AfDB President Is African Of The Year

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By Anthony Njie

African Development Bank Group President, Donald Kaberuka, has been named 2013 African of the Year.

He was rewarded for his achievements in mobilising funds for infrastructure projects on the continent.

According to an African Press Organization press release, the 50,000-dollar award which is sponsored by Nigeria’s Daily Trust newspaper was announced Thursday, November 8, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia during the African Media Leaders Forum.

Commenting on the award, Tanzania’s erstwhile Foreign Minister and former Secretary-General of the then Organisation of African Unity, Salim Ahmed Salim, said it is a reward for “his bringing to fruition the idea of domestically financed development.”

The Africa50 Fund is a game-changer in the delivery of infrastructure, Slim Ahmed said, adding that Africa must take ownership of its development.

“We are proud to honour an idea whose time has come. Dr. Kaberuka has shown what Africa should do,” he said.

Through the platform of Africa50 Fund, the institution has been able to leverage for infrastructure financing for transformational development projects from African central bank reserves, pension and sovereign wealth funds; the African Diaspora; and high net worth individuals on the continent.

The Fund was endorsed in May 2013 by African Finance Ministers during the Bank’s Annual Meetings in Marrakech, where Kaberuka underscored the critical role of infrastructure in Africa’s development. Image

“The one thing which can really slow down the recent performance in its tracks is infrastructure,” he said. “No country in the world has been able to maintain seven percent GDP growth and above (sustainably) unless the infrastructure bottleneck is overcome.”

The African Development Bank will play a lead role in the Fund, Kaberuka continued: “It will be a vehicle which can build on the AfDB track record and financial strength as investor, financial engineer, attract local and international pools of savings, utilise smart aid and leverage that to up our funding of infrastructure. It will be a strongly rated instrument able to issue a bond of significance – a bond attractive to investors.”

The African institutions including the African Union Commission, UN Economic Commission for Africa, Regional Economic Communities, REC, Regional Development Finance Institutions, DFI, and NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency have also lauded the development efforts of this institution.

Rwandan economist, Kaberuka, leads an institution whose financial standing has been restored from the near collapse of 1995, but whose operational credibility remains a work in progress.

Elected president of the AfDB in July 2005, his institution has made giant strides in infrastructural development which earned him this award.

Kaberuka will be presented his award in a ceremony slated for January 15 in Abuja.

2012’s winner was South Africa’s former President, Thabo Mbeki.

The Forum

This award is presented within the framework of the African Media Initiative’s three-day 6th African Media Leaders’ Forum which started on November 6 this year in Addis Ababa – under the theme: “The African Media in the Last 50 years and the Future.”

The Forum was geared at igniting a public debate and a heads-of-states round-table discussion to provide media leaders with a unique opportunity to engage participating heads of state in a stimulating discussion on pertinent issues around the media and on African governments’ role in expanding the media

The African Media Leaders Forum is the only forum which brings together private and independent media owners and operators from around the continent.

Participants discuss opportunities, evaluate and recommend means to strengthen the role of the African media and the future of the industry.

 

 

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Southwest Traditional Wrestling Shifts Into High Gear

By Anthony Njie

Southwest Indigenous Traditional Wrestling Competition, fondly dubbed “pala pala”, is now in full swing four weeks after it officially kicked off.

During the past weeks, traditional wrestlers from various villages in Buea have converged at the host field in Bakweri Town at 4 pm on Sundays to contest.

Children, men and women, including foreigners, all throng to the pala-pala field to watch the wrestlers. Those competing in the ring are as diverse in their profile as the thrilled crowd. Other than strength, pala pala requires skills to throw an opponent to the ground.

Seven villages are actively taking part in the game’s zone battles under the watchful eyes of Fako Indigenous Traditional Wrestling Association, FITWA, a regional body operating under FECALUTTE that recently got a new executive headed by Prince Adolf Bibi Molua.

The Regional Second-Vice President of FITWA, Hans Kulu Lykoko, has a positive appraisal of the event so far, thanks to the support of various chiefs, the organising committee and the community.

