Wednesday 24 May 2017
(Xinhuanet 03/09/17)
A critical mass of trained and well equipped community health workforce is key to easing the rising burden of infectious and noncommunicable diseases in Africa, experts said on Wednesday at a continental forum taking place in Nairobi. The experts, policymakers and campaigners who attended Africa Health Agenda International Conference agreed that optimal engagement of community health workers is key to revolutionize response to diseases ravaging the continent. Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Health Cleopa Mailu in his opening remarks said that investments in training for community health workers will have multiplier impact on Africa's socioeconomic development. "We require highly skilled and motivated cadre of community health workforce to deal with a high diseases burden in disadvantaged settings in this continent. These...
(AFP (eng) 03/08/17)
Lawyers and human rights campaigners launched an initiative for African whistleblowers in Senegal on Tuesday, aimed at providing a secure means of exposing wrongdoing on the continent. African nations such as Somalia, South Sudan, Libya and Guinea-Bissau regularly appear at the very bottom of rankings such as Transparency International's Corruption Index, while none make it into the top 30. The Platform for the Protection of Whistleblowers in Africa (PPLAAF) will provide guidance from legal experts, secure submission of information and a hotline for potential informants, according to its founders. The initiative is the brainchild of Spanish superstar lawyer Baltasar Garzon -- who has defended Julian Assange of whistleblowing website WikiLeaks -- along with French lawyer William Bourdon, who worked on...
(The Independent 03/06/17)
Th term was coined by sceptical officials, worried about the importance given to Commonwealth trade deals ahead of Brexit negotiations. Plans by government ministers to boost trade links with African Commonwealth countries are being internally branded “empire 2.0” by sceptical officials who are worried about the importance being placed on such deals ahead of the UK’s negotiations of leaving the European Union (EU). International Trade Secretary Liam Fox is expected to promise to build better links with the whole of the 52 member countries of the Commonwealth when ministers from each country meet in London later this week. But as the UK is prepares itself to leave the European Union, The Times reports that British ministers are planning to talk...
(Voice of America 03/04/17)
On a Friday night in September 2014, Boko Haram fighters attacked the village of Guza in northeastern Nigeria, killing and kidnapping young boys as they burned homes and looted. Ismael, now 15, survived that night of terror and hid in his house for 40 days, afraid that if he ventured outside for even a moment, terrorists would abduct him — the fate that has befallen many other boys in his region. “My elder sister advised me to dress like a girl and flee to the nearby villages to save myself,” Ismael said through a translator in the town of Maroua, Cameroon, where he recently arrived. After an odyssey that included more than two years in detention in Cameroon for suspected...
(AFP (eng) 03/03/17)
Ahmad Ahmad insisted Thursday he can bring widespread, meaningful change to African football if he unseats Issa Hayatou as president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF). Ahmad, a CAF executive committee member and head of the Madagascar football federation, made a whistle-stop visit to Nigeria to canvas for support in the CAF presidential poll slated for March 16 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. "I think many things have to change in African football", Ahmad told reporters in Abuja. "We need change in refereeing, officiating, the way we train our coaches. We can't organise a coaching licence course in 15, 10 days. The certificate is just to help you get a work. Our technical development must change." He also disclosed that...
(Bloomberg 03/03/17)
Polar Star Management Ltd., which runs one of the best-performing African and Middle East hedge fund over the past five years, plans to start a private-equity unit that will invest in agriculture to exploit rising demand for food. The Cape Town-based firm plans to use its own money to buy small farms and processing companies in South Africa this year, then increase efficiency through consolidation and better management, said Murray Derksen, a director at Polar Star. It aims to raise 1.5 billion rand ($115 million) for the fund, which may also buy commodities such as grains, while targeting an internal rate of return of 8 percent to 12 percent, he said. “We looked at the increase in corn demand globally,...
(AFP (eng) 03/02/17)
UN Security Council envoys on Thursday travel to Africa's Lake Chad region, where famine, the Boko Haram insurgency, climate change and poor governance have collided to create one of the world's worst humanitarian crises. The 15 ambassadors from the UN's top decision-making body hope to draw global attention to the emergency affecting 21 million people across four countries: Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Niger. The visit could also pave the way to stronger action by the Security Council to address what has been a largely ignored crisis, relegated to the bottom of the diplomatic agenda as war in Syria and South Sudan escalated. British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said the visit will "shine a spotlight of international attention on the humanitarian crisis"...
