Avian flu reported again in Indonesia

first_imgMar 3, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – More than 12,000 chickens and quail have died in the past 2 months in an outbreak of avian influenza on the Indonesian island of Java, according to an Associated Press (AP) report published today.The viruses involved are H5N1 and H7N1, said an Indonesian official who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity. Avian flu killed about 1.6 million chickens in the same region in West Java province last year, the official said.H5N1 avian flu has occurred in at least eight Asian countries since late 2003 and has caused 66 human illness cases, 46 of them fatal. No human cases have been reported in Indonesia, the AP report said.Although the official told the AP that Indonesia has been dealing with the outbreak for 2 months, the country’s most recent report on avian flu to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) was filed in October 2004.Meanwhile, Vietnam has reported that its poultry outbreaks are subsiding. More than 1.5 million birds have been culled in Vietnam since January. However, 14 of 35 affected areas have detected no new outbreaks for at least 3 weeks, China’s Xinhua news agency reported today, citing Vietnam’s Department of Animal Health.Avian flu has continued to spread in Ben Tre, Long An, and Dong Thap provinces, according to a Vietnam News Service report yesterday.Thailand’s most recent report to OIE indicated the country still has sporadic outbreaks, with fewer than 200 chickens and ducks fatally infected or culled in the week that ended Feb 24.last_img read more

Private Sector wants stimulus package to kick-start economic growth

first_img… says some sectors facing troubleThe coalition A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government cannot continue with its ‘hodge-podge’ approach to managing the economy; it must present a stimulus for growth in the declining sectors of the economy, without abandoning traditional pillars of economic growth, since the oil industry is still a developing one.Finance Minister, Winston JordanThe frank views were articulated by President of the Georgetown Chambers of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), Deodat Indar, this past week during an interview with members of the local media corps, where he called for a stimulus programme to be introduced by the sitting Government in order to kick-start growth in Guyana’s tradition industries.Indar was at the time giving the Private Sector umbrella body’s views on the troubling figures released by Finance Minister Winston Jordan when he recently released the mid-year report on the national spending expenditure, savings and earnings.“We can’t have a ‘hodge-podge’ thing… We need something proper, something broad to look at all segments facing some level of downturn and to make sure we put stimulus in place to kick-start some of those things,” according to Indar.The GCCI President told journalists gathered at the Georgetown Marriott for an Audit Office Capacity Building forum that “based on last numbers coming out of Central Bank, there are some sectors facing trouble… Our members are complaining.”He pointed to the mid-year report for 2017 and observed that while there was some good news for smaller sectors such as construction, other crops, and transportation, the traditional pillars of the economy in addition to other major contributors have been on a steady decline.He noted that in addition to the negative performances returned by sugar, timber and other sectors’ growth in some areas are being somewhat misconstrued.According to the GCCI President, while growth is reflected in the manufacturing sector, this is only due to the performance of one commodity under that economic rubric, namely rice.Indar told journalists that were the rice figures to be removed from the equation, then a non-rice manufacturing sector would reveal that the industry is in fact facing troubling times, since it would then reflect a negative growth.According to Indar, the current state of affairs will inevitably lead to greater job losses which would in turn lead to reduced consumption.The GCCI President pointed out that reduced consumption by a populace stricken by reduced or lost income will lead to reduced revenue companies and this would mean reduced taxes.He warned that in such a situation where the tax base is reduced, it will ultimately lead to a budget deficit which means Government will either have to increase taxes or “have to borrow money to run the country.”The GCCI President opined this to be an undesirable situation adding “we want to see the real sector kick-start.”He noted that oil and gas sector is still in its developmental stage and the country already has well established sectors of the economy already.Indar was firm in his conviction that these tradition sectors require urgent assistance on the part of the Administration in order to maintain economic gains until that time comes when there can be an influx of additional revenues from the oil and gas sector.“We have some traditional sectors and we should not abandon them,” he cautioned. Meanwhile, as it relates to the imminent presentation of the budget for the coming year, Indar told journalists the grouping has not yet met with the Minister but do look forward to an invitation to be consulted.The mid-year report – which was released by the Minister before the National Assembly – went into recess had also highlighted Government’s continued failure at using its annual budget for the provision of services to the nation, this, even as the country’s export earnings continue to decline and gold joining the list of commodities on the decline.In that report the Minister has also had to revise his overall projection for national growth downwards again.Of note in the report is that while many of the traditional sectors, such as sugar and forestry, continue to perform poorly, the gold sector which has been credited with keeping the economy buoyant in recent years, has now also begun to decline in terms of production and earnings from sales on the international markets.last_img read more

