Sunday, February 2nd, 2020
Publié le 03.02.2020 à 01h18 par APA
L’Egypte a envoyé un lot de 10 tonnes de matériel médicale constitué de dispositif de protection en signe de solidarité avec le peuple chinois dans sa lutte contre le Coronavirus qui a fait plus de 300 morts et des milliers de personnes contaminées.Par Mohamed Fayed
Au niveau local, le porte-parole du Conseil des ministres a assuré que toutes les mesures ont été prises pour lutter contre le virus Corona dans le pays, présentant à cet effet un rapport au ministère de la Santé en vue d’accueillir des Égyptiens résidant en Chine qui souhaitent rentrer au pays.
Pour sa part, la ministre de la Santé a déclaré qu’une cellule centrale a été mis en place, comprenant des représentants des organes étatiques concernés, travaillant 24/ 24, pour suivre la situation épidémiologique en premier lieu pour le virus Corona, et pour assigner des affectations aux secteurs concernés du ministère de la Santé et de la Population, chacun dans sa région, et pour déterminer les exigences du corps médical.
Elle a souligné qu’une équipe médicale composée de 3 médecins et 3 infirmiers a été dépêchée en Chine afin d’évacuer les Égyptiens souhaitant rentrer dans leur pays, et que des mesures de précaution strictes ont été prises pour les arrivées, le personnel médical et tous ceux qui s’occupent d’eux, tout en fournissant les médicaments et le matériel médicale nécessaire pour traiter les cas médicaux éventuellement suspectés.
En Chine, le nombre de morts s’élevait dimanche à 304, les autorités ayant annoncé que 45 personnes étaient décédées au cours des dernières vingt-quatre heures. Le nombre des infections confirmées dans l’ensemble de la Chine a lui aussi augmenté pour s’établir dimanche à près de 14 500.
Pékin a pris des mesures sans précédent pour limiter les déplacements des personnes, le virus étant transmissible d’humain à humain. La plus spectaculaire a été mise en place dans la province du Hubei et sa capitale, Wuhan – où le virus est apparu en décembre et a déjà contaminé 661 personnes : depuis le 23 janvier, quelque 56 millions d’habitants y sont coupés du monde par un cordon sanitaire.
Les hôpitaux sont débordés et un nouvel établissement qui comprendra mille lits, construit en quelques jours, doit accueillir ses premiers patients lundi.
Ailleurs dans le pays, la population terrifiée préfère rester chez elle et la plupart des commerces sont clos. Dans ce contexte, la banque centrale chinoise a annoncé dimanche qu’elle allait injecter 1 200 milliards de yuans (156 milliards d’euros) afin de soutenir l’économie. Cette opération aura lieu lundi lorsque les marchés financiers chinois rouvriront après le long congé du Nouvel An lunaire, prolongé en raison du virus.
With the harmonised guidelines on academic staff promotion announced by the Commission for University Education (CUE) in 2014, it is no longer strange for a master’s degree holder to be appointed as lecturer grade 12 and not assistant lecturer or tutorial fellow (G11).
While this was seen as a good move against unfair practices in the promotion of academic staff, they were also met with a fair amount of criticism.
First, the guidelines placed hard lines for promotion, considering the number of postgraduate students that academic staff have supervised to completion.
Some lecturers found disappointment especially in disciplines that do not attract many postgraduate students — such as medicine, law and life sciences.
Some colleagues, who are senior lecturers and have graduated several master’s students, cannot apply for promotion since there was no PhD among them. Most of them retire as senior lecturers.
The guidelines were suspended by the High Court, but it is necessary to understand them and their implications.
To become a tutorial fellow G11, one must have graduated with a master’s degree and enrolled in a PhD programme. For lecturer G12 appointment, one must have a PhD.
To become a senior lecturer G13, one must have a PhD, published at least two papers with an equation of 24 points, three years teaching experience since the last appointment as a lecturer or six years industry experience and supervised at least three doctorate students to completion.
An associate professor G14 must have taught for three years as a senior lecturer, supervised three postgraduate students with one a PhD holder, attracted research funding and published at least four papers in a peer-reviewed journal.
