ANOTHER SCORE FOR REGIONAL COMMON AGENDA

SADC: COOPERATION/SNA/8/5/18 SABANews 1

Presidents Masisis of Botswana and Faure of Seychelles (Pic. SNA)

VICTORIA – President MOKGWEETSI MASISI of BOTSWANA has visited yet another SADC country on his tour of the region following his inauguration on the FIRST of APRIL.

He has met with the President DANNY FAURE of SEYCHELLES and discussed the various bilateral engagements of the TWO countries, mainly on the positive ties they share in the field of education.

BOTSWANA and SEYCHELLES have a SEPTEMBER 2015 deal under which secondary school teachers from the western INDIAN Ocean island nation can pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Education at the University of BOTSWANA.

SEYCHELLES national news agency, SNA, says in exchange, teachers from BOTSWANA can fill the shortage of teachers in different schools in SEYCHELLES.

It says the TWO leaders and their respective delegations had breakfast before the morning meeting, to enhance relations in the context of a proposed General Cooperation Agreement.

President MASISI has visited the SEYCHELLES Botanical Gardens after his meeting at State House, and has taken part in a tree planting activity before leaving on TUESDAY afternoon.

The 55-year-old BOTSWANA Leader is the FIFTH Head of State after President IAN KHAMA, who stepped down after completing the constitutional maximum of 10 years in office.

SNA says the next general elections in BOTSWANA are scheduled to take place in October 2019.
BOTSWANA and SEYCHELLES are members of the SADC Regional economic BLOCK comprising 15 member states.

SADC came into being in 1992 with commitment to regional integration and poverty eradication within Sub-SAHARAN AFRICA, through economic development as well as ensuring peace and security./Sabanews/cam

MEMBER STATES SHOW COMMITMENT TO REGIONAL COMMON AGENDA

SADC: INTEGRATION/MBC/8/5/18 SABANews 1

Presidents Masisi of Botswana and Mutharika of Malawi

BLANTYRE – The SADC vision for an integrated region is showing real signs of success, as member countries continue to come up with more bilateral deals in line with the Common Agenda.

The SADC Common Agenda is to a set of key principles and values guiding the plans of the 15-member economic bloc in its quest to amalgamate.

The latest nations to demonstrate their support for the program are BOTSWANA and MALAWI, whose leaders have resolved to strengthen the diplomatic ties they have been enjoying since 1964.

President PETER MUTHARIKA of MALAWI has hosted President MOKGWEETSI MASISI, who has been on a ONE-day-long State visit at SANJIKA Palace in the commercial capital, BLANTYRE.

The TWO leaders have addressed journalists after their closed-door meeting, saying it is now time for BOTSWANA and MALAWI to harvest more from their 54-year-old ties.

They say their SADC member countries should now share technical expertise in areas including tourism, mining, livestock science, and education.

President MASISI says BOTSWANA and MALAWI have been friendly for decades, and they now just want to rejuvenate the relationship for their mutual benefit.

He has described MALAWI as having hardworking people, saying he is a product of TWO MALAWIAN teachers, FELIX MUNTHALI and DAVID LUBADIRI, who have contributed a lot in BOTSWANA’s education sector.

President MASISI says MALAWI now needs expertise, which he feels BOTSWANA can provide.

The MALAWIAN Head of State has in turn, commended the mining legislation in BOTSWANA, which MALAWI can learn from as the country is working to draft its own.

President MUTHARIKA says he has told the MALAWIAN Parliament his government is drafting a mining law and can borrow from the good example of BOTSWANA, which also has excellent livestock sciences from which his country can learn.

BOTSWANA and MALAWI are party to the SADC Common Agenda, meant to promote viable economic growth to alleviate and ultimately end poverty as well as to enhance the standard and quality of life of the people./Sabanews/cam

RITUAL KILLER GETS FOUR LIFE-IN-JAIL SENTENCES

SOUTH AFRICA: MURDER/SABC/27/3/18 SABANews 1
Image by SABC News
PIETERMARITZBURG – The High Court of SOUTH AFRICA in PIETERMARITZBURG City has handed down FOUR life-in-jail sentences to a man who brutally killed FOUR young children last year.
 
SABC News says BEN MBHELE (32) teamed up with another unnamed men and went to the home of his sister, S’LINDILE MBHELE, the mother of the kids he then slaughtered in cold blood.
 
It says S’LINDILE had visited friends and left the children, aged between FOUR and 12, watching television at home in KWA-NZIMAKWE in the coastal province of KWA-ZULU NATAL.
 
