Articles on this Page
- 03/25/19--15:00: _Peace is more than ...
- 03/25/19--15:00: _Bridging the gap be...
- 03/25/19--15:00: _A loving home for e...
- 03/25/19--15:00: _Nust defends acting...
- 03/25/19--15:00: _Farmers on the edge
- 03/25/19--15:00: _Push to hunt, trade...
- 03/25/19--15:00: _Christian dating an...
- 03/25/19--15:00: _Egypt is calling
- 03/25/19--15:00: _Do more with less -...
- 03/25/19--15:00: _MPs must talk about...
- 03/25/19--15:00: _All eyes on Calle
- 03/25/19--15:00: _Company news in brief
- 03/25/19--15:00: _In Texas, America's...
- 03/25/19--15:00: _Surprise rise in Ge...
- 03/25/19--15:00: _'Back from the dead...
- 03/25/19--15:00: _Rundu considers pre...
- 03/25/19--15:00: _Kenyan president vi...
- 03/25/19--22:52: _Ondonga king dies
- 03/25/19--23:54: _ King Elifas: 44-ye...
- 03/26/19--15:00: _Warriors unshaken b...
- 03/25/19--15:00: Peace is more than the absence of war
- 03/25/19--15:00: Bridging the gap between PE and life skills
- 03/25/19--15:00: A loving home for every child
- 03/25/19--15:00: Nust defends acting VC appointment
- 03/25/19--15:00: Farmers on the edge
- 03/25/19--15:00: Push to hunt, trade white rhino
- 03/25/19--15:00: Christian dating and courting
- 03/25/19--15:00: Egypt is calling
- 03/25/19--15:00: Do more with less - Kameeta
- 03/25/19--15:00: MPs must talk about abortion
- 03/25/19--15:00: All eyes on Calle
- 03/25/19--15:00: Company news in brief
- 03/25/19--15:00: In Texas, America's crude oil faucet gets an upgrade
- 03/25/19--15:00: Surprise rise in German data dispels recession fears
- 03/25/19--15:00: 'Back from the dead': Greek homes in Airbnb fever
- 03/25/19--15:00: Rundu considers prepaid water meters
- 03/25/19--15:00: Kenyan president visits Walvis Bay
- 03/25/19--22:52: Ondonga king dies
- 03/25/19--23:54: King Elifas: 44-year reign ends
- 03/26/19--15:00: Warriors unshaken by pot
On the 14 March, the National Youth Council (NYC), in partnership with the International Peace Youth Group, hosted a roundtable meeting, under the topic ‘Collaborative Governance: The Role of Women and Youth in Strengthening Peace and Security in Southern Africa Through a Culture of Peace’.
Among those present at the event were former first lady Penehupifo Pohamba, anti-violence and youth empowerment activist Patience Masua, SADC youth representative Josaphat Tjiho and House of Women president Anne Thanbeka.
The inaugural event highlighted the fundamentals of making sure that peace is equally distributed in the world and what role women and the youth can play to make this a reality.
The atmosphere was saturated with peace and harmony. The room was filled by visionaries from different age groups who have a common goal, which is seeing people experience the same freedom.
NYC executive chairperson Mandela Kapere started off the meeting by introducing Masua, who is an activist with the sole vision of promoting peace and advocating for the rights of young people.
Everyone present at the event received a letter from a child in Namibia asking them to take the matter to heart and assist in being a bridge between them and the government. The letter reading and response ceremony brought a feeling of responsibility.
The education and sport ministries have joined hands to develop an educator’s guide for school teachers on bridging the gap between physical education (PE) and life skills.
This guide was launched on 19 March, in order to ensure the improved implementation of integrated school sport.
Speaking at the event, deputy education minister Ester Nghipondoka said physical activity is a vital part of the development of learners.
She added this needs to be closely considered, in order to attain optimal learning and teaching outcomes.
“The value of the educational benefits of physical education and sport should not be underestimated,” said Nghipondoka.
“PE programmes do not only promote physical activity, but rather also correlate to improved academic performance.”
A sport for development programme was launched by the education ministry in 2015.
Defined as the use of sport and physical activity to effect progressive change in the lives of communities, the programme has shown to have brought noticeable improvements.
The education ministry has thus decided to utilise the same concept to strengthen physical activity in schools.
“Life skills are not only learned in the classroom, but through practice, implementation and learning,” Nghipondoka said.
“The ‘Physical Education 4 Life’ manual will help teachers to use PE to strengthen our life skills curriculum.”
Nghipondoka said characteristics such as tolerance cannot be learned from mathematics or science, but rather from engaging with your peers in a constructive manner and a sporting setting provides such an opportunity.
The guide contains sample lesson plans for PE teachers which integrate the outcomes of the PE curriculum.
Nghipondoka thanked GIZ, the National Institute of Education as well as the University of Namibia for their contributions in developing the guide.
Brenner Henk, who spoke on behalf of the teachers, expressed his gratitude to the ministries.
He said academics should not be the only focus at schools, because physical education is equally important and aids children’s academic performance.
Henk said one of the problems in the past was the splitting of the sports and education ministries, which led to the focus being either on academic or physical education exclusively.
The collaboration between the ministries has given him the reassurance that the two can be mutually inclusive in terms of reaching national goals within the educational sector, Henk said.
The ‘Physical Education 4 Life’ manual is currently available for download on the education ministry’s official website for free and will soon be available in hard copy.
SOS Children's Villages Namibia is a non-governmental and non-denominational, child-focused organisation that provides direct services in the areas of care, education and health for children at risk of losing parental care, or who have lost it.
The organisation also builds the capacity of children caregivers, their families and communities to provide adequate care.
Namibia has three programme locations (villages) in Windhoek, Tsumeb and Ondangwa.
