In English (52)
©AfreePress-(Lomé, 12 of febuary 2019)- The Dutch based-oil company Shell who has been extracting oil from the Ogoni region in Nigeria since the 50’s is being sued by four widows of activists in the region. These four women are dragging Shell to court as they state that Shell is complicit for the execution of their husbands. Their husbands openly protested against the oil pollution shell caused in the Ogoni region in South-East Nigeria. There has been protests in the region since 1992 because of leaking pipelines and polluted environment, Ogoni people have been forced to leave the region.
In 1995, the husbands of Esther Koibel and Victoria Bera were arrested together with seven other activists, they were accused of the murder of four traditional Ogoni leaders. All nine of the activists pleaded not guilty and said that they were being set up. Nevertheless were all nine of them executed, it is believed that the executions were held to silence the Ogoni people.
Today more than 20 years later the widows Koibel and Bera, are testifying in court to demand a compensation from Shell. Kiobel tears up in court as states her husband was ‘’ a kind hearted man, Shell came in to my life and forced her to live in poverty and become a refugee.’’ This traumatic experience she has lived with for the last two decades made her fight for justice for her husband. The widows’ lawyer states that Shell asked the ruling military government at that time to interfere and that they worked together with the Nigerian intelligence service.
Thus far shell denies all accountability regarding the executions of the nine activists, including Kiobels and Bera’s husbands.
©AfreePress-(Lomé, 12 of febuary 2019)- A delegation of Executives of the French Association of Institutes of Advances National Defense Studies (AA-IHEDN) are staying in Togo for several days. The delegation visited the Togolese parliament where they were welcome by the new president of the parliament, Yawa Djigbodi Tségan.
The conversations of the visit focused on the functioning of the Togolese parliament and the relationship between France and Togo.
The French delegation, led by the vice president of the AA-IHEDN, Ms. Helene Mazeran, was informed about the role and privileges of the National Assembly according to the constitution of the 4 th Republic. Questions were asked about the content of the decentralization documents. The members of the delegation were also informed on the management of the local authorities, which are the town halls, police offices and administrative force of the country. The 4th Vice-president of the National Assembly MR. Pacôme Adjourouvi stated that: ’’Since the establishment of the new
Assembly, we have partners of our country, come to visit the parliament, exchange ideas with us and congratulate us on the election outcome that ensured a woman as the head of the new national assembly. This visit of the AA-IHEDN aims at strengthening our partnership relations with France as well. ’’
Translated by D. Gomashie
©AfreePress-(Lomé, 12 of febuary 2019)- The West-African regional office of the International Organization for Francophone Countries (OIF) is located in Lomé. Last Friday, The OIF has presented three new publications regarding digitalization in the Francophone member states, Cyber Security and Defense, and the local level implementation of the sustainable development goals (SDG). The International Organization for Francophone Countries has of 88 member states and governments of which 27 are observers. The West-African regional office in Lomé is responsible for the 13 West-African countries in organization.
The publications released are part of the 2018 annual rapport of the organization, in which the current state of digitalization in the Francophone states is explained. The publications consists of a practical guide to Cyber Security and Cyber Defense as well as the sustainable development goals and their regional implementation. The officials of the West-African regional office, said that these publications are produced by stakeholders who are interested in the relevant areas. These stakeholders are believed to be able to collect relevant data on the digitalization of the francophone world and local planning of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The 2018 rapport highlights, amongst other things, the progress of the 2017-2018 period and how the member states are expected to continue in the future in this domain. The publications, (Digital Francophonie, Cyber Security and Cyber Defense Practical Guides and the SDG Integration Guide), aim to contribute to the improvement of people’s daily lives in modern francophone states.
As part of the 2020 strategy, the OIF takes initiative to encourage national representation of the population and the possibility to reflect on the country. The regional representative of the organization Eric Adja stated ‘’In 2020 we will celebrate the 50 th anniversary of the International Organization for Francophone countries. The mission of the organization has evolved over the years, originally we were only focused on the French language and culture, we are now also focused on francophone economics and digitalization. Through these publications we reflect on the changes in our organizations mission, the digital development in the francophone world, the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals in the local communities and the Cyber Security in our member states and governments.’’
Translated by D. Gomashie
Politics: Archbishop Kpodzro, Delivers messages from prisoner Kpatcha Gnassingbé to the president, his brother Faure GnassingbéÉcrit par © Afreepress
©AfreePress-(Lomé, 12 of febuary 2019)- On the 8th of February, the archbishop Philipe Fanoko Kpodzro, visited the half-brother of president Gnassingbé in prison in Lomé. Kpatcha Gnassingbé has been in prison since 2009, he was suspected of planning a coup to overthrow his brother. He was the former minister of defense, who was arrested while seeking asylum at the embassy of the United States.
