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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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    Messi's 400 La Liga goals 'monstrous'Messi's 400 La Liga goals 'monstrous' Lionel Messi's total of 400 La Liga goals is “monstrous”, according to Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde, who described his Argentine superstar as belonging to “another galaxy”.

    Messi hit his quadruple century in the 53rd minute of Barca's win over Eibar on Sunday to extend his record as the division's all-time top scorer.

    He collected the ball off Luis Suarez and drove it into the bottom corner at the Camp Nou to reach the historic landmark after 435 matches.

    Barca went on to win the game 3-0, with Suarez twice on target.

    “It's monstrous,” said Valverde, after the match. “It's easy to say but you have to score them one after the other, it's a long-term job.

    “Messi is an extraordinary player because he is not only a scorer. It's everything that he creates around him too.

    “His numbers are stratospheric, incredible. He is from another galaxy,” Valverde said.

    Messi has finished top-scorer in La Liga five times. He has 17 goals already this season.

    It is 14 years since Messi scored his first La Liga goal and the 31-year-old Argentine has gone on to build an enormous lead at the top of the league's all-time scoring chart.

    Cristiano Ronaldo remains the second highest scorer with 311 goals in 292 games, while Spain's Telmo Zarra is third with 251 goals in 278 games.


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  • 01/14/19--14:00: Nadal ruthless
  • Nadal ruthlessNadal ruthlessSharapova sends warning Fifth seed Kevin Anderson beat Adrian Mannarino 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 and 6-1 in his opening match at the Australian Open. A ruthless Rafael Nadal showed no mercy in a clinical first round thumping at the Australian Open on Monday, as fellow veteran Maria Sharapova issued her own warning with a “double bagel” demolition.

    The 17-time Grand Slam champion, who cut short his 2018 season to have surgery on a foot injury, cruised through to round two of the opening major of the year 6-4, 6-3 and 7-5 against Australian wildcard James Duckworth.

    “It's not easy to come back after a lot of months, especially against a player playing super aggressive on every point,” said the 2009 Australian champion, who showed no sign of any injury worries.

    “The energy I feel in this place is fantastic,” Nadal added.

    The Spanish second seed is bidding to become the first man in the Open era, and only the third in history along with Roy Emerson and Rod Laver, to win each Grand Slam on two or more occasions.

    Sharapova, a winner at Melbourne Park in 2008 who has failed to impress at Grand Slam level since returning from a doping ban in 2017, signalled her intent with a 6-0, 6-0 thrashing of Britain's Harriet Dart, who ended the match in tears.

    Playing in her 15th Australian Open, the three-time finalist said she was pleased to go through so easily as she battles back from injuries.

    “It was a good test for my leg, for my shoulder,” she said.

    “I'm still working through some painful days. But, you know, I felt like I did all the right things today in order to get through that match.”

    Fifth seeded Sloane Stephens, the 2017 US Open champion who struggled in her warm-up tournaments in Brisbane and Sydney, got back to business against fellow American Taylor Townsend in a 6-4, 6-2 win.

    Eleventh seed Aryna Sabalenka from Belarus also safely negotiated round one on a day when temperatures were soaring towards a forecast 37 degrees Celsius.

    But Germany's 14th seed Julia Goerges, who won the recent Auckland Classic, crashed out in three sets to American Danielle Collins.

    Britain's Katie Boulter, meanwhile, created a slice of history by becoming the first woman to win in a third-set tiebreak - a new rule introduced to the Open this year.

    Instead of playing to the death, third or fifth sets now go to a tiebreak when the score reaches 6-6 and it becomes the first to 10 points.

    It seemed Boulter wasn't told, fist-pumping and walking to the net at 7/4 before being reminded of the new rule. She went on to beat Russia's Ekaterina Makarova 6-0, 4-6 and 7-6 (10/6).


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    Oil slides on China trade slumpOil slides on China trade slumpCrude imports remain high Chinese data shows weakening imports and exports in the world's biggest trading nation. Producer price inflation has decelerated for six consecutive months, adding to other signs of cooling industrial activity in China amid weakening global demand. – Moody’s Henning Gloystein - Oil prices fell by almost 1% yesterday, with Brent crude slipping below US$60 per barrel, after Chinese data showed weakening imports and exports in the world's biggest trading nation and second-largest crude oil consumer.

    International Brent crude oil futures were at US$59.91 per barrel at 0403 GMT, down 57 US cents, or 0.9% from their last close.

    US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 47 US cents, or 0.9%, at US$51.12 a barrel.

    China's December overall exports fell by 4.4% from a year earlier, the biggest monthly drop in two years, official data showed yesterday, pointing to further weakening in the world's second-largest economy. Imports last month also contracted, falling 7.6%, the biggest decline since July 2016.

    "Crude futures were back in the red as trading began for a fresh week in Asia, in tandem with most of the region's stock markets ... [as] China early Monday reported US$351.76 billion trade surplus in dollar terms for 2018, the lowest since 2013," said energy consultant Vandana Hari of Vanda Insights in a note yesterday.

    The weak trade figures confirm a raft of indicators that have been pointing to an economic slowdown since the second half of 2018.

    "Producer price inflation has decelerated for six consecutive months, adding to other signs of cooling industrial activity [in China] amid weakening global demand," rating agency Moody's said in a note.

    Traders said the data pulled down crude oil futures and Asian stock markets alike, which had both posted modest gains earlier yesterday.


    Economic research firm TS Lombard said oil prices were capped as "the world economy is now slowing ... limiting the scope for positive surprises in oil demand and hampering inventory reduction."

    Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Denmark's Saxo Bank, said "the deterioration seen recently in forward-looking economic data from the US to Europe and China" meant that the upside for crude oil futures was likely limited to US$64 per barrel for Brent and for US$55 for WTI.

    Despite the weak Chinese trade data, the country's oil imports remained sky-high in December at 10.31 million barrels per day (bpd), holding above the 10 million bpd mark for the second month in a row, on stock-building by small independent refiners who were trying to use up annual quotas.

    Amid this strong demand from the world's biggest oil importer, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and some non-OPEC allies, including Russia, have been cutting supply since late 2018, providing crude prices with some support.

    In the United States, drillers cut four oil rigs in the week to Jan. 11, bringing the total count down to 873, energy services firm Baker Hughes said in a weekly report on Friday. – Nampa/Reuters

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    Padveiligheid by skole opgeskerpPadveiligheid by skole opgeskerp Michelline Nawatises

    Die Motorvoertuigongeluk-fonds (MVA) het op die eerste skooldag van 2019 'n padveiligheidsforum by die Laerskool A.I. Steenkamp in Windhoek gehad.

    Die doel daarvan was om te verseker skole se veiligheidsregulasies word wel nagekom.

