President of Gabon Destitute Wife Files for Divorce … In L.A.

The President of Gabon in West Africa has 2 wives with very different lives … one who lives in the presidential palace and the other who’s on welfare. Guess who’s unhappy and wants a divorce?
President Ali Bongo Ondimba lived in L.A. when his dad was the president. He met a woman named Inge in 1991 and married her 3 years later. They had 3 kids and lived lavishly … private jets, mansions, cooks, the works [Related video above]. In fact, in 2006, Inge was featured on a VH1 show — ‘Really Rich Real Estate?’ — where she bid $25 mil on a Malibu mansion.

But then Ali’s dad died and he became President of Gabon, which required him to move back to his homeland. Inge followed him but claims her life was a nightmare. She says witch doctors convinced her husband she was crazy and as a result she was beaten, mutilated and kidnapped.

Inge escaped and came back to L.A. Ali got married to another woman and Inge says he completely cut her off financially. Inge says she hasn’t received a dime since 2008.

Fast forward to September 2015 … Inge, who says she’s living on welfare, filed for divorce. In the legal docs — obtained by TMZ — Inge says she and her 16-year-old son are living on $524 a month in public assistance.

She’s asking for full custody and spousal support.

There’s an obvious dilemma — California courts are going to have a problem getting jurisdiction over the president of an African country.
But Ali may have a problem, too. He married a much younger woman, Sylvia Valentin, and it looks like polygamy may be an issue.


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ScanEagle to be delivered to Cameroon [+video]

Insitu has received three export contracts for its ScanEagle unmanned air vehicle that will see it deliver the system to Cameroon, Kenya and Pakistan.

ScanEagle System — Insitu
ScanEagle System — Insitu

ScanEagle_UAV_catapult_launcher_2005-04-16Under the USA’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) programme, Cameroon and Kenya will receive one ScanEagle system each by September 2016, through deals worth $9.39 million and $9.86 million respectively, the US Department of Defense announced on 29 September.

The acquisitions for Cameroon and Kenya will include 50% of the work on each contract being carried out in-country, and will see the delivery of analogue medium wave infra-red ScanEagle UAVs, launch and recovery equipment, ground control stations, Insitu video exploitation systems and ground support equipment for the governments, says the contract notice.

Kenya will additionally acquire one mark 4 launcher, two full mission training devices and spares kits.

The details on Pakistan’s $15.2 million order are less clear, with the US DoD simply saying that hardware and technical data will be delivered to the Pakistani government under the FMS programme by August 2016. It adds that 90% of the work will be carried out in the USA and the remaining 10% in country.

Additionally, Insitu has been awarded an $8.7 million contract by the US Naval Air Systems Command to provide spares for the RQ-21A Blackjack UAV, support marine expeditionary unit deployments, and squadron readiness training.


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Reflecting on Lessons Learned from Ebola Outbreak

As the UN celebrates the official launch of the post-2015 agenda with the Sustainable Development Goals and world leaders start laying out their views in the UN General Debate, much of this week in New York is about looking forward. But on the sidelines of the main events focused on the SDGs, peacekeeping, violent extremism and the Syrian crisis, many are using this week as an opportunity to look back at the past year. Namely, a year after the West African Ebola outbreak reached its peak, many are discussing what went wrong and how to better prepare for the next epidemic.

With more than 28,000 estimated cases and over 11,000 deaths, there is no doubt that the West African Ebola outbreak is the largest in history. Although the outbreak mainly impacted the three West African states of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, cases were ultimately reported in nine other countries including Nigeria, Senegal, Mali, the US and most of Western Europe. The outbreak, which the World Health Organization and international public health community were slow to recognize as Ebola, severely strained the resources of the local and international health system and highlighted how dangerous epidemics can be if they are not managed properly.

In July, a report by an independent panel of experts found that the WHO was not only slow to respond to the outbreak, but lacked the institutional culture to respond adequately once it was clear how devastating the outbreak would be. In some ways the report only confirmed what many public health experts and commentators suspected as the Ebola outbreak raged on. But rather than placing blame, the report and the discussions around it also give the WHO and its member states the opportunity to reform, hopefully ensuring that everyone involved will be better prepared the next time a complex international epidemic occurs.

As Dr. David Nabarro, the UN Secreary-General’s Special Envoy on Ebola, pointed out to UN Dispatch earlier this week, epidemics always seem to come as a surprise, no matter what the warning signs are. Specific aspects of West Africa such as cultural practices around death, the close proximity of rural forested areas to heavily populated urban cities and the fragile nature of the national health systems in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone may have made the outbreak worse, but the inability of the international community to prepare and respond rapidly also contributed to the devastation. Changing this culture of reaction, rather than prevention, is a key part of being ready for the next epidemic, no matter where it comes.

But this change will require more than just reports and high level recommendations. Much of the discussion around the SDGs this past week has been about how the 17 goals adopted are formulated in such a way to require all actors and stakeholders involved to “break out of their silos” and work together across multiple disciplinary fields. Emergency health response and epidemiology are no different, where far more cooperation is needed not just local, national and international levels of government, but among aid workers, health care workers, scientists and community leaders.

In retrospect, it is easy to see how the lack of communication compounded the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. It took nearly three months before the mysterious disease popping up across Guinea was identified as Ebola, mainly because local and international health care workers didn’t think that Ebola could occur in West Africa as previous outbreaks were limited to Uganda and the DRC. Yet in the years leading up to the outbreak, scientists found Ebola antibodies in bats throughout the Upper Guinean forests that extend from Guinea to Ghana. The antibodies are an indication that the bats – believed to act as reservoirs and carriers of Ebola – had come into contact with the virus. Since 2005 when antibody testing became common, the presence of the antibodies have been associated with outbreaks among humans as the more carriers of the virus are around, the more likely a person will come into contact with them and be infected. But because this information largely stayed in academic literature, those responsible for identifying and responding to the disease had no idea that Ebola was a strong possibility.

