Monthly Archives: August 2017

Undergraduate wins N.5m in Western Lotto game

LAGOS, Nigeria, Aug. 29, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — An undergraduate of the Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijebu Ode, Ogun State went home N500,000 richer Monday, August 28, 2017, following his win in one of the games on the Western Lotto platform and pledged to continue to play for more winnings. A photo accompanying this […]

Al-Shabab Defectors Being Rehabilitated to Re-enter Somali Society

Last June, al-Shabab militants attacked an Ethiopian base in the Somali town of Halgan, one of several raids on African Union military camps. The Ethiopian troops repelled the attack, causing massive casualties.One of the al-Shabab fighters, Mohamed Da…

As Sudan Seeks Sanctions Relief, US Presses Religious Freedom

KHARTOUM � The United States has raised the issue of religious freedom in talks about easing sanctions on Sudan, the new head of the U.S. Agency for International Development said in Sudan on Tuesday.

The head of the agency, Mark Green, held the talks with senior Sudanese officials as the U.S. government weighs whether to ease or extend the 20-year-old sanctions, a decision that must be made by Oct. 12.

“We have asked questions and… have received assurances,” Green told reporters after a meeting with Sudanese Prime Minister Bakri Hassan Saleh.

While human rights and religious freedom are not conditions for the permanent lifting of some Sudan sanctions, the U.S. government is increasingly raising them as a concern.

Religious leaders have complained that churches have been bulldozed by the government and priests arrested, stoking fears among Christians that they will not be able to practice their faith in majority-Muslim Sudan.

During his three-day visit to Sudan � the first by a senior U.S. official since 2005 � Green met with various religious organizations, including churches and religious freedom lawyers.

In his meetings on Tuesday, Green said he had acknowledged “meaningful steps” by the government in complying with U.S. conditions for easing the sanctions. Among those conditions are improved humanitarian access for aid workers, counter-terrorism cooperation and a resolution of internal conflicts.

“The government is continuing a gradual reversal of long-standing impediments,” Green said, “and I urge the government to accelerate its work in this regard.”

Earlier, Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour said his country was looking forward to normal ties being restored.

“On our side we look forward for a normalization of our relations with an important country… the U.S.,” said Ghandour, who has overseen dialogue with Washington on the sanctions.

Hobbled economy

Easing the sanctions could suspend a trade embargo, unfreeze assets and remove financial restrictions that have hobbled the Sudanese economy.

The North African country wants to regain access to the global banking system, potentially unlocking badly needed trade and foreign investment. It needs both to cope with an inflation rate of 35 percent and a shortage of foreign currency that has crippled its ability to buy abroad.

A decision on the sanctions was delayed for six months to give Sudan more time to make progress on key demands and to give the new administration of U.S. President Donald Trump time to settle in.

Lifting them would be a major turnaround for the government of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who once played host to Osama bin Laden and is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of orchestrating genocide in Darfur.

Washington has not weakened its condemnation of Sudan’s tactics in Darfur, and Sudan remains on the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism, alongside Iran and Syria.

Green told Reuters on Monday after visiting North Darfur state that humanitarian access had improved.

In particular, aid workers have been allowed for the first time in seven years into Jebel Marra, a region of Darfur where clashes between the government and rebels persist, according to USAID reports.

While he acknowledged progress, Green emphasized on Monday that a final decision on sanctions was up to Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

“Certainly, there has been progress, particularly in recent weeks,” Green said, “This is not a matter of whether things look perfect on the date that a decision is made, it’s whether or not long-lasting changes have been made.”

The United States first imposed sanctions on Sudan in 1997, including a trade embargo and blocking the government’s assets, for human rights violations and terrorism concerns. The United States layered on more sanctions in 2006 for what it said was complicity in the violence in Sudan’s Darfur region.