Medscheme Namibia donated N$50 000 towards medical expenses and brought relief to the children in the Windhoek, Tsumeb and Ondangwa facilities.
Medscheme Namibia's contribution put smiles on the faces of 260 children, while reassuring the children that it does care.
With friends like Medscheme, SOS Children's Villages Namibia can gain more momentum and care and support more children.
SOS encouraged other like-minded corporates and businesses to step up and join in contributing towards the betterment of those who have lost and or are at risk of losing parental care.
SOS Children's Villages Namibia national director Leonard Diergaardt mentioned the journey with Medscheme started a number of years ago, as the organisation was searching for the best possible healthcare support service provider.
They decided on Namibia Health Plan (NHP), under which Medscheme Namibia falls, as it was well-suited to take care of the needs SOS mothers and staff.
“The challenge we were still facing, is the fact that we had to rely on public health services to render essential and sometimes critical health services to our children,” Diergaardt said.
“Obtaining medical aid cover for our children is a very expensive undertaking, and to date, we still did not find an amicable solution, as you all are aware of the fact the medical treatment is very costly.”
The health status of each child is acknowledged as this guides the caregivers in their individualised care methods.
Medical expenses absorb a substantial portion of operational costs, and despite receiving a subsidy from government, the amount per child per month only covers a small percentage of the costs per month per child - less than 30%.
Du Toit joined the university in August 2018. His appointment as acting head of the university is effective on 1 April. The current VC, Professor Tjama Tjivikua, is stepping down on 29 March.
Defending the decision to appoint Du Toit, Nust council chairperson Esi Schimming-Chase said a decision had been taken to appoint an acting VC internally.
“It was decided, correctly, that the acting appointment will be recruited from the ranks of the deputy vice-chancellors. As such, all three deputy vice-chancellors were considered equally, regardless of their status as it pertains to probation,” she said. According to her, by law the university cannot discriminate between someone on probation and someone not on probation when considering them for an acting position. “Irrespective of this, as per the Nust HR Code, all staff are placed on probation when they commence employment. So when the new vice-chancellor commences duties she or he will also be on probation for a period of time,” she said. The university is considering changing its rules in order to hold public interviews for the position of vice-chancellor, as the University of Namibia did in June 2018.
“Currently, maintaining the confidentiality of candidates is a requirement of the Nust statutes and, hence, we abide by these statutes. A proposal will now be taken to the council to amend the relevant statute. The past interviews were open to all relevant stakeholders, both within and external to Nust,” Schimming-Chase said.
A source close to the Nust council told Namibian Sun that the issue was put to the vote and that Du Toit was selected from all the deputy vice-chancellors currently employed by the university.
The council had been instructed to finalise the recruitment process by June or July this year.
Five candidates have been shortlisted for the position. They are: University of Namibia academics Frednand Gideon and Erold Naomab (the only Namibians), Nigerian national Abraham Ogwu, Botswana national Otlogetswe Totolo and Turkish national Said Irandoust.
The new VC is required to hold a doctorate in natural science, technology, engineering or mathematics from an internationally recognised university, with at least 10 years of executive leadership experience in higher education and a deep understanding of the operations and affairs of a university. The recruitment of a new vice-chancellor started in September 2018 when an advertisement was placed in local newspapers. The search for a new vice-chancellor attracted 39 applicants at one stage.
He says agriculture is the livelihood of 70% of Namibians, most of whom live in rural areas.
Mushokavanji says the fact that there has been no rain directly affects agricultural productivity and food security.
“Due to the ongoing drought there has been a challenge with fodder and farmers have been unable to sustain their animals.” He says research shows that Africa will be the hardest hit by climate change, which will include prolonged droughts, floods and disease outbreaks. Therefore, mitigating strategies must be put in place.
In the short term, Mushokavanji says, the union has recommended to the government that food assistance and water tanks should be made available for people and livestock.
Also, a livestock management system should be implemented and the transport of fodder should be arranged. Furthermore, subsidies for crops and fodder should be implemented.
Mushokavanji emphasises that Namibia's early-warning system must be strengthened in order to prepare for drought well in advance.
“Meatco must also provide sustainable prices to farmers and Agribank must also take into account that farmers are going through difficult times and they will be struggling to repay loans and therefore they must take note of this.”
Mushokavanji says the public and private sectors need to work together during these hard times.
In the long term, infrastructure needs to be developed, because droughts occur regularly.
He says this includes investing in irrigation schemes to produce fodder.
Mushokavanji believes the development of feedlots is crucial. Research into drought-resistant agriculture is also important.
“We applaud the government for the drought relief that has been announced and urge that this will be implemented accurately and timely.”
He says although the union is happy about the drought relief, in the future foresight should be used to proactively plan for drought.
“From where we stand it is always better to see drought as a crisis and be proactively prepared. Moving forward, drought, floods and disease outbreaks should be seen as natural calamities that affect human lives and therefore the country should be prepared all the time.”
Meanwhile, the Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU) has welcomed last week's cabinet decision to approve more than N$572 million for drought relief during the 2019/20 financial year.
This will be for food assistance, water tankers, livestock management incentives, transport subsidies for livestock and fodder, lease of grazing areas, subsidies for crop farmers, and subsidies for lick supplements and fodder for livestock.
“The current drought is already a national crisis with disaster dimensions. International aid will be urgently needed to lessen the impact thereof,” said the union.
“It is of utmost importance that this crisis be declared as a national disaster in order to mobilise all role players and possible resources to jointly assist to lessen the impact,” the NAU said.
The NAU, together with the Namibia Emerging Commercial Farmers Union (NECFU), has requested a follow-up meeting with agriculture minister Alpheus !Naruseb to get more detail about the drought support and are preparing a submission to quantify the economic impact of the drought.
The Meat Board of Namibia has also said that the country is experiencing one of its worst droughts ever.
