Monday 11 December 2017
(Zodiak Online 07/26/13)
RUMPHI: Communities around Vwaza Game Reserve in Rumphi, northern Malawi, have petitioned President Joyce Banda over continued destruction of crops and threats posed by marauding elephants from the reserve. In the petition, the communities want government to revise the Game and National Parks Act so that people injured or whose property is destroyed by wild animals get compensated. Rumphi District Director of Finance Mr. Humphreys Phiri acknowledged receipt of the petition on behalf of the DC. Presenting the petition to the DC’s office the concerned communities said failure by game officials to erect a fence around the area has seen the protected animals plundering their crops. The petition states that government should construct a fence to restrain the elephants from...
( 07/26/13)
Successful elections in Zimbabwe are crucial both for that country's own socio-economic development and for improved security in the southern African region, says South African Deputy International Relations Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim. Speaking to journalists in Pretoria on Thursday, Ebrahim said the South African government welcomed the fact that the overall atmosphere in Zimbabwe remained calm ahead of next week's elections, with no major instances of violence or intimidation having been reported so far. Ebrahim added that South Africa hoped there wouldn't be a repeat of Zimbabwe's previous election in 2008, when the announcement of the results had been delayed, stoking concerns about poll rigging. Over six-million Zimbabweans who have registered to vote will go to the polls next Wednesday to...
(Business Daily 07/26/13)
Global food prices fell by 2 per cent in the latest four-month period, marking the third straight period of declines, as declining imports in the Middle East and North Africa, and lower demand pushed prices down 12 per cent from their August 2012 peak, the World Bank said on Thursday. The World Bank's Food Price Index showed international prices of wheat fell by 2 per cent, sugar by 6 per cent, soybean oil by 11 per cent, and maize, or corn, by 1 per cent during the four-month period between February and June. The index, which weighs export prices of food, fats and oils, grains, and other foods in nominal U.S. dollars, fell by 2 per cent. Improved weather conditions...
(The Malawi Democrat 07/26/13)
Malawi government and the World Bank have clashed over Mulli Brothers Limited (MBL), with the latter accusing the Joyce Banda administration of treating the firm unfairly. At issue is Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Ralph Kasambara’s directive last September stopping all government ministries, departments and agencies from dealing with MBL Holdings Limited. Kasambara—then doubling as Attorney General—claimed in his September 5 2012 directive that giving government business to MBL would jeopardise investigations into alleged corruption, money laundering and tax evasion charges against the company and its chairperson Leston Mulli. The letter also levels the same charges against Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regional governor (South) and businessperson Elvis Masangwi and his Elvis Freight and Clearing Agents. Kasambara’s letter was copied...
(This Day Live 07/25/13)
African countries and their communities have been told they can effectively end ‘land grabs,’ grow significantly more food across the region, and transform their development prospects if they can modernise the complex governance procedures that govern land ownership and management over the next decade. This was revealed in a new World Bank report titled Securing Africa’s Land for Shared Prosperity released on Monday in Washington, US, which also noted that Africa has the highest poverty rate in the world with 47.5 per cent of the population living below $1.25 a day. The detailed report noted that sub-Saharan Africa is home to nearly half of the world’s usable, uncultivated land but so far the continent has not been able to develop...
(Voice of America 07/25/13)
CAPITOL HILL — Prospective U.S. diplomats to Africa say President Barack Obama’s recent trip to the continent underscored persistent challenges and vast opportunities that cry out for robust and sustained American engagement. Administration nominees for the State Department’s top Africa post, as well as numerous ambassadorships, testified Wednesday at their Senate confirmation hearing. During his three-nation trip to Africa earlier this month, Obama unveiled initiatives to boost electric service on the continent, increase trade and commercial ties, and help groom Africa’s next generation of leaders. But more must be done, according to Democratic Senator Chris Coons, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on Africa. “President Obama’s recent trip was a positive demonstration of U.S. commitment, and the president’s initiatives...
( 07/24/13)
MINISTERS were yesterday accused of ignoring the plight of struggling Scots as they announced another £3.1million of aid would be sent to Malawi.International Development Minister Humza Yousaf said the cash would be shared between nine projects working in the poverty-stricken African country over three years. The cash comes on top of the £5million that First Minister Alex Salmond pledged in March to Malawi, which has strong links to Scotland going back to explorer David Livingstone. The money will be used to tackle problems such as children being forced into marriage and the spread of Aids/HIV, to support educational programmes and to boost low incomes. But amid public sector cuts and rising unemployment, the announcement raised fresh questions over the Scottish...
(The Guardian 07/24/13)
Malawians could cash in on the former British prime minister's trip through the Arrest Blair campaign, says Elliot Ross. Until recently, Tony Blair had never visited Malawi. Last summer there was a lot of international press coverage on the discovery of oil under Lake Malawi. Since then he's developed an interest in the country's "governance" and has visited twice in nine months. He arrives in Malawi today, having successfully shoe-horned a couple of staffers from his "Africa Governance Initiative" into high-level advisory roles with Joyce Banda's government. It's anyone's guess why Blair still believes he and his cronies are worth listening to. Presumably for the same reason he saw fit to rack up bills of £1m a year at the...
(Voice of America 07/24/13)
Malaria infections, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa, are responsible for the deaths of some 200,000 newborns and 10,000 new mothers each year. The parasitic illness can also cause miscarriage and premature birth, increasing the risk of death. There are low cost, lifesaving interventions to prevent infection, yet, according to a new study, there are significant barriers to implementing them. For the past 20 years, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended that pregnant women in areas with high rates of malaria receive insecticide-treated bed nets and periodic doses of a cheap drug to prevent the disease. Yet, despite relatively high attendance at clinics for expectant mothers and their newborns throughout sub-Saharan Africa, statistics show that just a little over 21 percent...
(Ghana Business News 07/24/13)
It will cost Africa $4.5 billion over the next ten years in order to bring proper reforms into managing the continent’s ‘rich’ land, says a new World Bank report published July 22, 2013. According to the report, “Securing Africa’s Land for Shared Prosperity,” African countries could effectively end ‘land grabs,’ if the complex land ownership and management is mordernized through governance procedures. The World Bank therefore suggests a number of steps and policies that can bring major changes in the continent’s land governance. “It would cost African countries and their development partners, including the private sector, $4.5 billion spread over ten years to scale up these policy reforms and investments,” said the Bank. The report suggests that Africa could finally...
(AFP (eng) 07/23/13)
Police in Malawi said Tuesday they had arrested a 37-year-old man and charged him with breaching the peace, after he allegedly called President Joyce Banda "stupid." Japhet Chirwa is believed to have called the head of state "stupid and a failure" after a failed bid to change the name in his passport, police spokesman Maurice Chapola told AFP. "He got furious and started talking ill of the president," said Chapola, speaking from the northern city of Mzuzu. Chirwa has been charged with conduct likely to cause a breach of the peace, which could carry a fine or a six-month custodial sentence. He is expected to appear in court later this week.
(Zodiak Online 07/23/13)
Despite Malawi and Tanzania being locked in a diplomatic row over the Lake Malawi boundary, a shipping and port services agreement between the two countries is still intact. The Lake shipping and Port services Agreement was designed to enable the two ships from the countries dock on their side’s ports freely. Mota-Engil, new managers of the Malawi’s ports, say the border dispute has not affected the agreement. “This border dispute thing has nothing to do with our agreement; we are operating our ships as usual,” said Mr. Austin Msowoya, consultant of the Portuguese firm. Journalists on a tour of the ports some parts of the country found a Tanzanian ship offloading cargo at Nkhatabay port in northern Malawi. Mr. Msowoya...
(Zodiak Online 07/23/13)
Malawi government food policies have failed to bail most Malawians out of food insecurity, a latest United Nations report has said. UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food Mr. Oliver De Schutter said benefits of programmes like the heavily funded Farm Input Subsidy (FISP) are not trickling down to poor Malawians. “FISP has a number of problems; it is clouding out other very important policies that need to be better financed, it is very expensive for the country and the cost of fertilizers will be increasing in the next few years,” said De Schutter. In the 2113/14 budget, FISP was given a whooping K60 billion, an amount a local analyst said was “too much for the programme.” “While the...
