First time Seychelles National Youth Assembly elected and not chosen

The principles of democracy and the value of civic education are being further inculcated into young people in Seychelles now that members of the island nation’s youth assembly are elected instead of being chosen.

A new cohort of the Seychelles National Youth Assembly (SNYA) took their oath of allegiance recently, following campaigns and elections in all state, private secondary schools, and post-secondary institutions of the three main islands.

This year’s process – a first for the archipelago in the western Indian Ocean – also saw the election of the speaker, deputy speaker, clerk, and deputy clerk when the group assumed office last month.

Said Lesperance, aged 14 from Praslin Secondary School, is the Speaker of the 18th SNYA and also the youngest speaker in the history of the institution.

The youth assembly is an educational forum that aims at providing young people with leadership potential, nurture and enhance their abilities to research, compile and present fact-based arguments on issues which impact the lives and developments of youth of Seychelles.

When addressing the new cohort of the youth assembly, the new chief executive of the Seychelles National Youth Council (SNYC), Albert Duncan, said that young people are considered the heart and body of Seychelles and cannot be ignored or sidelined in key decision-making processes.

“With the first elected Youth Assembly, we make a commitment that your voice will be heard in all matters concerning youth,” said Duncan, stressing that “only through meaningful involvement and participation can young people exercise their full citizenship. And only through meaningful dialogue across generations can we all contribute to finding solutions to the challenges we face.”

The chief executive added: “Even at this age, do not ever underestimate your capability to make a difference as you have the ability to make positive contributions towards your schools including at the national level. You have taken a big step to come forward, we are very proud of you and your responsibility will be to make heard the voice of the youth.”

The SNYA election was a collaboration between the SNYC, the Ministry of Education, the British High Commission, the Electoral Commission and the Youth and Sports Department of the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Family.

The electoral process started in February, with the campaigning and election process which ended with the swear-in ceremony of the assembly members in April. During that time, officers involved with the process as well as students were given training relating to the election processes, the timeline and procedures leading towards the election, nomination day, campaigning, and cooling off period.

In addition to support from electoral officers, local observers from a non-profit organisation – Association for Rights, Information and Democracy (Arid) – followed the process.

The Minister for Youth, Sports, and Family, Marie Celine Zialor, told SNA on Tuesday that aside from reinforcing the importance of democracy the new process is in line with changes that the new government wants to bring in terms of meritocracy and working hard for something that one wants instead of same being handed over to them.

“What better way to start if not with our young people? If you want to earn something, work for it, and during the process young people get to develop and gain attributes such as responsibility and working hard. This will also develop and assist them in the long run to develop the right leadership attributes and qualities,” said Zialor.

The minister added that the process had gone well and hoped the change that has been taken with the youth assembly would lead to people, especially the younger ones, to get another perspective of democracy.

On his part, the principal secretary for youth and sports, Ralph Jean-Louis, stressed the importance of civic education to better equip and empower citizens to participate in democratic processes.

“At a very young age they will be engaged in a democratic election process for the Seychelles National Youth Assembly, which is an educational platform from which the youth of this country between the age of 14-17 years old will have a voice through their elected representatives,” said Jean-Louis.

Begitta Jeannevol, a former member of the parliament, shares her views on the whole process, which was fully funded by the British High Commission in Seychelles.

“I agreed to the proposal as being a former youth assembly myself from the 2nd cohort I was chosen and not elected. I recall the complaints though we tried to explain that the youth assembly is an educational program and not a political one. Thus, doing it democratically at the school level does a bit of that, the students are not politically motivated yet,” she said.

Jeannevol added: “Secondly being a former member of parliament who then went through the election process at a very young age myself, to me it was kind of exciting to see the very young ones going through that. Though they are not real political elections. But they had to campaign. They also had posters and held talks so as to convince others to vote for them. “

Jeannevol commended the British High Commission, which supported the process from the concept stage to its completion, and funded training and capacity building.

“Also, the process was above my expectations. I admit that I was a bit in doubt that the students would be scared to go into elections being too young; they were not ready for it, I thought but on the contrary, both girls and boys went through the process head on,” she added.

With this cohort, the Seychelles National Youth Assembly resumed its work after a two-year interruption due to COVID-19. Elected on a one-year mandate, the members will start meeting this month. They have seven sittings during their mandate and will meet at six-week intervals.

Source: Seychelles News Agency

Lawrencia Dziwornu elected NDC’s parliamentary candidate for Akuapem South

Ms Lawrencia Dziwornu has been declared the winner of the National Democratic Congress’ parliamentary primary in the Akuapem South Constituency of the Eastern Region.

She won with a significant margin, beating her closest contender by some 130 votes, and is expected to lead the party in the constituency for the 2024 general election.

Ms Dziwornu polled 470 votes out of the 906 valid votes cast, defeating Mr Paul Offei, the main contender, who had 340 votes.

Samuel Aboagye Esa polled 51 votes, and Samuel Nuamah Donkor had 39.

Her victory, which has been attributed to her popularity, also signifies the trust and confidence the NDC has in her ability to win the seat and represent the constituents in parliament.

Ms Dziwornu said the victory was for the party and not for her personal benefit, and urged her supporters not to mock opponents who lost the elections.

‘It is time for the party to re-strategise its actions and prepare properly to win the constituency’s first parliamentary seat in 2024,’ she said.

She called for unity and hard work by all party faithful in the preparation towards the next elections.

Mr Benjamin Amankwah, the Akuapem South Municipal Election Officer, said for the presidential primary, Mr John Mahama won by 880 votes as against seven by Mr Kojo Bonsu in the constituency.

The EC registered 96.5 per cent turnout of the 936 delegates projected to vote, he said, and applauded the delegates for their massive turnout.

