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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 12/04/17--14:00: Young entrepreneurs awarded
  • Young entrepreneurs awardedYoung entrepreneurs awarded Aspiring businessmen and women under one roof Tunohole Mungoba

    The Namibia Association of Norway saw the first Namibia Youth Entrepreneurship award ceremony come together and two young entrepreneurs were awarded with a cash prize of N$10000 to invest back into the business.

    The Namibia Business Innovation Institute was the venue of choice and saw different members of the public, especially young people that are interested in learning more about businesses and how to slowly progress to success. Vidar Ostlie, from the Namibia Association of Norway says the aim of the awards ceremony was to celebrate the long hours spent into drafting business plans and working hard to generate a profit at the end of the day. “We also want to thank the efforts of the Namibian government for introducing entrepreneurship as a subject in schools. It has helped to open up the minds of our Namibian children and we want to give birth to more business people through education,” he says.

    The subject in high schools in 2010 and has about 90 000 learners that take the subject. The subject has been also extended to learners in the upper secondary phase of grade 11 and 12. “There are a lot of challenges that come with being an entrepreneur and they include financial assistance, registering your business and moral support. It is very difficult for young people to eliminate these challenges and to grow their business,” Ostlie says. He also warned the youth to move away from thinking that entrepreneurship is a fashion statement and to move towards seeking different opportunities. “It is a rocky journey and I do not want any of you to give up,” he advises.

    Duke Kempel and Rachel Junius were awarded a cash prize of N$5000 each and Kempel, an owner of a new media based company plans for invest his money back into his business and advised aspiring entrepreneurs to “not give up, no matter how difficult the journey gets.” The day closed of mentoring link-up sessions whereby the general public could mingle and network with the invited businessmen and women.

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    NamStarter continues to empowerNamStarter continues to empower A workshop to educate the campaign owners Tunohole Mungoba

    NamStarter hosted a follow up campaign to brainstorm ways to create more traffic on their website and how to attract supporters by creating rewards at different levels.

    The Zone attended the workshop which was held last week in Havana, Windhoek and all the different campaign owners were present. NamStarter turned the usual concept of a project receiving funds on its head, by eliminating the concept of relying on one big sponsor to fund projects, but to focus on crowdfunding. “If you have a great idea and people from all over can give funds and other assistance from all sides. The idea is that you promote yourself and anyone who wants to support you can do it easily and quickly,” Ben Schernick, the project coordinator.

    The workshop was coordinated with RLabs trainers, together with Schernick to help them campaign for their projects. RLabs, a project of NamStarter was established in Namibia in 2012 as a training project. The aim of the workshop is teach and establish self-promotion like using technology to promote their campaign. The campaign owners are a group of young men and women from Havana and neighbouring locations that are aspiring entrepreneurs. “This is done with social media interacting training as the work is done online. One can copy and paste their campaign on their own social media pages and also on their WhatsApp status updates,” Schernick says. The project funding by the Finnish embassy is also to be extending the campaigns that are already on the website.

    The workshop also focused on attracting more supporters by coming up with creative rewards at different levels for both local and international community. “If you are an artist and someone contributes a certain amount to your campaign, you could give them different rewards like something simple like giving them a CD that you signed or something big like performing at their birthday for free,” explains Schernick at the workshop. They also came up with different rewards for their global community by sending a thank you postcard as people see it as investments and they would want to be long-term supporters.

    Laimi Katengele, one of the campaign owners says she is enjoys working with NamStarter as she has learned a lot over the past few months. She has received a lot information and even though her campaign might not kick off as she hopes, she says the mentoring and support she has received is enough to try out other avenues. Her campaign is about opening a hair salon and she has been doing hair for a long time so she felt it was a good business idea. “I do it to create an extra income for me so sometimes people come to me, but I am also mobile,” says the 21 year old.

    NamStarter believes in bridging the gap between the rich and the poor. “We basically want people who have brilliant ideas, but do not have the financial means to execute their ideas. It an opportunity for any Namibians to get funding for their projects as diverse as can be. The main targets are unemployment youth and they get additional support. Visit the website at www. namstarter.rlabsnamibia.org.

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    Geingob must intervene at healthGeingob must intervene at health The National Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) has urged President Hage Geingob to immediately intervene in the situation at the health ministry, which the party says has become a recipe for disaster.

    Nudo's presidential spokesperson, Joseph Kauandenge, said Geingob must call health minister Bernhard Haufiku and his permanent secretary, Andreas Mwoombola, to order with immediate effect.

    “Our citizens' health cannot be relegated to the back burner while both men are playing the blame game in closed air-conditioned offices while stroking their egos.

    “Neither can and should the president allow our citizens' health to be played with in the form of a blackjack or roulette, in which both men are trying to prove who can outplay the other, while they are gambling with our people's health.”

    Kauandenge said recent revelations by five doctors who wrote to Haufiku outlining grave concerns with regard to a shortage of medicines and equipment at state hospitals, should have put Geingob in a “combat mood” to intervene in this longstanding feud between the minister and his permanent secretary.

    Namibian Sun reported last week that several doctors had written a hard-hitting letter to Haufiku which exposed the sorry state of the health facilities, as well as shortages of medicine and equipment at hospitals.

    In the letter, the group expressed dissatisfaction with “unprecedented” shortages of basic supplies at the Katutura Intermediate and Windhoek Central hospitals that have reportedly been experienced for the last two months in operating theatres, wards and casualty departments. It appears that the two hospitals, as well as the Oshakati State Hospital, do not have sufficient suction catheters, nasogastric tubes that provide access to the stomach for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes, sterile gowns, gloves, sterile drapes, and thoracotomy drains that are used to drain air, blood, bile, pus, or other fluids from the chest cavity. It was reported that the clash between Haufiku and Mwoombola was one of the reasons for the shortage of essential medicines.

    “It is therefore imperative that the head of state call the two men and tell them to their face that this nonsense should come to an end and that they should work together in the interest of our citizens,” said Kauandenge.

    He said Namibia's hospitals could not be allowed to be without essential medicines and equipment while people's lives are at stake, because of two “bulls that are fighting and marking their territories”.

    The party said Geingob must intervene before it is too late and innocent lives are lost.


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  • 12/04/17--14:00: Conservancy puts foot down
  • Conservancy puts foot downConservancy puts foot downSays salt mining will not benefit community A campaign by a traditional authority and the Oshana regional governor to push for salt mining at Otjivalunda is said to amount to “a violation of conservation laws and a betrayal of the people”. Members of the Iipumbu yaTshilongo Conservancy claim that the Uukwambi Traditional Authority and the governor of Oshana, Clemens Kashuupulwa, are violating the conservation laws to which they are signatories.

