Tuesday 24 October 2017
(APA 07/20/17)
Botswana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Pelonomi Venson Moitoi will be among top officials to preside over a review of applications by Comoros and Burundi to join the Southern African Development Community (SADC), a statement from her ministry stated on Wednesday. Img : Botswana to scrutinize Burundi bid to join SADC “The 19th meeting of the SADC Ministerial Committee of the Organ is expected to deliberate, among others on issues on the consolidation of democracy in the region and the request from the Union of Comoros and the Republic of Burundi to join SAC,” the statement read in part. It says the outcome of the 19th MCO will form part of reports to be considered by the 37th Ordinary SADC Summit...
(BBC News Africa 07/20/17)
Six teenagers from Burundi taking part in a robotics competition in the US have been reported missing, police say. Four boys and two girls - aged from 16 to 18 - disappeared during the First Global Challenge tournament in Washington DC. The DC Police Department says they were last seen on Tuesday - on the closing day of the competition. Reports say two of the teenagers have since crossed into Canada but this has not been confirmed by the police. On Thursday, the DC Police Department posted fliers of the missing group on its Twitter page, asking members of the public to get in touch if they had any information. The teenagers were identified as Don Ingabire, 16, Kevin Sabumukiza,...
(The Associated Press 07/20/17)
BUJUMBURA, Burundi (AP) — Burundi’s president is traveling out of the country for the first time since the failed coup attempt of May 2015, a government official said Thursday. President Pierre Nkurunziza is visiting neighboring Tanzania to reinforce cooperation between the countries, said spokesman Jean Claude Karerwa Ndenzako. The East African nation is home to tens of thousands of Burundian refugees who have fled deadly political violence. In May 2015, Nkurunziza’s allies in the armed forces put down a coup attempt mounted while the president was attending a summit in Tanzania. The attempt followed weeks of street protests against Nkurunziza’s ultimately successful attempt to win a disputed third term. Hundreds of people have been killed in the violence since April...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/20/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Africa's major central banks are entering an easing cycle as they try to stimulate growth after months of drought, austerity drives and confidence issues across the continent, a Reuters poll found on Thursday. Much of southern and eastern Africa is still recovering after an El Niño-related drought wilted crops last year. Poor business confidence in South Africa and foreign exchange restrictions in Nigeria have also hampered growth. "We expect that African monetary policy is entering a widespread and protracted period of policy easing. This will provide a boost to growth," said John Ashbourne, Africa analyst at Capital Economics. Ghana, which agreed a three-year fiscal discipline deal with the International Monetary Fund in exchange for aid in 2015,...
(Bloomberg 07/19/17)
Vodacom Group Ltd. sees the expansion of mobile-banking services into new markets in sub-Saharan Africa as a top priority following a shareholder vote to rubber stamp its purchase of a 35 percent stake in Safaricom Ltd., Kenya’s biggest company. “We will use Safaricom to enter other markets where neither Vodacom nor Safaricom are,” Chief Executive Officer Shameel Joosub said in an interview at the wireless carrier’s annual general meeting in Johannesburg on Tuesday. The two businesses have a combined 30 million mobile-banking customers, giving them “a very sizeable platform on the continent,” he said. Vodacom’s purchase of the Safaricom stake from U.K. parent company Vodafone Group Plc gives the South African company access to the fast-growing M-Pesa platform, which processed...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/18/17)
Three years after he risked his life crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Libya to Italy on a small boat crammed with migrants, 22-year-old Sow Muhammed can hardly believe his luck. The former street hawker from Guinea now works as a caterer in Venice, rents his own apartment, and sends money back home regularly to his mother and siblings in the West African nation. "I am happy I came to Europe, and my family is also happy," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation as he packed up leftovers at a training event for people who work with refugees, where he had served a menu which included traditional African dishes. "I talk to my family frequently, ask them their needs, and help...
