Sunday 25 June 2017
(AFP (eng) 12/28/16)
Its lower cost has made it popular in commercial food production, but after being blamed for deforestation in Asia, palm oil plantations are now getting a similar rap in Africa. The sheer scale of land required is having an impact in Gabon, Cameroon and the Congo Basin, environmentalists say. With financing coming from American, European and Asian agri-businesses, palm bunches are cultivated then cut from trees and sent to factories where oil is extracted by hot pressing. But the production process accelerates deforestation, contributes to climate change and threatens fauna and flora in vulnerable areas, opponents argue. However the companies say that palm oil is not only less expensive than soya or sunflower oil but requires much less land to...
(The Herald Online 12/27/16)
The end of 2016 provides an opportunity to take stock of Africa’s recent economic performance and future prospects. It’s been a tumultuous year for some African countries largely due to a commodities crisis and a global economic slowdown.Yet there were still pockets of good growth which displayed the huge potential of the African continent. And 2017 looks to be the year the countries hardest hit by the crisis seek to recover from the economic reversals of the past few years. Since the start of the new millennium average economic growth across Africa has been stronger than the global growth rate. Growth across the continent averaged 5 percent. This fuelled the “Africa Rising” narrative that permeated public discourse. Among the growth...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/24/16)
A record 5,000 migrants are believed to have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea this year, following two shipwrecks on Thursday in which some 100 people, mainly West Africans, were feared dead, aid agencies said on Friday. Two overcrowded inflatable dinghies capsized in the Strait of Sicily after leaving Libya for Italy, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said. "Those two incidents together appear to be the numbers that would bring this year's total up to over to 5,000 (deaths), which is a new high that we have reported during this crisis," IOM spokesman Joel Millman told a Geneva briefing. The Italian coast guard rescued survivors and had recovered eight bodies so far, he said...
(The Globe and Mail 12/23/16)
The Square Kilometre Array will be the world’s most powerful radio telescope, opening new frontiers in our understanding of the universe. But the builders have to contend with an unforgiving climate and other formidable challenges first, In the desolate rocky plains of the Great Karoo, the dangers are endless. Scorpions and puff adders are underfoot. The harsh sun beats down, interrupted only by occasional lightning storms. Temperatures range from stifling heat to freezing cold. But at night, in the vast empty darkness, the stars are impossibly bright and clear. And it is the stars that have lured a Canadian-backed project to build the world’s most powerful radio telescope, with the potential to unlock the deepest secrets of the universe. For...
(AFP (eng) 12/22/16)
Selma saunters on her stilt-like legs, batting thick lashes as she extends a blackish tongue -- as long as an arm -- to grab pellets offered by an awed tourist. The giraffe is after all, eating for two. Her pregnancy is good news for one of the rarest giraffe species, protected at the Giraffe Centre in the Kenyan capital, but experts warn the outlook for the rest of the world's tallest land mammals is far gloomier. While it is hoped the shocking news that the gentle giants of the African savannah are facing extinction will spur action, conservationists largely have their hands tied as many giraffe live in Africa's most conflict-torn regions. Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan...
(The Namibian 12/21/16)
The average basic monthly remuneration for permanent employees on commercial farms during 2016 was N$1 975. This average salary is based on remuneration packages of 3 497 workers on commercial farms which are highlighted in the Wage Survey Report published by the Agricultural Employers' Association (AEA) this week. Every second year, the AEA, an affiliate of the Namibia Agricultural Union, conducts a survey to determine the average salary commercial farm workers receive. Given that the calculated average monthly pay package does not include bonuses, clothing, medicine, school- and hostel fees, pension and social security contributions as well as water and energy (wood/ electricity) costs, these mentioned items are a cost to employers and form part of the employees' benefits, which...
(The Namibian 12/21/16)
State House remained tight-lipped on whether President Hage Geingob intentionally promoted a company co-owned by his daughter during his visit to France last month. Geingob went on a week-long trip that took him to Paris, Havana and London from 27 to 30 November 2016. The Presidency said the trip to France and the UK was to "strengthen investment and enhance trade opportunities for Namibia". Questions sent to press secretary Albertus Aochamub two weeks ago and again last week were not answered. However, managing director Stella Ileka, a shareholder in Black Diamond Investment, reacted to the mention of their company by the President saying there was no conflict of interest. She said InnoSun is pioneering renewable energy and therefore it makes...
