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Zambia’s Hakainde Hichilema sworn in as President in rare victory for an African opposition leader

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Zambia’s newly-elected president, Hakainde Hichilema, has been sworn into office after pulling off a stunning rare victory for an African opposition leader.

Hichilema was inaugurated Tuesday morning at a ceremony attended by leaders such as Tanzania President Samia Suluhu Hassan and Malawi leader Lazarus Chakwera.

Zambia’s second female Vice President Mutale Nalumango was also sworn in during the ceremony.

Hichilema defeated outgoing President Edgar Lungu in a landslide by almost one million votes in his sixth attempt at becoming ruler of Zambia.

It was a stunning turnaround for the politician known as HH — Hichilema spent several months in prison in 2017 for what were widely seen as politically motivated treason charges. The charges were dropped under intense international pressure.

After initially indicating he may challenge the result, Lungu addressed the nation following the elections, saying: “Based on the revelations issued at final results, I will comply with the constitutional provisions for a peaceful transition of power.

Despite conceding defeat early, Lungu was booed by some of the crowd as he made his way to the stage at the packed Heroes stadium in the capital Lusaka to hand over power.

Hichilema called Tuesday “a new dawn in Zambia,” in a tweet ahead of the ceremony. “As I sit here in our vehicle being driven to Heroes Stadium, I see the love, the joy and the jubilation as people line the streets on our way. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude. I love you all so much,” he added.

An example for Africa

Opposition leaders from other African countries were also invited to the event.

Nelson Chamisa, opposition leader in Zimbabwe, told CNN: “This is a significant and fantastic for what is possible for the future of Africa. Zambia is an inspiration to stubborn laggards in democracy. Strong institutions are key for effective power transfer and smooth transitions,” he said in a statement when asked about the significance of today’s inauguration.

Chamisa added that Zambia is an excellent example to be emulated on the continent.

“Africa in general and Zimbabwe in particular needs leaders not rulers, strong institutions – not strong men. Leaders must lead and leave, serve and go. Zimbabwe must be free and Democratic. Freedom can be delayed but never denied,” he said when asked what the message for Zimbabwe is.

It is the third time that power has shifted peacefully from a ruling party to the opposition since the southern African country’s independence from Britain in 1964.

There was a huge turnout of mostly young people, some who came dressed in their academic robes to protest lack of employment post graduation.

Joseph Kalimbwe, a youth representative of Hichilema’s UPND party told CNN

Young people gave us the vote. Four million young people between the ages of 18 to 24 registered to vote. It was a huge turnout and it was very personal to them. They want to ensure the mistakes of their parents were corrected. They have voted for our leader on basis he has better policies and ideas and can strengthen our state institutions.”

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Nigerian University Don, Dr Abdul Hamidu Abdullahi Appointed Board Member of IACD

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By James Odaudu

University Don, Dr Abdul Hamidu Abdullahi has been appointed to the governing board of the International Association for Community Development (IACD).

The appointment was was conveyed through a statement by Association’s headquarters in Glasgow, Scotland.

The International Association for Community Development is the only global network for Professional community development practitioners. It supports community development agencies and practitioners to build the capacities of communities to realise greater social and economic equality, environmental protection and political democracy.

IACD is registered in Scotland and is an accredited organisation to the United Nations. Thus it submit a brief annual report on its work and what it has been doing to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals Agenda 2030.

IACD currently has four representatives who attend events and consultation meetings at the UN in New York or Geneva. These include one Regional Director for Europe and former Vice President who is also the immediate past chair of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination; one Regional Director for Sub-Sahara Africa who also works for UN Women; one Regional Director for North Africa and the Middle East and one active IACD North America member.

Reacting to his appointment, the university don said “It’s a rare opportunity and I’m glad for scaling through the competitive and rigorous processes and procedures. It is really a big feat for me and Nigeria”.

According Dr Abdullahi, the organisation’s objectives include advancing public education through the promotion of community development, community capacity building, and other charitable purposes on behalf of the community.

Other objectives he said, include emphasising to international bodies, government, business and non-governmental organisations, the importance of community development.

The organisation, he further reiterated, conducts research, publishes and disseminates information relating to community development, as well as organising international meetings, conferences, training and exchanges in the field of community development.

On the potential benefits of him appointment to Nigeria, Dr Abdul Hamidu Abdullahi listed them to include; gaining exposure to international best practice of community development, deriving innovative methods used in other countries to tackle community issues, ability to showcase the age-long community development methods such as ESUSU, AGE GRADES etc in our various communities.

Other benefits according to him, include; drawing attention for collaboration and networking for the good of our communities and harnessing exchange programs and other educational activities for various advantages.

“As the most populace black nation, we are model for others thus we must companion and lead in all developmental activities” he said.

Dr Abdul Hamidu Abdullahi has B.sc Sociology, MPA Public Administration, and PhD in Local Government Studies all from the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University Zaria.

Presently, his teaching and research work is on Community Development, Public Policy, Local Governance, Research Methodology and Gender studies.

He has several publications in scholarly journals and contributed many chapters in Books and Monographs. And a Visiting Scholar with the Department of Public Administration, Nasarawa State University, Keffi.

His involvement in community development project include been an Assistant Research Fellow at Center for Democratic Development Research and Training, (CEDDERT) and a producer of the radio program.

His volunteerism include active membership of the following: Community Development Charter (CDC) and the Ward Integrity Companion (WIC) of his Ward; Network for Society against Child Trafficking Abuse and Labour (NACTAL) and the West African Research and Innovation Management Association (WARIMA).

He is also a Producer and Presenter of a radio programme –‘’Town and Gown’’ in Hausa language called Jamia da Jama’a at DITV/ALHERI Radio 97.7FM Zaria, Nigeria.

