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August 2015 Edition

AFRICA CREATES LARGEST FREE-TRADE ZONE

African leaders have agreed to create the continent's largest free-trade zone, covering 26 countries in an area from Cape Town to Cairo.

 

The deal, signed in Egypt, is intended to ease the movement of goods across member countries which represent more than half the continent's GDP.

 

Since the end of colonial rule, governments have been discussing ways to boost intra-African trade, but the poor state of roads, railways and airlines have made it difficult.

 

Three existing trade blocs - the Southern African Development Community (Sadc); the East African Community (EAC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) - are to be united into a single new zone.

 

The plan needs parliamentary endorsements from all member-nations and once governments start reading the fine print, the mood may change.

 

Many of them have small economies that produce few exportable goods. A free-trade protocol would mean they would have to compete with larger industries that could threaten their economies.

 

Africa's many regional blocs have not really aided continental trade so far and the African Development Bank has often said that the focus should rather be on developing infrastructure.

Nevertheless if it is implemented in a reasonable time-frame and there is sufficient political will to follow through, then it marks a new beginning for local trade.

 

If all works well, the plan should come into force by 2017.

NEW LAWS IN THE NETHERLANDS

Every year, new laws and amendments to existing legislation come into effect in the country. The following are the new ones for this year, starting 1 July 2015:

 

  1. The minimum wage for adults over the age of 23 goes up by six euros to €1,507.80.
  2. People with temporary employment contracts have more rights e.g. the right to a permanent contract after two years, instead of three.
  3. People are now entitled to one-third of their monthly salary in compensation for every year worked, plus 50% of a month’s salary per year for those employed for over 10 years. The pay is maximised at €75,000 or one year’s salary for higher earners.
  4. People claiming unemployment benefits have to accept any job they are offered after six months on benefits.
  5. People working and claiming unemployment benefits can keep 30 cents of every euro earned. This is to stimulate more jobless people to seek employment.
  6. The national mortgage only guarantee mortgages up to €245,000 which will be reduced in January 2016 to €225,000.
  7. Rent-controlled property can rise by 2.5% but could go up by 5% if tenants earn more than €43,786.
  8. Value-added tax on home improvements and gardening goes up from 6% to 21%.
  9. Computer hackers can be jailed five years when they cause ‘serious damage’ to networks and 2 years when they steal information.
  10. Those concerned about any particular issues or draft legislation can collect 300,000 signatures to force the government to hold an advisory referendum, the result of which is not binding.
  11. The fine for failing to declare hidden income and foreign bank accounts has been increased from 30% of the amount to 60% if the beneficiary reports the extra income voluntarily. If the tax office finds out any cheating, the fine rises to up to 300%.
  12. Self-driving cars can be tested on public roads.
  13. Special certificates are required for companies to use drones.
  14. Death notices can now be published digitally.

COMEDY: FUNNIEST PEOPLE IN AFRICA

Like elsewhere in the world, comedy in Africa is serious business, and good comedy is gold!

 

Some of them are iconic and many are rib crackers with hilarious skits and biting satires that never fail to delight the audience, winning them huge audiences across the continent and no doubt... beyond!

 

Below are some of the (too many to mention) true trailblazers in the art of comedy who have helped to popularize African comedy across the world.

 

 

Daniel Ndambuki: One of Kenya's top comedians who puts the crowd in stitches every time he is on stage.

 

Better known by his stage name "Churchill", he is at the helm of two of Kenya's biggest comedy shows: Churchill Live and Churchill Raw. The first one is a show featuring several high-profile guests, whilst the latter is a platform for up-and-coming performers to showcase their talents.

 

On what makes him tick: “The secret is crafting jokes that everyone can relate to. “Being able to make a very intelligent person and an ordinary person get the joke at the same time. "It is however not easy, because humor is based on current issues, observation and characters, so it's a seven days a week journey; you have to keep on doing it, again and again.”

 

On African talent: "With the talent that I see on stage every day, in the next five years you can be sure to see a Chris Rock or a Steve Harvey and that would be the dream."

 

…..

 

Trevor Noah: He is a South African comedian. Noah Noah had a starring role on the South African soap opera Isidingo when he was 18. He soon dropped other engagements to focus on comedy and has performed all over South Africa as a top comedian.

