Monday, April 25, 2016

AFRICAN INFRASTRUCTURE: Uganda-Tanzania Oil Pipeline To Be Completed By June 2020 - Will Also Benefit Kenya, South Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi And The Democratic Republic of Congo!

Energy and Minerals Professor Sospeter Muhongo briefs reporters on arrival at the Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam from Kampala, Uganda. Right is
Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Professor Ntalikwa, while left is the general Director of the Tanzania Development Petroleum Corporation, Dr James Mataragio.
Mohamed Mambo/ Daily News

April 25, 2016 - EAST AFRICA
- Construction of the 1,403-kilometre pipeline to transport crude oil from Hoima in Uganda to Tanga Port in Tanzania is expected to be completed by June 2020, the Minister for Energy and Minerals, Professor Sospeter Muhongo, announced.

Implementation plan for the US $4 billion dollars (about 8.7 trillion/-) will be up for discussion next Friday in Tanzania where the Ugandan Minister for Energy and Minerals, Ms Irene Muloni, will lead a delegation from Kampala.

"At this meeting, I will host the Ugandan minister and other officials to map up implementation plan for the project. The meeting will also be attended by officials from companies with stake in the discovered oil in Uganda," he explained.

The companies include Total E&P of France, Tullow Oil of United Kingdom as well as China National Offshore Oil Corporation. Prof Muhongo showered praise on President John Magufuli for his efforts, which enabled the country to clinch the deal.

"It will be an honour to complete the construction before June 2020 when President Magufuli will be ending his first term in office. Dr Magufuli formed a superb team to make a follow-up on the matter and this has yielded positive results.

"I am equally grateful to President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda for choosing Tanga Port," Prof Muhongo told journalists after he landed at the Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) from Kampala.

Last Saturday, Uganda chose the Tanzanian route to export its crude oil amid competition from Kenya which also wanted to clinch the deal to transport oil to yet to be constructed Lamu Port in North-Eastern Kenya.

President Museveni made the decision to construct the pipeline through Tanzania during the 13th Northern Corridor Integration Projects (NCIP) summit in Kampala, which was also attended by President Paul Kagame and Uhuru Kenyatta of Rwanda and Kenya, respectively.

The envisaged pipeline through Tanzania will be of benefit not only to Uganda and Tanzania but others countries in the region such as Kenya, South Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

"It will be cheaper and easier for these countries to use the pipeline compared to any other port in the East Africa Region, the Tanzanian route is cost-effective, reliable and secure," Prof Muhongo remarked.

The envisaged 24-inch conduit to cover 1,403 kilometres is expected to convey 200,000 barrels of crude oil per day for exports. The project is expected to create 15,000 jobs during its execution after which upon completion it will employ about between 1,000 and 2,000 people.

It will pass through Kagera, Geita, Shinyanga, Tabora and Singida to Tanga. Uganda has so far discovered 6.5 billion barrels of the precious liquid along the Lake Albert basin. The first finding was made by Hardman Resources in 2006 which was later acquired by Tullow Oil.

At present, three companies own 33.3 per cent each of the oil fields and they include Total E&P, Tullow Oil and CNOOC.

The companies plan to construct an oil refinery to process 60,000 barrels per day to cater for demand of petroleum products in East Africa while between 200,000 and 600,000 barrels will be transported in crude form through the pipelines for exports outside the EAC.

- Tanzania Daily News.

AFRICAN TRADE: South African And Iran Strike BILLION-DOLLAR Non-Oil Trade Investment - Agreement Will Address Issues Of Job Creation, Skills, And Technology Transfer In Both Countries!

President Jacob Zuma with President of Iran Hassan Rouhani. GCIS

- South Africa and Iran have agreed to increase non-oil trade and investment to a billion dollars by 2020.

This emerged on Sunday after talks between President Jacob Zuma and Iran's counterpart President Hassan Rouhani.

President Zuma is in Tehran on a two-day visit.

Speaking during the South Africa-Iran Business Council, President Zuma said the agreement is imperative in diversifying trade baskets in favour of value-added trade.

"This would add much impetus towards addressing issues of job creation as well as skills and technology transfer in both our countries," said President Zuma.

The two countries also signed eight bilateral trade agreements in the fields of trade and industry, energy, mining, agriculture, water resources, and co-operation in intelligence gathering and anti-money laundering initiatives as well as an accompanying roadmap which provides a good departure point for strengthening economic cooperation.

