Kingsley

Kingsley

We saw renders of the Huawei P40 Pro with four cameras on the back, a knock against rumors of a penta-camera setup. Today, new renders appear that show both four and five cameras – what’s going on?

The second set of renders come from the reliable @evleaks. What seems to be happening is that Huawei will add three new phones to the flagship P-series instead of the usual two. Apple did it and so did Samsung, so why not Huawei?

Having a closer look reveals something even more interesting – the premiere model (the one with five cameras), dubbed Huawei P40 Pro Premium Edition, has a periscope telephoto lens with 240mm focal length.

Assuming that the main camera has a 24mm lens, that’s 10x optical zoom. Compare that to the four camera model, the Huawei P40 Pro, which has a 125mm periscope lens. That should be 5x optical zoom.

Both versions have an 18mm ultra wide camera. The two additional cameras on the P40 Pro Premium are probably a dedicated macro cam and a 3D ToF sensor. The P40 Pro will have a ToF sensor, according to Teme, another leakster covering the P40 phones.

Huawei P40 Pro Premium Edition

As for the base model, the Huawei P40, we already saw that it will have a 17mm ultra wide and a standard 80mm telephoto lens (so, 3x optical zoom). According to Teme, the Huawei P40 will have a 52MP main camera (1/1.3” sensor), 40MP cine camera (1/1.5” sensor) and an 8MP tele camera.

 

Source 1 (private Twitter account)

Desert locusts have been ravaging East Africa. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization warns of a food crisis. The main response has been spraying the areas affected with pesticides. But more needs to be done.

Bernard Makanga's farm was invaded by desert locusts. "Normally by this time, these beans, they're ready for harvest. But the locusts have destroyed them all," he told DW. His neighbor Francis Muliungi's crop is equally devastated. "There is nothing left to harvest. And there is nothing else that I know how to do. It's just this farm. That's where I get food, where I feed my family and friends, all people," he said.

This is the worst infestation that Kenya has seen in 70 years. Many farmers in the affected regions have lost their crops. Some have started planting again, but they don't know what they will do if the locusts return, which at this point looks very likely, according to environmental experts.

A second generation of the insects is already threatening to swarm Kenya and other parts of the region, including Ethiopia, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda and South Sudan.

More conflicts

A map showing the location of locust swarms

The locusts are putting extra stress on regions already battling problems such as food insecurity and armed conflicts, raising the specter of more violence to come. Tobias Takavarasha, representative in Kenya of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said: "That danger exists, to the extent that there is a risk wherever there are shortages of food." He added that the situation could degenerate into conflict "if that is not taken care of."

The Kenyan newspaper Daily Nation reported that the locust invasion in Samburu is "threatening to trigger conflicts over grazing fields among pastoralist communities." In rural Somalia, 50% of the people depend on animals for their livelihood. And in South Sudan 6 million people were already suffering food shortages before the locusts arrived. Experts believe that South Sudan is particularly ill-prepared to deal with the invasion.

Spraying the locusts

International agencies are scrambling to contain the swarms, mainly by spraying pesticides. Critics say that this can be just as dangerous as the plague itself in the long run, as the poison is liable to enter the food chain and also kill other insects besides locusts. "This is where we have experts to assure that the pesticides that are procured to spray the locusts are the correct ones, that they are internationally approved and registered, and that they are effective," Takavarasha said.

The FAO representative said there were three levels of preparedness, including ensuring the availability of food and equipping farmers to enable them to start planting again when the season comes. The first level, though, is "the capacity to control the invasion of the locusts," Takavarasha said. "That includes accessing where the locusts have been sighted."

Funds needed

Access remains a problem. Some points of origin are located in crisis hot spots such as Somalia. Large parts of the country are under threat, or controlled by al-Shabab. The international community is trying to negotiate access with the extremist group.

A 1-square-kilometer (0.4-square-mile) swarm can eat as much food in one day as 35,000 people. Locusts can also travel up to 200 kilometers (120 miles) per day. And they reproduce very quickly. The response needs to be just as quick, something that has yet to be understood by the international community. Dominique Burgeon, director of the FAO's Emergency and Rehabilitation Division, told DW that there is an appeal out for $76 million (€70 million), but so far the organization has received only $30 million. "We have a very short window of opportunity," Burgeon said. "We are in between two planting seasons. We need to control the locust population now, before the planting season starts in March/April. This is the main planting season."

A girl trying to pass through a locust swarm (Reuters/G. Paravicini)

The locusts eat everything in their way and reproducevery quickly

The climate factor

Climate experts have pointed to unusually heavy rains, aided by a powerful cyclone off Somalia in December, as a major factor in the outbreak. Niklas Hagelberg, senior program coordinator at the UN Environment Programme, told DW that scientific data did not yet directly link the current events with climate change, even if he "personally" believes in the possibility. "What we can say is that the likelihood for increasing rainfall, increasing heat, increasing winds, has gone up due to climate change," Hagelberg said. "So the likelihood for a swarm like this has increased."

