Category Archives: Business

Nsanje DHO engages Mozambican counterpart in cholera prevention

Mutarara, Mozambique Nsanje District Health Team has put extra effort by engaging Mozambican Health Officials in the quest to control cholera disease which normally originates from the neighbouring country.

Nsanje District Medical Officer, Dr Alfonsina Ndembera who led the team to Mutarara Mozambique, on Saturday said they thought of engaging their counterparts so that they share knowledge and experience on how best they can control the spread of cholera outbreaks in both districts.

She said most of the times when cholera cases are reported in Mozambique, Nsanje district is always at risk of the outbreak hence the need to work in coordination so that the outbreak is controlled in its initial stages.

Nsanje district is one of the districts in the country which is prone to cholera out breaks. It has come to our attention that most of the time when the district records cholera cases; it means our counterparts in the neighbouring country are experiencing the same.

For instance, in the month of January this year, Nsanje district recorded six cases of cholera of which two were proved to be positive. All of these cases were from our neighbouring district in Mozambique. So, we saw it wise to engage our colleagues and see how best way we can coordinate so that we control the possible cholera outbreaks, Ndembera explained.

During the meeting which took place in Mutarara, the two counterparts from the bordered districts of Malawi and Mozambique agreed to be vigil in the fight against cholera outbreaks which has been terrorising the two districts.

She said she was satisfied with the outcome of the engagement as several agreements were made in an effort to control the outbreak.

Ndembera explained that, We have agreed to intensify borderline community interventions, have regular communication between Nsanje and Mutarara health workers, share the common cholera interventions along the bordering communities so that cholera outbreak should be the thing of the past for both districts.

She pointed out that, We have agreed to ensure that every household should have a toilet and be able to know how best they can use it. On this, we have agreed that traditional leaders should be asked to tell their subjects to have pit latrines.

Even when cholera outbreak is reported in one of the districts, health officials should be able to share the information so that they do a combined effort to control further spread.

Mutarara District Hospital Medical Officer. Patricio Geloiliwou Vasco assured Malawian counterparts of their commitment in working hand in hand with Nsanje district in their quest to control cholera cases in both districts.

He said they are always ready to share notes so that cholera could be controlled in both districts.

We are very happy for the initiative from our counterparts in Nsanje Malawi. We should acknowledge that there has been no much coordination among us in the fight against the cholera. But now with the meeting we had, I am very sure that things will go better for both of us in controlling the existence of cholera in our districts.

We will even try to ensure that we coordinate well with our Malawian counterparts so that we control the disease from further existence in our two districts, Vasco added.

Source: MANA Online

South Africa: Pretoria Permanently Withdraws Its Ambassador From Israel

JOHANNESBURG, International Relations Minister Lindiwe Sisulu says withdrawing South Africa ambassador from Tel Aviv is just ‘stage one’ in downgrading relations with Israel.

The South African government has implemented what International Relations Minister Sisulu calls stage one of its programme of downgrading relations with Israel, by withdrawing its ambassador from Tel Aviv permanently.

She announced this in an address to the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) in Johannesburg.

Sisulu also suggested that eventually Israel would no longer have an ambassador in South Africa. If so, the government would be going even further than the ANC did at its conference in December 2017 when it decided to direct the government to immediately and unconditionally downgrade the South African Embassy in Israel to a Liaison Office.

The ANC resolution did not direct the government also to downgrade Israel’s embassy in Pretoria.

Sisulu told SAIIA that the ANC already had no relations with Israel and would like the government to adopt that position as soon as possible.

In her prepared remarks for the SAIIA lecture, Sisulu said that after Israeli security forces had shot Palestinian protesters on the Israel-Gaza border in 2018, Pretoria had immediately recalled South Africa’s ambassador to Israel � Sisa Ngombane � for consultation.

It had also demarche’d the Israeli ambassador to South Africa, Lior Keinan. To demarche is diplomatic speak for summoning a foreign diplomat and delivering a protest.

We are in the process of following the downgrade resolution of the ruling party and stage one has been completed, Sisulu continued.

Our ambassador is back in South Africa and we will not be replacing him. Our liaison office in Tel Aviv will have no political mandate, no trade mandate and no development co-operation mandate.

