SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS VACATIONS® OFFERS AN AIR-INCLUSIVE “LOVE CAPE TOWN” PACKAGE FROM $1999*
February 5, 2018 | 0 Comments
Fort Lauderdale, FL (February 02, 2018) – Just in time to celebrate Valentine’s Day, South African Airways Vacations® (SAA Vacations®), the leisure division of South African Airways is offering a 5-night air-inclusive experience in the beautiful city of Cape Town. Starting at just $1,999* per person (restrictions apply) travel from New York – JFK between April 01 – May 31, 2018, and August 11-31, 2018 and enjoy the breathtaking views and exhilarating activities in sophisticated Cape Town.
SAA Vacations’® “Love Cape Town” package offers a stay in one of the hottest new hotels in the city center, Tsogo Sun’s Sun Square Cape Town City Bowl. This modern hotel boasts a hip and fresh edgy design, free wi-fi, an onsite restaurant serving complimentary breakfast daily, great service and personalized hospitality. With its convenient central location, travelers can explore the city of Cape Town, the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, iconic Table Mountain and Lion’s Head and the trendy neighborhood restaurants and club scene of the “Mother City”.
The “Love Cape Town” package includes a Cape Point bike & hike tour. A fun way to experience the sights and sounds of the picturesque Cape Peninsula exploring the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve and enjoying the breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean from the summit at the Cape Point lighthouse. Also included is a Hop on Hop off Red City Tour, the easiest and most convenient way to visit Table Mountain, explore the City Bowl, Camps Bay, and the Atlantic Seaboard for the complete Cape Town adventure.
“The Love Cape Town package provides what active travelers are asking for at an incredibly affordable price.” said Terry von Guilleaume, president of SAA Vacations®. “Experience the breathtaking scenery of Cape Town and the Cape Point Peninsula with an exciting bike & hike activity as well as a hop on hop off bus tour to stretch those legs!
This vacation package is a great introduction to the Mother City.”
“It’s fantastic to have a travel partner in South African Airways, which will make travelling to a worldclass destination more accessible. said Enver Duminy, CEO of Cape Town Tourism. The “Love Cape Town” package has been carefully selected to provide a wonderful introduction to some of the best bucket list attractions and experiences the city has to offer. We look forward to welcoming our visitors and sharing everything with them, from our natural environment to our award-winning restaurants and bars.”
SAA Vacations® “Love Cape Town” Package Includes:
• Round-trip Economy Class air transportation from New York JFK Airport to Cape Town on
South African Airways.
• 5-nights at the NEW Sun Square Cape Town City Bowl, on a bed and breakfast basis
• Full-day Cape Point, Bike and Hike Tour
• Full-day pass on the Hop on Hop off Red City Tour bus
• Airport transfers and meet and greet service by South African Airways Vacations
representative in South Africa
“Love Cape Town” package is available for new reservations made as of February 01, 2018. Travelers can book by calling 1-855-359-7228 or their professional travel consultant. South African Airways Vacations offers air-inclusive vacation options for all budgets, with their African Specialist available to ensure their clients experience the vacation of their dreams. For more vacation packages throughout Africa, please visit www.flysaavacations.com.
Running or Not, Joseph Kabila deserves credit for making the D.R.Congo a country-Information Minister Lambert Mende Omalanga
February 5, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Ajong Mbapndah L
As international and domestic pressure mounts on President Joseph Kabila to leave power, Information Minister Lambert Mende Omalanga says the embattled leader deserves credit for making the D.R.Congo a country.
Interviewed in Washington, DC, after meetings with Congressional leaders, State Department Officials, and human rights groups, Omalanga said the country that Joseph Kabila inherited in 2001, and what the D.R.Congo looks like today are like day and night. Unifying the D.R.Congo has been no easy feat, and critics should take that into consideration when tearing into President Kabila, Omalanga charged.
With a definite date now in place, continuous political agitations in the D.R.Congo today are uncalled for, said Omalanga. The elections will take place on December 23, 2018. The elections have been budgeted for, and there is an independent electoral commission in place to make sure the polls is credible.
Will President Kabila run in the 2018 elections? People will have to wait till June to find out Minister Omalanga said, though he conceded that after serving his two terms, only a referendum could amend the constitution for him to stand.
Responding to recent criticisms from civil society actors like Cardinal Monsengwo, Omalanga said the Catholic Church was over stepping its role. The date of the elections was done in consultation with church leaders, and their current criticisms of Kabila are baffling, he said.
Minister Omalanga also had harsh words for former colonial Belgium for ingerence in the internal affairs of the D.R.Congo. Belgium must understand that the D.R.Congo is an independent country capable of making its own decisions ,Omalanga said.
Mr Lambert Mende Omalanga, good afternoon sir
You are the minister of information for the Democratic Republic of Congo…
…and currently visiting in Washington DC. Welcome to Washington.
What brings you to Washington this time?
Well, I came for a visit in IOWA state University where I was invited. And before going back I was told by my President to bypass in Washington to speak with our friends in State Department as well in Open Society, who paid a visit to Congo recently ,and I had that meeting there in State Department yesterday and today at the Open Society. So, we spoke about current affairs in Congo, mostly about elections that is on the agenda now in our country.
Talking about elections, we’ll talk about that a lot , but your arrival in Washington DC coincided with a letter from a group of Senators to President Kabila trying to express interest to see him show more commitment towards elections. What is your response to that letter?