    ‘n Ouer, wat verkies om anoniem te bly, het gesê dit is 'n goeie inisiatief.

    “Ek is bly om te sien waarmee die MVA besig is, veral in hierdie gebied omdat die meeste bestuurders hier roekeloos bestuur, wat ons kinders en voetgangers in gevaar stel.”

    Die bedryfshoof van die Padveiligheidsforum, mnr. Horst Heimstädt, het gesê die spoedgrens is tot 30 km om alle skole verminder. “Nou is dit ons taak om te verseker bestuurders hou by die spoedbeperkings.”

    Hy het gesê 'n veiliger omgewing word geskep deur skoolkinders te skei van die gebiede waarin voertuie is of beweeg. “Ons het iets soortgelyk op (Laerskool) Moses van der Byl se skoolterrein gedoen.”

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    Eihumbato lyonawa mokati kaalongi naanaskola olyo dhingiEihumbato lyonawa mokati kaalongi naanaskola olyo dhingi Oshiholekwa shoka sha etitha opo oskola yedhina Onampira Combined School yi kale momusholondondo gwooskola ndhoka dhe shi enditha nawa mekonaakono lyondondo onti 12 lyoNational Senior Secondary Certificate (NSSC) Ordinary level omaihumbato gonawa mokati kaalongi naanaskola. Omukuluntuskola poskola ndjoka, Gebhard Amunyela okwa popi kutya oku li iitula mo noonkondo ngele tashi ya komaihumbato gonawa mokati kaalongi poskola ndjoka oshowo aanaskola.

    Amunyela okwa popi kutya ke na ohenda ngele tashi ya kokuuthiminikila eihumbato lyonawa mokati kaalongi poskola ihe kashi shi oshinima oshipu molwaashoka aalongi nayo ohaye mu ponokele ishewe ihe ye iha yamukula komaponokelo ngoka molwaashoka ohe shi ningi iikolelela komusindalandu noompango dhelongo.

    Sho oskola ndjoka ya kala aluhe konima muule woomvula dha piti, shoka tashi halutha osho ya yi ponomola onti 16 moshilongo, mooskola ndhoka dhe shi enditha nawa nomoshitopolwa oya yi ponomola onti 3.

    Onampira Combined School kayi na omuhandjo na oyi na oondondo okuza poshikunino sigo ondondo onti 12.

    Pahapu dhaAmunyela shoka inashi ya a dha onga ehaluko molwaashoka muule woomvula ndatu dha piti, oya kala taya longitha omulandu omupe ngoka gwa nuninwa okulundulula iizemo poskola ndjoka noku yi ninga yimwe yomooskoladhingi moshilongo.

    Omukuluntuskola ngoka okwa popi kutya uuna ta ungaunga naalongi iha longitha omukalo gwa faathana naangoka ha longitha maanaskola, na ohe ya ithana nokuya lombwela kutya shoka taya ningi kashi li mondjila na oha kutha embo lyomishangwa dhomilandu dhuuministeli nokuyelitha shoka sha tegelelwa okuza kuyo ayehe, e ta ya tsu kumwe.

    Amunyea okwa popi kutya sho a ningi omukuluntuskola poskola ndjoka oomvula ndatu dha piti, oya tula miilonga omulandu ngoka gwa nuninwa okuninga omalunduluko miizemo yomakonaakono moskola ndjoka.

    Ooskola odhindji dhokomikunda odha taalela omaupyakadhi ogendji na otashi yi moshipala opo ooskola ndhoka dhi vule okukala tadhi likola iizemo iiwanawa ngele tashi ya komakonaakono gopashigwana.

    Amunyela okwa popi kutya ooskola odhindji ndhoka tadhi mono iizemo yi li pevi unene omolwa onkalo kutya ohadhi tala owala kombinga yekandulepo lyomikundu ndhoka dha taalela oskola, dho tadhi dhimbwa kutya nonando odhi na omikundu ndhoka dha taalela, odha tegelelwa woo natango dhi gandje iizemo iiwanawa momakonaakono.

    Okwa gandja omayele kaakuluntuskola yakwawo opo ya kale unene ya tala komaihumbato gonawa mokati kaalongi, shi vulithe okukala taya kondolola kutya oofoloma dhoompangela dhootundiodhudhithwa.

    Amunyela okwa popi kutya sho Ominista yElongo Katrina Hanse-Himarwa ya tseyitha mEtine lya piti kutya Onampira oyi li momusholondondo gwooskola dhingi omi 20 moshilongo, aantu oyendji oya tameke ta ye mu dhengele oongodhi taya pula kutya okwa longitha oompangea dhi li ngiini opo oskola yawo yi shi pondole ngaaka.

    Okwa popi kutya kape na omilandu dha yooloka dhowina dhoka hadhi longithwa kooskola dhoka tadhi shi enditha nawa, molwaashoka uuministeli owu na nale omilandu nomalandulathano ngoka ge na okulandulwa kooskola moshilongo.

    Sho ye haningi okukwashilipaleka owala kutya omilandu dhuuministeli otadhi landulwa tuu kaalongi. Aalongi oya pumbwa okwiilongekidhila ootundi dhawo, oya pumbwa okukala haya yi pethimbo kootundi dhawo nokugandja iilonga ya gwana kaanaskola momailongo gawo.


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  • 01/14/19--14:00: Ta ya fala epangelo kompangu
  • Ta ya fala epangelo kompanguTa ya fala epangelo kompangu Konyala aanafaalama moshitopolwa shaKavango East ye li po 250 oya hala okufala epangelo kompangu sha landula sho kwa kalekwa egandjo lyomikandapitiko lyokuteya omiti nokundalaspota iiti mbyoka oshowo elanditho lyiiti mbyoka pehulilo lyomvula ya piti.

    Amushanga-ndjai gwoAll People's Party (APP) Vincent Kanyetu, okwa popi kutya okwa ningwa oonkundathana naanafaalama mboka ya kanitha iiyemo omolwa etokolo ndyoka lya ningwa noshikumungu shoka ngaashiingeyi otashi ukithwa kOmpangu yoPombanda.

    Okwa popi kutya onkalo ndjoka otayi yambulapo ondjele yoluhepo mokati kaakwashigwana mboka ya gumwa komatokolo ngoka. Kanyetu okwa tsikile kutya aanafaalama oyendji oye na nale iiti mbyoka ya teya ihe ngashiingeyi itaya vulu okulanditha iiti mbyoka omolwa oondjindikila ndhoka dha tulwa po.

    Okwa tsikile kutya omolwa omvula ndjoka ya loko omathimbo ngaaka, iiti yimwe ngashiingeyi oya yonuka na itayi vulu we okulongithwa.

