World Bank: Oil Prices Fall Affects Africa

first_imgThe World Bank forecast has predicted that the fall in prices of oil and other commodities are likely to slow economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa to four percent in 2015 from 4.5 percent in 2014.The bank said in its Africa’s Pulse, a twice-yearly analysis of the issues shaping Africa’s economic prospects, released in Nairobi that excluding South Africa, the average growth for the rest of Sub-Saharan African countries is forecast to be around 4.7 percent.“As previously forecast, external tailwinds have turned to headwinds for Africa’s development. It is in these challenging times that the region can and must show that it has come of age, and can sustain economic and social progress on its own strength,” said Francisco Ferreira, the bank’s chief economist for Africa.”For starters, recent gains for the poorest Africans must be protected in those countries where fiscal and exchange rate adjustments are needed,” Ferreira added.The 2015 forecast is below the 4.4 percent average annual growth rate of the past two decades, and well short of Africa’s peak growth rates of 6.4 percent from 2002 to 2008.The report says the continent’s huge economic diversity is also mirrored in the impact of commodity price declines, even among oil producers.It notes that although the Nigerian economy will suffer this year, growth is expected to rebound in 2016 and beyond, driven by a relatively diversified economy, and a buoyant services sector.Low oil prices will continue to weigh down on prospects of less diversified oil exporters such as Angola and Equatorial Guinea. In several oil-importing countries, such as Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya and Senegal, growth is expected to remain strong.In Ghana, still high inflation and fiscal consolidation will weigh on growth. In South Africa, growth continues to be curtailed by problems in the electricity sector.World Bank Vice President for Africa Makhtar Diop, who spoke earlier said, despite strong headwinds and new challenges, Sub-Saharan Africa is still experiencing growth. And with challenges come opportunities.“The end of the commodity super-cycle has provided a window of opportunity to push ahead with the next wave of structural reforms and make Africa’s growth more effective at reducing poverty.”According to the report, the fiscal policy stance is expected to remain tight throughout 2015 in most net oil-exporting countries across the region, as countries take measures to rein in spending in light of anticipated lower revenues.While capital expenditures are expected to bear the brunt of expenditure measures, recurrent expenditures, including fuel subsidies, will also be reduced.Despite these adjustments, fiscal deficits are likely to remain high. Fiscal deficits are also expected to remain elevated in net oil-importing countries.“Large fiscal deficits and inefficient government spending remain sources of vulnerability for many countries of the region,” said Punam Chuhan-Pole, World Bank Lead Economist for Africa and co-author of the report.Sub-Saharan Africa is a net exporter of primary commodities. Oil is the most important commodity traded in the region, followed by gold and natural gas.“It is urgent that these countries strengthen their fiscal positions and fortify their resilience against external shocks,” Chuhan-Pole added.New and Old Risks to Africa’s Economic FuturePersistent conflict in a number of areas, and recent violence by extremist groups such as Boko Haram and Al Shabaab pose security risks with the potential to undermine development gains. Also, the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone has highlighted preexisting weaknesses in the health systems of the three most affected countries, as well as others.Although substantial progress has been made against the Ebola epidemic, it remains premature to declare victory until there are zero cases left. A World Bank study released in January estimated that the three hardest-hit countries (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone) will face at least $1.6 billion in forgone economic growth in 2015, and social costs in terms of nutrition, health and education are equally severe. The Bank Group has mobilized about $1 billion in financing to date for the three countries hardest hit by Ebola.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Pensioner nabbed with cocaine in shoes at CJIA

