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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    Lesotho Highlands phase II startsLesotho Highlands phase II startsFirst phase was completed 14 years ago With the second phase to be ready for the 2023 rainy season, the Lesotho Highlands Water Project will add some 780 million cubic metres of water per year to the scheme. Design and construction on the second phase of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) will be undertaken by the Matla a Metsi Joint Venture and will kick off this month.

    The announcement was made by the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) last week.

    Phase II of the project mainly includes construction of the Polihali Dam and the primary layout preparation (design) of the dam is set to commence this month. The project will cost N$445 million.

    Refiloe Tlali, chief executive of the LHDA, said the pre-qualification process achieved its objective and produced a shortlist of well qualified firms for the dam design, while maintaining free competition among the bidders.

    “We are confident that the Matla a Metsi team has the capability, skills and experience, and depth of resources to undertake the engineering design and construction supervision of the Polihali dam,” she said.

    The joint venture will bring together international experts, as well as those from South Africa and Lesotho. Some of the companies included in the project are GIBB, Mott MacDonald Africa, Tractebel Engineering SA and Coyne et Bellier, and LYMA Consulting Engineers.

    Services and skills development

    The scope of services will include reviewing the geotechnical and other project information, the engineering design of the Polihali Dam and appurtenant structures, the procurement of construction contracts and supervising the construction on behalf of the client.

    “Skills development and technology transfer to Lesotho and South African nationals and the training of LHDA staff for the purposes of operating the dam are important components of the consultancy contract,” the LHDA said.

    The Polihali Dam comprises a 164m high concrete faced rock fill dam (CFRD) on the Senqu River, a 50-metre high CFRD saddle dam, a concrete side-channel spillway, a free standing compensation outlet tower and appurtenant works.

    The design period will take approximately eighteen months followed by the procurement of the construction contractor. The LHDA said dam construction is expected to commence in December 2019 or January 2020, and that it is envisaged to be impounded during the wet season of 2023.

    “Phase II of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project builds on the successful completion of phase I in 2003,” Tlali said. “It delivers water to the Gauteng region of South Africa and utilises the water delivery system to generate hydro-electricity for Lesotho.

    “Phase II will increase the current supply rate of 780 million cubic metres per annum incrementally to more than 1 270 million cubic metres per annum,” she added. “At the same time, it will increase the quantity of electricity generated in Lesotho and is a further step in the process of securing an independent electricity source to meet Lesotho's domestic requirements.”


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  • 07/11/17--16:00: SA taxi drivers 'done in'
  • SA taxi drivers 'done in'SA taxi drivers 'done in' The South African government is calling on financial institutions to “give taxi operators a better deal”, the country's transport minister Joe Maswanganyi said.

    Speaking at the Southern African Transport Conference in Pretoria, he noted that the minibus taxi industry was correct in saying it was being exploited when purchasing new vehicles.

    Taxi operators had been threatening to again block off major highways in Gauteng in protest against finance deals which could demand an up to 28% interest rate.

    Maswanganyi said this rate meant it was cheaper to buy a Mercedes-Benz E-Class than a R400 000-plus taxi.

    “When the taxi is finally paid off, it is dead. It means operators are perpetually indebted. Why not give operators prime, or fleet buyers prime-minus rates?”

    Maswanganyi said minibus taxi operators transport 68% of commuters in South Africa, while receiving no government subsidy.

    The industry generated R120-billion in fares a year, while also spending R39-billion on fuel, R7-billion on new vehicles and R2.4-billion on insurance.

    Mwaswanganyi said government was looking at introducing subsidies to the taxi industry.

    He said government would also meet with the minibus taxi industry this week to discuss the continuation of the taxi recapitalisation (recap) programme.

    The programme, implemented in the late 1990s, assists taxi operators in purchasing new, safer, legal vehicles, by receiving a scrapping allowance for their old vehicles.

    Maswanganyi said the taxi recap programme was scheduled to come to an end next year.

    “We are meeting with the leadership of the taxi industry to discuss renewing the programme.”

    Mwaswanganyi averred that football and the minibus taxi industry were the only industries that “have always empowered black people in South Africa” and deserved government's support.


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    Procurement policy requires changeProcurement policy requires change Team Namibia held its annual general meeting on 5 July 2017 under the theme 'Stimulating Economic Growth Through the Consumption of Local Products and Services'.

    Pieter Greeff, chairman of the board of Team Namibia, emphasised that procurement practices in Namibia needed to change.

    “We believe that if we increase the level of local demand through effective procurement practices, we can increase our own production capacities. We then can invest in continued improvement to reach optimal standards and quantities needed to compete locally, regionally and internationally,” said Greeff.

