| Africatime
Thursday 23 March 2017
(AFP 08/19/16)
Maps, road signs, sat navs, Google maps -- it all makes travelling so easy. But how do you get around in a city with few street names, where buildings have no numbers? "Cross 'Death Junction' then after about 500 metres on the left, you'll see a curtain seller. Go up the path until you see a black building -- that's where I live," says Judith Koumis, giving directions to her home in Yaounde, the Cameroon capital. "It's easy," she says, forgetting, like everyone else, that "Death Junction" has an official name -- Friendship Junction. In this west African country, like many other places on the continent, getting around town can be something of a puzzle without a firm grasp of...
(AFP (eng) 08/16/16)
West African troops who have provided security to the unstable west African state of Guinea-Bissau will pull out within a year, a top official for the ECOWAS regional bloc said Monday. The troops were deployed in May 2012 following one of the nation's many coups and have since served with a mandate to protect public figures and institutions. "That's four years now. The contingent cannot stay in Guinea-Bissau forever. It's costing us a lot, and more and more often the head of state has asked me to organise the demobilisation," said Marcel Alain De Souza, the head of the ECOWAS Commission. "That's what we are working on, to extend our stay for a year so that the security situation can...
(Xinhuanet 08/09/16)
The West Africa Health Organization (WAHO) has launched a six-day family planing and HIV/AIDS testing campaign along the border between Benin and Togo, an official source has said. The regional campaign, launched on Sunday in collaboration with KFW, a German financial institution, is aimed at promoting reproductive health and prevention of HIV. The campaign is also funded by USAID, World Health Organization, UNICEF, United Nations Population Fund and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). Togo's Health Minister Napo-Koura Gado said the objective of this regional program is to contribute to the reduction of maternal mortality in the West African member states.
(The Wall Street Journal 08/09/16)
Deal would mark South African furniture retailer’s entry into U.S. market. Steinhoff International Holdings NV, Africa’s retailing giant but little-known outside the continent, has made its first foray into the U.S., agreeing to pay $2.4 billion for Sleepy’s owner Mattress Firm Holding Corp. Steinhoff, a family-owned furniture seller based outside Cape Town, South Africa, is called “Africa’s IKEA” for its home furnishing retail chains. Until recently, it had trained its sights on expansion in Europe, from Germany and Switzerland to Poland and Bulgaria, and Australasia. Last month, it agreed to pay £597 million ($793.77 million) for British retailer Poundland Group PLC, which sells most of its goods for a pound, or about $1.31 at today’s rates. The company said on...
(The Associated Press 08/06/16)
The World Health Organization and its partners shipped more than 6 million yellow fever vaccines to Angola in February to quash an emerging epidemic, yet when they asked country officials the following month what happened to the vaccines, they discovered that about 1 million doses had mysteriously disappeared. Of the shipments that did make it to Angola, some vaccines were sent to regions with no yellow fever cases, while others arrived at infected areas without syringes. In neighboring Congo, some vaccines weren't always kept cold enough to guarantee they would be effective. This lack of oversight and mismanagement has undermined control of the outbreak in Central Africa, the worst yellow fever epidemic in decades, an Associated Press investigation has found...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/05/16)
In an expanse of sand 60 miles (100 km) north of Senegal's capital, two men set to work digging up tree stumps to clear space for what could soon be the biggest solar plant in West Africa. In less than a year, says developer Senergy PV SA, this shrubby lot will be covered with 96,000 gleaming solar panels from China, injecting up to 30 megawatts into the grid. It is an attractive prospect for a nation with a dire power deficit, and which currently meets most of its needs by burning imported oil in hugely inefficient diesel generators. "The context is favorable," Karim Ndiaye, investment director at French private equity firm Meridiam, which bought out the original Senergy company in...
(Voice of America 08/04/16)
On the eve of President Barack Obama’s 55th birthday, he was greeted in song with "Happy Birthday" Wednesday by about a thousand participants at this year’s Young African Leaders summit in Washington. Obama launched the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) six years ago to support an emerging generation of young African entrepreneurs, activists and public officials. Its flagship program, the Mandela Washington Fellowship, began two years ago with the goal of empowering young Africans through academic coursework, leadership training and networking. "Today's Africa is a place of unprecedented prosperity and opportunities," Obama told the excited crowd, noting that he'd visited sub-Saharan Africa four times, more than any other U.S. president. During his time as president, Obama said, "I've worked to...
