Daily Archives: October 26, 2016

Global Cocoa Sector Meets in Côte d’Ivoire to Explore New Directions for Sustainability Efforts

$12 Million Regional Initiative Announced by Industry & U.S. Government

First CocoaAction Annual Report Released

ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire, Oct. 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Nearly 500 representatives of the global chocolate and cocoa sector, including farmers, have gathered in Côte d’Ivoire, the world’s leading producer of cocoa, to address critical sustainability issues confronting the crop, which is the main source of income for millions of people across West Africa and in large parts of Latin America and Southeast Asia.  The Partnership Meeting & Cocoa Sustainability Trade Fair, centered on the theme “People, Planet, Profit in a Changing World,” is jointly organized by the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) and Côte d’Ivoire’s cocoa regulatory agency, Le Conseil du Café-Cacao.

Underscoring the urgency of these issues, WCF and the United States Government’s Feed the Future are launching African Cocoa Initiative II. The five-year, $12 million effort will increase production of quality cocoa planting materials and provide financial services to cocoa farmers in Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria. The program is a joint effort to support the implementation of the World Cocoa Foundation’s CocoaAction strategy for cocoa sustainability and brings together the public and private sector.

According to WCF President Richard Scobey, the Abidjan conference aims to address both persistent challenges and emerging concerns for the cocoa sector. Scobey says, “We are deepening our focus on the key elements of the sustainability agenda. Ensuring that cocoa farming constitutes a sustainable livelihood for farmers, providing youth meaningful opportunities in the cocoa sector and empowering women who work in cocoa have long been top priorities for WCF, but we know that more needs to be done. Other issues, such as financing farm rehabilitation, addressing deforestation, and strengthening accountability and transparency, demonstrate our commitment to confront new threats and explore new opportunities.”

In opening remarks, Ivorian Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan outlined a series of steps that the host country is taking to encourage further development of its cocoa industry, including an ambitious plan to locally process 50 percent of the local cocoa crop by 2020 and support local production of chocolate.

According to Massandjé Touré-Litse, Director General of Le Conseil du Café-Cacao, “We are particularly happy that the World Cocoa Foundation’s 2016 Partnership Meeting, the 28th of its type, is taking place in Côte d’Ivoire, the land of cocoa. We are looking forward with much interest to hearing responses to the following questions that appear to us as fundamental for effectively addressing the challenge of achieving sustainability in the sector. These include i) how to grow cocoa in the face of climate change and deforestation, ii) how to empower women so they contribute to sustainability in the sector, iii) how to encourage a new generation to follow in the footsteps of earlier generations of cocoa farmers, and iv) how to improve farmer incomes, which is key to maintaining the workforce in cocoa growing areas, and also how to improve living and working conditions in cocoa growing communities.”

The Partnership Meeting will address a wide range of topics, including sustainability, women’s financial inclusion, deforestation, engaging a new generation of cocoa farmers, future trends in cocoa-related science, providing farmers needed finance to rehabilitate and renew their farms, and more.

To reinforce the transparency theme of the Abidjan discussions, WCF issued today its first CocoaAction Annual Report, an important step to report results and enhance accountability by nine of the world’s leading chocolate and cocoa companies to voluntarily align around a strategy for a rejuvenated and economically viable cocoa sector. CocoaAction, announced in 2014 in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, is committed to a transformed cocoa sector that offers a profitable way of life for professionalized and economically empowered cocoa farmers and their families, while providing a significantly improved quality of life for cocoa-growing communities. The strategy’s initial focus is 300,000 Ivorian and Ghanaian cocoa farmers and their communities.

Nearly 500 attendees representing the chocolate and cocoa industry, global retailers, cocoa producing country governments, nonprofit organizations, academia, and research institutes are participating in more than a dozen plenaries and small group discussions during the two-day session. The Partnership Meeting also features a Cocoa Sustainability Trade Fair, which offers information about sustainability efforts being undertaken in the cocoa sector around the world. The Trade Fair is an integral part of efforts by the sector to share information and practices to assist in deepening knowledge and highlighting successful approaches.

To learn more about the 2016 Partnership Meeting and CocoaAction, visit www.worldcocoafoundation.org.

