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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 07/31/17--16:00: No extension on tax arrears
  • No extension on tax arrearsNo extension on tax arrearsTax deadline lapses The cabinet is set to deliberate on the tax incentive programme in due course. Finance minister Calle Schlettwein yesterday said that there would be no extension of the tax arrears incentive programme. The incentive programme was introduced on 1 February 2017 to help defaulting taxpayers who owe the ministry of finance billions in unpaid taxes.

    Giving an update at State House, Schlettwein said he was due to receive a report that he would study and present to cabinet to make a final decision whether to extend the incentive programme.

    “I will receive a report from the receiver of revenue and collectively with cabinet, take a decision as to whether we extend the tax arrears incentive programme. We are in no rush at this time to inform whether we will extend the programme,” said Schlettwein.

    According to him, the finance ministry collected just over N$200 million as a result of the incentive programme introduced to help tax defaulters.

    When the incentive programme was introduced, Schlettwein said the government was owed N$19 billion in unpaid taxes. N$4 billion was principal tax owed to the receiver of revenue while the remainder was made up of interests and penalties.

    The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Namibia had previously raised concerns regarding the tax incentive programme. According to the Institute, defaulting taxpayers who registered for the incentive programme may not be acknowledged owing to administrative issues.

    “A matter of concern to us is all those taxpayers who have complied with the tax legislation by submitting all returns and paying all self-assessed balances prior to 31 July 2017 but who have not been assessed by that date. During our meetings, the IRD has advised us that no taxpayer will be considered for participation in the incentive programme unless the formal application for participation has been lodged with the IRD,” ICAN said in a statement sent out to its members last month.

    The Institute proposed that the ministry send out acknowledgement letters to defaulting taxpayers to acknowledge those that were interested in taking part.

    “The ministry has not confirmed to us in writing that these taxpayers will be considered for participation in the programme. We however urge you to follow this route as it is the only way a taxpayer may be considered for participation in the programme,” ICAN said.

    “Furthermore, we recommend that all taxpayers who suspect that they may have unpaid tax balances with the Inland Revenue Directorate (IRD) immediately make enquiries with the IRD and attempt to resolve the matter before the closing date of the incentive programme,” ICAN said.


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  • 07/31/17--16:00: Bidvest expects profit shock
  • Bidvest expects profit shockBidvest expects profit shock Bidvest Namibia is anticipating a big drop in profit for its recently concluded financial year.

    The company gave a trade update in anticipation of its financial results for the year ended 30 June 2017 which are expected to be published in due course.

    “Bidvest Namibia anticipates basic earnings per share (EPS) and headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the year ended June 30 2017 to be down between 70% and 75% on the previous corresponding period,” said Bidvest.

    According to them, the decline in profit was because of a reduction in fishing quotas, particularly for horse mackerel.

    “The decline in EPS and HEPS is resulting from lower profits in all trading divisions. Bidvest Namibia's fishing division continues facing severe adverse external market factors and environmental conditions, as well as a shortage of own quota allocations. All the other divisions experienced pressure on revenue due to the recession in Namibia,” Bidvest said.

    In the food and distribution division, Bidvest also made losses, further exacerbating its financial results.

    “Although the food and distribution division recently started showing improvement in stock-related costs, losses were incurred for the financial year,” Bidvest said.

    The company pointed out that it was on a mission to revive its fortunes. “Various initiatives are being taken to improve efficiencies and save costs,” Bidvest said.

    Bidvest's results have been on downward spiral for some time now. The company gave a similar update in the beginning of the year for its half-year results for the period ending 31 December 2016.

    “Bidvest Namibia anticipates basic earnings per share (EPS) and headline earnings per share (HEPS) for the half-year ended December 31 2016 to be down between 77% and 82% on the previous corresponding period,” the company said in January.

    According to Bidvest, the decline in EPS and HEPS mainly resulted from losses incurred in the group's fishing division.

    “Bidvest Namibia's fishing division is facing severe adverse external market factors and environmental conditions, as well as a shortage of own quota allocations.”

    The group's other divisions also performed worse in the reporting period than in the previous corresponding period due to trying economic conditions in Namibia over the last six months.

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  • 07/31/17--16:00: The rise of a project school
  • The rise of a project schoolThe rise of a project schoolA school that caters for the needy The Monte Christo Primary Project School is serving a community with limited facilities. Elizabeth Ngurimuje Murangi, principal of Monte Christo Primary Project School in Havana on the outskirts of Windhoek, shared with The Zone the scope of projects schools and how they are administered.

    According to Murangi, a project school is a school that is started when there is lack of places for grade 1 and grade 8 learners. “Project schools are primarily started to accommodate those learners who fail to secure placement at different schools, and that is how Monte Christo Primary Project School was also started,” said Murangi.

    The school was founded in 2016 with 210 learners, six teachers and two institutional workers. Murangi narrated that the school started with six tents and received two containerised classrooms in the second term of its inception. “Before we received the two containerised classrooms from the Ohlthaver & List Group, we used to make use of classrooms at Moses //Garoëb Project School,” said Murangi.

    Being a relatively young school, Murangi said some of the challenges that the school faces includes lack of electricity. Murangi said because of lack of electricity at the school, the school still uses facilities at Moses

    //Garoëb Project School to get school work done. “We print report cards of our learners at Moses //Garoëb Project School or sometimes at the councillor's office,” she said. Murangi also added that another challenge is the limited space at the school. Murangi maintains that the school is in a confined area and there is inadequate space for learners to take part in sports. “Due to the limited space at the school the physical education period at our school is badly affected,” she said.

    Estelle Hochobes, a teacher at Monte Christo Primary Project School also added that other challenges that the school faces includes some teachers still teaching in tent classrooms. “Tent classrooms absorb heat and they are dusty which is not good for books,” said Hochobes. Hochobes also said the fact that there is no electricity at the school, it hampers teaching and learning as some teaching aids requires electricity.