(The Citizen 12/21/16)
Tanzania is among some African countries which may see a drop in development aid as the US is likely to expand fiscal stance and cut spending during Donald Trump's presidency, a new report shows. The move by the world's largest economy will affect dependent countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and DRC according to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) latest report released in London yesterday. In its Economic Insight: Africa Q4 2016, the accountancy and finance body points out that signs of an expansionary fiscal stance under the Trump administration coupled with spending cuts to accommodate increased infrastructure expenditure are likely to lead to the decrease in aid. "Aid is one of the main...
(AFP (eng) 12/20/16)
When Rose Kariuki first felt a lump on her left breast, the spectre of cancer -- a disease she had only heard of on television -- was the last thing on her mind. "To me, cancer was nowhere near us. It was shocking, I feared death, I feared so many things," the 46-year-old Kenyan school teacher told AFP. Rose is one of a growing number of Africans suffering from cancer, one of the lifestyle diseases -- along with diabetes and heart problems -- proving increasing deadly on the continent. A World Health Organisation (WHO) survey released Tuesday showed that most Africans had at least one risk factor for developing one of these diseases, such as smoking, a lack of exercise,...
(The Namibian 12/16/16)
The annual inflation rate for November increased to 7,3% from the 3,3% recorded in November 2015, the Namibia Statistics Agency announced yesterday. Inflation was 7,3% in October this year. The increase in the general price levels over the year came mainly from food and non-alcoholic beverages (11,6%), hotels, cafés and restaurants (9,2%), housing, water, electricity and other fuels (7,9%), furnishings, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house (7,7%), education (7,6%), health (6,9%), alcoholic beverages and tobacco (6,5%), recreation and culture (6,3%) and communications (6%). On a monthly basis, the inflation rate slowed down 0,2% from 0,5% registered a month earlier. The agency said the annual inflation for food and non-alcoholic beverages stood at 11,6% compared to 6,5% recorded in...
(New Era 12/16/16)
Windhoek — The Minister of Public Enterprises, Leon Jooste, says the ministry has instructed both TransNamib and Air Namibia boards to appoint a CEO not later than June 2017. Jooste said this during a press conference held at the ministry's head office in the capital yesterday. TransNamib has been given until March next year while Air Namibia was given until June to find a suitable candidate. For the last two years both parastatals have been operating without a CEO or managing director. The vacant CEO position at TransNamib follows Sara Naanda's suspension in 2014. Since then Hippy Tjivikua, the executive for strategy and stakeholder management, has been acting as CEO. At Air Namibia, Ellaine Samson has been acting managing director...
(The Namibian 12/16/16)
BUSINESSMAN Knowledge Katti has been called all sorts of names; a middleman, a fixer, a commissioner-in-chief, an influence pedlar or phosphate activist. He has in the past dodged answering questions sent to him by The Namibian on any issue published by the newspaper for over three years. He has now agreed to talk about one topic - marine phosphate mining- a controversial extraction of minerals from the seabed to make products like fertilisers. Here is what Katti told The Namibian's Shinovene Immanuel. Becoming a 15% shareholder in Namibia Marine Phosphate (NMP). Prior to 2014, the shareholders in NMP were two public listed Australian companies and a Namibian company, Tungeni Investments. In 2012/13 the shares of the Australian companies were acquired...
(AFP (eng) 12/16/16)
The number of migrants feared to have died this year has soared to nearly 7,200 -- a more than 20-percent increase over 2015 -- with most of the fatalities in the Mediterranean, IOM said Friday. In total, 7,189 migrants and refugees have died or remain missing on migratory routs around the world, the International Organization for Migration said. That number is already 1,449 more than in all of 2015. And since it represents an average of 20 deaths per day, another 200 to 300 people could perish by the end of the year if the trend continues, the Geneva-based IOM warned in a statement. The Mediterranean Sea routes, used so far this year by nearly 360,000 people seeking a new...
