Wednesday 23 August 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 07/18/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Denied an education by the Islamist insurgency of militant group Boko Haram, tens of thousands of children across the Lake Chad region are instead tuning into lessons broadcast over the radio, the United Nations children's agency (UNICEF) said on Tuesday. The radio syllabus is providing lessons on literacy and numeracy, and staying safe amid the violence, to about 200,000 displaced and out-of-school children in the Far North region of Cameroon and Niger's southern Diffa region, according to UNICEF. "The level of boredom among children in camps for the displaced is tremendous," said UNICEF spokesman Patrick Rose. "With this radio education program, children will receive lessons in a structured way, that keeps them in a rhythm...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/18/17)
Three years after he risked his life crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Libya to Italy on a small boat crammed with migrants, 22-year-old Sow Muhammed can hardly believe his luck. The former street hawker from Guinea now works as a caterer in Venice, rents his own apartment, and sends money back home regularly to his mother and siblings in the West African nation. "I am happy I came to Europe, and my family is also happy," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation as he packed up leftovers at a training event for people who work with refugees, where he had served a menu which included traditional African dishes. "I talk to my family frequently, ask them their needs, and help...
(AFP (eng) 07/17/17)
Thirty-four Cameroonian soldiers from the elite Rapid Intervention Brigade were missing Monday, a day after an army vessel capsized off the country's southeastern coast. The ship was carrying 37 people, including crew, and was on its way to the city of Bakassi for refuelling when it sank on Sunday morning, Defence Minister Joseph Beti Assomo said in a statement. "Thirty-four personnel are missing till now," he said. "Three soldiers were rescued but the boat seems to have sunk right down." He said the circumstances of the accident were not yet clear but the waters were very choppy when it happened.
(AFP (eng) 07/17/17)
A Cameroon army vessel transporting "dozens" of troops from the elite Rapid Intervention Brigade capsized on Sunday off the country's southwestern coast, a security source told AFP. The boat "capsized on Sunday between the city of Limbe and Bakassi. There were dozens of troops on board, including a colonel," the source told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity. The Rapid Intervention Brigade is in the front line of Cameroon's fight against Boko Haram jihadists in the far north. "The army has begun searches," the source said, while another source close to the Cameroon army said at least one body had been recovered.
(Reuters (Eng) 07/17/17)
More than 30 people are missing after a boat belonging to an elite Cameroonian military unit sank off the coast on Sunday, the president's office said. The logistics boat belonging to the Rapid Intervention Brigade, which has fought Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram in recent years, was carrying 37 people when it capsized early Sunday morning, the presidency said in a statement. Three soldiers were rescued but 34 passengers are still unaccounted for, the statement said. The accident, at the northern end of the coast near the village of Debunsha, is believed to have been caused by rough waters but investigations are underway to learn more, it added. Cameroon has deployed thousands of soldiers to its Far North region to...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/17/17)
YAOUNDE - The chic evening clutch-bags, dainty sandals and leather smartphone accessories on display in a showroom in an upscale district of Cameroon’s capital, Yaoundé, would not look out of place at the smartest dinner parties. But their creators come from an entirely different world - forced from their homes to escape suicide bombings, theft and killings by Islamist militant group Boko Haram. Their craft work is supported by a new social enterprise - IDP Goods – set up by a group of young Cameroonians to help internally displaced people (IDPs) from the country’s most remote and populous but least developed region, the Far North. The aim is to enable them to start their own businesses, create employment opportunities -...
(Xinhuanet 07/17/17)
Africa is making progress towards the establishment of a trade zone by Oct. 30 that will cover approximately half of the continent's member states. The Common Market for the Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Director of Trade and Customs, Francis Mangeni, said in a commentary published in the Star Newspaper on Monday that so far 19 of the 26 countries involved have signed the agreement. "Three outstanding annexes had meant the tripartite agreement was not complete and this was advanced by some countries as the reason they could not sign or ratify the agreement. However their adoption represented a milestone in the negotiation, as it removed the last obstacle to signing and ratifying the agreement," Mangeni said. The tripartite free...
