Wednesday 25 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 11/03/17)
US politicians are voicing concern over America's growing military presence across Africa, where they worry the Pentagon is getting ever more embroiled in a secretive campaign against a shifting enemy. Last month's killing of four US soldiers in a Niger ambush has thrust the issue into the spotlight, with lawmakers calling for greater transparency on what is going on in Africa. "The footprint in Africa is much bigger than the American public understands," Democratic Senator Tim Kaine said this week. The Niger ambush has also rekindled debate over the legal authorities the Pentagon uses to fight jihadist groups overseas, particularly in Africa where about 6,000 US troops are deployed across the vast continent. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis this week faced...
(AFP (eng) 11/01/17)
A campaign group for two French journalists murdered in Mali four years ago said Wednesday they had received information that "two or three" people involved in the killings may be in Algeria. Speaking to the press in Dakar after being briefed on the state of the investigation, the group said they believed "major suspects" had been identified. Journalists Ghislaine Dupont, 57, and Claude Verlon, 55, working for France's state-owned world news service RFI, were abducted and killed in Kidal, in northern Mali, on November 2, 2013. The murders have long been suspected to have been revenge for a French military campaign, Operation Serval, that chased out jihadists from the region a few months earlier. But a rival theory, aired this...
(Xinhua 10/31/17)
Algeria on Monday reiterated its commitment to the integrity and unity of Spain, following unilateral declaration of independence of Catalonia last week. Spokesman for Foreign Ministry Abdelaziz Benali Cherif said Algeria "reiterates its commitment to the integrity and unity of the Kingdom of Spain," stressing the important traditional bilateral relations backed by "high-level political dialogue and substantial economic cooperation." He further specified that Algeria is confident that the people and the authorities of Spain will resolve the crisis within the framework of respect for its constitution and democratic institutions. Last week, the Catalan parliament declared independence from Madrid, plunging Spain in a complicated crisis. The Spanish government dissolved the Catalan parliament and called regional elections for Dec. 21, while sacked...
(AFP (eng) 10/24/17)
Algerian authorities have arrested and deported more than 2,000 sub-Saharan Africans to Niger and Mali in the past month, Amnesty International said Monday. In what the rights group described as "arbitrary arrests" and "illegal" mass expulsions, the migrants were detained in the Algiers area and Blida, 50 kilometres (30 miles) to the southwest. They were then placed on buses and taken 2,000 kilometres south to Tamanrasset, it said. They were then "abandoned" on the Nigerian side of the border between the two countries. At least 100 others, dropped on the Algerian side of the frontier, had to walk for six hours in the desert, it said. It said migrants of several nationalities were also deported via the Malian border. Amnesty...
(AFP (eng) 10/24/17)
Elephant poaching in Africa declined for a fifth straight year in 2016 but seizures of illegal ivory hit records highs, the CITES monitor said Tuesday, calling it a "conflicting phenomena". In its latest report, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species also noted that despite the overall fall in poaching, Africa's elephant population has continued to drop "due to continued illegal killing, land transformation and rapid human expansion." Global illegal ivory trade has remained relatively stable for six years, CITES reported. But 2016 saw a full 40 tonnes of illegal ivory seized, the most since 1989, as well as the hightest-ever number of "large-scale ivory seizures", the group said. "The overall weight of seized ivory in illegal trade is...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/23/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - African political leaders, activists, and local chiefs joined forces on Monday to commit to ending child marriage in West and Central Africa, the region with the highest child marriage rate in the world. More than a third of girls in the region are married under the age of 18, with the rate over 50 percent in six countries and up to 76 percent in Niger. Driven by factors including poverty, insecurity and religious tradition, marrying off girls once they reach puberty or even before is a deeply engrained social custom in much of West and Central Africa. The practice hampers global efforts to reduce poverty and population growth and has negative impacts on women’s and...
