The African Union AU has commended the agreements reached by jennyyingdi

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									[The African Union (AU) has commended the agreements reached between Khartoum and
Juba after their negotiations in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.]




BURUNDI :

Burundi : Un rapport tire la sonnette d’alarme sur la situation des Droits de l’Homme
16. mar/ Jambonews.net/ Par Laure Uwase

Un rapport de mission internationale d’enquête sur la situation des droits de l’homme au
Burundi a été publié le 07 mars 2012 par l’Observatoire pour la protection des défenseurs des
droits de l’Homme, un programme conjoint de l’Organisation Mondiale Contre la Torture
(OMCT) et de la Fédération Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l’Homme.

Suite à l’accroissement des « actes de harcèlement et d’intimidation à l’égard des défenseurs »
et ce suite à l’assassinat en avril 2009 d’Ernest Manirumva, ancien Vice-président de
l’Observatoire de Lutte Contre la Corruption et les Malversations Economiques (OLUCOME),
l’Observatoire a décidé d’envoyer une mission internationale d’enquête afin « d’examiner la
situation des défenseurs des droits de l’Homme burundais et de mettre en exergue les
différentes formes de pressions, menaces et autres types d’entraves à leur dénonciation des
violations des droits fondamentaux dans ce pays.”

Dans son rapport, l’Observatoire exprime, premièrement, qu’elle regrette qu’aucun membre
du gouvernement ait répondu aux demandes de visites de ses chargés de mission. « Ainsi, ces
derniers n’ont pas été en mesure de s’entretenir des difficultés rencontrées par les défenseurs
des droits de l’Homme dans leurs activités avec les autorités gouvernementales compétentes,
au premier rang desquelles le Président de la République et ses Vice-présidents. »

Par ailleurs, l’observatoire déplore l’impossibilité pour la mission de visiter la prison de
Mpimba à Bujumbura pour y rencontrer les personnes accusées d’avoir participé à l’assassinat
d’Ernest Manirumva ainsi que de rencontrer Jean-Claude Kavumbaga directeur du journal en
ligne NetPress. Ce dernier était au moment de la mission en détention préventive depuis juillet
2010 en raison de la publication d’un article remettant en cause les capacités des forces
armées burundaises.

Ce refus à la mission de visiter la prison est d’autant plus étonnant au vu des visites
régulièrement effectuées par des membres de la ligue ITEKA ou par d’autres organisations de
défense des droits de l’Homme. Il est à noter que M. Fatsah Ouguergouz, l’expert indépendant
des Nations unies sur la situation des droits de l’Homme au Burundi, qui a réalisé sa première
visite du 8 au 17 novembre 2010, a également éprouvé quelques difficultés dans
l’accomplissement de sa mission.

Pour l’Observatoire, « ces difficultés rencontrées reflètent l’attitude de méfiance et de défiance
du pouvoir à l’égard de tous ceux qui pourraient avoir un regard critique sur l’évolution de la
situation des droits de l’Homme au Burundi depuis les élections de 2010. »
L’Observatoire note ensuite que « les faiblesses du secteur de la justice burundais,
caractérisées par l’immixtion du pouvoir politique dans les décisions de justice, le manque de
moyens matériels et humains alloués à ce secteur, la méconnaissance des textes de lois ou
encore par la corruption, sont toutefois persistantes et constituent des entraves à la protection
effective des droits garantis dans les textes nationaux et internationaux »

Cependant, l’Observatoire salue la création de la Commission Nationale Indépendante des
Droits de l’Homme et en particulier son large mandat qui lui permet de garantir la protection
des droits fondamentaux au Burundi, ainsi que son large pouvoir d’investigation. « Il est
désormais primordial qu’elle puisse disposer des moyens financiers, techniques et matériels
nécessaires à l’accomplissement de son mandat de manière effective et en toute indépendance.
Le pouvoir burundais doit surtout s’abstenir de toute ingérence dans l’action de cette
commission et les autorités judiciaires, policières et administratives doivent pleinement
coopérer avec elle en lui fournissant toute l’assistance requise. »

« L’immixtion de l’exécutif dans les décisions de justice continue par ailleurs d’être la règle et
reflète très clairement cette volonté des autorités d’affaiblir toute forme de contre-pouvoir, y
compris institutionnel. L’institution judiciaire continue ainsi d’être pleinement au service de
l’exécutif et utilisée à souhait par lui pour faire pression sur les voix contestataires du régime
», dénonce encore l’Observatoire.

Quant aux départs vers l’exil de plusieurs opposants burundais par crainte d’être arrêtés, elles
n’ont, selon l’observation, que pour conséquences de « favoriser la rupture du dialogue
politique et d’attiser les rancœurs dans les rangs d’une opposition désormais fragilisée. »

Les acteurs de la société civile devenus la voix principale « par laquelle sont dénoncés les
injustices, les violations des droits de l’Homme ainsi que les dysfonctionnements graves de
l’Etat sont, dans le contexte politique actuel, devenus « (…) plus vulnérables face au
durcissement du régime en place que ce dernier n’hésite plus à les stigmatiser en les
assimilant de manière systématique à des partis d’opposition ou en mettant en cause leur
indépendance vis-à-vis de ces partis. »

Quant aux défenseurs de droits de l’Homme, désormais « assimilés de manière systématique à
des représentants de l’opposition », l’Observatoire observe qu’ils sont en effet « en proie à
des actes de menaces et autres formes d’intimidation, à des actes de harcèlement – y compris
judiciaire -, à des arrestations et détentions arbitraires, à des atteintes répétées à leur liberté
d’expression et autres formes d’entraves à leurs activités. »

« La plupart des défenseurs rencontrés par la mission de l’Observatoire ont précisé que le
manque de volonté de l’Etat de les protéger, qui se révèle en particulier par l’absence
d’enquête sérieuse et de poursuites judiciaires contre les auteurs de telles menaces, leur
permettait de craindre le pire. Ils prennent en effet ces menaces très au sérieux et craignent
qu’elles ne soient mises à exécution, comme ce fût le cas pour Ernest Manirumva, assassiné
après avoir été menacé de mort pendant plusieurs mois notamment par téléphone. »

Le rapport note également que plusieurs journalistes, appartenant à des organes de la presse
écrite ou de la radio, documentant les violations des droits de l’Homme, ont également subi
des pressions de toutes sortes.
L’Observatoire a également exprimé « sa plus vive inquiétude concernant l’existence d’une
liste noire de 40 personnes à éliminer ».

L’observatoire recommande dès lors, entre autres, à l’Union Européenne « d’impliquer
systématiquement les associations de défense des droits de l’Homme burundaises dans les
dialogues politiques entre l’UE et les autorités burundaises dans le cadre de l’Accord de
Cotonou » mais aussi « de se conformer aux Orientations de l’UE concernant les défenseurs
des droits de l’Homme ».

Quant aux autorités burundaises, il leur est recommandé, entre autres « de garantir en toutes
circonstances l’intégrité physique et psychologique de l’ensemble des défenseurs des droits de
l’Homme burundais » et « de mettre un terme aux actes de harcèlement, y compris judiciaires,
et autres formes d’entraves à l’action des défenseurs des droits de l’Homme, de garantir leurs
droits et libertés fondamentales conformément aux dispositions des instruments régionaux et
internationaux des droits de l’Homme ratifiés par le Burundi ».

Laure Uwase



Burundi : 700 millions USD promis pour la mise en oeuvre du plan d'investissement agricole
Chine Nouvelle (Xinhua) - Dismas Zhou/www.chine-informations.com/ le 15-03-2012

Le montant global destiné à appuyer le Plan National d'Investissement Agricole (PNIA) 2012-
2017 promis par les bailleurs de fonds participant à une table ronde de mobilisation financière
pour ce plan, mercredi et jeudi à Bujumbura, est estimé à environ 700 millions USD alors que
la somme nécessaire dépasse un milliard USD.

Les partenaires au développement ont recommandé au gouvernement du Burundi de prendre
en main les questions foncières qui sont à l' origine de la majorité des litiges pendantes devant
les juridictions et des assassinats, de maîtriser l'aspect démographique, d'encadrer la
population rurale et de mettre l' homme au centre du développement.

L'ambassadeur de Chine au Burundi, YU Xuzhong, a particulièrement recommandé au
Burundi de "ne pas trop dépendre de l'extérieur mais de compter sur ses propres forces en
mettant l' homme au centre du développement", et a précisé que son pays a inscrit le secteur
agricole dans les priorités dans le cadre de coopération bilatérale sino-burundaise.

Cette aide transparaît en matière de formation des experts, de l'octroi du matériel agricole, de
la recherche agronomique, dans l' investissement dans ce secteur par certaines entreprises
privées chinoises, a révélé M. YU.

Une quinzaine des bailleurs de fonds ont participé à cette table ronde de mobilisation des
ressources financières pour la mise en oeuvre du PNIA.

L'agriculture burundaise est confrontée à des défis d'ordre agronomique comme la
dégradation des sols, l'exigüité des terres cultivables, le manque d'intrants agricoles surtout les
engrais à cause du faible pouvoir d'achat des agriculteurs, la recrudescence des maladies et les
ravageurs des plantes. D'autres problèmes auxquels fait face l'agriculture burundaise sont
d'ordre climatique, technologique, et la pression démographique.
Une grève générale pourrait frapper le Burundi à partir du 26 mars
Vendredi 16 mars 2012 /Xinhua

BUJUMBURA (Xinhua) - La Confédération Syndicale du Burundi (COSYBU) composée de
32 organisations syndicales et la Confédération des Syndicats Libres du Burundi (CSB) qui
compte 12 syndicats ont lancé jeudi un préavis de grève générale.

Selon une correspondance signée conjointement par les dirigeants des deux organisations
syndicales et transmise au ministère burundaise de la Fonction Publique, du Travail et de la
Sécurité Sociale, la grève générale pourrait devenir effective après les délais légaux de six
jours "ouvrables", soit à partir du lundi 26 mars, si d'ici là le gouvernement n'a pas satisfait à
trois exigences syndicales.

Si le gouvernement "ne met pas en place un cadre de dialogue chargé d'étudier les questions
relatives à la vie chère, ne suspend pas la hausse des prix de l' eau et de l'électricité (...) et ne
ramène pas rapidement à l' étude le projet de loi portant institution de l'Impôt Professionnel
sur le Revenu (IPR) de certains cadres politiques, cadres et autres agents de l'Etat afin qu'il
soit adopté par le parlement", la grève générale aura lieu après des délais réglementaires
d'expiration du préavis, ont indiqué la COSYBU et la CSB.

La COSYBU et la CSB protestent contre une hausse exorbitante des tarifs de l'eau et de
l’électricité à deux reprises et en six mois dans des proportions de 367% pour l'eau et 266%
pour l'électricité au sein de la Régie des Eaux et de l'Electricité (REGIDESO).

Elles dénoncent également la "situation inédite où les mandataires politiques et autres
dignitaires prestant dans certaines organes, bénéficiant des rémunérations les plus élevées, ne
sont pas malheureusement pas soumis à l'impôt, alors que le petit travailleur ayant un revenu
mensuel dépassant 40.000 FBU paie régulièrement son impôt".




RWANDA :

Rwanda woman's immigration case ends in mistrial
Associated Press/ Friday, March 16, 2012

Concord, N.H. -- A federal judge declared a mistrial in the case of a New Hampshire woman
accused of lying to obtain U.S. citizenship by denying her role in the 1994 Rwanda genocide
after jurors failed to reach a verdict Thursday.

Jurors deadlocked on two counts in the case of Beatrice Munyenyezi who became a U.S.
citizen in 2003 and faced deportation to Rwanda with a conviction.
Authorities said she was an extremist Hutu who killed and enabled the rapes of untold Tutsi
victims - not the innocent refugee she claimed to be in 1995, when she applied for a visa and
for U.S. citizenship.

To prove Munyenyezi lied on her immigration and naturalization papers, prosecutors had to
convince the jury she took an active part in the genocide, contrary to sworn statements on the
federal forms. Prosecution witnesses testified they saw her direct rapes and killings, but her
relatives testified they never saw that, nor did they see her carry a gun or wear a military
uniform. They said Munyenyezi, who was pregnant with twins at the time, mostly stayed
inside the family-owned hotel that prosecutors said was the scene of the some of the brutality.

She was imprisoned and held without bail after she was charged in June 2010 with federal
citizenship fraud, accused of lying about involvement in the genocide, where at least 500,000
ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed.

Federal prosecutors decline to say how Munyenyezi came to their attention. But in court
documents, immigration agents describe interviews with alleged witnesses to the atrocities.

A federal affidavit says Munyenyezi and her husband, Arsene Shalom Ntahobali, were
extremist Hutus who participated in roadblocks and ID checks that resulted in numerous Tutsi
rapes and killings. Ntahobali and his mother, Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, were prominent
defendants in the United Nations' international crimes tribunal on Rwanda, both charged with
genocide and crimes against humanity. They were sentenced to life in prison last June.
Ntahobali also was convicted of rape.

Munyenyezi testified as a defense witness at her husband's trial in 2006.



Rwanda Gets Business Reformer Tag as Kagame Opponents Jailed
By Heather Murdock /www.businessweek.com/ March 15, 2012

Rwandan President Paul Kagame has been criticized by the U.S. government and advocacy
groups for cracking down on civil liberties and trampling on human rights. Investors are more
focused on how his policies have fostered one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice in November criticized Rwanda’s
“closed” political culture. Harassment of civil-society activists, opposition figures and
journalists as well as the disappearance of some of them pose the “next developmental
challenge” for the country, she said. Her comments echoed similar statements by Amnesty
International, the London-based rights group, last week.

The criticisms contrast with Kagame’s economic achievements since coming to power in
April 2000. His pro-business policies helped the economy double in size by 2010 as the
government sold stakes in state-owned companies to investors including Heineken NV (HEIA)
on a newly created stock exchange. Foreign direct investment in the country jumped 57
percent to $626 million last year from 2010, the Rwanda Development Board says.

“Investors care about growth, and the side effect of growth is nearly always better human
rights in the long-term,” Charles Robertson, global chief economist at Renaissance Capital,
said in a March 9 phone interview. “The Rwandan government is producing growth and that’s
very positive for the Rwandan people and eventually for Rwandan human rights and Rwandan
democracy.”

100-Day Genocide
Rwanda is recovering from a genocide in 1994 in which 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate
Hutus were killed in a 100- day campaign led by extremist Hutus, according to the United
Nations. As a result, gross domestic product shrank more than 49 percent that year, according
to the International Monetary Fund.

Last year, GDP grew 8.8 percent, National Bank of Rwanda Governor Claver Gatete said in
an interview on Dec. 26. If confirmed when the figures are official, it would be Africa’s
second-quickest expansion after Ghana, IMF data shows.

“We are very happy with the performance of our business in Rwanda and very positive about
the growth opportunities,” John- Paul Schuirink, communications manager at Heineken, the
world’s third-biggest brewer by volume, said in an e-mailed response to questions on Feb. 17.
“In emerging markets we are looking for population growth, economic growth and improving
political stability. And we see all three of those in Rwanda.”

Beer and Phones
Heineken owns 75 percent of Bralirwa SA (BLR), Rwanda’s largest beer maker. The
company listed on the domestic exchange last year. Other investors in Rwanda include
Johannesburg-based MTN Group Ltd. (MTN), Africa’s biggest mobile-phone company, and
Rabobank Nederland, the highest-rated private lender.

Rwanda, which had no credit rating until 2006, is rated B by Standard & Poor’s and Fitch
Ratings. Finance Minister John Rwangombwa said last May that the country expects to sell its
first global bond within the next three years. An issue of debt to nationals living abroad is
planned by the end of June, Gatete said on Feb. 24.

The Rwanda Stock Exchange currently has four listed companies, including Bralirwa and
Bank of Kigali Ltd., the nation’s biggest lender. Rwanda’s government plans to sell shares in
six companies over the next three years as part of a plan to attract foreign investors, the
Capital Market Advisory Council said in April.

Rwanda is also the only country with a female majority in parliament and is East Africa’s
least-corrupt country, according to Transparency International, the anti-graft group.

Coffee and Tea
When Kagame came to power in 2000, his government unveiled its so-called Vision 2020
plan aimed at transforming the coffee- and tea-growing country into a middle-income,
service-based economy by 2020. It targets projects such as a $9 billion international finance
hub planned in the capital, Kigali, and a 10-fold expansion of electricity output to 1,000
megawatts.

To encourage investment, the government reduced the time it takes to license a business to
one day. Construction companies can obtain permits to build in less than 30 days, compared
with 210 previously, according to the African Development Bank.
Those changes helped Rwanda rank as the world’s leading business reformer in 2008 and
2009 among 183 nations rated by the World Bank.

“Rwanda’s economic vitality has moved the country forward,” Rice said on Nov. 23 at the
Kigali Institute of Science and Technology. “Social progress has been substantial. Yet, the
political culture in Rwanda remains comparatively closed.”
‘Speak for Ourselves’
Rwanda’s government rejected Rice’s criticism.

“We do not accept that the comments of a single U.S. official on a passing visit somehow
define us,” said Anastase Shyaka, chief executive officer of the Rwanda Governance Board, a
government institution the presidency referred to when asked for comment. “When it comes
to the openness of political space in Rwanda, more than 80 percent of Rwandans say they are
highly satisfied. We are capable of speaking for ourselves.”

To prevent a genocide from recurring in Rwanda, Kagame introduced laws including one that
criminalizes denial of the atrocity. The ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front also compels citizens
to attend camps that teach ruling party ideology, according to the Harvard Human Rights
Journal. The camps, known as Ingando, enrolled 40,000 secondary-school graduates in
November, according to the New Times, a Kigali-based newspaper.

Night Raids
“Ingando is simply a monthlong bridging course for students between high school and
university that focuses on civic and peace education as well as physical fitness,” Yolande
Makolo, Kagame’s communications director, said in an e-mail today. “The Ingando
curriculum addresses the 1994 genocide against Tutsis as a means to enlist young Rwandans
in our shared national mission of ‘Never Again.’”

The security forces also conduct night-time raids in search of government opponents. One
such security sweep was carried out in Kigali hours after Rice spoke in November, according
to the opposition Rwandan National Congress, led by General Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa,
the country’s exiled former army chief. Nyamwasa was sentenced in absentia to 24 years in
prison last year for threatening Rwandan security.

Makolo said it was “nonsense to suggest that any such operation was timed to coincide with a
speech given by a visiting U.S. official.”

In a similar raid in October 2010, a Rwandan university student said, he was awakened at 4
a.m. by the sound of eight armed members of the security forces preparing to enter his single-
room hut on the outskirts of Kigali.

Home Ransacked
Ignoring his pleas that he had done nothing wrong, the men ordered him to stay outside while
they ransacked his home in search of anti-government material. No one was allowed to leave
the neighborhood, which he estimated was surrounded by 1,000 soldiers. The man declined to
be identified for fear of retribution by the authorities.

Rwandan police spokesman Theos Badege said the raids are a legal method to protect
Rwanda from incidents such as grenade attacks. The latest of these, which the government
blames on rebel forces, killed three people and left 25 injured on Jan. 27, according to the
New York Times. The sweeps are usually carried out when a neighborhood is suspected of
harboring illegal weapons or drugs, Badege said in a phone interview from Kigali on Dec. 24.

“When police suspect an act that can affect our security, they can make a search,” Badege
said. “Security is essential. Whatever we do we always respect rights, even when securing our
nation.”

Searches are carried out “with a court-issued warrant and, according to explicit rules, never at
night-time,” Makolo said.

Criticism Rare
Inside Rwanda, criticism of government institutions is rare. Alice Muhirwa, the national
treasurer of the opposition United Democratic Force-Inkingi, says most dissidents remain
silent out of fear. Party leader Victoire Ingabire is jailed and on trial, accused of genocide
ideology and funding terrorism. Her arrest came shortly after she returned to Rwanda from
living abroad to challenge Kagame in 2010 elections.

Mauro De Lorenzo, a development-policy specialist with the Washington-based American
Enterprise Institute, said economic development and a government’s attitude to human rights
shouldn’t be linked.

“Countries seem to be able to make progress on one without making progress on the other and
they seem to be able to do that for a fairly long time,” he said in a Jan. 15 interview.




RDC CONGO:

RDC : Bosco Ntaganda, accusé des mêmes crimes que Thomas Lubanga, dans le collimateur
de la CPI
www.pressafrik.com/Vendredi 16 Mars

Le procureur de la CPI a indiqué qu'il demanderait une peine proche du maximum contre
l'ancien chef milicien congolais Thomas Lubanga. Luis Moreno Ocampo veut maintenant
obtenir l'arrestation de son co-accusé dans la guerre civile en Ituri, Bosco Ntaganda, aujour
dhui général dans l'armée de la République démocratique du Congo. Le procureur de la Cour
l'a annoncé le 15 mars lors d'une conférence de presse à La Haye. Bosco Ntaganda fait déjà
l'objet d'un mandat d'arrêt de la CPI depuis 2006.

Il joue au tennis au bord du lac Kivu, et dîne dans les meilleurs restaurants de Goma. Bosco
Ntaganda a intégré l'armée congolaise il y a trois ans au rang de général.

Pourtant, en 2006, il a fait l'objet du même mandat d'arrêt que Thomas Lubanga. En Ituri,
quelques années plus tôt, Bosco Ntaganda était l'adjoint de Thomas Lubanga à la tête de la
milice UPC. « Les deux hommes étaient toujours ensemble », se souviennent des témoins.
La justice a rattrapé Thomas Lubanga qui vient d'être déclaré coupable, mais la Cour pénale
internationale attend toujours que les autorités congolaises livrent son co-accusé.

« Il est temps de l'arrêter », soulignait hier le procureur de la Cour. D'après ses collaborateurs,
Luis Moreno Ocampo compte se rendre lui même à Kinshasa d'ici la fin de son mandat en
juin pour exiger l'arrestation de Bosco Ntaganda.

Le procureur de la CPI annonce aussi qu'il va demander qu'un deuxième mandat d'arrêt soit
délivré contre Bosco Ntaganda. Après huit ans d'enquête sur la RDC, il pense disposer
maintenant assez d'éléments pour le poursuivre aussi pour meurtre et pour viol.

Voilà qui permettrait de colmater une faille du procès Lubanga. Il a beaucoup été reproché au
procureur Luis Moreno Ocampo de s'être contenté de poursuites pour enrôlement d'enfants
alors que la milice de Thomas Lubanga et de Bosco Ntaganda est accusée de massacres en
Ituri.
Source: RFI



Corruption : Ennemi invisible en RDC !
15/03/2012 / KongoTimes!

En République Démocratique du Congo (RDC), la corruption paraît comme un ennemi
invisible. Elle est là, bien enracinée dans nos mœurs. Tout le monde le voit, tout le monde le
sent également. Mais, personne ne le dénonce. Parce que, c’est pratiquement, toute la société
qui vit avec, si bien que même dans les endroits censés être les plus sacrés tels que les églises,
les écoles, les universités, le Parlement, etc., la corruption a eu droit de cité. Nul n’ignore le
contexte dans lequel certaines lois ont été adoptées au Parlement ou comment certaines
dignitaires ont pu échapper à une motion de déchéance ? Là encore, c’est la corruption qui a
fait le reste pour les tirer du gouffre.

Classée dans Global peace index parmi les 10 pays les plus dangereux de l’Afrique, la RDC
n’a pas échappé quant au degré de corruption de sa société. En 2011, elle est également sur la
liste de dix plus grands corrompus de l’Afrique, selon Transparency international. En RDC, la
lutte contre la corruption doit, pour être efficace, dépasser le cadre intentionnel de slogan.

Après Global peace index qui a placé la RDC au top 10 des pays les plus dangereux de
l’Afrique, Transparency international vient de lui emboîter le pas en l’alignant parmi les 10
pays africains qui battent le record en matière de corruption. Ce qui remet en cause toutes les
initiatives déployées sur le terrain pour venir à bout de ce fléau, dont la toute dernière en date
est la campagne « Tolérance zéro ».

Décidément, dans la société congolaise, la corruption passe pour une vraie gangrène, un mal
profond qui ronge l’ensemble de la société congolais. Aucun secteur de la vie nationale n’est
épargné par ce phénomène. Au public comme dans le privé, la corruption est bien là. C’est
devenu presque institutionnalisé.

Même si Transparency International insiste sur le fait qu’elle ne mesure pas la corruption
mais plutôt sa perception, ses conclusions paraissent néanmoins comme une véritable
interpellation pour une société qui veut se reconstruire.
D’après ce rapport de Transparency international, les pays africains sont énormément touchés
par la corruption. Nombreux sont ceux qui stagnent au fond du classement. Parmi eux, la
Somalie touche le fond. Transparency international a publié ce rapport en décembre 2011 qui
classe 185 pays en fonction de la perception de la corruption. Elle a établi le classement IPC
(Indice de perception de la corruption) grâce aux données de dix-sept études provenant de
treize institutions indépendantes.

L’ONG a attribué des notes de 0 à 10, 0 étant le plus faible niveau d’intégrité des pays. La
grille de critère est ciblée : accès à l’information, renforcement des lois anti-corruption, pots-
de-vin au cours d’acquisitions publiques, corruption officielle…

L’ennemi invisible
En RDC, la corruption paraît comme un ennemi invisible. Elle est là, bien enracinée dans nos
mœurs. Tout le monde le voit, tout le monde le sent également. Mais, personne ne le dénonce.
Parce que, c’est pratiquement, toute la société qui vit avec, si bien que même dans les endroits
censés être les plus sacrés tels que les églises, les écoles, les universités, le Parlement, etc., la
corruption a eu droit de cité. Nul n’ignore le contexte dans lequel certaines lois ont été
adoptées au Parlement ou comment certaines dignitaires ont pu échapper à une motion de
déchéance ? Là encore, c’est la corruption qui a fait le reste pour les tirer du gouffre.

Qui pis est, dans l’administration, elle s’est érigée en mode de fonctionnement. Et que fait
l’Etat pendant tout ce temps ? Rien du tout. L’on s’en plaint, sans véritablement se déployer
pour extirper ce mal de la société congolaise.

