Thursday 23 November 2017
(AFP (eng) 10/10/17)
Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is set to accelerate to 3.4 percent next year, the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday, citing Nigeria's recovering oil and agricultural sectors. The IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook report that the region would grow by 2.6 percent this year after 1.4 percent in 2016. "Growth is expected to rise gradually," it said, while noting that the rate would be uneven and "barely above population growth". GDP in the west African powerhouse Nigeria contracted by 1.6 percent in 2016, but is predicted to grow by 0.8 percent this year and 1.9 percent next year. The IMF said Nigeria was benefitting from "recovering oil production and ongoing strength in the agricultural sector", but the...
(AFP (eng) 10/08/17)
Three Algerian public figures including a former foreign minister said Sunday that President Abdelaziz Bouteflika "is no longer able to lead" and should be barred from seeking a fifth term. Bouteflika, who is 80 and has held office since 1999, won a fourth term in a 2014 election despite having suffered a mini-stroke the previous year that affected his speech and mobility. He has since used a wheelchair during his rare appearances in public. Members of his team have publicly suggested that he may run for a fifth term in 2019 elections. In a joint statement Sunday, former foreign minister Ahmed Taleb Ibrahimi, lawyer and rights activist Ali Yahia Abdenour and retired navy chief Rachid Benyelles said Bouteflika should be...
(Xinhuanet 10/05/17)
Algerian Council of Ministers headed by President Abdelaziz Bouteflika on Wednesday approved the budget for 2018 before submitting it to Parliament for approval, Algeria Press Service (APS) reported. The budget was set at 15,149 billion dinars (about 133 billion dollars) while the deficit decrease from 14 percent of Gross Domestic Product in 2016 to 9 percent in 2018. APS quoted the Cabinet's statement as saying that the government has set the value of the management expenditure at 8,628 billion dinars (about 76 billion dollars) while revenues were estimated at 6521 billion dinars (about 57 billion dollars). The country's difficult financial situation due to the sharp decline in the country's revenues since 2014, which will reach 31 billion dollars in 2017,...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/05/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (HLT.N) plans to spend $50 million over the next five years to add 100 hotels to its chain in Africa, it said on Thursday, joining other chains keen to tap growing business and international travel on the continent. One property will open in the Kenyan capital Nairobi by the end of this year and another in the Rwandan capital Kigali in 2018, it said in a statement. There was 11 percent growth in Sub-Saharan African tourism in the past year, according to data from the U.N. World Tourism Organisation. Hilton said the remaining additions to its 39 existing African properties would be operational within the next five years. “The model of converting existing...
(APA 10/05/17)
APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) - The African Union (AU) will on Thursday endorse reports and recommendations on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment (ARWE) made by experts and senior officials in a meeting held on Monday and Tuesday. The endorsement will take place during the ministerial session of the AU’s Specialized Technical Committee on ARWE that opened on Thursday in Addis Ababa under the theme “Improve environmental sustainability and transform agriculture to ensure food and nutrition security.” These include policy papers and reports on agriculture, rural development, water and environment and recommendations and guidance on issues in the 2063 Africa Development Agenda, including agriculture, environment, climate change, and youth engagement. Among the points chosen for the discussions are the assessment of...
(AFP (eng) 10/02/17)
Algerian authorities have called on state-owned oil giant Sonatrach to restart shale gas exploration work suspended after protests by locals in the Sahara desert, state media reported. Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia "encouraged" the management of the government-owned firm "to invest in the shale gas sector" during a visit to a refinery Sunday, national television said. "It is time for Sonatrach to use all its energy in the service of business and the country," Ouyahia said. "This is not adventurism, but an option aimed at guaranteeing the future in terms of energy," he said. Angry demonstrations rocked Algeria's central desert town of In Salah in 2015 as anti-fracking protesters took to the streets after Sonatrach said it had successfully completed its...
(Xinhuanet 10/02/17)
Algerian counterterrorim troops on Sunday killed five armed militants in the locality of El Kseur, in the province of Bejaia, said a statement of Defense Ministry. The source said this qualitative operation led to retrieving five Kalashnikov machine guns, and three magazines. Army troops on Thursday launched a wide scale dragging operation in the upper woods of El Kseur, as one terrorist was killed by then, bringing the number of killed terrorists to six. The operation is still underway, as counterterrorism troops are still surrounding the site. Located in a region plagued by unprecedented security and political instability, Algeria faces ongoing terrorist threats. A few militants affiliated to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and recently established Daesh affiliate groups...
