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Zexit: New Era or New Error
February 12, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Prince Kurupati*

End of the road for Zuma?

End of the road for Zuma?

Jacob Zuma’s days as the President of South Africa are numbered. The ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC) will meet today and on top of the agenda is the fate of Zuma. Reports from various quarters including some high-ranking officials suggest that the NEC meeting slated for today will ultimately force Zuma’s hand into submitting a resignation letter. The man expected to ascend to the Presidency for the remainder of Zuma’s term is his deputy and newly elected ANC President, Cyril Ramaphosa.

It really does not matter now whether today’s NEC meeting will mark the last day in office of Jacob Zuma or not because what is clear is that he (Zuma) will not finish his term. What it then means is that he follows in the footsteps of Thabo Mbeki, a former President who also followed the same fate that Zuma is facing today.

It seems it’s becoming a trend in the ANC that a sitting President does not finish his term if an elective congress is held just before the next elections. If unabated this trend will ultimately become a danger to the ANC because either willing and able candidates will shun entering the election race fearing future humiliation or an incumbent will end manipulating the system so that s/he does not end up falling where many others have. Whether the ANC should change the timing of its elective congress or not is a question of another day, today we want to look at some of the possible ramifications of the decision soon to be taken by the NEC and or the Parliament (Vote of no confidence) if the NEC fails to convince Zuma to resign.

New Era

Those agitating for a change in personnel in the country’s Presidency suggest that the change in personnel will subsequently lead to a change in how the government runs operate and to some extent will mark a change in government policies. This is not totally unfounded; there is a possibility of positive change coming.

One of the biggest challenges the Zuma administration has faced is that of corruption. The corruption problem took many forms e.g. Nkandla debacle with the most significant being ‘State Capture’. State Capture was a coin termed referring to the Zuma administration, it meant the Zuma administration had become a puppet of one family, the Guptas and that not everything the government was doing was for the best interests of the public, something that is of essence in a democracy but that the government’s aim was to please the Gupta family.

With Ramaphosa coming in, there is a strong feeling that the Government-Gupta relationship will come to an end. That on its own will be a massive score for the majority of South Africans regardless of political party affiliation because they had become so disturbed with the Gupta family.

Ramaphosa as his main campaign message stated the need to make South Africa an industrial hub. In order to do so, he promised to make South Africa a conducive environment for investment thus his aim will be to lure more investors to South Africa. Obviously, this will be a big score for him as that means more employment opportunities for the youth bulge in the country. If he plays his cards right, he can easily, win the youth vote through jobs provision.

New Error

From another perspective, the positives above can also be negatives. First of all, pushing away the Gupta family does not necessarily mean no other family or entity can take hostage of the country also. As we have said above, Ramaphosa won the presidential election race in the ANC promising major investments, this is already an ominous sign that any power wielding family or corporation that can take the advantage of giving South Africa the capital injection she wants has the potential to ultimately use that power to influence the country also.

Ramaphosa is seen as more tolerant to White Monopoly Capital (WMC). This is in huge contrast to Jacob Zuma who is pro-Radical Economic Transformation (RET), a concept aimed at empowering the Black majority. WMC ensures more Blacks have employment opportunities (though some would argue that Backs would only feature at the lower hierarchy) but at the same time, it stifles Black start-ups because the environment becomes too competitive and the emerging companies are forced to close shop. This then becomes both a negative and a positive depending on how one takes it.

Blessing in disguise

Whether Ramaphosa’s stay in power as President for the remainder of Zuma’s term becomes a ‘New Era’ or a ‘New Error’, it at least gives the electorate ample time to assess the ANC candidate as he execute executive duties and helps them prepare for life with Ramaphosa at the helm if elected in 2019.

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Abuja Selected to Host Afreximbank’s 2018 Annual Meetings and 25th Anniversary
February 9, 2018 | 0 Comments
Kemi Adeosun, Minister of Finance of Nigeria, (left) and Dr. George Elombi, Afreximbank Executive Vice President, exchanging views during the meeting in Abuja.

Kemi Adeosun, Minister of Finance of Nigeria, (left) and Dr. George Elombi, Afreximbank Executive Vice President, exchanging views during the meeting in Abuja.

Cairo, 09 February 2018: – Nigeria has emerged the host country for the 2018 African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) Annual Meetings (AAM2018) and 25th Anniversary celebrations scheduled to take place from 9 to 14 July, the Bank announced today in Cairo.

Kemi Adeosun, Minister of Finance of Nigeria, conveyed the country’s readiness to host the event in a recent letter to the Bank in which she stated that the Government and people of Nigeria felt highly honoured at being considered to host the meetings and anniversary.

The two events will be held at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja and will feature a series of seminars exploring various aspects of trade and economic development and looking at the transformation of African economies through trade. There will also be the meeting of the Afreximbank Advisory Group on Trade Finance and Export Development in Africa.

Other activities include an investment forum hosted by the Nigerian Government, a trade exhibition, and formal celebratory activities marking the Bank’s 25th Anniversary. The events will conclude with the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders of the Bank.

To kick off preparations for AAM2018 and the anniversary celebrations, an Afreximbank delegation led by Dr. George Elombi, Executive Vice President (Governance, Corporate and Legal Services), traveled to Abuja from 31 January to 3 February for meetings with the Minister and her team and to inspect the facilities to be used.

