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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 341 | 342 | (Page 343) | 344 | 345 | .... | 1152 | newer

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    Investor clarity needed, says GigabaInvestor clarity needed, says Gigaba South Africa needs to provide policy clarity to boost investor confidence in the wake of a recent cabinet reshuffle and a pledge to introduce “radical economic transformation”, finance minister Malusi Gigaba said on Tuesday.

    “The debates around radical economic transformation are ongoing,” Gigaba told parliament's finance committee. He said the ruling African National Congress, which steers government policy, had not yet defined what the transformation entailed.

    “We know that we need to continue acting conscientiously to do what we have to do, including providing policy clarity on a number of areas ... to boost business and investor confidence.”

    NAMPA/REUTERS

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  • 05/09/17--16:00: Airbus realigns focus
  • Airbus realigns focusAirbus realigns focusEuropean plane maker plans gradual changes to current design Despite recently launching a new A321neo jet, Airbus is planning to enhance the appeal of its new jets, experts familiar to the matter are saying. Europe's Airbus is examining a series of step-by-step improvements to its A320neo family as it prepares to defend its main cash cow against Boeing's plans to compete in a narrow part of the aircraft market between large and small jets.

    Weeks after delivering its first A321neo, upgraded with new engines, the plane maker has already begun talking to suppliers about enhanced versions called A321neo-plus and, most recently, A321neo-plus-plus, people familiar with the matter said.

    The clunky working titles deliberately shed little light on what changes are planned, but underscore Airbus's preference for upgrades to existing designs rather than investing in a costly new project at this stage.

    After a series of major developments, plane makers are mainly focusing on gradual changes and conserving cash, helping to lift their shares. But Boeing is threatening to roll the dice one more time with an all-new plane in the middle of the market.

    Airbus's so-called A321neo-plus-plus would be rolled out if Boeing does go ahead with plans for an all-new plane seating 220-260 passengers. It would involve a new carbon-composite wing to make the biggest Airbus single-aisle jet cheaper to fly.

    The 189-seat A321neo has been outselling existing Boeing models by four to one, hurting sales of the Boeing 737 family and replacing some of Boeing's out-of-production 757s.

    Boeing hopes a new mid-market jet would not only recapture business served by the 757 but address a wider gap between single-aisle jets that seat up to 200 people and twin-aisle jets that start at around 250 seats.

    Its new design offers the space of a twin-aisle jet in the cabin, sitting on top of a compact cargo area resembling that of a single-aisle jet to reduce drag and operating costs.

    Industry sources say it is expected to start offering the lightweight twin-aisle airplane to airlines next year and could launch it in 2019 for an entry to service in 2024 or 2025.

    Airbus has dismissed the threat of such a jet, saying any market gap is well covered by its A321neo, which can seat up to 240 people in high-density configurations. It says its own A310 several decades ago proved that twin-aisle jets can't easily compete in that part of the market.

    But internally it is working on a series of improvements to the A321neo to try to thwart Boeing's grab for the middle of the market, where thousands of potential sales could be at stake.

    Three industry sources said the plans include an A321neo-plus-plus with a new wing. Analysts say such makeovers cost US$1-2 billion against US$15 billion for a new jet.

    Two sources suggested Airbus could also fine-tune its smallest twin-aisle jet, the A330, in a pincer movement against the Boeing model. But after numerous refinements since it was launched in 1987 that aeroplane is said to have limited growth.

    One industry strategist said Airbus would at least study the option of waiting for Boeing to show its hand in the middle of the market and then accelerating development of an all-new single-aisle family by 2030, depending on engine technology.

    “How both companies behave now may set their course for the next 10-15 years,” he said, asking not to be named.

    NAMPA/REUTERS

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  • 05/09/17--16:00: Libya restores oil output
  • Libya restores oil outputLibya restores oil output Libya is pumping the most oil in more than two years as the OPEC member restores output amid progress in mending the nation's political divisions. The increase adds pressure on the world's biggest producers who just signalled they may extend production cuts amid a slump in oil.

