Pogoy, Rice power TNT

first_imgBritain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to give up royal titles Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ Kelly Williams finished with 18 points to complement Rice’s scoring while Ranidel de Ocampo added 14.Pogoy and Jayson Castro also finished in twin digits with 13 and 11 points, respectively.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ What’s in store for your animal sign this year Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Duterte hails PH athletes LATEST STORIES Roger Pogoy gave TNT a late-game buffer after his inside bank shot put the KaTropa up 107-101 with 1:46 left in the game and import Glen Rice Jr. secured the victory by picking off Brandon Brown’s pass at the 40-second mark.Rice not only willed TNT to victory with his 38-point, 9-rebound, 5-assist line, he also bounced back from his subpar PBA debut.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’“We went to this game with the hope of Glen playing a lot better than he played the last game, and today he did,” said TNT head coach Nash Racela.In the second game, San Miguel Beer rallied to a 115-112 victory over GlobalPort. Police seize P68-M worth of ‘shabu’ in Pasaycenter_img Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson National Historical team rescues Amorsolos, artifacts from Taal Bishop Baylon encourages faithful in Albay to help Taal evacuees Search on for 5 Indonesians snatched anew in Lahad Datu PBA IMAGESTNT KaTropa bounced back from a sorry defeat to repulse Phoenix Petroleum, 110-103, for its third win in the PBA Governors’ Cup Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.The Texters moved a game out of .500 and improved to 3-2 as they redeemed themselves after a humiliating 104-73 defeat to Rain or Shine.ADVERTISEMENT Hotdog’s Dennis Garcia dies View commentslast_img read more

Open Letter to the European Union, Carter Center and the United States Embassy Accredited…

