Technology Leaders Launch to Address Climate Change

Global Technology Leaders Join Delphix in Founding Nonprofit to Advance Sustainability

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., March 08, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, a think tank of global technology leaders and Delphix, the industry leader for DevOps test data management, announced the formation of, a nonprofit organization focused on advancing global sustainability through technology leadership.

“Sustainability is the megatrend of the century,” said Jedidiah Yueh, Founding Director of and Delphix Founder and CEO. “For too long, sustainability has been a problem for someone else to solve. Today, we’re joining forces with technology leaders from the world’s largest organizations to make sustainability our collective problem to solve.”

Over the next decade technology systems will dramatically increase energy consumption and related environmental and carbon impact. And digital transformation programs are increasingly putting consumer data privacy at risk, a major governance concern.

Yet most organizations independently define their approach to sustainability, with no standard metrics or reporting for the three pillars of sustainability: environmental, societal, and governance. will unite IT leaders and experts from around the world to define best practices and standard metrics for all three pillars of sustainability in order to drive transparency and progress toward a sustainable future.

“IT leaders and teams want to have more of an impact on sustainability initiatives. Launching represents an important moment in time for empowering IT to fulfill its promise—not just innovating for the business and our customers but to help save the world,” said Brian Kirkland, Choice Hotels CIO. is a nonprofit governed by global technology leaders with the support of partners and the technical advisor, Delphix. The founding board of directors includes:

As part of its mandate, will define sustainable transformation programs by industry, author best practices and frameworks, set standards and certifications, provide education and training, and raise awareness for environmental and societal programs that make our organizations and the world sustainable for generations to come.

“At Delphix, sustainability is core to our business and value. Our DevOps Data Platform reduces the environmental impact of application environments by 10x, and we govern and protect consumer data privacy for many of the world’s biggest brands,” said Yueh. “But we can do more. is our chance to galvanize the world’s largest organizations to take clear and transparent actions that lead to a sustainable world.”

About is a nonprofit organization focused on advancing global sustainability through technology leadership. Our mission is to define sustainable transformation programs by industry, author best practices and frameworks, set standards and certifications, provide education and training, and raise awareness for environmental and societal programs that make our organizations and the world sustainable for generations to come. Follow us on LinkedIn.

About Delphix

Delphix is the industry leader for DevOps test data management.

Businesses need to transform application delivery but struggle to balance speed with data security and compliance. Our DevOps Data Platform automates data security, while rapidly deploying test data to accelerate application releases. With Delphix, customers modernize applications, adopt multi-cloud, achieve CI/CD, and recover from downtime events such as ransomware up to 2x faster.

Leading companies, including Choice Hotels, Banco Carrefour, and Fannie Mae, use Delphix to accelerate digital transformation and enable zero trust data management. Visit us at Follow us on LinkedInTwitter, and Facebook.


Orlando de Bruce
VP of Corporate Marketing & Brand

Johnson & Johnson Announces Landmark Agreement to Enable its COVID-19 Vaccine to be Manufactured and Made Available by an African Company for People Living in Africa 

Aspen will manufacture and provide the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine under its own brand name per the terms of agreement

Ensuring equitable, global access to COVID-19 vaccines has been a pillar of Johnson & Johnson’s response since the earliest days of the pandemic

The production of COVID-19 vaccines on multiple continents is critical to supporting an equitable response, controlling the pandemic, and improving long-term health security

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., March 8, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) (the Company) today announced the completion of a landmark agreement between Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and manufacturer Aspen SA Operations (Pty) Ltd, based in South Africa, to enable the first COVID-19 vaccine to be manufactured and made available by an African company for people living in Africa, with the goal of increasing COVID-19 vaccination rates across the continent.

Expanding global vaccination coverage is critically important to controlling the COVID-19 pandemic and reducing the risk of emergence of new SARS-CoV-2 variants. Currently, only about 12 percent of people in Africa are fully vaccinated, which is well below the World Health Organization’s target of 70 percent population coverage for all countries.

