Archive for May 21st, 2007

source: allAfrica
The Daily Monitor (Addis Ababa)

21 May 2007
Posted to the web 21 May 2007

Addis Ababa

Barely mentioning the topic of delivering aid pledges to Africa, finance ministers from the Group of Eight (G8) wealthy nations on Saturday called on poor nations in Africa to embrace “good financial governance” to tackle poverty, Xinhua reported citing a communiqué on Sunday.

In the communiqué the news agency said was issued at the end of their two-day gathering at Lake Schwielowsee near Potsdam, finance ministers from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States said that they strongly support efforts to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of public financial management in Africa.

“Improved financial governance and aid flows must go hand in hand if we are to tackle poverty,” Xinhua quoted as saying the G8 ministers who also put up a set of recommendations to this purpose in the “Action Plan for Good Financial Governance in Africa” attached to the statement.

“As to the topic of development aid, the G8 ministers fell short of taking concrete actions, they only said: ‘We reaffirm our commitment to meeting our responsibilities as donors, in particular the importance of [continue reading]

source: BOPA
21 May, 2007

RAKOPS – It was all smiles for Rakops and nearby villages on Thursday when the World Telecommunications and Information Society Day (WTISD) ceremony gave them the benefits of the digital revolution.

Each of the communities of Mmadikola, Mopipi, Xere, Xhumo, Toromoja, Kedia and Rakops in the Boteti Sub-District would have a telecentre, where they would own computers with either Internet facilities, photocopiers, fax machines, printers or telephones — thanks to the kind donations that have been made by stakeholders.

The Assistant Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Lebonamang Mokalake said at the WTISD commemorations that the telecentres, the communities will generate funds by providing services to customers.

He said the event, which was held under the theme Connecting the Young: Opportunities for ICT was meant to bring the information communications technologies closer to non-serviced areas and thus assist in bridging the digital divide.

Mr Mokalake said one of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is to provide communities with access to information communications technologies such as radio, television and Internet within a walking distance.

The Boteti Sub-District has not had an opportunity to host a technology event such as this one and I am happy that the Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology (MCST) has chosen Rakops for this years celebration.

Schools in some of the villages were also provided with telecommunication services, which included computers with Internet and email.

This will enable workers and students in these institutions to keep abreast with developments in their line of duty, he said.

Mr Mokalake outlined a number of initiatives that the government has put in place to empower the [continue reading]

source: allAfrica

BuaNews (Tshwane)

20 May 2007
Posted to the web 20 May 2007

Midrand

The Eighth Ordinary Session of the Pan African Parliament (PAP) later this year, is to focus on Human Rights in Africa, as a result of recommendations from a report on Justice and Human Rights.

Parliamentarians on Wednesday and Thursday examined seven committee reports, including that of Justice and Human Rights.

“Based on these recommendations, the Committee resolved that the House should adopt the subject on Human Rights in Africa as the main topic of discussion during the Eighth Ordinary Session of the PAP later this year to enable the AU and all its relevant institutions such PAP to address the human rights situation in Africa,” the PAP said in a statement.

In its report, the committee resolved that conflicts and armed disputes constitute a real threat to human rights, peace and security and development efforts in Africa.

It then called on the Parliament to pay special attention and give priority to human rights in Africa, especially in Darfur, the Great Lakes Region, Chad and Western Sahara.

The report of the Committee also resolved that the PAP has to assist in establishing the position of a Human Rights Desk Officer, to perform functions such as compiling an annual list of countries planning to hold elections.

The Human Rights Desk Officer would also need to develop a mechanism for early warning signs on conflict and violation of human rights, and compile a list of member states that have ratified relevant Protocols and Conventions.

The report also pointed out that missions are to be sent to countries that have human rights problems, and also proposed deploying election observer missions to Mali and Kenya.

However, PAP President Gertrude Mongella warned the parliamentarians to show more commitment to being present at committee meetings.

Ms Mongella further warned those who were “too busy to sit in Committees to make way for elections for other members who can have time to take their place.”

The report itself was criticised for a lack of detail, accompanied by complaints from other MPs about “its shallowness in regard to the situation of human rights abuse on the continent.”

allAfrica

source: news24
20/05/2007 14:13 – (SA)

Johannesburg – Billions of rands have been lost because of the eNatis debacle, which has plunged the automotive industry into chaos, put the brakes on vehicle sales and threatened the future of car rental, trucking and taxi companies, the Sunday Independent reported.

The debacle worsened following a disclosure on Friday that transport minister Jeff Radebe had no knowledge of a report by the office of the auditor-general, issued in December, that warned of e-Natis chaos, overspending and the potential for fraudulent abuse of the system.

The fallout from the failure of the department of transport’s R400 million eNatis licencing system, which has been hit by technical troubles since it was launched last month, has infuriated vehicle owners and motor salesmen and led to demands for a presidential investigation and for the head of Radebe, the Independent said.

Motorists are upset because they cannot take possession of their vehicles from car dealers, car sales people who work on commissions have not been paid, insurance companies are unable to insure vehicles without the paperwork eNatis was designed to generate, and banks will not settle deals until eNatis has printed the vehicle’s registration papers.

The auditor-general’s investigation, made at the request of the department of transport, found serious financial and logistical risks in implementing the system.

The development and implementation of the e-Natis system allegedly went way over budget, resulting in motorists being hit with a R30 fee to make up the shortfall.
news24