“Producers therefore have to plan as soon as possible to market their livestock from now up to the next rainy season.”
It recommends the immediate selling of non-productive and old female animals and the early weaning of calves and younger animals that will suffer during the winter season.
Feeding animals, especially cattle, is expensive, and producers should seek expert advice from feed companies, the Meat Board says.
This will allow for the international commercial trade of its white rhinos and for them to be used in selective trophy hunts. Namibia earlier this year submitted proposals to CITES to amend regulations on the protection and trade for both elephants and rhino in the country.
It proposed to down-list its population of white rhinos from Appendix I to Appendix II.
CITES has provisionally said in its analysis of the proposal that Namibia's wild population of white rhino is small but increasing.
“It does not seem characterised by one of the aggravating factors indicated under criteria in Appendix 1.”
CITES further said that the majority of the white rhino population is not concentrated geographically and the population does not have a “restricted distribution”.
There are no large short-term fluctuations in the population, although all rhino populations tend to be vulnerable to external factors, especially illegal killing for trade.
The proposed annotation and the measures implemented by Namibia to protect the species seem to address the recommendations regarding precautionary measures in, and be proportionate to, the anticipated risks to the species, said CITES.
Meanwhile, analysis by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as well as TRAFFIC, of Namibia's proposal, said that overall, the Namibian white rhino population does not meet the biological criteria for retention on Appendix I.
“The Namibian population does not have a restricted distribution. Its population is relatively small, but is increasing owing to a combination of population growth and imports. Nearly 80% of the population is in around 70 privately-owned subpopulations,” the report said.
According to the report although the poaching rate has increased, it is currently less than 1% of the population annually, which is lower than the core population growth rate. It said that the species is in demand for international trade and that the proposed annotation, which restricts the kinds of specimens and type of export trade to be permitted, can be considered a special measure under the terms of the precautionary measures.
“Namibia already undertakes such trade under the Appendix I listing and has a system in place to licence and track specimens in trade.”
The report further says that the proposal is for trade in live animals to appropriate and acceptable destinations and hunting trophies only.
Both live animals and trophies are currently in trade from Namibia under the Appendix I-listing.
“(Namibia) states that transferring the population to Appendix II will enable it to export live animals and hunting trophies to more countries and will increase revenue through sustainable use.”
According to the report, from 2008 to 2018, a total of 57 white rhino were legally hunted in Namibia, indicating an average annual off-take of 0.4 to 0.5% of the population, considerably below the rate of recruitment.According to the CITES Trade Database, Namibia reported that between 2008 and 2017 a total of 47 white rhino trophies were exported, in addition to a number of other commodities exported for trophy hunting purposes, including 10 horns.
Furthermore, between 2008 and 2018, under the current Appendix-I listing, Namibia exported 27 live white rhinos to Angola, Cuba, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Africa.
They could be dating for good reasons or for bad ones. It is important to know the consequences of dating for bad reasons, and the great benefits that dating can bring if you keep God in the centre of your relationship, and are dating for the right reasons.
Some of reasons that teenagers date are for attention and to seek love in the face of trials in their lives.
Teenagers may also date because they are neglected and feel that the only way to feel loved again is through an intimate and physical relationship to fill a void in their lives. These are the wrong reasons to date. A very good reason why teenagers date is to find a potential spouse who has a personal relationship with Christ and can bring your relationship with Him.
There are many differences between extreme courting and extreme dating. Extreme dating is a relationship that is based on worldly views and is very selfish. The couple will have a very physical relationship and they will always be unsupervised by parents.
Extreme courting is always being supervised by the girl’s parents and is strictly for the goal of finding a spouse. Courting is based on biblical views and is always seeking to benefit the relationship as a whole; it is not a selfish relationship. Christian dating is a very great way to date because it is very close to courting, but still gives you some freedom. In a Christian dating relationship, you don’t stay in the same room alone unsupervised with your girlfriend or boyfriend, but you still have the freedom to go out on your own and enjoy dating, at its best.
There are four types of love. The first type of love is agape love. This is unconditional love and is truly only seen in the relationship between God and man. The next type of love is phileo love. This type of love is seen in a strong friendship, but not family.
A good example of this type of love would be found in a group of close-knit friends who have been together their whole lives. The third type of love is called storge love. This love is familial love - the type of love that you have for your close family and can also include very close friends that feel like family. The fourth and final type of love is eros love. This love is a very intimate and passionate love and could be sexual, but could also just be the type of love that resembles connection and security. This is the kind of love that would be found in a strong marriage.
Everyone has an emotional love tank. The level of someone’s love tank effects how they will show love to others and will affect their overall mood, and how they look at life. If a child always has had parents who have shown him/her love and praise them for all the good things they do, then they will have a full tank and will now be able to disperse love to others, and will therefore receive love from others due to a positive attitude.
But when a child has always been neglected and has never received love from his/her parents, that child will grow up and be possibly shy and disconnected. The child will most likely not be able to show love to others because they do not know what love looks like. They will go through their life being a negative and angry person. It is very important to fill up your spouse’s love tank filled, to keep the marriage alive and ensure a healthy relationship.
There is a difference between falling in love and choosing to love someone in a relationship. If you fall in love, and later don’t feel the intensity of that love anymore, you have many options. Some of the options would include breaking up and finding someone else and repeating the same cycle, or you could live in a dead marriage. The other wise option you have is to figure out how to love them every single day. This won’t be easy, but it is the right way to strive to keep your marriage alive. The difference between falling in love and choosing to love someone is that when you fall in love, you are thinking of a temporary relationship and not about the other person. When you choose to love someone, you are striving and trying your hardest to keep the marriage alive and you are also trying to avoid the ultimate negative consequence, divorce.
