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News Roundup


VOL.6 November 2014
News Roundup


Art Connection

Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete (left) receives a photo album from Wang Gangyi, Vice President of China International Publishing Group (CIPG) at the African Art Village in Beijing's Tongzhou District. This album commemorating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of China-Tanzania diplomatic relations was produced by BEIJING REVIEW and CIPG.

President Kikwete paid a state visit to China from October 21 to 26 at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping. His visit came as Tanzania and China celebrated the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties with Sino-Tanzanian cooperation booming. President Kikwete held talks with Xi and Premier Li Keqiang, and attended the reception for the jubilee.

Established to promote African culture and art, exhibits at the African Art Village include sculptures by Tanzania's Makonde community, Zambian copper-plate etchings, and masks from Malawi.


Indigenous Satellite Planned

Nigeria would design, fabricate, test and launch its indigenous satellite by 2018, Abdu Bulama, Minister of Science and Technology, said in Abuja while inspecting the Obasanjo Space Center of the National Space Research and Development Agency. The center has the mandate to launch Nigeria's first indigenous satellite by 2018. Bulama said competence and capabilities in satellite technology would serve as a tool for national growth and contribute to the development and benefit of mankind.


Postpone Africa Cup 

The Moroccan Government has urged the African Football Confederation to postpone the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, scheduled from January 17 to February 8, because of the Ebola epidemic. Morocco's Health Ministry has asked the government to avoid events involving countries affected by the Ebola virus, the government said in a statement. Ebola has claimed the lives of at least 4,000 people, mostly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, since its outbreak early this year.


Spur for Growth 

Significant public investment in agricultural production, infrastructure, retail services, finance and telecommunications is expected to stimulate economic growth in Africa, the World Bank has said. Its latest report on the continent says this improved growth is expected to occur in the context of lower commodity prices and lower foreign direct investment as a result of subdued global economic conditions. "Commodity prices remain highly significant to Africa's outlook since primary commodities continue to account for three quarters of Sub-Saharan Africa's total goods exports," said Africa's Pulse, the bank's biannual analysis of the issues shaping Africa's economic prospects.


Ebola Outbreak Over

WHO officially declared the Ebola outbreak in Senegal and Nigeria over in October and commended the countries on their diligence to end the transmission of the virus. The Ebola case in Senegal was confirmed on August 29 in a young man who had traveled to Dakar by road from Guinea, where he had had direct contact with an Ebola patient. Observers say that the response of the governments of the two countries is a good example of what to do when faced with an imported case. They reacted quickly to stop the disease from spreading. The Senegalese Government's response plan included identifying and monitoring 74 close contacts of the patient, prompting testing of all suspected cases, stepping up surveillance at the country's many entry points and nationwide public awareness campaigns.


Altered Forecast

The World Bank said in October that it has cut the growth target forecasts for China to 7.4 percent in 2014 and 7.2 percent in 2015, as Beijing pushes forward structural reforms to address financial vulnerabilities and structural constraints. Measures to contain local government debt, curb shadow banking, and tackle excess capacity, high energy demand and high pollution will reduce investment and manufacturing output. However, Sudhir Shetty, the World Bank's Chief Economist for East Asia and the Pacific, claimed the slowdown in the economy will be gradual and does not represent the bottom of China's growth.


Terrorism Writ

China has issued a judicial document to clarify application of its criminal law on terrorism. Issued to all provincial judicial and prosecuting apparatus and public security authorities, it was jointly formulated by the Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, and the Ministry of Public Security. The document urges the authorities to differentiate normal religious activities from religious extremism and terrorism, and protect freedom of religion. It is the latest judicial explanation to clarify legal procedures when dealing with terrorism.


Customs Clearance

Two coastal regions - south China's Guangdong Province and the Yangtze River Delta Economic Region in the east - are the most recent to join the customs clearance reform, the General Administration of Customs said. Aimed at shortening clearance procedures, the reforms will ease restrictions on goods, facilitating their flow into the country. The first batch of cities along the Yangtze River to enact the reforms will be Shanghai, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Ningbo and Hefei. In Guangdong, only air and maritime transport are included, with overland freight set to get listed on December 1.


Registration Reform

China has completed its public opinion hearing on a provisional property registration guideline. The Ministry of Land and Resources said the opinions, collected since August 15, include views from experts on the property sector and law, giving constructive suggestions. The government has promised a unified national property registration scheme by the end of this year to regulate the real estate market and push forward urbanization. A top-down urbanization plan released in March says China will build a national network for real estate ownership by 2020 at the latest, to reduce speculation and help people buy their own homes.


Better Urban Living

The Central Government of China hopes to offer more quality jobs to migrant workers to ease them into urban living. It has planned to provide professional training to 20 million surplus rural labor workers every year until 2020. The goal is to better work conditions, ensure pay schedules and make sure they are covered by social security, a policy guideline published by the State Council stated recently. According to the guideline, migrant workers will enjoy the same treatment as urban residents in terms of social security.






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