(AFP (eng) 10/21/17)
Morocco has recalled its ambassador after the Algerian foreign minister accused the kingdom's banks of "laundering hashish money" in Africa, in the latest diplomatic spat between the North African rivals. The foreign ministry said it also summoned Algeria's charge d'affaires in Rabat on Friday evening to protest the "very serious statements... concerning the African policy of the kingdom of Morocco." Algerian Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel made his comments at a meeting of business leaders in Algiers on Friday, excerpts of which were widely circulated on social media. He was discussing the sharp increase in investment...
(AFP (eng) 10/21/17)
The killing of four American special operations soldiers in Niger has highlighted the increasing role elite units are playing across Africa, which is rapidly becoming a major center of US military action. Their mission is to counter the advances of a slew of jihadist movements across the continent, including Al-Shabaab in Somalia, affiliates of the Islamic State group in the Sahel region and Boko Haram in Nigeria. Of the 8,000 special forces "operators" deployed globally this year, more than 1,300 are in Africa, according to officials from the US Special Operations Command (SOCOM), which is based in Tampa, Florida. Another 5,000 or so are in the Middle East. In five years, the number of US commandos in Africa has tripled...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/20/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The #MeToo social media campaign to raise awareness about sexual harassment and abuse has sparked conversation in parts of Africa where domestic violence is rampant but strong cultural and religious taboos prevent women from admitting it. Prompted by sexual abuse allegations against American film mogul Harvey Weinstein, millions of women around the world have been sharing their experiences of harassment and abuse on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #MeToo. The movement has reached only a small part of the population in West Africa, but some women are participating in defiance of attitudes which dictate that being abused brings shame on the family, is a curse, or makes a woman unmarriageable. In Senegal, some women...
(AFP (eng) 10/19/17)
The new UN envoy for disputed Western Sahara, Horst Koehler, met leaders of an Algerian-backed independence movement Wednesday after visiting Morocco in a bid to get stalled peace talks back on track. Koehler, a former German president tasked by the United Nations in August with mediating the decades-old dispute, sat down with leaders from the pro-independence Polisario Front as he made his first trip to the refugee camps in Algeria where they are based. The meeting is part of a fresh push by the United Nations to try to resolve one of Africa's longest-running territorial disputes, which saw the Polisario Front wage a bitter 16-year insurgency against Moroccan control. A UN-brokered ceasefire in 1991 halted the fighting, but Morocco insists...
(Xinhuanet 10/19/17)
Algeria said Wednesday that the government will take a series of decisions, including earmarking a budget of 40 billion U.S. dollars to boost economic recovery process. Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia noted that the government decided to revive public investment through a capital budget of more than 40 billion dollars in 2018, up by 10 billion dollars compared to 2017. Speaking at the opening of the ongoing Algerian Employers Forum (FCE), Ouyahia said these public expenditures aim at encouraging and developing local production, including in agricultural sector. The government will also reactivate the National Investment Fund to accompany major investments, and maintain the support measures to all investment projects, including providing low interest rate loans. The PM further specified that...
(AFP (eng) 10/19/17)
Algeria have brought back former player Rabah Madjer as their new national coach, succeeding the sacked Lucas Alcaraz, the Algerian federation confirmed on Wednesday. Madjer, 58, becomes the country's fifth national coach in three years and must pick up the pieces after their failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. That cost Spaniard Alcaraz his position as he was sacked earlier this month after just six months in the role. Madjer, one of the greatest Algerian players of all time, is best remembered for his nonchalant back-heeled finish for Porto in their 1987 European Cup final win over Bayern Munich. He first took charge of his country in 1994, with his most recent spell ending in 2002 after an...
