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Ghana: I’m past the cheap publicity stage; Obaapa Christy

Obaapa Christy [Image: @obaapachristy/Instagram]
Popular Ghanaian Christian singer and Lady Reverend, Obaapa Christy has said that she does not need any form of cheap publicity stunt for anything at this level of her career.

Unlike other musicians who thrive on publicity and clout chasing to remain relevant, Obaapa has stated emphatically that looking at how far God has brought her as a musician, there is no need to stage a publicity stunt to promote her new song or brand.

Formerly known as Christian Love, Obaapa Christy is on of the biggest Ghanaian musicians with a well-established and marketable brand across Africa and other parts of the world.

Upon all the phases her career has gone through, with God’s favor and hard work she is still relevant in the industry.

Obaapa Christy is currently promoting a brand new single titled ‘the glory.’

In 2007, she won Best Female Vocalist Award of the year, Gospel artist of eth year and also took Best Collaboration of the year with a song she featured Kwaku Gyasi- another beautiful brand in the gospel music fraternity.

She has therefore urged colleagues and upcoming musicians to focus on putting in more work, get a good team and also seek God’s favor and guidance.

Clout is bargaining power and it’s a major force in leveraging a deal with a label. In order to even get a seat at the table, artists need to be able to offer something. Most labels won’t even take a meeting unless they have established a fan base or sold records on their own.

Affordable housing stakeholders eying USD10,000 units in Africa

Chairman of the AUHF and Shelter Afrique CEO, Mr. Andrew Chimphondah

KIGALI, Rwanda– Affordable housing stakeholders in Africa are exploring ways of improving and delivering affordable housing units at a selling price of less than $10,000, the Chairman of the African Union for Housing Finance (AUHF) and Shelter Afrique CEO, Mr. Andrew Chimphondah has disclosed. 

Speaking at the close of the 37th Annual General Meeting and conference of (AUHF) held in Kigali, Rwanda from the 2nd to 4th November under the theme “New Frontiers for Affordable Housing,” Chimphondah underscored the need for more affordable houses that will address the biting housing shortage in Africa.

“Some of the key trends covered in this year’s conference include innovations in underwriting for informal incomes; opportunities to be found in property technology; new and innovative funding approaches; green and climate-resilient housing; developing local capital markets, improving the efficiency and performance of the Housing Value Chain across the African continent and more importantly, increasing efforts to deliver exceptionally affordable homes at a selling price of less than $10,000,” Mr. Chimphondah said.

He added, “In a post-Covid environment where everyone’s resources are constrained, we need to do more with so much less. What this means, is that we need to improve the efficiencies of our housing sector and the processes it involves so that we can drastically reduce the construction cost and improve affordability.”

Rwanda’s Minister of Infrastructure, Amb. Claver Gatete who presided over the conference on his part noted that the new housing innovations have and continue to enable Rwanda to upgrade slums without the need to relocate the beneficiaries.

“The Government of Rwanda has also introduced various housing incentives such as the 100% infrastructure subsidies for low-cost high-quality housing developments whose selling prices should not exceed US$35,000.00,” Amb. Gatete said.

AUHF conference attracted more than 550 attendees from around the world, presenting a platform for global learning, sharing insights, networking, and highlighting trends in the fast-growing affordable housing sector in Africa.

Members issued the Kigali Declaration for Affordable Housing in Africa, expressing their commitment to working together in leveraging their diverse capacities, charting new frontiers in the delivery of affordable housing across the continent and in individual countries.  

According to Mr. Chmphondah, “The Declaration sets out key commitments for the AUHF and its members, and urges governments, development finance institutions and support organisations, and other players across Africa’s affordable housing sector to work together in pursuit of these goals.” 

About AUHF

Since its formation in 1984, the AUHF has evolved into a member-based, industry association of mortgage banks, building societies, housing corporations, Development Finance Institutions and other organisations involved in the mobilisation of funds for shelter and housing on the African continent. 

As an industry body, the AUHF promotes the development of effective housing markets and the delivery of affordable housing across Africa, working in the interests of the members and the industry as a whole. 

The AUHF is governed by a board of industry leaders elected every two years at its Annual General Body. The Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa (CAHF), based in South Africa, acts as the Secretariat of the AUHF.

