Friday 26 May 2017
(AFP (eng) 04/23/17)
Morocco has accused Algeria of expelling 55 Syrians across the countries' shared border, criticising it for "inhumane behaviour" in the latest row between the North African rivals. The Syrians were sent across the frontier near the desert town of Figuig, Morocco's interior ministry said in a statement late Friday. In searing heat and rugged terrain, they had reached the area in several groups before being "surrounded" by Algerian police, according to the Moroccan authorities. Rabat condemned its neighbour's "inhumane behaviour" towards the migrants who included "women and children in a very vulnerable situation".
(Bloomberg 04/20/17)
WorldRemit Ltd., a British money-transfer operator, sees revenue from transactions involving Africans doubling by 2020 as more people on the continent access mobile-payment platforms and expatriates send cash home. The seven-year-old company, in which Facebook Inc.-backer Accel Partners LP invested $40 million in 2014, will this year open a regional office in South Africa, its largest market on the continent in terms of money-transfer value, founder and Chief Executive Officer Ismail Ahmed said in an interview. Another site will start operating in Kenya, where the London-based business sees Africa’s highest number of individual transactions. “In the next two years we should be doubling our volume every year,” Ahmed said in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. The continent accounted for half the company’s...
(Xinhuanet 04/19/17)
Algerian election authorities on Tuesday gave a 48-hour deadline to political parties, ordering them to show female candidates' faces on campaign posters, the state news agency reported. The High Authority for Election Monitoring (HIISE) said that parties should change the failed photos or remove the candidates from the vote. Parties in the northern province of Bordj Bou Arreridj had been showing hijabs surrounding blank spaces in place of photos of female candidates in their campaign posters. "This kind of encroachment is dangerous. It is not legal and it opposes all laws and traditions," Hassan Noui, an HIISE official, was quoted as saying. "It is every citizen's right to know whom he or she will be voting for," he said. He...
(Xinhuanet 04/19/17)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, will convene Wedesday the first UN-AU Annual Conference. The two leaders will look into how to strengthen the partnership between the two organizations to face common challenges and opportunities in the continent, on issues of peace and security, sustainable development and human rights, said Stephane Dujarric, UN spokesman, at a daily briefing. "They will also sign the Joint United Nations-African Union Framework for an Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security," said Dujarric. It will be the first conference Mahamat will address with the United Nation since he was elected as chairperson of the African Union Commission. Although he had brief talks with Guterres in Addis...
(Voice of America 04/17/17)
The Italian coast guard says it has rescued nearly 6,000 migrants on the Mediterranean since Friday, underscoring the continued flow of people along this dangerous route. A group of Africans living in Europe visited Cameroon this week to launch a campaign against illegal migration. The group is called “No More Death in the Desert or on the Sea.” Its mission is simple: to educate youth in Africa about the harsh realities of illegal migration. "We want to tell them that all the information people give them before they start their journey are wrong," said Nantcha. The group’s leader Sylvie Nantcha was born in Cameroon. She has lived in the German town of Freiburg for 25 years. She arrived as a...
(AFP (eng) 04/13/17)
Lucas Alcaraz has been named as the new coach of Algeria, the country's football federation announced on Thursday in a short statement. The 50-year-old Spaniard was available after being sacked by his hometown team, La Liga strugglers Granada, on Monday. Alcaraz, who was replaced at Granada by former Arsenal and England defender Tony Adams, is charged with the task of qualifying Algeria for next year's World Cup in Russia. They are currently bottom of their qualifying section, five points behind leaders Nigeria with four matches remaining. Alcaraz replaces the Belgian Georges Leekens
(AFP (eng) 04/13/17)
JS Kabylie of Algeria hope Mohamed Boulaouidet can perform another CAF Confederation Cup salvage operation when they face TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo this weekend. The Algerians are trailing the Congolese 2-0 after the first leg last weekend of a play-off with a place in the lucrative group phase up for grabs. Striker Boulaouidet has rescued the "Canaries" in two tense qualifying victories that earned his team a showdown with title-holders Mazembe. He bagged a brace in a 4-0 preliminary-round rout of Liberians Monrovia Club Breweries that overturned a shock three-goal first-leg hammering in west Africa. And with a last-32 clash against Etoile of Congo Brazzaville seemingly destined for a penalty shootout, Boulaouidet snatched the only goal...
