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Archive for May 16th, 2007

Posted by African Press International on May 16, 2007

Freetown [Sierra Leone] The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon Tuesday described pre-electoral arrangements in Sierra Leone as remarkable success and urged the international community to step up assistance for the the countrys post-war reconstruction.

The fact that 91 percent of the eligible voters have registered for the 2007 elections is both a demonstration of the civic maturity of the people of Sierra Leone and an important indication of the capacity of the National Electoral Commission, MrBan said.

His statement was contained in the latest report on the work of the UN Integrated Office in Sierra Leone [UNIOSIL].

MrBan however expressed disatisfaction over the slow deployment of state authority across the country as well as efforts to combat corruption and promote accountability which he noted have been painfully slow to yield results.

Hence, the country clearly needs the support of the international community particularly to improve the image of the army and police, the Korean diplomat urged, and noted that the lack of a solid private sector in the country was also hampering growth rate in the war-scarred country.

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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Norway believes in humanitarianism abroad, but does it practice it at home?

Posted by African Press International on May 16, 2007

Many in Norway believe in humanitarian assistance that is given to suffering people in other countries. It is in the heart of very many people in the country that they should assist the needy and the people go to great lengths once every year to collect money in a country-wide televised program whereby donation outlets are used to the maximum.

One question, however, comes to mind. How generous are the people who donate funds during the yearly collection? Many who do not understand the Norwegian mentality will simply give an answer that those who donate are very generous and are interested to help the needy.When one goes deep in a study on the will to be party to the collections, the process engaged, and the real feelings of thecontributor, it is not difficult to understand what the whole thing is really about. It is about marketing Norway internationally because it is a small country with a less impact in international affairs.

Looking at Norway as a peace maker whenever there is a conflict internationally, one will find that their contribution is over-focused on by the Norwegian media with intent to market the country as one nation with high moral standards in thinking peace and humanitarianism.Those who understand the Norwegian people will have no problem in agreeing with me that the people would rather assist the needy far away than having them become their neighbours, a situation that may result in getting acquianted,bearing danger that may cause inter-marriages to become a reality.

The major thing in the country that clearly indicates the dislike of having foreigners as close neighbours is the fact that Norwegians through their patriotism ensure that non-Norwegians get the message when there are huge celebrations on public holidays. They make the foreigners to feel unwelcome during the planning of such functions and also remind them to be integrated and rooted, constantly reminding them to master the Norwegian language even if the foreigner in question has no use for the language in question.

People who get involved and willingly making donations to help the needy in other countries should be able to take a stand and give assistance in good faith and expecting nothing in return, unless otherwise. The same people should accept as neighbours those foreigners who are able to travel to Norway andestablish themselves.

Learning the language and integration should come along in a natural manner when the new-comer sees it fit to learn the language and join in the society whole-heartedly, but on condition, that the Norwegians execise patience and understanding.

Written by Korir, Chief Editor,African Press in
Norway, apn,
africanpress@cchello.no tel +47932 99739 or +47 6300 2525

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Per capita expenditure low

Posted by African Press International on May 16, 2007

Dakar (Senegal) The maiden results of African Development Bank (AfDB) on the comparative consumption and price levels conducted in 48 countries on the continent indicate that only 7 have per capita household expenditure levels above 1000 Africa Regional Integration Currency (AFRIC), a currency unit selected to be the common legal tender to be used for comparisons within the Africa Region, APA learnt on Tuesday.

In fact, most of the countries have per capita expenditure levels of less than AFRIC 500, the release said, an noted that Mauritius, South Africa and Tunisia have per capita household expenditure in excess of AFRIC 1,500.

Egypt, Swaziland, Botswana and Gabon have per capita expenditures ranging between AFRIC 1000 and 1,500, while the remaining countries recorded per capita expenditures of less than AFRIC 1,000 and most of them below 500, the survey which was published at the weekend indicated.

It said Algeria, Libya, Eritrea, Seychelles and Somalia were not featured in the report.

On the general price levels in African economies, the survey indicates that there were countries with ratios above 1.0, which is noted, was an indication that prices of consumer goods and services are higher than the average level for Africa; whereas ratios below 1.0 show that they were mostly cheaper than the average.

It cited Egypt and Ethiopia which it states, have relatively low price levels while Gabon and Equatorial Guinea have relatively high price levels.

The results have been published as part of the outcomes of a global program involving more than 140 participating countries worldwide, 48 of which are in Africa.

