Germany donates equipment for Natural Resource Management In Serengeti and Ngorongoro Districts

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On 07th June 2016 the German embassy Dar es Salaam together with representatives of GIZ handed over two vehicles to Serengeti and Ngorongoro Districts. The vehicles will be used by the district authorities to improve the services provided to village communities: they will support activities such as control of wild animals, patrolling, early response to human-wildlife conflicts and training sessions related to natural resource management in wards and villages.

The deployment of the vehicles are part of the German support for biodiversity protection and rural development around the Serengeti National Park. The program, implemented by GIZ, aims at strengthening the districts in decentralized sustainable natural resource management. Natural resources in the areas adjacent to Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area are increasingly under pressure from human settlements, heightening the risk of human-wildlife conflicts.

The district representatives thanked the German Government for the outstanding support in sustainable resource management and benefit-sharing at the local level. John K. Mgalula, District Executive Director of Ngorongoro District Council, stressed: “I would like to thank the Government of Germany for the support to Ngorongoro Community through the GIZ NRM program. GIZ supported different activities in our district including capacity building for our staff on natural resource management …. All this enabled the district to increase the efficiency in implementing its daily activities”.

Since 2012 Germany has committed 100 Mio. EUR for biodiversity protection and rural development in Tanzania. 20,5 Mio. EUR has been committed in financial assistance to the conservation of the Serengeti ecosystem and the development of Serengeti and Ngorongoro districts (implemented by KfW in collaboration with MNRT, TANAPA and FZS), while technical assistance (implemented by GIZ) is geared towards capacity building and strengthening of natural resource management in the District Councils of Serengeti and Ngorongoro.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany – Tanzania.

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Source:: Germany donates equipment for Natural Resource Management In Serengeti and Ngorongoro Districts

Categories: AFRICA

Statement by Dr Tarek A. Sharif, Head of the AU Defence and Security Division at the 6th Biennial Meeting of States to Consider the Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapon

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New York, USA
6-10 June 2016

Mr. Chairman, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentleman, It is an honour for me to speak on behalf of the African Union and wish to take this opportunity to congratulate you on your election as the Chair of the 6th Biennial Meeting, and commend you for the manner in which you are steering the meeting. The African Union assures you of its full support.

Mr. Chairman,

The African Union fully aligns itself with the statement made by the African Group and wishes to underscore that Africa is among the regions most affected by the illicit proliferation, circulation and trafficking of small arms and light weapons.

These weapons have caused unspeakable death and suffering over the decades and remain a serious impediment to peace, security, stability, and development on the continent and globally. This is why the AU is strongly committed to regional and global efforts to eliminate illicit small arms, and we firmly believe that the Programme of Action remains a critical and comprehensive policy framework to achieve this end.

The Member States of the AU have made significant progress in implementing the different components of the Programme of Action and the International Tracing Instrument. In this regard, I wish to express the AU’s sincere thanks and appreciation to all the international partners for their continued commitment to support our Member States.

Mr. Chairman,

The AU recognizes that some challenges to the full and effective implementation of the Programme of Action and the International Tracing Instrument still remain. These include limited financial and human resources and also the declining levels of international assistance and the lack of effective assistance coordination at the regional and global levels.

The AU wishes to seize this opportunity to call on all international partners to reboost their assistance in order to preserve the gains that have been made thus far. It is also imperative that the international community re-considers and improves the current funding modalities. While the AU commends the support provided through the UN Disarmament Trust Fund and UNSCAR, these funds do not match the existing and growing needs and gaps.

In this regard, the AU will support regional coordination and synergies in the implementation of the PoA, the ATT, and other regional instruments. The AU is also particularly keen to promote and support sustainable action that is fully owned and led by Member States. It is, therefore, critical that the relation between donors and recipient countries is transformed into a strong partnership that is based on a shared understanding of the priorities and where both parties are committed to institutional and capacity building and long term impact, in accordance with best practices and mutual agreements.

Mr. Chairman,

The important role of regional and sub-regional organizations in combating illicit small arms cannot be overstated. Over the years, their programmes and initiatives against illicit small arms have led to significant milestones. This makes them key potential partners in global efforts, and their role should be capitalized on in order to close the gaps in implementation as well as coordination.