We are much surprised by this initiative of pushing a door that is opened already. We are having our already scheduled elections where everybody know that elections will take place on the 23rd of December, we have finalised the census of electors, that is the first stage . We are now going on preparing the polls as such, and I don’t know why they feel so impatient to ask our president to tell them what?
We are just on the planification, we are acting now, going straight to the elections, there is nothing that will prevent the elections from taking place. We have had some security problems, to that note some delays, security problems in Kasai, security problems in the eastern part of the country where we are facing terrorist offensive. We won those terrorist offensive, we had budget problems, and we won them thanks to the fact that our products like cobalt and copper got higher. Now we are surprised, we are more comfortable with budgets. So there is nothing that can prevent elections from taking place.
So Mr.Lambert Mende Omalanga you are reassuring everybody that elections in Congo will take place on the 23 December 2018?
That is our will, I am not here to assure or reassure anybody because we are not organising the elections for American people, we are organising elections for Congolese people. It is in our constitutional provision to organise elections every five years. So, we overpassed five years because of these problems we met, but now we won the problems.
It is only a matter of informing them that things have been now in a right better way, that the elections will be held on the 23rd of December. So somebody should believe, this habit of thinking that we are here to justify before them or what. We are organising elections for Congolese only and it will be organised because it is our will, it is our commitment, and it is our interest as a people.
And with the day now certain, why are Congolese people taking to the streets?They were in the street a few weeks back, and if I could bring up this reaction from Cardinal Monsengwo, he said “leave Congo, it’s becoming like a prison” in reaction to the crackdown that took place during the recent march. Why is all of these going on in Congo?
We think that as a democratic country people are free to express themselves, you know people can feel impatient and then we know that some members of the opposition feel impatient about the elections because we have passed two years before when the election had to be organised.what is surprising for us is that Catholic Church that should be more neutral in the politics, some members of the clergy of the Catholic Churches are mixing themselves in these political disputes. That’s the problem we are having, not all Catholic Church is against the government, it’s a part of Catholic Church, and you cited Cardinal Mosengwo, and not all Bishops are against the way things took place, we went on discussions and the facilitation’s with the Catholic bishops, and we came out with the schedule that postponed the elections to 23 of December, so we are happy with this.
Agreement that is 23 rd, the agreement that is been now implemented, so maybe Bishop Mosengwo has his own friends among us politicians. So, I think maybe politicians, that’s his problem, I can’t criticise him, but I can’t I fall off this idea of him bringing ill comments like that.
Mr Minister, you said Congolese are free to express themselves democratically. Now when they go to the street to protest, why was the response from the military so violent? Because from the response that we got, a number of people were killed. Why were people killed when they were trying to express their democratic rights?
Let me explain to you what happened. We had two protests, two demonstrations, one happened on the 31st of December last year, the second one 21st Of January this year. And in the first demonstration, we didn’t have even a single dead person linked to the demonstration, we had a policeman killed after the demonstration due to a confrontation between the police and a gang of people operating, this was out of the demonstration. We had two people who tried to take advantage of the demonstration to loot a commercial estate where they found death when they were fighting with the security personnel of the estate. And we had also a guy who died while the terrorist group attacked the Kananga airport, this is at 2,000 kilometres from Kinshasa. That amounts to five people, no one linked to the protest. So it is a lie if someone tells you that during the 31st of December protest last year somebody died. But they are saying so because opposition needs to say things that can hamper the government, they can say things that can compromise our chance to have a good image towards our people. I hear them saying so. The second protest that we have had in the country occurred around 21st Of January this year and we had two people dying, one was shot by a policeman who claimed self-defence. We launched an investigation team which said the policeman was saying a lie, we called the martial team, he is now facing his judge. The second one, inquiries are still going on because the medical personnel of the hospital called Kitambo hospital saw people bringing a lady wounded, and when they asked people who brought that lady who they are, and what happened, those people escaped and the lady died after all. So, how can we say it is the police who killed her, so we don’t know exactly what happened with that lady, so we do acknowledge a single wrongdoing with our police, and this policeman was notified, is court martialed and we are awaiting the justice to take a decision about him, that is the rule of law in any state.
Prior to your arrival in Washington, in what shape did you leave Congo? How is Congo doing economically? How is Congo doing politically, besides this protest how is Congo doing politically as a country?
Politically, I can tell you that people are really now totally devoted to wait and prepare for the third election since we have adopted the new constitution. That is the third election we are going to handle and people are of course excited about it. And mostly those who are interested in running for presidency, for parliamentship, for local parliamentship, so that is it. Economically we are doing well, we had what we can say a short budget last year due to the lack of means due to the bad prices of the products we had to sell in the international market, like copper, like cobalt. But lucky enough, we have witnessed the amelioration of these prices, that helped us to finance ourselves, our elections. And those people around the world who promised a lot and didn’t bring anything, we were able to finance our elections by ourselves due to this amelioration of our budget so we are doing great economically.
And your country is so rich when it comes to resources.
How is the investment climate like? Because, when people talk about Congo, the image they have e is still one of instability. What can you tell International investors? Is your country open and ready for investment? And does it have the right climate for these companies to come in and invest?
Well you know that it is not enough to have resources to be developed, you need a framework of security, you need a framework of peace, that is what we need really restored in our country. And you know that since 60’s, since we have gotten independence from Belgium, we have been the target of some new colonial policies mostly from western countries- mostly from Europe, mostly from Belgium. They killed Lumumba three months after independence because he wanted us to enjoy fully our independence, and so they are continuing with our leaders now, they killed Laurent Kabila, they are trying now to threaten Joseph Kabila. The one who will come and let’s say will decide to give them our wealth will be their target also. So we have to fight to maintain our freedom as a people, to maintain our right, our wealth, that is the main challenge we are facing, but we are also fighting to make investment to be more easy- possible. And we have a written code of investment that tries to give confidence to investors and those who are confiding us by coming, because not all the counties need security. We have security in north kivu province, maybe two counties, we have security in Kasai province, maybe two counties out of 150 countries. So the remaining, there is peace, there is calm. And the people who want to come can be aware that there is peace and they will enjoy facilities, the roles of investment provides for them.