    Despite these challenges, Murangi is happy with the support the school gets from the government and the private sector. “The government is very supportive and all these challenges are temporary because there is a spacious plot secured in the same settlement,” said Murangi. She added that last year, the school received support from the private sector. “Last year the same company that donated containerised classrooms also donated school bags to our learners,” said Murangi.

    The principal commended the involvement of parents in the learners school work. Murangi said parents of the learners at the school always respond positively when the school requests their input. “The parents are concerned and very much involved in the education of their kids which makes it easier for us as teachers,” said Murangi.

    She said compared to tent classrooms, containerised classrooms are convenient and they are strong. “Although these containerised classrooms are not permanent structures, they are suitable for learning as they are more or less the same with permanent structures.” Although she did not share when the school is expecting to have permanent structures built, Murangi maintains that the school will not allow the lack of permanent buildings to impact negatively the academic performance of the learners. “We have to make use of the little that we have and excel regardless of our challenges,” Murangi said with conviction.


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    Internet and millennial have the power to reboot AfricaInternet and millennial have the power to reboot AfricaEmpowering young people through technology In our everyday life, we eat the internet, breathe the internet, and consume the internet. Everything that we do has to do with the internet. We cannot deny the vast importance of the internet in carrying out our daily tasks. Being a Queens Young Leader gave me the privilege to interact with many Africans for over a week, I got to hear their stories and simply appreciate Africans. The one thing that stood out for me was my Kenyan, Rwandan and Nigerian counterparts; their level of creative thinking and innovation. Africa as a whole, has been finding its way into technology, most especially, it has to do with improving lives and eradicating poverty. In East Africa increased investments in information and communication technology have led to improved quality of capital and labour. In West Africa, the increase of accelerators, incubation hubs and tech competition sponsored by tech moguls such as MTN and Google, has seduced the youth into developing very impressive applications that make life easier for Africans, by Africans.

    Access to the internet means exposure and the possibility of self-education. Mobile phones are in a unique position in Africa, where fixed networks and infrastructure are at different stages of development and where phones are often the only way of accessing the internet. Even though data is expensive, I believe that everyone has the right to the internet; it shouldn't be a luxury.

    Start-ups and digital technology are breathing new life into Africa. Tech entrepreneurs are the one who are inventing the Africa of tomorrow.

    With the rise of accelerators and incubators, millennials are into community building and working spaces and Africa has a large number of entrepreneurs coming from the on-going veritable boom in digital innovation.

    With so much happening in the African market place, one would expect home-grown African technology innovations to be adopted by government and corporate organisations but sadly, we keep importing foreign technologies that hardly address the nation's fundamental problems.

    Another problem in Africa is myth of succeeding only when taking the traditional careers.

    I am often asked and criticised about my choice of degree majors and I have realised that it is because people do not understand that millennials have diverse interest; we are into design, technology, activism, and arts, among others. We are aiming for a more meaningful work-life, not necessarily what our parents would call a traditional career.

    Deloitte Africa has recently caught my attention with creating a millennial board made up of its most dynamic employees from their company. If every institution, either private or public in Africa ,can take up such a challenge to tap into the insights and energy of millennials, then we have can secure the economic opportunities for Africa for good.

    I believe that millennials have the power to take responsibility and change Africa instead of constantly blaming the older generation. However, we need an ecosystem that allows us to do so.

    *Nyeuvo Amukushu (19) is a millennial in business and technology exploring innovation, entrepreneurship, intelligence and business development.

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  • 07/31/17--16:00: The State of the Nation
  • The State of the NationThe State of the Nation The nation is facing difficult times. It is about time that we become brutally honest with ourselves.

    Government debt is at an all-time high. The state cannot meet its expenditure and our sports industry is in tatters. Our state-owned enterprises are in shambles and depend on yearly government bailouts. Youth unemployment is skyrocketing. The evils of tribalism are at play every other day. The calls from civil society for land expropriation and radical economic transformation are becoming increasingly vocal yet the state is hiding behind policies. We are indeed facing very turbulent times. Politicians and pro-government activists try to paint a green coat over our challenges but that only serves to deepen the problem and stir up more frustration among the population and civil society. Years of reckless government spending and ineffective policies have caught up with us. The Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP) is a horrendous disaster. Our national debt doubled almost instantly after the Geingob administration came into power. Our national debt went up from N$30.7 billion in 2015 to a shocking N$56.3 billion in 2016. One year down the line the debt is now standing at a staggering N$66.2 billion. Our debt now accounts for 48% of our gross domestic product (GDP). Never in the history of this country have we faced such dire times. Indeed, the factors that contributed to this huge bill are no secret. The irrational and ill-advised expansion of our parliament from 72 members to 104 members, the appointment of six advisors with no clear job specifications, the creation of the vice-president and deputy prime minister positions, the creation of ministries that have no link to the larger Namibian problem - the list goes on. What is even more irritating is the absolute lack of honesty and accountability from the Geingob administration about the current troubles of the country. The president simply does not want to admit that he made critical policy errors that are now costing the economy and functionality of the country dearly. The president has made it quite clear and noticeable that his administration has really no idea on how to pay off our national debt. Corruption is becoming more prevalent in Namibia. The institutions that are supposed to perform checks and balances on the state and corruption are simply not doing their job. Our watchdogs, in the form of the Office of the Ombudsman and the Anti- Corruption Commission are sleeping. We don't have a Thuli Madonsela in Namibia; we don't have a Julius Malema in Namibia. Civil society must start influencing public discourse. Our old, serial politicians must go to nurse their grandchildren. We simply cannot afford the presence of Jerry Ekandjo and company in our government for another five years. We need young fresh blood in our parliament. All in all, the nation is angry. The ball is in the president's court.

    *Maximalliant T Katjimune is a first year BA (Hon) Political Studies & Sociology student at Unam and Nanso KREC secretary for political and internal affairs.

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    Andre Spies - claims manager Andre Spies - claims manager A claims manager handles claims submitted by insurance company clients and individual clients following an incident they were involved in. Andre Spies, a claims manager at King Price Insurance explained, “An essential part of the job is making sure that claims are legit and that the company does not give money to dishonest clients”.

