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© AfreePress- (Lomé, April 12, 2019) - Parents, children, administrative authorities, religious and donors ... were present this Thursday, April 11, 2019 alongside the leaders of SOS Children's Village for the inauguration of the new premises of the Atakpamé Program, Kamina (about 15 km from the city of Atakpame).

This building is in addition to that of Afeye Kpota, to extend the activities of this institution to a greater number of children in need of protection in the Ogou prefecture.

From SOS homes to the computer room to rooms and playgrounds, everything is there to provide a warm home for the children of Kamina. "This new village supports the Atakpamé Program to improve the quality of care, living standards and development of children who have lost or are at risk of losing parental care through their access to services. basic essentials, "Arcadius Toeppen, Director of the Program at Atakpamé, said during the ceremony.

The village plans to provide some 1,586 children - who have lost family care or are at risk of losing it - to growing up in a protective family environment by 2020.

Indeed, the analysis of the situation of children that SOS Children's Village realizes each 3 years, revealed in 2013 that in Kamina, out of the 420 children counted, 23 (5%) have already lost parental care , 153 (36%) are at high risk of losing it among them there are 244 children who live with both parents but sometimes in difficult economic conditions.

Across the city of Atakpamé, the survey reveals that 1,818 children or 5% have lost care while 15,519 (40%) are at high risk of losing it. "With these villages we build families for children, help them to design their own future and take part in the development of their communities," said SOS Children's Village National Director Togo, Ms. Bakoussam Manzi-Nika.

The SOS Children's Village Atakpamé program is created with the sole purpose of improving the situation of children in the Plateaux region through interventions in three (3) areas.

The first concerns the implementation of a care program for children and young people and takes into account the SOS family components integrated into the communities, the Foster Family Promotion, the transit house for the reception and counseling of trafficked children and a family strengthening program.

The second area facilitates access to quality education for children and young people. The third is oriented towards promoting quality health care for children.

"Today, communities benefiting from SOS programs are more sensitive to the rights and protection of children and the importance of quality alternative care and show progress towards sustainability and resilience. ", Welcomed the International Director of SOS Children's Villages for West and Central Africa, Benoît PIOT.

Advances saved

After the launch of the Program in 2017 in Atakpame, we can already note the construction of 6 family houses in the Kamina and Afeye Kpota communities and two transit houses in Kamina; Admission of 13 children to SOS families including 06 girls, 03 children in foster care including 01 daughter and a daughter in a transit house. Similarly, 801 children and 224 families are admitted to the family strengthening program.

The program also transfers skills to families and communities. This through an exchange with child protection actors, on the care of SOS Children Village Atakpamé.

To date, 20 host families are accredited and trained. In addition, the renovation of 6 school buildings in 4 partner schools, the construction of 4 blocks of school latrines and drilling.

Still in the logic of skills transfer, 70 teachers have had their capacities strengthened.

As a result, the program allows communities to develop a functional community protection mechanism.

SOS Children's Village is an international, apolitical and secular social development organization that respects the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is present in 135 countries around the world and has been working in Togo for 40 years. Today it operates on four sites (Lomé, Kara, Dapaong and Atakpamé) thanks to the support of benefactors of Sweden in this case the company AstraZeneca and The Astrid Lindgren Company.

Since 2017, she also benefits from an annual grant from the Togo government

A.Y.

 

©AfreePress-(Lomé, 11 March 2019)-On Sunday the 10th of March Ethiopian airline flight ET302 has crashed shortly after takeoff, the airplane was on its way to Nairobi. 

According to Ethiopian authorities there were no survivors, all 149 passengers and 8 crewmembers lost their lives in the crash.

The airplane lost contact with the Addis Abeba airport 6 minutes after takeoff. According to the last contact the aircraft had problems with maintaining its speed during takeoff and the pilot asked permission to return to the airport.

The Ethiopian airlines Boeing 737 max was a new aircraft that had its first flight for Ethiopian airlines in November last year. Before takeoff there were no problems detected with the aircraft and the pilot was experienced. It is still too early for any statements about the cause of the crash but.
The black boxes have been recovered from the scene this morning, this includes the cockpit voice recorder and the digital flight data recorder. This will hopefully reveal the cause of the crash soon.

