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Daily-Nation-Newspaper-Proprietor-Richard-Sakala-480x377Richard Sakala, the Daily Nation proprietor and editor must not think that all Zambians are so forgetful, and stupid. He can fool some, but not everyone. Actually, majority Zambians still remember who Richard Sakala is.

We remember the type of person the Daily Nation editor is. This is a person who together with his corrupt friend Chiluba ransacked the national treasury for their little monetary wishes. Today, when one reads about the editorials in the Daily Nation newspaper, all written by Richard, one may think this corrupt convict has been a very honorable person when in fact he isn’t.

Even though, Sakala’s body language negates being convoluted into corrupt activities with Chiluba and his sycophants, it is very evident to all that the Chiluba led regime, which Richard Sakala served so devotedly as press aid, has a corruption legacy.

Stupidly, Sakala has even gone further to advance what he wishes was reality, by trying to defend what can’t be defended, the corruption of his messiah Chiluba. In his editorial comments, Sakala has been blatantly alleging that Chiluba was a victim of an illegal, vicious and violent Western judicial system with inherent prejudices and hatred for Africa. Richard Sakala, has also relentlessly charged that we must not talk about Chiluba’s corruption because he isn’t here, to defend himself. Realistically, what is there to defend about a Lazo? The truth of the matter is that Chiluba, although he was acquitted by his partner in crime Rupiah, led a very corrupt government and he need not be alive to defend himself.

It doesn’t need anyone to be alive to defend themselves; one only needs their legacy to speak for them. It is this reason why, noble people like Nelson Mnadlea who through his deeds, behavior with a laudable legacy is today being praised even in death! Even if Mandela was to be criticized today, his legacy is there to speak for him. This is the truth with life, and it is how God created it.

This is a lesson politicians and leaders must learn from dishonorable people like Richard Sakala and his partner in crime, Chiluba. Society is organized to make death seem invisible, to keep it several steps removed. That distance may seem necessary but it comes with a terrible price: the illusion of limitless time. Perhaps, it is this reason why Chiluba and his sycophants like Richard Sakala thought that they had a limitless life and that they could steal and kill the innocent people of Zambia. Chiluba and his minions took away the plight of Zambians.

Unfortunately,Richard Sakala can’t change this today . The reality, which we know chokes and suffocates Richard Sakala is that the Chiluba led regime was extremely corrupt, it is even the reason why the Daily Nation editor was jailed. He is a convict.

It doesn’t need much emphasis or evidence to prove that the Daily Nation editor is a corrupt criminal. Today Sakala has subjected the Patriotic Front government to rampant baseless criticism accusing it to be corrupt. We wonder what Richard Sakala truly believes in. While it isn’t wrong to criticize corruption, which all must in fact do, what about Sakala’s own corruption with Chiluba. Why does the Daily Nation editor seek to remove filthy in other people’s eyes when he himself has reeking sludge in his eyes? This propagandist, political prostitute and corrupt shameless old man has no senses. He behaves like a dog, which can eat its own vomits and doesn’t not know how to differentiate anything, it can even go to bed with its parent. For criminals and political prostitutes like the Daily Nation editor, principles have no meaning.

Richard Sakala must be the last person who should lecture others of how to behave, and conduct themselves in government. This is so because while press aid in the Chiluba regime, Sakala behaved like a king with his emperor Chiluba. The people of this country where treated as subjects. The people where paying taxes so that Sakala and his demigod, Chiluba could plunder. Mulekwatako nensoni ba Richard Sakala, ba sakalanyong imwe.

By Mthuli Ncube

Mthuli Ncube
Mthuli Ncube
More than 30 million Africans (about three per cent of Africa’s total population) are living outside their home countries. This figure includes those living within other African countries. These African migrants send money to their families in Africa.

Remittances by African migrants play an important role as a source of financing and foreign exchange for African households and countries. A recent report published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) shows that remittances sent to the world’s poorest countries including 33 African countries have increased to US$27 billion in 2011 from $3.5 billion in 1990. For Africa as a whole, remittance inflows have more than quadrupled since 1990, reaching $40 billion in 2010. This represents about three per cent of Africa’s total GDP.

Globally, the amount of remittances reached $300 billion in 2010, surpassing foreign direct investments (FDI) and official development assistance (ODA) combined. The estimate for the Africa figure is widely believed to be conservative, given the evidence of underreporting as some remittance transfers are sent through informal channels. Accounting for informal flows could raise the total amount of remittances to Africa by about 50 per cent.

Benefits from migrant remittances

Remittances by African migrants provide many benefits to both African households and governments. Available evidence suggests that, all things considered, poor households receiving remittances tend to have better living conditions than their counterparts without access to this source of income. According to the World Bank, remittances by African migrants could support between 10 to 100 people, by boosting household income and spending on healthcare and education. Thus remittances play an important role in poverty reduction and improving human development.

