Author Archives: South Africa Voice

Terror in Tunisia

The cradle of the Arab Spring–and its best exemplar–was beset by a vicious terror attack on tourists at a museum. 19 people were killed, including 17 tourists. There was no immediate claim of responsibility. “While Tunisia has been spared the catastrophic levels of violence that have plagued other Arab Spring countries like Syria, Yemen and Libya, the country has still suffered from occasional but deadly attacks carried out by Islamist extremists. In 2013, 22 people were killed. This included a suicide bomber who attacked a beach resort in Sousse. Last year 45 people were killed and already this year the death toll has reached 23, with Wednesday’s museum raid following an attack on a mountain checkpoint in February that killed 4 police officers.” (BBC

What the Israeli Elections Mean for the Prospects of Peace and the Two State Solution…If you have 15 minutes and want to understand what happened in Israel, how damaging it is to Palestinian aspirations, and what’s next for supporters of the Two State Solution listen to this Global Dispatches Podcast episode—>

The USA may send marines to assist in cyclone ravaged Vanuatu (Stars and Stripes

Dodge this allegation…The EU watchdog has accused the union’s bank of flouting its own transparency rules and hiding what it knows about allegations of tax avoidance by a Zambian mining firm largely owned by the Swiss commodity trader Glencore. (Guardian

(Not So Humanity Affirming) Stat of the Day: The death toll in the world’s most brutal conflicts climbed by more than 28 percent last year from 2013 with bloodshed in Syria worse than all others for the second year running, according to a study released on Wednesday. (Reuters


Hopes of an end to South Sudan’s 15-month old civil war were dealt another blow on Wednesday as President Salva Kiir ruled out a proposed power-sharing deal with rebels. (AFP 

Nigeria has begun the “final onslaught” against Boko Haram, the country’s national security spokesman said on Tuesday, after the militants were ousted from the strategic town of Bama. (AFP

The Nigerian military, battling insurgency in the northeast, has had no news of more than 200 girls abducted 11 months ago by Boko Haram Islamists, the army chief said. (AFP

Pro-democracy activists from Senegal and Burkina Faso arrested in Democratic Republic of Congo on suspicion of planning to destabilise the country will be expelled and banned from returning, the government announced Wednesday. (AFP

A withdrawal of peacekeepers from Sudan’s Darfur region should not be conditional on an end to tribal violence, Sudan said as Khartoum began work with the United Nations and the African Union on an exit strategy for the $1.1 billion mission. (Reuters

Lesotho’s new Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili was sworn in on Tuesday, admitting the tiny country faces major challenges after an alleged coup bid last year. (AFP

A lack of accountability in South Sudan for “atrocities, sexual and gender based violence, child soldier recruitment and mass graves” hinders a bid for peace in the world’s youngest state, the U.S. envoy to the United Nations said. (Reuters

Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa producer whose economy was battered by a low-level civil war and ensuing political unrest, should see double-digit growth this year, Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan said. (Reuters

Sierra Leone’s president on Wednesday fired his vice president, who was kicked out of their political party earlier this month on accusations of fomenting violence and trying to form a new party. (AP

Four people died in a gun and grenade attack on Wajir town in northeast Kenya, the latest in a series of cross-border raids by Somalia’s Shebab militants, officials said Wednesday. (AFP

Tanzania will receive a total of $380 million in loans from India to finance two major water projects in the east African nation, the president’s office said. (Reuters

Liberia has managed to get its outbreak under control. But many residents, especially those in northern Lofa County, which was devastated by Ebola, are concerned the deadly virus might make a comeback through visitors from neighboring Sierra Leone and Guinea, which are not yet Ebola free. (VOA

Gabon’s striking public sector workers have rejected a temporary pay rise proposed by the government, trade unions said Wednesday, in a dispute that has already seen schools closed for over a month. (AFP


Palestinian leaders on Wednesday called for international pressure on Israel and support for their unilateral moves towards statehood after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s election win. (Reuters

Syria’s military took control of a village north of partly insurgent-held Aleppo on Wednesday, state media and a monitoring group said, giving it increased control of an area which armed groups have used as a supply route into the city. (Reuters

