Nyxoah to Participate in the Oppenheimer 34th Annual Healthcare MedTech & Services Conference

Nyxoah to Participate in the Oppenheimer 34th Annual Healthcare MedTech & Services Conference

Mont–Saint–Guibert, Belgium – February 29, 2024, 10:30pm CET / 4:30pm ET – Nyxoah SA (Euronext Brussels/Nasdaq: NYXH) (“Nyxoah” or the “Company”), a medical technology company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative solutions to treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), today announced that the Company will participate in the Oppenheimer 34th Annual Healthcare MedTech & Services Conference, which takes place March 12 – 13, 2024.

Olivier Taelman, Nyxoah’s Chief Executive Officer, will deliver a corporate presentation on Tuesday, March 12, 2024, at 10:40am ET. A webcast of the presentation will be available in the Events section of Nyxoah’s Investor Relations website. The Company will be available for 1×1 meetings with institutional investors.

Nyxoah’s Investor Presentation can be accessed on the Shareholder Information section of the Company’s Investor Relations page.

About Nyxoah
Nyxoah is a medical technology company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative solutions to treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Nyxoah’s lead solution is the Genio® system, a patient–centered, leadless and battery–free hypoglossal neurostimulation therapy for OSA, the world’s most common sleep disordered breathing condition that is associated with increased mortality risk and cardiovascular comorbidities. Nyxoah is driven by the vision that OSA patients should enjoy restful nights and feel enabled to live their life to its fullest. 

Following the successful completion of the BLAST OSA study, the Genio® system received its European CE Mark in 2019. Nyxoah completed two successful IPOs: on Euronext Brussels in September 2020 and NASDAQ in July 2021. Following the positive outcomes of the BETTER SLEEP study, Nyxoah received CE mark approval for the expansion of its therapeutic indications to Complete Concentric Collapse (CCC) patients, currently contraindicated in competitors’ therapy. Additionally, the Company is currently conducting the DREAM IDE pivotal study for FDA and U.S. commercialization approval.

For more information, please visit http://www.nyxoah.com/.

Caution – CE marked since 2019. Investigational device in the United States. Limited by U.S. federal law to investigational use in the United States.

David DeMartino, Chief Strategy Officer
+1 310 310 1313


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Nyxoah Participera à la 34ème Oppenheimer Annual Healthcare MedTech & Services Conference

Nyxoah Participera à la 34ème Oppenheimer Annual Healthcare MedTech & Services Conference

Mont–Saint–Guibert, Belgique – 29 février 2024, 22h30 CET / 16h30 ET – Nyxoah SA (Euronext Bruxelles/Nasdaq : NYXH) (« Nyxoah » ou la « Société ») opère dans le secteur des technologies médicales et se concentre sur le développement et la commercialisation de solutions innovantes destinées à traiter le Syndrome d’Apnées Obstructives du Sommeil (SAOS). La Société a annoncé aujourd'hui qu’elle participera à la 34ème Oppenheimer Annual Healthcare MedTech & Services Conference, qui aura lieu du 12 au 13 mars 2024.

Olivier Taelman, Chief Executive Officer de Nyxoah, présentera une mise à jour de l’entreprise le mardi 12 mars 2024 à 10h40 ET. La diffusion Web sera disponible sur la page Events du site Web des relations avec les investisseurs de Nyxoah. La société sera également disponible pour des réunions en tête–à–tête avec les investisseurs institutionnels.

La présentation aux investisseurs mise à jour de Nyxoah est accessible dans la section Shareholder Information de la page Company’s Investor Relations.

À propos de Nyxoah
Nyxoah opère dans le secteur des technologies médicales. Elle se concentre sur le développement et la commercialisation de solutions innovantes destinées à traiter le Syndrome d’Apnées Obstructives du Sommeil (SAOS). La principale solution de Nyxoah est le système Genio®, une thérapie de neurostimulation du nerf hypoglosse de nouvelle génération centrée sur le patient, sans sonde ni batterie implantée et destinée à traiter le Syndrome d’Apnées Obstructives du Sommeil (SAOS), le trouble respiratoire du sommeil le plus courant au monde. Ce dernier est associé à un risque accru de mortalité et des comorbidités cardiovasculaires. Nyxoah est motivé par la vision selon laquelle les patients souffrant de SAOS devraient profiter de nuits reposantes et se sentir en mesure de vivre pleinement leur vie.

À la suite de la finalisation probante de l’étude BLAST OSA, le système Genio® a reçu le marquage européen CE en 2019. Nyxoah a réalisé deux introductions en bourse avec succès : sur Euronext en septembre 2020 et au NASDAQ en juillet 2021. Suite aux résultats positifs de l'étude BETTER SLEEP, Nyxoah a obtenu l’approbation marquage CE pour le traitement des patients atteints de Collapse Circonférentiel Complet (CCC), actuellement contre–indiqué dans les thérapies concurrentes. De plus, la Société mène actuellement l'étude pivot DREAM IDE en vue de l'approbation FDA et de la commercialisation aux États–Unis.

