| Africatime
Monday 24 April 2017
(The Globe and Mail 12/23/16)
The Square Kilometre Array will be the world’s most powerful radio telescope, opening new frontiers in our understanding of the universe. But the builders have to contend with an unforgiving climate and other formidable challenges first, In the desolate rocky plains of the Great Karoo, the dangers are endless. Scorpions and puff adders are underfoot. The harsh sun beats down, interrupted only by occasional lightning storms. Temperatures range from stifling heat to freezing cold. But at night, in the vast empty darkness, the stars are impossibly bright and clear. And it is the stars that have lured a Canadian-backed project to build the world’s most powerful radio telescope, with the potential to unlock the deepest secrets of the universe. For...
(Bloomberg 12/22/16)
Burundi will sue the African Union over months of unpaid wages for its peacekeeping soldiers serving under the continental organization in Somalia, President Pierre Nkurunziza said. The troops helping to restore peace and security in the Horn of Africa nation haven’t received allowances for 10 months after the European Union, which finances the AU mission, froze their pay as part of sanctions against Burundi to persuade the government to resolve a political crisis sparked by Nkurunziza’s decision to run for another term. “All that belongs to Burundi cannot, under any circumstances, be diverted,” Nkurunziza said in remarks broadcast by state television.
(AFP (eng) 12/22/16)
Selma saunters on her stilt-like legs, batting thick lashes as she extends a blackish tongue -- as long as an arm -- to grab pellets offered by an awed tourist. The giraffe is after all, eating for two. Her pregnancy is good news for one of the rarest giraffe species, protected at the Giraffe Centre in the Kenyan capital, but experts warn the outlook for the rest of the world's tallest land mammals is far gloomier. While it is hoped the shocking news that the gentle giants of the African savannah are facing extinction will spur action, conservationists largely have their hands tied as many giraffe live in Africa's most conflict-torn regions. Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan...
(The Citizen 12/21/16)
Tanzania is among some African countries which may see a drop in development aid as the US is likely to expand fiscal stance and cut spending during Donald Trump's presidency, a new report shows. The move by the world's largest economy will affect dependent countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and DRC according to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) latest report released in London yesterday. In its Economic Insight: Africa Q4 2016, the accountancy and finance body points out that signs of an expansionary fiscal stance under the Trump administration coupled with spending cuts to accommodate increased infrastructure expenditure are likely to lead to the decrease in aid. "Aid is one of the main...
(Agence Ecofin 12/20/16)
The Burundi government has studied the bill to ratify a €70 million (about $95 million) loan agreement signed with the European Investment Bank (EIB). Signed in 2014, the agreement will help finance the development of the Jiji and Murembwe hydropower projects. Situated in the Southern part of Burundi, on the Eponymous Rivers, the two plants will add an additional 50 MW to the country’s electric capacity. The World Bank has provided $100 million for the implementation of the projects which cost $270 million. The European Union granted the nation $36.6 million for the project, while the African Development Bank did $22 million. Burundi will itself inject $18.8 million. Developing these infrastructures will help more than double the national electric capacity,...
(AFP (eng) 12/20/16)
When Rose Kariuki first felt a lump on her left breast, the spectre of cancer -- a disease she had only heard of on television -- was the last thing on her mind. "To me, cancer was nowhere near us. It was shocking, I feared death, I feared so many things," the 46-year-old Kenyan school teacher told AFP. Rose is one of a growing number of Africans suffering from cancer, one of the lifestyle diseases -- along with diabetes and heart problems -- proving increasing deadly on the continent. A World Health Organisation (WHO) survey released Tuesday showed that most Africans had at least one risk factor for developing one of these diseases, such as smoking, a lack of exercise,...
(AFP (eng) 12/16/16)
Burundi's foreign minister on Thursday summoned envoys for the EU and several European nations to rap them over the knuckles for skipping a diplomatic meeting he had invited them to, government sources said. Ambassadors for the EU, France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands had been ordered to attend a meeting on Tuesday to be briefed on the "positive development of the situation in Burundi and the resumption of co-operation," a high-ranking Burundian official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity. Burundi, in the grip of a 20-month crisis since President Pierre Nkurunziza announced he was seeking a third term in office, has been slapped with sanctions by the EU, its biggest aid donor, for failing to halt violence in the...