Zambia's 4-1 thrashing of Namibia in Lusaka on Saturday evening proved irrelevant at the end of the day, as the Brave Warriors finished the group tied on eight points with Mozambique, but with a superior head-to-head record against their regional rivals. Namibia's qualification came against the backdrop of infighting among football administrators - a situation which forced Fifa to step in and appoint a normalisation committee to oversee the country's football affairs in the interim.
It has not been smooth sailing for local football over the past two years and credit must go to the technical team and players for not allowing football politics to get in their way.
Brave Warriors mentor Ricardo Mannetti also deserves a special mention for keeping the core of the team together that won the Cosafa Cup in 2015, as well as for ensuring qualification for last year's African Nations Championship (CHAN) tournament, which saw them winning two group matches, drawing one and suffering a quarterfinal loss to Morocco. Certainly the icing on the cake, as far as Mannetti's coaching record is concerned, has been added; and the biggest challenge right now is for the players to represent their nation with pride at the continental showpiece.
There is a massive weight of expectation on the Brave Warriors to do well this time around, and we sincerely hope that the authorities will do everything possible to ensure there are no substandard preparations ahead of the June tournament. Equally, Mannetti and his technical team must focus on improving a number of aspects that have been found wanting in the current squad, in order to have a formidable side capable of competing with the best in Africa.
Speaking yesterday at the opening of a five-day ministerial strategic review and planning workshop hosted at the Hardap Dam Resort, Kameeta underlined the need for poverty eradication plans that are designed against the backdrop of Namibia's economic crunch, as well as global economic hardships.
He said it's just a little over five years to go before the target for a poverty-free Namibia, set by President Hage Geingob, needs to be reached.
Kameeta asked ministry staff and other stakeholders to “be creative when crafting our programmes and activities”, which he said should be designed “in such a way that we do more with less”.
The minister said it's the mandate of the ministry to explore wealth-redistributive strategies “to arrest poverty” and therefore it is crucial to have strategies in place, and advocate for mechanisms, that “will ensure that the endowments of this country filters to the poorest of the poor”.
The workshop is aimed at, among other things, ensuring that each staff member at the ministry will have a performance in agreement in place by the end of the week.
Kameeta said in order to ensure that the agreements are finalised by the end of the workshop, and are able to measure performance against the direct impact of an employee's activities in the improvement of living standards, advisors from the Office of the Prime Minister are present to guide the process.
He said since the inception of the ministry in 2015, it has engaged in a number of processes to ensure the execution of its mandate, which is to initiate, implement and coordinate national programmes to eradicate poverty and reduce inequality.
He said these included the development of the ministry's blueprint and implementation plan, which in turn guided the development of the ministerial five-year strategic plan.
Kameeta underlined that the ministry is aware of the “cross-cutting nature of poverty and the need for a multisectoral approach for its eradication”, and that this has guided the fact that all the plans and strategies are designed to incorporate the coordination role of the ministry.
He further underlined that in order to work around limited funding, it is crucial to review and identify low-impact activities, in order to minimise wastage and ensure all efforts and resources are used to improve the living conditions of Namibians.
She also urged a review of the apartheid-era abortion law.
“As a lawmaker, I want to us to start talking about decriminalising abortion,” Mensah-Williams said yesterday, speaking at the opening of a round-table discussion on sexual and reproductive health and rights in Namibia, hosted by the Office of the Ombudsman in collaboration with the Commonwealth Secretariat.
She added that although there had been previous calls for decriminalising abortion, zero progress had been made despite the life-threatening risks posed by medically unsupervised abortions, and the fact that experts have noted a link to Namibia's high number of infanticides.
In March 2017, then health minister Bernhard Haufiku revealed that more than 7 100 women had been treated at public health facilities in one year for complications arising from suspected illegal abortions.
The minister emphasised that the numbers were a red flag showing that the situation was “completely out of control” and said that the numbers reflected only the tip of the iceberg, as many did not seek medical help.
He called on Namibians to revive discussions on decriminalising abortion, to a mostly muted response.
Mensah-Williams yesterday emphasised that while the LGBTI community was still a “no-go issue” for many, including most politicians, it was the responsibility of elected lawmakers to defend everyone's human rights.
“Irrespective of how uncomfortable it is, it is time that we should talk about the LGBTI community. They are part of our communities.”
She invited LGBTI representatives and human rights advocates to visit the National Council and other political platforms to educate policymakers on the issues faced by the community.
“Make politicians understand the issues. Let's talk about this and engage these communities. They are part of Namibian society.”
She said it was time for politicians to set aside their personal views on issues such as abortion and the LGBTI community in order to create laws that are relevant to all Namibians.
Mensah-Williams described the Abortion and Sterilisation Act of 1975 as outdated and said it infringed upon the human rights of women and girls.
In particular, she said the law discriminated against “the poor and young who do not have the means to seek safe and legal abortions outside Namibia's borders.”
Mensah-Williams said some laws prevented a significant and vulnerable portion of Namibians from accessing sexual and reproductive health services.
She said despite the life-threatening risks posed by illegal abortions, the current attitude in Namibia remained in favour of the law.
“This raises broader questions about the status of women and girls in our society and whether women's lives matter.”
She pledged her support to the Law Reform and Development Commission in reviewing the 1975 abortion law, adding that “we need to act now.”
She called on government agencies to work together to ensure that appropriate and comprehensive sex education is introduced in schools.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 20 million of the 42 million abortions performed every year are illegal and unsafe, and that it is mostly young, rural and low-income women who bear the brunt of the risks.
In 2017, speaking at the Women's Day celebration hosted by the University of Namibia, Eileen Rakow of the ombudsman's office said the denial of a pregnant woman's right to make an independent decision regarding abortion violated a wide range of human rights.