first_img– Advertisement – Josiah Flomo Joekai, Jr. BA, MA By Josiah Flomo Joekai, Jr.Your Excellences:I have followed with keen interest the opinions expressed by your respective missions regarding the conduct of the October 10, 2017 Legislative and Presidential Elections maintaining that the process was conducted in a free, fair and transparent manner. Absolutely, the independent opinion of reputable missions such as yours is crucial in determining the credibility and integrity of any given election. While Liberians welcome this important contribution to the sustenance of our nascent democracy, let me also underscore that the fundamental criteria to guarantee the credibility of an election is for the Electoral Management Body to conduct every aspect of the process consistent with the established legal framework. That is why your respective countries and missions have never wavered in any uncertain terms the importance of upholding the rule of law, which is essentially required.I can vividly recall classic instances such as the US election in 2000 in which George W. Bush and Al Gore ended up in court for vote rigging and massive irregularities. In the Ghanaian election in 2012, Nana Akufo Addo and John Dramani Mahama ended up in court as well, and currently there is an ongoing legal process into election related fraud issues arising from the 2016 election that brought Trump to power. This in my candid opinion reflects the respect for the rule of law and has eventually delivered to Americans and Ghanaians the deserving verdicts that have consolidated democracy in their respective countries.Contrary to a call to unconditionally uphold this principle in keeping with our legal framework, recent statements from your missions declaring the October polls free, fair and transparent have already prejudiced the ongoing legal process. In particular, your call for a runoff election ahead of the conclusion of the matter which is before the National Elections Commission has rendered the process needless. Judging from public opinion, many Liberians are now beginning to lose faith in the legal process, which has serious implications for the future of our embryonic democracy.However, consistent with your call for the National Elections Commission to address the numerous problems that beset the October polls before any runoff election, I would like to propose the following as necessary preconditions:IssuesThe National Elections Commission under the Chairmanship of Jerome G. Korkoya lacks the integrity to independently manage the Presidential Runoff Election.The Commission under his leadership has not demonstrated any semblance of capacity and credibility to impartially conduct the Presidential Runoff Election. The Board of Commissioners has no coherence, as many policy decisions are made unilaterally by Chairman Korkoya as opposed to the collective power the Commission has. The lack of effective leadership at the NEC speaks to the gross inefficiencies which accounts for the messy conduct and mismanagement of the October 10, 2017 elections. You do not need a rocket scientist to know the magnitude of irregularities and possible fraud that attended the elections.The disorderly conduct of the 2017 voter registration exercise which culminated in a roll that lacks integrity, contributed to the reported gross irregularities and fraud which overwhelmed the October 10, 2017 polls. The roll remains a potential source of electoral fraud; something which could eventually fester conflict. The failure of the current leadership to make appropriate use of the system established by its predecessor has proven counterproductive and the entire country is now confronted by the consequences therefrom.The Voter Roll (Final Registration Roll) lacks the credibility to be used for the conduct of the impending Presidential Runoff Election. It is now established that the current voter roll, which is the Final Registration Roll (FRR), has serious problems and therefore must not be used for the conduct of the ensuing Presidential Runoff Election. The FRR does not account for all registered voters evidenced by the omission of the particulars of several registered voters reported by the National Elections Commission (NEC) and other professional data analysts. The NEC itself has denied this fact. More so, Chairman Korkoya is on record for informing the Liberians Senate that there were 13000 omissions on the roll. Although this number represents a gross understatement of the fact, Liberians are yet to know whether or not the issue was addressed prior to the elections.The roll has several duplicate names due to the registration of individuals multiple times by the NEC during the voter registration exercise which led to the circulation of several illegal voter registration cards. This created the floodgate for the illegal voting that took place on October 10, 2017.The creation of a separate roll that can only be accessed through a Short Message System (SMS) managed and operated by the NEC alone was the basis for serious conflict during the October 10, 2017 elections. There were many voters whose particulars were confirmed using the SMS but omitted from the FRR as experienced on Election Day. This situation again contributed to illegal voting as some voters in this category were allowed to vote but with their names written on addenda. Others were simply denied because of the omission of their particulars. You can only imagine in rural areas where illiterate voters did not have access to the technology to verify their particulars; they were prevented from exercising their democratic franchise.By all accounts, the 2.1 million registered voters as claimed by the NEC is unrealistic. This number does not in any way represent the actual number of registered voters in the country thereby rendering the voter roll impracticable.Since the October 10, 2017 elections, no action has been taken by any measure to address this grave issue.Recommendations for Timely ConsiderationReplace Chairman Jerome G. Korkoya with Commissioner Jonathan K. Weedor or Jeanette Ebba-Davidson who are the longest serving and most knowledgeable commissioners currently serving on the Board (i. e. the Commission). They are capable of presiding over the conduct of a runoff election that will be deemed credible.Replace the Executive Director, Lamin Lighe, with one of the many capable technicians who will impartially oversee the implementation of electoral activities. The orchestrations and manipulations at the Commission are the direct results of the bad leadership style of the Chairman and his Executive Director.ECOWAS should deploy counterparts at two levels at the NEC for the joint organization and conduct of the runoff election. Deploy at the NEC for the period of the runoff election, two former chairpersons of Electoral Commissions preferably from Africa (Afari Gyan of Ghana and Christiana Thorpe of Sierra Leone) to work directly with the current Board of Commissioners. This is an acceptable practice that has contributed to the conduct of credible elections in Africa. In 2011, through the support of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), the former Chairman of the Ghanaian Electoral Commission, Afari Gyan, was a counterpart to Board of Commissioners of the National Elections Commission of Liberia.Deploy in the NEC Data Center David Colliee, who is a certified Data Software Developer and has diligently served in that capacity during our past two elections. Although he now has an international duty, but I have no doubt that his current employer will spare him few weeks to respond to a call to serve his country in these critical times of our democratic transition. In addition, External data developers, managers and analysts (Preferably from South Africa and Ghana) who have worked with our system before should be deployed in the NEC Data Center to oversee the data collection and analysis component of the runoff election.Do a thorough vetting of NEC poll workers with the aim of replacing those who lack the commitment, capacity and basic understanding of the roles and responsibilities of poll workers.Clean the voter roll in three weeks to have a credible roll for the runoff election. This process will require running a de-duplication program to rid the roll of all duplicate names. By this action, you will address the duplicate names that have inundated the roll thereby preventing people from voting more than once or multiple times. This same action was effected on the 2011 FRR and the Commission identified and recommended to the Ministry of Justice for removal from the roll and prosecution, 10,468 duplicate names. This is possible.Abolish the SMS service/program designed and operated by the NEC but include on the roll individuals who legitimately registered once but their particulars were omitted. Maintain and use only the FRR from this process for the conduct of the runoff election.I have no doubt that when these measures are appropriately instituted, Liberians will have a Presidential Runoff Election that will be acclaimed nationally and internationally as free, fair and transparent.Respectfully yours,Josiah Flomo Joekai, Jr., BA, MAFormer Special Assistant to the Chairman of NECFormer Director of Civic and Voter Education of NECCandidate, Electoral District #3, Montserrado CountyMobile Phone Numbers 0776258265&0555258265Email Address: josiahfjoekaijr@gmail.comShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

