| Africatime
Wednesday 22 March 2017
(AFP (eng) 10/11/16)
Burundi on Monday barred three United Nations rights experts who had accused the government in Bujumbura of being responsible for abuses and warned of a danger of genocide from the violence. In a letter sent by Foreign Minister Alain Aime Nyamitwe and seen by AFP, the Burundian government said the three UN investigators were declared persona non grata with immediate effect. Pablo de Greiff from Colombia, Christof Heyns from South Africa and Maya Sahli-Fadel of Algeria had been appointed in December to lead the independent probe.
(AFP (eng) 10/11/16)
Raised on the backstabbing intrigue of 1980s American soaps "Dallas" and "Dynasty", and later, the heady drama of South American telenovelas, Africans are enjoying a surge in local TV content they can finally identify with. It took a while, but in the past decade local programming has soared in sub-Saharan Africa's key economies, a rise driven by both foreign satellite networks and television stations on the continent. This growth has delivered up local shows such as Kenya's comedic "Real Househelps of Kawangware" -- a play on the US "Real Housewives" series -- along with talk shows, political satire and continent-wide reality TV such as "Big Brother Africa" and "Project Fame". And demand is set to grow with the number of...
(AFP (eng) 10/10/16)
Africa will come together to battle piracy and illegal fishing for the first time at an African Union maritime security summit that kicks off in Togo on October 15. The continent urgently needs to fight "extremely high stakes" piracy and illegal fishing in its waters by joining forces over policy and working to raise necessary funds, Togo's Foreign Minister Robert Dussey told AFP ahead of the meeting. - Why is this meeting being held? - "These are very high stakes for Africa. At least 92 percent of imported goods arrive on the continent across the seas and oceans. Of the 54 countries in the African Union, 33 have a coastline," said Dussey. "During the summit, several issues will be tackled...
(AFP (eng) 10/08/16)
World economic leaders gathered in Washington this week to defend globalization, delivering a single message in unison: Protectionism will not save you. But this glosses over the plight of Africa, which is sinking further into poverty despite years of free trade. According to the International Monetary Fund, which held its annual meetings this week with the World Bank, growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is in free-fall this year, with a growth rate of 1.4 percent, down from 3.4 percent in 2015, its lowest in a quarter century. The regional economy will therefore grow more slowly than the population, at the risk of deepening poverty in a region already home to more than half of the 766 million people on earth who...
(AFP (eng) 10/07/16)
Burundi announced plans Friday to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC), a week after the UN began an enquiry into human rights abuses committed since April 2015. "It is perfectly clear that this is a plot to do harm to Burundi," said Gaston Sindimwo, Burundi's vice president, citing European Union "pressure" allegedly exerted on the UN, which opened a rights investigation a week ago. According to a list seen by AFP, the UN investigation is targeting a dozen members of the governing regime, including General Alain-Guillaume Bunyoni, regarded as the second most powerful figure after
(Reuters (Eng) 10/07/16)
Burundi plans to withdraw from the International Criminal Court, a deputy to President Pierre Nkurunziza said on Thursday, six months after the court's prosecutor said it will investigate violence which killed hundreds of people. Burundi slid into political crisis last year when Nkurunziza announced his intention to seek a third term in office, which he went on to win in an election boycotted by opposition parties. The Hague-based International Criminal Court's prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, said in April the court would investigate incidents of violence in Burundi that have killed at least 450 and forced hundreds of thousands
(AFP (eng) 10/07/16)
Investment into Africa may buck the global downward trend and stage a rebound this year despite low prices hitting the oil and gas sector, a UN agency said Thursday. While foreign direct investment, a key driver of trade and economic growth, is set to drop by 10 to 15 percent this year globally, in Africa it may increase by 6 percent to $55 to 60 billion, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Developments (UNCTAD) said in a report. "This bounce-back is already becoming visible in announced greenfield projects in Africa. In the first quarter of 2016, their value was $29 billion, 25 percent higher than the same period in 2015," said the agency. While north African countries such as...