    The most important responsibility is to make sure that clients are treated fairly when they claim. The claims department needs to ensure that all claims are settled fast and accurately. As he also deals with interpreting the terms and conditions of the insurance policies, a sound knowledge of legal terms is helpful.

    Daily, a claims manager procures the services and products of suppliers in order to repair or replace the items insured by clients. The claims manager negotiates favourable terms in order to repair or replace the damaged items. He is also responsible for identifying fraudulent claims and reporting these. “Every day has its own challenges as every day you have different claims,” said Spies.

    Spies explained it is essential for those aspiring to become claims managers to possess analytical skills and problem-solving skills. You spend most of your time working with different people that have different problems. So it is important to have that ability.

    The highlight of being a claims manager is successfully helping clients back into the same position they were before their incidents. “Clients appreciate it.”

    Pull quote:

    “An essential part of the job is making sure that claims are legit and that the company does not give money to dishonest clients.”

    A claims manager should:

    · Have great analytical skills.

    · Have problem solving abilities and patience.

    · Be able to work well with people and can communicate insurance claims to clients.

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    Braam Vermeulen - reinsurance manager  Braam Vermeulen - reinsurance manager Braam Vermeulen is the reinsurance manager for King Price Insurance and their chief financial officer. Just like clients acquire insurance cover for their assets and belongings, an insurance company also acquires insurance cover for the company itself. We call this concept reinsurance and it is a financial management function of an insurance company. The reinsurance manager’s core responsibility is to ensure that the financial capabilities and wellness of an insurance company is not compromised.

    Typically insurance companies acquire reinsurance cover from a reinsurer against major catastrophic events that might cause damage to the assets and belongings of the clients it insures. “My main responsibility is to protect the company against unforeseen financial as well as insurance risks,” explains Vermeulen. He also makes sure that the financial wellbeing of the company is managed appropriately.

    Reinsurance is a ‘global spreading of risk’ concept that entails insurance companies entering into international reinsurance agreements, called treaties. “On a weekly basis I meet with account executives of reinsurers to negotiate terms and renew contracts. From day to day I deal with settling reinsurance creditors, financial reconciliations and account compilations,” says Vermeulen.

    He was inspired to make a career in reinsurance and financial management as he “enjoys managing risks especially when it comes to handling money and having a love for mathematics helps as well”.

    For one to prosper as a reinsurance manager you need to have a passion for financial and risk management as well as being responsible and hardworking and be able to negotiate well.

    Pull quote:

    “My main responsibility is to protect the company against unforeseen future financial as well as insurance risks.”

    A reinsurance manager should:

    · Have a love for love for mathematics.

    · Be good at negotiating terms for contracts.

    · Be able to protect the insurance company well so that it can protect its clients best.

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    Tiaan van Rooyen - portfolio managerTiaan van Rooyen - portfolio manager Tiaan van Rooyen is a portfolio manager, commonly known as a sales manager, at King Price Insurance. A portfolio manager is either a person who makes investment decisions using money other people have placed under his or her control or a person who manages a financial institution's asset and liability portfolios.

    Van Rooyen deals with short term insurance on a daily basis. “Short term insurance is described as insurance that can be purchased for a short period of time as opposed the typical annual policy. It is meant to meet temporary insurance needs. It mostly covers personal belongings as well as your business assets such as cell phones, iPads, and laptops just to name a few.”

    He does not have any sort of formal tertiary education in marketing. “Coming from an admin industry into an insurance industry, I worked myself up. I was willing to learn and step outside my comfort zone,” he said.

    This job is for go-getters, someone who likes to challenge themselves and who definitely is goal-driven. “Extroverts are likely to find it easier to work in an environment where they constantly have to interact with someone. As a sales manager you can always get to achieve your goals even if you are an introvert though,” he said.

    Van Rooyen day to day looks very hectic - he sees a lot of customers per day. “Sometimes the consultants don’t have to come in to have a face to face consultation. That’s why they help them over the phone with whatever problem they might be experiencing, that’s how my day to day looks like,” he added.

    Pull quote:

    “Extroverts are likely to find it easier to work in an environment where they constantly have to interact with someone”

    A portfolio manager should:

    · Goal driven.

    · Be a great communicator.

    · Have good decision-making skills when it comes to investments.

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    King Price Insurance – an overviewKing Price Insurance – an overview King Price questions the traditional insurance model and has disrupted the industry with its unique pricing. With its premiums that decrease monthly, the company has changed how risk is managed. In 2016 King Price introduced its one-of-a-kind insurance offering to consumers in Namibia.

    This new kid on the block is known for its quirky personality, decreasing monthly premiums, N$1 insurance for bikes, golf clubs and hunting rifles. King Price is an organisation that keeps on inventing. This ‘wild child’ is determined to turn the industry on its head. It has the backing of the world’s leading reinsurer, Munich RE, as its reinsurer and shareholder, along with Namibian founders. It also has the support of the Mertech Group.

    At King Price, you always speak to Namibians in Namibia. King Price allows Namibian consumers to enjoy a complete insurance solution and in-country service from an insurer who understands what they really need. With the proud Namibian, Justinus van der Westhuyzen at the helm, he is always looking for better ways to service their clients.

    Everything a company does better than its competitors attracts clients. Like offering a superior product, or delivering extraordinary service. Or both, in King’s Price’s case!

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    Standing up for Albinism sufferers in NamibiaStanding up for Albinism sufferers in NamibiaSinasra collaborates with primary school for a similar cause Sinasra and children's choir recorded a song to raise awareness of Albinism in Namibia. Support in Namibia of Albinism Sufferers Requiring Assistance (Sinasra) has been hard at work to raise awareness and understanding people with albinism.

    Recently the organisation recorded that raises awareness of albinism in Namibia.

    The new song and video will be released soon to spread the message of hope to all corners of Namibia. Toon Sanders, a representative of Sinasra said the song is about highlighting the challenges faced by people with albinism and encourage acceptance throughout the 14 regions of Namibia. “Having all these people and organisations involved as well as the children's choir really fills me with hope and joy and shows what a big heart Namibians have.” said Sanders.

