Monthly Archives: November 2022


African Development Fund invests more than $6 million to strengthen public finance governance in African countries

The Board of Directors of the African Development Fund have approved a grant of $6.12 million to help strengthen public finance governance in low-income African countries.카지노사이트

The funding is for Phase 2 of the Regional Institutional Support Project in Public Finance Governance (RISPFG) which will be implemented by two pan-African institutions: the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) and the Collaborative Africa Budget Reform Initiative (CABRI). The grant, which was formally approved on 3 November 2022, will b e distributed as follows: $3.90 million to support the continent’s tax administration reforms and domestic resource mobilisation efforts through support to ATAF and $2.22 million to support budget reforms and strengthen public finance management through CABRI.

This project is a follow-on to a first phase approved by the African Development Bank in 2016 and successfully closed in September 2021 with both institutions (ATAF and CABRI). The project’s overall objective is to improve domestic resource mobilisation and public financial management in recipient countries, and help strengthen their efforts towards sustainable, inclusive growth and development. More specifically, it aims to improve African tax systems through technical capacity building, strengthening public financial management capacities and the integration of gender and climate change into taxation and public financial management. The project will also help countries build a common position and a stronger voice for the continent on regional and global platforms.

Abdoulaye Coulibaly, Director of the Governance and Public Financial Management Coordination Office at the African Development Bank, said that in addition to development results, the project also aimed to strengthen the resilience of national systems to various shocks, improve disaster preparedness and encourage the transition to low-carbon economies, through climate-smart budgeting and fiscal policies.

“The project will contribute to strengthening the actions of the Public Financial Management Academy, a virtual capacity building platform for African countries across the cycle and ecosystem of public financial management created in August 2022 by the Bank”, said Coulibaly said.바카라사이트

The project will help the countries of the African Development Fund who are members of the two implementing organisations. Their tax administrations as well as officials from ministries of finance will benefit from capacity building. The project will contribute to the development outcomes of the African continent and the achievement of various commitments, including financing for development, Agenda 2063 and Sustainable Development Goals. It will be implemented over a three-year period.

About the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF)

The African Tax Administration Forum is an intergovernmental organisation composed of 40 African member states. Founded in 2009, its aim is to strengthen more effective and efficient tax systems in Africa, in order to reduce aid dependency, improve fiscal governance, reduce poverty and improve the daily lives of African citizens. In more than a decade of existence, it has been recognised globally and regionally as an expert institution, technical leader and authoritative voice on tax matters. Its secretariat is based in Pretoria, South Africa.

About the Collaborative Africa Budget Reform Initiative (CABRI)

Established in 2009, the Collaborative African Initiative on Budget Reform is an intergovernmental organisation that includes 17 African countries. Its mission is to strengthen the capacity of civil servants to implement reforms that ensure that public financial resources are managed with integrity, transparency and accountability. It serves as a learning and exchange platform for African Ministries of Finance, Budget and Planning. It currently works with more than 35 countries. The CABRI secretariat is also based in Pretoria, South Africa.온라인카지노


Legal Publication Requirements and the Decline of the Local Newspaper

According to a report by Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, between late 2019 and the end of May 2022, more than 360 newspapers closed across the country — and since 2005, the United States has lost more than one-fourth of its newspapers and will likely lose a third by 2025. The closures of these newspapers results in “news deserts,” which lack local journalists to report on local issues. Between 1,300 and 1,400 communities that had local newspapers in 2004 now have no local news coverage at all.카지노사이트

Factors contributing to this decline include a decrease in revenues from digital and print newspaper sales, a decrease in advertising dollars, changing consumer preferences about news sources, and the purchase and consolidation of newspapers by hedge fund and other non-local investors, among other things.

This blog will explore what this trend means for Washington local governments, including as it relates to state-based legal publication requirements in an “official newspaper” or “newspaper of general circulation.” This blog will also cover the nuts and bolts of designation of an official newspaper.

Why Do Newspaper Closures Matter to Local Governments?

Research shows that when local newspapers close, corruption in local government increases and civic participation decreases. Fewer journalists covering local issues means there is less oversight of local government activities and decreased citizen engagement with local politics — including fewer people running for local office.

