Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Patty Mills hit a go-ahead jumper with 6.8 seconds left and the San Antonio Spurs kept the Lakers winless with LeBron, rallying from a six-point deficit in the final minute of OT for a wild 143-142 victory Monday night.James tied it on a magisterial 3 with 2.4 seconds left in regulation, and he finished his second Lakers home game with 32 points, 14 assists and eight rebounds.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissBut the superstar missed two free throws with 12.8 seconds to play before Mills coolly put the Spurs ahead. James then missed a step-back 3-pointer at the buzzer, thoroughly deflating Staples Center as the Lakers fell to 0-3.After cooling down, LeBron did not seem discouraged by the Lakers’ last-minute failure against a quality opponent — and while Los Angeles was missing suspended starters Rajon Rondo and Brandon Ingram . “We’ve just got to get over the hump,” Kuzma said. “It’ll be a breath of fresh air when we get our first win. The three teams we’ve played, they’ve all been together for quite some time. That means something.”UP NEXTSpurs: Host Indiana on Wednesday.Lakers: At Phoenix on Wednesday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next James’ dramatic 3 from a full step beyond the arc capped the Lakers’ improbable rally from an eight-point deficit in the final 1:04 of regulation. The Lakers then took a 142-136 lead late in overtime with huge contributions from unsung rookie big man Johnathan Williams, who played important minutes in his NBA debut after JaVale McGee fouled out.But the Lakers sputtered and the Spurs rallied. Rudy Gay’s 3-pointer cut the Lakers’ lead to 142-141, and James missed his free throws before the jumper by Mills, who had 12 points.“I like the direction we’re going in,” James said. “Obviously it’s not resulting in wins right now, but it’s a long process. We had our chances. We was up six with a minute to go, with less than a minute to go, and just couldn’t get a stop.”TIP-INSSpurs: Dante Cunningham had three points and 12 rebounds in 29 minutes as a starter. Jakob Poeltl, who started the first two games, didn’t play. … Marco Belinelli scored 15 points in a reserve role for the Spurs, and Rudy Gay had 16 points.Lakers: Svi Mykhailiuk and Williams made their NBA debuts in the shortened rotation. Mykhailiuk, the Ukrainian rookie out of Kansas, went scoreless in 17 minutes. Williams dunked on a pass from Mykhailiuk for his first basket, and he finished with eight points. … Before the game, LA assigned German rookie Isaac Bonga to their G League affiliate. … Celebrities at the game included Natalie Portman; Geri Halliwell and her husband, Red Bull F1 boss Christian Horner; boxing champions Terence Crawford and Floyd Mayweather; and Los Angeles Rams Todd Gurley, Ndamukong Suh and Nickell Robey-Coleman.BANNED BALLERSIngram and Rondo began their suspensions stemming from their brawl with the Houston Rockets last Saturday. Ingram got a four-game ban for confronting an official and throwing punches, while Rondo got three games for punching and spitting on Chris Paul.THE REPLACEMENTSKuzma and Lonzo Ball were in the starting lineup in their teammates’ absence, and both second-year pros excelled. Kuzma finished one point shy of his career high, while Ball had 14 points, six assists and six rebounds. Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum “It’s not” discouraging, James said.“I know what I got myself into,” he added. “It’s a process. I get it, and we’ll be fine. I didn’t come here thinking we were going to be blazing, storming right out of the gate. It’s a process, and I understand that.”LaMarcus Aldridge had 37 points and 10 rebounds, and DeMar DeRozan added 32 points and 14 assists before Mills made the biggest shot. The Australian guard did it while playing Tony Parker’s traditional role on a familiar San Antonio play.“It’s always good when you make shots or make an impact,” Mills said. “Other than that shot, it was a team victory. It was a gutsy win. Everyone participated.”Kyle Kuzma had 37 points and eight rebounds for the Lakers, and Josh Hart added 20 points and 10 rebounds.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, right, drives toward the basket as San Antonio Spurs forward Rudy Gay defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Oct. 22, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)LOS ANGELES — LeBron James hit the tying 3-pointer late in regulation. He led a Lakers lineup of three second-year pros and a rookie making his NBA debut to a 142-136 lead with 55 seconds left overtime.James was then reminded in spectacular fashion that nothing will be easy in this West Coast chapter of his career.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew MOST READ Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles03:122 dead in California school attack; gunman shoots self01:06Anti-US rally in Manila against attacks in Iraq02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? 