Tuesday 25 July 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 03/13/17)
The United Arab Emirates, one of the Middle East's largest economies, wants to expand trade ties with faster growing nations in Asia and Africa, a senior official said on Sunday. Rich Gulf Arab states are looking at ways to diversify their economies, including who they trade with, after more than two years of depressed oil prices forced a rethink of government spending. The pace of economic growth in Asian and sub-Saharan African economies has made them ideal partners, Abdullah al-Saleh, undersecretary for foreign trade and industry at the UAE ministry of the economy, told Reuters in an interview in Dubai. Asia's two largest economies China and India are expected to grow by 6.5 percent and 7.2 percent this year whilst...
(AFP (eng) 03/10/17)
In the beginning was .com, followed by a host of other .somethings, but on Friday, 32 years after the world's first domain name was registered, the African Union has launched .africa for the continent. Africans who want to register a website will be able to apply for a .africa domain name in the coming months, which outgoing AU commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said would allow the continent's people and businesses to better reach the world. "With .africa, I would say Africa has finally got its digital identity," said Dlamini-Zuma, who will next week hand power to Chadian Foreign Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat after four years at the helm of the continental body Sub-Saharan Africa has one of the lowest rates...
(Xinhuanet 03/09/17)
A critical mass of trained and well equipped community health workforce is key to easing the rising burden of infectious and noncommunicable diseases in Africa, experts said on Wednesday at a continental forum taking place in Nairobi. The experts, policymakers and campaigners who attended Africa Health Agenda International Conference agreed that optimal engagement of community health workers is key to revolutionize response to diseases ravaging the continent. Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Health Cleopa Mailu in his opening remarks said that investments in training for community health workers will have multiplier impact on Africa's socioeconomic development. "We require highly skilled and motivated cadre of community health workforce to deal with a high diseases burden in disadvantaged settings in this continent. These...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/08/17)
Burkina Faso's cotton sector has settled a dispute with U.S. seed maker Monsanto over what it said were revenue losses caused by the introduction of genetically modified cotton, the head of the country's main cotton company told Reuters. The agreement, which includes the dividing up of royalties withheld by Monsanto's Burkina Faso partners, brings definitive closure to a collaboration that had promised to offer the company a foothold in Africa but ended in dispute. "In doing this, we think that a bad deal is better than a bad court case. We have closed the Monsanto dossier. There is no longer a demand for compensation," Wilfried Yameogo, managing director of SOFITEX, told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday. SOFITEX is part...
(AFP (eng) 03/08/17)
Lawyers and human rights campaigners launched an initiative for African whistleblowers in Senegal on Tuesday, aimed at providing a secure means of exposing wrongdoing on the continent. African nations such as Somalia, South Sudan, Libya and Guinea-Bissau regularly appear at the very bottom of rankings such as Transparency International's Corruption Index, while none make it into the top 30. The Platform for the Protection of Whistleblowers in Africa (PPLAAF) will provide guidance from legal experts, secure submission of information and a hotline for potential informants, according to its founders. The initiative is the brainchild of Spanish superstar lawyer Baltasar Garzon -- who has defended Julian Assange of whistleblowing website WikiLeaks -- along with French lawyer William Bourdon, who worked on...
(Xinhuanet 03/07/17)
A Burkina Faso government minister on Monday called on authorities to strengthen efforts for fighting social exclusion of women in the West African country. "We urge traditional and religious authorities to use their prerogatives to ensure respect for human dignity through strong and consistent measures to combat social exclusion of women," said Laure Zongo-Hien, the country's Minister of Women, National Solidarity and Family. She made the remarks in a release issued in Ouagadougou Monday ahead of the International Women's Day on March 8. According to official figures, women account for over 52 percent
(The Independent 03/06/17)
Th term was coined by sceptical officials, worried about the importance given to Commonwealth trade deals ahead of Brexit negotiations. Plans by government ministers to boost trade links with African Commonwealth countries are being internally branded “empire 2.0” by sceptical officials who are worried about the importance being placed on such deals ahead of the UK’s negotiations of leaving the European Union (EU). International Trade Secretary Liam Fox is expected to promise to build better links with the whole of the 52 member countries of the Commonwealth when ministers from each country meet in London later this week. But as the UK is prepares itself to leave the European Union, The Times reports that British ministers are planning to talk...
