Friday 17 November 2017
(AFP (eng) 07/13/17)
The Dalai Lama will visit Botswana next month and meet with President Ian Khama, Botswana officials confirmed, in a trip likely to anger China, a key investor across Africa and its largest trade partner. Beijing views the Dalai Lama as a dangerous separatist campaigning for Tibetan independence and consistently condemns foreign leaders who meet him. Botswana "will be extending the normal courtesies for visiting dignitaries", the government said Wednesday in a statement. "His Excellency (President Khama) will meet the Dalai Lama when he is in Botswana." The Tibetan spiritual leader, who lives in exile in India, is due to make a public address at the three-day "Mind and Life Dialogue" conference in the Botswana capital Gaborone on August 19. Botswana's...
(MmegiOnline 07/12/17)
Ntlo ya Dikgosi yesterday resolved to request Parliament to defer the proposed Tribal Land Bill of 2017 for further consultation with the general public. The Minister of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services, Prince Maele presented the Tribal Land Bill of 2017 to Ntlo Ya Dikgosi during the just ended meeting. Members of Parliament will discuss the Bill, which seeks to improve the administration of the tribal land in the ongoing session of Parliament. Kgosi Moeti Monyamane of Kgalagadi North stated that it is very important for Batswana to be consulted about the Bill before it is passed into law.
(MmegiOnline 07/12/17)
Different regional chairpersons for Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) yesterday said their weekend congress would not go on as planned if the issue regarding the expelled members is not addressed. The regions included BOMASE, South East, Francistown, Letswapo, Kweneng and Gaborone. They demanded immediate and unconditional reinstatement of the expelled members. Kweneng regional chairperson, Boipuso Dikgang stated that they will carefully look at the issue, “(in) accordance with article 14.5 (c), which says the national congress has the ‘right to ratify, alter or rescind any decision taken by any of the constituent bodies, units or officials of the movement, except those of the national congress, including the evaluation of the performance of members of the NEC and other national committees’.”...
(Cnbc Africa 07/12/17)
"Africa is an awakening giant," according to the former South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk speaking at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul. The leader who oversaw the transition of his country's power to Nelson Mandela said Tuesday that the future looks bright for a continent previously blighted by war, famine and a lack of infrastructure. "I believe Africa is an awakening giant and, yes, it is not performing according to what we expected soon enough, but it will perform," he said. De Klerk believes that African countries are primed to take advantage of the world's growing size. "If we look at food shortages for the rest of the world with a growing population, Africa is the solution," he...
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
In the past five years, terrorist attacks have killed nearly 20,000 people across Africa. Two groups, Boko Haram and al-Shabab, accounted for 71 percent of reported incidents and 91 percent of fatalities. But, while these and other militant groups remain active, fatal terrorist attacks across the continent are on pace to fall for a second straight year, and the total number of attacks is running far below 2012 highs. These findings are part of VOA’s original analysis of data from ACLED, the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. ACLED tracks political violence, protests and terrorist events across Africa. Their reports include attacks since 1997 based on data collected from local news media, government statements, non-governmental organizations and published research...
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Many cell phone companies are rethinking their headlong rush into the continent. Only Orange is staying the course. Back when African countries were auctioning off mobile licenses by the boatload to serve the region’s young, tech-savvy population, investing in the continent’s fast-growing economies seemed like a no-brainer. Some of the world’s biggest wireless carriers rushed in. Now they’re wondering if they made a mistake. Increasing government and regulatory scrutiny, as well as a lack of expansion opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa, are making it harder for operators such as Vodafone Group Plc, Orange SA and Bharti Airtel Ltd. to grow. Their choice: Pull back or double down. Two companies beating at least a partial retreat are Millicom International Cellular SA, which...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The African Union's new chair Moussa Faki Mahamat on Wednesday questioned US commitment to fighting terrorism on the continent after it blocked efforts to get UN funding for an anti-jihadist force in the Sahel. "This is a specific case of a certain number of African states taking the initiative to create a dedicated force to fight terrorism. So, we don't understand how the United States could hold back or not engage in the fight against terrorism," Faki said in an interview with AFP. Faki's January election as chairperson of the AU commission came days after the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, who has proposed slashing US funding for aid projects and multilateral institutions like the UN. The former Chadian...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The costs of diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa could double to almost $60 billion annually just 13 years from now, as obesity fuels an explosion of the disease, a report said Thursday. In 2015, the overall diabetes cost in the region was nearly $20 billion (18 billion euros), or 1.2 percent of total economic production, according to research published by The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. This included medication and hospital stays, and loss of labour productivity due to illness or death. About half of all treatment costs were paid for by patients themselves.
(Voice of America 07/04/17)
GENEVA — The U.N. children’s fund warns tens of thousands of malnourished children are at great risk in Yemen, Somalia and South Sudan, which are on the brink of famine. UNICEF reports an estimated 4.7 million children in the cholera-stricken countries are malnourished. Of these, UNICEF spokesman Christofe Boulierac tells VOA, more than one million are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. “Let me remind you that a child who is suffering from severe acute malnutrition are nine times more likely to die of disease than a well-nourished child," he said. "So, having cholera and diarrhea in countries where so many children are so fragile because of malnutrition among other things because of such a bad access to safe water is...
