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The government is taking additional fiscal consolidation measures to boost growth and improve private-sector competitiveness by strengthening public finances and introducing a more flexible exchange-rate regime. A large part of the labor force remains marginalized by inflexible labor laws, and the government has yet to confront other long-standing challenges that require deeper reforms, particularly in connection with ensuring the evenhanded rule of law. Most practice Sunni Islam. Arabs and Berbers are 99 percent of the population.

There are populations of Haratin and Gnawa, black or mixed race. Most of the foreign residents are French or Spanish. Genetic studies have shown Moroccans are genetically closer to Iberians than those of Bantu ethnicity. French is the unofficial second language and is universally taught, it is the commercial language and is used in education and government. In the north, 2 million speak Spanish. English is not widely spoken but is becoming a second language of the educated youth. Berber is the oldest known native Moroccan language and has an unknown number of speakers.

In addition to rural areas, there are sizeable Berber speaking populations in the urban areas. Morocco has a rich culture and civilization mostly due to its ethnic diversity. There are regional differences that contribute to the overall culture. The country has protection of diversity as one of its top priorities. Spices are used extensively, which were imported into the country over thousands of years. Chicken is the most widely eaten meat and beef is the most common red meat. Lamb is expensive but preferred. The most famous dish is couscous.

Most literature is in Arabic, Berber, and French. During the Almohad dynasty, the country experienced a period of learning. The Marrakech Koutoubia Moswue accommodated 25, people but also held books and manuscripts. Abu Yakub, an Almohad caliph, founded a great library. Modern national literature started in the s due to the ability of intellectuals to exchange works with Arabs and Europeans.

Foreign writers and native ones thrived in the s and s. Chabbi bands and trance music are widespread. Andalusian classical music is based in Morocco and found in North Africa. This likely originated in Cordoba under the Moors. Chaabi descends from folk music and is played at meetings and celebrations. There are 2, km of railways in Morocco, which connect to Algeria and Tunisia. These Tunisian connections have been closed since the s. A railway between Spain and Morocco is proposed to go under the Strait of Gibraltar. Plans also exist for high speed rail lines.

Since , compulsory military service has been suppressed. The reserve obligation lasts until age There is an army, navy, and air force, of which the army is the largest. There is effective internal security. The Polisario militia have fought the Moroccan army intermittently in the area since the s. Education in Morocco is compulsory through to age 15 and free.

Notwithstanding this, many children in rural areas especially girls fail to attend. Those who do, often drop out before they reach secondary school level, and there are shocking gaps in literacy because of these unfortunate trends. The primary school program is designed to last 6 years. Football is the most popular sport in Morocco.

In , the country was the first African nation to play in the World Cup, however they did not qualify for the latest world cup in Brazil. National athletes have also won Olympic medals in track and field. Tennis and golf have also become popular.

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Nouakchott is the capital and is located on the Atlantic coast. Aziz left the military to run for president in , which he won. The next presidential election will be held in President Mohammed Ould Abdel Aziz is constitutionally barred from running again. The first Saharan people to abandon the nomadic lifestyle were the Bafours. Central Saharans followed soon after. Moorish Islamic warriors conquered the Ghana Empire in The Arabs dominated the local population and Mauritania over the next years.

From , the Mauritanian Thirty Year War was a final and unsuccessful attempt to repel the Arab invaders. The descendants of these warriors became the high level of Moorish society. France absorbed the territory of modern Mauritania in the late s. An imperial mission in was led by Xavier Coppolani.

Through alliances and military actions, he extended French rule. The final holdouts in the northern emirate of Adrar were defeated in The territory became part of French West Africa in Interclan warfare and slavery ended under French rule. During this time, the people generally remained nomadic. When independence occurred in , 90 percent of the population was still nomadic and Nouakchott, the capital, was founded at a local village site.

Drought in the s caused problems in the country. Upon independence, sub-Saharan peoples moved to Mauritania. Since they were educated in French systems, many new arrivals became clerks and administrators. Modern day slavery is still a problem in Mauritania and some estimates show 20 percent of the population may be enslaved.

In the late s, 70, black African Mauritanians were expelled from the country. Ethnic tensions are still powerful in the country. Morocco and Mauritania annexed Western Sahara in and Mauritania took the lower one-third. While Morocco occupies the area, the U. After being installed by the French after independence, President Moktar Ould Daddah turned Mauritania into a one-party state with an authoritarian regime. Daddah believed Mauritania not ready for multi-party democracy. He was reelected in uncontested elections in , , and In , after a failed war in Western Sahara nearly collapsed the country, a bloodless coup ousted him.

Mustafa Oul Salek could not end the war or stabilize the government. He gave up all claims to the Western Sahara and ended the war, leading to improved relations with Algeria. The relationships with Morocco and France deteriorated. Coups attempts plagued the regime and opposition crackdowns led to unrest.

He reestablished relations with Morocco which deepened in the s. President Taya became head of state in after a bloodless coup and won reelection in and Political parties were legal again in Civilian rule returned in but most opposition parties boycotted the first legislative elections.

The RDS controlled parliament for over a decade. An attempted coup occurred in , but failed. Its leaders were never apprehended. Taya won reelection with 67 percent of the vote. Taya pursued Arab nationalist policies in the s and had close ties with Iraq. In , clashes occurred with Senegal. International isolation occurred and there were tensions with the West after Mauritania supported Iraq in the Gulf War. In the mids, Mauritania shifted to become more pro-Western. In , Mauritania and Israel agreed to have full diplomatic relations, joining Egypt, Palestine, and Jordan as Arab League members to recognize Israel.

Vall was named president and director of the national police. The coup was accepted generally by the people and the international community has gradually accepted the new leaders. In elections in , 97 percent approved presidential term limits. The recognition of Israel was maintained. Parliamentary elections took place in In , the first democratic presidential elections since occurred and transferred military power to civilian rule. This was the first multi-party presidential election in Mauritania.

Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi won the election. After the president fired two senior officers the army surrounded the state television building. The army arrested the president, prime minister, and internal affairs minister. General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz organized the coup and was the former chief of staff of the army. Some reports indicated the people supported the coup. There were some nations that supported the coup leader, but several, including the U. In response to protests, the new ruling junta cracked down on opposition and banned protests. Abdellahi was eventually released and placed under house arrest due to international pressure.

Opposition caused the junta to delay planned elections. International pressure shifted when France and Algeria supported the junta. Abdellahi eventually resigned, leading to the election of Abdel Aziz, the junta leader, as president. Despite opposition complaints, the elections were viewed by Western countries as legitimate. There are 12 regions wilaya and one capital district. There are further divided into 44 departments. Mauritania is comparable in size to Egypt and at 1,, sq.

The country is mostly flat with arid plains and occasional ridges. There are scarps facing southwest bisecting the country. There are also sandstone plateaus, the highest of which, Adrar plateau, sits at meters. Mineral rich peaks rise above the plateaus. The highest peak is Kediet ej Jill which has a 1, meter elevation. Most of Mauritania is desert or semidesert. This has been expanded due to a severe drought since the s.

Helped by a prudent fiscal policy and the gradual recovery of global mineral prices, Mauritania has emerged from a period of slow growth caused by falling commodity prices. Real GDP growth rose to 3. This situation jeopardizes the gains made in poverty reduction between and Mauritania has iron ore deposits which are nearly half of total exports, other mineral resources include old, copper, gypsum, and phosphate rock and exploration is ongoing for uranium, crude oil, and natural gas. The coastal waters offer one of the best fishing areas in the world.

In , the first deep water port opened near Nouakchott. According to world population review Mauritania has a population estimate of 4,, Almost all of the people are Muslim, mostly Sunni. Arabic is the official language, particularly the Hassaniya dialect. The two main ethnic groups are black Africans and Arab-Berbers.

Subgroups of the black Africans are the Fulani, Soninke, and Bambara. The healthcare system in Mauritania mainly consists of administrative centers and emergency health facilities. The healthcare expenditure of the country totals an estimated 4. There are roughly around basic healthcare units situated throughout Mauritania. The healthcare system in the country is predominantly public, however, over the past decade the private medical sector has experienced a steady increase.