MBHELE and his accomplice stabbed their victims to death and cut off their ears, which later turned out to have been destined for a witchdoctor in the city of DURBAN.
 
The Court has established the motive for the killing was financial gain, as the killer-uncle had taken out insurance with a number of companies on all the FOUR children he murdered.
 
Meanwhile, research shows while the murder of people for their body parts is a crime in any country of the world; the practices continue in Sub-SAHARAN AFRICA in the 21ST Century.
 
Ritual killer confesses to Nigerian Police after arrest

In the SADC Region, such cases in which criminals kill human beings to remove body parts for use as medicine or for magical purposes in witchcraft are widespread.

 
While most reports are about targets of people with albinism in countries like MALAWI, MOZAMBIQUE, SWAZILAND, SOUTH AFRICA, and TANZANIA it is also emerging that no one is safe elsewhere in the region.
 
Authorities agree such murders occur and sometimes go unreported in BOTSWANA, LESOTHO, MOZAMBIQUE, SOUTH AFRICA, SWAZILAND, ZAMBIA, and ZIMBABWE.
 
Nevertheless, SADC currently has no publicly known regional position or legislation to fight against the practitioners of the common ritual killings, which individual nations have to face alone./Sabanews/cam

ZAMBIA PROPOSES COOPERATION IN ENERGY EFFICIENCY

SADC: ENERGY/ZNBC/1/3/18 SABANews 1

Africa shaking off the Dark-Continent label

LIVINGSTONE – ZAMBIA has called on the SADC countries to ensure cooperation between TWO major forums in the region if the economic bloc is achieve success in its energy programs.

ZAMBIAN Energy Minister MATTHEW NKHUWA says the Southern AFRICAN Power Pool, SAPP, and the SADC Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency should work together.

ZNBC News says he has made the call in a speech read on his behalf by SOUTHERN PROVINCE Minister EDIFY HAMUKALE, at the 50TH SAPP Management Committee Meeting in LIVINGSTONE Town.

It quotes Minister NKHUWA as saying energy efficiency and renewable energy are areas that SADC values.

However, he says the region depends heavily on hydro generated power that leaves it exposed to inconsistent supply of electricity due to Climate Change effects.

The Managing Director of the ZAMBIA Electricity Supply Company says his country now has a national Grid Code, which enables it to offer choice of supply for customers and ensure competition among producers.

VICTOR MUNDENDE says most domestic private enterprises continue to take part in the electricity supply industry through power purchase agreements or power supply agreements with his institution.

COPPERBELT Energy Corporation Managing Director OWEN SILAVWE has also attended the 50TH SAPP Management Committee Meeting, and has pledged his firm’s commitment to help increase electricity generation capacity in the country.

The SADC Summit held in AUGUST 1995 in SOUTH AFRICA created SAPP, after member governments, excluding MAURITIUS, signed a deal to form the Power Pool.

Energy ministers also approved the formation of the SADC Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency and decided it would be hosted by NAMIBIA./Sabanews/cam

STATE ADVISES ON NEED FOR PLANS TO SAVE LIVESTOCK

NAMIBIA: GRAZING/NBC/23/2/18 SABANews 1

Drought is the major enemy of livestock producers

WINDHOEK – The government of NAMIBIA has advised farmers to come up with plans to save their livestock in the face of insufficient pastures in the country.

NBC News says the Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer in the Agriculture, Water, and Forestry Ministry has made the call.

It quotes JOHN SHOOPOLA as saying farmers have to plan properly to prevent or reduce the effects of poor rainfall, and ensure their livestock survive the drought.

He says areas south of the Veterinary Cordon Fence, also referred to as the Red Line, have bad pastures due to poor rains recorded; but the northern parts of the country got better rains.

The Veterinary Cordon Fence is a pest-exclusion boundary separating Northern NAMIBIA from the central and southern regions.

Mr SHOOPOLA says even if the affected areas were to receive good rains for the remainder of this season it will be too late for the grass to grow.

He says the situation will put livestock under stress if the farmers do not effectively manage their pastures, or even sell off less productive and old livestock.

Mr SHOOPOLA has further advised producers to ensure their livestock have enough water, feeds, and minerals like vitamin supplements to help them overcome the dry spell.

The NAMIBIAN veterinary expert says farmers should also vaccinate their livestock against all diseases while they are still strong, and feed them continuously to withstand the hardships.