At a macro level, flows of remittances could improve the balance of payments and bolster a country’s foreign exchange reserves. By stimulating savings, remittances can also have an impact on financial development and foster long-term economic growth. Since remittances generally accrue to low-income households, the latter may be induced to save a portion of these flows, thereby connecting them to the formal financing system. Furthermore, remittances could be a catalyst for investment and economic growth by supporting small business startups.

Leveraging the role of remittances in Africa

Although migrant remittances offer sizable benefits to Africa, existing policies in a number of countries create barriers for deployment of these flows for national gain. Savings by African immigrants amount to $50 billion per year, which is higher than the $30 billion of the annual infrastructure funding gap in Africa. The bulk of this money is stashed in foreign bank accounts. Attracting these funds to Africa could significantly improve market liquidity, which could be used to finance the region’s investment requirements, particularly in infrastructure. Thus, African governments should devise measures aimed at encouraging the African diaspora to send back their savings into African economies. The measures may include the following:

Fostering the role of micro-finance institutions: Due to exclusivity agreements, the African remittance market is currently dominated by Western Union and Money Gram, two leading global transfer companies. These two companies control 65 per cent of all remittances payout locations in Africa, in partnership with selected commercial banks and other financial institutions. This dominance has been reinforced by tacit restrictions imposed by African countries on companies that can offer remittance services. Lack of competition has translated into higher transfer costs. For instance, in Africa costs are still 25 per cent higher than in Latin America and Asia, which have experienced marked reduction in costs.

To overcome the challenge of high transfer costs, African governments should foster the involvement of smaller organisations such as micro-finance institutions and post offices to facilitate transfer of remittances. This may improve access to remittance transfers by the poorest especially in rural areas as micro-finance institutions and post offices have larger geographical reach than banks. According to an International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) report, expanding the number of institutions offering remittance transfer services could more than double payment points in Africa. Saving and credit cooperatives and rural banks, would also be used as payment points for remittances.

Creating enabling regulatory and investment environments: Restrictive or even lack of a regulatory framework for remittances is hampering their power as an economic and social driver. Regulatory frameworks in many African countries need to be examined and improved to allow remittances play a better role as a social transformative tool. Reforming the regulatory framework is an overriding step to leverage the impact of remittances on social transformation. African policymakers should adopt measures to ensure that remittance flows go into the formal financial system. This could be achieved by setting up a regulatory framework aimed at improving flow of information, strengthening competition and reducing transfer costs in order to encourage migrants to use formal channels of money transfer.

Improving the business climate in Africa is another means to attract remittance flows from the diaspora. A business-friendly environment may induce African migrants to send more money to their home countries and invest in productive domestic projects. A possible avenue for investing remittances would be the diaspora bonds, which some African governments have been contemplating. According to estimates, sub-Saharan African countries can raise between $5 billion and $10 billion per annum through the issuance of diaspora bonds. In 2011, Ethiopia launched its second diaspora bond aimed at funding the construction of the Grand Renaissance Dam, which is expected to be Africa’s largest hydroelectric power plant.

Adopting new technologies of money transfer: An estimated 30 to 40 per cent of remittances to Africa are sent to rural areas where banking facilities are generally non-existent. As a result, people travel long distances to receive their money. This cost of travel represents an additional burden to the already high cost of transfer. Expanding payment networks to small-scale merchants and encouraging the adoption of new technologies such as payments through the internet or mobile phones can widen the reach of remittances and enhance financial inclusion to the people that need it most.

Mthuli Ncube is the chief economist and vice president of the African Development Bank

By Honourable Saka

Ghana And Zambia In Perspective From the political, economic and cultural perspectives, Ghana and Zambia have a lot in common. Having established a strong foundation of peace, stability and relatively good governance (there is still more room for improvement), there are strong indications that the future prospects of our two countries are far brighter and more promising than ever.

Aside these, in the area of sports, our beloved countries currently stand tall as role models to the admiration of the entire African continent despite a few challenges. For this reason, there is currently no doubt that a Ghana-Zambia football encounter at any level will always be a delight to watch. As I write this piece, I can’t wait for the next day when Ghana and Zambia will meet on the football pitch for a serious “revenge” where our dedicated young men from Ghana, will finally prove to the entire world the difference between the “boys” and the “men” out there. In fact, I simply can’t wait for that day!

Like our Zambian counterparts, the people of Ghana, are naturally peaceful. All previous and recent elections which were held in Ghana (2008, 2012) and Zambia (2011) attest to our peaceful nature and our political maturity at a time when many African countries continue to battle with electoral violence and political instability. In the case of Ghana and Zambia however, the whole world have seen a successful and peaceful transfer of power from an incumbent party to the opposition. With this and many more of such attributes, we have a cause to cherish our nations and to realize that there are more opportunities we can share by further enhancing our existing relations and to possibly lead the way as the two shining examples of good governance and democracy in Africa.

This explains the reason why our political leaders MUST take immediate BOLD STEPS to ensure that our people are able to explore our beautiful countries without unnecessary border restrictions so that we can enjoy the existing cordial relationship between our two nations in a free and more welcoming manner.

Economic Prospects: Zambia vrs Ghana

Michael Chilufya Sata, President of Zambia

Zambia and Ghana are the 27th and 28th countries the World Bank has reclassified as middle-income since the year 2000. Since then, there has been a tremendous improvement in our economic indexes. Ghana and Zambia have recently been named among the top fasters growing economies in the world. Meanwhile in both Zambia and Ghana, the number of children in basic and secondary school has climbed along with literacy rates, whereas infant mortality has fallen drastically. If Ghana and Zambia strengthen the rule of law, good governance and avoid domestic instability characterized by elections, then we will continue to get gradually more prosperous and our people will continue to have better lives.

Economically, Zambia is endowed with many resources. Zambia can boast of a very wonderful and well-talented human resource. Also, natural resources such as copper, cobalt, zinc, lead, coal, emeralds, gold, silver, uranium, hydropower are in abundance. It is expected that a lot more strategic resources are soon to be discovered in Zambia in the near future. The fact is, even without copper, Zambia is still very rich! For instance, coal is the largest source of fuel for the generation of electricity world-wide. This is another mineral which Zambia has in abundance.

John Mahama, President of Ghana

Ghana, which was referred to as the Gold Coast (before independence), can also boast of many such resources as: gold, cocoa, timber, industrial diamonds, bauxite, manganese, fish, rubber, hydropower, petroleum (oil & gas), silver, salt, limestone, cotton, palm oil, and many more which are still in abundance.With good governance and proper management of resources, the construction industry can transform our beloved countries into industrialized states by the next 15 years, creating more job opportunities for the youth and thus bring unemployment to the barest minimum. It is highly possible that the construction industry, agriculture, science and technology are key sectors that can completely end poverty in our respective countries.

A second look at above list of natural resources shows that both Ghana and Zambia possess a lot in common in the mining sector and hydropower. I therefore suggest that our governments must create a common platform for the people of Ghana and Zambia to share their experiences/knowledge and exchange ideas in these common areas so that we can better manage our resources for the benefit of our people whiles learning from each other. With a joint well-committed effort, we can set up a common educational/research institution that will be tasked with the responsibility to train our own people to manage these common resources for the benefit of our people.

It must however be understood that in the 21st century, economic growth in Africa is no longer dependent on the oil, copper, cocoa, timber and other natural resources. Science and Technology is one key area that has the potential to bring about our economic transformation.

According to the Zambian Economist, though Zambia is exporting some $3bn of copper, the tax revenues from these exports are a mere $100m. The global copper boom has benefited the Chinese who own the copper company far more than it has benefited ordinary Zambians. This is the reason why we must focus on training our own people and setting up the necessary institutions for ourselves so that we can be the managers and the beneficiaries of our resources.

Most importantly, Ghana currently boasts of her ability to manufacture cars, mobile phones, laptop computers, tablets, smart TVs and many more. Thanks to Apostle Dr Safo Kantanka and RLG communications, Ghanaian innovations has recently been applauded by the former president of Zambia, Rupiah Banda, on his recent visit to Ghana where he was scheduled to lecture on the theme: “Democracy and good governance in Africa,” held at the University of Ghana.

It was very encouraging how the former Zambian President lauded the unique contributions being mad by Ghana’s and Africa’s premier electronic assembling company, RLG Communications, in solfving the huge unemployment issue facing the continent. Dr Rupiah Banda was truly impressed during his interaction with the Chief Executive of RLG Communications, Mr. Roland Agambire, when he paid a working visit to RLG’s ultra-modern Assembly plant in Accra last year. Today, thanks to another ambituou project by the Ghanaian company. Ghana is now set to become Africa’s pioneer in ICT by 2016.

With the launch of Africa’s Hope City project (to commemorate Ghana’s 56th independence), a world class ICT project aimed at bringing all ICT players under one roof and to engender paperless business practices in the country, Ghana is gradually taking up her rightful place as a global player while creating economic opportunities for over 300 million youth across the whole of Africa between the ages of 15-24 at the same time.

The writer seriously commends the CEO of RLG Communications, Mr. Roland Agambire, for setting up another assembly plant in Oson state to serve the whole of Nigeria to implement the paperless systems in Nigerian schools. RLG Communications is one example of how just a little commitment from the Government of Ghana, can help transform the lives of millions of people in Africa.

RLG Project for Accra in 2016

The project, a six high rise towers designed with the architecture of Ghana’s mud houses in mind will house over 25,000 people and create over 50,000 jobs when completed in 2016.One of the buildings will be the tallest building in Africa.

