| Africatime
Friday 24 March 2017
(The Namibian 03/14/17)
Politicians received a 6% salary increase in April last year, and not last week, as reported yesterday. The Namibian reported that President Hage Geingob had approved the salary increases for political office-bearers, including himself, effective this month. A government gazette filed at the justice ministry, however, shows that the President gave the green light for the wage increases last year, effective 1 April 2016. The proclamation was signed by Geingob on 11 April 2016. The President's decision followed a 2015 Public Office-Bearers Remuneration and Benefits Commission (POBC) recommendation to increase the pay and perks of politicians by 6%. The POBC has over the years refused to be transparent about how much politicians earn. A similar body in South Africa is...
(The Namibian 03/14/17)
The Social Security Commission invested N$150 million with the SME Bank last year and The Namibian understands that they want part of it back. The Bank of Namibia took control of the SME Bank two weeks ago after alleged suspicious investments in South Africa, involving N$200 million, were uncovered. Some of the ousted SME Bank executives, who have hired lawyer Sisa Namandje to demand that the Bank of Namibia reinstate them, said there was a run on the bank, and that they were losing money. SSC chief executive Milka Mungunda confirmed yesterday that N$150 million had been invested in the SME Bank, but declined to comment on claims that the SSC has already recalled N$80 million of its investment in...
(Agence Ecofin 03/14/17)
The Land Policy Initiative (LPI), a joint programme of the tripartite consortium consisting of the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has launched a pilot project to track progress in implementing in the AU Declaration on land issues in Africa. This was revealed by the ECA in a press statement dated March 7. In collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the project will assess progress made in implementing the key decisions and commitments of the AU Declaration on Land adopted in July 2009 by the General Assembly of the pan-African institution. “We are to a large extent in unchartered waters given many of our Member...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/13/17)
The United Arab Emirates, one of the Middle East's largest economies, wants to expand trade ties with faster growing nations in Asia and Africa, a senior official said on Sunday. Rich Gulf Arab states are looking at ways to diversify their economies, including who they trade with, after more than two years of depressed oil prices forced a rethink of government spending. The pace of economic growth in Asian and sub-Saharan African economies has made them ideal partners, Abdullah al-Saleh, undersecretary for foreign trade and industry at the UAE ministry of the economy, told Reuters in an interview in Dubai. Asia's two largest economies China and India are expected to grow by 6.5 percent and 7.2 percent this year whilst...
(AFP (eng) 03/10/17)
In the beginning was .com, followed by a host of other .somethings, but on Friday, 32 years after the world's first domain name was registered, the African Union has launched .africa for the continent. Africans who want to register a website will be able to apply for a .africa domain name in the coming months, which outgoing AU commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said would allow the continent's people and businesses to better reach the world. "With .africa, I would say Africa has finally got its digital identity," said Dlamini-Zuma, who will next week hand power to Chadian Foreign Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat after four years at the helm of the continental body Sub-Saharan Africa has one of the lowest rates...
(Xinhuanet 03/09/17)
A critical mass of trained and well equipped community health workforce is key to easing the rising burden of infectious and noncommunicable diseases in Africa, experts said on Wednesday at a continental forum taking place in Nairobi. The experts, policymakers and campaigners who attended Africa Health Agenda International Conference agreed that optimal engagement of community health workers is key to revolutionize response to diseases ravaging the continent. Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Health Cleopa Mailu in his opening remarks said that investments in training for community health workers will have multiplier impact on Africa's socioeconomic development. "We require highly skilled and motivated cadre of community health workforce to deal with a high diseases burden in disadvantaged settings in this continent. These...
(AFP (eng) 03/08/17)
Former sprinter Frankie Fredericks quit as head of the IOC commission monitoring candidates for the 2024 Olympics on Tuesday amid a probe into money he accepted from a sports marketing chief accused of corruption. Fredericks, 49, strongly denied any wrongdoing in accepting nearly $300,000 (283,000 euros) on the day that Rio de Janeiro was awarded the 2016 Olympics. But he said he had "personally decided that it is in the best interests of a good functioning of the International Olympic Committee candidature process that I step aside as chairperson of the 2024 Evaluation Commission
(Xinhuanet 03/08/17)
Namibia's Walvis Bay Corridor Group's (WBCG) Wellness Service initiated an Anti-Retroviral Treatment campaign at two of its Roadside Wellness Clinics. Manager of WBCG's Wellness Services, Edward Shivute on Tuesday in an update of the campaign which commenced on Feb. 22, said the HIV Anti-Retroviral Treatment program is being done as part of a pilot phase at the two clinics in the Zambezi and Ohangwena regions respectively. Shivute said their clinics are now able to provide comprehensive health services through HIV testing and immediately initiating HIV positive clients on life saving treatment. "Through this, we are not only reducing the burden of patients on public health facilities, but we provide hard to reach populations with an opportunity to access vital health...
(AFP (eng) 03/08/17)
Lawyers and human rights campaigners launched an initiative for African whistleblowers in Senegal on Tuesday, aimed at providing a secure means of exposing wrongdoing on the continent. African nations such as Somalia, South Sudan, Libya and Guinea-Bissau regularly appear at the very bottom of rankings such as Transparency International's Corruption Index, while none make it into the top 30. The Platform for the Protection of Whistleblowers in Africa (PPLAAF) will provide guidance from legal experts, secure submission of information and a hotline for potential informants, according to its founders. The initiative is the brainchild of Spanish superstar lawyer Baltasar Garzon -- who has defended Julian Assange of whistleblowing website WikiLeaks -- along with French lawyer William Bourdon, who worked on...
(AFP (eng) 03/07/17)
Former sprinter Frankie Fredericks said on Monday he had stepped down from an IAAF taskforce investigating Russian doping amid a corruption probe. "I have decided to step aside from the taskforce so that the integrity of its work is not questioned due to the allegations made against me in Le Monde," the 49-year-old Namibian was quoted as saying in an IAAF statement. "It is important that the taskforce's mission is seen as free and fair with no outside influence." Le Monde newspaper on Friday said that Fredericks, a four-time Olympic silver medallist, received nearly $300,000 (283,000 euros) from a figure accused of corruption in international sports on the day Rio won the bid to host the Games. IAAF president Sebastian...
(Xinhuanet 03/06/17)
United Nations human rights expert Rosa Kornfeld-Matte is currently on an official visit to assess the human rights situation of older persons in Namibia. A statement from the UN's Information Centre in Windhoek on Monday said the expert's visit started on March 2 and will end on March 13. The visit is an important opportunity to identify both best practices and gaps in the implementation of existing laws related to the promotion and protection of the rights of the elderly, the statement said. "I am particularly interested in learning more about Namibia's extensive social protection system, including the universal non-contributory pension, which helped to significantly reduce poverty levels as well as the advanced technology introduced in the mid-1990s to manage...
(The Independent 03/06/17)
Th term was coined by sceptical officials, worried about the importance given to Commonwealth trade deals ahead of Brexit negotiations. Plans by government ministers to boost trade links with African Commonwealth countries are being internally branded “empire 2.0” by sceptical officials who are worried about the importance being placed on such deals ahead of the UK’s negotiations of leaving the European Union (EU). International Trade Secretary Liam Fox is expected to promise to build better links with the whole of the 52 member countries of the Commonwealth when ministers from each country meet in London later this week. But as the UK is prepares itself to leave the European Union, The Times reports that British ministers are planning to talk...
(Xinhuanet 03/03/17)
China has expressed its determination to cooperate with the Namibian government on wildlife protection ahead of the World Wildlife Day which falls on March 3. Speaking at a briefing at the Chinese Embassy in Namibia, Chargé d'affaires Li Nan said that China will never give cover to lawless poachers and has zero tolerance for poachers. Li noted that China also fully supports the Namibian government in amending environmental laws. Namibian Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism Tommy Nambahu also said that law enforcers need to be proactive in dealing with people who poach rhinos and elephants. "It is all of us who are supposed to be ambassadors of preserving wildlife," said Nambahu. China announced late last year a phased schedule...
