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Renewable Energy and Bottom-up Decentralization in Morocco – The Maravi Post



Renewable Energy and Bottom-up Decentralization in Morocco

By Yossef Ben-Meir, Marrakech

The Kingdom of Morocco is a place of hope and promise of honest attempts to make strides commensurate with the humanistic journey. It recognizes in its Constitution, laws, policies, and programs that community participation is the essential ingredient for achieving optimal outcomes, including sustainability and ever-deeper satisfaction among the people.

The premise of the nation’s family code is rooted in not just centuries but millennia, calling for justice and equity in regard to women and men and our gender-based experiences. Morocco has also determined—based on its own historically informed outlook, but also from lessons around the world drawn over time—that concentrating the power of decision-making and control over the affairs that matter the most to people ought to rest among them and in the public administrative tier closest to them. This is also a matter of recognizing human dignity: distant determinations which are imposed are rarely as appropriate as those that people make for themselves and their families alongside their neighbors and community members.

The national commitment for renewable energy is also among the nation’s flagship efforts for a society that lives in balance, not just with each other as a diverse people but also in regards to the relationship with the natural environment. Morocco’s global noteworthy commitment to renewable energy, backed by financial and political will, is indeed inspiring. It is part and parcel of Morocco’s transformational intent in the other vital sectors of society and growth.

Nonetheless, as incredibly major as the country’s opportunities are, the difficulties and inadequacies of their implementation can, at times, be stark and real. Morocco deserves enormous credit for its honesty. One need not look any further than the Special Report for the New Development Model (spearheaded by H.M. the King of Morocco) for the truth in regard to both the promise and its painful lack of fulfillment, concluding with the urgency to chart a recalibrated course of action.

The national commitment to decentralization—or regionalization—that is captured in Article 1 of the Constitution is essential; it provides a system by which localities can identify and implement related projects in keeping with their own priorities. Such community movements occur, particularly in partnership with public and private sectors, the more these channels of cooperation in reaching decentralization can be effective.

Decentralization will remain stalled or will flourish to the extent that communities comprising the country’s municipalities are vibrant and energized in their collaborative course, implementing the development they most seek. The unsatisfactory level of community actions in this regard is the primary reason that decentralization is not providing an empowering structure and necessary difference for the country.

Renewable energy projects, no matter their impressive prominence even with Morocco’s sincere dedication, has not been integrative of community voices, evaluations, and, arguably, benefits—in a manner felt by the local people.

The High Atlas Foundation and its domestic and international multi-stakeholder partners all hold high hopes and expectations for Morocco’s commitment to decentralized renewable energy. They are taking the course that we must first provide opportunities for harnessing empowerment among intended beneficiaries and also engage in participatory planning of initiatives that they most want. We will then see areas where integration of renewable energy can take place within the pathway to development determined by the communities.

As in all genuine, empowering local movements, it begins with an invitation by the community members expressing their desire to fully engage and give the time and energy needed to achieve successful outcomes. Many invitations in our program’s experience are forthcoming, and we decided to focus in the Youssoufia province with a village community in the Jnane Bouih municipality because of circumstances that they face, including severe scarcity of water and evident vulnerability to the impacts of climate change.

Women and men prioritized clean drinking water and a nursery of different endemic fruit-bearing trees and medicinal plants as part of the fulfilling future that they seek. As of today, with the initial phases of empowerment workshops implemented, the registration of their cooperative, and a source of sweet and nourishing water found at a depth of 200 meters, we remain steadfast in the completion of their individual and collective dream.

These local development experiences, viewed comparatively and in the aggregate, reveal the commonality of needs: the difficulty of accessing resources to create change, the gender-based differences in objectives, and the desire to remain in rural communities and not migrate to cities for the sake of bread alone. Experiences examined in these and in other informative ways can actually be helpful in reforming policy. The power of decentralization is not only in its concentration of capacity among the people who drive their own futures and possibilities but also in its ability to bring forward new approaches and policy frameworks that are more commensurate with what people actually want and pursue.

Our experiences in Youssoufia and elsewhere are, in fact, revelatory in that they spotlight the adjustments and programs that can more effectively release the endless energy that people have for improving their lives. The Youssoufia experience is about the immediate needs of its residents. But, it is also about understanding the needs that transcend the countryside and that, when sincerely listened to, can bring about laws backed by resources ushering in the Moroccan promise for all its people.

Dr. Yossef Ben-Meir is president of the High Atlas Foundation in Morocco.

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Tyson Fury Rules The Heavyweight Roost Once More – The Maravi Post




With the dust now settled on the third leg of the Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder trilogy, there is a question as to what happens next in the heavyweight division, and it is a question that is being asked by a considerable number of people.

Because such was the spectacle in the most recent offering of Fury vs Wilder, that the boxing world wanted more heavyweight action and with the WBC championship still around the waist of the man who held the belt going into the fight, it is time to line up his next opponent.

An opponent that was meant to be Anthony Joshua and had the Olympic gold medallist adhered to his part of the plan, then the “Battle of Britain” that had been waiting in the wings for quite a while, would finally come to light.

