Forum wants Kaduna electoral commission to domesticate gender policies

Sola Ojo, Kaduna A forum comprised of different interest groups at the end of a 2-day meeting in Kaduna over

Sola Ojo, Kaduna

A forum comprised of different interest groups at the end of a 2-day meeting in Kaduna over the weekend urged the Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission (KAD-SIECOM) to domesticate gender policies to encourage women participation in politics.

The meeting was facilitated by Development in Practice Gender Entrepreneurship Initiative (DIP-GEI) under the Voice to the People (V2P) project in Kaduna, which was supported by Christian Aid.

The forum, which had representatives of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), KAD-SIECOM, Conference of Political Parties, Women Aspirant and Mentorship Forum and non-governmental organisations in attendance, hoped that, if affirmative gender policies of INEC could be set up in Kaduna, it would afford women, many of whom are not financially endowed, to participate in elections.

This is even as Chairman, House Committee on Information and Home Affairs, Kaduna State House of Assembly, Shehu Shadalafiya, said the House was willing to effect changes that would bring about development, security and equal opportunity for people in the state if such is communicated to the Assembly.

“It is very important for KAD-SIECOM to domesticate gender policy. This will further expose our people and allow more women to participate in politics,” he said.

“Political parties too need to do the needful by creating the opportunity, meeting their affirmation to give women the opportunity in intra-party politics even in their excos.

“This workshop is a very good step Kaduna State will benefit from, and we are happy to have taken part in it.

“We look at issues that need to come to the assembly, but civil society, KAD-SIECOM itself, women groups, political parties can initiate moves for amendments, changes or creation of new law.

“We in the Kaduna Assembly are willing at every time to do things that will bring about development, security and equal opportunity for our people,” he stressed.

Programme Manager, DIP-GEI, Stella Samuel Udobong said the meeting was organized as part of a V2P project by DFID, and implemented by DIP-GEI with 45 participants drawn from 10 political parties across the State.

V2P is a community-based project that empowers natives on how to prioritise their needs and make same known to their policymakers through a collective voice for desire changes to happen in their communities. The idea is to give voice to communities to make collective demands.

According to her, INEC, NGOs, and inter party women network were brought together to strategize on the way forward for womens’ inclusion in the 2019 General Elections.

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Commonwealth countries unite against human trafficking, child exploitation

As part of measures to address the growing and worrying incidents of human trafficking, child exploitation and modern slavery, the

As part of measures to address the growing and worrying incidents of human trafficking, child exploitation and modern slavery, the U.K. Home Office and its Department for International Development (DfID) have set up a £5.5 million aid package for governments, law enforcement and legislative action.

This was announced today as part of the broad commitment of the U.K. government to work in collaboration with source and transit countries to stop the menace, which affects a number of commonwealth countries, with a toll on vulnerable victims and entire societies.

“The UK and the Commonwealth are stepping up to fight one of the greatest injustices of our time – the trafficking and exploitation of vulnerable people by predators,” said Penny Mordaunt, International Development Secretary.

Nigeria is particularly affected as a source country for human trafficking, with transit points running from southern Nigeria (notoriously Edo State and its environs) through Kano and up to Niger Republic and the first port of call on the Mediterranean route to Europe, Libya.

Mordaunt continued that: “The Commonwealth is uniting to take on this challenge and our renewed commitment to end exploitation of anyone, anywhere, is vital in a world where over 40 million people are still being forced to live in these barbaric conditions.”

The package of aid supports includes, among other things: £500,000 to support tough new legislation to prevent and tackle human trafficking and forced labour in nine Commonwealth countries including Ghana, Nigeria, Pakistan, Uganda, Bangladesh, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, and Sri Lanka – and supporting the scrutiny and oversight of the response to human trafficking.

The International Organization for Migration says that Nigeria remains the top country in sub-saharan Africa with the most migrant flows out of the continent, with top arrivals by sea to Italy in 2016 at over 37,000 – more than Eritrea, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire and the Gambia.

In 2015 alone, women accounted for 45% of such immigrants, most of which are subject to rape in the migrant route, a 2017 UNICEF report stating that:

“Nearly half the women and children interviewed had experienced sexual abuse during migration – often multiple times and in multiple locations.”

It is estimated that Nigeria has a net migration rate of -0.3 per 1,000 population, in a country with extremely porous borders.

In addressing the Nigerian situation, both DFID and the Home Office are working to improve the support offered to victims of trafficking, promote alternative, aspirational livelihoods to potential victims of trafficking, and building the capacity of law enforcement to crack down on the crime.

Apart from the new enforcement support, £7 million of DFID support in Nigeria had earlier been announced in December 2017 to create job opportunities in sectors including hospitality and technology which could help up to 30,000 women at risk of modern slavery; and strengthen systems that support victims of trafficking, including through improving safe house support and training for counsellors in at least six safe houses.

The Home Office have provided £5 million of support which will build the capacity of Nigerian law enforcement to crack down on the crime, help investigate prolific traffickers, and provide protection.

U.K. Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, said that:

“The UK is leading the world in tackling this form of abuse through the ground-breaking Modern Slavery Act 2015, which ensures victims are identified and supported and provides law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to bring perpetrators to justice.”

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Competition offers £250 000 in prizes to stimulate off-grid cold chain technology

By Staff Reporter on 29 March, 2018 The Global LEAP Off-Grid Cold Chain Challenge (OGCCC) – a competition to develop

By Staff Reporter on 29 March, 2018

The Global LEAP Off-Grid Cold Chain Challenge (OGCCC) – a competition to develop innovative and energy-efficient off-grid cold storage technology – launched yesterday in Nairobi, Kenya.

In a press releases yesterday the UK Department for International Development’s (DfID) said the challenge — which forms part of the department’s Ideas to Impact programme — will offer £250 000 in prizes for off-grid cold chain technologies deployed in select Sub-Saharan African countries.

The goal of the competition is to stimulate innovation and investment in the sector and help to drive market development, bringing prices down for those who need it most.

Innovation prizes of up to £50 000 will be awarded to cold storage technologies that demonstrate energy efficiency, off-grid appropriateness, scalability and feasibility of deployment, with opportunities for further development.

Through the Global LEAP Off-Grid Cold Chain Challenge the UK Department for International Development will award prizes of up to £50 000 to cold storage technologies

Shortlisted technologies will receive an innovation prize of £10 000 to cover shipping and set-up costs. Nominations close 26 May with shortlisted technologies announced in September for product testing and verification, and final prize winners revealed in March next year.

Deployment of off and weak-grid cold storage solutions is also likely to have other social impacts such as empowerment for women, and improvement in health.

Cold storage facilities can be an insulated pre-fabricated cold room, a brick-and-mortar cold room, or a modified shipping container with appropriate air-conditioning or refrigeration system, as long as they can provide cooling and refrigeration for storing produce or dairy products and are powered primarily using renewable energy sources.

The OGCCC has been developed in partnership with Energy 4 Impact with support from Ideas to Impact, a DfID-funded programme that uses innovation prizes to stimulate solutions to development challenges across energy access, climate change adaptation and water, sanitation and hygiene, and Power Africa’s Beyond the Grid initiative.

For more information, visit the OGCCC website or sign up for competition updates.