Sunday 22 April 2018
(Daily Maverick 12/17/13)
As usual, this year threw up its fair share of bad news, disasters and controversies. SIMON ALLISON explains the stories that have him most worried for the continent's future. There was nothing wrong with the Kenyan elections, aside from a few inconsequential quibbles. They were generally considered free and fair, and turnout was excellent (88.6%). The problem came with the result: with a range of candidates to choose from, the majority of Kenyans plumped for the duo of Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto - two men united by little except their base pragmatism and their shared experience of being charged with crimes against humanity by the world's top court. The pair's shared infamy comes from their alleged involvement in the...
(Voice of America 12/16/13)
QUNU, SOUTH AFRICA — South Africa’s first black president, anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela, has been buried in his home village near Qunu, in Eastern Cape Province. Several thousand family members and close friends attended the funeral. Nelson Mandela was laid to rest Sunday among the hills of his ancestral homeland, eulogized by friends, family and admirers. His longtime friend, Ahmed Kathrada, called Mandela his older brother and moved the 4,500 participants with memories from the decades of struggle against apartheid and prison."The last time I saw Madiba alive was when I visited him in hospital. I was filled with an overwhelming sadness and emotion and I cried. He held my hand and it was profoundly heart-breaking and it brought out...
(CNN 12/16/13)
(CNN) -- With the passing of Nelson Mandela it might be timely to put aside out-of-date and ill-informed views of Africa, and see it the way Africans seem to: With a high level of optimism. Two-thirds of respondents to a CNN survey of more than 9,000 people across South Africa and 19 other African countries say they feel more confident about the future than when Mandela came to power. Corruption tops their list of fears -- particularly in Nigeria -- but generally they believe their leaders are "doing their best." The survey, conducted on smartphones, PCs and web-enabled feature phones, was an attempt to give a sense of the mood of Africans about their future and Mandela's legacy. It suggests...
(Voice of America 12/16/13)
Yaounde — Bad roads, poor storage and weather destroy a fourth of food crops grown on a continent plagued by food insecurity .A new day has just started and I am standing at one of the largest farm markets north of the Cameroon capital Yaounde. Trucks that have journeyed all night are off-loading their cargo of tomatoes, carrots, green beans, bananas, and an assortment of vegetables and grains. Some of the trucks are still loaded. I am told they will soon begin a daylong journey to the border, where traders from Gabon and Equatorial Guinea are waiting. As I look around, it's hard to believe that many people across the continent will go to bed on an empty stomach tonight...
(Voice of America 12/16/13)
ADDIS ABABA — Several United Nations agencies are investing heavily in so-called financial inclusion programs, designed to bring financial services to the poor and make them less aid-dependent. Although the efforts made so far have been sizable, observers are beginning to wonder if the programs can succeed on their own The idea behind financial inclusion is making financial services such as credit, savings and insurance available to everyone - including poor people in Africa’s rural areas who live on just two dollars a day. It is believed that if these services reached the rural poor, their lives could improve tremendously. Ertharin Cousin of the World Food Program said that financial inclusion should not be seen as another aid program. “The...
(Sudan Views 12/16/13)
The summit of the African Ministers of Foreign Affairs or the Executive Council of the African Union is scheduled on 14th of December 2013. The summit will focus on one item in the African agenda against the ICC. The African ministers must answer the question; what is the next step after the refusal of the UN Security Council for the African proposal on the issue of the ICC. The proposal demanded legal one – year postponement for ICC procedures against African Presidents. The African solidarity is getting stronger but the ICC will not stop its campaign to break the African Solidarity. The ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda accused the UN Security Council of prolonging the conflict in Sudan - Darfur by...
(AFP 12/14/13)
PRETORIA, December 14, 2013 (AFP) - Nelson Mandela embarked on the final leg of his exceptional 95-year journey on Saturday, as his remains were flown to his rural childhood home for traditional burial. Sunday's interment will bring down the final curtain on 10 days of national mourning and global tributes for the prisoner-turned-president who transformed his country and inspired the world. Tens of thousands had packed a soaked stadium in Soweto for a memorial service Tuesday and up to 100,000 people filed past Mandela's open-casket for the three days it was displayed at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. The same venue had witnessed his inauguration as South Africa's first black leader two decades earlier. Mandela's flag-draped casket was flown to...