D’où, la conclusion de Transparency international : « La corruption est profondément ancrée
dans la société en RDC ». Transparency se réfère, à ce propos, à une étude réalisée par Oasis
Kodila Tedika, économiste congolais et analyste sur unmondelibre.org. Dans une étude
portant sur la corruption, Oasis Kodila est arrivé à la conclusion selon laquelle 55% des
recettes du Trésor public se volatilisent à cause de la corruption. Comme il le souligne,
rappelle Transparency international, elle s’est inscrite dans les mœurs et touche la population
à tout moment du quotidien.

Sans être exhaustif, Oasis Kodila Tedika a pris l’exemple-phare la situation des transports en
RDC, un secteur où la corruption ne se fait plus à découvert, conséquence directe de la
précarité qui ronge une frange importante de la société congolaise. En effet, notait
l’économiste, les taxis et taxis-bus sont contraints de payer régulièrement les forces de l’ordre
pour pouvoir circuler : pour un simple contrôle de véhicule ou un droit de passage. 8% des
recettes journalières sont prélevées, ce qui constitue une perte pouvant aller jusqu’à 60% de
leur revenu moyen. En plus des retombées économiques, ce phénomène influe sur le trafic et
crée un déséquilibre sur les transports en commun : embouteillages, contournements
d’itinéraires…

Dépasser le cap de slogan
La lutte contre la corruption exige une réelle volonté politique et un engagement au plus haut
niveau de l’Etat. C’est sans doute dans cet esprit qu’a été initié la campagne « Tolérance zéro
». Mais, pour quel résultat ? Car, la campagne n’a pas franchi le seuil du labo politique où elle
a été conçue. L’après-campagne est un copier-coller de ce qui se faisait avant, avec un peu
plus d’ampleur même. Comme avec la théorie de la sélection naturelle de Darwin, les
corrupteurs et les corrompus ont développé de nouveaux mécanismes de résistance, beaucoup
plus aptes à contourner le dispositif de répression mis en place par l’Etat.

Ainsi, chaque fois que l’Etat se lance dans une initiative de lutte contre la corruption, ça se
termine généralement en queue de poisson, parce que ceux qui doivent entretenir la machine
de la répression se retrouvent curieusement dans les deux tableaux. Et, dit une vieille sagesse,
«on ne scie jamais l’arbre sur lequel on est assis ». En lieu et de place de lutter contre la
corruption, l’on a plutôt mis en place un dispositif pour affaiblir la machine de répression.
C’est cela la RDC.

L’on ne peut donc pas s’étonner que la RDC se retrouve une fois parmi les pays africains les
plus corrompus, partageant ce podium de la honte avec des pays tels que la Somalie, le
Soudan, la Guinée équatoriale, le Burundi, La Libye, le Tchad, l’Angola, la Guinée/Conakry
et le Zimbabwe

Aux sources de la croissance indienne
C’est désormais un lieu commun d’affirmer que l’émergence de l’Inde va changer la face du
monde économique et géopolitique. Depuis plusieurs années, en effet, l’économie indienne
enregistre des performances exceptionnelles. De pays très pauvre, cette zone est devenue
l’une des plus dynamiques du monde : la richesse moyenne par habitant y a presque quintuplé
en vingt ans (en dollars courants).

Les économistes s’accordent sur les causes de ce décollage. Après une crise majeure de
balance des paiements en 1991, le gouvernement de P.V. Narasimha Rao a entrepris une série
de réformes radicales visant à libéraliser l’économie, tant sur le plan interne qu’externe. Sur le
plan interne, les principales restrictions légales à la concurrence ont été supprimées dès 1991 :
abolition des licences industrielles et des monopoles d’Etat dans les industries clés.

Sur le plan externe, des réformes graduelles ont été mises en place pour ouvrir l’économie.
Alors que le taux maximum de droit de douane sur les produits non agricoles atteignait 355%
en 1990, il est passé à 50% en 1995 et à 10% en 2008. Les exportations ont également été
déréglementées : le nombre de produits sujets à des interdictions d’exportation est passé de
185 en 1991 à 16 en 1992. Quant au secteur des services, le gouvernement l’a peu à peu
libéralisé en permettant aux firmes étrangères d’y investir leurs capitaux. Il est désormais
largement accepté que ces réformes ont eu un impact positif sur l’économie indienne en
libérant les forces productives et en rompant avec vingt ans de planisme.

Pourtant, quelques voix dissidentes contestent cette analyse. En effet, deux séries de critiques
ont été avancées. La première, associée à Dani Rodrik et Arvind Subramanian, consiste à nier
que les réformes de la décennie 1990 aient causé le décollage indien. Selon ces deux auteurs,
la croissance indienne aurait décollé durant la décennie 1980, c'est-à-dire avant la mise en
place des politiques libérales. Par conséquent, ces politiques ne peuvent pas être à l’origine de
l’essor économique. Cet essor, selon eux, s’expliquerait plutôt par une attitude plus favorable
vis-à-vis des entreprises en place, sous les gouvernements successifs d’Indira Gandhi et de
Rajiv Gandhi.

Pour plausible que cette critique soit au regard des chiffres de la croissance (le taux de
croissance annuel moyen de la décennie 1980 est proche du taux de la décennie 1990), elle ne
résiste pas à l’analyse. La croissance des années 1980 a été principalement tirée par des
politiques fiscales expansionnistes financées, entre autres, par emprunts de capitaux étrangers.
Ce comportement prodigue de la part du gouvernement a conduit à une accumulation
insoutenable de dette étrangère, et à la crise de la balance des paiements de 1991. La
croissance des années 1990 et 2000, en comparaison, a été bien plus stable du fait des
réformes structurelles accomplies.

Une deuxième série de critiques provient du mouvement altermondialiste et des intellectuels
qui lui sont associés. Bien qu’ils reconnaissent l’impact positif des réformes sur la croissance
du PIB, ils dénoncent le bilan social de ces changements. Selon eux, les réformes libérales
auraient conduit à un accroissement de la pauvreté et de la précarité, notamment en milieu
rural.

L’analyse des données les plus récentes réfute ces craintes. Le pourcentage de la population
rurale vivant sous le seuil national de pauvreté est passé de 39,1% à la fin des années 1980 à
27,1% en 2000. Sur l’ensemble de la population, et sur la même période, le nombre
d’individus pauvres est passé de 320 millions à 260 millions d’individus soit l'équivalent de la
population d'un pays comme la France. Les indicateurs de développement humain se sont eux
aussi améliorés. Selon Arvind Panagariya, « des progrès considérables ont été réalisés
concernant l’augmentation du niveau d’éducation et l’élimination des inégalités filles-garçons
d’accès à l’école». Le ratio fille/garçon ayant accès à l’éducation primaire est passé de 0,76 en
1990 à 0,94 en 2002.

Certes, l’Inde n’est pas encore un idéal de liberté économique : les secteurs agricoles et
électriques restent très réglementés, l’Etat est encore le producteur inefficace de nombre de
services sociaux (santé, éducation…), certaines barrières au commerce extérieur subsistent…
Toutefois, l’importance des avancées réalisées jusqu’à présent ne doit pas être minimisée :
une leçon pour l'Afrique.

[ Faustin Kuediasala - Geoffroy Helgé, économiste - Tiré de « unmondelibre.org » ]



RDC : la sécurité dans le Nord-Kivu demeure problématique
www.pressafrik.com/Vendredi 16 Mars

Dans l'est de la RDC, l'armée a lancé en début de semaine des opérations dans le territoire de
Masisi contre des groupes Maï Maï. Les combats ont provoqué des déplacements de
population. Dans cette zone du Nord-Kivu, les affrontements sont récurrents, d'autant que ces
derniers mois les groupes armés prolifèrent dans la région.

Difficile d'évaluer l'intensité des affrontements qui ont éclaté entre les combattants Maï Maï
de l'APCLS, Alliance des patriotes pour un Congo libre et souverain, et les soldats issus des
rangs du CNDP, Congrès national pour la défense du peuple. Le porte-parole de l'armée pour
les deux Kivus relativise leur portée, considérant qu'il s'agit d'accrochages routiniers.

Une source à la Mission des Nations unies indique que sept à huit militaires et deux Maï Maï
ont été tués dans le seul affrontement de mardi près de la ville de Lukweti. Conséquence
directe de ces violences, de nombreux civils ont fui pour se réfugier dans différentes localités
mais aussi autour de bases de l'ONU.
Pour l'heure, les forces congolaises agiraient seules mais deux opérations conjointes avec les
casques bleus doivent être lancées incessamment dans le Nord-Kivu, l'une contre les rebelles
ougandais des ADF Nalu, l'autre contre les Rwandais des FDLR, Forces démocratiques de
libération du Rwanda.

Actuellement, la situation dans cette province est explosive, expliquent plusieurs sources. Des
groupes de Maï Maï qui se disent dépossédés de leurs terres au profit des éleveurs de la région
ont pris les armes pour affronter les soldats issus des bataillons du CNDP et intégrés aux
FARDC, Forces armées de la République démocratique du Congo .

Par ailleurs, d'autres milices comme le PARECO Fort (Patriotes résistants congolais, une
milice progouvernementale du groupe Maï-Maï, active dans l’est de la RDC), ont déserté les
rangs de l'armée car selon eux, tous les postes de responsabilité sont tenus par le général
Bosco Ntaganda et ses hommes.

Les dernières élections marquées par de fortes irrégularités dans le Masisi n'ont fait
qu'accentuer les frustrations.
Source: RFI



RD Congo: Reddition d'un chef rebelle rwandais
Pana /15/03/2012

RD Congo .New York, Etats-Unis - Un chef rebelle rwandais, le lieutenant-colonel Idrissa
Muradadi, s'est rendu à la suite d'une offensive militaire conjointe des Nations unies et de
l'armée nationale de la R démocratique du Congo, annonce un communiqué de la Mission de
maintien de la paix de l'ONU en RDC (MONUSCO).

Selon le communiqué, transmis mercredi à la PANA à New York, M. Muradadi, considéré
comme un 'gros poisson', et trois de ses gardes du corps se sont rendus vendredi aux forces de
la MONUSCO et de l'armée nationale congolaise (FARDC).

'C'est une excellente nouvelle et le fait qu'il se soit rendu va avoir un effet démoralisateur sur
les autres rebelles des FDLR dans l'est de la RD Congo', indique le porte-parole de la
MONUSCO, Manodje Mounoubai.

M. Muradadi est un ancien commandant en chef des Forces démocratiques de libération du
Rwanda (FDLR), qui opérait depuis la fin de l'année 1994 principalement dans l'est de la
RDC.

Après sa reddition, le chef rebelle a été envoyé dans un camp de désarmement et de
démobilisation et sera bientôt transféré au Rwanda.

Les FDLR font partie des nombreux groupes armés qui opèrent en RDC.

Le gouvernement congolais a lancé plusieurs offensives ciblant ces groupes, avec l'appui
logistique de la Mission de maintien de la paix de l'ONU.
La RDC et le FMI organiseront une conférence de haut niveau sur la gestion des ressources
naturelles en Afrique subsaharienne
Vendredi 16 mars 2012 /Xinhua

KINSHASA (Xinhua) - Le gouvernement de la République démocratique du Congo et le
Fonds monétaire international (FMI) organiseront conjointement du mercredi 21 et au jeudi
22 mars 2012 à Kinshasa une Conférence de haut niveau sur la Gestion des ressources
naturelles en Afrique subsaharienne.

Selon un haut responsable du ministère congolais des mines, la conférence de Kinshasa vise à
faire le point des analyses et réflexions sur les politiques macroéconomiques et la gestion des
ressources naturelles et à examiner leurs effets sur le dialogue de politique générale avec les
pays d'Afrique subsaharienne.

Elle portera également sur les politiques, l'administration et la réglementation fiscale propice
à une bonne gestion des ressources naturelles, en mettant un accent particulier sur les moyens
nécessaires pour en assurer le bon fonctionnement dans un contexte de faible capacité
institutionnelle.

La conférence sur la gestion des ressources naturelles en Afrique subsaharienne connaîtra la
participation de plusieurs experts, notamment des responsables politiques, des partenaires, des
universitaires et des représentants de la société civile venus de plusieurs pays du monde.

« Elle donnera l'occasion de débattre des modalités optimales d' une gestion rationnelle des
flux considérables que rapportent les industries extractives -- exploitation pétrolière, forestière
et minière -- dans les environnements institutionnels locaux. », a expliqué un expert.

Lutte contre le trafic illégale

Cette rencontre est organisée grâce au concours financier du gouvernement de la République
démocratique du Congo, du Department for International Development du Royaume-Uni, du
Centre régional d' assistance technique pour l'Afrique centrale du FMI, et du Fonds fiduciaire
spécialisé pour la gestion de la richesse en ressources naturelles, financé par l'Union
européenne, la Norvège, l' Australie, la Suisse, les Pays-Bas, Oman et le Koweït.

La conférence sur la gestion des ressources minières en Afrique sub saharienne intervient à un
moment indiqué où la communauté internationale se bat pour déterminer la traçabilité des
minerais afin de combattre les minerais qui proviennent des zones de guerre et qu'on appelle
communément les minerais du sang. Les participants chercheront aussi des voies et moyens
pour lutter contre les pillages des ressources naturelles des pays de l' Afrique subsaharienne
en générale et de la République démocratique du Congo en particulier. Il est un fait que ces
pillages des richesses de l'Afrique accroit la misère et la pauvreté dans la plupart des pays du
continent

« Les participants à la conférence de Kinshasa vont certainement jeter les bases d'une
nouvelle stratégie de lutte contre le trafic illégal des ressources naturelles de la RDC, qui, à
plusieurs égards constitue une des causes de guerre à répétition que connaît la République
démocratique du Congo depuis son accession à l'indépendance », a conclu Roger-Seck Mbal
de l' Institut Congolais d'études stratégiques et environnementales basé à Brazzaville.
Thomas Lubanga, premier coupable de la CPI
Créé le 14-03-2012 /AP/tempsreel.nouvelobs.com

LA HAYE (AP) — Dix ans après sa création, et à l'issue d'un procès parfois difficile, la Cour
pénale internationale (CPI) a rendu mercredi un premier et historique jugement pour crimes
de guerre: elle a reconnu l'ex-chef de guerre Thomas Lubanga coupable d'avoir enrôlé, parfois
de force, et fait combattre des enfants-soldats dans les rangs de sa milice, en Ituri (nord-est de
la République démocratique du Congo).

Thomas Lubanga, 52 ans, en boubou ivoire et calotte, n'a pas réagi à la lecture du verdict par
le président Adrian Fulford. En quittant la salle, escorté par ses gardiens, il a en revanche
souri et salué ses partisans dans la galerie du public.

L'ancien président de l'Union des patriotes congolais (UPC), d'ethnie hema, risque la prison à
perpétuité. Sa peine doit être fixée lors d'une audience distincte dont la date reste à déterminer.

Arrêté en 2006, Lubanga était jugé depuis 2009 pour avoir enrôlé des enfants-soldats lors de
la sanglante guerre civile qui a secoué l'Ituri en 2002-2003.

Si son protagoniste est somme toute un second couteau des conflits-gigogne ayant
ensanglanté la RDC, ce procès est en revanche le premier procès pour crimes de guerre
portant exclusivement sur l'enrôlement d'enfants-soldats, les "kadogos".

Les éléments de preuve "présentés par le Procureur établissent au delà de tout doute
raisonnable que Thomas Lubanga Dyilo est coupable de conscription et d'enrôlement
d'enfants de moins de 15 ans et de les avoir fait participer activement à des hostilités" du 1er
septembre 2002 au 13 août 2003, a déclaré le président.

Les trois juges, à l'unanimité, ont reconnu la culpabilité de Lubanga et aussi qu'il a
"personnellement utilisé des enfants de moins de 15 ans comme gardes du corps".

Le conflit armé en Ituri (district de la Province orientale) a impliqué les Forces patriotiques
pour la libération du Congo (FPLC), branche militaire de l'UPC à l'époque commandée par
Lubanga, et d'autres groupes armés locaux, pour le contrôle du district et de ses richesses. Le
conflit, basé sur les rivalités ethniques entre lendu et hema, a été compliqué par l'implication
des armées étrangères.

Les juges n'ont pas épargné leurs critiques à l'égard des procureurs de la CPI, accusés de
"négligence" pour avoir eu recours à des intermédiaires peu fiables afin de recueillir des
témoignages en RDC. Leur dossier a notamment failli capoter à deux reprises en raison de
leur échec à transmettre des preuves aux avocats de la défense.

Amnesty International a pour sa part reproché à la CPI de ne pas avoir également inculpé
Lubanga pour crimes et violences d'ordre sexuel, estimant que ce choix équivalait à refuser
"justice et réparation pour un grand nombre d'autres victimes".
Malgré ses failles, ce premier procès de la CPI a cependant une forte portée symbolique,
envoyant selon les militants des droits de l'homme un message clair aux armées et
mouvements rebelles de par le monde qui continuent d'embrigader des enfants pour les
transformer en machines à tuer et chair à canon.

Selon les estimations des Nations unies, les enfants-soldats seraient encore des dizaines de
milliers dans les conflits d'Afrique, d'Asie et d'Amérique latine.

"Ce verdict de culpabilité contre Lubanga est une mise en garde sévère aux chefs militaires du
Congo et d'ailleurs: utiliser des enfants comme arme de guerre est un crime grave", a souligné
Geraldine Mattioli-Zeltner, de Human Rights Watch.

"En cette ère de media globalisés, le verdict d'aujourd'hui attendra les seigneurs de la guerre et
commandants dans le monde entier et aura un important pouvoir dissuasif", s'est réjouie la
représentante spéciale de l'ONU pour les enfants dans les conflits armés, Radhika
Coomaraswamy.

Ce premier verdict marque aussi une étape pour la CPI, première juridiction internationale
permanente mise sur pied, dans la foulée d'une série de tribunaux ad hoc, afin de poursuivre et
juger les crimes les plus graves: crimes de guerre, crimes contre l'humanité, génocide et crime
d'agression. Et ce en lieu et place des Etats dans l'incapacité de rendre eux-mêmes justice -ou
ne le voulant pas- partout de par le monde, afin de mettre fin à l'impunité.

A ce jour, les procureurs de la CPI ont sept enquêtes en cours, sur 15 affaires, toutes en
Afrique et concernant les situations en Ouganda, RDC, République centrafricaine, Darfour
(Soudan), Kenya, Libye et Côte d'Ivoire. Les juges de la CPI ont délivré 20 mandats d'arrêt
(dont deux annulés par suite du décès des suspects), mais la prison de La Haye n'héberge que
cinq suspects, dont l'ancien président de Côte d'Ivoire Laurent Gbagbo et l'ancien vice-
président de RDC Jean-Pierre Bemba.

Onze autre suspects sont toujours en liberté, dont certains poids-lourds, comme le président
soudanais Omar el-Béchir, pour les crimes commis au Darfour (ouest du Soudan), ou encore,
plus récemment, feu le colonel Moammar Kadhafi et son fils Saïf al-Islam, actuellement
détenu en Libye.

Mais la question de son efficacité demeure. La CPI n'a pas de force de police propre pour
arrêter les suspects recherchés et ne peut lancer d'enquêtes que dans les 120 pays ayant ratifié
le statut de Rome portant création de la Cour, ou si le Conseil de sécurité de l'ONU l'ordonne.

La CPI est donc par exemple impuissante face au drame en cours en Syrie: Damas n'a pas
reconnu sa compétence, et l'action du Conseil de sécurité est bloquée par les veto russe et
chinois.

Une incapacité une nouvelle fois mise en lumière la semaine dernière avec le succès viral
planétaire d'une vidéo postée sur Internet et réclamant l'arrestation de l'Ougandais Joseph
Kony, chef de la LRA (Armée de résistance du Seigneur), un des mouvements rebelles les
plus sanguinaires de la région. Objet d'un mandat d'arrêt de la CPI depuis 2006, Kony est
toujours en fuite, six ans après... AP
UGANDA :

“Kony 2012” skeptic Grant Oyston pays the price for his viral video reality check
Michael Tutton /www.thespec.com/Thu Mar 15 2012

When Grant Oyston posted a critique last week of a wildly popular online video urging the
arrest of Joseph Kony for war crimes in Uganda, it went to just 30 friends.

Since then, his website “Visible Children” has attracted at least 2.3 million views.

From his student digs in Wolfville, N.S., Oyston has proven to be a thorn in the side of the
“Kony 2012” movement.

“Social media can cut both ways,” the 19-year-old Acadia University student said Tuesday in
an interview.

“Millions of people around the world are now aware of an issue that they weren’t before. The
issue is ... whether they have enough information about it to have the right decisions.”

As his blog’s fame spread, Oyston has had to juggle mid-term exams in his global issues class
with interview requests from news outlets including the BBC. He has also been invited to
discuss his views Wednesday on MTV Canada in Toronto.

There’s also the flood of emails, ranging from death threats to effusive praise, piling up.

Oyston said it began as he observed peers tweeting and posting on Facebook about the 30-
minute “Kony 2012” video by advocacy group Invisible Children — which includes a pitch
for donations for a campaign to capture Kony.

Oyston said it bothered him that few of his friends were raising any questions about the
campaign, and he started gathering various critiques and questions about the organization’s
finances.

He became one of the early online critics to argue that the video oversimplifies the 26-year-
old conflict involving the Lord’s Resistance Army and its leader, Kony, a bush fighter wanted
by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

Some media have reported that Kony’s army now consists of a few hundred fighters and it is
being gradually chased into obscurity by the Ugandan army.

Oyston’s blog quotes an Invisible Children spokeswoman saying that 20 per cent of the funds
go to salaries and overhead, 43 per cent to awareness programs, and 37 per cent to programs
in Africa to help people.

“More money goes to awareness than to Africa,” Oyston writes on one blog entry.
He also said since the “Kony 2012” video surged in popularity, generating more than 76
million views on YouTube as of Tuesday, it still hasn’t told contributors how its donations
will be spent.

A New York-based public relations firm hired by Invisible Children said the group won’t
disclose how much it has raised to date because it is changing daily, but the totals will be
disclosed when the campaign is complete.

“With all due respect, I think (Oyston’s) criticisms and things he’s written are important but
are a little misinformed and naive,” said Jesse Derris of Sunshine Sachs & Associates.

“We’re incredibly clear that the campaign they’ve been running up until now are awareness
campaigns in the United States in order to promote more advocacy so we can get the
government more involved in Uganda.”

Still, Oyston said he wants more information on where this year’s funds will go.

“To be honest, I would really like to see them come out with what their goals are and come
out with what they’re planning to do with this new windfall,” he said.

Oyston said his family was involved in charity and development work when he was a child.
He said he has worked at summer jobs for CISV International, an international peace
education organization, and plans to work in development when he graduates.

Meanwhile, he says he has learned that social media has its pros and cons when it comes to
activism.

“It can be a great way to spread a message of awareness very quickly,” he said.

“But unless it’s used properly it can lead people to not do the research and not to have as
thorough discussion as they otherwise would.”

Oyston said he’s not sure if he will continue blogging on “Kony 2012,” as he feels others with
greater expertise have taken up his ideas and developed them further.

But he said he may weigh in on another issue in the future.

“I hope the social media continues to act as a watchdog for these stories.”

The Canadian Press



Criticism of 'KONY 2012' viral video swells in Uganda
Published March 15, 2012/ Associated Press

KAMPALA, Uganda – Ugandan criticism of a viral video about a brutal central Africa
warlord continued to swell in the wake of a public screening in a remote Ugandan town once
terrorized by the Lord's Resistance Army.
The head of a Ugandan charity that showed "Kony 2012" said Thursday he will suspend
further screenings after getting overwhelmingly negative feedback from viewers on Tuesday
who failed to understand why there were so many white faces in the video, or why Kony
needs to be made famous.

The collective feedback amounts to a rejection of the video in a region that was once
terrorized by Kony. The American advocacy group Invisible Children wants to raise global
awareness of the fugitive rebel leader who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for
war crimes and crimes against humanity.

"There was a strong sense from the audience that the video was insensitive to African and
Ugandan audiences, and that it did not accurately portray the conflict or the victims," Victor
Ochen of the African Youth Initiative Network, said in a statement. "In particular, viewers
were outraged by the KONY 2012 campaign's strategy to make Kony famous and their
marketing of items with his image."

The video, which has been viewed nearly 80 million times on YouTube, has put Kony in the
international spotlight, but some critics have said the video oversimplified the conflict. An
international manhunt has sent Kony and his fighters deep into the remote Central Africa bush.
U.S. special forces are aiding the hunt in four central African countries, including Uganda.

Kony is believed to be hiding in the Central African Republic, where he fled before an aerial
assault on his forested base in eastern Congo in 2008. Ugandan officials say he is no longer a
threat to Uganda and that he has only a few hundred combatants across Central Africa,
including in South Sudan and Congo.

The Ugandan government said last week that it welcomed any effort that makes it possible to
catch Kony but warned against misrepresenting the status of the LRA.

"Misinterpretations of media content may lead some people to believe that the LRA is
currently active in Uganda," said Fred Opolot, a government spokesman. "They are a
diminished and weakened group with numbers not exceeding 300."

In the northern town of Lira, where children once slept in streets because they were too afraid
to stay home while the LRA were on the loose, the 30-minute film resurrected bad memories
of Kony, who abducted up to 30,000 children and left millions homeless over the years.

In the Invisible Children video, filmmaker Jason Russell discuses Kony and the LRA with his
young son, Gavin. That conversation concerned one viewer who saw the film in the LRA-
effected area, Ochen said.

"How can the issue of northern Uganda be discussed by just a 3-year-old American kid who
does not know anything to do with our plight? We are afraid that every American child will
now look at every mature black African as a bad person," Ochen said, citing the viewer's
reaction.



'Kony' Screening Inflames Ugandans
By NICHOLAS BARIYO in Kampala, Uganda, and ERICA ORDEN in Los Angeles
/online.wsj.com/ March 15, 2012

A group screening a popular video about fugitive African rebel leader Joseph Kony suspended
showings in northern Uganda after angry viewers pelted members with stones and callers to
radio stations objected to the portrayal of victims in the conflict.

As the group, the African Youth Initiative Network, did a live translation of the film narrative
into the local Luo dialect, an estimated 35,000 people began jeering. Some threw rocks at the
screen and group members, who pulled the plug on the video. By Thursday, the group had
suspended future showings.

"Kony 2012," produced by Invisible Children Inc., a San Diego-based nonprofit organization,
focuses on the leader of Lord's Resistance Army, who is accused of recruiting children into
sexual slavery and using them to wage a violent campaign to topple Uganda's government.

