Tunisia to take part in Shanghai 2010 World Expo

30.April.2010 · Posted in business

Tunisia will participate in the Shanghai 2010 World Expo, to be held next May 1-October 31, 2010 in China, under the theme “Better City, Better Life.”

This major global event, held every 5 years, will bring together more than 192 countries and international organizations over a 5-square-kilometre area.Expo 2010 Shanghai China

This exhibition has cultural, social, tourism and environmental characters.

It provides participating countries with the opportunity to show case their artistic, cultural, architectural, tourist and culinary specificities.

To capitalize on its participation in this exhibition, Tunisia which will be present with a national stand of 1000 square meters, has chosen as theme for its participation “Welcoming City, Connected City.”

This theme aims to highlight the specificities of Tunisia as a welcoming land and emphasizes internationally its assets in the cultural, economic, technological and environmental areas.

To support Tunisia’s participation in this exhibition, five Tunisian companies: the Tunisian Chemical Group, the Gafsa Phosphates Company, Poulina Group, Loukil Group and Atlantis Voyage, as well as international carrier “Qatar Airways” signed, on Friday, sponsoring conventions with the general commission of Tunisia at 2010 Shanghai Expo.

Those companies gathered around CEPEX to materialise a public-private partnership designed to strengthen the promotional potential of Tunisia.

Secretary of State in charge of External Trade Chokri Mamoghli underlined, at the signing of these conventions, that Tunisia’s participation in this event aims at making better known the country’s achievements in the last years in the economic, political, cultural and social areas and enhance its image on the international scale.

It is also designed to establish new partnerships, conquer new promising markets and allow the private sector to invest abroad, he added.

Source: Africanmanager.com

Ivory Coast rapper Henzo et Malinke – interview

30.April.2010 · Posted in culture

Comment et quand vous etes nés comme artistes?
il faut dire que nous n’avions pas fais de fixation depuis l’enfance concernant la pratique de l’art comme unmétier pour l’avenir ou un objectif professionnel a atteindre,c’est en grandissant que chacun d’entre nous s’est découvert des talents et a chercher a les développer.déja nous n’avons pas grandi ensemble plutot séparément et dans 2 pays différents,le gabon et la cote d’ivoire.ona été attiré vers l’art par l’art lui meme et par la suite tout s’est  fait rapidement en terme de maitrise de notre pratique.moi,henzo je sui dans le bain depuis 2005 et malinké depuis 1999.

Où trouvez vous l’inspiration?
nous la tirons de notre quotidien,notre vécu car, chacun d’entre nous a une histoire particulère mais qui ressemble a celle de tout le monde.l’inspiration est n’est pas forcé elle vient toute seule  au moment ou il le faut quelque soit l’émotion dans laquelle on se trouve.notre musique s’inspire assez de notre expérience personelle bien que jeunes mais elle est ouverte car la vie d’un homme ,est la vie de tous les hommes.

Comment pouvez vous décrire votre music a un publique européen? et a un publique africain?
nous faisons une musique de recherche ayant une base hiphop sinon rap.c’est un métissage entre nos cultures propres a l’afrique et nos influences occidentales.c’est une musique ouverte sur le monde bien que l’on y retrouve des rythmiques parfois bien ciblées géographiquement.c’est une musique acessible a tous car l’important selon nous est de créer de l’émotion des sensations quelque soit la langue qui sera utilisée pour rendre notre message.
concernant un publique africain,notre musique est celle qui est permet a chaque individu ayant des origines du continent noir de ce dire ” ceci vient de chez moi”.nous voulons que tous les africains soient fière de leur identité de leur patrimoine voici pourquoi npous ùelons beaucoup tout ce qui concerne l’afrique a ce que nous faisons mais, retenons que la musique ou l’art ne tient pas compte de son origine,il lui suffit d’etre beau a voir ou a entendre pour plaire au public et ainsi etre international.

Quel age avez vous ?
Moi,henzo j’ai 23 ans depuis le 02 décembre 2009 et malinké 27 ans.

nous travaillons sur la sortie de notre première oeuvre artistique ensemble, unstreet album que nous appelons “abidjan-libreville ” qui est presque fini déja ,juste quelques 3 ou 4 morceaux a enregistrer encore mais,malinké a sorti un album avec une autre formation musicale en 2007.

http://www.abidjanshow.com/v2x/home/audio/index?id=6664&categorie=227

http://www.zshare.net/audio/7515319210fd000d/ lien de téléchargement gratuit du titre,kèlètigui

Tunisia: The future is solar!

