A team of five (5) teenage girls representing Nigeria has defeated teams from the United States, Spain, Turkey, Uzbekistan and China to win the 2018 Technovation world pitch junior division which was held in San Francisco.

The team, Save-A-Soul from Regina Pacis Model Secondary School, Onitsha, comprising of Promise Nnalue, Jessica Osita, Nwabuaku Ossai, Adaeze Onuigbo and Vivian Okoye developed a mobile application called ‘FD Detector’ to tackle the problem of fake pharmaceutical products in the country.

The Nigerian schoolgirls were selected from 2,000 mobile app developers to represent Africa at the world pitch. This is the first time a Junior Nigerian team will emerge among the finalists to visit Silicon Valley and the Nigerian teenage girls will be pitching their app to investors in Silicon Valley, California.

Technovation is a program that invites girls to identify a problem in their communities and then challenge them to solve them by developing apps. According to Team Save-A-Soul, Nigeria has one of the largest markets for fake drugs. The teenage girls from Anambra State plan to partner with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), using the app, to tackle this challenge.

The girls won the competition on Thursday 9th August 2018 after facing judges from around the world.

“When it comes to the start of breastfeeding, timing is everything,” said Henrietta Fore, the UN Children’s Fund’s (UNICEF) Executive Director, on the eve of World Breastfeeding Week.

World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated annually from 1 to 7 August to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world by providing infants with the nutrients they need.

“In many countries, it can even be a matter of life or death,” she added.
In the report, Capture the Moment, UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) note that while newborns who breastfeed in the first hour of life are significantly more likely to survive, they estimate that 78 million newborns are excluded.

“Each year, millions of newborns miss out on the benefits of early breastfeeding and the reasons – all too often – are things we can change,” she continued. “Mothers simply don’t receive enough support to breastfeed within those crucial minutes after birth, even from medical personnel at health facilities.”

Even a few hours delay after birth could pose life-threatening consequences. Skin-to-skin contact along with suckling at the breast stimulate the mother’s production of breastmilk, including colostrum, which is produced ahead of regular milk, in the first few days after giving birth. It is so rich in nutrients and antibodies, that it is often referred to as the baby’s first vaccine.

According to the report, 65 per cent of countries in Eastern and Southern Africa have the highest rate of breastfeeding within the first hour, while East Asia and the Pacific have the lowest rate with only 32 percent benefitting from the early initiation.

While nearly nine-in-ten babies born in Burundi, Sri Lanka and Vanuatu are breastfed within that first hour, only two-in-10 born in Azerbaijan, Chad and Montenegro were nursed.

“Breastfeeding gives children the best possible start in life,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “We must urgently scale up support to mothers – be it from family members, health care workers, employers and governments, so they can give their children the start they deserve.”

The WHO and UNICEF-led Global Breastfeeding Collective also released the 2018 Global Breastfeeding Scorecard, which tracks progress for and urges countries to advance breastfeeding policies and programmes to help mothers breastfeed their babies in the first hour of life.


Princess Mako of Akishino, the first child of Fumihito, Prince Akishino, a member of the Japanese Imperial Family visited the indigenous Japanese in Brazil during the Japanese festival.

Nearly two million Japanese people or their descendants live in Brazil – mainly in Sao Paulo, South America’s largest city.

Shortly after her arrival, Princess Mako toured the Japan Festival, a three-day event showcasing Japanese cuisine, culture and products.

She also planned to visit the Monument to Japanese Immigration Pioneers at the city’s Ibirapuera Park and the nearby Japanese Pavilion.

Earlier in the week, she visited Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer statue and Botanical Gardens.
Princess Mako visited many Brazilian cities and Japanese cultural sites and meeting with Japanese families in Brazil.


Kenya’s First Lady Margaret Kenyatta held extensive talks with Princess Mabel of Orange-Nassau of Netherlands during her meeting with Princess Mabel where the two leaders focused their discussion on wide range of issues including child bride marriages, early pregnancies, gender violence, HIV/AIDS and how these issues affect the education and development of the girl child.

Princess Mabel during the meeting proposed a global movement of all organizations working for women and the girl child to bring the issues affecting them to the global attention. “Let’s create a strong global movement and through collaboration with change makers mobilize resources and compare lessons in various countries”.

 Their discussion was also circled on the collaboration between the Princess’s ‘Girls Not Brides’ global partnership and Beyond Zero initiative.

