Saturday 24 June 2017
(IRIN 05/16/17)
Bamenda — It's a Monday evening in Bamenda, the main city in troubled English-speaking Cameroon. The gates of the Vatican Express bus depot are shut, just like five other coach companies in town. Any other day and there would be at least five long-distance buses ready to leave for the rest of the majority French-speaking country. But once a week there's a near-complete shutdown of businesses and public services. Mondays are now "ghost town" days throughout Cameroon's two anglophone regions: Northwest and Southwest. The boycott action has been called by a civil society coalition protesting English speakers' "oppression, marginalisation, and deprivation". They are demanding the return to a pre-1972 federal constitution, when the entire western part of the country was...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/16/17)
With its sunset-like colors, Charnelle Lumière's painting would seem warm and happy, were it not for the limp body of a young girl hanging from a tree, suspended by a rope around her neck. "This was me," the 27-year-old says in a voice barely louder than a whisper, staring at the painting, oblivious to the rumble of traffic outside the window in Cameroon's capital Yaounde. Having been raped at the age of six by a 23-year-old friend of her brother, Lumière recalls how she kept crying, blood trickling down her legs, as her mother recoiled in shock. Seven years later, Lumière finally mustered up the courage
(Bloomberg 05/16/17)
When the impoverished West African nation of Niger imposed a ban on donkey exports last year, a small community of traders just over the border in Nigeria was devastated. “Before the ban, you could see thousands of donkeys here,” said Mohammed Sani, a 45-year-old trader in the Nigerian town of Jibiya, as he wiped the sweat off his brow. “Now look at them: there’s no more than 50, crippling the business.” Donkeys are being slaughtered at an alarming pace to feed a global trade in donkey hides that’s fueled by soaring demand in China, where the skins are used to manufacture a gelatin believed to have anti-ageing and libido-enhancing properties. The gelatin, known in China as e’jiao, is so popular...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/13/17)
Tackling climate change in Africa could help resolve multiple problems ravaging the continent, from drought to refugees and violence, the head of the African Union said on Friday. The mix of global warming with economic woes and political conflicts keeps peace from taking hold, said Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Union's new chairman, at Chatham House, an international think tank. "There is a link between climate change and prosperity, as well as peace, on the continent," Mahamat said in French with an interpreter. "Africa is among the least polluting continents, and yet it is the continent that suffers most," he said. Mahamat, the former foreign minister of Chad, was chosen to chair the 55-member, Addis Ababa-based organization in January. In Africa's...
(Bloomberg 05/12/17)
Cameroon is fast becoming a battleground for international cement makers drawn by an abundance of major infrastructure projects and the end of a monopoly long held by LafargeHolcim Ltd. Dangote Cement Plc, Africa’s largest producer of the building material, and Morocco’s Douja Promotion Groupe Addoha SA have both announced an expansion of production capacity in the central African country this year, challenging Cimenteries du Cameroun, a unit of the world’s biggest cement maker, LafargeHolcim. Demand for cement is estimated to grow 8 percent a year by 2020 from 3 percent now, according to Trade Minister Luc-Magloire Mbarga Atangana. “Not only is the essential building material now sufficiently available even in the remotest
(AFP (eng) 05/12/17)
Cameroon football head coach Richard Towa was taken to a Baku hospital after fainting on Thursday during the match against Morocco in the Islamic Solidarity Games, said team doctor Tamo Moktamo. The Indomitable Lions coach was seen celebrating Frantz Pangop Tchidjui's 31st-minute goal before fainting and "being taken into the stadium's infirmary where he had to be reanimated and was then taken to the hospital in Baku", explained Dr Moktamo. "He was admitted around 6:00 PM local time and was treated at the cardiology department. He's stabilised now and is doing fairly well," he added. The fainting was "most likely" due to a "hypertensive crisis" which caused an violent headache as well as brain disruptions. "It's difficult to say, at...
(Fox News 05/10/17)
After five years of no major attacks on merchant vessels, piracy around the Horn of Africa seemed to be on hiatus. Acts of piracy in those treacherous waters have fallen sharply since 2012, according to statistics released by the United States Navy. The Navy credits aggressive patrolling by international forces and increased vigilance by the commercial shipping industry for the decrease. However, in the past month, Somali pirates have intercepted five ships, raising concerns that piracy has returned to the Indian Ocean, beginning with the kidnapping of a Sri Lankan crew from the Aris 13 oil tanker on March 13th (they were later released without a ransom). Nobody thinks the problem will end until a stable government is restored in...