A full professor must have graduated three postgraduate students, one being a PhD holder, taught as an associate lecturer for at least three years and attracted research funding.
Comparatively, it is unfair that an administrative staff can rise to G14 with a master’s! These guidelines have had some serious implications.
First is control over students’ supervision. While academic staff understand the requirement for promotion, there is some extent that they have no control on the students, especially their motivation to progress with their thesis.
But the guidelines can lead to poor quality of postgraduate theses because of the urge to ‘graduate a postgraduate student’.
Second is the issue of quality research publications. Notably, a good quality paper takes some time to get published due to the rigorous process involved in publishing in high-end journals like Nature.
A minimum of one year review period should be expected in high-index journals. This has led to the growing number of predatory journals that promise to process an article within a few days at a fee.
The guidelines fall short of other aspects that academic staff contribute to their respective faculties. A broad approach to these guidelines is needed to give fair promotion criteria for academic staff.
Njoroge, a lecturer at Murang’a University of Technology, holds a PhD in Tourism and Climate Change. [email protected] @DrJoejoself
On Friday, January 31, the United Kingdom left the European Union.
We lost a member of our family. It was a sad moment for us, for European citizens — and, indeed, for many British citizens.
Nevertheless, we have always respected the sovereign decision of 52 per cent of the British electorate and look forward to starting a new chapter in our relations.
Emotions aside, February 1 turned out to be historic, but also undramatic. This is largely thanks to the Withdrawal Agreement that we negotiated with the UK, which enabled us to secure ‘an orderly Brexit’.
One that — at least for now — minimises disruption for our citizens, businesses, public administrations as well as international partners.
The EU and the UK agreed on a transition period, at least until the end of this year, during which Britain will continue to participate in the EU’s Customs Union and Single Market and apply EU law, even though no longer a member state.
It will continue to abide by the international agreements of the EU, as we said in a note verbale to our international partners.
PACTS IN LIMBO
So, with the transition period in place, there is a degree of continuity. But this was not easy, given the magnitude of the task.
By leaving the EU, the UK automatically, mechanically, legally leaves hundreds of international pacts concluded by or on behalf of the union, to the benefit of its member states, on topics as varied as trade, aviation, fisheries or civil nuclear cooperation.
We now have to build a new partnership between the EU and the UK. That will start in a few weeks, as soon as the EU27 have approved the negotiating mandate proposed by the European Commission.
That sets out our terms and ambitions for achieving the closest possible partnership with a country that will remain our ally, partner and friend.
The EU and the UK are bound by history, geography, culture, shared values and principles and a strong belief in rules-based multilateralism.
Our future partnership will reflect these links and shared beliefs. We want to go well beyond trade and keep working together on security and defence, areas where the UK has experience and assets that are best used as part of a common effort.
In a world of big challenges and change, of turmoil and transition, we must consult each other and cooperate bilaterally and in key regional and global forums such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organisation, Nato or the G20.
It is, perhaps, a cliché but the basic truth is that today’s global challenges — from climate change to cybercrime, terrorism and inequality — require collective responses.
The more the UK can work in lockstep with the EU and partners around the world, the greater our chances of addressing these challenges effectively.
At the core of the EU project is the idea that we are stronger together; that pooling our resources and initiatives is the best way of achieving common goals. Brexit does not change this, and we will continue to take this project forward.
The remaining 27 EU member states will continue to form a single market of 450 million citizens and more than 20 million businesses.
Together, we remain the largest trading bloc. At 27, we are still the world’s largest development aid donor.
Our partners can be sure that we will stay true to an ambitious, outward-looking agenda — be it on trade and investment, on climate action and digital, on connectivity, on security and counter-terrorism, on human rights and democracy or on defence and foreign policy.
We will continue to live up to our commitments. We will continue to stand by the agreements and cooperation that link us to our international partners — such as our trade relationship, where the EU will remain as Kenya’s largest export destination; our support to development and investment in the country, which is among the largest of all international partners; and our funding for Kenyan troops in the fight against Al-Shabaab.