    The North African country's production has reached 796 000 barrels a day, Mustafa Sanalla, the chairman of state producer National Oil Corp., said in a statement on Monday. Libya was producing about 700 000 barrels a day at the end of April, Jadalla Alaokali, an NOC board member, said at the time.

    A revival in Libyan output adds to the challenge that the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other major producers face after agreeing last year to pump less crude to stem a glut and shore up prices. In separate statements just hours apart on Monday, Saudi Arabia and Russia said publicly for the first time they would consider prolonging their output reductions for longer than the six-month extension OPEC is widely expected to agree to when the group meets on 25 May. Libya was exempted from OPEC's cuts because of its internal strife.

    Political divisions, clashes between armed groups and closures of fields have disrupted output in Libya as the country with Africa's largest crude reserves struggles to revive its most vital industry. Libya's feuding administrations agreed last week to unite state institutions and build a national army under civilian leadership after two days of talks in Abu Dhabi.

    Libya's largest oil field, Sharara, is currently pumping about 225 000 barrels a day, according to a person familiar on Monday. The person asked not to be identified because they lack authorisation to speak to the media. Crude from Sharara started flowing to the Zawiya refinery following a three-week closure.

    El Feel, the oil field also known as Elephant, restarted last month as well, after having been halted since April 2015. The resumption of operations at Sharara and El Feel, both in western Libya, has helped lift total national output to the highest since October 2014, when the country pumped 850 000 barrels a day, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.

    BLOOMBERG

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    NWR awarded at Okahandja expoNWR awarded at Okahandja expo WINNERS: At the recently concluded Okahandja Tourism and Trade Expo, Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) won the award for the best overall exhibitor and best corporate exhibitor. This award comes at the backdrop of other awards that NWR has won over the past few months for its improved image and service. In the photo is the NWR's Willem Karunga (resort driver), Jasmen Kavari (floor captain), Linda Katjaimo (assistant resort manager) and Axel Emvula (chef). Photo: NWR

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  • 05/09/17--16:00: Diamond rally predicted
  • Diamond rally predictedDiamond rally predicted Global mined diamond output in 2017 is expected to increase 11.5% year-on-year to 142.3-million carats, worth some $15.6 billion, which itself is a 9.9% increase in forecast total value produced, evaluation by independent diamond analyst Paul Zimnisky has found.

    The top ten largest mines in the world by value produced are estimated to represent 58% of global output. De Beers' Jwaneng mine, in Botswana, is ranked number one, and is estimated to independently produce 15% of the world's diamonds by value.

    Russia is estimated to be the largest producing nation by value at 35%, followed by Botswana at 22%, Canada at 14%, Angola at 8%, South Africa at 7%, Namibia at 5%, and Australia at 3%, he reported.

    Currently, Canada is arguably the most active nation in the global diamond mining scene, Zimnisky said. The country hosts five large-scale diamond mines with state-of-the-art infrastructure, two of which are the newest world-class diamond mines in the world, Gahcho Kué and Renard.

    Three of the five largest players in the industry, De Beers, Rio Tinto, and Dominion Diamond own assets in Canada, and the nation also has the most robust diamond development project pipeline in the world, the New York-based analyst advised.

    Gahcho Kué and Renard are estimated to bring to market 4.5-million carats of incremental supply this year, worth US$500-million, with the two mines contributing about a third of the estimated 14.7-million carat increase is global diamond output in 2017 over 2016. Zimnisky believes that most of the balance of additional supply in 2017 is likely to come from De Beers, Alrosa and Rio Tinto increasing output relative to capacity.

    For example, De Beers currently has about 35-million carats of production capacity and is estimated to produce 32-million carats, or 91%, of capacity this year, whereas the company only produced 83% of capacity in 2016, according to Zimnisky.

    MINING WEEKLY

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  • 05/09/17--16:00: Housing for the masses
  • Housing for the massesHousing for the massesShack Dwellers to build 60 houses at Otjiwarongo The Otjiwarongo branch of the federation was founded in 2011 and has more than 200 members, the majority of whom are women. Ten of the members are physically challenged. Members of the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN) at Otjiwarongo are clearing a piece of land where they intend to build more than 60 brick houses this year.

