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ReConnect Africa is a unique website and online magazine for the African professional in the Diaspora. Packed with essential information about careers, business and jobs, ReConnect Africa keeps you connected to the best of Africa.

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Kelly, South Africa's leading talent management organisation, has launched Kelly ICT which is built around the skills and talents of core ICT experts. Kelly ICT is specifically geared toward giving client's technical staffing objectives an elevated position through the unique resources and worldwide presence of Kelly. Kelly's current international recruiting strategies and worldwide alliances gives the company access to a wide selection of candidates. The company promises seamless ICT staffing solutions for all businesses from top blue chips to individually owned companies.

An initiative by a voluntary organisation called the NARM (Naming And Role Model) Project appeals for male role models of African descent closer to home in a week when the world has focused on the first African-American President. In the wake of the historic inauguration of Barack Obama, Brent-based voluntary organisation BTWSC (its acronym is taken from the organisation’s first project entitled Beyond The Will Smith Challenge), whose remit include raising aspirations, is launching the second phase of the NARM Project with a new website on January 26, where the general public can nominate British African male role models. BTWSC has been researching the lives of British role models over the last century, starting from 1907. It aims to unearth especially those that engage in community activities.The second phase opens up the research for members of the British public, irrespective of race, gender or age, to send in their nominations. The Project will publish a free booklet, and a DVD consisting of interviews with the most popular living nominees, and mount a photographic exhibition at Brent Museum over the summer. Profiles of the nominees and related resources will be posted at www.btwsc.com/NARM, where nominations can also be posted. The Project is working with young and adult volunteers in researching and recording testimonies from a number of local and, it is hoped, national figures. It is also running workshops with schools and Brent Archive. Role models will be chosen from the fields of politics, legal, business, the sciences, the judiciary, education, arts, sports, voluntary organisations and charities. BTWSC has already received support from a wide range of organisations and individuals confirming demand for the Project. Closing date for nominations which count towards the main ranking list from which living nominees will be interviewed for the DVD and booklet, is February 28. Late nominations will be used in supplementary lists and added to the online resources. info@btwsc.com, www.btwsc.com/NARM Website and www.btwsc.com/NARM URL may be offline as designers work on it for launch on Monday Jan. 26 2009. info@btwsc.com   can be used instead, or try http://btwsc.com/projects.php?id=33&project=detail. Nominations must include reasons for nomination, and any information on community engagement done by nominee.

PetroSA has announced that they have posted a record R11billion in revenue for the for the 2007/08 financial year. Revenue for the financial period was up 23 percent from R8.9billion in 2007. The company also recorded a R1.8 billion after-tax profit. High crude prices and a weaker rand were the main contributors to the high revenue levels. There was also a significant increase in imported diesel re-sales, which make up 16 percent of gross revenue, which were required to augment the declining indigenous gas-fields’ out-turn. PetroSA continued its drive to effect sustainable transformation in the liquid fuels industry. PetroSA has decided to embark on Project Mthombo, which seeks to establish a deep conversion, 400 000 barrels-per-day crude refinery at Coega, Port Elizabeth in order to meet expected growth in demand. During the year under review PetroSA experienced no adverse environmental or safety incidents.

Sonangol has recently published the winter edition of Universo Magazine. Universo is distributed to an international audience of approximately 15,000 readers, interested in oil, business, politics and culture in Angola. To receive a free copy of Universo Magazine, please send an electronic request to: circulation@universo-magazine.com.

Over the next five years, Angola will receive over 200 scholarships each year from the Cuban Government, under current cooperation agreements in education. Half of the scholarships will be in the area of health sciences.

In an attempt to promote the export of value-added products and generate jobs and revenue Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has offered investors free land. The President made the comments while opening the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OEDC) meeting in Kampala in 9 December 2008. The two-day forum brought together 30 European countries, the USA, Japan, South Korea and Mexico with the aim of addressing the challenges of globalisation. OECD works closely with NEPAD to support African countries in developing policy reforms that strengthen investment and development. During their meeting the delegates discussed investment on transport infrastructure and regional integration. Transport costs remain high in Africa, accounting for 14% of the value of exports, compared to only 8.6% for developed countries. Currently, only 27.6% of Africa’s two million kilometres of roads is paved compared to 43% in Asia and 33.5% in Latin America.

