Investigation Launched into Allegations of AI Involvement in President Ramaphosa’s Speech

Investigation Launched Into Allegations Of Ai Involvement In President Ramaphosa’s Speech

South African officials have initiated an investigation into claims that President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recent speech on decolonising education was partly generated with the assistance of AI technology, specifically ChatGPT. The speech, delivered with enthusiasm at a conference in Johannesburg on November 21, has sparked speculation after social media users fed portions of the text into AI-detection software designed to identify AI-generated content.

One particular segment of the speech, which focused on challenging colonial theories and embracing diversity and inclusivity, raised eyebrows and fuelled the speculation of AI involvement. The snippet, along with other parts of the speech, appeared to exhibit characteristics associated with AI-generated text.

Vincent Magwenya, a spokesperson for the presidency, promptly addressed the issue, clarifying that the presidency does not rely on AI for speech-writing purposes. However, he did disclose that certain portions of President Ramaphosa’s address were crafted by the Department of Basic Education. As a result, the department has been called upon to provide details on the sources of their content.

Magwenya emphasised the seriousness of the situation, stating that AI-generated speeches are considered unacceptable. If the allegations are substantiated, there will be consequences for those involved.

“We take this matter seriously. AI-generated speeches? A big no-no. If it turns out to be true, there will be consequences,” Magwenya affirmed.

The investigation aims to shed light on the origin of the speech content and clarify whether AI technology played a role in its creation. The use of AI in speech-writing can raise ethical and transparency concerns, especially when it comes to public addresses by political figures. The outcome of the investigation will provide clarity on the matter and potentially influence future practices regarding the use of AI in crafting official speeches.

Gender Mobile Initiative Urges President Tinubu to Sign Sexual Harassment Bill into Law

Gender Mobile Initiative Urges President Tinubu To Sign Sexual Harassment Bill Into Law

The Gender Mobile Initiative (GMI) has called upon President Bola Tinubu to assent to the Sexual Harassment Prohibition in Tertiary Education Institutions Bill, which is currently awaiting his approval. Speaking at a press conference in Abuja as part of the ’16 Days of Activism’ campaign, the Lead Director of GMI, Omowumi Ogunrotimi, emphasised the urgent need for a legal framework to address the critical issue of sexual harassment in Nigerian tertiary institutions.

Ms. Ogunrotimi highlighted that sexual harassment has become a rampant problem in Nigerian universities, necessitating a comprehensive legal framework to tackle the issue effectively. With over 350 institutions of higher learning in the country, addressing the problem on an individual basis would be a lengthy process. The proposed bill, introduced in 2019, seeks to prevent, prohibit, and redress sexual harassment in tertiary educational institutions, with offenders facing up to 14 years of imprisonment.

While the bill was opposed by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), it passed through both houses of the National Assembly in June and was subsequently transmitted to the president for assent. However, President Tinubu has yet to sign the bill into law. The GMI emphasised the recent protest against the Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Calabar as evidence of the urgent need to address sexual harassment and protect the rights of students.

Ms. Ogunrotimi acknowledged various initiatives already in place to combat sexual harassment, including a sexual harassment prohibition policy co-designed by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), the GMI, and higher education institutions. However, she stressed the need for a comprehensive legal framework to provide statutory backing and criminalise sexual harassment in higher education institutions.

The GMI believes that passing the Sexual Harassment bill into law is the most promising solution. The legislation includes clear definitions of offences, stringent penalties for perpetrators, and mechanisms for prevention and redress. Ms. Ogunrotimi emphasised that the president’s action would send a powerful message about the nation’s values and commitment to creating an environment where all students, particularly female students, can thrive.

The GMI calls on President Tinubu to swiftly assent to the bill, highlighting that statutory backing is not just a formality but a fundamental requirement to enforce the provisions and bring about tangible change in the fight against sexual harassment in Nigerian tertiary institutions.


Source: Premium Times Nigeria

Uganda Faces Alarming Surge in HIV/AIDS Infections Ahead of World AIDS Day

As the world prepares to observe World AIDS Day, Uganda is confronting a distressing surge in HIV/AIDS infections, with over 1,000 new cases reported each week, averaging a troubling 158 cases per day, according to the Uganda AIDS Commission.

The Uganda Population-Based HIV Impact Assessment conducted a comprehensive evaluation, revealing significant regional variations in HIV prevalence, ranging from 2.1 percent in the North East (Karamoja) region to 8.1 percent in the Central 1 region (Greater Masaka).

The country is witnessing an alarming trend with the consistent reporting of at least 1,000 new infections per week.