This is not the first time a Boeing 737 max aircraft has crashed, five months ago the same type of aircraft had crashed in Indonesia taking the lives of 189 people. Several airlines have decided to stop using their Boeing 737 max until the cause of the crash in Ethiopia is clear. Boeing has decided not to change any of their safety protocols for their Boeing 737 max.

Ethiopian airlines also operates from Lomé International Airport Gnassingbé Eyadéma, to various places in the world including Addis Abeba and Nairobi.

D. Gomashie

©AfreePress-(Lomé, 6 March,2019)-On the 5th of March the Canadian ambassador Dr. Heater Cameron located in Accra, came to visit UNFPA projects in Togo. She, and her husband are staying in Togo for a week, to visit several development projects in Togo. 

The United Nations Population fund in Togo (UNFPA) organized a tour to show the ambassador, the work that the UNFPA does in cooperation with other local organizations in Togo. 

The UNFPA has developed several clinics for Togolese youth all over the country, for STD and HIV prevention. These clinics also focus female (reproductive) health in general, teenage pregnancy and sexual assault.

The UNFPA tour started at Lychee Agoè, a high school were the UNFPA has built an clinic for the students. At Agoè, the UNFPA explained how they, with the help of these clinics, are trying to reach the youth and try to educate them on HIV and STD’s. This clinic has female employees only, to ensure that the girls feel confortable to discuss their health issues. 

The ambassador took the time to speak with the nurses and discuss how especially girls benefit from this clinic. She was in particular happy to see the large enrollment of girls at the high school. 

Togo’s overall female enrollment is extremely low with only 40% of girls enrolling secondary school, the number that actually graduates is even lower. 

Female enrolment in secondary school is extremely important for the development of the country as a higher enrolment equals less teenage pregnancy, less children and overall higher life standard. 

This fact together with the global HIV epidemic which, has almost 1 out of 5 people in West-Africa infected with the HIV virus, motivated the UNFPA in Togo to invest in these clinics. 

The Ambassador at the UNFPA supported clinic in Agoè.

The tour continued in Tabligo, a town located 80 km estern of Lomé. This clinic has separate doctors’ offices for boys and girls, as well as male and female nurses to make sure everyone feels comfortable. 

What made this clinic stand out was their direct connection to the towns hospital as well as their class room for sex education. 

After the ambassador took a look around the facility we sat down in the class room, some of the female (ex-)patients shared their experiences with the clinic.

All the girls were satisfied and showed their gratitude for being able to use this facility. The facility employees, explained how the clinic’s success is largely depended on the community work that has been done. The community of Tabligo had to be shown that the clinic is an initiative by Togolese people for Togolese people instead of a western aid program. Therefore the facility works on a voluntary basis and is free. 

The ambassador Dr. Cameron took the time in Tabligo to make a statement on behalf of Canada and its interest in these projects. 

The ambassador stated that she has been in working in and on Africa for over 20 years now. The continues growing amount of people with HIV in West-Africa is worrisome according to her. 

She has lost many people close to her to this disease, friends and employees at the embassy, which has motivated her even more to fight this disease. Her objective is zero, new HIV infections. Even though vaccinations and research for cures is important, prevention of the disease by education for both women and men has been a priority for her. 

Canada wants to improve their involvement in the world as a bilingual country and therefore invests more in West-African francophone countries. This includes Togo, her visit in Togo this week is to reinforce the Canada-Togo partnership. 

Furthermore does Canada considers human rights in general as important but especially, gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls as the most effective way to reduce poverty and built a more inclusive peaceful world. 

Therefore she will, besides from female reproductive health an HIV/ STD prevention, also focus on the abolition of child marriages in Togo, with support of Canada’s Fund for Local Initiatives. 

Women gather around the ambassador in Sika Kondji

The last stop of the tour was the village of Sika Kondji, were a mobile clinic is located today. Upon arrival women were waiting under the large trees in the middle of the village to welcome the ambassador. 

