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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

older | 1 | .... | 939 | 940 | (Page 941) | 942 | 943 | .... | 1152 | newer

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  • 01/24/19--14:00: Fine man, fine tunes
  • Fine man, fine tunesFine man, fine tunesRonaldo the violinist is changing the music industry Having been introduced to the violin and learning to play it for free, Ronaldo Kandume is ready to give back in the same way he received. Ronaldo Kandume is ready to take the Namibian music industry by storm - with his violin.

    The youngster, who is no stranger to the airwaves, has established himself as a flourishing violin soloist and has so far featured on various singles.

    He has not only shared the stage with prominent artists, but also performed live, solo. Being one of the youngest commercial violinists in Namibia since last year, the 21-year-old Kandume has already had his fair share of the industry, but despite the ups and downs, he still plans on sticking around a little longer.

    Inspired by saxophonist Suzy Eises, Kandume's passion for the violin sprung up when in 2009 at the Tsumeb Arts Performance Centre he and a friend walked past and heard someone playing the instrument.

    “My sister also played instruments but I didn't bother with them then, I was around eight years old.

    My friend and I decided to go and check the school out and immediately when I heard the violin something just happened to me. I asked to start playing that day but I had to sign up first. The following day I was back there to begin my classes, and the rest is history,” he said.

    Kandume says there was a lack of teachers and he learned most of what he knows today by himself with the help of volunteers, as the majority of the teachers are based in Windhoek at the College of the Arts. These volunteers played a big role in his career and he managed to go to Switzerland.

    “That trip was an eye-opener. Things that side are different. We are really behind the rest of the world in terms of development. I remember people there are able to play seven hours straight and I honestly couldn't. The trip was amazing and it taught me a lot of discipline,” he said.

    Having finished high school in 2016, Kandume came to Windhoek to further his studies in information technology and his other love, the violin. He remembers the year being dry in terms of getting gigs but that didn't break his spirit.

    “I was still very up-and-coming and I got very few jobs. Last year things started looking up for me and business started booming. There were times I had to cancel gigs because they just became too much. I started doing short videos and that's how word got around about me,” he said.

    Kandume has so far worked with artists such as Jeiyo on his song Alone and he also performed with other artists such as Gazza and Nasty C. The violinist says he also had the pleasure to play for President Hage Geingob at his private residence a couple of times.

    “So far I play covers. I have no original work yet but I plan on releasing an EP (extended project) to test the waters before I work on an album. I want to meet other violinists from across the world just to broaden my skillset before I do my own work,” he said.

    Kandume says the perception of parents and the general public regarding the instrument has changed over the years and more people are opening up to it. But, he adds that government needs to step in to provide a learning environment.

    “I have so many parents who call me to teach their children but due to too many commitments now I can't. So far we have few schools who are teaching primary school learners the instrument but we need more and we need to go into the regions too,” he said.

    Challenges he faces include the lack of workshops to repair instruments and the lack of teachers across the country. Kandume however remains hopeful that things will get better and more people will be inspired to join him and Suzy Eises as commercial instrumentalists.

    “I am studying because one needs a backup plan in case one of the two fails. I plan on really pushing this. My mother supports me fully even though it took a while for her to come on board. Today I'm able to help out with paying bills,” he said.



    June Shimuoshili

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  • 01/24/19--14:00: Youth desperate for jobs
  • Youth desperate for jobsYouth desperate for jobsIdleness leads to social problems Young people at the village of Dordabis are “throwing their lives away” because there is no economic activity. Young people at Dordabis say the lack of employment and recreational facilities at the village is the main contributor to violence and alcohol abuse.

    Located 80 kilometres east of Windhoek, the village has about 2 500 inhabitants, many of them young people who struggle to find employment. At a community meeting at the village's community hall on Tuesday, the youth voiced concerns that being unemployed in some cases leads to them breaking the law.

    Ricardo Garobeb, 26, told Nampa he rents a corrugated iron shack and relies on handouts from friends and relatives to pay his rent and buy food.

    “I use electricity, but most of the time I can't afford to buy it. So I have to trespass on private property like nearby farms and steal wood to make fire,” he said.

    Garobeb called on the government to help the community with employment opportunities.

    Another resident, Fredrika Gomagas said residents have been suffering since independence.

    “The youth have nothing to do and end up in jail while in some instances girls who are young and still in school or unemployed end up pregnant,” she said.

    She explained that some teenage pregnancies were a result of girls looking for money from older men in order to meet their basic needs.

    “I am pleading with the government to do something for the community of Dordabis. No development is taking place and nothing is happening. Our young people are throwing their lives away,” Gomagas said.

    The Dordabis Primary School and the local clinic and police station are currently the biggest employers at the village.

    Speaking to Nampa on Tuesday, Dordabis community leader Isack Ockhuizen said since he became involved with matters concerning the community unemployment has always been its biggest challenge.

    “Almost 90 percent of the people who are able to work do not work because they have no opportunities and the majority of that percentages includes the youth,” he said.

    Some of the youth depend on the N$1 250 monthly pension grant their parents receive to support them.

    “It's an obstacle the community of Dordabis has to overcome,” Ockhuizen said.

    -Nampa

    CHELVA WELLS

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  • 01/24/19--14:00: Stop fake news, govt urges
  • Stop fake news, govt urgesStop fake news, govt urges The ministry of information and communication technology says a recent message circulated on WhatsApp, warning of a purported introduction of stringent controls on social media use, is false and should not be perpetuated.

    The message appears to be a screenshot of an NBC broadcast warning of an alleged “network monitoring system” to be introduced by the Namibian government and operated by an Italian firm.

    It alleges that the government has passed a new regulation that will monitor and record people's cellphone and social media activities.

    The ministry's acting executive director, Tjiuai Kaambo, says the ministry has not passed any new regulation and is not in possession of a system that has links to the public's cellphones.

    She says the ministry does not monitor phone calls or social media activities of citizens either.

    Kaambo urged the public to be cautious of such “fake news” messages created by people “whose agenda is to create fear and destabilise peace among the public”.

    Kaambo said the ministry would ensure that government announcements are communicated to the public in an official manner through all communication platforms.

    She urged members of the public to stop circulating fake news, “as it is misleading the public”.

    Kaambo said the public should avoid using social media platforms as a “battleground for political character assassination, discrimination, racism, sexism, tribalism, and any other evil deeds to destabilise the peace and stability of the Namibian House”.

    “We only have one common heritage, which we guard jealously, and that is Namibia. Let us not play with the name and image of our country. Let our country remain the treasure for all of us at all times,” Kaambo advised.

