Saturday 16 December 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 12/04/13)
PARIS Wed Dec 4, 2013--(Reuters) - France will tell African leaders at a Paris summit on Friday it will no longer play policeman on the continent, even as it prepares to act in a new conflict in Central African Republic after its Mali intervention this year. Held since 1975, the Africa-France summit was an opportunity for French and African officials to agree back-room deals to reward France for propping up sometimes corrupt regimes. But a drive by France to clean up its African policy together with new powers such as China and Brazil seeking lucrative business on the continent will give a new tone to this week's talks with some 40 African leaders. "Mali, CAR - these are missions we...
(Ips News 12/04/13)
For more than 20 years, Anastasia Ngwakun from Bamunkumbit village in central Cameroon has been farming rice the hard way - using only hand tools. But Ngwakun knows that if she were a man, she would have access to the technology that would not require her to work so hard. "Rice farming is hard work, especially for a woman, because I am involved in the planting and processing using limited or no resources and tools, unlike the men folk in my village, who can easily get credit or have access to a tractor," Ngwakun, who grows rice on a 1.5-hectare plot, told IPS. "Women do not have access to land, and many times we farm plots that are owned by...
(Voice of America 12/03/13)
Several African nations were among the worst performers in Transparency International's annual report on perceived corruption. Somalia was one of three nations receiving the lowest score in the report released Tuesday by the corruption watchdog group. The report gave each nation a score between 0 and 100. Besides Somalia, African countries that scored 20 or below on the list include Sudan, South Sudan, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Chad and Eritrea. Only three African nations received scores above 50 - Botswana, Cape Verde, and Rwanda. Transparency International says Africa has improved on indicators related to "human development and sustainable economic development." The Berlin-based group says, however, there has been a "noticeable deterioration" in terms of safety and the rule of law. Transparency...
(Voice of America 12/03/13)
JOHANNESBURG — In most African countries, pharmaceutal drugs are poorly regulated or not regulated at all, posing huge risks for those who depend on them to stay healthy. But for the first time, the topic has gotten the attention of African officials, who holding a scientific conference on the topic in South Africa. Access to safe and effective medicine can be touch and go in Africa, where the market abounds with drugs that are fake or expired. That can have disastrous consequences, says Margareth Ndomondo-Sigonda, a Tanzanian who oversees pharmaceutical issues for an African Union agency, the New Partnership for Africa's Development, or NEPAD. "The situation that you see in Africa is that most of the medicines circulating in our...
(African arguments 12/03/13)
The McKinsey Global Institute has released a new report entitled 'Lions Go Digital: The Internet's Transformative Potential in Africa'. Optimistic about the power of internet to change Africa, the report delineates six categories where internet will have the most powerful impact: Financial services, education, health, retail, agriculture, and government. The research found that while currently, internet penetration throughout the whole continent is 16 per cent, with just 16 million people online; the report estimates that by 2025, around 50 per cent of the population will be online, with 600 million people using internet. While the figures show a hopeful projection of what internet access will look like in a little over a decade, there are clear challenges to achieving internet...
(Tanzania Daily News 12/02/13)
Arusha — Efective 2015, citizens of Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda will be travelling using the new generation East African Passport, a modern regional travelling document likely to replace their national ones. A communiqué from the Heads of State Summit, taking place in Uganda, which was made available here via the Arusha-based East African Community (EAC) Secretariat, quoted the five presidents agreeing to launch the new passport by November 2015. The communiqué was signed by presidents Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi at the weekend in Kampala. The current East African passport apparently is only valid within the five countries and thus holders also...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/02/13)
Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi will merge currencies gradually over the next ten years to boost trade. The leaders of five East African countries have signed a protocol laying the groundwork for a monetary union within 10 years that they expect will expand regional trade. Heads of state of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, which have already signed a common market and a single customs union, said on Saturday that the protocol would allow them to progressively converge their currencies. In the run-up to achieving a common currency, the East African Community (EAC) nations aim to harmonise monetary and fiscal policies and establish a common central bank. Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda already present their budgets simultaneously every...
(The Reporter 12/02/13)
The economic performance of Africa in the last few years has been remarkable. The continent has consistently defied the global trend. Five years after the global financial system came perilously close to collapse, the global economic outlook is still uncertain. In Europe, GDP is still below pre-crisis levels and unemployment is at a record high. Recovery in the United States, although stronger, remains weak by historic standards, and even China, which has done so much to drive global growth, is slowing down. Yet, in what some might call an unexpected twist, average growth in Africa over the last decade has been more than 5 percent. Of the 10 fastest-growing global economies, seven are in sub-Saharan Africa. But how will this...
(BBC News Africa 12/02/13)
The winner of this year's BBC African Footballer of the Year award will be revealed at 1735 GMT on Monday. The shortlist of Yaya Toure, Victor Moses, John Mikel Obi, Jonathan Pitroipa and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was announced three weeks ago. African football fans selected their choice for the award, voting online and by text messages. You can find out result later today live on the BBC's Focus on Africa radio and television programmes and on this website. No player on this year's shortlist, drawn up from votes by 44 journalists across Africa, has won the BBC award before and two - Burkina Faso's Pitroipa and Aubameyang of Gabon - are the first nominees from their respective countries. Ivory Coast's Toure...
(The New York Times 12/01/13)
LONDON — The imagery is likely to be the same as it has been for decades — foreign troops in battle fatigues lugging backpacks and assault rifles, confronting mayhem. But when French soldiers reinforce their small existing garrison in the Central African Republic in coming weeks, their presence will probably be depicted as a departure from a long tradition of military muscle as the prime instrument of postcolonial power. The Central African Republic — its territory larger than metropolitan France, with only a small fraction of its population — has occupied an anomalous place since independence from Paris in 1960, ruled by a procession of despots and even an emperor — Bokassa I — who was accused not just of...
(AFP 11/30/13)
JOHANNESBURG, November 30, 2013 (AFP) - African ministers and experts meet next week in Botswana to chart ways to stamp out a spike in elephant killings fuelled by a growing demand for ivory in Asia. "Poaching of elephants and associated ivory trafficking remain of grave concern," said Richard Thomas, spokesman for the animal conservation group Traffic. The three-day meeting opening on Monday in Gaborone has been organised by the Botswana government and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Poaching has risen sharply in Africa in recent years and the illegal ivory trade has tripled since 1998, according to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Large-scale seizures of ivory destined for Asia have more than doubled since 2009 and...
(AL Jazeera 11/29/13)
President tells launch ceremony that railway line linking port city to neighbouring nations is a "historic milestone". Kenya has launched a $13.8bn flagship railway project linking the port city of Mombasa to the capital Nairobi and is eventually hoped to extend onwards to neighbouring Uganda. The project, called a "historic milestone" by President Uhuru Kenyatta, who presided over a ground-breaking in Mombasa on Thursday, will also connect with proposed lines to Rwanda and South Sudan, according to the AFP news agency. Built by a Chinese state-owned firm and with funds from the Chinese government, the railway line is expected to dramatically increase trade and boost Kenya's position as a regional economic powerhouse. Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi form the...
(New Vision 11/29/13)
There was disagreement in the East African Community Council of Ministers Thursday over the way Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda were “fast-tracking” towards a political federation, monetary union and other projects, leaving out others. In a heated closed meeting Thursday, Tanzania and Burundi took exception to their three counterparts forming a “coalition of the willing”, incorporating South Sudan to agree on a cross border railway and customs arrangements. South Sudan is yet to join. The high level meeting at Imperial Royale Hotel was convened by EAC minister Shem Bageine to reach a consensus on a number of issues. Bageine’s communication that he was set to hand over the chair to Kenya, and that 80% of the decisions in the report had...
