Angola needs US$1 bln to launch ELP – Angola 2050

Angola said it needs to mobilise about US$1 billion to launch the Long-Term Strategy (ELP – Angola 2050).

The intention was announced by minister of Economy and Planning Mário Caetano João on Monday in Luanda.

The minister was speaking to the press on the sidelines of a consultation of International Organisations, Development Agencies and Diplomatic Missions, on ELP – Angola 2050.

He mentioned human capital (education, health and others), infrastructure (production, transport and distribution of electricity) and diversification as priority for the country’s new dimension of economic growth.

Caetano João said the amount will be needed to ensure progress by 2050, and added that such value should be mobilised via foreign direct investment, citizens’ resources and commercial banks.

As for the strategy, the minister said the education should have an impact on the other areas, stating that human capital is crucial for a more participative governance.

In his speech, the official spoke of the need to boost pre-school education, “from zero to five years old. “We have to work on nutrition by allowing proper formation of the cognitive organs and enabling the capacity to absorb the necessary information to occur without interruptions”, he said.

Mário Caetano said that the Government will strengthen the financial products available to the market, micro-credit, PAC, Planagrão, so that it contributes to the natural exodus of those who are in urban areas, towards rural areas, with a focus on agri-business.

He stressed that the objective was to unblock Angola’s economic growth, building a resilient economy that would benefit all citizens, and that it was necessary to invest in infrastructure, as a driving factor for inclusive economic growth, productivity and social development.

The Long-Term Strategy is the basic tool for drafting the National Development Plan (PDN), which presents the country’s long term strategic development options and is worked out based on scenario analysis for national, sector and territorial levels.

The document under discussion predicts that the non-oil Gross Domestic Product (GDP-NP) will grow 3.3 times, from US$84 billion to US$275 billion, by 2050, with an estimated population of 70 million.

The ELP – Angola 2050 also plans that non-oil GDP per capita will rise 1.2 times, from US$3.67 billion to US$4.215 billion, supported by non-oil exports that are expected to grow 13 times more, from US$5 billion to US$64 billion.

GDP, currently at US$122 billion, is expected to reach US$286 billion, which will represent a growth of 2.4 times more and Public Debt will see a reduction of 6 percent, from 66 to 60 percent of GDP.

Estimates show that under Angola 2050, in the next 27 years the life expectancy of Angolans will rise six years, from 62 to 68 years of age.

The mortality rate, between the ages of five, will fall from 56 percent to 19 percent. Unemployment is expected to fall 10 percent from 30 to 20 percent.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

Partners suggest investment in foreign languages for ELP – Angola 2050

Debate on the issues such as visa facilitation, use of credit cards and investment in foreign languages aimed to attract more investors were held Monday in Luanda.

The main contributions were presented by the International Organisations, Development Agencies and Diplomatic Missions for the Long-Term Strategy (ELP – Angola 2050).

In order to ensure enhanced visibility in the economy the ambassador and head of the European Union (EU) delegation in Angola, Jeannette Seppen defended investment in foreign languages such as English and French to attract more investors.

Seppen was speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the meeting organised by the government.

The ambassador also spoke of the need to focus on environment in order to increase the circular economy, which also contributes to economic and commercial growth.

She also said that the strategy is aligned with the EU programme that supports economic diversification, as well as governance and human capital development issues.

The EU official pointed the country’s population growth for 2050 about reaching 70 million inhabitants as, “on one hand, beneficial, but on the other hand, it can be challenging”.

The representative of the United Nations Children’s Organization (UNICEF), Louise Moreira, on the other hand, said she is pleased with the ELP and is committed to continue to provide assistance to reduce poverty at the national level.

Meanwhile, the Swedish ambassador, Lennart Larsson, said that he will promote Angola abroad, as part of relations and “invite Swedish businessmen to invest in the country, mainly in the southern region.

The Long-Term Strategy (ELP) Angola 2050 aims to obtain the contribution of major public and private, collective and individual players with a high level of experience and knowledge in the different sectors.

According to the Government, the strategy may bring a global vision for Angola and the role at international level in the next 30 years.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

Angolan Epolua crowned African bodybuilding champion

The bodybuilder Aquiles Epolua won Sunday in Johannesburg (South Africa), the international bodybuilding tournament “Arnold Classic”, in the category Elite Pro Bodybuilding up to 95 kg.

Aquiles, vice-world champion in the amateur category, beat the competition in his debut in the professional category.

In individual women, Helena Gonçalves won the “wellness fitness” category, after the last stage of the competition called “Overall”, where the winners of all classes compete.