    This follows the push by the two to mine salt at the Otjivalunda salt pan, which forms part of the conservancy. The conservancy is also a tourism concession area in partnership with the ministry of environment and tourism.

    According to the spokesperson of the conservancy, Thomas Nambambi, Kashuupulwa as regional governor, and the Uukwambi Traditional Authority under which the salt pan falls, undertook to protect the area when they signed the conservancy's constitution.

    Nambambi said the conservancy was gazetted in May 2012, long before the Uukwambi and Ondonga traditional authorities acquired exclusive prospecting licence (EPL) 4365 through their Ondonga-Uukwambi Mining Enterprises (Pty) Ltd, also known as OUME, which is a co-shareholder with Gecko Namibia (Pty) Ltd, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Gecko Otjivalunda Holdings (Pty) Ltd, to mine salt at Otjivalunda.

    Nambambi said OUME is a private entity and does not represent community members. Once it is granted an environmental clearance certificate, the salt pan will not benefit the community anymore.

    He added that during meetings with Gecko they were informed that the company's real interest is the trona deposits in the salt pan.

    “What the Uukwambi authority is trying to do, which is being defended by Kashuupulwa, is a violation of conservation laws and a betrayal of the people.

    “It is clearly indicated in the law that the authority's role is to protect the conservancy by not allocating land within it without informing the conservancy committee,” Nambambi said.

    “Our research has established that once the trona has been removed from the two salt pans, the pans will have no salt for at least the next 25 years. This defeats the principle of sustainable development.”

    Nambambi also indicated that the proposed salt mine would only create about 30 jobs while the conservancy benefits more than 4 000 people on a sustainable basis. Salt is one of its most valuable resources and cannot be replaced with a mining concession.

    The community has created the Iipumbu yaTshilongo Conservancy and Ekango subcommittee to prevent any mining in the pans.

    He also indicated that since they started opposing mining at Otjivalunda during September 2012, the Uukwambi authority representatives started boycotting the conservancy meetings and were still doing so.

    “As a conservancy and affected group, we were not properly consulted in this matter from the outset. There is no way we will give away our precious resources that we have vowed to protect through our constitution,” he said.

    Last week, Gecko Namibia's managing director, Pine van Wyk, said that his company and OUME, assisted by Enviro Dynamics, had conducted a comprehensive environmental impact assessment (EIA) during 2013 in relation to the proposed salt mining operations and the construction of a production plant at the Otjivalunda salt pans.

    The EIA was submitted to the environment ministry on 6 December 2013 for environmental clearance, which the environmental commissioner formally declined on 25 July 2014.

    He added that Gecko Namibia appealed against the decision on 7 August 2014 and was still waiting for the outcome.

    Through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Gecko Otjivalunda Holdings (Pty) Ltd, it holds 50% of the ordinary issued shares of Ondonga-Uukwambi Mining Enterprises (Pty) Ltd (OUME), which is the holder of exclusive prospecting licence (EPL) 4365, which covers 20 650 hectares.

    The remaining 50% of the issued shares of OUME are equally held by the Ondonga Community Trust Fund and the Uukwambi Community Trust Fund.

    Kashuupulwa said he was not consulted when the application for the clearance certificate was done, although he was the most senior government official in the region.

    Otjivalunda has two salt pans, Otjivalunda 1 in Otamanzi constituency of Omusati Region and Otjiwarunda 2 in Uuvudhiya constituency Oshana Region and they reside under the Uukwambi authority.

    The Ondonga Traditional Authority does not form part of the conservancy or the pans, but falls within the mining block.


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  • 12/04/17--14:00: Cop fined for firing gun
  • Cop fined for firing gunCop fined for firing gun A member of the Drug Law Enforcement Unit of the Namibian police has found himself on the wrong side of the law.

    Yesterday, in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court, Sinvula Sinvula, rank and age unknown, was found guilty of the negligent discharge of a firearm and fined N$4 000, or sentenced to 12 months in jail in default of payment.

    He was further declared unfit to possess a firearm for a period of two years.

    Magistrate Vanessa Stanley stated in the summary of her judgment that the accused was initially charged with attempted murder or alternatively, the negligent discharge or placement of a firearm.

    She found him guilty on the alternative charge as she is not convinced the State had proven beyond reasonable doubt that Sinvula had intended to kill Tangeni Naftali, the victim in the matter.

    According to her, as for the negligent discharge of a firearm there was no justification to fire shots under the circumstances - whether directly at the vehicle or in the air.

    “Accordingly accused is convicted on the alternative charge of negligent discharge of a firearm,” Stanley concluded.

    Naftali had testified that Sinvula, on the day of the incident, 14 March 2015, approached his taxi in Mose Tjitendero Street, Olympia, asking for a lift to Katutura. He said he declined as he was not going there.

    As Sinvula turned from his car, Naftali saw that he had a firearm. He drove off thinking that Sinvula wanted to rob him.

    Sinvula fired three shots at the taxi and Naftali had to stop due to a flat tyre caused by the shots. Sinvula, Naftali said, then informed him that he is a police officer and added that he shot at his vehicle because he suspected Naftali of being in possession of drugs.

    Charmaine van Wyk, a State witness who was a passenger in the taxi, testified they were driving when Sinvula hailed the cab.

    She said Sinvula walked towards the taxi and took out something which he showed the taxi driver upon which the driver drove off and the accused shot three times towards the vehicle.

    The version of Nabot Shiindi, who was also a passenger in the taxi, corroborated Naftali's evidence.

    Sinvula testified that he hailed the taxi, approached the driver and said he was looking for a ride to Katutura. He said he showed the driver his appointment he had in Katutura but the man drove away. He testified that he fired two to three warning shots into the air.

    The witnesses did not agree. They testified that he had fired directly at the car and not into the air. That was why the tyre deflated, they said.

    The passengers in the taxi also denied that the taxi driver drove off because he realised Sinvula was a police officer. They told the court he drove off because he saw the firearm. They also testified they had not seen any document.


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  • 12/04/17--14:00: The way forward
  • The way forwardThe way forward Luca Milanesi

    It’s a Friday night in Windhoek, and the city is lit up by youths looking to have some fun in the city. Yet by the end of the night, there is only one question on everyone’s’ minds: how do I get home?

    While this may seem like a trivial question, it is one that affects the experience of everyone in the city. Walking can often be a dangerous proposition, and taxis and cabs are not always readily available. Safety is always of utmost concern yet there are no safe alternatives available. It is at this point where I must stop and ask, what of the developments in transport in other countries? In most of the rest of the world, where public transport is not available, there has been a distinct rise in 3rd party companies and apps looking to fill this gap in the transport market. I speak of course of Uber, Lyft and other on demand cab services.