(AFP (eng) 07/13/17)
Two bombers blew themselves up in northeastern Cameroon killing 15 people and injuring 45 others in an attack likely staged by Boko Haram jihadists, security sources and an aid group said Thursday. The bombings, which took place on Wednesday night in Waza near the Nigerian border, targeted a busy area in the market town, the sources said, adding that some of the injured were in serious condition. "At present we have a provisional toll of 17 dead (including the suicide bombers) and 45 wounded," Doctors without Borders (MSF) in Cameroon told AFP when contacted by phone from Yaounde.
(AFP (eng) 07/13/17)
Cameroon striker Benjamin Moukandjo has joined Fabio Capello's struggling Chinese Super League outfit Jiangsu Suning after two seasons at Lorient, the French club said on Thursday. The 28-year-old who captained Cameroon to the African Cup of Nations title in 2017 has signed a two-years deal with the club coached by former AC Milan, Real Madrid and England boss Capello since June. Moukandjo scored 26 goals in 61 games for Lorient over two seasons, but was tempted away after the club were relegated to the second tier at the end of the 2016-17 campaign. Jiangsu, who signed Brazilian duo Ramires and Alex Teixeira last year, are second from bottom in the Chinese top flight with just 10 points from 16 matches.
(Reuters (Eng) 07/13/17)
Two suicide bombers killed at least 12 people and wounded over 40 others in a small town in northern Cameroon near the Nigerian border late on Wednesday, a senior army source and a local official told Reuters. "There were 14 deaths, including the two suicide bombers, and 42 wounded," said an army colonel responsible for evacuating the wounded who asked to remain anonymous. "The attack was perpetrated by one suicide bomber, and the other was shot dead." The attack was carried out by two women who walked into a busy area in the center of Waza, five miles (8 km) from the Nigerian border, said Midjiyawa Bakari, the governor for the Far North region where the attack took place. He...
(AFP (eng) 07/12/17)
There were "signs of violence" on the body of a Roman Catholic bishop found in a river in central Cameroon in June, church officials have claimed, insisting he was murdered. The claims, outlined in a statement by the bishops of Cameroon which was sent to AFP late on Tuesday, contradict the findings of a post mortem report. "The bishops maintain the stance they took on June 13, 2017, according to which Monsignor Jean Marie Benoit Bala was murdered," it said of their initial statement in which they claimed he had been "brutally" killed. "The bishops' moral certainty rests on the fact, among others, that the body they saw and recognised on the banks of the Sanaga and at the morgue...
(Voice of America 07/12/17)
Three years ago, at the peak of the Boko Haram insurgency, Nigerian soldiers stopped all fishing activities in the country's section of Lake Chad. Militants had infiltrated the ranks of the fishermen, the army said, and were using the guise to fund arms purchases and launch surprise attacks on innocent people. The local fishermen's union said it understood the army's actions but pushed for an easing of the ban, because its members had no other way to earn a living in the largely dry and remote area. Relief came to the local fishermen over the weekend, when the Nigerian Army commander in charge of the area, Major General Ibrahimn Attahiru, addressed the fishermen and said they could return to work...
(Cnbc Africa 07/12/17)
"Africa is an awakening giant," according to the former South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk speaking at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul. The leader who oversaw the transition of his country's power to Nelson Mandela said Tuesday that the future looks bright for a continent previously blighted by war, famine and a lack of infrastructure. "I believe Africa is an awakening giant and, yes, it is not performing according to what we expected soon enough, but it will perform," he said. De Klerk believes that African countries are primed to take advantage of the world's growing size. "If we look at food shortages for the rest of the world with a growing population, Africa is the solution," he...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/11/17)
BATOURI, Cameroon (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - After giving birth at the age of 13, whenever Amina Mba wanted to attend prayers in her local mosque, sheer terror would stop her from crossing the threshold. “I would go and hide behind the mosque in order to pray,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation, as she lay under a flowery cover in a ward of the Catholic Hospital Complex of Batouri in eastern Cameroon. The reason, she explained, was that no one could tolerate the terrible smell and leakages of urine and faeces caused by obstetric fistula, an agonizing childbirth injury which Amina, now aged 20, developed when she had her baby in her early teens. But not going to the mosque...