Southern AFRICA has continued to receive heavy rains in MOZAMBIQUE, ZIMBABWE, and parts of ZAMBIA, which have had SEVEN-day-totals of more than 50 millimetres.

SOUTH AFRICA, BOTSWANA, and ANGOLA have had lighter, but still widespread rainfall, which was nearly absent across TANZANIA, the drought-affected areas of MADAGASCAR and across abnormally dry parts of NAMIBIA./Sabanews/cam

ZIMBABWEAN PRESIDENT GAINS MORE SUPPORT IN REGION

SADC: POLITICS/THE HERALD/9/2/18 SABANews 1

President EMMERSON MNANGAGWA

GABORONE – President SERETSE KHAMA IAN KHAMA of BOTSWANA has invited the new ZIMBABWEAN Head of State for a State visit to his country.

THE HERALD newspaper of ZIMBABWE quotes a statement from the government of BOTSWANA as saying EMMERSON MNANGAGWA will be in GABORONE for TWO days.

It says the TWO leaders are scheduled to discuss a number of matters of mutual interest on MONDAY and TUESDAY.

President MNANGAGWA will take along Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Retired Lieutenant-General SIBUSISO MOYO and other senior Government officials, as well as a business delegation to the neighbouring country.

The government of BOTSWANA says the Joint Permanent Commission on Cooperation will discuss a wide range of issues.

It says the talks aim to broaden and deepen bilateral ties in areas such as trade and investment promotion, energy, control of trans-boundary animal diseases, and tourism promotion.

Delegates to the meeting will further discuss matters of education, health, shared water courses, transportation, and cultural cooperation to mention but a few.

President MNANGAGWA has been to SOUTH AFRICA, MOZAMBIQUE, ANGOLA, ZAMBIA and NAMIBIA, apprising his counterparts on political developments in the country since he came to power last NOVEMBER.

The ZIMBABWEAN Leader took over from former President ROBERT MUGABE, who left office after running the SADC country for 37 years./Sabanews/cam

CONTINENT HEADING TOWARDS CHEAPER AIR TRAVEL

AFRICA: TRANSPORT/SABC/31/1/18 SABANews 1

Towards cheaper air travel on the Continent

ADDIS ABABA – At least 23 AFRICAN countries have signed an agreement to set up the Single AFRICAN Air Transport Market, SAATM, with the aim to reduce air travel costs.

SOUTH AFRICAN SABC News says the move comes after people of the Continent have, for years, paid sky-high airfares when travelling within AFRICA.

It says the AFRICAN UNION has launched the major aviation trade agreement to change the situation, by allowing the airlines of signatory countries to access each other’s airports freely.

AU Chairperson, President PAUL KAGAME of RWANDA, has revealed the move at the launch of SAATM on the sidelines of the recent AU Summit in ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA.

He says the market is vital for the overall development of the continent, where international air links between many cities are expensive or non-existent.

SABC News also quotes a 2010 World Bank study as saying air travel between AFRICAN countries has for years, been governed by a relatively small number of bilateral agreements.

The report says the situation has been a legacy of the post-colonial era when air carriers from newly independent states connected chiefly with their former colonial powers.

It says many AFRICAN countries restrict their air services markets to protect the shares of national carriers, but the new deal hopes to reduce airfares and increase the number of direct air connections.

The SOUTH AFRICAN Representative to the International Civil Aviation Organisation has told the media companies can now freely access all countries in the single market, without relying anymore on bilateral agreements, whether they exist or not.

Current members of the SAATM are BENIN, BOTSWANA, BURKINA FASO, CAPE VERDE, REPUBLIC OF CONGO, IVORY COAST, EGYPT, ETHIOPIA, and GABON.

Others are GHANA, GUINEA, KENYA, LIBERIA, MALI, MOZAMBIQUE, NIGER, NIGERIA, RWANDA, SIERRA LEONE, SOUTH AFRICA, SWAZILAND, TOGO, and ZIMBABWE.

Nevertheless, SABC News says the group is hosting some of the continent’s busiest airports, including JOHANNESBURG, CAPE TOWN, CAIRO, LAGOS, and NAIROBI.

The new single air travel market comes as a priority of the AU Agenda 2063 for a peaceful and prosperous AFRICA, and the AU Chairperson says work is ongoing to apply TWO other planks of the Blueprint: a free trade zone and a single AFRICAN passport./Sabanews/cam

GOVERNMENTS ENCOURAGED TO IMPROVE DATA SHARING ON WEATHER

SADC: DISASTERS/SABANEWS/24/1/18 SABANews 1
When disaster strikes, women and children suffer most
HARARE – Governments in the SADC Region have been urged to improve on information sharing to ensure communities are evacuated on time when weather-related disasters strike.
 