(Voice of America 12/13/13)
Major donors are changing the way they fund health programs in low-income countries. The results in maternal and child health have been so successful that the World Bank and the Global Fund are working together to add programs on AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. The change in financing focuses on motivating health care workers to provide better care and on helping patients obtain it. When pregnant women get good health care and have a trained midwife or doctor at their side when giving birth, mothers and babies are more likely to survive. And when children get vaccinated against preventable diseases and get quality care when they're sick, they're more likely to reach their fifth birthday. The World Health Organization said that...
(Le Pays 12/12/13)
La police de Banfora a intercepté un présumé receleur dans une affaire de vols répétés de carburant à la base vie de Colas sise à Wolonkoto, à quelque 25 kilomètres de Banfora.Le butin, plus d’une soixantaine de bidons de 20 litres chacun et deux fûts, a été présenté à la presse le 7 décembre 2013.Plus de soixante bidons de 20 l pleins de gasoil et deux fûts dont l’un est plein et l’autre à moitié ; telle était la quantité de carburant volé à l’agence de Wolonkoto de Colas/ Afrique et retrouvé par les agents du commissariat central de police de Banfora. C’était le 4 décembre 2013 au domicile de TS, à Banfora, qui a été « filé » par...
(BBC News Africa 12/12/13)
The UN children's charity, Unicef, says one in three children under five have not had their births registered. In its report, Unicef says nearly 230 million children worldwide do not officially exist, making them more vulnerable to neglect or abuse. It says a birth certificate guarantees that children are not denied rights or basic services such as education.The countries with the lowest registration levels are in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. "Birth registration is more than just a right. It's how societies first recognize and acknowledge a child's identity and existence," said Geeta Rao Gupta, Unicef Deputy Executive Director. "Birth registration is also key to guaranteeing that children are not forgotten, denied their rights or hidden from the progress of...
(Voice of America 12/12/13)
Global efforts to curb malaria have saved the lives of 3.3 million people since 2000, cutting global death rates from the mosquito-borne disease by 45 percent and by half in children under five, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday. WHO said in its World Malaria Report 2013 that expanded prevention and control measures helped produce declines in malaria deaths and illness. Of the 3.3 million lives saved, most were in the 10 countries with the highest malaria burden and among children under age five, the group most afflicted by the disease. “Investments in malaria control, mostly since 2007, have paid off tremendously,” said Ray Chambers, the United Nations secretary-general's special envoy for malaria. According to the WHO report, child...
(AFP (eng) 12/12/13)
ACCRA, (AFP) - Most Africans believe their politicians can commit crimes such as stealing and mismanagement with impunity, according to a survey released on Wednesday of 22 of the continent's natural resource-producing countries. Despite attempts to improve governance and transparency in the natural resources sector, a majority said it was difficult to find out how their government was using money from sectors such as mining and oil production. Yet people in the same countries overwhelmingly said they could speak and vote freely and relied on the local media to hold power to account. "The two streams of perception create interesting challenges for governments trying to negotiate with foreign companies for the best mineral and petroleum extraction deals while maintaining transparency...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/11/13)
ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE Tue Dec 10, 2013 ---(Reuters) - The White House on Tuesday played down President Barack Obama's handshake with Cuban leader Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela's memorial in South Africa, saying it went no further than pleasantries and does not signal a policy change. "Nothing was planned in terms of the president's role other than his remarks," the deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, told reporters traveling with Obama. "He really didn't do more than exchange greetings with (dignitaries on the podium) on his way to speak, it wasn't a substantive discussion." While the United States has relaxed prohibitions on family travel and remittances to Cuba and taken other steps to allow for greater contacts between the...