    Let us now reimagine our situation on a Friday night in the city. You are about to leave with your friends and inevitable the question arises: how do I get home? In this case, its easy. Pull out your phone, open the app, and 5 minutes later your car arrives. You know where it will be, you know who the driver is, and some 10-15 minutes later you are home, safe and sound. The way Uber works guarantees that safety. Each driver submits their personal information to Uber, as well as the information of the car they are driving. This allows the user to actively track the drivers route and see the drivers profile including name, contact details, driver rating and even the license plate of the car that will be picking you up. This allows for a seamless transition from requesting your Uber, to getting into the car. These features also serve to assist you after you have left your ride. The driver is always contactable in case you leave something in the car, and driver will always make an effort to return your items at your convenience. I have always had good experiences with Uber, and have previously left some of my belongings in the car, only for them to be returned that same day.

    My question now is, in a city that needs a form of safe and reliable transport, why has no one taken the initiative to start this trend in Namibia? It is becoming ever easier and more affordable to own a smartphone and gain access to these services, as well as a willing client base to service. Fares are fair and affordable, and security is pretty much guaranteed. So where is the issue? Is it the unwillingness of the people to change their ways? Is it a fear of competition and rebuke from previously established taxi companies? My guess is only time will tell, but next time you feel it’s time to go home after a night out, ask yourself, is this the best way to go?


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    Buy it with bitcoin in New York, but it's not cheapBuy it with bitcoin in New York, but it's not cheapCumbersome, high fees Though its presence is growing, bitcoin use is still far from widespread at the ­storefront level. Bitcoin will never be used largely in real life. – Nick Allen, Blockchain Technologies Juliette Michel - At Melt Bakery, a hole in the wall that sells ice cream sandwiches in New York's upscale Manhattan neighborhood, you can pay for your guilty pleasure in bitcoin.

    And while a few swipes of a mobile app are all it takes to fill your electronic wallet, the novelty, for now, comes at a hefty cost.

    Melt is one of several small stores in America's biggest city now accepting the bitcoins, hailed by some as the future of currency.

    Investors' interest has been piqued by the virtual currency's surging value while industry insiders see it as an alternative instrument for consumers who want to shop online but don't have access to traditional instruments like a credit card.

    It has even triggered an expanding ATM network that lets people turn their cash into bitcoins, and their bitcoins back into cash.

    At Melt's checkout counter, each transaction can take several minutes to process and trigger varying fees.

    That means a US$5 chocolate ice cream sandwich cost US$9.29 for a recent bitcoin purchase.

    Though its presence is growing, bitcoin use is still far from widespread at the storefront level.

    A New York chiropractor who released a statement in 2014 announcing he would accept bitcoin payments has yet to receive any.

    Nick Allen, head of product development at the Blockchain Technologies startup, acknowledges such use is limited.

    “It's just for promotion,” said the 24-year-old.

    “Bitcoin will never be used largely in real life. Transaction fees are too high and an owner is not able to track the transactions made by its employees.”

    For his part, Allen converts his entire income into the currency which he then uses to do all his shopping online, including basic groceries.

    He buys store gift cards on an online platform where, he says, vendors “want bitcoins more than they want gift cards.”

    In just a few clicks, he can buy US$100 worth of takeout food delivered by UberEats for just US$36.

    But he found himself in a bit of a bind during a recent trip to Amsterdam, where, without a credit card and just 200 euros (US$238) in cash, he couldn't find anywhere to convert his bitcoins.


    More and more major companies now accept virtual currency, including Bitcoin but also others, as a valid form of payment – from booking a flight on Expedia to a new sofa from retailer Overstock.

    “We are a big believer that it is good for us,” said Overstock's president Jonathan Johnson. “It is another way for customers to spend money at our stores and it is cheaper for us because we don't have to pay a credit card transaction fee.”

    The firm initially converted all its bitcoins into dollars, but now retains half in order to pay suppliers, and to take advantage of its surging value.

    A bitcoin was worth about US$1 000 at the start of the year, but is now more than US$10 000.

    At a small grocery store in Harlem, Matthew, a former financier who now works in tech and who gave his first name only, said he bought his first bitcoins in 2016 and was now withdrawing his profits from an ATM.

    “Buying bitcoin at an ATM is the easiest and safest way to do it,” he said, adding he did not entirely trust other platforms.

    Investors make up 25% of the userbase of Coinsource, a nationwide bitcoin ATM network, according to its manager, Sheffield Clark.

    The majority of users see the currency as “a medium of exchange to buy things online,” explains Clark, who adds that in the future, bitcoin will likely complement rather than replace real money.

    It is especially useful for those who “may not have access to a PayPal account or access to traditional financial services such as a credit card or debit card account,” he adds.
    – Nampa/AFP

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    Boy 5, allegedly kills toddlerBoy 5, allegedly kills toddlerBloody weekend marks start of festive season Five cases of attempted murder, six of murder and two armed robberies were reported to the police over the weekend. The Namibian police are investigating claims that a five-year-old boy used sticks from a mopane tree to beat to death a two-year-old girl near Outapi on Friday afternoon.

    It is alleged that the boy hit the toddler all over her body until she died.

    The incident took place at 14:00 at Oipandahangano village near Outapi.

    The police said a post-mortem would be conducted to establish the cause of death.

    In an overall bloody weekend, the police opened at least five cases of attempted murder, six murder cases and two robbery cases, many of them related to alcohol abuse.

    A case of murder and attempted murder was opened at Otjiwarongo after an argument broke out at a shebeen in the afternoon.

    The victim was hit over the head with an empty beer bottle and a broken glass was used to stab him in the chest.

    In the early hours of Saturday, an elderly man was stabbed in the chest by a 23-year-old suspect in a quarrel over taxi fare.

    A case of attempted murder was opened at Okahandja after a man was stabbed at a bar near a taxi rank. Police say they are still investigating the motive for the stabbing.

    In one case, a 27-year-old woman told police she was raped after being robbed by the man who assaulted her.

    The incident took place at around 20:00 on Saturday night in Mondesa, Swakopmund. The man threatened her with a knife to force her to hand over her belongings, including a Nokia cellphone and N$41 in cash.

    He then ordered her to a dark space, stabbed her in the shoulder and raped her. No arrests have been made yet but the investigation continues.

    The police are also investigating a murder case after a group of schoolchildren on Friday discovered the body of a newborn baby in a plastic bag dumped behind a block of flats at Onayena. No arrest has been made.

    An office belonging to Shilimela Security Services in Katutura was robbed on Friday. Four armed robbers held two security guards at gunpoint while they carried items from the office to a getaway vehicle.

    The men stole two boxes containing N$67 251 and the key to a Nissan vehicle owned by Shilimela. They fled in a white Toyota Passo car.

    An operation conducted by the police's protected resources division on Friday led to the arrest of a man in possession of a leopard skin estimated to be worth N$50 000.