A three-year agreement on support for bioscience networking via the BioFISA programme has been signed by Finland and South Africa. BioFISA -- the Finnish-Southern African partnership programme to strengthen the Southern African network for biosciences -- is a co-operation programme with NEPAD and the South African Ministry of Science and Technology. The aim of the programme - the first tripartite project in Southern Africa - is to build up a co-operation network in the field of biosciences between universities, research institutes and NGOs in 12 Southern African countries. It is based on NEPAD's SANBio network and supports the exchange of information in the field of biosciences and the utilisation of indigenous plants through access to global markets and commercialisation of research results. To support bioscience research NEPAD has launched a research programme, including biodiversity research, biotechnology, and the harnessing of indigenous knowledge and technologies. Four research networks have been established in Africa, including SANBio - the Southern African Network for Biosciences. One of the key goals of the BioFISA research network is the development of public-private cooperation. The BioFISA project, which will be launched at the beginning of 2009, will support the research activities and utilisation of the results of SANBio in the following fields of biosciences: the development of anti-inflammatories for the treatment of HIV with reasonable user prices, the research of the biodiversity of inland freshwater fishes in Southern Africa, and the development of mushroom production. Agriculture constitutes 35 per cent of the gross national income on the African continent, 40 per cent of the exports, and offers employment to 70 per cent of the labour force. However, agriculture has failed to respond to the increased demand resulting from population growth. In addition, agricultural production is further burdened by natural catastrophes, overgrazing, and the impact of climate change. Consequently, African nations are now investing in scientific research in the field of biosciences. Biosciences form an extensive area of research, including efforts to develop more durable crops with higher yields, cattle with higher resistance to diseases, more advanced disease diagnostics, and more accurately targeted medicines and vaccines.

A ministerial conference on higher education in Africa, with the theme: "Engaging African universities in the development agenda," will be held in Lusaka, Zambia, on 23-27 February 2009. Convened by COMESA and RUFORUM in partnership with NEPAD, FARA, CTA, FARNPAN and ANAFE, the international conference is a bid by stakeholders to bring together key policymakers and others to mobilise political commitment for increasing investments in higher education in Africa, facilitate networking at all levels to spur and sustain high quality higher education in Africa and mobilise African universities to re-engineer their human resource development programmes through proactive engagement in the continent's development agenda and to make their contribution to research and innovation. The conference will be officially opened by Zambia's President Rufia Banda. To register online visit: www.ruforum.org

The African Union (AU) is hoping to set up a communal fund to pay for education, science and technology programmes on the continent. The fund would be held by the African Development Bank (ADB), and be open to contributions from international donors as well as from African governments. Many millions of dollars are pledged in support of science and technology development in Africa every year. But fears over how money will be managed are making donors reluctant to fund projects, says Hakim Elwaer, director of science and technology at the AU Commission. In addition to putting donors' minds at rest, the fund would also help the AU coordinate science and technology programmes on the continent - something that is problematic at the moment. Elwaer said that an important step towards establishing the fund came when the ADB sent an envoy to the African Ministerial Council on Science and Technology (AMCOST) in Abuja, Nigeria, to express the bank's willingness to host the fund. But much of the detail has yet to be worked out - such as how the fund will work, how much money it might hold and when it might be established and the ADB is awaiting the outcome of a feasibility study expected by March 2009. The idea for a mechanism to coordinate pan-African funds for science programmes was mooted in the Consolidated Plan of Action (CPA), a continental science plan adopted by governments in 2005.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has bestowed this year's Ceres Medal to Liberian President Ellen Sirleaf-Johnson for her work in promoting food security and agricultural development. At the 6 December ceremony in the northern Liberian town of Voinjama, Jacques Diouf, FAO Director-General, the West African nation has prioritized bolstering agriculture as part of its development efforts, despite the degradation of the farming sector following two wars. Mr. Diouf lauded the Liberian leader, the first elected female president in Africa, for continuing to invest in agriculture amid the international financial crisis. The Ceres Medal is named after the Roman goddess of agriculture. Liberia is rebuilding after 14 years of brutal war that ended in 1996. In 2003, more than half of the country''s 3 million-strong population was estimated to be undernourished.