We intend to raise the EU’s political and economic bilateral relationship with Kenya to a new level and, with Kenya as a like-minded partner, continue to develop multilateral cooperation frameworks around the world.
The EU will continue to be a partner you can trust. A steadfast defender of rules-based multilateralism, working with our partners to make the world fairer and more secure.
Mr Borrell is the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President (HR/VP) of the European Commission. Mr Barnier is the Head of the EU Task Force for Relations with the United Kingdom (UKTF).
Publié le 03.02.2020 à 00h18 par APA
Le ministère français des Armées a annoncé dimanche que le déploiement de 600 soldats supplémentaires pour renforcer sa présence militaire dans la bande sahélo-saharienne.Selon la ministre française des Armées, Florence Parly, cette initiative de son pays de porter à 5 100 militaires s’inscrit dans les orientations du sommet de Pau et de la construction de la coalition pour le Sahel, a-t-elle précisé.
L’essentiel des renforts, dit-elle, sera déployé dans la zone dite des « trois frontières » entre le Mali, Burkina Faso et le Niger, précisant qu’une autre partie de ces renforts sera engagée directement au sein des forces du G5 Sahel pour les accompagner au combat.
Ce renfort, à en croire la ministre française des Armées, doit permettre à la France d’accentuer la pression sur lEtat islamique au grand Sahara, organisation terroriste agissant pour le compte de Daech. « Nous ne laisserons aucun espace à ceux qui veulent déstabiliser le Sahel », martèle-t-elle.
La France dit que la lutte contre le terrorisme reste sa priorité, mais elle prévient, qu’elle ne doit pas être seule. Mme Florence Parly rappelle que, le Tchad devrait bientôt envoyer un bataillon supplémentaire au sein de la force conjointe du G5 Sahel dans la région de trois frontières.
« Les Européens se mobilisent également à limage des Tchèques, dont le gouvernement vient d’annoncer l’intention de déployer 60 militaires au sein de la Task Force Takuba, qui rassemblera différentes unités de forces spéciales européennes. Des nouvelles annonces devraient intervenir prochainement, en fonction des calendriers politiques et parlementaires des pays souhaitant nous rejoindre », a notamment, rassuré Mme Parly, la ministre des Armées.
« Le ministère des Armées est entièrement mobilisé avec le ministère de lEurope pour concrétiser la dynamique du sommet de Pau. La solution à la crise actuelle nest pas uniquement militaire, mais globale, politique, sécuritaire, économique », a indiqué dans son communiqué.
La France dit aussi mobiliser ses partenaires européens face à la montée en puissance des forces du G5. Et la ministre a précisé que les militaires français qui incarnent le bras armé de la république, « combattent chaque jour, avec la même détermination un ennemi fugace et symétrique ».
I once met an Indian woman.
Not from India but with a sort of Amazonian heritage, more of Caribbean descent and originally from Mombasa.
Yes, I, too, got confused. She considered herself a fortune teller. She advised me never to complain as that was bad for the world.
I’m not sure which world she lived in but, if it is Kenya, then I’m justified to complain sometimes, to improve stuff.
Excuse me, Indian lady! I start with the locust invasion being ignored in favour of politics. With locusts ravaging our vegetation, including muguka, how can one not complain?
I hasten to add that I’m not a consumer of muguka or its posh relative miraa (khat). However, I feel for the many Kenyans who have turned to muguka to chew their sorrows away and risk losing their fix.
When locusts hit the northern counties, I thought, well, there is very little to eat in the desert, anyway, and they will head back home soon.
But they have since grown in numbers and upped their speed and headed towards the central parts of the country, one of our breadbaskets.
The last I read on the locusts was that they had been spotted in the Rift Valley, our even bigger breadbasket, in larger numbers. Panic set in for me then.
Sadly, our beloved leaders were still in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) stupor. Understandably, that is their emergency.
As they are busy politically self-preserving, locusts are about to render large swathes of the country food-insecure.
Kenya is just emerging from a lengthy drought that led to famine. The last thing we should do is ignore the locust invasion that is about to destroy crops and potentially lead to another famine.
