Durban’s 2010 stadium set to open

first_img1 October 2009Standing on the newly laid pitch, with the signature arch soaring overhead and the 56 000 permanent seats all in place, one can almost see the crowds taking their seats and feel the excitement growing in Durban’s dramatic new multi-purpose stadium.It’s just weeks to go now until completion of the city’s Moses Mabhida Stadium, which will seat 69 000 people during the 2010 Fifa World Cup and host seven matches, including a semi-final, during the tournament.At the height of construction of the stadium, there were over 2 500 workers on site, but on a quiet Sunday morning only a handful of workers are left, erecting balustrades, putting the last touches to the venue offices, and cleaning up walkways and access areas.“We are just weeks away from a complete stadium now,” says head of Durban/eThekwini municipality’s 2010 programme, Julie May Ellingson. “Then it’s over to Fifa and the Organising Committee to get it operationally ready for a World Cup; but the plan is to open it up to Durban citizens long before.”Finalists in a local schools World Cup competition will be the lucky teams to be the first to step out onto the new turf to mark the stadium’s opening in front of the city’s residents on 28 November 2009.This will be followed the day after with a match between two yet-to-be-announced Premier Soccer League (PSL) sides. A number of concerts and further PSL matches are planned from January to May 2010 to give the stadium the “stress tests” it needs to ensure it is operationally ready for football’s greatest showpiece in June 2010.Stadium precinctThe focus now shifts to the stadium precinct projects and ensuring that fans, players and the media can easily access the stadium on match day.Durbanites are renowned for making the most of a sporting match day. When residents of the city attend a football, cricket or rugby match, they get to the venue hours before, parking in adjacent fields and setting up braais (barbeques) alongside their cars for pre-and post-match festivities which often go into the early hours of the next morning.To ensure this spirit is maintained, numerous park-and-ride and park-and-walk facilities are planned, and some R250-million is being spent on upgrading the beach promenade and extending the walkway from the beach all the way to the stadium.Fans will also be conveniently transported to the stadium by rail, with a new train station adjacent to the stadium currently under construction.“For us as a city it was always very important that the stadium is financially viable after 2010,” says Ellingson. “For this reason we have built a multi-functional stadium that can serve the needs of football, rugby and athletics.People’s ParkA “People’s Park” is also being developed adjacent to the stadium, which will be one of the hubs of spectator festivities during the tournament.“We have worked hard to ensure that the entire precinct becomes an area used by the residents of the city,” says Ellingson. “The People’s Park is an important legacy project for us. This park is a green space next to the stadium which includes two training fields, a running and cycling track, a children’s playground and a tea garden.“Residents and visitors can also ride a cable car to the top of the arch, or climb the 550 steps, for spectacular 365-degree views of the adjacent Indian Ocean and the city.“For the adventure junkies, there will also be a bungee swing from the stadium’s arch.”The stadium will also feature 72 000m² of retail space and a gym, to help ensure that it is used for more than just sporting events and becomes a constantly bustling asset of the city.Source: 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa Organising Committeelast_img read more

