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Botswana And Namibia (Part 5)



In our last instalment it was noted that following the humiliating 1888 flight of Governor Ernest Goering and his small party of officials to the then British controlled port of Walvis Bay the German Government was faced with the option of either pulling out of Namibia altogether or deepening its commitment. Thus in June 1889, 21 troops under the command of Captain Curt von Francois landed at Walvis Bay, who were soon followed by reinforcements.

Yet, by the end of 1890 von Francois’ authority in the interior was still limited to the area around Windhoek, where he had established his headquarters.  In July of the same year the contemporary boundary between Botswana and Namibia was finally defined by Article III of “Agreement between Great Britain and Germany, respecting Zanzibar, Heligoland, and the Spheres of Influence of the two Countries in Africa". As suggested by its title, the above Agreement was a comprehensive understanding between the two powers that resolved their overlapping claims throughout Africa. The accord was the product of bilateral diplomatic discussions held in Berlin and London, most especially during May and June of 1890.

At the time the major area of imperial conflict between the two powers was over their conflicting territorial claims in East Africa. The boundary between the Bechuanaland Protectorate and German South-West Africa was a relatively minor matter to the involved the diplomats who were neither well versed nor concerned about the finer points of local geography. In this context it is notable that the by then self-governing (settler regime) Cape Colony, some of whose citizens had a significant stake in any border arrangements regarding South-West Africa, was not consulted.

Germany's desire to uphold its claim to Zambezi river access for its South West Africa Protectorate had been communicated to Britain's Ambassador in Berlin, Sir Edward Malet, by Bismarck on 24 November 1888. In a subsequent 2 September 1889 dispatch by the Foreign Secretary, Marquis of Salisbury, to the German Ambassador, Count Hatzfelt, it was suggested that Lake Ngami be seen as equally under German and British influence "and that Germany shall be secured free access from that lake to the upper waters of the Zambezi." Lake Ngami, which in the late nineteenth as well as twentieth centuries was often dry, is of course not linked with the Zambezi by any permanent water.

On 30 September 1889 the German Charge d'Affaires, Count Leyden, proposed to the Foreign Office that Germany acquire rights to Ngamiland west of 24 east longitudes and north of 22 south latitude. But, on the 9th of November 1889, the British Colonial Office, having consulted with its High Commissioner for South Africa, expressed its strong opposition to recognizing any German claims to Ngamiland. This stand was communicated to Malet in Berlin on the 17th of February 1890. The following day Malet was further informed that Leyden's proposal was being discussed with other colonial matters between Hatzfelt and Salisbury. During the second half of 1889 there was also considerable conflict over competing claims between Germany and private Cape Colony interests in the former British Damaraland protectorate.

In expressing its opposition to Germany's Ngamiland claims the Colonial Office wished to uphold the interests of concessionaires already active in the area and, in the process, avoid any partition of the territory under the rule of the Batawana Kgosi Moremi. By 1890 rival British claims to the Ngamiland-Chobe region were being put forward by a number of concessionaires. In September 1889 the British South Africa Co. of Cecil Rhodes had been awarded the right in its royal charter to rule the entire area on Her Majesty's behalf. Subsequently, in June 1890, Rhodes' Company negotiated the Lochner Concession from the Malozi King Lewanika, which consolidated its grip on Bulozi (Barotseland).

Earlier, in August 1888 and 1889, Kgosi Moremi had granted mineral rights to the Austral African Exploration and Mining Syndicate and Messrs. J. Strombom, J.A. Nicholls, and R. J. Hicks. These Ngamiland-Chobe concessions were later consolidated, becoming the basis of the British West Charterland Company's (BWCCO) commercial claims to the area. From 1896-97 the prominent British colonialist Sir Frederick John Dealtry (later Lord) Lugard, in his capacity as a BWCCO director, led a large prospecting team in Ngamiland, which also included his brother Edward James Lugard.

The well equipped and financed expedition had, however, failed to find any significant gold or diamonds in the area by the end of 1897, when Sir Frederick was recalled to Nigeria; where he went on to became Governor General after administratively uniting the previously separate northern and southern sections of the territory. It had been the intent of the BWCCO to look for diamonds in the Boteti region, which was then claimed by both by Moremi’s successor, the Kgosi Sekgoma Letsholathebe and the Bangwato Kgosi Khama III. It seems probable in this respect that the colonial regime’s recognition of Khama’s claim to the entire area served to delay the discovery of the considerable diamond bearing kimberlite deposits in the Letlhakane-Orapa region for another seven decades.

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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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