Monthly Archives: November 2017

Nigerian President Vows to Bring Back Stranded Citizens in Libya, Elsewhere

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to bring back citizens who are stranded in Libya and other parts of the world by expanding the country’s socioeconomic programs.

African and European leaders began high-level talks Wednesday on migration, a key issue that has received more attention since video was disseminated showing what appeared to be West African migrants being sold at a slave auction in Libya, drawing condemnation from around the world.

In reaction to the video, Buhari said it was deplorable that “some Nigerians [in the footage] were being sold like goats for a few dollars in Libya.”

Nigeria’s government said on Twitter that 242 Nigerian migrants returned home from Libya on Tuesday and that more than 4,000 stranded there had “safely returned home” this year.

“It is very important that we simply support Africans to put a stop to illegal migration, so people don’t have to either suffer in horrible camps in Libya or are even being traded,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the beginning of the two-day summit.

French President Emmanuel Macron said leaders of the United Nations, the European Union and African countries, including Libya, were discussing ways of stopping the human traffickers with “concrete, military and police actions on the ground to trace back these networks.”

The leaders also announced that they would set up a special task force to help protect migrants, notably those detained in conflict-torn Libya.

Details of the plan have yet to be worked out.

Burkina Faso’s foreign affairs minister has already recalled his ambassador from Libya, saying it is “unacceptable to have slaves in this 21st century.”

Buhari said his government would reduce the number of Nigerians illegally migrating to Europe through the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea by expanding domestic education, food safety and health care programs.

Libya is the primary departure location for mostly African migrants attempting to enter Europe. Smugglers often pack them into unstable inflatable boats that frequently break down or sink.

Europe has struggled to stem the flow of Africans who make the dangerous trek through development aid, tighter border controls and other means. But many Africans are willing to risk death and abuse to seek jobs or escape conflict.

European Parliament President Antonio Tajani told lawmakers from both continents before the summit that quick solutions must be found to meet the needs of the African population, which he said is projected to double to nearly 2.5 billion people by 2050.

Tajani said Africa must create millions of jobs for young people or they will become disillusioned.

“We will then be facing problems of radicalization, especially in unstable regions such as the Sahel, but also much more widespread migration,” he said.

Source: Voice of America

KENYA TO GRANT VISAS ON ARRIVAL FOR ALL AFRICANS

NAIROBI, President Uhuru Kenyatta says any African citizen wishing to visit Kenya will be eligible to receive a visa on arrival.

The President made the announcement shortly after he took the oath of office for his second term of office here Tuesday.

The move is in line with his pan-Africanist vision and to prove Kenya’s commitment, the directive will be implemented without any demand for reciprocity from other nations on the continent.

Today, I am directing that any African wishing to visit Kenya will be eligible to receive a visa at the port of entry, said the President, who added that the boost trade, increase appreciation for African diversity and reduce negative politics on the continent.

For my fellow Africans, the free movement of people on our continent has always been a cornerstone of pan-African brotherhood and fraternity. The freer we are to travel and live with one another, the more integrated and appreciative of our diversity we will become, he said.

The President also said that citizens of countries in the East African Community (EAC) would be treated like Kenyans when they visit the country. Individuals from within the EAC will need only their national identity cards to work, do business, own property and farm in Kenya.

Stressing that Kenya was making the commitment without a demand for reciprocity from other EAC member nations, he added: I will work with you, my brothers, the leaders of the East African Community, to bring a renewed energy and optimism to our union. Together, we can deliver the peace and prosperity for which our citizens are crying out; divided, we will struggle to realise the full potential of our people.”

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

President Zuma to officially open the Dumisani Makhaye Drive

President Jacob Zuma will on Saturday, 02 December 2017, officially open for public use the new Dumisani Makhaye Drive (Main Road 577) in Clermont, Durban as part of Government’s nationwide programme of infrastructure development.

The completion of the R1.3 billion road infrastructure project makes it the biggest road infrastructure development in the country in five years and epitomises government’s service delivery excellence. For the first time, the road will connect, among others, the communities of Newlands, KwaMashu, Inanda, KwaDabeka, Clermont and Pinetown.

Significantly, the road will also be a new, alternative route to the King Shaka International Airport for traffic coming from the Pietermaritzburg and Pinetown areas, which will now ease traffic congestion on the N2/ N3 interchange.

The road is being named after the late struggle hero, Mr Dumisani Makhaye, who also served in various capacities including as MEC in the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Executive Council.

The naming of the road is part of the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government’s Roads Naming and Renaming Legacy Project, which is aimed at naming and renaming roads and bridges infrastructure in the province’s roads network to help communities reclaim their historical legacy, pride and heritage by giving new, meaningful names to new and existing provincial roads and bridges.

The completion of the main road works, which paves the way for the use of the road by members of the public, especially motorists, is a major step in the government’s drive to create easy access for communities for socio-economic development.

The Dumisani Makhaye Drive spans the uMngeni River and provides a strategic link between Duffs Road in KwaMashu to Dinkelman in New Germany. It cuts off a massive 16 kilometres for traffic using N3 to connect to N2, and will help eradicate the legacy of colonialism and apartheid-based spatial planning.

Source: The Presidency Republic of South Africa

Drug dealer arrested in Point

The SAPS Provincial Drug Unit conducted an intelligence driven operation aimed at eliminating the drug trade in Durban and surroundings. The operation yielded positive results when a 29-year-old suspect was arrested in possession of drugs on the Marine Parade, South Beach. He was found in possession of 100 ecstasy tablets and more than nine grams of crystal meth. The drugs were seized and the suspect was immediately arrested.

The suspect was charged for possession of drugs and will be appearing at the Durban Magistrates Court later this morning. He will be profiled to determine whether he has been involved in similar crimes or has been convicted for similar offences before. The SAPS Provincial Drug Unit is working tirelessly this Festive Season to remove drug dealers from our streets as drug abuse often leads to other serious and violent crimes.

Source: South African Police Service

Four billion people have no social welfare support: ILO

More than half of the global population � four billion people � have no social security protection, UN employment experts said on Wednesday.

In a new report on benefits, the International Labour Organization (ILO) highlighted how this protection gap is an obstacle to sustainable development.

ILO’s Director-General said that although many countries had improved social protection for their citizens in recent decades, much more investment and political will are needed to extend cover.

Daniel Johnson has more.

Social security protection is a basic human right, ILO head Guy Ryder told journalists in Geneva.

When people have it, governments reap the benefits.

Today however, Mr Ryder explained that only 45 per cent of the global population have access to at least one social benefit, and only 29 per cent have comprehensive protection.

“In 2017, this global lack of social protection is I think and should be regarded as being completely unacceptableand that means that the aggregate level of public expenditure on social protection needs to be increased to extend social protection coverage particularly in Africa, in Asia and the Arab State countries where marked under-investment in social protection prevails.”

Despite a slight improvement in welfare coverage since 2015 around the world, much more investment by governments will be needed to extend protection to all � not least the 1.3 billion children who have no cover whatsoever.

ILO says this is particularly true in rural areas, where 56 per cent of people lack health coverage, compared to 22 per cent in towns and cities.

Some countries are already tackling the problem by offering simplified tax returns to workers previously in the informal sector.

Once on the government’s books, contributions from these workers help pay for maternity leave, job-seekers’ allowance, disabilities benefit and care for senior citizens.

The evolving world of work and technology has also provided new opportunities to extend social protection, ILO says.

In Uruguay, for example, e-taxi provider Uber’s drivers can download a phone application which automatically deducts their social security charges.

Elsewhere, ILO warns that progress in welfare protection risks being pushed back � the result of fiscal savings put in place after the global economic crisis.

This is likely to be the case in Europe, the agency’s Isabel Ortiz warned, where pensioners in 19 countries face lower benefits by 2060.

“You have to balance equity with sustainability,” she told journalists.

Source: United Nations Radio