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SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS GIVES THANKS BY OFFERING ITS LOWEST FARES OF THE YEAR
November 22, 2017 | 0 Comments

Holiday Sale Offers Exceptional Fares Starting at $599* roundtrip to Africa

Fort Lauderdale, FL (November 21, 2017) – South African Airways (SAA), the national flag carrier of South Africa and Africa’s most awarded airline today announces a holiday sale that offers its lowest fares of the year to selected destinations throughout Africa. For a limited time only, book flights for round-trip travel from New York-JFK International Airport or Washington, DC Dulles International Airport to Johannesburg, South Africa for just $599.00* (restrictions apply) or to Cape Town for $629.00*(restriction apply). Also on offer are nonstop flights from Washington, DC Dulles International Airport to Dakar, Senegal for $629.00* (restrictions apply) round-trip or to Accra, Ghana for $639.00* (restrictions apply) round-trip. These fares are available for purchase through November 28, 2017, for travel between January 10 and March 27, 2018.

“At this festive time of year for giving, we are expressing our thanks by making Africa even more affordable for travelers from North America. There is nothing that can compare to witnessing the beauty of an African sunset, sipping sundowners on a safari, taking in the magnificent sights in Cape Town, or exploring the history and culture of Ghana and Senegal”, said Todd Neuman, executive vice president, North America, for South African Airways. “With these fares, our very lowest of the year, we are encouraging everyone to give the gift of Africa to oneself, a loved one or a friend this holiday season. Giving this gift, on Africa’s most awarded airline, is certainly a terrific way to show your appreciation to that someone special.”

The sale fares are available for 7-days only, so travelers must hurry to purchase tickets by visiting www.flysaa.com or by calling SAA Reservations at 1-(800) 722-9675 to take advantage of these incredible savings.

As the leading carrier from the U.S. to South Africa, South African Airways is the only airline to offer daily nonstop service from New York – JFK and daily direct service from Washington, DC-Dulles to Johannesburg, South Africa. South African Airways also offers nonstop service from Washington, DCDulles to Accra, Ghana, four-days per week and Dakar, Senegal, three-days per week. From its hub in Johannesburg, SAA offers business and leisure travelers’ convenient connections to over 75 destinations on the Africa continent in partnership with its regional airlines SA Express, Airlink, and Mango.

 

 

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Zimbabwe’s Mugabe ignores party deadline to quit
November 20, 2017 | 0 Comments
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe delivers his speech during a live broadcast at State House in Harare, Sunday, Nov, 19, 2017. Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe baffled the country by ending his address on national television without announcing his resignation. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe delivers his speech during a live broadcast at State House in Harare, Sunday, Nov, 19, 2017. Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe baffled the country by ending his address on national television without announcing his resignation. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu-PF party has summoned its MPs to discuss the future of its leader, President Robert Mugabe, after a deadline for his resignation came and went on Monday.

The deadline was set by Mr Mugabe’s own party, Zanu-PF.

The embattled leader surprised Zimbabweans on Sunday, declaring on TV that he planned to remain as president.

Zanu-PF says it backs impeachment, and proceedings could begin as soon as Tuesday when parliament meets.

In a draft motion, seen by Reuters, the party blamed the president for what it called an “unprecedented economic tailspin”.

The public has poured on to the streets in protest in recent days, calling for the end of Mr Mugabe’s 37-year presidency.

His grip on power has weakened considerably since the country’s army intervened on Wednesday in a row over who should succeed him.

The crisis began two weeks ago when the 93-year-old leader sacked his deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa, angering army commanders who saw it as an attempt to position his wife Grace as next president.

Zimbabwe has since then seen huge street rallies demanding his immediate resignation.

The protests have been backed by the influential war veterans – who fought in the conflict that led to independence from Britain in 1980.

The group’s leader, Chris Mutsvangwa, on Monday called for more demonstrations against the president’s attempt to cling on to power.

“We want to see his back now,” Mr Mutsvangwa said. “Mugabe, your rule is over. The emperor has no clothes. Thank you very much.”

Choreographing a departure

Andrew Harding in Harare

The city is swirling with rumours that Mr Mugabe is planning his resignation and that he may go back on television to announce it at any stage, and that Sunday’s speech was simply about giving carte blanche to the military for what they’ve done.

But we just don’t know at this stage if he will give in to the pressure from the war veterans, his own party, and the public.

Mr Mugabe said in his speech that he planned to preside over the Zanu-PF congress next month, a statement people here found baffling after the party voted to strip him of his leadership and kick out his wife.

What is clear is that everyone here believes that the Mugabe era is over. Saturday’s protests unleashed something and people believe that a line has been crossed. Now it is really about negotiating the time, the process, the choreography of Mr Mugabe’s departure.

