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Obama, President Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia, Bill Gates, others join Clinton for CGI 2010

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Former Pres Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama.usafrica-filepix

Obama, Liberian President Johnson-Sirleaf, Bill Gates, others join Bill Clinton for CGI 2010 in New York.

Special to USAfrica,  USAfricaonline.com and Nigeria360@yahoogroups.com
New York: U.S President Barack Obama will join President Bill Clinton at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), which will take place September 21-23 in New York City. President Obama will introduce First Lady Michelle Obama, whose participation was previously announced, during the Closing Plenary session on September 23.
“I’m pleased that President Obama will participate in our sixth Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative,” President Clinton said. “He’ll be joining more than 64 heads of state from around the world, and hundreds of business leaders, directors of nongovernmental organizations, and Nobel Laureates, among others, who have made commitments to take action on pressing issues. Since 2005, commitments made by CGI members have improved the lives of more than 220 million people in 170 countries.”
President Clinton also announced that the meeting would feature a special session on “Peace and Beyond in the Middle East.” As the parties engage in direct negotiations for the first time in two years, panelists will discuss the role regional actors should play in support of successful negotiations. In addition, they will address practical and immediate initiatives that can improve the livelihood of the region’s residents, and offer a vision for a post-conflict Middle East.
Other special sessions include “Profiting from the Poor? A Discussion on Microfinance IPOs,” “Responsible Agricultural Value Chains,” “Investing in the World’s Forests,” and the previously announced “Recovery in Haiti” and “Addressing Cancer in the Developing World.” Furthermore, President Clinton will participate in a session on “The Future of the Global Economy,” which will be broadcast as part of CNBC’s Meeting of the Minds series.
Bill Gates, co-chair and trustee of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, will join President Clinton for a one-on-one discussion during the Closing Plenary session. Other prominent participants include Tarja Halonen, president of the Republic of Finland; René Préval, president of the Republic of Haiti, José Maria Figueres Olsen, former president of the Republic of Costa Rica; Maria Bartiromo, CNBC anchor and host; Matthew Bishop, business editor and New York bureau chief of The Economist; Jim Carrey, actor and founder, Better U Foundation; General Wesley Clark, chairman and CEO, Wesley K. Clark and Associates; Katie Couric, anchor and managing editor, CBS Evening News; Philippe Cousteau, CEO and co-founder, EarthEcho International; Robert Diamond, president, Barclays PLC; Sanjay Gupta, chief medical correspondent, CNN; Andrew Liveris, chairman and CEO, The Dow Chemical Company; Wangari Maathai, founder and chair, The Green Belt Movement; Peter Sands, chief executive officer, Standard Chartered Bank; Achim Steiner, executive director, United Nations Environment Programme; and Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack.
The following participants were previously announced: Jean-Max Bellerive, prime minister of the Republic of Haiti; Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, president of the Republic of Liberia; Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State; Cherie Blair, patron, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women; Richard Branson, chairman and founder, Virgin Group Limited; Laura Bush, former first lady of the United States; John Chambers, chairman and CEO, Cisco; Paul Farmer, co-founder, Partners In Health; Melinda Gates, co-chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Jeff Gordon, NASCAR champion and founder of the Jeff Gordon Pediatric Cancer Foundation; Ruchira Gupta, founder of Apne Aap Women Worldwide; John Holdren, director, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; Chad Hurley, co-founder and CEO, YouTube; Valerie B. Jarrett, senior adviser and assistant to the president for Intergovermental Affairs and Public Engagement; Andrea Jung, chairman and CEO, Avon Products; Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company; Klaus Kleinfeld, chairman and CEO, Alcoa; Wendy Kopp, CEO of Teach for All; Jack Ma, chairman and CEO, Alibaba Group; Shakira Mebarak, founder, the Barefoot Foundation; Robert McDonald, president and CEO, Procter & Gamble; Zainab Salbi, founder and CEO of Women for Women International; Eric Schmidt, chairman and CEO, Google; Arnold Schwarzenegger, governor of California; Ratan Tata, chairman, Tata Group; Jerry Yang, co-founder and chief-Yahoo, Yahoo! Inc; and Muhammad Yunus, founder and managing director, Grameen Bank.
USAfrica, USAfricaonline.com and CLASSmagazine will provide reporting from the event, here.
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Obama’s Africa agenda, our business and democracy. By Chido Nwangwu, Publisher of USAfricaonline.com, USAfrica The Newspaper, Houston, USAfricaonline.com and CLASS magazine and The Black Business Journal http://usafricaonline.com/chido.obamaafrica09.html

WHY AMERICA SHOULD HALT THE GENOCIDE IN DARFUR, SUDAN. By CHIDO NWANGWU. Special to USAfricaonline.com, CLASSmagazine, USAfrica The Newspaper, Houston and The Black Business Journal http://usafricaonline.com/chido.sudan04.html

