Tuesday 12 December 2017
(Bloomberg 01/11/14)
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may seek to secure natural gas supplies from Mozambique during a three-nation African tour this week, the first visit to the continent by a Japanese leader in almost eight years. Japan, the world’s biggest importer of liquefied natural gas, has been seeking new energy sources after the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The world’s third-largest economy has been without nuclear power, which accounts for about a quarter of its energy needs, since September as all of the country’s 50 reactors have been shut pending safety reviews. “Since the Fukushima accident, Japan’s imports of natural gas for electricity generation have risen enormously, including from Africa,” Katsumi Hirano, head researcher at the Institute of Developing Economies, an affiliate of...
(RFI(EN) 01/11/14)
France's higher education system is going online with an extra eight million euros being invested in Massive Open Online Courses (Moocs). France's Minister for Higher Education, Geneviève Fioraso announced the new funding on Tuesday in addition to 12 million euros already planned to develop these online courses. The first eight French Moocs start Thursday, via the French platform called France Université Numérique (Fun). Some 88,000 people had already signed up for the 25 courses that are due to start this year. These are taught by professors at some of France's top universities, from the HEC business management school, to Sciences Po, France's Institute for political science. Fioraso said that France is lagging behind the US and the UK in developing...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/11/14)
Counting people displaced by conflict or natural disaster is a difficult and sometimes contentious process. The greatest number of those displaced usually falls into the category of internally displaced persons (IDPs) - citizens who are forced to flee to other parts of their home nation. In Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Sudan and Somalia have the continent's largest internally displaced populations which are among the largest in the world. The U.N. Refugee Agency expects 2013 would have been "one of the worst periods for forced displacement in decades", although full figures will not be released until later this year. Mass displacements caused by recent violence in South Sudan and Central African Republic (CAR) suggest this trend may...
(Voice of America 01/11/14)
Scientists and food experts have high hopes in achieving global food security as the Cinsultatvie Group on Internnational Agricultural Research (CGIAR) recently announced a billion-dollar funding milestone. The world’s largest agriculture research partnership says funding for research and development went from $500 million dollars in 2008 to $1 billion dollars in 2013. CGIAR partners around the world conduct research to reduce poverty in rural areas to overcome complex challenges in areas such as climate change, water scarcity, land degradation and chronic malnutrition. The new funding allows the consortium to expand their focus on their 16 global research programs in developing policies and technologies. The increased funding has also allows the partnership to commit to providing 12 million African households with...
(Daily Maverick 01/11/14)
Only a few years ago Africa was labelled the hapless continent, a result of an era of colonial exploitation that was followed by decades of kleptocratic rule, civil wars and worse in many nations. Then, surprisingly, the popular narrative switched - it became a story of Africa rising. This catch phrase was everyone's lips - and even on the covers of such usually-sober journals as The Economist. But, has the pendulum begun to swing away from an irrational exuberance for the continent's future? J. BROOKS SPECTOR attended an African business futures conference, organised by the Frontier Advisory organisation, to attempt to glean some clarity on the question. To hear co-CEO of Standard Bank Sim Tshabalala tell it in his typically...
(CNN 01/10/14)
(CNN) -- Yaya Toure's African reign will stretch into a third year after the Manchester City midfielder was named the continent's best footballer once again. The Ivory Coast star was crowned Footballer of the Year by the Confederation of African Football at a ceremony in Lagos, Nigeria on Thursday. Toure pipped compatriot Didier Drogba, who plays for Turkish outfit Galatasaray, and Chelsea's Nigerian midfielder John Obi Mikel to the crown. The 30-year-old becomes only the second player to win three successive titles, emulating Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o, who now plays for Chelsea. Voted for by African national team coaches and technical directors, Toure needs only one more title to join Eto'o in an elite band of players who have won...
(BBC News Africa 01/10/14)
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to pledge more than $14bn (£8.5bn) in aid and trade deals during his week-long visit to Africa. He is also hoping to secure energy resources and increase exports. Mr Abe's first stop is Oman, before he visits three fast-growing economies - Ethiopia, Ivory Coast and Mozambique. BBC Africa Business Report's Lerato Mbele says the visit is seen as a step by Japan to compete with China, in the new scramble for African resources. In Ethiopia, he is to announce plans for a geo-thermal plant, which reinforces the country's growing renewable energy profile. Mozambique recently made huge gas and coal discoveries and Japan is one of many investors scouting deals there. Although Ivory Coast...