No mention of Alger Hiss contained in Soviet files

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! NEW YORK – A Russian researcher, delving anew into once-secret Soviet files from the Cold War, says she has found no evidence that Alger Hiss spied or that Soviet intelligence had any particular interest in him. In a speech to be delivered at a New York University symposium today, Svetlana A. Chervonnaya says neither Hiss’ name nor his alleged spy moniker, Ales, appears in any of dozens of documents from Soviet archives that she has reviewed since the early 1990s. Calling her efforts “proving the negative,” Chervonnaya says “a thorough combing of all the said archives combined has not produced a shred of evidence that Alger Hiss had ever been a member of the (American) Communist Party and was engaged in any behind-the-scenes interactions with the Soviets.” Hiss, a top State Department official who played a key role in founding the United Nations, was convicted of perjury in 1950 for lying about being a Soviet spy. He served nearly four years of a five-year federal prison sentence and died at age 92 in 1996.last_img read more

Women’s Basketball Hosts Annual Media Day

first_imgStory Links The Drake University women’s basketball team hosted its annual media day on Thursday, Oct. 20, meeting with the local media to preview the upcoming 2016-17 season. Drake head coach Jennie Baranczyk enters her fifth season with nine returning players plus three freshmen. Seniors Caitlin Ingle and Lizzy Wendell were the Missouri Valley Conference’s top assist and scoring leaders, respectively, last season. Ingle handed out 6.9 assists per game while Wendell poured in 19.6 points a game. The pair helped Drake finish 23-10 season as the team recorded its second-straight 20+plus win season, a feat that hadn’t been done since the 2000-01 and 2001-02 seasons. The Bulldogs qualified for postseason play for the second-consecutive year, advancing to the second round of the WNIT. The 23 wins are the most for the program since 2007-08. Drake hosts exhibition games against Winona State (Nov. 1) and MidAmerica Nazarene (Nov. 5) before starting the 2016-17 regular season at North Dakota on Nov. 11. Photo Gallery center_img Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

PETER BAFFLES THE DOCS TO NOTCH UP HIS 100TH MARATHON

first_imgA Donegal man who was told by surgeons to stop running a number of years ago notched up his 100th marathon today!Peter celebrates with his 100th marathon medal!When Peter McGlynn underwent a quadruple heart by-pass after completing his 67th marathon, most thought his race days were behind him.A round of golf or a spot of fishing were probably what the doctor ordered. But those who knew the Letterkenny man allowed themselves a gentle smile at the thought of Peter throwing his runners into a cupboard to gather dust.But the Bomany man is no ordinary athlete.So when he completed his 100th such race this afternoon in Longford, some weren’t that surprised at all.As the former HSE employee puts it ‘They told me to perhaps not run another marathon but they said nothing about walking them.” Peter can be seen tramping the streets in and around Letterkenny and into the wider countryside most days.Peter celebrates with his friend Seamus Temple at the finish line today.If he’s not with his trusted friends Seamus Temple and Jimmy Harte, he’s alone but always raising a hand to the endless motorists who salute him.Today he nipped in under the six hour mark and told Donegal Daily he was delighted having reached a century of marathons.The ever-competitive athlete said “We were over three hours at the half-way stage so we had plenty of ground to make up.“I’m delighted we did and I’m delighted to have completed one hundred marathons. I feel great but I am tired. “I need a bit of a rest before I can even think of celebrating,” he said.Peter was met at the finish line by his friend and fellow marathon man Seamus Temple of Crievesmith, Letterkenny.At 70 years young Seamus completed the half marathon version of the race in preparation for the Dublin City Marathon in October.His friend Senator Jimmy Harte was also one of the first to congratulate Peter. Today Donegal Daily salutes Peter.He’s an inspiration to young and old that life is for living and not sitting around growing old.PETER BAFFLES THE DOCS TO NOTCH UP HIS 100TH MARATHON was last modified: August 25th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:heart by-passletterkennyMarathonPeter McGlynnlast_img read more

