Daily Archives: March 2, 2018

KENYAN PRESIDENT MEETS LEADERS OF AFDB’S AFRICA50 FUND

NAIROBI, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has met top executives from specialised lender Africa50 Fund, a unit of the African Development Bank (AfDB), with their discussions focused on supporting Kenya’s infrastructure development.

The Morocco-based Africa50 Fund focuses on medium to large-scale infrastructure projects which have a significant development impact while offering an appropriate return to investors. The Fund delegation was led by Chief Executive Officer Alain Ebobisse and included Chief Operating Officer Carol Wamuyu Wainaina.

They discussed ways in which the Fund could help enable implementation of the President’s Big Four Agenda of eradicating hunger, affordable housing, job creation through increased manufacturing and value addition, and affordable healthcare.

The agency is looking to invest in sectors key to achieving the Big Four Agenda, such as infrastructure and power generation and transmission. It is also exploring ways to participate in improvements of Kenyan airports, and especially the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) here.

It also plans to host its annual meeting in Kenya in June.

President Kenyatta welcomed the Fund’s interest in investing in Kenya and said Kenya was ready to partner with the Fund and private sector agencies in mobilizing resources to achieve its agenda of bringing development and prosperity to its citizens.

Source: NAM News Network

SOUTH AFRICA HOSTING 17TH WORLD CONFERENCE ON TOBACCO OR HEALTH MARCH 7-9

CAPE TOWN, South Africa will host the 17th World Conference on Tobacco or Health (WCTOH) in cape Town from March 7 to 9, says Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane.

The conference, which will be held under the theme, “Uniting the World for a Tobacco-free Generation”, will be the first to be hosted in Africa, she told the media here Thursday in a post-Cabinet briefing.

Mokonyane explained that the WTCOH calls for committed action and provides a platform for governments, civil society organizations (CSOs), United Nations agencies, international organizations, health workers and other stakeholders to discuss and share knowledge and experiences, particularly with regard to youth and women who are exposed to tobacco use.

Hosting the conference contributes towards addressing the National Development Plan’s goals by creating awareness and education on the harmful effects of tobacco use and the need to intensify tobacco control measures,” Mokonyane said.

Source: NAM News Network

Remarks by President Cyril Ramaphosa following official talks on his Courtesy Visit to the Republic of Namibia

Thank you very much for your kind congratulatory words, words of welcome. It is a real joy for us to be here in Windhoek, Namibia. Today as you correctly say we have come on a Courtesy Visit.

But it is also a very special Courtesy Visit because it is a visit to come and renew our friendship, to consolidate it and to also look back where we have come from because we have been comrades in arms, and comrades in struggle and we move forward now as comrades in development, developing our countries and you are correct in saying you can choose your friend but you cannot choose your neighbours.

In our case we chose each other when we were in struggle, SWAPO and the ANC chose each other as two liberation movements that decided to work together, yes against the common enemy but because we had so many things that connected us that bound us together.

We had the same vision, same perspective, progressive forces, bound together by a need to develop our people.

In many ways we chose each other but as countries we are neighbours that are joined together as well.

For us as South Africa this is a very special visit, we are renewing our bounds, our friendship and we want to thank you for welcoming us.

We are also all new because I have got two of my colleagues who are ministers. We just reshuffled our cabinet so you are looking at part of a new executive of the Republic of South Africa.

For us this is a very very special moment and we look forward to serious engagements at a Bi-National level.

We will be back here and we will engage on serious matters of the economy, on trade, on our cultural connections, on our political relations and deal with issues that are obviously aimed at developing our two countries, growing our economies and when it comes to that we will know that we are doing the right thing to take our countries forward.

For tonight we thank you, you have been very generous we with the time you have given us, we thank you.

We apologise for occupying your evening and your night, but as you know we were traveling earlier and we have decided to go on this trip and we thought that Namibia has to be an important stop for us, for us to come and present ourselves to you and to meet with you and your colleagues and your comrades.

We thank you for this wonderful opportunity that you have given us to be in your presence in your country and thank you for the hospitality also that you have extended to us.

Source: The Presidency Republic of South Africa

Zimbabwe Court Orders State to Compensate Evicted Black Farmers

MAZOWE, ZIMBABWE A court in Zimbabwe has this week ordered the government and the head of the police force to pay reparations to a group of resettled black farmers whose homes were demolished in 2015 to make way for the former first lady’s game park.

The court victory provides little immediate comfort to the farmers at the Manzou farm in Mazowe district, about 50 kilometers north of Harare.

They have spent the past three rainy seasons without proper shelter.

One of them is King Maposa, who spoke to VOA near what he now calls his bedroom well, the remains of the original which he has to crawl into to get in.

He says it has been three years of stress. He cannot put on shoes anymore as his feet are always swollen. Doctors said it is due to stress. He is 71 and wonders what he is supposed to do. He was given land for food and a source of livelihood and then it was destroyed. Then they wanted us leave, he says. Where did the president’s wife want him to go, he asked, referring to Grace Mugabe, wife of former president Robert Mugabe. It has been frightening. He says every time he hears someone coming his heart pounds.

In January and February of 2015 residents say police came with bulldozers and flattened their homes to make way for a new game park being created by Grace Mugabe.

The court in Bindura, some about 100 km north of Harare, ruled Thursday that the evictions were done illegally, and ordered the government and the head of police to pay more than $30,000 in compensation to the 14 farmers. The judge said that police used excessive force and that the residents were not given alternative places to live as required by law.

Challenging impunity

Kumbirai Mafunda, spokesman for the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights group which represented the first 14 farmers, told VOA an additional 51 cases are still pending from other area residents, also evicted to make way for the game park.

And we expect the cited authorities to pay the damages as indicated by the court. Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights’ motivation in taking up this case was to do with challenging impunity. So that these actions are not repeated. So that other actors are deterred from doing such injustice, Mafunda said.

At Manzou farm, the farmers have struggled to make a living as they were barred access to its fields.

Takaitei Chigayo and her husband have been sleeping with their four children in a shelter of mostly plastic sheeting.

She says she hopes the compensation is paid out soon. Their property was destroyed. Their children had no clothes to wear to school, and they could no longer earn enough to pay the school fees. She says they had to spend their days in the hills in hiding.

Grace Mugabe repeatedly stirred up controversy in the final years of her husband’s presidency, something that was ultimately seen as one catalyst that hastened his ouster in November. Robert Mugabe, who turned 94 last month, resigned under pressure from the military after 37 years in power.

Amid the political transition, the farmers at Manzou have managed to plant some crops but they still have not been able to rebuild their homes.

Since Mugabe’s resignation, some of his allies have been arrested for various offenses such abuse of office and corruption.

And scrutiny into the former first lady continues. This coming Monday, Levi Nyagura, the head of the University of Zimbabwe, is expected in court to answer allegations that he improperly awarded a Ph.D. degree to Grace Mugabe.

Source: Voice of America

ZAMBIA CALLS FOR COLLABORATION TO DRIVE SOUTHERN AFRICA’S RENEWABLE ENERGY AGENDA

LIVINGSTONE, ZAMBIA, Zambia’s Energy Minister, Matthew Nkhuwa, has called on the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency to work together in driving the region’s renewable energy and efficiency agenda.

Nkhuwa, in a speech read for him by Southern Province Minister Edify Hamukale at Friday’s opening of the 50th SAPP Management Committee meeting in this resort town at Victoria Falls, added that energy efficiency and renewable energy are areas which the 15-nation SADC valued.

He said the heavy dependency of utility companies in the SADC countries hydro-electric power made them vulnerable to inconsistent power supply because of the effects of climate change.

The Managing Director of Zambian power utility Zesco, Victor Mundende, noted that with the Zambian Grid Code passed into law, the country was on the right path to offering a choice of supply for customers as well as facilitating competition among power producers.

Currently, most private enterprises in the country continued to participate in the electricity supply industry through power purchase agreements or power supply agreements with Zesco.

The Copperbelt Energy Corporation plc managing director, Owen Silavwe, said the company was committed to contributing to the increase of electricity generation capacity in Zambia.

Meanwhile in Lusaka, Minister of Higher Education Nkandu Luo said Thursday that Zambia was expected to develop a nuclear power plant with a capacity to generate about 2,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity.

Presenting her Ministerial statement in Parliament, Professor Luo said the power plant would be critical to ensuring sufficient supplies of electricity to power the economy over the next five decades. Zambia was working with the Russian government and the International Atomic Energy Agency in the nuclear power development programme, she added.

Source: NAM News Network