Sunday 28 May 2017
(Xinhuanet 03/09/17)
A critical mass of trained and well equipped community health workforce is key to easing the rising burden of infectious and noncommunicable diseases in Africa, experts said on Wednesday at a continental forum taking place in Nairobi. The experts, policymakers and campaigners who attended Africa Health Agenda International Conference agreed that optimal engagement of community health workers is key to revolutionize response to diseases ravaging the continent. Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Health Cleopa Mailu in his opening remarks said that investments in training for community health workers will have multiplier impact on Africa's socioeconomic development. "We require highly skilled and motivated cadre of community health workforce to deal with a high diseases burden in disadvantaged settings in this continent. These...
(AFP (eng) 03/08/17)
Lawyers and human rights campaigners launched an initiative for African whistleblowers in Senegal on Tuesday, aimed at providing a secure means of exposing wrongdoing on the continent. African nations such as Somalia, South Sudan, Libya and Guinea-Bissau regularly appear at the very bottom of rankings such as Transparency International's Corruption Index, while none make it into the top 30. The Platform for the Protection of Whistleblowers in Africa (PPLAAF) will provide guidance from legal experts, secure submission of information and a hotline for potential informants, according to its founders. The initiative is the brainchild of Spanish superstar lawyer Baltasar Garzon -- who has defended Julian Assange of whistleblowing website WikiLeaks -- along with French lawyer William Bourdon, who worked on...
(The Independent 03/06/17)
Th term was coined by sceptical officials, worried about the importance given to Commonwealth trade deals ahead of Brexit negotiations. Plans by government ministers to boost trade links with African Commonwealth countries are being internally branded “empire 2.0” by sceptical officials who are worried about the importance being placed on such deals ahead of the UK’s negotiations of leaving the European Union (EU). International Trade Secretary Liam Fox is expected to promise to build better links with the whole of the 52 member countries of the Commonwealth when ministers from each country meet in London later this week. But as the UK is prepares itself to leave the European Union, The Times reports that British ministers are planning to talk...
(Maka Angola 03/03/17)
Although at 74 he is well over retirement age (65) and was expected to be forcibly retired this month, General António José Maria - the Angolan President's most faithful servant for nearly 40 years - is being allowed to remain at the head of the Military Intelligence and Security Service (SISM) until the elections at which President José Eduardo dos Santos will step down. His subordinates, who were expecting him to have left already, are increasingly unable to contain their frustration at his unorthodox leadership style, frequently marked by personal quirks which they say are unbecoming in a senior officer. General Zé Maria's latest 'wheeze' was to demand that all civilian employees engaged in courses of study must produce their...
(Bloomberg 03/03/17)
Polar Star Management Ltd., which runs one of the best-performing African and Middle East hedge fund over the past five years, plans to start a private-equity unit that will invest in agriculture to exploit rising demand for food. The Cape Town-based firm plans to use its own money to buy small farms and processing companies in South Africa this year, then increase efficiency through consolidation and better management, said Murray Derksen, a director at Polar Star. It aims to raise 1.5 billion rand ($115 million) for the fund, which may also buy commodities such as grains, while targeting an internal rate of return of 8 percent to 12 percent, he said. “We looked at the increase in corn demand globally,...
(AFP (eng) 03/02/17)
A film raging against colonialism and the exploitation of Africa wowed viewers at the continent's top cinema festival Wednesday, winning shouts of approval at a screening packed to bursting point. "The African Storm" tells the story of an African president who nationalises businesses run by racist, cynical Western executives. Directed and produced by its Beninese star Sylvestre Amoussou, it tackles several hot-button issues including an exit from the CFA franc currency, closer ties with Russia and China as opposed to the West, criticism of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, and pride in being African. One of 20 feature-length movies on show at the Panafrican Film and Television Festival (Fespaco) in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou, the movie was punctuated...
(AFP (eng) 02/28/17)
The Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership -- the world's biggest individual prize -- drew a blank once again in finding a suitable laureate, it was announced Tuesday. The prize only goes to a democratically-elected African leader who demonstrated exceptional leadership, served their mandated term and left office within the last three years. The award comes with $5 million (4.7 million euros) paid over 10 years and $200,000 annually for life from then on. The prize, founded by Sudan-born telecoms tycoon Mo Ibrahim, has only been given four times in its 10-year existence. The philanthropist has said in the past that making no award sent just as strong a message on African leadership. "A very high bar was deliberately...
