National Payments System bill…must be supported by reliable Internet, cyber securityThe National Payments System Bill of 2018, which will among other things, allow for facilitating more electronic transactions in society, is slated to be read again the next time Government business is dispensed with in the National Assembly.According to People’s Progressive Party (PPP) frontbencher Irfaan Ali, however, the new law could have negative effects on consumers, unless Government sets appropriate guidelines… for instance, it could increase the cost of doing business, as well as be subject to unreliable Internet.“With respect to the payment system, cost of transactions will go up to customers because someone has to pay for the service. It could be quite high if not regulated by strong guidelines.”“Cyber security will have to be addressed since the entire system can be shut down,” Ali also posited. “Internet connection will have to be better and safe as wellOpposition parliamentarian Irfaan Alias reliable. Residents in rural and hinterland will have to wait for payments. (The bill should be) more friendly to elderly and low-income customers.”Guyana’s poor Information Communication Technology (ICT) capabilities are well known. According to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) country strategy report on Guyana for 2017 to 2021, Guyana has been lagging in this area. And because of this, everything is affected; from the service Government entities provide to the public, to the ability to implement effective policies.“The limited use of ICT not only impedes the development of a robust data gathering/dissemination mechanism necessary for evidence-based decision-making, but also affects the Government’s front-office functions directed at businesses and citizens, including the facilitation of business climate and procedural services for citizens,” the report had stated.“This is reflected in Guyana’s low position in the e-Government Survey published by the United Nations, where it ranks 126th out of 193 countries, with a score of 0.37 out of one, well below the regional and sub-regional averages,” the report notes.According to the report, the ability to design policy is further constrained by the limited collection and use of data. The bank acknowledged that while Guyana’s overall statistical capacity building has improved over the years; it is still behind its Latin-American and Caribbean (LAC) counterparts.The billThe bill in question contains provisions for persons to use “electronic money” through SIM cards and software accepted as a means of payment. There are also provisions for presenting cheques in electronic form.And then there are the penalties, which range from a fine of $500,000 and two years’ imprisonment when convicted as an individual to a $2 million fine as a body corporate. Part 12, section 51 speaks to various offences and penalties designed to keep the payment system running smoothly.The penalties apply to section seven and eight (attaining a licence before providing payment system or service). The Act states that banks, as direct participants in the system, do not have to acquire a licence. The same applies for money transfer service providers. However, section three (a) adds that they must comply with all other requirements of the Act.The penalties also apply to section 13, which prohibits transferring licences, as well as section 23. Section 23 mandates compliance with the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) laws.In section 32, operators are also prohibited from outsourcing its services without the bank. In section 33, they also have to seek approval in order to use agents. And then there are those who refuse to comply with any order issued by the Bank of Guyana as an administrative measure.According to section 50 (4), “a person who fails to comply with an order issued, pay a fine imposed or otherwise comply with administrative measures taken by the bank in accordance with this section commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction as specified in section 51.”
South African writer Peter Abrahams died on 18 January 2017. An early pioneer in the exploration of race identity in South Africa, he was a literary giant who was at the forefront of capturing the injustice of apartheid.Writer Peter Abrahams was born in Vrededorp, Johannesburg, in 1919. He lived in London and Jamaica, and his extensive collection of fiction and non-fiction focussed on pan-Africanism and race identity in South Africa. (Image: Wikipedia)CD AndersonPeter Abrahams, who died aged 97 at his home in Saint Andrew Parish, Jamaica, was one of South Africa’s most distinguished writers. His fiction and non-fiction work challenged and dissected the complexities of the black South African identity. His biting criticism of the early days of apartheid and his exploration of pan-Africanist philosophy were fuelled by the need to tell the world of the injustice of racism and colonialism.Abrahams will be remembered best for his Mine Boy, which was added to the South African school curriculum in the early 2000s.First published in 1946, Peter Abrahams’ Mine Boy exposed the condition of black South Africans under a white regime. It presents a portrait of labour discrimination, appalling housing conditions and one man’s humanitarian act of defiance. (Image: Justseeds website)Mine Boy, a brutal story of South African urban migration, became the first novel by a black South African to be published internationally. It was the third book by a black South African to be published, after Sol Plaatje’s Mhudi in 1930 and RRR Dhlomo’s 1928 novel, An African Tragedy.