The industry which has undergone the most privatization is the pharmaceutical field. The only major hospital in Mauritania is situated in the capital and largest city, Nouakchott. This hospital is suitable for medical emergencies; however it is not fully equipped to house inpatients. Primary school teaching has been in Arabic since French is introduced later and all scientific courses are taught in French. There is increasing use of the Weldiya dialect and English. There are universities, including the University of Nouakchott. From , public education spending was Mauritanian education begins at the pre-primary level where children aged 4 to 6 attend Koranic school where they are encouraged to memorize verses from the Koran.

At age 6 they enter formal education which is compulsory and supposed to be free for all.


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However poorer families are often unable to afford the cost of education materials and school feeding, especially in rural areas. Primary school lasts for 6 years from ages 6 to Malawi is a landlocked country in southeast Africa. It was formerly known as Nyasaland and is bordered by Tanzania to the northeast, Zambia to the northwest, and Mozambique to the east, south, and west.

Lake Malawi separates the country from Mozambique. According to world population review Malawi has a population of 19,, and an area of , sq. Lilongwe is the capital, and also the largest city. The area was initially settled in the 10th century and was ruled by natives until when the British colonized it. After independence in , Hastings Banda ruled the country as a one party state. He held power until when he was ousted. The current president is Arthur Mutharika, who was elected in May The country has pro-Western foreign policy and participates in several international organizations.

The population is mostly rural and agriculture is a major part of the economy. Outside aide is necessary for the government, but it has declined since Since , however, Malawi has experienced some setbacks, including a general shortage of foreign exchange, which has damaged its ability to pay for imports, and fuel shortages that hinder transportation and productivity. The government has failed to address barriers to investment such as unreliable power, water shortages, poor telecommunications infrastructure, and the high costs of services. Infant mortality is high and life expectancy is low.

The population is ethnically and linguistically diverse. In recent times, Malawian nationality has diminished tribal conflicts. A small population of hunter gatherers resided in Malawi before Bantus arrived around the 10th century. Some Bantus remained in the area and founded villages and settlements based on common ancestry.

While united under a single ruler after , tribesmen encountered and traded with Portuguese. By , this empire split into different tribal areas. Under British rule, Malawi was known as Nyasaland. The British were given a small budget in to administer the entire colony.

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African nationalists opposed this and the NAC gained support. He was jailed in but released in to help draft a new constitution. Banda himself became the Prime Minister in Upon independence, the country was renamed Malawi. The new constitution set up the country as a one party state under MCP control. Banda declared himself president for life in He ruled for 30 years by suppressing opposition to the MCP.

In , Banda agreed to a referendum where the country voted for a multi-party democracy. Multi-party elections were first held in and Bakili Muluzi became president. He remained in office until Dr. Bingu wa Mutharika was elected in The multi-party system still exists despite challenges. Additional elections were held in and Mutharika was reelected despite fraud allegations by his opponents. The latest elections were held in and Arthur Mutharika is now president. President Arthur Mutharika leads the country, which is a democratic, multi-party government. The current constitution was put in place in There are legislative, judicial, and executive branches.

The president is the head of government and chief of state. Presidential elections are held every five years. The vice-president is elected at the same time. If the president chooses to select a second vice-president, the selection must be from another party.

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The president appoints the cabinet members. There is a unicameral National Assembly with members who are elected every five years. The constitution allows for an 80 seat Senate but one does not exist. The judiciary is independent and is based on the British system. Nine political parties exist and the Democratic Progressive Party is the ruling party.

There is universal suffrage at age There are three regions making up Malawi. These are divided into 28 districts, traditional authorities, and administrative wards. Mutharika has implemented corruption reforms. He was re-elected in , but died in office in , and was replaced by the then Vice President Joyce Banda, Banda lost the elections to Arthur Mutharika, son of Bingu wa Mutharika. The military has an air wing, navy, and army. There are 5, personnel between the three branches. None of the 80 aircraft is for combat. The navy is based on Lake Malawi.

Banda, while president, pursued a pro-Western agenda that continued through The beginning of the multi-party state strengthened U. Malawi is part of several international groups, including the U. Malawi supports regional stability. While rights are generally respected, international observers have noted police using excessive force in some areas.

Mob violence does occur and prison conditions are generally poor.


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There are also politically motivated arrests and pretrial detentions. Violence against women is also common and child labor exists. The situation has been improving. There was also significant investigation into corruption. Malawi, landlocked in southeastern Africa, borders Tanzania to the northeast, Mozambique to the south, southwest, and southeast, and Zambia to the northwest. The Great Rift Valley runs in Malawi from the north to the south. To its east is Lake Malawi. Lake Malawi sits at 1, feet and has a maximum depth of 2, feet. Around the Rift Valley, plateaus are generally 3, to 4, feet above sea level.

The Shire Highlands are south of Lake Malawi are approximately 3, feet above sea level. The Zomba and Mlanje mountains are located in this area and are 7, feet and 10, feet high. Lilongwe is the capital. Blantyre is the commercial center and largest city. Malawi is generally hot in low-lying areas and temperate in the northern highlands. Malawi is one of the most densely populated and least developed countries.

One-third of GDP and 90 percent of exports are from agriculture. This is due to lower output in agriculture caused by dry spells and fall armyworm infestation. Furthermore, performance in industry and service sectors was subdued because of erratic energy supply and a generally weak business environment. A successful tobacco sector is key to short-term growth as tobacco accounts for more than 50 percent of exports. The economy depends on substantial inflows of economic assistance from the IMF, the World Bank, and individual donor nations.

Tobacco, cotton, tea, sugarcane, corn, sorghum, potatoes, cattle, and goats are main agricultural products. Industrial production is expected to continue to grow. There are no imports or exports of electricity, but all oil is imported. Total Imports recorded There are 32 airports in Malawi, 25 of which have unpaved runways.

There are kms of railways and 15, kms of roads. Of these, 6, miles are paved. Infrastructure contributed 1. Challenges include improving the reliability and sustainability of the power sector, raising funding for road maintenance, preventing overengineering of roads, enhancing market access in agricultural areas, and lowering the cost of information and communications services.

There are also Asians and Europeans. Other religions exist, including indigenous beliefs. In addition to high infant mortality rates, life expectancy is 59 years. Primary education is not compulsory. The constitution does guarantee five years of education. Free education was established in In recent times, ethnic distinctions have diminished and there are no significant inter-ethnic conflicts.

Malawian nationality has formed mostly in the rural population. Initiation rites, marriages, rituals, and celebrations are times where dances take place. Football is the most common sport and basketball is growing in popularity. There is a tradition of basketry and mask carving. These are still used by native peoples in traditional ceremonies.

In urban centers, oil painting and wood carvings are popular. This means airport operations, flight dispatch, load control, ramp operation, on-board logistics, safety and security, catering as well as air-traffic control are to be carried out entirely by women. The African mining sector has endured a difficult time over the past five years. Commodity prices fell on the back of weaker Chinese demand and investment decisions on both mine projects and the railways needed to support them were delayed. New frontiers, such as iron ore development on the borders of Gabon, Republic of Congo and Cameroon, were worst hit, but even established areas of production suffered.

The outlook for is not one of unadulterated confidence but there are reasons for cautious optimism. Fitch Solutions forecasts that global copper demand will increase from This is well above expected production increases, so prices for Zambian and Congolese copper are likely to rise, increasing the pressure for new mine development. While innovation has been at the heart of many of the progressive discussions around African development over the last decade, the focus has tended to be centered on the benefits and impact of digital technology as internet penetration rises across the continent.

Earlier this month, it opened a design hub and innovation center in Kigali, Rwanda. Unlike its hub in Lagos, where startups are incubated at various stages of growth, the lab is a space for collaboration where solutions for social impact are created. Six years ago while wondering how best to use her engineering skills, Tanzanian ICT entrepreneur Rose Funja decided to enter an innovation competition.