The AU calls upon international partners to ensure that regional and sub-regional organizations are consulted and involved in project planning and implementation in order to ensure that regional dimensions and border security aspects of illicit proliferation are considered and addressed. Furthermore, the AU encourages a central role for regional and sub-regional organizations in coordinating resource mobilization and assistance.

Mr. Chairman,

On its part, the AU is ready to provide a regional forum for States, the UN and international partners to discuss modalities to enhance the capacities of Member States to meet their obligations under the POA and ITI as well as on the strengthened role of regional and sub-regional organizations in this regard. In concluding, the AU delegation hopes that this meeting agrees on substantial and results-oriented recommendations to reinforce the Programme of Action.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).

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Source:: Statement by Dr Tarek A. Sharif, Head of the AU Defence and Security Division at the 6th Biennial Meeting of States to Consider the Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapon

Categories: AFRICA

USAID Distributes Over 4 Million Books to Schools in All Districts

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On June 7, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ministry of Education launched the distribution of over 4 million books in English and local Ghanaian languages to public primary schools in all 216 districts. The aim is to improve the reading skills of nearly 2.8 million primary school students, enhance education policies and management systems, as well as strengthen parent, school and local government capacity to promote reading. The books will provide more access to reading materials and enrich the reading environment for kindergarten to primary 3 pupils in all of Ghana. U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Robert P. Jackson and Minister of Education, Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang delivered remarks to commemorate the official handover of the books.

“These books will open minds, expand horizons, and introduce millions of primary school children across Ghana to new worlds and opportunities,” remarked Ambassador Jackson. “A literate, educated population drives development and builds nations. But a 2013 test showed that the vast majority of Ghanaian primary school students are unable to read with fluency. I am happy to report that this is changing. One of the major drivers of this change is the strong partnership between the U.S. Government and the Ghana Ministry of Education.”

USAID and the Ministry of Education initiated the Partnership for Education: Learning program in 2015. This partnership supports the Government of Ghana to encourage children to develop their reading skills and stimulate parent or guardian interests in early grade reading, both in English and Ghanaian languages.

About USAID

USAID is the lead U.S. government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential. For more than 50 years, USAID has supported Ghana in increasing food security, improving basic health care, enhancing access to quality basic education, and strengthening local governance to benefit all Ghanaian people.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Embassy of the United States – Accra – Ghana.

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Source:: USAID Distributes Over 4 Million Books to Schools in All Districts

Categories: AFRICA

International farm projects in Sub-Saharan Africa need land grab safeguards, MEPs warn

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Projects under the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition (NAFSN), an EU-backed G8 initiative to boost agriculture and relieve poverty by working with private companies in Sub-Saharan Africa, need to include environment protection measures and safeguards against land grabs, said MEPs in a resolution voted on Tuesday. They also called on the EU to address transparency and governance issues, to better target development goals.

MEPs stressed that some features of the NAFSN could pose a threat to farmers’ rights and the environment. To target development goals better, the EU must address some deficiencies, including transparency and governance, MEPs stressed.

“Supporting family farmers and smallholders would be the most effective way to fight hunger in many African regions. Instead, the EU is contributing its scarce development funding to the New Alliance, which actually undermines sustainable small-scale food production and local food systems. As recent studies showed, there are cases of land grabbing by private companies, which the EU co-funded indirectly. If the New Alliance does not address the severe problems that we witness, the EU should withdraw from the initiative“, said rapporteur Maria Heubuch, (Greens/EFA, DE), before the vote.

Halt land grabbing

MEPs note that family farmers and smallholders have been largely excluded from negotiations, calling on private companies to create appeal mechanisms and publish publicly accessible annual reports. To protect farmers’ land rights and prevent land grabbing they want all investments to be subject to independent prior impact studies.

Restrict pesticides

The text advises against “replicating the mistakes of the Asian “Green Revolution model of the 1960s” in Africa, by ignoring the possible negative social and environmental impacts of industrialized agriculture. It stresses that given the health and environmental consequences, the NAFSN must restrict the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides and that extensive irrigation in some areas may reduce the availability of water to small-scale farmers.

The right to seeds

MEPs stress that agricultural investment policies are meant to support the development of the local economy, so African governments should invest in local food systems to boost rural economies, ensure decent jobs and labour rights. They also highlight the need to uphold farmers’ rights to produce, exchange and sell seeds freely, as this underpins 90% of agricultural livelihoods in Africa and is vital to build resilience to climate change.

