Sunday 22 October 2017
(The Guardian 09/18/17)
Anna Jones says that, through selling its cocoa cheaply, Africa is exporting its wealth overseas; while Sue Banford claims that the soya moratorium in the Amazon has done nothing to halt deforestation. Only the final paragraph in your article on cocoa farming causing deforestation in Ivory Coast (Forests pay price for world’s taste for cocoa, 14 September) mentioned the most fundamental thing – the farmer’s livelihood, or lack of it. The low value of his (or more likely her) crop is undoubtedly the cause of this problem. But cocoa farming could also provide the solution. Recently, I was in Ivory Coast for the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Abidjan. It united many different parties – governments, the UN’s Food...
(AFP (eng) 09/16/17)
Troops shot dead 18 Burundian refugees in clashes in Kamanyola in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, local officials in the eastern province of South Kivu said Saturday, giving what they said was a provisional toll. A Burundian refugee said that more than 30 had been killed and at least 100 wounded. Interior ministry official Josue Boji said troops had tried to disperse the refugees by "firing in the air but were overwhelmed" when the group responded by throwing stones in Friday's confrontation. Boji said the clashes began after a group of refugees overran a jail run by the country's domestic intelligence...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/16/17)
Congolese security forces killed at least 18 Burundian refugees during clashes over plans to send some of them home, local activists and a diplomatic source said. Police and soldiers opened fire as the refugees protested over the plan and tried to free some of their arrested compatriots in the town of Kamanyola in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday, the sources said. Activist Wendo Joel said the refugees had seized a weapon and killed a soldier, though that account was not confirmed by other sources. “The soldiers first fired in the air but there were many refugees,” Joel told Reuters. “I have counted 32 bodies.
(Reuters (Eng) 09/16/17)
A break-in at the U.N. human rights office in Burundi’s capital may have been an attempt to smear the government, a presidential aide told reporters on Friday in Geneva. U.N. staff in Burundi filed a complaint with police after a group of armed men broke into the office in Bujumbura at around 2.30 a.m. on Wednesday, a U.N. spokeswoman said. Nobody was hurt and there was no damage in the attack, which came a week after a U.N. human rights inquiry said Burundian officials at the highest level should be held accountable for crimes against humanity. Willy Nyamitwe, senior communications officer in the office of the president, said the two guards at the office had been arrested and it was...
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
Societe Generale SA, challenged on its home turf by Orange SA’s push into banking, is fighting back with a new mobile lender in Africa. The French lender started YUP, a new app for smartphones, in Senegal and Ivory Coast and plans to begin operating in four other sub-Saharan countries this year and next, the company said on Thursday. The bank aims to double its client base to 2 million in the region within three years. “Telcos have opened the way and they’ve gotten ahead,” Alexandre Maymat, who oversees Societe Generale’s operations in French-speaking Africa, said at a press briefing. “We’re catching up” by redefining the retail strategy and providing a broader offering than telephone companies. Chief Executive Officer Frederic Oudea...
(Xinhuanet 09/13/17)
In an effort to promote economic development and solve complex conservation challenges facing world heritage sites, the African World Heritage Fund Patron and former President of Namibia Hifikepunye Pohamba will host a business leader's breakfast event in Namibian Capital, Windhoek on Thursday. The African World Heritage Fund is an initiative of the African Member States of the African Union and UNESCO, launched in 2006. Webber Ndoro, executive director of the African World Heritage Fund, at a media briefing on Tuesday in Windhoek said that the aim of the event is to promote a holistic private sector engagement, raise a sense of ownership and accountability for heritage protection as well as transmission of World Heritage sites in Namibia and Africa. "To...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/12/17)
Olympic boxing’s governing body, AIBA, has banned African confederation head Kelani Bayor for three years for allegedly provoking the crowd at the continental championships in Brazzaville last June. Bayor is an AIBA vice-president and executive committee member as well as chairman of Togo’s national Olympic committee. “The Disciplinary Commission found that a hostile and threatening reaction to AIBA officials by spectators after the result of a bout on the last day of the competition was exacerbated by comments from Mr Bayor,” AIBA said in a statement on Monday. It found Bayor had “committed serious and unacceptable violations of the AIBA Disciplinary Code” at the tournament in Congo Republic. AIBA said the ban was from all boxing activities and responsibilities and...