Maria Faria, in the amateur class, “Bodybuilding” category, won the trophy, performing the same feat as her colleague Aquiles Epolua.

Angola national teams, amateur and professional versions, were also champions in the continental competition.

In this international competition, disputed in honour of the world icon of the bodybuilding sport “Arnold Schwarzenegger”, Angola was represented with a delegation that included ten athletes.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

395 diamond stones seized in Lucapa

National Police seized 395 diamond stones of several carats on Sunday in the municipality of Lucapa, eastern Lunda Norte province, ANGO has learnt.

The diamonds were in the possession of two national citizens, aged between 24 and 54 years old, who were detained during a micro-operation conducted in Calonda area.

The citizens were preparing to travel to Lunda Sul province to sell the diamonds.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

President names State Secretary for Urbanism and Housing

Angolan head of State João Lourenço Monday appointed Manuel André da Costa Canguezeze as Secretary of State for Urbanism and Housing, according to a note published on the Presidency’s Facebook page.

Prior to the appointment, the source said, the President João Lourenço sacked Adérito Adelino João Carlos Mohamed from the position of Secretary of State for Urbanism and Housing.

Adérito Mohamed was appointed in September 2022.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

Sports Minister commends Nigerian wrestlers for excellent outing in Tunisia

Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Sunday Dare has commended the wrestlers, who represented Nigeria at the just concluded African Senior Wrestling Championships in Hammamet, Tunisia, for their excellent performance.

The Nigerian contingent won nine gold, four silver and two bronze medals.

Interestingly, the women team led by Blessing Oborududu reclaimed the top spot on the continent that they lost to Tunisia at the previous edition held in Casablanca, Morocco.

Dare, while commending the team urged the Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF) led by former Olympic champion Daniel Igali to keep up the hardwork and sustain the progressive momentum.

“The Federal Ministry of Sports and Youth Development is proud of what you have done and wants you to keep this progressive momentum going.

“Sustaining this momentum will ensure that wrestling can get Nigeria on the podium again at the 2024 Olympics in Paris as was the case at Tokyo 2020,” the Minister said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Gen. Nwachukwu to lead discussions on economic Rennaisance

Retired Gen. Ike Nwachukwu is expected to lead discussions at the Duke Masterclass, a premium experience and knowledge-sharing platform put together to discuss the role of the private sector in an emerging economic rennaisance.

The session, to be held on June 15 in Lagos, is expected to attract Chief Executive Officers and other such Type C-level corporate leaders in what is seen as one of the most incisive engagement on the economy.

Nwachukwu will be joined by other notable speakers like Prof. Konyin Ajayi (SAN), Kola Adeshina, Director, Sahara Power, and Mr Olu Onakoya, the first indigenous Managing Director of Mobil Oil Plc.

Among issues to be discussed at the session to be held at Wheatbaker Hotel, are corporate governance, regulatory environment, strategy, board and management relations.

The session is expected to work on the push for an indigenous company that can hit 100 years old.

Mr Joseph Edgar, a renowned investment banker and public affairs commentator, who is the Convener of the Masterclass, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the session was put together to push the narrative that the challenges faced in securing a cohesive nationhood are not political but economic.

“The continued struggle for the control of a unilinear economic power base is what is leading to the seemingly entrenched political crises and its attendant instability which continually leads to lack of a progressive economic push.

“There is the need to democratise economic power now more than ever before.

“It has become very imperative and it is as a result of this that robust initiatives like this Masterclass are being organised to strengthen leadership within diverse economic decision taking strata.”

He said that Nwachukwu, whose economic diplomacy policy when he was the foreign affairs minister, led to the opening up of the economy to international capital, would deliver a key note paper that would cover leadership, strategy and visioning in the private economic players.

According to him, Dr Ore Sofekun, former President of Funds Managers Association, is leading the technical team that include Bolaji Adewumi, Managing Director of Abbey Mortgage Plc.

The Duke’s Masterclass is an innovative premium think thank that is expected to provide a robust platform for the sharing of incisive knowledge and practical experiences aimed at stretching driver-seat capacity in Nigeria’s economic platforms.

The June 15 session is its second outing, the first being a 2-day visit by more than 200 Corporate leaders to Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in March 2022.

The former Nigerian leader took them through the tenets of decisive leadership in decison taking.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

We didn’t ask prospective pilgrims to pay additional $100 – NAHCON

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) on Monday said that it didn’t ask prospective pilgrims for the 2023 hajj to pay additional 100 dollars.

