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«Editor Ruchita Beri Associate Editor Princy George Editorial Team Babjee Pothuraju Keerthi S Kumar Saurabh Mishra Africa Trends Volume 1, Number 2, ...»

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Lesotho King announces general elections in May; EU supports social security programmes in Lesotho; China and Lesotho review health services Following a dialogue that ended the deadlock among the main political players, the King of Lesotho has set May 26, 2012 as the date for general elections. The agreement was reached after negotiations mediated by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) aimed at finding a lasting solution to the political challenges in the country. Meanwhile, King Letsie III dissolved the Lesotho Parliament on March 15, 2012 to pave way for campaigning by the country’s 10 political parties.49 The Minister of Finance and Development Planning Timothy Thahane and the Ambassador of the European Union (EU) to the Kingdom of Lesotho Hans Duynhouwer signed financing agreements for the second phase of poverty reduction budget support program (to the amount of •45 million) and the second phase of the program for protection of orphans and vulnerable children (to the amount of •10 million). The assistance is provided on condition of maintaining sound economic policies and progress in finance management reforms.50 In a bid to review the work of the Chinese Medical Team based in Lesotho, the People’s Republic of China Vice Minister of Health, Dr Liu Qian visited the country. The Lesotho Minister of Health “Zambia, Botswana in shortfall of US$ 130 million for construction of the Kazungula Bridge project”, Lusaka Times, April 1, 2012, at http://www.lusakatimes.com/2012/04/01/zambia-botswana-shortfall-130-million-constructionkazungula-bridge-project/ “Zambia: Botswana Seeks Joint Tourism Ventures”, AllAfrica, April 16, 2012, at http://allafrica.com/stories/ 201204161600.html “Botswana invites Chinese investment in textile sector”, Fibre2fashion, April 19, 2012, at http:// www.fibre2fashion.com/news/fabrics-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=110220 “Lesotho: King Announces May Election”, AllAfrica, April 10, 2012, at http://allafrica.com/stories/ 201204100610.html “Lesotho to benefit from M563 million EU support”, Informative, April 11, 2012, at http:// www.informativenews.co.ls/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5204:lesotho-to-benefit-fromm563-million-eu-support&catid=34:news&Itemid=27

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and Social Welfare, Dr Mphu Ramatlapeng said they have been working together in an exchange programme for a period of eight years, adding that this visit will give them a chance to decide on their way forward.51

NAMIBIA

Namibia seeks tangible economic cooperation with India; Namibia and Angola discuss water and power issues; China step up bilateral relations with Namibia Namibia’s Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Tjekero Tweya and its High Commissioner to India S K Mbabo visited Gujarat to seek tangible economic cooperation with India. At the same time, efforts are underway to finalise the plans to set up an Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDC) in Namibia. Tweya said, “The four reasons why we are here are dairy, port, bajra and Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDI), Ahmedabad”.52 Namibian Agriculture, Water and Forestry Minister, John Mutorwa, and Angolan Minister of Water and Energy, Joao da Silva Borges, have held consultative meetings on issues related to water and energy supplies in the Cunene and Cuvelai basins. The meeting started off with a tour to the Calueque Dam and Ruacana Waterfall where the two ministers visited the hydro and power infrastructures. They discussed matters related to the water supply along the common border and reviewed the progress made on the Kunene Trans-boundary Water Supply Project.

Furthermore, progress in the replacement of the Mahenene (Calueque) - Oshakati Canal with a pipeline and plans to rehabilitate the Calueque Dam also formed part of the discussion.53 Visiting Chinese Vice Premier, Hui Liangyu said that China plans to step up its efforts to implement a comprehensive and substantial cooperation programme in various aspects in a bid to strengthen its ties with Namibia. In reply, the Namibian president said his country would work hand-in-hand with China to promote the traditional friendship between the two countries and explore new ways to enhance bilateral cooperation. Both countries also signed five documents on bilateral cooperation on economic, technological and fishing related fields.54

