Saturday 20 January 2018
(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...
(Bloomberg 11/27/13)
Common vitamins plus selenium slowed illness in HIV patients in the early stage of their disease, according to a study suggesting the supplements may provide an effective, low-cost approach for delaying AIDS. Patients taking a daily combination of vitamins B, C and E along with selenium for two years were able to delay their need for antiretroviral therapies by about half compared with those given a placebo, according to research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study followed 878 HIV-infected adults from Botswana, a nation with one of the highest rates of infection of the AIDS virus. The findings are the first to show that vitamins and selenium can postpone illness in newly diagnosed HIV patients...
(Voice of America 11/27/13)
Douala — A few decades ago, rice was a luxury for rural Africa, a dish reserved for the big occasions like Christmas. The grain is now one of the most consumed staples south of the Sahara and experts predict surging urbanization will drive more demand for the cereal as consumer tastes increasingly tilt towards easy-to-cook convenience foods. Across Africa, rice currently knows no social or class boundaries. Increasingly, the grain ranks high on the menus of both rural and urban households. One consumer on the streets of Douala said, "I often buy a bag of rice for the family that will last about a month." Another added, "Three days out of seven, we eat rice at home. Sometimes, it's up...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/26/13)
ACCRA Tue Nov 26, 2013(Reuters) - Pan-African lender Ecobank has sued a top executive who left the company this month, naming him in a civil complaint in Togo as the author of an anonymous email accusing Chief Executive Thierry Tanoh of mismanagement. The executive, David Lawson, denied to Ecobank that he wrote the email and said he had been unfairly dismissed. He accused Ecobank executives including Tanoh of hacking his phone and email account in a fruitless search for evidence against him. The company denies wrongdoing. The row comes as Ecobank tries to shore up confidence in its governance after a Nigerian industry watchdog began investigating the way it reported financial results. The bank's chairman quit last month, saying it...
(Awoko 11/26/13)
All over the world we all think and believe that democracy, as a model of governance development and statecraft, is the best. Granted. Now wait don’t throw your argument right in my face yet! There was this story about our Salone Independence Talks in the Queen’s land way out there at Lancaster House. A paramount chief representative put up his hands and asked this question: When will it end? At the time everybody looked perturbed and ended up laughing at what they thought was a ludicrous question asked out of sheer naivety. Well 52 years on, I am actually asking the question: When will democracy end? Definitely when all the tenets of Democracy are never realized, we will be looking...
(Daily Maverick 11/26/13)
A recent discussion on South Africa's Talk Radio 702 put the practice of eating human placenta on the table (ahem). Whilst there are reports of some people doing it out of curiosity, a host of new mothers say they choose to eat their placenta for health reasons, claiming it speeds their recovery, increases milk production and prevents postnatal depression. Placenta pizza anyone? This was the initial gist of a discussion hosted by Jenny Crwys-Williams on South Africa’s Talk Radio 702 last week. Crwys-Williams read an account by new father and writer for Lifehacker Australia, Chris Jager, who cooked his wife’s placenta and then topped his pizza with it. He did this “for the express purpose” of writing an article about...
(Daily Maverick 11/26/13)
Do twelve Africans die of hunger every minute? A senior food and nutrition adviser to Nepad, the African Union development programme, made the claim recently. But the available data suggests the claim is exaggerated. A senior food and nutrition adviser to Nepad, the development arm of the African Union, has claimed that twelve people die of hunger every minute in Africa. If true it would mean that 94,000 people - enough to fill the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg – are dying of hunger every five-and-a-half days. During an interview on SABC’s Morning Live programme which focused on “food insecurity” and widespread malnutrition in Africa, Boitshepo Giyose said: “[A]bout 300-million Africans are undernourished. That is simply unacceptable…Twelve people die of hunger...
(Voice of America 11/26/13)
LONDON — Progress in the battle against AIDS is widely divergent in different African countries, so much so that to talk about “AIDS in Africa” as one epidemic needing a single approach has become an anachronism, campaigners said on Tuesday. In an analysis of the state of the global fight against the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and AIDS, the advocacy group ONE said that while some African countries had reached a “tipping point” against the disease, others lag far behind. More than 35 million people worldwide are infected with HIV, which causes AIDS. Of that 35 million, 25 million are in sub-Saharan Africa. Yet within Africa, rates of HIV and AIDS vary widely. “Our analysis shows major distinctions between leaders...
(Bloomberg 11/26/13)
Naspers Ltd. (NPN), Africa’s largest media company, said first-half profit fell 25 percent while a plan to increase its investment will hurt earnings and cash flow in the full year. Net income declined to 3.1 billion rand ($310 million) in the six months through September from 4.15 billion rand a year earlier, the Cape Town-based company said in a statement today. Revenue rose 28 percent to 28.8 billion rand. “We expect development spend to exceed 7 billion rand for the full financial year,” Naspers said. “As this investment is largely made through the income statement, it will have a dampening effect on both earnings and cash flows in the second half of the current financial year and, cumulatively, for the...
(AFP (eng) 11/25/13)
JERUSALEM, (AFP) - The Israeli cabinet approved Sunday measures aimed at deporting thousands of Africans who illegally entered the country and who are perceived by it as a threat to its Jewish character. A statement from the prime minister's office said that beyond the measures, which include a crackdown on employers and financial incentives for home-bound Africans, the interior ministry has drafted a bill that would enable to detain illegal migrants for one year without trial. The new bill, which will be brought before parliament on Monday for an initial hearing and vote, was formulated after a previous law from 2012 allowing the three-year detainment without trial of illegals was overturned by Israel's supreme court in September. According to the...
(National Mirror Online 11/25/13)
In spite of the abundance of raw materials at its threshold, industrialisation in Africa, especially in Nigeria has been facing serious challenges with the continued unbridled importation of goods going on around the continent. To tackle the challenges, stakeholders are of the belief that total ban on importation of some goods would go a long way in bringing back the industries. Away from the stereotype that labour unions are mainly concerned with agitations, strikes and protests, the recently trilateral conference involving three major labour unions-the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ghana Trade Union Congress and South Africa Trade Union, gave a glimpse of their resourcefulness in addressing socio-economic issues pervading the African continent. The conference, with the theme, “Working Class Solidarity for...
(Bloomberg 11/23/13)
UBS AG (UBSN), the world’s biggest wealth manager, is targeting millionaire clients in oil-rich Nigeria and Angola as Swiss rival Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) withdraws from some African markets. “The amount of people on the continent that fall within our wealth-management bracket is increasing every day,” Sean Bennett, the Johannesburg-based managing director of UBS in sub-Saharan Africa, said in a Nov. 20 interview. “There’s still tons of opportunities still relatively untapped.” UBS is vying with Swiss banks from Julius Baer Group Ltd. to Pictet & Cie. for emerging market millionaires as a global crackdown on tax evasion forces European and American clients to withdraw funds. While Bennett sees potential to woo super-rich customers in Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and...

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