Since it surfaced on the Internet in early March, the 30-minute video has become the most
viral in history, registering some 137.2 million views, according to online measurement firm
Visible Measures Corp.

But late Tuesday, it faced a more-hostile reception at a town park in northern Uganda, where
Mr. Kony based his two-decade insurgency until 2005.

"People are still very emotional about Kony," said Victor Ochen, director of African Youth
Initiative Network, which organized the screening in Lira, one of the worst-affected towns in
Mr. Kony's campaign. "They would rather be left alone." The group calls itself the local
partner of Invisible Children, but Invisible Children said on Thursday that it isn't associated
with it.

"We were not consulted about the plans to host the screening in Lira, and we do not feel that
the event was framed or conducted appropriately," said Jolly Grace Okot, Invisible Children's
Uganda country director.

Mr. Ochen said the filmmakers weren't present at the screening.

With only around 2% of Ugandans able to access the Internet, African Youth Initiative had
hoped "to bring the world to the victims' communities, and the victims' communities to the
world," the group said before Tuesday's showing.

The film features Invisible Children co-founder Jason Russell, who relates Mr. Kony's
atrocities against children to his toddler son, Gavin.

Lira residents said they were upset the video devotes so much attention to the American
filmmakers and Mr. Kony, and relatively little to the conflict's victims. "The video looks to be
more about whites than Ugandans," said Thomas Okello, a local leader in Lira.

Others said they were put off by the return to a subject many had put behind them. Francis
Okumu, a Lira resident whose sister Mr. Kony's fighters abducted and later killed in the late
1990s, said the video reminded him of the painful days following his sister's abduction. He
couldn't bear watching it. "It is too sickening," he said. But Ms. Okot said those responses
don't represent the views of the population as a whole.

"The reaction being portrayed does not reflect the general sentiment of leaders on the ground
in the Acholi subregion, who have come out in vocal support of the film and the advocacy
behind it," she said.

Invisible Children executives have said the video is aimed at raising awareness among a
young demographic unfamiliar with Mr. Kony's alleged crimes. "When you walk away from
this film, you should think, the way I can help is to share the story," Ben Keesey, Invisible
Children's chief executive, said last week.

Local leaders in the Acholi subregion, adjacent to the Lango subregion where Lira is located,
plan to host a screening of the video on Saturday in Gulu, Ms. Okot said.

"In contrast to the screening in Lira, the organizers in Gulu will provide context for the film
and it's advocacy message, which was based upon messages from civil-society members
across Uganda, [the Democratic Republic of] Congo, South Sudan and the Central African
Republic."

Mr. Kony, who is accused of abducting 30,000 children, said his Lord's Resistance Army is
fighting to install a regime that will be guided by the Ten Commandments of the Bible. The
International Criminal Court is seeking his arrest to answer charges of war crimes and crimes
against humanity. In October, President Barack Obama dispatched 100 U.S. troops to aid in
his capture.

Mr. Kony fled northern Uganda in 2005, into the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and later,
the Central African Republic.

African Youth Initiative said it hasn't decided whether to screen the video in these countries.

Write to Nicholas Bariyo at nicholas.bariyo@dowjones.com and Erica Orden at
erica.orden@wsj.com



Uganda gay group sues US minister over anti-gay bill
15 March 2012/ www.bbc.co.uk

A Ugandan gay rights group has filed a lawsuit against a US minister accusing him of
involvement in a campaign to persecute gay people in Uganda.

Scott Lively denies helping anti-gay groups in Uganda spread violence against gays.

He told the BBC the case was based on "gross misrepresentations" and should not be
actionable.

Sexual Ministries Uganda is seeking a judgement against Mr Lively and unspecified damages.
"We hope that he will be held accountable for what he did in Uganda," Frank Mugisha, head
of the group, told the Associated Press news agency.

The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) filed the complaint on behalf of Sexual Ministries
Uganda in a federal court in Massachusetts, where Mr Lively is based.

'Political theatre'

The case is based on a statute they say allows foreigners to file civil lawsuits against
Americans for alleged violations of international law.

To mark the legal action, about 70 protesters marched from the US district court in
Springfield, Massachusetts on Wednesday.

Mr Lively was one of several US evangelicals who visited Uganda in 2009 shortly before a
bill was drafted that made certain homosexual acts punishable by death.

That bill has since been amended with a life prison sentence instead of the death penalty, but
gay groups in Uganda say they have faced increasing threats since its introduction.

Mr Lively, who leads Abiding Truth Ministries, said he never told the Ugandan legislature to
implement the death penalty and has informed them he disapproved of the punishment.

He said he believed "in criminalisation in the same manner of criminalisation of marijuana
and speeding on the highway".

"This is just political theatre," Mr Lively told the BBC, arguing that the case is a frivolous one
based on highly edited comments that misrepresent him.

The complaint alleges Mr Lively warned Ugandans to fight against a "genocidal" and
"paedophilic" gay movement, "which he likened to the Nazis and Rwandan murderers".

Sexual Ministries Uganda's complaint also alleges that Mr Lively's involvement in Uganda's
anti-gay movement stretches back to 2002.

"He long ago set out a very specific and detailed methodology for stripping away the most
basic human rights protections, to silence and ultimately disappear LGBT people," Pam Spees,
an attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, said in a statement.

"Unfortunately, he found willing accomplices and fertile ground in Uganda."

Some have argued that the anti-gay bill is part of an effort to distract Ugandans from
government corruption.



Ugandan screening of Kony film angers victims
Rosebell Kagumire Lira, Uganda /www.smh.com.au/March 16, 2012.
IT HAD been viewed more than 77 million times around the world, but not by those who
know Joseph Kony best: his victims in northern Uganda.

That has now changed after thousands flocked to watch Kony 2012, the video, made by a US
charity urging a grassroots campaign against the fugitive warlord, that has gone viral.

Before sunset on Tuesday two metal rods were hammered into dry dirt and grass and a white
sheet hoisted to create an open-air cinema in the mayor's gardens in Lira, 350 kilometres north
of the capital, Kampala. Word about the ''premiere'' spread on local radio, drawing a a large
crowd, including victims of Kony's atrocities.

But some spectators did not like what they saw and the screening ended amid jeers and
scuffles, with some angry viewers throwing stones.

''People were very angry about the film,'' said Victor Ochen, director of a local charity, the
African Youth Initiative Network (Ayinet), which arranged the show.

On Wednesday, Mr Ochen, whose father and brother were abducted by Kony's Lord's
Resistance Army, said: ''Reacting to the film, there was a strong sense that the video was
definitely not produced for an African audience, and that it was not sensitive enough to the
victims.

''It was very hurtful for them and their families to see posters, bracelets and buttons, all
looking like slick campaign ads of the person most responsible for their shattered lives. One
young man who lost four brothers and one of his arms said afterwards, 'How can anybody
expect me to wear a T-shirt with Kony's name on it?'''

He added: ''For all the victims, the attempt to make Kony famous so as to prop up public
support for his apprehension is laudable but the way this goal is pursued in the video is
inappropriate and ignores their feelings.

''That fame is not what Kony deserves for causing so much suffering was one overwhelming
reaction. People were asking: 'Why give such criminals celebrity status? Why not prioritise
addressing the plight of the victims whose sufferings are visible?'''

The film, posted on YouTube on March 5 and narrated by one of Invisible Children's founders,
Jason Russell, has provoked criticism for oversimplifying the conflict and not making clear
that Kony was driven out of Uganda several years ago.

Ayinet has decided to suspend screenings of the film in other parts of northern Uganda due to
the hostile reaction.

Emmy Okello, a radio journalist in Lira, said: ''I cannot understand the intention of this video.
It is difficult to account to us if you are not including local people. What has angered people is
that the video is about a white person, not about the victims. All of them came here hoping to
see video that tells their story.''

Okello Jifony, who was forced to fight under Kony for 18 months, said: ''We expected serious
action, Americans fighting Kony like in a real movie.''
He added: ''Why didn't they use the real victims in this film?''

There are now calls in Uganda to ban the campaign's ''Stop Kony'' T-shirts from entering the
country.

Al-Jazeera reporter Malcolm Webb blogged: ''One woman I spoke to made the comparison of
selling Osama bin Laden paraphernalia post 9/11 - likely to be highly offensive to many
Americans, how ever well-intentioned the campaign behind it.''

Kony, a self-proclaimed mystic, is wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes
against humanity.

GUARDIAN



Uganda Government Dismisses Museveni Impeachment Bid
Peter Clottey /www.voanews.com/ March 15, 2012

Uganda’s Information Minister has dismissed ongoing attempts by seven members of
parliament seeking to impeach President Yoweri Museveni over allegations of economic
crimes.

The lawmakers also accused Museveni of violating the constitution, as well as aiding and
abetting financial malfeasance by top officials of the administration. But, Karooro Okurut
said the legislators have a right to embark on an impeachment process, but warned it was an
exercise in futility, which she said should be ignored.

“They are just seeking to discredit themselves before the electorate and anger that electorate
that has just offered the president a landslide victory just barely a year ago. So, this is an
aimless walk in the political desert,” said Okurut.

The legislators accuse Museveni of conducting himself in a manner which, they said, has
brought the office of the president into hatred, ridicule, contempt and disrepute. They also
said Museveni has dishonestly done acts and omissions, which they say is prejudicial and
inimical to the economy and Uganda’s security.

The impeachment procedure requires affirmation of a third of Uganda’s 386 lawmakers in
parliament for it to progress.

Before signing the document, the seven legislators announced at a news conference that “the
undersigned [legislators] do hereby append our signatures fully persuaded that Yoweri
Museveni, the President of Uganda, be removed from office on grounds that he has abused his
office and willfully violated the oath of allegiance, and the presidential oath, and other
provisions of the constitution,” the lawmakers said.

But Okurut dismissed the accusations as untrue. She said Ugandans repose confidence in
Museveni and his ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party.
Okurut said the legislators are on a cheap publicity mission calculated to embarrass the
country’s leader.

The legislators said Museveni disregarded parliamentary resolutions by allowing Prime
Minister Amama Mbabazi and Internal Affairs Minister Hilary Onek, accused of taking bribes
from oil exploration companies, to continue to work in their respective positions.

But, Okurut dismissed the allegations as untrue. She insisted the accused senior ministers are
innocent until proven guilty.

“Those who have been found to be culpable have been made to relinquish their offices…so it
does not hold water to accuse the president of abetting corruption. It is just ridiculous,” said
Okurut. “The problem we have is that, when it is alleged that so and so has done this, they
pass judgment without listening to the other side and, really, we cannot allow that. The law of
natural justice must be allowed to exist.”



Uganda’s Coffee Exports May Drop 13% as Harvest Nears End
By Fred Ojambo - /www.bloomberg.com/ Mar 15, 2012

Uganda’s coffee exports may drop 13 percent in March from a year earlier with the harvest
almost over, the Ugandan Coffee Development Authority said.

Shipments from Africa’s biggest coffee exporter may decline to 200,000 bags from 228,579
bags a year earlier, the Kampala- based authority said in an e-mailed statement today. A bag
weighs 60 kilograms (132 pounds).

“The harvesting season in Central and Eastern regions is almost ending,” the agency said.
“Exporters will be drawing on their stocks to fulfill contractual obligations with their buyers.”

Exports from October through February climbed to 1.16 million bags worth almost $172
million from 1.1 million bags valued at $142 million a year earlier, the authority said.

Uganda was Africa’s biggest coffee exporter in the 12 months through September, according
to the London-based International Coffee Organization. Robusta beans, which are used in
espressos and instant drinks, account for about 85 percent of production, according to the
Ugandan authority.




SOUTH AFRICA:

Govt wants implementation of Nicholson report recommendations
Friday, March 16, 2012/zeenews.india.com
Johannesburg: The writing appears to be on the wall for embattled Cricket South Africa (CSA)
chief executive Gerald Majola after Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula today called on the Board
to act decisively in implementing all the recommendations of the Nicholson inquiry into the
financial affairs of CSA.

"We stand by its findings and expect the full recommendations of the Nicholson report to be
implemented," Mbalula said at a media briefing, threatening that if CSA did not do so,
government would show it how to do so.

"The board of Cricket South Africa, if it has any moral compass, and understands its fiduciary
duties, must in its meeting tomorrow do the right thing," Mbalula said.

Calling for the CSA board meeting tomorrow to do some serious introspection, Mbalula also
questioned whether it was not time for the entire CSA board to step down.

"Is it not time for the board to make way for a new leadership that will take Cricket South
Africa to a new era of hope and clean governance?."

The inquiry headed by retired judge Chris Nicholson made damning findings in its report last
Friday, calling for Majola’s suspension pending a disciplinary hearing and a probe into
possible criminal charges by the National Prosecuting Authority of his breach of fiduciary
duties in terms of the Companies Act.

The minister instituted the inquiry following two years of wrangling which saw the president
of CSA Mtutuzeli Nyoka ousted in absentia twice after he challenged huge IPL 2 bonuses that
Majola had paid to himself and other senior CSA staff without informing the CSA board.

IPL 2 was played in South Africa due to security concerns around elections at the time in
India.

Mbalula said his ministry could not ignore what has been happening at CSA.

PTI



South Africa Yields Hit 2-Month Highs on Marcus; Rand Falls
By Robert Brand /www.bloomberg.com/Mar 16, 2012

South African bonds fell, sending three-year yields to the highest since January, as central
bank Governor Gill Marcus’s inflation comments spurred speculation policy makers may
raise interest rates on hold for 16 months.

The yield on 13.5 percent bonds due 2015 climbed five basis points, or 0.05 percentage point,
to 6.87 percent as of 12 p.m. in Johannesburg, the highest since Jan. 9. The rand slipped 0.2
percent to 7.6421 per dollar, bringing its five-day decline to 0.7 percent, the fourth
consecutive weekly drop.

Marcus said inflation may be becoming “more generalized,” and the South African Reserve
Bank will monitor prices “very carefully,” in a speech in Johannesburg late yesterday posted
on the bank’s website. Inflation accelerated to a two-year high of 6.3 percent in January,
staying outside the target band for a third consecutive month.

The central banker’s comments “support our view of a rate hike in the last quarter, or maybe
even September,” Ian Cruickshanks, the head of treasury strategic research at Johannesburg-
based Nedbank Group Ltd., said by phone. “That’s why bond yields are a bit higher, and why
we’re seeing some movement in the forward-rate market.”

Forward-rate agreements starting in December climbed 12.5 basis points to 6.07 percent today,
the highest level in more than seven months. The contracts have climbed 47 basis points this
year as traders added to bets interest rates will rise.

Rates on Hold
The central bank has kept its key rate at 5.5 percent since November 2010, the lowest in more
than 30 years, to blunt the effect of a European recession on the domestic economy. The
Monetary Policy Committee will make its next rate decision on March 29.

The yield difference between inflation-linked bonds due 2022 and fixed-rate debt of similar
maturity rose six basis points to 5.96 percentage points today, the highest since Dec. 16. The
so-called break-even rate, an indicator of investors’ expectation of inflation, has climbed 19
basis points this year.

“The outlook has shifted back in favor of a tightening in monetary policy,” George Glynos, an
economist at Johannesburg- based ETM Analytics, wrote in e-mailed comments today. “The
market may quickly shift to price in a more hawkish interest rate outlook.”

South Africa’s $1.5 billion of 4.665 bonds due 2024 yielded 4.32 percent, unchanged from
yesterday. The extra yield investors demand to hold the debt rather than U.S. Treasuries
declined three basis points to 202 basis points.

Rand Weakens
The rand declined before U.S. data today forecast to show industrial production increased and
consumer sentiment improved, boosting the dollar. U.S. jobless claims matched the lowest
level in four years and manufacturing in the New York region expanded at the fastest pace
since June 2010, reports showed yesterday.

The Federal Reserve this week signaled an improved outlook for the world’s biggest economy,
damping expectations of a third round of monetary stimulus which would depreciate the
dollar and boost demand for riskier, emerging-market assets.

“With shifting expectations of quantitative easing and U.S. data still very much in focus, the
dollar could continue to gain in the short term,” Nomvuyo Guma, a currency strategist at
Standard Bank Group Ltd. in Johannesburg, said in e-mailed comments. “This could spell
some near-term weakness for the rand.”



Nigeria: South Africa Delivers Apology Letter to Jonathan
By Abdul-Rahman Abubakar and Romoke W. Ahmad/Daily Trust/16 March 2012
 President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday received an apology letter from an eight-man
delegation from South Africa, led by the country's Minister of Correctional Services, Mapisa
Ngakula, at the State House yesterday.

The delegation was earlier received by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador
Olugbenga A. Ashiru in his office. Maphisa-Nqakula said they were in Nigeria to deliver a
special message of apology to President Jonathan in the aftermath of the recent face-off
between South Africa and Nigeria over the deportation of some Nigerians from South Africa.

She pointed out that the decision to apologise was taken at cabinet level, under-lining the
desire of her government to put the unfortunate episode behind and to forge ahead in
promoting excellent relations between her country and Nigeria.

Jonathan said that "We should resuscitate the Nigeria-South Africa Bi-National Commission
in order to avoid the irritations we have had in the past few weeks and strengthen our relations.
Nigeria and South Africa have come a long way together."

Jonathan recalled that as Vice President, he headed Nigeria's delegation to the Bi-National
Commission saying the body was crucial to the growth of cordial relations and mutual
understanding between the two countries.



South Africa: New 'first' for Africa's SKA prototype
Compiled by the Government Communication and Information System /7thspace.com/
Date: 16 Mar 2012

Title: New 'first' for Africa's SKA prototype

Pretoria - South Africa's KAT-7 telescope - a seven-dish array which is a precursor to the
much larger MeerKAT telescope and a prototype for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) - has
reached another milestone by producing the first atomic hydrogen spectral line images of a
nearby galaxy.

Southafrica.info reports that astronomers working on the KAT-7 outside the small town of
Carnarvon in the Northern Cape pointed the telescope towards a galaxy called NGC 3109 - a
small spiral galaxy, about 4.3 million light years away from Earth, located in the constellation
of Hydra.

"The observation allowed them to see the HI [neutral hydrogen gas] radio emission of this
galaxy, as well as to see how this galaxy is moving," the SKA South Africa project office said
in a statement.

"Where the gas is moving towards us, the frequency of the spectral line is Doppler-shifted
upwards; where the gas is moving away, the frequency is shifted down. In this way,
astronomers can map the way in which all of the gas in the galaxy is moving."

SKA South Africa director Dr Bernie Fanaroff said the KAT-7's latest results "have given us
confidence that we know how to build a cutting-edge radio telescope in Africa to answer
some of the fundamental questions in radio astronomy.
"Our team in the SKA South Africa project and universities has again shown that they can
deliver cutting-edge technology and do excellent science on a very tight schedule," Fanaroff
said in the statement.

South Africa, allied with eight other African countries, is competing against Australia to host
the 1.5-billion euro Square Kilometre Array, an instrument 50 to 100 times more sensitive and
10 000 times faster than any radio imaging telescope yet built.

The international science funding agencies and governments involved in the international
SKA consortium are due to make an announcement - possibly on the final winning bid - on 4
April, with construction likely to start in 2016 and take place in phases over several years,
with completion by about 2022.

South Africa is currently building a 64-dish precursor instrument for the SKA, the Karoo
Array Telescope (also known as the MeerKAT) which, regardless of whether South Africa
wins the SKA bid, will be a powerful scientific instrument in its own right - as will Australia's
SKA precursor, the 36-dish Pathfinder, which is currently under construction.

According the Fanaroff, a large proportion of the science planned for the SKA - and the
MeerKAT - involves mapping the universe using neutral hydrogen.

"Because of the on-going expansion of the universe, distant galaxies are moving away from
us," Fanaroff said.

"Measuring the frequency of the spectral line from neutral hydrogen in those galaxies allows
us to work out how far away they are. By finding billions of distant galaxies, astronomers will
be able to map the structure of the universe and how it has changed over time.

"This 'cosmic census' of the neutral hydrogen in galaxies - far and near - is essential in
understanding the deeper physics of the universe, by answering fundamental questions such as
the nature of dark matter and dark energy.

"Observations of the neutral hydrogen content of galaxies also help to form a picture of how
galaxies have evolved over cosmic time and show how our own galaxy, the spiral galaxy
called the Milky Way, has developed."

The radio waves which the KAT-7 picked up from galaxy NGC 3109 were processed in a
correlator, a first stage of computing that currently allows gas velocity to be measured to an
accuracy of 10km/s.

Further upgrades to the KAT-7's computing system, due to be made during the course of this
year, will enable astronomers to study this galaxy with a velocity resolution of 1km/s.

Professor Claude Carignan, South African SKA research chair in multi-wavelength astronomy
at the University of Cape Town, explained: "Such a high velocity resolution will allow us to
distinguish between the conventional models, which suppose the presence of an important
quantity of dark matter (matter that cannot be seen but that is detected by its gravitational
influence) and the Modified Newtonian Dynamics (MOND) models, which suppose that no
dark matter is present but that it is instead the laws of gravity that change on galaxy scales.
"We also speculate that an unusual warp in the disk of this galaxy could be caused by a tidal
interaction with its dwarf companion galaxy, known as Antlia," Carignan said. "Future KAT-
7 observations should reveal more information on this possible interaction."

Bradley Frank, a PhD student at UCT and lead researcher for the HI imaging of nearby
galaxies with KAT-7, said it was "particularly exciting that we will soon be able to derive
new scientific results with a relatively small precursor array".

The spiral galaxy NGC 3109 was discovered by the English scientist John Herschel on 24
March 1835 while he was doing astronomical research in South Africa.
Reported by: South African Government News Service



Marcus Says South Africa Inflation Becoming More Generalized
By Andres R. Martinez /www.businessweek.com/March 16, 2012

South African Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus said inflation may be becoming “more
generalized” with demand in the economy picking up, indicating policy makers may be
preparing to raise interest rates.

The bank will monitor this “very carefully,” Marcus said in a speech in Johannesburg
yesterday, according to a copy posted on the bank’s website. At the same time, Marcus
lowered the central bank’s forecast for inflation, expecting that it will return to the 3 percent
to 6 percent target band by the end of this year.

Marcus’s comments are the first to highlight price pressures in Africa’s biggest economy may
be spreading since keeping the benchmark interest rate on hold for 16 months. Inflation
(SACPIYOY) accelerated to a two-year high of 6.3 percent in January, staying outside the
target band for a third consecutive month.

“This is hawkish,” Razia Khan, head of Africa economic research at Standard Chartered Plc
in London, said in an e - mailed response to questions. This is “probably as sure a sign as
we’re going to get, provided there is no big euro-area crisis, that the Reserve Bank will
tighten interest rates this year.”

The central bank has kept its key rate at 5.5 percent since November 2010, the lowest in more
than 30 years, to blunt the effect of a European recession on the domestic economy. The
Monetary Policy Committee will make its next rate decision on March 29.

Rate Bets
“The most recent data seem to suggest that inflation is becoming more generalized, and may
reflect the emergence of demand pressures,” Marcus said.

Investors are increasing bets the Reserve Bank will raise rates by the end of the year. The
yield on the forward-rate agreement due in nine months has gained 16 basis points, or 0.16
percentage point, to 5.945 percent in the past month.
Rising oil prices pose an “upside” risk to inflation, Marcus said. The Monetary Policy
Committee had forecast on Jan. 19 inflation would remain outside the target band for the rest
of this year.

“We recognize that keeping inflation under control must be done with due regard to the
possible impact on employment and growth,” Marcus said. “At the same time, maintaining
price stability remains central to our mandate.”

Retail Sales
Africa’s largest economy will probably expand 2.8 percent this year, down from 3.1 percent
in 2011, according to the central bank. The jobless rate of 23.9 percent is the highest of 61
countries tracked by Bloomberg.

“Even moderate inflation is bad for the poor and for workers,” Marcus said.

Retail sales, the fastest growing sector of the economy, expanded 3.9 percent in January, the
slowest pace in six months, the statistics office said on March 14.

The concern about demand-led inflation pressures “strikes me as rather odd,” Peter Attard
Montalto, an economist at Nomura Plc in London, said in an e-mailed note to clients. “I can’t
see how she can think about hiking with inflation coming down into target.”

The rand rose 0.1 percent to 7.6210 per dollar at 8:04 a.m. in Johannesburg. The yield on the
benchmark rand bond due in 2015 fell 1 basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 6.82 percent.



South Africa Probes Boom in Unsecured Lending by Biggest Banks
By Renee Bonorchis/ www.businessweek.com/March 15, 2012

South African regulators are investigating unsecured lending by the biggest banks amid
concern inflation and bad debt may surge in a country where consumers don’t save and almost
one in four is jobless.

The analysis will examine the pace and causes of the growth, the banks that are doing the
lending, and whether the borrowing is being used for consumption or capital spending, Rene
van Wyk, who was appointed as South Africa’s Pretoria-based Registrar of Banks in October,
said in an interview yesterday.

“The report will be issued in the second half -- next year may be too late,” said Van Wyk,
who previously headed the risk department for the investment-banking unit of Nedbank
Group Ltd. (NED) Unsecured lending remains a relatively small portion of big banks’ balance
sheets, he said.

The total value of unsecured loans by the third quarter of 2011 rose 53 percent to 101.1 billion
rand ($13.2 billion) from the previous year, according to South Africa’s National Credit
Regulator. That represents 8 percent of all lending in South Africa, up from 5.7 percent in
2010, the agency said. At the same time, unemployment is 24 percent, the highest of 61
nations tracked by Bloomberg, and the central bank reported savings as a percentage of
household income was zero in the third quarter.
The growth in unsecured lending may fuel spending and inflation, causing interest rates to rise
more than expected, Annabel Bishop, a Johannesburg-based economist at Investec Ltd. (INL),
said in a March 6 report that estimated South Africa’s benchmark repurchase rate may rise
250 basis points to 8 percent by 2014. With growth in asset-backed finance stalled, retail
banks are trying to maintain their loan book sizes by writing business that may prove costly to
market latecomers, she said.

Banks See Growth
South Africa’s four largest banks, which command almost 85 percent of the market, including
Standard Bank Group Ltd. (SBK) and Barclays Plc (BARC)’s Absa Group Ltd. (ASA), have
all reported growth in unsecured lending and say this will be a focal point this year. Smaller
lenders Capitec Bank Holdings Ltd. and African Bank Investments Ltd. used to dominate the
unsecured credit market, focused on low-income earners. Searching for profit, the biggest
banks are now competing for the business along with retailers, micro-lenders and insurers.