    Kanyetu okwa popi kutya oyuuvite kombinga yeteto lyomiti ndyoka inali pitikwa unene kwaamboka taye shi ningi yaahena omikandapitiko, ihe okwa pula ngele egandjo lyomikandapitiko ndyoka oli li oshinakugwanithwa shaanafaalama nenge oshepangelo.

    Oshikondo shOmakuti mUuministeli wUunamapya, Omeya nIihwa osha pititha omukanda gwopambelewa momasiku 26 gaNovemba omvula ya piti, ngoka gwa indike eteyo yomiti unene dhomingaalipi nelanditho lyomiti ndhoka moshilongo.

    Oshikondo shoka osha gandja elombwelo kaanambelewa ayehe yomakuti opo ya kaleke egandjo lyomikandapitiko dhokugandja uuthemba wokuteya omiti ndhoka, nokukutha oonkondo omikanda ndhoka dha gandjwa nale.

    Okuya pehulilo lyomvula ya piti, uuministeli wuunamapya owa popi kutya konyala aanafaalama mboka haya teya omiti dhoka ye li po 500 oya pumbwa okuningulula omaindilo goenvironmental clearance certificates (ECC) opo ya vule okutsikila nokuteya omiti ndhoka.

    Shoka otashi pula woo environmental impact assessment (EIA), ndjoka kayi na owala ondilo ihe otayi kutha uule woomwedhi odhindji opo yi vule okumanithwa.

    Meteyo lyomiti omuntu natango okwa pumbwa okuninga eindilo opo a pewe omukanda ngoka tagu mu pitika a kale ta vulu okuteya omiti ndhoka, nomonena mboka otaya longo ngaaka kwiikwatelelwa kOmpango yOmakuti.


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    SPYL calls for Rundu interventionSPYL calls for Rundu intervention The Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) in the Kavango East Region says it is dissatisfied with the infighting among ruling party councillors at Rundu over positions, and has called on Swapo's top leadership to intervene.

    During a media conference on Sunday, SPYL regional secretary Anselm Marungu said the youth are not happy with what is happening.

    The Rundu town council has been operating without office-bearers since 21 November 2018, after their election and swearing-in was called-off due to divisions among Swapo councillors about whether Verna Sinimbo should retain her position as mayor.

    The councillors also have qualms with a directive from Swapo secretary-general Sophia Shaningwa that the status quo of the office-bearers structure should be retained.

    “Our aim of calling this press conference is to express our dissatisfaction towards what is happening in the council,” Marungu said.

    Swapo, he said, is a mass-based organisation and thus its members' conduct should be in the interest of the masses.

    The youth wing strongly condemned the infighting amongst the councillors, saying it is a pity that leaders are fighting for positions when the town and its residents need them the most.

    “We have learned that there's no unity among the councillors. We cannot have a situation where councillors are not talking to one another, yet they are running the same council,” Marungu said.

    He further called for unity amongst the councillors, urging them to serve the masses that put them into their positions.

    Urban and rural development minister Peya Mushelenga said he has no power to fix the situation.

    “All I do is coordinate the activities of the local authority when I know councillors have been sworn-in. The minister only comes in if the council fails to deliver services, but of course we will monitor the situation,” Mushelenga said.

    Shaningwa could not be reached for comment.


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    I discipline teachers - AmunyelaI discipline teachers - AmunyelaLesson plans less important The principal of Onampira Combined School shares the secret of his school's success. The secret behind Onampira Combined School's top performance in the Grade 12 National Senior Secondary Certificate (NSSC) ordinary level examinations is that its principal, Gebhard Amunyela, is strict when it comes to the discipline of teachers and learners.

    Amunyela tells Namibian Sun that he has no mercy when it comes to teacher discipline.

    Onampira's academic performance improved by leaps and bounds last year.

    It was ranked 16th nationally and third in the region in the2018 NSSC ordinary level examinations.

    Onampira Combined School is a non-boarding school offering all grades from preschool to grade 12.

    Amunyela says the good results came as no surprise, as the school had made a concerted effort over the past three years to become one of the best schools in the country.

    “I don't have any mercy when it comes to the discipline of teachers and learners. I don't deal with the discipline of learners; I discipline the teachers.

    “That is the most sensitive part of the education system because when you discipline teachers they hit back, but I don't retaliate,” Amunyela says.

    “When disciplining teachers you do not use the same strategy as when you discipline learners.

    “You call them in, explain to them what they are doing wrong and use the education guidelines and policies to explain what is expected from them...”

    Amunyela says when he arrived at Onampira three years ago it was regarded as a problem school.

    Many rural schools face obstacles that prevent them from performing well.

    He advises fellow school principals to concentrate more on discipline than on filling in lesson plans as a means of monitoring teaching.

    “I don't concentrate on filling in lesson plans. There are teachers that are very good at filling in lesson preparation forms. I concentrate on whether teachers have prepared for the content of what they are going to teach.

    “What I do is draw up my action plan and monitoring plan just to make sure that policies are implemented and make sure there is discipline at school,” he says.

    Amunyela says when education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa announced at a media conference on Thursday that Onampira was ranked among the top 20 state schools, many people called him to ask what strategy he used.

    He says there is no special strategy besides the government guidelines and policies. He merely enforces these guidelines strictly.

    He says teachers must prepare for their lessons, must be on time and should give a certain amount of work to learners.


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    Surviving the back-to-school bluesSurviving the back-to-school bluesGrade 8s face new challenges The Zone visited Delta Secondary School, among other schools, to catch up with the new grade 8 leaners during their orientation. Elizabeth Joseph and Michelline Nawatises

    Schools reopened on 8 January for the new academic year. As usual, parents as well as learners were excited and nervous about the brand new school year.

    My Zone visited Delta Secondary School, among others schools, to catch up with the new grade 8 leaners during their orientation.

    It was a colourful and very cheerful morning as the learners were instructed to march around the sports field. Everyone had smiles on their faces and it was obvious that they were all ready for the year to kick off.

    The head girl Cameron van Wyk was very optimistic and when asked what some of the lessons were she wished to instil in the learners, she had this to say: “As a new learner coming to high school, you are going to be exposed to so many new adventures. Always be open-minded and look forward to new possibilities.”

    Although optimism was the order of the day, the principal of the school, Angelica Jacobie, highlighted some of the challenges which comes with a new school year, for the teachers as well as the parents.

    “With a new academic year comes new challenges that we as teachers have to face head-on. Thousands of children are still looking for a place and we have not received textbooks for grade 10. Some subjects for grade 10 has no syllabus yet. At Delta, because we are experienced teachers and make an effort to get everything that we need, I believe we will be fine,” Jacobie said.

