| Africatime
Thursday 23 March 2017
(AFP (eng) 12/29/16)
French border police intercepted 45 African migrants who were trying to enter the country from Italy and arrested the two smugglers involved, local prosecutors said Wednesday. Travelling in two vans, 25 migrants in the first vehicle were stopped while 20 in the second breached a checkpoint at Montgenevre in southeastern France, before later being found. According to the prosecutor's office, the migrants were returned to the border and the two smugglers are to be tried in Italy.
(AFP (eng) 12/28/16)
Nearly 55,000 people accused of committing "terrorist offences" have faced legal proceedings in Algeria since the country's devastating civil war in the 1990s, the justice minister has said. It was the first such revelation by the authorities, which use the term "terrorists" for armed Islamists active in Algeria where the civil war killed 200,000 people. The brutal conflict broke out between armed Islamist groups and security forces after the army cancelled a 1992 election that Islamist politicians were poised to win. It ended when Algerians voted in a referendum in September 2005 to approve a reconciliation deal
(AFP (eng) 12/28/16)
Its lower cost has made it popular in commercial food production, but after being blamed for deforestation in Asia, palm oil plantations are now getting a similar rap in Africa. The sheer scale of land required is having an impact in Gabon, Cameroon and the Congo Basin, environmentalists say. With financing coming from American, European and Asian agri-businesses, palm bunches are cultivated then cut from trees and sent to factories where oil is extracted by hot pressing. But the production process accelerates deforestation, contributes to climate change and threatens fauna and flora in vulnerable areas, opponents argue. However the companies say that palm oil is not only less expensive than soya or sunflower oil but requires much less land to...
(AFP (eng) 12/27/16)
Nearly 55,000 people accused of committing "terrorist offences" have faced legal proceedings in Algeria since the country's devastating civil war in the 1990s, the justice minister has said. It was the first such revelation by the authorities, which use the term "terrorists" for armed Islamists active in Algeria where the civil war killed 200,000 people. The brutal conflict broke out between armed Islamist groups and security forces after the army cancelled a 1992 election that Islamist politicians were poised to win. It ended when Algerians voted in a referendum in September 2005 to approve a reconciliation deal that led to 15,000 Islamists being pardoned in exchange for surrendering. Justice Minister Tayeb Louh told parliament on Monday his ministry had set...
(The Herald Online 12/27/16)
The end of 2016 provides an opportunity to take stock of Africa’s recent economic performance and future prospects. It’s been a tumultuous year for some African countries largely due to a commodities crisis and a global economic slowdown.Yet there were still pockets of good growth which displayed the huge potential of the African continent. And 2017 looks to be the year the countries hardest hit by the crisis seek to recover from the economic reversals of the past few years. Since the start of the new millennium average economic growth across Africa has been stronger than the global growth rate. Growth across the continent averaged 5 percent. This fuelled the “Africa Rising” narrative that permeated public discourse. Among the growth...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/24/16)
A record 5,000 migrants are believed to have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea this year, following two shipwrecks on Thursday in which some 100 people, mainly West Africans, were feared dead, aid agencies said on Friday. Two overcrowded inflatable dinghies capsized in the Strait of Sicily after leaving Libya for Italy, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said. "Those two incidents together appear to be the numbers that would bring this year's total up to over to 5,000 (deaths), which is a new high that we have reported during this crisis," IOM spokesman Joel Millman told a Geneva briefing. The Italian coast guard rescued survivors and had recovered eight bodies so far, he said...
(The Globe and Mail 12/23/16)
The Square Kilometre Array will be the world’s most powerful radio telescope, opening new frontiers in our understanding of the universe. But the builders have to contend with an unforgiving climate and other formidable challenges first, In the desolate rocky plains of the Great Karoo, the dangers are endless. Scorpions and puff adders are underfoot. The harsh sun beats down, interrupted only by occasional lightning storms. Temperatures range from stifling heat to freezing cold. But at night, in the vast empty darkness, the stars are impossibly bright and clear. And it is the stars that have lured a Canadian-backed project to build the world’s most powerful radio telescope, with the potential to unlock the deepest secrets of the universe. For...
