Friday 18 August 2017
(Xinhuanet 08/03/17)
Trade between China and Africa reached 85.3 billion U.S. dollars in H1, surging 19 percent year on year as the two sides strengthened cooperation in a wide range of areas, official data showed Thursday. The data reversed the negative growth trend since 2015, according to Gao Feng, spokesperson with the Ministry of Commerce. During January-June, Chinese imports from Africa, including minerals, agricultural products and fruits, amounted to 38.4 billion U.S. dollars, jumping 46 percent from the same period last year, while exports gained 3 percent to 47 billion U.S. dollars. Transport equipment has become a bright spot in China's exports to African countries, with that of ships, trains and aerospace equipment up 200 percent, 161 percent and 252 percent respectively,...
(Bloomberg 08/02/17)
Julien Ochala can’t live without his morning cup of Joe. But not just any coffee will do. For the past five years, the 37-year-old physiology lecturer at King’s College London has visited the same store every week to grab a pack of his beloved Kenyan brew. And he’s not put off by the cost: at 37 pounds a kilogram ($22 a pound), it’s more than double a similar supermarket product. "I take Kenyan coffee every morning," said Ochala, who buys his beans from Monmouth Coffee Company in Borough Market. "I love it because of the relatively higher acidity level. It keeps me active in the afternoons." Customers willing to pay a premium for African brews, known for their floral, fruity...
(Voice of America 08/01/17)
The African Union Peace and Security Council has urged Cameroon to ensure the repatriation of Nigerian refugees fleeing Boko Haram is done on a voluntary basis. Hundreds of refugees, most of them children, complain they are thirsty and hungry as they leave Cameroon on their way back to Nigeria. They are escorted by troops from the multinational joint task force fighting the Boko Haram insurgency. Cameroon Red Cross official Joseph Guisso is among the humanitarian staff accompanying the refugees. He said the military escort is necessary because Boko Haram fighters can surprise them at any moment. He said they have confidence in the task force and strongly believe the killings will end soon. The soldiers told VOA Boko Haram has...
(Bloomberg 08/01/17)
British American Tobacco Plc faces a formal probe by the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office following reports that the maker of Dunhill cigarettes bribed African government officials to influence tobacco legislation. BAT said Tuesday it is running its own investigations, via external legal advisers, into allegations of misconduct and is cooperating with the U.K. prosecutor. A BBC report two years ago said BAT had a lobbyist arrange bribes totaling $26,000 for three public officials in Rwanda, Burundi and the Comoros Islands in 2015. The British broadcaster said the bribery was revealed by a former employee, Paul Hopkins. At the time, BAT said “we do not tolerate corruption in our business, no matter where it takes place.” The SFO investigation adds to...
(APA 07/31/17)
APA - Douala (Cameroon) - Funds put at the disposal of municipalities by the Cameroonian government as part of its decentralization policy amount to CFA400 billion, the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Devolution (MINATD) disclosed on Monday. It made the disclosure on the occasion of a forum held as part of the 6th Exhibition of Government Action (SAGO). It said the monies cover the last seven years after the government decided to allocate them to municipalities since 2010, a date that heralded the transfer of powers to decentralized entities. However, according to Emile Andze Andze, the President of Cameroon’s United Towns and Cities (CVUC) such funds are insufficient to stimulate local development. Andze speaking as a spokesperson for the forum...
(AfricaNews 07/29/17)
Cameroonian President Paul Biya has declared Friday and Saturday a national day of mourning in honour of the soldiers who died after a military vessel capsized on July 16, 2017. The vessel was carrying 37 soldiers when it capsized off the coast of the Bakassi peninsula near the border with Nigeria. Only three of the soldiers were rescued by an emergency team that tracked traces of fuel to the vessel, the defense ministry said at the time. It is believed that the boat capsized because it was overloaded, but authorities say the cause is still unknown. President Biya signed the decree on Thursday and ordered that all flags...