The Southern AFRICAN Research and Documentation Centre, SARDC, says people expect increased moisture to improve cropping, but floods can destroy crops and disturb food security.
 
It says excessive rainfall may also increase the incidences of malaria and water-borne diseases in the region as well as the possibility of damage to infrastructure due to flooding.
 
SARDC says ONE of the challenges still affecting SADC member states is the lack of current and reliable data on possible weather scenarios, resulting in many people getting killed or becoming homeless.
 
It says there is also need to retrofit, or to add new technology or features to, public infrastructure such as schools – as they act as both centres of learning and as sanctuaries in cases of emergencies such as floods.
 
The Centre says River Basin Organisations, like the ZAMBEZI WATERCOURSE COMMISSION, ZAMCOM, are making efforts to improve the sharing of information on water flow and climate conditions.
 
ZAMCOM is in the process of strengthening information sharing in the EIGHT Basin States: ANGOLA, BOTSWANA, MALAWI, MOZAMBIQUE, NAMIBIA, TANZANIA, ZAMBIA and ZIMBABWE.
 
The involved nations share the data through the ZAMBEZI Water Resources Information System Enhancement THREE: Hydro-meteorological Database and Decision Support System, or ZAMWIS-DSS.
 
The SARDC says the main objective of the ZAMWIS-DSS is to support the promotion and coordination of the management and development of resources of the ZAMBEZI Watercourse in a sustainable and climate-resilient manner.
 
Authorities expect that once the system is completed, riparian states will be able to respond better to flood hazards in the future; and the region is taking another measure to set up village-based response systems to respond to floods.
 
The alert system includes the use of traditional knowledge systems in raising awareness through civic education, like, for example, the appearance of large populations of ants will indicate occurrence of floods.
 
Weather and other experts say floods may present opportunities to the SADC Region if countries start prioritizing water harvesting projects to harness rains and use the water for agricultural purposes in future, especially during drought years./Sabanews/cam

AU CONSULTS REGIONAL PARTNERS ON COMMON POSITION TO END TB

AFRICA: TB/SABANEWS/7/11/17 SABANews 1
JOHANNESBURG – The AU Partnership and Coordination Forum on AIDS, TB and Malaria has reviewed the draft Common AFRICA Position on TB for the UN General Assembly High Level Meeting in 2018.
 
A statement from the continental group says the Draft Common Position on TB was last month reviewed by the Ministry of Health TB Program Managers in HARARE, ZIMBABWE.
 
It says the document focuses on SIX pillars: leadership, country ownership, governance and accountability; universal and equitable access to prevention, diagnosis, treatment, care and support.
 
Others are access to affordable and quality assured medicines, commodities and technologies; research and innovation; health financing and strategic information; promoting leadership, country ownership, governance and accountability.
 
The draft calls for sustained political commitment and for increased leadership, ownership, integration, governance and management of TB programs to promote accountability.
 
It further calls on governments to intensify TB responses through working with AFRICAN leaders as champions, cross-sector partnerships, increased oversight and accountability, improved monitoring, evaluation and reporting.
 
The AU says while recognising structural and operational barriers to achieve universal access, the draft calls for Member States to scale up TB programs to reach, find, treat and cure all people with the killer disease.
 
It also calls for Multi Drug Resistant TB to be declared a global emergency and health security threat, to ensure it can be addressed properly in most affected countries.
 
The draft calls for access to TB services in congested settings, high risk areas like prisons, mines and areas affected by conflict and humanitarian emergencies, to help guarantee no one is left behind.
 
The Common AFRICA Position calls for governments to pursue new innovations and ensure access to affordable and quality assured medicines, commodities and technologies for TB.
 
The draft says governments should strengthen ties with research institutions to enhance innovation and evidence-informed policies and programs as well as increased investments in research and innovation.
 
AFRICA will also push for increased domestic and international funding to health through innovative financing mechanisms, social health insurance schemes and increased allocations at various levels.
 
The Common AFRICA Position also calls for improved data to inform policy and programs for TB, while the AU Commission has lined up various consultation conferences ahead of the UN meeting.
 
TB is spread through the air from person to person, when a patient coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings; and people nearby may breathe in the bacteria and become infected./Sabanews/cam