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The Christian Journal The Leading Christian Newspaper JULY 2017

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ISSUE #51

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Ghana’s President pledges to stop over reliance of foreign aid Page 7

Nigeria’s Vice President asks Churches to expose thieves Page 6

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Ghanaian student tragically drowns in Colorado Page 18


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8 Tremendously Important WaysThat Gratitude Can Change Your Life t’s amazing how one simple, easy, positive action can change so much in a person’s life. One of the things that has had the biggest effect on my life is the realization of the power of gratitude. Simply giving thanks. It has affected everything. It has made me a more positive person. A more productive person. A better achiever. A better husband and father and son and brother (at least, I like to think so). A happier person. I’m not perfect, but gratitude has made me better. Can it change your life as well? I can guarantee it. You might not get the exact same benefits as I have, but there’s no doubt in my mind that the simple act of gratitude on a regular basis will change anyone’s life, positively and immediately. How many other changes can claim to be that quick, that easy, and that profound? Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can incorporate gratitude into your life, and how it will change your life. These are just some examples, based on my experience and the experiences of others I’ve talked with, and not all will apply to your life. But pick and choose the ones you think will work for you. 1. Have a morning gratitude session. Take one minute in the morning (make it a daily ritual) to think of the people who have done something nice for you, to think of all the things in your life you’re grateful for. You won’t get to everything in one minute, but it’s enough. And it will instantly make your day better, and help you start your day off right. Can you think of a better use of one minute? 2. When you’re having a hard day … make a gratitude list. We all have those bad days sometimes. We are stressed out from work. We get yelled at by someone. We lose a loved one. We hurt a loved one. We lose a contract or do poorly on a project. One of the things that can make a bad day much better is making a list of all the things you’re thankful for. There are always things to be thankful for — loved ones, health, having a job, having a roof over your head and clothes on your back, life itself.

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3. Instead of getting mad at someone, show gratitude. That’s a major switching of attitudes — actually a complete flip. And so this isn’t always easy to do. But I can promise you that it’s a great thing to do. If you get mad at your coworker, for example, because of something he or she did … bite your tongue and don’t react in anger. Instead, take some deep breaths, calm down, and try to think of reasons you’re grateful for that person. Has that person done anything nice for you? Has that person ever done a good job? Find something, anything, even if it’s difficult. Focus on those things that make you grateful. It will slowly change your mood. And if you get in a good enough mood, show your gratitude to that person. It will improve your mood, your relationship, and help make things better. After showing gratitude, you can ask for a favor — can he please refrain from shredding your important documents in the future? And in the context of your gratitude, such a favor isn’t such a hard thing for the co-worker to grant.

I wanted to point out how gratitude can transform a marriage or relationship. If you constantly criticize your spouse, your marriage will slowly deteriorate — I promise you. It’s important to be able to talk out problems, but no one likes to be criticized all the time. Instead, when you find yourself feeling the urge to criticize, stop and take a deep breath. Calm down, and think about all the reasons you’re grateful for your spouse. Then share that gratitude, as soon as possible. Your relationship will become stronger. Your spouse will learn from your example — especially if you do this all the time. Your love will grow, and all will be right in the world. 5. Instead of complaining about your kids, be grateful for them. Many parents (myself included) get frustrated with their children. They are too slow to do things, they have a bad attitude, they can’t clean up after themselves, and they pick their nose too much. Unfortunately, sometimes parents will communicate that frustration to their children too often, and the kids will begin to feel bad about themselves. Many parents have done this, and while it’s not perfect, it’s a part of parenthood. But there’s a better way: follow the method above of calming down when you’re frustrated, and thinking of reasons you’re grateful to your child. Share these reasons with your child. And then take the opportunity to teach them, instead of criticizing them. 6. When you face a major challenge, be grateful for it. Many people will see something difficult as a bad thing. If something goes wrong, it’s a reason to complain, it’s a time of self-pity. That won’t get you anywhere. Instead, learn to be grateful for the challenge — it’s an opportunity to grow, to learn, to get better at something. This will transform you from a complainer into a positive person who only continues to improve. People will like you better and you’ll improve your career. Not too shabby. 7. When you suffer a tragedy, be grateful for the life you still have. I’ve recently lost an aunt, and my children recently lost a grandmother. These tragedies can be crippling if you let them overcome you. And while I’m not saying you shouldn’t grieve — of course you should — you can also take away something even greater from these tragedies: gratitude for the life you still have. Appreciation for the fleeting beauty of life itself. Love for the people who are still in your life. Take this opportunity to show appreciation to these people, and to enjoy life while you can. 8. Instead of looking at what you don’t have, look at what you do have. Have you ever looked around you and bemoaned how little you have? How the place you live isn’t your dream house, or the car you drive isn’t as nice as you’d like, or your peers have cooler gadgets or better jobs? If so, that’s an opportunity to be grateful for what you already have. It’s easy to forget that there are billions of people worse off than you — who don’t have much in the way of shelter or clothes, who don’t own a car and never will, who don’t own a gadget or even know what one is, who don’t have a job at all or only have very menial, miserable jobs in sweatshop conditions. Compare your life to these people’s lives, and be grateful for the life you have. And realize that it’s already more than enough, that happiness is not a destination — it’s already here.

4. Instead of criticising your significant other, show gratitude. This is basically the same as the above tactic, but

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church and ministry Bishop Akwasi Asare Bediako elevated to archbishop

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he General Executive Council, Resurrection Power and Living Bread Ministries International has elevated Bishop Akwasi Asare Bediako, the General Overseer of the church to the office of an Archbishop. The solemn ceremony which registered dignitaries including; Bishops across the various branches of the Church; was officiated by The Most Reverend Dr Samuel Richard Addae, President of International Council of Churches and Ministers of Great Britain. Archbishop's greatest attribute, which is an asset to himself and the Body of Christ – is his meekness. He is patiently humble with both the young and old which sometimes is misconstrued as weakness and taken for granted by some people. He is keen to influence future generations to

be more vigilant for Christ in this end time hence meeting guides, teaching and impacting his gifting and knowledge into the youth and recognising them as future leaders. The newly elected Archbishop, has been in the ministry for 30 years and is married to Stella and they are blessed with five children. In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Bishop Yaw Owusu Ansah, the Greater Accra Regional Overseer, REPLIB said Archbishop Asare Bediako had championed the course, after succeeding the late Francis Amoako, founder of the Church. He noted that the Archbishop had established numerous branches of the Church across the globe and had also been able to raise some of his pastors who had been with him for more than 20 years.