Let’s go back to elections, what is it that the government of President Kabila is doing to ensure make sure that this elections are free, fair and with results that all the Congolese people will be able to accept.
The thing is that Congolese have decided to make elections to be organised by an independent body. You know in most countries, you find that elections are being organised by the government- by internal affair ministries, but in our country, we have decided to build up an independent electoral commission that is comprised of opposition members, majority members, civil society, and this commission is headed by a civil society member. So, this is a way we found to neutralise politically the electoral body, and this commission is independent towards the government, towards foreign interest, and towards anybody, be it the Catholic Church or what. Everybody who has private interest cannot give instruction to that commission, that is the first decision, our people took, not the government, it is in the constitution of our country. Secondly, we have decided that now we have to make a schedule, to make a calendar and the calendar was published this year, that is why I can say that we are sure now that on the 23rd of December, we shall have the elections, presidential one, legislative one national and local on the same day that was decided when we discussed majority, opposition and the civil society. In December 2016 we decided so and it is going to happen. That is what I can say and since the schedule are being published and we are following the schedule, and we decide that we have to start by revising the electoral list, and we have finished revising that list. And I think that is a signal that things are following their way to help bring us to elections exactly on a date that is convenient for everybody- on the 23rd of December this year.
There seems to be a lot of mistrust from the opposition when it comes to President Kabila, they both think that he has not been sincere to some of his promises in the past. And when I spoke to one of them about a week ago, his fear was that President Kabila might run again whereas he is not supposed to, he is your president, you are his minister, is he, would he be part of this presidential election, is he going to run?
My dear let me tell, you that if there’s no mistrust between the opposition and the president then there would not be opposition, they would all be for the government. So, it’s because there is mistrust that there is opposition, they don’t trust us, and so doing we don’t trust them. We think they have sold to foreign interest, we are accusing them, that they have sold to this new colonial. Is it true?, it is not true, but it is our conviction, like its their conviction that we might do some tricks to have President Kabila changing the constitution, but how will he do such without referendum, and there is no referendum ready on the agenda. So, he must wait , we are waiting for polls to take place, from June we shall start having the candidates, they will see if Kabila will be candidate, but I know that the constitution forbids anybody who have had two terms like President Kabila to run again. So, since we have not yet seen Kabila saying that he will run, nobody can say that he is trying to change that, I can say that maybe you’re trying to kill me this evening when you are not trying to kill me. This is what we call in French “proces d’intention” ‘(speaks French) -(witch hunt)I don’t know what you say in English, you think to judge me by intention by what you think I could think, so it is difficult, you better wait. if I do any wrongdoing then you judge me, but you cannot just say that I will do wrong and convince yourself and convince everybody that I will do something wrong, nothing wrong have been done till now, and there is no referendum, no change of constitution and Kabila will not run because you cannot run with this constitution, and you can’t change the constitution without a referendum, that’s all.
One of the leading opposition candidates Moise katumbi, he has been in exile now for a while and he says he is fearful for his life. So, is there anyway that the democratic space can be open in a way that people like him can come in to contest if they want, so that the election can have more credibility
That’s bogus, because one should ask how Mr Katumbi came out of the country, how did he get out, Mr.Katumbi was already a candidate, he announced himself that he was a candidate for the presidency, but Mr Katumbi has problems with the judiciary, he has problems with other Congolese, they know he stole property of other people and they brought him to court, and he was asked to appear before the court, then he said that he is sick and he needs to come abroad for treatment, and the prosecutor said to the government this man is saying he’s sick, I think I’m going to allow him go for treatment. If the government really wanted to kill Mr.Katumbi will the government have allowed Mr.Katumbi to come abroad?
No, we said okay if he is sick, let him go, but nobody is preventing him to come back, it is a lie, he is here because the government accepted the proposal from the prosecutor to send him abroad and he was supposed to come for treatment, and then come back, finalise with the justice and do whatever he wants, so nobody is preventing him. He is using only the fact that he is abroad to make his propaganda out of the tide, that’s wrong, nobody prevented him to leave the country, nobody will prevent him to come back, but nobody will interfere in the course of justice, because this is a problem between him, those who have grievance against him and the justice, not the government because there is a strict separation of power, we are executive, the judiciary is a power that is independent so Katumbi has to finalise his problem with the judiciary, he should leave the executive alone, he has a problem with the judiciary, and we have some people in Nigèr, we have people in Senegal who while having problems with the judiciary they ran for elections. Until the day you are condemned you can run for elections, nobody preventsatumbi to run for elections, this is a lie totally.
