Members of the Liberian delegation at ECOWAS Meetings 2019.The mid-year statutory meetings of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have begun in Abuja, the Federal Republic of Nigeria, ahead of its Summit of the Authority of Heads of State and Government slated for this weekend, a dispatch from the mission has said.On Tuesday, June 25, 2019, the 82nd Ordinary Session of the Council of Ministers of ECOWAS opened at the headquarters of the ECOWAS Commission in Abuja.According to a release from the Liberian Embassy in Abuja, Liberia’s Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abraham K. Korvah, Sr., and Deputy Finance Minister for Fiscal Affairs Samora P. Z. Wolokollie, were accompanied to the meeting by Ambassador Al-Hassan Conteh.The Council will be considering several key issues expected to climax later on Wednesday, June 26, 2019, the release said.Among key issues to be considered during the Council of Ministers’ meeting include the memoranda on the hosting of the Headquarters of the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor, the award of the 2018 ECOWAS Prize of Excellence, the ECOWAS Human Capital Development Strategy and High-Level dialogue on human capital development in West Africa.In his opening statement, the president of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou highlighted the vision of the Founding Fathers of ECOWAS, who saw a need to jointly tackle challenges facing their countries.“The Heads of State and Government recognized the need to jointly tackle the challenges facing their countries and pool resources, while respecting their diversity in order to achieve stability in the region, ensure rapid growth, optimize production, and raise the living standard of the people,” Brou said.He added that they must all remember the course set by the Founding Fathers and continuously embrace it as a compass that will steer their actions and evaluate the progress made.Earlier, the Mediation and Security Council (MSC) of ECOWAS held its 42nd session on Monday, June 24, 2019 in Abuja, Nigeria.The MSC, made up of ECOWAS member states’ ministers of foreign affairs and defense, deliberated on ways to improve the security situation of the region.Acting Foreign Minister Korvah and Deputy Defense Minister for Administration Tibli O. Dickson, represented Liberia, along with Ambassador Conteh.Mr. Brou said that the greatest challenge facing the region today and thus holding back economic, social and human advancement is the issue of regional security.“Almost every month, our region is hit by terrorist attacks, which plunge our populations into mourning. The problem has become more complex, with ruthless inter-communal clashes that pose a threat to the social cohesion of our countries,” he said.Brou called on member states to implement the Lomé Declaration on Peace, Security, Stability and the Fight against Terrorism and Violent Extremism, which was adopted during the joint ECOWAS-Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) summit in July, 2018.He stressed the need for ECOWAS to consider other patterns of relationships and strengthen cooperation with geopolitical blocs with which it shares the same vulnerabilities, given the transnational nature of security threats and the porosity of borders in the region.On the political front, President Brou highlighted the ECOWAS Commission’s continued effort to support member states in the conduct of inclusive, transparent and credible elections.Mr. Brou then presented to the Council Memorandums on the Political and Security situation in the region, which included the status of the ECOWAS Mission in Guinea Bissau (ECOMIB) and the ECOWAS Mission in The Gambia (ECOMIG), as well as one on the issuance of ECOWAS Exemption Certificate by the President of the Commission in case of “extreme” emergency.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
The British Medical Journal 12 June cover story1 says that recent advances in magnetic resonance imaging may soon make MRI supersede X-ray as the preferred technology for whole body imaging. MRI avoids the damage caused by X-rays and provides more contrast and detail, especially in the detection of cancer. MRI is also replacing traditional autopsy techniques. See the summary on EurekAlert.1Eustace and Nelson, “Whole body magnetic resonance imaging,” British Medical Journal 2004;328:1387-1388 (12 June), doi:10.1136/bmj.328.7453.1387.The article mentions Raymond Damadian and references his seminal 1971 paper. Damadian was slighted by the Nobel committee last year (see 10/10/2003 headline) but won the Ben Franklin Medal and Bower Award this year to add to his lifetime honors for inventing this life-saving technology. Answers in Genesis found a quote by evolutionist Michael Ruse, in which he speculates that the main reason the Nobel committee bypassed Damadian was because of his creationism. That is scandalous. Though an ardent anti-creationist, Ruse sympathized with the outrage over the unjust decision, stating, “I cringe at the thought that Raymond Damadian was refused his just honor because of his religious beliefs.”(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Wheat reseatch around the continent is aimed at boosting production and food security.