Our response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been guided by the conviction that unless everyone is safe, no one is safe, which is why we worked to develop and deliver a vaccine that can protect the health of everyone, everywhere.

 “From the outset of this pandemic we aimed to develop a simple-to-use and accessible vaccine that could be transported around the world through standard vaccine distribution channels,” said Martin Fitchet, M.D., Head of Global Public Health, Johnson & Johnson, Cilag GmbH International. “We initiated clinical trials in all regions of the world to generate evidence across multiple geographies and diverse, at-risk populations and forged a strategic partnership with Aspen in Africa and others to manufacture our vaccine globally. We’re proud to take our long-standing collaboration with Aspen to the next level, to continue to address the COVID-19 threat and lay the groundwork for a healthier, more secure future for people in Africa.”

To date, Johnson & Johnson has shipped more than 200 million vaccine doses to Africa through a combination of our advance purchase agreements with the African Vaccine Acquisition TrustSouth Africa and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, on behalf of the COVAX Facility, along with government donations. As one of our contract manufacturers since November 2020, Aspen has been a significant supplier within the Johnson & Johnson global network.

The agreement enables Aspen, using COVID-19 vaccine drug substance supplied by Johnson & Johnson, to produce Aspen-branded finished vaccine and make doses available to the public sector in Africa, including all 55 Member States of the African Union and key multilateral entities supporting Africa’s COVID-19 vaccination drive, inclusive of the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT), and the COVAX Facility.

“With the conclusion of this agreement, our vision for Africa’s own vaccine has become a reality,” said Stephen Saad, Aspen Group Chief Executive. “This has been achieved through tremendous teamwork and collaboration between Johnson & Johnson and Aspen. Through this agreement and their earlier actions, Johnson & Johnson has demonstrated its commitment to our continent. Initially by choosing Aspen, located in Africa, as a core manufacturing partner, and then by showing resolve and dedication to a technical transfer process during the most stringent lockdown periods of the COVID outbreak.”

Johnson & Johnson’s Equitable Response to COVID-19
A commitment to global equity has guided the Company’s response since the beginning of the pandemic, starting with the decision to pursue a vaccine that can provide protection with a single dose and be easily stored and distributed with standard refrigeration globally, including in resource-limited, rural or remote settings.

Johnson & Johnson supported the development of its vaccine with a truly global and inclusive clinical research program that studied the vaccine across the U.S., Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America as we sought to generate evidence across multiple geographies and diverse, at-risk populations, including in resource-limited settings. We complemented this by supporting a large-scale implementation study for our vaccine in South Africa. The “Sisonke” study made the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine available to 500,000 frontline healthcare workers across the country.

In parallel, the Company forged a global supply network that included Aspen and partners in the U.S., Europe and India, and entered into advance purchase agreements with Gavi, on behalf of the COVAX Facility, and AVAT to supply 420 million vaccine doses to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) through 2022.

“The urgency and necessity of developing and delivering our COVID-19 vaccine required our R&D teams to find new and exciting ways to use our novel vaccine technology to rapidly progress our science and maximize our impact for humanity,” said Penny Heaton, M.D., Global Therapeutic Area Head, Vaccines, Janssen Research & Development, LLC.  “We have proudly contributed to protecting hundreds of millions of people from COVID-19. Our experiences will have major benefits for the future of vaccine development and Johnson & Johnson’s ongoing research and development programs as we continue to bring cutting-edge science to bear on complex health challenges.”

In 2021, Johnson & Johnson provided its vaccine globally at a not-for-profit price, and through its advance purchase agreements and country donations, shipped approximately 70% of its global vaccine supply to LMICs. The Company remains committed to ensuring its vaccine is accessible to people around the world and continues to advocate that governments with available doses follow the example of the U.S., European Union and others and immediately ramp up dose sharing, particularly through the COVAX Facility.

