Wednesday 20 September 2017
(AFP (eng) 06/17/17)
Angola's government is preparing a golden parachute for the country's president Jose Eduardo dos Santos, complete with first-class air travel and a chauffeur-driven car. And after 38 years in power, he will retire on a pension not far short of his current salary. A bill to go before parliament would grant him generous benefits -- and even create a special legal status to protect him from prosecution for alleged corruption. Dos Santos, 74, has said he will not seek another term in office in legislative elections set for August 23. Parliament will vote next Thursday on a proposal to pay him a pension equivalent to 90 percent of his current monthly salary. That now stands at just over a million...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Extortion, corruption and fear; violence, hunger and sometimes even death: for west African migrants dreaming of reaching Europe, the road to get there can be an absolute minefield. - Departure - Whether it's The Gambia, Ivory Coast, Senegal or Nigeria, everything starts with the "hustlers" -- slang for the middlemen or fixers who organise the trip. Their honesty and prices vary, with the would-be migrant usually deceived about the welcome expected in Europe. Many possess no official documents from their home country, and do not understand illegal status in Europe. Most are ignorant about the extreme difficulties they will encounter en route. "We didn't know we were risking our lives," said Kante Sekou...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Maria gave smugglers all her family savings and crossed three countries and the searing Libyan desert, but when she finally boarded a boat for Europe her dream was swiftly shattered. She was 24 and pregnant with her second child when she left Liberia with her husband and their three-year-old son. The family passed through Guinea and Mali before crossing southern Algeria to reach the Libyan desert. "The smugglers took all our money" -- more than $2,150 (2,000 euros), she said. "We spent four days in the desert. People died of thirst and the sun in the back of the truck." They finally arrived on the beach at Sabrata, 70 kilometres (45 miles) west of Libya's capital Tripoli, a key departure...
(AFP (eng) 06/13/17)
Five Angolan Muslims who have been in detention since December for spreading radical views online and allegedly planning an attack, have denied swearing loyalty to the Islamic State group, their lawyer said Tuesday. "The accusation that these young Muslims have sworn allegiance and obedience to the Islamic State is based on assumptions," lawyer Sebastiao Assurreira told AFP. Arrested in December, they were charged in April with creating a radical movement as well as pledging loyalty to IS. Two women arrested at the same time were later bailed. Prosecutors say the men were preparing an attack and using face-to-face meetings and social media to radicalise others. But one of the defendants denied they were seeking to inspire violence. "Our goal was...
(AFP (eng) 06/13/17)
Angola's ruling party has bowed to public criticism of a proposed law banning all abortions and instead accepted a revised bill allowing terminations in cases of rape or maternal health risk. The about-turn follows a rare rally in March when roughly 200 demonstrators protested against the proposed bill under heavy police surveillance in the capital Luanda. "We have decided to listen to the pressure from society," the president of the ruling MPLA party's parliamentary caucus, Virgilio de Fontes Pereira, told reporters on Monday. The initial...
(AFP (eng) 06/13/17)
Uche's real journey had yet to begin but he had already spent four days in the northern Nigerian city of Kano after travelling on public buses and potholed roads from Imo state in the southeast. He planned to go to Agadez, a transit town on the southern edge of the Sahara desert in central Niger, take a truck to Sebha, in southwestern Libya, and from there to the capital Tripoli, and then to Italy or Spain. But his contact, who was supposed to drive him and three women across Nigeria's northern border, was arrested on suspicion of people smuggling. "His house had been under surveillance," explains the 38-year-old electrician in Kano's bustling Sabon Gari district. "The movement of the three...