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The Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) will be providing a much-needed service by offering free glaucoma screenings throughout this week.This initiative was organised in commemoration of World Glaucoma Week, which runs from March 11-17.Usually, patients would have to have the recommendation of a physician or optometrist in order to be eligible for screenings at the eye clinic. However, for this week, the GPHC has made the service more easily accessed.The screening services will run from March 12 to March 16 at the GPHC’s Eye Clinic. The screenings are mainly open to citizens who are 40 years and over. An exception to this, younger persons who have blood relatives who have been diagnosed with glaucoma. The eye clinic plans on screening some 40 persons each day and screenings are inclusive of vision tests, eye pressure tests and nerve examinations.The GPHC has noted that the reason behind this particular initiative was the fact that many persons were not aware that they may have glaucoma.Also termed ‘invisible glaucoma’, the disease can be actively deteriorating a person’s optic nerve without them knowing or experiencing symptoms. Affected patients only usually go for a check-up after their vision has been affected.On the other hand, the GPHC will also be hosting a Glaucoma Continuing Medical Education (CME) Session. The collaborative effort, with Medi Pharm Inc, will aim to further educate medical practitioners, predominantly optometrists and nurses, on glaucoma diagnosis and treatment methods.Glaucoma is a disease that damages the eye’s optic nerve. This damage usually occurs when fluid builds up in the front section of the eye. That extra fluid increases the pressure in the eye, damaging the optic nerve. The most common type of glaucoma in Guyana is ‘open angle’. This type of glaucoma is painless and completely invisible to the patient. Patients will only become aware of the problem when their vision is affected. Open angle glaucoma predominantly affects Afro-Guyanese.
Forensic audits– administrative actions being taken BY VAHNU MANICKCHANDIn light of mounting calls for Government to take action on the findings emerging from the forensic audits intoMinster of State Joseph Harmonseveral State agencies, Minister of State Joseph Harmon has disclosed that some of the audit reports have been sent to law enforcement bodies for further probing while actions are being taken administratively on others.He was at the time responding to questions posed during this week’s post-Cabinet briefing on Friday.According to the Minister, it is important that the public understands that while the audits have actually discovered some wrongdoings, they were not provided with all of the information, which in some cases, persons refused to give them.Nevertheless, Harmon explained that having received the findings from the audits, Government had to determine whether some will have to go to the Police for Police investigation while others will be dealt with administratively.“Those which have to go to the Police, we have actually sent some of those files to the Police and to SOCU (Special Organised Crime Unit) and they have actually started their investigations. Matters which are to be dealt with administratively, we are taking actions administratively,” he disclosed.In fact, the Minister of State outlined that only on Thursday President David Granger had a meeting with all of the Permanent Secretaries in the various Government Ministries during which he made it very clear what their responsibilities are in relation to these audits.“So you will see some actions being taken as it relates to administrative recommendations and some actions are to be taken with respect to Police work, which has to be done,” he remarked.Moreover, Harmon went on to say that in order to establish a case in the court, there is a certain standard of proof which has to be established, adding that the standard for an auditor is not the same standard which the police requires for building a court case.“So what you provide to the Police from the audit will be certain statements and findings from the audit; for the Police to now make this a matter for the court, they will have to go beyond what the audits say and found. They will have to get additional information to ensure that they have a case, which when it goes to court, they will be able to secure convictions,” Minister Harmon explained.On this note, the Minister of State urged the public to be patient, noting that the information is coming out and it is now up to the State to take it to the next level, which they are doing currently.“The information is in the public domain about what the auditors have found but in some cases, you just can’t act on that because in many cases, personalities and persons’ tenure in office is affected by what is written and so we have to be sure that we have enough and solid information so that when we act, we act wisely and we act justly,” he stressed.Only recently, during an exclusive interview with Guyana Times, outgoing Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) of the United States Embassy, Bryan Hunt, posited that Government was wise not to want to see prosecutions that are going to fail.“They want to make sure that whatever is taken to court by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has the best possible chance of bringing those responsible for the crime to justice, which means they want to make sure that they have all the necessary evidence, that they have made sure that SOCU has carried out thorough investigations and can definitively answer the question who is responsible for the problems in the forensic audits,” he remarked.According to the US Diplomat, there is nothing wrong with civil society pushing Government to move forward, noting that the international community also wants to see this but at the same time, everyone should want the State to move forward in a systematic way that is going to achieve maximum results, that is, all the questions answered and evidence gathered.Moreover, Hunt pointed out that criminal prosecutions take time in Guyana. This, he said, is as a result of resources and requirements in the justice system, which includes many safeguards to ensure that those who are innocent are not wrongly convicted.“So I am not surprised that we are at a point where we don’t have people who are convicted of financial crimes,” he noted.