Pour plus d’informations, visitez http://www.nyxoah.com/

Attention – Marquage CE depuis 2019. Dispositif expérimental aux États–Unis. Limité par la loi fédérale américaine à une utilisation expérimentale aux États–Unis.

Contact :
David DeMartino, Chief Strategy Officer
+1 310 310 1313

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St Kitts and Nevis unveils the Investment Gateway Summit

Basseterre, Feb. 29, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Government of St Kitts and Nevis proudly announces a landmark achievement in its ongoing commitment to realising the Sustainable Island State Agenda. In a ground–breaking move, the nation unveils an unprecedented initiative aimed at fostering collaboration and investment to propel the twin–federation into a prosperous future. 

This pivotal moment not only signifies a significant stride towards sustainability but also underscores the Government's visionary approach to uniting its global citizens. In an extraordinary display of inclusivity, St Kitts and Nevis extends its arms to every citizen worldwide, ushering them to partake in shaping the nation's trajectory. 

The Government will host their inaugural event, “The Investment Gateway Summit” in May, marking a historical moment in the country’s journey towards fulfilling the Sustainable Island State Agenda. This momentous event presents an unparalleled opportunity to collaborate and invest in shaping the future of the twin–federation. 

It’s a personal invitation from the Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew, and his Government to engage citizens and investors to come to the country for this exclusive inaugural Investment Gateway Summit taking place from 11 to 15 May 2024! 

Through this forward–thinking endeavour, the Government unites individuals under a common banner – that of being a proud citizen of St Kitts and Nevis, while fostering opportunities for success as entrepreneurs, investors, and innovators. 

Each day of the five–day Summit promises unique events and interactions with the leaders of the country and global experts to ensure an engaging and interactive experience in the twin–island federation.  

Who will attend the Summit? 

This Summit is all about the St Kitts and Nevis citizens. The event also promises a mix of discerning investors, and high–net–worth individuals (HNWIs) seeking prospects; prospective Citizenship by Investment (CBI) applicants and entrepreneurs, CEOs and C–Suite businesspeople and the wider investor immigration community.  

Why is this Summit not to be missed? 

This is an opportunity to connect with like–minded global citizens, investors, HNWIs and special guests, as well as identify potential new business opportunities in the idyllic twin–island federation. This unique platform will unlock new ventures for growth throughout various sectors of the country’s economy, including agriculture, information technology, renewable energy and tourism. 

From diverse panel discussions and networking opportunities to exclusive investment highlights and site visits, the Summit is crafted to connect, collaborate and celebrate the country and its global citizens. 

Investment Opportunities in St Kitts and Nevis 

To showcase St Kitts and Nevis’ commitment to the Sustainable Island State Agenda, the Summit will highlight initiatives that global investors can participate in to nurture community development, empower businesses and foster growth and development. 

The Government of St Kitts and Nevis together with the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU) look forward to hosting this riveting event and opening their nation‘s doors to explore the twin federation’s active investment projects, spectacular beaches, distinct tourism amenities and luxury accommodation. 

Please click here to secure your exclusive spot at the Investment Gateway Summit. 

This is not just a unique investment opportunity in a tropical Caribbean country, it is a meeting of minds to form meaningful connections, through engaging workshops and insightful panel discussions. Additionally, the Government aims to build strong communities with shared values of excellence. 

Get Involved 

Should you like to promote your brand, business services or enquire about sponsorship opportunities, you can leave your comment here with your interest in the contact form, and you will receive a response with available packages. 


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Air Quality Sensors Boosting Nairobi’s Fight Against Air Pollution

Deborah Adhiambo (43) has been battling mild asthma since 2022, a condition she describes as “both a health and economic burden.’’ The mother of three lives within Dandora Estate, nine miles east of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. Dandora is home to Kenya’s largest open landfill, which receives more than 2,000 metric tonnes of waste daily. For […]

Bearing Witness: No Safety for Children in Gaza

Children look at their destroyed homes in Rafah city, in the southern Gaza Strip. Credit: UNICEF/Eyad El Baba

By James Elder
GAZA STRIP, Feb 29 2024 – Nothing could prepare me for my recently concluded mission into the Gaza Strip, where children face catastrophic conditions.

In my twenty years with UNICEF, traveling from one humanitarian crisis to the next – from famines to floods and war zones to refugee camps – I’ve simply never seen such devastation and despair as is happening in Gaza.

The intensity of the attacks, the massive number of child casualties, the desperation and panic of the people on the move – people who already have nothing – is palpable. It is humanitarian disaster on top of humanitarian disaster.

Near the start of the recent brief pause in fighting, we set out early in the morning at Rafah on the border with Egypt. Our convoy of trucks carrying vital humanitarian aid made its way slowly in a punishing journey north to Gaza City, which hadn’t seen aid in weeks.

