East Africa: Walking As A Community To Cop22 In Morocco

East African Community consists of 6 countries of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda politically bonded with one slogan: one people, one destiny. But how far does the federation walk together towards achieving 1.5 degree global temperature goal after COP21?

Adding to the much politicized tether, in 2009, East African Community Climate Change Policy (EACCCP) was drawn “in in response to the growing concern about the increasing threats of the negative Climate Change impacts to the development of set targets and goals in the region.”

But last year (2015) by now, Uganda was at the brink of submitting its INDC (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions) to UNFCC. Minister of Water and Environment Honourable Ephraim Kamuntu with his team at the Climate Change Department knew they were already behind schedule by weeks. Nevertheless, the document that envisaged “an approximately 22 percent reduction of national green-house gas emissionsin 2030 compared to business-as-usual” was later produced.

Kenya, Rwanda, and Tanzania had already submitted theirs. Kenya in July 2015, and Rwanda and Tanzania in September. South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation was left behind —submitted and announced on 23rd November 2015 after all her members.

What should be noted is that all Parties were invited to communicate to the secretariat their INDCs well in advance of COP 21; the deadline was 1st October. This means some individual countries within the community had already been left behind had UNFCCC not relaxed the deadline.

INDC document was paramount to “initiate or intensify” domestic preparations of how parties are willing to contribute to global warming and its timely drafting and submission is what COP counted on for streamlining decisions. Late submissions, thus, wouldn’t only interfere with the programmes following Paris climate agreement, but also meant delay on the side of national climate decisions.

Meanwhile Kenya was already in its journey launching several adaptation and mitigation programmesin response to her INDC communicated over 3 months earlier.Consequently Kenya launched a number of renewable energy projects that comprised of the Kinangop wind farm, a 61-Mega Watt wind farm that would generate enough renewable electricity to power the equivalent of 150,000 homes in the country. The fruits of these swift actions put Kenya and Rwanda among few countries in Africa where renewable energy is mostly invested according to the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP).

Today the country produces over 14 percent of its energy from renewable sources on the road to 90 percent target by 2030. Compared to her neighbour to the west—Uganda, a country according her own Bureau of Statistics access to electricity is at only 14 percent; 40 percent of urban households have access to electricity, while only 5percent of rural households have access to electricity, she’s too ahead.

Even the intentions and long term development plans of these two close countries are at a distance to one another:  according to Uganda Vision 2040 master plan, Uganda needs to generate 42,000MW of electricity from hydro, petroleum and gas sources, geo-thermal and nuclear sources, using uranium to become an upper middle income country. Her renewable energy sector is still below 3 percent of energy supply.

Their biggest neighbour to the south – Tanzania is even more behind. According to the 2016 country’s energy profile published by Renewable energy Association, only 1.2 percent of energy is generated from clean sources.

In the north most partner state, south Sudan, a country dubbed to have the biggest potential for solar—roughly 6.1 kWh/m2/day—according to studies byGlobal Environmental Facility (GEF), is also ranked the downer in terms of the utlisation of the energy with “only 10 percent of potential solar energy tapped” though the South Sudan generates 27 percent of power from solar alone.

While concentrating efforts to achieving 100 percent renewable energy was key to cleaner negotiations and ensuring immunity against dirty energy lobbyists, even within the region, countries have shown laxity in renewable investments.  In the same lane with her southern neighbour Uganda, 83% of South Sudan is rural and uses, Kerosene, charcoal and fire wood.

Walking and working as a united community and advocating for our fate together during the course of Cop22 climate negotiations this year in Marrakech would not only add power to this region’s voice as regarding their unique energy situations but will also strengthen unity and promote regional cooperation fighting climate change which seems to be currently lacking—countries are more focused on achieving their own domestic targets. This could be misleading or even tragic.