We the people of Ghana dully welcome our Zambian brothers and sisters who desire to build a career in the field of mobile computing to make Ghana their preferred destination for their career aspirations since RLG Institute of Technology offers such great opportunity. With such initiatives in place, it won’t be long; we will be able to train our own people in areas of science and technology to set up the industries that will convert our abundant raw materials to the desired products here in Africa. Yes, it is very possible for our dear nations to lead the way for the African people to be the managers of our own destinies.

We Must Strengthen Existing Diplomatic Relations

Friendship Pins with the flags of Ghana and Zambia Since the overthrow of Nkrumah’s government in 1966, diplomatic relations between Ghana and Zambia came to a halt; though Zambia as a country continued to honour Kwame Nkrumah on many occasions. In 1971, Zambia named one of her tertiary institutions, the Kwame Nkrumah Teachers’ College in honour of the first President of Ghana, Dr Kwame Nkrumah for his contribution to Africa.

At some point, Ghana High Commission was operating in Zambia in 1976 only to fold up again in 1982 due to numerous coup de ta and political instabilities. It was until 2008 that Ghana’s diplomatic relations were normalized to translate the cordial political relations existing between Ghana and Zambia into mutually beneficial gains, expanding the sphere of engagement between the our countries. Therefore the Zambian Government facilitated the process by fulfilling its promise to establish a High Commission in Accra immediately. Since then, our two countries have enjoyed wonderful diplomatic relations while the bond between our people becomes stronger year after year.

According to the mission statement of the Ghana Embassy in Zambia, our bilateral cooperation is currently aimed at: -Trade promotion -Investment promotion -Tourism promotion -Wildlife exchanges -Collaboration in mining -Intensification of exchanges in education -Experience sharing in social and health matters.

I am therefore appealing to Ghana and Zambia’s foreign ministers to strengthen our bilateral ties by easing the existing border restrictions to properly facilitate the above mission so that our people can fully and effectively explore the existing opportunities in our two countries and a to properly appreciate our cultural diversities.

I urge the Government of Ghana and Zambia to consider signing a Visa Abolishing Treaty as they have done with many other African countries, to make travelling to Ghana-Zambia a complete visa-free for both of our citizens to be able to do business with ease and to share the little expertise together for the benefit of our countries.

This would eliminate all the unnecessary delays in our desire to interact with our brothers and sisters in Zambia whom we love so much. Besides, it will further enhance the cultural and economic ties between our beloved countries as envisioned by our revolutionary leaders: Kwame Nkrumah and Kenneth Kaunda. After all, Ghana and Zambia are both standing on equal economic and political grounds so there should be no need to restrict the pace of our economic progress.

Besides, with our current promising economic prospects, Zambia and Ghana stand a lot to benefit in the long run if trade, economic and political relations were further enhanced to the highest level for the benefit of the ordinary citizenry.

May this passionate appeal touch the hearts of the Presidents and the Foreign Ministers of our dear nations, to respond to our humble desire. Happy 56th Birthday to Ghana my motherland, Long live Zambia, my second home!

Honourable Saka

The writer is a Ghanaian national who is so passionate about the need to strengthen relations between Ghana and Zambia. He is the coordinator for the Project Pan-Africa (PPA), an organization that was set up to foster unity among Africans to live together in harmony. The PPA seeks to create the biggest media platform that will give exposure to all the hidden talents in the youths across Africa. Visit us at: www.projectpanafrica.org. E-mail him at: honourablesaka@yahoo.co.uk

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Jacob Zuma, South Africa’s president, has warned western companies they must change their old “colonial” approach to Africa or risk losing out even more to the accelerating competition from China and other developing powers.

Western businesses and governments have a “psychological problem” and are still prone to lecturing Africa, Mr Zuma said in an interview with the Financial Times. He advised them to resist warning against the embrace of China and rethink their own investment strategies.
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“I’ve said it to the private sector from the western countries: ‘Look. You have got to change the way you do business with Africa if you want to regain Africa. If you want to treat Africa as a former colony … then people will go to new partners who are going to treat them differently’,” he said.

In particular he cited mining companies that he accused of still being interested only in extracting ore and not in fostering support industries, such as diamond-polishing, in the host nations.

Mr Zuma’s warm message to China and other developing nations comes ahead of South Africa hosting its first Brics summit this month. The country was incorporated into the bloc of Brazil, Russia, India and China last year even though its economy is a fraction of the size of the other four.

Mr Zuma tempered his argument by highlighting that Europe was still the “big one” including Africa’s “biggest partners in business and trade”. He also echoed his cautionary comments of last year about Beijing, stressing that Africa was aware of the risks of being bossed around by China. “Africa does not want to be dominated again.”

In the past decade China has wrong-footed the west as it has expanded diplomatic and commercial ties across sub-Saharan Africa. Driven by its hunger for commodities, it has offered cheap infrastructure loans in exchange in particular for access to oil. Between 2000 and 2011 bilateral trade rose from around $11bn to $160bn, but mainly in oil exports to China, a deficit economists say needs addressing.

Human rights groups and western officials have criticised China’s readiness to strike deals with oppressive governments. But South Africa’s ruling African National Congress, which admires China’s state-led capitalism, has promoted the relationship arguing South Africa has the laws and diplomatic clout to defend its interests.

“China is doing business in a particular way and we think we can see the benefits, but we are very, very careful,” he said, citing Africa’s experience of colonialism. Such a relationship must “benefit both. And this is what we and China have been agreeing.”

He said financial institutions had “squeezed Africa”. “Instead of saying: ‘Let us help you’, they come and they say: ‘Change your economic structure. Don’t do this. Do that.’

“Now we are dealing with a new partner who is not putting all these strings attached.”
SOURCE http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/7824cc28-83ed-11e2-b700-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2MY66sLkx

DHL logo

  • Express company expands footprint from 300 to more than 1,000 DHL Service Points within six months
  • DHL expands its role of connecting Africa with over 220 countries and territories worldwide

DHL Express, the world’s leading international express services provider, has expanded its network of DHL Service Points in Sub-Saharan Africa from the initial 300 to over 1000, in just a few short months. The move is an aggressive expansion into the market, which is aimed to further cement the company’s leading position in Africa but also to offer local consumers and small businesses an efficient, convenient way of shipping overseas.

The logistics and express company, which is present in 52 Sub-Saharan Africa markets including Zambia, has been looking to improve access for cash and account customers, creating enhanced accessibility for customers and increasing connectivity between African markets and the over 220 countries and territories that DHL currently serves worldwide.

“In our recent 2012 Global Connectedness Index, which measures the state of globalisation around the world, Sub-Saharan Africa remained the globe’s least connected continent,” comments Mrs Nomsa Mumba, Country General Manager for DHL Zambia. “However, it did average the largest increase from 2010 to 2011 and boasted the top five ‘gainers’ –  Mozambique, Togo, Ghana, Guinea and Zambia. This tells us that there is still major opportunity to improve connectivity across the continent, and access to logistics services and international markets are both key to this improvement.”

The logistics operator had also identified the need for increased convenience for small to medium enterprises (SMEs), as a recent study by global information and analytics company, IHS, showed that accessibility to international markets was a driver of small business success. “The SME is sector is growing at an amazing pace and this investment will help to connect African SME’s to the rest of the world,” notes Mumba.

The drive to increase consumer access points has been as a result of a multi-pronged retail strategy, which looks at retail offerings from a small kantemba shop in Zambia to a telecommunications company in Angola or a post office in Mauritius.

“Africa is a complex market to operate in but we’ve proven that, with a bit of creativity, you can expand your footprint and provide a way to service the continent’s growth,” concludes Mumba. “Ensuring the people within Africa can access global markets, and transfer skills, goods and information, means we are able to support and spur on the continued African resurgence. Expanding our retail presence is just the first step.”

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Emirates marked its 130th international destination today, with its inaugural flight to Algiers. From left to right: Pradeep Suvarna, Global Head – DVPC, VFS (GCC) LLC, Jean Luc Grillet, Emirates’ Senior Vice President Commercial Operations for Africa, Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ Executive Vice President Engineering and Operations, H.E. Hamid Chebira, the Algerian Ambassador to the UAE, Adnan Kazim, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President Planning and Research, Dr. Abdulla Al Hashimi, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President Group Security, and Hiran Perera, Emirates’ Senior Vice President Cargo Planning and Freighters.
Emirates marked its 130th international destination today, with its inaugural flight to Algiers. From left to right: Pradeep Suvarna, Global Head – DVPC, VFS (GCC) LLC, Jean Luc Grillet, Emirates’ Senior Vice President Commercial Operations for Africa, Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ Executive Vice President Engineering and Operations, H.E. Hamid Chebira, the Algerian Ambassador to the UAE, Adnan Kazim, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President Planning and Research, Dr. Abdulla Al Hashimi, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President Group Security, and Hiran Perera, Emirates’ Senior Vice President Cargo Planning and Freighters.

New gateway marks the 130th destination milestone for the airline

Emirates, one of the fastest growing airlines in the world, has launched its daily non-stop service from Dubai to Houari Boumediene Airport today. It is the 22nd gateway for Emirates in Africa and the airline’s 130th international destination.

Emirates also flies daily between Dubai, Lusaka and Harare.

“The launch of our operations in Algiers will provide a wealth of new travel options for customers in Algeria, who will be able to fly non-stop to our industry leading hub in Dubai and conveniently connect to points across the Middle East, the Asian Subcontinent, the Far East and Australasia,” said Adel Al Redha, Executive Vice President Engineering and Operations.

Travelers to Algiers will fly on Airbus A330-200 aircraft, with a three class configuration featuring Emirates’ award-winning service and passenger comforts, including hundreds of channels of on-demand inflight entertainment, the ability to send and receive emails and text messages, meals prepared by gourmet chefs and superior service from the airline’s international cabin crew recruited from over 130 countries.

