| Africatime
Wednesday 22 March 2017
(Xinhuanet 02/09/17)
Rwanda has serious concerns as Burundian refugees continue to arrive while the country's largest refugee camp has surpassed its capacity of 50,000 residents. Mahama camp located in Kirehe district, Eastern Province is now sheltering more than 53,000 refugees. It was established to accommodate Burundian refugees who massively fled to Rwanda when political crisis related to presidential elections erupted into violence in Burundi in 2015. Speaking to Xinhua on Wednesday, Seraphine Mukantabana, Rwanda's minister of disaster management and refugees affairs, said that the country's largest refugee camp is already overcrowded with Burundian refugees, creating serious concerns as more refugees continue to arrive.
(Standard Digital 02/09/17)
Hundreds of business and political personalities yesterday attended a German-African economic summit in Nairobi, where German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Mueller talked about his “Marshall Plan” for Africa. The plan is “with Africa, not for Africa,” Mueller (pictured) said, stressing that it would be based on cooperation between equals rather than the principles of traditional development aid. The plan, which Mueller presented to the German parliament’s development committee on Wednesday, is based on fair trade conditions, investment and increasing aid for educational projects. One of the goals of the plan, which the German opposition received with scepticism, is to curb migratory flows from Africa to Europe. Mueller called on German companies to focus on Africa, which he...
(AL Jazeera 02/08/17)
The EU must espouse a transnational approach with a clear development agenda that replaces its current security policy. One year ago, 22-year-old Patrick left Douala, the largest city in Cameroon, to become a football star in Europe. A talented midfielder and an ambitious young man, Patrick felt compelled to reach Europe to help him to realise his dreams. But, as he passed through Agadez in Niger, which has become a major transit hub for migrants taking the Central Mediterranean route, reality proved to be grimmer than he had anticipated. Patrick and two of his male relatives, also travelling from Douala, were beaten, robbed and held captive by organised predatory groups. Finally, their tumultuous journey came to an end in Algeria,...
(Bloomberg 02/06/17)
Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. is expected to raise about $500 million for its new African investment fund, attracting less than its original goal as investor interest in the region proved weaker than anticipated, according to people familiar with the matter. The Toronto-based insurer sought to raise as much as $1 billion at $10 a share for Fairfax Africa Holdings Corp. in an initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange, according to a regulatory filing in December. Fairfax said it had secured as much as $416 million in commitments for the African venture from both its own funds and partners, including the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, a Canadian pension fund and CI Investments Inc., according to the...
(Xinhuanet 02/03/17)
T20 Africa Conference, the meeting for the G20 think tanks and African countries, ended on Friday in Johannesburg with a commitment to accelerate cooperation between the G20 and Africa. The three-day conference aimed to chart a course for the future cooperation between Africa and the G20. The day ended with the formulation of the communique which will be given to the current G20 chair Germany. The communique will also be the reference for further discussion between Africa and T20. T20 comprises of the G20 think tanks. Dr. Christine Hackenesch, researcher at the German Development Institute (DIE) said, "There was an agreement that there must be a continuous and sustained engagement between G20 and Africa because there is a strong dependence...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/02/17)
African leaders have backed a "strategy of collective withdrawal" from the International Criminal Court (ICC), but it came with unspecified reservations, an African Union official said on Wednesday after this week's African Union summit. The official did not give details about the strategy or the reservations, but it highlights broad antipathy towards the court among Africans who feel the ICC unfairly targets them. A document seen by Reuters before the summit proposed a co-ordinated withdrawal unless the ICC was reformed. It included a call for "regionalization" of international law, a reference to proposals for an African war crimes court. Almost a third of the ICC's 124 members are African, and a withdrawal by a large number of them would cripple...
(Xinhuanet 02/01/17)
Newly elected senior officials of the African Union (AU) Commission, including Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the AU Commission, were sworn in on Tuesday at the conclusion of the 28th AU summit in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. In addition to the two top officials, other officials took the oath for positions including, peace and security; political affairs; trade and industry; social affairs; infrastructure and energy; and rural economy and agriculture. The 28th AU summit also elected Alpha Conde, President of the Republic of Guinea, for a rotating chairmanship of the African Union. In his acceptance speech on Monday, Conde said, "It is with honor and humility that I accept to preside at the destiny of our Organization during the year...
