Tuesday 20 February 2018
(AFP (eng) 10/25/17)
A secessionist revolt is gaining ground in the English-speaking west of Cameroon, but for lack of charismatic local leaders, the impetus is coming from the diaspora, analysts say. On October 1, secessionist militants proclaimed the independence of Ambazonia, the name they give to the two Anglophone regions, provoking a crackdown by President Paul Biya's security forces that left dozens dead and many injured. The upheaval, which broke out at the end of 2016 and threatens to become an "armed insurrection" according to the International Crisis Group (ICG), was at first motivated by the Cameroon...
(AFP (eng) 10/24/17)
Elephant poaching in Africa declined for a fifth straight year in 2016 but seizures of illegal ivory hit records highs, the CITES monitor said Tuesday, calling it a "conflicting phenomena". In its latest report, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species also noted that despite the overall fall in poaching, Africa's elephant population has continued to drop "due to continued illegal killing, land transformation and rapid human expansion." Global illegal ivory trade has remained relatively stable for six years, CITES reported. But 2016 saw a full 40 tonnes of illegal ivory seized, the most since 1989, as well as the hightest-ever number of "large-scale ivory seizures", the group said. "The overall weight of seized ivory in illegal trade is...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/23/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - African political leaders, activists, and local chiefs joined forces on Monday to commit to ending child marriage in West and Central Africa, the region with the highest child marriage rate in the world. More than a third of girls in the region are married under the age of 18, with the rate over 50 percent in six countries and up to 76 percent in Niger. Driven by factors including poverty, insecurity and religious tradition, marrying off girls once they reach puberty or even before is a deeply engrained social custom in much of West and Central Africa. The practice hampers global efforts to reduce poverty and population growth and has negative impacts on women’s and...
(AFP (eng) 10/21/17)
The killing of four American special operations soldiers in Niger has highlighted the increasing role elite units are playing across Africa, which is rapidly becoming a major center of US military action. Their mission is to counter the advances of a slew of jihadist movements across the continent, including Al-Shabaab in Somalia, affiliates of the Islamic State group in the Sahel region and Boko Haram in Nigeria. Of the 8,000 special forces "operators" deployed globally this year, more than 1,300 are in Africa, according to officials from the US Special Operations Command (SOCOM), which is based in Tampa, Florida. Another 5,000 or so are in the Middle East. In five years, the number of US commandos in Africa has tripled...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/20/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The #MeToo social media campaign to raise awareness about sexual harassment and abuse has sparked conversation in parts of Africa where domestic violence is rampant but strong cultural and religious taboos prevent women from admitting it. Prompted by sexual abuse allegations against American film mogul Harvey Weinstein, millions of women around the world have been sharing their experiences of harassment and abuse on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #MeToo. The movement has reached only a small part of the population in West Africa, but some women are participating in defiance of attitudes which dictate that being abused brings shame on the family, is a curse, or makes a woman unmarriageable. In Senegal, some women...
(AFP (eng) 10/19/17)
Cameroon must urgently rethink a policy of "murderous repression" in its restive English-speaking regions or risk the crisis spiralling into an armed uprising, the International Crisis Group (ICG) warned Thursday. In a report on the political crisis in the west African nation, the NGO said the government's crackdown on the anglophone minority had failed and had only served to fuel a clamour for independence. French-speaking Cameroon has a large anglophone minority which comprises around a fifth of its population of 22 million. Gathered mainly in two regions, many English-speakers say the suffer inequality and discrimination.
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
Rent-a-room giant Airbnb said Tuesday that it had provided accommodation for 1.2 million visitors to Africa over the last year -- double the previous year as tourism expands across the continent. The website now offers more than 100,000 accommodation options in Africa, global public affairs director Chris Lehane said on a visit to Johannesburg. "It's an incredibly rich and diverse continent, an incredibly dynamic place, certainly a big part of our future," Lehane told AFP. Airbnb was founded in 2008 and offers accommodation ranging from single bedrooms to whole homes in 65,000 cities in 191 countries. The company announced Tuesday that it would invest $1 million (850,000 euros) in Africa by 2020 to "promote and support community-led tourism projects". "For...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
Cameroon's Prime Minister Philemon Yang on Monday began a visit to a troubled English-speaking region as part of what he termed a "dialogue" with the country's anglophone minority, state radio said. Yang travelled to Bamenda, the main town in Cameroon's Northwest Region, where he met the heads of trade unions in the transport, education and shopping sectors, as well as with bankers and other business figures, Cameroon Radio Television (CrTV) said. He delivered "a message of peace and living in harmony" while those who met him put forward proposals "for a definitive way out of the crisis," it said, without giving further details.