The two cities are just 35 kilometres apart, but travelling through a war zone always makes distances seem more daunting. Along the way, I saw apartment building after apartment building, home after home, flattened by the bombings, a dystopian scene that stretched for miles.

In Gaza City I got out to look more closely at a building that had been reduced to rubble. Inside, I noticed bloodstains, but it’s impossible to know whether the people who were pulled out of this mass of concrete survived.

I will never forget how a man in his 60s walked out from the ruins of a recently bombed apartment building. At first, I thought he was indicating the number 10, as in 10 people had been killed. But he corrected this, using a stick to write in the dirt: 30. It wasn’t the number of people killed. It was the number of his extended family members killed in the blast.

This man had lost everyone, his whole extended family, everyone he loved. At the start of this war, UNICEF said Gaza was a “graveyard for children and a living hell for everyone else.” It has only gotten worse as the bombing and fighting have continued.

There was a hope that the devastation seen before the pause would not be repeated should the fighting resume. But after hearing hundreds and hundreds of rounds of artillery and more explosions, I could tell that it’s happening.

Within hours, the humanitarian pause felt too long ago.

I walked across the wreckage of what I was told was once a tight-knit community that is now broken glass, rubble and steel crunching under my feet. Homes sliced open, their contents exposed like doll houses, the inside of lives laid bare.

Against the grey rubble, eerie remnants of normalcy cropped up, like a sofa on a third-floor apartment with no walls, or a painting on the only wall left standing after a blast.

I looked at what was once a child’s bedroom, with pink blankets, a cupboard, shelves full of books, fluffy stuffed toys. It looked like the room of any 12-year-old girl, from any middle-class family, anywhere in the world. It was largely untouched. The little girl would have been safe if she wasn’t in another room with her family when the home was struck.

Driving through Gaza there’s never much time for reflection. The aid convoy needs to keep moving.

Along the route we saw the same theme repeated in neighborhood after neighborhood: basic needs are not being met. People need water and nourishment. Hospitals need medicine. This convoy has all those things. But despite our efforts and those of our UN colleagues, I know it’s not enough. It’s not nearly enough.

As one of my UNICEF colleagues noted just a couple of weeks into the war, the killing and maiming of children, abduction of children, attacks on hospitals and schools, and the denial of humanitarian access are a stain on our collective conscience. It was true then, it remains true now.

From Gaza City we pushed further north, to Jabaliya. The first thing I noticed were the piles of rotting garbage outside hospitals, offices and schools. Sanitation and rubbish collection services have broken down completely, of course, as trucks have no fuel to collect it and the conflict has displaced most of the workers who do these jobs anyway.

One hospital we visited, Al-Ahli Arab Hospital, was utterly chaotic. It was overcrowded, loud, intense. Our trucks were delivering medical supplies while wounded people were being rushed in bleeding.

We eventually made it back to the south of Gaza, to what we call the Joint Operation Centre. That’s where dozens of UN workers meet to discuss the next mission. The mood was sombre. We all know what Palestinian families need: they need more of everything, especially medicines, water, fuel, food.

But genuine safety for Gaza’s children depends on parties to the conflict ensuring that humanitarians have unimpeded access to civilians wherever they are… on our ability to bring water, essential food, nutrition supplements, fuel and other humanitarian supplies into the territory… and on parties implementing an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.

Unless those conditions are met, children in Gaza are now in danger from the sky, disease on the ground, and death from hunger and thirst. Nowhere is safe.

The children of Gaza have suffered enough. We need a humanitarian ceasefire, and peace, now.

James Elder is UNICEF’s spokesperson. Follow him @1james_elder


IPS UN Bureau


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Turkey Keeps Bombing Civilians in Syria’s Northeast

An oil production field near Rumilan, in Syria´s northeast, shortly after being hit by Turkish drones. Oil is one of the main sources of income for the entire Kurdish region. Credit: Jewan Abdi/IPS

An oil production field near Rumilan, in Syria´s northeast, shortly after being hit by Turkish drones. Oil is one of the main sources of income for the entire Kurdish region. Credit: Jewan Abdi/IPS

By Jewan Abdi and Arkan Sloo
QAMISHLI, Syria, Feb 29 2024 – The Ramsys, a farming couple from northeast Syria, never thought they’d spend almost all their savings on solar panels. “We’ve paid 1,700 USD. We simply couldn’t cope with darkness and being disconnected from the outside world,” Najma Ramsy tells IPS from her residence in Keshka, a small Kurdish village 70 km east of Qamishli.

Ramsy admits she still needs to familiarise herself with the new device, mirroring the sky from the house roof. It’s also a reminder of an ongoing threat.

Those in the region already facing a severe water crisis, now also bear the brunt of increased bombardment, exacerbating their struggle to get essential water supplies

Human Rights Watch
“It’s devastating. The Turks are shelling us almost daily. I will never forget how our house trembled when the oil pump station nearby was hit,” she recalls.

Although under-reported in the international media, bombing raids have been common currency in this region over the last few years.

