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Botswana and Namibia (Part 6)

JEFF RAMSAY

BUILDERS OF BOTSWANA


In our last instalment it was noted that the Colonial Office in London was expressing its opposition to Germany's over the Ngamiland and Chobe region, in order to uphold the interests of British concessionaires already active in the area. In the process, proposals to partition of the territory under the rule of the Batawana King Moremi were internally rejected.

British claims to the Ngamiland-Chobe region were, in particular, grounded in the competing claims of two companies:

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 Queen Victoria’s behalf. But, earlier, in 1888-89, the Batawana King 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 concessions were later consolidated to become the basis of the British West Charterland Company's commercial claims to the area.

In March 1890 German Kaiser Wilhelm II accepted his long serving Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck’s, resignation following policy differences on a number of issues including German colonial interests in Africa. Thereafter the new Chancellor, General (later Count) Georg Leo von Caprivi, and his Foreign Minister, Baron Marschall, accelerated diplomatic discussions with Britain over their competing interests in Africa.

After a conversation with Marschall, the British Ambassador, Malet, in May 1890 communicated Germany's desire to reach a comprehensive settlement sooner rather than later. Germany’s African ambitions were also the subject of both Caprivi and Marschall's inaugural addresses to the newly elected Reichstag.

On the 14th of June 1890 Ambassador Malet was informed by his Foreign Secretary that:

"The communications which have been in progress between Her Majesty's Government and that of Germany have now reached a point sufficiently advanced to justify me requesting Sir Percy Anderson to return to Berlin for the purpose of discussing the necessary details with Dr. Krauel. The negotiations conducted in Berlin during his previous visit, together with the conversations which have had with the German Ambassador since his return, have enabled the two governments to draw with sufficient completeness the outline of an arrangement for the adjustment of the matters that are in dispute between them…"

"The frontier between Ngamiland and Damaraland is not definitely drawn, and the details of it must be left to the negotiations of Sir Percy Anderson and Dr. Krauel; but it is agreed that in the latitude of Lake Ngami, and up as far as the 18 of south latitude the German frontier shall coincide with the 21 degree of east longitude from Greenwich. The character of this country is very imperfectly known, and the very position of Lake Ngami has been the subject of considerable uncertainty. There is, however, little doubt that the 21st degree of longitude will amply clear it, and will enclose Moremi's country within the British Protectorate."

The outline of the Anglo-German agreement was published in a semi-official German Gazette in mid June 1890, receiving favourable press coverage. The Agreement was subsequently signed in Berlin on the 1st of July 1890. In it Botswana's northern frontier with what is now Namibia was defined by Article III of the agreement:

"In South West Africa the sphere in which the exercise of influence is reserved for Germany is bounded, "1. To the South by a line commencing at the mouth of the Orange River and ascending the North Bank of that river to the point of its intersection by the 20th degree of East longitude.

"2. To the East by a line commencing at the above mentioned point, and following the 20th degree of east longitude to the point of its intersection by the 22nd parallel of south latitude, it runs eastward along that parallel to the point of its intersection by the 21rst degree of East longitude; thence it follows that degree northward to the point of intersection by the 18th parallel south latitude; it runs eastward along that parallel till it reaches the river Chobe; and descends the centre of the Main Channel of that river to its junction with the Zambesi, where it terminates."

The agreement coincided with the formal establishment of British rule over northern Botswana through the "Order-in-Council of 30 June 1890". This legal instrument unilaterally conferred on Her Majesty's High Commissioner for South Africa, in his capacity as Governor of the Bechuanaland Protectorate, the power to:

"Provide for the giving effect to any power or jurisdiction, which Her Majesty, her heirs or successors, may at any time before or after the date of this order have within the limits of this order." The limits of the Order were: "The parts of South Africa situate in the north of British Bechuanaland; west of the South African Republic; east of the German Protectorate; and south of the river Zambezi and not within the jurisdiction of any civilized power." A subsequent 9 May 1891 Order-in-Council the northern limits of the Bechuanaland Protectorate were specifically declared to include the Chobe District.

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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
Samson

… 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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‘RO, ‘RO ‘RO YOUR ‘BOT

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 www.willrobotstakemyjob.com    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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