Namibia Set For Election Amid Economic Downturn

Supporters of the Namibian opposition party Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) presidential candidate, McHenry Venaani, cheer during the last Namibian presidential election campaign rally on November 24, 2019 in Windhoek, Namibia.
GIANLUIGI GUERCIA / AFP

 

Namibians will vote in a general election on Wednesday with the incumbent president facing discontent over the ailing economy despite the nation being one of the most mineral-rich in Africa.

An entrenched recession in the southwest African nation has overshadowed President Hage Geingob’s first term in office.

As Geingob, whose South West Africa People’s Organisation (SWAPO) has ruled Namibia since independence from South Africa in 1990, seeks re-election, his popularity has waned among frustrated youth who have borne the brunt of the downturn.

The disaffection has fuelled support for ex-dentist Panduleni Itula, 62, a SWAPO member standing as an independent candidate.

Analysts say that Itula could attract votes from both the opposition and SWAPO loyalists displeased with 78-year-old Geingob.

“The Namibian people are living in dire straits,” tweeted Itula last week.

‘Don’t Need Friends’

Observers say the president is still likely to secure a second five-year mandate, but his score is predicted to drop from the 87 percent he garnered in 2014.

His runner-up McHenry Venaani of the opposition Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), had won less than five percent of the votes cast.

SWAPO has enjoyed a two-thirds parliamentary majority since 1994.

“We are now in the second phase of the struggle, that of economic emancipation, that of provision of basic necessities,” Geingob told supporters at SWAPO’s final rally in the capital Windhoek on Saturday, speaking at a stadium that was less than half full.

Around 2,500 people clad in green, red and blue party colours joined in singing liberation struggle songs.

Even fewer attended Venaani’s final rally on Sunday.

His PDM party is haunted by the legacy of its affiliation with apartheid South Africa before independence, which continues to deter voters. The rest of Namibia’s opposition is ethnically divided.

“You have no meaningful alternative to SWAPO,” analyst Henning Melber told AFP.

“With a weak opposition like that you don’t need friends,” he added.

Tough First Term

And Geingob has made very few, with the economy slumping in his first term.

Despite World Bank predictions of recovery this year, growth remained negative for the first two quarters of 2019.

“People are not getting jobs,” said 18-year-old high school graduate Ndeshihafea Nghipandulwa, hawking eyewear on the side of the road.

“We want a new president so that we can see change.”

Namibia’s economic slide was triggered by a combination of low commodity prices and one of the worst droughts in history.

Public debt ballooned as the cash-strapped government sought international support.

But Geingob has continued to pump money into his administration and hired a disproportionate number of civil servants.

“You have six or seven ministries doing the same thing,” complained another opposition candidate, Esther Muinjangue, accusing SWAPO of creating “jobs for its comrades”.

‘Disappointed’ Freedom Fighters

“I fought for the country, but today I am very disappointed,” said 77-year-old SWAPO war veteran Naftali Ngiyalwa, who sells flip-flops on Windhoek’s Independence Avenue.

“We were not fighting to be well off, but just to be okay and not homeless,” he told AFP, while adding that he would still support Geingob.

Namibia is one of Africa’s richest countries in terms of resources. Vast uranium and diamond reserves sit along a 1,500 kilometre (930-mile) coastline, which is home to a vibrant fishing industry.

Nearly a million tourists visit each year, drawn to its wildlife and desert landscapes.

That wealth, however, does not trickle down to many.

Namibia is the world’s second most unequal country after South Africa, according to the World Bank.

Around 40 percent of urban dwellers lived in shacks in 2016, according to the government.

Rising Suspicions 

Geingob’s credibility took another hit this month after WikiLeaks published evidence of government officials taking bribes from an Icelandic fishing company and two ministers resigned.

The president claims the timing of the leaks was calculated to damage his campaign.

Meanwhile, the opposition is concerned over the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs), claiming the absence of paper records raises prospects of fraud.

The electoral tribunal on Monday threw out an application by opposition leader Itula seeking to bar the use of EVMs.

Reports that a number of EVMs went missing after they were used for a local election in 2017 have stoked further suspicion over the poll’s credibility.

But the court said there was no evidence that the missing machines “have any relevant bearing” on Wednesday’s elections.

Namibia was the first African country to use EVMs in 2014.