President Zuma also lauded efforts to formalise the establishment of the South Africa-Iran Business Council, saying it would translate into tangible deliverables and would add further impetus towards expanding on the economic ties between the countries respective business communities.

"As we embark on this journey of re-building our trade ties, allow me to reassure you, that South Africa is well positioned to deliver on its commitments as outlined in the various agreements entered into by the different ministries."

President Zuma told the captains of the industry that South Africa has an open economy and provides a sound business case for investment and profit.

"Our country offers a diversified base of industrial sectors and has a large number of competitive industries, abundant natural resources and well-developed transport and logistical infrastructure. Our financial systems are stable and we have a sound constitution and institutional framework to protect property rights."

He encouraged them invest and enjoy robust protection in South Africa.

"Our socio-economic roadmap, the National Development Plan, provides a coherent, comprehensive and pragmatic plan to transform our economy.

"It also provides a plan for faster economic growth that is more inclusive, thereby addressing the triple challenges, of poverty, unemployment and inequality."

President Zuma identified areas of investment that Iranian investors can look into. These include building the agriculture and agro-processing value-chain, unlocking the potential of SMMEs, joint cooperation in energy projects and growing the Ocean Economy.

Another exciting area for partnership is Operation Phakisa, which is a strategy aimed at unlocking the economic growth potential stemming from South Africa's vast ocean coastline.

- SA News.

ELECTRIC BODY: Electric Food For The People Of The Sun - Amazon Tribe Creates 500-Page Remarkable Natural Medicine Encyclopedia!

April 25, 2016 - HEALTH - In one of the great tragedies of our age, indigenous traditions, stories, cultures and knowledge are winking out across the world. Whole languages and mythologies are vanishing, and in some cases even entire indigenous groups are falling into extinction. This is what makes the news that a tribe in the Amazon—the Matsés peoples of Brazil and Peru—have created a 500-page encyclopedia of their traditional medicine all the more remarkable. The encyclopedia, compiled by five shamans with assistance from conservation group Acaté, details every plant used by Matsés medicine to cure a massive variety of ailments.

“The [Matsés Traditional Medicine Encyclopedia] marks the first time shamans of an Amazonian tribe have created a full and complete transcription of their medicinal knowledge written in their own language and words,” Christopher Herndon, president and co-founder of Acaté, told Mongabay in an interview (in full below).

The Matsés have only printed their encyclopedia in their native language to ensure that the medicinal knowledge is not stolen by corporations or researchers as has happened in the past. Instead, the encyclopedia is meant as a guide for training new, young shamans in the tradition and recording the living shamans’ knowledge before they pass.

Applied traditional medicine of the Matsés. Acaté.

“One of the most renowned elder Matsés healers died before his knowledge could be passed on so the time was now. Acaté and the Matsés leadership decided to prioritize the Encyclopedia before more of the elders were lost and their ancestral knowledge taken with them,” said Herndon.

Acaté has also started a program connecting the remaining Matsés shamans with young students. Through this mentorship program, the indigenous people hope to preserve their way of life as they have for centuries past.

“With the medicinal plant knowledge disappearing fast among most indigenous groups and no one to write it down, the true losers in the end are tragically the indigenous stakeholders themselves,” said Herndon. “The methodology developed by the Matsés and Acaté can be a template for other indigenous cultures to safeguard their ancestral knowledge.”

Why is this encyclopedia important?

Christopher Herndon:
The encyclopedia marks the first time shamans of an Amazonian tribe have created a full and complete transcription of their medicinal knowledge written in their own language and words. Over the centuries, Amazonian peoples have passed on through oral tradition an accumulated wealth of knowledge and techniques of treatment that are a product of their deep spiritual and physical ties to the natural world. The Matsés live in one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet and have mastered knowledge of the healing properties of its plants and animals. Yet, in a world in which cultural change is destabilizing even the most isolated societies, this knowledge is rapidly disappearing.It is hard to overstate just how quickly this knowledge can be lost after a tribe makes contact with the outside world. Once extinguished, this knowledge, along with the tribe’s self-sufficiency, can never fully be reclaimed. Historically, what has followed the loss of endemic health systems in many indigenous groups is near total dependency on the rudimentary and extremely limited external health care that is available in such remote and difficult-to-access locations. Not surprisingly, in most countries, indigenous groups have the highest rates of mortality and disease.

Looking over the new encyclopedia. Acaté.

