14 Aug

Tanzania: Commonwealth Boss Extols Isles Development Plans

Zanzibar

THE Commonwealth has pledged its continued economic support to Zanzibar whilst commending the Isles government for good implementation of its development programmes.

The remarks were made by Commonwealth Secretary General, Ms Patricia Baroness Scotland when she paid a courtesy call on President Ali Mohamed Shein at the State House in Unguja yesterday.

Ms Scotland lauded the government of Zanzibar for the measures it has been taking to promote the Isles economy and for maintaining peace and tranquility, and vowed to support those efforts.

She thus assured President Shein of her organisation’s support to Zanzibar’s and Tanzania’s development initiatives, adding that the Commonwealth was focused on partnering with all its member countries in improving the lives of the people.

The Commonwealth Secretary General briefed Dr Shein about the works being implemented by Commonwealth in all its 52 member countries, including increasing opportunities in the key sectors of business and economy, women’s and youth empowerment, education and environment protection among others.

She mentioned the development of infrastructure and energy sectors as among areas of priority that will help activate economic growth.

Ms Scotland also expressed her delight on the positive trend of economic growth among Commonwealth member states across Africa and Asia, saying their economy was growing at a rate ranging between 5 and 8 per cent.

Dr Shein was grateful to the Commonwealth boss and welcomed the partnership and support, which he said would help his government to achieve its development targets.

The president said the government is implementing a number of development projects and is taking on board women and young people in its development endeavours and is also working hard to protect the rights of children and elders.

Dr Shein also talked of his government’s achievement in promoting good governance and democracy on the Islands.

From allAfrica

14 Aug

Nigeria Set to Benefit From Deep Sea Mining

seabed

The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Dakuku Peterside,  has stated that Nigeria is set to benefit from the deep sea mining through effective harnessing of the opportunities by working with the International Seabed Authority.

The NIMASA DG who made this known at the opening ceremony of the 23rd Assembly of the International Seabed Authority (ISBA) held in Kingston, Jamaica said that irrespective of the numerous resources in Nigeria, there was the need to work more closely with the ISBA in the area of seabed resources exploration.

Peterside, who led the Nigerian Delegation to the event commended ISBA on its role in the optimal utilisation of seabed resources among maritime stakeholders and solicited assistance in the area of capacity building to survey deep sea and establish data base of mineral resources available for the benefit of all mankind.

He stated further that the federal government is currently developing policies that will aid the harnessing of seabed resources and will be working closely with the ISBA.

According to Peterside, “The Nigerian Federal Ministry of Transportation is developing a country blue economy policy and strategy which will incorporate the sustainable development of the country’s deep seabed resources”.

Furthermore, he said at the moment the Nigerian Navy Hydrographic office has been undertaking hydrographic survey and charting of our maritime area, and adding that in the same vein NIMASA is working with Nigerian Navy to effectively enforce the United Nations Convention on the law of the sea and other relevant international maritime instruments to which we are a party around our continental shelf.

He also noted that, while seeking exploitation of the mineral resources within the Seabed off our national maritime jurisdiction, marine environment preservation and protection will continue to be given top priority.

The NIMASA boss used the opportunity to congratulate Mr. Michael Lodge of the United Kingdom on his appointment as Secretary General of ISBA Council and Eugenio Joao Muianga of Mozambique on his election as President of the Authority’s 23rd session.

He said that Africa is proud of the feat of Muianga and pledged that Nigeria is ready to cooperate with and support the work of the Authority while looking forward to benefiting from available opportunities.

The International Seabed Authority is an autonomous international organisation established under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the 1994 Agreement relating to the Implementation of Part XI of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Source from allAfrica

08 Aug

Nigeria: Govt Announces 27 Industries to Enjoy Tax Break Under Pioneer Status (Full List)

The federal Nigerian government on Monday released the full list of the 27 key industries and products who will enjoy a tax break

The federal Nigerian government on Monday released the full list of the 27 key industries and products who will enjoy a tax break, being included in the revised list of ‘pioneer status’ incentives for prospective investors.

At the end of the meeting of the Executive Council of the Federation, FEC, last week, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, disclosed the approval given to the 27 industries.

Mr. Enelamah did not, however, list the 27 industries.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, later confirmed that the creative industry was among the 27.

Earlier, the trade and investment ministry announced the lifting of the administrative suspension on processing pioneer status incentives, PSI, applications for prospective investors in the country.

Some of the benefits of the pioneer status include tax relief, mainly for corporate income tax.

Here is the full list of the 27 industries to enjoy the pioneer status.

Mining and processing of coal;

Processing and preservation of meat/poultry and production of meat/poultry products;

Manufacture of starches and starch products;

Processing of cocoa;

Manufacture of animal feeds;

Tanning and dressing of Leather;

Manufacture of leather footwear, luggage and handbags;

Manufacture of household and personal hygiene paper products;

Manufacture of paints, vanishes and printing ink;

Manufacture of plastic products (builders’ plastic ware) and moulds;

Manufacture of batteries and accumulators;

Manufacture of steam generators;

Manufacture of railway locomotives, wagons and rolling stock;

Manufacture of metal-forming machinery and machine tools;

Manufacture of machinery for metallurgy;

Manufacture of machinery for food and beverage processing;

Manufacture of machinery for textile, apparel and leather production;

Manufacture of machinery for paper and paperboard production;

Manufacture of plastics and rubber machinery;

Waste treatment, disposal and material recovery;

E-commerce services;

Software development and publishing;

Motion picture, video and television programme production, distribution, exhibition and photography;

Music production, publishing and distribution;

Real estate investment vehicles under the Investments and Securities Act;

Mortgage backed securities under the Investments and Securities Act; and

Business process outsourcing

Via AllAfrica 

29 Mar

Japan donates US $906,000 to Mine Action in South Sudan

Last year alone, Japanese-funded teams cleared a total of 1,799,211 sqm, and closed 450 spot tasks including emergency operations by UNMAS Quick Response Teams to survey and clear civilian locations in Juba in the immediate aftermath of conflict in July 2016

JUBA, South Sudan, March 28, 2017

The Government of Japan has contributed USD 906,000 for the mine action project “Humanitarian Mine Action in Support of Conflict Affected Communities in South Sudan.” Over the past five years, Japan has contribution over USD 13 million to mine action operations in South Sudan. Last year alone, Japanese-funded teams cleared a total of 1,799,211 sqm, and closed 450 spot tasks including emergency operations by UNMAS Quick Response Teams to survey and clear civilian locations in Juba in the immediate aftermath of conflict in July 2016.

An estimated 7.5 million people have been directly affected by the conflict in South Sudan since it began in December 2013. Over the past year, the affected population has grown by more than one million. On 8 July 2016, the optimism for peace and socioeconomic development resulting from the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan was interrupted by an outbreak of conflict in Juba and several locations in South Sudan. The use of explosive weapons such as rockets, grenades, and mortars has further increased the proliferation of explosive hazards with accident levels in 2015 and 2016 being the highest in the last five years. It is clear that the explosive legacy of war will continue to inhibit social and economic recovery long after the guns have been silenced.

Continued funding from the people of Japan will support a Multi-task Team (MTT) to reduce the impact of explosive hazards, through survey and clearance as well as the provision of Risk Education, for conflict affected communities in Greater Equatoria.  In South Sudan, where 92,840,000 sqm of contamination is known and hundreds of new hazards discovered every month, Mine Action is a critical enabler of humanitarian aid and a key driver of socio-economic development.

The Ambassador of Japan to South Sudan, Mr. Kiya Masahiko stated, “We feel a sense of mission as a peace-loving nation to support mine action in South Sudan as it lays the ground work for the people of this country to cancel out the negative past and to collectively embark on humanitarian and development efforts. Ahead of the International Mine Awareness Day, I wish to answer the global call for mine action with a USD 0.9 million contribution and to invite others to this indispensable mine action led by our long-standing partner, UNMAS.”

Mr. Tim Lardner, UNMAS South Sudan Programme Manager, emphasized the importance of the support from Japan. “Japan has been a reliable and encouraging partner in mine action to South Sudan and to UNMAS.They have always worked closely with us to support the goals of risk reduction to the population through the clearance of explosive remnants of war, but also maintain an important role in working closely with the government of South Sudan, through the National Mine Action Authority. It is great to have such a steady and reliable partner.”

UNMAS currently supports mine action programmes in Abyei (Sudan/South Sudan), Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Darfur (Sudan), Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, State of Palestine, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and the territory of Western Sahara (MINURSO).

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS).

26 Jan

Loopholes in Mali’s Export Tax Regime make it a Magnet for the Illicit Trade of Gold in West Africa

Mali’s taxation practices applicable to gold exports have turned the country into West Africa’s illicit gold trading hub, Partnership Africa Canada (www.PACweb.org) said in a report published today.

The report, The West African El Dorado: Mapping the Illicit Trade of Gold in Côte d’Ivoire, Mali and Burkina Faso, investigates challenges in the governance of artisanal gold mining in the three countries—and the vulnerabilities posed by the illicit trade of gold on the region.

The investigation finds that all countries have taken important steps towards encouraging legal trade of artisanal gold—a sector which employs an estimated three million miners in Côte d’Ivoire, Mali and Burkina Faso—such as the harmonization of export taxes at 3%. Yet, Partnership Africa Canada found that Mali’s application of export taxes to only the first 50kg of gold per month is promoting smuggling, as traders bring gold over the border into Mali to get a large tax break.

“Mali’s harmful implementation of tax laws is cause for concern in the region, as it actively drives the illicit trade of gold. Mali’s neighbours are missing out on important revenue from taxes as traders smuggle gold over borders to take advantage of the tax break,” said Joanne Lebert, Partnership Africa Canada’s Executive Director.

“Importantly, export statistics from Mali are painting a worrying trend and it is up to international refiners and buyers to exercise additional due diligence on gold exported from the country to ensure the gold is clean,” added Lebert.

An analysis of gold production and trade statistics in Mali, as well as declared imports from the United Arab Emirates of Malian gold spotlighted major inconsistencies in the declared data. Over a four year period, UAE imports of Malian gold successively exceeded Mali’s entire gold production. Mali declared 40 tonnes of gold produced in 2013—while UAE declared 49.6 tonnes imported. In 2014, the figure rose with Mali declaring production at 45.8 and UAE declaring 59.9 in Malian gold imports.

Since much of Mali’s industrial production is exported to Swiss and South African refiners, Partnership Africa Canada found little explanation for the discrepancy. The extent of the illicit gold trade in Mali raises concerns about regional peace and stability and highlights the need for refining centres to exercise additional due diligence on imports.

Partnership Africa Canada calls on Mali to undertake a comprehensive review of its tax regime to address the loopholes that make it magnet for gold produced in West Africa. Additionally, the report calls on the Dubai Multi-Commodities Centre in the UAE to ban hand-carried imports of gold and demonstrate greater oversight over gold imports.

The report also calls on gold producing countries in West Africa to harmonize policies and practices in the gold sector through a Regional Approach, similar to that currently being implemented in the Mano River Union on diamond governance.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Partnership Africa Canada (PAC).