Years later she has turned a digital idea into a viable business that helps smallholder farmers across the East African nation access credit. In Tanzania farmers struggle to obtain credit because many do not have bankable assets or a record of performance to offer as collateral. But Funja had an idea to help farmers, particularly women, obtain proof of land ownership that they could use as collateral to access credit. It was a smart solution: using geographical information system GIS technology to generate useful information for farmers. Six years ago a major development was announced in South Africa.

Early plans showed it was to include 55, housing units, 1,, m2 of office space and all the necessary amenities for urban life in the form of a single large-scale urban district. However, these projects can take badly needed resources away from the marginalised areas of the city. This can be achieved over the next five years if they can close the gender gap in mobile-phone ownership, according to GSMA, the global mobile-trade body. It bases that estimate on the commercial opportunity for mobile operators and the expected boost to GDPs as more women get phones.

Digital commerce will be a big beneficiary, says a new white paper from consulting firm BFA, commissioned by the Mastercard Foundation. Growth could have a massive impact on African countries, with their young and increasingly urban populations. But most governments are not ready. Egypt is the only African country with any kind of e-commerce policy. Nairobi is unrecognisable from the sleepy town it was at the turn of the century.

What caused it all is disputed, though some developers whisper that the return of dirty money from the West after the financial crash fuelled the frenzy. Far more money could be made in Kenyan bricks and mortar than in rich-world stockmarkets. Shopping malls, petrol stations and apartment blocks were levelled; bulldozers cut through slums, leaving tens of thousands homeless. All this destruction may seem rather wanton in a poor city.

Yet the government-backed body overseeing it, the Nairobi regeneration task-force, insists that the only way to save the Kenyan capital is to wreck bits of it. Rwanda has embraced technology and is now preparing its young population for the future by launching a coding academy. The academy focuses on cyber security and software programming, and 30 girls and 30 boys enrolled in the first intake. But pioneers far to the northeast are forging a new frontier in unlikely surroundings as changing weather patterns test long-held conventions.

Producing wine here at 1, meters 3, feet means turning tradition on its head and nurturing grapes in steamy summer rainfall, rather than the Mediterranean climate and cool, wet winters of the much more celebrated Western Cape. A survey done last year by Enwealth Financial Services in partnership with Strathmore University revealed that The survey sampled out average Kenyans from the top and middle income earners who are majorly professionals and self-employed people who have savings and are planning to invest.

As the year begins, investors continue to look out for the best places to invest in land, however, preference will be given to real estate companies who have been keen on ensuring that clients sign the legal documents involved in land transfer. Signing of legal documents assures clients that they will receive their title deeds at the end of their investment. A title deed empowers individuals to develop their property without any legal constraints.

AfriLabs, the largest pan-African network of technology and innovation hubs with over members across 36 countries, will be be holding the 4th edition of its AfriLabs Annual Gathering in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 28th — 30th October, The AfriLabs Annual Gathering provides a unique opportunity for tech hubs in the AfriLabs network and other stakeholders in the African tech ecosystem such as local innovators entrepreneurs , corporates, investors, academia and developmental agencies to convene, network and share knowledge.

The AfriLabs Annual Gathering will be focusing on connecting players of the African innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem, which includes hubs, innovators, entrepreneurs, researchers, academia, venture capitalists, development agencies, investors, governments as well as business development organisations, creatives amongst others. The main goal will be to build collaborative and sustainable systems and create synergies that will pave the way for the African innovation ecosystem to thrive and develop the African continent.

The Gathering will host over leaders and decision makers of these stakeholder groups. The 3-day gathering will feature panel discussions, keynote addresses, presentation sessions, multiple parallel workshops, local ecosystem tour, networking sessions, and open floor exhibitions. Each session and dialogue will be focused on thematic topics such as driving investment for African startups and job creation through entrepreneurship, working with research institutions and universities on converting research to innovation, and strengthening institutional frameworks and networks that drive synergies between the media, corporate, creative, technology sectors among others.

The AfriLabs Annual Gathering annually engages people and organisations passionate about building the future of African innovation, solving development challenges and supporting technology driven enterprises on the continent. This year, we are excited to be holding the Annual Gathering in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and with a strong focus on collaboration and strengthening our ecosystem sustainably,. AfriLabs is a pan-African network of over technology innovation hubs across 36 African countries. AfriLabs is an organisation that supports innovation across African countries in order to raise successful entrepreneurs that will create jobs and develop innovative solutions to African problems.

We look forward to connecting with other influential women and showcasing our reason for being, which is developing and implementing, culturally-attuned and effective communications strategies for a complex continent. Reports indicate that over a dozen locations across Oromia — the largest and most populous region — were hit by the protests. The deputy mayor said farmers who were displaced from the sites were included in the transfer without lottery. The issue of uprooting local farmers to make way for the housing project has long been a divisive issue.

The project which dates back to forms part of plans to deal with rapid population growth and an acute shortage of affordable housing. Authorities in Addis Ababa and in smaller cities across the country have been building condominium units targeting low and middle-income groups, financed entirely with public money. The Economic Freedom Fighters launched their far-left, radical political party in This year, as they approach their second national election, they stand a chance of making real gains in strongholds once controlled by the powerful African National Congress.

The nation votes May 8. In adult politics, the party also won key municipalities in the vote. But in the past year, the party has grown in ambition and maturity. The year-old has been in power for two decades but has rarely been seen in public since suffering a stroke in The Accra Central Library, once described as the most beautiful edifice in Gold Coast, was opened in by the Governor, Sir Charles Arden Clarke and this was the formative years of public library system.

Last year, management of the Ghana Library Authority evicted traders occupying its premises to create a serene and safe environment for library users. This year measures have been put in place to improve the existing library facilities around the country including stocking it with new books, computers and internet access. Outreach programmes has ensured that nobody gets left behind.

More than three decades after his assassination, Burkina Faso is celebrating Thomas Sankara with a new monument. Two years ago the revolutionary leader once again became the face of a popular movement, and the new statue unveiled over the weekend in Ouagadougou formalizes his place in a new political era. The five-meter bronze statue, which stands on a four-meter base, depicts Sankara in his army fatigues, ready to take a step forward with his arm raised and his face to the horizon.

Sankara is memorialized along with the busts of 12 of his comrades who were also killed in the coup. Obesity related diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes are rapidly overtaking HIV as the top causes of death in South Africa. A bad diet is a major contributor to this epidemic because people increasingly opt for unhealthier, processed and fast foods. Recent research from the Wits School of Public Health, the Health Systems Trust and the University of KwaZulu-Natal sheds fresh light on the problem, showing a proliferation of unhealthy food, particularly in poorer communities.

Strikingly, the distributions of these outlets are income-based. Most of the poorer wards had only fast-food retailers with no healthy food outlets. Conversely, grocery stores are concentrated in wealthy areas. Namibian tribes seeking damages over genocide and property seizures by Germany more than a century ago say they will appeal a U. According to the plaintiffs, thousands of Herero and Nama were slaughtered, left to starve or died at concentration camps from to , when Namibia was known as South-West Africa, after the tribes rebelled against German rule. A seven-year-old Nigerian girl has revealed she is determined to become a world-boxing champion.

She also added she wants to encourage girls like her to embrace the sport. Mali is one of the most peaceful nations on the African continent. The country has a great culture, friendly people, and breathtaking landscapes. This West African gem typically entices the more adventurous traveler with its wonderful outdoor excursions. It is a nation that exists in harmony with its shining past and celebrates it by preserving musical, religious, cultural, and culinary traditions.

The nightlife and the music scene in Bamako are legendary. This city makes the perfect first stop on your Mali adventure. Taking a boat to get from one city to another is not only a great way to explore Mali but also a fine way to get around. It is easy to find a guide to show you around the Old Town; in fact, one will probably approach you as soon as you arrive.

Today they live mostly in small villages on the plateau beneath the cliffs. There are no cars in the Dogon, and the only way to get around is by hiking or hitching a ride on a donkey-drawn cart. Learn about the Dogon through their mask dances and wooden sculptures, and fall asleep on the tops of adobe houses under a dark sky spattered with stars. For those who like to climb outdoors, this is one of the best and most beautiful places in Mali to visit. But if you want to experience wildlife, the Boucle de Baoule National Park is your destination.