30.April.2010 · Posted in business

It’s probably the energy project of the century. The Desertec project is currently mobilizing multinational companies, engineers, policy makers, financial market and banks. It’s about plants due to be built around and in the Sahara to produce, store and transfer energy to Europe.

One of the major stakeholders of the  projects, Bernd Utz, director of the Project Desertec within German society Siemens outlined the initiative  during an international meeting  recently held in the city of Seville , Spain.

Could you outline the Desertec project where Siemens is deeply involved?
Siemens has been one of the cofounders of the Desertec industry initiative, a consortium which is kind of company that tries to work on the implementation plan for the Desertec , a  concept, an idea that came from the club of Rome. We can work on the business plans and the regular framework for the building of power plants as well as the green power located in the MENA and European  region which are preferred for export of electricity to Europe. This is the main goal of that initiative.  Some major companies from Germany, Spain, and Algeria and hopefully from more and more countries around the Mediterranean are involved in.

Did you set a date for the launch and the implementation of the project?
We haven’t set a date for the implementation

Do you have estimates?
I’ve estimates. I think that, for the next 2 or 3 years, we will be probably more or less working on the regular framework that is required to attract investment for such project and also to work out the plans how to do that with the countries, the sites for such plants as soon as this business plan is finished and maybe some private projects identified. Then, we can start implementing first projects. So probably, facing construction time of a couple years, we may see the first plan by 2020 in operation.

Do you have a short list of the countries that will receive the facilities?
It’s difficult to have a short list. We see interest from many countries, naturally countries that already have been acquainted with solar power, such as Tunisia for example, and countries from the Middle East and North African region.

You have certainly launched a road show to sensitize the financial market and banks to the project. What is the feedback?
The financial market is very sensitized to the project. We have financial institutions that are involved in the initiative, namely huge banks, national insurance companies. So there is sensitivity to the project, but there is  some “wait and see”, there is also a couple of needs to see clear regularly framework to make an investment decision. This is what we will be working on.

Did you check some reluctance from banks?
We haven’t seen yet any real reluctance. It could be an interesting investment case and it’s more like a general interest. Investment bodies are interested in seeing opportunities provided by the project.

What about governments?
We are talking with governments in the Mediterranean region. Of course, there is a strong interest in the overall concept. But there are also questions raised especially at the level of North African countries: what is the value-add for local development, the job creation, what is the economic development that comes with this initiative? We try our best to show the potential case where we can have a lot of local development.

What is the average of job creation for North African countries following the launch of this project?
I can’t give you a figure on that. We have a lot of job creation in the construction phase of power plants, some more qualified jobs in the operation phase which is a phase of 20 years and more. So definitely, setting up such plans and operating them over years is a major force for economic development and job creation. But I can’t tell you a specific figure on that.

Technically, do you think that the project is perfectly feasible?
From a technical point of view, I would say it’s perfectly feasible. It depends a little bit on the sites we might need where we have to qualify some components for specific application, but it’s technically feasible. It’s the technology used for that project that is proved in various markets. So probably, it’s comfortable to say that it’s feasible.

And do you expect that Europe will not depend, in the long run, on fossil energy?
I would see a sustainable energy mix in the next decade and I think that, for sustainable energy production, we need all packs of the energy mix.

Are you involved as well in wind energy?
Yes, definitely. We are one of the major suppliers of wind turbines with a special focus on offshore installations.

Can you tell me something about technology which should be used in Desertec project?
In terms of Desertec, the concept is very much technology open. So, it includes green power solar power of various technologies decided for this concept. There is a certain attitude to have to store energy not power but feed energy; and if you want to have a major feed into the grid from solar resources, you have to control a little bit the production and when you feed in.

Storage and transport seem to be a crucial problem…
The storage helps integrating renewable energy into grids, especially if you have a high level of renewable in feed.  There is a solution for this. It’s a feasible solution and it makes the solar power “dispatchable”. It’s much easier then storing electricity. It’s really good and universal technology to store electricity right now and there is certainly more development to be seen in the next decade.

The technology that will be used should be multinational or only German?
The technology development is already multinational. We are now increasing partnership with North African countries and some activities in Egypt, for example, including some research in a couple of things. They started with academic institutions, and certainly in Tunisia, there are some ambitions. So this should be done in getting partnerships.

