Kusile’s Unit 4 returns to service

Kusile Power Station’s Unit 4 has returned to service bringing back 800 megawatts, which was taken off during the unit’s 20-day planned maintenance.

Minister in the Presidency for Electricity, Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa said this while briefing the media on the implementation of the country’s Energy Action Plan.

The unit came back online on Sunday morning, and will add 800 megawatts to the capacity available and removes 800 megawatts from the planned maintenance of Eskom.

Units 1, 2 and 3 of the power station located in Mpumalanga were put offline due to a flue-gas desulphurisation (FGD) mechanism that was damaged in October last year. This affected stacks at the units. He said that these are expected to come online between October and the end of November 2023.

“We’ve been able to shed a month on the return of unit 3 and the expectation is that we should be able to return this unit by 14 October. The same is applicable for unit 1. We should be able to get it on 30 October.

On progress made on unit 2, the Minister said the team initially was of the view that the unit would return on 24 December. However, this has been revised to 30 November 2023.

The Minister reiterated that Kusile is central to addressing the load shedding question, because “we will need significant more additional generating capacity to be able to address this.”

In recent weeks the country has been experiencing various stages of load shedding including Stage 6.

In an update on Sunday afternoon, Eskom said that due to further improvements in generation capacity, Stage 2 load shedding will be implemented from 4 pm until 4pm on Monday.

Thereafter, Stage 4 load shedding will be implemented from 4pm on Monday until 5 am on Tuesday. This will be followed by Stage 2 load shedding from 5 am until 4 pm.

“This pattern will be repeated daily until further notice,” it said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Interfaith communities called to collaborate with government

Deputy President Paul Mashatile has encouraged interfaith communities to collaborate with government to tackle societal challenges.

Mashatile made the call during a fundraising gala dinner for the 100th anniversary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Southern Africa, Alexandra Parish, held at the Marlboro Community Hall.

“Now, more than ever, we must join forces to counter what has grown to threaten our communities. Among the many challenges confronting our communities, we must address access to quality education, poverty, unemployment, drug and substance abuse, child abuse, crime, corruption, lack of housing, teenage pregnancy, and [the] high HIV infection among young people,” Mashatile said.

In his address on Saturday, Mashatile said the church plays a crucial role in fighting social ills, irrespective of the denomination or community it serves.

As a well-established moral and social leader, the church has effectively addressed social problems through outreach, education, and advocacy.

The Deputy President expressed satisfaction with the church’s endorsement of governmental function in addressing societal challenges, mostly centred on addressing fundamental necessities, advancing equality and fairness, and fostering a sense of community and social responsibility.

He noted that, social cohesiveness is widely recognised as a fundamental element of every given society, necessitating the active participation of all individuals in the collective endeavour to foster a harmonious social fabric.

He emphasised the importance for the interfaith community to continue collaborative efforts to foster inclusivity among all people. This is irrespective of racial, religious, or cultural backgrounds.

“As a church, we must ask whether we have attempted to fulfil our community responsibilities or joined the masses who care about themselves. Resolving these challenges necessitates a collaborative endeavour involving not just governmental entities but also the active participation of all segments of society, including interfaith communities.

“Interfaith initiatives, which include community service, serve as a vehicle for social change [and] these initiatives can specifically address issues like poverty and inequality. In its capacity as a moral and social leader, we strongly encourage the church to collaborate with us to tackle these societal difficulties as well as others effectively.”

He called on the church to foster a sense of belonging.

“Moreover, from feeding the homeless to educating underprivileged children, the church must continue to show a deep commitment to serving society. These acts of kindness and generosity benefit the recipients and inspire others to do the same, thus creating a culture of giving and kindness.”

The Deputy President expressed his appreciation to those who attended the event in support of the refurbishment of Dr Knack Primary School.

The refurbishment of the educational institution will positively impact academic advancement and the overall welfare of pupils, while also serving to attract and retain highly qualified personnel and educators.

He also commended the Evangelical Lutheran Church, in partnership with the Jewish Women’s Organisation, for running a soup kitchen, which provides much-needed food to the Alexandra community, and for their after-school programme, which assists students with their homework.

He further urged everyone to emulate the Lutheran Church’s example and assist in combating poverty in their communities by sharing what they have with those less fortunate.

“As a government, we recognise and appreciate the work done by churches and religious institutions in promoting social cohesion and supporting our communities. Your contribution to building strong communities and bringing people together is invaluable,” the Deputy President said.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Prime Minister Hamza leaves for the US to attend UN General Assembly

The Prime Minister of the Federal Government of Somalia, HE Hamza Abdi Barre and a delegation he led left for the United States of America to attend the United Nations General Assembly taking place in New York.

The Prime Minister will deliver a speech at the General Assembly and discuss the latest developments in Somalia in the areas of security and resolution, decreasing poverty, health, education, economic development, production, human rights, justice, building government agencies, and climate change.

Prime Minister Hamza will have several sideline meetings while he is in the US, starting with the Secretary-General of the UN and other officials from the US.

