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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 01/12/17--14:00: Out with the old,
  • Out with the old,Out with the old,One year, 365 opportunities to make it right The New Year comes with many aspirations set out by many who sadly do not accomplish their goals. Whether it's to get a driver's licence, join the gym or to travel out of Namibia, Here are some of the resolutions that will hopefully be realised by the following headline makers



    Melisa Poulton

    I have set many goals for myself for this year as a designer and for my personal self. Firstly, as part of the Fashion Council of Namibia, I would like to make it grow within the Namibian industry and for us to create more opportunities and platforms for Namibian designers. Secondly, I want to let my brand grow even bigger within the Namibian milieu and try to focus more outside Namibia. I plan to make the Melisa Poulton brand grow in other African countries and hopefully take part in as many fashion weeks as possible. It's time to conquer Africa. I have set a number of goals I wish to achieve as a Namibian designer and to do the best I can. This year is all about going broader and really following my dreams and achieving as much as possible. Saying positive, working harder and making the Melisa Poulton brand big.



    Ashwyn Mberi

    My New Year's resolutions are to continue to involve God in all my endeavours and to fulfil my purpose which is to push performance art forward as well as to make a broader impact as a television presenter and MC. To get into specifics, my main showcases this year will be staging two theatre plays written and directed by myself and having my one-man show later in the year called 'The Jack of All Stages' where I'll be exposing Namibia to all my talents in one show - poetry, comedy and acting .Hoping to push the envelope and inspire young Namibians to use the gifts God gave them. I will also be looking at collaborations with different art forms and artists in order to bring unique flavours of entertainment to the Namibian audience. The idea is to power a generation of multi-disciplined performers who value making an impact on society whilst growing their craft.



    Adriano Visagie

    As a presenter my New Year's resolutions are to play a larger part in promoting Namibian art. When I say art it includes everything - it includes Namibian arts from fashion, music, dance, etc. I've hosted the 2016 Windhoek Jazz Festival, the premiere of Namibia's second movie to appear on the Ster Kinekor carpet and major corporate events in 2016. I'm looking at going bigger this year, if I have to cross borders I will do so. I wish to create a culture of supporting local as much as possible. I've done so with an active social media platform and by using the hash tag #heyheyhey #localislekker. I'll be blogging more this year as well. Energy 100FM has provided me a greater platform to be able to broadcast all across Namibia and Africa at large and thus the content of my show has changed to dissect and be more pro-Namibian.



    Sibo

    I have plans that I would like to accomplish not just for this year but for my life. But for 2017, like everyone else, I want to get into shape. I rolled my eyes when I wrote this down in my diary; I need to lose weight, the weight of self-doubt, self-pity and negativity. So I'll be working out this year. Working on my self-worth, and venturing outside my comfort zone. Professionally, I would like to tour the remote little towns in Namibia, bringing laughter to the nooks and crannies of the country… Stampriet, I see you (I bet you don't even know where that is…lol). I want to release my first DVD while I'm at it, get my Blog up and running again and basically follow the stream of creativity to wherever it may lead. I would like to surprise myself this year and every year thereafter.



    Freeda

    Having achieved so much in my career in 2016 especially on the international scene, I would like to see explore more of the international market. I am looking forward to performing all over the world and making my brand synonymous with success, great performance and outstanding entertainment.



    Hazel Hinda

    This year, I've decided to be at the top of my game. I will definitely be following my instincts more this year. I'm someone that lets my work speak for itself, I'll probably do more of what I've been doing and just enjoy this journey I'm on. I'd certainly love to travel and see more of Namibia. There is no resolution for weight loss, no joining the gym or bungee jumping off high cliffs.



    Georgina

    My list is quite long, but I'll make it short. Firstly I'm truly seeking to build a more intimate relationship with God so that I can serve as an example to many young women, be it spiritually or morally. I want to be the best I can be in everything that I lay my hands on. Besides that I want to grow more and learn more about makeup, I also want to focus on my YouTube channel and be consistent in uploading video tutorials. Also seeking to get a makeup studio and having my own makeup brand.... and the rest is obviously gym, gym, gym.



    Kaptein Tswazi

    I want to drop my first solo album which is very powerful and mature. I want to work hard and achieve my goal of working with artists from abroad and launch my album abroad also. There is a phrase that says the way you think will either make you poor or rich. This year I'm only driving positivity until I reach my heights. I'm not afraid of failure, but I'm afraid to be at the same position as this year. I'm not accepting anything less than greatness this year. I took too many loses so I'm due for a win, and to perform at this year's NAMAs 2017 as a solo for the first time.



    Linus Kwenani

    My resolutions include reaching optimum physical and mental health to tackle multiple things in my life, meaning career and school. Goal two is to try and help out more and contribute positively to the community. Last but not least I want to definitely learn more about culture and understand why people are so rooted so it can better help me to understand people.



    Gazza

    To continue to grow and achieve those things which God has set out for us to achieve. My album tour would be the one thing closest to my heart right now. I pray with all my might that we will be able to pull off something phenomenal. In terms of doing my work differently compared to last year, there is nothing in particular I can think of right now, but I believe in strengthening the positive things in life and refraining from the negatives, so I will certainly be focused on sustainable progress, for both myself and the GMP team.



    Dice

    I don't believe in New Year resolutions because I am a person who believes in being factual about what one would like to accomplish - not only for the year but as a person. One such thing is me being the best I can be to myself; putting out good music is on top of my agenda. I also want to drop an album that my fans and supporters can really appreciate and to keep making strides across Africa and making my country and my family proud. I also want to be a better dad to my son and a better son to my mother. Lastly I will be dropping lots of good music videos.



    Nikhita Winkler

    For this year, I will be focusing on accomplishing a few projects that I committed to last year, and hope not to add any more so that I don't exhaust myself since I do have a full-time job. The most important project this year is to get the Namibian Dance Council started with the help of everyone that works in the industry. Then I have my third annual production, which will take place on 27 May called One-on-One in collaboration with Shack72, the house of DJs. This year's production is like no other I have done because 2017 is going to be a good year. I am moving away from the deeply emotional work to creating something street, upbeat and house. Then most exciting on my schedule for the year are the new classes I will be offering from February on, called HEELS. To stay updated on the festival you can follow our Facebook page.

