The report was passed by 577 votes to 24 with 69 abstentions.

Background

Launched in 2012, the NAFSN aims to boost financial support from donor countries and help big companies to invest in African farming. In return, the ten participating Sub-Saharan African states are expected to change their legislation on land, seeds and foreign investments.

One in four people in Sub-Saharan Africa – the region with the highest prevalence of hunger – are undernourished. Poor nutrition causes nearly half (45%) of deaths in children under five. Family farmers and smallholders produce about 80% of the world’s food and provide over 60% of jobs in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of European Parliament.

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Categories: AFRICA

International farm projects in Sub-Saharan Africa need land grab safeguards, MEPs warn

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Projects under the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition (NAFSN), an EU-backed G8 initiative to boost agriculture and relieve poverty by working with private companies in Sub-Saharan Africa, need to include environment protection measures and safeguards against land grabs, said MEPs in a resolution voted on Tuesday. They also called on the EU to address transparency and governance issues, to better target development goals.

MEPs stressed that some features of the NAFSN could pose a threat to farmers’ rights and the environment. To target development goals better, the EU must address some deficiencies, including transparency and governance, MEPs stressed.

“Supporting family farmers and smallholders would be the most effective way to fight hunger in many African regions. Instead, the EU is contributing its scarce development funding to the New Alliance, which actually undermines sustainable small-scale food production and local food systems. As recent studies showed, there are cases of land grabbing by private companies, which the EU co-funded indirectly. If the New Alliance does not address the severe problems that we witness, the EU should withdraw from the initiative“, said rapporteur Maria Heubuch, (Greens/EFA, DE), before the vote.

Halt land grabbing

MEPs note that family farmers and smallholders have been largely excluded from negotiations, calling on private companies to create appeal mechanisms and publish publicly accessible annual reports. To protect farmers’ land rights and prevent land grabbing they want all investments to be subject to independent prior impact studies.

Restrict pesticides

The text advises against “replicating the mistakes of the Asian “Green Revolution model of the 1960s” in Africa, by ignoring the possible negative social and environmental impacts of industrialized agriculture. It stresses that given the health and environmental consequences, the NAFSN must restrict the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides and that extensive irrigation in some areas may reduce the availability of water to small-scale farmers.

The right to seeds

MEPs stress that agricultural investment policies are meant to support the development of the local economy, so African governments should invest in local food systems to boost rural economies, ensure decent jobs and labour rights. They also highlight the need to uphold farmers’ rights to produce, exchange and sell seeds freely, as this underpins 90% of agricultural livelihoods in Africa and is vital to build resilience to climate change.

The report was passed by 577 votes to 24 with 69 abstentions.

Background

Launched in 2012, the NAFSN aims to boost financial support from donor countries and help big companies to invest in African farming. In return, the ten participating Sub-Saharan African states are expected to change their legislation on land, seeds and foreign investments.

One in four people in Sub-Saharan Africa – the region with the highest prevalence of hunger – are undernourished. Poor nutrition causes nearly half (45%) of deaths in children under five. Family farmers and smallholders produce about 80% of the world’s food and provide over 60% of jobs in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of European Parliament.

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Source:: International farm projects in Sub-Saharan Africa need land grab safeguards, MEPs warn

Categories: AFRICA

IOM Egypt Presents to Arab League on Egyptian Unaccompanied Child Migrants

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IOM Egypt has presented on the irregular migration of children from Egypt at the Third Arab Parliamentarians Conference on Arab Childhood at the League of Arab States in Cairo.

The event was attended by officials from 22 countries and representatives from international agencies. It provided an overview of the socio-economic drivers of the irregular migration of children and their vulnerabilities during migration. It also discussed the changing modus operandi and characteristics of smuggling networks operating from Egypt.

“Smugglers now use debt bondage arrangements to make children repay the costs of smuggling services,” said IOM Programme Officer Nils Feller. “Although children are not coerced into working upon arrival in Europe, they are victims of trafficking under international law.”

In order to safeguard the rights of unaccompanied migrant children, IOM advocates for the development of multidisciplinary policies. It supports efforts by Egyptian government agencies to prevent irregular child migration, to protect their rights and address their needs, and it is working to enhance national capacities for the prosecution of smugglers.

