AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisIt’s that time again! The Bay Athletic Club is making preparations to honor those who have crossed milestones and overcome challenges to lose weight. The gym will be dressing up on January 20th to host their annual Fitness Inspired Gala. The gala will take place at Fletcher Depot at 6 pm.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisContinue ReadingPrevious Hundreds of schools receive FIRST Robotics grant money including Alpena High SchoolNext U.S. Coast Guard Warns Northern Michiganders Use Caution During Outdoor Winter Activities
Chelsea defender Sam Hutchinson is to have a knee problem assessed by the Blues’ medical staff.He is currently on a season-long loan at Nottingham Forest but has not played since being taken off during the Championship side’s game against Crystal Palace on 18 September.The affected knee is not the same one the 23-year-old previously injured.Hutchinson announced his retirement from football in 2010 because of a knee complaint, but last year returned to Stamford Bridge after making a recovery.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
26 August 2011 Supporting intra-Africa trade should be a matter of urgency, says Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Elizabeth Thabethe. “The recently launched agreement for the establishment of the Tripartite Free Trade Area has made it more urgent to promote intra-Africa trade, and that should be at the top of the continent’s economic agenda,” Thabethe said at the South Africa-Ghana Business Forum in Cape Town on Wednesday. The free trade area centres on building Africa’s biggest free trade bloc, merging the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa), East African Community (EAC) and Southern African Development Community (SADC). “Strengthening trade and investment links with the continent is a key policy priority of the government, both to benefit our economy and more importantly, those of our partners on the continent.” Thabethe said African countries had the potential to develop into modern industrialised states that could compete on the world stage, due to their richness in natural resources. The forum, hosted by the Department of Trade and Industry, took place on the second day of the state visit to South Africa by Ghanaian President John Atta Mills, who was accompanied by a strong business delegation. On Wednesday the department, through Trade and Investment South Africa, also signed a memorandum of understanding on trade investment the Ghanaian Investment Authority. Since 2003, bilateral trade between the two countries has been growing, with annual trade statistics indicating South African exports to Ghana to the value of R2.523-billion and imports from Ghana worth R84.275-million. Source: BuaNews
The Living Beehive, which represents aself-sustaining ecosystem, is a dome-shaped structure that draws onthe architecture of a traditionalZulu beehive hut.(Image: Kevin Joseph) The roof and exterior walls are coveredwith a living layer of foliage.(Image: iKind Media)MEDIA CONTACTS • Lungi ShangeThe Communications Firm+27 11 463 7550RELATED ARTICLES• Waste gives Such artistic inspiration • Soweto building on award shortlist• Top green rating for SA building• Bee fence keeps elephants outWilma den HartighA sustainable architectural installation, designed to get people talking about how healthy ecosystems can help communities cope with climate change, was unveiled at the Durban Botanic Gardens as part of the COP17 climate change conference.The installation has been described as one of the most stimulating exhibitions at the COP17 expo.The Living Beehive, which represents a self-sustaining ecosystem, is a dome-shaped structure that draws on the architecture of a traditional Zulu beehive hut.Traditional Zulu beehive huts, known as iQhugwane, are efficiently-designed homes which use natural and sustainable materials. They are warm in winter and cool in summer, with built-in ventilation.South Africa needs new ideas to deal with the challenges of a changing climate. This installation shows how traditional knowledge and natural resources can inspire modern innovation to find solutions to climate change.The Living Beehive was created from a combination of traditional beehive hut construction techniques, modern day materials such as industrial steel, and indigenous plants.A work of artThe 17-metre wide and nine-metre high installation is a beautiful work of art. The frame was built using high-tech steel, while a walkway through the interior of the dome enables visitors to experience the integration of infrastructure and the environment.The roof and exterior walls are covered with a living layer of foliage such as forest and wetland plants, as well as indigenous grasses typically found in grasslands in KwaZulu-Natal.Creepers are suspended in dense mats down the sides of the dome to allow just enough air to circulate into the cool interior.At the event, deputy minister of Water and Environmental Affairs Rejoice Mabudafhasi said that the Living Beehive is an example of nature and people working together.“By recognising the importance of built and ecological infrastructure, and by bringing together natural and man-made design, the Living Beehive shows us the possibilities for job creation, service delivery and economic growth in a truly green economy,” Mabudafhasi said in a statement.Statistics provided by the Durban Botanic Garden indicate that more than four-million rural South Africans depend directly on healthy ecosystems for their livelihoods.Greater efforts to conserve and restore natural landscapes can provide more opportunities for job creation and the development of biodiversity-based industries and jobs.A living legacy projectThe Department of Environmental Affairs and the UN Industrial Development Organisation jointly funded the Living Beehive project.The South African National Biodiversity Institute, the eThekwini Municipality and the Durban Botanic Gardens Trust are responsible for implementing the project.The installation is permanent and will remain in the botanical garden as a COP17 legacy project.Mzansi’s Golden EconomyThe Living Beehive is one of many art, culture and heritage events at the COP17 conference.As part of the arts and culture offering at this year’s climate change conference, Arts and Culture minister Paul Mashatile launched the department’s new strategy for the arts, culture and heritage sector.The new strategy, known as Mzansi’s Golden Economy, highlights the sector’s contribution to economic growth, job creation and social cohesion.The Department of Arts and Culture has also organised a series of events to flaunt South African identity and highlight the gravity of climate change.The events will demonstrate how artists can contribute to fighting poverty, job creation and skills development, with minimal damage to the earth.
