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Africa: Pan-African Payment System Launched – How It Works

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The long awaited Pan-African Payments and Settlement System (PAPSS) was launched Thursday, January 13, in Accra, Ghana, in a virtual event under the theme: “Connecting Payments, Accelerating Africa’s trade.”

The new system allows a buyer in one African country to make a payment in his or her national currency and the seller in another country receives payment in their local currency.

Its commercial launch came after a successful pilot in the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) region. The WAMZ is a West-African economic and integration body with six countries – Gambia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

According to Prudence Sebahizi, the Chief Technical Advisor at the AfCFTA Secretariat, the new system will allow a customer or a buyer to make payment in a national currency and the seller will receive the payment their own currency.

This, he noted, is way easier and less costly than changing the Kenyan shilling to the US dollar and then converting the US dollar to the Ghanaian cedi, as has been the case.

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AFRICA

2023 Presidential Election: Has It Already Been Rigged?

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Many Nigerians are presently holding onto hope like a tiny rope that keeps them from falling over the edge and a dose of illusion that seems to strengthen them. As valid as their permutations with regard to the 2023 election sound, most people do not appear to understand the ruthlessness of the monster they are up against.

There is a general feeling in the land that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government of the All Progressives Party, APC has been a colossal failure and hence his party shouldn’t be rewarded at the polls. Yet, the candidate of the party, Bola Tinubu from every indication appears to be the man set to take over the reins of power from 29th of May, 2023.

Many Nigerians don’t understand the politics of science. They are known for discussing or analysing politics with emotions rather than with their thinking caps. What they fail to understand is that those who are deft in playing the politics of science do so in the strategy room and not in emotional places. In Nigeria today, the former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu is easily the best political strategist in the country and this is something many Nigerians seem to underrate.

From the day he won the presidential ticket of the APC on 10th of June this year, Tinubu clearly understood that he would lose the election if he went into a free and fair contest with his opponents in the next presidential election.

Armed with this knowledge, he simply went back to the drawing board to come up with ideas on how to win the same elections by all means, even if it implies subverting the will of Nigerians.

2023 Presidential Election: Has It Already Been Rigged?
– Bola Tinubu

The painful truth is that Lagos Jagaban, as he is fondly called has perfected his strategies and many Nigerians are yet to come to terms with it. This explains why he has continuously paid deaf ears to certain calls from a section of Nigerians. It explains why he looked at Christians in the eye and told them to go blazes when he insisted on a Muslim-Muslim ticket not minding the fact that Nigeria is currently at her most pollarised and divided state owing to religion. It gives an understanding of why Tinubu will not attend any live interview where he will have to face journalists without pre-written scripts. It explains why he told Nigerians who desire a change in government to ‘Shurrup’ their mouths.

To effectively rig the yet-to-be-conducted elections, the first institution Tinubu took over was the electoral umpire itself – the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC).

Sensing a surge in voter registration due to the palpable anger in the land and the willingness of Nigerians to go all out to effect a change through the ballot box, the electoral body, for the first time in Nigeria’s history, closed its Continuous Voter Registration (CVR), exercise with almost 200 days left before the election.

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It didn’t end there, the INEC had other plans. The preliminary figures released by INEC showed that a total number of 12,298,944 people participated in the registration exercise and completed their registration. Two months later, INEC announced that about 2,780,756 of those registrations were invalid and cancelled. Now this is where it gets interesting; About 49.3% of those rejected registrations were from the South-South and the South-East at, 859,165 and 510,548 registration respectively. While other regions had an average rejection rate of 17%, the South-South and the South-East had a rejection rate of 35.2%.

Again, despite the fact that the South-East completed the least number of registrations, by the time the numbers were passed through INEC’s knife, they ended up with the highest number of rejected votes.

Till date, INEC did not provide any answers for these ungodly ‘coincidences’ and yet, Nigerians cannot read the room.

 

Many Nigerians do not know that while INEC is assuring them of free and fair elections, they are also perfecting plans to pre-load the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) which will be used for accreditation on election day. Many Nigerians do not seem to know that this was the sole reason Mr. Chidi Nwafor was redeployed and moved away as the Director of ICT at the Commission.

To think that all these went on almost unnoticed will leave any curious mind wondering if Nigerians are really ready for the change they are yearning for.

Tinubu understood the game from the beginning, met the right people and, of course, was willing to cough out millions of dollars to get it done.

Aside from INEC, Tinubu has managed to capture other instruments of state such as the notoriously corrupt army, criminally minded police force and even the NSCDC. All these actions were carried out while Nigerians were still asleep politically.

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It would take much more than social media noise and street rallies to change some of these plots, and that is the truth.