“The key remains responsible lending practices with a strong emphasis on affordability and
whether the customer can handle the loan instalment,” said Michael Jordaan, head of First
National Bank, the consumer banking unit of FirstRand Ltd. (FSR), where total retail
unsecured lending grew by more than 30 percent in 2011. “As we have noted rising inflation,
we have successfully tightened our credit criteria over the last year.”

Loans Are Expensive
While South Africa’s benchmark repurchase rate is 5.5 percent, the fees for unsecured credit
make it profitable for lenders and expensive for borrowers. For a six-month so-called Global
One loan of 3,000 rand, Capitec charges an interest rate of 40 percent, which means a monthly
instalment of 680 rand and a total repayment of 4,082 rand, according to the lender’s stated
rates. For someone earning 10,000 rand a month and asking First National for 3,000 rand over
six months, the monthly repayment would be about 709 rand, according to the bank’s online
loan calculator.

To stop unsecured lending from becoming a bubble that could threaten the banks and the
economy, “the best for us as the South African Reserve Bank is what we’re doing: asking
banks to report to us on this and our analysis done on the information provided,” Van Wyk,
55, said. Under Basel III, a global set of banking rules being implemented over the next six
years, the registrar can apply what is known as a counter-cyclical buffer, which means lenders
would have to hold additional capital when his agency determines credit growth is excessive,
Van Wyk said.

Loan-Income Borrowers
While the number of secured credit accounts dropped 1 percent in the 12 months to
September 2011, according to the National Credit Regulator, unsecured accounts rose 31
percent to 7,074. Almost three-quarters of unsecured credit consists of loans of more than
15,000 rand and more than 60 percent of those loans go to people earning less than 10,000
rand a month, the agency said.

Anecdotal evidence suggests borrowers are using unsecured credit to finance consumption as
evidenced by both “heady” vehicle and retail sales growth, said Investec’s Bishop. Some also
appear to be using unsecured credit to repay other debts, a trend that isn’t sustainable unless
wage increases climb significantly above inflation, she said.
“We do ask customers what the purpose of the loan is, but answers are often generic and can
sometimes be somewhat misleading,” said First National’s Jordaan, adding that loans are
typically used for housing, school fees and living expenses. “Credit is a key market need and
if a bank wants to play a meaningful role for their customers, it’s important to provide this
service if you want to retain them.”



South Africa rules out compensation for deportees
By Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja /www.thenationonlineng.net/16032012

The government of South Africa yesterday ruled out compensation for 125 Nigerians
deported about two weeks ago over allegation of carrying fake yellow card.

Its Minister for Correctional Services Mrs Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said her country had
apologised and that should be enough.

Mrs Mapisa-Nqakula spoke at the State House, Abuja. She was head of President Jacob
Zuma’s Special Envoy.

Mrs. Mapisa-Nqakula said: ”The issue of compensation is out of the question. We don’t
understand why South Africa will have to compensate. We believe that it is enough that we
have come out and apologised, it is enough that we have demonstrated our goodwill to the
government of Nigeria, it is enough that the President has sent a special Envoy to reiterate his
commitment to the bi-national with Nigeria and to improve working relationship with
Nigeria”.

She also denied government involvement in the deportation, insisting that it was not a cabinet
decision.

She added that Xenophobia is not the policy of government in South Africa and there was no
deliberate attack on the integrity of the people of Nigeria.

Mrs. Mapisa-Nqakula said: “On behalf of the people of South Africa, on behalf of our
Government and on behalf of our President, it is important to reassure the people of Nigeria
that there was no decision of Cabinet to deport big numbers of people from Nigeria. There
was no deliberate and Xenophobia is not the policy of government in South Africa and there
was no deliberate attack on the integrity of Nigerians. In fact, we have about two million
Nigerians living in South Africa. We co-exist and some of them work very closely with us.



South Africa President To Be Guided By Commission On Releasing Arms Deal
FindingsWritten by: BuaNews/March 16, 2012

President Jacob Zuma told Parliament on Thursday that it was not fair to commit now to
releasing the findings of the commission of inquiry on the arms deal that he set up last year,
but added that he would be guided by the commission itself on whether or not to make the
findings public.
“To do otherwise would unfairly prescribe to the commission the manner in which its
recommendations should be framed,” Zuma explained to the National Assembly.

The leader of the opposition, Lindiwe Mazibuko then replied, saying that if Zuma and his
administration were serious about cracking down on corruption, he should make a
commitment to the House to release the finding of the commission.

But Zuma said it was not fair to make any commitment to releasing the report until the
commission had produced its key findings.

He likened making a commitment to release the findings to the public now, to agreeing to take
action to treat a medical ailment before one had even received a diagnosis from one’s doctor.

The government, he said, would be guided by learnings from the arms deal whenever it
procured arms.

“Certainly I think the arms deal in this country has been an experience that we must all learn
from.”

Zuma said he was surprised by the concerns that had been raised over the amendments of the
Constitution, following the recent release by Justice Minister Jeff Radebe of a discussion
document on the transformation and role of the judiciary system in the developmental South
African state.

He said the Constitution was a living document that has already been amended 16 times since
it came into effect 15 years ago and that given the time since it came into being now was an
opportune time to review it.

“Continuous assessments, done in an open and transparent manner cannot possibly do any
harm, especially given the legacy of colonial oppression and apartheid that we must
eradicate,” he said.

“We have alluded to the fact that the kind of assessment we are to embark upon is not unusual.
For example, universities and research institutions undertake research at times to evaluate the
impact of jurisprudence on the lives of people,” he said.

All three arms of government- the judiciary, executive and legislative – must be respected, he
said.

Answering another question on what the government is doing to combat illicit capital
outflows from Africa a year; Zuma said the government had taken several measures to
address this challenge.

This included the financial surveillance department of the Reserve Bank, which oversees
exchange control, continues to deal with illegal outflows of funds.

Added to this the Financial Intelligence Centre processes information from banks and other
financial institutions in order to prevent money laundering.
“We continue to take measures against wrong doing,” he said, pointing out that the centre had
in the previous financial year referred cases to the value of R66.1 million to law enforcement
agencies and the South African Revenue Service (Sars) for investigation.

Sars has already confiscated 3.4 million clothing items worth R580 million and drugs worth
R139 million and 683 million sticks of cigarettes valued at R180 million.

Sars has also offered amnesty for those that come forward, he said.

He called on MPs to come forward whenever they had evidence of specific cases of
corruption, rather than to make general questions about what the government is doing to
combat corruption.

Where such cases were reported, the government would act, he said.




TANZANIA:

China to support Tanzania`s dev plan
By Patrick Kisembo / SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN/16th March 2012

China has said it will stand together with the Tanzanian people in ensuring successful
implementation of the country’s Five Year Development Plan running from 2011/12 to
2015/16).

“The Chinese people will stand together with their Tanzanian counterparts during this period
of implementation of the development plan.

I as the new ambassador will as much as possible strengthen our bilateral relations," the new
Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania, Dr Lu Youqing, said when briefing reporters on the just
ended Chinese National People’s Congress (NPC) annual meetings and Chinese People’s
Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) among other things.

Tanzania is the most strategic country in the African continent and eastern African in
particular, he said, adding that China is ready to cooperate with it in its development
endeavours.

“We can see stable economy, improved livelihood of the Tanzanian people, especially in the
recent years whereby the Tanzanian economy has developed steadily and smoothly,” Dr Lu
Youqing said.

Dr Youqing said when he presented his credentials to President Jakaya Kikwete last week
they agreed that the future economy and development of Tanzania must be very promising
with the prevailing cooperation.
“You have to see the importance of Tanzania from the point that its advantages are obvious.
Everyday I can see cargoes and ships in the Indian Ocean. Already Tanzania has established a
very good centre of transportation and communication in the eastern parts of the continent and
we hope in the future, she will establish logistics and manufacturing centres to cover the
eastern and southern part of the continent,” he said.

“We shall work closely to facilitate the development of the Tanzanian people. I was told by
Chinese investors in this country how good the business climate is. In the five year
development plan of the country, many Chinese companies will take part and create more
employment opportunities for Tanzanians as well as help increase economic growth,” he
stressed.

When asked what would be his major focus as the new ambassador to Tanzania, the envoy
said the first thing will be to promote political relations, mutual trust between the two
countries and facilitate visits among high ranking officials.

Dr Youqing said he will ensure communication is facilitated between Tanzanian and Chinese
ruling party officials.

“But I expect to facilitate communication between the Chinese ruling party and the Tanzanian
ruling party,” said.

“When I met President Kikwete, Premier Mizengo Pinda and other government officials, they
showed much appreciation of the Chinese reforms and the eventual opening up to the world.
We shall also facilitate how to work together conducting good governance,” he noted.

The envoy said he has all along been thinking that Tanzania “should have better relations with
China than any other country due to our long standing bilateral relations.”

The country has a lot of economic opportunities that Tanzanians need to tap for their
economic development, he noted.

Responding on counterfeit products from China to other countries and claims that his country
wants to bring in new colonialism to Africa, the new envoy said the two questions were big
topics at the moment.

“Colonisation is a root of evil. Both China and Tanzania suffered and confronted the menace.
We will never want its presence in the world,” the envoy said.

Dr Youqing said in all communication with Tanzania, the two countries have been enjoying
mutual understanding and supported to each other.

“Those who claim that we are out to colonise Africa always speak falsely on our good
relations. Any one who proclaims that China is after colonialism in Africa has his own
intentions on the continent. They have their own intentions,” the envoy said.

On counterfeits, he said China is a world recognised factory and has been producing large
amounts of products of good quality and lower prices.
“If today we said most of the products from China are of low quality, then we shall not have
been enjoying such good trade volume.

We are aware however that there are counterfeit Chinese goods that are exported abroad. We
are clear on this…we shall strike out poor products not only for Tanzania but to the whole
world,” Dr Youqing stressed.

The envoy said strong oversight and supervision on exports and transportation of goods are
crucial to check the counterfeits.

“But we are also asking all countries to ensure only quality Chinese products enter their
destinations,” he said.

During the meeting, the envoy also spoke of China’s review of government work in 2011,
problems in economic and social development, targets for economic and social development
for 2012 and China’s future diplomacy.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN



BAE pays £29.5m to Tanzania
By Caroline Binham, Legal Correspondent /www.ft.com/ March 15, 2012

BAE Systems, the aerospace and defence company, has paid £29.5m to the people of
Tanzania nearly two years after settling an investigation with the Serious Fraud Office.

The company confirmed that it had made the payment on Thursday after signing a
memorandum of understanding with the SFO and the Department for International
Development, which governed how the money would be spent and which imposed a 14-day
deadline for payment.

The money was part of a deal the company made with the SFO in order to close a six-year
investigation into the company’s dealings across four continents. After high-profile
intervention from Downing Street and a related US probe that saw the company pay $400m,
BAE pleaded guilty in the UK to one count of false accounting in December 2010. The charge
related to a radar system for Tanzania.

The plea bargain with the SFO attracted criticism from the presiding judge, who described it
as “loosely and hastily drafted”. His comments have, in part, served as an impetus for new
proposals to implement US-style deferred prosecution agreements, where a company would
agree to pay a large fine to settle an SFO investigation, with prosecutors agreeing not to bring
any charges over a set period.

The delay in paying the money saw BAE rebuked by a parliamentary committee last summer,
with the International Development committee exacting a pledge from the director of the SFO
to pursue the company for contempt of court if it did not pay the money by the autumn of
2011. That deadline passed with no action.
The company, the SFO and DfID then said at the beginning of February that they were poised
to sign the memorandum of understanding. It took until Thursday to finally complete that task.

The delay was owing to finalising how the money would be spent, ensuring that there was no
chance it would be hived off from intended charitable causes.

“We are glad to have finally been able to make the payment in full to the government of
Tanzania and bring this matter to a close,” BAE said in a statement.

The £29.5m ex-gratia payment by BAE will pay for text books for 8.3m school children
across Tanzania, according to the SFO.

Andrew Mitchell, the development secretary, said: “The British government has been helping
identify the best way for BAE’s settlement money to be spent in the interests of Tanzania’s
poorest people following the [parliamentary committee’s] financial crimes inquiry.”




KENYA:

Kenya shilling hits one-month low, importers weigh
Fri Mar 16, 2012 / Reuters

NAIROBI (Reuters) - The Kenyan shilling fell nearly 1 percent to a one-month low against
the dollar on Friday on piled-up demand for the U.S. currency after electronic trading was
disrupted in the country for two days.
A cut in an inland fibre optic cable on Monday affected internet service providers and by
Wednesday had interrupted normal trading of the commercial banks.

Traders said banks were also short-covering dollar positions, while reduced shilling liquidity
before the start of a new cash reserve ratio cycle on March 15 and government disbursements
were seen putting pressure on the local currency.

At 0708 GMT, commercial banks quoted the local currency at 83.40/60 per dollar, after
weakening 0.8 percent to touch 83.45/65. Thursday's close was 82.75/95.

The shilling last traded around this level on February 6 when it touched 83.90 to the dollar.

"There was pent-up (dollar) demand from importers across the board," said Duncan Kinuthia,
head of trading at Commercial bank of Africa.

Dickson Magecha, a trader at Standard Chartered Bank, said interbank dollar covering on thin
volumes drove the shilling lower, with support seen at 83.65.

"If we break that level, then we will go to 84 per dollar," said Magecha.
The weighted average interbank rate eased on Thursday to 26.4 percent with 7.88 billion
shillings borrowed among the commercial banks, down from 27.2 percent a day earlier.

"The high interest may be the only saving grace of the shilling because it makes holding long
dollar positions costly," said Kinuthia.



Kenya AG orders probe on Ocampo witnesses' claim
By OLIVER MATHENGE/ www.nation.co.ke/Posted Thursday, March 15

Attorney General Githu Muigai has ordered Kenyan security agencies to investigate claims by
International Criminal Court Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo of email hacking and
intimidation of witnesses.

Prof Muigai directed the police and the National Security Intelligence Services (NSIS) to
probe the matter expeditiously

Thursday.

In a statement, Prof Muigai said that he had received a complaint from Mr Moreno-Ocampo
that there was “hacking of email accounts of a person of interest” to his office. He added that
the ICC prosecutor has also complained that there has been intimidation of ICC witnesses.

“I have directed the Commissioner of Police, Director of Criminal Investigations Department
and Director of National Security Intelligence Services to immediately and thoroughly
investigate the allegations and report back to me forthwith,” Prof Muigai said.

He added that the same instruction have been given to the Director of the Witness Protection
Agency in regard to intimidation of witnesses.

Prof Muigai also said he has communicated to the Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako
Tobiko on the need to include these complaints in the matters concerning the post-election
violence that are currently under review.

“Without prejudice to the ongoing investigations, I wish to caution that any person guilty of
interfering in any way with the process of the cases before the ICC or meddling in the local
investigations relating to the post-election violence case, is liable and shall face the full force
of law."

The ICC prosecutor has complained in the recent past that some people in Kenya were trying
to interfere with his witnesses. He has, however, also insisted that none of his witnesses are
in the country.

Meanwhile, lawyers representing victims have urged the judges not to grant appeals by the
four Kenyan suspects challenging the validity of the cases being heard by the ICC.

Lawyers Sureta Chana and Morris Anyah joined Mr Moreno-Ocampo in asking the Appeals
Chamber to allow the cases to continue. In separate submissions, the two argue that the
suspects are challenging the assessment of evidence of the Pre-Trial Chamber judges instead
of making legal arguments.

For a case to be ruled as inadmissible before the court, the suspects have to prove that there
was no common plan or organisation policy with an aim of widespread and systematic attacks
against a civilian population.

In her submission, Ms Chana argues that William Ruto and Joshua Sang, as Kalenjin leaders,
had “the de facto authority and capability to influence and command the militia to commit
crimes against humanity.” She argues that the evidence provided by the prosecution and other
reports on ethnic violence in Kenya, the two were part of an organisation that carried out the
violence in Rift Valley.

“The historical use of tribal militia is a reality. The Kikuyu have the Mungiki as their militia
arm. Similarly, the Maasai and Kisii leaders have, since 1992, have their tribal “militia”
(“Moran” and “Chinkororo”, respectively). It is noteworthy that even when a politician has
the state machinery at his or her disposal they opt to use tribal “militia” either on its own or in
conjunction with the state machinery,” Mr Chana argues.

Mr Anyah makes similar arguments saying that crimes against humanity must, as a
preliminary threshold, be targeted against a group of persons. He says that Uhuru Kenyatta
and Francis Muthaura organised the Mungiki to carry out attacks against persons who were
perceived to be ODM supporters.

“The role of Kenyatta and Muthaura with respect to the Mungiki relates to the question of
their individual criminal responsibility,” Mr Anyah says.

Mr Moreno-Ocampo has held similar arguments stating that the Appellants have failed to
demonstrate the existence of any reversible error. The prosecutor supported the position held
by the Pre-Trial judges that Mungiki qualified as an ‘organisation’ since it has the capacity to
carry out widespread and systematic attacks on civilians.

The prosecutor dismissed claims by Mr Ruto and Mr Sang that the so called “Network” did
not qualify as an organisation adding that in any case that was a matter of interpretation which
would be handled by the trial court. He said that the network has the capacity to commit
widespread and systematic attack on civilians as witnessed in the Kenyan case thus met the
criterion spelt out the Rome Statutes.

Mr Ruto and Mr Sang are accused of having organised attacks against PNU supporters in Rift
Valley following the controversial announcement of President Kibaki as the winner of the
2007 elections. The two are accused of murder, deportation or forcible transfer of the people,
causing serious injury and persecution.

Mr Kenyatta and Mr Muthaura are accused of having organised the Mungiki and pro-PNU
youth to revenge attacks by ODM supporters in Rift Valley. They each faces charges of
crimes against humanity, specifically murder, deportation or forcible transfer, persecution and
rape. The Pre-Trial Chamber judges dropped a charge on other inhumane acts brought against
them by Mr Moreno-Ocampo.
Kenya health workers agree with government to end 2-week strike
Fri Mar 16, 2012 /By Humphrey Malalo/ Reuters

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenyan public health workers have ended a near two-week strike over
pay after reaching a deal with the government which withdrew a threat to sack 25,000
members of their union, officials said on Thursday.

The protest, that left ill patients without medical treatment, was the latest in a string of strikes
to grip east Africa's biggest economy in the past year as soaring consumer prices fanned
widespread discontent.

"The entire workforce in government hospitals resumed their duties after a return-to-work
formula was reached," said Alex Orina, spokesman for the Kenya Health Professionals
Society that represents the striking workers.

"Any employee who fails to report on duty by the end of Thursday evening will be dealt with
individually according to disciplinary procedures," Orina told Reuters.

He said their workers' demand for pay raises would be addressed in the next government
budget that commences in July, and hospitals closed due to the strike have been re-opened.

Kenya's government said last week it had sacked 25,000 public health workers after they
refused to end their strike, but had now withdrawn all the dismissal letters. The government
had said the health workers were acting unethically.

"All the striking health workers have resumed their duties and now there is no problem in the
health sector," Alfred Khangati, an assistant minister in the office of the prime minister which
held talks with the workers union.

HIGH COSTS

He told Reuters a team would be formed to look into the problems affecting the health sector,
including pay for the workers.
Private hospitals and clinics, where richer families send their sick, have opened as usual
because their health workers are not members of the strikers' union.

The striking health workers' union had said the threat of mass sacking was a government ploy
to get them to resume work.

Early this month, the government threatened to sack striking workers at the state broadcaster,
but rolled back its plan after meeting them, instead agreeing to offer better pay.

Frustration has been mounting in Kenya at the high cost of food and fuel. The government
will be keen for the rate of inflation to maintain its downward trend ahead of a general
election expected within the next 12 months.

Kenya's inflation rate slowed for the third consecutive month to 16.7 percent in February,
after reaching 20 percent in November.
Doctors, university lecturers, primary school teachers and workers at the state broadcaster
have also taken strike action within the past year.



Sections of Mt. Kenya National Park ablaze
By Dr. Wolfgang H. Thome, eTN Uganda /www.eturbonews.com/ Mar 15, 2012

(eTN) - Information was confirmed overnight from sources in Nanyuki that sections of Mt.
Kenya National Park, high up on the mountain, are ablaze with forest and moorland fires.

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and Kenya Forest Service have mounted joint fire fighting
operations assisted by personnel drafted in from various fire brigades but the high elevation,
lack of helicopters to douse the flames with water or anti-fire chemicals, and difficult access
is rendering these genuinely serious efforts almost in vain.

Sources from within KWS blamed individuals seeking to extract honey from natural bee hives
for having started the fires, when attempting to smoke out the bees before recovering the
highly-valued and prized honey, although there have been suggestions in the local Kenya
media that it could have been poachers whose campfire may have burnt out of control.

Some routes for hikes and access to climbs on Mt. Kenya have already been closed for
tourists to prevent any visitors and their guides from getting trapped, and it is understood that
some climbers had to abandon their plans and return to base as a result of the fires.

A regular source from Nanyuki told this correspondent that the smoke was visible from the
Laikipia plains and that according to information they received from KWS, at least 60
hectares have already been completely burned down. The alpine vegetation up Mt. Kenya is
fragile at best and following a lack of sufficient rains are dry like cinder.

“This sort of fire damage can take years or maybe even decades to repair itself. Such fires also
displace birds, which lose their habitat and grazing for some of the game reaching the higher
altitudes. Already the glaciers have reduced by a lot since I was a boy, and this second fire in
a year is not good for the biodiversity and not good for tourism also,” said the source in the
course of the email exchanges.

He added: “KWS [is] doing all [it] can and [have] even drafted in people from other parks.
But the location is not good, not easy to reach, and it takes half a day to even walk up there
because no vehicles can reach [there]. And when they reach [there], they have to manually try
to create fire breaks or extinguish flames without the help of water. The only real hope is a lot
of rain to douse the fires, which shows how difficult it is for KWS to put the fire out.”

No injuries to firefighters have yet been reported though, the one bit of good news in this sad
story.
ANGOLA:

Angola pledges $1.8 bln to boost small businesses
Thu Mar 15, 2012 / Reuters

LUANDA (Reuters) - Angola plans to invest $1.8 billion to help create small and medium
businesses, develop existing ones and reduce the economy's dependence on the state, Jornal
de Angola said on Thursday, citing a statement from the country's president.
Angola is Africa's second-biggest oil producer after Nigeria, and has been trying to boost its
private sector to diversify the economy and cut reliance on crude revenues, which represent
45 percent of gross domestic product and over 95 percent of export income.

"The state has a large presence in the economy and we want more Angolans to become
entrepreneurs, start good businesses and also create jobs and contribute to national
development," President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos said in a speech last week.

Dos Santos, who has been in power since 1979, has long been accused by human rights group
of mismanaging Angola's oil revenues and doing too little to fight poverty. An estimated two-
thirds of Angola's 18 million people live on less than $2 per day.

The president has approved the investment programme, which will offer credit lines, tax
breaks, and support for technology matters, state-owned daily newspaper Jornal de Angola
said.

The programme will be financed through the state budget, the national development fund and
other sources, with the government deciding how much is to be spent each year on the
initiative. It did not say how long the programme would last.

Analysts say that should Angola fail to cut its dependency on oil, it risks becoming another
Nigeria, where quarrels about the distribution of wealth have fueled civil unrest.

Dos Santos also approved an investment of 21.3 billion kwanzas (around $223 million) to
help existing small businesses by offering subsidised credit lines and professional training.

"We are going to lend cheap money," he added.



5 southern African countries form the world’s biggest wildlife conservation area
By Associated Press/Published: March 15

AP JOHANNESBURG —

 Five Southern African nations on Thursday agreed to form the world’s largest international
conservation area in an effort to protect nearly half of the continent’s elephants and a vast
range of animals, birds and plants, many endangered by poaching and human encroachment.

At a ceremony in Namibia on Thursday government ministers from Angola, Botswana,
Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe put their official seal on a cross-border treaty set to combine
36 nature preserves and surrounding areas.
The World Wildlife Fund said the countries will cooperate on measures to allow animals to
roam freely across their borders over 170,000 square miles (440,000 square kilometers),
almost the size of Sweden.

The Kavango Zambezi area includes the Victoria Falls World Heritage site in Zimbabwe and
Botswana’s famed swampland of the Okavango Delta.

Conservationists say historical migration routes of animals have been curtailed by national
borders and man-made conflict. The decades-long civil war in Angola saw elephant herds,
notoriously skittish to gunfire, fleeing far from their own habitats.

Already, Botswana is dismantling a fence on its border with Namibia after steps were taken to
curb the spread of animal diseases.

According to the treaty put into effect Thursday, the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier
Conservation Area, known as KAZA, is home to about 45 percent of Africa’s elephants.
Along with other game animals, it has a rare heritage of at least 600 species of birds and 3,000
species of plants.

Previous attempts to set up massive cross-border conservancies in Africa have failed largely
because impoverished local communities weren’t engaged to help before governments signed
up, said Chris Weaver, the World Wildlife Fund’s regional director in Namibia.

“This is very different. It has a very strong community focus,” he told The Associated Press in
a telephone interview.

He said local communities are getting jobs and revenue from tourism in return for their role in
protecting the environment.

An independent secretariat has been established to coordinate work between state wildlife
authorities and community groups across the region. The German KFW development bank
plowed $40 million into getting the KAZA conservancy up and running, Weaver said.

Last year, he said, rural Namibians earned some $700,000 from their own conservation-
related activities. The money went toward further training, transportation, water supplies and
improvements for schools and clinics.

Weaver said in recent history wildlife and nature preserves traditionally belonged to state
governments. That had encouraged poachers to steal animals from the state, a distant and
alien owner.

Now the KAZA conservancy offered tangible benefits across the board to communities and
member countries.

“It is good news for conservation in southern Africa,” Weaver said.



Fidel Castro's book defends higher humanisation - Angolan official
3/15/12 /www.portalangop.co.ao

Luanda – The vice minister of Culture, Cornélio Caley, stated Wednesday in Luanda that the
book “Nuestro deber es luchar” (Our duty is to fight), written by Fidel Castro, defends more
humanisation of societies.

Speaking to journalists after presenting the book, referred that “in this book it is included the
kind of continuity we (Angola) have been making."

