EIB broadens support for water infrastructure in Zambia

The Lusaka Sanitation Programme is part of the urgently needed reinforcement and expansion of the wastewater infrastructure in Zambia’s fast growing capital Lusaka. While water supply has improved significantly in recent years, a lot remains to be done in terms of sanitation. The project is one of the few internationally funded activities in Zambia that address this problem. The infrastructure investments identified are in line with the Lusaka Sanitation Master Plan.

The project is expected to greatly contribute to economic and social development, due to the spill overs of sanitation infrastructure on health, environment, human development and virtually all other sectors of the Zambian economy. The conservation of the environment and the reduction of health risks related to water-borne diseases are likely to improve the quality of life for the population, especially in low-income and vulnerable areas.

The EIB has been involved from the beginning through technical assistance (through the EIB-EU ACP Water Project Preparation Facility), also allowing LWSC to attract grant and loan financing from other Cooperating Partners (including WB, AfDB, and KfW). In addition, a EUR 4.5 million grant, mobilised by the EIB to strengthen the project implementation capabilities of the promoter, will also be provided through EU funds.

EIB Vice-President Pim van Ballekom, responsible for operations in Southern and East Africa, commented: “We are happy to support the Zambian government in its quest for providing improved access to sanitation to all its citizens. Through the technical assistance and partnerships that surround this project, the bank was really able to show its added value and expertise in the sector. We hope that many similar projects around the continent will follow, in support of climate change mitigation and of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.”

The Ambassador of the European Union to Zambia, H.E. Alessandro Mariani, indicated that: “this new investment in Zambia by the European Investment Bank – the EU Bank – is another indicator of the quality of the solid and dynamic partnership between Zambia and the European Union. This project is very relevant to the people living in Lusaka as it is going to improve the quality of their daily life thanks to the direct positive impact of the new sanitation infrastructure both on their health and on the environment”.

Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company acting Managing Director, Jilly Chiyombwe said: “The population and demand for sanitation services in Lusaka has been growing exponentially without corresponding investment to adequately service the people. Funding was a huge stumbling block in addressing this challenge as servicing all of the growing population of Lusaka requires huge capital investment. We thank the EIB not only for funding the project, but also for the technical support that we have continued to receive. Through the provision of adequate sanitation services, the LSP is also expected to improve Lusaka’s poor public health outcomes, in particular, the incidence of cholera, dysentery, typhoid, diarrhoea and environmental enteropathy, all of which have a strong impact on stunting levels and mortality rates in children under five.”

The project will support the development of two new wastewater treatment plants and the associated main collector sewers and sewage pumping stations in Lusaka. Apart from this, it will also help with the expansion of the sewerage system (up to 520km), rehabilitation and upgrade of the associated wastewater treatment ponds and construction of on-site sanitation facilities across the city. The project will more than double the existing sewerage network in the Zambian capital, potentially benefitting up to 525.000 people, many of which would receive first time access to reliable sanitation services.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of European Investment Bank (EIB).

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Department of small business development and SBDI to host the fourth national SMME policy colloquium

The Department of Small Business Development and the Small Business Development Institute will host the fourth National SMME Policy Colloquium from Thursday 16 November to Friday, 17 November in Kempton Park.

After three successful colloquiums from 2014 to 2016, the Small Business Development Institute (SBDI) and the Department of Small Business Development (DSBD) are joining hands yet again to host this year’s colloquium.

The Colloquium’s principal focus is to debate and interrogate policies that hamper the growth and sustainability of SMMEs. It also seeks to find sustainable solutions to the challenges that confront small businesses and cooperatives and to identify policy interventions that will contribute to the growth and sustainability of small businesses.

Minister of Small Business Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, will deliver the keynote address on Thursday. The Chief Executive Officer of Small Business Development Institute (SBDI), Mr Xolani Qubeka will share progress made since the first colloquium.

This year’s colloquium will focus on promoting entrepreneurship. The Master Plan seeks to create a template that would engender an integrated approach to SMME development across the South African economic landscape through collaboration between the public and private sectors.

Minister of Small Business Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, said that the SMME Colloquium would encourage effective dialogue and engagement between SMMEs, government and other key stakeholders as part of placing small businesses at the centre of job creation and economic development.

‘This Colloquium is a perfect opportunity to remind all of us about the crucial role that small businesses and co-operatives play in economic development and social cohesion. We continue to call on all stakeholders to partner with us in the process of discharging our mandate. We welcome and embrace new innovative ideas that can propel small businesses to new heights”, said Minister Zulu.

According to Xolani Qubeka, Chief Executive Officer of the Small Business Development Institute, the Colloquium provides a platform to all stakeholders in the public and private sector to debate and influence policy options that would contribute towards a thriving and sustainable SMME sector.

“SBDI is committed to playing a pivotal role in fostering the growth and development of SMMEs and co-operatives as major drivers for economic growth and job creation. Through this colloquium we aim to influence participation and engagement between SMMEs, private sector as well as government. The colloquium seeks to build a more robust and sustainable policy environment that places SMMEs at the centre of economic growth and development in our country”, said Xolani Qubeka.