But there are lessons that can be learned from this. Breaking down walls between different disciplines can help everyone be ready for the next epidemic, increasing response time and improving containment. Many of the meetings happening this week aim to create this new culture of cooperation and interaction, making sure that the next epidemic that comes around, we will all be ready.



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Central African Countries and International Partners Launch Initiative to Prevent Tree Loss, Boost Incomes in Rainforest facing Increased Deforestation

29 Sep 2015

Representatives of six African nations, the Federal Republic of Brazil and four European countries, the European Union, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank, and specialized UN agencies, announced today an unprecedented initiative to halt deforestation and forest degradation.

The Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI) brings new urgency to efforts to slash greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation. The Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Republic of Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Republic of Equatorial Guinea and Republic of Gabon, Federal Republic of Brazil, Federal Republic of Germany, Kingdom of Norway, Republic of France, and United Kingdom of Great Britain Northern Ireland, and European Union, recognize that environmental sustainability is critical to reduce poverty, ensure better resilience and contribute to inclusive sustainable growth.

“Tonight Central African governments stand ready to confirm their commitment through high-level investment frameworks spanning all the sectors behind the loss of forests while development partners commit to further financial resources and the alignment of their assistance,“ said Ms. Helen Clark Administrator of UNDP.

CAFI calls for the six African countries to devise national investment plans—supported by the highest levels of government and across government sectors—that tackle the complex factors leading to deforestation. 

“The DRC welcomes the establishment of the CAFI initiative which provides an essential platform for dialogue and coordination of funding (…), with its investment plan, DRC aims to generate two major impacts: emissions reductions and co-benefits in terms of sustainable development and poverty reduction.”, said  Mr. Henri Yav Mulang the DRC Minister of Finance.

Donors are coordinating their efforts through a multi-donor trust fund, managed by the UNDP Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office (MPTFO). Through the Fund and parallel support, donors will be able to deliver multi-year, country-based development funding more efficiently and predictable.

Ms. Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator, explained the rationale behind the Fund: “It will bridge a huge funding gap and concentrate financial assistance in a region that thus far has not benefited from the same amount of funding as other forested regions.”

Central Africa’s rainforest is second only in size to the Amazon and a source of food and incomes for millions of people. They also shelter diverse plants and animals, including gorillas, bonobos and the iconic okapi. The Democratic Republic of Congo is home to the largest swathe of forest in the region, but large stretches cover Gabon, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, the Central African Republic and the Republic of Congo.

Addressing issues concerning unsustainable agriculture, wood energy use, forestry and infrastructure development will be the main challenges, but development partners were hopeful that the region stands at a turning point.

Mr Etienne Massard, Secretary General of the Gabonese Presidency, congratulated “the Government of Norway and the other donors that have come together to launch CAFI. This initiative has the potential to make a real contribution to improved forest management and preservation in Equatorial African. Gabon looks forward to working with other countries in the region through this initiative, to share its advances in land use planning, monitoring of forest trends using satellite technology and forest carbon inventory.”

The agreement prioritizes long-term solutions that reap results over short-term, one-time actions. Norway is the first country to pledge funds to CAFI – up to $47 million dollars per year through 2020 — to support the initiative

“Achieving sustainable economic and social development is a prerequisite for combating deforestation in Central Africa. These vast and unique rainforests are of great value to the region, the world and to our common future and survival. I am excited that Central African countries are eager to take on the challenge of preserving these forests, while improving the lives of people living there. Norway is ready to support these efforts,” Mrs. Tine Sundtoft, Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment, said.

The Initiative will not only benefit from the trust fund but also from ongoing support from other donors. In addition, the Federal Republic of Brazil is joining this initiative to support capacity building, knowledge sharing and expertise in the implementation of policies that may contribute to fulfilling the objectives set by CAFI. All the development actors joining the Initiative recognize the importance of coordinating their support to the Central African countries in their efforts to combat deforestation and forest degradation.

“Forests are part of the solution to the climate challenge, both for adaptation and mitigation. We can not succeed at COP21 without large-scale action to protect forests in the world, in Africa but also in Latin America and Asia. Addressing the challenge of financing for REDD +, CAFI seeks to provide a lasting solution to the protection of forests in the Congo Basin,” said Ms. Annick Girardin, French Minister for Development and Francophony

This innovative and financially unprecedented Initiative is an encouraging step towards the goals of the UN Climate Change Conference, COP21, in December. Partners encourage additional donors to join the Initiative in the lead to the Paris climate talks and beyond.

Contact Information

New York

(Mr) Dylan Lowthian

UNDP Communications Analyst

Tel.: +1 (212) 906 5516

Addis Ababa

(Ms) Sandra Macharia

UNDP Regional Communications Adviser

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Tel: +251 115 170 852


(Ms) Berta Pesti


Geneva, Swtizerland

Tel: +41 22 9178381

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Cameroon: New bus company to start operating in Yaoundé

(Business in Cameroon) – The Town hall of the urban community of Yaoundé will launch in the next months a new bus company, government daily says. The newspaper added that “Le Bus Co SA” was the firm’s name.

A name which resembles that of the actual Bus company serving the city, “Le Bus”, a joint-venture between a group of Cameroonian institutions, including the Yaoundé urban community, and American investors who transferred their assets to two economic operators from Zimbabwe and South Africa.

For years, the Le Bus transport company has been on a down slope. Proof to this is that the company had a 50-buses fleet during its golden age but is now reduced to just 10 buses; buses which could be parked any time from now due to the lack of replacement parts.

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