(Xinhuanet 01/28/17)
The African Union (AU) has been endeavoring to ensure robust, resilient and long-lasting economic transformation of Africa through promotion of infrastructure and energy development on the continent, noted Elham Mahmood Ibrahim, AU Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy. Speaking at a press conference Friday ahead of the 28th AU leaders' summit here, the commissioner said the pan-African bloc has scored achievements in its flagship projects and programs on the development of energy, transport as well as in the information and communication technology (ICT) areas, which she said are the biggest priorities in Africa's infrastructure sector. In cooperation and coordination with its regional, continental, and international partners, AU has been committed to development of infrastructure on the continent, which facilitates trade, economic...
(Bloomberg 01/27/17)
Barclays Africa Group Ltd. was targeted by protesters who entered one of its branches on Thursday and demanded the bank pay back money from a bailout provided to a company it bought before the end of apartheid. Demonstrators linked to the youth league of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress gathered outside the branch in Durban on South Africa’s east coast, Johannesburg-based Barclays Africa said in an e-mailed response to questions. Police ensured customers and staff were protected during the incident, it said. The protests come after the leaking of a draft report compiled by South Africa’s graft ombudsman that said Barclays Africa, which traded as Absa then, may have unduly benefited from state support when it bought Bankorp in...
(Xinhuanet 01/26/17)
Adopting African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) has been named a major task for the African Union (AU) this year as the 30th session of its Executive Council opened on Wednesday. In her remarks at the opening of the meeting, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the AU Commission, called for member countries' commitment to meeting the first target in Agenda 2063 of commencing the CFTA by end of 2017. She underlines the need "to do what needs to be done on the free movement of persons, so that we unlock opportunities for intra-African trade, studies, business and tourism." In her remarks at the opening of the 33rd session of the AU Permanent Representatives Committee on Sunday, Dlamini-Zuma said the AU's major...
(Bloomberg 01/25/17)
Taiwan’s last two African allies have no plans to switch allegiances and break ties with Taipei as Beijing tries to woo the self-ruled island’s diplomatic partners. Burkina Faso won’t cut relations with Taiwan despite people and companies with links to China offering funding in return for recognition of the One-China principle, according to Foreign Minister Alpha Barry. Swaziland said its relationship with Taiwan is based on mutual interests, not on money. “We get outrageous proposals telling us, ‘if you sign with Beijing we’ll offer you $50 billion or even more,’’’ Barry said in an interview in the capital, Ouagadougou, this month. “Taiwan is our friend and our partner. We’re happy and we see no reason to reconsider the relationship.” Competition...
(Xinhuanet 01/24/17)
Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza on Monday evening appointed Celestin Ndayizeye as the new Minister for Water, Environment, Territory Planning and Urbanization, said a presidential decree. Ndayizeye, a senator elected in Muramvya constituency, replaced Emmanuel Niyonkuru, who was assassinated on Jan. 1 in the Burundian capital Bujumbura. Investigations into the assassination of Niyonkuru are still underway. Niyonkuru, 54, was shot dead with a firearm in front of his house in Rohero. He had been the minister for water, environment and territory planning since August 2015.
(Cnbc Africa 01/24/17)
While Brexit and the U.S. election dominated headlines in 2016, the African continent witnessed major changes of its own. Its two largest economies were destabilized, with Nigeria being driven into recession and the South African political elite grappling for power. Conflict continued to make news, with the continuation of people trafficking across the Mediterranean and violence in South Sudan bubbling over. Macroeconomic concerns Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa fell to 1.5 percent in 2016 according to the World Bank, which deemed this "the weakest pace in over two decades." The slowdown was chiefly blamed on low commodity prices. But, the organization forecasts growth of 2.9 percent in the region for 2017. Africa's two biggest economies have a lot to account for...
