Sector Corruption

#IgniteConvo - Public Sector Corruption

The highlights of our Tweet Chat with Mr. Gerald Witherspoon on "Public Sector Corruption in Africa". In case you missed our discussion on Twitter, here are the highlights of the conversation! [ View the story "#TweetChat - Public Sector Corruption - #IgniteConvo" on Storify ]

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