    June Shimuoshili

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  • 01/12/17--14:00: Local supporting local
  • Local supporting local Local supporting local RHMAF collaborates with the entertainment industry For the first time in four years, Namibia is finally being represented at the Miss Universe pageant that will take place in Manila in the Philippines. tjil caught up with 20-year-old Miss Namibia Lizelle Esterhuizen for a one on one interview.

    tjil (T): You are the first Miss Namibia to take part in Miss Universe in four years, how does that mere fact make you feel like, on this journey you are about to undertake?

    Lizelle (L): Being the first Miss Namibia in four years to attend the Miss Universe pageant is a true honour. I feel confident and proud to represent my country at such a prestigious event. Although a lot of preparation was put in as I could not follow up on someone else's achievements, I am sure I have what it take to make myself and my country proud.

    T: How have you been preparing for the title of Miss Universe?

    L: The preparation was very daunting and many hours put in to really make sure I am fully prepared for what is waiting for me in Manila, Philippines. My major focus in my preparations was my pageant walk, the way to walk in front of 15 000 people and still make an impact as well as having confidence and show my personality on stage, I also concentrated on my pageant talk, this is what to say when and the correct hand gestures, tones of voice and very important to not show the nerves when talking and then lastly, I focus on my pageant profile, this is to say, I know who I am, I know what my course is in life and also my plans for the future if I win Miss Universe.

    T: Who made your garments and why did you choose them?

    L: Casper Bosman of Bloemfontein made my wardrobe for the Miss Universe pageant. I chose him, because he is a good friend of mine and knows me very well. He has worked with Miss World 2014, Rolene Strauss, as well as other beauty queens that take part at international levels.

    T: What will your motto be throughout the competition end how can Namibia at large help you achieve and represent the land of the brave to your maximum capabilities?

    L: My motto throughout the process will be: “They don't call our country the land of the brave for nothing.” I would really appreciate it if the public supports my journey on all the social media platforms and please stand behind me. I am a Miss Namibia for Namibians and I want to encourage everyone to stand behind me and help me achieve my lifelong dream. Facebook: Miss Universe Namibia 2016 or Miss Namibia, Instagram: missuniversenamibia2016, Twitter: Miss UniverseNamibia.

    T: What will you show the rest of the world about Namibia?

    L: I want to show the world that we are not primitive and that Namibia is a beautiful country with so much potential. I also want to show them that although we are small we can still compete on an international level and do well. I want to place Namibia on the map and in the eyes of the World. I just want to say thank you for standing behind me and also if not yet, follow my journey. I hope I will make Namibia proud and that people will stand behind me united as Namibians on 30th January 2017.

    June Shimuoshili

    June Shimuoshili

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    Why social media is important for your brandWhy social media is important for your brand Social Media has become a very important tool for any brand. Artists need to take their social media pages seriously, hence by getting social media consultants or managers to see what is being posted is in line with branding. Know when to boost the page and what to boost, because if you rely too much on boosting it will devalue your brand and you won't also get value for your money by boosting the wrong posts.

    Your Social media platforms are your portfolios as a brand it should sell you. Study your fans; know when to post to get an interaction from your current fans and new fans. Tap into both corporate and non-corporate industries and create interesting content that fits the different type of social media platforms such Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Many people think that with the proliferation of the paid media model, the importance of content creation goes away. It might be counterintuitive, but content quality has never been more important. Because platforms algorithms respond to content quality, as they want to serve content to the user that is not perceived as irritating. Don't over or under post, and make sure that you use quality pictures. Remember that it's your brand. Stay up to date with the latest industry and platform trends.

    Have an exclusive Q &A with your fans to engage them. Make it interesting GO LIVE with them by using (Facebook Live) as well as Twitter. Always post as a brand know what works best for you. Invest in it, image is important. Depending on your type of field, e.g., musician, designer, model, radio or TV host etc post accordingly and in line with what you do. Let your fans in. Start taking your brand seriously!!

    Thomas Iitula

    Celebrity consultant, social media consultant and artist manager.

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  • 01/12/17--14:00: New Year new who?
  • New Year new who?New Year new who? They say leave the history in the past and I'm just wondering how many of us are willing to do exactly that. The New Year comes with new opportunities and exciting ventures for one to start over as a gift from Mother Nature but many still fail to see this blessing in disguise. I remember just a month back how everyone was vowing on how they were going to be different and better people but we haven't even been in this year for a month and people are back to their old selfish selves. Let's not even talk about the exposure of people's private doings because it should be just that, private. I won't even talk about all the so called health changes that were going to be made about New Year healthy me because already some have finished five pizza boxes in total and probably a whole depot of coke! (Not me).

    So can we talk about how we can make the most of the remaining of the year since we have 353 days left of it? I know I'm not of keeping my words or practicing what I preach but let's give it a try. After all, New Year new us, right?

    A couple of ways on how to stick to your resolutions includes knowing who you are and your potential. What many fail to realise when setting resolutions is that nothing about them changes. It's just the calendar date that changes, there's really not much that changes about the person. So if you would like to join a gym or get that learners' licence, you are going to be very dedicated and committed and that is the hard part. It sounds so easy to say I'm going to be eating healthy and actually achieving it if all your life you have not been doing so. I'd suggest you take it one day at a time. Eventually you will be drinking two litres of water in a day without thinking about it.

    Self-discipline. Guys even the guys in the bible were being tempted by earthly things so why won't you in today's era? We all have that friend that is bad influence but we love them regardless. However, this friend will be the red devil in your ear telling you to go and have a double cheese burger with a large portion of side of chips and a lekker cold beer to cool off like the boss you are. Some will even bring the food to you instead but fear not for you are strong and cannot be tempted by such things.

    Another thing one can do to achieve set goals is to talk about it. Learn to share what you are going through with your friends and relatives that can listen without judging. Ask for help when you need it, you will be surprised how many people are going through what you are going through.

    Lastly, know that at the end of the day you are still human and bound to make mistakes. Don't beat yourself because you know what, nobody is perfect. Mess up but don't make it a habit. Otherwise you will be having resolutions lists from five years ago and that says much about you as a person.