In 2018, lawyer Norman Tjombe described the current abortion law as “atrocious and a blatant violation of the autonomy of the body and future of women, which is an affront to the right to dignity.”
He said Namibia lacked effective and accessible family-planning services, which contributed to the high number of unwanted pregnancies.
He agreed that a frank discussion on abortion was needed in Namibia in order to provide social services that reflected and responded to the country's socio-economic conditions.
Dianne Hubbard of the Legal Assistance Centre told Namibian Sun last year that laws restricting access to legal abortion do not prevent women from having abortions.
“They simply drive abortion underground, with tragic consequences for women's health and wellbeing.”
She stressed that making abortion illegal was not an effective way to discourage abortions.
There were a number of positive measures to prevent unwanted pregnancies and to support pregnant women, including better family-planning education in schools, accessible family-planning methods, and counselling for pregnant women, she said.
“Such steps are far more likely to reduce abortion and infanticide than a criminal sanction.”
Finance minister Calle Schlettwein's budget statement, expected tomorrow in the National Assembly, has already been delayed twice.
Last year Schlettwein tabled a N$65 billion budget. Simonis Storm said Schlettwein would be forced to make some tough calls. “This will be a hard-hitting budget as it will seek to continue with the implementation of the fiscal consolidation framework, amidst the upcoming election and the deterioration of economic conditions. Revenue remains under threat; thus we expect clarity on the proposed tax amendments and tax administration reform,” Simonis Storm said. President Hage Geingob told state newspaper New Era last week that government would undertake bold interventions to inject life into the ailing economy.
Geingob said the country's youth would be placed at the centre of stimulation activities, with the aim to create jobs for this segment of the population. “As a first step I'll soon announce the restructured Presidential Economic Advisory Council. The new structure has been reduced to mostly senior economists on whose advice we would rely insofar as designing these stimulant packages is concerned. “We are looking at agriculture and innovation as some of the sectors that growth would be targeted at,” Geingob said.
He also admitted that his cabinet was “too big” and that Namibia's public service wage bill was “simply not affordable”.
Economic analyst Klaus Shade cautioned that the government was faced with a dilemma and must figure out how to tackle its wage bill without retrenchments.
According to Schade, government's talk of cutting the wage bill to fix the economy was an “inherent contradiction” and would have a downward spiralling effect on the economy.
He also emphasised that creating additional ministries and state-owned-enterprises had indeed hurt the economy.
“Now all that has shot up the costs for government and I am not sure how the president envisions that to be reduced now, without resorting to retirements. And in our economic climate that is the last thing you want to do. I think they are in a very difficult position,” said Schade.
Namibia's civil service wage bill, which stands at about N$30 billion a year, has been a perpetual headache.
Geingob was quoted as saying last week that “the current cabinet is too big and there's reason for it”.
“President Sam Nujoma, being a founding father and a liberation hero, had natural authority. President Pohamba was a bit relaxed. But with me, I am dealing with my peers - where anybody could have taken over as president. The pressure on me to have a bigger cabinet is bigger because all these people are my peers who want to be accommodated. It could have been worse if I didn't do that [appoint them].”
Academic Omu Kakujaha-Matundu says he believes the government has run out of options and may find it difficult to cut spending without hurting the economy further.
He is also not convinced that Geingob has the political muscle to cut his cabinet or even merge some ministries to cut costs.
“I think what we should just try and do is to implement those projects that we are going to budget the money for, so that those projects can generate income as fast as possible. We ought to avoid delaying tenders that should be granted immediately, but take up to a year, and ensure projects do not take too long,” Kakujaha-Matundu advises.
He also warns that the government cannot afford to cut spending on areas such as drought relief and capital projects.
“What we are saying is that if agriculture dies and if we leave those people to themselves to starve and clog our medical burden, it will also be a huge burden.”
The latest data from the labour ministry indicated that during the second half of 2018 close to 2 500 people were retrenched from 128 local companies.
The majority of companies cited economic reasons for letting their workers go, while others mentioned restructuring and business closures as explanations for dismissing their workers, as the domestic economy struggles to recover from a recession.
Towards the end of 2018, it was reported that nearly 1 700 people had been retrenched between October 2017 and March 2018. That was confirmed by labour minister Erkki Nghimtina.
South Africa's Naspers expects to float its e-commerce ventures on Euronext in Amsterdam in the second half of the year, its chief executive said yesterday.
"There's still a lot of work to do before we can make this thing a reality. We're only looking to do this in the second half of 2019," Bob van Dijk told a conference call.
The new entity, which will have a secondary listing in Johannesburg, will house stakes from some of the biggest internet brands in emerging markets including Russia's biggest social networking site mail.ru, Indian online travel firm MakeMyTrip and Brazilian food delivery firm iFood.
The new company is expected to be owned 75% by Naspers and have a free float of 25%. Naspers did not give financial details of the deal.
As part of efforts to create shareholder value, Naspers has already spun out and separately listed its de facto African pay-TV monopoly Multichoice, which is valued at around R50 billion.
Founded more than 100 years ago in Stellenbosch, South Africa, Naspers has transformed itself from a newspaper publisher into a R1.5 trillion media and internet giant. But it owes all of that valuation to its one-third stake in Tencent. – Nampa/Reuters
Ethiopian Airlines commits to Boeing ties
Ethiopian Airlines said yesterday it would keep close ties with US planemaker Boeing even though questions remained about its 737 MAX 8 model, after a crash shortly after take off this month killed 157 people.
CEO Tewolde Gebremariam also promised to work closely with an investigation into the March 10 incident, after reports that the probe was under strain because the Ethiopian authorities were not sharing information with international partners.
Boeing's 737 MAX fleet has been grounded worldwide, wiping US$28 billion off the company's market value and throwing doubt over advance orders of the plane, worth more than US$500 billion.
