Kader Asmal remembered

first_img1 July 2011 The late Kader Asmal, South African liberation struggle veteran, human rights activist, academic and politician, was “a great African patriot who devoted his life to the fight against human oppression,” Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said at a memorial service on Thursday. “The agony that enveloped our country immediately after Professor Kader Asmal’s demise told of a grief-stricken nation,” Motlanthe said during a moving memorial service at City Hall in Cape Town. He said that Asmal had embraced a vision “that said a better human society based on human rights, equality, respect and celebration of our common humanity is possible and indeed desirable.” The Deputy President described the late African National Congress (ANC) veteran as an “an erudite professor” and an “organic intellectual in the truest sense of the word.” “His outlook was grounded in concrete, daily realities of the people he led,” he said. To Asmal’s wife, Louise, Motlanthe said: “We know you have not only lost a husband but also, you have lost a companion, a fried and a comrade.” During the ceremony, many people ranging from family, friends and comrades to politicians and academics gave testimonies on how they knew Asmal. Many described him as a “brilliant professor” and a “maverick of all sorts”, as well as a man with a sense of humour who also loved things like whisky and cricket. Poems and songs were performed in his honour as speaker after speaker quoted some of the poems which the late Cabinet minister loved. His Irish close friend of 47 years, Garry Kilgallen, said that he had met Asmal in 1964 in Ireland when he formed the Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement. He said that Asmal’s work in both Ireland and South Africa had left “living footprints on the sands of time.” He said that back home, people loved Asmal as he was loved in this country. He described him as a great source of advice as well as a great human rights activist, patriot and “a fighter for liberty.” Louise Asmal thanked everyone for the support she had received during this time of pain and urged the government to carry on with the work of uplifting the poor. Her speech received a standing ovation. Grandchildren Zoe and Oisin said that they would remember their grandpa as a man who was involved in their lives. They said he used to take them to school, walk them to the shops as well as mentoring them to be well cultured beings. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Mine-free Mozambique means economic growth

first_imgAfter more than two decades of work, Mozambique is now clear of landmines – freeing up valuable agricultural land, opening up tourism and infrastructure development, and ensuring the safety of rural communities. The two decade long struggle to rid Mozambique of anti-personnel mines ended with a loud bang of the final known mine in the country. (Image: Halo Trust) • Spotlight shines on African cuisine • Telling our African stories • Kenyan filmmaker takes on race and women • Powerful women shape Africa • For women, by women – Pink Taxi Egypt Ray MaotaAfter more than two decades of work, Mozambique is now clear of landmines – freeing up valuable agricultural land, opening up tourism and infrastructure development, and ensuring the safety of rural communities.The antipersonnel mines were first planted in the 1960s during Mozambique’s war for independence from Portugal, then in the civil war that followed. Mines continued to kill and maim thousands of people long after peace was declared in 1992, and made large tracts of the country impassable.The destruction of the country’s last known landmine is the conclusion of 22 years of work by the Halo Trust, a mine clearance charity.A boon for economic developmentWith Mozambique now mine-free, its 26-million citizens can now cultivate crops and graze livestock safely.Since Halo began work in 1993, mine clearance has helped the country develop its infrastructure, exploit valuable commodities such as gas and coal, increase tourism and attract international investment. Mozambique’s GDP has grown 7% a year since Halo began demining, and the country now has one of the world’s fastest growing economies.“Mozambique is a compelling example of how dealing with the deadly debris of war systematically and in partnership with government, local people and donors can bring stability, recovery and growth to countries ravaged by war,” James Cowan, CEO of the Halo Trust, said in a statement.“Halo is proud to have been part of such a powerful legacy and hopes today’s news provides the momentum to strive for a mine-free world by 2025.” A timeline of how Mozambique became mine-free. (Image: Halo Trust)More than 1 600 Mozambican men and women have been employed by Halo over the past two decades.Using both manual and mechanical demining tools, they have made over 17-million square metres of land safe. Overall, Halo staff have cleared more than 171 000 landmines – about 80% of all the mines destroyed.“This is a proud day for Mozambique,” said Alberto Augusto, director of the Mozambique Institute for Demining. “Ridding our country of landmines was tremendously difficult, but the bravery and determination of our demining teams proves to the world that it is possible for countries to become mine-free.“We are truly grateful to those who risked their lives in order to protect those of our children and future Mozambicans.”last_img read more

