| Africatime
Wednesday 22 March 2017
(AFP (eng) 10/24/16)
Burundi police said Sunday they had briefly arrested an American freelance journalist along with a local reporter working with her, who was still being held. Police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye said on his Twitter timeline that journalist Julia Steers and Gildas Yihundimpundu were arrested on suspicion of "trying to destroy evidence of crimes by insurgents." Steers, who had official accreditation, was released, but her colleague was still being interrogated and her driver detained. "Many thanks for concerns -- I'm safe but remain extremely concerned for my Burundian colleague Gildas Yihundimpundu and our driver Pascal," Steers tweeted after her release.
(Reuters (Eng) 10/24/16)
Burundi's government has withdrawn permits from a prominent human rights organization and several other non-profit groups, accusing them of stirring up hatred and tarnishing the nation's image, an order issued by the Interior Ministry said. Not-for-profit and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have often been accused of taking sides against the government in a political crisis that has rumbled on since last year over President Pierre Nkurunziza's election for a third term. Among those whose permits were withdrawn was the Association for the Protection of Human Rights and Detained Persons (APRODH), run by prominent activist Pierre Claver Mbonimpa, who survived an assassination attempt by unidentified gunmen last year and then left for Europe where he remains. Mbonimpa and other activists have criticized...
(This Day Live 10/24/16)
The London Stock Exchange (LSE) has provided $26.1 billion for African companies in the last 10 years, the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Oscar Onyema has said. Onyema disclosed this while speaking at the third “London & Lagos Capital Markets in Partnership’ conference held at the LSE at the weekend. According to him, eight Nigerian companies were among those that benefitted from the international capital raising on the LSE, noting that more African companies (112) are listed in London than any other international exchange. The 112 companies, he said, have a combined market capitalisation in excess of $200 billion, the largest concentration of African quoted companies outside of Johannesburg. Out of these companies, eight companies...
(AFP (eng) 10/21/16)
Demand for homegrown contemporary music is sweeping Africa and driving a creative boom in an industry otherwise battered by falling CD sales and rampant piracy. A recent study of the entertainment sector by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) accountants showed rapid earnings growth in many African countries, fuelled largely by live performances by local artists. "Consumers are increasingly wanting local content," Vicki Myburgh, a PwC director who conducted the study released last month, told AFP. "The Nigerian music market... will (soon) grow at nearly 13 percent annually, which is a fantastic rate." This weekend, African talent will be celebrated in Johannesburg at the annual MTV Africa awards set up in 2008 to recognise those "who have made the most impact on African music...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/20/16)
Encouraged by their success in halting a mass influx of refugees by closing Greek borders and cutting a controversial deal with Turkey, EU leaders are getting tough on African migrants too. A Brussels summit on Thursday will endorse pilot projects to pressure African governments via aid budgets to slow an exodus of people north across the Sahara and Mediterranean. It also wants swift results from an EU campaign to deport large numbers who reach Italy. "By the end of the year, we need to see results," one senior EU diplomat said on Wednesday. Arrivals in Italy so far this year are nearly six percent higher than the same period of 2015. Italy received 154,000 migrants last year and this year's...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/19/16)
President Pierre Nkurunziza signed a decree on Tuesday for Burundi to quit the International Criminal Court, after parliament voted overwhelmingly last week to remove the country from the court's jurisdiction. The move is unprecedented in a continent whose leaders often complain that the court disproportionately targets Africans. On Oct. 12, only two lawmakers voted in favour of staying under the jurisdiction of the Dutch-based ICC, while 94 voted against and 14 abstained. In April, the ICC opened a preliminary investigation into Burundi, focusing on killings, imprisonment, torture, rape and other sexual violence, as well as enforced disappearances. Burundi's government was infuriated last month by a U.N. report that named officials accused of
(Bloomberg 10/19/16)
Fifteen years ago, a South African media company invested $34 million in an obscure Chinese Internet developer. Today that stake is worth $88 billion. All Naspers Ltd., now Africa’s most valuable company, has to do is figure out how to make money from its other properties: The whole company is worth only $72 billion, less than its stake in Shenzhen-based Tencent Holdings Ltd. Investors aren’t impressed with Naspers’s operations in pay-TV, newspapers and e-commerce in such countries as South Africa, Russia and India. To win them over, Chief Executive Officer Bob Van Dijk has launched an aggressive push to sell some assets, invest in others and expand operations such as classified advertising into new markets. If it pays off, comparisons...