It will not be responsible for trade and commercial activities. The focus of the Liaison Office would be on consular and the facilitation of people-to-people relations.

Source: NAM News Network

Trade agreement bolsters South Africa exports into Brazil

BRASILIA, The preferential trade agreement between the Southern African Customs Unions (SACU) and the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) trade blocs has led to a steady increase of South African exports into Brazil.

This is according to the South African Foreign Economic Representative in Brazil, Shanaaz Ebrahim.

Speaking at the just concluded 12th Latin American Defence and Security Exhibition (LAAD) in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, Ebrahim said that South African exports to Brazil for the year 2016/17 rose to $43 million, and 2017/18 they further increased to $183 million.

South Africa is one of the member countries of the SACU.

According to trade statistics, our trade deficit with Brazil has shrunk considerably in 2018. The deficit is now at $700 million down from $1.2 billion in 2017. This is thanks to the fact that we have increased our exports to Brazil by 37% from $483 million in 2017 to $663 million in 2018.

Part of this was due to the ratification of the SACU/MERCOSUR preferential trade agreement which was ratified in April 2016 where SACU had offered MERCOSUR tariff line items of about 1065 product lines across 16 sectors of which 469 products are zero percent import duty free, she said.

Mercosur reciprocated this agreement by offering SACU 1052 product lines of which 778 products were at 0% import duty free.

This offers us a window of opportunity to penetrate the Brazilian market through these zero percent import duty free products. Negotiations of this agreement started in 2000, said Ebrahim.

Ebrahim’s comments come as a delegation of South African companies are participating in the LAAD through the Department of Trade and Industry’s (dti) Export Market Investment Assistance Scheme (EMIA).

The scheme aims to increase exports of South African manufactured products.

The dti is hosting a pavilion at the fair where 21 companies are showcasing South Africa’s industrial capabilities with the eventual intention of securing trade leads and business opportunities.

The purpose of the agreement is to integrate the economies of member countries through gradual and reciprocal liberalisation of trade and the strengthening of economic co-operation ties among member countries.

South African exports to Brazil for the year 2016/17 rose to $43 million, and 2017/18 they further increased to $183 million.

This offers us a window of opportunity to penetrate the Brazilian market through these zero percent import duty free products. Negotiations of this agreement started in 2000, she said.

Both South Africa’s and Brazil’s membership to the BRICS multinational agreements was advantageous to both countries.

This year Brazil will be chairing the 11th BRICS Summit which will be held in November, so there is going to be a series of working groups and meetings during the course of this year and we are looking forward to those agreements, Ebrahim said.

She urged South African companies to familiarise themselves with the Brazilian market.

I would also urge our companies to interrogate and familiarise themselves with the list of 0% import duty free products as that will orientate them on the viability of their products within the Brazilian market and it would also stand them in best position to draw instant benefits resulting from the SACU/MERCOSUR preferential trade agreement.

LAAD is a leading Latin America and Security event that gathers international and national companies that provides technologies, equipment and services for armed forces, special forces, police, homeland security and security managers from large companies, service concessionaires and critical infrastructure.

Source: NAM News Network

US Government gives MoH equipment worth 1.3 billion

Lilongwe United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on Wednesday handed over medical equipment worth K1.3 billion to the Ministry of Health in Lilongwe.

The medical equipment, which was handed over through Organised Network of Services for Everyone (ONSE) Project, includes essential supplies for maternal and neonatal care, child health, family planning and malaria; oxygen -concentrators, vacuum extractors and infant resuscitation kits among others.

Speaking with Malawi News Agency during the event at Kamuzu Central Hospital, US Ambassador to Malawi, Virginia Palmer said the equipment would improve health service delivery from the lower level of healthcare system all the way to the referral hospital.

This donation comes after we talked to the Ministry of Health and other partners in the rural health service and district hospitals to see what they needed that would improve the outcome of health service delivery in the country, Palmer said.

She said health of Malawians is foundation of the country, hence donation of the equipment which is largely on maternal health because this is where the foundation of life stands.

The American envoy further said the United States of America (USA) is committed to stand with providers of health care services by continuing to provide training, technical support and equipment to the country as required.

