Saturday 21 October 2017
(The Independent 11/18/13)
Why Africa should fight for free trade, not fair trade; for competitiveness in global markets and not kindness in consumers. Everyday there is an effort mainly in the West to save Africa from something - tyranny, impunity, poverty, disease, ignorance - whatever. Always, the savior is an institution or person from Western Europe and its off-shoots in North America. This "savior" is presented as kind, generous and altruistic. Consequently, the supposed beneficiaries need not be active participants in the efforts to save them. They are "victims" to be "helped." It was in this context that last week, I attended a presentation by researchers from the University of London on a new mantra to end poverty, "fair trade." There is a...
(Tanzania Daily News 11/18/13)
Arusha — Despite being operational for more than seven years now, the Arusha-based African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights has been under-utilized having handled only 28 petitions relating to contentious matters and five requests for advisory opinion. The court has therefore decided to make its presence felt through organising a continental conference for the media on the promotion of the court's activities. The occasion will be graced by Prof Makame Mbarawa, the Minister of Communication, Science and Technology and attended by among others, the president and other judges of the court, as well as representatives of international organizations established based in the region. According to Mr Jean- Pierre Uwanone, Senior Information and Communication Officer, the objective of the seminar...
(CNN 11/18/13)
(CNN) -- Notch this up to Swedes and another ridiculously cool, innovative design. This latest effort can be found off an African island and straightaway is placed high on that list of 'amazing hotels I wish i could get to' many travelers have. Just off the coast of Tanzania, The Manta Resort on Pemba Island has added a beautiful, other-worldly underwater bedroom to their original 16-room offering. The new 'digs' opened for business this month, designed by Swedish company Genberg Underwater Hotels. They are the brains behind the The Utter Inn, an underwater room in the middle of a Swedish lake which was also one of our 15 unusual places to spend the night. Lying approximately 250 meters offshore, the...
(AFP 11/17/13)
KUWAIT CITY, November 17, 2013 (AFP) - Arab and African foreign ministers met in Kuwait on Sunday hoping to accelerate a strategy to bolster economic cooperation, investment and trade ahead of a summit this week. The Third Africa Arab Summit on Tuesday and Wednesday will be the first meeting of its kind since 2010, when leaders met in Libya prior to the Arab Spring uprisings that toppled longstanding dictatorships there and elsewhere in North Africa and the Middle East. The one-day meeting will adopt the agenda for the summit, where leaders are expected to approve a raft of new measures to upgrade economic ties between the two regions, including the oil-rich Gulf and sub-Saharan Africa. "It is time to upgrade...
(AFP 11/17/13)
Cape Town (AFP) - South Africa's Nelson Mandela remains "quite ill" and is unable to speak, using facial expressions to communicate as he receives intensive medical care at home, his ex-wife told Sunday media. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela said the 95-year-old was not on life support but he was no longer talking "because of all the tubes that are in his mouth to clear (fluid from) the lungs". "He can't actually articulate anything" as a result, she told The Sunday Independent newspaper. "He communicates with the face, you see. But the doctors have told us they hope to recover his voice." Mandela was discharged on September 1 to his home in Johannesburg's upmarket Houghton suburb after nearly three months in hospital for...
(AFP 11/15/13)
UNITED NATIONS, November 15, 2013 (AFP) - African nations will Friday launch one of the biggest challenges yet to the International Criminal Court by forcing a UN Security Council vote on suspending the trial of Kenya's president. A resolution seeking to defer crimes against humanity charges against President Uhuru Kenyatta and Vice President William Ruto for one year is almost certain to fail through lack of support. But diplomats and justice experts say the action risks heightening tensions between the ICC and Africa. The two leaders are accused of masterminding unrest after a 2007 presidential election in 2007 in which at least 1,100 people died. Kenyatta and Ruto took office after an election this year. Ruto's trial has started, while...
(Reuters 11/15/13)
(Reuters) - U.S. military forces in Africa may lose well over a tenth - or some $40 million - from their 2014 budget, the U.S. Africa Command said on Thursday, although it saw success against militants in Somalia and Mali. The bulk of such cuts will fall on headquarters and training programs, AFRICOM commander General David Rodriguez said, most likely forcing smaller exercises. The size of AFRICOM headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, is to be reduced by some 20 percent. The planned cuts are part of broader across-the-board U.S. spending restrictions dubbed "sequestration" and imposed after Congress failed to agree deficit reduction measures. AFRICOM - set up in 2007 to coordinate U.S. military activity on the continent - retains some 5,000...
