Sunday 25 June 2017
(AFP (eng) 04/11/17)
El Nino, the cyclical climatic phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean, is linked to shifts in cholera cases in Africa, providing an early warning that could save lives, scientists said Monday. During the years when El Nino is warming the eastern Pacific, East Africa has about 50,000 additional cholera cases a year, new research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests. By contrast, the years when El Nino is not active, there were 30,000 fewer cholera cases in East Africa, according to the study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers analyzed more than 17,000 annual observations from 3,710 different locations between 2000 and 2014 in Africa, which has the most...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/07/17)
Access to off-grid solar energy in rural areas of Africa goes beyond lighting up homes - it also enables people to connect to the wider world and boosts their economic prospects, said the head of one of the continent's biggest solar companies. Azuri Technologies' entry level solar system - for which customers pay a one-off installation fee, then use scratch cards or mobile phone payments to top up on a weekly or monthly basis - provides eight hours of lighting each day. Having power at home for the first time encourages customers to also buy mobile phones, radios and televisions, giving them regular access to the media and the internet, said Simon Bransfield-Garth, chief executive officer of UK-based Azuri. "This...
(The Namibian 04/06/17)
Former United States president George W Bush yesterday said America should not stop supporting Namibia, which has received billions in US aid for combating HIV-AIDS and cancer. Some of the organisations that support Namibia include the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (Pepfar), UNAIDS, Susan G Komen and the Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon initiative by the Bush Institute, which was launched in 2011. Bush is accompanied by his wife Laura, who through the Bush Institute's First Ladies Initiative, supports and engages first ladies from around the world. They are on a two-day visit to Namibia, after having visited Bostwana. Speaking at Windhoek Central Hospital, where he met health minister Bernard Haufiku
(The Namibia Economist 04/06/17)
It is disappointing (though unsurprising) and speaks volumes that despite the direct involvement of the Secretary to Cabinet in this fracas, the Government and Cabinet have remained completely numb on this matter and have proceeded as if nothing untoward has happened. It is abundantly clear that my earlier warning fell on deaf ears. That being said, I trust this matter has now reached the stage where the Bank of Namibia has shown that it is incapable (for whatever reason) of properly handling this matter. It is completely unacceptable that the Bank of Namibia has put itself in a position where it may be forced to back track on its previous decision. It is unthinkable that a person of the seniority...
(Voice of America 04/05/17)
A Red Cross report says African countries are failing their internally displaced people. Reversing that trend was the subject of a high level meeting of the International Red Cross and the African Union that wrapped up Tuesday in Zimbabwe. Africa has about 13 million internally displaced people, a third of the global number of IDPs, and more than double the amount of refugees on the continent. By definition, refugees flee across a national border, while IDPs leave their homes but stay within their own country. African Union Commission head of humanitarian affairs, refugees and displaced people Olabisi Dare says the situation of IDPs in Africa is very critical, dire and worsening. "...The issues that are generating internal displacement [are] multiplying...
(The Namibian 04/04/17)
Former United States president George W Bush will be on a two-day visit to Namibia from tomorrow. Bush, who will be accompanied by his wife Laura, will also visit Botswana. According to the US News website, the former US first couple are on a trip to highlight their work to improve the lives of women and girls on the continent, with a focus on access to education, healthcare and economic opportunity. This is Bush 's seventh trip to Africa since leaving office. According to the website, in Namibia, the Bush couple will visit programmes supported by Namibian First Lady Monica Geingos
(APA 04/04/17)
Two Chinese nationals who were caught with two rhino horns in January were granted N$300,000 (about $22,000) each by the Windhoek Magistrate Court on Tuesday. Yongui Lu and Nan Chen were released from custody after their lawyer pledged to magistrate Vanessa Stanley that they would not abscond from Namibia to evade prosecution. The duo has been fighting to be given bail since their first court appearance on January 23. They were arrested at an apartment in Eros suburb in the capital with the rhino horns valued at N$44,000. They are expected to reappear in court on June 21 this year. The granting of bail came a day after China’s Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, Zhang Ming said his country regretted incidences...