    The minister of economic planning and secretary general of the Namibia Planning Commission, Tom Alweendo, applauded the efforts of Team Namibia and its members.

    “We all have a role to play; the difference between what is possible and what is impossible is only the determination we have. We can do what needs to be done, we have proven that we can do what needs to be done to solve challenges we have faced in the past. Therefore let us build on the achievements we have reached and move forward,” he said.


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  • 07/11/17--16:00: Lending potential in Africa
  • Lending potential in AfricaLending potential in AfricaSouth Africa and Kenya lead the pack Kenya and South Africa raised US$16.7 million and US$15 million respectively from online channels in 2015. Kenya and South Africa are leading the peer-to-peer (P2P) business lending market in Africa. However, 90% of online alternative finance originated from platforms headquartered outside of Africa, evidencing the potential for home-grown platforms.

    This is according to the recently published Africa and Middle East Alternative Finance Benchmarking Report, the first comprehensive study of the size and growth of crowdfunding and P2P lending markets in Africa and the Middle East.

    According to the report, the third-largest model in Africa was peer-to-peer business lending, which totalled US$16 million in volume over a two-year period between 2014 and 2015. This model experienced rapid growth, starting at a modest US$2 million in 2014, and reaching a sizable US$14 million in 2015.

    It states that Kenya and South Africa raised US$16.7 million and US$15 million respectively from online channels in 2015. They had a much lower average deal size of US$41 000, with an average of 24 lenders per fundraise.

    Furthermore, the East Africa region has the largest market share of the African alternative finance market. In 2015, East Africa accounted for 41% of total African market share, while West Africa accounted for 24% and Southern Africa accounted for 19%.

    Michael Roberts, CEO of financial technology firm Khonology, points to the report and highlights the make-up of the South African market.

    “It differs markedly from the rest of Africa. In 2015, the vast majority of the South African market activity, US$13.8 million came from P2P consumer and business lending, with the remaining US$1.2 million spread across microfinance, donation-based and reward-based crowdfunding.”

    “The rapid growth and emergence of online P2P lending models in South Africa suggests that this model will likely dominate the national market there, and could potentially propel South Africa's position as the emerging market leader for both online consumer and business P2P lending in Africa,” he said.

    In Africa, there is no stand-out market leader, unlike the Middle East (Israel), Asia Pacific (China), Europe (UK) or the Americas (USA). Instead, the market is relatively evenly distributed across 10 core countries.

    Within Africa, South Africa had the largest number of online alternative finance platforms, with eight surveyed respondents. Following South Africa, both Egypt and Morocco had three domestically-based platforms, while Ghana and Nigeria each had two. Senegal, Uganda, and Zimbabwe each had a single surveyed platform.


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  • 07/11/17--16:00: FNB introduces geopayment
  • FNB introduces geopaymentFNB introduces geopayment FNB has become the first financial institution to introduce a geopayment service in Namibia.

    Geopayment is another first for Namibia where customers can split a bill at a restaurant and pull payment to one card, thereby making sharing of the restaurant bill or buying of gifts easier.

    Focusing on person-to-person transactions, Geo Pay is a service that utilises cellular triangulation, wireless networking or global positioning systems. There is no need to exchange banking details with anybody, as the service authenticates by means of the application's existing programming interface. Using Geo Pay, you can make payments from as little as N$1, with the limit set at the user's daily transaction limit, up to N$35 000.

    “You will find this function on the FNB App under 'Geopayments'. Two app users should select geopayments and pair their phones together. After pairing, you can make a transfer from one account to another with no need for setting up conventional payment with all the banking details,” said FNB Namibia's Desery van Wyk, manager of digital channels.

    “We are proud of yet another addition to our vast range of products and services as this allows our customers to make payments to anybody in their vicinity. An added feature to the bank's mobile app, Geo Pay allows FNB customers to transact with even greater ease and convenience. It allows you to find and pay other FNB app users within a 500-metre radius without having to add their bank account details.”


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  • 07/11/17--16:00: Road congress under way
  • Road congress under wayRoad congress under wayWindhoek hosts International Road Federation's Africa congress The three-day meeting is being hosted by the Roads Authority and aims to help policymakers translate challenges into plans. Namibia is hosting the second International Road Federation (IRF) Africa regional congress, with over 100 delegates attending.

    The three-day congress, hosted by the Roads Authority of Namibia, aims to help policymakers, planners and infrastructure operators to translate challenges into concrete policies and plans.

    Officially opening the event this week, works and transport minister Alpheus !Naruseb said one of Namibia's main priorities was to maintain the existing road infrastructure to avoid deterioration.

    The country also aimed to develop the road network in previously neglected areas and to upgrade road links.