A warning was issued of locust invasion as early as mid last year. However, little in terms of preparedness was done to counter the menace.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations said Kenya had not experienced this level of locust invasion for nearly 70 years.
It also warned that the current invasion was going to be ravaging and potentially lead to food insecurity.
For the record, Kenya attempted to send out a team to spray some parts of the country. Too little, too late.
The locusts have kept spreading and not much has been heard from the government on how it hopes to deal with the situation since the last aerial spraying.
BBI politics has, on the other hand, taken over the country. The launch of the BBI report last year at Bomas coincided with the deadliest floods engulfing the country.
Politics still took centre stage amid death and destruction from torrential rains in some of the poorest parts of the Rift Valley and coastal regions.
Politics is becoming our DNA and it is creating leadership that lacks compassion for the same people it is meant to care for.
It seems devoid of a human face. It’s unfeeling, unresponsive and, at times, cruel to the ordinary people, who bear the brunt of natural disasters.
The response to emergency situations is too late, too little or none at all.
No wonder, the last response to famine in Turkana was ‘Let them die as they are used to dying anyway’!
That coming from the agency meant to counter drought in the country was very telling of our attitude in dealing with emergencies.
It’s not that we lack capacity; we just exhibit general lack of care. Government priorities sometimes go to projects that have little impact on ordinary people’s lives; they’re caught up between emergencies and inertia from the leaders.
Meeting after meeting is being held across the country by leaders who are either for or against BBI.
The airwaves are being colonised to discuss politics with BBI at the heart of it.
As our leaders trip over each other on BBI issues, no group has paused to ask whether they could put in similar effort to offer leadership in dealing with an emergency never experienced in the country in the past seven decades!
Lest one thinks I hold sway in one way or another, I’m ambivalent on BBI.
I’m only concerned how politics could be so damaging to the national psyche, dehumanise its leadership and render it emotionless.
FAO has organised an emergency meeting to raise funds to deal with the situation in the Horn and East Africa.
The least our government can do is to keep engaging with the public to reassure them of its support. That is a short-term plan.
In the long term, the country needs to create a model of dealing with emergencies with the Cabinet in the lead, and not letting some ministers with duty of care to save us from locusts join the BBI caravan.
The Cobra cabinet team in the UK and Fema in the US are a few emergency response models worth studying.
It seems our politicians are too intoxicated with power to remember their duty to wananchi. But politics does not need to hamper service delivery or our response to emergency situations.
The Commission for University Education (CUE) has been inspecting universities to assess standards and demanding compliance with regulations as contained in its charter.
Issues under audit include staffing levels and the status of libraries, laboratories, students’ facilities and quality control systems.
While these are routine activities, they were given urgency by Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha, who, last year, directed the regulator to intensify the process and prepare reports that would form the basis for transforming the institutions.
The CS, a former vice-chancellor of the University of Nairobi for 10 years, reproached the institutions over unnecessary courses, unplanned expansion, duplication of degree programmes, financial impropriety and irregular examination processes, promising to knock them into shape.
But almost a year later, nothing has become of the pledge although VCs of public universities met and prepared a report that suggested specific reforms.
Apart from the UoN and Moi University, which scrapped some degree programmes, it’s business as usual elsewhere.
The upshot of this is that many public and private universities don’t follow standard procedure.
This insouciance to the rule of law is betrayal of the thousands of students, who report to class every day hoping to secure meaningful jobs or set up businesses in future.
That Prof Magoha pronounced himself in public that the universities are being run incompetently was an indictment of the institutions’ managers, lecturers and students.
Besides, the remark raised questions about the qualifications and skills produced by the universities. This is why he must follow through his pledge to reform the institutions.
The universities cannot attract grants, endowments or donations if there is suspicion that the money will not be spent prudently; worse, when their credibility to conduct research is under question.
They can also not attract foreign lecturers or students if the teaching or learning quality is in doubt.
Employers could also be reluctant to hire their products owing to quality questions — which would be a huge blow to the graduates, who will have invested a lot of time and money in the courses.