    With that said, may you live your best life in 2017 and may you make the most of it. Take opportunities, make new friends, read a book, travel and most importantly, be-you-tiful!

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  • 01/12/17--14:00: Break a leg, Lizelle
  • Break a leg, LizelleBreak a leg, LizelleLizelle's beauty will light Manila For the first time in four years, Namibia is finally being represented at the Miss Universe pageant that will take place in Manila in the Philippines. Tjil caught up with 20-year-old Miss Namibia Lizelle Esterhuizen for a one on one interview.

    Tjil (T): You are the first Miss Namibia to take part in Miss Universe in four years, how does that mere fact make you feel like, on this journey you are about to impact?

    Lizelle (L): Being the first Miss Namibia in four years to attend the Miss Universe pageant is a true honour. I feel confident and proud to represent my country at such a prestigious event. Although a lot of preparation was put in as I could not follow up on someone else’s achievements, I am sure I have what it take to make myself and my country proud.

    T: How have you been preparing for the title of Miss Universe?

    L: The preparation was very daunting and many hours put in to really make sure I am fully prepared for what is waiting for me in Manila, Philippines. My major focus in my preparations was my pageant walk, the way to walk in front of 15 000 people and still make an impact as well as having confidence and show my personality on stage, I also concentrated on my pageant talk, this is what to say when and the correct hand gestures, tones of voice and very important to not show the nerves when talking and then lastly, I focus on my pageant profile, this is to say, I know who I am, I know what my cause is in life and also my plans for the future if I win Miss Universe.

    T: Who made your garments and why did you choose them?

    L: Casper Bosman of Bloemfontein made my wardrobe for the Miss Universe pageant. I chose him, because he is a good friend of mine and knows me very well. He has worked with Miss World 2014, Rolene Strauss, as well as other beauty queens that take part at international levels.

    T: What will your motto be throughout the competition end how can Namibia at large help you achieve and represent the land of the brave to your maximum capabilities?

    L: My motto throughout the process will be: “They don’t call our country the land of the brave for nothing.” I would really appreciate it if the public supports my journey on all the social media platforms and please stand behind me. I am a Miss Namibia for Namibians and I want to encourage everyone to stand behind me and help me achieve my lifelong dream. Facebook: Miss Universe Namibia 2016 or Miss Namibia, Instagram: missuniversenamibia2016, Twitter: Miss UniverseNamibia.

    T: What will you show the rest of the world about Namibia?

    L: I want to show the world that we are not primitive and that Namibia is a beautiful country with so much potential. I also want to show them that although we are small but we can still compete on an international level and do well. I want to place Namibia on the map and in the eyes of the World. I just want to say thank you for standing behind me and also if not yet, follow my journey. I hope I will make Namibia proud and that people will stand behind me united as Namibians.

    June Shimuoshili

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    Negative outlook for government bondsNegative outlook for government bonds The creditworthiness of sovereigns in Sub-Saharan Africa has an overall negative outlook for 2017, reflecting the liquidity stress facing commodity-dependent countries, subdued economic growth, and persistent political risk, Moody's Investors Service said in its latest report.

    The negative outlook for sovereign creditworthiness in 2017 in Sub-Saharan Africa reflects Moody's expectations for the fundamental credit conditions that will drive sovereign credit in this region over the next 12 to 18 months.

    “Sub-Saharan Africa's economies will continue to face commodity-induced liquidity stress in 2017, with recurring fiscal deficits amid challenging financing conditions,” said Lucie Villa, a Moody's vice-president, senior analyst and co-author of the report. “These will remain important credit constraints and underpin our negative outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa sovereigns overall.”

    The negative pressures on Sub-Saharan Africa's sovereigns were reflected in numerous negative rating actions in 2016. By the end of last year, Moody's had downgraded a third of the region's 19 rated sovereigns by an average of around two notches. This compares with 29 downgraded sovereigns globally by an average of slightly more than one notch.

    Five of the seven sovereigns downgraded in Sub-Saharan African in 2016 carry negative outlooks, underscoring Moody's view that pressures that led to rating downgrades will persist in 2017.

    The negative impact on liquidity from the oil and commodities price shock will primarily be concentrated in Gabon, Mozambique, the Republic of the Congo and Zambia, but will also be evident in Angola and to a lesser extent in Nigeria. However, in other countries, Moody's expects liquidity risk to remain broadly stable next year.

    The authorities in the majority of the 19 rated Sub-Saharan African sovereigns have embarked on fiscal consolidation plans, which Moody's expects will have a positive impact in 2017. A noticeable exception is Botswana where the government will continue its counter-cyclical policy started in 2015.

    However, fiscal consolidation policy will face obstacles, stemming in particular from subdued growth, related social demands and potential shocks from the weather and geopolitics.

    Real gross domestic product growth among rated countries in the region is forecast at 3.5% in 2017 from 1.5% last year, although it will vary markedly across the region. Countries that are dependent on commodity exports will see economic activity constrained in 2017.

    Sluggish growth in Nigeria and South Africa will greatly influence the region's outlook given the size of their economies, which jointly account for almost two-thirds of the gross domestic product of the 19 rated Sub-Saharan African sovereigns. Both economies will gradually recover from the impact of negative supply-side shocks, but growth will remain subdued.

    STAFF REPORTER

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    Paladin pushed into restructuringPaladin pushed into restructuringPrice developments at the core Paladin failed to sell a 24% stake in its Langer Heinrich mine in Namibia to China National Nuclear Corporation, which was expected to fetch US$175 million. Shares in Paladin Energy nosedived on Tuesday after the embattled uranium miner announced a complex refinancing to restructure its borrowings as it failed to sell off 24% of its flagship Langer Heinrich mine.

    The stock dropped 17% to 7.9 cents and are now a long way from their level of more than US$1.50 in early 2012.

    The main purpose of the restructure proposal is to address the upcoming maturity of Paladin's outstanding US$212 million convertible bonds due 30 April 2017, the firm said.

    The sale of Paladin's stake in Langer Heinrich mine in Namibia to China National Nuclear Corporation CNNC would have given the struggling miner US$175 million to meet the debt repayment.

    “In the absence of the Langer Heinrich stake sale, I'm very happy that our bondholders are supporting the company with a viable restructure that preserves long-term value for all stakeholders,” Paladin Energy's chief executive Alex Molyneux said.