(Financial Times 04/04/17)
Countries should develop policies to attract labour-intensive production leaving China. China’s initial wave of investments in Africa focused on natural resource extraction. Their demand for metals and energy was so large that it actually boosted global commodity prices overall, which in turn accelerated growth across the African continent. These times of China propping up global commodity prices are now over, as it has built up excess capacity in many sectors and now faces slow investment growth. This lower demand has contributed to the overall slump in global commodity prices since 2014, making it unlikely that China will again fulfil the role of driving commodity prices. Rather, its position has now shifted to becoming the largest exporter of capital. This provides...
(The East African 04/03/17)
Nairobi — The 2017 Mo Ibrahim Foundation annual Governance Weekend will be held in Marrakech - Morocco from April 7-9. A press release from the Foundation identifies the Palmeraie Resort as the venue for this year's meeting. The three-day event brings together prominent African and Africa-focused leaders, civil society representatives, multilateral and regional institutions and Africa's international partners to identify policy challenges and possible solutions. Violent extremism The conversation is normally extended to a wider audience through music, art and sport at major public events, showcasing some of Africa's brightest talent. The Foundation has released a report that sets the stage for high-level discussions in Morocco. The priority areas for the Marrakech talks, according to the report, include violent extremism...
(Xinhuanet 03/30/17)
The African Union (AU) is extremely appalled by the attacks against African students in Noida and other cities in India. The pan-African bloc has deplored the violence unleashed during the riot that started on Monday targeting Africans of various nationalities, particularly Nigerians, which resulted in loss of innocent lives and serious injuries, the AU said in a statement. The attacks have also resulted in the displacement of many Africans from their normal places of residence, thereby putting their lives in serious danger, it said. AU has expressed heartfelt condolence to the families of the deceased; and it wished speedy recovery to all those who have sustained injuries. AU has called on the Indian authorities to provide all necessary support to...
(Voice of America 03/28/17)
The World Health Organization and U.N. children's fund are spearheading a massive immunization campaign across Africa to rid the continent of the last vestiges of polio. Tens of thousands of health workers will fan out across 13 central and western African countries to vaccinate more than 116 million children under age five against the crippling disease. The U.N. agencies report more than 190,000 volunteers, traveling on foot or bicycle, will go house to house across all cities, towns, and villages in 13 countries to vaccinate every child under age five against polio. The synchronized vaccination campaign, one of the largest ever conducted in Africa, will run from March 25-28. Director of Polio Eradication at the World Health Organization Michel Zaffran...
(Xinhuanet 03/27/17)
There is need for China and its African allies to kick start a new dialogue aimed at revitalizing wildlife and ecological conservation in the world's second largest continent, a conservationist has told Xinhua in an interview. Kaddu Sebunya, president of African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), told Xinhua that Beijing is an indispensable partner in efforts to protect Africa's iconic wildlife species that are grappling with human and climatic induced threats to their survival. "China is playing a big role in Africa's economic development and would like to see it direct more support towards protection of wildlife and vital ecosystems in the continent," Sebunya said. Sebunya noted that China's growing economic and diplomat clout place it at a vantage position to help...
(Agence Ecofin 03/24/17)
(Ecofin Agency) - Namibia’s government plans to expropriate many white land owners soon in order to accelerate property transfer to the black majority of the country. This was revealed on March 21st by the nation’s president, Hage Geingob, on the sidelines of the 27th anniversary of Namibia’s independence. The president however plans to be fair in the process by providing compensation to the white owners as the constitution states in the case of expropriation. “If we are committed to achieving further economic growth and maintaining peace, then everyone should be open to new approaches. This means we need to refer back to our Constitution which allows for the expropriation of land with fair compensation and also look at foreign ownership...
(Xinhuanet 03/24/17)
Namibian research firm IJG Securities said Friday that they expect further contractions in the construction sector in 2017 and beyond. The research firm said in a report that 2017 was off to a slow start with only 231 building plans having been approved in the first two months while 48 were completed, the lowest numbers in the last seven years. "As a leading indicator for economic activity in the country this implies that the whole economy could remain under pressure for the foreseeable future," IJG said. IJG said with government spending on infrastructure slowing and the current economic situation that makes it increasingly difficult for banks to extend credit, it is a cause for concern as the sector provides a...
(Xinhuanet 03/24/17)
After the two-day demonstration by taxi drivers in Windhoek, capital of Namibia, Xinhua spoke to the Secretary General of the Namibian Employers Federation (NEF), Tim Parkhouse Thursday to find out whether the drivers have a legitimate point to feel aggrieved. Earlier this week, the President of the Namibia Transport and Taxi Union (NTTU), Werner Januarie stated that taxi drivers wanted to be treated like other employees and receive a basic salary of 4,000 Namibian dollars (307 U.S. dollars) per month. He also feels that taxi drivers are not liable to pay for traffic fines as those are the employers' responsibility. "The money which the taxi drivers are demanding is a reasonable amount, it is almost a minimum wage," Parkhouse said...
(Xinhuanet 03/24/17)
A group of non-government organizations (NGOs) on Friday called on African leaders to find practical solutions to protect and assist Somali refugees and asylum seekers facing ongoing conflict and a humanitarian crisis in Somalia. In a joint statement issued on the eve of the regional summit on refugees, members of the Regional Durable Solutions Secretariat (ReDSS), Somalia NGO Consortium and the Inter-agency Working Group (IAWG) expressed hope that the leaders will take practical steps towards the development and implementation of a comprehensive regional approach. "It is hoped that such an approach, developed in the spirit of the New York Declaration, will support countries and communities that host Somali refugees in improving asylum space, integrated access to services, inclusive economic opportunities...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/23/17)
N'DJAMENA French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen pledged on Wednesday to break with her country's decades-old relationship with Africa known as "Francafrique" and abolish the CFA franc currency policy that binds Paris and its former colonies. Francafrique describes an informal web of relationships Paris has maintained with its former African colonies and its support, sometimes in the form of military backing, for politicians who favor French business interests. Le Pen, one of the frontrunners in the presidential election, spoke at the end of a two-day visit to Chad where she sought to outline her policies regarding the continent, which has long held an important place in French foreign policy. "It was only in coming here and explaining that I...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/22/17)
Namibia's president said Tuesday that the government is considering radical land expropriation to spur the transfer of property to the country's black majority. Speaking at Namibia's 27th independence celebrations, President Hage Geingob said the government should evoke part of the Constitution allowing for land expropriation with fair compensation since the redistribution process has been slow. "If we are committed to achieving further economic growth and maintaining peace, then everyone should be open to new approaches," said Geingob, Namibia's third president since the country gained independence from apartheid South Africa in 1990. "This means we need to refer back to our Constitution which allows for the expropriation of land with fair compensation and also look at foreign ownership of land, especially...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/22/17)
Frank Fredericks will stay on the IAAF Council while an ethics board reviews allegations that he accepted payments before the awarding of the 2016 Olympics to Rio, Sebastian Coe, the organization's head, said on Tuesday. Fredericks, an International Olympic Committee member, stepped down two weeks ago as head of the team evaluating bids to host the 2024 Olympics and has also removed himself from the IAAF task force looking into doping in Russia. Despite the allegations, however, he will remain a member of the IAAF council while the ethics board determines if an investigation is necessary.
(AFP (eng) 03/21/17)
Under a cloudless sky in South Africa's northwestern farming region, donkeys still amble along muddy paths, pausing to nibble on grass, oblivious to the threat from a demand for Chinese medicine. The gelatin found in the animals' skin has made them a target, leading to a growing wave of donkey slaughtering in several African countries, as gangs seek to fuel a lucrative, and in South Africa illegal, trade. Animal rights groups say the docile beasts of burden are often cruelly bludgeoned to death before being skinned in backyards and clandestine slaughterhouses. Around Mogosani village, in South Africa's North West province, residents say syndicates catch the animals in grazing fields and pens. Soon after, skinned carcasses with hooves chopped off are...

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