Germany Donates €10 Million to WFP to Provide Nutritious Meals to School Children in Sierra Leone

Germany Donates €10 Million To Wfp To Provide Nutritious Meals To School Children In Sierra Leone

The Federal Republic of Germany has pledged a generous donation of €10 million to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to support the provision of nutritious meals to primary school children in the Karene district of northern Sierra Leone. This significant contribution aims to improve food security, boost local food production, and stimulate the economy while enhancing the well-being of vulnerable children.

Under the German-funded home-grown school meals program, WFP will supply diverse and safe meals to approximately 25,300 pre and primary school children in 115 schools from 2024 to 2028. The meals will be prepared using locally produced food sourced from 8,000 smallholder farmers. By connecting farmers to schools and promoting local agricultural communities, particularly women, the project will create demand for nutritious and diverse food, shorten value chains, and strengthen food systems.

Sierra Leone has been a crucial focus for WFP’s school feeding initiatives, providing meals to 238,000 students across five districts. With this new contribution, the home-grown school feeding program will expand to cover 53,000 pupils, marking a 22 percent increase in early 2024.

Jens Kraus-Massé, the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Sierra Leone, emphasized the significance of this contribution, stating, “This contribution shows the commitment of Germany to improving food security in Sierra Leone in line with the Government’s ‘Feed Salone’ initiative.”

Conrad Sackey, Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, expressed his gratitude for the timely funding, highlighting its crucial role in realizing the President’s vision for human capital development. The government of Sierra Leone has prioritized home-grown school feeding as a key component of its National School Feeding Policy, recognizing its potential to induce social and economic development within communities.

Yvonne Forsen, WFP’s Representative and Country Director in Sierra Leone, expressed delight at Germany’s commitment to transforming the lives of vulnerable populations in Sierra Leone. She reaffirmed WFP’s dedication to partnering with organizations to enhance food security, nutrition, livelihoods, and the local economy in the country.

Additionally, in alignment with the Sierra Leonean government’s efforts to address the global climate crisis, a portion of the German funding will be allocated to constructing environmentally friendly kitchens and storerooms, as well as fuel-efficient stoves to reduce the use of firewood.

The United Nations World Food Programme, known as the largest humanitarian organization globally, strives to save lives during emergencies and employs food assistance to establish a pathway to peace, stability, and prosperity for individuals recovering from conflicts, disasters, and the impacts of climate change.


Source: World Food Programme

German Troops Begin Withdrawal from Gao as UN Peacekeeping Mission in Mali Winds Down

German Troops Begin Withdrawal From Gao As Un Peacekeeping Mission In Mali Winds Down

The withdrawal of German troops from Gao, Mali, has commenced as the United Nations (UN) undertakes the dismantling of its peacekeeping mission in the country by the end of this year. Starting on Tuesday, personnel stationed at Camp Castor, which supports the activities of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), began disassembling and transporting their equipment back to Germany.

This move aligns with the UN Security Council’s decision in June to conclude the decade-long peacekeeping mission in Mali. The military junta in Mali, which has recently aligned itself with Russia, had urged the removal of foreign troops from the country. The junta’s cooperation with Russia also included the involvement of the Wagner Group.

Mali’s relationship with the United Nations has significantly deteriorated since a military coup in 2020 brought a military regime to power, which subsequently severed defence cooperation with France, its former colonial power. As per the long-standing UN protocol, the host country’s approval is required for a peacekeeping mission to be established.

As of the end of November, the UN mission had dismantled nine of the twelve MINUSMA bases in Mali. MINUSMA has been deployed in the country since 2013 to support the nation’s security against jihadist rebels affiliated with al-Qaida and the Islamic State group, as well as a separatist uprising led by the Tuareg people.

The withdrawal of German troops signifies another step towards the conclusion of the UN peacekeeping mission. The process of dismantling bases and transporting equipment back to respective countries is a complex endeavour that requires careful coordination to ensure the safety of personnel and the preservation of peace and security in the region.