    Under the terms of its proposed restructuring, the maturity date of all outstanding convertible bonds, collectively worth US$362 million, will be pushed out to 2022 and 2024. Also, US$145 million worth of new Paladin shares, priced at five cents will be issued to bondholders and any accrued unpaid interest will be exchanged into new secured bonds and new convertible bonds on a 75% to 25% basis.

    Paladin would also have to conduct a minimum US$75 million equity raising. The deal assumes that the company will retain its 75% stake in Langer Heinrich mine.

    As most uranium miners, Paladin has faced increased pressure from decade-low uranium prices. Its proposed balance sheet restructuring, in fact, comes on the same day that Kazakhstan, the world's top uranium producer, decided to axe its output for the year by 10% citing to poor market conditions triggered mostly by a global oversupply of yellowcake.

    MINING

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    Clover sales reach record levelClover sales reach record levelCommitted to expanding operations A pending Supreme Court judgement notwithstanding, the South African dairy producer has high hopes for its Namibian operation. Despite a pending Supreme Court judgement, Clover remains positive about doing business and considers Namibia strategically important.

    Following its dual-listing on the Namibia Stock Exchange in April 2015, Namibian Sun caught up with the dairy producer to talk all things dairy.

    Clover executive Jacques van Heerden sounded very positive about their Namibian operations.

    “We have always regarded Namibia as strategically important and a key driver of Clover's strategy to establish the Clover brand across neighbouring countries. We remain committed to expanding our operations in Namibia and to continue to be a responsible corporate citizen, employing local people on a sustainable basis while providing Namibian customers with greater choice and exceptional quality products.”

    With regard to growing Clover's business, Van Heerden said. “Due to the limited production of raw milk in Namibia, our expansion will be focused on investing in distribution centres and in people over the short to medium term.”

    Van Heerden also spoke about the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development's plan to reintroduce restrictions on imports of certain dairy products, particularly milk.

    “Should the Namibian government again institute quantitative restrictions then it will have a significant impact on our Namibian operations and this will limit our ability to further invest in Namibia. This matter is now being heard by the Supreme Court of Appeal and we are awaiting final judgement in this regard,” he said.

    Clover remains happy about its decision to list on the NSX, Van Heerden said, emphasising that it has helped strengthen relations with local stakeholders.

    “Our listing on the Namibian Stock Exchange has broadened our investor base, allowing investors to directly invest in our shares. It has also helped to strengthen our relationships with Namibian stakeholders, including our 100 employees and Namibian society at large.

    “We recently released our annual results for the year ended 30 June 2016 and we are pleased with the growth in dairy sales in Namibia, which recovered to historic levels since the court overturned the restriction on imports of certain dairy products,” Van Heerden said.

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    Karibib lithium project gains momentumKaribib lithium project gains momentum Junior Auroch Minerals has continued to grow its Karibib lithium project in Namibia, signing an option and joint-venture (JV) agreement over a nearby exploration tenement.

    The company on Thursday reported that the option and joint-venture agreement, under which it could earn up to 90% interest in a granted exploration licence south-west of the historic Rubikon and Helikon lithium deposits, was an exciting exploration opportunity for the company.

    “Importantly, our reconnaissance work has already identified extensive pegmatites within the tenement. Our goal is to rapidly identify and test large lithium bearing pegmatites of similar age and style to the pegmatites that host the nearby Rubikon and Helikon historical lithium mines,” said Auroch CEO Andrew Tunks.

    Under the terms of the agreement with Dynamic Geo Consulting Services, Auroch will pay a US$7 500 fee for the option to enter into a JV to explore and develop the exploration licence.

    Auroch could exercise the option for US$10 000 at any time within 60 days of a site visit. Once the option is exercised, the exploration permit will be transferred to a JV company which will be 90% owned by Auroch, which will pay US$20 000 and issue 100 000 fully paid ordinary shares to Dynamic.

    Auroch will sole fund all exploration expenditure on the project area until a positive bankable feasibility study or definitive feasibility study, which supports a decision to mine, and will be responsible for acquiring a mining licence for the project.

    Auroch will act as manager of the JV, with the company expected to spend at least US$50 000 during the term of the JV.

    Furthermore, the Australian junior will issue 200 000 shares to Dynamic on the first anniversary of the successful renewal of the exploration licence, and a further 500 000 shares on a positive feasibility study.

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  • 01/12/17--14:00: Zim's MDC blamed for typhoid
  • Zim's MDC blamed for typhoidZim's MDC blamed for typhoid Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change led by Morgan Tsvangirai has slammed local government minister Saviour Kasukuwere over his claims that the opposition party was responsible for the typhoid outbreak in Harare.

    According to New Zimbabwe, MDC Secretary General Douglas Mwonzora described the local government minister as “a failure” who was also “corrupt”.

    Mwonzvora said Kasukuwere's accusations were “wild”, adding that he was a man of “limited intellect”.

    Reports indicated that at least nine people had been killed by the typhoid outbreak, while another 2 225 cases had been recorded, with 76% of them from the capital Harare.

    “It is a type of annoying arrogance that he is displaying. Actually, this has become a hallmark of this government, especially Kasukuwere who is struggling to get his law degree that he is doing very poorly.

    “Instead of blaming the MDC-T, this government must concentrate on providing services to the people to avoid problems,” Mwonzora was quoted as saying.

    Mwonzora's remarks came after the state-owned Herald newspaper quoted Kasukuwere as blaming local councillors for the rapid typhoid and cholera outbreaks.

    According to the report, Kasukuwere said that the majority of MDC councillors were engaged in corrupt activities instead of focusing on bringing services to the people.

    “Quite clearly, we have councillors who are self-centred, who think that they must get per diem than service delivery. They have been keen on allocating themselves stands getting the best piece of land at the expense of service delivery,” Kasukuwere was quoted as saying.

    A recent News24 report indicated that some ratepayers and consumers in Harare blamed the typhoid outbreak in Harare on the dirty water that they were allegedly drinking.

    A cholera epidemic affected much of Zimbabwe from August 2008 until June 2009. The outbreak began in Harare's satellite town of Chutungwiza and spread to other provinces, resulting in President Robert Mugabe's administration declaring the outbreak a national emergency and requesting international aid.