    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 01/24/19--14:00: Inmate sues for N$4.5m
  • Inmate sues for N$4.5mInmate sues for N$4.5m Prison scuffle leads to lawsuit A brief early-morning scuffle between a Windhoek prison inmate and a warden has led to a N$4.5 million lawsuit against the prison authorities.

    Ricardo Kruger (27) initiated the lawsuit against the Namibian Correctional Service one year ago on the basis of claims that he was beaten and kicked by prison officers after he had assaulted a prison official who was trying to wake him while he was allegedly ill.

    The particulars of claim outlining his allegations arising from the 19 February 2017 incident accuse prison officials of causing him to suffer physical and mental shock, pain, and that he was subjected to inhumane and cruel treatment.

    Further, that the loss of more than three teeth resulting from an alleged kicking by at least two officers has led to lifelong difficulty eating.

    He also claims he was denied proper and speedy medical care following the incident.

    The minister of safety and security, the commissioner-general and the officer in charge of the prison, who were cited as respondents in the matter, denied the allegations and countered Kruger's allegations with their own version that the scuffle started after Kruger hit an officer in the face, which ultimately resulted in putting several officers in a dangerous position as prison inmates flocked to the scene and intervened.

    In the plea filed by the respondents, they claim that Kruger ignored his name being called by a prison official during a routine morning head-count.

    When the officer executed his duty by inspecting the bed and taking off the bedding to see if Kruger was in bed, Kruger allegedly “aggressively jumped off the bed and proceeded to assault [the officer] with a clenched fist by hitting him in the face, whereupon the officer fell to the ground as a result.”

    This in turn resulted in a “brief scuffle” after colleagues of the officer “rushed to intervene and assist in warding off the assault”, which threatened their physical safety, the plea claims.

    Then, other inmates reacted “with a display of riotous conduct by physically blocking and/or restricting the movements of the members of the Correctional Services in the performance of their duty to maintain order, thereby causing the scuffle referred to above.”

    Eventually, the officers “rushed” from the cell and alerted senior personnel.

    Inmates involved in the incident were called in for questioning and Kruger was taken to hospital, according to the plea papers.



    Cruel

    Kruger, however, offered a different version in his particulars of claim, alleging that he was “sleeping sick in his bed” when a prison officer identified in the papers as “Sergeant David” manhandled him when he refused to get up.

    He claims the officer knew Kruger was ill but roughly pulled the blankets from the bed and threw them to the floor.

    He admits that he then got up and “beat/hit Sergeant David in the face which caused Sergeant to fall.”

    Kruger recounts in the papers that another prison official saw the scuffle and entered the cell and started beating Kruger.

    Other inmates near the scene, according to Kruger, “asked the officers why are they assaulting the plaintiff rather than taking him to the hospital.”

    Kruger's version to the court is that the officers then left the cell but returned with more officers a short while later, handcuffed him and took him to another office, where two of the officers assaulted him, by kicking him while he was lying on the ground.

    This allegedly led to the loss of three teeth.

    He also claims he was threatened to be put into “the single isolation cells” as punishment.

    He states when they officers spotted blood pouring from his mouth, they stopped the assault.

    He was taken to a senior officer then and asked to be taken to a hospital, but was “refused outright” by other officers on the scene.

    In the particulars of claim, Kruger alleges that he never received medical attention “despite being injured wrongfully and unlawfully by a member of the Namibian Correctional Service”.

    The three defendants in the case deny that Kruger was not taken to a hospital.

    Alongside their plea, a copy of a medical report from a doctor on duty at hospital on the day of the incident, the doctor observed a “laceration on forehead” and that he complained of a toothache and a loose tooth.

    Dr Innocent Zulu, whose witness statement on behalf of the defendants has been filed, said the laceration was treated with a Betadine solution and Kruger was prescribed pain medication.

    The doctor further notes that by reviewing the available notes on the medical passport is likely that no dental emergency was present as it is common practice to refer a patient with mouth trauma or oral bleeding to a dentist, which was not the case.

    This week, a joint pre-trial report filed at the Windhoek High Court, the court was informed that Kruger intends to testify on his own behalf, and has called three supporting witnesses.

    The correctional services intend to bring numerous witnesses to trial, including the doctor who attended to Kruger and several correctional services officers.

    Kruger has to date acted on his own behalf in the case, while Sylvia Kahengombe is acting on behalf of the government.

    Judge Boas Usiku is presiding.

    JANA-MARI SMITH

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  • 01/24/19--14:00: World weeps for Tuku
  • World weeps for TukuWorld weeps for Tuku One of the Africa's most revered musicians, Oliver 'Tuku' Mtukudzi's voice has gone quiet at a time when his motherland Zimbabwe needs it most.

    The iconic Afro-jazz artist passed away on Wednesday at the age of 66, leaving behind 66 albums.

    Tuku, as he was fondly known as, used his music to give hope and comfort to the people of Zimbabwe and the world.

    This was especially true for Zimbabweans during the long bitter years that still seem to have no end, despite Robert Mugabe being removed as president in November 2017.

    Jazz enthusiast Dr Kagiso Moloi remembers Mtukudzi as a vibrant performer.

    Moloi had witnessed Mtukudzi performing at the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz and Cape Town International Jazz festivals.

    Guitarist and veteran New Era newspaper journalist Carlos Kambaekwa said he was gutted by the news of Mtukudzi's passing.

    “A musical icon has gone while at the pinnacle of his musical career. His passing is a great loss to the music industry, not only that of Africa, but the entire world. He was a rare breed, a great guitarist with a velvet voice. May his soul rest in peace,” he said.

    Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) leader McHenry Venaani said Zimbabwe, Africa and the international community is poorer because of Mtukudzi's passing.

    “He shall forever remain a symbol of African greatness and joins the pantheon of those who struggled and triumphed amid immense challenges. He has passed on leaving a legacy that is in many respects unmatched. His music will continue to inspire the generations that follow.”

    Mtukudzi was appointed UNICEF Regional Goodwill Ambassador for Eastern and Southern Africa in 2011. He focused on youth development and HIV/Aids prevention.

    He was also a champion of ending child marriage. Former South African president Jacob Zuma tweeted that Mtukudzi's music carried them through some of the darkest and happiest times.

    “It has also united us across borders,” he said.

    Namibian musician Ras Sheehama paid tribute to “a legend and icon”.

    “He was too good for this world. His death is truly a great loss for all of us; for Zimbabwean music, southern Africa and the world. He was an international icon. We put him in the shoes of Hugh Masekela. They were the legends of our time,” he said.

