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Highlights of 26 years of WEF on Africa

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first_imgThe World Economic Forum (WEF) has been held for over 40 years, with Africa’s involvement and its interests at the heart of a dedicated annual continental forum since 1990. Here are some of the highlights from those 26 years in preparation for the forthcoming WEF on Africa to be held in Rwanda in May 2016.1990 and 1991WEF’s first Africa meeting took place in Geneva, Switzerland in 1990, featuring participants from business, government and civil society, including many burgeoning economy policymakers and business leaders from South Africa.The priority was to gain international support for South Africa’s future, as a united front featuring both Thabo Mbeki, chief economic policy maker for the African National Congress (ANC), and the National Party government’s finance minister Barend du Plessis. They took the findings of the forum on a roadshow through Africa and major international financial centres to drum up support for a smooth economic transition to a democratic South Africa.The following year, the forum held again in Geneva, took a more pointed focus on the rest of Southern Africa, with the theme “Opportunities for Growth and Development in a Southern Africa in Transition”.1992Then South African President FW de Klerk, Nelson Mandela and Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the three primary players in political and economic negotiations in South Africa, presented a united front at the 1992 WEF Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland. Mandela chose the occasion to make his first speech on South Africa’s economic future under the ANC and credited the forum with inspiring his reversal of ANC policy on nationalisation of the mining industry.1993This was the first year WEF on Africa was held in Cape Town. It was also the first time many of the world’s leaders, particularly African heads of state, visited South Africa. The country remained a regular host over the next 20 years.The 1993 event saw the creation of the ten-year Global Leaders of Tomorrow initiative that heralded the emergence of new economic players out of Africa, including some of the most prominent and powerful players in African affairs today such as Cyril Ramaphosa, Patrice Motsepe and Ugandan-born Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam.1998The 1998 event, held in Windhoek, Nambia, saw the launch of the first Africa Competitiveness Report, one of the world’s most vital economic barometers.Historic video: Nelson Mandela speaks at World Economic Forum in Davos, 1999. http://t.co/ztELLsRJcF #Davos #WEF14SA pic.twitter.com/aZ2MCmQ1CA— MediaClubSouthAfrica (@MediaClubSA) January 20, 20142000WEF in Durban, hosted by then-President Mbeki, saw the emergence of his African Renaissance concept that focused on regional integration for the continent.2001The rise of social entrepreneurs, and the founding of WEF’s Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship were some of the highlights from 2001. The Schwab Foundation brought acclaimed Africa-based social enterprises to international attention.2002Almost 150 global and regional companies doing business with Africa endorsed the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad).2005The WE Forum of Young Global Leaders was launched, including 16 up-and- coming African economic players, some of whom were integral to the success of the 2005 WEF Africa summit.2008Under the theme, “Capitalising on Opportunity”, the 18th WEF on Africa focused on raising the quality of leadership and education to capitalise on the growing opportunities available because of the continent’s economic growth and significant decrease in conflict.2010With the largest gathering of African heads of state and over 1 000 global economic players from 85 territories, WEF on Africa celebrated its 20th Forum in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, under the theme “Rethinking Africa’s Growth Strategy”. It re- evaluated global changes, such as the 2008 economic downturn, and its effects on African economies.2011The Grow Africa initiative, co-founded by the African Union Commission, Nepad and the WEF, was the hallmark of the 2011 Africa event, held in Cape Town. It focused on an African-owned, country-led, market-based and an inclusive approach to accelerating investment in sustainable growth with an emphasis on agriculture.2015The 25th World Economic Forum on Africa was held in Cape Town with the theme “Then and Now: Reimagining Africa’s Future”.With over 1 250 participants from business, politics, civil society, academia and the media, the forum was the largest WEF event ever held in Africa due to an increased number of female participants and young, economic minds from the continent.The milestone was seen as an indication of the unprecedented levels of commitment by global private-public economies to achieving Africa’s transformation. A continuing investment of over $10-billion (about R151-billion) in the Grow Africa initiative saw the creation of almost 60 000 agriculture jobs in 12 countries.Over 8-million smallholder farmers received assistance from the programme. The WEF Africa Strategic Infrastructure Initiative has also helped accelerate 23 cornerstone projects across the continent valued at $9.7 billion (about R145-billion).Source: World Economic Forumlast_img read more