Ghanaian Catholics in Chicago donate $10,000 to church in Ghana

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he Ghanaian Catholic Community at the St. Malachy+Precious Blood Parish in Chicago, USA, have donated $10,000 to the Ghana Catholic Bishops' Conference (GCBC) to support the Catholic University College of Ghana (CUCG) at Fiapre near Sunyani and some designated Orphanages in the Country. Making the Presentation at a ceremony at the National Catholic Secretariat in Accra, Mr. Francis Sarfo Kantanka, Vice President of the Community, said their widow's mite of $5,000 was to support the activities of the Catholic University. He said the other $5,000 was to be given to Prof. Sakyiwa Olympio to facilitate her work for the completion and operation of boreholes for some designated orphanages in the country. The donation was made at a stakeholders Meeting between the Catholic Bishops, the Catholic University and identifiable Lay Societies and Association to brainstorm on modalities of setting up an Endowment Fund for the University. M r. S a r f o K a n t a n k a , w h o w a s accompanied by Nana Kofi Owusu Ansah, former Vice President of the Chicago Community, pledged the Community's continuous support to the Catholic University, which is the beacon of hope for the Church in Ghana. He promised that the Community in Chicago would organize more fundraising activities to support the University. He commended the Catholic Bishops of Ghana for putting up the University to enhance education in the country and

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lauded the CUCG authorities for properly managing the University to this stage in spite of the stiff competition and mushroom of Universities. Mr. Sarfo Kantanka assured the Bishops of the Community's support. Most Rev. Charles Palmer-Buckle, Vice President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops' Conference, who received the donation on behalf of the President and the Conference, expressed gratitude to the Ghanaian Catholic Community. He called for support from Ghanaians for the Endowment Fund for the premier Catholic University in Ghana and asked Ghanaian Catholics in the diaspora to continue to give their unflinching support to develop the University which was performing creditably well. In a letter to Most Rev. Philip Naameh, President of the GCBC and Archbishop of Tamale, signed by Rev. Fr. Moses Agorjesu, a Priest from the Koforidua Diocese, who is the Resident Priest at the St. Malachy+Precious Blood Parish, prayed that God will continuously direct, guide and strengthen the Bishops of Ghana. Present at the ceremony were; Most Rev. John Bonaventure Kwofie, Episcopal Chairman for Education and Board Chairman of the CUCG; Most Rev. Gabriel Edoe Kumordji and Most Rev. Emmanuel Kofi Fianu, Bishops in charge of Laity, Women and Youth.

He explained that after serving faithfully they had been raised to the level of Bishops and Apostles and in that regard there was the need for God to elevate Bishop Asare Bediako to another level. Rev Owusu Ansah noted that, Archbishop Asare Bediako could not have lifted himself up, so the senior men in the field such as Archbishop Addae, who is also the Presiding Archbishop of Shiloh International, stood in for the British organization. He said the vision of the Archbishop Asare Bediako and the entire Church was to continue propagating the gospel as well as admonish people to where God wanted them to be. Rev Owusu Ansah noted that in the near future, he would launch a charitable foundation, purposed to engage the minds, support the needs and facilitate the holistic health and wellbeing of the aged community He said Archbishop Asare Bediako's vision was to establish a university for the Church, complete an ongoing project aimed at honoring his successor.

Bishop Akwasi Asare Bediako

servant of God; irrespective of his position adding that “he is always ready to share and listen to the views and thoughts concerning the kingdom of God.” Most importantly, Archbishop Asare Bediako was very passionate about winning souls and raising people up from a negative background, to make sure that He said under Archbishop Asare Bediako's God used such people to his glory and leadership, the Church has established a described the Archbishop as a songwriter, Bible College. teacher, and a man, who was always in a He described the Archbishop as a humble prophetic mood.

Osinbajo Asks Churches to Expose Thieves

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cting President Yemi Osinbajo has called on churches in the country to ostracise those he described as thieves in their midst. Speaking at the Aso Villa Chapel yesterday on the occasion of Fathers' Day Celebration, Osinbajo said churches must hold to account, any of their members found to be living above his/her means. He said: "If the church says you are not allowed to steal and we will ostracize you in our midst if you did. If what a man has, does not measure up to what he has, if we found that a man has more money than he should have, if a man is earning a salary of a civil servant or a public servant and he has houses everywhere, we have to hold him to account. "But he must be held to account in the church. He must be told first in the church we will not allow you here. If the church says we will not accept you here or that we will expose you if you are stealing the resources of the country or stealing the resources of a private company or other establishment, where

you work, then we would not have the type of problem that we have in this country. If only the church does so, just the church." The acting president observed that the greed of politicians in Nigeria was impeding efforts towards the nation building. "Many would say the reason why they steal is because they want to have an arsenal for future political exploits. It is a lie. It is greed. In any case, even if you want to do that, you have no right to do it," Osinbajo said. Earlier in his sermon titled: "Fathers to the Rescue of Our Beloved Nation," the Prelate of Methodist Church of Nigeria, Samuel Kalu Uche, described the youths agitating for secession as miscreants. "They were not given proper education, they were not brought up to respect humanity," he said. The cleric also slammed the elders backing the youths in the agitation for disintegration.

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President Akufo Addo pledges to community NEWS stop Ghana's over reliance of foreign aid

President Akufo Addo Speaking at NYU

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ew York - President Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo Addo has reiterated his determination to stop the over reliance on foreign partners to support the country's economy by ensuring that the citizens do so with their own resources. "So you will be hearing a great deal about the Ghana that I am governing with your support ; that is a Ghana beyond aid; a Ghana that will free itself from a mindset of dependence, of charity, of aid and handouts. Our Ghana will be a nation that is going to mobilize her own resources to develop and confront its own problems", he stated. The President said this while addressing the Ghanaian community at a Town Hall meeting at the New York University in New York. The meeting was one of the highlights of his visit to participate in the United Nations High Level Oceans Conference, his first visit to the United

States since becoming Ghana's President. Bubbling with confidence, the Ghanaian Leader maintained that "We are capable of doing it. We have the means to do it". He said although the country was grateful for the support of her benefactors, it was not one path the nation should commit herself to. “It is not what Ghanaians should be proud of; that one will depend on others to be able to finance our budget, for others to set our priorities. We have to finance our own budget and set our priorities for ourselves," he stressed. President Akuffo Addo outlined the various efforts and strategies his administration was making to make the Ghanaian economy a robust one - eliminate corruption, strengthen existing public institutions and generate employment, especially for the youth. "The matter of corruption in our society, in our public life cannot be ignored if indeed we want to see a more prosperous future for the country', he noted. Regarding the establishment of the Office of Special Prosecutor, the President said that it will be independent of the executive, and shall be chosen in a transparent manner and also have security of tenure. He disclosed that a bill to set up that Special Prosecutor's office will be placed before Parliament soon and hoped that it will be passed by the middle of July. On the declaration of assets by public Office holders, he said Parliament will be asked to consider the possibility of making all assets public. To forestall the abuse in the public procurement, he said that the issue of sole sourcing was being replaced by

competitive bidding to eliminate corruption. To this end, he said a Minister of State has been assigned to ensure that there is transparency in the system. He announced that a National Identification system that will cover all Ghanaians will be re-launched by the end of this year for the purposes of planning and information. Expressing total support for the on-going nationwide campaign against illegal mining (Galamsey) that had resulted in polluting the country's rivers and destroyed the environment, President Akuffo Addo repeated that the willful destruction of our river bodies cannot happen under his watch. He said that very soon those engaged in the galamsey business will be tasked to fill the holes they created. The President reiterated that the government was not clamping down on the galamsey business because they are against mining, since the minerals have to be extracted, but what we are not going to allow is compromising the future of our country, drying up of our rivers, pollution of our atmosphere by illegal small scale mining. Shouts of approval echoed the halls when the President mentioned the Representation of the Peoples Amendment Law (ROPAL). Elated at the response, the President asked them to intensify their advocacy power to get the Electoral Commission to comply with the law that was passed more than eight years ago. He said under the constitution, it is only the EC that make it happen. He also invited Ghanaians in the Diaspora to attend the Diaspora Summit scheduled

for Accra in July 5 to 8 to map out how to mobilize and utilize their expertise and capital for the development of the country. Welcoming the President and his entourage, Ambassador Martha Pobee, Permanent Representative to the United Nations said the Mission and Consulate General in New York have active engagements with the Ghanaians in New York and acknowledged their dynamic and enterprising potentials for the development of Ghana. Dr. Cyballe Raver, Vice Provost, on behalf of the NYU, said that from their research work, the outlook for Ghana is vibrant and promising. The Moderator for the event, Prof Yaw Nyarko, mentioned that the New York University was really involved in the affairs of Ghana. For example, he said that the NYU has a campus at Labone in Accra, and had been providing technical support to farmers in Ghana, whilst a member of the NYU faculty was helping with emergency medicine, apart from others giving technical advice to the Ghana Commodities Exchange Project team. Before the proceedings, a minute's silence was observed in memory of the late Major Maxwell Mahama, who was cruelly murdered by some people of Denkyira Obuasi. Among those present at the event were the Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Minister, Shirley Ayekor Botchwey, Ms. Otiko Djaba, Gender, Children and Social Protection, Ms. Patricia Appiagyei, Deputy Minister of Environment, and other top government officials.

Notorious Nigerian kidnapper Yvonne Chaka Chaka honored has Ghanaian passport for her humanitarian work

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he Inspector General of Police for the Nigeria Police Force, Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, revealed that a top Nigerian kidnapper who was arrested by the Nigerian Police recently had a Ghanaian passport as well as properties and a family in Ghana. The Nigerian IGP further stated that Chikwudubem Onwuamadike, known simply as Evans in Nigeria, has confessed to being a former drug trafficker. The Nigerian police chief said the suspect always charged his ransom in dollars. Mr Idris made the revelation at the West Africa National Security Conference at the Kempinski Hotel in Accra on June 20, 2017. “Recently, we arrested a kidnapper… He has houses in Ghana and his family is based here in Ghana and that's the only kidnapper

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that kidnaps and demands ransom in dollars. He has collected about $6million so far in ransom and he can keep his victim for as long as six months even if it means paying this ransom in installments. It's sad that he keeps somebody for six months and doesn't release the victim until that money is paid in full,” Mr Idris said. “I was told his family is in Ghana and he has two houses in Ghana and I even have the addresses. Finally, the importance of actionable intelligence sharing cannot be overemphasized as today, through some exchange of information; Nigerians are outh African musician, Yvonne celebrating the arrest of the NigerianChaka Chaka has been honored for Ghanaian. I say Nigerian-Ghanaian her humanitarian work at an award because he's a Nigerian but he also has a ceremony in Los Angeles. She received the Ghanaian passport and that is something Global Good Power Award at the Black you people have to look at,” the Nigerian Entertainment Television International police chief cautioned.

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(BET) Awards ceremony. Yvonne Chaka Chaka is the UN's global ambassador in the fight against malaria and a patron of the Global Fund for the Fight against the spread of TB, HIV and Aids. This work led to the establishment of her foundation, according to her website. The Motherland singer has also served as ambassador for the University of South Africa, City of Johannesburg Tourism, and Nelson Mandela's 46664 campaign. The Princess of Africa shared the moment with Ilwad Elman, a Somali-Canadian social activist. Her foundation, Princess of Africa Foundation, has provided humanitarian aid across society. The singer has taught literacy, promoted the rights of women and works to protect children everywhere.

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COMMUNITY NEWS

Spain deports 23 Nigerians for committing various offences The Spanish Government on Tuesday deported 23 Nigerians for committing various offences in the country, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports. They were deported barely five days after 34 Nigerians were sent home from six European countries for committing immigration-related offences. NAN reports that 34 Nigerians were jointly deported by six European countries on June 22 for committing

immigration-related offences. The deportees were sent back home from Switzerland, Germany, Iceland, Austria, Belgium and Hungary. NAN gathered that the new set of deportees arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMlA) Lagos, at about 6.40 a.m on Tuesday. The new deportees, comprising 21 males and two females, were brought back in a privilege style aircraft with registration number EC-IZO.

Ghana News Agency

Joseph Alabi, the spokesman of the Lagos Airport Police Command, confirmed the development to NAN. Mr. Alabi said the deportees were received by officers of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and the Police. He said that others also on ground to receive them were officials of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the National Drug Law

Enforcement Agency (NDLEA). According to him, nine of the deportees, who were deported for drug-related offences, were handed over to the NDLEA. He said that two others, who were deported for criminal offences, were handed over to the police. Mr. Alabi said the remaining 12 deportees, accused of breaching the country's immigration rules, were profiled and allowed to go to their respective destinations.

March & Rally for World Refugee day in New York City

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Protestor carrying a sign”Refugee Welcome”

o bring attention to the need for more humanitarian refugee policies, African Communities Together and the City of Refuge Coalition as part of UN World Refugee Day, march and rally to Stop the Refugee Ban, Save Asylum and Defend Temporary Protected Status (TPS). in Manhattan New York on June 20th, 2017. At a time of global crisis, the U.S. should be a leader in helping Refugees. Today, we fight for all those who need us. In a world where violence forces thousands of families to flee for their lives each day, the time is now to show that the global public stands with refugees. The march which started at 59th Street and 5th Avenue and ended at Trump World Tower with a rally.

Ghana is the most expensive country in Africa - Report claims

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hana has been ranked one of the most expensive countries to live in the world. A latest ranking saw the country share place with the likes of Japan, Israel and Italy. The report, which used the rankings of price of food, transport fares and rent saw coming tops in the last twenty indices among all African economies thus sharing a position with Italy , Isreal, Kuwait, Japan and New Zealand. This troubling report, which was expected to see Nigeria or South Africa rather come up tops saw the small West African economy of

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Ghana take the lead – a development which questions claims that the Ghanaian economy is one of the best in Africa. The report also reechoes government’s decisive move to leverage the financial base of the country through some economic policy interventions as the one district one factory policy which is expected to create jobs for 750,000 persons, the free SHS propgrame aimed at making education affordable for all high school students and also the improvement of the LEAP programme which aims to bring down poverty among vulnerable communities.

“We are calling for an end to the refugee ban, the preservation of asylum and TPS (temporary protected status), and truly humanitarian immigration policy. We are invoking the spirit of the Statue of Liberty and the history of New York as a City of Refuge for immigrants and refugees from around the world.” the protestors were carrying their rafts. Inflatable dinghies. Protestor were head "chanting refuges are welcome here, no hate no fear. Some with signs "NO BAN, NO WALL, NO RAID" "MY PEOPLE WERE REFUGEES TOO" and many more. In a world where violence forces thousands of families to flee for their lives each day, the time is now to show that the global public stands with refugees.

Shackling deportees not right - Foreign Affairs Minister

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hana's Foreign Affairs Ministry says it will register the country's displeasure at the inhumane treatment the American government meted out to some 63 Ghanaians recently deported from the USA .The US government placed the 63 illegal Ghanaian immigrants in handcuffs for hours and only fed them bread and water. According to US Ambassador to Ghana, Robert Jackson, the immigrants were chained because they resisted voluntary repatriation. But reacting to the development, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, described the treatment as inhumane. She told Class News' parliamentary correspondent Ekow Annan: “From the debriefing, we were told or it has come to light that they were treated in a way that

they shouldn't have been treated and that is: put in chains from the time they embarked until the time they disembarked, so that is unacceptable . “We are going to get in touch with the American authorities, that is, the embassy here, for them to give us an explanation and express our concern that this is not right, it is inhumane, it shouldn't happen, it goes against the basic human rights of the people . “They may be illegal immigrants, they may even be convicted criminals, but they have served their sentences especially those who have been convicted of some kind of offense. They have finished their sentence and therefore they shouldn't be treated in such a way. So we are going to register our displeasure and hopefully it won't happen again.”

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AFRICAN NEWS Akufo-Addo can make a huge China Concludes difference for Africa - Kenneth Kaunda seminar to boost digital TV in Africa ZAMBIA

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he first President of independent Zambia has urged the President Nana Akufo-Addo to continue to shine the torch of Africa, and help deliver the progress and prosperity for the longsuffering masses of Africans. Dr Kenneth David Kaunda said “your contribution as President can make a huge difference not only for Ghana but for Africa and the world as a whole. Your becoming President of Ghana has come at a very remarkable time for Ghana and Africa.” Dr Kaunda made this known on Tuesday, when President Akufo-Addo paid a courtesy call on him at his residence in the outskirts of Lusaka, as part of his 3-day official State Visit to Zambia. Recollecting the role Ghana played through its first leader, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, in helping Zambia gain independence from colonial rule, Dr Kaunda urged all African leaders emulate this example and be each other's keeper. “The Bible tells us to love your neighbour as yourself. That neighbour could come from another colour, origin or religion. They may even be from a different political party, but we are all brothers and sisters. We work together to do our part in God's work. With love, we can overcome great challenges,” he said. President Akufo-Addo's visit to Zambia, he added, “nourishes the deep relationship that has been between us for a long time. We have collaborated in various fields of human relations. "This visit can enable the governments and peoples of Ghana and Zambia expand and deepen co-operation in various areas of human endeavour.” On his part, President Akufo-Addo explained his presence in Zambia necessitated him coming to pay his respects to and visit Dr Kaunda because he represents the symbol of the relationship

CHINA

between Zambia and Ghana. “It was you and Dr. Nkrumah who forged that relationship between our two countries and also worked to ensure the freedom of our continent. You are the icons of our proud generation – those who fought for our independence and freedom,” he said. The President continued, “So long as you are alive, and somebody like me comes to Zambia, I have to come and pay my respects, see how you are doing and thank God for your life and for the contribution you have made for the independence and development of our continent.” President Akufo-Addo underscored the importance of African leaders working together to achieve the common goal of development and improvement in the living standards of the African peoples. “Our circumstances are the same, and we have to continue to work together, across these colonial boundaries, to ensure that the welfare and progress of our people across the continent are the guiding considerations for those of us who have been blessed with the privilege of political leadership,” he added. President Akufo-Addo assured Dr Kaunda that “we will continue to walk along the path of solidarity that you fashioned so many years ago. There is a lot that we can gain in the exchanges between our two countries, and I believe that, in the time of President Lungu and myself, we will work closely and assiduously to make sure that our peoples benefit from the relationship.” The goals set by Dr Kenneth Kaunda, the President added, have not changed - “the need for all of us to work together and defend our interests and make sure that, within the comity of the world, our voice can be heard loud and clear, defending and promoting the interests of our people.”

RWANDA

Rwanda's Kagame sticks to used clothes ban despite U.S. threats

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wandan President Paul Kagame has stated that his country will proceed with the ban on used clothes despite threats by the United States to review trade benefits to Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. He told local media last week that Rwanda will choose to grow its local textile industry at the expense of being a member of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). “This is the choice we find that we have to make. As far as I am concerned, making the choice is simple, we might suffer consequences. Even when confronted with difficult choices, there is always a way,” he said after officially applying to run for a third term in office. “Rwanda and other countries in the region that are part of AGOA, have to do other things, we have to grow and establish our industries,” Kagame added. Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania

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and South Sudan decided to fully ban imported second-hand clothes and shoes by 2019, arguing it would help member countries boost domestic clothes manufacturing.As signatories to the AGOA trade programme which offers them duty-free access to the United States, their decision violates the conditions including eliminating barriers to U.S. trade and investment, among others. The U.S. Trade Representative said last Tuesday that it was reviewing trade benefits to the three countries in response to a petition filed by a United States body that complained that the ban “imposed significant hardship” on the U.S. used-clothing industry. U.S. imports from Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda totaled $43 million in 2016, up from $33 million in 2015 while exports were $281 million in 2016, up from $257 million in 2015.

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he Chinese Digital TV provider says moving from analog to digital will help boost Africa's cooperation with China and make satellite television affordable for Africans households The digital migration initiative embodies China-Africa cultural cooperation, helps improve television and radio signals in Africa, improves education through television and promotes the sound progress of the continent, says Ping Xinxing, President of StarTimes Group. Speaking at the opening of the 7th African digital TV development seminar organized by StarTimes Group in Beijing, Mr. Pang expressed confidence that due to cooperation with African countries, his firm can achieve “fruitful results” before the end of the year, adding, “I hope every African household can afford good digital TV signal”. The seminar, held under the theme “Universalize Digital TV and Enjoy Smart Life”, brought together over 400 participants including government ministers and top communication policy makers of 46 African and Asian countries. Amongst the senior African officials were

the ministers of information of Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Zambia, Malawi and Liberia. The gathering, which is held every year since 2011, intends to promote the development of digital television in Africa with its main focus on moving from analog to digitalization otherwise known as digital migration. The initiative will make the cost of subscription affordable for the average users of digital terrestrial TV in many African countries. The seminar is an important platform for communicating, sharing and adopting policy to improve the continent's digital signal. According to some experts, the expansion of digital television will strengthen Africa's media, enhance cooperation, boost culture exchange and share development experiences. StarTimes says it has invested US$260 million in the project with digital signals now reaching 81 large and middle cities across the continent, and the project also intends to further advance cooperation between China and Africa countries.

LIBERIA

Liberia Vote 2017: 26 Political Parties to Partake in October Elections Liberia's National Elections Commission (NEC) has certified four more political parties to the active 22 ahead of the October 10 general elections. Cllr. Jerome Korkoya, addressing reporters at his weekly news briefing, said the multiplicity of political parties, is a signal that Liberia's democracy is gradually growing. He said though the parties are certificated, the rules and guidelines of the Commission should be adhered to. “It is no problem in receiving the certificates, but there are lots of requirements that you will have to meet up with,” Cllr. Korkoya averred. The four parties certificated Monday include Redemption for Democratic Congress, Democratic Justice Party, and Liberia for Prosperity Party and Liberia Restoration Party. The NEC boss and entourage continuously apologized to party's guests for arriving late as the certification was scheduled for 4pm but they arrived at 5:15 pm. Boakai Dukuly, Commissioner of the NEC also apologized for the humidity of the James Fromoyan conference room, the only large auditorium at the commission. “We apologized for long lateness and

having the place hot, we are so sorry,” he said. However, the NEC boss disclosed that the certificates presented was not signed by all of the commissioner's due to busy schedules of commissioners, but pleaded with the parties to receive their certificates on Friday. Meanwhile, Ora Garway, National Chair of the Liberia Prosperity Party, said her party is prepared to take the mantle of power. Also, the head of the Liberia Restoration Party Rev. Joimah Woiwor said his party's goal is to make the country's economy stronger and make the country safer for all Liberians. Rev. Woiwor stated: “We will make the country return to itself, because of all these years, we still have a dead country and let me say this country was built on Christian principles. "Woiwor said his party is coming on the scene to correct the errors of the past and will make everyone part of the process. "This is not about me or anyone but for everyone in this country.” He added that his party, if elected will bring the requisite change and governance will be dispensed, according to citizen's will.

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COMMUNITY NEWS

Ghanaian student tragically drowns in Colorado

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uthorities have identified a 32year-old man who was drowned in Kenney Reservoir in Rio Blanco County, Colorado on June 21 as a petroleum engineering student at Colorado School of Mines. , Francis was swimming in the Kenney Reservoir during a field session in Rangely. The body of Francis Manu was recovered late that night after a day swimming with friends. At about 5 p.m., a friend flagged down a Rio Blanco County sheriff's deputy, saying Manu had slid into the water off the cliffs and had not resurfaced. The Petroleum Engineering Field Session that Manu was attending at the time of the incident was cut short, according to the school. A witness said Manu was underwater for about five minutes. Friends who witnessed the incident jumped in to attempt to rescue Manu but were unable to find him. Divers recovered Manu's body from

approximately 30 feet of water around 8:20 p.m. An autopsy was scheduled for the next day in Grand Junction. He was a final year student pursuing BSc in Petroleum Engineering. Francis planned to graduate in December this year. The School in face book post said "As many of you already know, Field Session C ended in tragedy with the accidental drowning of student Francis Manu. We are all deeply saddened by this loss and our support goes out to his family and loved ones. The PE Department is holding an informal Remembrance and Support Session on Tuesday, June 27th from 4-5 pm in the Marquez Atrium. This is an opportunity to gather, connect and remember. Counselors will also be present if you need support or would like to learn more information about the services they provide for the students of CSM."

Vatican aide Cardinal George Pell charged with historical sexual abuse

Deutsche Welle

Cardinal George Pell

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atican finance chief Cardinal George Pell has been charged with multiple sexual offenses, Australian police say. Pell is now the highest-ranking Vatican official to be charged in the church's abuse scandal. Pell, who was interviewed in Rome by Australian police last October over allegations, was charged with a number of counts of sexual abuse on Thursday. "Victoria Police have charged Cardinal George Pell with historical sexual assault

offences," Victoria State Police Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton told reporters. "There are multiple complainants relating to those charges," he said. The 76-year-old Pell was charged by summons to appear before a Melbourne court on July 18, Patton said. Pell, who is his country's most senior Catholic cleric, strongly denies the allegations, which date back to his time archbishop of Melbourne and as a priest in the town of Ballarat. He is now become the highest-ranking Vatican official to ever be charged in a sexual abuse scandal that has dogged the Catholic church for years. Pell has appeared three times in a national inquiry into institutional responses to child sex abuse. During those appearances he admitted that he "mucked up" in dealing with paedophile priests in Victoria state in the 1970s. Pell was ordained in Rome in 1966 and returned to Australia in 1971. He left for the Vatican in 2014 after being hand-picked by Pope Francis as part of an effort to make the church's finances more transparent.

From Ghana to go Certificate: Distance Learning Student Achives Goal

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etty Prempeh-Twimasi has an unwavering assurance in the power of God and his faithfulness to see her through difficult circumstances. As a wife and mother of three, she lives with assurance in her call to ministry, and is undeniably certain that receiving a GO certificate in biblical studies and theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) was the right decision in her pursuit of higher education. “I mean, this is more than what I can dream of,” said Prempeh-Twimasi. “It’s not easy. Distance learning- it’s not easy. Online- it’s not easy. But when you leave everything to the Holy Spirit, He will lead you.” Prempeh-Twimasi spent the first 10 years of

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her life in Ghana before she moved to Belgium. In fact, taking classes in an Englishspeaking theology school was quite a miracle for her. “If you see me learning theology, it’s the grace of God because I didn’t understand English. I was speaking Dutch,” said Prempeh-Twimasi. While in Belgium, she received her bachelor’s degree in catering and began working at 20 years old. However, her career path began to take a turn when she met her husband, a New Yorker, and the two married in May of 2000 and moved to the Bronx. Prempeh-Twimasi soon realized that catering would not be a successful business for her in the United States and decided that pursing health education would be a more marketable trade. She became a certified nursing assistant and worked in a hospital for roughly 10 years until she decided go a different direction in her medical profession. She earned an associate’s degree in office medical administration from the New York Institute of Medical Careers and transferred to Bronx Community College to continue studying nursing, but the Lord was gradually redirecting her. First, it was due to pregnancy after becoming a certified nursing assistant. Then it was due to another pregnancy after finishing her degree in office medical

administration. The final confirmation of a closing door came through a car accident that left her with a disc bulge in her back, making it difficult and painful to walk. The culmination of these circumstances led her to the point of being called into ministry and eventually to SEBTS. “Everything was a mess,” she said, “until [God] told me, ‘It’s time for you to accept the call I have on you. You…cannot compare yourself to anybody. I [know] you and I want you to do my work.’” Prempeh-Twimasi certainly stays busy in ministry. She hosts radio programs, speaks to different churches, counsels and is involved in her local church, helping on the prayer team and teaching Sunday School. Ministry did not take a backseat even when faced with challenging seminary classes and taking care of her family. She regimented her time in order to stay focused on her goal and not fall behind. She even had a roster, which told her what needed to get done that day. While the kids went off to school, her morning consisted of speaking on the radio and call-in counseling until about noon. Then it was off to studying, which usually lasted two or three hours. In the evening, she took care of her family until around 9 p.m. when they went to bed. While the family slept, Prempeh-Twimasi found herself immersed in her studies yet again,

sometimes until midnight. “I really discipline[d] myself,” she said. “Otherwise, I couldn’t have time.” Her encouragement to students considering a GO Certificate is to “go for it.” “It’s tough, but don’t lose hope,” she said. “You will get there. You will actually get there no matter what.” And with hard work and determination, she has. Prempeh-Twimasi has seen the Great Commission emphasized at SEBTS and understands the trust involved in allowing the Lord to lead, even when the future seems unclear. Sometime[s] because of [our] flesh, we are always talking like, ‘Oh, how will I do this? Oh, how will I go or how will I do?’” said Prempeh-Twimasi. “But remember that He has sent you. He is going to provide. He is going to lead you. He is going to help you- to commission you.” The GO certificate in biblical studies and theology offers seven courses that are selfpaced and provide foundational seminary education for lay church members. Courses include the following: hermeneutics, Christian theology, Christian history, contemporary issues in Christian ethics, Great Commission studies, Old Testament and New Testament. To learn more about certificates services, visit cert.sebts.edu.