About WCF: The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) is an international membership organization that promotes sustainability in the cocoa sector. WCF provides cocoa farmers with the support they need to grow more quality cocoa and socially and economically strengthen their communities. WCF’s members include cocoa and chocolate manufacturers, processors, supply chain managers, and other companies worldwide, representing more than 80 percent of the global cocoa market. WCF’s programs benefit farmers and their communities in cocoa-growing regions of Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Americas. For more information, visit www.worldcocoafoundation.org or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

About Le Conseil du Café-Cacao: The Council of Regulation, Stabilization and Development of the Coffee and Cocoa Sector, i.e. Le Conseil du Café-Cacao, was created by Presidential Order 2011-481 of December 28, 2011, and set the rules relative to the trade of coffee and cocoa and the regulation of the coffee and cocoa sector in Côte d’Ivoire. It is the single government-established body responsible for managing the coffee and cocoa sector. Le Conseil du Café-Cacao exists primarily to serve Ivorian coffee and cocoa farmers. For more information, visit www.conseilcafecacao.ci.

Le Secteur Mondial du Cacao se Rencontre en Côte d’Ivoire Pour Explorer de nouvelles Orientations pour les Efforts de Durabilité

Une Initiative Régionale d’un montant de 12 Million $ annoncée par l’Industrie et le Gouvernement Américain

Sortie du Premier Rapport Annuel de CocoaAction

ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire, 26 Octobre 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Près de 500 représentants au niveau mondial du secteur du chocolat et du cacao, y compris des producteurs, se sont réunis en Côte d’Ivoire, premier producteur mondial de cacao, pour aborder les questions essentielles de durabilité auxquels sont confrontés la culture, qui est la principale source de revenus pour des millions de personnes en Afrique de l’Ouest et dans une grande partie de l’Amérique latine et de l’Asie du Sud-Est. La Réunion de Partenariat et le salon de la Durabilité du Cacao, centré sur le thème « Population, Planète et Economie Cacaoyère dans un monde en mutation » est organisée conjointement par la Fondation Mondiale du Cacao (World Cocoa Foundation : WCF) et l’Agence de Régulation du secteur Cacao en Côte d’Ivoire, Le Conseil du Café- Cacao.

Soulignant l’urgence de ces questions, la WCF et l’initiative Feed the Future du Gouvernement Américain procèdent au lancement de la deuxième phase de l’Initiative Cacaoyère en Afrique. Cet effort de 12 millions $ sur cinq ans augmentera la production de matériel de plantation de bonne qualité du cacao permettra de fournir des services financiers aux producteurs de cacao au Cameroun, en Côte d’Ivoire, au Ghana et au Nigeria. Le programme est une initiative conjointe pour appuyer la mise en œuvre de la stratégie CocoaAction de la Fondation Mondiale du Cacao qui œuvre à la  durabilité du cacao en rassemblant le secteur public et privé.

Selon Richard Scobey, Président de la WCF, la conférence d’Abidjan a pour but de répondre à la fois aux défis persistants et aux préoccupations émergentes pour le secteur cacao. Scobey mentionne que: « Nous approfondissons notre attention sur les éléments clés de l’agenda du développement durable. Veiller à ce que la cacaoculture constitue un moyen de subsistance durable pour les agriculteurs, en offrant aux jeunes des occasions significatives dans le secteur du cacao et l’autonomisation des femmes qui travaillent dans le cacao ont longtemps été des priorités pour la WCF, mais nous savons qu’il reste encore beaucoup à faire. D’autres préoccupations telles que le financement de la réhabilitation des parcelles, la lutte contre la déforestation, et le renforcement de la responsabilisation et la transparence, démontrent notre engagement pour faire face à de nouvelles menaces et explorer de nouvelles opportunités ».

Dans le discours d’ouverture, SEM Daniel Kablan Duncan, Premier Ministre de la Cote d’Ivoire a présenté une série de mesures que le pays hôte prend pour encourager le développement de son industrie du cacao, y compris un plan ambitieux pour traiter localement 50 pour cent de la récolte locale de cacao d’ici 2020 et soutenir la production du chocolat au niveau national.

Madame le Directeur Général du Café-Cacao, Massandjé Touré-Litse mentionne que: « Nous sommes particulièrement heureux que  l’édition 2016 de la réunion de partenariat de la Fondation Mondiale du Cacao ; la 28è du genre  se tienne en Côte d’Ivoire, Terre du Cacao.  Nous attendons avec beaucoup d’intérêt, les réponses aux problématiques suivantes qui nous  paraissent fondamentales pour adresser efficacement le défi de la durabilité du secteur. Ce sont : (i) La cacacoculture face au changement climatique et la déforestation, (ii) L’autonomisation des femmes pour contribuer à la durabilité du secteur. (iii) La promotion d’une nouvelle génération de producteurs pour assurer la relève des pionniers ; (iv) L’amélioration du  revenu tiré de la production de cacao, gage de maintien de la force de travail dans les zones de production, et  l’amélioration des conditions de vie et de travail des communautés de producteurs ».

