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NAIROBI, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group focusing on the private sector in developing countries, and the AECF (Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund), an Africa-based development organization, on Wednesday launched the second round of a global competition to increase economic integration and self-reliance among refugees in Kenya.

The competition for the private sector and social enterprise projects will support investment, development, and job creation in Kenya's Kakuma refugee camp and hosting area.

"Through this new competition, we hope to attract more businesses, especially those involved in underrepresented sectors like small manufacturing, aquaculture, retail services, and construction," CEO Victoria Sabula of the AECF said in a joint statement issued in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital.

The competition, which runs until Jan. 31, 2022, is open to private sector businesses or social enterprises operating in any sector.

Winners will be chosen based on their bids' potential to raise incomes, provide goods and services, create jobs, and improve living standards in both the Kakuma refugee camp and the adjacent host community, home to more than 240,000 people, including 220,000 refugees.

According to IFC, winning entrants will be awarded technical support and performance-based grants of between 100,000 U.S. dollars and 750,000 U.S. dollars.

The competition is part of the Kakuma Kalobeyei Challenge Fund (KKCF), a joint initiative of IFC and the AECF, whose aim is to increase economic integration and self-reliance among displaced populations and their host communities.

Jumoke Jagun-Dokunmu, IFC regional director for Eastern Africa, said the IFC is committed to uplifting the lives of refugees and those living in host communities by championing private sector solutions.

The competition is being implemented with support from Kenya's Turkana County Government and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). It follows the first round of the competition in December 2020 that awarded more than 5 million dollars in grant funding to 13 social and private sector applicants in sectors including renewable energy, financial services, health care, and childcare.

The KKCF initiative is a 25-million-dollar, five-year program designed to support private sector investment and unlock the economic potential of refugees and those living in the surrounding host communities in Kenya's Turkana County. - Xinhua

Security officers stand next to the burned prison in Gitega, Bujumbra, Burundi, on Dec. 7, 2021. Photo AFP/Getty Images


At least 38 inmates were killed and dozens more injured Tuesday in a fire at a prison in Burundi’s capital, officials have said.

Speaking with reporters at the Gitega Prison, Burundi Vice President Prosper Bazombanza said that at least 12 people had died of asphyxia as they tried to escape burning buildings.

At least 26 others died of severe injuries, he said. Bazombanza did not comment on what might have caused the fire.

But in a statement on Twitter, the Burundi interior ministry said an electrical short circuit caused the fire. It confirmed that at least 38 prisoners had died and said Dat least 59 others had been injured.

Photos shared by the interior ministry showed at least one fire truck outside the prison.

One local resident who was near the scene as the tragedy unfolded told Reuters that many of those who died appeared to be elderly prisoners.

The resident said he saw bodies being transported by ambulances from the prison.

A fire broke out at the same prison in August, with an electrical issue also cited as the cause. There were no casualties in that incident. - 

NAIROBI (Reuters) -A Kenyan police officer shot dead six people in a rampage in a neighbourhood in the capital Nairobi on Tuesday and then shot and killed himself, police said.

The officer first shot and killed his wife at their home before setting off with his service-issued AK-47 rifle to shoot dead another four people, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations said on Twitter. 

It described the shooter as a "rogue officer".

Francis Wahome, the officer in charge of Nairobi's Dagoretti area, said another two people had been wounded in the incident. He declined to comment on what prompted the shooting.

"The investigations are a secret. We cannot divulge, as it involves many things," he told reporters.

"Until now, we never had any concerns about the officer's behaviour. He had been going for duty properly, and had never been involved in an incident like this."

Three of the men who were killed were mourners who had just attended preparations for a funeral, the DCI said.

Dagoretti resident Lameck Alaka said that before the shooting started, a car he believed belonged to the police drove past them and stopped for about 20 minutes.

"Then he got out, and we saw it was Mr. Ben. He came out with an AK-47, cocked it and started firing at us where we were with the boda boda (motorcycle) riders," he said, referring to the officer by his first name.

Alaka said later other motorcycle riders came running to him saying the officer had killed two other men.

"They said the shooter wasn't speaking; he was just shooting, and we know it is a police officer," he said.

Angry residents near where the incident took place later set fire to tyres on a road in a protest against the violence, a Reuters journalist said.