    “It’s scary; I feel for the parents. What is so unfortunate is that there are only five grade 8 classes. Its chock-and-block now. Parents sit outside shocked and in tears, wondering what to do.

    “My advice to the grade 8s is that they must grow into it; there is a season for everything. They start from the bottom again; they must grow into high school. It is scary for most of them as primary schools usually don’t have huge buildings. They feel lost for the first few weeks, but they should grow together as a team, have fun and just do the right thing,” Jacobie added.

    The Zone as well visited Hochland High School and had a chat with the new grade 8 learners. A brave learner, Fabian Strauss, stepped out to the front to talk about his experiences at his new high school thus far.

    “I had so much fear the first day of school because I recently moved to the capital city from Rehoboth, and to top it all off, I did not know what to expect from high school. As soon as I entered the yards of the school my fear vanished, because everyone was so kind and helpful,” he said.

    Another learner, Manuela Narciso mentioned that she enjoyed the orientation process, but is more focused on getting distinctions in her first year.

    “Orientation is all fun and games, but what really matters is academics. My aim is to work hard and make my parents proud,” she said.

    Selma Iyambo, a learner representative council (LRC) member, promised that they will host events for the new grade 8s that the previous LRC’s did not seem to pull off.

    “Our first event for the newbies is to have a concert as there was no concert held last year for the grade 8s,” she said.

    Iyambo further mentioned that the aim of these events is to make the new learners feel at home, as most high schools are a different setting, when compared to primary schools.

    Tips for school

    1. Set semester goals

    How do you know where you’re headed if you haven’t mapped out a goal plan for yourself? Create concrete goals for each semester to work towards achieving.

    2. Set up a study routine

    As you prepare to head to university, creating a study routine becomes increasingly important to your preparations. Try and set aside a certain amount of time each day to focus on your classes.

    3. Befriend your teachers

    Start the semester out on a good note with your teachers and talk to them. Also, be active during class participation. You will need teachers who know your unique personality when it becomes time for testimonials, so getting to know each of your teachers on a personal level will certainly come in handy.

    4. Search scholarships on a regular basis

    Ensure you meet your goals throughout the school year, as this can go a long way to paying for university and it will be easier to obtain a scholarship.

    5. Avoid distractions

    If you want to stay focused and pass your matric with satisfactory points, you might as well just cut out all unnecessary friends before it’s too late. Focus on what your priorities.

    6. Ask if things are unclear

    Remember when your mom used to tell you, “ask if you do not understand”. The classroom is the perfect platform to ask questions. If a topic of a certain subject is not clear, use the time to revert back to the teacher and ask questions until you understand.

    7. Always choose the front seat

    This will help you to remain focused and it is generally the best seat to ensure that you are able to ask as many questions as possible. If you land in the back, it’s still okay. Just do your best!

    8. Pack a lunchbox

    Everyone thinks that packing lunch is not cool. This is a myth, because packing your own lunch saves money that could be spent elsewhere. If you have a super cool lunchbox, why not?

    9. Make friends

    This goes for especially grade 1 grade 8 learners, because they have entered new territory. You might not have those friends for life, but they will definitely make your school journey more fun.

    10. Enjoy orientation

    Although some parents may question the way in which their child is being welcomed at the school, this is truly a life-changing experience. The bonds that are formed while doing those orientation activities are strong and very meaningful. You will miss this by the time you’re a senior.

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  • 01/14/19--14:00: Backyard gardens get seeds
  • Backyard gardens get seedsBackyard gardens get seeds The Ondangwa urban constituency in the Oshana Region has donated seeds to some of its residents to establish backyard gardens.

    Last week about 20 homes and 12 support groups received seeds donated to the constituency by Built It Ondangwa, Lunasha Business Solutions and Olupandu Pharmacy, which had responded to the seed-collecting project that started in October last year.

    Last year Ondangwa urban constituency Elia Irimari made a public appeal for seed donations that would be distributed to residents so they can establish backyard gardens.

    “The regional government is collaborating with agriculture experts who are willing to help people establish their own backyard gardens. All the seed beneficiaries will be trained how to establish successful backyard gardens,” Irimari said.

    “We are at the beginning of the rainy season, but we have not received sufficient rainfall yet and most of our residents are subsistence farmers who depend on rainfall to produce food. With these seeds, they will be able to produce their own food throughout the year, using minimal water.”

    He said the constituency is continuing with its seed drive to support food production in communities.

    “We are in need of variety of seeds for our local people to grow their own food in their backyards,” Irimari said.

    He said the aim was to strive for food security and fight poverty and hunger, as the beneficiaries received a variety of vegetable and fruit seeds.

    He said the majority of the beneficiaries are elders and people living with HIV/Aids, through their support groups.

    Support groups assist those affected by or living with HIV/Aids and were established in different communities.

    “Even though there is no rain, we are still hopeful that we will receive enough rainfall. We would like our people to start with rainwater, so that after the rain their gardens will be ready for harvesting or will only need minimal water,” Irimari said.

    Johanna Akwenye (66), from Ontsi village, is one of the beneficiaries.

    She said she already has a backyard garden in which she grows tomatoes and spinach.

    “I am so happy because this is what I really wanted. Now that I have received a variety of these seeds, I am going to make my garden colourful,” Akwenye said.

    Irimari thanked Naftali Shailemo of Lunasha Business Solutions, Emilia Ananias of Olupandu Pharmacy and Build It Ondangwa for the seeds.


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    Namibia submits CITES proposalsNamibia submits CITES proposalsSeeks to amend regulations protecting elephants, rhinos Namibia was among 90 countries that submitted proposals to amend the lists of species subject to CITES trade rules. Namibia has submitted proposals to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to amend regulations protecting elephants and rhinos.

    Namibia was among 90 countries that submitted proposals to amend the lists of species subject to CITES trade rules.

    Countries submitted 57 proposals to CITES seeking to increase or decrease protections for 152 wild animal species affected by international commercial trade.

    These include conflicting proposals on elephants, with nine African countries wanting to up-list the African elephants of Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe from Appendix II to I in the face of an insatiable poaching crisis, while a proposal by Zambia seeks to down-list its elephants to Appendix II to allow international commercial trade in raw ivory.

    Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe, whose populations of the species are already on Appendix II, want to weaken existing restrictions on their ability, and that of South Africa whose elephant population is also on Appendix II, to export ivory to consumer countries.

    Namibia has also proposed to down-list its population of white rhinos to Appendix II, to allow international commercial trade in live animals and hunting trophies.

    The proposals will be up for consideration at the next World Wildlife Conference - the 18th meeting of the Conference of Parties to the CITES which will be held from 23 May to 3 June 2019 in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

    For the first time, a proposal has been submitted to include the giraffe, the world's tallest land mammal, under CITES.