(Xinhuanet 07/17/17)
Africa is making progress towards the establishment of a trade zone by Oct. 30 that will cover approximately half of the continent's member states. The Common Market for the Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Director of Trade and Customs, Francis Mangeni, said in a commentary published in the Star Newspaper on Monday that so far 19 of the 26 countries involved have signed the agreement. "Three outstanding annexes had meant the tripartite agreement was not complete and this was advanced by some countries as the reason they could not sign or ratify the agreement. However their adoption represented a milestone in the negotiation, as it removed the last obstacle to signing and ratifying the agreement," Mangeni said. The tripartite free...
(AFP (eng) 07/14/17)
Burundi's National Intelligence Service (SNR) has picked up a human rights activist and is holding him over an alleged breach of state security, a police source said Friday. Germain Rukuki, who has long worked for civil associations, was arrested by agents of the feared SNR in the northern Ngagara district of Bujumbura on Thursday morning after a dawn sweep by dozens of police, according to witnesses. "Germain Rukuki was arrested at his home in Ngagara, he is detained over a breach of internal state security," police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye posted in a tweet, without further details. "We denounce the arrest of this human rights activist by the presidential police of the SNR, who behave like a state within the state,"...
(Xinhuanet 07/13/17)
Four policemen were injured, two of them seriously, in a grenade explosion that targeted a police post in the Burundian capital Bujumbura Tuesday night, police said Wednesday. "An unidentified person last night exploded a grenade in a police post at Bwiza around 21:00. The criminal was aboard a pick-up that drove away after the grenade blast. Four policemen were injured, but one of them had very small injuries and did not need to go to the hospital," Burundian Police Spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye said. According to him, two policemen seriously injured on their legs were rushed to hospital, another policeman left the hospital after treatment. He blamed the attack which occurred in central Bujumbura on bandits who had been stealing cars...
(Xinhuanet 07/12/17)
As the world Tuesday marked the World Population Day, the Burundian government is proud of the step reached on using contraceptive methods to controls births, the Burundian health minister said Tuesday in a statement. "In collaboration with our partners like the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), we were able to go from 2.7 percent of women using contraceptive methods in 2005 to 42 percent of women using such methods in 2017 in Burundi," Burundian Public Health and AIDS Control Minister Josiane Nijimbere said in the statement. She said the progress was made thanks to the Burundian government policy launched in 2006 of free medical care for pregnant women and children aged less than five years. "This world population day is...
(Cnbc Africa 07/12/17)
"Africa is an awakening giant," according to the former South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk speaking at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul. The leader who oversaw the transition of his country's power to Nelson Mandela said Tuesday that the future looks bright for a continent previously blighted by war, famine and a lack of infrastructure. "I believe Africa is an awakening giant and, yes, it is not performing according to what we expected soon enough, but it will perform," he said. De Klerk believes that African countries are primed to take advantage of the world's growing size. "If we look at food shortages for the rest of the world with a growing population, Africa is the solution," he...
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
In the past five years, terrorist attacks have killed nearly 20,000 people across Africa. Two groups, Boko Haram and al-Shabab, accounted for 71 percent of reported incidents and 91 percent of fatalities. But, while these and other militant groups remain active, fatal terrorist attacks across the continent are on pace to fall for a second straight year, and the total number of attacks is running far below 2012 highs. These findings are part of VOA’s original analysis of data from ACLED, the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. ACLED tracks political violence, protests and terrorist events across Africa. Their reports include attacks since 1997 based on data collected from local news media, government statements, non-governmental organizations and published research...
(The Associated Press 07/10/17)
Burundi (AP) -- A Burundi official says eight people have been killed in a grenade attack on a bar in the country's rural northern area. Devote Ndayizeye, the administrator of Gatara commune in the province of Kayanza where the attack took place Sunday night, said two of the victims died of their wounds after being hospitalized. Ndayizeye said the attackers fled the scene and their motive remains unclear. Burundi has been plagued by sporadic violence since April 2015 when President Pierre Nkurunziza's decision to seek a third term led to street protests. Nkurunziza won another term in disputed elections in July 2015 and remains in power, but Burundi has stayed unsettled. At least one armed group has announced a rebellion...