Johnson & Johnson has also pledged its support to the COVAX Humanitarian Buffer through an agreement with the U.S. Government and Gavi. This agreement enables access to our COVID-19 vaccine for the world’s most vulnerable people, such as those living in conflict zones and other humanitarian settings who are at risk of exclusion from traditional vaccination campaigns.

About the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine
The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine has a robust profile in scientific, clinical and real-world studies, generating strong, persistent activity against SARS-CoV-2 and variants such as Delta and Omicron. The vaccine’s efficacy, both as a single dose and in boosted regimens, combined with its compatibility with standard refrigeration requirements, uniquely positions it for ease of deployment in any setting.

The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine has an Emergency Use Listing (EUL) from the World Health Organization (WHO) and has been authorized in many other countries worldwide, including 50 countries in Africa. The vaccine is authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) through an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), and has a Conditional Marketing Authorization from the European Commission for use across the European Union (EU).

On February 28, the European Medicines Agency approved an extension of the shelf-life of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to 11 months when refrigerated at temperatures of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius (36 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit). On March 7, Johnson & Johnson confirmed that the U.S. FDA has extended the shelf-life of the Company’s vaccine from six months to nine months when stored at these same temperatures. These decisions are based on data from ongoing stability assessment studies. Johnson & Johnson has also submitted these data regarding the vaccine’s shelf-life to the WHO, and a decision is expected shortly.

About the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson
At Janssen, we’re creating a future where disease is a thing of the past. We’re the Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, working tirelessly to make that future a reality for patients everywhere by fighting sickness with science, improving access with ingenuity and healing hopelessness with heart. We focus on areas of medicine where we can make the biggest difference: Cardiovascular & Metabolism, Immunology, Infectious Diseases & Vaccines, Neuroscience, Oncology and Pulmonary Hypertension.

Learn more at Follow us at @JanssenUS and @JanssenGlobal. Janssen Research & Development, LLC, Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., and Cilag GmbH International are part of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.

About Johnson & Johnson
At Johnson & Johnson, we believe good health is the foundation of vibrant lives, thriving communities and forward progress. That’s why for more than 130 years, we have aimed to keep people well at every age and every stage of life. Today, as the world’s largest and most broadly-based healthcare company, we are committed to using our reach and size for good. We strive to improve access and affordability, create healthier communities, and put a healthy mind, body and environment within reach of everyone, everywhere. We are blending our heart, science and ingenuity to profoundly change the trajectory of health for humanity. Learn more at Follow us at @JNJNews.

Cautions Concerning Forward-Looking Statements 
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 regarding an agreement with Aspen SA Operations (Pty) Ltd relating to the development, manufacture and distribution of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. The reader is cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current expectations of future events. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or known or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results could vary materially from the expectations and projections of Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies, and/or Johnson & Johnson. Risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: the potential that the expected benefits and opportunities of the agreement may not be realized or may take longer to realize than expected; challenges and uncertainties inherent in product research and development, including the uncertainty of clinical success and of obtaining regulatory approvals; uncertainty of commercial success; manufacturing difficulties and delays; competition, including technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges to patents; product efficacy or safety concerns resulting in product recalls or regulatory action; changes in behavior and spending patterns of purchasers of health care products and services; changes to applicable laws and regulations, including global health care reforms; and trends toward health care cost containment. A further list and descriptions of these risks, uncertainties and other factors can be found in Johnson & Johnson’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 2, 2022, including in the sections captioned “Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” and “Item 1A. Risk Factors,” and in Johnson & Johnson’s subsequent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Copies of these filings are available online at or on request from Johnson & Johnson. None of Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies nor Johnson & Johnson undertakes to update any forward-looking statement as a result of new information or future events or developments.

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Call for Entries Issued for The 19th Annual International Business Awards®

New Categories Include Achievement in Social Media and Thought Leadership

FAIRFAX, Va., March 08, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Stevie Awards are now accepting nominations for The 19th Annual International Business Awards®, the world’s premier business awards competition, which attracts nominations from organizations in more than 60 nations and territories each year.

