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Two held for illegally trading reptiles

Two German nationals are expected to appear in court on Monday for the alleged illegal trade and possession of reptiles and controlled substances. The men were nabbed while illegally catching and trading in reptiles, including Armadillo Girdled lizards which are a threatened and protected species, geckos and tortoises in the Northern Cape with the intention to smuggle them out of South Africa into the lucrative international exotic pet trade, the department said on Sunday. All South African tortoises and some of the lizards are listed by the Convention on the international trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which regulates the international trade in these species. Dagga and other drugs were also confiscated during the arrest. The men were arrested on Friday near Askam in the Northern Cape as a result of a multi-agency reptile undercover operation. The operation comprised of the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environments Green Scorpions and the Hawks, assisted by the Environmental Enforcement Fusion Centre, the police, South African National Parks (SANParks) environmental crime inspectors, the Northern Cape Department of environmental affairs and the private sector. The collaboration by all members of the multi-disciplinary team is to be commended.Without the dedication of the Green Scorpions, members of the security establishment, provincial officials and the private sector, we will not be able to win the war against wildlife crime, the department said.

nov 22 2021 3:45pm
SA welcomes new High commissioners and Ambassadors

President Cyril Ramaphosa has presided over a ceremony to receive letters of credence from incoming diplomats from countries across the world. The diplomats hail from 15 countries from across Europe, North and South America and Africa and have been elected by their respective countries to serve as Ambassadors or High commissioners to South Africa. While meeting the President, the senior diplomats took the opportunity to commit to strengthening ties between South Africa and their respective countries. South Africas biggest trading partners on the African continent, outside of Southern and East Africa, Nigeria and Ghana also presented their credentials to the President on Tuesday. New Ghanaian High commissioner, Charles Owiredu reflected on the two countries shared past going back to the apartheid era. We in Ghana are happy to learn that yourself and [Ghanaian President] Nana Akufo-Addo, have escalated our Joint commission to the level of a Bi-National commission...this will further strengthen the relationship in terms of trade and investment and also, the people to people contact, Owiredu said. Incoming Nigerian High commissioner Haruna Manta said his presence in the country would be to deepen exchanges in education, military training and other areas. Im here to build on the solid foundation laid by my predecessorsto promote trade between our two countries and to also promote our cultural exchanges, he said. Two of South Africas biggest international trade partners, Germany and the United Kingdom also committed to reinforcing bonds. The new German Ambassador Andreas Peschke said that President Ramaphosas recent visit to Germany underlined the importance of the ties between the two countries, which would be strengthened moving forward. Among the priorities for me by my government...are the following, first [is to] enhance the economic relationship between our countries by increasing the level of trade and investment. Second, [is to] cooperate in the field of skills development and education, third, cooperation in the area of health and particularly in the area of vaccines against COVID-19 and others and fourth, cooperation on a fair, just and green energy transition, Peschke said. Incoming United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland High commissioner Antony Phillipson, who was born in South Africa, described links between the two countries as deep and enduring ties. Our aim is to strengthen this partnership through more trade and investment, enhancing bilateral engagements with a focus on inclusive economic growth and creating opportunities for all. That includes forging new links in areas like science and research. We must also stand together to face global challenges. The most immediate of course is COVID. As we tackle it nationally, we must work together in the G7, the G20, the Commonwealth and elsewhere, he said. The new Ambassadors and High commissioners who presented their credentials are from: Republic of Bulgaria Oriental Republic of Uruguay Republic of Seychelles Republic of Burundi Republic of Turkey Republic of Sierra Leone United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Federal Republic of Nigeria Republic of Maldives Dominican Republic Canada Federal Republic of Germany Republic of Singapore Republic of Djibouti Republic of Cyprus <

oct 13 2021 11:30pm
Minister Nathi Mthethwa leads delegation of artists to Dubai EXPO2020, 1 Oct