(Bloomberg 09/11/17)
The South African companies that dominate the U.K.’s growing private hospital industry are counting on more people like Katie Corrie. A children’s party entertainer, Corrie opted to use 13,000 pounds ($17,000) of her savings and inheritance to get a hip replacement rather than spend months on a National Health Service waiting list. Britons like her are forking out almost 1 billion pounds a year to cover their own medical expenses, a trend that’s giving at least one industry the scope to look past Brexit turmoil. “Even if I hadn’t had the money put aside, I would have found a way to pay for it,” said Corrie, 50, who estimates the business she runs with her husband would have lost 10,000...
(APA 09/08/17)
Deprivation and marginalization, underpinned by weak governance, are primary forces driving young Africans into violent extremism, according to a comprehensive new study by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the first study of its kind. Based on interviews with 495 voluntary recruits to extremist organizations such as Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram, the new study also found that it is often perceived state violence or abuse of power that provides the final tipping point for the decision to join an extremist group. “Journey to Extremism in Africa: Drivers, Incentives and the Tipping Point for Recruitment” presents the results of a two-year UNDP Africa study on recruitment in the most prominent extremist groups in Africa. The study reveals a picture of a...
(Bloomberg 09/07/17)
African Rainbow Minerals Ltd., the miner chaired by South Africa’s richest black businessman, will pay a record dividend this year as rising iron-ore and manganese prices boosted earnings at its ferrous unit. ARM will pay investors 6.50 rand a share, almost triple that of the previous year, and its 11th consecutive dividend, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement Thursday. The company benefited from a 45 percent increase in prices received for exported iron ore and 93 percent more for its manganese. While ARM is “confident in the long-term outlook for commodities,” the company said prices will “remain volatile” this year. The rand, in which ARM pays most of its costs, has strengthened against the dollar this year, reducing earnings...
(Bloomberg 09/05/17)
A surge in agriculture has helped lift Africa’s biggest economies out of their slumps, but the recovery may be weak. Gross domestic product in Nigeria, the continent’s largest crude producer, advanced for the first time in six quarters in the three months ended June from a year earlier, growing 0.55 percent, the statistics agency said. In South Africa, GDP expanded 2.5 percent from the previous quarter, ending the second recession in almost a decade. Both economies had agriculture largely to thank: in South Africa, a bumper corn harvest following the worst drought in more than a century saw the sector surge 34 percent from the prior quarter, while in Nigeria, where farming vies with industries as the second-biggest contributor to...
(Eye Witness News 09/04/17)
The commission said there were reasonable grounds to believe that crimes against humanity had been committed since April 2015. Burundian officials at the highest level should be held accountable for crimes against humanity, and a list of suspects has been drawn up, a UN Commission of Inquiry said on Monday. The commission said there were reasonable grounds to believe that crimes against humanity had been committed since April 2015, when President Pierre Nkurunziza said he would seek a new term in office, triggering a descent into chaos and violence. “The Commission has reasonable grounds to believe that the above-mentioned crimes against humanity are attributable primarily to State officials at the highest level and to senior officers and members of the...
(African arguments 09/04/17)
Burundi needs international peacekeeping missions to keep its troops paid and happy. Peacekeeping missions need Burundian troops. But for how long? The crisis that has engulfed Burundi since April 2015 is the result of infighting among a small number of insiders belonging to the ruling party, the CNDD-FDD. Having all fought in the bush together, some of them felt that the president, Pierre Nkurunziza, should make way for others to have a turn at the top job, and refused to accept his plan to rule for life. Most senior members of the regime were and remain officers, having joined the new army at senior ranks after the civil war. The government presents a civilian veneer to the outside world, but...
(Bloomberg 09/04/17)
The worst may be over for Africa’s two largest economies as they likely emerged from a slump in the second quarter. Official data on Tuesday will probably show South Africa’s economy expanded in the three months through June, ending its second recession in less than a decade. Nigeria’s gross domestic product probably grew from a year earlier, and came out of its worst slump in a quarter of a century. South Africa and Nigeria together account for almost half of sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP and their recoveries may boost trade and production across the region. The reasons differ: while Nigeria, the continent’s biggest oil producer, is benefiting from a rebound in crude output, stronger retail sales may help drive growth in...
