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Author: SADC Correspondent

Report shows Fortune 500 companies rank Johannesburg high as African point of entry

JOHANNESBURG – Africa is becoming increasingly important for the majority of global Fortune 500 companies, according to a new report released by Infomineo (www.Infomineo.com), a global business research company specialising in Africa and the Middle East. The report focuses on multi-nationals looking at entering, or already present, in the Middle East and Africa region. Overall, there was a 17% increase in the number of companies in MEA in 2016 compared to 2015, with Johannesburg as the leading destination for Africa. The Infomineo analysis includes the regional footprint of multinationals in the MEA region, the most commonly chosen cities, and...

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SADC can raise US$1.2 billion annually from minute trade levies

By Joseph Ngwawi – According to a series of studies commissioned by the SADC Secretariat, the Southern African Development Community could access a huge pool of resources available in the region if it adopts some or all of the six options on alternative and innovative sources of funding. Southern Africa has the potential to mobilise more than US$1.2 billion to reduce the reliance on donor support. The six options are the introduction of an export and import tax; a tourism levy; a financial transaction tax; a lottery system; philanthropy; and regional events. The study on the Export and Import Levy found that a regional tax on exports and/or imports is a common practice for raising revenues by national governments or Regional Economic Communities worldwide. An import tax is the most common form of raising funds for other African economic communities such as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS). ECOWAS has operationalised an 0.5% import levy on all goods and vehicles originating from outside its region. ECCAS has adopted; a 0.4% regional integration tax on all goods originating from outside the region. The African Union (AU) is in the process of introducing a similar tax. The AU Summit in 2016 approved a 0.2% levy on eligible imports, with each AU region contributing about US$65 million per year. The study...

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Family pets boost social skills and self-esteem in children

PRNewswire – Growing up with a pet can bring social, emotional and educational benefit to children and adolescents according to a new study by the University of Liverpool in the UK. Children who live with pets tend to have greater self-esteem, less loneliness, and enhanced social skills. This research adds strength to claims that household pets can help support healthy child development. “Anyone that has grown up with and loved a family pet intrinsically feels the value of their companionship,” said the study leader, Dr Carri Westgarth. “The scientific evidence investigating the benefits to children and adolescent development looks...

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Small off-grid power installations focus for upcoming African Utility Week

Off-grid power generating facilities that only supply in the immediate demand of residents in specific rural districts, are seen as one of the solutions to rural Africa’s pressing electricity problems. More often than not, these small and micro power stations comprise so-called hybrid installations, deploying the energy from several avaialable low-cost sources in conjunction with more conventional generating technologies like diesel, coal or even wood and charcoal. Energy Revolution Africa 2017 has identified mini grids and new technologies as integral topics in their programme for the co-located event at African Utility Week at the CTICC from 16 to 18...

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Zambia signs mandate to develop another 500 MW of renewable energy

Johannesburg – Zambia signed agreements this week for a second mandate with Scaling Solar, the World Bank Group programme that is helping developing countries procure low cost, privately financed, solar power. This is Zambia’s second engagement with Scaling Solar and it follows successful auctions held in May 2016 for two solar PV plants of up to 50 MW each that attracted some of the world’s top renewable energy developers. The winning developers and relevant Zambian government agencies are in the process of concluding their agreements, which are expected to be finalized in May 2017, and the World Bank Group’s Board approved a package of financing and guarantees for one of the two winning bidders and will review the same for the second winner in the coming weeks. The new Scaling Solar mandate will begin with an initial procurement round of up to 200 megawatts (MW) of utility-scale clean energy, with subsequent rounds to follow with a goal of developing 500 MW of renewable power. The Request for Qualifications for the second round are expected to be released in late March 2017. Only about a fifth of the population in Zambia has access to electricity and the country often experiences up to 10 hours a day of load shedding or blackouts. The Scaling Solar mandate will be led by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), Zambia, in close coordination with the...

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DHL Express launches online on-demand shipping

DHL Express this week announced the launch of online On Demand Delivery for a small number of selected countries in the Sub-Sahara Africa  region. The new service allows shippers and receivers globally to select from a range of standardised delivery options to six pilot destinations. Once operational in these six jurisdictions, DHL Express intends to expand the service to more African countries. “Globally, we have seen the share of e-commerce deliveries grow from about 10% in 2013 to more than 20% of the international volumes of DHL Express in 2016,” said Hennie Heymans, CEO of DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa....

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African Heads of State pledge to give every child a healthy shot at life

ADDIS ABABA — Heads of State from across Africa adopted a Declaration on Universal Access to Immunization in Africa, in which they endorsed the Addis Declaration on Immunization (http://APO.af/9BsLoF), a historic and timely pledge to ensure that everyone in Africa – regardless of who they are or where they live – receives the full benefits of immunization. The endorsement was issued during the 28th African Union (AU) Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. While Africa has made impressive gains over the last 15 years toward increasing access to immunization, progress has stagnated, and the continent is falling behind on meeting...

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Swaziland to head Malaria eradication drive

ADDIS ABABA – At a time of historic progress toward a malaria-free Africa, the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) on Monday nominated King Mswati III of Swaziland, as its next chair. King Mswati III succeeds H.E. Idriss Déby Itno President of Chad, as Chair of ALMA. The announcement came at the ALMA Head of State and Government meeting during the 28th African Union Summit. During the meeting, ALMA presented its 2017 ALMA Awards for Excellence. Swaziland was one of seven countries recognized for significant achievements in malaria control and elimination over the last five years. “The Kingdom of Swaziland...

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