A report released last January by the Rojava Information Centre —an independent and volunteer-staffed organisation— points to a “periodic airstrikes campaign” conducted by Turkey against civilian infrastructures in Syria’s northeast. Moreover, hundreds of civilians have been killed.

The RIC says the bombing campaign started when Ankara launched a cross-border attack against the Syrian Kurdish region of Serekaniye in 2019, giving air support to Islamist militias on the ground.

After the Istanbul attack on 13 November 2022 which killed six and wounded dozens, Turkish airstrikes and bombing intensified in the region. Ankara blamed the Kurds for the attack. Both the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) and the predominantly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) denied any involvement in it.

However, the bombing continued, and even gained momentum.

In October 2023, electricity, gas, and oil facilities were hit by airstrikes, causing extensive infrastructure and economic damage and worsening the already fragile humanitarian situation in Northeast Syria.

Najma Ramsy stands next to the newly installed solar panel on the roof of her house. The family spent a month in the dark after the power plant was attacked by a Turkish airstrike. Credit: Arkan Sloo/IPS

Najma Ramsy stands next to the newly installed solar panel on the roof of her house. The family spent a month in the dark after the power plant was attacked by a Turkish airstrike. Credit: Arkan Sloo/IPS

One month later, Turkey conducted new airstrikes following operations of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) against Turkish military bases in the mountains of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, where several Turkish soldiers were killed.

In retaliation, medical facilities, construction material factories, industrial sites and agricultural complexes which included grain silos and mills were targeted in Syria´s northeast.

“For the last five months, we had no access to clean water, and our only source of electricity is to subscribe to community generators. We can only afford 3 hours of electricity every day,” 50-year-old Gulsin Malla told IPS from her residence on the outskirts of the city of Qamishli, 700 km northeast of Damascus.

Unlike the Ramsys, Malla hasn’t got the money needed for a solar panel. “It would be like three year’s worth of salary, you know?” she explains. Besides, gas has also become too expensive.

In mid-January, at least seven employees were seriously injured in an attack on the Suwadiyah gas extraction plant, 85 kilometres southeast of Qamishli. The infrastructure which serves almost one million people has been constantly targeted by Turkish attacks in the last twelve months.

“We have been cooking on wood. We haven’t had any gas for over a month,” explains Malla. The gas shortage, she adds, has increased its price tenfold.

“Add to the list the difficulties to get medical supplies and you´ll understand why we say it’s like a `slow death´ for us,” she says.

A day at the market in downtown Qamishli. The airstrike campaign targeting civilian infrastructures is pushing many to leave the region. Credit: Jewan Abdi/IPS

A day at the market in downtown Qamishli. The airstrike campaign targeting civilian infrastructures is pushing many to leave the region. Credit: Jewan Abdi/IPS


Jihadist threat

A Human Rights Watch report published last October confirmed that Turkish drone strikes on Kurdish-held areas of northeast Syria had damaged critical infrastructure and resulted in water and electricity disruption for millions of people.

“Those in the region already facing a severe water crisis, now also bear the brunt of increased bombardment, exacerbating their struggle to get essential water supplies. Turkey should urgently stop targeting critical infrastructure necessary for residents’ rights and well-being, including power and water stations,” HRW stressed.

IPS spoke to Kurdish Red Crescent officials who pointed to “war crimes”. They described the situation as “unbearable” and accused Turkey of “vandalising” the region. “The loss of vital infrastructures is leading to an increase in displacement from the region. Many are trying to find their way out, especially to Europe,” KRC officials disclosed.

But Ankara has a completely different approach.

In a televised address following a Cabinet meeting on January 16, Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to “widen military operations against groups linked to Kurdish militants in Iraq and Syria”. Turkish officials have repeatedly claimed the airstrike campaign is targeting Kurdish “terror groups.”

“Those claims by Ankara have no credibility,” YPG (“People’s Protection Units”) —the main Syrian-Kurdish armed contingent— media officer, Siyamend Ali, told IPS from his office in downtown Qamishli.

“Most of the casualties were plain civilians, and most of the targets were civilian infrastructures. Nearly two million have been left without electricity, not to mention water and healthcare,” added the official.

He also warned about other risks.

”By targeting our infrastructures they’re suffocating our people, but they’re also giving oxygen to IS to increase their activities again,” he stressed.

The Kurds in Syria have been the main allies of the international coalition led by the United States in the war against IS. Over 10,000 Kurdish fighters were killed.


Massive destruction at the Suwadiyah oil, gas and electricity plant in northeastern Syria. The only station supplying cooking gas to the entire region has been hit by Turkish airstrikes at least four times in the past two years. Credit: RIC

Massive destruction at the Suwadiyah oil, gas and electricity plant in northeastern Syria. The only station supplying cooking gas to the entire region has been hit by Turkish airstrikes at least four times in the past two years. Credit: RIC


In a phone conversation with IPS, Abdulkarim Omar, the representative of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria to Europe claimed that Ankara’s main goal is “to destabilize the Kurdish region and change its demography.”