Musa Mkalipi Kilimo Salama has helped insure thousands of farmers in Kenya and Rwanda (Image:One Acre Fund) Farmers receive insurance on their phones (Image:Agfax) MEDIA CONTACTS • Kilimo Salama +254 2071 7750 RELATED ARTICLES • Kenya takes banking to the poor • Kenyans thrive on local plants • Africa can produce food it needs • New centre to enhance food securityFarmers in Kenya and Rwanda are able to farm without the fear of financial loss through damaged crops caused by bad weather – in farming terms this generally means either too much or too little rain, and it can be the undoing of a farmer. Kilimo Salama is an insurance scheme offering farmers coverage for their farms from the effects of drought and rain; and it works with just the use of a mobile phone.Kilimo Salama, which means “safe farming”, is an innovative programme operated by Safaricom, Kenya’s largest mobile operator; the Syngenta Foundation, for sustainable agriculture; and UAP Insurance, a leading insurance provider. It started in Kenya in 2009 before expanding to Rwanda.The scheme was established to give farmers the confidence to invest in their farms, which feed their communities, and was created by the Syngenta Foundation. Syngenta aims to extend crop insurance to smallholder farmers in rural and developing countries through innovation. Insurance is bought from agro-dealers, who are registered and trained by Kilimo Salama. They are issued with camera phones used to scan the bar code of the policy bought by the farmer, at the time of purchase. This immediately registers the policy with UAP Insurance over the Safaricom network. Farms from as small as one acre – about 0.4 hectares or 4 050 square metres – can take out Kilimo Salama insurance to shield them from any financial losses, enabling a premium price that millions of farmers can afford. Kilimo Salama is one the new innovations in small scale agriculture that has been quietly sweeping across Africa’s farms, boosting production, crop fields and family incomes. Since its launch, the project has grown from 200 policy holders to more than 70 000. Its operations are innovative: solar power weather stations collect weather data at the end of each growing season to determine if extreme weather might affect the harvest. Kilimo Salama staff do not visit farms to assess the pay out and farmers do not have to submit a claim. Rather, it uses information from the automated weather stations and makes automated mobile pay outs if the rainfall is 15% below or above the average. The scheme’s design was based on the Laikipia District in Kenya, where hundreds of maize farmers insured their farms against the long rains of 2009. Since weather monitoring on farms has developed, several other projects have been launched in countries such as Mexico, Morocco, India, Malawi and Tanzania.But Kilimo Salama is the first agricultural insurance programme worldwide to reach smallholders using mobile technology. Farming is a way of life for many people in Kenya and Rwanda, and Kenya’s economy is highly dependent on agriculture. Kilimo Salama offers some measure of security from risk in these countries. Micro insurance on the rise According Microfinance Africa, about one billion people live in Africa, with an estimated 60% living below the poverty line. It is common cause that natural disasters such as floods and drought, as well as disease affect the poorest the hardest. Micro-insurance is insurance with low premiums that protects low income earners and their assets from disaster. It is targeted at individuals who have little savings, mainly for lower valued assets, illness, injury or death. The micro-insurance sector is expanding throughout Africa, where about 14-million low income earners were covered at the end of 2008, according to the International Labour Organisation. Its study, “The landscape of micro-insurance products in Africa” found that 14.7-million people living on less than $2 (R17.92) a day in 32 African countries were covered by micro-insurance products. By 2012, micro-insurance had grown by more than 200%. Farming in Africa According to the University of Cambridge Research, there are about 500-million smallholder farmers worldwide, of whom Africans are some of the poorest. For many Africans, farming is the only source of income and money is generated according to what is planted and harvested. Statistics estimate that 60% of the world’s available farmland is in Africa. It is a large continent with many different types of climate. In North Africa, in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt, farming is limited by the dry climate. Products planted include wheat, barley, olives, grapes, citrus fruit, and some vegetables. According to Plant Life, less than 20% of the working population in Libya and about 55% in Egypt are employed in farming. Farm Chemicals International found there was a high incidence of organic farming in Tunisia, which reserves 300 000 hectares for organic farming of products such as olives, dates, jojoba, almonds, fruit, vegetables, honey, and