Because when climate related tragedies hit, it hits us together. The heat waves; the rainfall shortages: between July 2011 and mid-2012, a severe drought affected the entire East Africa region.Said to be "the worst in 60 years" the drought caused a severe food crisis across Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya that threatened the livelihood of 9.5 million people.

Many refugees from southern Somalia fled to neighboring Kenya and Ethiopia, where crowded, unsanitary conditions together with severe malnutrition led to a large number of deaths. Other countries in East Africa, including Sudan, South Sudan and parts of Uganda, were also affected by a food crisis.

The crisis was regional and never selected certain countries ‘that were lazier to act’and spared ‘active ones’ as it ought to have. If this isn’t scary enough to force East Africa to ‘run’ together in pursuit of their regional collaboration beyond economic spheres, missing an opportunity to hike favourable bargains during COP22 could be detrimental current progress achieving 1.5 degree temperature threshold.

By Boaz Opio

Uganda As A Top Tourism Destination – What You Didn’t Know

Beyond anything you can easily behold, Uganda a very beautiful country and anyone that visits falls in love with it and its people. Over the years, the organisations in charge of tourism in the country have strived to push Uganda as one of the best tourist destinations in the world.

It would seem as such an easy job with a country that is blessed with almost everything that is worth paying to see, yet it has been getting a little difficult when Uganda is competing with her neighbors for a bigger share of tourism revenue that comes in annually.

Uganda reportedly earned 7.3billion UGX from the tourism sector for the financial year 2015/2016, meaning the sector is performing well enough but has even more room to improve. The biggest destinations in the tourism sector according to Uganda Tourism Board are doing well because of increased investments in the regions.

At the start of the year, Uganda hired international Public Relations firms to work on marketing Uganda to the world especially in Europe. Months down the road to the close of the year and Uganda hasn’t seen a huge increase in foreign visitors as expected when the PR deal was signed. According to sceptics, this was a wasted move by the concerned bodies and the funds would have been better used to improve domestic tourism. Basing on the logic that if Ugandans know what their country has to offer, it would be easy to market it beyond their own borders.

A number of years ago, there were several street ads by one of the organisations in charge of tourism in Uganda with information about gorillas all over the streets of Kampala and Entebbe. It was quite interesting to find little tidbits about the mammals on every ad that educated you about them and where to find them in Uganda. The increase in tourist numbers in Bwindi and Mgahinga National park must be easily attributed to the marketing the tourism sector engaged in to push gorilla trekking in these very locations. And the decrease thereof in the other regions should also be attributed to the same marginalised marketing strategies that have been undertaken for years; tourist activities that include bird watching and rafting in areas such as Eastern and Northern Uganda would be reaping big if they were well marketed the same way gorilla trekking was.

For a sector that received $1.3m as a budget there is more that could have been used with the funds to shade light on all the other areas that could bring in revenue through tourism in Uganda.

The Gorilla trekking idea is a good plan to go keep marketing Uganda as a destination, but the country cannot put its eggs in one basket. There is a lot more that the country has to offer which can be easily elevated through good marketing strategies.

Uganda, doesn’t just have gorillas but a wide array of forests that are home to beautiful bird species, mountains so high one needs to dedicate a day or two to climb their peaks, lakes deep enough to hold the history of nation and with each attraction there is an engaging activity that will keep visitors coming back every year.

So how does a country with plenty make sure the rest of the world knows what it has? State Minister for Tourism Godfrey Kiwanda, has started his term in office by taking a step that every Uganda should have taken a while back; showcasing Uganda through the Tulambule campaign. Although not well executed, the campaign seems promising as it encourages Ugandans to tour the country whenever they get the chance. Yet, there is a lot more than planning, words and promises. Increased budgets do not build an economy or improve a sector, it is in execution and having willing partners ready to get down and dirty for the cause.

The sector needs to dig deeper into digital marketing, there are over five top digital marketing firms in Uganda that if well sourced, ideas from their copywriters than bring up campaigns that can create an impact. Campaigns that give a fair share of locations in Uganda a chance to shine among the big five of the tourism sector, these being: Gorilla trekking, mountain climbing, bird watching, rafting and wild animals. Focusing on only one dims light on the others creating an imbalance in the sector when it comes to attractions.