The fear of Zanu-PF and of the security services will not go away overnight. People here grew up with that fear. In the meantime, the streets are calm, but Tuesday may bring more demonstrations.

What did Mugabe say in his speech?

During the 20-minute address, the president, who was flanked by generals, made no mention of the pressure from his party and the public to quit.

Instead, he declared that the military had done nothing wrong by seizing power and placing him under house arrest.

“Whatever the pros and cons of how they [the army] went about their operation, I, as commander-in-chief, do acknowledge their concerns,” he said, in reference to the army’s move last week to take over the state broadcaster in the capital Harare.

He also said “the [Zanu-PF] party congress is due in a few weeks and I will preside over its processes”.

Before Mr Mugabe’s speech, Mr Mnangagwa was named as Zanu-PF’s new leader and candidate for the 2018 general elections, while Mr Mugabe’s wife was expelled.

So what happens next?

After Mr Mugabe’s speech, Zanu-PF chief whip Lovemore Matuke was quoted as saying that the resignation ultimatum was unchanged.

He added that impeachment proceedings could be launched on Tuesday in parliament. This would require a two-thirds majority in both chambers.

The opposition MDC-T party has tried unsuccessfully to impeach Mr Mugabe in the past, but this time the ruling party – which has an overwhelming majority in both houses – is likely to go against him.

However, the impeachment process could take weeks.

The BBC’s Africa Editor, Fergal Keane, said his understanding of the situation was that Mr Mugabe had agreed to resign, but then changed his mind.

Our correspondent says the generals have no intention of forcing Mr Mugabe out by the barrel of a gun, and are happy to let the Zanu-PF carry out its procedures, working through impeachment if necessary.

It is unclear how Robert Mugabe can preside over Zanu-PF’s congress next month, following his dismissal as party leader.

Party positions are officially decided at the congress and Mr Mnangagwa may take over leading the country then.

Mr Mnangagwa, a former state security chief, is nicknamed “the crocodile” for his perceived shrewdness. He fled Zimbabwe after his sacking a fortnight ago, but has since reportedly returned.

What’s the reaction been?

The War Veterans Association, which used to back Mr Mugabe, now says it is time for him to step down.

“Thirty-seven years, you have had your time, you are toast now politically,” association head Chris Mutsvangwa told the BBC.

“Please give the country a chance, let it move to the next page.”

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said he was “baffled” by the president’s address.

“He’s playing a game. He has let the whole nation down,” he told Reuters news agency.

Mr Mugabe has led the country since it gained independence from Britain in 1980.

*Source BBC

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Concerned Zimbabwean citizens demand to know missing journalist cum activist whereabouts
November 20, 2017 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

Missing activist Itai Dzamara

Missing activist Itai Dzamara

Concerned Zimbabwean citizens who recently attended the Zimbabwe
solidarity march held in Harare to call for the resignation of
President Robert Mugabe took to the podium to demand to know the
whereabouts of Itai Dzamara, Zimbabwean missing journalist cum
activist.

 

The solidarity march rally was attended by many Zimbabwean citizens
including other racial communities like white people and the coloured
community.Previously, some of the other racial communities in the
country like the white people have not been easily mixing with the
black community, but at this recent gathering, they mingled with one
objective of trying to push Mugabe out of power.

 

One activist who gave a solidarity message at the rally said that
there was a person who was missing in the country and people needed to
know from the government where the person was.This was in reference to
Dzamara.

 

There were huge echoes of agreement from concerned citizens who
indicated that government had an obligation to reveal the whereabouts
of the missing activist who had gained popularity due to his criticism
of Mugabe.

March 9, 2017, marked the second anniversary of the disappearance
of Itai Dzamara, Zimbabwean civil society activist and leader of
Occupy Africa Unity Square. On this day two years ago, Dzamara was
forced into an unmarked vehicle and has not been heard from since.

Dzamara has been missing since March 2015.Some countries like the
United States reported that they remained deeply concerned about
Dzamara’s whereabouts and wellbeing. They said that the lack of
progress in the case raised doubts about the intention of the
authorities responsible for the investigation.

“We once again call on Zimbabwean authorities to show their
commitment to protecting the constitutionally-guaranteed human rights
of all Zimbabweans, regardless of political beliefs or affiliation.
We again call on Zimbabwean authorities to mobilize the full extent of
their resources to investigate the circumstances surrounding Mr.
Dzamara’s abduction, and to ensure that those responsible are brought
to justice,’. according to a message released on the anniversary.

The message further said that this was not an issue of politics.
This was an issue of basic human rights and rule of law.
“All citizens of Zimbabwe have the right to life and personal liberty,
the right to participate in peaceful political activities, including
the right to demonstrate and petition peacefully, and the right to
express themselves freely and without repercussion. We stand together
with Mr. Dzamara, the Dzamara family and the people of Zimbabwe in
demanding resolution in this case and in supporting their rights to
freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.’ the statement on the
last anniversary read.