    The chairperson of the federation at Otjiwarongo, Erenst Muraranganda, told Nampa that members started clearing the land in Orwetoveni Extension Nine two weeks ago.

    “The clearing will be completed in June and we will then start servicing the land by laying water and sewer pipelines and build houses on it ourselves for our members.”

    Muraranganda said the Otjiwarongo branch of the federation had acquired the land from the Otjiwarongo municipality in January.

    The area, situated southwest of the Tsaraxa-Aibes Combined School, has been surveyed and 65 residential plots measuring between 345 and 600 square metres were demarcated.

    Muraranganda said the SDFN as determined to provide decent and affordable houses to all Namibians without discriminating.

    “All that is needed to become a member is commitment and a one-off contribution of N$800.”

    Muraranganda said members of the federation manufacture their own bricks and build the houses.

    The 65 beneficiaries of the houses to be built on this piece of land will receive a one-bedroom house with a lounge, kitchen and bathroom.

    The secretary of the Otjiwarongo branch, Christa Jeomba, thanked the Otjiwarongo CEO, Ismael /Howoseb, for allocating the land to them.

    “I would like also to call on the CEO to expect us in 2018. We need more residential plots, including unserviced land as we can develop it ourselves,” said Jeomba.

    NAMPA

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  • 05/09/17--16:00: 2015 Ruby World Cup pools
  • 2015 Ruby World Cup pools2015 Ruby World Cup pools A044.75

    A159.00

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    A450.25

    A548.25

    A646.25

    AB040.75

    AB152.00

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    AB540.75

    AB640.75

    B038.25

    B149.00

    B249.00

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    B441.75

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    B637.75

    C034.25

    C145.50

    C245.50

    C345.50

    C438.75

    C535.75

    C635.75

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  • 05/09/17--16:00: WB now in Omaruru
  • WB now in OmaruruWB now in Omaruru Saturday, 29 April proved to be a historic day for Woermann Brock, the 100% Namibian retail group.

    After months of construction and planning, the first WB shop opened its doors in the thriving town of Omaruru. Residents flocked to the shop to take advantage of opening-day special offers and to get their first glimpse of this new development in their town.

    According to operational manager William Biermann, the company is very pleased with this new expansion and it seems like the local residents and farmers from the surrounding areas also enjoy this new addition to the town.

    Another highlight is the 20 much-needed new jobs for residents that were created by the opening of the shop.

    STAFF REPORTER

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    Another positive year for NSXAnother positive year for NSXFormalisation of scrip gaining traction NSX board chairman David Nuyoma reflects on yet another positive year at the helm of the Namibia Stock Exchange, with the anticipation that the Central Security Depository may be rolled out in the second part of 2017. The Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX) had a good year, considering the economic turmoil Namibia faced during 2016, according to its CEO, David Nuyoma. He recently reflected on the bourse's operational activities of the past year.

    “The NamCode has continued to be widely accepted and implemented in all sectors of the Namibian market,” he said of the adoption of the localised governance code.

    He was also proud to reflect on the NSX's ability to draw the attention of the International Finance Corporation.

    “The International Finance Corporation's issuance in Namibia as only the third African market shows the interest and trust in our markets and economy.

    Many more steps are required to truly open our markets, not least of which are the formalisation of our bond market and setting up a Central Securities Depository (CSD) for the trading in electronic scrip,” he said.

    The NSX had also managed to fund, from its reserves, a project to launch a Central Securities Depository.

    Said Nuyoma: “Formalisation of the bond market and the eventual launch of derivatives are expected to follow the CSD launch.

    We hope by developing the market in these projects, more Namibian companies will open their shareholder base and come to market by listing.

    “We further believe with the implementation of the CSD, it will open the Namibian market to additional interest from the international market which would increase the demand even more, not only for shares, but specifically on the bond market. The NSX is proud to be leading both these projects with the CSD expected to go live in the latter part of 2017,” he added.

