Telling the other side of Africa’s story

first_img25 November 2008Unlike the countless publications that try to explain what went wrong in Africa, the latest book on the continent to hit the shelves, Africa – The Good News, looks at what is going right.Published last week by South Africa: The Good News, the book gives voice to Africans – and non-Africans – who have a different story of Africa to tell.“It explains why a growing number of journalists, investors and academics are starting to look at Africa differently and describe the continent as one of growth and not just of despair,” says Steuart Pennington, CEO of South Africa: The Good News.David Fick, author of Africa – Continent of Economic Opportunity, cites the lack of quality information about the continent as the biggest challenge to doing business in Africa.Africa, Pennington notes, comprises 53 independent countries, five major languages groupings – English, French, Arabic, Portuguese, and thousands of African dialects – and a diverse population of 900-million. In other words: Africa is complex.“With a geographical size that could house China, the US, India, Argentina, Western Europe, the UK and Scandinavia, Africa is a continent of endemic conflict and growing democracy; of death, disease, despair but also of considerable hope and untapped potential; of desperate corruption and tremendous business opportunity,” says Pennington.“Importantly, it is not one country, and for every failed state that grabs the news headlines, there are countless success stories waiting to be told.”Africa – The Good News looks at where Africa is today, where it is planning to go, and its economic, social and political position in a global world. It looks not only at opportunities and success stories, but also investigates what is being done to address the continent’s many problems, from leadership to poverty “and almost everything in between”.When South Africa hosts the 2010 Fifa World Cup, the world’s focus – that of 208 soccer-playing nations and an estimated 26-billion cumulative television viewers – will be on South Africa and Africa.And South Africa’s stated aim, from the outset, was to host an African World Cup. “Ke Nako. Celebrate Africa’s Humanity” is the official slogan for an event that offers Africa a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to show the world what it is really about.Africa – The Good News is fundamentally about hope, says Pennington.“In that context we have attempted to make this book readable to anyone who is interested in Africa’s perception of itself, the new winds of change that are gusting over her nations, and the growing opportunity in arguably the most ethnically diverse, biologically rich, scenically beautiful continent in the world.”The book was sponsored by the International Marketing Council of South Africa (the lead sponsor), Dimension Data, Edcon, First National Bank, Microsoft and MTN.MTN will also be sponsoring the Africa – The Good News website, which will go live in early 2009.To buy Africa – The Good News, contact Leanne Nimmo.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publicationor on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Review: Audi A6

first_imgAudi’s new A6 has some seriously impressive technology. The seventh generation A6 seems to have borrowed heavily from its advanced cousins from the same stable and has turned itself into a baby A8 L, which was launched a few months ago.The front looks powerful with the typically large single frame Audi grille and tapered headlamps. On the sides, the A6 has sharp edges of its trademark tornado line bordering large and solid surfaces. The vehicle, in my opinion, looks more contemporary and elegant than its eldest sibling. On the outside, the car is actually slightly shorter than its predecessor and only slightly wider. At the same time, however, it has more in-cabin space. The designers have achieved by reducing the overhangs and increasing the wheelbase. In this crash-safety driven world of automotive design where cars keep getting heavier, the A6 has reversed the trend. It is much lighter than its predecessor, largely due to wider use of aluminium in its body. The engines too are lighter yet more efficient and powerful. The A6 is available with two V6 petrol engines and two diesel engines. The 2.8 FSI engine develops a maximum of 204 bhp and, on the FWD version, is mated to a multitronic (CVT) transmission. The 3-litre supercharged TFSI engine produces 300 bhp and comes with quattro and an S-tronic (DSG) transmission. The most efficient engine on the A6 is the 2-litre TDI. This 4-cylinder unit makes 177 bhp with a fuel efficiency of over 20 kmpl. The 3-litre TDI engine comes in two states of tune with the more powerful one developing 245 bhp and 500 Nm of max torque.All variants of the A6 come with drive select, by which one can choose the modes for engine, throttle, gearbox and steering response. It also includes an additional efficiency setting. All variants of the A6 have Start-Stop as standard feature.The A6 shares a number of features with the A8: a second-generation multimedia interface with Google maps for navigation; redesigned