With a population of 2.45 million, around 1.4 million Namibians are registered to vote.

Eleven candidates and 15 parties are contesting the presidential and parliamentary polls.

Two Planes In ‘Minor’ Collision At Frankfurt Airport

A file picture taken on March 21, 2019 shows a passenger aircraft landing at Frankfurt am Main airport, western Germany. Credit: AFP

 

An Air Namibia plane collided with a Korean Air jet after landing at Frankfurt airport on Saturday evening, officials said, adding that no one was injured.

Both aircraft were damaged in what Air Namibia on Sunday called “a minor accident”.

A spokeswoman for Frankfurt airport said the incident happened at around 6:00 pm (1700 GMT) on Saturday. She said no one was injured and the reasons for the crash remain unclear.

“The left wing of an Air Namibia plane collided with the horizontal stabiliser of Korean Air flight KE905 as it was waiting on the taxiway after landing,” Korean Air said in a statement.

The Korean Air plane was carrying 241 passengers and 40 crew at the time, it said.

“We confirm that no passengers and crew were hurt,” Air Namibia added in its own statement.

Korea Air said its Seoul-bound return flight was delayed by 21 hours as a result, adding that affected passengers had been offered accommodation.

A replacement aircraft was set to take off on Sunday afternoon.

Air Namibia said it had likewise offered accommodation to 244 passengers due to travel from Frankfurt to Windhoek, as the airline looked for alternative flights.

Germany’s Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accident Investigation (BFU) has opened an investigation into the cause of the collision.

The damage to the two jets was still being assessed, a BFU spokesman said.

‘It Wasn’t Pretty’ – Italy Off-Key In Rugby World Cup Win Over Namibia

Italy’s head coach Conor O’Shea gestures as he meets the press after a training session in Sakai on September 20, 2019, ahead of the Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

 

Italy coach Conor O’Shea said his team were “disappointed” with their Rugby World Cup start after they were forced to come from behind in an error-strewn 47-22 win over lowly Namibia on Sunday.

Talisman captain Sergio Parisse became only the third man to play in five Rugby World Cups but even he admitted it was “not maybe a really nice match to see” as wind and at times torrential rain lashed the Hanazono Stadium.

Often Six Nations whipping boys, Italy are targeting their October 4 clash against South Africa as a possible route to reaching the knock-out stages for the first time but this patchy display will not leave the Springboks unduly worried.

“We’ll have to move on from that pretty quickly. It wasn’t very pretty. There’s too many errors in it,” said O’Shea.

“It was difficult conditions at times in the second half, which doesn’t excuse it. But we’ll be disappointed with the way we played… that’s not the true version of us,” said the Irishman after the bonus-point win.

Namibia’s defence coach had promised to treat fans to an impromptu haka if his minnows pulled off a shock and it was the unfancied Welwitschias who started the brightest.

Italy’s prop Marco Riccioni (C) is tackled during the Japan 2019 Rugby World Cup Pool B match between Italy and Namibia at the Hanazono Rugby Stadium in Higashiosaka on September 22, 2019.
Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

 

The underdogs led with only five minutes on the clock, seizing on an overthrown line-out to produce a flowing move down the right flank finished off acrobatically by scrum-half Damian Stevens.

Italy hit back within minutes, a Parisse-inspired push-over in the scrum resulting in a penalty try as Namibia collapsed on their line.

The Italians squandered several chances in a nervy and mistake-ridden first half but eventually took the lead in the 26th minute as they unpicked the Namibian defence for fly-half Tommaso Allan to touch down under the posts.

The champagne moment of the match came on the stroke of half-time as Federico Ruzza’s no-look pass let in Tito Tebaldi for a try, well converted to give the favourites a 21-7 lead at the break.

‘Never Gave Up’

With the match being played on the fringes of a typhoon, rain hammered down in the early part of the second half and Italy extended their advantage almost immediately through an Edoardo Padovani try after a clever kick behind Namibian lines.

Italy never looked in danger of losing the match, scoring three further tries via Carlo Canna, Jake Polledri and Matteo Minozzi, but the spirited Namibians refused to lie down and a touch-down from winger JC Greyling was greeted with roars from the capacity crowd.

A mazy Chad Plato try under the posts gave the Namibians a final consolation score just before time.

