Business and Finance

Business & Finance

Acapture Starts Processing Payments For TravelBird

New PSP Gives Travel Start-Up a Flexible Payment Solution With Card and Alternative Methods AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS–(Marketwired – Feb 4, 2016) –  Acapture is proud to announce that it is now processing payments for TravelBird. With Acapture’s payment solution, which supports global card acquiring, over 150 currencies and over 60 of the world’s most popular […]

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Minister of Finance and Development Planning

The continued slowdown in the global economy particularly in the major markets for the Botswana’s diamonds has adversely affected the country’s economic growth, Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Mr Kenneth Matambo has said. Delivering the 2…

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An unwanted guest: El NiAo and Africa in 2016

NAIROBI, El NiAo is the largely unwanted Christmas gift � a warming of the tropical Pacific causing drought and floods that will peak at the end of this month, but will impact weather systems around the globe into 2016.

This year’s El NiAo has been steadily gaining strength since March. It’s likely to be one of the most extreme events of this nature yet seen, with the UN’s emergency aid coordination body, OCHA, warning that millions will be impacted.

El NiAo’s links with drought in southern Africa and the Horn, and with heavy rains in East Africa, are well-established. Across the rest of the continent the climate connection is less clear. Other factors come into play, such as temperatures in the North Atlantic for West Africa’s weather, according to Richard Choularton, the World Food Programme’s chief of climate resilience for food.

What makes El NiAo particularly bad news in 2016 is that it will be a second tough year in a row for farmers and pastoralists in Southern Africa and the Horn � and to a lesser extent East Africa. Eighty percent of their populations are dependent on agriculture. Their ability to cope with adversity has been stretched. Now they will be facing potentially an even sterner test.

So what does that really mean for these vulnerable regions in the coming year? With the perils of weather forecasting acknowledged, here’s a snapshot.

Southern Africa:

More than 30 million people are already food insecure � lacking access to enough food to lead healthy lives as result of a poor harvest earlier this year. South Africa’s maize production has traditionally been the hedge against regional shortfalls. But this year drought was declared in five provinces and output dropped by 30 percent.

The fear is that the region will experience another El NiAo-induced poor harvest, possibly a disastrous one, according to OCHA. Emergency maize stocks are depleted, and maize prices are climbing. Governments hard hit by the global fall in commodity prices, on which their economies depend, will need to find the money to buy maize on the international market. South Africa alone is expecting to import 750,000 tonnes to meet its needs.

Despite Southern Africa being a largely middle-income region, its rural populations historically have some of the world’s worst poverty indicators. Even in economic powerhouse South Africa, almost a quarter of all children under five are stunted. That level of deprivation limits people’s ability to bounce back after a shock.

See: Southern Africa’s food crisis � from bad to worse

The worst-affected countries in 2016 will be Angola, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Swaziland, and Mozambique. Everyone is preparing for drought, said Choularton. WFP, for example, is putting money and programmes in place in Zimbabwe, in anticipation of worse trouble to come, part of its new FoodSECuRE policy approach.

Further north, in the Horn and East Africa, which have more complicated climate and agricultural systems, the El NiAo picture is less clear.

The Horn:

Poor rains have hit parts of Eritrea, Djibouti, Sudan and Somalia � but international media coverage has tended to focus on Ethiopia. In part that’s because a lazy connection gets drawn with the 1984 famine, but also because the numbers in need are so large.

See: How bad is the drought in Ethiopia?

With the failure of both the Belg rains and the usually reliable Kiremt summer rains, the worst drought in Ethiopia for 50 years is happening right now, Save the Children said in a statement. The hardest-hit regions are in the north and east of the country. The UN believes 15 million people will face food shortages in 2016, with the next harvest not expected until June. Ethiopia has a population of close to 100 million.

