26 March 2012The fourth annual summit of the BRICS grouping of powerful emerging economies takes place in New Delhi, India this week.President Jacob Zuma will lead a high-powered delegation of South African government ministers and business leaders to the event, which will see the presidents and prime ministers of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa discussion issues ranging from the state of the world economy to the need to adapt to global climate change.In parallel discussions, business leaders from the five countries will tackle a range of issues, including improving banking services to support intra-BRICS trade and investment, increasing cooperation on renewable energy and technological innovation, and achieving food security and through sharing scientific research and technology transfer.Rising stature of emerging nationsCommenting the increasing stature of the summit, Brand South Africa CEO Miller Matola said the relative decline of the West’s traditional political and economic power had coincided with the rising global stature of emerging nations.“The BRICS grouping is the most concrete and rapidly evolving example of this phenomenon,” Matola said in a statement on Monday. “In just four years, the formal agenda for cooperation and consultation has expanded dramatically to span politics, trade and business, science, academic and cultural interactions.”Matola said the BRICS countries would not agree on everything, being competitors in a number of areas, but had adopted many common positions – the most recent being at the G20 meeting in Mexico in February, when the BRICS finance ministers agreed that the presidency of the World Bank should be open to all candidates and not restricted to American candidates.US President Barack Obama’s nomination on Friday of Jim Yong Kim, a Korean-born doctor and international public health expert, “suggests these views are increasingly gaining traction,” Matola said.“Likewise, South Africa has found resonance within the BRICS grouping for its calls for the reform of global governance systems such as the UN system, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to make them more responsive to the needs of the developing world and Africa.”‘Enormous opportunities for trade and investment’Closer cooperation between the BRICS nations also promises enormous opportunities for trade and investment within and through all five member countries.Last year in South Africa, seven BRICS securities exchanges announced plans to cross-list each others’ indices and to jointly develop new products by June 2012. The seven exchanges represent a combined listed market capitalisation of more than US$9-trillion and 9 481 listed companies.Matola said the BRICS summit gave South Africa an invaluable opportunity to promote not just the country but also the extraordinary opportunities on the African continent, which the IMF estimates will be home to seven of the 10 fastest growing economies between 2010 and 2015.Actively driving African integration“We believe South Africa is an integral part of Africa and works to increase its stability, unity, prosperity and international influence,” Matola said.“We are actively driving Africa’s regional integration efforts, including developing continental north-south rail and road links, expanding ports and energy capacity and skills.“Simultaneously 26 African countries agreed to create a single free trade area by mid-2014, covering the Southern, Eastern and Central Africa. The $1-trillion free trade area will effectively expand South Africa’s market from 50-million to 600-million – placing us in a similar category in terms of market size as our BRICS partners.”The fifth BRICS summit will be held in South Africa in March-April 2013.SAinfo reporter
East London, Friday, 30 August 2013 – Brand South Africa will host its inaugural South African Competitiveness Forum later this year. As part of reaching out to civil society as partners in building South Africa as a competitive, winning nation, Brand South Africa today hosted an interaction with civil society stakeholders in East London.Representatives of local government, business, civil society and the media interacted with Brand South Africa’s Head of Research, Dr Petrus de Kock, on where the country is currently positioned on global competitiveness indices.The National Development Plan will play a key role in driving the country’s competitiveness as South Africa develops economically and socially. To achieve this successfully, it is important that all stakeholders grapple with the internal challenges, as well as the external conditions, that impact on the country’s growth. It is with this in mind that Brand South Africa will bring together leaders in government, business and civil society in one key platform.The Competitiveness Forum will explore the following themes:Education, skills & labour;Products and services;Governance and leadership;Infrastructure; andFDI competitivenessStakeholders based in the Eastern Cape shared their expert sector-specific contributions during the interaction. The outcomes of these dialogues will assist Brand South Africa profile relevant issues at the Competitiveness Forum that will add meaningfully to the national dialogue on South Africa’s competitiveness and international profile.Speaking on conclusion of the stakeholder engagement in East London, Dr de Kock said, “one thing that comes through for me is the importance of provinces and especially infrastructure. If we are talking national competitiveness issues, we really have to understand what the existing base is, provincially. Where do we need to improve, for example, the provincial infrastructure base, that will add on to the bigger picture of national competitiveness?”Preparations for the SA Competitiveness Forum take into consideration long-term objectives identified in the National Development Plan. In the 21st century rapid changes to technology and global economic circumstances necessitate in-depth consideration of both domestic and international factors that impact on South Africa’s competitiveness and global reputation as a trade partner and investment destination.Similar consultations, which will be held around the country, are intended to mobilise and encourage stakeholders in all spheres of South African society to be part of the national conversation about the future of the country and the role that they can play.About Brand South AfricaBrand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa, with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, in order to improve its global competitiveness abroad. Its aim is also to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, in order to contribute to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship. For more information or to set up interviews, please contact:Nadia Samie-JacobsPublic Relations DomesticTel: +27 11 712 5007 Mobile: +27 (0)72 777 9399Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgVisit: www.brandsouthafrica.comEnds
14 January 2014 Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom achieved its first success of the film awards season at the 71st Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills on Sunday night, winning the Best Original Song award for “Ordinary Love”, composed by Irish superband U2. U2 were inspired to write a song for the big-screen dramatisation of Mandela’s autobiography after watching an early cut of the film. U2 has a long association with South Africa as supporters of the anti-apartheid movement and as supporters of Nelson Mandela’s projects, including 46664, Mandela’s global HIV/Aids prevention and awareness campaign. “This is amazing,” U2 guitarist The Edge said on accepting the award. “We have been working for President Mandela since the ’70s, since we were teenagers and when we did our very first concert against the apartheid movement, so it has taken us 35 years to write this song.” “This really is personal for us,” U2 lead singer Bono said. “Very, very personal. This man turned our life upside down, right side up. A man who refused to hate, not because he didn’t have rage or anger, but he thought love would do a better job. “We wrote a love song because it’s kind of what’s extraordinary about the film. You know about the global statesman, but you don’t know about the man, that’s why you should see this film.” Producer Anant Singh congratuled Bono and U2, saying they had composed “an amazing song that truly captures the love story of Madiba and Winnie. ‘Ordinary Love’ was their first song in three years. We thank them for their contribution to our film, and for their commitment to Madiba and to our continent.” Source: Nelson Mandela Foundation
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The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation has sent a three-member team to Jaipur to inquire into an alleged unethical human clinical trial conducted by a pharma company at a private hospital in the Rajasthan capital, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) said on Saturday.State panel Rajasthan Health Minister Kalicharan Saraf also constituted a three-member panel to probe into the alleged incident. According to State officials, nearly two dozen people hailing from Rajasthan’s Churu and Bharatpur districts were allegedly subjected to the unethical human clinical trial for an osteo-ortho drug at the hospital. DCGI Dr. S. Eswara Reddy, in Delhi, said, “We have sent a team of three officials to Jaipur to inquire into the matter along with the State drug controller.” Mr. Saraf said a three-member panel, headed by an additional director-level officer has been constituted to probe the matter. “Action will be taken, if lapses are found, the Health Minister said. Hospital visitedThe panel on Saturday visited the hospital located in Vishwakarma Industrial Area to initiate the probe. “Principal investigator and patients enrolled in the clinical trial were not available at the site. We have asked the hospital staff to provide necessary documents related to the trial,” Dr. Ravi Prakash Sharma, the head of the three-member probe panel constituted by the State government, said.
The Delhi Metro on Tuesday announced that the Commissioner For Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) will inspect the Escorts Mujesar-Raja Nahar Singh (Ballabgarh) section of the Violet Line on Friday.“The Commissioner For Metro Rail Safety, S. K. Pathak, will inspect the Escorts Mujesar-Raja Nahar Singh (Ballabgarh) section of the Delhi Metro’s Violet Line on Friday,” said a Delhi Metro spokesperson.This section is an extension of the Kashmere Gate-Escorts Mujesar Violet Line, and is likely to be inaugurated later this month.The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) said in a statement that the 3.2-km elevated section comprises two elevated stations — Sant Surdas (Sihi) and Raja Nahar Singh. After the section is inaugurated, the corridor will become 46.6-km-long and the total length of Delhi Metro network will become 317 km.