Irregular child migration is a growing phenomenon, with over one in five migrants arriving in Europe being children. The percentage of children among irregular Egyptian migrants arriving in Europe has been the highest of any country since 2011.

A full assessment of the irregular migration of Egyptian children and recommendations for policy responses can be found in IOM’s new report: “Egyptian Unaccompanied Migrant Children: A Case Study on Irregular Migration.”

The report can be downloaded from: https://publications.iom.int/books/egyptian-unaccompanied-migrant-childr…

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of International Office of Migration (IOM).

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Source:: IOM Egypt Presents to Arab League on Egyptian Unaccompanied Child Migrants

Categories: AFRICA

IOM Calls for Coordinated Effort to Tackle Human Trafficking in Somalia

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IOM, with support from the European Union and the Government of Japan, has organized the first-ever consultative meeting aimed at improving collaboration and coordination to combat human trafficking in Somalia.

The meeting facilitated a sharing of best practices to enable the Federal Government of Somalia and the Puntland State of Somalia to identify strategic areas for collaboration and coordination between government and other actors tasked with preventing trafficking, providing assistance to victims and prosecuting traffickers.

Speaking during the three-day meeting held in Entebbe, Uganda, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Security Mohamed Jama Ali said: “Human trafficking is still a major problem in Somalia due to the prolonged civil war, which has led to many people, especially the young, to opt for irregular migration abroad. Criminal groups exploit their vulnerable situation as a source of income.”

Jama urged international agencies and NGOs to work closely with government authorities in Somalia, Puntland State and other regional states in putting an end to human trafficking in the country.

Over the years, Puntland State of Somalia has been a major transit zone for migrants in mixed flows, mostly from Southern and Central Somalia. This includes the majority of victims trafficked to the Gulf and Middle East, as well as countries in North Africa and other locations en route to Europe.

IOM Somalia has been conducting awareness raising campaign on human trafficking, and providing capacity building and institutional support to government institutions. IOM facilitates care and protection of victims through working with government authorities, NGOs, communities and civil society, to provide both direct and indirect assistance.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of International Office of Migration (IOM).

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Categories: AFRICA

IOM Calls for Coordinated Effort to Tackle Human Trafficking in Somalia

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IOM, with support from the European Union and the Government of Japan, has organized the first-ever consultative meeting aimed at improving collaboration and coordination to combat human trafficking in Somalia.

The meeting facilitated a sharing of best practices to enable the Federal Government of Somalia and the Puntland State of Somalia to identify strategic areas for collaboration and coordination between government and other actors tasked with preventing trafficking, providing assistance to victims and prosecuting traffickers.

Speaking during the three-day meeting held in Entebbe, Uganda, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Security Mohamed Jama Ali said: “Human trafficking is still a major problem in Somalia due to the prolonged civil war, which has led to many people, especially the young, to opt for irregular migration abroad. Criminal groups exploit their vulnerable situation as a source of income.”

Jama urged international agencies and NGOs to work closely with government authorities in Somalia, Puntland State and other regional states in putting an end to human trafficking in the country.

Over the years, Puntland State of Somalia has been a major transit zone for migrants in mixed flows, mostly from Southern and Central Somalia. This includes the majority of victims trafficked to the Gulf and Middle East, as well as countries in North Africa and other locations en route to Europe.

IOM Somalia has been conducting awareness raising campaign on human trafficking, and providing capacity building and institutional support to government institutions. IOM facilitates care and protection of victims through working with government authorities, NGOs, communities and civil society, to provide both direct and indirect assistance.

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of International Office of Migration (IOM).

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Source:: IOM Calls for Coordinated Effort to Tackle Human Trafficking in Somalia

Categories: AFRICA

IOM Fears 320 Migrants Missing in Mediterranean as Deaths Approach 3,000 in 2016

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IOM reports an estimated 206,400 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2016 through 5 June, arriving in Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Spain. No fatalities have been recorded in the Mediterranean since Saturday, 4 June. Deaths so far this year are 2,809, compared with 1,838 through the first six months of 2015. In other words, fatalities in the Mediterranean in 2016 are nearly 1,000 more than last year’s mid-year total, even though we now are some three weeks shy of 2016’s mid-year point.

medupdate

Concerning the Friday, 3 June shipwreck off Crete that IOM reported on last week, we now fear some 320 migrants and refugees remain missing based on testimony received from survivors whom IOM staffers were able to interview in the Italian port of Augusta after their rescue. Those 320 missing (and presumed drowned) are included in the latest fatalities total, and are in addition to bodies recovered last week by rescue crews.

