Saturday 21 October 2017
(Xinhuanet 07/17/17)
The Namibia Financial Institutions Union (Nafinu) said Sunday it will sue the SME Bank directors for causing job losses. The SME Bank is currently under liquidation after the Windhoek High Court ruled Tuesday last week that the institution was insolvent. There were more than 200 workers at the bank owned by the Namibian government and its Zimbabwean partners. The ruling came after the SME Bank management failed to recover about 200 million Namibian dollars (15 million U.S. dollars) invested with South African financial institutions in 2016.
(Xinhuanet 07/17/17)
Africa is making progress towards the establishment of a trade zone by Oct. 30 that will cover approximately half of the continent's member states. The Common Market for the Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Director of Trade and Customs, Francis Mangeni, said in a commentary published in the Star Newspaper on Monday that so far 19 of the 26 countries involved have signed the agreement. "Three outstanding annexes had meant the tripartite agreement was not complete and this was advanced by some countries as the reason they could not sign or ratify the agreement. However their adoption represented a milestone in the negotiation, as it removed the last obstacle to signing and ratifying the agreement," Mangeni said. The tripartite free...
(AFP (eng) 07/17/17)
In-form Zimbabwe surrendered a nine-year unbeaten record in African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifying when losing 1-0 to rusty Namibia in Windhoek Sunday. Since debuting in qualifiers for the biennial competition, Zimbabwe had won 11 matches and drawn five with their first victims being Namibia. But the four-time competitors in the finals now face a fight for survival at the National Sports Stadium in Harare next Sunday against rivals who have never played at the 16-nation tournament. Hendrik Somaeb scored the only goal early in the second half at a stadium named afer Sam Nujoma, a former revolutionary and the first ruler of the southern African state. It was a remarkable achievement by the "Brave Warriors" given that there has been...
(APA 07/14/17)
The Inspector General of Namibian Police, Sebastian Ndeitunga, has said the police investigation into the case of former executives of the defunct SME Bank, concerning the disappearance of N$200 million is akin to organised crime. The state-owned New Era newspaper quoted Ndeitunga in its Thursday edition as saying evidence gathered by the police in Namibia and South Africa, in the SME Bank investment saga, points to a “high possibility of organised crime”. He said the police investigation concerns possible fraud, theft and contravention of Namibia’s Prevention of Organised Crime Act. The police have been investigating the bank after the Bank of Namibia, the country’s central bank, referred the case to the commercial crime investigation division. This was after the central...
(APA 07/14/17)
Newspapers in Namibia on Friday zoomed conspiracy to weaken the national carrier - Air Namibia, the President silence on rampant abuse by public funds by government officials and the disbanding of SME Bank, which send 208 employees into the streets. Img : Namibia: Press zooms on national carrier, alleged mismanagement of public funds The Namibian said Air Namibia is aggrieved about being kept in the dark over the recent sale of four Embraer ERJ 135 (37-seater) planes leased for its domestic and regional operations - from a HOP Airline, a subsidiary of Air France to a Namibian private aviation company. The paper said Air Namibia learned this week that the planes it has been leasing since 2011, have been sold...
(Xinhuanet 07/14/17)
The Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Friday called on the government to help businesses access their funds held up in the SME Bank that is undergoing a liquidation process. The Windhoek High Court gave a provisional liquidation order for the SME Bank Wednesday after the Bank of Namibia had argued that the bank was insolvent. The NCCI further called for alternative funding of start-ups and SMEs through the Development Bank of Namibia during and after the winding up of the SME Bank. In February, the Bank of Namibia took over the management of the SME Bank, which was owned by the Namibian government, Zimbabwe's Metbank and Zimbabwean businessman Enock Kamushinda. Efforts by the Bank of Namibia governor Ipumbu...
