Monday, December 5, 2011

South Africa To Get Porn Cable Channel

Porn on tap

Titillation versus porn: Sharon Stone and Michael Douglas kiss in a scene from the film Basic Instinct, famous for its explicit sex scenes.
South African TV screens will become that much steamier in January, and it has nothing to do with the heat wave.
Next month, locals can catch a new 24-hour sex channel on satellite TV, which will broadcast hardcore pornography aimed at heterosexual viewers. The channel’s content will be broadcast on the Astra 4A satellite – the same system employed by TopTV.
While a similar idea was previously shot down by broadcasting stakeholders and certain sections of the public, this new French channel is being broadcast from outside our borders. According to John Solomon of African Satellite Installations, that means it’s outside the jurisdiction of South African broadcasters.
ASI will hire out the special decoders and smartcards needed to view the channel for R99 per month. The decoders are only for hire, and one needs to be an existing TopTV subscriber to access the content. Porn Satellite TV – or PSat – is however, not affiliated in any way with TopTV.
"PSat is totally independent of other satellite channels and you will need a special decoder, smartcard and a satellite dish to view the channel," Solomon told Media24.
"All you have to do is unplug your TopTV decoder and replace it with the PSat decoder."

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Massive New Natural Gas Find Off The Coast Of Mocambique

SA could gain from massive gas find

IOL economy arrows
Filomena Scalise
South Africa stands to potentially benefit from one of the most significant natural gas finds in the world in the past 10 years off the Mozambique coast.
US oil and gas exploration firm Anadarko Petroleum, the operator of a 1 million hectare offshore area in Mozambican waters, announced on Monday its discovery of two high quality systems, expanding the estimated recoverable resource to as much as 30 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas.
The New York Stock Exchange-listed company’s chairman and chief executive, Jim Hackett, said the positive results of each appraisal well it had drilled had continued to increase the company’s estimate of recoverable resources.
He said the results “add to our confidence that this could be one of the most important natural gas fields discovered in the last 10 years”.
“This is great news for Mozambique, as our ongoing activities will continue to spur meaningful investment in the region, generate significant revenue for the government and offer a multitude of opportunities for the people of Mozambique,” he said.
Anadarko has a 36.5 percent working interest in the exploration area. Co-owners are Mitsui E&P Mozambique Area 1 with 20 percent, BPRL Ventures Mozambique with 10 percent, Videocon Mozambique Rovuma 1 Limited (10 percent) and Cove Energy Mozambique Rovuma Offshore with 8.5 percent.
Cape Chamber of Commerce president Michael Bagraim said yesterday that a complete rethink of South Africa’s energy and electricity plans was essential in light of the massive new natural gas discoveries.
To put the find in perspective, the UK’s total gas reserves were just 9 tcf, compared with the 15 to 30 tcf discovered off the Mozambique coast, he said.
Bagraim added the discovery followed the announcement last month by Italian company Eni that it had found reserves of 22.5 tcf in the same region.
Sasol spokeswoman Jacqui O’Sullivan confirmed Sasol had a central processing facility and took gas from two fields in Mozambique, but stressed it was not involved in this project.
South Africa has an energy co-operation agreement with the Mozambique government in terms of which it obtains power from the Cahora Bassa hydroelectric dam. - Roy Cokayne

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Nationalization Crisis Seems To Have Passed

Malema to become cattle farmer - report

ANC Youth League president Julius Malema.
ANC Youth League president Julius Malema admitted that he is “finished politically” and intends to take on cattle farming, the Sunday Times reported.
“I have 20 cattle now. We will breed them, take them to the abattoir, slaughter them and then sell the meat,” Malema told the newspaper.
“Now I am finished politically. They are saying I am suspended and all that.”
Malema told the newspaper that certain members of the ruling party had a “predetermined” agenda against him and the league's leadership.
“Others could no longer hold back their irritation. Others were no longer able to tolerate us, but others just feared change. Change in policy (and) change in leadership,” he said.
Malema said he welcomed investigations into his business dealings because it revealed who his enemies were. He also refused to provide details on the deals.
“I am involved in many businesses,” he said.
Malema and five other ANCYL leaders were found guilty and sanctioned by the ANC's national disciplinary committee (NDC) two weeks ago. He was given a five-year suspension and told to vacate his position as president.
Malema filed an appeal against the suspension on Thursday night. - Sapa

