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UNDP Boss Calls for Honesty in Procurement

first_imgThe Country Director of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Liberia has called for ‘honesty’ among procurement officers in Liberia, a press release said yesterday.Dr. Pa Lamin Beyai said anyone who sees procurement as a money-making profession to earn extra money outside of their salaries must immediately leave the sector.He was speaking recently at the opening of a set of back to back CIPS levels 2 and 3 training for public procurement officers.The trainings were organized by the Public Procurement and Concession Commission (PPCC) with support from UNDP for beginners and mid-level procurement personnel from Line Ministries, Agencies, Commissions and UNDP.About 60 trainees formed part of a batch of staff who have either successfully completed previous levels of the CIPS trainings or are beginners.This initiative seeks to qualify public sector procurement practitioners for certificates in public procurement and subsequent accreditation by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS), based in UK.“You are being trained to make savings for the government without losing sight of the quality that you are looking for…. Procurement is not for money making. If you’re here to make more money, then I think you’re in the wrong place….” Dr. Beyai said at the opening of the exercise.He told procurement officers that the purpose of the trainings is to ensure that they do their best in making sure that funds are saved for government without compromising quality.“You can make effective use of this training without being a roving thief in the streets of Monrovia, but be efficient procurement persons to support the efforts of the government…. This country needs a lot; and I think for us to get to where we want to go, we need people like you,” Dr. Beyai stated.The Executive Director of the Public Procurement and Concession Commission (PPCC), James Dorbor Jallah, said the training for the group of thirty (30) persons was the third group of CIPS level three for this year, while the other was for CIPS 2.“The first two CIPS 3 trainings were conducted early February and late March where a total of 70 procurement personnel benefitted. By the end of this batch, Liberia may have trained, at level three, up to one-hundred people which is a good thing,” Mr. Jallah said.He said it is hoped that by the end of the year when level four should have commenced, a significant number of procurement officers would have been trained.The PPCC Director thanked UNDP for the partnership and support to the PPCC and the Government over the years.Sidiki Quasia of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) also lauded efforts by the PPCC with support from UNDP for the strides being made to build trust, efficiency and effectiveness among procurement staff to help promote accountability and transparency.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) – Advertisement –last_img read more