    !Naruseb said the platform provided by the congress complemented these goals as it would assist and promote road safety in the country.

    “I am also entirely pleased with the progress which has been made with the road construction projects forming part of the Trans-Zambezi Highway, which is a vital link along the Walvis Bay-Ndola-Lubumbashi development corridor,” !Naruseb said.

    According to him, the overall objective of the Trans-Zambezi Highway is to provide Namibia with an all-weather transport route eastward to connect with the road networks of landlocked countries: Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

    In spite of these noteworthy milestones, the minister expressed concern about road safety as one of the major challenges in the transportation industry of Namibia.

    He said regardless of efforts to promote road safety, the desired results had not been achieved.

    !Naruseb said for the country to succeed, action should be taken across a range of areas, including adopting better road engineering, data systems, strengthening enforcement capacity, and adopting more comprehensive traffic safety laws.

    IRF vice-president Mike Dreznes described regional congresses such as this one as valuable platforms where regional and international transportation experts could discuss and offer solutions to growing infrastructure and mobility challenges.

    He added that the IRF's vision met the African continent's need to develop the technical and managerial capacity of its road professionals.

    The workshop, held under the theme 'Sustainable Transport Practices: Tools for Modern Connectivity', ends tomorrow.


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  • 07/11/17--16:00: 2.1% growth for 2017
  • 2.1% growth for 20172.1% growth for 2017 The domestic economy is projected to register a moderate growth rate in 2017 before rising further in 2018, according to the Bank of Namibia which released its revised growth numbers this week.

    According to the central bank, Namibia's real Gross Domestic Product growth is projected to recover to 2.1% in 2017, before improving to 3.8% in 2018.

    “These growth rates are an improvement compared to the growth of 0.2 percent in 2016. The recovery in 2017 is mainly due to projected improvements in agriculture and mining as well as in the electricity and water sectors,” the central bank said.

    “Over the medium term from 2018 onward, GDP growth will be supported by an expansion in uranium mining and slower pace of contraction in construction activity,” the central bank said.

    Risks to domestic growth would include a slow recovery in Namibia's trading partners and low uranium prices, according to the Bank of Namibia.

    “Fragile global trade and a slow recovery in some of the advanced economies and leading emerging market economies remain a risk to a resource-based country like Namibia,” it said.

    “Furthermore, weak global demand for minerals such as uranium, copper and zinc, coupled with a slow recovery of international commodity prices, may slow production at some of the mines in Namibia. Climate-related risks also remain, particularly for agriculture.”


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  • 07/11/17--16:00: 2015 Ruby World Cup pools
  • 2015 Ruby World Cup pools2015 Ruby World Cup pools A050.50



    A368.25 68.25

























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    N. Korea could reach San Diego in 24 monthsN. Korea could reach San Diego in 24 months North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile is “likely” to be able to deliver a 500-kilogramme warhead to San Diego within two years, a US monitoring group said Tuesday, after its launch sparked global alarm last week.

    The isolated, nuclear-armed state's first successful ICBM test was described by leader Kim Jong-Un as a gift to “American bastards”.

    The Hwasong-14 missile is currently estimated to have a range of 7 000-8 000 kilometres - enough to reach Alaska or Hawaii - aerospace engineer John Schilling wrote on the respected 38 North website, a monitoring project linked to Johns Hopkins university.

    “If the Hwasong-14 is put together the way we think it is, it can probably do a bit better than that when all the bugs are worked out,” he wrote, projecting a range of 9,700 kilometres with a 500 kg warhead on board.

    “The North Koreans won't be able to achieve this performance tomorrow, but they likely will eventually,” he added.

    At present it would be “lucky to hit even a city-sized target”, he said, citing limits to its re-entry technology.

    But with “a year or two of additional testing and development”, he added, “it will likely become a missile that can reliably deliver a single nuclear warhead to targets along the US west coast, possibly with enough accuracy to destroy soft military targets like naval bases”, such as that at San Diego in California.

    The North's missile technology - which it is banned from developing by the UN Security Council - has advanced rapidly under Kim, ramping up tensions between Pyongyang and Washington.

    The impoverished state has also staged five nuclear tests - including two last year.

    Washington is to propose tougher UN sanctions against the North, but analysts say they will have a limited impact unless China - the North's sole major ally and economic lifeline - steps up pressure on its neighbour.

    Beijing is reluctant to risk destabilising the North, fearing a potential influx of refugees along the frontier or US troops stationed on its border in a unified Korea.


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    Rwanda, Israel tighten relationsRwanda, Israel tighten relationsNetanyahu says he sees Africa as critical partner Israel is in the process of scaling up its engagements across Africa and the Rwandan president Paul Kagame has just returned from Jerusalem. Rwandan President Paul Kagame called for bolstering relations with Israel on Monday during a visit reflecting a warming of ties between the Jewish state and Africa.

    In July 2016 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Rwanda as part of a four-nation Africa trade and security tour aimed at boosting ties and in June this year he joined West African leaders at a summit in Liberia.

    “Ever since the prime minister's visit to West Africa last year, Israel has continued to follow through on its commitments and objective of scaling up engagement across Africa,” Kagame said.

    “This is a very positive trend which can only be welcomed and merits our support,” he added as he met Israeli Prime Minister Reuven Rivlin and Netanyahu at Rivlin's Jerusalem residence.

    Kagame said that cooperation between Israel and African nations “has blossomed in many areas,” including in technology, agriculture, energy and security.

    “We are looking forward to reinforcing our cooperation with Israel on common challenges and issues of mutual interest,” he added.

    On Monday Netanyahu said the Jewish and Rwandan people share a “great bond”.

    “We, who witnessed the greatest holocaust in history, you who witnessed perhaps one of the most recent ones, never again,” Netanyahu said.

    He thanked Kagame for enabling Israel to “return to Africa”.

    “You were the indispensable bridge on which we marched to make our return to Africa, step by step, with very sound advice, very, very wise counsel,” Netanyahu said.

    Rivlin said Israel and Rwanda “are two nations who understand the horror of genocide” and who are “working together to solve some of the biggest issues facing humanity: water and food security”.

    Israel sees African countries as potential allies, particularly at the United Nations and other international bodies, where it is regularly condemned over its occupation of the West Bank and blockade of the Gaza Strip.

    Rwanda is one of the countries receiving illegal African migrants who are actively encouraged to leave Israel, a move rights activists say can endanger their lives.


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  • 07/11/17--16:00: Au Revoir, nuclear power
  • Au Revoir, nuclear powerAu Revoir, nuclear power France's new environment minister said on Monday that nearly a third of the country's nuclear reactors could be shut under plans to scale back the amount of electricity produced from atomic power.

    In 2015, the previous Socialist-dominated parliament passed a law obliging the government to reduce the proportion of electricity generated from nuclear to 50% by 2025 compared with around 75% now.

    “We can all understand that to reach this target, we're going to have to close a certain number of reactors,” Nicolas Hulot told RTL radio. “It will be perhaps as high as 17 reactors, but we need to look into it.”

    Hulot, a celebrity environmentalist, was named minister for ecological transition in the first government of 39-year-old centrist President Emmanuel Macron, elected in May.

    He presented a Climate Plan last Thursday which included a number of ambitious targets for reducing emissions, such as stopping the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2040, but it was criticised by some for lacking detail.

    France has 58 nuclear reactors operated by state-owned EDF, which produces some of the lowest-cost electricity in Europe. The country earns about US$3.4 billion each year from exports to neighbouring countries.

    Renewable energy

    The ageing nuclear power network was once a source of national pride, but support fell after the disaster at the Fukushima plant in Japan in 2011 and the government is keen to encourage the transition to renewable energy sources.

    Around three-quarters of French plants will reach the end of their 40-year lifespan by 2027, having been built in the 1970s and 80s in response to oil-price shocks.

    They face lengthy safety vetting processes, hefty investment and political challenges to gain extensions in their operating life.

    “It's a very interesting announcement because it's the first time that we have a figure and a government that is prepared to take on the dogma about not shutting reactors,” a spokesperson for the Leave Nuclear campaign group, Charlotte Mijeon, told AFP.

    Closing the country's oldest nuclear plant in eastern France proved to be immensely difficult and was decided only in April this year at the end of ex-president Francois Hollande's term in office despite being a campaign pledge he made in 2012.

    Local officials and trade unions opposed its shuttering, as did many conservative politicians in Paris who believe that France should maintain its world-leading position in nuclear power.

    A new-generation nuclear plant is being built in Flamanville on the northwest coast of the country and is due to enter service in 2019, seven years later than first scheduled.

    Costs are now expected to be US$12 billion - at least three times higher than the original budget.


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  • 07/11/17--16:00: 3t of SA ivory in Vietnam
  • 3t of SA ivory in Vietnam3t of SA ivory in Vietnam Vietnamese authorities have seized nearly three tons of ivory hidden among boxes of fruit, officials said, the latest haul to spotlight the country's key role in the global wildlife smuggling trade.

    Police in the central province of Thanh Hoa found 2.7 tons of tusks inside cartons on the back of a truck that was on its way to Hanoi, according to a report on their website.

    “This is the largest seizure of smuggled ivory ever in Thanh Hoa province,” the report said.

    State media said the elephant tusks originated from South Africa.