South Africa: Makhadzi pens lucrative deal worth R120 million with footwear company

Makhadzi inks lucrative deal with Kicks sportswear [Image: @courtesy]
South Africa— Ndivhudzannyi Ralivhiona, known professionally as Makhadzi, is a South African singer. Born and raised in Limpopo, she is best known for her songs “Tshanda Vhuya” and “Matoroksi”.

Makhadzi is not only one of South Africa’s top performers, but she is now crafting a lane for herself as a businesswoman.

Makhadzi took to social media to announce that she has signed a mega-deal with sportswear brand, kicks Sportswear, called Kokocha, named after her 2020 project.

According to Makhadzi, the deal will see her create products that will reflect everything she believes in with the sportswear brand.

“I am happy to announce that I have signed a R120 million MEGA deal called Kokovha with @kickssportswear-sa to develop and create amazing products that will reflect everything that I am and believe in,” read her post.

Makhadzi shared a video along with the post, where she is seen entering offices to sign the deal.

The “Sugar Sugar” hitmaker is dressed in traditional Tshivenda attire.

Kicks Sportswear founder Sammy Mhaule is also seen in the video, along with other team members. In her post, Makhadzi thanked Mhauile for believing in her.

“Shout out to the founder of Kicks @Sammymhaule for believing in me, @alfadestiny for communications as well as @openmicprodsa, @africori for being the cornerstone of this deal and choosing me to recreate history,” said Makhadzi.

Makhadzi is not eth only SA celebrity that has signed a sneaker deal worth millions. Local rapper Casper Nyovest, this year got tongues wagging with his R100 million deal with Drip Footwear.

In June this year, the award-winning rapper announced that he had partnered with Drip Footwear founder Lekau Sehoana on ‘the legacy deal.’

It is a deal that received public scrutiny with many questions being raised by critics about the deal.

Zanzibar seeks stakeholders views on digital currency

Cryptocurrency making headlines in Zanzibar’s economy [Image: courtesy]
Zanzibar—“We are seeking views on the matter before deciding whether it is viable or not,” Spoke Zanzibar’s minister of state Economy and Investment, Mr. Mudrick Soraga, saying the country plans to meet stakeholders in seeking views on digital currencies whose uptake is gaining momentum around the world.

“You cannot make such a decision without getting input from stakeholders, including banks and the ministries of Finance and Foreign affairs.” He added.

Mr. Oraga met with a representative of Hypertch Company, Joe Chuene to discuss how best the isles government could adopt a cryptocurrency.

Noting that the transaction volume of Bitcoin alone has reached $3.2 trillion, Mr Chuene called on the government of Zanzibar to recognize and adopt cryptocurrency as a mode of transaction.

“The high-on chain transaction volume of the dominant cryptocurrency has demonstrated the efficiency of the asset. It is high time the revolutionary government of Zanzibar adopted it,” he recommended.

Since entering mainstream use globally, travelers and tourists have been using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin as a form of payment for flights, hotels reservations, transportation, and more.

Regulators and policy-makers around the world are continuously evaluating hoe best to address the specific and sometimes novel issues posed by cryptocurrencies.

Sources gather that in the coming year’s blockchain technology which is behind cryptocurrency, would be part and parcel of life even in areas outside financial markets such as health.

Tanzania Bankers Association (TBA) chairman Abdulmajid Nsekela said as technology evolves, a cryptocurrency which has become a global phenomenon in recent years is inevitable.

Africa financial reports tell that the continent amassed 105.6 billion worth of cryptocurrencies in forecasts for the year to June 30, 2021, triggered by peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions in key growth markets

Ghanaian government to receive 20% equity share for locally refined gold

Bars of gold [Image: courtesy]
Ghana will receive a 20% free equity share for gold refined locally when Royal Gold Ghana Limited begins operation this year.

Currently, all the gold is produced by mining companies in the country and is refined outside, therefore the government gains nothing from gold refined abroad.

In that vein, the government entered into a public-private partnership with an Indian company, Ronsy Royal Limited, to refine Gold in Ghana.

The agreement states that the government of Ghana will receive a 20% equity share in the gold refined by the Indian company locally, while the Indian investor who built the refinery gets 80%.

“In the cost of refining gold locally which will gain 20% free equity share but the gold belonged to the mining companies.

“In fact, we do not gain anything when the gold is refined outside, and so as part of efforts to providing refining solution, the government of Ghana entered into an agreement with the Indian investor to build a refinery here. It also formed part of government’s policy to at least refine 30% of all gold produced in Ghana,” he added.