(Voice of America 11/29/13)
CAPE TOWN — East Africa's oil rush is spreading into parks and protected areas, prompting companies to develop new ways to explore for hydrocarbons without disturbing wildlife and natural treasures such as rare fossils. From Uganda, where France's Total is trying new and less intrusive methods of seismic testing in a national park, to Madagascar, where operations are under way next to a UNESCO site, the industry is working in locations where damage would trigger public outcries. “We can't take anything for granted. We are abutting next to a UNESCO National Park,” said Stewart Ahmed, chief executive officer of Madagascar Oil, which plans the first commercial crude oil production in the impoverished Indian Ocean island state.“We are going to be...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/29/13)
PRISTINA (Reuters) - NATO confirmed on Thursday that France plans to withdraw its 320 troops from Kosovo, citing commitments in Mali and a pending French intervention in Central African Republic. Speaking in Kosovo, NATO's top military commander, U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove, did not specify when the troops would leave or whether they would be replaced. France is preparing to increase its force in Central African Republic, an anarchic former French colony, to at least 1,000 soldiers to prevent sectarian violence from destabilizing the wider region. In January, French military forces intervened in Mali, another ex-colony, to reverse an Islamist militant takeover of the north. Around 2,800 French soldiers remain in the West African country. "The French took a...
(Voice of America 11/29/13)
Researchers say a new strain of HIV found in West Africa leads to faster development of AIDS. Scientists based at Sweden's Lund University say the new strain, known as A3/O2, is a cross between the two most common strains in the nation of Guinea-Bissau. Their study found people infected with the new strain develop AIDS in about five years, more than a year faster than people with one of the initial strains alone. They say people with A3/02 are also three times more likely to develop AIDS and suffer an AIDS-related death. The university says that so far, the new strain has been identified only in West Africa. But it notes that around the globe, other strains are combining, raising...
(BBC News Africa 11/28/13)
Kenya has formally launched a new, Chinese-financed railway which should extend across East Africa to reach South Sudan, DR Congo and Burundi. The first section will link the Kenyan port of Mombasa to the capital, Nairobi, reducing the journey time from 15 hours to about four. It is said to be the country's biggest infrastructure project since independence 50 years ago. The cost of the railway will be $5.2bn (£3.2bn) - mostly funded by China. Some Kenyans have complained that the contract was given to the Chinese state-owned China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) without going to tender. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping agreed the deal in August in Beijing. It is also hoped that...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/28/13)
AMSTERDAM/NEW YORK---(Reuters) - The International Criminal Court's member states on Wednesday agreed to changes to the court's trial procedures that could help defuse tensions between the court and the African continent regarding the approaching trial of Kenya's president. The changes approved by the court's 122 members will make it easier for suspects to participate in trial proceedings via video link and create a special exemption for top government officials, Western diplomats said. Kenya and its African Union allies have been lobbying hard for the trial of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to be halted or postponed, saying the case threatens to destabilize the East African region. Kenyatta and his deputy, former political rival William Ruto, face charges of crimes against humanity...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/28/13)
Warsaw — For the past 20 years, negotiations on how to combat and adapt to climate change have been led by environmental ministers. But the decisions made affect a country's agriculture, energy and finance systems as well. Now, experts say, it's time for other players to be involved in the process, particularly when it comes to deciding how to most effectively spend available funds. "It is now clear that for effective implementation of projects under climate change finance, the environment, agriculture, energy and finance sectors must work as a team," said Ayalneh Bogale, the advisor for climate change and agriculture for the African Union Commission. At the just-ended UN climate negotiations in Warsaw, developed countries agreed to contribute $100 million...
( 11/28/13)
Kisumu/Kampala — Even as food insecurity continues to afflict impoverished and disaster-affected populations around the continent, African policymakers and consumers remain deeply divided over the potential harms and benefits of genetically modified (GM) foods, which advocates say could greatly improve yields and nutrition. A recent study published in the journal Food Policy, titled Status of development, regulation and adoption of GM agriculture in Africa, shows that heated debates over safety concerns continue to plague efforts to use GM crop technology to tackle food security problems and poverty. Yet results from the four African countries that have implemented commercial GM agriculture - Burkina Faso, Egypt, South Africa and Sudan - suggest an improvement in productivity. In South Africa, a 2008 study...

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