first_imgA sixty-six-year-old man was arrested by ranks of the Custom Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU) after he was discovered with almost 300 grams of cocaine at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA).The cocaine found in the pensioner’s shoesThe suspect was found with the illicit drugs hidden in his shoes. The pensioner, who was US-bound, was taken into custody and is assisting with investigations. He is expected to be arraigned today.Earlier this year, a 24-year-old waitress was jailed for 4 years and fined $13.1 million after she was found with over four kilograms of cocaine stashed in storybooks and other items at CJIA.Rena Jagernauth, a Panama-bound passenger, was arrested after a search of her suitcase unearthed the substance.The cocaine was found stashed inside four children’s storybooks, deodorant and perfume bottles, a makeup kit and other personal items that were inside her suitcase.A little later in the year, four men were arrested by CANU ranks after they attempted to smuggle cocaine in fire extinguishers destined for an international location.The law enforcement agency had said that its agents raided a house at 26 Timehri, East Bank Demerara (EBD) and intercepted the cocaine.In September 2018, Shellon Yolanda Barrow of lot 135 Victoria Street, Albouystown, Georgetown, was arrested at CJIA after she was attempting to board a Jamaica-bound flight with the over 1 kilogram of cocaine concealed in a false wall of her hard cover carry-on suitcase.That arrest came days after a Guyanese woman, Alica Coppin, had revealed to Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) at the JFK International Airport in New York that she had inserted a quantity of the narcotics into her vaginal cavity and swallowed another amount.Just before that arrest, another New York-bound Guyanese, hairdresser Karen Stuffle, was busted by CANU ranks at the CJIA with 100 cocaine pellets, totalling 1.42 kilograms, stashed in her vagina and stomach.She was subsequently sentenced to four years imprisonment and fined $2.3M for the crime.In July of 2018, 19-year-old Anesha Hardy of South Ruimveldt was jailed for 3 years and also handed a hefty fine after she was arrested by CANU ranks at CJIA after having admitted to swallowing some 119 cocaine pellets.Hardy, who was an outgoing passenger destined to JFK Airport, was stopped by a CANU rank who had received information of her motives.She was escorted to the hospital where an x-ray showed the pellets in her stomach.On July 5, 2018, 37-year-old Natasha Blair was also jailed for three years after she attempted to smuggle a quantity of cocaine through CJIA to the US.Blair, who was travelling with an 11-month old baby, was scheduled to board Caribbean Airlines flight BW726 destined for John F Kennedy International Airport.It was reported that when Blair checked in her luggage at Caribbean Airline counter, a CANU rank acting on information, approached her and informed her of his suspicion that she had ingested and inserted narcotics.Blair was cautioned and taken to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) where an x-ray was conducted. It revealed foreign objects in her stomach and pelvic area.It was disclosed that the pellets found in the woman stomach weighed 322 grams, while the object in her pelvic area weighed 210 grams.last_img read more

Supporting entrepreneurship to create jobs

first_imgThe partnership was announced on Monday 10 March at the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship in Braamfontein; Nedbank handed over a cheque for R1-million to fund the 50 entrepreneurs participating in the 2014 programme (images: Mathiba Molefe)Nedbank and the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship have banded together to support promising entrepreneurs through funding, networking opportunities and mentorship support to help them build lucrative and sustainable businesses.Joe Bayliss, chief executive officer (CEO) at the Virgin Group, said, “Training and development is at the heart of our offering and more importantly, we encourage aspirant entrepreneurs to engage with a community of mentors, role models, industry experts and business networks including investors with both national and international links.”Describing the programmes on offer, he said they “cover a range of key elements in the running of a successful business, including budgeting, financial management, business expansion, sales and marketing, risk management, HR [human resources] and capacity issues.”The partnership was announced on Monday 10 March at the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship in Braamfontein; Nedbank handed over a cheque forR1-million to fund the 50 entrepreneurs participating in the 2014 programme.“It’s a great pleasure to be formally acknowledging our partnership with Nedbank,” said Jane Rankin, interim CEO at the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship.“Considering Nedbank’s ethos around entrepreneurship, we feel very privileged to be partnering with a bank that shares a similar philosophy to our own.”Nedbank’s role in the partnership is in line with the corporate’s efforts to support small and medium enterprises through investing in entrepreneurs’ training and development.Nedbank also offers an array of products- such as insurance, financial planning and franchising packages – tailored for small, medium and micro businesses.The partnership will provide support to budding entrepreneurs through mentorship, and access to Nedbank’s financial expertise and small business products.“This is a wonderful opportunity for our entrepreneurs going through the centre,” said Rankin.She added, “Nedbank will be exposing the entrepreneurs to the various funding opportunities, to training opportunities and a number of Nedbank staff will be assisting us with mentoring as well.”Sibusiso Ngwenya (right), created Skinny Sbu Socks, which has grown significantly with the centre’s help since it was established in April 2013THE ENTREPRENEUR’S ROLE IN SOUTH AFRICAAccording to Stats SA, unemployment stood at just over 24% in the fourth quarter of the 2013 financial year. But small and medium enterprises employ some 65% of South Africans; supporting their success is central to reducing unemployment levels in the country.“I think it’s very important to create that awareness, in the current economy where unemployment figures are going higher and higher, for the youth to understand that there are alternatives,” said Nirmala Reddy, senior manager for enterprise development at Nedbank.“With the likes of the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, with the corporate support you really can change your life and that of the community in which you operate and that spreads out to the broader community.”Dylan Jonsson, an entrepreneur participating in the programme, owns thecatering company, A Thyme to Dine. He said, “The Branson Centre has helped me tremendously; many opportunities and doors have opened for me and their support has helped me pursue my passion.“I got to cater for Richard Branson when he was out here and also for the Virgin Galactic launch. We’re planning on exporting products to China and the UK and that’s also due to the Branson Centre and partners like Nedbank.”Another participant, Sibusiso Ngwenya, created Skinny Sbu Socks, which has grown significantly with the centre’s help since it was established in April 2013.He said, “Nedbank and the Branson Centre have not only offered us financial opportunities but they have also offered us support as a business person because the entrepreneurial journey can be lonely at times.”He added, “We entered this whole industry from passion and we didn’t know anything about entrepreneurship. Now they’re teaching us the basics about business and how to grow our business, so it has really fast-tracked our journey as Skinny Sbu Socks.“We’ve seen that Nedbank is supporting small and medium enterprises; today we’ve actually witnessed that, with them giving away a cheque for R1-million to assist us in getting the basics as entrepreneurs.”For more information about the partnership or the parties involved and the services they offer please visit www.nedbank.co.za and www.bransoncentre.org.last_img read more

First time voters in South Africa speak out

first_imgShe was motivated to register to vote in the upcoming local elections because she hoped South Africa would be a better country than it was today, said 19-year-old Sisipho Luyanda Stuurman from King William’s Town in Eastern Cape. She will be voting for the first time.“It is important to vote because if you vote, you will be involved in the development of your country and voicing your choices,” she said.Stuurman is studying tourism and events management at the Central University of Technology in Free State.While she said services in her home town were efficiently delivered, she felt service delivery in the country needed improvement. “South Africa’s service delivery needs to be worked on because people with disadvantaged backgrounds are supposed to be taken care of, and not only be thought of once elections are around the corner.”Magauta Ntsoeu from Welkom in Free State said those who were proudly South Africans should vote. “Voting isa way to speak your mind and let your voice be heard,” she said. “I am going to vote so that I effect change. That’s what motivated me to register.”She said the municipality in her area provided efficient services. “Spending money on education and providing jobs for those who are unemployed, as well as improving infrastructure, I think our government is playing an important role in our lives,” she said.According to the Independent Electoral Commission, about 48% of all registered voters are under 40 years old.By age, +- 48% of all voters on #2016MunicipalElections voters’ roll are under 40 years of age (12.7 million). pic.twitter.com/D4XtKwf9ux— IEC South Africa (@IECSouthAfrica) June 2, 2016 Source: South African Government News Agencylast_img read more