As noted in the Washington Post Magazine:

(W)hen we lose local journalism, we lose a fabric that holds together communities; we lose crucial information that allows democracy to function; and at the most basic level, we lose stories that need to be told.

In terms of day-to-day operations, Washington cities, towns, and counties are required to contract with a newspaper to function as their “official newspaper,” and publication/notice in an official newspaper or a “newspaper of general circulation” is required under numerous statutory schemes for all types of municipalities, including for special purpose districts.

Since so many local newspapers are reducing the frequency of publication (e.g., from weekly to monthly), decreasing circulation, consolidating with other newspapers, or closing altogether, public agencies have fewer options when it comes to selecting their official newspapers and to publishing notices. It also means that some local governments may need to change their official newspaper of record. Anecdotally, MRSC is hearing from jurisdictions that more errors in publication are occurring — raising concerns about meeting an agency’s legal notice obligations — and our website is seeing increased user searches related to official newspapers, indicating that this is likely an issue of growing concern for local governments.

What Are the Rules that Apply to the Designation of an Official Newspaper?

The requirements for designation of an official newspaper are found at RCW 35.21.875 for cities and towns, RCW 35A.21.230 for code cities, and RCW 36.72.075 for counties. The designation of an official newspaper may be done by resolution.

Few, if any, special purpose districts are required to formally designate an official newspaper. However, even if not required by statute, some special districts opt to designate a newspaper of record by resolution that is a newspaper of general circulation in the district.

Counties are to select a “legal newspaper” published in the county or, if there is no legal newspaper, a legal newspaper published in an adjacent county.

Cities and towns are to select a newspaper of “general circulation in the city or town and have the qualifications prescribed by chapter 65.16 RCW.“

Per RCW 65.16.020, the qualifications of a legal newspaper are:

(The) newspaper shall have been published regularly, at least once a week, in the English language, as a newspaper of general circulation, in the city or town where the same is published at the time of application for approval, for at least six months prior to the date of such application; shall be compiled either in whole or in part in an office maintained at the place of publication; shall contain news of general interest as contrasted with news of interest primarily to an organization, group or class; shall have a policy to print all statutorily required legal notices; and shall hold a periodical class mailing permit:

A legal newspaper must be designated as such by a superior court in the county in which it is published. See RCW 65.16.040.

A newspaper of “general circulation” is not defined in statute, however, the attorney general (AGO) has opined in the context of special meeting notice:

It may be said generally that a newspaper is one of general circulation, even though it is devoted to the interests of a particular class of persons, and specializes on news and intelligence primarily of interest to that class, if, in addition to such special news, it also publishes news of a general character and of a general interest, and to some extent circulates among the general public.바카라사이트

See AGO 1956 No. 257. See also Warner v. Miner, 41 Wash. 98, 82 P. 1033 (1905); Beutelspacher v. Spokane Sav. Bank, 164 Wash. 227, 2 P.2d 729 (1931); Times Printing Co. v. Star Pub. Co., 51 Wash. 667, 670, 99 P. 1040, 1042 (1909).

MRSC’s take on the AGO language and the cases on “general circulation” is that courts are deferential when the validity of publication is challenged if the publication was among the best available options at the time.

If there are two or more qualified newspapers serving the jurisdiction, the legislative body of cities, towns, and counties are to award a one-year contract through a bidding process. In a code city, there is neither a bidding requirement nor a limitation on the length of the contract, although a best practice suggests using bidding when there is more than one qualified newspaper serving the city (see MRSC’s City Bidding Book). We also have several examples of calls for bids for official newspapers in our Sample Documents Library.

When Is Publication in an Official Newspaper Required?

Many statutes require public agencies to publish notice in an official newspaper in advance of agency action being considered, immediately following the official action, or both. While this blog will not set forth a comprehensive list, below are just some of the instances when publication in an official newspaper is required:

All cities and towns are required to publish every ordinance or a summary thereof in their official newspaper. See RCW 35.22.288 (first-class cities); RCW 35.23.221 (second-class cities); RCW 35.27.300 (towns); and RCW 35A.12.160 and RCW 35A.13.200 (code cities).
Counties must provide advance notice of consideration of any police or sanitary regulations. See RCW 36.32.120(7).
Calls for bids for city and town projects subject to competitive bidding must be published either in an official newspaper or a newspaper of “general circulation most likely to bring responsive bid.” See RCW 35.23.352(1).
Final budget hearings must be advertised for two consecutive weeks in an official newspaper. See, e.g., RCW 35A.33.060 (code city annual budget) and RCW 35A.34.100 (code city biennial budget).
Many other statutes require that notice be published in a “newspaper of general circulation” within the jurisdiction or district (e.g., sale of surplus water-sewer district property, RCW 57.08.015; adoption of port district regulations, RCW 53.08.220; public utility districts call for bids for public works contracts RCW 54.04.070).

