Africa’s women belong at the top; Malawi’s Joyce Banda is one of them ..

As a former president of Malawi and the founder of her own foundation, Joyce Banda is one of the world’s great advocates for the idea that empowering women and girls benefits everyone. In anticipation of this year’sGoalkeepers report, which focuses on the challenges and potential of a growing young population in Africa, Joyce reflects on the importance of female leadership. I want to share her essay with you before we launch the report next week. — Bill Gates

Profile: Joyce Banda
Banda, left, was expelled from the ruling party by Bingu wa Mutharika, right, after a succession battle [AFP]
BY JOYCE BANDA (AIWA! NO!)//When I was eight years old, a family friend told my father that he thought I was destined for leadership. My dad never let me forget that heady observation, and as a result of his constant encouragement, I took every opportunity I had to pursue our friend’s prophecy. Today, I owe much of my success to my late father, whose belief in me was unwavering.

Unfortunately, most African girls are not as lucky as I was. While many girls possess leadership qualities, social, political, and economic barriers stymie their potential. This is especially true for girls in rural parts of Africa, where poverty, abuse, and tradition conspire to limit opportunity.

The heartbreaking story of my childhood friend, Chrissie, is illustrative. Chrissie was the star student in the village in Malawi where I grew up. But she dropped out of secondary school because her family could not afford the $6 in monthly fees. Before Chrissie was 18, she was married with a child; she has never left the village where we were born.

Chrissie’s experience is repeated millions of times over in my country, across Africa, and around the world. Today, more than 130 million girls worldwide are out of school through no fault of their own. By the time many African girls turn ten, their fate is already determined. Some are victims of harmful cultural practices, like female genital mutilation and child marriage, while others are unable to escape the poverty that grips their families and communities.

Economic bias is especially damaging to girls. When resources are limited, poor families must choose which children to send to school, and in many regions, boys are viewed as “safer” investments. Girls, meanwhile, are married off, or sent to work in the fields or as domestic helpers. These decisions about the allocation of educational opportunity severely stunt female leadership potential.

One of the objectives of the Joyce Banda Foundation is to strengthen the financial independence of Malawian women, and thereby create the conditions for the development and emergence of young girls as future leaders. Evidence shows that when women work, they invest 90 percent of their income back into their families, compared with 35 percent for men. Furthermore, once women have their own sources of income, they are better able to participate in the political process.

Changing endemic cultural norms about gender and identity—and developing more female leaders—begins in the classroom. School-age girls must be taught to value themselves and one another, and that it is their right to be educated, healthy, and empowered. At the Joyce Banda Foundation School in Blantyre, Malawi, educators have adopted a curriculum based on four building blocks: universal values, global understanding, service to humanity, and excellence. When women and girls are given equal access to education, health care, and jobs, their sense of self-worth improves and social stature follows.

Parts of Africa are moving in the right direction. Today, nearly a quarter of sub-Saharan Africa’s lawmakers are women, up from just 10 percent in 1997. Rwanda, meanwhile, has the highest percentage of female legislators in the world. And throughout Africa, women have been elected to leadership roles at all levels of government.

Still, much work remains. As the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will make clear in its annual Goalkeepers report later this month, governments must recommit to supporting female leaders’ development by investing in the health and education of women and girls. Delivering services to girls under ten years of age, especially in rural areas, is essential if Africa is ever to achieve lasting gender equality.

Over the course of my career in Malawi—first in civil society, then as a Member of Parliament, and finally, as president—I became convinced that the only way to change Africa’s misogynistic narrative is by helping more women reach the highest levels of power. Research from India shows that when governments increase the percentage of women in their ranks, social issues like health care, education, and food security receive higher priority. Having more women in leadership is thus good for everyone.

Leaders are born as well as made, but when they are born in Africa, they are not always recognized. To give more young women the opportunity to develop their talents and put their skills to work, today’s leaders must clear a path for the female leaders of tomorrow.

This commentary was originally published by Project Syndicate© Project Syndicate – 2018

Mondel?z International Employees Journey to Cocoa Life Communities for Skills-Exchange Mission

Meet MDLZ's 2018 Class of Joy Ambassadors!
Joy Ambassadors spend two weeks learning about the challenges and opportunities farmers face in growing sustainable cocoa and will share their business expertise to help accelerate the impact of the company’s cocoa sustainability efforts.