    The children of the Michelle McLean Primary School choir recorded the song together with renowned African artist Dolar Yves. Nationwide awareness campaigns exposing the plight of persons with albinism will be created through the collaboration of many people working together with a children's choir to compose the song and the video.

    Yves together with Chris Winsemius of Sesame Street wrote the beautiful song and a chorus was done by children from the Michelle McLean Primary School in Windhoek. Other people involved in this project are; Helvi Wheeler, who assisted the choir and former Miss Universe, Michelle McLean-Bailey who did the introduction to the video. According to Sanders, all the people involved in the project selflessly gave their time, talent and resources to make the song and music video a reality. The song was recorded at NBC Radio and Caleb Cindano directed the video.

    The children's singing, hard work and recording of the song was rewarded by lunch at Nyama Restaurant courtesy of the restaurant, which added an extra fun and tummy-filling dimension for the kids involved. Sanders said that Sinasra, as an organisation is grateful to Nyama Restaurant for facilitating and opening up the restaurant to the children. The song and video will be launched soon and it is expected to have a positive impact that will resonate with many people throughout Namibia.

    Sinasra is a Namibian welfare organisation, registered with the Ministry of Health and Social Services. It started as a Rotary project and has developed into an independent entity. The principles and objectives of Rotary, however, became firmly inculcated into the organisation. With Rotary's continued support and expertise ensured, it is feasible to strive towards a better future and generally improved living conditions for persons with albinism in Namibia. Albinism is a condition that is manageable provided funds are available to meet their continuous needs. Your donations and assistance are therefore greatly appreciated.


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    Juggle now, reap rewards laterJuggle now, reap rewards laterBalancing studies and holding a full-time job Isdor Kamati shares why it is important for students to acquire work experience while in varsity and how he manages to balance having two jobs while studying. Isdor Aluteni Kamati, 20, is a Library and Information Science student at Unam, a librarian assistant at the Namibia Scientific Society Library and a part-time radio presenter at Unam Radio. Kamati explained to The Zone that it is pivotal for students to not only focus on obtaining their qualifications, but also making an effort to gain work experience in their respective fields during their study periods. “A qualification alone is not enough, employers want people with enough work experience too,” said Kamati.

    Kamati describes himself as a person who likes books, appreciates art, and enjoys sports. “Essentially, I am an ever-cheerful person and always eager to support positive causes,” Kamati said. He was born in Outapi, right in the heart of Omusati. He moved to Windhoek when he was a toddler, and that is where he grew up. “To be precise, I grew up in Soweto in Katutura and that place for me means a lot because it has taught me valuable life lessons,” he said. Among the life lessons Soweto taught Kamati, he prides himself in the fact that his upbringing in Soweto has taught him to be grounded and having pride in where he is from. “Another lesson that the streets of Soweto taught me is to always bring out the best in people and lastly, to always look on the bright side of life,” he said proudly.

    Kamati shared that he spends his days at work and he goes straight to school after that. Lucky for him, his radio show is on Sundays. “It's not easy being a student and also having a job but I manage doing it by being at work (library) from 08:00-16:00 and thereafter, I attend classes at Unam,” he said. Kamati added that with radio presenting, he considers himself fortunate to be given a late Sunday afternoon show. “All it takes is just for one to have passion for what they do and to prioritise.”

    Just like many in his shoes, Kamati said that juggling two jobs and being a student has not always been a walk in the park. He explained that before he was hired at the Namibia Scientific Society Library he used to read news on Unam Radio and also had morning classes. “Being a news reader on campus radio and attending classes was not much of a challenge. The real challenge came when I got the library job and sometimes it required me to be at two places at the same time,” Kamati shared. He overcame this challenge by completing the morning lectures in the first semester and requested to be relieved from reading news to hosting a weekend show. Even after being put on a weekend slot for his radio commitments challenges still prevailed as all his three commitments; being a student, a radio presenter and the library job were equally demanding. “But everything became less challenging as I obtained more experience from the work I did,” he said.

    Kamati explained that the importance of gaining work experience as a student is that he gets to instantly turn his theoretical knowledge into practical knowledge, especially because he is employed in the industry that is aligned to his field of study. He stresses that work experience awareness is critical because there are students who forget most of what they learn before they are afforded the opportunity to even apply this knowledge in a particular trade. “Above everything, work experience is very important because many employers require experience when recruiting,” said Kamati.

    Kamati's recipe to maintaining a healthy balance between being a student and having a full-time job is by investing adequate time in all of his obligations. He maintains that he is fortunate enough to be afforded the time to also study and do his academic work during his working hours and he is certain that his lecturers understand whenever he is unable to attend classes due to work commitments.

    He shared that as an aspiring librarian, he is inspired by Dr Ranganathan, an Indian library science pioneer. As a radio personality, Kamati is inspired by the likes of DJ Cheeze and DJ Jossy Joss. “DJ Cheeze and DJ Jossy Joss have a unique way of presenting that will make you tune into their shows until the show ends. I aspire to be like them one day,” said Kamati.

    He says the most satisfying thing about his job at the library is when the information needs of library users are fulfilled. For the young librarian, Kamati maintains that it is really a priceless moment to see the looks on the faces of library users after finding the information they have been searching for. Kamati revealed that as a radio presenter, the most satisfying thing for him is being able to be one of the gatekeepers who helps give upcoming artists adequate airplay. “It is also rewarding when my listeners reach out to me to tell me that they enjoy my show,” said Kamati.

    Kamati points out his mom and Frans Aupa Indongo as sources of his inspiration. He shared that being raised by a single mother; his mom has instilled great values of kindness and selflessness. “I also look up to Frans Aupa Indongo because as a young person I have learned greatly from his humility, generosity, strong work ethic and general drive for success,” said Kamati about his role model.

    Kamati used to volunteer at the Windhoek Public Library and it was during that time of his life where he started to become fond of being a librarian. As for his radio desires he was inspired by a local breakfast show to also want to be in the radio sphere. “I remember listening to the morning show on one of the local radio stations and the humour, enthusiasm, as well as the impeccable presentation style of that show's host struck me,” said Kamati. He then decided that he would like to join the world of radio and make his mark. “I then started with my radio journey by joining Unam Radio last year.”

