Daily Archives: February 27, 2018

Code for Africa and Radiant.Earth Aim to Grow Data Journalism in Africa

WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Code for Africa, the continent’s largest federation of civic technology and data journalism labs, and Radiant.Earth, a non-profit advocating for open geospatial data for positive global impact, announced their partnership to harness open Earth imagery and tools for improved decision-making, as well as better insight and transparency. Their combined efforts will focus on research for new and innovative applications of Earth observation data to support investigative journalism and storytelling, as well as capacity development.

Both organizations aim to transform the way data are consumed by civil society to empower informed decision-making, efficient service delivery, and location-based analytics to solve social, economic, and environmental challenges. However, while Radiant.Earth has a global focus, Code for Africa directs its attention to affiliate labs in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Code for Africa’s integrated approach to civic technology development in Africa is breaking new ground every day. Their method is to empower ordinary citizens by creating technological capacity within civil society and the media, to enable them to produce extensive knowledge that will help them shape governments and improve their services to citizens.

“Media organizations are constantly evolving, worldwide. Journalists, as well as citizens, now have access to an immense volume of data. It is essential to build their capacities and equip them with the knowledge and tools to research, refine, visualize and interpret the data,” says Jacopo Ottaviani, CCO of Code for Africa. “We are thrilled about our new partnership with Radiant.Earth, because we believe that geospatial data and open Earth imagery can be turned into a crucial tool for storytelling. Radiant.Earth’s team of experts can lead us to new, groundbreaking discoveries in Africa and beyond.”

Radiant.Earth is well-positioned to support Code for Africa’s efforts, as the two organizations share a desire for transparency to enact change. Radiant.Earth offers an open technology platform that facilitates innovation and solutions by combining the best in discovery and dissemination with the latest trends in image processing and analysis. Radiant.Earth strives to identify and connect new users interested in serving citizens facing socio-economic and environmental challenges using geospatial technology.

“We are looking forward to working with Code for Africa,” says Anne Hale Miglarese, Founder and CEO of Radiant.Earth. “They are changing the way information is disseminated and consumed in Africa, leading the charge for transformative impact locally. Together, we can strengthen our capabilities and cultivate a community of practitioners dedicated to transparency and accountability on the ground.”

The sharing of tools and ideas will augment each organization’s mission through capitalizing on the unique resources and knowledge-base that they bring to this partnership. The identified thematic areas for cooperation include humanitarian disaster management, conflict monitoring, urbanization and population growth, health, climate change, sustainability, land rights, agriculture, conservation, and the environment.

About Radiant.Earth

Radiant.Earth is a non-profit organization committed to aggregating the world’s open Earth imagery and providing access and education on its use to the global development community.

About Code for Africa

Code for Africa is Africa’s largest data journalism and civic technology initiative, operating citizen labs across the continent to help fast-track digital experimentation and transformation in other social justice organizations and newsrooms.

Media Contact

Louisa Nakanuku-Diggs
Marketing and Communications Manager

Precision Aviation Group (PAG) and UTC Aerospace Systems sign MRO & distribution deal for AS350 Main & Tail Rotor Servos

ATLANTA, Feb. 27, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Precision Aviation Group, Inc. (PAG), a leading provider of products and value-added services to the worldwide aerospace and defense industry, is pleased to announce the recent signing of an MRO & distribution agreement with UTC Aerospace Systems (UTAS) for main & tail rotor servos for the Airbus AS350. The agreement covers worldwide distribution of line-replaceable units (LRU’s) in new and overhauled condition, authorization to repair servos at multiple PAG facilities and market the Fleet Improvement Program (FIP).

“PAG’s global network and substantial investment in the UTAS main & tail rotor servos will make it easier for Airbus AS350 operators to access spares in real time, ultimately minimizing aircraft downtime,” said Ketan Desai, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for PAG. “This agreement builds on PAG’s strategic roadmap of increasing its range of support for OEM’s. We are confident that this expanded relationship with UTAS will bring added value to our customers,” adds Desai.