    The truck driver claimed he was unaware of what he was transporting, according to a report in state-controlled Tuoi Tre newspaper.

    Police declined to comment further when contacted by AFP on Sunday.

    The global trade in elephant ivory, with rare exceptions, has been outlawed since 1989 after populations of the African giants dropped from millions in the mid-20th century to around 600 000 by the end of the 1980s.

    Top market

    There are now believed to be about 415 000, with 30 000 illegally killed each year.

    Prices for a kilogramme of ivory can reach as high as N$R14 700.

    Vietnam outlawed the ivory trade in 1992, but the country remains a top market for ivory products prized locally for decorative purposes, or in traditional medicine despite having no proven medicinal qualities.

    Weak law enforcement in the communist country has allowed a black market to flourish, and Vietnam is also a busy thoroughfare for tusks trafficked from Africa destined for other parts of Asia, mainly China.

    Last October, Vietnam customs authorities discovered about 3.5 tons of elephant tusks at Cat Lai port in Ho Chi Minh city, all in crates of wood, including a hefty two-tonne haul packed into a single shipment.

    In 2015, 2.2 tons of tusks, originating from Mozambique, were discovered and seized northern Hai Phong port.

    And last week authorities in Hong Kong seized 7.2 tons of ivory, the largest haul in the city for three decades.

    While low level couriers are sometimes arrested across Asia very few wildlife trafficking kingpins are brought to justice.


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  • 07/11/17--16:00: Focus on the youth of SADC
  • Focus on the youth of SADCFocus on the youth of SADC The 41st plenary assembly session of the SADC Parliamentary Forum kicked off on Monday at Mahu in the Seychelles with a symposium focusing on the youth as SADC member states angle for the demographic dividend that the region's youthful population presents.

    The plenary is SADC PF's highest decision-making body that brings together Speakers of 14 SADC member states or their representatives and up to five members or parliament from each member state, observers and resource persons. It meets twice a year. In all, 12 parliaments are attending this plenary. Lesotho and Tanzania are not attending, citing pressing national engagements according to Sheuneni Kurasha, SADC PF's parliamentary business focal person.

    SADC PF secretary-general Dr Esau Chiviya on Saturday told a high level preparatory meeting ahead of the plenary that this session is being held under the theme: “Harnessing Demographic Dividend in SADC through investment in Youth.”

    “The main resource person is Frederick Okwayo, the Technical Advisor with UNFPA eastern and southern regional office,” Chiviya told officials who included the SADC PF president, Fernando da Piedade Dias dos Santos, Speaker of the National Assembly of Seychelles, Patrick Pillay, and Dr Jessie Kabwila, chairperson of the Regional Women's Parliament Caucus.

    Kurasha said the theme of the plenary was originally adopted by the African Union Summit of Heads of State and governments and suggested by an organ of SADC PF.

    “It depicts a situation obtaining in much of Africa but the focus is on southern Africa where approximately 67% of the population is young people. Additionally, economies in the SADC region are either on a decline or are experiencing jobless growth while access to services is poor. This can prompt young people to deploy their energies detrimentally,” Kurasha said.

    The opening symposium therefore, seeks to provide a platform for MPs and other stakeholders to explore ways of utilising the continent's vast resources so that they generate employment and accommodate young people so that they find relevance and meaning in the socioeconomic activities of their countries.

    Chiviya thanked the National Assembly of Seychelles for hosting the session which ends on 15 July. The president of Seychelles Danny Faure, was the guest of honour at the official opening. He also attended the official opening of the first ever women's parliament which ended on 6 July. Dr Teodosia Uate, head of legal affairs at SADC, will represent SADC executive secretary Dr Sterogmena Lawrence Tax during the plenary.

    The women's parliament produced the Mahe Declaration which contains key recommendations on what SADC member states can do to stop HIV infections among women and girls. It will be tabled during this plenary for adoption.

    Also scheduled for tabling and adoption are approximately 10 motions. The motions include those on: Gender mainstreaming as a strategy for accelerating gender equality; adoption of the report of the SADC PF election observation mission on the 2017 Lesotho National Assembly elections; the African Union decision on the institutional reform of the AU; increase of non-communicable diseases and the risks they pose; and harassment, bullying, and abuse of children in schools.

    Kurasha said while many people and organisations worked hard to make the plenary possible, the National Assembly of Seychelles deserved special commendation for the “gracious and generous way in which they are hosting us.”

    Although the plenary will be busy given the many items on the agenda, it will not be all work and no play.

    The National Assembly of Seychelles has planned an excursion and a sumptuous farewell dinner to ensure delegates get to see parts of Seychelles and relax.


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    Namib Poultry products safe Namib Poultry products safe Namib Poultry Industries has assured its consumers that its chicken meat produced locally in Namibia is safe for human consumption.