(CNN 12/15/16)
In the sleepy, sun-blasted town of De Aar in central South Africa, a mighty force is stirring. The largest solar plant in Africa, Middle East and the Southern hemisphere was inaugurated here earlier this year, a 175-megawatt facility that spreads over almost 500 hectares. The facility is the brainchild of Solar Capital, led by hotel magnate turned solar evangelist Paschal Phelan, which ploughed $400 million into the venture. The plant supplies power to the National Grid, but when the heat is fiercest it produces far more than the Grid can use, and the excess power goes to waste. "It's like you have a Ferrari and you run a small car," says Massimiliano Salaorno, plant manager of Solar Capital De Aar...
(Agence Ecofin 12/14/16)
Mining firm Bushveld Minerals signed a deal, via its Greenhills Resources subsidiary, to acquire a 49% stake in Dawnmin Africa Investments, which owns 85% of the Uis tin mine, in Namibia. Under the agreement, Greenghills is to conduct due diligence on the project. If conclusive, the firm will acquire the 49% interest for about 41 million ordinary shares of Bushveld Minerals. The acquisition is however subject to regulatory approvals and to the negotiation for final agreement, including share purchase agreement. The Uis project which is situated in the Erongo region includes three mining permits namely, ML 134, ML 129 and ML 133. The ML 134 permit alone holds 70.3 million tons of resources grading 0.14% tin, thus 90,000 tons. Louis-Nino Kansoun
(AFP (eng) 12/14/16)
Family planning helps people in Africa to be healthier and wealthier, as women without contraceptives become locked in "a cycle of poverty," Melinda Gates told AFP as a conference on the topic was held in Ivory Coast. "When a woman has access to contraceptives she can lift herself out of poverty, and if she doesn't have access to contraceptives, it locks her inside a cycle of poverty for the rest of her life," said the wife of Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Bill Gates, whose foundation is very active in the field. Family planning has "huge health benefits for the woman and for her children, and it has economic benefits," Gates told AFP by telephone from the Ivorian economic capital Abidjan...
(Mining.com 12/13/16)
Namibia’s economy will get a significant boost next year from its uranium sector as the country’s newest mine begins production, making the African nation the world’s third largest producer of the radioactive metal. Domestic demand, however, will rise only gradually over 2017 as high levels of debt amongst citizens weigh on their disposable incomes, a report published Tuesday by BMI Research shows. The $2-billion Husab project, a joint venture between China General Nuclear Power Holding Corp (CGNPC) and local miner Swakop Uranium, is expected to produce up to 15-million pounds of uranium a year.
(The Namibian 12/13/16)
The levels of stunting amongst children in Namibia are still too high, global child rights advocate for the United Nations Children Fund (Unicef) Graca Machel has said. Machel was speaking at a gala dinner held in her honour by Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila last week. She was in Namibia with Unicef regional director for Eastern and Southern Africa Leila Pakkala for a three-day visit to lend support to government's efforts to reduce malnutrition amongst children, and accelerate the realisation of children's rights. Machel said one in four children in Namibia do not have the right size in terms of height, and one in eight children are much slimmer than what would be expected for their age. “It is too many...
(AFP (eng) 12/13/16)
The cocktails keep flowing by the pool on the tourist strip, but in The Gambia's markets many African migrant traders are packing up their businesses and heading home. The international community is piling pressure on President Yahya Jammeh to leave power after 22 years and hand over to opposition leader Adama Barrow, who won an election two weeks ago only for Jammeh to later reverse his original concession of defeat. Of the economy's two main sources of investment from abroad, tourism appears to be weathering the country's political storm far better than the thousands of petty traders who move to The Gambia from the rest of west Africa. President-elect Barrow told AFP on Monday claims that tourist numbers could be...
(Le Monde 12/09/16)
Dozens of politicians, diplomats, military and intelligence chiefs, members of the opposition and leading business figures were wiretapped across the continent. This rare overview of modern satellite espionage could hardly be less technical and abstract, for it not only names the victims of intercepts but also reveals the scale of a surveillance operation spanning an entire continent. That continent is Africa. New documents shown to Le Monde, in collaboration with The Intercept, from the data cache of the former NSA (National Security Agency) operative Edward Snowden, originally given to Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, offer unprecedented insight into information on twenty African countries collected by GCHQ, the British intelligence service, between 2009 and 2010. Dozens of lists of intercepts examined...

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