Fort St. John police are searching for a man after a gas station at Totem Mall was robbed last week.The robbery happened around 4:55 p.m. on Fri., June 19, when a lone male went into the Shell gas station and approached the cashier with a note demanding cash, Cpl. Jodi Shelkie said.After receiving an undisclosed amount of cash, the suspect took off east towards the Mathews Park residential area.- Advertisement -There were no weapons, threats, or violence involved, said Shelkie, and no one was injured.The suspect is described as Caucasian , and was wearing a blue hoodie and grey sweatpants, with light brown flip flops.Anyone with information is asked to call RCMP at 250-787-8100.Advertisement
1 Willy Caballero: The 35-year-old spent three years at Manchester City Chelsea have announced the signing of goalkeeper Willy Caballero.The 35-year-old Argentinian was available as a free agent after being released by Manchester City at the end of last season.Premier League champions Chelsea were in the market for a new goalkeeper after selling back-up Asmir Begovic to Bournemouth in May.Caballero, who joined City in 2014 following stints at Malaga and Elche in Spain and with Boca Juniors in his homeland, told Chelsea’s official website: “I am very happy to join Chelsea, the champions of England. I am looking forward to meeting the guys and helping the club achieve more success in the coming season.”The South American veteran will provide competition to first-choice Thibaut Courtois at Stamford Bridge, with 34-year-old Portugal international Eduardo also an option for coach Antonio Conte.Chelsea technical director Michael Emenalo said: “We are very happy to have Willy on board. He knows the Premier League and is tried and tested at the top of the game.‘We have three experienced goalkeepers and we look forward to welcoming him to the club when the squad returns to pre-season training.”Caballero’s signing follows on from Exeter’s announcement on Saturday morning that Chelsea had won the race for their highly-rated teenager Ethan Ampadu – read more here.