    Africans found comfort in Mtukudzi's lyrics, which often carried messages about the scourge of HIV/Aids and had political undertones.

    In 2001 his hit song Wasakara, meaning “You Are Too Old”, was banned as it was seen as a reference to now ousted Zimbabwean leader Mugabe.

    June Shimuoshili

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  • 01/24/19--14:00: There must be consequences
  • There must be consequencesThere must be consequences Government offices, ministries and agencies continue to show weaknesses as far as good governance is concerned.

    Reading through various reports compiled by the office of the auditor-general confirms the assertion that proper internal controls and recordkeeping is in shambles in the public sector. Many town councils and municipalities as well as regional councils are also failing to implement basic accounting systems, leading to a significant number of qualified audit opinions. The situation is even worse at some state-owned enterprises which have seen some not complying with public accounts procedure manuals such as the submission of annual financial statements. In a recent interview with Namibian Sun, public enterprises minister Leon Jooste made an impassioned appeal to SOEs to table their results for scrutiny. It appears that some haven't published their financial results in years. This is clearly not encouraging and raises concerns about the sheer lack of accountability in the workplace, exacerbated by a lack of a decisive leadership. It is sad that key ministries such as health, education, agriculture, works, defence as well as information are still unable to come up with clean audit opinions to this day. According to a report launched by auditor-general Junias Kandjeke in Windhoek this week, the six ministries have failed to fully explain their spending over a period of four years or so. The auditors have unearthed a number of inconsistencies in the financial dealings of many government ministries, agencies and offices, with millions unaccounted for or squandered. The primary responsibility of public officials is to serve the interests of ordinary citizens, first and foremost. Ordinary citizens have the right to demand fiscal accountability; they also have the right to know how their hard-earned money is being spent by those elected into power. We are a country faced with many problems at the moment and we can ill-afford to be merciless and reckless with taxpayers' money. Clearly, the authorities must see to it that there are consequences for mismanagement and non-performance.

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  • 01/24/19--14:00: EVMs 'a threat'
  • EVMs 'a threat'EVMs 'a threat'Opposition adamant Indian voting machines can be rigged EVMs have been a contentious issue for years and opposition parties feel there has been no credible election since their introduction. Opposition parties are adamant that the electronic voting machines (EVMs), which are being used in Namibia without a verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) can be manipulated and should be discarded completely.

    They also want a return to the good old days of ballot papers if VVPAT is not added.

    The issue of EVMs have been a contentious one for years and some parties feel there has been no credible election since their introduction in 2014, when Hage Geingob swept to an 86.73% victory in the presidential election and Swapo garnered 80.01% of the vote.

    Republican Party (RP) president Henk Mudge said the VVPAT means nothing.

    “We want credible elections and the EVMs are a threat to that. There is no reason why we cannot have the ballot papers back,” he said.

    He rejected the Electoral Commission of Namibia's stance that the EVMs improved the voting process.

    “It took them a week to verify the results with the EVMs (in 2014), the same time it took with the ballot papers,” said Mudge.

    He added that the RP has consulted with other opposition parties and they will, as a collective, make a submission to the ECN on what they think of the EVMs.

    The Workers Revolutionary Party (WRP) political secretary Hewat Beukes believes the first issue with the Indian EVMs is the question of sovereignty.

    According to Beukes as long as Indian technicians, to the exclusion of Namibian technicians, electronic engineers and scientists, have insight into the EVMs and are operating them exclusively, there can be no talk of Namibian sovereignty.







    “This has already been compromised fatally.





    Foreign technology is bought with know-how.

    It is absurd to allow foreigners to operate national technology,” he said.

    He added the WRP's second view is that scientific proof exists that the EVMs can be manipulated by extraneous technology such as cellphones and by programming.

    “In addition, Indian technicians were sitting in polling stations working on their cellphones. The very fact that Swapo does not wish to resort to verifiable ballot papers is a clear indication of their intention to rig elections at any costs. The use of EVMs for such a low number of voters is absurd. Ballot papers should be faster.”

    All People's Party (APP) secretary-general Vincent Kanyetu said his party does not support the EVMs in their current form.

    According to him they are ready to return to the use of ballot papers.

    “We have lost all our trust in the EVMs and the ECN,” said Kanyetu.

    Political commentator Charles Mubita said the EVMs are an unreliable system.

    “A system that raises a lot of issues cannot be relied on. There is a reason why many countries in Europe such as Germany have banned the EVMs, even India. And it creates doubt, but not only with the political opposition, but every participant, even Swapo. The EVMs can even be manipulated by an election officer sent by an opposition party,” he said.

    Mubita emphasised there is a need for consensus among all stakeholders on what the best option is.



    “The ECN needs to realise that democracy is an expensive exercise. This country's freedom was paid for with blood. We must spend whatever we can to guarantee our democracy. And to guarantee the security of our democracy,” said Mubita.



    The ECN has revealed that it will cost Namibia N$160 million to acquire VVPAT functionality for the country's EVMs.



    Social commentator Fredericko Links said it is important that the ECN sort out the controversies and suspicions created by the EVMs.



    “And there doesn't seem to be any urgency to address these concerns or how to increase the credibility of our elections,” he said.



    The opposition have blamed Swapo's massive recent election victories on the EVMs.



    The ruling party currently boasts 77 seats in the National Assembly out of the 96 directly elected during the 2014 elections, while a mere 19 seats are shared among the opposition.



    ECN chief electoral officer Theo Mujoro maintains that the EVMs have served Namibia well, despite an increasing demand for the VVPAT functionality to be added.



    “Should Namibia want to go the DRC option then there is a price tag for that. I think it could be more than N$160 million,” Mujoro said during a recent interview.



    “There is the DRC voting technology and there is the VVPAT that we could get from India. Right now it is not possible, because India is holding its Lok Sabha elections in May.



    “The manufacturer of the EVMs and the VVPATS for the Indian Electoral Commission is commissioned to manufacturer solely for the Indian electoral commissions. They cannot at this time do jobs for any other country.”

    JEMIMA BEUKES

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  • 01/24/19--14:00: U-turn on mahangu
  • U-turn on mahanguU-turn on mahangu In a dramatic move, the agriculture ministry this week invited farmers with surplus mahangu to report to their nearest silos so that the government can purchase their grain.

    This follows an investigation by Namibian Sun that laid bare why the Agro-Marketing and Trade Agency (AMTA) could not purchase the surplus from small-scale farmers last year. Namibian Sun uncovered that the agriculture ministry had apparently used the funds meant to buy mahangu from small-scale farmers to procure tractors for its dryland crop production programme.