medicinal plants. West Africa comprises 16 countries, most of which are composed of low plains, desert and coastline. Agriculture in the region has developed, attracting economic interest in rice farming. The methods of farming in West Africa include permanent and temporary intercropping and livestock. Its forests offer a large amount of biodiversity and support the population with forest resources. Fishing is also a large income earner. The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFAOM) and the Swiss Research Institute of Organic Agriculture found that 38 African countries had received certificates of organic farming, and about a million hectares of land had been given an organic stamp. There are as many as 470 000 farms on the continent, the largest number in Uganda. These farms provide employment and feed many on and outside the continent. Organic farming is carried out in South Africa, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.In addition, 16.4-million hectares of land have been certified as bee keeping areas. The largest of these areas is in Cameroon.
With the augmentation of ‘utility vehicles’, the automobile industry of India is changing significantly.These vehicles, which are lightweight, equipped with advanced technologies, stylish body, fuel efficiency and space fall in the affordable domain and have attracted the Indian buyers.ALSO READ:Tata Hexa SUV spotted testing, launch soonBusiness watch follows the new trend of “SUV” cars on Indian roads.Sport utility vehicles (SUVs), off-road capable cars and multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs), which were a rare sight on India’s roads a decade ago, are slowly becoming the most sought after cars.Rising congestion in cities and improvement in technology are one of the prime reasons for the rising demand for SUVs, which come equipped with latest technology such as automatic transmissions.ALSO READ:Mahindra and Mahindra to launch SUV TUV300 next month”With the challenges that one faces on the road, in terms of infrastructure or in terms of driving, it (SUV) is the need of the hour. When we look at it, as far as SUV is concerned – normally a perception of an SUV has been that SUVs are tough, rugged, in the face, but the customers are evolving and with customers evolving the needs and wants are changing,” Rakesh Srivastava, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Hyundai Motor India, said.”Today they are looking for a stronger product, they are looking for a stylish product, bold and beautiful,” he added.ALSO READ: Nissan to launch second-gen X-Trail SUV this yearAt present, compact SUV is the new buzzword for global automakers, who are aggressively targeting growth in India’s underdeveloped SUV market.advertisementThe companies have been launching new models to build up excitement in the market.”There are young people, who are buying these cars, young people get bored very quickly. So, therefore, they want something and they want something with attitude, something macho, something which gives them difference,” said Murad Ali Baig, Auto Analyst.ALSO READ:Maruti Suzuki to launch compact SUV in India soonThe car sales have increased over the last few months as the economy has shown signs of improvement along with interest rates cooling off to some extent.Importance of the Indian consumers in the global market can be seen with the large number of car launches that took place within a single week in India.”We are making a long-term commitment to India. We believe in the growth opportunity and we are working hard to have a product line and our entire ownership experience is designed specifically for the Indian customer that will take some time but we are making that commitment and you will see that unfold as we move forward,” said Mary Barra, Chief Executive Officer, General Motors.ALSO READ:An electric BMW SUV in the offering?India’s car market is the world’s sixth largest and is expected to grow to number three by 2020, with the rise in income levels.Compact SUV sales in India are likely to more than quadruple to 9,70,000 vehicles in the decade to 2020, according to industry reports.”As far as we prepare a good product for the customer, it means that the customer is expecting some change, something new, something different. If we provide such kind of product, maybe we can get some new customers and then we can expand our business further,” said Kenichi Ayukawa, Managing Director and CEO of Maruti Suzuki, India.ALSO READ:Hyundai launches compact SUV Creta at Rs 8.59 lakhFunctionality, space and comfort offered by the SUVs has vanquished the demand for sedans.Car owners in the Indian market are now looking to upgrade their driving experience.”I think it is a craze, you feel more grip on the road when you are in an SUV, that is the reason. I think craze is more we can say, plus if a family is big – joint family – then they need seven-seater then the only option left is SUVs,” said Avinash Garg, a customer.Analysts tracking the industry portray a gleaming future for the segment.
About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Lampard switches Chelsea focus towards Ajax and Lilleby Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea manager Frank Lampard knows his side must get positive results in their coming Champions League games.Despite chances to win the match and a missed penalty, the Blues suffered a 1-0 home loss to Valencia in the first game of the group stages.It is a tough blow for Lampard, who knows they must get three points in their next away games at Lille and Ajax.He said the following to Chelsea’s official website after the Valencia game: “The reality of losing the first game at home makes the rest of the games more important, particularly when they come next back-to-back away from home [Lille and Ajax].”We need to have a strong focus on getting a result in one of those games now.”It’s still a group I think teams will take points off each other because all the teams are strong.”
Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Minister, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, says a working group, comprising several ministry and agency representatives, has been established to assist in guiding the formation of the central government-wide communications network, dubbed GOVNET. The initiative aims, among other things, to realize significant savings in the public sector through the use of a communications and data background platform. Speaking at the inaugural Government Forum, hosted by LIME at the Wyndham Kingston hotel on Tuesday (Oct. 30), Mr. Paulwell informed that the group comprises representatives from his Ministry and the Ministry of Finance and Planning, as well as the Central Information Technology Office (CITO), and Fiscal Services Limited. He advised that the team will be “looking at how to streamline, standardize and… centralize the implementation of enterprise information and communications technology projects through a single implementation agency”. “(GOVNET aims) to harmonize and integrate all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in one…public sector communications network, presided over by a Chief Information Officer. We envision that GOVNET (will) be the vehicle through which information interoperability and seamless transfer of information between MDAs of government and other stakeholders will be realized,” the Minister outlined. While acknowledging that public sector savings “is very important to the government at this time”, Mr. Paulwell said the administration’s vision for ICTs, as a transformational tool in the public sector, “goes beyond mere cost reduction”. “We want to use ICTs to create a citizen-centric government that serves the people efficiently and effectively; but most of all, to embrace and enhance our democracy. If we can make the government more accessible to the people, both in terms of doing business and in terms of being able to access information, then we, as leaders, will be better able to engage the citizenry, particularly our young people, who we are losing. “If we could make government more accessible, we (could) also increase transparency, reduce the opportunity for corruption, and we can begin to re-build the trust in the government by the people,” Mr. Paulwell contended. The forum, held under the theme: “Solutions that Enable Public Sector Transformation”, was hosted by LIME to engage government and information technology personnel in dialogue on as well as provide insight and demonstrations, on the solutions which can, among other things, enhance the public sector’s provisions.
ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — A funeral for an experienced fishing guide and father of three is to be held in Deer Lake, N.L., today, one week after a float plane that he and six others were on board crashed into a lake in Labrador.An obituary for Dwayne Winsor, 47, by Parsons Funeral Home announced his July 15 death and featured tributes from his wide circle of friends and family.Winsor was a guide at Three Rivers Lodge, the starting point for last Monday’s fishing excursion to Mistastin Lake that never returned to the lodge. Debris from the de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver plane was spotted in the water last Tuesday.A short biography of Winsor on the Three Rivers Lodge website describes him as a guide with 20 years of experience in the Labrador bush, who shared the river with guests and had a knack with a fishing net.Three bodies, including Winsor’s, have since been recovered, while four men, including Quebec pilot Gilles Morin, American brothers Matthew Weaver and John Weaver III and another fishing guide from Newfoundland and Labrador are still missing. An RCMP spokesperson said police divers searched the water at Mistastin Lake, about 100 kilometres southwest of Nain, over the weekend, but so far none of four missing men have been found. The cause of the crash is still unknown.The Canadian Press