Donegal boxer Jason Quigley’s rapid rise up the boxing ranks continued tonight when he reached the final of the IABA Elite Championships.The Finn Valley boxer had beaten London 2012 Olympian Darren O’Neill in the quarter-final last week.And he went one step further at the National Stadium in Dublin by beating the highly-fancied Conrad Cummins from the Holy Trinity club in Belfast in his semi-final. Quigley did it the hard way by coming from behind going into the last round to win 17-14 after both boxers had received public warnings.But there was a huge cheer for the young Donegal boxer when he was given the decision.Quigley, who boxed in the 75 kg category, will face the biggest fight of his career to date next weekend when he boxes in the final of the championships. DONEGAL BOXER QUIGLEY REALISES DREAM AS HE REACHES IABA ELITE FINALS was last modified: February 16th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Finn Valley ABCIABA Elite ChampionshipsJason Quigley
The first International Renewable Energy Conference was held on African soil in Cape Town from 4 to 7 October. It was agreed that Africa could make use of its abundant natural resources to create sustainable energy. South Africa’s progress in the field was also highlighted. Delegates declared they would upscale and mainstream renewables to achieve a global energy transition. South African Minister of Energy Tina Joemat-Pettersson speaks at the opening of the South African International Renewable Energy Conference in Cape Town on 4 October 2015. (Image: Flickr, South African Government) • Biogas backpack revolutionises cooking in Ethiopia • Maasai women lead solar revolution in Kenya • DNA detective work could end poaching • Solar car races around southern Africa • Local researchers honoured at their ‘Oscars’ Priya PitamberOver 3 500 delegates from 82 countries gathered in Cape Town for the South African International Renewable Energy Conference (SAIREC), which took place from 4 to 7 October.This was the sixth in the series of International Renewable Energy Conferences; the first was held in 2004 in Bonn, Germany. This year’s conference was the first to take place in Africa; it had the theme of “RE-energising Africa”.“For us as a country and as a continent, hosting this conference is important, given that Africa is progressing on an economic trajectory that challenges the ability to meet our energy needs,” said South African Minister of Energy Tina Joemat-Pettersson, speaking at the opening of the conference.“It is our belief that renewable energy provides a significant opportunity to improve energy access and security, mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, ensure sustainable development and significantly improve socio-economic development.”• Read the full speech from the minister hereGroup effortSouth Africa’s Department of Energy hosted SAIREC in conjunction with the South African National Energy Development Institute and the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21), with support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development.“SAIREC comes at a time when an energy transition towards renewables is accelerating worldwide thanks to advances in renewable energy technologies, increases in capacity and rapid cost reductions,” said the REN21 chairman, Dr Arthouros Zervos.“On the African continent South Africa is leading the way with its Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme and is, therefore, the ideal host for such an international gathering.”Africa’s renewable energy by numbersQuoting the 2014 Africa Energy Outlook from the International Energy Agency, Joemat-Pettersson said while Sub-Saharan Africa was rich in resources, energy supply was poor. “Africa’s energy sector is vital to its development and yet is one the most poorly understood parts of the global energy system.”She said producing a reliable and cost-effective energy supply was vital on the continent. “[Africa] accounts for 13% of the world’s population, but only 4% of its energy demand. Since 2000, sub-Saharan Africa has seen rapid economic growth and its energy consumption has risen by 45%.“Many governments are now intensifying their efforts to tackle the numerous regulatory and political barriers that are holding back investment in domestic energy supply, and inadequate energy infrastructure puts a brake on urgently needed improvements in living standards.”Watch more on the report here:Joemat-Pettersson said emerging economies were taking on the challenges to address climate change. “For example, as South Africa we have put in place programmes to increase efficiency and reduce emissions intensity.“To this effect, as we actively engaged in building a competitive resource-efficient and inclusive future, our National Sustainable Development Strategy has been integrated into the National Development Plan 2030 vision, which supports the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”Minister Joemat-Pettersson says efforts to roll-out energy in the continent are on the rise, but are outdone by a rising demand #SAIREC2015 — SA Gov News (@SAgovnews) October 5, 2015Adnan Amin, the director-general of the International Renewable Energy Agency, said Africa had the potential to increase its generation of renewable energy from 5% to 22% by 2030.