South Africa – Rosetta Messori, Italian photographer and artist in Pretoria

During the celebrations of the Women’s Month in South Africa, the Italian artist and photographer Rosetta Messori will present her works in Pretoria. Taking place from 14 to 18 August 2017 at the Vavasati International Women’s Festival, the exhibition will be sponsored by Pretoria’s South African State Theatre, with the evocative title ‘Flowers of the Revolution’.

The ‘Roses’ exhibit, dedicated to this beautiful flower, includes 23 prints on prestigious cotton paper and has been organised by the Italian Cultural Institute in Pretoria. It includes photos with a long exposure time, the result of the movement of the camera while shooting, with the aim of ‘dematerialising’ reality by creating new shapes generated by contact with light.

The photographer will also run a workshop during the festival at the State Theatre on 18 August from 11:00 am to 1:00 p.m. The workshop has been designed for young local photographers as well as amateurs, during which Rosetta Messori will share with the participants her photography experience and the vision that stems from her works.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy.

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Source:: South Africa – Rosetta Messori, Italian photographer and artist in Pretoria

      

Categories: AFRICA, African Culture, South Africa | Tags: | Leave a comment

Mauretania : Constitutional referendum statement – UN Secretary General

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the Constitutional referendum in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania

Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General:

With regard to the constitutional referendum of 5 August 2017 in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, the Secretary-General encourages all stakeholders to ensure that disagreements are addressed peacefully, within the confines of the law and respect for the rights to freedom of assembly and expression.

The Secretary-General calls on all Mauritanians to work together to deepen the rule of law and promote social cohesion and national unity.

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations – Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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Source:: Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the Constitutional referendum in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania

      

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Botswana : IMF Executive Board Concludes 2017 Article IV Consultation

On July 28, 2017, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the Article IV consultation [1] with Botswana, and considered and endorsed the staff appraisal without a meeting [2].

Following a small contraction in 2015, economic activity recovered in 2016 with real GDP growth of 4.3 percent. Mineral production has remained subdued, but diamond sales rebounded as conditions in the global market begun to improve. Non-mining activities also expanded, supported by accommodative fiscal and monetary policies and reforms in the electricity sector. Year-on-year inflation has remained stable near the lower band of the Bank of Botswana’s inflation objective range of 3–6 percent, with the 12-month rate of inflation at 3.5 percent in in May 2017.

The fiscal position has also improved as the deficit narrowed from 4.6 percent of GDP in fiscal year 2015/16 (the fiscal year begins in April) to about 1 percent of GDP in 2016/17. This outcome was supported by a recovery in diamond revenues and constrained recurrent spending. Higher diamond sales also contributed to a large surplus in the external current account and helped sustain a high level of international reserves (45 percent of GDP at end-2016).

Executive Board Assessment

In concluding the 2017 Article IV Consultation with Botswana, Executive Directors endorsed staff’s appraisal as follows:

The economy is undergoing a cyclical recovery and the outlook is broadly positive. Supported by a gradual rebound in the global diamond market and public investment, annual real GDP growth is projected to approach 5 percent in the near term while prudent financial policies are expected to maintain inflation within the 3–6 percent objective range set by the Bank of Botswana. In the medium-term, the outlook is also positive and risks are balanced.

The authorities’ macroeconomic policies are appropriate. The fiscal stance articulated in the 2017/18 budget and the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) entail small deficits over the next two fiscal years and a rebalancing of expenditure composition toward development spending. This is consistent with a small output gap and the need to upgrade the water and electricity infrastructure. Starting in 2019/20, the MTEF envisages returning to fiscal surpluses, with a tighter control of the wage bill and of transfers to parastatals. At present, the authorities’ neutral monetary policy stance is appropriate as there does not seem to be room to lower interest rates. Botswana’s exchange rate regime continues to serve the country well.

Domestic revenue mobilization will provide added funding for development spending and help protect buffers. Given the volatility of diamond and revenues from the Southern African Customs Union and a relatively low domestic tax effort, there is a need to pass into law and implement the new Tax Administration Act as well as to strengthen the large taxpayers’ unit. In addition, it would be important to consider streamlining VAT exemptions, simplifying the personal income tax, and accelerating plans to register and re-evaluate properties.

Further financial sector reforms will bolster stability. The authorities should proceed with plans to set up the macroprudential policy function and improve the AML/CFT framework, establish a crisis resolution framework, finalize the implementation of Basel II requirements, and strengthen risk-based supervision of nonbank financial institutions.

Fostering private sector growth will require determination and focus on key reforms. Achieving the long-sought objectives of inclusive growth and diversification will require political commitment, improved capacity and coordination among government agencies, and focus on a few plans with a manageable set of high-impact, time-bound, monitorable reforms. In this context, the authorities need to press ahead with the key measures discussed to strengthen the efficiency of the public sector, build skills in the labor force, and create an enabling environment for the expansion of the private sector.

Public sector reforms could enhance growth prospects. In this regard, the priorities should be to proceed with measures to improve the planning, prioritization, and execution of public investment programs; build capacity in the management of public-private partnerships; improve the financial monitoring and evaluation of SOEs and accelerate the privatization of key loss-making enterprises; make the energy regulator fully operational; review the structure of electricity subsidies to set rates in line with commercial criteria and avoid political interference; and lower water losses.