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SADC countries commit to collaborate on minimizing adverse effects of severe weather and climate phenomena
November 20, 2017 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

Southern African Development Community (SADC) Ministers responsible
for Transport and Meteorology have committed to collaborate to
minimize adverse effects associated with severe weather and climate
phenomena affecting the region in a communique recently released in
Malawi.

The 2017 edition of the SADC meeting of Ministers responsible for
Transport and Meteorology sectors took place from 30 October to 3
November 2017. The Government of Malawi hosted the meeting in
Lilongwe, Malawi.

SADC holds annual sector ministers meetings as part of the
governance and programme management strategy.

The purpose of the meeting was to consider the progress made in the
sectors of Transport and Meteorology in the implementing of the SADC
Protocol on Transport, Communications and Meteorology and the
derivative policies and programmes and to provide guidance to
implementing national, corridor and regional institutions including
the secretariat.

According to the communique, the meteorological sector’s main
purpose is to establish meteorological systems and infrastructure that
are fully integrated, efficient and cost effective to meet the
requirements of the users, and to minimise adverse effects associated
with severe weather and climate phenomena.

The ministers also noted progress on implementation of programmes
and projects. The ministers have urged member states that have not yet
signed the Meteorological Association of Southern Africa (MASA)
Constitution to do so as soon as possible in order to ensure
operationalization of the association.

The ministers have also noted that member states are obliged to be
compliant with the Quality Management System (QMS) standard for the
provision of the aeronautical meteorological services to airlines.

They said that non-compliance to the obligatory regulations on QMS
of the Chicago Convention will have far reaching consequences on the
member states and could find their airspaces declared unsafe for air
travel by ICAO due to safety considerations.

The ministers have also urged member states which have not yet been
ISO 9001-2008 or ISO 9001-2015 certified to take necessary and urgent
action to comply to avoid their countries from being flagged as a high
safety risk zones.

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One million climate jobs campaign booklet launched in South Africa
November 20, 2017 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

The Alternative Information and Development Centre (AIDC) in South
Africa has launched a new one million climate jobs booklet in Gauteng province.

According to an AIDC spokesperson, in an initial OMCJ booklet in 2011
the organization argued that globally an environmental and
economic crisis is being faced and that the creation of a million
climate jobs was an opportunity to address both problems jointly.

The organization says that in the past six years in South Africa
there have been many developments, such as renewable energy being
established as part of the electricity supply mix of the country and
its rapid decline in cost, the development of environmentally friendly
construction methods and the roll-out of the Rapid Bus Transit system
in some municipalities.

It however says that this is not enough. The threat of accelerating climate change and the damage it is already doing
ecosystems is being more evident.

They say that climate change exacerbates inequality and poverty by reducing access to food, water, energy and housing.

“We urgently need to make changes to our economic system and various forms
of production before they destroy our life support system. This
booklet presents well- researched solutions for South Africa to
immediately begin a just transition away from the Minerals-Energy
Complex initiated under colonialism, that continues to dominate our
capitalist economy, to one in which all basic needs of communities are
met equitably and affordably, AIDC says.

The organization says that they know that transition will not be easy
and need to ensure that it is not an additional threat or burden for
workers and the poor.

“With the international negotiations of COP23 imminent, it is clear that we cannot rely on governments and big
business to make the changes that are necessary to avoid climate catastrophe, much less to ensure that there is a just transition. With Donald Trump pulling the USA out of the Paris Agreement, it is all the
more evident that we need to revitalize initiatives like the One Million Climate Jobs Campaign,” an AIDC spokesperson said.

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Zimbabwe’s ruling party sacks Robert Mugabe as leader
November 19, 2017 | 0 Comments

Zimbabwe’s ruling party has sacked Robert Mugabe as its leader, as pressure intensifies for him to step down as president.

Zanu-PF appointed ex-Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was fired by Mr Mugabe two weeks ago, in his place.

The party has given Mr Mugabe, 93, until 10:00 GMT on Monday to resign as president, or face impeachment.

The military intervened last week, in an apparent attempt to block him from installing his wife as his successor.

The first lady, Grace Mugabe, and several other senior officials have been expelled from the party altogether.

Tens of thousands of Zimbabweans attended street protests on Saturday, demonstrating against the Mugabes.

Mr Mugabe has also reportedly been meeting military leaders, according to Zimbabwe’s The Herald.

While no details of the talks have been released, photos posted by the newspaper show the two sides – which also met several days ago – shaking hands.

Cheering erupted when the decision to dismiss Mr Mugabe as party leader was announced.

