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UK reignites diplomatic spat with Zimbabwe – CAJ News Africa – Caj News Africa

from MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE, (CAJ News) THE United Kingdom (UK) has inflamed its long running tiff with Zimbabwe.

The former colonial master expressed concern at the human rights situation in the Southern African country, saying there was “no notable improvement” between January and June 2021.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon gave an interim statement on the human rights situation in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO’s) so-called 31 human rights priority countries.

“We continued to be concerned by the pattern of harassment of prominent opposition and civil society figures, as well as journalists,” Ahmad said.

He is also the Minister for South Asia, the United Nations and the FCDO.

Ahmad said the government of the UK was yet to see accountability for the abduction and multiple arrests of opposition Movement for Democratic Change Alliance (MDC-A) members, Joana Mamombe, Cecelia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova, as well as the repeated arrest of journalist Hopewell Chin’ono.

Ahmad noted the UK announced autonomous sanctions to hold to account four security officials who according to his government were responsible for some of Zimbabwe’s worst human rights violations under President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s regime.

“These restrictive measures are not targeted at, nor intended to impact, the wider economy and the people of Zimbabwe,” Ahmad said.

This is contrary to the version by Alena Douhan, the UN Special Rapporteur on unilateral coercive measures, during her visit last month.

She urged the United States of America (USA) and some European nations to lift sanctions as they were hurting Zimbabwe’s economy.

Relations between UK and the former Rhodesia are strained after Zimbabwe repossessed land from mainly white farmers in 2000.

UK slapped sanctions citing human rights violations.

– CAJ News

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Rudie van Vuuren: Namibia co-hosting 2027 Cricket World Cup 'the biggest thing that will ever happen' – BBC News

Rudie van Vuuren playing both cricket

Namibian sporting icon Rudie van Vuuren believes his nation co-hosting the 2027 Cricket World Cup is ‘one of the biggest things that will ever happen to us’.

Van Vuuren, who played at both the cricket and rugby union World Cups in 2003, has been president of Cricket Namibia since 2018.

He says Namibia’s performances on the pitch in recent years played a big part in the country being awarded the hosting rights for the 2027 Cricket World Cup, along with neighbours South Africa and Zimbabwe.

“It’s massive and just for us as a nation. I think it’s one of the biggest things that will ever happen to us,” the 49-year-old told BBC Sport Africa.

“In 2003 when I played in the World Cup it was hosted between South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya but our performances on the field sort of shifted the mind towards Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

“For our economy it’s going to be a massive injection, for our cricket it’s going to be a massive injection.”

However, Van Vuuren admits that the biggest challenge that lies ahead is ensuring Namibia has the necessary cricket infrastructure in place.

At present there are only five cricket pitches in the country and only limited training facilities.

“That’s a big challenge for us at the moment. We are struggling to get the authorities on board,” he explained.

“There is land designated for development of an international facility. We have saved up money for it, so the news that we will be hosting the World Cup will hopefully shift the minds of powers that be in the right direction.

“We need an international standard stadium and facilities. It’s a massive economic opportunity for us so hopefully the news will get through to them.

“The facilities are not bad but at the moment we are going to struggle to host the Cricket World Cup because of the absence of one big facility. By 2027 we really need to have a big stadium in place.”

Van Vuuren is expecting that any stadium used for the 2027 World Cup will be in the Namibian capital Windhoek.

Catalyst for diversity

Rudie van Vuuren

Van Vuuren is hoping that both the co-hosting of the 2027 finals and Namibia’s recent successes at the T20 World Cup, where they reached the Super 12s stage for the first time, will be a catalyst for Namibian cricket to become more diverse.

“One of the biggest challenges we are facing in Namibia is cricket is still seen as a white man’s sport and that’s a perception we want to change,” he explained.

“We have some fantastic non-white players coming through and now development programs are escalating every day. So, that tournament will just help develop cricket and find those amazing athletes that we have in rural areas of Namibia.”

