Saturday 16 December 2017
(AFP (eng) 12/07/17)
The African Union has upped its goal to repatriate stranded migrants from Libya, saying in a statement that it aims to bring 20,000 Africans home in the next six weeks. Pressure has grown on the continental body and individual African states to get their citizens out of Libya after CNN broadcast a report showing black Africans being sold as slaves in the north African country. The African Union had earlier said it wanted to repatriate 15,000 migrants by the year's end, but increased its goal after a task force - including AU, European Union and United Nations officials -- met earlier this week.
(AFP (eng) 12/07/17)
From forced labour in Libya to a job as a founding member of an Italian fashion start-up, Bassirou has come a long way in two years, thanks to his skills with scissors. The 26-year-old Burkina Faso native is the star student of a novel project aimed at training asylum seekers in one of Italy's most emblematic crafts: making leather handbags And after a 15-month apprenticeship, Bassirou has just become the first employee of a small company set up with the aim of turning the project into a self-sustaining venture. "It is a great opportunity," he says of his new career move. "I had done a bit of cutting and sewing back home but that was with cloth, not leather. "It...
(AFP (eng) 12/06/17)
Angry AIDS activists are urging western and central Africa to step up the fight against HIV, saying millions of people, especially children, are at risk from complacency and underfunding. A six-day conference in Africa has thrown a stark light on the problems in a region whose two dozen nations extend from Mauritania in the north to Gabon in the south, and include some of the poorest countries in the world. Coalition Plus, an alliance of AIDS groups, said AIDS-related deaths...
(AFP (eng) 12/06/17)
Conflicts, violence and disaster across Africa forced some 15,000 people to flee their homes every day in the first half of the year, international monitors said Wednesday. A total of 2.7 million Africans were internally displaced within their own countries in the first six months of 2017, a report by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) found. They join the estimated 12.6 million internally displaced people (IDPs) living in African countries at the end...
(AFP (eng) 12/05/17)
Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso on Monday began work to overhaul and expand a single-track rail line connecting Abidjan to the Burkinabe capital that is a vital link between the Sahel and Atlantic coast. Renovating the 1,260-kilometre (782-mile) track -- which had first been announced in 2015 with no work being started -- is expected to take eight years. All parties involved hope the project will improve traffic and trade between the two West African neighbours. "Investment for the work, totalling 396 million euros ($470 million)... is the responsibility of the operator," Ivorian Transport Minister Amadou Kone said at the launch ceremony, referring to the giant French transportation company Bollore.
(AFP (eng) 12/05/17)
The head of the UN's AIDS agency on Monday urged African countries to protect young women and children who are bearing the brunt of the continent's AIDS epidemic. A sharp rise of people living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has now slowed, "but now is not the time to drop our guard," Michel Sidibe, executive director of UNAIDS, told the start of a six-day conference on HIV/AIDS and sexually-transmitted diseases in Africa. "The many changes under way in our...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/30/17)
DAKAR/LIBORE, Niger (Reuters) - Mabingue Ngom, the head of the U.N. Population Fund in West Africa, knows that if he wants to cut birth rates he can’t ignore religion. Population experts like Ngom are worried that if West Africa’s population continues to grow at its current pace - the region has the highest birth rate in the world - it will drive fiercer competition for scarce water and farmland, and fuel malnutrition, conflict and ever more economic refugees. West African...
(AFP (eng) 11/30/17)
Twenty-five asylum seekers from Africa arrived safely in Rome Thursday, using a Christian "humanitarian corridor" set up for Syrians fleeing the war in their homeland. "It was just a project but it became THE project, the way of the future," said Mario Morcone of the Italian interior ministry. The 25 men, women and children from Somalia, Eritrea and South Sudan arrived in Rome before dawn on a flight from Ethiopia. They will be moved to centres across the country. "We...
(AFP (eng) 11/29/17)
Burkina Faso and France on Wednesday launched West Africa's biggest solar farm, a 33-megawatt facility designed to power tens of thousands of households and ease dependence on imported energy. The 55-hectare (135-acre) outside the Burkinabe capital Ouagadougou, has an annual capacity equivalent to five percent of national production, according to the national power firm SONABEL. Its 47.5-million-euro ($56.7 million) cost is being met by 25 million euros in donations...
(AFP (eng) 11/29/17)
More than 80 African and European leaders will gather in the Ivory Coast on Wednesday to promote jobs and stability for Africa's exploding population, with some calling for a new "Marshall Plan." The two-day summit in Abidjan opens as the European Union increasingly sees its fate linked to Africa's following the twin shocks of unprecedented migration and terrorist attacks. It comes as China, India, Japan, the Gulf Arab states and others also compete for influence on a continent where the 28-nation EU remains as a whole the biggest economic and political player. European Parliament President Antonio Tajani told parliamentarians from both continents before the summit...