Well executed domestic tourism campaigns such as the recently concluded Uganda Travel Month are another way to encourage tourism and easily market Uganda. Just a click on the #UgTravelMonth tag on social media will bring up a variety of pictures ranging from wild animals, white water rafting that document the experiences of all the people that were involved in the campaign. These are Ugandans sharing their experience with the rest of the world and these experiences are seen by millions of people who end up yearning to have the same experience.

There has to be an informal partnership or a correlation between the public and private sector when it comes to tourism. Whether the aim is to get profits out of it, there is need to attract clients before earning out of it and when the organisations in charge offer support to those trying to do their best in the private; there will be good results and the reverse is also important.

Albeit all the missed opportunities, Uganda is a gem and has strived to shine with an increased number of tourists over the years.

Credit: travel.jumia.com




Meet Thor The Man On A Mission To Travel To All Countries In The World

Travelling is one thing that many people love to do. Getting out of their community to go and discover life outside their own. It is scintillating for those who have managed to do it. To those who have not, it remains on their to-do-list.

While you have been to a couple of countries outside Uganda and outside Africa, some people have challenged themselves and have travelled almost the entire world. One such man is Torbjørn C. Pedersen aka Thor from Denmark, Europe.

Padersen is on a mission to visit every country that exists on earth. He calls his ambitious project Once Upon A Saga. It is a one-man journey to visit every country in the World in a single journey, without the use of flight while bringing some attention toward the well-meaning people of the planet of which there are most. “A stranger is a friend you’ve never met before”.

Padersen will be coming to Uganda, the 119 country he will visit, using an evening bus from Rwanda and arrive Tuesday morning in Uganda (The Pear of Africa). He will meet with the Red Cross, United Nation, South Sudan embassy, Maersk Line and off course the ever-welcoming Ugandans. He tells his story below.

My name is Torbjørn C. Pedersen, which is a terrible travelers name. But that has never stopped me before. I had already visited roughly every fourth country in the World before this project saw its first day – but now the time has come to go all in.

I was born in Denmark of Scandinavian parents and soon after I was lifted up and carried to North America before returning home to Denmark years later. In Denmark I did my school and then my military service before finding my feet within shipping and logistics in the private sector. In the end of 2009 I became an independent businessman and after years of working on other peoples projects I have been able to create my own. With a lot of help from good friends that is!

I will be travelling to every country in the World! So how many countries are there?! That is an excellent question. The United Nations count 193 member states and 2 observer states. Many would argue the World holds 195 countries but that does not include every country I am going to. Now how is that possible?! Another good question. The world is a political place and while some countries claim to be sovereign states other dispute the same. You can find the list of countries I will be visiting under ‘journey’.

“If I were a rich man…” Flight would be the easy choice to visit many countries. But what is the fun in easy? This will be a surface journey by scheduled ground transportation; that is primarily trains, buses and boats of different sorts. I will not buy, borrow or rent a vehicle in order get from A to B and I definitely do not have a chauffeur. This way I will ensure a lot of time spent with locals and travelers alike – an amazing way to see the World!

Also I will spend at least 24 hours in each country and I aim at not returning home before I have  completed the journey. This project is mainly sponsored by Ross Offshore and further more it is being carried out in cooperation with the Danish Red Cross.

Jumia Food Launches On-Time Delivery Guarantee App Feature

Jumia Food is launching a game changing innovation to further boost their customer experience. They have launched an on-time delivery guarantee for all Jumia Food App users, a first of its kind in Africa. Jumia Food is the largest online food delivery platform in Africa and has already introduced several innovations in recent years aimed at delivery efficiency, reach and easy user interface for their applications.

Expediting the delivery process while giving customers full information on their orders in real time is certainly revolutionary even by their standards.

