The Sunday Mail
Gaza truce efforts continue amid air strikes
Mediators hope to reach agreement in Cairo after three-day ceasefire expired between Israel and Hamas.
Egypt has called for an immediate return to ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and said progress has been made in the negotiations involving Palestinian factions and Israel. Speaking from Gaza after several Israeli air strikes hit the enclave on Saturday morning, Al Jazeera’s Andrew Simmons said there were reports of movement towards an overall deal.
“Both sides are saying the door is not closed. The Palestinians are still in Cairo and there are talks scheduled in the next few hours. There are also unconfirmed reports that some Israeli officials are still engaged in talks,” he said.
In the Egyptian capital, the foreign ministry called on both sides “to return immediately to the ceasefire and exploit the opportunity available to resume negotiations on the very limited sticking points that remain in the fastest possible time”. Egypt mediates the talks but is meeting separately with each party. Israel and Hamas deny each other’s legitimacy, with Hamas rejecting Israel’s right to exist and Israel rejecting Hamas as a terrorist organisation. — Aljazeera
Ebola an international health risk
LONDON — West Africa’s Ebola epidemic is an “extraordinary event” and now constitutes an international health risk, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Friday.
The Geneva-based United Nations health agency said the possible consequences of a further international spread of the outbreak, which has killed almost 1,000 people in four West African countries, were “particularly serious” in view of the virulence of the virus.
“A co-ordinated international response is deemed essential to stop and reverse the international spread of Ebola,” the WHO said in a statement after a two-day meeting of its emergency committee on Ebola. The declaration of an international emergency will have the effect of raising the level of vigilance for transmission of the virus.
The agency added that while all states with Ebola transmission — so far Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone — should declare a national emergency, there should be no general ban on international travel or trade.
Keiji Fukuda, the WHO’s head of health security, stressed that, with the right steps and measures to deal with infected people, Ebola’s spread could be stopped. — Reuters
Nigeria economy to outperform SA
SOUTH Africa’s infrastructure spend is forecast to grow by 10 percent a year over the coming decade, yet the country will be “outperformed” by the continent’s biggest economy, Nigeria.
South Africa and Nigeria will account for three-quarters of Sub-Saharan Africa’s infrastructure spend in 2025, according to an infrastructure outlook report released on Thursday by professional services firm PwC.
The report was based on data from governments, private-sector investors and funders. Much of South Africa’s infrastructure spend is derived from state-owned entities such as Transnet and Eskom, which is building power stations.
PwC projects annual infrastructure spend in South Africa would reach $60bn by 2025 from $22bn in 2012, after growing 10 percent on average a year.
This mirrors the region, with overall infrastructure spending in sub-Saharan Africa projected to grow 10% annually to exceed $180bn by 2025. The result is that the region will maintain its small 2 percent share of the global infrastructure market. “Nigeria and South Africa dominate the infrastructure market but others like Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, and Tanzania are also poised for growth,” PwC said. — BusinessDay