USAfrica and USAfricaonline.com (characterized by The New York Times as the  most influential African-owned, U.S-based multimedia networks) established May 1992, our first edition of USAfrica magazine was published August 1993; USAfrica The Newspaper on May 11, 1994; CLASSmagazine on May 2, 2003; www.PhotoWorks.TV in 2005
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World SOCCER SHOWDOWN: South Africa backs Morocco; U.S under pressure

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Special to USAfrica [Houston]  • USAfricaonline.com  •  @Chido247  @USAfricalive

“It is an old myth that Africa doesn’t have the capacity, and naysayers should stop using the political argument. Africa hosted the best Fifa World Cup ever and with good support, Morocco can emulate South Africa,” said the SAFA president Jordaan.

Johannesburg – South Africa Football Association (SAFA) president Danny Jordaan has promised Morocco that South Africa will give its unqualified support to secure another World Cup on the African continent in 2026.

Morocco is vying to stage the world’s biggest football prize against a joint bid by Canada, Mexico and the U.S.

The Moroccan delegation comprises ex-Senegal and Liverpool striker El Hadji Diouf and former Cameroonian goalkeeper Joseph-Antoine Bell.

Jordaan said it would be great for Africa to have a second bite of the World Cup cherry, adding Morocco’s bid was Africa’s bid.

Jordaan assured Morocco that he would personally lobby for the Council for Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) and the rest of the continent to rally behind the Moroccans.

In his remarks, Antoine Bell said Morocco had all the ingredients to host another spectacular World Cup.

“South Africa showed the way and I am confident Morocco will follow suit. The country has international standards, from the stadiums to top infrastructure. Morocco can compete with the best in the world,” he said.

By giving Morocco its support, South Africa’s voice would make all the difference on the continent, Bell said.

“When South Africa talks on the continent, the rest of the continent listens hence it is vital for South Africa to support Morocco. South Africa has the experience and Morocco will use this experience to win the 2016 bid,” added Bell. African News Agency

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USAfrica: Catholic priest Etienne killed by militia in DR Congo, after a wedding mass

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Special to USAfrica [Houston]  •  @USAfricaLIVE

Goma – A Catholic priest was found shot dead hours after he said mass in Democratic Republic of Congo’s restive North Kivu province, a member of the church told AFP.

“Father Etienne Sengiyumva was killed [on] Sunday by the Mai Mai Nyatura (militia) in Kyahemba where he had just celebrated a mass including a baptism and a wedding,” father Gonzague Nzabanita, head of the Goma diocese where the incident occurred, told AFP.

The Mai Mai Nyatura are an armed group operating in North Kivu, in eastern DRC.

Nzabanita said Sengiyumva, 38, had had lunch with local faithful before “we found him shot in the head”.

North and South Kivu provinces are in the grip of a wave of violence among militia groups, which often extort money from civilians or fight each other for control of mineral resources.

Last week unknown assailants kidnapped a Catholic priest in North Kivu, demanding $500 000 for his release.

Eastern DRC has been torn apart by more than 20 years of armed conflict, fuelled by ethnic and land disputes, competition for control of the region’s mineral resources, and rivalry between regional powers.

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USAfrica: Nigeria’s LOOTERS LIST and Buhari’s selective corruption targets. By Majeed Dahiru

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PDP vs APC Looters List and Buhari’s selective corruption targets

By Majeed Dahiru

Special to USAfrica {Houston] • USAfricaonline.com • @USAfricaLive

 

Timipriye Silva, a former governor and PDP chieftain, who became a founding member and financier of APC, had his corruption charges quashed by a federal high court and Buhari’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) failed to appeal the N19.5 billion fraud case.

More curious are the missing names of some accused looters with marital ties to Nigeria’s First and Second families. Gimba Yau Kumo, the PDP appointed former managing director of the Federal Mortgage Bank and now son-in-law of President Buhari, who was similarly accused of fraudulent activities amounting to about N3 billion and reportedly being investigated by EFCC, is missing from [Buhari’s Information Minister] Lai Mohammed’s list.

For a party that has been accused of destroying Nigeria by squandering accrued oil revenues estimated at over $500 billion in sixteen years, it is confounding that Lai’s list is not only exclusively comprised of PDP looters but also captures the last two years of PDP’s last lap in power and included just Goodluck Jonathan’s associates, who supported him against candidate Buhari, while also relating only to funds used in the last electioneering campaign of the PDP.

Whenever the obviously abysmal performance of the Muhammadu Buhari administration appears to be gaining sustained attention, and leading to murmuring within the rank and file of his supporters, a tale of humungous looting by opposition elements is usually spun and thrown into the public space to distract people away from the core issue of the failure of governance.