All individuals and organizations worldwide – public and private, for-profit and non-profit, large and small – may submit nominations to The International Business Awards. The early-bird entry deadline, with reduced entry fees, is 6 April. The final entry deadline is 11 May, but late entries will be accepted through 15 June with payment of a late fee. Entry details are available at

Juries featuring more than 150 executives around the world will determine the Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie Award winners. Winners will be announced on 15 August and celebrated at a gala banquet in Europe in October.

The International Business Awards recognize achievement in every facet of the workplace. Categories include:

There are many new and revised features of The International Business Awards for 2022:

  • Nine new event awards categories, ten new innovation in social media categories, three thought leadership categories, three video categories, three mobile site & app categories, two new product categories, and categories for Achievement in Diversity & Inclusion and Influencer Marketing Campaign of the Year
  • Nominations that won in the 2021 IBAs may be resubmitted for consideration in the 2022 IBAs. If they have been updated with recent achievements, they may be submitted to the same categories in which they won. If they have not been updated, they must be submitted to categories different from those in which they won.
  • In many of the category groups and categories you may now submit a video of up to five (5) minutes in length, illustrating the nominee’s achievements, instead of the traditional Stevie Awards written essay.

Stevie Award winners in the 2021 IBAs included Ayala Land (Philippines), Cvent (USA), Ernst & Young Global Limited (UK), Etihad Airways Group (UAE), IBM (USA), Halkbank (Turkey), HP Inc. (USA), Google (USA), Nestle India (India), PJ Lhuillier, Inc (Philippines), Rufus & Coco (Australia), Philip Morris International (Switzerland), Polish Railway Lines (Poland), SAP SE (Germany), and many more.

About the Stevie Awards
Stevie Awards are conferred in eight programs: the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, the German Stevie Awards, the Middle East & North Africa Stevie Awards, The American Business Awards®, The International Business Awards®, the Stevie Awards for Great Employers, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, and the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Stevie Awards competitions receive more than 12,000 entries each year from organizations in more than 70 nations. Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. Learn more about the Stevie Awards at

Nina Moore
+1 (703) 547-8389


INVNT® Higher Ed Bolsters Team, Welcoming Josh Johns as Vice President of Creative Strategy

The Former Executive Vice President of Strategy at August Jackson Brings Over 10 Years of Industry Experience and Insights to INVNT Higher Ed

New York, March 08, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — INVNT® Higher Ed, the live and experiential higher education storytelling division of INVNT and global umbrella enterprise [INVNT GROUP]®, announces Josh Johns as new Vice President of Creative Strategy.

Johns has spent the last ten years leading branding, communications, and launch strategies for new initiatives and fundraising campaigns with many of the top universities, health care systems, and non-profit institutions across the United States. Throughout his career, Johns has helped institutions launch fundraising campaigns of $500 million to $5 billion for higher education and healthcare institutions.

Prior to joining the INVNT Higher Ed Team, Johns held the role of Chief Creative Officer at Feats Inc., and led branding, communications, and launch strategies for a multitude of prestigious institutions including Duke University, Harvard Business School, INSEAD, the University of California, Irvine, New York University, and M.I.T. Johns has also worked as a creative director in film and advertising, and served in product marketing management roles at internet start-ups, and across the software industry.

Tapping into a powerful stack of omnichannel engagement strategies, creative direction, and deep networks in the higher education realm, Johns will leverage his expertise to expand the reach of INVNT Higher Ed.

“Among the most impressive of Josh’s talents is his creativity and commitment to challenging the way colleges and universities engage with their audiences across all platforms. His thought leadership and deep industry knowledge align perfectly with INVNT Higher Ed’s position as the go-to partner for the most forward-thinking schools,” said Sarah Winkler, Senior Vice President of INVNT Higher Ed.