(Reporting by Monicah Mwangi, Humphrey Malalo, Baz Ratner and Edwin Waita; Writing by George Obulutsa; Editing by Angus MacSwan) Yahoo News/Reuters

A parishioner who immigrated from the Democratic Republic of the Congo sings during Sunday service in Portland, Maine, in 2017. (Carl D. Walsh/Portland Portland Press Herald/Getty Images)

In many ways, Black people in the United States are more religious than Americans of other races. This is especially true for immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa, who tend to be more religious than U.S.-born Black adults or immigrants from the Caribbean, according to a Pew Research Center Survey.

A bar chart showing that African immigrants are more likely than other Black Americans to attend religious service weekly

For example, around half of African immigrants in the U.S. (54%) say they attend religious services at least weekly, compared with about three-in-ten U.S.-born (32%) and Caribbean-born (30%) Black adults. And about seven-in-ten African immigrants (72%) say religion is very important to them, compared with 59% of U.S.- and Caribbean-born Black adults who say this.

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In addition, immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa are much less likely than other U.S. Black adults to be religiously unaffiliated (that is, to identify as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular”). Just 6% of African immigrants identify in one of these ways, compared with 22% of U.S.-born Black adults and 23% of Black immigrants from the Caribbean.

The religious profiles of immigrant groups differ in other ways, too. Both African and Caribbean immigrants are somewhat less likely to be Protestant, and more likely to be Catholic, than U.S.-born Black adults. And African immigrants are more likely than other Black Americans to identify with other Christian faiths such as Orthodox Christianity, or with non-Christian faiths such as Islam.

A chart showing that Catholicism is more prevalent among African-born, Caribbean-born than among U.S.-born Black adults

While the vast majority of the 47 million Black Americans were born in the U.S., the Black immigrant population has roughly doubled over the last two decades to 4.6 million in 2019, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. In 2019, roughly one-in-ten Black Americans were born outside of the U.S., including 4% who were born in sub-Saharan Africa and 5% who were born in the Caribbean.

More Black Americans come from Jamaica, Haiti, Nigeria and Ethiopia than from any other African or Caribbean countries, according to Pew Research Center tabulations of the Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey.

Some Black Christian immigrants go to churches associated with historically Black Protestant denominations based in the U.S., such as the Progressive National Baptist Convention, while others go to congregations of Haitian Baptists, Pentecostals and Catholics, or those associated with African denominations such as the Presbyterian Church of Ghana and the Nigeria-based Church of the Lord.

African immigrants also distinguish themselves in the survey through their beliefs about scripture and conversion. Immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa are more likely to say they believe in God as described in their religion’s holy scripture – such as the Bible for Christians or the Quran for Muslims – than are U.S.-born Black adults.

About eight-in-ten African immigrants (84%) say they believe this, compared with around three-quarters in the other groups. And roughly seven-in-ten African immigrants (68%) say people of faith have a duty to convert nonbelievers, compared with approximately half of U.S.-born and Caribbean-born adults who feel this way.

African immigrants also stand out on certain social and cultural issues. Fewer than half of African-born Americans (38%) say homosexuality should be accepted by society, compared with 63% of U.S.-born Black adults. Caribbean-born immigrants fall between the other two groups, with roughly half (52%) saying that homosexuality should be accepted by society. (In general, opposition to homosexuality is far more common in sub-Saharan Africa than it is in the U.S.)

A bar chart showing that African immigrants are more likely than other Black Americans to say fathers should be mostly responsible for family finances

And African immigrants tend to be more supportive of traditional gender norms, in some ways, than U.S.-born Black adults. For example, those born in Sub-Saharan Africa differ from other Black Americans on questions about how men and women should share duties in households that have both a mother and father.

African immigrants are more likely than other Black adults to say the father should be mostly responsible for providing for the family financially, and that the mother should be mostly responsible for taking care of the childrenHowever, the most common view in all groups is that both parents should divide these responsibilities equally.  Pew Research Center

Soldiers line the road outside Chris Hani's home in Dawn Park, Boksburg as a police van prepares to take the body of the SACP leader away on April 10,1993.
Image: Herbert Mabuza / Times archives

Polish immigrant Janusz Walus, who killed anti-apartheid activist Chris Hani, says he has turned over a new leaf, realises that apartheid was wrong and has grown closer to God during his almost 30-year incarceration.

These revelations were listed in papers filed to the Constitutional Court earlier this year when he applied for the apex court to look into his last failed bid to get parole in March 2020, which had been denied by justice minister Ronald Lamola.

