NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Eight East African countries vowed Tuesday to
establish inter-agency cross-border technical working groups to
improve the efficiency of border operations.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM), which
organized a meeting in Nairobi, said Ethiopia and South Sudan
have agreed to conduct joint, cross-border patrols and to work
together to open new border crossings points between the two
During the meeting under the aegis of the Better Migration
Management (BMM) Program - a regional, multi-year and
multi-partner program, Sudan and South Sudan agreed to work
together to open four border crossing points, including One Stop
Gordon Kihalangwa, Kenya’s principal secretary for immigration
and registration of persons, said with increasing complexity of
migration flows, countries in the east and horn of Africa region
should enhance cross-border cooperation.
Kihalangwa said this will effectively deal with existing
challenges in border management which include trafficking of
persons and smuggling of migrants, among other forms of
transnational organized crime.
The meeting brought together directors general of immigration
and senior immigration and border management officers from
Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda
According to IOM, the region’s borders are some of the busiest,
as they cut across key migration routes focused on the movement
of people within the region and to other major destinations,
including Europe and the Gulf countries.
African expert says training,
research key to achieving health goals
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The attainment of health-related sustainable
development goals (SDGs) in Africa is dependent on robust
funding towards research and training of medics to help combat a
rising disease burden, an expert said on Tuesday.
Bassirou Bonfoh, director of Afrique One-Aspire, a pan African
scientific research entity, said that transformation of the
health sector in the continent lies in targeted investments in
research, technologies and human capital.
“Africa is still burdened and grappling with treatable and
preventable diseases and the situation can be attributed to
insufficient public sector funding in health research,” said
Bonfoh in a commentary published by Kenya’s Daily Nation.
He noted that under-investment in health research is to blame
for absence of essential drugs, vaccines and diagnostic
equipment needed to combat infectious diseases in Africa.
Bonfoh urged African governments to prioritize funding towards
medical research in line with a continental pact adopted by
Heads of State and governments seventeen years ago.
“There is a consensus that funding of medical research should be
a priority for all governments,” said Bonfoh, adding that
African governments can borrow international best practices to
revitalize bio-medical research against a backdrop of a spike in
virulent infections caused by climatic shocks and interactions
between animals and humans.
He noted that Afrique One-Aspire program that is funded by a
consortium of donors has focused on strengthening home-grown
research on zoonotic diseases that have created a public health
crisis in sub-Saharan Africa.
“This program has recruited more than 60 scientists from twelve
East, Central and West Africa to conduct research on rabies,
tuberculosis, brucellosis and other diseases,” said Bonfoh.
He said that building the capacity of African health researchers
through training will elevate their standing at the global
Bonfoh stressed that Africa can leverage on its demographic
dividend, disruptive technologies and local innovations to
re-invent the health systems.