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Botswana and Namibia (Part 4)

In our last instalment it was noted that Britain’s unilateral declaration of a colonial Protectorate over southern Botswana, through a 27 January 1885 Order-in-Council, had been directly triggered by Germany’s 1884 push into Namibia.

In the process the British turned down overtures from the Ovaherero paramount rule Maharero for his people to come under British rather than German overrule.

Throughout 1885 German agents scrambled to further expand their country's jurisdiction into the Namibian interior and beyond. With the Anglo-German boundary still undefined north of the 22nd parallel of south latitude, one German military scouting party even toured through parts of northern Botswana in 1885, eventually reaching the then Bangwato capital of Shoshong via Ngamiland.

But, this party was unable to conclude any treaties.

Germany’s wider claim to Ngamiland was, nonetheless, reflected in a July 1886 map produced by the Colonial Office in Berlin, which showed the area as part of its own sovereign sphere of influence. This map was also notable in underscoring the still inferior nature of official German geographic knowledge of northern Botswana, especially the Okavango-Chobe region, although the area had been frequently visited and mapped by Europeans, mostly Boers and British but also a semi-official Austrian expedition, over the previous four decades.

Berlin’s claims gained greater intensity a few months later with the publication of "Article One of the German Imperial Ordinance no. 26 dated the 30th of December 1886". Through this document the German authorities formally laid claim a large swath of territory running eastward to the Zambezi River.

In apparent response, the British also began producing maps showing their sphere of influence extending up to the Zambezi, although no further effort was made at the time to further extend London’s jurisdictional authority in the area.

The publication of the German Ordinance also coincided with the Luso-German agreement of the same date, which established the colonial boundary between Namibia and Portuguese occupied Angola.

The English text of the agreement reads as follows:
"The boundary which separates the German from the Portuguese possessions in South West Africa follows the course of the Kunene River from the its mouth to those waterfalls which are formed to the south of Humbe where the Kunene breaks through the Serra Canna; thence it runs along the parallel till it reaches the Kubango; thence it follows the course of this river as far as the place Andara which is left in the sphere in which the exercise of influence is reserved for Germany; thence it runs in a straight line to the east till if reaches the cataracts of Catima on the Zambesi.


Notwithstanding the rapid expansion of its territorial claims over Namibia and beyond through ordinance and treaty, for many years Germany’s colonial pretensions were not matched by the establishment of an effective administrative presence on the ground.

At the time Chancellor Bismarck’s government expected the DKG (“Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft fur Sudwestafrika”, i.e. the German Colonial Company of South West Africa) to take the lead in developing the area. But, the undercapitalized DKG was only able to initiate a few small scale projects.

For its part the German imperial government limited its own expenditure before 1889 to the posting of a mere three officials, headed by a Colonial Governor, Hienrich Ernest Goering (the father of Adolph Hitler’s future Deputy Herman Goering). Working out of a mission school's class room in the Ovaherero village of Otjimbingwe, Goering and his subordinates issued a total of six regulations in their first three years of residence, none of which were actually enforced.

When, in late 1888, the Ovaherero leader Maharero nullified his so-called Protection Treaty with the Kaiser, the Otjimbingwe office was hastily evacuated.

Goering’s party were then forced to place themselves under British protection at Walvis Bay, further advising other Europeans in the region to do the same.

Thus humiliated and faced with the option of either pulling out of Namibia altogether or deepening their commitment, the Germans finally decided to establish a military presence. On the 24th of June 1889, 21 troops under the command of Captain Curt von Francois landed at Walvis Bay.

This was followed by another 40 man contingent in January 1890.

With the permanent departure of Goering, in August 1890, Von Francois became the senior German official in the territory. But his authority in the interior was initially limited to the area around Windhoek, where he established his headquarters in October 1890.

For their part the rulers of the largest groups living in central and southern Namibia – the Ovaherero, Ovambanderu, and Nama – continued to resist imperial control. Further to the north Germany’s claims over such communities as the Ovahimba and Ovambo then existed on paper only.

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Export Processing Zones: How to Get SEZA to Sizzle

23rd September 2020
Export Processing Zone (EPZ) factory in Kenya

In 2005, the Business & Economic Advisory Council (BEAC) pitched the idea of the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to the Mogae Administration.

It took five years before the SEZ policy was formulated, another five years before the relevant law was enacted, and a full three years before the Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA) became operational.

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Egypt Bagged Again

23rd September 2020

… courtesy of infiltration stratagem by Jehovah-Enlil’s clan

With the passing of Joshua’s generation, General Atiku, the promised peace and prosperity of a land flowing with milk and honey disappeared, giving way to chaos and confusion.

Maybe Joshua himself was to blame for this shambolic state of affairs. He had failed to mentor a successor in the manner Moses had mentored him. He had left the nation without a central government or a human head of state but as a confederacy of twelve independent tribes without any unifying force except their Anunnaki gods.