Land Rover launches 2019 Discovery Sport Landmark Edition, price starts at Rs 53.77 lakh

first_imgJaguar Land Rover India has launched the 2019 Discovery Sport Landmark Edition priced at Rs 53.77 lakh (ex-showroom, India). The new version is Rs 9 lakh more expensive than the Discovery Sport variant.Below is the list of Land Rover vehicles in India and their introductory prices (ex-showroom).Discovery Sport – Rs 44.68 lakhRange Rover Evoque – Rs 52.06 lakhAll-New Discovery – Rs 75.84 lakhRange Rover Velar – Rs 82.90 lakhRange Rover Sport – Rs 1.02 croreRange Rover – Rs 1.79 croreDiscovery Sport Landmark Edition is available in three colours — Yulong WHite, Corris Grey and Narvik Black — and comes in with Carpathian Grey contrast roof, distinctive bumper design and Graphite Atlas grille along with fendor vents. This variant also gets a 18-inch five split-spoke alloy wheels, christened as ”Style 511”, with gloss dark grey colour finish.All the Landmark variants have front and rear parking aids designed to alert the driver with an audible warning to the presence of nearby objects, as standard. The vehicle features LED-powered xenon headlights and body coloured door handles.Inside the cabin of Discovery Sport Landmark edition, one will find ample space and a touch of luxury with ebony grained leather seats ensuring a comfortable journey. Panoramic roof is standard on this vehicle. The ebony interiors are mated with dark satin brushed aluminium trim finisher. There is also an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Land Rover Enhanced Sound System having 10 speakers. It gets cruise control, speed limiter and configurable interior ambient lighting as well.Discovery Sport Landmark Edition is powered by a 2.0-litre TD4 diesel automatic engine, producing 132 kW of power and churning out 430 Nm of torque. The vehicle can reach a maximum speed of 188 km/h, with an acceleration of 0-100 km/h in merely 9.9 seconds.advertisementALSO READ | Tata Motors increases prices of Hexa, SUV now starts at Rs 12.99 lakhALSO READ | Maruti Suzuki launches new Baleno at Rs 5.45 lakh, new grille and alloy wheels main attractionsALSO READ | Mahindra XUV300 safety features revealed, company claims several segment-first attributes in the new SUVlast_img read more

In Photos: Everything You Need To Know About ESPN’s Cassidy Hubbarth

first_imgCassidy Hubbarth at the ESPYs. Cassidy Hubbarth ESPN HotInstagram/HubbarthESPN’s Cassidy Hubbarth is one of the network’s rising stars, there’s no doubt. Hubbarth, who joined the Worldwide Leader back in 2010, hosts NBA Tonight on ESPN2, works the desk for ESPN News and occasionally gets the look for SportsCenter. You’ll probably be seeing more of her in the near future, too.Where is she from? What has her career looked like? What are her interests? And is she single? We’ve got those answers and more, along with a few photos.In Photos: Everything You Need To Know About Cassidy Hubbarth Pages: Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7last_img read more

Missing boys remains found along North Saskatchewan riverbank near Melfort

first_imgThe Canadian PressMELFORT, Sask. – Police say they have found the remains of a little boy who disappeared in Prince Albert, Sask., in the spring.Sweetgrass Kennedy was last seen on May 10 and Prince Albert police had said evidence suggested the four-year-old fell into the North Saskatchewan River.Hundreds of volunteers looked for the boy in the community at the time, covering 160 kilometres of riverbank.His body was found Saturday after Melfort RCMP received a report of human remains along the North Saskatchewan riverbank near James Smith Cree Nation.Evidence at the scene was sent to Saskatoon for examination by a forensic pathologist and forensic anthropologist.Police say the coroner confirmed the boy’s identity.news@aptn.calast_img read more

