Friday 15 December 2017
(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.
(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 last three years, "foreign exchange reserves have fallen by half, going from 200 billion dollars in 2014 to nearly 100 dollars billion currently." Ouyahia specified that the Revenue Regulation Fund (FRR) has been exhausted by last February, saying the only...
(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 is undoubtedly the cause of this problem. But cocoa farming could also provide the solution. Recently, I was in Ivory Coast for the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Abidjan. It united many different parties – governments, the UN’s Food...
(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 and they’ve gotten ahead,” Alexandre Maymat, who oversees Societe Generale’s operations in French-speaking Africa, said at a press briefing. “We’re catching up” by redefining the retail strategy and providing a broader offering than telephone companies. Chief Executive Officer Frederic Oudea...
(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 the western coastal town of Mostaganem came after Fali objected to a suspended sentence of three months on the same charges in February at a trial he did not attend. Algerian law allows defendants to attend a retrial if they...
(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 has so far been set," the watchdog said in a statement on Tuesday. "One hundred days of provisional detention are 100 days too many, 100 days of incomprehension and injustice, because there are no grounds for keeping Said Chitour in...
(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 in Windhoek said that the aim of the event is to promote a holistic private sector engagement, raise a sense of ownership and accountability for heritage protection as well as transmission of World Heritage sites in Namibia and Africa. "To...

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