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Women occupy top four positions at Ghana’s premier University – The Maravi Post

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History has been made at the University of Ghana, the country’s first public university where its top four management positions have been occupied by women.

The top positions currently being occupied by women are the Chancellor, chairperson of the University Council, vice-chancellor and the Registrar.

The university had its first female vice chancellor getting inducted officially into office this week.

That feat was achieved by a linguistic professor, Nana Aba Appiah Amfo who was earlier acting before her confirmation.

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Professor Amfo is the first woman to take up this role since the university was established in 1948.

She had previously occupied the role of Pro-Vice Chancellor before her latest appointment, sealing the quartet of an all-female leadership at the University.

During the investiture of the Vice Chancellor, the Chancellor Mary Chinery-Hesse, who is also the first woman to occupy that position said the feat achieved by Professor, Appiah Amfo as the first female Vice-Chancellor in the history of the university is admirable and must be greatly celebrated.

“I can assure you that in 1959 when I matriculated at this university, that a woman will be sworn in as a Vice-Chancellor would have been considered far-fetched. Nana Aba, you have smashed a major glass ceiling at no mean institution other than the University of Ghana.” she said.

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The new vice chancellor said in a speech that “Other public universities went ahead of us in this advancement in gender equality, but when the University of Ghana did it, we did it in a comprehensive style.”

Professor Amfo is the youngest female to head a public university in Ghana  as she joins the likes of Professor Rita Dickson who is currently the vice chancellor of the KNUST and  Professor, Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang who years ago achieved that feat at the University of Cape Coast.

Ghana’s President, Nana Akufo-Addo who was the special guest of honour at the event promised to support the new leadership realize their dreams for the institution.

Meet Ghana’s first female General of the Armed Forces

Source: Africafeeds.com

Source: Africa Feeds



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Burkina Faso facing ‘multitude of challenges’ – human rights chief Bachelet – The Maravi Post

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She noted the landlocked West African nation faced the on-going threat of violent extremism, climate change and humanitarian crises, but Michelle Bachelet also stressed that her fact-finding mission was “a testament” to the State’s openness the promotion and protection of human rights, in collaboration with the UN.

Armed Islamist groups have killed hundreds of civilians there, as well as in Mali and Niger, while Government security forces and pro-Government militias have also killed terrorism suspects and civilians.

Meanwhile, climate change is robbing farmers and herders of their livelihoods – sparking more conflicts and hindering access to water, food, healthcare and education.

“An already difficult humanitarian situation has become much more dire, with more than 3.5 million in need of humanitarian assistance – a 60 per cent increase since January last year. Of these, nearly three million are food insecure”, she explained.

‘Incredible resilience’

Ms. Bachelet discussed the country’s complex challenges with President Kaboré, senior ministers, as well as the President of the National Assembly and others.

“What I found was incredible resilience, dignity and integrity in the face of overwhelming hardship”, she said.

She described the plight of people forced to flee their homes, leaving behind lands and livelihoods, while host communities share what little they have with internally displaced people.

According to the Government, more than 1.4 million people have been displaced within Burkina Faso, as reports swirl of horrific violence and other human rights abuses, including allegations of summary executions, abductions and sexual violence.

“I stressed with President Kaboré, it is essential that all perpetrators of such human rights violations and abuses be brought to justice, regardless of their affiliation, and that they are held accountable for their actions”, said Ms. Bachelet, “in line with international standards”.

Comply with international laws

During her visit, she also underscored the need for all State security and affiliated forces to comply with international human rights law and international humanitarian law, as being “crucial to engender trust and confidence…and to guarantee that the State’s response to those who seek to destabilize it, is grounded firmly in the rule of law”.

“Not doing so will lead to failure in confronting violent and lawless extremism”, warned the High Commissioner.

She expressed serious concern over an increase in inter-communal tensions and urged political and community leaders to prevent communities from being targeted or vilified for perceived affiliation with violent extremism.

“Burkina Faso has a long tradition of ensuring peaceful coexistence of its people. Efforts need to be based on this as well as be rooted in human rights to avoid discrimination, ensure inclusion and address inequalities”, she stated.  