From Big Five to Little Five

first_imgVisitors to South Africa are always keen to see the country’s celebrated Big Five – neglecting a wealth of smaller wildlife. To remedy this, some clever people came up with another must-see list, the Little Five: elephant shrew, ant lion, rhinoceros beetle, buffalo weaver and leopard tortoise!There’s much more to South Africa’s wildlife than the Big Five, here’s the Little Five. (Image: Wildes Afrika in Germany)Brand South Africa reporterVisitors to South Africa are always keen to catch a glimpse and a photo of the country’s celebrated Big Five: elephant, lion, rhinoceros, buffalo and leopard.While the big game is magnificent – and includes other giants such as giraffe, hippo, whale and dolphin – there’s much more to South Africa’s wildlife. The country has some of the world’s richest biodiversity hotspots, with remarkable birdlife, abundant buck, small game and bizarre insects.To promote these, some clever people came up with another must-see list: the Little Five. They are (and don’t laugh) the elephant shrew, ant lion, rhinoceros beetle, buffalo weaver and leopard tortoise.Here’s the lowdown on some of Africa’s finest little creatures.Ant lionThe ant lion (Myrmeleontidae) is an odd yet familiar feature of the bushveld, digging conical depressions in dry, soft sand with which to trap its prey – ants. In advanced stages this larvae-like creature has wings and sometimes resembles a dragonfly, although it’s not well-adapted for flight.Buffalo weaverRed-billed buffalo weavers (Bubarlornis niger) are social birds that build their nests in the forked branches of tall trees. They nest in open colonies and are a rather noisy and busy lot. The weavers’ nests can be recognised by their rather bedraggled state, made from coarse grasses and with untidy twig structures.Rhinoceros beetleThe rhinoceros beetle (Scarabaeinae dynastinae) is one of the largest beetles in southern Africa, with horns on its head much like those of its larger namesake. Both males and females are horned, but only the males are known for aggressive behaviour, using the horns to fight rivals. The horns are also used to dig, climb and mate.Leopard tortoiseThe leopard tortoise (Geochelone pardalis) is a striking feature of the bushveld landscape, getting its name from its black and yellow spotted shell. The animal is one of the largest breeds of tortoise in this part of the world; a mature leopard tortoise can weigh over 23 kilograms, with a shell circumference of up to one metre. The males are larger than the females.Younger tortoises have dark brown patterns, while adult shells take on shades of yellow with somewhat smaller spots. Leopard tortoises live in savannah and grassland areas, close to water.Elephant shrewThis tiny insectivore lives in arid lowlands, rocky outcrops and savannah grasslands, getting its name from its elongated snout. Elephant shrews (Elephantulus myurus) are found all over South Africa, and only grow to a length of 250mm, with an average weight of 60 grams. They feed on insects, fruit, seeds and nuts.They in turn are food for snakes and raptors, making them extremely shy and wary. The chances of spotting them are slim indeed, so if you manage to see an elephant shrew before an actual elephant, you can count your safari a real success!The Little Five is based on the “Small 5005” concept developed by South African wildlife author and scientist Rael Loon. For more information, read Hidden Wonders: Southern Africa’s Small 5005.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Ohio Cattlemen’s Association offers unique opportunities for breeders and youth

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Best of the Buckeye Program, hosted by the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) in conjunction with the Ohio Beef Expo and the Ohio State Fair, is gearing up for its fifth season.The Best of the Buckeye program recognizes top-placing Ohio bred, born and registered calves, along with the breeder and exhibitor, in each breed division at the two shows. This year’s sponsoring partners are The Folks Printing and Dickson Cattle Company, heifer division; Jones Show Cattle and R.D. Jones Excavating, steer division; Ohio Ag Equipment and Ohio Cat, scholarship division and Sullivan Supply and Stock Show University, breeder recognition. Thanks to these generous sponsors, $60,000 will be given through premiums at each show, scholarships and awards for both participants and breeders.The program provides Ohio seedstock breeders an additional marketing opportunity, creates a source for moderately priced show steers and heifers by providing a program with awards and prestige and attracts new participants interested in showing at the Ohio Beef Expo and/or the Ohio State Fair with the benefit of added premiums. Breeders are encouraged to use the Best of the Buckeye logo for use in printed and digital promotion of Best of the Buckeye eligible cattle. The logo may be downloaded from the website at www.ohiocattle.org or requested by email at beef@ohiobeef.org.New for the 2018 program, a breeder recognition category has been added. All nominating breeders will be recognized on the website at ohiocattle.org and will also be recognized for their honors achieved with the cattle they sell and nominate for the program. The category is sponsored by Sullivan Supply and Stock Show University.The Best of the Buckeye program will offer scholarship opportunities for Best of the Buckeye participants to offset the cost of purchasing, raising and exhibiting a Best of the Buckeye nominated calf. Scholarships will be awarded to less-experienced participants, ages 8-21, with consideration given to the applicant’s financial need. Scholarship applications can be found at www.ohiocattle.org/Youth/best-of-the-buckeye  and will be due on January 15, 2018. Scholarship recipients will be notified in February 2018. Nominating breeders meeting age requirements may also apply.Academic scholarships will be offered to youth pursuing a post-high school degree. Scholarships will be based on academics and extracurricular activities. Eligible Best of the Buckeye participants are high school juniors through 21 years of age as of January 1, 2018. Academic scholarships will be awarded to participants and breeders pursuing an Ag related degree and may be awarded to applicants who are entering a non-Ag related field of study (based on the number of applications). All scholarship applicants will also be required to submit an essay along with their scholarship application. The scholarship essay topic will be predetermined and posted at www.ohiocattle.org. The scholarship deadline will be June 15, 2018 and scholarships will be presented at the Ohio State Fair. The scholarship division is sponsored by Ohio Cat and Ohio Ag Equipment.For cattle to be eligible for the Best of the Buckeye program, they must be registered and bred by an Ohio cattleman and born in state.  ET Calves and calves out of purchased bred cows are eligible if they were born in Ohio and list an Ohio cattleman as the breeder and are calved in Ohio. Breeders and exhibitors must be OCA members and in good standing with OCA to be eligible. Exhibitors must be Ohio residents and meet the age requirements for the Ohio Beef Expo and Ohio State Fair junior shows. The heifer division is sponsored by The Folks Printing and Dickson Cattle Company and the steer division is sponsored by Jones Show Cattle and R.D. Jones Excavating.To participate in Best of the Buckeye, breeders must complete a nomination form (each form can be used to nominate up to five animals from the same breeder) and sign an affidavit verifying Best of the Buckeye eligibility. The breeder or exhibitor may submit the nomination forms and fee for the Best of the Buckeye nominations. Cattle that are nominated prior to the Ohio Beef Expo by March 1, 2018 and prior to the Ohio State Fair by June 20, 2018 will incur a $25 per head nomination fee per show. Cattle may be nominated for both shows by March 1, 2018 for a rate of $40. Breeders will have the opportunity to nominate cattle through check-in at the Ohio Beef Expo and at the Ohio State Fair at an increased late nomination fee of $75 per head.Best of the Buckeye exhibitor rules, last year’s show results and additional nomination details are available at www.ohiocattle.org/Youth/best-of-the-buckeye or by contacting the OCA office. For more information, contact the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association at 614-873-6736 or email beef@ohiobeef.org.last_img read more

ODA proposes changes to Ohio’s noxious weeds list

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Wild carrot, Oxeye daisy, and wild mustard will no longer be prohibited noxious weeds in Ohio if the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s (ODA) revisions to the noxious weeds list become effective. ODA is proposing to remove the three plants after its five-year review of plant species considered “noxious” for purposes of Ohio law. The agency is also proposing adding these 12 species to the noxious weeds list:• Yellow Groove Bamboo (Phyllostachys aureasculata), when the plant has spread from its original premise of planting and is not being maintained• Field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis)• Heart-podded hoary cress (Lepidium draba sub. draba). Hairy whitetop or ballcress (Lepidium appelianum)• Perennial sowthistle (Sonchus arvensis)• Russian knapweed (Acroptilon repens)• Leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula)• Hedge bindweed (Calystegia sepium)• Serrated tussock (Nassella trichotoma)• Columbus grass (Sorghum x almum)• Musk thistle (Carduus nutans)• Forage Kochia (Bassia prostrata)• Water Hemp (Amaranthus tuberculatus).The director of ODA has the legal authority to designate noxious weeds. Several Ohio laws provide for control and removal of designated noxious weeds along public highways, toll roads, and railroads, and on private property. The current noxious weeds list also contains the following plants, which will remain on the list:• Grapevines: (Vitis spp.), when growing in groups of one hundred or more and not pruned, sprayed, cultivated, or otherwise maintained for two consecutive years.• Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense L. (Scop.))• Poison hemlock (Conium maculatum)• Cressleaf groundsel (Senecio glabellus)• Musk thistle (Carduus nutans)• Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)• Mile-A-Minute Weed (Polygonum perfoliatum)• Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)• Apple of Peru (Nicandra physalodes)• Marestail (Conyza canadensis)• Kochia (Bassia scoparia)• Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri)• Kudzu (Pueraria montana var. lobata)• Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum).ODA is requesting public comments on the revised list of noxious weeds through April 27, 2018. Email comments to ecomments@agri.ohio.gov or mail them to Legal Section, Ohio Department of Agriculture, 8995 E. Main St., Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068.last_img read more