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Javon Francis focused on Olympics, not records

first_imgFor two and a half months last season, Javon Francis was just one stride away from the five-year-old national 400-metre record of 44.40 seconds. Then national teammate Rusheen McDonald blasted the record to 43.93 in the heats of the World Championships in Beijing. Now, with the Olympic Games on the horizon, Francis is happy for McDonald, but says he isn’t chasing records. His focus is on the Games. The former Calabar High School standout just missed the World Championships final last year in Beijing, China, and wants to improve on that at the Olympics. “Right now, I’m staying focused, trying to make the final this year,” he said quietly, but confidently earlier this week. He wishes his national relay teammate well, and noting McDonald’s troubles with injuries, he said: “I hope he stays injury-free. Rusheen is a good guy.” Francis emphasised: “I’m just going to work hard. I’m not going after any record. Records come, records go. “I just want to try to stay focused for the Olympics,” he reiterated, “and just go out there and do my best and represent my country to the fullest.” Now a repeat semi-finalist at the World Championships, the Michael Clarke-coached Akan Track Club athlete bettered his old personal best in 2015. That mark was his 2014 Boys’ Championships Class One record run of 45.00 seconds. Last year, he sprinted past that time on five occasions, with his fastest clocking – 44.50 – coming with McDonald not far behind in 44.60 seconds on June 13 inside the National Stadium. That was McDonald’s lifetime best until his destruction of the national record held by Jermaine Gonzales.last_img read more

TD PRINGLE LOSES COSTLY EUROPEAN COURT CASE

first_imgDONEGAL TD Thomas Pringle has lost an expensive legal battle with the Irish Government in the European courts.The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg approved the EU’s permanent bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism.The court found EU law does not preclude the conclusion and ratification of the treaty, despite legal arguments from Deputy Pringle. Speaking after the ruling, Mr Pringle said: “I am extremely disappointed with the outcome of the case but I am satisfied that this has now been legally contested.“There is an issue of costs and I am concerned about that. The Supreme Court will take a view and we will see what happens but it was important to take this case.”The case is expected to be returned to the courts for costs in the coming weeks.All 27 judges of the European Court of Justice participated in an oral hearing in the Pringle case.Senior Counsel for Mr Pringle, John Rogers, argued that EU institutions and member states had engaged in mis- characterisation and distortion when creating the ESM and breached EU law.Senior Counsel for Ireland Michael Cush rejected this, claiming the decisions creating the ESM were fully compatible with EU treaties.This contention was supported by other member states, such as Germany, and the European Commission.TD PRINGLE LOSES COSTLY EUROPEAN COURT CASE was last modified: November 27th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:TD PRINGLE LOSES COSTLY EUROPEAN COURT CASElast_img read more

Unlocking Africa’s competitiveness

first_img5 May 2011African economies have made important strides in improving their economic environments in recent years, but much remains to be done to sustain recent strong growth, according to the Africa Competitiveness Report 2011.The report, jointly produced by the World Bank, World Economic Forum and African Development Bank, was released at the start of the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town on Wednesday.It argues that African governments must better harness the region’s resources through stronger integration into international trade and finance, improved educational systems, enhanced entrepreneurial opportunities for women, and developing their tourism sectors.“Africa must focus on the policies and strategies that are key for the sustained economic recovery and inclusive growth of the continent, such as higher education for skilled manpower and entrepreneurship development, and financial instruments that will support vibrant private sector development and regional integration and trade,” Mthuli Ncube, chief economist and vice-president of the African Development Bank, said in statement on the release of the report.Four focus areasThe report highlights four areas on which Africa should focus “to ensure strong, sustained and shared growth”, namely: diversifying products and markets; upgrading managerial skills and higher education; expanding women’s entrepreneurship; and reaping the full benefits of tourism.“African countries have much to gain by diversifying exports and by further opening up regional trade,” the World Bank says on its Africa Competitiveness Report web page.Despite improving over recent decades, the report finds, Africa’s share in world trade remains low, being heavily concentrated in natural resources, while intra-African trade is limited.Regional integration could also “help African countries become more competitive and resilient to external shocks”.Not enough university studentsOn managerial skills and higher education, the report states, African higher education enrolment remains extremely low by international standards, while most African students avoid science, engineering technology and business. “The result is a skills mismatch – university graduates remain unemployed, while African countries continue to face shortages of skilled labour.”The report finds the rate of women’s entrepreneurship to be higher in Africa than in any other region, without necessarily signaling economic empowerment. “This is because women are concentrated in the informal, micro, low-growth, and low-profit areas.”The report shows that while women are less likely to be operating larger firms in higher-value-added sectors, those who do so in fact manage firms that perform equally well as those run by men. “What is critical is not to increase entrepreneurship per se, but rather to enable women to move into higher-value-added activities.”Tourism riches unexploitedAnd when it comes to tourism, the report finds that Africa’s rich natural and cultural resources “represent a major unexploited endowment … The region has many advantages on which to build its tourism industry, including price competitiveness, a strong affinity for tourism, and rich natural resources supported by efforts toward environmental sustainability.“However, a number of obstacles remain to developing the sector, notably improving safety and security, upgrading health and hygiene levels, developing infrastructure and access to African sites, and fostering the region’s human capital.”In addition to assessments of competitiveness, trade performance and the ability to attract investment, the report includes an analysis of what is needed to upgrade higher education in Africa, how to best expand women’s economic opportunities on the continent, and the extent to which African countries have created environments attractive to travel and tourism.Klaus Schwab, executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, said the report was “the third comprehensive effort by our three organisations to place the continent in a broader international context and to shed light on the important aspects of development in the region, which are so critical to ensure sustained and shared growth for Africa’s citizens.”SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Tripura hikes social security pension

first_imgThe Tripura government has increased the allowance under the social security pension schemes to benefit the marginalised sections of society. The hike would be a minimum of ₹300 and a maximum of ₹500. A decision has also been taken to pay the social security allowance into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries.A leader of the ruling BJP said the hike in social security pension was a commitment incorporated in the vision document released ahead of the Assembly elections last year. The party is completing one year in office on March 9.last_img read more