(Voice of America 11/14/13)
A veteran U.S.-based African journalist said ending corruption in Africa is becoming more elusive because there is no incentive for government officials and others not to engage in corruption. Chika Onyeani, publisher and editor-in-chief of the New York-based African Sun Times newspaper, said part of the solution would be prosecution and lengthy prison terms for those implicated in official corruption. Onyeani was reacting to a study by the independent research firm Afrobarometer, which found that Africans are unhappy with efforts to fight corruption, and found that many still pay bribes to get basic services. The report said Nigeria, Egypt and Zimbabwe got the worst ratings, while Malawi, Lesotho and Botswana got the best. Onyeani said that while not surprised by...
(Bloomberg 11/14/13)
Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) is gearing up to sell about $15 billion of assets as Europe’s largest oil company accelerates disposals to offset the cost of projects from Australia to Canada. Asset sales will allow Shell’s net capital investment, spending on projects adjusted for acquisitions and disposals, to fall from this year’s record $45 billion, Chief Executive Officer Peter Voser said in an interview. New projects coming on stream give room to sell oil and natural gas fields, he said. While chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell Plc Peter Voser didn't put a figure on disposals, Shell needs to raise at least $15 billion over the next two years to meet its financial targets, according to data compiled...
(Voice of America 11/13/13)
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two cases this week involving American piracy victims in Africa have highlighted the maritime dangers in the region. However, maritime experts say there are significant differences in the causes and response to piracy off the coast of Somalia and incidents in the troubled Gulf of Guinea, near Nigeria. A judge in Norfolk, Virginia has ordered Somali national Ahmed Muse Salad to serve 19 consecutive life sentences for his role in the 2011 murders of four Americans. Salad was among a group of Somali pirates who boarded a yacht carrying its American owners and two crew members off Africa's east coast. The four Americans were shot and killed after negotiations with the U.S. navy broke down. In another...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/13/13)
CAPE TOWN Wed Nov 13, 2013 (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics expects to supply half of the smartphones sold in Africa this year and aims to double these sales on the continent in 2014, an executive said. Africa has a growing young population that is increasingly tech savvy and urbanized. This is attracting foreign sellers of consumer products like smartphones, especially as markets stagnate or shrink in more developed nations. Although smartphones are gaining popularity across the continent, they are still a novelty. At the end of 2012, sub-Saharan smartphone penetration was 4 percent, compared with a global average of 17 percent, according to industry body GSMA. "Samsung this year will ship 50 percent of all the smartphones in Africa," Thabiet...
(Bloomberg 11/12/13)
Burundian authorities said they discovered 39 human skulls at the home of an Italian man in the capital, Bujumbura, after he had been arrested last month when two skulls were detected by X-Ray machines at the East African nation’s main airport. Police have also detained a national of a nearby country, where the skulls may have originated, Telesphore Bigirimana, a spokesman for the East African nation’s intelligence agency, said today in an interview. Giuseppe Favaro, an artist who arrived in Burundi in 1989, has been charged with trading human skulls, Bigirimana said. Aviation authorities last week raised concern over illegal trafficking through Bujumbura International Airport including shipments of ivory, cocaine, marijuana and human body parts. By Desire Nimubona
(Bloomberg 11/12/13)
Vodacom Group Ltd. (VOD), the wireless operator with the most subscribers in South Africa, plans to increase investment on the continent as it speeds up the pace of network upgrades. “In South Africa we’ve been investing 7 billion rand ($677 million) a year and we want to notch that up a couple of levels,” Chief Executive Officer Shameel Joosub said on a conference call today. The company will increase capital spending as a percentage of revenue to as much 17 percent from 13 percent in 2013, he said. Vodafone Group Plc (VOD), the world’s second-biggest wireless provider, is putting aside about $10 billion from the sale of its Verizon Wireless stake in the U.S. to upgrade networks for units including...