(Macauhub 02/27/17)
Chinese entrepreneur Deng Xingwu plans to invest along with the Angolan group Ovaxing about US$3 million to produce maize in Benguela province, thereby creating 130 jobs, indicates the investment contract accessed by Lusa news agency. The contract was approved by order of the Agriculture Ministry and involves Ovaxing; the latter sells 49 percent of its share capital to the Chinese entrepreneur Deng Xingwu, who will also assure part of the new investment. Based in Benguela’s Ganda municipality, Ovaxing and the Chinese investor plan to cultivate and transform maize and other agricultural products in that province
(AFP (eng) 02/27/17)
An African road movie about four women wowed its audience Sunday as it kicked off the Panafrican cinema and television festival (Fespaco), a showcase for the continent's burgeoning film industry. "Borders" ("Frontieres") directed by Apolline Traore, a Fespaco laureate in 2013, sweeps across Africa as its protagonists journey through Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Benin on their way to Nigeria. Along the way the women -- Ivorian, Senegalese, Burkinabe and Nigerian actresses -- are spared nothing as they are beset by customs officers, thieves, murderers and rapists. The film -- the first feature-length film to show at the festival -- deals with "the bravery of women," Traore told AFP at the festival in the Burkinabe capital Ouagadougou. "There is a...
(AFP (eng) 02/25/17)
Angola's parliament has approved changes to a colonial-era law and decriminalised abortion in some cases, including for victims of rape. Under the changes, abortions may be carried out before the sixth month of pregnancy in cases where the mother's life is in danger or if the pregnancy is a result of rape. But abortion per se remains illegal and can fetch up to three years in jail for the woman and four years for the practitioner. "Abortion is forbidden, it is a crime in Angola," Justice Minister Rui Mangueira told reporters on Thursday. But in cases where "the ban has been lifted ... in cases where the life of the mother is in danger." Angola, a former Portuguese country, is...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/25/17)
Angola said on Friday that Portugal's decision to charge its Vice President Manuel Vicente with corruption and money laundering was a "serious attack" that threatened relations between the two states. A foreign affairs ministry statement said Angola "considers unfriendly and nonsensical the way the Portuguese authorities conveyed this news which constitutes a serious attack on the Republic of Angola and is likely to disrupt the good relations existing between the two states." The prosecutor general's office in Lisbon last week said it was charging Vicente, who is accused of bribing a magistrate when he was chief executive of state oil company Sonangol. Vicente is a powerful figure in Angola, Africa's second-biggest crude producer, but he is no longer seen as...
(Angola Press(En) 02/24/17)
Angolan opposition parliamentary groups on Thursday underscored the relevance of the draft law approved by the General Penal Code, but UNITA considered it essential to hold a referendum on a better integration of issues related abortion. This aspect has centered the debate between MPLA and the opposition MPs around this legal instrument that replaces the Penal Code in force since 1886, during the 4th Extraordinary Plenary Meeting of the 5th Legislative Session of the 3rd Legislature. In light of the text, abortion is prohibited and constitutes a crime punishable by a sentence of 4 to 10 years in prison. However, it establishes causes of exclusion of illegality (exceptional cause that removes the anti-legal character of a conduct seen as criminal),...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/24/17)
South African drinks company Distell, which makes Savanna cider and cream liqueur Amarula, has started producing canned drinks in Angola, the company's chief executive said on Thursday. Angola is Distell's largest export market in Africa but sales have fallen sharply there as a decline in oil revenues and lower economic growth have limited the availability of foreign exchange and hit Angolan consumers. "We've just started up local production of cans in Angola and that investment will be followed up by bottle production before the calendar year is out," Chief Executive Richard Rushton told Reuters in an interview. Distell spent about $20 million to build the plant, which will produce about 10 million litres a year initially. The company plans to...