Tinubu has criminally enriched himself so much with slush funds from drug deals and the government of Lagos State which he converted into a private estate two decades ago.

Going forward, it will be best if Nigerians consider boycotting the elections and demand answers for some of these questions. If the answers are not forthcoming, it will be safer if they resort to civil disobedience to demand a restructuring of Nigeria. This may sound impracticable to many Nigerians, but they must understand that if they feel they stand no chance with the calls for restructuring, their chances are even far worse if they opt for electoral disgrace at the polls.

Nigerians must decide for themselves what their best strategy should be. Time is running out and they cannot afford to take risky gambles. Tinubu is poised to secure an easy win in the polls and it will take more superior strategies to stop that from happening.

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AFRICA

15 Most Mysterious Places in the World

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Enjoy our list of the most mysterious places in the world. This amazing article was compiled by the crazytourist.com . An authentic source for everything travel information. 

1. The Bermuda Triangle, Atlantic Ocean

15 Most Mysterious Places in the World

Source: pinterest

Bermuda Triangle

Tales of lost mariners and disappeared ships, crashed aircraft and even vanishing humans, have been emerging from the waters of the Bermuda Triangle for centuries.

The vast area of more than half a million square miles is also known as the Devil’s Triangle, and theories as to why so many travelers fall foul of its clutches abound.

Some say there are magnetic anomalies that throw compasses off course, others that tropical cyclones are to blame, and some say there’s simply no mystery at all! Today, visiting the area can be much more pleasant than you might think, with the sun-splashed islands of Turks and Caicos beckoning in the south and the coves of Bermuda in the north.

You may actually want to never be seen again!

2. The Banff Springs Hotel, Canada

15 Most Mysterious Places in the World

Source: flickr

The Banff Springs Hotel

With overtures of the Timberline Lodge of Stephen King and Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining fame, the Banff Springs Hotel of Canada is said to be the home of a plethora of ghost stories and mysterious happenings.

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Locals tell tales of an entire family that was murdered in cold-blood in room 873. Others talk of reappearing doormen who vanish into thin air.

But if you think you can deal with the supernatural rep, then you’re in for a real treat here.

The handsome hotel oozes Scottish Baronial styles, is shrouded by the fir-dressed peaks of the Canadian Rockies, and offers access to the iconic ski fields of Jasper and Banff.

Worth the risk? We think so!

3. Transylvania, Romania

15 Most Mysterious Places in the World

Source: flickr

Bran Castle

Sylvan hills and mist-topped mountains, the clanging echo of church bells and the stone-built medieval steeples of towns like Sibiu, Brasov and Cluj, all add to the eerie atmosphere of this vast region at the very heart of Romania.

But it’s one place that really brings the chills and gets the spine a-tingling: Bran Castle.

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This turret-topped citadel soars from the forests on the edge of Wallachia in a medley of Gothic towers and gargoyle-peppered roofs.

Over the years it’s been associated with a number of less-than-savoury, uber-mysterious figures: Vlad the Impaler, the most bloodthirsty of the Wallachian kings, and – of course – Count Dracula, the archetype of the nail-biting Nosferatu.

4. Crooked Forest, Poland

15 Most Mysterious Places in the World

Source: feel-planet

Crooked Forest

Just south of the unpronounceable city of Szczecin on Poland’s extreme eastern haunch, a stone’s throw west of the border with Germany, a small clutch of just over 400 pine trees has been garnering the attention of Atlas Obscura types and off-the-beaten-track travelers for years.

The entire forest appears to be bent over almost 90 degrees at the trunk, before twisting back straight again and growing vertically into the Slavic sky.

Debate has raged as to what caused the unusual wood to come to look like it has, with theories as wide ranging as torrential snowstorms and lumberjack growing techniques.

Weird.

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5. Bhangarh Fort, India

15 Most Mysterious Places in the World

Source: flickr

Bhangarh Fort

Enfolded by the rises of the Aravali Hills and baked by the Rajasthani sun, the old bulwarks of the Bhangarh Fort are said to echo with the ethereal presence of one cursed princess and her would-be captor, the wizard Sinhai.

It’s said that Sinhai tried to ensnare the young royal by offering her a love potion.

The plan backfired, the wizard ended up dead, but not before he could lay his hex on all the inhabitants of Bhangarh.

Today, the Mughlai complex once trodden by Madho Singh I is considered one of the most haunted spots in India.

No one is allowed to enter after dark, and locals have even reported deaths as a result of the continued curse!

6. The Skirrid Mountain Inn, Wales

15 Most Mysterious Places in the World

Source: visitwales

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The Skirrid Mountain Inn

Set between the rising fells and lichen-spotted stone villages on the eastern edge of the beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park (Wales’ lesser-known, southern mountain range), The Skirrid Mountain Inn oozes with tales and stories of the Gaelic nation’s past.