See: Ready or not � drought tests Ethiopia

Close to eight million people are already under the national welfare Productive Safety Net Programme*. The government has committed $192 million to help combat the crisis, but more help is urgently needed from donors and the international community to support the government to stop the situation from deteriorating further, said Save the Children.

Meanwhile, heavy rains and flooding are predicted for Ethiopia’s low lying south and east. The Shebelle river basin and the easternmost Somali region are particular areas of concern, with flooding projected to affect 315,000 people. Flooding not only displaces people, but destroys infrastructure � washing away roads and bridges, affecting market access, and inundating schools and clinics.

Somalia experiences the same dual risks of drought and flooding � in a country characterised by some of the worst humanitarian and human development indicators in the world. Drought has singed the northern regions of Somaliland and Puntland, while heavy rains in the south and centre of the country have caused floods that OCHA estimates to have affected some 900,000 people.

Even without El NiAo about 3.2 million Somalis are in need of life-saving and livelihood support, while over 1.1 million people are internally displaced.

East Africa:

Short rains, in the right amount and at the right time � from October to December � allow the regeneration of pasture, improve crop conditions and boost casual agricultural labour opportunities for poor households.

Too much � if the rains run into January and February � then animals that are already weak from the long dry season will succumb to exposure. Heavy rains can also trigger waterborne diseases like cholera and typhoid. Livestock become susceptible to Rift Valley Fever (RVF) � a viral mosquito-borne disease.

El NiAo conditions coupled with the warming of the Indian Ocean along the East African coastline is generating highly enhanced rainfall, according to the Kenya Metrological Department. The government’s contingency plan anticipated one million people at risk from flooding. The plan calls for the provision of relief seeds for replanting and subsidised fertilizer, as well as large-scale vaccination against RVF.

In Uganda, the government has called on 800,000 people regarded as at risk from landslides in mountainous regions to relocate to safer areas, where they will be supported with relief supplies. A 2,000-strong “Civil-Military Disaster Response Group” has been deployed to the Mount Elgon and Mount Rwenzori regions, as well as flood-prone areas in eastern, southwestern and western Uganda.

* An earlier version of this story incorrectly referred to the Productive Safety Net Programme as the Protective Safety Net Programme

Source: IRIN

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Governance

Hampers for security organs

President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama, yesterday (December 8) handed over Christmas food hampers to the leadership of security organs for their personnel who will be on duty during the festive season. Speaking during the handover ceremony at Sir Seretse Khama Barracks in Mogoditshane, President Khama, who is also the patron of Lady Khama […]

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Goya commends government

Government has been commended for its extensive efforts to address challenges that have been bedeviling the education sector. Speaking in Parliament, Palapye MP, Mr Moiseraele Goya said among other programmes, the government came up with the Education and Training Strategic Sector Plan (ETSSP) as another possible way to help the education sector. He said the […]

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Govt ready to train foreign students

Government is committed to maintaining high standard of training and conducive learning environment at Botswana Wildlife Training Institute (BWTI) in order to attract more students from the SADC region. Officiating at the 2015 BWTI graduation ceremony and Anti-Poaching Unit, Batawana regent, Kgosi Kealetile Moremi said the graduation of students from Malawi was a historic testimony […]

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General

General

Clitoraid partners with ‘Safe Hands for Girls’ to provide clitoral repair surgery in the Gambia

LAS VEGAS, Feb. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire — Clitoraid, an international, U.S.-based humanitarian organization that provides clitoral repair surgery for survivors of female genital mutilation (FGM), today announced its new partnership with the Gambian NGO ‘Safe Hands for Girls.’ “As the world is about to celebrate Zero Tolerance Day for FGM, we’re so very honored that Jaha […]

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Deputy Minister of Ministry of Energy and Minerals of Tanzania Visited the Largest Gold Mine in Busowla

GETIA, Tanzania, Feb. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire — Dr. Medard, the Deputy Minister of Ministry of Energy and Minerals of Tanzania, made a visit to the largest gold mine in Busolwa. The project is located in Geita and undertaken by Shandong Xinhai Mining Technology & Equipment Inc. The Deputy Minister fully affirmed Xinhai Company’s ability for […]