(AFP (eng) 05/09/17)
Some of Cameroon's brightest prospects at the Islamic Solidarity Games say they are determined to do the country proud by getting their hands on as many medals as possible in Baku. "I want to give the best possible account of myself and try to win the maximum number of medals," pledged Joëlle Sandrine Mbumi, who will be competing in the long jump and triple jump competitions. The 30-year-old is quietly confident about Cameroon's chances. "We've had a very good preparation for these Islamic Solidarity Games," she said. Mbumi secured silver medals in both of her disciplines at the 2016 African Championships, and also represented Cameroon in the triple jump at the 2016 Olympic Games. Her personal bests of 14.16 metres...
(Bloomberg 05/09/17)
Cameroon’s plans to more than double the nation’s production of cocoa beans by 2020 will not be achieved as falling prices are dissuading farmers from planting new crops, according to the state’s support company for growers. Producers in the world’s fifth-biggest cocoa producer have seen farmgate prices slump by more than a third in the past year as London future contracts declined on forecasts of an oversupply. Cameroon, which produced 269,495 metric tons in the year through July, is in the third year of a strategy to increase annual output to more than 600,000 tons by 2020. “The falling prices are seriously discouraging farmers,” Jerome Mvondo, director-general of the Cameroon Cocoa Development Corporation
(APA 05/08/17)
Cameroon and the United Nations (UN) launched Monday a fund-raising campaign seeking 434 million dollars aimed at meeting the humanitarian needs of refugees settled in northern and eastern regions, APA learned from a government source. This amount is part of the 600 million dollars which the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) (2018-2020) for Cameroon is seeking, as the Central African country is facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis on its border with Nigeria, due to the exactions of the Islamist sect Boko Haram in the far north and north of the country, which forced many people to flee. According to the UN, the reduction of extreme poverty, the strengthening of the link between humanitarian aid and development, with the priority...
(AFP (eng) 05/08/17)
Hosts Azerbaijan held Cameroon to a 0-0 draw on the opening day of the football tournament as the 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games got underway in Baku. The result leaves defending champions Morocco, Cameroon's next opponents, at the top of the group table after they defeated Saudi Arabia 1-0 in an earlier match. The Indomitable Lions, who received a phone call from legend Roger Milla to show his support, fielded a strong team with brothers Frank Bagnack (Real Zaragoza) and Michel Vaillant (FK Mladost) manning the squad at both ends of the pitch. While defender Frank, who rose through the ranks of the reputed Barcelona academy, was the most recognized name, it was his younger brother who grabbed the spotlight. The...
(AFP (eng) 05/06/17)
Sports Minister Bidoung Mkpatt has called on Cameroon's athletes to come away with as many medals as possible at the Islamic Solidarity Games which take place in Baku from May 12-22. Mkpatt made the comments at a farewell ceremony for the team in Yaounde. The west African country is sending 62 athletes to the Azerbaijan capital and they will compete in six sports -- athletics, football, weightlifting, handball, wrestling and judo. Four years ago, Cameroon took part in the third edition of the Islamic Solidarity Games in Palembang, Indonesia in 2013, but could only come away with one bronze medal
(Voice of America 05/05/17)
As Africa grapples with a severe drought, and famine threatens millions of people, experts at the World Economic Forum on Africa this week in the South African city of Durban say food security needs to be a major part of discussions on advancing the continent economically. The annual World Economic Forum in Switzerland is usually a high-powered event, but at this week’s Africa meeting of the international organization, the continent’s big players are welcoming the humble farmer, now known as the “agripreneur.” Agricultural economist Paul Makube, with South Africa’s First National Bank, told VOA it makes sense to talk about farming when discussing building competitive markets, and boosting innovation and technology. “For business to prosper, you need a situation where...