This final stop showed how beneficial the clinics are and how even rural areas are incorporated. The ambassador ended the day with stating that she looks forward to (financially) contributing to the further expansion of these clinics. This tour organized by the UNFPA has been in order to strengthen the Canada-Togo partnership and hopefully work together on future development projects in Togo. 

D. Gomashie

© AfreePress- (Lomé, March 4, 2019)- The Disciplinary Committee of the Togolese Football Federation (FTF) has taken action against violence. The FTF promised to be "ruthless" in case of violence in Togo’s football stadiums. The Disciplinary Committee has therefore decided to punish after observing the first division matches between Gbikinti FC and Gomido FC, Foadan FC against Dyto FC and Kotoko FC vs Arabia FC in the second division. 

The match between Gbikinti FC and Gomido FC escalated, the team hosting Gbikinti FC is found responsible for the objects throwing, threats, invasion of ground, attacks of officials and overall failure of the safety. 

The Disciplinary Committee decided that Gbikinti was responsible for the safety insurance during the match. 

The official statement of the FTF states: ’’The Committee, has decided to fine Gbikinti FC, one million CFA francs for improper behavior of its supporters, according to articles 68.1 and 68.3 of the disciplinary code.”

In addition, they are not allowed to play at home for two years, on behalf of the National Championship of the first division or the second division. 

The Gbikinti FC team is also ordered to pay for the additional medical expenses of referees in Kara, which amount to 40,000 CFA francs for Mr. Siame Koffi and 35,000 CFA francs for MR. Essozimana Tchaa, according to article 30.2 of the disciplinary code, they also have to pay Mr. Essozimana Tchaa 50,000 CFA francs to cover the loss of sports and work equipment, stolen by supporters, stated the statement of the FTF.

 The committee also decided to charge Gbikinti FC with the travel expenses of the Commissioner for the match (round trip Sokodé-Lomé) for his appearance before the Disciplinary Committee. 

Foadan FC faced the same accusations, after they hosted a match against the team Dyto FC.

The Committee decided to fine Foadan FC, 500,000 CFA francs for improper behavior of its supporters.

 Dapaong Municipal Stadium is suspended for one year on behalf of the National First and Second Division Championships, and Foadan FC is ordered to pay the travel expenses for the Match Commissioner (round trip Sokodé -Lomé) and the Referee (round-trip Kara-Lomé) for their appearance before the Disciplinary Committee. 

During the match of Kotoko FC vs Arabia FC, the Committee noted throwing of objects, attacks on officials and an invasion of the ground. The Committee also fines Kotoko FC, they have to pay 300,000 CFA francs for improper behavior of its supporters, according to Articles 68.1 and 68.3 of the disciplinary code, Kotoko FC is sentenced to a ground ban of 6 months on behalf of the National Championships second and third division. 

The FTF Committee recalled that these decisions are subject to appeal within a ten day period. 

Translated by D. Gomashie

© AfreePress- (Lomé, March 4, 2019) - In order to popularize the National Development Plan (PND 2018-2022), the government organized, last Saturday March 2, a training session for development actors from the five regions of the country. This training session was held under supervision of the Councilor of the Head of State, Kanka-Malik NATCHABA.

This training was held as a prelude of the official launch of the PND scheduled for 4 March 2019 in Lomé. It aims to bring the participants, the heads of regional services, civil society, NGOs, and the local media together to understand the content of the PND, that aims to make Togo an emerging country in the sub-region. 

The Secretary General of the Ministry of Planning, Development and Cooperation, Etsri Homevor, said: "The government sees the NDP as a frame of reference for conducting all public development actions on economic, social and other issues. It is important to ensure that all the actors involved are fully aware of the contours of the PND and know the details of this ambitious plan adopted by the government. These local actors could effectively carry out programs, actions and activities to achieve the objectives. So in the framework of national expansion, it is important that beyond Lomé, the development actors of other regions are informed of the content, vision as well as the strategic planning of the PND, they are able to forward this information at a local level, especially in local languages.’’ 

