Minister for Africa Rory Stewart in Kenya

Minister for Africa Rory Stewart visited Kenya from 27-28 November to attend the inauguration of President Uhuru Kenyatta. This was Mr Stewart’s first official visit to the country.

The Minister attended the inauguration ceremony and the official inauguration luncheon on 28 November.

In the afternoon, Mr Stewart met with President Kenyatta and passed on a message of congratulations from Prime Minister Theresa May, alongside an invitation to the Commonwealth Summit in London next year.

During productive discussions, President Kenyatta and Mr Stewart discussed the future of the wide-ranging partnership shared by the UK and Kenya. The Minister welcomed the President’s commitment to national unity, and made clear his hope that Kenya will now come together in the spirit of reconciliation, after a difficult election period.

Speaking at the end of the visit, Mr Stewart said:

“I am pleased that I was able to visit Kenya and attend President Kenyatta’s inauguration. This marks the moment where Kenya can move forward after a prolonged, divisive election period in a new spirit of reconciliation. I hope that all Kenyans will recognise the need now for national dialogue and healing.”

“The UK has extensive and historic links with Kenya, through our business links, our development programmes, and our diasporas. This has been an opportunity to reaffirm our partnership and hear more about the ways that our two countries can work together.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

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Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) to Request State Security Minister and State Security Agency Director-General to Appear in Relation to Vetting of Supply Chain Personnel in State Organs

The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) has resolved to request the Minister of Planning and Monitoring, Mr Jeff Radebe, the Minister of State Security, Adv Bongani Bongo, and the Director-General of the State Security Agency (SSA) to brief the Committee on the vetting of supply chain management personnel across all organs of state, as per the cabinet decisions taken in 2014.

Scopa notes that other government entities that have not adhered to this Cabinet decision, including Transnet, and would like to hear the view of the SSA on the matter.

Scopa has requested Transnet to supply a list of all current forensic investigations and the reports of these investigations as soon as they are available. Scopa will also request from National Treasury all the reports it has compiled on Transnet. Scopa has requested Transnet to reappear before it next week to gather more information on the details of contracts, deviations and expansions.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.

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The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) and Shobak Wind Energy PSC (the “Project Company”) have signed facility agreements for a US$26 million

The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (“ICD”) (www.ICD-ps.org) and Shobak Wind Energy PSC (the “Project Company”) have signed the facility agreements for a US$26 million Shariah-compliant senior financing to part fund the construction of a 45 MW wind farm (the “Project”) in Jordan near the Shobak town municipality,160 km south of Amman. The balance of the senior financing is being provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Europe Arab Bank (EAB).

The Project Company is majority owned by Alcazar Energy Partners (http://AlcazarEnergy.com), a UAE-based independent developer active in the Middle East, Africa and Turkey. Alcazar Energy is developing the project in partnership with Hecate Energy LLC (www.HecateEnergy.com), a US-based developer.

The Project, which will deploy 13 wind turbines supplied by Vestas Wind Systems, will be constructed over a 2-year period and have a total cost of approximately US$104 million. Once the Project is operational, the generated power will be sold to the Jordanian National Electricity Power Company (NEPCO) under a long-term power purchase agreement.

The Project will support Jordan in increasing its electricity generation capacity from clean, indigenous and renewable sources and reducing reliance on costly hydrocarbon imports. It will help the country abate more than 100,000 tons of CO2-equivalent per annum, supporting Jordan’s emission reduction targets under the Paris Climate Agreement, as well as promoting sustainable energy development and private sector participation in the country’s energy landscape.

Mr. Khaled Al-Aboodi, the Chief Executive Officer of ICD, commented: “We are delighted to be part of this success story, and happy to have been able to support Alcazar Energy in this important investment. I would also like to thank the Government of Jordan for their continued support and commitment to this critical sector, and we are looking forward to expanding and deepening our involvement in the country through similar interventions in the very near future. We are also very pleased to continue our fruitful cooperation with EBRD, as this transaction follows the recent closing of several comparable co-financings in the Arab Republic of Egypt just last month.”

Daniel Calderon, Co-Founder and CEO of Alcazar Energy, said: “The Shobak project is another significant milestone for our company to build a sustainable portfolio of assets. By early next year when Shobak construction starts, our portfolio will comprise seven projects in construction or operation in the region. We appreciate the continued support of the government of Jordan, our lenders and investors. Shobak is the first of our projects to be partly funded by a Sharia compliant financing and we are delighted to welcome ICD as a new financing partner.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD).

Media Inquiries
Mr. Nabil El Alami
Email: Nalami@IsDB.org
Fax: +966 12 6444427
Tel: +966 12 6468192

About Alcazar Energy
Alcazar Energy (www.AlcazarEnergy.com), which was formed in 2014, is an independent developer and power producer focused on renewable energy generation across the Middle East, Africa and Turkey. Alcazar focuses on Solar PV and Onshore Wind technologies and targets emerging economies with attractive underlying market fundamentals and developed regulatory frameworks. Alcazar is owned, amongst others, by IFC, AMC, Mubadala Infrastructure Partners, Blu Stone Management and Dash Ventures. www.AlcazarEnergy.com

About Hecate Energy LLC
Hecate Energy LLC (www.HecateEnergy.com) is a leading developer, owner and operator of power plants in North America and internationally. Hecate Energy brings together business acumen, technical understanding and significant experience in the industry to develop world-class power projects. The company specializes in solar and wind power, natural gas plants and energy storage, unearthing creative approaches to structuring PPAs and financing power projects both in the United States and abroad. Hecate Energy believes in collaborative, long-term partnerships with the communities, organizations and countries it serves. www.HecateEnergy.com

About ICD
ICD (www.ICD-ps.org) is a multilateral organization and a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group. The mandate of ICD is to support economic development and promote the development of the private sector in its member countries through providing financing facilities and/or investments which are in accordance with the principles of Shari’ah. ICD also provides advice to governments and private organizations to encourage the establishment, expansion and modernization of private enterprises. ICD is rated AA/F1+ by Fitch and Aa3/P1 by Moody’s. For more information visit www.ICD-ps.org

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Source:: The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) and Shobak Wind Energy PSC (the “Project Company”) have signed facility agreements for a US$26 million

      

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Portfolio Committee Briefed on Basic Education Laws Amendment (BELA) Bill

Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Basic Education today (November 28, 2017) received a briefing on the Basic Education Laws Amendment (BELA) Bill. The Committee assured the public that once the Bill comes before Parliament, public participation will take place.

Today’s meeting was for Committee Members to hear about the impact of the proposed amendments on the school community from the Department of Basic Education (DBE). Committee Chairperson Ms Nomalungelo Gina indicated that the draft Bill has not yet been referred to Parliament, as it must still go through processes within the DBE.

“We realised that the Bill has drawn a lot of media and public attention and therefore requested this meeting. When the Bill is referred to us next year, we will open it for public comments so as to familiarise ourselves with the concern of the people,” Ms Gina said.

The Committee welcomed the fact that the DBE has given an undertaking to extend the deadline for public comments on the Bill until 10 January 2018. “This will give the public a chance to give inputs,” said Ms Gina. “Furthermore, the process of public participation does not end there. Once the Bill is introduced in Parliament next year, the Committee will begin its own public participation process, as it realises the importance of input from the public.”

The purpose of the draft Bill is to amend the South African Schools Act of 1996 and the Employment of Educators Act of 1998, so as to align them with developments in the education landscape. The Bill also aims to ensure that systems of learning and excellence in education are put in place in a manner that respects, protects, promotes and fulfils the right to basic education enshrined in section 29(1) of the Constitution. The proposed draft Bill includes amendments to an increase in penalty provision for a person who prevents compulsory school attendance; admission of learners to public schools; the language policy in public schools; a code of conduct that includes diverse cultural beliefs and religious observance of learners; prohibition of liquor on school premises; and limitations to the powers of school governing bodies (SGBs).

The Deputy Minister of the DBE, Mr Enver Surty, told the Committee that the Bill stems from incidents in which the religious and cultural rights of learners were infringed and the rights of authority in the appointment of educators, which have led to legal rulings from the courts. The Committee heard the DBE will consider all comments made on the Bill.

Ms Gina emphasised in closing the importance of today’s meeting, as it gave Committee Members an opportunity to highlight issues and concerns for the DBE’s consideration.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.

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Source:: Portfolio Committee Briefed on Basic Education Laws Amendment (BELA) Bill

      

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