| Africatime
Thursday 23 March 2017
(Agence Ecofin 02/22/17)
Mali’s and Algeria’s ministers of energy, Malick Alhousseini and Noureddine Bouterfa respectively, are working on ways to implement the energy cooperation agreement established between the two nations in November 2016. The cooperation is to help Mali benefit from Algeria’s experience in terms of construction and management of solar and wind stations as well as in terms of power network development. According to Bouterfa, it should be facilitated by the geographical similarities between the two nations. The partnership will especially be helpful to Mali in the framework of its electrification program which is to benefit remote areas and see the construction of two hybrid power plants of 40 MW each in Gaoua
(Xinhuanet 02/22/17)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to Algeria scheduled for Monday and Tuesday has been postponed to a later date due to Algerian President Bouteflika "acute bronchitis," according to the statement issued by the president office. "Algerian and German authorities mutually agreed on Monday to postpone Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Angela Merkel's official visit," read the official APS agency's statement. The source specified that the visit will be rescheduled on a date to be agreed upon by both parties. President Bouteflika, 80, is recovering from a stroke at the end of April 2013 which restricted his mobility and presidential activities. The president's health has been the subject of controversy as opposition parties claim he can no longer govern...
(Xinhuanet 02/22/17)
Africa Energy Indaba, the continent's premier energy event, kicked off in Johannesburg on Monday with the aim of finding solutions to the continent's energy future. The three-day conference is being attended by the governments' representatives, business and funders. The meeting seeks to unleash the continent's potential by coming up with an energy mix to develop Africa. Dr. Garth Strachan, Deputy Director General and Head of Gas Industrialization Unit in South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry said the recent discoveries of gas in Mozambique, Angola and Tanzania provides a huge opportunity for the continent. He said there is a need for the countries to work together to tap benefits from the gas for the good of the continent. Strachan said...
(AFP (eng) 02/21/17)
Speculation mounted Tuesday over Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's health and political future after acute bronchitis forced the 79-year-old to postpone a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Merkel had been due to meet him Monday as part of efforts to push North African countries to reduce the flow of migrants across the Mediterranean into Europe. But Bouteflika's office said he was "temporarily unavailable due to acute bronchitis", forcing Merkel's visit to be pushed back. Bouteflika, who has been in power since 1999, suffered a stroke in 2013 that affected his speech and confined him to a wheelchair. He has rarely appeared in public since, but frequently visits France for medical treatment. "From great alacrity to temporary unavailability," read Algeria's French-language...
(AfricaNews 02/21/17)
The Algerian presidency has announced that the official visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been postponed due to what they described as the “temporary unavailability” of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. The statement released today disclosed that the President was suffering from “acute bronchitis,” the reason why he was unable to meet with the German Chancellor. “The Algerian and German authorities have today agreed, by mutual agreement, the postponement of the official visit to Algeria by Her Excellency Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany.
(Bloomberg 02/21/17)
Ashish Thakkar, who co-founded Africa banking conglomerate Atlas Mara Ltd. with ex-Barclays Plc head Bob Diamond, lost a ruling over the ownership of family assets in a London divorce case, with a judge questioning Thakkar’s truthfulness. Judge Philip Moor ruled that Thakkar, and not his mother and sister, was the owner of disputed assets in the divorce. He found that the 35-year-old owned 100 percent of Mara Group Holdings Ltd. and other corporate entities. The result will have ramifications in the proceedings where a judge will have to decide how much Thakkar -- described in videos posted on his foundation’s website as "Africa’s Youngest Billionaire" -- is worth. Thakkar says he has assets of 445,532 pounds ($553,000) while his wife,...
(AFP (eng) 02/20/17)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to Algiers was called off on Monday because President Abdelaziz Bouteflika was "temporarily unavailable" due to "acute bronchitis", his office said. "Algerian and German authorities have today mutually agreed to postpone the official visit" of Merkel, the presidency said in a statement. "This postponement is due to the fact that Mr Bouteflika, who is at his residence in Algiers, is temporarily unavailable due to acute bronchitis," it added. Merkel had been due to arrive in the capital at 1700 GMT as part of efforts to get North African countries to reduce the flow of migrants across the Mediterranean into Europe. Bouteflika, 79, suffered a mini-stroke in 2013 that affected his mobility and speech. He has...
