The 10th World Choir Games 2018 to Take Place in Tshwane, South Africa

The 10th World Choir Games 2018 will take place in Tshwane, South Africa! All amateur choirs are invited to the world’s largest choir competition event which was initiated by the German organisation Interkultur.

Taking place on the African continent for the first time, the choirs will be able to meet singers from all over the world in competitions, at Friendship Concerts and major singing projects. They will experience at first hand the atmosphere, the very special spirit and character of South African choral music, share their common passion for singing and get inspired by each other.

Registration for the 10th World Choir Games 2018 in South Africa is now open! Official registration documents are now available at
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Categories: AFRICA, African Culture, South Africa | Tags: ,

Namibia : German Embassy supports youth and amateur boxing

Boxing is a very popular and successful sport in Namibia, both with amateur as well as professional boxers.

On 28 August 2017, the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, Christian Schlaga, handed over sports equipment at a press conference to the Khomas Boxing Federation, represented by its chairperson Jason Naule. The federation is responsible for nurturing young upcoming boxers as well as promoting Olympic style boxing in the Khomas Region.
The Federal Foreign Office supports the Khomas Boxing Federation through the German Embassy within the framework of its international sports programme with a donation of equipment worth approximately N$ 80 000.00. The aim is to support the spread of broad-based sports in Namibia and contribute to the construction of a sustainable sports infrastructure. Ambassador Schlaga pointed out that this support is only part of the extensive programme of the German Embassy, which includes the development of youth and broad-based sports in many areas such as football, fistball, volleyball etc.
We do this, said Ambassador Schlaga, with the awareness that any participation in sports adds extensively to character forming in the youth.
The shared knowledge and the donated materials will contribute to making sport fun to practice for the young boxers. This will result in the creation of a positive self- image, social awareness and intercultural competences as well as support sustained positive societal development.

Distributed by APO on behalf of The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany – Windhoek.

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Categories: AFRICA | Tags:

South Africa : Companies Act to Be Amended

The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) has commenced the process of amending the Companies Act of 2008.

This was announced by the Acting Deputy Director General for Consumer and Corporate Regulations at the dti, Mr MacDonald Netshitenzhe while speaking at the International Company Law Seminar that was held at the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) in Sandton today.

Netshitenzhe said that this was result of the company law reform aimed at instilling corporate accountability, transparency and reduction of regulatory burden. He further said that purpose of amending the Act was to align problematic areas and enhance better interpretation of the provisions of the Act.

“We are going to Cabinet for broader consultations. Stakeholders and role players should be ready to engage during the public consultations to ensure policy objectives become a success. It is important for the dti to engage, so as to understand the sections that are posing a challenge to practitioners as well as the economy at large. This is meant to ensure that the proposed amendments to the Companies Act are in line with global trends,” said Netshitenzhe.

Netshitenzhe highlighted that the Act encourages economic stability through good governance that will enhance investor confidence and international and domestic competitiveness in the South African economy.

According to Netshitenzhe the provisions of the Act and its Regulations have been benchmarked with other jurisdictions and found to be the best in the world. This is due to the fact that the Act, amongst others, makes provisions for accountability and transparency, and the regulatory burden has been reduced tremendously.

“Amongst others, the highlight is on three issues that may be relevant to this seminar for consideration, namely business rescue, social and ethics committees and the role of the Companies Tribunal. the dti commissioned a research on various cases of business rescue. The research revealed the fact that if business rescue ends in liquidation, it does not necessarily mean the rescue was a failure,” said Netshitenzhe.

He added that when measuring the success of business rescue, numbers of companies that emerged from business rescue as compared to those that have been liquidated must not be a barometer.

Furthermore, Netshitenzhe stressed that the establishment of social and ethics committees in companies was important not only to protect the communities and the environment where companies operate, but for the protection of shareholders’ interests. Companies can now be held liable for not adhering to legislative standards.

Netshitenzhe pointed out the importance of raising awareness of the role of the Companies Tribunal, as it is still appropriate and can be the best dispute resolution mechanism if utilised effectively, by means of mediation, conciliation or arbitration. He mentioned that the processes are easy and cost-effective and faster than going through the normal courts.

Distributed by APO on behalf of The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.