The CS should carry out the reforms he promised to streamline higher education and protect the institutions from reputational damage, from which they could take years to recover.
Higher education managers have to confront the challenges of financing, quality and resources.
The CS should engage the VCs and, together, work for transformation of the institutions. Universities cannot operate the way they have for decades and expect to excel.
The ongoing tussle over the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) election creates a bad atmosphere for the country and can easily court a ban from world football governing body, Fifa.
Efforts by the FKF top brass to have Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed accompany them to Zurich for a meeting with Fifa on Wednesday to unlock the stalemate failed after the ministry insisted on an election within the confines of the Sports Act.
The election was initially set for December 7, but was cancelled by the Sports Dispute Tribunal chaired by John Ohaga due to insufficient public participation and an improperly constituted Electoral Board.
Fifa then stepped in when governance boss Sara Solemale visited Kenya after the aborted election.
It goes without saying that FKF officials are reluctant to follow the rules and won’t comply with the Act and register counties as required until after the elections.
LEVEL PLAYING FIELD
That was evident during the FKF Special General Meeting on Tuesday last week, when FKF argued it’s expensive to have representation and elections in sub-counties as the law demands.
They then went ahead to pick another board to organise the election.
These piecemeal changes won’t do; hence, FKF must create a level playing field for everyone instead of trying to push the CS into unnecessary meetings.
The newly constituted FKF electoral board must be non-partisan. It should conduct free and fair elections as per the law and no one should be locked out.
We acknowledge that Fifa have rules but the laws of the land supersede any other.
Football has a busy year ahead with the women’s and men’s Africa Cup of Nations and World Cup qualifiers. FKF should put its act together and concentrate on development of football.
Publié le 02.02.2020 à 23h18 par APA
Les citoyens marocains au nombre de 79 rapatriés de Chine ce dimanche et admis à l’hôpital militaire d’instruction Mohammed V de Rabat sont pris en charge dans les meilleures conditions du point de vue aussi bien médical que technique, a affirmé le responsable du laboratoire du Centre de virologie des maladies infectieuses et tropicales de l’hôpital, Idriss Lahlou Amine.« Rassurez-vous tous les moyens sont disponibles pour répondre efficacement à une éventuelle demande » en matière de réponse au coronavirus 2019, a-t-il déclaré à la presse, assurant que jusqu’à présent, aucun cas de maladie n’a été confirmé chez les citoyens marocains rapatriés de Wuhan.
Il a en outre souligné que la situation est totalement sous contrôle grâce à la haute performance des équipements et de l’infrastructure médicale de l’hôpital militaire.
La virologue marocain a cité à cet égard le centre de virologie qui dispose de deux services de confinement spécialisés dans les pathologies hautement contagieuses, une structure qui empêche tout risque de contamination par rapport à l’environnement. « Cela signifie qu’il n’y a absolument aucun risque de contamination de l’environnement et que tout reste confiné dans l’unité », a insisté le spécialiste.
Le Maroc, a-t-il rappelé, « s’est très rapidement doté de kits de diagnostic et maîtrise parfaitement le protocole de l’Organisation mondiale de la santé relatif au diagnostic de la maladie ».
A souligner qu’une équipe médicale, constituée de médecins et d’infirmiers civils et militaires a accompagné les ressortissants marocains depuis Wuhan jusqu’aux sites d’accueil à l’hôpital Sidi Saïd de Meknès et à l’hôpital militaire Mohammed V de Rabat, où ils seront mis en observation, sous surveillance médicale étroite durant 20 jours, sous la supervision d’équipes dédiées et formées à cette fin.
Publié le 02.02.2020 à 22h18 par APA
La Confédération africaine de football (CAF) et l’instance internationale de football (FIFA) ont décidé, dimanche à salé, de poursuivre leur afin d’entamer les réformes nécessaires.Ainsi, le Comité exécutif de la Confédération africaine de football (CAF) a décidé, après avoir noté l’arrivée à terme de l’accord de partenariat CAF-FIFA et eu connaissance de tous les rapports, de poursuivre ce partenariat dans le cadre d’une phase d’implémentation et de mise en œuvre des réformes concernant l’arbitrage, l’infrastructure, les compétitions et la gouvernance, sur la base des documents élaborés par la Reform Task Force, indique dimanche un communiqué de la CAF parvenu à APA.