(Punch 08/03/16)
The President of Benin Republic, Mr. Patrice Talon, has said all countries in the West African sub-region are suffering the negative effects of Nigeria’s economic downturn. Talon, who was on a one-day visit to Nigeria, spoke through an interpreter with State House correspondents shortly after meeting behind closed doors with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday. The visiting President observed that although Nigeria was blessed with enormous potential, the country had relied on oil for too long. He described Nigeria as the engine room of the sub region, warning that the engine should not be allowed to run down. Talon said it was time for Nigeria to go back to the basics and re-energise its economy...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/03/16)
Barclays is expected to sell more of its stake in its African subsidiary in the coming weeks to take its holding in the business to less than 50% and strengthen the UK parent bank's capital. A lock-up period following a previous share sale expires on Tuesday, and Barclays is expected to sell more stock in Barclays Africa as part of its plan to deconsolidate the business. Barclays CEO Jes Staley, who took over a year ago, decided in March to sell down the stake in its African operations because the bank's 62% ownership meant it had to fully allocate capital to the business, but got less than two-thirds of its profits. The bank sold a 12.2% stake on May 4,...
(Voice of America 07/30/16)
The president of the African Wildlife Foundation has called on African governments to urgently address the issue of poaching, which he said is depriving the continent of its resources. But Zimbabwe says the international ban on the sale of ivory — which was imposed to discourage poaching — is hurting its interests. Winding up a five-day visit to Zimbabwe on Friday, Kaddu Sebunya said poaching is depleting Africa of its vital natural resources in the same way the slave trade once did. He said animal populations are dropping rapidly around the continent. “We have been losing an average of 30,000 elephants annually. Many African countries in the last 20 years have lost all their rhino population. All. Zero left. It...
(AfricaNews 07/29/16)
The former president of the then Republic of Dahomey (now Benin), Emile Derlin Zinsou died Thursday aged 98. “We are all in mourning former President Emile Derlin Zinsou, passed away last night after 11pm at home,” Gratien Ahouanmenou, a family friend said. Emile Derlin Zinsou, was president of Dahomey from July 1968 to December 1969. May man's first steps on the moon convince those on earth to vow one day soon to employ science and technology only in the service of Peace and Progress Overthrown in December 1969 following a coup, he was a fierce opponent of the regime of General Kerekou, who led the country from 1972 to 1991 and from 1996 to 2006. Zinsou served in the French...
(Cnbc Africa 07/29/16)
"One cannot get to the top by being average,” says Noletu Moti, Koeberg Nuclear Plant’s first female chief inspector. Moti who is in her mid-30s, hailing from the outskirts of East London, is taking others with her to the top by assisting young Africans who want to be where she is through Bhongoletu Youth Foundation, which she started in 2012 with the slogan ‘Live The South African Dream’. ‘’Youth development has always been a dream. If I was not doing science, I would be in youth development full time, travelling Africa helping young children in literacy & numeracy. A nation without education suffers immensely,” says Moti The highly fashionable inspector is responsible for the establishment and coordination of Koeberg Nuclear...
(Xinhuanet 07/28/16)
Cooperation among China, the United States and Africa can effectively fight maritime piracy in Africa, a UN senior official said here on Wednesday. UN General Secretary special representative Mohamed Ibn Chambas made the remarks on the sidelines of the two-day meeting which kicked off on Wednesday. About thirty diplomats and experts from Africa, China and the United States discussed collective strategies to address maritime security, protect the blue economy in the Gulf of Guinea and promote peace in the Sahel region. The first day of trilateral consultation among Africa, China and the United States has laid the ground for further cooperation on fight against maritime piracy in Africa, he said. "China and U.S., two world powers and members of the...
(Business Day 07/27/16)
The rapid uptake of digital services across the continent requires that the region’s governments urgently release more spectrum for mobile broadband services. This is according to a report by global mobile network operators association GSMA, which was released on Tuesday. The lack of spectrum has hampered the rapid deployment of faster wireless network infrastructure in many parts of Africa, including SA. At the end of 2015, the continent had 557-million unique mobile subscribers, equivalent to 46% of its population. This has made Africa the second-largest, but least penetrated, market in the world. Africa’s three largest national markets — Egypt, Nigeria and SA — together account for around a third of the total subscriber base. However, Africa is barely scratching the...