What are the main benefits of this project for Europe and other countries?
I think the main benefit for some North African countries like Tunisia is that, in first time, there is more available renewable energy. So, it’s just having more power into the grid which could help meet the increasing demand. On the second, it’s creating jobs, creating qualified jobs; it’s creating economic development skills. In the third row, it can open a channel for export and revenues from export which is helpful for development.

If we can contribute to reaching the challenge by importing some of the renewable energy, I think it’s a win win situation for development.        

Do you believe deeply that the future will be” renewable energy”?
I think that renewable will grow over proportionally. We will have, for the next decade, to address the cost as well as the capability to have a regulatory power you cannot replace for the next decade but you will see certainly a shift to more renewable energy and in a long run rather in a short time.                 

Source: africanmanager.com

Madagascar's rival leaders in new talks on unity government

29.April.2010 · Posted in politics

Leaders of Madagascar’s rival political factions on Wednesday met in South Africa in a fresh bid to forge a deal on a unity government to end 15 months of crisis in the island nation.

Madagascar’s strongman Andry Rajoelina seized control of the vast Indian Ocean island in March 2009 after weeks of sometimes violent street protests, ousting Marc Ravalomanana with the military’s blessing.

Former Presidents Didier Ratsiraka and Albert Zafy have held repeated rounds of talks with the Ravalomanana and Rajoelina factions.

The four political leaders had signed a power-sharing accord that was later spurned by Rajoelina, prompting the African Union to slap travel and economic bans on him and scores of his backers last month.

Chissano met late on Tuesday with Rajoelina and Ravalomanana, who is living in exile in South Africa.

He also held talks with the other two leaders on Wednesday.

Former colonial power France and the 15-member Southern African Development Community (SADC) are mediating in the talks, which aim to set up a unity government that would lead Madagascar toward fresh elections, a source within Ravalomanana’s movement said.

Rajoelina, the former mayor of the capital, in November inked a power-sharing agreement with Ravalomanana and the other two former presidents at the African Union’s Addis Ababa headquarters.
Under the agreement the 35-year-old Rajoelina was to retain the presidency but with two “co-presidents” from the other political movements.

The four rivals also agreed to establish a transitional institution ahead of elections.

But Rajoelina, a former disc jockey, has since spurned the accords, sacked a Prime Minister named after a compromise with his rivals and announced that the country would hold elections.

Disagreements between the four leaders on the allocation of seats in the agreed unity government also wrecked the implementation of their agreements.

Those disputes are the centrepiece of Wednesday’s talks, and pressure for a deal to stick is now building from Madagascar’s military.

Security chiefs earlier this month called on the political leaders to settle their differences and chart a way out of the crisis.

That statement came out just days after the armed forces minister was sacked and Prime Minister Camille Vital took over the post, citing “rumours surrounding the army, which triggered fears about state governance.”

Senior military officers who spoke to AFP on condition of anonymity said the sacked minister had intended to stage a new coup to steer the country out of crisis.

Source: SAPA

Peacekeepers release a "freedom day present" – Zuma

28.April.2010 · Posted in news

The release of four South Africans abducted in the Sudan, was
the “best Freedom Day present for the country”, President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday.

This was after the four, who were kidnapped while on a United
Nations -African Union Mission in Darfur (Unamid), were released on
Monday.

“They are shaken but are in good health and good spirits,” the
presidency said in a statement.

Arrangements were being made for their return home.

Zuma congratulated the four hostages for their bravery and wished them well in their recovery from the ordeal.

The presidency said Zuma liaised with the United Nations, the Sudanese government and other structures to secure their release.

Unamid spokesman Saiki Kemal on Monday confirmed the release of the four, abducted earlier this month.

The peacekeepers – two men and two women – were released in
Nertiti, approximately 50 kilometres from Nyala, a city in Southern Darfur.

“The government of Sudan’s official security were there to receive them they were transported by a Unamid helicopter to Nyala. “The chief of the mission Mr Ibrahim Gambari, along with his deputy Mr Mahommed Yonis and a number of government of Sudan officials were also there to welcome them,” Kemal said.

South African Micheal Fryer, a Unamid police commissioner, was also there to welcome the four police officers.

“It seems it had been difficult for them, but they are tough people. They are professional police officers in a peacekeeping mission… they are looking good,” said Kemal.

He said the four officers will be transported to Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, later where they will spend the night before travelling back to South Africa.