(Image: Stock.XCHNG)MEDIA CONTACTS • Ben ParkerDirector, Irin News+254 20 762 2147 or +254 733 860 082RELATED ARTICLES• Bumper maize crop for SA• SA’s farmers make things happen• Improved maize for Africa• New crop of black emerging farmers• SA farming skills are sought-afterSource: Irin NewsResearchers in Africa are identifying ways to improve domestic wheat production in the face of sub-optimal conditions and stiff international competition.In Somalia – a country better known by the international community for conflict and famine than agricultural research – postgraduate volunteers are exploring ways to reduce the country’s wheat import bill, a subject discussed in one of several research abstracts released at the recent Wheat for Food Security in Africa conference in Addis Ababa.Wheat imports, which cost Somalia US$30-million to $40-million (R260-million to R347-million) annually, consume “scarce hard currency earned from livestock exports and remittances,” reports Jeylani Abdullahi Osman, one of the Somali volunteers.He and other scholars, who studied agriculture abroad, have returned to Somalia to develop wheat varieties suitable for the country’s increasingly high temperatures. Wheat thrives in cool conditions, but is able to adapt to a wide range of climates.In 2005, the volunteers established the Afgoye Field Crop Research Farm in the Afgoye District of the Lower Shabelle Region. There, they have been testing wheat varieties for tolerance to heat and water stress. Osman reports they have identified several promising cultivars, but a lack of technical and financial support have limited commercial production. Improving local wheatAn abstract of a study published out of Cameroon notes that, while there is growing demand for bread in the country, the protein content of the imported wheat used for bread-making is less than 12%. High-quality wheat has 14% to 15% protein.Lead author Michael Taylor, from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, now working with the Divisional Delegation of Agriculture and Rural Development Fontem-Lebialem in Cameroon, identifies varieties of wheat with high protein content that could be grown in Cameroon.Researchers from the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research report that the older wheact varieties used for making bread flour are unable to cope with new strains of stem rust – a virulent fungal disease that can devastate crops within weeks. The authors identify new strategies to robustly multiply newly released rust-resistant seeds for distribution. Standing up to competitionResearch teams from Zimbabwe and South Africa also have investigated how to make their wheat production stand up to competition posed by cheap wheat imports.Zambia offers an important case study. The country, which recently became self-sufficient in wheat production, is already facing the threat of dropping yields, report researchers with Seed Co, a Zimbabwe-based company. The researchers highlight several contributing factors, including marketing challenges for small producers, the increasing cost of production and lack of availability of suitable wheat varieties.These and other abstracts, covering Algeria, Egypt, Sudan and Tunisia, are available on request from the Mexico-based International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, known by its acronym CIMMYT.
The Opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal will observe “black day” on November 8 to commemorate the first anniversary of demonetisation. It will organise rallies in all districts of Bihar that day and ask the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre what demonetisation had achieved for the country in the last one year. “They have to answer,” RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav told media persons on Monday. Small businesses were hit hard by the demonetisation and several had to close shop, he said.Party pollsThe party is set to complete the process of electing its State president by November 7. Former Minister Alok Mehta is the front runner for the post.Former Minister Shiv Chandra Ram too is in the race. But as Mr. Mehta is seen as being close to former Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav, his election, many in the party say, is “almost certain”.
One of the champions for the restoration of the Ward Theatre, the late chairperson of the Ward Theatre Foundation, Ruby Martin, was remembered at a benefit concert held on November 18 at the Institute of Jamaica Lecture Hall, on East Street, downtown Kingston. The concert, organised by the Foundation and titled, ‘Remembering Ruby Martin’, was staged on the date that would have been Mrs. Martin’s birthday. She had led a campaign to save the theatre and had organised several Sunday morning concerts over the years, before she passed away on April 17, 2012. Among the performers at the event were: Dr. Curtis Watson (bass baritone); Archie Dunkley (piano); the Brandenburg Singers, Movements Dance Company and Rosina Moder (recorder) and friends. In his remarks, Chairman of the organising committee, Cedric McDonald, said that Mrs. Martin was relentless in her pursuit to raise funds for the rehabilitation of the theatre until the time of her passing. Her final work, he said, was the implementation of a business plan and power point presentations to stakeholders and potential sponsors. He noted that some $6.9 million is needed to restore the facility and appealed to corporate Jamaica and all sectors of the society to support the initiative. Custos of St. Mary, the Hon. A.A. ‘Bobby’ Pottinger, who represented patrons of the Foundation, the Governor General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen and Lady Allen, said the concert was a fitting tribute to the life, work and memory of Ruby Martin. “Her commitment was unmatched anywhere in Jamaica and through her tireless efforts while in charge of the Ward Theatre Foundation, the project to restore the theatre received prominence, both locally and internationally,” he said. In his message, the Governor General said that the Ward Theatre, situated in the centre of Jamaica’s capital, was the birthplace of the National Pantomime and hosted presentations from Jamaica’s accomplished cultural icons, such as Ranny Williams and Louise Bennett (Miss Lou). He urged Jamaicans to honour her contribution, not only by reflecting on what the Ward had contributed to the development of our culture, but by ensuring that it retained prominence as “a beacon of light, hopes and dreams for Jamaicans everywhere.” The theatre, established in 1912, is closed as it needs extensive repair and restoration. It was donated to the city of Kingston by the then Custos of Kingston Colonel Charles James Ward.