The new feature is intended to fasten delivery process, increase convenience and add more transparency to the food ordering process. Jumia Food has mastered the art of food delivery through breaking down the whole process into a science, so as to satisfy the customers’ demand for food-on the go and shorter delivery times.

To speed up the delivery process, Jumia Food uses a unique, and specialized tracking software called Urban Ninja which allows the Customer Service team to track down each food order from the moment the order is placed, to arrival time at the customers’ location. It is now possible to dispatch drivers and plan for driver capacity in a very efficient and time saving way.

Adding to this, Jumia Food partners only with restaurants who proved good quality and fast cooking times to increase customer experience as well.

How to benefit as a customer?

Place your food order through the smart Jumia Food app on your phone. The clock on the check-out page gives you an estimated delivery time and you can just relax and wait for your food to arrive. When the clock runs down to zero, a pop-up appears inquiring whether the order has been received. In case the allocated time was overpassed, you should click “NO”.

Our customer service team will directly get in touch with you by phone or email and will send a free food voucher which you can redeem on your next order on Jumia Food!

Joe Falter, Founder and CEO Jumia Food Africa, said: “We know that customer experience is our top priority and our customers obviously use our service for the convenience and easy-to-use application and website. Our customers expect to get their food delivered in the fastest time possible.

That’s why are committed to deliver every meal within the time promised and value the time of our customers very well. Just in case something happens in the delivery process, and an order occurs to be late, we will make it up to our customers and offer them their next order with us for free”.

He added that customers will see Jumia food introduce many more innovations like this, because it is one step closer towards their goal of offering amazing variety,frictionless and seamless meal ordering processes, with customer experience at the core.  Interested? You can read more about the game rules for the on time delivery guarantee. As they are on the website (www.food.jumia.com)

Etihad Airways To Fly Its B787 Dreamliner To Tokyo

From 1 December 2016, guests flying between Abu Dhabi and Tokyo Narita will enjoy the luxury and comfort of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner when Etihad Airways upgrades its service on the route.  

The state-of-the-art aircraft, configured in three classes, features the airline’s ground-breaking First Suites, Business Studios and Economy Smart Seats. It will replace the Airbus A340 which currently operates the non-stop service. 

Kevin Knight, Etihad Aviation Group Chief Strategy and Planning Officer, said the upgrade to the B787 Dreamliner reflected the importance of the Japan route and the airline’s commitment to the market.

“The B787 Dreamliner is an exceptional aircraft from an operational and guest experience perspective. “Its unique design and our innovative and stylish cabins offer a guest experience that’s superior in terms of luxury and comfort.

“These product attributes and the Etihad inflight service and hospitality – onboard Chefs, Food & Beverage Managers and Flying Nannies – make ours a winning proposition.” Etihad Airways’ three-class B787 Dreamliner has 235 seats with eight First Suites, 28 Business Studios and 199 Economy Smart Seats.

The ultra-luxurious First Suites are private living spaces with a Poltrona Frau leather-upholstered seat that coverts to a fully flat six-foot-eight-inch bed. The centre suites can be opened up to create a double bed for guests who are travelling together. A unique curved aisle offers more personal space inside each suite.

The First Suite also has a 24” LCD TV monitor, a personal wardrobe and a chilled refreshments cabinet. A professional onboard Chef, exclusive to First Class, offers guests a bespoke, made-to-order dining experience with dishes prepared inflight from a larder of fresh produce.

In Business Class, the Business Studio offers direct aisle access from every seat, a fully flat bed of up to 80.5 inches long, and an increase in personal space of 20 per cent over the aircraft it replaces. Upholstered in the finest Poltrona Frau leather, the Business Studio is equipped with an in-seat massage and pneumatic cushion control system which enables guests to adjust the firmness and comfort of their seat. Each Business Studio has an 18-inch personal touch-screen TV with noise-cancelling headsets.