UTC Aerospace Systems offers a wide range of helicopter actuators for small, medium and large applications or the civil, commercial and military markets. Both the Main and Tail Rotor Actuators incorporate the latest features including the latest developments in servo-valves, solenoid valves, spool valves and detection devices including anti-jamming on the spool valve.

“UTC Aerospace Systems is pleased to welcome PAG as a strategic partner to the distribution and Level 1/2 repairs of our Servo Actuators for the Airbus AS350.  PAG offers the market real-time support and the ability to provide operators with high performance UTAS servos that are available via the Fleet Improvement Program (FIP),” said UTC Aerospace Systems Head of Sales and Business Development, Robert Bennett.

Precision Aviation Group, Inc. Logo

About Precision Aviation Group:
Precision Aviation Group (PAG) is a leading provider of products and value-added services to the worldwide aerospace and defense industry. With nine locations and more than 260,000-square-feet of sales and service facilities in the United States, Canada, Australia, Brazil, and Singapore, PAG uses its distinct business units and customer-focused business model to serve aviation customers through two business functions – Aviation Supply Chain, and its trademarked Inventory Supported Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (ISMRO®) services.
PAG provides MRO and Supply Chain Solutions for Fixed- and Rotary-wing aircraft through: Precision Heliparts – PHP (www.heliparts.com); Precision Aircraft Services – PAS (www.pas-pag.com); Precision Accessories & Instruments – PAI (www.precisionaccessories.com); Precision Heliparts Canada – PHP-C (www.heliparts.ca); Precision Accessories & Instruments Canada – PAI-C (www.precisionaccessories.ca); PHP-Instruments & Accessories – PHP-LA (www.heliparts.la); Precision Heliparts – Latin America (www.precisionaviationgroup.com/php-br); Precision Aero Technology – PAT (www.precisionaerotechnology.com); Precision Heliparts – Australia – PHP-AU (www.precisionheliparts.com.au); Precision Accessories & Instruments – Australia (PAI-AU) (www.precisionaccessories.com.au); Precision Heliparts Singapore (PHP-S); and Precision Aviation Controls, Inc. – PAC (www.precisionaviationcontrols.com). PAG subsidiaries have MRO capabilities on over 35,000 products, including accessories, avionics, engine components, hydraulics, instruments, NDT, starter/generators, and wheels/brakes (www.precisionaviationgroup.com).

Logo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/338527/precision_aviation_group_inc_logo.jpg

Dr. Guislain Museum and Janssen Now Accepting Global Nominations for 2018 “Breaking the Chains of Stigma” Award

– Recognizing Advocates Making a Difference to Destigmatize Mental Illness –

GHENT, Belgium, Feb. 27, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — The Dr. Guislain Museum in Ghent, Belgium and Janssen Research & Development, LLC (“Janssen”), today announced that they are seeking global nominations for the seventh annual Dr. Guislain “Breaking the Chains of Stigma” Award. The Award honors an individual, project or organization that has made a remarkable contribution to reduce stigma associated with mental illness. Nominations can be submitted at www.drguislainaward.org until 15 April, 2018. A $50,000 prize will be awarded to the Award recipient to further support efforts that reduce societal stigma associated with mental illness.


“While mental health stigma continues to be an issue throughout our global society, it is important to recognize the mental health advocates who are making significant strides to destigmatize negative perceptions of mental illness,” said Brother Dr. René Stockman, general director of the Dr. Guislain Museum. “We are proud to honor Dr. Guislain’s legacy and contributions to the mental health community, including his desire for inclusiveness for all, with the annual ‘Breaking the Chains of Stigma’ Award.”

An independent selection committee, comprised of international advocates and renowned authorities in the field of mental health, selects the Award winner. The Dr. Guislain “Breaking the Chains of Stigma” Award winner will be honored at a ceremony on World Mental Health Day, 10 October, 2018, in New York City.

Sotheara Chhim, M.D., M.P.M., Ph.D., was selected as the 2017 Dr. Guislain “Breaking the Chains of Stigma” Award recipient for his extraordinary efforts developing mental health services in Cambodia through scientific therapeutic approaches and launching the Operation Unchain initiative, a program designed to break the stigma of mental illness. Dr. Chhim is the executive director and senior consultant psychiatrist of the Transcultural Psychosocial Organization (TPO) Cambodia, the country’s leading Non-Government Organization in the field of mental health care and psychosocial support. Under his leadership, TPO Cambodia has developed and implemented programs to raise awareness about psychosocial and mental health conditions in many parts of Cambodia. Dr. Chhim and TPO have also provided mental health counselling, treatment, and specialized services for prisoners, gender-based violence survivors and torture survivors. To date, more than 220,000 patients and families have benefitted from his and his team’s work.

“At Janssen, we are deeply committed to helping break down the stigma associated with mental illness,” said Husseini K. Manji, M.D., Global Therapeutic Area Head, Neuroscience, Janssen. “This award acknowledges and celebrates advocates around the world whose work is making a real difference for people living with mental illness, their families and communities. Together with these heroes, we will continue to make changes so that everyone is treated equally and can live life without stigma.”

Janssen has an ongoing commitment to advancing neuroscience research, a legacy which dates back to the work of Dr. Paul Janssen (1926-2003). “Dr. Paul” is known as one of the 20th century’s most gifted and passionate physicians and pharmaceutical researchers. To honor his legacy, Janssen supports the mental health community and various advocacy organizations and projects. In 2011, the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson launched Healthy Minds, a comprehensive initiative that aims to encourage collaboration among biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and public-sector partners to accelerate the discovery of new therapeutic solutions for diseases and disorders of the brain.

About the Dr. Guislain “Breaking the Chains of Stigma” Award
Individuals, organizations or projects from around the world that have made an exceptional contribution in dealing with, or promoting the awareness of, mental health care are eligible* to receive the Dr. Guislain “Breaking the Chains of Stigma” Award. The Award is given to an individual(s), organization or project that:

  • has made an exceptional contribution to mental health care in the broadest sense on a cultural and/or social level;
  • has provided a genuine contribution to decreasing stigma around mental health conditions;
  • has promoted attention for mental health care;
  • and, has done all this with passion, creativity and innovation.

The Dr. Guislain “Breaking the Chains of Stigma” Award honors Dr. Joseph Guislain (1797-1860), a driven activist for patients with mental illness and the first Belgian psychiatrist to provide scientifically based treatment for these individuals. As a passionate advocate for those with mental illness, Dr. Guislain worked tirelessly to stand up for the rights of patients and to help improve their social position. The Dr. Guislain Museum and Janssen jointly sponsor the Award, with funding provided by Janssen. Both organizations have a rich heritage and long-standing involvement in the field of mental illness research, treatment and education.

About The Dr. Guislain Museum
The Dr. Guislain Museum was founded in 1986 in Ghent, Belgium, with both permanent exhibitions addressing the history of psychiatry and outsider art, and a series of changing thematic exhibitions. The Museum features an array of psychiatric photographs, two centuries of comprehensive archives and an extensive library chronicling the history of psychiatry. Comprehensively, the Museum seeks to educate the public and rectify the misunderstandings and prejudice associated with treatment for mental illness. The Dr. Guislain Museum attracts 72,000 visitors each year.

*Employees and officers of Johnson & Johnson, Janssen Research & Development, LLC, and their respective affiliates, subsidiaries, The Dr. Guislain Museum, any promotional agencies and members of the immediate family or household of each, are not eligible to participate in the Dr. Guislain Award as nominators, Award candidates or judges. Immediate family member is defined as a parent, sibling or any person residing in the same household as employee.

Patrick Allegaert
Dr. Guislain Museum
+32 9 216 35 95

Yoon Hee Lamot
Dr. Guislain Museum
+32 9 216 35 36

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/645579/Dr_Guislain_Award.jpg

MEC Alan Winde on national cabinet reshuffle

Five points for members of the new cabinet to get our economy back on track

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s new cabinet will have their work cut out for them as they set about making the president’s commitment to the National Development Plan in South Africa a reality.