(AFP (eng) 12/22/16)
Selma saunters on her stilt-like legs, batting thick lashes as she extends a blackish tongue -- as long as an arm -- to grab pellets offered by an awed tourist. The giraffe is after all, eating for two. Her pregnancy is good news for one of the rarest giraffe species, protected at the Giraffe Centre in the Kenyan capital, but experts warn the outlook for the rest of the world's tallest land mammals is far gloomier. While it is hoped the shocking news that the gentle giants of the African savannah are facing extinction will spur action, conservationists largely have their hands tied as many giraffe live in Africa's most conflict-torn regions. Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan...
(The Citizen 12/21/16)
Tanzania is among some African countries which may see a drop in development aid as the US is likely to expand fiscal stance and cut spending during Donald Trump's presidency, a new report shows. The move by the world's largest economy will affect dependent countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and DRC according to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) latest report released in London yesterday. In its Economic Insight: Africa Q4 2016, the accountancy and finance body points out that signs of an expansionary fiscal stance under the Trump administration coupled with spending cuts to accommodate increased infrastructure expenditure are likely to lead to the decrease in aid. "Aid is one of the main...
(AFP (eng) 12/20/16)
Guinean illegal immigrants kicked out of Algeria told AFP Tuesday that dire detention conditions in the north African country left at least two of their group dead, describing hellish experiences at the hands of Algerian police. Around 280 people returned to Guinea's capital Conakry on Monday after a two-week return journey via Mali, becoming the latest west African migrants to accuse the Algerian police of abusing them. "We were treated very badly in Algeria," said their ad-hoc spokesman Aboubacar Sylla, who is in his 30s. "We were rounded up like chickens at our workplaces or while sleeping and forced to head to south Algeria, before being locked in mini-containers where
(Agence Ecofin 12/20/16)
Some Japanese car makers are about to open in Algeria assembly units for utility cars and trucks, Japan’s ambassador to Algeria told the press, during a business club meeting regrouping investors from both nations. “Japan is really interested in investing in Algeria, in several of its sectors of activities. We already have car manufacturers such as Nissan and Suzuki who project to build car assembly units in Algeria, waiting only for the approval of Algerian authorities to proceed,” said Masawa Fujiwara. The diplomat added that Toyota was also interested in establishing an assembly unit in the country, via Hino Motors, its subsidiary which makes only buses and trucks.
(AFP (eng) 12/20/16)
When Rose Kariuki first felt a lump on her left breast, the spectre of cancer -- a disease she had only heard of on television -- was the last thing on her mind. "To me, cancer was nowhere near us. It was shocking, I feared death, I feared so many things," the 46-year-old Kenyan school teacher told AFP. Rose is one of a growing number of Africans suffering from cancer, one of the lifestyle diseases -- along with diabetes and heart problems -- proving increasing deadly on the continent. A World Health Organisation (WHO) survey released Tuesday showed that most Africans had at least one risk factor for developing one of these diseases, such as smoking, a lack of exercise,...
(AFP (eng) 12/19/16)
Amnesty International Sunday urged Algeria to adopt a law on the right to asylum and to open an investigation into the deportation of sub-Saharan migrants from the country this month. "The authorities should decriminalise irregular immigration, adopt a law on (the right to) asylum and fight racism against sub-Saharans in the country," the group's Algeria office said in a statement in French. A draft law on the right to asylum has been in the works for five years, Amnesty said. The statement comes after Algeria on Saturday defended its treatment of a group of around 260 Malian migrants rounded up and deported
(Algérie Presse service 12/16/16)
President of the Republic Abdelaziz Bouteflika has conducted a partial reshuffle among walis (governors), announced Thursday the Presidency of the Republic in a communiqué. "In accordance with the provisions of article 92 of the Constitution, his Excellency President of the Republic Abdelaziz Bouteflika has conducted a partial reshuffle among walis," said the source. List of appointed walis: - Hattab Mohamed, wali of Bejaia. - Dziri Toufik, wali of Bechar. - Hadjar Mohamed, wali de Skikda. - Hachani Tahar, wali of Sidi Bel-Abbes.
