| Africatime
Monday 24 April 2017
(Bloomberg 01/05/17)
Cameroon’s economy is set to expand 6 percent this year even as it imposes new taxes to compensate for a decline in government revenue from oil, Finance Minister Alamine Ousmane Mey said. The central African nation last month approved the introduction of 24 taxes that apply to a wide range of goods and services, including second-hand car imports and exports of timber, Mey said in a Jan. 3 interview in the capital, Yaounde. At the same time, the government will boost agriculture by making it easier and cheaper for farmers to buy equipment, pesticides and fertilizers, he said. The economy was forecast to expand by 4.8 percent in 2016, according to the International Monetary Fund. Cameroon is the world’s fifth-largest...
(AFP (eng) 01/05/17)
Cameroon coach Hugo Broos on Thursday unveiled a 23-man squad for this month's Africa Cup of Nations tournament without several key players. Seven players including Liverpool defender Joël Matip and Schalke 04 striker Eric Choupo-Moting had already declined to take part in the tournament. Defender Aurélien Chedjou, who plays for Turkish club Galatasary, and was not selected for the squad which includes just two local players. Cameroon began a training camp in Yaounde on Tuesday and will play a friendly against the Democratic Republic of Congo on Thursday. The former four-time champions are drawn in Group A in the January 14 to February 5 tournament alongside
(This Day Live 01/05/17)
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) President, Issa Hayatou, has been referred to Egyptian prosecutors for investigation over allegations of abuse of office. BBC Sports reported on Thursday that the 70-year-old Camerounian, who is serving his seventh term in charge of African football, is being investigated by Egyptian authorities for allegations bordering on award of broadcast rights to a media company, Lagardere Sports. According to the Egyptian Competition Authority, Hayatou is suspected of not opening up the tender to free and fair competition as required by Egyptian law. CAF is based in Cairo so the authorities said it must follow their laws. There is no formal response from CAF perhaps as a result of the annual football award holding at...
(AFP (eng) 01/04/17)
Cameroon international striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting has joined a growing list of players from the African nation snubbing a call-up to the Cup of Nations tournament. The striker's German club Schalke 04 said Tuesday that the 27-year-old had "pulled out of the Cameroon national squad and will not play at the CAN". Choupo-Moting will instead join Schalke at their training camp in the Spanish seaside resort of Benidorm from January 4. Schalke added that Algeria midfielder Nabil Bentaleb and Ghana defender Baba Rahman will however compete for their respective countries in the tournament in Gabon from January 14 to February 5. Several players called up by Cameroon coach Hugo Broos in his 35-strong squad have turned down the offer including...
(AFP (eng) 01/04/17)
Italy vowed Wednesday to increase deportations of migrants whose asylum requests have been rejected, after a riot in a reception centre sparked by the death of a young woman. The country, which has been on the frontline of migrants arriving across the Mediterranean from North Africa, is pushing for an agreement with Niger and a renewed deal with Tunisia to facilitate returns. "We have saved many lives but we cannot accept rule-breaking. We need to speed up deportations," Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, the country's former interior minister, said in an interview with La Stampa daily. He was "working to tie up agreements which will reduce arrivals and prevent departures" from the coast of North Africa, he said after a record...
(BBC News Africa 01/03/17)
An electricity grid for the whole village Problem: A total of 1.3 billion people worldwide currently don't have electricity, according to Yale Environment 360. Getting people in rural areas on to the national grid is proving too difficult and traditional solar panels generate meagre amounts of energy. Solution: Steamaco makes solar and battery micro-grids which can work for a whole village. They are small electricity generation and distribution systems that operate independently of larger grids. How it works: Micro-grids are nothing new. The new part is that Steamaco's technology automates the regulation of electricity. So, if the system detects there will be a surge in demand for electricity, for example on a Saturday night when people want to start playing...
(Voice of America 12/30/16)
2016 was predicted to be a tough year for African economies, and it delivered. Traditional economic leaders faltered this year amid a storm of falling commodity prices, unpredictable and destructive weather like droughts and floods across large swaths of the the continent. Slow economic growth in China, a major investor and trading partner, only added to their challenges. “This year, you’ve seen the two Africas: the commodity exporters going through tough times, while the non-commodity exporters being more resilient,” Nigerian economist Nonso Obikili, who researches Nigerian and sub-Saharan economic trends for Economic Research Southern Africa, told VOA. He says 2016 has been hard on African commodity giants as oil prices fell to lows not seen since the global financial crisis...