Zeiss Releases Two New Lenses Exclusively for Sony Users

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first_imgAperture RangeF2-22 Preferred SensorFull Frame Pricing and AvailabilityBoth the 50mm and 35mm lenses are expected to ship by December 31, 2014. The Lokia 50mm will have a base price of $949 with the 35mm going for $1,299.What do you think of Zeiss’ new lenses?Share in the comments below. The latest Zeiss announcement brings cinematic quality to Sony users.The Sony A7S has made a splash in the indie-filmmaking world, and rightfully so. It features insane low-light capabilities and 4K output making it a great option for the modern filmmaker.However, one area in which Sony has traditionally fallen behind Canon, Nikon, and Panasonic is in its availability of lenses. In the current lens market most new lenses get released in either Canon EF or Micro 4/3 format before being released to Nikon, Panasonic and Sony, if at all.This can be frustrating for Sony users, but thankfully one respected manufacturer is beginning to create lenses specifically for Sony full-frame cameras. Zeiss has just announced their release of two full-frame lenses compatible with the Sony E mount – a 35mm f/2 and a 50mm f/2.The Zeiss Loxia lenses have been specially designed for filmmakers, which makes the A7S just a little more enticing for those looking to get a new camera. Each lens also has the ability to be de-clicked by simply turning a screw.Loxia 35mm f/2 Specs Lens MountsSony E Mount Preferred SensorFull Frame ApertureManual w/ Declickable with “Declick Tool” MarkingsAperture and Focal Distance FocusManual Focus No Gear Minimum Focus Distance1.45′ feet Aperture RangeF2-22 ApertureManual w/ Declickable with “Declick Tool” Minimum Focus Distance11.81″ inches FocusManual Focus No Gear MarkingsAperture and Focal Distance Lens MountsSony E Mount Loxia 50mm f/2 Specslast_img read more

Sena mocks Modi’s ‘achhe din’ promise as fuel prices soar

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first_imgIn view of soaring petrol and diesel prices, the Shiv Sena on Wednesday asked its senior alliance partner BJP to ensure citizens have a stable life even if it cannot bring “acche din” (good days) for them.Details of rising fuel prices in the NDA government’s tenure should also be displayed along with the PM’s photos in the petrol pumps, the Sena said. Petrol prices crossed the ₹78 per litre mark in Delhi for the first time on Tuesday in more than two-and-half months, while diesel was going at ₹69.61 per litre. ‘Acche Din’ was the slogan used by Mr. Modi during the Lok Sabha poll campaign in 2014.“The government has not been able to control the surge in fuel prices. When prices touched an all-time high recently, the Centre intervened. But the public’s happiness was short-lived as prices shot up again,” the Sena said in an editorial written in the party’s mouthpiece Saamana.The government has clarified that fuel prices will not be brought under the Goods and Services Tax (GST), so inexpensive petrol and diesel “will remain a dream”, it said.“What is acche din? People being able to satisfy their needs with minimum money and having spare money with them. Their lives should be stable and their living standards should rise. Of these, what has the government provided in the last four years?” the Sena sought to know.Stating that a few months are left before Mr. Modi’s tenure ends, the Sena asked why the prime minister could not provide stability to the people by reducing fuel prices.“Forget acche din, at least provide stability to the people,” said the Sena, which is an ally of the BJP at the Centre and in Maharashtra.last_img read more

‘Sports should play its part in cementing ties between nations instead of breaking them’