The Brussels-based Kurdish official also highlighted that two Syrian-Kurdish districts — Afrin and Serekaniye— are still under occupation by Turkey-backed Islamist groups in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

“Ours is not only a Kurdish administration as there are also Arabs, Syriacs, Armenians and Chechens living among us. We cater for nearly five million people in northeast Syria. One million of them are Syrian war internally displaced people,” Karim recalled.

The threats are seemingly piling up for all of them.

Fahad Fatta, a 43-year-old businessman from Qamishli, thought about moving with his wife and their three kids to a small farm they own close to the Turkish border. But they don’t dare go there any more after they were shot at from Turkish territory.

“The security situation is worsening by the day. We’re always worried about our three children, especially when they are away at school or playing outside with their friends,” Fatta tells IPS from his flat in Qamishli.

That police security checkpoints have moved from their positions on the main road due to the airstrikes is far from reassuring. IS is still active, and Fatta fears the Jihadists might take advantage of the security gap.

“We have neither electricity nor gas at home” he says. “We can barely afford a few amperes of the community generator but I’m afraid these could be the least of our concerns.”

Africa’s Debt Crisis Needs a Bold New Approach– & a Way Forward

A mobile money stand in Accra, Ghana. Credit: IMF/Andrew Caballero-Reynolds

By Danny Bradlow
PRETORIA, South Africa, Feb 28 2024 – It hasn’t been easy for African states to finance their developmental and environmental policy objectives over the past few years.
Recent events suggest that the situation may be improving. For the first time in two years, three African states have been able to access international financial markets, albeit at high interest rates. Kenya, for example, is now paying over 10% compared to about 7% in 2014.

Many African countries continue to face challenging sovereign debt situations. Total external debts as a share of Africa’s export earnings increased from 74.5% in 2010 to 140% in 2022.

In 2022, African governments had to allocate about 12% of their revenues to servicing their debt. Between 2019 and 2022, 25 African governments allocated more resources to servicing their total debts than to the health of their citizens.

And in late 2023 the International Monetary Fund estimated that over half the low income African countries were either potentially or actually experiencing difficulties paying their debts.

This suggests that it will be very difficult for Africa to raise the US$1.6 trillion that the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) estimates it needs to reach the sustainable development goals (SDGs) by 2030.

One of the lessons of the COVID pandemic and the climate negotiations is that Africa can’t count on the global community to provide it with sufficient new funds or with debt relief to deal with either its development needs or the consequences of crises such as pandemics or extreme weather events.

Its official bilateral creditors appear more focused on their own needs and on other parts of the world than on Africa. Commercial creditors are happy to provide financing when conditions are favourable and African debt can help them satisfy their investment mandates.

But they are less forthcoming when the going gets tough and the risks associated with the transaction – and for which they have been compensated – actually materialise.

This suggests that Africa needs to advocate more aggressively for its own interests. This year offers some good opportunities to promote a more effective approach to African debt.

Careful planning needed

There are two international conferences where global economic governance will be on the agenda. This is also the first year that the African Union participates as a full member in the G20. In addition, South Africa, the G20 chair in 2025, currently serves on the troika that manages the G20 process. (G20 Finance Ministers are scheduled to meet in Brazil 28-29 February).

Debt and development finance will be an important topic in all these forums. African representatives can use their participation to advocate for a new approach to sovereign debt that is more responsive to African needs and concerns. They can also lobby other participating states and non-state actors for their support.

But African states will need to plan carefully. Their starting point should be the well recognised fact that the current sovereign debt restructuring process is not working for anyone. The G20 agreed a Common Framework that was supposed to help resolve the sovereign debt crises in low income countries.

Four African countries applied to have their debts restructured through the framework. Despite years of negotiations, it has failed to fully resolve the debt crisis in three of them.

Countries outside the Common Framework, such as Sri Lanka, have not managed to fully resolve their debt crises either. This is costly for both debtors and creditors. It is therefore in everyone’s interest to look for a new approach.

This requires all parties to be willing to entertain new ideas and to experiment with new approaches to old problems. African states should offer their own innovative proposals. They should also state that they are willing to take on new responsibilities if their creditors are willing to do the same.

They can remind their creditors that these experiments would not be taking place in a vacuum. They can be guided by the many existing, but under-utilised, international norms and standards applicable to responsible sovereign debt transactions, for example the Unctad principles on responsible sovereign debt transactions. Some of these relate to the conduct of sovereign borrowers.

Others focus on responsible lending behaviour and are often cited by creditors in their own policies dealing with environmental and social issues, social responsibility or human rights.

By basing any new approach on these international norms and standards, both debtors and creditors will merely be agreeing to implement principles that they have already accepted.

Working from this starting point, African states should make three specific proposals.

Concrete proposals

First, they should commit to making both the process for incurring debts and the terms of all their public debt transactions transparent.