Mac CUMHAILL’S BOYS DO COUNTY PROUD AT FEILE

first_imgBy Alan Martin, MacCumhaills: Having won the County Under 13 Championship, Sean Mac Cumhaills represented Donegal in the All Ireland Feil Na Peil that took place in Connacht last weekend.Our host club were Ballaghaderreen in County Roscommon.Our first match was against Shamrock Gaels on on Friday evening in Ballintober. The lads made a slow start and were two points up at half time. They settled well in the second half and won on a scoreline line of 4-07 to 1-03. Next up were Wexford champions Naomh Eanna. This time the boys started brilliantly and continued in the same vein for the rest of the match. Final score was 6-04 to 1-02. The lads returned to their host houses after the matches. Saturday morning saw us pitted against our host club Ballaghderreen. A win would leave us top of the table and automatic qualification into the Quarter Finals. Again the lads turned on the style and were comfortable winners, 6-06 to 1-06. The team returned again to the host houses to rest up for the evening quarter final.Our opposition were a much fancied team from Roscommon called Clg Oran. Mac Cumhaills got off to a great start and were 8 points up at half time. The second half was a joy to behold as Mac Cumhaills kept Oran scoreless whilst scoring at will themselves. Full time was 6-07 to 1-02.We returned to Durkins Hotel in Ballaghderrreen where the lads were fed and presentations were made to the host families. We were also treated to a wonderful Irish Dancing display by 4 times world Champion Ronan Kelly.Sunday morning saw the team travel to the Connacht Centre of Excellence were all the Semi Finals and Finals were taking place. Gac All Saints from Ballymena were the team drawn against us. We had a huge travelling support down from Donegal to cheer on the lads. We started brilliantly scoring three points on the trot. All Saints settled and scored two back. In the last min of the first half All Saints scored a goal which left us two points down at half time. The second half was very tight. Unfortunately it was one of those days were nothing fell right for us. The lads busted themselves trying to level the match but there was a goal between the teams in the end. All Saints 1-04 Mac Cumhaills 0-04. The lads can hold their heads up high as they have done the club and county proud, on and off the pitch over the weekend. Well done to all the lads and management. Mac CUMHAILL’S BOYS DO COUNTY PROUD AT FEILE was last modified: July 1st, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:BallybofeyFeile 2014GAAMacCumhaillslast_img read more

PICTURE THIS – DONEGAL SEWERAGE SCHEME OFFICE IS NOW AN ART GALLERY!

first_imgArtist Sarah Duddy and new Assisi GAllery owners in Rossnowlagh Paul and Sarah Keogh with their sons Thomas and Michael.An office once used as an area headquarters for a sewerage scheme is reopening this weekend as a beautifully converted art gallery.The little building directly opposite the Franciscan Friary in Rossnowlagh will be called The Assisi Gallery and will be opened on Friday evening at 7pm.The inaugural exhibition will feature the abstract work titled Imaginarium Aquarium of award-winning artist Sarah Duddy. The building, which has been empty for some time, was spotted by Londoner Paul Keogh and his Armagh-born artist wife Catherine during a weekend break in Rossnowlagh.The couple lived in Northern Ireland and Paul was painting and decorating a holiday home in Rossnowlagh for a friend.Catherine and their boys Thomas, seven, and Michael, five, were with him for the weekend and they had been on the beach.Paul said: “Catherine said ‘I could get used to it here’. She pointed to the building opposite the friary and added ‘that could be my art gallery and upstairs could be my art studio’.” Next morning as they came out of Mass they saw a “to let” sign on the building. The rest is already history. They agreed a price with the owner and decided to send their boys to Creevy National School down the road.Catherine graduated from the University of Ulster and Sarah Duddy worked with her.Catherine said: “It is going to be a permanent art gallery and an art studio as well.“I want to help others have exhibitions here, as well as doing my own painting and having an exhibition of my own work.“We may put in four or five tables and have a little café for all the pilgrims coming here on a cold winter’s day. “We aim to create a community atmosphere here.”Upstairs has been converted into a small holiday apartment to let.PICTURE THIS – DONEGAL SEWERAGE SCHEME OFFICE IS NOW AN ART GALLERY! was last modified: July 2nd, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegalRossnowlaghThe Assisi Gallerylast_img read more