(Xinhuanet 10/06/16)
Zhou Ping had not seen his father for five years when in primary school. Despite the biting solitude, Zhou always displayed his pride for his father -- he was from a glorious "foreign aid family," and his father was building the Tazara Railway in Africa. Standing on the windy East African plateau, Zhou picked up this childhood sentiment. More than 40 years have passed, and 53-year-old Zhou is now a construction worker for another historic railway connecting the African countries of Ethiopia and Djibouti. The Ethiopia-Djibouti railway, which officially opened service on Wednesday, is another Chinese-built trans-national rail in Africa following Tazara, which links Tanzania's Dar es Salaam with Zambia's Kapiri Mposhi. Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang hailed it as...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/05/16)
The head of one of Burundi's opposition parties has been released, days after he was arrested for what police said was collaborating with "armed gangs," a spokesman for an opposition coalition said Tuesday. The central African state has been in a political crisis and sporadic violence for more than a year, sparked by President Pierre Nkurunziza's decision to run for a third term in office, which he secured in a disputed election in July 2015. At least 450 people have been killed in violence that first erupted during protests against Nkurunziza's re-election bid in April last year.
(CNN 10/05/16)
Terrorism, human trafficking, and corruption are creating a more dangerous continent, which in turn is preventing better governance, a new report revealed. The results of the 2016 Ibrahim Index of African Governance, published by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, show that two thirds of Africans live in a country where safety and rule of law has deteriorated over the past decade, greatly impacting overall governance in Africa. 15 countries have declined 'quite substantially,' and almost half the countries on the continent recorded their worst score ever within the last three years. The Ibrahim Index of African Governance, the report provides an annual assessment of governance in Africa and is most comprehensive collection of data on governance in the region. The 2016...
(AFP (eng) 10/04/16)
The global conference that governs wildlife trade voted Monday against strengthening the ban on ivory sales, exposing bitter divisions among African countries and experts over elephant conservation. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) rejected a proposal to include all African elephants in its highest category of protection, which bans trade in species facing extinction. A coalition of 29 African countries -- led by Kenya and Benin -- had pressed for African elephants to be put in the CITES "Appendix I" category. But South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe rejected the proposal, saying they should continue to be excluded from Appendix I as they have stable or growing elephant populations. "This is a tragedy for elephants," said Kelvin Alie,...
(Tanzania Daily News 10/03/16)
The United Nations has promised to assist the East African Community (EAC) in tackling conflicts in South Sudan and political unrest in Burundi in efforts to promote peace within the region. The Director General of the United Nations Office in Nairobi, Ms Sahle-Work Zewde, said that the UN was keen on collaborating with the EAC and other Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in conflict prevention and conflict management. Ms Zewde, who was in Arusha over the weekend, revealed that the United Nations priority was preventive diplomacy in preventing conflicts, adding that it would cooperate with the EAC addressing the conflict in South Sudan, radical extremism in East Africa and supporting Burundi peace
(Reuters (Eng) 10/03/16)
Governance across Africa has improved very little over the past decade as deteriorating safety and rule of law have held back progress made in other areas such as human rights or economic opportunities, a survey said on Monday. The Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) - the most comprehensive survey of its kind on the continent - rates 54 African nations against criteria such as security, human rights, economic stability, just laws, free elections, corruption, infrastructure, poverty, health and education. Mauritius held onto its top spot, followed by Botswana, Cape Verde, the Seychelles and Namibia while South Africa - the continent's most industrialised country - was in sixth place. While overall the index has improved by just one point over...
