Tripartite ‚Äėgrowth pole‚Äô diagnostic reports: potentials and prospects for minerals-based industrialisation
12 March 2014, 12:00 pm
Pretoria: Since its establishment in 2009, Trade Mark Southern Africa (TMSA) has supported the Tripartite of the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa, the Southern African Development Community and the East African Community, in developing and implementing its regional integration agenda. This involves supporting the design and planned implementation of the Tripartite Free Trade Area, improving the economic competitiveness of the region and reducing costs of cross-border transactions through a transport corridor approach addressing both trade facilitation issues and infrastructure constraints. Focused industrial development is essential in the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite region to fundamentally change the economy and to promote high yield sectors. Such development brings not only an improvement in the GDP and job provision, but promotes knowledge accumulation and technological sophistication that have far reaching benefits for the economy. This research was conducted under the topic ‚ÄúTripartite ‚ÄėGrowth Pole‚Äô Diagnostic Reports: Analysis of Potentials and Prospects for Minerals-Based Industrialisation.‚ÄĚ
DRC: Reinforcement of socio-economic infrastructure in the Central Region
6 March 2014, 12:00 pm
Tunis: The Project for the Reinforcement of Socio-economic Infrastructure in the Central Region (PRISE) covers the two Kasa√Į provinces which have a population of 8.2 million, that is, 12% of the country‚Äôs population. The direct beneficiaries of project outcomes are estimated at about 3.3 million people. The total project cost is estimated at UA 105.18 million. It will be jointly financed by (i) an ADF loan to the tune of UA 1.475 million derived from cancellations of previous loans; (ii) an ADF Grant amounting to UA 43.525 million derived from the country allocation under ADF XII to the tune of UA 43.02 million and Grant cancellations amounting to UA 0.505 million; (iii) a Fragile States Facility (FSF) Grant to the tune of UA 55 million; and (iv) the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative (RWSSI) Trust Fund Grant amounting to UA 5.18 million. The project will be implemented over a five-year period.
EU proposes responsible trading strategy for minerals from conflict zones
6 March 2014, 12:00 pm
Brussels: High Representative (HR) of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton and EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht today proposed an integrated EU approach to stop profits from trading minerals being used to fund armed conflicts. The package of measures will make it more difficult for armed groups in conflict-affected and high-risk areas to finance their activities through the mining of and trade in minerals. The focus of the approach is to make it easier for companies to source tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold responsibly and to encourage legitimate trading channels. ‚ÄúWe are committed to preventing international trade in minerals from intensifying or perpetuating conflict," said HR/VP Catherine Ashton and EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht. "Today's initiative on 'conflict minerals' will help trade to work for peace, for communities and for prosperity in areas around the globe affected by armed conflict. It is a first and timely contribution from the EU to support a consensus reached by business, civil society and governments in OECD countries to help communities benefit from their natural resources."
ICGLR regional initiative against the illegal exploitation of natural resources
5 March 2014, 12:00 pm
Addis Ababa: Several African countries are endowed with considerable amounts of mineral resources. These resources play a crucial role in the economy, as they account for a significant share of exports. Indeed, mineral resource exports contribute to merchandise exports in almost half of Africa‚Äôs 54 countries. While the exploitation of mineral resources should have a positive effect on economic growth as it provides sufficient financial resources for building economic infrastructure and human capital, it has not been the case for most African countries. Poor performance in mineral economies has been linked, inter alia, to the disenfranchisement and conflict about the resources; poor legal and regulatory frameworks and weak institutional capacity, including for negotiation of mineral agreements; illicit financial flows that are lost by Africa through transfer pricing and other mechanisms used by private companies; and the negative impact that resource rents have on the workings of political institutions, as they create political incentives for discretionary or non-transparent management of public expenditure.
Kasumbalesa: "DRC to submit security report to SADC"
5 March 2014, 12:00 pm
Lusaka: Minister of Foreign Affairs Wylbur Simuusa says authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have indicated that they will soon submit a report to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) on measures taken to address security concerns raised by international truck drivers who transport goods to and from that country. Mr Simuusa said security concerns raised by international truck drivers are noticeable and should be urgently resolved by authorities in the DRC. He also said SADC government officials in charge of transport will be discussing the matter at a forthcoming SADC meeting.
Sata calls for robust COMESA growth
28 February 2014, 12:00 pm
Kinshasa: President Sata has called on Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) member states to step up efforts to empower micro, small- and medium-scale entrepreneurs (MSMEs) for them to contribute to industrialisation, job creation and poverty reduction. Mr Sata said MSMEs form the bedrock of economic activities in most countries and are vehicles for economic growth. The President said this here yesterday when he addressed the 17th COMESA heads of state summit under the theme `Consolidating intra-COMESA trade through MSMEs development‚Äô.
Bad roads, insecurity hamper relief effort in DRC‚Äôs Katanga Province
25 February 2014, 12:00 pm
Manono: Terrible roads, the threat of violence and insufficient resources are hampering efforts to assist up to 400,000 people displaced by violence in the south of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), say humanitarian organizations. On the ground, relief agencies and NGOs face tough terrain and heavy seasonal rains as well as non-existent infrastructure as they try to help those driven from their homes in DRC‚Äôs Katanga Province. Responders are struggling to raise funds and awareness for a crisis overshadowed by the UN-led drive to pacify DRC‚Äôs tortured North and South Kivu regions, and more recently by the turmoil and bloodshed sweeping through the Central African Republic and South Sudan.
Tackling Kasumbalesa security challenges
24 February 2014, 12:00 pm
Lusaka: Kasumbalesa, Zambia's border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was recently a hive of activity emanating from the harassment and victimisation of truck drivers at the hands of Congolese nationals. The harassment of truck drivers, which ultimately has led to the death of some of them after being shot at like was the case with Patrick Mwila, 28, a Zambian truck driver. Mr Mwila was shot dead on January, 29 this year by a Congolese soldier as he tried to retrieve a number plate the soldier had ripped off his truck. This was after Mr Mwila had allegedly refused to bribe the soldier who demanded US$10 (about K55) to enable him jump a queue of other truck drivers who were waiting to be cleared at a dry port called Wisky, situated a few kilometres from Kasumbalesa border post. The killing of Mr Mwila seemed to have certainly aggravated already existing wounds among international truck drivers as it was coming from a backdrop of similar unpleasant incidences in which a Zimbabwean driver was shot at and wounded before another Zambian driver, Derick Chanda was burnt to ashes alongside his truck by Congolese nationals.
Dry port: is it a panacea to Kasumbalesa problems?
20 February 2014, 12:00 pm
Lusaka: What is happening at Kasumbalesa border post has become a source of worry for the economic sector. Zambian truck driver, Patrick Mwila, 28, was shot dead on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) side for reportedly refusing to pay a bribe while Zimbabwean driver, Joseph Howard Mwachande, 52, was callously killed by unknown people on the Zambian side. Several other attacks against truck drivers have been reported in the area for some time now causing insecurity for the lives of people and the cargo on transit. What started as a mere security concern has degenerated into economic malaise given the grounding of operations at the border every time there is a raid.
Dry port in pipeline at Kasumbalesa
16 February 2014, 12:00 pm
Lusaka: Government has said it will relocate residents whose houses are close to Kasumbalesa border post to enhance security. Home Affairs Minister, Ngosa Simbyakula told Parliament yesterday that Government would also establish a dry port at Kasumbalesa border as part of the measures to address security concerns. The minister, however, told Parliament that there was no tension between Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) following the recent killings of two truck drivers at Kasumbalesa border post.