For inflight dining, Business Class guests are offered a choice of three main course items, with a dine-on-demand option for guests to choose when they would like to eat. A specialist Food and Beverage Manager, dedicated to service in the Business Class cabin, is on hand to offer guests expert advice on the menu and to make recommendations on wine pairing.

Business Class guests also receive comfortable loungewear and slippers and a limited-edition Etihad Airways LUXE amenity kit which includes a range of personal care items.

In Economy Class, the Economy Smart Seat provides superior comfort with a unique ‘fixed wing’ headrest on each seat, adjustable lumbar support, an innovative multi-purpose pillow, a seat width of approximately 19 inches, and an 11.1” personal TV monitor.

Etihad Airways’ Dreamliner fleet is equipped with the latest Panasonic eX3 entertainment system which provides more than 750 hours of on-demand entertainment including seven live TV channels, improved gaming and high definition screens across all cabins. The aircraft has full mobile and Wi-Fi service, with USB and power points at every seat.

These features are complemented by the airline’s world-renowned hospitality which includes multinational and Japanese-speaking cabin crew and innovative services such as the Flying Nanny. A Flying Nanny, trained by the world-renowned Norland College in the UK, is on board every B787 Dreamliner flight to provide assistance to families travelling with young children.

Etihad Airways commenced service to Japan on 1 February 2010 with five weekly flights between Abu Dhabi and Nagoya, via Beijing. This increased to daily on 30 March 2014. Tokyo Narita was added to the Japan route on 27 March 2010 with five weekly non-stop flights, going daily on 31 March 2013.

Schedule between Abu Dhabi and Tokyo Narita, effective 1 December 2016

Flight No.








Abu Dhabi


Tokyo Narita





Tokyo Narita


Abu Dhabi




: All departures and arrivals are listed in local time.

Sheraton Kampala Hotel Introduces Ugandan Massage

Have you imagined your body massaged with herbs and oils or an indigenous massage oil made from herbs you are familiar with? It’s no longer an imagination or a wish, Sheraton Kampala hotel has introduced a massage that uses only herbs and oils extracted from indigenous ingredients to relax and soothe you and keep you healthy and youthful.

“The new massage is a representation of what we stand for at Sheraton Kampala Hotel.We are dedicated to satisfying our customers with everything we do and the new massage we have introduced is a clear representation of this.

The new Ugandan massage is just one of the many exotic massage treatments we have at our fitness center but not toforgetother products that we have pioneered in other outlets like ‘Paired’ which is served at our Equator bar and ParkSquare Cafe.  We are aware that our customers work hard and thereforerequirea great product range that will help provide the much needed R&R, delicious meal and a fantastic ambiance to relax and rejuvenate themselves.” Said the Public Relations Manager Ms Jacqueline Nalubega.

The new massage was officially launched two months ago and it’s one of the biggest hitsat the Sheraton fitness Center - which has a vast range of facilities like Gym, Swimming pool& sauna, Tennis & Squash to help you relax the body and mind.

There are many reasons why people go for massage such as the medical benefits associated with relaxation and the healing properties of the various ingredients, it’salso a great time to socialize and catch up with friends or just to relax and relieve oneself the stress from work. Research indicated that massages help re-condition the body and mind which results in a boost of one’s immunity and general wellbeing.

The other amazing thing about the Ugandanmassage is itsaffordability and the splendid experience.


Dealing With Traveler’s Remorse

Travel is surely a fun experience. People travel for so many reasons no matter what cause the travel adventure is inevitable. Travel always comes with learning new language, culture and ample experiences.

It's a sad reality that not many people are able to visit their dream destinations due to several reasons including visa restrictions and limited income.  These results for travelers to reach into a frustration point called remorse making them give up entirely on travel.

Traveler’s remorse refers to travelers feeling which made them to conclude that they have not actually visited the places they so desired.  Sometimes the remorse puts travelers in a very choleric mood that can drive everyone around them crazy because they can be irritable and hard to be around.

