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Namibia launches sovereign wealth fund following oil discoveries

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Namibia President
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Namibia launched a sovereign wealth fund, months after oil discoveries by oil giants TotalEnergies and Shell off its coast.

At the launch in the capital Windhoek on Thursday, President Hage Geingob said the Welwitschia Fund would get an initial injection of 262 million Namibian dollars ($16.3m) and invest 2.5 percent of its portfolio locally to bridge the country’s infrastructure financing gap.

The fund will collect some of the royalties from all mineral resources sold as well as some tax revenues and money raised by the government divesting from its investment holdings.

“We are looking forward to the prospects and opportunities that will emanate from the recent discoveries of oil and the green hydrogen energy, which have the potential to further boost the fund’s capital,” Geingob said.

Other resource-rich African countries with sovereign funds include Angola, Botswana, Libya and Nigeria.

In February, TotalEnergies said its Venus prospect offshore in Namibia had found a good quality reservoir, which one source told Reuters was more than one billion barrels of oil equivalent.

It was the second major discovery in a month after Shell also announced a significant find.

Known for its gem-quality diamonds, gold and uranium, Namibia has considered creating a sovereign fund since 2009.

The southern African state is aiming to become a green hydrogen player by 2026 and has selected a preferred bidder for a multibillion-dollar project.

SOURCE: REUTERS

President Ramaphosa to officially open SALGA National Conference

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President Cyril Ramaphosa [Image PresidencyZA/Twitter]
South Africa– President Cyril Ramaphosa is set to officially open the sixth South African Local Government Association (SALGA) National Conference today Wednesday, 2 March 2022.

The President is scheduled to deliver a virtual keynote address to the gathering, which takes place over three days at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, around 15h15 (SAST).

The conference will be held from 2 to 4 March 2022 under the theme “Consolidating the role of local government in rebuilding local communities to meet their social, economic and material needs”.

The event will be attended by delegates from municipalities, national and provincial government, academic institutions, partners and stakeholders within the local government sector, as well as business.

Due to COVID-19 regulations, the conference will be held on a Hybrid Model, with only three (3) delegates per municipality attending physically at the venue and all other councillors and municipal officials participating virtually, the presidency said in a statement released on Tuesday.

SALGA is an autonomous association of all 257 South African local governments with one national office and nine provincial offices.

The President’s address will be broadcast live on the White House’s social media platforms as well as SALGA’s.

Uganda: Legislators worried about high cost of essential commodities

File Phot- Ugandan Parliament. [Image: Courtesy]
Ugandan Members of Parliament have raised concerns about the growing costs of essential household commodities, and they want the government to intervene to stop the trend.

Hon Mohammed Nsereko, Kampala Central Member of Parliament, noted that worries over high gasoline prices had now transferred to rising prices of soap, detergents, and sugar, among other household goods.

“When we talked of fuel prices, government assured us of a comprehensive report on monitoring mechanisms that will deter fuel dealers from hiking the prices. It is a month now but we do not see any change,” Nsereko said.

Nsereko noted that, while the cost of living is rising, the pay of teachers and other workers has remained stagnant.

“Aware that people are struggling with loan payments, what is government doing to address this issue of inflation on basic commodities? Do we reduce the taxes?” Nsereko asked.

Tororo District Woman MP, Hon Hon Sarah Opendi said the Uganda Bureau of Statistics indicated that prices of soap and other detergent had gone by 85 per cent.

“Some experts say that the crude oil we have in Uganda is not sufficient enough to facilitate soap prediction. The Finance Minister should tell us what we can do, should we do away with import duty?” queried Opendi.

The Shadow Minister for Finance, Hon Muwanga Kivumbi tasked the Ministry of Finance to avail information to Parliament on how a stimulus package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was used.

He also told House that government acquired a loan of US$1 billion from the IMF and that US$280 million has already been disbursed.

“IMF availed resources to help world economies deal with the after effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. We must ask the Finance Minister how they applied the stimulus money they received,” Muwanga Kivumbi said adding that, ’let the Finance Ministry detail which company, agency or department has absorbed the money we borrowed.”

State Minister for Finance, Hon Henry Musasizi asked the House to grant him time to analyze the issue of inflation with technical officials and present a comprehensive statement on the matter.