IOM learned from several survivors that the number of passengers aboard the vessel that foundered at sea was between 648 and 650 men, women and children. Both numbers were mentioned. Migrants told IOM they were sure of the number “because smugglers counted them twice a day before departure.”

Some survivors added two Sudanese brothers on board died from health issues, which the survivors described as consistent with diabetic shock. Others said their boat carried 150 women and about 20 accompanied children, said to be between six months and ten years old.

“Before sinking, a father who was travelling with his wife and two sons entrusted his three-year-old girl to another migrant he met on board,” IOM’s team recorded. “He said ‘I entrust you my daughter because I feel that we will not survive.’ He died, together with his wife and the other children. He asked the man to look for his relatives in Egypt, in order to give them his daughter.”

Survivors mentioned another girl, aged seven, who also arrived in Augusta. They believe her parents were also rescued by a different boat and were brought safely to Egypt.

IOM staffers also interviewed “Mona,” an Egyptian woman who left Egypt together with sons aged five, ten and eight. She said she left Egypt because she wanted to join her husband in Germany. After trying several times to get a visa, she chose a sea crossing.

“Mona” believed her three children all perished last week, but some of the survivors arriving in Egypt have since contacted IOM and reported that one of the sons was rescued and is alive in Egypt. On Monday morning IOM was able to inform to the mother that her son is safe.

IOM Rome spokesperson Flavio Di Giacomo this week reported new arrival numbers for the year from Italy’s Ministry of the Interior. The Ministry notes Eritreans arriving by sea in the period of 1 January through 31 May 2016 comprise the largest group of arrivals, at 6,076, out of a total of 47,851. For the most recent month, the Ministry reports 19,925 arrivals, or nearly half the year’s total so far. Migrant arrivals in May 2015 were 21,231.

After Eritrea, Nigeria is in second place with 5,967 arrivals. Other important sending countries are The Gambia (3,782), Somalia (3,450), Côte d’Ivoire (3,156), Guinea (2,836), Sudan (2,653) and Mali (2,614).

The number of Syrians decreased from 3,373 in 2015 to 135 in 2016 – demonstrating that the closure of the Balkan route has not yet had any impact on the Mediterranean’s Africa-to-Italy crossing. There has been an increase in Egyptians, however, from 243 in 2015 to 1,815 in 2016.

medupdate

“Libya is still the main departure point of the majority of migrants, but we are also seeing an increase of numbers of migrants sailing from Egypt,” said Federico Soda, Director of the IOM Coordinating Office for the Mediterranean in Rome.

“Every year arrivals from Egypt represent 10-15 percent of the total, but it is a flow that usually starts with the good weather. This year we have registered arrivals from Egypt also during the first months of the year. They include Egyptians, Somalis, Sudanese and Eritreans.”

According to some testimonies gathered by IOM staff, some of the migrants coming from East Africa also passed through Egypt in order to avoid Libya, which is considered currently too dangerous.

According to Soda, the number of minors is also rising. In 2015 by the end of May 4,566 minors had arrived in Italy by sea. Some 3,058 were unaccompanied. This year there are 7,567, including 7,009 unaccompanied. Nearly half of them (3,274) came from Egypt, Gambia, Guinea, and Côte d’Ivoire, which together only accounted for some 500 of unaccompanied minor arrivals in 2015.

The protection of unaccompanied minors is a major concern. They are at high risk of exploitation and human trafficking for both sex and forced labour. IOM works with the Italian government at the landing points in Italy to facilitate the screening and identification of minors and victims of trafficking so that they can be referred to the responsible authorities for protection and assistance.

The growing number of minors is surprising in a context that is roughly unchanged in terms of overall numbers of arrivals, according to Soda. Total arrivals of adults and minors in Italy this year have been roughly the same as last year. There were 47,851 arrivals between 1 January and 31 May 2016, compared to 47,452 during the same period in 2015.