Diversity and infrastructure are not the only things the sportsman, who is also a fully-qualified medical doctor and conservationist, is hoping to improve over the next few years.

“From team level to board level we need to recalibrate and re-strategise because success brings new challenges,” he said.

“For us as the board – as the leadership of Cricket Namibia – we need to know how do we increase the pool of players, how do we strengthen our pipeline, how do we scout for talent in this very remote country?”

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Southern Africa Set for Economic Rebound, but Impact of Covid-19 Lingers – ZAWYA

African Development Bank Group (AfDB)

Southern Africa is set for an economic rebound in 2021 and 2022, provided the Covid-19 pandemic tapers off, according to a report published by the African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org).

Like elsewhere on the continent, the pandemic will be a deciding factor in the region’s economic fortunes. If all goes well, and that includes a successful vaccination campaign and health measures such as social distancing and wearing masks, Southern Africa is projected to grow 3.2% in 2021 and 2.4% in 2022, according to the Bank’s Southern Africa Economic Outlook.

These projections are a far cry from 2020, when the region suffered a 6.3% contraction – by far the worst in Africa. Central Africa experienced the second-worst regional economic contraction at 2.6%.

Leila Mokaddem, the Bank’s Director General of the Southern Africa Region, said the pandemic had left a deep impression among the 13 nations covered by the Southern Africa Economic Outlook.

“The magnitude of the socioeconomic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on countries in Southern Africa cannot be overemphasized – rising poverty, inequality and unemployment, among other economic malaise,” Mokaddem said at the launch of the Southern Africa Economic Outlook last month.

Mokaddem told government officials, economists and partner representatives who attended the session: “Despite the current low infection rates, the situation remains fluid given the threats of new Covid-19 waves and virulent variants.”

Pandemic-induced effects on output were more pronounced in countries that strongly depend on tourism, such as Botswana, Mauritius, Namibia, and Zimbabwe. The same was true for countries that rely on commodity exports, the Outlook pointed out.

Growth prospects varied but positive

Going forward, lack of economic diversity could stifle the recovery. Commodities play an oversized role in many of the region’s economies, the Bank’s analysts point out, citing Angola, Mozambique and Zambia as examples.

Dr. Emmanuel Pinto Moreira, Director of the Bank’s Country Economics Department, said the region’s economic performance fit in with the larger picture in Africa and the world as a whole. All but one region on the continent, East Africa, recorded growth in 2020. Overall, Africa experienced one of its worst recessions in decades.

“The good news is that there’s a recovery and the outlook is positive…The very good news is that the three largest economies – Nigeria, South Africa, and Egypt – are recovering,” said Moreira, lead author of the report, a regional offshoot of the Bank’s African Economic Outlook.

Three factors explained the recovery, Moreira said: a rebound in commodities, a pick-up in tourism and sound policies.

Slow growth in South Africa – the region’s largest economy – spilled over into its neighbours, which rely on the former for manufactured goods and as a market for their production inputs. Nevertheless, the report notes, regional inflation is expected to moderate from an estimated 14.2% in 2020 to 9.4% in 2021 and 6.5% in 2022, improving growth prospects.

The region’s debt outlook is of moderate concern, considering that pandemic-related expenditure lead to a surge in public spending. Gross government debt is expected to rise only mildly, the Outlook predicts.

Bank experts propose a number of short, medium and long-term policies to nurse the economies of Southern Africa back to health. These include targeted support for badly hurt sectors such as tourism, removing trade bottlenecks, and introducing efficient social protection programs.

In the report, the 13 countries comprising Southern Africa are: Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Sao Tome&Principe, South Africa, eSwatini, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Read the full report here (https://bit.ly/3ov1ULL).

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Development Bank Group (AfDB).