(AFP (eng) 01/23/17)
Burundi began Monday releasing a quarter of its jail population under a mass presidential pardon, but prisoners' rights groups voiced concern they were just making room for more political inmates. A first group of 300 were released from the Mpimba central prison in Bujumbura, but authorities aim to free some 2,500 of the total, which stood at 10,051 last month. The releases, which included 58 activists arrested in a police crackdown on demonstrators in April 2014, were aimed at "relieving prisons to allow those remaining to live in acceptable conditions," said Justice Minister Aimee Laurentine Kanyana. "Every time political prisoners are released it's a good thing," Pierre-Claver Mbonimpa of the Aprodeh prisoners' defence group told AFP. "But we are calling...
(Xinhuanet 01/23/17)
The Rwandan Police said Monday they have intercepted 12 Burundian nationals on suspicion that they were being taken to Middle East countries in a human trafficking scheme. The Burundians were intercepted earlier this month at the Rwanda-Burundi border of Akanyaru on their way through Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya, Police said. According to the Deputy Police Spokesperson, Chief Superintendent Lynder Nkuranga, the Burundians including 11 women were destined to Oman, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Police said three suspects including one Burundian and two Kenyans were arrested in connection with the scheme. Speaking from Rwanda Police headquarters on Monday, the victims claimed the suspects had promised them good jobs. Police said arrangements were underway to repatriate the victims. Last August the Rwandan...
(Xinhuanet 01/20/17)
Burundi and a UN agency on Thursday evening launched the country's 2017 humanitarian response plan (HRP) to address hunger affecting a quarter of the country's population. "The situation of hunger is due to natural disasters that are behind climate change, on the one hand, and to degrading relations between Burundi and some of its partners," Burundi's foreign minister Alain Aime Nyamitwe said at the launch of the plan. He also seized the opportunity to invite the international community to support vulnerable people through "tangible" assistance. Suzanne Ngo-Mandong, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Representative in Burundi, also call on the international community to support the HRP plan. "At least 3 million people are in need of assistance, but among them, 1...
(Voice of America 01/20/17)
By most measures, Africa is safer today than it has been in the modern era: Diseases are less deadly and wars are less frequent. But recent years have also been marked by a rise in radical extremism on the continent, and the terror threat could derail some of the world's fastest-growing economies. Dealing with the spread of radicalization has been a central focus of U.S. President Barack Obama's foreign policy during his time in office. Few areas have been spared over the past eight years, with much of the continent living in the shadow of a violent extremist group: al-Shabab in Somalia and East Africa, Islamic State (IS) in Libya, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in Mali, the Lord's...
(AFP (eng) 01/19/17)
Burundi said Thursday it would not follow through on its planned withdrawal of troops from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) after reaching an agreement over the payment of wages. The EU funds AMISOM salaries, which are disbursed by the AU, but Bujumbura has not received them for months as European diplomats seek to avoid sending money directly to a government against which the bloc imposed sanctions in response to a nearly two-year-long political crisis. "We have found a solution that safeguards our national sovereignty and therefore the issue of the withdrawal of our soldiers from AMISOM no longer arises," Gaston Sindimwo, Burundi's first
(AFP (eng) 01/19/17)
Young men belonging to Burundi's ruling party are growing increasingly powerful, often collaborating with national intelligence agents as they wage brutal attacks on perceived opponents, Human Rights Watch said Thursday. The US-based rights group said the youths, known as Imbonerakure -- "those who see far" in the local Kirundi language -- had been involved in arresting and attacking opposition members since the start of a political crisis in the country in April 2015. In the past three months HRW investigations found the youths "used clubs to beat to death a 15-year-old, drove a knife into the eye of one victim ... and attacked others with knives, clubs and wooden poles. "Imbonerakure members have also set up unofficial roadblocks in multiple...
(Xinhuanet 01/18/17)
The Chinese government's decision to terminate ivory processing and trade by the end of 2017 marked a critical milestone in the journey toward eliminating poaching and other threats to Africa's elephant species, a conservationist group said on Wednesday. Kaddu Sebunya, president of African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) hailed China for taking bold measures to revitalize global efforts to save African elephants whose numbers had declined this decade due to poaching and climatic stresses. "The recent announcement by the central government of China to ban all domestic ivory trade by the end of 2017 offers a glimmer of real optimism in the fight against elephant poaching," Sebunya said in a statement issued in Nairobi The Chinese authority in December 2016 announced the...

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