(Los Angeles Times 12/11/13)
JERUSALEM -- In a controversial move decried by human rights organizations, Israel's parliament passed a bill allowing migrants to be jailed without trial for a year. Under the law finalized early Tuesday after a heated late-night debate, Israeli authorities will be able to jail new migrants for a year if they slip over the border illegally, and detain others already in Israel in a new holding facility indefinitely. The law was intended to apply almost exclusively to African migrants who cross the border in uncontrolled stretches of open desert. In the past, most have come in from Egypt. It replaces a previous law, ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, that allowed migrants to be jailed for three years. The court...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/10/13)
(Reuters) - Israel's parliament has moved to ensure African migrants who enter the country illegally can be held without charge, despite a Supreme Court ruling that had struck down a previous detention law. Legislation approved late on Monday set a maximum detention period of one year for new illegal migrants, a change from a term of up to three years stipulated in a previous law annulled by the court in September. But with a newly-built Israeli border fence effectively choking off what had been a stream of African migrants crossing from Egypt, the new law could also have an impact on some of the estimated 50,000 mainly Sudanese and Eritrean nationals already in the Jewish state. The new regulations, which...
(BBC News Africa 12/10/13)
Nelson Mandela's daughter Makaziwe has told the BBC about the "wonderful" final hours of the former president, who died aged 95 last Thursday. Ms Mandela said his wife Graca, the children and grandchildren were all there to say goodbye. South Africa is observing a series of commemorations over the next week, leading up to the funeral on Sunday. More than 100 current or former heads of state or government will attend the funeral or Tuesday's national memorial. Makaziwe Mandela told the BBC's Komla Dumor: "Until the last moment he had us, you know... The children were there, the grandchildren were there, Graca was there, so we are always around him and even at the last moment, we were sitting with...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/10/13)
DUBAI---(Reuters) - Three state-owned Gulf firms are considering a joint bid for a minority stake in Occidental Petroleum Corp's (OXY.N) Middle East and North Africa (MENA) unit, a deal that could be worth between $8 billion and $10 billion, three banking sources said. Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Development Co MUDEV.UL, Qatar Petroleum QATPE.UL and Oman Oil Co have formed a consortium and have picked Citigroup (C.N) to advise them, the sources with knowledge of the matter said on Monday. They spoke on condition of anonymity as the information is not public. Occidental, the fourth-largest U.S. oil company, said in October it planned to sell a minority stake in its MENA operations as part of a restructuring meant to lift its valuation...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/10/13)
WASHINGTON ---(Reuters) - German engineering company Bilfinger SE (GBFG.DE) will pay $32 million to resolve U.S. criminal charges that it bribed Nigerian officials to obtain contracts on a gas project in the African nation, the Justice Department said on Monday. Prosecutors charged the company with paying more than $6 million in bribes, in violation of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Bilfinger worked with others to inflate the price of a bid by 3 percent to cover the cost of the payments, prosecutors said. The Justice Department said it agreed to defer the charges for three years and drop them if Bilfinger improves its controls and hires an independent monitor for 18 months to assess the company's compliance. Bilfinger Chief...
(AL Jazeera 12/09/13)
African leaders have moved closer to the creation of a military force capable of intervening in crises like the one in the Central African Republic. Leaders attending a two-day summit on peace and security at the Elysee Palace in Paris have reached broad agreement on France's proposals to turn plans agreed in principle earlier this year into a reality. France has offered to provide equipment, logistical support and coordination for the force, and will seek to persuade its European Union partners to help with financing. Jean-Yves Le Drian, France's defence minister, said on Friday that the force could be operational by 2015 and that France would train 20,000 African troops a year for five years. Al Jazeera's Jacky Rowland, reporting...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/09/13)
LONDON ----(Reuters) - Bob Diamond, the former boss of Barclays (BARC.L), is set to return to banking by listing a shell company in London in the next few weeks to invest in the African financial sector, a source familiar with the matter said. Diamond, who was ousted from Barclays last year after the Libor rate-rigging scandal, is finalizing plans to list Atlas Mara, a cash vehicle set up with billionaire entrepreneur Ashish Thakkar, chief executive of Mara Group, the source said. The vehicle will be managed by Atlas Merchant Capital, the merchant bank Diamond has set up in New York with a view to expand into sub-Sahara African banks and financial services. It is being advised by Citigroup (C.N), the...

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