    In total, 98 596 cases of cholera and 4 369 deaths were reported, making it the largest cholera outbreak ever recorded in the southern African country.

    NEWS24

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  • 01/12/17--14:00: Trump concedes Russian hack
  • Trump concedes Russian hackTrump concedes Russian hackTells media it may be so In a new briefing which included a tirade against US media, President-elect Donald Trump said it may have been the Russians that hacked the Democrats. President-elect Donald Trump speculated on Wednesday that US intelligence agencies might have leaked details about a classified briefing with him that included unsubstantiated allegations that Russia had collected compromising sexual and financial information about him.

    He said any such information was not true: “It's all fake news. It's phony stuff. It didn't happen.”

    “I think it's pretty sad when intelligence reports get leaked out to the press,” Trump said.

    His comments marked his latest round of insults thrown at US intelligence agencies, the same agencies he will have to rely on to help him make major national security directions once he takes the White House next week.

    Trump was referring to a dossier that contained unproven information about close coordination between Trump's inner circle and Russians, including details about Russian hacking into Democratic accounts.



    Hacking allegations

    On Tuesday, FBI director James Comey refused to say whether the FBI was investigating any possible ties between Russia and Trump's presidential campaign, citing a policy not to comment on what the FBI might or might not be doing.

    There is nothing to suggest the intelligence agencies told news outlets that a summary of the dossier was included in Trump's classified briefing last week about Russian election meddling.

    President Barack Obama was also briefed on the dossier last Thursday.

    A summary of the allegations was included as an add-on to a classified assessment of Russia's suspected election- interference efforts.

    That classified report tied Russian President Vladimir Putin to the hacking of email accounts of the Democratic National Committee and individual Democrats, including Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta.

    Trump acknowledged Wednesday, for the first time, that he believed Russia was responsible for the hacking.

    “As far as hacking, I think it was Russia,” Trump said. “But I think we also get hacked by other countries and other people.”

    Trump condemned what he said was “maybe” leaks by US intelligence agencies.

    It would be a “tremendous blot on their record if they in fact did that.

    A tremendous blot, because a thing like that should have never been written, it should never have been had and it should certainly never been released,” Trump said at a news conference.

    He likened the release to Nazi Germany, saying it is “disgraceful that the intelligence agencies allowed any information — that turned out to be so false and fake — out.”

    The CIA and the office of the director of national intelligence declined to comment.

    Although they had not been able to verify details in the dossier, the belief in the intelligence community was that it needed to be shared with Trump, given how many media outlets were already aware of the file.

    NAMPA/AP

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  • 01/12/17--14:00: Why I hate technology
  • Why I hate technologyWhy I hate technology Is it just me or has the advent of technology made things more difficult??Ok, let me put it this way; the men who invented the telephone, the clock or the boat clearly did the world a favour and ought to be acknowledged eternally.

    So should the first man, or woman, who discovered for the first time that the wheels of the car have to be round for it to move smoothly.?Those, and a whole lot of other inventions, simplified life and made our world a better place.

    ?But of late, I am not sure if scientists have lost their sense of discovery or are pulling a prank on the human race. Take the genius who invented the battery-driven toothbrush; all you gotta do is place it into your mouth and it will do the job. Seriously now, is that not why God created us with hands? That, my dear friends is no invention, just plain laziness.

    ?To top it all, some copywriter of some big agency reckoned it would be appropriate to attach a tagline, 'don't waste your time brushing your teeth, let BrushMagic to the dirty work for you'. Seriously?

    ?The same copywriter is also guilty of claiming that Colgate now comes with teeth whitening substances, or that by brushing frequently with AquaFresh will remove cavities from your teeth. Correct me if I am wrong, but aren't those the very reason I buy tooth paste?

    So, what did Colgate have before it discovered this secret to eternal 'teeth-whitening'??I mean no offence, but has anyone wondered why it was necessary to have a central locking system for a car? What, it was time consuming locking each door manually? So it is now fine to part with a few extra thousand dollars for a 'central-locking system' car? No wonder criminals are now pouncing on car owners with these remote gate controllers.

    ?My colleague was stressing the other day, because she couldn't get her car door open with the remote immobilizer as its batteries were weak. After several attempts she finally gave up and was about to hail a cab home for the day. Thanks to me, she didn't. All I did was grab the keys from her and open the driver's door manually!

    ?Cellphone now has voice identification features; all you gotta do is whisper sweet nothings into the receiver and boom - your girlfriend is on the other end of the line. Was that really necessary? What had happened to old fashion scrolling of names in your phone book?

    ?Seriously, this world is indeed going to the dogs - provided they too don't devise an instrument that will have them discussing last night's episode of 'Gabriella' in human language!

    ?This is the same world that will have self-taught musicians who all started singing at the age of two. Switch to any celebrity gossip show on TV, or page through similar magazines and all you will hear or read will be “I started singing at the tender age of two.

    My mom used to take us to church and I was always the choir's lead singer ….” At two? Really? What else did you achieve at that age, ran for president too??My sister, you can hardly remember your mom changing your diapers at that age, how in heaven's could you sing? What was the song - Baaaa, baaaaa, baaaa??

    Now they have flat-screen TVs which do the same job as normal 'hunch-back' television sets, albeit at a price three times higher. Of course the salesman will tell you that it has a 10 times better picture and audio quality, but I still remember what Richard Deon Anderson of the MacGyver fame looked like in 1987. Mind you, that was on the tiny black and white TV set of our neighbour's.

    ?Oh, and then comes DSTV's dual view decoder 'something, something mechanism'! We are told that it allows you to watch two different channels on two different TV sets, in two different rooms. I am telling you, I was having a tough time understanding it when the sales lady attempted to explain to me the advantages.?

    So is that all people do at home - watch TV, each in his own room? No communication? No interaction??Eish, I still prefer our neighbour's black and white TV - at least everyone was always there. Such is the state of affairs this side of the great divide.



    Until then ...



    tjatindi@gmail.com

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  • 01/12/17--14:00: Big year for Swapo
  • Big year for SwapoBig year for Swapo The year 2017 will be an interesting one from a political point of view.