(Bloomberg 03/02/17)
When the sun sets in Buea, the capital of Cameroon’s English-speaking Southwest region, residents lock themselves in their homes hoping the security forces won’t come knocking. “The atmosphere reigning here is one of fear, so we go to bed early because the security forces usually organize their raids at nightfall,” Lucas Mbonde, a 39-year-old carpenter, said by phone from the city. “Every week people here report cases of missing relatives.” President Paul Biya’s government carried out a wave of arrests after lawyers and teachers in English-speaking areas protested about the dominance of the French language in their courts and schools. He also shut down state-controlled internet services throughout the Northwest and Southwest regions, saying the measure was necessary to prevent...
(AFP (eng) 03/02/17)
A film raging against colonialism and the exploitation of Africa wowed viewers at the continent's top cinema festival Wednesday, winning shouts of approval at a screening packed to bursting point. "The African Storm" tells the story of an African president who nationalises businesses run by racist, cynical Western executives. Directed and produced by its Beninese star Sylvestre Amoussou, it tackles several hot-button issues including an exit from the CFA franc currency, closer ties with Russia and China as opposed to the West, criticism of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, and pride in being African. One of 20 feature-length movies on show at the Panafrican Film and Television Festival (Fespaco) in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou, the movie was punctuated...
(AFP (eng) 03/01/17)
Former France coach Philippe Saint-Andre will help train Cameroon on a voluntary basis in the African Cup in May. Saint-Andre stepped down as France coach in 2015 after a four-year period in which Les Bleus never finished higher than fourth in the Six Nations, failed to beat Wales, Ireland, New Zealand or South Africa and were humiliated at the World Cup. "I'm graciously lending a hand for this Africa Cup," Saint-Andre told AFP, after a request from a Cameroonian friend. Cameroon face Nigeria in Yaounde on May 6 and Algeria a week later in what is the third level of the continental competition.
(AFP (eng) 02/28/17)
The Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership -- the world's biggest individual prize -- drew a blank once again in finding a suitable laureate, it was announced Tuesday. The prize only goes to a democratically-elected African leader who demonstrated exceptional leadership, served their mandated term and left office within the last three years. The award comes with $5 million (4.7 million euros) paid over 10 years and $200,000 annually for life from then on. The prize, founded by Sudan-born telecoms tycoon Mo Ibrahim, has only been given four times in its 10-year existence. The philanthropist has said in the past that making no award sent just as strong a message on African leadership. "A very high bar was deliberately...
(AFP (eng) 02/27/17)
An African road movie about four women wowed its audience Sunday as it kicked off the Panafrican cinema and television festival (Fespaco), a showcase for the continent's burgeoning film industry. "Borders" ("Frontieres") directed by Apolline Traore, a Fespaco laureate in 2013, sweeps across Africa as its protagonists journey through Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Benin on their way to Nigeria. Along the way the women -- Ivorian, Senegalese, Burkinabe and Nigerian actresses -- are spared nothing as they are beset by customs officers, thieves, murderers and rapists. The film -- the first feature-length film to show at the festival -- deals with "the bravery of women," Traore told AFP at the festival in the Burkinabe capital Ouagadougou. "There is a...
(AFP (eng) 02/25/17)
Homeless and hungry, Fadi is a young widow from Cameroon who was forced by Boko Haram's brutal insurgency to flee her village near the Nigerian border. But despite all she has suffered, and even in the relative safety of a camp for displaced people, she doesn't have enough food. "We just want to eat. If you can please help us," begs the 17-year-old, after barely surviving Boko Haram's violence in the Lake Chad region -- the focus of a donor conference in Norway on Friday. Fadi's husband was murdered last year in a jihadist attack on their village, Grea, near Nigeria. "They broke into our house, they killed him and they left," she said, adding that she did not know...