    With all this relevant work experience he is gaining during his student years, Kamati is positive that he will have all the components that employers seek when recruiting. Kamati concluded by saying that the importance of work experience can never be over-emphasised as it is one of the qualities that can guarantee one a job after graduation. “It also helps the students gain valuable experience which is only obtainable through working. At times even if it is unpaid work, because the experience you will gain will pay off one day,” concluded Kamati.


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  • 07/31/17--16:00: Letting his dreams take-off
  • Letting his dreams take-offLetting his dreams take-offNo turbulence can stop this pilot A young pilot opens up to The Zone about the financial obstacles he is facing in obtaining a commercial pilot licence and how he depends on driving a cab in order to pay for his training fees. Nahol Tatekulu Amutenya is a young, friendly and persistent character. He believes in overcoming all his challenges just so that he can realise his dream of becoming a licenced commercial pilot. He has over the years taken many knocks but has remained obstinate and fixated on his dream despite the odds that are against him.

    The soft spoken licenced private pilot from the Windhoek Flight Training Centre (WFTC) calls himself an approachable and says he just wants to be happy. “I’m always driven by success and motivating other people as well as learn from other successful individuals,” said Amutenya. He grew up in Windhoek and says the city shaped his love for aviation from a young age. “We had a tree behind our house in Windhoek and during that time the Boeing 747 was very popular and I used to pretend that that the tree in the backyard was a Boeing plane that I flew, that kind of got me interested in the aviation industry,” said Amutenya. He says after matriculating, his first choice of study was aviation.

    In 2013 his childhood dream became a reality after he enrolled at the Windhoek Flight Training Centre (WFTC) at Eros airport an effort that would make him a private pilot. “I completed my private flying licence in 2014 soon after I registered at WFTC in 2013 and my studies where funded by the Namibia Students Financial Aid Fund (NSFAF) at the time. NSFAF could only fund my studies for four years after that they couldn’t pay anymore even after I tried extending the contract I had with them,” said Amutenya. He said after his NSFAF contract expired in 2016, he was told that they couldn’t fund for his studies anymore. “I was not really disappointed but it was a difficult time because I wanted to continue with my studies but did not have the financial means to do so,” said Amutenya.

    He says he soon realised that he did not have the finances to continue his studies so he decided to drive his father’s cab in order to pay for his training fees. “When my NSFAF loan expired I knew I could pay for some of my training lessons through the money I could make from my father’s taxi business,” said Amunyela. He says although the taxi business has been able to help him pay off some of his training fees the amount of money he still needs to pay was too much for him to settle on his own. “It is a sacrifice that I have made but paying for those fees is not easy because aviation fees are very expensive,” shared Amutenya.

    He explains that flying is an amazing experience and is one of the best things he has ever done in his life. “I am very passionate about flying. Whenever you fly, you feel free and you are just amazed because every time you go up you experience something new. Everything looks beautiful from the skies and it is just breath taking. You also get to appreciate nature at its best,” shared Amutenya. He added that he will always cherish the moment he took his father on a scenic tour. “When I took my dad out flying one day I made him very proud and he usually speaks about that day whenever he talks about me to people. That really motivates me to work hard because my parents were not keen on me being a pilot because the studies are very expensive,” said Amutenya.

    He says financial constraints have been affecting him badly because they have been a stumbling block because he cannot finish his studies until he pays off his tuition fees. “Financial constraints are affecting everyone in this industry and I really edge the government to assist us all and just fund for our studies,” said Amutenya. He says he had to stand up for himself by driving a taxi to make money for himself but many other people are not in the same position he is in. He must complete at least 100 hours of flying in order to complete his studies but he has only managed to do 30 hours of flying so far. Amutenya who is a fixed wing Pilot says he loves flying the Cessna 152 plane he is currently training with.

    He encourages all parents to look for ways to fund their children’s education while they are still young. “Parents should at least start up study policies that can benefit their children in future. For those who want to become pilots, they should follow their dreams and never give up until they succeed,” advised Amutenya.

    He says all he wants for the future is to complete his commercial pilot licence. “What I want to do is to complete my commercial pilot licence and to become a productive person in the aviation industry, If there are any Good Samaritans who can assist me with paying for my flying lessons, they are also more than welcome to do so.” said Amutenya.

    Anyone interested in assisting Amutenya financially can reach him on his cell phone number 081 432 6010.

    Shona Ngava

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  • 07/31/17--16:00: Discard drinking habits
  • Discard drinking habitsDiscard drinking habits Despite efforts to eliminate underage drinking among teenagers in Namibia, access to alcohol for the young still remains a big challenge in Namibia. This piece will attempt to understand why there is high alcohol consumption among young people in Namibia, what the risks are and try to offer solutions to this prevailing problem in our society.

    I believe that in Namibia alcohol is the drug of choice among the majority of young people. It is common knowledge that as children move from adolescence to young adulthood, they encounter dramatic physical, emotional, and lifestyle changes. These developmental transitions, such as puberty and increasing independence can be associated with alcohol use. So in a sense, just growing up in general may be a contributing factor not only for starting to drink, but also for drinking irresponsibly.

    Example from the family is one of the primary reasons why teenagers consume alcoholic beverages include. To a greater extent I believe parents who drink alcohol in the presence of their children are more likely to have children who drink at risky levels. So to a certain extent some parents are to be blamed for the excessive alcohol intake among young people in Namibia.

    There are parents who believe that serving alcohol at home teaches children to drink responsibly - but for me these types of tendencies rather encourage alcohol intake among teenagers. Not to entirely pin the blame on parents alone and to a certain extent, young people themselves are also to be blamed for this problem. Young people know for sure that alcohol is not meant for them but still consume it regardless. The ignorance among young people also needs to be addressed.