seats that come with advanced massage options, and  a WiFi hotspot. Among the new features, the A6 has an adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go and Audi’s pre-sense safety system, which aims at minimising the effects of a collision through active intervention.I drove both the diesel and petrol 3-litre engine cars and their performance is electrifying. Even better is the smooth ride and the sound dampening of the cabin. While the ride has been made better, the handling remains the same. In the dynamic mode, the A6 turns into a lithe sports performer. When I drove the car both in Sicily and Rome, I did not use the air conditioner. But Audi engineers tell me that one of the most improved systems on the car is air-conditioning. It is more powerful and is almost noise free-this is something that is likely to work in its favour when it hits the Indian roads soon.Engine: 2967 cc diesel/ 2995 cc petrol Max power: 245 bhp/ 300 bhpMax torque: 500 Nm/ 440 NmGearbox: 7-speed autoWheelbase (mm): 2912LxWxH (mm): 4915 x 1874 x 1455Top speed: 250 kmph 0-100 kmph: 6.1s/ 5.5sPrice: Rs. 55 Lakh (est)Rating: ****Tech marvelOne of the most innovative features of the A6 is its use of LEDs, especially in headlights. Different combinations of programmes and LED clusters produce four distinct light patches, depending on existing light conditions. The car chooses the most effective pattern automatically.A big push forward has been made on driver assistance systems. The car has ultrasonic sensors at the front, sides and the rear, front and rear cameras, an infrared camera up front, and rear and front radar sensors. These work together in varying combinations to power the stop-and-go adaptive cruise control, active lane assist, side assist, pre-sense collision warning and prevention system, an adaptive light system, a parking and park assist system, speed limit display and adaptive protection systems.The MMI navigation plus system integrates Google and Audi maps to provide a realistic picture through an Nvidia graphics card. The full infotainment system on the A6 features two processors, two card readers, a DVD drive, a 60 GB hard disk drive, speech control and a Bluetooth interface.The adaptive headlights can change their shape at the exact moment that the road curves or changes from a country road into a dual carriage way. Another feature is the WLAN hotspot, which is created through the Bluetooth car phone. It allows up to eight devices to be connected to the internet.Harley-Davidson fat boyIt is hard not to pretend you’re Arnie in Terminator when you’re riding a Fat Boy. Few bikes command such a presence on the road as this Harley. Everything about it is solid, chunky and loud. Comfort is the keyword with this bike and you won’t be able to stop smiling when the key is turned to ignition and the engine fired up. The low seating, only 654 mm from the ground, makes your stance comfortable. The bike’s pullback handlebars, or in Harley language Bare Knuckle risers, and floorboards are comfortable for riders of any height. No distance is too much on this bike. The Fat Boy sports a wide 200 mm rear tyre with a new chopped fender. The front wheel diameter has been increased from 16 to 17 inches with a 140 mm tyre wrapped around it. Interestingly, the beefy rear tyre doesn’t adversely affect steering as it remains fairly balanced. The solid disc cast aluminium rims, a Fat Boy trademark, are now perforated with a series of bullet holes that redefine the signature look. The V-twin heart, a 1584-cc, air-cooled unit, mated to a 6-speed manual transmission, is outstanding at mid-range torque. The engine comes to life quickly thanks to Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI). The throttle response is excellent with no flat spots or backfire sounds, and the fuel injection is silky smooth even at idle. The familiar Harley trademark ‘potato, potato, potato’ rumble is till there, a feature that the engineers seem to have retained out of some sense of loyalty. The Fat Boy is classic Harley from ground up. Don’t go by its name; it is quite easy to manoeuvre. There is one bonus to riding a Fat Boy–innumerable photo-ops with Harley fans. It has such a distinctive sound that it could very well be humming Bruce Springsteen’s “Born In The USA”! Price: Rs. 21.29 lakh-Arup Dasadvertisementadvertisementlast_img read more

Mazda CX9 under NHTSA investigation for randomly deploying airbags

