Following the signing of an Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation in 2018 between the Government of Guyana and the Government of the People’s Republic of China, a number of technical employees in the country’s agricultural sector on Saturday last commenced training in the area of planting technology, a course offered under the said agreement.Representatives of the National Agriculture Research and Extension Institute (NAREI); the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDG); the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) and the University of Guyana, at the opening ceremonySpecialised lecturers in the field of cassava and vegetables, sugar and rice have arrived from the foreign country to offer their expertise to the technical employees attached to organisations including the National Agriculture Research and Extension Institute (NAREI), the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB), the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) and the University of GuyanaThe four-week course is being offered by the Ministry of Commerce, China, through the Economic and Commercial Office of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China (in Guyana) in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture.In addressing the opening ceremony on Monday at the Guyana School of Agriculture, Chief Executive Officer of NAREI, Dr Oudho Homenauth explained that discussions on the course started more than a year ago between representatives of the two countries.“This exercise started more than a year ago where we would have had intense discussion between representatives from China and our personnel here before this course was finalised,” he said.The CEO further pointed out that rice and sugar were selected because these are the two main commodities produced in Guyana while cassava was chosen because it is a major source of food security, especially in the hinterland communities.“China is offering the course on cassava because the country is ranked among the top 10 countries in the world in respect to cassava production. They produce approximately five million tons of cassava annually and cultivate 300,000 hectares,” NAREI’s CEO explained.On this note, Homenauth urged the staff to pay keen attention since this course can provide new information in cassava production, pro-harvesting and industrial processing.Meanwhile, a representative from the Ministry of Commerce, Hanming Hu stated that his country has enjoyed diplomatic relations with Guyana for a long time and has offered support in the health, educational and agricultural sectors.In 2018, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed on the training course presently being offered. Later this year, another course will be offered in the field of soil and gas development.At the end of the current course, participants are expected to transfer the knowledge learnt to end users such as farmers since agriculture is among the main income givers within the country.
With less than two weeks before the coalition Government becomes illegal, former Speaker of the National Assembly and Attorney-at-Law Ralph Ramkarran has said that Guyana’s future seems to be uncertain owing to the fact that there is no clear indication when elections could be held.Referring to the meeting between President David Granger and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, which yielded no results, Ramkarran said it was clear that the issue has now gone beyond what the Constitution says and means, as it relates to the passage of a no-confidence motion.In his weekly “Conversation Tree” blog, the prominent Attorney wrote that it was now clear more than ever that the President’s failure to fix a date for elections is because A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) intended to remain in office for as long as possible.“This is aided by the majority on the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) who have voted, and will no doubt continue to support, a new registration exercise. A nationwide, house-to-house registration exercise will last into next year,” he added, something that Jagdeo has stated repeatedly.Ramkarran, therefore, believes that if the APNU/AFC’s effort to hold political power succeeds, it will hold elections between May and August next year, when its term of office would have otherwise lawfully ended. With the no-confidence vote, it has now clearly become a matter of political life and death.“If the electoral list is the problem, the National Assembly can extend the life of the current list beyond April 30. The Elections Commission already has power to remove the names of persons who have died. The list of deceased persons is expected to be provided by the Registry of Births and Deaths.”He claimed that since 1992, systems accepted by all have been in place at polling stations to prevent unauthorised persons from voting. There is, therefore, little or no danger that impersonation at polling stations of persons who have left Guyana will take place.Ramkarran, therefore, concluded that none of the fears expressed by political parties about elections since 1992 have a basis in reality or have materialised. Only one party, according to him, has had a history of election rigging in Guyana and that party is the People’s National Congress (PNC).“And it was able to do so, because it held political power and was protected by the West. The fears about a ‘credible’ list, now being used as an excuse by the President for not calling elections, are politically manufactured for the purpose of delaying the elections,” he opined.SanctionsRamkarran said it was no secret that new elections were not going to be held willingly by the Government. But he said it must be reminded of the potential harm of taking Guyana down a path, which violates the rule of law and the Constitution of Guyana – which may incur international sanctions.“It appears that the Government is prepared to accept these consequences, because the delay is vital to its survival. This Government, unlike the last PNC Government between 1985 and 1992, takes its inspiration from Forbes Burnham, the Founder Leader of the PNC. PNC Governments led by Forbes Burnham survived elections rigging and authoritarian rule,” he added.He said the APNU/AFC no doubt believed that, like the PNC in the past, it could not only weather any storm that its violation of the Constitution incurred but that its very existence depended on it doing so.He suggested also that the Government may also be relying on the perceived sympathy with which it was viewed by Western capitals. Oil and the interests of oil producers, he noted, would be looming large in the calculations of the West in their decisions about Guyana.Despite this, however, concerns being expressed by countries about democracy in other countries are no longer considered to be matters of the internal affairs of the subject country. And that is the reason why sanctions are now imposed routinely against countries that violate constitutional order.Ramkarran used Venezuela as an example where severe international sanctions have been imposed. He said aside from the Government’s apparent grit to resist potential international sanctions, which it may be hoping that sympathy from the West may spare it, Guyana still faces a high degree of uncertainty.
