Thursday 21 September 2017
(AFP (eng) 04/18/17)
The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday forecast 2.6 percent growth in sub-Saharan Africa this year, aided by a modest recovery in large economies South Africa, Nigeria and Angola. "Growth is projected to rise to 2.6 percent in 2017 and 3.5 percent in 2018, largely driven by specific factors in the largest economies, which faced challenging macroeconomic conditions in 2016," the IMF said its latest World Economic Outlook report. A slump in commodity price in 2016 and devastating drought had affected growth in several countries in the region, resulting in 1.4 percent growth of gross domestic product (GDP). Nigeria, the continent's most populous nation and a leading oil producer, was expected to return to growth in 2017 after a challenging 2016...
(Voice of America 04/17/17)
The Italian coast guard says it has rescued nearly 6,000 migrants on the Mediterranean since Friday, underscoring the continued flow of people along this dangerous route. A group of Africans living in Europe visited Cameroon this week to launch a campaign against illegal migration. The group is called “No More Death in the Desert or on the Sea.” Its mission is simple: to educate youth in Africa about the harsh realities of illegal migration. "We want to tell them that all the information people give them before they start their journey are wrong," said Nantcha. The group’s leader Sylvie Nantcha was born in Cameroon. She has lived in the German town of Freiburg for 25 years. She arrived as a...
(AFP (eng) 04/13/17)
Africa's Matabele ants, fierce predators of termites, rescue their wounded soldiers and bring them back to the nest where they are "treated," a new study showed Wednesday. This helping behavior for the injured is the first to be detected in the insect world, according to an article in the US journal Science Advances by a German research team at the University of Wuerzburg's Biocentre. The ants, formally known as Megaponera analis, are widespread south of the Sahara on the continent. Two to four times a day, they set out in long files on raids to kill worker termites at their foraging sites. But the attacks meet strong resistance from soldier termites guarding the worker termites, which have powerful jaws that...
(AFP (eng) 04/11/17)
El Nino, the cyclical climatic phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean, is linked to shifts in cholera cases in Africa, providing an early warning that could save lives, scientists said Monday. During the years when El Nino is warming the eastern Pacific, East Africa has about 50,000 additional cholera cases a year, new research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests. By contrast, the years when El Nino is not active, there were 30,000 fewer cholera cases in East Africa, according to the study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers analyzed more than 17,000 annual observations from 3,710 different locations between 2000 and 2014 in Africa, which has the most...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/07/17)
Access to off-grid solar energy in rural areas of Africa goes beyond lighting up homes - it also enables people to connect to the wider world and boosts their economic prospects, said the head of one of the continent's biggest solar companies. Azuri Technologies' entry level solar system - for which customers pay a one-off installation fee, then use scratch cards or mobile phone payments to top up on a weekly or monthly basis - provides eight hours of lighting each day. Having power at home for the first time encourages customers to also buy mobile phones, radios and televisions, giving them regular access to the media and the internet, said Simon Bransfield-Garth, chief executive officer of UK-based Azuri. "This...
(Independent Online 04/06/17)
Johannesburg - Eskom on Wednesday signed a three-year supply agreement with Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) as the power utility continues to bask in excess capacity of 4000 megawatts. Eskom said the agreement was in line with its plan to increase its electricity exports to South Africa’s neighbouring states. It said it was looking for new markets because of relatively flat electricity demand and additional capacity from its power projects. In the six months to end of September last year, Eskom’s international sales volumes increased 31.6 percent. Overall electricity sales volumes increased by 1.2 percent during the period. According to Statistics South Africa figures, electricity production grew by 0.9
(Reuters (Eng) 04/05/17)
Former U.S. President George W. Bush touted his signature aid project for Africa during a visit to Botswana on Tuesday, saying he hoped Washington would recognize its importance in saving lives threatened by AIDS. Launched in 2003 during the first Bush administration, PEPFAR, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, is the world's largest provider of AIDS-fighting medicine and has branched out over the years to include provision of services for cervical cancer, which is linked to HIV infections in women. U.S. President Donald Trump has proposed steep cuts in the budget for diplomacy and foreign aid but his administration has so far said it will "maintain current commitments and all current patient levels on HIV/AIDS treatment" under PEPFAR. Bush,...