Opposition leaders again said that President Kabila has really done nothing of substance to improve Congo or to improve the lives of the Congolese people. Now you have been in power since 2001 and you have served in these government in different capacities for a very long time too, What has his government achieved for the Congolese people since he took over power in 2001
Only someone who was not in Congo in 2001 can say so, only someone who does not know Congo can say so, in which state Kabila found Congo, Congo was divided in three countries, there was a program to balkanise Congo, to separate Congo. We had a Congo that was belonging to Uganda, we had a Congo that was belonging to Rwanda, and that was the exact Congo which the government and Kabila managed to reunite, that’s a big achievement, to make Congo remain United that’s something people of Congo are very grateful to President Kabila for, you don’t really think that a country like Congo in 2001 when Kabila the senior was killed, nobody was thinking that Congo will remain Congo as it is today, but Kabila managed, made his effort to maintain the unity of this country, that is, our first strength to have this country developed, you have to be a country before you can be developed, that’s what he did, that’s the answer I can give. Maybe they found problems of security he built an army, we didn’t have an army by them, now we are 10th along the 54 armies in Africa, it is he who did it. Our first problem was a security problem and he solved it, so you can’t make miracles on every ways, maybe the others will solve other problems but at least he maintained the reunification of Congo, he maintained that Congo United, one should be grateful to him for that. That’s the reality.
With regards to the international community, a lot interest is shown when it come to Congo, what message do you have for them, how do you think they can be of greater help to your country, as you go through this up coming electoral process.
Well, a lot has been promised by our partners of international community, we shall do so, we shall help for the electoral process, so and so, but we didn’t see a single coin given to Congo, lucky enough we have resources we allocated for our elections.
We are the owners of the country, we are the ones to budget, we are the ones to finance, we made sacrifices and we found money. So, if they want to finance let it be, it can help us maybe to take some other money to send for development. If they don’t have money let Congolese alone solve their problems that is our problem. But we are seeing mostly from Europe, exceptionally from Belgium the former colonial power, they are the one who are trying to create problems among Congolese, to oppose Congolese against each another, in order to dissolve the unity of the country, and to try to exploit it for their own benefits, so leave Congolese alone, we are not a paradise maybe, but if we are left alone solving our own problems, following our own will, we are sure that we will solve the problems of development in Congo.
So, the problem is this interference from Western countries, from Belgium, and we are landing now in a very hot dispute with Belgium as we are talking. We do not have an Ambassador from Belgium in Kinshasa, we do not have an Ambassador of Congo in Brussels, we thought that when they killed Lumumba it was enough, that we have paid the cost by the blood of Lumumba, it seems like it is not enough, and for us we feel baffled.
Mr minister, can you shed more light on the problem that Congo has with Belgium, we will like to know a little more of what is the issue?
You have to hear in Belgium a coalition in power who wants to bring us in the Situation we were before independence that Congo should belong to Belgium, we can’t belong to Belgium it’s impossible, we are independent, and we feel really independent, and we are proud of our independence, and we think the death Lumumba paid for our independence, and nobody can take us again as slaves, as a colonised country, that this Belgium they are trying to colonise us again, and we do refuse, and they are helping people like Mr Katumbi and others to bring us back to that situation of 60s, that’s the only problem we are having with them in summary.
A quick question again on the security situation in Congo. How is it, is the country actually secured? are the borders secured? is the military actually in control of all the Congolese country?
We are in full control of all territory except two territory, two counties. I told you that out of 160 in the border of Uganda where we are experiencing very hard offensive of terrorists we call ADF, those are Ugandans rebels they are fighting their own government of Uganda, they went on alliance with al-Shabab from Somalia and they are using these two territories of our country North kivu to fight their government and they are killing our people also, killing our soldiers, killing even the peace keepers of United Nations mostly Tanzanians, South Africans and from Malawi who came to help to secure that part of the country we are having this problem. We had problems last year with a terror offensive that happened in Kasai that’s in the central region, but this we dealt with it ourselves, our own army maintained this, we arrested the terrorist, they are now brought to court, they are responding now to the judges who are judging them, and they are going to be sentenced, but our law is sane and for the rest of the country living in peace and waiting for elections.
So, are there any prospect that your country The DR Congo can work with Uganda to try to resolve the security problems with these two regions that you are talking about ?
No, only one because the other one is in the central we can’t work with any neighbouring countries, but near Uganda we do work with Uganda, but Uganda is not allowed to send in troops because we had bad experience when they came with Rwanda last year to invade our country, so we accepted only exchange of information, exchange of intelligence materials so it is what is been done, and it works we send them some information, they send our military some information and anybody in his territory can cope with his bandit, that’s what we are doing.
I know you are tired, you’ve had a long day, but we will soon wrap this up. When you read human right reports about Congo, from Amnesty International, from Human Rights Watch and from other groups, you see all these stories about rape, you see stories people been arrested. What’s your reaction to that?
I told them when I met them today, and I told them look; it is not good to try to live off other people’s problems. You are trying to make your food on the problems of Congolese, we have problems with two NGOs Human right watch and Fédération Nationale des ligues des droits de l’homme, a French human right group. let me give you two cases Human Rights Watch went on saying that we met security problems some days ago in Goma, Kinshasa or else where, we went to recruit former rebels of M23, those are some of our compatriots, some of them are Tutsi, some are Hutu, because they are the same people in Kivu province and in Rwanda, so they wrote that we went to hire those people, the Tutsi among them to come and help our army to kill other Congolese in Goma, and in Kinshasa. When we have an army of 160,000 military personnel, why should we go and hire 200 poor people who are on exile, we defeated them, they ran away so we go to take them to come and crush our people. But, what happened, those people in Kivu said ooh, look human right have said that you went to hire Tutsi against us, it brought inter ethnic battle between Tutsi, Congolese and other tribes in Congo. So, we said human right watch you are responsible for this renewing of inter ethnic clashes in Congo, this is not good, you can’t do so because you need to have budget, to have so and so you have to say something. It is stupidity .