(Xinhuanet 09/29/17)
Algeria's fiscal deficit will reach 1,113 billion dinars (about 99 billion U.S. dollars) by the end of 2017, the official Algerian Press Service (APS) reported Thursday. The APS quoted Faisal Tadinit, the general director of the finance ministry, who made the remarks in the Finance and Budget Committee of the People's National Assembly (Lower House) on Thursday. Tadinit explained that the decline in oil prices since mid-2014 has had a significant impact on the low fiscal revenues. In spite of this, the government is continuing its efforts in the field of public investment to keep the economic growth and employment rate
(AFP (eng) 09/29/17)
Government shutdowns of the internet have cost sub-Saharan Africa about $237 million since 2015, according to a study released Friday, as authorities increasingly implement planned disruptions. At least 12 countries have had internet shutdowns, often before elections or when protests erupt, with mobile internet networks most recently suspended in Togo during opposition demonstrations. "Internet disruptions, however short-lived, undermine economic growth, disrupt the delivery of critical services, erode business confidence, and raise a country’s risk profile," the CIPESA report said. The Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) released its...
(Bloomberg 09/27/17)
Studio 189, a label founded by actress Rosario Dawson and fashion executive Abrima Erwiah, is reinvesting in its African roots. It’s hard enough to build a fashion brand, let alone an empire. Rare is the person who makes a mission of using fashion to build communities. Such is the case with Studio 189, a label founded by longtime friends Abrima Erwiah (formerly a marketing executive at Bottega Veneta) and Rosario Dawson (an enduring star most recently seen in Netflix’s Marvel franchise). “The idea is to produce everything in local markets,” says Erwiah. “Particularly in Africa, particularly in Ghana.” The founders set up the company in partnership with the United Nations’ Ethical Fashion Initiative, which also works with such socially conscious...
(Middle East Monitor 09/26/17)
Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia has urged his countrymen who have joined “the ranks of terrorist groups, to abandon the crime of terrorism and return to their people and families”. In a speech at the Council of the Nation, the upper house of the Algerian Parliament, Ouyahia said: “I appeal to our lost sons, who are still among the ranks of terrorist groups, to abandon the crime of terrorism and return to their people and families.” In case of failure to respond to this appeal, sooner or later the state will eliminate them by force, or they will be brought before justice, and punishment would be severe by the force of law. Last week, Ouyahia expressed support for Minister of...
(Middle East Monitor 09/26/17)
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bahrain Sheikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Al Khalifa has given his country’s full backing for a final solution to the Western Sahara issue under full Moroccan sovereignty. Addressing the UN General Assembly convening in New York, Al Khalifa stressed “the need to support the negotiations aimed at achieving a consensual and final political solution to this problem in the context of Moroccan national sovereignty.” The Bahraini official argued that the final solution should also be based on “relevant Security Council resolutions that confirm the seriousness of Morocco’s self-government initiative” and urged “all parties to fully cooperate with the United Nations in this respect.”
(Middle East Monitor 09/26/17)
Some 12,000 school canteens in Algeria have been closed since the start of the school year leaving children with nowhere to go but on to the streets for their lunch hour. Angry parents have said ministers are too busy with the upcoming election to care about students’ suffering. This has forced them to turn up at the school gates at lunch time to supervise and feed their children as the school goers do not have enough time to head home for lunch. One mother, who has two primary school aged children in Douera, drops them off every morning only to go home and prepare lunch which she then takes to school, watching as her children eat it. She said she...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/26/17)
Israel’s Elbit Systems Ltd said on Tuesday it won a contract worth $240 million to provide a wide array of defense electronic systems to an unnamed country in Africa. The contract, which will be carried out over a two-year period, is comprised of Directed Infra-red Counter Measure (DIRCM) systems to protect aircraft from shoulder fired missiles, based on passive infrared systems, and includes missile warning systems, radio and communication systems, land systems, mini-unmanned air systems and helicopters upgrade.
(Voice of America 09/25/17)
African first ladies and activists hailed progress that some governments on the continent are making on gender equality. They met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “We used to have 23 percent female representation in parliament but, with the stroke of a pen it went up to 48 percent. So, we managed to double our female representation with that decision,” said Namibia’s first lady Monica Geingos at a roundtable invitation-only event co-hosted by the Global First Ladies Alliance (GFLA) and Facebook. Geingos credited the quota enacted by the ruling SWAPO party of her husband, President Hage Geingob. But she said a similar quota might be needed for Namibia’s private sector, where only 10 to...
(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 of this year, without giving...
(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 of them foreigners. The source has not mentioned the nationality of the victims. The wounded have been sent to local hospitals. The province of Adrar is the oil producing area of Algeria, where some foreign energy companies operate.
(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 guarantee minimum sales volumes of the new combination pills using dolutegravir, a so-called integrase inhibitor that avoids the drug resistance that often develops with older treatments. In return the drugmakers, India-based Mylan Laboratories and Aurobindo Pharma, will agree the maximum...
(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 country, mostly during the 1954-1962 war of independence from colonial power France, according to deputy defence minister Ahmed Gaid Salah.

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