The two-day event will be held as follows:

  • Date: Thursday, 16 November 2017 and Friday, 17 November 2017.
  • Time: Registration from 7:30am until 8:30am daily.
  • Venue: TRANSNET- Esselen Park Conference Centre( School of Rail), Road 91-1 Off R25; Modderfontein, Church Street, Tembisa.

RSVP: Clement Moaga 0826581357;
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Crucial for DRC authorities to allow peaceful expression of dissent at protests today – Zeid

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Wednesday called on the authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo to halt the inflammatory rhetoric against protestors and to ensure that demonstrations across the country today are handled in line with international human rights laws and standards.

Upon publication of the electoral calendar on 5 November, which states that general elections will take place in December 2018 – two years later than originally scheduled – civil society organisations called for nationwide protests to be held today. In response, a number of alarming comments were reportedly made by provincial police inspectors in Goma and Kinshasa. Yesterday, the Police Nationale Congolaise (PNC) provincial inspector in Kinshasa warned that any gathering of more than five people would be dispersed “mercilessly”, upon the Governor’s orders.

Even before the announcement of the electoral calendar, between 22 and 23 October, at least 65 opposition political activists were arrested in Lubumbashi, in the southeast of the country. All those arrested were later released, some on bail, but these arrests were part of a worrying pattern of actions to prevent political opponents from gathering.

The High Commissioner called for political leaders at the highest levels to ensure respect for the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association and the freedom of expression. He also called on all sides to exercise restraint and to renounce the use of violence.

“The inflammatory comments by police authorities ahead of today’s protests are deeply alarming,” High Commissioner Zeid said. “I call on the Government and security forces to work to defuse tensions instead of creating the conditions for suppression, confrontation and violence.”

The UN’s Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials contains very strict guidelines on the use of force, including that “intentional lethal use of firearms may only be made when strictly unavoidable in order to protect life.”

“I appeal to the authorities to ensure that the use of excessive force that has marred previous protests – including in September and December 2016 in Kinshasa – is not repeated, and that security personnel must receive clear instructions that they will be held accountable for their conduct during law and order operations in the context of demonstrations, regardless of their ranks or affiliation,” Zeid said.

In September last year, 54 people died after defence and security forces used excessive force against demonstrators who were calling for constitutional deadlines to be respected and for President Kabila to step down at the end of his second mandate. In December, the UN Joint Human Rights Office in the DRC (UNJHRO) documented at least 40 killings of civilians in Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Boma and Matadi, mainly of demonstrators.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

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flydubai commits to US$ 27 billion order for 225 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft

Dubai-based flydubai (www.flydubai.com) today announced a commitment to a US$27 billion order for 225 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to support the growth of its fleet. This is the third aircraft order placed by the airline with Boeing in its eight-year history and follows orders placed in 2008 and 2013. This new aircraft order will support its continued expansion within a geographic area that is home to 2.5 billion people.

The airline by the end of the year will have a fleet of 61 Next-Generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft and Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. In addition, there is a pipeline of 70 aircraft due for delivery by 2023.

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman, flydubai, commented on the aircraft order and said: “Today’s aircraft order underlines the success of flydubai’s founding vision helping to strengthen trade and tourism links across its network and has contributed to the enhanced connectivity of Dubai’s aviation hub. In under a decade, flydubai has extended its network to 97 destinations in 44 countries and we look forward to the arrival of the new aircraft from 2019 in support of our future ambitions.”

With today’s announcement, this will bring the total number of aircraft the airline has on order to 320.

Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer, flydubai added: “Today marks the next chapter in flydubai’s success story. Since we launched in 2009, flydubai has opened up 67 previously underserved markets serving our passengers across the region. We welcome the continuation of our long partnership with Boeing. We ordered this aircraft model as it has given us the versatility and flexibility to carry 44 million passengers since our first flight.”

“We are extremely honored that flydubai has selected to be an all-Boeing operator for many years to come. This record-breaking agreement builds on our strong partnership with flydubai and the other leading carriers of this region,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President & CEO Kevin McAllister. “With flydubai’s proven business model and ambitious growth plans, we look forward to hundreds of flydubai 737 MAXs connecting Dubai with the rest of the world.”

flydubai was established in 2008 to create opportunities for travel, tourism and trade within the flying radius of its fleet of Next-Generation Boeing 737-800 and Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of flydubai.

Media contact:
Houda Al Kaissi
Public Relations Specialist
Mobile: +971 56 683 0336
Houda.Alkaissi@flydubai.com

Kareem Mahjoub
Press Officer
Mobile: +971 55 6356196
Kareem.Mahjoub@flydubai.com

About flydubai:
Dubai-based flydubai (www.flydubai.com) strives to remove barriers to travel and enhance connectivity between different cultures across its ever-expanding network. Since launching its operations in 2009, flydubai has:

• Created a network of more than 95 destinations in 44 countries, with 6 new routes launched since the beginning of 2017.
• Opened up more than 60 new routes that did not previously have direct air links to Dubai or were not served by a UAE national carrier from Dubai.
• Built up a fleet of 61 new aircraft and will take delivery of more than 100 aircraft by the end of 2023, all of which will be Boeing 737s.

In addition, flydubai’s agility and flexibility as a young airline has enhanced Dubai’s economic development, in line with the Government of Dubai’s vision, by creating trade and tourism flows in previously underserved markets.

For more information about flydubai services, please visit flydubai.com.

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