Daily Archives: May 12, 2018

President Cyril Ramaphosa: University of Mpumalanga graduation ceremony

Welcome address by the Chancellor, President Cyril Ramaphosa, at the graduation ceremony of the University of Mpumalanga

Premier of Mpumalanga, Ms Refilwe Mtshweni,

Minister for Human Settlements, Ms NomaIndia Mfeketo,

Chairperson of Council, Prof MD Mabunda,

Vice-Chancellor, Prof Thoko Mayekiso,

Council Members,

Guest Speaker, Dr MA Mdhluli,

Members of the Provincial Executive Council,

Honoured guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to this graduation ceremony of the University of Mpumalanga.

This occasion attests to our shared determination that all South Africans should have access to the best education.

It attests to our shared commitment to ensure that every young South African � regardless of where they come from or the circumstances in which they live � should be able to realise their full potential.

This university was established to correct a grave imbalance � to make a university education accessible, affordable and relevant to the people of this province and our country.

This university is founded on the conviction that education is the most effective instrument to improve the lives of our people and develop our communities.

Education remains the most effective tool to bridge the chasm of inequality that runs through our society.

It is through education that we can realise the goal of a non-racial, non-sexist and democratic society.

It is through education that we can give full expression to the rights enshrined in our Constitution.

Our society still bears the scars of its divided past.

In education, we are still grappling with the legacy of a deeply unequal and racially divided system.

From the beginning of the 20th century, the struggle of our people for equal and quality education was indistinguishable from the struggle for freedom.

When other terrains of struggle were shut down, schools and universities became centres of resistance and defiance.

It is one of our major tasks as a democratic South Africa to build schools and universities that become centres of excellence and enlightenment.

We must build institutions that equip students with the skills and capabilities to thrive in a modern economy and the consciousness to contribute to a better society.

We must build institutions that enable graduates to compete in a global arena and to face a rapidly-changing future with confidence.

Our university and colleges must respond to the conditions under which people live.

They must respond to the reality that millions of our people still live in poverty.

Levels of inequality remain among the highest in the world.

Economic activity is increasingly concentrated in large urban centres and rural areas are becoming poorer and less developed.

For the people to share in the country’s wealth, we need faster growth.

This means we need to produce more.

Specifically, the productive sectors of the economy � like agriculture and manufacturing � need to account for a greater share of economic output and employment.

We need to add more value to the minerals we extract and the agriculture products we grow.

We need to reduce the cost of production and improve efficiency.

We need to transform our economy, not only to correct the inequalities that still define our society, but to make our economy more competitive, more dynamic and more responsive to our people’s needs.

To make progress in all these areas, we need skills of the sort that are being developed here at the University of Mpumalanga.

We need young people of the sort that are graduting here today.

To all of you, we say ‘congratulations’.

You have already walked a long and often challenging road.

Many of you have had to confront not only the demands of academic study, but also the burden of poverty and inequality.

You have had to contend with the inequities of the past as you have struggled with the challenges of the present.

Now, you will enter a new world of opportunity and hope.

You will use your qualifications to expand your possibilities, to earn a living, to build a career.

You will work hard to improve your life and the lives of those around you.

You will be part of a new generation of skilled young South Africans building a new inclusive economy.

As you enter this new world, you must know that your families, your communities and your country have invested much in you.

They have invested in you their faith, their hope and their expectations.

They look to you to be the builders of our new democratic nation.

They look to you to reconstruct our country from the ruins of the past.

Together, we are working to build a society that is fundamentally different from the one that has come before.

But the difference we hope to achieve is not only material.

We are seeking to build a new ethic, a new morality.

We are seeking to build a society that is founded on integrity, honesty, compassion and solidarity.

We want to build a South Africa that values social justice more than the accumulation of wealth.

We want to build a South Africa that values the humanity of each person more than their nationality, race, gender, language or ethnicity.

We want a South Africa that values the essential dignity of each person and pays no heed to the office they occupy, their class or their status.

We want a society in which every person is a VIP and where only the poor and the vulnerable get preferential treatment.

Such a society begins with you.

As the graduates of this university, you are the vanguard of a new generation of South Africans.

It is up to you to build a society that is truly non-racial, in which all South Africans have a place and to which all our people belong.

It is up to you to build a non-sexist society, where women and men enjoy the same opportunities, where no woman lives in fear or feels constrained by social norms and practices.

It is up to you to build a society that is as united as it is diverse.