He hopes things will continue in this light.

Kulu, however, says they still have a few challenges in organising the event.

“We lack first aid services for some wrestlers who suffer from bruises and injuries. We ought to have helped some injured children, unfortunately we could not,” he noted.

“But some benevolent bodies have promised to soon see into that problem,” he enthused.

“There is also the case of some wrestlers who at times are not satisfied with the referee’s decision in a fight, then threaten to interrupt the jury, but such fellows are sanctioned by being deducted some points,” Kulu said.

“Pala pala” fight traces its roots to ancient Bakweri clans where indigenes competed to prove their supremacy and defend the honour of their respective villages. Nowadays little has changed; fighters are very much driven by the honour and legacy this event carries than any other external factors.

“I feel very happy to take part in the competition simply because it is the best way to portray my identity to the world, while entertaining them,” says Eric Muambo, a senior wrestler.

“I think each fighting group is here to defend the reputation of its village.  I also learnt that a cash prize has been set aside for the group that will emerge

wrestlers in a Tango

wrestlers in a Tango

victorious; it is a token to motivate all of us to give in the best,” another wrestler said.

FITWA Zone A President, Fred Njie, says athletes will be selected based on their performances, mainly in the senior, junior and female categories.

They will then receive training on free style wrestling in a bid to prepare them for national and international competitions.

After the fourth week of fight, fixtures show Bokwai Village topping the list with 22 points, followed by Bonakanda and Great Soppo, with 18 and 17 points, respectively.

Bova, Bokwango and Bwassa villages are neck-to-neck with 11 points each, and Buea Town is last with 4 points.

The competition continues in Bokwai, which will be the host venue for the next four weeks.

“It is a routine that we move to another venue after wrestling for a month,” Kulu said.

Cameroon rekindles hope for 2014 World Cup qualifications.

 

By Anthony Njie

Image

Cameroon supporters ready to cheer up their team

 Cameroon Indomitable Lions have rekindled the hope to qualify for the 2014 World Cup competition in Brazil after defeating the Hawks of Togo 2-1 last Saturday, March 23th 2013 at the Yaoundé Ahmadou Ahidjo football stadium.

Cameroon Lions were in dyer need of securing victory in this home encounter in a bid to maintain a favourite position in their pool. So the squad took to the field with a somewhat low morale in the first 45 minutes,  to the benefit of its adversary.

Cameroon’s coach, Jean Paul Akono relied more on an offensive play strategy to mount pressure on the adversary team and create goal opportunities, but the Hawks of Togo played along, building a double defence wall that stretched to the middle field. Togolese squad waited more often on counter-attacks moves to outsmart the Lions. A golden opportunity to make a difference came at the 31th minute when Togolese player donning jersey number 18 missed a dual against keeper Carlos Kameni.

The Lions hit hard on the Togolese defence line looking for foul play. The tactic finally paid off as referee Jamel  Abudi blew a penalty against Togolese defender, Vincent Bodou for pushing Jean 2 Makoun within the 50 metres ring. Lion’s captain Samuel Eto’o transformed the opportunity into a goal at the 41st minute of play.

The Hawks would equalise few seconds to the first half.

The cheers and pump died down a little as the crowd waited with baited breath on a redemption goal from the pack of lions. A couple of changes were done here and there to revive various teams but to no avail.  It was an eminent standstill. Anxiety had reached fever-pitch level, prompting spectators to stand on their feet while they desperately await a miraculous goal. Then a turning point came with a brilliant feint to the right followed by a banana shot: “goal!!”  Eto’o Fils had given Cameroon the breakthrough it needed. The match ended with Cameroon snatching a 2-1 victory from the hawks of Togo.

This victory will improve the team’s morale enormously and provide ample time for Coach Akono to remodel some weak points still undermining their performance while the squad braces up for next encounters with Togo, Libya and Cote D’Ivoire abroad.    