Traveler’s remorse can also occur in so many reasons but mostly it occurs when travelers actually have the opportunity to visit their dream destination but unable to explore everything because they do not have enough financial means to cover the expense or they have a busy schedule if the travel was due to business.  Once you leave and the remorse hits in, it makes you feel as if the time spent might have been wasted and wondering if you will ever get another chance to visit the place again. In some cases, it does not happen as fast as it might be expected to. Sometimes it comes a year or two later when you are too busy to indulge in traveling.

Traveler’s remorse can at the same time come in the form of regret, you start wondering why you even bothered to travel in the first place. Questions about you even spent all that money on such trips when you would have used it for something else will start plaguing your mind. You might be critical about every other travel plan someone gives you because in your mind you feel there is more important things to do other than packing your bags to go off to some far off place.

The effects of traveler’s remorse can sometimes lead to depression which can be quite dangerous. How do you deal with it? Jumia Travel highlighted solutions where you can apply to take part in the adventure of vacation.   

  • An ardent travelers are those who have learned to accept the fact that they will not be able to see all the many different places in the world whilst trying to build a career thus making peace with it.
  • Sometimes, you just have to jump into it and do it, whenever you feel sad about not being able to travel to a place or do what you wanted to do. Plan a vacation. .
  • Remember, you can do everything where you put your heart on. A destination may seem off limits but not forever plan and save for it. And sometimes all you just need is  take a day off at the spa and spoil yourself at your favorite local places..Nothing lasts too long, remember if  you feel low right now tomorrow will bring you better opportunities and traveling always creates that. 

Credit: travel.jumia.com





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Jinja,The Cradle Of All Thrills

There is always a great place in Uganda, a place where people travel from miles just to experience what it has to offer. Here places are full of  magnificent natural wonders where you will fall in love at first sight with everything you see. Jinja and great Nile river can be the highlights of Uganda but certainly they are not the only natural wonders you come across when you come to glamorized nation.

Jinja, is a district found in the Eastern part of Uganda and stopover for commuters heading to the border between Uganda and Kenya or just traveling back to the other districts in the region. The name Jinja originates from the tribes that live around the region which simultaneously means “rock” in both Luganda and Lusoga languages. The place is named after the rocks surrounding Ripon.

Jinja is largely home to one of the biggest tribes in Uganda, the Basoga. Being of the Bantu ethnic group, their language Lusoga is very similar to Luganda and in dialect can be mistaken for Lugisu or Lunyole other Bantu languages spoken in Eastern Uganda.

It is hard to believe that a century ago Jinja was just a small fishing village that was in the middle of the trade routes in Uganda. After the completion of the Owen Falls Dam, Jinja became a bustling little town with several immigrants especially India and China who stayed behind opening up businesses that invited other investors  resulting to economic growth in the region. The town was the base for British operations in Busoga which also contributed to its rapid growth during the colonial era.

Tea estates, sugarcane farms and cotton estates slowly sprouted up in the long run all over the plains and hills of Jinja especially near the Nile. The untapped opportunities attracted several new investors who engaged in the production of  sugar and tea.

Over the years, Jinja has become one of the most visited locations in Uganda with large number of tourists coming  from the rest of Africa and the world. The area around the district is bursting to the seams with touristic potential that is slowly being harnessed to grow tourism and hospitality in Jinja and Eastern Uganda.

If you find yourself in Jinja, be ready to do some of these fun activities:

Bungee Jumping Over The Nile

There is nothing so nerve wrecking than throwing yourself to the mercy of a rope and the strong winds of the Nalubaale, yet the moment you take the plunge your mind frees up and you feel the freedom to fly with the many birds buzzing next to you.  Bungee jumping has become one of the best things to do when in Jinja, it can cost an average of 100,000 UGX per person and the people who handle it are professionals who take you through every step as you plunge over the Nile.