    There is also a proposal to list the mammoth, an extinct species, in CITES Appendix II to regulate trade in mammoth tusks dug up in places such as Siberia. Illegal elephant ivory is sometimes sold as mammoth ivory, which is legal at the moment.

    The listing of a species in Appendix I effectively prevents all commercial international trade, while those listed in Appendix II can be traded under special permit conditions.

    “The stakes are high under CITES and robust debates are to be expected. Decisions taken in Colombo will have a real and immediate effect on the legislation, regulation, and operating practices across the globe for international trade in the species concerned.

    “Decisions taken at CoP18 will also alter their conservation and international trade management, and have direct impacts on biodiversity, livelihoods of rural communities and national economies”, said CITES secretary-general Ivonne Higuero.

    In addition, a record of 140 documents proposing new measures and policies on international trade in wild fauna and flora were submitted for consideration by the Conference.


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  • 01/14/19--14:00: Ordinary level top 10
  • Ordinary level top 10Ordinary level top 10Top performers share their inspiration The 2018 Grade 12 ordinary level results were released last week. The Zone spoke to the country’s top ten performers to find out what inspires them. Elizabeth Joseph and Michelline Nawatises

    During the 2018 academic year a total of 56 534 candidates, comprising of 23 594 full-time and 32 940 part time learners, registered for the Namibia Senior Secondary Certificate (NSSC) examinations.

    Education minister Katrina Himarwa-Hanse said last week during the official announcement of the results that she is pleased.

    “It gives me immense pleasure and honour to congratulate all the candidates who devoted their time to their studies,” she said.

    She further motivated the learners who did not perform well to keep on pushing. “All is not lost, pick yourself up, improve your results through the available institutions and work harder next time.”

    The top ten performers shared what inspired them with The Zone.

    Appolo Kaiyamo: St Boniface College

    My inspiration comes from seeing my parents work hard for my brother and I. I have to have a proper standard of life and I simply cannot let their hard work be in vain.

    Alexander Mbareke: St Boniface College

    My main inspiration was my physical teacher Sister Roseline. She had so much faith in me and I thank her for that.

    Feliciter Rushubiza: St Boniface College

    My inspiration comes from my parents as they never stopped believing in me; then my teachers and friends that kept me pumping me with the drive to push forward.

    Elwina Vries: Paresis Secondary School

    My inspiration is my desire to make a meaningful and lasting impact, not only in society but in the world at large. I live by the motto: Be the change you want to see.

    Jelson Quinga: Jacob Marengo Secondary School

    We are in a world where we value the best. It is a fact that everyone wants to be successful and being a top achiever is an excellent way to do so.

    Manuwere Remigius: St Boniface College

    I am inspired to do great by my surroundings and the people around me and, I am inspired to be great by my family.

    Sherraine Mahiya: St Boniface College

    The people that inspire me the most are my wonderful parents who always encourage me to do my best and I set my benchmark for myself. I would like to also take the opportunity to extend my gratitude to my teachers and friends that helped me along the way.

    Ndeiwede Ndaamekele: St Boniface College

    Inspiration is everywhere. I believe my parents have always been my greatest inspiration and they helped me achieve greatness.

    Chika Sinvula: St Boniface College

    I am inspired by people who constantly work hard and make a difference, no matter how small it may seem.

    Ranolda Mpareke: St Boniface College

    I am very inspired by my parents because they never had a lot but they made a comfortable life for me, and for that I will always be grateful. If they could do it then everyone can.

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  • 01/14/19--14:00: Coffee price slump
  • Coffee price slump Coffee price slump Ethiopian farmers earn less than a cent a cup Lack of local value addition hits coffee farmers hard, despite high Western demand. Desalegn Demissie Head of the Shebedino cooperative development office “They were struggling as things were before, let alone now prices have gone down. We fear they could abandon the crop en masse." In the verdant southern highlands of Ethiopia, coffee farmer Gafeto Gardo is thinking about calling time on an industry that has sustained families for generations. Over the past year, the amount Gafeto gets for a kilogram of coffee beans has fallen a third to 8 birr, or just 29 US cents, reducing his income from a cappuccino sold in the West for US$3 to US$4, to under a cent.

    "We are now losing hope. We are not reaping as much as we should and I am worried this will have a huge impact," said Gafeto, flanked by labourers laying coffee cherries on jute mats in the rolling hills of Ethiopia's Shebedino district. "Coffee is our life here."

    Unlike producers of commodities such as oil and natural gas, coffee farmers have long suffered from being at the wrong end of the value chain - receiving only a small fraction of the retail price of their crop. Now, a slump in global coffee prices to their lowest in nearly 13 years in September is raising questions about whether it's worth growing beans at all in some of the traditional coffee heartlands of Central America, Colombia and Ethiopia.

    "It is labour intensive and costly. They were struggling as things were before, let alone now prices have gone down. We fear they could abandon the crop en masse," said Desalegn Demissie, head of the Shebedino cooperative development office.

    But at the other end of the chain, coffee has never been hotter. Millennials in the West who grew up with Starbucks drink lots, and have fuelled a proliferation of coffee shops and pricey innovations from cold brew to nitrogen coffee. The industry has also seen a wave of acquisitions as companies such as Nestle, JAB Holding and Coca-Cola spend billions to boost their market share.

    For struggling farmers, though, times are tough. Growers around the world have warned coffee company executives in the West of a growing "social catastrophe", unless they can help to raise farmers' incomes. In a letter last year to chief executives at companies such as Starbucks, Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE) and Nestle, a group representing growers in more than 30 countries said there was a risk farms would be abandoned, fuelling social and political unrest as well as more illegal migration.


    The main factor behind the latest slide in prices was a bumper coffee crop in Brazil, by far the world's biggest producer. The Brazilian harvest hit the price of Arabica beans traded in New York at the ICE Futures U.S. Exchange. On September 18, a kilogram of Arabica fell to just 95,10 US cents, a level not seen since December 2005 and less than a third of the peak in 2011. Four months later, the price is still hovering around a dollar a kilo.

    For Gafeto and the 4 500 other farmers in the cooperative he helped establish in Ethiopia, the fluctuations in financial markets in New York quickly feed through to prices at home. The internal market in Ethiopia is largely determined by daily auctions run by the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange but prices correlate closely with trends in global futures markets.

    One problem for Ethiopian farmers is that most of their coffee is exported in bulk as green, unroasted beans, with most of the processes that add the greatest value taking place afterwards in the countries that consume the coffee. "There hasn't been a really significant change in how coffee has been transported, purchased or produced in many decades. It has always just been extracted from the country," said Rob Terenzi, co-founder of Vega Coffee in the United States. -Nampa/Reuters

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    What can still be imported from SAWhat can still be imported from SA ELLANIE SMIT

    The agriculture ministry has provided detailed information to importers and the Namibian public on which animals and animal products may be imported following an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in South Africa.

