Tanzania Signs Investment Deals With China Worth Over $1.7 Billion

Sino-Tanzanian relations were strengthened this month with the signing of an investment deal worth more than $1.7 billion USD. On top of increased business cooperation and greater infrastructure development, the plan aims to reduce congestion in Dar es Salaam with the creation of a satellite city. This self-contained urban area will be equipped with electricity, roads, schools, hospitals, and banks. Other recent Sino-Tanzanian investment deals include a new economic zone for international trade worth $10 billion USD, as well as a natural gas pipeline from Mtwara to Dar es Salaam worth $1.2 billion USD.

These recent financial deals reflect a longer history of economic cooperation between the two nations. China supported the construction of the Tazara railway in the early 1970s, which connected the landlocked Zambia to Tanzania. The railway increased economic cooperation between the East African markets and South African states.

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Namibia Launches Anti-Poaching Campaign to Protect Black Rhino

In an effort to curb the poaching of rhinos, the Namibian government has reinstated an anti-poaching campaign for the endangered black rhino. Roughly one-fourth of the global black rhino population resides in Namibia. So far, the country has lost 14 black rhinos within this past year. The horn of these animals remains prized within Southeast Asian markets because of the belief in the horn’s medicinal properties. Valued at such a high price, the rhino horn is regarded as a valuable commodity, which in turn continues to spur poaching activities in the area.

The Namibian government aims to deter poaching activities through a two-fold campaign effort. The first step involves the personal removal of the horn from individual rhinos. Such measures were taken in the 1990s to deter the poaching of rhinos with much success. However, the question remains whether such a practice will ultimately halt poaching in Namibia. Poor removal procedures can leave horn stubs on individual rhinos. In turn, these individual rhinos are still targets due to the high value placed on black rhino horn stubs. The second step of the campaign –a 300-person anti-poaching task force – will attempt to physically mitigate continued poaching activities.

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China-Cape Verde Collaboration

Cape Verdean Schoolchildren

China has begun plans to undergo major construction efforts in Cape Verde with aims to promote commercial and economic cooperation between both nations.  Prioritizing Education, China has promised to fund construction of a new University Campus and Confucious Institute in Praia.  China will also be funding the construction of a tourism school in Sal’s Island and a center for value added agricultural products in Santiago Island.  This is on top of China’s continued government backed scholarships which allow young Cape Verdean Students to attend Universities in China.  


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Mozambique’s Political Parties Agree to Continue Dialogue


After 2013’s year of violent clashes between the Mozambique National Resistance Party (RENAMO) and the ruling Frelimo Party, resulting in dozens dead and hundreds displaced, RENAMO has agreed to negotiate for the amendment of Mozambique’s electoral parliament. The parliament, called the Assembly of the Republic, currently consists of thirteen seats, but RENAMO’s amendment calls for seventeen seats in order to more properly represent the three major Mozambican parties: RENAMO, Frelimo, and the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM).  This agreement comes just after pleas from both sides for RENAMO and the Mozambican Armed Forces (FADM) to stop the aggression and negotiate peacefully. Transport Minister Gabriel Muthisse spoke about the violence, urging President Guebeza to intervene in the FADM’s retaliatory actions in order to ensure peace and stability in the region.  However, Muthisse also expressed support for the actions of the FADM, claiming that they have only been carried out in order to protect the population from ongoing RENAMO attacks.

This new agreement between RENAMO and the ruling party is a key step in the democratic process, showing the capabilities of both sides to engage in dialogue without resorting to violent means. A stable government and peaceful solutions for disagreements are especially important, as Mozambique continues to tackle issues such as the disarmament of existing land mines, which may be completed this year if the political parties can put their grievances aside for the greater good of all Mozambicans.

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Picture Source: http://www.bdlive.co.za/africa/africannews/2013/10/29/mozambique-troops-swoop-on-second-renamo-military-base

Kenyatta Calls for an End to Radicalization in Religious Centers

Kenyan Police Force

Uhuru Kenyatta, the President of Kenya, has announced that all places of worship are off limits as targets for radicalizing youth.This announcement comes on the heels of the recent tragedy in Nairobi, where Islamic extremists from Somali bombed a shopping mall in the capital of Kenya, killing 67 people. Apart from this incident, which occurred in September, there have been a number of raids and violent incidents involving police and youth protesters. Kenyatta has also been focusing on the improvement and enlargement of police forces within Kenya, in an attempt to combat the growing tensions in the country.

Meanwhile, Muslim Kenyans argue that the growing divide between Muslim leaders and youths can be attributed to the police and government harassment of them. Muslim leaders have insisted that this unfair treatment has driven Muslim youths to act radically and in opposition to the law. 

Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/07/us-kenya-violence-kenyatta-idUSBREA161EO20140207

Photo Source: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/nov/07/kenyan-police-rampage-hiv-claim


South Africa miners’ strike overshadows conference

Africa’s largest mining conference is being held in Cape Town but the annual “Mining Indaba” is being overshadowed by major strike action which is crippling the South Africa’s platinum production.