For the latest Mediterranean Update infographic please go to:
https://missingmigrants.iom.int/sites/default/files/Mediterranean_Update…

For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: http://migration.iom.int/europe
Learn more about Missing Migrants Project at:
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Source:: IOM Fears 320 Migrants Missing in Mediterranean as Deaths Approach 3,000 in 2016

Categories: AFRICA

German Embassy supports football project for kids

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In Germany, as in Namibia, football is the number one participatory sport. The German non-profit organisation “Auf Ballhöhe” supports children all over the world so that they can play football and develop both their sporting and social competences.

Since June, three representatives from “Auf Ballhöhe”, Johannes Schröpfer, Kyle Berger and Oliver Rathenow have been busy setting up a camp for 250 boys and girls from seven schools in Katutura.

The camp will take place from the 13th of June until the 18th of June and will be held at the Van Rhyn Primary School. In addition to the training camp, 20 teachers will receive training from German pro-license coaches.

The Federal Foreign Office supports the project through the German Embassy within the framework of its international sports programme with a donation of equipment worth 60.000,00 N$. The aim is to support the spread of broad-based sport in Namibia and contribute to the construction of a sustainable sports infrastructure. The shared knowledge and the donated materials will contribute to making sport fun to practice. This will result in the creation of a positive self- image, social awareness and intercultural competences as well as support sustained positive societal development.

Additionally, as the UEFA European Football Championships are taking place in France in the same time-frame, the German Embassy is giving away one football shirt, signed by German National Team players.

Visit our website at www.windhoek.diplo.de or find us on Facebook

(http://www.facebook.com/GermanEmbassyWindhoek/) and Twitter

(https://twitter.com/GermanEmbassyNA) for more information.

The Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Namibia, Mr Christian Schlaga, will hand over the goals, balls and ball nets, shirts, cones, pumps, whistles and medals on the 13th of June 2016, 14:00 at the Van Rhyn Primary School to the participants of the football camps.

The media is cordially invited!

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany – Windhoek.

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Categories: AFRICA

German Ambassador Invites UNAM Researcher on “Sharing Economy” to Germany

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Dr. Thomas Fox, Senior Lecturer at the Sociology Department of the University of Namibia has been invited to participate in a group visit to Germany themed ““The Sharing Economy” from 10 until 16 July, 2016, as part of the Visitors Programme of the German Federal Government.

Together with journalists/bloggers, economic and social scientists from around the world, Dr. Fox will have the opportunity to familiarise himself with the current debate in Germany incorporating supporters, networkers and businesses. “Sharing is the new form of having” applies to almost all spheres of life, both commercial and non-commercial. The programme includes a Presentation of suitable projects and examples from business (e.g. Car2Go, Airbnb) and society (e.g. Kleiderkreisel (clothing exchange), Küchensurfen (cooking together), Wohnzimmerkonzerte (concerts in your living room) and projects such as Tauschbörse Kiel (exchange platform) on integration.

Dr. Fox’ research has revealed that the “sharing economy” concept yields huge potential for poverty reduction and eventually elimination in Namibia. Furthermore, a recent study of the Organisation for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD) has identified the “sharing economy” as one of the largest challenges for tourism worldwide. Given the importance of tourism for Namibia’s economy, the insights of this trip should help prepare Namibia’s tourism industry for changing patterns in Germany, Namibia’s largest non-African tourism market with 90,000 visitors every year and rising.

On 6 June 2016, Ambassador Christian Schlaga presented Dr. Fox with his letter of invitation at the embassy

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany – Windhoek.

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Source:: German Ambassador Invites UNAM Researcher on “Sharing Economy” to Germany

Categories: AFRICA

Slower, lower, weaker… but not defeated – PwC Mine 2016 report

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  • The first collective net loss in the Top 40’s history (US $27billion)
  • Market capitalisation down 37 per cent (%), in some cases below Net Book Value
  • High debt sees some miners fighting for survival , committing to asset sales
  • Focus on costs continues, but so do economic headwinds

2015 was a race to the bottom with many new records set by the world’s 40 largest mining companies, according to PwC’s annual Mine report released today (www. PwC.com).

The 13th in PwC’s industry series analysing financial performance and global trends, the report reveals a first ever collective net loss (US$27bn) for the Top 40 miners with market capitalisation falling by 37%, effectively wiping out all the gains made during the commodity super cycle.

