Bad news for relations US-Iran: Mujaheddin e-Khalq removed from list of terrorist groups

Posted on | september 30, 2012 | No Comments

Masoud Rajavi

The U.S. State Department on Friday formally removed the Iranian dissident group Mujahadin-e Khalq from its official list of terrorist organizations in a move which, according to political analysts is bound to deteriorate the relations with Iran even further. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took the decision, as the State Department stated, in view of the MEK’s public renunciation of violence, the absence of confirmed acts of terrorism by the MEK for more than a decade, and their cooperation in the peaceful closure of their paramilitary base in Iraq, where several thousand members of the MEK got stranded in 2003 after their former mentor, Saddam Hussein, disappeared from the political stage. It seems the remaining MEK-members have agreed to be move to Camp Liberty, a former U.S. military base under UN-supervision in Baghdad, from where they are expected to be resettled overseas.
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AGRA, SIDA sign US$ 10m grant pact to boost Africa-based agricultural entrepreneurs

Posted on | september 29, 2012 | No Comments

Sida logo 2010.jpgThe Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) Friday announced a US$10 million grant to support the development of Africa-based innovations to boost African agricultural growth.

The grant, awarded by Sida, will be directly channeled to the African Agribusiness Window of African Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF), a fund hosted by AGRA. Administered by the AECF, the grant will enable Africa-based entrepreneurs to submit new and innovative business solutions to accelerate the development of the agricultural sector in Africa.

Between 10-12 winners will be selected and provided with funding to develop their ideas into practical projects that are both commercially viable and will have a broad developmental impact on the rural poor. The projects will have a significant focus on the empowerment of women and environmental sustainability.
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Leaders pitch for small scale farmers at an agricultural forum

Posted on | september 28, 2012 | No Comments

Jakaya Kikwete

The Christian Holy Book talks of use of ox-plough several times both in its Old and New Testament but for Jakaya Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, nothing testifies of the backwardness of African agriculture than the continued urging of farmers to switch from using hand hoe to ox-ploughing.

“It is now over 2000 years since Jesus of the bible walked on the earth and Africans are still being urged to switch to a technology that is now over 2000 years,” he said adding that on the contrary time was ripe for agricultural experts told Africans on their face to mechanise their farming to achieve food security.

Speaking while officially opening the second African Green Revolution Forum in Arusha, Tanzania, President Kikwete said despite abundance of water and other natural resources, Africa is still incapable of feeding her population because its agriculture remains backward due to application of inappropriate technologies which include traditional farming and dependence on rain.
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What Do You Do About a Problem Like Malema?

Posted on | september 28, 2012 | No Comments

Julius Malema

In the latest twist of the saga in current South African politics former ANC Youth League President Julius Malema has been charged with money laundering. Malema, once an ally of President Jacob Zuma now counts himself as Zuma’s chief foe.

“We must make sure Jacob Zuma does not become president of the ANC…. Remove him as a president,” Malema said on Wednesday after being released on bond. “Zuma has 700 charges against him. I only have one.”

And so it is hard not to see political machinations in the charges, however legitimate, against Malema. Malema certainly does. And if Zuma’s fingerprints are anywhere near the charges coming down now one has to wonder what the President is thinking. After all, Thabo Mbeki’s alleged meddling in the legal system against Zuma after Mbeki’s ousting as party president in the last great political reckoning in South African history, in Polokwane in December 2007, led directly to Mbeki’s resignation from the presidency and only barely indirectly to Zuma’s ascension.
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Namibia awarded for protecting marine biological diversity

Posted on | september 28, 2012 | No Comments

Namibia’s Marine Resources Act has won Silver in the 2012 Future Policy Award. The jury stressed that the Act has served to institute an economically and ecologically viable fishing industry in the African country. The 2012 Future Policy Award highlights exemplary solutions to protect the world’s oceans and is initiated by the World Future Council, an international policy research organisation that provides decision-makers with effective policy solutions.

The winners were announced during a press conference at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 26 September 2012.

With Namibia’s Marine Resources Act (2000) the World Future Council once again praises African policy making: in 2011, the topic of the Award was “Forests for People” and Rwanda took home the Gold Award for its National Forest Policy (2004).
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