DEERFIELD, Ill., (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — This month, Mondel?z International is sending 15 colleagues to Ghana, the birthplace of Cocoa Life, the company’s sustainable cocoa program. As part of the “Joy Ambassadors” skills-exchange program, employees will spend two weeks learning about the challenges and opportunities farmers face in growing sustainable cocoa. They will share their business expertise to help accelerate the impact of the company’s cocoa sustainability efforts.

“The Joy Ambassador program supports our ongoing commitment to empower people to snack right by building a cocoa world that delivers positive impact for people and planet,” said Sarah Delea, President of the Mondel?z International Foundation and Senior Director for Well-being and Community Involvement.  “Our Ambassadors gain a deeper understanding of our cocoa supply chain first-hand, grow as leaders and come back to their teams with fresh insights and inspiration from this life-changing experience.”

During their journey, the Ambassadors immerse themselves in the communities and culture by working on the cocoa farms, helping with harvesting, meeting important stakeholders in the Ghanaian cocoa industry and volunteering in local schools.  They also develop and deliver workshops to help farming communities increase their business knowledge and capacity in community-identified development areas such as strategy development, influence and communication, finance, stakeholder management and marketing.e to snack right by building a cocoa world that delivers positive impact for people and planet,” said Sarah Delea, President of the Mondel?z International Foundation and Senior Director for Well-being and Community Involvement.  “Our Ambassadors gain a deeper understanding of our cocoa supply chain first-hand, grow as leaders and come back to their teams with fresh insights and inspiration from this life-changing experience.”

Now in its fifth year, the program is funded by the Mondel?z International Foundation through a partnership with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), the world’s leading independent international development organization working through volunteers to tackle poverty in developing countries.

The 2018 Class of Joy Ambassadors is:

  • Colin Antoni, Plant Manager — Australia
  • Chelsea Briner, Associate Director, Shelf Availability — United States
  • Betina Corbellini, Human Resources Business Lead, Supply Chain, Latin America — Brazil
  • Caroline Decker, Senior Manager, Global Strategy — United States
  • Stefka Ivanova, Category Planning Manager, South Central Europe — Bulgaria
  • Kalshelia Lloyd, Associate Director, Marketing Gum Equity — United States
  • Joaquin Petroni, Senior Counsel, Southern Cone — Argentina
  • Ricardo Quintero, Senior Group Leader, Research, Development & Quality — Colombia
  • Dara Kasouaher, Director Tax Transfer Pricing — United States
  • Michelle Santillan, Category Marketing Manager, Chocolate — Philippines
  • Andre Silva, Associate Director, Supply Chain Management  — Brazil
  • Ilona Simcoe, Quality Manager — Canada
  • Herb Smith, Manager Cocoa Chocolate & Nuts Sourcing — United States
  • Marcelo Trez, Sales Associate Director, Modern Trade — Brazil
  • David Whitworth, Manager FP&A Overheads — United Kingdom

As one of the world’s largest chocolate companies, Mondel?z International is committed to ensuring a sustainable cocoa supply chain through Cocoa Life. Launched in 2012, the program is investing $400 million by 2022 to empower at least 200,000 cocoa farmers and reach over one million community members in six key cocoa-growing origins: Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Indonesia, India, the Dominican Republic and Brazil.

The company will highlight the experiences of the Joy Ambassadors on www.facebook.com/mondelezinternational and www.twitter.com/mdlz during and after the journey.  Visit the 2017 Impact for Growth Progress Report to learn more about Mondel?z International’s impact strategies and programs.

About Mondel?z International
Mondel?z International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MDLZ) empowers people to snack right in approximately 160 countries around the world. With 2017 net revenues of approximately $26 billion, MDLZ is leading the future of snacking with iconic global and local brands such as OreobelVita and LU biscuits; Cadbury Dairy MilkMilka and Tobleronechocolate; Sour Patch Kids candy and Trident gum. Mondel?z International is a proud member of the Standard and Poor’s 500, Nasdaq 100 and Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Visit www.mondelezinternational.com or follow the company on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MDLZ.

World leaders gather at UN under threat from unilateralism

TOP OF THE AGENDA AT UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY – Conflicts in Syria, Libya, Yemen, Mali and Central African Republic as well as the plight of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, aid for Palestinians, education for girls, modern slavery, environmental threats, efforts to end poverty, and the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

According to reliable data from @TwitterData, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari is one of the most tweeted about world leaders during the first day of the United Nations General Assembly meeting (18/19 September, 2017).