One senior official later told the BBC’s Andrew Harding: “It’s the dawn of a new era. Mugabe can go farming.”

Zanu-PF’s Central Committee also warned that impeachment proceedings would begin on Tuesday if Mr Mugabe did not step down as president by noon local time on Monday.

One party official said Mr Mnangagwa, who has since reportedly returned to Zimbabwe, had been nominated as the party’s presidential candidate for the 2018 general elections.

President Mugabe and Grace Mugabe on 24 May 2014Image copyrightAFP
Image captionPresident Mugabe’s wife, Grace, had emerged as a leading candidate to succeed her husband
Zimbabwe Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa listens as President Robert Mugabe (not pictured) delivers his state of the nation address to the countryImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionBut Mr Mnangagwa has re-emerged as front runner after his dismissal two weeks ago

His sacking prompted an extraordinary chain of events over the past week:

  • Mr Mnangagwa fled the country after his dismissal as Mr Mugabe’s deputy two weeks ago
  • The army’s chief of staff, Gen Constantino Chiwenga, warned last Monday that the military might intervene to stop purges in the party – and was roundly criticised by allies of the Mugabes
  • On Wednesday, soldiers seized the headquarters of the national broadcaster
  • Mr Mugabe has been mostly under house arrest for several days
  • On Saturday, unprecedented mass protests further weakened Mr Mugabe’s position

Speaking ahead of the party meeting, the head of the influential War Veterans Association, Chris Mutsvangwa, threatened to “bring back the crowds and they will do their business” if Mr Mugabe did not step down.

Mr Mugabe has been president of Zimbabwe for 37 years, having led the country since it gained independence from Britain in 1980.

He has made just one public appearance since events unfolded, speaking at a university graduation ceremony on Friday.

*BBC

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Grace Mugabe must be investigated, says Zimbabwe’s former finance minister
November 19, 2017 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

Chinamasa

Chinamasa

Zimbabwe’s former Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said that Grace
Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s first lady should be investigated for crimes she
has committed.

Chinamasa made the remarks at a solidarity rally held by the
country’s war veterans in Harare in a bid to oust long-standing
President Robert Mugabe from power.

The solidarity rally was attended by thousands of Zimbabweans from
across the country, including opposition party supporers.
Chinamasa could not be drawn to explain more on the crimes he
referred to in his solidarity speech.

Chinamasa was appointed minister responsible for cyber security in
recent cabinet appointments by Mugabe and is a lawyer by profession.

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Zimbabwe crowds rejoice as they demand end to Mugabe rule
November 18, 2017 | 0 Comments

Thousands of people have celebrated the army takeover in Zimbabwe and urged President Robert Mugabe to step down.

They tore pictures of Mr Mugabe and marched to his office and residence.

The army intervened on Wednesday, days after Mr Mugabe sacked his deputy, signalling that he favoured his wife Grace as his successor.

Mr Mugabe, who is confined to his house, was to meet army chiefs on Sunday, state TV said. The 93-year-old has led Zimbabwe for 37 years.

The military says it will advise the public on the outcome of talks “as soon as possible”.

Saturday’s rally had the support of the army and members of the governing Zanu-PF party.

Veterans of Zimbabwe’s war for independence – who until last year were loyal to the president, the best-known among them – are also saying Mr Mugabe should quit.

Outside State House, the official residence, some people staged a sit-down protest in front of a line of troops, and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai addressed the crowd, to cheers.

The BBC’s Andrew Harding in Harare says this is a watershed moment and there can be no return to power for Mr Mugabe.

Our correspondent says the situation may appear to be getting out of Zanu-PF’s control and there could be a broad push to introduce a transitional government that includes the opposition.

includes the opposition.

Sit-in outside State House
Image captionThe army kept people away from State House

On Friday, Mr Mugabe made his first public appearance since being confined to his house.

He spoke only to open the graduation at a university of which he is chancellor.

Grace Mugabe was not present. It had been thought she had left the country but it emerged on Thursday that she was at home with Mr Mugabe.

people holding signs reading Image copyrightEPA
Image captionThe message for the Mugabes was clear

Mr Mugabe sacked Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa last week, apparently to pave the way for Grace Mugabe, who is four decades younger than him, to take over the presidency.

Zanu-PF’s top body is meeting on Sunday to discuss dismissing Mr Mugabe as party leader.


Negotiating Mugabe’s exit

Analysis by Anne Soy, BBC News, Harare

Negotiations are going on behind the scenes to persuade President Mugabe to step down. It is understood that he has insisted that he cannot do so and legitimise a coup.

The military maintains this is not a coup and there is international pressure to use constitutional means to resolve the political crisis. Negotiators are poring through Zimbabwe’s laws to find a legal way out.

Saturday’s call for civilians to take to the streets looks choreographed to lend some legitimacy to the transition process being discussed.

President Mugabe’s support base has continued to crumble. Independence war veterans, who fought alongside him against colonial rule, have also called on their former leader to leave.

But the biggest blow yet to Mr Mugabe could be delivered by the central committee of his ruling Zanu-PF on Sunday. Their meeting could see Robert Mugabe dismissed as party leader.

 

woman singing and dancing in front of army tankImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionThe protest had the blessing of the military and the ruling party

Who is backing the protest in Harare?

  • The influential war veterans’ association. Leader Christopher Mutsvangwa had called for a huge turnout, saying: “We want to restore our pride.”
  • The ruling Zanu-PF. At least eight out of 10 regional branches voted on Friday for Mr Mugabe to resign as president and party secretary. Several regional leaders appeared on TV saying he should step down, Grace Mugabe should resign from the party and Mr Mnangagwa should be reinstated to the central committee.
  • The Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) said the rally was a “solidarity march”. It said: “As long as the planned march remains orderly, peaceful… and without hate speech and incitement to cause violence, it fully supports the march.”
  • Liberal groups opposed to the president. The leader of last year’s #Thisflag protests, Evans Mwarire, urged people to turn up.

How did we get here?

Soldiers seized the headquarters of Zimbabwe’s national broadcaster ZBC on Wednesday, and loud explosions and gunfire were heard.

Maj Gen Sibusiso Moyo then read out a statement on national television, assuring the nation that President Mugabe and his family were safe.

The military was only targeting what he called “criminals” around the president, he said, denying that there had been a coup.

On Thursday, Mr Mugabe was pictured smiling as he took part in talks with an army general and South African government ministers at State House but sources suggested he might be resisting pressure to resign.

 


What has been the reaction around the world?

  • US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson urged a quick return to civilian rule, but also said the crisis was an opportunity for Zimbabwe to set itself on a new path
  • Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Beijing was hoping for stability and a peaceful “appropriate” resolution
  • UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson warned against a transition from “one unelected tyrant” to another
  • Botswana’s President Ian Khama said regional leaders did not support Mr Mugabe staying in power
  • Alpha Conde, the chairman of the African Union, a key regional bloc, said the takeover “seems like a coup” and demanded a return to constitutional order
  • South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma said the region was committed to supporting the people of Zimbabwe, and was optimistic the situation could be resolved amicably
  • * Source BBC
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African Union calls for Libya ‘slave market’ probe
November 18, 2017 | 0 Comments
Guinea's President Alpha Conde, President of the African Union,demanded an enquiry and prosecutions relating to what he termed a "despicable trade... from another era"

Guinea’s President Alpha Conde, President of the African Union,demanded an enquiry and prosecutions relating to what he termed a “despicable trade… from another era”

Tripoli (AFP) – The African Union on Friday called for Libyan authorities to investigate “slave markets” of black Africans operating in the conflict-torn nation, following the release of shocking images showing the sale of young men.

The demand follows the release of CNN footage of a live auction in Libya where black youths are presented to north African buyers as potential farmhands and sold off for as little as $400.

Guinean President Alpha Conde, who is also Chairman of the African Union, demanded an enquiry and prosecutions relating to what he termed a “despicable trade… from another era”.

Meanwhile Senegal’s government. commenting on Facebook, expressed “outrage at the sale of Sub-Saharan African migrants on Libyan soil,” which constituted a “blight on the conscience of humanity”.

African migrants from nations including Guinea and Senegal but also Mali, Niger, Nigeria and The Gambia make the dangerous crossing through the Sahara to Libya with hopes of making it over the Mediterranean Sea to Italy.

But testimony collected by AFP in recent years has revealed a litany of rights abuses at the hands of gangmasters, human traffickers and the Libyan security forces, while many end up stuck in the unstable north African nation for years.

More than 8,800 stranded migrants have been returned home this year, according to the International Organization for Migration, which is also amassing evidence of slavery.

Conde further appealed for the Libyan authorities to “reassess migrants’ detention conditions” following revelations over squalid jails and detention centres that await migrants who are caught trying to reach the coast.

“These modern slavery practices must end and the African Union will use all the tools at its disposal,” Conde added.

Libya has opened an investigation into the practice, CNN reported Friday, and pledged to return those taken as slaves to their country of origin.

*AFP

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Africa: Nurturing Young Entrepreneurs as the Next Generation of Hunger Fighters
November 18, 2017 | 0 Comments
By Bunmi Oloruntoba
Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB)

Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB)

DES MOINES, United States of America, November 18, 2017/ — Considered the “Nobel Prize of agriculture,” the World Food Prize is awarded each year for a specific and exceptionally significant contribution to the production or distribution of food. This year, the prize was awarded to Akinwumi Adesina, a former Nigerian agriculture minister – and currently the president of the African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org) – for his contributions to increasing productivity in that country’s agricultural sector.

A list of Adesina’s achievements as minister of agriculture from 2010 to 2015 spans several pages. But for the World Food Prize, the focal point was his introduction of the Electronic Wallet (E-Wallet) platform to Nigeria’s food production and distribution chain.

Through the E-Wallet, Adesina pioneered a new way for the Nigerian government to deliver subsidized farm inputs, such as fertilizer and seeds, to local farmers through private agro-dealers. The farmers, in turn, get to redeem these subsidized inputs from the agro-dealers using e-vouchers, which they can access through their mobile phones.

To implement the platform, Adesina initiated a Growth and Enhancement Support Scheme (GES). He powered the scheme by orchestrating the successful registration of more than five million Nigerian farmers, whose information and mobile phone numbers were added to the GES database. The database, coupled with the E-Wallet, now allows Nigerian farmers to receive directly from the government everything from fertilizer to high-yield rice seeds and palm oil seedlings.

In the past, such subsidized inputs would have bypassed the farmers and fallen into the hands of black marketers who would have sold the inputs on the open market or in neighboring countries. According to the World Food Prize, through the E-wallet Adesina succeeded in breaking the “back of corrupt elements that had controlled the fertilizer distribution system for 40 years.”

The platform also helped solve other previously intractable problems in the way of commercial large scale food production in Nigeria.

For example, the country’s paddy rice farmers, through the E-Wallet, were able to receive from the government award-winning, high yield NERICA rice varieties, which saw their output rise from five to six tons per hectare. Thousands of paddy farmers producing a consistent grade of rice soon created the opportunity for several agro-based companies to switch from rice importation to local rice production, and standardization of the country’s rice output led to large private sector investments in rice milling.

The World Food Prize compares the spread of Adesina’s efforts in scale to the “Green Revolution” work of the Nobel Peace Prize winner Norman Borlaug. In the 1970s and 1980s, Borlaug introduced high-yield dwarf wheat to Latin America and Asia, spawning “Green Revolutions” on two continents.

As other African countries start to adopt E-Wallet platforms to get subsidized inputs – and even financial services – directly to their farmers, the World Food Prize claims Adesina’s E-Wallet is “sparking a Borlaugian ‘Take It to the Farmer’ revolution across Africa.”

Farming creates jobs for young people

In his more recent job as president of Africa’s premier multilateral development finance institution, the African Development Bank (AfDB), Adesina embraces the continent’s “youth bulge” both as an opportunity and a resource in working for economic transformation.

Africa’s labor market is expected to absorb 11 million youths every year for the next decade. Despite rapid growth in formal wage sector jobs, the World Bank estimates that most of the continent’s young people “are likely to work on family farms and in household enterprises, often with very low incomes.”

Adesina wants to drive Africa’s economic transformation by empowering the continent’s youth population and making agriculture the hottest startup sector for young people. To achieve this goal, he wants to change the perception of agriculture in Africa from being a survival activity to a vehicle for wealth creation; from a hobby to a business.

It therefore came as no surprise when Adesina, halfway through his acceptance speech for the World Food Prize, declared to the crowded room in the American Midwestern city of Des Moines that “there will be no rest for me until Africa feeds itself, and for that we need the youth.”

“Even though I don’t have the cheque in my hand right now,” he continued, “I hereby commit my quarter of a million dollars… prize award to set up a fund fully dedicated to providing grants, fellowships and financing for the youth of Africa in agriculture as a business.”

Adesina’s vision for Africa’s youth and agriculture becomes prescient as the world’s geopolitical winds shift the focus of policymakers.

Britain’s Brexit vote to leave the European Union and the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States mark a rightward shift in the geopolitical landscape, with increasing numbers of countries appealing to more nationalistic agendas and responding to calls to stem immigration.

Creating jobs for young people in agriculture can both help Africa’s economic transformation and offer a solution to some of the challenges facing the continent and the world: the high rate of youth unemployment in Africa; human trafficking and the high rate of illegal migration of young Africans into Europe; sustainably kickstarting Africa’s industrialization; and preventing religious radicalization and combating terrorism.

To gain a clearer understanding of these issues, the lectures and speeches Adesina has given around the world are a good place to start:

On Youth Unemployment and Illegal Migration to Europe

Africa’s rapid population growth, specifically the growth of the working-age population, complicates a precarious labor market characterized by poor-quality employment, which in turn creates the urge for the youth to seek better opportunities elsewhere. The International Labor Organization estimates that in the next four years an additional 12.6 million youth in sub-Saharan Africa will enter the labour force.

