Daily Archives: March 20, 2015

Going cold Turkey: African migrants in Istanbul see hopes turn sour

ISTANBUL, 20 March 2015 (IRIN) – In a nondescript cafe in one of Istanbul’s more rundown neighbourhoods, migrants from Africa watch a Congolese soccer match as Afro-pop music blasts in the background.

“We feel comfortable in here, everyone is from Cameroon or Congo,” Patrick, the leader of an informal Cameroonian community organization, told IRIN. “But outside of this restaurant, it’s a very hard life for us.”

Patrick, who did not wish to give his full name, did not know much about Turkey before he arrived here three years ago. He heard only that there was a chance of finding a job in Istanbul and that the country’s lenient visa policy made travel there easier than to other European countries. But after three years of only occasional, low-paying work, Patrick says, “I was wrong to come here, it’s not what I expected.”

While most media and humanitarian attention has been on the influx of 1.7 million Syrian refugees into Turkey, in recent years the country has also seen the arrival of an increased number of African migrants searching for economic opportunities. Although some manage to secure steady employment, many complain about a lack of job opportunities, poor living conditions, workplace exploitation and racism.

There are no statistics for how many Africans presently live in Turkey, but some areas of Istanbul, particularly parts of Yenikapi, Osmanbey, Eminonu and Kurtulus, are especially popular with Africans these days. The largest groups are believed to be from Somalia and Nigeria.

Brigitte Suter, a senior researcher at Malmö University in Sweden, who published her dissertation on Africans in Istanbul, attributed their increased presence in the city to ongoing political turmoil in several African countries, increased diplomatic relations between Turkey and some African states and the development of African business and personal networks in Istanbul.

“None of my informants had a clue about Turkey before arrival,” she said. “Many were even surprised that English was not the lingua franca.”

Opportunities sparse for Africans

Many of the Africans IRIN interviewed said it took months before they were able to secure enough work to afford food and rent. While looking, they often burned through any savings and either relied on a network of other Africans in Istanbul for support or had to ask relatives back home to send money.

Although Turkey’s entry visa policy is lenient, obtaining a work permit is difficult and many migrants simply overstay their tourist visas. But having no legal status or knowledge of the Turkish language leaves them susceptible to exploitation by employers.

Frank, 24, arrived from Cameroon about three months ago having paid an agent back home to arrange a job and work visa. It turned out to be a scam. Since then, he has found only two short-term jobs. One paid a fraction of the amount the agent had promised he would earn, while the other did not pay at all.

Many of the migrants rely on getting informal work through their compatriots. Senegalese are known for peddling goods like sunglasses or wallets on the street; Nigerians often work in textiles and trade; and Cameroonians tend to sell clothing. Some get involved in petty crime and prostitution to survive.

Even with a job, earning enough to send money back home – the main purpose of coming to Turkey for many – is often difficult. Some are forced to rely on money transfers sent from their family members back in Africa, defeating the point of leaving in the first place. 

“Life was much better in Cameroon,” said Frank. “There’re too many rats and mice,” he said, referring to the apartment he shares with nine other Cameroonians.

“I used to eat three or four meals a day, but now it’s just rice and juice.”

As a steady stream of refugees from Syria exhausts much of Turkey’s aid resources, few humanitarian agencies are working with African migrants. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) provides monetary and legal support for those eligible for asylum until they can be resettled in a third country (Turkey only allows refugees from other European countries to remain), and several aid groups provide emergency healthcare, food and clothing to women and children.

A pervading sense of bitterness was made worse when the Turkish government began issuing temporary work permits to Syrians late last year.

Suter said the migrants she interviewed reported that Turkish society in general was ‘not used to Blacks’.

Several of the migrants told IRIN they had been touched by Turkish people curious about their skin colour and one woman said sexual harassment was common.

“This is not a country for black people,” said Frank.

To Greece and back again

Many Africans come to Turkey hoping to use it as a stepping stone to other countries in Europe while others attempt the journey after failing to find steady work in Istanbul. Turkey has been a transit point to Europe for decades, but the crisis in Syria has fueled the human smuggling trade.