The 36-year-old Parisse’s record-equalling fifth World Cup put him alongside fellow countryman Mauro Bergamasco and Samoan legend Brian Lima, and his 141st cap also drew him level with Irish star Brian O’Driscoll in second place on the all-time list.

“The important thing today was to win and take the five points,” Parisse said.

“Big congratulations to Namibia as well because they never gave up. They kept playing to the end.”

AFCON: South Africa Stay In Hunt For Last-16 Spot After Laboured Win

South Africa’s midfielder Bongani Zungu celebrates his goal during the match at the Al Salam Stadium in the Egyptian capital Cairo on June 28, 2019. JAVIER SORIANO / AFP

 

France-based Bongani Zungu scored as unimpressive South Africa laboured to a 1-0 Africa Cup of Nations Group D win over Namibia Friday to keep alive hopes of making the second round.

However, to book a last-16 place the winners will probably need at least a point against leaders Morocco, who defeated the Ivory Coast 1-0 in the first match of a double-header.

Already qualified Morocco have six points, the Ivory Coast and South Africa three each and Namibia remained pointless after two solitary-goal losses.

With Ivory Coast set to beat Namibia Monday, the best South Africa can realistically hope for is one of four places reserved for the best third-place finishers.

It looks increasingly likely that teams coming third in the six groups will need a minimum of four points to be among the quartet that survives.

Zungu netted on 68 minutes with a header off a corner to settle a match that lacked the quality of the clash between Morocco and the Ivory Coast.

South Africa made four changes to the team that started in a loss to the Ivory Coast four days ago, including the shock demotion of goalkeeper Ronwen Williams, who was outstanding.

He was replaced by Darren Keet and Hlompho Kekana, Zungu and Sibusiso Vilakazi were also promoted with Kamohelo Mokotjo, Lebohang Maboe and injured Dean Furman dropping out.

Namibia coach Ricardo Mannetti included Egypt-based Benson Shilongo for Absalom Limbondi in the lone change to the side that unluckily lost to Morocco after conceding a late own-goal.

Blazed Over

South Africa had a chance to go ahead on 16 minutes, but Vilakazi blazed over at the Al Salam Stadium in the Egyptian capital after a Themba Zwane backheel gave him a clear sight of goal.

Mannetti must have been pleased when the 21st minute passed as he was part of the side trailing South Africa 4-0 at that point when they last met 21 years ago in Burkina Faso.

Now retired Benni McCarthy scored all four Bafana Bafana (The Boys) goals in the victory and how England-born coach Stuart Baxter must have longed for someone similarly clinical in this match.

South Africa had plenty of possession, but lacked creativity in the final third of the pitch and their frustration led to many hopeful, long-range shots.

Namibia, with four South Africa-based players in the line-up, held their own and did not resemble a side 41 places lower in the world rankings.

Percy Tau, of whom much had been expected in this Cup of Nations, could have broken the deadlock as half-time approached but a weak shot was comfortably saved by Loydt Kazapua.

Deon Hotto came close to putting Namibia ahead midway through the second half after Keet spilled a cross and the Namibian had his shot cleared off the line by Buhle Mkhwanazi.

Almost immediately, South Africa forced a corner and Zungu from Ligue 1 outfit Amiens rose unchallenged in the middle of the six-yard box to nod the former champions into the lead.

AFP

Germany To Return 15th-Century Stone Cross To Namibia

Namibia’s Ambassador to Germany, Andreas Guibeb (C) the Federal Government’s Commissioner for Culture and the Media Monika Gruetters (R) and Director of the History Museum in Berlin Raphael Gross (L) stand in front a Stone Cross, a key 15th-century navigation landmark erected by Portuguese explorers, on May 17, 2019 during a press conference in Berlin during which the Museum announced it would restitute the cross to Namibia. Credit: TOBIAS SCHWARZ / AFP

 

A German museum said Friday it would return to Namibia a 15th-century navigation landmark erected by Portuguese explorers, as part of Berlin’s efforts to face up to its colonial past.

“The restitution of the Stone Cross of Cape Cross is a clear signal that we are committed to coming to terms with our colonial past,” said Culture Minister Monika Gruetters.

“For too many decades, the colonial time has been a blind spot in our remembrance culture.”

Placed in 1486 on the western coast of what is today Namibia, the Stone Cross was once considered to be such an important navigation marker that it featured on old world maps.