Rwanda's booming manufacturing and farming sectors could push growth in the country to 10% this year, according to the Rwandan central bank governor. Agriculture is particularly strong and is growing at a minimum rate of 10%, said Francois Kanimba. But Rwanda's growth rate is likely to fall to 6-7% next year because of the global financial crises. Several African countries are feeling the fallout of the financial crisis and are readjusting their growth forecasts, said Kanimba who said that the current assumption for 2009 is a growth rate of 6-7%. He also said that the drop in commodity prices, a slowdown in the growth of manufacturing and services and a decrease in the amount of remittances Rwanda received would contribute to the lower figure. But he maintained a positive outlook on 2008's growth figures, suggesting economic growth will be close to 10%. Agriculture output is growing at a minimum of 10%, while manufacturing and service sectors over the last five years have averaged higher than 10%. The forecast 2008 growth rate figures are considerably higher than last year figure of 6%. Rwanda has been trying to revamp its battered economy since the 1994 genocide. It is particularly ramping up its farming, tourism, mining and energy sectors.

The government of China has extended grant aid of 20 million Chinese Yuan (3 million US dollars) to Sudan for strengthening north-south unity. The Chinese Vice-Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng pointed out that the Chinese donation comes in the framework of the partnership between the Chinese and Sudanese people. While the Sudanese Finance Minister Awad Al-Jaz said the money will be used in the program of unity between the north and south. Sudan and China have agreed to activate economic cooperation and trade between the two countries and open branches of Chinese banks in Sudan to revitalize the commercial relations between the two countries. China is Sudan's leading commercial partner while Sudan is China's third largest trade partner in Africa. The volume of trade exchange between the two countries in 2007 reached 5.6 billion US dollars, while the trade volume in the first nine months of 2008 was at 6.5 billion dollars comprising different sectors, particularly oil, machinery, equipments and goods.

Lonrho, the pan-African conglomerate, has secured leasehold rights to 25,000 hectares of rice paddies in Angola and is negotiating two bigger land deals in Mali and Malawi. David Lenigas, Lonrho's executive chairman, said the group has agreed to a 50-year lease of the rice fields in the Uige province of Angola, which were abandoned during the country's long civil war that ended in 2002. The deal would use up the bulk of $6m planned spending on agricultural projects this year, and would be leveraged with Angolan financing. The company would re-develop the land in collaboration with state agencies and pay royalties on food produced. Mr Lenigas said the two further deals under negotiation - one on the inland delta on the Malian stretch of the Niger river, another on the shores of lake Malawi - would bring total land in Africa under development by Lonrho’s agricultural subsidiary to 150,000 hectares. The deal represents one of the most ambitious land buy ups yet on the continent and in contrast to many recent deals designed to serve export markets, will focus initially on domestic African consumption. The Angolan government is striving to diversify its oil dependent economy and is seeking $6bn in agriculture investment over the coming five years. Source: Financial Times

The Nigerian Federal Government has formulated a new policy that would enable federal education inspectors to acquire Information and Communication Technology (ICT) training, to enable them to compute the activities of the education sector and enhance their productivity. The training, which would be conducted in collaboration with the office of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), is part of government's reform agenda of improving efficiency in service delivery. According to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Goke Adegoroye, those selected for the training were from the Federal Inspectorate of Service (FIS) offices nationwide. The policy focus of the Ministry of Education is on computerisation of the activities of the education sector and staff ICT capacity building for enhanced productivity, and the training is part of the reform agenda of the ministry, to re-invigorate the FIS and improve its proficiency on quality assurance delivery. While attributing the perceived downward trend in educational output to use of obsolete tools for quality assurance practices, Adegoroye reiterated government's commitment to building the ICT capacity of its staff, to make them responsive to emerging global trends. Chief Operating Officer, NIIT Jailesh Shah said the training, which would last for two weeks, would enable participants to improve on their data management skills, thereby developing the country's education sector.