During the meeting with the Minister, she reiterated Nigeria’s readiness to provide all the necessary support to ensure the success of AAM2018 and the anniversary celebrations.

Earlier, Dr. Elombi noted that holding AAM2018 and the anniversary celebrations in Nigeria was like a homecoming for Afreximbank, given that the first Annual General Meeting of the Bank had been held in the country and that Nigeria played a significant role in the establishment of the Bank.

He also pointed out that the Nigeria accounted for a significant portion of the Bank’s business, with critical financing support extended to many Nigerian corporates and entities.

Several serving and former African Presidents and heads of state, as well as many high-profile political and business leaders, are expected to attend the events where they will be joined by the shareholders of the Bank and other stakeholders.

The full AAM2018 and 25th anniversary event programme will be released in due course. In the meantime, details about the registration and participation procedures, can be found by clicking on the link below:

http://www.afreximbank-am.com/

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ATIGS 2018 Will Connect Global Investors To The African Market In A Unique Way- Bako Ambianda, Snr Dir of GAA Exhibitions & Conferences
February 9, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Ajong Mbapndah L

On June 24 the 2018 Africa Trade and Investment Global Summit (ATIGS), will kick off in Washington D.C.Bringing together new and established partners from around the world to increase business ties, and partnerships,the summit will highlight and showcase trade and investment opportunities and development solutions across Africa and enable companies from around the world to scale or establish operations in Africa and beyond. Since the 2014 U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit, there have been few summits of this magnitude in Washington DC , and  to learn more about the scope, and objectives of the event, Pan African Visons spoke to a leading member of the organizing team Bako Ambianda, Senior Director of GAA Exhibitions & Conferences 

ATIGS 2018 will welcome delegates from over 40 African countries says Bako Ambianda

ATIGS 2018 will welcome delegates from over 40 African countries says Bako Ambianda

 Could you tell us more ATIGS?

 The Africa Trade & Investment Global Summit (ATIGS) is a unique high-level conference and exhibition, prestigious, biennial business platform designed specifically to promote and facilitate international trade between Americas, Asia, Caribbean, EU, UAE, with Africa; to facilitate foreign direct investment in Africa; and to provide a platform for businesses to expand into new markets. ATIGS is where companies around the world looking to expand or establish their business operations in Africa come to gain strategic knowledge about local investment opportunities, and connect with competent authorities, and businesses from Africa.

Who will attend ATIGS 2018?

The ATIGS 2018 edition scheduled on June 24 to 26, 2018 will gather key economic players from more than 70 countries, including government delegations, African buyers, high-profile African leaders, project developers, and international investors. The event has a well-structured format for facilitating direct peer engagement, for more advanced deal-making, co-investments, strategic partnerships, and business networking.

What is the theme of ATIGS 2018?

ATIGS 2018’s theme is “Driving Trade, Unleashing Investment, and Enhancing Economic Development: the Gateway to African Markets. ATIGS 2018 will provide access to African markets as a one-stop shop, and connect global Investors to Africa market.

 What are the sectors of focus for ATIGS 2018? 

ATIGS program will cover 16 economic sectors particularly manufacturing, agribusiness, power, construction, infrastructure, transportation, IT, tourism, telecoms, healthcare, fintech, textile, and natural resources sectors.

 Which African countries will delegates be coming from?

We anticipate to welcome delegates from over 40 African countries. We currently have confirmed delegates from 32 countries including South Africa, Algeria, Nigeria, Angola, Morocco, Cameroon, Kenya, Namibia, Ghana, Ethiopia, Gambia, and Uganda among others.

Which Western countries will delegates be coming from?

We already have registered delegates from UK, Spain, UAE, Turkey, Brazil, France, Switzerland, and Canada, among others. It must be noted that ATIGS is an Africa-global business event, so we anticipate delegates from more than 70 countries, and we currently have ATIGS country representatives in over 75 countries working on mobilizing delegates from their respective countries.

Who are some key speakers confirmed to grace the Summit?

We currently have 124 confirmed high-level speakers from more than 65 countries, which include  key speakers like Dr. Munir Ahmad Ch, President of Aspire World Investments LLC from United Arab Emirates, Hon Senator Ike Ekwerenmadu, Deputy Senate President of Nigeria, Hon Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, Ghana Minister of Transport, Walid Loukil, Deputy Managing Director of Loukil Group from Tunisia, Xoliswa Daku, Founder & CEO of Daku Group of Companies from South Africa, Asma ALAOU, CEO of Africa Key Partners from Morocco, Belarmino Van-Dúnem, Chairman of Angola’s Investment and Exports Promotion Agency from Angola , Meir Moalem, CEO & Managing Director of Sky and Space Global  from United Kingdom,  Dr. Richmond Annan, President of iRichie Group Inc from Texas, and Andrew Herscowitz, USAID Power Africa Coordinator, among others.

ATIGS 2018 will provide access to African markets as a one-stop shop, and connect global Investors to Africa market ssys Bako Ambianda

ATIGS 2018 will provide access to African markets as a one-stop shop, and connect global Investors to Africa market ssys Bako Ambianda

How is ATIGS different from other summits focused on Africa?

Unlike most talk-shop conferences focused on Africa, ATIGS moves beyond that, and focuses on bringing together investment promotion agencies (IPAs), trade promotional organizations (TPOs), and international development organizations (IDOs) all under one roof to showcase investment opportunities to global investors, and enhance trade engagements between Americas, Asia, Caribbean, EU, UAE, with Africa in an ultimate business platform ideal for conducting G2B, G2G and B2B meetings.