first_img 3 Chevrolet ColoradoMaking its debut in the top 10 is the Chevrolet Colorado. Shown here in the tough ZR2 Bison off-road spec, the Chevy Colorado is an excellent truck and one of the two midsize pickups you can get with a diesel engine. Adding to the ZR2’s two-inch lift and front and rear locking differentials, the Bison gets beefier skid plates (trust me, that’s a good thing), steel bumpers and integrated recovery points. Heck, you can even get a snorkel.Base models get a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with a six-speed manual transmission, but a more popular choice is the 3.6-liter V6 gas engine with 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Meanwhile, the 2.8-liter diesel pumps out 186 horsepower and a delicious 369 pound-feet of twist and is mated to a six-speed automatic. The Chevy Colorado is built in Wentzville, Missouri. Honda OdysseyThe feature-rich Honda Odyssey minivan also retains its number-two slot from last year’s list. While the 2019 model doesn’t see any changes from last, it’s still a darn good choice for families on the go with reconfigurable seats, Wi-Fi and an excellent rear-seat entertainment system. The Cabin Watch video system lets parents keep an eye on their little darlings without turning around in their seats, while Cabin Talk amplifies their voice so no yelling is required.The Odyssey is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 rated for 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Most trims get a nine-speed automatic but the top Touring and Elite trims now use a 10-speed automatic with stop-start technology. The Honda Odyssey is made in Lincoln, Alabama. Jeep CherokeeKeeping its top-of-the-list placement, the Jeep Cherokee is 2019’s most American-made car. Refreshed for 2019, the compact crossover now features more tech, better cargo space and a slightly tweaked look. It’s available in no fewer the nine trims, including the off-road specific Trailhawk and a fancy-pants Trailhawk Elite.For 2019, the Cherokee gets a new 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine with 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, though naturally aspirated I4 and V6 choices are also available. Regardless of engine, a nine-speed automatic transmission gets the power to the pavement — or dirt as the case may be. The Cherokee is made in Belvidere, Illinois. 2019 Acura MDX adds new features and an A-Spec model More From Roadshow 2019 Honda Passport: A well-rounded midsize offering 69 Photos 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 first drive: A more approachable track star Mazda,Enlarge ImageIt’s all in a day’s work for the Jeep Cherokee, the most American-made car in 2019. Jeep With high trade tensions looming and increasing talk of tariffs, more and more consumers are looking to buy American. has released its annual American Made Index, showcasing companies that use the most American-sourced parts and labor in their vehicles. The results may surprise analyzed more than 100 US-built vehicles for five key data points: manufacturing location, parts sourcing, US employment, engine sourcing and transmission sourcing. You might think something like the Ford F-150 would top the list, but it drops from its No. 5 spot for 2018 and out of the top 10 completely. Even the first-place holder, the Jeep Cherokee, is a pretty global product. It’s a Jeep, sure, but that brand is part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, an Italian-owned surveyed 1,000 people and found that half are concerned about automotive import tariffs, with 41% saying they are unsure if tariffs would make them more likely to buy American. Either way, we’re big fans of all the vehicles on this list. These days, buying American doesn’t necessarily mean sticking with a US-based automaker. Mazda Honda RidgelineAgain keeping the status quo, the Honda Ridgeline maintains third place on the American Made Index. This crossover-that-looks-like-a-truck provides a better ride than a traditional pickup and gets an awesome lockable trunk right in the floor of the bed. And it doesn’t do the truck stuff too badly, either, as it’s able to carry 1,860 pounds of payload and tow 3,500 pounds.The Ridgeline is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 good for 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. That is channeled through a six-speed automatic transmission with available all-wheel drive. It’s built in Lincoln, Alabama. Tags 0 81 Photos 2019 GMC Sierra Denali review: So close to greatness 71 Photos 2019 Jeep Cherokee can handle the rough stuff Tags 2019 Honda Odyssey offers plenty of room and features for families Acura MDXMoving up one slot to sixth place on the American Made Index is the non-hybrid variant of the Acura MDX. With its SH-AWD system, the MDX is one of the better handling midsize luxury crossovers, and for 2019 the company gives us the A-Spec treatment with a new front fascia and side skirts, 20-inch wheels, wider exhaust tips, unique gauges, a new steering wheel, carbon fiber trim and various Alcantara interior touches.However, both the standard and A-Spec models get a 3.5-liter V6 engine, rated for 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque going through a nine-speed automatic transmission. The Acura MDX is made in East Liberty, Ohio.  74 Photos Post a comment Car Industry 2019 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison: A tougher off-roader 2019 GMC Canyon: A fancier Colorado 26 Photos 2019 Mazda CX-9 review: Losing its edge? More about 2019 Mazda CX-9center_img 2019 Honda Ridgeline review: Light duty, heavy punch Enlarge ImageAn airbag that deploys randomly can be quite the scary experience, as it’s super loud and shoots a bunch of particulate into the cabin, which is a big ol’ safety risk. Mazda Some recalls can happen after the government receives reports of a problem, investigates that problem and determines a recall is necessary. To that end, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is currently investigating a potential problem in certain Mazda vehicles.NHTSA has opened an investigation into the 2010-2013 Mazda CX-9. It’s unclear how many vehicles are potentially affected, because the vehicle population is listed as “confidential” in the Office of Defects Investigation document explaining the investigation.The side curtain airbags lie at the heart of the matter. According to two complaints and other field reports, both side curtain airbags deployed inadvertently and simultaneously without a crash being involved. One of the complaints alleges that injuries stemmed from the improper airbag deployment. NHTSA will continue to investigate the issue and, if deemed necessary, compel Mazda to issue a recall for every vehicle potentially affected by this alleged defect. If it just happens to be a freak occurrence, the investigation can end without a recall. Mazda can issue a voluntary recall on its own, as well. 2019 Honda Pilot Elite: A smoother, tech-rich crossover SUV 10 Photos 2019 Mazda CX-5 Diesel review: Was it really worth the wait? 2019 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport loves to hustle GMC CanyonIf you’re looking for a slightly fancier version of the Colorado that’s more focused on luxe than dirt, check out the GMC Canyon. The top Denali trim gets standard heated and ventilated front seats as well as a heated steering wheel. Maximum payload capability is 1,665 pounds while max towing is a fairly healthy 7,600 pounds.The Canyon is available with the same 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, 3.6-liter V6 or 2.8-liter diesel as the Chevrolet Colorado. It’s also built in Wentzville, Missouri. Honda PilotDropping down to seventh place for 2019 is the Honda Pilot. Like its two-row Passport sibling, the three-row Pilot offers parent-focused technology like Cabin Talk as well as myriad standard driver-assistance features through the Honda Sensing tech suite. Honda’s largest crossover offers up nearly 84 cubic feet of cargo space. Honda’s 3.5-liter V6 engine shows up again, making a serviceable 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Touring and Elite trims get a nine-speed automatic transmission while lower trims have to make do with a six-speed auto. The Honda Pilot is made in Lincoln, Alabama. 2019 Acura RDX A-Spec: Sharp handling, sharper looks Share your voice 2019 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison: An off-road animal 68 Photos More From Roadshow 18 Photos Chevrolet CorvetteMoving up from the 10th-place slot last year is the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette. While we’ve all been ogling the new mid-engine Corvette, it’s easy to forget what a performance bargain the current-generation ‘Vette is. From the base trim to the Grand Sport to the bonkers ZR1, the Corvette is an American icon.My preference is for the Grand Sport, which strikes a perfect balance between everyday drivability and canyon-carving performance. The 6.2-liter V8 puts out 460 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque. You can get it with a seven-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission, but the kicker is the borrowed chassis and aero parts from the beefier Z06. Like I said, perfect balance. The Corvette is made in Bowling Green, Kentucky. General Motors Chevrolet Honda Jeep Acura 12 Photos 52 Photos 2019 Mazda CX-9 is the supermodel among three-row, midsize crossover SUVs 2019 Honda Ridgeline: The commuter’s pickup truck Car Industry SUVs Honda PassportThe Honda Passport is a new (well, reborn) entry to both the Honda lineup and the American Made Index. This midsize crossover comes to the fray with great driving dynamics and plenty of tech like the standard Honda Sensing suite of active safety features. An available 8-inch touchscreen gets Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as a Wi-Fi hotspot.Under the hood is the stalwart 3.5-liter V6 producing 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. However unlike the Ridgeline, the Passport sends that power through a nine-speed automatic transmission. Having said that, just like the Ridgeline, this is the only powertrain available. The Honda Passport is built in Lincoln, Alabama. Review • 2019 Mazda CX-9 review: Losing its edge? Comments Share your voice Acura RDXThe third-generation Acura RDX squeaks into the top ten list with larger proportions, plenty of interior space and better handling than its predecessor. Forward collision warning with collision mitigation braking, adaptive cruise control that works even in low-speed traffic, lane-keeping steering assist and road departure mitigation are all standard across the board. Like its MDX counterpart, the RDX is available with the A-Spec styling package.The RDX sports a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine. Output is stated at 273 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, and it’s mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. The new RDX is built in East Liberty, Ohio. 49 Photoslast_img read more