    The ministry procured 50 tractors to the value of N$21.7 million.

    This is despite the ministry already having 132 tractors for the project.

    A source told Namibian Sun that the ministry diverted the money last year, despite the fact that the country is experiencing drought.

    The aim of the dryland project is to increase food production and enhance household food security, thereby reducing the vulnerability of households to poverty. It aims to assist farmers to produce enough food for their families and also enables them to sell their surplus grain.





    Although private buyers show an interest in buying maize, AMTA is the only formal market for small-scale northern mahangu producers.

    Since the beginning of June last year, many mahangu producers in the north have flocked to AMTA to sell their surplus, but they were turned away because the trading agency did not have funds to buy their grain.

    On Wednesday the agriculture ministry executive director Percy Misika announced that AMTA will procure the surplus mahangu.

    He said the white maize and mahangu procurement programme normally runs from May to October every year.

    However, according to ministry's Crop Prospects and Food Security Situation Report for July 2018, the production of white maize was estimated at 59 000 metric tonnes (MT) of which 55 656 MT was marketed.

    In the case of mahangu, the total production was estimated at 83 500 MT of which about 3 600 MT was registered for formal marketing and to date only 1 361.59 MT had been marketed. This leaves a balance of 2 200 MT of mahangu unmarketed.

    “In order to assist surplus mahangu producers to market their grain, the ministry through AMTA and the Namibian Agronomic Board (NAB) decided to implement the following measures with immediate effect: AMTA will procure the available surplus mahangu grain, while the NAB will close the borders for the importation of mahangu until all the available surplus mahangu is marketed,” Misika said.

    He said AMTA will notify all traders and importers of mahangu into Namibia that the country's borders will be closed for the importation of mahangu until further notice.

    Neither the ministry nor AMTA said where the money would come from to purchase the mahangu.

    Questions sent to the ministry regarding the diversion of the N$21 million last year were not answered. The ministry instead chose to release a statement that did not deal with Namibian Sun's enquiries.

    The ministry had been explicitly asked whether the money used to procure the 50 tractors had been diverted from the mahangu procurement scheme.

    It had also been asked why it opted to buy tractors and not the mahangu from the producers and what the farmers were supposed to do.

    Award-winning mahangu farmer Samuel Nepunda was among those left in the doldrums after being told that the government would not be buying his mahangu.

    Nepunda, who had an initial surplus of 1 800 bags, confirmed on Monday that AMTA had bought 100 bags from him.



    Hardship

    AMTA's failure to purchase last year's surplus crop has led to widespread frustration and hardship for farmers who had become used to the agency buying their surplus over the years.

    AMTA bought 240 tonnes of mahangu in 2011, 742 tonnes in 2011, 504 tonnes in 2012, 175 tonnes in 2013, 486 tonnes in 2014, 61 tonnes in 2015 and 1 500 tonnes in 2017.

    The 50 tractors purchased with the diverted funds were bought through Windhoeker Maschinenfabrik and a climate resilience project in vulnerable regions, known as CRAVE.

    In June last year, agriculture minister Alpheus !Naruseb handed over the tractors to ten benefitting regions.

    !Naruseb told the regions during the handing over ceremony that the dryland crop production project is a government subsidy scheme approved via a cabinet decision.

    The programme is implemented in the crop-growing regions of Kavango East, Kavango West, Zambezi, Kunene (north), Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto, Ohangwena, Otjozondjupa and Omaheke.

    It was reported that the dryland project renders subsidised ploughing, ripping and planting services to 40 000 farming households, through servicing a total 15 000 hectares annually.

    The agriculture ministry has established silos at Tsandi, Okongo, Omuthiya, Rundu and Katima Mulilo to store mahangu and maize.

    These silos are managed by AMTA and every year since 2010 the ministry has allocated money to the agency to buy grain.

    Farmers supplying mahangu to AMTA used to be paid N$5 400 per tonne or N$5.40 per kilogram of mahangu.





    ILENI NANDJATO

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  • 01/24/19--14:00: Africa Briefs
  • Africa BriefsAfrica Briefs Ramaphosa assures central bank independence

    South African president Cyril Ramaphosa pledged on Wednesday that his government would not interfere with the independence of the Reserve Bank, despite a proposal by the ruling party to broaden its focus to boost employment and economic growth.

    "We do not seek to interfere with its independence," Ramaphosa told a news conference at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort of Davos.

    The central bank's mandate now focuses on price stability, but the African National Congress said in its 2019 election manifesto that monetary policy should also "take into account other objectives, such as employment creation and economic growth". – Nampa/Reuters

    Zim vows bold economic turnaround

    Zimbabwe's finance minister painted an optimistic outlook for his country on Tuesday, despite protests over fuel prices that human rights groups say have left at least a dozen people dead.

    Mthuli Ncube told Reuters that in the next year he hoped to bring inflation under 10% from 42% now, find the money to cover debt payments of US$1.2 billion, and introduce a new currency.

    He also talked up a privatisation programme that has so far seen little real progress.

    “Zimbabwe is the best buy in Africa right now,” he said in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

    Zimbabwe owes US$7.4 billion in external debt and needs to pay US$1.2 billion of that in 2019, most of it to the World Bank and the African Development Bank. Ncube said he is speaking to G7 countries to find a way to make those payments. – Nampa/Reuters

    Nigeria recommends 50% minimum wage rise

    Nigeria's government is recommending a 50% rise in the minimum wage weeks before a presidential election where the cost of living has become a major issue.

    Labour minister Chris Ngige said the government would send a bill to parliament proposing an increase in the minimum monthly salary to 27 000 naira (US$88) from 18 000 now.

    Unions went on strike last year over the minimum wage, initially demanding a rise to 50 000 naira a month.

    President Muhammadu Buhari, whose bid for re-election on Feb. 16 faces a strong challenge from main opposition candidate Atiku Abubakar, said in January he would increase the minimum wage but had not specified by how much.

    A leading union, The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, said it "rejects outrightly" Tuesday's announcement, saying 30 000 naira had been agreed in negotiations. – Nampa/Reuters

    Kenya to restrict second-hand imports

    Kenya plans to restrict imports of second-hand cars to newer vehicles in an effort to boost the domestic automotive sector by reducing the dominance of the used car market.

    The East African nation undermined what was a thriving vehicle assembly industry in the 1990s with policies that encouraged imports of cheap second-hand cars.

