Pinterest Twitter Google+ Facebook Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic Pinterest WhatsApp News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows By News Highland – May 8, 2021 Twitter Google+ A company has been appointed to undertake engineering and environmental consultancy services for three flood relief schemes in Donegal.The projects in Ballybofey – Stranorlar, Buncrana – Luddan, and Ramelton are key elements in the flood risk management strategy in place until 2027.Byrne Looby Water Services will begin public consultations in all three areas shortly.Donegal County Council says the project team will assess options based not only on their technical and economic suitability, but also their environmental and social impact.Cathaoirleach Councillor Rena Donaghey is says it is very important that the local communities have their say and become involved in the public consultation process as the flooding solutions are developed. She said this will help shape the design of the schemes that will ultimately protect and safeguard their communities.An initial public consultation will be launched in the coming months to seek the views of the communities of Ballybofey – Stranorlar, Buncrana – Luddan, and Ramelton on flooding and associated environmental issues that they feel need to be addressed as part of the schemes.Chief Executive John McLaughlin says the council has developed a strong working relationship with OPW in the delivery of flood relief schemes in the county, and he looks forward to the successful progression of these three schemes, along with the other flood relief schemes that are already progressing in Castlefin, Burnfoot, Glenties, Downings and Kerrykeel, Lifford and Raphoe. WhatsApp Homepage BannerNews Previous articleTD calls for income threshold for council housing to be raisedNext articleDerry draw with Longford – Ruaidhri Higgins & Jack Malone Reaction News Highland Harps come back to win in Waterford DL Debate – 24/05/21 Facebook RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Company appointed for consultancy on flood relief schemes in Donegal Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODA
For this year’s Bonnaroo Music And Arts Festival, the festival is mixing it up, expanding “The Other Tent” into a full-blown stage that will be blasting hip-hop and electronic performances late into the night. Once the tent comes down and the stage area is built out, the new stage simply named “The Other” will host performances by artists such as Marshmello, Big Gigantic, Yellow Claw, D.R.A.M., Goldfish, Haywyre, Skepta, and others.Bonnaroo, which takes place in Manchester, Tennessee, and is known for its ability to draw huge headliners, with U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Weeknd, and Chance The Rapper topping the 2017 lineup. However, the downbill of Bonnaroo’s line-up is always is varied, catering to a bunch of different musical tastes and allowing the more mainstream festival to still appeal to concertgoer’s diverse musical sensibilities. This year, Umphrey’s McGee, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Greensky Bluegrass, Mandolin Orange, Turkuaz, and Twiddle are just a few of our favorite artists who will be hitting Bonnaroo this year.This year, the festival runs from June 8th through June 11th, and is sure to be bigger than ever with the expansion of “The Other Tent” into a larger stage in its own right. You can check out Bonnaroo’s website for more information and tickets.
FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享By Mead Gruver in the Seattle Times: CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — As more coal companies file for bankruptcy, it’s increasingly likely that taxpayers will be stuck with the very high costs of preventing abandoned mines from becoming environmental disasters.The question is not if, but when, where and how many more coal mines will close as the industry declines, analysts say. Many mines already operate at a loss, and there’s not enough money in the fuel anymore to enable their owners to keep their promises to clean up the land.