Daily Archives: February 27, 2018

Code for Africa and Radiant.Earth Aim to Grow Data Journalism in Africa

WASHINGTON, Feb. 27, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Code for Africa, the continent’s largest federation of civic technology and data journalism labs, and Radiant.Earth, a non-profit advocating for open geospatial data for positive global impact, announced their partnership to harness open Earth imagery and tools for improved decision-making, as well as better insight and transparency. Their combined efforts will focus on research for new and innovative applications of Earth observation data to support investigative journalism and storytelling, as well as capacity development.

Both organizations aim to transform the way data are consumed by civil society to empower informed decision-making, efficient service delivery, and location-based analytics to solve social, economic, and environmental challenges. However, while Radiant.Earth has a global focus, Code for Africa directs its attention to affiliate labs in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Code for Africa’s integrated approach to civic technology development in Africa is breaking new ground every day. Their method is to empower ordinary citizens by creating technological capacity within civil society and the media, to enable them to produce extensive knowledge that will help them shape governments and improve their services to citizens.

“Media organizations are constantly evolving, worldwide. Journalists, as well as citizens, now have access to an immense volume of data. It is essential to build their capacities and equip them with the knowledge and tools to research, refine, visualize and interpret the data,” says Jacopo Ottaviani, CCO of Code for Africa. “We are thrilled about our new partnership with Radiant.Earth, because we believe that geospatial data and open Earth imagery can be turned into a crucial tool for storytelling. Radiant.Earth’s team of experts can lead us to new, groundbreaking discoveries in Africa and beyond.”

Radiant.Earth is well-positioned to support Code for Africa’s efforts, as the two organizations share a desire for transparency to enact change. Radiant.Earth offers an open technology platform that facilitates innovation and solutions by combining the best in discovery and dissemination with the latest trends in image processing and analysis. Radiant.Earth strives to identify and connect new users interested in serving citizens facing socio-economic and environmental challenges using geospatial technology.

“We are looking forward to working with Code for Africa,” says Anne Hale Miglarese, Founder and CEO of Radiant.Earth. “They are changing the way information is disseminated and consumed in Africa, leading the charge for transformative impact locally. Together, we can strengthen our capabilities and cultivate a community of practitioners dedicated to transparency and accountability on the ground.”

The sharing of tools and ideas will augment each organization’s mission through capitalizing on the unique resources and knowledge-base that they bring to this partnership. The identified thematic areas for cooperation include humanitarian disaster management, conflict monitoring, urbanization and population growth, health, climate change, sustainability, land rights, agriculture, conservation, and the environment.

About Radiant.Earth

Radiant.Earth is a non-profit organization committed to aggregating the world’s open Earth imagery and providing access and education on its use to the global development community.

About Code for Africa

Code for Africa is Africa’s largest data journalism and civic technology initiative, operating citizen labs across the continent to help fast-track digital experimentation and transformation in other social justice organizations and newsrooms.

Media Contact

Louisa Nakanuku-Diggs
Marketing and Communications Manager

Precision Aviation Group (PAG) and UTC Aerospace Systems sign MRO & distribution deal for AS350 Main & Tail Rotor Servos

ATLANTA, Feb. 27, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Precision Aviation Group, Inc. (PAG), a leading provider of products and value-added services to the worldwide aerospace and defense industry, is pleased to announce the recent signing of an MRO & distribution agreement with UTC Aerospace Systems (UTAS) for main & tail rotor servos for the Airbus AS350. The agreement covers worldwide distribution of line-replaceable units (LRU’s) in new and overhauled condition, authorization to repair servos at multiple PAG facilities and market the Fleet Improvement Program (FIP).

“PAG’s global network and substantial investment in the UTAS main & tail rotor servos will make it easier for Airbus AS350 operators to access spares in real time, ultimately minimizing aircraft downtime,” said Ketan Desai, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for PAG. “This agreement builds on PAG’s strategic roadmap of increasing its range of support for OEM’s. We are confident that this expanded relationship with UTAS will bring added value to our customers,” adds Desai.