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
In the past five years, terrorist attacks have killed nearly 20,000 people across Africa. Two groups, Boko Haram and al-Shabab, accounted for 71 percent of reported incidents and 91 percent of fatalities. But, while these and other militant groups remain active, fatal terrorist attacks across the continent are on pace to fall for a second straight year, and the total number of attacks is running far below 2012 highs. These findings are part of VOA’s original analysis of data from ACLED, the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. ACLED tracks political violence, protests and terrorist events across Africa. Their reports include attacks since 1997 based on data collected from local news media, government statements, non-governmental organizations and published research...
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Many cell phone companies are rethinking their headlong rush into the continent. Only Orange is staying the course. Back when African countries were auctioning off mobile licenses by the boatload to serve the region’s young, tech-savvy population, investing in the continent’s fast-growing economies seemed like a no-brainer. Some of the world’s biggest wireless carriers rushed in. Now they’re wondering if they made a mistake. Increasing government and regulatory scrutiny, as well as a lack of expansion opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa, are making it harder for operators such as Vodafone Group Plc, Orange SA and Bharti Airtel Ltd. to grow. Their choice: Pull back or double down. Two companies beating at least a partial retreat are Millicom International Cellular SA, which...
(La Croix 07/07/17)
The conclusions of the Interpol doctors shed new, contradictory light, on the death of Bishop Jean-Marie-Benoît Bala, who disappeared on the night of May 30 - 31. Did Bishop Jean-Marie-Benoît Bala of Bafia, Cameroon die by his own hand - or was he murdered? This question was revived on July 4 when the Attorney General released a statement at Cameroon’s Central Appeal Court asserting that “drowning is the most probable cause of death of the bishop". According to the Cameroon court, the conclusion was drawn by a team of forensic pathologists commissioned by Interpol who examined the body at the end of June. Two German doctors arrived in Cameroon on June 29 to conduct an autopsy of the body, Michael...
(Business in Cameroon 07/07/17)
(Business in Cameroon) - Cameroon, through the national electricity company, Electricity Development Corporation (EDC), officially took over management of the Lom Pangar dam. This took place during a ceremony on 30 June 2017, on the site of this infrastructure constructed in the East region of the country, we learn from authorised sources. The handover of this structure had been preceded, according to our sources, by a field visit, in May 2017, by an inter-ministerial team who raised 11 reservations regarding the operation and management of the dam. A month later, all the reservations were lifted, following readjustments made by the Chinese constructor CWE. Lom Pangar dam is the biggest energy infrastructure ever constructed in Cameroon. With a reservoir capacity of...
(AfricaNews 07/07/17)
Abdoulaye Amina lives in Timangolo, a Cameroonian village located about 35 kilometers from the border with Central African Republic (CAR). She is a refugee from CAR and is one of over 270,000 others who fled unrest, violence and civil war since the early 2000s. The UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) launched Cash Based Transfer (CBT) in Cameroon last year to target beneficiaries, including refugees from the Central African Republic (CAR). The CBT programmes provide beneficiaries with the opportunity of choice to select the food they need, while also boosting the local market economy which profits the wider community. “I’m happy because I can now eat what I like and not what they give me. With the money in my telephone,...
(Business in Cameroon 07/07/17)
(Business in Cameroon) - Agro-industrial member companies of the Association of Cameroonian oilseed refiners of Cameroon (Association des Raffineurs des Oléagineux du Cameroun - ASROC), have imported 2,000 tons of crude palm oil from Gabon, between May and June 2017, we learn from internal sources of this professional grouping. According to our sources within ASROC, the sale price of this Gabonese raw material is much cheaper than that of Malaysian imports, which generally allow Cameroon to bridge the structural deficit in production estimated at 100,000 tons for years now, but which has officially attained 130,000 tons in the last two years. This price advantage, explained by the proximity between Cameroon and Gabon (the region of South Cameroon borders Wolou Ntem...

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