(Cnbc Africa 07/12/17)
"Africa is an awakening giant," according to the former South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk speaking at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul. The leader who oversaw the transition of his country's power to Nelson Mandela said Tuesday that the future looks bright for a continent previously blighted by war, famine and a lack of infrastructure. "I believe Africa is an awakening giant and, yes, it is not performing according to what we expected soon enough, but it will perform," he said. De Klerk believes that African countries are primed to take advantage of the world's growing size. "If we look at food shortages for the rest of the world with a growing population, Africa is the solution," he...
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
In the past five years, terrorist attacks have killed nearly 20,000 people across Africa. Two groups, Boko Haram and al-Shabab, accounted for 71 percent of reported incidents and 91 percent of fatalities. But, while these and other militant groups remain active, fatal terrorist attacks across the continent are on pace to fall for a second straight year, and the total number of attacks is running far below 2012 highs. These findings are part of VOA’s original analysis of data from ACLED, the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. ACLED tracks political violence, protests and terrorist events across Africa. Their reports include attacks since 1997 based on data collected from local news media, government statements, non-governmental organizations and published research...
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Many cell phone companies are rethinking their headlong rush into the continent. Only Orange is staying the course. Back when African countries were auctioning off mobile licenses by the boatload to serve the region’s young, tech-savvy population, investing in the continent’s fast-growing economies seemed like a no-brainer. Some of the world’s biggest wireless carriers rushed in. Now they’re wondering if they made a mistake. Increasing government and regulatory scrutiny, as well as a lack of expansion opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa, are making it harder for operators such as Vodafone Group Plc, Orange SA and Bharti Airtel Ltd. to grow. Their choice: Pull back or double down. Two companies beating at least a partial retreat are Millicom International Cellular SA, which...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The African Union's new chair Moussa Faki Mahamat on Wednesday questioned US commitment to fighting terrorism on the continent after it blocked efforts to get UN funding for an anti-jihadist force in the Sahel. "This is a specific case of a certain number of African states taking the initiative to create a dedicated force to fight terrorism. So, we don't understand how the United States could hold back or not engage in the fight against terrorism," Faki said in an interview with AFP. Faki's January election as chairperson of the AU commission came days after the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, who has proposed slashing US funding for aid projects and multilateral institutions like the UN. The former Chadian...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The costs of diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa could double to almost $60 billion annually just 13 years from now, as obesity fuels an explosion of the disease, a report said Thursday. In 2015, the overall diabetes cost in the region was nearly $20 billion (18 billion euros), or 1.2 percent of total economic production, according to research published by The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. This included medication and hospital stays, and loss of labour productivity due to illness or death. About half of all treatment costs were paid for by patients themselves.
(Voice of America 07/04/17)
GENEVA — The U.N. children’s fund warns tens of thousands of malnourished children are at great risk in Yemen, Somalia and South Sudan, which are on the brink of famine. UNICEF reports an estimated 4.7 million children in the cholera-stricken countries are malnourished. Of these, UNICEF spokesman Christofe Boulierac tells VOA, more than one million are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. “Let me remind you that a child who is suffering from severe acute malnutrition are nine times more likely to die of disease than a well-nourished child," he said. "So, having cholera and diarrhea in countries where so many children are so fragile because of malnutrition among other things because of such a bad access to safe water is...
(RFI(EN) 07/04/17)
New tax rules in Israel could leave hundreds of African migrants worse off than they are. In May, the government introduced a new deposit law, enabling the governemnt to take 20 percent of migrants' salaries each month and place it out of reach. The money can only be accessed once they leave the country. Rights groups say the policy is designed to force them out of the country. "We're not pressuring you to leave but will make your life miserable so you decide to leave," Anwar Suliman, a Darfuri refugee living in Israel since 2008, told RFI . "Every time the state makes a different law, different pressure, but we said we can't go back right now." Suliman fled Darfur...
