SA ranked 5th in Africa for governance

first_img12 October 2011 South Africa is ranked fifth out of 53 African countries in the 2011 Ibrahim Index of African Governance, sustaining its top five ranking for the third year running, behind Mauritius, Cape Verde, Botswana and Seychelles. The country maintained its scores on three of the index’s main groupings, holding steady at 3rd for participation and human rights, and 7th for both sustainable economic opportunity and safety and rule of law. However, it slipped from 5th to 8th place for human development. Brand South Africa CEO Miller Matola welcomed the results, which were released on Monday, saying in a statement: “Steady as she goes, is one’s first impression of this vital index’s ranking of South Africa’s performance. This is an important message in the light of such turbulence in the world.” Matola said it was encouraging to see African leaders being recognised for their effort in reshaping the reputations and governance infrastructure of their countries and, in consequence, the reputation of brand Africa.2011 Ibrahim Prize winner Cape Verde President Pedro Verona Pires, winner of the 2011 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, was honoured for his human rights record and governance achievements, including increasing the island’s prosperity while making it stable and democratic – and for refusing to stand for president for a third term. “Honouring President Pires underscores a vital fact – that there is a strong correlation between countries that have positive reputations and those that are globally competitive,” Matola said. The Ibrahim leadership prize as well as the country rankings are an important backdrop against which the continent’s progress – and that of individual countries – can be measured.Economic growth ‘must benefit citizens’ One of the major trends is the evident economic growth across Africa, although this had to be viewed against “the stagnation, and in many cases the reversal, in the rule of law and citizens’ rights”, said Mo Ibrahim, the foundation’s founder and chair. “We sounded alarm bells last year concerning this issue. If economic progress is not translated into better quality of life and respect for citizens’ rights, we will witness more Tahrir Squares in Africa.” Established in 2007, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation gathered a comprehensive collection of quantitative data, making an annual assessment of governance performance in every African country possible. The Ibrahim Index is currently compiled in partnership with an advisory council and a technical committee that include experts from a range of African institutions. It also works with Afrobarometer and Global Integrity South Africa, aiming to provide a framework for citizens, public authorities and partners to assess progress in governance on the continent. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Brand South Africa calls on humanitarian support for the Kathrada Park Community

first_imgJohannesburg, Monday 06 August 2018 –  Johannesburg Emergency Services’ Mr Robert Mulaudzi has reported to the media that in the early hours of Monday morning, 50 shacks caught fire at Kathrada Park, an Informal Settlement in Claremont just West of Johannesburg, with about 100 – 120 people  displaced.Mr Mulaudzi, further adds; “At this stage, there are no injuries or fatalities which have been reported, however, we just want to encourage all our residents throughout the city’s 189 informal settlements to exercise caution with  all  heating devices and not leave paraffin and stoves unattended to prevent fire incidences like this one.”Brand South Africa’s Chief Marketing Officer,  Mrs Linda Magapatona-Sangaret said, “It is unfortunate that we as a nation still wake to news that many people are left displaced due to fires.”“Thank you to the firefighters who were prompt in their response and were able to spare the many lives caught in the disaster. Your hard work does not go unnoticed. The greatness of a nation can be judged by  how it treats its less fortunate citizens. It is, therefore, important that  all citizens  unite and play their part in helping in any way possible”, concludes Mrs Magapatona-Sangaret.Added to this terrible incident,  the province is expected to be experiencing a cold front in the next few days, citizens are called upon to assist by donating and dropping off resources for the displaced families at the Sandton Fire station; Grayston Drive, Sandown, Johannesburg. Resources required;Non-Perishable FoodsWoodCorrugated Iron Sheets (Amazenke)MattressesBlanketsClothes, toiletries, sanitary pads, diapers, and toysThe Sandton Fire station can be reached at 011 375 5911.last_img read more

Is Augmented Reality Garbage or Golden?