(Voice of America 11/12/13)
CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA — A comet is heading for a close encounter with the sun later this month, and providing it is not vaporized or torn apart it should be visible to the naked eye sometime in December. Comet ISON is expected to pass just about 621,000 miles from the sun's surface on Nov. 28. Scientists are not sure how ISON will hold up. As it blasts around the sun, traveling at 234 miles per second, the comet will be heated to about 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit, hot enough to vaporize not just the ice in the comet's body, but rock and metal as well. If the heat does not kill ISON, the sun's gravity may rip it apart. However, recent...
(Sunday Standard 11/11/13)
I have been a proponent of regional integration and more specifically East African Community knowing very well that vulnerable economies especially in the Third World stand to benefit immensely from such unity initiatives. However, Tanzania has been accused of a lackluster commitment towards actualisation of East African Community with all the delays in moving the union to the next level being blamed on her. I belonged to the same school of thought that believed Tanzania was the problem, but slowly, it is becoming evident that unless clear and common ideological benchmarks are set among member states, realisation of the formidable integration is not going to be attained in the near future. Proponents of integration may brand me pessimist, but critical...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/11/13)
DAKAR Mon Nov 11, 2013 (Reuters) - When Abasiama Idaresit started a digital marketing firm in Nigeria's bustling economic capital three years ago, he quickly learned how brutal life can be in a market where tech startups are in their infancy. No-one would lend him money to hire staff or pay for office space, so Idaresit spent eight months hustling the streets of Lagos, trying to convince clients his plan to help them develop online campaigns was a winner. "During those first eight months, I didn't make a dime ... I was demoralized. At some point I wondered if it was worth it," Idaresit told Reuters by telephone from his Lagos office. It took a money-back guarantee before a baby...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/11/13)
RIYADH (Reuters) - Thousands of mostly African workers gathered in Riyadh on Sunday seeking repatriation after two people were killed in overnight rioting that followed a visa crackdown by Saudi authorities. One of those killed was a Saudi, said a government statement, and the other was not identified. An Ethiopian man was killed in a visa raid last week. Ethiopia's foreign minister condemned the deaths, and told Reuters his government was working to bring its citizens home. "This is unacceptable. We call on the Saudi government to investigate this issue seriously. We are also happy to take our citizens, who should be treated with dignity while they are there," Foreign Affairs Minister Tedros Adhanom said. He said Addis Ababa had...
(AFP 11/09/13)
LAGOS, November 9, 2013 (AFP) - The Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) opens in Nigeria on Sunday and although it is still in its infancy, organisers hope that with time it can become the continent's Cannes. Seventy films from across the continent will be screened in a series of venues over seven days in the southern coastal city of Calabar, which Nigeria has tried to promote as an emerging cultural hub. "For an African film to come out in Cannes or at (the) Toronto (International Film Festival) it has got to be pretty exceptional," said festival spokesman Julian Nwagboniwe. "But on our platform, we can increase exposure" for artists who may struggle for recognition in Europe or North America, he...
(Ipp media 11/08/13)
President Jakaya Kikwete has cleared Tanzania’s position on the East African Community (EAC), saying the country has no plans to leave or let the partnership fall apart. Kikwete’s statement comes amid speculations from various groups who thought Tanzania and Burundi might quit the EAC after being sidelined by Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda who had been meeting and deliberating on some EAC issues without inviting the other two. Addressing members of parliament in Dodoma yesterday he said: “I want to assure you that Tanzania has no plans to quit the EAC. Tanzania has done nothing wrong against any EAC member state. We are loyal to the community…Tanzania will continue to participate in EAC affairs and strengthen it on the basis of...
(BBC News Africa 11/08/13)
The EU's top court has ruled that homosexuals from Sierra Leone, Uganda and Senegal who fear imprisonment in their home country have grounds for asylum in EU member states. The Netherlands had asked the court for advice about three gay citizens of those countries seeking asylum. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) says asylum can be granted in cases where people are actually jailed for homosexuality in their home country. ECJ rulings apply to all EU members. Homosexual acts are illegal in most African countries, including key Western allies such as Uganda, Nigeria, Kenya and Botswana. In June a report by Amnesty International said homophobic attacks had reached dangerous levels in sub-Saharan Africa and must stop. The ECJ judgment on...

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