Daily Archives: March 20, 2019

South African Cricketing Legend AB de Villiers Turns Fan Selfies Into Social Impact via New App

AB de Villiers launches new social media app, ‘ABDCam’, in partnership with JET8

ABD Cam allows fans and users around the world to raise funds for youth in South Africa by posting photos and videos with AB de Villiers stickers and frames found in the app

Points earned from fan selfies can be contributed to social impact causes through the AB de Villiers Foundation

SINGAPORE, March 20, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — South African cricketing legend AB de Villiers, in partnership with JET8 Foundation, today announced the launch of his own JET8 Engagement Technology powered social iOS and Android app called ‘ABDCam’.  From today, fans and supporters in South Africa, India, and all around the world will be able to use the ABDCam app to customise photos and videos with AB de Villiers personal Geo-stickers and Geo-frames, and earn points (‘JETPoints’) in exchange for their social influence throughout social media platforms. JETPoints can be used to redeem a variety of rewards and to contribute to youth-related social impact causes supported by the AB de Villiers Foundation located in Pretoria, South Africa.

JETPoints are rewarded to fans for likes, comments, and shares of social media posts when customised using AB de Villiers’ special Geo-stickers and Geo-frames, exclusively found in the ABD Cam app. Users are additionally rewarded JETPoints when sharing the posts onto other social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

AB de Villiers aims to raise awareness for a range of charitable causes geared towards benefitting the youth in countries like South Africa, India and many other cricket-loving nations around the world.  Users contribute to this vision and cause using their JETPoints in the app.

AB de Villiers said of the social media app launch and JET8 partnership: “I wouldn’t be here without my fans, they are incredibly close to my heart. For a long time, I’ve been thinking of a way to reward my fans for their engagement, whilst giving back to causes that I strongly believe in. With the birth of the AB de Villiers Foundation and my new official app, ABDCam, my fans can now have access to exclusive, cool ways to create their own content whilst helping kids around the world.” Currently AB de Villers has over 10 million fans across all social media platforms.

“It’s a completely groundbreaking way of using social media technology, and I’m excited to partner with JET8 to raise the bar for social media fan engagement. Together, my fans and I can help carve a better future for our youth. I can’t wait for everyone to download ABDCam!” he added.

JET8 Foundation Co-founder, Mike Allen said: “World renowned for his overflowing talent and all around-sports excellence, AB takes his breathtaking enterprise to new heights with his first “social impact” focused iOS and Android community app. ABDCam not only allows AB to connect with his fans in a whole new way, it turns his fans into advocates for causes close to his heart. We are proud to have our technology used by these global talents to help make the world a better place.”

ABDCam is now available to download from the Google Play Store and the iOS App Store. For more information, visit https://abdcam.jet8.app/.

ABOUT THE JET8 FOUNDATION

With a focus on research and development, the JET8 Foundation is a non-profit organisation that supports the global adoption of decentralised engagement networks (DEN) together with the mobile engagement platform, JET8.

The social media apps available on the JET8 network support authentic and organic peer-to-peer communities, that connect people around their passion points and allows rewards for engagement to be exchanged between Brands and content creating users. JET8 innovates social engagement technology with the purpose of enhancing accessibility to ensure that anyone, anywhere, can earn from their social influence on a global stage.

The JET8 Foundation was founded in 2018 and is based in Singapore.

For more information, visit http://den.foundation/.

For more information about JET8 Technology, visit https://www.jet8.io.

Mozambique Begins 3 Days of National Mourning for Cyclone Victims

Three days of national mourning began Wednesday in Mozambique after one of the most destructive storms to strike southern Africa in decades killed hundreds of people..

Cyclone Idai, packing sustained winds of up to 170 kilometers per hour, hit Mozambique’s port city of Beira last Thursday before sweeping inland to Zimbabwe and Malawi.

Forecasters predict more torrential rains are expected through Thursday and floodwaters are still rising. Aid groups are trying to transport essential goods to desperate survivors.