Unfortunately for Joshua and fans of the 31-year-old, the best laid plans have a habit of being disrupted and after losing to Ukrainian Oleksander Usyk last month, all the other major heavyweight belts are now homed in Eastern Europe.

Such was the shock that took place at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, that Unibet who are one of the best bookmakers in the market, would have made a considerable amount of profit after 12 rounds of pugilistic warfare.

Warfare that saw Usyk declared the winner by virtue of a points decision and by the time his hand was lifted by the referee of the fight, the landscape of boxing’s heavyweight division had changed completely.

Because although boxing rarely operates in tournament circles, there was a feeling that both Fury and Joshua were in the de-facto Semi-finals and if they cleared both their hurdles, it would open up a British superfight in 2022.

However, that plan has now been given a considerable setback, as although the Manchester-born Fury upheld his end of the bargain by getting the better of nemesis Deontay Wilder for the second time in three fights, his compatriot failed to do his bit.

Which means, there is something of a fork in the road at present and one that arguably has Joshua at the centre of it – even if he has recently tasted a second career defeat and in again in somewhat shock circumstances.

Because although the boxer from Watford does not hold any belts at present, he does perhaps hold a considerable bargaining chip and one that comes in the shape of a rematch clause against the man who most recently bested him in London.

Now it offers the Brit the opportunity to become a three-time world champion and win back everything he lost in September. Should he do that, then the possibility of a “Battle of Britain” once again comes to the fore.

At the same time, even though there is no scope for Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder IV, the ‘Gypsy King’ will have to clear a mandatory hurdle of his own and one that could create a different all-British clash.

With Dillian Whyte constantly being a part of the WBC title picture, there is a sense that he has continually knocked on the door but never been answered and he feels seemingly overlooked, when it comes to the awarding of championship opportunities.

Then again, that could soon change, if he clears a final hurdle of his own and with a clash against Otto Wallin potentially acting as the WBC final eliminator, there is every chance that the winner would act as Fury’s next defence.

Which if this is the case, means we are back to the de-facto Semi-final stage of sorts and if Fury gets the better of either Wallin or Whyte, he will then sit back and see who the winner of the Usyk vs Joshua rematch is.

Only then will the path to total unification become a lot clearer and although boxing fans may feel that they have been deprived of witnessing two British stars finally square off, it is a scenario that could play out in the end. Even if the way it plays out, is not quite what people expected.

Of course, if it is Fury vs Whyte as the next WBC offering and the former of these two does his bit, then there is no reason why he cannot finally get his hands on the other Brit in the equation – that is, if Joshua manages to reach the heavyweight summit once again and claim back his belts.  

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No Country Like Nigeria By Owei Lakemfa – The Maravi Post




Water is life.  Yet it gets scarce. Deserts are advancing.  Although floods are causing havoc in some parts of the world, dry patches are becoming common. There was so much water shortage  in Southern Africa over the years, that countries like Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa were gasping for breath.

Three years ago, the water scarcity in Cape Town, South Africa was so serious, that the residents preferred their beautiful city to stink than use precious water to flush toilets, take a decent bath or wash clothes. The city banned car washing, filling swimming pools and fountains. Residents were restricted to 50 litres per day and there was also water quota for wetting farms.

Over the years, although most of Nigeria has no immediate water problem, I have always been conscious of my water usage.  A few months ago, the Water Board cut off my water supply and sent me an accumulated bill. I went to its offices, cleared the bill and asked that it restores my water supply.

I was directed to some officers on the field who said my supply could not be restored because my water meter was faulty. I wondered why, and was told that my water consumption was so low that the meter literally switched off, and since my consumption remained too low, it malfunctioned. I had to get a new meter. 

On reconnection, the water officials advised me to use as much water as I can. I could not understand the logic that a meter malfunctions because consumption is low. So, while water management is preached across the globe, here in Abuja, capital of Nigeria, I am being penalised for managing my water consumption, and advised to use lots of water even if  I have to waste it. This is uniquely Nigerian.

In September 2016, fire gutted my house. My neigbours called the Fire Service office. When the firemen delayed in showing up, some went physically to the fire office only to be told the fire truck driver had gone to eat and was not picking his calls.

When with the help of neigbours the fire had been brought under control, I drove to the fire station. Luckily, the driver had showed up, and I led them to my house.  By the time we arrived, the fire had been completely put out but I insisted the firemen should comb the entire building to ensure there were no more flames anywhere.

Then I asked them to help ascertain the cause of the fire. Their findings was that  power surge caused it. I asked the team leader for his phone number which he obliged. But on dialling it, I observed the Truecaller gave a different name. I asked him if he was not the original owner of the phone.

He said he was. I then pointed out that his name tag was different from the one on the phone. He said for security reasons, firemen do not wear their true name tags. I asked him if those worn by the rest of his men were fake, he confirmed they were. Until today, I cannot fathom why this was so. My only explanation is that this is Nigeria.

In the Apartheid days, I published an article on the struggles in South Africa. Then a number of persons told me that the then President of one of the student unions was complaining that I plagiarised his piece.

Apart from the fact that I wrote the entire article, I had never read anything he had written. When I ran into him, I challenged him to show me where he had published the piece he claimed I had plagiarised.

He replied that he wanted to write a similar article but decided not to after reading mine as I seemed to have read his thoughts hence his complaint that I had plagiarised, at least his thoughts. I concluded he was either mentally unbalanced or had been trying to show off without thinking that this could filter into my ears. The fellow is now an international pastor, winning souls.

A few years ago, I stopped at a popular bookshop in Lagos. A book of essays on the origins and spread of a particular religion written by academics attracted my attention. I flipped through the voluminous book and noted some articles I would love to read.  In particular, there was an essay on a nationalist I had written on some dozen years before.

When I returned to Abuja, I quickly began to read this particular essay. It seemed strangely familiar. It then dawned on me that I was reading my essay!  The new ‘author’ had merely rearranged some of the paragraphs and passed it off as his own work. I had been plagiarised a few times, but not on this scale and by a man introduced as a well versed and widely published  academic.

The editor of the book, a professor, is an old friend I had attended university with. I called him to complain and directed him where he can get a copy of my plagiarised essay. He sighed. It was not just about the reputation of his new book. On this, he said he could yank off my plagiarised essay and print a new edition. His fear is about the plagiarist, a retired professor.

He said if I persisted on pressing the case, the man’s reputation would be ruined and he is not sure, he would survive for long. I thought about it and decided to drop the case. Yes, I am wedded to the truth and against fraud in any sense, but was I ready to smash the reputation of the retired academic and possibly send him to an early grave?

There is a serving governor who is sworn to upholding the constitution which is categorical on who is a Nigerian citizen. But this governor argues that there is a nationality in the continent who are “global citizens” and, therefore, have the right to live in any African country especially Nigeria without naturalising.

To him, this group is above the Nigerian constitution and are automatically Nigerian citizens once they set foot on our soil. Is there any elected official in the world who can display so much disdain for the constitution? I suspect not; this is uniquely Nigerian.

The late General Sani Abacha is the most infamous ‘lootocrat’ in Nigerian history. He looted enough not just for himself, but also for his next four generations. Some European countries have been returning what has become known as the ‘Abacha Loot’ for two decades now.

Yet some elected officials who on behalf of Nigeria, are receiving the returned loot, swear that Abacha never stole. True, only in Nigeria do you find experienced prostitutes who are virgins.

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No Elections in 2023 With Abusive And Defective 1999 Constitution By Bayo Oluwasanmi – The Maravi Post




A constitution is the legal document that governs the legitimacy of government action. It requires official conduct to be in accordance with pre-fixed legal rules. In this respect, constitution checks whether the act of government is legitimate and whether officials conduct their public duties in accordance with the laws pre-fixed/pre-determined in advance.

A constitution guarantees the following: limitation of power (limited government). Separation of powers (checks and balances). Responsible and accountable government. Rule of law. 

Independent judiciary. Respect for individual rights. Respect for self-determination. Civilian control of the military. Police governed by law and judicial control.

Nigeria has become a laboratory for authoritarian under a democratic experiment. The regime of General Muhammadu Buhari, The Butcher of Aso Rock, has transformed the 1999 Constitution and state apparatuses in an illiberal way. The political sphere has been monopolized in favor of Fulanis, while attacks against important actors from civil society and other critics of the government are common. 

The authoritarian transformation of our democracy is linked to the forged, fraudulent, abusive and defective 1999 Constitution. The constitution has largely eroded our democratic order. A rash of recent incidents were made possible by the constitution for a dictator disguised as a civilian president to undermine our democracy. The 1999 Constitution was designed to construct Nigeria as a competitive authoritarian regime, ensures elections are rife with corruption, rigging, ballot box snatching, and vote-buying. Nigeria is governed like a police state. 

Before any elections are held in 2023, the following five requirements as contained in NINAS (Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities for Self-Determination) Constitution Force Majeure (CFM) must be met:

1. The federal government must acknowledge the constitutional grievances and sovereignty dispute declared by the peoples of South and Middle-Belt.

2. Federal government must decommission and jettison the 1999 Constitution as the basis for the federation of Nigeria as was done by the government of Apartheid South Africa in 1990, that dismantled the Apartheid Constitution.

3. Federal government must suspend further general elections under the disputed 1999 Constitution since winners of such elections will swear to and govern by that constitution. 

4. Federal government must initiate a fixed schedule for two-stage transitional process for Constituent Assembly to write a new constitution ratified by referendum and plebiscites, and to negotiate the terms of federating afresh as may be dictated by the outcomes of referendum and plebiscites.

5. A formal invitation to the peoples of the South and Middle-Belt to work out and put in place Transitional Authority which shall specify modalities for the transitioning process, including the composition and mandate of the Transitional Authority, as well as the time-frame for the transitioning and other ancillary matters.

There should be no elections in 2023 with abusive and defective 1999 Constitution because it is an instrument of oppression and subjugation by which minority Fulanis enslave the majority ethnic groups of Yorubas and Igbos.

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