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Meet Emma Theofilus, Africa’s Youngest Minister at 23

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Meet Emma Theofilus, Africa’s Youngest Minister at 23


Meet Emma Theofilus, Africa’s Youngest Minister at 23:  Africa’s leaders are not exactly known for listening to young people – but some have cottoned on to the best plan to change their fortunes by appointing new, young Cabinet ministers.

Young Africans across the continent have commended Namibian President Hage Geingob for appointing 23-year-old Emma Theofilus as information and technology deputy minister after becoming the youngest MP ever in the Namibia Parliament.

Recently appointed information and technology deputy minister, Emma Theofilus might have her work cut out for her, but says she is ready for the task.

The 23-year-old became Namibia’s youngest member of parliament. A law graduate, Theofilus was part of president Hage Geingob’s list of eight non-voting members announced on Sunday and sworn in yesterday.

Her ascendancy to the deputy ministerial position has had many people questioning her experience and suitability for the post, but Theofilus confidently shot down such assertions, noting that anyone is able to learn, understand and acquaint themselves with the task at hand to be able to do a job.

“I do not think I am special, but I do not think I am inexperienced, and I do not think being young or female has anything to do with my appointment. Anything I set myself to and any environment I want to work into, I can do it; so the issue of inexperience does not hold any water,” she stressed.

She said she will not go into the ministry thinking “I know it all”, but would acquaint herself with the work already done. Theofilus noted that there is more than meets the eye in terms of a deputy ministerial post, and that the portfolio requires a lot of coordination.

“So of course the minister, being the head and political appointee, and the deputy minister allow the whole ministerial position to function. It is a supporting role, just like any law has supporting regulations to allow it to function.

“I do not think being a deputy minister is a role that cannot be brought to life, the person should know what they have planned for that position and anybody can do it. It is not an insignificant role,” she added.

The incoming deputy minister said she will push for the finalisation of certain critical bills her ministry is busy with. She said some of the bills to be tabled include access to information and the cyber bill, which are pertinent.

“The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology has an important role to disseminate information of the government. I feel that needs to be improved so that people know exactly what government plans are underway and the role the government plays,” she said.

She stressed that as a nation, access to information is important, in terms of human rights and thus it would be a task she would take on in her position.

The deputy minister added that she would accept the position as a new challenge, and she has had a fair share of challenges such as serving in various positions at Nanso, high school, deputy mayor and deputy speaker of the children’s parliament of Namibia. She has also worked with various youth groups, such as Global Shapers Windhoek.

“As a former debater and law graduate, you can expect robust debates in parliament. As long as I have the support and guidance, I do not think I would go wrong. I will bank on the experience I have, but I am also willing to take advice and guidance from those that have been there before me,” she said.


—: allafrica.com

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Speaker Alban Bagbin travels again to Dubai for medical checks

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Alban Bagbin

Speaker Alban Bagbin travels again to Dubai for medical checks

The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Alban Bagbin is scheduled to travel to the United Arab Emirates (Dubai) again for his due medical review.

In a letter to President Akufo-Addo, the Speaker explained that his trip for another medical review was due on January 7, 2022.

“I am writing to inform you of my absence from Ghana from Friday, 7 January 2022 till Sunday 23, 2022 in order to honour an appointment for a medical review in the United Arab Emirates.”

“It is also important to bring to your attention that the House will resume its sittings for the First Meeting of the Second Session of the 8th Parliament on Tuesday 25 January 2022,” the letter from the Speaker’s Office noted.

Speaker Bagbin also informed the President that “prior to the resumption of the House, Parliament intends to undertake a Covid-19 (booster) vaccination exercise for Members of Parliament and Officers of the Parliamentary Service.”

Copy of the Speaker’s letter to Prez. Akufo-Addo;

alban bagbin's letter to Akufo-addo

Alban Bagbin was in UAE in November 2021, for similar medical check-ups.

Meanwhile, Parliament will be resuming the controversial debate on the 1.75% Electronic Transaction Levy (E-Levy) which has divided the House and caused massive uproar amongst Ghanaians.

The E-Levy approval is expected to rake in a little above ¢6 billion in tax revenue for the country.