“It’s sort of a situation where nobody, really, is going to end up looking good,” said James Stevenson, director of North American coal for analyst firm IHS. “The states have I think a significant risk — the federal government does as well.”This reclamation crisis looms because of a practice called self-bonding, which allows coal companies to promise to eventually cover the cost of cleaning up abandoned mines without first setting aside the necessary money.Because of self-bonding, billions of dollars in legally required reclamation funding exist only as IOUs, without dedicated assets or bonds backed by third-party investors.Nationwide, self-bonding in the coal-mining industry tops $3.3 billion. That includes $2.3 billion in IOUs that the three biggest bankrupt coal companies — Alpha Natural Resources, Arch Coal and Peabody — owe in five states, according to an Associated Press analysis of bonding obligations in the top 16 coal-mining states.The dilemma for state and federal regulators got even bleaker when the nation’s largest coal producer, Peabody, filed for Chapter 11 protection from its creditors in April. Peabody alone holds more than $1.1 billion in self-bonding obligations for mines in Illinois, Indiana, New Mexico and Wyoming, where its North Antelope Rochelle mine produces almost 12 percent of the nation’s coal.With several major U.S. coal producers filing for Chapter 11 over the last two years, the issue will play an important part in shaping coal’s future. Mines in Appalachia are particularly likely to close as the industry consolidates around a smaller number of still-profitable mines out West, Stevenson said.Full article: http://www.seattletimes.com/business/mine-environmental-risk-grows-with-bankruptcies-in-big-coal/ Self-Bonding Leading to Environmental Hazards As Coal Company Bankruptcies Mount
THE race for the men’s title of the Guyana-leg of the South American 10km Classic has been blown wide open with the news that defending champion Peruvian Yerson Orellana, and his compatriot Luis Ostos, will not be here for the race which gets underway today at 16.00hrs.This news comes on the heels of Guyana’s top distance athlete and champion of the Suriname-leg of the race, Cleveland Forde earlier this week revealing that he will not be a part of today’s line up vying for the title.According to president of the Athletics Association of Guyana (AAG) Aubrey Hudson,the Peruvian contingent was unable to secure flights to get to Guyana in a timely manner, so instead decided to forgo the race.“They won’t be here. There were some complications in getting them here on time so they opted not to take part.When they looked at the travel time to get here, and when they would have had to leave, and when they were getting flights if they came,they would have gotten here sometime midday [today], and it would have been too hard for them to compete right after that.” Hudson related.It was only last year that Orellana and Ostos overwhelmed Guyana’s ’Little Kenyan’ when they placed first and second respectively,thereby ending Forde’s eight year dominanace of the event. Forde ultimately ended up finishing fourth after he was also unable to overcome Trinidad and Tobago based Kenyan, Kenneth Rotich. Rotich will also not be here.With all these leading athletes absent, it now leaves the race wide open for other top athletes like Trinidad’s Curtis Cox, who lost to Forde at the Caricom 10km back in July, as well as local boys Cleveland Thomas and Winston Missigher, who have continuously been hindered by Forde in their quest for a 10km title.Thomas and Missigher recently placed second and third respectively at the Suriname-leg of the Classic. The Classic is a three-part event with races in Guyana, Suriname and Panama. Today’s episode will mark the final leg of the race.Both Thomas and Missigher are confident ahead of their performance today, more motivated than ever at the thought of perhaps claiming their first title. Both are sorry at not having the kind of competition that Forde and the Peruvians would have brought to the table but as always are still working toward a title.“I put a lot of work into preparing for this race so I’m going into this race very confident and looking to do well,” said Thomas.Meanwhile, on the distaff side, Suriname’s Tonya Nero is back and will try to defend her title.However, Guyana’s Euleen Josiah-Tanner will not be there to challenge Nero. However,there will be others from Guyana like Ashanti Scott,who could perhaps take the opportunity to step up to the plate;there will also be Surinamese Genelva Dika.Today’s event is expected to have the participation of over 50 athletes.
In this Jan. 1, 2019, file photo, Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins runs against Washington during the first half of the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game, in Pasadena, Calif. Record-setting Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr. says he is leaving school to enter the NFL draft. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Dwayne Haskins is NFL bound after one spectacular season as Ohio State’s starting quarterback.The third-year sophomore who rewrote the school record book had been expected to enter the draft and is a projected first-round pick.Haskins said on Twitter on Monday he would forgo his final year of eligibility “after many thoughts and prayers with family and close friends.” He wrote that just as it was a boyhood dream to play for Ohio State, he also dreamed of being an NFL quarterback.His sturdy, 6-foot-3, 220-pound frame, quick release and exceptional accuracy make him a top prospect. He smashed most Ohio State and Big Ten passing records, throwing for a nation-leading 50 touchdowns. He finished third in Heisman Trophy voting behind Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray and Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa.The announcement came on a busy day for the Buckeyes. New coach Ryan Day hired a pair of new defensive coordinators — one of them from hated rival Michigan. Greg Mattison, who spent the past four years as defensive line coach under Jim Harbaugh, joined Day’s staff along with veteran NFL assistant Jeff Hafley. Greg Schiano, the defensive coordinator for the past three seasons under Urban Meyer, is out of a job.The Rose Bowl win over Washington on Jan. 1 turned out to be the last game for both Haskins and Meyer. Haskins was named MVP after completing 25 of 37 passes for 251 yards and three touchdowns in the finale for Meyer before retirement.Day, who worked with Haskins as quarterbacks coach, likened him to Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and former Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford. Day coached both in the NFL.“Those are the two guys I’ve been around that are in that same category right now — their anticipation, their accuracy, the way the ball comes off their hand,” Day said. “I’d compare him to those two guys.”Haskins’ NFL decision was telegraphed by Justin Fields, the Georgia quarterback who announced Friday he was transferring to Ohio State. Haskins said the two talked first, and it was seen as unlikely Fields would have transferred unless Haskins was moving on.After a redshirt year in 2016, Haskins backed up J.T. Barrett in 2017. After Barrett was injured during the Michigan game, Haskins entered and led the Buckeyes to a comeback victory.He battled Joe Burrow for the starting job in the spring and secured it when Burrow transferred to LSU last summer. He proceeded to change the Buckeyes into a pass-first team, throwing for more than 400 yards five times, including a career-high 499 in the Big Ten Championship win over Northwestern. That came after he threw for six touchdowns in the 62-39 rout of Michigan the previous week.He was the Big Ten offensive player of the week a record six times. The only blemish on Haskins’ resume is the inexplicable 49-20 loss at unranked Purdue Oct. 20. Haskins passed for 470 yards in the game, primarily because the Boilermakers had shut down Ohio State’s run game and forced the Buckeyes to throw 73 times. The loss kept Ohio State out of the College Football Playoff and hurt Haskins’ Heisman bid.His departure will make for another intriguing quarterback derby beginning in spring practice between Fields, a dual-threat player with a big arm, and fleet Tate Martell, who already has two years playing under Day’s tutelage. Redshirt freshman Matthew Baldwin also will be in the mix.Martell, who was the heir apparent before Fields’ arrival, said he is determined to stay at Ohio State and win the starting job.___More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
Facebook0Tweet0Pin0Submitted by South Puget Sound Community CollegeSPSCC proudly announces its lineup for its 2018-2019 Artist & Lecture Series. The series aims to bring nationally and internationally recognized artists, speakers, and activists who offer diverse and innovative views and performances to the campus and local community.Attending one of these Artist & Lecture Series evenings gives audience members the chance to broaden the term culture for themselves. The lineup for the new season includes:Michael Kaeshammer | October 6, 2018Canadian jazz pianist-singer-songwriter Michael Kaeshammer is a two-time Juno Award winner with a recording career that spans twelve albums. Famous worldwide for his unique boogie-woogie piano style, with heavy influence from the iconic musical culture of New Orleans, Kaeshammer’s dynamic full-band performance will be showcased at the annual The Experience fundraising gala.Alina Fernández | Oct. 18, 2018Alina Fernández, novelist, activist, and radio show host, is internationally famous for her autobiography Castro’s Daughter: An Exile’s Memoir of Cuba. Fernández will speak of growing up in Cuba as Fidel Castro’s daughter in the 1960’s and 70’s and her later departure, as well as provide insight into the country’s future and great potential, with a Q&A to follow.Winona LaDuke | February 7, 2019Writer and political activist Winona LaDuke is a widely-recognized and outspoken advocate of Native American causes, writing extensively about human rights, Native land reclamation, and environmental justice. LaDuke will hold a lecture on her causes and organizations, including the Honor the Earth and the White Earth Land Recovery Project, with time to dive deeper through a Q&A session.PHILADANCO! | April 25, 2019Presented in partnership with Ballet Northwest, the Philadelphia Dance Company (PHILADANCO) is a nonprofit organization that has been building bridges between diverse communities through professional dance performances since its founding in 1970. PHILADANCO is recognized across the globe for fostering emerging dancers and its electrifying performances that contribute to the preservation of African-American traditions in dance.James McBride | May 30, 2019Writer, journalist, and jazz musician James McBride is widely recognized for his landmark memoir “The Color of Water”, which discusses the complexities of race and identity growing up in a biracial family. Following a lively opening from SPSCC’s own jazz students, McBride will take the stage for a night of truly unforgettable music.For more information about the 2018-19 Artist & Lecture Series performers – or to buy tickets – visit spscc.edu/ALseries.