Also of interest in the park are ancient Malinke tombs and rock art. We also recommend taking short pirogue rides on the Niger to neighboring villages. Originally a small fishing village, Mopti is now a major trade center. The Sahara stretches over much of northern Mali, and desert excursions with experienced guides can be arranged from Timbuktu or Kidal.

These excursions have lately been discouraged due to activity by Islamic extremist groups, but do your research thoroughly beforehand. In it became a World Heritage Site, but Timbuktu has always been considered a special place. Visit the Djinguereber mosque, and admire the mix of Berber, Andalusian, and Egyptian architecture of this city.

Bandiagara Escarpment : Is an escarpment in the Dogon country of Mali. The sandstone cliff rises about meters above the lower sandy flats to the south. It has a length of approximately kilometers. The Cliffs of Bandiagara are a sandstone chain ranging from south to northeast over km and extending to the Grandamia massif. A vast slab of desert rock, the mountain is over 1, metres tall and forms a plateau above the town of Hombori far below. It attracts a constant stream of hikers, climbers and sightseers, thanks to its road link with the airport in Mopti.

Inhabited for over 2, years, these caves are providing an invaluable window into the distant past of the country and the Sahara region. Though Mali is, by Western standards, hot all year round, it does have three seasons. February through June is dry and hot, especially in March through May. The rainy season lasts from June through November, with more humid and milder weather. November through February is cool and dry; we recommend that period for travelers who struggle with high temperatures.

One can apply for visas of various durations. Fees vary depending on country of citizenship. For those entering Mali from a bordering country, short-term tourist visas can be purchased at the border. Be sure to photocopy the first three pages of your passport, including the page containing your visa, and keep the photocopies separate from your passport in case it should be lost or stolen. Outside of urban areas, roads are often unpaved or in poor condition. A number of bus companies operate throughout Mali, most with hubs in Bamako.

Buses traveling to small towns often do not run on set schedules, and they depart when they are full; make sure your schedule is flexible! Otherwise, buses to bigger cities are generally on time. Most roads in Mali are unpaved, so whether you are driving or being driven, be prepared for a bumpy ride. You can catch the boats at various ports. This mode of transportation, while scenic, is extremely slow. Concerned about your safety as you plan travel to Mali? Here are the resources we consult when thinking of our safety in Mali:. Perspective assumes that you ARE going to travel to Mali, and seeks to give you good guidance so that you understand the risks and are well informed.

State Department Travel Advisory on Mali. See what they have to say about Mali. Mali is the largest country in West Africa, slightly less than twice the size of Texas and roughly five times the size of Great Britain. It is divided into eight regions that are further divided into cercles, which are subdivided into arrondissements. Mali is a predominantly Muslim country 90 percent of the population follows Islam.

Alcohol is still widely available and consumed, though, as are cigarettes. It is important not to wear revealing clothing, especially when visiting a mosque or religious site. With the current committed funding from government, outlined in the Budget, Eskom has sufficient cash to meet its obligations until the end of October For Eskom to default on its loans will cause a cross-default on its remaining debt and would have a huge impact on the already constrained fiscus.

We will therefore table a Special Appropriation Bill on an urgent basis to allocate a significant portion of the R billion fiscal support that Eskom will require over the next 10 years in the early years. This we must do because Eskom is to vital to our economy to be allowed to fail. Further details will be provided by the Minister of Finance in due course. We will soon also be appointing a Chief Restructuring Officer, who will be expected to reposition Eskom financially with careful attention to the mix between revenue, debt and cost structure of the company.

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Eskom is working with government and other stakeholders to address its overall debt as well the debt owed by municipalities and individual users. As a country, we must assert the principle that those who use electricity must pay for it. Failure to pay endangers our entire electricity supply, our economy and our efforts to create jobs. The days of boycotting payment are over. This is now the time to build it is the time for all of us to make our own contribution.

This requires us to reimagine our industrial strategy, to unleash private investment and energise the state to boost economic inclusion. It requires the state to effectively play its role as an enabler that provides basic services and critical infrastructure, a regulator that sets rules that create equitable opportunities for all players, and a redistributor that ensures that the most vulnerable in society are protected and given a chance to live up to their full potential.

We will give priority attention to the economic sectors that have the greatest potential for growth. Drawing on our successes in the automotive sector, we will implement master plans developed with business and labour in industries like clothing and textiles, gas, chemicals and plastics, renewables, and steel and metals fabrication sectors. We are going to substantially expand the agriculture and agro-processing sector by supporting key value chains and products, developing new markets and reducing our reliance on agricultural imports.

We will bolster the mining industry by developing markets for South African minerals through targeted beneficiation, reduced costs of inputs, and increased research and development. Through spatial interventions like special economic zones, reviving local industrial parks, business centres, digital hubs and township and village enterprises, we will bring economic development to local areas. We will also focus on small medium enterprises in our cities, townships and rural areas and create market places where they trade their products. We will make good on our ambition to more than double international tourist arrivals to 21 million by We are determined to ensure that tourists who come to our country are safe.

We will expand our high tech industry by ensuring that the legal and regulatory framework promotes innovation, scaling up skills development for young people in new technologies, and reducing data costs. Wherever we have gone young people have continuously raised the issue of the excessive high data costs in South Africa.

To provide impetus to this process, within the next month, the Minister of Communications will issue the policy direction to ICASA to commence the spectrum licensing process. This process will include measures to promote competition, transformation, inclusive growth of the sector and universal access.

This is a vital part of bringing down the costs of data, which is essential both for economic development and for unleashing opportunities for young people. We call on the telecommunications industry further to bring down the cost of data so that it is in line with other countries in the world. We are intensifying our investment drive. Of the R billion of investments announced at our inaugural Investment Conference last year, just over R billion worth of projects has entered implementation phase. We continue to build a pipeline of investments, which will be showcased at the second South African Investment Conference to be held on 5 to 7 November.

At a time of uncertainty, the work of the investment envoys has built important bridges between government and the business community. From their feedback, it is clear that much more still needs to be done to improve the investment climate. This includes reviewing the way Government coordinates work to resolve challenges faced by investors and reforming our investment promotion policy and architecture.

The private sector has committed to invest R billion in 43 projects over 19 sectors and creating , jobs in the next five years. In discussions with business, government has committed to remove the policy impediments and accelerate implementation of these projects. We are urgently working on a set of priority reforms to improve the ease of doing business by consolidating and streamlining regulatory processes, automating permit and other applications, and reducing the cost of compliance.

Infrastructure is a critical area of investment that supports structural transformation, growth and job creation. It is essential to our economic rejuvenation, to giving meaning and effect to our new dawn. Our new approach to infrastructure development is based on stronger partnerships between the public and private sectors, and with local communities. It includes a special package of financial and institutional measures to boost construction and prioritise water infrastructure, roads and student accommodation through a more efficient use of budgeted money.

We are working to institutionalise the fund, which will be managed by the Development Bank of Southern Africa, with the newly configured Department of Public Works and Infrastructure playing an oversight role. We have been doing this in consultation with private investors, such as pension funds, who are enthusiastic about participating in the Infrastructure fund.

These reforms will ensure better planning of infrastructure projects, rigorous feasibility and preparatory work, improved strategic management, impeccable execution and better governance. This will provide a much-need boost to the construction sector. We call on all South Africans to deliberately and consistently buy locally-made goods. The suit, the shirt and the tie I am wearing today was locally made by South African textile workers working at the House of Monatic here in Saltriver Cape Town. Let us all buy locally-made goods to drive up demand in our economy. Within this next year, we seek to conclude agreements with retailers to stock more South African goods on their shelves and to actively promote the great products made by South African hands.

At the same time, we will promote our products more actively to the rest of the African continent and the world. These measures are underpinned by our strong commitment to a macroeconomic and fiscal policy framework that will continue to boost confidence and investment. We are committed to prudent borrowing and stringent expenditure management to stabilise our public finances and lower the debt trajectory.