According to Cornélio Caley, the book has an important significance, taking into account the
right to fight (that each man has) against forces which destabilise the countries and do not
agree with fraternity and humanity.

Cornélio Caley stressed also the similarity between the book title and a political motto in
Angola “The struggle continues and victory is certain”.

The book, presented through a video conference system in ten countries, including Cuba,
Angola, U.S. and Canada, is a reflection of the debate between Fidel Castro and 117
intellectuals from 21 countries.

The 208-page book is available in English and Spanish and can be read on the site
Cubadebates.cu.



Presence of Angolan Companies in Oil Sector
Mar 15/ (Prensa Latina) /www.plenglish.com

Luanda, Mar 15 (Prensa Latina) A presidential ordinance, made known here on Thursday,
guarantees, promotes and motivates the participation in the oil sector of companies headed by
Angolan citizens and facilitates their involvement.

 The legislative document, signed by President José Eduardo dos Santos, also guarantees the
incentive and an effective participation of local entities in the operations.

With the new legislation, the oil companies in Angola will benefit from a special statute of
supports, rights and special obligations, said an official statement of the Civil House of the
Presidency of the Republic.

The measure states that the entities associated to the National Concession Office in contracts
for the sharing of the production or by other types of agreements will benefit from smaller tax
rates than the current ones.

Also, they will be exempt from paying for the signature of new oil contracts and from other
fees, among other advantages.

The ordinance states that the Angolan oil companies can be private, or with public capital.
The new law comes at a time when this African country, the second petroleum producer in
África after Nigeria, plans to increase the extraction of crude oil from the current 1.6 million
daily barrels to two millions in 2014.

sgl/as/tac rmh/obf




AU/AFRICA:

REFILE-African Markets - Factors to watch on March 16
Fri Mar 16, 2012 / Reuters

(Removes extraneous reference to Tanzania currency conversion)
   NAIROBI, March 16 (Reuters) - The following company announcements, scheduled
economic
indicators, debt and currency market moves and political events may affect African markets
on
Friday.
   -----
 EVENTS:
 *RWANDA - Rwanda Central Bank announces its latest repo rate decision. It
 raised its key lending rate to 7 percent in November, from 6.5 percent
 previously.
 *MAURITIUS - Bank of Mauritius auctions 182-day Treasury bills worth 400
 million rupees.

GLOBAL MARKETS
Asian shares edged higher on Friday while the dollar took a breather as its
recent broad rally spurred some profit taking, with a fresh batch of
encouraging U.S. economic data further underpinning investor sentiment.

 WORLD OIL PRICES
Brent crude rebounded above $123 on Friday after a sharp sell off the previous
session, as rising tensions between Iran and the West fuelled an oil rally
that has forced Western leaders to prepare a release of their strategic oil
reserves.

EMERGING MARKETS
For the top emerging markets news, double click on

AFRICA STOCKS
For the latest news on African stocks, click on

AFRICA FIXED INCOME
For news on African fixed income, click on
AFRICA CURRENCIES
The Kenyan shilling is seen firming against the dollar in the next week to
Thursday, while the Ugandan shilling and Nigerian naira is expected to weaken,
traders said.

SOUTH AFRICA MARKETS
South African stocks edged down on Thursday, as shares of Assore          and
other commodities firms were hit by concerns of overheated valuations, while
Investec      slumped after it said it expected lower full-year earnings.

   Also, the rand gained over one percent against the dollar on Thursday with
the previous session's heavy losses believed to have been too fast and too
soon, even though the local unit is expected to be weaker in coming sessions.


NIGERIA BUDGET
Nigeria's parliament passed the 2012 budget on Thursday with higher
expenditure than the finance minister advised, risking further delays to
implementing spending plans if President Goodluck Jonathan refuses to approve
them.

NIGERIA SECURITY
Nigeria's government has in the last week held its first indirect peace talks
with Islamist sect Boko Haram, meeting mediators to discuss a possible
ceasefire, political and diplomatic sources told Reuters on Thursday.

KENYA MARKETS
The Kenyan shilling       slipped against the dollar on Thursday weighed by
demand for dollars from corporate customers, while shares fell for the third
straight day with Standard Chartered         edging 3 percent lower.
    At close of trade, commercial banks posted the shilling at 82.75/95 to
the dollar, down from the previous day's close of 82.20/40.
   On the Nairobi Securities Exchange, the main NSE-20 Share Index
inched down 0.2 percent to close at 3,326.35 points.

KENYA TOURISM
Kenya expects tourism revenues to fall this year as the euro zone crisis hits
confidence in key markets and foreign governments issue travel alerts over the
threat from Somalian militants, its tourism minister said on Thursday.

KENYA BANKING
Standard Chartered Bank Kenya           is likely to raise an unspecified
amount of capital next year to support strong growth in lending and plans to
start operations in neighbouring countries, its chief executive
said.

KENYA TAXATION
Kenya has proposed a bill to scrap all taxes on basic commodities including
maize, wheat flour, milk, bread and medical supplies to rein in inflation that
has fanned widespread discontent.
TANZANIA INFLATION
Inflation in Tanzania dipped only slightly to 19.4 percent in February from
19.7 percent in January due to slowing food prices, leaving the country
struggling to meet its target of single digit inflation by June.

TANZANIA RICHLAND RESOURCES
London-listed Richland Resources        posted a 24 percent rise in
full-year 2011 revenues, helped by increased sales of tanzanite despite prices
of the blue-violet gemstone being under pressure, and expects production to
rise further this year.

RWANDA INFLATION
Rwanda's consumer price index for urban areas rose 1.04 percent in February on
the back of higher food prices, pushing the annual inflation rate
to 7.85 percent from 7.81 percent a month earlier, data showed on Thursday.

MAURITIUS SUN RESORTS
Mauritius-based luxury hotel group Sun Resorts          full-year pretax
profit dropped 9 percent in 2011 due to higher taxes, and it said on Thursday
the first quarter of 2012 was likely to be challenging.

GHANA MARKETS
Shares in pan-African bank, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated        rose
10 percent, helping the GSE Composite index snap a two straight session loss.
   The GSE Financial Stocks index was also up 10.19 points, or 1.1 percent,
to 899.71 points.

GHANA ECONOMY
Ghana's current pact with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will end in
June this year and the government is still considering whether to sign up to a
new programme with the agency, Finance Minister Kwabena Duffuor said on
Thursday.

ANGOLA SMALL BUSINESSES
Angola plans to invest $1.8 billion to help create small and medium
businesses, develop existing ones and reduce the economy's dependence on the
state, Jornal de Angola said on Thursday, citing a statement from the
country's president.

  For the latest precious metals report click on
  For the latest base metals report click on
  For the latest crude oil report click on



AMISOM to Replace Ethiopian Troops in Central Somalia
March 15, 2012 /www.voanews.com/Mohammed Yusuf | Nairobi, Kenya
Somalia's joint security committee has agreed to deploy AU troops to areas of central and
southern Somalia captured recently from militant group al-Shabab by Ethiopian forces. The
announcement came Wednesday at a meeting in Mogadishu.

The decision to replace Ethiopian troops with African Union forces was agreed to by Somali
Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, and representatives of the U.N., the African Union,
the European Union and regional Somali factions. Ethiopian troops recently re-entered
Somalia and helped Somali government forces capture the town of Baidoa.

The Ethiopian forces have faced a strong backlash from local Somalis, however, and fighting
has been heavier in areas where they are active.

Somali government spokesman Abdirahman Omar Osman told VOA the priority is to have
Ethiopian forces replaced by forces from Somalia's Transitional Federal Government [TFG]
and troops from the African Union peacekeeping force, known as AMISOM.

"AMISOM provided the current plan that they have with the TFG forces, which is within
April we aim that two battalions from Uganda and Burundi will be moving to Baidoa, one
battalion from Djibouti will be going to Beledweyne in order to allow Ethiopian forces to go
back to their country,” said Osman.

In late February, the U.N. Security Council authorized an increase in troop strength for
AMISOM, raising troop strength from 12,000 to nearly 18,000. Funding and logistical
support to the force also was increased, more than doubling U.N. member state contributions
for the mission from $250 million to about $550 million.

Osman said the international community has acknowledged the security gains made across the
country and is increasing assistance.

“International community were discussing with us on the current level of assistance they
provide. For example, the Americans and Italy are providing stipends or allowance for our
TFG forces and Japan is also providing some sort of stipends for our police forces," said
Osman. "After discussion, we agreed that they will continue the level of support they provide
to TFG, as well as ensuring the future of Somalia depends on how we build our institutions, in
particular our security sector.”

AMISOM also expects to welcome troops from Sierra Leone into the mission in June.

Osman said they will be deployed alongside Kenyan forces, who currently are operating in the
southern Juba regions of Somalia, and will allow some Kenyan forces to leave.



African leaders to discuss AU leadership crisis
SAPA-AFP /Published: 2012/03/16

Diplomatic source says the AU has been frozen since the deadlocked elections, which does
not bode well for the organisation's image or decision-making power
A handful of African leaders are to meet in the Benin's capital Cotonou on Saturday to try to
make progress on resolving the African Union (AU) leadership crisis, following deadlocked
elections.

With the 54-nation organisation increasingly adrift since splitting in January over whether to
re-elect Jean Ping as head of the AU Commission or giving the post to South Africa's
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma , a select group is to meet to try to build consensus ahead of
another vote expected in July.

"After the deadlock during the summit they established this ad-hoc committee to look into this
issue of the election and to come out with some recommendations," AU Commission
spokesman Noureddine Mezni told AFP.

Saturday's meeting will gather a leader from each of Africa's five main regions, with Algerian
President Abdelaziz Bouteflika representing North Africa and Ivory Coast President Alassane
Ouattara sitting in for West Africa.

East Africa will be represented by the Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, Central Africa
by Chad's President Idris Deby Itno and Southern Africa by Angola President Jose Eduardo
dos Santos.

Leaders of Benin, the current chair of the AU, and South Africa and Gabon will also be in
attendance.

Dlamini-Zuma, who was backed by the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC)
states, is running again.

Dlamini-Zuma is South Africa's former foreign affairs minister and President Jacob Zuma 's
ex-wife. She is the current home affairs minister.

Ping, who was backed by francophone states, has not confirmed whether he will re-enter the
race.

Gabon's former foreign affairs minister and minister of information, Ping has been the
chairman of the AU Commission since 2008.

Ping is serving in an interim capacity until a new chairman is elected at the next AU Summit
slated to take place in Malawi in July.

A diplomatic source said both "might" be at this weekend's meeting, but only as observers,
not as members of the committee.

The same source said the AU has been frozen since the deadlocked elections, which does not
bode well for the organisation's image or decision-making power.

"The organisation is paralyzed and this is bad for this institution because the team that is here
to expedite the current affairs for the big decisions, they can't do anything," the source told
AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.
East Africa: AU Welcomes North - South Sudan Addis Ababa Accord
By Tesfa-Alem Tekle/Sudan Tribune/15 March 2012

Addis Ababa — The African Union (AU) has commended the agreements reached between
Khartoum and Juba after their negotiations in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.

Sudan and South Sudan signed an agreements on the status of nationals in one another's state;
the demarcation of the boundary; and related issues on Tuesday under the auspices of the AU
High-level Implementation Panel (AUHIP).

In an AU statement the chairperson of the AU Commission, Jean Ping, said he is especially
pleased to note the new spirit of compromise and cooperation expressed by the two parties.

The statement said the "agreement on the demarcation of the boundary and related issues"
establishes institutional mechanisms responsible for overseeing and carrying out the
demarcation process of Africa's longest land border.

Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir, is expected to pay a visit to Juba next week where he
will ink the Addis Ababa agreements along his southern counterpart, Salva Kiir.

Bashir's visit to South Sudan will be his first since the country seceded in July 2011.

The planned meeting between the two leaders in South Sudan is expected to seek additional
negotiations to resolve disputed borders and oil fees.

Juba halted oil production in January when Khartoum allegedly confiscated 2.4 million
barrels of South Sudan's oil. This was in lieu of payment Juba refused to give Khartoum for
transit fees; US$36 per barrel.

As a result of the disagreement, land-locked South Sudan is investigating alternative pipelines.

The frame-work agreements reached in Addis Ababa allows nationals of each state the rights
to enjoy "freedom of residence, freedom of movement, freedom to undertake economic
activity and freedom to acquire and dispose property".

The negotiations were brokered by African Union's high-level panel, headed by former South
African President Thabo Mbeki.



E-Waste in West Africa: a Million Tonnes a Year
www.ens-newswire.com/ March 15, 2012

GENEVA, Switzerland, March 15, 2012 (ENS) - Electronic waste is piling up in West Africa
at the rate of up to a million metric tonnes a year. In five West African countries - Benin, Côte
d'Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, and Nigeria - between 650,000 and one million tonnes of domestic e-
waste are generated each year, concludes a report prepared by the Secretariat of the Basel
Convention.
Attempting to stem the rising tide of obsolete electronics, two UN agencies Monday signed a
new agreement that attempts to diminish the damage caused by electronic waste.

By facilitating the collection and recycling of precious and hazardous materials that electronic
waste contains, the agencies hope to counter an expected a surge in e-waste, especially mobile
phone waste in developing countries.

Yet only 13 percent of the world's electronic waste is recycled, often without safety
procedures in place, according to the UN International Telecommunication Union, ITU, the
UN specialized agency for information and communication technologies.

The ITU allocates global radio spectrum and satellite orbits, develops the technical standards
that allow interconnection of networks and technologies, and strives to improve access to
information and communications technology for underserved communities worldwide.

The agreement was signed in Geneva on Monday between the ITU and the Secretariat of the
Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and
their Disposal.

This treaty took effect in 1992 and now has 178 member countries. It aims to protect human
health and the environment from the harm resulting from the generation, management,
transboundary movements and disposal of hazardous and other wastes.

"The collaboration with the Secretariat of the Basel Convention will allow the global
community to address this ever-increasing problem through a holistic approach, involving the
recycling industry as well as environmental policy makers," said ITU Secretary-General
Hamadoun Touré.

"The ICT sector is already making significant progress in improving its environmental
performance and reducing e-waste through improved best practices and standards," Touré said.

Electronic waste contains toxic materials that can cause widespread damage to the
environment and human health - heavy metals such as mercury and lead, and endocrine-
disrupting substances such as brominated flame retardants.

Electrical and electronic equipment also contains materials of strategic value such as indium
and palladium and precious metals such as gold, copper and silver that can be recovered and
recycled.

Reclaiming rare metals from e-waste is particularly important because China has roughly 95
percent of the world's supply and last year curtailed production and export just as demand for
electronic devices is soaring.

Through the agreement, the Union and the Secretariat will exchange information and best
practices and will work on joint projects and programs to set standards and raise awareness
among countries about electronic waste management.

"ICT equipment has to be dealt with in view of its entire life-cycle, and this includes the time
when the equipment comes to its end-of-life and becomes e-waste," said Jim Willis, executive
secretary of the Basel Convention.
He said collaboration between the Union and the Secretariat will further shared objectives in
support of sustainable development that includes environmentally sound management of
waste.

West Africa faces a rising tide of waste electronic and electrical equipment, or WEEE, 85
percent of which is generated by domestic consumption of new and used electrical and
electronic equipment, the Secretariat warned in a report issued in December.

In the five countries studied for the report - Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, and Nigeria
- between 650,000 and one million tonnes of domestic e-waste are generated each year.

The report, "Where are WEEE in Africa?" shows that in addition, a stream of used equipment
arrives from industrialized countries, much of it unsuitable for re-use, adding to the e-waste
mountain.

Hazardous substances are released during various dismantling and disposal operations and are
particularly severe during the burning of cables to liberate copper and of plastics to reduce
waste volumes.

Open burning of cables is a major source of dioxin emissions, a persistent organic pollutant
that travels over long-distances and bio-accumulates in organisms up through the global food
chain.

Solutions are in the works. The ITU has come up with a universal power adapter and charger
solution for mobile terminals and other ICT devices that reduces the production of many
competing types of electronics, cutting the amount of e-waste.

Also, the ITU has written a recommendation on the procedures to be employed when
recycling rare metals from electronic equipment.

The ITU is now designing e-waste management strategies for environmental protection;
publishing and disseminating best practices; and helping countries with the drafting, adoption
and implementation of policies, laws, and regulations covering e-waste management.



Inside Zimbabwe's controversial Marange diamond field
By Victoria Eastwood and Robyn Curnow , CNN/March 16, 2012

Mutare, Zimbabwe (CNN) -- After weeks of negotiations with the government, CNN's
Marketplace Africa show has been granted access to the controversial Marange diamond
fields in eastern Zimbabwe.

Some experts believe that Marange is the largest diamond discovery in generations but the
find has been dogged by allegations of human rights abuses and corruption going right to the
heart of Mugabe's government.

There are four diamond companies operating in the area. With a large delegation of
government minders in tow, CNN was first taken to visit Marange Resources. It is exclusively
owned by the state-run company, the Zimbabwe Diamond Mining Corporation (ZMDC).

Security is tight. High voltage barbed wire fences surround the diamond mines and the
processing plant's equipment. Several full body searches are done as you get closer to the
sorting area where the diamonds are picked from the dirt.

To avoid "leakages", as it is called - or, in other words, worker theft -- the diamonds are kept
in a glass case and the sorters use gloves to drop the diamonds into an underground vault. The
company says at no point in the extraction process does a human being touch any of the
diamonds.

The mining manager of Marange Resources, Munashe Shava, tells CNN that "between our
three plants we can produce a minimum of 200,000 carats every month."

All four mining companies - Marange, Mbada, Anjin and DMC - have been certified to sell
their diamonds on the international market by the Kimberley Process.

The human rights organization Global Witness called the decision "shocking" and pulled out
of the international scheme it helped create.

But despite the intense criticism of the Marange diamond fields, one of the two monitors of
the Kimberley Process -- the U.N. protocol to certify origin of the gems and curtail trafficking
of "blood diamonds" to fund militant groups - said he has seen significant improvements.

"You could not find a bigger transition than that one," Van Bockstael told CNN in Harare.
"This is not a granny that is digging with an old shovel in a pit or something -- that happened
in 2007, 2008, which was when the problems started. You are talking about now top-notch
diamond companies that are using state-of-the-art equipment. "

The Chinese-run company Anjin has been one of the most heavily criticized companies
operating in the field. Global Witness claims that this 50-50 partnership between a Chinese
engineering firm and the state owned ZMDC has "board members including senior serving
and retired military and police officers."

They argue that this "creates opportunities for off budget funding of the security sector" and "
a real risk of these revenues being used to finance violence during a future election" in the
country.

Human Rights Watch says while it has seen an improvement in Marange, it also believes
questions remain over who is involved in running these mining companies.

"Well, when we say things have improved it simply means the violence has certainly ended"
Tiseke Kasambala of Human Rights Watch told CNN. "There is no longer much torture, and
the forced labor has come to an end, but why has this taken place? It is because the army has
gained pretty much most of the control of the fields."

CNN confronted Zimbabwean director of Anjin, Munyaradzi Machacha, with these
allegations. "In Zimbabwe, boards are made up of all its citizens," Machacha said. "With
Anjin and all other companies, they are free to bring in persons with different skills and
backgrounds. So really it is not like Anjin is a military (controlled) area, it is a civilian
company operating like any other."

The Chairman of ZMDC, Godwills Masimirembwa, told CNN that there is nothing wrong
with serving military figures connected to the ruling ZANU-PF being on the boards of these
mining companies.

"There is nothing wrong with them sitting on some of the boards, they are Zimbabweans, they
are entitled to sit on those boards."

When asked which military figures were connected with these companies, he replied:

"When you deal with sensitive issues, particularly in the background of sanctions against us,
if you look at the sensitivity of that area, and the attack that is against Zimbabwe on the
assumption that everything that goes there is for the benefit of ZANU-PF, it is obviously
important that we protect the national interest".

But despite these mines getting the green light from the Kimberley Process, the European
Union's so-called "restrictive measures" and U.S. government sanctions remain in place.

According to Ambassador Gillian Milovanovic, speaking to CNN's Marketplace Africa in her
first interview as the new U.S. chair of the Kimberley Process, sanctions have been imposed
because "these entities are undermining democracy and democratic institutions."

Ramzi Malik is the project manager of DMC, another mining company operating in the fields.
The U.S. sanctions anger him.

"It was actually quite shocking that sanctions would be slapped on us even though we are
fully compliant by the Kimberley Process," Malik says. "So for us we just continue doing our
business and doing our thing, and that is the end of it."

"Sanctions or no sanctions diamonds get sold to clients all over the world, be it Belgium, be it
Israel, be it India, be it customers in Dubai. They come from all over. You have the product
available, they will come, they will pay their money for it and they will take it."



African press review 16 March 2012
Friday 16 March 2012 /www.english.rfi.fr

Lubanga’s sentence and Abdulaye Wade’s outrageous bribes in an attempt to break Iran
sanctions feature among the stories in today’s African dailies.
“A milestone in fighting against impunity and a warning to all”. This is how the editorial in
Uganda’s The Monitor' describes the sentence by the International Criminal Court against the
Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga.

But, says the paper, the ICC must not limit its prosecutions to African warlords like Lubanga
and Joseph Kony or to ousted president Laurent Gbagbo.
The court should be able to prosecute sitting heads of state, including Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir
and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad.

Over to Kenya where the Senegalese election dominates the dailies.

The Nation reports the anger of Senegale President Abdouaye Wade aimed at the French
lawyer William Bourdon. In an interview with the French daily Le Parisien, the prominent
French lawyer and human rights activist declared that the “French legal procedure on illegal
wealth could be extended to the Senegalese President”.

According to Kenya’s Africa Review, the spokesman for the Senegalese president, Mbacké
Ndiaye, said the situation was made worse by the string of publications of misleading
allegations by local media "during this critical campaign period''.

"This issue was intentional because the accusers had selected this very sensitive moment to
besmear the reputation of the president, and thereby affecting his campaign for the
presidency,” Ndiaye insisted.

As you recall, President Wade will face ex-prime minister Macky Sall in the run-off vote on
25 March.

Will US-Egypt relations survive the recent spat over NGO workers accused of illegal
activity ? Yes, according to Egypt’s Al Masry Alyoum. The daily reports the meeting between
Nancy Pelosi, the US house of representatives minority leader and Field Marshal Hussein
Tantawi.

The US government is scrambling to maintain the 1.5 billion dollars of military aid to Egypt
despite the reticence of lawmakers. According to the daily, Nancy Pelosi was dispatched to
Egypt to assure the US strategic allies in the region that the case against the NGO workers
will not be a barrier to relations between the two countries.

“Bribes in exchange for busting Iran sanctions” says South Africa’s BusinessDay which
reports the National Arms Committee’s investigation into the allegations that the well-
connected partner of the country’s deputy president was seeking a bribe to use her
connections with the top political leader to encourage the government to bust Iranian
sanctions in a 26 million dollar arms deal.

According to the article, the business partners were seeking to sell the Tehran regime US-
made helicopters and spare parts through a complex trade deal involving companies in
Canada, South Africa and Russia.

“Stay clear of Iran! ” warns the paper in its editorial. “Given the state of relations between the
US and Iran, with imminent military conflict a real possibility, our government would be well
advised to temper its enthusiasm for business links with Iran, no matter how “bona fide” its’
intentions are”, it warns.

Could President Goodluck Jonathan be already “plotting a third term”? questiona all major
Nigerian newspapers this morning. The front pages of both Vanguard and The Nation feature
the accusations by the Coalition of Northern Leaders.
The newly-formed pressure group alleges that the president, alongside the committee headed
by a former chief justice of the federation, Justice Alfa Belgore, is plotting to instigate a new
constitution, under which President Jonathan would seek another term in 2015.

“Entirely mischevious!” replies the presidential spokesman, Dr Reuben Abati in an interview
with The Vanguard. “The accusations, based on a report that has not yet been submitted,
amount to witchcraft or if you like sorcery!” he said.



Asia to Boost Daily West African Crude Imports by 2% in April
By Sherry Su /www.businessweek.com/March 16, 2012

Asian refiners will increase their daily imports of West African crude for loading in April by
2 percent from this month, a survey of six traders and an analysis of loading programs
obtained by Bloomberg News showed.

A total of 60 cargoes amounting to 56.3 million barrels, or 1.88 million barrels a day, will be
exported from Angola, Nigeria, the Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana and Gabon,
according to the survey. This compares with 1.84 million barrels a day scheduled for this
month and 2.15 million barrels a day in February, the highest level in at least seven months.

Refiners in Asia can buy Middle Eastern crude or West African grades and their choice
normally depends on the value of the lighter, low-sulfur, or sweet, blends from Angola and
Nigeria versus heavier, high-sulfur, or sour, grades from Saudi Arabia and Iran. Lighter crude
yields more lucrative products such as diesel and gasoline.

“The Brent-Dubai spread is much narrower than most of the time last year, which should
structurally encourage Asia refineries to import more West African crude,” James Zhang,
commodity strategist at Standard Bank Plc in London, said in an e-mailed response yesterday.
“Cutbacks on Iranian crude imports are also likely to be partially substituted by West African
crude for Asia countries.”

The Brent-Dubai exchange for swaps, which measures the European benchmark against the
Persian Gulf grade, reached a 14- month low of $2.32 a barrel on Jan. 16, according to data
from PVM Oil Associates Ltd. It averaged $3.35 in February.

Chinese Imports
Chinese refiners bought 34 cargoes for loading in April, one more than March, the survey
showed. China International United Petroleum & Chemical Corp., known as Unipec,
maintained its purchases at 23 shipments, including 17 lots from Angola.

India bought 16 cargoes for April, one more than this month, according to the survey. Indian
Oil Corp., the nation’s largest refiner, bought nine shipments, unchanged from this month,
while Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL), which owns the world’s largest refining complex, also
kept its purchases stable at four consignments.

CPC Corp., Taiwan’s state-owned oil company, bought six cargoes of Angolan crude, two
more than this month, according to the survey.
Indonesia’s state-owned PT Pertamina bought two cargoes of Nigerian crude, down from four
in March, the survey showed.

Asian imports of West African crude for March were revised to 1.84 million barrels from 1.87
million barrels, after a cargo of Ghana’s Jubilee crude was deferred to April from end-March,
the survey showed.

Qua Iboe (AFCSQUA1) was at a premium of $2.67 a barrel to North Sea Dated Brent
yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, plans to export 2.22 million barrels a day of crude next
month while Angola will ship 1.79 million barrels, Bloomberg calculations based on loading
programs showed.