Secondly, in the Kasai the (French name) said that, the government went on recruiting non Luba people to crush Luba people, and they start fighting in the kasai, those people who were living with good intelligence between them started clashing between them because of this report of NGO from Paris, imagine, and it was false, it was a fake report. Why are you trying to make your food on the suffering of poor Congolese people, that’s the problem we are having with these NGOs, it’s too injurious .
You are visiting in the United States, and when you see the way politics is done here, a few weeks ago there was this reaction from President Trump that created a lot of misinterpretation, how did you people in the Congo Interpret the statement from Donald Trump referring to African countries in a certain way?
I’m not aware that he was referring to African countries, I read a letter he wrote to our heads of states that are gathering in Addis Ababa, it is a good letter, and I’m sure that USA has no colonial experience, it has no colonial past, so we don’t have a problem with the United States till now, when we have a problem we shall say, nobody will prevent us from speaking, until now we leave them in peace
Mr Lambert Mende Omalanga thank you very much. Any last words?
You are welcome, thank you
RANDGOLD TO ENGAGE AT TOP LEVEL WITH CONGOLESE GOVERNMENT ON NEW MINING CODE
February 5, 2018 | 0 Comments
Cape Town, 4 February 2018 – Randgold Resources says it is engaging at the highest level with the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo to head off the enactment of a new mining code which the company believes will severely limit the growth of the mining industry in the DRC as well as the country’s own economic prospects. The new code was passed by both houses of parliament last week but still has to be signed by the president before it becomes law.
Chief executive Mark Bristow, in Cape Town for the Mining Indaba, said since the new code surfaced in draft form in 2014 the mining industry had made detailed and repeated representations to the Congolese Ministry of Mines about what it regarded as very serious flaws in its provisions.
“It is therefore very disappointing to see that none of our proposals and comments are reflected in the legislation, which is in fact more draconian in its final form than earlier drafts. Among other things, it attempts to scrap the 10-year stability clause enshrined in the 2002 code, which was the basis on which Randgold and other mining companies invested in the DRC. In fact, when Randgold and AngloGold Ashanti bought the project which became the Kibali mine, we sought and received a formal written declaration from the DRC government which entrenches our rights under the 2002 code and confirms that the law would be honoured in respect not only of Kibali but also any permit renewals,” he said.
“It is our express wish that the government grasps the serious consequences this ill-considered code will have on its ability as a country to attract international investment and re-investment to the DRC, and to refer the code back to the ministry of mines for further consultation with the industry. If this fails, however, we shall seek to enforce our rights including those which provide for international arbitration.”
Starving in the land of plenty: Cape Town’s water woes
February 4, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Prince Kurupati*
The Cape Times of 16 April 1990 carried a story written by Barry Streek titled, “City (Cape Town) will run out of water in 17 years.” According to Barry’s timeframe, this meant Cape Town would run out of water in 2007. Things did not go that way unfortunately for Barry but ‘fortunately’ for the people of Cape Town. Though his timeframe failed him, Barry was indeed right when it came to the main message he was trying to bring out and that is, Cape Town was to have water problems in the near future.
The day of reckoning predicted by Barry 27 years ago is around the corner. Cape Town is fast running out of water and official reports from both local and national government state that in the following two months, Cape Town’s water taps will run dry. That will be ‘Day Zero’.
As the old saying goes, “Water is life” the shortage of water definitely worries not only Cape Town residents but everyone in the region because it puts the lives of many people in danger. As such, a collective effort is needed in seeking solutions for this water challenge. However, before we go into that, how did it all start?
How did it all start?
According to experts, there are two reasons that brought Cape Town here. These are the changing climatic conditions and the ever-growing population. Cape Town like Australia is traditionally a dry area; as such, it is most affected by extreme weather patterns. The changing climatic conditions in recent years contribute largely to Cape Town water shortages because as the rainfall amount each year decreased, so did the water stored in rivers and dams.
Additionally, the ever-growing population exacerbated by the high numbers of foreign immigrants’ means there is more demand for limited water supplies.
However, despite all the negatives, climate change, ever growing population and depleting reservoirs, I think Cape Town is at best a resemblance of the biblical saying, “a starving belly in the land of plenty.” There is one reason I say so and that has to do with technology.
They say it’s very expensive and difficult to process seawater, that desalinisation is more strenuous and expensive than recycling. This may be true, no doubt, but when faced with a problem with a magnitude as big as Cape Town is facing, then it’s past the time for complaining about how expensive it is more so for a country with an economy that is ranked as one of the biggest on the continent.
A more focused and concerted approach to cultivating seawater into safe drinking water is the only way to go and can be done with much ease if the requisite resources are channelled towards one common goal. Below are some methods of desalinisation the government of South Africa and Cape Town residents can look at that can work for the city to eliminate this challenge.
For all other purposes except cooking and drinking, vacuum distillation can ease Cape Town’s water woes. Vacuum distillation simply entails the boiling of seawater. By boiling seawater, the impurities settle at the bottom. This then means you can use the boiled water in the toilet and for other cleaning tasks without the worry of destroying steel pipes.
Another easy homemade desalinisation method is reverse osmosis. All you have to do is purchase a large piece of cloth if you do not already own one. With that piece of cloth, you have to ‘sieve’ seawater separating the impurities from the clean water. Water from reverse osmosis though not totally recommended for consumption can be used for other house chores.
Besides these, communities and start-ups can utilise any of the following to ease the water challenge, membrane distillation, electrodialysis reversal, solar evaporation, freeze-thaw, vapour compression distillation, multi-effect distillation, and multi-stage flash distillation.