The initiative is important from the Matsés perspective because loss of culture and poor health care are among their greatest concerns. The methodology they pioneered to successfully protect and safeguard their own knowledge can serve as a replicable model for other indigenous communities facing similar cultural erosion. For the broader conservation movement, we know that there is a strong correlation between intact ecosystems and regions of indigenous inhabitation, making strengthening of indigenous culture one of the most effective ways to protect large areas of rainforest.

Why is now the time to record this information?

Christopher Herndon:
The Matsés knowledge and the accumulated wisdom of generations stood on the very precipice of extinction. Fortunately, there remained a few elder Matsés who still held the ancestral knowledge as sustained contact with the outside world only occurred within the past half century. The healers were adults at the time of initial contact and had already mastered their skills before being told they were useless by missionaries and government workers. At the time we started the project, none of the elder shamans had younger Matsés interested in learning from them.One of the most renowned elder Matsés healers died before his knowledge could be passed on so the time was now. Acaté and the Matsés leadership decided to prioritize the Encyclopedia before more of the elders were lost and their ancestral knowledge taken with them. The project was not about saving a traditional dance or costume, it was about their health and that of future generations of Matsés. The stakes could not be higher.

Matsés village. Acaté.

One of the earliest interpretations for the term shaman is “one who heals the sick and honors the forest.” In addition to their obligations as tribal healers and the keepers of the ancient ways, the shaman also leads the conservation effort in their tribe or community. They take responsibility for the protection of the forest, the ecosystem that supports the sacred plants.

What is the encyclopedia like?

Christopher Herndon:
After two years of intense work by the Matsés, the Encyclopedia now includes chapters by five Matsés master healers and is over 500 pages long! Each entry is categorized by disease name, with explanation of how to recognize it by symptoms; its cause; which plants to use; how to prepare the medicine and alternative therapeutic options. A photograph taken by the Matsés of each plant accompanies each entry in the encyclopedia.

The Encyclopedia is written by and from the worldview of the Matsés shaman, describing how rainforest animals are involved in the natural history of the plants and connected with diseases. It is a true shamanic encyclopedia, fully written and edited by indigenous shamans, the first to our knowledge of its kind and scope.

- CLN.

ANCESTRAL RETURN: King Of Rhumba Rock - Congolese Musician Papa Wemba Transcends To The Spirit Realm At Age 66; He Collapsed On Stage While Performing In Abidjan, Ivory Coast; Was One Of Africa's Most Popular Musician And A Leading Figure In The World Music Scene!

Known as the King of Rhumba Rock Wemba rose to fame in his twenties and went on to gain global and Francophone attention. Getty Images

April 25, 2016 - IVORY COAST
- Congolese singer Papa Wemba has died after collapsing on stage in Abidjan in Ivory Coast.

He was one of Africa's most popular musicians and a leading figure in the World Music scene.
A video from the concert shows the musician slumped on the floor while the dancers carry on performing unaware of what is going on.

Wemba, whose real name is Jules Shungu Wembadio Pene Kikumba, was pronounced dead on stage after singing his third song, according to reports in Congolese publication Radio Okapi. The cause of death is currently unknown.

WATCH: Music star Papa Wemba dies.

The globally prestigous musician was performing at Festival Des Musiques Urbaines D’Anoumabo. 

The Congolese Culture Minister Baudouin Banza Mukalay has expressed sadness at the news, calling it a “great loss for the country and all of  Africa ”.

Known as the King of Rhumba Rock, Wemba begun his musicial career in religious choirs and rose to fame in his twenties. Popularising Congolese rumba music, he went on to gain global and Francophone recognition. In the course of his six-decade long career, Wemba toured with Stevie Wonder and earned a gold disc for a collaboration with Peter Gabriel.

WATCH: Richard Nwamba comments on Papa Wemba's death.

Famed for his flamboyant dress sense, the style icon inspired an entire subculture of young, fashionable Central Africans known as

In 2004, Wemba was arrested at his home in Paris for taking part in an illegal immigration racket known as the "Nglulu phenomenon" whereby people fleeing war-ravaged Congo paid to be concealed among African bands. He winded up being convicted for his involvement and spent three and a half months in prison. Wemba later claimed to have experienced a spiritual conversion in prison, with the song 'Numéro d'écrou' on his 2003 Somo Trop album recounting the day God paid a visit to his prison cell.

WATCH: The songs of Papa Wemba.

He reflected on his experience of prison in an interview with The Independent after he was convicted. “I was shocked. I never expected to go to prison. But I went, and I told myself, 'come what may', and I was fine". - Independent.

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