This will ensure that their own citizens understand what obligations their governments are assuming on their behalf. It will encourage governments to adopt responsible borrowing and debt management practices.

They should also agree that they can be held accountable for their failure to comply with these transparent and responsible sovereign debt practices and procedures.

Second, African states should point out that there is a fundamental problem with a sovereign debt restructuring process that only focuses on the contractual obligations that the debtor state owes its creditors.

This focus means, in effect, that servicing its debt obligations will trump the debtor state’s efforts to deal with the country’s vulnerability to climate change and the loss of biodiversity, and with its poverty, inequality and unemployment challenges.

This follows from the fact that their creditors can use the restructuring process to force sovereign borrowers in difficulty, unlike corporations in bankruptcy, to pay those who lend them money without regard, for example, to the impact on their obligations to pensioners, public sector employees or the welfare of their citizens.

This exclusive focus on debt contracts is inconsistent with the international community’s interest in addressing global challenges like climate and inequality.

This problem can be resolved if both creditors and debtors agree that they will adopt an approach to debt negotiations that incorporates the financial, economic, social, environmental, human rights and governance dimensions of sovereign debt crises.

Third, African states should propose that their creditors publicly commit to base the new approach to sovereign debt on an agreed list of international norms and standards relevant to responsible international financial practices.

These will include those dealing with transparency, climate and environmental issues, and social matters, including human rights.

Source: The Conversation

Danny Bradlow is Professor/Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Advancement of Scholarship, University of Pretoria.

University of Pretoria provides funding as a partner of The Conversation AFRICA.

IPS UN Bureau


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‘I Haven’t Forgotten Where I Came From,’ says Yvonne Pinto, Incoming IRRI Chief

Yvonne Pinto, the incoming Director General of the International Rice Research Institute, at the 5th All Africa Horticulture Conference in Marrakesh, Morocco, February 26 to March 1, 2024. Photo Credit: Supplied by Yvonne Pinto

Yvonne Pinto, the incoming Director General of the International Rice Research Institute, at the 5th All Africa Horticulture Conference in Marrakesh, Morocco, February 26 to March 1, 2024.
Credit: Supplied by Yvonne Pinto

By Neena Bhandari
SYDNEY, Feb 28 2024 – Growing up on a small farming station in Holetta (Ethiopia), Yvonne Pinto would accompany her agriculturist father to the farm, where she would spend her time cross-fertilizing plants. Her tiny fingers making the task easier, as she would marvel at the end product of a prospective new and higher yielding variety. These formative years laid the foundation for her career in agricultural science.

Ethiopia in the late 1970s and 1980s was ravaged by a terrible famine, drought, civil war, and international conflict. It became clear to Pinto from the outset that such exigencies could rapidly deteriorate everyday life and the absence of food could decimate a population. These events instilled in her a deep appreciation for the role agriculture and food systems play in human survival.

“I haven’t forgotten where I came from,” says Pinto, the incoming Director General of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). A second-generation Kenyan by birth, she feels privileged to have been brought up in Ethiopia, a country that was never colonized and where she felt fortunate to grow up as an equal, a rare experience then.

The small farming station in Holetta, about an hour’s drive from the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, is now the National Agricultural Biotechnology Research Centre. She says, “My father was its first director. From the mid-1960s, he was instrumental in the establishment of the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research and the creation of the Ethiopian Seed Corporation in 1978. I’m undoubtedly a product of those institutions and influences. My father has been my champion.”

She has continued to work with people from those institutions, and while it’s important for her to add value and make a contribution where she can, Pinto affirms, “It is also very important to enhance the contribution of others because having bright and capable people contribute to ideas, approaches, and solutions is often the difference between success and failure.”

On April 22, 2024, she will take over as the Director General of IRRI, where she started her working life as a visiting research scholar in 1985, when eminent agricultural scientist and geneticist Dr M S Swaminathan was the institute’s director general.

“My time at IRRI, which is referred to as the jewel in the crown of the CGIAR system, and encouragement from my supervisors clearly influenced my decision later in life to do a PhD in rice,” adds Pinto, who will be the first woman to lead the institute, which is dedicated to abolishing poverty and hunger among people and populations that depend on rice-based agri-food systems.

She says, “There are opportunities now for girls and women that weren’t present in the past. There’s an interesting societal transition happening in the world, gaining momentum through the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement to the growing focus on equity, inclusion, and diversity. I’m actually a product of that change and thinking.”

Out of the hundreds of congratulatory messages she received on her appointment, “One-third of them were girls and women. All I can say to them is that if I can do it, you can do it,” says Pinto, who also drew inspiration from her mother, a medical surgeon.

In Africa, where rice cultivation is the principal source of income for more than 35 million smallholder rice farmers, women provide the bulk of the labour, from sowing to weeding, harvesting, processing, and marketing, according to the Africa Rice Centre.

Acknowledging the challenges faced by small and middle-income rice farmers, she emphasizes the need to ensure that farmers receive fair returns on their investment.