Developed around three objectives, the PND 2018-2022 has the overall objective to structurally transform the economy, to create ‘’strong, sustainable, resilient, inclusive growth, creating decent jobs and leading to improved social wellbeing.’’ Homevor added.

Translated by D. Gomashie

©AfreePress- (Lomé, March 4, 2019)- The third edition of the Human Rights Night took place on Saturday, February 23, 2019 at Agora Senghor, Lomé. Organized by the CACIT (a forum of Associations against impunity) in Togo, the Human Rights Night is an evening of awards and distinctions to the various actors involved in the fields of Human Rights. The President of CACIT Mawuli SPERO did not fail to recall the framework of this celebration which, as far as he is concerned, is important. "The Human Rights Night is a celebration of human dignity through the rewarding of those who uphold this dignity," he said in his opening speech of the evening.

For the year 2018, several associations, NGOs and personalities were awarded for their commitment to the cause of humanity. Among them, was Compassion International Togo, a Christian NGO engaged in the protection and defense of Child’s rights. Being awarded best actor in the field of Child Protection during the previous edition, this NGO has been awarded the price of the Best International Organization in 2018. Compassion International's efforts are well known. Established in Togo since 2008, Compassion is specialized in the holistic development of children and young people through sponsorship. It mainly partners with Evangelical churches established in Togo. Currently, Compassion International covers all the regions of our country either through its QAVAH program or through the Child and Youth Development Centers. In total more than 60,000 beneficiaries are registered in the program and many of them are already enrolled in universities.

Mr. Koffi AHONON, representing the National Director at this ceremony, did not skimp and save words to thank the CACIT and its partners. According to him, this recognition is dedicated to the children and other beneficiaries of the program and the various actors who work on the field. “Indeed”, he continued saying that, "thanks to Compassion's efforts in our country, thousands of children have hope for a brighter future."

It should be remembered again that Compassion International provides its beneficiaries with school supplies, support in their studies, technical and vocational training, health care, trainings in entrepreneurship and other topics. In order to enable them to live in a non-hostile environment, Compassion International supports its Church partners in income-generating initiatives for parents and in the building of facilities such as boreholes and classrooms.

Yet in 2016, Compassion International Togo was ranked the best donor according to the governmental report of the Public Aid to Development in front of the European Union and the World Bank with a total of 46,58 million FCFA, the equivalent of 14,41% of the Public Aid to Development in Togo.

jeudi, 28 février 2019 13:08

The prefecture Dankpen, opens new market

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©AfreePress- (Lomé, February 27, 2019)- In the context of the Emergency Program for Community Development (PUDC), President Gnassingbé was present at the opening of the departmental market and rural roads in Dankpen, located 450km North-West of Lomé.

The construction of the Dankpen market started in March 2017, the community expressed their need to the leaders of the National Agency for Development Support at the Base (ANADEB), who since then have tried to facilitated their needs.

The community asked for a modern market and infrastructure adapted to the size of their commercial activities. The project has cost more than 470 million CFA francs and consists of an administrative block, shops, toilets, sheds and shelters for poultry and cattle, a butchers shop and a waste dump.

The prefectures of Dankpen and Doufelgou benefit not only from the market but, also from the rural roads that connect Alloum to Namon, Namon to Guerin-Kouka, Guerin-Kouka to Kidjaboum and Kidjaboum to Katchamba, these rural roads have been renovated for 2.5 bilion CFA.

During the ceremony, Commander Gnakou Aloegnim of Dankpen, expressed his gratitude to the Togolese government on behalf of the community. The new roads has given the local community an international connection to Benin, Ghana and Burkina Faso.

This architectural work of the new market will make the commercial activities in this community easier, he said.

Besides the rural roads and the market, in the region of Kara, the PUDC contributed to the construction of eight schools, two high schools and two colleges of general education, the construction of the Awandjelo health center, the renovation of administrative, educational and health facilities in a dozen schools, colleges and high schools in the region.

All of these projects received technical support from the United Nations Development Program.

Gomashie D.