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — With rising unilateralism challenging its very existence, the United Nations convenes its annual meeting of world leaders Monday and will try once more to tackle problems together as a community of nations, addressing threats ranging from Mideast conflicts to the effects of global warming — and also encouraging the glimmer of hope over the nuclear standoff in North Korea.

This year, 133 world leaders have signed up to attend the General Assembly session, a significant increase from last year’s 114. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the expected large turnout “eloquent proof of the confidence of the international community in the United Nations,” though other U.N. officials and diplomats said it’s in response to growing concerns about an increasingly turbulent world.

The seven-year-old conflict in Syria and the three-year war in Yemen that has sparked the world’s worst humanitarian crisis and is now seriously threatening large-scale famine will certainly be in the spotlight, along with meetings on other Mideast and African hot spots. So will Iran, which faces escalating hostile rhetoric from the Trump administration over its activities supporting international terrorism, which Tehran vehemently denies.

Guterres said last week that one of his overriding concerns in an increasingly globalized world is the threat to having the U.N.’s 193 member nations work together, which is the foundation of the United Nations.

“Multilateralism is under attack from many different directions precisely when we need it most,” the U.N. chief told reporters Thursday. “In different areas and for different reasons, the trust of people in their political establishments, the trust of states among each other, the trust of many people in international organizations has been eroded and … multilateralism has been in the fire.”

Guterres challenged diplomats at last week’s opening of the 73rd session of the General Assembly by saying: “At a time of fragmentation and polarization, the world needs this assembly to show the value of international cooperation.”

Whether it will be able to remains in question.

At this year’s gathering of presidents, prime ministers, monarchs and minsters, populist leaders will include U.S. President Donald Trump, President Andrzej Duda of Poland and Premier Giuseppe Conte of Italy along with the foreign ministers of Hungary and Austria.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley told reporters that Trump, who champions an “America First” policy, wants to talk about “protecting U.S. sovereignty,” and she reiterated Washington’s opposition to the 2015 Paris climate agreement on curbing global warming and a newly agreed international compact aimed at regulating migration.

“We really value sovereignty of the country,” Haley said. “It is not saying multilateralism can’t work, but it’s saying sovereignty is a priority over all of that, and we always have to make sure we’re doing that — and there are many countries that agree with us.”

Before stepping down as U.N. humanitarian chief Aug. 31, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein expressed serious concern that populism, intolerance and oppression are “becoming fashionable again.”

“It all builds, because once you start down the path of intolerance, it’s very difficult to stop it, unless at the end of the day you have conflict,” he said.

French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to be a key voice joining Guterres in the coming week in speaking out against this trend and supporting multilateralism as key to promoting peace.

The week’s activities kick off with a peace summit Monday morning honoring the 100th birthday this year of South African anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela. A statue of Mandela will be unveiled at U.N. headquarters and leaders are expected to adopt a declaration recognizing the years 2019-2028 as the Nelson Mandela Decade of Peace.

Trump is hosting an event Monday on “The World Drug Problem” and Haley said 124 countries have signed a global call to action. Activists on drug policy note it was never negotiated, and one group, the Harm Reduction Coalition, called it “an instance of heavy-handed U.S. ‘with us or against us’ diplomacy.”

The increasingly strident U.S. rhetoric against Iran is expected to be a feature in U.S. speeches. Haley said that “every dangerous spot in the world — Iran seems to have its fingerprints in it,” which Tehran denies.

Trump pulled the United States out of the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement in May and the foreign ministers of the five remaining powers who support the deal — Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany — are expected to meet privately Monday evening with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

The General Assembly’s “General Debate,” as the ministerial session is called, officially opens Tuesday with Guterres’ report on the state of the world, to be followed soon after by speeches from Trump, Macron and late in the morning by President Hassan Rouhani of Iran.

The U.S. holds the rotating presidency of the U.N. Security Council in September and has scheduled two ministerial meetings, the first on Wednesday presided over by Trump. It was initially to focus on Iran but has now been broadened to the topic of “nonproliferation” of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.

“I’m sure that is going to be the most watched Security Council meeting ever,” Haley told reporters.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will preside over the second meeting Thursday on North Korea, an issue the Security Council was united on in imposing increasingly tough sanctions. But that unity now appears to be at risk over enforcement of sanctions and the broader issues of how to achieve denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and when sanctions should be lifted against North Korea.

Guterres welcomed the recent “positive meeting” in Pyongyang between the leaders of North and South Korea but warned that “there will not be success in intra-Korean negotiations if simultaneously there is not success in the American and North Korean” negotiations to rid the Korean Peninsula of nuclear weapons.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the United Nations has received 342 requests for meetings during the high-level week.