(The Wall Street Journal 10/01/16)
Startups and global corporations alike plumb Africa for scarce software development skills A shortage of software developers in the U.S. has prompted some companies to seek talent in Africa, home to a young and increasingly-tech savvy workforce. International Business Machines Corp. has engaged young software developers in Lagos, Nigeria, to help build a data analytics business the technology giant is trying to ramp up quickly. The combination of an educated population and the proliferation of mobile technology on the continent makes Africa a good incubator of technology talent, said Leon Katsnelson, chief technology officer and director for IBM’s analytic platform emerging technologies group. IBM is building “Big Data University” to train technology professionals in its analytics tools through online training...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/30/16)
The head of one of Burundi's opposition parties has been arrested and accused of collaborating with armed gangs, police said Thursday. Gervais Niyongabo, chairman of FEDES-SANGIRA, was detained in the southern Makamba region Wednesday, police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye wrote on his Twitter account. Niyongabo had been one of the few opposition leaders still working inside the central African nation. Many others have fled to neighboring states and Europe. Burundi has been mired in political crisis and sporadic violence for more than a year, triggered by President Pierre Nkurunziza's decision
(Reuters (Eng) 09/30/16)
Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is likely to slip to 1.6 percent this year, its lowest level in two decades, due to continuing woes in the continent's largest economies of South Africa and Nigeria, a World Bank report said Thursday. Africa has been one of the world's fastest-growing region's over the past decade, but a commodities slump has hit its oil and mineral exporters hard, bringing growth down to 3 percent in 2015. However, other countries — including Ethiopia, Rwanda and Tanzania — have continued to record GDP growth above 6 percent, according to "Africa's Pulse," the Bank's twice-yearly analysis of economic trends. The report, which was unveiled in Ivory Coast's commercial capital Abidjan, also singled out Ivory Coast and...
(AFP (eng) 09/29/16)
The leader of an opposition party in strife-torn Burundi has been arrested and accused of "endangering state security", Burundian police said Thursday. Gervais Niyongabo, president of the opposition Fedes-Sangira party, was arrested on Wednesday in Makamba in southern Burundi and also accused of "participation in armed gangs", police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye said on Twitter. Niyongabo is one of the last remaining opposition leaders in the country. Most of the others have gone into exile since the government launched a crackdown on opponents after President Pierre Nkurunziza announced plans to run for a controversial third term. Nkurikiye said Niyongabo was being held by the National Intelligence Service, a security force accused by human rights groups of multiple abuses including torture. Burundi...
(AFP (eng) 09/29/16)
In a bustling market in Abidjan, women browse through a bewildering array of intricately patterned wax-print fabrics, each of which has a unique and sometimes quirky name. "Eye of my rival" is one which has an eye-like motif, while another is known as "capable husband". Another bale of this brightly coloured fabric is labelled "jealousy". Each print has a name and comes in different colours, so you could have a "capable husband" in red, green or a white and the same for “Eye of my rival". Others have longer, more conversational names: "If you leave, so will I" or "If you divorce, I won't eat sand". Known as a "pagne", this strip of printed cotton cloth can be worn in...
(The Citizen 09/28/16)
Burundi has donated 183 tonnes of food to victims of the September 10 earthquake in Kagera Region. The aid was handed over to Kagera Regional Commissioner Salum Kijuu by the Burundi minister for East African Community, Ms Leontine Nzeyimana, on Monday. The aid include 100 tonnes of rice, 50 tonnes of maize, 30 tonnes of sugar and three tonnes of tea leaves. Ms Nzeyimana said Burundi has joined Tanzania during this difficult time. "The victims of the earthquake are our brothers and sisters so we are also suffering," she said. The RC commended Burundi for the support. He said the donation would soon be distributed to the survivors. He noted that more assistance was still needed to rebuild the region...
(AFP (eng) 09/28/16)
When farmer Isaac Tondo fell on lean times in Liberia's long rainy season, his brother in the capital sent 8,000 Liberian dollars (US$87) to his Lonestar mobile money account, ensuring his children's school fees would still be paid. Across Africa more and more people -- from urban start-ups to hard-up villagers -- are now spending, saving and planning for the future through banking services offered by mobile phone companies. And experts believe growth and poverty reduction will follow, if certain key risks are managed. Tondo's brother used to entrust cash with contacts passing through their home village in Grand Gedeh county, but the roads are so bad they can no longer access it. "The only means of receiving money from...

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