    The operation took place during lunch hour at Windhoek's Wernhil Park shopping centre, where the 40-year-old man was busted and charged with possession of a controlled wildlife product.


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  • 12/04/17--14:00: The first of its kind
  • The first of its kind The first of its kind Octavia Tsibes

    Mr. Peter Binz, chairman of the executive committee of the Benedictine Monatery Disentis and his wife, Imedla, closed the panel on November 16, 2017. When the top 5 finalists Elli //Garoës, Lavinia Nghilinganye, Edwarde Nghifimule, Kelvin Shako and Kuhepa Uanguta were interviewed. The young Namibian learners shocked and impressed the panel and the decision was even harder for them, but Elli //Garoës a grade 9 learner from Academia Secondary school proved to be the exceptional candidate and was awarded with the bursary.

    "I cannot believe I received the bursary, it really means the world to me. I touch the certificate every time to see if it's not a dream and isn’t. It was not easy to get it so far and I am forever grateful for the opportunity. I had to prove myself with so many interviews. I wanted to initially study at Stanford University, but with Matura Certificate now gives me a broader option.

    I can study anywhere after completing the three years, "Garoës said. She wants to pursue mining engineer and plough back into the Land of the Brave once she completes her studies.

    A few months ago, the Domenig Foundation announced that they would like to offer a 3-year scholarship to a deserving scholar from Namibia. This offer was presented to the Ministry of Education, Arts this year. "The Domenig Foundation directed the Khomas region as a starter and thereafter the ministry has approached 30 government schools that met the criteria and from the 30 schools only 19 state schools responded," Gerald Vries, the Khomas Regional Director of Education, arts and culture said.

    Vries further says that the key requirements were that the learner must be academically strong and come from a less privileged background.” The 19 life skills teachers from this selected schools with the identified best performing student was given the opportunity and did the whole paperwork," he says.

    Domenig Foundation

    The Domenig Foundation is the idea of ??a well-known architect and as a businessman of the Swiss canton, Mr Thomas Domenig. He is internationally renowned for his involvement in charity projects. His desires are to lift and empower the youths of Namibia.

    For these reasons, Domenig announced that the Domenig Foundation, which is also active in education, decided to offer a Namibian learner for the Matura programme, recognized A-level qualifications, at the prestigious Gymnasium and Internat Kloster Disentis (GKD) of 1400-year-old Disentis monastery in Switzerland.

    The Matura Certificate is one of the world's most recognized A-level qualifications, which is a prerequisite for admission to Swiss universities and other leading international tertiary institutions without the need for a written entrance examination.

    At GKD students participate in a bilingual (English and German) high school curriculum. Therefore, the learner in Namibia is required to learn German in the afternoon while attending school in the morning before leaving August 2018.

    After sealing the partnership between the Domenig Foundation and the DKG on 11 August 2017 in Chur, Swiss eduGlobe Ltd is responsible for the recruitment, selection and enrolment of foreign students at GKD.

    So impressed was Mr. Binz and his wife, Imelda, with the young Namibian scholars that the Swiss eduGlobe (is a service provider for educational industry) decided to offer the 4 candidates of a 2-week cultural and choir exchange program to GKD, Disentis in Switzerland, in March 2018.

    The short-term culture and choir exchange program is an exclusive initiative, enabling students to participate in a choir and orchestra tour with more than 140 participants in major cathedrals and churches in Switzerland.

    The exchange program offers the 4 scholars privileged runners, fully sponsored by GKD and Swiss eduGlobe. This includes air tickets, airport transfers, teaching, boarding and co-curricular activities.

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    Allan Gray celebrates 21 yearsAllan Gray celebrates 21 years For the past 21 years, Allan Gray Namibia has been a key stakeholder in the local investment industry and a responsible corporate citizen with great ambition to contribute more to the development of the country.

    That is according to its managing director James Mnyupe, whom with other AGN stakeholders celebrated 21-years of its existence.

    “Although Allan Gray Namibia opened its office in 1996, we started managing money for Namibians as far back as 1984, one of the first independently owned managers to do so. In the process, we have been able to generate a long-term track record that we are very proud of,” he said.

    According to Mnyupe, Allan Gray has been able to outperform other competing investment managers in percentage basis points since its inception.

    He proudly stated that since 1984, Allan Gray Namibia has managed to generate a compounded annual return of 19.8% compared to the average Namibian investment manager that achieved 16.5% over the same period.

    “In other words, N$1 million invested with Allan Gray Namibia in 1984 would have grown to N$348.5 million today, versus N$142.8 million for the average investment manager. Actually, this is exactly what one of our clients did and we are happy to serve that client till this day,” Mnyupe said.

    Another important aspect to Allan Gray was its Foundation component through which it provides funding to education. The Foundation also holds a 10% employee empowerment trust scheme.

    According to Mnyupe, in Namibia, the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Namibia owns 15% of AGN and was formed in 2008. The Allan Gray Namibia Employee Empowerment Trust (the Staff Scheme) which owns 10% of AGN was formed in 2010. “We actively aspired to have 25% local ownership, long before the concept was topical in the market.”

    The Foundation has since received over N$56 million from Allan Gray Namibia and has sent over 733 Namibians to schools and universities on full scholarships. The Foundation has set aside more than N$37 million of capital that is to be deployed into budding Namibian businesses, founded by the very fellows that have successfully undergone the Foundation's entrepreneurial programme.

    “The Staff Scheme has proven to be a sound investment for loyal and patient employees. In addition to the generous dividend pay-outs, the firm's net asset value has grown handsomely since 2012, generating a 5-year compound annual growth rate of just over 26%, as at 31 December 2016,” Mnyupe said.

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    AirBnB hosts respond well to NTB registrationAirBnB hosts respond well to NTB registrationDeadline by 31 Dec 2017 The NTB is losing an estimated N$10 500 in revenue because of non-registration on the part of AirBnB operators. Registration is a legal requirement and is not an option. - Digu //Naobeb, CEO: NTB Ogone Tlhage -Namibia Tourism Board CEO Digu //Naobeb has said that tourism establishments that are using the AirBnB marketing tool are responding well to a request to formally register with the regulator.

    This follows an appeal by the NTB to AirBnB tourism establishments to register and pay levies.

    According to //Naobeb, tourism establishments are compelled to register with the NTB as required by the law even if they are using AirBnB as a marketing tool for their businesses.

    “We advised those persons in Namibia who are offering accommodation to guests at a fee to register with the NTB as the law requires. Airbnb is merely a marketing platform for these operators and the platform is not in terms of the Act required to register with the NTB,” said //Naobeb.

    According to him, the response has been encouraging. “We are receiving requests for application forms on a daily basis. Furthermore, others are inquiring which category they should apply under.”