Late last year, Eloi, also from Cameroon, paid about U$2,100 to be smuggled from Turkey to Greece, but his ship was intercepted by Turkish authorities and turned around. He and the 43 others on board, including Syrians, Iraqis, Afghans and other Africans, were detained for two weeks before being released.

“It was terrifying,” Eloi said of his experience. “But I have to try it again, I’m afraid of getting old here.”

Sea crossings to Europe are extremely dangerous. In the first two months of 2015, nearly 400 people died trying to cross the Mediterranean, according to UNHCR.

“Most people do make it,” said Chris, a Nigerian who earns a commission setting people up with smugglers. “For about 2,000 Euros, depending on what you want, you can get to Greece [by land] from Edirne or [by boat] from Izmir… but you’re at your own risk.”

A readmission agreement between Turkey and the European Union stipulating that non-Europeans caught crossing illegally into Greece can be returned to Turkey, means that some migrants end up back where they started in Istanbul.

It’s a cycle Frank is hoping to avoid. After months going from shop-to-shop fruitlessly looking for work, he’s ready to go home, although raising the money will be a challenge. “I think it’s a big risk to go [to Europe] and I can’t stay in this country anymore,” he said.

“I’m happy I came here… I now realize I love Africa.”

mk/ks/rh

XCMG lance son nouveau site de fabrication et le modèle de poids lourd « HANVAN »

XUZHOU, Chine, 19 mars 2015 / PRNewswire — XCMG a lancé la production sur son nouveau site de fabrication de camions poids lourds le 18 mars, le même jour où la société a également lancé son nouveau modèle de poids lourd, le HANVAN, apportant ainsi une valeur ajoutée au secteur.

XCMG, dont les produits sont exploités dans 173 pays et régions, a fait son entrée dans l’industrie des poids lourds en septembre 2008, et au cours des dernières années l’entreprise s’est rapidement développée, elle a gagné deux milliards de RMB (324 millions de dollars US) en 2014 et a pris la tête du marché chinois sur le créneau des camions gros-porteurs à benne. Selon Loh Lap Yan, directeur général de la société Finbond Heavy Machinery basée en Malaisie, qui travaille avec XCMG depuis plus de 20 ans, les camions miniers à benne de XCMG détiennent plus de 50 % des parts de marché en Asie du Sud-Est.

Situé dans la zone de développement industriel high-tech de Xuzhou dans la province du Jiangsu, en Chine, le nouveau site de XCMG occupe 228 acres (92 hectares) et a une capacité annuelle de 60 000 poids lourds et 40 000 cabines de machinerie de construction. Grâce à un investissement de 2,5 milliards de RMB (406 millions de dollars US), le site témoigne du plus haut niveau de technique de fabrication pour les véhicules commerciaux en Chine. Le système de gestion est en mesure de garantir des installations modernes de premier plan pour fournir des modèles de poids lourds de grande qualité, aboutis et fiables, à même d’économiser de l’énergie et de réduire les émissions, tout en réussissant l’efficacité énergétique et la protection de l’environnement. Des ateliers de revêtements innovants permettent à XCMG d’obtenir des émissions sans phosphore.

XCMG ouvre la voie à l’échelle mondiale en termes de conception du modèle, d’utilisation de l’ergonomie et de normes de finition ; les poids lourds fabriqués de la sorte présentent une haute numérisation, de l’intelligence, de l’intensité et de la flexibilité. HANVAN, récemment lancé, est un nouveau modèle haut de gamme plus sûr, plus confortable et économique.

Le plus grand avantage concurrentiel du HANVAN est son niveau de confort. Des technologies de contrôle multiple et des dispositifs d’insonorisation sont utilisés, qui réduisent de quatre ou cinq décibels le bruit à l’intérieur de la cabine par rapport au niveau moyen de l’industrie. Des systèmes actifs d’avertissement ou d’éclairage sont adoptés pour la sécurité et en termes de mesures de réduction des coûts, le modèle introduit un système dynamique optimal spécialement conçu pour réduire le coefficient de résistance au vent. Son poids à vide est réduit grâce à l’utilisation de pièces légères.