(AFP (eng) 03/05/17)
"Felicite," a tale about a nightclub singer who has to scrape together funds to pay for her son's treatment after a road accident, scooped the top prize on Saturday at Africa's top cinema festival. The film won the Golden Stallion award at the Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou, held in the capital of Burkina Faso. The prize adds to the Silver Bear jury prize awarded to the film two weeks earlier at the Berlin Film Festival. The film is directed by Senegalese-French Alain Gomis, who in 2013 was praised for "Tey" (in French, "Aujourd'hui," or "Today) -- a story about a young Senegalese who knows he is about to die, and looks at his life through new eyes...
(Bloomberg 03/03/17)
Polar Star Management Ltd., which runs one of the best-performing African and Middle East hedge fund over the past five years, plans to start a private-equity unit that will invest in agriculture to exploit rising demand for food. The Cape Town-based firm plans to use its own money to buy small farms and processing companies in South Africa this year, then increase efficiency through consolidation and better management, said Murray Derksen, a director at Polar Star. It aims to raise 1.5 billion rand ($115 million) for the fund, which may also buy commodities such as grains, while targeting an internal rate of return of 8 percent to 12 percent, he said. “We looked at the increase in corn demand globally,...
(AFP (eng) 03/02/17)
A film raging against colonialism and the exploitation of Africa wowed viewers at the continent's top cinema festival Wednesday, winning shouts of approval at a screening packed to bursting point. "The African Storm" tells the story of an African president who nationalises businesses run by racist, cynical Western executives. Directed and produced by its Beninese star Sylvestre Amoussou, it tackles several hot-button issues including an exit from the CFA franc currency, closer ties with Russia and China as opposed to the West, criticism of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, and pride in being African. One of 20 feature-length movies on show at the Panafrican Film and Television Festival (Fespaco) in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou, the movie was punctuated...
(AFP (eng) 02/28/17)
The Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership -- the world's biggest individual prize -- drew a blank once again in finding a suitable laureate, it was announced Tuesday. The prize only goes to a democratically-elected African leader who demonstrated exceptional leadership, served their mandated term and left office within the last three years. The award comes with $5 million (4.7 million euros) paid over 10 years and $200,000 annually for life from then on. The prize, founded by Sudan-born telecoms tycoon Mo Ibrahim, has only been given four times in its 10-year existence. The philanthropist has said in the past that making no award sent just as strong a message on African leadership. "A very high bar was deliberately...
(Xinhuanet 02/27/17)
The guild of African film directors and producers, a Paris based NGO, will reward a short-film with the special Thomas Sankara prize during the Pan-African festival known as FESPACO in Burkina Faso. The 3 million CFA francs prize (about 4,830 U.S. dollars) is a tribute to the deceased Thomas Sankara who ruled the revolutionary Burkina Faso in the 1980s, promoters of the NGO said Sunday in the capital Ouagadougou. "We are not looking for a revolutionary film. Cinema is already a revolutionary deed," Balufu Bakupa-Kanyinda, chairman of the NGO. "Making a film in Africa is already an act of commitment and resistance," he added. Thomas Sankara is the father of Burkina Faso revolution and was assassinated in October 1987 during...
(AFP (eng) 02/27/17)
An African road movie about four women wowed its audience Sunday as it kicked off the Panafrican cinema and television festival (Fespaco), a showcase for the continent's burgeoning film industry. "Borders" ("Frontieres") directed by Apolline Traore, a Fespaco laureate in 2013, sweeps across Africa as its protagonists journey through Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Benin on their way to Nigeria. Along the way the women -- Ivorian, Senegalese, Burkinabe and Nigerian actresses -- are spared nothing as they are beset by customs officers, thieves, murderers and rapists. The film -- the first feature-length film to show at the festival -- deals with "the bravery of women," Traore told AFP at the festival in the Burkinabe capital Ouagadougou. "There is a...