What Are the Options for Local Governments Struggling to Meet Publication Requirements?

We have been asked whether local governments can skip publication in an official newspaper and instead use other means of notice, such as publication on the agency’s website. Unless and until the legislature amends statutory publication requirements, local governments must continue to provide notice in an official newspaper whenever required by state law. Further, we have indicated that an “official newspaper” must be a printed newspaper, again, unless and until the legislature amends the qualifications for a legal newspaper. See RCW 65.16.020.

Final Thoughts
Given the decline of local news outlets, it may become increasingly difficult to find a newspaper that meets the statutory qualifications of an official newspaper, legal newspaper, or newspaper of general circulation. Local governments may need to cast wider nets, looking beyond their borders for a qualified newspaper. With some good fortune, perhaps this trend of growing news deserts will slow or reverse. There is substantial effort and funding going toward re-establishing and strengthening independent local journalism and news sources.

Finally, publication in an official newspaper is not the exclusive means to provide the public with notice about agency business. Many local governments can and do utilize additional tools such as social media, radio, local newspapers that are not the “official newspaper,” online publications, and other media in order to “get the word out.” Indeed, it is important to utilize a variety of forums to reach diverse constituencies (e.g., through publications specific to certain ethnic populations). See MRSC’s Community Engagement Resources webpage for creative and effective ways to engage and inform the public.온라인카지노


The next Amazon? Congo Basin faces rising deforestation threat

At the COP27 climate talks in Egypt this week, world leaders have sought to accelerate efforts to halt deforestation by 2030 – in line with a pledge 140 countries made last year to preserve forests.카지노사이트

A new group of nations was created to boost momentum on that promise, along with new funding commitments, including 90 million pounds ($106 million) from Britain to support conservation of the Congo Basin – the world’s second-largest rainforest.

A more intact forest than regions like the Amazon, Central Africa’s Congo Basin saw deforestation increase by 5 per cent in 2021, according to a report released on Thursday by environmental group Climate Focus.

Marion Ferrat, a senior consultant at Climate Focus who co-authored the report, said the new pledges to protect the Congo Basin are encouraging, “but there needs to be funding that reaches communities on the ground.”

Many of the promises are “very high-level”, often lacking specific objectives and the mechanisms to track them, she added in a phone interview from the climate summit.

As COP27 delegates discuss how to reduce planet-heating emissions to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, conservationists at the meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh say the role of the Congo Basin as a “carbon sink” is being underestimated.

Carbon sinks are natural areas, such as oceans and forests, that absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, helping curb global warming.

With its dense tropical peatlands, the Basin pulls around 4 per cent of global CO2 emissions out of the atmosphere each year, according to the Central African Forest Initiative.

Threats from logging and mining
Spread over six countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Cameroon, the rainforest is home to more than 75 million people and 10,000 tropical plant species, as well as endangered wildlife from forest elephants to mountain gorillas, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

“The Congo Basin is obviously crucial not only for local and national economies… but also its potential to combat global warming,” said Belmond Tchoumba, WWF’s Central Africa forest programme coordinator.

The Climate Focus report said the rainforest has been “passively” protected due to factors like low population density, political instability, a lack of infrastructure and high risks for private investors.

While other tropical forests have been severely degraded by industrial activities like mining and agriculture, the report said most of the Congo Basin’s deforestation has been due to small-scale subsistence farming – but this could be set to change.

The Basin faces major threats from fossil fuel exploration, illegal logging and, due to its abundance of rare metals such as cobalt, even from mining for materials that are crucial for the renewable energy transition.

New analysis released this week by Rainforest Foundation UK and Earth InSight revealed more than one-third of the Congo Basin now overlaps with existing or planned oil and gas exploration and production areas.