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Remember What God Has Done

By Dr. Steve Danso The Israelites had just been relieved of the annihilation they suffered at the hands of the Egyptians and were on their way to the Promised Land. According to Exodus 12:21, “By the day, the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.” God guided the Israelites to scale hurdles upon hurdles, yet they whined and complained about being neglected. Then in Joshua 3, God devised a new plan. When God parted the Jordan River so that the people could pass through, He instructed them to gather 12 stones from the Jordan to set up as a memorial for what God did for the people that day. God knows that we always forget who controls our lives. We live everyday seething at our failures and frustrations and forget how God has been faithful to us. When King David paid tribute to God in Psalm 3:5

by declaring: “I laid down and slept; I awaked, for the Lord sustained me,” he knew how God had been the catalyst of his existence here on earth. When we wake up in the morning, stretch ourselves out of bed and hear stories of people dying in their sleep, let's give glory to God because He sustained us! We cannot give God His due when fortunes swing in our favor and appear not to even remember that He has done so much for us when the odds stack against us. The fact is, if we believe that we are God's creations, nothing should distract that thought that God is life. As long as we continue to breathe, He is with us in good and bad times. When we feel overburdened and dispirited, we should never get close to saying our last prayers because God is still who He is and never changes. When Job found himself on the precipice of unprecedented crisis, his wife, in a compassionate outburst of concern from a wife, questioned his integrity and asked him to curse God and die. But Job hit back. “You talk like a foolish woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad? (Job 2:10). Job impugned that no matter how awry things go sometimes, the grace and faithfulness of God must not be lost on us. David did the same. When he offered to fight Goliath against the backdrop of a cautiously optimistic King and his people, he touted his previous success in

prevailing against predators who invaded his camp. Read what he told King Saul: "Thy servant kept his father's sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God” (1 Samuel 17:34-36). David knew that if God had done it in the past, He was certainly doing it again. And he was right! David killed Goliath in the encounter. The Israelites were living witnesses to the protection and guidance they received from God when they left Egypt, yet were not fully convinced about their fortunes entering the Promised Land. In his exasperation, David highlighted the intransigence of the Israelites: "They kept not the covenant of God . . . and forgot his works and his wonders that he had shewed them" (Psalm 78:10-11). Moses also saw the need at a point to offer his advice: "Thou shalt not be afraid of them: but shalt well remember what the Lord thy God did unto Pharaoh, and unto all Egypt . . . the signs, and the wonders, and the mighty hand, and the stretched out arm, whereby the Lord thy God brought thee out: so shall the Lord thy God do unto all the people of whom

FILLING UP

thou art afraid" (Deuteronomy 7:1819). Moses was referring the Israelites to the signs and wonders God performed in bringing them out of Egypt and his belief that He would do it again. Like the Israelites, there are times when we face challenges and forget how God came to our rescue in similar situations. To such people, God is saying, 'just look back and remember what I did for you.' When the people of Israel were very apprehensive of their future, the Prophet Isaiah reminded them about God's promise: “I, even I, am He who comforts you. Who are you that you should be afraid of a man who will die, and of the son of a man who will be made like grass? And you forget the Lord your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth” (Isaiah 51:12-13). You were bogged down by a debilitating disease that threatened your very survival, but somehow, you overcame it; you lost a dear one that tore your world apart, but you bounced back; you lost your job that kept you guessing at life, but you survived. These episodes aren't going away while you are still breathing, but when they resurface, remember what God did in your previous situations and stand firm. He is sure to do it again.

Dr Steve Danso is a Pastor at Immaculate Pentecostal Church of Christ , Bronx NY

Religious Liberty Victory at the Supreme Court

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oday is a good day for religious freedom. The U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer. By a 7-2 majority, the Court ruled that government cannot deny faith-based institutions publicly available benefits solely because of their religious status. As general superintendent of the Assemblies of God (USA), I had a particular interest in this case, because it originated in the State of Missouri, where the AG national office is located. Article I, Section 7 of the Missouri Constitution includes this provision: That no money shall ever be taken from the public treasury, directly or indirectly, in aid of any church, sect or denomination of religion, or in aid of any priest, preacher, minister or teacher thereof, as such; and that no preference shall be given to nor any discrimination made against any church, sect or creed of religion, or any form of religious faith or worship.

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It goes without saying that neither the Assemblies of God as an institution nor I as a minister support the use of public monies to support the Church’s evangelistic ministry. By the same token, however, local churches and faith-based ministries shouldn’t be denied public benefits simply because they are religious. But that’s exactly what the State of Missouri did. Here are the facts of the case: In 2012, Missouri’s Department of Natural Resources administered a program that awarded grants to nonprofit organizations to help them install child-friendly playground surfaces made from recycled tires. Like many churches in Missouri, Trinity Lutheran operated a preschool and daycare center, and it applied for a grant. Despite ranking 5th among 44 grant applicants, Trinity Lutheran’s grant was denied because of Article I, Section 7 of the Missouri Constitution. The facts revealed that the preschool and

daycare center was denied a public benefit solely because it was operated by a church. It didn’t matter that the grant was for a secular purpose—a child-friendly playground using recycled tires. And it didn’t matter that Trinity Lutheran ranked high on a scale that factored in the poverty of the children being served by the preschool. The only thing that mattered was that Trinity Lutheran was a church. That logic would put faith-based charities at a distinct disadvantage. And the U.S. Supreme Court agrees. In a decision written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the Court held that the State of Missouri violated the Free Exercise Clause o f t h e U . S . C o n s t i t u t i o n ’s F i r s t Amendment. Missouri forced Trinity Lutheran to make an awful choice: “It may participate in an otherwise available benefit program or remain a religious institution.” Summing up the Court’s arguments, Chief Justice Roberts concluded: “the exclusion of Trinity Lutheran from a public benefit for

PENEWS

which it is otherwise qualified, solely because it is a church, is odious to our Constitution all the same, and cannot stand.” I am heartened by the Court’s decision. Assemblies of God congregations in Missouri and throughout the U.S. are committed to the common good. We long to see our communities thrive and flourish. Toward that end, we engage in numerous charitable enterprises that have secular benefits, even though they spring from religious identity. Now, we can compete for public benefits for which we are qualified without worrying that we will be discriminated against because of our religious identity. That’s a win for religious freedom as well as for the welfare of the communities we serve.