[vemba-video … CLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile deviceOAKLAND — The main topic of conversation following the Warriors’ 104-100 Game 1 win over the Rockets Sunday isn’t Golden State’s gutsy effort on short rest.It isn’t Kevin Durant’s dominant offensive run — he scored 35 points Sunday and is averaging 40 per game over his last five — either.No, the conversation is all about the referees.
(CLICK HERE, if you are unable to view this photo gallery on your mobile device.)MILWAUKEE — The Giants just took a four-day rest during the All-Star break, but the club’s pitching staff isn’t exactly in great shape after two taxing games in Milwaukee.San Francisco will rely on starter Tyler Beede to work deep into Sunday’s series finale against the Brewers after activating the rookie right-hander and optioning reliever Ray Black to Triple-A Sacramento.The Giants opened the second half with …
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is an organisation that strives for regional integration to promote economic growth, peace and security in the southern African region.It aims to create common political values, systems and institutions among its 15 member states, to build social and cultural ties, and to help alleviate poverty and enhance the standard of living among a regional population of 277-million.It stands for the sovereignty of its member states, the upholding of human rights and the rule of law, and the peaceful settlement of disputes.SADC has grown to include 15 member states. (Image: SADC)The SADC’s headquarters are in Gaborone, Botswana.SADC websiteThe 15 SADC member states (click to jump down to their profiles) are:AngolaBotswanaDemocratic Republic of the CongoLesothoMadagascarMalawiMauritiusMozambiqueNamibiaSeychellesSouth AfricaSwazilandTanzaniaZambiaZimbabweAngolaSince Angola’s 27-year-long civil war ended in 2002 with the death of Unita leader Jonas Savimbi, the country has prospered, with its economy being fuelled by increased production of oil and diamonds.Capital: LuandaGeography: Angola has a total area of 1.2 million square kilometres and a population of about 17.9 million. The official language is Portuguese, while numerous other indigenous languages are also spoken.Natural resources: Diamonds, oil products, gas, wildlife, agricultural products, sea and marine sources.Economy: Agricultural production includes bananas, sugarcane, coffee, sisal, corn, cotton, manioc (tapioca), tobacco, vegetables, plantains, livestock, forest products and fish.Major industries include petroleum, diamonds, gold, uranium, iron ore, feldspar, bauxite, phosphates, cement, basic metal products, ship repair, textiles, brewing, tobacco products, fish processing, food processing and sugar.GDP is estimated at US$129.3-billion at the official exchange rate and $177.3-billion using purchasing power parity (PPP). The gross domestic product (GDP) real growth rate was estimated at 4.8% in 2014.Links:Government of AngolaNational Assembly of AngolaMinistry of TourismBotswanaUninterrupted civilian rule since independence in 1966, progressive social policies and significant capital investment has turned Botswana into one of the continent’s leading economies.Capital: Gaborone.Geography: Botswana has a total area of 600 370 square kilometres, 15 000 square kilometres of which is covered by water. It has a population of 2 million, and the official language is English. Other languages include Setswana, Kalanga and Sekgalagadi.Natural resources: Diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash, coal, iron ore and silver.Economy: Agricultural production includes livestock, sorghum, maize, millet, beans, sunflowers and groundnuts.Major industries include diamonds, copper, nickel, salt, soda ash, potash, livestock processing and textiles.GDP is estimated at US$15.22-billion at the official exchange rate and $35.87-billion using purchasing power parity (PPP). The GDP real growth rate was estimated at 4.4% in 2014.Links:Government of BotswanaBotswana Development CorporationTourism of BotswanaDemocratic Republic of the CongoThe resource-rich DRC is slowly rebuilding following several years of civil war and dictatorship. Since the holding of elections, DRC President Joseph Kabila has been actively courting investment.Capital: Kinshasa.Geography: The DRC has a total area of 2.3 million square kilometres, 77 810 square kilometres of which is covered by water. It has a population of about 75.2 million and the official language is French. Other major languages include Lingala, Kingwana (a dialect of Swahili), Kikongo and Tshiluba.Natural resources: Cobalt, copper, niobium, tantalum, petroleum, industrial