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
Rent-a-room giant Airbnb said Tuesday that it had provided accommodation for 1.2 million visitors to Africa over the last year -- double the previous year as tourism expands across the continent. The website now offers more than 100,000 accommodation options in Africa, global public affairs director Chris Lehane said on a visit to Johannesburg. "It's an incredibly rich and diverse continent, an incredibly dynamic place, certainly a big part of our future," Lehane told AFP. Airbnb was founded in 2008 and offers accommodation ranging from single bedrooms to whole homes in 65,000 cities in 191 countries. The company announced Tuesday that it would invest $1 million (850,000 euros) in Africa by 2020 to "promote and support community-led tourism projects". "For...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
Though its motto is "one Africa, one voice", the reality of "Africa's parliament" could not be more different. Since its creation in 2004, the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) has struggled to make its voice heard, prompting its deputies to ask themselves at a recent gathering: "What are we for?" "Every time we're here, we obsess over the same things. If we are not making laws, then what's the point of being here?" Corneille Padonou of Benin said to his fellow parliamentarians. "This forum is not a parliament, it is just a discussion platform that does not have any legislative powers. This institution is still wobbly," said Floyd Shivambu, a parliamentarian from South Africa. "As it is, it is a waste of...
(AFP (eng) 10/16/17)
The UN's new envoy for Western Sahara will travel to Morocco at the weekend as part of a regional tour aimed at kick-starting talks on ending the decades-old conflict over the disputed territory. Former German president Horst Kohler will travel to Rabat on Sunday before heading to Algeria and Mauritania, UN sources said. The visit comes ahead of his first report to the Security Council on October 24 on prospects for re-launching negotiations that have been comatose for years. The council adopted a resolution in April that called for a new UN push for talks between Morocco and the Algerian-backed Polisario Front.
(AFP 10/16/17)
L'ancien joueur vedette de l'Algérie, Rabah Madjer, pourrait prendre les rênes de la sélection nationale la semaine prochaine, a annoncé vendredi le vice-président de la Fédération (FAF) Bachir Ould Zmirli. "Rabah Madjer fait partie de techniciens susceptibles de diriger l'équipe nationale. C'est un entraineur capable de mener la sélection grâce à son vécu en tant que joueur puis entraineur", a déclaré à la radio le N.2 de la Fédération. La FAF, qui veut qu'un Algérien succède au sélectionneur espagnol Lucas Alcaraz, limogé mercredi, a également "songé aux services" de l'ancien international Djamel Belmadi, qui a fait l'essentiel de sa carrière de joueur en France (au PSG et à l'OM, notamment), selon M. Ould Zmirli.. Mais Djamel Belmadi, qui a été...
(APA 10/16/17)
APA-Dakar (Senegal) - The president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, will deliver the Norman Borlaug Lecture on Monday 16 October as part of the World Food Prize events taking place from October 16 to 20, 2017 in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. The Norman Borlaug Lecture under the title: “Betting on Africa to Feed the World”, will be held on World Food Day, October 16, in conjunction with the annual World Food Prize celebration. AfDB President Adesina will receive the 2017 World Food Prize on Thursday October 19, announced a press release issued by the AfDB on October 16, which also said “the prize is to agriculture what the Nobel Prize is to peace, science and literature.” The World...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/12/17)
CHEMORA, Algeria (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Squinting under a relentless sun, Houssin Ghodbane watches his son tend a flock of 120 of their sheep. Heads bowed, the sheep slowly search for sparse vegetation poking through the parched, crunchy soil. Fifty-year-old Ghodbane, his tanned face etched with deep lines, has been herding sheep for 20 years, having inherited the job and land from his father. But in this dry region, worsening cycles of drought are posing new challenges to an old profession. According to a report Algeria developed as part of its contribution to the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change action...
(AFP (eng) 10/11/17)
Ailing Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who rarely appears in public, received Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday, the APS news agency reported. Russian and Algerian state media published pictures of the meeting, which was closed to other news outlets. Bouteflika, who is 80 and has held office since 1999, suffered a mini-stroke in 2013 that affected his speech and mobility. He has since used a wheelchair and is occasionally featured in state media receiving foreign dignitaries. In September, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro paid a 24-hour visit to Algeria without officially meeting Bouteflika, despite intense speculation that he would do so. Before Medvedev, the last senior foreign visitor officially received by Bouteflika was his Congolese counterpart Denis Sassou Nguesso, on...
(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...

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