    Another reason why young people have drinking habits is due to the peer pressure that young people endure. Although I have not done thorough research on this I believe that many teenagers who drink alcohol do it as a result of pressure from their peers. Many teenagers are encouraged by their friends to drink. I believe to deal with this factor parents and teachers should create some awareness among young people to make them understand that teenagers are not supposed to drink alcohol.

    Alcohol advertisements also contribute to the high intake of alcohol among young people. When young people see celebrities or role models drinking, they are easily tempted to also drink because it seems to them like a desirable thing to do. Alcohol is being promoted through various media platforms and for me it is not surprising that young people are drinking more than ever before, this is why the role that parents play is so important.

    The solutions to underage drinking in Namibia is for adults in our society to be positive role models. Young people look up to adults in their communities and thus these adults need to be good role models to teenagers in their communities. Parents should walk the talk. Parents should not expect teenagers to stop drinking or stay away from drugs if they keep on consuming alcohol irresponsibly in the eyes of their children. At the end of the day young people imitate behaviour that they see in their senior counterparts.

    Another solution to teenage drinking in Namibian society is for families to resolve personal or family issues. A lot of families have misunderstandings and a lot resort to alcohol as a solution. Instead of resorting to alcohol families should seek family counselling to get the help they need.

    Moreover another solution to teenage drinking is for parents to know what is going on in their children’s lives. I urge parents to be involved in their teenager’s life. It is important for parents to know who their children’s friends are, what they are doing and where. Another important element is to encourage their children’s to make independent decisions so that they are not easily influenced by their peers to take the wrong decisions as far as alcohol is concerned. Furthermore, parents should set appropriate limits like curfews and check-in times and exercise some form of punishment when teenagers do not adhere to these.

    Finally, as like I stated before, the blame should not only be pinned on parents but teenagers should also take responsibility for their actions. Teenagers need to know that alcohol comes with a lot of health hazards and should thus wait for the appropriate age to start drinking. Even when you start drinking please do so responsibly.



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    Icy relations after US sanctionsIcy relations after US sanctionsPutin orders diplomats out of Moscow Following an overwhelming vote for US sanctions against Russia, President Vladimir Putin has retaliated by putting out diplomatic staff and shutting down two US premises in Russia. President Vladimir Putin said 755 US diplomats must leave Russia and warned ties with Washington could be gridlocked for a long time, in a move on Sunday that followed tough new American sanctions.

    The Russian foreign ministry had earlier demanded Washington cut its diplomatic presence in Russia by September to 455 - the same number Moscow has in the US.

    "More than a thousand people were working and are still working" at the US embassy and consulates, Putin said in an interview with Rossia-24 television.

    "755 people must stop their activities in Russia."

    Putin added that an upturn in Russia's relations with Washington could not be expected "any time soon".

    "We have waited long enough, hoping that the situation would perhaps change for the better," he said.

    "But it seems that even if the situation is changing, it's not for any time soon."

    "The American side has made a move which, it is important to note, hasn't been provoked by anything, to worsen Russian-US relations. [It includes] unlawful restrictions, attempts to influence other states of the world, including our allies, who are interested in developing and keeping relations with Russia," Putin told channel host, Vladimir Solovyov, Sunday.

    The Russian leader went on to say that there is a number of "important spheres of cooperation" between Moscow and Washington, which he hoped would not suffer because of America's anti-Russian policies. Those mostly include the joint fight against terrorism, obligations to nuclear arms control, and space projects rather than economic relations, Putin said.

    "We also work together on fighting illegal migration and organised crime in a broad sense. There are also issues of cybersecurity," Putin pointed out, having also referred to joint Russia-US scientific projects in space, such as plans to jointly explore Venus.

    "The main thing is that we have a multi-faceted cooperation in many fields. Of course, Moscow has a lot to say and there are a number of spheres of cooperation that we could potentially cut and it would be sensitive for the US side. But I think we shouldn't do it. It would harm development of international relations. I hope it won't get to that point. As of today, I'm against it."

    Moscow has much wider trade and economic relations with China, the EU and other countries than with the US, the president added.

    Putin however underlined that Moscow and Washington had recently reached "concrete" results in de-escalating the crisis in war-torn Syria, which are in the interests of the entire Middle East region.

    On Thursday, the US Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill to toughen sanctions on Russia for allegedly meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and for its annexation of Crimea in 2014.

    Iran and North Korea are also targeted in the sanctions bill.

    The law now goes to President Donald Trump who had made an improvement in ties with Russia.

    Moscow on Friday ordered the US to slash its number of diplomats in Russia to 455 and froze two embassy compounds - a Moscow summer house and a storage facility in the city – as from today.

    In December, the then US president Barack Obama ordered out 35 Russian diplomats and closed down two embassy summer houses that Washington said were being used by Moscow for espionage. Additional reporting by RT


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  • 07/31/17--16:00: Maduro’s tenuous victory
  • Maduro’s tenuous victoryMaduro’s tenuous victory Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro claimed victory yesterday in an internationally criticised election to pick a new assembly to rewrite the constitution, but the opposition vowed to keep protesting despite deadly clashes.

    Ten people were killed in a wave of bloodshed that swept Venezuela Sunday as Maduro defied an opposition boycott and international condemnation - including the threat of new US sanctions - to hold elections for a powerful new "Constituent Assembly."

    Protesters attacked polling stations and barricaded streets around the country, drawing a bloody response from security forces, who opened fire with live ammunition in some cases.

    Despite the boycott and the unrest, the head of the National Electoral Council, Tibisay Lucena - one of 13 Maduro allies already hit by US sanctions - said there had been "extraordinary turnout" of more than eight million voters, 41.5% of the electorate.

    In a speech to hundreds of supporters in central Caracas, Maduro hailed it as a win.

    "We have a Constituent Assembly," he said.

    "It is the biggest vote the revolution has ever scored in its 18-year history," he said, referring to the year his late mentor, Hugo Chavez, came to power.

    The socialist president is gambling his four-year rule on the 545-member assembly, which will be empowered to dissolve the opposition-controlled congress and rewrite the constitution.

    But the unrest fuelled fears that his insistence on convening the assembly - despite months of demonstrations - would only plunge the country deeper into chaos.