Spraying with pesticides is an emergency measure. In future, other steps need to be taken to improve the response to similar outbreaks. "I think a key element from a climate change point of view is that we have early warning systems," Hagelberg said. "Because the system is changing, we need to get early warnings on conditions for the formation of swarms as early as possible, which would make a timely and concerted international reaction possible."

Sella Oneko (Nairobi) contributed to this article

DW News

Whilst South Africans have until the end of February to share their comment on the draft national policy for beneficiary selection and land allocation, Prof Brian Ganson, Head of the Africa Centre for Dispute Settlement at the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB) argues that “the land reform debate largely remains a dialogue of the deaf.

Many spend their energy shouting about how they are right and others are wrong.”

He proposes that conflict resolution and problem-solving skills of perspective-taking and bridging principles – proven in other long-entrenched conflicts – be applied in South Africa to shift heated public debate beyond opposing, one-sided arguments to “move the conversation forward and engender real problem solving”.

Prof Ganson says land reform in South Africa is critically important in its own right: an unfinished promise to redress epic historic wrongs on the one hand, and on the other, a project that could easily have unintended negative social and economic consequences – in particular for the poor black South Africans it is most needed to serve – if poorly managed.

“How we all go about land reform is also a bellwether of our ability to engage around the construction of the just, democratic, and united South Africa envisioned by the Constitution,” he said.

Prof Ganson said research had shown that a key skill of people who help find solutions to exceptionally entrenched conflicts is perspective-taking: the capacity to view the world – even if temporarily – through the lens of other people’s fears, hopes, rights, and interests.

“If we want a satisfying meal of positive progress – rather than just the thin gruel of self-righteous indignation that all sides of the land debate seem to be enjoying – a starting point might therefore be to acknowledge where others are right,” he said.

He invited those who react strongly against the phrase, “give back the land”, to consider how there may be nothing remotely radical about such a demand – the principle is already contained in the Constitution.

“The current Constitution – never mind any amendments under consideration – promises restitution to people and communities dispossessed of property as a result of racially discriminatory laws or practices going back to 1913. It gives Government broad latitude to carry this out. Any other proposed solution can and should be measured against ‘giving back the land’ to those who have legitimate expectations that it be returned.”

Prof Ganson urged recognition that the mixing of questions on the principles of restitution of land with those of whether and how people to whom land is returned would put it to productive use, “must be hurtful and angering in the extreme” to former black landholders and their descendants.

“It reeks of the argument in favour of the Natives Land Act of 1913 by the President of the Chamber of Mines, who opined that it would end ‘the surplus of young men … squatting on the land in idleness’ – but in fact provided low wage workers for the mines as it destroyed families and communities for generations to come.”

Prof Ganson suggests that, “In relation to those currently holding land that may be returned in the name of restitution under the provisions of the Constitution, we can concede that many of the issues they raise – even if immaterial to the fundamental right of dispossessed people and communities to land – are real.”

He suggests that it need not be in contention that it would indeed be better for all South Africans if land reform is managed in a way that confronts the realities of the substantial bonds on many properties, minimises corruption, maximises food security, and improves the possibilities for people either to make their livelihoods from the land or to make their transition to urban life, each according to his or her choice.

He believes that such perspective-taking might in the first instance invite parties to let go of one-sided arguments that serve to raise hackles rather than engender any real problem solving.

“Putting tongue in cheek for a moment, the current owners of large plots in Bishopscourt and Sandhurst, or Plettenberg Bay and Umhlanga, might agree that the person to whom land is returned is entitled to do anything with it, or nothing at all – lest universal application of standards of idleness or lack of productive use put their own tenure in question.”

“Others might begin to realise that ‘expropriation without compensation’ is a wonderful rallying cry in the international press but fairly empty here at home. Property returned to its rightful owner is hardly being expropriated; and thus, the fundamental question that cannot be bypassed is not one of compensation, but one of just and rightful ownership consistent with the mandates of the Constitution for restoration and transformation.”

He argued that those who currently weaponise the concept of ‘give back the land’ to exclude any discussion at all might admit that the phrase might usefully be continued: ‘… in ways that protect the poor and vulnerable from corrupt officials, dishonest businesses, and an economic system that makes it difficult for the person to whom land is returned to benefit from it or even keep it’.

He says that such perspective thinking might therefore remind each and all of us of our responsibilities.