BOB EDWARDS, OWNER OF ZINDAYA, WINNER: “It’s special. She’s our first-ever stakes winner. (Zindaya won her first stakes race at Belmont in May 2015, giving Bob Edwards his first stakes victory as an owner.) Javier has done a great job with her. Chad has done a great job with her.“You saw her in the paddock. She looks like a true champ. It’s been a great weekend for us. It’s been a great experience (referring to winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf on Friday and today’s Goldikova).This is my first time out here. It’s been a pretty good year and winning this race makes a big difference.” JAVIER CASTELLANO, ZINDAYA, WINNER: “I had a perfect trip. I was on the rail and looking for the seam. I tried to save all the ground I could. I kept track of the pace-setter and tried to follow Hillhouse High and find the best scenario to go for. We thought (Hillhouse High) was going to go and she did. It worked out great. When we swung out at the top of the lane, she gave me a powerful kick.” JOCKEY QUOTES OWNER QUOTES NOTES: Bob Edwards, who races as E Five Racing Thoroughbreds, resides in Boca Raton, FL. Edwards also won his first-ever Breeders’ Cup race with New Money Honey on Friday in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.
A satellite image of the deep-water Port of Ngqura, and the surrounding infrastructure of the Coega Industrial Development Zone. (Image: Google Earth) MEDIA CONTACTS • John Dludlu, spokesperson Transnet Limited + 27 11 308 2458 +27 83 676 1881 +27 83 277 4774 [email protected] • Nelis van Tonder, senior executive Sales & Marketing, Container & Automotive Transnet Freight Rail +27 21 940 2531 +27 83 452 6711 • Ntombentsha Yaya Coega Industrial Development Zone +27 41 403 0400 [email protected] • Transnet National Port Authority +27 11 351 9001 RELATED ARTICLES • Highest global quality fuel in SA • Infrastructure development in South Africa • Capital spending boosts economyWilma den HartighSouth Africa’s new deep-water harbour, the port of Ngqura near Port Elizabeth, launched operations last week when its first commercial customer, the MSC Catania, docked at the port.The port is an integral part of the Coega Industrial Development Zone, a new initiative that aims to boost the regional economy of the Eastern Cape province.The 300-metre long and 13-metre deep ship was used to test vessel operators’ skills in offloading and handling containers. After months in training, two teams of operators – with a third on standby – succeeded at their first commercial offloading, using the port’s state-of-the-art Liebherr ship-to-shore cranes. The MSC Catania loaded and off-loaded 275 containers, with an average of 19 containers handled per hour.“We are pleased to report that it was all smooth sailing today in terms of portside operations at Ngqura,” Tau Morwe, chief executive of Transnet Port Terminals, said after the inauguration on 4 October.“This experimental start-up indicates we are ready to take the port to the next level.” Transnet Port Terminals is a division of Transnet, the parastatal company that runs South Africa’s national transport infrastructure.Alleviating container congestionThe Ngqura Port, which lies at the mouth of the Coega River in Algoa Bay, is the country’s eighth and latest commercial port development.It has an advantage over other ports in Africa in that it is a deep-water port with a depth of between 16 and 18 metres. This means it can accommodate new generation container vessels and will allow Transnet to increase capacity for container volumes.The improved infrastructure will relieve container congestion in the South African port system, while attracting additional transhipment cargo. Transnet says the new port is the solution to South Africa’s lack of container capacity that has been strained by a considerable growth in container traffic.A Transnet statement explained that the Ngqura container terminal will have the capacity to accommodate “Ultra-Mega” ships carrying 6 000 to 10 000 TEUs – 20-foot equivalent units, a measure used for capacity in container transport. It will be able to handle more than 100 container moves per ship working hour, with sufficient stack and berth capacity to cater for future growth up to 2-million TEUs. The terminal also boasts good inland connectivity for import and export traffic through road and rail. South Africa’s freight transport system. Sishen is a massive iron-ore mine in the Northern Cape, while City Deep in Johannesburg is the country’s only inland terminal. The port of Maputo is in the neighbouring country of Mozambique. (Image: Transnet) Transnet has to date invested more than R10 billion (US$1.36-billion) to develop the state-of-the-art port and associated infrastructure. This includes a world class two-berth container terminal (and a further two berths under construction), a two-berth multipurpose