“Smallholder farmers are reliant upon the private sector or non-governmental organizations to receive the material, such as seeds and other agriculture inputs. In rice and rice seed systems, for example, there are a number of private sector players who are involved. We have to have very intelligent Intellectual Property (IP) arrangements with the private sector to ensure that our farmers have affordable access to these materials and they are not disadvantaged in the process,”  says Pinto, who will also serve as the CGIAR Regional Director for South-East Asia and the Pacific and Country Representative for the Philippines.

Unlike in most Asian countries, where economic growth and increasing urbanization have led to a decline in rice consumption, in African countries, consumption has significantly increased. Demand for rice is growing at more than 6 percent per year, which is faster than for any other food staple in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the Africa Rice Centre.

Looking ahead, Pinto envisions IRRI playing a pivotal role in promoting circular agricultural practices in rice production and underpinning the importance of rice in human health and nutrition.

She says, “We have tremendous opportunities to create more nutritious and resilient rice varieties capable of withstanding climate change, benefiting both farmers and consumers alike. There is an opportunity to enable IRRI’s germplasm, not only to influence and impact the Asia-Pacific region but to support other rice producing and consuming countries, notably in Africa”.

Rice is now the second-most important source of calories after corn in many sub-Saharan African countries. The region’s total rice consumption is projected to grow to around 36 million tons by the end of 2026, and the region is expected to import over 32 percent of globally traded rice by 2026, mainly from India, Pakistan, Thailand, and Vietnam, according to a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) report.

Reflecting on her extensive experience chairing boards and committees worldwide, she says effective leadership hinges on “fostering connections, building trust, and nurturing partnerships and collaboration, as leadership is a collective responsibility within an interconnected ecosystem.”

Pinto is poised to drive impactful change in agricultural research, advancing food security and sustainability.

IPS UN Bureau Report


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Bali’s Ancient Canine Guardians on the Brink of Extinction

Indigenous Bali dogs hold the potential to unlock hidden secrets about ancestral dog diversity. Credit: Sonny Inbaraj/IPS

Indigenous Bali dogs hold the potential to unlock hidden secrets about ancestral dog diversity. Credit: Sonny Inbaraj/IPS

By Sonny Inbaraj
BALI, Indonesia, Feb 28 2024 – Bali’s Island’s ancient canine guardians, the proud descendants of lineages tracing back tens of thousands of years, stand on the brink of extinction. Culling triggered by rabies outbreaks and interbreeding is pushing these living cultural treasures towards a tragic end.

For generations, traditional Bali Heritage Dogs have woven themselves into the fabric of the predominantly Hindu Balinese society. A tapestry woven with ancient folktales binds Bali dogs and the Balinese in a unique bond.

“Guided by the Tri Hita Karana’s principles of harmony and respect, Balinese Hindus forge a unique bond with dogs,” Ida Bawati Sari Budangga, a priest in Dusun Puchang in East Bali’s Desa Ban at the foot of the Gunung Agung volcano, told IPS.

Tri Hita Karana weaves harmony between humans and their environment, evident in offerings to deities and respect for nature’s bounty. Tri Hita Karana also serves as a powerful model for sustainable development, inspiring initiatives that balance human needs with environmental respect.

Balinese treat dogs with care, valuing their presence in their lives and communities. Credit: Dewa Made Suarjana/BAWA

Balinese treat dogs with care, valuing their presence in their lives and communities. Credit: Dewa Made Suarjana/BAWA

“This isn’t merely pet ownership, but an embodiment of their deep connection to all living beings. From sharing meals to participating in temple rituals together, dogs are woven into the fabric of Balinese life, reflecting their reverence for the natural world and its creator,” added the priest.

In Balinese culture, the Mahabharata story of King Yudhistira and his loyal dog plays a significant role in understanding their deep respect for dogs. When Dharma, disguised as the king’s ill-kept dog, is denied entry to heaven by Indra, Yudhistira refuses to enter without him. This act of unwavering loyalty reveals Dharma’s true form as the God of righteousness, highlighting the importance of compassion and connection with all beings. This story continues to inspire the Balinese to treat dogs with respect and care, valuing their presence in their lives and communities.

Driven by interest in the Bali dog’s distinct genetic ancestry, studies such as the University of California, Davis 2005 study “Genetic Variation Analysis of the Bali Street Dog Using Microsatellites” reveal the wide diversity contained in their DNA. Microsatellites is a lab technique that uses genetic markers for studying genealogy, population organization, genome diversity, the process of evolution, and fingerprinting from extracted DNA samples.

The study found that dog populations on Bali had been separated for an estimated 12,000 years and this protracted isolation has shaped Bali’s dog genetics, resulting in distinct genetic variants absent elsewhere in other dogs.

UC Davis’ groundbreaking study unveiled an intriguing genetic link between Bali dogs and ancient Asian breeds such as the Dingo and Chow Chow. This fascinating lineage can be traced back to the Austronesian migration and colonization of South Indochina, which occurred before the last glaciation period when Bali was connected to the mainland through a land bridge that eventually submerged.