    According to Nuyoma, the NSX was also able to revise its fee structure, reducing capital costs and allowing it to attract more market participants, increase net total assets, and participate in the debate on the requirements of the New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework (NEEEF).

    He called for clear guidelines in the anticipated adoption of NEEEF.

    “As in most African markets, ours is plagued by small size and illiquidity and can only change by having more choice and depth. However, the exchange cannot force anyone to list their company and if they perceive uncertainty in the regulatory space, listing is a difficult step to take.

    It is therefore of the utmost importance to have clear guidelines on any requirements for Namibianisation, Black Economic Empowerment / New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework and localisation.”

    “The NSX remains confident it has and will continue to serve the Namibian market well,” he concluded.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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  • 05/09/17--16:00: Local diamond shop planned
  • Local diamond shop plannedLocal diamond shop planned While diamond beneficiation must have been a far-fetched idea 10 to 15 years ago, it now appears that the industry has grown by leaps and bounds, with local diamond polishers having just celebrated ten years of local value addition.

    President Hage Geingob was also told of plans by one of the local diamond cutters and polishers to open a local diamond shop on his visit to a factory in Windhoek's Prosperita industrial area this week. Almod Diamond representative Albert Gad told Geingob that his company was planning to open a diamond shop in Windhoek. “We want to open a shop. We would love the situation where people can buy polished diamonds on a duty-free basis. We have not only employed people but we have also transferred skills, we know how to give back. We would love the opportunity to open a shop,” said Gad during a sit-down with Geingob on the sidelines of his visit to Almod Diamond Company's factory. Meanwhile, mines and energy minister Obeth Kandjoze reflected on efforts to see Namibia move up the diamond value chain. “Looking back over the ten years, one must concede that the manufacturing industry has come a long way since 2007 when Almod Diamond first opened its doors in Namibia.” According to him, value-addition remained the government's key consideration. “Looking back, government's intention at the time was and still remains the promotion of sustainable downstream beneficiation through creating employment opportunities for Namibians, promoting skills development while marketing Namibian diamonds both inside and outside the borders of Namibia,” he said. Kandjoze applauded Almod for its commitment to the local industry despite pertinent challenges, saying: “Your factory has remained open in the good years as well as the toughest of times for the industry, most notably the economic downturn that hit the industry in 2008/2009 and again in 2015 with serious consequences to many companies at the time. “Your commitment to your trade and the people and Namibia at large is certainly commendable. This is nowhere more visible than in the creation of a Namibian Diamond Brand developed in your factory.”

    OGONE TLHAGE

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  • 05/09/17--16:00: Swakara sold out
  • Swakara sold outSwakara sold outCopenhagen auction shows fur demand still valid While there may be a decline in the demand for fur, Swakara still performs very well and sold out in Copenhagen. Swakara once again made its mark at the international pelt auction in Copenhagen, Denmark in April where it completely sold out.

    An average price of N$500.94 was achieved for the 52 221 pelts that were sent to the auction by Agra Pelt Centre. This is an increase in 7.44% compared to the auction in September 2016 where an average price of N$466.25 was achieved for a total of 46 426 pelts. The price achieved at the April 2017 auction was also 3% higher compared to the N$485.96 achieved at the April 2016 auction.

    The consignment consisted of 35 978 black, 11 880 white, 3 554 spotted and 809 diverse pelts.

    The black top lot was sold for N$1 197.59 to Konstantinos from Greece, a loyal client of Swakara. The white top lot was purchased by Suzanne Ribak, also a big Swakara buyer from Germany, for N$1 468.02.

    The average price achieved for black Swakara pelts was N$439.93, an increase of 13.3% compared to September 2016; white pelts achieved N$807.79, an increase of 2.3% compared to September 2016 while lower prices were achieved for the spotted pelts that were sold for an average of N$166.59 compared to N304.33 in September 2016 and diverse pelts sold for N$177.15 compared to an average of N$235.82 in September 2016.