Walus wants the Constitutional Court to set aside the Supreme Court of Appeal’s decision to dismiss his leave to appeal against a high court judgment that upheld the refusal of his parole.

Walus’ legal team shared the papers after last week’s affirmation by the ConCourt that it would hear the matter in February 2022.

In a lengthy affidavit, Walus detailed how since his incarceration in October 2003, he was a reformed man who has over the years tried numerous times to convey his apology to Hani’s widow, Limpho, and his children. 

“I have already in the application papers apologised for the crime that I had committed. I have apologised to the Hani family and I have done everything that I could to show remorse and to communicate my apology to the Hani family.

“I have great remorse in respect of what I have done. I realise today that it was completely unacceptable.

“Ever since my incarceration I have returned to my Roman Catholic faith which has helped me fully understand my wrongdoings. I have accepted the new SA, its constitution and its constitutional dispensation,” Walus said.

He and right-wing politician Clive Derby-Lewis were sentenced to death for murdering Hani, the SA Communist Party’s general secretary. Hani was shot dead outside his home in Boksburg on April 10, 1993.

Derby-Lewis and Walus’ sentences were later commuted to life imprisonment when SA abolished the death penalty. Derby-Lewis, who had allegedly ordered the hit carried out by Walus, was granted medical parole in 2015 and died the following year of cancer.

The now 68-year-old Walus, who is incarcerated at the Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Facility, said his time behind bars had led to him having interactions with black people. This, he said, had given him a better understanding of them.

If I do not succeed with this application, it appears that I will be incarcerated forever, which is an unjust, inhumane and cruel punishment

Janusz Walush

“I have had lots of interaction with many different persons of different races in prison, and I have come to realise that apartheid was wrong and that all persons are born equal and I reject racism in any form,” Walus said.

“I accept democracy to the extent that I accept that a party which was voted for by the majority of the people should govern and that the ANC is the governing party because of that reason,” he added.

Walus emphasised he was no longer a danger to anyone.

“I submit that I have demonstrated that I have become completely rehabilitated, that I will not repeat such a crime, a similar offence, or any crime for that matter again in future. I am genuinely sorry for what I have done.”

Walus filed papers with the Constitutional Court in the hope that it will find that the Supreme Court of Appeal was wrong in dismissing his leave to appeal against a ruling delivered by the high court in Pretoria where he was again denied parole.

He said he believed that the court had misdirected itself in finding that Lamola had considered him for parole without having a proper understanding and appreciation of the scope of discretion which he was called upon to exercise. 

Walus said according to the current correctional services manuals which came into place after 1994, he should have been eligible for parole after serving 13 years and four months behind bars.

But, he said, there was “continuous shifting of the goalposts and new reasons for refusing parole by various ministers”.

He added that previous ministers and their advisers had shown bias and incompetence when it came to the handling of his matter.

Lamola, Walus said, was seemingly being irrational and unreasonable in his decision to refuse him parole.

Over the years, his parole had been denied for several reasons — first because victim offender dialogues in 2011 had not taken place with Hani’s family. He tried to rectify this, but failed, he said. 

In 2013, he again appeared before the parole board on appeal. This time, Hani’s widow was also present but rejected Walus’ apology, saying it was self-serving and insincere. In 2013, he wrote her a letter expressing his remorse.

In 2015, at what would have been his second appeal attempt, Walus was again denied parole, with the-then justice minister saying the department would look into security threats that may exist should he be released.

Walus appealed against this in the high court and the court ordered that he be released. But then-minister Michael Masutha appealed against the high court decision before the SCA. The court ruled in his favour, saying instead that he should make a fresh decision on the matter, taking into consideration victim impact statements filed by the Hani family.

A fresh parole hearing took place in October 2017 where Walus said incorrect information, such as allegations that he had failed to attend anger management and life skills classes, was brought to the fore. His parole application was refused.

He applied again in January 2019 and failed, with the reasons given being that Walus had depression and anger management issues. The decision to block Walus’ parole was set aside by the high court and referred back to the justice minister for consideration.

Among Lamola’s reasons for denying the parole application was that the trial court which had jailed him had wanted to send a message that would clarify that assassinating political leaders was unacceptable.

In conclusion, Walus said it was of public importance to establish the reasons and grounds for his continued incarceration.

“If I do not succeed with this application, it appears that I will be incarcerated forever, which is an unjust, inhumane and cruel punishment,” he said. TimesLIVE

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