We currently have 58 confirmed trade, investment and development organizations (TIDO’s) which include, Angola’s Investment and Exports Promotion Agency; Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Entreprises Du Cameroun; Ghana Investment Promotion Centre; Gambia Ports Authority; Guyana Office For Investment; Lesotho National Development Corporation; Lagos State Employment Trust Fund;  Namibia Ministry of Industrialization; Trade and SME Development; Nigeria National Economic Council; Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency, among others.  Also, ATIGS is a conference and exhibition.

 Tell us about the exhibition segment of the event?

You know, the exhibition is my favorable part of ATIGS. It will be divided into two sections. The exhibition hall 1 will showcase trade and investment opportunities in Africa by trade and investment agencies, and exhibition hall 2 will be dedicated for companies to showcase their products and services. Some highlights include Agriculture Pavilion, and Real Estate Pavilion. We currently have confirmed exhibitors from Spain, Brazil, Australia, UAE, Kenya, Kenya, and U.S.

 Why Is ATIGS held in June 2018?

ATIGS is held under the umbrella of World Business Week on Africa, and strategically positioned between the 2018 SelectUSA Investment Summit (highest-profile event FDI event in USA), and the 27th World Gas Conference (world’s largest global natural gas event). It is estimated that Over 18,000 business leaders, media, and global investors will be in Washington D.C for different business and investment events all happening from June 20 to June 29, 2018.Therefore delegates that will make it to ATIGS 2018 (June 24-26,2018) can easily use one stone to hit three birds in terms of networking, deal-making, strategic partnerships, meetings, and more.

 (Other Flagship Africa-focused small events to be held within the same week include: Arica-China Economic Forum, UAE-Africa Business Forum, US-Africa Manufacturing Forum, EU-Africa International Business Congress, LAC-Africa Business Forum, Africa FDI Shark Tank, Electrify Africa Forum, Africa Smart Cities Forum, Africa Construction and Infrastructure Forum, Africa Consumer Technology Forum, among others.)

 Who are the key partners in the event?

We are delighted to organized ATIGS 2018 in partnership with Trustrade Consulting Group, Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Africa Global Chamber of Commerce, Franchise Africa, The Varanda Network, Ignite Trade Africa, Footprint to Africa Limited, and World Trade Center Antananarivo, among others.

We are also honored to have the endorsement of International Trade Centre for ATIGS 2018. The Council is helping us to invite / arrange external speakers, representatives of government agencies and the media, create and design some important topics to be discus at ATIGS 2018, and will promote the event in the Council newsletter, social media channels and on the Council’s website.

Given the big ambitions ATIGS 2018, how long will the event last?

ATIGS 2018 is a three-day event with unique activities, top rated speakers and high-level participation. The formats are designed to give delegates more opportunities for questions, debate, and peer to peer interaction, but still with the same high-quality content delegates will come expecting from ATIGS 2018. We will have Roundtables, Investors’ Zone, ATIGS Awards Dinner, Meet the FDI Experts, Bilateral Meetings, and Signing Ceremony, among others.

 Why host an African event in USA?

The vision of ATIGS is built on the model of rotating the location of the summit every two years through a bidding process and organizing country specific ATIGS in between. So, the upcoming ATIGS events include: ATIGS 2018 – Washington D.C, ATIGS 2020 – Dubai; ATIGS 2022 – Beijing; ATIGS 2024 – Brussels, ATIGS 2026 – Addis Ababa; and, ATIGS 2028 – South America. As the host country for Africa Trade and Investment Global Summit 2018, The United States of America serves as a model for ATIGS 2018 for several reasons including its high number of embassies in Washington, D.C and the high Access to capital, as the ​United States hosts the most developed, liquid, flexible, and efficient financial markets in the world. Washington D.C also host over 40 African embassies making it easy for companies all round the world to engage with Africa during ATIGS 2018.

 Tell us about some delegations coming to the Summit?

We currently have over 18 confirmed delegation groups from all around the world including Gabon, Algeria, Hong Kong, China, Ghana, Angola, Kenya, Japan, Zambia, Cote d’Ivoire, Madagascar, Guinea, Congo DRC, Nigeria, Singapore, Togo, South Africa, and Ghana, among others. The numbers will increase soon as the event is still developing.

What are you most excited about ATGS 2018 and Beyond?

Good question. I am excited about our portfolio of investment sourcing and trade facilitation initiatives that will connect African businesses to world-class investors and strategic partners, which will help get more African projects off the ground. We are building a pipeline between investors and top scalable, profitable opportunities across Africa that enhance economic development. Some of our innovative programs includes Africa FDI Shark Tank, Bankable Projects Showcase, ATIGS Business Matchmaking, Africa Worldwide Alliance Partnerships (AfriWAPA), Africa FDI Academy, ATIGS Deal Marketplace, and other programs set to lunch, ATIGS CEO Network, and Cities Network on Trade and Investment, among others.

 How do you see Africa in the context of its strategic position in the world?

We all know that Africa is the world’s next major economic success story and has tremendous opportunities. Africa is the second most attractive investment destination in the world and trade flows have expanded by 15 percent per year since 2006, with $2.6 trillion Africa’s collective GDP by 2020, $1.4 trillion Africa’s consumer spending by 2020, and 122 million people will be added to workforce by 2020.