(Xinhuanet 07/26/16)
Despite Africa's slowdown, property developers and private equity funds continue to pour investment into the continent, but with more focused strategies, organizers of the upcoming Africa Property Investment (API) Summit said on Monday. "Over 1.2 billion U.S. dollars has been raised and allocated to real estate investment in Africa over the past year and we expect this trend to continue," said Kfir Rusin, General Manager of APIS. This year's summit, scheduled for August 18-19 in Johannesburg, will feature various discussions on innovative strategies and collaboration, as well as showcasing new real estate opportunities and projects across Africa. Commenting on the global capital flows making their mark on African real estate, Peter Welborn, Chairman of Knight Franks' Africa business, said the...
(Xinhuanet 07/25/16)
Sub-Saharan Africa remains a fast-growing region in the world despite a relative slow down, multinational professional services firm Ernst & Young (EY) said on Monday. This is reflected in the foreign direct investment (FDI) levels in 2015, where FDI project numbers increased by seven percent, EY said in its 2016 Africa Attractiveness Program, issued in Johannesburg. Although the capital value of projects was down year-on-year, from 88.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2014 to 71.3 billion in 2015, this was still higher than the 2010-2014 average of 68 billion U.S. dollars, the report said. Similarly, jobs created were down year-on-year, but still ahead of the average for 2010-2014, the report showed. "Over the past year, global markets have experienced unprecedented volatility...
(Voice of America 07/23/16)
The 14th U.N. Conference on Trade and Development ended Friday in Nairobi with delegates adopting a measure giving the organization a central role in meeting U.N. sustainable development goals. UNCTAD said the quadrennial gathering also produced the beginning of an e-trade initiative, the launch of a multiple-donor trust fund on trade and productive capacity, and an agreement involving more than 90 nations on a road map for fisheries subsidies. A report released earlier in the week by UNCTAD, "Economic Development in Africa 2016," noted that African governments should take action to prevent rapid debt growth from becoming a crisis. The report also said the annual average foreign debt stock of Africa from 2011 to 2013 amounted to $443 billion, a...
(AFP (eng) 07/22/16)
French petroleum giant Total signed an eight-year deal to become the new sponsor of African football and its showpiece event, the Africa Cup of Nations, on Thursday. The sponsorship of the tournament will start at its next edition in Gabon from Jan 14 to Feb 5, 2017. "This partnership is a major milestone in our ongoing search for additional resources to accelerate African football’s development, bring its governance up to date, upgrade its sports infrastructure and advance its performance globally," said Issa Hayatou, the president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF). "As a leading multinational in its field, with strong ties to Africa, Total will make a significant contribution to CAF’s initiatives to foster personal and professional growth for...
(Xinhuanet 07/21/16)
The African Development Bank (AfDB) on Wednesday advised African countries to increase funding in water projects in the face of water crisis facing the continent. Mohamed El Azizi, AfDB Director for Water and Sanitation Department, said for Africa to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals there must be political commitment, prioritization of water and sanitation issues, as well as more budget allocation to the water and sanitation sector. El Azizi told a news conference in the east African nation's business capital Dar es Salaam that the AfDB has financed a number of water and sanitation projects in Africa, including Tanzania. He was speaking at the ongoing 6th Africa Water Week which started on July 18 through July 22 whose theme was...
(Xinhuanet 07/20/16)
The African Development Bank (AfDB) said on Tuesday that it has approved 12.4 million U.S. dollar grant to help empower women in the continent. A statement from AfDB said the funds will be used for a project called "50 million Women Speak" to create a networking platform dedicated to sub-Saharan women entrepreneurs. "Platform users will learn about their rights and the way to obtain financial support," said Salieu Jack, Chief ICT Engineer & Project's Team Leader at the AfDB. According to Jack, the rate of women entrepreneurs with access to banking loans in sub-Saharan Africa could jump from 4 percent to 10 percent by 2022. The grant will be spread between the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA),...

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