Exhibitions and trade fairs will require a businessperson to spend much of their time and money to see an effective response. Hence, it is vital to know how to correctly utilize one’s resources, and time to maximize your ROI so that you can justify spending all that time out of your busy life. We will try to help you explore the ideas that will help to ensure that you get the most out of your next trade fair.

Booth the best stand space

It is crucial to book the right stand space at a trade fair. The best stand space will have the best visibility and maximum footfall. If you don’t make your move and quickly book the right space, it will be gone and you could risk being positioned at a poor corner in the event.
Professional exhibition stand builders will tell you that the best spot is at the end of an aisle or in a corner where people passing from two angles or more has to pass by. If you book your stand earlier, you can get better deals from the organizers. That is why it is best to do one’s research in advance to find the next big event which could help your company get in the spotlight.

Plan your Project

Trade show exhibitors expect a lot from businesses. It can lead to new businesses and lead your company to new heights. But if you are ill-prepared, you could end up being disappointed by the results. Many have faced this. Hence, you should hire a contractor that will help you with the exhibition stand design.
Though planning requires much more than only designing. You need to check if you have enough marketing collateral to offer at the show such as leaflets, brochures, business cards, etc. While you plan all these, let the professional trade show stand builder do the physical work.
If you are looking for a good contractor, you can try out one of the best, Expostandzone. They have a stellar record and can create a booth that is creative and outstanding, based on your directions.

Follow up

Every contact you have with a visitor to the stand must be monitored because all of them are important. It is best to keep a track of all the visitors, and business people who come by keeping their business cards somewhere safe. Things can get easily lost in such events.
After the exhibition has wrapped up, you can try to respond to all the contacts timely. The sooner you do this through a personal call or through an email, the better your chances are of closing the deal.

Prize draw

It is a great business idea to encourage visitors to participate in a prize draw competition by offering them a chance to win some item made by your business. You can collect various information by asking the participants to fill in their contact details on a tablet.
This tactic not only helps attract more visitors, but it also is a scientific way to capture data. The visitors will also be more excited about the prizes they can win, and hence will care about the products your business makes.

Eye-catching Exhibition stand

Thousands of competitors will be competing for the same goal- clients. If you want to distinguish your brand from the others you need to build an eye-catching stand. Your exhibition stand design Germany speaks a lot about your company. Since it is the most important thing, it is best to leave it to an experienced exhibition booth design company that has decades of experience. For example, Expostandzone has over 13 years of business building booths in various countries for various trade fairs and exhibitions.

Expostandzone provides 5+ free exhibition stand designs quotation from different exhibition stand contractors. if they can comprehend your ideas about the stall. You can speak to them about your thoughts on the designs, and look up the 3D visuals they offer before sealing the deal. Rest assured, they are professional exhibition stand contractors who will not disappoint you.

Turkey was hailed as an example for a modern Muslim democracy during the early 2000s. The current ruling party that came to power in 2002 implemented reforms that were aligned with the European Union’s democratic standards and the country’s record in human rights began to improve.

Unfortunately, the democratic reforms were short lived. The process stalled only a few years later and then around 2011, following his third election victory, then-prime minister now president Erdogan made a complete U-turn. The slide into authoritarianism have made Turkey no longer an example for other Muslim-majority countries to aspire to.

Some may view the negative example Turkey presents under Erdogan as evidence of an incompatibility between democratic and Islamic values. But that would be an erroneous conclusion.

Despite the outward appearance of Islamic observance, Erdogan regime represents a complete betrayal of core Islamic values. These core values are not about a style of dressing or the use of religious slogans. They include respect for the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary, accountability for the rulers and the preservation of inalienable rights and freedoms of every citizen. The recent setback in the Turkish democratic experience is not because of adherence to these Islamic values, but rather because of their betrayal.

Turkish society remains remarkably heterogeneous. Sunni or Alevi, Turk, Kurd or other in ethnicity, Muslim or non-Muslim, and religiously observant or secular in lifestyle Turkish citizens adhere to many different ideologies, philosophies, and beliefs. In such a society, the effort to make everyone the same is both futile and disrespectful to humanity. Participatory or democratic form of governance where no group, majority or minority, dominates the others is the only viable form of governance for such a diverse population. The same can be said of Syria, Iraq and other neighboring countries in the region.

In Turkey or elsewhere, authoritarian rulers have exploited the differences within the society to polarize various groups against each other and maintain their stronghold in power. Whatever beliefs or world views they have, citizens should come together around universal human rights and freedoms and be able to democratically oppose those who violate these rights.

Expressing yourself against oppression is a democratic right, a civic duty, and a religious duty for believers. The Quran states that people should not remain silent against injustice: “O you who have believe! Be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for God, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives.” (4:135)

Living according to your beliefs or worldview with the condition that it does no harm to others, and exercising fundamental human freedoms, especially freedom of speech, makes a person truly a human. Liberty is a right given by the Compassionate God, and no one—and no leader—can take that away. A person deprived of his or her basic rights and freedoms cannot be said to live a truly human life.

In contrast to claims by political Islamists, Islam is not a political ideology, it is a religion. It does have some principles that pertain to governance, but these account for, at most, five percent of all Islamic principles. To reduce Islam to a political ideology is the greatest crime against its ethos.