©AfreePress -(Lomé, February 27, 2019)- On Saturday the 23th of February, the polls of the Nigerian presidential elections were finally opened. After the elections were postponed for a week, Nigerians where finally able to vote for their next president. 

Counting started right after the polls closed, but results did not come in until Monday morning. The official results were supposed to be published on Monday night but counting took longer and were finalized on Tuesday the 26. 

The final results show that Muhammadu Buhari, who was running for a second term wins again. With a difference of almost four million votes he can continue his presidency for another four years. 

During his last term, Buhari has been absent for some time due to illness. The Vice president stepped in to take over while he recovered. The president still continues to suffer from health issues but is nevertheless determined to take on the problems Nigeria is facing.

The challenges Buhari will be facing during his second term are, The Nigerian economy that still depends largely on oil exports. The country has been in recession since 2016 and half of the Nigerian population lives in extreme poverty. 

Buhari is expected to fight the everlasting issues with corruption. Even though he was also suspected of corruption during his presidential campaign. Lastly does Nigeria have a national security issue because extremist Muslim groups such as Boko Haram are active in the norther part of the country. It wouldn’t be an easy task for the president to face all these challenges. 

Buhari is from a northern state and was born into a Muslim family. This largely contributed to Buhari’s win.

The overall turnout of the elections was the lowest in 20 years, only 35% of the registered voters actually voted on Saturday. In the southern states this percentage was even lower, in some states even under 20%. 

In the northern states the turnout was around 50 %. This large difference in turnout helped Buhari considerably with his win. 

The low turnout shows that the population has very little trust in the politics of it country and doesn’t seem to believe real change will occur with this presidency.

Nigerian has an extremely young population, 60% is under 25 and either not allowed to vote or does not have faith in the current politics. The validity of these elections could be questioned, as not only the majority of the population is not allowed to vote but the Nigerians who were eligible to vote mostly stayed home as well. 

The opposition therefore rejects these elections and refuses to sign. They believe that the results were manipulated, not valid and plan on going to court to fight the results. 

Meanwhile Buhari supporter celebrate the win of their president.

Gomashie D.

©AfreePress- (Lomé, February 27, 2019) -The current mandate of President Faure Gnassingbé will end in 2020, so it is time for the organization of presidential elections again.

A few months away from the deadline, applications are emerging. Following the announcement of the candidacy of President Gnassingbe by the Executive Secretary of his party, l’Union pour la République (UNIR). It is now the turn for the l'Alliance nationale pour le changement (ANC), the opposition party, to announce their candidate for the presidential elections.

During a meeting organized by ANC youth in Bè Kodjindji district on Sunday, February 24, 2019, DRAH Seveamenou, the party's former deputy, indicated that his political party already has a name for the candidate of the 2020 presidential election. This candidate is Jean Pierre Fabre, head and founder of the party, he was the obvious choice.

But according to socio-political analysts of Togo, it is too early to conclude that Fabre will be the only candidate of the ANC.

For the 2020 presidential elections, big maneuvers are expected to be set up.

Gomashie D.

mercredi, 27 février 2019 10:09

Togo and Belgium Work Towards an Air Agreement

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©AfreePress- (Lomé, February 26, 2019) - In the upcoming days Togo and Belgium will sign an air agreement this was announced on Monday the 25th of February.

The new Belgian ambassador in Togo, Xavier LeBanc announced this during his presentation to the president. The Belgian diplomat said that his mission is to strengthen the friendship between the two states and develop a win-win situation for Belgium and Togo.

The new Belgian ambassador LeBanc stated: ‘’My priority is to Bring Belgium and Togo closer together. Our ministry of foreign affairs has decided to take an integrated approach to the West-African sub region, this approach already happening and gives me the opportunity to do something concrete here in Togo. Already in the near future the Togolese republic and the Kingdom of Belgium will have the opportunity to sign an air agreement. This agreement was prepared before my arrival and the only thing left to do is find a date to sign this agreement here in Lomé. Belgium expects thar through its cooperation with Togo, it is able to increase the level of Belgian representation in West-Afric

Gomashie D.

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