The United States still wants a negotiated political settlement in Syria that excludes President Bashar al-Assad, and its position on the Syrian leader has not changed, top U.S. envoy John Allen told Turkish officials. (Reuters

Iraqi troops and militias who pushed Islamic State fighters from the northern town of Amerli last September proceeded to loot and burn down homes and businesses, Human Rights Watch said in a new report Wednesday. (VOA


International aid agencies ramped up appeals for cyclone-hit Vanuatu on Wednesday, warning that the powerful storm which affected more than two-thirds of the South Pacific island nation had wiped out crops and destroyed fishing fleets, raising the risk of hunger and disease. (Reuters

Bloody conflict in a remote corner of northern Myanmar has spilled violently across the border with China, risking a rift with the mighty neighbour and threatening peace efforts with an array of rebels. (AFP

The head of India’s Catholic bishops, speaking out after a nun was raped in the east of the country last week, has said the country should be as concerned about the welfare of its people as it is about its cows. (Reuters

The United Nations’ human rights chief is voicing concern over the “rushed” trial that led to a terrorism conviction and 13-year jail term for the Maldives’ former president. (AP

General Motors will slash production in Russia and pull its mass-market Opel brand completely in the face of plummeting sales in the economically troubled country. (AP

A group of Thai lawyers called on Wednesday for an investigation into allegations that four suspects held over a Bangkok bomb attack were tortured while in police custody. (Reuters

A court in Bangladesh’s capital on Wednesday indicted a leader of a hard-line Islamist group and seven students in the hacking death of an atheist blogger two years ago. (AP

The Americas

Brazilian civil defense officials say more than 20,000 people have been affected by flooding in the city of Boca do Acre in Brazil’s northern state of Amazonas. (AP

Puerto Rico’s government said Tuesday that it has sold $246 million in bond anticipation notes to refinance part of its short-term debt and help generate more money for the financially strapped island. (AP

Leaders from leftist Latin American regional bloc ALBA gathered Tuesday for a summit in Caracas, a show of support for Venezuela in its mounting standoff with the United States. (AFP

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s popularity fell to a new low in a poll released on Wednesday, weakening her even further at a time when she is facing public calls for her impeachment and trying to push austerity measures through Congress. (Reuters

…and the rest

Violent clashes between anti-capitalist activists and German police left dozens injured and a trail of destruction in Germany’s financial capital as the European Central Bank opened its new headquarters on Wednesday. (AFP

A long-term study has pointed to a link between breastfeeding and intelligence. (BBC


Seven women peacemakers who should be on your radar (GlobalPost

Why is Britain such an outlier on aid? (From Poverty to Power

Does the Development Industry really need new clothes? (Africa is a Country

Why Investors Should Think Twice before Investing in Coal in India – Part 1 (Inter Press Service

Ghana’s democracy is driving great progress in health and education (Guardian 

After Israel’s elections, what prospects for Middle East peace process? (IRIN

How can we empower women in agriculture to end hunger? (Guardian

Rape in Conflict: Speaking Out for What’s Right (Inter Press Service

New DfID Report: Few Donor-Supported Anticorruption Policies Effective (Global Anticorruption Blog

Water, security, and the state (Reinventing Peace



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Dongfeng Motor participe à nouveau au Salon International de l’Automobile d’Alger

ALGER, Algérie, 19 mars 2015 / PRNewswire / Asianet-Pakistan – DongFeng Motor (DFM), l’un des plus grands groupes automobiles de Chine, participe à l’évènement annuel qu’est le Salon International de l’Automobile d’Alger 2015 à la SAFEX, à Alger, suite à sa première apparition en 2014. Cette fois DFM occupe près de 1 000 mètres carrés dans le […] read more

Supporting the Performing Arts in Nova Scotia

Government of Canada provides funding for the Chester Theatre Council Society

March 19, 2015 – Chester, Nova Scotia – Department of Canadian Heritage

Gerald Keddy, Member of Parliament (South Shore–St. Margaret’s), on behalf of the Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, today announced that the Chester Theatre Council Society is benefiting from a boost of $28,098 to its fundraising efforts through the Sir Christopher Ondaatje Theatre Foundation.