The UN and its partners, including Germany, remain committed to working closely with the Malian government to facilitate a smooth transition and support the country’s efforts towards long-term stability. The conclusion of the peacekeeping mission marks a significant milestone in Mali’s trajectory, highlighting the need for continued international cooperation and support to address the remaining challenges faced by the nation.

As the UN mission in Mali winds down, the focus will shift towards strengthening the capacity of the Malian security forces and promoting sustainable development in the country. The international community will continue to monitor the situation in Mali closely and explore avenues for collaboration to ensure lasting peace and prosperity for its people.


Source: Africa News

German Court Sentences Gambian Death Squad Member to Life Imprisonment for Crimes Against Humanity

German Court Sentences Gambian Death Squad Member To Life Imprisonment For Crimes Against Humanity

In a historic verdict, a German court has sentenced a member of a Gambian death squad to life imprisonment for crimes against humanity and other charges. The trial marked the first prosecution in Germany for abuses committed under former President Yahya Jammeh’s regime.

The individual, known to the media as Bai Lowe but identified as Bai L. by the German justice system, was found guilty of crimes against humanity, murder, and attempted murder in three cases. The court in Celle, located in northern Germany, delivered the verdict following the public prosecutor’s request.

The 48-year-old man was specifically convicted of participating in murders that took place in Gambia between 2003 and 2006, including the killing of AFP correspondent Deyda Hydara on December 16, 2004.

Bai Lowe served as a driver for the “Junglers,” a Gambian death squad established by the government in the mid-1990s to intimidate or eliminate opposition figures.

During a hearing in October 2022, the defendant denied any involvement in the crimes, as stated by his lawyer. The defence pleaded for his acquittal, but the court rejected these arguments.

Germany’s recognition of universal jurisdiction for serious crimes under international law enabled the trial to take place on its soil, regardless of the accused’s nationality or the location of the alleged crimes. The country has previously convicted individuals for atrocities committed during the Syrian civil war.

The specific charges against Bai Lowe included involvement in the attempted murder of lawyer Ousman Sillah, the murder of Deyda Hydara, the attempted murder of Ida Jagne and Nian Sarang Jobe (who worked for the newspaper co-founded by Hydara), and the murder of former Gambian soldier Dawda Nyassi.

Deyda Hydara himself claimed to have falsely accused himself of acts he did not commit, aiming to expose the cruelty of Yahya Jammeh’s regime (1994-2017). However, the court deemed this line of defence implausible, and the civil parties expressed their disappointment with Bai Lowe’s statement.

The verdict in Celle serves as a warning to others who committed crimes under the dictatorship, according to the victims’ relatives and NGOs. Reed Brody, a lawyer with the International Commission of Jurists working with the victims, stated, “The long arm of justice has caught up with Bai Lowe in Germany, as it is already catching up with Yahya Jammeh’s henchmen around the world and will hopefully also catch up with Jammeh himself.”

Parallel proceedings against Jammeh’s collaborators are ongoing outside of Gambia, including the trial of Ousman Sonko, former Minister of the Interior, in Switzerland since 2017 for crimes against humanity. Additionally, Michael Sang Correa, another individual associated with Jammeh, is set to stand trial in the United States.

While Yahya Jammeh resides in Equatorial Guinea, a country with no extradition agreement with Gambia, the Gambian government has initiated efforts to address the crimes committed during his 22-year dictatorship. In collaboration with the Organization of West African States, Gambia announced plans to establish a tribunal to prosecute the crimes of the former dictator.

The pursuit of justice for the victims of the Jammeh regime remains a significant challenge for President Adama Barrow, who assumed office following a surprise victory in the 2016 presidential election.