(RFI(EN) 07/04/17)
New tax rules in Israel could leave hundreds of African migrants worse off than they are. In May, the government introduced a new deposit law, enabling the governemnt to take 20 percent of migrants' salaries each month and place it out of reach. The money can only be accessed once they leave the country. Rights groups say the policy is designed to force them out of the country. "We're not pressuring you to leave but will make your life miserable so you decide to leave," Anwar Suliman, a Darfuri refugee living in Israel since 2008, told RFI . "Every time the state makes a different law, different pressure, but we said we can't go back right now." Suliman fled Darfur...
(AFP (eng) 07/03/17)
Egypt will host the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain on Wednesday to discuss the crisis with Qatar, Cairo's foreign ministry said. The ministers will meet "to follow developments... concerning relations with Qatar," it said in a statement Sunday evening. The four countries announced on June 5 they were severing ties with their Gulf neighbour, accusing it of backing "terrorism" and being too close to Saudi Arabia's arch-rival Iran. Riyadh and its allies on Monday extended a deadline for Doha to accept 13 demands in return for lifting a de facto blockade.
(AFP (eng) 06/29/17)
Botswana's government has moved to crack down on the multi-billion dollar trade in donkey skins following a spate of killings of the animals across the country fuelled by soaring demand from China. Export licences for donkeys and their products have been suspended indefinitely, the Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food Security said in a statement late on Wednesday. Many thousands of donkeys have been slaughtered in Botswana and in other developing countries in recent years and their skins sold to China for use in traditional medicine. Donkeys are being killed in growing numbers to feed demand from China where the skins are used to make a natural medicine believed to be a sexual stimulant with anti-ageing properties. Hooves also contain...
(AFP (eng) 06/28/17)
The generic version of the most advanced drug against HIV has been introduced in Kenya, a first in Africa where more than 25 million have the disease, the NGO Unitaid said Wednesday. The drug, Dolutegravir (DTG) is the anti-retroviral drug of choice for those living with HIV in developed countries, but its high price has put it out of reach for most struggling with the disease in Africa. "The generic DTG has two advantages: on the one hand, it is very good from a pharmaceutical point of view. On the other hand, it is much cheaper," said Robert Matiru of Unitaid, which works to reduce the costs of medicines treating AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria. He described the drug as "the...
(APA 06/28/17)
Botswana’s Ministry of International Affairs and Cooperation on Wednesday denied social media reports alleging that the country had slapped visas requirements on Zimbabweans and closed its embassy in Harare. The messages on social media alleged that the Minister of International Affairs and Cooperation, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi revealed this during an interview on the state of relations between Zimbabwe and Botswana. But in a statement, the ministry states that Venson-Moitoi was never recently interviewed by any reporter on Botswana’s relations with Zimbabwe. “We wish to categorically refute this fabricated story, whose origin remains a mystery,” the statement said. The ministry advised the general public to dismiss the allegations. “Botswana and Zimbabwe continues to enjoy excellent relations. This has been clearly demonstrated by...
(AFP (eng) 06/23/17)
Botswana's former president Sir Ketumile Masire, the southern African country's second post-independence leader and who led efforts to bring peace to Mozambique, has died aged 91, an aide said on Friday. Masire had been heavily involved in efforts to end violence between Mozambique's government and the main opposition Renamo party in his role as co-chair of an international group of mediators. Renamo, which waged a 16-year civil war that ended in 1992, refused to accept the results of 2014 elections when it was beaten once more by the Frelimo party, sparking clashes across the country last year. Masire passed away in a hospital in Botswana's capital Gaborone late on Thursday, according to his senior private secretary Fraser Tlhoiwe. "He died...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/23/17)
DAR ES SALAAM (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Sadick Thenest remembers how his 8-year-old daughter had a narrow brush with death two years ago, when she contracted cholera after drinking contaminated water. “She was so gaunt, weak and had terrible diarrhea,” said the refugee from Burundi. “A slight delay in rushing her to hospital would have meant something else - but with God’s grace she survived.” The father of four, aged 35, is among thousands of refugees grappling with frequent outbreaks of waterborne diseases in the crowded Nyarugusu camp in western Tanzania, due to poor sanitation. “Living in a refugee camp is a constant struggle. You either stick to health rules or contract diseases,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by...
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
WASHINGTON DC — On June 5, Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of funding extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State. In response, Qatar said it was the victim of a policy of “domination and control” by its larger neighbor and that Saudi Arabia was, in fact, the one responsible for backing extremism. So what is the truth? Fundamentalist strains of Islam, including Saudi-born Salafism and Wahhabism, form the ideological bedrock for most terror groups. According to a study by Leif Wenar of King’s College London based on the Global Terrorism Database, three out of four terror attacks in the last 10 years...
(APA 06/15/17)
The government in Gaborone on Wednesday commended Zimbabwe for containing the highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu, saying the success had saved Botswana from a possible outbreak. Agriculture Minister Patrick Ralotsia said as a result of the Zimbabwean government’s efforts to contain the outbreak, no cases of the bird flu were reported in Botswana. Botswana, South Africa and Mozambique last week suspended the import of poultry and poultry products from Zimbabwe. The H5N8 strain has been detected in several countries in Europe, Africa and Asia over the past two years. Its spread is aided by wild bird migrations.
(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...

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