Similarly, there is a need to proceed with measures to enhance education outcomes and reduce skill mismatches. The authorities need to accelerate the implementation of the strategic plan aimed at enhancing the quality of instruction and training across education levels. Deepening the dialogue and coordination with the private sector is also relevant to improve education outcomes and address skill-mismatches, as is easing the process to grant work permits to foreign workers with skills that are not present in the country. These actions will ultimately foster private sector development and facilitate the transfer of skills to the domestic labor force.

Selected reforms to lower the costs of doing business and foster financial deepening will also promote private sector development. In this regard, there is a need to accelerate the implementation of the 2015 Roadmap to improve the business environment, especially establishing a one-stop shop to start businesses, introducing risk-based inspections to speed up granting construction permits, broadening the scope of the creditor database to include both positive and negative credit data, allowing lenders to enforce securities out of court through a collateral agreement, establishing a collateral registry for immovable and movable assets, and implementing the Making Access Possible Plan to foster financial inclusion.

Lastly, efforts to diversify the economy can usefully focus on removing distortions and improving competitiveness. Capacity constraints, high transport costs, and the risks associated with industrial policies argue for an approach based on removing distortions and investing wisely in key public infrastructure. If industrial policies are pursued, the authorities should undertake careful cost-benefit analysis and ensure minimal government intervention. Furthermore, fiscal incentives and tax concessions (including in economic zones) should also be carefully evaluated and, if granted, be in the form of accelerated depreciation schemes or investment tax credits.

[1] Under Article IV of the IMF’s Articles of Agreement, the IMF holds bilateral discussions with members, usually every year. A staff team visits the country, collects economic and financial information, and discusses with officials the country’s economic developments and policies. On return to headquarters, the staff prepares a report, which forms the basis for discussion by the Executive Board.

[2] The Executive Board takes a decision under its lapse-of-time procedure when it agrees that a proposal can be considered without convening formal discussions.

Distributed by APO on behalf of International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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Source:: IMF Executive Board Concludes 2017 Article IV Consultation with Botswana

      

Categories: AFRICA, African Economics, Botswana | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Uganda : International Oil and Gas Summit 2017

Total and CNOOC Lead as Knowledge Partners and Principal Sponsors at Uganda’s International Oil and Gas Summit

Total and CNOOC Limited have confirmed their support for the 3rd Uganda International Oil & Gas Summit (UIOGS) 2017 (www.UIOGS.com), partnering as lead sponsors and co-hosts to the event when it returns 27-28th September at the Hotel Serena, Kampala.

Hosted in 2016 by President Yoweri K Museveni alongside Hon. Minister of Energy and Minerals Development of Uganda – Irene Muloni, and Director for Petroleum, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, Uganda – Dr. Ernest Rubondo, UIOGS 2017 is held under the auspices of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, Uganda with the support of the Uganda National Oil Company and Petroleum Authority Uganda.

Building on the success of its 2nd edition in 2016 which saw over 350 attendees, UIOGS 2017 will again demonstrate the importance of Uganda’s exciting oil and gas industry, discussing and debating the future of exploration and production in the region. It will feature presentations from industry leaders and experts in their fields from all across the world.

Further underlining its growing international significance, UIOGS 2017 now has supporting partners from all over the globe including Ponticelli Uganda, Emerson Automation Solutions, Civtec Africa, Frontier Services Group, Fluor, Honeywell, Ogas and Shawcor – joining a total of more than 100 companies from across 20 different countries attracted to Uganda, as it moves further towards commercial production.

Speaking ahead of UIOGS 2017 and its growing international attention, Hon. Minister Irene Muloni explained: “Following the undoubted success of the last two summits in attracting international investors from around the world, UIOGS has become a major business platform for oil and gas in Uganda where all the decision makers for the region are united for three days’ high level discussions and networking.” She added: “We have much to look forward to in 2017, as Uganda continues with preparations towards commercial oil production involving development of the refinery and crude export pipeline. At the 3rd UIOGS there will be many important issues to address so we call on all our partners and investors to actively participate.”

With over 21 oil and/or gas discoveries made to date, 87 oil wells drilled and 21 fields in existence, Uganda’s long-awaited development phase is now certainly in full flow and the country is now unquestionably one of the hottest prospects and most promising areas for exploration ROI on offer.

Event Director, Global Event Partners, Dan Grogan added: “With the recent commencement of work on the pipeline, further wells for the Buliisa and Nwoya district now open, the recent Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) study in place and a raft of further activity throughout the Albertine Graben, 2017 is certainly set to be a year of action for development and contracts for this exciting region. UIOGS 2017 will see all of the key players in the industry once again converging, and calling together all elements of the value chain, to discuss and debate these crucial next steps in the road map to production.”

For full details of the Uganda International Oil & Gas Summit 2017 or to request a copy of the current programme, visit www.UIOGS.com.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Uganda International Oil and Gas Summit (UIOGS).

For any press enquiries or further information please contact the organizers:
Aimee Thompsett
AThompsett@GEP-Events.com
+44 1737 784956
or
Abba Anthony
+256 70 016 4032
Abbamul@gmail.com

About Uganda International Oil & Gas Summit 2017 (UIOGS):
UIOGS (www.UIOGS.com) is hosted by the Ministry or Energy & Mineral Development and organised by Uganda specialists, Image Care with its international partners Global Event Partners; the specialist international event organizer.
For all further information on the event visit www.UIOGS.com.

Source:: Total and CNOOC Lead as Knowledge Partners and Principal Sponsors at Uganda’s International Oil & Gas Summit

      

Categories: AFRICA, African Environmental Issues, Uganda | Tags: , | Leave a comment