They include sessions on conflicts in Syria, Libya, Yemen, Mali and Central African Republic as well as the plight of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, aid for Palestinians, education for girls, modern slavery, environmental threats, efforts to end poverty, and the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

Asked what are the big issues, Russia’s U.N. ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, told The Associated Press: “All of them are big issues — nonproliferation, cooperation, the world peace architecture — it’s every year, but this year it’s maybe more topical than ever.”

Uruguayan Ambassador Elbio Rosselli said the biggest issue for his country is multilateralism.

“It’s a vow that all of us ought to keep reinforcing particularly at this conjuncture where so many undercurrents and contrary views are surfacing on different scenarios,” he told AP. “The validity of this institution is more than ever necessary, and for that we need the recommitment of all states.”

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press.

 

Britain’s Anthony Joshua wins heavyweight crown

Both men had won Olympic gold medals, but it was the youthful energy of the 28-year-old Joshua which proved decisive as Mr Povetkin visibly tired halfway through the contest.

 Anthony Joshua celebrates victory after the IBF, WBA Super, WBO & IBO World Heavyweight Championship title fight with Alexander Povetkin. Getty Images
 Anthony Joshua celebrates victory after the IBF, WBA Super, WBO & IBO World Heavyweight Championship title fight with Alexander Povetkin. Getty Images
AIWA! NO!//Britain’s Anthony Joshua delivered a devastating technical knockout in the seventh round to defeat Russian Alexander Povetkin at Wembley Stadium on Saturday and retain his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO world heavyweight championship belts.

In front of about 80,000 fans, Mr Joshua moved on to 22 fights unbeaten in his professional career by handing the 39-year-old Mr Povetkin only his second defeat.

Mr Joshua, returning to the arena where he knocked out Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko in April, 2017 to become a unified heavyweight world champion, was given a hero’s reception by the almost capacity crowd.

Image result for anthony joshua
Anthony Joshua defended his world heavyweight titles with a devastating knockout of Alexander Povetkin after overcoming an early onslaught from the Russian at Wembley.

However, early on it was the smaller challenger who appeared the more inspired by the occasion and he caught the Briton late in the first round with an uppercut on the nose.

Both men had won Olympic gold medals, but it was the youthful energy of the 28-year-old Mr Joshua which proved decisive as Mr Povetkin visibly tired halfway through the contest.

Mr Joshua began dictating with his movement from the fourth round and started to find his range with his right hook.

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That was what did for Mr Povetkin, the WBA mandatory challenger, in the seventh when a fearsome right-hander from Mr Joshua landed square on his jaw and sent the Russian to the canvas.

He got back to his feet but not for long as a flurry of punches from the champion gave him his 21st win by knockout.

“Povetkin is a very tough challenger, he proved that tonight with good left hooks and counter punches,” Joshua said from inside in the ring.

“I came in here to have fun, and give it my best, I knew he was strong to the head but weak to the body. I was just mixing it up.

“It could have been seven, maybe nine, maybe 12 rounds to get him out of there. But the ultimate aim was to be victorious.

“I got my knockout streak back.”

Zanu PF’s Molly Ndlovu Mocks Mnangagwa’s Opponents, Calls for More Women in Houses of Parliament

Honorable Molly Ndlovu, a Zanu – PF member of Parliament  derides and challenges Mnangagwa’s opponents while urges the President to extend parliament quota for women to bring more women to Parliament.


2018-09-22
Zanu PF’s Molly Ndlovu

Zanu PF’s Molly Ndlovu says President Emmerson Mnangagwa is the president of Zimbabwe and therefore anyone who does not believe in this is daydreaming. Ms. Ndlovu also urged Mnangagwa to ensure that the parliamentary quota system for women is extended.

Tanzania death toll 209 as survivor found in capsized ferry

Left: Relatives look at the coffins containing the dead bodies of passengers retrieved after a ferry MV Nyerere overturned off the shores of Ukara Island in Lake Victoria, Tanzania, on Sept. 22, 2018. Photo by Jackson Njehia/Reuters
AIWA! NO!//NAIROBI, Kenya — It was a stunning discovery. As rescue divers probed a capsized Tanzanian ferry two days after the disaster and the death toll soared past 200, a man was found in an air pocket, alive.