“I am emotionally involved in South Africa,” Abrahams said in 1957. “If I am ever liberated from this bondage of racialism, there are some things much more exciting to me, objectively, to write about. But this world has such a social orientation, and I am involved in this world and I can’t cut myself off.”During his most prolific years, 1946 to 1966, Abrahams wrote eight novels, as well as memoirs and political essays. His 1948 novel, The Path of Thunder, inspired the ballet piece, İldırımlı yollarla, by Azerbaijani composer Gara Garayev.Abrahams’ early yearsAbrahams was born in Vrededorp, Johannesburg, in 1919 to an Ethiopian father and coloured mother.According to his obituary in The New York Times on 22 January 2017, Abrahams was inspired to read and write at a young age when he heard Shakespeare’s Othello. A prodigious student, he began contributing poetry and short fiction to so-called bantu publications after completing his basic education. As a young budding writer, he consumed literature, particularly the works of black American writers.“I read every one of the books on the shelf marked American Negro literature,” he wrote in his memoir Tell Freedom: Memories of Africa in 1954. “To (these) writings of men and women who lived a world away from me … I owe a great debt for crystallising my vague yearnings to write and for showing me the long dream was attainable.”This knowledge also inspired his political thought and his desire to capture the black South African psyche in words.Ship to LondonAfter a stint as the editor of a Durban socialist magazine in 1939, Abrahams found work aboard a ship bound for London. In the British capital, he worked as a journalist on the British Communist Party’s Daily Worker newspaper.Peter Abrahams’ 1956 novel A Wreath for Udomo was inspired by his friendships with with African intellectuals and revolutionaries in exile in the UK. The novel deals with the complex realities and conflicts between duty to nation and ideals. (Image: Justseeds website)He lived in London’s African immigrant community, meeting exiled political figures and intellectuals, including future Kenyan leader Jomo Kenyatta; Kwame Nkrumah, who would go on to lead Ghana to independence from Britain; and Trinidadian pan-Africanist George Padmore. The experience inspired his most multifaceted work, the 1956 novel A Wreath for Udomo, about political and social transitions in postcolonial Africa through the eyes of the continent’s political exiles. Renowned English literary scholar Harvey Curtis Webster called the book “the most perceptive novel … about the complex interplay between British imperialism and African nationalism”.During the 1950s, Abrahams travelled across Africa, including a return to South Africa to observe the rise of postcolonial, pan-Africanist political movements. These essays, long considered the most authoritative work on the era, were later published as Return to Goli.Settling in the CaribbeanAfter being commissioned by the British colonial office to research and write a comprehensive history of Jamaica, Abrahams wrote of the island and its people: “…in the stumbling and fumbling reaching forward of its people, is dramatized … the most hopeful image I know of the newly emerging underdeveloped world”.With his wife Daphne and their three children, he made Jamaica his home for over four decades.South Africa, however, remained foremost in his writing; in particular, it was the setting of his 1965 novel, A Night of Their Own, about the anti-apartheid underground. This inspired his 1985 magnum opus, The View From Coyaba, a detailed transgenerational novel about black struggle movements in Africa, America and the Caribbean.As he got older and the postcolonial era reached its pinnacle with the end of apartheid in the 1990s, Abrahams felt less obligation to capture the zeitgeist of black African political thought. Instead, he let new, younger literary voices speak about the evolving movement.Speaking to Caribbean Beat magazine in 2003, Abrahams said: “I became a whole person when I finally put away the exile’s little packed suitcase. When Mandela came out of jail and when apartheid ended, I ceased to have this burden of South Africa. I shed it.”Abrahams never returned to his country of birth.Overdue tribute?The Daily Maverick’s J Brooks Spector observes, in his lovingly detailed obituary of Abrahams on 25 January 2017, the often overlooked connection between South Africa and the writer, and begs an important question: “Surely there should be a (South African) library named in his honour, an endowed chair in African literature at one of the nation’s premier universities, and a publishing effort reprinting his output in a standard, uniform edition?““Embracing his memory as an early literary pioneer and impact as a writer must also take into consideration the eclecticism of his political thinking, his influence on the pan-African idea, and an ethnicity that embraced the near-totality of South African experience,” Spector concludes.Source: New York Times, Daily Maverick, South African History OnlineWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
Making it at No. 5 on the list of top sports stories of 2018 are the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons.ADVERTISEMENT Nets beat Hornets in 2OTs on Joe Harris’ late layup View comments BREAKING: Corrections officer shot dead in front of Bilibid Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion University of the Philippines captured the hearts of many and stole the UAAP spotlight after making its first finals appearance since 1986.After a series of losing seasons, including winless campaigns, the Fighting Maroons finally broke through in Season 81.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefAt the forefront of UP’s dream run were steely guard Paul Desiderio, electrifying sophomore Juan Gomez Di Liaño and Bright Akhuetie, who went on to have an MVP campaign.UP may not have won the championship after getting swept by Ateneo in the finals, but the Fighting Maroons already overachieved when they stunned No. 2 Adamson in the Final Four. But they’re far from content and next season could finally be UP’s year with Akhuetie and Di Liaño back in tow and the likes of Ricci Rivero and Kobe Paras making their debut for the Maroons.RELATED STORIESINQUIRER SPORTS Top 7 Stories of the Year: SMC sweepINQUIRER SPORTS Top 7 Stories of the Year: Manny Pacquiao back as champRELATED VIDEOADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue LATEST STORIES For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss MOST READ