Désormais XCMG ne va pas seulement s’axer sur la construction et la production de véhicules spéciaux, mais aussi passer du statut de simple fabricant à prestataire fonctionnel de services à même d’offrir aux clients et aux projets clés des solutions à valeur ajoutée.

Pour de plus amples informations, veuillez visiter : www.xcmgauto.com, ou les pages d’accueil de XCMG sur FacebookTwitter et YouTube, ou bien écrire à Carolina Li : xcmg_media@163.com.

Doble Engineering Company Releases Delphi Portable for Fast and Accurate Dissolved Gas Analysis in the Field

— New Delphi Portable Dissolved Gas Analyzer Helps to Cost-Effectively Track Transformer Health

WATERTOWN, Massachusetts, March 19, 2015 / PRNewswire — Doble Engineering Company, a subsidiary of ESCO Technologies Inc. (NYSE: ESE), today announced the release of the Delphi Portable™ – a fast, accurate and reliable dissolved gas analyzer for power transformers, and the newest member of the Doble Delphi product line. The Delphi Portable offers detailed data analysis in the field, complementing the standard Delphi, which is an on-line monitor that provides a ‘check engine light’ approach.

Doble Engineering Company.

Logo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130912/NE78817LOGO

For use in routine and emergency testing situations, the Delphi Portable takes dissolved gas analysis (DGA) readings in 30 minutes or less, sharing actionable information on seven key diagnostic gases and moisture in insulating oil. The new device uses patented photo-acoustic cantilever technology for accuracy and repeatability, giving electric power professionals the data they need to make effective asset maintenance and operational decisions.

“The Delphi Portable brings valuable and reliable DGA testing into the field,” said Dr. Tony McGrail, solutions director, asset management and monitoring technology at Doble Engineering Company. “If your on-line DGA device issues an alarm, you can further investigate with the Delphi Portable. It will significantly improve our customers’ ability to evaluate the health of transformers, and other oil-filled equipment, with near-immediate results.”

The Delphi Portable identifies faults by measuring composite gas levels. The tool combines traditional DGA and Doble’s unique Dissolved Gas Anomaly Indication system (DG-AI) to identify results which need further attention. Users benefit from an easy-to-operate interface within the device as well as its built in printer for hard copy results.

Additional Delphi Portable features include:

  • Built-in data storage and data management
  • Powerful tool for use in the field or the laboratory
  • The ability to export data to any standard database, maintenance management system or into dobleARMS™
  • Measurements backed by the dobleDATABASE™ of laboratory and field test results

“Doble understands how important failure prevention is and what a big role early detection plays in preventing system deterioration,” said Don Angell, vice president of global strategy and solutions at Doble. “From new diagnostic tools, such as the Delphi Portable, to our laboratory services and analytical support, Doble is always looking for new ways to assist our customers in their asset management and maintenance programs.”

For more information on the Delphi Portable, please visit the product webpage. The Delphi Portable will be on display at the upcoming 82nd International Conference of Doble Clients.

About Doble Engineering Company
Now in 110 countries, Doble Engineering Company has been helping clients in the electric power industry improve operations and optimize system performance for nearly a century. Doble offers diagnostic instruments, services, and the world’s premier library of statistically significant apparatus test results for the benefit of energy generation, transmission, delivery companies and industrial power users worldwide. Doble is part of the Utility Solutions Group of ESCO Technologies Inc. (NYSE: ESE), St. Louis. For more information, visit: www.doble.com

Leatt Announces Date For The Release Of Fourth Quarter And Year Ended 2014 Results, Conference Call And Webcast (PR Newswire)

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, March 20, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Leatt Corporation (OTCQB: LEAT), a developer and marketer of  protective equipment and ancillary products for all forms of sports, especially extreme high-velocity sports, announced today that it plans to release its results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2014, on Thursday,  March 26, 2015. Leatt’s management team will host a conference call to discuss the Company’s financial results on the same day at 11 am ET.

Conference Call:
Participants should dial in to the call ten minutes before the scheduled time, using the following numbers: 1-888-348-8777 ( USA) or +1-412-902-4245 (international) to access the call.

Audio Webcast:
There will also be a simultaneous live webcast through the Company’s website, www.leatt-corp.com. Participants should register on the website approximately ten minutes prior to the start of the webcast.