I see Africa position in the world as the forecast that foreign direct investments and international trade will continue to increase rapidly. As Africa’s reputation for a viable location for investment increases, so does its significance in trade.

With interest in the continent growing exponentially, some of today’s newest business players are originating from non-traditional regions such as South America, Eastern Europe, the Gulf, and Africa itself. While well-established and new partners from Europe, North America, and Asia continue to be valued, it is interesting to note that the private sector’s scope of attention is increasingly widening to include, especially among newcomers, consumer-market industries including food, IT, tourism, finance and retail.

Where can people learn more, or register for ATIGS 2018

There is a comprehensive website www.atigs2018.com which contains everything to know about ATIGS 2018 and registration can be done directly on the website.

 What other Information will you like to share about ATIGS 2018

 ATIGS 2018 is shaping up to be an exceptional show with unique activities, multitude of strategic business opportunities, top rated speakers, and high-level participation. I urge you to visit ATIGS 2018 official websitewww.atigs2018.com, for all latest developments.

 Thank you so much for talking to Pan African Visions

The pleasure is mine, and thanks for the great work you do in promoting events like this, and covering Africa in a more positive way.

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The AFRICA CEO FORUM sets out its program for transforming the African private sector
February 9, 2018 | 0 Comments
  •  The major annual gathering for the African private sector takes place on 26 and 27 March in Abidjan
 
  • More than 1,200 decision-makers from more than 60 countries are expected to debate the theme of “African Champions: Powering Competitiveness”
ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, 8 February 2018, -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- The AFRICA CEO FORUM will hold its 6th edition on 26 and 27 March 2018 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. More than 1,200 key figures and decision-makers from industry, finance and politics will converge from 60 countries to attend the world’s largest gathering of the African private sector.

With its chosen theme, “African Champions: Powering Competitiveness”, the AFRICA CEO FORUM 2018 aims to enable its participants to formulate action plans for the transformation of the continent’s large companies. The African private sector has developed strongly over the past two decades, most recently showing its capacity to resist a period of economic slowdown. But the number and size of leading companies remains small when measured against other emerging regions. While economic recovery takes shape, the unprecedented technological disruption that is occuring all over the world can be a tool for African champions to grow ever faster, to increase their competitivity, and to challenge their counterparts at a global level. Despite the risks they pose to industry in terms of job creation, these digital revolutions also enable acceleration on a new scale in several fields: financial inclusion, logistics, access to health and education, agricultural competitivity and innovation among them.

Providing the business climate continues to improve and investment to strengthen, this large-scale evolution will also result in a new generation of dynamic African companies.

Through twenty sessions organized by sector and region, case studies by top CEOs, success stories, strategic workshops, and themed task forces (on female leadership and young CEOs), the 2018 edition of the AFRICA CEO FORUM sets out to open the perspective on a new era for the private sector, and to make the next ten years of growth a decade of entrepreneurial transformation in Africa.

Among the key speakers to lead the debate:

Alassane Ouattara, President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire; Philippe Le Houérou, CEO of the International Finance Corporation; Jim Ovia, Founder and CEO of Zenith Bank; Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization; Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever; Claudio Descalzi, CEO of ENI; Naguib Sawiris, Executive President of OTMT; Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank; Kuseni Dlamini, Chairman of Massmart; Mohamed El Kettani, CEO of Attijariwafa Bank; Diego Aponte, CEO of MSC; Geoffrey Qhena, CEO of IDC; Zouhaïr Bennani, CEO of Label’Vie; Janine Kacou Diagou, Managing Director of the NSIA Group; Yolanda Cuba, CEO of Vodafone Ghana; Junior Ngulube, CEO of Sanlam; Issad Rebrab, Chairman of the Board of Cévital; Abderrahmane Benhamadi, CEO of Condor; Alassane Doumbia, CEO of SIFCA; Bruno Mettling, Deputy CEO in charge of Africa and the Middle East, Orange; Patrick Akorli, CEO of Ghana Oil Company; Austin Avuru, CEO of Seplat Petroleum; Joshua Oigara, CEO of Kenya Commercial Bank Group; Vuyani Jarana, CEO of South African Airways; Oluwatoyin Sanni, CEO of United Capital; and Tonye Cole, CEO of Sahara Group.

About the AFRICA CEO FORUM
The AFRICA CEO FORUM is organized by Jeune Afrique Media Group, the publisher of Jeune Afrique and The Africa Report, and by rainbow unlimited, a Swiss company specialized in event organization and economic promotion. With the success of its 2017 edition, which welcomed almost 1,200 business leaders from Africa and the world, the AFRICA CEO FORUM has established itself as the main international event for the African private sector to discuss the continent’s development in a highly professional environment ideal for business networking. The 2018 edition is co-hosted by the International Finance Corporation (IFC, part of the World Bank Group).