Prime Minister Barre will also meet the Somali community in the United States and brief them on the situation of the country including the successful elimination of the Al-Shabaab terrorists and the liberation of dozens of areas from their control.

Source: Somali National News Agency

Somalia attends 9th Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians on adopting SDGs through digitalization

A Parliamentary delegation from the Federal Republic of Somalia led by MP Abdirizak Adan Warsame attended the 9th Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians on adopting a statement on youth in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through digitalization, held in Vietnam from 15 – 17 of September 2023.

MP Abdirizak confirmed that in attaining the sustainable development goals, Somalia has passed several important bills that are vital for achieving SDGs.

The delegation that attended the conference included MP Mohamed Abdi Mohamed, Senator Hussein Mohamed Dahir, Senator Ayan Adan Abdullahi, and other officials.

Mr. Abdirizak said that Somalia needs funding programs that support cultural diversity, and sustainable development, sessions and discussions on the issues of cultural diversity, encouraging education and awareness about cultural diversity, and supporting dialogue and understanding between diverse cultures, to reach sustainable development.

The delegation of the Parliamentary Division of the Federal Republic of Somalia stressed that young parliamentarians can play a vital role in promoting respect and cultural assessment to support sustainable development, and the task of adopting and implementing laws and policies that serve and enhance cultural diversity, in order to ensure equality and cultural services.

Source: Somali National News Agency

Minister of Internal Security and his delegation arrive in Jeddah

The Minister of Internal Security of the Federal Government of Somalia, Dr. Mohamed Sheikh Ahmed Ali (Dodishe) and a delegation he led which included the Somali Police Force Commissioner, Gen. Sulub Ahmed Firin arrived Jeddah, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The meeting focused on the acceleration of enhancing the Somali police force.

The Minister and the Commissioner went to Saudi after receiving an invitation from their counterparts.

Source: Somali National News Agency

A massive fire brakes out in Wajale market

A massive fire broke out in Wajale Market which is located on the border between Somalia’s Somaliland State and Ethiopia in the early hours of Saturday.

The fire destroyed dozens of businesses in the town of Tog Wajale and the blaze swept through the southern part of the market.

The authorities were successful in extinguishing the fire after a while and saving the rest of the market which the fire almost reached.

Source: Somali National News Agency

Purdue researcher awarded $1.3 million for malaria drug trials in Southeast Asia and Africa

Philip Low looks to validate previous trial results and test whether the number of days of an anti-malaria drug therapy can be reduced

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., Sept. 15, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — A Purdue researcher is taking a giant leap forward in the fight against drug-resistant strains of malaria in developing countries.

Open Philanthropy has awarded $1.38 million to Philip Low to further validate a drug therapy that he and his colleagues have previously shown to successfully treat the disease. Low (rhymes with “now”) is Purdue University’s Presidential Scholar for Drug Discovery and the Ralph C. Corley Distinguished Professor of Chemistry in the College of Science.

For years, experts have been concerned about the rise of drug-resistant malaria variants in Southeast Asia and the prospect that one or more of these strains might travel to Africa. A similar event occurred in the 1980s with the emergence of drug resistance to the then-standard treatment of chloroquine, which resulted in millions of deaths.

But Low is working to save lives on both continents by conducting clinical trials to validate previous results and to test whether the number of days of an anti-malaria treatment can be reduced.

While studying how malaria propagates in human blood, Low and his research team discovered that the cancer drug therapy imatinib is effective in the treatment of drug-resistant malaria. Trials in Southeast Asia showed that imatinib, when combined with the customary malaria therapy, clears all malaria parasites from 90% of patients within 48 hours and 100% of patients within three days. The patients receiving imatinib were also relieved of their fevers in less than half of the time experienced by similar patients treated with the standard therapy.

Open Philanthropy has awarded Low $600,000 for a larger clinical trial in Southeast Asia to validate his previous trials. The organization has also awarded Low $780,000 to determine whether the usual three-day therapy can be reduced to two days or even one. This work will be focused in the African countries of Kenya and Tanzania where malaria is prominent.

“We found that people in Africa must often walk many miles to obtain treatment for malaria. They will receive three pills, walk all the way home, take one or two pills, start to feel better, and then save the third pill for their next malaria infection,” Low said. “When they don’t finish the course of treatment, only the most drug-resistant strains of the parasite survive and spread. And that’s how people build up drug resistance. So we’d like to eventually be able to cure all patients with just one pill. It would prevent these drug-resistant strains from ever proliferating.”

Open Philanthropy is a grantmaking organization whose mission is to use its resources to help others as much as it can, according to the funder.

“This is yet another case of an organization recognizing Philip Low’s brilliance, scientific vision and mission to help people in all corners of the world,” said Brooke Beier, senior vice president of Purdue Innovates. “The Purdue Research Foundation has been a proud partner in supporting his work, protecting and promoting his intellectual property that is changing lives and making our world a better place to live.”

Since 1988, Low has been listed on more than 145 invention disclosures to the Purdue Innovates Office of Technology Commercialization. He has been listed on more than 600 patents in nearly two dozen countries around the world from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and international patent organizations. During his tenure at Purdue, Low has been awarded 213 research grants for more than $43.5 million. His work also receives support from the Purdue Institute for Cancer Research and the Purdue Institute for Drug Discovery.

Imatinib was originally produced by Novartis for the treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia and other cancers. It works by blocking specific enzymes involved in the growth of cancers.

“When we discovered the ability of imatinib to block parasite propagation in human blood cultures in petri dishes, we initiated a human clinical trial where we combined imatinib with the standard treatment (piperaquine plus dihydroartemisinin) used to treat malaria in much of the world,” Low said.

Malaria infects human red blood cells, where it reproduces and eventually activates a red blood cell enzyme that in turn triggers rupture of the cell and release of a form of the parasite called a merozoite into the bloodstream. Low and his colleagues theorized that by blocking the critical red blood cell enzyme, they could stop the infection. The data from initial drug trials have confirmed that.

“Because we’re targeting an enzyme that belongs to the red blood cell, the parasite can’t mutate to develop resistance — it simply can’t mutate our proteins in our blood cells,” Low said. “This is a novel approach that will hopefully become a therapy that can’t be evaded by the parasite in the future. This would constitute an important contribution to human health.”

The goal, Low said, is to get this into developing countries to save lives. With this new round of funding, he says they’re now closer than they’ve ever been.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a public research institution with excellence at scale. Ranked among top 10 public universities and with two colleges in the top 4 in the United States, Purdue discovers and disseminates knowledge with a quality and at a scale second to none. More than 105,000 students study at Purdue across modalities and locations, with 50,000 in person on the West Lafayette campus. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue’s main campus has frozen tuition 12 years in a row. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap, including its first comprehensive urban campus in Indianapolis, the new Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business, and Purdue Computes, at https://www.purdue.edu/president/strategic-initiatives.

About Purdue Innovates

Purdue Innovates is a unified network at Purdue Research Foundation to assist Purdue faculty, staff, students and alumni in either IP commercialization or startup creation. As a conduit to technology commercialization, intellectual property protection and licensing, startup creation and venture capital, Purdue Innovates serves as the front door to translate new ideas into world-changing impact.

For more information on licensing a Purdue innovation, contact the Office of Technology Commercialization at otcip@prf.org. For more information about involvement and investment opportunities in startups based on a Purdue innovation, contact Purdue Innovates at purdueinnovates@prf.org.

Media contact: Steve Martin, sgmartin@prf.org

Sources: Philip Low, plow@purdue.edu

Brooke Beier, blbeier@prf.org

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Steve Martin
Purdue Research Foundation
sgmartin@prf.org

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Prime Minister Hamza inaugurates the first Somali National ID Conference

The Prime Minister of the Federal Government of Somalia, HE Hamza Abdi Barre inaugurated the first Somali National Identification Registration Agency Conference on the International Day of Identification which corresponds to the 16th of September.

The prime Minister has extended a heartfelt appreciation to all partners involved, with a special acknowledgment for the exceptional leadership and hardworking staff of the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA).

The Prime Minister reiterated that the inception of the National ID will help the Somali people overcome myriad socio-economic challenges that hinder their development potential while advancing democracy and the rule of law.

PM Barre further reaffirmed the government’s commitment to ensure that Somali citizens enjoy equal rights, with regard to the participation of all national commitments.

PM Hamza said, “Today marks a great day for Somalia as we finally lay the foundations of a reliable national identification system that is recognized worldwide”.

The conference which was held in Mogadishu was attended by government officials, Somali businessmen, parts of the Somali community and international partners.

The Minister of Interior, Federal Affairs and Reconciliation who is on the frontlines to encourage the locals to fight against the Al-Shabaab terrorists sent a video message and said that National ID is not only a piece of plastic but it represents access to essential services like healthcare, education, elections and economic opportunities to the Somali people.

“A National Identification System is a powerful tool in our fight against extremism, providing a sense of belonging and identity to our citizens,” he added.

The Minister of Education, HE Farah Sheikh Abdikadir also delivered a keynote at the Somali National Identification Conference (SNIC), emphasizing the crucial role of the identification system in advancing educational services and building a robust human capital for the country’s future.

The Director General of NIRA, Abdiwali Abdulle Timacade who gave few words at the conference underlines that the ID system is far more than a card; it represents trust, security, and progress. It is a tool to empower Somali citizens, stimulate economic growth, and bolster our national security.

Other attendees who spoke at the conference include the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, Catriona Laiga and the World Bank country manager Kristina Svensson.

Mrs. Svensson expressed her delight at witnessing the significant progress made in establishing an inclusive and trustworthy national identification system for Somalia.

Catriona delivered her remarks during the inaugural session of SNIDC, expressing profound enthusiasm at the sight of this remarkable achievement by the Somali government.

The people who attended the conference have all shown optimism toward the launch of the first Somali National ID conference opening in Mogadishu. The Prime Minister, the Ministers, the International Community, the Businessmen and all the attendees agreed that the National ID will also help in the fight to eradicate the Al-Shabaab terrorists and put an end to their cruelty and ruthlessness.

Source: Somali National News Agency