Namibia Targets 600 Rhinos for Dehorning

Since the start of the year, at least six rhinos have been poached in Etosha National Park, home to the highest concentration of black rhinos in the world. Last week, the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism kicked off the annual dehorning campaign with a goal of removing the horns of 600 rhinos in the next 12 months.

Increased incidents of poaching — which recently led to several arrests — have prompted Namibian authorities to embark on a mixed approach to deter would-be poachers from targeting black rhinos. The critically endangered species is often targeted for its horns which hold mystical, ornamental and medicinal value for consumers in Asian markets.

Speaking at the launch of the annual dehorning campaign, Minister of Environment and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta said dehorning rhinos brings down their value and deters poachers from targeting them.

“We want to dehorn most of them so that they can become safe, and also because sometimes they kill each other. Because most of the fatalities happening, natural fatalities happening among them, especially black rhino, they are very vicious because of fights,” Shifeta said.

Recently appointed to the Blue Rhino Task Force — a group comprised of military, police, wardens and intelligence officials — Namibia Regional Police Commander Naftal Lungameni Sakaria told VOA that despite policing efforts, poachers remain a threat to the country’s conservation efforts.

“The Etosha National Park is the park … that has got more black rhino population in the world, so you can understand that this is very important for the country,” he said. “People come from everywhere as tourists, and they are attracted by the idea that they will — the opportunities are high — that they will see a rhino. And they will. It is important. It is of strategic importance to the country.”

Dr. Conrad Brain, a veterinarian, said that while dehorning is an effective way to deter poachers, the practice can have an impact on the survival of rhinos in the wild.

“There was a big project done between Namibia and an American university where they looked at the negative effect of dehorning in terms of the mother rhinos being able to protect their offspring from predators because they have no horn,” Brain said.

Brain said the findings are not insignificant, but the positives of dehorning outweigh the negatives.

The dehorning program has been ongoing since 2014. This one is set to take place for the next 12 months, targeting 600 rhinos.

The horns are DNA profiled, marked and stored in the national stockpile. Namibia sits on tons of rhino horns, but the ministry would not disclose the value of the stockpile, citing security concerns.

Under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), trade in rhino horns is banned worldwide. At the CITES meeting last year in Panama, Namibia sought to have the ban lifted for white rhinos in order to raise money for conservation efforts, but the request was denied.

Source: Voice of America

CAF to bring more international events in Angola

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) intends to bring its major events to Angola, with a view of also to host those from the International Federation of Football Association (FIFA).

This was said Monday in Lubango, Huíla province, by the head of professional football at CAF, Muhammad Feizal Sidat.

The official was speaking at the opening of the international workshop on the online club licensing platform, which brings together 14 countries, from May 29- June 2.

He said that Angola has to organise more CAF and FIFA’s events as well, hence this one, 13 years after its first on Angolan soil, the CAN2010, a training that serves as the opening of a phase to be present in the FIFA major events”.

“The last major event that CAF organised in Angola was CAN2010, so we brought this training. It is a commitment that I have as a Portuguese-speaking citizen, because I arrived at CAF with the support of President Artur (Almeida e Silva)”, he stressed.

He said it was the 4th regional workshop, a process that had already been carried out in Tunisia, Benin and Tanzania, which is now ending with Angola.

The platform, according to the Mozambican, is to be implemented immediately, being mandatory for clubs that want to participate in African competitions.

In the case of Angola, said the CAF official, there will be sanctions in case of non-compliance, which is a great moment for Angola, because federations will join and on Friday a specific one for the Angolan clubs.

“Angola will be the 4th country in Africa to have a direct session with its teams. It is a great benefit and these teams will be better prepared to use this new CAF online club licensing platform”, he highlighted.

The international workshop on the online club licensing platform is attended by 60 technicians from the countries such as Angola, Zambia, Malawi, Lesotho, Botswana, Eswatini, South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique, Mauritius, Cabo Verde, Guinea-Bissau, São Tomé and Principe and Seychelles

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

President João Lourenço congratulates Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan on victory

Angolan head of State João Lourenço Monday sent a message to congratulate Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his electoral victory for another term at the head of the destinies of the Republic of Turkey.