Mustafah Kizza, Geoffrey Wasswa nominated as full list for Airtel-FUFA Awards nominees is reveled

first_img Tags: Aritel-FUFA AwardsFUFAgeoffrey wasswaMustapha Kiizatop Byamukama assured everyone that the awards’ organisation is going to plan (Photos by FUFA Media)MENGO – With the Airtel-FUFA Awards gala only over a week away, the complete list of nominees has been released.This was on Wednesday at FUFA House in Mengo where the Chairman of the organizing committee, Mr. Rogers Byamukama assured the football fraternity that everything is currently going as planned.“As the organizing committee, everything is according to plan and the run down to the awards night is still on the right path, said Byamukama.“We urge the public to continue voting for their favorite players both in the male and female categories because your votes count.Some of the categories where nominees were revealed include; FUFA Upcoming talent strictly for players featuring in the FUFA  U-19 Juniors League, FUFA Most Promising Player (from the StarTimes Uganda Premier League between the age of 20 and 23) and FUFA coach of the year.The other categories include FUFA Referee of the year, FUFA beach soccer player of the year and FUFA Upcoming referee of the year (who officiate in the FUFA Juniors League).During the same press briefing, it was also revealed that BBS TV will broadcast the awards function live. Alice Namatovu, the BBS TV head of marketing promised that they will offer the best service.“BBS Terefayina appreciates the fact that FUFA has once again trusted us to offer broadcasting services, said Namatovu.“We have worked well on the previous games including Uganda vs Tanzania, Lesotho and Cape Verde and therefore want to assure the public that we shall give quality production of the event.BBS Terefayina’s Namatovu speaking to the press on WednesdayThe Awards are sponsored by Airtel who are also the main sponsors of the Uganda Cranes. The other partners include; Nile Special, NIC Holdings, BIDCO Uganda Limited, Ecobank, Bet Lion, 102.1 FUFA FM, PostBank, Pepsi Uganda and Uganda Premier League Secretariat.Full List of Nominees and Categories:Airtel FUFA Male Player of the year:Allan Okello – KCCA FC (Code 10)Vianne Ssekajugo – Onduparaka FC (Code 30)Moses Waiswa – Vipers SC (Code 20)To vote for the above, go to your phone, type FUFA leave a space, player’s code and send to 8888Airtel FUFA Female Player of the year:Shadia Nankya – Uganda Martyrs High School Lubaga (Code 50)Ruth Aturo- UCU Lady Cardinals (Code 60)Tracy Jones Akiror – Kawempe Muslim (Code 70)To vote for your favorite female player go to your phone, type FUFA, Leave a space, player’s code and send to 8888FUFA Upcoming Talent (FUFA Juniors League)Sadat Anaku – KCCA Soccer AcademyThomas Kakaire- Bright Stars Junior TeamIdd AbduWahid – Onduparaka FC Junior teamFUFA Most Promising Player (From StarTIMES Uganda League and under the age of 23)Musitafa Kiiza – KCCA FCGeoffrey Wasswa- Vipers SCFred Amaku – Kirinya Jinja SSFUFA Coach of the yearMike Mutebi – KCCA FCAyub Khalifa – Kawempe MuslimMiguel Da Costa – Formerly at Vipers SCAlex Isabirye – Kyetme FCRaymond Timothy Komakech – Ndejje University FCFUFA Best XIComposed of players from the StarTimes Uganda Premier LeagueFUFA Presidential Award- Recipient of this award is selected by FUFA President.FUFA Fair Play AwardThe Award will go to the team with the least number of yellow and red cards last season in the StarTimes Uganda Premier League.FUFA Individual Fair Play AwardThe award will go to an individual who exhibited high levels of sportsmanship spirit that promoted fair play.FUFA Referee of the yearMark SsonkoBrian Miiro NsubugaShamirah NabaddaAlex MuhabiMashood Ssali FUFA Upcoming Referee of the year (From FUFA Juniors League)Herbert BwiireHaula NamusokeBill KitibwaShamirah NabukenyaZamuyati KawalaFUFA Beach Soccer Player of the yearMeddie Kibirige – IsabetIsaac Eshioke – KIUSuleiman Ochero- St. Lawrence UniversityFans’ Favorite Ugandan Player of the yearThis award will be determined by fans. It is limited to Ugandans irrespective of where they are playing their club football. To vote: Type FANUG leave a space player’s name and send to 8888Fans Favorite Ugandan Player (Foreign Based)This award will also be determined by the fans. This is limited to Ugandan players plying their trade outside Uganda.  To vote type FANS, leave space Club and name of player and send to 8888.Fan of the yearThis award will be determined by Uganda Premier League SecretariatComments last_img read more

Antonio Brown returns to Raiders, but when will he practice again? ‘Stay tuned’

first_imgNAPA — Antonio Brown made his first appearance at Raiders training camp in a week Tuesday and although his grievance with the NFL regarding his choice of helmet is over, it remains unknown when he’ll be healthy enough to practice again after he suffered frostbite in his foot last month.“You guys are going to have to stay tuned for that,” Brown said.At approximately 11:05 a.m., Brown, with cameras from HBO’s “Hard Knocks” in tow, walked onto the far side of the practice field and in the …last_img read more