Oceanic Bank International Plc has again won the keenly contested 2008 'Best Bank in Nigeria'. The award was from the EMEAfinance, the UK-based financial intelligence magazine covering Europe, Middle East and Africa. The magazine named Oceanic Bank International Plc as emerging Best Bank in Nigeria 2008 among the hordes of banks nominated for the award at its maiden African Bank Awards Luncheon held in London last Monday. Oceanic Bank, according to EMEAfinance, won the awards on account of "robust growth in its asset base, profitability, return on equity, and regional expansion, among others." EMEAfinance is a leading financial intelligence magazine and a reputable information source for the financial services industry in Europe, Middle East and Africa. The feat achieved by the bank, according to the statement, is coming on the heels of similar award of Bank of the Year won in 2006 and 2007 consecutively - a prize instituted by The Banker magazine, a subsidiary of the Financial Times of London.

Ecobank-Liberia has made another history again in the banking sector. Eco-Bank recently won an International award; the 2008 Bankers' Award for Liberia at the Annual Award of Excellence ceremony organized by Bankers' Magazine and Financial Times in London. The awards, considered to be the most prestigious event within the global banking industry was held at the renowned Dorchester Hotel in London; recognizing the best banks in over 130 countries of the world. Ecobank-Liberia emerged the clear winner putting the country on the map of world-class banking institutions. It is the first time ever for Liberia to be considered for the Bankers' Award entering its 8th session this year.

South Africa's No. 4 banking group, Nedbank, has agreed to a pan-African business tie-up with Ecobank Transnational Inc. to expand its reach on the continent, the companies said on Tuesday. The alliance between Nedbank, which is strong in southern Africa, and Ecobank, which operates in west, east and central Africa, would create a network of 1,000 branches and banking outlets in 30 countries.

Ghana Commercial Bank limited (GCB), the largest indigenous Bank with over 130 branches nation-wide has doubled its profit for the period ended September 2008. The bank's main revenue lines include interest income, fees and commissions from customer account servicing and letters of credit. Other operating incomes include gains made from financial transactions. Interest Income increased by 54% from GH¢ 78.55 million to GH ¢120.92 million whilst Fees and Commissions increased by 30% from GH¢25.39 million for the period ended September 2007 to GH¢33.13 million in September 2008. Gains made from financial transactions however fell significantly from GH¢2.72 million to GH¢0.62 million.

Platinum Habib Bank (Bank PHB) has successfully acquired Spring Bank Plc having obtained the minimum 51 percent of over 3 billion shares of Spring Bank Plc it needs to take over the financial institution. With the acquisition of majority stakes in Spring Bank Plc now complete, the expectation is that Bank PHB will move in with a new management at the expiration of the tenure of the current Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) appointed Interim Management, by December 31, 2008. Bank PHB had on November 28, 2008 opened a N21 billion bid for more than three billion units of Spring Bank Plc in a bid to take its stake in the bank to more than 51 percent to give it controlling stakes in Spring Bank Plc. Bank PHB, at the time had 33 percent of the issued shares of Spring Bank which was acquired with the approval of Nigeria's banking and capital market regulatory authorities. Analysts are of the opinion that the takeover and the injection of a new management by Bank PHB is expected to bring a new lease of life into Spring Bank Plc, once a top ten bank at consolidation but currently in the low 20 ranking in the Nigerian banking industry.

The Gaborone-based Bourse Africa Limited was recently licensed by the government of Botswana to set-up spot or derivative multi-asset exchange for trading in commodities, currencies, bonds and diamonds. Goromonzi, now the executive director for Bourse Africa Limited, said the balance equity would be held by other African financial institutions, banks, global multi-lateral developmental ventures, exchanges and other strategic investors. The exchange will offer participants an efficient, cost-effective and secure trading platform, supported by a world-class regulatory framework to ensure market integrity, systemic stability and investor protection. Bourse Africa will serve financial and commodity market participants and investors, both African and international, to provide possibilities for hedging, arbitrage and investment.

Small and medium scale investors in the country have expressed joy over reforms in the business sector which the government adopted in 2008 to reduce the cost and burden of investing in Rwanda. A handful of small scale investors interviewed in a random survey carried out by The New Times since the beginning of December across selected suburbs in Kigali city, revealed that the private sector investors were happy with continued effort by government in improving conditions of accessing capital, reducing non tariff barriers and "a reasonable tax policy".

China Union Investment Company has arrived in Liberia with an investment of US$2.6 billion, believed to be the largest investment under the administration of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, barely a week following the arrival of Seaboard Corporation with an initial investment of US30million. China Union Company Limited is expected to invest in one of Liberia's most prosperous site, the Bong Ranges, formerly operated by the Bong Mines Company (BMC). The Chinese company recently successfully won a bid to operate Bong mines with a very high score.

Smallholder farmers and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Kenya that are engaged in agro-based initiatives now have more opportunities for accessing funds for their activities and the usual constraints they faced in finding working capital could be a thing of the past. This is a result of flexible credit schemes being provided by the Equity Bank through credit guarantees from development partners in support of the implementation of NEPAD's Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). The bank was awarded 1 million Kenya shillings (US$ 14,000) by GTZ-Kenya as equity to guarantee credit of 40 million shillings (US$550,000) to SMEs and farmers to promote the use of environmentally friendly firewood stoves. In a similar development the bank reached an agreement with the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) to mobilise resources of US$50 million to provide credit access to smallholder farmers, agricultural input dealers, processors and marketers of agricultural produce. AGRA will provide the bank with 10% of the funds as a credit guarantee to ensure that farmers can still have access to finances in cases of unforeseen circumstances.

Beginning in 2009, London Square Real Estate Company will begin setting up factories, to build metal structures for prefabricated housing, in various Angolan provinces. Each factory is estimated at USD 13 million. The company is currently finalizing project negotiations with the Angolan Private Investment Agency (ANIP).

KBR Inc., the U.S. engineering firm that split from Halliburton Co. last year, and Sonangol, Angola’s state oil company, signed an agreement to build a refinery in the port of Lobito, KBR said. Work on the refinery will begin in January, John Quinn, president of KBR's downstream division, said in an interview in the capital, Luanda. The company will also oversee all construction work and hire contractors, he said. The Houston-based company got involved in the project after Sonangol in March last year said it ended talks with China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. over the $3.7 billion, 200,000- barrel-a-day refinery project, known as Sonaref. Angola, which vies with Nigeria as Africa’s biggest oil producer, is seeking to process more of its own oil to boost earnings and has been planning to build the refinery at Lobito, 373 miles south of Luanda, since 2002. The country has a 39,000 barrel-per-day refinery in Luanda. It also plans to build a second refinery in Lobito and expand its natural gas industry.

The Chinese government will fund major infrastructural projects to promote investment, that would see Kenya elevated into a middle level economy, Prime Minister Raila Odinga has said. Speaking during a Commemorative Scholarship Awarding ceremony in Kibera, Mr Odinga said the China African Development Bank (CADB), which runs a multi-trillion shilling investment base, has expressed interest in the construction of the Lamu-Juba standard rail-line project, whose completion would link countries in the horn of Africa to the sea port. He said the CADB, which plans to open a regional office in Nairobi to coordinate the infrastructural projects, was on the verge of completing the highway stretching from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to Gigiri. Odinga also urged the Chinese business community to increase imports of Kenyan tea in the Asian country to bridge the current trade imbalance for the mutual benefit of all parties. During the ceremony, 45 students were given education scholarships by the Chinese embassy in Nairobi. The scholarships are tailored to benefit destitute students from the sprawling Kibera slums and enable the beneficiary students to study China in the 2009/10 academic year. The PM said the footprints of the Sino (China)-Kenya relationship were evident in various initiatives, including the education, economic and non-commercial interests since the turn of the millennium, which coincided with the economic liberalisation in the country.

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a market leader and award-winning innovator in consumer electronics, has signed a new partnership agreement with the International Youth Foundation (IYF) to address youth unemployment in Africa as a part of its corporate social responsibility commitment in the region. The nations of Africa face many challenges in their development efforts. Fundamental to addressing them is working to increase economic activity, particularly by promoting job skills and preparing young people for successful, long-term careers. The new collaboration will implement a multiple phase youth employment and entrepreneurship program. Phase I will begin immediately in Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa, and expands on current IYF programs in each country. Under the agreement, Samsung will provide financial support and work with IYF to find ways to utilize its cutting-edge technology and expertise to help address the employment needs of Africa's youth. The proposed projects will have a lasting impact on thousands of young people on the African continent and present an opportunity through which Samsung's local employees can be directly involved.