In the past those who studied or spoke about the Islamic perspective of politics and state made three errors: First, they confused the historical experiences of Muslims with the foundational sources of Islamic tradition, the Qur’an and the authentic sayings and practices of the Prophet (upon whom be peace and blessings of God). Historical experiences of Muslims and the verdicts of the jurists under these circumstances should be analyzed with a critical eye, and cannot be given the same status as the authentic sources of religion. Secondly, some cherry-picked verses of the Qur’an or the sayings of the Prophet (pbuh) to legitimize their perspective and pursued to impose that perspective upon people. The spirit of the Qur’an and the Prophetic tradition (Sunnah) can only be understood with a holistic view and with a sincere intention to seek out the will of God. Third, some concluded, wrongfully, that democracy is fundamentally against Islam because Islam declares God as the only sovereign whereas democracy is based upon the sovereignty of the people. No believer doubts that God is the sovereign of the universe, but this does not mean that human agency, including thought, inclinations and willpower do not exist or are excluded from God’s greater plan for humanity. Giving sovereignty to the people does not mean usurping it from God, but rather taking the right and duty to govern, which is endowed to humans by God, from a dictator or an oligarchy and giving it back to the people.

The “state” is a system formed by human beings in order to protect their basic rights and freedoms and maintain justice and peace. The “state” is not a goal by itself, but an agency that helps people pursue happiness in this world and in the afterworld. The alignment of the state with a set of principles and values is a sum of the alignment of the individuals who make up the system with those principles and values. Therefore, the phrase “Islamic state” is a contradiction in terms, an oxymoron. Similarly, since there is no clergy class in Islam, theocracy is alien to the spirit of Islam. A state is a result of a contract among humans, made up of humans, and it can neither be “Islamic” nor “holy”.

Democracies come in all shapes and sizes. The democratic ideal that underlies these forms, that no group has domination over the others, is also an Islamic ideal. The principle of equal citizenship is in alignment with acknowledging the dignity of every human being and respecting them as a work of art that was created by God. Participatory form of governance, whether it is called a democracy or republic, is much more in resonance with the Islamic spirit than other forms of government, including monarchies and oligarchies.
The present picture of Turkey’s leadership resembles an oligarchy rather than democracy. How did it go wrong?
President Erdogan has corrupted Turkey’s once-promising democracy, co-opting the state, seizing businesses and rewarding cronies. In order to consolidate enough of the public behind him to make his power grab, he has declared me and Hizmet movement participants the enemy of the state, blaming us for every negative incident in the country in the recent past. This is a textbook example of scapegoating.

The government under President Erdogan has pursued me and also hundreds of thousands of other people—critics of all stripes, but especially from the peaceful Hizmet movement. Environmental protesters, Journalists, Academics, Kurds, Alevis, non-Muslims, and some of the Sunni Muslim groups who have been critical of Erdogan’s actions have had their share of consequences of his political agenda. Lives have been ruined through sacking, confiscating, jailing, and torture.

Due to the ongoing persecution, thousands of Hizmet volunteers have sought asylum in around the Globe, including France. As new residents, they must abide by the laws of these countries, help find solutions to problems of those societies and lead an active struggle against the spread of radical interpretations of Islam in Europe.

Back in Turkey, a vast arrest campaign based on guilt by association is ongoing. The number of victims of this campaign of persecution keeps increasing, with over 150,000 losing jobs, over 200,000 detained and over 80,000 arrested and jailed. People who are targeted by politically-motivated prosecution and who want to leave are deprived of their fundamental right to leave the country as their passports are cancelled. Despite setbacks due to military coups, Turkish Republic has been on a path of continuous improvement in democracy since its beginning in 1923. Erdogan is draining the reputation that the Turkish Republic has gained in the international arena, pushing Turkey into the league of nations known for suffocating freedoms and jailing democratic dissenters. The ruling clique is exploiting diplomatic relations, mobilizing government personnel and resources to harass, haunt and abduct Hizmet movement volunteers all around the world.

In recent years, and in the face of such persecutions, Turkish citizens have remained relatively passive in conveying their democratic demands to their leaders. Concern for economic stability is one possible reason for this behavior. But if we backtrack from today, we can see that there is also a historic reason.

Despite the fact that democratic governance has been an ideal of Turkish Republic, democratic values have never been systematically ingrained into the Turkish society. Obedience to a strong leader and the state have always been a strong theme in educational curricula. The military coups, which happened almost every decade, did not give democracy a chance to take hold and progress. Citizens forgot that the state existed for the people and not vice versa. It can be argued that Erdogan took advantage of this collective psyche.

Turkish democracy may be in a coma due to the current leadership but I remain optimistic. Oppression does not last for too long. I believe that Turkey will one day return to the democratic path. However, for democracy to take root and be long lasting, several measures need to be taken.

First of all, the school curricula should be reevaluated. Topics such as equal rights for all citizens and fundamental human rights and freedoms should be taught to students in the first years of school so that they can be guardians of these rights when they grow up. Secondly, there is a need for a constitution that does not allow for either the minority or the majority’s domination and protects in every situation the fundamental human rights referred to in the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Civil society and free press should be protected by the constitution to flourish and be part of the checks and balances against the state power. Thirdly, opinion leaders should emphasize democratic values in their rhetoric and action.

Turkey has now reached a point where democracy and human rights are put aside. It appears to have lost a historic opportunity to achieve a democracy by the standards of the European Union with  a majority Muslim population.

The leaders of a country are like the cream on top of a liquid. The cream is made of the same ingredients as the liquid underneath it. Leaders of a society, possibly with some level of inaccuracy or delay, reflect the beliefs and values of a society. I hope and pray that the recent sad experience of the Muslim majority countries lead to an awakening in the collective consciousness to produce democratically minded leaders and governments that uphold not only free an fair elections, but all fundamental human rights and freedoms.

The original version of this article first appeared at Le Monde.

Paris, 19 May 2022, Skaleet, an international fintech providing a next-generation Core Banking Platform (CBP), has partnered with Mobiblanc, an Agile Digital Services Entreprise (ESN), to offer turnkey solutions to financial institutions across Africa. The partnership will ensure that financial institutions have the capacities to launch new digital and innovative financial solutions that they can provide to their customers, whether businesses or individuals.

Mobiblanc, founded in 2010 and based in Morocco and Tunisia, is a leading player in North and West African markets entirely devoted to digital solutions. Its mission is to convert complexity and added value challenges, through the design of solutions that are best suited to the transformation needs of its customers. With a talented and dynamic team, Mobiblanc strives to deliver consulting and integration services in a professional manner for very demanding clients in Agile mode. With a talented and dynamic team; Mobiblanc is keen to deliver an efficient and effective consulting and integration service for a wide range of clients.

On the other hand, Skaleet enables retail banks and financial institutions to launch new banking products and services for their customers at a competitive price. Through its open, modular, and flexible Core banking Platform, Skaleet offers innovative and scalable banking solutions that are built end-to-end and tailored to each customer.


Photo: Co-founders Mohamed Benboubker (L) and Youssef El Alaoui (R)

Skaleet, is an international fintech that provides a scalable and flexible next-generation Core Banking Platform (CBP) with an advanced degree of customization. This platform enables financial institutions (retail banks, digital banks, payment and e-money institutions etc.) to better meet their customers’ expectations with new and evolving digital financial offers. Skaleet’s CBP has already been implemented in more than 34 financial institutions and Skaleet manages over 8 million bank accounts worldwide. Major customers include: Société Générale, eZyness (a subsidiary of La Banque Postale) and Trust Merchant Bank. Since its creation, the fintech has raised €28.5 million from Société Générale and Long Arc Capital, which confirms its ambition to grow internationally.


Today, it is essential for financial institutions to be able to innovate quickly and adapt to change

The digital marketplace is continually, and rapidly, developing and evolving and the partnership between Skaleet and Mobiblanc enables financial institutions to ensure clients stay at the forefront with innovative and cutting-edge technology. Providing the best service and advice to clients, Skaleet and Mobiblanc are able to respond quickly to the digital evolution of banking and financial services with innovative and agile solutions that are competitively priced.

Yves Eonnet, chairman and co-founder of Skaleet said, “Today, it is essential for financial institutions to be able to innovate quickly and adapt to change. The ecosystem we have built relies on expert partners who are aware of this challenge and can find solutions. We quickly saw a cultural, technological and business fit between our two organizations and are delighted to have partnered with Mobiblanc. The partnership will enable us to further expand our offering and add value to our customers across Africa.”

Youssef El Alaoui, co-founder of Mobiblanc, added, “This partnership confirms our strategic orientation to support the digital transformation of the financial sector. We share the ambition with Skaleet to offer integration of innovative solutions with cutting-edge, technological expertise in order to bring added value to our partners and respond to the new business requirement of the sector.”

Both Skaleet and Mobiblanc are committed to continue innovating and creating new modules and functionalities to reshape the banking and financial ecosystem in favour of a formal, inclusive and sustainable development of the African continent.

As leaders agreed late last year at the U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, if the world fails to come together to mitigate the impending impacts of climate change, Africa will grapple with drought, rising sea levels, potential conflicts over water access, and increasingly frequent severe weather events, among other possible natural disasters.

The global response to climate change must incorporate the historic emissions context. As has been widely noted, China, Europe, and the United States bear the most responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions. Prioritizing the transition to renewable and imposing higher emission reduction requirements on the EU, U.S., and China will ease the burden on those nations that still need a variety of power generation methods to increase energy access.

Not only does Africa bear the least responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions, but the forests of the Congo Basin (second only to the Amazon) are vital to absorbing the CO2 emitted from other continents. Keeping the lungs of the world intact must be more valuable than cutting them down. Maintaining these natural resources is essential to combating global climate change and requires external support to properly value and incentivize their preservation.

Another big challenge is the lack of access to electricity. Today nearly 600 million of the 1.2 billion Africans lack access to electric power. In sub-Saharan Africa, 12 million new people enter the workforce every year. Our prosperity and peace are incumbent on powering our economic development and creating enough gainful employment opportunities for our growing population. That is not something that can be done in the dark. Without achieving universal access to electricity, we will be vulnerable to underdevelopment, high unemployment, a migration crisis, and instability. Given the close interplay of these challenges as well as their threat to the overall region, we must find a way to solve both if our continent is to realize a peaceful and prosperous future.

To narrow the energy access gap as quickly as possible, Africa must employ a variety of power sources already utilized by the U.S., EU, and China while simultaneously phasing out coal. Such a shift requires mobilizing development financing to support natural gas, hydro, and geothermal projects, as well as wind and solar energy.

