Archive for the ‘Africa’ Category
Aug 05 2010 22:05
Johannesburg – Senior regulators and supervisors from 17 central banks and other regulatory authorities will meet over three days to deliberate the key challenges and opportunities posed by innovative new financial services on offer by mobile network operators (MNO) in South Africa and around the world.
Sending money to relatives or paying bills using a mobile phone is as easy and affordable as sending a text message in some countries. Some MNOs have even partnered with commercial banks to offer clients basic banking services such as deposits and withdrawals via their mobile network platform.
“Recent developments in mobile-phone enabled financial services suggest that we are on the cusp of a revolution in the way we [continue reading]
LUSAKA: President Rupiah Banda starts a two-day official visit to Botswana on August 9-10 clearly concerned that Catholic bishops have rejected Zambia’s draft constitution, which is expected to form the basis of next year’s elections.
Elected in a by-election to replace president Levy Mwanawasa who died after suffering a stroke in August 2008, Banda will in 2011 be seeking re-election, which will qualify him for his first five-year term in office. But in a move that is sure to reopen old wounds between the church and the state, Catholic prelates have rejected the new constitution on the ground that it is not people-driven and cannot stand the test of time. They say that the National Constitutional Conference (NCC), which had been tasked with coming up with the constitution, had “failed to meet the aspirations of the Zambian people”.
In a bid to reduce, among other things, the powers of a [continue reading]
United States Department of State (Washington)
3 August 2010
The following is full text of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s remarks at the President’s Forum with Young African Leaders in Washington, DC.
Thank you all so much. I am thrilled to see you. I had to come back to work to recover from my daughter’s wedding. (Laughter.) And one of the reasons I came back was because I wanted the chance to welcome each and every one of you here to the State Department, and to tell you how excited we are to be hosting this Young Leaders Forum.
Now, I know that later this afternoon, you will have the unique opportunity to go to the White House and to meet with President Obama. And I think from what you heard already today and the comments of my friend and extraordinary Assistant Secretary for Africa, Johnnie Carson, this Administration, from the top, is very committed to, concerned about Africa, and especially about Africa’s future, because we know that it is people like all of you and [continue reading]
The Nation (Nairobi)
24 July 2010
Kampala — African leaders have not kept their promises and are failing their citizens, according to a new report released today as Heads of State arrive in Kampala for the African Union summit.
The “State of the Union” coalition is the first of its kind set up to monitor how African governments are delivering on their development commitments — from increasing investment in health care and agriculture to improving human rights and tackling corruption.
Drawing on studies from 10 key AU nations, the report paints a picture of unfulfilled agreements, missed targets, and failure to invest in the development of the continent. Most of the landmark announcements made at previous AU Summits are far from being implemented.
A scorecard issued with the report rated South Africa as the best performer of [continue reading]
The East African (Nairobi)
26 July 2010
Nairobi — As the world celebrates this month’s signing up of the five-billionth mobile phone subscriber, Africa is stepping forward to claim credit as one of the regions that have driven the phenomenal growth over the past decade.
This has been accompanied by economic growth with experts foreseeing even greater development in different sectors, buoyed by the mobile phone technology over the next decade.
From only 16 million subscribers in 2000, the continent now boasts about half a billion subscribers, according to telecommunications firm Ericsson.
The mobile phone has also evolved to take up more roles beyond just making calls and exchanging text messages.
Studies have shown that [continue reading]
15 July 2010
Cape Town — President Jacob Zuma has entered the debate on the threat of xenophobic attacks on migrants from other African states by calling on South Africans to “isolate and report to the police those elements who may be seeking to sow mayhem in communities.”
In a statement issued from his office in Pretoria on Thursday, he said the World Cup had demonstrated that South Africans were “warm, peace-loving and hospitable.” Their support for Ghana and other African teams had displayed “African unity in its true sense.”
He added: “Let us isolate all elements who may have sinister agendas, who may want to create havoc and sow pain and destruction in communities, especially foreign nationals residing in our country. We appeal for calm, tolerance and unity [continue reading]
NDOLA: The World Cup finals in South Africa, which ended on Sunday presented opportunities and challenges in areas of business, economy, technology, culture/heritage and others.
One challenge that the soccer World Cup exposed is the need for electricity inter-connector projects such as the ones in the Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP). If the generation capacity in the SADC region had been increased long before the World Cup, South Africa’s neighbours would have supplied it with excess electricity.
Countries with higher generation capacity like Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) would have supplied deficient ones like Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa itself even if it is Africa’s major producer. A research recently conducted has shown that some soccer fans missed some World Cup matches due to load shedding, particularly in Zambia and Zimbabwe. As a result of [continue reading]
The Citizen (Dar es Salaam)
12 July 2010
The East African Submarine Cable System (EASSy) will be switched on at the end of this month, officials said yesterday. The fibre-optic cable, which serves as a conduit for Internet and data traffic, arrived in the country in April this year but was yet to start operations
“We are now continuing with recruiting potential clients, mainly wholesalers and government institutions, before going live at the end of July,” said Mr Norman Moyo, the Zantel chief commercial officer.
Various eastern and southern African telecommunication companies have a stake in EASSy. In Tanzania, TTCL and Zantel are shareholders in the fibre-optic cable. When it goes live, the cable system is expected to provide a capacity transport option to other network operators and Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
The development is expected to provide more alternative Internet gateways to [continue reading]
source: Sunday Standard
by Gowenius Toka
Two more public sector unions have threatened to drag government to court over a recent decision to de-recognize them. The two, Tertiary Trainers and Allied Workers Union (TAWU) and Botswana Government Workers Union (BOGOWU) have taken offense with the Directorate of Public Service Management’s decision to ask them to provide information on their membership as proof of the fact that they are lawfully recognized as unions.
“We find it out of place for DPSM to suggest that the basis of asking unions to provide information explaining the status of their membership was in anticipation of arrangements or preparations for the public service bargaining council,” said Allan Keitseng, President of TAWU.
This follows serious disagreements at a meeting between the two unions and [continue reading]
Inter Press Service (Johannesburg)
Africa: Latest News
Servaas van den Bosch
8 June 2010
Countries are quietly signing up to the Copenhagen Accord, but commitments on emissions cuts and funding remain unclear.
“We have to decide by this Sunday whether we sign the Copenhagen Accord, or not. If we don’t, we have no access to the 30 billion dollar quick startup fund,” Namibian Prime Minister Nahas Angula told a gathering of businessmen in Windhoek at the end of January. “Perhaps we should just take it.’
Angula was wrong on the first point: faced with a less than enthusiastic response from the 194 Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), its executive secretary, Yvo de Boer, dropped the Jan. 31 deadline long before Angula’s predicament arose.
That nobody in the Namibian government seemed to be [continue reading]
The East African (Nairobi)
24 May 2010
Nairobi — It’s the chief, not his cronies.
As they prepared to do the premiere of The Last King of Scotland in Kampala a couple of years ago, I hailed a cab and hurried to evacuate myself from the city centre before Yoweri Museveni and his guests could trap me in another traffic snarl-up.
The young man driving me was all jovial politeness as he related how popular the film, starring the hulking Forest Whitaker, was with the citizens of Kampala and how hundreds of them would throng the theatres to see it.This intrigued me, so I asked the young musajja whether he had known Idi Amin.
No, the lad replied, he had not known the man because Amin had cut and run a year before the cabbie was born, but, yes, he had heard a lot of things about the man who used to call himself the Conqueror of the British Empire.
Naturally, I asked my young friend what kind of [continue reading]
Former deputy permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education and Skills Development, Opelo Makhandlela, who was forced to retire last Friday, has indicated that he will be taking legal action against his early retirement.
“What I can say about all this is how disappointed I am after working tirelessly for the Ministry of Education and the government and being sent packing like a herdman,” he said. “My work record is there for all to see and I have never been brought before a disciplinary hearing for any offence,” he added.
He said that the permanent secretary, Ruth Maphorisa ‘rudely’ called him from [continue reading]
Investment in Africa from countries such as China and India has rekindled optimism in a continent that sits on the world’s biggest deposits of platinum, chrome and diamonds, attracting a record number of delegates to this year’s World Economic Forum on Africa.
Bankers may make up the largest group of delegates as they look to profit from an economy expanding at double the pace of rich nations and a market that has just surpassed 1 billion people. Banks like Barclays and Standard Chartered Plc aim to be dealmakers as rising industrial powers such as China look to the continent to supply raw materials and India buys up land to feed its growing population.
“Africa has a yet-to-be-tapped investment, trade and market potential,” said Kuseni Dlamini, the chief executive officer of Johannesburg-based Old Mutual Plc’s South African unit, the largest African insurer. “I’m always on the look for investment and [continue reading]
Business Day (Johannesburg)
3 May 2010
Johannesburg — SA’s relations with Japan took a new turn last week when the two countries agreed to start negotiations on future co-operation on friendly nuclear energy that could be SA’s answer to alternative power generation and the reduction of carbon emissions.
There was no time frame for signing an agreement, Kazuo Kodama, a spokesman for Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada, said on Friday at the 10th SA-Japan Partnership Forum meeting in Pretoria. But Okada and SA’s Minister for International Relations and Co-operation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane regarded the matter as urgent, Kodama said.
The visit last week of Okada, a member of the Democratic Party that took power last year, ending the post-war domination of the Liberal Democrat s, marked the centenary of [continue reading]
The United States has no plans to have a military base in Africa, it has been revealed.
Addressing a press conference yesterday, US commander of the African Command, General William Ward said while there has been speculation that the US intends to set up a military base in Africa through Africom, this is not true. “Our planning activities can be conducted from anywhere, so we do not have any intentions of moving our headquarters to Africa, that is simply not the case and never has been,” said General Ward.
Africom headquarters is currently Stuttgart, Germany and Ward explained that they will remain there for [continue reading]