    There was blistering international condemnation of the vote, led by Washington.

    "The United States condemns the elections... for the National Constituent Assembly, which is designed to replace the legitimately elected National Assembly and undermine the Venezuelan people's right to self-determination," US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

    It threatened further "strong and swift" sanctions on Maduro's government.

    The election was also condemned by the European Union, Canada and Latin American powers including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico.

    The opposition said the vote was a fraud.

    Senior opposition leader Henrique Capriles called on Venezuelans to continue defying the deeply unpopular Maduro with new protests against the election and the "massacre" he said accompanied it.

    Maduro has decreed a ban on protests during and after the vote, threatening prison terms of up to 10 years.

    Ten dead

    Prosecutors said 10 people were killed in violence around the vote, bringing the death toll in four months of protests to some 120 people.

    Those killed included a candidate for the new assembly, a regional opposition leader, two teenage protesters and a soldier in the western state of Tachira, which saw some of the worst violence.

    In eastern Caracas, seven police were wounded when an improvised explosive targeted their motorcycle convoy.

    National guard troops used armoured vehicles, rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse protesters blocking roads in the capital.

    Soldiers also violently moved against protesters in the second city of Maracaibo, in the west, and Puerto Ordaz in the east.

    Maduro, whose term is meant to end in 2019, describes the election as the most important in Venezuelan history.

    "I have come to vote to tell the gringos and the opposition that we want peace, not war, and that we support Maduro," said voter Ana Contreras.

    According to polling firm Datanalisis, more than 70% of Venezuelans oppose the idea of the new assembly - and 80% reject Maduro's leadership.

    "The people are not going to give up the streets until this awful government goes," protester Carlos Zambrano, 54, told AFP in western Caracas.

    Latin America specialist Phil Gunson, senior analyst at Crisis Group, called the vote "the definitive break with what remains of representative democracy in Venezuela."

    "It will accelerate the longer-term trend towards economic, social and political collapse unless those in a position to change course do so, and begin to negotiate a restoration of democracy and economic viability," he said.


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    Qatar accuses Saudis of hampering Qatari hajj pilgrimsQatar accuses Saudis of hampering Qatari hajj pilgrims The Qatari authorities have accused Saudi Arabia of jeopardising the annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca of Qatari pilgrims by refusing to guarantee their safety.

    Saudi Arabia and its allies have been boycotting Qatar since 5 June, accusing it of backing extremist groups and of ties to Shiite Iran, in the region's worst diplomatic crisis in years.

    On 20 July, Riyadh said that Qataris wanting to perform this year's hajj would be allowed to enter the kingdom for the pilgrimage, but imposed certain restrictions.

    The Saudi hajj ministry said Qatari pilgrims arriving by plane must use airlines in agreement with Riyadh.

    They would also need to get visas on arrival in Jeddah or Medina, their sole points of entry in the kingdom.

    The Qatari Islamic affairs ministry, in a statement published by the official QNA news agency on Sunday, said the Saudi side had "refused to communicate regarding securing the pilgrims safety and facilitating their hajj".

    The ministry accused Riyadh of "intertwining politics with one of the pillars of Islam, which may result in depriving many Muslims from performing this holy obligation".

    According to the statement, 20 000 Qatari citizens have registered to take part this year. The ministry said it denied Saudi claims that Doha had suspended those registrations.

    "The distortion of facts is meant to set obstacles for the pilgrims from Qatar to Mecca, following the crisis created by the siege countries," the Qatari ministry added, referring to Saudi Arabia and its allies.

    Some Gulf media claimed the Qatari statement was a call for the "internationalisation" of the management of the hajj season, which is run by the Saudi authorities.

    "Any call to internationalise (the management of) hajj is an aggressive act and a declaration of war," Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told Arabiya news channel on Sunday.

    But Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani described the claims as "media fabrications."

    "There has not been a single statement by a Qatari official concerning the internationalisation of hajj," he told Al-Jazeera news channel.

    The hajj, a pillar of Islam that capable Muslims must perform at least once in a lifetime, is to take place this year at the beginning of September.

    Saudi Arabia and its allies Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates cut diplomatic ties and imposed sanctions on Doha in June, including the closure of their airspace to Qatari airlines.

    The four Arab states accuse Qatar of supporting extremists and of growing too close to Shiite-dominated Iran, the regional arch-rival of Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia.

    Qatar denies the allegations and accuses the Saudi-led bloc of imposing a "siege" on the tiny emirate.


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  • 07/31/17--16:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day ROBOT FOOTBALL: Robots fight for the ball during their football match in the standard platform league tournament at the RoboCup 2017 in Nagoya, Aichi prefecture on 30 July 2017. In the four-day RoboCup 2017, about 3 000 researchers and engineering students showed off their latest technologies, with robot footballers competing in eight leagues. Photo: NAMPA/AFP

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    Challenges persist despite reformsChallenges persist despite reforms President Hage Geingob yesterday announced that the country's economy has stabilised and is on a recovery path thanks to prudent measures undertaken to help restrain government spending. Government was left with no option other than to impose radical budget cuts in an attempt to consolidate its budget spending while raising domestic revenue. Although the spending cuts might have been seen as impressive in some quarters, there were many economic consequences, with some companies forced to close shop, while others had to retrench workers. Many firms were forced to unexpectedly shed jobs because of a poor performing economy and in the middle of the country slipping into a technical recession last December. In other words, the budget cuts worsened the continued high unemployment rate in the country, while critical areas as such as education and public healthcare remain under threat. Although government has ensured that there is money directly available to programmes that help the vulnerable such as old-age pension pay-outs as well as social grants, there are significant economic challenges ahead. The Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) in March pointed out that the domestic economic activity slowed down and recorded a mere 0.2% growth compared to the overwhelming 6.1% that was recorded two years back. “Overall, the 0.2% GDP growth registered in 2016 is the slowest growth in the last six years. In fact, the last time we experienced a slow growth was during the world financial meltdown in 2009, when the economy registered a growth of 0.3%,” NSA boss Alex Shimuafeni was quoted as saying. The tough times are not yet over and the authorities need to step in and build up a strong base for the upliftment of the economy. Pumping money into the economy must be done in a responsible manner to avoid unnecessary wastage. The government has an important role to play in the economic activity of any nation and it is essential that the welfare of citizens is not compromised by poor prioritisation and allocation of resources that tend to benefit only the elite.

