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Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development Matia Kasaija.  PHOTO | FILE 

  • Uganda is currently experiencing an epic rise in the heat wave, with the scorching sun withering crops across the country. Finance minister Matia Kasaija has warned that the country is heading to tougher times if the government does not put aside a special budget for climate change mitigation.  

Uganda is currently experiencing an epic rise in the heat wave, with the scorching sun withering crops across the country. 

“It has not been normal to budget [on climate change]. This phenomenon is new. We have been using mainly grants or donated money for climate change. We have not been collecting money [tax] to use for climate change,” he said.

The minister made the remarks during a meeting that brought together directors of climate finance in the national treasuries and ministries of finance and climate change from the East Africa region at Kigo, Kampala, last Friday.

The two-day session kick-started a regional dialogue on climate finance access and mobilisation for enhanced regional climate action.

Mr Kasaija said climate change is real and deadly.  “Our people are doing things ignorantly and they damage the environment. The first money, if donated, will be to educate the population. People must conserve the environment,” he added.

Ms Dagmar Zwebe, the Country Representative of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), said climate change does not know borders.

She said GGGI is, for example, supporting projects of solar irrigation. “If you have the traditional form of irrigation with diesel, it’s very polluting, so by removing the diesel and using the sun, Uganda will have fewer emissions moving forward,” Ms Zwebe said.

Mr Ladislaus K. Leonidas, the principal environment and natural resources officer of the East Africa Community, said the region receives $2.5 billion from international public finance sources, far below the required $21.18 billion required to implement partner states’ updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). 

UK donor aid representative Benjamin Smith said climate finance needs to be based on climate adaptation priorities.  The Uganda Climate Change Act, 2021, empowers the Finance minister in consultation with his Water and Environment counterpart to provide for climate change financing.  By Tonny Musani, Daily Monitor

The Artistic Director has appointed curator Luca Raffaelli (comic expert and historian) to manage the permanent collection. This utilises a multimedia, interactive experience, enabling visitors to admire roughly 200 original pages by the most famous comic artists of all time, as well as over 500 sketches, scripts, historic and rare publications, costumes used in films based on comics, set designs and video content from all around the world, collected through purchases, loans and donations.
Located within the 2200 square metres of exhibition spaces at PAFF!, the collection is distributed across one floor of the museum. It is divided into nine different sections and includes original pages by numerous masters and outstanding artists such as Carl Barks, Milton Caniff, Giorgio Cavazzano, Will Eisner, Floyd Gottfredson, Chester Gould, Benito Jacovitti, Magnus, Milo Manara, George McManus, Andrea Pazienza, Hugo Pratt, Alex Raymond, Charles M. Schulz and Art Spiegelman. A sculpture by Ivan Tranquilli will also be on display, while Davide Toffolo has created a board for the museum introducing “proto-comics”, illustrated stories (for example those decorating Trajan’s Column or drawings in nineteenth-century publications), which came before the birth and success of the comics industry.
Luca Raffaelli has provided an original approach to the structure of the museum visit, rooted in the different formats in which comic art, over more than 100 years of history, has been read, experienced and loved all around the globe, based on the cultures, economic conditions and social habits of readers. Thus we encounter first the birth of the Sunday pages in colour supplements of American newspapers, and later strips and comic books. Meanwhile, in Italy we find the newspaper format (like that used for Corriere dei Piccoli) and the strips of Tex, which then led to the success of the eponymous format; and in France volumes called albùm, and Japan Tankōbon, small books used to publish popular manga.
PAFF! is therefore the only museum in the world dedicated to comics with a primary focus on comparing original pages with reproductions, newspapers, albums and books in which comics live.
This emphasises the surprising formats adopted for the publication of some works, and demonstrates interaction between comics and other disciplines (cinema, painting, fashion, design, the avant-garde, theatre and literature) and fields (education and entertainment). It also clarifies better than ever before the relationship between comics and the communications industry, enabling audiences of different cultures, ages and origins to explore new themes and languages.
The majority of comics are created for a specific publishing context, which dictates the space and time available to tell a story. But events and success can change everything. A good example of this is the Sunday comic Flash Gordon, in a large and eye-catching colour version, then reduced to a black-and-white pocket format. Another is L’eternauta, a science-fiction comic first created in horizontal “Argentine format” in the fifties (renowned for having foretold the tragedy of Los Desaparecidos), which became a success in Italy in the vertical Lanciostory format twenty years later. And then there is Maus by Spiegelman, which began life as a supplement in an underground magazine and a distribution of just a few thousand copies, before becoming one of the most famous graphic novels globally, winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1992.
The permanent collection presents original pages in all the different stages of the publishing process, clarifying better than ever before the relationship between comics and the communications industry, thus opening up a new perspective on this art form for audiences of different cultures, ages and origins, also in terms of the relationship with other artistic disciplines and their languages. The multimedia component of the Museum is also particularly rich and skilfully curated, including 56 touch screens, Wi-Fi connection with a dedicated server for interactive monitors, neckbands and latest-generation tablets offering visitors a truly unique interactive experience of comic art.

