#Africa, September 19, 2023 – Gabon has become the most recent African country to fall victim to a military coup, following a swift takeover on Wednesday August 30th.
The coup came after elections on August 26th where Ali Bongo, incumbent president was declared winner, to cries of fraud from the opposition.
Gabon, a West African country bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, has only been independent since 1960 and the Bongo family has occupied the presidential palace for the majority of that time.
Between Ali’s father Omar Bongo, who became President in 1967 and remained so for 42 years, and Ali’s subsequent victory in 2009, the family has controlled the oil-rich African nation for over five decades.
Following the coup, Bongo has been placed under house arrest, and Brice Nguem, a senior Military leader installed as the new president of the country.
The United Nations has condemned the coup but acknowledged that there were doubts about the legality of Bongo’s election win. Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General, reportedly noted the announcement of the win with “deep concern” ‘given reports of serious irregularities at the polls.’
Press conferences have already been held and international media are reporting that Nguem has promised that the military role is only temporary until fresh and fair elections can be held.
No date has been given for those elections and the new leader is rumored to have been a close friend and possible relative of the Bongo family.
Albert Ondo Ossa, the opposition candidate, told Al Jazeera he thought the coup was a ploy to keep power in the family.
“Basically, I think the Bongo family got rid of one of its members who was weighing on the family, and they wanted Bongo power to continue… It was a palace revolution, not a coup d’etat. This is a family affair, where one brother replaces another,” he is quoted as saying.
It follows a coup in Niger in July 2023, which at the time of the coup in Gabon, had still not been resolved. The African nations of Mali (2020) Guinea, Chad and Sudan (2021) and Burkina Faso (2022), have all experienced military coups in quick succession.
TCIFA to Host First Annual Awards Gala In Aid of Youth Development
#TurksandCaicos, September 24, 2023 – The Turks and Caicos Islands Football Association (TCIFA) will be hosting the Inaugural Awards Gala Ball, honoring members of the Turks and Caicos Islands Football Community who have demonstrated leadership, vision, dedication and outstanding achievement under the theme “Continuing a Legacy of Excellence.” The event will take place on Friday, October 13th at the Shore Club Ball Room, featuring a Welcome Reception and four-course Awards Dinner; promising to be an exciting evening. Seats and tables are opened to the general public for purchase.
The Awards Gala will serve as one of TCIFA’s biggest fundraising initiative in support its Youth Development Programs, and is expected to become an annual celebration. Currently, football grassroots/ youth programs are conducted on the islands of Providenciales, Grand Turk, South Caicos and North/Middle Caicos. TCIFA is a non-profit organization whose mission is to develop football throughout the entire Turks & Caicos Islands, encouraging positive youth involvement in society. In order to meet its mission, and provide for the Youth Development Football Programmes, the FA relies heavily on its fundraising efforts, and community support.
In attendance to the Awards Gala, will be The President of Concacaf and Vice-President of FIFA, Victor Montagliani. The event will also see the presence of international football celebrities Davis Dein and Andrew “Andy Cole.”
David Barry Dein, former Co-Owner and Vice-Chairman of Arsenal Football Club, was instrumental in convincing some of the world’s greatest talents to join the club, and transforming it into what it is today, on and off the pitch. Arsenal is seen as an example of a leading club in world football and is admired around the world. Dein was also a one of the major architects of the FA Premier League in 1992, reshaping the structure and finances of English football; and a former Vice-Chairman of the Football Association (The FA). Additionally, he spent some time as President of the G-14 group of European football clubs sitting on various committees within FIFA and UEFA, including UEFA’s Club Competition Committee and Executive Committee. In 2010, Dein was appointed as international President of England’s 2018 World Cup Bid.
Dein continues to remain active on the football scene, providing his views on the future of football around the world, whether it be via interviews, conferences, or public speaking engagements.
Andrew “Andy” Cole is a former English professional striker, playing from 1988-2008. He spent six years with Manchester United after being transferred from Newcastle United, and won nine trophies including the Treble of the Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League in 1999. He also played in the top division of English football for Arsenal, Blackburn Rovers, Fulham, Manchester City, Portsmouth and Sunderland, as well as in the Football League for Bristol City, Birmingham City, Burnley and Nottingham Forest. He is the fourth-highest goal-scorer in Premier League History with 187 goals, and held the Premier League records for most goals scored in a 42-game season (34) before year 2023, and fastest to score 50 goals (65 matches), as well as being the first player to top the Premier League’s goalscoring charts and assist charts in the same season in their own right in 1993-4.
Cole has the distinction of being one of the few players in England to have swept all possible honors in the English game, including the PFA Young Player of the Year awards, as well as coveted UEFA Champions League title. Cole was also capped 15 times for the England National Team between 1995 and 2001, scoring once against Albania in a 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifier.
Cole announced his retirement from football, ending his 19-year career, in November 2008.
To secure seats/tables, contact the TCIFA offices at (649)941-5532, or WhatsApp (649)333-0244.