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23rd September 2020

If I say the word ‘robot’ to you,  I can guess what would immediately spring to mind –  a cute little Android or animal-like creature with human or pet animal characteristics and a ‘heart’, that is to say to say a battery, of gold, the sort we’ve all seen in various movies and  tv shows.  Think R2D2 or 3CPO in Star Wars, Wall-E in the movie of the same name,  Sonny in I Robot, loveable rogue Bender in Futurama,  Johnny 5 in Short Circuit…

Of course there are the evil ones too, the sort that want to rise up and eliminate us  inferior humans – Roy Batty in Blade Runner, Schwarzenegger’s T-800 in The Terminator,  Box in Logan’s Run,  Police robots in Elysium and  Otomo in Robocop.

And that’s to name but a few.  As a general rule of thumb, the closer the robot is to human form, the more dangerous it is and of course the ultimate threat in any Sci-Fi movie is that the robots will turn the tables and become the masters, not the mechanical slaves.  And whilst we are in reality a long way from robotic domination, there are an increasing number of examples of  robotics in the workplace.

ROBOT BLOODHOUNDS Sometimes by the time that one of us smells something the damage has already begun – the smell of burning rubber or even worse, the smell of deadly gas. Thank goodness for a robot capable of quickly detecting and analyzing a smell from our very own footprint.

A*Library Bot The A*Star (Singapore) developed library bot which when books are equipped with RFID location chips, can scan shelves quickly seeking out-of-place titles.  It manoeuvres with ease around corners, enhances the sorting and searching of books, and can self-navigate the library facility during non-open hours.

DRUG-COMPOUNDING ROBOT Automated medicine distribution system, connected to the hospital prescription system. It’s goal? To manipulate a large variety of objects (i.e.: drug vials, syringes, and IV bags) normally used in the manual process of drugs compounding to facilitate stronger standardisation, create higher levels of patient safety, and lower the risk of hospital staff exposed to toxic substances.

AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY ROBOTS Applications include screw-driving, assembling, painting, trimming/cutting, pouring hazardous substances, labelling, welding, handling, quality control applications as well as tasks that require extreme precision,

AGRICULTURAL ROBOTS Ecrobotix, a Swiss technology firm has a solar-controlled ‘bot that not only can identify weeds but thereafter can treat them. Naio Technologies based in southwestern France has developed a robot with the ability to weed, hoe, and assist during harvesting. Energid Technologies has developed a citrus picking system that retrieves one piece of fruit every 2-3 seconds and Spain-based Agrobot has taken the treachery out of strawberry picking. Meanwhile, Blue River Technology has developed the LettuceBot2 that attaches itself to a tractor to thin out lettuce fields as well as prevent herbicide-resistant weeds. And that’s only scratching the finely-tilled soil.

INDUSTRIAL FLOOR SCRUBBERS The Global Automatic Floor Scrubber Machine boasts a 1.6HP motor that offers 113″ water lift, 180 RPM and a coverage rate of 17,000 sq. ft. per hour

These examples all come from the aptly-named site    because while these functions are labour-saving and ripe for automation, the increasing use of artificial intelligence in the workplace will undoubtedly lead to increasing reliance on machines and a resulting swathe of human redundancies in a broad spectrum of industries and services.

This process has been greatly boosted by the global pandemic due to a combination of a workforce on furlough, whether by decree or by choice, and the obvious advantages of using virus-free machines – I don’t think computer viruses count!  For example, it was suggested recently that their use might have a beneficial effect in care homes for the elderly, solving short staffing issues and cheering up the old folks with the novelty of having their tea, coffee and medicines delivered by glorified model cars.  It’s a theory, at any rate.

Already, customers at the South-Korean  fast-food chain No Brand Burger can avoid any interaction with a human server during the pandemic.  The chain is using robots to take orders, prepare food and bring meals out to diners.  Customers order and pay via touchscreen, then their request is sent to the kitchen where a cooking machine heats up the buns and patties. When it’s ready, a robot ‘waiter’ brings out their takeout bag.   

‘This is the first time I’ve actually seen such robots, so they are really amazing and fun,’ Shin Hyun Soo, an office worker at No Brand in Seoul for the first time, told the AP. 

Human workers add toppings to the burgers and wrap them up in takeout bags before passing them over to yellow-and-black serving robots, which have been compared to Minions. 

Also in Korea, the Italian restaurant chain Mad for Garlic is using serving robots even for sit-down customers. Using 3D space mapping and other technology, the electronic ‘waiter,’ known as Aglio Kim, navigates between tables with up to five orders.  Mad for Garlic manager Lee Young-ho said kids especially like the robots, which can carry up to 66lbs in their trays.

These catering robots look nothing like their human counterparts – in fact they are nothing more than glorified food trolleys so using our thumb rule from the movies, mankind is safe from imminent takeover but clearly  Korean hospitality sector workers’ jobs are not.

And right there is the dichotomy – replacement by stealth.  Remote-controlled robotic waiters and waitresses don’t need to be paid, they don’t go on strike and they don’t spread disease so it’s a sure bet their army is already on the march.

But there may be more redundancies on the way as well.  Have you noticed how AI designers have an inability to use words of more than one syllable?  So ‘robot’ has become ‘bot’ and ‘android’ simply ‘droid?  Well, guys, if you continue to build machines ultimately smarter than yourselves you ‘rons  may find yourself surplus to requirements too – that’s ‘moron’ to us polysyllabic humans”!

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