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first_imgBack to Basics”After offering various new bases like side-tables, showcases and car dashboards, people have finally realised that Lord Ganesh looks best on his mouse next to Goddess Lakshmi.” -RAJNEESH BATRA, Delhi Blasting Myths With pseudo-secularists inflicting more damage on Hinduism than the Mughals and the British, probably the best,Back to Basics”After offering various new bases like side-tables, showcases and car dashboards, people have finally realised that Lord Ganesh looks best on his mouse next to Goddess Lakshmi.” -RAJNEESH BATRA, Delhi Blasting MythsWith pseudo-secularists inflicting more damage on Hinduism than the Mughals and the British, probably the best thing that could happen to modern India is a revival of Hinduism (“The Changing Mood”, November 4). It has to be nurtured carefully and the best people for the job are the young. After all, they are the ones who brought about the Diwali change. Let us hope it is a harbinger of greater and better things. -RANBIR MAHAPATRA, CuttackThe new way of celebrating Diwali is welcome. In fact, the buzzword of togetherness cannot be stressed enough. It should percolate to all the sections of society and replace hatred with love, peace, prosperity and happiness to all. -A. JACOB SAHAYAM, on e-mailShooting from the LipPravinbhai Togadia’s remarks may have been in bad taste but hasn’t the overreaction of the Congress loyalists to his utterances against Sonia Gandhi only confirmed the belief that puppies are the most faithful creatures (“Fountain of Hate”, November 4)? -DR VINOY KUMAR SINHA, RanchiIs it only the congress and other Opposition leaders who have the right to use vituperative remarks against the Sangh Parivar – Rajiv Gandhi called them “Indian dogs”, Madhavrao Scindia branded the BJP babus as “traitors” and Sonia Gandhi called A.B. Vajpayee a “gaddar”? Why were the critics quiet when a foreign author maligned former prime minister Indira Gandhi, leaving it to Maneka Gandhi to clear the debris? -M.S. KILPADY, Mumbai Voice FailWhy is the media making a mountain out of a molehill (“Deep Throat and Other Stories”, November 4)? The prime minister is as susceptible as the rest of us to viral fever and cold – after all, these are attacks which the SPG commandos are unequipped to combat. -MADHU AGRAWAL, on e-mailWhile it is true that one of the factors in bringing the BJP to power was A.B. Vajpayee’s oratorial skills, let us leave his throat alone. Our prime minister is human too. -SANDHYA JOSHI, on e-mailSage AdviceThe kind of rhetoric indulged in by Narendra Modi would have had few takers among Hindus only a few years ago (“In Top Gear”, November 4). But Modi-and others of his ilk-have correctly deduced that 50 years of abuse by Nehruvian secularists and communists have made Hindus resentful. Plagued by a dangerous persecution complex, they are no longer prepared to be lectured to. -V. GANESH, ThiruvananthapuramSpirited PlaySports should play its part in cementing ties between nations instead of breaking them (“Blackballed”, November 4). The cricket boards of Australia, England and Holland should ensure that the game’s spirit scores over politics. Citing security as a concern is inexcusable- how the three teams from the subcontinent played in a packed Colombo stadium in the 1997 World Cup when Australia and West Indies refused for the same reason is now legendary. -ABHINAV ANAND, VaranasiIt Adds Upadvertisement”Instead of helping children succumb to silly dreams, they should be made aware of the need and worth – or lack of it – of coveted things in life.” -ARVIND DAVE, on e-mail Coalition governments formed with some clever arithmetic may rule but they fail to govern (“Holding for Now”, November 4). Now with even the Uttar Pradesh Government in turmoil, it is not difficult to see why the people of Jammu and Kashmir are not optimistic about a coalition government being formed through backdoor deliberations in the state. -WING COMMANDER (RETD) K.K. CHAUDHRY, Delhi BJP MLA and minister in the Uttar Pradesh Government Ameeta Singh was incorrectly referred to as Ameeta Modi in the story on the Mayawati Government. The error is regretted. -EditorArm’s ReachWith North Korea dropping a bombshell by admitting its nuclear weapons programme to Uncle Sam, the chinks in the armour of the recently bolstered US-Pakistan relations are beginning to show (“Unholy Nexus”, November 4). North Korea has set a bad precedent of impudently violating the nuclear non-proliferation treaty it signed with the US. It will not be pessimistic to believe that cash-strapped but technologically advanced nations will now rubbish away non-proliferation accords and indulge in clandestine barter deals with economically powerful nations that want to acquire nuclear know-how. -NALINI VIJAYARAGHAVAN, ThiruvananthapuramRates