    He explained that AirBnB itself is not required to register with NTB, making it difficult to calculate the levies lost. “NTB can only determine the income once levy return forms are submitted by the accommodation establishments.”


    //Naobeb said the NTB was losing an estimated N$10 500 in revenue terms because of non-registration on the part of AirBnB operators.

    “Assuming that we have 200 unregistered AirBnB hosts each with a two bedroomed flat charging an average amount of N$350.00 with 15 bed nights per month one can therefore roughly estimate that on a monthly basis NTB could be losing N$10 500,” he said.

    According to //Naobeb, registration is compulsory even if an establishment is making use of AirBnB and said that the NTB stands ready to assist and advice persons using AirBnB.

    “Namibia Tourism Board Inspectors will provide free advisory services on the required minimum standards and any registered accommodation establishments can solicit business opportunities with any public enterprise or any government agency and ministries,” he said.

    //Naobeb encouraged persons renting out living space to register with the NTB and said non-registration could result in criminal proceedings being instituted.

    “All persons offering their homes to AirBnB are kindly requested to comply with the Namibian laws and to register such accommodation with the Namibia Tourism Board on or before 31 December 2017.

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    Ministry studies private school subsidiesMinistry studies private school subsidies The education ministry has assured private schools that it does not intend to stop a charitable aid programme that allows less privileged children to attend their schools, but it is taking a very close look at compliance and is devising a new funding formula.

    “It is not the ministry's intention to discontinue the funding in totality. Funding will be made available based on compliance of the required rules and procedures. A new funding formula will be devised in future,” education permanent secretary Sanet Steenkamp told Namibian Sun.

    In line with government-wide budget cuts, the ministry in August announced that it was reviewing the private school subsidy programme that allowed less privileged children to attend these institutions.

    But the pinch was already felt earlier this year, when the 2017/18 budget for private school subsidies for learners from poor households took a steep dip.

    Since the financial year 2014/15, the ministry has paid close to N$237 million in subsidies to private schools for these learners, about N$35.5 million less than the total of N$272.5 million granted for the same period.

    Annually since 2014/15, the annual amount set aside for the aid programme was between N$67 million and N$98 million.

    This year the amount dipped to N$29.5 million, of which one third, N$13 million, was paid between April and October 2017.

    During the 2014/15 financial year, the government allocated N$67.5 million for these subsidies, and the ministry spent nearly that amount.

    For the 2015/16 financial year, the ministry budgeted N$98.6 million and N$81.7 million was paid to private schools.

    For the 2016/17 financial year, N$76.8 million was budgeted and N$79.7 was paid out.

    Subsidies were calculated on a per capita basis, meaning that each school that is subsidised is required to enrol at least 10% learners from poor backgrounds.

    A private school principal in August confirmed that the school had received approximately N$700 000 per term in exchange for making room for 157 learners from poor families.

    Another private school confirmed at the end of November it had not received a penny from the state for the entire academic year.

    In August, education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa set a 31 October deadline, asking schools to submit and motivate their reasons “why the aid that was granted to private schools cannot be reduced or terminated.”

    Steenkamp said that based on the responses received from 59 schools to date, 10 846 learners have benefitted.

    Some schools have not yet responded.

    Private schools have expressed worry about the reduced subsidies or termination of subsidies, noting that they would be forced to increase school fees which could further affect learners whose parents struggle to cover their costs.

    Moreover, the affected children could experience high degrees of disruption to their school careers, with all the attendant issues that could arise from transferring them to state schools.

    Steenkamp confirmed that the ministry was still receiving school submissions and a “full analysis of the situations of various schools will be done at least before the start of the new financial year.”

    She said at least three months would be required to gather more information and conduct an in-depth analysis before making recommendations on the way forward.

    The ministry could not yet comment on how much it hoped to save by amending the subsidy programme.

    “The full picture of the extent of the financial implication of this provision will only be known once the full exercise is completed.”

    Namibian Sun was informed that the ministry wants to tweak the current funding formula for it to be more equitable and fair.

    In other cost-cutting initiatives, the ministry also confirmed that it had cut private hostel contributions and was reviewing that programme.

    It was confirmed that the previous N$22 per child per day hostel subsidy was cut by N$10, to N$12 per child.

    The ministry confirmed that of 124 private hostels, 110 are subsidised by the state, benefitting close to 19 700 learners.

    Close to N$111 million was spent during the 2016/17 financial year on the private hostel subsidy programme.


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  • 12/04/17--14:00: Road mayhem claims dozens
  • Road mayhem claims dozensRoad mayhem claims dozens The Namibian police are appealing for family and friends of the ten people who died in a mass casualty accident between Okahandja and Karibib on Sunday night to come forward and help identify them.

    The crash took place about 20km west of Okahandja when a VW Golf and a GWM collided head on and caught fire. Chief Inspector Kauna Shikwambi of the Namibian Police said that nine people, including a baby that had been travelling in the Golf, died on the spot. A tenth person died later.

    “The victims are not yet identified as many are burnt beyond recognition. We appeal to the family members of those who were involved in the accident to visit the Windhoek police mortuary and submit DNA sample for recognition purposes,” Shikwambi said. The police said the cause of the crash was not yet clear, but witnesses reported that the driver of one of the vehicles tried to pass several cars at high speed and was unable to avoid the oncoming vehicle.

    Scenes of horror unfolded, according to some witnesses, when the people trapped in the cars were unable to get out while the cars were burning.

    The Sunday accident brought the total death toll from car crashes just over the weekend to at least 19.

    Four people died on the C43 gravel road between Walvis Bay and Swakopmund, while three grade 8 learners died instantly in a car crash 30km northeast of Outjo on Sunday.

    A Quantum bus driver died on Saturday when a man driving a Nissan slammed into the bus when he ignored a red light.

    In the Oshikoto Region, a man lost control and overturned the car he was driving on Saturday night. He died at the scene, while two passengers escaped unharmed.

    The Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund yesterday confirmed that 3 660 crashes had been recorded from the beginning of January until Sunday.

    Those accidents killed 695 people and injured 6 420.

    Since the start of the 2017/2018 festive season road safety campaign on 22 November, 27 people have died and 184 were injured in 111 crashes.

    “Road accidents can never be over-emphasised and therefore the police continue to caution and remind all motorists to uphold the rules and regulations of the road, to rest when they are fatigued and to avoid driving while under the influence of alcohol,” Shikwambi said.

    “Additionally, we request all to respect their own lives and exercise extreme caution and consideration when on the road.”

    Those who suspect their relatives were involved in Sunday's crash can contact Warrant Officer Oscar Shatipamba at 081 273 5188.

