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Zim to host 2024 World Children’s Day – The Herald

Vincent Gono in Walvis Bay, Namibia

ZIMBABWE will host next year’s Unicef Sub-Regional World Children’s Day after receiving the torch from Namibian President Hage Heingob last night.

The torch was received by Vice President Kembo Mohadi who was representing President Mnangagwa at the third Unicef Sub-Regional World Children’s Day here.

In his acceptance speech, President Mnangagwa said it was his pleasure to receive the torch which symbolised renewal of the pledge by the four sister republics of Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

“It is my great pleasure to receive this torch which is a symbol of the renewal of our pledge to continue championing children’s rights and to give them hope for a brighter future.

“I want to assure you that my Government and indeed myself personally will be honoured to host the 2024 Sub-Regional World Children’s Day celebrations in Zimbabwe,” he said.

President Mnangagwa reaffirmed his commitment to inclusive, people-centred and holistic development as espoused in the country’s development mantra of “leaving no one and no place behind”.

He said this year’s World Children’s Day theme, “For Every Child, Every Right” was a clarion call for the countries to redouble their efforts towards ensuring that every child, everywhere lives in peace, in a liveable and sustainable environment.

President Mnangagwa said it was also important to ensure that children were given a voice on matters that affect them, have access to clean water and nutritious food as well as getting quality education health services and all the rights provided for by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

He said history would judge the current generation of leaders if they fail in the provision of all the children’s rights.

The event that was held last night in the coastal city of Walvis Bay was a follow up and continuation of meetings that were held in Kasame at the Kazungula quadripoint in Botswana in 2021 and in Lusaka, Zambia last year to hear out children’s concerns, deliberate on various important strategies and foster solutions to the issues raised by children in the four sister republics.

This year’s celebrations brought together over 200 children from the four countries with thousands others attending virtually to discuss and share insights on how leaders can create an enabling environment for children to realise their full potential.

The Heads of State took time to respond to the issues and concerns raised by children in their respective countries with education development and universalisation taking centre-stage where Vice President Mohadi explained that the country adopted education 5.0 in response to Covid-19’s call for local solutions to local problems.

The event built on the engagements established in Botswana in 2021 and Zambia in 2022, where a commitment was made to create a Heads of State Network. The network serves as a platform to discuss issues of mutual concern and develop concrete strategies to address children’s rights in their respective countries and to renew their promise to promote and protect children’s rights.

VP Mohadi said in Zimbabwe as part of President Mnangagwa’s commitment in promoting children’s rights, there has been the enactment into law of the Marriages Act, which criminalises any act that promotes, permit, allow, coerce, aid or abet child marriages.

The Act is part of the milestones that seek to solve the headache of child marriages in the country where a third of the country’s young girls are married before the age of 18 years.

Zimbabwe also made young people part of the delegation to last year’s Conference of Parties as part of the growing involvement of children and young people in the climate change debate resulting in child sensitive Nationally Determined Contribution and National Adaptation Plan.

There is also a department in President Mnangagwa’s office for people and children living with disabilities which has been seized with making all learning institutions accessible for all in fulfilment of his leaving no-one and no place behind development philosophy.

President Mnangagwa and his Government have also been on the forefront of speaking against drug and substance abuse mostly by the youths.

The World Children’s Day commemoration was designated on 20 November by Unicef after the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child on 20 November 1989 by the United Nations General Assembly to promote international togetherness, raise awareness among children and improve children’s welfare.

The day unites governments all over the world in celebrating advancements made in achieving child rights, shedding light on critical issues affecting children’s lives and supporting children and young people to be advocates for their rights.

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Zimbabwe sees economic growth falling in 2024 due to drought –

HARARE (Reuters) -Zimbabwe’s economic growth is expected to fall to 3.5% in 2024 from 5.5% this year, mainly due to an anticipated drought caused by El Nino, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube said on Thursday.

El Nino, a natural climate phenomenon in which surface waters of the central and eastern Pacific become unusually warm, causing changes in global weather patterns, is expected to hit crop yields during the 2023/24 farming season.

Declining mineral commodities prices will also weigh on growth, Ncube said in a speech.

Zimbabwe’s budget deficit is expected to end the year at 1.2% of GDP, he said, while annual inflation is seen falling to 10%-20% in 2024 from 20% in 2023.