Namibia: Relief as Ohangwena Region Residence access clean water

TIKA

Namibia– Ohangwena Region, the second most populous region in Namibia can now access clean water following a project initiated by the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA).

Namibia is the driest country in sub-Saharan Africa and depends largely on groundwater. The country’s general climate is characterised by hot and dry conditions throughout the year. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO 2005) classified 92 percent of the country as hyper-arid or semi-arid.

Residents of the Ohangwena region use polluted water accumulated in uncovered wells for their agricultural and animal husbandry activities and daily needs, which leads to the spread of various diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid fever, and polio in the region. Residents need to walk at least 10 km a day to reach the nearest clean water resource.

“With the project implemented by TİKA, residents were provided with access to clean water for their daily needs and agricultural and animal husbandry activities,” TİKA said in a statement.

As part of the project, nearly 8.5 km of water pipes were laid underground to deliver water from two active water wells to densely populated areas in the Ohangwena Region. In addition, water tanks were built for the storage of clean water, “the statement reads.

In his speech at the opening ceremony of the project, Walde Ndevashiya, the Governor of Ohangwena, stated that the desired rate of development could not be achieved due to problems with access to water in Ohangwena Region. He thanked TİKA and the Turkish people for their support in this regard.

Tanzania Rapper Darassa Claims He Made No Money With Hit Song ‘Muziki’ Despite over 20M Youtube Views

Tanzanian Hip hop artist Darassa [@darassa255/Instagram]
Tanzanian Hip hop artist Darassa, born Shariff Thabeet, stated that he has received no money from the ringback tones or any streaming platform in East Africa from the hit song ‘Muziki’ featuring singer Ben Pol.

Darassa made the revelation during an exclusive interview with Jalang’o TV, saying despite releasing the hit song ‘Muziki’ on November 23, 2016, and receiving over 20million views on YouTube he has not made any money from it.

Hii ni biashara kama biashara nyingine. so kulikuwa na contract zinaendelea ule wakati. Kinachofanyika kertu sisi hakitupi faida kwa wale waliotuzidi akili kwa contract zetu za kwanza.

“Wimbo kama muziki, selling yake, unajua sijawai patana na any profit ya hizi ringtone back…na dalali wangu hajawai kunipatia ripoti ambazo natakiwa kupewa since 2015 can you imagine that, mpaka leo I have never received any pay. That’s why kuna mda nasema I need direction, not speed.” Darrsssa said.

The rapper slammed local event organizers and promoters for misappropriating monies that were supposed to go to him after signing arrangements.

He said that he has been able to receive better pay from international music streaming platforms that have transparency on music sales.

“Thanks to hizi platforms za nje, kama Spotify, since nimekuwa na artist profile pale Spotify naona results…”

Kenya: 2022 Presidential debate set for July

Kenya 2013 Presidential debate. [Image: Courtesy]
Media Owners Association, Media Council of Kenya and Kenya Editors Guild have jointly announced that the Kenya Presidential Debates 2022, will be held in July ahead of the August polls.

During a news conference at a hotel in Nairobi, the institutions stated that particular date, location, and logistics will be disclosed at a later date “in consultation with Political parties ahead of August 9, 2022.”

“A team of senior editors from across media houses has been established to provide stewardship of the content aspects given how critical the debates are to ensure the public interest obligations are served,” a joint statement by the three media entities reads.

During the debate, a live audience from all elements of society will be present, and the public will be able to submit questions.

“What we launch today is a journey that will see the various arms of the media industry play their rightful role during this electoral process. The debates play a significant role in the way we choose our leaders. During these debates, the public gets to listen to the candidates and gauge what their priorities could be once they assume office, “the joint statement reads.

Clifford Machoka was designated head of the presidential debates secretariat during the press conference. Machoka is the current head of Nation Media Group’s External Affairs and Marketing department. He will be aided by MCK’s Leo Mutisya and the Kenya Editors Guild’s CEO Roselia Omungo.

The committee told the public and stakeholders that they will provide Kenyans with high-quality issue-based presidential and vice-presidential debates to help them make informed decisions and participate effectively in this year’s election.

According to the media partners, the debate will “catalyse issue-based elections; provide an opportunity for candidates to debate, interact and engage; and enable 2 Kenyans to make informed decisions. Such efforts call for collective action by media stakeholders, given the centrality of the media in shaping public opinion.”