    - Additional reporting by Nampa


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  • 12/04/17--14:00: Hospital project in limbo
  • Hospital project in limboHospital project in limboDeep divisions over site A project to establish a referral hospital in the north seems to be stalled. A boardroom tussle between northern politicians and health minister Bernard Haufiku is threatening to stall the development of a large hospital project.

    A high level of uncertainty still surrounds the troubled referral hospital earmarked for the Oshana Region.

    Oshana chief regional officer Martin Elago said Haufiku was yet to respond to their communication with regard to the site of the referral hospital.

    According to Elago, the council had passed a resolution on 8 June this year recommending that the referral hospital be established at Ondangwa.

    This was communicated to Haufiku in June, but there was no official response.

    Elago said there had been no reply from the minister's office.

    “We first wrote to him in June before the deadline and he did not send us an acknowledgement letter. We did a follow-up in September and still we have received nothing.

    “The office of the president, which was copied in on the correspondence, sent us an acknowledgement letter. Ongwediva, which had written to Haufiku in their own capacity, received their acknowledgement letter from him after they submitted it in June,” Elago said last week.

    According to Haufiku though, there was no need for any communication.

    “Not much progress has been made to date since the issue is in the political arena.

    There is nothing decided on as yet and there are lot of things that need to be ironed out,” he told Namibian Sun yesterday.

    At one stage it was reported that the hospital would be a public-private partnership venture with international partners, but Haufiku has refused to disclose the partners, saying negotiations are not yet at that stage.

    After a consultative meeting with northern health professionals and the political leadership from the Oshana, Ohangwena, Omusati and Oshikoto regions at Ongwediva regarding the plan to construct a the state-of-the-art 1 000-bed hospital in Oshana in May this year, Haufiku ordered Ondangwa and Ongwediva to identify sites for the facility by 30 June.

    He also asked the Oshana regional leadership to come up with a recommendation for a site at Ondangwa and Ongwediva, which would then be assessed for suitability by independent geo-scientific consultants.

    However, the Oshana political leadership unanimously agreed to have the referral hospital built at Ondangwa ahead of Ongwediva and Oshakati.

    The decision was made a resolution of the regional council.

    The council's chairperson, Gerson Hannu Kapenda, earlier told Namibian Sun that the decision was based on the development needs of the region, and was supported by all 11 regional councillors.

    The issue divided politicians in the region, with governor Clemens Kashuupulwa reportedly claiming that the council's resolution to recommend Ondangwa did not follow resolutions passed at a meeting held with Haufiku in May.

    Officials from Ongwediva and Ondangwa, as well as Kashuupulwa, have confirmed they have not received any answer on the issue.


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  • 12/05/17--14:00: Pirates meet Clever Boys
  • Pirates meet Clever BoysPirates meet Clever Boys Sixth-place holders in the Namibian Premier League (NPL) Unam will meet Orlando Pirates at the Sam Nujoma Stadium today.

    Pirates are stationed seventh on the log, while Unam is positioned on the sixth spot. The log leaders are Tura Magic and African Stars.

    Unam are top favourites to win the match, looking at their performance so far in the league and the quality of players they have in the team. However, their gaffer Ronny Kanalelo was humble going into the match, saying that his team just wanted to stay in the league and that they were underdogs.

    “I don't want to put my players under unnecessary pressure. They are well motivated and we will just go out and see what happens. It is an open match, my players have been training and are ready,” he said.

    He said teams like Pirates, Black Africa and African Stars were fighting for the title.

    “These teams need to be respected as they have been around for a while,” Kanalelo said. Kanalelo's goal poacher Muna Katopose, who started off well in the league, is still out with a knee injury and will miss the match. Unam's captain Heini Issacs said the spirit in the team was positive.

    “The players are looking forward to the match and we are going out to collect points. We have been on a winning streak and want to keep that going, even though it won't be easy,” he said.

    Pirates also boast a good number of players and are equipped with an experienced coach in the form of Woody Jacobs and devoted captain Innocent Tembo, who will lay everything bare for his team to collect match points. The match will kick off at 20:00. In tomorrow's match, log leaders African Stars and Tura Magic will face each other at Sam Nujoma Stadium. The match will decide who tops the log.

    Civics and Tigers will then cross paths on Friday at the same venue.


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  • 12/05/17--14:00: Naidjala heads to SA
  • Naidjala heads to SANaidjala heads to SATobias unhappy with control board With plenty of good developments happening at MTC Nestor Sunshine Promotions, there are still some complications. Bantamweight boxer Immanuel 'Prince' Naidjala and team flew to South Africa yesterday morning, MTC Nestor Sunshine Boxing Promotions announced.

    The Namibian has a date with Mzuvukile 'Old Bones' Magwaca for the intercontinental fight slated for 8 December in East London, South Africa.

    The fight, which was originally scheduled for 25 November at the ICC Centre in Kimberley, has now been moved to the Orient Theatre.

    Naidjala goes into this fight with a record of 27 fights, 23 wins, three losses and one draw.

    His opponent and current IBF intercontinental champion has a solid record of 22 fights, 19 wins and three draws without a defeat.

    Naidjala said he was ready and excited.

    “I am happy with my current shape, focus and level of fitness. I understand the importance of this fight and I feel I am well prepared to go and win it by any means necessary.

    “Winning this fight will set me up for bigger opportunities in 2018, but my immediate priority is winning against an opponent who has never lost before and I am confident that I and my team can achieve that away from home.”

    The fight will be broadcast live on SABC.


    Meanwhile, MTC Nestor Sunshine Promotions have appealed against a decision taken by the Namibia Professional Boxing and Wrestling Control Board (NPBWCB) over the Onesmus Nekundi and Kendy Imalwa fight.

    The fight, which took place on 21 October, saw Nekundi losing his national featherweight title to Imalwa after being penalised for head-butting.

    Referee Ricky Tshabalala stopped the fight in the seventh round when a groggy Imalwa could not continue.

    After the fight, Sunshine Promotions launched an appeal, suggesting that Imwalwa was punched with a fist and not head-butted as the officials suggested.

    The boxing board's response was that the two boxers could opt for a rematch with Imalwa fighting as the featherweight title champion.

    The promoter, however, felt that a rematch without the last fight being ruled out as a no contest would still affect former champion Nekundi's world rankings.

    In a statement issued on Monday, the promoter wrote: “We submitted a comprehensive appeal to the Namibia Boxing Control Board to rectify this ruling based on video evidence.

    “Firstly, the NPBWCB is responsible for appointing officials and secondly they have the authority to reverse any decision because they are the supreme boxing authority to reverse any decision.

    “We were, however, shocked by the response from the board which stated that the current Act does not allow for appeals against officials and that they would rather recommend a rematch.”

    The promoter further charged that it is standard practice in international boxing that the control board is responsible for appointing an official and also allowing any promoter to appeal a decision against that official.