Underrepresented voices

With some 59 per cent of the total population under age 20, she worried about the situation of youth, particularly in the north, where extremist violence is most prevalent.

Poverty, the lack of access to economic opportunities and, in some cases, discrimination and marginalization can make young people more vulnerable to radicalization”, she said.

While acknowledging the frustration and impatience over deteriorating security in the country, she reminded that “it is more important than ever” to create space for dialogue to allow society to air grievances and jointly craft solutions. 

Ms. Bachelet described as “key” the voices of youth, of women and of underrepresented minority communities and called on the State to “take proactive measures to increase the number of women in decision-making positions at all levels”.

“Solutions need to be found together – not imposed”, said the High Commissioner.

Decisive moment

Amid the crises, she hoped the international community would step up with greater support: “How it is managed can have repercussions for peace and security and human rights for millions of people in the country, in the region and beyond. International and regional support is and will continue to be vital”.

Now is a decisive moment that presents “a window of opportunity for robust action” grounded in human rights and the rule of law to “prevent the situation from spiralling out of control”, she argued.

Ms. Bachelet said her office (OHCHR) would now put in place a State-approved operation to provide technical assistance and training; conduct monitoring and reporting; and work with Government, civil society partners and UN agencies, to promote and protect human rights for all.

“This is part of the broader UN response to the crisis in the Sahel”, she added.

Sourced from United Nations Africa Pages

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Nobel laureate economist Esther Duflo to deliver 2021 Kofi Annan Eminent Speakers’ Lecture – The Maravi Post

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What:          2021 Kofi Annan Eminent Speakers’ Lecture

Who:           African Development Institute, African Development Bank Group

When:         Monday, 13 December 2021; 14:00-16.00 GMT

Where:        Virtual

Nobel laureate Esther Duflo, Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will on 13 December deliver the 2021 Kofi Annan Eminent Speakers’ Lecture, organized by the African Development Institute.

The theme of the lecture is Good Economics for Warmer Times: How to Address Our Climate Change Challenges. It will be attended by Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group, and Professor Kevin Urama, Vice President for Economic Governance and Knowledge Management of the Bank Group.

Esther Duflo is the Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics in the Department of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a co-founder and co-director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab. In her research, she seeks to understand the economic lives of poor people to help design and evaluate social policies. She has also worked on health, education, financial inclusion, environment and governance.

Click here to register, or join the ceremony by clicking on the following live stream links:
Source African Development Bank Group

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#EndSARS Panel – White Paper Unknown To Nigerian Law And Cannot Alter Or Deviate From The Report Of A Judicial Panel Of Inquiry, By Pelumi Olajengbesi Esq. – The Maravi Post

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Let me start by sympathizing with Governor Sanwolu of Lagos State as he makes more error in his political attempt to remain loved by the people of Lagos State. With the election season so close at hand, it is little wonder that Mr. Governor has had his hand full trying to micro-manage the indicting reports of the panel constituted by the Lagos State Government itself while trying not to appear to be undermining the course for justice. But with the Lagos State #ENDSARS Panel and the White Paper Committee Report stirring up a mixed hailstorm of reactions from the professional and lay public, the place of informed opinion on the legalities, technicalities, possibilities and probabilities deriving therefrom has become pertinent. 



In sharing my two-cent insight on a discourse that may some-day inform public policy or even legislation on such matters, I want to express the hope that eventual government action is led on by a commitment to doing a form of justice that can be seen and felt; for it is the search for justice that birthed the Judicial Panels of Inquiry. 

Without further ado, let it be categorically stated that the concept of white paper now being given premium attention as a precursor to the implementation of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry’s report is unknown to Nigerian Law. It is alien and has no force of law. It is not a document known to have any authority that can be enforced in law and is merely an administrative medium for conveying the decision or position of government on certain issues. Therefore, the White Paper committee setup by the Lagos State Governor lacked the legal capacity to review the report of a panel set up pursuant to the Tribunal of Inquiry Law of Lagos State. The committee lacked the legal competence to review, edit, modify, reject or alter the report of the panel. What we therefore have is just the report of the panel and nothing more before or after it. 