Michal Kotzé, Mining Industry Leader for PwC Africa, says: “Last year was undoubtedly challenging for the mining sector. The Top 40 experienced their first ever collective net loss, their lowest return on capital employed, a significant drop in market capitalisation, and an overall decline in liquidity with the result that the Top 40 were more vulnerable and carrying heavier debt loads than in prior years.”

“We are also seeing shareholders persist with a short term focus, impacting the capital available for investment and, as a result, constraining options for growth.

“But this is a hardy industry, and while many miners may be down they are certainly not out.”

The report analysed 40 of the largest listed mining companies by market capitalisation. Four new entrants in this year’s Top 40 were Chinese companies. AngloGold Ashanti has reemerged in the Top 40 for the first time since 2013. The number of emerging companies included in the Top 40 has increased by two and now totals 19. For the first time, a lithium company has made the Top 40. While this must be viewed in the context of the much larger traditional energy sources, there is no doubt that the energy landscape is changing and new world disrupters will have a role to play. The financial information for 2015 covers the reporting periods from 1 April 2014 to 31 December 2015, with each company’s results included for the 12-month financial reporting period that falls into this time frame.

Mine 2016 also found:

  • Investors punished the Top 40 for poor investment and capital management decisions, and in some quarters for squandering the benefits of the boom.
  • Concerns over the ‘spot mentality’ from shareholders focused on fluctuating commodities prices and short term returns rather than the long term investment horizon required in mining.
  • A focus on maximising value from shedding assets as well as mothballing marginal projects or curtailing capacity by Top 40 minters. This is further evidenced by a significant drop off in capex signaling an almost stagnant investment environment.
  • A positive focus on cost reduction resulting in a 17% drop in operating costs against a backdrop of higher production volumes and lower input costs – an impressive achievement given the production increases seen during 2015.

Capital discipline and impairment levels

With a further $53 billion of impairments in 2015, miners have now collectively wiped out the equivalent of 32% of their actual capex since 2010, a stark reminder of the value that has already been lost. This also represents a hefty 77% of this year’s capital expenditure. “While it is unfair to focus on the charges incurred this year as price assumptions were adjusted down, a longer-term perspective indicates a lack of capital discipline. In fact, from 2010 to 2015, the Top 40 have impaired the equivalent of a staggering 32% of their capex incurred,” adds Andries Rossouw, Assurance Partner, PwC.

China not the industry hero

While China is still critical to the success of the mining industry, accounting for about 40% of overall commodity demand, it can no longer be relied on to supercharge returns. As the country moves from a manufacturing based economy to a services-based economy the previously rampant demand for commodities will still not resume with the same intensity. Despite this shift, the number of Chinese mining companies in the Top 40 continued to increase from nine to 12.

Debt burdens will mean some heavy lifting ahead

Debt management has moved to the top of the business agenda for many of the Top 40 miners. For some, the driver was maintaining access to capital at reasonable rates. For others, it was simply crucial to survival. While the Top 40 trimmed a slither of their overall debt in 2015, liquidity metrics have begun to trigger alarms. Leverage is at an all-time high and cash used to repay debt was broadly equal to cash from borrowings. It’s no surprise that the ratings agencies responded with widespread ratings downgrades.

Adds Rossouw: “The response of the Top 4o miners has been twofold: an even greater focus on cutting expenditure, whether operational or expansionary, and an acceleration in asset sales. It will be interesting to see if these efforts can continue and the subsequent knock-on effects.”

While the mining industry continues to face significant challenges and constraints, Rossouw maintains there is still a long-term positive outlook. “Many of the Top 40 appreciate what is required for the marathon of mining and have their eyes firmly fixed on the long term rewards.”

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC).

Media Contacts:

Andries Rossouw, Assurance Partner, PwC
Office: +27 11 797 4060
Email: [email protected]
OR
Bafiihlile Mokoena: Account Executive, Edelman South Africa
Office: + 27 11 504 4000/Mobile: + 27 (0) 73 753 1025
Email: [email protected]
OR
Sanchia Temkin: Head of Media Relations, PwC South Africa
Office: + 27 11 797 4470
Email: [email protected]

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Source:: Slower, lower, weaker… but not defeated – PwC Mine 2016 report

Categories: AFRICA