The following tables show details of planned Asian imports. Most cargoes are for 950,000 to
1 million barrels. All the volumes are in barrels a day.

---------------------------------------------------------------
Countries Number of Cargoes Total Volume
         April March April                March
China       34       33       1,083,333 1,011,452
India      16       15         489,000 453,226
Taiwan        6        4        191,167 122,581
Indonesia 2            4         59,667 125,806
Japan        1       3         21,667       82,258
Thailand 0             1            0     30,645
South Korea 0            1            0      11,290
Malaysia 1             0         33,333          0
---------------------------------------------------------------

Month            Cargoes Total           Angola         Nigeria
April 2012          60     1,878,167 1,214,167 424,000
March 2012           61      1,837,258 1,081,452 401,613
February 2012         66      2,151,034 1,357,586 496,552
January 2012         61      1,826,935 1,056,613 461,290
December 2011           47     1,433,387 993,710 279,032
November 2011           49     1,554,500 1,028,500 285,000
October 2011          49     1,507,742 962,581 308,065
September 2011 42              1,344,333 930,167 287,500
August 2011          50      1,536,613 931,774 387,097
----------------------------------------------------------------



Africa: Aiming for a Predictable Water Supply
By Sue Valentine/allafrica.com/13 March 2012

As the Sixth World Water Forum is being held in Marseille, France, this week, AllAfrica
looks at the lack of predictable water supplies and challenges to building infrastructure to
rectify this.
"Where do you get water when the tap runs dry?" asks Promise.

"There is nowhere else," says the water seller. "We just have to wait. It usually comes back
within a few days."

Eleven-year old Promise lives in Ingwavuma, a remote, rural area in the northeast corner of
South Africa, south of Mozambique and east of Swaziland. When it rains, the luminous green
uMkhanyakude trees* flourish and the uniquely patterned hides of the beloved local Nguni
cattle are sleek. In dry years, well-points dry up, grasses turn to stalks and small household
vegetable patches wilt in the searing heat.

One of the daily chores for children in the area is to fetch water from the communal pumps
that dot the landscape. For those lucky enough to own a wheelbarrow, two or three large
containers can be filled, supplying water for the day. Poorer households must make do with
what can be carried back and forth, one bucket at a time.

Speak to any young girl in the area and she can recount the difficulty of learning to hoist a 15-
litre container onto her head and navigate the uneven path home. This is a daily routine for all
children before they can wash and get ready for school.

Promise is one of a group of child radio reporters in Ingwavuma, the Abaqophi BakwaZisize
Abakhanyayo (the Shining Recorders of Zisize), co-ordinated by Zisize Educational Trust.
Among other things, the non-government organisation runs a project through which children
learn how to record and produce their own stories.

In a programme entitled, "Water, for some it's an everyday sound, for us it's a luxury",
recorded during a drought three years ago, the "Shining Recorders" interviewed other children
and tried to find out from local officials why the water supply was so erratic and uncertain.

At one of the communal taps the reporters met Ntombifuthi, a young girl who had this to say
about the situation: "I wake up at 2 a.m. and come and queue at the hand pump for water. I
also pump water in the afternoon. I don't get enough time to sleep. Our problem is water. We
see others getting electricity and good roads - we can handle living without these luxuries -
but we can't be patient any longer in this issue of water. We have an inkosi (king) but we don't
see any progress; we have an induna (headman) and counsellors, but we don't see any efforts
from them to improve our situation. The message I want to get across to those who are able to
help, please help us with water."

Ntombifuthi's appeal echoes in many communities across Africa.

The average annual rainfall across the continent is around 800mm a year. But conditions vary
dramatically from country to country - and within countries. While the average rainfall along
the coastal regions of West Africa and the forests of Central Africa is around 2,000mm, the
deserts of the Sahara, as well as northeast and southeast Africa, may receive less than 100mm
a year.

But it is not necessarily the amount of rainfall a country receives that is of most importance.
While quantity does matter, what is essential for a country's growth and prosperity is that it
has a predictable water supply.
The damage wreaked by floods or drought can have disastrous consequences, whereas even
limited water availability is easier to manage, so long as the economy is geared towards this
and the relevant infrastructure exists to store and convey water.

According to Mike Muller, visiting professor at the Graduate School of Public and
Development Management at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, without
dams to store sufficient water and within an economy that is more diverse than rain-dependent
agriculture, "Africa is the continent most vulnerable to the economic impact of drought."

Muller, who served as director-general of water affairs and forestry in the South African
government from 1997-2005, was one of the authors who contributed to the first volume of
Africa in Focus, a series dedicated to African research, published by the Human Sciences
Research Council (HSRC) in South Africa.

In a chapter entitled, "The challenges of implementing an African water resource management
agenda", Muller examines the consequences of the gap "between African realities and donors
perceptions of them" when it comes to foreign aid for improved access to water on the
continent.

This divide has been particularly evident, says Muller, when it comes to the question of
whether donor countries will finance African countries' desires to improve their access to
predictable sources of water by building dams.

Ironically, says Muller in a podcast produced by the HSRC, one of the obstacles preventing
African countries from building the necessary infrastructure for water storage is the
environmental lobby in the West.

"You have a situation in Germany or Switzerland where you have strong environmental
lobbyists who feel that dams are an infringement on the natural environment ... And you have
situations where ministers will say, 'We cannot talk about storing water because that involves
construction, which we cannot support'. Yet African governments know that if they don't store
water given our variable climate, we are at the mercy of nature and it's a very cruel nature at
times."

Muller says there has been a "decade-long drought of funding for infrastructure investment in
Africa, despite the acknowledged need to expand irrigation and achieve greater water
security". He cites examples from Zambia and Ethiopia, both of which he says, sought money
to build dams to generate hydropower and to produce water for irrigation, but both were
refused by international agencies, including the World Bank.

A further irony, says Muller, is that there are many examples of African countries doing what
they can to conserve the environment and to improve water management and efficiency, but
that most of them start from zero.

Countries such as Kenya and Ethiopia store one, one-hundredth of the amount of water that
rich countries store, which weakens their capacity "to deal with nature's variability and
unpredictability".
According to Muller, where countries in Europe and North America have developed some 60
or 70 percent of their hydroelectric potential, Africa has developed just six percent of its
hydroelectric power.

"The potential in the Congo could power all of Africa's current electricity needs and the same
again, spare," says Muller. "If we start looking at the rest of southern Africa we could
probably have replaced two of the huge coal-fired power stations that we're building in South
Africa with hydropower, but the environmentalists don't want it, it's really anomalous."

Describing the current situation, as "silly", Muller says while Europeans are "desperate" to
reduce carbon monoxide generation, at the same time they have "systematically blocked
hydropower development". Yet hydropower is the only proven technology to produce large
amounts of electricity without producing carbon dioxide. Nuclear energy is another
alternative, but this is not an option for most African countries.

For Africa, says Muller, a silver lining to the weakening of Western power in recent years is
that the rise of China may enable African countries to build the dams necessary to ensure a
more predictable water supply.

"There is a coherence between China's capability as the world's pre-eminent builder of large
water infrastructure and its interests in Africa's natural resources, many of which require the
development of power, transport and water infrastructure for their successful extraction,"
writes Muller.

While he acknowledges that the "terms of engagement" between China and African countries
need "much more attention" in future, there are positive signs regarding China's role as an
alternative supporter for Africa's water sector.

"Dams being built are a useful indicator of whether African countries have been given the
space to do what they think is the priority at any one time," he says.

Muller is hopeful that in June this year, at the Rio +20 earth summit conference on sustainable
development, "we will cement the changed relationships that have emerged over the decade
and we will see a fairer set of outcomes."

* "uMkhanyakude" (Acacia Xanthophloea Fever Tree) is a greenish tree with some thorns
that mainly grows in the uMkhanyakude district in northern KwaZulu-Natal.
"uMkhanyakude" literally means "that shows light from afar".



Les pays du Golfe Persique ferment leurs ambassades en Syrie
2012-03-16/ (Source : Legyptien.com)

Les Etats du Conseil de coopération des États arabes du Golfe, à savoir l’Arabie Saoudite, le
Sultanat d’Oman, le Koweït, le Bahreïn, les Emirats arabes unis et le Qatar, ont décidé de
fermer leurs ambassades à Damas. Il s’agit d’une nouvelle approche ayant pour objectif
d’augmenter la pression sur le régime répressif de Bachar Al-Assad afin qu’il arrête ses
violences contre son propre peuple.
La Syrie, forte du droit de veto des Chinois et Russes au Conseil de sécurité de l’ONU ont
refusé jusqu’ici la voie diplomatique et les intermédiations pacifiques pour trouver une sortie
de crise. Jusqu’à présent, Bachar Al-Assad s’est tenu à l’option militaire.

Signalons que l’Arabie saoudite, un des poids lourd du monde arabe, très critique du régime
syrien, avait déjà et depuis le mois d’août dernier, retiré son ambassadeur à Damas et expulsé
l’ambassadeur de Syrie. Rappelons que le soulèvement du peuple syrien a déjà son premier
anniversaire.




UN/AFRICA:

La Syrie veut coopérer avec Annan, déterminée à combattre le "terrorisme"
Créé le 16-03-2012/tempsreel.nouvelobs.com

La Syrie a assuré vendredi qu'elle coopérerait avec l'émissaire international Kofi Annan qui
doit rendre compte à l'ONU dans la journée de sa mission à Damas, mais a réaffirmé sa
détermination à combattre les "terroristes" à qui elle attribue les violences dans le pays.

"Le gouvernement syrien est déterminé à protéger ses citoyens en désarmant les terroristes et
continue à chercher une solution politique à la crise en coopérant avec l'émissaire spécial Kofi
Annan", selon une lettre du ministère des Affaires étrangères adressée à l'ONU et au chef du
Conseil de sécurité et reproduite par l'agence officielle Sana.

Dans cette lettre, la Syrie invite également "tous les pays et organisations qui luttent contre le
terrorisme (...) à faire pression sur toutes les parties connues pour qu'elles cessent de soutenir
le terrorisme et pour mettre un terme à l'effusion de sang (...) conformément aux résolutions
du Conseil de sécurité de l'ONU sur la lutte contre le terrorisme".

La Syrie "a fait le choix de la voie du dialogue national pour résoudre le problème auquel elle
fait face en faisant participer des courants de l'opposition et des indépendants au processus
visant à (...) un retour de la sécurité et de la stabilité en Syrie".

Le régime syrien, confronté depuis un an à une révolte populaire réclamant sa chute, refuse de
reconnaître l'ampleur de la contestation qu'il assimile à du "terrorisme".

Depuis le début le 15 mars 2011 de cette révolte, née dans le sillage du Printemps arabe, plus
de 9.000 personnes, en grande majorité des civils, ont péri dans les violences, selon
l'Observatoire syrien des droits de l'Homme (OSDH).

M. Annan, émissaire de l'ONU et de la Ligue arabe, a rencontré le week-end dernier à Damas
le président Bachar al-Assad lors d'une mission axée sur la nécessité "d'un arrêt immédiat des
violences et des meurtres, d'un accès aux organisations humanitaires et d'un dialogue"
politique.
Il a reçu mercredi une réponse de M. Assad à ses propositions de règlement mais a souligné
avoir demandé des éclaircissements.

L'émissaire international doit rendre compte vendredi au Conseil de sécurité de son
"évaluation de la situation", ainsi que des détails de ses discussions avec Damas.



Syrie: Annan juge la réponse d'Assad "décevante" et appelle l'ONU à l'unité
Créé le 16-03-2012 /tempsreel.nouvelobs.com

L'émissaire international en Syrie Kofi Annan a qualifié vendredi de "décevantes jusqu'ici" les
réponses syriennes à ses propositions de médiation et a appelé le Conseil de sécurité de l'ONU
à l'unité pour faire pression sur Damas, selon des diplomates.

S'adressant au Conseil par vidéoconférence depuis Genève, M. Annan a indiqué qu'il
"continuait de discuter malgré des réponses décevantes jusqu'ici" et que ses "propositions en
six points" restaient sur la table.

"Nous sommes inquiets parce que cette crise peut avoir des conséquences dans toute la région
au-delà de la Syrie si elle n'est pas gérée correctement", a ensuite déclaré M. Annan à des
journalistes à Genève.

L'ex-secrétaire général de l'ONU a également déclaré qu'il allait envoyer à Damas des experts
la semaine prochaine pour évoquer une éventuelle mission internationale d'observation en
Syrie. "J'espère qu'ils auront accès à tout ce qu'ils demandent", a poursuivi M. Annan devant
la presse.

"M. Annan a décidé d'envoyer une mission à Damas pour discuter des modalités d'un
mécanisme d'observation et d'autres étapes pratiques pour mettre en place (...) certaines de ses
propositions, incluant un arrêt immédiat de la violence et des tueries", avait auparavant
précisé à Genève son porte-parole Ahmed Fawzi.

L'ambassadeur syrien à l'ONU Bachar Jaafari a de son côté déclaré à la presse à New York
que l'équipe de M. Annan "arriverait dimanche à Damas".

Devant le Conseil, M. Annan a lancé un appel solennel à l'unité des 15 pays membres du
Conseil pour faire pression sur le président Bachar al-Assad: "Plus votre message sera fort et
unifié, plus les chances seront grandes de voir la dynamique du conflit changer", a-t-il dit,
selon les diplomates.

Les membres du Conseil ont jusqu'ici échoué à se mettre d'accord sur une résolution sur la
Syrie, en raison de l'opposition de Moscou et Pékin, fidèles alliés de Damas.

La Syrie a assuré vendredi qu'elle coopérerait avec M. Annan, mais a réaffirmé sa
détermination à combattre les "terroristes" --c'est-à-dire l'opposition armée-- à qui elle attribue
les violences dans le pays, qui ont fait selon l'Observatoire syrien des droits de l'Homme plus
de 9.000 morts depuis le début de la révolte il y a un an.
Réagissant aux propos de M. Annan, la mission française auprès de l'ONU a appelé à "rester
vigilants vis-à-vis des tactiques dilatoires" de Damas.

L'ambassadeur britannique Mark Lyall Grant, dont le pays assure la présidence tournante du
Conseil en mars, a pour sa part déclaré à la presse que "tous les membres du Conseil ont
promis de soutenir pleinement M. Annan et sa mission" et qu'ils ont convenu "qu'un message
uni aiderait sa mission".

Interrogé sur les modalités d'un éventuel cessez-le-feu sous supervision internationale, il a
rappelé que Londres estimait que c'était au gouvernement syrien de cesser le feu en premier.

La Russie insiste de son côté pour qu'un cessez-le-feu soit simultané entre les forces
gouvernementales et l'opposition armée, suggérant qu'il soit supervisé par des observateurs
internationaux indépendants.

Les Etats-Unis ont par ailleurs mis en garde vendredi l'Irak contre un survol de son territoire
par des appareils iraniens à destination de la Syrie, estimant qu'ils pourraient transporter des
armes, alors que Téhéran assure qu'il s'agit d'aide humanitaire.

En Syrie, des rassemblements massifs ont eu lieu vendredi dans les régions de Homs (centre),
Alep (nord) et Deraa, berceau de la contestation dans le Sud. A Alep, selon un militant joint
par l'AFP, les manifestants ont réclamé une intervention militaire étrangère et l'armement de
l'Armée syrienne libre.

Alors que la révolte est entrée dans sa deuxième année, elle se militarise et l'opposition et
plusieurs pays, notamment du Golfe, appellent à armer les déserteurs regroupés dans l'ASL.




US/AFRICA:

Uganda: U.S. Marine Corps Forces Africa Partners With Local AU Forces in Counter-
Terrorism Combat Engineering
United States Africa Command (Stuttgart) /allafrica.com/By Hakeem A. Buuza/15 March
2012

document

Kampala — A small team of Marines with U.S. Marine Forces Africa (MARFORAF)
traveled to Kampala, Uganda in March 2012 to train soldiers of the Uganda People's Defence
Force (UPDF) in counter-terrorism combat engineering.

The Marines, part of the Security Cooperation Team - 2, Special Purpose Marine Air Ground
Task Force - 12 (SCT-2, SPMAGTF-12), out of Naval Air Station, Sigonella, Italy, will serve
seven weeks training, equipping, and organizing combat-experienced UPDF soldiers into
counter-terrorism engineer companies to support infantry battalions already deployed as part
of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
Initially one UPDF company will be trained, with two additional companies slated for training
later this year. The three companies will form the basis of Uganda's Field Engineer Regiment.

The training will enable freedom of movement and ease the combat operations of UPDF
troops operating in the urban environment of Mogadishu, according to Major Charles Baker,
Uganda - OIC, SPMAGTF-12, MARFORAF.

"The genesis of this mission was operations in Mogadishu, Somalia, where African Union
peacekeepers experienced IEDs and other complex obstacles, which exposed them to
ambushes by al-Shabaab, "Baker said.

In addition to this training, AMISOM troops will receive combat engineer tool kits and mine
detectors, as well as armored dozers and front-end loaders to support peacekeeping operations.

According to SCT-2 Team Leader Captain Conrad Rinto, the U.S. Marines -- who include
infantry engineers, loading station specialists, and communications specialists, among others -
- bring real combat engineering experience to the training.

"The UPDF soldiers here are incredibly enthusiastic, which motivates us to train them. One of
the great things we can offer them is the skill sets that the Marines have and are willing to
share," explains Rinto.

Colonel James Ruhesi, a UPDF Officer involved in the training, shares this view, describing
the training as a great opportunity for the UPDF to build its forces' engineering core functions.

"Normally we have been sending one or two officers to the U.S. for this training, but now we
have a chance to train a big number of our forces and build the engineering capacity of our
troops to use the equipment the U.S. government has donated to us," he says.



State Dept. offering tech training to more women in Africa
By Rachel King /www.zdnet.com/March 16, 2012

Summary: TechWomen is an international exchange that uses technology as a means to
empower women and girls worldwide, particularly in North Africa and the Middle East.

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs is expanding its
TechWomen initiative to sub-Saharan Africa beginning in 2013, offering more women a
chance to get technical training and skills.

First announced in 2010, TechWomen is an international exchange that uses technology as a
means to empower women and girls worldwide, particularly in North Africa and the Middle
East.

The latest development of the mentor program means that women working in the technology
sector within Cameroon, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, and Zimbabwe
will have the opportunity to visit to the United States for a four to six week mentoring
program with American counterparts in the United States.
Participants are supposed to be women engaged or rising in professional careers that require
significant expertise and knowledge of technology — whether it be science, education or
business-related. They’re also picked if they already are or show promise of being role models
within their countries.

Following the trip, U.S. mentors then travel to Africa to conduct workshops and follow-up
training for women in the technology sector and young girls who are interested in pursuing a
tech-based career.

Last summer, 37 women from the Middle East and North Africa traveled to the United States
as part of the inaugural five-week trip.

More than 20 leading U.S. companies already participated in the public-private partnership
with TechWomen. Some of those enterprises include AT&T, Adobe, Facebook, Google, and
Oracle, just to name a few of the tech heavyweights lending their support.

In September 2012, the State Department is planning to bring 42 women from Algeria, Egypt,
Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian Territories, Tunisia, and Yemen to the United
States for the peer mentorship program.

The U.S. Department of State is currently accepting proposals and applications for American
mentors to administer TechWomen in 2013.



Clooney interpellé à Washington après une manifestation contre le Soudan
De Shaun TANDON (AFP) /16032012

WASHINGTON — George Clooney a été interpellé et détenu quelques heures vendredi à
Washington pour avoir manifesté devant l'ambassade du Soudan, remplissant ainsi son
objectif d'"attirer l'attention" sur "les crimes de guerre" et la crise humanitaire qui se déroulent
selon lui dans le sud du pays.

L'acteur américain a été libéré quelques heures après avoir été menotté et emmené dans une
fourgonnette de police en compagnie de plusieurs élus de la Chambre des représentants et de
militants associatifs.

"Notre boulot en ce moment est d'attirer l'attention (sur le Soudan, ndlr). Un des moyens
apparemment était de se faire arrêter", a expliqué l'acteur aux côtés de son père, arborant une
barbe poivre et sel et vêtu d'un gilet bleu marine.

Devant de très nombreuses caméras, George Clooney a répété qu'il exigeait que le
gouvernement soudanais autorise la communauté internationale à envoyer une aide
humanitaire "avant que cela ne devienne la pire crise humanitaire à la surface du globe".

"L'autre chose que nous demandons est très simple: que le gouvernement de Khartoum arrête
de tuer au hasard des hommes, des femmes et des enfants innocents", a-t-il lancé.
"Arrêtez de les violer et arrêtez de les affamer, c'est tout ce que nous demandons", a ajouté
l'acteur. "Des gens meurent là-bas tous les jours, victimes de bombardements aveugles".

George Clooney a effectué récemment une mission clandestine au Kordofan-Sud, un Etat du
Soudan où des combats entre l'armée de Khartoum et des rebelles favorables à un
rattachement au Soudan du Sud ont entraîné une famine. Le Soudan du Sud a obtenu son
indépendance en juillet dernier.

A son retour aux Etats-Unis, le héros de "The Descendants" a déclaré mardi que les forces
armées soudanaises commettaient des "crimes de guerre" en s'attaquant à des civils dans cette
région.

Reçu jeudi par Barack Obama, George Clooney a rapporté que le président américain allait
faire pression sur le président chinois Hu Jintao pour éviter un désastre humanitaire au
Soudan.

Selon l'acteur, la Chine, principal partenaire de Khartoum, est plus encline à prendre en
considération des arguments économiques que moraux dans la mesure où le conflit entre le
Soudan et le Soudan du Sud a un impact négatif sur les livraisons de pétrole à Pékin.

L'acteur a aussi participé mercredi à une audition au Sénat américain au cours de laquelle des
responsables américains ont souligné qu'environ 250.000 personnes étaient menacées par une
pénurie de vivres au Kordofan-Sud.

George Clooney s'implique depuis des mois pour alerter les médias et les responsables
politiques sur les violences au Soudan. Il a contracté le paludisme lors de son dernier séjour,
en janvier.

Alors qu'il rendait visite à des villageois cachés dans des grottes depuis le début d'une
campagne de bombardements aériens des forces armées soudanaises, il a été demandé à
l'acteur et au militant John Prendergast, de se mettre rapidement à l'abri.

George Clooney a expliqué qu'ils ne s'étaient pas vraiment pressés, pensant que
l'avertissement avait seulement trait à l'arrivée d'un avion Antonov des forces soudanaises.
"Mais ce n'était pas un Antonov. C'était une roquette et ça a fait boum. Nous voulions aller
dans cette zone et nous y avons été mais nous ne nous attendions pas à des roquettes", a-t-il
dit.




CANADA/AFRICA:

Canadian Natural Resources: Cash Is King
March 15, 2012/seekingalpha.com

Over a month ago, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ) announced that it had
unscheduled maintenance to an upgrader at its Horizons oil sands plant. This outage caused
management to adjust their 2012 production forecast for Horizons to 93,000-103,000 boe/day
from 105,000-115,000 boe/day. This caused a subsequent sell off that is leaving us with a
terrific buying opportunity. This is one of the premier oil companies in the world with world
class assets in Canada, the North Sea and Offshore West Africa. Selling them on a production
outage is like throwing out your new iPhone 4S because the battery died. You just plug it in
and re-charge (or in this case plug it out or buy more until the production comes back online).
An outage like this is not uncommon for oil companies or CNQ (they had an 8 month outage
last year when wild fires hit Horizons). But much like that famous (and I think only)
Chumbawamba hit "Tubthumping" they got knocked down but they get up again, you're never
gonna keep them down.
Let's look at some fundamentals:

On March 11th, CNQ announced its Q4 earnings, and they beat on both EPS (0.87 vs. 0.85 est)
and Cash Flow Per Share ($1.92 vs. $1.83 est). Production was pretty much inline (657.6
mBoe/day vs. 661.9 mBoe/day). Now if that wasn't good enough, they decided to sweeten this
situation by raising their dividend by 17% to 0.42/share (which is the 12th consecutive year of
dividend increases).

What gets me excited about CNQ is the amount of cash that this company spins off. CNQ has
projected 2012 cash flow of $6.87/share (basic) and $6.71/share (fully diluted). In the oil
sector, the most important number is the cash flow number since it demonstrates the
company's ability to fund its development and exploration activities. And at $34.42 a share
(close of March 14th) CNQ is only trading at 5x Cash Flows which is extremely cheap. From
an earnings per share perspective, CNQ is projecting fully diluted earnings of $3.08/share. At
$34.42, CNQ is trading at 11x earnings, which is cheap considering the long life asset,
enormous size of their reserves and their minimal exploration risk (it's all development, they
have the oil they just need to get it out).

Speaking of reserves lets take a look at their reserves:

Proved Oil and Liquids: 3.795 billion BOE (barrels of oil equivalent)
Proved Natural Gas: 4.262 BCF (billion cubic feet)
Proved BOE: 4.505 Billion
Proved and Probable: 6.903 Billion BOE
That's a lot of oil! Now that you know their reserves, I bet you're wondering what their net
asset value is?

CNQ's NAV is $48.31. At $34.42, it's trading at 71% of it's NAV.

I should also note that on March 14th, management said that they are recommencing
production at Horizons, which should act as a catalyst to push Canadian Natural Resources
higher.

I'd also like to add one last thing, CNQ is a pure play on oil. They do not have a refining
component so they don't have to worry about refining margins. If you believe like I do, that
oil is going to continue its march higher, then CNQ should out perform its peers who have a
refining element.

Disclosure: I am long CNQ.
South Africa’s stricken ferrochrome industry eyes Canada’s Canpotex as potential turnaround
model
By: Martin Creamer /www.miningweekly.com/Published on 16th March 2012

South Africa’s once mighty chrome-to-ferrochrome industry, now threatened by an
unexpected local oversupply of raw ore, is looking to get itself back on its feet by emulating
what the Canadians did 40 years ago for their then teetering but now thriving Saskatchewan
potash industry.

South Africa’s ferrochrome business is losing market share to China hand over fist and has
been forced to temporarily shut furnaces left, right and centre.

Once the proud holder of a 50% share of the global ferrochrome market, the local industry
now finds that China is stealing the show – ironically, with the help of South African ore.

China hosts no chromite deposits of its own, but imports the ore it needs from a string of
countries. Indian chrome miners used to provide China with the lion’s share of the ore needed,
but have been prompted by government regulations to convert the chrome into ferrochrome at
home before exporting it.

