Sunday 22 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 02/21/18)
The European Union is to double its funding for a joint African military force to fight jihadists in the Sahel region with a 50-million-euro boost, EU sources said Wednesday. The bloc is expected to announce the new money for the G5 Sahel force, grouping Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, at talks in Brussels on Friday which will be attended by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The move comes as a surge in rebel attacks has underscored the challenge facing the five countries, among the poorest in the world, which are on the frontline of a war against Islamist militants.
(AFP (eng) 02/20/18)
Efforts to build a five-nation force to roll back jihadism in the Sahel face a funding hurdle this week, with a surge in rebel attacks providing an urgent reminder of the task in hand. So far more than $350 million has already been pledged for the G5 Sahel force, gathering Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger -- countries in the frontline of a war against Islamist militants yet which rank among the poorest in the world. The money has enabled the force to set up a headquarters and command structure and carry out two operations, with French support, in the troubled "tri-border" area between Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso. But more is needed to help the force reach its...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
Burkinabe filmmaker Idrissa Ouedraogo, a towering figure in African cinema, died Sunday at the age of 64, the national film makers guild announced in a statement. Ouedraogo produced or directed some 40 films from the 1980s to the 2000s, set in Africa and often exploring the strains between modern urban and traditional rural lifestyles. In 1990, he won the Grand Prix award at the Cannes Film Festival for "Tilai", an African version of a Greek tragedy about family dishonour, which is set in a village and is probably his best-known work internationally. "Burkina Faso has lost a filmmaker of immense talent," President Roch Marc Christian Kabore said in a statement. Ouedraogo "worked hard to raise the profile of Burkinabe and...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
About 224 million people are suffering from malnutrition across Africa as climate change and conflicts heighten food insecurity across the continent, a top UN food agency official said Monday. The official, speaking at a conference on Africa organised by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said the situation was a "cause of concern" as the continent's population was expected to reach 1.7 billion by 2030. "Under-nourishment appears to have increased from about 21 percent to nearly 23 percent between 2015 and 2016," Bukar Tijani, FAO's assistant director general for Africa, said at the regional conference that opened on Monday in Khartoum. "Over the same period, the number of under-nourished rose from 200 million to 224 million in Africa. This...
(AFP (eng) 02/08/18)
The African Union's chairman dismissed during a visit to Beijing on Thursday a French newspaper report alleging that China had spied on the continental body as "lies" intended to derail cooperation. The report published by Le Monde in January claimed technicians at the AU's Chinese-built headquarters in the Ethiopian capital discovered last year that the contents of their computers had been regularly copied to servers in Shanghai since 2012, citing unnamed AU sources. "I don't see it is in the interest of China to spy," AU commission chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat said during a visit to Beijing, where he met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to discuss deepening cooperation on a variety of issues, as well as opening a...
(AFP (eng) 02/07/18)
Five countries in the Sahel have made a pitch for further funds for a joint force to fight jihadism in their fragile region. The presidents of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger made the appeal after a summit Tuesday in the Niger capital of Niamey, ahead of a fund-raising meeting in Europe later this month. "Given the pressure that the current security situation is placing on the public finances of member states, the heads of state invite the international financial institutions... to put in place additional resources to face it," their statement said. The five countries, along with Nigeria and Cameroon, are at the brunt of jihadist attacks in west Africa that have left thousands dead, unleashed a humanitarian...
(AFP (eng) 02/06/18)
Leaders of five Sahel countries met with France's defence minister on Tuesday to discuss funding for an unprecedented joint force to combat jihadism in their vulnerable region. The presidents of the so-called G5 Sahel nations -- Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger -- met with French Defence Minister Florence Parly, whose country is the initiative's major backer. On Sunday, Malian Defence Minister Tieman Hubert Coulibaly said the G5 force "will be operational by the end of March." The five countries, along with Nigeria and Cameroon, are at the brunt of jihadist attacks in west Africa that have left thousands dead, unleashed a humanitarian crisis and sapped economies that are already among the poorest the world. The goal is to...