    The government now intends, by 2021, to restrict imports of cars to vehicles that are three years old or newer, according to a draft policy proposal seen by Reuters on Wednesday. Current regulations allow the importation of cars up to eight years old.

    Imported second-hand vehicles account for 85% of Kenyan car purchases, amounting to 86 626 vehicles in 2017 and gobbling up precious foreign exchange estimated at about 60 billion shillings (US$593 million) a year.

    The target is to gradually but systematically reduce and replace the over 80% market share of used vehicles and used parts with new products manufactured or assembled in Kenya, the government said in the policy draft. – Nampa/Reuters

    AFDB will lend Tunisia US$120 mln

    The African Development Bank will lend Tunisia US$120 million to support its budget as the government is seeking to raise funds at low cost, a Tunisian government official said.

    Tunisia also received a US$500 million loan from Saudi Arabia at a favourable interest rate, according to officials, raising the foreign currency reserve to the equivalent of 91 days of imports, official data showed on Wednesday.

    The European Union has approved a 305 million-euro (US$347 million) financial assistance package for Tunisia to help young people find jobs and boost local development, the bloc said on Wednesday.

    Another government official told Reuters that prime minister Youssef Chahed's government is seeking to mobilise its resources through soft loans from friendly countries to avoid the sale of bonds and the high cost of loans in the international market.

    The North Africa country needs around US$2.53 billion in external financing in 2019, officials told Reuters. – Nampa/Reuters

    Morocco's trade deficit rises 8%

    Morocco's trade deficit rose by 8% to 204 billion dirhams (US$21.36 billion) compared with a year earlier, the foreign exchange regulator said.

    Imports rose 9.3% to 478.7 billion Moroccan dirhams, outstripping exports of 274.2 billion dirhams, up 10.2%.

    The energy import bill surged 18.4% to 82.3 billion dirhams.

    Exports in the automotive sector totalled 60 billion dirhams, up 10.7% as the North African country is home to production plants of French carmakers Renault and PSA group.

    Foreign direct investments rose 28.6% to 33.5 billion dirhams.

    The deepening trade deficit was felt on Morocco's foreign exchange reserves, which dropped 5.2% year on year to 229 billion dirhams as of Jan. 9 - enough to cover five months of import needs - according to central bank data. – Nampa/Reuters

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  • 01/24/19--14:00: MTC: Huawei is here to stay
  • MTC: Huawei is here to stayMTC: Huawei is here to stayMaintain, strengthen relationship MTC says it will cooperate with the reliable and leading technology suppliers to bring the latest and most advanced technology to Namibia. MTC Corporate communications - “Huawei offered three years free SLA (service-level agreement ) service for the 081Every1 project.” Augetto Graig

    Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC) will maintain and strengthen its relationship with Chinese technology giant Huawei into the foreseeable future.

    “We hope to continue to cooperate with Huawei in technological innovation in the country to provide the most advanced, safe and quality services for domestic consumers,” says the state-owned service provider’s communications department.

    Huawei has been making headlines in international news lately after the United States convinced Canada to arrest one of the Chinese company’s top executives. On Tuesday, 22 January the New York Times reported that the US planned to formally request the extradition of chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou within a week. She was arrested on 1 December 2018 because the USA wants her to face charges that she had lied to American banks about Huawei’s efforts to evade Iran sanctions.

    They have 60 days from the arrest to request extradition before the matter goes before Canadian courts. China has responded by arresting Canadian citizens and escalating the sentence against one Canadian convicted of drug smuggling to death. Both countries say it has nothing to do with their crucial trade talks to recommence on 30 January.

    In recent years Huawei has placed itself at the forefront of internet-related communication technology, and it is heavily involved in the development of 5G technology.

    This is despite a ban on working with them in the United States, and several other countries warning against using Chinese hardware because of security concerns stemming from the Chinese government's use of Huawei's products to spy on people around the world.

    Huawei has denied all allegations that it might be involved in the collection of intelligence for the Chinese government, according to Al Jazeera.

    'Not warranted'

    But MTC says security concerns regarding 5G are not specific to Huawei, and neither are they warranted. “5G is much safer than previous generations of mobile network communication technology. It is a reflection of a continuous effort of all industry stakeholders to build a secure communication environment for mobile consumers with expertise learned from previous generations further reviewed and enhanced in the 5G security design,” they say.

    According to MTC, top operators in the world are still working with Huawei. “According to our market intelligence, Huawei is nevertheless seeing fast growth, securing 30 contracts to supply 5G equipment and shipping 25 000 5G base stations already, up from 25 contracts in December,” the mobile telecommunications company said.

    “As a leading ICT (Information communication technology) service provider in Namibia, MTC will cooperate with the reliable and leading technology suppliers to bring the latest and most advanced technology to Namibia, to benefit our people, our country,” said MTC.

    According to MTC the partnership with Huawei has already brought milestones. Namibia became the first country on the continent to adopt 40 Gbit per second Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM), an innovative technology used to increase bandwidth over existing fibre networks in 2011, MTC said.

    Other achievements are establishing the first 4G network in Namibia in 2012, and testing Africa’s first 4.5G network in Namibia in 2016.

    In 2017 Huawei partnered MTC in its 081Every1 campaign to provide total network coverage for the entire Namibian population.

    Priority

    “Namibia’s first priority is to ensure there is mobile and broadband network coverage across the whole country, including rural areas, where the majority of Namibians will have affordable access to the network,” MTC communications department elaborated.

    “Our communities must have good access to the network that will aid our government to deliver quality of service and improve our people’s quality of life via various channels of communications,” the company said.

    “As a reliable partner of MTC and citizen enterprise in Namibia, Huawei brings in cost efficiency and high-quality solutions to help MTC speed up the delivery of 081Every1 project, and Huawei offered three years free SLA (service-level agreement ) service for the 081Every1 project,” MTC said.

    “We will continue to work with outstanding international vendors including Huawei to bring secure and innovative technologies including cloud and 5G to Namibia, to better serve our customers and to stay, ‘at the forefront of ensuring that in Namibia, we maintain pace with technological developments by staying ahead of the technology growth curve’,” MTC said, quoting President Hage Geingob.

    Recently Huawei introduced its revolutionary Kunpeng 920 chipset designed to better handle huge data. Ask specifically about this, MTC said it would benefit from the innovation and leading technology brought by Huawei, “which enables MTC and Namibia to keep leading the ICT industry in Africa.”

    Just yesterday the Chinese tech giant presented the new Tiangang 5G base station chipset, and announced plans to release a next-generation smartphone based on its own technology instead of US components.