Source: Voice of America

La conférence TEDGlobal 2017 commence en Tanzanie

Dix ans après, TEDGlobal revient en Afrique pour un évènement en direct présentant plus de 45 interventions, entretiens et performances ARUSHA, Tanzanie, 28 août 2017 /PRNewswire/ — TED, l’organisation à but non lucratif qui se consacre aux « Ideas Worth Spreading » (idées qui méritent d’être diffusées) inaugure sa conférence TEDGlobal 2017 aujourd’hui à Arusha, en Tanzanie. Placé […]

SOUTH AFRICAN PARLIAMENT GETS GREEN LIGHT TO PROBE STATE CAPTURE

CAPE TOWN, The South African Parliament’s Committee on Public Enterprises has been empowered to investigate “State Capture”, the term commonly used in the country to describe the exercise of undue influence over top leaders of the State by outside inte…

TEDGlobal 2017 Conference Opens in Tanzania

Ten years on, TEDGlobal returns to Africa with live event featuring 45+ talks, interviews and performances ARUSHA, Tanzania, Aug. 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — TED, the nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, opens its TEDGlobal 2017 Conference today in Arusha, Tanzania. Themed “Builders. Truth-tellers. Catalysts.” the event will host 700 attendees at the Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge for […]

SOUTH AFRICA: PROCESS TO AMEND COMPANIES ACT UNDERWAY

PRETORIA, The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) has commenced with the process of amending the Companies Act 2008.Speaking at the international company law seminar in Sandton, the Department of Trade and Industry’s (dti) acting Deputy Director-Ge…

SOUTH AFRICA: GOVERNMENT LOOKING AT CAPITAL STRUCTURE FOR SAA

PRETORIA, Government is exploring options of establishing a proper capital structure for South African Airways (SAA), says Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba.

The proposals we have put forward with regards to a model have not yet been finalised. I’d like to caution against hysteria created by us considering various options, said Gigaba on Friday.

The Minister was briefing media following his meeting with the CEO Initiative at National Treasury’s offices in Tshwane.

The Minister said Cabinet has appointed four Ministers to look at various options to capitalise SAA.

Once we have finalised that capital structure, we will go back to Cabinet, go through the Parliamentary process and that will then become public.

This as the national carrier currently requires R10 billion capitalisation.

At the present moment there’s a R10 billion capitalisation that is required for SAA. The source of that recapitalisation is not finalised. What business leadership indicated to us is that we don’t have the luxury of time to resolve this issue including the issue of governance [at the airline], said the Minister, adding that government is well aware of the challenges at SAA.

The Minister briefed business leadership led by Jabu Mabuza on steps being taken to bring SAA on the proper footing in terms of management, governance, financial position, as well as in terms of its business model.

Gigaba said it was good that a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) � who is yet to start in his position – has been appointed. Government is also looking at strengthening the national carrier’s board.

Friday’s meeting also discussed challenges at power utility Eskom.

I briefed the leadership of business about my concerns with regards to the governance challenges at Eskom as well as the challenges with regards to the utility’s balance sheet.

It is important that we continue to pay attention to the governance of our state owned companies (SOCs) to improve it and ensure that we place it on a platform where these companies can become financially sustainable and can ignite confidence among investors, he said.

If you look at the government guarantees framework at Eskom and the level of exposure in particular of government and Eskom as well, if there are any difficulties the financial risk to government would be quite enormous.

Gigaba said government must pay close attention to the ability of SOCs to comply with the guarantee conditions and ensure that they become financially viable.

To this end, government in the coming years will look at proposals around the management of government guarantees.

I have in the past made statements with regards to my discomfort about the provision of government guarantees to support operational expenditure in SOCs and I have indicated my preference to ensure that government guarantees are there to support capital expansion, explained Gigaba.

Government is looking at proposals that will ensure that government reduces the provision of guarantees for operational expenditure but focuses guarantees for capital expenditure.

At the same time we need to work with various shareholder Ministers to reduce the government guarantees that these companies have at the present moment.

This as government guarantees at the moment stand at R780 billion more or less.

It’s important that we should reduce them because they bear heavily not only on the balance sheets of state owned companies but also the balance sheet of the state as well, said the Minister.

Mabuza said it was important to hold the meeting.

We have been urged by all CEOS that this is our country, our economy, and we cannot boycott efforts to grow the economy, he said.

Gigaba said such meetings are crucial.

It’s important that we should continue engaging not only for investor perception but also because business and government are critical stakeholders in driving the South African inclusive growth story.

The meeting discussed several initiatives including the Youth Employment Scheme with the aim of taking up one million young people over the next three years in internship programs.

There were other initiatives to reignite growth in the economy so that we ensure that we lift the economy above the 0% growth trajectory, said Gigaba of the meeting with the CEOs Initiative steering committee.

The broader meeting of the CEO’s Initiative will be convened by President Jacob Zuma in due course. It will involve a broader participation of CEOs and Ministers.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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 …