The four unarmed police advisors’ last movement before their abduction was reported at 4pm on April 11 when they left Nyala in South Darfur on a seven-kilometre journey back to their private quarters, Unamid said at the time.

AFP reported that Jibril Bukhari Abbas, the head of a Darfur group calling itself the People’s Democratic Struggle Movement,
said one of its members had carried out the kidnapping but without instructions from the group.
The group told the agency it wanted one billion Sudanese pounds (US400,000) but that this was not “most important”.

“We want to show the international community that security conditions in Darfur do not allow for elections.”

Kemal said no ransom was paid.

Source: SAPA

Freedom day celebrations kick off in Pretoria

28.April.2010 · Posted in news

Freedom Day celebrations kicked off in the capital on Tuesday, with an address expected from President Jacob Zuma shortly.

Thousands gathered at the Union Buildings as the country commemorated 16 years since the first democratic election on April
27,1994.

Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane opened the celebrations calling on South Africans to make 2010 a year to remember as the country hosted the 2010 World Cup.

“Lets make sure we raise the flag, that we sing the national
anthem… lets spread the message that today is better than yesterday, tomorrow will be better than today,” Mokonyane said.

The celebration was attended by heavyweights from across the political spectrum, including Congress of the People parliamentary leader Mvume Dandala, Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader
Athol Trollip and representatives from the Independent Democrats, the United Democratic Movement and the Inkatha Freedom Party.

Trollip told South Africans that the country could not afford to de-generate as many other post-colonial African countries had.

“We must protect the South African miracle,” he said.

Dandala said after 16 years there was much to celebrate in South Africa, adding, however, that “economic bondage” remained a challenge.

He called on all South Africans to “nurture good relations amongst all” and urged racial tolerance.

“Today lets be happy to wake up in a place with so much possibility and be ready to welcome the world to our shores as we host the world cup,” he said.

Source: SAPA

Book Review: It's Our Turn To Eat

28.April.2010 · Posted in culture

Britain is not to blame for Kenya’s endemic culture of political corruption and sleaze. Yet its credentials are far from unblemished. This is one of the conclusions that British author and journalist Michela Wrong reaches in her latest book “Its our turn to eat: the story of a Kenyan whistleblower”.

The West’s late twentieth century policy on international aid, heavily emphasising the need to disburse large amounts of cash to African countries in the name of eradicating poverty, ensured that the tradition of politicians using government as an institution through which to line their pockets and help their fellow tribesmen, was studiously ignored.

The book traces the life of one John Githongo, a Kenyan, who having privileged from a comfortable upbringing and an outstanding education, decides to turn on his fellow tribesmen, the ruling Kikuyu elite, and make public one of the biggest money scams the country has been subjected to since it acquired Independence in 1963.

Githongo is not particularly rewarded for his efforts and by stepping down as Kenya’s anti-corruption paladin, is forced into a lonely British exile. When after more than a year abroad, he finally decides to spill the beans, many of his countrymen view the fact that he went as far as to secretly record public officials as they openly claimed to be defrauding the nation of millions of dollars, as an act of extreme betrayal.

Wrong looks at the rise of tribalism in Kenya, and shows how, like in many other African countries, what started out as a fluid form of identity, was defined and classified by colonisers as a way of keeping the population under control and creating a manageable division of labour.

She describes the ease with which the Kikuyu, who during the Emergency had made up both the extreme Mau Mau fighters but also Britain’s staunchest allies the Home Guard, took power straight after independence. She also shows how Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya’s first president, set up the framework of political patronage based on tribal lines that was to be Kenyan politics in the decades to come.

In the final pages of the book Wrong watches in dismay as, against all predictions, the country erupts in widespread violence which sees neighbours raping neighbours and schoolchildren killing their classmates.

Grievances brought on by the tangible inequality suffered by many non-Kikuyu, are ruthlessly manipulated by calculating politicians in the name of tribal alliances.

The book benefits from no happy ending, with Wrong quietly musing over the fates of different whistleblowers across Africa. Yet her message, in a twisted way, is one of hope.

According to Wrong, the fight against graft in Africa is one that will continue to be fought for years to come, little by little, one individual at a time. Change will not come bounding through the door but this does not mean that it will never come at all.

As attitudes towards corruption evolve and people decide to no longer tacitly accept it as the way of things, the system will eventually see itself straightened out from within.