Replay:
An audio replay of the conference call will be available for seven days and can be accessed by dialing 1-877-870-5176 ( USA) or +1-858-384-5517 (international) and using passcode 10062623.

For those unable to attend the call, a recording of the live webcast will be archived shortly following the event for 30 days on the Company’s website.

About Leatt Corporation: 
Leatt Corporation develops personal protective equipment and ancillary products for all forms of sports, especially extreme motor sports. The Leatt-Brace® is an award-winning neck brace system considered the gold standard for neck protection for anyone wearing a crash helmet as a form of protection. It was designed for participants in extreme sports or riding motorcycles, bicycles, mountain bicycles, all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles and other vehicles.  For more information, visit: www.leatt-corp.com | www.leatt.com.

Contacts

Allen & Caron, Inc.
Michael Mason (investors)
michaelm@allencaron.com
(212) 691-8087

Len Hall (Media)
len@allencaron.com
(949) 474-4300

SOURCE Leatt Corporation

CITN Sensitises Members On E-Filing

The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) on Thursday held a training programme in Lagos geared towards sensitising its members on the process of electronic filing of tax returns and payments.

The programme, which was held in collaboration with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), focused on the need for tax consultants to embrace the new electronic system put in place by the FIRS, as it will improve the quality of customer services and reduce the cost incurred by consultants in filing tax returns and payments.

Other benefits of using the electronic system include the generation of assessment notices, payment reminders, and other taxpayers correspondence automatically, and the automation of tax account update and receipt generation.

Speaking during the programme, the President of CITN, Mr. M. A. Chidolue Dike, noted that “E-filing is a fundamental reform in taxation which will inevitably lead to better service delivery.”

He encouraged tax consultants to not get left behind and advised them to take advantage of the boundless opportunities which the online service offers.

The e-filing system, which is now operational in most cities nationwide, is a part of the end products of the Integrated Tax Administration System (ITAS) Project which the FIRS, with the support of President Goodluck Jonathan and the Federal Executive Council (FEC) embarked upon few years ago.

The utmost aim of the ITAS Project is to modernise tax administration in the country, from an entirely manual process to an all-round and completely automated system.

Tagged: “Sensitisation on Professional Tax Practice Monitoring and E-filing of Tax Returns and Payment”, the programme also provided an avenue for CITN’s Tax Practice Monitoring Committee (TPCM) to enlighten its members on the mandate and progress of the committee.

Chairman of TPCM, Mrs. Adebimpe Balogun reminded members that the committee was set up to ensure a certain level of standard among professionals practising taxation in the country, and ensure there is a measure of regulation and discipline for those who fail to comply with the laid down rules.

“The monitoring of tax practice will seek to confirm that members comply with the professional rules relating to integrity, courtesy, competence, confidentiality, objectivity and independence, regulatory compliance, personal responsibility and professional indemnity,” a report presented by TPCM at the programme read.

S’Africa’s Pioneer Foods Launches Nigerian Venture

Pioneer Foods Limited, a South African food and beverage producer, plans acquisitions in at least five more African countries after taking a majority holding in Nigerian competitor Food Concepts Plc. “We’re talking to entrepreneurs for opportunities to expand our investments in the continent” within the next five years, the company’s head of international business, Thushen Govender said in an interview with Bloomberg.

“Our focus is on larger economies with a higher population – for example, Angola, Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Ghana.”

Pioneer Foods completed the $7 million purchase of a 50.1 per cent stake in Food Concepts, an operator of quick-service restaurants and bakeries in Ghana and Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy. The acquisition will enable the Paarl-based producer of baked goods, cereals and beverages to expand beyond South Africa, Govender said. Pioneer Foods sees Nigerian economic growth and its large, young population as a boost for the consumer market, he added.

Nigeria has a population of more than 177 million people, of which 44 per cent is under the age of 15, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That compares with 28 per cent in South Africa.

“Our approach to investing in Africa is long term,” even if “over the short term there may be concerns,” Govender said.

“In the case of Nigeria, the exchange rate and growth level could be of concern because of the dependence of the economy on oil,” though “because of the younger population, we see a lot of opportunities.”