SADC: Communique of the Extraordinary Organ Troika Plus Republic of Mozambique Summit of Heads of State and Government – Harare -Zimbabwe, 19 May 2020 (19.05.2020)

Getafix of Madagascar Part III: The origin of the cure doesn’t matter, as long as it’s clinically tested and proven!

If it wasn’t Madagascar, and if it was a European country that had actually discovered this remedy, would there be so much doubt? I don’t think so, African scientists… should not be underestimated. I think the problem is that (the drink) comes from Africa and they can’t admit… that a country like Madagascar… has come up with this formula to save the world” – President Andry Rajoelina (In an interview to French Media on the 11th of May.2020).

As I ended the last piece of this, the President of Madagascar got a bridge to sell. This is apparently his pride and joy. Maybe, the saving grace of this term in office. I don’t know, but what I do know. Is that the CVO – Tambvy or COVID-19 Herbal Tea made with stevia and artemesia annua hasn’t been clinically tested, neither proven its benefits in concern to the COVID-19 or Coronavirus.

Not that plants or algae and other medicinal plants isn’t used in modern industry. Most of them are extracted from plants, formulated and tested before unleashed on the market. To ensure the safety, the amount of extracts and compounds within the plant before creating a medicine out of it.

This not me saying it, its The National Academy of Medicine of Madagascar (ANAMEM), who in the end of April 2020 stated this: “ it is a medicine for which the scientific evidence has not yet been established”. So with that in mind combined with the knowledge of where the scientific testing of annua and stevia been tested. It is clear the President is selling a dream.

If the CVO – Tambvy was clinically, scientifically tested and proven, where all factors was checked and had results. I would have no trouble to celebrate and be happy we had a fix. We had a remedy and a saving grace in the time of need. However, when you put something to market, selling it on the ideal of Pan-Africanism and using colonial stereotypes. When your addressing the likes of me. I don’t care where a remedy, medicine or the origin of it. As long as it heals and its done properly. That is all I am asking for, that the ones who has this as a field and expertise can look into the herbal mixture and deem if it as fit. See if it generate the results and has an effect. Not only pushed out on the market on a whim.

Because, pushing this sort of thing without it. Is just snake-oil salesmen tactic. This is the sort of selling a dream, which could easily turn into nightmare. When people are drinking it and it doesn’t help. What will the President and the Producers say? That is the risk of doing this.

I wish and hope we find a cure. That there are a proved and tested vaccine, cure or remedy against COVID-19 or the Coronavirus. However, selling this now and using this rhetoric only proves how unproven it is. Instead of doing the tests, showing the results and then offering to the market. Instead, the ANAMEM are asking for evidence. That should be a sign on the sky. This is not said by Europeans, but the scientific community of Madagascar.

So, my take is, I take a remedy from wherever, made with whatever, as long as it heals and has proven results. We don’t need to take chances and risk lives, selling the placebo effect and hoping someone has the daft luck of getting saved. The President should consider this, but he got a bridge to sell. Peace.

Getafix of Madagascar Part II: A look into Rajolina’s magical tea!

There is now two weeks or so, maybe even three since the headlines and the breaking news of a miracle cure from Madagascar. Proudly presented by the President of Republic. However, as time has moved on and the Republic is now selling it abroad too. It is time to look into it.

I don’t think any product, any sort of edible or drinkable product should be sold without being verified. Especially, when they say that it has the ability to beat COVID-19 or the Coronavirus. That is why I am looking into it. I wish and hope we can find a cure, but to state that without any significant study or research is a bit hesitant and make you wonder, if the President of Madagascar is a snake-oil salesmen. If the former DJ and Mayor, Adry Rajolina is out of water.

The COVID – Organics, the CVO – Tambvy has two main components. These are Artemesia Annua and Stevia. In a 1l bottle it has 5 gram of Artemesia and 2,5 grams of Stevia rebaudiana. There been several of studies of Artemesia Annua toward Bilharzia and Malaria. Therefore, it has medicinal effects, but as tea there been some mixed messages or conclusions.

In 2006: “As the above statements make clear, further research is needed on Artemisia annua teas, to try to improve on the results obtained thus far. Important questions to address include: can the efficacy of A. annua tea be increased so that it becomes an acceptable complement to ACTs? How can we ensure that patients receive an adequate dose? Can A. annua tea be safely used without accelerating the appearance of resistant strains of Plasmodium? It is not possible to answer these questions with a single experiment on a single preparation of A. annua tea” (African Traditional Herbal Medicine Supporters Initiative, 2007).