Michela Wrong. Original Trade Paperback, 2009: “IT’S OUR TURN TO EAT. The Story of a Kenyan Whistleblower”

By Katy Fentress,
Freelance journalist

Diski dancers fly off to Vietnam to show off their moves

27.April.2010 · Posted in sports

Joburg’s young Diski dancing experts are in Vietnam this week to show off South African spirit and culture ahead of the World Cup.

The 14 young dancers and a choreographer will perform the Diski dance and other traditional and modern dances in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi for Freedom Day celebrations this week.

After Joburg’s annual New Year’s carnival, organisers from each of the city’s seven regions were asked to select their two most talented dancers for the trip.

The group will represent all parts of the city and the diverse people of South Africa.

“These are ordinary kids from our communities who are very talented, and if you don’t do programmes like this, you would never know it,” said Velli Triegaardt, from the City of Joburg’s community development department.

Siya Yengeni, a 17-year-old from Roodepoort, was one of the first to arrive in Newtown on Friday morning before the group set off for the airport.

Flanked by his family, he said he was excited to represent South Africa in Vietnam.

The trip also marked a first for Tumi Sefolo from Alexandra, who had never been on a plane before.

She wasn’t nervous about her Vietnam dancing debut because she has already represented her nation in Mozambique.

From what she has seen in pictures, she thinks Vietnam won’t be too different from her home country.

“It’s great exposure for them,” said Zoleka Dantabani of Joburg’s community development department.

The programme is part of an arrangement between Joburg and Ho Chi Minh City to facilitate cultural and economic exchanges between the two cities.

Source: www.thestar.co.za

South Africa: Soccer City ready for 2010

27.April.2010 · Posted in sports

When the last whistle has been blown and all the soccer fans have gone home, what will happen to the R3,4 billion Soccer City Stadium?

Soccer City is the venue for the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup opening match between South Africa and Mexico on June 11.

Final touch-ups are being done on the the 94000-seater stadium, which was built in 2007.

It used to accommodate 70000 soccer fans before.

The World Cup will not be the first major event at the venue. In 1990, when former president Nelson Mandela was released from prison, the first ANC rally was held at the venue.

Three years later, Chris Hani’s funeral was also held there.

Hani was the general secretary of the SACP and chief-of-staff of Umkhonto we Sizwe.

He was murdered by Polish immigrant Janusz Waluz in 1993 at his home in Dawn Park, Boksburg, in Ekurhuleni.

South Africa, which hosted the Africa Cup of Nations in 1996, defeated Tunisia 2-0 in the finals at the stadium, which was then known as FNB Stadium.

To test the stadium’s readiness, the Nedbank Cup final will be held there on May 22 less than a month before the World Cup kicks off.

Local Organising Committee spokesperson Rich Mkhonto said the first test match at Soccer City was a staff tournament.

At least 15000 employees and their families converged at the venue on March 26.

The stadium is owned by the City of Johannesburg and is up to them to ensure that it is well maintained.

The city has hired Stadium Management South Africa to take care of the venue.

Stadium Management South Africa currently manages Orlando and Dobsonville stadiums in Soweto, and the Rand Stadium in Rosettenville, the city’s oldest stadium built more than 50 years ago.

Clifford Duffey, retail and beverage manager at Soccer City, said: “We have started to look at ways to make revenue for the upkeep of the stadium. To maintain it, we would have to host between 25 and 50 big concerts in a year. The stadium is not only for soccer, it is big enough for rugby as well.”

Since January, and until Fifa takes over the running of the stadium on May 20, Stadium Management SA has been running 90-minute guided tours.

Last month, 7000 people visited the stadium and more are expected after the World Cup.

Lehlohonolo Mokone, who works at the food and beverage department and doubles up as a tour guide, said: “People actually visit the stadium a lot, and the most important and popular question is: ‘Are we going to be ready when the World Cup starts in June?’

“But since January, a lot of progress has been made. We will definitely be ready.”

The tours cost R70 and there are special rates for families and the elderly.

During the tour, you learn about the design and other interesting facts about the venue.

Mokone said: “The stadium was designed like a calabash by architect Bob van Bebber. We call it the African Melting Pot. The different coloured tiles represent the different colours of the pot when it is on the fire. The white part at the top of the stadium represents the foam on umqombothi that is being brewed. At night, the turnstiles are red, and that represents the fire burning under the pot. The exterior of the stadium is made of fibre concrete panels in eight different earthy colours, fitted together in a patchwork, and curving around into the cantilevered.

Source: www.sowetan.co.za