(Xinhuanet 05/04/17)
The World Economic Forum (WEF) Africa Competitiveness Report 2017 released in Durban Thursday called for urgent policy reforms if the continent intends to create more jobs for its growing young population. According to the report issued at the 27th WEF on Africa, fewer than one-quarter of the 450 million new jobs required in the next 20 years will be created if current policies remain unchanged. The report called for structural reforms in the economies to create more jobs for the youth entering the market. African countries have to prioritize improving infrastructure, skills and adoption of new technology and quality of institutions. To improve competitiveness in the short term Africa needs to increase housing construction through investment, better urban planning and...
(Voice of America 05/03/17)
African military expenditures have finally slowed down after more than a decade of steady increases, according to a new report on global defense spending. The main reason, the report found, is a drop in oil prices. “The sharp decreases in oil prices has affected quite a number of African countries, namely South Sudan and Angola. This has kind of driven almost the entire regional trend,” said Nan Tian, a researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) Arms and Military Expenditure Program, the organization that authored the report. The SIPRI report found military spending in Africa in 2016 was down by 1.3 percent from the previous year and totaled about $37.9 billion. Despite the drop, Africa’s military spending remains...
(Bloomberg 05/02/17)
Saudi Aramco is seeking to boost its fuel-trading volume by more than a third as the world’s biggest crude exporter expands its capacity to refine oil to grab a bigger share of growing markets in Asia and Africa. Aramco, as Saudi Arabian Oil Co. is known, is building refineries in the kingdom and in Asia to help it increase sales and purchases of gasoline, diesel and other products to more than 2 million barrels a day, said Ibrahim Al-Buainain, chief executive officer of Saudi Aramco’s trading unit, Saudi Aramco Products Trading Co. Owning refineries gives the unit, known as Aramco Trading Co., options for buying and selling fuel that some of its competitors don’t have. “The key is that you...
(Voice of America 04/28/17)
A low-cost and widely available drug could save the lives of 1 in 3 mothers who would otherwise bleed to death after childbirth, according to a new study. Severe bleeding, known as postpartum hemorrhage, or PPH, is the leading cause of maternal death worldwide, killing more than 100,000 women every year. Even for mothers who survive, it is a painful and traumatic experience. The world's poorest countries, especially in Africa and India, are the worst hit. Drug from 1960s But there is new hope. In the 1960s, Japanese researchers developed a drug called tranexamic acid, which works by stopping blood clots from breaking down. But they could not persuade doctors to try the drug for treating PPH. The London School...
(Business Day Ghana 04/27/17)
There are currently 960 million mobile subscriptions across Africa – an 80 percent penetration rate among the continent’s population. Internet penetration is at 18 percent with 216 million internet users, according to the latest Jumia mobile trend report for Africa. The 2017 edition of the African Mobile Trends Paper is the third white paper presentation from Jumia delving into mobile trends across Africa and specifically Nigeria. The study takes a look at the how the market has democratised mobile internet use, the consumer behaviours driving increased smartphone adoption and the role of mobile brands, mobile operators and m-commerce in creating a synergy of an enhanced customer experience. This year’s Mobile Africa Study was carried out in 15 African countries which...
(Xinhuanet 04/26/17)
The Belt and Road (B&R) Initiative is a golden opportunity to bring about regional integration and sustainable economic growth for Africa, said Berhane Gebre-Christos, special envoy of the Ethiopian Prime Minister, on Tuesday. The special envoy made the remarks at the opening of a seminar organized on the B&R Initiative in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. Welcoming the initiative, the special envoy said he is looking forward to the expected effects of the initiative. "The B&R is a project that will affect millions of people, and it will be one of the most important issues of the 21st century," he said, adding that the comprehensive approach of China means that the aspirations and development strategies of all countries involved will be...
(AFP (eng) 04/25/17)
A Cameroon military tribunal on Monday jailed a Radio France International correspondent to 10 years in prison for what it said was his "failure to denounce acts of terrorism." Amnesty International quickly condemned Ahmed Abba's sentence -- he was further convicted of "laundering the proceeds of terrorist acts," and was fined a sum equivalent to around 85,000 euros. The journalist faces an additional five years' jail if he fails to pay. His defence team said they would appeal. Abba had denied all the charges. The prosecution had demanded a life sentence for the reporter, who works for RFI's Hausa language service, and there were initial fears he might even face a death sentence. Authorities believe Abba, who says he was...

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