In the 1890s, it was removed from its spot on Cape Cross and brought to Europe by the region’s then German colonial masters.

Since 2006, it has been part of a permanent exhibition of the German Historical Museum in Berlin.

But in June 2017, Namibia demanded the restitution of the cross, which stands 3.5 metres (11 feet) high and weighs 1.1 tonnes.

The return of the cross marks a concrete step to make good on Germany’s pledge to accelerate the return of artefacts and human remains from former African colonies.

For Andreas Guibeb, Namibia‘s ambassador to Germany, the restitution is “important as a step for us to reconcile with our colonial past and the trail of humiliation and systematic injustice that it left behind.”

“Only the confrontation and acceptance of that painful past will liberate us to consciously and confidently confront the future.”

 ‘Historical injustice’ –

In a column in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the president of the museum’s foundation, Raphael Gross, noted that the Cross “is one of the very few objects that documents the occupation of the country by the Portuguese”.

Berlin ruled what was then called South West Africa as a colony from 1884 to 1915.

Germany has on several occasions repatriated human remains to Namibia, where it slaughtered tens of thousands of indigenous Herero and Nama people between 1904 and 1908.

The German government announced in 2016 that it planned to issue an official apology for the atrocities committed by German imperial troops.

But it has repeatedly refused to pay direct reparations, citing millions of euros in development aid given to the Namibian government.

Guibeb said “huge progress” had been made in recent years on finding a common language to describe the mass killings, even if he acknowledged that it would take more time than the public would wish.

Meanwhile, other African countries were also watching the latest restitution carefully.

For Cameroon’s Prince Kum’a Ndumbe III, who had travelled to Berlin especially to witness Friday’s announcement, “what has happened here is fundamental.”

“This is the direction we have been seeking for the last 30 years, now we have to see how far we will go,” he said, adding that he has been pressing a German museum for the return of a family object for years.

Beyond what is now modern-day Namibia, the German empire also held the colonies of Togoland, now Togo, Kamerun (Cameroon) and Tanganyika (Tanzania), as well as some Pacific islands, until World War I.

U-19 Cricket: Nigeria Win First World Cup Ticket

 

Nigeria has secured a dramatic, first ever spot in the ICC Under-19 World Cup in 2020, after beating Sierra Leone by two wickets, on the final day of the Africa qualifying tournament in Namibia.

Set 139 to win, Nigeria endured a nervy chase, slipping to 87 for six at one point, before man of the match Peter Aho scored a priceless 21 not out to see them home. The entire squad rushed onto the field in jubilation, as they confirmed their seat at their first ever global tournament.

Aho had also taken two wickets earlier, when Sierra Leone posted 138 all out at Affies Park in Windhoek. On the adjacent field, Namibia had posted a massive victory over Kenya, so Nigeria simply had to win.

READ ALSO: Super Eagles End AFCON Qualifying Campaign With Victory Over Seychelles

Sierra Leone provided them with plenty of challenges, as Haroun Kamara’s 58 from 60 balls propelled his side to a testing target. John Bangura chipped in with hearty 21, and as Sierra Leone refused to go quietly.

Osman Sankoh’s late 24 also lifted the tempo, and the previously unheralded Abdulrahman Jimoh took two quick wickets for Nigeria the end, to stop the target getting any bigger.

In response, Nigeria endured a tumultuous time of it, not aided by a gathering storm. Isaac Danladi’s responsible 25 were crucial, while Miracle Ikaige also lent a hand with a vital 22. But the wickets kept on tumbling, and the pressure kept on mounting.

Aho’s nerveless intervention, mixed with occasional aggression, whittled down the target, and Nigeria were helped over the line by the cheering Ugandan squad. Namibia, on the other hand, were understandably cheering on Sierra Leone, having completed a 198-run drubbing of Kenya.

Skipper Divan la Cock was again in the runs, with 88 from 102 balls, and Jan-Izak de Villiers added a steady 55, as Namibia piled on the runs. Ramon Wilmot had set them on their way with a blitzkrieg 46 from just 31 balls, clubbing three sixes in the process.

The hosts eventually ended on 294 for five, as they finished the tournament like a freight train. They rolled Kenya over for 96, with Mauritius Ngupita yet again in the wickets. His three for 15 supplemented De Villiers’ burst upfront, as Namibia rushed through the East Africans.