Annua study in 2011 in Uganda concludes like this: “A. annua has great potential for use in mass prevention of malaria in resource limited settings such as Uganda. The malaria and fever prophylactic effects are possibly due to A. annua flavonoids other than artemisinin A.annua variety or product thereof rich in flavonoids but devoid of artemisinin should be developed and tried for mass prevention of malaria as a beverage or food supplement taken regularly” Ogwang et. al., 2011).

Another study from 2014: “Artemisinin, extracted from the plant Artemisia annua (A. annua) L., and artemisinin derivatives are the current best antimalarial therapeutics and are delivered as artemisinin combination therapy (ACT). Availability and cost are problematic for the developing world where malaria is endemic. Oral consumption of A. annua dried leaves is more effective than the pure drug. A tea infusion of the leaves has prophylactic effects. Cost of producing and delivering the tea and A. annua dried leaf tablets is much more affordable than ACT” (Weathers et. Al, 2014).

So, this proves the annua has effects as a tea, but that’s for malaria. However, all studies I have seen says it has to be certain factors and amounts to secure it. Therefore, it is not easy to see how this will fit another disease. Another study from 2018 that annua and another kind of Artemesia can have effect also against bilharzia. This proves, the medical usage of annua towards other diseases. However, this haven’t been done in consideration with COVID-19 or the Coronavirus. Just like hydroxychloroquine, which was said to work against it too. Now, that has been dismissed in scientific studies. This is why, the ones proclaiming the effects before saying Artemisia Annua tea is a remedy.

While Stevia has this effect: “They found the consumption of Stevia extract reduces the levels of cholesterol, triglyceride and low-density lipoproteincholesterol significantly while an increase in high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol was noted, which is desirable. They concluded that Stevia extract had a hypolipidaemic effect used to reduce the resistance of cardiovascular disease” (S.K. Goyal, 2010).

We can see there is many significant attributes to the Stevia plant. However, there is nothing in that specifically points towards the COVID-19. That is why it’s hard to say anything.

This is why its bugging for me, that the President of Madagascar has such bold claims. Yes, both plants has medical benefits. However, none is scientifically proven in combat towards COVID-19. So, selling it for it is claiming effects on something not proven. For all we know. This could have the placebo affect. Gods know why the President wants to do that trade.

By all means, I don’t care who and where the medicine for COVID-19 comes from. Neither what plant, plants or if it is sea-weed or algae. As long as it heals this disease. If Madagascar has found it. It’s awesome and congrats. However, at this very moment there is no scientific proof. That is why selling it as a cure and such is very brazen. Especially, when there is no study proving it. We need a medicine and remedy to COVID-19. That needs to be proven and studied.

Yes, the two things in the CVO – Tambvy has some favourable attributes. However, that is studied for other diseases. Not this one. Just like hydroxychloroquine, this could a be total blast in the wind. Yes, there is no deaths of COVID in Madagascar and a huge result in recovered cases. But, this is not saying anything yet. It can be coincidence and luck. We cannot state it at this mere point. Neither can the President of Madagascar. However, he got a bridge to sell. Peace.

Reference:

African Traditional Herbal Medicine Supporters Initiative – ‘Artemisia Annua as a Herbal Tea for Malaria’ – Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2007; 4(1): 121–123. (Published online 2006).

Ogwang et. al – Use of Artemisia annua L. Infusion for Malaria Prevention: Mode of Action and Benefits in a Ugandan Community’ – Patrick E. Ogwang, Jasper O. Ogwal, Simon Kasasa, Francis Ejobi, David Kabasa and Celestino Obua, 07.05.2011 – British Journal of Pharmaceutical Research

S.K. Goyal – ‘Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) a bio-sweetener: a review’ – International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, February 2010; 61(1): 1–10

Pamela J Weathers, Melissa Towler, Ahmed Hassanali, Pierre Lutgen, and Patrick Ogwang Engeu – ‘Dried-leaf Artemisia annua: A practical malaria therapeutic for developing countries?’ – World J Pharmacol. 2014 Dec 9; 3(4): 39–55. Published online 2014 Dec 9 (2014).