    The ministry suspended imports and transit movement of cloven-hoofed animals and their products from South Africa on 8 January.

    This was done in accordance with the Animal Health Act.

    The disease was detected in the Vhembe District of the Limpopo Province in the FMD-free zone of South Africa and reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) on 7 January.

    South Africa’s FMD-free status was temporarily suspended.

    “Consequently any exports from South Africa where FMD-free zone attestation is required cannot be certified,” said Dr Albertina Shilongo, the ministry’s acting chief veterinary officer.

    Shilongo said all previously issued import and transit permits were cancelled.

    Providing details on the animals and animal products that cannot be imported into or transported through Namibia, she said these include live cloven-hoofed animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and antelope, as well as their fresh, frozen or uncooked products that originate from South Africa.

    Uncooked products of cloven-hoofed animals that are imported from other countries and processed in South Africa are also barred from Namibia.

    Uncooked meat products of cloven-hoofed animals for own consumption are also not permitted.

    Shilongo said certain animals and products can be imported into Namibia, provided they are accompanied by a valid Namibian veterinary import permit and veterinary health certificate.

    These include non-cloven-hoofed animals such as horses, donkeys, dogs, cats, zebra, lion, leopard, cheetah and crocodile, as well as the products of non-cloven-hoofed animals.

    Cooked processed meat products of cloven-hoofed animals may be imported, as well as dry biltong and heat-treated milk and milk products of cloven hooved animals.

    Dry salted and wet blue hides and skins, as well as fully processed karakul pelts and fully processed trophies, can also be imported.

    Imports of fresh, uncooked products of cloven-hooved animals from other countries via South Africa are still permitted. These include semen and embryos of cloven-hooved animals.

    Shilongo said commercial processed feed may be imported and hay from approved commercial facilities certified by the South African Veterinary Authority is also allowed.

    FMD is one of the most contagious diseases of cloven-hooved animals and is a disease of economic importance.

    Common clinical signs of the disease include salivation, not grazing, limping, reluctance to move, blisters and sores on the tongue, gums, nose, udder and on the feet of cloven-hooved animals.

    Shilongo said the significance of FMD is related to the ease with which the virus can spread. This can occur through infected animals newly introduced into a herd, carrying the virus in their saliva, milk or semen.

    FMD can also spread through contaminated pens or buildings or transport vehicles or materials such as hay feed, water, milk or biologics.

    The disease can also spread through contaminated clothing, footwear or equipment.

    Virus-infected meat or contaminated meat or other contaminated animal products, if fed to animals when raw or uncooked, can also cause FMD to spread.

    Animals that have recovered from infection may also carry the virus and initiate new outbreaks of the disease.

    FMD is not readily transmissible to humans and is not a public health risk.

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    Namibia still a ‘flawed democracy’Namibia still a ‘flawed democracy’ ELLANIE SMIT

    Namibia has been ranked as one of the top ten most democratic countries in sub-Saharan Africa, but was still labelled as having a “flawed democracy”.

    In the newly released Democracy Index 2018: Political Participation, Protest and Democracy, Namibia is ranked as the seventh most democratic country in sub-Saharan Africa and 69th globally among 167 countries worldwide.

    It obtained an overall score of 6.25, based on the country’s electoral process and pluralism, the functioning of the government, political participation, political culture and civil liberties.

    Namibia scored the highest in the civil liberties category (7.94) and for political participation (6.67).

    Its lowest scores were for electoral process and pluralism (5.67), political culture (5.63) and for a functioning government (5.36).

    Namibia’s overall score dropped from 6.31 in 2017 to 6.25 last year. The country obtained its best score in 2006 (6.54), but since then its score has steadily decreased.

    Mauritius topped the index in the sub-Saharan Africa region, followed by Cabo Verde, Botswana, South Africa, Lesotho and Ghana.

    Mauritius is also the only country in the region that was categorised as having a full democracy.

    The poorest-performing country in the region was Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which had an “authoritarian democracy”.

    The report said the state of democracy in sub-Saharan Africa has remained poor over the years.

    “A concentration of authoritarian regimes continues to characterise the region, which contains seven of the 15 lowest ranked countries in the world. Although the regional average score in the index improved marginally in 2018 to 4.36 (up from 4.35 in 2017), developments across the region were decidedly mixed, with a relatively small number of significant improvements offsetting a wider trend of stagnation or deterioration across much of the continent,” the report said.

    Only 12 out of the 44 countries in the region recorded any improvement in their overall score, nine worsened, and around half of the countries were unchanged.

    According to the report there has, however, been a notable improvement in political participation in the region over the past five years, as elections have become more commonplace.

    In 2018 the region’s average score for the category improved to 4.37 - up from 4.32 in 2017.

    Meanwhile, the score for electoral process weakened slightly to 4.30 in 2018 - down from 4.31 in 2017.

    “Although elections have become commonplace across much of the region, the regional score for electoral processes has been persistently low, reflecting a lack of genuine pluralism in most countries. This is also reflected in the fact that around 18 African presidents have been in power for over a decade, some of them since their countries gained independence.”

    The regional score for political culture, which assesses the population’s perceptions of democracy, deteriorated to 5.24 in 2018 - from 5.27 in 2017.

    The region’s average score for civil liberties also remained poor, relative to global standards, weighed down by continued attacks on the media and on freedom of expression by governments in several countries.

    However, the region’s average score for civil liberties actually improved marginally in 2018, to an average of 4.51 - up from 4.5 in 2017.

    According to the report, a global comparison suggests that sub-Saharan Africa remains a long way off from other regions in terms of the advancement of democracy.

    Globally, Norway was ranked as the most democratic country in the world, while North Korea was ranked as the least democratic.

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    Swapo ‘nervous’ about LPMSwapo ‘nervous’ about LPMDelay in registration raises eyebrows The LPM’s registration as a political party hit a snag after Swapo parliamentarian Veikko Nekundi objected to the list of names attached to the application. OGONE TLHAGE

    Political commentator Ndumba Kamwanyah says he is taken aback by Swapo parliamentarian and deputy public enterprises minister Veikko Nekundi’s opposition to the Landless People’s Movement’s registration as a political party.

    “It is strange to see Nekundi launch a public objection to the registration, making him, and by extension Swapo, look like they are afraid that the new party will do electoral damage to Swapo.

    “Perhaps, the reality that the LPM membership seems to be drawn from Swapo is what's making some people in the party nervous,” Kamwanyah said.

    The LPM said yesterday it was undeterred by efforts to have its official registration as a political party stopped, and is determined to see out the process, even if it means that it will take it longer to register.