(AFP (eng) 12/16/16)
The number of migrants feared to have died this year has soared to nearly 7,200 -- a more than 20-percent increase over 2015 -- with most of the fatalities in the Mediterranean, IOM said Friday. In total, 7,189 migrants and refugees have died or remain missing on migratory routs around the world, the International Organization for Migration said. That number is already 1,449 more than in all of 2015. And since it represents an average of 20 deaths per day, another 200 to 300 people could perish by the end of the year if the trend continues, the Geneva-based IOM warned in a statement. The Mediterranean Sea routes, used so far this year by nearly 360,000 people seeking a new...
(CNN 12/15/16)
In the sleepy, sun-blasted town of De Aar in central South Africa, a mighty force is stirring. The largest solar plant in Africa, Middle East and the Southern hemisphere was inaugurated here earlier this year, a 175-megawatt facility that spreads over almost 500 hectares. The facility is the brainchild of Solar Capital, led by hotel magnate turned solar evangelist Paschal Phelan, which ploughed $400 million into the venture. The plant supplies power to the National Grid, but when the heat is fiercest it produces far more than the Grid can use, and the excess power goes to waste. "It's like you have a Ferrari and you run a small car," says Massimiliano Salaorno, plant manager of Solar Capital De Aar...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/14/16)
Burundi opposition groups demanded an international mediator resign just days after he arrived, casting a shadow over already troubled efforts to resolve months of political violence. Mediator Benjamin Mkapa flew in on Friday at the head of an African peace mission, then gave a speech at the airport that anti-government groups said appeared to recognise the legitimacy of Burundi's leader - the issue at the heart of the conflict. The main opposition grouping CNARED released a letter dated Monday telling Mkapa, a former president of Tanzania, to go. "The CNARED does not recognize you as facilitator in inter-Burundian conflicts any more," it said. Mkapa, who is representing the East Africa Community bloc, was not immediately available for comment. Burundi has...
(AFP (eng) 12/14/16)
Family planning helps people in Africa to be healthier and wealthier, as women without contraceptives become locked in "a cycle of poverty," Melinda Gates told AFP as a conference on the topic was held in Ivory Coast. "When a woman has access to contraceptives she can lift herself out of poverty, and if she doesn't have access to contraceptives, it locks her inside a cycle of poverty for the rest of her life," said the wife of Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Bill Gates, whose foundation is very active in the field. Family planning has "huge health benefits for the woman and for her children, and it has economic benefits," Gates told AFP by telephone from the Ivorian economic capital Abidjan...
(AFP (eng) 12/13/16)
In a church in Rwanda, sobs ring out and candles flicker as refugees from neighbouring Burundi mark a year since one of the deadliest episodes of violence in their crisis-wracked country. Darcy, 32, is one of about 200 Burundians who gathered to commemorate those killed when an attack on military installations by gunmen opposed to President Pierre Nkurunziza lead to a violent crackdown by security forces against those seen as "enemies" of the state. "They entered homes, killing anything that moved inside. They raped the women they found inside, even though they were state police, soldiers who should have protected the population," said Darcy, who fled Burundi two weeks after the violence of December 11 and 12 last year. In...
(AFP (eng) 12/13/16)
The cocktails keep flowing by the pool on the tourist strip, but in The Gambia's markets many African migrant traders are packing up their businesses and heading home. The international community is piling pressure on President Yahya Jammeh to leave power after 22 years and hand over to opposition leader Adama Barrow, who won an election two weeks ago only for Jammeh to later reverse his original concession of defeat. Of the economy's two main sources of investment from abroad, tourism appears to be weathering the country's political storm far better than the thousands of petty traders who move to The Gambia from the rest of west Africa. President-elect Barrow told AFP on Monday claims that tourist numbers could be...