“The world isn’t paying remotely enough attention or investing sufficient resources to help the countries of the Congo Basin preserve their intact forests,” said Joe Walston, executive vice president at the Wildlife Conservation Society.

He said intact forests receive less funding as mechanisms like the United Nations’ REDD+ conservation scheme focus on responding to recent deforestation trends – which are lower in places like the Congo Basin.

“Intact forests are highly threatened and it is, perversely, only after they start getting logged for many years that the world steps in,” Walston said in a phone interview.

‘Playing defence’
The fundamental challenge, analysts say, is ensuring that economic development of the Congo Basin happens in a way that is ecologically sustainable.

This is particularly difficult in the DRC – by far the most populated nation in the region – where poverty rates are high and the government is looking to boost its oil output.바카라사이트

“The opportunity cost for forest conservation is so high given the alternative uses (for) forest lands,” said Jack Hurd, executive director of the Tropical Forest Alliance.

He said a significant amount of finance is needed to incentivise good behaviours, as well as time to create structures for sustainable development such as robust regulations and local capacity to manage the rainforest.

“Unless you’re looking at the whole ecosystem… you’re just playing defence – trying to keep things from happening in a protected area,” Hurd said.
A model for this kind of sustainable development may be found in Gabon, a sparsely populated nation in the Congo Basin where deforestation decreased by 28 per cent in 2021, according to the Climate Focus report.

Marie-Claire Paiz, Gabon country director at environmental organisation The Nature Conservancy, said the country has benefitted from strict forest management standards.

For example, she said, forestry operators are required to develop a management plan to harvest trees on a 25-year rotation, based on a detailed inventory of tree species and size.

The country also hopes carbon markets can encourage further investment, with businesses paying for forest conservation to offset their emissions, and her organisation is supporting the government to ensure that carbon credits are robust.

At COP27 this week, a new Africa Carbon Markets Initiative was launched with the aim of developing the continent’s voluntary carbon markets for projects like biodiversity protection.

Even in Gabon, however, Paiz said there could be growing tensions if communities fail to benefit from nature protection, especially as the country is forced to move away from the oil industry – its primary source of revenue.

“We need to figure (out) ways of helping to maintain the forest cover that we have right now, and do it in a way that is totally supportive to the economies of those countries,” she said.

“The world will pay for it, otherwise.”온라인카지노


Poker at Evolution Casino

The range of Poker games at Evolution Casino is extensive. With exclusive partnerships with Scientific Games Marketing, the casino offers many variations on the classic card game. Players will find everything from a traditional version of poker to progressive jackpots. In addition, players can compete against the dealer to win payouts of up to 100 to 1.카지노사이트

The Evolution casino has many different games and is one of the leading providers of online poker. The company is headquartered in Sweden, and offers a number of different integrated gaming experiences. This includes live dealer games for FanDuel and DraftKings. Other games include Russian Poker, Wild Portals, and Millionaire Rush.

Evolution’s live casino hold’em is an exciting variant of the game. Streamed in HD quality, this game is designed for a variety of devices and attracts poker enthusiasts from around the world. It also features a Bonus Bet for additional betting opportunities. One of the most exciting features of this game is the Jumbo 7 jackpot, the largest live table jackpot in the world.

The software used to create these games has been developed by Evolution Gaming, a pioneer in the industry. Evolution also provides many of its games with extra features, such as win boosts. This game studio has been in the business since 2006 and has established itself as a leader in the live casino market. Besides offering a full range of live games, Evolution also offers a wide range of customizable table settings.바카라사이트

The Evolution Gaming studios are located in several large cities across Europe. The studio in Riga is one of the largest. And it has more than 100 game tables. This makes it one of the most comprehensive live casino sites in the European continent. The company offers live streaming games for players in multiple languages. A number of different languages are available, including French, German, Italian, and Spanish.

Evolution Gaming’s live casino games offer the most extensive live gaming experience available online. Their software offers a wide range of games, including a variety of regional games in different markets. And players of all skill levels will be able to find a game to suit them. It also offers games at multiple stake levels, so there’s no need to worry about a lack of variety when playing live at Evolution Gaming.온라인카지노