The Deputy Director, Information and Publications, NAHCON, Malam Mousa Ubandawaki, made this known in a statement in Abuja.

Ubandawaki said” it has come to the notice of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) of a trending news item or information that the pilgrims to this year’s Hajj have been directed to pay additional 100 dollars.

” It is important to clarify that the Sudan crisis which has resulted in the closure of its airspace for security reasons.

” Consequently, all hajj transportation flights will operate through alternate routes which are from one hour 40 minutes to three hours longer depending on the departure points in Nigeria.”

He said that the alternate route would necessitate the air carriers to fly through the airspace of Cameroon, Central African Republic (CAR), Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Eritrea.

” This will result to an additional cost of aviation fuel and over flight charges which we thoroughly reviewed all of the options in relations to funding the additional 250 dollars to the airlines which involved several processes.

” We held meetings with the airlines, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the state pilgrims welfare boards in order to find a quick resolution to the problems.

” The commission therefore resolved to manage the situation thus: NAHCON solicited the Federal Government to compassionately agree to waive the remaining 35 per cent of aviation charges in favour of Airlines which would translate to 55 dollars.

” This would further alleviate the additional cost of the airfare on the Nigerian pilgrims,” he said.

Ubandawaki said that government had earlier waived 65 per cent of the aviation charges to bring down the cost of hajj.

” With this development, the 250 dollars addition negotiated with the airlines will be reduced by 55 dollars. The liability of the remaining 195 dollars will be borne by the 75,000 pilgrims which is calculated at 117 dollars per pilgrim.

” To offset the 117 dollars without causing additional financial obligations on the pilgrims, the commission resolved to reduce the Basic Travelling Allowance (BTA) for pilgrims to 700 dollars against 800 dollars provided in the hajj package already paid by the pilgrims,” he said.

He explained that for the remaining 17 dollars, NAHCON further sought understanding of the air carriers to offer that amount as additional discount to Nigerian pilgrims who are also victims of the Sudan airspace closure.

” We however hasten to clarify that should the Sudanese airspace be cleared for normal flight either before the commencement of the transportation of pilgrims or at any point of the operation, appropriate refunds will be made to the pilgrims.

” What is playing out from the trending news is but a misrepresentation of fact. We want to make it clear that the commission will never be part of any act that will exploit the pilgrims.

” The commission has always made itself available to the media and the pilgrims to offer its maximum support and cooperation in provision of information.”

Ubandawaki reiterated the commitment of the commission to ensure smooth transportation of Nigerian pilgrims and give them the best of services in the course of administering this year’s hajj.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

Peacekeeping: Army chief harps on civilian protection in arms conflict

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, has called for concerted effort in ensuring protection of civilians during armed conflicts through peace support operations.

Yahaya, who was represented by the Chief of Training (Army), Maj. -Gen. Musa Etsu-Ndagi, said this at the inauguration of the Protection of Civilian Course 2023, on Monday in Abuja.

The 2-Weeks course was organised by the Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peacekeeping Centre (MLAILPKC) in partnership with UNDP and Government of Japan for participants from Nigeria and some ECOWAS countries.

The COAS said that conflicts in the 21st century were becoming more complex in nature, hence the need for holistic approaches, evolving both kinetic and non kinetic means for conflict prevention as well as protection of lives and property.

He said the course was conceived by the UN Security Council to forestall the past experiences of genocides and mass murders in some conflicts.

“So as to ensure the pro-activeness of peacekeepers in the aspects of protection of civilians in all peace support operations.

The course is vital in building the capacity of participants to compliment the efforts in building capacity to protect unarmed civilians, including women and children in multidimensional peace, support operations environment.”

According to him, it will also facilitate the return of peace, security and normalcy in conflicted societies and environments.

“This course will aid you to understand activities of non-governmental organisations and other mission partners in the protection of civilians, thus creating synergy and seamless operations, while working with other peace support operation mission partners,” he said.

The Commandant, MLAILPKC, Maj.-Gen. Emmanuel Udiandye, said contemporary dynamics of conflict had necessitated good peace support operations with special focus on the protection of civilians.

Udiandye said the UN Security Council had since 1999, added the protection of civilians in armed conflict to its agenda, thereby formally recognising it as a matter of international peace and security.

He said the UNSC resolutions 1265 had enhanced compliance with applicable international laws and relevant decisions in the conduct of hostilities.

The aim, according to him, is to facilitate access to humanitarian assistance, protect possibly displaced persons, particularly women and children during hostilities, respond to violations through targeted measures, as well as promote accountability of the process.