He is also a board member of Funtua Community College of Health Sciences and Technology; Team Lead of Initiative for Orphans and Vulnerable Persons, Zaria.

 

 

 

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PRESIDENT BUHARI TO ATTEND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION FOR AFRICA SUMMIT IN DAKAR

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President Muhammadu Buhari will depart Abuja Wednesday, July 6, to participate in the International Development Association (IDA) for Africa Summit in Dakar, Senegal.

This is according to a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.

At the High Level event slated for Thursday, July 7 and hosted by President Macky Sall of the Republic of Senegal, President Buhari is expected to join other African leaders in an open Dialogue on Development Challenges and priorities as well as transformational initiatives that will lead to an outcome document, the Dakar Declaration.

​This commitment is expected to chart the way forward for the transformation of the economies of these nations in partnership with the World Bank/IDA.

Topics slated for discussion include: Financing for Recovery and Economic Transformation in Africa; Agriculture, Livestock and Food Security; Human Capital; Digital and Technological Innovation; and Energy Transition and Climate Change.

An institution of the World Bank Group, IDA is deepening its support to drive a resilient recovery for countries hit by the global crises of climate and COVID -19, growing levels of insecurity and more recently, by the impact of the war in Ukraine through its historic $93 billion 20th replenishment cycle (IDA20) which goes into effect between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2025.

The President will be accompanied on the trip by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Geoffery Onyeama; Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; as well as Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo.

Others on the entourage are : the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele; Director- General, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Amb. Ahmed Rufa’i Abubakar; Director-General, Debt Management Office, Patience Oniha; and the Managing Director of the Bank of Industry, Olukayode Pitan.

He is expected back in the country at the end of the Summit on Thursday, July 7th.

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US Resumes Diplomatic Activities in Ukraine, Appoints Bridget Brink as Ambassador

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said during an unannounced trip to Kyiv on Sunday that US diplomats would return to Ukraine this week, a senior State Department official said, characterizing the move as a strong message of solidarity from the United States.

Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin traveled to the Ukrainian capital, where they met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials, making them the highest-level US officials to have traveled to the country since the Russian invasion began in late February.
While in Kyiv, Blinken and Austin met with Zelensky, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov and Interior Minister Denys Monastrysky for an extended, roughly 90-minute bilateral meeting, the senior State Department official said.
Zelensky had announced on Saturday that Blinken and Austin would visit Kyiv, and the White House declined to comment at the time.
Blinken also relayed that US President Joe Biden would nominate Bridget Brink as US ambassador to Ukraine, according to the senior State Department official. The post that has been without a confirmed ambassador since Marie Yovanovitch was recalled in May 2019. Brink is the current US ambassador to Slovakia.
Blinken and Austin discussed the Biden administration’s intention to provide $713 million in additional foreign military financing to help Ukraine transition to NATO-capable systems, according to the senior State Department official and a senior Defense Department official, as well as deliveries of recent US military assistance to Ukraine and the ongoing training for Ukrainian soldiers.
Both officials briefed press who traveled to the region shortly before Blinken and Austin were due to arrive in Kyiv; the traveling US press corps did not travel with the secretaries to the Ukrainian capital.
They also discussed efforts at diplomacy the Ukrainians are undertaking with the Russians, the senior State Department official said.
In the background briefing, the officials made clear that the US military would still not be involved directly in the war.
“The President has been very clear there will be no US troops fighting in Ukraine and that includes the skies over Ukraine,” the defense official said, adding, “This visit does not portend actual involvement by US forces.”
While officials hailed the trip as a testament to the US commitment to Ukraine, they have also faced questions about why Biden did not make the trip himself.
“The President of the United States is somewhat singular, in terms of what travel would require. So it goes well beyond what a Cabinet secretary would or what virtually any other world leader would require,” the State Department official noted.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited the country earlier this month. Top officials from the EU and the Baltics have also visited Zelensky in Kyiv.
As part of the resumed US diplomatic presence in Ukraine, diplomats will “start with day trips into the Lviv” and “will graduate to potentially other parts of the country and ultimately, to resume presence in Kyiv,” the senior State Department official said.
Blinken and Austin’s visit came as the first tranche of about 50 Ukrainians will complete artillery training in a country outside Ukraine, the defense official said. Another tranche of about 50 Ukrainians will also begin training soon, the defense official said.
“The first tranche of artillery training is complete,” Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby told reporters Sunday who traveled to the region with the secretaries in a briefing in Poland. “We train soldiers that will go back, and their colleagues will be able to follow and be all in on systems.”
Some of the howitzers included in the most recent military assistance package for Ukraine are already in the country, the defense official said. The howitzers are expected to be effective at this stage of the war as it’s shifted to the Donbas, where the terrain is suited to “long range” weaponry, Kirby said.
Kirby noted the speed with which the military assistance shipments has arrived in Ukraine and said that the decision for how to deploy the assistance is up to the Ukrainians.
“It’s not taking more than 24 to 48 hours depending on what’s being shipped and the availability of ground transportation to get it into Ukraine,” Kirby said. “As we’ve said before, when (the assistance is) transferred to Ukrainian hands, it’s Ukrainian property, and we are not dictating to them how fast they get it to the front line or what units get them.”
Military officials described to reporters the ongoing concern among NATO countries about the threat that Russia poses to them.
“Not just here in Poland, I think many of the countries are concerned about Russia’s next steps,” said Lt. Gen. John Stephen Kolasheski, the commanding general of V Corps in Poland. “And are very pleased to have the US military here working side by side — helping them develop their capabilities and capacity. … I think they are recognizing that Russia is currently and will be a threat in the future.”

(TM & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc.)

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