“As a result of their genetic isolation, indigenous Bali dogs hold the potential to unlock hidden secrets about ancestral dog diversity, and even shed light on ancient human migration patterns and trade routes,” commented UC Davis’ Dr Benjamin Sacks, adjunct professor, at the university’s school of veterinary medicine.

However, Sacks warned in response to the 2005 study and a study done in 2011: “We don’t have all the questions yet to ask, but they’re emerging every day, and if we lose these populations, we lose the ability to answer those questions.”

In 2008,

 The indigenous Bali dog population has plunged from a staggering 800,000 to a mere 20,000. Credit: Sonny Inbaraj/IPS

The indigenous Bali dog population has plunged from a staggering 800,000 to a mere 20,000. Credit: Sonny Inbaraj/IPS

Bali’s unique indigenous dog breed suffered a brutal blow with the knee-jerk reaction of mass culling, which continues to this day following rabies outbreaks. In a widespread plan to eliminate free-roaming dogs, the indigenous Bali dogs were not spared. Just like in other countries in Asia and Africa, rabies in Indonesia is being sustained within the domestic dog population. It’s not surprising that the public commonly associates rabies with dogs and dog bites.

According to the World Health Organization rabies is endemic in 26 provinces in Indonesia, including Bali, with 74 cases of human rabies out of 66,170 bite cases from suspected rabid animals reported in the country from January to July 2023.

Bali Island had never experienced rabies before, until 2008. Lax surveillance allowed a rabid dog to slip through from Flores, an island ravaged by endemic canine rabies since 1997, setting the stage for Bali’s own struggle with the animal-borne disease.

“Before the outbreak of rabies in 2008, the island had one of the highest dog-to-human ratios in the world,” said Janice Girardi, founder of the Bali Animal Welfare Association (BAWA).

“Mass culling was the first action that the local government authorities took in response to the rabies epidemic. They utilized teams that were armed with blow darts and baits that contained strychnine,” she added.

Culling on its own has never had an effect on rabies in dogs or humans or dog population growth, said Dr Darryn Knobel, professor at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in St. Kitts.

“If you’re culling, you’re going to be diverting resources away from vaccination. The only thing that works is vaccination and you need to vaccinate at least 70 percent of all dogs to get what we term herd immunity,” he explained.

An indigenous Bali dog in East Bali. Credit: Sonny Inbaraj/IPS

An indigenous Bali dog in East Bali. Credit: Sonny Inbaraj/IPS

From 2005 to 2008, the Bali dog population was estimated to be between 600,000 and 800,000, according to a 2018 study. However, due to culling following the 2008 rabies epidemic in Bali, the population of free-ranging dogs has decreased by at least 25 percent, according to the study.

BAWA’s Girardi issued a stark warning about the indigenous Bali dog population, which has now plunged further from a staggering 800,000 to a mere 20,000, according to the NGO’s mapping.

“With such dwindling numbers,” she emphasized, “the chances of purebred dogs finding mates and perpetuating their lineage are vanishingly small, akin to winning the lottery.”

The interbreeding of native Bali dogs with dogs of other breeds that have been introduced to the island is another cause for concern. This occurred when the government of Bali, in 2004, abolished an ancient piece of legislation from 1926 that had been issued by Dutch colonialists to prevent the introduction of rabies into Bali from other islands within the archipelago.

For Balinese seeking outward signs of affluence, Western breeds and crossbreeds trump the indigenous Bali dog, deemed unworthy of attention and left wanting.

“I have one Bali dog now, but I’m planning to either get a Golden Retriever or a small long-haired crossbreed. They’re unique and good for our image,” 14-year-old I Kenang Sunia in Desa Jatituhun, Ban, in east Bali, told IPS.

Battling extinction, BAWA deploys its sterilization program to remote Balinese villages, targeting non-purebred dogs in a critical effort to conserve the dwindling population of the purebred Bali dog.

“We sterilise as many non-pure Bali dogs as possible in each area (to prevent interbreeding) in order to save the remaining indigenous dogs in Bali before they are lost forever,” said Girardi.

IPS UN Bureau Report


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IPBES Invasive Alien Species Assessment

By External Source
Feb 28 2024 (IPS-Partners)

At the tenth session of the IPBES Plenary, held in Bonn, Germany from 28 August – 2 September 2023, the IPBES Thematic Assessment of Invasive Alien Species and their Control was accepted and its summary for policymakers was approved. The Report is the result of four years of work by 86 experts from 49 countries, and synthesizes information from over 13,000 references into a comprehensive scientific assessment and concise summary document for policy makers.

Invasive Alien Species are one of the five main direct drivers of biodiversity loss globally. In conducting this assessment, experts assessed the current status and trends of invasive alien species, their impacts, their drivers, their management, and policy options to address the challenges they pose. The assessment takes into account various knowledge and value systems including Indigenous and local knowledge.


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