Category Archives: Government

South Africa: President Processing Matters Around Expropriation Bill

President Jacob Zuma’s office says he has received the Expropriation Bill of 2015 from the National Assembly for assent and signing into law.

The high office on Wednesday said it has received objections to the bill, and that “all matters are still being processed”.

The bill was voted for adoption in the National Assembly in May’ despite several opposition parties voting against it. Opponents of the bill fear that it will be used to take over farms as part of land reforms.

Government introduced the bill in order to make progressive land purchases to address inequalities caused by the apartheid regime without being prevented by the willing buyer, willing seller principle.

It was introduced to make provision for a more coherent process of handling the expropriation of land and speeding up land reform.

It seeks to align the Expropriation Act of 1975 with the Constitution and to provide a common framework to guide the processes and procedures for the expropriation of land by organs of State.

The bill, once signed into law, will enable government to purchase land at a value determined by the State adjudicator and then expropriate — provided that the Minister of Public Works is satisfied that the land purchase is in the “public interest”.

“If the expropriating authority and expropriated owner or expropriated holder do not agree on the amount of compensation, they may attempt to settle the dispute by mediation, which must be initiated and finalised without undue delay by either party,” an excerpt from the bill reads.


Lesotho: President Zuma in Lesotho for Sacu Business

President Jacob Zuma is expected in Lesotho this morning to consult on matters relating to the Southern African Customs Union (SACU).

The consultations are a follow-up to the discussions held by the SACU Heads of State and Government during the inauguration of the new SACU Headquarters in Windhoek, Namibia, last year.

“The discussions will also focus on progress in the implementation of the SACU work programme, as adopted by the 2011 SACU Summit. The deliberations will also consider regional, continental and global economic and trade developments and their impact on SACU,” said the Presidency.

Lesotho and South Africa form part of the five member customs bloc founded in 1910.

SACU member countries, which also include Botswana, Namibia and Swaziland, earn tax revenues through importing goods from each other.

South Africa wants to also lobby for the revision of the revenue sharing formula that sees it paying more than other countries as the largest exporter.

President Zuma recently travelled to Botswana, Namibia and Swaziland in April for similar consultations.

President Zuma, who is the current Chair of the SACU Summit, will be accompanied by International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana Mashabane, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.



Minister Jammeh: Sports Can Be a Powerful Tool to Promote Peace

The Minister of Youth and Sports said sports is a universal language that can be a powerful tool to promote peace, tolerance and understanding by bringing people together across cultures, religions, tribes and nations.

Alieu K. Jammeh was speaking on behalf of the Gambian leader at the 8th edition of the Peace and Sports International Forum, held in Monaco, France from November 25 to 27. He added that sports values of teamwork, fairness, discipline, respect for the opponent and rules of the game are understood all over the world regardless of diversities of language and cultures.

“With sports, everybody is one and the same, stereotypes are shattered, and the notion of nobody does not exist because sports recognises the value of all and makes us care for all,” he said.

The forum for this year was observed under the theme: “Endangered Peace: How can Sport Help”, and it intends to place sports firmly in the middle of finding solutions to the myriad conflictual situations confronting our world and our contemporary societies.

The forum, running over three intellectually and emotionally charged days allowed delegates including athletes, politicians, policymakers among others to sparred on various relevant matters as to how sports can robustly be a peace maker.

Mr. Jammeh told delegates that The Gambia was honoured to be associated with this initiative, pointing out that sports in general appeals to all peoples of the world, young and old, men and women, all races.

“Therefore, yes, sports can find solutions to the problems bedeviling the world currently. Our world is bleeding; the peace is threatened; the future is bleak and we need a future that will be at peace with itself and with us.”

The Gambia’s Sports Minister challenged the world to intensify efforts in addressing the root causes of all these problems. Perhaps, he suggested, that a process be spearheaded to ask the Secretary General of the United Nations to organise a sports event between Heads of State and Government during the next United Nations General Assembly, as a side event. This, he believed, could encourage mutual acceptance and tolerance between world leaders.

“At the local and national levels, we need to do more for deprived areas. The well-to-do countries and individuals can help in the provision of facilities, infrastructure, opportunities and programmes for children, youth and adults of less endowed communities and countries,” he said.

He informed the forum that in The Gambia, the sporting fraternity runs three annual flagship sports programmes through what he called ‘May Day Mass Sports’, which is a one day sports jamboree on May 1st each year for all categories of employees and employers; the Sports for Health which is a three day sports event for the three arms of government, politicians, local authorities and the private sector and Youth and Sports Summer Camp which is for children between the ages of 10-15 drawn from all seven regions of the country coming together for a week during summer vacations to partake in sports events and social activities.

These programmes, he added are contributing to the sustenance of understanding and promotion of love between the different participants through interaction and knowledge sharing and at the same time promoting physical exercise as a healthy way of living for the population.

Gov’t Uses Proactive Policies to Support Her Development Vision- Says VP

The Vice-President and Minister of Women’S Affairs, Her Excellency Dr. Aja Isatou Njie-Saidy has said that The Gambia Government has put in place proactive policies to support the realisation of her development Vision.

According to her, the importance of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Country Programme Evaluation cannot be overemphasised adding that The Gambia’s development agenda is enshrined in the country’s Vision 2020 which seeks to transform The Gambia into a dynamic middle income country, socially, economically and scientifically over a 25 year period.

The Gambia’s Vice-President made these remarks at a local hotel in Kololi, as she presided over the official opening of a day’s national workshop on findings of the IFAD Country Programme Evaluation of The Gambia.

Organised by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs (MoFEA) and the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD, the objectives of the event was to assess the performance and impact of IFAD supported operations (CPE) and generate a series of findings and recommendations that serves as building blocks for the future cooperation between IFAD and The Gambia Government.

Madam Njie-Saidy stated that the cooperation between IFAD and the Government of The Gambia dates back to 1982 and involves loans, grants and non-lending activities including knowledge management, policy dialogue and partnership building.

“I am informed that IFAD has supported 10 projects and programmes for a total project cost of US$196.8 million; out of this, the amount of IFAD lending amounted to US$73.1 million, other contributions to the portfolio were provided by funds in the form of regional grants,” VP Njie-Saidy remarked.

She said the counterpart contribution by The Gambia Government and project beneficiaries accounted for US$24.1 million and co-financing amounted to US$99.5 million. “The African Development Bank (AfDB), the World Bank (WB), International Development Association (IDA) group, the Islamic Development Bank, WFP and Governments of Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Spain have participated in IFAD funded projects since the beginning of the IFAD’s operations in the country,” she said.

VP Njie-Saidy informed the participants that the National Youth Policy approved in 2009 has priority areas that encompass youth employment issues, sustainable livelihoods development, poverty reduction and economic empowerment and pursues ad hoc incentives like loans and training for effective use of land by rural young people.

According to her, the evaluation assessed IFAD’s contribution to rural development and rural poverty reduction in The Gambia; identifying aspects of the cooperation to be strengthened as well as the necessary conditions to ensure the sustainability of results.

Workshop1The evaluation, Madam Njie-Saidy went on, will also impact on the sustainability of development interventions, assessing whether benefits of projects are likely to continue after the completion of IFAD assistance including prospects for innovation, replication and scaling up gender equality and women empowerment with emphasis on the degree of gender mainstreaming achieved.

She urged the participants to work hard to effectively review the report with a view to identify major areas for closer collaboration between The Gambia Government and IFAD as a means for sustainable development of the country in general and the Agriculture sector in particular.

Other speakers at the ceremony were the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Abdou Kolley, Ides de Willebois, Director, West and Central Africa IFAD and Asawani Muthoo deputy director Independent Office Evaluation (IOE).

President Jammeh pledges to transform Kombo South

The President of the Republic of The Gambia has promised the people of Kombo South that his government will bring series of development initiatives that will transform the district; ranging from schools, to road construction and the provision of health facilities, between 2016 and 2017.

The Gambian leader, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya AJJ Jammeh Babili Mansa made this promise during a meeting on Monday evening in the Kombo South coastal town of Gunjur. The meeting was part of his nationwide dialogue with the people tour.

“In 1997 I had a meeting here and I told you that a day will come you will have nothing to ask from me,” he reminded the people of Kombo South.

He further promised that his government would construct the road linking the villages of Kasa Kunda, Nyofelleh and Gunjur; Kachumeh and Kunkujang Mariama by 2017.

Kombo South1President Jammeh noted that Kombo South has one senior secondary school, promising them that before the end of 2016 a senior school will be built in Kartong; and two more: one between Gunjur and Brufut, and the second between Darsilameh and Dimbaya.

He observed that from Gunjur to Kartong there is no major health facility, pledging that before the end of 2016, a first class major health centre will be constructed in the area.

“I made a pledge that I do not want people to travel more than 3km to access health care. I will make sure this promise is fulfilled.” he said.

The Gambian leader went on to announce that before the end of 2016, schools, roads and hospitals would be his priorities.

While calling on Gambians to appreciate the development brought in the country over the 21 years of his leadership, President Jammeh pointed out to the gathering that the development of the country is ultimately in Allah’s hands.

He went on to advise Gambians to love and care for one another and eschew hatred.

Further, on the importance of caring for one another especially among neighbours, the President reminded the gathering that a day would come when Allah will judge everyone.

“Wickedness and hatred have no benefit. Let us help and have sympathy for one another. We are all Gambians and above all we are human beings,” he advised.