Saturday, November 26, 2011

African Solutions and Twitter Revolutions

African Solutions and Twitter Revolutions:

'via Blog this'

Cheated wife demands millions from hubby - Crime & Courts | IOL News |

Cheated wife demands millions from hubby - Crime & Courts | IOL News |

'via Blog this'

Africa To Be The Epicenter For New International Undersea Cable

New undersea cable to connect Africa with three continents
25th November 2011 
Text Smaller Disabled Text Bigger
A new Atlantic Ocean undersea fibre-optic cable project to connect Africa, South America, North America and Europe, has been launched.
Wasace Cable Company Worldwide will build and operate the new undersea cable, which was said to be the first trans-Atlantic system to deploy the next generation 100 G technology - ten times the capacity of previous systems.
The Wasace project, which comprised a total fibre length seven times the earth’s circumference, would enable access to a previously unavailable quantity of affordable Internet communication capacity. It would also connect the rapidly growing markets of Africa and Latin America with the commercial markets of North America and Europe, through the first-ever high-capacity cable to span the South Atlantic.
The new, diverse cable routes included Wasace North, connecting Europe to North America; Wasace South, connecting South America to Africa; Wasace America, connecting South America to North America; and Wasace Africa, connecting Nigeria, Angola and South Africa.
Private equity investment firm VIP Must would provide Wasace's financing and marketing and media strategy, as well as institutional support. Other investors included the African Development Bank and a number of Brazilian groups.
US-based international communication systems development group David Ross Group has been elected to manage the project development.
Wasace Cable Company Worldwide Holding, led by chairperson and CEO Ramón Gil-Roldán y Sansón, was formed to meet the rapidly evolving needs of developing markets in the Southern Hemisphere.
Edited by: Mariaan Webb

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Nollywood: The Incredible Explosion Of Nigerian culture

November 22, 2011 11:39 pm

Driving the imagination and hips of a continent

It is not clear where or when the term “9ja” (or Naija) originated as slang for Nigeria. Commonly used by young people in the age of social networking sites, it has become a powerful evocation of hip Nigeria.
Across Africa and beyond, the mention of Naija chimes with a vaulting youth culture and fast expanding entertainment industry. Nigeria may be the continent’s troubled big brother; Naija is a different proposition altogether – the party-animal sibling with all the latest music.