It is a society in which conflict is resolved through dialogue, where dissent is tolerated and where all are free to express their views, practice their religion and speak their language.

We look to you, the vanguard of this new generation, to forge a more cohesive society, where children are protected, the elderly are treasured and where neighbours look after each other.

We look to you to build a society where public officials do not line their own pockets, but serve the people honestly and selflessly.

We look to you to build a society in which business owners understand their responsibility to their employees, communities and broader society.

They understand that they are an integral part of society and will prosper only if all in society prosper.

Knowledge is a great asset.

We urge you to use the knowledge that you have gained here wisely and generously.

Use it to improve the condition of your fellow man and woman.

Use it to build a future for your children and for the planet that they will inherit.

As graduates, your words and deeds do not go unnoticed.

Many aspire to achieve what you have achieved.

You are a light in your community.

Do not hide that light and do not allow it to be extinguished.

Instead, use that light � the light that comes with learning � to illuminate the path to a better future for all our people.

I thank you.

Source: Government of South Africa

President Cyril Ramaphosa: University of Mpumalanga graduation ceremony

Welcome address by the Chancellor, President Cyril Ramaphosa, at the graduation ceremony of the University of Mpumalanga

Premier of Mpumalanga, Ms Refilwe Mtshweni,

Minister for Human Settlements, Ms NomaIndia Mfeketo,

Chairperson of Council, Prof MD Mabunda,

Vice-Chancellor, Prof Thoko Mayekiso,

Council Members,

Guest Speaker, Dr MA Mdhluli,

Members of the Provincial Executive Council,

Honoured guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to this graduation ceremony of the University of Mpumalanga.

This occasion attests to our shared determination that all South Africans should have access to the best education.

It attests to our shared commitment to ensure that every young South African � regardless of where they come from or the circumstances in which they live � should be able to realise their full potential.

This university was established to correct a grave imbalance � to make a university education accessible, affordable and relevant to the people of this province and our country.

This university is founded on the conviction that education is the most effective instrument to improve the lives of our people and develop our communities.

Education remains the most effective tool to bridge the chasm of inequality that runs through our society.

It is through education that we can realise the goal of a non-racial, non-sexist and democratic society.

It is through education that we can give full expression to the rights enshrined in our Constitution.

Our society still bears the scars of its divided past.

In education, we are still grappling with the legacy of a deeply unequal and racially divided system.

From the beginning of the 20th century, the struggle of our people for equal and quality education was indistinguishable from the struggle for freedom.

When other terrains of struggle were shut down, schools and universities became centres of resistance and defiance.

It is one of our major tasks as a democratic South Africa to build schools and universities that become centres of excellence and enlightenment.

We must build institutions that equip students with the skills and capabilities to thrive in a modern economy and the consciousness to contribute to a better society.

We must build institutions that enable graduates to compete in a global arena and to face a rapidly-changing future with confidence.

Our university and colleges must respond to the conditions under which people live.

They must respond to the reality that millions of our people still live in poverty.

Levels of inequality remain among the highest in the world.

Economic activity is increasingly concentrated in large urban centres and rural areas are becoming poorer and less developed.

For the people to share in the country’s wealth, we need faster growth.

This means we need to produce more.

Specifically, the productive sectors of the economy � like agriculture and manufacturing � need to account for a greater share of economic output and employment.

We need to add more value to the minerals we extract and the agriculture products we grow.

We need to reduce the cost of production and improve efficiency.

We need to transform our economy, not only to correct the inequalities that still define our society, but to make our economy more competitive, more dynamic and more responsive to our people’s needs.

To make progress in all these areas, we need skills of the sort that are being developed here at the University of Mpumalanga.

We need young people of the sort that are graduting here today.

To all of you, we say ‘congratulations’.

You have already walked a long and often challenging road.

Many of you have had to confront not only the demands of academic study, but also the burden of poverty and inequality.

You have had to contend with the inequities of the past as you have struggled with the challenges of the present.

Now, you will enter a new world of opportunity and hope.

You will use your qualifications to expand your possibilities, to earn a living, to build a career.

You will work hard to improve your life and the lives of those around you.

You will be part of a new generation of skilled young South Africans building a new inclusive economy.

As you enter this new world, you must know that your families, your communities and your country have invested much in you.

They have invested in you their faith, their hope and their expectations.

They look to you to be the builders of our new democratic nation.

They look to you to reconstruct our country from the ruins of the past.

Together, we are working to build a society that is fundamentally different from the one that has come before.

But the difference we hope to achieve is not only material.

We are seeking to build a new ethic, a new morality.

We are seeking to build a society that is founded on integrity, honesty, compassion and solidarity.

We want to build a South Africa that values social justice more than the accumulation of wealth.

We want to build a South Africa that values the humanity of each person more than their nationality, race, gender, language or ethnicity.

We want a South Africa that values the essential dignity of each person and pays no heed to the office they occupy, their class or their status.

We want a society in which every person is a VIP and where only the poor and the vulnerable get preferential treatment.

Such a society begins with you.

As the graduates of this university, you are the vanguard of a new generation of South Africans.

It is up to you to build a society that is truly non-racial, in which all South Africans have a place and to which all our people belong.

It is up to you to build a non-sexist society, where women and men enjoy the same opportunities, where no woman lives in fear or feels constrained by social norms and practices.

It is up to you to build a society that is as united as it is diverse.

It is a society in which conflict is resolved through dialogue, where dissent is tolerated and where all are free to express their views, practice their religion and speak their language.

We look to you, the vanguard of this new generation, to forge a more cohesive society, where children are protected, the elderly are treasured and where neighbours look after each other.

We look to you to build a society where public officials do not line their own pockets, but serve the people honestly and selflessly.

We look to you to build a society in which business owners understand their responsibility to their employees, communities and broader society.

They understand that they are an integral part of society and will prosper only if all in society prosper.

Knowledge is a great asset.

We urge you to use the knowledge that you have gained here wisely and generously.

Use it to improve the condition of your fellow man and woman.

Use it to build a future for your children and for the planet that they will inherit.

As graduates, your words and deeds do not go unnoticed.

Many aspire to achieve what you have achieved.

You are a light in your community.

Do not hide that light and do not allow it to be extinguished.

Instead, use that light � the light that comes with learning � to illuminate the path to a better future for all our people.

I thank you.

Source: Government of South Africa

COMMUNIQUE? OF THE FIFTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEETING OF THE IGAD DROUGHT DISASTER RESILIENCE AND SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVE (IDDRSI)

ENTEBBE, UGANDA-The partners of IDDRSI, including Member States, IGAD Secretariat, Development Partners, UN agencies, Civil Society Organisations and members of the private sector actors, committed to ending drought emergencies in the Horn of Africa, held the 5th IDDRSI Platform General Assembly meeting on 11th May 2018 at the Laico Lake Victoria Hotel, Entebbe, Uganda.

The meeting was opened and chaired by Hon. Musa Ecweru, Minister of State for Relief and Disaster Preparedness, of the Republic of Uganda.

Also in attendance were H.E. Gabriel Negatu, Director General of the African Development Bank; H.E. Myra Benardi, Head of the Agriculture Section of the European Union; Amb (Eng.) Mahboub M. Maalim, Executive Secretary of IGAD; and representatives of Germany, Switzerland, European Union, UN Agencies and Civil Society Organisations, as well as Members of the IGAD Committee of Ambassadors and IGAD Partners’ Forum.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Livestock, Forestry and Range of the Federal Government of Somalia, the Government of Ethiopia, represented by the Ambassador of Ethiopia to Uganda, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of South Sudan, the Ministry of Devolution and Arid and Semi Arid Lands of the Republic of Kenya; the Ministry of Agriculture, Water, Fisheries, Livestock and Marine Resources of the Republic of Djibouti; the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of the Republic of Sudan; and the Ministry for Relief, Disaster Preparedness, Management and Refugees of the Republic of Uganda.

The objective of the meeting was to review the progress made in the drought resilience initiative during the past five years and consider proposals for visioning a transformational agenda for the next five years.

Recalling: The Declaration of the Joint Nairobi Summit on ending drought emergencies in the Horn of Africa held in September 2011, which made the decision to embark on the IGAD Drought Disaster Resilience and Sustainability Initiative (IDDRSI); and charged the IGAD Secretariat with the responsibility to lead and coordinate the implementation of the decisions;

Appreciating: The progress made in the last five years since the establishment of IDDRSI and the renewed commitment of IGAD Member States and Development Partners to end drought emergencies in the Horn of Africa region;

Noting: That building resilience in the region is a long, challenging journey steadily being undertaken at sub-national, national and regional levels and requiring multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder involvement;