Mother accused of violating injunction tells court she was supporting sons wish

first_imgAnnette Hollett testified Thursday that she went to a Muskrat Falls protest in Oct. 2016 because her 12-year-old son said he wanted to stand up for his culture. Editor’s Note: As a journalist with the online publication theIndependent.ca, Justin Brake followed the land protectors onto the Muskrat Falls site and workers accomodations complex and covered the duration of the occupation. He is facing criminal and civil charges from the event.Justin BrakeAPTN NewsA Métis woman who lives in Labrador told a judge Thursday that when she went through the gates and briefly joined the occupation of the Muskrat Falls site in October 2016, she was doing it for her 12-year-old son.Annette Hollett, who moved to Labrador from Alberta 15 years ago, is one of more than a dozen land protectors in provincial Supreme Court in Happy Valley-Goose Bay this week defending themselves against charges of violating a court injunction in the course of resisting the controversial hydroelectric project in Central Labrador.Despite living with post traumatic stress disorder and social anxiety, she recalled in her testimony, Hollett took her son, who is Inuit, to the peace camp across the Trans Labrador Highway from the main entrance to the Muskrat Falls site, where upward of 200 people were gathered that day.“My son asked to go to stand up for his beliefs,” Hollett told APTN in an interview following her testimony, referring to the Oct. 22, 2016 Indigenous-led protest outside the Muskrat Falls site, which led to an occupation of the project’s accommodations complex.“He was born here so he wanted to fight for what he thought was his rights. And I’m his parent, so I supported him.”With just one day left in the scheduled week-long hearings only three land protectors have testified, while a dozen remain. Earlier in the week APTN reported that 17 land protectors were pleading not guilty but learned today that two changed their pleas and won’t appear in court this week.Nalcor Energy, the provincial crown energy corporation building the dam, was granted an injunction on Oct. 16, 2016 amid an ongoing blockade of the Muskrat Falls site by land protectors.The following day RCMP arrested several land protectors and ended the blockade. But a few days later, amid growing resistance to the project ahead of anticipated reservoir flooding and projected methylmercury contamination of traditional foods, dozens of people reinstated the blockade.Days later, on Oct. 22, about 50 land protectors went through the project’s main access gate and occupied the worker’s accommodations complex for four days.Most of those on trial this week are facing charges related to the occupation, while others are accused of breaching the injunction during protests and ceremonies carried out in late 2016 and early to mid 2017.Mark Gruchy, the lawyer representing land protectors, called Hollett, Kim Campbell-McLean and Linda Saunders-McLean to testify.Nalcor attorney Chris King cross-examined the land protectors, using video evidence from media and security workers on site in an attempt to prove that the women knew of the injunction and knowingly contravened it, or ought to have known.The three women all testified they weren’t aware of the injunction at the time a lock on the Muskrat Falls gate was cut, after which they, and dozens of others, flooded through and on to the site.Saunders-McLean, an Inuk social worker who works with Indigenous children, told the court she encountered many security personnel and other workers on the site, and that none of them told her she and the others were breaking the law.Linda Saunders-McLean said in court Thursday that she doesn’t “think anyone owns a piece of land and can destroy it to the extent it’s destroyed.” Justin Brake/APTN photo.During her cross-examination Saunders-McLean got emotional, in one instance while explaining her mother recently passed away, and in another while recalling the destruction she saw while walking more than 11 kilometres down the access road to the worker’s camp on Oct. 22.“I don’t think anyone owns a piece of land and can destroy it to the extent it’s destroyed,” she said, as she began to cry,Justice George Murphy, who granted Nalcor the injunction two years ago, offered Saunders-McLean to take a break.She chose to continue.“When I walked into that camp and I saw all the destruction, and all these buildings, these temporary structures, it was devastating. I almost threw up, what I saw, because I just think about what had to happen in order to place these buildings there — all the animals, all the wildlife, all the fish.”Breaking free from King’s line of questioning for a moment, the mother and grandmother identified what she thought was an unfair contradiction between the legal system and her Indigenous values.