President Filipe Nyusi said Tuesday Idai had killed more than 200 people in Mozambique and that rescuers were still finding bodies. After flying over affected areas on Monday, Nyusi said he expected the death toll to exceed 1,000. The confirmed death toll Wednesday in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi stood at more than 300, officials said.

Aid agencies said they prepared for the cyclone but not for the massive floods that followed. Mozambique was hardest hit as a result of rivers flowing downstream from its neighbors. The agencies said they were struggling to reach many survivors stranded in badly damaged remote areas of Mozambique.

Mozambique and South Africa are conducting aerial rescue and aid distribution missions. The U.N. World Food Program said it was transporting enough aid for 600,000 people. The U.N. said it had allocated $20 million from its central emergency response fund, and it urged other donors to contribute. The European Union announced an initial aid package for the storm-stricken countries valued at nearly $4 million. Britain and the United Arab Emirates have also promised aid.

The U.S. State Department said the U.S. is supporting relief efforts “in coordination with our partners.”

Source: Voice of America

WHO: New Oral Treatment More Effective in Combating Multidrug-Resistant TB

GENEVA Tuberculosis has plagued humans for thousands of years and continues to do so. In advance of this year’s World TB Day, March 24, the World Health Organization is issuing a call to action to eradicate the disease by 2030.

As part of these efforts, the WHO is launching an oral drug regimen it says can more effectively treat people with multi-drug resistant tuberculosis.

TB remains the world’s deadliest infectious disease, killing nearly 4,500 people a day and infecting 10 million people a year.

Despite the grim statistics, much progress has been made in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of the disease. The WHO says 54 million lives have been saved since 2000. But the WHO also warns the gains risk being lost with the emergence of multidrug-resistant TB or MDR-TB.

The current treatment for MDR-TB involves a two-year treatment course of painful injections, which provoke many bad side effects.

The WHO says it is hopeful the new oral treatment program it is launching will be more effective in controlling the spread of the particularly virulent form of tuberculosis.

The director of the WHO’s Global TB Program, Tereza Kasaeva, told VOA the new oral drug treatment the WHO is recommending has far fewer adverse side effects.

Of course, it will be definitely much, much easier and there will not be a need for regular frequent visits of the physicians or health workers for making these injections. No doubt, as we see from the data, the effectiveness, the treatment success will be definitely much, much higher, Kasaeva said.

The South African government has announced it plans to adopt the injection-free treatment. Kasaeva said the cost of the oral treatment is around $2,000, which is largely unaffordable for low-income countries.

She said South Africa is engaging in talks with pharmaceutical companies to drop the price to $400.

The WHO says South Africa is one of the 20 countries most affected by MDR-TB. Others include Russia, China, India, Nigeria, Pakistan and Vietnam.

Source: Voice of America

Cameroon Busts Ivory, Pangolin Traffickers

YAOUNDE, CAMEROON Police in Cameroon have arrested four wildlife traffickers caught with huge quantities of elephant tusks and scales from pangolins. The traffickers, said to be operating across Africa, were planning to transport the scales and ivory to Asian countries through Nigeria.

Francis Durand Nna, the highest wildlife official in Cameroon’s coastal city of Douala, says the traffickers were arrested following a tipoff from residents.

He says the police supported by Cameroon’s Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife and conservation groups including the Last Great Ape, LAGA, seized scales harvested from at least 3,000 pangolins and 300 elephant tusks plucked from 150 elephants that were illegally killed. He says it is an enormous loss to biodiversity, nature and the economy. He is calling on people to adhere to the fight to protect wildlife and forest resources because only traffickers benefit.

Police say the men are part of an organized ring operating in parks and protected areas on Cameroon’s eastern and southern borders, and possibly working with accomplices in the neighboring states.

Central and Eastern Africa are hotspots for poaching and trafficking pangolins, an animal also known as the scaly anteater.