    This follows the outbreak of bird flu (H5N8) in South Africa, after which Namibia suspended the importation and in-transit movements of live poultry, birds, poultry products, ostriches and ostrich products from South Africa and Belgium on 27 June.

    Poultry producers in Namibia have since expressed concern with regards to the borders remaining closed for poultry imports for more than a month.

    In a press release, Namib Poultry said that no cases of bird flu have been reported in Namibia

    “Namib Poultry Industries aims to continuously deliver the freshest chicken to our suppliers and all other stakeholders. Our product is a proudly Namibian product and is manufactured and produced locally in Namibia.”

    The release further stated that the bird flu outbreak in South Africa is not known to have any negative effect on people.

    “As a company we would like to ensure all consumers that our chicken meat produced locally in Namibia at Namib Poultry should be regarded as safe for human consumption,” it said.

    According to the statement the particular strain of the virus, H5N8, which was isolated in chickens in Mpumalanga, South Africa, poses no threat to humans and is not the same deadly strain as was isolated in Asian countries in the past.

    “It is however lethal to chickens and has a 100% mortality rate. For the safeguarding of the industry in Namibia it is imperative that all role players in the industry and the general public work together to prevent the disease from entering Namibia.”

    The company said fast reaction can help to isolate outbreaks as quick as possible and urged all producers of chicken and other poultry to make sure that certain safety measures are applied immediately.

    These include the implementation of strict biosafety measures in all production units.

    The disease is most likely spread via wild birds, therefore poultry producers are urged to prevent any contact with any wild avian species and keep chickens indoors.

    Open water sources are also a serious risk as it is contaminated by wild migratory birds that are the carriers of the disease and it is essential that any sudden rise in mortalities of any avian species should be reported to the relevant authorities.

    This can be reported the relevant authorities or to Louis Kleynhans from Namib Poultry Industries at 081 143 2324.

    Kleynhans will assure that the relevant state officials are informed of the reported cases in order to contain and prevent the spreading of the disease.

    “When it comes to Namib Poultry Industries chicken products, Real Good and Nam Chicken customers can rest assure that Namib Poultries chicken is 100% safe for consumption; we ensure chemically free, organic processing, thereby ensuring optimum freshness.”

    Meanwhile Namibian poultry producers have been urged to produce more poultry to fill the gap created by the indefinite suspension of poultry products from South Africa.

    According to Nampa Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr Milton Maseke said the suspension of poultry from South Africa is an opportunity for local poultry producers to assist the industry.

    “It is really a matter of our local producers responding to the challenges in terms of low amounts of poultry; but also our importers diversifying their sources of poultry to start importing from free countries.”

    Maseke said the country would be affected by poultry shortages in the short-term, however, there is sufficient poultry on the international market that can be sourced and traded or used in Namibia in the long-term.


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  • 07/11/17--16:00: Meatco secures A-rating
  • Meatco secures A-ratingMeatco secures A-ratingBritish say our beef is of premium value Meatco's recent audit has secured an A-rating from the British Retail Consortium securing the company's international status for premium cuts. Meatco recently received an A-rating during the annual British Retail Consortium (BRC) audit of the Windhoek factory.

    This audit was conducted by Deborah Wortelhock of Kiwa PAI during April. According to Meatco only six minor non-conformances were found that had to be resolved in a period of 28 days. On 31 May, Meatco officially resolved the non-conformances and should receive a certificate for a successful audit. The non-conformances were as a result of operational issues such as an open sewage pipe, an unmarked stainless steel dolav (container) used for waste disposal in the red offal section and a pest control plan that failed to be updated, to mention a few. According to Meatco, the BRC remains a difficult programme to run. However, with support given to the quality assurance department from the other departments like operations, it is managing to put requirements in place.

    According to Meatco six non-conformances is a big improvement compared to last year's 11.

    “If we continue on this trend, we will be able to achieve our goal of an AA-rating.”

    Meatco is the biggest meat-processing and meat-marketing entity in the country.

    The company's meat production is based on the pillars of no growth stimulants or hormones and the rearing of animals in a natural, free-range environment which is preferred by its clients. In accordance with the Meat Industry Act of 2002, Namibian meat is free of growth stimulants and hormones. Therefore, Meatco purchases meat from any Namibian farmer committed to these specific livestock farming practices, ensuring an end-product with a unique, tender taste full of flavour.

    Furthermore, Meatco uses intensive systems (feedlots) in the production of animals where they are fed naturally produced fodder over a certain period to achieve the required slaughter weight. In addition, the animal welfare practices used guarantee high quality and healthy meat at all times. Since animals are not reared in harsh conditions or given feed with additives the meat remains in an excellent condition.

