Swakop to host National Heritage Week celebrations

The Swakopmund Heritage and Culture Committee will host this year’s main Namibian Heritage Week celebrations from 18 to 24 September, with several activities lined up for the week.

Initiated by the National Museum of Namibia, the National Heritage Week was extended from a day’s celebration to a week. It was also extended to other regions to ensure countrywide celebrations.

The week is aimed at encouraging Namibians to celebrate and commit to protecting the country’s natural and cultural resources and pass on inherent traditions and knowledge to descendants.

Nadine Phiri, curator at the Swakopmund Museum and member of the Swakopmund Culture Committee, during a media launch in Swakopmund on Thursday said there will be activities across the country during Heritage Week and at least one activity every day in Windhoek and Swakopmund.

“The event is also aimed at promoting the safeguarding and protection of all cultural heritage in Namibia irrespective of religious or ethnic identity, recognising that all forms of cultural heritage in Namibia are valued as equal in importance,” she said.

Phiri called on every Namibian to participate in the week-long activities by attending events, dressing up to reflect their cultures and traditions, or to create special, uniquely Namibian dishes during the week.

The theme for this year is ‘Heritage and Culture: A Rock-Solid Foundation’ in Namibian sign language.

The team decided that every year, the theme for heritage week will use a Namibian language as part of its commitment to promoting pride in Namibian cultural diversity.

The event is taking place in collaboration with the Museums Association of Namibia, Franco-Namibian Cultural Centre and the National Arts Gallery of Namibia, among others.

The week-long festivities will also include different cultural performances, educational lectures and competitions, among others.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency

ACCES Kenya Awards Sh10.4 Million Scholarship To 100 Students

The African Canadian Continuing Education Society (ACCES) in Kenya, in partnership with Kakamega County Government, will spend Sh41.7 million to sponsor 100 students to pursue higher education for a period of four years.

The organisation has released an initial cheque of Sh10,425,000 for the selected students to join universities and colleges of their choice.

‘For a period of 30 years, ACCES Kenya has sponsored over 4000 bright but needy students from Western Kenya to undertake their studies, and an alumni foundation has been established to support incoming scholars,’ said Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa.

Speaking during the handing over of the Sh10.4 million cheque, Barasa noted that this offers scholarships to 100 students every year, with this year’s cohort consisting of 63 students from Kakamega and a total of 37 from Bungoma, Busia, and Vihiga Counties.

‘A total of 937 students applied for the scholarship, of which the selection panel shortlisted 250 and settled on 100 after a rigorous exercise. Currently, there are 11 students from Kakamega County supported by the scholarship programme pursuing higher education in foreign countries,’ he added.

Barasa thanked ACCES Kenya for providing an opportunity for needy students to pursue their education and realise their dreams.

He challenged the beneficiaries to utilise the opportunity to become a shining light of Kakamega County and the entire region, reminding them that job opportunities are always available for the best in society.

‘We live in an extremely competitive world, but these young people with us today are already on the better side of that competition,’ he noted.

The governor said that in addition to the scholarship, which will now be known as the Barasa Jamii Community Scholarship, the Kakamega County government supports 12 students, one from each sub-county, with full scholarships throughout their university studies.

‘This has been a way of not only supporting bright and needy students but also a way of building reliable, well-trained manpower in medicine, engineering, and information technology. As a government, our vision is to create a sufficient pool of employable young people who will contribute to the development of this country,’ he explained.

Barasa said the county government will continue to support the scholars until the end of their studies while calling for more partners to join hands through a Memorandum of Understanding to support the county’s development programmes.

The governor also urged the national government to consider devolving primary and secondary education. ‘We have been having a conversation, and one of the things we have asked is for consideration to devolve primary education and also secondary education because we are the ones on the ground and we feel the heat and the pinch of those vulnerable families,’ he noted.

Barasa pointed out that in education, county governments are mandated to take charge of polytechnics and early childhood development centres (ECDE), but counties have in some cases had to support students in primary, high school, and tertiary institutions.

He therefore called on the University Funding Board and the Higher Education Loans Board to provide a fair opportunity so that deserving students get opportunities to learn.

‘We all know that the government has changed the funding model for higher education, and we know there is a lot of anxiety in the pioneer group as they are not sure of how the information they are giving will translate into bursaries and scholarships,’ he explained.

The Chair of the ACCES Kenya Advisory Board, Pape Sembi, said the organisation is celebrating 30 years of helping people in need and calling for more partners to join hands to support students access to education.

Source: Kenya News Agency

School career fair highlights community development

The A Shipena Secondary School career fair on Friday targeted delegates, exhibitors, learners, teachers and community members to interact with professionals from the vocational training industry and self-employed youth.

It sought to showcase those who make a living by using their talents and self-taught vocational skills.

Governor of the Khomas Region, Laura McLeod-Katjirua added that the event tied in well with the 2018 National Waste Management Strategy, which aims to make Namibia a leading country in Africa in terms of solid waste management standards by 2028.

She expressed thanks to the European Union for the grant finance to the tune of N.dollars 36.8 million through the project titled ‘Improving solid waste management in Windhoek’.

“The initiative is implemented via co-operation between the City of Windhoek (CoW) and sister City of Bremen (Germany), to improve solid waste management efforts in Windhoek,” she said.

Also in attendance, John Pandeni Constituency Councillor Shaalukeni Moonde highlighted that the career fair is an integral part of the objectives and key performance areas of the constituency strategic plan on community development and youth employment.