(AFP (eng) 04/13/17)
"It's not a bird, it's a rat -- and it's squatting on my terrace," Ali says of his new neighbour, a yellow-legged gull -- a pest ubiquitous in the Algerian capital. The 60-year-old is not alone in despising this versatile scavenger, whose Mediterranean population has boomed in recent decades. The "rat of the sky" has taken advantage of human waste to supplement its normal marine diet, breeding fast and becoming the region's most common seabird. Aicha, an Algiers resident with henna-dyed hair, has shared her home with a pair of gulls and their offspring for three years. "They eat all the leftovers," she says. "No need for a bin." Nawel Derradji, a doctoral student in animal ecology at the University...
(AFP (eng) 04/13/17)
Africa's Matabele ants, fierce predators of termites, rescue their wounded soldiers and bring them back to the nest where they are "treated," a new study showed Wednesday. This helping behavior for the injured is the first to be detected in the insect world, according to an article in the US journal Science Advances by a German research team at the University of Wuerzburg's Biocentre. The ants, formally known as Megaponera analis, are widespread south of the Sahara on the continent. Two to four times a day, they set out in long files on raids to kill worker termites at their foraging sites. But the attacks meet strong resistance from soldier termites guarding the worker termites, which have powerful jaws that...
(AFP (eng) 04/11/17)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is proposing a new diplomatic push to end the decades-old dispute over Western Sahara, possibly by holding a referendum on Morocco's rule over the territory, according to a confidential report obtained by AFP on Monday. Guterres said in the report to the United Nations Security Council that he wanted "a new dynamic" and a "new spirit" in negotiations on ending one of the world's most intractable conflicts. "I intend to propose that the negotiating process be relaunched with a new dynamic and a new spirit that reflect the council's guidance," the UN chief said in the report sent to the council on Monday. The negotiations would have "the aim of reaching a mutually acceptable political solution...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/11/17)
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for new talks over the long-running Western Sahara dispute, saying the negotiations should include proposals from both Morocco and the Polisario independence movement, according to a U.N. document. The U.N. call for a restart to talks came after months of tensions in the disputed territory, which Morocco claims as part of its kingdom and Polisario says belongs to the Sahrawi people who fought a guerrilla war until a 1991 U.N.-backed ceasefire. U.N. attempts to broker a settlement have failed for years in the vast desert area, which has contested since 1975 when Spanish colonial powers left. Morocco claimed the territory while Polisario established its self-declared Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic there. "I intend to propose...
(AFP (eng) 04/11/17)
El Nino, the cyclical climatic phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean, is linked to shifts in cholera cases in Africa, providing an early warning that could save lives, scientists said Monday. During the years when El Nino is warming the eastern Pacific, East Africa has about 50,000 additional cholera cases a year, new research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests. By contrast, the years when El Nino is not active, there were 30,000 fewer cholera cases in East Africa, according to the study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers analyzed more than 17,000 annual observations from 3,710 different locations between 2000 and 2014 in Africa, which has the most...
(AFP (eng) 04/07/17)
Campaigning starts on Sunday for next month's Algerian parliamentary election as authorities desperately try to persuade disillusioned voters that their opinion counts. "Make your voice heard," reads a slogan on billboards and posters plastered in towns and villages across the North African country. Government-sponsored advertisements play in a continuous loop on television in a bid to attract a larger turnout than about 43 percent for the last legislative poll in 2012. The vote comes amid growing security and economic challenges as well as speculation around who will eventually succeed 80-year-old President Abdelaziz Bouteflika -- although experts say the real decision lies in the hands of the country's secretive elite.