(APA 06/28/17)
A state media delegation from Zimbabwe is in Namibia for a week-long visit during which it will discuss the renewal of a cooperation agreement that has seen the two countries cooperating in the areas of electronic and print journalism for more than a decade. The two sides are meeting to discuss the renewal of a 2004 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Electronic and Print Media, which they believe has been overtaken by current developments in the media sector such as digitalisation. During the first meeting on Tuesday, the two parties highlighted the importance of updating the agreement. Zimbabwe’s permanent secretary for Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, George Charamba said a lot of things have changed since the MOU was signed...
(AFP (eng) 06/28/17)
The generic version of the most advanced drug against HIV has been introduced in Kenya, a first in Africa where more than 25 million have the disease, the NGO Unitaid said Wednesday. The drug, Dolutegravir (DTG) is the anti-retroviral drug of choice for those living with HIV in developed countries, but its high price has put it out of reach for most struggling with the disease in Africa. "The generic DTG has two advantages: on the one hand, it is very good from a pharmaceutical point of view. On the other hand, it is much cheaper," said Robert Matiru of Unitaid, which works to reduce the costs of medicines treating AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria. He described the drug as "the...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/23/17)
DAR ES SALAAM (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Sadick Thenest remembers how his 8-year-old daughter had a narrow brush with death two years ago, when she contracted cholera after drinking contaminated water. “She was so gaunt, weak and had terrible diarrhea,” said the refugee from Burundi. “A slight delay in rushing her to hospital would have meant something else - but with God’s grace she survived.” The father of four, aged 35, is among thousands of refugees grappling with frequent outbreaks of waterborne diseases in the crowded Nyarugusu camp in western Tanzania, due to poor sanitation. “Living in a refugee camp is a constant struggle. You either stick to health rules or contract diseases,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by...
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
WASHINGTON DC — On June 5, Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of funding extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State. In response, Qatar said it was the victim of a policy of “domination and control” by its larger neighbor and that Saudi Arabia was, in fact, the one responsible for backing extremism. So what is the truth? Fundamentalist strains of Islam, including Saudi-born Salafism and Wahhabism, form the ideological bedrock for most terror groups. According to a study by Leif Wenar of King’s College London based on the Global Terrorism Database, three out of four terror attacks in the last 10 years...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/15/17)
Anglo American's (AAL.L) diamond unit De Beers on Thursday launched the world's largest diamond exploration vessel off the coast of Namibia as it looks to maintain high production levels until 2035. The 12,000-tonne, 113-metre-long SS Nujoma was built at a cost of $157 million and is named after Sam Nujoma, Namibia's founding president. "I am very, very confident this (vessel) will allow us to continue to extract 1.2 million carats a year," De Beers CEO Bruce Cleaver told Reuters by telephone. He said he was "cautiously optimistic" about diamond sales in 2017 and in terms of value there have been "some small positive movements" but it was too early to declare a trend. Anglo American and De Beers rely heavily...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Extortion, corruption and fear; violence, hunger and sometimes even death: for west African migrants dreaming of reaching Europe, the road to get there can be an absolute minefield. - Departure - Whether it's The Gambia, Ivory Coast, Senegal or Nigeria, everything starts with the "hustlers" -- slang for the middlemen or fixers who organise the trip. Their honesty and prices vary, with the would-be migrant usually deceived about the welcome expected in Europe. Many possess no official documents from their home country, and do not understand illegal status in Europe. Most are ignorant about the extreme difficulties they will encounter en route. "We didn't know we were risking our lives," said Kante Sekou...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Maria gave smugglers all her family savings and crossed three countries and the searing Libyan desert, but when she finally boarded a boat for Europe her dream was swiftly shattered. She was 24 and pregnant with her second child when she left Liberia with her husband and their three-year-old son. The family passed through Guinea and Mali before crossing southern Algeria to reach the Libyan desert. "The smugglers took all our money" -- more than $2,150 (2,000 euros), she said. "We spent four days in the desert. People died of thirst and the sun in the back of the truck." They finally arrived on the beach at Sabrata, 70 kilometres (45 miles) west of Libya's capital Tripoli, a key departure...

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