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    Euro zone business growth dries upEuro zone business growth dries up Jonathan Cable - Business growth in the euro zone all but stalled at the start of 2019 as consumer uncertainty, trade tensions and political woes meant incoming new work fell for the first time in over four years, a survey found.

    The slowdown has spread across both the services and manufacturing industries, with factory activity in Germany, the bloc's powerhouse, also contracting for the first time in more than four years.

    Yesterday's euro zone survey will make disappointing reading for policymakers at the European Central Bank who have only just drawn a line under their more than 2.6 trillion euro asset purchase programme that was supposed to support growth.

    IHS Markit's Flash Composite Purchasing Managers' Index sank to 50.7, its weakest since July 2013, from a final December reading of 51.1, below even the most pessimistic forecast in a Reuters poll where the median expectation was for a modest rise to 51.4.

    That was only just above the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction and IHS Markit said the PMI pointed to first quarter economic growth of fractionally below 0.1 percent. Last week's Reuters poll forecast a 0.4 percent expansion.

    "Today's euro area PMIs confirm the weakness seen last year extended into 2019. Hopes of a quick rebound in economic activity are unrealistic and the ECB may soon be forced to consider new stimulus measures," said Jan von Gerich at Nordea.

    "However, we remain optimistic that the second half of this year will be better. If we are wrong and a rebound does not materialise, any expectations of ECB rate hikes can be forgotten and replaced with ideas about how to provide more easing."

    Warning signs

    Manufacturing activity in Germany, Europe's largest economy, contracted for the first time in more than four years last month. Worryingly, IHS Markit warned that weakness could soon spread to the service industry which has been supporting overall growth.

    Trade tensions have hit exporters in Germany which posted its weakest growth rate in five years last year - just 1.5% compared with 2.2% in 2017.

    Protests in France, concern around Britain's imminent departure from the European Union, a potential technical recession in Italy and the ongoing US-China trade war have caused businesses and consumers to be cautious.

    There was a small uptick in consumer confidence this month, official data showed on Wednesday, but it remains muted.

    French business activity fell unexpectedly this month, pulling back at the fastest rate in over four years in the face of weakening demand and the impact of anti-government protests.

    "The weak PMI was heavily influenced by France again. In Germany, manufacturing did not get the bounce back that was eagerly awaited either," said Bert Colijn at ING.

    "A weak growth rate for the euro zone seems to be in the making for Q1 and questions about how temporary this slowdown is are becoming more prominent."

    Suggesting there will be little turnaround anytime soon, an index measuring new business growth across the euro zone fell below the breakeven mark for the first time since late-2014.

    It has been a similarly disappointing month for the bloc's dominant service industry, with the flash PMI index falling to a near 5-1/2 year low. This pushed firms to cut back on hiring.

    Adding to the gloomy picture, factories started the year with meagre growth too, with a manufacturing PMI sinking to a more than four-year low in January. – Nampa/Reuters

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    'Nobody chooses the destiny of war’'Nobody chooses the destiny of war’

    At the state funeral of the late General Petrus Nambundunga this afternoon, President Hage Geingob lauded the military man for a life well-lived, one dedicated to the freedom of Namibia and its people.

    “There is a wise saying about death, befitting of this gallant son whom we commemorate this day. It says, ‘Those who have lived a good life do not fear death, but meet it calmly, and even long for it, in the face of great suffering. But those who do not have a peaceful conscience, dread death as though life means nothing but physical torment. The challenge is to live our life so that we will be prepared for death when it comes’.”

    He described Nambundunga as a man who lived a life of love, discipline, hard work, dedication and honour.

    “Thus, the hero from Oshihole village, Onesi, is no more, but the exemplary exploits of his life will remain etched in our memories forever,” he said.

    He reminded mourners who gathered to remember the life of a great warrior for the county to celebrate his life and to “pay respect to a patriot who lived a life full of hope, bravery and struggle”.

    He said Nambundunga was one of the soldiers of the liberation struggle who was able to make the transition from PLAN to the Namibia Defence Force, saying that “whether it was tending to the cattle as a young boy in his village, motivating his fellow soldiers in exile as a political commissar, being an army commander in the Namibian Defence Force or advising the governor of the Ohangwena Region, he carried his task out with discipline, dedication and skill”.

    “Nobody chooses the destiny of war.”

    Nambundunga’s memorial service was held this afternoon at Oshihole in the Omusati Region and he will be buried tomorrow.

    Nambundunga passed on in a northern hospital on 14 January.

    Nambundunga was a decorated soldier, having left Namibia in 1974 to join the liberation struggle and receiving his basic military training at Cassapa in 1975.

    After his basic training, he formed part of the first intake of trainees at Kongwa in Tanzania.

    Due to his outstanding competencies, Nambundunda was selected to become a military instructor at Kongwa.

    He rose through the ranks of the People's Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN), becoming a political commissar and eventually being appointed PLAN chief of logistics and member of the military council.

    In 1990, Nambundunga was inducted in the NDF with the rank of colonel and was appointed chief of staff for logistics. He served the Ministry of Defence and the NDF in various capacities including deputy army commander (1996), chief of staff personnel (1997), NDF chief of staff (2000), army commander (2005 – 2008) and acting NDF chief between 2009 and 2011.

    After his retirement from active military service, Nambundunga was appointed special advisor to the governor of the Ohangwena Region by former President Hifikepunye Pohamba - a position he held until the time of his death.

    YANNA SMITH

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    Shilongo's Ismaily disqualifiedShilongo's Ismaily disqualified The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has booted Egyptian side Ismaily out of the CAF Champions League after crowd violence forced the abandonment of their home match against Club Africain.

    The match was abandoned in the 86th minute a fortnight ago, after angry home supporters resorted to throwing stones and bottles at match officials and the visiting team.

    Cameroon-born referee Neant Alioum ordered the players back to the change rooms as the crowd shenanigans escalated.

    Soon after, a match official reported the matter to CAF, which subsequently decided to disqualify the Egyptian team from the competition.

    This was confirmed on CAF's Twitter account. “ANNOUNCEMENT. Organising committee decision: Ismaily SC eliminated from #TotalCafCL 2019 (sic),” the CAF tweet said.

    The 26-year old Shilongo joined the club in December, replacing Nigerian forward Okiki Afolabi, who had his contract terminated.

    “I will just focus on the game. However, it's sad to be out (of the CAF Champions League), but it's beyond our control. We just have to dust ourselves off and focus on league football,” he said.

    Ismaily is currently in 14th place in the league, with Shilongo having scored three goals so far.