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AP Explains: Who’s in charge in South Africa these days?
February 8, 2018 | 0 Comments

By CARA ANNA*

In this photo supplied by the South African Government Communications and Information Services (GCIS) South African President Jacob Zuma, left, and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, right, with minsters and deputy ministers at a scheduled routine meeting of Cabinet Committees at parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018. The speaker of parliament said Tuesday that Zuma will not give the state of the nation address in parliament that had been set for Thursday and the ruling African National Congress party announced the postponement of a meeting Wednesday to discuss the president's fate. (South African Government Communication and Information Services / Elmond Jiyane /via AP)

In this photo supplied by the South African Government Communications and Information Services (GCIS) South African President Jacob Zuma, left, and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, right, with minsters and deputy ministers at a scheduled routine meeting of Cabinet Committees at parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018. The speaker of parliament said Tuesday that Zuma will not give the state of the nation address in parliament that had been set for Thursday and the ruling African National Congress party announced the postponement of a meeting Wednesday to discuss the president’s fate. (South African Government Communication and Information Services / Elmond Jiyane /via AP)

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africans are abuzz over what could be scandal-tainted President Jacob Zuma’s final days in office. Zuma and his deputy, the ruling party’s new leader, have been meeting behind closed doors on what Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa calls “closure.”

A photograph from a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday of the two men seated side by side, smiling at the camera, only reinforced the perception that one of Africa’s largest economies now has two centers of power. Here’s a look at the uncertainty and options for an exit.

WHO’S IN CHARGE?

Zuma remains head of state, while Ramaphosa is the new leader of the ruling African National Congress party, elected to the post in December. Ramaphosa has quickly asserted himself, making high-profile moves and statements against the alleged corruption that has dogged Zuma for years and weakened the ANC’s reputation ahead of 2019 elections. The party has been in power since the end of white minority rule in 1994 and wants to avoid a coalition government. Ramaphosa also led South Africa’s delegation to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland last month, mixing with heads of state and trying to assure investors that the country is emerging from the turmoil that briefly sent it into recession last year.

WHAT ARE THESE PRIVATE TALKS?

As pressure grows inside and outside the ANC for Zuma to resign, the president and his deputy have been meeting to discuss a transition of power that Ramaphosa has indicated should not humiliate Zuma or further divide the country of 55 million people. Ramaphosa on Wednesday said he expected a “speedy resolution” to the talks and acknowledged public frustration. Analysts have said Zuma, a deft political operator, and his deputy, a key negotiator during the end of apartheid, likely are discussing the terms of the president’s exit. Sticking points could include concerns over possible prosecution for corruption allegations that remain against Zuma. The president continues to have some support, including among the ANC leadership, further complicating negotiations.

COULD THE PRESIDENT BE FORCED OUT?

Some ruling party members have pushed for ANC leaders to demand that Zuma, who has denied any wrongdoing, resign. Other options for his removal include impeachment proceedings in parliament or a vote on an opposition-sponsored motion of no confidence that is scheduled for Feb. 22. Ruling party leaders are uncomfortable with the idea of backing an opposition motion, fueling speculation that the ANC will make an internal decision to remove Zuma in the same way that President Thabo Mbeki was ousted in 2008 during his second term. Critics questioned the legality of Mbeki’s removal, as the constitution only says parliament can remove the president through impeachment or a motion of no confidence.

WHAT ARE SOUTH AFRICANS SAYING?

“This is a challenging time for our country,” Ramaphosa said Wednesday. The ANC is Africa’s most prominent liberation movement and many veterans of the long struggle against apartheid worry that the corruption allegations against Zuma are undermining its legacy. The Nelson Mandela Foundation this week said the president should resign “sooner rather than later” and the foundation of Nobel laureate and former archbishop Desmond Tutu last year posted a scathing tweet in his name: “We will pray for the downfall of a government that misrepresents us.”

*Source AP

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Zimbabwe developing tourism strategy to position itself as an investment hub
February 7, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

In line with re-positioning Zimbabwe as an investment hub, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry is spearheading the development of a National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS).

The ZTA’s main mandate is to lead the country’s efforts in marketing brand, according to Godfrey Koti, ZTA, Head of Corporate Affairs. According to the ZTA, the NTSS is meant to foster a shared vision on the development and promotion of tourism in Zimbabwe.

According to the ZTA, the development of National Tourism Sector Strategy (NTSS) is a critical and priority programme for Zimbabwe.It is reported that this is important if the tourism sector has to unlock its potential and meaningfully contribute towards national economic revival, growth and development.

As a key sector of the economy tourism is a potential multi-billion dollar industry with the capacity to contribute towards the national income, foreign exchange and employment. According to the UNWTO, 1 in 11 jobs globally are accounted for by tourism.

The ZTA says that the need to put in place a development framework that should see tourism on the continued growth trajectory going forward need not be overemphasised.

It is also added that elsewhere especially in South Africa, the implementation of actions identified in the NTSS placed South Africa on a path of inclusive tourism growth which contributed to significant economic development to the country.

The implementation of the NTSS also enabled South Africa to enhance its overall destination appeal and World Economic Forum (WEF) Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Ranking especially with regard to cultural and natural iconic attractions.

These are reported to have have largely remained the mainstay of its destination offering. The development and marketing these assets appropriately and ensuring that they are delivered through excellent service levels by tourism
businesses provided impetus for destination attractiveness and competitiveness.

Zimbabwe currently does not have a tourism sector strategy that among other things set concrete targets and provides a rallying point and trajectory for guiding the sector and unlocking its potential growth and development.
It is said that, the absence of such a strategic document is a missing gap that needs to be urgently closed.

Its is added that, countries that have done well in Africa, for example, South Africa and Kenya and even beyond have seen their tourism being spurred by the development and implementation of succeeding National Tourism Sector Strategies.