(AFP (eng) 02/05/18)
Police in northern Burkina Faso shot dead a member of an armed gang who had attempted to ambush their patrol, security forces said Sunday. "On Saturday 3 February at around 3 pm (1600 GMT), a team from the Deou District Police Station (Oudalan Province, Sahel region) on a security mission was attacked by armed individuals", police said in a statement sent to AFP. "During the exchange of fire, an assailant was shot dead," a security source said, adding the incident was one of a series of "recurrent ambushes against defence and security forces" in the region. Northern Burkina Faso, bordering Mali and Niger, has seen jihadist attacks since the first quarter of 2015, claiming more than 133 lives across 80...
(AFP (eng) 02/05/18)
Israel began warning thousands of African migrants Sunday that they must leave by the end of March, officials said, under a plan that could see them jailed if they refuse. On January 3, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced implementation of a plan to deport about 38,000 migrants who had entered the country illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese. The controversial plan gives them until the end of next month to leave voluntarily or face jail and eventual expulsion. Immigration authority spokeswoman Sabine Haddad told AFP that officials began issuing migrants letters on Sunday advising them that they had 60 days in which to leave the country voluntarily. For now, the notices are being given only to men without families, officials said...
(AFP (eng) 02/03/18)
Megastar Rihanna vowed she would "never stop fighting" to get millions of children back in school on Friday as French President Emmanuel Macron promised a major boost in foreign aid for education in developing nations. Macron co-hosted a conference in Dakar organised by the Global Partnership for Education with Senegalese President Macky Sall, while Rihanna attended as the organisation's global ambassador. "We have made tremendous progress today but of course our work is never done, we have a long way to go, and this is a fight we are never going to stop fighting, until every boy and every girl has access to education," she told the crowd. At ease with the African heads of state gathered onstage, Rihanna put...
(AFP (eng) 02/02/18)
Mauritania has named the commander who will take charge of operations in the western zone overseen by the regional G5 Sahel anti-jihadist force, as it wrapped up its second operation. Colonel Salem Vall Ould Isselmou will head operations in Mauritania and a section of Mali for the force of troops drawn from five countries in Africa's Sahel region, a military source told AFP on Thursday, confirming reports in local media. The force's operations under Ould Isselmou will be based in Nbeikit in Mauritania. The G5 Sahel force -- composed of contingents from Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania, Mali and Niger -- has just finished its second operation, which lasted two weeks. The force has worked since last year, with heavy French...
(AFP (eng) 02/02/18)
Rihanna on Thursday used her star power to urge key governments to commit to ensuring education for the world's poorest as she takes part in an international conference in Senegal. The chart-topping singer arrived in the capital Dakar where she on Friday will join the Global Partnership for Education talks co-hosted by Senegalese President Macky Sall and French leader Emmanuel Macron. Rihanna, the fourth most followed person on Twitter with 86 million followers, took to social media to urge Macron, British Prime Minister Theresa May and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to ensure specific funding levels. In her tweet to Macron, Rihanna -- who met with him in Paris in July -- thanked the French leader for leading the conference...
(AFP (eng) 01/29/18)
While widespread malnutrition remains the biggest child killer in Burkina Faso, mothers' tasks are made all the more arduous by a chronic lack of access to contraception, Melinda Gates, wife of billionaire philanthropist Bill, told AFP in Ouagadougou this week. Like other west African nations, the landlocked country has a rapidly growing population that is struggling to feed itself, and nearly 40 percent of all deaths under five are down to malnutrition. Gates announced a $34-million investment in nutritional programmes, to teach young mothers to breastfeed their children until the age of six months, and healthier eating in general. "If you care about the children in your country and you want them to reach their full potential, they need to...