(AFP (eng) 12/09/16)
The latest effort to end Burundi's dragging political crisis ran into trouble Friday as the opposition accused the mediator of siding with government by accepting it as "legitimate". Former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa has failed to get peace talks off the ground since he was appointed in March to mediate the crisis, which erupted when President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to run for a third term in office in April 2015. The last attempt at talks collapsed in July when government pulled out. Mkapa arrived back in Burundi on Wednesday in a bid to convince Nkurunziza to negotiate with the opposition, which the president considers a "terrorist organisation". At a press conference on Friday, Mkapa urged the opposition to look ahead...
(Le Monde 12/09/16)
Dozens of politicians, diplomats, military and intelligence chiefs, members of the opposition and leading business figures were wiretapped across the continent. This rare overview of modern satellite espionage could hardly be less technical and abstract, for it not only names the victims of intercepts but also reveals the scale of a surveillance operation spanning an entire continent. That continent is Africa. New documents shown to Le Monde, in collaboration with The Intercept, from the data cache of the former NSA (National Security Agency) operative Edward Snowden, originally given to Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, offer unprecedented insight into information on twenty African countries collected by GCHQ, the British intelligence service, between 2009 and 2010. Dozens of lists of intercepts examined...
(Xinhuanet 12/07/16)
The facilitator in the inter-Burundian talks Benjamin Mkapa is expected in Burundi on Wednesday to seek ways of settling the east African country's 2015 crisis, a statement from the country's foreign ministry said Tuesday evening. "Former Tanzanian President, also facilitator in the inter-Burundian dialogue, Benjamin Mkapa, is expected in Burundi on Wednesday. During his three-day visit, the facilitator will have an opportunity to meet the secretary general of the Burundian ruling party (CNDD-FDD), registered political parties, the civil society, religious groups, women and youth groups," said the Burundian foreign ministry statement. According to the statement, Mkapa was invited by Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza.
(Reuters (Eng) 12/07/16)
An internal United Nations inquiry has identified 25 peacekeepers from Burundi and 16 from Gabon accused of sexual abuse and exploitation in the Central African Republic in 2014 and 2015, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Monday. "Responsibility for further investigations lies with Burundi and Gabon," said Dujarric, adding that the United Nations had asked those states to interview the identified troops, who all left Central African Republic before the allegations surfaced. by Michelle Nichols
(Reuters (Eng) 12/07/16)
As the darkness falls on the plains around Bunambiyu, a remote village in Tanzania's northern Shinyanga region, Elizabeth Julius switches on her solar lantern to finish sewing clothes for her customers. Not long ago, nightfall would have forced her to close her tailoring shop, or use a smoky kerosene lamp. But with the solar-powered lamp, Julius can now sew for as long as she wants. "Solar energy has entirely changed my life. I use it at work and at home, yet it doesn't cost me anything," said the 29-year-old entrepreneur and mother of two. "I often wake up at night to work because I need the money to support my family," she said. Julius and her husband, Zablon, used to...
(APA 12/06/16)
The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) says Africa can yield benefits from commodity-based industrialization and agro-alliance with new policy approaches, according to a statement issued here Tuesday. The ECA has on many editions of its annual Economic Report made a push for the developmental state and a return to planning, arguing that the strong role of the state is key to fostering Africa’s structural transformation. The acting ECA Executive Secretary Abdalla Hamdok spoke on the need for new policy approaches to incentivize agricultural production in activities and sectors with higher returns. In his remarks at the opening of the African Economic Conference on the theme, Feeding Africa: Towards Agro-Allied Industrialization for Inclusive Growth, Hamdok said: “Our desire for structural transformation...
(AfricaNews 12/05/16)
Cameroon’s Indomitable Lionesses failed to use home advantage and revenge in the final of the Women African Cup of Nations (AWCON 2016) losing by a goal to Nigeria’s Super Falcons. The Super Falcons thus successfully defended the title they won in 2014 by defeating Cameroon in Namibia. The hosts entered the final aiming to win their first title and avenge two previous defeats by Nigeria. But a late goal by Oparanozie Desire dashed hopes and sent disappointment through the teeming home fans. Desire slotted in from close range after a beautiful lob from team mate Ngozi Okobi hit a Cameroonian defender and fell on her path with six minutes to the end of the game. The remaining duration and three...

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