BUNAMBIYU, TANZANIA — As the darkness falls on the plains around Bunambiyu, a remote village in Tanzania’s northern Shinyanga region, Elizabeth Julius switches on her solar lantern to finish sewing clothes for her customers.
Not long ago, nightfall would have forced her to close her tailoring shop, or use a smoky kerosene lamp. But with the solar-powered lamp, Julius can now sew for as long as she wants. ”Solar energy has entirely changed my life. I use it at work and at home, yet it doesn’t cost me anything,” said the 29-year-old entrepreneur and mother of two. ”I often wake up at night to work because I need the money to support my family,” she said.
Julius and her husband, Zablon, used to earn barely enough to meet the needs of their growing family, she said. But three years ago, Julius secured a $500 bank loan to buy solar lanterns, which she sold to customers.
With the additional income earned, she then sought another larger loan to expand her tailoring business to include a barber shop, mobile phone charging facility and consumer goods shop, all powered with solar energy. Now “we are more productive than ever before. On average we can get 50,000 shillings ($25) a day, even more,” she said.
Training for women
Julius’ success is due in part to training from Energy 4 Impact, a London-based nonprofit group that works in East and West Africa to improve access to energy. One focus of the group’s work is lifting rural women from poverty through clean-energy entrepreneurship.
The group’s new WIRE (Women Integration into Renewable Energy) value chain project aims to assist 400 female solar entrepreneurs by 2020 with training and finance, and help some of them provide 360,000 people in Kenya and Tanzania with access to clean cooking and solar lighting products.
The program is part of the Partnership on Women’s Entrepreneurship in Renewables (wPOWER) launched by the U.S. State Department in 2013.
Besides helping women grow their businesses, the effort aims to reduce climate changing emissions and deforestation for firewood, said Jerry Abuga, an Energy 4 Impact spokesman.
Godfrey Sanga, a program manager for Energy 4 Impact, said helping women create clean energy businesses makes sense, as women are good at creating networks in rural areas and can spread the use of clean power.
Since 2013, 1,200 micro-businesses and 200 small and medium ones in East Africa have received help, and seen their sales rise an average of 32 percent a year, project officials said.
Julius said business management and technology training through the project was key to helping her scale up her business and her income.
“I have nothing to complain about. Virtually everybody in the village is happy with what we are doing and our services are exclusively solar,” she said.
In Tanzania where only 21 percent of the population has access to grid electricity, according to Tanzania Ministry of Energy and Minerals, helping women become energy entrepreneurs is a useful way to improve lives of millions of people in rural areas, said Sanga, of Energy 4 Impact.
Almost 69 percent of the population in Kenya and 95 percent in Tanzania depend on firewood, charcoal and dung for cooking, the company said.
Smoky fires and kerosene lamps are a major source of household air pollution causing 14,300 deaths annually in Kenya and 18,900 in Tanzania, the company said.
While the use of solar energy has been rapidly growing in Tanzania, getting quality equipment from reliable suppliers can still be a problem, Sanga said.
Growing interest in solar energy has attracted unscrupulous sellers, whose poor-quality equipment can then hurt confidence in switching to solar, he said.
“Poor quality and substandard or fake products is one of the main factors that is discouraging people from using the clean energy technologies, due to frequent failures and general poor performance,” Sanga said.
The Energy 4 Impact effort helps make sure high-quality, reliable equipment — and the knowledge to maintain it — is available, he said.
The effort also aims to bring solar power to rural areas of Tanzania where many people still remain unaware of the technology. To boost interest, the project hopes to assist solar entrepreneurs in putting on roadshows, forums with women and youth groups, and media campaigns, he said.
“By showcasing successful businesses and demonstrating the benefits using the clean technologies in increasing productivity, incomes and saving costs, it is expected that many people will be interested in adapting and using them in their lives for themselves and their families,” Sanga said.
BY TOM JACKSON
Three Somali startups have shared US$15,000 in investment after coming out on top of the demo day that was the culmination of the inaugural Innovate Ventures accelerator programme.
Disrupt Africa reported earlier this year Innovate Ventures announced the 12 early-stage Somali startups accepted onto the inaugural Innovate Accelerator in Hargeisa, Somaliland, which was held in partnership with the Work in Progress! Alliance and VC4Africa.
The 10-week programme culminated with a demo day, which saw each team pitch their startup to a panel of judges from experts and entrepreneurs.Joint first place went to Guriyagleel, an online property rental startup, and MuraadSo, an e-commerce startup, who both received US$5,000 in seed investment.
Other winners on the day were SomSite and Hargeisa Daily Media, who received US$3,000 and US$2,000 respectively.
Over 180 applications were received for the programme, which also reached almost 250,000 people via SMS, billboards and online advertising, and was broadcast on several Somali TV channels.
Dr Abdigani Diriye, director of Innovate Ventures, said he had been impressed by the drive, commitment and traction of many of the startups in the programme.
“This further underscores the potential of the Somali tech scene and the wealth of talent and skill in Somaliland and Somalia,” he said. “We believe technology, innovation and entrepreneurship can be one of the drivers of economic prosperity in Somaliland and Somalia.”
Next year’s programme will aim to build on the foundations of this year and give the Somali tech startup scene a further jump start by engaging with more startups, partners and investors.read more...
The Ministry of Fishery and Marine Resources has taken several steps to counter the threat of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities which poses significant challenges to both livelihoods and marine resources across Somalia.