    The much-anticipated Swapo elective congress that will be held towards the end of the year is definitely one of the main highlights on the political events calendar.

    The ruling party's mother body congress will be preceded by the Swapo elders as well as the youth league's congresses.

    The Swapo Party Women's Council already held its congress at the end of last year, which saw Eunice Iipinge elected as secretary and deputised by Fransina Kahungu.

    Iipinge and Kahungu, as well as recently elected central committee members of the SPWC, are all expected to influence the outcome of the 2017 Swapo congress.

    The same can also be said about those harbouring ambitions to contest for SPYL and SPEC seats.

    The elder's council is not really active and cannot at this stage be considered a major power broker compared to the youth wing which boasts energetic youth “ready to die for their masters” and have nothing to lose.

    In short, the succession debate is on in Swapo and the youth league is once more in the centre stage.

    Although many leaders in Swapo traditionally like to play with their cards close to their chests, there are clearly many influential outsiders pulling the strings and this makes the countdown to the end of the year an interesting journey.

    The congress year might also prove to be a tricky one for politicians, who are now likely to concentrate on their political survival instead of delivering on their government aspirations.

    As for Swapo to remain relevant, it must engage with the grassroots more often, while guarding against the evils of the lusts for power, influence and money within the ruling party.

    The party must listen and start valuing its grassroots members more and deliver on their promises.

    Another real test is how the party intends to resolve internal battles fractured by differences between factions.

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    Farmowners want to close Hardap schoolFarmowners want to close Hardap school A school situated on a farm in the Hardap Region could be closed down, leaving the more than 50 learners with nowhere to go.

    Piet Diergaardt Primary School is situated on Farm Petrusdal 422 at Tsumis Park, some 70 kilometres southeast of Rehoboth, and has 52 learners in Grades 0 to 7.

    It was started by then farm owner Petrus Diergaardt in 1981.

    The current owners of the farm, Diergaardt's descendants, in May last year in a letter seen by Nampa informed the Regional Education Director in Hardap, Mzingisi Gqwede of their intention to close the school.

    They are also in the process of having the wider community of people who live on the farm relocated so they can start farming on it.

    The three owners - Nick Bruwer, Frans McNab and Pieter Freyer - turned up at the school on Monday, asking for the keys and asking staff members to vacate the premises.

    During an interview at the school, Bruwer said they want the school closed as they want to use the land for communal farming purposes. There is also no formal agreement between themselves and the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture.

    “Other families are reimbursed when schools are situated on their private land and we never had that privilege. We also heard on several occasions that the school would be closed as part of a campaign to centralise smaller schools in the area and this prompted us to accelerate the process as we want to use the land for communal purposes,” Bruwer said.

    The acting chief regional officer of the Hardap Regional Council, Theresia Basson wrote a letter to McNab, who signed the letter, asking them to be patient while the line ministries are engaged.

    She wrote that they have asked the permanent secretary in the education ministry, Sanet Steenkamp to seek legal advice from the attorney general on the matter.

    Contacted for comment on Monday, Steenkamp said the ministry is aware of the issue.

    “We will have to see how many learners are involved. These are issues the regional council should resolve with owners… Had the regional office engaged the owners, things could have been resolved amicably,” she said.

    She also said they would follow up the matter with the attorney general's office.

    Gqwede said Piet Diergaardt Primary School principal Jackie #Khariseb informed him the owners also asked for the keys to the school on 9 December last year and he instructed the principal to close the school early for the safety of the learners and for the staff to report to the education circuit office in Rehoboth.

    “The owners can't close the school down. We are in negotiations with them,” he said.

    One of the residents who spoke to this news agency on Monday said they do not know where their children will go if the school is closed.

    “The three men told parents and staff to leave the premises immediately as they no longer want the school to operate. What do they think of the learners? Where will these children go?” Marli Kinda asked.

    NAMPA

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  • 01/12/17--14:00: Nabta saga drags on
  • Nabta saga drags onNabta saga drags on Association leadership opts for legal route

    The dispute between the Namibia Bus and Taxi Association and its suspended president Vespa Muunda shows no signs of abating soon.

    The tussle for leadership at the Namibia Bus and Taxi Association (Nabta) has intensified following a decision by the Nabta national executive committee to open a case of trespassing in December 2016 against the suspended Nabta president Vespa Muunda.

    The committee opened a criminal case and according to well-placed sources, Muunda will be served with a court order that will compel him to comply with the conditions as stipulated in his letter of suspension.

    Pertinent issues surrounding the association's power struggle include the imminent deregistration of the association and financials that have not been audited since 2013.

    According to vice-president of Nabta Jeffrey Platt, the decision to open a case against Muunda is to ensure that he adheres to conditions in his suspension letter, which he was served on 16 November 2016.

    Muunda is being investigated by the national executive committee on allegations of misconduct and using his position for personal gains.

    Platt said the association was left with no other option but to take the legal route.

    Platt also said Muunda has refused to hand over the keys of various Nabta offices countrywide, official documents as well as Nabta company stamps.

    “He must just understand he is being suspended and not removed from office for good. He is being investigated and remains a Nabta member,” Platt said.

    Contacted for comment, Muunda said he remains the president of Nabta arguing that there are people within Nabta who are collaborating with former members and rival associations bent on tarnishing his image and who also want to take over so they can plunder the association's finances.

    He made reference to past fraud and corruption cases involving thousands of dollars that Muunda alleged went missing from the association's coffers saying they were never accounted for or recovered.

    According to the letter of suspension, Muunda is accused of establishing a Nabta office at the Open Market in Oshakati under a different name called United Long Distance Committee.

    Another allegation pertains to the use of a Nabta stamp in a communication that authorised taxi fare hikes at Walvis Bay between October and November in 2016.

    Muunda is also accused of being involved in the appointment of Shilimela Security Services to police the Oshakati, Ondangwa and Rhino Park bus terminals.

    “I am a legitimate elected leader, they cannot suspend me,” Muunda said and added: “I know who they are and I know what they want.”

    When asked for comment on the United Long Distance Committee, Muunda confirmed the existence of the committee but stressed that it was established by bus owners in collaboration with Nabta to make sure that revenue collected at the terminals is accounted for.

    He said Nabta does not benefit from the committee as the funds generated are used to pay the salaries of the four employees at Oshakati as well as the committee members, including himself in his capacity as administrator.

    Regarding his involvement in the appointment of Shilimela Security Services to guard the bus terminals at Oshakati, Ondangwa and Rhino Park in Windhoek, Muunda said there was nothing amiss as long as the company is delivering the service.

    “The safety of passengers was taken into consideration, if they are not doing their job they can be removed,” Muunda added.

    However, Platt said the association's bank account has no funds and further alleged that Muunda opened a post office bank account for Nabta that gives him sole access to the account.

    “My brother, where have you seen a national organisation with a post office account?” he asked.

    “These are the things we want to investigate,” Platt said.

    Regarding the deregistration of the association, Platt said a request was made to the authorities to allow the association to put its house in order adding that the process will be initiated if Muunda submits all files belonging to the association.



    KENYA KAMBOWE

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    Illegal immigrant fined N$5 000Illegal immigrant fined N$5 000 A South African citizen was this week fined N$5 000 by the Windhoek Magistrate's Court for contravening the immigration law.

    Christiaan Stephanus van Niekerk contravened the Immigration Act by remaining in Namibia after the expiration of his visitor's entry permit.

    He admitted that he had stayed in Namibia illegally.

    Van Niekerk was arrested in Windhoek on 5 January for remaining unlawfully in Namibia after the expiration of his visitor's permit. The permit was valid from 31 May 2016 to 29 August 2016.

    “The accused was therefore illegally in Namibia for a period of four months and five days,” said Magistrate Eden Iyambo before sentencing Van Niekerk to a N$5 000 fine or eight months' imprisonment.

    FRED GOEIEMAN

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    Placement problems put 50 in a classPlacement problems put 50 in a class The regional director for education for the Ohangwena Region, Isak Hamatwi, has confirmed that they have squeezed Grade 11 learners into schools and have exceeded enrolment numbers.

    He also revealed that the problem is not only affecting Grade 11 enrolment but also Grade 8 learners and Grade 10 repeaters.

    As reported by Namibian Sun this week, the challenge is the direct result of the region's commendable Grade 10 performance in 2016. Hamatwi said the region promoted 3 154 learners to Grade 11, but only 2 750 learners will be admitted on the approved classroom-teacher ratio of one teacher per 40 learners (1:40).

    This left 404 learners with no places, however, the region squeezed them into the already over-enrolled schools.

    “After the first round of Grade 11 placement we found ourselves with 404 learners without places. We had no other option but to increase the teacher-learner ratio to 1:44, 1:45, 1:46 and up to 1:47 across secondary schools just to make sure that all learners get placed,” Hamatwi said.

    He explained that even after adjusting the ratio, there were still 160 learners without places who were sent to Shituwa Senior Secondary School.

    “We decided to place these 160 learners at Shituwa in addition to the school's 120 learners. The school has places but they were using three of their classrooms as sleeping space for Grade 11 and 12 learners. We have to convert these spaces into classrooms while we erect temporary structures using zinc to serve as temporary accommodation. Also remember that modern hostel facilities are under construction at Shituwa,” explained Hamatwi.

    He also said the region is still battling to find a solution for hostel accommodation for another 40 learners studying at Ondobe Senior Secondary School, adding the authorities are also weighing options to solve the problem in 2018 and beyond.

    “We are assessing this situation and one of the possible alternatives is to remove some of the Grade 8 learners from senior secondary schools. We are planning to dedicate 60% of our directorate's 2017/18 development budget for the construction of a fully-fledged junior secondary school in Eenhana town to house Grades 8 and 9 only so that Eenhana Senior Secondary and Haimbili Haufiku Senior Secondary will no longer have Grade 8 and 9 classes, but only 10, 11 and 12.”

    Hamatwi said this is in line with ministry plans, which should be implemented by 2020. He also said all other senior secondary schools across the region will have one Grade 8, 9 and 10 classes in order to create enough spaces for Grade 11 learners.

    Hamatwi said by yesterday, the region was also experiencing admission problems for Grade 8 learners and Grade 10 repeaters, while inspectors are busy assessing the Grade 1 admissions to see if there might be admission problems.



    ILENI NANDJATO

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  • 01/12/17--14:00: Amnesty bears fruit
  • Amnesty bears fruitAmnesty bears fruitWeapons and ammunition surrendered The second phase of the amnesty offered for illegal and unregistered weapons has seen many guns and ammunition surrendered in Erongo. The deputy commissioner for operations in Erongo, Tobias Gerber, announced that the extended amnesty for the surrendering of illegal, unlicensed and unwanted small arms and ammunition yielded more than 40 weapons (rifles, handguns and one automatic weapon), 2 500 rounds of live ammunition and more than 10 empty mortar shells.

    The weapons and ammunition were surrendered to the police by approximately 30 individuals.

    “The weapons we received will be destroyed. We are very grateful for the overwhelming response and encourage others with illegal or unwanted weapons and ammunition to hand them over to the police before the amnesty expires on 18 February. Such weapons cause problems when stolen and will result in people getting arrested when found in their possession.”

    Gerber said most of the weapons (30 rifles) were commercial and used for hunting. Some persons who handed over weapons said they received them as gifts or inherited them while others said they picked the weapons up.

    “Arms and ammunition means any part related to firearms. Around 90% of the weapons were returned by elderly persons who did not want to go through the hassle of applying for firearm licenses. The weapons we received will be blown up since government has no use for them,” he concluded.

    Only one weapon and 240 rounds of ammunition was surrendered in the Erongo Region during the first three months of the amnesty declared by government for the handing over of illegal weapons and ammunition in August 2016 and which lasted from 18 August to 18 November. The amnesty was subsequently extended to 18 February this year.

    Detective Warrant Officer Julia Nujoma, unit commander of the small arms and light weapons division, confirmed that 30 rifles, 10 pistols, 10 homemade guns, two air guns, 4 000 rounds of ammunition and 10 empty mortar shells were handed in since the amnesty period was extended.

    “Pistols and small weapons are most commonly used to commit crimes or are used in incidents of domestic violence. We want to ensure that Namibia remains a non-violent country.”

    Nujoma advised those with illegal and unwanted firearms and ammunition to make use of the amnesty and hand such items over at their nearest police station.

