PHOTOS: Kagame Hails Ethiopia’s Resilience

President Kagame speaking in Ethiopia on Wednesday

By Murigi Macharia

Kenya First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has challenged medical professionals in Africa to take advantage  of Information Technology to solve persistent   problems facing the continent in the Health Sector.

She described Information Technology as a great asset which can enable Africa solve the many recurrent problems that continue to plague the continent.

The First Lady spoke when she opened the 1st African Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Regional Congress and the 39th Kenya Obstetrics and Gynaecology Annual Scientific Conference at a Nairobi Hotel.

“This is the perfect forum to see how we can best leverage the great tools at our disposal through Information Technology (IT) for Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights”, more about said the First Lady.

She told the gynaecologists and obstetricians to become possibility thinkers as they explore solutions to the many problems afflicting Africa especially on issues of Reproductive Health.

The First Lady said the recent surge in the emphasis on health and fitness devices in technology firms provides the best opportunity for Africa to further explore how the continent can best adopt health monitoring technologies to benefit the mothers during pregnancy and after childbirth.

She said although maternal mortality in Africa has dropped by 40 per cent in the past two decades, it remains intolerably high at 800 maternal deaths per day.

“Women should not die giving life”, said the First Lady quoting her Beyond Zero popular mantra.  “When it happens, the newborn and children suffer ten times more the risk of dying prematurely”

The First Lady said one of the greatest drawbacks that seriously affects maternal, neonatal and child health in Sub-Saharan Africa is the region’s failure to recognize healthcare as an imperative right for all.

She said that over quarter million women die each year globally from pregnancy and delivery-related complications, adding that most of these deaths occur in Sub-Saharan Africa.


“This is unacceptable especially as half of the mortalities occur during the process of labour and the causes of these deaths are preventable”, said the First Lady.

She regretted that only a few countries in Africa are on track to reach the Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 on child and maternal health and called on a concerted push to realize the MDGs.

“Improved healthcare for women translates to their families, communities and the society having productive citizenry that can realize their full potential in life.

The First Lady regretted that illiteracy, poverty, negative socio-cultural practices; limited resources and lack of community engagement and ownership are other socio-economic  factors that  compound the problem of effective service delivery, especially to women in Africa.

“Social determinants of health such as early marriages, teenage pregnancies, lack of choices and autonomous decision-making all work towards disempowering women and girls in Africa”, she added.

Pregnancy among women and girls is further aggravated by communicable diseases such as HIV, Malaria, tuberculosis and increasingly from non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, heart ailments, kidney disease and cancers, said the First Lady.

She described both the Regional Congress and the Scientific Conference as a great milestone for the whole continent as they chart the way for  future  cooperation that is bound to greatly diminish diminish the instance of maternal and children mortality and morbidity due to knowledge sharing among  the region’s medical professionals.

The First Lady underlined the need to appraise the regional bottlenecks in the Health Sector, fast-track interventions and innovations to save more lives

The medical professionals donated Sh 1 million towards the Beyond Zero Campaign.

Rwanda President Paul Kagame has praised the determination and strong spirit of Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front which toppled the Ethiopian military government in 199, Chimp Corps report.

“On behalf of the people of Rwanda, buy and of the Rwandan Patriotic Front, stomach I am honoured to congratulate you, on this important milestone, in the life of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front, and the nation that it was created to serve,” said Kagame at the ruling party’s 40th Anniversary celebrations in Addis Ababa on Wednesday.

“Forty years ago, a small group of young people came together, with a vision for a better society, and the determination to make that vision a reality, no matter the odds,” said Kagame.

“You faced the military might of superpowers. Famine was used against your people, as a weapon of war. Your national unity, was under constant assault. But nothing could break the Ethiopian spirit, and you have not only prevailed, but continue to thrive,” he added.

In 1975 the Tigray (Tigrayan) People’s Liberation Front began a protracted rebellion against the military government.

The conflict aggravated a disastrous drought and famine between 1984 and 1985, which the government tried to ameliorate by forcibly relocating hundreds of thousands of peasants to well-watered regions in the south and west.

Ethiopian army celebrates 40 years since the liberation war begun

Ethiopian army celebrates 40 years since the liberation war begun

An international outcry led to the suspension of that program, but by then it had led to the deaths of some 100,000 people, and hundreds of thousands more sought refuge from civil war and famine in Sudan and Djibouti.

Tigray forces liberated the region in 1989 and supported the overthrow of the Ethiopian national government in 1991. Their victory resulted in the replacement of an Amhara-dominated government with one led by Tigray leaders, a source of continuing conflict throughout the 1990s.

Kagame described the TPLF and the EPRDF as “our sister parties, and Ethiopia is a valued partner country. The late Ato Meles Zenawi, is a hero, to all of us.”

Kagame, who was a close friend of departed Ethiopian leader, Meles Zenawi, said Ethiopia’s success has great meaning beyond the borders of this country, because of how the country has addressed her problems.

“First, you never wavered in your commitment to build a robust national unity, that is at the same time, firmly anchored in Ethiopia’s remarkable diversity. As a result, Ethiopia is peaceful, stable, and increasingly prosperous,” he opined.

In this regard, said the Rwandan leader who also draws inspiration from the Ethiopian revolution, the importance of the decision to join forces with other liberation movements in the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, cannot be underestimated.

Somalia President Sheikh Ahmed attended the celebrations

Somalia President Sheikh Ahmed attended the celebrations


He went ahead to praise Ethiopia for maintaining a principled commitment to self-reliance in all forms: economic, political, and above all, intellectual.

“In our world, there are groups who believe that they care more about Africans, than we care about ourselves. Solutions are imposed, that may have worked elsewhere, for other people, with different histories. As for us, we are told, in so many words, to keep quiet,” said Kagame amid aan applause from the audience.

“Ethiopia has never kept quiet. You have charted your own course, based on a deep analysis of your history and circumstances, and stayed the course. The result is the enormous growth we see today in Ethiopia, while you move rapidly towards a future as a middle-income country.”

Uganda's Prime Minister, Ruhakana Rugunda attending the function alongside President Kagame

Uganda’s Prime Minister, Ruhakana Rugunda attending the function alongside President Kagame

He said the roots of this confident self-reliance, go back to the very foundation of the TPLF and its partners.

“When the full history of our continent’s liberation is written, it will be found that in your struggle, Africa as a whole, found one of its most important voices. It is thus fitting to see Ethiopia increasingly called upon, to function as a force for peace and development in the wider world, through your peacekeepers, and just as importantly, with your ideas. Rwanda is proud to be your partner, and we wish you every success in the years ahead,” he concluded.


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