“I know that you guys are taking us and holding us accountable for what we did, but who’s holding you guys accountable for what you’re doing?” she told King. “The flooding. The wildlife. Who’s going to speak for them?”Campbell-McLean, who told the court she was born into a Mi’kmaq family in Newfoundland but was adopted into an Inuit family in North West River when she was five months old, is the Executive Director of the AnanauKatiget Tumingit Regional Association, a not-for-profit organization that helps women in violent relationships.She testified Thursday that she attended the Oct. 22 protest outside the Muskrat Falls site “because that’s where I needed to be.”Asked by Gruchy why she went through the project’s main entry gate, an emotional Campbell-McLean told the court, “I have two children in heaven, but I still have my motherly instincts.”Though the 41-year-old no longer has children of her own, she told the court she’s helping teach her disabled niece Inuit customs such as fishing and preparing traditional foods.“She loves, loves, loves salmon, trout and smelt — it’s her favourite food,” she said.“I want her to have what I had, which was the best Labrador cultural Inuit life. I have never ever had any better life anywhere else in this whole country or this world. I have connections with the land, the water, the animals, our plants — and my niece is getting that connection through me. She needs to have that as an Inuit child. She needs to grow up knowing where her people came from, what they went through to get here, and she needs to be able to provide for her own self through the provision of country foods. That is why I went through the gate.”King questioned whether Campbell-McLean knew of the injunction and willfully went on site despite it.He suggested she was trespassing, to which Campbell-McLean responded, “I assumed I was trespassing.”He also showed evidence of Campbell-McLean at a demonstration outside the main gate about a month after the occupation, during which she was among a group of people who King argued were blocking access to the site.In the video Campbell-McLean could be seen stepping away from a security vehicle as it approached. She argued she wasn’t among those blocking access to the site because she moved away when she saw the vehicle coming.Gruchy told APTN earlier this week that the accusations against his clients of civil contempt for violating a court order would be substantiated if Nalcor could prove each of the land protectors were aware of the injunction, and that they deliberately violated it.The St. John’s-based lawyer also said his “objective is to get people to the other end [of the litigation] with as minimal damage as possible, while attempting to utilize this process to maximize their voices in the process, which they haven’t had much of.”Land protectors occupied the Muskrat Falls worker’s camp two years ago this week. Many are still defending themselves in court against civil and criminal charges for allegedly violating an injunction. Justin Brake/APTN photo.Hollett told the court Thursday that the day the gate was opened at Muskrat Falls her son went through before her, so she followed.During her testimony and in her interview with APTN Hollett said it was part way down the 12 kilometre road to the Muskrat Falls worker’s camp she decided she wanted to join the fight.“As I was walking I heard people express their concerns and I realized I had the same concerns,” she said. “If they’re not going to take my 12-year-old son seriously, maybe they will take me seriously.”She said she used to take her son to the cabin every Friday after school, but that lately they don’t spend as much time on the land because of the risks associated with methylmercury due to Muskrat Falls.“Is it going to be safe to go out and hunt and do what we usually enjoy? Some people look at it as a way of life — and are they going to be able to continue that way of life?” she said.Land protectors will continue their testimonies Friday in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. But the defense isn’t likely to wrap up before the end of the day, so further court dates will likely be scheduled in the near future.jbrake@aptn.ca@JustinBrakeNewslast_img read more

This Years Boston Marathon Was Sloooooowww

For more than 20 years, the first man and woman across the Boston Marathon finish line have almost always been athletes from Kenya or Ethiopia. But it was an American woman and a Japanese man who won this year’s open divisions. Desiree Linden was the first American woman to win since 1985, finishing in 2:39:54, the slowest winning time since 1978. The men’s field was similarly sluggish — Yuki Kawauchi’s winning time of 2:15:58 was the slowest since 1976.One likely reason for the unusually slow finishes? Runners faced heavy rain, headwinds and the coldest marathon temperatures in 30 years. Kawauchi was loving the cold, though. “For me, these are the best conditions possible,” he told reporters after the race. read more