(AFP (eng) 02/20/17)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits Algeria from Monday to press efforts to get North African countries to reduce the flow of migrants across the Mediterranean into Europe. Merkel, who last week hosted Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, is hoping for partnerships with Maghreb countries and Egypt to prevent a new wave of migrants making the dangerous sea crossing to the EU. Merkel arrives in Algiers at 1700 GMT before holding meetings with Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal and, on Tuesday, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. Algeria is a key actor in seeking to stabilise neighbouring Libya...
(AFP (eng) 02/15/17)
Sub-Saharan Africa, where more than a half billion people live without electricity, trails the world in government policies that promote sustainable energy, according to a new World Bank report Wednesday. Much of the rest of the world, however, has made strides toward making energy broadly available, developing renewable power sources and increasing efficiency, the inaugural Regulatory Indicators for Sustainable Energy report said. In a survey of 111 countries, the World Bank found that through 2015 nearly 80 percent had begun to adopt policies to expand electrical grids, connecting them to solar and wind generation, and to help make electric utilities creditworthy and financially viable while keeping energy prices down. More than a third of countries, home to 96 percent of...
(Agence Ecofin 02/14/17)
On Feb 8, on the sidelines of the International fair on real estate and urban development held in Algiers, the head of the national organization of real estate developers (ONPI), Maâmar Boumdal mentioned heavy land procedures which are detrimental to real estate investors. The official shared concerns over the “various constraints that real estate developers face, such as difficulty to obtain some approvals like building and subdivision permits, those for leveling as well as other technical dossiers. Moreover, delays are much long and exceed those of banks and meetings with clients,” says El Watan. Boumdal also asked for conditions of access to land permits to be revised. “The only way to get land is by obtaining a land concession, however...
(Voice of America 02/14/17)
U.S. President Donald Trump made his first phone calls to African heads of state Monday, speaking with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and South African President Jacob Zuma. Nigeria and South Africa said the calls were made at the request of the U.S. president, who until now has said little about Africa or African issues since assuming office last month. The Nigerian presidency said Trump and Buhari discussed issues of terrorism, and said Trump assured Buhari the United States is ready to make a new deal to help Nigeria "in terms of military weapons." The statement said Trump also commended Buhari for the strides Nigeria is making against Islamist radical group Boko Haram, and invited Buhari to come to Washington at...
(AFP (eng) 02/12/17)
Once one of Africa's biggest car buyers, Algeria is embarking on an ambitious programme aimed at replacing hundreds of thousands of foreign imports with domestically produced models to keep drivers on the road. Facing up to a sharp drop in the price of oil -- its main revenue source -- the North African nation has launched a "new economic model" which seeks to reduce reliance on crude sales. One of the ways it hopes to achieve this is by developing its domestic automotive industry, which has been given incentives to produce more models after the government radically slashed imports. As fears grow over US President Donald Trump's impact on global free trade, Algeria's move towards homegrown manufacturing is a possible...
(AFP (eng) 02/10/17)
Up to 18 players at the just-completed Africa Cup of Nations could be involved in the new-look CAF Champions League when it kicks off this weekend. Among them is Georges Bokwe, one of two unused goalkeepers in the Cameroon squad that defeated Egypt in the final last Sunday in Gabon. Bokwe was kept out of the starting line-up by the consistent brilliance of Spain-based Fabrice Ondoa, who was included in the team of the tournament. But Bokwe is the first choice for regular Champions League entrants Coton Sport from northern Cameroon cotton town Garoua. Coton qualified for the 2008 final, losing to Al Ahly of Egypt, but have fared poorly recently with first round exits in the past two seasons...