The Kenyan media has worked since 2013 to establish Presidential Debates as one of the cornerstone foundations of Kenya’s democracy and election process.

In 2013, all eight contenders met for two 2-hour debates to discuss Kenya’s future with one other and Kenyans

During the same time period in 2017, the media held two presidential debates and one vice presidential debate.

At least 20 killed in boat fire at Congo River port

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A vessel caught fire at the Ngafura Port on the Congo River in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, killing at least 20 persons and badly burning 11 others.

Didier Tenge, the Interior Minister, informed a local radio station that the Sunday accident occurred at 13:00 local time on the outskirts of Kinshasa.

The injured are being treated for third-degree burns at a nearby hospital.

According to a member of the local provincial parliament, the vessel was filled with combustible materials and was traveling upstream to Équateur province.

Deadly boat accidents are common in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with many documented events on the Congo River, often blamed on overloading and poor conditions.

In January 2022 anothe accident claimed at least 55 lives when an overloaded boat sank on the Congo River in the northern Mongala province.

Zambia: Government has no intention to legalize bigamy-Vice President

Zambia Vice President Mrs. Mutale Nalumango.

Zambia’s Vice President Mutale Nalumango, has refuted circulating misinformation on social media that the the government has no intention to legalise bigamy.

Speaking on Sunday when officiating the Reformed Church of Zambia (RCZ) Silverest congregation indication service in Chogwe, Nalumango said Zambia is a christian country is therefore permitting bigamy was not an option.

She explained that the reformists’ proposal was to remove bigamy from the Penal Code Act, not the Marriage Act.

“This is just a proposal to remove bigamy from the Penal code but leave it in the marriage Act, it is said that opposition political leaders have twisted it to suit their minds,” she stated.

Nalumango challenged government personnel to carry out their jobs in accordance with Christian principles since their authority derives from God.

The Vice President also recommended parents to take the time to understand their children’s needs and mental health in order to combat the rising number of suicides caused by depression.

World’s largest cargo plane ‘destroyed’ during Russian invasion

World’s biggest cargo plane, Antonov-225 Mriya. [Image: Courtesy]
The largest plane in the world — Ukraine’s Antonov-225 cargo plane was destroyed by Russian strikes outside Kyiv on the fourth day of Moscow’s invasion, Ukrainian state arms manufacture Ukroboronprom said on Sunday.
“Russian invaders destroyed the flagship of the Ukrainian aviation, the AN-225” at the Antonov airport in Gostomel near Kyiv, the group said in a statement.

“This was the world’s largest aircraft, AN-225 ‘Mriya’ (‘Dream’ in Ukrainian). Russia may have destroyed our ‘Mriya’. But they will never be able to destroy our dream of a strong, free and democratic European state. We shall prevail!” Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter.
The An-225 Mriya, created in the 1980s, is the world’s longest and heaviest airplane. It could transport up to 640 tons of freight.
The aircraft was one-of-a-kind in the world, measuring 84 meters (276 feet) in length and capable of transporting up to 250 tonnes (551,000 pounds) of cargo at speeds of up to 850 kilometers per hour (528 mph).
According to reports, restoring the “Mriya” would cost over $3 billion (2.7 billion euros) and could take over five years.

Algeria ready to supply EU with extra gas amid Ukraine crisis

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Algeria’s state energy firm, Sonatrach, said on Sunday that it is prepared to deliver additional gas to Europe amid a probable fall caused by the Russia-Ukraine war Crisis.

Toufik Hakkar, CEO of Sonatrach, stated that the company is ready to send extra gas to the EU via the Transmed pipeline, which connects Algeria and Italy.

According to sources, Algeria exports a maximum of 22 billion cubic meters (of gas) via the Transmed pipeline, leaving a capacity of 10 billion cubic meters.

The nation therefore cannot “compensate for the drop in Russian gas supplies” since it can only give two or three million more cubic meters.

Mr. Hakkar stated that Sonatrach may increase its supply to nations not covered by current pipelines by deploying LNG tankers, and that existing liquefaction facilities are only working at 50 to 60% capacity.

Algeria can deliver higher volumes in the medium term, in four or five months, but it must first develop additional shale gas supplies, Mr. Hakkar said.

In January, Sonatrach said that it will invest $40 billion between 2022 and 2026 on oil exploration, production, and refining, as well as gas discovery and extraction.