(AFP (eng) 07/23/13)
UN says although genital cutting is on decline, female genital mutilation remains "almost universal" in some countries. More than 125 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation, and 30 million more girls are at risk in the next decade, UNICEF said. Although genital cutting is on the decline, the practice remains "almost universal" in some countries, said the report by the United Nations Children's Fund, released on Monday. The report compiles 20 years of data across 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East. The tradition involves removal of some or all of a female's external genitalia. It can include cutting out the clitoris and sometimes sewing together the labia. Laws are not enough to stop...
(Zodiak Online 07/23/13)
Voter registration ahead of Malawi’s 2014 tripartite elections kicked off on Monday on a high, according to electoral officials and observers. The registration has been divided in phases due to resource constraints facing the Malawi Electoral Commission. The first phase involves five districts in southern Malawi. Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) spokesperson Sangwani Mwafulirwa SAID registration progressed well on the first day. He, however, said logistical challenges were faced in Nsanje where floods have forced the commission to relocate some registration centres. Steven Duwa, chairperson of the Malawi Electoral Support Network said in some centres registration officials reported late for duty. Nonetheless, he said he was impressed with the turnout of registrants at many centres. About 800 thousand voters are expected...
(The Malawi Democrat 07/22/13)
As registration exercise for the first tripartite elections begins Monday in Malawi, the country’s electoral commission has made it clear that refugees and asylum seekers are not eligible to vote and should therefore not be allowed to register. Eligible voters are supposed to be Malawian citizens or persons who have ordinarily been resident in the country for the past seven years and who will turn 18 by the polling day (May 20, 2014). But the law bars refugees and asylum seekers not to vote since they are not ordinarily residents. “They are here because they are seeking asylum. Those who have been ordinarily residents are supposed to provide evidence that they have stayed that long in the country by providing...
(UN.org 07/22/13)
A United Nations independent expert today stressed that Malawi must reassess its national food security strategy to ensure that policies designed to combat poverty and malnutrition truly reach the most vulnerable in the population. “Recent high-profiled food security policies have failed to rid Malawi of chronic food insecurity and malnutrition,” said Olivier De Schutter, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food. “The country urgently needs a national food security strategy, underpinned by a Right to Food Framework Law, to hold policies to account when they do not yield benefits for the most food insecure and to ensure a coherent approach across sectors,” he said at the end of an 11-day visit to the country. More than 50 per...
( 07/22/13)
African governments must improve their support for agricultural research organisations, Vice President Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur has said. “The need for action on agricultural research is urgent. African Governments must increase funding for agricultural research and extension; farmers’ innovations must find their way into the research agenda to enable Africa achieve its goal of food sufficiency,” Mr. Amissah-Arthur said in Accra at the opening ceremony of the 6th Africa Agriculture Science Week (AASW). AASW, hosted by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) in collaboration with the Government of Ghana, brought together over 1,300 scientific researchers, extension officers, farmers, policymakers, development partners, civil society and NGO groups from across the world to discuss the theme “Africa Feeding Africa through Agricultural...
(The Guardian Nigeria 07/21/13)
DESPITE the fall in productivity of Africa’s agriculture over the years occasioned by seasons of under-investment and an ill-advised structural adjustment, there is yet a lot to be done to feed the continent’s huge and fast-growing population. Global figures in agriculture and research agree, as they met in Accra, Ghana that ‘funding to agriculture, to universities and to research centres fell steadily and steeply,’ leading to a reversal of the many gains of the past. Dr. Kanayo Nwanze, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) President articulated as much when he addressed the Sixth Forum of Agriculture Research in Africa (FARA) summit in the Ghanaian capital during the week. He said, “Our universities lost good people. The quality of education declined,”...
( 07/20/13)
Civil society’s shorthand for Malawi’s drive to expand its extractive resource sector is T2 - “trouble or treasure”. While Malawi has dabbled in mineral exploitation in the past, it only formed a mining and minerals ministry in December 2012. The country hopes to ramp up the sector’s contribution to GDP from less than two percent a few years ago to a forecast 20 percent by 2016; currently, the sector’s contribution to GDP is about 10 percent. Mines minister John Bande said the country’s new approach to the minerals sector would rebalance an economy reliant on agriculture amid “climate-related challenges” and global anti-smoking campaigns that have reduced demand for tobacco - Malawi’s main foreign currency earner. But Malawi’s plans are causing...

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