SOUTH AFRICA

Nigeria and South Africa embroiled in diplomatic spat over Yellow Fever jabs; South Africa plans to have alternatives to Iranian oil; South Africa formalises diplomatic ties with Somalia; South Africa pitches for greater Indian investment South Africa and Nigeria have been embroiled in a diplomatic spat after authorities at Johannesburg airport deported 125 Nigerians, alleging that their yellow fever vaccination “China, Lesotho Health Ministers to Review Working Relations”, Government of Lesotho, April 19, 2012, at http:// www.gov.ls/articles/2012/china_lesotho_health_ministers_review_relations.php “EDI in Namibia on GoI’s agenda”, The Times of India, March 24, 2012, at http:// articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-03-24/ahmedabad/31233793_1_edi-dinesh-awasthi-africa-indiaforum-summit “Namibia: Country/Angola Tackle Water and Power Issues”, AllAfrica, April 2, 2012, at http://allafrica.com/ stories/201204021087.html “China to cement bilateral relation with Namibia”, Capitalfm, April 5, 2012, at http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/ 2012/04/china-to-cement-bilateral-relation-with-namibia/ Africa Trends Volume 1, Number 2, March-April 2012 certificates were fakes. Spokesman for South Africa’s Home Affairs department, Ronnie Mamoepa, said the decision to deport the Nigerians stemmed purely from concerns about health. Nigeria responded with undisguised tit-for-tat deportations of 84 South Africans. Olugbenga warned that Nigeria could take broader retaliatory measures, including a clampdown on South African companies.55 South Africa’s energy minister, Elizabeth Dipuo Peters, said that the South African government plans to have alternatives to Iranian oil in place by the end of May 2012 as Western powers tighten sanctions against the Islamic republic. South Africa relies on Iran for about 29 per cent of its oil imports, according to the US Energy Information Administration. It was the only big customer of Iranian crude not to have revealed that it was seeking alternative supplies.56 South Africa established formal diplomatic relations with Somalia, and committed R100 million to help the transitional Somali government build adequate institutions of governance. South African International Relations Minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, met with her Somali counterpart, Abdullahi Haji Hassan, in Pretoria and signed an agreement for the establishment of diplomatic relations. Further, the South African government would work with Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and international partners to ensure that Somalia has institutions of governance that will be sustainable beyond the TFG’s mandate, which should ultimately see that country equipped to govern itself.57 With an ambitious programme for development, South Africa plans to conduct road shows and business events in major Indian cities to attract investments in sectors as diverse as information technology, financial services and agro-processing. The South African Trade and Industry Minister, Rob Davies, has stated that a stable, diverse economy, a large market and relatively strong consumer spending power makes South Africa an attractive market in the African context. He hopes to raise two-way trade to over US$ 15 billion by 2014 from around US$ 11 billion now.58

SWAZILAND





Swaziland Army exposed of its attempted spy equipment purchase; US expresses concern over crackdown on demonstrations The Swaziland Army was exposed after a court revealed it had tried to purchase spy cameras and phone monitoring equipment worth US$ 1.25 million. It is suspected that the gadgets would be used against the growing number of pro-democracy campaigners in the kingdom, ruled by King “Nigeria, South Africa feud over yellow fever jabs”, Yahoo News, March 8, 2012, at http://news.yahoo.com/nigeriasouth-africa-feud-over-yellow-fever-jabs-060706385.html “South Africa looks for alternatives to Iran oil”, Financial Times, March 13, 2012, at http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ 4e5ae514-6d26-11e1-ab1a-00144feab49a.html#axzz1t4afo3kA “South Africa, Somalia formalise ties”, South Africa Info, March 14, 2012, at http://www.southafrica.info/news/ international/somalia-140312.htm “South Africa pitches for greater Indian investment”, The Economic Times, April 8, 2012, at http:// articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2012-04-08/news/31308445_1_indian-investments-india-south-africapresident-jacob-zuma

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Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch. The Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force (USDF) was sued in the Swaziland High Court because it ordered the equipment, but did not pay for it.59 The United States expressed concern about a crackdown on anti-monarchy demonstrations in Swaziland. A statement released by the US Embassy in Mbabane criticised security forces in the southern African nation for preventing peaceful gatherings, and the government for banning a union. It also urged the government to take necessary steps to ensure the promotion and protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms of all Swazi citizens.60

ZAMBIA Zambia and Namibia agree for transfer of sentenced persons

Zambia and Namibia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and an agreement for the Transfer of Sentenced Persons which seeks to enable the two countries to cooperate in combating cross-border crime and improve the standards of services at prisons as well as immigration departments. Zambian Home Affairs Minister Kennedy Sakeni opined that the Joint Permanent Commission on Defence and Security (JPCDC) was cardinal in enhancing cooperation and strengthening Zambia and Namibia’s relationship as it was a forum where all the defence and security matters affecting the two countries were discussed and possible solutions harmonised.

He said that the threat of illegal migration and transnational crimes such as human trafficking, migrant smuggling and terrorism had necessitated the need for technical cooperation between Zambia and Namibia through the immigration departments.61

CENTRAL AFRICA

EU urges Central Africa to ratify economic partnership agreements by 2014 At the meeting between the inter-ministerial committee for the negotiation of economic partnership agreements between the European Union and the Central African sub-region, the European Union urged all the countries of the region to sign and ratify economic partnership agreements by 2014.62

ANGOLA

Nearly 40 per cent of Angolan oil exported to China, the two countries in talks to expand trade; UN Secretary-General condemns treatment of illegal migrants in border region;

“Swaziland: Army Tried to Buy Spy Equipment”, AllAfrica, April 5, 2012, at http://allafrica.com/stories/ 201204050882.html “US Expresses Concern About Swaziland Crackdown”, ABC News, April 18, 2012, at http://abcnews.go.com/ International/wireStory/us-expresses-concern-swaziland-crackdown-16161047#.T5gzIXlc6_0 “Southern Africa: Zambia, Namibia Agree to Fight Cross-Border Crime”, AllAfrica, March 31, 2012, at http:// allafrica.com/stories/201203310316.html “European Union-Cameroon: Economic partnership discussed”, CRTV.com, April 13, 2012, at http://www.crtv.cm/ cont/nouvelles/nouvelles_sola_fr.php?idField=11077&table=nouvelles&sub=economie

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Angola to open embassy in East Timor; South Sudan seeks to increase ties with Angola;



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