Recognizing and appreciating: The role of the IGAD Secretariat in pioneering efforts in building resilience through improved coordination, information, response and research, which have spread to other parts of the African continent including the SAHEL and the Great Lakes regions;

Now the Ministers, Development Partners and other stakeholders present, do hereby adopt the following communique:

Reaffirm the recommendation to expand the cross-border initiatives to include all forms of cross border cooperation approaches taking into account and benefiting from African Union Convention on Cross-border Cooperation (the Niamey Convention) in all cross-border areas of the IGAD region;

Instruct the IGAD Secretariat to follow up with Member States to address pending issues to ensure full operationalization of the IGAD Cross Border Development Facilitation Unit based in Moroto, Uganda;

Recognize the preparatory groundwork started to develop infrastructure and increase investment in the arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs) of the region;

Call on IDDRSI Platform Members to employ measures and approaches that will enable effective measurement of collective outcomes through the adoption and implementation of Resilience Measurement and Knowledge Management for informed decision making and investment;

Further call on the Platform Members to work with Member States to actively design strategies to address the bottlenecks that impede the effective implementation of IDDRSI;

Urge Member States, Development Partners and the IGAD Secretariat to allocate sufficient resources to support the staff and activities of the Platform Coordination Unit;

Appreciate the pioneering efforts of the African Development Bank, the World Bank and the European Union, Switzerland and other critical partners that inspired other Development Partners to support IDDRSI;

Appeal to all development partners to continue and increase their support to IDDRSI and recommend to Member States and the IGAD Secretariat, the diversification of resource mobilization that go beyond traditional Development Partners to include domestic sources, nontraditional partners and the private sector;

Recall the recommendation made by the 4th PSC Meeting held in Khartoum to establish the Gender and Resilience Working Group and Communities of Practice for strengthening gender mainstreaming in IDDRSI; Recall the Kampala Convention in recognition of the neglected plight of the internally displaced persons;

Recommend the IGAD protocol on free movement of persons to include trade in goods and services, and support the development of the IGAD Protocol on transhumance by ensuring safe access of pastoralists to corridors of pasture, water and basic social services;

Endorse the roadmap for the revision of the IDDRSI Programming Framework Documents, paying special attention to global frameworks, such as the Global Compact for Migration, the Global Compact on Refugees and the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework;

In conclusion,

Acknowledge the remarkable results achieved so far, and envisage much more to be done differently and innovatively to guarantee the achievement of the goals of IDDRSI;

Agree that the recommendations of the 8th Platform Steering Committee meeting are adopted by the 5th meeting of the IGAD Platform General Assembly;

Appreciate the efforts of the IGAD Secretariat to organize a successful 8 th Platform Steering Committee meeting are adopted by the 5th meeting of the IGAD Platform General Assembly; and Thank the Government and the People of the Republic of Uganda for hosting the meetings the IDDRSI Platform Steering Committee and General Assembly and for their warm hospitality and excellent facilitation; Remain committed and mobilized for the implementation of IDDRSI. Done at Entebbe,

Source: Inter Governmental Authority on Development

Cameroon’s Military, Humanitarian Workers Teach Returning Children

In Cameroon’s far north region, hundreds of school children in Boko-Haram-affected areas have been returning to class, but their teachers, who fled the atrocities, are absent. The government is calling on them to return, but in the meantime, humanitarian workers and members of the military are providing the lessons for the students.

Haman Dewade, a 37-year-old staff sergeant in the Cameroon army, greets children at a government school in Fotokol, on Cameroon’s northern border with Nigeria. Dewade says he fought the Boko Haram insurgency for two years, beginning in 2015. VOA asked him how he found himself in the classroom as a teacher after the war.

He says the Cameroon military hierarchy has instructed them to teach children in preparation for exams, while expecting the teachers will eventually will see that peace gradually is being restored in what had been conflict zones so they can return home and resume their teaching jobs.

Sixteen-year-old Demayi Oumate is among the 14 children in this class. She fled with her parents to the neighboring town of Mora and returned last October. Oumate says the presence of the military in their school, and the fact that no major attack has taken place in Fotokol since they returned, is reassuring that peace really is taking hold.

She told VOA Friday morning the military gives them daily security guidelines before classes begin.

“[They told me this morning that] I should be vigilant and try to detect any sign of fighting or of unknown persons in the school campus,” said Oumate. “My plan is to work more hard and then to be disciplined and always be obedient and avoid things that can make me fall in trouble in school.”

