Saturday 21 October 2017
(Bloomberg 08/29/17)
A plan by Namibia, among the world’s most economically unequal nations, to better distribute wealth among its citizens may end up the way neighboring South Africa’s has -- benefiting an elite minority. The nation is working on a law that will require all businesses to be at least a quarter owned by “racially disadvantaged people.” While only about 6 percent of Namibia’s 2.5 million citizens are white, they own most enterprises. That’s a legacy of white-minority rule South Africa imposed when it controlled Namibia from World War I to 1990, with black people being disenfranchised and displaced. Critics of South Africa’s policy, including the biggest labor-union federation, say it has failed to redress inequalities because it focuses on increasing black...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/29/17)
Europe’s “big four” continental powers and three African states agreed a plan on Monday to tackle illegal human trafficking and support nations struggling to contain the flow of people across the desert and Mediterranean sea. The 28-nation European Union has long struggled to reach a coherent answer to the influx of migrants fleeing war, poverty and political upheaval in the Middle East and Africa, and the crisis is testing cooperation between member states. After hosting the leaders of Germany, Italy, Spain, Chad, Niger and Libya, French President Emmanuel Macron said it was time for greater coordination. “We must all act together - from the source countries to Europe and passing by the transit countries, especially Libya - to be efficient,”...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/28/17)
Getting Europe’s migrant crisis under control will be in focus at a summit of Europe’s “big four” continental powers and three African nations in Paris on Monday, with French President Emmanuel Macron seeking concrete action. The 28-nation European Union has struggled to agree on a coherent answer to the influx of migrants fleeing war, poverty and political upheaval in the Middle East and Africa, and the crisis is testing cooperation between member states. Over the summer, Macron sought to take the initiative on managing the flow of migrants crossing the Mediterranean from Libya, mainly into Italy. He proposed hotspots in Africa to handle asylum requests. The viability of such centers was questioned by European and African allies and on Monday...
(New Era 08/25/17)
President Hage Geingob says through the implementation of a raft of budget cuts the government has been able to save over N$3 billion over the past several months. He was speaking at the official opening of the Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) congress in Katima Mulilo yesterday. According to the president, even though the past months have not been easy for the country, as the economy has been buffeted by severe headwinds, something positive has come out of this difficult economic crisis. “The economic headwinds that we have experienced have allowed us to trim the fat by identifying areas where we can curb excess expenditure. Government has been able to save more than N$3 billion due to the austerity measures...
(New Era 08/25/17)
Letshego Bank Namibia chief executive officer Ester Kali refused to accept a petition from the Namibian Financial Institution Union (Nafinu) leadership that, along with the bank’s employees, gathered for a peaceful demonstration at the bank’s premises yesterday. Nafinu secretary-general Asnath Zamuee told New Era they gave the bank five days to respond to their demands, and failure to do so they will gather again at the bank two weeks from now. Speaking to New Era afterwards, Kali said she had hoped that any demonstrative action would be avoided given the company’s full compliance with the recognition and procedural agreement (RPA) “and our ongoing commitment to regular, two-way dialogue with Nafinu on various items”. She said the bank remains committed to...
(New Era 08/25/17)
Namibia has been ranked among the countries with a high participation in higher education through open and distance learning (tertiary level entrants) on the African continent. This was revealed by Professor Mpine Makoe who is the Head of the institute for Open Distance Learning at the University of South Africa (Unisa). Makoe was the guest of honour at the Namibian College of Open Learning (Namcol) graduation ceremony, where 481 students who pursued open distance learning courses in various fields were capped. Makoe said Namibia has a 10 percent participation rate while South Africa has 17 percent, but other neighbouring countries such as Malawi have a very low participation rate at less than 1 percent. Makoe said the African average participation...
(Xinhuanet 08/24/17)
Namibia's Air Force together with Southern African Development Community (SADC) Air Forces, Air Arms and Air Wings will conduct a military exercise code named 'Blue Kunene' in the northern parts of Namibia which will officially commence from Aug. 24 to Sept. 7. Namibia Defence Ministry in a statement said the aim of the exercise is to sharpen the rapid deployment of the SADC Air Forces as part of the SADC Standby Force, for rapid deployment in case of humanitarian crises in the region and beyond. Major Hendrik Swartbooi from Namibia Defence Ministry, Wednesday told Xinhua that Namibia's Defence Minster, Penda Ya Ndakolo will officiate the opening on Thursday at the Oshakati Independence Stadium. Swartbooi said about ten member states with...