(AFP (eng) 07/10/17)
A hand grenade blast killed at least eight people and wounded about 60 others in a bar at Shinya in northern Burundi, local officials and police said Monday. "Still unidentified criminals threw a grenade last night around 8:00 pm (1800 GMT) into a group of a dozen people having a drink on Shinya hill in Gatara district," said the local administrator, Devote Ndayizeye. "Six people died on the spot and 66 others were injured, of whom 10 are in a serious condition," she added, stating that most victims had been taken to hospitals in the region. "Two other people among the badly wounded died of their injuries once they were already in hospital," Ndayizeye said. She noted that all casualty...
(Xinhuanet 07/10/17)
- Burundian police on Monday said unidentified people Sunday evening blasted a grenade in Kayanza Province, northern Burundi, killing eight people and injuring over 50 others. Police Spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye said on Twitter that the "terrorist attack" happened around 6:30 p.m.
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Many cell phone companies are rethinking their headlong rush into the continent. Only Orange is staying the course. Back when African countries were auctioning off mobile licenses by the boatload to serve the region’s young, tech-savvy population, investing in the continent’s fast-growing economies seemed like a no-brainer. Some of the world’s biggest wireless carriers rushed in. Now they’re wondering if they made a mistake. Increasing government and regulatory scrutiny, as well as a lack of expansion opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa, are making it harder for operators such as Vodafone Group Plc, Orange SA and Bharti Airtel Ltd. to grow. Their choice: Pull back or double down. Two companies beating at least a partial retreat are Millicom International Cellular SA, which...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The African Union's new chair Moussa Faki Mahamat on Wednesday questioned US commitment to fighting terrorism on the continent after it blocked efforts to get UN funding for an anti-jihadist force in the Sahel. "This is a specific case of a certain number of African states taking the initiative to create a dedicated force to fight terrorism. So, we don't understand how the United States could hold back or not engage in the fight against terrorism," Faki said in an interview with AFP. Faki's January election as chairperson of the AU commission came days after the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, who has proposed slashing US funding for aid projects and multilateral institutions like the UN. The former Chadian...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The costs of diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa could double to almost $60 billion annually just 13 years from now, as obesity fuels an explosion of the disease, a report said Thursday. In 2015, the overall diabetes cost in the region was nearly $20 billion (18 billion euros), or 1.2 percent of total economic production, according to research published by The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. This included medication and hospital stays, and loss of labour productivity due to illness or death. About half of all treatment costs were paid for by patients themselves.
(Voice of America 07/05/17)
More than 7 million children in West and Central Africa are displaced every year, the United Nations children's agency said in a report released Wednesday. Lack of economic opportunities, wars and climate change are forcing more than 12 million people in West and Central Africa to migrate annually, the report said. "Children in West and Central Africa are moving in greater numbers than ever before, many in search of safety or a better life," UNICEF regional director Marie-Pierre Poirier said. Climate change is already a harsh reality in many parts of Africa, where rising temperatures and increasingly erratic rainfall have disrupted food production, fueled widespread hunger and forced farmers to abandon their land. A half-million people have crossed the Mediterranean...
(Reuters 07/04/17)
Burundian authorities have intensified an ethnically-driven purge of the army this year, risking renewed civil war in the central African nation, a French rights group said on Tuesday. Conflict in Burundi would alarm global powers because the fortunes of the country are so intertwined with its neighbour, Rwanda, where 800,000 people were killed in a 1994 genocide. The report by the Paris-based International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) is the first to shine a light on the impact of violence, which followed President Pierre Nkurunziza's decision to seek a third term in April 2015, on the army. The report said the purge of officers from the Tutsi ethnic group comes as Nkurunziza, a Hutu, consolidates power following violence that has...

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