Dr. Cecilia Nattembo, Regional Medical Director at Uganda Cares, underlines the seriousness of the situation, stating, “The distribution of HIV prevalence across regions highlights the complexity of the challenge we face. Urgent and targeted interventions are needed to address the varying rates.”

Despite a 22% decline in new HIV infections since 2015, Uganda recorded 52,000 new infections as of December 2022, according to the Uganda AIDS Commission.

Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, Minister of Health, acknowledges the persistent high levels of new infections, stating, “While we’ve made progress, the current numbers still pose a risk to global commitments. Our focus remains on achieving the 95-95-95 targets.”

Dr. Aceng further highlights Uganda’s progress, stating, “As of today, we have achieved a 92-94-94 milestone on the 95-95-95 targets. This signifies significant strides in our efforts to control the spread of HIV/AIDS.”

Reports indicate that South Buganda and Mid North are currently experiencing the highest burden of new HIV infections, with adolescent girls aged 15-24 being the most affected, accounting for nearly four out of every five new infections.

The 2020 Uganda Population-Based HIV Impact Assessment reveals that the current HIV prevalence among adults aged 15 and above is 5.8%, a slight decrease from 6.2% in 2016. Prevalence among women stands at 7.2%, while men report a prevalence of 4.3%.

In light of these alarming statistics, Uganda grapples with the urgent need for targeted interventions and increased awareness to curb the surge in HIV/AIDS cases. These findings emphasise the significance of sustained efforts on the eve of World AIDS Day, as the nation strives to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS and ensure the well-being of its citizens.


Source: Nile Post

Zimbabwe Introduces Stringent Measures to Combat Deadly Cholera Outbreak

Zimbabwe Introduces Stringent Measures To Combat Deadly Cholera Outbreak

Amidst a deadly cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe, the government has implemented new measures aimed at halting the spread of the disease. The capital city, Harare, has been placed under a state of emergency, with over 1,200 laboratory-confirmed cases reported across ten provinces in the country.

To address the crisis, the Zimbabwean government has established 46 cholera treatment camps and multiple oral re-hydration points, ensuring that essential services are easily accessible to affected individuals. Hand washing stations and sanitation devices will be installed in public areas to minimise the risk of person-to-person transmission. Furthermore, the government plans to train and deploy approximately 300 healthcare personnel who will conduct door-to-door campaigns to educate the public about cholera.

Acting Health Minister Amon Murwira emphasised the importance of community engagement and collaboration in tackling the outbreak. Various initiatives, such as community dialogues, inter-faith discussions, and stakeholder sensitisation programs, have been scheduled for districts with high cholera incidence rates.

In addition, the government has taken steps to ensure the provision of safe water in affected urban areas. Water tracking systems will be implemented immediately, while water quality monitoring will be conducted across all regions. The supervision of burials in cholera-affected areas will be strengthened, and restrictions on gatherings in such locations will be intensified, according to Information Minister Jenfan Muswere.

The Zimbabwean authorities are taking these stringent measures to curb the spread of cholera and protect public health. Cholera is a highly contagious waterborne disease that can cause severe illness and death if left untreated. By prioritising public awareness, access to treatment, and sanitation practices, the government aims to mitigate the impact of the outbreak and safeguard the well-being of its citizens.


Source: CGTN Africa

UN Announces Broader Rollout of Malaria Vaccine in Africa, Signalling a New Era in Disease Control

The United Nations has announced the expansion of malaria vaccination efforts across Africa following the arrival of the first shipment of doses in Cameroon. After a successful pilot phase in Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi, where over two million children were vaccinated since 2019, the program is now entering a broader rollout phase. A total of 331,200 doses of RTS,S, the first malaria vaccine recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), have arrived in Cameroon’s capital, Yaounde.

The WHO, UNICEF, and the Gavi vaccine alliance released a joint statement welcoming the delivery, stating that it signifies the imminent scale-up of malaria vaccination in high-risk areas of the African continent. They described it as a historic step toward vaccinating against one of the deadliest diseases affecting African children. The doses are donated by the manufacturer GSK.

Cameroon’s Health Minister, Malachie Manaouda, urged parents to take advantage of this life-saving intervention, emphasising that malaria remains a significant public health threat in the country. In the coming weeks, an additional 1.7 million doses will be delivered to Burkina Faso, Liberia, Niger, and Sierra Leone.

Malaria is the leading cause of mortality in infants and children under five in Liberia. Wilhelmina Jallah, Liberia’s Health Minister, expressed the potential of the vaccine to save many lives and alleviate the burden of the disease.