and gem diamonds, gold, silver, zinc, manganese, tin, uranium, coal, timber and hydropower.Economy: Agricultural production includes coffee, sugar, palm oil, rubber, tea, quinine, cassava (tapioca), palm oil, bananas, root crops, corn, fruits and wood products.Major industries include mining (diamonds, gold, copper, cobalt, coltan and zinc), mineral processing, consumer products (including textiles, footwear, cigarettes, processed foods and beverages), cement and commercial ship repair.GDP is estimated at US$35.92-billion at the official exchange rate and $57.78-billion using purchasing power parity (PPP). The GDP real growth rate was estimated at 9.2% in 2014.Links:DRC Permanent Mission to the UNFriends of the CongoLesothoOriginally known as Basutoland, the nation was renamed the Kingdom of Lesotho upon gaining independence from the United Kingdom in 1966. The country is closely linked to South Africa, both economically and culturally.Capital:Maseru.Geography: Lesotho has a total area of 30 355 square kilometres, with a population of 1.8 million. Languages spoken in Lesotho include English, Sesotho, Zulu and Xhosa.Natural resources: Water, agricultural and grazing land, diamonds, sand, clay and building stone.Economy: Agricultural production includes corn, wheat, pulses, sorghum, barley and livestock.Major industries include food, beverages, textiles, apparel assembly, handicrafts, construction and tourism.GDP is estimated at US$2.22-billion at the official exchange rate and $5.575-billion using purchasing power parity (PPP). The GDP real growth rate was estimated at 3.4% in 2014.Links:The Lesotho GovernmentTransformation Resource Centre LesothoLesotho Tourism Development CorporationMadagascarFormerly an independent kingdom, Madagascar became a French colony in 1896, but regained its independence in 1960. Open elections in 1992/93 ended 17 years of single-party rule.Capital: Antananarivo.Geography: Madagascar has a total area of 587 040 square kilometres, 5 500 square kilometres of which is covered by water. It has a population of 20.6 million and the languages spoken include French and Malagasy.Natural resources: Graphite, chromites, coal, bauxite, salt, quartz, tar sands, semiprecious stones, mica, fish and hydropower.Economy: Agricultural production includes coffee, vanilla, sugarcane, cloves, cocoa, rice, cassava (tapioca), beans, bananas, peanuts and livestock products.Major industries include meat processing, seafood, soap, breweries, tanneries, sugar, textiles, glassware, cement, automobile assembly plant, paper, petroleum and tourism.GDP is estimated at US$10.67-billion at the official exchange rate and $34.05-billion using purchasing power parity (PPP). The GDP real growth rate was estimated at 3.3% in 2014.Links:National Assembly of MadagascarMadagascar LibraryMadagascar WildlifeMalawiOriginally established in 1891 as the British protectorate of Nyasaland, the country became Malawi following independence in 1964. The first free elections were held in 1994 following three decades of one-party rule.Capital: Lilongwe.Geography: Malawi has a total area of 118 480 square kilometres, 24 400 square kilometres of which is covered by water, and has a population of 14.3 million. Languages spoken include Chichewa, Chinyanja, Chiyao and Chitumbuka.Natural resources: Limestone, arable land, hydropower, coal, bauxite and unexploited deposits of uranium.Economy: Agricultural production includes tobacco, sugarcane, cotton, tea, corn, potatoes, cassava (tapioca), sorghum, pulses, groundnuts, macadamia nuts, cattle and goats.Major industries include tobacco, tea, sugar, sawmill products, cement and consumer goods.GDP is estimated at US$6.055-billion at the official exchange rate and $19.58-billion using purchasing power parity (PPP). The GDP real growth rate was estimated at 5.7% in 2014.Links:Government of MalawiMalawi Tourism GuideMauritiusA stable democracy with regular free elections and a positive human rights record, Mauritius attracts considerable foreign investment and earns one of Africa’s highest per capita incomes.Capital: Port Louis.Geography: Mauritius has a total area of 2 040 square kilometres, 10km² of which is covered by water. It has a population of 1.2 million and the languages spoken on the island include Creole, Bhojpuri, French and English.Natural resources: Arable land and fish.Economy: Agricultural production includes sugarcane, tea, corn, potatoes, bananas, pulses, cattle, goats and fish.Major industries include food processing (largely sugar milling), textiles, clothing, mining, chemicals, metal products, transport equipment, non-electrical machinery and tourism.GDP