Game park facelift to boost tourism

first_imgZebras grazing in Madikwe Game Reserve,on which Manyeleti is being modelled.(Image: Bongani Nkosi)  The Manyeleti Nature Reserve in Mpumalanga is set to become one of South Africa’s premier ecotourism destinations, following an investment of R400-million (US$54.9-million) to upgrade the facility.This was announced by the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) at a press briefing in Johannesburg on 6 September 2010.MTPA will officially introduce the project on 26 September at a ceremony expected to attract big names in the tourism industry, government officials and journalists.The development of Manyeleti, which means “place of the stars” in the local Xitsonga language, is being funded by both the public and private sectors.The 23000ha park is already home to the big five – lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo – as well as a variety of other wildlife. It shares fenceless borders with the famed Kruger National Park and the private Sabi Sands and the Timbavati reserves, which enables game to move freely over a vast area.The Manyeleti project is being modelled on the successful Madikwe Game Reserve in the North West province, whose development empowered surrounding communities.MTPA said Manyeleti will “improve the province’s long-term revenue stream from tourism” and create about 600 permanent jobs over the next two years.Top-class lodgesThe new plans have been endorsed by the Manyeleti Conservation Trust, which owns the land. The trust represents land claim beneficiaries, mostly of the Mnisi clan, who stand to benefit from increased businesses at the reserve.Manyeleti is one of four reserves in Mpumalanga where the MTPA has settled claims and co-management agreements with land owners in 2010. The others are Mdala Nature Reserve, the SS Skosana Nature Reserve and the Mabusa Game Reserve, according to the agency’s chief executive Charles Ndabeni.About R350-million ($48-million) will be channelled into developing four new lodges to complement the existing three at Manyeleti. Each of the seven facilities will offer 48 or more beds, which will help MTPA to reach its target of accommodating 350 people at the reserve.The three existing accommodation establishments – the five-star Tintswalo Safari Lodge and the three-star Honeyguide Camp and Khoka Moya Camp – are all specialists in safari tours.MTPA will spend R21-million ($2.9-million) upgrading Manyeleti’s infrastructure, while the remaining funds will be used to establish an empowerment company that will offer game drives at the lodges.The marketing of Manyeleti and the other reserves in Mpumalanga is still a financial challenge, though, according to Ndabeni. “Our biggest challenge, unfortunately, is lack of budget for marketing,” he said.World Cup drives tourismAn additional R9-million ($1.2-million) was used to partially upgrade Manyeleti before the 2010 Fifa World Cup. The revamp was among other projects which MTPA undertook to beef up the province’s tourism offerings ahead of the tournament. One of the other facilities set up was a visitor information centre worth R8.5-million ($1.1-million).Mpumalanga is aware that the World Cup success could have a lasting effect on its tourism sector. “We’re hoping that having delivered one of the best World Cups, there will be a boom of tourism in the province,” said Economic Development, Environment and Tourism MEC Jabu Mahlangu.The province hosted some of the World Cup matches at the 46 000-capacity Mbombela Stadium, which “we’ll be using for our mega-tourism initiatives”, Mahlangu said.Tri-national relationsDuring and after the tournament Mpumalanga saw a growing number of tourists from Swaziland and Mozambique, its neighbouring countries.  “We’ve already seen an increase of tourists in our province,” according to the MEC.“We have an advantage of being neighbours to two countries,” Mahlangu said, adding that the healthy relationship with Swaziland and Mozambique will soon enable all three regions to be launched as a single tourism destination.last_img read more