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Categories: AFRICA, South Africa

Sylvian Boko – A strong infrastructure base critical to Africa’s economic transformation

A strong infrastructure base is critical for Africa’s economic transformation, Economic Commission for Africa’s Sylvian Boko said Thursday.

Speaking during an ECA-sponsored session at the annual Nigerian Bar Association conference in Lagos, Nigeria, Mr. Boko, the Principal Regional Advisor and Head of Development Planning and Statistics at the ECA, said it was imperative for the continent to create an enabling environment for investment in transboundary infrastructure projects that will change the lives of millions of ordinary people.

He said the harmonization of policies, laws, and regulations through the ECA’s Model Law on transboundary infrastructure projects, will go a long way in strengthening existing continental, regional, and national institutional capacity.

He added there was also an urgent need for the ECA and its pan African partners to help develop the knowledge base of transboundary infrastructure projects and technical advisory capacity on such projects on the continent.

“There’s also a critical need for capacity development,” he said, adding private perception of risk and uncertainty in the past may have been exacerbated by the disparity and lack of harmonization of the regulatory and legal frameworks governing transboundary infrastructure projects even if such projects are otherwise profitable.

He said adequate infrastructure can accelerate Africa’s growth, adding the continent can actually fund its development priorities, especially infrastructure projects, with domestic resources.

Mr. Boko said Africa, though still faced with the arduous task of mobilizing adequate resources to fund its own growth and transformation, it had the potential to do so.

He said infrastructure can trigger development on the continent and eradicate inequalities across borders.

“It is critical for the continent to have a competitive industrial sector and transboundary infrastructure to advance its integration thus promoting strong and sustained growth by reducing poverty; enhancing economic activity and competitiveness by reducing transportation cost; improving living standard by minimizing transaction costs of business,” he said.

Mr. Boko said this would also raise productivity and promote economic competiveness and in the process assist governments in domestic resource mobilization.

However, by and large, he said, the continent still lacks adequate infrastructure such as roads, railways, waterways and ICT to support its growing economies.

Emmanuel Nnadozie, Executive Secretary of the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), gave the keynote address during the panel discussion.

He said to accelerate regional integration in Africa, the continent must develop efficient and effective institutions that will be in a position to do a number of important things beyond promoting trade and regional infrastructure programs.

These include enhancing leadership; informing, educating and changing mindsets to foster a spirit of Africanness; enabling the right decisions to be made and acted upon, the right laws and policies to be designed, implemented, monitored and evaluated.

“Transformative leadership and political will are important for identifying and defending Africa’s interests at all levels,” said Mr. Nnadozie.

“Visionary and effective leadership is an essential requirement for accelerating regional integration because, leaders must be able to provide inspiration, motivation and clear direction to ensure that decisions are implemented.”

He said the spirit of Africanness is essential to ensure that “people from the continent would think of themselves first as Africans before thinking of themselves in terms of their respective nationalities.”

Africa, he said, must allow for a solid financial mechanism and that will enable capacity to flourish through the development, employment, retention and full and optimum utilization of human capacity, in particular capacity for policy design, implementation and monitoring and evaluation.

Mr. Nnadozie said establishing institutions which matter for regional integration in Africa was easier said than done.

“Building or strengthening these institutions could benefit from experience and best practices elsewhere. However, there would be need for institutional design experimentation that recognizes the existing sociopolitical and economic circumstances,” he said.

He also spoke on the need to identify, strengthen and rationalize overarching integration institutions; developing more functional institutions and strengthening existing pan-African institutions and establish new ones where necessary.

“Ways must be found to strengthen Africa’s institutions in order to deal with the political, legal and policy issues sighted above. It is also critical to involve the private sector in the integration process,” said Mr. Nnadozie.

“It should not be expected that all private sector groupings will favor regional integration, as some sects will definitely take some protectionist stance in fear of competition. However, as has already been experienced in some countries, the disparities in economic weight that exist between members of some groupings require that we enforce those policy instruments that deal with fears of economic polarization.”

Also on the panel were Akshai Foforia, a partner at Pinsent Mason Law Firm and Makane Mbengue, Professor of Law at the University of Geneva who spoke on opportunities of the pan-African investment code, the African arbitration mechanism and funding of transboundary infrastructure projects, among other things.

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

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Source:: A strong infrastructure base critical to Africa’s economic transformation

      

Categories: AFRICA, African Politics, Nigeria | Tags: