South Africa Could Face ‘Food Riots’ As Drought Pushes Prices Higher

food-riot-620x350Grain South Africa on Friday again raised the prospect of “food riots” as a result of an expected hike in food prices caused by persistent drought conditions in the country.
Briefing Parliament’s portfolio committee on agriculture, Grain South Africa CEO Jannie de Villiers said South Africans should brace for a tough year ahead as the country was set to import millions of tonnes of grain as a result of low yields brought on by the drought.
“We have done a study of what happened in 2007/2008 in the world where the Arab spring took place and there’s some work being done that says there’s a high correlation when you’ve got high food prices and food riots. There’s a big possibility that it could happen in South Africa,” said De Villiers.
“When we look at what’s going to happen to food prices, we see it’s going to increase substantially and there might be that there’s going to be some public revolt about that.”
The biggest challenge for 2016, according to Grain SA, was to bring enough food into the country.
South Africa’s agriculture department predicts South Africa would have to import 3.8 million tonnes of maize to keep the nation fed.
– See more 

New International East African e-Passport To Launch In 2 Weeks

eac-passport1455632522124400The much anticipated international East African e-passport will be launched during the 17th Ordinary East African Community (EAC) Heads of State Summit in Arusha, Tanzania.
The East African Community (EAC) Heads of State Summit is set to launch the much-anticipated e-passport that will allow citizens from member states to move with ease within and outside the community.

The launch of the new international East African e-passport will fulfill one of the EAC’s mandate which is to integrate members of the region for easier and faster movement of people.

The unveiling of the electronic passport will be done during the 17th Ordinary East African Community (EAC) Heads of State Summit set for February 29, 2016, in Arusha, Tanzania.

At the beginning of the year, EAC Secretary General Richard Sezibera expressed enthusiasm about the launch of the new generation passports. The e-passports will be availed to citizens in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi. The regional electronic passport was set for launching in November 2015 but was postponed.

This article was published here

7 Top Reasons Why Africa Is Still Poor, 2016

top-angola1455736358272“While $134B flows in each year, predominantly in the form of loans, foreign investment and aid; $192B is taken out, mainly in profits made by foreign companies, tax evasion and the costs of adapting to climate change.” – Health Poverty Action.
The presence of some of the world’s fastest growing economies in Africa serves as fodder for the Africa rising narrative. A walk around capital cities of Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Luanda, and others, will put a stamp on the discourse that Africa is rising at a significant rate. The crane-filled skylines, construction of road networks and railway lines, multi-million dollar mansions and business malls erupting across major towns and cities, and growing technologies are just but a few indications of the continent’s ascent to prosperity.

But even as people across the globe engage in discussions about how fast the continent is growing, ironically, the other discourse that goes hand in hand with this narrative is the astounding number of people who are still grappling with deep-rooted poverty in the continent.

One can only wonder why there is still a widening gap between the rich and the poor and why Africa is still struggling with poverty despite the fact that it is home to a major percentage of raw materials that are in hot demand around the globe.

This article was published here 

New conference centre opens Cape Town

New-conference-centre-opens-Cape-Town-800x400The Century City Conference Centre and Hotel is now open and has the capacity to accommodate close to 2 000 guests in 19 venues. The new centre has already secured 75 conference bookings for the year ahead. The hotel adjacent to the centre has expanded from 125 rooms to 600. Century City Conference Centre’s joint CEOs, Glyn Taylor and Gary Koetser, said on Monday that the centre was a great new asset to the hospitality industry and a perfect opportunity to increase the number of business travellers to South Africa and Cape Town.

Speaking at the opening of the conference centre at the weekend, Western Cape Economic Opportunities MEC, Alan Winde, said the province had already secured conference bids worth almost R2bn in the current financial year. He said just two of these conferences — the World Ophthalmology Congress 2020 and the International Fiscal Association 2022 — would bring 5 600 delegates and generate R262 million (€14 million) for the provincial economy.

This article was published here

SA Tourism to close one of its country offices?

SA-Tourism-to-close-one-of-its-country-offices-800x400Tourism Update understands that SA Tourism will close its Italy office at the end of May, although SA Tourism has denied this. “At this point there has not been any decision taken by SA Tourism to close any office,” the organisation said in a statement. From 2014 to 2015 there was a 10,6% decline in Italian tourists visiting South Africa, with 52 377 arrivals in 2015 compared with 58 614 arrivals recorded in 2014. Italy is South Africa’s fifth biggest source market in Europe. In 2015, South Africa recorded 407 415 arrivals from the UK; 256 646 arrivals from Germany; 128 436 from France; and 121 880 from The Netherlands.

This article was published here