The Ministry and the Department of Sport, Arts, and Culture (DSAC) will participate in the Dubai EXPO2020 taking place from 1 October 2021. This is the first delegation among other representations of the South African Government participation in the Dubai Expo 2020 programme starting from 01 October to 31 March 2022.Team South Africa for the EXPO2020 inauguration programme will be a representation of the various parts of South Africa, showcasing amongst others; history and heritage, cultural diversity, creativity and innovation as well as sport dynamism.The theme of this year's Expo is "Connecting Minds and Creating the Future via Sustainability, Mobility, and Opportunity". This Expo will place a greater emphasis on bringing global corporate delegations together to shape a future based on sustainability, mobility, and emerging opportunities.South Africas theme derived from the above is Think Opportunity. Think South Africa. Under this theme, the country will participate in the Expo with the intention to position South Africa as a globally relevant player and a nation capable of competing with the best; highlighting South Africa's capabilities as well as its strategic importance in the world; highlighting the country's reputation as open for business and an investment destination of choice; and reinforce South Africas position as an attractive and competitive business, investment and tourism destination.Dubai EXPO2020, held in a global gateway and one of the world's most dynamic and forward-thinking economies, as well as a center for international trade, will serve as a platform for people to interact and do business. This world's greatest meeting of trade, culture, and industry will also provide firms with opportunities to interact with a worldwide audience. It will foster cooperation, encourage innovation, and provide concrete possibilities for South African enterprises.The Sport, Arts, and Culture sectoral emphasis at the Expo is to emphasize the significance of building relationships with arts and culture Export markets for local artists in the visual, creative, and performing arts sectors.Rooted in excellence and opportunities; South Africas presence in the media programme for the Expo serves to expand our message of a country with limitless opportunities, Arts Culture excellence through proudly South African fashion, art, sports and all that best represents us today and tomorrow; where everyone wins as a team, generating economic value from innovative creativity and partnership with the best. A tale of regeneration, development, and opportunities.The Department of Sport, Arts and Cultures presence at the Expo will therefore set the way for expanding an unexplored route in the digital world, with a particular emphasis on innovative digital commerce and investment.The exhibition space for October Month will emphasise the contribution that South Africa has made to the world, informing not only our knowledge about the natural and cultural world but our understanding of what it means to be human in a global space.The exhibition led by the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture will strongly portray South African culture, heritage, identity, and sports excellence and present the countrys offerings as a partner with several prospects in the Gulf area and beyond. The Expo is an excellent venue for South African creative industries to showcase their finest and most distinctive skills in the world of business and trade possibilities.Minister Nathi Mthethwa cited that, participation in the Dubai Expo is designed as the SA Recovery Plan post Covid-19 Pandemic, and artists participation, particularly emerging artists (youth and women) taking up international platforms, is viewed as a positive story to tell and, in turn, upliftment to the SA economy. For media enquiries, please contact:Ms Zimasa VelaphiHead of Communications MarketingCell: 072 172 8925E-mail: [email protected]

oct 1 2021 10:59pm
event News : Govt
Buying locally increases job opportunities

Proudly South African has encouraged South Africans to buy locally as this creates more job opportunities for local unemployed people. Taking part in this mornings webinar organised by ProudlySA, held under the theme: Building a transformed, resilient, and sustainable tourism sector through localisation, Jeannine Van Straaten, from Proudly South African said buying locally encourages the creation of more job opportunities, skills development, economic development, empowerment and improved living standards, among other things. Van Straaten said the countrys national Buy Local campaign seeks to strongly influence procurement in public and private sectors, to increase local production, influence consumers to buy local and stimulate job creation. This is in line with government's plans to revive South Africas economy so that millions of jobs can be created and unemployment can be decreased under the New Development Plan. She said Proudly SA fits hand-in-glove with the national localisation agenda, the local procurement accord signed in 2011. Significant market share needs to be secured for locally made products in all industries. However, it is important for consumers to demand locally made products and services, in order for retailers to increase their levels of local content on their shelves. Van Straaten also encouraged local companies to become members of ProudlySA. She said any company or organisation of any size offering goods and or services can become a member. Whether a commercial enterprise, NGO, sports team, professional body, educational institution, media house or government entity, all qualify for membership, provided they meet the criteria. She said members benefits are facilitation of B2B opportunities through supply chain workshops and Proudly SAs import replacement project (through the dtics CEO initiative), participation in Proudly SAs flagship event, the Buy Local Summit and Expo, a forum and expo for buyers in the private and public sector, and inclusion in national and international trade shows (a virtual showcase/expo) through the dtic on Proudly SAs online ecommerce site.

sep 28 2021 9:46pm
NSG equips public servants with economic policy-making courses

The National School of Government (NSG) is rolling out three high-impact economic courses aimed at equipping public servants with economic policy-making and governance skills. The courses are being offered as part of building a capable developmental state led by public sector managers and leaders who are equipped to develop and implement practical policies that will enable government to meet the key challenges of inclusive economic growth, job creation and socio-economic transformation. Public servants, appointed and elected across the national, provincial and local spheres of government, the legislative sector, state owned enterprises (SOEs), development finance institutions (DFIs) and other organs of state are invited to enrol for the courses. The COVID-19 and the Economy course is a blended online course focusing on the impact of COVID-19 on the economy as part of strengthening the countrys response to the pandemic. The course is run in partnership with the trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS), an economic research institution supporting trade and economic policy development, working with the Department of trade, Industry and Competition. The course primarily targets public sector officials who engage directly and/or indirectly with economic policy. It is facilitated by Dr Neva Makgetla, a senior economist at TIPS with over 25 years experience as an economist at an executive management level in government and the labour movement. The course aims to link the understanding of the pandemic to the impact on the South African economy, and challenges participants to creatively use resources, partnerships and networks to sustain programmes aimed at investment promotion, development financing and job creation. It builds on vast research conducted by TIPS on industrial policy implementation including recent studies on COVID-19 and the economy. These studies reflect on international experiences, sectors studies and explores macro and micro-level interventions necessary to rebuild the economy. The Socio-Economic Impact Assessment System (SEIAS) course is a blended online Socio-Economic Impact Assessment System (SEIAS) course aiming to improve the quality of public policy making through sharpening the policy formulation capabilities of elected and appointed officials. All policies and proposed legislation that is to go through Cabinet are required to go through the SEIAS process. The course targets government officials and public office bearers in national, provincial and local spheres who are involved in policy making and the legislation development cycle. These are officials and leaders who are involved in commissioning, writing, research and analysis, monitoring and evaluation and stakeholder consultation. They will learn to implement the SEIAS, which is a mandatory analysis tool aimed at determining the likely costs and socio-economic benefits of policy proposals such as legislation, policies, municipal bylaws and regulations. The Governance Capacity Building for South Africa course is for senior public servants, members of legislatures and councillors, aimed at further improving efficiency in governance run by the NSG in partnership with the China-Africa Institute at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. It aims to build the governance capacity of participants by exposing them to Chinas governance system that has driven economic growth and development. The short course will cover themes such as Chinas Social Governance, Chinas Five-Year Planning System, Chinas Political System and Modernisation of Governance System, History and Development of Chinas Reform and Opening Up, China-South Africa Relations and Cooperation Prospects as well as the thoughts of President Xi Jinping on governance. The course will be delivered from 06-17 September 2021. The course is delivered as part of the partnership and cooperation between South Africa and the Peoples Republic of China in various fields, including public administration. The China-Africa Economic Cooperation Under the Belt and Road Initiative course is for senior public servants, members of legislatures and councillors. This course aimed at exchanging views with African officials and scholars on topics of common concerns and share the research achievements by Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Chinas macroeconomic situation, the path of Chinas reform and opening-up, The Belt and Road Initiative (B&R) and international development, international value chain and industrial cooperation, international economics and finance, as well as international trade and investment. The course will add value to officials involved in the pursuit of priority number 2 of Government which is to transform the economy and create jobs. The course will be delivered from 18-29 September 2021 in partnership with the Univ

sep 1 2021 11:14pm
MVX joins network of independent freight forwarders WCAworld

As the pandemic began to clear over international trade in early 2021. Merchants have found themselves in a puzzle in costly trade situation where import shipments face a raft of challenges. The complicated nature of freight shipping involves several actors and moving parts presenting a daunting task for those managing it. MVX will now be in a better position to solve such challenges by joining the World Cargo Alliance (WCAworld) network - a large and powerful network of independent freight forwarders. This network allows innovative freight shipping and trade financing companies to enjoy instant access to a network of over 9,895 freight forwarders spread across 193 countries thus facilitating fast and efficient movement of freight internationally. The membership was confirmed by MVC Founder and CEO Tonye Membere-Otaji , who revealed that the Africa-focussed company can now link with freight partners spread across 190 countries. The World Cargo Alliance is a large and powerful network of independent freight forwarders having 9,896 member offices spread across 193 countries globally. Members of MVX will reap from speedy and effiecient services to clients worldwide.

aug 30 2021 9:33am
newsarticle News : Startups
AfricArena North Africa Summit set for Tunisia

We earlier covered the West Africa AfricArena conference in Dakar, Senegal at the Radisson Blu hotel. The three-day conference was a partnership between DER/FJ and United Nations international trade Centre #FastTrackTech Africa project, showcasing pitches from over 20 startups from seed to growth stages and top minds in business, tech, and investment. AfricArena is a top-tier African tech ecosystem accelerator hosting a series of both live and digital events geared towards catalyzing the growth of tech startups and the ecosystem by providing a platform to share their business models, gain valuable networks, and receive funding. The Tunisia event is part of the annual four events across Africa's four geographical regions. They all build up to the annual AfricArena Summit in Cape Town. The regional events bring together startups, corporations, and investors across the region alongside over 20 startups. North Africa event The North Africa Bootcamp Summit will be a two-day summit featuring over 20 startup pitches, keynote presentations, panel discussions from thought leaders in the ecosystem, and speakers who are yet to be announced in the coming weeks. The events are supported by Expertise France working with project Innov'i - EU4Innovation funded by the EU and implemented in partnership with Smart Capital and The Dot. A day before the 2-day summit, over 20 startups will showcase their innovative solutions. Those are mostly pre-selected from a series of virtual pitch sessions which will take place in August. The digital events are free to attend and one can register here . Bintou Adekoya, COO at AfricArena described North Africa as a " dynamic ecosystem " made up of a " very active community of investors." Expertise France describes the North Africa AfricArena Summit as " three days of exchanges, sharing, and reflection." Tickets to the summit are available here Startups looking to pitch can register here

aug 11 2021 11:16pm
newsarticle News : Startups
MVX partners with PayHippo to support SMEs with trade finance

We earlier covered the pivot by Nigeria's MVX Transit, a digital freight and haulage company to MVX. Often regarded as Africa's " Uber for Ships ," the company has set its bet on international trade. As a maritime tech startup, MVX now has a presence in South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Rwanda, and Tanzania. The platform is also introducing embedded trade finance services on its platform. MVX has now partnered with PayHippo to expand trade finance opportunities for SMEs across Nigeria. This partnership looks to generate trade across Nigeria and create positive economic outcomes for Africa's largest economy. The goal is to empower underserved SMEs with easy-yet-affordable collateral-free loans that look to supercharge their businesses and create economic opportunities for the company. MVX and PayHippo have also advanced $12,000 (?5 million) in trade finance to an SME in Nigeria. MVX's trade Finance Director, Abdelmuizz Bello, said the collaboration with PayHippo is " exactly where we want to be as a company." The WTO gives estimates 80 to 90 percent of global trade is reliant on trade finance. However, AfDB gives the financial shortfall at US$82 billion. Bridging this funding gap requires targeting Africa's SME funding needs, making up 95% of businesses on the continent. MVX connects SMEs to verified 3rd party financial partners who advance fast, easy, non-collateralized working capital. The digital solution offers integrated and seamless logistics and financing that advances credit to businesses to pay their customers and facilitates them in terms of logistics. Since its inception, MVX has worked with over 200 businesses in sectors like manufacturing, oil gas, construction, agriculture, and power. PayHippo is a Nigeria-based AI-driven SME lending platform.

jul 29 2021 6:28pm
newsarticle News : Startups
Africas fintech sector grows and matures as investments skyrocket

Africas fintech sector is growing and maturing, with more startups active in the space than ever before, platforms increasingly offering a variety of services, and investment and acquisitions taking place to an unprecedented degree. Disrupt Africa has released the Finnovating for Africa publication, which tracks the extraordinary development of the fintech ecosystem across Africa over the last few years. The 2021 edition of the report, which is for the first time available free to all as part of an open-sourcing initiative in partnership with key partners Flutterwave and GreenHouse Capital , as well as MFS Africa , truID , Paga , DEMARS , Quona Capital , JUMO , Abjel Communications and Kuda , reports sustained - if slower - growth in the number of ventures, but also details major developments in terms of ecosystem maturity. The number of active fintech startups has increased by 17.3 per cent to 576, which represents a slowdown in growth on the previous two years, but nonetheless means the number of fintech startups active in Africa has increased by 89.4 per cent between 2017 and 2021. This growth story is taking place continent-wide. Notably, the variety of services offered by these startups is on the rise. Though the onset of the fintech revolution in Africa was largely based on startups unbundling the bank, focusing on niche segments such as payments and lending, the space is now rushing to rebundle. In 2021, 143 of the 576 fintech startups tracked in 2021 are multi-category, representing 24.8 per cent of the total, up from 73 companies (14.9%) in 2019. The major developments in the fintech sector over the last two years, however, have come in terms of investments and acquisitions, where the space is a continental leader. African fintech startups are far more likely to raise funding, or get acquired, than a company operating in any other sector of the continents growing tech and innovation space. Since January 2015, 277 fintech ventures have banked US$874,968,465, more than twice that raised by any other vertical over the same period. The amount raised by fintech startups on the continent is growing each year, at even greater rates, with the sector having already doubled its 2020 total in the first six months of 2021. The report finds that fintech businesses are also more likely to be acquired than those in any other space. The sector has seen seven acquisitions in a period of two years, compared with 10 in the previous eight; and in the reported US$200 million acquisition of Nigerian fintech startup Paystack by Stripe last year can lay claim to one of the landmark moments of the African tech space in the last decade. Were very pleased to continue our drive to make data around the African startup landscape accessible for all, and are excited to present this open-source edition of Finnovating for Africa , together with our fantastic partners. We hope this report unlocks the fintech landscape for all those interested - it has certainly been a busy and stimulating space to watch these past two years, in spite of the pandemic-induced challenges facing businesses and economies alike, said Gabriella Mulligan, co-founder of Disrupt Africa. We might not be witnessing the same levels of explosive growth in terms of new startups launching in the fintech space as we have seen before, but instead we are seeing the increasing maturity of the fintech ecosystem in Africa. Startups are building out their solutions for the benefit of their customers, expanding to new markets, and raising millions of dollars in capital. It is an exciting time to be involved in African fintech, whether you are an entrepreneur, investor, traditional financial institution or customer, said Tom Jackson, co-founder of Disrupt Africa. Previously available for sale, previous editions of Finnovating for Africa have been purchased each year by leading tech companies from Africa and the rest of the world, Big Four consulting firms, banking and fintech leaders, venture capital firms, supranational investors and international trade bodies. This year, however, Disrupt Africa is making it open source for the first time, to make it accessible to those for whom the information is most valuable - African entrepreneurs. It has done this with the help of partners key partners Flutterwave , an African fintech company that allows clients to use its APIs and work with its developers to customise payments applications, and which recently obtained unicorn status , and GreenHouse Capital , a Lagos-based fintech investment company that invests capital and specialised expertise into companies that will power Africas economic future. Section partners are MFS Africa , a leading pan-African fintech company, operating the largest digital payments hub on the continent; truID , the largest Open Finance platform in Sout

jul 6 2021 12:18pm
newsarticle News : Mixed