The Angolan Government invested approximately USD 7.5 billion to rehabilitate, build, and modernize economic and social infrastructures in 2007. This figure represents approximately 60% of total public investments.

2008 has been the most expensive year for Ugandans since the turn of the millennium according to statistics by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics. The cost of living this year exceeded that of 2000 by over 58% according to the consumer index department of the Bureau.

Zain will invest US$420 million in its new network in Ghana and for the first time will be offering 3.5G services to its customers. Zain Ghana's network will offer its customers ultra high-speed internet access and for the first time in Ghana the ability to make video-calls and use rich multimedia content including the ability to send video clips, music and pictures at the touch of a button. The launch of its Ghana operation brings the number of countries in which Zain's award winning 'One Network' service coverage map to 17. 'One Network' Zain's borderless mobile service is available to over half a billion people across the Middle East and Africa - an area greater than the United States of America . One Network offers Zain customers favourable rates, free of roaming surcharges for cross-border communications. Ghanaian Zain customers now have access to One Network service and can travel freely with their phones through Burkina Faso , Democratic Republic of the Congo , Gabon , Kenya , Nigeria , Niger , Tanzania and Uganda . The company said there are plans to make the service fully operational in all other Zain countries by the end of the year.

Susie Smith, a pioneer in the fight against HIV and AIDS, worked for Oxfam GB for 30 years. With this prize, Oxfam wants to acknowledge her commitment to sub-Saharan Africa and her constant willingness to challenge conventional thinking. The prize of £3,000 will be awarded for a single piece of writing on HIV and AIDS from sub-Saharan Africa, which has already been published. Any writing - possibly an article, poetry, fiction or a chapter of a book - of up to 10,000 words and published in English since 2006 will be eligible. The judges will focus on the quality of the submissions and on the impact the writing has had. All submissions must be received by March 31st 2009. Please include a cover letter outlining the impact your piece has had. We expect to announce the winner in July 2009. To enter, send your submission, with a cover letter to: susiesmithmemorialprize@oxfam.org.uk

Virgin CEO Richard Branson has handed out awards for business proposals to students of the Branson School of Entrepreneurship. The proposals of the eight finalists in the competition ranged from fashion design to maize-grinding. All were small businesses that had only recently been started up. The winner, 29-year-old Sonwabile Mngenel of Mngenela Promoters, pocketed R10 000. Mngenela creates unique ceramics, already has wholesalers, and says he wants to take his company global. Branson said that one of the goals of the competition, and the school, was to create small businesses that could compete with giant companies. "You can build international empires with small amounts of money," he said. Branson also announced that an anonymous businessman was so impressed by the programme that he had pledged US$10 000 to the winners of the competition for the next five years. The CEO of the Umsobomvu Youth Fund, Malose Kekana, spontaneously offered all eight contenders R10 000 in funding for their businesses. In addition, one of the judges of the competition, Peter Callum, who is head of the Cass Business School in London, offered Mngenela a place in Cass's summer programme. Mngenela is originally from the Eastern Cape, and ceramics run in his family. His entire family, from his sister to his 100-year-old grandmother, produces ceramics in home-made stoves. One of the school's business managers, Martin Lugho, said the Branson School of Entrepreneurship was different from traditional institutions like the University of Witwatersrand or the University of Johannesburg. The Branson School of Entrepreneurship is affiliated with CIDA City Campus. It provides bursaries for all of its students to cover their fees as well as room and board. All of its students are from previously disadvantaged backgrounds. In addition to an education, the school is also a massive networking hub, connecting young entrepreneurs with established businesses who might want to invest in their ideas.

African workers will benefit from oil training courses run by Venezuelan energy experts to streamline upstream operations, a Venezuelan state official has declared. According to Afrik, foreign affairs vice-minister Reinaldo Jose Bolivar told journalists that the country had signed more than 150 training and development pacts with various African countries under the remit of the South America-African Union partnership. Following a meeting with African Union Commission chairman Jean Ping, he said that the country would not shirk its commitment to human development because of the global downturn. He did warn that the sliding oil price is likely to affect state revenues, although he iterated the country's commitment to intercontinental cooperation. According to Dow Jones Newswires, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has recently entered an agreement with counterpart Raul Castro of Cuba which will see the latter country's refinery output supplemented.

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