“As neither land claimants nor substantial landholders under threat, we may be happy to sit on the side lines of the land reform debate when in fact we are in a privileged position to help move the conversation forward. We can do so with another skill of exceptional problem solvers: that of constructing bridging principles, or the power of AND.”

He argues that at every available juncture, “we can be impatient with the failure to implement the land reform envisioned by our Constitution – AND be advocates for land reform that addresses the broadest possible array of social and economic interests.”

“We can insist that the interests of the poor, vulnerable, and dispossessed in land restitution and land distribution be put first – AND readily agree that we must have answers for those whose lives and businesses will be inevitably be disrupted.”

“We can state that no one should be asked to compromise their rights, values, or dreams around land reform or any other issue in a constitutional democracy – AND point out that endless posturing without reference to Constitutional principles or viable and just solutions is making the situation worse rather than better.”

He says that such perspective-taking and bridging principles had proven in other conflicts to provide a starting point for transforming hearts, minds, and civic discourse. “No less is required to move forward land reform, and the country.”

South Africans can comment on the draft policy released by the Government’s Rural Development and Land Reform Department until the end of February by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

SportPesa has terminated its sponsorship with Formula One team Racing Point.

In a statement released in Nairobi on Monday, the betting firm indicated the decision was made ''in line with its new business strategy and sponsorship approach''.

"After an amazingly successful season with the Racing Point F1 Team, we wish them success in the 2020 competition, and we look forward to their transformation into Aston Martin Racing in 2021. We would like to thank the team and F1 for a great season working together and we would look forward to opportunities of working joints on local activations," the statement read in part.

This three-year deal was reported to be worth $30million.

The Kenyan betting firm has also terminated a separate deal with English Premier League club Everton worth $6million a season.

"SportPesa will no longer be on the front of the shirt of Everton as a principal partner after the 2019/2020 season," the statement said.

The remaining sponsorship deals between the betting firm and Tanzanian clubs Yanga, Simba Singida United and Namungo, South African side Cape Town City and English championship team Hull City are not affected.

SportPesa woes are believed to have started when the company lost its licence to operate in Kenya last July.

 

- DAILY NATION

Residents of Otuke in northern Uganda have been left in panic after desert locusts, which have been causing havoc in the neighbouring Karamoja region spread to the district.

Two swarms of locusts which entered Amudat District from Kenya and spread to the rest of the districts in Karamoja crossed to Otuke on Sunday evening, according to local leaders.

The insects were reportedly seen in Atirayon Parish in Ogwete Sub-county at the Otuke-Napak border. However, there have been no immediate reports on destruction caused by the locusts.
Mr Jackson Opio, a resident of Amaracidi Village in Ogwete Sub-county said the locusts had not yet caused much damage.

Otuke District chairman, Mr Bosco Odongo Obote, said the locusts have invaded Agweng, Angaro, Amaracidi, Akodo-kodoi and Angaro villages in Ogwete Sub-county.
“Otuke District local government is liaising with government to stump out the locusts before they cause extensive damage,” Mr Odongo told Daily Monitor on Monday.

He said a team of Local Defense Unit (LDU) was immediately deployed and they embarked on spraying the desert locusts in Ogwete Sub-county using hand pumps. The LC5 chairman said the locusts are headed to Olilim and Ogor sub-counties, still in Otuke.

READ: Africa’s Locust Outbreak Needs $76m Urgently

He appealed to local leaders in the affected communities to register all households whose gardens have been destroyed by the locusts for immediate government intervention.

Otuke is just recovering from prolonged dry spell that ravaged the district from October 2018 until late March 2019, when Lango received intermittent rainfall. The pattern affected planting seasons in 2018 and the beginning of 2019, leading to severe food shortages. With the invasion of locusts, residents are worried that they are likely to starve.

 

- DAILY MONITOR

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the Trump administration is assessing what level of American military force is needed in West Africa to counter the rise of extremist violence.

Pompeo said he discussed the issue of the US military presence in West Africa with Senegal President Macky Sall amid reports the Trump administration intends to reduce troops in Africa.

"We did have a lot of conversation about security issues here, about America's role in those. We've made it clear that the Department of Defence is looking at West Africa to make sure we have our force levels right," Pompeo said to reporters on Sunday.

"We have an obligation to get security right here, in the region - it's what will permit economic growth and we're determined to do that," Pompeo said. " We'll deliver an outcome that works for all of us."

Senegal's Foreign Minister Amadou Ba confirmed that West Africa is concerned about the spread of extremist violence.

"Terrorism has no border, and it is very costly," said Ba at the news conference with Pompeo. He said Senegal and the region wants continued military support from the US

"Yes, we are under threat," Ba said. "We want them (the US) to remain present. We hope they will continue to support in security areas. We hope they will continue to support us in training and intelligence.