(Algérie Presse service 12/16/16)
Algeria and Saudi Arabia signed Tuesday, in Riyadh, a memorandum of understanding in trade cooperation as part of the official visit paid by Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal to Saudi Arabia. This agreement was signed, on the Algerian side, by Minister of Maghreb Affairs, African Union and Arab League Abdelkader Messahel and Minister of Commerce and Investment Majed Al-Kassabi, on the Saudi side. The agreement focuses mainly on the protection of consumers and the control of the quality of goods and services as part of commercial exchanges between the two countries. Trading between the two countries reached US$619 million in 2015. Algerian imports exceeded US$612 million while Algeria's exports to this country didn't exceed US$7 million. The discussions between the two...
(AFP (eng) 12/16/16)
The number of migrants feared to have died this year has soared to nearly 7,200 -- a more than 20-percent increase over 2015 -- with most of the fatalities in the Mediterranean, IOM said Friday. In total, 7,189 migrants and refugees have died or remain missing on migratory routs around the world, the International Organization for Migration said. That number is already 1,449 more than in all of 2015. And since it represents an average of 20 deaths per day, another 200 to 300 people could perish by the end of the year if the trend continues, the Geneva-based IOM warned in a statement. The Mediterranean Sea routes, used so far this year by nearly 360,000 people seeking a new...
(CNN 12/15/16)
In the sleepy, sun-blasted town of De Aar in central South Africa, a mighty force is stirring. The largest solar plant in Africa, Middle East and the Southern hemisphere was inaugurated here earlier this year, a 175-megawatt facility that spreads over almost 500 hectares. The facility is the brainchild of Solar Capital, led by hotel magnate turned solar evangelist Paschal Phelan, which ploughed $400 million into the venture. The plant supplies power to the National Grid, but when the heat is fiercest it produces far more than the Grid can use, and the excess power goes to waste. "It's like you have a Ferrari and you run a small car," says Massimiliano Salaorno, plant manager of Solar Capital De Aar...
(Agence Ecofin 12/14/16)
Land title issuance has begun in Azazga, in the Tizi-Ouzou wilaya, 100km East of Algiers, El Watan reports. The operation is carried out by the land conservation office. “Cadastre operations were conducted a year ago and related documents were exposed for a month, last June, at APC’s office in Azazga. The final stage, which the issuance of land title was launched a few weeks back and concern all parts of the local district,” the website added. The news is a refreshing breath of air for locals who have for long been fighting over lands. It should also take some load off courts which have so far been struggling to rule in the land matters without legal evidence. Souha Touré
(AFP (eng) 12/14/16)
Family planning helps people in Africa to be healthier and wealthier, as women without contraceptives become locked in "a cycle of poverty," Melinda Gates told AFP as a conference on the topic was held in Ivory Coast. "When a woman has access to contraceptives she can lift herself out of poverty, and if she doesn't have access to contraceptives, it locks her inside a cycle of poverty for the rest of her life," said the wife of Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Bill Gates, whose foundation is very active in the field. Family planning has "huge health benefits for the woman and for her children, and it has economic benefits," Gates told AFP by telephone from the Ivorian economic capital Abidjan...
(AFP (eng) 12/13/16)
Trouble is stirring in the remote sands of disputed Western Sahara in an area near the Mauritanian border where moves by the pro-independence Polisario Front have riled Morocco. The Algiers-backed Polisario has set up a new military post in the Guerguerat district on the Atlantic coast, within a stone's throw of Moroccan soldiers. In pictures posted online, its leader Brahim Ghali, in military fatigues and sporting a white moustache, is seen reviewing his troops with all-terrain vehicles parked in the dunes behind.

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