Apart from the medical equipment, the US government has also given books to Kamuzu College of Nursing (KCN) Library for the new PHD programs of Nursing and Midwifery.

The books contain a wide range of subjects which will help the university college to meet PHD programmes as required by National Council for Higher Education (NCHE).

MoH Principal Secretary, Dr Dan Namarika described the donated equipment as important because it would deal with issues to do with maternal child health.

The equipment will be used in all four levels of health care delivery from health surveillance assistance in the community, health centre and district hospital, and lastly to the referral hospital.

In addition, the teaching fraternity has also received something that will help train the health officers that we will find in the hospitals, Namarika said.

He said the equipment will be shared in sixteen districts in addition to the central hospitals, to help in maternal child health issues.

Source: MANA Online

South Africa’s Xenophobic Violence Doesn’t Deter Desperate Migrants

JOHANNESBURG Three Mkhalipi brothers describe every day of their lives in South Africa as a struggle. But even in the midst of a recent swell in xenophobic violence, these Malawian nationals say they’d rather face danger here than hunger at home.

Last month, a mob in the coastal city of Durban attacked a group of largely undocumented Malawians, killing at least two people. It’s part of a continuous ebb and flow of anti-migrant violence in a nation widely seen as a beacon for intra-African migration.

The latest census estimates up to 100,000 Malawians live here. Many say a lack of opportunities at home gave them no choice but to seek greener pastures in South Africa.

The oldest brother, Kenneth, has been here for nearly a year, and says he gets two days off every month. The soft-spoken 32-year-old maize and peanut farmer, who works as a gardener, pockets about $200 a month, and says he sends almost all of it home to his wife and two children.

His brothers, Emmanuel and David, share a squalid flophouse in an impoverished Johannesburg township, and find gardening work and odd jobs where they can. David, who is 24, arrived less than a week ago, as the violence was still dominating headlines.

“I fear it,” he said. “I fear for my life.”

But his eldest brother says they have no choice.

No jobs in Malawi

“There are no jobs in Malawi,” Kenneth Mkhalipi said. “We’re just farming to find maybe money, fund this year, then we’re going to get money next year. So, it’s a problem for us to find money. That’s why we’re coming here.”

He says South Africans, who face a 26 percent unemployment rate, haven’t exactly been welcoming since he arrived, and have liberally shared their anti-foreigner views.

“Ah, you take our job here.'” he said. “‘On our own, we don’t have jobs, why do you? You are working here; you are enjoying hereAll foreigners, we don’t like all foreigners here,’ they say.”

The deadly attack in Durban has only raised tensions. South Africa’s government has taken steps to react to the surge in anti-foreigner violence. The nation’s foreign minister met with African ambassadors this week to chart a way forward.

Not about crime

Human rights campaigners dispute the government’s explanation that recent assaults are simply criminal elements attacking vulnerable people.

Tigere Chagutah, a southern Africa campaigner for rights group Amnesty International, said xenophobic violence has surged.

“In the last few weeks,” he added, “we’ve again seen a flaring up of xenophobic violence in South Africa, something we’ve gotten used to seeing particularly at a time like this, such as in the run-up to elections, when political leaders, traditional leaders tend to use inflammatory and such language to whip up xenophobic sentiment amongst the people of South Africa.”

Malawi’s government says it will repatriate more than 100 citizens affected by the Durban violence who wish to return home.

But if the Mkhalipi family is any indication, the violence isn’t deterring immigration.

And, despite the attacks, middle brother Emmanuel Mkhalipi is urging their youngest brother, who is just 18, to join them once he finishes school.

“I’m going to tell my brother, this is South Africa,” said 25-year-old Emmanuel, who lives in the Alexandra township, which this week saw violent protests over the government’s failure to provide basic services. “You must be careful, because this is Africa.”

The brothers say they shrug off the dangers and try to stay positive. Just a week ago, Kenneth Mkhalipi said he was chased through central Johannesburg by three men, who stole his bag and phone. But he remains upbeat.

A wide smile spread across his face as he described his plan for his next day off, in two weeks.

“I’ll go see my brothers,” he said.

Source: Voice of America