Monday, December 23, 2013

How to Save and Celebrate a Greener Christmas This Holiday Season.

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How to Save and Celebrate a Greener Christmas This Holiday Season - African Utility Week 2014, S. Africa

 Christmas is a great time to introduce energy saving habits into a household as many easy and simple changes in the way we live can end up putting extra money into your pocket. Higher electricity prices in South Africa have become an increasing strain on consumers’ monthly expenses.

“As consumers we have a lot of decision making power when it comes to how we use and save energy,” says Russell Hughes, who is the event director of the annual African Utility Week and Clean Power Africa conference and expo in Cape Town.

“There are a variety of ways we can use a lot less electricity this holiday season such as using LED* Christmas lights which use 90% less electricity than regular Christmas lights. Consider investing in solar powered outdoor lights which can also be used on the Christmas tree and only come on at night.”

Hughes continues: “Get everyone in the family involved this December and challenge them to think of creative ways to save energy and make it a competition – and then reward the family by taking them out to dinner with the money you have saved! This way everyone starts to think about living greener and it becomes a way of life. African Utility Week and Clean Power Africa is also a partner in Eskom’s 49M campaign, and we embrace the energy efficient use of power, not just in our company, but in our homes and personal lives too.”

More tips to be more energy friendly this holiday season:

1) Buy gifts that don't use electricity or batteries. Up to 40% of all batteries are purchased during the holiday season.
2) Buy environmentally friendly gifts such as solar chargers for laptops, cell phones and solar-powered torches.
3) Buy gifts made of recycled materials.
4) Don’t use the tumble dryer unnecessarily – it’s summer, so take advantage of solar powered drying.
5) Turn off the room lights when the Christmas tree lights are on.
6) Set a timer to Christmas and outdoor lights to limit the time they are on.
7) Create a romantic or devout atmosphere by using candles instead of lights.
8) Enjoy the weather and celebrate the holidays outside with a braai instead of cooking on a stove! Or enjoy cold meats and salads during this summer season – it’s healthier and saves on power.
9) If you’re going away, turn off/down the geyser and empty refrigerator.

More advice for creating a more energy efficient home during the year:
• Invest in a geyser blanket. Unless the geyser is properly insulated, switching it off does not save electricity.
• Insulate the roof to make the house cooler in summer and warmer in winter and thereby saving on using heating and cooling devices.
• Switch off appliances at the source when not in use.
• Replace bulbs with CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps).
• Limit the use of down-lighters in your home - all the heat they generate is lost power.
• Use cold water to do laundry, it saves electricity and is better for the clothes.

For the past 13 years, the African Utility Week conference and exhibition has helped to reduce the energy consumption of commercial and industrial large power users and has assisted in African utilities providing electricity and water to all of Africa. The event brings together thousands of utility professionals from across the globe to learn, share knowledge and debate the key topics that will secure the future development of Africa’s power industry. These include energy efficiency, improved service delivery, renewable energy, collaboration across the continent and investment in new power projects. Stakeholders across the industry attend the event, from Energy ministers, utilities such as Eskom, municipalities and regulators to investors and technology and service providers. Attending the African Utility Week exhibition is free when registering in advance and it showcases energy saving technologies and services for the industry from more than 250 providers and features hands-on demonstrations and workshops on the exhibition floor.

*LED=light-emitting diodes

What is 49M?
Eskom’s 49M campaign encourages all South Africans to take the 49M pledge to save at least 10% electricity.

The dates for next year’s African Utility Week are:
Exhibition & Conference: 13-14 May 2014
Focus days: 12 May 2014
Site Visits: 15 May 2014
Location: CTICC, Cape Town
African Utility Week
Annemarie Roodbol
+27 21 700 3558
Cape Town, South Africa, December 21, 2013

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Government of Ethiopia partners with the G8 to improve land rights and governance.

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Today, the Governments of Ethiopia, the United Kingdomthe United States of America, and the Federal Republic of Germany announced agreeing to enter a land country partnership to work together to improve rural land governance for economic growth and to protect the land rights of local citizens in Ethiopia.

This partnership builds on existing programmes and represents an important vehicle for increased coordination and collaboration among the Government of Ethiopia and its development partners. The announcement came after the representatives of the heads of state from G8 member states gathered inLondon to mark the handing over of the G8 Presidency from the United Kingdom to Russia.

The partnership with Ethiopia will support improved rural land tenure security for all, including through appropriate land use management in communal and pastoral areas. It will strengthen transparency in land governance, including by promoting responsible agricultural investment through an improved legal framework and practices.

Speaking for the UK, International Development Minister Lynne Featherstone said:

I welcome this announcement that the Governments of Ethiopiathe United StatesGermany and theUnited Kingdom are entering a land country partnership.

Having secure rights to land will help people across Ethiopia to grow the food they need, boost incomes, defuse conflicts and deal with the impact of climate change. This joint partnership will make sure Ethiopiacan make the most of its valuable resources and attract the investment and income needed to boost growth and fight poverty.

Ethiopia's Minister of Agriculture Tefera Derbew said:

The Ministry of Agriculture of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia welcomes this joint partnership in the context of supporting the implementation of Ethiopia's Rural Land Administration and Use plan under its policy and strategic frameworks. It will help the country to ensure and sustain its economic development by strengthening rural land governance in view of fostering food security and realising constitutionally recognised rural land related rights of Nations, Nationalities and People of Ethiopia. I hope the current harmonisation, co-ordination and alignment mechanisms of Rural Economic Development and Food Security Working group (RED-FS SWG) and Sustainable Land Management Platforms will serve as an engine to further deepen our joint partnership on rural land.

German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Dirk Niebel said in Berlin:

Germany highly welcomes this partnership between our four Governments that will contribute to better land management in Ethiopia, thus promoting transparent, fair and sustainable investments in land. Access to land and land tenure security are crucial for food and income security for the rural population inEthiopia. This partnership will complement and strengthen the Government of Ethiopia's efforts in the sustainable land management program to which Germany has been committed for years. This partnership also shows that the G8 is delivering upon its commitments promptly and with a view to the needs and priorities of our partners.

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah said in Washington:

We welcome this joint partnership in the context of the G8 and congratulate the Government of Ethiopiaon redoubling its dedication to achieving improved land governance and land tenure security for all. The Government of Ethiopia has made great progress in recognizing the rights of smallholder farmers with support from USAID, and we look forward to broadening and deepening this collaboration in the country's pastoral areas.

This follows the announcement of seven partnerships made last June at the G8 Open for Growth Summit. These partnerships between G8 member states and developing countries are designed to support governments in aligning their country frameworks with the globally agreed-upon Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries, and Forests in the Context of National Food Security and to improve rural land governance and the security of land tenure for individuals, communities, and investors.

The partnership represents the continuation of the commitments made under the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, an effort by African heads of state, corporate leaders and G8 members to increase food security and nutrition in sub-Saharan Africa, and takes note of the African Union Declaration on Land Issues and Challenges. It will also coordinate and harmonize support from existing and potential new development partners in the land sector. These objectives will be achieved through ongoing and potential additional future programs in support of improved rural land governance.

The partnership will enable better collaboration, coordination, and sustainable impact. This will be achieved under the on-going RED-FS Working group and Sustainable Land Management Platforms. Further details on the partnership will also be communicated over the course of the next year through the G8 and the Global Donor Working Group on Land, which was recently established by bilateral and multilateral donors to improve coordination of their respective efforts in the rural land sector.
SOURCE UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office
LONDON, 9 December 2013 / PRNewswire Africa

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