Some say it was the gathering point of rebel fighters under the banner of Owain Glyndŵr, the hero of Welsh resistance against Henry IV. Others claim that it was once a courthouse where criminals were not only condemned to death but also hung, all under the command of the infamous so-called Hanging Judge, George Jeffreys.

There’s even a swinging noose still dangling from the rafters inside, and oodles of ghost stories to hear over your cawl (traditional Welsh soup)!

7. The Tower of London, England

15 Most Mysterious Places in the World

Source: flickr

The Tower of London

The beheading of kings, the incarceration of state enemies, the plotting of political machinations from the Tudors to the Elizabethans; all manner of dark and shady deeds has gone down between the crenulations of London’s old fortress on the north bank.

Stories of hauntings and mysterious happenings began with the sighting of Thomas Becket (a martyred saint), who is said to have stymied construction of the palace’s extension from the grave.

However, it’s the apparition of one Queen Anne Boleyn that causes the biggest stir – her headless body is seen lurking by the spot where she was killed at the behest of Henry VII back in the 1530s!

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8. Eternal Flame Falls, United States

15 Most Mysterious Places in the World

Source: flickr

Eternal Flame Falls

Delve into the winding walking trails that crisscross the Chestnut Ridge Park and discover the hidden wonder of Shale Creek.

Called, appropriately, Eternal Flame Falls, this curious natural phenomenon is a real mystery to behold.

Why? Well, because it manages to fuse two of the earth’s most elemental forces in one single spot – that’s why! You’ll first see the gorgeous falls themselves, cascading down over layers of chiselled granite rock.

Then comes the flame, which can be seen flickering behind the cataracts.

It never goes out, and scientists say the conflagration is created by the presence of natural gas seeping from the subterrane.

9. Richat Structure, Mauritania

15 Most Mysterious Places in the World

Source: flickr

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Richat Structure

Seemingly swirling and spinning and twisting like a cyclone through the heart of the mighty Sahara Desert, the great Richat Structure in the depths of Mauritania is something truly mysterious (although you’ll certainly have to take to the skies to see it!). Scientists have puzzled for years as to how the perfect circular set of concentric rings got there.

Some think it was an asteroid impact in centuries gone by.

Others say it was the simple process of natural geological attrition and erosion.

And then – of course – there are some who think it was the creation of extra-terrestrials, who passed this way and marked a landing point for future visits to earth.

Hmm, maybe!

10. The Nazca Lines, Peru

15 Most Mysterious Places in the World

Source: flickr

The Nazca Lines

Scarring their way across the dusty desert landscapes of southern Peru, the Nazca Lines are amongst the most mysterious and awesome prehistoric remains in all of South America.

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And while they typically take a backseat to the country’s other major tourist draws – Machu Picchu, The Sacred Valley, Cuzco – they do draw in their fair share of visitors.

Most opt to do flyovers and see the great wonders from above, which is when the curious geoglyphs depicting spiders and monkeys come into full view.

Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, no one really knows why they were made by the ancient Nazca people.

Perhaps they were an offering to the gods? Perhaps they were a cultist symbol? It’s still a mystery.

11. Highgate Cemetery, England

15 Most Mysterious Places in the World

Source: flickr

Highgate Cemetery

If you choose to navigate the crawling vines and ivy shoots, the looming oak trees and the lichen-spotted tombstones of London’s Highgate Cemetery, then beware: this is considered by many to be the single most haunted place in the United Kingdom (Tower of London omitted, of course). The setting is certainly enough to curdle the blood, with age-old angelic figures hiding amidst the shadow growth, gargoyles laughing from the crevices, and endless rows of tombs running into the distance.

Some ghost watchers say they’ve seen apparitions flitting between the Gothic carvings.

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Others report vampires lurk in the shadows there.

12. Area 51, United States

15 Most Mysterious Places in the World

Source: flickr

Area 51

A magnet for conspiracy theorists like no other place on this list, Area 51 has inspired UFO hunters and extra-terrestrial buffs for years – it even featured in Roland Emmerich’s alien-rich masterpiece Independence Day back in 1996! Located smack bang in the midst of the Nevadan desert, the site has been kept top secret by the United States government since it began developing reconnaissance and spy planes back in the 50s.

Today, speculators think it could be anything from a public surveillance hub to a weather control station to a time travel station.

Don’t expect a visitor’s center or anything, but then Vegas is just down the road!

13. Easter Island, Polynesia

15 Most Mysterious Places in the World

Source: flickr

Easter Island

It was just at the turn of the first millennium AD that the Rapa Nui peoples of eastern Polynesia landed and began surveying the wind-blasted shores of Easter Island.