The archbishop requested an interview with Kpatcha in which ‘’he spoke to him as a Christian speaks to his pastor’’ he stated after his visit.
Kpodzro sees it has his duty to do help political prisoners in Togo. He continues to use his positon to fight for the release of political prisoners, such as Kpatcha Gnassingbé. To fulfill his duty as an archbishop, he called the president a few days ago to discuss the possibility of presidential pardon to political prisoners and his brother. This presidential pardon has already been granted to 40 political prisoners.
Translated by Dzifa Gomashie
ECOWAS and food security: Togo is committed to making its grain reserves available in case of a crisisÉcrit par © Afreepress
©AfreePress-(Lomé, 12 of febuary 2019)- To deal with possible cases of food crises in the future, ECOWAS has designed a Regional Food Security Reserve. In case of an emergency the crisis would be able to be solved regionally.
The project is funded by the European Union and is intended to support the network of public structures, state-owned companies, agencies, offices, police stations, etc. in charge of the management of national stocks in each member country. This is the network called "RESOGEST". RESOGEST has, since 2017, been trying to bring ECOWAS members and the Permanent intern-state committee for drought control in the Sahel together.
Last Friday the main officials of the network had a meeting in Lomé . They discussed three defense methods, the first one would concern local stocks, the second the national stocks and lastly the regional food reserves in case of a food crisis. In the event of a food crisis in one of the ECOWAS countries the regional food reserves could play in important role in solving the issue. The Togolese Minister of Agriculture, Koutéra Bataka, who was present at the meeting, emphasized Togo’s commitment to the regional food security program. "Our country has grain surpluses every year. I have no doubt that in the future we will be able to contribute to the supply of the regional food security reserve, " is what he said. This statement was received very well by RESOGEST, the president of RESOGEST even encouraged other countries to follow Togo’s example: "If all countries were like Togo, it would be a big step forward for the sub-region, " he suggested.
Togo has been a regular contributor to the United Nationals Development Program, agricultural surpluses are sold when they are needed in the region.
Translated by Dzifa Gomashie
©AfreePress-(Lomé, the 6 th of February 2019)- The opposition party of Gilchrist Olympio, Union des Forces de Changement, has a new secretary who will replace Dr. Sambiani Djimongou.
The decision was made on the 28th of January but, has just now been made public by the party.
"In order to cover for the absence of the Secretary General and to ensure the proper organization of activities and administration of the party.
Mister Teddy Edwards Mensah who was previously assistant secretary general, is now in charge as an interim for the secretary general of the party’’ is what the president of the yellow national party writes in a note dated on the 28th of January.
Mister Teddy Edwards Mensah, consulted the president and the previous secretary general. He takes over the party from the former secretary general, Dr. Sambiani Djimongou. Dr Djimongou resigned a few days before the parliamentary elections of December 20th 2018.
Mister Mensah will have the responsibility to ensure the proper functioning of the parry but more specifically the administrative functions within the party for the upcoming months until the next UFC congress.
Translated by Dzifa Gomashie
©AfreePress-(Lomé, the 6 th of February 2019)- The government announced on Tuesday that he will sstarta competition called : "Mon label PND". This competition has the aim to find a new logo for the national development plan (PND).
The PND is a development program created by the government in august 2018. The ambition is to make Togo a middle-income, supportive, innovative and open-minded nation. This logo will be used for all the actions of the National Development Plan of Togo.
This will be the face of the PND, it will be visible on all the projects carried out, to inform the government, as well as on all the brochures, official presentations etc.
The logo should contribute to the distinctive brand identity of the PND and stand out, compared to other similar programs. Participants of the contest can win prizes ranging from 300.000 up to 1 million CFA francs.
The game is open for everyone who is a resident of Togo (for the majority of time) and Togolese nationals living outside of Togo.
EPS, PDF or JPG, at the latest on February 14, 2019 to 00h.
Translated by Dzifa Gomashie
©Afreepress-(Lomé January the 30th)- During a graduation ceremony on the 29th of January, 255 commissioners and officers of the police have received their epaulets. They were officially incorporated in the National Police force. The ceremony was held 35 km north of Lomé, at the National Police Academy in Davié. Led by the minister of security and civil protection, Général Yark Damehane.
The academy was inaugurated in 2016, by Général Gnassingbé Eyadéma.