For more information, please contact TCIFA Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Candia Ewing at 941-5532 or email@example.com
TCIFA National Academy
Turks and Caicos Islands
Medical Council of Jamaica Announces more CME hours for Doctors
KINGSTON, September 19, 2023 (JIS) – Medical doctors will be required to complete two additional hours of Continuing Medical Education (CME) specifically dedicated to mental health and wellness in order to renew their practising certificates come January 2024.
The Medical Council of Jamaica (MCJ) noted that this critical update forms part of its commitment to advancing the healthcare system and ensuring doctors are well-equipped to meet the prevailing mental health demands.
“This increase moves the total required CME hours from 20 to 22, enhancing doctors’ ability to address the mental health implications of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. The decision to introduce these additional CME hours is driven by the Medical Council of Jamaica’s commitment to prioritise the well-being of both patients and healthcare professionals,” the MCJ stated.
The Council reasoned that COVID-19 has highlighted the pressing need for mental health support, with healthcare workers facing unprecedented challenges, experiencing increased stress and witnessing the emotional toll the pandemic has taken on patients.
To support doctors in meeting the new CME requirement, MCJ Registrar, Professor Howard Spencer, shared that the Council will provide access to a range of accredited providers and resources offering relevant mental health and wellness courses.
“The Medical Council of Jamaica encourages all doctors to proactively engage in these additional CME hours well in advance of the renewal deadline in early 2024, to ensure a seamless continuation of their practice,” he emphasised.
The Council added that the focus on mental health and wellness will empower doctors with the knowledge and skills to provide comprehensive and compassionate care to patients experiencing challenges in this area.
Commenting on the new requirement, Consultant Psychiatrist and Public Health Specialist, Dr. Earl Wright, underscored that the additional CME hours are a win-win for doctors.
“It’s not only enhancing the doctors’ care of the patient but doctors need to take care of themselves also. This will help to prevent doctor burnout. Doctors are sometimes under severe stress for long periods of time. So enhancing the doctors’ ability to take care of themselves, they’re also enhancing their ability to take care of all their patients,” he remarked.
For more information about the new CME requirement, visit www.jamaicamedicalcouncil.org.
Prime Minister Holness opens Maypen to Williamsfield Leg of Southern Coastal Highway
#Kingston, September 19, 2023 – The May Pen to Williamsfield leg of the Southern Coastal Highway Improvement Project (SCHIP) was officially opened by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, on Thursday (September 14).
The thoroughfare, which represents part A of the SCHIP, now significantly reduced travel time between the parishes of Clarendon and Manchester and will offer a multitude of economic and social benefits to users.
Speaking during the segment’s opening ceremony, Prime Minister Holness hailed the development as “a step in improving the general quality of life for all Jamaicans”.
“[It is] a step in improving the productivity of all Jamaicans. You can easily measure the productivity gained of this road by the productivity lost in traffic, discomfort and the aggression it creates in driving on some of the other bad roads,” he said.
Mr. Holness noted that some of the anticipated benefits of the new roadway include connecting workers to jobs, improving the response time of the security forces, and improving and lowering the cost for delivering agricultural outputs to market.
“In so many ways, building your infrastructure improves well-being,” he emphasised.
The Prime Minister also announced that the highway’s usage will be at no cost to motorists until the end of the calendar year, on December 31, 2023. After this period, toll rates will be applied.
Mr. Holness further pointed out that the scope of work for the highway included a new four-lane bridge across the Rio Minho to increase the area’s resilience to weather events.
The project also features a two-year defects liability phase, the Prime Minister said, while noting that, “during this phase, the contractor will have to fix any project-related defects”.
It was implemented by the National Road Operating and Constructing Company Limited (NROCC), under the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation.
For his part, NROCC Managing Director, Stephen Edwards, described the highway’s opening as “a momentous occasion in infrastructure development in Jamaica”.
Dubbing the project as a “giant leap forward for the parishes of Clarendon and Manchester and for all Jamaicans”, Mr. Edwards informed that the contract’s implementation commenced in 2019.
He detailed that the development features a 23-kilometre four-lane highway with adiamond interchange and Florida-T at May Pen, a separated interchange at Toll Gate, an interchange at Melrose, four bridges, 17 concrete box crossings, upgrading of approximately five kilometres of roadway along the Melrose Bypass to a four-lane dual carriageway, a police post at Toll Gate, safety fences, concrete median barriers, and the installation and expansion of fibre optics.
“We believe… we have delivered a modern highway that the people of Jamaica can be proud of,” Mr. Edwards added.
Minister of Science, Energy, Telecommunications and Transport, Hon. Daryl Vaz, in his remarks, said the highway’s opening is “a pivotal junction in our nation’s transportation history”.
“This remarkable highway will undoubtedly reshape this side of the island and its network and elevate collective journeys towards progress. This occasion is also a testament to the dedication in providing safer roads and enhanced connectivity for all Jamaicans,” Mr. Vaz stated.
Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Everald Warmington, also spoke highly of the road development.
He expressed that the new leg of the country’s highway network represents “more than just concrete, steel and asphalt”.
“It signifies development, connectivity, and the promise of a brighter future for all those who traverse the south coast of this country,” Mr. Warmington said.
He added that a well-planned, efficient transportation network is the backbone of any thriving nation, as it connects people, fosters economic growth and enhances the quality of life for citizens.
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