(Leadership 01/10/14)
In less than 24 hours, African football stars will kick off the CHAN tournament, which is meant for footballers plying their trade in the African continent. Africa has always produced some of the finest footballers of different generations, such as Roger Milla, Abedi Pele, Jay Jay Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu, Didier Drogba, Samuel Eto'o, Fredrick Kanoute, Michael Essien, Mikel Obi, Yaya Toure, Vincent Enyeama and the list goes on. These players have graced the European football with African flair, power and strength and have achieved success, fame and fortune. Belowis a list of players from the African continent, which includeone Congolese, one Togolese, one Cameroonian, two Nigerians, two Ghanaians, two Malians, and three Ivoirians, who have been on top of their...
(BBC News Africa 01/10/14)
China and Japan are criticising each other's policies in Africa as each country pledges more money for the continent. Japan has suggested China is buying off African leaders with lavish gifts. Meanwhile China accuses Japan of courting African support for a place on the United National Security Council. Japan's leader Shinzo Abe is touring three nations in Africa, the first trip there by a Japanese prime minister for eight years. Mr Abe is expected to pledge more than $14bn in aid and trade deals during his trip to Ethiopia, Ivory Coast and Mozambique. China has hailed Africa a "golden ground" for foreign investment and has pledged to double its aid to the continent to $20bn a year. Continue reading the...
(Voice of America 01/09/14)
DAKAR — Central African heads of state are meeting in Chad to discuss the crisis in the Central African Republic. The country slid into anarchy after rebels toppled the president last March. The CAR government is denying reports that regional leaders will call for interim president, Michel Djotodia, to step down at Thursday's summit. The communal violence that erupted one month ago in the Central African Republic capital, Bangui, has killed more than 1,000 people nationwide and prompted the rapid deployment of French and regional troops. Central African heads of state who have been trying to mediate this crisis since the start of the Seleka rebellion in December 2012 are meeting in N'djamena to assess the situation. Some news agencies...
(Addis Standard 01/09/14)
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is to visit three African countries: Ethiopia, Mozambique and Ivory Coast, as well as the Gulf state of Oman for a week starting from tomorrow, Japanese ministry of foreign affairs said. PM Abe is expected to hold bilateral talks with the leaders of the countries. In addition to that PM Abe is scheduled to give a policy speech on Japan's Africa diplomacy in Ethiopia. In Oman PM Abe is scheduled to hold talks with Sultan Qaboos bin Said and sign an investment pact between the two countries. PM Abe's visit follows the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V) held in June 2013 discussed issues, among others, trade and investment and peace and...
(Xinhua 01/09/14)
Johannesburg — When the corpses of migrants are discovered in the desert, floating at sea, or in airless container trucks, the official response often includes calls to take action against the smugglers. Following the deaths of over 300 migrants who drowned trying to cross the Mediterranean in October 2013, for example, Italy's integration minister, Cecile Kyenge, declared, "Behind these tragedies ... there are human traffickers who are enriching themselves on the backs of people who are fleeing war and hunger," and urged increased patrols to target people smugglers. Statements like Kyenge's reflect the widely held perception that "human trafficker" and "people smuggler" can be used interchangeably to describe shadowy criminal networks preying on desperate and naïve people. The small number...
( 01/08/14)
Johannesburg — When the corpses of migrants are discovered in the desert, floating at sea, or in airless container trucks, the official response often includes calls to take action against the smugglers. Following the deaths of over 300 migrants who drowned trying to cross the Mediterranean in October 2013, for example, Italy's integration minister, Cecile Kyenge, declared, "Behind these tragedies ... there are human traffickers who are enriching themselves on the backs of people who are fleeing war and hunger," and urged increased patrols to target people smugglers. Statements like Kyenge's reflect the widely held perception that "human trafficker" and "people smuggler" can be used interchangeably to describe shadowy criminal networks preying on desperate and naïve people. The small number...