The change in the country’s reputation has everything to do with the phenomenal growth of the entertainment industry. Hit releases from Naija’s young artistes are a standard feature of nightclubs in capitals across the continent, capturing the imagination and hips of a generation of Africa’s youth in much the same way Congolese music did for an earlier one.
Likewise, the international success of the country’s artists, writers, photographers and fashion designers.
But it is the success of the Nollywood film industry that is most responsible for the buzz around Naija. For the past 15 years, the video-film industry has churned out low-budget productions at an astonishing rate, said to average between 20 and 40 a week, each of which sells about 30,000 copies, with blockbusters selling as many as 500,000 copies. Employing about 1m people, it has become one of the largest private sector employers in the country.
Purchased cheaply by African TV stations and wilfully pirated both in and outside Nigeria, Nollywood productions have turned their leading actors into continental celebrities. The likes of Genevieve Nnaji, Rita Dominic and Jim Iyke are regularly trotted out by Nigerian embassies for promotional roadshows.
The government may be using Nollywood to extend the country’s diplomatic reach, but it has been slow to formulate strategies to exploit the industry’s potential further. As in most African countries, the creative economy has developed before government policies have been devised.
The rise of Naija has recently interested the World Bank. In a report on the potential of creative economies, the Bank notes that exports of “creative goods” from developing countries more than doubled their share of the world economy from 20 per cent in 1996 to 42 per cent in 2005.
Recognising the potential of the Naija entertainment industry, the Bank recently launched a $200m fund to finance individual artists. Managed by the Nigerian Bank of Industry, the aim is to deepen links between art and entrepreneurship.
Working with the British Council, the initiative has so far trained 300 “creative entrepreneurs” and is engaging government and industry stakeholders to draft an intellectual property law.
“We discovered that while there was a huge number of people in the creative industry, they were not necessarily skilled business people,” says Ojoma Ochai, assistant director at the British Council.
But for Nollywood, as well as the Naija entertainment industry as a whole, the lack of government support has deepened the crisis of intellectual piracy.
Produced fast and cheap, Nollywood films arrive in Nigerian households through an informal but highly efficient distribution system set up by electronics traders selling video cassettes and recorders.
While Nollywood has gamely fought the pirates over the years, the failure of government agencies to clamp down on piracy, as well as official inertia in regulating intellectual property has deeply frustrated the industry. “Where is my government? I have worked in this industry for 20 years and have never seen the hand of government coming to support us, even as we are criticised for making poor quality films,” says Yinka Akanbi, a film director.
There is little doubt that piracy is the biggest problem. So much so, says Ms Ochai, that “the artists have now surrendered to the pirates”.
In the past, marketing was conducted independently of the pirates, she says. Today, established artists as well as hungry newcomers are willing to cut deals with pirates in the hope that subterranean marketing will raise their profiles.
Not everybody has given up just yet, however. The internet has provided producers with new ways of sidestepping the pirates. Increasingly, filmmakers and music producers are selling their wares online, using social networking sites as both marketing and distribution tools. And in Nollywood, there is an increasing recognition that the box office may be just as profitable as direct DVD sales.
“Before 2009, there was hardly any Naija film that wasn’t going straight to DVD. Now, you’re seeing a situation where at least two are heading straight to cinemas every month,” says Ms Ochai.
Naija music has adapted faster. At Storm 360, a leading record label in Lagos, online marketing has become part and parcel of the business.
“We’re more than just a record label. We like to look at ourselves as lifestyle producers. We build the artist as a brand, get him on to big shows and release the music online,” says Olisa Adibua, a co-director at Storm.
The label has also developed a unit devoted to marketing releases online. “There are 3.7m Nigerians on Facebook. Social networking has made it easier to market music, but it’s also taking the industry to another level. It’s like instant karma. You can start a spark without moving from the comfort of your bedroom,” says Mr Adibua.
Taking advantage of the power of the Naija brand, the label has also made links with record labels in east Africa to channel its music.
“When we were starting out, people were calling my father and asking him how he could let me pursue such a profession.
“Today, mothers are bringing their daughters to my record label,” he says.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2011. You may share using our article tools.
Please don't cut articles from and redistribute by email or post to the web.

Despite Continuing Challenges, The Nigerian Economy Is Starting To Look Attractive To Investors

November 22, 2011 11:38 pm

The economy: Once more courting the attention of investors

With eurozone economies drowning in debt, the US economy languishing and the edge coming off China and India’s lightning expansion, Nigeria’s much-vaunted potential looks alluring once again.
African economies have been growing at their fastest pace in generations. For the most part, they resisted the global downturn better than expected. Since 2000, Nigeria’s economy, the second-largest in sub-Saharan Africa, has quadrupled in size.



However, it is still one of the most difficult places in which to do business. Two years ago it slipped 28 places in the World Economic Forum’s global competitiveness index, to 127 out of 133, where it has remained.
But it is partly because there is so much still to build and so many services still lacking in a market potentially larger than the rest of west Africa combined, that investors sniff an opportunity.
Forecasting much higher growth than the International Monetary Fund, Renaissance Capital, the bullish Russian investment bank, recently drew attention to an expanding class of consumers. “We think plans to improve electricity generation and transmission could help GDP growth accelerate … A $247bn economy in 2011 could be a $460bn economy by 2016,” it said in a report last month.
Compared with Europe, there has been something of a reversal in terms of how the books are balanced too. Following a debt writedown in the mid part of the past decade, external debt is just 5 per cent of gross domestic product. It is early, however, to be uncorking the champagne.
Lamido Sanusi, the central bank governor who has spent three years sanitising the banking system following a crash that mirrored the west’s in terms of excess, says Nigeria could be hit by renewed recession in Europe, because of its continuing dependence on a single commodity. “The economy remains extremely vulnerable to volatilities in the oil price and those have an impact on government finances, in particular on the general liquidity in the system,” he says.
Moreover, the cushion available to the state would be smaller than in 2008, were the oil price, on which the government typically depends for more than 80 per cent of revenues, to fall.
A period of lax control saw spending balloon from 2009 until the first half of this year. Foreign reserves halved and rainy day savings above the budgeted price of oil were divvied out to state governments and depleted.
Nasir el-Rufai, the former minister for federal capital territories, says that government has grown so unwieldy that any fall below the $70 a barrel for crude oil budgeted for in 2012 would make footing the salary bill a struggle. This has grown to a staggering 74 per cent of the national budget.
“We have created states and local governments and ministries as structures that are economically unviable,” Mr el-Rufai wrote in a recent column.
Meanwhile, the cost of subsidising fuel and providing credits to oil marketers is equal to more than the oil sector brings in in revenues. Mr Sanusi says: “Between January and November we earned $16bn from oil and spent $200,000 more than that on the subsidy and LCs [letters of credit] to our marketers. If you remove the subsidy you would at least take away all the demand that is fuelled by smuggling and rent seeking.”
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, an outgoing managing director at the World Bank, has returned to the finance ministry and is promising to tighten up. Her goals, however, look modest, with the proportion of the budget dedicated to recurrent expenditure projected to fall just 4 per cent to 70 per cent during President Goodluck Jonathan’s four-year term. This leaves little room for investment in infrastructure, education and health. Instead the government is hoping the private sector will bridge part of the gap.
In the past 10 years, those areas of the economy liberated from state control have tended to flourish. With no help, agriculture has grown consistently, spurred not by better yields or more inputs but by rapid population growth and the use of more land and labour. The government is now promising to prioritise commercialisation of the sector.
Trailing the telecoms companies and banks which have seen exponential growth, supermarket chains are moving in, shopping malls are going up and a flourishing and even lucrative arts scene has evolved.
But says, Bismarck Rewane, an investment consultant, the big winners have been what he calls “regime corporates” – big companies and individuals with ties to the government. “Oligarchies are naturally opposed to efficiencies. They are so few yet they are holding the country down,” he says.
Mr Sanusi says this would change and opportunities would be democratised if reforms in power generation and the financial sector take root.
“If you look at the Chinese and the Indian economies you have China with millions of millionaires and you’ve got India with hundreds of billionaires, because it’s the nature of these economies.
“India is more heavy industry with more information technology, while China is more light industry, processing and so on. That is what you want,” he says.

Nigeria-The Uneven Spoils Of Growth

November 22, 2011 11:38 pm

Overview: The uneven spoils of growth

A crowded street of Kano in NigeriaReuters
Northern exposure: the crowded streets of Kano in the north, the most impoverished part of the country, where religious and ethnic violence has broken out
Few issues stir the pot in Nigeria quite like the fuel subsidy. In theory, the money the federal government spends capping prices spreads benefits across the 168m population.
Nigerians have come to see it as the only benefit they receive from the oil their country produces in abundance. Accordingly, attempts by successive governments to remove it – President Goodluck Jonathan’s is just the latest – have met stiff resistance.



But paradoxically, cheap fuel comes at an extortionate price.
In practice, the money spent – a record $7bn-$8bn this year according to the central bank governor – subsidises the accumulation of wealth by a select group of importers and middlemen. It distorts the market, discourages investment in refineries and promotes smuggling. In many areas, imported fuel is diverted to the black market before it is even delivered to the pump.
Mr Jonathan’s declared intention to phase out the subsidy as part of an economic programme designed to “transform” Nigeria has nevertheless prompted furious opposition.
The strength of feeling about an expense whose merits have been in question for almost 30 years, reflects a wider impatience setting in seven months after Mr Jonathan consolidated through the ballot box his accidental rise to power following the death of his predecessor in office. It is also a measure of the difficulties that governments in Nigeria face when negotiating change.
The public might be more amenable to paying the price if the government cleaned up its own act first and began delivering in other ways. “We Nigerian citizens think the six actions below are prerequisites that should be taken first before the subsidy on fuel can be removed,” says a circular flying around BlackBerry messenger groups this month. It lists a string of measures, including cutting official salaries and perks, curtailing corruption and forcing office holders to use the dilapidated public health and education services that ordinary Nigerians are compelled to use.
It continues in pidgin English: “Nigerians will not support this move for now. No be today government go promise Good Road, Education, Electricity, Security, Employment etc and will not deliver.”
Occupy Nigeria, a separate campaign to mirror protests against big corporations and banks in global financial centres, makes similar demands.
Overcoming cynicism about their political leadership fostered during decades of misrule, Nigerians appear possessed by a new sense of outrage.
Twelve years since the military returned to barracks, the education system is still in tatters, hospitals are without drugs, and big projects to rehabilitate the ailing power and transport sectors and reorganise the oil industry are struggling to get off the ground.
Meanwhile, inspired partly by the revolutions in the Arab world, the national tolerance level has seemingly lowered.
This is manifested at one end of society by strident comment on social media networks and at another more worrying end by religious and ethnic violence and an Islamist insurgency in the most impoverished part of the country, the north. “The very rich are flaunting it. People are angry,” says Audu Grema, a development consultant in the northern city of Kano. “It is a story of two halves,” he says.
One half could be seen to be the Niger delta, where oil is produced, and where, at least for now, the government has quelled a campaign by militants to disrupt production with an amnesty programme and infusions of cash. After falling two years ago by more than half, production has returned to nearly 3m barrels a day.
But while one long-neglected region has been humoured, another is in upheaval. More than 100 people were killed this month when Islamist insurgents attacked police stations and churches in the remote north- east.
In August, the same group claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on the UN headquarters in Abuja, the capital, signalling, authorities fear, the influence and support of al-Qaeda terrorist networks.
The violence, and brutal, so far ineffectual, military response, has raised concern about Mr Jonathan’s ability to hold the multi-ethnic and religious federation together.
“Whatever we can say of militants of the Niger delta it was an internal affair,” says Olusegun Obasanjo, the former head of state. “This one is a different kettle of fish. It is much more worrying,” he says.
It is not that Nigeria has been static.
Earlier market and fiscal reforms, together with the consistently high world price of oil, on which the state typically depends for more than 80 per cent of revenues have helped deliver consistent economic expansion of nearly 7 per cent a year over the past decade.
Service industries that expanded exponentially, booming construction, and growth in agriculture alerted foreign investors to Nigeria’s renewed potential as the economic motor of an emerging Africa.
The banking sector and stock market have been cleaned up following a 2008 crash, although both have yet to take off again. Big hitting investors such as George Soros, and Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase, are nevertheless circling in anticipation.
But while a recent survey by Renaissance Capital, the Russian investment bank, points to the opportunities for business presented by an expanding middle class, the broader trend has been of unequal growth and, in parts of the country, of deepening poverty.
The public perception is that corruption is growing at least as fast as the economy.
What needs to be done to prime Nigeria for a faster and more sustainable take-off is no longer a mystery. The question of who is going to do it and for how much longer government can afford to delay remains unanswered.
“What this economy needs is someone who acts like Margaret Thatcher for 18 months,” argues Atedo Peterside, who is among top businessmen advising the president.
In the months since he formed a new government Mr Jonathan has piled up detailed plans for change: to fix the broken power sector, transform the graft-ridden oil industry, and revive the agricultural sector to feed Nigeria and generate jobs.
If the country can grow at 7 percent or more, as it has done for most of the past decade, in spite of all the distortions and bottlenecks, then what if these were eliminated – or so the argument goes?
“It means that Nigeria could really grow at double digits, 10 to 12 per cent or more,” says Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the former managing director of the World Bank who returned to the cabinet this year as finance minister with a wider remit to oversee the economy.
At issue is how much initial pain Nigerians will tolerate, and whether Mr Jonathan, whose campaign was financed by some of the very vested interests opposed to change, has the stomach for a fight.
“Every time I speak to the president, I get the impression that he’s going to do it; he’s going to put his foot down,” says Lamido Sanusi, the Central Bank governor.
“But he’s the president of Nigeria and I explain to people that some of us so-called technocrats need to be a bit more aware of what goes into the decisions he is making.
“I could make a perfectly sound economic argument. But what if his national security adviser were to say to him, you know if you did this, there’s going to be a security problem?”
Tackling the fuel subsidy is building up to be the first, but by no means last, big test.
“He has come into the presidency when very important decisions need to be taken. The petroleum industries bill, the fuel subsidy, deepening democracy, power sector reforms. All could have a profound impact,” says Deameari Von Kemedi, an environmental activist close to Mr Jonathan.
But, warns economist Bismarck Rewanethe, the government needs strategies in place deal with the fall out. “When institutions are weak and income inequality is rising the consequence can be chaos.”
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2011. You may share using our article tools.
Please don't cut articles from and redistribute by email or post to the web.

Anglo American Faces A Long Legal Battle In Chile Over Its Copper Mine

Court will decide if Codelco, Anglo deadlocked – Chile President
By: Reuters
24th November 2011
Updated 1 hour 54 minutes ago
Text Smaller Disabled Text Bigger
SANTIAGO – Chile's courts will decide an option contract spat between state copper giant Codelco and global miner Anglo American if they fail to negotiate a deal, PresidentSebastian Pinera said on Wednesday.
Anglo shocked world No. 1 copper producer Codelco and investors this month when it sold a 24.5% stake in its southern Chilean copper properties to Japan's Mitsubishi Corp for $5.4-billion, undermining an option Codelco had to buy a 49% stake.
Codelco has appealed against the sale to Chilean courts, and the two sides are gearing up for a likely protracted legal battle.
"The government is aware of and supports the moves Codelco is making to defend its legitimate interests," Pinera said in a speech at an annual mining sector dinner. "The solution can come by one of two paths."
"If they do not reach an agreement, given Chile is a land with a rule of law, it will be the Chilean courts which must resolve these differences," he added.
Codelco's CEO Diego Hernandez last week warned that Anglo American had mortgaged its future in Chile with its preemptive stake sale, but both sides have since made overtures towards negotiating.
"We are not in a hurry," Hernandez said on Wednesday. "You never announce negotiations through the press unless you want them to fail."
Negotiation could be advantageous for both mining giants, legal experts say, though increasingly difficult as the firms have hardened their stances over the long-standing option.
Codelco insists it still has the right to exercise an option to buy a 49% stake in Anglo American Sur, which includes the flagship expansion project Los Bronces, El Soldado mine, the Chagres smelter and Los Sulfatos and San Enrique Monolito exploration projects.
Codelco said in October it had secured a $6.75-billion bridging loan from Japan's Mitsui & Co to allow it to exercise its option.
Edited by: Reuters

Here is what is at stake:

Anglo to more than double output from Chile copper mine
23rd November 2011 
Updated 1 hour 58 minutes ago
Text Smaller Disabled Text Bigger
JOHANNESBURG ( − Global mining giant Anglo American expects the output from its expanded Los Bronces copper mine to more than double in the first three years of full production from its existing output of 221 000 t/y.
Announcing the delivery of first copper production from the Los Bronces expansion project, CEO Cynthia Carroll said in a statement that the opencut copper and molybdenum mine would be the world’s fifth-largest copper mine at peak production levels.
Los Bronces has reserves and resources that support a mine life of over 30 years and with further expansion potential.
The miner expects to produce 233 400 t of copper this year, up from 2010’s 221 000 t.
John Mackenzie, CEO of Anglo American’s copper business, said there was a 12-month ramp-up period ahead until full production was reached.
During this time, he explained, the company would increase processing plant throughput from 61 000 t/d to 148 000 t/d of ore.
"We have delivered this major expansion of Los Bronces on schedule owing to the hard work and dedication of 16 000 people who have been working on the project over the last three years,” Mackenzie said.

Further, Carroll said apart from the existing copper operations in Chile, Peru and the US, exploration activities were under way in several other geographies.
Earlier this month, Anglo American sold a 24.5% stake in its subsidiary Anglo American Sur, which includes the flagship Los Bronces mine, to Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation for $5.39-billion.
State-owned copper miner Codelco is gearing up for a legal battle as it planned to exercise its option to buy a 49% interest in the Sur mining complex in January 2012.
Anglo maintained that the transaction was fully compliant with the option agreement between Anglo American, certain of its affiliates and Codel