The South African Reserve Bank is a critical institution of our democracy, enjoying wide credibility and standing within the country and internationally. Price stability is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for economic growth. Rising prices of goods and services erode the purchasing power of all South Africans, but especially that of the poor. Inflation further undermines the competitiveness of our exports and our import-competing firms, putting industries and jobs at risk.

For these reasons, our Constitution mandates the South African Reserve Bank to protect the value of our currency in the interest of balanced and sustainable growth. Today we reaffirm this constitutional mandate, which the Reserve Bank must pursue independently, without fear, favour or prejudice. Our Constitution also requires that there should be regular consultation between the Reserve Bank and the Minister of Finance to promote macroeconomic coordination, all in the interests of employment creation and economic growth.

If we are to be internationally competitive, if we are to attract investment, we must address the high cost of doing business and complicated and lengthy regulatory processes. We must reach a point where no company need wait more than six months for a permit or licence and new companies should be able to be registered within a day.

We will continue to reduce the cost of doing business by reducing port export tariffs, pursuing lowest cost electricity generation options, and making rail transport more competitive and efficient. Guided by the NDP, it is our responsibility to pursue inclusive, sustainable development that is resilient in the face of climate change. Working in partnership with the private sector, labour and the international community we will step up our adaptation and mitigation efforts.

We have the opportunity to be at the forefront of green growth, of low-carbon industrialisation, of pioneering new technologies and of taking quantum leaps towards the economy of the future. We must increase the contribution of renewable and clean energy to our national energy mix and explore the potential of the hydrogen economy. Faster economic growth also requires accelerated land reform in rural and urban areas and a clear property rights regime.

We have received the report of the Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture, which will now be presented to Cabinet for consideration. In the immediate term, government will accelerate efforts to identify and release public land that is suitable for smart, urban settlements and for farming. In the stimulus and recovery package announced last year, we promised to prioritise funding for emerging farmers. Over the medium term budget period, R3. The African Continental Free Trade Area will improve the movement of goods and services, capital and means of production across the Continent.

Our revitalised industrial strategy focuses on the expansion of our trade and investment links with the rest of the Southern African region and the Continent at large. Within SADC, we will prioritise development of cross-border value chains in key sectors such as energy, mining and mineral beneficiation, manufacturing, infrastructure and agro-processing. And because more young people are entering the labour force every year, the economy needs to create far more jobs for youth than it currently does merely to keep the youth unemployment rate steady.

The brutal reality is that when it comes to youth unemployment, we have to run just to remain in the same place. It is therefore essential that we proceed without delay to implement a comprehensive plan — driven and coordinated from the Presidency — to create no fewer than two million new jobs for young people within the next decade. This plan will work across government departments and all three tiers of government, in partnership with the private sector.

We are already working with the private sector to create pathways into work for young people through scaling up existing pathway management networks. These are networks that allow young people who opt in increased visibility, network support and opportunities to signal their availability for jobs and self-employment.

They make sure that youth from poorer households — and youn women in particular — are empowered to take up the new opportunities. Government will continue to provide employment through the Expanded Public Works Programme, especially in labour intensive areas like maintenance, clearing vegetation, plugging water leaks and constructing roads. These sectors include global business processing services, agricultural value chains, technical installation, repair and maintenance and new opportunities provided through the digital economy and the fourth industrial revolution.

Government will also ensure that young people are employed in social economy jobs such as early childhood development and health care. We will expand the National Youth Service to take on 50, young people a year. Government will support tech-enabled platforms for self-employed youth in rural areas and townships. We will expand our programmes to enable young people to gain paid workplace experience through initiatives like the Youth Employment Service, and also facilitating work-based internships for graduates of technical and vocational programmes.

We are going to roll out out small business incubation centres to provide youth-driven start-ups with financial and technical advice as they begin their journeys. Yesterday, I had the great privilege to meet and engage in dialogue with several young South Africans who are doing amazing work to build our country and develop our people. They are entrepreneurs and community builders, activists and artists. They have told us what they want, and what they need.

They want to be employed, yes, but they also want to become employers. They are brimming with ideas, they are at the forefront of innovation, and they want to do things for themselves. We have to support the fire of entrepreneurship, because the fortunes of this country depend on the energies and creative talent of our young people. All other interventions — from the work being done to improve the quality of basic education to the provision of free higher education for the poor, from our investment in TVET colleges to the expansion of workplace learning — will not produce the results we need unless we first ensure that children can read.

It is through initiatives like the National Reading Coalition that we will be able to coordinate this national effort. All foundation and intermediate phase teachers are to be trained to teach reading in English and the African languages, and we are training and deploying a cohort of experienced coaches to provide high quality on-site support to teachers. We are implementing the Early Grade Reading Programme, which consists of an integrated package of lesson plans, additional reading materials and professional support to Foundation Phase teachers.

This forms part of the broader efforts to strengthen the basic education system by empowering school leadership teams, improving the capabilities of teachers and ensuring a more consistent measurement of progress for grades 3, 6 and 9. We also have to prepare our young people for the jobs of the future. This is why we are introducing subjects like coding and data analytics at a primary school level. Let us therefore work together to ensure that violent crime is at least halved over the next decade.

The first step is to increase police visibility by employing more policewomen and men, and to create a more active role for citizens through effective community policing forums. Currently, there are over 5, students registered for basic training in our police training colleges and we envisage that this number will be increased to 7, per cycle over the next two intakes. We are working to improve success rates in investigating and prosecuting crimes, and to ensure better training and professionalisation throughout the criminal justice system.

Violent crime is a societal problem that requires a society-wide response. We are working with civil society organisations on strategies to end gender based violence and femicide. Following intensive consultations and engagements, we are working towards the establishment of the Gender Based Violence and Femicide Council and a National Strategic Plan that will guide all of us, wherever we are, in our efforts to eradicate this national scourge.

We are capacitating and equipping the police and court system to support survivors of gender-based violence. We are stepping up the fight against drug syndicates through the implementation of the National Anti-Gang Strategy and the revised National Drug Master Plan. This is a state that not only provides the institutions and infrastructure that enable the economy and society to operate, but that has the means to drive transformation.

Earlier this month we announced the reconfiguration of a number of government departments to enable them to deliver on their mandates. Our decision was premised on efficiency, cost-containment, cooperative governance and strategic alignment. This is the start of a wider process of arresting the decline in state capacity and restructuring our model of service delivery so it best serves our citizens.

We will be adopting a district-based approach — focusing on the 44 districts and 8 metros — to speed up service delivery, ensuring that municipalities are properly supported and adequately resourced. To ensure that the state is able to effectively enable economic and social development, it is essential that we strengthen our state owned enterprises. Through the Presidential SOE Council, government intends to create alignment between all state-owned companies and to better define their respective mandates. Through the Council, we will work with the leadership of SOEs to develop a legal and regulatory environment that promotes innovation and agility and enhances their competitiveness.

We will build on the work we have already begun to address problems of poor governance, inefficiency and financial sustainability. We are committed to building an ethical state in which there is no place for corruption, patronage, rent-seeking and plundering of public money. We want a corps of skilled and professional public servants of the highest moral standards — and dedicated to the public good. But there is still much more work to do. We have asked the National Director of Public Prosecutions to develop a plan to significantly increase the capacity and effectiveness of the NPA, including to ensure effective asset forfeiture.

We need to ensure that public money stolen is returned and used to deliver services and much needed basic infrastructure to the poorest communities. We expect that the new SIU Special Tribunal will start its work within the next few months to fast rack civil claims arising from SIU investigations, which are currently estimated to be around R South Africa will continue to play an active role in international relations in the quest for global peace and security, people-centered development and prosperity for all. We renew our determination to work in concert with the international community to preserve and protect the rules-based multilateral system with the United Nations at its head.