(Voice of America 01/07/14)
YAOUNDE — Refugees from the troubled Central African Republic have released two United Nations workers in Cameroon - taken hostage to protest a lack of needed aid. The refugees involved appear to be rebels - highlighting the growing crisis for the C.A.R.’s neighbors. The UNHCR workers - identified as Mamady Fata Kourouma and his colleague Adama were taken hostage on January 4 in Bertoua - the provincial capital of Cameroon’s Eastern Region. Eastern Region Governor Ivaha Diboua Samuel Dieudonne said they were released Monday after negotiations. The UN workers were targeted due to frustration by C.A.R. refugees who accused them of not doing enough to provide for basic needs. Ivaha Diboua explained that many of the refugees are fleeing rebels...
(CNN 01/06/14)
(CNN) -- Thousands of African migrants cram into Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, Israel, calling for a labor strike. Their chants fill the air, summing up their message: "We need asylum." Activists estimate more than 50,000 migrants work illegally in low-paying jobs in Israel. Many are fleeing persecution from war-torn areas like Sudan and Eritrea. The threat to their lives pushes them to undertake the dangerous journey via smugglers' routes to Israel. A vast majority cross the Sinai Peninsula, known for being a hotbed of kidnapping and organ harvesting. Once across the border in Israel, they try to claim asylum. "All of us are fleeing genocide, fleeing dictatorship regimes. Looking for protection," says the African Refugee Development Center's Mutasim Ali,...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/06/14)
TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Thousands of African migrants, many holding banners demanding freedom for compatriots jailed by Israel, protested on Sunday in a Tel Aviv square against a new open-ended detention law which allows migrants to be sent to a desert prison. The protests prompted a rare and strongly worded statement from the U.N. refugee agency, saying that Israel's incarceration of migrants, including family breadwinners, caused "hardship and suffering" and was "not in line with" a 1951 world treaty on the treatment of refugees. Human rights groups say more than 300 people have been arrested since the law, which allows authorities to detain migrants without valid visas indefinitely, was passed by Israel's parliament three weeks ago. Dozens more have been...
(AFP (eng) 01/06/14)
TEL AVIV, January 6, 2014 (AFP) - Thousands of African asylum seekers demonstrated outside Western embassies in Tel Aviv on Monday in a second day of mass protests against Israel's immigration policies. The migrants, primarily from Eritrea and Sudan, marched from downtown Tel Aviv to the embassies, calling for help in the face of Israel's refusal to give them refugee status and its detention without trial of hundreds of asylum seekers. A police spokesman said the march by some 10,000 migrants was coordinated with police and there were no disturbances. Under legislation passed on December 10, authorities can detain illegal immigrants entering Israel for up to a year without trial. A sprawling detention facility has been opened in the Negev...
(The Guardian 01/06/14)
Weak leadership and rivalry between states have hampered African efforts to bring security to the conflict-hit continent. The retired French general Vincent Desportes told the BBC World Service last week that France should back political change in Mali and remain in the country as long as necessary. In the Central African Republic (CAR), the current deployment of 1,600 French troops is insufficient: at least 5,000 are needed, Desportes said. No one batted an eyelid. Yet a decade ago, such statements would have been denounced as outrageous imperialist ambition to re-colonise Africa. So what has changed? From Mali to Somalia, the continent has been convulsed by an arc of conflict. Consider the most recent wars, in CAR and South Sudan. Médecins...
(RFI 01/04/14)
Oil theft in the Niger Delta, 'segregation ' in Islam and a plan to outlaw big handbags in Kenya are all topics in today's African papers. Nigeria's ThisDay reports sharp fall in oil theft in the Niger Delta from 100,000 barrels per day to 40,000 barrels per day. The disclosure was made according to the paper by Delta state governor Emmanuel Uduaghan after an audience with President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja. ThisDay quotes the governor as saying that more than 300 pipelines shut down after being damaged by thieves have been repaired and reopened while sophisticated security measures have been installed to track down on bunkering. Vanguard makes an interesting contribution to the raging debate about "segregation" in Islam sparked...
(The Star 01/04/14)
Africa has 10 per cent of the world's known reserves of oil, 40 per cent of its gold, and 80 to 90 per cent of the chromium and the platinum metal group, to list only a few. But a number of commentators still refer to this wealth of natural resources and minerals as "Africa's curse." They associate the many wars, poverty and untold suffering of ordinary Africans to this abundance. It is true that the abundance of natural resources has been the catalyst for wars and conflict. But should an abundance of natural resources lead to Africa's decline? The answer must surely be a resounding no. Recent literature on the 'Resource Curse and Dutch Disease ' suggest that the real...

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