Ex leaders of Ghana, Brazil lauded

first_imgRay Maota According to the World Food Prize Foundation, the implementation of the Agricultural Extension Service led to Ghana’s cocoa production doubling between 2002 and 2005. (Image: Flickr) Past presidents of Ghana and Brazil, John Agyekum Kufuor and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, have been awarded the 2011 World Food Prize for alleviating hunger and poverty in their respective countries during their terms in office.(Images: The World Food Prize) MEDIA CONTACTS • Megan Forgrave  World Food Prize Foundation:  Director of Communications  +515 245 3794 RELATED ARTICLES • Bumper maize crop for SA • Quality inputs for Kenya’s farmers • Africa: Serious about food • Ghana’s world first in legal timberPast presidents of Ghana and Brazil, John Agyekum Kufuor and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, have been awarded the 2011 World Food Prize for alleviating hunger and poverty in their respective countries during their terms in office.The international accolade is awarded to individuals who have ensured human development by improving food quality, quantity and availability.Kufuor and Da Silva have both been hailed for initiating and implementing political policies that helped address poverty and hunger in their countries through public- and private-sector interventions.The two were named World Food Prize laureates at a ceremony on 21 June 2011 in Washington DC. They will share the US$250 000 (R1.7-million) prize money.Kufuor has praised his government’s policies on agriculture for maximising food security in Ghana.He said: “Whilst in government I knew that poverty and hunger went hand in hand and so my government tried very hard to lift our country out of that bracket. Especially in line with the Millennium Development Goals, the first item was to fight against hunger and poverty.“We tried to improve agricultural production because over 60% of our people are rural and they live on agriculture. There is so much unemployment at home so we thought if we improved agriculture, modernised and commercialised it, we will be fighting against unemployment and poverty and along with it hunger, and I think we went some way.”According to the World Food Prize Foundation, Ghana saw a reduction in its poverty rate from 51.7% in 1991 to 26.5% in 2008, and hunger was reduced from 34% in 1990 to 9% in 2004.Kenneth Quinn, president of the World Food Prize Foundation, said: “President Kufuor and President Da Silva have set a powerful example for other political leaders in the world. Thanks to their personal commitment and visionary leadership, both Ghana and Brazil are on track to exceed the UN Millennium Development Goal 1, which is to cut in half extreme hunger before 2015.”Da Silva will be honoured for the implementation of his Zero Hunger strategy during his tenure as president of Brazil.He said: “I am really moved to know Brazil was chosen as a country that achieved good policies regarding agriculture and hunger. Brazil has a lot to show in the area of food security and we want to share our experience with other countries, especially with African countries and poor countries in Latin America, with both our technical knowledge and from the point of view of food productivity and distribution.”Strategies applied by the two countriesThe former president of Ghana initiated reforms including the Food and Agriculture Sector Development Policy, which heightened public investments in the agricultural and food sector.The Agricultural Extension Service was brought back under Kufuor’s tenure as president, which educated producers on the best farming practices.According to the World Food Prize Foundation, the implementation of the Agricultural Extension Service led to Ghana’s cocoa production doubling between 2002 and 2005, and food crops such as maize, cassava, yams and plantains increased significantly, as well as livestock production.The Ghana School Feeding Programme ensures that one nutritious, locally produced meal is given to scholars each day.These reforms led to the US Millennium Challenge Corporation giving Ghana an award of $547-million (R3.7-billion) in 2006.Brazil’s Da Silva initiated reforms through his Zero Hunger strategy, which included subsidising families through cash aid so they could afford essential basics.Child malnutrition was reduced through the School Feeding Programme, which provides nutritious meals to all children in Brazil’s public school system. By 2010 the programme was serving 47-million scholars.According to the World Food Prize Foundation, child malnutrition fell 61.9% between 2003 and 2009 in Brazil, and all age groups experienced improved access to quality food.The Food Purchase Programme boosted rural development by acquiring food directly from small farmers.last_img read more

Microsoft to Unveil Multiple iPad Challengers, With Keyboards & HTML5, Next Month

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#news#web Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer will unveil multiple new models of tablet computers aimed to challenge the iPad at the Consumer Electronics Show next month in Las Vegas, according to detailed reporting tonight by Nick Bilton at the New York Times.Unnamed sources familiar with the tablets told Bilton that they will run the Windows 7 Operating System, include a slide-out physical keyboard, apps written in HTML5 and distributed app distribution, without a curated app store model. Analysts have called this an essential move for months, but this isn’t quite the type of tablet that some expected.Bilton reports that Microsoft has partnered with Samsung, Dell and other companies to produce tablets that will be announced at CES. Balmer said publicly in July that a new Windows tablet would be available “very soon.”Market analysts Forrester said last Spring that a Windows 7 Tablet was essential, “Microsoft needs a partner to produce a successful Windows tablet that competes with the Apple iPad. At stake is nothing less than the future of the operating system (OS): For Microsoft to remain relevant to consumers, it needs to adapt its operating system to new form factors beyond the traditional PC.”The same Forrester report argued against the “no app store” model that Bilton reports Microsoft has chosen. A Windows 7 tablet can only compete if Microsoft embraces Curated Computing by providing a simple, streamlined, guided experience for consumers, drawing on the design strengths of other Microsoft products like the Zune HD and the Kin. A Microsoft tablet that synchs with the Xbox 360 — with all the implied benefits, including the Natal [now called Kinect] interface — would be a killer hub for the digital home, enabling back-and-forth streaming of videos and games that one-ups the capabilities of the iPad and makes Microsoft relevant for the next decade.It’s a Big MarketIt’s hardly a surprise that Microsoft is making a big push in the tablet space. Next month will mark the 10 year anniversary of Microsoft’s tablet PC products, which experienced far, far less success than Apple’s iPad. The iPad quickly became the fastest-adopted consumer electronics product in history and remade the entire category. In terms of absolute sales, Microsoft’s Kinect now challenges the iPad for the top consumer electronics device crown, as the company predicted pre-launch that it would.Can Microsoft challenge the iPad on its own turf? If it can combine productivity and fun with a responsive interface and an active apps ecosystem, it might put up a good fight. That’s a tall order to fill, though. The company’s willingness to work with multiple hardware vendors already sets it apart from the tightly controlled supply chain that produces the very polished iPad.That strategy has worked, clearly, in the world of PCs – but when the game changer in tablets shines brightest in hardware quality and aesthetics, farming out the hardware seems a riskier strategy.center_img Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting marshall kirkpatricklast_img read more