Like a fit of deja vu, the recently unveiled list of looters by Lai Mohammed, a fellow who comes across as more of President Muhammadu Buhari’s chief propagandist than a minister of the federal republic of Nigeria in charge of information and culture, didn’t come as a surprise. The list is all too familiar as the unveiling was a summarised rehash of politically exposed individuals who are members of the opposition party, close associates of former President Goodluck Jonathan, particularly his appointees in government, who have been named and shamed several times in well-coordinated media trials.

First on Lai’s list is Uche Secondus, the chairman of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Lai had this to say of Secondus: “On the 19th of February 2015, he took N200 million only from the office of the NSA”. An unidentified former financial secretary of the PDP was similarly accused of “taking” N600 million from the same office of the National Security Adviser. Lai Mohammed also re-revealed that frontline member of PDP and media mogul, who deployed his media power to promote Goodluck Jonathan by de-marketing the Buhari candidacy in the run up to 2015 presidential election, Raymond Dokpesi, is on trial for “taking” N2.1 billion from the office of the then NSA. Lai also reminded Nigerians that his shouting match and former spokesman of the PDP, Olisa Metuh is on trial for “collecting” N1.4 billion from the same office of the NSA.

Lai Mohammed’s expanded follow up list included the usual suspects – former ministers, PDP state governors, service chiefs, presidential aides, associates and family members of former President Goodluck Jonathan, who were collectively accused of looting Nigeria of close to $2.1 billion through the office of the former NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.).

The choice of words like “took” and “collected” deployed by Lai to describe the manner in which those named received these monies was deliberate for the maximum effect of propaganda, portraying the accused persons as looters who broke into NSA vault and catered away boxes of cash at something akin to a gun point.

While the clamp down on PDP looters who supported Goodluck Jonathan and are still members of the former ruling party has been heavy handed, others who decamped from PDP to the All Progressives Congress (APC) on the eve of the 2015 elections and supported candidate Buhari’s campaign with their share of loot have been forgiven. For example, former NSA, Sambo Dasuki is being treated as an apostate for his role in the disbursement of funds that were used to oil Goodluck Jonathan’s electioneering effort. He has been kept in detention illegally and in defiance of several judicial rulings. Judging by the Buhari administration’s anti-corruption standard of an accusation being tantamount to guilt, in clear contempt of court proceedings by the resort to the naming and shaming suspects even before investigations and criminal prosecution are concluded and convictions obtained, it becomes curious that Lai’s list didn’t reveal any new name. Rather some names were either missing or omitted from what is a familiar list. This appears so because the bulk of PDP bigwigs who “destroyed” Nigeria in sixteen years of national rule are firmly in control of the APC, from its elected national executives to the National Assembly and appointed members of the federal executive council. The majority of APC-elected governors were also former members of the PDP. Even recently decamped PDP members to APC, such as Musiliu Obanikoro and Sulivan Chime, who have been prominently named and shamed in the recent past, were conspicuously missing from the released list of looters.

More curious are the missing names of some accused looters with marital ties to the first and second families. Gimba Yau Kumo, a former PDP appointed managing director of the Federal Mortgage Bank and now son-in-law of President Buhari, who was similarly accused of fraudulent activities amounting to about N3 billion and reportedly being investigated by EFCC, is missing from Lai’s list. Also missing on that list is Bola Shagaya.

Arguably one of Africa’s richest women, with a reputation for close business and political ties to all first families in the past two decades, Bola Shagaya was exceptionally close to the Goodluck Jonathan family. Often described as a bosom friend of former first lady Patience Jonathan, she has been accused, in numerous instances, allegedly, of acting as Patience Jonathan’s front for the laundering of illicit money estimated at over N13 billion, while engaging in other fraudulent activities involved in state capture. All that may be in the past now as she has found her way back to reckoning with the marriage of her son, Seun Bakare to Damilola, the daughter of Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo. Little wonder then, Bola Shagaya’s name is not on Lai’s looters list.

In a clear display of the arrogance of ignorance, the Buhari administration has narrowed its war on corruption to the hounding of members of the Jonathan administration, other individuals and organisations that were known to have worked against the emergence of the President [Buhari] in the 2015 presidential elections. This is clearly evident in the selective nature of the current anti-corruption effort.

The tone of generalisation of the PDP as the problem of Nigeria, as an indicator of corruption, should make all members of PDP (both former and present) and their collaborators in other parties guilty, hence qualifying them for naming and shaming, while being liable for criminal prosecution.

Therefore, Buhari’s list of looters is devoid of integrity, because his selective war on corruption is indicative of corruption in itself. All that is required of a former PDP looter is to get baptised into APC and profess Buhari as the saviour of Nigeria. This is precisely responsible for the failure and ineffectiveness of the war on corruption. Nothing has changed as the current APC looters continue to loot Nigeria, while the redeemed former PDP looters continue to enjoy their loot in hibernation under the abundant grace of the infallible Buhari.

• Dahiru is based in Abuja 

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