    According to Meatco, due to the good hygiene processes from production right through to packaging, they can guarantee a six month shelf-life for meat because of the high standards Meatco continues to operate in. Additionally, at the abattoir stage basic requirements such as hygiene systems, quality systems, conditions under which animals are slaughtered and the temperature controls in which the meat is stored are of an exceptional standard. By adhering to these requirements, Meatco ensures that the final product is of the best quality for both local and international clients. In conclusion, Meatco certifies that the producers undergo the necessary training and education programmes on how to produce good quality animals for the markets through the Meat Board's Farm Assured Namibian Meat scheme (FANMeat).

    Meatco also carries out self-life testing on its products annually.

    Self-life refers to the use-by date or the length of time that a food item remains fit for consumption. This time span varies depending on the type and packaging of the product.


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    Own research will sustain agricultureOwn research will sustain agriculture The expansion of public–private partnerships to develop innovation and research networks, which are critical to the sustainable growth of the agricultural sector, should be considered more deeply.

    With Africa's population explosion, and the ever-pressing need to accelerate food production, more research is needed to improve agricultural outputs.

    Research outcomes have been shown to have a significant impact on growth and development, said South African Agriculture Research Council (ARC) president and CEO Dr Shadrack Moephuli, citing the results of several case studies on the impact of technology innovation on agriculture productivity and trade.

    Speaking at the Agribusiness Africa conference, held in Kempton Park, on Tuesday, he said sustained investment to enhance productivity and efficiencies has a significant impact on economic growth and poverty reduction.

    One study in South Africa revealed that every R1 spent on agricultural dry bean breeding research returned R5.67, while a study of vaccines and its impact on Rift Valley fever and lumpy skin disease showed that vaccines had significant cost benefits with reduced infection.

    In addition, there is value in investing in biocontrol research and development.

    A review of the various studies also indicates that research and development funding in most African countries is predominantly dependent on investment from donor partners, which can often be volatile and is not conducive to sustained research. This meant that some African countries are not funding their own agricultural research.

    The opposite seemed to be true for South Africa, which boasted the most advanced national system of innovation with sustained funding for agricultural research.

    Moephuli also added that other lessons were learnt from these studies: There remained a need to be inclusive for transformation and that broad-based productivity gains were essential for inclusive rural and structural transformation.

    These are particularly applicable as the continent moves to implement the Africa Agenda 2063, which has a strong developmental thrust that leverages agriculture as an instrument for sustainable growth, on a continent where poverty persists and its food system is rapidly changing.

    Over the past decade, Africa has experienced rapid population growth and increased urbanisation.

    Africa's middle class has exploded from 495-million in 1990 to 822-million in 2010 as incomes rise, while the number of cities housing more than one-million people has expanded from just two in 1950 to more than 50 in 2010. This is expected to double to more than 100 by 2030.


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    Food commodities to stay subduedFood commodities to stay subdued According to the latest 10-year agricultural outlook published recently by the OECD and FAO, global food commodity prices are projected to remain low over the next decade compared to previous peaks.

    This is as demand growth in a number of emerging economies is expected to slow down and biofuel policies have a diminished impact on markets. The OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2017-2026 says that the completed replenishment of cereal stocks by 230-million tonnes over the past decade, combined with abundant stocks of most other commodities, should also help limit growth in world prices, which are now almost back to their levels before the 2007-08 food price crisis.

    The report foresees per capita demand for food staples remaining flat, except in least developed countries. Additional calories and protein consumption over the outlook period are expected to come mainly from vegetable oil, sugar and dairy products. Growth in demand for meat is projected to slow, with no new sources of demand projected to maintain the momentum previously generated by China.

    Food insecurity to remain persistent

    By 2026, average calorie availability is projected to reach 2 450kcal per person per day in least developed countries, and to exceed 3 000kcal in other developing countries. Food insecurity and malnutrition in all its forms will nonetheless remain a persistent global problem, requiring a coordinated international approach, according to the report.

    Future growth in crop production is projected to be principally attained through higher yields - 90% of the increase in maize production is expected to come from increased yields and just 10% from area expansion. Growth in meat and dairy production, by contrast, is expected to come from both larger herds and higher output per animal. Milk production growth will accelerate when compared to the previous decade, most notably in India and Pakistan. It is foreseen that aquaculture would dominate growth in the fish sector and farmed fish production will be the fastest growing protein source among all commodities analysed in the outlook. The growth in agriculture and fish trade is projected to slow to about half the previous decade's growth rate, and average less than 2% per year in volume terms for most commodities. Nevertheless, agricultural trade is expected to remain more resilient to economic downturns than trade in other sectors. For nearly all commodities, exports are projected to remain concentrated in a few supplying countries, which may imply a greater susceptibility of world markets to supply shocks.

