| Africatime
Thursday 23 March 2017
(Xinhuanet 01/28/17)
The African Union (AU) has been endeavoring to ensure robust, resilient and long-lasting economic transformation of Africa through promotion of infrastructure and energy development on the continent, noted Elham Mahmood Ibrahim, AU Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy. Speaking at a press conference Friday ahead of the 28th AU leaders' summit here, the commissioner said the pan-African bloc has scored achievements in its flagship projects and programs on the development of energy, transport as well as in the information and communication technology (ICT) areas, which she said are the biggest priorities in Africa's infrastructure sector. In cooperation and coordination with its regional, continental, and international partners, AU has been committed to development of infrastructure on the continent, which facilitates trade, economic...
(Bloomberg 01/27/17)
Barclays Africa Group Ltd. was targeted by protesters who entered one of its branches on Thursday and demanded the bank pay back money from a bailout provided to a company it bought before the end of apartheid. Demonstrators linked to the youth league of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress gathered outside the branch in Durban on South Africa’s east coast, Johannesburg-based Barclays Africa said in an e-mailed response to questions. Police ensured customers and staff were protected during the incident, it said. The protests come after the leaking of a draft report compiled by South Africa’s graft ombudsman that said Barclays Africa, which traded as Absa then, may have unduly benefited from state support when it bought Bankorp in...
(Xinhuanet 01/26/17)
Adopting African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) has been named a major task for the African Union (AU) this year as the 30th session of its Executive Council opened on Wednesday. In her remarks at the opening of the meeting, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the AU Commission, called for member countries' commitment to meeting the first target in Agenda 2063 of commencing the CFTA by end of 2017. She underlines the need "to do what needs to be done on the free movement of persons, so that we unlock opportunities for intra-African trade, studies, business and tourism." In her remarks at the opening of the 33rd session of the AU Permanent Representatives Committee on Sunday, Dlamini-Zuma said the AU's major...
(Bloomberg 01/25/17)
Taiwan’s last two African allies have no plans to switch allegiances and break ties with Taipei as Beijing tries to woo the self-ruled island’s diplomatic partners. Burkina Faso won’t cut relations with Taiwan despite people and companies with links to China offering funding in return for recognition of the One-China principle, according to Foreign Minister Alpha Barry. Swaziland said its relationship with Taiwan is based on mutual interests, not on money. “We get outrageous proposals telling us, ‘if you sign with Beijing we’ll offer you $50 billion or even more,’’’ Barry said in an interview in the capital, Ouagadougou, this month. “Taiwan is our friend and our partner. We’re happy and we see no reason to reconsider the relationship.” Competition...
(Bloomberg 01/24/17)
Angola’s $4.8 billion sovereign wealth signaled a shift towards managing more of its own investments, the latest in a string of institutional investors seeking to cut costs and reduce their reliance on external managers. Fundo Soberano de Angola, known by its Portuguese acronym FSDEA, plans to train staff to start managing more of its assets over the next four years and will inject more cash into the fund as oil prices improve, Chairman Jose Filomeno dos Santos said in an interview in London on Tuesday. “Right now the fund is very passive,” Dos Santos said. “We want to expand capacity and be active.” FSDEA is the latest in a line of wealth funds and institutional investors seeking to manage more...
(Cnbc Africa 01/24/17)
While Brexit and the U.S. election dominated headlines in 2016, the African continent witnessed major changes of its own. Its two largest economies were destabilized, with Nigeria being driven into recession and the South African political elite grappling for power. Conflict continued to make news, with the continuation of people trafficking across the Mediterranean and violence in South Sudan bubbling over. Macroeconomic concerns Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa fell to 1.5 percent in 2016 according to the World Bank, which deemed this "the weakest pace in over two decades." The slowdown was chiefly blamed on low commodity prices. But, the organization forecasts growth of 2.9 percent in the region for 2017. Africa's two biggest economies have a lot to account for...
(Bloomberg 01/23/17)
Angolan banks are appealing to the government to help put together a bailout package to protect account holders as lenders reel from low oil prices that make up almost all of the nation’s foreign-exchange earnings. Financial assistance could come from the administration of President Jose Eduardo dos Santos or be shared by all of the southwest African country’s 28 operational lenders, Amilcar Silva, chairman of the Association of Angolan Banks, said in an interview in the capital, Luanda. He didn’t specify whether lenders were calling for a liquidity boost that would improve the industry’s ability to convert short-term
(Voice of America 01/20/17)
By most measures, Africa is safer today than it has been in the modern era: Diseases are less deadly and wars are less frequent. But recent years have also been marked by a rise in radical extremism on the continent, and the terror threat could derail some of the world's fastest-growing economies. Dealing with the spread of radicalization has been a central focus of U.S. President Barack Obama's foreign policy during his time in office. Few areas have been spared over the past eight years, with much of the continent living in the shadow of a violent extremist group: al-Shabab in Somalia and East Africa, Islamic State (IS) in Libya, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in Mali, the Lord's...
(Xinhuanet 01/18/17)
The Chinese government's decision to terminate ivory processing and trade by the end of 2017 marked a critical milestone in the journey toward eliminating poaching and other threats to Africa's elephant species, a conservationist group said on Wednesday. Kaddu Sebunya, president of African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) hailed China for taking bold measures to revitalize global efforts to save African elephants whose numbers had declined this decade due to poaching and climatic stresses. "The recent announcement by the central government of China to ban all domestic ivory trade by the end of 2017 offers a glimmer of real optimism in the fight against elephant poaching," Sebunya said in a statement issued in Nairobi The Chinese authority in December 2016 announced the...
(New Vision 01/17/17)
“I can tell you that rats destroy up to 60% of health equipment in Africa,” Ssali said. Ssali sought to highlight the dangers that exist when biomedical engineers are not consulted in the management of health equipment including x-rays and CT scans. For instance, he narrated, cables of a CT scan installed at one unnamed facility were eaten up by rats, costing the institution over $5,000 to replace. Biomedical engineers are professionals who maintain and repair machines for diagnosing medical problems. They design medical equipment and devices, artificial internal organs or synthetic body parts. In Africa, the profession is relatively new-just about 10 years old in Uganda, it has been in existence in the developed world for nearly half a...
(RFI 01/14/17)
The 27th Africa-France Summit kicked off on Friday in the Malian capital Bamako with more than 30 African heads of state meeting French officials to discuss the threat of jihadists in the Sahel region and improve democracy in Africa. the meeting is also an opportunity for French president François Hollande to showcase his legacy. The choice to hold the 27th Africa-France summit in Mali is not insignificant. Bamako is where president François Hollande first revealed himself as an international statesman, when France's military launched Operation Serval in January 2013 as jihadists allied to Tuareg rebels took control of the north of the country. "I took the necessary steps and we intervened militarily, and what we did there in terms of...
(AFP (eng) 01/13/17)
Pastor Gabriel Baptiste of the Pentecostal "Bread of Life" church in the Angolan capital Luanda preaches in a premises that used to be a busy barber's shop. The change of function is one example how the country's reversal in economic fortunes has seen empty and underused properties rented out to fulfil the booming demand from evangelical churches. "The refusal of the state to allocate space for us generates all kinds of situations like this one," Baptiste told AFP. "But we will continue -- the important thing is the word of God, even if preached in a store." Baptiste preaches to about 70 people, four times a week, in a large
(AFP (eng) 01/13/17)
France's top diplomat Jean-Marc Ayrault struck a defiant tone at a summit on Friday with foreign ministers from across Africa as he urged them to show confidence and hope despite the deadly jihadist threat. With the battle against extremists, the struggle to improve governance and the migrant crisis high on the agenda, ministers from at least 30 nations met in Mali's capital Bamako ahead of heads of state due on Saturday. Mali called on France four years ago to help force jihadists out of key northern cities. To this day, 4,000 French troops remain in the country and across the Sahel region. "(Choosing) Bamako as the venue is an act of confidence after the intervention," Ayrault told journalists as the...