    If his form continues, the Namibian has a chance of being called up for the national side, if the Brave Warriors manage to beat Zambia in March to qualify for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, which will be hosted by Egypt.

    The country has faced ongoing battles against crowd violence at football stadiums in recent years, and there is currently a limit of 5 000 spectators per domestic fixture.

    In 2016, Algerian outfit Entente Sportive de Setif were also disqualified by CAF after similar scenes in a game against South African team Mamelodi Sundowns.

    In 2012, 74 Al Ahly fans died during a game against Al Masry in Port Said, which led to local fixtures being played in front of empty stadiums for around seven months, before the

    5 000-supporters-per-match rule was implemented.

    In early 2015, tragedy struck again when Zamalek fans died in a stampede.

    Ismaily's results from their Group C CAF Champions League matches have been declared null and void.

    This means Algerian outfit CS Constantine remain top of the group with six points after their victories over TP Mazembe and Club Africain.

    Club Africain and TP Mazembe both have zero points from one match played each.

    -Additional reporting Nampa/ANA



    LIMBA MUPETAMI

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    Cabal want me out - NgarizemoCabal want me out - NgarizemoYoung African boss threatens court action Young African are fighting tooth and nail after being booted out the NPL last week. Young African head coach and chairman Maleagi 'Mali' Ngarizemo says a cartel operating in the corridors of the Namibia Premier League (NPL) want him out so they can continue doing as they please, without being questioned.

    Ngarizemo said this after his lawyers drafted a letter to the NPL in which he demands the rectification or nullification of an NPL disciplinary committee decision taken last Thursday to unceremoniously boot Young African out of the league.

    The outspoken Ngarizemo wants his club restored to the league today or the NPL will face a High Court action.

    “The NPL exco is one which is not only premature but also misguided, as other applicable provisions that hold paramount value for conflicts and disputes in the NPL were not given any consideration and preference.

    “Our instructions are that an appeal in itself is a procedure which falls within the confinements of an internal remedy. Therefore, the action of the NPL exco to execute order 2 of the disciplinary ruling and reasons while internal remedies are still being sought by our client is one which is not only misplaced and misguided but also fails to adhere to article 57.1 of the manual on rules and regulations,” the lawyer's letter to the NPL reads.

    The club was stripped of all their points and booted out of the NPL by the disciplinary committee after they were found guilty of fraud and contravening NPL rules by fielding an ineligible player named Tapiwa Simon Musekwa during the 2017/18 season.

    Musekwa admitted guilt in an affidavit signed in the presence of Tura Magic coach and police officer Gareth Eichab at Football House, according to Ngarizemo.

    The affidavit was seen by Namibian Sun, with the statement reading that the player was coerced into registering with false documents by an unnamed individual.

    Musekwa is now signed with African Stars, chaired by Patrick Kauta, who is also the NPL chairman.

    He played against Young Brazilians during an NPL match on Friday.

    “How come he is not suspended after he wrote a declaration admitting guilt, but the whole club is banned because of one player?” asked Ngarizemo.

    On top of being kicked out of the top-flight, the club was also fined a total of N$50 000 for two offences - with payment to be made on or before the end of May 2019.

    Ngarizemo explained they admitted guilt because of a proposition by league prosecutor Kadhila Amoomo.

    “He said he will give us a fine that is in the N$50 000 to N$100 000 range and a warning if we admitted guilt, and so that the league can also proceed.

    “We took into consideration the fact that the club was hit financially and players as well as fans were affected and could not focus because of this,” Ngarizemo said.

    He said they were still kicked out after Amoomo made the proposal to the disciplinary committee chaired by Vivian Katjiuongua, who later came in with the final findings.

    “We will keep fighting this illegal decision. If people have an issue with me, they must deal with me in my personal capacity,” Ngarizemo added.

    LIMBA MUPETAMI

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    Bordeaux sign Maja from SunderlandBordeaux sign Maja from Sunderland Young forward Josh Maja has joined French side Bordeaux from English third-tier outfit Sunderland, the Ligue 1 club announced on Saturday.

    The 20-year-old Englishman, whose contract at the Stadium of Light was due to run out in June, cost Bordeaux four million euros (US$4.56 million), according to Sky Sports, and has signed a four-and-a-half year deal.

    Maja has enjoyed a breakthrough season in League One, scoring 15 goals in 25 matches.

    He continues the trend of promising English players moving abroad, with teenagers Reiss Nelson and Jadon Sancho impressing in the Bundesliga at Hoffenheim and Borussia Dortmund respectively.

    NAMPA/AFP

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  • 01/27/19--14:00: ICC suspends Ahmed
  • ICC suspends AhmedICC suspends AhmedFour-match ban for racist remark Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed will miss the remainder of the ODI series and the first two T20I series matches against South Africa. The International Cricket Council (ICC) handed Sarfraz Ahmed a four-match suspension on Sunday after a racist remark made by the Pakistan captain was picked up by a stump microphone in South Africa last week. Sarfraz was heard making a comment in Urdu about Andile Phehlukwayo during last week's one-day international in Durban, where the South African all-rounder played a match-winning partnership with Rassie van der Dussen.

    According to espncricinfo.com, the comment could be translated as: “Hey black guy, where's your mother sitting today? What (prayer) have you got her to say for you today?”

    “The ICC has a zero-tolerance policy towards conduct of this nature,” the global cricket governing body's chief executive David Richardson said in a statement. The Pakistan captain later apologised for the comment on Twitter. “I wish to extend my sincere apologies to any person who may have taken offence from my expression of frustration. My words were not directed towards anyone in particular and I certainly had no intention of upsetting anyone,” Sarfraz wrote.

    “I did not even mean for my words to be heard, understood or communicated to the opposing team or the cricket fans.”

    The apology was given weight by the ICC as it handed out its suspension.

    “Sarfraz has promptly admitted the offence, was regretful of his actions and has issued a public apology, so these factors were taken into account when determining an appropriate sanction,” said Richardson.

    Phehlukwayo seemed at ease about the incident after the match.

    “It was good chat,” he said.

    NAMPA/AFP

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    Kejelcha hugely impressive during mile victoryKejelcha hugely impressive during mile victory An early-season meeting is bound to have a raft of world-leading times, but at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix on Saturday there were more than a few hotly-contested events and a few upsets to make the season interesting, as the 2019 IAAF World Indoor Tour got underway.

    Ethiopian Yomif Kejelcha crowded the pacemaker's shoulder from the gun in the men's mile, and when the pacemaker stepped off after three laps and let Kejelcha into the lead, he barely slowed, as though the rabbit had served to set his own internal metronome.

