Rockets Stock Report: After struggling to get above .500 during the onset of the season, the Rockets are riding the … Reigning MVP James Harden brings his historic scoring run to the Bay Area and will be looking for his second straight win over the Warriors this season Thursday evening.Here’s everything you need to know about the matchup. When/Where: Oracle Arena, 7:30 (NBCSBA, TNT)Rockets projected starters: James Harden, Austin Rivers, Clint Capela, Danuel House Jr., PJ Tucker.
29 May 2013Africa’s economic outlook for 2013 and 2014 is promising, confirming its healthy resilience to internal and external shocks and its role as a growth pole in an ailing global economy, according to the African Economic Outlook 2013, released on Monday.The report is produced annually by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the OECD Development Centre, the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP).According to the report, Africa’s economy is projected to grow by 4.8% in 2013 and accelerate further to 5.3% in 2014.At the same time, the report shows that this growth has been accompanied by insufficient poverty reduction, persisting unemployment, increased income inequalities and, in some countries, deteriorating levels of health and education.The report argues that African countries should tap into their natural resource wealth to accelerate the pace of growth and ensure that the process can benefit ordinary Africans.“Now is the time to step up the tempo of economic transformation, so that African economies become more competitive and create more gainful jobs”, say the authors of the report, adding that “widening the sources of economic activity is fundamental to meeting this challenge”.Africa’s agricultural, mining and energy resources could boost the continent’s economic growth and pave the way for a breakthrough in human development, the report states.“Growth is not enough”, Mario Pezzini, director at the OECD Development Centre, said in a statement. “African countries must provide the right conditions for turning natural resources into jobs, optimise their resource revenues through smart taxation and help investors and locals to make the most of linkages.”According to the report, four key elements are needed to achieve this objective. Firstly, African countries should create the right conditions for such a transformation to take place, including infrastructure, education and the creation of larger and more competitive markets.“Access to markets is fundamental to structural transformation based on natural resources: regional integration and better access to the markets of large partners could open new opportunities for all”, said Emmanuel Nnadozie, director of the macroeconomic policy division at the ECA.Secondly, the report argues, Africa’s primary sectors “require sound land management, balanced and effective tax systems and the right mechanisms and incentives to cause an acceleration and diversification of the sources of growth”.In the agricultural sector for instance, transport, fertilizers and more resistant seeds are required for an increase in productivity. Africa has 24 percent of the world’s agricultural land, but accounts for only 9 percent of its production.Thirdly, African governments and investors “must ensure that a fair share of the proceeds from natural resources and extractive industries accrue to society: for example, they should be invested in people’s capacities to take up new jobs in promising sectors.”Finally, the report suggests that African countries can foster change and economic diversification actively, for example through corridors of development around power, transport and communication lines. Stable and transparent use of budgets is key to achieving this goal.“Now is the time”, said Mthuli Ncube, chief economist and vice-president of the African Development Bank. “After 10 years of improved stability, sound macroeconomic policies and blossoming trade links, growth has made African nations freer than ever to choose their own development paths and implement active policies for economic transformation.”Ultimately, the report argues, transformation means opening opportunities so people can find jobs, create businesses, as well as invest in health, education and food security. In turn, higher levels of human development for all, including the most vulnerable, can accelerate the pace of economic transformation, leading to a virtuous cycle of growth and development.“Among many other benefits, human development can help drive Africa’s structural transformation by speeding both the rate of innovation and uptake of new technologies,” said Pedro Conceicao, chief economist at the UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Africa.“But for this to happen, more attention should be paid to improving access to and quality of education and healthcare systems, transforming agriculture and fostering job creation in order to narrow income inequalities.”SAinfo reporter
New hope for raptorsGovernment researchers have estimated that wind farms also are responsible for the deaths of dozens of bald and golden eagles. But the Associated Press reports that a combination of technology and trained spotters have helped avert fatal collisions at a large wind farm in the West.Technicians in California are able to shut down wind turbines in Montana 1200 miles away in less than 30 seconds when the flight patterns of golden eagles and other raptors threaten a collision, the AP reported.Tracking radar, cameras and trained spotters at the Rim Rock Wind Facility in Montana are so far proving effective in averting collisions between the birds and turbine blades. The 189-megawatt wind farm has 126 turbines, making it the states’s largest wind facility.The wind farm’s owner says its three-tiered approach has the best chance of success in averting bird strikes. Already under siege by a fatal disease called white nose syndrome, North American bats have another enemy: wind turbines.A researcher affiliated with the University of Colorado estimates that more than 600,000 bats were killed by wind turbines in 2012. Writing in the journal BioScience, Mark Hayes cites earlier studies, which estimated that as many as 888,000 bats would be killed each year, before settling on his own number.Hayes used estimates from 21 locations in the contiguous U.S. for his statistical analysis. The highest rate of bat fatalities, which Hayes describes as fatalities per megawatt per year, occurred at Buffalo Mountain, Tennessee. Some wind sites in the West recorded very low numbers.“This estimate of bat fatalities in 2012 is probably conservative,” Hayes writes.But Hayes says there’s still lots to learn about the problem. There’s a lack of reliable information about bat populations around the country because of their small size and nocturnal habits, he writes.“This lack of reliable population estimates makes conservation and management planning challenging, especially in the face of other recently emerged threats to North American bat populations, such as diseases and a changing climate,” he says.Given the ecological and economic benefits of these small mammals, Hayes recommended more research.