The Government of Canada is providing this funding to the Sir Christopher Ondaatje Theatre Foundation to manage and invest on behalf of the Chester Theatre Council Society through the Endowment Incentives component of the Canada Cultural Investment Fund, which encourages Canadians to donate to professional arts organizations.

Quick Facts

  • The building now known as the Chester Playhouse was purchased by Sir Christopher Ondaatje in 1987 and donated to the Chester Theatre Council Society in 1992. It was originally a movie theatre but now showcases a variety of performing arts.
  • The mission of the Chester Theatre Council Society is to foster, promote, encourage and develop the performing arts and to maintain a community arts facility in Chester.
  • With this latest grant, the Sir Christopher Ondaatje Theatre Foundation has received a total of $163,265 in grants over the life of the program, matching $205,393 in private-sector donations to the endowment fund to benefit the Chester Theatre Council Society.
  • Since 2006–2007, the Endowment Incentives component has provided more than $151 million to various endowment funds in Canada, while the private sector has provided $204 million, for a total of over $355 million.
  • This year, the Government of Canada is matching 97 cents for every dollar donated by the private sector through the Endowment Incentives component.


“Performing arts play a vital role in ensuring the cultural and economic vitality of our communities. Our investment supports the Chester Theatre Council Society’s philanthropic efforts while benefiting the residents of Chester.”
—The Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

“We are pleased to contribute to the success of the Chester Theatre Council Society in showcasing performing arts in Nova Scotia. Today’s announcement demonstrates how serious we are in supporting organizations that enrich their community’s cultural life and strengthen its economy.”
Gerald Keddy, Member of Parliament (South Shore–St. Margaret’s)

“The Foundation is extremely grateful for the matching grant program operated by Canadian Heritage. It provides added incentive for our donors and helps us reach our financial goals earlier.”
—Robin Gilbert, President, Sir Christopher Ondaatje Theatre Foundation

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For more information (media only), please contact:

Marisa Monnin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

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Israeli planes breach Lebanese skies

NNA – Army Command Guidance Directorate issued the following communiqué:” On Wednesday (18/3/2015) at 11:00 a.m., two Israeli war planes violated Lebanese airspace from above Kfarkilla village, executed circular flight over the various Lebanese regions; and then left at 12:15 p.m. from above Alma Al-Shaab village.

And (on the same day) three other Israeli drones violated at 6:35 a.m. Lebanese air space and executed circular flights over Riak, Baalbek, Hermel and the south regions; and then left consecutively of which the last left today (Thursday) morning at 6:30 a.m. heading towards the occupied territories.”


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Deutsche Post DHL Group Sends Disaster Response Team to Vanuatu

– Volunteer teams to provide airport logistics support in Port Vila to manage incoming aid for the cyclone-hit country SINGAPORE, March 19, 2015 / PRNewswire / Asianet-Pakistan — Deutsche Post DHL Group, the world´s leading logistics provider, has deployed the first Disaster Response Team (DRT) to support relief efforts in Vanuatu devastated by Cyclone Pam […] read more

XCMG Launches New Manufacturing Base and Heavy Truck Model ‘HANVAN’

XUZHOU, China, March 19, 2015 / PRNewswire / Asianet-Pakistan — XCMG put their new heavy truck manufacturing base into production on March 18, the same day the company also launched new heavy truck model, the HANVAN, providing more value to the industry. XCMG, whose products operate in 173 countries and regions, entered the heavy truck […] read more

Five Agricultural Colleges to be upgraded to Diploma level


Mar 2015

The Minister for Agriculture, Mr. Fifi Fiavi Kwetey, has hinted that all five Agriculture Colleges in the ountry will be upgraded to Diploma awarding institutions.

A formal request, he observed, had been sent to the National Accreditation Board (NAB) in line with this effort.

The Minister made these statements when responding to questions on the floor of parliament posed by the Member of Parliament for Ejura Sekyedumase, Mr. Mohammed Salisu Bamba, who wanted to know from the Minister the steps being taking by his Ministry to upgrade the Ejura Agricultural College to a diploma awarding institution.