(AFP (eng) 01/29/18)
President Donald Trump said the United States "deeply respects" Africans and will dispatch its top diplomat to the continent, in a letter to African leaders seen by AFP on Sunday. The letter sent last week comes after Trump provoked a firestorm of indignation among African nations earlier in January when he reportedly called them "shithole countries" during a meeting with lawmakers in Washington. While Trump has denied the remarks, they are expected to be formally condemned by the 55 member states of the African Union during their ongoing summit in the Ethiopian capital. "I want to underscore that the United States deeply respects the people of Africa, and my commitment to strong and respectful relationships...
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
US President Donald Trump on Friday asked the African Union chairman to pass on his "warmest regards" to other regional leaders at a summit this weekend, after sparking outrage with a reported slur against Africans. Trump met Rwandan President Paul Kagame at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where some African business leaders say they are planning to boycott Trump's closing speech later Friday. The outspoken US leader congratulated Kagame on taking over as chair of the 55-nation African bloc, which Trump said was a "great honour". "I know you're going to your first meeting shortly. Please give my warmest regards," Trump told Kagame after they held a one-on-one meeting at the forum.
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
The oldest remains of a modern human outside Africa have been dug up in Israel, offering evidence of what genetic studies have already suggested -- that humans migrated out of Africa some 50,000 years earlier than previously thought. Facial fragments, including a jawbone and several teeth, were found at a site called Misliya Cave in Israel, one of several prehistoric cave sites located on Mount Carmel. The bones date to between 174,000 and 188,000 years old, said the report in Thursday's edition of the US journal Science. Until now, the earliest modern human fossils found outside of Africa were estimated to be between 90,000 to 120,000 years old. "Misliya is an exciting discovery," said co-author Rolf Quam, an anthropology professor...
(AFP (eng) 01/25/18)
Thirteen civilians travelling from Burkina Faso were killed on Thursday when their vehicle ran over a landmine in central Mali, local officials and a security source said, giving a provisional toll. "Thirteen Malian and Burkinabe civilians were killed near the town of Boni when their vehicle struck a mine," local official Mahmoud Traore told AFP, as a Malian security source blamed "terrorists" for the blast. "Terrorists uses these mines to spread fear," the source said, adding that the victims of Thursday's blast were killed instantly. Those wounded are in a "critical" condition, according to the source.
(AFP (eng) 01/25/18)
By 2050, Africa's population is projected to double to 2.5 billion. By 2100, the UN estimates it could easily top 4 billion. Which is why Melinda Gates, wife of Microsoft founder and billionaire philanthropist Bill, is visiting Burkina Faso. Like other west African nations, the landlocked country has a rapidly growing population and Gates is on a mission to promote and normalise contraception in a society where condoms, the pill and other methods, are often unavailable or frowned upon. "If you don't give women access to contraceptives you are locking them into a cycle of poverty," Gates said in an interview with AFP. "When women have one child after another then they can't feed the kids properly so they don't...
(AFP (eng) 01/24/18)
The Gates Foundation will invest $45 million in nutrition and family planning programs in Burkina Faso, Melinda Gates said on Tuesday during a visit to the capital Ouagadougou. "The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will invest $45 million (23.5 billion FCFA) over three years in various programs to improve the nutrition and health of women and children in Burkina Faso," said the foundation in a statement. The bulk of the money, $34 million, aims to fund programs that promote nutrition in infants and young children and improve access to healthy, affordable diets. Ten million dollars will be allocated to contraceptive programs to help women plan and space their pregnancies. Burkina Faso, one of the least developed countries in the world,...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/22/18)
KLEINARL, Austria (Reuters) - The chilly conditions on an Austrian mountainside belied the warm reception given to people from 15 African countries who took part in an annual luge race aimed at helping migrants integrate into European society. The event over the weekend, dubbed the African Winter Sports Cup, is a luge race contested by people with little or no experience of winter sports. Its aim, over the six years it has been held, is to promote social integration through sport, organizers said. The countries represented included Nigeria, Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan. Some of the people taking part had come to Europe as asylum seekers while others were born on the continent. “We are all human, we have...

Pages