(New Era 08/24/17)
Though the downgrading of Namibia’s credit rating to junk status will not have a direct implication on the cost of borrowing in the country, it is a wake up call for the country, says the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI). “We believe the downgrade was a slap in the face at an opportune time. Perhaps we needed it so badly. The reality is that we unfortunately have a government we cannot afford,” says the NCCI. In an unusually detailed and frank statement, heavily peppered with idioms and analogies, the chamber said the “downgrade should be a wake up call for us to re-examine our debt strategies”. “Quite frankly, doubling the stock of the Namibian Government debt in three-and-a-half...
(The Namibian 08/24/17)
AIR Namibia on Tuesday announced that it will add Lagos and Accra to its route network, effective from 25 March 2018. A media release by Air Namibia's manager for corporate communications, Paul Nakawa, said the expansion is to grow the business and increase the airline's footprint on the African continent. He explained that the route for the two destinations will be Windhoek-Lagos-Accra, while the return will be Accra-Lagos-Windhoek four times per week, using the Airbus A319-100 aircraft. The departing schedules from Windhoek will be Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. “This much-needed service will give our passengers a better travel option, and it will reduce travel times between Namibia and West Africa by more than 60 per cent,” said Air Namibia's...
(The Namibia Economist 08/24/17)
China’s highest level visit to the country in six years, will see Chinese First Deputy Premier of the state council, Zhang Gaoli in the country from 26 to 29 August, according to the new Chinese Ambassador to Namibia. Namibia will be the Chinese Vice Premier’s stop after having visited other countries like Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Sudan. At a media briefing with the new Chinese Ambassador to Namibia, Zhang Yiming this week, he said Namibia is the only stop in Africa’s sub -sahara region, the Vice Premier will visit. “That embodies the great importance China attaches to its relations with Namibia,” he said. “Namibia is forever a true friend, partner and brother of China and China-Namibia relationship has always been...
(New Era 08/24/17)
A member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the First Deputy Premier of the State Council, Zhang Gaoli, will visit Namibia where he will sign several agreements with President Hage Geingob later this week. The high-level visit – the first one of this magnitude in six years – will take place from August 26 to August 29. Chinese Ambassador to Namibia, Zhang Yiming, announced the visit on Tuesday morning during a wide-ranging media briefing at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Windhoek. Zhang described the visit as historic and significant in the two nations’ bilateral relations. “It is China’s highest-level visit to Namibia...
(The Namibian 08/24/17)
KUNENE region has the lowest proportion of pregnant women delivering in health facilities, according to the Demographic and Health Survey 2013. In this region, 72% of pregnant women deliver in the health facilities, compared to the national average of 88,7%, and 97,6% in the Erongo region, which has the highest coverage of facility deliveries. WHO Representative Dr Charles Sagoe-Moses said the construction of the maternity waiting home in Opuwo will provide the opportunity for more women, living in the region to have better access to services, and improve the health outcomes. Given this, the European Union through the Programme for Accelerating the Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality is funding the construction of the Opuwo maternity waiting home. Although the...
(Bloomberg 08/24/17)
Every African nation that’s sold dollar debt now has at least one junk rating, but it would be hard to tell by looking at the bond market. The average yield on sovereign Eurobonds in Africa has hovered near the lowest level in two years this month, according to a Standard Bank Group Ltd. index, even after Moody’s Investors Service cut Namibia to below investment grade on Aug. 11. The world’s biggest producer of marine diamonds had been the continent’s only dollar-bond issuer without a junk rating. A low interest rate environment in the developed world has encouraged investors to look past the problems plaguing African economies, including low commodity prices, dollar shortages in some of them and rising political tension...