is estimated at US$12.59-billion at the official exchange rate and $23.53-billion using purchasing power parity (PPP). The GDP real growth rate was estimated at 3.6% in 2014.Links:Government of MauritiusMauritius Investment Promotion AgencyDiscover MauritiusMozambiqueSince the end of fighting between Frelimo and Renamo in 1992, Mozambique has prospered following the government’s use of policies favourable to attracting foreign investment.Capital: Maputo.Geography: Mozambique has a total area of 801 590 square kilometres, 17 500 square kilometres of which is covered by water. It has a population of 20.5 million and major languages spoken in the country include Portuguese, Emakhuwa, Xichangana, Elomwe, Cisena and Echuwabo.Natural resources: Coal, titanium, natural gas, hydropower, tantalum and graphite.Economy: Agricultural production includes cotton, cashew nuts, sugarcane, tea, cassava (tapioca), corn, coconuts, sisal, citrus and tropical fruits, potatoes, sunflowers, beef and poultry.Major industries include food, beverages, chemicals (fertilizer, soap, paints), aluminium, petroleum products, textiles, cement, glass, asbestos and tobacco.GDP is estimated at US$16.68-billion at the official exchange rate and $31.21-billion using purchasing power parity (PPP). The GDP real growth rate was estimated at 7.4% in 2014.Links:Government of MozambiqueNamibiaSince gaining its independence from South Africa in 1990, Namibia has moved from strength to strength, capitalising on its natural resources and its close links to Germany.Capital: Windhoek.Geography: Namibia has a total area of 825 418 square kilometres and a population of 2.1 million. Languages spoken in the country include English, Afrikaans, German, Oshivambo, Herero and Nama.Natural resources: Diamonds, copper, uranium, gold, silver, lead, tin, lithium, cadmium, tungsten, zinc, salt, hydropower and fish. There are also suspected deposits of oil, coal, and iron ore.Economy: Agricultural production includes millet, sorghum, peanuts, grapes, livestock and fish.Major industries include meatpacking, fish processing, dairy products and mining (diamonds, lead, zinc, tin, silver, tungsten, uranium, copper).GDP is estimated at US$13.63-billion at the official exchange rate and $23.48-billion using purchasing power parity. The GDP real growth rate was estimated at 4.5% in 2014.Links:Government of NamibiaNamibia Tourism BoardSeychellesCapital: Victoria.Geography: Seychelles has a total area of 455 square kilometres and a population of 87 000. Languages spoken in the country include French, English and Seychellois Creole.Natural resources: Fish (mostly tuna), cinnamon, copra.Economy: The tourism and tuna fishing sectors have led economic growth.The government has also promoted the development of farming, fishing, and small scale manufacturing to decrease the dependence on tourism.GDP is estimated at US$1.423-billion at the official exchange rate and $2.424-billion using purchasing power parity. The GDP real growth rate was estimated at 3.3% in 2014.Links:Government of SeychellesSeychelles TourismSouth AfricaThe South African economy is the second largest on the African continent, with a sophisticated financial system that includes one of the top 10 stock exchanges in the world, and well developed physical, telecommunications, and energy infrastructures.Capital: Pretoria (administrative), Cape Town (legislative) and Bloemfontein (judicial).Geography: South Africa has a total area of 1.2 million square kilometres and a population of about 50.5 million. Major languages spoken include isiZulu, isiXhosa, Afrikaans, Sepedi, English, Setswana and Sesotho.Natural resources: Gold, chromium, antimony, coal, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, tin, uranium, gem diamonds, platinum, copper, vanadium, salt and natural gas.Economy: Agricultural production includes corn, wheat, sugarcane, fruits, vegetables, beef, poultry, mutton, wool and dairy products.Major industries include mining, automobile assembly, metalworking, machinery, textiles, iron and steel, chemicals, fertilizer, foodstuffs and commercial ship repair.GDP is estimated at US$350.1-billion at the official exchange rate and $707.1-billion using purchasing power parity. The GDP real growth rate was estimated at 1.5% in 2014.Links:Government of South AfricaDepartment of Trade and IndustrySouth African TourismSwazilandThe sole absolute monarchy in Africa, Swaziland is closely linked to South Africa economically and culturally.Capital: Mbabane (administrative) and Lobamba (royal and legislative).Geography: Swaziland has a total area of 17 363 square kilometres, 160 of which is covered by