(AFP (eng) 06/12/17)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will on Monday meet African leaders in Berlin on initiatives aiming to reduce the poverty and conflict driving a mass migrant influx to Europe. The idea is to team up African nations willing to reform with private investors who would bring business and jobs to a continent where instability or graft often scare off foreign companies. Merkel is hosting the initiative as part of Germany's presidency of the Group of 20 powerful economies, whose leaders meet in the northern port of Hamburg a month later. Invited to Berlin are Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and the leaders of Ghana, Ivory Coast...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/08/17)
More girls are completing secondary school across sub-Saharan Africa as attitudes change and state spending rises, but some of the most marginalized girls — like those married young or forced to work — are still missing out, education experts say. The percentage of girls completing secondary school has risen in all regions of Africa since 2005, said a recent report by the African Development Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the U.N. Development Program. Almost twice as many girls in East Africa and three times as many in Central Africa completed secondary education in 2014 as in 2005, according to the annual African Economic Outlook report, which was published at the end of last month. Yet more...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/07/17)
Building a network of African women leaders in fields ranging from business to politics could galvanize female leadership across the continent and boost peacebuilding efforts and good governance, the head of U.N. Women said on Tuesday. The African Women Leaders Network, which was launched last week in New York by the United Nations and the African Union Commission, hopes to drive more women into leadership roles, through mentoring, peer learning and harnessing contacts. By supporting women's leadership in Africa, the platform aims to galvanize their contributions to building and sustaining peace, improving political processes and driving social change, and realizing the U.N. global goals, according to U.N. Women. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), adopted in 2015, include targets on...
(Xinhuanet 06/06/17)
Bank of China opened its Luanda branch in the capital city of Angola on Monday. The branch, the first Chinese bank in Angola, will start banking operations on June 6. Chen Siqing, president of Bank of China, as well as some 300 representatives from the Chinese and Angola political, business and financial circle attended the ceremony. The Bank of China Luanda branch will mainly focus on company businesses and will expand deposit, loan, remittance, international settlement, trade financing, financial markets and other services. It will also actively carry out Angola cross-border financing business to enterprises and customers. Chen said the two countries have the common aspiration for development and a solid foundation for win-win cooperation. In 2016, bilateral trade volume...
(Xinhuanet 06/06/17)
Delegates of an African conference in solidarity with Cuba on Monday called on the United States to lift its over 50-year economic blockade against Cuba. "We applaud the positive development in this respect and we commend the U.S. government and Cuba for their efforts towards normalizing of ties," said Namibian President Hage Geingob, officially opening the fifth Continental Africa Conference in Solidarity with Cuba here on Monday. "However, there is still much ground left to cover to ensure the complete lifting of the blockage against Cuba," said Geingob. According to Geingob, the conference will lead to the development of the common African strategy in terms of support to Cuba. The delegates also called for the return of the Guantanamo Bay,...
(Angola Press(En) 06/02/17)
The Secretary of State for Agriculture, José Amaro Taty, defended in Luanda the need to create the National Poultry Centre as an added value for the sector. Speaking during a meeting with members of the Angolan National Poultry Producers Association (ANAVI), the official stated that the centre will discipline raw material prices, greatly affected by the action of speculators. "It will allow small producers to have access to production inputs at fair and competitive prices, so that they can produce eggs and meat at fair prices for the population", said Amaro Taty. In turn, the National Director of the Technical Unit for Support to Private Investment (UTAIP) of the Ministry of Agriculture
(Xinhuanet 06/02/17)
Fifty-four African Union member states will convene the 5th Continental Conference of Solidarity with Cuba in the Namibian capital from June 5-7, said an Naminian official on Thursday. The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of International relations and Cooperation, Selma Ashipala-Musavyi, said the aim of hosting the conference in Namibia is to intensify solidarity and to strengthen bounds of friendship between the people of Cuba and the progressive peoples throughout the African Continent. Namibia's President Hage Geingob will open and address the conference, which will run under the theme, "Intensifying Solidarity and continuing the legacy of Fidel and Che". The conference, which will also be attended by a Cuban delegation, will also recognize the important work done in support of...
