Monday 26 June 2017
(AFP (eng) 06/22/17)
Over a thousand people took to the streets of Benin's economic capital of Cotonou on Thursday to protest against President Patrice Talon amid growing unease with his government's economic reforms. A coalition of opposition parties and civil activists led the rally, which coincided with trade unions launching a two-day strike against the government's move to privatise port management. "We wanted to say to President Talon that the people are hungry and that the poor governance that characterises their management enrages the people," said Cecil Adjevi, secretary general of an opposition party and a leader of the march. "A large part of the people" are unhappy with Talon, said Alimatou Dramane, a trader in a Cotonou...
(AFP (eng) 06/20/17)
Benin President Patrice Talon underwenttwo surgeries during a prolonged stay in Paris, one procedure due to doctors finding a lesion in his prostate, his office said Monday. The admission comes weeks after Talon's absence, which lasted nearly a month, had been a hot topic in the tiny West African nation, prompting the government to deny rumours that he was ill. "During his last health check, a lesion was found at an early stage in his prostate," the president's office said in a statement, but the operation allowed him to recover "without the use of chemotherapy or radiation". The statement made no mention of the word cancer. The 59-year-old president returned to Benin on Sunday with his office releasing the statement...
(AFP (eng) 06/07/17)
Benin's foreign minister on Wednesday worked to reassure the nation that President Patrice Talon was healthy, despite mounting speculation about the cause of his week-long stay in France. "He is staying in Paris and he is taking advantage of his stay to do a health check," Aurelien Agbenonci told AFP. Talon's absence has been a hot topic in the tiny West African nation for several days. On Tuesday, Agbenonci denied that 59-year-old Talon was ill. "The president of the republic...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 06/05/17)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday joined West African leaders at a summit in Liberia, where they hailed peacekeeping efforts in the region but warned about threats to stability. Netanyahu, who had visited east Africa in July 2016, vowed that they had "no better partner" than his country after he was received by Liberian President and outgoing head of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. "Israel is coming back to Africa and Africa is...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/27/17)
Leaders of the Group of Seven wealthy nations met African heads of state on Saturday, the final day of their annual summit which has been marked by discord over climate change, but unity on tackling terrorism. Italy had hoped to make Africa the major focus of the annual G7 gathering, holding the discussions on the island of Sicily that has taken in hundreds of thousands of migrants over the past four years as they flee war and poverty back home...
(Capitalfm Business 05/10/17)
President Uhuru Kenyatta has reached out to Benin in his latest quest to expand the export market for Kenya’s products, including coffee, tea and fresh produce. The President pitched for the new market for Kenyan exports when he held talks with President Patrice Talon of Benin that focused on deepening economic ties between Kenya and the West African nation. He also spoke strongly on expanding intra-Africa trade, including through improved air services to better link African cities. President Kenyatta met...
(Xinhuanet 04/19/17)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, will convene Wedesday the first UN-AU Annual Conference. The two leaders will look into how to strengthen the partnership between the two organizations to face common challenges and opportunities in the continent, on issues of peace and security, sustainable development and human rights, said Stephane Dujarric, UN spokesman, at a daily briefing. "They will also sign the Joint United Nations-African Union Framework for an Enhanced...
(AFP (eng) 04/05/17)
Benin's parliament on Tuesday narrowly rejected a proposal from President Patrice Talon to amend the constitution, including introducing a single presidential term, down from the currently permitted two. After a day of heated debate, 60 deputies voted in favour of the bill, with 22 against and one abstention. Any change in the constitution needs the approval of four-fifths of the national assembly, and the measure fell short of the required majority. "It's a failure, a slap in the face for...
(AFP (eng) 03/27/17)
Benin's defence minister announced his resignation on Monday to protest President Patrice Talon's plans to overhaul the constitution. Candide Armand-Marie Azannai wrote on his Facebook page that he had decided to quit because of "recent developments in this country's politics". Businessman Talon, who was elected last year, has proposed amending the constitution to limit presidents to a single term of office in the tiny West African nation, which is dwarfed by its giant neighbour Nigeria to the east. They can...
(APA 03/23/17)
The President of Benin, Patrice Talon, will later on Thursday address his nation to explain the reasons behind his government’s proposed revision of the country's constitution which has been in force since December 11, 1990. Img : Beninese leader to address nation on proposed constitutional changes “Patrice Talon will have to justify the new choices contained in the proposed draft bill and appeal for all Beninese to support the bid," the presidency disclosed. The nationwide address comes on the eve of the start to the third extraordinary session of the National Assembly looking into the draft bill, which is already the subject
(Reuters (Eng) 03/23/17)
N'DJAMENA French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen pledged on Wednesday to break with her country's decades-old relationship with Africa known as "Francafrique" and abolish the CFA franc currency policy that binds Paris and its former colonies. Francafrique describes an informal web of relationships Paris has maintained with its former African colonies and its support, sometimes in the form of military backing, for politicians who favor French business interests. Le Pen, one of the frontrunners in the presidential election, spoke...
(AFP (eng) 03/17/17)
Many Africans have become accustomed to their leaders trying to cling to power at all costs, but in tiny Benin, the president appears to be trying to do the opposite. President Patrice Talon, a former businessman dubbed the "cotton king" of Cotonou, has put forward a proposal to limit the head of state to a single term of office. Reform of the "political model" was a central part of his election campaign last year, which saw him beat then-prime minister Lionel Zinsou in the race to replace Thomas Boni Yayi. He also proposed setting up a court of auditors and revamping political party funding.
(Voice of America 02/14/17)
U.S. President Donald Trump made his first phone calls to African heads of state Monday, speaking with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and South African President Jacob Zuma. Nigeria and South Africa said the calls were made at the request of the U.S. president, who until now has said little about Africa or African issues since assuming office last month. The Nigerian presidency said Trump and Buhari discussed issues of terrorism, and said Trump assured Buhari the United States is ready...
(Xinhuanet 02/03/17)
T20 Africa Conference, the meeting for the G20 think tanks and African countries, ended on Friday in Johannesburg with a commitment to accelerate cooperation between the G20 and Africa. The three-day conference aimed to chart a course for the future cooperation between Africa and the G20. The day ended with the formulation of the communique which will be given to the current G20 chair Germany. The communique will also be the reference for further discussion between Africa and T20. T20...
(Xinhuanet 02/01/17)
Newly elected senior officials of the African Union (AU) Commission, including Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the AU Commission, were sworn in on Tuesday at the conclusion of the 28th AU summit in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. In addition to the two top officials, other officials took the oath for positions including, peace and security; political affairs; trade and industry; social affairs; infrastructure and energy; and rural economy and agriculture. The 28th AU summit also elected Alpha Conde, President of...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 01/14/17)
The 15-nation ECOWAS West African bloc will ask the UN Security Council to approve the deployment of troops to the Gambia if its longtime leader Yahya Jammeh refuses to step down, a UN envoy said Friday. Mohamed Ibn Chambas said a delegation of ECOWAS leaders to Banjul were to make clear to Jammeh that they were prepared to use force to ensure a handover of power to president-elect Adama Barrow. "They plan to leave no doubt about the determination of...
(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,...
(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...

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