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  • 07/31/17--16:00: UPM disappoints Rehoboth
  • UPM disappoints RehobothUPM disappoints Rehoboth The United People's Movement (UPM) has refused to financially support Rehoboth residents who are planning to take government to court.

    The Rehoboth residents, most of who are UPM supporters, on Friday concluded that a court case that would compel the minister of rural and urban land development Sophia Shaningwa to take steps against the Rehoboth Town Council for alleged mismanagement is their only solution.

    According to Jan van Wyk, UPM member of parliament, it would cost the community N$30 000 to open a file at a lawyer's office to begin the court proceedings against Shaningwa and the Rehoboth Town Council.

    The party, however, said the money it receives from government coffers cannot be used for this purpose and instead, the party will “see” how it can support the fight.

    “The funds are only meant for party activities. UPM supports the fight and we will be part of the action,” said Van Wyk.

    During the party's congress held at the town on Saturday, Van Wyk urged leaders to be vigilant and also play their part in the fight against corruption, alcohol and drug abuse, as well as gender-based violence.

    “The UPM over the past years did everything possible to convince authorities to act against corruption and corrupt practices at the town council, other town councils, and parastatals. The UPM wants to know from Shaningwa why she is not able to take action at the Rehoboth Town Council despite the fact that she has admitted that investigations have uncovered irregularities. She is failing to make use of her powers as stipulated in the Local Authority Act to call them to order,” said Van Wyk.


    Rehoboth community activist Abes Khaibeb however lashed out at the party saying it has dealt the residents a low blow.

    “Why do they get millions of dollars from government? They have enough money to support the court case. Rehoboth residents are prepared to contribute, they do not want a hand-out but to sort this mess out as quickly as possible,” he said.

    Khaibeb argues that the UPM is the party of the majority of people in Rehoboth and should therefore support the community unconditionally and not only when it suits to do so.

    He added that UPM is no different from the “corrupt” Swapo Party and must explain how it has used the government funds to uplift the community.


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    Namibia gazettes new conservancyNamibia gazettes new conservancyMore rural citizens to benefit from natural resources Today, Namibia will add the 83rd conservancy to its list of growing conservation areas where communities directly benefit. Namibia will as from today officially boast with 83 conservancies in the country as a new conservancy will be added in the Kavango West Region.

    The new conservancy, called the Maurus Nekauro Conservancy, is located in the Musese area of the region.

    According to the deputy environment minister Tommy Nambahu the conservancy will be gazetted by the Ministry of Justice today as approved by the environment ministry, and this will bring the total number of conservancies to 83 in the country.

    Registered conservancies in Namibia benefit thousands of rural communities through employment, cash income, social projects and in-kind benefits.

    Over the years, returns to conservancies have increased steadily from just over half a million Namibian dollars in 1998 to over N$102 million in 2015.

    During 2015, community conservation generated about N$102 million in returns for local communities and facilitated 5 116 jobs.

    The report says that of the total N$102 million, tourism generated N$53.6 million while consumptive wildlife use (which includes hunting and live game sales) generated about N$45 million.

    Indigenous natural products generated N$1.8 million and miscellaneous items (including items such as interest) generated N$1.6 million.

    According to the report conservancy residents earned a total cash income of N$46.8 million from enterprise wages, of which N$28 million was from joint-venture tourism, N$12.8 million was from conservancies, N$4.1 million from conservation hunting and N$1.8 million from SMEs.

    Conservancy residents earned a cash income of N$1 million from indigenous plants and slightly more than N$1 million from crafts.

    More than N$8.9 million in cash was distributed to conservancy residents and used to support community projects.

    Nambahu, who was speaking at the opening of the North East Conservancy Regional Chairperson Forum, said Namibia has gained a worldwide reputation for its innovative approaches of linking conservation to poverty alleviation through the conservancy programme and pro-poor tourism initiatives.

    “This programme will continue to provide communities with incentives to manage and conserve their areas and natural resources to unlock the enormous tourism development opportunities and benefits from the use of wildlife.”

    He further highlighted the valuable contribution that conservancies in the Zambezi, Kavango East and Kavango West regions continue to make in improving the livelihood of communities.

    According to him, in the Zambezi Region the Bamunu Conservancy has erected a transformer to provide electricity to all the villages in the conservancy. Other conservancies such Sobbe, Wuparo, Sikunga, Mayuni and Kwandu have also followed this example, but not completed it for all villages yet.

    Nambahu said Bamunu Conservancy also purchased a tractor to support communities in agricultural crop production. Lusese Conservancy has just completed the construction of a school hostel to accommodate 50 boys and girls at Lusese Combined School.

    “We are also aware that most conservancies in this region contribute to scholarships of their members to further their studies at institutions of higher learning.”

    In the Kavango East Region, the George Mukoya Conservancy has contributed to the purchase of goats for communities to venture into small livestock farming. “They have also put up a pipeline to provide clean drinking water to communities as well as a vegetable garden for communities.” Mudumu Nyangana conservancy also put up a water pump for community use as well as a vegetable garden.

    “There are many examples and all this is because of the wild animals like elephants, buffaloes, lions and many others that we conserve and sustainably utilise,” said Nambahu.

    He added that conservancies are not meant to replace existing land uses or livelihood activities in communal areas, but are meant to provide additional economic opportunities.

    According to him local communities can decide the extent to which they integrate wildlife, forestry, tourism, fisheries, water and other natural resources into their livelihood activities provided they are guided by policy directives of the government, and hence the need to have a sustainable conservancy programme.

    “We should continue to develop our conservancies as a sustainable conservation and tourism development programme from which our rural communities can derive equitable social and economic benefits. Our emphasis should be to create long term sustainability, good governance and proper management for our conservancy programme, for the benefits of our people.”


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