“Going into 2024… fiscal restraint and tight monetary policy, together with a healthy current account position, provide the necessary conditions for currency and price stability,” Ncube said.

To enhance revenue collection he proposed increasing toll fees for the country’s busiest road, adding a levy on sugary drinks and introducing a wealth tax.

He also said lithium miners should submit refinery plans by March 2024 to encourage value addition. Zimbabwe is the leading lithium producer in Africa.

(Reporting by Nyasha Chingono; Writing by Nellie Peyton; Editing by Alexander Winning and Christina Fincher)

By Nyasha Chingono

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Uganda secures qualification for T20 World Cup, Zimbabwe miss out – (Cricket News)

WINDHOEK, Namibia (AP) — Uganda secured its place in a global cricket tournament for the first time Thursday after beating Rwanda in African qualifying for next year’s T20 World Cup.

The country of 50 million in East Africa got into the expanded 20-team competition, being co-hosted by the West Indies and the United States in June, at the expense of Zimbabwe — an established cricketing nation.

Uganda defeated Zimbabwe by five wickets on Sunday for its first ever win over a Full Member team in a T20 international, and followed that up by dismissing Rwanda for 65 then reaching its target in 8.1 overs in Windhoek, Namibia.

Namibia has also advanced through African qualifying to complete a lineup of teams that also contains Oman, Nepal, Papua New Guinea and Canada. The United States qualifies through being a host country.

Uganda has been an associate member of the ICC since 1998 but does not have test or ODI status.

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Container lines expect greater Panama Canal disruption – Seatrade Maritime News

As previously reported on Seatrade Maritime News the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has announced further restrictions to vessels starting with only 22 transits from 1 December and declining to 20 ships on 1 January and just 18 ships from 1 February until further notice, as the water levels decline.

Consultancy Alphaliner reported: “Since Q2 [2023], the maximum draught for ships transiting the Panama Canal has been lowered from 14.94m to 13.41m, which reduces the carrying capacity of neo-panamax ships by up to 1,500 teu.”

ZIM is one of the major carriers affected by the canal’s draught restrictions which the company’s EVP and CFO Xavier Destriau said had become an area of “focus and attention” that was preventing the carrier from meeting its schedules and providing its customers with the reliability that they demand.

ZIM believes that one positive effect of the draught restrictions will be the absorption of excess capacity that is currently flooding the market, but Destriau admitted that the carrier has not seen enough of a slowdown in service rotations to shift the dial on the excess capacity being delivered into the global container shipping industry.

“Today it hasn’t changed the needle too much [on excess capacity] and what is more worrisome for our customers is the lack of visibility and schedule reliability that is quite seriously impacted by the current situation,” said.

ZIM is looking into what it can do to protect its schedule reliability, it has already added two vessels to Asia to US East Coast loop, taking the number of ships in this service from 10 ships to 12, absorbing some capacity.

“We are continuing to explore alternatives to protect schedules,” admitted Destriau as the situation around the Panama Canal appears to develop into more serious delays.

Southeast Asia to Baltimore service will have new larger vessels, but so far the carrier has resisted deploying further vessels to meet the draught restrictions and to maintain schedule reliability.

Listen to a recent episode of the Seatrade Maritime Podcast with Panama Canal Administrator Ricaurte Vasquez Morales

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ZIM has so far resisted adding Panama Canal surcharges, however, some of its competitors have decided to cover the extra costs through a levy.

CMA CGM will impose a $150 per teu ‘Panama Adjustment Factor’ (PAF) from 1 January 2024, citing the impact of both the transit restrictions and higher Canal tariffs implemented in January. And MSC has announced a PAF of $297 per teu for its Asia-US East Coast/US Gulf and Asia/Caribbean services transiting the Canal, effective from 15 December, said Alphaliner.

Measures taken to preserve the draught levels, such as the use of water saving basins in the and cross-filling in the panamax locks, levels in the Gatun Lake are said to be “at unprecedented levels for the time of year”.

Unlike bulk carriers and tankers, which have been looking for alternatives to the canal, liner companies have not seen major disruptions in the number of container vessels transiting the Panama Canal, at least up until now.

Hapag-Lloyd CEO Rolf Habben Jansen told Alphaliner that the carrier is closely monitoring the situation to see if one or more loops should be re-routed via the Suez Canal.

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