(AFP (eng) 01/13/17)
Talks gathering some 30 African states and France begin in Mali's capital Bamako on Friday, with leaders expected to focus on Africa's battle against jihadists and bid to improve its democratic record. The summit, also due to take in the migrant crisis, will see foreign ministers gather first, with heads of state expected to follow Saturday, according to Malian and French conference organisers. Many of the nations taking part were once ruled by France, which in recent years has boosted its military involvement in the continent. Several English-speaking African countries will also be present. In a bid to help crush the growing jihadist threat, France has trained more than 20,000 African soldiers every year since a Paris summit in 2013,...
(International Business Times 01/11/17)
Nigeria may have just reclaimed its position as Africa’s top oil producer beating Angola. Angola had led the African oil producing countries with its 1.7 million barrels of crude oil a day, well above Nigeria's 1.5 million barrels per day, in September 2016, for seven straight months. According to the December 2016 Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) of the OPEC, crude oil production from Nigeria went a notch above that of Angola even before the start of 2017 as per the planned production cut agreed by OPEC and non-OPEC producers. Angola would be expected to cut about 78,000 barrels per day of its production in the agreement that was sealed at the end of 2016. But as reported by secondary...
(AFP (eng) 01/10/17)
Iraq's oil minister called Tuesday for Angolan energy firm Sonangol to resume work at fields south of Mosul where the Islamic State group had set wells alight, sparking months-long infernos. Iraqi forces recaptured the Qayyarah and Najmah fields last year, but oil wells have burned long after IS was pushed back, blanketing areas for miles around in a haze of smoke. Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi "called on Angolan company Sonangol to resume work in developing the Qayyarah and Najmah fields in Nineveh province," the oil ministry said in a statement. Luaibi made the call during a meeting with Sonangol executive administrator Edson dos Santos, and requested that work be resumed at the two fields by the end of next month,...
(AfricaNews 01/10/17)
Angolan state oil company Sonangol has cut output by 78,000 barrels per day to (bpd) to 1.673 million bpd as part of an OPEC agreement to lower supply from Jan. 1. The announcement by Sonangol follows a deal reached by OPEC members to reduce production by 1.2 million barrels a day from January in a bid to reverse a slump in global oil prices. The deal comes into effect despite Angola’s dire economic straits caused by a slump in crude oil prices. Angola is Africa’s largest oil producer—having recently overtaken Nigeria, whose production has dropped due to a resurgence of Niger Delta militancy. The southern African nation is reeling from low oil prices, with oil comprising about 45 percent of...
(Eye Witness News 01/10/17)
Angola’s department of hygiene says a French tourist left Angola after being diagnosed with Zika two months ago. Angolan health officials say they have recorded the country’s first two cases of Zika in a French tourist and a resident in the capital of Luanda. In November, the World Health Organisation announced the virus no longer posed a global public health emergency after the outbreak in 2015. Angola’s Department of Hygiene says the French tourist left Angola after being diagnosed with Zika two months ago. The Angolan patient was diagnosed last week. At least 1.5 million people have been infected with Zika, mainly in Brazil, and more than 1,600 babies have been born with microcephaly. Nompumelelo Ngubeni
(Huffingtonpost 01/10/17)
And it’s ironic given the growing consensus that Beijing is the U.S. president-elect’s enemy number one. Eric Olander and Cobus van Staden are the duo behind the China Africa Project and hosts of the popular China in Africa Podcast. We’re here to answer your most pressing, puzzling, even politically incorrect questions, about all things related to the Chinese in Africa and Africans in China. The election of Donald Trump has introduced a new era of uncertainty in global politics, especially in Africa where the president-elect has said little about his foreign policy agenda for the continent. Not surprisingly, Trump’s unpredictable, provocative style is sparking widespread concern across the continent as to whether the United States plans to remain engaged in...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/17)
Angolan health officials said Monday they had recorded the country's first two cases of the Zika virus, a French tourist and a resident in the capital Luanda. The World Health Organization in November announced that the Zika virus no longer posed a global public health emergency after an outbreak centred on Brazil erupted in 2015. The French tourist left Angola after being diagnosed with Zika two months ago, said Eusebio Manuel, head of the department of hygiene, without further details. "The second case concerns an Angolan patient who lives in Luanda and was diagnosed last week," he said, adding that the patient was still hospitalised. Zika causes only mild symptoms in most people, but pregnant women with the virus risk...

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