They say in challenges and problems lie opportunities, the Cape Town water problem presents several opportunities for start-ups looking to make a name for themselves.
Unprecedented worldwide support for the Global Partnership for Education and addressing the global learning crisis
February 3, 2018 | 0 Comments
|Significant new financial commitments from donors and developing countries will enable new and improved support for the education of millions of children|
DAKAR, Senegal, February 3, 2018/ — Ten current and three former heads of state and more than 60 ministers gathered at the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) Financing Conference (www.GlobalPartnership.org), making this the highest-level education financing event of its kind.
The conference, co-hosted by President Macky Sall of the Republic of Senegal and President Emmanuel Macron of the French Republic, marks the first time an education financing conference has been hosted by a G7 leader and the president of a developing country.
More than 1200 participants attended including leaders from UNESCO, UNICEF, the World Bank, civil society, philanthropic foundations and the private sector. Rihanna, GPE’s Global Ambassador supported by Global Citizen, also participated.
The size and nature of the attendance at the conference was a visible demonstration of the strengthened global political will to ensure every child is in school and learning. This heightened momentum will enable the Global Partnership for Education to reach the goal of providing US$2 billion a year by 2020 for education planning and delivery to support children’s learning in developing countries.
Donor countries pledged US$2.3 billion in financing to GPE. This is a substantial increase in funding compared to the US$1.3 billion contributed over the past three years. In addition, several donor countries have indicated their intention to pledge further funds over the course of the financing period.
The biggest source of education financing comes from developing countries themselves. More than 50 developing countries announced they would increase public expenditures for education for the period 2018 to 2020 to a total of US$110 billion, compared to US$80 billion between 2015 and 2017.
GPE encourages developing countries to increase their share of education spending to 20% of their overall budget. Of those governments committing today, over two-thirds will have reached that goal by 2020.
“I am energized by the generosity and determination we have seen here today to ensure every child and young person has access to a quality education. After today’s commitments, we are seeing a clear trend to seriously address the global learning crisis” said Julia Gillard, Board Chair of the Global Partnership for Education and former Prime Minister of Australia. “The success of the conference marks a turning point for global political support for education financing and brings a new breadth and depth to our partnership.”
At the conference, the United Arab Emirates joined GPE, becoming the first Arab donor and pledging US$100 million. Senegal, in addition to pledging to increase its own expenditure on education, became GPE’s first African donor. The Netherlands and Spain renewed their involvement, and China attended for the first time.
“The unprecedented support today means that the Global Partnership for Education can continue to focus on the most excluded and vulnerable children and work to extend assistance to up to 89 countries, which are home to 870 million children and 78 percent of the world’s out-of-school children,” said Alice Albright, Chief Executive Officer, Global Partnership for Education.
The Global Partnership for Education’s funding model is a catalyst for education investment, working hand in hand with governments of low-income and lower middle-income countries to strengthen their education systems. The Global Partnership for Education supports governments to develop robust national education plans so that funds can then be channeled into their priority areas with confidence that they will contribute to improved quality of education for all children.
The conference was sponsored by: Ecobank, the Pan African Bank; Fondation Sonatel; and Altissia, and supported by Girls Not Brides; Global Campaign for Education; Global Citizen; Malala Fund; ONE; Plan International; RESULTS; and Women Deliver.
ARC and UN Partner to Increase Insurance Coverage in Africa
February 2, 2018 | 0 Comments
ADDIS ABABA – The African Risk Capacity (ARC), an agency of the African Union, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) have announced a new partnership which will see the two organisations work together to increase insurance coverage against climate risks for African states.
The multilateral deal was announced at the African Union’s Annual Summit in Addis Ababa, and commits ARC and ECA to build the capacity of their 33 common Member States by embedding risk management investments into government planning through policy development. ARC and ECA also will share expertise and commit financial resources to joint analytical work in areas of economic and climate risk research in order to promote risk transfer instruments.
The UN estimates that Africa will see the adaptation costs of climate change rise to $50 billion per year by 2050.
“This partnership marks a bold new phase of heightened collaboration on combatting the effects of climate change in Africa,” said Mohamed Beavogui, Director-General of ARC Agency. “The future of disaster risk management is an increasingly urgent economic issue, and ECA’s unique expertise will complement ARC’s work serving its Member States and building preparedness and resilience on the continent.”
In the four years that ARC has offered insurance coverage to its Member States, it has paid out more than USD $34 million to Member States affected by drought events. These resources have assisted over two million people affected by climate disaster.
“Climate change is one of the biggest threats to Africa’s economic and social development,” said ECA Executive Secretary Vera Songwe. “We believe that efforts like our partnership with ARC will help move the needle, so that African countries can be well-guarded against these threats, and they can thrive.”
ECA is a UN regional commission established by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations (UN) in 1958. ECA’s mandate is to promote the economic and social development of its member States, foster intra-regional integration, and promote international cooperation for Africa’s development. Made up of 54 Member States, and playing a dual role as a regional arm of the UN and as a key component of the African institutional landscape, ECA is well positioned to make unique contributions to address the Continent’s development challenges.
ECA’s strength derives from its role as the only UN agency mandated to operate at the regional and sub-regional levels to harness resources and bring them to bear on Africa’s priorities. To enhance its impact, ECA places a special focus on collecting up to date and original regional statistics in order to ground its policy research and advocacy on clear objective evidence; promoting policy consensus; providing meaningful capacity development; and providing advisory services in key thematic fields.