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
Though its motto is "one Africa, one voice", the reality of "Africa's parliament" could not be more different. Since its creation in 2004, the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) has struggled to make its voice heard, prompting its deputies to ask themselves at a recent gathering: "What are we for?" "Every time we're here, we obsess over the same things. If we are not making laws, then what's the point of being here?" Corneille Padonou of Benin said to his fellow parliamentarians. "This forum is not a parliament, it is just a discussion platform that does not have any legislative powers. This institution is still wobbly," said Floyd Shivambu, a parliamentarian from South Africa. "As it is, it is a waste of...
(AFP (eng) 10/16/17)
Nearly 60 men who said they were captured by the Boko Haram Islamist group and forced to fight for them in Nigeria have surrendered to authorities in northern Cameroon. After spending two years with Boko Haram, the men decided to flee with their families and hand themselves in, according to several men who had surrendered and spoke to journalists at a ceremony in the town of Mozogo on Friday. A total of nearly 400 people originally from Cameroon -- 58 men, 86 women and 244 children -- said they had been taken hostage by Boko Haram fighters during attacks on their villages and taken to Nigeria...
(APA 10/16/17)
APA – Douala (Cameroon) - Financial transactions in Cameroon via Mobile money reached 870 billion CFA francs in 2016, APA learned from the Telecommunications Regulatory Agency (ART) on Sunday. The value of transactions between 2014 and 2016 increased from 200 billion CFA to 870 billion CFA, an increase of 670 billion CFA in two years. This amount is the result of 84 million transactions per SMS, because since 2011, the year of introduction of Mobile Money Services in Cameroon, e-money is gaining momentum across the country. In addition to money transfer, Mobile Money users pay electricity, water or TV bills from this payment method. With a penetration rate of mobile telecommunications of 80 percent in Cameroon, just over 18 million...
(APA 10/16/17)
APA - Yaoundé (Cameroon) - Cameroonian champion, Clovis Kamzong Abessolo (SNH Velo Club), on Sunday, won the 17th edition of the Cycling Grand Prix Chantal Biya, named after the country’s First Lady. Out of a total of 579.3 kilometers run in 4 stages, he flashed across the finishing line, to beat the Slovak cyclists Jan Andrej Cully, Martin Mahdar and Jordy Buskermolen. He succeeds on the podium, Martial Roman, the winner of the 16th edition of this circuit which, since 2006, has been part of the agenda of the “Africa Tour” initiated by the International Cycling Union (UCI). It is recalled that ten teams took part in this race, including two local, five African and five European.
(APA 10/16/17)
APA-Dakar (Senegal) - The president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, will deliver the Norman Borlaug Lecture on Monday 16 October as part of the World Food Prize events taking place from October 16 to 20, 2017 in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. The Norman Borlaug Lecture under the title: “Betting on Africa to Feed the World”, will be held on World Food Day, October 16, in conjunction with the annual World Food Prize celebration. AfDB President Adesina will receive the 2017 World Food Prize on Thursday October 19, announced a press release issued by the AfDB on October 16, which also said “the prize is to agriculture what the Nobel Prize is to peace, science and literature.” The World...
(AFP (eng) 10/13/17)
Cameroon has launched a probe into recent deadly violence linked to a symbolic declaration of independence in the west African nation's English-speaking region, the defence minister said Friday. "Apart from the material damage, precise enquiries have been opened by judicial authorities on the toll," Defence Minister Joseph Beti Assomo said on state radio. According to an AFP tally, 14 people died in violence in the run-up to the symbolic October 1 declaration of independence of Ambazonia, the name of the state the separatists want to create. However Amnesty International has given a toll of 17.