La réunion de partenariat abordera un large éventail de sujets, y compris la durabilité, l’inclusion financière des femmes, la déforestation, l’engagement d’une nouvelle génération de producteurs de cacao, les tendances futures dans les sciences liées au cacao, la  fourniture du financement nécessaire et adéquat aux producteurs pour réhabiliter et renouveler leurs parcelles et plus encore.

Pour renforcer le thème de la transparence des discussions d’Abidjan, la WCF a publié aujourd’hui son premier rapport annuel sur CocoaAction. C’est une étape importante pour rendre compte des résultats et améliorer la responsabilité de neuf des plus grandes compagnies de chocolat et de cacao du monde à aligner volontairement autour d’une stratégie pour un secteur cacao rajeuni et économiquement viable. Annoncé en 2014 en Côte d’Ivoire et au Ghana, CocoaAction vise à obtenir  un secteur cacao transformé qui offre un moyen de vie rentable pour des producteurs et leurs familles professionnalisés et économiquement renforcés tout en offrant de manière significative une qualité de vie amélioré communautés pour les communautés productrices de cacao. La stratégie est initialement focalisée sur 300.000 cacaoculteurs ivoiriens et ghanéens ainsi que leurs communautés.

Près de 500 participants représentant l’industrie du chocolat et du cacao, les négociants au niveau mondial, les gouvernements des pays producteurs de cacao, les organisations à but non lucratif, les universités et instituts de recherche participent à plus d’une douzaine de séances plénières et discussions de groupes au cours de la session de deux jours. La Réunion de Partenariat est également couplée à un salon sur la Durabilité du Cacao, qui offre des informations sur les efforts de développement durable entrepris dans le secteur du cacao dans le monde entier. Le Salon sur la Durabilité est une partie intégrante des efforts déployés par le secteur pour partager des informations et des pratiques afin d’aider à l’approfondissement des connaissances et mettre en évidence les approches réussies.

Pour avoir plus d’information sur l’Edition 2016 de la Réunion de Partenariat et CocoaAction, visiter le site web :  www.worldcocoafoundation.org.

A propos de la WCF: La Fondation Mondiale du Cacao (World Cocoa Foundation : WCF) est une organisation internationale composée de membres et qui favorise la durabilité dans le secteur du cacao. La WCF fournit aux cacaoculteurs le soutien dont ils ont besoin pour produire plus de cacao de qualité et renforcer socialement et économiquement leurs communautés. Les membres de la WCF comprennent les producteurs de cacao et de chocolat, les transformateurs, les gestionnaires de la chaîne d’approvisionnement et autres sociétés reparties à travers le monde, ce qui représente plus de 80 pour cent du marché mondial du cacao. Les programmes de WCF profitent aux producteurs et à leurs communautés dans les régions productrices de cacao d’Afrique, d’Asie du Sud-Est et en Amériques. Pour plus d’informations, visitez le site web: www.worldcocoafoundation.org  ou suivez-nous sur Twitter et Facebook.

A propos du Conseil du Café-Cacao: Le Conseil de Régulation, de Stabilisation et de Développement de la Filière Café-Cacao, en abrégé « Le Conseil du Café-Cacao », créé par l’ordonnance N° 2011-481 du 28 décembre 2011, fixant les règles relatives à la commercialisation du Café et du Cacao et à la Régulation de la Filière Café-Cacao. C’est l’organe unique de gestion de la filière café-cacao mis en place par l’Etat de Côte d’ivoire qui a pour mission :

  • La régulation de la filière par notamment la gestion de toutes les activités de la filière, l’agrément des opérateurs et le contrôle de la qualité
  • La stabilisation à travers l’organisation et le contrôle de la commercialisation intérieure et extérieure du café et du cacao et la mise en œuvre des mécanismes de stabilisation des prix au bénéfice des producteurs de Café et de Cacao
  • Le développement par la recherche et la mise en œuvre de toute mesure visant à développer le système de production, la transformation et la consommation.

Le Conseil du Café-Cacao est principalement au service des producteurs de café et de cacao ivoiriens.

Pour plus d’informations, visiter le site www.conseilcafecacao.ci.