ARC consists of ARC Agency and ARC Insurance Company Limited (ARC Ltd). ARC Agency was established in 2012 as a Specialised Agency of the African Union to help Member States improve their capacities to better plan, prepare and respond to weather-related disasters. ARC Ltd is a mutual insurance facility providing risk transfer services to Member States through risk pooling and access to reinsurance markets; it is owned by Member States with active insurance policies as well as KfW Development Bank and the UK Department of International Development (DfiD), as capital contributors.
ARC plays an important role in responding to countries’ needs at times of crisis by providing fast access to funding for pre-agreed-upon, rapid response plans developed in conjunction with governments. ARC’s financing complements other forms of local and international support.
In the few years since ARC began, it has proved to be an effective and vital model – paying out USD $34 million to four countries (Senegal, Niger, Mauritania, and Malawi) affected by drought events. Those resources provided assistance for over two million people and approximately one million cattle.
ARC is using its expertise to help tackle some of the greatest threats faced by the continent, including droughts, outbreaks and epidemics, and tropical cyclones.
For more information, please visit: www.africanriskcapacity.org
African Reinsurance Corporation joins Africa Finance Corporation
February 2, 2018 | 0 Comments
LAGOS, Nigeria, 1 February 2018,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- African Reinsurance Corporation (“Africa Re”) announces its membership of Africa Finance Corporation (“AFC”), and becomes the first multi-lateral financial institution to invest in AFC.
Africa Re, owned by 41 African states, approximately 107 insurance/reinsurance companies and non-African strategic investors, is the continent’s premier reinsurance corporation, operating across 41 African countries. Africa Re’s membership of AFC will be officially sealed at a signing ceremony to be held in Lagos, Nigeria, on February 1, 2018.
Africa Re’s membership of AFC advances AFC’s growth strategy for its country membership and greater diversification of its shareholding. In recent months, AFC has grown its country membership in Francophone, East and Southern Africa, with the accession in 2017 of Benin, Kenya and Zambia, respectively. AFC now seeks to consolidate this success by further expanding its shareholder base.
Andrew Alli, President and CEO of AFC commented: “We welcome African Reinsurance Corporation (Africa Re) as a member and shareholder of AFC. As the first multilateral financial institution to become a member of AFC, this is a key milestone for us, as the Corporation seeks to further diversify its shareholding. We are, therefore, pleased to welcome Africa’s premier reinsurance corporation into membership of AFC and look forward to collaborating with Africa Re to provide innovative solutions to the development and financing of infrastructure assets in Africa.”
Corneille Karekezi, Group Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of Africa Re, commented: “As a Corporation with both private and public shareholders, we see many synergies with AFC in the pursuit of African continent development agenda as well as business growth. Indeed, we have long admired AFC, and the transformative impact it has made across many of the geographies in which we operate, whilst delivering competitive returns. We are therefore delighted to become a part of one of Africa’s best success stories.”
Greenpeace Africa’s Executive Director Wins a Prestigious Human Rights Award
January 31, 2018 | 0 Comments
|Njeri has mentored many and her recent advances in the environmental protection crowns her lifelong commitment to human rights promotion and protection|
|NAIROBI, Kenya, January 30, 2018/ — Greenpeace Africa’s (www.Greenpeace.org/africa) Executive Director, Njeri Kabeberi, has won the 2017 Munir Mazrui ‘Lifetime Achievement Human Rights Defenders Award’ in a ceremony organised by the National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders (NCHRD-K) at the Royal Netherlands embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. This is one of three categories of Human Rights Defenders (HRD) Awards launched in 2016 to recognise and honour the work of human rights defenders in Kenya.
NCHRD-K is a national organization that promotes the safety and security of human rights defenders in Kenya through advocacy, capacity building and protection. It works in partnership with a Working Group on the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, chaired by the Royal Netherlands Embassy.
Announcing the award, Kamau Ngugi, Executive Director of the HRDs coalition in Kenya said:
“Njeri is a selfless Woman Human Rights Defender who has broken chains of patriarchy to lead successful campaigns for justice, good governance and human rights in Kenya and beyond. Njeri has mentored many and her recent advances in the environmental protection crowns her lifelong commitment to human rights promotion and protection that deserves recognition and celebration.”
Upon receiving the award, Njeri Kabeberi said she was humbled and honoured.
“Despite having received a number of International Awards this is the first time I have been recognised in my own country – and since it is said that a ‘prophet is never recognised in their own home’, this then becomes the biggest victory and the sweetest award to date.”
“Human rights defenders’ work is lonely and hardly appreciated but I know that focus, persistence and resilience always cause the desired impact. We earn our freedom when we learn to face fear head on; that is what others call courage” continued Ms. Kabeberi.
Njeri’s activism career spans over three decades; as a young girl in 1982, she quietly began supporting mothers and wives of political prisoners but her human rights work was only thrown into limelight a decade later when she was invited to the late Prof. Wangari Maathai’s house to join the organization of the campaign to release Kenyan political prisoners.
With this long history in human rights activism, Njeri is now leading Greenpeace Africa into a new wave of environmental justice for Africans by Africans. Human rights is inextricably linked to climate change.
“If we won the human rights and governance battle, but lost our planet, we would have lost everything.”
“My current vision is to build an Environmental Movement in Africa so powerful that African citizens begin to take responsibility for their future. This can be achieved by restoring the continent through green pathways and seeking global environmental justice to mitigate climate change impacts” concluded Kabeberi.