Source: Africa News

President Bola Tinubu Urges German Investment in Nigerian Economy’s Key Sectors

President Bola Tinubu Urges German Investment In Nigerian Economy's Key Sectors

President Bola Tinubu of Nigeria has called for German investment in critical areas of the Nigerian economy, particularly in the fields of electricity and rail transportation. The president made this request during a meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin on Monday, outside the G20 Compact with Africa Economic Conference.

In a statement released by the president’s spokesperson, Ajuri Ngelale, Tinubu emphasised the need for German investment in growth-enabling sectors such as transportation, energy, and the generation, transmission, and distribution of electric power. He highlighted the importance of accelerating the implementation of the Presidential Power Initiative, backed by Siemens, which aims to address Nigeria’s power challenges.

Tinubu expressed his commitment to pursuing all aspects of the Siemens power project and emphasised the potential skill development opportunities for Nigerian youth in sustaining the industry. He also suggested that Siemens could contribute to Nigeria’s rail network by supplying cutting-edge trains and railroads, drawing inspiration from the company’s ongoing project in Egypt, where it is constructing a 2,000 km ultra-high-speed rail network spanning 60 towns.

In response, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz expressed his willingness to move forward with the investment proposals. However, he emphasised the importance of addressing financial and administrative obstacles resulting from governance issues within the sector.

During the meeting, Tinubu also raised the topic of value-added processing in Nigeria’s solid minerals, agriculture, automotive industry, and other job-generating sectors. He highlighted the potential for enhancing these sectors through German collaboration, further emphasising Nigeria’s commitment to economic growth and job creation.

The meeting between President Tinubu and Chancellor Scholz reflects the mutual interest in strengthening economic ties between Nigeria and Germany. As discussions continue, both countries aim to explore avenues for collaboration and investment that will drive sustainable economic development and benefit the people of Nigeria.

This development marks an important step forward in attracting foreign investment and fostering partnerships to promote economic growth and address key challenges facing Nigeria’s infrastructure and industrial sectors.

President Ruto Explores Employment Opportunities for Kenyans in Germany, Strengthening International Labour Agreements

President Ruto Explores Employment Opportunities For Kenyans In Germany, Strengthening International Labour Agreements

President William Ruto is currently in Germany on a mission to explore employment opportunities for Kenyan citizens in the European nation. This initiative comes in response to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s visit to Kenya in May, where he unveiled plans to welcome 250,000 Kenyan professionals, skilled laborers, and semi-skilled workers to address Germany’s significant labour needs.

Speaking to a congregation in Sotik, Bomet County, President Ruto highlighted the importance of international labour agreements and their role in combating the rising cost of living. He emphasized that youth employment is a crucial factor in achieving this goal and pledged to continue pursuing such agreements with various countries around the world.

President Ruto revealed that he is actively working with Labour Cabinet Secretary Florence Bore to establish bilateral labour agreements that would enable Kenya to send 3,000 workers abroad every week. The objective is to generate income for the country’s transformation and provide opportunities for Kenyan citizens.

While the president did not provide a specific timeline for the deployment of Kenyan workers under these agreements, he expressed his commitment to the cause. Addressing critics who questioned his frequent foreign trips, President Ruto stated that his travels are not for tourism but rather to work tirelessly for the welfare of Kenyans. He reiterated his understanding of the reasons he was elected to office.

In addition to his efforts in Germany, President Ruto recently announced that he had secured agreements with prominent American tech giants, including Amazon, Intel, and Google, during his US-Kenya roadshow in September. These agreements are expected to create thousands of digital job opportunities for Kenyan youth, contributing to the country’s economic growth. However, specific details regarding the number of jobs pledged by each corporation were not disclosed.

President Ruto’s initiatives to explore employment opportunities in Germany and forge international labour agreements demonstrate his commitment to addressing unemployment and improving the livelihoods of Kenyan citizens. These efforts are expected to create avenues for Kenyans to showcase their skills and contribute to the economies of both Germany and Kenya.


Source: Capital News