Data from the International Organization for Migration (https://goo.gl/5f3Bd7) reveals that more than 154,000 young Africans have crossed the Mediterranean to Europe in 2017 so far. More than 2,900 have died trying to make the crossing. In 2016, more than 352,000 Africans crossed into Europe and more than 4,750 died.

Adesina, in remarks (https://goo.gl/Seb1Lp) leading up to the 2015 Action Plan for African Agricultural Transformation conference in Dakar, pointed out that “the agricultural sector [in Africa] has four times the power to create jobs and reduce poverty than any other sector.”

“That is why we make the claim that we can diminish the migrant crisis in Europe by supporting agricultural transformation in Africa,” he said.

In remarks at the 2017 G7 Summit in Taormina, Italy, back in May, Adesina expanded on this vision when he said that “the future of Africa’s youth does not lie in migration to Europe” nor should it be “at the bottom of the Mediterranean.” He proposed rather that an agribusiness-driven economy could be one of the economic reasons Africa’s youth choose to remain on the continent.

“We must turn rural areas from zones of economic misery to zones of economic prosperity,” Adesina said. “This requires new agricultural innovations and transforming agriculture into a sector for creating wealth. We must make agriculture a really cool choice for young people.”

“The future millionaires and billionaires of Africa will come initially from agriculture.”

On Africa’s Industrialization

Industrialization has been referred to as the most effective driver of structural poverty reduction. Experts remind us that no developing country has transitioned into a developed country without industrializing.

Adesina, in his opening speech at the Dakar conference, questioned the theory that assumes labour must move from the agricultural sector to the industrial sector. Rather, Adesina suggested an economic theory of industrialization that sees Africa’s industrialization starting from the agricultural sector.

“The reality,” he said, “is that agro-industrialization has greatest potential for Africa to achieve more rapid and inclusive growth – and create jobs… If you want industrialization of Africa, and massive job creation, focus on industrializing the agriculture sector.”

He went on to add, “to rapidly modernize agriculture, we must get the youth engaged in the sector. We must change the perception of the youths of agriculture – they must see agriculture as a business.”

On radicalization and terrorism

The Africa Center for Strategic Studies has warned (https://goo.gl/u5Re4c) that one of the “key effect of ISIS’s continued loss of territory and operational capacity in Iraq and Syria will be an increase in the number of ISIS fighters returning to regions in Africa already facing a threat from violent Islamists.”

In his opening remarks (https://goo.gl/v8HPjX) at the West African Ministerial Conference in October 2016, Adesina observed that “today, across Africa, unemployed youths are turning into gangs, getting into kidnappings for a living, getting recruited to join terrorist groups. And those are the wrong kind of jobs.”

At his speech at the 2017 G7 conference in Italy, he referred to the deadly combination of extreme rural poverty, high youth unemployment and environmental climate degradation as the “triangle of disaster. Where these factors are found, they provide rich recruitment zones for terrorists.”

In Adesina’s view, agribusiness – more than any other economic sector – has the power to bring wealth to the rural parts of Africa

“I believe that the future millionaires of Africa will come from agriculture, not from the oil and gas industry. Agriculture will become Africa’s new oil.”

Adesina has also announced that his World Food Prize money will be used to establish a World Food Prize Global Youth Institute for Africa, an organization he said will support a new generation of agricultural scientists and innovators across Africa. This organization will nurture and produce graduates known as Borlaug-Adesina Fellows, who will become the next generation of hunger fighters.

*Source Allafrica

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Jubilation and ululation in the streets of Harare as Zimbabweans attend war veterans indaba to out Mugabe
November 18, 2017 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

Thousands of Zimbabwens are thronging the streets of Harare in
jovial mood through song, dance,jubilation and ululation on their way
to Gwanzura stadium in Highfields high density suburb to the planned
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) is
indaba to chart a way forward for the country and to urge President
Robert Mugabe to step-down.

War veterans, widely regarded as close allies of sacked Vice-President
Emmerson Mnangagwa, said nothing would stop them from meeting.

Already they have reacted angrily to Mnangagwa’s sacking and in
retaliation; they purportedly fired President Robert Mugabe and his
wife First Lady Grace from Zanu PF.

The association’s secretary-general Victor Matemadanda said they would
go ahead as planned.