The program aims at providing a reliable basis for comparing countries national wealth as measured by the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and other income and price indicators.

For such comparisons to be meaningful it is essential to bring economic indicators being compared under a common denominator free of price and exchange rate distortions.

To that end purchasing power parities (PPPs) are used since they allow comparisons of the real value of production free of price and exchange rate distortions.

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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The Comprehensive Political Accord (APG) follow-up Committee in Togo has postponed the parliamentary polls initially billed for 24 June 2007

Posted by African Press International on May 16, 2007

Lome (Togo) The Comprehensive Political Accord (APG) follow-up Committee in Togo has postponed the parliamentary polls initially billed for 24 June 2007 to 5 August in response to a recommendation by the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI).

Speaking at the end of the Ouagadougou meeting on the electoral process in Togo, Co-operation Minister, Gilbert Bawara said everything had been done to hold the elections on time.

The Committee has however requested that the Togolese government produce a report during it June meeting, on the items provided for in the APG particularly the delivery of identification cards, the reform of the Constitutional Court, impunity as well as the already started refugee repatriation.

The Committee urged Togos technical and financial partners to quickly provide the needed technical, financial and logistic means to the CENI in order to comply with the electoral calendar.

Political parties and the civil society have been invited to respect the good conduct code in keeping with the comprehensive political Accord signed on 20 August 2006 in Lome.

The follow-up Committee, chaired by Blaise Compaor and grouping a representative of each party signatory to the Accord, is a body set up to ensure the implementation of the different clauses of the Accord.

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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Mozambican authorities Tuesday pledged to invest 250 million dollars this year to cater for an estimated one million tourists

Posted by African Press International on May 16, 2007

Maputo (Mozambique) Mozambican authorities Tuesday pledged to invest 250 million dollars this year to cater for an estimated one million tourists that are expected to visit the country, APA has learnt.

Deputy Tourism Minister Rosalio Mualeia told reporters in Maputo that this year is expected to be the best in decades in terms of the number of tourists visiting Mozambique.

These visitors are expected to bring US$ 150 million into the state coffers, she added.

Before departing for Lisbon to attend the World Travel and Tourism Summit, Mualeia said investments in the sector was in fact expected to reach US$ 250 million in 2007, which is US$ 100 million more than last year.

The south of the country and, particularly, its capital of Maputo, were the preferred areas for the investors, she noted.

“In order to stimulate the sector, we (the government) have launched a package of investment incentives and are involved in the process of abolishing visas between all 14 countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Mozambique is a very attractive destination. We have over 2,900 km of coast and we have to work on promoting it, Mualeia added.

Mualeia said that the number of tourists visiting Mozambique was increasing by 7 per cent a year, which was higher than the African average of 5 percent.

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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The United Nations Tuesday granted Guinea Bissau more than 300,000 dollars

Posted by African Press International on May 16, 2007

Bissau (Guinea Bissau) The United Nations Tuesday granted Guinea Bissau more than 300,000 dollars to stem the proliferation of small and light arms, APA learns here.

The disclosure was made by the head of the UN disarmament department, Antonio Evra.

The funding was channelled to the National commission for the proliferation of small and light arms (CNLCPALPC), which was set up in 2005 and had remained dormant due to lack of resources, the UN diplomat said.

Guinea is now able to revive the activities of the national commission for the proliferation of small and light arms, which was created in 2005. The United Nations support aims at helping the government revive the commission toward fighting the circulation of illegal weapons, Evra told reporters.

The UN official is topping a multi-sector UN delegation on a four-day visit to Guinea Bissau.

The mission will meet Wednesday with Prime Minister Martinho Dafa Cabi as well as cabinet members and representatives of international institutions accredited in Guinea Bissau.

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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Norway: Terror alert at the airport

Posted by African Press International on May 16, 2007

Police captain Geir Duesund awaits the arrival of sniffer dogs for the bomb search.

PHOTO: EYSTEIN THUE/BT.NO

Terror threat evacuates SAS flight

A SAS airlines flight from Bergen’s Flesland Airport was halted on Monday morning after a passenger announced he was a terrorist. “The man has told police during questioning that it was just a joke,” said sheriff Norvald Visnes at Fana police station.The flight to Copenhagen was scheduled was evacuated just past 7 a.m. after threats from a passenger. Newspaper Bergens Tidende reports on its web site that a 56-year-old man was passing through the gate when he reported said “I’m a terrorist”.The man, a Croatian sailor, had entered the plane when the captain decided to evacuate the flight.

