Tuesday 24 October 2017
(Xinhuanet 04/21/17)
Over ten armed bandits operating on the border between Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo) have been arrested, the Burundian police spokesman said Friday. Burundian Police Spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye said the armed bandits, who stole belongings in Burundi and crossed the border to the DR Congo, were arrested at various border points. According to him, those bandits are responsible for theft cases and abductions of people who help them carry stolen things. Nkurikiye added that some were arrested while others surrendered to the police. "With the collaboration of Congolese security forces, we will dismantle all those armed bandits operation on the border between the two countries. We seized their arms and those bandits are held in...
(Bloomberg 04/20/17)
WorldRemit Ltd., a British money-transfer operator, sees revenue from transactions involving Africans doubling by 2020 as more people on the continent access mobile-payment platforms and expatriates send cash home. The seven-year-old company, in which Facebook Inc.-backer Accel Partners LP invested $40 million in 2014, will this year open a regional office in South Africa, its largest market on the continent in terms of money-transfer value, founder and Chief Executive Officer Ismail Ahmed said in an interview. Another site will start operating in Kenya, where the London-based business sees Africa’s highest number of individual transactions. “In the next two years we should be doubling our volume every year,” Ahmed said in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. The continent accounted for half the company’s...
(Voice of America 04/19/17)
The U.N. high commissioner for human rights says he is alarmed by a growing, widespread campaign of terror in Burundi being waged by government-backed militia against opponents of President Pierre Nkurunziza’s party. The U.N. human rights office says a chilling video circulating on social media has laid bare the horrifying and alarming nature of the campaign of terror. Rupert Colville, spokesman for High Commissioner Zeid Ra-ad al-Hussein, says the video shows more than 100 members of the Imbonerakure, the government’s youth wing, inciting violence.
(Xinhuanet 04/19/17)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, will convene Wedesday the first UN-AU Annual Conference. The two leaders will look into how to strengthen the partnership between the two organizations to face common challenges and opportunities in the continent, on issues of peace and security, sustainable development and human rights, said Stephane Dujarric, UN spokesman, at a daily briefing. "They will also sign the Joint United Nations-African Union Framework for an Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security," said Dujarric. It will be the first conference Mahamat will address with the United Nation since he was elected as chairperson of the African Union Commission. Although he had brief talks with Guterres in Addis...
(AFP (eng) 04/18/17)
The UN rights chief on Tuesday condemned the feared youth wing of Burundi's ruling party for repeatedly calling for the rape and murder of opposition supporters. Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said the calls for violence -- which often took the form of songs or chants -- by members of the Imbonerakure youth wing of the CNND-FDD party amounted to a "campaign of terror." "The grotesque rape chants by the young men of the Imbonerakure across several provinces in various parts of Burundi are deeply alarming -- particularly because they confirm what we have been hearing from those who have fled Burundi about a campaign of fear and terror by this organised militia," Zeid said in a statement. The youth wing,...
(Xinhuanet 04/18/17)
Burundi reiterated on Monday the government's call for the repatriation of Burundian refugees who fled the country's 2015 crisis. "The campaign of sensitizing Burundian citizens living in refugee camps in neighboring countries has continued during the past three months and results are satisfactory," said Home Affairs and Civic Education Minister Pascal Barandagiye while presenting the three-month activity report. "We are convincing them to return home and come to build their nation," said the minister. According to him, many among those refugees were just "scared or fled rumors."
(AFP (eng) 04/18/17)
The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday forecast 2.6 percent growth in sub-Saharan Africa this year, aided by a modest recovery in large economies South Africa, Nigeria and Angola. "Growth is projected to rise to 2.6 percent in 2017 and 3.5 percent in 2018, largely driven by specific factors in the largest economies, which faced challenging macroeconomic conditions in 2016," the IMF said its latest World Economic Outlook report. A slump in commodity price in 2016 and devastating drought had affected growth in several countries in the region, resulting in 1.4 percent growth of gross domestic product (GDP). Nigeria, the continent's most populous nation and a leading oil producer, was expected to return to growth in 2017 after a challenging 2016...