Importantly, the double standard for those nations in the Global North with universal energy access was on full display at COP 26. For example, EU climate chief Frans Timmermans said, “[The European Union] will have to also invest in natural gas infrastructure. As long as we do it with an eye of only doing this for a period, then I think this is a justified investment.” The EU and U.S., who control significant voting stakes in the largest international financial institutions (IFIs), then led a pledge by 20 countries to stop financing gas projects abroad. Without support from IFIs, African nations will be unable to build and maintain the infrastructure required to utilize our natural gas. This sharp contrast in words and actions sends the message that natural gas is considered a bridge to renewable in the Global North—where access to electricity is secure—while natural gas is an unnecessary luxury to Africans who still do not have access to reliable electricity.

Finally, African nations must capitalize on the green economic revolution. The global transition to renewable energy will mean exponentially scaling up the production of batteries, electric vehicles, and other renewable energy systems, which depend on Africa’s natural resources. For example, the Democratic Republic of the Congo accounts for 70 percent of the world’s cobalt, the mineral vital to battery production. With the demand for cobalt expected to at least double by 2030, it is unfathomable that the miners, who provide the world with the material essential to the energy transition, return to homes without electricity. We need to leverage our control over such markets to elevate working conditions, move beyond raw material exports toward manufacturing and processing capacity, and capture greater portions of green energy supply chains. We cannot afford to repeat the mistakes of past economic revolutions.

By Jeanine Mabunda Lioko
Ms Jeanine Mabunda Lioko Mudiayi was the first woman to be elected as President of the National Assembly of the Democratic Republic of Congo, serving from April 24th, 2019, to December 10th, 2020. She has been a Member of the Congolese Parliament since 2011, having been re-elected in 2018, as a National Deputy of Bumba, Équateur Province.
From 2014 to 2018, Jeanine Mabunda served as the Personal Representative of the President to combat sexual violence and child soldier recruitment.

From 2007 to 2012, Jeanine Mabunda served as Minister of Portfolio and Public Enterprises, charged with reforming the DRC’s state-owned enterprises. At that time, state-owned enterprises employed over 100,000 workers and the country was facing several socio-economic challenges.

Jeanine Mabunda holds a law degree from the Catholic University of Louvain and a bachelor’s degree in business sciences from the Catholic Institute of Higher Commercial Studies (ICHEC) in Brussels.



Is West Africa turning its back on democracy?

The spate of coup d’états rattling the turbulent West African region raises serious questions about the viability and future of democracy and constitutional rule in the subregion. Further, the power grab also brings to light the role of the former colonial power and its relationship with the former colonies amid a growing sense of nationalism and patriotism fueled by anti-French sentiments.

In less than two years, the military has grabbed power in three ECOWAS Member States, including Mali, Guinea Conakry and Burkina Faso. Another military takeover has been recently thwarted in Guinea Bissau. Burkina Faso President Roch Marc Christian Kabore was ousted amid public resentment with his handling of the so-called Jihadists. The Burkina coupists have been apparently influenced by Mali, where a coup in September 2020 was followed by a second in May 2021, and Guinea, where elected President Alpha Conde was deposed last September.

At this point, it’s fundamentally important to shine a light on the root causes of the trending power grab in Africa, in general, and in West Africa in particular. The proponents of military intervention hold the opinion that the civilian political leadership has abysmally failed the citizens, amending constitutions to perpetuate themselves in power, as it happened in Guinea Conakry, where the deposed leader Alpha Conde amended the Constitution to seek a controversial term in office, triggering widespread unrest in the country. They also point to the rampant corruption involving the political leadership bent on enriching themselves and their cronies while the majority of the population live in abject poverty, deprivation and despair. The rule of the civilians, they further argued, is also characterized by nepotism, cronyism and bureaucratic ineptitude.

On the other hand, the critics argue that military takeovers have offered no tangible solutions to Africa’s perennial predicaments, pointing to Sudan as a perfect example. The Editor of New African magazine stated in a recent editorial entitled, “Africa Groundhog coups” that “If coups had been able to provide the solution to

Africa’s many problems, the continent would have become a shining model of development, equity and justice by now. With a record 15 coup attempts (five successful), Sudan would have been vying with Singapore for most developed status.” The military, who always make corruption and maladministration a pretext to grab power, soon become obsessed with power taking off uniforms and running for elections. Nothing changes on the ground for the masses who initially embrace them, hoping to take them to the promised land.

The Sahel region is beset by insecurity that the military junta in Mali and Burkina took as a pretext to topple the civilian administrations, which they accuse of failing to handle.

There is growing anti-French sentiment across the Francophone nations who accuse the former colonial power of plundering their resource in conjunction with the civilian leadership. The Malian authorities have recently expelled the French envoy in retaliation for condescending remarks by the French foreign minister, who described the Malian military junta as illegitimate.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is currently in crisis, striving to stem further military takeover. The regional grouping has suspended the membership of Mali, Guinea and Mali and slapped the latter with crippling sanctions. Ironically, the masses are solidly behind the military rulers blaming ECOWAS for their woes.

Welcoming back his colleagues in Accra for an emergency summit following a coup in Burkina, the Ghanian leader and the chairman of the West African bloc ECOWAS said a surge of coups since a military government took power in Mali in 2020 must be contained before it devastates the whole region. “It’s with a heavy heart that I welcome all of you today back to Accra after our virtual meeting last week,” Akufo-Addo said. “Your presence here is a strong indication of your willingness to find a sustainable solution to the resurgence of the cancer in our region. Let us address this dangerous trend collectively and decisively before it devastates the whole region.”

To contain the contagion, I firmly believe that ECOWAS must bar member states from manipulating the Constitution to suit the caprices of leaders bent on perpetuating themselves in power and promote serious institutional reforms to rob the military of the pretext to stage coups. Democracy and the rule of law are meaningless if corrupt leaders continue to undermine the very democracy and constitutions they are sworn to protect and safeguard at all costs.

The fragile security situation in the Sahel region must be urgently addressed to ensure that the violence does not spiral over onto other countries in the subregion.

Political leaders must put a definitive end to mediocrity and listen to the cries of their citizens who vote them into office in the hope of bettering their lives and livelihoods. If not, I am afraid we will witness more power grabs in Africa.

By Basidia M Drammeh

Thousands of refugees who have fled civil wars and violence in the Central African Republic (CAR) to Chad are facing serious water, food and shelter shortages. During a four-week visit to the south parts of the country; Young Diplomats’ Africa regional director Idriss Zackaria visited several camps in the region, seeking for an innovative programme to integrate refugees and provide peace awareness to the young ones, he met refugees, Chadian returnees and asylum seekers who told him about their dreams, sorrows, violence, abuse and persecution they suffered at the hands of criminal gangs, which forced them to flee their countries.

In Southern Chad, including Goré, one of poorest and most underdeveloped parts of the country, is already hosting more than 43,000 Central African refugees and about 45,000 Chadian returnees from CAR and few other refugees from Democratic Republic of Congo – They are now struggling for food and other basic necessities. These refugees settled in more than 40 villages and four camps around the town of Goré are currently facing a worsening social and economic crisis, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

¨People are dying today and will die tomorrow¨

The first Central African young lady we met was Nemadjilem Clarisse, 21. She left school five years ago; she told us that she has experienced all kinds of violence in her teenage hood. Her lips stiffened when she spoke to us and could not prevent herself from collapsing. ¨ the first thing I need as a girl is safety and food; the second thing is school which I can’t find both here, I totally feel like I am in the middle of nowhere. And when I get sick, I just think I better die instead of suffering for no reason¨ said Clarisse

From lack of health facilities to food shortages and high prices pose a direct threat to the lives of the refugees and the host population in the region, who share little food and other resources with the refugees. Since last March, none of them have received any kind of aids from the humanitarian organizations working in the country; according to some refugees. 

Ndome-Mbaye Dèsirè; 45, said that the refugees of Amboko camps have not received food rations for the last three months, everything stop with the COVID-19 pandemic. ¨The problem is that our calls to aid organizations are in vein and we can barely have food, household items, toilets, and bathrooms. Some families in my neighborhood have lost their children weeks ago because they couldn’t find something to eat. I talk here about basic things. The world must provide greater care to the refugees in these camps, especially the children. People are dying today and will die tomorrow, are you listening to what I’m saying? ¨ said Dèsirè

Calls for more support and response

It’s well known that the UNHCR and other partners have been building emergency shelter in the camps and villages that host the refugees in Goré and other parts of the country, and providing life-saving relief such as healthcare, water and sanitation, shelter, food and nutrition assistance to newly arrived refugees since the start of the crisis while also working with the authorities, partners and donors on a relocation plan. However, refugees in Amboko camps are telling the unknown parts of the story — they have complained of food shortages caused by delays or the non-distribution of rations. Without increased food aid, refugees could face prolonged period of food shortage while overwhelm humanitarian agencies’ response ability.

Moussa Abderamane; 28, explained to us that with this level of support, they unfortunately cannot stand living in these camps anymore, ¨people who have survived horrific experiences in CAR are now going back to the war zones, simply because they believe that war was better than dying with hunger.¨ said Abderamane

Abderamane explained that the World Food Programme (WFP) which operates in the region has presented a re-inventory plan of food cards to them. It would help classification and provision of food among the refugees who are all in need of aid only. According to him; the refugees rejected the programme’s plan on the grounds that they “are all poor and in need of basic aid”. Yet the humanitarian organizations did not provide food for the last three month.

“The aid organization returned to us and provided rations in April. It has not yet provided the rations for the people with red cards. They simply don’t care about the children who are starving in the camps; I still can’t understand the story of these refugees yellow, red and green cards.¨ Added Abderamane

It is quite obvious to us that Children are the most vulnerable in Amboko refugee camps. We saw most of them were barefooted and ragamuffin on the streets, they have been taken away from their homes, schools, friends and families, and have been forced to start new lives in strange environments. 

¨The situation is becoming dangerous¨ said Dèsirè. He appealed to the WFP and other donors to provide food to the refugees as soon as they can.¨ He added

Needs are many in number of stories and rains…

Due to the impact of the floods on the harvest this season, food reserves are almost depleted at the household and community levels, with many eating leaves and wild fruits that are often toxic. Given that the next harvest is in October and November, quality seeds are not available for many.

Abdelbassit Mahamat; 22, argues that refugees may face more food shortages for the next five months as we are entering the raining seasons. “I am tired of waiting here all day. We just stand in the rain,” said Mahamat. “But I will tell you something: after everything we have been through, a bit of rain can’t kill me.” He added

As the rainy season approaches, it is obvious that another urgent need is housing. We hope that more donors will assist in building emergency shelters in the camps and villages that host the refugees, or move them from the border area to villages or camps that the authorities consider safer.