“With the start of our daily non-stop service from Dubai, Emirates looks forward to introducing a whole new audience to Algeria, bringing leisure travellers from around the globe to experience this country’s unique attractions. We are confident that Algeria will be a popular destination for business and leisure travellers alike, boosting tourism and opening new markets for business and trade.” added Mr Al Redha.

On board today’s inaugural were Emirates’ Executive Vice President Engineering and Operations, Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President Planning and Research, Adnan Kazim, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President Group Security, Dr Abdullah Al Hashimi, Emirates’ Senior Vice President Commercial Operations for Africa, Jean Luc Grillet, and Emirates Senior Vice President Cargo, Planning and Freighters, Hiran Perera.

Their special guests on the flight included the Algerian Ambassador to the UAE, Mr Hamid Chebira, Global Head-DVP, VFS (GCC) LLC, Pradeep Suvarna, and Managing Director of Michelin, Prashant Prabhu.

The new daily non-stop flight to Algiers, operated by an A330-200 with a belly hold capacity of 12 tonnes, will take Emirates SkyCargo’s weekly cargo capacity into and out of the country to more than 160 tonnes. Imports into Algiers include a wide range of manufactured goods, while the top exports include frozen fish, lobsters, oil and gas equipment and palm oil.

Starting 1st March, EK 757 will depart Dubai daily at 0845hrs and arrive at HouariBoumediene Airport at 1330hrs. The return flight, EK 758, departs Algiers at 1535hrs and lands in Dubai at 0055hrs the next day.

Algiers the capital and largest city of Algeria, is located in the west side of a bay of the Mediterranean Sea. The city is home to numerous attractions, including the Great Mosque, the National Library, Martyrs Square, the Bardo Museum and multiple monuments and forts.

It is also home to a rich variety of architecture and a vibrant cultural scene with a diverse heritage of Phoenician, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and French influences,. The country also boasts some of the world’s most spectacular coastline as well as vast mountainous and desert landscapes.

I recently reached out to Kumbukilani Phiri, a Zambian who works at the Sunshine Kaidi New Energy Group and who speaks fluent Mandarin after studying Civil Engineering in Guangxi university. As someone whose professional and educational experiences are the product of the Sino-African relationship, I am so very fortunate that someone with his insight and background allowed me to interview him.

1) What do “China-Africa relations” mean to you?

The China-Africa relationship would be more meaningful if it was a win-win situation. The current state of affairs is that while China knows what they need from Africa and are ready to tailor their agreements and contracts based on what they need,however African countries do not seem to know about what they need from China. This has resulted in a situation where people are beginning to feel that African’s are getting a raw deal from China which is not the case. My belief is that if African’s would sit down and strategise on how to engage China, things would improve for them.

2) What is one thing that Chinese people and/or African people are doing well in that relationship?

The one thing that Chinese people and African people are doing well in this new relationship is a two sided thing.
-The Chinese investment that is coming into Africa is of course a very good gesture from the Chinese.
-Africa allowing China to invest in Africa is also equally a good thing. However, this would be even better if Africa gave terms of how China should go about their investment in Africa. Firstly it is common knowledge that, when China does an investment, most of the senior management jobs including technician jobs are given to the Chinese and Africans only get jobs of labourers which is of course not good for technology transfer which Africa dearly needs to develop its local based capacity.

3) What is one thing that Chinese people and/or African people can improve on in that relationship?

The one thing that both China and Africa need to do to improve this relationship is for Africa to rise up and challenge the current status quo. Firstly I would like to say that China needs Africa and vice versa but Africa has more to gain from China if they understood how to engage China. Africa is now a landlord to China and they have a better advantage to negotiate good terms of partnering with China. If this situation is not changed soon, I see many problems arising from this new relationship as Africans one day will wake up and realise that they have been treated unfairly by China, and this will cause a lot of problems in some cases might even be worse and lead to civil strife.

Note: this style of three-question interview was suggested by Eric Olander.

http://cowriesrice.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/interview-kumbukilani-phiri.html

Chinese President Hu Jintao during a visit to Zambia- File photo
Chinese President Hu Jintao during a visit to Zambia- File photo
Two pieces of news almost came at the same time this week.

BBC reported on 20 February that the Zambian government has taken over the running of the Chinese-owned Collum coal mine and cancelled all of its three licences, as a result of poor safety, health and environment record.

On the same day (seriously?), Business Day reported that Botswana president Ian Khama openly declared the country “had some bad experiences with Chinese companies”, refering to the delay of completing Morupule B power project which leads to the installation of four 150MW coal-fired units. Another article reported that the delay was caused by multiple issues concerning dumping industrial waste to the surrounding area and unsafe working environment causing death of both Chinese and local workers. Judging from Mr. Khama, the Botswana government would be very cautious to award another project to companies with Chinese origins in the future.