Tewolde said both pilots of the doomed Ethiopian Airlines plane had been fully trained "beyond" the requirements of Boeing and the US Federal Aviation Administration.
The airline's Aviation Academy annually trains more than 2 000 pilots, flight attendants, maintenance workers and other employees for Ethiopian Airlines and other African carriers, he said. – Nampa/Reuters
Louis Dreyfus 2018 profits rise
Agricultural commodity merchant Louis Dreyfus Company reported higher annual profits as it managed to capitalise on trading opportunities created by a US-Chinese trade dispute, giving a boost to its oilseed business.
Group net profit reached US$355 million in 2018, up 12% from a year ago, while segment operating results increased to US$1.33 billion from US$1.06 billion.
LDC posted record soybean export volumes from Brazil as theSouth American country increased flows to China during the Asian country's trade row with Washington, the company said.
The group's full-year profit rise reversed a sharp fall in the first half and was in keeping with comments made by McIntosh in late September when he said that year-to-date results had "significantly improved".
LDC, often known as Dreyfus, is the “D” of the so-called “ABCD” quartet of global agricultural merchants alongside Archer Daniels Midland, Bunge and Cargill that each handle tens of millions of tonnes of crops every year.
Sinopec reports drop in quarterly profit
Sinopec Corp, Asia's top refiner, posted its smallest quarterly net profit since at least the third quarter of 2016 after its oil trading unit Unipec registered one of China's largest derivatives trading losses in nearly a decade.
China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, better known as Sinopec, said its fourth-quarter net profit plunged 76% from a year ago to only 3.1 billion yuan (US$461.57 million). Its revenues increased 33% to 818 billion yuan during the same period, according to Reuters calculations.
Sinopec said Unipec posted a net loss of 4.02 billion yuan last year. Unipec lost 4.65 billion yuan on crude oil hedging in the fourth quarter.
The strong growth in 2018 was mainly due to higher sales prices and volume of refined products and chemicals, the company said in a filing to Shanghai Stock Exchange on Sunday.
The company issued a dividend of 0.26 yuan per share.
Uber to buy Mideast rival Careem
Uber is set to buy its Middle Eastern rival Careem for US$3.1 billion, financial news agency Bloomberg reported Sunday.
The deal, expected to be announced today, will see Uber pay US$1.4 billion in cash and the rest in notes convertible to Uber shares, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.
It comes as Uber prepares for its initial public offering - expected next month - which could, according to some estimates, see the rideshare giant's value increase to US$100 billion.
Dubai-based Careem boast more than a million drivers and 30 million users across 90 cities. – Nampa/Reuters
Exports through the port, which ships out more crude than virtually any other in the United States, could surpass 2.7 million barrels per day (bpd) once the work is done, up from the current 700 000 barrels.
"The United States is experiencing an energy renaissance not seen in nearly 70 years," said Sean Strawbridge, the port's chief executive.
"That volume has to find an outlet somewhere. If we don't do it someone else will do it."
Energy is by far the port's biggest business. Far from the stereotypical images of stacked modular containers and gantry cranes, Corpus Christi is dominated by fat pipes, belching refineries and giant liquid tanks towering over passageways inside what is the fourth-largest US port by volume.
Three more pipelines will soon appear in this landscape, which makes up in profitability for what it lacks in beauty.
Named Epic, Cactus and Gray Oak will be operational by the end of this year, adding a transport capacity of 2 million bpd.
The three massive conduits will link the port to two main US shale oil deposits: Eagle Ford and the Permian Basin, which straddles the New Mexico-Texas border.
With hefty investments from supermajors Exxon Mobil and Chevron, the Permian produces 4.1 million barrels a day, and that could rise to 4.5 million in five years, according to the US Energy Information Administration, putting it among the most productive oil fields in the world.
The three pipelines will help solve the basin's congestion problems, which have forced producers to resort to far costlier crude shipments by road and rail.
A sprawling dredging operation is underway across Corpus Christi Bay to deepen the sea bed to 54 feet (16 meters) from the current 45 feet.
At that depth, "Very Large Crude Carrier," or VLCC, shipping vessels will be able to fill up more quickly - and at a lower cost. Longer than soccer fields, these ships can carry up to 2 million barrels, or about US$120 million in crude oil, based on the current benchmark WTI price.
"The name of the game is trying to put more oil in one vessel," said Khalid Muslih, executive vice president of global marine terminals at Buckeye GP.
The company is building two terminals in Corpus Christi and will expand the port's liquid storage capacity.
At 12 million bpd and given the stagnant domestic consumption, US daily exports frequently surpass three million barrels. Rising exports also would help bring down the record US trade deficit.
But what some see as an historic opportunity, others describe as impending environmental doom.
At the mouth of the bay, at the coastal town of Port Aransas, which lies along the path of the dredging, is an estuary transited by a wide array of marine life such as crabs and shrimp.
"If you change the depth, it disrupts the whole cycle," said Dan Pecore of the Port Aransas Conservancy.
A former oil worker who later switched to boat building, Pecore fears the "slow death" of fishing and surfing while the port itself hopes one day to dredge down as far as 75 feet (23 meters).
The conservancy does not deny the economic value of developing the port, given the 76 000 jobs it currently supports.
But it recommends using offshore structures to allow supertankers to load without damaging the coast.
Port Aransas supports the plan, but the Port of Corpus Christi does not, as that could cut into its revenues from ship traffic.
Pecore said enthusiasm for development in the energy sector is a sign of the times under President Donald Trump, who has shown far less concern for the environment than his predecessors, scrapping oil industry regulations.
Trump said in October the dredging would make "a tremendous difference. It will sell a lot more oil."
Pecore says this shows the advantages the port enjoys in the current political climate.
