NELSON "MADIBA" MANDELA

South Africa's first black president and anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela has passed away, at the age of 95, last week.

Nelson “Madiba” Mandela will be remembered for many things, but his message of forgiveness and reconciliation may resonate the most.

"Mandela's biggest legacy was his remarkable lack of bitterness and the way he did not only talk about reconciliation, but he made reconciliation happen in South Africa," said F.W. de Klerk, South Africa's last white president and Mandela's predecessor.

"Nelson Mandela achieved more than could be expected of any man," President Barack Obama said last week. "We have lost one of the most influential, courageous, and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this Earth. 

He no longer belongs to us -- he belongs to the ages.”

Announcing the news on South African national TV, President Jacob Zuma said “Madiba” was at peace.

"Africa has lost its greatest son"

The greatest father there ever was: this is how South Africans will remember the man who brought an end to apartheid and delivered the nation from the brink of civil war.

As he did in life, his passing has brought unity amongst South Africans as black and white speak of their love for him. Many will be drawing on that same spirit for strength, that "Madiba magic" over the next few days and weeks as the nation left with the great burden of honoring Mandela's legacy, mourns his passing but also celebrates his life.

We will miss you “Madiba” but we will never forget you…


Conflict "enemy number one" of Africa [Reuters]


African growth impressive despite global downturn
Continent still struggling to end cycle of war

Africa's emerging nations have become a driving force for world economic growth, International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde said on Monday, but armed conflicts pose the principal threat to the continent's future development.

Resource-rich African nations have continued to post impressive growth even as the economies of Europe have stagnated and a U.S. recovery makes only slow progress.

The IMF is projecting economic growth of 5.25 percent for sub-Saharan Africa in 2013, a rate that places the region second only to Asia's booming economies and well above a world forecast of 3.6 percent.

"It's clear that emerging countries are the motor of world economic growth," Lagarde said in a speech to lawmakers in top cocoa producer Ivory Coast, which received over $4 billion in debt relief under an IMF/World Bank programme last year.
"I cannot help but be impressed by the continent's resilience ... in the face of the most serious disturbances seen by the world's economy since the Great Depression," she said.

Africa's diverse mining sector, which offers everything from copper and iron to diamonds and gold, is booming largely on demand from Chinese industry. So too is its oil sector. And investors are increasingly drawn to its growing and largely untapped consumer markets.
These recent gains risk being undermined however by lingering conflicts across much of the continent, Lagarde said.

FRAGILE SECURITY

"Security is too fragile in many countries and especially here in West Africa. If there is no peace, the people simply won't have the confidence or courage to invest in their own future, and neither will (foreign investors)," she said.

West and Central African nations, which have long struggled to stamp out the recurring cycles of political turmoil that have plagued the region since independence a half century ago, witnessed a surge in violence in 2012.
Islamists from Nigeria's Boko Haram sect carried out almost daily deadly attacks in the regional giant's troubled north. Rebels in Democratic Republic of Congo and Central African Republic gained ground and threatened to overthrow their respective governments.

Fighters with links to al Qaeda took advantage of a military coup in Mali to seize more than half of the country, raising fears that the conflict could spill across its porous borders and destabilise the region.

"Conflicts have disastrous consequences for the belligerents. They also have consequences for neighbouring countries. If I had to name the enemy number one of economic development, it would clearly be conflicts," Lagarde said.

Ivory Coast, where Lagarde is spending three days as part of a tour of Africa, emerged from a decade of political crisis following a brief war in 2011.
Amid a much praised post-war economic turnaround, the country registered economic growth of more than 8.5 percent in 2012, following a 4.7 percent contraction in 2011.

But it too is struggling to cope with a series of regular, deadly attacks on security forces and infrastructure sites that began last August

2013 is There...

Hello Everyone, 

With the start of a new year this week, it reminded me that today our daily life has been measured or categorised by the number of items we owned, the work place we work, the car we drove, the brand we can afford to wear or how much is the mortgage on the house we tried so hard to buy. 

Words or expression like : iPad, Apple, 3D, Sky TV, Premier league Football, Celebrity gossips, Android, Games, Xbox, PS3, Tablets, Work, Unemployment rate, immigration, X Factor, BBC scandals, .... are too often part of our daily journey, taking us far away from the simple pleasure in life. 

In 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote : "… that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness". 

Let’s make 2013 a year of dreams and happiness, a year of less suffering and more joy for those around us, a year to move forward and a year to be more optimistic about tomorrow… 

Wishing you all and your family an Happy New Year and all the very Best for 2013. 

Best Regards 

Business Network Consulting