Minister Nhlanhla Nene is no stranger to the demanding job requirements of the National Treasury, but he inherits a low-growth economy that is unable to keep pace with the job creation requirements of the country.

MEC of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde, said We congratulate minister Nene on his return to the Treasury. Minister Nene is seen to be credible by the markets and we hope that he will be able to guide the country out of the economic doldrums it currently finds itself in.

South Africa has seen business confidence slip to all-time lows in recent months. Minister Nhlanhla Nene must focus on securing as much foreign direct investment into the South African economy as possible to ensure growth and create jobs. To do this, he will need to build business confidence with a message of policy certainty, cutting red tape and increasing the ease of doing business in the country.

Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris, said A key focus of Minister Nene must be to help attract high levels of foreign direct investment into South Africa. If this happens, we will grow our tax revenue, employ more people, and facilitate economic growth. But this will require cutting the red tape that stands in the way of business, and shifting the international narrative about our economy, including tackling head-on concerns over policy uncertainty, corruption, and the various constraints identified by the ratings agencies.


We welcome Minister Derek Hanekom back to the tourism portfolio. As President Ramaphosa said in his SONA speech, tourism employs 700 000 people in this country. By focusing on growing this sector, Minister Hanekom and his department have the opportunity to seed the emergence of entrepreneurs across the hospitality value chain. We’d like to see the Minister working closely with Home Affairs to enable visitors to gain easy access to our destination, with technology playing a key role, said Winde.

Home Affairs:

Minister Malusi Gigaba’s visa debacle during his last turn at Home Affairs created serious problems for the country’s tourism industry. For this reason he became known as the ‘tourism terminator’. Minister Gigaba has been tasked with assisting President Ramaphosa to achieve the vision he detailed in his SONA address, of doubling the size of the tourism industry and creating more jobs across all sectors. This can only be done by ensuring that the red tape around the issuing of visas to tourists, and work permits to foreign investors, is urgently addressed, Minister Winde said.

Water Affairs and Sanitation:

We hope that in this department, Minister Gugile Nkwinti is the new broom who sweeps clean. The Department of Water and Sanitation plays a key role in agriculture which is a vital sector of the Western Cape economy. We call on him to focus on the Clanwilliam Dam and Brandvlei Dam canal extension infrastructure projects. Long delays are impacting farmers, agriworkers and the economy, and will continue to impact water security and land reform projects in these areas.

We also call on the minister to pay attention to the maintenance of existing water infrastructure, particularly the current canal systems which transfer water to farms from our major dams. The ageing Clanwilliam Dam canals have suffered major leakages in the past few years, resulting in the Western Cape Government stepping in to fix them despite it not being our mandate. By ensuring that water is able to reach farms, Minister Nkwinti’s department will be protecting jobs on established farms, and creating an environment conducive to new farming operations.

Rural Development and Land Reform

Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane will have her work cut out for her as she sets about implementing the land reform policies in her portfolio. Land reform is key to transforming the agricultural sector. The first step for the new minister will be to urgently formalise the hand over of land to beneficiaries who’ve been waiting years for certainty in this regard, and to unlock and release further parcels of land that are already available. Government should be looking at its own property portfolio first, to see what kind of opportunities it is sitting on.

Source: Government of South Africa

Gauteng Health signs Service Level Agreement with Nelson Mandela Children Hospital, 28 Feb

The members of the media are invited to witness the signing of the Service Level Agreement between the Gauteng Department of Health and Nelson Mandela Children Hospital.

The Service Level Agreement is a corporate governance management agreement that has been designed to enhance the governance of the Hospital through an effective relationship between the parties.

Amongst others, the agreement intends to define the terms and conditions governing the funding by the Department to the Hospital in respect of corporate governance issues as outlined in the PFMA, as well as the roles and responsibilities of each Party.

On the day, MEC Dr Gwen Ramokgopa will also open the facility’s Paediatric ICU complex, the biggest in South Africa.

Source: Government of South Africa