terminal and a one-berth liquid bulk terminal.The new port is also a safer alternative for ships wanting to avoid the Somalia coast, which has recently been plagued by pirates.It could also serve as a “feeder” or “loading centre” for other destinations. The container node would function as a hub where large freight ships could unload their cargo for further distribution by road, sea or rail to other destinations in Africa.Economic development and tradeThe port is considered the most modern harbour in Africa. Although sub-Saharan Africa has a number of smaller ports, these are only suitable for medium-sized ships. It will not only boost the economy of the Eastern Cape; it is also an important development for trade in South Africa and the rest of Africa as a whole.Building economist Dr Johan Snyman said the new harbour development is a rare construction project. Although the upgrading of some of South Africa’s other harbours is underway, Ngqura is the first new harbour development in many years.Rob Jeffrey, a director and senior economist at Econometrix, said that the promotion of industrial development at the Coega Industrial Development Zone would have a considerable impact on the underdeveloped Eastern Cape. It is likely to boost the gross regional product of the province and significantly increase growth in the Nelson Mandela Metro area, the broader municipality into which Port Elizabeth falls.“This is substantial for such a relatively underdeveloped area, which is currently heavily reliant on the motor industry,” Jeffrey said.He added that the development could also lead to a permanent increase in skills in the economy, particularly in local communities.“It would affect a substantial number of people faced with few alternatives in a province with an extremely high unemployment rate, which has been measured in excess of 25%. The unemployment rate in adjacent Greater Motherwell has been placed at over 30%.” Motherwell is a sprawling urban settlement outside Port Elizabeth that also forms part of the Nelson Mandela Metro.The port development will also directly create employment in the region. Transnet Port Terminals said in a statement that R4-billion (US$490-million) invested by 2002 created employment for 50 627 people – the equivalent of 12.6 jobs per R1-million (US$123 000) invested.For the R5.1-billion (US$625-million) spent by 2007, 66 213 jobs had been created, this time 12.9 jobs for each R1-million invested. To date, almost R9.8-billion (US$1.2-billion) has been invested in the Ngqura port.The port development also holds positive secondary benefits for other product groups such as agriculture, fishing, construction, transport (including storage), financial and business services, electricity and gas as well as wholesale and retail business.Jeffrey pointed out that Coega and its port is ideally located to kick-start local and regional economic development of the area. He explained that some of the planned projects within the Coega development are capital-intensive and technologically advanced. This will result in an inflow of skilled people to the province and substantial education, training, upgrading of skills and development of small businesses.“This will contribute to population growth and wealth generation, the benefits of which flows down into the less skilled population,” he said. The developments will also cause an increase in purchasing power, as the average remuneration per worker of such large projects is generally higher than the region’s average.He cites Richards Bay as an example of the Coega’s potential impact in the region in years to come. Richards Bay evolved over a period of 30 years from a small fishing village into one of South Africa’s premier industrial districts. Today, together with the nearby town of Empangeni, it has a total population exceeding 50 000. The area has over 5 000 businesses, is the third most important region in KwaZulu-Natal and has had an economic growth rate higher than the average for the country and the province.“This gives an indication of the type of expansion that can take place once the initial key industries are in place and act as a nucleus or a magnet, which can attract other upstream and downstream industries,” Jeffrey said.Power tugsTransnet has also announced that the deep-water port is expecting the delivery of one of its three new tugboats in mid-October this year. Currently, it is undergoing sea trials in the Port of Durban. An additional two new tugboats will also be delivered in April and May next year. Each tugboat has an approximate cost of R120-million, and capable of a 70-ton bollard pull. They are regarded as the most powerful harbour tugs in South Africa.Rail operationsRail operations at the new port have also received a stamp of approval. In September, Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) ran a test train on the Ngqura main line, and was declared safe for operations.According to a statement from TFR, this is an important step in preparation for the planned commercial launch of the new port and its container terminal this month.TFR is still confident that all its operations are on target for the completion of the Ngqura rail terminal, marshalling yard, and main line construction to the hinterland. There are currently four operational lines in the marshalling yard and the remaining five should be available by March next year. The new marshalling yard infrastructure can accommodate up to six trains daily per direction, and the hinterland will have a design capacity of two trains per day. The hinterland capacity will be increased as volumes increase, depending on financial and business viability.The rail route will connect the new port to the City Deep rail terminal in Johannesburg in Gauteng province via Beaconsfield in the Northern Cape. Transnet has refurbished 400 container wagons and will utilise its 7E locomotive fleet for traffic on the line, which has a designed capacity of six trains per day, each with 50 wagons.
12 July 2013The South African Rugby Union (Saru) on Thursday launched its Footprint Programme in Mthatha with the help of Springboks Siya Kolisi, Adriaan Strauss, Trevor Nyakane, Duane Vermeulen and Pierre Spies, Springboks assistant coaches and members of the Springbok Women’s team.Launched at a Saru Coaching Symposium in rural Transkei, a two-day event jointly arranged by Saru and the Eastern Cape Department of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture, the programme aims to deliver the latest rugby coaching techniques and skills to all corners of South Africa.On Wednesday, 50 coaches from the Transkei Rugby Union, a sub-union of the Border Rugby Union, attended the symposium, which included a workshop presentation and a practical demonstration coaching session by the three Springbok assistant coaches and Springbok players Kolisi, Strauss, Spies, Vermeulen and Nyakane. They were joined by Mandisa Williams, the Springbok Sevens Women’s captain.PresentationRassie Erasmus, the Saru General Manager for High Performance, delivered a presentation on Wednesday to eager coaches at the Walter Sisulu University, while Springbok assistant coaches, Johann van Graan, Ricardo Loubscher and John McFarland, using the Springboks, demonstrated to the coaches how to master the basic technical techniques in areas such as tackling, scrumming, lineout play and the breakdown.Erasmus, a former Springbok captain and provincial rugby coach, said the Footprint programme is designed to assist coaches in even the most remote parts of the vast South African platteland.“This programme aims to assist the coaches to teach and apply the proper coaching techniques in the technical aspects of the game.“Players in the rural areas have the natural skill, flair and the ability but they lack the technical skills which are needed in areas such as scrums, lineouts and the breakdown,” Erasmus said.Web-based programme“It is a web-based programme that is really user-friendly and easy to understand. Coaches will be able to access a website from where they will be able to download the necessary materials, which are designed in an easy to understand formula.”Recognising that not everyone has access to a computer, Erasmus added: “We fully realise that access to computers and connectivity are real barriers in such areas, and where a coach is unable to access the website, we will supply them with DVDs and further instructions by text messages. In this regard, we will work closely with the Eastern Cape Department of Sport to establish a support network for all the coaches.“The idea is to build a database of players in the areas, track and monitor their progress and then to give us feedback at a later stage so we can design maybe some methods of intervention.“The coaches are so enthusiastic and willing to learn and I am glad we could come and assist the development of rugby in an area where there is such passion and love for the game,” said Erasmus.Eventually, he added, Saru aims to spread the pilot programme to all corners of South Africa.DelightedKolisi said he was delighted to assist in the project. “I know there is a lot of raw talent in places such as Mthatha and other rural areas of the Eastern Cape,” he said.“It is very important for players to learn the proper, basic techniques from a young age and who better to teach them that than the coaches. I am therefore delighted that Saru has initiated this project, which is aimed at upskilling the coaches.”Deidre Sedras, General Manager for the Eastern Cape Department of Sport, said the Department wants to increase the base, quality and support of local coaches through this programme.“We are extremely proud to be a partner in this programme and we hope this will be the start of a very successful partnership with Saru in this regard,” she said.SAinfo reporter and SA Rugby
4 June 2015A tangible outcome of the first day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa was an agreement that the National Youth Development Agency would partner with the Mara Foundation to run the online mentorship scheme, Mara Mentor.The WEF on Africa is taking place in Cape Town. It ends on 5 June.The agreement was made with the founder and chairperson of the Mara Foundation, Ashish Thakkar, who spoke to President Jacob Zuma on the sidelines of the WEF on Africa about the innovative Mara Mentor online Mentoring Platform. It will provide mentorships to young South African entrepreneurs.The mentoring platform is an initiative of Brand South Africa, which initially linked up the foundation with The Presidency at the WEF in Davos, Switzerland, in January. It will be officially launched on 16 June, Youth Day, and will offer mentorships over a web platform as well as on mobile applications.Young people will be able to ask business leaders questions and seek advice on business issues.“Top business leaders in South Africa, including chairpersons and chief executives of companies, are already being asked to sign up as mentors for the South African youth to be able to provide them with support. The youth will be able to register as mentees at one of [the National Youth Development Agency’s] 14 offices countrywide,” said The Presidency.Mara Mentor has been successfully launched in six African countries to date. The e- platform has over 600 000 active entrepreneurs across 30 African countries with whom young people can interact.Brand South Africa chairperson Chichi Maponya said the programme was part of the agency’s initiative of not only promoting South Africa as an attractive business destination but also finding opportunities for socio-economic development for the country abroad.“We believe that it has the potential to empower thousands of young people who want to start up businesses or who are already in business. It also provides an opportunity for business leaders in the country to plough back by supporting youth development and empowerment.”Day twoSouth Africa is participating in a range of programmes at the WEF on Africa today, the second day of gathering.Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane is participating in a session on The Future of Water, while Tourism Minister Derick Hanekom is taking part in a session on Unlocking Africa. Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramathlodi is participating in a session focusing on mining in Africa. The 25th WEF on Africa opened yesterday, with the theme “Then and now: reimagining Africa’s future”.Team South Africa was well represented on the first day of WEF Africa and emphasised that South Africa was open for business on all platforms, according to acting cabinet spokesperson Phumla Williams. The day began with Minister in the Presidency Minister Radebe participating, together with Ghanaian minister of foreign affairs Hanna Tetteh, in an interactive discussion on how competitive African nation brands could contribute to advancing the African Union’s Agenda 2063.“Both ministers and the participants at large concluded the discussions saying that the time has come for African countries to implement policies which will contribute to changing the socio-economic conditions on our continent. There was also a resounding call that Agenda 2063 must be brought to life through the implementation of national policies that support the pillars for growth and development,” said Williams.These included social issues like health, education and food security as well as infrastructure development. South Africa was committed to infrastructure development on the continent, and the country held the chairmanship of the African Union’s Programme for Infrastructure Development for Africa.It was focused on facilitating road, rail and air connectivity between countries on the continent, which would contribute to Africa’s integration, ease movement of people, goods and services throughout the continent as well as the continent’s ability to attract inward flows of investment.South Africa also hosted a welcome reception for WEF delegates, at which Hanekom reiterated that the country was open to all visitors and investors, while offering a range of diverse experiences that would cater for all visitors.President Jacob Zuma hosted a meeting of the Business Interaction Group, at which he said his government was committed to creating an enabling legislative and policy environment for business to create jobs and grow the economy.“As with similar engagements in the run up to WEF Africa 2015, there has been a willingness of both government and the private sector to work together to drive South Africa’s growth and development,” Williams said.Source: SAnews.gov