Mr Kwetey said the NAB’s inspection of  all facilities of Ejura Agriculture College indicate that there were the need to improve the infrastructure at Ejura Agriculture College before the college could be accredited to run the diploma program.

The Minister enumerated inadequate number and quality of teaching staff, Small Size library with outdated books, inadequate classroom and accommodation as some of the concerns.

The rest were inadequate residential accommodation for tutors and students with no science laboratory. 

Mr. Kwetey noted that the ministry as part of measures to address the inadequacies at the college had collected forms from the NAB for upgrading from Certificate to diploma awarding institution which were being filled and would be submitted with the requested documents as soon as possible.

Additionally, the ministry had posted an experienced Director from Kwadaso Agriculture College to Ejura as the principal, adding that this person was greatly involved during the accreditation process at Kwadaso, hence, was expected to bring his rich experience to bear on the accreditation process at the college.

According to him, the college now has a teaching strength of fifteen; a total of 7 tutors representing 46% had master’s degrees.

He emphasized that the ministry had put in place a programme for future training and capacity building of the teaching staff.

“Currently, a tutor is in Australia undertaking a two-year masters degree programme, whilst 7 of the tutors have participated in short courses in China, South Korea and Holland” he added.  

Mr. Kwetey maintained that the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) had donated a quantity of assorted books to improve the stocks of books at the college’s library, and had promised to regularly supply books to the college.

He mentioned that the ministry had applied to GETFUND Secretariat for support for the construction of classroom block and halls of residence for tutors and students, adding that, the school through its collaboration with AGRA-UDS had received a quantity of science equipment for science practical.

Source ISD (Raymond Kwofie)

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Government To Upgrade UCC's Fibre Optic Centre Into An Institute


Mar 2015

Professor Naana Jane Opoku Agyeman, Minister for Education, last Tuesday said government was working to transform the Laser and Fibre Optics Centre at the University of Cape Coast, into a leading and a fully fledged institute to enhance research and training in agriculture, climate monitoring, spectroscopy, communication and health.


She said the transformation of the centre would also create a hub of research and development of benefit to the photonics industry, as well as build capacity to engage in emerging areas in the sciences and technology.

Prof Agyeman said this during the launch of the 2015 International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies in Accra, which was to expose Ghanaians to the importance of light to the socio-economic development of Ghana and the world at large.

She intimated that light had become necessary to the existence of life in itself as light sciences had revolutionalized medicine, energy and optical technologies, which had become part of the basic infrastructure of modern communication.

She pointed out that  due to the emergence of solar light, clinics in rural areas which hitherto did not have access to light,  were been powered by solar.

“Government would also set up solar power research centre to harness the use of the sun or solar in the country,” she added.

Enumerating on the rational for the International Year of Light, Prof Paul Kingsley Buah-Bassuah, Lecturer, Laser and Fibre Optics Centre, Department of Physics, University of Cape Coast, said the idea was mooted by Ghana during the 190th Session of the UNESCO Executive Board in Paris, in partnership with Mexico, Russia and New Zealand.

He said the proclamation of the IYL was to focus on light and its applications, adding that Ghana’s initiative brought on board societies across the globe, including the Optical Societies, Scientific Unions, and photonic giant industries.

He said the official launch in Ghana was also intended to inform Ghanaians and Africa about the Africa Regional Conference and Exhibition, to celebrate International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies in Accra from May 26 to 28.

Some of the topics to be treated are: light as an Enabling Technology in Medicine, Energy, Communications and Agriculture.

Others include Light for Development Using Solar Power for Environmental Sustainability, Light’s Influence on Arts and Culture and Exploring the Science of Light in the Humanities.

Mr Tirso Dos Santos, UNESCO Representative to Ghana, lauded the use of light to the socio-economic development of the world, which had provided global-based technology.

He intimated that light had become vital in the 21st century, and that due to its importance, it had managed to attract the brilliant minds of the world in the form of inventors,.

He pledged the readiness of UNESCO to partner Government to raise awareness on the importance of light and its related benefits in the country.

Source: GNA

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