White Water Rafting

Being home to one of the most popular water rafting locations in the world, Jinja is definitely the best place to be excited and thrilled at the same time on the Nile. Bujagali, known to the Basoga as Budhagali is one of the best white water rafting locations Uganda has to offer. Right on the White Nile with refreshing  rapids, you will want to do this over and over again.

Source Of The Nile

Track the Nile’s journey right to where it all starts from and bring your school geography to life by visiting the source of the Nile with guides explaining to you how the Nile was formed and why it flows upwards.

Quad Biking

After a little plunge over the Nile, there is more to do. Jump into the wildlife  and explore it with a lot of speed at your side. The quad bike experience is a very enjoyable adventure especially if you have several other people doing it with you.


Just like White water rafting, you will have professional guides taking you through this world’s famous sport on the Nile, it is an experience you do not want to miss when in Jinja.

Nature Walks

You need to take time away from the thrills and commune with nature, enjoy what mother earth has to offer by trekking through the Mabira just right on the fringes of Jinja on your way back to Kampala to complete your experience.

Bird Watching

Right within what used to be the largest forest in Uganda, the Mabira is home to an array of bird species that attracts bird watchers from all over the world. Take some time and learn about the many beautiful species that Uganda is known for.


Jinja is very remarkable and romantic the sceneries over the Nile right to the source at the Lake Victoria will live entranced with you adding exciting memory to your honeymoon. It is also enclosed with comfy over 50 hotel properties  including the Jinja Nile Resort, Black Lantern and the Jinja Nile Village to accommodate you as you take your love to the next level .

Credit: travel.jumia.com


Felling the Walls of Lies Tobacco and Oil Industries Built

He smoked cigarettes and coughed a lot, leaning against the walls of a streetin a cold morning. As I became more concerned, as of my journalistic works, I cracked open my car door immediately inhaling an unfair share of his cigarette smoke blended with the permanent carbon taste of the roads.There and then, I knew we were all not safe from deadly harm caused by the Tobacco and fossil fuel industries.

At first, the smoker looked at me with a grin in his face as though I was coming add him the “sticks”, unfortunately, all I wanted was take photos on the public.

It is of course not odd to spot smokers like him despite all the calls to end smoking, but the addiction to Tobacco seems far much powerful than the legal tools and regulations World Health Organisation (WHO) usesto inform the public against the dangers of smoking.

As the saying goes “actions speak louder than words, In 2006, the US court dragged the tobacco industry to court and found them guilty of a decades-long racketeering enterprise in which it conspired to deceive the public about the dangers of smoking.

Specifically, the Department of Justice alleged that the cigarette industry purposely and fraudulently mislead the public about the risks and dangers of cigarette smoking. The government alleged that "the Defendants have engaged in and executed – and continue to engage in and execute – a massive 50-year scheme to defraud the public, including consumers of cigarettes, in violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act”.

The Big Tobacco knew. They knew that their industry was seriously damaging people’s health, for years they had known of the relationship between tobacco and lung cancer, along with many other diseases. Instead of acting upon it, they started a huge strategy of confusion and denial, trying to mislead population and spending lots of money on advertising “healthier” smoking options.

In that same year 2006 they were declared guilty and had to pay $10 billion in fines. Since then, life of the Tobacco Industry has become a little difficult: laws and regulations were put in place, they have been set aside of the negotiation tables, and strong regulations grow against their industry day by day. Shamelessly, they continue taking people’s health, now rapidly expanding their business in the global South.

Speaking for ThinkProgress, Sharon Y. Eubanks – the leader of the Justice Department team that prosecuted the landmark lawsuit against big tobacco – says the Department of Justice should investigate Exxon and possibly other fossil fuel industry players for a similar claim, only much worse. The conspiracy isn’t only against smokers’ health, it’s against all life on Earth.

Like Tobacco, the Big Oil also knew. Companies like Exxon, BP, Shell and Peabody Energy have known about climate change and their role in creating it for many decades. Again, instead of solving the problem, these big polluters embarked on a series of campaigns designed to deceive the public about the reality of climate change and to block any actions that might curb global warming emissions.