He said the course would focus on social, political, religious, economic, environmental and humanitarian factors in support of African peacekeepers and indeed world Peacekeepers in multidimensional peace operations.

“The course, which is a response to the wakeup call by the UN on the need to forestall the experiences of genocide and most murders in conflict areas, as was the case in Rwanda as well as the international organizations

“To ensure that activeness of peacekeepers in the aspect of protection of civilians in all peace support operations is undertaken.

“It was necessitated and designed to be in line with the UN program of improving protection of civilian amongst peacekeepers.

“The course will therefore expose the participants to improved cordial relations with crosscutting actors and help to enhance existing understanding in carrying out your duties during the two weeks course,” he said.

The former Chief of Defence Staff and Chairman, Governing Council of MLAILPKC, retired Gen. Martin Luther Agwai, said that conflicts had become more dynamic because of several factors.

Agwai said that the military, who were equipped to restore peace and security, had the responsibility of ensuring that unarmed civilians in conflict areas were protected.

He said the first set of casualties in any conflict were women and children, and advocated increased involvement of women in peace support operations.

He urged participants to take advantage of the course to equip themselves with the requisite capacity to protect civilians in during arm conflicts.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the participants were drawn from the armed forces of Nigeria and other ECOWAS member countries.

The participating countries include the Gambia, Mali, Cameroon, Nigeria, Niger, Benin Republic and Sierra Leone.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

World Taekwondo Masters Union in Nigeria to improve ‘Kukkiwon’ aspect of game

Ki Hong Kim, President and Founder of World Taekwondo Masters Union, on Saturday in Abuja said he was in Nigeria to improve the kukkiwon aspect of taekwondo.

Kim arrived in Nigeria days earlier for the ongoing National President’s Cup Open Taekwondo Championship organised by the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation (NTF).

He will train athletes and coaches on the sidelines of the event.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Kukkiwon is a government-sponsored national academy for taekwondo with its certification the only taekwondo certificates accepted internationally.

Athletes who seek to participate in the Olympics, national and international events must possess kukkiwon certification.

Kim, who is a grand master of the sport and a kukkiwon 9th Dan, said the Union was working with the NTF to ensure certifications for its athletes.

“The Union is mainly focused on studies, which is the kukkiwon-certified programme, and we are here in Nigeria to support the NTF in what they are doing.

“Nigeria has lots of potential in the sport and we hope that we can help improve that number as well as skills through kukkiwon certification.

“The previous administration was focused on kirougi which is the fighting aspect of the game but we have seen that this present administration are focusing also on the kukkiwon aspect of the game.

“‘With both kirougi and kukkiwon programmes, we can improve the game effectively at the grassroots,” Kim said.

The taekwondo veteran also called for support from the government and corporate sponsors to improve the game in the country.

Meanwhile, a total of 192 athletes are participating in the three-day President’s Cup competition at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja.

The event is expected to end on Sunday.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

School of visually impaired gets new fencing from supporters

The School of the Visually Impaired in Khomasdal received donations on Monday from the African Group of Ambassadors in partnership with Standard Bank Namibia in celebration of the African Union (AU) 60th anniversary.

Dean of the African Heads of Mission, Jovelina Imperial e Costa said that the African Group of Ambassadors financed the fencing around the school while Standard Bank Namibia donated tables and chairs to the school.

She also confirmed that the African Group of Ambassadors will be donating scientific calculators, braille machines and will renovate the school hostel later in the year.

Deputy Prime Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah at the event highlighted that the school was left vulnerable without proper fencing.

‘They were living under fear and were vulnerable to the possibility that the little that they have might be taken by the selfish ones,’ said Nandi-Ndaitwah.

She concluded that the donations are just one step into bettering the lives and education of the African child.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency

Vehicle sales surpass 1 000 units in April

New car sales totalled 1 004 units in April 2023, reflecting a 10 per cent year-on-year increase but an 18.1 per cent monthly decline.

This information was revealed by Cirrus Capital, a Namibian-owned financial services firm, in its vehicle sales report.

While this is fewer than the 1 226 units sold in March 2023 and the 1 103 units sold in February 2023, it is the third month in a row that new vehicle sales have surpassed 1 000 units, with commercial vehicle sales outnumbering passenger vehicle sales by 68 units.

It stated that for the second month in a row, commercial vehicles dominated new vehicle sales, which increased by 22.1 per cent year-on-year, but fell 17.7 per cent month-on-month.

Passenger vehicle sales increased little by 0.4 per cent year-on-year, but fell 18.6 per cent month-on-month.