Pompeo left Senegal Sunday to go to Angola and after that will travel to Ethiopia as the Trump administration tries to counter the growing interest of China, Russia and other global powers in Africa and its booming young population of more than 1.2 billion.

Ethiopia,has undergone dramatic political reforms since Nobel Peace Prize-winning Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took office in 2018. The loosening of repressive measures has been exploited by some with long-held grievances, leading to sometimes violent ethnic tensions that threaten a national election later this year.

 

- Associated Press

Big Tim, a beloved elephant who was one of Africa’s last giant “tuskers”, has died, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) said yesterday.

“The celebrated elephant died early Tuesday morning aged 50,” KWS said in a statement.

A survivor of poachers, Big Tim was found dead of natural causes in Amboseli National Park at the foot of the snowcapped peak of Kilimanjaro, the Amboseli Trust for Elephants said.

He was “a benevolent, slow-moving preserver of the peace at Amboseli,” KWS said. “He was well known and loved throughout Kenya.”

An elephant is technically a “tusker” when its ivory tusks are so long that they scrape the ground. Usually, only old bull elephants grow their tusks long enough to reach this acclaimed status.

But conservationists estimate only a few dozen such animals with tusks that size are now left on the continent. This because poachers target the animals with the biggest ivory, and elephants with the heaviest tusks are most at risk.

With the big tuskers killed first, that reduces the gene pool; as a result most elephants in Africa today have smaller tusks than they did a century ago, scientists say.

Tim was named by researchers who called each elephant in the family herd they were monitoring by the same letter to help identify them; Tim was a member of the ‘T’ herd.

The giant pachyderm once roamed outside the national parks into farming lands and had survived poachers and angry farmers. 

Vets once treated him for a spear that had gone through his ear and snapped off into his shoulder.

“Our hearts are broken,” said Wildlife Direct, a Nairobi-based conservation campaign group. 

“Tim was one of Africa’s very few Super Tuskers, and an incredible elephant whose presence awed and inspired many. He was one of Kenya’s National Treasures.”

Big Tim’s body is being transported to the Kenyan capital Nairobi, where a taxidermist will preserve Tim for display at the national museum, KWS said.

Poaching has seen the population of African elephants plunge by 110,000 over the past decade to just 415,000 animals, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

 

— AFP

Standard Chartered Bank’s Chief Economist for Africa and Middle East, Ms. Razia Khan, has projected a three per cent economic growth for Nigeria in 2020.

Khan, also projected that for the first time the Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) would witness accelerated growth even as the global growth was predicted to decelerate. She also said that SSA growth would be powered by Nigeria and South Africa’s economies.

She said this during her presentation of Nigeria’s 2020 economic outlook, held in Lagos, yesterday.

Khan’s projected economic growth for Nigeria was slightly above the 2.9 percent growth rate President Mohammadu Buhari proposed in the 2020 budget. 

According to her, “2020 is a year we might see SSA economies growing faster in the face of slowing global economy. Growth in the SSA will be driven by the two largest economies in Africa, namely Nigeria and South Africa.”

She predicted that oil price stability and increased crude oil production would power Nigeria’s economic growth 2020.
“We have positive view on Nigeria’s growth because of developments in the fiscal and monetary sectors that will drive more expansion in the Nigerian economy. We have not lowered our Nigeria’s GDP and oil price projection.”

One of the monetary policy stance of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that would bolster the economy in 2020, according to Khan, was the push for increased private sector lending, which has since unlocked N2 trillion in to the economy.

She also noted that the return of Nigeria’s budget cycle to January-December and early implementation of the fiscal policy tool would enhance the execution of capital projects.

“The difference in 2020 is that Nigeria has reverted to normal budget cycle as early implementation of capital projects will add stimulus to the economy.”

Other developments she identified that would encourage economic growth in 2020 were the enactments of Petroleum Sharing Contract Act of 2019 and the Finance Act 2019 that increased the Value Added Tax by 50 per cent, from five to 7.5 per cent.

However, Khan warned that the ability to ensure compliance to the above legislations would be where the challenge lies for the federal government, adding that previous VAT collection did not meet government’s projected revenue earning from it.

The Standard Chartered Bank’s chief economist also warned Nigeria to do away with the its age-long sharing of oil revenue every month during FAAC, and focus on diversifying the economy so as to earn more revenue from other sources.
She also noted that Nigeria’s problem was not high debt burden, but low revenue mobilisation.

She also projected that a prolonged case of the coronavirus would affect demand for oil and might add pressure on Nigeria’s foreign exchange market.

She, however, noted that the expectation of better GDP performance in 2020 would also depend on return of positive momentum capable of building confidence and attracting private sector investments to make Nigeria economy grow by offering them higher rate on return.

 

Credit: ThisDay

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