- South Africa has defended its R300 million contribution to the Zimbabwean regional basket aid, saying this was meant to alleviate suffering and help Zimbabweans regain their agricultural production confidence.
The country had come under fire following the disclosure on Sunday of the SADC basket aid to the battered Southern Africa state. Initially South Africa had said it would hold on all aid help to Zimbabwe until a functioning government was formed.
The South African presidency spokesperson Thabo Masebe, was quoted in the madie today, saying the help was inevitable as the situation in Zimbabwe was getting worse.
He also told the media that the aid was to address dire need for food aid in Zimbabwe, saying as a contribution to the basket aid by SADC, they were also ensured that the package will reach intended beneficiaries without any favours.
South Africa has among other items in the aid package to Zimbabwe, given maize and sorghum seeds, fertiliser and fuel, said to be meant to reactivate agricultural production and reboost economic activity.
The regional block launched a basket aid at the weekend aimed at addressing the Zimbabwean emergency crisis needs. SADC was however also cautious in the announcing the basket launch, saying it was solely aid and nothing beyond.
The regional grouping has lately also come under pressure from the West to help push president Robert Mugabe aside as they expressed lost hope in the formation of a government with him present.
Both Britain and the US have said it was time for Mr Mugabe to step down, while from the SADC corridors, only Botswana has openly criticised the way things have turned to be in Zimbabwe, calling for fresh elections instead of never ending dialouge and regional recommendations that are never implemented.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.