We will use our membership of the UN Security Council to promote the peaceful resolution of disputes particularly on the African countries. We need to forge durable partnerships between government, business, labour, communities and civil society. This places a responsibility on each of us and all of us. We agree that labour should advance the interests of workers while, at the same time, promoting the sustainability of businesses and the creation of jobs. Civil society needs to continue to play its role in holding government to account but must also join us in practical actions to attain our common goals.

We look to the parties in this Parliament to be a vital part of this partnership, lending support, insights and effort to promoting the national interest. This social compact requires a contribution from everyone. It will also need sacrifices and trade-offs. It is upon the conduct of each that the fate of all depends. If we are to reinvigorate the implementation of the National Development Plan, we must cast our sights on the broadest of horizons. We want a South Africa wherein all enjoy comfort and prosperity. But we also want a South Africa where we stretch our capacities to the fullest as we advance along the superhighway of progress.

We want a South Africa that has prioritised its rail networks, and is producing high-speed trains connecting our megacities and the remotest areas of our country. We should imagine a country where bullet trains pass through Johannesburg as they travel from here to Musina, and they stop in Buffalo City on their way from Ethekwini back here. We want a South Africa with a high-tech economy where advances in e-health, robotics and remote medicine are applied as we roll out the National Health Insurance. We must be a country that can feed itself and that harnesses the latest advances in smart agriculture.

I dream of a South Africa where the first entirely new city built in the democratic era rises, with skyscrapers, schools, universities, hospitals and factories. This is a dream we can all share and participate in building. We have not built a new city in 25 years of democracy. Seventy percent of South Africans are going to be living in the urban areas by The cities of Johannesburg, Tshwane, Cape Town and Ethekwini are running out of space to accommodate all those who throng to the cities.

Has the time not arrived for us to be bold and reach beyond ourselves and do what may seem impossible? Has the time not arrived to build a new smart city founded on the technologies of the 4th Industrial Revolution? I would like to invite South Africans to begin imaging this prospect. We are the South African nation that with its Constitution gives hope to the hopeless, rights to the dispossessed and marginalised, and comfort and security to its men, women and children.

Though we may have faltered, we have not forgotten who we are, and what we stand for. We are still that nation. You may ask how I can be hopeful at such a difficult time. It is you who give me courage, and to whom I offer courage in return. Working together there is nothing we cannot be, nothing we cannot do, and nothing we cannot achieve. Then you must begin today to remake Your mental and spiritual world, And join the warriors and celebrants Of freedom, realizers of great dreams. Each new era begins within. It is an inward event, With unsuspected possibilities For inner liberation.

We could use it to turn on Our inward lights. We could use it to use even the dark And negative things positively. We could use the new era To clean our eyes, To see the world differently, To see ourselves more clearly. Only free people can make a free world. Infect the world with your light. Help fulfill the golden prophecies. Press forward the human genius.

Our future is greater than our past. I thank you. The Dialogue will provide a platform for young people to engage first hand with the President ahead of his State of the Nation Address taking place on Thursday, 20 June The meeting, which was also attended by the Ministers of Finance, Mineral Resources and Energy and Public Enterprises, was called to establish alignment across government on the actions to be undertaken to stabilise the energy utility in light of its financial and operational challenges.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has this morning 17 June , expressed devastation and sadness at the death of the twenty-four persons who lost their lives in a road accident on the R81 in Maphalle, Limpopo on Sunday. It is understood the passengers were coming from the June 16 celebrations that took place in Polokwane. Ndi matsheloni. Today we remember the young men and women who were on the frontline of the school boycotts of June the 16th Forty three years ago, thousands of students around the country — from Soweto to KwaMashu, to Gugulethu, to Port Elizabeth, to Makhado — rose up against oppression.

What have we done? Many students were wounded, many lost their lives and many others had to flee the country and go to foreign lands. Today we salute you: Hector Peterson, Mbuyisa Makhubu, Tsietsi Mashinini and all the youth of , whose sacrifices ensured we could be free today.

It is their direct contributions and of successive generations that allow us to sit here today as free men and women. Young people have been the vanguard of our democratic revolution. And it is you, the youth, who have taken up the struggles of a new generation — for economic freedom, for access to land and for access to education. It is you who are the voice of our national conscience as we build a South Africa free of racism, of sexism, of xenophobia and other forms of discrimination.

It is you, the youth of this country, who remind us that our liberation is not complete as long as millions of our people live in poverty, are jobless and remain on the margins of society. Over the last few months, I have cross crosses the length and breadth of our country listening to the voices of our people, young and old, men and women.

They took time to share with me their frustrations and their fears. They told me of the indignity of waking up each morning hoping that today will be the day they find work, or some opportunity to change their lives, only to be disappointed day in and day out. They told me of their despondency at having to sit at home despite having a degree, diploma or certificate because they do not have work experience.

They told me of having to stretch a grant or a pension to put food on the table. Theirs are the stories of many young people around the country who have become increasingly frustrated. Amidst all this, I also encountered voices of hope. Young people determined to succeed against the odds, and to go out into the world and carve a space for themselves. I speak of year-old Mahlatse Matlakana from Senwabarwana who runs a fresh produce company that supplies large retailers in Limpopo and the Johannesburg Fresh Produce Market.

I speak of year-old Faith Dowelani from Thohoyandou who runs a successful one stop beauty shop, Tshavhudi House of Beauty. I speak of year-old Precious Malatji from Dennilton who runs a thriving accounting practice. There is Thato Kgatlhanye, whose company designs and manufactures solar-charged schoolbags made from recycled plastic bags that can be used as reading lights. There is Sifiso Ngobese whose company provides safe trolleys for waste pickers.

There is Tinashe Chipako, a young engineering student who pioneered a water-saving fertiliser project on the campus of the University of Cape Town. There is Gabriella Mogale who invented fire-proof shack construction material, and Portia Mavhungu who invented a mechanism to assist people with disability to use the toilet with dignity.

They are just some of the young people who are making a difference in ways both big and small. She was able to dream beyond her circumstances, growing up in KwaZulu-Natal to protecting our borders today. They are seizing the future with both hands. They are building aircrafts in Cape Town, inventing water purification systems in Gauteng and spending their afternoons building circuits and prototypes in coding clubs in townships from Langa to Ivory Park. They are serving as clinical directors in our hospitals, and entering Parliament and provincial legislatures in their numbers.

Like our shining star and the daughter of this province, Mokgadi Caster Semenya, who has overcome challenges both off and on the track. These positive stories are a reminder that the flame that burned bright in the youth of has not been lost to the history books. That flame continues to burn, as a nation, ours is to support it to burn even brighter than what it has been in the past. Despite their hardships and daily struggles, millions of young people in this country still believe they have a place in the South African sun.

We are committed to provide our young people with all the opportunities possible to enable them to reach their potential. This begins with education. As government, we are on a path to renew and grow our economy, to accelerate industrialisation, and to create decent jobs. We are doing so at a time of great technological advances. Our young people need the necessary tools to navigate the changes these bring to the workplace and seize the opportunities they present. We are therefore prioritising science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics in our education system.

Coding and data analytics are being introduced as school subjects. We also need car mechanics, electricians, plumbers, hydroponics specialists, tour guides and aquaculture farmers. These are all productive and growing areas of the economy into which our young people can be absorbed. We are continuously strengthening our TVET colleges so young people can gain the technical skills our country needs to industrialise and develop our economy. We are determined that no young person in this country should be denied a decent education because of the financial circumstances of their family.

It is for this reason that the budget of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme has grown exponentially from R70 million in to nearly R15 billion in We are phasing in free tertiary education for children from poor and working class backgrounds. This year we have also set aside over R million to settle the historical debts of continuing NSFAS-funded students.

Despite these efforts, however, youth unemployment remains a national crisis. More than half of South Africans aged 15 to 24 are unemployed. If we are to urgently address this, we need the active participation of the private sector to create pathways into work for young people who are prepared to learn, work hard and better themselves. We welcome the work being done through the Youth Employment Service. In a few months, the YES initiative has placed over 18, young people in employment opportunities and is providing business infrastructure and support through its community hubs.