    Using natural resources more sustainably

    “Real prices of most agricultural and fish commodities are expected to decline slightly over the 10-year outlook period,” OECD secretary-general Angel Gurría said at the launch event in Paris. “As we have seen in the past, unexpected events can easily take markets away from these central trends, so it is essential that governments continue joint efforts to provide stability to world food markets. It is equally important that we look ahead as we seek to meet the fundamental challenge facing world food and agriculture: to ensure access to safe, healthy, and nutritious food for a growing world population, while at the same time using natural resources more sustainably and making an effective contribution to mitigating climate change.” “The report foresees that the average calorie availability per person per day will increase in least developed countries and in most emerging economies,” said FAO director-general José Graziano da Silva. “But we also know that more food alone is not enough to eliminate undernourishment and other forms of malnutrition. Access to the additional calories is extremely important. More challenging is the fight against malnutrition: Fighting malnutrition requires a diversified, safe and nutritious diet, ideally produced with a lower environmental footprint.”


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    India's top court suspends ban on trade in cattle for slaughterIndia's top court suspends ban on trade in cattle for slaughter India's Supreme Court on Tuesday suspended a government ban on the trade of cattle for slaughter, a boost for the multi-billion dollar beef and leather industries mostly run by members of the Muslim minority.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist government in May decreed that markets could only trade cattle for agricultural purposes, such as ploughing and dairy production, on the grounds of stopping cruelty to animals.

    The slaughter of cows, considered holy in Hinduism, was already banned in most parts of India, but Hindu hardliners and cow vigilante groups have been increasingly asserting themselves since Modi's government came to power in 2014.

    Muslims, who make up 14% of India's 1.3 billion people, said the May government decree against the beef and leather industry employing millions of workers was aimed at marginalising them.

    The Supreme Court, in issuing its decision, stressed the hardship that the ban on the trade of cattle for slaughter had imposed.

    “The livelihood of people should not be affected by this,” Supreme Court Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar said in his ruling.

    India's meat and leather industries are worth more than US$16 billion in annual sales.

    After the decision, the government told the court it would modify and reissue its May order, Additional Solicitor General P.S. Narasimha said.

    The issue has become highly emotive with a wave of attacks on Muslims suspected of either storing meat or transporting cattle for slaughter. An estimated 28 people have been killed in cow-related violence since 2010.

    Late last month, after months of silence on the violence, Modi condemned lynchings.

    Media has reported at least two cases of attacks on Muslims since Modi spoke out.

    Abdul Faheem Qureshi, the head of the Muslim All India Jamiatul Quresh Action Committee that supports meat sellers, welcomed the court decision.

    “We have to now restore the confidence of cattle traders that they can resume their business. It' a victory for us,” said Faheem Qureshi, who had lodged a petition with the Supreme Court against the government ban.


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  • 07/11/17--16:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day FUN WITH MY DONKEY: A Palestinian boy plays with a donkey in the sea at sunset in Gaza City on 3 July 2017. Photo: NAMPA/AFP

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    Stray lions continue to cause havocStray lions continue to cause havoc The wave of lion killing in the north a few months ago was widely condemned by environmentalists and members of the public. The first incidents were first reported in the Ongandjera grazing area where lions wreaked havoc and killed livestock after straying into cattle posts. Farmers were forced to retaliate and protect their livestock from the marauding lions and this resulted in the killing of the big cats. Three more lions were recently killed in the Kunene Region after escaping from Etosha National Park and attacked cattle in that area. Farmers argued they had no choice other than take the law into their own hands. The ministry of environment officials have been accused of doing little to appease the situation. The merciless budget cuts at government agencies and ministries have also been attributed to the lax attitude adopted by conservationists in recent months. Government has reportedly cut back on expenditure when it comes to transport and S&T for game rangers. In some instances it appears that the officials are simply incapable. This newspaper reported a few weeks ago that nature conservation officials left a farm - on which lioness have given birth to cubs - without any solution. According to the farm manager, the environment officials were “afraid to offend” the lioness and its cubs, which had been living on the farm since February this year. Over 20 cows have now been attacked and killed by these lions while the authorities watch on with folded arms. The situation is clearly out of hand and these poor farmers are now forced to simply swallow their losses, which often run into thousands of dollars. The formal means of compensating aggrieved livestock owners does not make sense as government only pays out N$1 500. No wonder the farmers are angry and impatient. The suffering of farmers is being ignored, while even the most ardent conservationists are turning a blind eye to this rampage caused by the marauding predators. If the situation remains unchanged, more human-wildlife conflict will be inevitable and this is not what we want to happen.

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