(AFP (eng) 02/23/17)
For the first time in Africa, researchers said Wednesday they have detected a malaria parasite that is partially resistant to the top anti-malaria drug, artemisinin, raising concern about efforts to fight a disease that sickens hundreds of millions of people each year. The discovery means that Africa now joins southeast Asia in hosting such drug-resistant forms of the mosquito-borne disease. Malaria infected more than 200 million people and killed some 438,000 people worldwide in 2015, most of them children in Africa. "The spread of artemisinin resistance in Africa would be a major setback in the fight against malaria, as ACT (artemisinin-based combination therapy) is the only effective and widely used antimalarial treatment at the moment," said lead author Arnab Pain,...
(AFP (eng) 02/22/17)
Angola’s candidate for the next presidential election Joao Lourenço has promised to end corruption. Lourenço made the promise during campaigns for the general elections. The defense minister has been chosen by Angola’s ruling party candidate to take over from outgoing head of state Eduardo Dos Santos who announced last year that he will quit power. Talking to a group of students at Luanda Norte in the north east of the country, Lourenço criticised the collection of bribe especially from companies wishing to set up their businesses in Angola. He equally stressed on the point during a visit to Huila in the south east where he promised amelioration in the health and agriculture sectors. Lorenço will take over as president from...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/22/17)
U.S. energy company Chevron is in talks with the Angolan government and state oil firm Sonangol to revise tax terms and any future investment will hinge on those talks, a senior company official was quoted as saying on Wednesday. "Existing tax terms are not very attractive ... We have been working both with Sonangol and with various departments of the government of Angola so that we can make it feasible and we can invest. Our investment will depend on what will result from these negotiations," Chevron Vice-president Jay Johnson was quoted as saying on state radio. Africa's second largest crude producer and third largest economy has been laid low by depressed prices for oil, which accounts for about 90 percent...
(Xinhuanet 02/22/17)
Africa Energy Indaba, the continent's premier energy event, kicked off in Johannesburg on Monday with the aim of finding solutions to the continent's energy future. The three-day conference is being attended by the governments' representatives, business and funders. The meeting seeks to unleash the continent's potential by coming up with an energy mix to develop Africa. Dr. Garth Strachan, Deputy Director General and Head of Gas Industrialization Unit in South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry said the recent discoveries of gas in Mozambique, Angola and Tanzania provides a huge opportunity for the continent. He said there is a need for the countries to work together to tap benefits from the gas for the good of the continent. Strachan said...
(AFP (eng) 02/21/17)
An official investigation into a stampede that killed at least 17 fans at a football match in Angola has blamed security measures and crowd control, the national football federation said Tuesday. Several witnesses accused the police of provoking panic by attempting to disperse crowds outside the ground in the northern town of Uige at the game earlier this month. Hundreds of fans were reported to have turned up without tickets for the clash between Santa Rita de Cassia and Recreativo de Libolo in Angola's domestic league season.
(Bloomberg 02/21/17)
Ashish Thakkar, who co-founded Africa banking conglomerate Atlas Mara Ltd. with ex-Barclays Plc head Bob Diamond, lost a ruling over the ownership of family assets in a London divorce case, with a judge questioning Thakkar’s truthfulness. Judge Philip Moor ruled that Thakkar, and not his mother and sister, was the owner of disputed assets in the divorce. He found that the 35-year-old owned 100 percent of Mara Group Holdings Ltd. and other corporate entities. The result will have ramifications in the proceedings where a judge will have to decide how much Thakkar -- described in videos posted on his foundation’s website as "Africa’s Youngest Billionaire" -- is worth. Thakkar says he has assets of 445,532 pounds ($553,000) while his wife,...
(AFP (eng) 02/17/17)
Portuguese prosecutors on Thursday charged Angolan Vice President Manuel Vicente with corruption over allegations he bribed a magistrate with roughly 760,000 euros ($800,000) in 2012 to drop two investigations against him. Vicente, who was the president of Angolan national oil company Sonangol at the time of the alleged crimes, is charged with bribery, money laundering and document falsification, the public prosecutors' office said in a statement. His alleged accomplices, his lawyer Paulo Blanco and his business representative in Portugal, Armindo Pires

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