Gabon Gets New House Speaker and Government.

Gabon’s new Prime Minister, Julien Nkoghe Bekalé, late on January 12, 2019 night announced a cabinet reshuffle without any major changes, Jeune Afrique magazine reported. The video announcement was recorded in Morocco where Bekalé met with President Ali Bongo Ondimba who is recovering since taking ill in Saudi Arabia last October.

Earlier the same evening, Jean-Yves Teale, Secretary General at the Presidency, in another video message recorded in Morocco, announced appointments of presidential aides, also without significant changes. Meanwhile at the National Assembly, Brice Laccruche Alihanga, remains Director of Cabinet, a position he has been holding since 2017. He is a former official of BGFI Bank.

The National Assembly has been non-existent since April 2018 when the Constitutional Court declared it vacant, blaming for failing to hold parliamentary elections on time. From that time, legislative duties were conferred on the Senate. Follo wing last October’s parliamentary and municipal elections that saw the ruling Gabonese Democratic Party, PDG retaining its two-thirds majority in the National Assembly with 98 of the 143 seats, President Ali Bongo on January 12, 2019 appointed a new Prime Minister, Julien Nkoghe Bekalé, 57.

He replaces Emmanuel Issozé Ngondet who becomes Ombudsman. Earlier on January 11, 2019, Faustin Boukoubi, 65, was elected Speaker of the National Assembly, replacing Richard Auguste Onouviet whose tenure ended on April 30, 2018. President Ali Bongo’s fifth prime minister since he took over power in 2009, Julien Nkoghe Bekalé is said to be close to the Head of State.

He has been Minister variously for Petroleum, Transport and Equipment. After being fired in 2011, he returned as cabinet minister in 2016. Faustin Boukoubi and Julien Nkoghe Bekalé are both senior officials of the ruling party.

Meanwhile, President Ali Bongo is expected to suspend his medical leave in Morocco to return home and swear in a soon-tobe-appointed new cabinet as required by the Constitution.

Julien Nkoghe Bekale has on several occasions been cabinet minister under Ali Bongo and even during the rule of his father, Omar Bongo Ondimba.

Peace Building: The Japanese Experience

Japan has risen from the ruins of World War II to become the world’s third largest economy and one of the most technologically advanced nations today. Prof. Hideaki Shinoda, Director of the Hiroshima Peace-builders’ Centre, HPC in Japan, gave a lecture on “Current International Peace Operations” at the Yaounde Djeuga Palace Hotel on March 22, 2019. He said the country overcame recurrent wars in the 19th and 20th Centuries by acknowledging what was wrong, and then moving forward as a new-born nation state.

The lecture was attended amongst others by seven heads of diplomatic missions in Cameroon – Japan, United States, South Africa, South Korea, Sudan, Great Britain and the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC. “Japan has for over 70 years now known continuous peace and stability following the massive destruction caused by World War II,” he noted. After deploying peacekeepers in South Sudan in 1992, Japan has since focused its efforts on assisting 24 peacekeeping training centres on the continent, Prof. Shinoda said.

They include the International Security Forces School, EIFORCES, Awae, on the outskirts of Yaounde Later the day, Prof. Hideaki Shinoda was at the International Relations Institute of Cameroon, IRIC in Yaounde where he gave another lecture on “Japan’s Reconstruction History.” With Hiroshima and many other cities completely destroyed in World War II, Japanese rose to the challenge by promoting strong interpersonal skills, courageous, confident and responsible leadership, and creating a nation state that has continuously been improved. Other steps taken, the guest said, were avoidance of excessive centralisation, emulation of different Western governance models, clear identification of the nation’s problems, and the ge neral consensus amongst the people that there was urgent need for reforms.

In the process, Hiroshima, which suffered the devastating 1945 atomic bomb attack, was renamed “Memorial Peace City.” The country also embarked on massive urban renewal schemes, transformation of industry, railway and port development. On how Japan was able to identify its problems, Shinoda said the people did not pretend, ignore or shy away from the real challenges. “They boldly acknowledged their major problems, analysed the consequences and proffered solutions in a consensual manner,” Shinoda said.

He attributed the country’s rapid technological growth after World War II to deliberate, targeted and prioritised government policies; support for reconversion of skills, and stimulation of the private sector. Prof. Adolphe Minkoa She, Rector of the University of Yaounde II (under whose oversight IRIC falls), said Japan’s peace-building and reconstruction experience speaks to Cameroon at a time the nation is undertaking a similar exercise sequel to the crisis in the North West and South West Regions, and Boko Haram war in the Far North Region.

Tchad: 300 milliards de F pour la numérisation de l’administration publique

Les autorités tchadiennes viennent de valider le Plan numérique destiné à la modernisation de l’administration publique. D’un montant global de 300 milliards de F, ce plan est étalé sur quatre ans et se décline en quinze programmes et soixante projets destinés à l’éclosion du numérique dans le pays. Il s’agira concrètement de réaliser des infrastructures techniques de base fiables, en vue de la dématérialisation de l’administration publique.

Etats-Unis: un milliard de comptes Yahoo piratés

Le groupe internet Yahoo! a admis mercredi avoir été victime d’une cyberattaque en 2013 ayant frappé plus d’un milliard de ses utilisateurs et qui vient s’ajouter à un précédent piratage de 500 millions de ses comptes. Le groupe dans un communiqué a, par ailleurs,  indiqué qu’il n’est pas en mesure d’identifier pour le moment les auteurs de cette intrusion massive. Concrètement, les noms, numéros de téléphone ou dates de naissance de ses clients ont pu être dérobés par les pirates. Toutefois selon Yahoo !,  les informations relatives aux cartes de crédit ou aux comptes bancaires n’ont pas été affectés.