(APA 07/28/17)
APA-Yaoundé (Cameroon) - Cameroon president Paul Biya has declared a two-day national mourning starting this Friday throughout the country, in memory of the 34 soldiers of the Rapid Intervention Battalion who died on July 16 when their “Mundemba” boat sank off Debunsha in the South-West. The flags shall be lowered both in the interior of the country and in its diplomatic and consular representations abroad. Meanwhile, Minister of Defense Joseph Beti Assomo is presiding over this Friday a tribute ceremony to the victims in the economic metropolis, Douala and on behalf of the President Biya.
(APA 07/28/17)
APA-Yaoundé (Cameroon) - Cameroon's Finance minister, Alamine Ousmane Mey has suspended five officials of the tax and treasury departments who were named in an extensive network involving “ghost workers” blamed for at least CFA 1.3 billion in losses to the state. Reliable sources told APA on Friday that the suspensions and dismissals from the public service without legal proceedings are a precautionary measure in view of “serious misconduct” or “breach of professional ethics”. The individuals concerned had not only fraudulently increased the wages of state employees, but also forged false documents for the promotion of some 700 civil servants, sources said.
(APA 07/28/17)
APA-Douala (Cameroon) - The Confederation of African Football (CAF) president, Ahmad Ahmad, is expected in Cameroon in mid-August. It will be part of an official visit upon the invitation of the Cameroonian government, APA reported on Friday. According to reliable information, the Malagasy who will be on his first trip to Cameroon since his election at the helm of Africa’s football governing body will hold talks with President Paul Biya. While in Cameroon, the CAF boss will also assess preparations by Cameroon to host the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AfCON). He will also discuss the increase from 16 to 24 teams to participate in the next continental football tournament. According to some observers, Cameroon will be unable to guarantee...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/28/17)
Barclays reported a 1.2 billion pound ($1.57 billion)attributable first half loss on Friday after taking a 2.5 billion pound hit from the sale of its Africa business and calling an end to its restructuring. The British bank said it had made a 1.4 billion pound loss on the sale of 33 percent of Barclays Africa Group, and took a further 1.1 billion pound impairment charge on the sale. Barclays in June cut its stake in Barclays Africa Group to 15 percent, ending more than 90 years as a major presence in the continent as it shifts its focus back to Britain and the United States. The losses from the sale of unwanted assets including the Africa business showed the costs...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/27/17)
DOUALA, Cameroon (Reuters) - One person was killed in Cameroon when a freight train operated by state rail company Camrail derailed, less than one year after another Camrail train crash killed 79, an official said on Thursday. Nine cars left the tracks on Wednesday near the town of Makondo, about 140 km (87 miles) west of the capital Yaounde, said an official at Camrail, who asked to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to speak about the crash. "The train was carrying hydrocarbon products. Five cars completely overturned," he said.
(Voice of America 07/27/17)
Thirty-two people, most of them soldiers with Cameroon’s elite Rapid Intervention Battalion, remain unaccounted for after their ship capsized off the coast of the Bakassi Peninsula over a week ago. Relatives of the missing are demanding answers. Dozens come every evening to comfort the residents of a house in the Yaounde-Nkoabang neighborhood of the capital. It is the home of Alex Alega, one of the 32 soldiers still missing after a Cameroonian military vessel went down off the Atlantic coast July 16. His brother, Theophile, is anxious for news. He says it is unacceptable that, to date, the military has not explained
(AfricaNews 07/27/17)
Plastic waste has become a major problem in Cameroon’s capital, Yaoundé clogging up drains and rivers and causing flooding in the city whenever it rains. Cameroon’s government has been trying to tackle the country’s plastic pollution troubles for years, but with little success. Yaounde’s streets are littered with piles of plastic bags and bottles and residents are worried. Cheaper than other alternatives, plastic bags and bottles are popular in a place where the average income is less than 500 Central African francs (cfa) ($5) a day, and laws aimed at curbing the use and sale of disposable plastics remain ineffective. My foundation which deals with the environment came here to help clear all this waste, and clear the river of...