The themes expected to form part of the NTSS include the Tourism Economy (Tourism Trends and Statistics), Nation Branding and Destination Image, Destination Competiveness, Destination Marketing –
Domestic Tourism, International and Diaspora Tourism
– MICE Tourism, Destination Management -Product and Service Quality
-Human Capital Development, Destination Accessibility and
Facilitation, Enterprise Development and Tourism Funding including
SMEs, and the Rural Tourism and Benefits to Communities

According to the ZTA spokesperson, in order to foster a shared vision in the development of the NTSS for Zimbabwe, it is imperative to consult key stakeholders.They says that this could be achieved through stakeholder consultative workshops.

ZTA says that given that the NTSS has been identified as one of the priority100 Days Programmes for tourism, three
stakeholder consultative workshops will be held in Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls plus one validation workshop to be held in Harare. Stakeholders from other provinces or tourism regions will be invited
to participate at these said stakeholder workshops.

Its is also reported that the complete NTSS is expected to be launched by the end of March 2018.
According to ZTA,once launched, the implementation will be spearheaded by the NTSS committee chaired by the minister for Tourism and Hospitality Industry.

Provincial NTSS Committees will also be established to facilitate implementation at provincial level. It is also proposed that a National Tourism Stakeholder Forum be held annually to among other things review progress
in the implementation of the NTSS and attend to emerging issues.

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Cash or custody: Israel kicks off deportation of African migrants
February 6, 2018 | 0 Comments

Out of 6,800 requests reviewed so far, Israel has granted refugee status to 11 migrants. It has at least 8,000 more requests to process.

Israeli authorities have said Israeli officials will keep in touch with migrants accepted in a third country to oversee their progress. Rwanda has said it will only accept migrants who have left Israel of their own free will.

Nonetheless, the U.N.’s refugee agency has urged Israel to reconsider, saying migrants who have relocated to sub-Saharan Africa in the past few years were unsafe and ended up on the perilous migrant trail to Europe, some suffering abuse, torture and even perishing on the way.

Rights groups in Israel say the government is simply ridding itself of people it should be recognizing as refugees in Israel and that there was no real guarantee for their safety.

A fence Israel has built over the past few years along its border with Egypt has all but stopped African migrants from entering the country illegally. Beginning in the previous decade, when the border was porous, a total of 64,000 Africans made it to Israel though thousands have since left.

Emmanuel Asfaha from Eritrea crossed into Israel in 2011 with his wife and baby son. His second child was born in Israel.

A narrow grocery store stockroom stacked with bags of flour leads to their two-room apartment in Tel Aviv, a poster of Jesus hanging on the cracked walls above his son’s bed. Asfaha is concerned Israel will eventually deport families too.

“I am worried about the situation,” he said while cooking Shiro, a traditional stew. “Tomorrow it will be for me also.”

A few kilometers away, in a hip, upscale part of Tel Aviv, Ben Yefet, a 39-year-old stockbroker, said he had signed up with Miklat Israel to house two or three migrants in his two-room apartment.

“As Israelis and Jews we are obligated. We have a moral compass, we just have to do it,” he said.

*Source Reuters

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Jacob Zuma: ANC leaders call NEC meeting for Wednesday
February 6, 2018 | 0 Comments
President Jacob Zuma is said to be resisting calls to leave office

President Jacob Zuma is said to be resisting calls to leave office

South Africa’s ruling party has called a meeting of its top body for Wednesday, amid growing pressure on President Jacob Zuma to stand down.

In a statement, the ANC said that the meeting was called to discuss the “management of the transition” between the Zuma and Ramaphosa administrations.

On Monday, senior politicians held an emergency meeting in Johannesburg to discuss Mr Zuma’s future.

The president has resisted calls to quit over corruption allegations.

Mr Zuma, 75, was replaced as party leader in December, and his deputy and successor, Cyril Ramaphosa, 65, would step into the presidency if he were recalled by the ANC.

An ANC spokeswoman told Reuters news agency that the removal of President Zuma was not on the agenda at Monday’s meeting.

The president, in power since 2009, is due to make a state of the nation address on Thursday, and some in the party want Mr Zuma to leave office ahead of that speech.

On Wednesday the ANC’s National Executive Committee will meet.

If the committee agrees to recall Mr Zuma, the BBC’s Andrew Harding says, it would be very hard for him to resist.

He might even face a no-confidence motion in parliament the next day, our correspondent adds.

Mr Zuma, who spent time in prison for his part in the fight against apartheid, met the ANC’s top six on Sunday. They are said to have failed to convince him to stand aside.

Julius Malema, an opposition leader and former ANC member, said on Twitter that Mr Zuma had refused to go early.

Other unconfirmed reports from Sunday’s meeting say that Mr Zuma asked for protection from prosecution for himself and his family.

Why does the ANC want to remove him?

Mr Zuma’s presidency has been overshadowed by allegations of corruption.

In recent years his links to the wealthy India-born Gupta family, who are alleged to have influenced the government through their relationship with Mr Zuma, have caused his popularity to plummet. In South Africa, it has become known as “state capture”.

Both Mr Zuma and the Guptas deny the allegations.

Then there is also the country’s struggling economy, with the unemployment rate rising to about 28%.

As a result, many in the ANC fear his presidency has become toxic – and is hurting the party’s standing.