and RantsThe need of the hour is a drastic slash in the high interest rates, which is affecting the manufacturing sector (“Burden of Plenty”, November 4). The recent slashing of bank rate and CRR by 0.25 per cent by RBI is only a drop in the ocean. Bold steps are required and the interest rate should be immediately cut by at least another 2 per cent to save our economy. -S.N. VARADARAJAN, Coimbatore Faux PowerAll international sports competitions, including athletics, are really a test of a player’s physical fitness, endurance, agility and training (“Behind the Vial”, October 28). Why have those disciplines at all when certain drugs enhance performance? -T.S. CHAWLA, Mohali It is true that success has many fathers but failure has none. Sunita Rani will face humiliation and disgrace for the rest of her life but not one question is directed at the officials who are busy celebrating India’s success at Busan.-SUBHENDRA K. BEHERA, NasikFor Fear or FavourOne fails to understand how even the UN can remain unmoved by the plight of the Iraqis (“Readying for War”, October 28). If no nation dares to speak up for the dignity and human rights being denied to the Iraqis, the day is not far when some other nation may have to bear the brunt of America’s dictatorial attitude. Pastor Niemoeller warned rightly: “First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew, then they came for the communists and I did not speak out because I was not a communist, then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist; then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.” -VIVEK KHANNA, ChandigarhRock, Stock and GravelWho are the experts who conclude that NASA’s digital image of the Palk Strait shows that Adam’s Bridge is 1.75 million years old (“Ram’s Bridge to Eternity”, October 28)? The curves are easily explained by anti-clockwise Coriolus forces that erode the coasts of Malaysia, Thailand and Myanmar to deposit silt on Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu coasts and the western Indian coast from Kerala to Gujarat to deposit it on the Arabian and African coasts.-DR A.J. GEORGE KODUMUTTI NADAR, SalemWays to MeansThe government must realise that contract jobs are the order of the day (“Where Have All the Jobs Gone?”, October 28). They encourage efficiency, leaving red tape to rest. Entrepreneurship should be encouraged and business studies taught in secondary schools so that not everyone runs after jobs but some even create them. Only then a ground would be created for generation of employment opportunities. -APARAJITA DASGUPTA, KolkataadvertisementTech Tonic People love to experiment but not necessarily for physical intimacy. -DR NILIMA D. DHARKER, MumbaiSMS is not a gadget to deal with mid-life crisis, only a cheap mode of instant communication. -SHEHLA RAZA HASAN, KolkataGrain of TruthYour story accuses Star News of misrepresentation of facts about starvation deaths in Orissa (“Starved of Veracity”, November 4). Since we were the first channel to report on the alleged starvation deaths of two children in Kuladera village, there was no question of ignoring the denials the children’s parents made on other channels. The parents, however, told me that they were threatened and pressurised by some local leaders and officials into saying their children died due to snakebite, not hunger. Your story also says Mongulu Juango, who we reported was driven out of his village Kuladera, lives in Sumatha. A BPL card was issued to him in Kuladera, where he has a house. While editorially you may have differences with our reporting, the “facts” in this case are clear. -SAMPAD MAHAPATRA, NDTV, BhubaneswarThe article mentions me by name and shows me in poor light as a small-town, part-time journalist who, like many others in Rayagada and Koraput districts, does “sensational stories” on starvation only to serve his own petty interests. I do not need a certificate from your reporter or the state government or any other agency about my commitment to truthful journalistic inquiry. -RANJAN KUMAR RATH, RayagadaSpecial Correspondent Ruben Banerjee replies: INDIA TODAY has a video CD in which Mongulu Juango recounts how he was taken in a jeep from Sumatha to Kuladera for Mahapatra’s filming. In another CD, other bereaved tribals talk of enticements offered for attributing deaths to starvation. As for Juango’s home, we have correctly contradicted the Star News report. Juango lives in Sumatha where he has a house and land, of which we have documentary proof. He also draws rice on his relief card (GRY No. 204059) from Sumatha. Kuladera is the home of his wife. Besides, the local anganwadi worker has recorded that Juango’s son died at Sumatha on August 10 this year. As for Rath’s protests, the National Human Rights Commission has unequivocally debunked his reports on starvation deaths.advertisementlast_img read more