Issue 95 | 07 February 2014
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African heads of state gathered for the AU Summit continued to debate the implementation of the African Immediate Crisis Response Capacity (AICRC), with the majority of countries said to be in favour of the initiative.
South Africa will continue to support a temporary standby force capable of responding quickly to crisis situations in Africa, State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele said on the sidelines of the African Union (AU) Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

According to the AU, the AICRC should be an efficient, robust and credible force that can be deployed rapidly, conducting operations of limited duration and aims to create conditions for the deployment of larger AU and/or United Nations peace operations. It is seen as an interim tool as the African Standby Force is meant to be operational by 2015.

The AICRC would comprise a reservoir of 5 000 troops made up of operational modules in the form of 1 500-strong battle groups. Command would rest with the AU Peace and Security Council, which would asses all requests for intervention by member states.

On a voluntary basis, member states of the AU would contribute troops and finance for the AICRC to enable it to act independently.

In May last year, South Africa, Ethiopia and Uganda were the first to support the initiative and pledged to provide troops should the need arise. Source:
He emphasised the need for Africa to continue to stand united in its pursuit of development and pointed specifically to the cooperative use of natural resources as a source of strength on the continent.
At the opening ceremony of the AU’s Assembly of Heads of States and Government, the President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, was elected as the new Chairperson of the union. He replaces the Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Dessalegn. The Chairpersonship of the AU rotates annually.

In his acceptance speech, President Abdel Aziz highlighted the urgency of integrated environmental protection and food security measures. He hailed 2014, the Year of Agriculture and Food Security in Africa, as the opportune time to continue work towards sustainable environmental and agricultural practices.

They all committed themselves to the further strengthening of relations with South Africa and Deputy Minister Fransman assured them of South Africa’s support and cooperation in the furtherance of their mandates.

Deputy Minister Marius Fransman received credentials of the following heads of UN agencies on Tuesday, 28 January 2014, in Cape Town:
    - Clementine Nkweta-Salami, Regional Representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees 
    - Herve Ludovic De Lys, Representative of the UN Children's Fund 
    - Tobias Takavarasha, Representative of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation.
South Africa enjoys cordial relations with these UN agencies whose different and specific mandates contribute to a better life of all South Africans and Africans in the region and on the continent.
The African Mining Indaba is the world’s largest gathering of mining’s most influential stakeholders and decision-makers vested in African mining.
The South African Government participated in the 20th annual Investing in African Mining Indaba, which took place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 3 to 6 February 2014.

During the indaba, the departments of mineral resources, trade and industry, science and technology and Brand South Africa hosted, among others, an exhibition under the “South African Pavilion” banner, as well as an investment promotion workshop, to give expression to this year’s theme: “Investment opportunities in South Africa’s mining – from exploration to value addition”.

This gathering provided an opportunity for international mining analysts, fund managers, investment specialists and government leaders to meet and exchange current economic and mining developments with the world’s leading experts on African mining.
The regional office will serve as a tourism hub from which South Africa would look to grow its presence in West Africa. It is the first South African Tourism regional marketing office on the African continent.
The opening of a South African Tourism office in Lagos, Nigeria, was an invitation for Nigerians, Ghanaians and other countries in West Africa to explore the beauty of South Africa, the Minister of Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, said at the opening in the Nigerian capital recently.

"Yes, we mark an important milestone here today, but it is exactly this, a milestone, along a road we have long been walking with the travel trade of this region."

"During this time we've invested heavily in understanding the needs of the West African traveller so as to ensure that your holiday experience is as rewarding or memorable to you as it is to us.

"To that end, we have also been working tirelessly to ensure that South Africa offers West African travellers a holiday that enriches their lives through a world of new experiences," he said.

Despite the pressure brought about by 2008's global recession, South Africa's tourism sector continues to grow.

"Global interest in visiting Africa is at an all-time high, and it is also our intention to do our bit to convert this interest into increased arrivals across the continent," he said. Source:
"This upgrade will add an additional 400Gb/s per second of capacity throughout the system, using Alcatel-Lucent's advanced coherent 100Gb/s technology, and enables us to take a further step in offering our customers the ultra-broadband capacity needed for innovative services and applications."
French telecommunications company Alcatel-Lucent is set to upgrade the 10 000-kilometre EASSy submarine cable system linking South Africa to Sudan with the latest 100 gigabit-per-second (Gb/s) technology.

Announcing the upgrade last week, the company said the upgrade would ultimately enable the system to carry capacity in excess of 10 terabits per second, boosting ultra-broadband capacity in eastern and southern Africa and strengthening its connectivity with Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
"Since EASSy entered service in 2010, we have seen enormous growth in demand for capacity on the system", EASSy management committee chairman Chris Wood said in a statement.

The Eastern African Submarine Cable System (EASSy) is owned and operated by a group of 17 shareholders, 92% of which are African – including South Africa's MTN, Neotel, Telkom and Vodacom – and 8% of which international.

The system directly links eight countries from Sudan to South Africa via Djibouti, Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, Comores and Mozambique, interconnecting with a number of international cable networks for connectivity to Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Asia. Source:
The prize, which is being inaugurated this year, recognises excellence in the use of science and technology to solve development challenges.
The Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (Caprisa) was recently named as the winner of the US Agency for International Development (USAid) Science and Technology Pioneers Prize for its trial showing that an antiretroviral vaginal gel can help to protect women against HIV.

The Caprisa 004 Tenofovir gel trial, conducted in KwaZulu-Natal, was funded by USAid and the Department of Science and Technology and conducted by a group of South African and US researchers. The follow-on confirmatory trial, Facts 001, involving up to 2 900 women, is currently under way at nine research clinics across South Africa. Source:
The non-stop flight will resume on 9 March, nearly three weeks ahead of its original schedule of March 28.
South African Airways (SAA) has announced that it is resuming its non-stop flights between Johannesburg and New York's JFK International Airport.

While SAA’s New York-Johannesburg flight has continued to operate on a non-stop daily basis, the return flight has been temporarily making a one-hour refuelling stop in Dakar, Senegal, due in part to lower travel demand during the winter months.

The non-stop flight will be timed to arrive in New York in the early morning, allowing customers to connect on flights to points throughout North America.

“We’re pleased to be able to resume the northbound non-stop flight ahead of schedule,” said Marc Cavaliere, executive vice president, North America for SAA. “Over the years, this service has become exceptionally popular, with our customers praising the combination of its schedule, the ease of connections both throughout the African continent and in the United States.” Source:
As the new CHAN champions, Libya pocketed US$750 000, while the runner-up, Ghana, will leave with US$400 000, while Nigeria and Zimbabwe each received US$250 000.
Libya has defeated Ghana 4-3 on penalties to win the CHAN 2014 tournament, after the final match played at Cape Town Stadium ended without a goal after extra time.

In an earlier match, Nigeria beat the Warriors of Zimbabwe 1-0 to settle for the third place in the 2014 CHAN tournament. Source:
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