(Voice of America 07/27/17)
As the world's AIDS experts meet at a conference this week in Paris, health workers in Cameroon still struggle to identify and treat HIV-positive mothers and babies. Myriam Anang lost her husband and three-month-old baby two years ago to HIV. Now, Anang works as a peer educator in a government-initiated program to help others become better informed. She was among the speakers in northern Cameroon at a gathering addressing AIDS and HIV. Anang said that when she tries to persuade sick villagers to go with their babies for HIV screening, they argue that they are not ill, but bewitched by their relatives. She said she knows three men who died of HIV, yet their wives have refused to take their...
(AfricaNews 07/27/17)
At a time when Africa is going through a difficult situation, the blue economy is emerging as a stepping stone to relaunch the continent in the right economic direction. But this type of economy is seriously threatened by “predators” who do not hesitate to plunder resources. The “cancer of illegal fishing” costs Africa about $ 1.6 million annually based on Economic Commission for Africa’s estimates. This and more on this week’s edition segment on Business on the Morning Call with Jean David Mihamle.
(Reuters (Eng) 07/26/17)
Sitting in front of his mud house in Pangar, a forest village in Cameroon’s East region, Mokuine Anatole sharpens his machete in the early morning sunlight, ready for a day’s hunting. But the planned expedition won’t take place on the land around his village, as it used to. Just 2km away, the formerly fresh air smells of gasoline, and the silence of the surrounding forest is broken by the honking and rumbling of cars and bulldozers. The forest along the confluence of the Lom and Pangar rivers is being cleared to prepare the second phase of construction of the Lom Pangar dam, a government hydropower project that will produce 30 megawatts (MW) of electricity upon completion. As a result, Anatole...
(AFP (eng) 07/25/17)
The two big maps show the districts of the northern Cameroonian town of Guider along with its brothels, nightclubs and other seedy spots to identify places from where AIDS could spread among adolescents. Cameroon, a country of 23 million that hugs Africa's Gulf of Guinea, has one of the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rates in the world. "The maps highlight the high-risk zones for transmission," said Boris Mbaho Tchaptchet, 21, speaking at a local youth club. "We located the love hotels, the video clubs, the cabarets, the underground meeting places before putting into place an action and prevention plan in our community," he said. The club in Guider was one of those selected for the "All In! End Aids among Adolescents"...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/25/17)
Roger Milla, who shot to worldwide fame for his World Cup goal celebrations, is now tackling flooding with a scheme to turn plastic blocking Cameroon's drains into building blocks. Milla's Coeur d'Afrique (Heart of Africa) is paying unemployed young people to collect the plastic which blocks drains and exacerbates flooding in Cameroon, with the waste then turned into slabs that can be used instead of concrete. "When it rains, the river floods and the plastic bottles come all the way to our houses. They also cause us to get sick and they also emit a foul smell" Eveline Massock, a resident of Cameroon's largest city, Douala, told Reuters. Cities in Cameroon, including its capital Yaounde, have seen some of the...
(Others 07/25/17)
YAOUNDÉ, Cameroon - Bishops from Cameroon’s English-speaking regions have said a new government commission to look at the rights of the country’s English-speaking minority is not adequate to resolve what has come to be known as “the Anglophone problem.” The National Commission for the Promotion of Bilingualism and Multi-culturalism was set up earlier in the year as part of government measures to resolve the long-standing problem of perceived marginalization of the minority Anglophones (who constitute 20% of the population) by the francophone-dominated administration. But the bishops are saying the commission is simply fruitless.
(Voice of America 07/25/17)
European and African ministers are meeting in Tunisia about efforts to regulate the flow of refugees from Africa to Europe, primarily along the deadly central Mediterranean route originating in Libya. In a declaration Monday in Tunis, the capital, the ministers said they agreed on a multi-pronged approach to the crisis, including informing people about the risks of illegal migration and the possibility of voluntarily returning home, addressing why migrants leave home and beefing up actions against human traffickers. Participating in the meetings were interior ministers from Algeria, Austria, Chad, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Libya, Mali, Malta, Niger, Slovenia, Switzerland, Tunisia and Estonia, which currently holds the EU Council presidency. Through the first half of 2017, nearly 84,000 migrants arrived in...

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