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Archive for May 2nd, 2007

A Zambian man Hammerskjoeld Simwinga, has scooped this year’s prestigious Goldman International Prize

Posted by African Press International on May 2, 2007

London (UK) A Zambian man Hammerskjoeld Simwinga, has scooped this year’s prestigious Goldman International Prize for helping to curb widespread elephant poaching by setting up economic projects for villagers in his country.

Simwinga won US$125,000 for the award, also known as the Nobel Prize for the environment.

The award was instituted several decades ago, aimed at recognising the impact of world environmentalists and nature conservationists across the globe. Previous winners include the late Nigerian-born environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa.

The award jurists and the Goldman office in London Monday hailed Simwinga’s consistent effort in setting up bee-keeping and fish-farming projects for the people in the North Luanga valley where elephant numbers had shown a dramatic fall.

He persuaded the local people that they can earn money by keeping elephants alive. The elephants help attract tourists, thereby boosting tourism revenue to the region.

“People are now seeing the benefit of protecting their natural resources, having been inspired by Simwinga’s project. Not only do they see the beauty of a live animal, but the live animals are now putting money in their pockets”, said the Goldman officials.

Over 70 per cent of loans given by the project were made to the women as Simwinga said, they are the backbone of the programme. “We deliberately pushed our resources to the womenfolk in the community because we knew that working with the women was the strongest part of persuasion”, said the award-winner.

He further revealed that, under his project, local communities were given a grinding mill as an income-generating venture. But this was to be withdrawn if elephants were poached in the area.

The programme also provides 35,000 people with services such as healthcare and education.

Simwinga’s project operates under the North Luanga Wildlife Conservation and Community Development Programme (NLWCCDP), which he inherited when its US founders Delia and Mark Owens were forced to leave the country in 1996.

Despite growing fears that the programme would collapse, Simwinga successfully managed to expand the award-winning project.

Published by Korir, African Press in Norway, apn, africanpress@chello.no, tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525 source.apa

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Nigeria: President Olusegun Obasanjo Tuesday called for the “rebuilding and reconstruction

Posted by African Press International on May 2, 2007

 Lagos (Nigeria) Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo Tuesday called for the “rebuilding and reconstruction of the nation’s economy.’’

In an address to workers at the First Nigeria Labour Congress/Trade Union Congress (NLC/TUC Joint May Day Celebrations in Abuja, Obasanjo said that economic growth was only possible through a sustained public empowerment in a politically stable environment.

He said that the outgoing administration had placed more emphasis on alleviating the socio-economic problems that had bedevilled the nation so as to improve the living standards of Nigerians.

He said that many policies and programmes cutting across all sectors of the economy were implemented in an attempt to reduce poverty, generate employment and engage the youth and women.

Represented by Nigeria’s Minister of Labour, Mr. Hassan Lawal, Obasanjo said that the ban on the importation of some items was a reaction to the social consequences of the negative effects of globalisation.

He said that the policies were targeted at evolving policies that would create an enabling environment that will encourage entrepreneurs to venture into areas of production.

He commended Nigerian workers for their loyalty to the government and their sustained dedication to duty.

He said the occasion was not only to reflect on the invaluable sacrifices and contributions of the working people in the creation of wealth, but also to harness and consolidate on the gains achieved over the past few years.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s President-elect Umaru Yar’adua has promised to pursue labour-friendly policies and programmes.

In a statement to mark the workers’ day in Abuja, he assured Nigerians of his desire to strengthen the cooperation between workers and the government.

Published by Korir, African Press in Norway, apn, africanpress@chello.no, tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525 source.apa

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Nigeria: Women present their agenda to the President-elect

Posted by African Press International on May 2, 2007

Lagos (Nigeria) Nigerian women professionals Tuesday presented a four-point agenda to Nigerian president-elect, Alhaji Umaru Yar’adua.

The Women, who came under the aegis of Professional Women In Transparency and Development in Abuja, listed areas of concern to include maternal health, infant mortality and education for rural women.

The other areas listed by the women led by Mrs Ngozi Nwankwo, included women entrepreneurs and women in agriculture.

The women urged the president-elect to focus on those areas as a way of encouraging women to excel in their chosen areas.

According to them, women in agriculture would do more if they had access to loans like their male counterparts.

They noted that women who were appointed into different positions of authority by the out-going administration did not disappoint those who entrusted leadership into their hands.

Responding, President-elect Yar’adua said the issues identified by the women would be given priority attention by his administration.

“The health of our women will increase and improve the wealth of our nation,’’ the president-elect said.

He promised increased women participation in national life as well as the promotion of the welfare of mothers and their children.

Yar’adua also expressed the hope that women would produce a president of the country in the next decade.

On the entourage of the women were the ambassadors of Sweden and Ireland in Nigeria, Lars Persson and Liam Canniffe respectively.

Published by Korir, African Press in Norway, apn, africanpress@chello.no, tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525 source.apa

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