Prosecuting Authority on seizure of house of former Independent Development Trust employee

State employee’s house seized

On 6 October 2016 a former employee of the Independent Development Trust (the IDT), Martha Baloyi, appeared in the Pretoria Specialised Commercial Crimes Court, Pretoria on charges of fraud. She was released on bail and the case was postponed to 4 November 2016.

Baloyi, who was employed at the IDT as a Project Implementation Manager, had access to all the data of suppliers. It was her responsibility to obtain quotations from suppliers on the relevant supplier data base in respect of specific services to be rendered. Based on the quotations, Baloyi would then choose a supplier.

It is alleged that Baloyi created false quotations in the name of Come Today Trading and Project 88 CC (the Company). Thereafter, Baloyi unlawfully processed the payments through the payment system. As soon as the money was paid into the bank account of the Company, Baloyi approached the owner of the Company and requested her to pay the funds over to her.

The IDT became aware of the fraud after the owner of the Company approached the IDT and informed them of Baloyi’s conduct.

Investigations are currently underway to determine exactly how much funds were paid over by the IDT into not only the CC’s account but also other accounts to which Baloyi had access.

The Asset Forfeiture Unit (the AFU) of the National Prosecuting Authority was also successful in obtaining a preservation order in the High Court of South Africa, Gauteng Division, Pretoria in respect of Baloyi’s property in Danville, Pretoria. It is the AFU’s submission that R70 000 which was paid into the bond account of the Danville property represents the proceeds of fraud and/or theft committed against the IDT. Alternatively, the property is an instrumentality of money laundering in that it represents the proceeds of fraud and/or theft.

The AFU filed a forfeiture application which will be heard on 26 January 2017. If the order is granted, the Danville property will be sold and the money misappropriated by Baloyi will be paid back to the IDT.

Working together with other stakeholders, the AFU is committed to ensure that state employees are discouraged from defrauding the State and other State owned entities.

Source: Government of South Africa

SA’s net exports on the rise

Cape Town � South Africa’s net exports and the current account exports grew by 3% in the second quarter of 2016 compared with the same period in 2015.

According to National Treasury’s Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS), the increase was supported by manufacturing and mining exports, particularly platinum group metals.

The first half of the year saw a 2% decline in the share of exports to African markets compared with the same period in 2015, reflecting weaker economic conditions in the region.

In recent years, despite the large and sustained depreciation in the value of the rand, South Africa has not experienced strong export growth.

Since 2010, the real effective exchange rate has depreciated by 20.9%.

Yet the main factor in export growth is global demand, which has been moderate, National Treasury said.

National Treasury said the one-percentage-point increase in global demand could add as much as 0.3% to medium-term growth.

Soft domestic demand was reflected in the decreased volume of imports, which fell by 3.1% in the first half of the year compared with the same period in 2015.

Notable exceptions included vegetable products, oils and fats, where increases of between 43% and 60% reflected the effects of the drought.

Over the medium term, improved domestic demand should support import growth, but the weaker currency will limit the expansion of volumes.

National Treasury said imports are expected to contract in the current year and grow by 2.7% in 2017.

Current account narrows

The current account deficit narrowed in the second quarter as net exports increased and the trade account recorded a surplus, despite some weakening of the terms of trade.

The deficit was funded through an increase in net portfolio investment, mainly into government bonds, and a rise in net foreign direct investment.

Over the next three years, the current account deficit is expected to average 3.9%, down from an average of 5.2% between 2013 and 2015.

The forecast does not project any major gains in the terms of trade.

South Africa’s competitiveness improves

National Treasury said South Africa’s position in the Global Competitiveness Index improved by six spots to 47 out of 138 in the past three years.

The country is the second-most competitive in sub-Saharan Africa, after Mauritius, which is ranked at position 45.

South Africa maintains its regional leadership in financial markets, technological readiness, innovation and business sophistication, supporting competitiveness.

South Africa’s rankings for ease of access to loans, enhanced local competition and better use of talent in terms of how pay reflects productivity have improved significantly.

There were notable declines in several institutional categories, including public trust in politicians (down 11 spots to 109), favouritism in decisions of government officials (down 10 to 115) and reliability of police services (down 13 to 115).

In addition, South Africa scores poorly in labour-employer relations (138), hiring and firing practices (135) and flexibility in wage determination (135).