Now that gap is being filled by South Africa’s upper group two (UG2) oversupply, causing
the local ferrochrome business to come a cropper.

It now wants two forms of help – the first quick and temporary and the second long-term and
permanent.

It wants the South African government to enforce a $100/t export duty on raw ore in the short
term and help to create a chrome ore marketing arm that takes its cue from Canada’s
Canpotex model for the longer term.

The Canadian government faced a similar situation – a long-term potash price depression –
when it formed Canpotex in 1972, which today describes itself as a marketing and logistics
company that sells and delivers Saskatchewan potash to international markets as a wholly
owned entity of potash producers.

“The Canadian potash industry provides an excellent case study,” says the South African
ferrochrome industry in a brochure handed out last week to analysts, investors and journalists
at the presentation of the results of the black-controlled Merafe Resources, which is part of a
chrome-to-ferrochrome venture with the London-listed and South African-led Xstrata, the
world’s biggest ferrochrome producer.

The extraordinary growth in ore supply from UG2 tailings will result in a potential six-
million-ton oversupply of metallurgical-grade ore by 2014.

That will lead to lower ore prices and, consequently, lower ferrochrome margins, with
negative implications across the South African chrome value chain, which sustains 200 000
jobs and contributes R42-billion to gross domestic product.
Including UG2 sources, South Africa has 82% of the world’s chrome reserves. Exporting
chrome ore in unbeneficiated form creates 5.7 jobs per 1 000 t of ore and exporting
ferrochrome creates 17.3 jobs per 1 000 t of ferrochrome - over three times more.

While R1 660 is added to the GDP every time a ton of ore is exported, R9 109 is added every
time a ton of ferrochrome is exported - over five times more.

South Africa also has technologically advanced smelting capacity, which is currently
considerably underused.

Maximising South Africa’s chrome ore endowment to drive sustainable growth seems the
obvious route for government to take.

Editor: Martin Zhuwakinyu




AUSTRALIA/AFRICA:




EU/AFRICA:

S.Africa Bonds Riskier to Investec Than Russia on Deficit
By Robert Brand /www.businessweek.com/ March 16, 2012

South African debt is losing favor with Investec (INL) Asset Management, the nation’s
biggest independent money manager, to Russian local-currency bonds because of concerns
the budget deficit will grow.

South African local-currency bonds have returned 6.4 percent this year for dollar-based
investors, less than the 10 percent gain for ruble debt, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.
indexes. Cape Town-based Investec’s global funds are neutral South African bonds and
overweight Russia, India and Indonesia, said Andre Roux, head of fixed-income investments.
The company’s local fund is neutral on South African debt.

“We are cautious on South African bonds,” Malcolm Charles, who manages Investec’s 30
billion rand ($3.9 billion) South Africa bond fund, said in an interview in Cape Town
yesterday. “We’ve seen the high and low for the year. I’d be very surprised if they trade out of
those ranges.”

South Africa’s budget gap, which the government estimates at 4.8 percent of gross domestic
product in fiscal 2011, is holding back international investors, Roux said. While the
government has pledged to reduce the gap to 4.6 percent of GDP in the 2012 fiscal year and 4
percent the year after, economists predict the deficit will reach 5.2 percent this year and shrink
to 5.05 percent in 2013, according to the median estimate of 11 economists surveyed by
Bloomberg.

Moody’s Investors Services lowered its outlook on South Africa’s A3 long-term foreign-
currency and local-currency debt ratings, the fourth-lowest investment-grade level, to
negative from stable in November. Fitch Ratings lowered its outlook on South Africa’s BBB+
rating to negative from stable in January.

‘Lightened Up’
The government’s pledge on Feb. 22 to reduce the gap mitigates the risks, Moody’s said the
next week, without changing its outlook.

“The rating agencies have pointed to the negative outlook for South Africa’s debt, and they
were probably right,” Roux said. “Foreign investors have lightened up on South African debt,
from overweight to neutral.”

Data from JSE Ltd. (JSE), the company that runs the Johannesburg stock exchange, show
foreign investors have been net buyers of 18.7 billion rand of South African bonds this year,
the most in a comparable period since 2007. On a relative basis, global fund holdings of South
African debt have declined, Roux said.

The yield of South Africa’s benchmark 6.75 percent bonds due 2021 rose 1 basis point to 7.97
percent as of 9:34 a.m. in Johannesburg. The yield on Russian 7.6 percent notes due 2021 fell
two basis points, or 0.02 percentage point, to 7.74 percent.

‘Completely Compelling’
Emerging-market local-currency debt has returned 5 percent this year for dollar investors,
according to the JPMorgan Emerging Local Markets index, compared with a 1.7 percent loss
for U.S. government notes. Demand for developing-nation debt rose after the European
Central Bank injected more than 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) into the region’s banking
system in December and February, providing liquidity for investment in riskier assets.

“The long-term case for investment in emerging-market debt is completely compelling,”
Roux said. “Compared to developed economies, they offer more sustainable fiscal positions,
the prospect of long-term currency appreciation, and the yields are still attractive.”

Demand for local-currency emerging-market debt is set to grow as money managers in
Western Europe, the U.S. and U.K. shift funds from foreign-currency bonds into domestic
notes, Roux said.

“We like the Russian ruble, the Indian rupee and the Indonesian rupiah,” he said. “The
Turkish lira also still attractive. We are neutral on the rand.”

Beating Most Rivals
Investec’s London-based emerging-market local-currency fund has returned 7.3 percent this
year, beating 75 percent of similar funds, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The fund
is 87 percent invested in government bonds, with Brazil, Turkey and the Czech Republic the
biggest holdings.
Investec’s South African bond fund is overweight corporate debt and government bonds with
a maturity of eight years or less, Charles said. Investec Asset Management is a unit of
Johannesburg-based Investec, which operates investment and private banks, brokerages and
trade finance services in the U.K., South Africa and Australia.



Eni Says Mozambique ‘Transforming’ as Africa Leads Growth
By Eduard Gismatullin and Brian Swint /www.businessweek.com/ March 16, 2012

Eni SpA (ENI) Chief Executive Officer Paolo Scaroni said the company’s gas discovery in
Mozambique is “transforming” as African fields drive growth.

The company expects output to gain more than 3 percent a year until 2015, it said in a
presentation to investors on its website. Projects in African nations including Angola, Gabon
and Mozambique may allow for growth of 3 percent through 2021.

“In Mozambique we made the biggest discovery in our history,” Scaroni said in an interview
in London yesterday. “This is a transforming discovery for us and it’s a transforming
discovery for Mozambique as well.”

Output is returning in Libya, where Eni is the largest producer, after the conflict that ousted
Muammar Qaddafi shut down most oil and gas fields in the country and caused Eni’s
production to drop 13 percent last year. The Rome-based company, which gets 55 percent of
production in Africa, found about 30 trillion cubic feet of gas in waters off Mozambique in
2011.

“Eni is transitioning from a European-bias gas conglomerate to a global upstream operator
with a portfolio offering a competitive growth,” Theepan Jothilingam, an analyst at Nomura
Holdings Inc., wrote today in an e-mailed report. “Mozambique continues to
offer notable upside potential” with “significant opportunities in the Barents Sea, Indonesia,
Angola and Australia.”

Sell Assets
New projects will add about 700,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day to output from 2012 to
2015, the company said. It also plans to dispose of assets, which produce about 40,000 barrels
a day mostly in the North Sea, according to Claudio Descalzi, head of exploration and
production.

“The success we have in our exploration activity means we are very prudent in our
acquisitions,” Scaroni said. “I am talking about major acquisitions. Of course, we are always
ready to do small deals.”

Spending on exploration and production will rise 14 percent to 44.8 billion euros ($58.6
billion) through 2015. Total investment, including in gas and power, refining and marketing,
and chemical businesses will be 59.6 billion euros, according to Chief Financial Officer
Alessandro Bernini.

Production at Eni will rise to about 2 million barrels of oil equivalent a day in 2015 from 1.6
million barrels last year, according to Mediobanca SpA, which assumed a depletion rate of
about 3 percent. The long-term production growth forecast has been increased by one
percentage point, partly because of the Mamba field’s projected contribution in Mozambique.

Iraq Boost
Outside Africa, the company is seeking to raise production at Iraq’s Zubair field. Eni plans to
increase output at the field to 300,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day in 2013 from 250,000
barrels, Descalzi said.

Scaroni said he may sell Eni’s 3.7 billion euro stake in Galp Energia SGPS SA (GALP),
Portugal’s largest oil company, before 2014.

Under Lisbon-based Galp’s shareholder agreement, Eni must win permission for a sale from
Amorim Energia, a 33 percent shareholder controlled by billionaire Americo Amorim and
partly owned by Angola’s Sonangol EP, and state-owned Portuguese lender Caixa Geral de
Depositos SA, which has 1 percent of the company. The agreement is in force until March
2014.

“Certainly, Eni divestment has to have their approval,” Scaroni said. Galp “is doing well, so
we are really not in any hurry to sell.”



France says Syria's Assad must end violence first
Fri Mar 16, 2012 / Reuters

PARIS (Reuters) - France insisted on Friday that any U.N. Security Council resolution on
Syria must go beyond calling for a truce and push for a political transition, with President
Bashar al-Assad taking a unilateral step to stop the violence.

Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said in an interview in Le Monde newspaper these were "red
lines" for France and said he saw "a slight evolution" in the position of Russia, the most
outspoken opponent of demands for regime change in Syria.

Russia has called for both government and opposition forces to agree a ceasefire and insisted
there must be no precondition to a political dialogue, such as Assad's exit from power.

"I have two red lines. I cannot accept that we put the oppressors and victims in the same boat.
The regime must initiate the cessation of hostilities," Juppe told Le Monde.

"The second red line: we cannot be satisfied with just a humanitarian and ceasefire resolution.
There must be a reference to a political settlement based on the Arab League proposal."

U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, who visited Assad in Syria, was to brief the U.N.
Security Council via video link later on Friday.

Council diplomats say his assessment of the crisis will be crucial to an effort by the United
States and Europe to pass a resolution that would ensure humanitarian aid workers access to
besieged towns across the country.
"It's a nightmare. This regime has become mad. We back Kofi Annan to implement his
mission, but we will not be fooled by the Syrians' manipulation," Juppe said.

"The Arab League plan does not foresee Bashar al-Ashad's departure. It would sideline him
and, more exactly, designate his vice president to negotiate and start a transition. That is really
the minimum."

He reiterated that "for the moment" military intervention was not an option, especially
without a U.N. mandate, and that Paris opposed arming the rebels.

"Delivering weapons would push Syria into a civil war that risks being terrible because we
can see the determination of the various communities. I am saddened to see the Christian,
Catholic and Orthodox hierarchies continue to side with Assad."

(Reporting By John Irish; Editing by Daniel Flynn and Robin Pomeroy)



Africa to generate more e-waste than Europe by 2017
AFP/ Mar 16, 2012

NAIROBI: Better known as a dumping ground for used electronic goods from developed
countries, Africa is set to outstrip Europe in the volumes of e-waste it generates within five
years, experts said Thursday.

"One study suggests Africa will generate more e-waste than Europe by 2017," Katharina
Kummer Peiry, Executive Secretary of the Basel Convention on hazardous waste, told
reporters.

"At the current rate ... by 2017 we'll be faced with so much e-waste -- even more than in the
EU," said Miranda Amachree of Nigeria's National Environmental Standards and Regulations
Enforcement Agency.

The two major contributing factors are population growth and increased avalibility of mobile
phones, computers and accessories, the experts said on the sidelines of the Pan-African Forum
on E-Waste at the UN environment agency in Nairobi.

"There is population growth ... and there is the penetration rate -- there are increasing numbers
of people with access to these devices," Kummer Peiry said.

"You have to bear in mind that there are efforts undertaken at all levels to increase access --
it's part of development," she said, describing the growth of both the population and the
penetration rate as "exponential."

Africa, which has traditionally been confronted by thousands of tonnes of electronic waste
shipped from Europe for disposal, often under dangerous conditions, is increasingly dealing
with the e-waste generated locally.

Kenya for example exonerated information and communication technology (ICT) equipment
from import duties in 2008, in an attempt to boost access. Zambia followed suit last year.
"The use of electric and electronic devices ... is still low in Africa compared to other regions
of the world but it is growing at a staggering pace," said a report launched last month
summarizing findings from the E-waste Africa Programme of the Basel Convention.

The convention, which regulates the transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their
disposal, was adopted in 1989 and took effect three years later.

In Africa "in the last decade, the penetration rate of personal computers has increased by a
factor of 10, while the number of mobile phone subscribers has increased by a factor of 100,"
the report said.

Africa, where most recycling is informal, "needs to move towards more formal recycling in
order to ensure precious metals are properly extracted from say, mobile phones," Kummer
Peiry said.

Achim Steiner, the head of the UN environment agency UNEP, that is hosting the three-day
forum, said a seeming problem can be turned into an opportunity if the right recycling
measures are put in place.

"From one tonne of cellphones, minus the batteries, you can extract 3.5 kilos of silver, 340
grammes of gold, 140 grammes of palladium and 130 kilos of copper," he told reporters,
adding that the cost of smelting recycled metals is "three or four times less energy intensive
than smelting virgin ores.

But that sort of recycling will only happen if Africa is given access to the necessary
technologies, Steiner warned.



European, Africa to partner in radio astronomy
maart 16, 2012 /www.nl-aid.org

The European Parliament has called for greater collaboration with Africa in the field of radio
astronomy, following its adoption of Written Declaration 45 on science capacity building in
Africa.

The declaration seeks to promote this through closer European-African partnerships in radio
astronomy, as this is an area where Africa holds advantages that are not available in Europe
and where there is considerable scope for further growth.

“This means that radio astronomy in Africa has enormous potential for growth and offers
opportunities to European researchers and industry that they will not find in Europe”
explained Fiona Hall, a member of the Industry, Research and Energy Committee.

“The importance of science for socio-economic development in Africa has already been
recognised in the Millennium Development Goals. European involvement in African radio
astronomy represents a possible driver of socio-economic change” added Miguel Angel
Martínez Martínez, Vice-president of the EP and a member of the Committee on
Development.
A Written Declaration is a text of a maximum of 200 words on a matter falling within the
European Union’s sphere of activities. A group of up to five MEPs can submit a written
declaration by presenting a text to be signed by their colleagues. If the declaration is signed by
a majority of the MEPs, it is forwarded to the President, who announces it in plenary. At the
end of the part-session, the declaration is forwarded to the institutions named in the text,
together with the names of the signatories.

Following its adoption by the European Parliament, Written Declaration 45/2011 will now be
forwarded to the European Commission, the Council of the European Union and the
parliaments of the Member States.

Judith Sargentini, a Vice-Chair for Delegation for relations with South Africa, stated that “In
adopting this Written Declaration, Europe’s elected representatives have sent a strong
message to their fellow policymakers about the future of European cooperation with Africa.
They have recognised that radio astronomy has a bright future in Africa and that Europe can
play a valuable role in it. High level science in Africa changes our perception of the continent.
This is possible in Africa, and only in Africa.”

Attention will now turn to how Europe can put this message to action. Written Declaration
45/2011 specifically highlights the potential role of Horizon 2020 and the Development
Cooperation Instrument (DCI). Many MEPs who have signed the Written Declaration are
sympathetic to the inclusion of new chapters in these programmes which will be relevant to
radio astronomy partnerships.

Horizon 2020 is the name given to the EU’s primary instrument for funding scientific
research and development between 2014 and 2020. The European Commission proposals for
Horizon 2020 were published, in November 2011. This marked the beginning of a negotiation
process that will last into 2013.

“Following the adoption of the Written Declaration, a potential addition to Horizon 2020
could emphasise the role of capacity building with a particular focus on astronomy” added
Teresa Riera Madurell, MEP and a member of the Committee on Industry, Research and
Energy. This would draw on elements of the adopted Written Declaration with a view to
establishing collaboration with Africa as a programme theme.

The Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) is the EU’s main instrument for providing
development assistance through the general EU budget. It operates under a separate legislative
instrument from Horizon 2020. “Following the adoption of WD 45/2011, MEPs are now well
positioned to propose a chapter for the DCI introducing science as a driver for implementing
the instrument’s objectives” explained Filip Kaczmarek, a member of Committee on
Development.

Europe’s population density and sky coverage are not suitable to host the most innovative
observatories. Africa, on the other hand, offers coverage of the astronomically “rich” southern
sky, low levels of radio frequency interference, and very little light pollution.

African continent already hosts some of the world’s most exciting astronomy facilities,
including the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), the Gamma Ray telescope HESS in
Namibia and the Astronomy Development Office of the International Astronomical Union
(IAU). Now South Africa is building one of the world’s largest radio telescope arrays,
MeerKAT. A group of nine African countries (South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Mauritius,
Madagascar, Namibia, Zambia, Botswana and Mozambique) is also a candidate site to host
the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), the world’s biggest radio telescope that will allow
scientists to address many of the fundamental, unanswered questions about the universe we
live in.

Such large scale research projects are important for Africa as they attract youth towards
scientific studies, boost human capital development and contribute to socioeconomic
development. New employment opportunities and development of basic services and
infrastructures also effectively contrast the brain drain that costs Africa billions of dollars
each year.

AUTHOR: Henry Neondo
URL: http:// www.africasciencenews.org
E-MAIL: neondohenry [at] yahoo.com



L'escorte de l'ambassadeur du Qatar fauchée devant le château de Laeken
le mardi 13 mars 2012/www.rtbf.be

L'homme qui a fauché mardi matin plusieurs motards de la police devant le château de
Laeken était connu de la justice, mais n'a jamais été condamné, a indiqué mardi soir le parquet
de Bruxelles.

Il s'agirait d'un homme de nationalité algérienne âgé de 39 ans. L'homme sera encore entendu
mardi soir par la police et ne devrait vraisemblablement comparaître que mercredi matin
devant le juge d'instruction. Le parquet a ouvert une enquête pour tentative de meurtre.

Huit motards de la police fédérale qui escortaient l'ambassadeur du Qatar ont été heurtés
mardi matin devant le palais royal. Trois d'entre eux ont été grièvement blessés mais leurs
jours n'étaient plus en danger mardi soir, a indiqué le parquet.

Les premières analyses des images de surveillance montrent que le chauffeur a foncé sans
hésitation et délibérément sur les motards de la police.

Huit motards de la police fédérale se trouvaient en face du Palais de Laeken, alignés en rang
d'oignon, en vue d'escorter l'ambassadeur du Qatar. Ce dernier, présent à Laeken pour
remettre ses lettres de créances au Roi, était déjà à l'intérieur de l'enceinte royale lorsque les
faits se sont produits, sur le coup de 11h15.

La police locale de la zone de Bruxelles Capitale-Ixelles est rapidement arrivée sur place et a
effectué les premières constatations.

Quant à l'auteur des faits, il a été blessé à la tête. Il a cependant pu être interrogé par la police
et a avoué avoir tenté de se suicider.

La ministre Joëlle Milquet est consternée et triste
La ministre de l'Intérieur déclare dans un communiqué avoir pris connaissance "avec
consternation et tristesse" des faits. "Une enquête est en cours afin de déterminer les
circonstances exactes de ce qu'il s'est passé", a-t-elle communiqué au sujet des faits.

"Profondément choquée", la ministre adresse toutes ses pensées aux membres de la police
touchés dans l'exercice de leurs fonctions, ainsi qu'à leurs proches. Elle remercie par ailleurs
les services de secours pour la rapidité de leur intervention.

Freddy Thielemans, le bourgmestre de la Ville de Bruxelles a réagi à cet accident : ''Je pense
que c'est vraiment un moment de folie de la part du chauffeur, qui en voyant toutes ces motos
alignées décide de se lancer sur celles-ci. Une tentative de suicide qui entraîne des blessures
sur huit personnes est quelque chose qui me dépasse et que je ne comprends pas. Mais ce sont
des choses qui sont déjà arrivées aux Pays-Bas et en Grande-Bretagne. Se retrouver en escorte
et avoir le risque de voir des suicidaires vous renverser, ce sont des choses qui dépassent
l'entendement.''
RTBF avec Belga



Aggression/mosquée d'Arras: un mort
AFP /le 16/03/2012

Un homme a été interpellé en début de soirée après être entré peu avant 19h dans une
mosquée d'Arras, muni d'une batte de baseball avec laquelle il a frappé des fidèles, en tuant un
et en blessant gravement un autre, a-t-on appris de sources policières. Selon une de ces
sources, l'homme aurait des "antécédents psychiatriques".

C'est un "musulman pratiquant", a indiqué une source proche de l'enquête, une autre évoquant
des "antécédents psychiatriques". L'auteur présumé "est un jeune musulman qui fréquentait la
mosquée et qui était connu comme quelqu'un de déséquilibré", a indiqué Abdelkader
Assouedj, représentant régional de la Fédération de la Grande Mosquée de Paris. Selon un
photographe de l'AFP sur place, les secours s'affairaient peu avant 20 heures autour d'une
victime qui a été évacuée peu après.

Claude Guéant a dénoncé "un acte d'une sauvagerie inouïe". "Mes sentiments en apprenant ce
drame survenu à la mosquée d'Arras, ce sont des sentiments de très grande émotion. D'abord
parce qu'il s'agit d'un acte d'une sauvagerie inouïe et ensuite parce qu'un assassinat dans un
lieu de culte est particulièrement répugnant", a réagi le ministre de l'Intérieur, en marge d'un
déplacement dans la Creuse.

"Les premières indications dont je dispose c'est qu'il s'agit de l'acte d'une personne qui avait
déjà des antécédents psychiatriques", a par ailleurs confirmé Claude Guéant. Il a fait "part à
toute la communauté musulmane d'Arras et plus généralement à la communauté musulmane
de France de l'indignation du gouvernement".



Meurtre d'un militaire à Toulouse: selon la formule consacrée, "l'enquête se poursuit"
lignesdedefense.blogs.ouest-france.fr/14.03.2012
J'ai fait part dans un post de lundi du meurtre d'un militaire à Toulouse. Ce maréchal des
logis-chef, du 1er régiment du Train parachutiste a été abattu d'une balle dans la tête selon les
résultats de l'autopsie pratiquée mardi.

Imad Ibn-Ziaten (30 ans) a été tué dimanche après-midi. Selon mes collègues de La Dépêche
qui ont rencontré le chef de corps (le colonel Fauche), c'était "un bon sous-officier, un
excellent élément" qui avait servi en Côte d'Ivoire, au Gabon et au Tchad.

Selon les enquêteurs du SRPJ, "toutes les pistes sont envisagées" pour expliquer un meurtre
qui ressemble à "une exécution froide".



Deux militaires battus dans la rue à Montauban : un lien avec Toulouse ?
www.sudouest.fr/2012/03/16

Deux militaires ont été tués et un troisième grièvement blessé par un inconnu qui a réussi

à prendre la fuite sur un scooter. Dimanche un autre homme était mort dans des

conditions similaires

Trois jeunes parachutistes, âgés de 24, 26 et 28 ans, ont été victimes hier d'un homme à

scooter qui leur a froidement tiré dessus, à bout portant, dans un quartier paisible de

Montauban. Deux d'entre eux sont morts sur le coup. Le troisième a été grièvement

blessé. Son pronostic vital était engagé, hier en début de soirée.

Les enquêteurs du SRPJ de Toulouse, chargés de l'enquête, s'affairaient, hier en fin

d'après-midi, à relever des indices sur les lieux du drame, rue du Premier-Bataillon-de-

Choc, à deux pas du siège du 17e régiment du génie parachutiste (RGP), auquel

appartiennent les trois victimes.

Geste prémédité ?

D'après les premiers éléments de l'enquête, les trois militaires en tenue se trouvaient vers

14 h 10 près d'un distributeur de billets et de divers commerces lorsqu'ils ont été pris pour

cible. Un homme portant un casque à visière est descendu de son deux-roues et a tiré sur

les victimes avec une arme qui pourrait être un calibre 45. Il a ensuite pris la fuite. Un

important dispositif de policiers et de gendarmes a été mobilisé pour le retrouver. En vain.
Les enquêteurs ont découvert sur les lieux une quinzaine de douilles ainsi que cinq

cartouches non percutées. Un périmètre de sécurité a été installé autour de la scène du

crime. Deux bâches blanches derrière lesquelles se trouvaient vraisemblablement les corps

des militaires ont été tendues à la verticale. Des soldats du 17e RGP, la mine sombre,

assuraient la sécurité des lieux.

A priori, le meurtrier aurait agi seul. S'agit-il d'un déséquilibré ou bien ce geste a-t-il été

prémédité ? Les militaires ont-ils été victimes d'un guet-apens ? Une source proche de

l'enquête se refusait dans l'immédiat à se prononcer sur cette éventualité. Toutes les

hypothèses sont possibles.

Le ministre de la Défense, Gérard Longuet, a exprimé « sa plus vive émotion ». « Toutes

les pistes doivent être examinées, et les motifs peuvent être de nature extrêmement

différente, depuis la démarche individuelle jusqu'à quelque chose de collectif et de conçu,

nous n'en savons rien », a déclaré le ministre à la presse, qui l'interrogeait sur l'éventualité

d'un acte terroriste. Peu après son arrivée, vers 21 heures, sur les lieux du drame, il a

estimé que ce n'était pas l'armée française qui était visée. « Profondément, je ne le pense

pas, je ne le souhaite pas. »

La députée-maire UMP de la ville, Brigitte Barèges, s'est dite « bouleversée et scandalisée

», évoquant un « assassinat qui ressemble à une véritable exécution sommaire ». L'édile a

également rendu hommage aux familles des victimes, ainsi qu'à leur régiment, le 17e RGP,

« qui a déjà payé très douloureusement le tribut de la guerre en Afghanistan avec quatre

soldats morts pour la France ». Son directeur de cabinet, Stéphane Bensmaine, a estimé

que cet incident n'avait pas de précédent récent à Montauban.

Deuxième fois en cinq jours

Thomas Guillot, qui réside tout près des lieux du drame, a expliqué que son fils avait

entendu cinq coups de feu mais ne s'était pas autrement ému, un stand d'entraînement au
tir du 17e RGP se trouvant à proximité.