(AFP (eng) 02/09/17)
Germany arrests Algerian, Nigerian 'IslamisGerman police in overnight raids arrested an Algerian and a Nigerian man suspected of planning an Islamist attack, authorities said Thursday. More than 450 officers took part in the mass raids targeting 12 locations, mostly in the central city of Goettingen in Lower Saxony state, they said. Police investigating the fundamentalist Islamist community had acted on information pointing to "a possibly imminent terrorist attack", said the city's police chief Uwe Luehrig. They detained the two men, a 27-year-old Algerian and a Nigerian, 23, who had both lived for some time in the city with their families.
(Standard Digital 02/09/17)
Hundreds of business and political personalities yesterday attended a German-African economic summit in Nairobi, where German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Mueller talked about his “Marshall Plan” for Africa. The plan is “with Africa, not for Africa,” Mueller (pictured) said, stressing that it would be based on cooperation between equals rather than the principles of traditional development aid. The plan, which Mueller presented to the German parliament’s development committee on Wednesday, is based on fair trade conditions, investment and increasing aid for educational projects. One of the goals of the plan, which the German opposition received with scepticism, is to curb migratory flows from Africa to Europe. Mueller called on German companies to focus on Africa, which he...
(Xinhuanet 02/08/17)
Algerian and Tunisian officials on Tuesday agreed on working to increase and optimize energy supply on the border areas of the two neighboring North African nations. The two nations held their bilateral energy committee in Algiers, as part of the visit of Tunisian Energy Minister Hela Cheikh Rouhou. The meeting focused on ways and means to boost energy interconnection network between the two nations, in a bid to increase electricity and supply to the border areas, said a statement of the Algerian Energy Ministry quoted by APS news agency.
(AL Jazeera 02/08/17)
The EU must espouse a transnational approach with a clear development agenda that replaces its current security policy. One year ago, 22-year-old Patrick left Douala, the largest city in Cameroon, to become a football star in Europe. A talented midfielder and an ambitious young man, Patrick felt compelled to reach Europe to help him to realise his dreams. But, as he passed through Agadez in Niger, which has become a major transit hub for migrants taking the Central Mediterranean route, reality proved to be grimmer than he had anticipated. Patrick and two of his male relatives, also travelling from Douala, were beaten, robbed and held captive by organised predatory groups. Finally, their tumultuous journey came to an end in Algeria,...
(Bloomberg 02/06/17)
Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. is expected to raise about $500 million for its new African investment fund, attracting less than its original goal as investor interest in the region proved weaker than anticipated, according to people familiar with the matter. The Toronto-based insurer sought to raise as much as $1 billion at $10 a share for Fairfax Africa Holdings Corp. in an initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange, according to a regulatory filing in December. Fairfax said it had secured as much as $416 million in commitments for the African venture from both its own funds and partners, including the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, a Canadian pension fund and CI Investments Inc., according to the...
(Xinhuanet 02/03/17)
T20 Africa Conference, the meeting for the G20 think tanks and African countries, ended on Friday in Johannesburg with a commitment to accelerate cooperation between the G20 and Africa. The three-day conference aimed to chart a course for the future cooperation between Africa and the G20. The day ended with the formulation of the communique which will be given to the current G20 chair Germany. The communique will also be the reference for further discussion between Africa and T20. T20 comprises of the G20 think tanks. Dr. Christine Hackenesch, researcher at the German Development Institute (DIE) said, "There was an agreement that there must be a continuous and sustained engagement between G20 and Africa because there is a strong dependence...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/02/17)
African leaders have backed a "strategy of collective withdrawal" from the International Criminal Court (ICC), but it came with unspecified reservations, an African Union official said on Wednesday after this week's African Union summit. The official did not give details about the strategy or the reservations, but it highlights broad antipathy towards the court among Africans who feel the ICC unfairly targets them. A document seen by Reuters before the summit proposed a co-ordinated withdrawal unless the ICC was reformed. It included a call for "regionalization" of international law, a reference to proposals for an African war crimes court. Almost a third of the ICC's 124 members are African, and a withdrawal by a large number of them would cripple...

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