Thursday, 23 May 2013

Photonews: Nigeria, Ghana Presidents Attend Chinua Achebe Funeral Church Service

Presidents Goodluck Jonathan(2nd From Right) And John Mahama (Third From Right) At The Church Service

Videonews: The Chinua Achebe Interview By Oyiza Adaba(Part 1 And 2)

Opinion: Still On The Issue Of Wearing Hijab In Lagos Public Schools

By Nelson Ekujumi

Recently the public space was awash with interest on the issue of banning of the wearing of Hijab by Muslim female students in Lagos state public schools. The interventions by groups and individuals made interesting and enlightening reading. I was also delighted when the Lagos state government came out to debunk an earlier story of a ban on it but rather said that it was still consulting with stakeholders on the matter which is a good development for our society and democracy and should be encouraged.

The truth of the matter is that public schools like other schools have a dressing code which promotes discipline and unity and which every student is compulsorily expected to obey, failure which attracts sanction. Also, we have to realize that the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria asserts the secularity of the state which means that it frowns at the use of public space and resources to promote one religion at the expense of the other.

However, in as much as we recognize that the same constitution also guarantees every citizen the right to freedom of religion, it is my candid opinion that it would amount to illegality and unconstitutionality for a government which swore allegiance to the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria to now undermine the same constitution by allowing a particular religion to use the public space which is for all, while professing their faith.

That the public schools are a veritable ground for inculcating positive values and breeding future leaders without allowing them to be influenced by religious sentiments cannot be emphasized and this is very critical to the peace, progress and harmony of our state. Therefore, any action that might or is likely to be a breach of public peace either now or in the nearest future occasioned by religious sentiments must be avoided by any means necessary.

 It is very paramount that the peace, progress and harmony in our state must be sustained at all cost for the benefit of all.

(Ekujumi is the Executive Director,
Centre For Rights And Grassroots Initiative (CRGI).
He can be reached on: 08023172694, 07033853232)

News Release: AU Conference On Securing Africa’s Renaissance

What: Meeting on "Securing Africa’s Renaissance: The Role of Africa’s Private Sector Over The Next 50 Years"
Where: UNECA Conference Center in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
When: Friday, 24 May 2013
For Who: The meeting is organized by the African Union Commission, the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PACCI), UNDP, and the UN Global Compact. The meeting will assemble leaders from business, politics, academic institutions, and civil society organizations with specific attention to discuss the role of Africa’s Private Sector in securing Africa’s Renaissance in thenext 50 years.
Why: The 50th AUC Anniversary is providing the perfect backdrop to reflect on the role of the Private Sector in Africa’s development agenda and to vision the private sector Africa wants to see develop and how in the next 50 years. The conference is expected to generate a strong and sustainable demand for regional integration, the development of more inclusive markets, responsible business conduct, including responsible business investment and fair trade, while also supporting a renewed culture of responsible and dynamic leadership in business companies in Africa.
The Objectives Of The Conference Are To:
• Share insight on the critical role the private sector can play to help the continent reach its full economic and social potential and what measures can, or cannot, be taken to improve its efficiency, quality and participation.
• Look at the views of the business community with respect to measures to liberalize trade and eliminate investment barriers, promote the C-FTA, and engage in ways to implement functioning Public-Private Partnerships.
• Provide recommendations from business and investors – including entrepreneurs – to Governments on necessary policies to create and business-friendly environment.
• Encourage public and private partnerships (PPPs) to generate new opportunities to enhance regional integration and contribute towards Africa’s development, while delivering transformational and systemic change.
• Bring together decision makers, business operators, professionals, and other concerned Stake-holders to share their knowledge and reflect on the role for the private sector in the economic development and integration that will be vital to the future of Africa.
• Engage the private sector as a development partner to create jobs and prosperity.
• Spur private sector and Government actions and partnerships to overcome obstacles to responsible private sector development on the continent;
• Provide recommendations from business and investors, including entrepreneurs to Governments on necessary policies to create an investor-friendly environment
Wynne Musabayana
African Union Commission

Videonews: China Factory Contraction Signals Fragile Recovery