Police decided to carry out a routine search of the plane, and were waiting for a sniffer dog to arrive from Oslo.

The Croatian works on board a Norwegian ship and was heading to Split in Croatia via Copenhagen. The crew overheard the man remark that he had a bomb and felt they could not ignore it. The man was arrested without incident.

“We have police stationed at the airport and he was shortly arrested in the plane. He did not resist,” Visnes said, and added that such incidents occurred from time to time.

“I must say that this was a very bad joke. We don’t joke with air safety,” Visnes said.

Lifted and published by African Press in Norway, apn, africanpress@chello.no tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525 source.aftenposten.eng

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Norway. Constitution Day celebration focused to be dampy

Posted by African Press International on May 16, 2007

Cold Constitution Day

Meteorologists say Norway’s fervent 17th of May celebrations are looking more likely to be cold and damp.

The 17th of May parade in a sunny Oslo in 2005.

PHOTO: Erichsen, Jarl Fr.

The enthusiastic day of children’s parades, royal greetings, outdoor games and hot dogs and ice cream looks set to be rained out in 2007.

Cold rainy weather is predicted for most of the country now, with an exception being the Trndelag region in the middle of Norway, where the sun should at least shine.

“It won’t be warm anywhere on the 17th of May. In Trndelag we expect 10-12C (50-54F). We may see something similar in inner Eastern Norway, while the rest of the country prepare for chilly temperatures,” said Rita Moi at the Meteorological Institute.

A major low pressure area will affect Western Norway and bring strong winds and rain to the coast there. The southern region can expect similar weather, though with some chances of occasional sunshine.

In the far north meteorologists predict biting cold winds and rain.

Lifted and published by African Press in Norway, apn, africanpress@chello.no tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525. source.aftenposten.eng

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Posted by African Press International on May 16, 2007

Young men believe rape myths

A new study of young men in South-Trndelag County in central Norway reveals disturbing attitudes towards rape.

The study by Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) researcher Mons Bendixen found that one in three believed that a woman can enjoy a rape.

“Extremely alarming,” Bendixen told newspaper Adresseavisen.

The study was based on a survey of 334 students from three high schools in the county.

The study of young attitudes to sexual harassment also showed that one boy in four agreed or strongly agreed that women have a tendency to exaggerate how harmful a rape is, and that one of three believe it is important to assess the victim’s past in a rape trial.

Bendixen believes the answers express an attitude of sex discrimination.

“When one belittles a group it is easier to accept that they are exposed to violence and abuse,” Bendixen said.

Lifted by and published by African Press in Norway, apn, africanpress@chello.no tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525 source.aftenposten.eng

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Norway: Integration should be given priority before new immigrants are let into the country

Posted by African Press International on May 16, 2007

Integration before immigration

Oslo City Council leader Erling Lae and mayoral candidate Fabian Stang believe that Oslo’s immigrants need to be integrated before new immgrants can come in.

The ramifications of immigrant family reunification are too much of a strain on Oslo, argues city council leader Erling Lae.

PHOTO: HKON MOSVOLD LARSEN/SCANPIX

The Conservative Party politicians call for a halt to immigration until the integration process is improved.

“For Oslo it must be important to do everything possible to integrate those who are here properly before discussing taking in new immigrants,” Stang told NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting).

“We must be honest and say that all of the family reunifications are a strain on our city,” Lae told Aftenposten.no.

In the past year there have been 5,000 family reunifications in Oslo, and Lae believes this increases immigrant unemployment. He also believes that the primary reason behind living standard differences in the capital is immigrant women living isolated from Norwegian society.

“One of the most important things we can do is to get immigrant women into employment,” Lae said.

One solution to the demands is stricter regulations about asylum seekers remaining in the region where they are placed.

“We can’t put up a wall around Oslo, but it is important that we demand stricter rules,” Lae said.

Frank Aarebrot, Professor of Comparative Politics, believes that the claims are a stunt for the local election campaign, and that the Conservative politicians are hoping to nab some of the populist Progress Party’s voters.

Lae said that the comment given to NRK was a reply to an article in the weekly Mandag Morgen (Monday Morning), which argued for increased immigration in Norway and the rest of Europe.

“We should not be discussing increased immigration now. The most important thing for us is the debate about integration,” Lae said.

ByNina Ldemeland Jonathan Tisdall

Lifted and published by African Press in Norway, apn, africanpress@chello.notel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525. source.aftenposten.eng

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