It also reported that rental agencies purchased 52 units, a considerable decrease from the 113 units purchased in March, and that 37 of the 52 rental units were passenger vehicles, with the remaining 15 units being light commercial vehicles.

According to the report, new car sales are off to a great start this year, despite the challenges of much higher borrowing rates and continuous vehicle price increases. This, according to the report, is especially surprising given the difficulty consumers encounter in acquiring auto financing due to affordability issues.

‘With many disruptive public holidays in May (resulting in fewer trading days), this is likely to soften vehicle sales in May. Additionally, the severe Rand weakness in May could see the South African Reserve Bank hike more to protect the currency, placing further pressures on affordability for the remainder of the year,’ it said.

In April 2023, 536 commercial vehicles were sold, down from 651 units in March 2023 and 544 in February 2023. Nonetheless, this represents a 22.1 per cent increase year over year. Light commercial vehicles (LCVs) were sold in lower numbers, falling to 473 units in April 2023 from 580 in March 2023. According to the report, LCVs grew 20.7 per cent year-on-year but declined 18.4 per cent month-on-month.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency

Schlettwein implores new NamWater board for timely implementation

Minister of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, Calle Schlettwein, has directed the newly appointed Namibia Water Corporation Ltd (NamWater) board members to ensure timely implementation of capital projects aimed at sustainable water supply for all Namibians.

Speaking during the inauguration ceremony of the seven board members here on Monday, Schlettwein said they have a pivotal role to timely implement the government’s six key capital water projects under the Water Sector Support Programme (WSSP) during their three-year period of serving.

The projects include new purification plants in Rundu in the Kavango East Region, Katima Mulilo (Zambezi Region), and Oshakati in Oshana Region, plus rehabilitation work on the Omahenene to Oshakati Canal and rerouting of the canal around Oshikuku Settlement in Omusati Region.

Equally it includes the rehabilitation work on pipelines supplying rural communities, including the Ondangwa to Omutse Gwonime pipeline and Ogongo-Oshakati pipeline, the rehabilitation of the pipeline between Naute and Keetmanshoop in the ||Kharas Region as well as the rehabilitation of pipelines in the central coastal area.

‘NamWater has recently developed a new five-year strategy (2023-2028) to guide its operations and the Namibian Government has committed to supporting the water sector through the WSSP…In the last three years, progressive steps have been taken to adequately fund the sector, addressing ageing water infrastructure and developing new schemes to serve underserved areas,’ Schlettwein said.

The new board members are chairperson Luther Rukira, vice-chair Maenge Shipiki-Kali, Vivianne Kinyaga, Francis Heunis, Uda Nakamela, Fanuel Uugwanga and Matty Hauuanga.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency

Outdated acts must be reformed: Ithete

Chairperson of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Economics and Public Administration Natangwe Ithete has emphasised the need to review and change Acts to suit current narratives.

Speaking on Monday at the opening of the Consultative and Oversight Workshop on the Financial Institutions and Markets Act (FIMA) taking place in Swakopmund, Ithete said there is nothing wrong with replacing Acts that no more serve a purpose.

Ithete was making reference to among others; the FIMA clause on pension preservation, which requires members to preserve 75 per cent of the minimum withdrawal benefit until age 55, which has sparked public outcry.

Gazetted in 2021, FIMA aimed to replace the outdated Pension Fund Act of 1956, with the aims to reform, consolidate and harmonise the laws that govern non-bank financial institutions, financial intermediaries and financial markets, while addressing flaws identified in the current outdated legislation.

‘We found ourselves sitting with a Pension Fund Act gazetted in 1956, an Act which we realised no longer suited the current economic situation and therefore tabled, discussed and then gazetted FIMA. However, following wide public debate and outcry, particularly on the sections in the Act dealing with preservation of pensions, we embarked on these consultation meetings to express the views of the public, whom we speak on behalf of and represent, hence the continuation of the consultations in Erongo,’ he said.

The workshop brings together representatives from various stakeholders such as the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa), finance ministry and pension funds.

The meeting will also provide a platform for members of Parliament and stakeholders to share their views, experiences and recommendations on the proposed pension preservation clause and other provisions of FIMA.

‘Furthermore, stakeholders will also be required to identify risks and challenges associated with the implementation of the FIMA and develop strategies to address them and evaluate the effectiveness of the FIMA in promoting financial stability and protecting the interest of consumers.’

According to Ithete, the outcomes of the three-day workshop will inform the economics committee of the National Assembly of Namibia on the way forward.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency