Daily Archives: September 22, 2016

Rendeavour Signs MOU With USAID To Support African Youth

NEW YORK, Sept. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — On the margins of the UN General Assembly, and in support of President Barack Obama’s signature effort to invest in the next generation of African leaders, Rendeavour signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to foster youth leadership opportunities that promote growth and strengthen Africa-based business and entrepreneurship, civil society, and public administration.

Photo – http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160922/410930

Linda Etim, Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Africa, USAID, and Frank Mosier, Chairman of Rendeavour, sign the MOU

The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) is a U.S. government program managed by the U.S. Department of State, USAID, and the U.S. African Development Foundation to support young African leaders as they spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa.

Rendeavour’s in-kind contribution of $1 million to the YALI project demonstrates the company’s commitment to developing Africa’s future leadership through mentorship, skills training, and professional development opportunities. “We believe that building tomorrow’s cadre of African leaders is the highest-impact way to develop sustainably,” says Frank Mosier, Rendeavour’s chairman. “With more than 200 million young people on the continent, the key to Africa’s success lies in preparing its next generation for economic and political leadership.”

About Rendeavour
Rendeavour is the largest urban land developer in Africa. Its portfolio includes seven satellite city developments, in Kenya, Zambia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria and Ghana, encompassing 30,000 acres of land that will eventually be home to approximately 500,000 mostly middle income Africans.

Contact
For questions, please contact Tim Beighton, Head of Marketing and Communications, on TBeighton@rendeavour.com.

 

 

Minister Faith Muthambi addresses congregants of United African Apostolic Church in Limpopo, 25 Sept

Minister of Communications Ms Faith Muthambi will address the annual general conference of the United African Apostolic Church this coming Sunday, the 25th of September 2016, at the church’s headquarters in Nzhelele.

The United African Apostolic Church has more than two million congregants spread across the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. The visit by the Minister comes as South Africa celebrates Heritage month.

“As we celebrate Heritage month it is important to reconnect with the institutions that are important in shaping our being – the church is one of them. This visit is to pay tribute to the church and its members, many of whom have build a firm foundation for stable and coherent communities.

We know that religion, as well as our cultural norms and values, underpin the character and nature of a society. Religion and culture are integral aspects of our daily lives; and are important anchors that mould the shape and form of our societies,” said Muthambi.

Source: Government of South Africa

SOUTH AFRICA HANDS OVER OGP CHAIR POSITION TO FRANCE

South Africa has officially handed over the Open Government Partnership (OGP) leader chair position to France.

President Jacob Zuma handed the position, which it assumed since 2015, during the five-year anniversary event on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, on Wednesday.

Georgia will be the incoming support chair for the partnership.

Formed in 2011, OGP is an international initiative to bring together governments and civil society organisations to promote open governance.

Participating countries have to endorse a declaration, provide action plans developed with public consultation, and agree to their independent monitoring implementation.

Since its inception, the organisation has grown from eight members to 70.

Zuma said this was a “clear testimony of the importance of Open Government in the progress of humanity and a reflection of your resolve to ensure that the future is brighter than the present”.

He said the OGP community has the responsibility to ensure that the Partnership remains true to its fundamental principles of voluntarism.

“As such we must avoid the temptation of using this noble initiative as a tool for punishment that plays geo-politics and bloc interests of various participating countries particularly those in leadership.”

Zuma also reflected on South Africa’s tenure as chair the OGP.

South Africa used its position to champion the Open Government Declaration on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which will see OGP member countries incorporating Sustainable Development Goals in their OGP country action plans.

South Africa also prioritised legislative openness, open data, and broadening civil society participation to include grass root organisation and vulnerable groups within the OGP.

“During its tenure, South Africa has promoted the OGP to countries that have an interest in joining the OGP. We have included the OGP in discussions during visits to sister countries in the continent and also other countries in general,” Zuma told the high level event.

Source: Nam News Network

Corruption hotline results in R340m recovered

Public Service and Administration Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi says the successful investigation of cases of alleged corruption reported to the National Anti-Corruption Hotline (NACH) has resulted in the recovery of R340 million from perpetrators.

Addressing the media in Pretoria on Thursday as Chairperson of the Governance and Administration Cluster, Minister Ramathlodi said the Public Service Commission’s NACH, which can be reached on 0800 701 701, continues to assist whistleblowers report corruption without fear of victimisation.

As at 31 August 2016, 18 076 cases had been referred to departments and feedback on 16 752 (93%) cases was received.

Of the total number of cases referred, 16 547 (92%) were closed.

“The closure rate underscores a commitment by departments to investigate allegations of corruption as reported through the NACH.

“Since the inception of the NACH, a total of 3 570 officials were found guilty of misconduct related to corrupt activities reported through it,” he said.

He said the types of sanctions against officials that were charged and found guilty of misconduct between 1 September 2004 and August 2016 include 1 694 officials who were dismissed from the Public Service; 438 officials who were fined; 133 officials who were demoted; 913 officials who were given final written warnings and 392 officials who were prosecuted.

Minister Ramathlodi said all senior managers in the public service are expected to disclose all their financial interests by 30 April of each year.

“The overall compliance rate by the due date in national and provincial departments was 98% in the 2015/16 financial year. This is an increase of 16% compliance in the current financial year as compared to 82% recorded during the previous financial year,” he said. –

Source: South African Government News Agency

Minister Siyabonga Cwele: National Internet Governance Forum

Speech delivered by Minister Dr Siyabonga Cwele at the National Internet Governance Forum and the launch of the Southern Africa Development Community Internet Exchange Point in Johannesburg

Honourable African Union Commissioner, HE Dr Elham Mahmoud Ahmed Ibrahim,

Mr Pierre Dandjinou – ICANN, Africa Vice President,

Mr Gabriel Ramokotjo, Chairperson of ISOC Gauteng,

Leaders in the ICT sector,

Research partners and academia,

Our partners,

Good morning.

We are heartened, as the South African Government, by your presence here this morning. It serves as a great credit to the kind of democracy we chose, as South Africans. We moved away from our painful apartheid past to a participatory democracy where government consults the citizens before finalizing important decisions that affect the lives of our people. We very grateful for the input that we get from you, our partners. We can only move our country forward and further if we continue to work together.

Our foreign policy places a premium on partnering with our sister countries on the continent as we seek mutual growth and shared prosperity as envisaged by Agenda 2063 and the global Socio-economic Development Goal. These are our shared goal to tackle poverty, consolidate peace and development for the prosperity of all global citizens and nations.

Today we are gathered to develop a country position for the Fifth Africa Internet Governance Forum and to launch the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Internet Exchange Point.

Both developments underscore the importance that South Africa and the African Union attach to influence and the transformational power of the internet. African countries are determined to ensure that they participate meaningfully in the internet economy and not just as consumers.

Last weekend, I attended the United Nation’s Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development meeting in New York. We are making progress in getting more people online as it is estimated that by end of this year 3.5 billion people will be online as compared to 2.7 billion in 2013. The bulk of those who are offline are in developing countries including Africa. It is estimated it will cost about $450 million to connect the next 1.5 in the next three years.

As a continent we can make business case for investment in the ICT infrastructure if we pool our efforts through regional/continental integration and alignment standards and regulation. In order to increase internet penetration we must also focus on skills, relevant content, affordable devices and measures to improve trust in the use of the Internet.

The Broadband Commission 2016 report showed disturbing trend of growing gender divide gap from 11% in 2013 to 12% in 2016. The gap is bigger in developing countries and worse in LDCs. We must put measure to reduce this gap.

These findings point to the correctness of our approach as a continent to invest in modern infrastructure that supports the internet and participate in the global debates about internet governance. We cannot be passive participants in this digital age and allow the internet to discriminate against women.

The debates that will ensue at this National Internet Governance Forum have to be about developing position that ensures that the internet is used to contribute to the creation of an inclusive society. These positions also need to take into account the need to ensure that the internet is universally accessible to all South Africans. The internet has to play its role as a powerful public resource that can be used for socio-economic development. Our government acknowledges the importance of the internet and has set aside funds for the initial rollout of broadband and identified it as one of the key enablers in the delivery of the Nine-Point Plan to revive the economy.

I have also noted with interest that such priority areas as cybercrime, e-commerce; net-neutrality and open data will receive attention at this National Internet Governance Forum. All these topics are of core interest and importance to us as government as we are constantly striving to define policies and legislation that are geared at ensuring that the ordinary person on the street is brought into the fore of social and economic development. They are central to creating a more inclusive digital economy and knowledge society, as envisaged in the National Development Plan.

Because the internet touches on so many aspects of our lives, it is important to explain some government positions on the internet ecosystem.

We believe that the international management of the Internet should be multilateral, transparent and democratic with equal participation by all government in particular, in relation to International Internet public policy matters. This is in line with the Tunis Agenda for the Information Society.

We welcome the reforms at ICAAN but they are slow. As a nation we will continue to participate at these discussions while at the same time exploring other platforms that will address our concerns.

Internet Governance is not just a political matter but it is rather an economic matter. If these issues of governance are not resolved we will continue being disadvantaged.

One of the highly debated issues in our media recently has been the issue of internet and human rights. The role of the internet in redefining the concept of freedom of expression as we know it cannot be ignored.

This challenges us to view information in a novel manner. As a result of the far reaching permeation of social media the ordinary individual on the street is no longer a mere recipient of information but also an active generator of information, making them an active influencer of views.

This aspect has far reaching limitations thus bringing to the fore the issues of responsibility and obligations. South Africa supports human rights and its Constitution guarantees the right to freedom of opinion and expression. What is crucial to recognize though is the fact that these rights are not absolute. There needs to be a balance that is sought to ensure that the dignity of individuals is not infringed upon. The rights that citizens enjoy offline are protected online and should be respected.

On open data. This is one area of the internet that can lead to the creation of new industries that can contribute immensely in job creation. South Africa has a highly developed infrastructure which can be used to establish big data related industries.

If we collaborate as government and the private sector, this country can be positioned to be the data hub in the continent. These industries can then generate income from the country and pay taxes that can be used to fund some of the priority areas we are focusing on as government. A further elaboration of how we can achieve this would provide some interesting insights for my department.

Ladies and gentlemen,

There can be no successful internet economy if we fail to build trust in the system. Citizens have to trust that they are transacting with authentic people or institutions and that the information they share online is protected. It is only when citizens increasingly trust the internet that we can derive the full benefits brought by the internet and our government can improve service delivery.

Government is taking decisive action to combat cybersecurity, in partnership with the private sector and other social partners. The National Cybersecurity Hub was launched last year and serves as a central point for collaboration between government, industry and civil society on all cybersecurity related incidents in the country. These measures will hopefully inspire more confidence in the security of the cyberspace and potentially result in a burgeoning e-commerce sector and e-government.

Honourable Commissioner, Dr Ibrahim

Today marks another milestone on continental the journey towards self-emancipation. The launch of the SADC Internet Exchange Point, supported by the African Union, means that we are investing in modern communications infrastructure on the continent. The consumers will benefit because the regional internet exchange means that citizens will have better user experiences. It should lead to faster downloading times because the information will be circulating within the region. This should ultimately contribute in lowering the cost of connecting to the internet. As it stands now, internet exchange point of Africa is hosted in the countries that colonized them.

The internet exchange is a model of a working public-private-partnership in the Information and Communication Technologies sector on the continent. And we are really grateful for your sterling work Commissioner Ibrahim.

Let us take a moment to reflect on this momentous occasion we are party to. Indeed, Africa is rising. After this brief reflection, let us engage in robust discussions about the management of the internet that will lead to a more prosperous Africa.

Let me conclude by borrowing the words of our icon President Nelson Mandela, in 1989 when he said: “Although much is being done in attempting to bridge the gap between the information haves and the information have-nots, the task remains daunting. Indeed it is sobering to consider the information revolution from the point of view of global development and its capacity to help raise the quality of life. We have to say that our collective vision is in danger of failing where it counts most, namely the goal of universal access to basic telecommunications services.”

I wish you well in your deliberations. We look forward to seeing you at the African IGF from 16 to 18 October 2016.

Thank you!

Source: Government of South Africa