Tens of thousands of workers have downed tools demanding higher wages – but with no agreement between the unions and management in sight, the disruption is expected to continue.

Gomoa West Calls on Ghanaian Youth to Get Involved in Local Governance

Gomoa West District Assembly

Gomoa West, the seventeenth district of Ghana, has challenged the youth there to become more active participants in the local governance of the country. Leading this initiative is Mr.Theophilus Aidoo-Mensah, the District Chief Executive for Gomoa West. He has stated that in order to ensure that resources were being properly utilized in the best interest of the people, there has to be a presence to check allotment of funds and resources.

Mr. Aidoo-Mensah’s announcement followed the release of a video documentary that exposed the youth’s role in the Decentralization Policy Framework and Action Plan at Apam, the capital of Gomoa West. This video was created at the hands of the Youth Bridge Foundation (YBF), a youth focused non-governmental organization (NGO) that receives sponsorship from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Inter-Ministerial Coordinating Committee in Decentralization (IMCC).

Along with this video release, Mr. Aidoo-Mensah made several statements regarding Ghana’s form of decentralized government. He noted that while Ghana is known to have a fairly successful decentralized structure, it is still lacking in its civilian participation, and there still exists  a high level of voter apathy. It is this predicament that makes youth participation necessary. He is now urging the youth to pursue a higer education so that they may be able to actively engage in the governance of Gomoa West.

Ghana is Looking into Electoral Reform

The Ghana Political Parties Programme (GPPP), working under the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), has begun looking at the possibility of a reform on the current electoral system of the country. The Senior Fellow at the IEA, Dr. John Kwakye, opened an address regarding this issue by stating that political parties cannot stay in power forever. He added that it was this fact that made electoral reform so important. He stated, “It is therefore imperative that we contribute our quota in dealing with the challenges of our electoral system and to create the peaceful and enabling environment for all of us to thrive whether in government or in opposition.” 

It was noted that although it is clear that Ghana needs to strengthen its integrity with regards to election policy, it is far from being the only nation with the same issue. Kwakye added, “Indeed, the results of Ghana’s 2012 election were challenged on grounds of irregularities, although it is conceded that elections all over the world are fraught with some amount of irregularities.” Of course, the main goal of this reform is to mend the democratic process, and ensure that the results of elections in Ghana accurately reflect the will of the voters. 

The Electoral Commission is working closely with both the GPPP and the IEA, as it has been successful in exacting change in the past. Members leading this reform are optimistic that they will be able to correct the problems in the system. Mr. Pwamang, the formal General Secretary for the People’s National Convention (PNC), stated “I am confident that if we undertake the needed reforms in the electoral process we can regain our record as a nation with a robust electoral system.”

Information Source Link: http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/politics/artikel.php?ID=288796&comment=0#com

Photo Source Link: http://static.ebony.com/ghana_election_small_article-small_20626.jpg

President of Ghana Appeals to the UN for Partnership in Africa


The President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama, in his address to the United Nations General Assembly on September 23rd, has asked the asked that the world stop sympathizing with Africa, and instead offer partnership.He has emphasized the necessity for Africa to build up its economy by increasing the worth on its exportable goods. He states, “We need to add value to our natural resources by setting up industries in our countries that will add these values.”

Mahama urges other nations, particularly those in the West, to accept that Africa does not need to be handed money and aid. Rather, Africa needs nations to connect with on an economic level. He assures the United Nations that through endurance- and a sustainable economic partnership- Africa will thrive. Between 1980 and 2012, Ghana’s Human Development Index (HDI), which measures development through life expectancy, educational attainment, and income, rose by .9% annually to .558. In addition, the HDI for the Sub-Saharan region of Africa has risen to .475.See HDI Source: http://hdrstats.undp.org/en/countries/profiles/GHA.html

“It’s not sympathy we want; it’s partnership, the ability to stand on our own feet. It’s not handouts we’re in search of; its opportunities. We have already shown that with time and the right opportunity, Africa can make it.”
See Article Source: http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=287047


South Africa’s New Human Rights Law

South Africa’s President, Jacob Zuma, has taken a step towards ensuring human security for all South African citizens by signing the Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Bill into law. This statute is the first of its kind to combat human trafficking completely and comprehensively. The law ensures both severe consequences for those convicted of human trafficking while ensuring compensations of the victims.

According to spokesperson Mac Maharaj, prior to the creation of this legislation, the laws concerning trafficking were fragmented and limited. There were statutes concerning trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation as well as statutes concerning the trafficking of children. However, there was no blanket statute to deal with human trafficking as a whole. This new law will accomplish that task while broadening the offenses that can be punishable under the name of human trafficking.

The new law also creates offenses such as debt bondage, possessing, destroying or tampering with travel documents, and using the services of victims of trafficking. The consequence of violating any part of this new legislation could lead to a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

In all, this new legislation has created specific consequences for actions related to human trafficking. Previously vague and fragmented statutes have been altered and unified in order to ensure the human security of all South African peoples.

For more details: http://allafrica.com/stories/201307301268.html