(Voice of America 04/05/17)
A Red Cross report says African countries are failing their internally displaced people. Reversing that trend was the subject of a high level meeting of the International Red Cross and the African Union that wrapped up Tuesday in Zimbabwe. Africa has about 13 million internally displaced people, a third of the global number of IDPs, and more than double the amount of refugees on the continent. By definition, refugees flee across a national border, while IDPs leave their homes but stay within their own country. African Union Commission head of humanitarian affairs, refugees and displaced people Olabisi Dare says the situation of IDPs in Africa is very critical, dire and worsening. "...The issues that are generating internal displacement [are] multiplying...
(AFP (eng) 04/04/17)
A strong earthquake with a magnitude of 6.5 struck the southern African nation of Botswana on Monday, US seismologists said, with the tremor felt in several neighbouring countries. The epicentre of the quake, which hit at 7:40 pm (1740 GMT), was in a sparsely populated area 238 kilometres (about 150 miles) northwest of Botswana's capital Gaborone, the US Geological Survey said. It struck at a depth of 29 kilometres, and rumbled throughout the capital for about 30 seconds, an AFP correspondent said. In a statement published on social media late Monday, the government of Botswana said no deaths had been reported.
(Financial Times 04/04/17)
Countries should develop policies to attract labour-intensive production leaving China. China’s initial wave of investments in Africa focused on natural resource extraction. Their demand for metals and energy was so large that it actually boosted global commodity prices overall, which in turn accelerated growth across the African continent. These times of China propping up global commodity prices are now over, as it has built up excess capacity in many sectors and now faces slow investment growth. This lower demand has contributed to the overall slump in global commodity prices since 2014, making it unlikely that China will again fulfil the role of driving commodity prices. Rather, its position has now shifted to becoming the largest exporter of capital. This provides...
(Botswana Daily News 04/03/17)
Maun — In an effort to control and regulate commercial fishing in the Okavango Delta, the Department of Wildlife and National Parks through the Fisheries Unit has introduced a new system where a raffle will be conducted and the winners issued with licences. An official from the Fisheries Unit, Mr Choto Choto revealed in a meeting that due to the high number of applications for commercial fishing, his department had to make an administrative decision to control the number of licences and population of fish. He said the department also took the decision to demarcate the delta into seven fishing zones and that each zone was allocated quotas. It was reported that zoning and allocation of quotas were based on...
(New Zimbabwe 04/03/17)
"We cannot fight the First Family with all the resources at their disposal. They are using armed police and there is nothing much we can do but just to approach the courts and the regional bodies to which the country is a member," said Dube. Villagers who were evicted from both Arnold and Manzou farms in Mazoe district by First Lady Grace Mugabe have formally reported their plight to Botswana and South African embassies as as SADC. Botswana is led by President Ian Khama, the only regional leader openly critical of President Mugabe's rule. The decision to approach regional leaders comes after Grace Mugabe continues to defy court orders stopping her from illegally and forcibly evicting the villagers. The Arnold...
(Dw-World 04/03/17)
Twelve of a group of 100 white rhinos have left South Africa on a plane to Botswana to protect them from poachers. A spokesman for the Rhinos Without Borders group said the animals coped well with their 15-hour trip. The rhinos made their trip by truck, plane and helicopter from a game park on South Africa's east coast to Botswana's Okavango Delta, a wildlife expert told the German news agency dpa on Sunday. The animals were first sedated so they could be moved to the truck by the "Rhinos without Borders" conservation team. Upon arrival in Botswana, they are being kept in quarantine for 30 days before being freed. The 12 white rhinos, which were relocated last week, are part...