 

 

Cameroon Military Defence Forces honour meritorious officials

Some top officials of the military def

cross section of officials getting set for the epaulettes decoration

ence forces received epaulettes raising them to new ranks within their profession.

The ceremony took place last Sunday 2nd July 2012, at the Buea independent square and was presided over by the governour of the South West region, Bernard Okhalai Bilai,

In all, 12 officials have been promoted to serve new positions, within the military corps.6 commissioners were decorated with public forces medals. From the nationals gendarmerie 4 officials have been lifted to the post of lieutenant colonels in the military. Captain Epie Lazarus has moved to the rank of major, while in the military lieutenant Tatah Mbag has now assumed the post of captain.

Speaking at the Mbongo square, one of the recipients, Colonel Afunchi Emmanuel expressed his joy and satisfaction regarding the epaulette as a reward for hard work and endurance in his career. Lieutenant Tatah Mbog on his part appreciated the initiative adding that it would stir up some officials who are sleeping on their laurels to ardently serve this nation.

The event ended up at 1pm with a military parade and the handing over of bouquets of flower from close relatives and friends.

A group of unidentified armed robbers carried out an operation last Thursday June 12th, 2011 at about the hours of 9 pm in Biaka Street assaulting one Joseph Tasofore after his hard day at the office.
Joseph T. was back from his job site at the Family Federation Office in Molyko.They had had a brief meeting with the staff and he was about to go on trip to Bertoua.He narrates that as he stepped out of the car a gang of youngsters approached him. “They assaulted me with a gun, treathening to shoot if I dare shout.I said to myself I will not die in silence, so I shouted  at the peak of my voice. My wife and kid heard me so they carried on,”he painfully recalls the incident.The victim said, that gesture angered the thieves who began slashing his skin at random.”They fell on me, the first cut was on my hand, the second on my head and the third one on my face,”he explained while showing the spots.
The wife of the victim, Catherine Tasefore confessed hearing the dog seriously barking a few minutes prior to the assault but reluctantly thaught it was due to passers-by. Catherine said her attention was drawn by her daughter who told her:” Mumy some boys are bitting papa outside” She immediately rushed to the balcony and began shouting for help. Though these armed robbers treathened to shoot if she did not keep quiet, she said “I continued so they fired the gun fortunately it did not get at me”
Joseph T. said the armed robbers must have probably learnt that his son was back from the States that is why they came hoping to meet him at home. But he was here just for research with the Panafricaan institute and left a day ago to process his travelling documents in Yaounde. The thieves were said to have fled as soon the police was alerted. Joseph was rushed to the Mount Mary Hospital where he is gradually responding to medical treatment.

Veteran journalist and Executive Editor at the Post, Francis Wache in the early hours of Friday 13th 2011 was attacked by 6 hooded men in his compound.Francis was home after chairing a meeting for the next publication the Summit Magazine. While he was urinating outside, he said he saw a couple of youngsters brandishing cutlasses, sticks and guns moved towards him. They ordered him to keep quiete menacing of death if he dare open his mouth.They asked him to bring out the ssum of 2 millions FCFA he was keeping in his house but he boldly told them if he had such amount of money he would rather keep it in the bank than at home. This reply irritated the assaulters who immediately started slahing his hand with a matchet while insisting to get the 2 millions FCFA. Francis was forced to open the door of his house as he tried to lure them to a different room other than his own. But they were too smart to notice that thheir victim was out playing games with them so they bit him even more.” Itwas my daughter who managedto set off an alarm that was replicated by some neighbours which force these youngsters to flee. While leaving they admitted having being sent by someone and promised to come back any time soon,”he recalled.
Francis was taken to the Regional Hospital where he is responding to treatment. He said though he is yet to forward a formal complaint to the police about the natuure of the assault, a commissioner however paid him a visit in the morning during which he was drilled. Francis says his daughter and son were also hurt as they tried to call the police during that incident. Many believe the assaults have been committed by the same culprits, police investigations would throw more light  into the issue  soon

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