“After a decade of sustained growth, Africa is rising but needs secure and affordable energy to power its future growth,” he said. “What we know today is that the potential is immense. Africa has bountiful and buried renewable energy resources, including excellent solar across the continent, hydro in many countries, strong wind resources and powerful geothermal in East Africa’s rift valley.”He said renewable energy was vital to lift African citizens from what he called energy poverty. Africa has numerous natural resources to tap into to create sustainable energy for itself. (Image: Slideshare)South Africa’s progress in alternative energy sourcesSouth Africa has been making strides in renewable energy. During the conference, the Department of Energy released its report, State of Renewable Energy in South Africa.Making use of the sun’s rays and strong coastal winds, policy implementation and partnerships with business have led to job creation, foreign investment and clean power production in the sector.“Renewables are delivering exactly what South Africa needs – from energy, jobs and technology to foreign investment, rural development, and community benefits and working relations between government and business,” said the department’s acting director-general, Dr Wolsey Barnard. “The scope and scale of renewable energy development in South Africa demonstrates what is possible when government and business share a commitment to success.”The report cites an independent study by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, which found energy generated from solar and wind during the first six months of 2015 created R4-billion in financial benefits.The renewable energy sector, the report states, has the potential to create up to 462 000 jobs, with more than 25 000 jobs already created. Renewables have also given a boost to the manufacturing sector. In 2012, for instance, a solar PV manufacturing plant was built in Pinetown near Durban, employing 160 people and able to produce 250 000 solar panels annually.A Department of Energy solar energy technology roadmap estimates that by 2050, about 70GW of power could be generated from solar photovoltaic and concentrated solar power sources. According to Green Peace, South Africa has one of the highest and most stable solar radiations in the world. (Image: Green Peace) In addition to solar and wind power, up to 247MW of small-scale hydro power could be developed in rural Eastern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga. Work has also started on a national biomass action plan.The Southern African Biogas Industry Association estimates that biogas could contribute 2.5GW of generation capacity in the country, using wastewater, food waste, manure, agricultural residues and commercial processes, including abattoirs, breweries and cheese factories.In 2014, the United Nations Environment Programme put South Africa in the global top 10 for renewable energy investments. The country is already the world’s 10th biggest solar market for installations above 5MW.DeclarationDelegates attending the SAIREC rounded off discussions by agreeing to upscale and mainstream renewables to achieve a global energy transition.“As of today, 2.9 billion people lack access to clean forms of cooking, which needs to be addressed in order to achieve the universal access target,” stated the declaration. “We note that to make universal access a reality by 2030, 1.3 billion people, out of which 621 million live in the sub-Saharan region, should be provided access to electricity.“The scale of the challenge requires that all approaches, including grid and off-grid solutions are taken into account and adopted based on an efficiency principle. Rural and urban demands can best be met with a diverse technology mix that takes full advantage of sub-Saharan Africa’s exceptional and sustainable solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, and hydropower resources.”• Read the full declaration here
18 March 2014 Johannesburg post-production company Refinery provided “first rate post-production and delivery items” in its work on American TV series SAF3, according to supervising producer Michael Murphey. Made by Baywatch creator Gregory J Bonann, SAF3 is currently screening in the United States after shooting wrapped in Cape Town in December last year. The TV series stars action star Dolph Lundgren, Dancing With The Stars winner JR Martinez and The Bold and The Beautiful’s Texas Battle. South African channel e.tv will screen the series later this year, says the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF). “I’m very proud of the fact that we were the first major international TV series to post entirely in South Africa and to make our international deliveries from here as well,” Murphey, the founder of Cape Town-based production company Kalahari Pictures, told the NFVF last week. “Our international delivery items [formatting copies for broadcast on TV, DVDs or film] were first-rate and saved the production a great deal over what it would have cost us in the US or Europe.” Refinery set up a satellite post facility at Cotton Mill Studios in Epping, Cape Town to manage all post-production on SAF3, which they delivered to 23 countries around the world. The company handled the dailies (footage from the day’s shoot), editorial, visual effects and sound editing at the studios, with sound studio Area 5.1 handling the sound and Refinery the deliveries from Johannesburg. This was a first for an international television series of this scale. The post-production and visual effects company is no stranger to working on international series, having handled the dailies transfers on the Emmy-winning Generation Kill; the additional dialogue required for the Emmy-nominated No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency; the visual effects on two seasons of the Kidscreen winner Leonardo; the dailies on three seasons of the Emmy-nominated Strike Back; and the audio post-production on the award-winning animated South African/Canadian co-production