    LPM spokesperson Utaara Mootu said her party was willing to work in close collaboration with the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) to ensure that its registration would not be a problem.

    “We intend to work more closely with the ECN. We will meet up after 14 days with the ECN to discuss our party’s registration, where we will determine what the way forward is,” Mootu said.

    “We are waiting for the ECN, even if it will take us six months to register, we will continue with our activities of mobilising support.”

    According to her, the LPM welcomes the objections and sees them as sign of the growth of democracy.

    “We are not objecting to anything,” Mootu said.

    She added that if there were problems with names the LPM had added to a list it submitted to the ECN last year, it was happy to drum up support from other members of the public.

    The LPM’s registration hit a snag when Nekundi alleged there were problems with the names added to LPM’s list of supporters. Among them was allegedly someone who died in May 2018. According to Nekundi, who has officially objected to the ECN, he has a death certificate to prove this.

    Nekundi added that the name of the deceased person was altered on the list, and that wants the LPM to comply with the law.

    ECN chief electoral officer Theo Mujoro was quoted as saying that he would look into the claims.

    He added that when they received the LPM's submission, they checked if the names listed were of genuinely registered voters.

    Mujoro said they would also scrutinise the objections they received on Saturday and ascertain all the facts before they inform the public if there are any duplications, and if yes, how many.

    He also said a dead person's name could have included on the list.

    “Someone could have died after signing. It can't be helped,” Mujoro added.

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    Taking stock of the festive seasonTaking stock of the festive season Octavia Tsibes

    I am not one that gets overexcited about the festive season, but last year seemed to be different.

    The year 2018 was a challenging, yet joyous, in the same breath. I have experienced a few disappointments, but also a number of triumphs worth celebrating.

    In the 12 months of 2018, I have seen how quickly situations can change and how people’s feelings change as well.

    For one, I have learned that people can take advantage of you once you show them how reliable and kind-hearted you can be. I experienced this first-hand after reading about and listening to people’s experiences. It is not the best of feelings, but I am glad I have experienced it. It has made me wiser and I would not say I have “learned my lesson”, but I am more aware of the different kinds of people you get to meet in life.

    Another reason why I was excited about the festive season, was the opportunity to finally relax and unwind with my loved ones. The past two years pretty much evolved around the serious things of life. I did not go out as much, and when I did go out, I tried to be as antisocial as possible. However, during the past festive season, I aimed to change that and I tried to be more open to invites from friends as well. The thing is, one is tired the following day and that is what honestly demotivates me from going out.

    I tried my best to be as social as possible, but I had days where I just wanted to be alone and not mingle with anyone.

    The same way we were excited about the warm days and long nights, we should also be vigilant and take care of each other. Make sure that before and after you have a good time, you take care of yourself and take the necessary safety precautions. These safety precautions should be take care of you mentally and physically.

    The mental safety precautions include not comparing yourself to anyone during the festive season and beyond. You are you and you should always embrace that. It is during the festive season that insecurities are heightened and you become more aware of what you are lacking and not packing. This should not be the case for future holidays, and always keep in mind that you have your own life to figure out, and you should not be worry about little things such as looks. Another mental safety precaution I took this past festive season was being aware of the games the opposite (or same sex) can play. Relationships are mostly casual during the festive period and you should be attentive not give 100%, while someone else only gives 50%. This is not to say that you should not consider people’s feelings at all, but try your best not to give your heart to someone, especially when you do not know their intentions.

    Also, try your best not to lose focus in terms of the bigger picture. It is easy to get caught up in the hype and not remember that you have bills to pay and much more important things to focus on, rather just mingling with friends. You still have your life to live, but do not forget to take care of the bigger and better things in life, such as job and business opportunities, and your priorities such as getting your licence or ticking off your remaining resolutions.

    Now for the physical safety precautions. In December, we commemorated World Aids Day and it is never too exhaustive to inform young people about the importance of knowing their HIV status. Be on the lookout for this and always make sure you play it safe; not only in December, but all day, every day!


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    Congo vote leaves uncertainty for minersCongo vote leaves uncertainty for minersMultinationals fear volatile period ahead Demand for Congo’s cobalt set to increase 60% by 2025. Unnamed Congo mining operator "It could be that, as a mining sector, we're worse off than when we were under Kabila." Joe Bavier

    The surprise outcome of Congo's election - a vote meant to bring closure to years of turmoil under President Joseph Kabila - has done little to ease uncertainty for miners and investors in a country crucial to the electric vehicle revolution.

    Democratic Republic of Congo is the world's leading miner of cobalt, a mineral used in electric car batteries which has seen a surge in demand in recent years, with mines run by firms including Glencore and China Molybdenum.

    Opposition candidate Felix Tshisekedi, an unknown quantity for mining executives, was declared the winner of last month's chaotic vote on Thursday, defeating Kabila's chosen successor, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary.

    The stakes for mining firms are high. In a study last year, McKinsey forecast a 60% increase in demand for cobalt by 2025, and cited uncertainty in Congolese government policy as one of the major risks to supply.

    "It could be that, as a mining sector, we're worse off than when we were under Kabila," said one mining operator, who asked not to be identified. "There may be some improvements, but we're not counting on it."

    Tshisekedi's supporters hailed the election result as the end of nearly two decades of corrupt rule under Kabila. But the outcome has quickly come under question, and the extent to which Kabila will continue to wield influence over the economy through sprawling patronage networks remains unclear.

    "It's going to be an extremely volatile period," said Jason Stearns, director of New York University’s Congo Research Group. "If I were a savvy investor, I'd look at Congo and just step back for six months."

    Tshisekedi has little political track record for investors to judge.

    Few companies had expected him to win, one industry source said, and had focused attention on Martin Fayulu, another opposition leader and ally of the former governor of Congo’s mining region, Moise Katumbi. They fear that strategy could now hurt relations with the new president, the source said.

    Tshisekedi's party, the Union for Democracy and Social Progress, has historically favoured an important state role in mining and opposed the privatisation of state assets. But in what appeared an olive branch to mining firms, Tshisekedi said on the campaign trail that he would take a second look at a new mining code introduced last year.

    Relations between miners and the government hit a nadir over the code, signed into law in March, which raised royalty rates across the board. But even under Tshisekedi, the prospect of a rethink is slim, said Elisabeth Caesens, director of Resource Matters, which advocates for better natural resource governance.

    "Increasing taxes on multinationals was way too popular a move to easily turn back," she said.


    Five mining executives contacted by Reuters said they were not yet operating on the assumption that Tshisekedi's win would be validated by the Kabila-appointed Constitutional Court and expected the outgoing president to fight to keep his stranglehold on the sector. None wanted to speak on the record.