(AFP (eng) 10/18/16)
President Pierre Nkurunziza on Tuesday signed legislation enabling Burundi to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC). A copy of the law seen by AFP and dated October 18 allows "the Republic of Burundi's withdrawal from the Rome statute", the ICC's founding treaty. The next step will be for the country to officially notify the United Nations, launching a year-long departure process that will make the country the first ever to quit the tribunal. Burundi's lawmakers overwhelmingly voted in favour of the move on October 12, its latest snub of the international community after the release of a damning UN report in September
(Reuters (Eng) 10/18/16)
Burundi's parliamentary vote last week to leave the International Criminal Court poses "a setback in the fight against impunity," the court's governing body said on Tuesday. Burundi's parliament voted overwhelmingly on Oct. 12 to withdraw from Rome Statute, the 1998 treaty establishing the global court, which would make it the first country to quit. [nL8N1CI4LQ] The head of the ICC's governing body, Sidiki Kaba, said he was concerned that would undermine "efforts towards the objective of universality" and called on Burundi to "engage in a dialogue”. The ICC, which opened in July 2002 and has 124 member states, is the first legal body with permanent international jurisdiction to prosecute genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. But several African countries...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/18/16)
Dubai - Emirates airline could reduce the frequency of its flights to African cities or cut routes completely if current economic and financial challenges on the continent continue, President Tim Clark told reporters. Foreign airlines flying to Nigeria have started to refuel abroad because jet fuel supplies there have become more expensive and scarce as the country battles a hard currency shortage. Emirates has started a detour to Accra, Ghana to refuel its daily Abuja-bound flight, a spokesperson said last month; the airline had already cut its twice-daily flights to Lagos and Abuja to just one. “In certain African countries, the currencies have really gone down, so we're reflecting on a number of these to look at where it's just...
(Voice of America 10/17/16)
Telecom workers in Burkina Faso were on strike again this month, leading to phone and internet interruptions. The country has only one internet service provider, Onatel, but the days of the telecom monopoly in Africa may ending. The Burkina Faso telecommunications authority fined Onatel 5 billion CFA francs ($8.5 million U.S.) in response to the strike, which cut internet access across the country for more than a week. Arouna Ouédraogo, an information technology specialist, said people without access to the internet become desperate. He said he businesspeople rushing to his internet cafe with contracts to sign and documents to send, but he couldn't help them. "People outside this country just cannot imagine that there is no internet" for such an...
(AFP (eng) 10/15/16)
Stemming the astronomical losses caused by crime in the oceans surrounding Africa is the focus of a major continental summit on Saturday in the Togolese capital, Lome. "Over recent decades, the accumulated revenue losses resulting directly from illegal activities in the African maritime sector add up to hundreds of billions of US dollars, without counting the loss of human lives," the African Union (AU) said in an online statement about its Protect Our Oceans meeting. Up to 30 African heads of state and government are expected to attend the gathering, whose full title is the AU Extraordinary Summit on Maritime Security and Safety and Development in Africa. The long-term aim, according to the AU, is to "make maritime space the...
(AFP (eng) 10/14/16)
Rights organisations Friday condemned a vote by Burundian lawmakers to withdraw from the International Criminal Court, warning the government was trying to hide abuses from the eyes of the world. If Burundi quits the tribunal it would be "a significant escalation of the regime's policy to isolate itself," said Dimitris Christopoulos, president of the FIDH, which represents human rights groups around the world. "This attempt to deprive the international community of its eyes and ears in Burundi in order to continue to commit serious crimes with impunity and without the world knowing, requires a strong and immediate response from the African Union and the United Nations," he added. Burundian lawmakers on Wednesday overwhelmingly voted to withdraw from the tribunal in...