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Donald Trump's lack of interest in Africa

IMMIGRATION

Deutsche Welle

US President Donald Trump

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n his first half year in office, the US president has spoken very little about Africa, except in the context of a budget proposal that demands deep cuts to the US development aid in Africa. A few weeks after he came into office, the US President Donald Trump made two phone calls to African leaders: Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and South African President Jacob Zuma, assuring them that he was willing to strengthen bilateral relations with the two African powerhouses. In March, he made another phone call, this time to Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta. But since then, nothing much has moved in US policy towards Africa. In fact, it seems that Africa is off the agenda in Washington as the White House is preoccupied with domestic scandals, and topics like immigration, terrorism, and countries like Iran and North Korea. One major problem is that even after six months in power, Trump still hasn't filled some important posts dealing with Africa at

the State Department, which deals with US' foreign policy. Bronwyn Bruton, Deputy Director of the Africa Center at the Atlantic Council, said that the Africa policy is not made at senior levels. "Right now, there is an acting assistant director. But if you are not appointed, you're not empowered," Bruton said. "So essentially, Africa policy is on hold," she added. Opportunity for African dictators Trump's approach towards foreign policy, in general, doesn't put a lot of emphasis on building strategic alliances based on shared values, or long-term development to improve economic conditions and good governance. Instead, he favors a transactional approach, looking for shortterm gains through bilateral deals. Bruton thinks this could be good news for dictators and authoritarian regimes throughout Africa, and bad news for human rights activists. Similarly, the Obama administration marginalized some governments like Zimbabwe, Sudan, and Eritrea - countries that have had extensive criticism leveled against them for their human rights record. "Countries like these are full of anticipation and happiness that there is a president who doesn't care very much about human rights and is willing to be fully transactional in his relationship with other governments," Bruton said. Many observers among the United States diplomatic corps and foreign policy establishment fear that a neglect of longterm alliances and regional cooperation could lead to a political and economic vacuum in Africa - a gap other countries such as China, India or Brazil are only too eager to

fill. "There's a contest for resources from Africa. And China is way ahead, and doing a lot more for Africa and a lot more in Africa," Ayodele Kusamotu, a Nigerian lawyer said at a US-African Business Summit in Washington. "It seems like the policy of the administration is to look inwards, to put America first and do less business with other people." The 2017 US-Africa Business Summit held 13-16 June in Washington, DC, offered one of the first opportunities for the US and Africa's private sector to engage with the Trump Administration. Potential trade partner Participants at the summit pointed out that they expect a different attitude from their American counterparts. "We need the US to reconsider the way they are dealing with Africa. We don't need aid and some subsidies," Abdu Suleye Diop, who represented Morocco's business community at the summit, said. Although not all expectations of African business leaders are likely to be fulfilled - the fact that the US-African business summit went ahead and was even attended by US Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, was seen by many participants as a good sign. After all, the summit had originally been initiated by Trump's predecessor Barack Obama, and Donald Trump has wasted no time in many other areas to reverse Obama's policies as much as he can. Trade could, in fact, be one of the areas where the new US government will not only continue policies of the Obama administration but start some new initiatives in the near future. Brian Neubert, the Director of the US State Department's

Kenya first in Africa to enroll new generic AIDS drug

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bout 27,000 Kenyans living with HIV will receive a new generic treatment, Dolutegravir (DTG). The plan is to make the drug available nationwide later this year. DTG is the new class of antiretroviral treatment for people with HIV. It has been accessible in high-income countries for infected persons, who have

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not been treated with antiretroviral therapy before, or have developed resistance to ARV's. About 15 percent of HIV patients are resistant to the old drug, efavirenz. "I had constant nightmares and no appetite," said Nairobi resident Doughtiest Ogutu, who started taking the drug this year because of her resistance to other treatments. "My appetite has come back. My body is working well with it." Ogutu, who has been living with HIV for 15 years, said her viral load - the amount of HIV in her blood - has fallen tenfold from 450,000 to 40,000 since she started on DTG. Kenya has 1.5 million HIV-positive persons. The east African nation has made great strides in addressing HIV in its public medical facilities according to Sylivia Ojoo, Kenya country director for the University of Maryland School of

Medicine. Ojoo is monitoring the introduction of DTG in Kenya. "The health systems we have in place allow for rapid deployment," said Ojoo. "It makes it relatively easy to introduce new interventions." High cost The original version of the drug is accessible in private sector clinics in Kenya but at the very high price. A pack of 30 pills can cost up to $50 (45 euros). UNITAID's operations director Robert Matiru said they're working to bring medicines to market quickly and to reduce manufacturing costs by allowing generic companies to access patents for a small royalty and produce them cheaply for the developing world. "Patients who can afford it or who have an insurance scheme that covers it can access it at private clinics, but our initiative is to roll-out where the

Regional Hub in Johannesburg said there are trade opportunities with many African markets since Africa is already investing in its infrastructure. "There are opportunities for American companies with technology and products and services. And then, of course, many African countries produce products for the US market," Neubert said. Free hand for US generals The one area, however, where the United States is almost certain to step up its engagement in Africa is the military, particularly fighting terrorist groups - one of the central campaign promises of Donald Trump during last year's elections. Even under Obama, the US extended its network of military bases throughout the continent to gather intelligence and carry out drone strikes. President Trump is giving his military a free hand to go even further, said Katie Zimmerman of the conservative think tank, 'American Enterprise Institute.' "The most significant to date has been with regard to Somalia which came through on March 17, where US forces now have the ability to conduct offensive attacks against al-Shabab in protection of our partners on the ground," Zimmerman said. She warned though that focusing exclusively on military solutions will not be enough to deal with the transnational threat terrorism poses to the United States and her allies in Africa. Military might, economic development, and good governance have to go hand in hand to maintain and improve stability. It might not be a bad thing that Donald Trump has not had the time to put his mark on America's Africa policy yet, so at least some continuity is preserved at least for the time being.

HEALTH majority of patients exist, and that's in public sector," Matiru told DW. Patients can now access the drugs free of charge in public clinics. The Executive Director of the National Empowerment Network of people living with HIV/AIDS in Kenya, Nelson Otwoma said that DTG came at an opportune time when Kenya decided to end AIDS as a public health threat before 2030. "DTG has come to help us fulfill that dream and ambition." Sub-Saharan Africa has been at the epicenter of the HIV epidemic for decades. Out of the 34 million HIVpositive people worldwide, 69% live in sub-Saharan Africa. According to World Health Organization, there are about 23.8 million infected individuals in all of Africa.

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Issue 51 July 2017 The Christian Journal  

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