Monday 25 September 2017
(AFP (eng) 07/23/13)
UN says although genital cutting is on decline, female genital mutilation remains "almost universal" in some countries. More than 125 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation, and 30 million more girls are at risk in the next decade, UNICEF said. Although genital cutting is on the decline, the practice remains "almost universal" in some countries, said the report by the United Nations Children's Fund, released on Monday. The report compiles 20 years of data across 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East. The tradition involves removal of some or all of a female's external genitalia. It can include cutting out the clitoris and sometimes sewing together the labia. Laws are not enough to stop...
(AFP (eng) 07/22/13)
Members of Nelson Mandela's family who this month won a court victory in a macabre burial case enjoyed free legal aid because they were deemed to be poor, media reports said on Sunday. The court, finding in favour of 16 members of Mandela's family, ordered the anti-apartheid icon's eldest grandson, Mandla, to return the remains of three of his children, having reburied them in 2011 without permission. The Sunday Times reported that the group's legal fees were paid by a law clinic based in Grahamstown in southeastern Eastern Cape province. The Rhodes University Law Clinic, which is funded by the South African and foreign governments as well as donations, normally gives legal aid to poor people who live in the...
( 07/22/13)
African governments must improve their support for agricultural research organisations, Vice President Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur has said. “The need for action on agricultural research is urgent. African Governments must increase funding for agricultural research and extension; farmers’ innovations must find their way into the research agenda to enable Africa achieve its goal of food sufficiency,” Mr. Amissah-Arthur said in Accra at the opening ceremony of the 6th Africa Agriculture Science Week (AASW). AASW, hosted by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) in collaboration with the Government of Ghana, brought together over 1,300 scientific researchers, extension officers, farmers, policymakers, development partners, civil society and NGO groups from across the world to discuss the theme “Africa Feeding Africa through Agricultural...
(The Guardian Nigeria 07/21/13)
DESPITE the fall in productivity of Africa’s agriculture over the years occasioned by seasons of under-investment and an ill-advised structural adjustment, there is yet a lot to be done to feed the continent’s huge and fast-growing population. Global figures in agriculture and research agree, as they met in Accra, Ghana that ‘funding to agriculture, to universities and to research centres fell steadily and steeply,’ leading to a reversal of the many gains of the past. Dr. Kanayo Nwanze, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) President articulated as much when he addressed the Sixth Forum of Agriculture Research in Africa (FARA) summit in the Ghanaian capital during the week. He said, “Our universities lost good people. The quality of education declined,”...
(AFP (eng) 07/20/13)
US authorities on Friday charged the former leader of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Mokhtar Belmokhtar, over the deadly January siege at an Algerian gas plant and other crimes.The one-eyed Algerian Islamist -- who allegedly masterminded the seizure in which 38 hostages, including three Americans, died -- was charged on eight counts, including kidnapping and conspiring to take hostages. Both carry maximum sentences of life in prison. The charge sheet also includes a count of conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction at the time of the siege, during which Belmokhtar and his associates threatened to blow up the entire plant. Branded "The Uncatchable," Belmokhtar is also thought to have been behind twin car bombings in Niger in...
(Voice of America 07/20/13)
The U.S. government has charged Mokhtar Belmokhtar with participating in an attack on an Algerian gas processing plant that killed scores of people, including three Americans. The Department of Justice filed the charges Friday in New York, accusing the Algerian-born Belmokhtar of serving as a leader of al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb. Among the charges, he is accused of kidnapping, conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction and providing material support to al-Qaida. Most of the charges have maximum life sentences. In January, militants suspected of being Belmokhtar's followers attacked the gas processing facility in Algeria, taking hundreds of Algerian and foreign workers hostage. More than 30 hostages were killed before Algerian government forces recaptured the plant. Belmokhtar claimed responsibility...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/20/13)
(Reuters) - The African Union will form a new 3,600-strong peacekeeping mission for Central African Republic (CAR) to step up efforts to stabilize the fractious country, officials said on Friday. Admore Kambudzi, secretary of the AU's Peace and Security Council, said an existing regional peacekeeping mission known as MICOPAX would be rolled into the larger new force from August. He said its mandate would be to protect civilians and help stabilize the country and restore the central government in the former French colony, which is rich in gold and diamonds. Central African Republic, a nation of 4.5 million at the heart of the continent, has suffered decades of instability. Seleka rebels toppled the president in March, causing chaos and a...
