China & Kenya agrees to step up cooperation to promote bilateral ties

China and Kenya signed an agreement to enhance cooperation and further promote bilateral ties. This comes after China’s head of top political advisory, Wang Yang met with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta with chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in Nairobi, Kenya.

During the meeting, Wang stated that Chinese President Xi Jinping and the Kenyan President have met several times to talk about the future development of bilateral ties.

This year marks the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Kenya.

Yang has called on both countries to further deepen political mutual trust and enhance synergy of their development strategies.

Yang included that the countries should provide firmer support to each other on issues concerning their core interests and major concerns, promote high-level cooperation in more areas and intensify coordination on international and regional affairs.

These new measures leading China-Africa cooperation in the new era will be announced during the Beijing summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in September.

According to Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, his country stands ready to strengthen exchange of high-level visits and merges development strategies.

Kenyatta said his country welcomes China to expand cooperation in areas including investment, economy and trade and tourism to develop an even stronger comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation with China.


DIRCO Deputy Minister Luwellyn Landers notes achievements of BRICS in Africa

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) in partnership with the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) held a media briefing on Monday evening to talk about BRICS in Africa. The event was themed ‘Working towards the Realisation of the African Aspirations.”

Key speakers for the meeting were DIRCO’s deputy Minister Luwellyn Landers and India’s Former  Commerce Minister Anand Sharma.

Deputy Minister Landers stated that South Africa’s membership of BRICS will further demonstrate tangible achievements and benefits for the country and the African continent.

Landers noted that 2018 is a very important year for South Africa, being the host nation of the 10th BRICS Summit in July, while simultaneously commemorating Nelson Mandela’s birth centenary.

“This is an opportune time to again reflect on the important pillars of our foreign policy that Nelson Mandela identified in 1993 when he penned an article title South Africa’s Future Foreign Policy: New Pillars for a New World. He added that “economic development depends on growing regional and international economic cooperation in an interdependent world.”

The deputy Minister believes that South Africa’s foreign policy outlook is predicated on African history and identity.

“We are Africans by birth and therefore our country belongs to this continent and not as a result of geographical composition. In the same vein you will appreciate that Africans are part of the Global South comprising in the main by countries which were colonised and citizens who we subjugated for a long time.” Landers said.

He added that these shifts and changes on the global sphere is in line with the African Agenda.

“The unity and renewal of our African continent must be pursued together with efforts to transform the global system. Humanity can thrive when their collective and individual interests and aspirations are responded to and the BRICS formation is titling the balance of forces to ensure exactly that.”

Landers also mentioned that the country’s most grave and pressing challenge is youth unemployment.

During his State of the Nation address, President Cyril Ramaphosa pointed out that young South Africans will be moved to the centre of the country’s economic agenda.

“I am certain that this can be achieved within the ambit of the intra-BRICS cooperation work programme, as contained in the BRICS Action Plan. Similarly, we want to see deepened engagements with the South African BRICS Business Council, the BRICS Civil society, and Academic community.” Landers added.





Nelson Mandela Centenary a month to go

18th of July 2018 marks the centenary of the birth of the late former President of South Africa and struggle icon Nelson Mandela. The South African Government and international community has dedicated the year to the celebration of the legend’s centenary. Events planned by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Government and different organisations and interest groups have been taking place throughout the year.  


The Nelson Mandela Foundation has used this opportunity to provide a unique opportunity for people around the world to reflect on the life of Nelson Mandela and to promote his legacy. In 2018 the Nelson Mandela Foundation has created appropriate platforms for such engagement. The Foundation and The Obama Foundation announced that Former President Barack Obama will deliver the 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture on the 17th of July, the day before Nelson Mandela’s birthday, this will be in partnership with the Motsepe Foundation, in Johannesburg. The lecture’s theme will be “Renewing the Mandela Legacy and Promoting Active Citizenship in a Changing World”.


The African National Congress which was the political home for the Late President Nelson Mandela has declared 2018 as “100 Years of Nelson Mandela: The year of renewal, unity and jobs”. The government and the Nelson Mandela Foundation dedicated the 18th of July as the day for Mandela, challenging ordinary citizens and different organisations around the world to spend 67 minutes reflecting the Madiba spirit, through community outreaches. From 1942 to 2009 Madiba fought for the human rights of all South Africans. To honour the great man The Nelson Mandela Foundation asked that people around the world to sacrifice 67 minutes of their time, on his birthday, to help those less fortunate. That is one minute for every year he served his country.


By Ntsikelelo Kuse

Zimbabwe’s readiness for the Elections

Next month, Zimbabwe will enter into its first election under their new era of democracy since a coup that overthrew Former President and Dictator Robert Mugabe. For the first time in the history of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe’s name will not be on the ballot papers, as well as former opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who passed away in February 2018. President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced early this year that elections will take place on 30 July. Twenty-three candidates have come forward to compete for Zimbabwe’s Presidency.

President Mnangagwa promises that the elections will be fair and free and has called for peace throughout. Under the Mugabe reign, elections were filled with violence and intimidation, the Zimbabwean public and international community lost all hope in the Zimbabwe’s Electoral Commission (ZEC). The Zimbabwe’s Human Rights Watch has scrutinized the elections credibility and the role the ruling party and opposition play in intimidating the voters. The ZEC has come out and insisted that the electoral management body is well prepared for the coming elections, all measures have been put in place to ensure a fair, free and transparent elections. 

International observers are expected to come and assess the election process, this is one of the measures to ensure the elections are transparent and credibility is placed on them. Opposition parties are ready and confident that they will perform well during the elections, campaigns are in full swing. President Mnangagwa has stated that he will accept whatever outcome, he will step down and allow the new president to lead the country if he loses the elections. The general public of Zimbabwe is not confident that the transition will be as smooth as the president makes it seem. They are not yet confident in the election process.

United States President Donald Trump has stated that sanctions to Zimbabwe will continue as they are not yet sure whether the new dawn of Zimbabwe is real, they will wait to see transformation first.


By Ntsikelelo Kuse

Ethiopia privatises seven state-owned enterprises

The Ethiopian government has accepted bids worth $121 million for their state-owned enterprises, this includes the best airline in Africa, Ethiopian Airlines and telecom. The Privatisation and Public Enterprise Supervising Agency has accepted an 860 million birr bid from MIDROC Ethiopia for one of the country’s biggest farms, Upper Awash Agro-Industry Enterprise.


Another company that won the bids is Horizon Plantation PLC, National Mining Corporation and Saudi Star Agricultural Development who won bids for four other firms for a combined 463 million birr ($26.7 million).

Last year, the government sold its last remaining breweries Bedele, Harar and Meta Abo to Heineken and Diageo for a combined $388.3 million.


Source: (Africa News)

FIFA 2026 World Cup Votes: Morocco Vs North America

FIFA will meet today for their annual congress, ahead of the World Cup 2018 which commences in Russia tomorrow. The most important item on the agenda today will be the voting of who will host the 2026 World Cup. There is a joint bid by North America, United States, Mexico and Canada, against the African country, Morocco. Both North America and Morocco are confident about winning the votes.

Other items on the agenda will include the consideration of the proposed changes to the FIFA’s status, the potential suspension or expulsion of members, especially Ghana Soccer Association, which is in the middle of a corruption crisis that was exposed publicly, reporting from different regions and also talks about rules and committee assignments.

Related stories: Ghana Football Association Dissolved with immediate effect

By: Ntsikelelo Kuse

Ghana Football Association Dissolved with immediate effect

Ghanaian Sports Minister made the decision to dissolve the country’s Football Association, following the lead of video footage taken by Journalist Anas Aremayaw on his recent documentary showing the President of the Ghana Football Association, Kwesi Nyantakyi, taking a $65 000 bribe.

The Journalist’s new documentary titled ‘When Greed and Corruption Become the Norm’ is set to reveal corruption in the Ghanaian government and association. The journalist had an undercover reporter posing to be a businessman to meet with the president of the association with the interest of investing in Ghanaian football. On the footage you can see Nyantakyi taking $65 000 from the reporter as a “cash-gift”.

The Ghanaian Sports Minister, Isaac Asiama, has confirmed that the association has been “dissolved with immediate effect”. The footage was given to authorities last month and has been publicly screened for the first time on Wednesday, 6 June. The president of the association and FIFA has not yet commented on the allegation yet.

(Source BBC News)

Through the eyes of African Chef

Exploring food’s soft power with chef and author Nompumelelo Mqwebu

Nompumelelo Mqwebu is an enterprising chef who has travelled the world to hone her skills. Yet her roots remain firmly planted in her homeland of Africa. She has recently released her debut cookbook, Through the Eyes of an African Chef.

Chef Mwqwebu runs Africa Meets Europe Cuisine, a skills-training and hospitality service provider, as well as the Mzansi International Culinary Festival. Before this, Nompumelelo spent 10 years training and mastering her cooking skills around South Africa and the world, including at culinary schools and kitchens in New York, London, Paris, Bremen and Shannary. She has sat on various judging panels, including judging the World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

Having trained at the prestigious Ballymalloe Cookery School in Ireland, Chef Mqwebu has mastered the art of making yoghurts, butters, preserves and countless more recipes and methodologies that are included in her book. We chatted to Nompumelelo about food as a powerful ingredient in human and foreign relations.

In your years of travels as a chef, have you experienced the “soft power”of food?

Yes, food transmits with it a cultural identity. When people taste your food, they appreciate and embrace your identity and culture. This bonds well in business as well as in social circles. Offering your food means opening your world. Hospitality is incomplete without food. As part of etiquette, people are catered for when they visit. There’s a certain level of respect people afford you, when you display information of who you are.

A chapter in your book is titled “Ukuhamba Kuzala Induna (My Food Travels)”- if you had the opportunity to travel to any of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), where would you go and why?

Brazil- from what I have learnt over the years about Brazil being the largest country in South America and the most diverse, it fascinates me. I would love to try their local dishes and explore the influences of their neighbouring countries, such as Venezuela and Peru. I am interested in gauging if the food I have eaten outside Brazil, which is said to be authentic Brazilian, measures up to the cooking in Brazil. Dig into their indigenous and ingredients and cooking methods to feed me into their cultural identity.

Each of the BRIC countries have a signature drink or dish – what would South Africa’s be?

South Africa is not a one-nation one-dish type of country. We have indigenous ingredients from our diverse cultures that make up this South African nation, reflected by our 11 official languages. From samp with marrow, to dovhi la mukusule, tsama melon, springbok meat with maize meal rice, ting and many more!

What do you think other nations can learn from South Africa food techniques, from growing and harvesting to preparation and preservation?

The art of preserving meat called mukoki (biltong), which has been with us for decades. It has been transformed to the rest of the world, but much of its important history if from the Khoisan hunters, VhaVenda and other South Africa peoples and has been lost along the way. Another example is umqombothi (traditional Zulu beer) – the fermentation is an age-old formula using sorghum that has entered world trends, but which has been part of our daily lives for centuries. Even looking at the “new”nose-to-tail talk – it has always been here, the relationship between Africans and animals. The skin is used rather than thrown away. The skin is used rather than thrown away. The animal is eaten from the premium cuts to tripe. Horns, hooves, tail hair – everything has its use. Food waste is something of a new phenomenon by reviving our methods of old. 

What can be done to ensure South African effectively uses food for national branding purposes?

We must take up our food identity with the national pride it deserves. We need to listen to our visitors. They do not come to our country to taste their food; they are here for our food. They need us to genuinely welcome them by opening our culinary journey in earnest, sharing who we are that reflective of our roots and our food culture. We are a diverse nation, and that should be reflected fully in our cuisine. Embrace the cultures previously left in our culinary history.

What advice would you give South African chefs who are cooking beyond the borders of our country?

Keep it real. Show pride in your roots and our identity, which is brimming with diverse cultures that are yet to explored. Remember to know where you’re going- it’s important to know your history. 




SADC Grows as Comoros Joins the Southern African Bloc

The Union of the Comoros (a former French colony), on the 25th of May announced it will be joining The Southern African Development Community (SADC), which will be made Official at the Annual SADC Summit hosted by Namibia in August this year. The French speaking archipelago’s goal in joining SADC is to branch out, to do more business and trade with more English speaking nations.

Comoros, which is known for being one of the most impoverished countries in the world, is already a part of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), is made up of three islands in the Indian Ocean near the North East of Mozambique and its economy is mainly dominated by primary sector production, like agriculture, fishing, forestry and hunting.

Comoros will become the 16th member state of SADC. Foreign Minister Mohamed Elamine Souef of Comoros said the reason in joining is that SADC had nothing to do with resent disagreement with France over the disputed island of Mayotte and the ending of French Visa’s to Comoros citizens.


Bassline celebrates Africa Day

Bassline Live will be bringing a two-day event to Johannesburg to celebrate Africa’s diversity through music and food.

This year’s event marks the 14th year of celebration alongside the Nelson Mandela Foundation to promote the #BeTheLegacy theme.

The line-up will include South African artists such as Nakhane Touré and Azah, and international acts such as Mozambican marrabenta band Ghorwane, Guinea’s Sekou Kouyate and Brazilian singer Flavia Coelho.

Africa Day is commemorated annually for the continent’s independence, freedom and liberation strife from colonial imperialists.  The reinforcement of this liberation was the first union of African countries on African soil; the foundation of the regional integration body; the Organisation of the African Unity (OAU) on May 25, 1963, which 38 years later, evolved into the African Union (AU). 

Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa had this to say: “As we celebrate our Africanness, let’s work towards African integration and reflect on how far we have come, in order to map the road ahead. At the heart is a quest for economic and political co-operation as well as unity.

“Let’s promote our African stories, African content and African history, as this will enable us to assert our African identity.” Mthethwa added.