(Voice of America 04/17/17)
The Italian coast guard says it has rescued nearly 6,000 migrants on the Mediterranean since Friday, underscoring the continued flow of people along this dangerous route. A group of Africans living in Europe visited Cameroon this week to launch a campaign against illegal migration. The group is called “No More Death in the Desert or on the Sea.” Its mission is simple: to educate youth in Africa about the harsh realities of illegal migration. "We want to tell them that all the information people give them before they start their journey are wrong," said Nantcha. The group’s leader Sylvie Nantcha was born in Cameroon. She has lived in the German town of Freiburg for 25 years. She arrived as a...
(AFP (eng) 04/13/17)
Africa's Matabele ants, fierce predators of termites, rescue their wounded soldiers and bring them back to the nest where they are "treated," a new study showed Wednesday. This helping behavior for the injured is the first to be detected in the insect world, according to an article in the US journal Science Advances by a German research team at the University of Wuerzburg's Biocentre. The ants, formally known as Megaponera analis, are widespread south of the Sahara on the continent. Two to four times a day, they set out in long files on raids to kill worker termites at their foraging sites. But the attacks meet strong resistance from soldier termites guarding the worker termites, which have powerful jaws that...
(AFP (eng) 04/11/17)
El Nino, the cyclical climatic phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean, is linked to shifts in cholera cases in Africa, providing an early warning that could save lives, scientists said Monday. During the years when El Nino is warming the eastern Pacific, East Africa has about 50,000 additional cholera cases a year, new research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests. By contrast, the years when El Nino is not active, there were 30,000 fewer cholera cases in East Africa, according to the study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers analyzed more than 17,000 annual observations from 3,710 different locations between 2000 and 2014 in Africa, which has the most...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/07/17)
Access to off-grid solar energy in rural areas of Africa goes beyond lighting up homes - it also enables people to connect to the wider world and boosts their economic prospects, said the head of one of the continent's biggest solar companies. Azuri Technologies' entry level solar system - for which customers pay a one-off installation fee, then use scratch cards or mobile phone payments to top up on a weekly or monthly basis - provides eight hours of lighting each day. Having power at home for the first time encourages customers to also buy mobile phones, radios and televisions, giving them regular access to the media and the internet, said Simon Bransfield-Garth, chief executive officer of UK-based Azuri. "This...
(AFP (eng) 04/05/17)
Burundi's ruling party sought Wednesday to distance itself from a viral video showing members of its feared youth wing threatening to impregnate opposition women. Hundreds of the youths known as Imbonerakure -- "those who see from afar" in the local Kirundi language -- are shown in military-like formation singing "impregnate the opposition so that they give birth to Imbonerakure". The ruling CNND-FDD initially said the video which began circulating three days ago had been faked by the opposition, but was on Wednesday forced to admit its authenticity after it sparked outrage on social media networks.
(AFP (eng) 04/05/17)
Across Burundi, citizens complain they are being extorted by authorities to pay "contributions" to finance monuments glorifying the ruling party or development projects. Members of the opposition, civil society and ordinary citizens contacted by AFP have denounced a system of forced dues in the country which has been mired in crisis for two years since President Pierre Nkurunziza ran for a disputed third term in office. Many of the contributions go towards building offices for Nkurunziza's ruling CNDD-FDD, or a string of new monuments inscribed with slogans glorifying the party such as: "We made sacrifices to lead this country, we won't give it up." In the northwestern province of Cibitoke, several residents told AFP they have been forced to pay...
(Voice of America 04/05/17)
A Red Cross report says African countries are failing their internally displaced people. Reversing that trend was the subject of a high level meeting of the International Red Cross and the African Union that wrapped up Tuesday in Zimbabwe. Africa has about 13 million internally displaced people, a third of the global number of IDPs, and more than double the amount of refugees on the continent. By definition, refugees flee across a national border, while IDPs leave their homes but stay within their own country. African Union Commission head of humanitarian affairs, refugees and displaced people Olabisi Dare says the situation of IDPs in Africa is very critical, dire and worsening. "...The issues that are generating internal displacement [are] multiplying...