(New Era 08/23/17)
The Presidency has defended itself regarding Christopher ‘Chris’ Cox, who claimed to be President Donald Trump’s Advisor on North Africa and the Sahel Region, saying all routine verifications were conducted, as is the norm, on the role Cox plays in the United States before any appointment was granted. This follows public criticism that President Hage Geingob allowed Cox, who is allegedly a hoax, to pay him a private visit at State House a week ago. Affirmative Repositioning (AR) youth activist, Job Amupanda, on Monday said he had established that Cox is in fact a hoax and that the man is not Trump’s advisor nor does he hold any official position in the US government. “There is nothing more disgusting than...
(Xinhuanet 08/23/17)
Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli's visit to Namibia will further promote traditional friendship and cooperation, the Chinese Ambassador to Namibia said Tuesday. Ambassador Zhang Yiming said at a media briefing in Windhoek that during the visit from Aug. 26 to 29, the two countries will exchange views on cooperation concerning politics, economy, technology and culture. "Besides meeting with Namibia's President Hage Geingob, the vice premier will visit landmark cooperation projects such as the Husab Uranium Mine, the container terminal of Walvis Bay and the Space Tracking, Telemetry and Command Station," he said. The ambassador said a series of cooperation agreements
(New Era 08/23/17)
Former President Hifikepunye Pohamba will host a Business Leaders Breakfast event aimed at creating an opportunity for the private sector companies, entities, consortiums and individuals from Namibia and other countries to make pledges to advance the objectives of the African World Heritage Fund. The Namibian Government has supported the operations of the Fund for many years through an agreement that was signed in 2014. Namibia boasts two World Heritage Sites inscribed on the World Heritage prestige list namely, Namib Sand Sea and Twyfelfontein. The African World Heritage Fund has supported the inscription and management of these sites. As a result, Namibia through UNESCO could enlist the Namib Sand Sea on the World Heritage list in 2013 with the Fund offering...
(Xinhuanet 08/23/17)
Chinese ambassador to Namibia Zhang Yiming said the two governments are working to launch a joint law enforcement action to eliminate transnational crimes related to poaching. He was speaking at a media briefing at the Chinese Embassy in Windhoek on Tuesday. The joint law enforcement action will be between the Namibian Police and China's Ministry of Public Security. Zhang said that the Chinese government is strongly against any illegal poaching, thus the reports of Chinese individuals involved in poaching are tarnishing the country's image. "We do not defend these people. We will assist and cooperate with law enforcement agencies to punish the individuals who are involved in such heinous crimes," he said. He added that he will make it one...
(New Era 08/23/17)
The unavailability of slaughter-ready sheep (16kg and above) is one of the factors that contributed towards the 4.7% reduction in sheep slaughtered at the export abattoirs between January and May this year. The quality of the sheep desired by export facilities in terms of their weight and conformation had been greatly affected by the continuous drought in some of the predominantly sheep producing areas. In total, 31,110 sheep were slaughtered at the B&C class abattoirs translating into a 9% share of the market whereas live exports took the bigger chunk of 53% compared to 39% of sheep slaughtered at the export abattoirs. Lamb exports were reported to be higher due to the increase in demand and strong competition from the...
(Xinhuanet 08/23/17)
China is dedicated to enhancing its cooperation with Africa in human resource development through knowledge and technology transfer, a Chinese diplomat said Tuesday. Liu Tao, Charge d'Affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia, made the remarks at the Chinese Government Training Program Fellowship Reception in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. He said China, since the year 2000, has sent over 2,000 agricultural experts and over 7,000 medical personnel to Africa, and has trained more than 80,000 Africans from more than 50 countries. China has pledged that it would, in three years, train 200,000 technicians and provide 40,000 training opportunities in China, and will offer 30,000 government scholarships, he said. Stating that 1,100 Ethiopian candidates are invited this year to attend short-term...
(Xinhuanet 08/22/17)
Namibia's tourism sector in the near future can be one of the strong pillars of economic growth in the country after the mining and fishing sectors, according to Chinese Ambassador to Namibia, Zhang Yiming. Zhang highlighted this on Tuesday during his first media engagement in the country, since he presented his Letter of Credence earlier in August. Zhang said the tourism sector has big potential in the country and to achieve its full growth, the Namibian government needs to strengthen their facilities to accommodate tourists. According to Zhang, around 10,000 Chinese tourists visit Namibia annually but the figures could improve, if Namibia can make provisions for large number of tourists in the country. He said that many things can be...

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