Saturday, 30 April 2011


The Swedish embassy in Lusaka will on May 5 hold the Zambia launch of the Innovations Against Poverty programme.
Innovations Against Poverty in Zambia manager Andrew Kambobe announced in a statement that the project was a new funding opportunity for entrepreneurs who fight poverty through innovation and that it was being financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).
“This is a three-year-programme through which companies can get financial support and advice on inclusive business models. Sweden is encouraging companies and market oriented NGOs in Zambia to apply for the Innovation Against Poverty programme.  Innovations in technology and business practices are critical in creating opportunities for people living in poverty to improve their living conditions,” read the statement in part. “Innovations is designed for companies based or operating in developing countries like Zambia. IAP will focus on smaller organisations with innovative ideas as well as larger companies that need advice and support to develop inclusive business models, which expand opportunities for the poor and disadvantaged. Companies can be active in all sectors where innovation leads to poverty reduction, from agriculture and infrastructure to health and education. In addition to the global IAP programme, a specific window for Zambia is
 shortly to be established by the Embassy of Sweden, which in its first phase will be open for one year.”
“Our goal is to fund about 60 new services and products worldwide. We also target companies wishing to export to – or who are already involved in – developing countries to expand business and local community development,” says Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, Director General of Sida, who visited Zambia in November last year.

Friday, 29 April 2011


Rebeca Grynspan
The United Nations Under-Secretary General and UNDP Associate Administrator Rebeca Grynspan is expected to visit Zambia between May 1 and 4 May.
UN Communications Officer Sirak Gebrehiwot announced Grynspan’s visit to Zambia is a statement released in Lusaka.
Gebrehiwot stated Grynspan’s visit is the first to the Africa region in her current position.
According to Gebrehiwot, the purpose of the Associate Administrator’s visit is to see firsthand the development situation in Zambia, and to understand the role and contribution of UNDP to Zambia as part of the UN system, which is moving towards Delivering as One.
“It is also an opportunity to contribute through high level dialogue, to the country’s plans to become a Middle Income Country by 2030, through implementation of the Sixth National Development Plan (SNDP 2011-2015), as well as to achieve progress on the MDGs by 2015,” read the statement in part.  “In Livingstone, she will visit national heritage sites and UNDP-supported development work that is being undertaken at the community level on human rights and civic education, empowering people to be active in decision-making processes that affect their lives.”
Zambia is a pilot country for implementation of the Paris Declaration and has a well developed coordination mechanisms involving Sector Advisory Groups with clearly defined roles. UNDP plays a key role in sectors such as Governance, Gender, Environment and it is coordinating a multi donor programme to support the upcoming general elections and the electoral process in Zambia. UNDP had delivered a grant of $68.7 million to Zambia between 2006 and 2010 to support the implementation of the Fifth National Development Plan (2006-2010).
UNDP’s recently signed five year Country Programme Action Plan (CPAP 2011-2015), which takes into account priorities, identified in the SNDP and UNDAF will focus on support to HIV & AIDS, governance and gender, and climate change and the promotion of sustainable livelihoods programmes.
According to Gebrehiwot, Grynspan would hold talks with President Rupiah Banda, Foreign Affairs minister Kabinga Pande, Finance minister Situmbeko Musokotwane, Health minister Simbao, the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ), representatives of Women in Leadership, Cooperating Partners, representatives of civil society, NGOs and the UN Country Team in Zambia.
Gryspan will also participate in Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Policy Dialogue in Lusaka to discuss MDGs with specific attention to areas where an acceleration of effort and investment is required.
“This dialogue is expected to foster a common ground on key policy and institutional perspectives that are needed to reach the MDGs, in particular on poverty reduction, maternal mortality and environmental sustainability. The Government and the UN Country Team in Zambia have been working how to address the urban-rural disparities and gender inequality, so that the progress on MDGs are inclusive and are based on equity,” read the statement.
Grynspan, Costa Rican, was appointed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the position of UN Under-Secretary-General and UNDP Associate Administrator effective 1 February 2010.
Prior to this appointment, Grynspan served as Assistant-Secretary-General and Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean at the United Nations Development Programme (2006-2010).
Before joining the United Nations, Grynspan served as Vice-President of Costa Rica from 1994 to 1998.
Grynspan is a strong advocate for the Millennium Development Goals, women empowerment and social cohesion. In addition to her experience as an adviser, lecturer and author, Grynspan has contributed to key United Nations initiatives such as the Millennium Project’s Task Force on Poverty and Economic Development and on the High-Level Panel on Financing for Development.