Getafix of Madagascar: Rajolina’s magical tea!

There isn’t everyday someone in the highest office trying to sell you a miracle cure. However, in Madagascar, the President Rajoelina, who used to be a milkman and DJ turned Mayor. Later turned President. Andry Rajoelina is clearly trying to fix an issue, who has hit his government and worldwide.

But… selling a local trick like this will give false hopes and let people die. This is not a joke. There is no vaccine and no official cure. There is no medicine which is officially working against COVID-19 or Coronavirus. The ones claiming that is snake-oil salesmen. This is the role the former DJ and President is playing now. It is not funny, but a disrespectful thing to his citizens who represents.

Just look:

The president of Madagascar Andry Rajoelina has officially launched a local herbal remedy claimed to prevent and cure the novel coronavirus. “Tests have been carried out — two people have now been cured by this treatment,” Rajoelina told ministers, diplomats and journalists at the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research (IMRA), which developed the beverage. “This herbal tea gives results in seven days,” he said” (France24 – ‘Madagascar president launches coronavirus ‘remedy’ 21.04.2020).

I’m calling the President Getafix after the character from Asterix, which gave the people drinking it superhuman strength and therefore, the trick, which could save the Gaulish village from the Roman Empire. The same way the Madagascar President using this herbal tea as a remedy against a world-wide pandemic.

In this regard, President Rajoelina is selling a dream, which can turn into a nightmare. The public might eat into it and trust him because of his office. People might take this instead of listening to health care officials or information from the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO seems maybe far away on the Island of Madagascar. However, Rajoelina isn’t Getafix.

Neither is his drink making the Malagasy people superhuman strength, but instead just another drink of herbal tea. It might have antioxidants and other goodies. It might help your immune system, but conquering COVID-19 is a stretch. It is a dream, a dream the President shouldn’t sell. Peace.

World Bank working paper reveals astonishing amount of aid money to the African continent going directly into tax havens!

The World Bank working paper named ‘Elite Capture of Foreign Aid – Evidence from Offshore Bank Accounts’, which was finally released yesterday is a devastating read. Not because of the facts in it, but because of the extent of the misuse and theft of aid money. The World Bank are now proving by small samples how much of their loans, grants and funds, which is given by donors to the WB, which happens to be moved to tax havens by the regimes that needs it. That is eating of the plate of the poorest and living lavish on others people’s dime.

Just in the Annex, the truth really comes forward, where it is only a small samples, but showing the distasteful enterprise still. Like from table one. You can see that a certain amount of African countries have taken out huge funds into havens deposits and non-haven deposits.

The report explains this about the table one: “The table shows the 22 countries in our main sample and presents summary statistics for the main variables in our analysis. The sample includes all countries for which annual disbursements from the World Bank are equivalent to at least 2 percent of annual GDP on average. Sample mean is the average of the 22 countries in the sample. Annual WB aid (% of GDP) is annual disbursements from the World Bank as a fraction of annual GDP. Annual ODA aid (% of GDP) is annual Official Development Assistance (ODA) from all sources as a fraction of annual GDP. Haven deposits is foreign deposits held in the 17 countries classified as havens. Non-haven deposits is foreign deposits held in the countries not classified as havens” (World Bank Feb 2020).

Nation Haven (million USD) Non-Haven (million USD)
Burkina Faso 32 88
Burundi 103 19
Eritrea 8 11
Ethiopia 64 155
Ghana 76 446
Guinea-Bissau 8 16
Madagascar 193 232
Malawi 31 82
Mali 27 133
Mauritania 32 150
Mozambique 40 161
Niger 29 79
Rwanda 149 41
Sao Tome and Principe 4 8
Sierra Leone 32 82
Tanzania 145 437
Uganda 73 188
Zambia 117 306

When you add into the A6 Table of the modestly aid-dependent countries. You see yet more African countries, where the money a flowing out of the coffers. Where surely not all aid is going where its supposed too.