South Africa raises women’s health awareness at UN

first_img29 September 2015Thobeka Madiba-Zuma, South Africa’s first lady, has used her presence in New York City, where she is attending the 70th session of the United Nation General Assembly (UNGA), to promote women’s health awareness.Arriving in #NYC for historic #UNGA#UN70 Adoption of 17 new global goals for sustainable development by 2030 pic.twitter.com/JNT3I2Kczd— TMZ Foundation (@tmzfoundation)September 28, 2015Two issues relevant to women’s health, namely cancer, especially cervical and breast cancer, and HIV prevention and treatment, were in focus.Madiba-Zuma participated in UNGA meetings such as “Putting cancer on the global agenda: the time to act now” on 27 September, as well as the Organisation of First Ladies Against HIV and Aids roundtable event, “Building on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to invest in the post-2015 development agenda”, on 28 September. The latter had a focus on adolescent and young people’s health.African #firstladies use our voices for continued advocacy for a #cancersmart world #pnbcf#UNGApic.twitter.com/MdIoVcQn0d— TMZ Foundation (@tmzfoundation) September 28, 2015“The only way we are going to address women’s sexual and reproductive health including cervical and breast cancer, HIV, Aids and TB, is to ensure that policies, programmes and services are integrated,” she said. “When a woman visits a health care provider, whether it is a GP or a nurse at a clinic, she should be treated as a whole person with a range of health needs.“It is my responsibility to the people of South Africa to ensure that women’s sexual and reproductive health is kept high on the national and global agenda,” she said.South Africa’s progressSouth Africa has the biggest HIV treatment programme in the world and has managed to reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV at six weeks from 8% in 2008 to 2.6% in 2013. Currently, though, adolescent girls and young women between the ages of 10 and 24 are being left behind by the national Aids response.Madiba-Zuma advocated for strategic yet innovative and flexible strategies for adolescent girls and young women with regards to HIV prevention and treatment, with a clear link to sexual and reproductive health.Through the Thobeka Madiba-Zuma Foundation, she works locally and globally with partners to advance the agenda on breast and cervical cancer, HIV and TB.UNGA 70This year’s General Assembly is historic for two reasons: it marks the 70th anniversary of the UN and the MDGs make way for the adoption of new global goals for sustainable development.“The 70th anniversary of the UN is an opportunity to reflect – to look back on the UN’s history and take stock of its enduring achievements,” said secretary-general Ban Ki-moon. “It is also an opportunity to spotlight where the UN – and the international community as a whole – needs to redouble its efforts to meet current and future challenges across the three pillars of its work: peace and security, development, and human rights.”More than 150 world leaders have gathered for the UN Sustainable Development Summit at UN Headquarters in New York to formally adopt the new sustainable development agenda. This agenda will serve as the platform for action by the international community and governments to promote shared prosperity and well-being for the next 15 years.Vaccination programmeThe first round of the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination campaign ran from 23 February to 20 March this year. The campaign was conducted by the national Department of Health to protect young girls from getting cervical cancer caused by HPV. All girls in Grade Four who were nine years and older were to be vaccinated provided their parents had signed the consent forms. An estimated 500 000 girls in 18 000 public schools were to be vaccinated.South Africa took a major step towards protecting women against cervical cancer on 12 March 2014 when Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi launched the government’s HPV vaccine campaign, targeting girls aged between nine and 12 years old.HPV is a major cause of cervical cancer, which is responsible for the deaths of over 3 000 women in South Africa every year. The vaccination campaign will run during March and April. After six months, the same girls will receive the second dose of the vaccine.“Today, South Africa [becomes] one of the few countries on the continent to provide this vaccine to all Grade 4 learners,” Motsoaledi said at the launch. “The one country which provides this vaccine is Zambia, and it only gives 25 000 vaccines. It’s a serious disease affecting women around the world.”About 3 000 health workers have been trained to administer the vaccine, according to the Health Department. The Treasury has allocated R400-million for the campaign.Madiba-Zuma was at the launch in 2014, and said that many women died painful deaths as a result of breast and cervical cancers. “South Africa today is witnessing a huge milestone, a step towards the right direction, which is prevention is better than cure,” she said at the time.Source: SAnews.gov and SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Easter Egg Hunt: Hidden Treats in Adobe After Effects

first_imgWe show you the hidden suprises in this easter egg hunt for Adobe After Effects.It’s that time of the year again, kids get to search around for eggs full of candy while you watch with inner-jealousy. Well…we can’t give you free candy but we can give you the chance to go on an easter egg hunt using Adobe After Effects!For those unfamiliar, an ‘easter egg‘ is a hidden message or joke inside a movie or software. Some developers choose to include easter eggs in their apps and software as a way to entertain and reward users.First we’ll provide instructions for the ‘hunt’ and then we’ll share the spoilers for what each of them does…Easter Egg Hunt InstructionsSimply open up a new project in Adobe After Effects and follow the instructions below.Hold down Option+Command (Control+Alt on a pc) and click About After Effects in the File Menu.Navigate to File>Preferences>General, with the Shift key held down click General. There should be a new menu item at the bottom of the menu tabs.Create a new mask. Hold down Shift+Option+Command and click on the words Mask Expansion. When you close and open the mask menu you should see an easter egg.Add an effect to any layer. In the effects control panel shift+click on the text just above the top effect (make sure you unmute your speakers).Add the Tone effect to any clip. Under the Animation presets click CallAdobe. This produces the DTMF tone that allegedly will call Adobe if you are using a phone that recognizes DTMF tones.What’s Inside Each Egg? Spoiler Alert!1. A secret project with the names of all the developers.2. A secret menu tab that allows users to disable the layer cache and ignore sequence rendering errors. This one makes us a little nervous.3. The term “Mask Embiggen” will replace expansion. Embiggen is a term from The Simpsons which means to make bigger. Although we’re thinking there may be some other connotations.4. When you click right above the top effect in the effect control panel you will hear a sheep sound. I accidentally came across this sound recently with my volume turned up and it scared the heck out of me! The sheep sound also plays when there are certain types of rendering errors.Photo Courtesy of George Gastin on WikimediaThe following video shows how find the easter eggs in Adobe After Effects.Well that concludes our easter egg hunt this year!Did we miss any Easter Eggs? Share in the comments below.last_img read more