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Fran Luckin Joins Grey Africa As Chief Creative Officer

World-class talent bolsters Grey’s team in Africa JOHANNESBURG, Feb. 1, 2016 / PRNewswire — Paul Jackson, Group Managing Director of Grey Africa today announced that Fran Luckin would join Grey Africa and take the reigns as the company’s Chief Creative Officer. Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160201/328014 Fran will oversee Grey Africa’s creative product and will work closely with […]

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Medical and Health

Medical/Health Care

New Malaria Test, illumigene® Malaria, Sets a New Gold Standard for Diagnosis

Meridian Bioscience Collaborates With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar to Launch Diagnostic Test up to 80,000 Times More Sensitive Than Current Options CINCINNATI, Jan. 26, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Meridian Bioscience, Inc. (NASDAQ:VIVO) today announced that it has received the CE Mark for illumigene® Malaria, a novel, highly […]

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New Malaria Test, illumigene® Malaria, Sets a New Gold Standard for Diagnosis

Meridian Bioscience Collaborates With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar to Launch Diagnostic Test up to 80,000 Times More Sensitive Than Current Options CINCINNATI, Jan. 26, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Meridian Bioscience, Inc. (NASDAQ:VIVO) today announced that it has received the CE Mark for illumigene® Malaria, a novel, highly […]

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La plate-forme novatrice « LiveMD » révolutionne les prestations de soins de santé dans des pays où l’accès à l’expertise médicale est sérieusement limité ou excessivement cher

Désormais, les patients sur l’ensemble de l’Afrique, de l’Asie, du Moyen-Orient et de l’Amérique du Sud peuvent consulter des médecins agréés par téléphone, vidéo ou texte de manière abordable et immédiate : depuis le confort de leur propre maison ou bureau. ATLANTA, 13 janvier 2016 / PRNewswire — Pour la première fois, des patients dans les […]

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Sports

Sports

BDC posts impressive results

Fifteen months ago, managing director of Botswana Development Corporation (BDC), Mr Bashi Gaetsaloe, made a commitment that he would hit the ground running.With only a year into his transformation programme, it is exciting times at BDC, having just rel…

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BDC posts impressive results

Fifteen months ago, managing director of Botswana Development Corporation (BDC), Mr Bashi Gaetsaloe, made a commitment that he would hit the ground running.With only a year into his transformation programme, it is exciting times at BDC, having just rel…

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Bopaganang o ipelela dingwaga tse masome a mararo

Go ne go le boitumelo jo bo bogolo kwa Draaihoek mo kgaolong ya Kgalagadi fa sekole se sebotlana sa Bopaganang se ipelela dingwaga tse di masome a mararo se ntse se le teng.Mongwe wa barutabana ba pele ba baithaopi , Mme Areta Oats, o ne a tlhalosa fa …

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Technology

Technology

Education Minister receives Finish delegation

A 10-member delegation from Finland led by the Finish Deputy Minister of External Economic Relations, Mr Matti Anttonen, and the Finish Ambassador to Nigeria, Miss Piijo Suomela Churdhury, has called on the Education Minister.The members of the delegat…

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The Minister of Finance and Development Planning,

The Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Mr Kenneth Matambo says the continued ranking of Botswana as the least corrupt country in Africa is commendable. Delivering the 2016 budget speech yesterday, Mr Matambo, however, pointed out that there …

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Acumatica Expands Their Cloud and Mobility ERP Platform Further in Africa

The cloud ERP provider continues to grow its customer base with a unique offering that enables businesses of all sizes to “Involve Everyone, Anywhere, On Any Device” across Africa and the rest of the world. SINGAPORE, Feb. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire — Acumatica, a leader in the Cloud ERP market embarked on revolutionizing the industry with […]

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