Thursday 27 July 2017
(AFP (eng) 04/26/17)
Algeria's foreign minister has called French presidential frontrunner Emmanuel Macron a "friend" of the country, after the centrist candidate drew criticism for calling France's colonisation a "crime against humanity". In an interview during a visit to Algiers in February, the 39-year-old former economy minister said French actions in Algeria, which achieved independence in 1962 after eight years of war, were "genuinely barbaric". Macron, who is favourite to beat far right leader Marine Le Pen in next month's presidential run-off vote, has since sought to soothe tensions caused by his remarks. Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra told reporters that Macron "is our friend
(AFP (eng) 04/26/17)
The UN Security Council is expected to vote Thursday on a draft resolution backing a UN bid to re-start talks on settling the decades-old Western Sahara conflict, diplomats said. The draft resolution would also put pressure on the Polisario Front independence movement to immediately withdraw fighters from a tense buffer zone after Morocco pulled back its forces in February, according to the text seen by AFP. The United States circulated the proposed resolution to the Security Council on Monday after consulting with France, Russia and Britain on the measure that would also extend the mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission in Western Sahara for a year. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres told the council in a report this month that...
(Xinhuanet 04/26/17)
The Belt and Road (B&R) Initiative is a golden opportunity to bring about regional integration and sustainable economic growth for Africa, said Berhane Gebre-Christos, special envoy of the Ethiopian Prime Minister, on Tuesday. The special envoy made the remarks at the opening of a seminar organized on the B&R Initiative in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. Welcoming the initiative, the special envoy said he is looking forward to the expected effects of the initiative. "The B&R is a project that will affect millions of people, and it will be one of the most important issues of the 21st century," he said, adding that the comprehensive approach of China means that the aspirations and development strategies of all countries involved will be...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/25/17)
GE Power, a division of General Electric Co (GE.N), has signed a services deal with Algerian utility Sonelgaz SPE valued at more than $3 billion, the largest services agreement ever for GE Power and one that creates hundreds of jobs in Algeria, GE said on Monday. Under the 20-year contract with the subsidiary of Sonelgaz, GE will train more than 1,000 workers in Algeria and create about 300 jobs through its Algerian suppliers and its own operations there, Steve Bolze, chief executive officer of GE Power, said in an interview. The agreement builds on GE's growing footprint in Algeria, where it has had a presence for four decades. GE Power, based in Schenectady, New York, signed a $2.7 billion deal...
(AFP (eng) 04/24/17)
Algeria's foreign ministry on Sunday summoned the Moroccan ambassador to deny accusations by his country that Algiers had expelled 55 Syrians across their shared border, a statement said. The ministry told the envoy that Morocco's "allegations were categorically rejected" and that such accusations "serve only to undermine Algeria", a statement carried by APS news agency read. The Syrians were sent across the frontier near the desert town of Figuig, Morocco's interior ministry said in a statement late Friday. Rabat condemned its neighbour's "inhumane behaviour" towards the migrants who included "women and children in a very vulnerable situation". The expulsion was "contrary to the rules of good neighbourliness advocated by Morocco", it added. A statement from the Moroccan foreign ministry late...
(AFP (eng) 04/24/17)
A new malaria vaccine will be tested on a large scale in Kenya, Ghana and Malawi, the World Health Organization said Monday, with 360,000 children to be vaccinated between 2018 and 2020. The injectable vaccine RTS,S could provide limited protection against a disease that killed 429,000 people worldwide in 2015, with 92 percent of victims in Africa and two-thirds of them children under five. "The prospect of a malaria vaccine is great news. Information gathered in the pilot will help us make decisions on the wider use of this vaccine," said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO's regional director for Africa. The vaccine should be used alongside other preventative measures such as bed nets, insecticides, repellants and anti-malarial drugs, the WHO...
(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...

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