 

In 2011, he moved to the United States and on 6 January 2012, he became the first African stand-up comedian to appear on The Tonight Show and on 17 May 2013, he became the first to appear on Late Show with David Letterman. He’s also a former guest of CNN’s African Voices.

 

Last December, Noah became a regular contributor on The Daily Show. On 30 March 2015, Comedy Central announced that he will take over as host of The Daily Show when Jon Stewart on September 28, 2015.

 

…..

 

Daliso Chaponda:  Although, he has roots in Malawi, he developed his reputation as a Comedian while living in Canada in the early 2000s with his one man show ‘Feed This Black Man’ where he took shots at Westerners and Africans alike. His comedy, which touches on everything from corruption and colonialism to his past relationships, can be as controversial as it is comical.

 

While in Canada, Daliso headlined the ‘Don’t Let Them Deport Me’ Comedy Show as a plea to officials to have his Canadian visa extended. The show was sold out, well reviewed, and frenzied letters were written to the government to allow him to stay. The plea was rejected and he was forced to leave after one final show 2005.

 

Daliso who regularly performs across Africa and in the UK was once threatened with arrest after making a joke about Malawi’s government.

 

…..

 

Pablo: Kenneth Kimuli, whose stage name is Pablo, is a celebrated Ugandan comedian.  He said he went into comedy because “It’s a funny way of addressing serious issues without necessarily being abusive, aggressive or invading people’s privacy. “Uganda was declared the 11th unhappiest country in the world and there was a need for something to turn the mess into a message; nothing does it better than comedy.”

 

He first made his mark when he won the 2009 MNet Africa Stand Up Uganda competition, thanks to his riffs on serious issues like tribalism and reproductive health. A vocal HIV/AIDS prevention activist, he now hosts Pablo Live, a televised Comedy night that features the continent’s best comedic talents.

 

“Some of my jokes are based on real life experience and I crack them with a passion. The best jokes are always about yourself,” he said.

 

…..

 

Basketmouth: Bright Okpocha, better known by his stage name Basketmouth, is a Nigerian and one of Africa's top comedians. A former drummer and rapper, he started his gig in 1990, calling it ‘yabbing’ after Fela Anikulapo’s popular ‘yabbish’ where he made fun of the powers that be.

 

Basketmouth has organized popular stand-up comedy concerts in the UK, U.S. Europe and South Africavarious international shows in the UK, USA, Europe and South Africa. various international shows in the UK, USA, Europe and South . anchored gigs that included the likes of Joe, Boyz II Men, Sean Paul, Wyclef Jean, Kool & The Gang, Akon, Dru Hill, Busta Rhymes, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Fat Joe, Snoop Dogg, Ciara, Chris Brown and many mor anchored gigs that included the likes of Joe, Boyz II Men, Sean Paul, Wyclef Jean, Kool & The Gang, Akon, Dru Hill, Busta Rhymes, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Fat Joe, Snoop Dogg, Ciara, Chris Brown and many morHe hhHHH

 

In 2005 and 2006 Basketmouth won the National Comedy Award and the awards for Best Stand-up Comedian of the Year

 

He has anchored gigs that included the likes of Boz II to Men, Sean Paul, Wycliff Jean, Kook & the Gang, Akon, Dru Hill, Busta Rhymes, JayZ, Beyonce, Snoop Dog, Ciara, Chris Brown and many more.

 

Basketmouth was the first African comedian to host a comedy show - Lord of the Ribs - at the O2 Arena.

the first African comedian to host a comedy show - Lord of the Ribs - at the 02 Arena. anchored gigs that included the likes of Joe, Boyz II Men, Sean Paul, Wyclef Jean, Kool & The Gang, Akon, Dru Hill, Busta Rhymes, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Fat Joe, Snoop Dogg, Ciara, Chris Brown and many mor anchored gigs that included the likes of Joe, Boyz II Men, Sean Paul, Wyclef Jean, Kool & The Gang, Akon, Dru Hill, Busta Rhymes, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Fat Joe, Snoop Dogg, Ciara, Chris Brown and many mor anchored gigs that included the likes of Joe, Boyz II Men, Sean Paul, Wyclef Jean, Kool & The Gang, Akon, Dru Hill, Busta Rhymes, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Fat Joe, Snoop Dogg, Ciara, Chris Brown and ma

….. 