‘This shows that citizens and party supporters now understand inclusiveness in governance,’ he said.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Dzudzorli Gakpe retains Keta parliamentary slot

Mr Kwame Dzudzorli Gakpe, the incumbent Member of Parliament (MP) of Keta, has retained his position as the parliamentary candidate to contest the 2024 general election on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress.

He polled 486 votes to beat other aspirants.

Dr Senanu Kwasi Djokoto gathered 329 votes for the second position, whilst Dr Emmanuel Kojo Jones-Mensah polled 265 votes.

Madam Enyonam Apetorgbor had 20 votes while Paul Mensa Voegborlo had zero. There were three rejected ballots.

Mr Philip Adzomani, the Keta Municipal Electoral Officer, declared Mr Gakpe as the parliamentary candidate elect.

A total of 1,103 delegates out of the projected 1,112 took part in the elections, while 1,106 voted for the presidential primary.

Mr Gakpe, in his victory speech, thanked God and all delegates for reposing the trust in him for another second term slot and called for unity towards massive victory for the NDC in the next general election.

‘The victory is for NDC not me alone and it is time for us to come together as one family and forge forward for better things,’ he added.

Mr Wisdom Seade, the Keta NDC Chairman, commended the electoral officials, the police and party members for a peaceful and successful election.

‘NDC is the winner and there is no loser, since we are under the same umbrella,’ he added.

In the Presidential primary, Mr John Dramani Mahama garnered 1,095 votes to beat Mr Kojo Bonsu, who polled four votes, with 7 rejected ballots.

The election was held at the Vodza Roman Catholic Mission School.

Source: Ghana News Agency

NDC chooses Mahama as flagbearer for the 2024 race

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Sunday chose former President John Dramani Mahama to lead the party in the 2024 presidential election.

Mahama polled 297,603, or 98.9 per cent, of the votes while his challenger, former Kumasi mayor Kojo Bonsu scored 3,181, or 1.1 per cent.

‘On behalf of the chairperson of the Commission, I duly declare Mr John Dramani Mahama duly elected with 98.9 per cent of the votes cast,’ Dr Serebour Quaicoe, Director of Electoral Services of the Electoral Commission (EC) announced at the party’s headquarters in Accra.

He indicated that 305, 437 votes were cast in the presidential primaries. Valid votes were 300,784, whilst 4,653 votes were rejected.

Even before the EC officially confirmed the former President’s victory, Mr Kojo Bonsu, congratulated Mr Mahama for winning the party’s presidential contest.

In a Facebook post, the former Kumasi Mayor disclosed that he had called Mr Mahama to congratulate him on his victory.

‘I have called H.E. John Dramani Mahama to congratulate him for the landslide victory. Just as I have indicated throughout my campaign, regardless of the outcome of this election, I will continue to serve the NDC party,’ he said.

Mr Bonsu became the sole challenger to former President Mahama following the abrupt withdrawal of former Finance Minister, Dr Kwabena Duffuor from the race on Friday.

Dr Duffuor accused the party’s leadership of breaching the agreement and assurance given to the three presidential aspirants to resolve the issues raised about irregularities in the party’s voter register before Saturday’s polls.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Foga Nukunu congratulates Madam Dzifa Gomashie

Mr Foga Nukunu, a Parliamentary Candidate aspirant for Ketu South in the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) primary elections, has congratulated Madam Abla Dzifa Gomashie, the incumbent Member of Parliament, on her victory.

‘I wish to congratulate the Member of Parliament for her victory,’ Mr Nukunu posted on his Facebook page after the declaration of the election results Saturday.

Madam Gomashie polled 1,545 votes as against Foga Nukunu’s 913 and Jim Morti’s 26, to emerge winner and secure her place as the Party’s Parliamentary Candidate for the 2024 Parliamentary election.

Mr Nukunu said also in the post that, ‘So long as I remain a member of the party, I will remain loyal to the party.’

He expressed gratitude to his supporters and urged them to work for the party and the candidate-elect to garner more votes for the party.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Labour Market, Migration Information System Crucial To Avoid Problems of Citizens Working Abroad: PM Abiy

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said the labor market and migration information system, operationalized by the Ministry of Labor and Skills is crucial to fill foreign employment gaps and avoid problems which citizens have been facing abroad.

The premier made the remark today after visiting the Labour Market and Migration Information System, which was developed and put into operation by the Ministry of Labor and Skills.

“Today, I visited the Labor Market and Migration Information System, which has been put into operation by the Ministry of Labor and Skills.”

“The role of the system in modernizing the information management system of citizens working abroad in avoiding the problems that they used to face and filling employment gaps is significant,” he added.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency

New Technologies Displayed at Exhibition Help Expedite Dev’t of Agriculture sector: participants

New technological of agriculture and science exhibition at Science Museum accelerates development of the agricultural sector, participants who showcased their products said.

It is to be recalled Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has launched agriculture and science exhibition at the Science Museum in Addis Ababa under the theme “from the lab to the field” on May 7,2023.

The month long exhibition, organized by the Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with pertinent bodies at the Science Museum, has been showcasing modern technological products, especially for the agricultural sector.

The exhibition also created opportunities for those engaged in the sector to share experience and make market connection.

Lemi Asfa from Rensys Engineering is among the participants who has displayed water pumps which can operate in solar energy.

The water pump technology enables farmers in rural areas to drain water easily using sunlight, he said.

The Ministry of Agriculture also displayed integrated fish farming technology.

Achamyelesh Turessa, Fish Farming Expert at the ministry said that the technology is used for fish and chicken production as well a vegetables in a small place.

More than 70 research-based innovations, digitalization of agriculture and agricultural financing are put on display at the exhibition.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency