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U.S. backs Zim TB infection control program

 

NEWS FROM FASCINATING PROGRAMS/PROJECTS

Reported by Peter Banda in Harare

14 September 2017 – Harare, Zimbabwe – A senior official from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a United States government health agency, has called for increased collaboration among private and public health organisations in Zimbabwe to sustain efforts that accelerate progress in preventing the spread of tuberculosis (TB) among health care workers.

“It is paramount that we implement measures to keep health care workers safe, healthy and productive,” said Shirish Balachandra, Branch Chief for HIV Services at CDC-Zimbabwe (pictured).”We are excited to support integrated surveillance of anti-microbial resistance across the disease spectrum through our partnership with Zimbabwe, working to strengthen the laboratory system.”

Balachandra was addressing delegates gathered in Harare for the National Infection Prevention and Control Conference on Wednesday. His remarks in the wake of a recent announcement by the United States government that it is committing $130 million towards Zimbabwe’s response to HIV. Part of the funding, drawn from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), will be channelled towards disease surveillance and prevention of TB infection programs.

According to the Infection Control Association in Zimbabwe (ICAZ), the conference, attended by representatives of various health organisations, focused on the role of health care workers in TB infection control and anti-microbial resistance.

The ICAZ President Mrs. Phyllis Manungo said “The objective of the conference is to bring together partners from both the private and public health and related sectors and other stakeholders interested in preventing TB and other infections and fight Antimicrobial resistance   so that we can share experiences and learn from each other.”

According to CDC-Zimbabwe, TB is a public health problem in Zimbabwe which causes significant morbidity and mortality. Zimbabwe is one of the eight countries in Africa designated by the World Health Organization (WHO) as being “high burden” for TB, TB/HIV co-infection, and multi-drug resistant TB.

The conference discussed strategies to contain the rise of antimicrobial resistance, which has significant overlap with the issue of infection prevention and control. “Given the increasing resistance to first-line antibiotics,” noted Balachandra, “a broad range of common infections are now much more difficult to treat. Second- and third-line regimens are proving to be costly, more likely to have side-effects, and require much longer durations of treatment.”

Speakers at the conference noted that the risk of TB transmission at healthcare facilities is significant, both among patients, and from patients to health care workers. This risk is greater with increasing volumes of contagious (smear-positive) TB patients.  The implementation of effective infection control measures can significantly reduce the risk of TB transmission.

Sydney Makarawo, chairperson of the National Infection Prevention and Control Committee, said the health ministry was working on a health worker TB policy. “It is the responsibility of all of us to ensure that we are screened for TB and that we work in a safe environment, taking the necessary steps to protect ourselves and others from getting healthcare associated TB,” he said.

The United States, with funding support from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and CDC-Zimbabwe, has supported Zimbabwe’s health ministry to strengthen infection prevention and control in health facilities throughout the country. The support started in 2011 through the Zimbabwe Infection Prevention and Control Project, or ZIPCOP. In October, the U.S. health agency partnered the health ministry to support the Healthcare Associated TB Infection Prevention Program (HATIPP-Zim). The central focus of HATIPP-Zim is to support health care worker TB screening and treatment.


Project Management Zimbabwe (PMZ – Project Management Institute of Zimbabwe) is Zimbabwe’s largest Association of Project Managers, with a membership base of over 1000. The institute has a mandate of policing the elevation of project management standards nationally through mentorship and membership services programmes.  For information, visit www.pmiz.org.zw or email: info@pmiz.org.zw.

Source:  Project Management Zimbabwe

 

U.S. brings Hollywood gaffer to Zim film festival

 

NEWS FROM FASCINATING PROGRAMS/PROJECTS

Reported by Peter Banda in Harare

25 August 2017 – Harare, Zimbabwe – Project Management Zimbabwe (PMZ) has shared the news that the United States Embassy has announced the participation of Hollywood lighting designer, gaffer and cinematographer Christian Epps at this year’s Zimbabwe International Film Festival (ZIFF) and the International Images Film Festival. Epps will conduct workshops in line with the Festival’s theme, “The Business of Film.”  The Embassy will showcase the film Hidden Figures on Wednesday, August 30th at 7:00 pm at ZIFFHUB as part of the festival.  The ZIFF is a major arts programme in Zimbabwe each year, with many associated projects.

“We are delighted to have Christian Epps visit Zimbabwe,” said David McGuire, Public Affairs Officer at the United States Embassy.  “We hope the interaction with local film makers and producers will bring to the fore new trends and tools in lighting design and film making as well as provide a spark to the great relationship the United States has with the local arts industry.”  McGuire said Epps will reach out to film makers in Harare and Chitungwiza, and is eager to witness the work of amazing Zimbabwean film makers.

Epps has worked as a lighting designer for more than 20 years, covering everything from major motion pictures and broadcast television to live theater, dance, music videos and special events. He has worked with notable directors such as Spike Lee, Hype Williams, and Nick Castle.  In addition, Epps has contributed his design work to notable artists including Michael Jackson, P. Diddy, Biggy Smalls, R. Kelly, Whitney Houston, Queen Latifah, Branford Marsalis, Me’Shell N’degeocello, TLC, The Indigo Girls, and Boyz II Men, among others.  His recent projects include Selma and the award winning Sundance movie, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints.  Epps’ work has been seen across the United States and in the Caribbean, Europe, Mexico, and of late has become a regular fixture in Africa – especially Nigeria (Nollywood, TV & concert), South Africa, Rwanda, Senegal and Zimbabwe.

During the festivals Epps will present seminars covering technical presentations on lighting and a variety of other film-making skills while establishing links and co-productions as he has with other African countries and organizations.  He will give a project management workshop including a session on practical film production process management, and conduct a basic film making workshop at Young Africa Skills Center in Chitungwiza.

The award winning American film Hidden Figures tells the story of a team of female African-American mathematicians who served a vital role in NASA during the early years of the U.S. space program.  The film garnered various awards and nominations following its release earlier this year including three Academy Award nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Picture and Best Supporting Actress for Octavia Spencer. The film earned four awards at the African-American Film Critics Association.

This year’s Festival is jointly coordinated by the ZIFF and the International Film Festival for Women and runs from August 26th to September 2nd.

Project Management Zimbabwe (PMZ – Project Management Institute of Zimbabwe) is Zimbabwe’s largest Association of Project Managers, with a membership base of over 1000. The institute has a mandate of policing the elevation of project management standards nationally through mentorship and membership services programmes. For information, visit http://www.pmiz.org.zw/ or email: info@pmiz.org.zw

Source: Project Management Zimbabwe

 

 

U.S. notes Zimbabwe progress in combatting trafficking in persons

 

NEWS FROM FASCINATING PROGRAMS/PROJECTS

Reported by Peter Banda in Harare

29 June 2017 – Harare, Zimbabwe – Project Management Zimbabwe (PMZ) has shared news from a United States government report that says Zimbabwe made notable progress to strengthen its capacity and to respond to cases of trafficking in persons in the past year.  This is positive news about an important regional programme.

“The (Zimbabwe) government made key achievements during the reporting period (2016- 17)… these achievements included increased efforts to investigate and prosecute alleged trafficking crimes,” according to the State Department Trafficking in Persons Report (June 2017). “The government coordinated with Kuwait to repatriate and refer to care 121 female trafficking victims, and also repatriated five victims from Sudan.”

The report commends Zimbabwe for launching its first national action plan and implementing several key activities in the plan. Among these was the Anti-Trafficking Inter-Ministerial committee which developed terms of reference to guide front-line responders in a victim-centered approach and established two provincial taskforces to implement the national action plan at the provincial level. It also conducted training-of-trainers for police on victim identification interview procedures.

Briefing journalists, government officials and representatives of nongovernmental organisations on Wednesday morning, an official from the United States Embassy said as a result of these actions, Zimbabwe was upgraded to Tier 2 Watch List.

“Any country determined to be a country of origin, transit, or destination for at least two victims of trafficking in persons must be included in the TIP Report and assigned to one of four tiers,” said Embassy Political Officer Krista Fisher (pictured right). “Countries assessed as fully meeting the U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking are classified as Tier 1 and countries assessed as not fully meeting the minimum standards, but making significant efforts to meet them, are classified as Tier 2.”

Previously Zimbabwe was ranked Tier 3, among countries assessed as not meeting the minimum standards nor making significant efforts to meet them.

“This is definitely an achievement and we hope that it will motivate the government and others involved in combating trafficking in persons in Zimbabwe to continue to make strides in protecting vulnerable people from trafficking,” said Fisher.

The report acknowledges that Zimbabwe is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor—as is the United States.  Women and girls from Zimbabwean towns bordering South Africa, Mozambique, and Zambia are subjected to forced labor, including domestic servitude, and sex trafficking in brothels catering to long-distance truck drivers on both sides of the borders. Reports indicate that adults have recruited girls for child sex trafficking in Victoria Falls. Children are subjected to forced labor in the agricultural and mining sectors and are forced to carry out illegal activities, including drug smuggling. There were increased reports of children from Mozambique being subjected to forced labor in street vending in Zimbabwe, including in Mbare.

Each year, since 2001, the U.S. government has produced the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report to encourage global efforts to end human trafficking. It is also the world’s most comprehensive resource of governmental anti-human trafficking efforts and reflects the U.S. Government’s commitment to global leadership on this key human rights and law enforcement issue. It represents an updated, global look at the nature and scope of trafficking in persons and the broad range of government actions to confront and eliminate it.

The U.S. Government uses the TIP Report to engage foreign governments in dialogues to advance anti-trafficking reforms and to combat trafficking and to target resources on prevention, protection and prosecution programs. “The introduction of this year’s report focuses on the responsibility of governments to criminalize human trafficking and hold offenders accountable,” noted Secretary Rex Tillerson in the foreword to the report. “To that end, this report is intended to assist governments in identifying threats so law enforcement agencies around the world can respond effectively and gain insight into where human trafficking remains most severe. The Report will also equip local and sub-national law enforcement agencies to better assist in efforts to target and prosecute those who commit these terrible crimes.”

Worldwide, the report is used by international organizations, foreign governments, and nongovernmental organizations alike as a tool to examine where resources are most needed. Freeing victims, preventing trafficking, and bringing traffickers to justice are the ultimate goals of the report and of the U.S Government’s anti-human trafficking policy.

The full report is available on https://www.state.gov/j/tip/

Project Management Zimbabwe (PMZ – Project Management Institute of Zimbabwe) is Zimbabwe’s largest Association of Project Managers, with a membership base of over 1000. The institute has a mandate of policing the elevation of project management standards nationally through mentorship and membership services programmes. PMZ  is registered and accredited by the Ministry of Higher & Tertiary Education Zimbabwe. For information, visit http://www.pmiz.org.zw/ or email: info@pmiz.org.zw.

Source: Project Management Zimbabwe

 

 

NASA Completes Milestone toward Quieter Supersonic X-Plane

 

NEWS FROM FASCINATING PROJECTS

26 June 2017 – Washington, DC, USA – NASA has announced the achievement of a significant milestone in its effort to make supersonic passenger jet travel over land a real possibility by completing the preliminary design review (PDR) of its Quiet Supersonic Transport or QueSST aircraft design. QueSST is the initial design stage of NASA’s planned Low Boom Flight Demonstration (LBFD) experimental airplane, otherwise known as an X-plane.

Senior experts and engineers from across the agency and the Lockheed Martin Corporation concluded Friday that the QueSST design is capable of fulfilling the LBFD aircraft’s mission objectives, which are to fly at supersonic speeds, but create a soft “thump” instead of the disruptive sonic boom associated with supersonic flight today. The LBFD X-plane will be flown over communities to collect data necessary for regulators to enable supersonic flight over land in the United States and elsewhere in the world.

Illustration of NASA’s planned Low Boom Flight Demonstration aircraft as outlined during the project’s Preliminary Design Review last week. Image courtesy of NASA and Lockheed Martin.

NASA partnered with lead contractor, Lockheed Martin, in February 2016 for the QueSST preliminary design. Last month, a scale model of the QueSST design completed testing in the 8-by 6-foot supersonic wind tunnel at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.

“Managing a project like this is all about moving from one milestone to the next,” said David Richwine, manager for the preliminary design effort under NASA’s Commercial Supersonic Technology Project. “Our strong partnership with Lockheed Martin helped get us to this point. We’re now one step closer to building an actual X-plane.”

After the success of completing the PDR, NASA’s project team can start the process of soliciting proposals later this year and awarding a contract early next year to build the piloted, single-engine X-plane. The acquisition for the LBFD X-plane contract will be fully open and competitive, with the QueSST preliminary design data being made available to qualified bidders. Flight testing of an LBFD X-plane could begin as early as 2021.

Over the next few months, NASA will work with Lockheed on finalizing the QueSST preliminary design effort. This includes a static inlet performance test and a low-speed wind tunnel test at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.

For more information about QueSST and LBFD, visit: https://go.nasa.gov/2tdiNif

For more information about NASA’s aeronautics work, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/aeronautics

Created in 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is America’s focal point for research, development and exploration of outer space. For over 50 years, NASA has been leading the world in the usage of advanced program and project management. Additional information about NASA can be found at http://www.nasa.gov/.

Source: NASA

 

 

$1bln Zimbabwe Road Rehabilitation project Launched

 

NEWS FROM FASCINATING PROGRAMS/PROJECTS

Reported by Peter Banda in Harare
Project Management Zimbabwe

21 June 2017 – Harare, Zimbabwe – Works on the US$1billion rehabilitation and dualisation of the 580 km Beitbridge-Harare Road has started. Zimbabwe President His Excellency Robert Mugabe officially commissioned the start of the project at the beginning of May 2017 with a ground breaking ceremony that was attended by key stakeholders from the public and private sector. Work on the Beitbridge-Harare Rd is a sub-project and phase 1 of the major project to rehabilitate the entire Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu Road (see map image below) which has an estimated total project cost of $2,3billion according to reports from the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Development.

The Zimbabwe government has awarded the tender for the Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) project to Austrian contractor Geiger International and China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) and agreements were signed in November 2016.

The project is expected to take up to three years and will be carried out in two phases. The first section will be from Beitbridge to Harare, which will be done under a Public Private Partnership/ Build Operate and Transfer model. The second phase covering Harare-Chirundu section will be done through a loan facility.

The Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu highway is Zimbabwe’s busiest and most economically significant, and is part of the North-South Corridor that directly links landlocked Zimbabwe and Zambia with access to the Indian Ocean ports of Durban and Richards Bay in South Africa.

Speaking at the May 2017 ground breaking ceremony, Zimbabwe Transport Minister Joram Gumbo said Government signed a memorandum of understanding for the contract with Geiger International (GI) in 2012 but the absence of a legal framework until 2016 delayed the deal.

This is despite the deal being officially announced in June last year, when Government named GI and China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) as the tender winners for the Harare-Beitbridge and Harare-Chirundu roads. GI Vice-President Eric Geiger said the negotiations for the deal had taken six years, ‘punctuated by tenders and legal issues.’

“Geiger International has mobilised resources for the design and construction of the road and will be responsible for collecting and maintaining the toll plazas during the concession period, through a company in which Government will have shares,” said Geiger.

“Proceeds from toll operations will be used to meet operating costs, loan repayments, interest, dividend payments to investors, and shareholders including the government. At the end of the concession period, Geiger will hand over the road to government, which would have to be responsible for its maintenance.”

Actual work on the road will start after three months if the designs are approved, he said.

Local companies will participate in the construction project to the tune of 40 percent of contract value. Geiger said the government had guaranteed the safety of its investment. The road was the beginning of more business deals with government, with more to follow, he added.

Gumbo said more toll plazas will be added on the route as Geiger seeks to recoup their investment.

The Beitbridge highway has been in use for over 56 years, way beyond its design life of 20 years. Efforts to rehabilitate the highway, whose state of disrepair has cost many lives in traffic accidents, have been held back by claims of corruption and bribery. Government initially awarded the contract to ZimHighways, a consortium of 14 firms that included Murray & Roberts, Costain Africa, Kuchi Building Construction, Tarcon, Bitcon, Joina Development Company and Southland Engineers back in 2003. However, the project never took off as bickering erupted between the government and the consortium. Government accused the contractors of failing to put up the money for the project, while ZimHighways accused government officials of demanding bribes.

In 2013, after government announced plans to hand the project to a new contractor, citing ZimHighways’ failure to start the project, the consortium took the government to court. It only dropped its lawsuit in 2015, on condition that the consortium members would be sub-contracted for the project, allowing government to float a new tender.

Project Management Zimbabwe (PMZ – Project Management Institute of Zimbabwe) is Zimbabwe’s largest Association of Project Managers, with a membership base of over 1000. The institute has a mandate of policing the elevation of project management standards nationally through mentorship, membership services and programmes. For information, visit http://www.pmiz.org.zw/ or email: info@pmiz.org.zw.

Source: Project Management Zimbabwe

 

 

New NASA Experiments, Research Headed to International Space Station

 

NEWS FROM FASCINATING PRORAMS & PROJECTS

3 June 2017 – Washington, DC, USA – NASA has announced that major experiments that will look into the human body and out into the galaxy are on their way to the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft following its 5:07 p.m. EDT launch aboard a Falcon 9 rocket. The Dragon lifted off from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. About 6,000 pounds of research equipment, cargo and supplies are packed into the cargo craft that is now in Earth orbit and headed to the station.

The SpaceX Dragon cargo craft lifted off from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 5:07 p.m. June 3. About 6,000 pounds of research equipment, cargo and supplies are packed into the cargo craft that is now in Earth orbit and headed to the International Space Station. Credits: NASA TV

Research materials flying inside the Dragon’s pressurized area include an experiment studying fruit flies to better understand the effects on the heart of prolonged exposure to microgravity. Because they’re small, age rapidly, and have a well-known genetic make-up, they are good models for heart function studies. This experiment could significantly advance understanding of how spaceflight affects the cardiovascular system and could aid in the development of countermeasures to help astronauts.

The Systemic Therapy of NELL-1 for osteoporosis investigation tests a new drug that can rebuild bone and block further bone loss, improving crew health. When people and animals spend extended periods of time in space, they experience bone density loss, or osteoporosis. In-flight countermeasures, such as exercise, prevent it from getting worse, but there isn’t a therapy on Earth or in space that can restore bone. The results from this ISS National Laboratory-sponsored investigation build on previous research also supported by the National Institutes for Health and could lead to new drugs for treating bone density loss in millions of people on Earth.

Three payloads inside Dragon’s unpressurized area will demonstrate new solar panel technologies, study the physics of neutron stars, and host an array of Earth-viewing instruments.

This mission is SpaceX’s eleventh cargo flight to the station under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract. Dragon’s cargo will support dozens of the more than 250 science and research investigations during the station’s Expeditions 52 and 53.

The Dragon spacecraft is scheduled to depart the space station in early July, returning with more than 3,400 pounds of science, hardware and crew supplies.

For more than 16 years, humans have lived and worked continuously aboard the International Space Station, advancing scientific knowledge and demonstrating new technologies, making research breakthroughs not possible on Earth that will enable long-duration human and robotic exploration into deep space. A global endeavor, more than 200 people from 18 countries have visited the unique microgravity laboratory that has hosted more than 1,900 research investigations from researchers in more than 95 countries.

Keep up with the International Space Station, and its research and crews, at http://www.nasa.gov/station

Created in 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is America’s focal point for research, development and exploration of outer space. For nearly 60 years, NASA has been leading the world in the development and usage of advanced program and project management. Additional information about NASA can be found at http://www.nasa.gov/.

Source: NASA

Image: courtesy of NASA

 

 

U.S. to maintain HIV programme funding in Zimbabwe

 

NEWS FROM FASCINATING PROGRAMS/PROJECTS

Reported by Peter Banda in Harare

11 May 2017 – Harare, Zimbabwe – Project Management Zimbabwe (PMZ) has shared a recent announcement from the U.S. embassy in Harare. The United States Ambassador says his country will maintain, and even increase, HIV funding levels in Zimbabwe despite a change in administration.

“We are very heartened that our Congress just passed the budget within the last few days and our President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) funding is remaining constant. In fact it will likely grow to almost $150 million next year,” said Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr. “This means we are able to continue saving lives through PEPFAR as well as feed about 2.4 million people a day in Zimbabwe through other assistance programs.”

“International aid has not been affected. Congress did not cut international aid,” said Ambassador Thomas.

In picture: Ambassador Harry K. Thomas Jr. with members of the U.S. based acapella group, Street Corner Symphony at the OK- PEPFAR First Street Stage on Friday.

The top U.S. diplomat was addressing journalists during a tour of the OK- PEPFAR First Street Stage during the Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA) which ended on Sunday. With support from his Embassy, several organizations working on HIV and related health services showcased their work along First Street as well as provided HIV-related services to members of the public. Musical and other entertainment groups, including the visiting U.S. a capella group- the Street Corner Symphony- provided entertainment.

“We think music, education, fun saves lives,” said the U.S. Ambassador. “Despite tremendous success in reducing HIV incidence in Zimbabwe from 2.63 per cent to 0.48 per cent since 2000, we still need to educate people – especially the young.  And the way to reach the young is through music. You are not just preaching to them, you are helping them to have a good time and see that, like the young people who I just met who were born with HIV, what vibrant lives they live.”

Since 2006, PEPFAR has provided nearly US$800 million to Zimbabwe for HIV interventions.  Over the past two years, PEPFAR’s allocation of resources have been focused on achieving the greatest impact to reach epidemic control in a short space of time by focusing new and renewed efforts in geographic areas with the highest burden of disease.

“These areas are home to at least 80% of Zimbabweans living with HIV, and receive a comprehensive package of HIV services tailored by age, sex and risk for their populations. In 2016, PEPFAR reached over 1.9 million individuals with HIV testing and counseling services and expects to reach over 2.5 million individuals in 2017 through revised strategies such as index testing (contact tracing), innovative interventions such as HIV self-testing to reach older men and young adults, and a short-term surge in human resources to increase provider-initiated testing and counseling in facilities in 2017,” explained Mark Troger, PEPFAR Zimbabwe Coordinator.

The USG remains a leading provider of bilateral HIV assistance to Zimbabwe. It was the first, and remains the largest contributor to the Global Fund by contributing over $7 billion dollars to date.

Project Management Zimbabwe (PMZ – Project Management Institute of Zimbabwe) is Zimbabwe’s largest Association of Project Managers, with a membership base of over 1000. The institute has a mandate of policing the elevation of project management standards nationally through mentorship and membership services programmes. For information, visit http://www.pmiz.org.zw/ or email: info@pmiz.org.zw

Source: Project Management Zimbabwe

 

 

Art and Health projects in Zimbabwe

 

NEWS FROM FASCINATING PROGRAMS/PROJECTS

PEPFAR HIV, AIDS and TB prevention film and treatment services included in major Zimbabwe arts festival this year

Reported by Peter Banda in Harare

7 April 2017 – Harare, Zimbabwe – Project Management Zimbabwe (PMZ) has forwarded recent news related to an important health program included in the Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA). According to news released from the US embassy in Harare, the United States will continue its partnership with the HIFA program with a feature film as well as musical and health infotainment in Harare’s First Street.

“We are excited to be part of this year’s edition of HIFA,” says David McGuire, Public Affairs Officer at the United States Embassy. “We see the Festival as an opportunity to learn more about Zimbabwean art and culture as well as sharing American art forms and our commitment to a healthy Zimbabwe.”  The United States will provide a platform for its partners to reach out to the public at the HIFA’s PEPFAR First Street Stage at the junction of First Street and George Silundika Avenue.

The PEPFAR First Street Stage will provide free shows during the duration of the festival under the theme “Start Free, Stay Free, AIDS Free.” In addition, the public will receive health information as well as access services from U.S. Embassy partners supported through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). In Zimbabwe, PEPFAR has committed $135 million in 2017, and the initiative supports the Government of Zimbabwe’s National response to HIV and AIDS by providing high-impact prevention, care, and treatment interventions.

Among the performances at the PEPFAR First Street Stage will be the visiting a capella musical group, Street Corner Symphony. The five member Nashville, Tennessee- based group was established in 2010 and has made their mark on the music world, recording albums and performing around the world, working with major artists including Ben Folds, Alison Krauss, and Take 6’s Claude McKnight.

The feature film, Lucky Specials, will also be part of the HIFA 2017 schedule which brings together local and international and art forms to Harare. The film was produced with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and PEPFAR in partnership with Discovery Learning Alliance, Quizzical Pictures, Wellcome Trust, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), HHMI Tangled Bank Studios, and Management Sciences for Health (MSH) to produce the film which premiered in Harare on March 9. In this “edutainment” film, both plot twists and scientific video animations tell individuals what they need to know about TB disease, TB treatment, and TB prevention.  Audiences were enchanted by the music and storyline, and armed with facts to replace myths and misinformation about TB.

The PEPFAR First Street Stage will be the second time the United States is partnering HIFA in infotainment. The 2014 PEPFAR First Street Stage was popular with young people. PEPFAR partners provided HIV testing and counseling services; conducted blood collection and a donor recruitment and retention exercise; distributed condoms; taught young people how to prevent HIV infection as well as how to access antiretroviral therapy and other crucial information services.

For more about HIFA 2017, go to http://www.hifa.co.zw/

For more about PEPFAR, visit https://www.pepfar.gov/

Project Management Zimbabwe (PMZ) is Zimbabwe’s largest Association of Project Managers, with a membership base of over 1000. The institute has a mandate of policing the elevation of project management standards nationally through mentorship and membership services programmes.  For information, visit www.pmiz.org.zw or email: info@pmiz.org.zw.

Source:  Project Management Zimbabwe

 

 

Green Climate Fund approves EBRD projects in Tajikistan and Morocco

 

PROJECT / PROGRAMME NEWS

Large infrastructure projects to strengthen climate resilience

6 April 2017 – London, UK – Two EBRD climate resilience project proposals for the modernisation of a hydropower plant in Tajikistan and an irrigation scheme in Morocco have been approved for co-financing by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) today.

The total project volume for the two projects is US$ 415 million, of which US$ 81 million will be provided by the GCF in the form of concessional loans and grants:

  • In Tajikistan the EBRD and other co-lenders are providing US$ 158 million for the climate-resilient upgrade of Qairokkum hydropower plant, with co-financing of US$ 50 million from the GCF.
  • Under the Morocco Saïss Water Conservation Project the EBRD and partners are extending US$ 207 million for irrigation infrastructure that will protect agricultural production from the impacts of climate change with a co-financing grant contribution of €32 million from the GCF, together with a further €54 million contribution from the Kingdom of Morocco.

Craig Davies, EBRD Head of Climate Resilience Investments, said: “These investments will strengthen the climate resilience of critical infrastructure in both countries, foster greater private sector involvement and benefit key sectors in both countries. The EBRD believes that successful economies should be competitive, green, well-governed, inclusive, resilient and integrated.”

In Tajikistan, the modernisation of the Qairokkum hydropower plant will address the energy security needs of 2.4 million people in the northern Sughd region in the face of increasing climatic variability. GCF support will enable best international practices on climate risk management to be introduced to the Tajik hydropower sector.

In Morocco, extreme water scarcity is being exacerbated by the impacts of climate change, and unsustainable groundwater use is leading to diminishing groundwater reserves. This poses a severe threat to agricultural production and rural livelihoods as more than 80 per cent of abstracted water is used for agricultural irrigation. Of the total agricultural land, only 15 per cent is irrigated, often with inefficient water use and management practices.

In response to climate change, the Morocco Saïss Water Conservation Project will improve the climate resilience of the country’s highly vulnerable agriculture sector. This will be achieved with a transformative water transfer scheme that will deliver more than 100 million cubic metres of irrigation water to the Saïss plain each year, thus enabling a switch from highly unsustainable groundwater to the use of sustainable surface water resources, as well as improving access to best-practice and efficient irrigation techniques.

To read full news release, click here.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) was established in 1991 to nurture the private sector in Central and Eastern Europe and ex-Soviet countries. The EBRD uses investment to help build market economies and democracies from central Europe to central Asia. The EBRD is the largest single investor in the region and mobilizes significant foreign direct investment beyond its own financing. Owned by 61 countries and two intergovernmental institutions, the EBRD provides project financing for banks, industries and businesses.  For more information, visit http://www.ebrd.com/index.htm

Source: EBRD

 

 

SmallGEO’s first flight reaches orbit

 

PROGRAMME / PROJECT NEWS

ESA’s new small telecom platform successfully launched on first mission

28 January 2017 – Paris, France – The European Space Agency (ESA) announced that the Hispasat 36W-1 satellite, based on the SmallGEO platform, successfully lifted off on a Soyuz rocket at 01:03 GMT this morning from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. SmallGEO is Europe’s response to the market demand for more flexible, modular telecommunications platforms. It marks the first time the German satellite manufacturing company OHB System AG have been the prime contractor for a telecommunications satellite mission. Its Hispasat payload marks the first ESA partnership with a Spanish operator.

170128-pmwj55-esa-SmallGEO-IMAGEThe three-tonne satellite was released by Soyuz into its transfer orbit 29 minutes after liftoff this morning. It will now use its own thrusters to make its way to its final destination over the course of the next few weeks.

It is heading towards ‘geostationary’ orbit at an altitude of 36 000 km over the equator, where it will take a day to circle Earth and therefore appear to hang over the same point, in this case at 36°W over the Atlantic Ocean. OHB will test the satellite’s health and performance, making sure the sensitive technology made it unscathed through the violence of the launch. After all is deemed well, they will hand the control over to Hispasat and the satellite will begin providing broadband services to Europe, South America and the Canary Islands.

“The launch of this first SmallGEO platform marks another major success for ESA’s programme of Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems, known as ARTES, which aims to boost the competitiveness of its Member State industry through innovation,” noted Magali Vaissiere, ESA’s Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications. “SmallGEO is part of our continuous efforts to strengthen the position of European and Canadian industry in the commercial telecommunications market, expanding the current range of available products. The next satellite based on SmallGEO will be EDRS-C, as the second node to the European Data Relay System.”

Carlos Espinós Gómez, CEO of Hispasat, said: “For Hispasat, this new satellite represents an important step forward in its innovation strategy. Hispasat 36W-1 is not only the first mission of the new SmallGEO platform, but also incorporates an advanced regenerative payload that will provide the satellite with greater flexibility and signal quality thanks to its reconfigurable antenna and onboard processor, thus improving the telecommunications services it will provide to our clients. We are very satisfied with our collaboration with ESA, which has allowed us to participate in a leading technological project to which they have added significant value with their knowledge and experience in the space sector.”

Marco Fuchs, CEO of OHB System AG, commented: “The launch is a major milestone in the history of OHB. Hispasat 36W-1 proves that OHB’s concept of a modular and flexible SmallGEO platform fits into the market. SmallGEO is destined to build a cornerstone for Europe’s future activities in the segment of geostationary satellites in the three-tonne class. For OHB, Hispasat 36W-1 is the first project of a wide scope of future missions based on the SmallGEO platform, including a revolution in satellite technology: the full electric propulsion mission Electra.”

To learn more about the SmallGEO programme, click here.

The European Space Agency (ESA), Europe’s gateway to space, is an intergovernmental organisation created in 1975 with the mission to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. ESA has 20 Member States, of whom 18 are members of the EU. ESA has Cooperation Agreements with eight other EU Member States and with Canada, and works with the EU on the Galileo and Copernicus programmes. ESA develops launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities, and launches satellites for Earth observation, navigation, telecommunications and astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System and cooperates in the human exploration of space. Learn more about ESA at www.esa.int

Source: European Space Agency

 

 

Manantiales-Behr Wind Farm Project

 

NEWS FROM FASCINATING PROGRAMS & PROJECTS

Argentina’s largest wind farm project will contribute to reduce the carbon footprint and diversify the energy matrix in the country

22 December 2016 – Buenos Aires, Argentina and Washington, DC, USA – The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has announced that the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC), acting on behalf of the IDB, has granted a $200 million syndicated loan to YPF Energía Eléctrica S.A. in Argentina for the construction, operation and maintenance of the 100 MW Manantiales Behr wind farm and related facilities. The project includes a 20 km transmission line of 132 kV and is located about 40 km northeast of the city of Comodoro Rivadavia.

wind-turbine-3The project will contribute to the diversification of Argentina’s energy matrix and will avoid 245,311 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, supporting the country’s goal of generating 30 percent of its energy from non-traditional renewable sources.

The IIC led the financial structuring of the project, which consists of a $100 million 9-year A loan and a $100 million 6-year B loan. The participating banks are BBVA, Banco Santander and Citibank.

The Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, is a multilateral development bank committed to supporting the private sector in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IIC finances sustainable enterprises and projects to achieve financial results that maximize social and environmental development for the region. With a current portfolio of $7 billion under management and 330 clients in 20 countries, the IIC works across sectors to provide innovative financial solutions and advisory services that meet the evolving demands of its clients. For more about IIC, visit http://www.iic.org/en. For more about IIC projects in Argentina, go to http://www.iic.org/en/countries/regional-developing/argentina-0

Established in 1959, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is a source of multilateral financing for sustainable economic, social and institutional development programs and projects throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. More information about the IDB is at www.iadb.org. For more about IDB projects, visit http://www.iadb.org/en/projects/projects,1229.html.

Source: Inter-American Development Bank

 

 

Zimbabwe Government Commissions US$150million Victoria Falls Airport Upgrade Project

 

NEWS FROM FASCINATING PROJECTS

Reported by Peter Banda in Harare

21 November 2016 – Harare, Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe has commissioned a new look US$150 million Victoria Falls International Airport. The airport was official opened by his Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe Mr Robert Mugabe on 18 November 2016. Project sponsors, the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ), say the project development is expected to boost the airport’s aircraft handling capacity and tourism in the resort town of Victoria Falls.

Named after one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Victoria Falls, the resort town has the potential to become a commercial centre due to the anticipated increased traffic. Passenger traffic is expected to increase from the current 500 000 to about 1,8 million per year.

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The airport, able to handle long-haul jets such as the Airbus A340, Boeing 777 and Boeing 747, is expected to increase efficiency in Zimbabwe’s tourism sector as well as improve the southern African nation’s image, which has had a severe bashing for the past decade or so due to socio-economic challenges.

CAAZ also took advantage of the presence of about 400 global airline executives at the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) annual general assembly which was held in Victoria Falls during the same week to market to the world the upgraded Victoria Falls International Airport.

161121-pmwj53-banda-photo2The airport, funded by a US$150 million Export-Import Bank of China loan to the Zimbabwean government, was constructed by a Chinese construction company, Jiangsu International Economic and Technical Cooperation Group.

“The airport is the gateway to the mighty Victoria Falls, a world heritage site and one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The New Victoria Falls International Airport’s features include: The new international terminal building, a new four-kilometre long by 60 metre wide runway, extended parking areas for aircraft, new control tower, new fire station, new road networks; a new state of the art international passenger terminal building and a refurbished domestic terminal with a capacity to handle 1,5 million passengers per annum. The apron area has a capacity to handle aircraft in the class of the B747 and equivalent,” said CAAZ.

The airport expansion project started in February 2013. The new terminal would be used for international flights while the existing terminal would be converted to domestic use.

CAAZ is already marketing the new facility to lure new airlines. “The airport has modern passenger facilities which include a compatible baggage handling system, flight information display system and common use passenger processing system. This new state-of-the-art airport will now accommodate long haul flights from around the globe, which is expected to increase the inflow of tourists into Zimbabwe,” CAAZ said

Project Management Zimbabwe (PMZ – Project Management Institute of Zimbabwe) is Zimbabwe’s largest Association of Project Managers, with a membership base of over 1000. The institute has a mandate of policing the elevation of project management standards nationally through mentorship and membership services programmes. For information, visit http://www.pmiz.org.zw/ or email: info@pmiz.org.zw.

Source: Project Management Zimbabwe

 

 

Giant Chernobyl Arch Slides into Place

 

PROJECT / PROGRAMME NEWS

New structure shields nuclear reactor destroyed in 1986 disaster

14 November 2016 – London, UK and Kiev, Ukraine – One of the most ambitious projects in the history of engineering passed a major milestone today as the arch shielding radioactive waste caused by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power station accident has started sliding into place.

Chernobyl’s New Safe Confinement (NSC) is the largest moveable land-based structure ever built, with a span of 257 metres, a length of 162 metres, a height of 108 metres and a total weight of 36,000 tonnes equipped. It will now be moved into its resting place over Chernobyl’s reactor 4 which was destroyed in the accident 30 years ago.

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Photo courtesy of EBRD

The sliding is done with help of a special skidding system that consists of 224 hydraulic jacks to push the arch 60 centimetres each stroke. It is anticipated that the total skid time will be around 40 hours of operation spread over a period of up to 5 days. The NSC was constructed in a clean area near reactor 4 of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and will be slid over 327 metres to seal off the unit. It will make the site safe and allow for the eventual dismantling of the aging shelter currently housing the reactor and the management of the radioactive waste within the structure.

The New Safe Confinement, the giant arch built to secure Chernobyl’s damaged Reactor 4, is currently being slid into position. The record-breaking structure will secure the radioactive remains for at least a century. The EBRD manages the funding and is the biggest single donor to the project.

Ostap Semerak, Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine, said: “The start of the sliding of the Arch over reactor 4 at the Chernobyl NPP is the beginning of the end of a 30-year long fight with the consequences of the 1986 accident.  The credit for construction of this one-of-a-kind technological structure goes to an expert team of engineers and builders. This is a historic step towards the improvement of environmental safety throughout the world, as well as in the Chernobyl exclusion zone.  And it has only become possible thanks to immense international support.  The fact that more than 40 contributing countries and donor countries united around the goal of protecting humanity from the radioactive consequences of the tragedy is another demonstration that environmental safety remains a priority for global policymakers.  And I believe that the transformation of the exclusion zone into a safe area will demonstrate the change in Ukraine’s overall environmental policy, too.”

Igor Gramotkin, Director General of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, commented: “For us the arch is not just 36.000 tonnes of prefabricated metal. It is 36.000 tonnes of our belief in success, of trust in our site, our people and in Ukraine.”

Vince Novak, EBRD Director, Nuclear Safety, added: “This is the culmination of many years of hard work by Ukraine and the international community. The New Safe Confinement project would not have been possible without the support of the over 40 donor countries who are contributors to the Chernobyl Shelter Fund. The new structure illustrates what is possible in a spirit of determined and coordinated joint effort and thanks to the generous support of EBRD shareholders.”

Nicolas Caille, project director for Novarka – the French construction consortium formed by VINCI Construction and Bouygues Construction – said: “This is a one-of-a-kind project serving the aims of the Ukrainian authorities. We are immensely proud of what we together with our partners have achieved. The New Safe Confinement shows what is technically possible. At the same time, given the circumstances, we must all hope that never again will a similar structure have to be built on the site of a nuclear accident and in a contaminated environment.”

The construction of the New Safe Confinement by Novarka started in 2012 after extensive preparatory works on the ground. Because of its vast dimensions the structure had to be built in two halves which were lifted and successfully joined together in 2015. The arch-shaped structure is fitted with an overhead crane to allow for the future dismantling of the existing shelter and the remains of reactor 4. The New Safe Confinement has a lifespan of at least100 years and will cost €1.5 billion.

For more about this project, click here.

To learn about other EBRD projects in Ukraine, go to http://www.ebrd.com/ukraine.html

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) was established in 1991 to nurture the private sector in Central and Eastern Europe and ex-Soviet countries. The EBRD uses investment to help build market economies and democracies from central Europe to central Asia. The EBRD is the largest single investor in the region and mobilizes significant foreign direct investment beyond its own financing. Owned by 61 countries and two intergovernmental institutions, the EBRD provides project financing for banks, industries and businesses. For more information, visit http://www.ebrd.com/index.htm

Source: EBRD

 

 

Karpatsky Wind Farm in Western Ukraine receives international funding

 

PROJECT / PROGRAMME NEWS

New 20.7MW wind farm to boost energy security and supply mix

4 November 2016 – London, UK and Kiev, Ukraine – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has announced that it is mobilising resources to support the development and operation of a new wind farm located near the town of Staryi Sambir in the Lviv region of western Ukraine. Through this sustainable energy initiative the Bank will continue to promote renewable energy generation in Ukraine, which is increasingly important for the country’s energy security.

The Karpatsky wind farm, with an installed capacity of 20.7MW, will operate six wind turbines and will improve energy supply in the region. The financing package of €23.1 million arranged by the Bank consists of €8.6 million from the EBRD, €4 million from the Climate Investment Funds’ Clean Technology Fund (CTF), a senior loan of €5.5 million from the Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU) and a senior loan of €5 million from the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO).

161104-pmwj52-ebrd-wind-imageThe project is supported through the Bank’s Ukraine Sustainable Energy Lending Facility (USELF) designed to provide finance to private local enterprises wishing to invest in small renewable energy projects in Ukraine. Implementation of USELF is supported by technical cooperation funds provided by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), Sweden and Japan.

Sevki Acuner, EBRD Director for Ukraine, said: “This is a very important project for the region and for the country. It shows how big the renewable energy potential is in Ukraine. It also paves the way for similar private investments across the country.”

The CTF was established in 2008 to provide middle-income countries with support for the adoption of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies that have high potential for minimising greenhouse gas emissions in the long term. The CTF already finances programmes in 15 countries and one region. It is the largest multilateral climate finance instrument in operation.

IFU is an independent fund owned by the government of Denmark which offers advisory services and risk capital to Danish companies wishing to do business in developing countries and emerging markets.

NEFCO is an international financial institution established by the Nordic governments in 1990, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, to provide green financing and support the Nordic countries’ objective of increasing environmental awareness in eastern and central Europe by financing projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the environment. In 2015, NEFCO approved 458 projects to a total value of €459 million.

The EBRD is the largest international financial investor in Ukraine. To date, the Bank has made a cumulative commitment of almost €12 billion through 369 projects since the start of its operations in the country in 1993. To learn more about those projects, click here.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) was established in 1991 to nurture the private sector in Central and Eastern Europe and ex-Soviet countries. The EBRD uses investment to help build market economies and democracies from central Europe to central Asia. The EBRD is the largest single investor in the region and mobilizes significant foreign direct investment beyond its own financing. Owned by 61 countries and two intergovernmental institutions, the EBRD provides project financing for banks, industries and businesses. For more information, visit http://www.ebrd.com/index.htm

 

 

Global Fund and USAID distribute insect nets in Zimbabwe

 

NEWS FROM FASCINATING PROJECTS

Reported by Peter Banda in Harare

18 October 2016 – Harare, Zimbabwe – The United States government and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (Global Fund) supported distribution of 1,785,000 long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) to communities in Zimbabwe at risk for malaria in August and September of this year.  This effort, which is coordinated and led by the Ministry of Health and Child Care’s National Malaria Control Program (NMCP), was timed to precede the annual seasonal malaria transmission peaks witnessed during the rainy season.  Correct and consistent use of LLINs is one of the most effective and inexpensive ways to prevent malaria.

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In picture: A young woman holds long-lasting insecticidal net from a USAID-supported distribution in Mbire District.

As part of the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) distributed 938,000 LLINs, which were combined with 847,000 Global Fund-procured nets, to maximize coverage and protection of Zimbabweans while sleeping during peak mosquito biting time.  As a result, 1,785,085 sleeping spaces and even more people are now protected.

USAID Mission Director Stephanie Funk stated, “Ensuring that communities have access to long lasting insecticides is a critical component of USAID’s work to reduce malaria prevalence in Zimbabwe.  The nets we distributed will reduce malaria transmission by protecting the people sleeping under them as well as reducing the number of mosquitoes.”

Malaria is the third leading cause of illness and death in Zimbabwe, with over half of the population living in high risk areas.  However, the coordinated efforts of USAID, the Global Fund, and the NMCP have contributed to substantial progress in Zimbabwe.  The reported cases of malaria decreased from 1.8 million in 2006 to less than 392,000 in 2015 – a 73 percent reduction.

Since 2008, USAID has provided approximately $90 million to prevent and treat malaria in Zimbabwe.  USAID support ensures provision of vital commodities such as LLINs, rapid diagnostic tests, and life-saving medications, while also supporting Zimbabwe’s NMCP to strengthen the health system, conduct operational research, train health care workers, and provide social and behavior change communications support.  USAID also provides technical assistance to the NMCP to implement indoor residual spraying of homes in high burden areas with organophosphate insecticide to protect over 350,000 people from malaria each year.

About USAID

For more than 30 years, the American people, through USAID, have contributed over $3 billion in assistance to Zimbabwe.  Current projects include initiatives to increase food security, support economic resilience, improve health systems and services, and promote a more democratic system of governance.

About PM Zimbabwe

Project Management Zimbabwe (PMZ – Project Management Institute of Zimbabwe) is Zimbabwe’s largest Association of Project Managers, with a membership base of over 1000. The institute has a mandate of policing the elevation of project management standards nationally through mentorship and membership services programmes.  For information, visit www.pmiz.org.zw or email: info@pmiz.org.zw.

Source:  Project Management Zimbabwe

 

 

AfDB approves 570 million rand for affordable housing in South Africa

 

NEWS FROM FASCINATING PROGRAMMES AND PROJECTS

12 October 2016 – Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire and Pretoria, South Africa – The African Development Bank (AfDB) has announced  approval of a Senior Loan of ZAR 570 million to South Africa’s Housing Investment Partners Trust 2 -HIP2), also known as Vulumnyango Trust, to help finance affordable housing programmes in the country. The loan will help improve access to long-term affordable housing finance to South Africa’s lower-middle income earners currently with limited opportunities to access affordable mortgages.

161012-pmwj51-afdb-image

It will also consolidate the growth of a strong affordable housing sector within South Africa. The project provides a demonstration effect of tapping local currency capital from Africa’s premier development bank, local asset managers and a State Owned Enterprise to foster South Africa’s economic growth through affordable housing. The project also reduces fiscal pressures on the South African government in respect of housing for a specific market segment and enables HIP2 to mobilize funding from other sources, including eventual access to South Africa’s capital markets.

Although South Africa is one of the more developed economies in Africa, the country still faces acute shortage of affordable housing in its main urban areas, estimated at 3 million units in 2014. This has resulted in more than 2,600 informal settlements springing up around 70 of South Africa’s major urban areas, making it very difficult for the government to reduce inequality and achieve inclusive growth targets.

Despite several government direct interventions in the sector, especially through the Reconstruction and Development (RDP) program which between 1994 and 2015 delivered over 2.9 million low cost houses for vulnerable and low income households, the housing needs of the lower-middle income earning households (otherwise referred to as the Gap Market) remain huge and unaddressed. HIP 2, which has now raised ZAR1.82 billion from National Housing Finance Company, Old Mutual Group, Futuregrowth and AfDB is targeting at offering more than 4,000 affordable mortgages to South Africa’s lower-middle income earners.

The intervention will generate other significant benefits including moving 2,500 – 6,500 out of informal settlements and create about 3,250 permanent jobs mainly for the youth. Overall, financing 4,386 affordable housing units is expected to generate over 10,000 jobs, including 950 – 1,296 direct jobs for women.

For more information about this story, click here.

For more about AfDB funded projects in South Africa, go to http://www.afdb.org/en/news-and-events/south-africa/

The African Development Bank (AfDB) is a regional multilateral development finance institution established in 1964 to mobilize resources towards the economic and social progress of its Regional Member Countries. Headquartered in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, the Bank promotes economic and social development in African states, providing financing for programs and projects across the continent.  For more information, visit www.adbg.org.

Source: African Development Bank

 

 

City of Bulawayo launches $37m water, sewerage project

 

PROGRAMME/PROJECT NEWS

Reported by Peter Banda in Harare

1 October 2016 – Harare, Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe’s second largest urban local authority, Bulawayo City Council has launched a $37 million water and sewerage services project aimed at improving service delivery and curbing environmental pollution from raw sewage.

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The programme, co-funded by the government and the African Development Bank (AfDB), is expected to run until 2019.

Speaking at the launch of the programme at a local city hotel on 27 September 2016, AfDB representative Eskendir Demise said they chipped in with funding following a request from Zimbabwe. “These are lofty, big, desirable outcomes, but achieving them requires a sustained effort by municipal authorities through overhauling the service provision and this project will be a catalyst for that to happen,” Demise said.

Bulawayo Mayor Martin Moyo said the injection of $37 075 000 would help the local authority reduce non-revenue water, frequent burst pipes, environmental pollution and sewer bursts.

“The City of Bulawayo, like many local authorities in the country, was affected by many years of under-investment in maintaining its water and sewerage infrastructure due to economic challenges,” he said. “The city is also further affected by limited water resources as a result of drought and despite these factors, the revenue collected by the local authority is not at 100%, as the rest is lost through leaks and burst pipes.”

Bulawayo Provincial Affairs Minister Eunice Sandi-Moyo, in a speech read on her behalf, said the AfDB grant was “one of the biggest channelled towards water and sanitation infrastructure in Zimbabwe”. “The partnership highlights the Government’s commitment towards sustainable infrastructure in line with Government’s economic blue print, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-economic Transformation (ZimAsset),” she said.

“Sustainable water and sewerage infrastructure is key in ensuring economic growth and repositioning Zimbabwe in the region and African continent. Water and sewerage infrastructure depletion has become a major challenge for our urban areas, leading to pollution of water bodies and contaminated drinking water.” Sandi-Moyo said pipe bursts had led to untreated sewage being deposited into water bodies on a daily basis. “Addressing this problem is also a key component in ensuring that we have industry that is viable and able to grow,” she said. “Damages to the environment, through poor sewage systems in some cases across the world, have been catastrophic. Cleaning up the environment is a costly exercise, as toxins are very difficult to clean up.”

According to the official Zimbabwe Government National statistics from the population census carried out in 2012, the City of Bulawayo has a population of slightly over 650 000 and about 96% of the households in this population currently have access to clean water.

Source:  Project Management Zimbabwe

Project Management Zimbabwe (PMZ – Project Management Institute of Zimbabwe) is Zimbabwe’s largest Association of Project Managers, with a membership base of over 1000. The institute has a mandate of policing the elevation of project management standards nationally through mentorship and membership services programmes.  For information, visit www.pmiz.org.zw or email: info@pmiz.org.zw.

 

DOE’s National Synchrotron Light Source II wins PMI Project of the Year Award

 

NEWS FROM FASCINATING PROJECTS

26 September 2016 – Philadelphia, PA, USA – The Project Management Institute (PMI®) has announced that the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II) project has been awarded the profession’s highest accolade — the 2016 PMI Project of the Year Award.

The ten-year, US$912 million project at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York has resulted in creation of the world’s most powerful photon microscope. The microscope creates X-rays that allow scientists to see how materials in systems — such as batteries or fuel cells — behave at the nano-level while operating in real-world conditions.

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Image: NSLS-II from above, courtesy of Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL)

PMI’s Project of the Year Award recognizes the large (budgets of US$100 million or more) and complex project that best delivers superior performance of project management practices, superior organizational results, and positive impacts on society. This year’s award was presented in San Diego, California as part of PMI’s annual Professional Awards Gala the PMI® Global Congress 2016 — North America.

The ambitious design for NSLS-II centered around a light source that would be 10,000 times brighter and five times larger than the lab’s original facility. When the project began in 2005, the specifications were state-of-the-art, and the project team soon discovered that vendors had difficulty meeting the lab’s demanding requirements. The microscope’s electron beam, for example, must vibrate no more than 25 nanometers in any direction — 1,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair.

The team worked with the advisory committees to identify which requirements could be relaxed without compromising performance and held regular workshops with global scientific stakeholders throughout the project cycle to ensure the facility would achieve best-in-class status. By the time the project was completed in March 2015, it was six months ahead of schedule and under budget. An additional $US68 million in scope enhancements was made possible through careful planning and cost management across the ten-year span.

“The NSLS-II project gives researchers worldwide an incubator for the development of knowledge in science and technology that addresses pressing problems facing humanity today, and will continue to drive innovation,” said Mark A. Langley, President and CEO of PMI.  “By honoring this project as the 2016 Project of the Year recipient, we honor sound project management practices at their finest, and we provide an example of project and program success that other project managers can use in their own organizations and industries.  Congratulations to the Department of Energy’s Office of Science and the Brookhaven National Laboratory on this achievement.”

The nature of the project made it critical to mitigate the risks that come with innovation, noted Dr. Steven Dierker, PhD, former project director for the NSLS-II project and now a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. Collaboration with industry experts produced a comprehensive risk registry that could be managed proactively throughout the process.

The Department of Energy expects the NSLS-II to drive innovation for the next 30 years, a result of the project’s team close collaboration with facility end users and its commitment to long-range planning throughout the project cycle.  To learn more about the NSLS-II project and facility, go to https://www.bnl.gov/ps/nsls2/about-NSLS-II.php

PMI is the world’s leading not-for-profit professional membership association for the project, program and portfolio management profession. Founded in 1969, PMI delivers value for more than 2.9 million professionals working in nearly every country in the world through global advocacy, collaboration, education and research. PMI advances careers, improves organizational success and further matures the profession of project management through its globally recognized standards, certifications, resources, tools academic research, publications, professional development courses, and networking opportunities. For more, go to www.PMI.org.

Source: Project Management Institute

 

 

SEA-ME-WE 5 undersea fibre-optic mega project in Turkey goes

 

PROJECT / PROGRAMME NEWS

New generation data network to increase internet traffic between Europe and Asia receives EBRD loan and green light

21 September 2016 – London, UK and Istanbul, Turkey – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has announced that it is funding Turkey’s investment in a new high-tech fibre-optic submarine communications cable system that will carry data between 17 countries, from Singapore to France and Italy. The Bank is providing a US$ 50 million loan to Türk Telekom Group, Turkey’s largest telecommunications company, which is building the new submarine cable system in a consortium with 17 other telecommunications operators.

160921-pmwj51-turkey-fibre-optic-imageThe financing will be used to lay cables under the sea and build a branching unit in Marmaris on the Mediterranean coast, in Muğla Province, southwestern Turkey. Branching units are used in submarine cable systems to provide traffic and power routing between the trunk and branch cables.

The US$ 700 million network, dubbed SEA-ME-WE 5 (South-East Asia – Middle East – Western Europe 5), will be approximately 20,000 kilometres long and is expected to become operational in late 2016, connecting South-East Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and Europe.

The cable’s design capacity is 24 terabits per second on three fibre pairs. Once completed, its advanced 100 Gbps1 technology is expected to meet the rapid growth in demand for fast internet traffic between Europe and Asia.The system will also bolster Turkey’s internet infrastructure as the country’s growing economy needs greater connectivity and ever-stronger commercial ties with Europe, the United States of America and Asia.

Turkey has experienced a steep increase in internet use over the last couple of years thanks to investments by telecommunications operators and to enhanced competition in the market. Demand is also growing due to the popularity of video streaming, with high definition replacing lower picture qualities. The increased capacity for data traffic will result in higher quality for internet connections in Turkey and the neighboring countries.

Jean-Patrick Marquet, Director of EBRD Operations in Turkey, said: “This mega internet infrastructure project will serve as a brand new platform for future telecommunications business. It can help build a strong digital industry in the country and attract high-tech companies, content providers and major players in the digital economy.”

Cem Velipaşaoğlu, Chief Financial Officer at Türk Telekom International, added: “We are proud to receive the EBRD loan to finance Turkey’s SEA-ME-WE 5 consortium membership. The EBRD has long been an indispensable partner for the people of Turkey in sustainable growth and development, and now, by facilitating the expansion of our digital infrastructure, the EBRD is recognising the enormous economic potential created for our customers by this essential international project.”

Speaking on behalf of the SEA-ME-WE 5 consortium, Linette Lee, Chairperson of the SEA-ME-WE 5 Management Committee, said: “This new SEA-ME-WE 5 submarine cable system is a matchless, PoP (point of presence) to PoP, multi-regional data superhighway. It is a technological breakthrough which will mark a global communications milestone when it launches by the end of 2016. Designed with the latest upgradable 100 Gbps technology, enabling initial system capacity of 24 Tbps, it will provide the lowest latency, further enhancing the diversity and resilience of the heavily loaded Asia to Europe route.”

The EBRD started investing in Turkey in 2009 and currently operates from offices in Istanbul, Ankara and Gaziantep. Some 98 per cent of the Bank’s investments in the country are in the private sector. To date, the EBRD has invested over €8 billion in Turkey through some 200 projects in infrastructure, energy, agribusiness, industry and finance. It has also mobilised about €17 billion for these ventures from other sources of financing.  For more about EBRD projects in Turkey, go to http://www.ebrd.com/turkey.html

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) was established in 1991 to nurture the private sector in Central and Eastern Europe and ex-Soviet countries. The EBRD uses investment to help build market economies and democracies from central Europe to central Asia. The EBRD is the largest single investor in the region and mobilizes significant foreign direct investment beyond its own financing. Owned by 61 countries and two intergovernmental institutions, the EBRD provides project financing for banks, industries and businesses.  For more information, visit http://www.ebrd.com/index.htm

Source: EBRD

 

 

Blue Line Trolley in San Diego secures $1 Billion from US DoT

 

NEWS FROM FASCINATING PROGRAMS & PROJECTS

14 September 2016 – Washington, DC and San Diego, CA, USA – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) today announced a $1.04 billion federal grant agreement with the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) to extend existing Blue Line Trolley service from downtown San Diego to the growing University City area. The extension will improve access to employment hubs and numerous educational and medical facilities north of downtown, making it easier for people to travel throughout the city.

160914-pmwj50-blue-line-imageFTA Acting Administrator Carolyn Flowers made the announcement to commit the funds during a ceremony with representatives from SANDAG and the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS), which will operate the service once it is built.

“The Obama Administration is committed to investing in transportation projects that improve mobility and provide ladders of opportunity for residents,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “San Diego’s Trolley extension will do just that by helping thousands of transit riders to access employment, education, healthcare and other important services.”

The 10.92-mile light rail extension, referred to locally as the Mid-Coast Trolley, will serve major activity centers such as Old Town, Mission Bay Park, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center, UC San Diego, and the Westfield UTC shopping center. Officials estimate the project will serve 24,600 transit trips every weekday, with service anticipated to start in 2021.

“FTA is proud to partner with San Diego to bring new transit options to this growing region,” said FTA Acting Administrator Carolyn Flowers. “With the population along the Mid-Coast corridor expected to grow nearly 20 percent in the coming decades, this trolley extension will offer a much-needed alternative to traffic congestion in the years ahead.”

With the signing of the federal grant agreement, FTA is committing a total of $1.04 billion through its Capital Investment Grant (CIG) Program to the $2.17 billion Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project. In addition to the $100 million that will be awarded with the signing of the grant agreement today, the remaining federal funds will be provided over the course of 10 years on an annual payment schedule, subject to Congressional approval during the annual appropriations process.

The CIG Program is the nation’s primary grant program for funding major transit capital investments. Projects accepted into the highly competitive program must go through a multi-year, multi-step process according to requirements in law in order to be eligible for and receive program funds

The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT or DOT) is a Cabinet department of the U.S. government concerned with transportation. Established by the US Congress in 1966, it is governed by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation.  Its mission is to “Serve the United States by ensuring a fast, safe, efficient, accessible, and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future.” DOT provides financing for hundreds of transportation-related programs and projects around the United States each year.  For more information, visit http://www.dot.gov/.