UTC Aerospace Systems offers a wide range of helicopter actuators for small, medium and large applications or the civil, commercial and military markets. Both the Main and Tail Rotor Actuators incorporate the latest features including the latest developments in servo-valves, solenoid valves, spool valves and detection devices including anti-jamming on the spool valve.

“UTC Aerospace Systems is pleased to welcome PAG as a strategic partner to the distribution and Level 1/2 repairs of our Servo Actuators for the Airbus AS350.  PAG offers the market real-time support and the ability to provide operators with high performance UTAS servos that are available via the Fleet Improvement Program (FIP),” said UTC Aerospace Systems Head of Sales and Business Development, Robert Bennett.

Precision Aviation Group, Inc. Logo

About Precision Aviation Group:
Precision Aviation Group (PAG) is a leading provider of products and value-added services to the worldwide aerospace and defense industry. With nine locations and more than 260,000-square-feet of sales and service facilities in the United States, Canada, Australia, Brazil, and Singapore, PAG uses its distinct business units and customer-focused business model to serve aviation customers through two business functions – Aviation Supply Chain, and its trademarked Inventory Supported Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (ISMRO®) services.
PAG provides MRO and Supply Chain Solutions for Fixed- and Rotary-wing aircraft through: Precision Heliparts – PHP (www.heliparts.com); Precision Aircraft Services – PAS (www.pas-pag.com); Precision Accessories & Instruments – PAI (www.precisionaccessories.com); Precision Heliparts Canada – PHP-C (www.heliparts.ca); Precision Accessories & Instruments Canada – PAI-C (www.precisionaccessories.ca); PHP-Instruments & Accessories – PHP-LA (www.heliparts.la); Precision Heliparts – Latin America (www.precisionaviationgroup.com/php-br); Precision Aero Technology – PAT (www.precisionaerotechnology.com); Precision Heliparts – Australia – PHP-AU (www.precisionheliparts.com.au); Precision Accessories & Instruments – Australia (PAI-AU) (www.precisionaccessories.com.au); Precision Heliparts Singapore (PHP-S); and Precision Aviation Controls, Inc. – PAC (www.precisionaviationcontrols.com). PAG subsidiaries have MRO capabilities on over 35,000 products, including accessories, avionics, engine components, hydraulics, instruments, NDT, starter/generators, and wheels/brakes (www.precisionaviationgroup.com).

Logo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/338527/precision_aviation_group_inc_logo.jpg

Dr. Guislain Museum and Janssen Now Accepting Global Nominations for 2018 “Breaking the Chains of Stigma” Award

– Recognizing Advocates Making a Difference to Destigmatize Mental Illness –

GHENT, Belgium, Feb. 27, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — The Dr. Guislain Museum in Ghent, Belgium and Janssen Research & Development, LLC (“Janssen”), today announced that they are seeking global nominations for the seventh annual Dr. Guislain “Breaking the Chains of Stigma” Award. The Award honors an individual, project or organization that has made a remarkable contribution to reduce stigma associated with mental illness. Nominations can be submitted at www.drguislainaward.org until 15 April, 2018. A $50,000 prize will be awarded to the Award recipient to further support efforts that reduce societal stigma associated with mental illness.


“While mental health stigma continues to be an issue throughout our global society, it is important to recognize the mental health advocates who are making significant strides to destigmatize negative perceptions of mental illness,” said Brother Dr. René Stockman, general director of the Dr. Guislain Museum. “We are proud to honor Dr. Guislain’s legacy and contributions to the mental health community, including his desire for inclusiveness for all, with the annual ‘Breaking the Chains of Stigma’ Award.”

An independent selection committee, comprised of international advocates and renowned authorities in the field of mental health, selects the Award winner. The Dr. Guislain “Breaking the Chains of Stigma” Award winner will be honored at a ceremony on World Mental Health Day, 10 October, 2018, in New York City.