(Xinhuanet 08/31/17)
The Burundian health ministry on Wednesday said 24 cholera cases have been reported in Nyanza-Lac in the southwestern province of Makamba in a period of less than two weeks. Nyanza-Lac Hospital received 24 patients that had symptoms of cholera from Aug. 18 to 28, 21 of them have been discharged, three patients are still receiving medical treatment, said Thaddee Ndikumana, spokesman of the ministry of health. According to him, the cholera epidemic in Nyanza-Lac originated from a fisherman who came from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) with symptoms of cholera. Ndikumana indicated that cuts of clean drinking water due to activities of constructing the road linking Nyanza-Lac to Makamba boosted spread of cholera as residents are now...
(Xinhuanet 08/31/17)
Cooperation between China and Africa has seen remarkable progress in renewable energy, showing the determination of developing countries to harness the huge potential of clean energy and combat climate change. China-Africa Renewable Energy Cooperation and Innovation Alliance, a coalition of financing institutions, smart grid providers and core manufacturers, on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation with Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI). "Africa has the highest potential for renewable energy, but the least access to it," said Seyni Nafo, chairman of AREI endorsed by the African Union Assembly. The MOU will enable the two parties to cooperate in renewable energy generation in Africa, with Chinese smart grid providers and core renewable energy manufacturers providing technological and financial support...
(Bloomberg 08/30/17)
A Burundi rebel group vowed to intensify attacks on President Pierre Nkurunziza’s government, potentially deepening the East African country’s more than two-year political crisis. The Burundi Popular Forces see the violence as necessary to compel Nkurunziza’s administration to join peace talks with all the country’s opposition groups, spokesman Adolphe Manirakiza said in an interview. The rebels, who include former army and police officers, were previously part of the Forebu group that claimed attacks on military sites in Burundi in the past year, he said. “We are obliged to take military action against the powers in Bujumbura to stop the crimes that are being committed against the population by state organs,” Manirakiza said by phone from a location he wouldn’t disclose...
(Bloomberg 08/30/17)
One of the world’s poorest regions is making itself more friendly to new products from Novartis AG, Roche Holding AG and other drugmakers by combining the pharmacy regulators of six countries. The East African Community Medicines Registration Harmonization program allows Bayer AG, Merck KGaA, and rivals to speed products to market, while easing patients’ access to new medicines. Drugmakers would like to see the scope of the project, which started in 2012, widened to more countries. Modeled on the European Medicines Agency, the program is designed to slice through red tape in a region of 160 million people grappling with high rates of malaria, HIV, and other infectious diseases. East Africa is often slow to gain the benefit of new...
(Bloomberg 08/30/17)
One Thousand & One Voices LLC, a private-equity fund started by the great-grandson of the founder of Coors Brewing Co., said it bought a producer of sushi-quality trout that is the largest such facility in Africa. SanLei’s operations are on the Katse Dam in Lesotho, an enclave surrounded by South Africa, 1K1V, as the fund is known, said in an emailed statement Tuesday. The company didn’t disclose the value of the transaction. SanLei has secured a marketing and distribution agreement with CGC Japan Co., which has more than 4,000 stores and collective revenue of more than $40.5 billion, making it Japan’s largest joint-procurement supermarket chain, 1K1V said. The fund has been hunting for private-equity investments that tap Africa’s growing consumer...
(Shabelle News 08/29/17)
The President of the republic of Burundi Pierre Nkrunziza has appealed to East African Community member states to refrain from provoking one another or abetting individuals or groups likely to disrupt peace and security in the region. This was during the launch of the 11th edition of EAC military games and cultural events being hosted in Burundi. Nkrunziza noted that Burundi's efforts in Somalia, Central Africa Republic and within the Great Lakes region are examples of collective efforts in search of peace and that such dedication and efforts will definitely facilitate fast tracking of peace security. Uganda was represented by Major General Charles Lwanga Lutaya, Commander Air Force who represented the Chief of Defence Forces, Minister for East African Affairs...

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