    The boxing control board could not be reached for comment.


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    Geingob niidhope moshikondo shuundjolowele-NudoGeingob niidhope moshikondo shuundjolowele-Nudo Ongundu yoNational Unity Democratic Organisation (Nudo) oya indile opo omupresidende Hage Geingob iidhope meendelelo monkalo ndjoka ya taalela oshikondo shaNamibia shuundjolowele.

    Omupopiliko gwongundu ndjoka, Joseph Kauandenge, okwa popi kutya Geingob na tule melandulathano ominista yoshikondo shoka, Bernhard Haufiku oshowo amushanga gwoshikondo Andreas Mwoombola mboka taku popiwa yeli moomananathano. “Uundjolowele waakwashigwana yetu itawu vulu okudhaniwa nawo kaalumentu mboka taya dhana uudhano wokwiipa oombedhi omanga yeli moombelewa dhi na omipepo dhombepo ya talala. Itashi vulika omupresidende a pitike uundjolowele woshigwana wu dhaniwe nawo.” Kauandenge okwa popi iikwatelela komukanda ngoka gwa shangwa koondohotola ntano ngoka gwa shangelwa minista Haufiku tadhi popi kombinga yompumbwe yomiti niilongitho miipangelo yepangelo.

    Oshifokundaneki shoNamibia Sun, osha pititha onkundana oshiwike sha piti, kombinga yoombapila ndjoka ya shangelwa Haufiku koondokotola, ndjoka ya holola polweela onkalo tayi tilitha ndjoka yataalela iipangelo yepangelo ngashiingeyi.

    Momukanda ngoka oondohotola odha holola ompumbwe yiikwaniipangitho ndjoka ya taalela oshipangelo shaKatutura Intermediate oshowo Windhoek Central hospital, nonkalo ndjoka oya kala ya taalela iipangelo mbyoka uule woomwedhi mbali ngashiingeyi, miitandelo oshowo momawalanda ga yooloka.

    Otaku popiwa kutya iipangelo mbyoka iyali oshowo oshipangelo shaShakati kayi iinima ngaashi catheters, nasogastric tubes mbyoka hayi longithwa mokukonaakona meni lyomapunda, omanyala, iikutu yomiitandelo oshowo uumunino mboka hawu pombo iikunguluki montulo. Otaku popiwa kutya omananathano pokati kaminista Haufiku oshowo amushanga Mwoombola, ogo taga etitha ompumbwe ndjoka. Nudo okupitila momupopiliko gwe ota pula ekuthombinga lyomuleli gwoshilongo meendelelo, opo mboka ya vule okulongela kumwe muuwanawa wuundjolowele woshigwana.

    Okwa popi kutya iipangelo itashi vuluka yi pitikwe yi kale kayi na omiti niikwanipangitho nokutula moshiponga oomwenyo dhaapangwa, omolwa omakondjithathano pokati kaalumentu mboka yaali. Ongundu oya pula Geingob a kandulepo omukundu ngoka omanga oomwenyo dhoshigwana inadhi kana, onga oshizemo shoomananathano pokati kaMwoombola naHaufiku.


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    Okanona koomvula ntano ka dhipaga okakwawoOkanona koomvula ntano ka dhipaga okakwawo Opolisi yaNamibia otayi konaakona oshipotha moka okanona kokamati koomvula ntano ka longitha oshiti shomusati nokudhenga okanona koomvula mbali kokakadhona sigo omeso, sha ningilwa popepi nOutapi omutenya gwEtitano lya piti.

    Otaku holokola kutya okanona hoka okadhenge okakwawo molutu aluhe sigo ka hulitha. Oshiningwanima osha ningilwa momukunda Oipandahangano popepi nOutapilwopotundi onti 14:00.

    Opolisi oya holola kutya otaku ka ningwa omakonaakono goshiyetithi sheso opo ku monike kutya okanona hoka oka si koshike.

    Opolisi natango oya lopota epatululo lyiipotha ya thika puitano yonkambadhala dhedhipago, iipotha ihamano yomadhipago oshowo iipotha iyali yomuyeka kwa homatiwa, noyindji tayi kwatakanithwa nelongitho lyiikolitha.

    Oshipotha shedhipago oshowo onkambadhala yedhipago osha patululwa mOtjiwarongo konima sho kwa tukuka oontamanana pondunda yomanwino. Nakuninga oshikakanwa okwa dhengwa nekende momutse na okwa tsuwa woo montulo nekende lwa tatuka.

    Koongulasha dhOlyomakaya, okwa patululwa oshipotha shonkambadhala yedhipago mOkahandja sho omulumentu a tsuwa nombele pondunda yomanwino tayi adhika popepi nehala lyokuthikamena ootaxi. Opolisi oya popi kutya natango otayi konaakona oshipotha shoka.

    Omukiintu gwoomvula 27 okwa lombwele opolisi kutya okwa kwatwa onkonga komulumentu ngoka e mu yeke iinima ye nokumudhenga. Oshiningwanima osha ningilwa moMondesa mondoolopa yaSwakopo, lwopotundi onti 20:00 mOlyomakaya. Omulumentu ngoka okwe mu ningilwe omatilitho nombele opo e mu kuthe iinima ye ngaashi ongodhi yopeke yoNokia niimaliwa koomuma ooN$41.

    Okwe mu pula ya ye pehala lya luudha na okwe mu tsu mepepe nokwe mu kwata onkonga. Kape na ngoka a tulwa miipandeko, nomakonaakono gopolisi otaga tsikile.

    Opolisi natango otayi konaaakona oshipotha sho okanona opo ka valwa ka adhika ka ekelwahi mOnayena. Okanona hoka oka monika kaanona yoskola.

    Ombelewa yehangano lyoShilimela Security Services moKatutura oya ningilwa omuyeka mEtitano lya piti. Aalumentu yane ya homata oya ponokele ombelewa ndjoka komulungu gwondjembo na oya kuthamo iinima ombelewa nokuya ontuku nohauto.

    Aalumentu mboka oya yi ontuku niipakete yi na oshimaliwa shooN$67 251 oshowo ooshapi dhohauto yoNissana yehangano lyaShilimela. Oya yi ontuku nohauto yoToyota Passo.

    Opolisi oya tula miipandeko omulumentu gwoomvula 40, ngoka a dhika noshipa shetotongwe shongushu yooN$50 000. Etulo miipandeko ndyoka olya ningwa sha landula oshikonga shopolisi shoka sha ningwa pethimbo lyowili yomwiha moWernhil Park shopping centre, Ovenduka.