Source: South African Government News Agency

Minister Nathi Mthethwa: South African exhibition at the British Museum

Speech by Minister Nathi Mthethwa at the British Museum, London, United Kingdom

Let me begin by commending the British Museum for taking on what must have a been a challenging task, with much thought, deliberation and careful consideration.

An exhibition of this extensive nature that sweeps through 100, 000 years of art and takes on these huge epochs of time can only begin with a vision and a dream. It is the dream of many people – not unlike the dream of the Mantis in South African folklore.

The Xam people tell the story that the Mantis, a powerful figure in this folklore, a legend in his own right, once had a dream. It was a beautiful dream. Every night the Mantis had the same dream. But in the morning the dream was gone. And all he wanted was for the dream to come true. Day after day he waited. But nothing happened. He decided to embark upon a different strategy. He went around asking everyone he met to dream the same dream that he dreamt.

That night everyone went to sleep and dreamt the same dream. The next morning, much to everyone’s surprise, the dream had come true. This brings us to the realisation that a dream cannot be dreamt by one person alone, but a dream must be dreamt by all people.

In some ways this is also the story of the Southern African people, an ancient people, far older than any other on the earth.

San cosmology suggests that this cultural system was one of embracing the sky and the underworld, the camp and hunting grounds. All connected to the central thrust and power of water. The rock paintings in caves and shelters across Southern Africa demonstrate the intricate worldviews of South Africa’s earliest people.

This is only one example of the multi-faceted and nuanced narratives of a country and continent whose human activity has spanned many millennia. Historians assert that South African clans and kinship groups were in the final throes of nation-building as the region became ravaged by colonial plunder and advancement, and the entrenchment of colonialism, segregation and apartheid.

The South African story is a story where victory only emerged where people worked together as a movement to overthrow their oppressors and to declare the triumph of freedom and democracy over servitude.

The difficulties of telling this expansive story should be acknowledged as it starts with archaeological records, prehistory, precolonial and colonial periods, as well as covering the art of the country in transition, the advent of democracy up until the present.

Clearly African art captures a sense of people, space and time, long before recorded history.

The shell beads fashioned for a necklace that have been recovered in the Blombos cave in the furthest reach of the southern peninsula of South Africa dating back to 75 000 years ago is one such example.

Highlights of the exhibition must include the golden artefacts from Mapungubwe, a kingdom that flourished 800 years ago, and the much revered Golden Rhino in particular that takes pride of place in South African history and culture.

Museums as curators of the memory of society.

The exhibition demonstrates that art has the ability to transport us to a different time and place and that museums are truly curators of the memory and consciousness of society. It allows us to gain historical perspective and understanding and appreciate different periods in history and their impact and significance in our world.

Artists create a visual record and interpretation of life experiences – commemorating the memorable and asserting freedom through challenging social injustices, such as slavery and abuse.

Art acts within the context of its own time, yet can transcend the parameters of the present by seeking deeper truths and being forward-looking.

Museums are also a significant factor in attracting visitors to an area and can therefore be instrumental in boosting local economies.

Kevin Spacey, in a recent speech at the Old Vic, makes the profound point that: We can do better by recognising how much our cultural life contributes to the health of communities across our nation and, indeed, around the world. Those who enjoy culture should be more aware of the financial contribution arts institutions make to their communities.

He continues to say that,

Relationships between business and the arts offer a real chance to achieve financial success � not only for each other, but also to generate income for the hotels, restaurants and countless other businesses that populate the neighbourhoods where cultural centres operate. I for one do not want to see another regeneration plan that does not have arts and culture at the heart of its offer. Without it, we are not building rounded communities, but ignoring the fabric and soul of society.

Closer to our home, our beloved Madiba, speaking of the importance of the arts in general and language in particular, said that:

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.

I believe that this exhibition will go a long way in showing how art can bring people closer and make of us one world.

Programme director, let us use the power we have at our disposal to extend the South African dream of equality, non-racialism and non-sexism, to make the world a better place for humanity, a place where future generations will not know what war is, a place where poverty will only exist as part of historical records that indicate a passing phase in human history.

It is within our power, let us put a shoulder to the wheel.

The dream of the Mantis is also our dream.

It is a dream that must have inspired the sponsors of this exhibition, Betsy and Jack Ryan, whom we thank profusely, as well as the Director, Hartwig Fischer, and curators of this museum, the artists, the logistics teams and representatives of museums and agencies in South Africa.

You have all worked together meticulously for making this dream exhibition of South Africa: the art of a nation come true!

I thank you.

Source: Government of South Africa