(AFP (eng) 02/25/17)
A solar-powered cinema was unveiled in Burkina Faso Friday ahead of the city's hosting of Africa's top film festival, even as movie theatres on the continent continue to disappear. The theatre, with its 300-seat capacity, will run on solar energy. Named Canal Olympia Yennenga, it is now the third-largest movie hall in the Burkina Faso capital Ouagadougou. Located in the city's posh Ouaga2000 neighbourhood, the theatre cost about 3 million euros ($3.2 million) to build. It is the brainchild of French businessman Vincent Bollore, whose company owns French premium TV and cinema group Canal Plus. "In the city of Ouagadougou, we lack movie theatres of this calibre," said Burkina Faso
(AFP (eng) 02/23/17)
For the first time in Africa, researchers said Wednesday they have detected a malaria parasite that is partially resistant to the top anti-malaria drug, artemisinin, raising concern about efforts to fight a disease that sickens hundreds of millions of people each year. The discovery means that Africa now joins southeast Asia in hosting such drug-resistant forms of the mosquito-borne disease. Malaria infected more than 200 million people and killed some 438,000 people worldwide in 2015, most of them children in Africa. "The spread of artemisinin resistance in Africa would be a major setback in the fight against malaria, as ACT (artemisinin-based combination therapy) is the only effective and widely used antimalarial treatment at the moment," said lead author Arnab Pain,...
(AFP (eng) 02/22/17)
Burkina Faso's Diebedo Francis Kere will be the first African architect to design a temporary pavilion in London's Hyde Park, a prestigious assignment given to a world-famous architect every year. Kere's design is inspired by a tree in his hometown of Gando that serves as "a central meeting point for life", the Serpentine Galleries said in a statement. "An expansive roof, supported by a central steel framework, mimics a tree's canopy, allowing air to circulate freely while offering shelter against London rain and summer heat," it read. Kere said he was interested in the contrast between the carefully landscaped park and "natural landscape as a harsh reality" in Burkina Faso. He said it was conceived as "a community structure... that...
(Xinhuanet 02/22/17)
Africa Energy Indaba, the continent's premier energy event, kicked off in Johannesburg on Monday with the aim of finding solutions to the continent's energy future. The three-day conference is being attended by the governments' representatives, business and funders. The meeting seeks to unleash the continent's potential by coming up with an energy mix to develop Africa. Dr. Garth Strachan, Deputy Director General and Head of Gas Industrialization Unit in South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry said the recent discoveries of gas in Mozambique, Angola and Tanzania provides a huge opportunity for the continent. He said there is a need for the countries to work together to tap benefits from the gas for the good of the continent. Strachan said...
(AFP (eng) 02/21/17)
Burkina Faso's President Roch Marc Christian Kabore has given government ministers specific responsibility for security and defence in a reshuffle officially announced on state television. National security will be separated from other home affairs in the new government of the west African country, which since 2015 has been vulnerable to attacks by jihadists in the Sahel region. The portfolio for defence and armed forces veterans, traditionally held by the head of state, was handed to Jean Claude Bouda, a politician close to Kabore previously in charge of youth, said the announcement late Monday.
(Bloomberg 02/21/17)
Ashish Thakkar, who co-founded Africa banking conglomerate Atlas Mara Ltd. with ex-Barclays Plc head Bob Diamond, lost a ruling over the ownership of family assets in a London divorce case, with a judge questioning Thakkar’s truthfulness. Judge Philip Moor ruled that Thakkar, and not his mother and sister, was the owner of disputed assets in the divorce. He found that the 35-year-old owned 100 percent of Mara Group Holdings Ltd. and other corporate entities. The result will have ramifications in the proceedings where a judge will have to decide how much Thakkar -- described in videos posted on his foundation’s website as "Africa’s Youngest Billionaire" -- is worth. Thakkar says he has assets of 445,532 pounds ($553,000) while his wife,...
(AFP (eng) 02/16/17)
Ousted Burkina Faso president Blaise Compaore will likely go on trial in March for his part in the violent crackdown on the 2014 popular uprising that overthrew him, the supreme court prosecutor told AFP Wednesday. Other members of his former government will also face justice including the ex-prime minister Luc Adolphe Tiao, prosecutor Armand Ouedraogo said. Compaore, who lives in Ivory Coast, was defence minister as well as president at the time of the insurrection but is only being prosecuted for his role as the former. "Of the 34 members of (Compaore's) government, seven will be tried in absentia," Ouedraogo added. Compaore lost power after 27 years following a popular uprising in October 2014 against his attempts to change the...

Pages