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African Media Essential in Communicating Climate Change Responses

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The global effort to combat the impacts of climate change can be realized if the media clearly educates and informs the general public and policy makers on the various adaptation and mitigation measures. This has emerged from the 1st Eastern and Southern African Climate Change Media Conference in Kampala, Uganda. "The media is an important constituent that no one can afford to ignore as a partner to development," Ugandan Water and Environment Minister Flavia Mwanaaba said, adding that a number of initiatives are being pursued at the national, regional, continental and international levels to address the impacts of climate change. Read more.


Namibia EPA Trade Deal Open for Discussion

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The implications and opportunities for Namibia should it sign, or not sign, the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU) are currently the subject of national consultations facilitated by the Ministry of Trade and Industry in Windhoek. Namibia in 2007 opted not to sign the Interim EPA after Namibian negotiators identified issues that would have eroded the policy space for Namibia should it have signed the agreement in the form it is. The European Parliament has set 1 October 2014 as the date on which countries that have not signed the EPAs will lose their duty-free and quota-free access to the EU market. Read more.


Informal traders criticise licensing bill

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Informal traders, whom the Department of Trade and Industry says will benefit from its controversial draft Licensing of Businesses Bill, do not support it. Among other things, they have argued that the bill fails to take into account the activities of informal cross-border traders. A national association of informal traders has described the proposals contained in the bill as "autocratic". Further, it has made a point, in a letter sent to Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies earlier this month that the requirements set out for licence applications would prejudice illiterate traders. Read more.


Reaping the riches for the people

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Dr. RampheleSouth Africa is the world's largest producer of platinum group metals. The country accounts for about 80% of the world's platinum reserves, 80% of its manganese reserves and 72% of its chrome reserves. It is Africa's top producer of gold and one of the world's major producers of diamonds. Despite this rich heritage in South Africa's soil, the level of beneficiation (the processing of raw materials in the country to maximise local economic contribution) is low. Only 0.4% of the country's platinum group metals is beneficiated locally; the remainder is processed internationally. Read more.


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Have compassion for all beings, rich and poor alike; each has their suffering. Some suffer too much, others too little. Buddha