Seven African Countries Sign MoU With Morocco On Palm-oil Production

muhammadu-buhari-at-climate-change-meeting-in-moroccoSeven African countries on Wednesday, signed a joint declaration at the Morocco conference on climate change, pledging to protect their tropical forests, by shifting to sustainable palm oil production.

The seven African states that put pen to paper, representing over 250 million hectares of tropical forest for palm oil producers are Ghana, Liberia, Congo republic, Sierra Leone, Ivory coast, Central African Republic and the DRC.

The morocco deal already has the support from some of world’s largest palm oil producers, buyers and traders.

Palm oil fuels a 50 billion dollar global industry of food and food proudcts, and is projected to reach 88 billion dollars by the year 2022.

Africa is said to be the world’s next growth spot for palm oil production, with Nigeria seeing earnings growth of local producers, as foreign exchange ban on oil palm products spur domestic capacity.

Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, was among other world leaders in attendance of the conference which spanned between November 14 and 16, 2016.

The convention on Climate Change also known as COP-22, also sought to discuss key issues, including Nigeria’s unwavering commitment to implementing the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and policy actions, aimed at tackling climate change through environmental sustainable efforts.

Congo Police Fire Teargas, Make Arrests At Opposition Meeting

benin presidentPolice in Congo Republic fired teargas at opposition supporters and arrested around 10 of them on Friday ahead of a planned news conference by opposition candidates who say last weekend’s presidential election was won fraudulently.

President Denis Sassou Nguesso, who has ruled the Central African oil producer for 32 of the last 37 years, won re-election in Sunday’s poll with 60 percent of the vote, according to official results announced on Thursday.

Early on Friday, around 100 police officers were positioned outside of the headquarters of the opposition UPADS party in the capital Brazzaville’s Diata neighborhood, where a coalition of five candidates was expected to announce their own poll results.

A Reuters witness saw police fire at least two teargas canisters at the crowd that had gathered there and force about 10 opposition supporters into vehicles.

An opposition representative told Reuters the scheduled news conference had been canceled.

The government spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

On Wednesday, the opposition coalition denounced alleged fraud during the polls. It said that its own results showed Sassou Nguesso headed for defeat and promised to make public its own vote tallies.

Retired General Jean-Marie Mokoko, a former army chief turned opposition figure who finished third in the election, called for a campaign of civil disobedience on Thursday, potentially setting the stage for protests.

In a statement late on Thursday, the U.S. State Department advised all parties to remain calm and asked that any challenges to the results be made in compliance with Congolese law.

“The United States remains concerned about the transparency and credibility of the electoral process, including reports of irregularities, and the prolonged communications blackout,” it said.

The government cut telephone and Internet communications ahead of the vote, a measure it said aimed to prevent unofficial election results circulating and causing unrest. Services were only restored on Thursday.

Congo’s constitution was changed by referendum last year, lifting term and age limits that would have excluded Sassou Nguesso from running for another term in office.

At least 18 people were killed by security forces during opposition demonstrations ahead of the October referendum.

Congo’s election has been watched closely across Africa, where several long-ruling presidents are trying to remove constitutionally mandated term limits so that they can stay in power.

NSC Releases Funds For All Africa Games

NSCThe National Sports Commission (NSC) has finally released funds for Nigeria’s participation at the 2015 All Africa Games (AAG) in Congo Republic but with conditions that the various sporting federations must account for every money spent.

The NSC Director-General, Al-Hassan Yakmut, hinted that about 2.9 billion naira was released to the commission to persecute this year’s games.

Yakmut also advised that only athletes with medal prospects should participate at Congo 2015.

Apart from the 19 sports that Nigeria would participate in, swimming and gymnastics have been placed on standby in the event.

The AAG 2015 is expected to hold in Brazzaville, Congo, between September 4 and 15, 2015.