In line with the AU’s plan to abolish visas by 2018, Namibia will soon abolish visa requirements for Africans, President Hage Geingob said earlier this week during the official opening of the Foreign Policy Review conference.
Namibia and other African states have long considered the possibility of a common continental passport by 2018 as part of the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
Geingob emphasized that, as the first step in always welcoming its African brothers and sisters, the country recently abolished visa requirements into Namibia for diplomatic and official African passport holders.
“We are committed to extending this privilege to all African passport holders by initially issuing visasonarrival,
and eventually abolishing visa requirements,” he stated.
He said the country’s policy on international relations and cooperation should, therefore, be embedded in the doctrine of pan Africanism as espoused by some of the leading panAfricanist philosophers like Sylvester Williams, Kwame Nkrumah, Patrice Lumumba, Julius Nyerere and Founding President Sam Nujoma.
“Our policy on international relations and cooperation should also take into consideration what I refer to as the new Africa.
This is an Africa where coups d’état are no longer tolerated, where leaders retire in dignity, and an Africa that reflects its true narrative.
In essence, the new Africa is the Africa we want, as espoused in Agenda 2063 of the African Union,” he said. The President also condemned the recent coup attempt in Turkey, saying it goes against the grain of electoral democratic norms and practices.
“As Africans, it is important that we remain intellectually honest about our challenges, while resisting the temptation of persistent Afropessimism,” he added. During the official opening, Minister of International Relations Netumbo NandiNdaitwah said the Foreign Policy Review is an acceptable mechanism to enable the country assess its
achievements, and address emerging issues.
She said some of the goals in the White Paper of the country’s foreign policy have been achieved, such as Namibia being classified by the World Bank as an uppermiddle income country, although the classification has brought some serious challenges in accessing soft loans which are essential for the country’s development.
“The White Paper also stresses poverty eradication as a top priority among government priorities. While that was true in 2004, today under the Harambee Prosperity Plan, the call is to eradicate poverty. Hence, the need for a new strategy,” she stated.
She said through the country’s foreign policy, her ministry strives to promote economic prosperity, peace, stability, security and the welfare of Namibian citizens abroad.
The conference brings together key stakeholders to review Namibia’s foreign policy in realignment with current national priorities and programmes which are aimed at eradicating poverty in the country.
Ghana’s Minister of Petroleum, Mr Emmanuel ArmahKofi Buah, has been elected Chairman of the Committee of Energy Ministers in West Africa.
He takes over from Nigeria’s Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Mr Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu. The handing over
ceremony was done during a Committee of Ministers Meeting in Abuja on the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) Project.
It was on the theme: “Solidarity through sustainable gas supply for energy security in the sub region”. The delegates were drawn from Ghana, Benin, Togo and Nigeria. In his remarks, Mr Buah thanked the committee for the confidence reposed in him and asked all members to continue to support him for a common goal. He called for the restructuring of the West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCo) Board and for all inclusive work towards achieving the goals of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
The Managing Director of WAPCO, Mr Walt Perez , commended the ministers from Ghana, Nigeria, Benin and Togo for their continued support and commitment to the project.
According to Perez, WAPCo remains a long term asset for regional integration and encouraged more prospects for new gas volumes in Ghana. He said new oil production in Ghana was unlocking new gas supply but would require
important changes in the reconfiguration of the system. Mr Perez further noted that WAPCo had embarked on a series of engineering and reconfiguration emissions to accommodate the emerging transmission needs successfully.
“West Africa must come together as a hub for infrastructure development for corporate
integration,” he stressed. For his part, Mr Kachikwu said Nigeria was deeply committed to the success of the project.
He indicated that plans were underway to develop new gas production in Nigeria, located close to the Niger Delta.
The Security Council has requested Secretary General Ban Kimoon to establish a United Nations police officers component in Burundi for an initial period of one year to monitor the security situation and to support the Office of the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) in monitoring rights violations and abuses in the crisis gripped country.
Acting on the recommendations of the Secretary General, the Council adopted a new resolution by a recorded vote of 11 in favour with four abstentions (Angola, China, Egypt and Venezuela), which authorized the deployment of a UN police component of up to 228 officers.
Further by the text, the UN police would be placed under the authority of a Senior Adviser to the United Nations and be deployed in the capital, Bujumbura and throughout Burundi. The Secretary General was further requested “to ensure their progressive deployment.”
The Security Council urged the Burundian Government and all Burundian parties to cooperate fully in the deployment and activities of the UN police component and to allow UN staff to travel freely and unhindered in places of detention and to prisoners.
As for observers and experts from the African Union (AU), the Council urged the Burundian government to allow without delay the continuation of the full deployment of 100 AU human rights observers and 100 military experts.
It also urged the Government and other stakeholders to extend full cooperation to those observers and experts and provide them with full access for the purpose of fulfilling their mission.
The Security Council urged the Government to urgently meet other commitments it announced 23 February 2016, to allow all media to resume operations and release all political prisoners. It also urges him to continue to cooperate fully with the OHCHR.
The Council went on to expresses its intention to take targeted measures against all stakeholders in Burundi and abroad, threatening the country’s peace and security. Burundi was thrown into crisis more than a year ago when President Nkurunziza decided to run for a controversial third term that he went on to win. To date, it has been reported that hundreds of people have been killed, more than 240,000 have fled the nation, and thousands more have been arrested and possibly subjected to human rights violations.
The Société Anonyme [pronounced anoneem ] des Brasseries [pronounced Brasseree ] du Cameroun (SABC), local subsidiary of the French group Castel, launched on 25 July 2016 in Yaoundé, the operation Plastic Recup Holidays 2016 . Through this initiative, the leader on the brewery market in the country is planning to collect 2 million plastic bottles in two weeks, in the cities of Douala and Yaoundé.
According to the management of this brewery, of which one subsidiary (SEMC) produces mineral water, Plastic Recup Holidays 2016 is meant to not only give an activity to the youth during the current school holidays, but first and foremost to contribute to the cleaning of the environment.
This especially, as experts highlight, plastic bottles represent, on their own, approximately 35% of the non biodegradable waste in Cameroon. To reach this target, SABC recruited several hundred young people via the social network Facebook.
They were deployed from 25 to 28 July 2016 in the neighbourhoods of Yaoundé, the Cameroonian capital, and will be redeployed from 1 to 4 August in Douala, the economic capital of the country.
The operation, organised in partnership with the company, Hysacam, ANPD Environment and the Coeur d’Afrique Foundation of former Cameroonian football star Roger Milla; also includes training the participants to the collection and recycling.