INVNT Higher Ed is dedicated to providing universities and colleges with strategically and creatively led physical and virtual experiences that challenge convention, while engaging and uniting communities. The division – part of the global live brand story telling agency INVNT – is led by industry veterans Sarah Winkler, Senior Vice President, and JoAnn Peroutka, Vice President. They each bring more than 25 years’ experience to the agency. Over the course of their careers, they have successfully designed and delivered higher education events including campaign launches, regional tours, centennial and sesquicentennial celebrations, and presidential transitions for internationally renowned institutions.

“We first introduced our INVNT Higher Ed offering at a time when the world was experiencing a seismic shift in how we connected to one another. Globally, we saw our universities, colleges, and other institutions grappling with world concerns – many of which continue to evolve. The expansion of the INVNT Higher Ed division is a testament to the transformative power of storytelling and community building. We are proud of the deep partnerships cultivating alongside the global ‘challenge everything’ brands and institutions that put their trust in us,” said Kristina McCoobery, CEO of INVNT and COO of [INVNT GROUP].

As Vice President of Creative Strategy, Johns will articulate INVNT Higher Ed’s vision through strategic engagement-driven campaigns, powered by INVNT’s ‘Challenge Everything’ mantra, to deliver compelling, innovative, and authentic brand storytelling.

“Higher Ed is going through a period of tremendous change, and there’s a lot of opportunity for institutions to rethink and reimagine how they’re telling their stories. I’m excited to be able to leverage the expertise and creativity across the INVNT Group to explore new models for engagement and break new ground in how universities use innovation and technology to reach their most important audiences,” said Josh Johns.

To learn more about the INVNT Higher Ed team and their mission to create innovative strategies and live events for higher education, please visit our website.


About INVNT® Higher Ed
A division of award-winning global live brand storytelling agency, INVNT™, INVNT Higher Ed specializes in providing colleges and universities with strategically and creatively led physical and virtual experiences that challenge convention and unite and excite audiences. Led by Senior Vice-President, Sarah Winkler,  JoAnn Peroutka, Vice-President, the division draws on INVNT’s award-winning challenger positioning and approach and their combined experience in higher ed to curate tailored solutions that communicate institutions’ mission and purpose and engage and mobilize entire communities. Visit for more.

Founded in 2008 by Scott Cullather and Kristina McCoobery, INVNT uses the craft of live brand storytelling to Challenge Everything, producing live experiences that excite and unite physical and virtual audiences, globally. The company’s ‘challenge everything’ positioning statement helps clients including General Motors, Microsoft, Merck, PepsiCo., and Samsung share their stories with every audience that matters. Part of [INVNT GROUP], THE GLOBAL BRANDSTORY PROJECT™, INVNT’s offices are strategically located in New York – where its INVNT Higher Ed division is also based – London, Sydney, Detroit, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Stockholm, and Singapore. Visit for more.

[INVNT GROUP] was established in 2020, as an evolution of the founding global live brand storytelling agency INVNT in 2008, with a vision to provide consistent, meaningful, well-articulated BrandStory across all platforms. Headed by President and CEO, Scott Cullather, [INVNT GROUP], THE GLOBAL BRANDSTORY PROJECT™ represents a growing portfolio of complementary disciplines designed to help forward-thinking organizations everywhere, impact the audiences that matter, anywhere. The GROUP consists of modern brand strategy firm, Folk Hero; creative-led culture consultancy, Meaning; branded content studio and content marketing agency HEVĒ, INVNT Higher Ed; events for colleges and universities, and the original live brand storytelling agency, INVNT. Visit for more.


Jhonathan Mendez de Leon

Meinergy signe un accord avec Huawei sur un projet de 1 GW et 500 MWh pour faciliter le développement écologique du Ghana

BARCELONE, Espagne, 8 mars 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Huawei Digital Power Technologies Co., Ltd. (ci-après dénommée Huawei Digital Power) a signé un accord de coopération stratégique avec Meinergy Technology Co., Ltd (ci-après dénommée Meinergy), le premier développeur photovoltaïque (PV) en Afrique de l’Ouest. Dans le cadre de cet accord, Huawei Digital Power fournira une solution complète de système PV et de stockage d’énergie (ESS) intelligent pour la centrale PV de 1 GW et le projet ESS de 500 MWh développé par Meinergy au Ghana.