That appeared to be borne out at the 2016 local elections, when the ANC lost ground to the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

With a general election set for 2019, the ANC will be keen to distance itself from any more negative press – and therefore it is perhaps not surprising that Mr Ramaphosa was elected the party leader on an anti-corruption platform.

However, Mr Zuma still has his supporters within the ANC – including three of the top six – so nothing is definite.

On Monday, there were scuffles out the ANC headquarters between small groups of pro- and anti-Zuma supporters.

What are the allegations against him?

  • 2005: Charged with corruption over multi-billion dollar 1999 arms deal – charges dropped shortly before he becomes president in 2009
  • 2016: Court orders he should be charged with 18 counts of corruption over the deal
  • 2005: Charged with raping family friend – acquitted in 2006
  • 2016: Court rules he breached his oath of office by using government money to upgrade private home in Nkandla – he has repaid the money
  • 2017: South Africa’s public protector said he should appoint judge-led inquiry into allegations he profiteered from relationship with wealthy Gupta family – he denies allegations, as have the Guptas
  • 2018: Zuma approves inquiry

*BBC

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Will the Stability Doctrine in Africa destabilise the world?
February 6, 2018 | 0 Comments

Amidst rising discontent, foreign governments are increasingly asserting the importance of “stability”. But for whom? To what end? For how long?

BY NANJALA NYABOLA*

Credit: Rwanda Government.

Credit: Rwanda Government.

In 2017, the world watched as Kenya endured one of the most complicated election cycles ever. In the hotly-contested initial August vote, the incumbent won. As expected, the opposition contested the result in court. Many saw merit in the complaints, but were nonetheless shocked when the Supreme Court ordered a re-run. Unhappy with the hurried process that ensued, and fuelled in part by an opposition boycott, however, voters largely avoided the repeat poll in October, which registered a paltry turnout of less than 40%.

The Kenya case throws up an interesting contradiction of modern foreign policy. Western diplomats have long preached the gospel of good governance in the developing world. But as these uncertain events unfolded last year – with the police killing 78 civilians and the electoral commission itself admitting it had made a shambles of the second vote – Western ambassadors kept urging Kenyans to recognise the importance of one particular idea.

That idea was not “rule of law”, “democracy” or “free, fair and credible” elections. It was “stability”.

More than 15 million voters refused to participate in the Kenyan election re-run. The process was widely seen as illegitimate and has likely sowed seeds of dissatisfaction that could undercut the ability of the ruling party to govern for the next five years. But despite this, diplomats continue to parrot the cardinal importance of “stability”.

This was not the first or last time this word echoed around the continent in 2017. From Togo to Egypt, and from Chad to Gabon – all of which have seen popular protests come up against state power – the emphasis on stability has taken precedence over, say, political engagement. As Cameroon’s government gunned down protesters, arrested activists en masse, and shut down the Internet in Anglophone regions, for example, international actors urged a return to stability. As simmering discontent in Ethiopia led to online blackouts, heavy force and a state of emergency, Western diplomats supported the government in restoring the same.

It has even become the strategy taken in relation to Eritrea, nominally a pariah state, but now a lynchpin in Europe’s immigration policy. When it comes to Western engagement with Africa, stability is the mot du jour.

The Stability Doctrine

In the name of this “Stability Doctrine”, foreign governments tip the political balance in favour of existing power and the state. They bolster the short-term status quo, even if that means disregarding visible discontent and overlooking state abuses. They pick power over protesters, and privilege the interests of others over those of the citizens in the countries at hand.

One of the main reasonings behind this approach is inseparable from the global march of neoliberalism. Foreign extraction from Africa is not new, but steady social and political conditions are a particular priority for today’s predominant form of exploitation. Corporations hungry for endless growth – more so than states looking to manage a balance of power – need predictable politics to operate.

Unlike some periods of history, the focus today is also notably short-termist. During the Cold War, African nations were seen as potential allies in long-term, ideological world-building projects. But today’s Stability Doctrine is focused only on the next few years. It has no interest in building institutions, embedding good governance, or understanding the underlying causes of threatened instability. It has little concern for the implications of its actions in the future – because by that time, it will be someone else’s problem.

Two things have changed in the last ten years that have led to this particular brand of the Stability Doctrine. Firstly, the rise of China, Turkey and other non-Western countries has threatened the West’s long-standing economic domination in Africa. This has given African elites – amongst the key beneficiaries of “stability” – more leverage and led Western policymakers, afraid of losing their patronage networks, to weaken their good governance agenda.

At the same time, the 2007/8 global economic collapse has made opportunities to extract from Africa all the more important. African markets, labour and natural resources have never been more integral to resolving urgent economic challenges in other parts of the world.

Delay, defer, deny

What’s wrong with stability uber alles? First and foremost, it puts a risky mortgage on the future of Africa. It is an alliance between outsiders and African elites whose mantra is eat now and delay, defer or deny the consequences.

The Stability Doctrine treats Africa as a place to make as much money as quickly as possible, not a place where people live, love and exist. It ensures African countries continue to play a position in the periphery of global politics, providing raw materials, markets, and an acquiescent labour force for multinational corporations.

The focus on stability treats the tremendous effort and risk that African activists and politicians take to shift the political discourse as secondary to the interests of foreign governments. It sees widespread demands for greater justice, democracy and accountability as less important than holding things steady – at least at the levels important for foreign business.