La CAF a également décidé de mettre en œuvre dans l’immédiat tous les aspects évidents relatifs à la gestion financière et administrative et d’assurer l’indépendance effective des organes juridictionnels tel qu’approuvée par le Comité exécutif et de poursuivre la réflexion et l’échange sur les aspects juridiques et statutaires, fait savoir la même source.
La Confédération africaine de football a également tenu à exprimer sa gratitude au Président de la FIFA, Gianni Infantino, et la Secrétaire générale, Fatma Samoura, pour leur engagement et leur implication dans le cadre de la coopération CAF-FIFA pour le développement du football africain.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has taken to Twitter in an effort to draw global attention to the ongoing locust invasion in Kenya and other countries in the region.
Blaming the crisis on global warming, Mr Guterres says the invasion will make the “dire food security situation in East Africa even worse”.
The desert locust is the most dangerous of all grasshoppers and is particularly ravenous, eating its own weight every day.
Using an illustrative metaphor, Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO’s) senior agriculture officer, Keith Cressman, says a swarm the size of Rome (1, 285km sq) can eat enough food in one day as everybody in Kenya (a country of close to 50 million people).
FAO top leadership today meets in Geneva, Switzerland, to assess what it calls an upsurge of locusts, just a step before a full plague.
In contrast, Kenyan authorities’ response to the locusts that have so far destroyed crops and pasture in northern and central parts of the country is casual.
STATE OF EMERGENCY
It does not reflect the seriousness of the threat by the pests to the household and national economy.
While Somalia and Pakistan have declared the invasion an emergency, it has not yet moved President Uhuru Kenyatta to as much as mention it.
In his much-anticipated State of the Nation address from Mombasa a fortnight ago, which, incidentally, dwelt on agriculture, the President did not say anything about the pests that have the potential to knock down whole seasons of food.
Declaring a situation a state of emergency helps to focus resources that will help in bringing it under control with the least damage.
So far, the march has fortunately spared the traditional food basket regions of the country.
The timing has also been ‘favourable’ as food crops in the areas the pests have visited are nearing harvest while in many parts of the country, the next crop is yet to be planted.
USE OF CHEMICALS
But danger lurks around the corner. Farmers are preparing their land for planting and experts warn that the next generation of locusts will come of age in March and April to coincide with the germination of maize.
Attack on their breeding areas, therefore, needs to be intensified. Yet, care needs to be taken to ensure safe control methods.
Some scientists have raised the alarm on the non-discriminative nature of some of the chemicals on use.
They worry that the aerial and ground spraying contaminates vegetation and waterways on which livestock and human beings depend on.
The chemicals being used include Fenitrothion, Fipronil and Chlorpyrifos, which are a broad-spectrum insecticides, meaning their effects cannot be limited to killing locusts, but will affect many types of insects, particularly bees and other social insects, as well as higher organisms such as birds.
To be fair, the Ministry of Agriculture, The Desert Locust Control Organisation for Eastern Africa, the Entomologist Society of Kenya, the Northern Rangelands Trust and the county governments have jointly and separately been battling the menace with mixed success.
The ministry’s response has also improved remarkably from the early days of “taking photos of locusts and posting them on social media to alert the government”.
But real victory will only be in sight if all the government resources is directed at the menace.
More broadly, the whole Agriculture sector cries out for more thoughtful attention. President Kenyatta appears keen to address the challenges facing farmers in the milk, tea, coffee and rice subsectors.
However, some of the medicines he is doling out will only be palliative, offering immediate relief, while leaving the inner rot untouched.
For instance, the Sh500 million he asked the Treasury to release for buying milk from farmers can only run for one month. A longer-lasting measure would have been to address animal feed prices that make Kenya’s dairy farming a costly affair.
As FAO meets 10,000 kilometres away about our food security situation, what serious efforts are we making as a country to help ourselves?