first_imgWe’ve been writing a lot here about Augmented Reality (AR), technology that displays layers of data on top of our view of physical reality through mobile phone cameras, projected images and webcams. It seems like a red-hot field and something we should cover all the more. Some people think that’s not the case though; they say it’s just hype, a technology looking for applications or a recipe for disappointment.Below we offer you a chance to let us know what you think. Please take our poll and let us know if you think these services being heralded as Augmented Reality are the real deal or something not worth reading about. Just below the poll we offer some links to a few of our most important articles about AR and some opposing viewpoints from readers. Let us know what you think! marshall kirkpatrick 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App Related Posts 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… Key posts from our past coverage include:Augmented Reality: A Human Interface for Ambient Intelligence (A good introduction)Augmented Reality: Five Barriers to a Web That’s EverywherePrepare Yourself: Augmented Reality Hype is on the RiseFirst iPhone Augmented Reality App Appears Live in App StoreHyperlinking the Real WorldTwo Opposing ViewsReaders have been debating the value of AR in comments on our past coverage. Here are two good ways of articulating opposing views on the subject:Former HP Labs team member turned tech consultant Gene Becker is optimistic.“In the same way that the web browser on a computer screen is a window into cyberspace, an augmented reality viewer is a window that looks out on the blended physical/digital landscape, the geoweb, the city as platform.We’re just at the beginning of a fifty year adventure where we will infuse the physical world with connected digital experience. AR browsers like Layar and Wikitude are like Gopher was in 1991 — early, geeky, not a lot of content, not a great experience…but watch what happens next.”An anonymous commenter left these critical thoughts:“I must thank MK for the app list. It confirms to me there are no useful AR apps right now, and also that the feasible apps are very limited, because they all seem kind of similar to one another.It’s just so much easier for me to use an ordinary browser map application and see all the locations of interest for any conceivable query than to mess around with a phone’s camera.AR seems kind of like voice recognition to me, in a way.Recall that some years ago there was a massive hype storm about how much better voice input would be than typing. But despite the general availability of a fairly decent program (Dragon), most people still use keyboards because keyboards just have more utility and usability combined. That’s how I feel about these crappy AR apps until there are some serious breakthroughs in both hardware and software.I mean, you really need a lightweight high-res infinite-battery HMD with meter-accuracy location for it to make much sense to me — snapping photos through a cellphone and looking at crappy low-res decorations on the result seems very weak to me, especially given the error scale of GPS. But no such HMD exists. Alternatively (as in Vinge’s novel) you need something like a long-range RFID on every object or location of interest, and that isn’t going to happen any time soon either.Like voice recognition, there may be some special purpose AR apps in the short term that are useful and effective for narrow uses. I’m sure Dragon is great for many disabled people, and for the few people who are really skilled at dictation, so perhaps the same kind of niches can be found for low-tech AR.But I don’t think it will be broadly useful in the near-term, so it seems to me to be an unworthy thing to spend so much time and effort hyping right now.”What do you think? Let us know by voting in the poll above and in the comments below. 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… Tags:#Analysis#Augmented Reality#Features#web last_img read more

Ductless Minisplit Performance During Cold Weather

first_imgModem and router energy usageOn a totally unrelated topic: lately I’ve tried to identify the electrical loads in our house that use power around the clock.I am reluctant to have anything in the house that uses energy 24/7. With 8,760 hours per year, small usages add up. One such is the exhaust fan on the composting toilet — at about 20 watts it uses 175 kWh/year, or 4% to 5% of our energy usage.Another is the cable modem for internet access we have from Comcast, and the Apple Airport Express wireless router. I’ve been measuring both. The router uses just over 3 1/2 watts, while the modem uses 6 1/2 watts. Together they use 88 kWh/year.I imagine that if we were off-grid, we’d unplug them in the winter when solar power is short. Being grid-tied, we’re just lazy about it.What’s using power 24/7 in your house? GBA Encyclopedia: Ductless Minisplit Heat PumpsJust Two Minisplits Heat and Cool the Whole House Will Minisplits Replace Forced-Air Heating and Cooling Systems?Heating a Tight, Well-Insulated HouseNew Englanders Love Heat PumpsReport on Our Ductless Minisplit Heat PumpLoving My MinisplitsTackling the Plug Load ProblemLighting and Phantom Loads I tried an experiment this week during our cold snap. We’ve kept the door closed to the first floor ell (bedroom and bath) and let it run cold, because the Fujitsu wasn’t sized to heat that space too. I opened the door early in the cold snap, and let the heat pump go, leaving it set on 70°F. What I found was that overnight the main space went to 66°F, and the upstairs and back bedroom were 3° to 4°F lower.My calculated heat loss in these conditions is about 24,000 BTU/hour, and the heat pump is rated at about 17,000 BTU/hour at about 10°F. You’d think it would not be able to keep up.My heat loss number may well be too high, and the rated output of the unit may be quite conservative. My system has the temperature sensing built into the wall cassette, so it may be sensing a higher temperature than out in the room. It may make sense in severe weather to set the thermostat up to 72°F instead of our normal 70°F.Unlike a boiler, these variable-speed units taper off the output as the space approaches the setpoint instead of always running at full bore, so that may be a disadvantage of a smart unit — it’s trying to stay at a more efficient operating point instead of making me as comfortable as possible.Anyway, comfort trumped further experimentation and we closed the door again to the ell. Marc Rosenbaum is director of engineering at South Mountain Company on the island of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. He writes a blog called Thriving on Low Carbon. Marc teaches a 10-week online Zero Net Energy Home Design course as part of NESEA’s Building Energy Master Series. You can test drive his class for free. A variable-speed minisplit tapers its output as it nears the setpointOne other thing I wonder about is that even though the room was not at the setpoint it seemed that the unit didn’t run on full output much. RELATED ARTICLES BLOGS BY MARC ROSENBAUM Minisplit Heat Pumps and Zero-Net-Energy HomesPractical Design Advice for Zero-Net-Energy HomesTwo Years With a Minisplit Heat PumpInsulating Window ShadesSelf-Cleaning OvensA Tough Energy Code Is the Worker’s FriendInstalling a Photovoltaic SystemLiving With Point-Source HeatInstalling a Ductless Minisplit SystemSeasonal Changes in Electrical Loadslast_img read more

Azarenka withdraws from US Open amid child custody dispute

first_imgFILE – In this Sept. 3, 2015, file photo, Victoria Azarenka, of Belarus, returns a shot to Yanina Wickmayer, of Belgium, during the second round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, in New York. Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka says her participation in the U.S. Open is in doubt because she might not be able to bring her baby son with her to New York as a result of her separation from the child’s father. Azarenka says via a posting on Twitter on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, that she is “faced with a difficult situation which may not allow me to return to work right away.” (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)NEW YORK — Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka withdrew from the U.S. Open on Monday because she was unable to resolve a custody dispute with her infant son’s father.The 28-year-old star from Belarus gave birth to her first child in December and she returned to the tour in June. She detailed the dispute with the boy’s father in a long Twitter post last week, saying she might not be able to bring her son with her to New York.ADVERTISEMENT “I am sadly unable to compete in this year’s U.S. Open due to my ongoing family situation that I am working through,” Azarenka said in a statement.In last week’s post, Azarenka wrote that she separated from Leo’s father shortly after Wimbledon, where she lost to Simona Halep in the fourth round on July 10.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games opening“As we work to resolve some of the legal processes, the way things stand now is that the only way I can play in the U.S. Open this year is if I leave Leo behind in California,” Azarenka wrote, “which I’m not willing to do.”Azarenka has not played since Wimbledon, and the former No. 1 player is now ranked 204th. She was the runner-up in New York in 2012 and 2013, losing in the final each year to Serena Williams. Those were also the years that Azarenka won her two Grand Slam singles titles in Australia. Williams, who is pregnant with her first child, also will not play in this year’s U.S. Open. On the men’s side, three top-10 players have withdrawn with season-ending injuries: defending champion Stan Wawrinka, Novak Djokovic and Kei Nishikori.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters MOST READ Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Rugby World Cup winner reveals heart surgery after tick bite Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim LATEST STORIES Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR View commentslast_img read more



10 months agoPremier League trio up for African Player of the Year

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Premier League trio up for African Player of the Yearby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveThe Premier League is again dominating the African Player of the Year awards.The Daily Mail reports Liverpool forwards Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, along with Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, have again made the shortlist for the Confederation of African Football (CAF) player of the year award.It is the second year running the trio have battled it out for the prestigious prize, to be named Africa’s finest player.Egypt striker Salah claimed the honour last year and will be favourite again, hoping to become the fourth player to win back-to-back titles after Senegal forward El Hadji Diouf, Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o and Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure.The award is voted for by the national team coaches and captains of CAF’s 56 member associations and the winner for 2018 will be announced in Dakar on January 8. last_img read more

a month agoJuventus coach Sarri defends scratchy victory over Hellas Verona

first_imgJuventus coach Sarri defends scratchy victory over Hellas Veronaby Carlos Volcanoa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveJuventus coach Maurizio Sarri admits they weren’t at their best for victory over Hellas Verona.Miguel Veloso had put Verona in front, even after Samuele Di Carmine missed a penalty, but Aaron Ramsey’s deflected effort and a Cristiano Ronaldo spot-kick secured the 2-1 victory.“Perhaps there was some mental fatigue, because you need to immediately recharge the batteries a couple of days later. With a lot of changes, you lose some balance, and that’s what we saw today, as we played in fits and starts,” Sarri told Sky Sport Italia.“Dybala had a very good game. Ramsey still needs to adapt, but that’s pretty natural in the circumstances. Our central midfielder was man-marked, but I think we could’ve done more with the other two midfielders. Changing two out of three in the middle meant it was clear we could’ve lost some balance.“This is a team under construction and you can tell. We far too easily forget to defend moving forward and tend to run backwards under pressure, so it’ll take a while to get that out of them.” About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more