Africa Business and Investment Forum set for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
January 29, 2018 | 0 Comments
Washington, DC – January 29, 2018: A high level public- private sector dialogue on ways of supporting and promoting private-sector led growth in Africa will take place on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The African Business and Investment Forum will serve as a platform for African and U.S. private sector executives to share insights with African heads of state, ministers, senior USG officials, representatives of multilateral institutions and other stakeholders.
The one-day Forum will feature roundtable discussions on issues related to trade and diversification, energy, agribusiness, and health. This will ensure that private sector voices and views are heard by leaders and key stakeholders, and that the day-to-day challenges faced by private sector operators in Africa are addressed.
Among the more than 150 expected participants are Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia; President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique; President Paul Kagame of Rwanda; President Alpha Condé of Guinea; President Macky Sall of Senegal; President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda; President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger; President João Lourenço of Angola; and President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya; CEOs and senior executives of key U.S and African companies, both multinationals and SMEs will also attend.
In addition to providing a platform for a high-level public-private sector dialogue, the objectives of the Forum are to increase opportunities for business partnerships, secure commitments as well as track the adoption of business-friendly policies, and showcase countries and policies that are contributing to an enabling environment for enhanced African regional and global trade and investment, including with the United States.
The Africa Business and Investment Forum is organized by the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) in partnership with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). ECA’s Executive Secretary, Vera Songwe, and CCA’s President and CEO, Florizelle Liser, will be representing the two organizing institutions at the event.
CCA, as the premier U.S. business association solely focused on promoting U.S.-Africa trade, investment and business engagement, will bring its 23-year expertise of successfully providing insights, connections and access critical to U.S. and African businesses operating on the continent.
ECA provides a unique platform for intermediation between the public and the private sector policies and programs, offering solutions and support to accelerate sustainable private sector development on the continent.
ARSENAL CLOSE IN ON £55M AUBAMEYANG SIGNING
January 29, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Chris Wheatley*
Arsenal are on the verge of completing the signing of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund after the clubs agreed a £55 million (€63m) fee in principle, Goal understands.
Aubameyang, 28, has been subject of negotiations between the Gunners and Dortmund for several weeks, with Arsenal having refused to meet the Bundesliga side’s €70m asking price.
Goal understands the Gabon international has already agreed personal terms with the north Londoners, with an official announcement to arrive in the coming days.
The striker, who scored 31 league goals last season, was left out of two consecutive games for Dortmund after missing a team meeting, with head coach Peter Stoger accusing the frontman of not being focused.
However, Aubameyang started in Dortmund’s draw with Freiburg on Saturdayamid claims from the Bundesliga side that a transfer would be sanctioned if Arsenal reached “certain parameters”.
“We are ready to agree a transfer under certain parameters, but only if these are fully met,” sporting director Michael Zorc told German TV.
“We have a clear position. Arsenal has made several attempts so far. We have refused them all up to now.”
Aubameyang would join up with former Dortmund team-mate Henrikh Mkhitaryan at Arsenal after the Armenian joined in a swap deal which saw Alexis Sanchez head to Manchester United. The duo combined for 62 goals in all competitions two seasons ago.
This season, Aubameyang has scored 21 goals in 24 matches in all competitions. He has found the net 141 times since joining BVB from Saint-Etienne for €13m in July 2013, and he also has 23 goals in 56 caps for Gabon.
The 28-year-old’s on the verge of joining an Arsenal side that sit sixth in the Premier League table, five points off the pace in the race for the top four.
The Gunners were eliminated in their FA Cup third round meeting with Nottingham Forest earlier this month but have advanced to the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City and will face Swedish side Ostersunds in the Europa League last 32.
As previously reported, West Brom defender Jonny Evans is also a target at the Emirates Stadium, although a hamstring injury sustained at the weekend could see a transfer put on hold until the summer.
Evans is open to a move, but Arsenal may face a late battle, with the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City also keen to land the former Manchester United player, depending on his fitness status.
Diafra Sakho: Striker leaves West Ham to join French club Rennes
January 29, 2018 | 0 Comments
West Ham forward Diafra Sakho has joined French Ligue 1 club Rennes for an undisclosed fee.
The 28-year-old Senegalese, who joined the Hammers from Metz in 2014, scored 24 goals in 71 games for the club.
Sakho’s career at West Ham began well as he equalled a Premier League record by scoring in his first six starts.
However, injuries hampered the rest of his time at the club and he has started only two Premier League matches since the start of the 2016-17 season.
China dismisses ‘absurd’ African Union HQ spying claim
January 29, 2018 | 0 Comments
China has dismissed reports it bugged the African Union (AU) headquarters as “preposterous”.
Kuang Weilin, the Chinese ambassador to the AU, told reporters in Ethiopia the “absurd” claim in France’s Le Monde was “very difficult to understand”.
He spoke out three days after the newspaper published an article claiming data from the Chinese-built AU building was being copied to Shanghai.
The article said the discovery resulted in all the AU servers being switched.
Le Monde spoke to a number of anonymous sources, who claimed the alleged transfer was taking place late at night [link in French], and was only spotted in January 2017 due to the spike in activity between midnight and 02:00, despite no-one being in the building.
It was suggested the alleged data transfer had been taking place since 2012, when the building, in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, was opened.
Officials also brought in security experts from Algeria to sweep the entire headquarters for potential bugs, the newspaper said, leading to the discovery of microphones in desks.
But Mr Kuang – who hailed the headquarters as a “monument” to his country’s relationship with the continent – said it was entirely untrue.
“I really question its intention,” he told reporters on Monday. “I think it will undermine and send a very negative message to people. I think it is not good for the image of the newspaper itself.
“Certainly, it will create problems for China-Africa relations.”