By the end of 2023, the International Museum of Comic Art will also boast an archive with climate-controlled storage for original pages, drawings and publications in the Museum’s collection. The archive will be equipped with a precision high-energy-efficiency system to keep the environment at a constant temperature of 18°C, with no greater than 45% relative humidity.

Giulio De Vita - Luca Raffaelli - Ivo Milazzo

The exhibition and museum as conceived by Giulio De Vita and Paff! is unique and innovative, presenting comics as a complete format for communication, yet one capable of interacting with the other arts. There will be plenty of original works and, as demonstrated by the list of prestigious authors, these are of the highest level. But visitors will be able to admire them after first viewing their reproductions.
Luca Raffaelli, curator of the PAFF! permanent collection International Museum of Comic Art

South Sudan’s local currency is witnessing one of its hard times since the outbreak of the country’s deadly five-year-old civil war in 2011, losing a very good value of its strength against foreign currencies such as the United States dollar.


This means that 100 US dollar is sold there at 80,000 South Sudanese pound, according to currency traders in the parallel market in the capital Juba.

“As I speak to you, one hundred dollars is sold at 8100 South Sudanese Pound. We buy it are 795 or 800 South Sudanese pound and I believe that very soon, if not next week, we will have to sell it at 1000,” one trader who requested not to be named told Sudan's Post on Saturday evening. 

Last week, the bank said the rise in the strength of the US dollar against the local currency is partly due to the hikes of interest rates by the US Federal Reserve which it said has affected global economies.

In a statement last week, the bank urged local banks to and forex bureaus to display their exchange rates openly in order to enable the public to deal with authorized dealers, rather than risking “with unreliable umbrella and streets dealers.” 

“The Bank of South Sudan, in collaboration with the treasury reiterates its strong commitment to implementing the Revitalized Agreement reforms agenda of restoring macro-economic stability,” the statement reads.  Sudan Post

ISIOLO, Kenya – As nearly 1,000 exercise participants gather in Kenya for this year’s iteration of Justified Accord (JA23), one U.S. Army Reserve Soldier returns to very familiar territory.

“It’s humbling to come back to my roots,” said U.S. Army Capt. Ronald Ottichilo, a microbiologist with U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF). “I'm reconnecting with old friends, letting them know I’m back home.”

Ottichilo traveled from Italy to Kenya where the Kenyan Defence Forces are hosting JA23, U.S. Africa Command’s largest exercise in East Africa. From Feb. 10–23, this multinational exercise brings together approximately 20 countries from four continents to increase partner readiness for peacekeeping missions, crisis response and humanitarian assistance.

Moving to the U.S. in 2017, Ottichilo was able to utilize the skills he developed during a Kenyan-based master's degree program at Maseno University to become a medical researcher with the Cleveland Clinic. He specializes in immunology and, specifically, how the human body reacts to pathogens.

The U.S. Army Reserve valued Ottichilo’s skills as a microbiologist, and the recruiter worked with him to streamline his direct-commissioning process as a first lieutenant. Due to provisions within the Immigration and Nationality Act, he was able to utilize his military service to become a U.S. citizen in 2020.

“Previously, I only worked with the civilian population,” he shared. “But the military gave me a chance to gain valuable leadership skills such as leading an entire surgical unit, the 366th Surgical Detachment based in Twinsburg, Ohio.”

Ottichilo joined SETAF-AF in December 2022, on active-duty orders for operational support which enable part-time service members, such as Guard and Reserve members, to serve full-time for a temporary length of time. Upon arrival to headquarters based in Vicenza, Italy, he learned he would soon be en route to Kenya for JA23.