    The auction was attended by 75 clients and 28 successful bidders buying Swakara. The buyer who bought the most Swakara pelts was Yoshitake Ninomiya from Japan who bought 7 970 pelts followed by Carlo Guida who bought 5 653 Swakara pelts.

    Swakara however did well compared to the performance of mink that showed a 3% decrease in their average price achieved and a sales percentage of 72% to 93% last year.



    STAFF REPORTER

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    ISIS claims beheading of Russian spyISIS claims beheading of Russian spy Islamic State has issued a video showing the beheading of what it described as a Russian intelligence officer captured in Syria, the US-based SITE monitoring website reported on Tuesday.

    The Russian Defence Ministry and the FSB security service were not immediately available for comment.

    The 12-minute Russian-language video, released on the day Russia celebrated the anniversary of the 1945 victory over Nazi Germany with military parades, showed the man dressed in a black jump suit kneeling in a desert scene and urging other Russian agents to surrender.

    “This idiot believed the promises of his state not to abandon him if he was captured,” the narrator said in the recording before a bearded man beheaded him with a knife.

    The authenticity of the recording and the identity of the man could not immediately be verified, nor was it clear when the killing occurred.

    Russian forces are backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in his war with rebels and militants seeking to oust him. The video showed scenes of what it described as the aftermath of Russian bombing raids in Syria.

    The Russian defence ministry says about 30 Russian servicemen have been killed since the start of the Kremlin's operation there in September 2015.

    NAMPA/REUTERS

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  • 05/09/17--16:00: Sex for fish
  • Sex for fishSex for fishThere is hope the women at Lake Victoria Life is tough in Kenya and the women near Lake Victoria barely manage to scrape by. A new initiative is helping them to earn their own money. At midday in Abimbo village on the Kenyan shore of Lake Victoria, 32-year-old Rachel Atieno is busy spreading out her silver cyprinid fish to dry in the sun.

    Atieno, a mother of five, has sold the fish since her husband died 10 years ago leaving her to support her family. With no other income, she was left with no option but to trade sex with the fishermen for a share of their catch.

    Sex-for-fish, known locally as “jaboya”, is common practice in Abimbo village in western Kenya's Siaya County and throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

    “This 'jaboya' thing will always be there. In fact it has increased due to the poverty in our area and those who do it do so because there is no other option,” said Atieno.

    “You might sell the fish you get today, but spend it on buying food and other basic things, so the next day you have to start afresh,” she said.

    Siaya is the county with the second highest HIV prevalence in Kenya, with nearly a quarter of the population infected.

    As the fishermen bring ashore their night-time catches in the early morning, the sight of women buying fish with money is rare. The currency is sex.

    “In most cases, the best catch would go to those women who are ready to offer sex,” said Atieno as her youngest children read a story book in the shade.

    But in Atieno's case, she no longer has to engage in “jaboya” thanks to an income-generating project by the non-governmental group Challenge Africa that has given women like her help with financial planning and access to credit.

    Challenge Africa introduced “table banking” to Siaya, a concept in which the organisation offers small start-up loans to women that they invest in their businesses, with the aim of bringing back sums that can in turn be loaned out to other members of the group at low interest rates.

    “We have also been taken through simple classes on how to balance our books and ensure that we understand profit and loss and how to do business.”

    As Atieno speaks, the rumble of generators and the occasional boom of explosives from local gold mines drift across the Lake Victoria shore.

    Apart from selling fish, Atieno also cooks for the gold miners, paid for in a scoop of silt from the mine, which she sifts in the hope of finding gold deposits. A single gram of gold sells locally at about 3 000 Kenyan shillings (US$30).

    Edwin Ogillo, Challenge Africa's country director, says the organisation, through its table-banking initiative and skills training workshops, has helped to increase the financial security of vulnerable women.

    “After this, the selected women were each given the US$50 loan to expand and strengthen their businesses as those we had selected were the ones that were already running businesses,” he said.

    “We look forward to giving them a higher sum after they all pay back the loans after making profits.”

    Just two houses away, 40-year-old Millicent Omondi and her 56-year-old husband, Ezekiel Omondi, are stirring muddy water in a basin in search of gold deposits.

    Millicent, who is also a member of the women's group established by Challenge Africa, spends her days sifting for gold and then runs a kiosk in the local market in the evening.

    “The money I got from Challenge Africa helped me increase my stock at the shop and make more profits,” she said. “Even though my husband has now left fishing to work at the gold mines to raise school fees for our children, we depend on the business for food and other daily household needs,” she said.

    Both she and her husband are infected with HIV – which Ezekiel blames on having sex with other women in return for giving them fish when he was a fisherman.

    “I was getting a raw deal from these women because they infected me,” he said.

    The couple have four daughters. The eldest has graduated from high school and wants to study to be a nursery school teacher. The others are at school and the pair have to work hard to raise their school fees and provide for them.

    Apart from helping women like Millicent through the table banking loans, the organisation also runs a school and a poultry keeping project.

    “The proceeds from the poultry project is meant to ensure sustainability of the project and buy sugar for the children's porridge while in school,” Ogillo said.

    NAMPA/REUTERS

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    ERDOGAN SAYS MUSLIMS MUST TAKE JERUSALEMERDOGAN SAYS MUSLIMS MUST TAKE JERUSALEM STAND UP: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on Muslims to stand up for the Palestinian cause, saying each day Jerusalem remains under “occupation” is an insult to them. His words drew strong criticism from Israel. Speaking in Istanbul, Erdogan also compared Israeli actions against Palestinians to those of South Africa under apartheid and said the US must drop plans to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. They were Erdogan's harshest words against Israel since the two countries reconciled in 2016 and restored diplomatic ties to ambassadorial level. The Israeli Foreign Ministry accused Erdogan of “systematically” violating human rights and said he “should not preach morality”. The ministry's spokesperson, Emmanuel Nashon, said “Israel consistently protects total freedom of worship for Jews, Muslims and Christians”. PHOTO: NAMPA/AFP

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    Global food security focus of Addis livestock meetingGlobal food security focus of Addis livestock meeting The 7th multi-stakeholder partnership meeting of the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock kicked off on Monday in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa.

    The four-day meeting, which attracted more than 250 livestock specialists from 50 countries, aims to strengthen the role of livestock in supporting livelihoods, producing safe food and protecting the environment.

    It focuses on demonstrating the positive contribution of livestock to the lives of hundreds of millions of people across the world, and fostering the sustainable development of the rapidly growing sector.

    In his opening remarks, Fritz Schneider, chair of the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock, noted that the meeting provides livestock specialists with the tools and knowledge to make inroads in realizing the potential of the sector.

    “We recognise that for livestock to be sustainable, the sector worldwide needs to respond to the growing demand, enhance its contribution to food nutrition security and address its potential impacts on human, animal, and environmental health and welfare,” he said.

    Driven by population and economic growth, particularly in low-middle economies, the demand for livestock products is expected to increase by 70% in the coming 30 years, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and its partners.

    As the African economy in the next 20 to 30 years is expected to continue to grow fast, meat, egg and dairy consumption at household level will significantly increase on the continent, which in turn provides opportunity for the growth of livestock sector, but also poses challenges for public health and environmental protection, the FAO said.

    In collaboration with its partners, the FAO earlier this year launched a project dubbed Africa Sustainable Livestock 2050 (ASL2050), toward sustainable and productive livestock on the African continent.

    Wang Ren, assistant director general of FAO Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department, said the FAO promotes better recognition of the economic, social and environmental benefits of livestock.

    “Livestock help in our fight to end hunger and poverty, as well as to improve food security, and nutrition and health,” he said. “Farmed and herded animals can support peace and gender equity.”

    “Livestock can also help address environmental issues, from land degradation and biodiversity loss to climate change mitigation,” he added.

    Officially opening the meeting, Ethiopian Minister of Livestock and Fisheries Fekadu Beyene, said the success of livestock sector is critical to achieving food security, economic prosperity and environmental sustainability at different levels.