Mr Wisdom Gomashie, a personal Assistant to the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural resources, stated that the Indian investor invested an estimated amount of $25million in constructing the gold refinery, which is located at the Diamond Houses on the premises of the Precious Minerals Marketing Company in Accra.

Gomashie explained that the Indian Investor would also pay corporate taxes to the government and employ Ghanaians and later the percentage of equity share between the parties would be 50%-50% after the investor has operated the refinery for some time.

The government through precious minerals marketing company entered a joint partnership with Ronsy Royal Limited, an Indian company, to establish a gold refinery that has vested state equity

Zambia’s energy minister confirms enough fuel in the country, despite low stocks

Energy minister Peter Kapala, assures the country of enough fuel despite low stocks [Image: @peterkapala/Twitter]
Zambian energy minister Peter Kapala has confirmed that the country’s fuel stocks are expected to normalize by next week and that Zambia is expecting a number of fuel tankers to arrive.

Mr. Kapala stressed that there is no looming shortage of fuel but amidst that the current stocks are low.

While addressing reporters in Harare, Kapala urged the public not to panic or engage in overbuying of the fuel.

Meanwhile, Kapala has asked the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) to promote the utilization of renewable energy sources saying Zambia is endowed with renewable energy sources that have remained underdeveloped.

Mr Kapala further said the ERB should create a regulatory framework that will attract investments to scale up diversification of the country’s energy mix as opposed to depending on hydropower.

He was speaking in Lusaka at the launch of the ERB service charter aimed at empowering the public with information to hold ERB accountable to service delivery standards.

The ERB acting Director General Fred Hangandu said the service charter is a demonstration of the Boards commitments to accountability in the discharge of its mandate and will ensure effective service delivery.

The heavily indebted country had earlier this year slashed import duties on fuel, as it sought to reduce costs for importers to avert shortages as it faces higher oil prices and falling currency.

DR Congo army chief Celestin Mbala arrives in Rwanda after M23 attack

DR Congo Armed Forces Chief of General Staff, Celestin Mbala at RDF Headquarters, in Rwanda [Image: courtesy]
Following constant conflict witnessed in the border of DR Congo and Rwanda in recent days, The DR Congo Armed Forces (FARDC) Chief of General Staff, Gen. Celestin Mbala Munsese, on Wednesday, November 10, began an official visit to Rwanda where he is holding discussions cemented at the regional security situation and the fight against terrorist groups, with his Rwandan counterparts.

General Mbala and his delegation on Wednesday held bilateral discussions with the Rwanda Defence Force Chief of Defence Staff Gen Jean-Bosco Kazura at RDF Headquarters, Kimihurura.

“Our delegation is here to discuss a framework of plans established with our neighbouring countries in dealing with terrorist groups and other transitional threats. This conforms to recommendation from the African Union to combine effort in fighting threats that hinder our collective development,” Gen Mbala said.

General Mbala added that the discussions also looked ta mutual effort to prevent negative forces operating “along our boarders in a bid to strengthen our relationships towards the mutual development of our people.”

Gen Mbala’s visit comes two days after an armed group believed to be ex-M23 rebels, on November 7, crossed into DR Congo “from Ugandan territory where it is based, and attacked and occupied the villages of Tshanzu and Runyoni,”

According to the RDF, any reports from the media or by officials in the region that the ex-M23 armed group originated or retreated to Rwanda, is propaganda aimed at undermining the good relations between Rwanda and DRC.

On the allegations that M23 elements conducted the attack on DR Congo territory from Rwanda and Ugnada, Gen Mbala said: “We have opted to give time to the expanded joint verification mechanism (EJFM) to do its work and give us precisions on the situation.”

The two villages Tshanzu and Runyoni, were the last redoubts of the M23 before they were chased by Congolese and UN forces into Uganda and Rwanda, in 2013.

Zimbabwe’s By-elections slated for 2022 first quarter

President Mnangagwa urges Zimbabweans to remain peaceful ahead of by-elections slated for 2022 first quarter [Image: courtesy]
Zimbabwe—Addressing thousands of Zanu PF supporters at Kopa Grounds in Chimanimani yesterday, president Mnangagwa rallied the legion of his party to ensure a sweeping victory in the by-elections slated for the first quarter of next year.

The president affirmed that the polls will serve as a litmus test for the revolutionary party’s preparedness for the 2023 harmonized elections.

