Friday 20 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 12/04/17)
French President Emmanuel Macron made a surprise announcement during his recent African tour, saying in Burkina Faso's capital that one of his priorities was to restore African cultural treasures. African cultural heritage "should be highlighted in Paris, but also in Dakar, Lagos, Cotonou", Macron told a crowd of students at a university in Ouagadougou. "This will be one of my priorities. In five years, I want the conditions to be met to return African heritage to Africa." Delivered at the end of his speech, this sentence resonated especially in Benin, which in July last year called for France to return treasures taken during French...
(AFP (eng) 12/01/17)
Leaders at an EU-Africa summit called Thursday for the immediate evacuation of nearly 4,000 distressed African migrants in Libya under a new drive to fight slave traders and traffickers. Wrapping up a two-day summit in Ivory Coast's economic capital, a top African Union (AU) official said there could be as many as 700,000 Africans stranded in Libya, where many have suffered atrocities and even been sold into slavery. He said a fact-finding mission had seen one camp in Tripoli where all the residents, numbering several thousand, were "living in inhumane conditions" and were desperate to return home. "We have agreed, along with the EU and the UN, to set up a task force for repatriating at least 3,800 people," Moussa...
(AFP (eng) 11/30/17)
A summit gathering European and African leaders from more than 80 countries drew to a close Thursday with plans for the immediate evacuation of some 3,800 African migrants stranded in Libya. Wrapping up the summit in the Ivorian capital, a top African Union official said there could be as many as 700,000 Africans trapped in Libya, where many have suffered attrocities and even been sold into slavery. The two-day summit of the African Union (AU) and European Union (EU) was showcased as a project to boost development in Africa as it faces a population crunch.
(Reuters (Eng) 11/30/17)
DAKAR/LIBORE, Niger (Reuters) - Mabingue Ngom, the head of the U.N. Population Fund in West Africa, knows that if he wants to cut birth rates he can’t ignore religion. Population experts like Ngom are worried that if West Africa’s population continues to grow at its current pace - the region has the highest birth rate in the world - it will drive fiercer competition for scarce water and farmland, and fuel malnutrition, conflict and ever more economic refugees. West African governments, U.N. agencies and charities also want to cut maternal mortality rates, which are higher in West Africa than anywhere else in the world, according to U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) figures. But imams who follow the puritanical Wahhabist form of...
(AFP (eng) 11/30/17)
Twenty-five asylum seekers from Africa arrived safely in Rome Thursday, using a Christian "humanitarian corridor" set up for Syrians fleeing the war in their homeland. "It was just a project but it became THE project, the way of the future," said Mario Morcone of the Italian interior ministry. The 25 men, women and children from Somalia, Eritrea and South Sudan arrived in Rome before dawn on a flight from Ethiopia. They will be moved to centres across the country. "We want to ensure that people do not risk their lives in the desert and at sea," Morcone said. "This is an important turning point in the politics of our country. You are witness to this turning point and we will...
(AFP (eng) 11/29/17)
More than 80 African and European leaders will gather in the Ivory Coast on Wednesday to promote jobs and stability for Africa's exploding population, with some calling for a new "Marshall Plan." The two-day summit in Abidjan opens as the European Union increasingly sees its fate linked to Africa's following the twin shocks of unprecedented migration and terrorist attacks. It comes as China, India, Japan, the Gulf Arab states and others also compete for influence on a continent where the 28-nation EU remains as a whole the biggest economic and political player. European Parliament President Antonio Tajani told parliamentarians from both continents before the summit...
(AFP (eng) 11/28/17)
Hard cash but also the intangible ties of history have kept Europe in pole position as Africa's main partner, even if an influx of Chinese investment is prompting many African countries to look eastward. Successive years of hefty spending, particularly in infrastructure, have propelled China into the continent's top slot when calculated in terms of individual investor nations. But a quite different picture emerges when this is seen through a broader prism -- the ties between Africa and Europe as a 28-nation bloc. "Europe is in front, given the shared history," said Pierre Dagbo Gode, professor of political science at the Felix Houphouet Boigny University of Abidjan. "Europe is the premier trade partner, the top investor, the top donor," a...
