7 June 2013South African state company Transnet and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad) Business Foundation have launched the Africa Infrastructure Desk, a platform for linking the private and public sectors in getting infrastructure projects implemented across Africa.The “innovative research, linkage and relationship platform” will provide information on infrastructure developments, help develop investment opportunities for companies, and facilitate engagement between the public and private sector, Transnet said at the launch of the desk in Johannesburg on Tuesday.The aim is to make a meaningful impact on spatial and industrial development, as well as regional integration, in the southern African region and sub-Saharan Africa’s north-south corridor.According to Nepad, infrastructure continues to be Africa’s “missing link” when it comes to developing integrated intra-Africa regional trade. While intra-African trade falls far below the continent’s potential, infrastructure projects suffer from “lack of information, inconsistent cross-border policy, and poor project bankabilit”.“Africa’s infrastructure deficit is crippling the continent in trade and investment,” Nepad Business Foundation (NBF) CEO Lynette Chen said in a statement. “Transnet and the NBF’s partnership reflects the potential that the private and public sector could have to harness resources and skills to tackle the huge infrastructure deficit while ensuring local empowerment.”Through the Africa Infrastructure Desk, Chen said, “companies will access, collaborate and implement infrastructure project opportunities across Africa. Through Nepad, access to public and private sectors will be managed on the basis of political and regulatory certainty through strong alignment with Nepad’s Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa.”Transnet CEO Brian Molefe said the partnership envisioned “an Africa without borders, an Africa that is seamlessly linked from Cape to Cairo by efficient infrastructure.“But in order to achieve this vision, closer collaboration, partnership and coordination between all stakeholders, including government and private sector, is required to find joint solutions to implementing these large-scale infrastructure projects.”SAinfo reporter
American boxing legend Muhammad Ali had a deep connection with Africa: the continent’s fighting spirit influenced his own articulate political and spiritual philosophy. Ali also fought his greatest fight in Africa – the famous “Rumble in the Jungle” – and was a close friend of Nelson Mandela, freedom fighter and another iconic boxer.Muhammad Ali, “The Greatest”, born 1942, died 2016. (Image: Wikipedia)CD AndersonAli and AfricaThere is no doubt that Ali identified strongly with Africa and its people. From an early age, as a descendant of African slaves, Ali looked to the continent to help define his unique identity and form his strong political and spiritual convictions.For Africans, Muhammad Ali’s appeal went far beyond the boxing ring: he was a strong black role model during a time when there were none, at least not as high- profile as he was.As an early champion of black consciousness, Ali’s outspokenness on war, racism and inequality made him more than just a boxer, it made him a symbol of power and hope. He inspired generations of Africans to not only take up the sport, but also to make a defiant stand against injustice.Ali, the fighter in AfricaAli in Kinshasa, Zaire. Rumble in the Jungle #RIPChamp pic.twitter.com/OjK0m9lslK— oneinonepointfour (@Shabs_i_r) June 4, 2016When Ali arrived for his fight against George Foreman in Zaire (today’s Democratic Republic of the Congo) in 1974, he was greeted by thousands as a returning African son.Throughout his time in the country, he was followed everywhere by adoring fans, including youngsters chanting what would become Ali’s unofficial African fight song: “Ali Bomaye!”The fight itself was a spectacle, a down-to-the-wire battle between the era’s best fighters inside a brutally hot Kinshasa stadium filled to the brim with over 60 000 people. Ali and Foreman both gave as good as each got, but it was Ali who triumphed with one of his trademark knockout blows in the eighth round to conclude what many call “the greatest sporting event of the 20th century”.The fight and Ali’s trip to Africa became the basis for a number of films, including Michael Mann’s Ali, starring Will Smith as Ali. It was also celebrated in literary works, such as Norman Mailer’s The Fight, and by other great sport writers of the era, including George Plimpton and Hunter S Thompson.The Rumble in the Jungle brought Africa to a worldwide audience for the first time in the modern era, all helped by the iconic status of Ali.Ali and MandelaNelson Mandela, a former boxer himself, had always been a big fan of Muhammad Ali, calling him his personal hero and keeping a photo of Ali in his office as inspiration. The feeling was mutual. When Mandela was released from prison Ali rushed to meet him, calling him a “fellow freedom fighter, both in and out the ring”.Upon Mandela’s release Ali travelled to South Africa to greet his brother; a