(AFP (eng) 04/07/17)
Algeria is expected to sign a deal with French carmaker PSA to open a plant in the North African country "this year", Algeria's prime minister said Thursday. The project with PSA, which owns the Peugeot, Citroen and DS brands, will "come into being this year", Abdelmalek Sellal said at a press conference with visiting French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve. "We are analysing the situation of the automobile industry and are conducting an audit to rebalance our projects," Sellal said, adding that Algeria hoped to produce vehicles for the local market and for possible export. The expected deal was reportedly close to having been signed already when former French premier Manuel Valls visited Algeria last year. Once one of Africa's biggest...
(Xinhuanet 04/07/17)
Algeria and France on Thursday signed here 10 cooperation agreements and memorandums of understanding in different domains, as part of the visit of French Prime Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, to the North African nation. The signing ceremony was attended by Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal and his French counterpart, Cazeneuve. They held talks in Algiers before signing the agreements, stressing on the necessity to overcome the conflicting issues hindering the development of economic cooperation and partnership between the two nations. Bilateral cooperation under the national policy aiming at diversifying the oil-dependent economy has been given a new impetus," Sellal added, admitting that "bilateral cooperation witnessed a little reluctance in recent years." Cazeneuve said that his visit to Algeria "has been an...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/07/17)
Access to off-grid solar energy in rural areas of Africa goes beyond lighting up homes - it also enables people to connect to the wider world and boosts their economic prospects, said the head of one of the continent's biggest solar companies. Azuri Technologies' entry level solar system - for which customers pay a one-off installation fee, then use scratch cards or mobile phone payments to top up on a weekly or monthly basis - provides eight hours of lighting each day. Having power at home for the first time encourages customers to also buy mobile phones, radios and televisions, giving them regular access to the media and the internet, said Simon Bransfield-Garth, chief executive officer of UK-based Azuri. "This...
(Xinhuanet 04/06/17)
Algerian counter-terrorism forces managed to kill 35 terrorists and arrest 18 others in the first quarter of 2017, said Defense Ministry in its official monthly magazine El-Djeich. The source noted that 59 individuals were arrested over charges of providing support to terrorist groups. During operations since the beginning of this year, army troops also retrieved 272 weapons of different types, in addition to 242 vehicles and trucks used by terrorists and arm smugglers, the source added. It also said that army troops deployed all along the border arrested 3000 illegal migrants and a number of smugglers and drug traffickers. Last month, army Defense Ministry announced the killing of two senior officials at Islamic State
(Voice of America 04/05/17)
A Red Cross report says African countries are failing their internally displaced people. Reversing that trend was the subject of a high level meeting of the International Red Cross and the African Union that wrapped up Tuesday in Zimbabwe. Africa has about 13 million internally displaced people, a third of the global number of IDPs, and more than double the amount of refugees on the continent. By definition, refugees flee across a national border, while IDPs leave their homes but stay within their own country. African Union Commission head of humanitarian affairs, refugees and displaced people Olabisi Dare says the situation of IDPs in Africa is very critical, dire and worsening. "...The issues that are generating internal displacement [are] multiplying...
(Financial Times 04/04/17)
Countries should develop policies to attract labour-intensive production leaving China. China’s initial wave of investments in Africa focused on natural resource extraction. Their demand for metals and energy was so large that it actually boosted global commodity prices overall, which in turn accelerated growth across the African continent. These times of China propping up global commodity prices are now over, as it has built up excess capacity in many sectors and now faces slow investment growth. This lower demand has contributed to the overall slump in global commodity prices since 2014, making it unlikely that China will again fulfil the role of driving commodity prices. Rather, its position has now shifted to becoming the largest exporter of capital. This provides...
(The East African 04/03/17)
Nairobi — The 2017 Mo Ibrahim Foundation annual Governance Weekend will be held in Marrakech - Morocco from April 7-9. A press release from the Foundation identifies the Palmeraie Resort as the venue for this year's meeting. The three-day event brings together prominent African and Africa-focused leaders, civil society representatives, multilateral and regional institutions and Africa's international partners to identify policy challenges and possible solutions. Violent extremism The conversation is normally extended to a wider audience through music, art and sport at major public events, showcasing some of Africa's brightest talent. The Foundation has released a report that sets the stage for high-level discussions in Morocco. The priority areas for the Marrakech talks, according to the report, include violent extremism...

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