Both are terrible news under the sunshine of the heightening China-Africa relationship in 2013. Just one day ago, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi shaked hands with President Jacob Zuma in Cape Town, South Africa, once again (for several consecutive years) making Africa the first stop of the post-Chinese-New-Year trip led by a senior Chinese official. Four days ago, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, chairwoman of the Africa Union received a pledge in Beijing, in front of the new Chinese President Xi Jinping, who promised to continue supporting Africa development.

But can diplomatic relationship dividend save the declining trust towards Chinese-owned companies in individual African nations? Both Zambia and Botswana are among the largest destinations of Chinese state-run investment into mining and infrastructure sectors. Botswana’s Morupule B project alone costs US$1.6bn to build. Although its Chinese contractors,CNEEC and SBW are both relatively small players in Africa, yet in the eyes of Africans, they are “China”, and in this case thanks to the Chinese consortium Botswana’s president decided to lower his trust over any Chinese contractors. This has affected some of the largest Chinese players in Africa, such as China State Construction Engineering Co. (CSCEC) which has sustained their business in Botswana for almost 25 years.

Shaking hands, drinking wine, presenting national gifts, pledging for collaboration on large projects…all of them are great diplomatic gestures shown from Chinese government to their African counterparts. But how could the Chinese leaders be so confident that the dividend generated through diplomatic activities would maintain de facto high trust? Those China-Africa historical ties and friendship stories enumerated by the Chinese diplomats are soon going to lose their halo – as the first generation African revolutionists who witnessed formation of these friendships are mostly not in power any more. The newest African leaders or leaders-to-be would most likely associate themselves with what Chinese companies actually did in the continent post-2000.

I hope both incidents in Zambia and Botswana are individual cases – certainly not a starting trend – of a general down-sliding trust from African government leaders towards China. Maybe our government (China) is confident about where the relationship is going, but I have enough reason to worry that diplomatic gesture is not a remedy for poorly executed Chinese business activities in individual African nations.

Miles Sampa
Miles Sampa
Deputy Finance Minister Miles Sampa has called on scholars in business management, economics and government policy at Harvard University in Boston to take keen interest in Africa.

Mr. Sampa said Africa is endowed with huge reserves of raw materials that range from minerals to oil. He noted that Africa has vast natural resources, rapid economic and population.

The Minister who was participating in a panel discussion organized by the Africa Caucus at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government themed “AFRICA ON THE MOVE; A DISCUSSION WITH EXPERTS FROM THE FIELD” also encouraged scholars to undertake research topics that highlight not only the huge economic potential in Africa but also vices that still deprive its people of their resources or raw materials like ‘transfer pricing’ which he said was “daylight robbery worse than slave trade”

He added that,” In Zambia, expenditure is not the country’s immediate concern, but tax evasion and tax avoidance by multi-national investors in mining and agriculture.”

Mr. Sampa observed that that using transfer pricing, most investors ensure that they have no profits or income indicated in their financial books for tax purposes noting that if no profit was made then they would not pay taxes.
He explained that the ultimate result was that the parent companies in the West become richer while Zambia lost out and was left without anticipated income for the treasury to use to uplift living standards of the poor majority that live below the poverty datum line.

The Minister further stated that the growth rate for the continent had gone up and was slowly rivaling Asia’s overall growth at the height of the tiger economy era of the 90s.

“The World Bank predicts that the continent could be on the brink of economic take off, much like China was 30 years ago and India 20 years ago. Additionally you may also wish to know that according to the United Nations Development Program, Africa could reach 7 per cent by 2015,” he said.

Mr. Sampa also observed that Africa was becoming an increasingly attractive hub for foreign investors in light of various economic, political and social reforms that are sweeping through the continent, resulting in a much improved business environment conducive for foreign direct investment.

He also told his audience that Zambia was an attractive investment destination with good opportunities in agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, energy and mining. Zambia, he said, was the 4th Copper producing country in the world with reserves to last the next 25 years.

“My government is committed to investment. The investment climate is characterized by a stable macroeconomic environment and a stable political system,” Mr. Sampa stated.

He informed the meeting that Zambia was a beacon of peace having held four successive elections since Independence, all of which had seen “peaceful transition” of power, an example for the rest of Africa about how power can be transferred.

Other panelists at the discussion included Ambassador Amina Ali the Ambassador of the African Union to the USA, Mr. Charles Boamah the Vice President of Finance at the Africa Development Bank and an entrepreneur based in the USA originally from Ivory Coast Mr. Amadou Sanankoua.

Issued by
Patricia Littiya
First Secretary (Press)
Embassy of the Republic of Zambia
Washington DC 20008
Phone +1 202 265 9717
Direct +1 202 265 0123
Fax +1 202 332 0826

Kagem's Zambian emeralds showcased at Cape Town's Mining Indaba.
Kagem’s Zambian emeralds showcased at Cape Town’s Mining Indaba.