Contact:
Gershwin Wanneburg
Communication and External Relations Department
African Development Bank
E-mail: [email protected]

About the African Development Bank Group:
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) is Africa’s premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). On the ground in 37 African countries with an external office in Japan, the AfDB contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 54 regional member states.
For more information: j.mp/AfDB_Media

© Press Release 2021

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Southern Africa Set for Economic Rebound, but Impact of Covid-19 Lingers – The Herald

The Herald

African Development Bank Group (AfDB)

African Development Bank Group (AfDB)

Southern Africa is set for an economic rebound in 2021 and 2022, provided the Covid-19 pandemic tapers off, according to a report published by the African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org).

Like elsewhere on the continent, the pandemic will be a deciding factor in the region’s economic fortunes. If all goes well, and that includes a successful vaccination campaign and health measures such as social distancing and wearing masks, Southern Africa is projected to grow 3.2% in 2021 and 2.4% in 2022, according to the Bank’s Southern Africa Economic Outlook.

These projections are a far cry from 2020, when the region suffered a 6.3% contraction – by far the worst in Africa. Central Africa experienced the second-worst regional economic contraction at 2.6%.

Leila Mokaddem, the Bank’s Director General of the Southern Africa Region, said the pandemic had left a deep impression among the 13 nations covered by the Southern Africa Economic Outlook.

“The magnitude of the socioeconomic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on countries in Southern Africa cannot be overemphasized – rising poverty, inequality and unemployment, among other economic malaise,” Mokaddem said at the launch of the Southern Africa Economic Outlook last month.

Mokaddem told government officials, economists and partner representatives who attended the session: “Despite the current low infection rates, the situation remains fluid given the threats of new Covid-19 waves and virulent variants.”

Pandemic-induced effects on output were more pronounced in countries that strongly depend on tourism, such as Botswana, Mauritius, Namibia, and Zimbabwe. The same was true for countries that rely on commodity exports, the Outlook pointed out.

Growth prospects varied but positive

Going forward, lack of economic diversity could stifle the recovery. Commodities play an oversized role in many of the region’s economies, the Bank’s analysts point out, citing Angola, Mozambique and Zambia as examples.

Dr. Emmanuel Pinto Moreira, Director of the Bank’s Country Economics Department, said the region’s economic performance fit in with the larger picture in Africa and the world as a whole. All but one region on the continent, East Africa, recorded growth in 2020. Overall, Africa experienced one of its worst recessions in decades.

“The good news is that there’s a recovery and the outlook is positive…The very good news is that the three largest economies – Nigeria, South Africa, and Egypt – are recovering,” said Moreira, lead author of the report, a regional offshoot of the Bank’s African Economic Outlook.

Three factors explained the recovery, Moreira said: a rebound in commodities, a pick-up in tourism and sound policies.

Slow growth in South Africa – the region’s largest economy – spilled over into its neighbours, which rely on the former for manufactured goods and as a market for their production inputs. Nevertheless, the report notes, regional inflation is expected to moderate from an estimated 14.2% in 2020 to 9.4% in 2021 and 6.5% in 2022, improving growth prospects.

The region’s debt outlook is of moderate concern, considering that pandemic-related expenditure lead to a surge in public spending. Gross government debt is expected to rise only mildly, the Outlook predicts.

Bank experts propose a number of short, medium and long-term policies to nurse the economies of Southern Africa back to health. These include targeted support for badly hurt sectors such as tourism, removing trade bottlenecks, and introducing efficient social protection programs.

In the report, the 13 countries comprising Southern Africa are: Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Sao Tome&Principe, South Africa, eSwatini, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Read the full report here (https://bit.ly/3ov1ULL).

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Development Bank Group (AfDB).

Contact:
Gershwin Wanneburg
Communication and External Relations Department
African Development Bank
E-mail: [email protected]

About the African Development Bank Group:
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) is Africa’s premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). On the ground in 37 African countries with an external office in Japan, the AfDB contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 54 regional member states.
For more information: j.mp/AfDB_Media

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