SA’s hotels attract investors

first_img18 June 2007With South Africa’s tourism industry registering healthy growth and the 2010 Fifa World Cup still to come, it’s little wonder that local hospitality groups are attracting increasing attention from foreign investors.In the latest of a string of investments in the local industry, Leisurecorp has announced the purchase of the 170-hectare Pearl Valley Signature Golf Estate & Spa development in the Western Cape for an undisclosed amount.Leisurecorp is a division of Istithmar, the investment arm of Dubai World, and a partner in the consortium that bought out one of Africa’s prime properties, the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town, in September last year.‘Huge potential’Leisurecorp chief executive David Spencer told Business Report this week that the course designed by golfing great Jack Nicklaus would host the SA Open Championship later in the year and was regarded as one of the best in the country, with “huge potential” for further development.In May, Belgium-based Rezidor Hotel Group announced that it would open a hotel in Sandton, north of Johannesburg, in late 2008, featuring 256 rooms and 27 suites.The Radisson Sandton will be located in the heart of South Africa’s financial centre, in close proximity to the JSE, Sandton Convention Centre and Sandton City shopping mall and within easy distance of OR Tambo International Airport.“South Africa is an upcoming destination for business and leisure travellers,” Rezidor CEO Kurt Ritter said in a statement.“The government has prioritised tourism as a key economic sector, and international arrivals increase continuously – we are expecting new heights in 2010 when the country hosts the Fifa World Cup,” Ritter added.Four new Express by Holiday InnsAlso in May, UK-based InterContinental Hotel Group announced that they had entered into partnership with Cape Town-based ISO Leisure to develop four new Express by Holiday Inn hotels in South Africa.The four hotels will be situated in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria and Umhlanga outside Durban, and will be built between 2007 and 2009.InterContinental’s announcement was “indicative of our confidence in the country’s economic prospects and stability,” said InterContinental vice-president for Africa development, Ewan Cameron.In March, Australia-based Stella Group purchased Africa’s biggest hotel chain, Protea Hotels, from local private investors for Aus$255-million (about R1.48-billion).The acquisition gives the Stella Group access to more than 9 000 rooms in 126 hotels in 13 countries around Africa. Another 3 000 rooms will be added to Protea Hotels by the end of 2008/09.“As the leading independent hotel management group in Africa, Protea Hotels is an excellent acquisition for Stella Group, rounding out an important geographic region in the company’s international profile,” said Stella Group MD Rolf Krecklenberg.Up to eight new luxury hotelsAlso in March, Germany’s Arabella Hotel Holdings International and US-based Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide announced plans to build as many as eight luxury hotels in South Africa, with at least two expected to be operational in time for the 2010 World Cup.However, by far the largest foreign investment in SA’s hospitality industry to date occurred in September 2006, when Istithmar partnered with UK-based London and Regional Properties to buy the iconic Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town for US$1-billion.The deal includes an additional $1-billion investment in further development of the Waterfront, including increasing the number of hotels there.Prior to that, in March 2006, Kuwait-based IFA Hotels & Resorts (IFAHR) listed two South African subsidiaries on the JSE. IFAHR South Africa owns Zimbali Lodge on KwaZulu-Natal’s north coast, and a 50% stake in the multi-million rand Zimbali Coastal Resort, which combines hotels, golf courses and luxury residences and leisure facilities.A 300-hectare extension to the resort, Zimbali Lakes, is due to be substantially complete in time for the 2010 Football World Cup.Record-breaking growthAccording to the latest official figures, South Africa’s foreign tourist arrivals grew by 14% in 2006, three times the global tourism growth rate of 4.5%.Tourism to South Africa has flourished since the fall of apartheid: while only 3-million foreign visitors visited the country in 1994, the number had more than doubled to 6.7-million by 2004, and increased to a record 8.4-million in 2006.According to the Department of Tourism, tourism’s contribution to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew from 4.6% in 1993 to 8.3% in 2006, and the government is looking to further increase its contribution to 12% of GDP by 2014.Hosting the Fifa 2010 World Cup, the largest sporting event in the world, will bring in tens of thousands of additional tourists not only to watch the matches, but also to be part of the celebratory atmosphere around the country.SouthAfrica.info reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more