"There can't be a better relationship between Trump and the port."– Nampa/AFP
German business morale improved unexpectedly in March after six consecutive drops, a survey showed yesterday, suggesting that Europe's largest economy is likely to pick up in the coming months after it narrowly avoided a recession last year.
The growth outlook for Germany's export-reliant economy has been clouded by trade disputes triggered by US president Donald Trump's “America First” policies and the risk of Britain crashing out of the European Union without an agreement.
The Munich-based Ifo economic institute said its business climate index rose to 99.6 from an upwardly revised 98.7 in the previous month. This beat a consensus forecast for a reading of 98.5.
The euro, as well as government bond yields and stocks in the single currency bloc rose after the rise in German business sentiment took the edge off market fears about a dire economic outlook.
“The German economy is showing resilience,” Ifo President Clemens Fuest said.
Companies were more satisfied with their current business situation and they were more optimistic about their business outlook for the coming six months, the survey showed.
“Brexit uncertainty is particularly hitting the industrial sector. The other sectors don't appear to be affected,” Ifo economist Klaus Wohlrabe told Reuters.
Wohlrabe said the survey results supported Ifo's forecast that the German economy would grow by 0.6% in 2019.
“The Ifo survey is a big surprise, especially after the last purchasing managers index,” UniCredit economist Andreas Rees said. Markit's survey among purchasing managers showed last week that manufacturing contracted further in March to reach the lowest level since August 2012.
Rees said that the risk of the German economy sliding into a recession had decreased with the latest Ifo figures. “It's too early, however, to talk about an economic turnaround,” he added.
Joerg Zeuner, an economist at state-owned KfW bank, said the improved business climate was a sign of hope but not more. “The economic train is still in the slow lane and the biggest obstacle is manufacturing,” Zeuner added.
Trump's threat to increase tariffs on cars and auto parts imported from the EU is of particular concern to German carmakers for whom the United States is the most important export market.
The German government said in January it expected growth to slow to 1.0% this year after 1.4% in 2018 and 2.2% in 2017. Berlin will update its forecast next month.
"Renovation noise, debris disposal bins on every street, and rolling luggage," said the 50-year-old Athenian mother.
Dionysopoulou has lived her entire life in the middle-class district of Koukaki, now in the midst of a home-sharing frenzy. In 2016, it was named Airbnb's fifth fastest growing neighbourhood globally with an 800-percent jump in activity.
Its selling point? Walking distance from one of the world's most visited archaeological sites, as well as the state-of-the-art Acropolis museum.
Hundreds of apartments in Koukaki's ageing concrete buildings are now on offer. Rents have doubled and entire families of tenants have been pushed out by cash-hungry owners, said Dionysopoulou.
"Three families I know have already left, and we are currently trying to find a home for a fourth," she told AFP.
Greece is the eurozone country hardest hit by the 2008 economic crisis, losing around a quarter of its gross domestic product, suffering a surge in unemployment and a severe debt crisis that prompted bailouts from the EU and the IMF as wages stagnated and housing prices fell.
Dionysopoulou is not alone in feeling that the Airbnb phenomenon, as in other major cities, has run amok.
Greek authorities this year belatedly introduced registration and tax rules for Airbnb homeowners.
According to Angelos Skiadas, head of Greece's tenant association, the home-sharing craze has even spread to far-off Athens suburbs with no tourist interest.
"Homeowners think this is a cure-all that will solve their problems for life. Many use Airbnb as a threat [to raise the rent]," he said.
The shortage is particularly acute on popular islands where visiting civil servants, teachers and university students are unable to find affordable housing beyond May, when the tourist season begins to pick up, Skiadas noted.
"It's a bubble," he said, before adding: "Things will balance out."
Hoteliers also say the situation is out of control. Their trade association commissioned a study from Grant Thornton that found that more than 76 000 properties in Greece were available on home-sharing platforms.
The study argued that declining availability had pushed up rents in central Athens by 9.3% in a year, disproportionately affecting poorer segments of the population such as pensioners and single-parent families.
In a sign that Koukaki has reached saturation point, the government this month moved to halt the construction of a nearly completed nine-floor hotel with a stellar view of the Parthenon.
Opinions on home-sharing could not be more divided. Stratos Paradias, head of the Greek homeowners' association, counters that home-sharing - with Airbnb as the main player - has helped bring the country's real estate market "back from the dead".
Between 2008 and 2017, home prices fell by over 40% and only began increasing last year, Bank of Greece figures show.
"Home-sharing is an institution that's here to stay ... It creates jobs and revenue for people, many of whom have no other option for paying their taxes and debts," said Paradias, whose association has some 55 000 members.
"This activity has boosted tourism [and] made it affordable for more people to visit... Hotels can't meet the demand," he added, arguing that because of the crisis, there were "tens of thousands" of idle properties.
According to Airbnb data, there are over 8 000 apartments for rent in central Athens alone, at an average of 67 euros per night, including some 1 200 flats in districts close to the Acropolis.
About half are multi-listings by owners with more than one property online, said Airbnb.
Among them are a few hundred foreigners - mainly Chinese, Russians and Israelis - who tapped into a "golden visa" programme launched in 2013 that gives them residency rights in exchange for property purchases over 250 000 euros (US$285 000), according to Lefteris Potamianos, head of the Athens real estate association.
"In a few cases, they buy entire blocks of flats," he said. "Home-sharing has certainly boosted the market."
Bank of Greece figures show an influx of 1.35 billion euros in foreign capital for property purchases in 2018, a 172% increase over the previous year.
Paradias, the homeowners' association chairman, said he knows a woman who recently sold two basement storerooms in Koukaki, to be remodelled as flats.
"When she sees them all redone and realises what she's given up, she's going to burst into tears," he said.
Dionysopoulou, the lifelong Koukaki resident, also has a flat she could share. But she refuses to evict her full-term tenant, a civil servant, because she feels that would be wrong.