Wu Guangwen (PDG – Meinergy), Zhou Wei (directeur général – Bureau de représentation de Huawei au Ghana), et Fang Liangzhou (vice-président et directeur du marketing – Huawei Digital Power), ont assisté à la cérémonie de signature.

Pour répondre à la demande croissante d’électricité, diversifier le mix énergétique et accélérer le développement économique, le gouvernement du Ghana a fixé son objectif stratégique en matière d’énergie renouvelable : Augmenter à 10 % la proportion d’énergie renouvelable dans le bouquet énergétique, promouvoir l’énergie verte et rendre l’énergie accessible à l’échelle nationale d’ici 2030.

Meinergy est au Ghana depuis de nombreuses années, et ses activités couvrent les secteurs de l’exploitation minière, de l’énergie électrique et du photovoltaïque. Dans le contexte de la transformation du mix énergétique mondial, Meinergy a développé énergiquement ses activités dans le domaine des énergies renouvelables au Ghana et dans d’autres pays d’Afrique pour fournir une énergie verte stable aux communautés locales et combler le fossé lié à l’électricité.

Les deux parties ont collaboré étroitement dans le domaine des centrales PV à l’échelle des services publics, de l’intégration du photovoltaïque et de l’hydroélectricité, du stockage d’énergie et du photovoltaïque résidentiel au Ghana, et ont obtenu des résultats commerciaux exceptionnels. Les deux parties espèrent continuer à coopérer dans le développement d’usines PV et ESS, de centres de données, de solutions LTE pour entreprise et de cloud public pour construire une Afrique plus verte.

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RTU: Fans want Ibrahim Tanko and management out – Club’s spokesperson Sey Mubarak

Communications manager of Real Tamale United [RTU], Sey Mubarak has revealed that fans of the club want the current management out of the club.

The fans on Monday stormed the training grounds to seize items due to the club’s recent poor form.

The Ghana Premier League returnees started the ongoing 2021/22 campaign on a bright note but have failed to win any of their last five games played.

After 19 matches played, RTU sit 15 on the summit with 21 points after sharing spoils with Legon Cities over the weekend at home.

Mubarak speaking in an interview following the action of the fans said the fans feel Ibrahim Tanko, who is the head coach of the side have issues with his players, adding that they want the management also to quit.

“RTU supporters are not happy with the current happenings at the club. They feel coach Shaibu Ibrahim Tanko, has problems with player selection since he has previously said that the club doesn’t have quality like the others teams in the league,” he told Kumasi based Oyerepa FM.

“They the supporters also feel that the problem is not only about the technical team but also the management team. For instance, in the fir past three months we haven’t heard anything from Ibrahim Mahama and his people.

“Some RTU supporters were at the club’s training ground to stop them from training and also took away some training equipment. Reports are that they are not happy with the current management and want them to leave the club,” he added.

Source: Modern Ghana

Sudanese women footballers tackle hurdles to play the game

Sudan’s women’s football team is yet to win a match, but members say they have scored a victory by overcoming challenges including discrimination and a coup to play the game.

“The girls are still taking their very first steps in international football,” said coach Salma al-Majidi, training the team that was formed just last year.

A few years ago, the prospect of a Sudanese women’s national team was inconceivable, given the strict policing of social mores under the hardline Islamist regime of deposed autocrat Omar al-Bashir.

But within months of his ouster in 2019, and on the back of mass protests against his rule, Sudan launched its first women’s football tournament.

In 2021, Sudan’s first women’s national team was born.

The team has since taken part in the Arab Women’s Cup 2021, playing against Egypt, Tunisia and Lebanon.

It also played against Algeria, but it has yet to claim any victories, including in its latest two games against South Sudan.

“They have much less experience than the other teams,” Majidi told AFP after a friendly with neighbouring South Sudan in February, which Sudan lost 6-0. “But their performance is getting better.”

In a second friendly against South Sudan later last month, Sudan lost again, 3-0.

‘Kicked out of fields’

Majidi blamed the team’s loss in the latest matches in part on the disruption of practice due to anti-coup demonstrations.

Mass protests have regularly rocked the country, claiming at least 85 lives since a military coup in October led by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

Among other things, the coup resulted in one of their matches with Algeria being cancelled after it was set to take place on October 26 — the day after the military power-grab.

“We could not prepare properly,” said Majidi. “And it has recently become hard to practise on a regular basis.”

Majidi has faced a tough challenge before. She was also the first Arab woman to coach a men’s football team, including several of Sudan’s second league men’s clubs.

Team captain Fatma Gadal was among the women who resisted state-sanctioned gender discrimination during Bashir’s three-decade rule.

For years, she and others had to navigate myriad obstacles to play the game, snatching opportunities to practise when they could, on pitches out of sight of public view.

While under Bashir there was no legal ban on women’s football, a conservative society coupled with the Islamist leanings of the government left it in the shadows.

Gadal said they had to “often look for secluded areas” to train, as many viewed football as a “masculine sport”.

“People were generally against it, and we were often kicked out of fields when we were seen playing,” Gadal said.

Women were at the forefront of mass protests against Bashir, voicing their pent up anger against decades of inequality and restrictive policies that severely diminished their role in society.

Along with Bashir’s rule, the uprising eventually did away with public order laws that imposed stiff restrictions on women’s actions and dress in public, sparking hopes for a more liberal Sudan.

Hard-won liberties

But after the October coup, which derailed a transition that had been painstakingly negotiated between military and civilian leaders, many fear the hard-won liberties gained since Bashir’s ouster will be rolled back.

“We just don’t want military rule,” said Gadal, warning that this would amount to “the same challenges as under Bashir”.

Burhan — who chairs Sudan’s post-coup ruling council — has vowed that the military will not run in the upcoming elections planned for mid-2023.

“I remain committed that if a national consensus is reached or elections are held, the military institution and I will stay out of politics,” he said in a recent TV interview.

Majidi believes that women’s football is here to stay, irrespective of whatever government comes next.

“We want to better our performance in the upcoming matches,” Majidi said. “People in Sudan have become more accepting of women’s football.”

Source: Modern Ghana

Paga Pio launches Golden Jubilee of enskinment

Paga (UE), March 8, GNA – The Paga Traditional Council in the Kassena Nankana West District of the Upper East Region has launched the 50th anniversary of the enskinment of the Paramount Chief of Paga, Paga Pio, Pe Charles Awiah Awampaga II.

Pe Charles Awiah Awampaga who is the 14th paramount chief of the Paga traditional area was enskinned on 20th June, 1972 at the age of 18 years.

The golden jubilee celebration is under the theme, “Celebrating our heritage, an anchor for development in peace.”

Under his reign, the traditional area has enjoyed maximum peace as he was very instrumental in working with the people of the area and all other relevant institutions to bring development to his people.

The Paga health facility, which had recently been elevated into a district hospital was constructed through his ingenuity and support from the government of the early 1980s.

In an address to launch the event, the chairman of the anniversary planning committee, Mr Richard Alogitega, said the Paga Pio’s efforts to bring development into the area must be applauded.

He said, “the airborne force facilities at the Paga border with Burkina Faso were converted for use by the Custom Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority following his recommendation.”

He said the opening of the Paga Senior High School was at the Chief’s persistent calls on government to support the community in the area of education and many more basic schools were established through his initiative.

The anniversary planning committee Chairman outlined the activities earmarked for the celebration, which included smock competition and cultural night, tree planting, health walk and screening, fun games, food bazaar and awards night, among others.

The celebration would be climaxed with a grand durbar of the chiefs and people of the area on June 25, 2022.

The colourful ceremony was attended by traditional rulers, women groups, and heads of departments, among others.

Source: Ghana News Agency