Urban News Roundup – August 21, 2015

Luanda – New Luanda transportation system to improve mobility

The new Luanda public transportation system (Bus Rapid Transit) will respond to the mobility problem crippling the capital city. This was said Wednesday in Luanda by the national director of public infrastructure, José Paulo Kai. The official was speaking to journalists at the end of a visit to Luanda’s  municipalities of Viana and Belas. He said that in its first phase, the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) will ease road traffic congestion in the above localities as there will be no road intersections. – ANGOP

Lusaka – Lusaka among Africa’s cities with lowest infrastructure development

Lusaka ranks among the lowest cities in Africa in terms of infrastructure development and advancement, according to a Pricewaterhouse Coopers 2015 report. Of the 20 African cities surveyed, Lusaka ranks number 14, scoring 74, ahead of Accra, Kampala, Maputo, Dar es Salaam, Kinshasa and Luanda. The data is compiled through various factors including ratings on cost of housing, airport connectivity, communications, road safety, water risk and power, among others. – The Post

Nairobi – City houses on wetlands and road reserves to be torn down

Several buildings in Nairobi will be pulled down after the county assembly passed a law that paves the way for demolition of all unauthorised constructions.The buildings targeted by the Nairobi City County Regularisation of Developments Bill include commercial buildings that do not meet the standards set by National Construction Authority (NCA) and the county government’s Planning and Housing Department. Structures on river banks, road reserves, forest land and public land such as school playgrounds will also be demolished. – Daily Nation

Tripoli – ranks among least  “liveable” cities in 2015

Libya’s conflict-hit capital is rated among the bottom-five least liveable cities in the annual liveability ranking provided by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). With 40 points out of 100, Tripoli dropped from 132 in 2014 survey to the fifth least liveable city in 2015, according to the ranking, which scores 140 cities around the world based on lifestyle challenges. – Libya Herald

Addis Ababa – 12 experts to view Renaissance Dam technical studies

The National Committee of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is meeting on Thursday in Addis Ababa with 12 experts from the Tripartite Committee of the dam to agree on a deadline for the consulting firms to deliver their technical studies. The meeting will discuss why the French and Dutch consulting firms did not deliver the studies, which were supposed to be delivered on Wednesday before last. – Egypt Independent

East Africa – Worst El Nino in 60 Years on its way

One of the strongest and wettest El Ninos will soon pummel East Africa, bringing heavy rains, floods and malaria. The prospect of a record-breaking El Nino is worrying since the 1997 weather killed many people in Kenya, and left hundreds homeless. Scientists say the condition, experienced across the world, could be the strongest since the 1950s. Weather experts from East Africa will meet in Dar es Salaam next week to discuss likely scenarios and disaster response. Weather agencies worldwide have confirmed El Nino is on the way. – AllAfrica

Johannesburg – SA businesspeople want visa-free entry for BRICS member countries

South African businesspeople on Tuesday welcomed the decision by Russia to consider offering visa-free entry for tourists from China, India, Brazil and South Africa as fellow members of BRICS.  A number of South African business organisations have been pushing for the scrapping of visas among BRICS members so as to make doing business and traveling easier. Trade and economic experts say South Africa’s strict visa regulations have become the main impediment for mutual economic and trade deals among BRICS members. – Africa Review

Abuja – Over 100m Nigerians living below poverty line – Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo Wednesday stated that about 110 million Nigerians were still living below poverty line despite the policies of past governments to improve their welfare. The Vice President however stated that the policy were wrongly formulated and as a result did not have direct impact on the people. – Vanguard

Cairo – Egypt’s urgent water problem

The topic on the forefront of discussions in Egypt has focused on the expansion of the Suez Canal and its possible economic benefits. But little attention has been devoted to Egypt’s other pivotal flow of water, the Nile, and the implications of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the flow of water to Egypt. Recent negotiations have stalled due to disputes over the division of labor contracted to foreign consultants who will assist in providing a comprehensive study on the effects of the Dam on the flow of the Nile River. – Egypt Daily News


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