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Author: Guest Contributor

Fugitive Jacob ‘Kobi’ Alexander to be sentenced

Reuters – The former CEO of Comverse Technology Inc, Jacob ‘Kobi’ Alexander who returned to the United States last year after spending a decade in Namibia to avoid prosecution, was sentenced on Thursday for engaging in securities fraud. The Woodbury, New York-based software developer’s founder, will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis in Brooklyn, who said the former executive could not be trusted when he pled guilty in August. Lawyers for Alexander, 64, are seeking a sentence of no more than two years in prison for the Israeli citizen, who has spent six months in custody after...

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The WTO Reborn?

By Arvind Subramanian NEW DELHI – For too long, the World Trade Organization has languished, to lift a reference from T.S. Eliot, by the “waters of Leman” (Lake Geneva). Once the world’s preeminent multilateral trade forum, the WTO has been steadily marginalized in recent years, and recent rebukes of globalization, such as the United Kingdom’s Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump as US president, suggest that this trend will accelerate. But these outcomes may actually have the opposite effect, owing to three key developments that could enable the revival of the WTO – and of the multilateralism...

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Public Policy Institute comments on Whistleblower Protection Bill

Commentary by the Institute for Public Policy Research on the Whistleblower Protection Bill, tabled last week Thursday, 16 February 2017 by the Minister of Justice, Hon Dr Albert Kawana. The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) welcomes the tabling of the Bill which indicates Namibia’s commitment to a key part (Articles 32, 33, and 37) of the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) and also marks another milestone in the achievement of targets set out in the Harambee Prosperity Plan. As pointed out in the IPPR’s July 2016 publication, Encouraging the Reporting of Corruption: Principles of Whistleblower Protection1: “To be...

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What if Tropical Storm Dineo had struck Namibia: The need for emergency logistics, the most powerful form of aid in times of crisis

By Frans Logan Director of NGCL When it comes to natural disasters, experience is usually considered to be of great value to handle the situation effectively and efficiently. Namibia just narrowly avoided disaster with Tropical Storm Dineo, which was luckily downgraded before it could damage the country. Floods caused by the seasonal heavy rainfalls affect Namibia annually, but droughts are very common for the country as well. This often means that aid is required in one form or another, preferably as speedily as possible. Rapid response is of the essence, as lives are at stake. This is where logistics...

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Aon expands partnerships to better serve clients in sub-Saharan Africa

Johannesburg – In line with its global growth strategy, Aon, global provider of risk management, human resource consulting and outsourcing on Monday announced two important strategic developments in its sub-Saharan Africa operations, reaffirming its positive outlook for business on the continent. Capitalworks, an Africa focused and based private equity firm specialising in investing on the continent, is to acquire Aon’s shareholding in 10 employee benefit, insurance and reinsurance brokerage operations in Namibia, Angola, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. The new entity will become Aon’s exclusive correspondent for these 10 countries and will be Aon’s largest exclusive global network correspondent on the continent. The transaction will become effective once all regulatory approvals have been granted. “We maintain a positive outlook for sub-Saharan Africa as an exciting operating environment and our pan-African strategy is focused on supporting our colleagues and collaborating closely with local leaders and partners. We believe that empowering colleagues and partners is the most effective way to serve our clients and unlock growth potential,” said John Cullen, CEO of Aon Risk Solutions in EMEA. Capitalworks is a leading independent alternative asset manager concentrating on sub-Saharan Africa. Capitalworks manages more than US$515 million of assets for a diverse range of international investors. Capitalworks’ philosophy is centred on building exceptional businesses through partnering with leading entrepreneurs and management teams. “With Capitalworks we’ve chosen to partner with...

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Energy leaders to explore investment as the key to unlocking Africa’s untapped potential

Leading figures within the African energy scene will convene at the 9th Annual Africa Energy Indaba, the World Energy Council’s annual African regional meeting, to discuss how best to unlock investment to develop an energy infrastructure road map for Africa. The World Energy Council will be holding a number of high-level ministerial meetings as part of the Indaba in Johannesburg between 20 and 22 February. Other discussions will centre on highlighting the scaling up of renewables through innovative business models as well as the role of mobile banking solutions. By combining state of the art renewable technology with high-efficiency appliances, latest battery technology, and innovative mobile payment systems that have emerged from the mobile phone revolution, entrepreneurs are delivering household solutions that increase rural electrification rates and scale up renewables in Africa. Key speakers at the Indaba will include: Abubukar Sambo, Special Adviser to the President of Nigeria; Sadique Kebonang, Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security, Botswana; and Pierre Matusila, Minister of Energy and Hydraulic Resources, DR Congo. Experts from the financial, construction, utilities, mining, innovations and technologies sectors, as well as Civil Society will also be present. Dr Elham Ibrahim, Commissioner for Energy and Infrastructure, Africa Union, and Vice Chair for Africa at the World Energy Council, also participating in the Indaba said: “I believe the time for more serious action has come for scaling...

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Namibia seeks further cooperation with China, UN in food security

Xinhua – Namibia is seeking to continue its cooperation with China and the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) to promote food security. FAO country representative Babagana Ahmadu said that given the success of the first phase of the tripartite South-South Cooperation (SSC) agreement, Namibia, through the Agricultural ministry and the fisheries ministry have officially applied to FAO for phase II of the SSC. “By way of feedback I am happy to report that all applications will be considered towards the end of this month and that the outcome will be communicated through diplomatic channels,” he said. In 2014 Namibia officially signed the tripartite agreement on South South Cooperation (SSC) and it was formally incepted in April 2015 upon arrival of 15 Chinese experts, who were deployed in four regions to work with their Namibian counterparts in the fields of rice, gardening and husbandry. During the two-year period, 15 varieties of rice have been introduced to Namibia and three will be selected to plant in the country in the future, 455 farmers and officials received training in various fields and modern agricultural machinery has been introduced and demonstrated in the country. The project, which will officially end in April, also brought about mutual sharing and exchange of development solutions, including knowledge, experiences, policies, good practices, technology and resources over the two year period it was implemented. Last week, Namibia...

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Large moves in Palladium ETFs confuse investors

Cape Town – Johann Erasmus, Head of CIB Wealth, a division in Standard Bank said this week that precious metal Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) have evolved into a market barometer for underlying investor demand and a potential window into future metal demand and prices. Although historically, precious metals were considered a relatively opaque commodity sector, the advent of ETFs has provided a viewable indicator of the underlying price and volume demand. “ETFs are used to track and predict broader industry changes and developments, especially in the gold, platinum, palladium and rhodium industries,” said Erasmus. Using ETFs as a barometer...

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