The supreme court has opined in Momoh  v. Umoru (2011) 15 NWLR (PT. 1270) 217 that the report of a panel of inquiry is valid and could constitutes res judicata in a matter and, when a party is dissatisfied with the report, such a person may approach a High Court for redress. The implication of this is that the law only allow for review of such by a high court and not another committee without the force of law. The only available Avenue to review the report of the Panel is the court of law. Reviewing the findings of a properly constituted panel by an unknown White Paper committee is law turned upside down and akin to taking away the authority of the makers of the report and the report.

For bureaucratic purposes in the context of the Lagos State #EndSars Panel, the necessity of a White Paper may be conceded but only where same solely puts forth action points for the Lagos State government to gazette and execute as a public policy that could go on to pre-empt being legislated on. That is, the sole recommendations of the Lagos #ENDSARS Panel would inform step-by-step actions to be documented in the White Paper to be officially undertaken by the Lagos State Government to remedy the ills taken into account by the Panel and present practical opportunities for redress, restitution or remedy to be made.

The White Paper Committee therefore cannot and should not have tampered with the conclusions or findings that informed the recommendations by the panel. That is, having never sat in receipt of evidences or hearings like the Panel did, the White Paper Committee had no locus in law or convention to question or reject the conclusions or findings of the #ENDSARS Panel. Hence, constituting the White Paper committee was merely a political exercise in time wasting.

Fundamentally, it may be difficult to have a perfect report given that the leaked reports indicated findings that should have been established beyond the scale of a balance of probability. This can only be properly reviewed when the entire original report is in public domain and properly subject to a High Court.

Whereas certain questions are being asked of the legality of the State Panels of Judiciary Inquiry, particularly its constitutionality and terms of reference; it is not the practice of the legal profession to approbate and reprobate. On the face of it, these panels were set up on the behest of the Federal Government by the National Economic Council and, the states constituted the panels pursuant to the various states’ Tribunal of Inquiry Laws. Lawyers, I vouchsafe, only appear before panels whose constituting authority they are sure of.

However, the question about the term of reference which also gives jurisdiction to the panel to inquire into the dealings of the Nigeria Police and Army is debatable safe for the fact that the panel was given further jurisdictional competence by the Military and the Police by their wilful participation in the entire process. Arguments against its constitutionality when its  findings do not clearly put government in good light is simply legal mischief and an affront on justice. 

For the purpose of legal argument, lets note Per Uwais, CJN’s position in Fawehinmi v Babaginda where he held, inter alia that:  “The National Assembly cannot enact a general Law for the establishment of tribunals of inquiry for, and applicable in, the Federation of Nigeria. The power to enact such a Law has become a residual matter for the States in respect of which the Houses of Assembly can legislate for their respective States by virtue of Section 4(7)(a) of the 1999 Constitution. Although, the Tribunals of Inquiry Act is an “existing law,” its application is limited and has no general application”.  Thus the omnibus provisions of  states’ laws on judicial panels which allow inquiry into any matter that promotes public good clothe the panels with automatic legality. 

That said, we must understand that at every point, our laws must seek justice. The very expectation of the common man is justice for the victims which invariably means justice for the rule of law. It is not debatable that citizens should not be subjected to brutalization and undignified treatment in a democratic society as that offends the spirit of human dignity and is tantamount to violation of human rights as enshrined under the law. Consequently, Government is expected to live up to the expectation of justice in the circumstance as anything short of that will not only empowers the perpetrators to continue with the unlawful act but may equally expose the country to further public demonstrations whether now or in the nearest future. 

As a concerned individual and public interest lawyer, I must express the hope that the Lagos State Government seize on this opportune moment in history to do right by the public and not jettison the recommendations of its #ENDSARS Panel under any guise. There are greater issues at stake such as the matter of enforcing fundamental human rights and justifying invested public trusts and interest both of which override all political considerations.

Pelumi Olajengbesi Esq., 
Managing Partner
Law Corridor

Source saharareporters

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