(Angola Press(En) 06/01/17)
The representation of the woman with electoral capacity in the August 23 election represents 59.9 percent of the total number of voters, said the Angolan Secretary of State for Cooperation, Ângela Bragança. The official said so during a lecture on "Women and Elections in Africa", adding that the electoral process should be a challenge for women, as it is a way of examining the democratic process in the country, as well as a commitment to the reaffirmation of gender equality, embodied in the Constitution. The meeting aimed at celebrating the day of Africa, marked on May 25. Ângela Bragança highlighted the importance of the 54th anniversary of the African Union in the context of the African Union's 2063 Agenda and...
(Angola Press(En) 06/01/17)
The Angolan musician, Filipe Mukenga, on Wednesday in Luanda considered the exchange between national and Brazilian musicians an opportunity to increase cultural relations between the two countries. Speaking at a press conference moments after the launch of the cultural project "Serenatas a Kianda", the musician said that participation in this event will allow the two peoples to exchange experience in music and dance. According to him, this type of initiative enhances the national culture and will allow countries like Brazil to learn about Angolan music. On his turn, the Brazilian singer Jorge Vercillo hopes that his presence in the country may serve to better know the Angolan music, intending to sing some songs in national languages. The artist acknowledges that...
(AFP (eng) 06/01/17)
One in five children born with a twin sibling in sub-Saharan Africa dies before the age of five -- three times the rate among singletons, said a study Thursday. Almost two-thirds die in the first month of life -- often succumbing to the after-effects of a difficult birth or entering the world too early or underweight, according to research published in The Lancet medical journal. And while rates of under-five deaths in the sub-Saharan African region have declined over two decades, the improvement has been much slower for twins than for single-borns. "Twins account for 10.7 percent of all under-five deaths and 15.1 percent of neonatal (newborn) deaths in the region and these percentages are increasing," the study said. "The...
(Bloomberg 05/31/17)
Nigeria, Angola and Zimbabwe are being left in leadership limbo as their ailing rulers spend weeks abroad seeking medical attention. The presidents of the three African nations all wield considerable power, and their absence has stoked investor uncertainty and stirred talk about succession. The situation hasn’t been helped by their governments’ failure to disclose what’s wrong with them. “Despite an average population age of around 17 to 19, many sub-Saharan African countries have elderly leaders in their 70s or above,” said Charles Robertson, Renaissance Capital’s London-based chief economist. “The benefit of experience can be offset when illness incapacitates elderly leaders. A healthy democracy like Nigeria now has institutions which function well when the president is ill. In less transparent countries...
(Washington Post 05/31/17)
The old man’s house had become a camp for the displaced. In the back yard, groups of women boiled water for rice. Small children skittered across the dirt, running into the bedroom, where they careened around the long, skinny legs of Elijah Karama. “Because of the conditions, they are mine to take care of,” said Karama, 57, more tired than proud. By conditions, he meant Boko Haram’s destruction of vast areas of northeastern Nigeria, and the hunger crisis that has followed. This city of about 1 million has absorbed an additional 1 million people who fled the Islamist militants who burned their villages and kidnapped hundreds of children. In Maiduguri, the vast majority of the displaced aren’t living in U.N...
(AFP (eng) 05/30/17)
Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who has been dogged by reports of poor health, has returned to Luanda after nearly a month in Spain, party officials said Tuesday. Dos Santos's medical condition has recently been subject to fierce speculation, with his daughter Isabel forced to deny rumours that he had died while in Spain. Anastacio de Brito, spokesman for the ruling MPLA party, told AFP that the 74-year-old president arrived back in Angola on Monday evening. The party confirmed for the first time on Monday that dos Santos had undergone medical checks while in Spain on an extended "private visit". Dos Santos, who has been in power since 1979, will not contest an election in August, marking a historic...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/29/17)
Angola confirmed for the first time on Monday that 74-year-old President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, its leader of the last 38 years, was in Spain for medical reasons. Speaking on French radio station RFI, foreign minister Georges Chikoti admitted that dos Santos had been unwell but played down concerns about his health and refused to confirm local private media reports of a stroke. "You know that there are moments in everyone's lives when we don't feel well. But he is fine. He is in Spain but when he is better he will return," Chikoti said.

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