During the raining season; the cold days are long, but the nights are always longer for Clarisse. When the sun goes down, the temperature drops, and she can feel the freezing air against her cheeks. ¨I shiver to keep my body warm but with no blanket, I have nothing to protect myself from the cold air breezing through the tent. I am one of many girls fighting to survive the rainy and winter season in the refugee camps, and as the conditions turn treacherous, we are in desperate need of warm clothes, blankets and food.¨ says Clarisse

It is worth mentioning that there are many like Clarisse and others whom are suffering from such conditions as Chad is a low-income and land-locked country, suffering from chronic food insecurity, denoting alarming levels of hunger. The Global Hunger Index for 2017 places Chad second last out of 119 countries.

Russian military buildup at the Ukrainian border and recent military intervention of the Russian Military in Kazakistan has raised the question over President Putin’s intentions. Putin is one of the intriguing World leaders; thus, his actions have raised concerns about the motive of the Kremlin. A few weeks ago in an interview, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken says Putin wants to restore the Soviet Union. He added that the Russian President strives to re-exert his influence over the countries that were part of the Soviet Union.

Putin desired to restore the USSR.

According to Vladimir Putin, the collapse of the Soviet Union was a tragedy for historical Russia. After the collapse, he spent his life driving a taxi at the time. In a recent TV documentary, he claimed that the USSR was the historical Russian Empire that the Russian Tsar gradually acquired over time.

After the fall of the USSR, 40% of the territory accumulated over a thousand years was lost. This statement is noteworthy; he is conveying the idea that the countries currently independent but not associated with the Russian Federation historically belonged to Russia. Such is the same position China holds in defense of its aggressive actions.

In 2020 we had seen the outlook of Putin’s desire when he proposed Central Asian Countries to merge back in the USSR, stating that the unification benefits everyone is inevitably prevailing. But his comment of reviving the USSR provoked a backlash in Central Asia.

Moreover, recent data released by statistics agency Rosstat show that Russia loses a million people in historic population fall. But unlike Western nations, Russia does not have the luxury of immigration to attract immigrants. Therefore, the population decline in the next few years may be so severe that the Kremlin will no longer have the demographic necessary to protect their national security and maintain their military.

Path of Soviet Restoration
It’s going to be very difficult for Mr. Putin to restore the Soviet Empire, especially if he wants to convince the Central Asian countries to integrate with the Russian Federation. Nonetheless, Central Asian countries already said they did not want to become part of the USSR and are now independent countries. So, the plan to revive the Soviet Union can be carried out in two directions, the first being south of Russia, namely in Central Asia, although, absorbing those countries is rather difficult unless Putin attempted an invasion, which is highly unlikely. Therefore, Eurasian is the most convenient front.

However, Belarus is most likely to become a part of the Russian Federation on the western front in the near future. Since the Baltic states are already members of NATO, it is unlikely that Russia will go after them. Lastly, we have Ukraine where tensions are at a high point right now. There is a strong historical connection between Ukraine and the Russian Federation and 30% of Ukrainians speak Russian, especially in eastern Ukraine. Currently, Ukraine wants to become a member of NATO, something the Kremlin cannot allow to happen since Ukraine would not only pose a direct threat to Moscow but also prevent the return of Ukraine to the federation.

The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has been in office for 22 years, and he wants to leave a legacy. During the last few years, we have seen an up-rise against him, especially when the Kremlin arrested Alexi Navalny. As the Afghan withdrawal showed last year, the Biden administration has a weak hand and US power is waning, and the recent Ukraine standoff shows the fractures within the EU. This might inspire Putin to take over Ukraine, perhaps restoring the former glory of the Russian Federation.

The African Union declared 2019 as the Year of Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons: Towards Durable Solutions to Forced Displacement in order to put the spotlight on the plights of those that are uprooted. During the celebration in Nigeria, the government was called upon to domesticate the Kampala Convention in Nigeria. One year later the call is yet to receive proper attention. As many are economically displaced as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, many displaced persons are at the risk of sinking further into abyss and oblivion.

Nigeria is among the countries that have ratified the Kampala Convention but yet to domesticate it in our national law. Nigerian House of Representative Committee on IDPs was established in 2015 with Sani Zoro as the chair. The committee with the assistance of the UNHCR conducted stakeholder mapping an analysis of existing legislation and awareness raising activities among the general population. It also held a national assembly session on IDPs during which the UNHCR handbook for implementation on Internal Displacement was presented. Despite the progress, the process was hampered by limited fund, lack of capacity and inadequate coordination mechanism.

We have big problems. No cow, no food to eat. We only eat when our children go out in search for food and bring it to us. The government did not help us only the NGOs who distributed food items twice. Since then we did not receive anything.

Internal displacement has been a recurring phenomenon in Nigeria as a result of violent conflicts, natural disasters and in some cases developmental projects. Since the return of civil rule in 1999, the waves of displacement caused essentially by conflict, generalized violence, natural disaster and human right violation have not abated. The most worrisome trend of displacement in Nigeria is that of violent conflicts because of the impact on the lives of the displaced people and the country at large. It is estimated that around half a million people had been displaced between 1999 and 2005, when communal clashes peaked. Between 2009 and 2017, there have been other causes of displacement but no one has been as devastating as the Boko Haram induced displacement. The Boko Haram insurgency and the resulting military operation have led to over 20,000 casualties and displaced more than 3 million people.