Boniface Dogmo, a senior wildlife control official at the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife, says Cameroon has been implementing its anti-poaching and trafficking laws, but says the practices are difficult to stop because of the huge demand for certain animal products in Asia.

In Vietnam, pangolin meat and scales can fetch up to $1,000 per kilogram.

Eric Kaba Tah, a media official for LAGA says traffickers quite often deliver their illegal catch to Nigeria, from where it is shipped to Asia, the biggest source of demand for pangolin scales and ivory.

He says corrupt practices from government officials and the police is making it difficult to stop the illegal trade.

“These traffickers are very top professionals,” he said. “They know the mechanisms of corruption extremely well. They are international, they are young, they turn to move from where there is strong wildlife enforcement to where wildlife law enforcement is not very strict. Traffickers are given lenient treatment, which is a very wrong signal.”

International trade in pangolins was banned in 2016 under the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

But the trade continues. In 2017, officials in Cameroon seized and burned more than three tons of pangolin skins and scales that were destined for Asia.

Source: Voice of America

Malawi Launches Campaign Period for May Elections

LILONGWE Malawi’s Electoral Commission has officially launched campaigning for May elections with calls against political violence. Political violence is on the rise in Malawi as the country prepares for May elections. The victims are mostly opposition party members beaten by suspected supporters of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party.

Campaigning will run until May 19, just two days before Malawians cast their votes for lawmakers in the National Assembly and for the president. Voters will also cast ballots for local government representatives or councilors.

The run-up to elections has been marred by concerns about political violence.

A number of opposition party members were beaten by suspected supporters of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party. DPP officials deny the allegation. But tensions were on display Tuesday at the ceremony marking the launch of campaigning.

The ceremony was disrupted for nearly half an hour when supporters of the main opposition Malawi Congress Party and the ruling DPP shouted insults at each other.

Malawi Electoral Commission Chairperson Jane Ansah issued warnings to the parties.Can we have order in the house! Please I want to draw your attention! We have noted that it is DPP and MCP that are causing problem,” she said. “I have called your Secretary Generals here to let you know that this is a function of MEC. If you continue, we are opening those doors and you must march out.

Ansah said political violence has been soiling Malawi’s electoral process ahead of the May elections.

Authorities have warned they will disqualify presidential candidates whose supporters engage in violence during the campaign period.

Malawi’s Electoral Commission has forced presidential candidates to sign a code of conduct during campaigns.

Political parties have pledged their commitment towards peaceful campaigns.

We will go by what the code of conduct is all about. And the agreement that we have done with MEC,” said Patricia Kaliati, secretary general of the opposition United Transformation Movement Party. “And we promise that as UTM the party which promises to bring new politics, will make sure that we respect the rule of law, we are also going to respect the right to association.

Ansah said that the Commission will be monitoring campaign activities to ensure political parties have complied.

The Commission strongly warns all supporters never to engage in any acts of behavior that is likely to cause incitement to public disorder, rebellion, hate or violence. This is not in tandem with peaceful conduct of campaign process, she said.

The MEC says about seven million of Malawi’s 17 million people have registered to vote.

The United Nations says if not addressed, Malawi’s rising political violence could discourage people from voting.

“We are expecting the political parties to really take serious the rule of the game, meaning the frameworks which MEC has put together with a code of conduct and political party laws. And the conduct of the campaign will be a fantastic prelude to a peaceful voting on the 21st of May, said Maria Jose Torres, the country coordinator for the United Nations Development Program.

Ending government corruption is expected to dominate Malawi’s election.

Former Malawian president Joyce Banda earlier this month withdrew from the election to support the main opposition candidate, Lazarus Chakwera.

Banda became the country’s first female president in 2012, after then-president Bingu wa Mutharika died of a cardiac arrest.

But her term was marred by a corruption scandal known as Cashgate in which over $32 million was siphoned out of government coffers.

Banda lost the 2014 election to the late president’s brother, current President Peter Mutharika.

Source: Voice of America