    With Bethwell Birgen on his inside shoulder Kejelcha, tall and skinny, ran to the outside of lane one to get himself around the bends, he clicked off a series of four near-identical 29-second laps.

    Birgen inevitably cracked and Kejelcha's coup de grace was a 28-second bell lap and a world-leading time and Ethiopian indoor record of 3:51.70.

    Birgen trailed in second at 3:54.82. In fourth at 3:56.75, Nick Willis at least had the satisfaction that his event record of 3:51.61 had survived, if only barely.

    Kejelcha is now the 12th-fastest indoor miler in history.

    Hagos Gebrhiwet (Ethiopia) left the Reggie Lewis Centre with a world-leading mark after winning the men's 3 000m race.

    Gebrhiwet, who was upset in 2018 by Edward Cheserek, removed all doubt about the direction of the rematch early in the race. Gebrhiwet simply set a pace ever so slightly quicker than Cheserek was willing to match, and left the Kenyan to watch the gap expand.

    By the time Gebrhiwet crossed the line in 7:37.41, Cheserek was more than five seconds adrift.

    NAMPA/ANA

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  • 01/27/19--14:00: Stand-off in Caracas
  • Stand-off in CaracasStand-off in CaracasUS takes strong stance on Venezuela In a move that has been criticised as ignoring Venezuela's sovereignty, the US has taken a strong stance in the South American country. The United States pressed all nations to “stand with the forces of freedom” in Venezuela, encouraged by a tougher European line as Russia stood in the minority in backing embattled leader Nicolas Maduro.

    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a forceful case at a special session of the United Nations Security Council, where he described Maduro as part of an “illegitimate mafia state” responsible for Venezuela's economic collapse.

    With mounting protests over Venezuela's crisis in which more than two million have fled shortages of basic food and medicine, Pompeo asked all nations to follow the US in recognising opposition leader Juan Guaido as the interim president.

    “Now it is time for every other nation to pick a side. No more delays, no more games. Either you stand with the forces of freedom, or you're in league with Maduro and his mayhem,” Pompeo said.

    He called on all nations also to end financial transactions with Maduro's government, which has struggled to pay bills despite the country's oil wealth.

    Russia has denounced the United States for interference and attempted to block the Security Council meeting, but it was voted down with nine of the 15 members agreeing to go forward.

    But Russia blocked a draft Security Council statement seen by AFP that would have offered “full support” to Guaido and called the National Assembly that he heads “Venezuela's only democratically elected institution”.

    “Venezuela does not pose any threat to peace and security. The intention of the United States is to orchestrate a coup d'etat,” said the Russian ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia.

    He accused the United States of continuing to treat Latin America as a “backyard where you can do anything you want” and, in a shot at the Europeans, said Russia would not raise France's populist Yellow Vest protests at the Security Council.

    European powers, after cautious initial statements, warned that they will recognise Guaido unless Maduro calls elections within eight days.

    EU foreign policy chief said the European Union would take further steps in the coming days if there is no election announcement.

    Maduro's re-election last year was contested by the opposition and rejected by the US, EU and UN as a sham - but he has until now retained the loyalty of the powerful military.

    Guaido, who has managed to galvanise a previously divided opposition, this week attempted to attract military support by offering an amnesty to anyone who disavows Maduro - and suggested amnesty for Maduro himself - but with no luck so far.

    He has, however, rejected an offer of talks with Maduro, saying he won't attend a “fake dialogue” on a crisis that has left 26 dead in clashes this week between anti-Maduro activists and security forces. Both Guaido and Maduro have called for demonstrations next week, raising fears of further violence.

    NAMPA/AFP

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    Tovey attends CAF seminar in EgyptTovey attends CAF seminar in Egypt The technical director of the South African Football Association (Safa) Neil Tovey is attending a three-day continental seminar which ends onThursday.

    Fifty technical directors are taking part in the seminar in Cairo, Egypt, which is organised by the CAF technical department with the support of Fifa experts.

    The main aim of the seminar is to improve the technical and tactical aspect of the African game, which includes youth and women's development and trying to reduce injuries.

    The seminar has been described by CAF deputy general-secretary Anthony Baffoe as a key milestone towards re-establishing the CAF coaching courses and will also equip participants with the right tools to develop coaching and grassroots football in their respective countries.

    Topics being covered include the role of the technical director, the organisation of the technical development department, coaching convention, Fifa forward application and plan, among other initiatives.

    “The main objective of this seminar is to have a common vision across all the members' associations in football development.

    “We need to make sure that all the principal actors involved in football development share a unified vision regarding the content, evaluation criteria and coaches' recruitment.

    “It is very important to have almost all the main role players represented at the seminar,” said Nasser Larguet, CAF technical and development committee member.

    He underlined the commitment to youth and women's football development as crucial elements to the growth of the game on the continent.

    “Women's football has a bright future and we have a lot to do. Regarding youth football, it is essential to focus and identify elite players in academies, schools and universities,” he added.

    The participating technical directors will be also introduced to the use of the GPS device supplied by Catapult - a measuring tool for outdoor team sports players which is worn on the chest (vest) to collect data. Following a partnership between CAF and Catapult last year, 2 650 devices were supplied to associations to help optimise performance and reduce injuries.

    NAMPA/ANA

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    Sprint king Viviani wins Cadel Evans road raceSprint king Viviani wins Cadel Evans road race Italian sprint king Elia Viviani held off Australian rival Caleb Ewan and South African Daryl Impey in a tight finish to win the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road race on Sunday.

    Viviani was able to stay with the lead group over four tough climbs and emerge from the slipstream of Deceuninck-Quick Step teammate Michael Morkov in the final metres to pip Ewan at the post.

    Lotto Soudal rider Ewan was unlucky to find himself boxed in at the start of the final sprint and while he finished fast, he ran out of road to overhaul Viviani who finished in 3hr 54min 35sec.

    The 163 kilometre (101 mile) race, which starts and finishes in Geelong, outside Melbourne, and takes in the world-renowned Great Ocean Road, has seen a different nationality win each year since its inception in 2015.

    Viviani came to Australia on a mission after being beaten into second last year by Jay McCarthy, who could only finish eighth this time, and he was over the moon.

    “It's feels amazing. I was really focused on this race,” said Viviani. “I was really happy with the performance of the team. I have to say thanks to the best team in the world, with Michael (Morkov) doing a fantastic lead-out for me. With his help, I'm always confident of taking the win.”

    The Italian added on Twitter: “Boom! What a way to end this Australia adventure with the boys.”

    NAMPA/AFP

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