Sotheara Chhim, M.D., M.P.M., Ph.D., was selected as the 2017 Dr. Guislain “Breaking the Chains of Stigma” Award recipient for his extraordinary efforts developing mental health services in Cambodia through scientific therapeutic approaches and launching the Operation Unchain initiative, a program designed to break the stigma of mental illness. Dr. Chhim is the executive director and senior consultant psychiatrist of the Transcultural Psychosocial Organization (TPO) Cambodia, the country’s leading Non-Government Organization in the field of mental health care and psychosocial support. Under his leadership, TPO Cambodia has developed and implemented programs to raise awareness about psychosocial and mental health conditions in many parts of Cambodia. Dr. Chhim and TPO have also provided mental health counselling, treatment, and specialized services for prisoners, gender-based violence survivors and torture survivors. To date, more than 220,000 patients and families have benefitted from his and his team’s work.

“At Janssen, we are deeply committed to helping break down the stigma associated with mental illness,” said Husseini K. Manji, M.D., Global Therapeutic Area Head, Neuroscience, Janssen. “This award acknowledges and celebrates advocates around the world whose work is making a real difference for people living with mental illness, their families and communities. Together with these heroes, we will continue to make changes so that everyone is treated equally and can live life without stigma.”

Janssen has an ongoing commitment to advancing neuroscience research, a legacy which dates back to the work of Dr. Paul Janssen (1926-2003). “Dr. Paul” is known as one of the 20th century’s most gifted and passionate physicians and pharmaceutical researchers. To honor his legacy, Janssen supports the mental health community and various advocacy organizations and projects. In 2011, the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson launched Healthy Minds, a comprehensive initiative that aims to encourage collaboration among biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and public-sector partners to accelerate the discovery of new therapeutic solutions for diseases and disorders of the brain.

About the Dr. Guislain “Breaking the Chains of Stigma” Award
Individuals, organizations or projects from around the world that have made an exceptional contribution in dealing with, or promoting the awareness of, mental health care are eligible* to receive the Dr. Guislain “Breaking the Chains of Stigma” Award. The Award is given to an individual(s), organization or project that:

  • has made an exceptional contribution to mental health care in the broadest sense on a cultural and/or social level;
  • has provided a genuine contribution to decreasing stigma around mental health conditions;
  • has promoted attention for mental health care;
  • and, has done all this with passion, creativity and innovation.

The Dr. Guislain “Breaking the Chains of Stigma” Award honors Dr. Joseph Guislain (1797-1860), a driven activist for patients with mental illness and the first Belgian psychiatrist to provide scientifically based treatment for these individuals. As a passionate advocate for those with mental illness, Dr. Guislain worked tirelessly to stand up for the rights of patients and to help improve their social position. The Dr. Guislain Museum and Janssen jointly sponsor the Award, with funding provided by Janssen. Both organizations have a rich heritage and long-standing involvement in the field of mental illness research, treatment and education.

About The Dr. Guislain Museum
The Dr. Guislain Museum was founded in 1986 in Ghent, Belgium, with both permanent exhibitions addressing the history of psychiatry and outsider art, and a series of changing thematic exhibitions. The Museum features an array of psychiatric photographs, two centuries of comprehensive archives and an extensive library chronicling the history of psychiatry. Comprehensively, the Museum seeks to educate the public and rectify the misunderstandings and prejudice associated with treatment for mental illness. The Dr. Guislain Museum attracts 72,000 visitors each year.

*Employees and officers of Johnson & Johnson, Janssen Research & Development, LLC, and their respective affiliates, subsidiaries, The Dr. Guislain Museum, any promotional agencies and members of the immediate family or household of each, are not eligible to participate in the Dr. Guislain Award as nominators, Award candidates or judges. Immediate family member is defined as a parent, sibling or any person residing in the same household as employee.

Patrick Allegaert
Dr. Guislain Museum
+32 9 216 35 95

Yoon Hee Lamot
Dr. Guislain Museum
+32 9 216 35 36

Photo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/645579/Dr_Guislain_Award.jpg

Portfolio Committee Chair Calls on Communities to Embrace Police

The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Police, Mr Francois Beukman, has called on communities to embrace and protect police officers in order to effectively fight crime. Mr Beukman was speaking during the memorial of five officers brutally killed in eNgcobo last week.

A collaboration between the police and society in general is necessary if police are to fight crime effectively and if communities are to live in a safer environment. We call on communities to protect police by sharing information. Police should not be on their own, said Mr Beukman.

The Committee has urged the incoming Minister of Police to prioritise the safety of police officers and police stations. The first priority for the incoming Minister is to put in place strategies to deal with the high murder rate of police officers.

“The eNgcobo attack and all killings of police officers is unacceptable. It is totally unacceptable that the symbol of the state can be attacked in this manner. It is time for South Africans to say: ‘No more’, Mr Beukman emphasised.

The Chairperson, on behalf of the Committee and Parliament, said that five of the country’s finest sons have been killed. Our hearts and prayers go out to the families. These fallen officers are indeed our heroes, Mr Beukman said.

In an effort to ensure that these deaths are not in vain, the Committee will work closely with the Minister to find solutions to these attacks on police officers. The Committee has emphasised the need to strengthen safety at police stations.

Furthermore, there is need to refocus policing towards intelligence-driven policing. The collaboration with communities to share information as a way to prevent crime must also be strengthened. These and other solutions must be urgently implemented by the South African Police Service.

Source: Parliament of the Republic of South Africa

New SAPS recruits start their training

More than 3000 new police trainees are to be absorbed into the ranks of the South African Police Service.

A total of 3781 police trainees were selected from over 200 000 applicants. Of the 3781 trainees, 1363 are female and 2418 are male, SAPS spokesperson Colonel Athlenda Mathe said on Monday.

The trainees will be undergoing a 21-month Basic Police Development Learning Programme at five SAPS Academy’s nationwide. These are the SAPS Tshwane Academy in Gauteng, SAPS Bhisho Academy in Eastern Cape, SAPS Oudtshoorn Academy in the Western Cape, SAPS Ulundi Academy in KwaZulu-Natal and SAPS Hammanskraal Academy in Gauteng.

Colonel Mathe said the police service followed a stringent recruitment process to ensure that the best candidates are selected to serve as policemen and women.

The new recruits commenced with their orientation last week at the various academies. They will then be placed at a designated police station for one month.

This serves as an induction phase to acquire practical on-the-job training and experience guided by an assigned mentor before they report at the SAPS training academies for the formal training programme, Colonel Mathe said.

It also mentally and emotionally orientates the new recruit before the commencement of the basic training on the practical side of policing and aims to bridge the gap between the mindset of a civilian and police official.

They will spend eight months at the SAPS Academy where they are trained as police officials.

According to Mathe, this training is a combination of theory and practice which includes but is not limited to firearm training, legal principles and fitness assessments.

Learning is enforced by continuous visits to police stations after practical sessions where the trainee is exposed to observation and practical sessions such as the registering of case dockets and the completion of official registers.

On successful completion of their training programme, they will be placed at different business units in the SAPS such as police stations and Public Order Police Units for a 12-month probation period, to gain further practical experience and in-service training.

The National Commissioner of Police General Khehla Sitole has wished the recruits well on their new journey.

Congratulations to our new recruits for getting through the recruitment process. Our youth have a vital role to play to ensure that they contribute to a safe and secure South Africa for all.

We look forward to their vibrancy as well as the injection of new blood into the SAPS, added General Sitole.

All trainees are expected to pass all modules in the Basic Police Development Learning Programme to be declared fit to join the service as a Constable. Those that are found to be competent will graduate in a passing-out parade that will be held in December 2018 at the various SAPS Academies.

Source: South African Government News Agency