“As a constituency, we continuously strive to enrich and involve young people in the process of development,” Moonde said.

“When we invest in the youth, we make a long-term investment. Together with CoW, we have seen a considerable need for the development and promotion of innovative ideas for vocational training career paths and opportunities for young people to overcome current economic conditions,” he added.

It is important to promote the innovative use of recycling ideas to generate income, which solves the problems of waste management and poverty alleviation simultaneously, he continued.

The CoW has a school recycling competition programme which is an effort to raise awareness and encourage behavioural and attitude change among school learners.

The project targets 45 schools from low-income and informal areas, of which 10 are pre-primary schools, 15 primary schools, and 20 secondary schools.

The programme strives to promote the City’s awareness initiative through the concept called ‘Catch them Young’.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency

PM Abiy Graduates Commandos at Bilate Training Center

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed today graduates thousands of commandos that have undergone rigorous training at Bilate Commando and Airborne Training Center.

The Bilate Commando and Airborne Training Center graduated commandos that have undergone rigorous training in various difficult scenarios that call for dealing with dire obstacles with swift actions.

Marking the occasion, the trainees showcased the acquired skills during a large scale mock exercise, according to the Office of the Prime Minister.

As part of the activities, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed also reviewed and opened an amphitheater constructed by the training center with the capacity of seating in thousands and planted seedlings at the Bilate Center.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

Technical Education Crucial For Youth Crime Prevention

Youth in Madogo, Tana River County, have been challenged to join technical institutions and acquire skills for their economic growth in a bid to tame the rising crime rate in the area.

The call comes following concern from both leaders and residents about a huge number of school-going young people who have dropped out of school and who have resorted to carrying out criminal activities in the Madogo area.

The criminal gang commonly known as ‘Kayole’ which consists of children and adults aged between 10 and 30, has been terrorising residents by robbing them of their valuables and breaking into homes.

So daring is the gang, which uses knives and other crude weapons to terrorise residents, that they have been carrying out their activities in broad daylight unperturbed, leaving residents in constant fear.

The terrified residents have even been retreating to their houses as early as 5 a.m. for fear of being attacked.

During a skills and career launching ceremony at Madogo vocational training centre, while some leaders blamed the issue on moral decay, others blamed it on idleness, where the school dropouts and Form 4 leavers find themselves with nothing to do, therefore resorting to engaging in crime.

Tana River Deputy Governor Mahat Ali Loka, while acknowledging that there was a problem, urged the security apparatus to deal with the criminal gangs ruthlessly.

‘The Quran tells us that anyone found stealing should have one of his hands chopped off. However, we are governed by the constitution, which we must all follow. I have a lot of faith in our security apparatus that they will completely eliminate this gag and restore our security,’ Loka said.

Loka regretted that youth in the area shy away from joining technical training colleges, something he said has only served to make the community lag behind in matters of development.

‘When we have a majority of our children dropping out of school and ending up in the streets with no technical skills acquired at all, the end result is what you see today. I want to ask you all to take advantage of this institution that is fully equipped and enrol in these courses and acquire technical skills that will help us in life,’ he said.

Bangale Deputy County Commissioner Joseph Kipkorir said that they have identified three ringleaders of the notorious gang and that they are closing in on them.

‘I want to say it in broad daylight that we are closing in on these three notorious criminals who have been playing hide and seek with our security officers as they go about terrorising our people. When you come across them, kindly tell them to change their ways, or else they will have themselves to blame,’ he said.

Bangale Sub-County Police Commander Joseph Gatuku regretted that parents had neglected their parental roles, blaming fathers for doing little to bring up their children well.

‘It’s now becoming a very big security situation, and we will not entertain anymore. I want to state without any fear of contradiction that going forward we will ruthlessly deal with these young men who are out to destabilise our security. Even if it means shooting them dead, we will do it,’ Gatuku said.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Ethiopian Aviation University Graduates More Than 1,550 Professionals

Ethiopian Aviation University, the largest aviation university in Africa, graduated today 1,551 professionals, about 100 from other African countries.

The university graduated 160 pilots, 458 aircraft maintenance technicians, 702 cabin crews, 69 hotel operation professionals and customer service agents.

Ethiopian has been providing aviation training for Africans from all 54 countries since its formation in 1956; and today’s graduates were from seven African countries, including Ethiopia, Rwanda, Togo, DRC, Tanzania, Uganda, and Sudan.

Speaking on the occasion, Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mesfin Tassew said the Ethiopian Aviation University graduated 1,551 aviation professionals, the highest in its history.

The CEO congratulated the academic and administrative members of the university for enhancing the capacity to train and graduate so many aviation professionals for Ethiopian Airlines and the African aviation industry.

“This is a demonstration that Ethiopian Airlines is committed to supporting the aviation industry by availing a large number of well-trained aviation professionals,” he noted.

Mesfin revealed that ten pilots from among the graduates were female captains, and stated that Ethiopian Airlines has more than 40 female pilots.

Ethiopian Aviation University Acting President Kassie Yimam said “all schools of the university have trained and qualified significantly more aviation professionals than ever before.”

Schools of the university are Pilot Training, Simulator Training, Cabin Crew and Catering Training, Commercial and Ground Services Training, Aircraft Maintenance Training, and Leadership Training, it was learned.

According to the acting president, “the change at the pilot training school is ground breaking in all parameters such as the number of qualified flight instructors, availability of serviceable aircrafts, flight hours flown per day and many more.”

The university has so far graduated three round aviation professionals this year.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency