Nelson Mandela's former wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, and his current wife, Graca Machel, were among the thousands of women who recreated a historic march through South Africa's capital, Pretoria, 50 years after the landmark anti-apartheid event. Deputy President, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, and Foreign Affairs Minister, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, were among several women cabinet members who headed the re-enactment of the march.
The demonstration was being held to protest South Africa's rate of domestic violence, which is reckoned to be among the highest in the world. Political leaders and some women who were on the 1956 march led the rally. The original action was in protest at a law which forced black people to carry passbooks with them at all times.
The Africa News Media Conference
African media is under treat according to an international conference for senior editors and broadcasters held in Nairobi recently. According to Wilfred Kiboro, CEO Nation Media Group, the treat on press freedom is not only in Africa but also exists in established democracies like the US and Britain. The media faces threats from Parliament through draconian laws, from the Executive through harassment and from the Judiciary which locks up journalists.
Regional Peace and Security Centre
A research programme on peace and security in Africa is to be set up in Nairobi-Kenya. The centre will seek to boost peace efforts on the continent. Kenya has experience in conflicts resolution. The Special advisor to UN secretary-general Kofi Annan, Mr. Mohamed Sahnoun, said the memorandum of understanding on the programme is to be signed between the organization and University of Nairobi.
Companies Target those at the Bottom of the Pyramid
Companies have resorted to going small, hence capturing buyers that cannot afford large quantities. Several products such as cooking fat, washing powder, juices among others have had their quantities reduced hence making more sales. David Mureithi, Unilever Managing Director, notes that the ability to access essential products to the marginalized is limited because of proximity and unit price.
Pan-African TV Station
A multi-million shilling project to start the first ever Pan-African television has been unveiled. A-24 Media is expected to go on air by the end of 2007. The station to broadcast in English, French and Portuguese, will give priority to business news, politics, agriculture, tourism, culture, women and gender issues across Africa. The TV station will have its headquarters in Nairobi and open 44 bureaus across Africa with each bureau manned by at least two staffers.
Land Reforms in South Africa
South Africa has given white farmers six months to negotiate a price for their properties or have their land seized by the state. This programme aims at handing back land to the blacks who were removed from their ancestral home under apartheid, or offer them financial compensation. The move mirrors Zimbabwe's controversial land reforms. Agriculture and Land Affairs Minister, Lulu Xingwana, said that President Thabo Mbeki's government was moving in swiftly to seize farms from whites to speed up its land reforms. "At least now we have expropriation. Therefore, we will no longer waste time negotiating with people who are not committed to transformation," said Xingwana.
SA, Use Political Influence to End Conflict
South Africa has been asked to use its international political influence to help end the conflict in Lebanon. According to Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, Aziz Pahad, South African President, Thabo Mbeki, received a letter from Lebanese Prime Minister, Fouad Siniora, who asked South Africa to intervene politically and help with humanitarian aid. Politically, Lebanon wants South Africa to support them at the United Nations (UN), and call for an immediate ceasefire. A draft resolution sponsored by the United States and France in the UN Security Council to help end the conflict failed when several parties were against the plan.
Free Ports to be Developed
A consortium has laid out a plan to develop free ports at three sites in Mombasa. This will create 1.3 million jobs directly by 2015 if the plan is allowed by the Kenyan government. The Tal group, which comprises of 15 companies, is seeking Public and Government support to implement its 210 billion (US$2.8 billion) free port plan at Mbaraki, Makupa and Dongo Kundu sites. The venture is intended to attract foreign capital into the free port zones. To share the benefits with Kenyans, the company will float its shares on Nairobi Stock Exchange within 5 years.
African Science and Innovation Facility (ASIF)
The science and technology office of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) has asked African scientists, politicians, and policy advisors to make suggestions on the design of a proposed mechanism for funding regional research facilities across the continent. NEPAD is exploring options for creating an African Science and Innovation Facility (ASIF). The plan lists initiatives for building capacity in various scientific fields.
Eldoret Airport to Handle Export Cargo
Eldoret international Airport is set to start handling export cargo alongside import cargo as from September. Importers using the airport will be able to export fruits and vegetables to Dubai in the Middle East through the airport.
Diplomatic Relations to be Restored
Chad and Sudan have agreed to restore diplomatic relations broken off in April 2006 after a rebel attack on N’Djamena which the Chadian government blamed on Khartoum.
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