This is the first group, existing of 108 commissioners and 146 officers, that has graduated the new National Police Academy. These new police officials have followed a two year multidisciplinary program. According to minister of Security and Civil protection, this new force strengthens the foundation of law enforcement and therefore the security of the country. He took the opportunity to emphasis the new servants of the state, that self-sacrifice, discipline and respect for the state are necessary to effectively ensure their mission of peace, security and stability in the nation.
The national police academy of Davié was opened on the 8th of December 2016, by the Togolese government supported by a delegation of the European Union.
Translated by Dzifa G.
Archbishop Philippe Fanoko Kpodzro is Skeptical about the Role of Traditional leaders in Togolese SocietyÉcrit par © Afreepress
©AfreePress (Lomé, 30th of January 2019)- On Tuesday the 29 th of January, the man of God, Philippe Fanoko Kpodzro, came to Lomé to share his opinion on the legislative elections of the 20 th of December 2018.
The Archbishop was condemning the electoral process of last December that has led to the renewal of the National Assembly. He first rejected the legitimacy of the elections before, he questioned the place of traditional leaders in contemporary Togolese society.
‘’Do we still have trustworthy traditional authorities in the land of our ancestors, even religious authorities are supposed to protect and cherish our habits, customs and moral values? They must be able to free themselves from contingency and be able to tell the truth in all circumstances. Do we even have traditional chiefs in Togo who are comparable to Moro Nabo of Burkina Faso or the Ashante Hene of Kumasi Kingdom in Ghana? Who has not betrayed the trust of their people for enlargement of their own (material) interest?’’ Is what he wondered.
Archbishop Philippe Fanoko Kpodzro, continued and tried to raise awareness for his cause: ‘’Who doesn’t know that in Togo, there are no more wise men, no more honest dignitaries, no more old men who are not corrupted? These men used to be the pride of our beloved continent, Africa, and settled our disputes.’’ He urged people to take responsibility and advised: ‘’Put an end to these degrading practices that make us sink even deeper in the mud without any chance of change in the governance of our country.’’
Translated by Dzifa G.
©AfreePress (Lomé, 30th of January 2019)- The president of the republic of Togo, Faure Gnassingbé, payed a friendly, and working visit to his counterpart the president of Ivory Coast Alassane Ouattara. The visit was announced earlier this week by the minister of Communication and Media, Sidi Touré. According to the spokesperson of the
Ivorian government, the president, Faure Gnassingbé, arrived a little after 12 GMT at the Felix Houphouet-Boigny airport. He was welcomed by Alassane Ouattara.
The Ivorian president has actively intervened during the socio-political crisis in Togo that occurred between the 19 th of august 2017 and 22 nd of December 2018. This visit will be a perfect occasion for the two head of states to discuss the future cooperation between Togo and Ivory Coast.
Translated by Dzifa G.
©AfreePress (Lomé, 30th of January 2019)- The Ivorian president, Alassane Ouattara, announces the resignation of the president of the national assembly, Guillaume Soro, on Monday. The resignation will be effective in February. This announcement was made at a press conference in the presidential palace in Abidjan. According to official statements, did Mister Soro leave the country last Sunday, he will be in France for a private matter until February the 20th. The head of state only stated: ‘’ The resignation of Soro in February is settled’’, reasons for the resignation weren’t given.
Translated by Dzifa G.
©AfreePress- (Lome, on January 4th, 2019) – The New Hope - Association Espoir Nouveau Togo (AEN-Togo) carried out on Thursday, January 3, 2019 the official launch of its project called: “The African Child Photo and Film project”. This project aimed at the Training, Follow-up Support and Coaching and Equipment of the vulnerable children being taken care of in Orphanages with the end goal of helping them to realize their dreams of becoming Photographers and Photojournalists, and to give them a means of earning a living while continuing their studies.
The first phase of this project started last Thursday, January 3, 2019 in Lomé by a three (3) day Workshop organized for three young people from the “Jesus the Good Shepherd” orphanage located in Tsévié (35 km north of Lomé). This first workshop entitled “Numeric photography: Mastering the Camera and Digital Image”, focused on fundamentals of Photography and Photojournalism.
This first (Training) stage of the project which will last one year, will comprise a phase of training, follow-up and coaching, and supply of equipment (cameras and lenses) to the recipients.