(AFP (eng) 11/28/17)
A furore over migrant slave markets in Libya casts a shadow over an AU-EU summit this week that aims to promote Africa's long-term economic growth and stability, spurred by European fears of terrorism and mass migration. The two-day African Union and European Union summit opening Wednesday in the Ivory Coast economic capital Abidjan is focused mainly on the need to create jobs for Africa's rapidly growing population. The summit marks what Europe sees as a potential turning point for broader and deeper ties with a continent it once colonised widely -- while China, Japan, India and Gulf Arab states also compete for influence. However, outrage over the slave trade in Libya looms over the talks in Abidjan, with the scandal...
(Jeune Afrique 11/27/17)
À Cotonou, les discussions se poursuivent autour de la facture de 200 millions d'euros que l'État réclame au principal opérateur téléphonique du pays au titre des redevances impayées de 2016 et 2017. Signe que la situation pourrait se débloquer, le ministère de l'Intérieur a décidé de surseoir à l'expulsion du directeur général de MTN. Alors que selon un arrêté émanant du ministère béninois de l’Intérieur, il devait quitter le pays au plus tard le 24 novembre, le directeur général de MTN a reçu le jour même notification d’une décision lui accordant un délai supplémentaire de quatorze jours. « La décision d’expulsion n’a pas été annulée. Nous l’avons juste différée », explique le ministre de l’Intérieur, Sacca Lafia qui a signé,...
(Agence Ecofin 11/27/17)
Benin’s government will build in the Sèmè-Kpodji municipality, South West of Cotonou, a commercial deep-water oil and ore port. To this end, it has signed with Pic Network Limited of the Petrolin Group a public-private partnership agreement. “The project will be fully funded by Pic Network Limited and Pic International SA,” reads the report of the latest ministers’ council. The project which is estimated to cost hundreds of billions of CFA francs, will be developed over an area of more than 1,000 hectares. It falls under the Dorsal Spine or Epine Dorsale project. In this regard, goals aimed through this project’s development include among others, “a more efficient response to needs for a global increase of goods transit capacities, and...
(Agence Ecofin 11/27/17)
The French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA) has auditioned, between November 15 and 18, in Niger, migrants evacuated from Libya. The process aimed at initiating the procedure to grant asylum to all those that need one after suffering human rights abuses, rape, torture, arbitrary detention in Libya… The audition in Niamey follows another that was conducted in Chad, last October. In Niger, a total of 72 migrants were auditioned. Among those, 47 were selected, in addition to 25 migrants from Sudan and Eritrea also evacuated from Libya (all following the release of the video report showing migrants being sold as slaves in the country). According to Pascal Brice, OFPRA’s director, the first migrants will be...
(Agence Ecofin 11/25/17)
Au Bénin, le gouvernement envisage de construire, en partenariat public-privé avec la compagnie Pic Network Limited du Groupe Petrolin, un port pétrolier-minéralier et commercial en eau profonde dans la commune de Sèmè-Kpodji, au Sud-Est de Cotonou. « Le projet sera entièrement financé par la société Pic Network Limited et sa filiale Pic International SA.», peut-on lire dans le relevé du dernier conseil des ministres. D’un coût global de plusieurs centaines de milliards de Francs CFA, la réalisation des infrastructures de ce port pétrolier-minéralier va s’étendre sur une superficie de plus de 1 000 hectares. Elle s’inscrit dans le cadre du projet « Epine dorsale ». Les objectifs définis à ce titre, sont « entre autres, de répondre plus efficacement aux...
(AFP (eng) 11/24/17)
Forty people are facing prosecution after police raids in west and central Africa rescued nearly 500 victims of human trafficking, Interpol said on Thursday. Raids were carried out in Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal as part of a German foreign ministry funded initiative targeting organised crime in the region. Of the nearly 500 people rescued, 236 were children, Interpol said in an emailed statement. The operation happened between November 6 and 10, it added later. Those arrested are accused of forcing their victims into begging and prostitution and face charges including human trafficking, forced labour and child exploitation.
