Nana Akufo-Addo Passes NPP Baton to Mahamudu Bawumia in Ghana

ACCRA – Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has officially handed over the reins of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to his Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, concluding a significant 16-year leadership period.

According to NAM News Network, Akufo-Addo has served as the party leader since 2007, and in accordance with the NPP’s constitution, the victory of Dr. Bawumia in the presidential primaries has led to his elevation as the new party leader.

During the transition ceremony, Akufo-Addo highlighted his determination to support Dr. Bawumia’s campaign to win the presidency in the upcoming 2024 elections. He thanked the party members for their sustained support throughout his tenure and voiced his confidence in Dr. Bawumia’s capabilities to maintain party unity and steer it toward further success.

In the recent presidential primaries of the NPP, Dr. Bawumia secured a commanding lead with 61.43% of the votes. Kennedy Agyapong, who emerged as the second most popular candidate, received 37.41% of the votes. Other contenders in the race, Dr. Afriyie Akoto and Francis Addai Nimo, received 0.75% and 0.41% of the votes, respectively.

The primary, which saw the participation of approximately 200,000 delegates from all over the nation, is indicative of the NPP’s robust engagement as they gear up for the forthcoming general election.

With Dr. Bawumia now at the helm as the flagbearer, the NPP is set to embark on its campaign facing off against established political figures including former President John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and Alan Kyerematen, amongst others in what is anticipated to be a vigorously contested election.

MOJED Launches National Patriotism Week Amidst Burkina Faso’s Security Crisis

Ouagadougou — The Youth Movement Committed to Development (MOJED) has inaugurated the National Week of Patriotism (SENAP) in Ouagadougou, aimed at fostering a sense of national pride among the youth of Burkina Faso.

According to Burkina Information Agency, the coordinator of CNP-SENAP, the event, themed “Patriotism: a factor of resilience in the face of insecurity in Burkina Faso,” is scheduled to run from November 6 to November 12, 2023. The initiative arrives as a response to the incumbent government’s efforts in establishing a foundation of patriotism that the MOJED seeks to uphold and nurture within the youth community.

The week-long event will encompass an array of activities including a ceremonial opening, a dedicated day for students to express their patriotism, initiatives for the reintegration of internally displaced persons (IDPs), and various other activities aimed at engaging the youth.

Mr. Ouédraogo emphasized the significance of SENAP’s establishment, which directly correlates with the current security challenges that Burkina Faso is confronting. He mentioned that the inception of SENAP is particularly aligned with the nation’s need to bolster its internal security framework.

For this inaugural edition, the MOJED anticipates engaging over 5,000 individuals with a planned budget of 18 million 477,500 Francs CFA. The project spans a six-month period from November 6, 2023, to April 6, 2024, with ambitions that extend to promoting local consumption, enhancing social cohesion, and fostering a collective Burkinabe identity. The initiative also seeks to contribute to the peace restoration efforts within the country.

The overarching goal of SENAP is to encourage the values of patriotism, integrity, and responsible citizenship among the Burkinabe youth. MOJED, recognized as a proactive civil society movement, was established with a mission to contribute to Burkina Faso’s socio-economic advancement in a unified and stable environment.

Ouagadougou Police Lieutenant Unveils Short Story Collection on Social Issues

Ouagadougou — In an intriguing blend of literature and law enforcement, Police Lieutenant Jean-Baptiste Oulon has authored and launched his inaugural collection of short stories titled “Le Courier” in Ouagadougou, aiming to illuminate and offer solutions to the challenges facing Burkinabè society.

According to Burkina Information Agency, “Le Courier” delves into the “wounds” afflicting the society of Burkina Faso, tackling contemporary topics that range from romantic relationships and gold panning to the broader concept of adventure and ambition. Lieutenant Oulon reflects on these themes, particularly the notion of adventure, suggesting that the energy expended in migrating to the West could be redirected to cultivate local lands and improve living conditions in their homeland.

In the narrative titled “Premonitory Dream,” Oulon critically examines the disconnect some individuals have with their immediate surroundings, while seemingly understanding broader issues elsewhere. He questions, “How can you control what happens elsewhere when, with the little power you have been given, you cannot control that?”

The collection also ventures into more sensitive terrain, addressing the lives of talibés—students in traditional schools often leading to paths of juvenile delinquency. Drawing from his professional encounters and real-life testimonies, Oulon crafts stories that are not strictly autobiographical but rather influenced by the realities narrated to him, which he felt were important to document for the benefit of others.

Balancing a demanding career with his passion for writing, Oulon has managed to carve out time within his limited schedule to pursue what he deems necessary. “Le Courier” spans 86 pages and is comprised of five short stories. The book is available for purchase at the national police academy for 3500 FCFA.

SAPS Organized Crime Unit Apprehends Suspect with Heroin in Bela-Bela

POLOKWANE – In an operation conducted by the South African Police Service (SAPS) Organized Crime Unit, a 56-year-old man was arrested on Friday, November 3, 2023, in Bela-Bela for the alleged possession of a significant quantity of heroin.

According South Africa Police Service, the suspect was intercepted while traveling from Pretoria in Gauteng province, with drugs reportedly intended for distribution within Limpopo province. Acting on a tip-off, law enforcement officials tracked the suspect’s movement and located him on the stretch of road between Mckenzie and Radium on the R101.

Upon search, the suspect was found in possession of loose sachets of heroin, which have an estimated street value of R12,000. He was detained immediately.

The detained individual is scheduled to appear before the Bela-Bela Magistrate’s Court in the near future. The SAPS has stated that their investigation into the matter is ongoing.

IMF Approves Next Phase of Tanzania’s Economic Support

TANZANIA – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has signaled satisfaction with the pace of Tanzania’s economic programs, moving the country closer to obtaining an additional 150 million US dollars of funding.

According to NAM News Network, the IMF Mission Chief for Tanzania, the positive appraisal followed an intensive two-week review that culminated in a staff-level agreement on the country’s economic policies under its Extended Credit Facility (ECF). This recent development follows the initiation of Tanzania’s 40-month arrangement with the IMF.

Tsangarides announced that with the anticipated approval from the IMF management and its Executive Board, which is expected in the upcoming weeks, Tanzania will gain access to the said funds. This disbursement will elevate the total financial assistance under the ECF to approximately 452.7 million US dollars.

The economic reform program in Tanzania aims to bolster economic recovery, ensure macro-financial stability, and foster a resilient, inclusive, and sustainable growth path.

The IMF observed that Tanzania’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth slowed to 4.7 percent in 2022 from 4.9 percent in the prior year, influenced by a challenging global economic climate and subdued agricultural output linked to insufficient rainfall.

The fund forecasts a recovery for the Tanzanian economy starting in 2023, though it acknowledges potential challenges from international conditions such as fluctuating commodity prices, dampened global growth, and stringent financial environments.

The report from the IMF highlighted an easing inflation rate in Tanzania, which declined to 3.3 percent year-on-year in September, a decrease from January’s peak of 4.9 percent.

Tsangarides pointed out that the medium-term economic outlook remains promising, conditional on the continuous and rigorous implementation of the government’s reform initiatives, which are supported by the ECF program.

The IMF team noted fiscal pressures exemplified by a substantial current account deficit and external financial constraints, prompting the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) to increase its foreign exchange interventions. The BoT has also expressed its resolve to rejuvenate the forex interbank market and to shift towards a market-clearing exchange rate regime.

Moreover, the IMF commended the government’s commitment to fiscal discipline through a consolidation plan set for the 2023/24 fiscal year, focusing on realistic revenue generation and expenditure.

The government’s fiscal strategy includes enhancing tax policy and administration to create fiscal space for addressing significant capital needs, reallocating expenditure toward priority social sectors, and bolstering social safety networks.

Furthermore, the IMF emphasized the importance of business environment and governance reforms in unlocking Tanzania’s economic potential. The Tanzanian authorities have pledged to carry on with regulatory reforms aimed at simplifying regulations and improving governance practices.

The dialogue between IMF staff and Tanzanian officials during the meetings was centered on reviewing progress in reforms and policy priorities under the second review of Tanzania’s ECF-backed program. The program, which was approved by the IMF’s Executive Board on July 18, 2022, initially totaled 1.046 billion US dollars.