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Of course, it wasn’t called Easter Island then – the name is a later European addition courtesy of the Dutchman Jacob Roggeveen, who happened upon the land in 1722. What he discovered would have surely wowed him: countless carved effigies of colossal heads, chiselled and chipped from the black rock boulders of the land.

In fact, there are over more than 880 of the so-called moai heads here, which are each thought to represent the final member of one of the tribal family clans.

14. Stonehenge, England

15 Most Mysterious Places in the World

Source: flickr

Stonehenge

Set deep in the middle of the verdant lowlands of south-central England, where Salisbury Plain emerges in peaks and troughs of heath from the oak forests, Stonehenge has long oozed mystery and magic.

Created an estimated 5,000 years ago, this circular conglomeration of huge megalith stones is thought to have been made with unique bluestone material that could only have been quarried from the Preseli Hills in Pembrokeshire, some 200 miles away in Wales.

Mystery surrounds both how the Neolithic people managed to transport such huge rocks all that way, and as to the purpose of the building.

Today, it’s wrapped up in Arthurian legends and attracts Pagans for the summer solstice.

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15. Uluru, Australia

15 Most Mysterious Places in the World

Source: flickr

Uluru

Uluru is the mighty pillar at the middle of the Australian Outback.

It shoulders its way high above the flatlands that encompass it; a gargantuan block of sandstone rock that looks like the carapace of a petrified animal.

A truly breathtaking place to behold, it attracts everyone from hikers to history buffs (who come mainly for the pre-historic petroglyphs that mark the caves nearby). However, Ayers Rock, as the site is also called, also figures as a focal point for the old traditions of the Australian Aborigines.

They believe it’s one of the last remaining homes of the creator beings who forged the earth.

Meanwhile, other folk come here to energise themselves at the fluvial channels that run underneath the rock – whatever that means!

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Thank you for having had the patience to go through this list of 15 Most Mysterious Places in the World with us.

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NEWS

CABLISSM 2022 EVENT, Headlines With Temple Obike, Sunny Nneji, Tolu Afonja and Others.

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It’s another season of love and the organizers of The Coalition for the Advancement of Blissful Marriage (CABLISSM 2022) Ekiti State are hosting the second edition of Couple’s Valentine Dinner with the theme: “Creating lasting Marriages in a devalued and Insecure Society”.

 

The event which will take place at Queen’s Court Hotel, Ado Ekiti will have Sunny Neji as the Guest Artists while Temple Obike is the guest speaker and Tolu Afonja of the Life, Relationship, and Marriage as the Speaker.

Others expected to grace the event are DJ Chinnyboy Baddee, MC AY Niger, MC Igwe White, and Ororooo Master as the comedian of the day. According to the organizers, Coalition for the Advancement of Blissful Marriage (CABLISSM), Valentine is a day set aside to celebrate love among couples and their loved ones. So, we felt we should give them the avenue to mingle, network, and know each other very well and this gave birth to the idea of Couples Valentine Dinner. Countless side attractions, games, and gifts to be won by the couple. The event is planned by A-Z experts a leading Event planner in Ekiti State.

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AFRICA

Corps Africa and Mastercard Foundation partner to create 30,000 work opportunities for young Africans

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Mastercard Foundation has committed almost $17m to broaden the impact of CorpsAfrica, an NGO inspired by the US Peace Corps that was first incubated in Morocco with OCP support.

The OCP Group is very pleased to announce that the Mastercard Foundation, a dynamic and highly-respected private foundation with a strong and impactful presence across the African continent, has committed almost $17m over the next three years to broaden the presence and impact of CorpsAfrica, an innovative and dynamic non-governmental organisation of which OCP is proud to be the founding funder.

CorpsAfrica, first incubated in Morocco with OCP support, was inspired by the US Peace Corps and founded by Liz Fanning, a former Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco.

The organisation recruits and trains young African women and men and sends them to high-poverty communities in their own countries for one year to address the community’s self-identified needs in education, health, small business development, agriculture, and other sectors.

The impact is double: on the communities, and on the young African volunteers who learn priceless lessons in leadership that they will carry with them throughout their professional lives. ocp

The OCP Group has been proud to support CorpsAfrica’s expansion beyond Morocco to Senegal, Rwanda and Malawi with the help of several other generous donors, hosting roughly 300 volunteers over the last eight years.  OCP is committed to remaining a financial and programmatic partner to CorpsAfrica across the continent, reflecting its strong belief that Africa’s greatest resource is its people, and especially its young people.

The substantial investment by the Mastercard Foundation is a wonderful validation of the value and impact of CorpsAfrica, and OCP is grateful for their generosity.

More information about CorpsAfrica, and about the Mastercard Foundation commitment, is available at www.corpsafrica.org.

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