(AFP (eng) 10/14/16)
The winner of the 2016 Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism, Burundi's Eloge Willy Kaneza, said Thursday the prize offers hope "that my country can be healed." Accepting the award at a Washington ceremony, Kaneza said the recognition encourages journalists in the violence-torn African nation to continue their efforts in delivering news and debunking rumors. "This gives courage not only to me, but to my friends, my colleagues, my collective of journalists," Kaneza told the audience at the National Press Club. "We gain courage and the force to continue doing our work accurately and professionally and to continue giving balanced information."
(Reuters (Eng) 10/14/16)
About 70 sub-Saharan African migrants forced their way over a barbed wire barrier into Spain’s North African enclave of Melilla Thursday. They ran to a local immigration center where they were met by dozens of migrants cheering “victory, victory” although their legal status in Spain has yet to be determined. Migrants wait weeks and sometimes months at the short-stay immigrant center in the hope of being transferred to a refugee reception center in mainland Spain, said Government Delegation of Melilla spokesperson Irene Flores. Spain has two enclaves in Morocco, Ceuta and Melilla, and both are hot spots for African migrants making their way to Europe either by climbing over the barriers, going around them or swimming along the coastline. After...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/13/16)
Burundi's parliament voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to withdraw from the International Criminal Court, a move no other country has taken despite complaints from Africa that the court disproportionately targets the continent. Only two lawmakers voted in favor of staying under the jurisdiction of the Dutch-based ICC, while 94 voted against and 14 abstained. Pro-government lawmaker Gabriel Ntisezerana said the court was "a political tool used by powers to remove whoever they want from power on the African continent". The bill to remove Burundi from the court's jurisdiction still must be approved by the upper house of the legislature and then be signed by the president. That would trigger a withdrawal process lasting a year. The ICC declined to comment on...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/13/16)
When German Chancellor Angela Merkel toured three African nations this week for talks on curbing migration to Europe, the leader of the world's poorest country, Niger, suggested it would take a "Marshall Plan" of massive aid to stop people coming. Merkel politely declined the request, expressing concern about how well the aid would be spent and noting that, at a summit in Malta last year, the European Union had already earmarked 1.8 billion euros for a trust fund to train and resettle migrants. But Niger's President Mahatma Issoufou also proposed something perhaps more significant, in the long run, than a development package - bringing Niger's population growth down from 3.9 percent, the highest in the world. Though he gave no...
(AFP (eng) 10/12/16)
Burundi's lower house of parliament on Wednesday overwhelmingly voted to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC), which is carrying out a preliminary probe into atrocities committed during an 18-month political crisis. "The ICC is a tool being used to try and change power" in Burundi, charged Aloys Ntakirutimana, a lawmaker with the ruling CNDD-FDD, during a three hour debate in the National Assembly. While a few lawmakers argued against the draft law, it was eventually passed with 94 votes in favour, two against and 14 abstentions.
(AFP (eng) 10/12/16)
Burundi's move to leave the International Criminal Court (ICC) has turned the spotlight on months of political turmoil and violence that raised fears of "genocide" in a nation with a history of ethnic conflict. Here are some keys to understanding 18 months of crisis in the central African nation: - How did Burundi's crisis begin? - In April 2015, President Pierre Nkurunziza, in office since 2005, announced his plan to run for a controversial third term, triggering protests which authorities banned before unleashing a bloody crackdown that left an estimated 80 people dead. In May, a botched military coup prompted further reprisals against anyone seen as opposing the government. Despite the protests, Nkurunziza was re-elected in July in polls boycotted...
(Graphic Online 10/12/16)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has emphasised that Africa will be a priority when her country takes over the G20's revolving presidency at the end of 2016. Speaking in Ethiopia yesterday on the final stage of a three-nation African tour, which also included visits to Mali and Niger, Mrs Merkel pledged development as well as military aid on her trip. She said it was important to stem migration at its source. Germany took in more than one million irregular migrants last year - many from war-ravaged Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, but also many fleeing economic hardship across Africa. Migration is expected to be a key issue in next year's federal elections, though Mrs Merkel has not yet declared whether she will...

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