Several African countries are finalising preparations to introduce malaria vaccines into routine immunisation programs, with the first doses set to be administered between January and March 2024. UNICEF Chief Catherine Russell likened the introduction of vaccines to adding a star player to the field, marking a new era in immunisation and malaria control.

Africa accounted for approximately 95 percent of global malaria cases and 96 percent of related deaths in 2021. While global malaria deaths fell significantly between 2000 and 2019, reaching 568,000, they increased by 10 percent in 2020 to 625,000 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on protection and treatment efforts. In 2021, deaths slightly decreased to 619,000, with 77 percent of them being children under five. Global malaria cases rose slightly to 247 million.

The rollout of the RTS,S vaccine is considered a breakthrough moment for malaria vaccines and disease control. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus described it as a ray of light in a dark time for vulnerable children worldwide. The vaccine targets the plasmodium falciparum parasite, the most deadly malaria parasite globally and the most prevalent in Africa. Administered in a four-dose schedule starting around five months of age, the broad implementation of malaria vaccination in endemic regions has the potential to be a game-changer, saving tens of thousands of lives annually, according to the joint statement released by the WHO, UNICEF, and Gavi.

David Walton, the United States’ global malaria coordinator, described this moment as the culmination of decades of efforts and expressed hope for a world in which no child dies from a mosquito bite. The expanded vaccination campaign brings renewed optimism for malaria control and paves the way for a future where the impact of this devastating disease is significantly reduced.


Source; Africa News

Nigeria Calls for Increased Investment in Mining Sector, Unveils Reforms to Boost Growth

Nigeria Calls For Increased Investment In Mining Sector, Unveils Reforms To Boost Growth

Nigeria’s Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Oladele Alake, has outlined fresh commitments and reforms aimed at attracting investment and accelerating growth in the country’s mining sector. Speaking at the Mines & Money Conference in London, Alake emphasized the need to streamline business transactions, enhance security in mining operations, and capitalise on Nigeria’s abundant mineral resources.

Citing a report by audit firm KPMG, Alake highlighted the positive growth of the mining sector, with its contribution to Nigeria’s GDP increasing from 0.3 percent to 0.85 percent last year, representing a year-on-year growth rate of 0.63 percent. He underscored the country’s geological potential, which encompasses over 44 distinct mineral types across more than 500 locations, including the newly recognised strategic mineral, lithium.

The Minister emphasised the administration’s commitment to reforms aimed at attracting foreign investment. These reforms include streamlining procedures, reducing bureaucratic hurdles, and creating a favourable environment for solid minerals development. Alake also highlighted recent progress in data collection through partnerships with organisations like the Airborne Geophysical Survey and German firm Geoscan, which aim to gather comprehensive data on solid minerals across the country.

Alake stressed the importance of value addition and beatification in Nigeria’s mining industry. The government aims to move beyond raw mineral exports and promote processing within the country. By adding value to raw materials, Nigeria seeks to generate employment opportunities, particularly for the youth, and increase the sector’s profitability and contribution to the nation’s GDP.

The Minister called on investors to prioritise the socio-economic development of communities where mining operations take place. He highlighted the revised guidelines for the Community Development Agreement, which promotes initiatives such as social amenities, educational support, and environmental facilities to benefit local communities.

The reforms and commitments unveiled by Minister Oladele Alake indicate Nigeria’s determination to attract investment and harness the potential of its mining sector. By simplifying procedures, improving security, and promoting value addition, the government aims to create a conducive environment for both domestic and foreign investors. These initiatives not only have the potential to drive economic growth but also contribute to job creation, youth empowerment, and the overall development of Nigeria’s mining industry.


Source: Premium Times

Glasgow Faces Housing Emergency as Homelessness Reaches Critical Levels

Glasgow Faces Housing Emergency As Homelessness Reaches Critical Levels

The city of Glasgow is on the brink of a housing emergency, with homelessness reaching alarming levels, according to the councillor responsible for overseeing homelessness services. As the number of individuals in temporary accommodation continues to rise, along with an increase in the use of bed and breakfast establishments, authorities are bracing themselves for a significant surge in homelessness during the upcoming winter season.

The situation is expected to be exacerbated by the UK Home Office’s decision to expedite asylum claims in batches, which is likely to result in a higher number of individuals finding themselves without a home. If asylum seekers are granted a positive decision, they will be given a 28-day period to vacate the accommodation provided by Home Office contractor Mears. Failure to secure alternative housing within this time-frame will lead to their referral to the council’s homelessness team.

Allan Casey, City Convenor for Workforce, Homelessness, and Addiction Services, is proposing the official declaration of a housing emergency. In his motion, Casey urges the council to recognise the immense pressures faced by Glasgow City Council and the Health and Social Care Partnership, formally acknowledging that these pressures constitute a housing emergency. He also calls for concerted efforts to lobby the Scottish and UK Governments for the necessary funding and legislative changes required to address the crisis.

Estimates suggest that the acceleration of asylum applications could result in a cost of £53 million for the council in the coming year, with the Home Office indicating that it will not provide any financial assistance. Furthermore, alongside the rising number of individuals granted permission to stay, there has been an increase in the number of claims being refused. Consequently, more people find themselves ineligible for public support, falling under the category of ‘No recourse to public funds’ (NRPF), and the council anticipates a surge in rough sleeping as a consequence.

The influx of asylum seekers compounds an already growing number of individuals seeking assistance due to homelessness. Casey highlighted the strain on homelessness services in the city, citing the significant increase in approaches for housing advice and homelessness assistance made to the Health and Social Care Partnership. The escalating demand is predicted to lead to a higher number of homelessness applications and a greater reliance on temporary accommodation.

The combined effect of the increasing number of asylum decisions and the rising local homelessness rate has resulted in more individuals being placed in bed and breakfast establishments, placing the council in breach of unsuitable accommodation orders. Campaigners have long been advocating for a declaration of a housing emergency in Glasgow, emphasising the urgent need for action. They argue that the current system is failing, leaving thousands of homeless individuals languishing in substandard and squalid temporary accommodation, with detrimental effects on their physical and mental well-being.

As the situation reaches a critical point, Glasgow faces a pressing challenge in addressing the housing crisis. The declaration of a housing emergency, coupled with substantial funding and legislative support from the Scottish and UK Governments, is crucial in providing immediate relief and long-term solutions to combat homelessness and ensure the well-being and dignity of all residents in the city.


Source: Glasgow Times

Nigerian Man Pleads Guilty to Multimillion-Dollar Cyber Fraud Scheme Targeting US Corporations

Nigerian Man Pleads Guilty To Multimillion Dollar Cyber Fraud Scheme Targeting Us Corporations

In a significant development, 33-year-old Idris Dayo Mustapha, a British-Nigerian man, has confessed to orchestrating a highly sophisticated cyber fraud scheme that spanned seven years. Mustapha, a prominent member of a hacking ring, meticulously targeted email and brokerage accounts of US corporations from 2011 to 2018, resulting in staggering losses exceeding $6 million (£4.7 million).

US authorities had been diligently pursuing Mustapha for several years, and their relentless efforts have finally led to a breakthrough in the case. Mustapha appeared before a court in Brooklyn, New York, on Tuesday, where he entered a guilty plea to four charges: computer intrusion, securities fraud, wire fraud, and access device fraud, as reported by the BBC.

According to authorities familiar with the investigation, Mustapha and his accomplices hacked into the computer servers of various financial institutions in the United States, successfully gaining access to highly confidential user data, including personal identifying information. Armed with this stolen information and passwords, they undertook a series of transactions that involved transferring funds and securities from the victims’ accounts to accounts under their control.

The cybercriminals also exploited the compromised accounts to execute stock trades without the knowledge or consent of the legitimate account holders. This covert manipulation allowed Mustapha and his ring to profit illicitly while leaving the unsuspecting victims with significant financial losses.

Given the severity and scale of the crimes committed, Mustapha faces a potential prison term of up to 20 years. His guilty plea serves as a crucial milestone in the ongoing efforts to hold cybercriminals accountable and safeguard the integrity of financial systems.

The successful apprehension and prosecution of Mustapha highlight the tireless work of law enforcement agencies in combating cybercrime. It underscores the importance of international collaboration and the continuous adaptation of security measures to address the evolving tactics employed by cybercriminals.

As technology continues to advance, the specter of cyber fraud looms ever larger. This case serves as a reminder of the need for individuals, organizations, and governments to remain vigilant in safeguarding sensitive information, enhancing cybersecurity protocols, and educating the public about potential threats.

The conclusion of this high-profile case emphasises the unwavering commitment to justice and the determination to pursue those responsible for perpetrating cyber fraud. It sends a clear message that cybercriminals will be pursued relentlessly and held accountable for their actions, as authorities strive to protect individuals, corporations, and the global financial ecosystem from the perils of cybercrime.


Source: Africa News