Whilst this is a one year intervention, it has already become clear that many of these young people are finding long term employment at the end of their year in the YES programme. The National Youth Development Agency continues to provide interventions to support young entrepreneurs and has over the past five years disbursed development finance to more than 6, start-up youth entrepreneurs and helped create more than 18, new jobs.

In its efforts to break barriers for young people in the job market, the NYDA has trained almost , young people on job preparedness and life skills. Around 25, of these young people have now been placed in permanent jobs. The Expanded Public Works and Community Works programmes continue to provide work opportunities and income relief to young people as they perform labour intensive activities like building roads, clearing alien vegetation and fighting fires.

Providing opportunities to young people in rural areas is an important focus and is the impetus behind the establishment of the National Rural Youth Service Corps programme. We know too well that the hardships our young people face are not limited to unemployment. We know that the social ills that have beset our country have had a devastating impact on our young people. To uplift the youth of our nation, to offer them hope of a better life, we must be their pillar of support as they try to navigate the difficult passageway into adulthood.

We know that alcohol and substance abuse is taking a devastating toll on young lives across our nation. The average age of a drug user is getting younger. Drugs are fueling violence, crime, suicide and risky sexual behaviour. We will therefore work to mobilise the whole of society behind the National Drug Master Plan. Once implemented, it is hoped this plan will reduce the demand for drugs, cut off their supply and ultimately free our youth from the harm they cause.

The high incidence of HIV among young people indicates that we also need to step up prevention campaigns directed at youth to raise awareness around risky sexual behaviour. We also have to deal with gender-based violence among young people and encourage them to conduct healthy relationships, and to dismantle deeply ingrained sexist attitudes towards women and girls.

This begins in the home, with parents imparting positive values to their sons and daughters. They are brimming with potential but these social ills are holding them back and diverting them from their distant glory. We are on a mission to support young people entering the labour market, by growing new and future jobs, and by giving them the opportunities to serve their communities and contribute to the growth of our economy. Working with our social partners, organized Labour, business and civil society, government is building on agreements such as the Youth Accord and the Jobs Summit, we have it within our means to solve the challenge of youth unemployment in a sustainable manner.

We are crafting and building a number of initiatives and interventions because we are very aware that young unemployment is a national crisis requiring all social partners to work together to decisively tackle it. If our nation can rise as one and open up opportunities for youth from all facets of society, we will be able to bring hope and change to the lives of youth. Our success as a nation in the years to come depends on us making more room for the youth of this country.

They have shown us that if only given the opportunity, they will succeed. To you, the youth, we salute your resilience. Many of you are too young to have experienced the injusice of apartheid, but many of you live with its effects. Do not lose hope. Do not let the sun set on your ambition, your plans and your dreams. You are the sons and daughters of a great people, and inheritors of the spirit of Peter Mokaba, of Nelson Mandela, of Hector Pieterson and of the generation of In taking advantage of the opportunities this government has made available to you to improve your lives — like enrolling in a TVET college or volunteering to do community work — you are keeping their legacy of civic activism alive.

Your schools, libraries and centres of learning are not just for your benefit, but for the benefit of future generations. Be proud of them and protect them. You are born of a people who experienced one of the greatest tragedies in modern human history, but who triumphed.

You, like me, believe in the greatness of this country. This country is yours to inherit, so rise and take charge of your destiny. A new tomorrow is on the horizon, bringing with it the promise of a South Africa of shared prosperity, of equal opportunity for all, and a South Africa where you, the youth, are its greatest asset.

Let us grow South Africa together. On 29 May , President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the appointment of a reconfigured national executive following the recently held general elections. The meeting, which was attended by the Deputy Minister of Finance, representatives of the non-executive component of the SARB Board and the Governor of the Bank was called to discuss vacancies which have arisen in the executive leadership of the central bank.

The month of June has been declared Youth Month and it is a period set aside to pay tribute to the youth of for their activism. It is also a time to reflect on the progress made and address the challenges identified in order to drive the youth development agenda in South Africa.


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  4. The Presidency confirms that President Cyril Ramaphosa has recieved a notice in terms of section 7 9 of the Public Protector Act with respect to an investigation into allegations of violations of the Executive Ethics Code. It was to advise the IMC on a broad range of policy matters associated with land reform, including restitution, redistribution, tenure security and agricultural support.

    President Cyril Ramaphosa has arrived in Geneva, Switzerland, where he is attending the th session of the International Labour Conference later this afternoon. Over the past year he has led a team of distinguished Commissioners mandated to make recommendations in response to changes in the global economy brought on by technological advancement, demography, globalisation and climate change.

    This is an occasion to reflect on the profound impact that the ILO has had on the world of work and the lives of workers over the last years. For South Africans, the ILO has played a particularly important role in giving form to the country we are today. Earlier this month the principle of social justice which was one of the founding principles of the ILO was so well played out in our South African courts when lawyers representing mineworkers and five mining houses appeared side by side, asking the court to approve a multi-million dollar settlement for mineworkers who had contracted illnesses like silicosis and tuberculosis while working on the mines.

    This case has dramatic and far-reaching implications for the way workers health and safety are treated in our country. It is a victory for social justice and brings redress for one of the most vulnerable workers in not just our country but around the developing world. Mineworkers around the world work under extremely dangerous and difficult conditions, and are often exploited and denied adequate benefits. This settlement, and the class action that preceded it, is unique in our history and covers compensation for workers as far back as It is for workers like these, for the protection and promotion of their rights, that the ILO was formed one hundred years ago by a group of visionary men and women.

    They sought to lay the foundations for a new world of social justice, where governments, employers and workers would strive together in pursuit of a common goal. It was a vastly different world back then, emerging from the ravages of war, but the challenges it faced are similar to those we face today. Now, the world must confront the question of how to enhance the rights of workers in the face of rapid industrialisation, climate and technological change. In addressing this question — which poses both a challenge and an opportunity — the ILO has been a standard-bearer.

    This is an inspired initiative that places the ILO at the centre of global efforts to shape the world of work in a tomorrow that is constantly changing and uncertain. The work undertaken, the insights shared and the recommendations put forward will be of immense benefit for many countries and for my own country, South Africa, as we grapple with the challenges of change. It also provides guidance on how best to embrace the opportunities that this change presents. Comprising leading global figures from business, trade unions, think tanks, governments and NGOs, the Commission took the view that rapid and unprecedented change in the world of work required a human-centred response.

    Both the workforce and the workplace are being rapidly transformed by the technological advances of the 4th Industrial Revolution, as the growth of artificial intelligence, automation and robotics threatens jobs. Unemployment and working poverty have trapped hundreds of millions of people across the globe.

    The youth and women are at the bottom of most, if not all, socio-economic indicators. The change in work processes is leading to an increase in casualisation of labour. The principle of equal pay for work of equal value, especially between men and women, has still not been realised in many parts of the world, calling into question our collective commitment to gender equality and justice. Whether it is an underpaid worker in a garment factory, a taxi driver who has been made redundant by the spread of online platforms, or a female football player of a national team demanding the same pay and benefits as her male counterpart, there is a common experience.

    Yet we know that the changing world of work also presents new opportunities. If we are to harness these changes for our benefit, rather than be shaped by them, we need a new approach. That is why the Global Commission on the Future of Work has said that we need to invest in the capabilities of people, we need to invest in the institutions of the world of work, and we need to invest in decent, sustainable work. We seek a reinvigorated social contract that encompasses all factors that are fundamental for human development, including rights, access and opportunities.

    The Commission proposes formal recognition of a universal commitment and entitlement to lifelong learning — what I would call a right to lifelong learning. Employees should be provided with suitable opportunities to re-skill and up-skill. We propose a re-allocation of public spending to encourage universal, lifelong social protection, funded through contributory social protection schemes. The Commission calls for growing investment in the institutions of work, systems and regulations.

    It seeks to offer protection to all workers with a view to building labour market institutions appropriate for the 21st century world of work. It should include provisions for an adequate living wage, limits on hours of work, safety and health at work, as well as giving workers greater control of their time. The third pillar of a human-centred agenda is investment in decent and sustainable work. Targeted private and public sector investment, coupled with the right technology, can create millions of new, decent, sustainable, jobs in the green economy, the care economy, infrastructure development and rural areas, among others.