(AFP (eng) 11/28/17)
A furore over migrant slave markets in Libya casts a shadow over an AU-EU summit this week that aims to promote Africa's long-term economic growth and stability, spurred by European fears of terrorism and mass migration. The two-day African Union and European Union summit opening Wednesday in the Ivory Coast economic capital Abidjan is focused mainly on the need to create jobs for Africa's rapidly growing population. The summit marks what Europe sees as a potential turning point for broader...
(AFP (eng) 11/27/17)
A city councillor and a teacher were shot dead in coordinated attacks in northern Burkina Faso, near the Malian border, the government said Monday. "Unidentified armed individuals riding three-wheeled motorbikes murdered councillor Tamboura Boucari Aissama from the village of Dohoure-Rimaiba," said a statement from the Burkina Faso security ministry. The gunmen then returned to the village of Petegoli, making off with the victim's motorcycle, the statement said, adding defence and security forces have started a thorough search of the area...
(Agence Ecofin 11/27/17)
The French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA) has auditioned, between November 15 and 18, in Niger, migrants evacuated from Libya. The process aimed at initiating the procedure to grant asylum to all those that need one after suffering human rights abuses, rape, torture, arbitrary detention in Libya… The audition in Niamey follows another that was conducted in Chad, last October. In Niger, a total of 72 migrants were auditioned. Among those, 47 were selected, in...
(AFP (eng) 11/24/17)
Forty people are facing prosecution after police raids in west and central Africa rescued nearly 500 victims of human trafficking, Interpol said on Thursday. Raids were carried out in Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal as part of a German foreign ministry funded initiative targeting organised crime in the region. Of the nearly 500 people rescued, 236 were children, Interpol said in an emailed statement. The operation happened between November 6 and 10, it added later. Those arrested are accused of forcing their victims into begging and prostitution and face charges including human trafficking, forced labour and child exploitation.
(AFP (eng) 11/18/17)
At least five people were killed in northern Burkina Faso and one person died in eastern Chad, in the latest attacks in two Sahel countries badly hit by jihadists and militias, officials said Friday. A armed group on Friday attacked Taouremba, a Burkinabe town about 60 kilometres (30 miles) from the Malian border, killing at least five people, said a local security source, reached by phone. "At least four koglweogo [members of a self-defence group] and a municipal councillor were killed," the source said. A security source in Abinda put the toll at "six or seven dead," adding that the assailants...
(AFP (eng) 11/17/17)
Africa is making only faltering progress towards food and nutrition security, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned. "Multiple forms of malnutrition coexist, with countries experiencing simultaneously high rates of child undernutrition or anaemia as well as high rates of obesity," it says in a new report, Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition. In sub-Saharan Africa, "progress towards the World Health Assembly global nutrition targets has been generally poor," the Rome-based agency says, referring to goals to...
(AFP (eng) 11/13/17)
Ministers from 13 European and African countries on Monday pledged steps to ease the migrant crisis around the Mediterranean, vowing especially to improve conditions for migrants held in Libya. Interior ministers and other representatives from countries impacted by the ongoing wave of migration up through Africa towards Europe, including Libya, voiced deep concern over the "ongoing human tragedy" along the so-called Central Mediterranean route. "The participants intend to address the challenges posed by the alarming situation along the migration route...
(AFP (eng) 11/10/17)
Four militants were killed Thursday after they attacked a reconnaissance patrol in northern Burkina Faso, security sources told AFP. "Four individuals, whose identities are yet to be been determined, were shot dead this afternoon during a clash with a patrol of the Nassoumbou military detachment," an army officer said on condition of anonymity. "Five soldiers were wounded, one of them seriously," he said, adding vehicles sustained "material damage" during the ambush at Ariel, near the Mali border. The resulting battle...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/09/17)
SEVARE, Mali (Reuters) - Snipers from a new West African force lie prone on a rooftop in central Mali, scanning the horizon for Islamist militants who have infiltrated this sparsely populated region south of the Sahara and made it a launchpad for deadly attacks. Thousands of U.N. peacekeepers, French troops and U.S. military trainers and drone operators have failed to stem a growing wave of jihadist violence, leading international powers to pin their hopes on a new regional force. But...
(AFP (eng) 11/08/17)
A dozen other students look on as Umar Amadu uses a glass pipette to draw a solution from a conical flask as part of a chemistry experiment. It could be a scene from any school laboratory around the world, but until two months ago Amadu and his fellow students had no access to any science equipment. Science subjects at his rural secondary school outside the city of Katsina in northern Nigeria were taught using theory only. But now they have...

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