He was an engineer, regional commissioner John Mongella told reporters. As the badly overloaded ferry overturned on Thursday in the final stretch before reaching shore, the man shut himself into the engine room, the Tanzanian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

Video footage showed the man, barefoot and head lolling, carried quickly along a busy street by medical workers and military personnel as a siren wailed. His condition was not immediately known.

No further survivors were likely. Search efforts were ending so the focus could turn to identifying the dead, Tanzania’s defense chief Venance Mabeyo told reporters at the scene.

Mass graves were dug, and colorfully painted coffins arrived. Hundreds of family members and others waited quietly on the shore.

One woman dropped to her knees in the sand next to the covered body of her sister and wept.

“We have found him after three days and now we are transporting his body to Kamasi for burial,” said Temeni Katebarira, the brother of one victim.

Earlier in the day, workers continued to haul bodies from the water. Abandoned shoes were scattered on the sand.

“From morning till now we have retrieved more than 58 bodies. This includes both children and adults,” said TropistaTemi, a Red Cross volunteer. “Because of the congestion we have not been able to do full totaling. Later, we will do a full tally.”

But the total number of deaths might never be known. No one is sure how many people were on the overcrowded ferry, which officials said had a capacity of 101. It tipped as people returning from a busy market day with their goods prepared to disembark, while horrified fishermen and others watched.

Officials on Friday said at least 40 people had been rescued.

President John Magufuli has ordered the arrests of those responsible. He said the ferry captain already had been detained after leaving the steering to someone who wasn’t properly trained, The Citizen newspaper reported.

“This is a great disaster for our nation,” Magufuli told the nation in a televised address late Friday, announcing four days of national mourning.

Pope Francis, the United Nations secretary-general, Russian President Vladimir Putin and a number of African leaders have expressed shock and sorrow.

The MV Nyerere, named for the former president who led the East African nation to independence, was traveling between the islands of Ukara and Ukerewe when it sank, according to the government agency in charge of servicing the vessels.

Accidents are often reported on the large freshwater lake surrounded by Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. Some of the deadliest have occurred in Tanzania, where aging passenger ferries often carry hundreds of passengers and well beyond capacity.

In 1996, more than 800 people died when passenger and cargo ferry MV Bukoba sank on Lake Victoria. And nearly 200 people died in 2011 when the MV Spice Islander I sank off Tanzania’s Indian Ocean coast near Zanzibar.

Global Citizen Launches New Campaign for Gender Equality Because #SheIsEqual

Screen Shot 2018-08-29 at 10.24.10 AM.png
Wizkid, the Nigerian singer and global superstar, is serious about making his voice heard when it comes to improving education and sanitation for everyone — especially girls and children — in Nigeria.
In a series of tweets, Wizkid called on the governor of Lagos, Akinwunmi Ambode, to invest in “eliminating barriers for Nigerians”, which starts with quality education and proper sanitation for everyone.

bY CRIMSON TAZVINZWA//One thing that has been made crystal clear in the last 18 months: Women and girls deserve, and now demand, to be treated as equals. The fast-growing #MeToo and SheDecides movements are testament to an awakening in society that women and girls are treated differently and held back in every aspect of life — in school, by governments, by health systems, and in the workplace.

As the late global icon Nelson Mandela said, this is a major oversight: “As long as the nation refuses to acknowledge the equal role of more than half of itself, it is doomed to failure.”

Global Citizen believes in the power of advocacy. Rather than ask individuals to contribute money to support specific programs on the ground, Global Citizen works with world leaders to make large financial commitments to support things like girls education, building toilets, robust foreign aid programs, and more.

Girls and women are essential to building healthier, better-educated and sustainable communities. Women and girls are too often afflicted with some of the harshest aspects of poverty. Instead of victims, women and girls can be powerful community leaders.

Global Citizens take actions to earn their way into the festival. These actions tell leaders the changes we want to see in the world.

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Since 2012, nearly 16 million actions by Global Citizens have helped generate commitments and policy announcements from leaders valued at over $37.9 billion.

Image result for A woman cleans a ventilated drop-hole cover on her latrine, in the community of Iorpuu, Nigeria in April 2013.
A woman cleans a ventilated drop-hole cover on her latrine, in the community of Iorpuu, Nigeria in April 2013. Iorpuu, which has been declared open defecation free, began participating in a community-led total sanitation initiative in December in 2011.
Andrew Esiebo/UNICEF

These commitments are set to affect the lives of more than 2.25 billion people with interventions that range from vaccinating a child to providing one year of education.

These things will ultimately help these individuals to lift themselves out of poverty and have long term positive development outcomes.

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