    “Beyond its impact on rural people, the anticipated transformation of the livestock sector holds huge potential to impact positively on urban populations through reductions in food prices and increases in the supply, as well as growing availability of employment opportunities in livestock-related sectors,” he said.

    The meeting in Addis Ababa also shares and discusses progress made in the development of tools and models to monitor sustainable livestock sector development.

    It is also convened with the objective of identifying opportunities and challenges in ensuring multiple benefits of sustainable livestock development.

    Emphasising on the multiple benefits of livestock, Jimmy Smith, director general of the International Livestock Research Institute, said livestock also directly contribute to crop production and form part of the essential livelihood strategies and new opportunities for hundreds of millions globally.

    NAMPA/XINHUA

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  • 05/09/17--16:00: ICC considers Libya probe
  • ICC considers Libya probeICC considers Libya probeHuman trafficking and migrant-related crimes persist Following reports that Libya has become a hotbed for human trafficking, the International Criminal Court is considering an investigation. The International Criminal Court is considering whether to investigate migrant-related crimes in Libya, which has become a “marketplace” for human trafficking, the chief prosecutor said.

    Fatou Bensouda told the UN Security Council that her office was collecting evidence of crimes allegedly committed against migrants attempting to transit through Libya.

    Thousands of vulnerable migrants, including women and children, are being held in detention centres across Libya where “crimes, including killings, rapes and torture, are alleged to be commonplace”, she said.

    Bensouda, a Gambian lawyer and ICC chief prosecutor since 2012, said she was “dismayed by credible accounts that Libya has become a marketplace for the trafficking of human beings”.

    The ICC prosecution is “carefully examining the feasibility of opening an investigation into migrant-related crimes in Libya” if these cases fall under the court's jurisdiction, she said.

    Libya has been in turmoil since the 2011 fall of Muammar Gaddhafi, its territory controlled by two rival government backed by rival militias, some of whom have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group.

    The chaos has been a boon for migrant smugglers and human traffickers who have turned Libya's coast into a key departure point to Europe.

    Noting that Libya's overall security has “deteriorated significantly” since last year, Bensouda warned that migrant-smuggling could help organised crime and terror networks expand their hold in the north African country.

    The number of people leaving Libya to reach Europe is up nearly 50% this year compared with the opening months of 2016.

    On Monday, the UN agencies reported that 11 migrants died and nearly 200 were missing after two boats sank off the coast of Libya.

    Bensouda said her office was closely following the offensive by forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar in Benghazi after a video emerged showing the Libyan National Army allegedly committing serious crimes such as summary executions of detainees.

    Bensouda also urged Libyan authorities to arrest former security chief, Al-Tuhamy Mohamed Khaled, who she said is currently residing in Libya and is wanted for war crimes trial at the ICC.

    A warrant for Khaled's arrest was unsealed in late April.

    NAMPA/AFP

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    UN to help rehabilitate Chibok girlsUN to help rehabilitate Chibok girls Welcoming Saturday's release of 82 of the schoolgirls abducted from the Nigerian town of Chibok by the Boko Haram insurgent group three years ago, the United Nations has called for continued global support for the country's efforts to release, rehabilitate and reintegrate all Boko Haram victims.

    “We appeal to all Nigerians, including the families and local communities of the liberated girls, to fully embrace them and provide all necessary support to ensure their reintegration into society,” said a statement issued on Monday by Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN secretary-general. “We remain deeply concerned about the safety and well-being of the schoolgirls and other victims still in captivity,” added the statement.

    The newly-released girls will be put on a similar rehabilitation programme set up for the 21 Chibok girls who were released in October 2016, according to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA). The programme is tailored to meet each girl's specific needs of counselling, to help overcome the trauma endured after being held under captivity for more than three years. It includes, among others, access to quality education to bridge the learning gap created during the abduction, access to reproductive health care for their sexual well-being and rehabilitation support, and a skills-acquisition programme to ease their re-integration into their society.

    UNFPA has deployed an emergency team of psycho-social counsellors and health professionals to assist with the profiling of the girls, so their critical needs can be met.



    NAMPA/ANA

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  • 05/09/17--16:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day NATURAL BEAUTY: Snow scenery at Darbin Lake National Forestry Park in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. The weather here makes a sharp contrast with that of most Chinese regions, which have entered summer at this time. Photo: NAMPA/XINHUA

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  • 05/09/17--16:00: Power to the press
  • Power to the pressPower to the press This morning President Hage Geingob will officially launch the Editor's Forum of Namibia Code of Ethics and Conduct.

    The event will coincide with the 2017 World Press Freedom Day celebrations and all this comes against the backdrop of the recently-released World Press Freedom Index, which once again recognised Namibia as the country with the freest media in Africa.

    Despite dropping seven places to 24 out of 180 countries in the world rankings released by the Reporters Without Borders, Namibia has been praised for being a shining example on the continent.

    There is no doubt that a free and diverse media is essential to protecting our hard-won democracy.

    In some countries it has become dangerous to be a journalist and many are at risk of torture and ill-treatment for holding powers to account, among other factors.

    In most cases these journalists are operating in countries where they have little recourse against violence or government pressure.

    Back home, understandably a huge premium has been placed on the protection of journalists and it is our sincere hope that the status quo will continue.

    As a nation we have the means at our disposal to become a role model for other countries as far as media freedom is concerned.

    Chief among them is the realisation of the access to information legislation, which is without doubt the lifeblood of a free media in a democratic society like ours.

    Our lawmakers must realise that the media has an important role to play in society and should desist from shutting out journalists. Journalists should not be viewed as enemies of the state, but their work in uncovering corrupt practices and highlighting the plight of ordinary Namibians should be appreciated by all who have the interests of our country at heart.

    As we celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom there is a need for stakeholders to come up with policy interventions, including the crucial access to information law in order to provide an enabling environment for all Namibians to be empowered through the noble work of the Fourth Estate.

    Inasmuch as self-regulation of the media is important in upholding freedom of expression, journalists must at all times lead by example by being responsible and balanced in their coverage of national issues.

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    Teen rape accused plead for bailTeen rape accused plead for bail Three teenagers accused of abducting and gang-raping a 14-year-old girl in August last year in the DRC settlement of Otjiwarongo, Monday pleaded with the court to grant them bail and asked for new lawyers.

    Alex Hoaeb (18) and his two co-accused in the case, Martillo Areseb (18) and Riano Seun Oreb (18), have been behind bars for more than eight months after they were arrested on charges of seven counts of rape and one count of abduction.

    The teens were accused by the victim of abducting her at night from a street in the DRC settlement on 27 August 2016 and raping her multiple times during the night, before releasing her the next morning.

    The rape victim told police that they had used physical force while raping her and had threatened to kill and burn her throughout her ordeal.

    The three remain in custody after the state opposed bail due to alleged threats they had made against the minor girl, with her stating in an affidavit that they had threatened to kill her. She also feared for the safety of other girls, she told police.

    During their latest court appearance before Magistrate Toini Shilongo on Monday, both Hoaeb and Oreb pleaded to be released on bail.

    “May I be granted bail? I have been in custody for a long time,” Hoaeb said.

    Areseb and Hoaeb told the court that they were also unhappy with their legal aid representatives, and wanted to request new lawyers.

    Araseb said that his request was based on his claim that his current legal aid lawyer “doesn't come to court”.

    None of the legal aid representatives for the accused appeared at court on Monday.

    Public prosecutor Anna Amukugo told the court that the state still opposed bail because it would not be in the interest of justice to grant bail, referring to the victim's fear for her safety.

    Magistrate Shilongo informed the three accused that they should consult with their lawyers on bringing a formal bail application to court, instructing the state prosecutor to liaise with the legal aid lawyers to arrange for a date for the hearing.

    She informed the accused that they had the right to request for new legal aid lawyers.

    The case was postponed to 16 May for the prosecutor-general's final decision for the case going forward.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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