(AFP (eng) 11/22/17)
South African mobile phone giant MTN is in talks with Benin's telecoms regulator after its subsidiary was slapped with a bill of more than $200 million. The regulator (Arcep) wants MTN Benin to pay 134.4 billion CFA francs -- the equivalent of $213 million (205 million euros) -- in frequency fees for 2016 and 2017. But the company has called the fees "excessive". MTN Group spokeswoman Karen Byamugisha told AFP on Tuesday that talks were "on-going" to try to find an amicable solution to the issue of outstanding payments. At the same time, Benin's interior ministry has ordered the head of MTN Benin Stephen Blewett to leave the country by Friday. The government accuses him of having conducted "activities detrimental...
(AfricaNews 11/21/17)
The African Union has called for an investigation on the Libyan authorities regarding the ‘slave markets’ of African migrants in the conflict torn nation. The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Professor Alpha Conde, strongly condemned the despicable acts which are at odds with the ideals of the Founding Fathers of the Organization and relevant African and international instruments, including the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. He calls for an immediate end to these practices and other criminal acts of human trafficking. He calls for a swift action to be taken and identify all perpetrators and accomplices, with the view of bringing the criminals to justice. This comes following the release of shocking images showing the sale of...
(AFP (eng) 11/20/17)
srael's cabinet voted on Sunday to close a migrant detention centre, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced an agreement to deport 40,000 Africans who entered the country illegally. Ministers unanimously approved plans to shutter the Holot centre in southern Israel and gave migrants a three-month deadline to leave the country or face deportation, said the interior and public security ministries. "The infiltrators will have the option to be imprisoned or leave the country," the public security ministry said in a statement. Israeli official figures from June 30 show a total of 38,043 African migrants in the country. They include 27,494 Eritreans and 7,869 Sudanese, and their presence in south Tel Aviv has raised discontent among Israelis there and elsewhere. Speaking...
(AFP (eng) 11/18/17)
he African Union on Friday called for Libyan authorities to investigate "slave markets" of black Africans operating in the conflict-torn nation, following the release of shocking images showing the sale of young men. The demand follows the release of CNN footage of a live auction in Libya where black youths are presented to north African buyers as potential farmhands and sold off for as little as $400. Guinean President Alpha Conde, who is also Chairman of the African Union, demanded an enquiry and prosecutions relating to what he termed a "despicable trade... from another era". Meanwhile Senegal's government. commenting on Facebook, expressed "outrage at the sale of Sub-Saharan African migrants on Libyan soil,"...
(Xinhuanet 11/17/17)
Sino-African relations have entered a new development stage of win-win cooperation, according to the fifth Biennial Conference of China-Africa Industrial Forum (CAIF) that opened here Thursday. Supporting Africa's industrialization and capacity cooperation are of vital importance in the next five years and Sino-African trade is likely to total 180 billion U.S. dollars in 2017, said CAIF secretary general Cheng Zhigang in the opening speech. Sino-African economic and trade cooperation has great potential, said Cheng. China has been Africa's largest trading partner since 2009. Chinese investments in Africa exceeded 100 billion dollars in 2016, about 50 times as much as in 2010. China's investments in Africa have also diversified in business areas, from construction and mining to emerging industries such as...
(AFP (eng) 11/17/17)
Africa is making only faltering progress towards food and nutrition security, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned. "Multiple forms of malnutrition coexist, with countries experiencing simultaneously high rates of child undernutrition or anaemia as well as high rates of obesity," it says in a new report, Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition. In sub-Saharan Africa, "progress towards the World Health Assembly global nutrition targets has been generally poor," the Rome-based agency says, referring to goals to end hunger by 2025. The annual document came out Thursday at the start of a two-day food and health seminar in Ivory Coast's economic capital, Abidjan. Around 200 people from 47 African nations are gathered to discuss "sustainable food systems...
(APA 11/14/17)
Nigeria’s Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has said that the country recovered over $64.63 million debts from electricity supply to Benin Republic and Niger Republic. Img : Nigeria recovers over $64m electricity debts from Benin, Niger Republics – Minister Nigeria supplies electricity to the two countries in line with the agreement that they won’t dam the River Niger that sustains the hydro-power plant at the Kainji Dam in northern Nigeria. Fashola, told the 21st monthly power sector operators meeting on Monday in Asaba, the Delta State capital, that the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trader (NBET), would work out the modalities for distribution of the funds. Fashola said that the government would make available a total of N37...

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