The report explains table A6 like this: “The table shows the 24 countries for which annual disbursements from the World Bank are between 1% and 2% of annual GDP on average. is the average of the 24 countries in the sample. Annual WB aid (% of GDP) is annual disbursements from the World Bank as a fraction of annual GDP. Sample mean is the average of the 22 countries in the sample. WB aid disbursements is annual disbursements from the World Bank as a fraction of annual GDP. Annual ODA aid (% of GDP) is annual Official Development Assistance (ODA) from all sources as a fraction of annual GDP. Haven deposits is foreign deposits held in the 17 countries classified as havens. Non-haven deposits is foreign deposits held in the countries not classified as havens” (World Bank Feb 2020).

Nation Haven (million USD) Non-Haven (million USD)
Benin 42 96
Cape Verde 14 20
Central African Republic 18 53
Chad 11 91
Comoros 7 27
Democratic Republic of Congo 910 93
Cote d’Ivoire 387 787
Gambia 24 82
Guinea 54 114
Kenya 1277 1784
Lesotho 11 28
Senegal 253 487
Togo 82 146

Without going into deep technicalities of these operations, neither how the World Bank came through these numbers. We can see there is a staggering amount of funds that disappear and goes missing. Which was supposed to go to development or directly to support the state functions. Which happens to end up in tax-havens, surely by someone closely associated with the state or heads of state. Since, these sorts of amounts couldn’t have left the nations without the approval of the executive or head of state.

We can also clearly see, that some aid is directly feeding the rich and keeping tax-havens alive. Giving them financial stimulus and also covering the expenses of the elites in the respective places. There is certainly a mismanagement and a need for more oversight from the World Bank. But also more mechanisms to stop the misuse of aid. If it is supposed to help and not just create a very vastly elite in the nation in question. Because, with this sort of operations, they have clearly achieved that. Peace.

SADC Solidarity in the call for the lifting of Sanctions Imposed in the Republic of Zimbabwe (24.10.2019)

SADC: Solidarity Statement with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (10.02.2019)

Communique of the Double Troika Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) – (24.04.2018)

Trump Administration proposed budget (FY-2018) to axe the ‘Economic Support Funds’ and the ‘Development Assistance’ on the African Continent!

Action without thought is empty. Thought without action is blind.”Kwame Nkrumah

You should expect by a man blessed and gotten the support by the Christian Conservative in the United States of America, to care a little about the ones who has less and needs support. You would expect of a man who claims to be a Christian and a man of faith to support charity and good causes. But President Donald J. Trump isn’t like any other Christian Conservative, I know, as he has used his own Foundation to buy statutes of himself and also use it on his real-estate, as well as reports of buying celebrity memorabilia.

Well, why do I start with this? Because it was released yesterday the remarkable “Financial Year 2018 Control Levels by state bureau, operating unit and Account”, this are the planned budget for the AEECA, DA, ESF, GHP-State and GHP-USAID. This United States Government document is dated not further back than the 6th April of 2017. The effects of the planned cuts in some of the regional aid projects, development aid and economic support funds, is as astonishing as the Presidency itself. It is a disgrace to anything of humanitarian understanding and belief of goodness in the Trump Administration at all. This sort of acts of disregard of humanitarian assistance, proves that the Trump Administration is a selfish, disgusting and belittling state. Who cannot afford to help the ones in need or the continue to finish the projects they have put forward abroad. The development projects overseas will now fail over night. Just take a look!

The “Economic Support funds” and “Development Assistance”, who are slashed a total of 100% from 2017 to 2018 are in Burundi, Central African Republic, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the African Union! Also the own offices and planning regional development all over the continent like the: USAID African Regional, USAID Central African Regional, USAID East African Regional, USAID Sahel Regional, USAID Southern Regional and the USAID West Africa Regional as well. That is 20 African countries being directly dropped by the Trump Administration and cutting needed funding of running expenses by these government. This happens without any consideration of finding alternative sources or taxing to cover the dropped direct support. That is apparent the act of the Christian Conservative President Trump, who is supposed to be a charitable and caring character. Clearly, he wants to send the African nations a message, that he doesn’t give two shits about their fate or their sustainability.

What is the meaning behind the ESF: “Economic Support Funds (ESF) is economic aid designated to promote economic or political stability in areas where the United States has special strategic interests. Authorized under Chapter 4, Part II of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, ESF is a flexible assistance tool that can be structured to meet a diverse range of foreign policy and economic development objectives. The makeup of ESF programs are made on a country-specific basis, while the nature of ESF assistance to a particular country is determined by a combination of the needs of the recipient and U.S. foreign policy objectives. Among ESF’s diverse applications are the following programs (among others): advancing peace and stability, building accountable and transparent institutions, creating economic and educational opportunities for youth, countering extremist ideology, counter-terrorism and counternarcotics, governance, economic growth, anti-corruption, trade capacity building and democratic strengthening. The executive branch is responsible for policy decisions and justifications for ESF use, including country eligibility and funding levels” (Security Assistance Monitor).

What is the meaning behind the “Development Assistance”: “ … [for] sustained support of the people of developing countries in their efforts to acquire the knowledge and resources essential to development and to build the economic, political, and social institutions which will improve the quality of their lives.” (USAID, 2005).

So the Trump Administration apparently doesn’t see any Foreign Policy or Economic Development Objectives inside 20 African Nations in Financial Year of 2018. This is only in the African States and Republics, not all over the world. Clearly the values of quality of life, building economic, political and social institutions doesn’t matter to Trump. The monies saved are surely going to more ‘Mothers of All Bombs” or to expensive carriers to fight an unnecessary war. Since, President Trump is caring or considering about the acts of his time in office.

The USAID operations on the African continent is clearly sending a message, that he does not think off or has anything to offer them. That the U.S. plans to be their uncle or sugar-daddy, that their instead thinking of leaving them behind. The wealth of United States rather goes to building war-ships and bombers, than being used on Humanitarian projects building institutions abroad. Therefore, the United States as a power-player on the African continent is gone with this. As their forged relationship and patronage is gone with this sort of budget. The significant relationship between their development projects in the 20 nations who suddenly get brash cuts and stopped all funding off. Peace.

Reference:

Security Assistance Monitor – ‘Economic Support Funds’ link: http://securityassistance.org/south-asia/content/economic%20support%20fund

USAID – ‘U.S. Foreign Assistance Reference Guide’ (2005) link: http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/Pnadc240.pdf

MEPs back trade deal with six African countries (14.09.2016)

cotonou-agreement-cover

BRUSSELS, Belgium, September 14, 2016 –The European Parliament approved an agreement granting duty-free access to the EU for products from Namibia, Mozambique, Botswana, Swaziland and Lesotho, and improved market access for South Africa on Wednesday.

“This agreement will help our African partner states to reduce poverty and can also facilitate their smooth and gradual integration into the world economy. There are also many safeguards in the deal to ensure that local people truly benefit from this cooperation. The language on human rights and sustainable development is one of the strongest that you will find in any EU agreement”, said rapporteur Alexander Graf Lambsdorff (ALDE, DE), before the vote.

MEPs approved the deal by 417 votes to 216, with 66 abstentions.

Free access to EU markets

The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with six member states of the South African Development Community (SADCestablishes a “positive discrimination”, ensuring immediate duty- and quota-free access for their exports to the EU market. It also creates new regional opportunities through more flexible use of rules of origin.

The African countries will liberalise 86% of their trade with the EU (Mozambique 74%) over ten years with the exception of agricultural and fishery products. The deal replaces the previous interim agreements based on unilateral trade preferences and complies with World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.

Safeguards

While the agreement covers only trade and development cooperation, it leaves the door open for services, investment, intellectual property and public procurement. To mitigate potential negative impacts on the SADC countries, several safeguards were added to the deal. The EU undertook not to subsidize its agricultural exports to these countries.

The deal also lists trade-related areas that could benefit from EU development cooperation funding, but none is pledged at this stage.

Monitoring

In a July resolution, international trade MEPs advocated strengthening the monitoring of the agreement to ensure that “its benefits for the people are maximized”. The committee also tabled an oral question to the Commission for this plenary on parliamentary oversight and civil society monitoring.

Next steps: The deal will enter into force once the Council formally approves it and the national parliaments of the six African states ratify the text.

Note to the editors: in the Cotonou Partnership Agreement of 2000, African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and the EU agreed to negotiate reciprocal, though asymmetric, trade agreements to comply with WTO rules and to support these countries’ development and integration into the world economy.

Negotiations were to be concluded by the end of 2007, but the process took longer and the EU finished negotiations with six states of the SADC Group in July 2014. Angola finally decided not to enter into the agreement, but may join in the future. 

Negotiations with six SADC states ended in 2014. The other eight (Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Seychelles, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe) belong to other regional EPA groupings.