U.S. Army Master Sgt. Aaron Butler, a medical logistics non-commissioned officer on the same surgical team at SETAF-AF, shared that it’s been a pleasure working with Ottichilo since his arrival.

“His unique perspective as a Kenyan American, combined with his extensive education in microbial pathogens and endemic diseases, is an invaluable asset for multinational military health protection,” added Butler.

Ottichilo says he is here to help wherever there is a need.

“My role at the exercise is to provide real-world medical advice to exercise participants to prevent illness from infectious diseases and injury,” said Ottichilo. “But what I really enjoy is seeing how SETAF fully integrates medical assistance into the exercise, providing care to U.S. Soldiers and African partner nations alike.”

His team disseminates critical information that informs force health protection such as circulating infectious diseases of military interest, Kenyan plant life and wildlife to avoid, as well as the kinds of dangerous insects, ticks and poisonous spiders that live within the area of operation.

“Capt. Ottichilo also conducts hygiene and sanitation inspections of the camp kitchens feeding our Soldiers,” said Butler. “His ability to communicate with our local national food service workers in their own language has greatly aided in protecting the quality of meals we share.”

He is not the first member of his family to serve in the military. His father served in the Kenyan Air Force as a warrant officer and weapon systems operator, retiring four years ago. The Ottichilo family comes from the Laikipia region of Kenya, where the Kenyan Defence Forces’ Laikipia Air Base is located.

“Half my childhood friends are officers and service members in the KDF,” Ottichilo shared. “Some are even participating in JA23.”

This year’s exercise features a multinational staff officer course, multiple live-fire exercises, multinational field training exercises and a medical civic action program (MEDCAP). The MEDCAP takes place at two local clinics where Kenyan and U.S. medical personnel will provide medical triage and other services such as maternity and newborn care.

Along with English and Swahili, Ottichilo speaks five different languages, enabling him to communicate with multiple tribes in Kenya, including those traveling from remote areas for medical care.

“Capt. Ottichilo's innate understanding of regional cultures has been instrumental in ensuring our partners' medical personnel are informed and integrated into our combined health service support plan,” added Butler.

Ottichilo said he is encouraged to be part of an exercise with lasting impact, especially one based in his native country.

“We wear different flags on our uniforms, and we represent different countries,” he said, “But here we are, all working together on the same team.”

Kenya-born U.S. Army Soldier returns to his native land at Justified Accord 2023

He shared that this philosophy on life was shaped at an early age by his family and surrounding community. Humility, patience and giving every human an equal opportunity to succeed is what drives him, he emphasized.

“My family and mentors have been patient with me,” said Ottichilo. “Without that, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”  By Capt. Joe Legros, US Army

Fire burning the boys’ dormitory at Kyamakanda Senior Secondary School in Buyanja Town Council on Friday. Photo | Ronald Kabanza

What you need to know:

  • Mr Elly Maate, the Kigezi regional police spokesperson confirmed the incident saying that property including; mattresses, books, clothes, documents, beds, and suitcases among others were all destroyed.

Police in Rukungiri District are investigating circumstances under which a boys’ dormitory at Kyamakanda Senior Secondary School in Buyanja Town Council was gutted by the fire that left property worth millions burnt into ashes. 

Mr Elly Maate, the Kigezi regional police spokesperson confirmed the incident saying that property including; mattresses, books, clothes, documents, beds, and suitcases among others were all destroyed. 

"The burnt dormitory was accommodating over 54 male students drawn from different classes, and the fire started when all the students were in evening classes. It's good that no life was lost in this incident," he said.

Mr Maate explained that the fire started at around 8.30PM on Friday, and police responded in time and put it off before it could spread to other building blocks.

“At least 16 female students collapsed into a coma on hearing the news of a fire outbreak and were rushed to Nyakyibare Hospital, Rugarama and Buyanja Health centres for medical attention,” he said, that police later checked on them and were informed by medical personnel that they were in good condition and normalizing.

The cause of the fire remains unknown as police have launched investigations into the matter.

The school head teacher Mr Brain Mbabazi Twebazi said: “We thank God that no single life was lost in this fire outbreak. All students were in evening classes. We feel sorry for our students whose property was destroyed. The school will stand with you and we shall assist where possible.”

The head teacher called for calmness among learners saying that the situation is under control and all will be fine in the shortest period of time.

"We are continuing with studies, so students should keep on coming as usual because we are not breaking off because of the fire," Mr Twebazi said. By Ronald Kabanza, Daily Monitor

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