water. It has a population of 1.1 million and the languages spoken include English and SiSwati.Natural resources: Asbestos, coal, clay, cassiterite, hydropower, forests, small gold and diamond deposits, quarry stone and talc.Economy: Agricultural production includes sugarcane, cotton, corn, tobacco, rice, citrus, pineapples, sorghum, peanuts, cattle, goats and sheep.Major industries include coal, wood pulp, sugar, soft drink concentrates, textiles and apparel.GDP is estimated at US$4.416-billion at the official exchange rate and $10.56-billion using purchasing power parity. The GDP real growth rate was estimated at 2.5% in 2014.Links:Government of SwazilandSwaziland Chambers of CommerceSwaziland Tourism AuthorityTanzaniaHome to Africa’s highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania is largely dependent on agriculture for employment. In addition, a considerable area of the country is wildlife habitat, including a large part of the Serengeti plain.Capital: Dar es Salaam.Geography: Tanzania has a total area of 945 087 square kilometres, 59 050 square kilometres of which is covered by water. It has a total population of 50.5 million and languages spoken include Swahili, English and Arabic.Natural resources: Hydropower, tin, phosphates, iron ore, coal, diamonds, gemstones, gold, natural gas and nickel.Economy: Agricultural production includes coffee, sisal, tea, cotton, pyrethrum (insecticide made from chrysanthemums), cashew nuts, tobacco, cloves, corn, wheat, cassava (tapioca), bananas, fruits, vegetables, cattle, sheep and goats.Major industries include agricultural processing (sugar, beer, cigarettes, sisal twine), diamond, gold, and iron mining, salt, soda ash; cement, oil refining, shoes, apparel, wood products and fertilizer.GDP is estimated at US$48.09-billion at the official exchange rate and $128.2-billion using purchasing power parity. The GDP real growth rate was estimated at 7% in 2014.Links:Government of TanzaniaTanzania Development GatewayTanzania Tourist BoardZambiaDrained by the Congo River basin and the Zambesi River basin, Zambia has for long been linked with the copper mining industry, following its fortunes. To lessen dependence on copper, the government is aiming to diversify the economy in areas such as tourism, agriculture and hydro-power.Capital: Lusaka.Geography: Zambia has a total area of 752 614 square kilometres, 11 890 square kilometres of which is covered by water. It has a population of 13.4 million and major languages spoken include English, Bemba, Kaonda, Lozi, Lunda, Luvale, Nyanja and Tonga.Natural resources: Copper, cobalt, zinc, lead, coal, emeralds, gold, silver, uranium and hydropower.Economy: Agricultural production includes corn, sorghum, rice, peanuts, sunflower seed, vegetables, flowers, tobacco, cotton, sugarcane, cassava (tapioca), coffee, cattle, goats, pigs, poultry, milk, eggs and hides.Major industries include copper mining and processing, construction, foodstuffs, beverages, chemicals, textiles, fertilizer and horticulture.GDP is estimated at US$26.6-billion at the official exchange rate and $61.39-billion using purchasing power parity. The GDP real growth rate was estimated at 5.6% in 2014.Links:Government of ZambiaZambia National Tourist BoardZimbabweZimbabwe is rich in natural resources, and during non-drought years is able to produce enough to supply its electricity needs through hydro-electric power. Despite the recent economic downturn, the country continues to attract investment from the likes of China and India.Capital: Harare.Geography: Zimbabwe has a total area of 390 580 square kilometres, 3 910 square kilometres of which is covered by water. It has a population of 12.7 million and major languages spoken include English, Shona and Sindebele.Natural resources: Coal, chromium ore, asbestos, gold, nickel, copper, iron ore, vanadium, lithium, tin and platinum group metals.Economy: Agricultural production includes corn, cotton, tobacco, wheat, coffee, sugarcane, peanuts, sheep, goats and pigs.Major industries include mining (coal, gold, platinum, copper, nickel, tin, clay, numerous metallic and non-metallic ores), steel, wood products, cement, chemicals, fertilizer, clothing and footwear, foodstuffs and beverages.GDP is estimated at US$13.83-billion at the official exchange rate and $27.26-billion using purchasing power parity. The GDP real growth rate was estimated at 3.3% in 2014.Links:Parliament of ZimbabweZimbabwe Investment AuthoritySources: Southern African Development Community, The World FactbookSouthAfrica.info reporterUpdated December 2015Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SouthAfrica.info material