(New Era 03/03/17)
Windhoek-The Government of Japan early this week signed a food aid grant of N$ 4.7 million with Namibia in support of Namibia’s efforts to tackle food insecurity caused by the persistent droughts. Namibia has been facing persistent drought for three consecutive years in a row. Signing on behalf of Namibia, the Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah explained the severe scarcity of water caused by low rainfall in recent years has negatively affected farming activities in all corners of the country, a situation that has hampered crop production and that has impacted negatively on livestock. She added that: “ As we are still in the middle of the rainy season, and welcome good...
(Xinhuanet 03/03/17)
A prolonged drought across the East African region and heavy flooding in some southern African countries are compounding the effects of conflicts to make people's lives difficult. Against the global trend of good harvests, Africa, especially its eastern part, faces the challenge of worsening food security due to drought and conflicts. Some 37 countries require external assistance for food, including 28 African countries, as a result of lingering effects of last year's El Nino-triggered drought on harvests, says the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). In South Sudan, nearly half of the population of 11.3 million are in urgent need of food aid as the UN declared famine in the East African nation last week. Tens of thousands of people...
(Bloomberg 03/03/17)
Polar Star Management Ltd., which runs one of the best-performing African and Middle East hedge fund over the past five years, plans to start a private-equity unit that will invest in agriculture to exploit rising demand for food. The Cape Town-based firm plans to use its own money to buy small farms and processing companies in South Africa this year, then increase efficiency through consolidation and better management, said Murray Derksen, a director at Polar Star. It aims to raise 1.5 billion rand ($115 million) for the fund, which may also buy commodities such as grains, while targeting an internal rate of return of 8 percent to 12 percent, he said. “We looked at the increase in corn demand globally,...
(AFP (eng) 03/02/17)
A film raging against colonialism and the exploitation of Africa wowed viewers at the continent's top cinema festival Wednesday, winning shouts of approval at a screening packed to bursting point. "The African Storm" tells the story of an African president who nationalises businesses run by racist, cynical Western executives. Directed and produced by its Beninese star Sylvestre Amoussou, it tackles several hot-button issues including an exit from the CFA franc currency, closer ties with Russia and China as opposed to the West, criticism of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, and pride in being African. One of 20 feature-length movies on show at the Panafrican Film and Television Festival (Fespaco) in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou, the movie was punctuated...
(Xinhuanet 03/01/17)
Namibia on Tuesday confirmed a second case of Congo fever in the country this year, days after a 26-year-old farm worker died with the disease at a hospital 200 km from the capital Windhoek. The second confirmed case involves a man from the south of the country, and he is now receiving treatment in the Gobabis District Hospital, where the first Congo-fever patient died on Feb. 22, local media cited Health Minister Bernard Haufiku as saying. Five hospital staff members who had attended the first Congo-fever patient are currently under observation. Also under observation are four of the man's workmates, Haufiku said. Their blood samples were already sent to South Africa for test, the minister said, adding that a team...
(AFP (eng) 02/28/17)
The Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership -- the world's biggest individual prize -- drew a blank once again in finding a suitable laureate, it was announced Tuesday. The prize only goes to a democratically-elected African leader who demonstrated exceptional leadership, served their mandated term and left office within the last three years. The award comes with $5 million (4.7 million euros) paid over 10 years and $200,000 annually for life from then on. The prize, founded by Sudan-born telecoms tycoon Mo Ibrahim, has only been given four times in its 10-year existence. The philanthropist has said in the past that making no award sent just as strong a message on African leadership. "A very high bar was deliberately...
(AFP (eng) 02/27/17)
An African road movie about four women wowed its audience Sunday as it kicked off the Panafrican cinema and television festival (Fespaco), a showcase for the continent's burgeoning film industry. "Borders" ("Frontieres") directed by Apolline Traore, a Fespaco laureate in 2013, sweeps across Africa as its protagonists journey through Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Benin on their way to Nigeria. Along the way the women -- Ivorian, Senegalese, Burkinabe and Nigerian actresses -- are spared nothing as they are beset by customs officers, thieves, murderers and rapists. The film -- the first feature-length film to show at the festival -- deals with "the bravery of women," Traore told AFP at the festival in the Burkinabe capital Ouagadougou. "There is a...

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