Mahindra Quanto to be launched on Sept 20

first_imgIndia’s auto major Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) is all set to launch its much-awaited multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) Quanto on September 20. The new car expected to pitch in the same space as the Premier Rio SUV is likely to have a price tag of Rs 5 lakh.According to reports, Mahindra’s Quanto SUV ( mini-Xylo) is based on the Xylo platform, and will come with a new three-cylinder twin-turbo diesel engine producing 65PS and wear the same tyres as the Toyota Innova in size. In a media interaction, M&M president, Automotive and Farm Equipment sectors, Pawan Goenka said: “The company is expecting volumes to be around 1,500 to 2, 000 units per month to start with.  Capacity wont be a constraint because it could come up on the same line as Scorpio and Xylo. We will have flexibility on what we can produce. It is very unlikely that we will run out of capacity.”About the pricing of the Quanto, Goenka reportedly said that expectation should be realistic as the car is not a small hatchback. “It is after all a sports utility vehicle (SUV),” he added.We are confident that with its unique value proposition, the Quanto will carve out a segment for itself in the market. The Quanto will cater to the needs of young urban India which enjoys an active lifestyle. We expect the Quanto to offer an exciting upgrade at a premium to customers who are otherwise looking for premium diesel hatchbacks or entry level diesel sedans. Trade analysts, who refer to the yet to be launched Quanto as the mini Xylo, expect the pricing of the vehicle to be very competitive.With Agency inputsadvertisementlast_img read more

Bartlett Touts Jamaica as Excellent Tourism Investment Destination

first_img “And it’s not just in the accommodation subsector. There are so many opportunities… in gastronomy, entertainment, culture and heritage, and health and wellness,” he pointed out. Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says Jamaica is an excellent tourism investment destination, with a plethora of opportunities available across the sector. Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says Jamaica is an excellent tourism investment destination, with a plethora of opportunities available across the sector.“And it’s not just in the accommodation subsector. There are so many opportunities… in gastronomy, entertainment, culture and heritage, and health and wellness,” he pointed out.“The Government continues to champion investment for the revitalisation of existing tourism assets and the creation of new tourism infrastructure across the island,” he added.The Minister, who was speaking at the ceremony to break ground for the new Ocean Coral Spring Hotel in Falmouth on February 6, said that the Government continues to do its part in facilitating tourism investment “through policy, strategy, product development, human capital development as well as promotion and marketing”.Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (second left), having a light exchange with Minister without Portfolio, Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Daryl Vaz (right), on his arrival for the official ceremony to break ground for the new Ocean Coral Spring Hotel in Trelawny, on February 6. Sharing the moment (from left) are Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett; and Director of International Division, H10 Hotels, Antonio Hernandez.“Besides, Jamaica is a spectacular place to visit and offers a host of historical, cultural and natural attractions, too numerous to mention, which entice some 4.3 million visitors to our island each year. I can assure you, there will be no shortage of visitors to fill the rooms at Ocean Coral Spring,” he said.The Spanish Hotel chain, H10, is investing US$250 million in the construction of the 1,000-room property.Work is under way and the first 500 rooms are expected to be completed by the end of the year. H10 has 50 hotels in 18 destinations.Mr. Bartlett lauded the Spanish investors for their continued belief in the island, pumping in investments amounting to some US$1.6 billion, with another US$300 million in the pipeline.“I can also safely say that about 30 per cent of the rooms built in Jamaica are the product of this Spanish investment,” he said.“Based on my many meetings with Spanish hotel interests, I know we share the importance of tourism and development. We look forward to the contribution that H10’s properties will make to the sustainable growth of Falmouth’s tourism, your integration into the town and the linkages you will foster with our business community,” he added. Story Highlights “The Government continues to champion investment for the revitalisation of existing tourism assets and the creation of new tourism infrastructure across the island,” he added. last_img read more