"In a country where prices keep rising and wages are falling, how can you bring yourself to raise the rent?" she asked bitterly.
"I regret to say, in Greece we do not look at the big picture. We only look out for ourselves."– Nampa/AFP
The Namibia Water Corporation (NamWater) placed Rundu on a prepaid credit system and removed it from the conventional water supply system for more effective revenue collection after the town accrued debt of close to N$60 million.
The town council’s acting chief executive officer, Sikongo Haihambo, said the debt remains N$60 million, but there are continuous discussions between the two entities on the issue.
He explained that with the introduction of prepaid water metering, consumers will be in control of their own water usage as they will then decide how much water to purchase and will have to budget for their water bills.
“I have engaged the management of NamWater on the water issue and Rundu remains a priority area to them because of the impact the water supply situation has on its 90 000 residents,” he said.
Asked whether there is a possibility of the debt being written off, Haihambo said the water utility has its own challenges including ageing infrastructure, some of which was built 40 to 50 years ago, as well as other responsibilities.
“There is a water reservoir here and they need to build a water purification plant. But when you talk about such a plant you talk about half a billion dollars,” he said.
The canal that goes to Calueque, he added, requires constant maintenance and repairs and NamWater also has to expand water provision facilities in other towns.
Haihambo was also of the opinion that other towns with similar problems might have a problem with Rundu’s debt being written off. - Nampa
Kenyatta who was on a state visit to Namibia, also joined the 29th independence celebrations at the invitation of President Hage Geingob.
Namport CEO Bisey /Uirab said the two countries had a long and beneficial relationship, dating back to before Namibia’s independence.
He further reiterated that countries need to tap into the so-called blue economy.
“As African nations we should become beneficiaries of our own fishing resources and not allow foreign nations to steal and plunder from us.
“As African ports we need to work together, so that we can be equally efficient and constantly seek to enhance our collaboration.”
Uhuru congratulated Namport on its achievements and called for increased intra-African cooperation.
“Africa will not succeed as individual countries, but if we are to succeed we should only do so as a collective. We have a greater responsibility, not just towards our own citizens but there are many other who depend on our efficiency and our effectiveness,” he said.
He was taken on the tour of the port’s container terminal, which was built on reclaimed land. Namport hopes to commission the terminal in August this year.
The Seaflower Pelagic Plant is the largest land-based fish-processing facility in Sub-Saharan Africa, with a processing capacity of 600 tonnes of horse mackerel per day.
A total of 434 onshore and 12 offshore jobs have been created in the Seaflower freezing plant, cannery, fishmeal plant and the two Namibian-flagged vessels that harvest fish for the factory. By the time the factory is in full production, over 700 jobs will have been created.
In his remarks, the minister of fisheries and marine resources, Bernard Esau, said providing food security was the essence of the fish industry.
“We want to provide fish to our local entrepreneurs to trade with, by drying and processing the fish, and through this create necessary jobs.
“This facility was built by local skills and expertise. In November last year I attended the Blue Economy Conference in Kenya, and the aim was to encourage global action to utilize the resources in a sustainable way.
“At that very conference, we interrogated the irregular and unreported fishing. I believe that is an area where Namibia and Kenya can collaborate.
“All we need to do now is give meaning to the commitments we made in Kenya concerning our marine resources. Come 2020, we will report on our commitments at the UN Oceans conference in Portugal,” Esau said.
Mannetti, however, said the team is in need of funding, in order for them to play friendlies and travel to north Africa for training camps ahead of the continental showpiece, slated for 21 June to 19 July.
The Warriors are likely to be drawn against some of the continent's biggest football powerhouses at the tournament, given the fact that they are in pot four, in terms of their ranking.
The teams in pot four are Namibia (110th), Benin (94th), Mauritania (101th), Kenya (106th), Madagascar (107th) and Tanzania (137th).
The nations in the same pot will not be drawn against each other in the group stages, but will initially have to battle it out against the stronger teams at the tournament.
Namibia are likely to face the likes of Senegal, Tunisia and South Africa or even host nation, Egypt, in the group matches.
Mannetti said he is more worried about his team's preparations than who they are likely to be drawn against.
“Look, we did expect to be in pot four, based on our ranking, and we did know that we will be drawn against top African nations if we qualify.
“Our focus is more on the preparations, and for that, we will need huge financial backing for the team to have thorough preparations,” Mannetti said.
The coach urged the country's private sector to pump money into the national team.
Mannetti said the Warriors will most likely have to travel to north Africa to train at high-performance centres and that the players will also need enough time to acquaint themselves with the Egyptian weather.
“Other smaller countries with an inferior economy to Namibia have been paying out huge bonuses to their players and others even got plots.
“These countries are also a step ahead, as far as funding their national teams' preparations for such a big tournament are concerned.
“That is why we do need the government and corporate Namibia to provide us with the financial muscle, which can help us have proper preparations.”
Mannetti and members of the Fifa NFA normalisation committee are expected to travel to Cairo next month for the Afcon draw.
The draw will take place on 12 April. The 24 teams are seeded into four pots based on their rankings.
They will be drawn into six groups of four teams. Egypt will be seeded in Group A.
The top two teams in each group, along with the four best third-placed teams will advance to the round of 16.
Pot one consists of Senegal (ranked 24th), Tunisia (28th), Ghana (52nd), Cameroon (56th), Egypt (57th) and Ivory Coast (66th).
Pot two consists of Morocco (43rd), Nigeria (46th), DR Congo (51st), Mali (65th), Guinea (68th) and Algeria (69th).
Pot three consists of Uganda (77th), South Africa (74th), Guinea-Bissau (118th), Zimbabwe (113th), Angola (125th) and Burundi (138th).
Jesse Jackson Kauraisa