KAIPTC, Partners empower Benin local actors in fight against Gender-Based Violence

Mrs Patience Agyare-Kwabi, Director of the Women's Youth Peace and Security Institute (WYPSI) at Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, (KAIPTC) has emphasized the importance of capacity-building for local actors to the reduction of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in the West and Central Africa sub-region. She noted that empowering individuals and communities would foster stronger advocacy and education efforts in the fight against the GBV scourge. Mrs Agyare-Kwabi was speaking at the opening of a five-day training in Cotonou, Benin to equip local actors with the skills to combat GBV. It brought together 29 participants from Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), legal practitioners, the media, religious leaders and traditional authorities. The programme, under the theme: 'Enhancing the Capacity of Local Actors to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence in Benin', was organized by WYPSI of the KAIPTC, with funding from the Sweden International Developm ent Agency (SIDA). Mrs Patience Agyare-Kwabi 'This initiative aligns with the KAIPTC's broader strategic objective of supporting African nations in implementing the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) and the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security,' Mrs Agyare-Kwabi said. She also underscored the collective responsibility of all to create a future free from violence, discrimination, and fear for all women and girls across Africa. The fight against GBV, she stressed, require a multifaceted approach, and 'this program is to help you as local actors to play a vital role in achieving lasting change in your communities and country as a whole,' she said. Mrs Agyare-Kwabi encouraged participants to actively engage in the training and translate the acquired knowledge into concrete actions within their communities. She remained hopeful that the training would enhance individual knowledge, foster positive attitu des, and encourage teamwork among local actors-ultimately creating a more comprehensive approach to preventing GBV-leading to a safer future for women and girls. Some participants at the opening session of the training Participants explored existing legal frameworks, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women (DEVAW), while highlighting the critical role of local actors in promoting a culture of peace, equality, and respect for all. The participants were exposed to the growing understanding of the links between poverty, insecurity, and GBV, particularly in the context of limited capacity of local actors and low rates of prosecution of GBV perpetrators in many communities across the sub-region. President of Benin's National Platform on Religious Affairs, Sa Majesté Dada Daagbo, in his remarks commended KAIPTC for the initiative. GBV in most communities, he said, often went unreported beca use of fear of victimization. He shared his observation that the workshop had allowed participants deepen their knowledge appropriate to preventing GBV in their communities. Sa Majesté Daagbo who is one of the most important figures in the Voodo religion in West Africa, also highlighted the need for awareness creation, saying, 'I would like to encourage the KAIPTC to endeavour to translate the key learning points from the training into the local languages of the countries where the project is taking place so as to help sustain awareness.' Madam Myriam Capo-Chichi, president of Family Nutrition Development, an NGO dedicated to GBV issues in Benin, in her remarks noted that while Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in her country had invested in eradication strategies, Gender-Based Violence (GBV) continued to rise at an alarming rate, with women and girls being the primary targets. She stressed that effective outcomes from the training would depend on the efforts and contributions of all local actors who com mit their energies to eradicating the GBV scourge. Source: Ghana News Agency

Olive oil export revenues up 91.4% at end of April 2024

Revenues generated by Tunisian olive oil exports have picked up to TND 3,436.1 million as of the end of April 2024, according to the National Agricultural Observatory (ONAGRI). This marks a remarkable 91.4% increase over the first six months of the 2023/24 campaign compared to the same period in the 2022/23 campaign. In terms of volume, Tunisian olive oil exports have seen a noticeable rise of 11.5%, reaching 128,700 tonnes. This higher export revenues have been driven by a 71.7% surge in the average olive oil price, from TND 15.55/kg to TND 26.71 /kg, said ONAGRI. Regarding organic olive oil exports, they have reached 29,446 tonnes valued at TND 795 million, with an average price of TND 27/kg. Their share in Tunisia's overall olive oil exports stands at 23% and 23.1% in terms of quantity and value, respectively. Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

Tema Metro Education Directorate celebrates International Boys’ Day 

The Tema Metro Education Directorate has held a heroes' conference for members of the Tema boys' clubs in commemoration of this year's International Boys' Day. The conference aimed at putting the spotlight on the health and well-being?of boys, particularly those in Junior High School (JHS) and Senior High School (SHS). The theme for the celebration is 'Focus on Boys' Health and Well-Being' to acknowledge a need for the boys to identify their self-worth to live positive lifestyles to enhance their health and general well-being. Mr. Samuel Atuahene Antwi, the Nutrition Officer at the Tema Metropolitan Health Directorate, speaking at the event, stressed the importance of nutritional education, saying it provided a lot of information about their health. Mr. Antwi stated that healthy eating was not only about preventing illness but also about ensuring optimal cognitive function and emotional stability, which are essential for academic success. He encouraged the young boys to prioritise their spending on nutr itious food and healthy habits rather than on clothing and other non-essential items, emphasizing the importance of investing in their well-being. The boys were strongly encouraged to report any sexual abuse they might encounter and were also advised to be goal-driven and to cultivate a clear sense of purpose in their lives. Ms. Olivia Bosompemaa, the Tema Metro Girls' Education Officer, said in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), that this year's theme encourages boys to recognise their unique abilities and pursue their dreams without fear of expressing vulnerabilities. Ms.?Bosompemaa said that societal expectations often discouraged boys from sharing their problems, which could negatively impact their academic performance and overall well-being. 'We want boys to feel supported and to have the courage to share their issues so they can achieve their goals,' she said. She also called for support and funding for the unit to help reach out to more boys, saying that the initiative has brought a lo t of improvement in the conduct of the boys who participated. 'If we had more funding, we could reach more boys and bring resources to schools,' she said.? She added that parents must support and provide for their boys to be healthy and have a sound mind to concentrate in school. 'Parents need to provide for their children's basic needs, especially food and school supplies, to help them excel,' she said. Some students expressed their joy, saying?that such?events provided them with a lot of knowledge on how to groom themselves and plan their lives. Other students said they have been able to build a little confidence, adding that the event also provided a platform for networking. Source: Ghana News Agency