(The East African 04/03/17)
Nairobi — The 2017 Mo Ibrahim Foundation annual Governance Weekend will be held in Marrakech - Morocco from April 7-9. A press release from the Foundation identifies the Palmeraie Resort as the venue for this year's meeting. The three-day event brings together prominent African and Africa-focused leaders, civil society representatives, multilateral and regional institutions and Africa's international partners to identify policy challenges and possible solutions. Violent extremism The conversation is normally extended to a wider audience through music, art and sport at major public events, showcasing some of Africa's brightest talent. The Foundation has released a report that sets the stage for high-level discussions in Morocco. The priority areas for the Marrakech talks, according to the report, include violent extremism...
(Xinhuanet 03/30/17)
The African Union (AU) is extremely appalled by the attacks against African students in Noida and other cities in India. The pan-African bloc has deplored the violence unleashed during the riot that started on Monday targeting Africans of various nationalities, particularly Nigerians, which resulted in loss of innocent lives and serious injuries, the AU said in a statement. The attacks have also resulted in the displacement of many Africans from their normal places of residence, thereby putting their lives in serious danger, it said. AU has expressed heartfelt condolence to the families of the deceased; and it wished speedy recovery to all those who have sustained injuries. AU has called on the Indian authorities to provide all necessary support to...
(Mining Weekly 03/29/17)
The Botswana government has awarded ASX-listed African Energy a mining licence for its Sese joint venture (JV). The mining licence covers 51.47 km2 and contains 650-million tonnes of raw coal classified as measured and indicated resources, with African Energy saying on Tuesday that the granted mining lease contains more than enough coal for the currently contemplated 450 MW power project, as well as multiple expansions. The mining licence will be valid for 25 years and could be extended for a further 25-year period on written application to the government.
(Irish Examiner 03/29/17)
Irish prospecting firm Botswana Diamonds has reported a 15.5% narrowing of first-half losses and further progress at assets it holds in southern Africa. The John Teeling-chaired AIM-listed miner yesterday reported pre-tax losses of £136,000 (€157,400) for the six months to the end of December; down from £161,000 for the same period in 2015. The latest period’s losses were made up solely of administrative costs, while the previous year’s interim loss included a £34,000 impairment charge and a £6,000 loss on investment. The company recently raised £525,000 in fresh funding to support the development of assets it holds in Botswana and in South Africa, the latter having been introduced to its portfolio by new managing director James Campbell. Botswana is currently...
(Voice of America 03/28/17)
The World Health Organization and U.N. children's fund are spearheading a massive immunization campaign across Africa to rid the continent of the last vestiges of polio. Tens of thousands of health workers will fan out across 13 central and western African countries to vaccinate more than 116 million children under age five against the crippling disease. The U.N. agencies report more than 190,000 volunteers, traveling on foot or bicycle, will go house to house across all cities, towns, and villages in 13 countries to vaccinate every child under age five against polio. The synchronized vaccination campaign, one of the largest ever conducted in Africa, will run from March 25-28. Director of Polio Eradication at the World Health Organization Michel Zaffran...
(Xinhuanet 03/27/17)
There is need for China and its African allies to kick start a new dialogue aimed at revitalizing wildlife and ecological conservation in the world's second largest continent, a conservationist has told Xinhua in an interview. Kaddu Sebunya, president of African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), told Xinhua that Beijing is an indispensable partner in efforts to protect Africa's iconic wildlife species that are grappling with human and climatic induced threats to their survival. "China is playing a big role in Africa's economic development and would like to see it direct more support towards protection of wildlife and vital ecosystems in the continent," Sebunya said. Sebunya noted that China's growing economic and diplomat clout place it at a vantage position to help...
(Xinhuanet 03/24/17)
A group of non-government organizations (NGOs) on Friday called on African leaders to find practical solutions to protect and assist Somali refugees and asylum seekers facing ongoing conflict and a humanitarian crisis in Somalia. In a joint statement issued on the eve of the regional summit on refugees, members of the Regional Durable Solutions Secretariat (ReDSS), Somalia NGO Consortium and the Inter-agency Working Group (IAWG) expressed hope that the leaders will take practical steps towards the development and implementation of a comprehensive regional approach. "It is hoped that such an approach, developed in the spirit of the New York Declaration, will support countries and communities that host Somali refugees in improving asylum space, integrated access to services, inclusive economic opportunities...

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