11 months ago

New Era Vol22 No170

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New Era Vol22

Vol. 22 No. 170 Windhoek, Namibia Thursday, April 6 2017 Inside Today Over 5 500 hectares earmarked for irrigation In an effort to fight food insecurity the Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry John Mutorwa has announced that an additional 5 536 hectares (ha) of land for green scheme irrigation purposes will be developed over the Fifth National Development Plan (NDP5) period. Page 3 GIPF increases pensions by 7% More than 35 000 annuitants of the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) will receive a seven percent increase on their pensions as of April 01, after this percentage was approved by the institution’s Board of Trustees. Page 9 Sports Commission budget cut by over Nm With almost the entire local sports sector already webbed in a financial blizzard, the Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) – which subsidises all sports federations – has again been hit with heavy budget cuts following the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service announcement that it will allocate a paltry N.6 million to the NSC for the new financial year. Page 24 Photo: Emmency Nuukala Brief visit… Former U.S president George W. Bush holds a baby at the maternity ward of Windhoek Central Hospital yesterday, where he met health professionals and patients as part of his short visit to the country. Bush wants continuation of PEPFAR Alvine Kapitako Windhoek The former president of the United States of America, George W. Bush, yesterday called for continued support for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), an initiative he fathered in 2003 to assist Africa in its fight against HIV/AIDS. PEPFAR was maintained during Barack Obama’s presidency, but there is some uncertainty over whether the new U.S. administration led by Donald Trump will continue to fund and support it. Bush arrived in Namibia yesterday with his wife, Laura, and held talks with government officials, including Health Minister Dr Bernhard Haufiku, First Lady Monica Geingos and the former first lady, Penehupifo Pohamba. Bush, who served as U.S. president between 2001 and 2009, held a roundtable meeting at Windhoek Central Hospital with Haufiku and other officials. During that meeting he commended Namibia’s achievements in combating HIV/AIDS. Bush is widely credited for initiating PERPAR, a U.S. government initiative to help save the lives of people suffering from HIV/ AIDS around the globe. He noted yesterday that 11.5 million people in Africa are on antiretroviral treatment, because of PEPFAR funding. Since 2004 to date PEPFAR has availed a staggering N,5 billion to the Namibian health sector – one of the largest contributions to the country from external sources. BUSH on page 2 Floods halt capital projects in Zambezi Albertina Nakale Windhoek The current heavy floods in the Kabbe North and South Constituencies of Zambezi Region has brought construction work on several major multi-million national projects to a standstill, as the areas where the projects are located are no longer accessible to contractors. Zambezi Regional Council’s deputy director for planning and development, Cletius Mubita, this week told New Era that about seven major projects have been affected and have come to a complete standstill due to the heavy floods. The largest capital project affected, he said, is the construction of Namalubi-Isize-Luhonono road in Kabbe North. Mubita said the construction of the district road 3508 in Kabbe North was due be completed at a cost of N6 million over 30 months, after commencing in January 2015. But, he noted, some parts of the section between Isize and Luhonono have now completely been cut off by water. Nexus Civil Construction company is the main contractor on the project. The new road is 57 kilometres long, of which 22 kilometres run from Namalubi to Isize, with a further 33 km from Isize to Luhonono. He noted that the work done so far was on the 22 kilometre stretch, which is located on higher ground. ZAMBEZI on page 2 GIPF introduces new rulebook to housing market Desie Heita Windhoek In what is certainly a first for Namibia, the Government Institutions Pension Fund has adopted a new model whereby it acquires and services land and then has property developers build and sell such houses at reasonable and affordable prices. The approach is to buy land directly from town councils or farmers, service it and have the property developers put up houses. Nevertheless, the Fund is emphatic that while its model has a social responsibility aspect to it, the approach is by no means a mere social intervention. The decision to invest in the housing sector was taken on purely business considerations, albeit with social implications, where long-term investment returns to the Fund are also justifiable, David Nuyoma, the chief executive officer of the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF), said in a wide-ranging interview with New Era yesterday. GIPF on page 2 Photo: Contributed Game changer… GIPF chief executive officer David Nuyoma is excited by the social and economic changes to be made by the Fund’s involvement in the housing and property market. New Era Newspaper @NewEraNewspaper #NewEraNewspaper • •

New Era

New Era Newspaper Vol 22 No 167