Tunisia shows lower competitiveness in attracting FDI compared to Egypt, Morocco (IACE)

Tunisia has a significantly lower competitiveness in attracting foreign investment compared to Egypt and Morocco," according to a comparative study conducted by the Arab Institute of Business Leaders (IACE) across North Africa for the period 2003-2022. The study, entitled "Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Tunisia between Attractiveness and Retention", was published on Friday. Egypt stands out as the leading destination for new foreign investment in the region, particularly during the post-COVID-19 recovery period, while Tunisia is struggling to regain its pre-pandemic appeal. The IACE noted that "Tunisia and Morocco were almost equal in terms of FDI inflows in 2010, but since then the gap has widened due to Tunisia's underperformance and Morocco's remarkable results". In a comparative analysis of North African countries, Tunisia emerges with "the lowest number of new investments compared to Egypt and Morocco". "The evolution of FDI volume largely reflects the country's attractiveness for investment; h owever, it is crucial to distinguish between reinvestment or expansion and new foreign investment," IACE said. "Since 2014, the number of expansions of foreign projects in Tunisia has consistently exceeded the number of new creations, indicating an ability to retain and sustain existing foreign investments, with increasingly significant reinvestment efforts, all in a context of limited attractiveness for new investments." Building on this observation, the Institute assessed that "policymakers have a dual objective" of retaining and sustaining existing foreign investment by promoting a favourable investment climate capable of safeguarding the jobs created, while at the same time seeking to attract new FDI. The study highlighted the need to identify the expectations of foreign investors and to initiate a branding strategy to improve Tunisia's positioning as an attractive destination for foreign investment. Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse

AI holds immense potential for Africa’s media industry – President Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged the African media to capitalise on the opportunity and work efficiency inherent in the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to drive growth in the industry. He noted that the use of AI in news collection and dissemination had an unprecedented impact on the media environment and encouraged it to be used responsibly. 'AI holds immense potential for the media industry,' the President told a gathering of some eminent journalists at the closing session of the Third African Media Convention (AMC), which was hosted in Accra, Ghana. He said the media had its reputation and integrity to protect in the line of duty. President Akufo-Addo warned that AI should not be used for the wrong reasons so that it does not become 'a source of evil,' and that utilizing AI to generate fake information and other unhealthy practices should not be accepted. He said Journalists were expected to be mindful of ethical norms to build public trust as they tried to educate and inform socie ty. The three-day Convention brought together media experts, scholars, journalists' unions and associations, editors, policymakers, as well as cooperating partners from around the African continent, UNESCO, and African Union (AU) Commission. It discussed the emerging technologies in the media landscape, advancing best practices amid the fast-evolving news industry and creating new revenue opportunities through partnerships. The key highlights related to the state of the media in Africa, Artificial Intelligence, and its impact on new media, bringing the newsroom into the business of news, and revenue and innovation-winning ideas for sustainability and growth. The African Media Convention is currently the largest gathering of media stakeholders and policymakers on the continent. It is an initiative of the African Editors' Forum (TAEF) designed to safeguard the hard-won media freedoms and safety of journalists on the continent. The maiden edition was held in Arusha, Tanzania, in 2022. President Akufo-Addo emphasized the importance of environmental sustainability and urged the media to promote education to raise awareness among the public. He emphasized the need to raise public awareness to build an environmentally sustainable culture because the health of the environment is tied to humanity's overall development and growth. He drew attention to the need to expose the public to emerging environmental issues, such as climate change and its impact on global development, saying this should be at the heart of contemporary media practice. Mr Churchill Otieno, President of the African Editors' Forum, said the Convention enabled the participants to assess and discuss the situation of the right to press freedom on the continent, identifying areas where journalists faced repression, violence, or censorship. It also strengthened ties between different actors, such as the media and civil society organisations as well as international bodies, to work together to promote and protect the right to press freedom. More imp ortantly, the Convention highlighted the importance of truthful and accurate information, particularly that which condemns and investigates the environmental crisis and its effects. Source: Ghana News Agency