    As countries of Africa, we are particularly determined to ensure that this investment focuses on the creation of economic opportunities for young people. We are a continent that has a huge youth dividend, many of the young people on our continent are unemployed and lack the critical skills demanded by the workplace of both the present and the future. As South Africa, we are mobilising all social partners around programmes to provide work experience opportunities to young people on a massive scale and to put in place practical measures to close the divide between the world of learning and the world of work.

    Many employers are joining this process and are finding talented and well educated young people to join their companies. We need measures of economic and social progress that are broader than just GDP growth. These measures should capture environmental impact, unpaid work, equality and other aspects of human well-being. We also recommend changes in corporate governance and conduct, to make companies more accountable and ensure there is greater representation of stakeholders.

    Although the ILO retains its unique character within the UN system as the only organisation that has governments, business and trade unions as equal partners, the global multilateral framework remains fragile. The prospect of looming trade wars and other disagreements seem to signal greater global tension and polarisation. If we are to remain a trusted and credible vehicle through which social justice will be achieved, organisational unity and cohesion will be paramount. We must continue to reform the governance of the ILO so that it promotes inclusivity, fairness and equality.

    As we collectively strive to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 8 on decent work and economic growth, we look to the ILO for leadership. Despite our challenges, workers today enjoy improved working conditions, including better wages, unemployment insurance and other benefits. The progress that has been made is the result of a deliberate and conscious recognition that decent employment is intricately linked to peace, prosperity and progress in the world.

    Let us be reminded that before us, behind us, above us, beneath us and all around us, social justice remains a central aspiration for all the workers of the world yearning for a better future. Let us seize all the opportunities brought about by the changes in the world of work to deliver greater economic security, equal opportunities and social justice.

    Let us therefore work together to strengthen this important organisation and ensure that it continues to fulfil the purpose for which it was established all those years ago. President Cyril Ramaphosa has, on behalf of government and the people of South Africa, expressed his best wishes to activist, musician, songwriter and producer Jonas Gwangwa, 81, who has taken ill. Mr Gwangwa is receiving medical attention at 1 Military Hospital in Tshwane.

    Mr Gwangwa, a globally renowned jazz trombonist, is an Esteemed Member of the National Order of Ikhamanga, who was honoured in for his exceptional contribution to music and the struggle for freedom in South Africa. President Cyril Ramaphosa met with chief executives of over 20 key state owned companies SOC at the Union Buildings this afternoon Wednesday 5 June to discuss the contribution these SOEs can make to economic revitalisation and social development. President Ramaphosa requested the meeting to hear the views of the executive leadership of strategic state entities on the challenges they confront in implementing their mandates and the opportunities they have identified to strengthen this sector.

    President Cyril Ramaphosa has offered his condolences to the family and friends of veteran journalist and editor Mr Raymond Louw. Mr Louw, 91, passed away this morning in a Johannesburg hospital. Throughout his illustrious career he reminded us of the critical importance of media freedom to the health of our democracy.

    On behalf of the government of the Republic of South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa has extended his best wishes to Muslim compatriots as they celebrate Eid ul Fitr. This day marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan — during which time Muslims perform acts of charity and goodwill.

    The day of Eid-ul-Fitr also marks the beginning of Shawwal, the 10th Month of the Islamic calendar and is a time for family, community, generosity and compassion. Hosted by the Presidency Employee Health and Wellness Unit, Take-A-Girl-Child to Work is national initiative by Cell C that seeks to expose girl children to a work environment, positive role models and offer them an opportunity to make informed career decisions based on the real work experience.

    ONLY TODAY!

    Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng will preside over the ceremony. Media details Date : 30 May Time : 15h00 Members of the media to arrive at 13h30 through gate Fellow South Africans, In the election of the 8th of May, South Africans provided this administration with a clear mandate to accelerate inclusive economic growth, act with greater urgency to tackle poverty, improve government services, fight corruption and end state capture.

    If we are to give effect to this mandate, we need a capable, efficient and ethical government. Today, we are announcing some of the outcomes of the reconfiguration of national government. On behalf of government and all the people of South Africa we wish them the best for the World Cup. The Presidency has noted media reports that President Ramaphosa is expected to announce the members of the new executive tomorrow, Monday 27 May The Presidency wishes to advise that the announcement will be made later in the week. The Constitution of the Republic stipulates that the President must assume office within five days of being elected by the National Assembly — and thereafter appoint a Cabinet and assign its powers and functions.

    I am humbled by the trust you have bestowed upon me, aware of the challenges our country faces, but also alive to the fact that our people are filled with hope for a better tomorrow. We gather here on the day that the people of our continent celebrate the unity of Africa. It is a day of friendship, solidarity and cooperation. It is a day on which we reaffirm our common commitment to an Africa that is at peace, that is prosperous and that promises a better existence for its people.

    As South Africa, we are honoured and deeply humbled by the presence here of leaders from across the African continent. We also recognise with appreciation those countries from other continents who have joined us today. We remain eternally grateful to all nations represented here for the sacrifices and tireless contributions by your people and governments to the liberation of our land. To build the Africa that we all Africans want. To forge a free trade area that stretches from Cape Town to Cairo, bringing growth and opportunity all African countries. To silence the guns and let peace and harmony reign.

    Today, we declare that our progress as South Africa depends on — and cannot be separated from — the onward march of our beloved continent Africa. In the passage of that time, our land has known both seasons of plenty and times of scarcity. Our people have felt the warm embrace of liberty. They have rejoiced at the affirmation of their essential and equal humanity. They have found shelter and sustenance. They have found opportunity and purpose. As the shackles of oppression have fallen away, they have felt their horizons widen and their lives improve in a myriad ways. But they have also known moments of doubt.

    They have felt the cold shadow of a past so cruel and iniquitous that it has at times threatened to eclipse the very achievement of their hard-won freedom. Despite our most earnest efforts, many South Africans still go to bed hungry, many succumb to diseases that can be treated, many live lives of intolerable deprivation. Too many of our people do not work especially the youth. In recent times, our people have watched as some of those in whom they had invested their trust have surrendered to the temptation of power and riches.

    They have seen some of the very institutions of our democracy eroded and resources squandered. The challenges that we face are real. But they are not insurmountable. They can be solved. And we are going to solve them. In the face of all these challenges our people have remained resolute, resilient, unwavering in their desire for a better South Africa. Through the irrefutable power of the ballot on 8 May, South Africans declared the dawn of a new era. They have chosen hope over hopelessness, they have opted for unity over conflict and divisions.

    As we give effect to their mandate, we draw comfort from the knowledge that that which unites us is far, far more powerful and enduring than that which divides us. Despite our differences, despite a past of conflict and division and bitterness, despite the fierce political contestation among 48 political parties in recent months, we share the same hopes and fears, the same anxieties and aspirations. We all want our children to have lives that are better than our own, to have work that is dignified and rewarding. We are bound together by our determination that never again shall the adversities of our past be visited on the people of this land.

    This is a defining moment for our young nation. Today is the choice of history. It is a time for us to make the future we yearn for. It is through our actions now that we will determine our destiny. South Africans want action and not just words and promises. And there will be action. It is through our actions now that we will give form to the society for which so many have fought and sacrificed and for which all of us yearn.

    All South Africans yearn for a society defined by equality, by solidarity, by a shared humanity. They yearn for a society in which our worth is determined by how we value others. It is a society guided by the fundamental human principle that says: Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu.

    Motho ke motho ka batho. Muthu ndi muthu nga vhangwe vhathu. Munhu yi munhu yi vanhu.

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    Hamba Gahle – Good Hunt: Modern Piracy on the Oceans Hamba Gahle – Good Hunt: Modern Piracy on the Oceans
    Hamba Gahle – Good Hunt: Modern Piracy on the Oceans Hamba Gahle – Good Hunt: Modern Piracy on the Oceans

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