Another ugly trend causing a new wave of displacement is the rise in banditry in the Northwest region. Many analysts have compared the damages resulting from the activities of the bandits to that of the Boko Haram. Many states such as Katsina, Zamfara have recorded new cases of displacement as communities are being ransacked by these criminal minded individuals.

The three states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa have the highest number of IDPs in Nigeria being the worse hit by the Boko Haram terrorist activities. Many of these IDPs are found in camps and some live in host communities putting a strain on the fragile economic base and infrastructure in those communities. Many times these communities who welcomed displaced persons arm become less hospitable as they face less food, schools and health facilities to meet the need of the increased population. The responses to the plights of IDPs in Nigeria have begun to wane as government and NGos have had to channel limited resources to others use. Added to this is the problem diversion of fund and items meant by government and humanitarian officials
While some IDPs in camps still receive some forms of intervention from government and NGOs there are many displaced persons and refugees who are currently in protracted displacement in different host communities and have become largely invisible. One of the typical examples of this category of people is that of the displaced persons in Mugulbu, Adamawa state. Many of these people have found themselves in displacement for about five years. According to the village head, when they first arrived Mugulbu, they lived in make shift huts with no toilets. The whole community was steeped in smell from open defecation putting the village at the risk of disease outbreak. Many of them could not speak the language of the community affecting the opportunities open to them for seeking means of livelihood.

Here is the excerpt of the Focus Group Discussion which Mr. Kamal Ololade was held with them:
How did you come to this place? Why did you leave your home?
IDPS (One of the participants):
You people know Boko Haram; they are the ones that sent us away. They took our herds of cattle, sheep, goats and all, and they left us running for our lives. But, we don’t have food and there is no any help from government. Some organizations usually help, but the government, no. This is how we are living here. Our children are wandering on the streets looking for food.
What are the challenges you are facing?
IDPs: Food, there is no food, no farm, no house except huts. The lack of food is our problem, but we have source of water in the community.
What are you doing to survive now?
IDPs: You see, some go to the markets searching for something to do while others go to the bushes looking for jobs from people, so that they feed their children.
Have you received any help from the government?
IDPs: Before they helped us, they brought things for us twice and now it is almost four years.
Question: But is it from the government or an organization?
IDPs: Those people with black cars. (One of them cut in) Yes, it is an organization.
Question: What and what did they bring to you?
IDPs: Kettles, pots, duvets, mats and the rest. But, that was twice four years ago.
Question: What about your women? Is there anything they do? Is there any problem with them?
IDPs: the women are also here
Question: What do you think is the solution to your problem?
IDPs: We are just waiting to see if the government help us or not.
Question: What do you want the government to do for you?
IDPs: Food. Without food what are we going to eat? You have at least 10 children and you don’t have food. You have to look for it.
Question: if everything is fine, will you like to go back to your place or continue to leave here?
IDPs: If our place becomes peaceful we would like to go back because we have farm and everything. Our living here is not enjoyable at all because we are just living like that. In this place we are about 500 with women and children.
Question:  Are there people still coming?
No, there is nobody coming now. However, we heard in Borno they used to give them food and money. We here we did not receive any money. We were given food twice by those organizations.
Question (to the women): We want to know the problems you are facing as female IDPs?
We have big problems. No cow, no food to eat. We only eat when our children go out in search for food and bring it to us. The government did not help us only the NGOs who distributed food items twice. Since then we did not receive anything.

We call for increased access to social and basic services for the displaced persons, respect for the civil and humanitarian nature of internally displaced persons camps, and the creation of a better protection environment in general.

By Kamal Ololade Ahmed
Kamal O. Ahmed is a graduate of Political Science and Public Administration from the University of Benin, Edo State Nigeria with a double major in education. After his first degree in 2012, he worked briefly as a part time lecturer in a College of Education where he taught Political Science and Public Administration as well as some education courses. He has a keen interest in writing on Political matters, defense and security with special focus on Africa and the Middle East. He has published a number of articles on both online and print media including Young Diplomat. He is currently a post graduate student at the Nigerian Defense Academy, Kaduna where he is pursuing a Master’s degree in Defense and Strategic Studies.

Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America signed a trilateral security pact on the 15th of September 2021 after Australia ditched France. Australia had a A$90bn deal with France which required France to provide Aussies with 12 nuclear submarines but Australia canceled it and joined UK and US. France abruptly recalled its Ambassadors from Australia and US and called the deal “Stab in the Back” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson called the deal an irresponsible act and said that the agreement undermines regional stability and peace. The agreement allows Australia to become the second country after the UK to use US nuclear submarine technology, the three allies will cooperate in Artificial Intelligence, enhance cyber capabilities, Quantum Technologies, and underwater systems. Besides that, US and UK will help Australia to build at least 8 nuclear-powered submarines.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison emphasized at ASPI’s Sydney Dialogue that AUKUS will enable the three allies to advance their nuclear technologies and joint capabilities which will help them to prepare for upcoming challenges in the 21st century. XI-Jinping addressed the SCO head of states and emphasized that regional states must resist and not allow the foreign powers to interfere in internal affairs of the region and urged them to hold their future, progress, and development solely in their own hands. Scott Morrison must have calculated that the Grand Strategy applied by three allies will provide the strategic depth in the Indo Pacific region and the Chinese will sit quietly, look around, and will let them do whatever their ambitions dictate.