It amended the regulations governing the fishery sector, increased maritime coordination and joined in regional organizations and taskforces to actively enforce actions and eliminate IUU in Western Indian Ocean.
On October 7, the Federal Government prosecuted Greko 1, a Belize registered fishing vessel, after investigations and fined it for engaging an illegal fishery in the coast of Somalia. A collaboration with regional states, through Fish-i-Africa – an initiative that combines eight states to combat illegal fishing – has made it possible for Somalia to enforce its maritime laws. Clearly, the Government of Kenya, EU, USAID and FAO were all instrumental in tracking and identifying these IUU vessel operators and for that we express our gratitude.
“I can confirm today that the Central Bank of Somalia received a payment in full of the fine levied on the Greko 1, for offences committed in contravention of the Federal fisheries laws” said Deputy Federal Minister H.E. Mohamed Said Jama from the Ministry of Fishery and Marine Resources. Jama has also praised and acknowledged the role of Kenya for playing a pivotal role in enforcing actions.
In addition, Mr. Abdirazak D. Warsame, the Director General of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, expressed his appreciation to donors and partners for planning to introduce an advanced Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) in 2017 “to fight IUU as well as other crimes, including weapons, drug and human trafficking in Somalia waters.”
The Ministry aims to promote sustainable development and trade in the marine sector to generate employment opportunities and economic growth for all citizens. While investment in Somali fisheries and regulatory compliance are encouraged, unsustainable fishing methods with adverse impact to the marine ecology and illegal operations are not.
Furthermore, the Ministry intends to build on the achievements made so far by increasing enforcement and development of robust measures to prevent IUU fishing. Thus, sharing data and information between states will certainly contribute to that goal as we build a more unified front against IUU activities.
The Ministry calls for more actions from the International Community to assist efforts for tackling IUU fishing in Somalia. It also calls for INTERPOL and other law enforcement agencies to identify and prosecute, specifically, criminals involved in illegal fishing, including the supply chain and associated crime networks in the region.
Source:Ministry of Fishers and Marine Resource
We have something to show you, in case you are searching for the most beneficial food in the world.
We recommend you to try dates. They contain a lot of healthy properties that are able to soothe many health problems, such as strokes, heart attacks, cholesterol and hypertension.
In no time, they are going to build up the metabolism of the body, because they have great amounts of nutrients. Here are some of the main recommendations why they have to be included in your food menu and why they are so healthy.
8 HEALTHY EFFECTS OF DATES
Dates are rich in iron
Dates contain great amounts of iron, which is especially useful for those people who suffer from anemia, for children and for pregnant women. It is sufficient to consume 100 grams of dates per day, which mainly contain 0.9 mg of iron. It is about 11 % of the recommended daily intake of iron. The iron has also beneficial effects on the red blood cells and hemoglobin, mainly supporting the flow of oxygen through the blood.
Dates prevent diarrhea
Dates also have got great amounts of potassium, which is an essential mineral that prevents diarrhea by relieving the belly flora and the intestines, stimulating more effective bacteria in this way.
Dates soothe constipation
Dates have also got relieving properties that can soothe diarrhea and constipation. That is the reason why you should put dates in water to stay throughout the night, and then to drink it in the morning in order to increase good digestion. Its effects are going to be laxative and mild.
Dates control body weight
If you want to prevent excessive fat, you should eat dates on an empty stomach. Namely, it is going to control your body weight, since they have no cholesterol. You have to be familiar with the fact that they are rich in sugar, so be careful when consuming them.
Dates regulate cholesterol
Dates are also useful for the regulation of the unhealthy cholesterol or known as LDL, because they cleanse the blood vessels and prevent any blood clots.
Dates strengthen the heart
At night, soak the dates. In the morning, first strain them and then put out the seeds. You can either eat or blender the seeds.
Dates regulate blood pressure
People who mainly suffer from hypertension have to eat a lot of dates, because they are rich in potassium and do not have sodium. Namely, 5 to 6 dates nearly contain 80 mg of magnesium, an important mineral that is spread through the blood vessels and that improves the flow of the blood. Approximately, 370 mg of magnesium are useful for decreasing the blood pressure.
Dates prevent strokes
As previously mentioned in the article, dates have got great amounts of potassium, which is an important mineral that significantly improves the nervous system and also prevents any strokes. Therefore, if you take 400 mg of potassium a day, you have no reasons to worry about.read more...
The United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) on Tuesday attended a ceremony to acknowledge the completion of a new 20-bed hospital purpose-built for regional peacekeepers and the local community in Baidoa, the administrative capital of Southwest state.
UNSOS Director Amadu Kamara represented UNSOS at the ceremony, hosted by AMISOM Sector Commander Brigadier-General Gabremeskel Gebrezigabe, and attended by AMISOM Chief of Integrated Support services Brian Boucher as well as other members of the UN, AMISOM and Somalia National Army communities.
The hospital, operated by AMISOM, will also serve Somali security forces personnel and UN staff, and has outpatient and in-patient services, as well as x-ray, dental and laboratory facilities.
Gen. Gabremeskel said the first group of nurses for the hospital had been trained and were ready to take up their duties. “I would like to thank UNSOS departments of logistics and engineering for their support, for their determination and years of hard work,” he said.
Kamara lauded AMISOM troops for the level of security afforded to the ongoing electoral process in Somalia: “There have not been security incidents because of the way AMISOM conduct themselves. I would like to thank the staff and everyone for a wonderful job.”read more...