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    Inaku tokolwa natango etungo lyoshipangelo monooliInaku tokolwa natango etungo lyoshipangelo monooliHaufiku a tegelelwa natango a gandje omayamukulo Oompangela dhokutunga oshipangelo oshinenne monooli yoshilongo otashi vulika dhi hulile ondjilakati sho inaku yelithwa natango kutya opoloyeka ndjoka otayi ka tungwa mondoolopa yinipo. Omunambelewa Omukuluntu gwoshitopolwa shaShana, Martin Elago okwa popi kutya Ominista yUundjolowele Bernard Haufiku natango okwa tegelelwa opo a yamukule kombinga yomapulo ngoka a ningilwa omolwa etungo lyoshipangelo shoka.

    Pahapu dhaElago, elelo lyoshitopolwa olya pititha okatokolitho momutumba ngoka gwa ningwa momasiku 8 ga Juni opo oshipangelo shoka shi tungwe mondoolopa yaNdangwa.

    Etokolo ndyoka olya ukithwa kuHaufiku muJuni, na ina yamukula natango.

    “Otwe mu shangele ombaapila tango muJuni omanga esiku lya hugunina inali thikana na ine tu tseyithila ngele ombaapila yetu okwe yi mona. Otwa ningi omapulaapulo muSepetemba ihe sigo onena inatu mona eyamukulo lya sha.Ombelewa yomupresidende ndjoka nayo ya li ya tuminwa ombaapila ndjoka oye tu yamukula kutya oya yakula ombaapila yetu.

    Ongwediva, ndjoka ya shangele Haufiku ombaapila oya mona eyamukulo kutya minista okwa yakula ombaapila yawo ndjoka yemu shangele muJuni,” Elago a popi.

    Elago okwa hololwa kutya inapu ningwa e yo komeho enene sigo onena kombinga yetungo lyoshipangelo shoka.

    Okwa li kwa hololwa kutya oshipangelo otashi tungwa pamulandu gwopublic-private partnership melongelo kumwe naapunguli yopondje yoshilongo, ihe minista Haufiku okwa tindi okuholola kutya oolye ookuume metungo lyoshipangelo shoka, ta popi kutya oonkundathana natango odhili metifa.

    Konima yomitumba dhoka dha ningwa, aaleli moshikondo shuunamiti oshowo mopolotika miitopolwa Oshana, Ohangwena, Omusati oshowo Oshikoto oya tsu kumwe opo kutungwe oshipangelo oshinene moshitopolwa shaShana, muMei nuumvo.

    Haufiku okwa pula elelo lyoshitopolwa shaShana li ninge omapopilo gehala mpoka tapu tungwa oshipangelo shoka mondoolopa yaNdangwa nenge mOngwediva.

    Elelo lyopapolotika mOshana, olya tsukumwe opo oshipangelo shoka taku popiwa tashi ka kala noombete 1000, shi tungwe mOndangwa, netokolo ndyoka olya ningwa kokatokolitho ka tulwa miilonga pethimbo lyomutumba gwopashitopolwa.

    Omunashipundi gwelelo lyoshitopolwa

    Gerson Hannu Kapenda, okwa li a tseyithile oNamibian Sun kutya etokolo ndyoka olya ningwa kwiikwatelelwa koompumbwe dhomayambulepo moshitopolwa, na olya yambidhidhwa kookansela 11. Oshikumungu shoka osha e ta etopolo lyaanapolotika moshitopolwa naNgoloneya gwaShana, Clemens Kashuupulwa okwa lopotwa a popi kutya etokolo ndyoka olya yi pambambo omatokolo ngoka ga ningwa pethimbo lyomutumba ngoka gwa ningwa naHaufiku muMei.

    Aanambelewa yelelo lyaNgwediva oshowo mOndangwa, mwakwatelwa Ngoloneya Kashuupulwa, oya koleke kutya inaya mona natango eyamukulo moshikumungu shoka.


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    Croplands measured on new mapCroplands measured on new mapIndispensable tool for management A high-resolution interactive map, created by the American geological survey, will help better manage croplands and ensure increased food security. A new interactive map which details croplands worldwide in the highest resolution yet, has been released. It is expected to assist in ensuring global food and water security in a sustainable way.

    The map establishes that there are 1.87 billion hectares of croplands in the world, which is about 20%, or 250 to 350 million hectares, higher than former assessments.

    This is due to a more detailed understanding of large areas that were never mapped before, or that were inaccurately mapped as non-croplands.

    Earlier studies indicated that China or the United States had the highest net cropland area, but this study shows that India ranks first, with 179.8 million hectares (9.6% of the global net cropland area). Second is the United States with 167.8 million hectares (8.9%), China with 165.2 million hectares (8.8%) and Russia with 155.8 million hectares (8.3%). Statistics of every country in the world can be viewed on the interactive map.

    For a comparison, Namibia has 1.2 million hectares of croplands, which is 0.065% of the global net cropland area.

    High freshwater use

    Croplands only make up 1.5% of Namibia's total geographic area of more than 82.3 million hectares.

    South Asia and Europe can be considered as the agricultural capitals of the world due to the percentage of croplands of the total geographic area.

    The study was led by the American Geological Survey and is part of the Global Food Security-Support Analysis Data @ 30-m (GFSAD30) Project.

    The map is built primarily from Landsat satellite imagery with 30-metre resolution, which is the highest spatial resolution of any global agricultural dataset.

    The project, and the creation of the map, both aim at helping to understand global croplands, both rain-fed and irrigated, how they are used, their extent and how they can be better managed, particularly since they account for nearly 80% of all freshwater abstractions. Here, technologies such as remote sensing can play an increasingly critical role – providing new spatial information to help manage croplands in a more productive and sustainable way.

    “The map clearly shows individual farm fields, big or small, at any location in the world,” said Prasad Thenkabail, USGS research geographer and principal investigator for the project.

    “Given the high resolution of 30 metres and 0.09 hectares per pixel, a big advantage is the ability to see croplands in any country and sub-national regions, including states, provinces, districts, counties and villages.”

    Need for monitoring

    With the global population nearing the 7.6 billion mark and expected to reach 10 billion by 2050, it is of increasing importance to understand and monitor the state of agriculture across the world in great detail. This new research is useful to international development organisations, farmers, decision-makers, scientists and national security professionals.

    “This map is a baseline and starting point for higher level assessments, such as identifying which crops are present and where, when they grow, their productivity, if lands are left fallow and whether the water source is irrigated or rain fed,” said Thenkabail.

    “Comparisons can be made between the present and past years as well as between one farm and another. It is invaluable to know the precise location of croplands and their dynamics to lead to informed and productive farm management.”

    Not only does this map and accompanying data have significant food security implications, but it is also critical as a baseline for assessing water security.

    Nearly 80% of all human water use across the world goes towards producing food, and this research provides insight on “crop per drop,” which is an assessment of the amount of crops produced per unit of water.

    Access the map at croplands.org and there is also an application for mobile phones.


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