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Arsenal welcomes WorldRemit as first-ever Official Online Money Transfer Partner
November 17, 2017 | 0 Comments
Leading digital money transfer company WorldRemit and Arsenal partner to use the power of football to find a better way to connect communities
From Left to Right) - New signing, 1st XI defender, Sead Kolasinac; Arsenal Club Captain, Per Mertesacker; 1st XI midfielder and Arsenal Academy graduate, Jack Wilshere

From Left to Right) – New signing, 1st XI defender, Sead Kolasinac; Arsenal Club Captain, Per Mertesacker; 1st XI midfielder and Arsenal Academy graduate, Jack Wilshere

LONDON, United Kingdom, November 17, 2017/ — WorldRemit (www.WorldRemit.com) becomes the first Official Online Money Transfer Partner of the Premier League club, Arsenal (www.Arsenal.com). The leading digital money transfer business, formed by a UK-based entrepreneur from Somaliland, has joined forces with Arsenal to accelerate the company’s growth and help more people save money on international transfers.

The global partnership will provide WorldRemit with a range of rights and player access to support its expansion plans. The partnership agreement includes match day LED branding for every Premier League, League Cup and FA Cup match along with TV interview backdrop presence for every home Premier League match along with global digital and social media rights across Arsenal’s online and mobile platforms.

WorldRemit will work closely with Arsenal’s first-team players to create unique content that will support new and existing community engagement initiatives around the world.

The partnership will also reward WorldRemit’s customers and Arsenal supporters through exclusive events and experiences using the power of football to inspire people. The company will launch the partnership with the first in a number of competitions to win travel to London and tickets to watch the team play at Emirates Stadium.

WorldRemit was founded by Chief Executive Officer Ismail Ahmed, to offer a better way to send small sums of money more frequently, bringing family and friends closer together – wherever they are.

WorldRemit’s service is available to senders in 50 countries and the company offers money transfers to more than 140 destinations across Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and the Americas.

The company is a global leader in international transfers paid out as mobile money – where funds can be held on mobile telephone accounts. WorldRemit connects to over 130 million mobile money accounts, enabling money to be sent safely to friends and family even if the recipient doesn’t have access to a bank account.

The partnership will support WorldRemit’s growth ambitions by helping them reach Arsenal’s 74 million followers on their official social media channels and 185 supporters’ clubs worldwide.

Vinai Venkatesham, Arsenal’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: “This is an exciting new partnership with WorldRemit who under their inspirational CEO are looking to transform the way people can transfer money to family and friends around the world. We share mutual values and look forward to working together to build their global presence through our broadcast, social and digital channels which reach millions around the world. We look forward to a long and successful partnership.”

Ismail Ahmed, WorldRemit Chief Executive Officer, said: “Football is a language that everyone understands. Growing up in Somaliland, you would always see kids playing football – even during the war. It’s a passion which connects people all over the world and we are proud to sponsor a club whose values are so closely aligned to our own and those of our customers. This partnership with Arsenal creates opportunities for us to thank and reward our loyal customers and to connect with new audiences around the world. We look forward to using the power of football to support and inspire young people to fulfil their potential and to the opportunities which we can create to together.”

Arsenal (www.Arsenal.com) is one of the leading clubs in world football with a strong heritage of success, progressive thinking and financial stability.
The club was founded in 1886 in Woolwich, south London, before moving to Highbury in north London in 1913. We moved to Emirates Stadium in 2006.
Arsenal has an impressive roll of honour: English League Champions 13 times, FA Cup winners a record 13 times, League Cup winners twice and European Cup Winners’ Cup (1994) and European Fairs Cup (1970) winners once.
In addition, Arsenal Women are the most successful English club in women’s football. They celebrate their 30th season this year. The club has 45,000 season ticket holders, 1.8m digital global members and one of the biggest digital followings in the game with a reach of 74m across all channels.
The Arsenal Foundation uses the power of football and the Arsenal name to inspire and support young people in north London and across the globe. The Arsenal Foundation raises funds each year and works with a number of key partners including Save the Children, Islington Giving, Willow and the Gunners’ Fund. Locally, Arsenal in the Community has delivered programmes to drive positive social outcomes for more than 30 years.

WorldRemit (www.WorldRemit.com) is creating a better way to send money. By making it easy to send smaller sums of money more frequently, WorldRemit is bringing friends and family closer together.
WorldRemit was founded in 2010. The Chief Executive Ismail Ahmed – a UK based entrepreneur from Somaliland – saw the opportunity to give customers a better service by offering faster, lower-cost and more secure digital money transfers compared to traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ agents.
The company has grown quickly: it has ranked in the Sunday Times Tech Track top 100 list of fastest growing tech companies for the past two years in a row. Backed by Accel Partners and TCV – investors in Facebook, Spotify, Netflix and Slack. Dr Ahmed was recently voted the third most influential person in the 2018 Powerlist of 100 people, which recognises those of African and African Caribbean heritage. In 2017 WorldRemit was recognised by the FT and the IFC as the UK’s most Transformative Business in the Transformational Business Awards.
WorldRemit’s global headquarters are in London, UK with offices in the United States, Canada, South Africa, Singapore, the Philippines, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

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