Actually, Big Oil and Big Tobacco shared the same “playbook” to misinform the public, often through the very same paid academics, “think tanks,” and PR firms. Ten years ago, a federal court ruled against those tactics. Maybe it is time to rule against those exact same ones that the Oil Industry used.

Last year, the New York attorney general began an investigation of Exxon Mobil to determine whether the company lied to the public about the risks of climate change or to investors about how such risks might hurt the oil business, and has demanded to the company extensive financial records, emails and other documents.

Furthermore, the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines sent this July to 47 “carbon majors” including Shell, BP, Chevron, BHP Billiton and Anglo American, a 60-page document accusing them of breaching people’s fundamental rights to “life, food, water, sanitation, adequate housing, and to self-determination”.

The move is the first step in what is expected to be an official investigation of the companies. The complaint argues that the companies should be held accountable for the effects of their greenhouse gas emissions in the Philippines and demands that they explain how human rights violations resulting from climate change will be “eliminated, remedied and prevented”.

The Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC) of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has a powerful tool to hold companies liable for the damage they have produced.

Article 19 gives Parties the power to use the law to hold the tobacco industry legally and financially accountable for its abuses, putting the societal burdens of the tobacco on the industry. Nowadays this article is infra-utilized, due to the fact that low and middle-income countries lack the resources and legal expertise to take on the industry in the courts and defend against its litigation attacks. 

But a broad implementation of Article 19 would help countries recoup the exorbitant costs of the tobacco industry’s deadly abuses and severely limit Big Tobacco’s power around the world. But this is possible if we first deal with the lies these two deadly industries have built about their unhealthy products that causes trouble on human health as well as the health of our planet.

Authored by Boaz Opio


Jumia Travel Launches New Web Extranet For Hotel Managers

Jumia Travel is seeking to further empower its hotel partners across all markets with top-notch technology by unveiling the Web Extranet, a web version of the previously launched Extranet App on Android. The tool allows hotel managers to confirm and view their incoming Jumia Travel reservations, change their rates and update availability.

According to Charles de Moucheron, Chief Operating Officer at Jumia Travel, the portal is working on direct integration with existing partner hotel systems to manage bookings, update rates and availability. “After integrating the first channel managers in May 2016, we are now integrating multiple hospitality software solutions for our hotels partners to work better with us. The Web Extranet is built on the latest technology that delivers the shortest loading time currently available in the market. This is customized to accommodate even markets where internet speed is still limited,” he said.

The new version is a progressive web application, which delivers an app-like experience to the user. With a market that is highly characterized by a "mobile-first" adaptation, the tool is mobile-optimized, which means the app size can adapt to any screen size; be it on the mobile, smartphone, tablet or desktop.

New features such as reviews, statistics and a finance section where hotels can review their invoices will soon be introduced. The launch of the Web Extranet is part of a wider program by Jumia Travel to bring on board the latest technology to the hospitality industry in order to democratize travel in Africa.

About Jumia Travel

Jumia Travel (travel.jumia.com) is Africa's No.1 hotel booking website, allowing you to get the best prices for more than 25,000 hotels in Africa and more than 200,000 hotels around the world. Our ambition is to bring every bit of available accommodation online and to create the easiest and cheapest way for customers to book it.

At Jumia Travel, we have hundreds of travel specialists constantly in touch with our customers. Our offices are located in Lagos (Nigeria), Accra (Ghana), Dakar (Senegal), Abidjan (Ivory Coast), Algiers (Algeria), Douala (Cameroon), Kampala (Uganda), Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania), Nairobi (Kenya), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Porto (Portugal) and Paris (France).

Before June 2016, Jumia Travel was known as Jovago. It was founded in 2013 by Jumia and is backed by MTN, Rocket Internet, Millicom, Orange and Axa as financial partners.

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