The reality, however, is that while outsiders are tipping the scales in favour of wealth and the status quo in the corridors of power, African countries are growing increasingly inhospitable for many of their citizens, particularly the youth. In 2017, thousands died attempting to cross the Mediterranean, while the African Union estimates that another 200,000 are currently zig-zagging across the Sahara chasing after the same dream.

They leave partly because of the collateral damage of “stability” or profiteering over all else. They leave because there is no land to work – much of it sold off or unusable thanks to the ravages of climate change. They leave because their educations are worthless as privatisation has eaten away at public universities. They leave because their leaders spend more on weapons to maintain power than they do on healthcare. They leave because police officers show up at their doorstep and summarily arrest, detain or kill anyone who dares to hold a political opinion that threatens the country’s “stability”.

Stability for whom? For how long?

In 2018, things in many countries in Africa are probably going to get worse before they get better. Millions of young people will come of age in countries that have little room for them.

In Kenya, the authority of the executive elected under suspect conditions will probably be tested more than ever. In Cameroon and Ethiopia, protests will likely continue and may escalate. Meanwhile, in Gabon, the two Congos, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda and beyond, disillusionment will continue to swell even while African and Western elites hold fast on the promise, and profit, of short-term stability.

The point is not that instability is the answer. Rather, it is that when confronted with the Stability Doctrine, we must ask “stability for whom?”, “stability to what end?” and “stability for how long?”.

The Stability Doctrine as it is shuts African citizens out of their politics, lest they rock the boat, and leaves them abandoned. That may pave the way for predictable market conditions that benefit international corporations and African elites today and maybe even tomorrow. But what of everyone else? And what of the day after?

The Stability Doctrine is an imposter usurping a vacuum left by the slow erosion of ideological (versus commercialised) Pan Africanism. In 2018 and beyond, it’s important to re-assert that Africa is not just an idea or a market that must remain open for business at all costs. Enough Stability Doctrine – it’s time for a foreign policy ideology that asserts the dignity and personhood of African people over all else.

*Source African Arguments.Nanjala Nyabola is a Kenyan writer, humanitarian advocate and political analyst, currently based in Nairobi, Kenya. Follow her on twitter at @Nanjala1

 

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U.S. ROADSHOW TOUR TO SPUR ACTION ON INCREASING U.S. INVESTMENT IN AFRICA
February 6, 2018 | 0 Comments

TOUR AIMS TO FOSTER GREATER BUSINESS CONNECTIONS BETWEEN AFRICAN AND U.S. BUSINESSES AND INVESTORS

WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 17, 2018 – The Initiative for Global Development (IGD) will embark on a four-city roadshow tour from April 18-28, 2018, across the United States aimed at re-shaping perceptions on doing business in Africa by highlighting investment opportunities and forging stronger connections between U.S. and African business leaders in key growth sectors.

The U.S. roadshow tour, “Africa Investment Rising: Building Momentum for Investing in Africa’s Economic Prosperity”, is a multi-city series of site visits, panel discussions, and speed networking among investors and business leaders to spur greater U.S. investment in Africa.

African and global CEOs and senior executives from sector-leading companies and investors in the U.S. and African countries are invited to participate in the U.S. roadshow. IGD is a U.S.-based network of African and global business leaders who are committed to sustainable development and inclusive growth through business investment.

Launching the U.S. roadshow in Washington, D.C on April 18, the roadshow tour will travel to New York City to highlight banking, financing, insurance and investment; Des Moines, IA for agriculture and agro-industry; and Houston, TX for oil and gas, energy, natural resources and infrastructure.

With some of the world’s fastest-growing economies, the African continent is increasingly becoming an attractive investment destination for emerging markets investors. Yet, estimates show that only 0.3% of the average portfolio in the U.S. is invested in Africa.

“Those of us investing in Africa know about the high returns and lucrative business and investment opportunities on the continent,” said Dr. Mima S. Nedelcovych, President & CEO of the Initiative for Global Development. “Creating favorable global perceptions about the business environment in Africa will go a long way in attracting greater investment in African countries with the right business climate.”

“Now, more than ever, there’s a need to change the narrative about doing business in Africa. The Africa Investment Rising roadshow will travel into the heartland of the U.S. to bring real business opportunities and connect African and American business leaders for networking, business matching and knowledge sharing,” said Nedelcovych.

Each city will begin with an exclusive site visit for African delegates featuring innovations in leading industries, followed by a half-day forum and executive speed networking where U.S. and African private sector leaders and investors can make deals and business agreements to create new markets in both regions. Participants have the option of attending one or all stops on the U.S. roadshow.

The Initiative for Global Development (IGD) is a Washington, DC-based network of African and global business leaders who are committed to advancing sustainable development and inclusive growth in Africa through business investment. IGD brings together CEOs and senior executives from leading African and global companies through our Frontier Leader Network to catalyze greater business investment and impact on the African continent.

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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.

 

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Starving in the land of plenty: Cape Town’s water woes
February 4, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Prince Kurupati*

Residents walk past a leaking communal tap in Khayelitsha township, near Cape Town, South Africa, December 12, 2017. Picture taken December 12, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Residents walk past a leaking communal tap in Khayelitsha township, near Cape Town, South Africa, December 12, 2017. Picture taken December 12, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

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.

What can be done?

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.

Vacuum distillation

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.

Reverse osmosis

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.

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