“I am convinced that your re-election is the re-assertion of the Turkish people’s trust for believing in deep achievement of the policies you have been carrying out, with visible successes, aimed at building and consolidating a prosperous and developed nation”, reads the message published on the Presidential

Facebook page.

President João Lourenço finally expressed the desire to see the two Governments committed to the permanent deepening of bilateral relations during President Erdogan’s next term.

According to the election results, the current Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was re-elected in the second round of the election, which took place on Sunday (28), with 52.54 percent

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

National Road Safety Plan 2022-2027 gets green light

Angola’s Cabinet Council approved Monday the National Plan for Road Safety and Prevention 2023-2027, a document that contains the strategic and operational objective aimed to reduce the number of road accidents in the country.

The Plan, according to the final communiqué of the meeting, chaired by the President of the Republic, João Lourenço, also contains the actions to be implemented in view of the factors identified which contribute to road accidents in the country.

The Executive intends to improve the training process for vehicle drivers, develop a culture of road education, guarantee efficient management and increase the levels of safety of infrastructures, vehicles and road users.

The project also aims to improve and expand rescue and assistance to the victims of accident, thus reducing the death toll resulting from road accidents.

Water Sector

The session also approved the Regulations for Commercial Relations of Supply and Wastewater Sanitation Services as well as the Regulatory Information Regulation of the Water and Wastewater Sanitation Subsector.

The measure aims to boost the legal framework applicable to the Water and Sanitation Subsector, with regard to the duty of information of the Management Entities to the Regulatory Entity, thus allowing the creation of an ecosystem of concise, credible and easy to interpret information.

The session also approved the Regulation on the Quality of Service Provided in the Public Water Supply and Wastewater Sanitation Subsector, a document that also establishes, within the scope of reinforcing the powers of the IRSEA, the minimum levels of quality that must comply with the services provided in the said subsector, as well as the due compensation in the event of non-compliance.

The session approved the Sanctioning Regulation of the Water and Wastewater Sanitation Subsector, a diploma that establishes the sanctioning regime applicable to transgressions, infractions or non-compliance with the rules on the exercise of public water supply and sanitation of wastewater.

The determinations and recommendations of the Regulatory Entity of the Water and Wastewater Sanitation Subsector were also endorsed, also stipulating the norms that conduct the contravention process and the general rules on deadlines, notifications and decision.

Energy Sector

In this regard, the Cabinet Council took note of the General Guidelines for the Preparation of the National Plan for Rural Electrification.

The said planning instrument’s main objective is to bring electricity to remote areas of the country, in order to improve the quality of life of the population and promote the economic and social development of these regions.

Health area

As for the Health Sector, the Cabinet approved the National Contingency and Emergency Plan for the Prevention of Influenza A (H1N1), an instrument that establishes a set of guidelines and procedures that, within a certain framework, aim at an effective response in the face of the threat of a pandemic by Influenza A.

To this purpose, the Executive intends to secure the continuity of essential services to the population, safeguarding people and the country’s economic and social situation.

The plan foresees, among other strategic actions, the establishment of a multi-sector and multi-disciplinary coordination mechanism at national, provincial and local level; analysis of the risk of introducing and transmitting the disease in the country.

It also plans, promotes and monitors the implementation of the measures contemplated in each phase of the Contingency and Emergency Plan; the reinforcement of the National Public Health Epidemiological Surveillance System in relation to possible suspected cases in risk groups.

The same programme foresees the notification of flu cases; reinforce the institutional capacity of laboratories and establish mechanisms for detection and screening of the H1N1 virus in suspected human and animal cases; and implement preventive measures from an agricultural point of view and community awareness and mobilisation.

Reform of Business sector

As part of the implementation of the Roadmap for the Reform of the Public Business Sector, the session approved the transformation of Road Cargo Transport companies (Unicargas, U.E.E.) and Public Urban Transport of Luanda (TCUL, U.E.E.), into joint-stock companies.

However, reads the statement from the Cabinet Council, both institutions become companies in the public domain.

Thus, the said companies, henceforth, are renamed “Unicargas – Empresa de Transporte Rodoviário de Cargas, S.A.” or abbreviated “Unicargas, SA.” or even “Unicargas” and TCUL – Empresa de Transporte Colectivo Urbano de Luanda, S.A. or abbreviated “TCUL, S.A.” or even “TCUL”.

The Executive intends, with this transformation, to give a new dynamic to the structure and operation of these companies, through a business management model that ensures the achievement of greater efficiency and openness in the segments of freight transport, logistics operation and people and goods.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

Civil service absorbs over 811,000 employees

Around 811,000 workers, including military and paramilitary personnel, are currently included in the State’s Integrated Financial Management System, the Minister of Public Administration, Labour and Social Security, Teresa Dias, said on Monday.

Teresa Dias disclosed the figure when delivering her speech at the opening of the National Meeting of Public Administration, Labour and Social Security, stating that in the management and control of civil service personnel, there were 398,815 employees until in 2018.

That number, she explained, fluctuated over the period under review, with a total of 399,820 employees by 2022.

She said, on the other hand, that the approval and entry into force, in 2022, of the Basic Civil Service Law, has allowed this ministerial department to reduce the probationary period from five to one year.

This enabled to include all agents in the permanent staff of administrative staff under contract, in total of 7,200, in addition to the transfer of employees from the special scheme to the general scheme, without the need for an appeal public tender.

“We would like to point out that the Executive also worked on the approval of Presidential Legislative Decree No. 3/22, of May 12, which established the general principles relating to the organisation and application of the indicative structure of the salary grids, as well as subsidies or additional remuneration from the Civil Service,” she stressed.

The Minister recalled that, as part of the training of civil servants and workers in the public sector of companies, the National School of Administration and Public Policies (ENAPP) trained 44,905 agents, having exceeded the target of 32,000 established in the National Development Plan (PDN).

The National Meeting on Public Administration, Labour and Social Security gathered members of the Executive, social partners, academics, journalists, among other guests.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

72% of the country to have electricity access by 2050

More than 6.4 million families may have access to electricity by 2050 in order to achieve 72 percent of electrification goal, according to the Long-Term Strategy (ELP Angola – 2050).

The goals show the country’s electrification rate increase from 43% in 2022 to 53% in 2030 and 72% by 2050.

In terms of renewable energies (including hydroelectric), the percentage of energy supply that, since 2022, is around 56% will increase to 70%, by 2030, and 94%, in 2050.

While that of thermal source will rise from 6.0%, attained in 2022, to 12.4% in 2030 and 32.9% by 2050.

With this strategy, states the document, the Government intends to ensure sustainable, efficient and inclusive energy sector that supports development, boosts economic growth and attracts large-scale private investment.

The ELP predicts that the demand for electricity in Angola will increase more than five times by 2050, and indicates that it is essential to ensure a sustainable system, making tariffs converge to the real cost of the system, reducing losses and attracting private investment in scale, to finance the growth.

The aim is to unlock economic growth in Angola, building a resilient economy that benefits all citizens

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

Improved business environment attracts investments – President

Angolan head of State João Lourenço reiterated on Monday in Luanda that improving the business environment is a fundamental condition for attracting more investment, in what he described as a challenge for all Angolans.

The president’s Statement is expressed Monday on his Facebook account, stating that in addition to the increased supply of electricity, water, as well as roads, all agents of the public administration and the private sector must fulfill their tasks with zeal and dedication.

João Lourenço stressed that by acting on this path, Angola could be an open market and worthy of receiving more investments that generate more wealth and more jobs for families.

As part of the encouragement of entrepreneurship, the Head of State participated last week in the Italy-Angola Economic Forum, organised by the business association Confindustria Assafrica in collaboration with the Investment Promotion Agency private sector and exports, during which, he said the success of the Angolan diplomacy also depends on the insight of the business class to seize the opportunities offered.

During the activity, which took place within the framework of his State visit to the Italian Republic, he also spoke of the importance of Angolan diplomacy in the mobilisation of resources and know-how countries with proven experience.

However, as part of its governance programme, endorsed in the 2022 elections, the Executive intends to work to improve the business environment, essentially to encourage and attract private investment, in particular foreign direct investment, as well as to boost economic growth in all sectors of the Angolan economy.

Likewise, the government plans to transform the country into an increasingly open nation, transparent to business, with a strong and diversified economy, as well as the implementation of reforms aimed at removing the obstacles that still hinder the country’s ability to attract investment.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)

Alweendo speaks against corruption in management of natural resources

Mines and Energy Minister Tom Alweendo has emphasised the need for politicians to mitigate corruption in the management of natural resources in order to ensure that in-country value creation reaches ordinary citizens.

Alweendo at the opening of the oversight workshop on maximising the potential of the mining and energy sectors in Namibia in Swakopmund on Monday called on government officials to be fair and transparent with their employment procedures, procurement processes and in exercising oversight over policy implementation.

“Corruption, especially where public officials obtain private gains from holding public office, is among the practical challenges that have the potential to derail the effective management of our natural resources. The more we are transparent in our conduct, the higher the chance of realising our fair share of the economic benefits from our natural resources,” he said.

The minister added that inclusivity, providing equal opportunities for people who might otherwise be excluded, is also an important aspect of ensuring every Namibian benefits from the country’s natural resources.

“To quote President Hage Geingob, ‘exclusivity spells conflict while inclusivity spells harmony’. There are examples across the world where the oil and gas sector in some countries has become an exclusive sector, dominated by a few individuals and excluding most citizens, especially the ordinary citizens. This exclusion has resulted in huge social inequality that fuelled social discontent and unrest. It is my hope that we give serious consideration to inclusivity in our discourse.”

Erongo Governor Neville Andre Itope expressed the need to fix the policy, legal and regulatory framework governing the energy, mining, and oil sectors in Namibia, including the effectiveness of the governance mechanisms in place for these sectors, as well as oversight, monitoring and enforcement.

The objectives of the week-long workshop are to assess the state of the mining, energy and oil sectors in Namibia, including their contribution to the country’s economy, employment and sustainable development, among others.

It is being attended by a diverse group of stakeholders, including members of the parliamentary standing committees on economics and natural resources as well as agencies responsible for energy, mining and natural resources.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency

Man loses toe over bar seat

A 27-year-old man lost a toe after he was allegedly shot in a dispute over a bar seat in the Zambezi Region on Friday.

The Namibian Police Force in a crime report issued on Sunday, indicated that a 26-year-old man was apprehended as a suspect in the matter.

According to the report, the suspect shot the victim with a shotgun while he was returning home from the bar with his brothers, causing the victim to lose a big toe and suffer severe injuries on his left foot.

The crime report stated that the altercation began over a seat at a local bar, while the victim and suspect were drinking alcohol. It is further alleged that the shotgun did not belong to the suspect and that it was unlicensed.

In a similar but unrelated incident, a 26-year-old man was allegedly shot and injured at Moses Garoeb Primary School in Windhoek’s Ombili residential area.

According to the crime report, the victim was in a taxi with three other passengers, where a conflict ensued between the victim and the taxi driver over the lack of payment for the ride. The suspect allegedly pulled out a gun and fired a shot that hit the victim’s upper right arm.

The suspect is yet to be arrested.

In an unrelated incident at Outjo in the Otjozondjupa Region, an unknown suspect allegedly stabbed a 28-year-old male in the abdomen with an unknown object, resulting in serious injuries.

According to the report, the victim was initially taken to Outjo State Hospital but was later transferred to Windhoek for further treatment, where his condition was confirmed as stable.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency

MTC to continue collecting biometric data despite CRAN directive

Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC) on Monday said it will continue collecting customers’ biometric data as part of its ‘Verifi’ procedure as an enhanced security measure against cyber theft.

This despite a directive issued Friday by the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) that the gathering of biometric data for the purpose of SIM card registration is no longer required.

CRAN stated that the decision was based on complaints from the public and members of the media regarding the practice of some mobile operators requesting biometric data during the SIM card registration process in the absence of a data protection legislative framework.

The Communications Regulatory Authority indicated that operators will only need the information specified in the regulations, which includes the customer’s name, regular dwelling address, and Namibian ID, passport, or any other official identity document issued by a government of any nation.

Customers who voluntarily desire to share their biometric data, on the other hand, are welcome to do so, CRAN stated.

In a press release, MTC’s Chief Human Capital and Corporate Affairs Officer Tim Ekandjo said MTC is considering the notice issued by CRAN, adding that while MTC agrees with CRAN’s viewpoints, it will continue to offer its biometric process as a condition of service to its customers.

“Verifi is done as part of the biometric data gathering process with the purpose of delivering additional protection, which would then help battle fraud and crime – and offer consumer simplicity when it comes to their profiles with MTC,” he stated.