Magic Cellar. Murphey praised the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI’s) foreign film and television production scheme and post-production incentive, which now offers productions shot in South Africa an additional 2.5% rebate if they spend over R1.5-million on post-production locally and an additional 5% if they spend over R3-million. SAF3 is the largest project to benefit from the post-production incentive so far. “The DTI post-production rebate of an extra 5% helped seal the deal to bring SAF3 to South Africa,” Murphey told the NFVF. “Australia, New Zealand and the US just couldn’t compete.” “The rebate was the tipping point,” Refinery managing director Tracey Williams said. “It always comes down to economics, and when you add the weak rand, it just makes financial sense to keep your post-production in South Africa now.” Williams said the tight timeline also counted in Refinery’s favour. “We had two weeks to ship everything in, get the equipment installed, and be ready to start. Then we had three weeks to our first transmission date. It would have been very difficult to turn the show around this quickly with an international facility.” She said setting up a temporary facility was “the way of the future; I’d do that again tomorrow.” From a time and cost-efficiency perspective, Williams said they particularly benefited from having the automated dialogue replacement facilities (for re-recording dialogue affected by sound problems) right where the cast was filming, “as well as from having Cyril Schumann as a dedicated visual effects artist on Flame” (a 3D visual effects software programme). “Flame’s not a typical TV tool, but we knew Cyril would turn around the effects really quickly on it,” Williams said. “The visual effects turned out to be one of the big savings on the series.” According to the NFVF, South Africa has been hosting a steady stream of international TV series, with Black Sails and Dominion currently filming in Cape Town. Williams said this presented an opportunity for the South African post-production industry. “On SAF3, we had 14 people employed full-time for six months,” she said. “Features come and go, but a successful TV series like Black Sails will keep coming back every year. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be keeping the post-production in South Africa for TV series like that, so it’s a major growth opportunity for the sector.” SAinfo reporter and National Film and Video Foundation
‘The destiny of Africa is in your hands’ – Brand South Africa CEO Kingsley Makhubela addresses the Junior Chamber International
Read the full text of the address by the CEO of Brand South Africa, Mr Kingsley Makhubela, at the Africa and Middle East Conference of the Junior Chamber International on Thursday 5 May 2016 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.• Download the speech in PDF formatProgramme DirectorPresident of the Junior Chamber International, Mr Paschal DikeAfrica and the Middle East Executive Vice President and Chairman of the 2016 JCI Africa and the Middle East Area Conference, Mr Tshepo ThlakuSecretary General, Mr Arrey ObensionJunior Chamber International Vice PresidentsAfrica and the Middle East Senate Chair, Ms Angel KgokoloAfrica & Middle East Development Council South (AMDEC) President, Mr Hymmeldat Rudolphe DibakalaAll delegatesMembers of the mediaIt is a pleasure to be amongst such vibrant and motivated young people today. I trust your deliberations since yesterday have been fruitful. As I stand before you, what stands out mostly for me is that despite the decades in between us, young people generations over have similar challenges to overcome. When I was a young man, my peers and I talked about and envisaged bequeathing to future generations a world that was better than the one in which we lived. We have achieved this to some extent but sadly, we have not managed to eradicate all the challenges we ourselves fought against.Today, young people continue to grapple with the pervasive, and sometimes stubborn, challenges of poverty, underdevelopment, job creation, and others. The resistance of these challenges to a durable and holistic solution, directly impacts on our own lives and indeed, on the competitiveness of the nations from which we hail. I say this before national competitiveness – and our nation brands – is ultimately a composite of all that a country has to offer. All citizens, sectors, industries together create a picture of the national competitive identity. This cannot be over-emphasized.The demographic dividendCurrent leaders have the responsibility to leverage the power of young people to become motive agents for change. Young people in both Africa and the Middle East contribute to the demographic dividend that could be a very positive force for growth and development. The World Economic Forum has described Africa’s demographic dividend as the largest in the world saying within 20 years, the number of sub-Saharan citizens reaching working age (15-64) will exceed that of the rest of the world combined. And by 2040, half of the world’s youth will be African.The Middle East has a similar demographic dividend. Michael Hoffman and Amaney Jamal in a paper entitled, “The Youth and the Arab Spring: Cohort Differences and Similarities” observe that “30% of the population is between the ages of 14 and 24.5 and more than half of the people in the Arab world today are under the age of 25.6. Not only is the youth bulge high in the Middle East, it is the second highest in the world – second only to sub-Saharan Africa.”You young leaders must therefore be nurtured and encouraged to use your unlimited drive, passion and potential for the greater good, and to build strong countries and continents.How can we do this?Charles Duhigg, in a book entitled The Power of Habit, talks about turning excellence into a habit. Personal excellence can translate into corporate, social and national excellence. And young people are in an excellent position to develop this habit – your families, communities and indeed, your countries, need this! Excellence must be cultivated and this will increasingly impact positively on national psyche and the reputation of our countries.This also leads me the emerging theory in leadership described as disruptive leadership. Disruptive leadership is about fostering a culture of game-changing innovation that provides the framework and motivation to generate those ideas and execute those solutions that enhance corporate, social and ultimately national competitiveness. It is built around the question, “Why hadn’t we ever thought about our business and culture this way before?”Building this culture of excellence whilst preparing leaders able to conceive of and implement innovative solutions, to national and sometimes international challenges, will require a fair amount of disruption to commonly accepted ways of doing things. There is no sector of society more well placed to do this, than you who are sitting in this room.As the future leaders of the continent in a range of areas, it is this spirit which will move Africa’s Agenda 2063 from the pages of the document on which it is written to a reality. It is this spirit which will drive the global agenda for socio-economic growth and development.That you are no longer defined by race, religion, gender or ethnicity makes it even easier for you to be disruptive leaders. The lack of boundaries enables agility which is important for disruption and innovation.Role of Youth in building nation brandsIn recent times, young citizens in both Africa and the Middle East have risen up against social issues to call on governments and society at large to create the conditions for inclusivity, growth, development and increasingly, sustainability and environmental awareness. Young people are courageously rising to take their places at the forefront of the struggle for equity, development and ultimately democracy and equal opportunities for all.#FeesMustFallIn a few weeks, South Africa will commemorate the 40th anniversary since the 16 June 1976 student uprisings in Soweto. I hope you will have time to visit this dynamic heartland of the South African struggle for democracy.It is a matter of history that these protests, during which many young people lost their lives, changed the course of the South African struggle for liberation. These protests brought international attention to what was happening in our country particularly the just struggle for equal opportunities and rights as well as access to amongst others, education. Many of those who were young activists during this time are now in positions of leadership in many sectors in South Africa.However, the cause for which they fought almost four decades ago, again rose to the forefront when millions of South African youth united across colour and class divides to call for free education in the #FeesMustFall movement. So powerful was this movement that the students were listed amongst the list of the 100 Most Influential Africans released late last year. These brave young people created the conditions for government to declare that there would be no fee increases in the 2016 academic year and commit billions of rands to alleviating the financial pressures on students and their families.In addition, these young people brought business and academia together and students at the University of Johannesburg were able to raise R31 million to support their fellow students while the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), SABC and Vodacom last month launched a fundraising campaign at Fort Hare University’s Alice campus in the Eastern Cape to support students.South African youth demonstrated how they could come together and collectively fight for a cause that would change the conditions for millions of young people in our country. Education is a critical enabler for development and equally for national competitiveness. The youth of South Africa did more than just fight for no increases and additional funds, they are fighting for the country’s very development!In a few years, these young people will be in positions of leadership throughout the country. It remains to be seen whether they will be able to positively respond to the need for socio-economic change so that we will not find the same conditions come to the fore forty years from now?The Arab SpringGlobally we are seeing trends towards the need for greater democratisation and reduction of inequality levels. Young people are playing a critical role in raising levels of awareness about the unsustainability of current frameworks and paradigms.A few years ago, we will remember that young people of North Africa propelled the wave of civil society protests which ushered democracy to Northern Africa, in what is now described as the Arab Spring. Young people became political actors who were able to raise awareness for the need for change in North Africa. The youth led protests have been responsible for bringing political and social revolution to North Africa and these inspired their counterparts in the broader Middle East to also fight for democratic reforms in their own countries.This wave of protests have, unfortunately not created sustainable change or stable democracies. We are instead seeing greater instances of insecurity, terror and militarianism in both Africa and the Middle East. Sadly, no area of the world is immune from such attacks.Young people prove to be very susceptible to such militant activities. As the global community, we need to ask why? What are we doing, or not doing, that forces young people down such a path, risking their lives and their future?Young people can be a powerful force for positive change. It is up to us, as the older generations to ensure we do enough work to change conditions so that they can be encouraged to support positive programmes.Young people help President Obama reach the White HouseAn analysis by the Pew Research Centre shows that 66% of eligible voters under the age of 30 voted for President Obama in 2008. They were an important stakeholder in propelling America’s first black President to the White House because President Obama and his team prioritised communicating to the youth of America in a way that was important to them and on issues that they cared about. There is a lesson to be drawn from his campaign for the 2008 Presidency – understand the power of young people, talk to and engage with them in a way that is meaningful to them and you will gain their support.This is the best way to ensure that the power wielded by young people is harnessed and mobilised for nation building.These examples illustrate the impatience of young people and why leaders must acknowledge the urgency to transform their countries to ensure that there is greater equity, growth and development. Leadership does not refer only to heads of state and government, it is leadership at every level. If leaders do not rise to the occasion and respond to the needs of citizens, then young people have shown their ability to assume this role, and when they do, governments and business will be faced with their anger and impatience.Rights and ResponsibilitiesBefore I conclude, I would like to raise the issue of rights and responsibilities.Many generations of the past could only dream of some of the rights young people have today. You are no longer constrained by the burden of gender, race, class, ethnic or even geographical boundaries. With hard work, the right environment and the right opportunities, each of you really can change the world. However, I would caution that in attempting to build the world you want, do not destroy the world you do not want. Understanding that with every right comes a responsibility is a big part of being an adult.In conclusion, I would like to draw on Africa’s Agenda 2063 – continent’s first long term plan for the growth and development of the continent – which says, “present generations are confident that the destiny of Africa is in their hands, and that we must act now to shape the future we want.Are you ready? How will you play your part to build your country and ultimately your continents? How will history remember this generation of young people?I wish you good deliberations in the next few days. I hope you will have some time to experience and enjoy some of what our country has to offer.I thank you.
India’s tourism ministry has said that the number of tourists coming to the country from the United States increased 6.17 percent in 2017 over the previous year. The Indian government released its figures of foreign tourist arrivals from the United States, rejecting a recent American report that said that the number declined during the same period. The U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) claimed in a report last week that the number of Americans touring India fell by 7 percent in 2017 as compared to 2016. India’s Ministry of Tourism has countered that number, saying in a statement that foreign tourist arrivals “from USA to India has never declined since 2010.” The ministry clarified that “the Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India from the USA during the year 2017 have registered a positive growth of 6.17% over the year 2016.” A year wise list released by the Indian department shows that the number of American tourists visiting India was 980,688 in 2011, marking a 5.30 percent rise over the previous year. It increased to 1,039,947 in 2012, showing a growth rate of 6.04 percent. In 2013, 1,085,309 Americans toured India. In 2014 the number was 1,118,983 and in 2015 it went up to 1,213,624. In 2016 and 2017, the number of Americans visiting India was 1,296,939 and 1,376,919, respectively.Between January and August this year, 926,192 Americans visited India, which is 8.18 percent higher than the corresponding numbers during the same time last year. The NTTO said in its report that traveler volume is based on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Advanced Passenger Information System wherein all airlines are required to electronically submit passenger data on flights arriving into and departing from the United States. The ministry said that the NTTO numbers were flawed as that the source of data for the report is only airlines reporting. “In the cases where direct flight between USA and India is not operating, it is not known whether the final destination or the transit destination is reported as India by the passengers,” the tourism ministry’s statement said. Moreover, the Indian ministry said that departures at international check posts other than airports were not captured in the report and therefore, it may not contain the complete information on the outbound departures from the United States. It added that the Bureau of Immigration of India (BoI) compiles the data of FTA from records of scanned passport of each person arriving at all the international check posts in India, which include airports, sea ports and land check posts. Related ItemsTourismUnited States