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Gender parity in New African magazine’s list of 100 Most Influential Africans

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For the first time since publishing the list, there is an equal amount of men and women featuring in this year’s one hundred. Although this year’s listing is dominated by entries from Nigeria and Kenya, outstanding personalities from several other African countries are also featured.

The December issue is published with four different covers featuring: Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Ahmed Abiy, arguably Africa’s person of the year; the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize co-winner DR Congo’s Dr Denis Mukwege;  Botswana’s 32-year old Minister of Trade  Investment  Bogolo Joy Kenewendo; and Egypt’s soccer superstar, Mo Salah whose influence goes well beyond football.

The annual list has become an industry and the magazine readers’ much-awaited collation – revealing Africans who contributed in shaping the African narrative in the concluding year and envisaged to play a big role in the coming year, both on the continent and in the Diaspora.

Collated by and from its global network of correspondents and industry insiders, this year’s listing consists of some regular names, and some of them returning for the second, even third year. The final 2018 tally sees a drop in the number of entries for politicians, but an increase in the Arts and culture section at 16 and 22 entries respectively.

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In terms of countries, entries are led by Nigeria with18 names followed by Kenya (11) South Africa (10) Egypt (8) and Ethiopia (7).

“One yardstick which we often employ when coming up with the final list is to emphasise that influence is not about popularity and popularity is not always influential. The influencer’s impact on public, social and political discourse, however, is what largely helps us determine their influence. Most importantly we focus mainly on people who have been influential for Africa’s good,” says reGina Jane Jere – Editor of the magazine’s sister publication – New African Woman, who leads and oversees the 100 Most Influential Africans project.

With many reports indicating how gender parity improves the quality of governance and accelerates development, and in a year that has seen the emboldening of gender issues, with countries such Ethiopia even taking a lead in achieving gender parity in Cabinet, and appointing its first ever female President under its new reformist Prime Minister Ahmed Abiy, the magazine felt it apt to produced a 50/50 ratio in this year’s list. According to the editor of the magazine, Anver Versi, this happened as much by chance as it did by design. “When whittling down the nominees and choosing our hundred, we ended with an equal number of women and men. That was the premise of this year’s ranking but it happened naturally!”

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One other outstanding feature of this year’s list is the increased inclusion of people of African descent making their mark at a global level in the African Diaspora. “This is a clear indication of the wealth of talent that our continent possesses and shows that given the slightest opportunity, our men and women can eclipse their peers worldwide in their chosen fields of endeavor,” explains Versi.

Also of note is the inclusion of men and women in the seemingly unglamorous fields such as conservation and climate change, whose work is often overlooked by the media.

The December issue of New African is available on newsstands in 75 countries and via the app store and the magazine’s digital channels.

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Boko Haram conflict causing misery to millions 10 years on

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Ten years since the beginning of a violent insurgency in northeast Nigeria, the living conditions for displaced people are continuing to deteriorate at an alarming rate due to inadequate and overcrowded facilities. The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) calls for increased efforts to improve their living conditions and prevent an imminent cholera outbreak.

Ten years after the first attack launched by the armed group Boko Haram, more than two million people remain displaced from homes in northeast Nigeria, the highest number of any time over the last decade.

“Every week, people continue to flee violence and insecurity in northeast Nigeria. Many settle along the roadside or on empty strips of land, devoid of proper sanitation and water points,” says Eric Batonon, Country Director at the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) in Nigeria.

Hundreds of thousands of people are living in overcrowded displacement sites far below international minimum standards and without proper access to latrines and clean water. Some have put up shelters made of wooden sticks and pieces of ripped fabric. These improvised shelters provide no protection against wind or rain and offer almost no privacy or security. Many don’t even have a door – leaving women, men and children highly vulnerable to intrusions and attacks.

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More than 180,000 people are currently in need of shelter in Borno State with many sleeping in the open or in deplorable makeshift homes. As the rainy seasons gets underway, fears of another deadly outbreak of cholera are looming. Last year, 10,000 cholera cases were confirmed along with 175 recorded deaths, although the real figure is likely to have been much higher.

“People in Nigeria need safe pathways back to their homes and much better living conditions in the meantime. Displacement sites are dangerous, chaotic and entirely unsuitable for children. It is critical to decongest these overcrowded sites, provide people that have been forced to flee with safe, dignified facilities and prevent another deadly cholera outbreak,” Batonon adds.

The NRC is calling on donor countries to increase their financial support for relief to families trying desperately to survive in one of the world’s most volatile regions.

“Ten years on, it is harrowing to see families still crowding into make-shift shelters with inadequate drainage systems to remove rain water. The global humanitarian community, local and national authorities have to do much more and much better to improve the lives of these people,” says Batonon before concluding: “The world needs to scale up the relief work and send a message of hope to the more than seven million people in need of humanitarian assistance in northeast Nigeria. After a decade of conflict, we need to show them that they have not been forgotten.”

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Over 200 Kidnap Victims Regain Freedom In Zamfara – Police

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The Commissioner of Police in Zamfara, Mr Usman Nagogo says over 200 victims of kidnap have been received from their abductors in the last three weeks in the state.

Nagogo made this known at a news conference in Gusau on Monday.

The police chief  said  the bandits willingly returned and handover the victims to him as the leader of a peace and reconciliation initiative recently set up by Governor Bello Matawalle.

He explained: “Since the beginning of the peace and reconciliation initiative team assignment about three weeks ago now, we have received over 200 kidnap victims from Fulanis and Yansakai.

“We have sat with all the warring factions and they have understood that peace is the most important aspect of growth and development which is why they willingly return the victims,
“and await the promise made by the governor to re-establish grazing reserves, build hospitals and veterinary clinics, provide good drinking water and other amenities at Fulani settlements.

“At the moment, all the factions go to the markets that were closed due to the armed bandit activities while farmers go to the farms without any hindrance or threats,”.

The commissioner of police who urged residents to continue to pray for the success of the peace process and sustenance of peace in the state, cautioned politicians against politicising the effort so as to allow security agencies carry out their operations without diversion.

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Some of the rescued victims told newsmen at the police command that they were tied like animals and without any shelter against rain or sun.

Some of the victims spent more than seven months in the hands of their abductors.
After their rescue, the victims were camped at the Government House, Gusau, where they received medical and psycho-social support services before they were reunited with their families.

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Corps Member Serving With Channels TV Dies In Shiite, Police Clash

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Unfortunately, a member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) serving with Channels Television, Precious Owolabi, is dead.

The 23-year-old died of a gunshot wound he sustained while covering the clash between the police and the Shiite protesters on Monday in Abuja.

The management and staff of Channels Television are greatly saddened by the untimely and unfortunate death of such a promising journalist.

They pray that God will grant his family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss, and avail his soul eternal rest.

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