The basic principles of Chinese Foreign Policy are not to become part of any power block which means not making any alliance that is based on strategic competition and isolating the other states. One of the main pillars of Foreign Policy of China is not to participate in power politics and not to seek expansionism and to maintain friendly relations with neighboring states by promoting trade and encouraging economic activities, not to interfere in internal affairs of sovereign states and not let other states interfere and challenge China’s sovereignty. If any state is following expansionist policy, then its aggressive behavior may trigger other states to form a counterbalancing coalition. If an adversary is flexing its military muscles, more than its needs for its defense then the other state will retaliate in order to stop its expansionist designs. Well, the AUKUS agreement has already sprinkled oil on the field and China has retaliated by showing its supremacy in the South China Sea. On 16 November 2021 Chinese coastguard ships blocked two Philippines supply boats that were within the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone(EEZ) in the South China Sea and also fired water cannons on the boats. These actions show that China is willing to show its supremacy especially in the Islands which China claims to be its part called the “nine-dash line.

If a state adds into its military power and increases its defense in order to protect itself from aggression of adversaries, then the opponent will do the same and it will create a security dilemma in the other state which is what happening with China. AUKUS has created a security dilemma in China and that’s why Beijing has started to retaliate. A Washington-based think tank published a report named “Pulling Back the Curtain on China’s Maritime Militia”.It said 100 militia boats were deployed by China near Philippine occupied Thitu Island in 2018 and 200 at unoccupied Whitsun Reef in Spring 2021.IT also said that on any given day approximately 300 Chinese maritime militias vessels in the Spratly Islands of the South China Sea because China has territorial claims In the South China Sea and wants them to become an integral part of China.

INTERIM NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGIC GUIDANCE by Washington in March 2021 clearly stated US intentions that it will protect its allies’ democracies against Chinese aggression. The US also pledged that it will make sure that the US not China will set the Global order and international agenda. To protect its interests and to counter threats of collective security will defend and cooperate with its allies in each sector.US has also pledged to support Chinese neighboring states which are facing existential threats from China especially Taiwan. Both Japan and China have territorial claims over Senkaku Islands and consider it to be their integral part but the United States of America stance is that China’s claims are baseless and do not fit on principles of International Law. America’s wounds are still fresh after facing defeat in the form of withdrawal of US and allies’ forces from Afghanistan but a superpower is called a superpower when it has a sphere of influence beyond its borders. It seems that the great power competition has shifted towards Indo-Pacific with the main objective of containment of China. The world-leading powers are once again in a race of overwhelming each other. This time US has realized that it has to come up with a new Grand Strategy because the Chinese presence in the Indo-Pacific especially the South China Sea possesses a threat to the vital interests of US. In order to increase its influence United States has chosen its European allies this time by dragging them in the rivalry of the great powers.

XI-Jinping addressed the annual summit of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and warned that recent actions in the Asia Pacific could fall us back into the cold war mentality. Xi-Jinping was towards the AUKUS deal between the UK, US, and Australia. But what actually in the AUKUS deal and especially in nuclear-powered submarines that proves to be a nightmare for China and China is showing so much aggression. The difference between conventional submarines and nuclear-powered submarines is that they are used to defend from attacks of enemies but nuclear-powered submarines are more advanced in technology and can remain undersea for a very long time without being detected.  Xi-Jinping was right in the sense with the agreement and alliances like AUKUS there will be a disability in the Indo-Pacific region. Because we can witness an arms race where states will be rushing for nuclear-powered submarines. Some states are in favor of the AUKUS deal and some are against it China, US, the UK, Russia, France, India have already nuclear-powered submarines. According to statistical data by Hindustan Times US-68, Russia-29, China-12, UK-11, France-8, India-1 and now Australia is in the race. The current scenario will lead us to disability in the region because if Australia is acquiring nuclear-powered submarines today the rest of the states especially China would be increasing nuclear submarines technology in its defense and hence more and more money will be spent by states to increase their defense capabilities resulting in uncertainty in the region.

George W. Bush is widely considered to be the worst President in American History, with good reason. But what was his biggest failure? Iraq? Katrina? The Stock Market? The answer to this question is none of the above. And to explain why that is, we have to go back to three years before he became President, to 1998.

In 1998 the Afghan city of Mazar-I-Sharif fell to Taliban fighters. The city was home to the main community of Hazara, a community of Afghani Shia Muslims, thus were deemed as infidels by the Taliban, who proceeded to carry out a genocide against them. The country that led the biggest condemnation of this was Iran, which almost went to war with the Taliban in response. However, during the 2001 Invasion of Afghanistan, Iran special commandos (including Qassim Soleimani) assisted the United States in driving the Taliban out of Herat by instigating an anti-Taliban insurrection.

This could have been used to George W. Bush’s advantage. Iran was not yet a regional power. The hardline Ahmadinejad had not yet been elected. The nuclear weapons program was not yet built. There were no Iranian militias operating in Syria, Iraq, or Yemen. Bush could have used this to his advantage and diffused the Iranian threat before it even began. Instead, Bush Jr. declared Iran part of the “Axis of Evil” and emboldened Iran and the hardliners by invading Iraq. As a result, today Iran has a nuclear weapons program and a foothold across the entirety of the Middle East.