(Financial Times 04/04/17)
Countries should develop policies to attract labour-intensive production leaving China. China’s initial wave of investments in Africa focused on natural resource extraction. Their demand for metals and energy was so large that it actually boosted global commodity prices overall, which in turn accelerated growth across the African continent. These times of China propping up global commodity prices are now over, as it has built up excess capacity in many sectors and now faces slow investment growth. This lower demand has contributed to the overall slump in global commodity prices since 2014, making it unlikely that China will again fulfil the role of driving commodity prices. Rather, its position has now shifted to becoming the largest exporter of capital. This provides...
(The East African 04/03/17)
Nairobi — The 2017 Mo Ibrahim Foundation annual Governance Weekend will be held in Marrakech - Morocco from April 7-9. A press release from the Foundation identifies the Palmeraie Resort as the venue for this year's meeting. The three-day event brings together prominent African and Africa-focused leaders, civil society representatives, multilateral and regional institutions and Africa's international partners to identify policy challenges and possible solutions. Violent extremism The conversation is normally extended to a wider audience through music, art and sport at major public events, showcasing some of Africa's brightest talent. The Foundation has released a report that sets the stage for high-level discussions in Morocco. The priority areas for the Marrakech talks, according to the report, include violent extremism...
(Tanzania Daily News 03/30/17)
Over 7,000 households in Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi are set to benefit from 80 megawatts of electricity from the Rusumo Falls hydro-electric project along Kagera River whose ground-breaking ceremony is set for today. Tanzania’s Minister for Energy and Minerals, Prof Sospeter Muhongo and his Rwanda and Burundian counterparts are expected to grace the ground-breaking event scheduled at the Tanzania-Rwanda border. Each partner state will have a share of 26.6MW to be connected to their national power grids. The project is as well meant to strengthen the regional power interconnections between the three countries, which are also member states of the East African Community (EAC). Apart from the 7,000
(Xinhuanet 03/30/17)
The African Union (AU) is extremely appalled by the attacks against African students in Noida and other cities in India. The pan-African bloc has deplored the violence unleashed during the riot that started on Monday targeting Africans of various nationalities, particularly Nigerians, which resulted in loss of innocent lives and serious injuries, the AU said in a statement. The attacks have also resulted in the displacement of many Africans from their normal places of residence, thereby putting their lives in serious danger, it said. AU has expressed heartfelt condolence to the families of the deceased; and it wished speedy recovery to all those who have sustained injuries. AU has called on the Indian authorities to provide all necessary support to...
(Voice of America 03/28/17)
The World Health Organization and U.N. children's fund are spearheading a massive immunization campaign across Africa to rid the continent of the last vestiges of polio. Tens of thousands of health workers will fan out across 13 central and western African countries to vaccinate more than 116 million children under age five against the crippling disease. The U.N. agencies report more than 190,000 volunteers, traveling on foot or bicycle, will go house to house across all cities, towns, and villages in 13 countries to vaccinate every child under age five against polio. The synchronized vaccination campaign, one of the largest ever conducted in Africa, will run from March 25-28. Director of Polio Eradication at the World Health Organization Michel Zaffran...
(Xinhuanet 03/27/17)
There is need for China and its African allies to kick start a new dialogue aimed at revitalizing wildlife and ecological conservation in the world's second largest continent, a conservationist has told Xinhua in an interview. Kaddu Sebunya, president of African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), told Xinhua that Beijing is an indispensable partner in efforts to protect Africa's iconic wildlife species that are grappling with human and climatic induced threats to their survival. "China is playing a big role in Africa's economic development and would like to see it direct more support towards protection of wildlife and vital ecosystems in the continent," Sebunya said. Sebunya noted that China's growing economic and diplomat clout place it at a vantage position to help...

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