Monday 25 September 2017
(Middle East Monitor 09/22/17)
On Thursday, Algeria’s Prime Minister, Ahmed Ouyahia, announced that Islamic banking and financial services are to be approved in two public government banks before the end of this year and will be approved in four other banks in 2018. This announcement came during Ouyahia’s response to the deputies of the People’s National Assembly (the first chamber of the parliament) during the ratification session of the government’s plan of action. The government’s action plan won 341 votes out of 462, the total number of deputies in the first chamber, against 64 opposed votes and 13 abstentions. Ouyahia explained that Islamic financial services (Islamic banking and instruments) will be approved in two government banks before the end...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/22/17)
From deadly droughts and destroyed crops to shrinking water sources, communities across sub-Saharan Africa are struggling to withstand the onslaught of global record-breaking temperatures. But the dangers do not end there. Rising heat poses another threat - one that is far less known and studied but could spark disease epidemics across the continent, scientists say. Mosquitoes are the menace, and the risk goes beyond malaria. The Aedes aegypti mosquito, which spreads debilitating and potentially deadly viruses, from Zika and dengue to chikungunya, thrives in warmer climates than its malaria-carrying cousin, known as Anopheles, say researchers at Stanford University. In sub-Saharan Africa, this means malaria rates could rise in cooler areas as they heat up, but fall in hotter places that...
(Xinhuanet 09/21/17)
A total of 17 people, including 11 foreigners, died and five were injured in a road accident on Wednesday night in south Algeria, official APS news agency reported Thursday. APS quoted a civil protection official as saying that the accident occurred in the N6 national highway linking Reggan and Bordj Badji Mokhtar in the province of Adrar, about 1,600 km south of Algiers. Two vehicles collided and left 17 dead, including 11 foreigners and 6 Algerians, and 5 wounded, 4...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/21/17)
Makers of generic AIDS drugs will start churning out millions of pills for Africa containing a state-of-the-art medicine widely used in rich countries, after securing a multi-million dollar guarantee that caps prices at just $75 per patient a year. Global health experts hope the deal will help address two looming problems in the HIV epidemic - the rising threat of resistance developing to standard AIDS drugs, and the need for more investment in manufacturing capacity. Bill Gates’ charitable foundation will...
(AFP (eng) 09/19/17)
Algeria announced Monday that it has destroyed the last of its stock of anti-personnel mines, 10 months after having completed the demining of its territory. A total of 5,970 mines were destroyed at a ceremony in Djelfa, southeast Algeria, the defence ministry said. Algeria, which in 2000 ratified the Ottawa Convention banning anti-personnel mines, has said it finalised the demining of its territory last December, clearing nine million land mines. "The scourge claimed 7,300 civilian lives" in the North African...
(Xinhuanet 09/18/17)
Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia on Sunday admitted that the North African nation is facing a difficult financial situation, saying the government will resort to non-traditional financing resources to overcome this crisis. While presenting the outlines of the government's Plan of Action to the members of the lower house of the Parliament, Ouyahia said non-traditional funding would enable Algeria to come out of the financial crisis within five years. Ouyahia noted that due to the oil prices plunging in the...
(The Guardian 09/18/17)
Anna Jones says that, through selling its cocoa cheaply, Africa is exporting its wealth overseas; while Sue Banford claims that the soya moratorium in the Amazon has done nothing to halt deforestation. Only the final paragraph in your article on cocoa farming causing deforestation in Ivory Coast (Forests pay price for world’s taste for cocoa, 14 September) mentioned the most fundamental thing – the farmer’s livelihood, or lack of it. The low value of his (or more likely her) crop...
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
Societe Generale SA, challenged on its home turf by Orange SA’s push into banking, is fighting back with a new mobile lender in Africa. The French lender started YUP, a new app for smartphones, in Senegal and Ivory Coast and plans to begin operating in four other sub-Saharan countries this year and next, the company said on Thursday. The bank aims to double its client base to 2 million in the region within three years. “Telcos have opened the way...
(AFP (eng) 09/13/17)
An Algerian court on Wednesday found the head of the country's tiny Ahmadi community guilty of "offending Islam" and handed him a six-month suspended sentence, his lawyer said. "Mohamed Fali was handed a six-month suspended sentence. He was found guilty of unauthorised fundraising and offending the Prophet and Islam," Salah Dabouz said. While Ahmadis consider themselves to be Muslims, Islamic extremists have accused them of heresy and since last year Algerian authorities have cracked down on them. The trial in...