“Thus far, MTC is pleased with the public’s ongoing response to the registration process, particularly with regard to biometrics – for the majority comprehend the security benefits that come with it,” he stated.

Mandatory SIM card registration began on 01 January 2023 in accordance with Section 77 of the Communications Act (No. 8 of 2009) and associated regulations. Telecommunications service providers were given 12 months to complete the registration of all existing subscribers.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency

Government hard at work to complete mass housing: Uutoni

Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Erastus Uutoni, has said the government is hard at work to ensure the completion of the mass housing project, with 111 houses expected to be completed by July 2023.

In an interview with Nampa recently, Uutoni said the ministry appointed a contractor, New Era Investment, in November 2022 to complete the 505 houses in Swakopmund in the Erongo Region. Sixty-four of these houses have been completed and are ready for handing over, whilst 111 are expected to be completed in July 2023 and 319 in early 2024.

The mass housing project was the brainchild of former president, Hifikepunye Pohamba, to address Namibia’s housing crisis, with a promise to build 148 000 houses by 2030. So far, 4 130 houses have been handed over to beneficiaries, while 891 houses remained unoccupied due to incompletion, including 24 in Opuwo, 505 in Swakopmund and 362 in Windhoek.

“Government is hard at work to ensure that what has not been completed commences and is ratified. The instruction by the government is that the ministry should take up that responsibility. We are busy… and very soon the completed houses will be handed over to the beneficiaries,” Uutoni noted.

He added that the project’s abrupt stop in 2015 was due to legal disputes and underperformance by contractors.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency

Team Namibia wins 18 medals at Nottwill Grand Prix

Namibian athletes with disabilities showcased their talents at the just-ended World Para Athletics (WPA) 2023 Nottwil Grand Prix in Switzerland, securing a total of 18 podium places.

The final round of the WPA Grand Prix was held at the Sport Arena Nottwil, located at the Schweizer Paraplegic Centre and formed part of the 10th anniversary of the WPA Grand Prix.

On the last day of the competition, T44 athlete Denzel Namene led the way with a gold for Team Namibia in the 100 metre (m) sprint, with a time of 12.23 seconds. Namene was the only athlete in his category and was made to compete in a mixed-race event alongside T46, T11, T36 and T38 sprinters. Based on the Raza scoring system, he walked away with gold.

Another gold medal for Team Namibia on the last day of the championships came from T11 athlete, Ananias Shikongo, guided by Even Tjiuiju. Shikongo won gold in the 100m sprint, while Chris Kinda and his guide Riwaldo Goagoseb settled for a bronze.

Kinda and German sprinter Marcel Boettger crossed the finish line at the same time of 11.43 seconds to take third place. Shikongo ran a seasonal best of 11.32 seconds, while Minyang Kang of China took the second place with a time of 11.39 seconds.

Another T11 sprinter, Immanue Alfredo Bernardo, and his guide Hatago Murere, clocked 11.78 seconds and finished seventh overall.

Nambala won bronze in the 100m with a time of 10.98 seconds, while Norwegian sprinter Ageze Salum Kashafali ran a world record time of 10.45 seconds, but his record could not stand as it was wind aided.

T46 sprinter Bradley Murere won a silver medal after clocking 11.03 seconds. His record, which would have been his personal best, could also not stand as it was also wind aided times. Lithuanian sprinter Danas Sodaitis won the race with a time of 11.02 seconds.

Petrus Karuli a T37 athlete, won a silver medal with a time of 12.67 seconds. Valentin Bertrand of France clocked 12.52 seconds to win gold.

Meanwhile, in the women’s category, Lahja Ishitile and her guide Sem Shimanda won a silver medal with an impressive seasonal best record of 12.40 seconds, while Guohua Zhou of China won the gold with a time of 11.91 seconds.

In the T12 category, Lahja Ipinge and her guide Fillipus Kotokeni Paulus won a bronze medal with a personal best of 13.00 seconds. Dominica Republic sprinter Darlenys Severino de la Cruz took gold with her time of 12.03 seconds.

After three days of competition, Team Namibia won 18 medals – (four gold, 10 silver and four bronze).

The team is expected to return home from their European tour on Monday.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency