Lift Off for Africa’s First Airport Brewery

There is a new addition to Africa’s busiest air transport hub, O.R. Tambo International Airport near Johannesburg: the continent’s first airport-based brewery. Airport Craft Brewers is a reflection of South Africa’s burgeoning independent beer sector, with growing numbers of beer drinkers not satisfied with industrial, mass-produced beverages.

The hectic international arrivals terminal at the O.R. Tambo airport. Not far from here, businessmen in smart suits lean on a marble bar counter, sipping black and copper-colored beers.

A tall man in his 40s, in a white lab coat, zips between big, shiny, silver tanks, monitoring the temperature of his latest brew.

Phumelelo Marali learned to make beer from one of South Africa’s master brewers, Lex Mitchell.

“He always said to me that, ‘Phumi, it will take you two years to be exact, to learn how to brew beer,’ which is now in a [proper] brew house. It took me six months. But it took me about four years to understand the technicality behind it,” said Marali.

Marali prefers brewing, and drinking, sweeter beers, like his dark malt porter.

“Roasted kind of toffee notes, that is what you get from a porter; chocolaty, and some people in their nose, they pick up coffee,” he said.

He also makes blonde lager, German-style wheat beer, and Irish red ale.

The brewery owners decided to make all the beer at the airport so customers could see the process firsthand and to ensure a “fresher” taste. The brewery turns out about 20,000 liters a week.

Marali says it is great to be one of South Africa’s few black beer brewers, and to be at the forefront of the country’s craft beer revolution.

A decade ago, there were six craft beer makers in South Africa. Now, there are about 200, with the artisanal sector having captured almost one-percent of the nation’s massive beer market.

The sector remains dominated by South African Breweries, one of the world’s biggest brewers and part of the multinational beer behemoth, Anheuser-Busch InBev. But economic analysts say craft brewers like Marali are successfully carving out a niche in the local South African market.

The airport supplies a constant flow of customers.

Most of his clients though, are South Africans, like James Nkuma, holding a golden beverage in the bar area.

“It is a blonde [lager]. I love, I love it; I enjoy each and every second of it. It is an easy to drink beer. It is light, not hard like I need to drink and drink and get drunk; no,” he said.

Marali’s also training the next generation of young brewers, like Sibusiso Khumalo.

“Calculations, what you have to put in, the right recipe; the temperatures. The whole process takes one month,” said Khumalo.

But as Marali says “good things come to those who wait.”

Source: voanews

Pam Golding’s new alliance will provide global property assets, plus dual residence

Estate agent Pam Golding Properties (PGP) has partnered with global investment-migration Henley & Partners to provide buyers seeking international property assets with a view about acquiring dual residence or citizenship.

Pam Golding said this was being offered as an end-to-end service.

“For savvy South Africans who wish to diversify their investment portfolios by gaining a foothold on the global property ladder, this strategic alliance comes at a time when increasing numbers of affluent locals, including families, are looking to hedge their bets overseas,” Pam Golding said.

Nigel Barnes, managing partner of the South African branch of Henley & Partners, said his company was experiencing a rising demand for international residency and citizenship options “from clients wanting to firm up their future planning objectives, be that simply from a lifestyle point of view or as a rand hedge in times of economic uncertainty”.

This was attributed to various factors, from aspirational lifestyle changes and career opportunities along with credit ratings downgrades and the potential effects of junk status on the economy.

Pam Golding’s international division head, Chris Immelman, said many clients wanted to own properties in two countries and be able to visit each easily, without actually emigrating from SA.

“These people are not necessarily emigrating. They are merely making the world’s markets work for them, repositioning their assets, and their homes, for a while,” he said.

For a relatively affordable five-year, mainly property investment of between €520,000 and €570,000, successful applicants of the Malta Residence and Visa Programme acquired long-term unrestricted access to the entire European Schengen area, and the “right to reside in the 40th most competitive economy in the world, all within just three months of applying,” said Immelman.

“For those who can resist the lure of the Mediterranean island’s 340 days-a-year sunshine average, there’s no reason to abandon local shores as Maltese residence requires no physical presence in the country whatsoever,” he said.

PGP CEO Andrew Golding said the company’s alliance with Henley & Partners meant that, for an offshore category of buyer, PGP “were uniquely equipped to provide an all-encompassing professional service”.

Its legally compliant citizenship-by-investment programmes, include ones for Malta, Cyprus, Portugal and Grenada.

Immelman said Henley & Partners was the global leader in residence and citizenship planning, upon whose expertise thousands of wealthy individuals and families had relied for over 20 years.

Another programme which is trying to attract South African interest is the EB-5 programme, which is run by LCR Capital Partners, which enables people to reside in the US.

LCR Capital Partners said it believed SA had many strong candidates for the programme.

“While the new Trump administration’s recent executive orders suspending travel from certain countries has dominated headlines for months, it is not to be confused with legal immigration. This is especially related to golden visas, technically referred to as EB-5 investment visas,” LCR co-founder Rogelio Caceres said.

Administered by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, EB-5 enables investors the opportunity to acquire US permanent residency, via a green card for themselves and their immediate families.

A sum of $500,000 must be invested for five years towards new businesses that in turn creates a minimum of 10 US-based jobs for every investor.

Source: businesslive


Sustainability can be defined as taking care of present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

A recent report by sustainability consulting firm, Pure Strategies, shows that global corporate spend on sustainability is on the rise.  The incentive? Billions worth of added value in the form of increased sales, reduced costs, and additional earnings from in risk reduction, productivity gains, and enhanced growth opportunities.

The report demonstrates a clear link between sustainability programme investment and business benefits. As noted by Tim Greiner, Pure Strategies Managing Director, “The business case for sustainability has never been stronger. Investment is higher than ever, especially from the top performers.  But resources must shift to promoting more productive and regenerative systems, clean energy, safer materials, and fair opportunities.  These shifts are where change is most needed and where companies can find the greatest business value.”

To discover where and how your organisation needs to change, book your place at Sustainability Week 2017. Africa’s premier green economy forum, Sustainability Week 2017 is the only event of its kind that confronts the formidable topic of embedding sustainability from an African perspective. Multiple perspectives on a plethora of vital, cross-cutting industry topics provide attendees with the big picture – and the insight to allow them to begin making the decisions that will determine the future success of their enterprises.

Clear your windscreen

Confused about what sustainability means to your organization? Chances are you’re not alone.Chris Wild, executive director of Food and Trees For Africa and a speaker at the event, comments: “The truth is that people often throw the word sustainability around without actually knowing what it means in the South African context, or, more importantly how to get there. Normally when people talk about a sustainable project, it means that the project has had the ability to continue post their exit. Some might even call it sustainable while they are still involved in the project. People generally view sustainability through the lens of their own business or experience. I’ve had mining companies tell me that a project, where people were first-time farmers, should be financially sustainable within three months – a clearly unrealistic expectation, demonstrating a clear need for additional insight into the sustainability of agriculture on their part.”

Sustainability Week 2017 cuts away the confusion, clearing your windscreen so that you know exactly where your organisation stands. An array of industry-specific seminars explores the challenges and opportunities pertaining to the key sustainability topics of energy, transport, water, agriculture, tourism, mining, manufacturing efficiency, infrastructure, and waste management. Comments Gordon Brown, Director of Sustainability Week 2017: “Quite simply, Sustainability Week provides a toolkit for organisations to navigate the risks and opportunities in an uncertain world.  The competitive advantage that sustainability affords will enable private companies and public sector entities to become more efficient, more resilient and to create more value. By the end of the week, delegates will be in a much better position to develop clear targets, roadmaps, and actionable innovations that make practical business sense, whatever line of business they are in, and in many cases will have met the people that will help them to implement the change they now visualise.”

Get the job done

Of course, sustainability is more than good business policy: it underpins the development of society at large. Effective sustainable development requires not only a shift in mindset but also the acquisition of skills. “Development, in itself, requires a specific skill set,” says Wild. “Some people have the mindset of throwing money at the problem. Some approach it, perhaps unintentionally, from a patriarchal viewpoint. If development is going to be truly sustainable then these types of mindsets have to change. Time and again, we are shown that these are not the ways to develop people or projects, yet companies continue to do it. Successful projects should be measured on multiple levels. A project should be its own growing ‘organism’ which not only improves the lives of the beneficiaries but also the communities and government.”

To this end, Sustainability Week 2017 is augmenting its renowned sector focused seminars with outcomes orientated workshops designed to provide the hard skills to ensure successful project implementation. The Project Bankability workshop tackles hard-core finance issues; the Urban Development and Planning workshop provides a blue-print for effective, sustainable city administration; while the Start-ups and Business Incubation workshop opens the door to sustainable opportunities for entrepreneurs.

The seminars highlight a targeted set of the contemporary problems, solutions and opportunities intrinsic to the sector in focus” adds Brown, while the workshops address the core skills required to get the job done, and which are common to people from different sectors and departments.”

The Executive Mayor of City of Tshwane, Councillor Solly Tshepiso Msimanga fully embraces Sustainability Week as an opportunity for City stakeholders to reflect on how to yield the City’s three strategic pillars – namely revitalization of the economy, stabilization of the administration, and delivering of services especially to the poor – from a sustainability perspective. “If things are done in a sustainable way, the positive impacts will be felt beyond short-term planning cycles. We will be able to look back and feel proud.”

Hosted by Alive2Green, in partnership with the City of Tshwane, Sustainability Week 2017 will be held at the CSIR International Conference Centre from 13-15 June 2017.


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3D Architecture and design software with Yashaen Luckam, President of The South African Council for the Architecture Profession

How is 3D software transforming the architecture industry?

3D software is beneficial to both the process of design and the representation of design to clients and other stakeholders.

The historic 2D representation of architectural concepts is difficult for many clients to imagine as built liveable space. Scaled physical models, which supplemented 2D drawings, provided a better understanding of the form and general aesthetic of the building, however, 3D digital software represents architecture at the human scale. A person can now walk through a building or view it on the site as he/she would in the real built form.

For architects and designers, 3D software provides opportunities to engage with architecture “inside-out”, exploring spatial interconnections in volume. The scales of experience and grades of intimacy between user and space are unlimited, thereby enhancing the development of place through socio-spatial interaction, which all good architecture aspires to.

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Do you believe this is a trend which is set to grow and why?

This trend has been growing ever since inception. The demand for high quality 3D software is on the increase. This has driven the continuous development of 3D software packages which has seen new/revised versions being released in short time.  Software developers have grasped this opportunity although market competition is high.

Is the cost not prohibitive or is this coming down – is this perhaps a factor in its adoption at the moment?

Cost does not seem to be prohibitive as the vast majority of architectural practices are using 3D software. There are “Lite” versions of software at lesser cost, with obviously fewer possibilities and options. Student versions are a fraction of the cost of the full versions and this exposes young practitioners to 3D software. A significant number of these students move on to set up private practices which then purchase licensed versions of software for commercial use.

How is 3D technology being used today by architects, what are some of the more innovative ideas and solutions?

Some of the more organic or amorphous architectural forms, which are near impossible to achieve through 2D drawings or physical modelling, become possible with 3D modelling. Many internationally acclaimed, award-winning architects rely heavily on 3D software for design development. Nowadays, 3D software affords interdisciplinary interfaces with engineering and construction software, which can translate ambitious and innovative design forms and structures into working drawings, details and ultimately, production / construction.

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What are the implications of this technology for the industry in SA?

3D software has to translate into Building Information Modelling (BIM), in order to realise idea / concept as built form; this is what will transform practise in South Africa, especially in the SMME sector.  Computer technology has literally shrunken the office footprint and the one-person practise becomes much more possible. Access to the profession and business is therefore easier, which is of particular importance to transformation in a volatile, growing economy.

Any other thoughts?

3D software and digital technology has to be harnessed and exploited to the fullest in order to benefit practices in the SMME sector. Technology has redefined the concept of the office or studio as well as access to resources. Mobility and connection is the way of professional business today – a computer with the relevant software and wifi is all that may be required to run a sustainable practise. The office and library have largely become virtual spaces, while the coffee shop has taken the place of meeting room. All this is to the credit of computer and digital technologies.

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China’s taste for sustainable soya could help curb deforestation

Saving the Amazon will depend partly on China’s soya importers greening their supply chains, writes Ardash Vartparonian.

Major food importers from China can play an important role in the fight against deforestation by committing to supplying the domestic market with sustainably sourced products, but persuading them to deliver will be a big challenge.

More than ten big Chinese players in the international soya trade, who together account for a quarter of the country’s record 81.69 million tonnes of soybeans imported last year, indicated support for greening their supply chains at a symposium in Beijing recently. But they haven’t yet committed to verifiable action on using supply that has been certified as “forest friendly”.

The Beijing event, co-hosted by Sanhe, HopeFull Grain and Oil Group, was organised by the China Soybean Industry Association and included representatives from civil society group Solidaridad and the US-based Paulson Institute, which promotes sustainable development in China and the US.

Liu Denggao, executive vice president of the China Soybean Industry Association, said that soya imports from Latin America’s main exporter, Brazil, would likely rise, but emphasised that the crop should be sustainably sourced.

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“We do not want our demand for soya to lead to illegal deforestation in Brazil, and we are asking our suppliers for assurance in that respect,” he said.

Growing demand for meat from China’s new middle classes is driving the growth in South American soya imports, which are used principally to feed livestock.

Due to limited arable land, pollution and drought, China has been forced to outsource and expand soya production, prompting Chinese soya imports to shoot up 14.4 per cent year-on-year in 2015. Brazil accounts for 49 per cent of the total, with 35 per cent coming from the US and 14 per cent from Argentina.

Commercial agriculture and deforestation account for 24 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, but China signalling a market demand for sustainable products would help drive behavioural change among producers and exporters, the Paulson Institute said in a press release.

In March 2015 the Paulson Institute, Solidaridad, The Nature Conservancy, and WWF launched the China-South American Sustainable Soya Trade Platform, aiming to increase the proportion of soya sourced from Brazilian farmers registered with Brazil’s Rural Environmental Registry (CAR in Portuguese), part of Brazil’s Forest Code.

However, certification remains a big problem. The Brazilian government has struggled to monitor and enforce punishments for illegal land use, as the relationship between soya production and deforestation is complex. There is little transparency in international soya markets, and so it is very difficult for Chinese importers to work out whether their soya is coming from forest friendly sources or not.

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But while there is much to do on both sides, the fact that big Chinese food importers have come together and shown a willingness to adopt more sustainable practices is a marked step forward, said Rose Niu, chief conservation officer at the Paulson Institute.

“We have a great opportunity to help China take a leadership role on greening global soya supply chains, something that is of increasing interest to the Chinese government and key importers,” Niu said.

Niu also highlighted the significance of former COFCO chairman Ning Gaoning’s declaration at the Paris climate summit in December last year that his company would ‘endorse and support’ farmers producing crops in environmentally friendly ways.

Along with COFCO, other top soya traders Jiusan Group, Hope Full Group, CP Group, Shandong Scents and Shengquan recently took part in a ‘soya industry fact-finding trip’ to Brazil to familiarise themselves with their South American suppliers.

Together, these companies accounted for 24.48 per cent of China’s total soya imports in 2015.

Besides encouraging major players from Chinese business to source legally and sustainably produced soya, consumers also have a role to play, Rose Niu said.

“This will be a long-term effort,” she told Diálogo Chino. “We need to work on raising awareness among the general public, so they understand better what they can do as consumers to help stop deforestation in Brazil and contribute to the global effort to fight climate change.”

Tumbling global commodity prices will likely sharpen companies’ focus on how they manage costs, but committing to sustainability could help them secure long-term supply chains and improve their reputations. A poor environmental record can cost companies dearly and lead to projects collapsing.

Liu underscored the importance of dialogue between producers and distributors: “China and Brazil are natural partners and have an important commercial relationship. Naturally we want closer relations and to know better the areas where the soya we import comes from.”

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National success for J&B Recycling

A RECYCLING firm has been named as the UK leader in a global competition set up to recognise businesses which show continuous improvement.

The awards, which are run by Corporate LiveWire and are now in their 11th year, saw J&B Recycling named as Most Outstanding In Recycling Solutions in the Innovation & Excellence category.

From the development and incorporation of cutting edge technology to the creation of forward thinking strategies, the Innovation & Excellence Awards honour and celebrate those businesses and firms which are creating a brighter tomorrow.

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The Innovation & Excellence Awards give recognition to businesses that are transforming their respective industries and the standard-bearers of excellence by continually setting industry trends as well as showing significant advances in terms of innovation and improvement.

J&B Recycling has invested £6m into a state-of-the-art Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) which sorts and processes various waste streams at the highest quality, and also has also invested heavily in equipment for both its sites in Hartlepool and South Tees.

Vikki Jackson-Smith, Managing Director of J&B Recycling, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be named as the winners of such a prestigious award.

“We have continued to grow year-on-year, both in terms of our turnover and the workforce, and throughout that time we have continued to invest in systems to ensure we stay ahead of the field and provide the best service we can to our customers.

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“To be named as a top performer in the UK is an honour for any business in any sector, and it is nice for everyone connected with J&B Recycling that our hard work is recognised in this way.“

As well as the UK awards, honours are also handed out to businesses from across the globe with categories covering the Americas, Asia & Australasia and Africa & The Middle East.

Jake Powers from Corporate LiveWire said: “Given the increased focus on sustainability and ecology in recent times, it has become even more imperative for companies to provide innovative solutions in waste collection, recovery and recycling.

“Our judges were satisfied that J&B Recycling tick all of these boxes and were particularly impressed by the seamless manner in which they operate.

“As a result, we are delighted to name them as the winner for the Most Outstanding in Recycling Solutions in our Innovation & Excellence Awards for 2016.“

Elizabeth Moore, Awards Director of the 2016 Innovation & Excellence Awards, said: “The Corporate LiveWire Innovation & Excellence award winners have not only excelled within their respective sector but have also shown flexibility to adapt to industry changes.

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“We are extremely proud of every single one of our winners and we look forward to seeing how they will continue to demonstrate their commitment in the future.“

Votes were taken for the awards through the Corporate LiveWire website over the last 12 months, with the most successful applicants eventually put onto a shortlist.

From there, the judging panel considered the strengths of each candidate, setting its sights firmly on the most innovative, groundbreaking and client-focused firms, teams and individuals who have transformed the way in which they do business.

J&B Recycling recycles approximately 120,000 tonnes of waste each year from household, commercial, industrial and construction sources with customers including car parts manufacturer Nifco UK, Camerons Brewery and dozens of community buildings, pubs and restaurants.

The company’s strategy is to divert waste from landfill by increasing the levels and types of waste streams that can be recycled in a cost effective and sustainable manner through forward thinking and innovation.

J&B Recycling employs almost 200 staff across both sites in Hartlepool and Middlesbrough.

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Source: bdaily

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Regional integration and monetary unions

With a land mass of over 30 million square kilometres, Africa is as big as India, China, the US and most of Europe combined. Betrayed by a Mercator map projection, the common view of the size of the continent has been diminished, pretty much the same way as other characteristics of the continent.

When we realise the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) alone is about half the size of the European Union, we could even pretend that at least that much territory is already integrated within the continent. However, the reality is that even in one single country, like the DRC, national integration is a challenge. Just ten years ago DRC had a public budget smaller than Brussels. Basically, the point is: Africa has a long way to go!

The reality of integration in every region and corner of the planet is a tale of many challenges. Africa is no different. The European Union (EU), considered the most mature integration achievement, has itself started to demonstrate serious difficulties and major shortcomings, particularly relating to the Eurozone.

Africa has a longer history of monetary unions than Europe, but the large size of the European Monetary Union (EMU) and the challenges it has faced since the 2008-2009 financial crisis, provides important lessons for both existing and proposed monetary unions in Africa. Europe worked hard to consolidate its single market and achieve a high degree of trade integration before the establishment of the Euro. The Eurozone countries built over time an impressive architecture of processes, institutions and regulations.

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One of the key lessons for Africa from the EU’s experience is that the institutional environment has to be conducive to the fostering of regional trade.  Another lesson for Africa is the importance of stable macroeconomic policies. When there are wide differences in the degree of fiscal discipline across member countries, that reality can create challenges for the survival and stability of any union.

The Eurozone experience also underscores the need for countries that are about to participate in a monetary union to have a credible and feasible mechanism for fiscal transfers, in order to enable them to respond and adjust to asymmetric shocks. In the absence of such a mechanism, any monetary union will be susceptible to enormous pressure when its members are hit by such asymmetric shocks. There are, however, concerns that the adoption of the stringent convergence criteria will limit policy space to address current and emerging development challenges.

The importance of monetary, fiscal and financial policy harmonization, within the context of economic integration, cannot be overemphasized. Monetary union is defined in the literature as involving two components: “exchange rate union, that is, an area within which exchange rates bear a permanently fixed relationship to each other…” and “convertibility – the permanent absence of all exchange controls, whether for current or capital transactions within an area”.

Nobel Prize Laureate in Economics, Professor Robert Mundell, posited that the degree of factor mobility within a currency union is of utmost importance.  Movement of labour and capital goods across borders is not restricted so that it is easy for factors to move to areas where they can earn maximum remuneration for the services rendered. An essential requirement here is the presence of at least, an internally convertible currency within the union.

Regional Economic Communities in Africa aim to establish monetary unions as part of their broader integration agenda.  Africa has a long history of some countries sharing single currencies. For example, the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) has 8 countries using the CFA franc, previously pegged to the French franc and now to the euro. There is also the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) with an additional 6 countries using the CFA franc. Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland are pegged at par to the South African Rand, which effectively means that they share the same monetary policy.  Countries that are part of these three blocs represent a significant portion of Africa’s GDP.

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In fact, one of the main objectives of pursuing monetary unions in Africa is to boost regional integration, particularly intraregional trade and investments.  Intra-African trade is about 16 per cent on average compared to 21 per cent for Latin America and the Caribbean, 50 per cent for Asia, and 70 per cent for Europe.

Administering 54 sovereign states with an array of national policies and inefficient government apparatus constitutes a massive resource-draining overhead cost on Africa’s fragile, undiversified primary production based economies. An assessment of progress towards macroeconomic convergence in Economic Communities in Africa show that, while some progress is being made, it is generally below the targets set in their monetary integration programmes.

If Africa were a business the management costs of this type of structure would be uncompetitive. The cost of governing such a fragmented production structure is simply too high for Africa to afford or sustain.  Thus, the contribution of regional integration to the promotion of intra-group trade, growth, development and social and political cohesion is unquestionable.  The stark conclusion that can be drawn from these facts is that Africa must integrate (or, in business parlance, rationalise and merge) in order to reduce its overhead costs.

The debate about integration, however, has been mostly centred on the political dimensions and the paramount pan-African ideal. Africa has broken the cycle of hopelessness and has hewn for itself an optimistic future through rapid and strong economic growth since the start of the century. Time has come to move to a more technical debate and focus, partly to give credence to such noble political ideals, but also because the speed of global transformation will not await, much more, for late comers. Accelerating the pace of and achieving structural transformation remains the greater challenge for the future. In fact, the majority of African countries continue to struggle to diversify their narrow-based economies.

Addressing these challenges will require due attention to an appropriate macroeconomic policy framework underpinned by a long-term development strategy that facilitates transformation of economic and social structures, and ensures a positive feedback loop in the investment-growth nexus. Such a macroeconomic policy framework for structural transformation should encompass five main components: i) scaling up public investment and public goods provision; ii) maintaining macro stability to attract and sustain private investment; iii) coordinating investment and other development policies; iv) mobilizing resources and reducing aid dependence over time; v) securing fiscal sustainability by establishing fiscal legitimacy.

These key elements of transformation are not optional when discussing monetary unions in the African context. Regional Economic Communities better pay attention, otherwise they risk not being taken seriously about such ambitious goals.

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World Responsible Tourism Awards 2016 at WTM London kick off 20th year of ethical tourism

New categories for 2016 include the ‘Best responsible tourism campaign’ which aims to celebrate the most successful marketing or advocacy campaigns in encouraging and promoting a more responsible style of travel.

Tourism businesses, organisations and initiatives around the world are now being invited to submit an entry into the World Responsible Tourism Awards 2016 at WTM London, as the world celebrates 20 years of responsible tourism action.

The global search for the world’s most enduring and inspirational examples of responsible tourism in action kicks off today with entries being accepted into five categories spanning issues across the tourism industry.

The announcement of the 2016 winners, at World Travel Market London, will this year be part of the celebrations marking 10 years of World Responsible Tourism Day – the largest event for responsible tourism action globally. Furthermore, this year marks 20 years of the global responsible tourism movement, with the South African government publishing a tourism white paper in 1996 putting responsibility at the centre of its strategy.

New categories for 2016 include the ‘Best responsible tourism campaign’ which aims to celebrate the most successful marketing or advocacy campaigns in encouraging and promoting a more responsible style of travel.

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Justin Francis, founder of the Awards and managing director of organisers Responsible Travel comments “I am truly excited by what we will discover through the World Responsible Tourism Awards this year.

The organisations, initiatives and businesses we uncover each year have the power to shape the future of tourism, to be catalysts for change in an industry which will have a huge impact on global climate and development.

”I want to encourage any tourism business or organisation around the world, big or small, to submit an entry. We want to hear your story”.

The importance of the Awards in assessing how far responsible tourism has developed, and how much it been achieved in the last 10 years is not lost on chair of the judging panel, Professor Harold Goodwin of the Responsible Tourism Partnership and the  International Centre for Responsible Tourism. “Through the Awards winners every year we see the standard of what is being achieved by people taking responsibility for tourism getting higher and higher” he says “And every year we see more and more countries represented in our entries.

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“Tourism, if sold, enjoyed and organised responsibly is of global importance, something that has been recognised in the new Sustainable Development Goals, and our winners this year will set the standard to which all tourism businesses should aspire”.

Awards Judge Simon Press, senior exhibition director for World Travel Market London, hosts of World Responsible Tourism Day says “The World Responsible Tourism Awards at WTM London are a central pillar of the success of World Responsible Tourism Day.

“The awards winners and shortlisted companies act as a benchmark and inspiration for what the global travel and tourism industry can achieve in responsible tourism practice.”

The 2016 categories:

  • Best accommodation for responsible employment
  • Best contribution to wildlife conservation – sponsored by Florida Keys and Key West Tourist Development Council
  • Best innovation by a tour operator
  • Best for poverty reduction and inclusion – sponsored by the Tobago House of Assembly
  • Best responsible tourism campaign

WTM London’s World Responsible Tourism Day takes place on Tuesday 8 November.

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Traffic congestion in Cape Town exceeds that of Johannesburg

TRAFFIC congestion in Cape Town exceeded that of Johannesburg from 2013 as a result of the upgrades to the Gauteng Freeway network which had a positive effect in reducing congestion in the country’s economic powerhouse.

This is according to an analysis by Stellenbosch University’s Smart Mobility Laboratory, which aims to develop innovative and cost-effective solutions within the field of intelligent transport systems.

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The Smart Mobility Lab provided an expert analysis of the 2016 TomTom Traffic Index Report released this week. According to the index Cape Town remains the most congested city in South Africa and is ranked 47th in the world. Johannesburg was ranked second in South Africa, while East London was third. This year, Mexico City was classified as the most congested city in the world, followed by Bangkok, Istanbul, Rio de Janeiro and Moscow.

The TomTom Traffic Index considers traffic congestion in 295 cities in 38 countries across the globe. According to TomTom, congestion globally has increased 13% since 2008.

“The annual progression of the TomTom Traffic Index data clearly reflects the impact of intervention projects on congestion such as the recent major Gauteng Freeway Improvement Programme. A significant reduction in the Traffic Index is observed following the roll out of the freeway improvements between 2010 and 2012,” the Smart Mobility Lab states.

Cape Town has a Traffic Index of 30%, which means that drivers will experience an average increase of trip length of 30% throughout the day. During the morning peak period, Capetonians can expect to add an additional 71% to free flowing travel time. Johannesburg has a daily Traffic Index of 27%, and a morning peak hour index of 60%.

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The Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry said recently that growing congestion on Cape Town roads was having an adverse effect on businesses and forcing many to consider relocating or changing office hours to avoid the worst of morning and evening peak-hour traffic.

“It seems we are no longer dealing with rush hours but rush periods which can last for two or three hours,” said Chamber president Janine Myburgh.

Last year the City of Cape Town said it would spend R750m over five years to ease its mounting traffic problem. The money would be spent on improving infrastructure along major routes, mayor Patricia de Lille said at the time.

The TomTom data also reveals that in South Africa small cities have shown an increased rate of growth in congestion of nearly 7% per annum, which is far higher than the rate observed in larger cities in South Africa and worldwide-typically found to be between 1.5% and 3% per annum. The Smart Mobility Lab says this could reflect the rate of urbanisation in developing countries, particularly in smaller cities and highlights the urgent need for infrastructure and traffic management projects in these countries.

Ralf-Peter Schaefer, vice president of TomTom Traffic, said the Traffic Index is released every year to help drivers, cities and transport planners to understand traffic congestion trends and how to improve congestion globally.

“We really want everybody to think about how they can lower the amount of time they waste in traffic every day — and to realise that we all need to play a part. If even just 5% of us changed our travel plans, we would improve travel times on our major highways by up to 30%. Collectively, we can all work together to beat traffic congestion.”

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Recycling Is Under Fire. Here’s Why We Shouldn’t Abandon It

As commodity prices plummet, opponents are indicting recycling as too impractical and costly. The debate came to a head late last year when The New York Times posed the ultimate question: Is recycling worth it?

Its answer: probably not. But most of us working in the waste, recycling, public policy, environmental and health fields would respond with a full-throated, “Yes, it is.”

Recycling — hand in hand with other advanced waste management practices — plays a vital role in shutting down the true enemy of the environment: landfills.

The primary argument against recycling is an economic one: the costs don’t justify the benefits. In down commodity markets, this line of reasoning goes, the cost of recovering materials (and energy) is higher than the cost to produce and use virgin materials.

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Most of us in the waste and recycling community would agree that recycling should stand on its own. And it’s true that recycling may not always pencil out by itself. However, this math overlooks the enormous impact of externalities such as carbon and methane emissions, damage to public health and loss of resources. Even at today’s recycling rates, the avoided greenhouse gas emissions alone represent $8 billion to $12 billion a year in avoided future costs associated with climate change.

There are many reasons, however, to continue recycling in down markets when sluggish global growth drives down raw material prices.

First, the materials have intrinsic value, which will increase when the market recovers. Because the success or failure of recycling programs hinge on human awareness, behavior and habit, it’s counterproductive to start and stop recycling programs too frequently, leading to wasted resources.

Second, experience shows that when we stop innovating during difficult times, we fall behind, impeding progress when the good times return. Like commodities, waste generation cycles often mirror that of the global economy; the upside is that down cycles force us to find ways to increase productivity, brainstorm new business models, and drive down costs to stay competitive.

It’s time to think of recycling and zero-landfill programs as critical components of a broader strategy for end-of-life materials and important weapons in the fight against climate change, water contamination and various other environmental and social challenges.

This approach begins with the “reduce and reuse” mantra, where reducing demand for new products and materials reduces carbon emissions, pollution and waste associated with production, transportation and disposal. Recycling is the next leg of the journey, and serves to recover value from goods already made while avoiding the use of virgin materials.

For waste that can’t be effectively recycled, we move to an oft-maligned strategy that is widely successful around the world: responsibly burning waste to generate electricity.

Recovering energy from non-recycled waste offers myriad benefits — from the obvious reduction of unappealing landfills, to offsetting a ton of carbon for each ton of waste burned, to generating enough electricity to power a million homes in just the U.S. each year. Most people don’t realize waste-to-energy plants generate more energy than many major solar and wind projects.

Working together, and following countries like Austria, Germany and the Netherlands, all with exemplary recycling rates augmented with energy recovery, we could save over 260 million tons of CO2 annually — equivalent to closing over 60 coal-fired power plants. We could save the energy equivalent of 14 percent of our imported oil, all while generating 350,000 new permanent jobs and $130 billion in direct economic activity.

By contrast, landfills are among the most harmful environmental hazards we face today. Landfills are the third-largest source of methane, which is over 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period, and emit over 170 other air pollutants, including over 40 hazardous air pollutants, four known carcinogens, and 13 probable carcinogens. Recycling can help mitigate those emissions.

And while recycling opponents talk about how difficult it is to recycle, the industry has continued to find innovative ways to make it easier. By making recycling part of our everyday experience, our time and effort shapes a new mindset focused on strengthening the community.

In just the last few decades, a new recycling mindset has transformed human habits around waste disposal. Technology and a more comprehensive recycling strategy have sparked new green industries, bringing jobs, improved energy security, and protected communities, as well as generating impressive value for citizens.

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