In the final game of the tournament, Uganda’s Zephania Arinaitwe clattered a 40-ball 102, to blaze his side to an eight-wicket victory. He made light work of a target, after Tanzania had been bowled out for 144.

Ashish Shah scored 40 and Aahil Jasani 28, as Tanzania tried to mount a challenging total. Skipper Frank Akankwasa and Juma Miyagi took three wickets apiece, as Uganda finished off their tournament in some style.

The stage was then set for Arinaitwe to hammer nine sixes and six fours in his astonishing innings. He rushed to the total of 145 in just 12.2 overs, to demolish Tanzania, and finish off a dramatic week in Windhoek with quite a flourish.

Scores in brief:

Nigeria v Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone 138 all out (H Kamara 58, O Sankoh 24, A Jimoh two for 2)

Nigeria 139 for eight (I Danladi 25, M Ikaige 22, P Aho 21 not out, O Sankoh three for 13)

Nigeria won by two wickets

Namibia v Kenya

Namibia 294 for five ( D la Cock 88, J De Villiers 55)

Kenya 96 all out (S Ghataora 28, M Ngupita three for 15, J De Villiers three for 24)

Namibia won by 198 runs

Tanzania v Uganda

Tanzania 144 all out (A Shah 40, A Jasani 28, J Miyagi three for 21, F Akankwasa three for 33)

Uganda 147 for two (Z Arinaitwe 102 not out)

Uganda won by eight wickets

 

Buhari, Namibia President Geingob Meet In Abuja         

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday held a meeting with his Namibia counterpart, Hage Geingob, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

During the meeting, President Buhari discussed steps his administration is taking to consolidate on the fight against corruption, a key campaign promise of the government.

READ ALSO: Police Find Bodies Of 41 Suspected Bandits In Zamfara Forest

He said efforts are on to dedicate judges that will try corruption cases as well as plans to sell off properties acquired through fraudulent means with monies therefrom returned to the nation’s coffers.

In response, President Geingob of Namibia lauded Nigeria’s fight against corruption and declared that his country will be eternally grateful to Nigeria for its independence and the huge support through the Technical Aid Corps.

See photos of the meeting below…

Chinese Firm Seeks To Establish Headquaters In Calabar

chinees-investor-with-ayadeA Chinese firm, China Jiangxi Corporation for International Economic and Technical Cooperation (CJIC), has announced its plans to locate its Nigerian headquarters to Calabar, the Cross River state capital.

The Deputy Chairman of the firm, Changqing Cao, disclosed this when he led his team on a courtesy visit to Governor Benedict Ayade, at his office.

Mr Cao disclosed that the company ranks 250 among notable international contractors as presented by the United States Engineering News records.

He said the choice of Calabar was suitable as it shares similar topographical features with the Jiangxi province of China.

The Deputy Chairman, stated that the company has 20 branches, 18 in Africa including Kenya, Zambia, Namibia, Ethiopia, among others.

He said the company is currently building an airport in Zambia and a university hospital in Kenya.

Explaining that the firm has interest in the construction of the superhighway, Mr Cao said if approved by the Governor, its road construction engineers will be deployed to the state for commencement of feasibility studies.

“The firm also seeks to embark on social housing, as Nigeria with a huge population is faced with accommodation challenges which must be tackled to boost the economy so that it would impact positively on the citizenry”, Cao said.

On his part, Governor Ayade expressed hope that having established strong footing in various West African countries, he was confident that the firm would replicate same experience in Cross River.

“Make haste, as right now, we are under pressure from other companies, but as a state, we have not committed to any specific company in paper and in writing for the superhighway. It is open and virgin, you can come in as soon as you can,” the governor said.

He, further added that the choice of Calabar was appropriate, stating a list of benefits to be enjoyed by the Jiangxi Corporation.

According to him, the over 21,000 sq km land bounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the proposed Bakassi deep seaport which would aid in the evacuation of goods while providing a link to other West Africa countries, were among the benefits if the company fully partnered with the state and established its headquarters therein.

NIPSS Set To Graduate 67 SEC 38 Participants 

nipss, SEC 38The National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, kuru, Jos North Central Nigeria, is set to graduate 67 participants of the Senior Executive Course (SEC 38).