(AFP (eng) 02/24/17)
Donor countries meeting in Oslo on Friday pledged $672 million (634 million euros) in emergency aid for people threatened by famine in the Lake Chad region, which has been hard hit by Boko Haram, hosts Norway said. The amount was pledged over three years, and was aimed at helping 10.7 million people in need. The UN has previously said it hoped to raise $1.5 billion in 2017 for the region, which includes Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad. The United States, whose new administration has said it intends to slash its development aid budget, was not among the 14 countries that pledged money in Oslo. "The US said they would come back with their contribution, so it is not factored in"...
(Vanguard 02/24/17)
Cameroon has forcibly repatriated more than 500 Nigerians who had fled into the country due to the Boko Haram insurgency, according to the U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR). A total of 517 Nigerians were sent back to their home country, including 313 who had applied for asylum, according to a UNHCR statement reported by AFP. Boko Haram, a militant Islamist group that has now fragmented into two factions, took up arms against the Nigerian government in 2009. The conflict, which has spread from northeast Nigeria to other countries in the Lake Chad region, has displaced more than 2 million people. Cameroon displaced persons Cameroonian displaced people wait for food parcels at a food distribution center in Koza, in the extreme northern...
(AFP (eng) 02/23/17)
Internet has been cut for over a month in Cameroon's English-speaking regions, believed to be a record in Africa, following anti-government protests by the country's linguistic minority, a watchdog said. "Internet is completely unavailable, unless one invests in satellite material, which is extremely expensive," said Julie Owono, a lawyer for French NGO Internet Without Borders. "This has been the continent's longest blackout," she told AFP in Paris late Wednesday. English-speakers in Cameroon have long complained of discrimination and of not getting a fair share of the west African nation's wealth.
(AFP (eng) 02/23/17)
Madagascar's football boss Ahmad who is challenging the long-serving Issa Hayatou for the CAF presidency in March, wants less political interference in the African game. First elected in 1988, Cameroonian Hayatou, 70, is seeking an eighth consecutive term as head of the body that governs African football. "If people want change there is no other choice. Only I can dare (to challenge Hayatou)," Ahmad told AFP during an interview at the Madagascar Football Federation offices in Antananarivo. The mononymous Ahmad, whose single name means "the glorious" in Arabic, wants to break with Hayatou long reign, which critics
(Premium Times 02/23/17)
The Nigerian Government on Wednesday approved the construction of the Cameroon-Nigeria border link bridge as part of its efforts to strengthen the bilateral ties between the two countries. The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, who briefed State House Correspondents shortly after the meeting of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, presided by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, said the construction would gulp $38 million, while $9 million would be for consultancy. “We presented a memo to construct the Cameroon-Nigeria border link bridge, at Ikot Efiom under the African Development Bank support, for improving relationship between Cameroon and Nigeria post the ICJ judgment over Bakassi; and council approved that bridge. “It’s part of the link road between Enugu -Abakaliki way...
(AL Jazeera 02/23/17)
As the humanitarian scale-up in the region continues, governments and donors are urged to do their part. On Friday, February 24, the countries of the Lake Chad region - Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria, donor governments such as Norway and Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom, and international organisations are gathering for the Oslo Humanitarian Conference on Nigeria and the Lake Chad Region. It is imperative that they all come ready with commitments to address the grave humanitarian crisis in the region - both politically and financially, 17 million lives, mostly children and women, depend on it. Boko Haram's violent conflict which broke out eight years ago in northeast Nigeria saw a horrific campaign of attacks on civilians...
(AFP (eng) 02/23/17)
For the first time in Africa, researchers said Wednesday they have detected a malaria parasite that is partially resistant to the top anti-malaria drug, artemisinin, raising concern about efforts to fight a disease that sickens hundreds of millions of people each year. The discovery means that Africa now joins southeast Asia in hosting such drug-resistant forms of the mosquito-borne disease. Malaria infected more than 200 million people and killed some 438,000 people worldwide in 2015, most of them children in Africa. "The spread of artemisinin resistance in Africa would be a major setback in the fight against malaria, as ACT (artemisinin-based combination therapy) is the only effective and widely used antimalarial treatment at the moment," said lead author Arnab Pain,...

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