Thursday, 28 April 2011


Sudan President Omar Al-Bashir
Sudan President Omer Hassan Al-Bashir has reiterated claims that the contested oil-producing region of Abyei belongs to the north, and threatened to wage war in the border state of South Kordofan if the newly independent South Sudan opted for confrontation there.
Ownership of Abyei region is claimed by both north and south Sudan, which voted earlier this year to secede in a referendum promised under the 2005’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) which ended nearly half a century of intermittent north-south civil wars.
Abyei’s status was supposed to be decided in a referendum vote in January, but north and south Sudan disagreed on whether members of the north-backed tribe of al-Messriya, whose nomads cross over to Abyei for a few months a year to graze their cattle, should be allowed to vote alongside the south-linked tribe of Dinka Ngok.
In an inflammatory speech he delivered on Tuesday, Al-Bashir laid stress on the north’s ownership of Abyei. "I say it and repeat it for the million times, Abyei is northern and will remain northern," he declared.
Meanwhile, a senior official from Al-Bashir’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) has warned that the north would revoke its recognition of south Sudan’s independence if the latter claims ownership of Abyei in its constitution.
South Sudan lays claim to Abyei in its draft constitution, which is due to be adopted after the region officially gains independence in July.
Al-Dirdiri Ahmed, the NCP’s official in charge of Abyei dossier, told the pro-government website Sudan Media Center that his party rejects any mention of Abyei as located within the borders of South Sudan in the region’s draft constitution. He warned that his party would reconsider its recognition of South Sudan state if its new constitution states that Abyei is part of the south.
Al-Bashir, who was addressing a public rally in Al-Mujlad town in South Kordofan, where the NCP will vie in long-delayed gubernatorial and legislative elections due to be held on May 2, threatened that his party was ready to reignite war if the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), which controls South Sudan, thinks of entering war in south Kordofan.
South Kordofan saw violent incidents ahead of the sensitive vote when the paramilitary Popular Defense Forces (PDF), allegedly backed by the NCP’s incumbent candidate in gubernatorial elections Ahmad Harun, attacked El-Feid earlier this month, killing 17 people and burning hundreds of houses.
Al-Bashir said that the SPLM would incur a great loss if it thinks of going back to the square of war in South Kordofan, warning that the movement must submit to the will of ballot boxes “or else boxes of bullets will decide the matter.”
President Al-Bashir and his candidate Ahmed Harun are both wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against the background of atrocities committed during a government counterinsurgency campaign in the western region of Darfur, where an eight year conflict killed thousands of people and displaced millions.
Al-Bashir’s statements have sparked a response from the SPLM whose candidate in South Kordofan’s gubernatorial elections, Abdul Aziz Adam Al-Hilu, deplored Al-Bashir speech as a declaration of war.
“We condemn Al-Bashir’s Mujlad speech in which there was nothing but the language of war while we advocate peace,” Al-Hilu said in a press conference, adding that “the head of state who calls for, and preach, war should end Darfur war first.”

Wednesday, 27 April 2011


His Excellency Mr Rupiah Banda, President of the Republic of Zambia, will on Wednesday 27th April officially open the 6th International Association of Women Judges Africa Regional Conference at the Zambezi Sun Hotel in Livingstone.
This conference has been organised by the Zambia Association of Women Judges, which is a chapter of the International Association of Women Judges.
The President has commended the International Association of Women Judges which is a non-governmental organisation comprising more than four thousand members, at all judicial levels, from over ninety countries, for its various professional and social development works throughout the world.
He has noted that since inception in 1991, the International Association of Women Judges has united women from diverse legal judicial systems who share a commitment to equal justice and the rule of law.
The President observed that: “The objective of the International Association Of Women Judges is dialogue and this deserves admiration. Through dialogue women judges from all over the world are able to share experiences and best practices in areas such as violence against women and gender bias in court.”
President Banda has offered his full support for increased women’s participation as judges in the judicial life of the nation, adding:
“Let me assure the Zambia Association of Women Judges and the people of Zambia that for as long as I am President, the Zambia Association of Female Judges is assured of receiving new members as I intend to continue appointing more female judges to the bench.”

Tuesday, 26 April 2011


When Paul requested Andrew for a coffee date, it was clear in Andrew’s mind that Paul must have been going through some kind of psychosocial challenges.
The tone with which he talked on phone was indicative of a friend experiencing difficult times. Andrew scheduled the meeting the following week to the delight of his friend.
True to his expectations, Paul was a man under pressure. ‘My job has taken away my life’ he told Andrew. The rest of the story is left to my narration.
Paul loved his job. He served the clients with great diligence and commitment and this led to his quick upward mobility. Within two years, he had moved from an officer’s position to a senior manager.
The promotions, however, came with challenges. Due to the tight deadlines and the ever increasing portfolios, leaving the office past 9pm was the norm rather than the exception. On several occasions, he had to work over the weekends and on public holidays.
By the time he called Andrew for a chat, he had for sure endured the pressure to the brim. He realised that he no longer had a life because of his job.
He rarely had time to interact with his wife and children as he left for work long before they woke up and returned home a fatigued man unable to engage in any activities with his family.
He was giving the rest of the world his best time and energies and leaving his family and friends with life’s crumbs. This state of affairs greatly worried him.
Paul is not alone in this experience. I have interacted with many workers who increasingly feel that their lives have been hijacked by their jobs.
The demands at work always push people beyond their initially imagined limits hence robbing the workers of their time and space. With higher targets being set every year and the expansion of both geographical coverage and types of products, employees are being pushed to the wall as they have to deliver the expected results.
The challenge, however, is what to do when one finds themselves in such a situation where he likes the job yet the job seems to be taking over his life. This is when one needs to re-examine his values and motivation for work.
Whoever developed the criteria that had a day divided into three 8-hour blocks for sleep, work and socialising had considered the best balance for life. Whenever someone’s job eats into the sleep and socialising territories, there is need to evaluate whether the job is building or destroying the employee’s life.
People who are able balance all the three key spheres are the ones who are deemed to be successful. They do well at work, have a full social life and find adequate time to relax and re-energise their systems.