freedom fighter in&out of the ring too. pic.twitter.com/Y8j4g7rGzy— Beauty’sOnlySkinDeep (@BlackPearlMoi) June 5, 2016The two met regularly over the years, and together used their influence as living legends to draw attention to many shared charitable causes – including HIV/Aids and poverty awareness – as well as to strengthen Africa’s presence in the rest of the world.Nelson Mandela kept a photo of Muhammad Ali on his desk. He was Mandela’s hero, says the Mandela Foundation pic.twitter.com/0etqMUuU8p— Shreeya Sinha (@ShreeyaSinha) June 4, 2016On the day Mandela died in 2013, Ali eulogised him as “a man whose heart, soul and spirit could not be contained or restrained by racial and economic injustices, metal bars or the burden of hate and revenge. He taught us forgiveness on a grand scale.”Source: Wikipedia Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material
1 November 2013 A consortium led by Ireland-based company Mainstream Renewable Power was this week awarded preferred bidder status for three large-scale wind energy projects in the Northern Cape under the South African government’s renewable energy programme for independent power producers. The Department of Energy is scheduled to officially announce the preferred bidders on Monday for the third round of its programme, which aims to add 17 800 MW from renewable sources to South Africa’s energy mix by 2030. The Mainstream consortium, which was confirmed on Tuesday as one of the preferred bidders, will invest about R9-billion in building three wind farms with a combined generation capacity of 360 MW: the 140 MW Khobab wind farm and the 140 MW Loeriesfontein 2 wind farm, both located in the Namakwa district of the Northern Cape, and the 80 MW Noupoort wind farm located in province’s Umsobomvu local municipality. A Mainstream consortium was also awarded 238 megawatts of wind and solar projects in the first round of the programme in 2011 – a 138 MW wind farm in Jeffreys Bay in the Eastern Cape, and two 50 MW solar photovoltaic parks in the Northern Cape – and all three projects are on track to be fully operational by mid-2014. “Mainstream is now the leading developer of renewable energy in South Africa,” company chief executive Eddie O’Connor said in a statement on Tuesday. “We have three wind and solar projects due to be operational in the coming months, and now a further three large-scale wind farms due to start construction next year. “I congratulate the South African government for putting in place a process which is truly world-class and for the superb manner in which it has been executed.” According to the company, the three projects are expected to reach financial close by August 2014 and commence construction shortly thereafter. Mainstream will be building the wind farms in partnership with South African renewable energy developer Genesis Eco-Energy, local investment companies Thebe Investment Corporation, Futuregrowth Asset Management and Old Mutual’s IDEAS Managed Fund, and local community members. SAinfo reporter
zoom The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) has invited parties to submit their expression of interest for the concession of the an integrated container and multipurpose terminal in the port of Takoradi, Ghana.The authority said that the concession, which is set at a period of 20 years, or more, depending on the level of proposed investment, provides the right and obligation to develop, equip, finance, operate and maintain the Integrated Terminal over the concession period.The principal objectives are to introduce an independent terminal operator into the Port of Takoradi to handle containers, multi-purpose and general cargoes; increase the container, multi-purpose and general cargo throughput capacities and the operational efficiency of the Port of Takoradi; as well as increase employment opportunities for Ghanaians.GPHA said that the deadline for the submission of statements of qualifications is February 17, 2017. “The new integrated terminal will allow for the largest container vessels currently calling in Western Africa to be handled in the port with modern loading/unloading equipment, which is a substantial improvement over the current operations at the port of Takoradi,” according to GPHA.The terminal combines the handling and storage of containers, general cargo, project cargo, Ro-Ro, food-related and other specialised cargo. It has an initial phase of 30 hectares of land and a 795-meter quay wall at CD -14 meters, while Phase 2 consists of another 32 hectares and 700-meter quay wall.GPHA said that it started the Takoradi Port Expansion Program’s construction works in 2010. The works included the extension of the breakwater, deepening of the access channel and port basin, and construction of the infrastructure for the dry bulk terminal with a depth at the quay of CD -16 meters.The tender procedure to select and contract a private dry bulk terminal operator is currently ongoing. Four companies have been shortlisted to take part in the next stage of the concession award process for the dry bulk terminal. The companies are scheduled to submit their final proposals in January 2017.