C'est la deuxième fois en cinq jours que des militaires sont victimes de tireurs en deux-

roues dans la région. Dimanche, à Toulouse, un militaire de 30 ans, membre du 1er

régiment du train parachutiste de Francazal, en Haute-Garonne, qui était en civil, a été

tué d'une balle de calibre 11.43 mm en pleine tête par un meurtrier à moto. Une affaire

également suivie par le SRPJ de Toulouse.

Les enquêteurs n'établissent pas, pour le moment, de lien entre ces deux drames, mais le

procureur de Toulouse, Michel Valet, a indiqué qu'ils se posaient des « questions sérieuses

», en raison de « ressemblances, ne serait-ce que par la qualité des victimes ». « Nous

avons la chance que les deux affaires soient suivies par le même service d'enquête, et les

deux parquets sont en liaison très étroite », a-t-il ajouté.

Hier soir, des policiers de la brigade criminelle de la Direction interrégionale de la police

judiciaire (DIPJ) de Bordeaux sont partis en renfort à Montauban afin de multiplier les

investigations sur ce triple homicide.




CHINA/AFRICA:

Sino-African cooperation to grow
Updated: 2012-03- 16 / Wang Xiaotian (China Daily)

Standard Bank predicts relationship will become closer over this decade

Standard Bank Group Ltd, Africa's biggest lender by assets, said on Thursday that China and
Africa will experience a "honeymoon" period during the next 10 years in terms of investment,
and their areas of cooperation will be extended.

"From my perspective I see Sino-African cooperation moving beyond political expediency to
a point where it will be driven by 'Africa needing China and China needing Africa' - a good
basis on which to build trust and expand cooperation," said Craig Bond, chief executive of the
bank's operations in China.
Bond said that Africa needs China to help fund and refresh its ailing infrastructure, while in
turn, China needs Africa for its abundant natural resources. China also has a vested interest in
seeing Africa prosper and improve the quality of life, opportunities and wealth of its people,
as the continent's growing middle class offers a huge future market for Chinese manufactured
goods, according to Bond.

"China is clearly committed to significant investment in Africa and understands the important
role it must play in refreshing and funding pan-African infrastructure in exchange for access
to its mineral resources and new markets," he said.

Trade between China and Africa reached $160 billion in 2011, an increase of 28 percent from
the previous year, while African exports to China increased by one-third during the same
period, up from $67 billion in 2010 to $93 billion.

Jeremy Stevens, economist at Standard Bank, said that although China's economic growth is
expected to slow in the next 20 years and the growth of the country's demand for commodities
will shrink in the long run, in absolute terms China's appetite for resources remains huge.

Bond said that over many years of continued investment into local mining, oil and gas, power
and infrastructure sectors, he has noticed very real investor interest in Africa's agricultural,
manufacturing and commercial property sectors.

"We see a number of large and junior mining and resources companies looking for Chinese
investment at present, but equally we see a large number of African contracting and
infrastructure-related companies and projects looking for Chinese investment, involvement
and funding."

Chinese investors have demonstrated an increasing interest in African sectors such as
manufacturing, agriculture, transport and logistics, and the next 18 months will see Chinese
investment in these sectors grow significantly, he said.

The South Africa-based bank said that this year it will strengthen strategic cooperation with
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd, the world's largest lender by market value,
with a particular focus on Africa. ICBC holds a 20 percent stake in Standard Bank.

Last year, the two sides moved beyond mergers and acquisitions and debt advisory
transactions, to supporting the full banking needs of Chinese investors in Africa, and launched
a Sino-African cash-management system, which was piloted with five major Chinese
companies.

Shen Lei, deputy general manager of transactional products and services of Standard
Advisory (China) Ltd, a subsidiary of Standard Bank in Beijing, said that this year the bank
will establish a Chinese team to provide financial services in 17 African countries and better
cater to the demands of Chinese investors throughout all phases of transactions.

Good professional advisers, good project and investment due diligence, an understanding of
the social and political environment and the sourcing of reputable local partners are
recommended by Standard Bank as key elements for conducting business in Africa
successfully.
In terms of bidding for M&A transactions in the open market, Chinese companies come out
worse than their Western competitors, said Bond.

"Chinese investors are, as a rule, very wary of overpaying for assets and so they often apply
very conservative valuations, based on their own domestic Chinese M&A experience, which
can result in them underbidding in the competitive process," he said.

"In terms of competitive bids for large African infrastructure projects, our experience is that
large Chinese contractors are usually extremely competitive and apart from the lowest-cost
bid, they often come with well-priced funding from the Chinese banking system and so are
becoming regular winners in these processes," Bond said.

wangxiaotian@chinadaily.com.cn



How to sell to the Chinese
Author: Jackie Cameron/moneyweb.co.za/16 March 2012

Africa on wish list of China’s get-rich-quick consumers - new trends.
BEIJING - African travel packages, olive oil and organic produce are among the items likely
to be favourites among Chinese consumers in the world’s second-largest economy continue to
grow richer this decade. That’s, no doubt, good news for African service and product
providers.

Also good news for commodities exporters on the African continent is that the Chinese are
going to keep spending loads of cash on fancy cars. They’ll need more of our iron, oil and all
the other resources we have in abundance that are required for obscenely conspicuous
consumption – which will increasingly be a cultural imperative.

These were some of the takeaways to emerge out of the McKinsey Consumer & Shopper
Insights report, Meet the 2020 Chinese Consumer, released this week. It’s a hot topic,
perhaps more so now than for many years because China is moving into a new era.

Growth is slowing. The Chinese government has been feverishly working on new ways to fuel
development as it breaks from the ranks of the world’s emerging economies and gets closer to
overtaking the US in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It was at it again this week, at
its annual leadership gathering of the National People’s Congress.

Chinese consumers are expected to play a major role in keeping the economy ticking over,
and its rulers are pulling out the stops to make it easy. It’s not much fun to save in China –
interest rates are dismal, property and offshore investments are restricted and the stock market
seems to be a game best enjoyed by insiders.

But, there’s also the realisation that China, for many companies, is a harder nut to crack than
perhaps envisaged. This is not least of all because China - which looks pretty much the same
from one city to the next, whether you’re gazing up at its concrete high-rises or admiring the
minimalist fashions on the street - isn’t actually a homogenous market.
As is the case with Africa, business outsiders coming into China make the mistake that
everyone thinks and behaves the same way across a vast region. McKinsey’s crystal ball-
gazers reckon huge variations in the economic profiles of different cities and city clusters,
along with differences in spending power, will “remain significant” for the rest of this decade.

If you want to market goods and services in China, you’re going to have to work much harder
at understanding where you are operating and how to target consumers. “Strong, regional
differences in tastes as well as attitudes are not set to disappear in China, which means some
regional companies, especially in food and beverages, are likely to dominate locally, helped
by strong, regional economies of scale,” say McKinsey analysts.

Although China is awash with western-style shopping malls, you’ll have to worry less about
the established retailers – another message in the report for companies targeting the Chinese
consumer. You can expect much armchair shopping as citizens of the emerging superpower
grow fatigued with malls and opt instead for the convenience of transacting over their smart
phones.

That, in turn, suggests international business players will have more room to test their ideas
over the internet. It also means, for success in China’s consumer market, international
companies should develop effective cyber-marketing strategies.

If you want to succeed in China, you should be thinking about hiring talented Chinese
marketers and digital media experts to help get your message across to what appears to be an
increasingly fussy group of shoppers.

Understanding Mandarin characters will be a bonus if you’re an enthusiastic entrepreneur
who believes in understanding the detail of your own business. But, you’re still likely to
benefit from enlisting people who understand how Chinese consumers think and can appeal to
their emotions.

As the McKinsey report makes clear, Chinese consumers don’t behave the way western
consumers do. Its analysts identify four characteristics of mainstream consumers, who will
represent more than half of all urban households by 2020:

•The still-pragmatic consumer. They don’t buy on impulse: they decide what to buy, fix a
budget and hunt for the best deal. Impulse purchases are rare, with only three out of 10
admitting to ever doing it.
•The individual consumer. Now that they’ve got consumer electronics, nice clothes, and tasty
food and beverages, Chinese consumers are going to increasingly buy goods that appeal to a
sense of individuality. Health and well-being will be important in all purchases, from food
and facial cleansers to household detergents. They’re likely to opt more for niche brands.
•The increasingly loyal consumer. Chinese consumers are far less loyal than their western
counterparts, though this is expected to change. More discernment between brands will
probably mean opportunities for retailers to develop their own, cheaper labels. For now, these
only account for 1% of all retail sales in China, but almost half in the UK, almost one-third in
France and just under 20% in the US.
•The modern shopper. The love of ‘retail-tainment’ will ebb, as malls lose their novelty and as
government efforts to boost the entertainment industry take effect. The forecast is that about
15% of all retail sales will be online, but even higher – and as much as 40% - for items like
consumer electronics.
McKinsey warns: mainstream Chinese consumers won’t be satisfied “purely with
convenience”. “Preferences will be many and varied, making the segmentation of channels
more important even as the distinction between online and offline shopping blurs,” it says.

Consumption, rather than investment will be the driving force in China, and will account for
about 43% of total GDP growth by the end of this decade, is the forecast from McKinsey. It’s
clearly a wave worth riding -- if you can figure out how to catch it.




INDIA/AFRICA:

Sunil Mittal appointed co-chair of India Africa Business Council
16 Mar, 2012/ECONOMICTIMES.COM

New Delhi: The India-Africa Business Council (IABC), which was announced by Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh during the India-Africa Forum Summit in May 2011 with an aim
to provide an institutional platform to strengthen economic ties between business
communities of Indian and the African continent, will hold its inaugural meeting on March 17,
2012 in New Delhi.
The Prime Minister has appointed Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman & group CEO, Bharti
Enterprises, to be the co-chair from the Indian side. The Council will be formally launched by
Anand Sharma, minister of commerce & industry, Government of India, and Dr Maxwell
Mkwezalamba, commissioner for economic affairs, African Union Commission.
Sunil Bharti Mittal said, "India and Africa have historically had strong trade and cultural ties
and the past few years have seen significant increase in investment out of India into Africa,
underlining the positive sentiment. Globalisation has offered immense growth and learning
opportunities to businesses from both sides and the IABC will provide a strong platform to
unlock this potential and give added impetus to the economic development of the two
regions."
Top business leaders from India and Africa will be a part of this meeting. There will also be
representation from the African Union Commission, Pan-African Chambers of Commerce &
Industry, Africa's regional economic groupings and the African Development Bank.
The core sectors for cooperation to be facilitated by the Council will be agriculture, including
agro-processing, pharmaceuticals, textiles, mining, petroleum & natural gas, IT & ITES, gems
and jewellery, financial services (including microfinance), telecom, energy and core
infrastructure, including roads and railways.
Bilateral trade between India and Africa has grown from $967 million in 1991 to over $39
billion in 2009/10. Amongst other things, the Council will facilitate a consultative process to
address issues standing in the way of economic and commercial relations.



BBC to send delegation to Brics
March 15 2012 /By SAPA
The recently launched Black Business Council (BBC) will send a delegation to the BRICS
summit in India, it said on Thursday.

“The BBC has been invited by government to participate in the official programme in two
significant areas - food security and information technology,” the business lobby group said in
a statement.

The next summit of the BRICS - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South African group of
economies - would be held in New Delhi, India, in the last week of March.

BBC president Ndaba Ntsele would lead a South African business delegation participating in
the summit.

The BBC launched two weeks ago at an event heavily supported by government with four
Cabinet Ministers in attendance.

The BBC said it was continuing with consultations with various parties to build consensus on
the need to accelerate economic growth.

This growth should be entirely inclusive, and deal with the problems of inequality, poverty
and unemployment, it said.

As part of this, the BBC would meet the Congress of SA Trade Unions, the SA Communist
Party and the National Youth Development Agency.

A meeting was also planned this weekend with a delegation from MEDEF International, a
network of French business people.

The BBC, which at its launch had 17 members, was open to new members.

“The BBC is open for new membership, and will be meeting with sector-based business
organisations, corporates and multinationals that have registered interest in joining the Black
Business Council.”

Membership was not limited to black businesses and professionals, it said.

“We espouse non-racialism and are very clear about the need to transform the colonial and
apartheid patterns of the ownership and management of the South African economy.”

The BBC said it had not received an apology from Chamber of Mines CEO Bheki Sibiya,
who called it racist.

“In terms of his unwarranted attack on the BBC, we have not received an apology from the
chief executive of the Chamber of Mines, Bheki Sibiya.” the council said.

On Wednesday, the Chamber said Sibiya had apologised.

“Sibiya has sincerely apologised in a letter to both the chairman of Black Business executive
council (BBEC) as well as its members,” chairman Hlengani Mathebula said in a statement.
Last week, Sibiya reportedly said: “The name is Black Business Council, it is a racist
organisation, with all due respect. Obviously BBC is a racists' organisation... and as long as I
live I will never associate myself with it.”

The BBC gave its opinion on various issues affecting business in South Africa.

It supported the user-pay principle for e-tolling.

“While we agree with the 'user pay' principle per se, the BBC believes the e-tolling should
have occurred within an integrated public transport system... providing real alternatives for
the users of public transport system.”

It welcomed the reduction in toll tariffs due to the National Treasury carrying some of the cost,
but urged government to fasttrack the development of an integrated public transport system
throughout the country.

The BBC welcomed the news that labour broking would be further discussed within the
correct forum, Nedlac.

“We also welcome the news that there is a drive to regulate, rather than ban labour broking in
South Africa.

“We maintain that flexible employment solutions should be counted among real solutions to
the scourge of unemployment, especially among the youth.”

The BBC was also happy with the reduced increase in Eskom's electricity tariffs. – Sapa



Initiative to boost SA-India trade
March 16 2012 /By SAPA

Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Elizabeth Thabethe is leading a delegation of South
African companies to India next week, she said on Friday, to promote trade and investment
between the two countries.

Business leaders will visit Chennai and Mumbai from March 19 to 23.

Between 2006 and 2010, bilateral trade between South Africa and India has grown from
R16.3 billion to R43 billion and is in South Africa's favour, the department said.

Trade growth over the past four years has averaged 30.4 percent.

The initiative forms part of the department's export and investment promotion strategy, said
Thabethe, speaking by phone from India where she is preparing for the tour.

The aim is to create market penetration for South African value-added products and services
in India and to promote South Africa as a trade and investment destination.
South Africa will showcase its capabilities in agro-processing, beneficiated metals, mining
technology, automotive components, electro-technical and logistics.

Thabethe said 44 small companies and emerging entrepreneurs were represented in the
delegation, with over 60 businesses participating in total.

“There are some lessons we can learn from India,” she said.

In order to create five million jobs by 2020, South Africa would need to learn from economies
such as India, and localise the lessons to adapt to local conditions, she said.

India's first class technology companies assisted its sectors to move “at the cutting edge,” she
said.

She said the initiative would enable emerging exporters to learn about the export process and
to gain insight into the Indian market.

While South Africa mainly exports raw materials and unprocessed goods to India, such as
coal, scrap metal and ore, it aims to export more value-added products and services.

Currently, Indian imports include petroleum oils, vehicles, telephone handsets and cellphones,
and equipment.

In addition, many Indian multinationals have entered the South African market, including
Tata, Mahindra, Cipla, Ranbaxy, and Ashok Leyland.

Total foreign direct investment from India to South Africa, to date, amounts to around R28.8
billion.

South African multinationals have also been active in India.

South African Breweries acquired a majority stake in Mysore Breweries and energy giant
Sasol is exploring the possibility of setting up a multibillion dollar plant in India.

In addition the Airports Company of South Africa, as part of GVK Consortium, won a bid for
the modernisation of Mumbai Airport. - Sapa




BRAZIL/AFRICA:

Blatter to meet with Brazil president
Reuters/March 13, 2012

ZURICH (Reuters) - FIFA president Sepp Blatter will meet Brazilian President Dilma
Rousseff on Friday to clear the air following the recent spat over preparations for the 2014
World Cup, soccer's governing body said on Tuesday.
Blatter will travel to Brasilia to try to patch up the differences after FIFA secretary general
Jerome Valcke infuriated the Brazilians by saying organisers needed "a kick up the backside"
over slow preparations for the tournament.

"The meeting, which will also be attended by Brazil sports minister Aldo Rebelo, has been
confirmed by the two entities today," FIFA said in a statement.

Valcke's remarks caused uproar in Brazil, prompting the government to notify FIFA it would
no longer accept the Frenchman as the governing body's point man for the World Cup.

Blatter sent a letter offering an "apology to all those who had their honour and pride wounded,
especially the Brazilian government and President Dilma Rousseff."

Rebelo accepted the apology but declined to say if Brazil would reconsider and agree to work
with Valcke again.

Valcke has been forced to postpone a tour of construction sites in World Cup host cities until
after the meeting which is likely to decide his role.

Brazil is struggling to prepare for the World Cup and its curtain-raiser, the 2013
Confederations Cup.

Stadium construction was slow to get started, costs have ballooned and vital infrastructure
projects such as hotels, roads and airports are way behind schedule.

Rousseff has made improving infrastructure in time for the World Cup one of the main
priorities of her government.

Valcke was widely credited with the success of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa,
overseeing the preparations and cajoling local organisers into action when they threatened to
fall behind schedule.

However, he has not been able to exert the same influence in Brazil and has become
exasperated at the country's Congress over its delays in approving a so-called World Cup bill.

This would bring in temporary legislation which would overturn a ban on the sale of alcohol
in Brazilian stadiums and may rule out discounted tickets for students, pensioners and native
Indians.

Brazil's preparations suffered a further setback on Monday when Ricardo Teixeira, the head
of the Brazilian Football Confederation and local organising committee, resigned.

Teixeira blamed health problems although his decision came following a string of corruption
allegations. Sports minister Orlando Silva also quit in October over corruption allegations.

Brazil, record five-times world champions, last hosted the World Cup in 1950.
Brazilian Air Force, CSIR sign cooperation memorandum
By: Keith Campbell/www.engineeringnews.co.za/16th March 2012

On Thursday, the Brazilian Air Force (Força Aérea Brasileira – FAB) revealed that a
delegation of high-ranking officers had visited South Africa from March 5 to March 9, both to
inspect progress with the A-Darter project and to sign a Memorandum of Understanding
(MoU) with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

The A-Darter is a fifth-generation infrared homing air-to-air missile being developed jointly
by South Africa and Brazil, with Denel Dynamics being the lead company on the programme.

The delegation was led by the director general of the FAB’s Aerospace Science and
Technology Department (abbreviated to DCTA in Portuguese), Air Lieutenant Brigadier
(equivalent to full General) Ailton dos Santos Pohlmann and included the Chief of the
technical subdepartment of the DCTA, Air Brigadier (confusingly, equivalent to Major-
General) Wander Almodóvar Golfetto and the chief of the defence subdirectorate of the
Aeronautics and Space Institute (which is subordinated to the DCTA) Aviator Lieutenant
Colonel Marcelo Franchitto.

The MoU, which is between the DCTA and CSIR, strengthens relations between the two
agencies and covers research and development cooperation in a number of areas relevant to
aerospace and defence programmes.

The main fields identified for cooperation are – modelling methods in the infrared, infrared
signature “methods/measures” and applications, sensor calibration for test flights, spectral
signature “methods/measures” and standardisation methodology, aeroelasticity analysis,
hyperspectral and synthetic aperture radar processing, cooperation in the calibration and
validation of reference “targets”, training in geographic information systems, training in
satellite sensor calibration and training, workshops and academic courses.

Lieutenant Colonel Franchitto highlighted that the MoU was the result of almost six years of
contacts between researchers in both institutions, which had resulted in the identification of
common research areas and the mutual benefits of cooperation. The MoU means that
researchers on both sides now have the authorisation to develop detailed cooperation projects
in the designated areas.

Regarding the A-Darter, the Brazilian delegation held meetings with South African Air Force
Generals from the Department of Defence’s Directorate Air Force Acquisition and with high
ranking officials from the defence acquisition and research and development agency Armscor.
The FAB officers also visited Denel Dynamics, to inspect the work being done by the joint
South African/Brazilian teams working at the company.

Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter



Several countries ramping up corn production
Daryll E. Ray and Harwood D. Schaffer/westernfarmpress.com/Mar. 16, 2012
One of the speeches at the recent USDA Outlook Forum was given by Mariano Marquez,
director of commodity analysis for Brazil’s crop assessment agency. In that speech, Marquez
summarized the changes in the production, domestic consumption, and exports of corn and
soybeans in both Brazil and Argentina and the effect these changes have on US markets. His
presentation got us to thinking beyond these three countries and their impact on each other’s
agricultural markets. To start, we decided to take a broader look at corn.

.In 2000, the US, Brazil, and Argentina accounted for nearly 84 percent of world corn exports,
with China making up another 9 percent. These four countries were responsible for 93 percent
of the world exports of corn. It took 33 other countries to make up the remaining 7 percent of
world corn exports.

By 2011, these four—US, Brazil, Argentina, and China—were responsible for only 70
percent of world exports with Brazil and Argentina posting small gains in their share of world
exports, 1.3 and 2.1 percentage points respectively. China had virtually dropped out of the
world corn export market; in 2011 it was, instead, a net importer of 154 million bushels. US
exports of corn declined by 241 million bushels comparing 2000 to 2011 while China’s corn
exports declined by 279 million bushels.

In addition to Brazil and Argentina, 33 other countries increased their share of world exports
led by Ukraine, India, EU-27, Serbia, Russia, Paraguay, and South Africa. The total share
held by these 7 exporters in 2011 was 26%. Ukraine, alone, increased its exports by a larger
number of bushels than the combined decline of China and the US.

The decline in US exports of corn was not the result in a decline in the international trade of
corn; it increased by 712 million bushels. Neither was the lower share of corn exports the
result of a decline in production—US corn production increased by 25 percent between 2000
and 2011.

Most of the increase in US corn output went for domestic ethanol production. Similarly,
domestic factors drove change in China as well. A large portion of China’s increased corn
production was used for food and feed. In case of the US, it is doubtful that the increased use
of grain for ethanol prevented the filling of a large number of export orders. Rather the higher
corn prices provided encouragement for other countries to increase corn production and
thereby increase export competition for the US.
Market wide open
There was a time when the US had the corn export market locked up, with everyone else
playing a minor role. Over the last decade or so, US farmers and commodity traders have had
to pay more attention to South American corn production, particularly Brazil and Argentina.
Today that view has to include countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa as well.

.As multinational agribusiness firms have begun selling corn seed with top-notch genetics to
farmers around the world, the list of competitors has increased dramatically. This is reflected
in the increase in non-US yields from 50.1 bu/ac in 2000 to 65.1 bu/ac in 2011, a 30 percent
gain. Comparing those yields to US yields in the 150-165 bu/ac range, we have an indication
of the potential competition US farmers may face in world export markets over the next
couple of decades as these countries bring their yields closer to US levels.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union, breadbasket countries whose trade was limited to the
Soviet sphere are now free to participate in world agricultural commodity markets. They are
also able to access the management systems, equipment, and seed technologies they were
previously denied. As a result agricultural production is booming in some of these countries.

Looking at these numbers, one is apt to conclude that, “If it were not for the over 5 billion
bushels of domestically produced corn to produce ethanol in the US, the US corn production
sector would be a lot smaller and much less prosperous.

Daryll E. Ray holds the Blasingame Chair of Excellence in Agricultural Policy, Institute of
Agriculture, University of Tennessee, and is the Director of UT’s Agricultural Policy
Analysis Center (APAC). Harwood D. Schaffer is a Research Assistant Professor at APAC.
(865) 974-7407; Fax: (865) 974-7298; dray@utk.edu and hdschaffer@utk.edu;
http://www.agpolicy.org.



Brazil leads the way on small businesses
Published: 2012/03/16/www.businessday.co.za

Summit TV looks at how the creation of small businesses, known to create the most new jobs
in any economy, is being supported in Brazil

Marc Sternberg is an entrepreneur and founder and managing director of Spark ATM Systems.

SUMMIT TV: Can you describe the entrepreneurial model Brazil has adopted?

MARC STERNBERG: The Brazilian model is hugely successful. If we wind back five years,
Brazil was perceived as a resource country and not really seen as an innovation hub at all —
the government stepped in along with big business and the universities and educators, and
they decided that by promoting innovation and entrepreneurship, that would ultimately lead to
job creation. They also suffered from high rates of joblessness, as we do in South Africa, and
they viewed this as a way to make a dent into that. They launched a number of very successful
programmes that, six years later, are yielding fantastic results.

One is an incubator programme whereby tertiary and university education graduates, instead
of going out into the world as job seekers, effectively become job creators. They created
innovation hubs around the universities and technikons — when you finish your degree or
diploma, you move into an incubator with mentors from your industry that oversee the early
development of your concept and going from the start-up phase into a viable business to
ultimately become a job creator.

This has been hugely successful for them with something like 400 of these incubators
countrywide to date, from a standing start five years ago, so it’s been a hugely successful
policy. They threw money at it – they actually pay entrepreneurs a living salary of something
like $65000 a year to allow the start-ups to get through, as we all know that funding is a key
factor in any start-up.

The programme is yielding dividends for the country — if we look at the global
entrepreneurship reports for 2011, Brazil is way up in the emerging-markets segment with a
rating of 14,9%, while South Africa is at 9,1%. About 15% of the Brazilian working
population are involved with a start-up or a new business — defined as a business in its first
42 months of operation — versus 9,1% in South Africa.

STV: They call that the TEA rate.

MS: Correct — the total entrepreneurial activity in the country. South Africa has grown —
we’ve improved dramatically in the past three or four years, having come from about 5% to
9,1%, so we are heading in the right direction. To turn job-seekers into job creators, we have a
long way to go.

STV: Brazil sounds like it has a more integrated approach – what does South Africa need to
do to get to that level?

MS: First and foremost we need to elevate the whole conversation around entrepreneurship
and innovation to the highest levels in the country – it can’t just be something that we talk
about on Summit TV. We should possibly have a minister of entrepreneurship and elevate this
to the highest levels, creating a champion, so budding entrepreneurs see that this is something
that we are facilitating as a country.

We are now part of the Brics and there is a lot going on within that forum in terms of working
together — let’s work with Brazil and try to emulate some of this stuff. China’s TEA rating is
something like 24% of employable citizens involved with entrepreneurial businesses, and
that’s massive. This could make a huge dent in South Africa’s jobless rate within just a few
years.




EN BREF, CE 16 Mars 2012... AGNEWS/DAM,NY, 16/03/2012

								
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