According to Mnangagwa, a resounding victory for Zanu PF for inevitable as the party through the government has rolled out a lot of projects that positively impacted people’s lives.

As of October 22, Zimbabwe had a total of 133 elective by-elections at National Assembly and local authority levels.

The by-elections were necessitated by recalls of MDC-T members from two bodies (National Assembly or local authorities), deaths, and dismissals.

“We will be holding by-elections during the first quarter of 2022. As Zanu PF, we want a clean sweep of all the vacant seats.

“This will serve as a litmus test of our preparedness for the 2023 harmonized elections. We should register and vote in our numbers to ensure that the country remains in safe hands.

“Mobile registration exercise will be rolled out in all deserving areas and those without ident5iofication particulars should take advantage of this exercise to acquire the documents and register as voters.

“The mobile registration exercise should ensure that all people have the necessary identification details without any hassles. We want to ensure that as many people as possible are registered as voters,” said President Mnangagwa.

He reiterated calls for peace to ensure that the development trajectory the country has taken is not derailed.

“We should continue developing our economy. This can only be achieved if there is peace in eth country, we should all be peaceful.” He added.

DP William Ruto speaks after rowdy mob pelted his motorcade with stones in Kisumu

One of DP’s convoy that was pelted with stones in Kondeled Kisumu county [Image: courtesy]
Kenya—Deputy President William Ruto has jolted down a response dissociating the hustler nation from the chaos that erupted during the Kisumu tour.

On Wednesday, November 10th Ruto tried to sell his bottom-up strategy to Kondele residents, Kisumu county before he encountered rowdy youths.

Speaking over the matter, Ruto stated that the hustler nation does not involve itself in the use of violence and that his model would bring an end to the regressive culture of stone-throwing.

“The hustler nation disassociates with leaders and political groups that use violence to advance their selfish cause.

“Our plans and programs will ensure that the youth are liberated from regressive stone-throwing culture by engaging them in gainful activities that will better their lives through the bottom-up economic model,” Ruto remarked.

Some youth demanded Ruto hand them money while others chanted the Orange Democratic Movement slogan.

The second in command was then forced to cut his speech to support his presidential bid as the youth threw stones at his motorcade.

“Kisumu is part of Kenya, and we shall ensure we have liberated Kisumu from the stone-throwing culture,” Ruto spoke.

This led to the use of teargas by police to disperse the crowd to guarantee the safety of Ruto and his motorcade.

He is on a three-day charm offensive tour to win former Prime-minister, Raila Odinga’s backyard.

Ethiopia: Survivors of TPLF attack in Amhara describe gang rape, looting and physical assaults

Survivors of the TPLF attack express horrible, inhumane acts executed on them [Image: courtesy]
Ethiopia—It has been gathered that 16 women from the town of Nifas Mewcha in Ethiopia, were raped by fighters from Tigray People’s Front (TPLF) during the group’s attack on the town in Mid-August 2021.

Survivors described being raped at gunpoint, robbed, and subjected to physical and verbal assaults by TPLF fighters, who also destroyed and looted medical facilities in the town.

The TPLF took control of Nifa Mewcha, in Amhara’s Gaint District, for nine days between 12 and 21 August 2021, as part of an ongoing offensive into parts of the Amhara and Afar regions.

According to regional government officials, More than 70 women reported to authorities that they were raped in Nifas and Mewcha during this period.

“The testimonies were heard from survivors describe despicable acts by TPLF fighters that amount to war crimes, and potentially crime against humanity,” Said an official from Amnesty Internationals.

“TPLF fighters must immediately stop all human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law, including sexual and gender-based violence. The leadership must make clear that such abuses will not be tolerated and remove suspected perpetrators from their ranks.”

“I suspected their intentions, and I sent away my daughters to stay from the house. The soldiers told me to bring them home, I told them they won’t come. Then they started to insult me, they were saying Ahara is a donkey, Amhara is useless, one of them told the other to stop insulting me.

“He said she is our mother we don’t have to insult her. They forced him to leave the house and three of them stayed back at my home. Then they raped me in turns.” Spoke to one of the rape victims.

TPLF fighters also subjected the women to degrading ethnic     slurs, such as ‘donkey Amhara, and ‘greedy Amhara.’  In some case, the TPLF told women they were raping them in revenge in revenge for the rape of Tigrayan women by Federal government forces.