“We are launching today this project for some of the orphans we have been following up and supporting since 2005 at the “Jesus the Good Shepherd” orphanage. For years, our Association just as some few others, accompany this orphanage. But, because of limited resources, we focused ourselves only on the basic needs for these children, such as food provision, dress supply, school fees and stationaries provision, and other related needs. But the children are growing up, some have completed their secondary school and started University or pursuing vocational studies. We realized there was something crucial missing: they had no specific competency or skills they can use to gain their life by themselves, except their diplomas. This is much alarming when we consider the very high unemployment rate among the young people who complete their studies. Moreover, we consider that these young people have many stories to tell about their own life, as well as about the lives of the other children living in extreme poverty and which can help to mobilize the world for better defense and protection for children living in extreme poverty and vulnerability. These are the motivations and reasons why we decided to equip them with a technical training that they can actually professionally practice and earn a living and take charge of themselves”, declared Jerry Johnson, President of AEN - Togo, to the News Agency AfreePress.
After these three days of Training, he continued, these young people will go on the field for six months. “During the six months, the Supervisors of the Association will follow them up, coach them and and accompany them for the development of their talent, by mastering the use of their cameras a s well as the photography technics. At the end of the first quarter, we will initiate another workshop for needed adjustments and realignment for these youth beneficiaries. At the end of the six months we intend to organize another workshop for a Training on filming (production of video short videos) and a Photo Festival to present the photographs of these vulnerable young people to the public and to uncover their skills and talents”, he added.
According to Mr. Johnson, his Association intends to extend the project over the years to other orphanages all through the country in order to promote the development of the vulnerable children. This was also an opportunity for him to launch an appeal for the volunteers to contribute to and support this action.
Created since in 2001, Association Espoir Nouveau Togo (New Hope Association) contributes to the improvement of the living conditions of the vulnerable and abandoned children in Togo.
A founder of ANC speaks out the " humiliations and attacks "he has been subject to and says farewell to the partyÉcrit par © Afreepress
©AfreePress-(Lomé, May 2, 2018)- One of the founding fathers of the National Alliance for the Change (NAC) Mr Didier AMELA has officially resigned from the political party. He made the annoucement on Wednesday during a press conference in Lomé. His decision to definitely quit, is motivated by a personal choice and the ill treatment he observed.
He said "It is with great pain I am resigning". He then continued, saying that his decision is a personal vision and also because of some wrongdoings in the political party.
" When you are with some people and you notice and feel that you are not comfortable, you should advise yourself and leave", he said.
During the conference Mr AMELA, denounced the ill treatment that he and some militants and officials of the party are victims of by the principal leaders of the party. He mentioned Mr Jean-Pierre Fabre, the National President of the party.
"The malicious gossip, lies, scandals, humiliations and even tricks I am victim of every day from my own brothers, activists have seriously affected the trust and respect that cemented us" he said.
He quits but he is still a politician, he precised.
"This decision does not mean the end of my political career. Today I am just withdrawing from any commitments and I wish all the best to the political party’s aspirations" he added.
As regard to other news, Mr AMELA is appointed to running the publishing house "Harmattan" in Togo.
© AfreePess- (Lomé, April 23, 2018) - The 2017-2018 cotton campaign in Togo is more optimistic than expected, say the first Togo New Cotton Firm (NSCT) leaders.
In terms of figures, Togo has developed 168,000 hectares out of the 160,000 hectares estimated for a total production of 116,000 tons in relation to the 2016-2017 year crop the figure of which is 108,000. "This is the first time that a goal set is achieved," enjoys the NSCT CEO. "These results have been achieved thanks to the mobilization of producers and the distribution of chemical fertilizers in large quantities and quality, the prompt payment of producers' bills and the increase in the purchasing price," he adds.
It should be recollected that the 11th meeting of the Regional Program of the Cotton Integrated Production in Africa (PR-PICA) ended Friday at the Hotel 2 Février in Lomé. Started April 18, 2018, the meeting allowed the six major cotton producing countries of PR-PICA to present the balance sheet of the 2017-2018 campaign.
In Togo, according to NSCT officials, 2017-2018 has achieved satisfactory results. "The Togolese production has increased even if it remains in modest proportions due mainly to the vagaries of climate," said the Director General of NSCT, NANFAME Adam Nana during a press conference balance sheet held in margins of the 11th PR-PICA meeting.
For the outlook of the 2018-2019 campaign that has just begun, the NSCT expects a production approaching 180,000 tons. These results will reach 200,000 tons by 2020.
As a reminder, the 11th meeting of the PR-PICA also allowed the reinforcement of the partnership between producers, cotton companies and agro-pharmaceutical firms of the countries embers of PR-PICA that are Benin, Burkina Faso, the Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, Senegal and Togo.
Cotonou, the capital of Benin will house the next PR-PICA meeting.