| Africatime
Thursday 27 April 2017
(AFP (eng) 10/28/16)
Burundi on Thursday formally notified the United Nations of its withdrawal from the International Criminal Court, dealing a blow to the tribunal seen as a pillar of international justice. South Africa was the first to take the formal step at the United Nations last week and Gambia has also said it plans to pull out of the Rome treaty that created the ICC. Burundi's Justice Minister Laurentine Kanyana personally delivered the formal letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's office. The withdrawal takes effect one year after the letter is received.
(Cnbc Africa 10/28/16)
The World Bank recently released the Doing Business 2016/17 report. The survey tracks a set of regulatory indicators related to business start-up, operation, trade, payment of taxes and closure, by measuring the time and cost associated with various government requirements. However, the index does not track variables such as macroeconomic policy, currency volatility (an extremely important factor in many emerging market countries) or crime rates, which are also important in investment decisions. According to the most recent rankings, New Zealand has the most accommodative business environment globally, having overtaken Singapore since the previous report. From an African perspective, Mauritius has maintained its title as the most accommodative business environment on the continent followed by Rwanda, Morocco, Botswana and South Africa...
(Voice of America 10/27/16)
Burundi has presented its letter of intent to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC) to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. “I can tell you that that has been done,” Burundian Foreign Minister Alain Nyamitwe told VOA Daybreak Africa. “There is no going back.” African nations have criticized the ICC for focusing almost exclusively on Africa since the treaty creating the tribunal, the Rome Statute, entered into force in 2002. “I believe that there are some other politically motivated reasons which have pushed the ICC to act on African cases.
(AFP (eng) 10/27/16)
Complex diverse political agendas are driving African nations to quit the International Criminal Court, with leaders seeking to cloak the move by reigniting age-old anger at the West, analysts say. Gambia's announcement that it would be the third country to withdraw from the court is all the more frustrating as it comes at a time when the tribunal is beginning to probe some of the world's most intractable conflicts, in places such as the Palestinian territories and Afghanistan, experts say. Set up in 2002, the ICC's mission is to try the world's most heinous crimes which national governments are either unable or unwilling to prosecute. And most of the ICC prosecutions, such as in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,...
(The East African 10/26/16)
Insecurity and an economic downturn in Burundi have led to a disruption of markets and farming, leaving more than 2.3 million people severely food insecure. The country has been in political turmoil since opposition to President Pierre Nkurunziza's third term mid last year led to fighting resulting in deaths and displacement. And now hunger. In August, Burundi's Agriculture Minister Deo Guide Rurema unveiled measures to alleviate food shortages that included an export ban. "We urge all farmers to use government-managed warehouses in each province to prevent people from misusing their harvest. This is necessary to manage the current food shortages as the recent rains were heavier and longer than normal, meaning that the dry season may be longer," Mr Rurema...
(Iwacu 10/26/16)
Paolo LEMBO, the Resident Representative of UNDP and the Coordinator of the United Nations System, has reminded Burundians that there is no doubt their country still needs UN support to achieve sustainable development. "Regardless of opinions people may hold about the work of the UN, Burundi still needs the support of the organisation to move from the current peacebuilding stage to sustainable development", he said in his speech during the inauguration of the new building of the United Nations Development Programme this 24 October 2016. The relationship between Burundi and the UN has worsened over the last months. The UN has accused the Burundian government of responsibility for serious human rights violations that have characterized the current crisis. As a...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/26/16)
African states unhappy with the International Criminal Court(ICC) should work to reform it from within rather than pulling out, Botswanan foreign minister Pelomoni Venson-Moitoi, a candidate to become the next African Union (AU) chief, said. With the AU increasingly divided over the ICC, South Africa announced last week that it planned to quit, but Venson-Moitoi said she believed an African war crimes court could be beefed up to work alongside its Hague-based counterpart. Although South Africa argued that the ICC's Rome Statutes were at odds with its laws granting leaders diplomatic immunity, other African countries see the tribunal purely as an instrument of colonial justice that unfairly targets the continent. "I don't see why we should be pulling out. The...
(AFP (eng) 10/25/16)
The International Criminal Court on Monday urged member states to seek a consensus with critical African nations, while stressing that South Africa and Burundi's announced departures would not take place for at least year. "Today more than ever, there is a huge need for universal justice," said Sidiki Kaba, president of the assembly of state parties to the ICC founding treaty, evoking "the tragedies which are happening in front of our eyes". Kaba, also Senegal's justice minister, said it was necessary "to engage in dialogue with the nations which want to leave the ICC. For that we must listen to their concerns, their recriminations and their criticism". South Africa dealt a heavy blow to the troubled international court on Friday...
(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...

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