 

Michael Blackson: The Ghanaian comedian whose comedy style was inspired by Eddie Murphy developed his comedic talent in the comedy clubs of Philadelphia in the state of Pennsylvania, U.S. in 1992.

 

Blackson has performed and competed in many well-known comedy competitions and festivals such as the the USA Comedy Central. In 2005, he released his top-selling comedy sketch CD entitled Modasucka: Welcome to America. Also in 2005, he made an appearance on, TV series 30 Rock, P. Diddy's Bad Boys of Comedy on HBO and starred in a commercial for the Chappelle Show on Comedy Central

 

He’s also an acclaimed actor, moving up the acting ladder with his most notable onscreen performance as "Angry African Man" in the 2000 comedy film Next Friday, produced by Ice Cube's film production company Cubevision.

 

.....

 

Anne Kansiime: "East Africa's Queen of Comedy" Anne Kansiime Kubiryaba popularly known as Anne Kansiime is originally from Uganda.

 

Her hundreds of video clips with over 15 million views on You Tube made her one of the most loved entertainer and comedians in the country, and that has made Anne Kansiime jump to the top of this year’s Top 100 Celebrities.

 

Her breakthrough came when Citizen TV from neighboring Kenya offered her a slot to produce, star and present a weekly comedy show of Don't Mess With Kansiime. She has appeared on BBC Focus on Africa and has played to packed theatres in Blantyre, Gaborone, Kigali, Kuala Lumpur, Lagos, Lilongwe, London and Lusaka.

 

Among her several awards are Women of Substance Awards 2014, Best Comedian 2013 Winner, Lagos Festival Best Actress Winner 2013, Social Media Awards (Favorite Celebrity) winner 2013

 

Some of the other notables African comedians are:

 

Patrick Idringi, aka Salvado (Uganda)

Benson Nana Yaw Oduro Boateng a.k.a. Funny Face (Ghana)

Trevor Gumbi (South Africa)

Francis Agoda, aka I Go Die (Nigeria)

Siyabonga Radebe (South Africa)

Eddie Kadi (DR Congo)

Kagiso Lediga (South Afric)

 Bovi (Nigeria)

Tumi Morake (South Africa)

 

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Legal Matters

By A.G. Kleijweg

 

Dear TAB Readers,

 

With matters of immigration law, it is not always bad news; sometimes I can bring good news to the readers’ attention.  In this article, I bring to your attention few important issues. Some are good news while others are only informative or warning. 

 

Read more on line

Other articles in this edition

 

Read the full text of articles below:

 Africa News

  • 2.25m displaced in South Sudan

  • Zambian govt closes Copperbelt University

  • Gambia passed controversial election bill 2015

  • Kenya to build 700-km barrier along Somali border

  • Cameroon bans wearing of burqa

  • Africa creates largest free-trade zone

 Dutch News

  • New laws in The Netherlands

  • Studying abroad to become more attractive

  • New radio station licences - longer validity, fewer rules

  • Distinction for top achievers at secondary school

  • Dutch govt demands action on corruption in Benin

    Belgium News

    • Secret Swiss accounts bring 540m euro into treasury

    • More Belgians receiving medical treatment abroad

    • Brussels is 3rd richest region in the EU

    • "30,000 Brussels residents leave every year"

    • "Watch out for high doses of vitamins and minerals”

    • “New metro line by 2021”

     Sports News 

    • “I’m not a messiah: Nigeria’s new national coach

    • Frenchman named as new Ivory Coast coach

    • Emmanuel Emenike replaces Asamoah Gyan at Al Ain

    • 14 clubs to participate in Togolese football league

    • Kenya beats Algeria to clinch African volleyball crown

    • Harambee Stars secure US$5 million deal

    • ..And More

    Other News

    • Niger and Senegal win FAO awards

    • ‘I had sex with a pilot as he was flying the plane’

    • Man in wheelchair robs bank

    • ... And More 























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