    Companies could find themselves caught in the crossfire of turf wars over ministry jobs and positions in the bureaucracy, not knowing who is really in charge.

    "There are always people you have to sway if you want a contract or a mining permit," Stearns said. "At the top, these are Kabila's people. That's now going to be in a state of flux that, I think, is going to last months."

    Even if Tshisekedi's win is validated, Kabila's influence is unlikely to disappear.

    Supporters of Fayulu, who was declared runner-up, allege Tshisekedi's victory grew from a backroom power-sharing deal struck with Kabila and are challenging the result in court.

    Tshisekedi and Kabila’s camps deny any such deal.

    A Catholic Church observer mission concluded Fayulu was the clear victor, diplomats briefed on its findings said. Belgium and France also questioned the result.

    Kabila's allies retain a parliamentary majority, and with it the right to name the prime minister, according to results announced on Saturday, making it unclear who will control key posts. While the president formally appoints ministers, those names are proposed by the prime minister.

    "You wield power in Congo via the power of appointment, and what I'll be looking at is who gets put where," said Gregory Mthembu-Salter, a former U.N. sanctions monitor in Congo who now heads Phuzumoya Consulting, which advises on due diligence and supply chains.


    Despite the political uncertainty, Congo's mineral wealth remains a draw for mining firms. As well as its cobalt reserves, it is Africa's biggest copper producer and also mines gold and diamonds.

    A day after the election results were announced, companies announced two mining transactions which could help bring concessions into production.

    Australia’s Vector Resources acquired a 60% stake in the Adidi-Kanga Gold project in Ituri province. And AIM-listed Armadale Capital sold its Mpokoto gold project to Arrow Mining and African Royalty.

    A source involved in the Adidi-Kanga transaction said that government approvals for the deal were secured long before the election. Communications consultants for Armadale said work on the Mpokoto deal began in 2016.

    Tshisekedi will need a functioning mining sector to raise revenues and, importantly, ensure the army is paid. Clawing revenue streams back from Kabila's patronage networks would help consolidate his position, as would improving governance to help attract new investors.

    Under Kabila, Congo lost at least US$1.36 billion in potential revenues from 2010-2012 alone due to cut-price asset sales to offshore companies, according to a panel led by former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan. Campaigners say the trend has continued.

    A review of the most controversial deals of the past decades could also help Tshisekedi prove to the Congolese people that he's his own man, analysts said.

    "Maybe Tshisekedi will set out and try to clean things up," said Ryan Cummings, director of business intelligence firm Signal Risk. "But I'm not sure I'd put any money on it." - Nampa/Reuters

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    Get ready for the silly seasonGet ready for the silly season The year 2019 is a significant one for our country and it certainly looks like the silly season, normally associated with elections, is soon to be upon us.

    Towards the end of the year, Namibia will be holding its National Assembly and presidential elections, with the ruling party Swapo once again expected to win by a landslide. In the last general elections in 2014, Swapo presidential candidate Hage Geingob received an overwhelming 87% of the vote, while the ruling party scored about 80% in the National Assembly elections, which amounted to 712 026 votes. As for the 2019 general elections, the race for the top office in the country will begin in earnest as soon as the Electoral Commission of Namibia declares the campaign period open.

    Obviously a thorough voter-education process by the ECN, political parties as well as stakeholders such as the media and civic society will first have to be conducted to guard against high levels of voter apathy. It must be said that elections are the cornerstone of democratic governance and the political stability of any nation.

    We have very few cases of disputed polls in our country, compared to other African nations where elections are at risk of violence.

    However, we lack a real battle of ideas in our political dispensation, especially at a time when the ruling party has become somewhat too comfortable in the face of widespread corruption and injustices being meted out to ordinary citizens. Analysts have also warned that there is no serious attention given to job-creation, public healthcare and education, among other priority areas.

    Ordinary people expect leaders from all political entities to engage in issue-based politics. There must be a serious battle of ideas, including the need for greater openness and accountability on the part of the government of the day.

    This campaign period also calls for our highest level of tolerance and civility. The battle of ideas and effective service delivery is what matters, at the end of the day.

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    Climate change brings hardshipClimate change brings hardshipSmart farming required Namibia is already unable to produce enough food for its people, the environment ministry warns. Environment ministry spokesperson Romeo Muyunda has urged Namibians to be wary of the effects of climate change and not regard them as farfetched and unrealistic, as the country is already being affected.

    He encouraged farmers to adopt smart agricultural methods, saying the country was experiencing extended drought as a result of climate change.

    Muyunda told Namibian Sun that Namibia was facing devastating climate change, which was hampering the development of the country and affecting people's livelihoods.

    “The change in rainfall patterns and the hot weather we are currently experiencing are the results of climate change. We are now receiving very little rainfall and too much heat all over the country,” Muyunda said.

    “Researchers have informed us that temperatures in Namibia have been rising at three times the global average, while rainfall has been lower in recent years and is characterised by short durations and high intensity rainstorms, and these are all effects of climate change.”

    January is usually a green month, during which many farmers prepare their land for cultivation and livestock grazing.

    However, most parts of the country remain dry and livestock are going hungry.

    In 2011 the government adopted a national policy on climate change, aimed at managing climate change responses in a way that recognises the country's national developmental goals and promotes the integration and coordination of programmes by various sector organisations, so that benefits are maximised and negative impacts minimised.

    In order to achieve this, the government implemented adaptation measures to reduce the vulnerability of the population to the impacts of climate change, by enhancing their adaptive capacity while pursuing sustainable development.

    Muyunda encouraged all institutions in Namibia to implement such adaptation measures.

    He said the change in climatic conditions resulted in food and water insecurity.

    He said the agricultural sector was unable to boost food production, which was a major threat to household food security.

    “The country is unable to produce enough food to meet the population's needs. The majority of our people in rural areas depend on small-scale farming for their livelihoods.

    With the very little rain and prevailing drought conditions production is affected.

    “A number of Namibians are adversely affected by the current insecurity and rely on the government for assistance. This is starting to negatively affect the country, with the rising cost of imported foodstuffs,” Muyunda said.

    He said with the increased pace of industrialisation and the decline in rainfall, Namibia is already facing acute water shortages, and this is likely to worsen over the coming years, if rain patterns do not improve.

    “The ministry is committed to reducing the country's greenhouse gas emissions by 89% by 2030, as indicated in the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) document submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2015. We are running a number of initiatives to address the effects of climate change in the country.

    “It should be noted that climate change is to a large extent caused by human activities such as deforestation, the burning of fossil fuels, the clearing of land for agriculture, industry and other human activities, which have increased concentrations of greenhouse gases,” Muyunda added.


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