Visitors marvel at SA’s natural wonder

first_imgThe Mother City and her mountain worked their magic on a group of foreign journalists from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), who were on a flying visit to South Africa.They were here as guests of Brand South Africa, the agency responsible for marketing the country abroad, on a fact-finding mission and to build relationships between the two regions.Fresh from an interesting and informative few days in Johannesburg and keen to sample the famed delights of the Cape, they had just two days in the city to network, gather information and, of course, fit in some sightseeing.On day one, Tuesday 13 March, the weather in the morning was glorious – sunny blue skies, a light breeze and temperatures that Capetonians consider on the hot side – at least hot enough to hit the beach and dive into the cold ocean.Calling the Gulf states your home, though, means that 33 or so degrees is “comfortable”, in the words of Bahaa Alawam, a Syrian journalist working out of the Gulf.He was joined by Mahmood Saberi of Gulf News, a Dubai publication; Peter Smith of Dubai Gulf Business; Hala Saqqa, a senior account executive at Hill and Knowlton Strategies in Dubai; and Roger Romanos, a senior editor at the Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal Group.The plan was to spend the morning at presentations indoors, with the Department of Trade and Industry.On the agenda were South Africa’s industrial policy, priority industry sectors and Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) exports and agri-processing businesses that export to the UAE/GCC, namely Western Cape fruit and juice exporters, beef and fishing, fruit and vegetables, processed foods, and franchising.The next item on the itinerary was a trip on the cableway up Table Mountain. Cape Town’s weather, however, is nothing if not fickle. By noon the wind had picked up and by 1pm the clouds were cascading over the southern side of the mountain.Closed on account of the weatherA cable car trip to the top of Table Mountain is always a treat.By 2pm the cableway was closed for the day as the wind howled and clouds poured over the mountain and down the gorges. On the upside, the group did get to see her dressed in her famous tablecloth.Instead of the planned trip energetic tour guide, Irwin Horsban of Kaylin Tours, packed the group back into the bus and took them on a memorable drive down Kloof Nek and into Camps Bay, on the western side of the Cape peninsule .A stop for lunch and refreshments on the beachfront was a real treat, said Saberi. Romanos, who is originally from Lebanon but has been working in Saudi Arabia for six years, agreed. “What a fantastic place,” he gushed. “It was beautiful, spectacular.”On the way back to the hotel the ever-affable Horsban took the group on a detour through the Bo-Kaap, with colourful houses and history, followed by a splendid seafood dinner at the popular V&A Waterfront that was variously described as “good”, “delicious” and “expensive”.Wednesday – and Mother Nature came out to play, offering a glorious day without a breath of wind. Again, the morning was taken up with presentations and information-sharing, this time at the Oil and Gas Expo.The historic Robben Island was on the agenda for the afternoon, but everyone opted for the mountain instead. Walking on one of the new seven wonders of nature trumped heritage.On the mountainThe cableway was open, and cars were parked for several kilometres down the winding mountain road. But with tickets pre-booked online and a taxi ride to the cableway station there was little delay before the group was ushered into the large and airy cable car.The car takes 65 people at a time, which can be a bit of a squash. There is no need to hog the windows though, as the floor rotates during the ascent, giving each passenger a 360° view.Romanos spoke about investments. His company organises conferences between businesses, and he believes there is much scope for the two regions to work together. “Arab businesses are looking for opportunity,” he said.When the group stepped out at the top the views took their breath away and they spent a good two hours wandering around, taking pictures and marvelling at the cute dassies, or rock hyraxes – these little animals are closely related to the elephant.“I am half-way between happy and depressed,” said Saqqa, “happy to be here, but depressed that soon I have to return to civilisation.”Her sentiments were shared by the other members of the group. Smith said: “I see Johannesburg is for business, but Cape Town is more for pleasure.”There was time for some cold refreshments before a walk on the white sands of Camp’s Bay beach and dinner at a traditional restaurant in the city bowl.“We are sad to go, but have enjoyed our time here,” said Alawam.  Source: Mediaclub South Africalast_img read more

Matsons Aloha Class Newbuilding Arrives in Honolulu

first_imgzoomImage Courtesy: Tim Rue for Matson The US-based container shipping company Matson has welcomed the first of its four new ships that will be introduced in the company’s Hawaii service over the next two years.Named in honor of Hawaii’s late senior US Senator, the Daniel K. Inouye is the largest containership ever built in the United States, according to Matson.Christened in June, the newbuilding was delivered to its owner at Philly Shipyard in late October 2018.Weighing in at over 51,400 metric tons, the 3,600 TEU vessel is Matson’s largest ship and also its fastest, with a top speed of more than 23 knots.As informed, the arrival of Daniel K. Inouye also marks the beginning of a nearly USD 1 billion investment by Matson in its Hawaii service over the next few years, with the four new ships completing a renewal of its Hawaii fleet, and a terminal expansion and modernization project at its Sand Island facility in Honolulu.All four new vessels have been designed by Matson specifically for its Hawaii service and incorporate a number of green ship technology features that will help protect the environment, including a more fuel efficient hull design, dual fuel engines that can be adapted to use LNG, environmentally safe double hull fuel tanks and fresh water ballast systems.“These new ships are the future for Hawaii shipping and will bring a new level of efficiency and reliability to our service,” Matt Cox, chairman and chief executive officer, said.“The substantial investment in new technology underscores Matson’s long-term commitment to Hawaii,” Cox added.last_img read more