(AFP (eng) 09/13/17)
Press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has denounced Algeria's arrest since June of a freelance journalist and fixer as "100 days too many" and demanded his release. Said Chitour, who has worked for the BBC and the Washington Post among others, has been held without trial since intelligence services arrested him at Algiers airport on June 5, RSF said. "The request for his release that his lawyer filed at the end of July has been rejected. No trial date...
(Xinhuanet 09/13/17)
In an effort to promote economic development and solve complex conservation challenges facing world heritage sites, the African World Heritage Fund Patron and former President of Namibia Hifikepunye Pohamba will host a business leader's breakfast event in Namibian Capital, Windhoek on Thursday. The African World Heritage Fund is an initiative of the African Member States of the African Union and UNESCO, launched in 2006. Webber Ndoro, executive director of the African World Heritage Fund, at a media briefing on Tuesday...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/12/17)
Algeria’s new government will introduce Islamic finance and develop its stock market to draw more investment into the economy as it struggles to cope with a sharp fall in energy earnings, according to an official document. The measures are part of wider reforms by Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia’s government, which also said it plans to start fracking for shale hydrocarbons to boost oil and gas revenue, the main source of state income. The North African OPEC member’s finances have been...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/12/17)
Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro on Monday held energy talks with Algerian officials saying there had been a “good atmosphere” between the two OPEC nations and advances on how to restore global crude prices, but gave no details. Maduro was in Algiers to discuss bilateral cooperation, including talks on the 15-month production pact between OPEC and non-OPEC producers including Russia. The deal aims to curb a glut that has weighed on crude prices for more than three years. “We are progressing...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/12/17)
Olympic boxing’s governing body, AIBA, has banned African confederation head Kelani Bayor for three years for allegedly provoking the crowd at the continental championships in Brazzaville last June. Bayor is an AIBA vice-president and executive committee member as well as chairman of Togo’s national Olympic committee. “The Disciplinary Commission found that a hostile and threatening reaction to AIBA officials by spectators after the result of a bout on the last day of the competition was exacerbated by comments from Mr...
(Bloomberg 09/11/17)
The South African companies that dominate the U.K.’s growing private hospital industry are counting on more people like Katie Corrie. A children’s party entertainer, Corrie opted to use 13,000 pounds ($17,000) of her savings and inheritance to get a hip replacement rather than spend months on a National Health Service waiting list. Britons like her are forking out almost 1 billion pounds a year to cover their own medical expenses, a trend that’s giving at least one industry the scope...
(APA 09/08/17)
Deprivation and marginalization, underpinned by weak governance, are primary forces driving young Africans into violent extremism, according to a comprehensive new study by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the first study of its kind. Based on interviews with 495 voluntary recruits to extremist organizations such as Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram, the new study also found that it is often perceived state violence or abuse of power that provides the final tipping point for the decision to join an extremist...
(Middle East Monitor 09/07/17)
A draft organic law amending the organisation and functioning of Algeria’s Council of State was adopted yesterday by the Council of Ministers in a meeting with President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. The new law will complement the new provisions of the Constitution, which was last amended in 2016. New images of Bouteflika, 80, were broadcast earlier this week. This was the first time that he was seen by the public since the previous Council of Ministers meeting in June. There have been...
(Bloomberg 09/07/17)
African Rainbow Minerals Ltd., the miner chaired by South Africa’s richest black businessman, will pay a record dividend this year as rising iron-ore and manganese prices boosted earnings at its ferrous unit. ARM will pay investors 6.50 rand a share, almost triple that of the previous year, and its 11th consecutive dividend, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement Thursday. The company benefited from a 45 percent increase in prices received for exported iron ore and 93 percent more for...
(Xinhuanet 09/06/17)
Zambia soccer team on Tuesday revived their hope to qualify to the World Cup 2018, as they secured second win over Algeria 1-0, in Hamlaoui Stadium in Constantine province, 420km east of Algiers, in the Group B qualifiers. Patso Daka scored the sole goal of this game as Zambia reinforces its second place in Group B with 7 points, only 3 points away from top spot Nigeria (10 pts). On Monday, Nigeria held Cameroon 1-1. Algeria and Cameroon are virtually...
(Bloomberg 09/05/17)
A surge in agriculture has helped lift Africa’s biggest economies out of their slumps, but the recovery may be weak. Gross domestic product in Nigeria, the continent’s largest crude producer, advanced for the first time in six quarters in the three months ended June from a year earlier, growing 0.55 percent, the statistics agency said. In South Africa, GDP expanded 2.5 percent from the previous quarter, ending the second recession in almost a decade. Both economies had agriculture largely to...

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