(AFP (eng) 10/13/17)
Cameroonian international striker Vincent Aboubakar has signed a contract extension that will keep him at Porto until 2021, the Portuguese side announced on Thursday. The 25-year-old is Porto's top scorer so far this season with eight goals, two of which came in a 3-0 Champions League win at Monaco. Porto also acquired all of the player's economic rights by buying the remaining 60 percent from his former club Lorient for 7.2 million euros ($8.29 million). "The president (Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa) led this negotiation with the agents of the athlete and Lorient, it wasn't easy," Porto financial administrator Fernando Gomes said in a statement. Aboubakar joined Porto from French club Lorient in 2014, but spent last season on loan...
(APA 10/12/17)
APA - Douala, Cameroon - The difficult socio-political situation in the English-speaking regions of the Northwest and Southwest of Cameroon has caused loss of more than 41 percent of the turnover of companies located in this part of the country, according to data published Wednesday by the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Crafts (CCIMA). The statistics compiled by the consular chamber published a year after October 10, 2016 general strike by English-speaking lawyers and teachers demanding better consideration of Anglo-Saxon aspirations in the management of the country. The CCIMA survey of 385 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) conducted between March and April 2017 revealed that 41.80 percent of business owners say their turnover declined due to the so-called “anglophone...
(AFP (eng) 10/12/17)
People made homeless by Boko Haram's brutal insurgency will need years of support to help rebuild their lives, even if security improves, the head of the Norwegian Refugee Council said on Wednesday. "We will be here for the next 10 years. Donors need to stay the course. It's a marathon," Jan Egeland told AFP by telephone from Maiduguri in northeast Nigeria. "(The Boko Haram conflict) is now in its ninth year. That's two years more than the Syrian war, double the First World War. This is a long-term thing." Egeland was speaking as the NRC unveiled new research about the intentions of the 1.8 million people who are still internally displaced in remote northeast Nigeria. Of 27,000 people surveyed, 86...
(APA 10/10/17)
APA – Douala (Cameroun) - Cinq personnes ont trouvé la mort dans les inondations que connait actuellement la partie septentrionale du Cameroun, notamment la localité de Zina dans la région de l’Extrême-nord du pays, a-t-on appris de sources concordantes. En plus des cinq personnes décédées, des sources hospitalières font état de 20 personnes blessées et admises dans les différentes institutions sanitaires de la région. On dénombrerait quelque 750 sans abris. Jugeant « catastrophique » cette situation, les autorités locales s’activent à trouver des abris pour les victimes, alors que la météo prévoit encore des précipitations abondantes dans cette région. « Nous craignons que le bilan ne s’alourdisse, parce nous n’avons pas des moyens appropriés pour nous occuper convenablement des sinistrés...
(AFP (eng) 10/10/17)
Nigeria's Boko Haram started as an Islamic anti-corruption group that became a violent, IS-affiliated movement whose insurgency has threatened stability in the Lake Chad region. But the Nigerian authorities say they are now rolling back the group and thousands of suspected members of the group were due to go on trial from Monday. Boko Haram, whose name loosely translates from the Hausa language as "Western education is forbidden", aims to create a hardline Islamic state in northeast Nigeria. Its revolt has cost at least 20,000 lives since 2009. Mohammed Yusuf, the group's founder, blamed Western values left by Nigeria's British former for the country's ills and advocated a return to more fundamentalist Islam. He attracted many disaffected youths in Maiduguri,...
(AFP (eng) 10/10/17)
Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is set to accelerate to 3.4 percent next year, the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday, citing Nigeria's recovering oil and agricultural sectors. The IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook report that the region would grow by 2.6 percent this year after 1.4 percent in 2016. "Growth is expected to rise gradually," it said, while noting that the rate would be uneven and "barely above population growth". GDP in the west African powerhouse Nigeria contracted by 1.6 percent in 2016, but is predicted to grow by 0.8 percent this year and 1.9 percent next year. The IMF said Nigeria was benefitting from "recovering oil production and ongoing strength in the agricultural sector", but the...

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