    “Do not dump weapons or fear that you will be charged. We only need the particulars of persons who hands the weapons and ammunition over to us under the amnesty to identify the items and to determine their origin.”

    The police first offered amnesty to people who had illegal firearms and ammunition in 1992, two years after the country gained independence.



    OTIS FINCK

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    Education must review organogramEducation must review organogramTUN not satisfied with results A teachers' union says it doubts whether the education ministry would be able to effectively implement a revised school curriculum. The Teachers Union of Namibia (TUN) has called for an “overhaul of the education organogram”, saying that year-end results will not improve if the new revised curriculum is not aligned by a supportive structure.

    While the union praised the curriculum changes, it said it was not convinced that the ministry would be able to effectively implement the revised curriculum.

    TUN secretary-general Mahongora Kavihuha yesterday said they were not satisfied with the 2016 grade 10 and 12 examination results. Although there were slight improvements, the overall performance of the education system had stagnated, he said. Kavihuha noted that there was an improvement in the grade 10 pass rate from 54% in 2015 to 55.7% in 2016, while the percentage of candidates who qualified for tertiary education had improved from 29.8% in 2015 to 36.8% in 2016.

    He said it was commendable that the latest results had broken some vicious cycles, such as the percentage of learners who obtained an A symbol. From 2012 to 2015, this percentage had increased from 0.3% to 0.4% in grade 10. However, he said that the overall performance of the education system had stagnated, pointing out that the points required for promotion to grade 11 had been kept at 23 for the past 16 years, although the requirement was initially supposed to be 27 points.

    He said the country was implementing a revised curriculum aimed at improving the quality of education, but without a responsive support system these efforts would be futile.

    “Looking at how we did things in the past we wonder if the implementation will be successful,” he said.

    The union therefore proposed a revision of the ministerial organogram, especially the one that deals with academic support services.

    “We need to get rid of useless positions like school inspectors and examination officers and redefine the role and operation of the subject advisor. This will also result in reduced costs.”

    He said the post of inspector was an entry-level position while school principal was a promotional position.

    “How can an entry-level person supervise the position of a principal? If you look at the job description of an inspector you will laugh. But these positions are created to milk the meagre resources of the ministry.”

    Kavihuha said the union was also proposing a mid-term examination.

    That would give learners who did not qualify for university admission the opportunity to write another exam instead of waiting an entire year before they could go to university.

    “This has however fallen on deaf ears. It is being implemented around the world. What makes Namibia so rigid that it cannot be responsive? We need to make our programmes flexible.”



    'Teachers victimised'

    According to the union leader teachers still do not have proper accommodation, they are required to perform tasks they are not rewarded for, and they are victimised when they ask for compassionate leave and holiday leave.

    He referred to an incident where the education director in the Zambezi Region ordered teachers to approach his office directly when they wanted to apply for leave.

    “This is serious victimisation and the union will not condone this attitude.

    “Teachers need to approach their immediate supervisor with this issue and not deal with the director.”

    Kavihuha added that teachers were being transferred against their will, which he said was completely nonprocedural.

    “The permanent secretary has been entertaining this and we will not allow this.”

    Other issues teachers face include late salary payments and not receiving their appointment letters on time.

    “How can you expect the performance to be up to standard?” he asked.

    He said the education sector had been doing well with access, equity and democracy although it struggled with quality education and therefore the decision was taken to revise the curriculum.

    But he alleged that the current management team of the ministry had started reversing some of the positive gains, such as democracy, that had been made in the sector.

    That, he said, was done by excluding TUN and its members.



    ELLANIE SMIT

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    Namibia the most tolerant country in AfricaNamibia the most tolerant country in Africa Namibia's high global rankings on political freedom and freedom of speech have catapulted it into a guide of the top 25 most tolerant, progressive and environmentally friendly countries in the world, according to a light-hearted guide aimed at Britons and Americans in search of a new home following Brexit and Donald Trump.

    The United States, at number 21, scored only four points more than Namibia on the recently published “most liberal countries you could move to in 2017” guide, published by expat website Movehub.

    The Movehub guide, compiled by Edith Hancock, was based on studies published last year, including the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report, the Social Progress Index report and Yale's Environmental Performance Index.

    In the introduction to the guide, Hancock noted on Movehub that the guide was compiled for those who “like so many people in Trump's America or post-Brexit Britain, feel disconnected from your fellow countrymen and unsure about your future in your current country of residence and want to consider your options.”

    The Social Progress Index examines human rights categories such as religious and LGBT tolerance, affordable housing, press freedom and access to education - categories in which Namibia has performed less well globally.

    Nevertheless, although Namibia took “a hit on basic human needs and access to education … the African nation performed well on personal rights like political freedom and freedom of speech,” in the relevant global 2016 studies.

    The Global Gender Gap report looked at gender equality in jobs and education while the Environmental Performance report examined issues such as air pollution and recycling.

    Last year, Namibia scored a top-20 ranking for the second year in the Gender Gap study, coming in at 14th place out of 144 countries. Namibia reached another top-20 spot when it was ranked 17th in the world in terms of media freedom according to the World Press Freedom Index.

    In a report for Business Insider UK on the guide, Hancock wrote that “as the ranking looks at social liberties, countries with struggling economies like Namibia are able to make it into the top 25 because they afford their people more rights than nations with similar GDP per capita.”

    The top 10 performers on the guide came as no surprise, with Scandinavian countries dominating, while seven African countries were included in the bottom 15 on the list.

    Liberia, Angola, Ethiopia, Swaziland, Ethiopia, Swaziland, Egypt, Chad and Mali are among the top 15 least liberal countries in the world.

    Iceland ranked number one on the list, with the country noted as the closest to achieving gender equality and with the smallest gender pay gap in the world. In addition, the country derives roughly 85% of its energy is from renewable sources.

    Next in line on the list are Finland, Sweden, Norway and New Zealand.

    The UK reached 10th place on the list despite a shift in public opinion and criticism in the wake of 2016's Brexit vote, since its global rankings on personal rights, safety, tolerance and inclusion remain high.

    The worst-performing country on the list is Yemen, preceded by Mali, Iran, Pakistan, Chad and Egypt.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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