The First Lady in another session also held separate talks with Prince Harry and Sir Elton John at the International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam, where the Duke of Sussex and the rock music icon launched a $1.2 billion initiative – the MenStar Coalition – to fight AIDS in Sub Saharan Africa. The first project on the coalition’s list will be to encourage young men in Kenya for self-testing in the campaign dubbed “Chukua Selfie.”

Margret Kenyatta used a short video-clip to demonstrate the successes of the five-year Beyond Zero drive and how the initiative delivers varied health services to millions of Kenyans in hard to reach parts of the country, using fully kitted mobile clinics as enablers.

The Dutch Princess talked glowingly about Kenya’s practical approach to health issues and proposed that the country should be the launch-pad for the global movement. “Kenya is known for its practical approaches to many issues. Kenya should be the exemplary case for the global movement”, a proposal the First Lady described as a fantastic idea.

By Emekpo Charles.


UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka begins an official visit to Senegal, to highlight the importance women’s economic empowerment in the agricultural sector, encourage the repeal of discriminatory laws and to promote women’s leadership and political participation across the country.

As part of her stay, the Executive Director will visit Réseau des Femmes Agricultrices du Nord, a network of women farmers of the North, who produce and trade rice. The initiative is supported by AGRIFED, UN Women’s flagship programme on women’s economic empowerment through climate-resilient agriculture, which aims to empower at least of 30,000 women farmers in Senegal by 2021. Since the project started in 2017, over 10,000 women in the network have benefited from the creation of local selling points for rice distribution in Dakar and increased their sales. They have also received training in financial management and how to run and organize their businesses. Papa Abdoulaye Seck, Minister of Agriculture, and Salimata Diop Dieng, Minister of Women, Family, and Gender, will join Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka for the project visit.

Women farmers make up to 70 percent of the workforce and produce more than 80 percent of crops in Senegal, especially food crops. Yet, women farmers lack access to land, skills, financial resources and markets, compared to their male counterparts

The Executive Director is also expected to meet with the President of Senegal, Macky Sall, the Minister of Justice, Ismaila Madior Fall, as well as the second Vice-President of the National Assembly, Awa Gueye, to advocate for the increased political participation of women. 

Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka will engage with young women entrepreneurs and interact with representatives from civil society organizations during this visit.

Wife of the Chinese President, Peng Liyuan and her husband President Xi Jinping accompanied with UNESCO Special Envoy for the Advancement of Girls’ and Women’s Education, attended a graduation ceremony for pre-school teachers in the South African capital of Pretoria on Tuesday 24th of July, 2018.

The Chinese first lady was accompanied by Tshepo Motsepe, wife of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, and a representative of the African Self Help Association Trust at the event.

The pre-school teachers performed South African songs and dances to welcome the Chinese guests. According to the first lady, teaching is a noble profession.

In the quest to help the children realize their dreams and eventually carry forward the cause of national rejuvenation and prosperity, teachers should always bear in mind the expectations and responsibilities entrusted to them by their country, maintain a high standard of professional and personal ethics, stay benevolent and never give up learning, she said.

She urged the teachers and students to dedicate themselves to the cause of friendly cooperation between China and South Africa and make contributions to the development of bilateral relations.

The pre-school teachers training program is undertaken by the African Self Help Association Trust, which has covered thousands of people in poverty-stricken neighborhoods.




In traditionally macho Brazil and in the male-dominant sports world, a female coach, Yuko Fujii was appointed head coach of the country’s renowned judo men’s team.  Today, she has made history as the first female head coach of Brazilian men’s judo.

The only woman to ever coach the Brazilian women’s national football team was fired after less than a year, prompting protests by players. The Brazilian Judo Confederation hopes it is playing a part in changing that.

“Our selection of Yuko as head coach for the men’s team really surprised the judo world. I’m sure other federations and other sports teams in Brazil will follow the example.” “Yuko is an excellent example of the increasing recognition of women’s role in sports, especially since judo is a martial art that women have had restricted access to throughout history,” says Ney Wilson, a confederation administrator.

Yuko says that she just wants to contribute “everything I have” to the team.

She defines her coaching style as totally geared to the individual. “I don’t teach my own judo style to the athletes, I work with them based on their own strengths and weaknesses,” she says.

“I never thought much about men versus women.”