There are 900 children in the school � down from about 3,000 in April 2015, when it was closed after Boko Haram fighters attacked Fotokol, killing 30 civilians and wounding another 50. Houses, mosques and schools were torched.

It is the only school out of three in the locality that has been opened. Villagers contribute to the safety of the school through self-defense groups they have created. They systematically search all children before they are given access to the school.

Asfamu Djoulde, leader of the Fotokol traditional council, says they also are educating parents to send their children to school.

He says their traditional rulers and the clergy have taken commitments and deployed self-defense groups to the school to make sure that all children returning can receive an education. He says they are educating villagers who continue to drag feet, emphasizing that their children can not make it in this world without an education.

One hundred and twenty-four schools were closed due to Boko Haram atrocities in Cameroon’s far north region in 2015. When massive attacks by the insurgents diminished, suicide bombings intensified, making the government reluctant to re-open some of them. The government said more than 400 teachers fled for their lives. The government has told all of them to return to their classrooms or face disciplinary sanctions.

While waiting for their return, the children count on the military and humanitarian workers from United Nations agencies for their education.

While Cameroon has been calling on internally displaced persons to return, officials also are urging caution because the insurgents are using suicide bombers out of what authorities say is last-ditch desperation.

The U.N. Refugee Agency estimates approximately 26 million people in the Lake Chad region have been affected by the Boko Haram violence, and more than 2.6 million displaced.

Cameroon, Chad, Nigeria and Niger all have been calling on their displaced populations and refugees to voluntarily return, but to be vigilant.

Source: Voice of America

Cameroon’s Military, Humanitarian Workers Teach Returning Children

In Cameroon’s far north region, hundreds of school children in Boko-Haram-affected areas have been returning to class, but their teachers, who fled the atrocities, are absent. The government is calling on them to return, but in the meantime, humanitarian workers and members of the military are providing the lessons for the students.

Haman Dewade, a 37-year-old staff sergeant in the Cameroon army, greets children at a government school in Fotokol, on Cameroon’s northern border with Nigeria. Dewade says he fought the Boko Haram insurgency for two years, beginning in 2015. VOA asked him how he found himself in the classroom as a teacher after the war.

He says the Cameroon military hierarchy has instructed them to teach children in preparation for exams, while expecting the teachers will eventually will see that peace gradually is being restored in what had been conflict zones so they can return home and resume their teaching jobs.

Sixteen-year-old Demayi Oumate is among the 14 children in this class. She fled with her parents to the neighboring town of Mora and returned last October. Oumate says the presence of the military in their school, and the fact that no major attack has taken place in Fotokol since they returned, is reassuring that peace really is taking hold.

She told VOA Friday morning the military gives them daily security guidelines before classes begin.

“[They told me this morning that] I should be vigilant and try to detect any sign of fighting or of unknown persons in the school campus,” said Oumate. “My plan is to work more hard and then to be disciplined and always be obedient and avoid things that can make me fall in trouble in school.”

There are 900 children in the school � down from about 3,000 in April 2015, when it was closed after Boko Haram fighters attacked Fotokol, killing 30 civilians and wounding another 50. Houses, mosques and schools were torched.

It is the only school out of three in the locality that has been opened. Villagers contribute to the safety of the school through self-defense groups they have created. They systematically search all children before they are given access to the school.

Asfamu Djoulde, leader of the Fotokol traditional council, says they also are educating parents to send their children to school.

He says their traditional rulers and the clergy have taken commitments and deployed self-defense groups to the school to make sure that all children returning can receive an education. He says they are educating villagers who continue to drag feet, emphasizing that their children can not make it in this world without an education.

One hundred and twenty-four schools were closed due to Boko Haram atrocities in Cameroon’s far north region in 2015. When massive attacks by the insurgents diminished, suicide bombings intensified, making the government reluctant to re-open some of them. The government said more than 400 teachers fled for their lives. The government has told all of them to return to their classrooms or face disciplinary sanctions.

While waiting for their return, the children count on the military and humanitarian workers from United Nations agencies for their education.

While Cameroon has been calling on internally displaced persons to return, officials also are urging caution because the insurgents are using suicide bombers out of what authorities say is last-ditch desperation.

The U.N. Refugee Agency estimates approximately 26 million people in the Lake Chad region have been affected by the Boko Haram violence, and more than 2.6 million displaced.

Cameroon, Chad, Nigeria and Niger all have been calling on their displaced populations and refugees to voluntarily return, but to be vigilant.

Source: Voice of America