(AFP (eng) 07/18/13)
Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's return home after almost three months in hospital in Paris raises questions about his ability to complete the last nine months of his term, commentators say. In a brief video broadcast on state television on Tuesday, Bouteflika appeared pale and tense as he was seen meeting his inner circle of officials. Their discussion was inaudible, apart from one point when the president, who had spent 80 days in France after a mini-stroke, made an effort to say "inshallah" (God willing). It was almost a repetition of footage from June 11 in which he was seen receiving Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal and army chief General Ahmed Gaid Salah in the Paris hospital. The earlier broadcast sparked a...
(BBC News Africa 07/17/13)
President Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria has flown home after nearly three months of medical treatment at a hospital in Paris. The 76-year-old arrived at a military airport in Algeria after a two-hour flight, officials say. Mr Bouteflika, who has led the gas-rich North African state for a decade, went to Paris after a mini-stroke in April. Analysts say his health issues have all but ended his chances of running for another presidential term next year. After arriving back in Algeria, the president "will continue a period of rest and rehabilitation", said a statement carried by the official APS news agency. A photograph was released which showed him meeting cabinet ministers. The paucity of official information about his medical condition since...
(Voice of America 07/17/13)
PARIS — Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has returned home after nearly three months in a Paris hospital. The Algerian leader was taken to France in late April after suffering what officials described as a "minor stroke" but which many analysts believe was a more serious ailment. The president's office says Mr. Bouteflika returned to Algiers on Tuesday after completing what it called a "period of care and functional rehabilitation" in France. The statement, carried by Algeria's state news agency, says the 76-year-old president will now pursue "a period of rest and recovery." It made no mention of the president's current condition. Mr. Bouteflika has led Algeria since 1999. His absence caused concern in the North African country, where al-Qaida-linked militant...
( 07/17/13)
Africa’s oil and gas industry is poised for momentous growth despite its grappling with severe stresses of a challenging economic and political environment on the continent, fuelled by poor physical infrastructure, corruption, an uncertain regulatory framework, and a lack of skills, according to a review issued by PwC. PwC’s ‘Africa oil and gas review’ of developments in the African oil and gas industry is the third in a series of reviews of the sector by the tax, assurance and advisory solutions firm. Uyi Akpata, PwC Africa oil and gas industry leader/deputy country senior partner, Nigeria, says: “The challenges facing oil and gas companies operating in Africa are diverse and numerous. Political interference, uncertainty and delays in passing laws, energy policies...
(AFP (eng) 07/16/13)
ALGIERS, July 16, 2013 (AFP) - Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika returned home on Tuesday from Paris after a stay of almost three months in hospital that caused huge concern in the North African country, officials said. The plane that flew Bouteflika from Le Bourget airport near Paris landed at around 1340 GMT at the Boufarik military airport, about 30 kilometres (20 miles) east of Algiers, they said. A frail-looking Bouteflika, 76, had boarded the Algerian presidential jet on a wheelchair after 80 days in Paris where he received treatment for what his doctors described as a mini-stroke. His state of health sparked major concerns in Algeria given his central constitutional role in running the country, and has also generated intense...
(AL Jazeera 07/16/13)
Executive council meets in Nigerian capital to review progress made in combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. The African Union executive council is meeting in the Nigerian capital to take stock of progress made in the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. The conference, which opened in Abuja on Friday, will also address challenges encountered in the campaign against the three diseases. "It is timely that we review the implementation of the various declarations and plans of action adopted in the course of the last decade," Ethiopia's Foreign Minister Tedros Ghebreyesus told the conference, according to the African Union's website. Ghebreyesus said Ethiopia was proposing to establish an "African Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention (African–CDC) or Health Commission for Africa...
(AFP (eng) 07/15/13)
African leaders called for increased funding Monday to contain HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as a continental health summit opened in Nigeria's capital. Among the 10 heads of state in attendance was Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Nigeria is a member of the ICC and has a legal obligation to arrest Bashir but defended the invitation by saying it did not have the authority to bar him from an African Union summit. UN Population Fund executive director Babatunde Osotimehin pointed to key gains made against the diseases over the last decade. In 2001, "HIV treatment in Africa was almost non-existent. Just 11 years later,...
(Sunday Independent 07/15/13)
This week Nelson Mandela celebrates his 95th birthday. Thebe Ikalafeng reflects on this man's. vision for Africa, and how he created an enabling environment for Thabo Mbeki to express our identity on the continent. Throughout its history, South Africa has had a dichotomous relationship and identity with “Africa”. Apartheid South Africa was the pariah that united Africans against the last white rule – the final frontier in the decolonisation of Africa. Post-apartheid, fellow Africans have flooded the most industrialised and wealthiest sub-Saharan African nation in search of a better life, and an expectation of “payback” for the years of support during the apartheid years. But they have not always been met with an expected embrace, mainly because of the perception...

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