Briefing journalists on the activities of the institute towards the graduation ceremony, Acting Director General Of The Institute, Mr Jonathan Juma, said President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to be the Special Guest of Honour at the occasion.

The course which commenced in March 2016, was themed: “Strengthening Institutional Mechanism for Poverty reduction and Inclusive Development in Nigeria”, with participants embarking on study tours of states within the country and outside the country.

Tunisia, Kenya, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Namibia and Ethiopia were some of the countries visited by participants, while the international tours included India, Poland, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Romania and Thailand.

Also, participants of the SEC 38 course, had a presidential parley with the President, where paper presentations were done as well as recommendations presented to the him, on the theme of the course.

Although a joyous occasion, a tragic event occurred in which one of the participants from Niger state unfortunately died a day to the graduation ceremony.

He will however still be awarded the member of national institute posthumously.

2016 Davis Cup: NTF Wants Sports Ministry’s Support

davis cupThe Nigeria Tennis Federation has called for support from the Sports Ministry following Nigeria’s listing for the 2016 Davis Cup Africa Zone III championship scheduled for Antananarivo, Madagascar.

Poor funding has been identified as a major problem hindering the development of tennis in the country and the federation has asked the ministry to intervene by ensuring players and officials feature at continental and international competitions.

The International Tennis Federation ignored a possible sanction for Nigeria despite the last-minute withdrawal of the country from the 2015 edition in Cairo, Egypt.

Nigeria was included in the draw ceremony in its London headquarters on Monday, which brought some relief that there would not be any sanction for the country.

NTF President, Sani Ndanusa, while expressing gratitude to the international body, pleaded to the Sports Ministry for early release of funds to ensure its participation at the four-day tournament billed for the clay courts of the Antanarivo University.

“This is our New Year present from the ITF and we are not surprised because if there’s any country that the ITF has to be lenient with then it has to be Nigeria; our commitment to tennis has never been in doubt.

“Just last month, we hosted the Governor’s Cup championship which is among the top-rated Circuits in the ITF calendar. And in the next few days we will be hosting the Africa Junior Championship West and Central Africa Qualifiers which will be featuring about 14 countries. This is the second time in barely two years that we will be hosting the event. We also hosted the AJC proper in 2010.

“So this has put us in the good books of the ITF but that is not to say we will be taking them for granted. We will make sure that we put in place all modalities that will not only see us participate but go for one of the promotion tickets this year,” Ndanusa assured.

Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Congo DRC, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia and Rwanda will also feature at the tournament.

Rugby World Cup: Ireland, Argentina Qualify For Quarter Final

rugbyArgentina have secured their place in the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals as they subdued Tonga’s physicality and flair, to claim a 45-16 bonus-point victory in Leicester on Monday.

The win lifts the Pumas above Tonga to second place in Pool C, with the Pacific Islanders yet to play group leaders and defending champions, New Zealand, while Argentina need only beat Namibia to seal their passage to the last eight.

Argentina fly half, Nicolas Sanchez, proved the difference, tormenting Tonga with the boot and ball in hand, weighing in with 25 points from four penalties, four conversions and one of the Pumas’ five tries.

Also, Ireland have secured their place in the finals, but were far from convincing in their first real test of the competition, squeezing past Italy 16-9 to move on to a group decider against France.

After trading early penalties, Keith Earls was slickly put through to become Ireland’s record World Cup try scorer, but the Six Nations Champions were sloppy throughout the half and Tommaso Allan’s boot kept the tireless Italians within four points at the break.

Nigerian Rugby Team In Group B For 2016 Olympic Qualifiers

rugbyNational Rugby team, the Black Stallions of Nigeria, have been drawn in Pool B alongside Zimbabwe, Uganda and Zambia for the 2016 Olympic Games qualifiers.

The qualifiers will be staged in Johannesburg, South Africa, from November 14 to 15.

Despite Zimbabwe being already tipped as Group B favorites, Coach of the Black Stallions, Fabian Juries, said that the team is well prepared for the challenge where only the winner in the group qualifies for Rio Olympic Games.

Meanwhile, in Group A, Kenya, who is a strong force in Africa rugby, will tackle Madagascar, Senegal and Mauritius.

In Group C, Tunisia and Morrocco have been grouped together with Namibia and Bostwana.