Gemfields, which owns 75 percent of the Kagem emerald mine in Lufwanyama District in partnership with the government of Zambia, has recently been highlighting the nation’s gemstones at the world’s largest mining investment event.

The stylish Cape Town initiative demonstrated the importance of a sophisticated high-end international marketing campaign to support the on-going promotion of Zambia’s gemstone resources if they are to continue to compete on the global stage and the need for further investment and the continued involvement of significant of market leaders if this sector is to achieve its full potential.

Delegates and dignitaries including Zambia’s Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development, Hon. Yamfwa Mukanga, Mozambique’s Minister of Minerals and Natural Resources, Excellency Minister Esperanca Laurinda Bias and various others, attended the glittering function hosted by the company in Cape Town last week as part of the Global ‘Investing in Africa’ Mining Indaba.

The event, which formed just one part of Kagem and Gemfields’ global marketing strategy to continue to put Zambian emeralds at the forefront of the world’s fine jewellery industry, was attended by government representatives, investors, retailers, high net worth individuals and various jewellery designers. Billboard advertisements were also strategically placed at the Cape Town International airport to target the large number of international stakeholders attending the event and featured Africa’s rare coloured gemstones including Zambian emeralds and amethyst and Mozambican rubies.

The company is pioneering a revolutionary approach to the gemstone sector that integrates world-class mining, partnering local stakeholders, a strong focus on the international marketing of Africa’s rare coloured gemstones, a commitment to the ongoing development of the local communities in which it operates and the delivery sustainable value addition in significant areas of core competence.

Kagem has now embarked on a new phase in its development under which it is looking to further increase its production outputs and by association its already significant contributions to Zambian taxes and direct foreign earnings, after being rescued from bankruptcy in 2008 by Gemfields, which has turned the company around from a loss-making, debt-ridden shell into a thriving enterprise that now produces approximately 20 percent of the world’s global rough emerald supply.

“The Indaba is a key date on the calendar for all mining related stakeholders, and as a world leader within the coloured gemstone industry it is vital for us to meet with other influential participants, share ideas and emphasise the quality of Zambia’s products,” said Kagem’s Chief Executive Officer, Ian Harebottle.

“The effective long-term marketing of high quality gemstones needs to be conducted on a global stage as we cannot rely solely on local consumers to drive demand if we ever hope for our goods to compete on an equal footing with diamonds and other luxury goods. The wider picture involves numerous events such as what we have initiated at the Indaba and all of which requires a sizeable investment, proven expertise and a track record of delivery. Gemfields ability to stage these sophisticated high-quality functions is critical to our overall strategy and the support we have thus far received from key government stakeholders in each of the various jurisdictions in which we operate is both respected and appreciated. Our governments are our partners and their ongoing support and commitment to our endeavours provides us with the encouragement required to redouble our efforts” he added.

The ‘Investing in Africa’ Mining Indaba is the world’s largest mining investment event and Africa’s most significant event. For more than 19 years now the key stakeholders in the Mining Indaba, along with their partners in Africa, have channelled many billions of dollars of foreign investment into the mining value chain. Mining Indaba is the world’s largest gathering of mining’s most influential stakeholders and decision-makers vested in African mining.

Worldwide production of emeralds is estimated at US$500 million (ZMW2.6 billion) per year, of which Zambia accounts for around one third – or US$167 million (ZMW860 million). Kagem is responsible for mining approximately 50 percent of Zambia’s emeralds or US$80 million (ZMW410 million) – yet is estimated to pay up to 90 percent of the tax generated from the gemstone sector.

Kagem, which is based in Lufwanyama, employs 672 staff and contractors in Zambia, has an on-going programme of employee training and development designed to constantly improve the lives of its employees and the local people resident in the communities in which it operates, and is looking to redouble these efforts as it looks to significantly increase its production outputs over the coming years.

About Kagem Mining

Kagem Mining Ltd in Lufwanyama is part of the Gemfields group of companies, a leading gemstone miner listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange (ticker: ‘GEM’). Gemfields owns 75 percent of the Kagem mine, in partnership with the Zambian government. In addition to the Kagem emerald mine, Gemfields has a 50 percent interest in the Kariba amethyst mine in Zambia. The company also owns controlling stakes in highly prospective ruby deposits in Mozambique and various licenses in Madagascar including ruby, emerald and sapphires deposits.

Gemfields is the world’s foremost coloured gemstone producer, and is found at the intersection of exploration, mining and marketing.

Natural gems are at the heart of the operation. Its focus – reliable and ethically-produced Zambian emeralds – upholds fair-trade practices while remaining in accordance with the highest level of environmental, social and safety standards. This mission holds true for every gemstone in its portfolio.

Gemfields’ unprecedented mine-to-market strategy through transparent partnerships with the world’s leading coloured gemstones dealers and manufacturers allows it to guarantee the provenance of every gem: Its promise to both the trade and the consumer.

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