This month [January 2022] we will go back to the floor of Parliament with the E-Levy and ensure that it gets passed by the end of the month,” Minister of State at the Finance Ministry, Charles Adu-Boahen said during the investiture of the newly elected president of the Association of Ghana Industries, Humphrey Anim-Dake.

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Data from SIM card re-registration is bogus; we advised them to stop – NIA Boss

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Data from SIM card re-registration is bogus

Data from SIM card re-registration is bogus; we advised them to stop – NIA Boss

Photos of letters signed by the Executive Secretary of the National Identification Authority (NIA) in response to the National Communications Authority (NCA) regarding the commencement of the SIM Card re-registration reveal NIA’s initial rejection of the move since September 2021.

The Executive Secretary of NIA, Prof. Kenneth Attafuah has described the so-called biometric data being collected by the various telecommunication companies in the ongoing SIM card re-registration as useless.

In the letter, Professor Kenneth Attafuah, and his outfit cannot confirm that the data being collected by the telcos “will meet the standard to enable successful verification against the National Identification System (NIS) database.”

The letter was in response to a request for information to ascertain the synergy between the NIA data collection and the exercise being conducted by the telcos as being championed by the Communications Ministry through NCA.

“NIA is unable to confirm that the biometric data to be collected by the NCA for the purpose described above will meet the standard to enable successful verification against the National Identification System (NIS) database,” portion of the letter stated.

“The use of an App that is not developed or certified by NIA to rend the Ghana Card using a two-step data collection and verification process is outside NIA’s control. NIA is, therefore, unable to guarantee the results of such a process.”

Data from SIM card re-registration is bogusData from SIM card re-registration is bogusData from SIM card re-registration is bogus

Scanned copies of the letters dated September 2021 were first shared by one Selorm Branttie, Vice President at Imani Center for Policy & Education who doubles as Global Strategy Director at mPedigree Network, on his Facebook timeline.

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Nigeria commits to pay off US$28.7 million capital arrears in Shelter Afrique

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Nigeria Finance Minister Dr Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed and Shelter Afrique MD Andrew Chimphondah

Abuja – January 11, 2022: The Federal Republic of Nigeria has pledged to pay the full capital arrear of US$28.7m in Shelter Afrique, Nigeria’s Finance Minister Dr. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed disclosed at a meeting with Shelter Afrique Group Managing Director and CEO Mr. Andrew Chimphondah in Abuja.

The Minister further disclosed that the payment will be made in four installments starting January 2022.

In September 2020, the pan African housing development financier received US$$9.4 million from Nigeria. The contribution moved Nigeria to become the second-largest shareholding in the organization with 13.27% of the shareholding, behind Kenya with 17.78%, and ahead of the AfDB at 12.83%.

Lauding the government of Nigeria for its show of confidence in the institution and a stamp of approval for the organisation’s financial turnaround, Mr. Andrew Chimphondah said, “This is a major milestone which is set to propel Nigeria to become the largest shareholder in Shelter-Afrique when the country meets its capital commitment. This is a strong testament of the strong shareholder commitment and support of the Shelter Afrique Board and Management.”

Housing Bond

Shelter Afrique is planning to raise 250 Billion Naira Bond (US$500million) in 2022 to support its affordable housing projects in Nigeria. The Company is set to commence the road shows with prospective investors in January 2022 and is expected to conclude fundraising by end of February.

Shelter Afrique has embarked on a defined strategy of developing and deepening local capital markets so that access to local currency which is competitively priced can be made available to Nigerian Developers from the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), Large Developers and Tier 1 and Tier 2 Banks and Primary Mortgage Lenders. The significance of this is that Shelter-Afrique will have been successful in dealing with the foreign exchange exposure risks that have crippled many African countries caused by the weakening of local African currencies against hard currencies such as the United States Dollar and the British Pound Sterling,” Mr. Chimphondah said.

Thanking the Finance Minister Dr. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed for supporting the Bond Issue by the approvals received on critical waivers from the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Chimphondah noted that Nigeria was a critical and strategic market for Shelter Afrique, adding that the fund realized from the bond issue will go a long way in address the affordable housing shortage in the country, now estimated at 17 Million Units against the continent’s 56 million units.

“As a response to addressing this housing shortage, Shelter Afrique will implement a transformative strategy that will crowd in additional capital funding into the low cost large scale affordable housing market in a commercially viable manner,” Mr. Chimphondah concluded.

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