(AFP (eng) 12/29/16)
French border police intercepted 45 African migrants who were trying to enter the country from Italy and arrested the two smugglers involved, local prosecutors said Wednesday. Travelling in two vans, 25 migrants in the first vehicle were stopped while 20 in the second breached a checkpoint at Montgenevre in southeastern France, before later being found. According to the prosecutor's office, the migrants were returned to the border and the two smugglers are to be tried in Italy.
(African Review 12/28/16)
Striking Cameroon teachers Tuesday stormed out of the negotiations with the government in the Northwestern town of Bamenda. They vowed to continue with the strike that has paralysed school operations in the region since November 21. Thousands of teachers and lawyers in English-speaking regions of Cameroon have resorted to work boycott, accusing the government of imposing the French language on their schools and courts. Much sympathy Areas controlled by Britain and France joined to form Cameroon after the colonial powers withdrew in the 1960s.
(AFP (eng) 12/28/16)
Its lower cost has made it popular in commercial food production, but after being blamed for deforestation in Asia, palm oil plantations are now getting a similar rap in Africa. The sheer scale of land required is having an impact in Gabon, Cameroon and the Congo Basin, environmentalists say. With financing coming from American, European and Asian agri-businesses, palm bunches are cultivated then cut from trees and sent to factories where oil is extracted by hot pressing. But the production process accelerates deforestation, contributes to climate change and threatens fauna and flora in vulnerable areas, opponents argue. However the companies say that palm oil is not only less expensive than soya or sunflower oil but requires much less land to...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/27/16)
Sitting in a circle with several other young men in a charity's offices in Cameroon's capital, Fleur listens intently to the speaker talk about gay sex before slowly raising his hand. "Can we catch AIDS by swallowing sperm?" he asks, prompting laughter from his peers at the group discussion held by Alcondoms, an organization promoting the rights and health of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. Yet HIV and homosexuality are no laughing matter for men like Fleur in a country where being gay is illegal and LGBT activists face rising hostility and violence. Cameroon has the second highest HIV prevalence rate in West and Central Africa, after Nigeria, and men who have sex with men are hit the...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/27/16)
A suicide bomber in the northern Cameroon town of Mora killed a young student and a woman in an attack on a market full of Christmas shoppers, an aide to the governor of Far North region said on Sunday. Suicide bombers suspected of belonging to the Islamist militant group Boko Haram have launched attacks in Mora, about 30 km (20 miles) from the Nigerian border, several times before. The bomb also killed the attacker and wounded five other people, said the aide to Governor Midjiyawa Bakary. "The suicide bomber was pretending to be a beggar and was walking towards the market which was full because of Christmas. Members of a vigilance committee spotted him before he could penetrate the market,"...
(The Herald Online 12/27/16)
The end of 2016 provides an opportunity to take stock of Africa’s recent economic performance and future prospects. It’s been a tumultuous year for some African countries largely due to a commodities crisis and a global economic slowdown.Yet there were still pockets of good growth which displayed the huge potential of the African continent. And 2017 looks to be the year the countries hardest hit by the crisis seek to recover from the economic reversals of the past few years. Since the start of the new millennium average economic growth across Africa has been stronger than the global growth rate. Growth across the continent averaged 5 percent. This fuelled the “Africa Rising” narrative that permeated public discourse. Among the growth...
(AFP (eng) 12/26/16)
A suicide bomber apparently targeting a religious site on Christmas day killed two civilians in northern Cameroon, a region often hit by Boko Haram jihadists from Nigeria, the local governor said Sunday. "The suicide bomber was certainly targeting a religious site, but we cannot say exactly which one. It's Christmas day and there are prayers" being said everywhere, Midjiyawa Bakari, governor of the Far North region of Cameroon, told AFP. ""We have two deaths reported at the site, the suicide bomber and a member of a security committee, and a third person died at hospital," he said, referring to a 19-year-old student. The governor added that there were also five others wounded and hospitalised but their condition was not life-threatening...
(AfricaNews 12/24/16)
Leaders of the six countries that make up the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) have agreed they will not devalue the CFA Franc following an extraordinary session in Cameroon’s capital Yaounde on Friday. Although the agenda of the meeting was not clear, reports confirmed that the CFA Franc will not be devalued contrary to rumors from various media reports. The leaders also pledged to enhance more fiscal discipline in the bloc which is currently facing an economic crisis. There has been a growing debate on the use of the currency – which is pegged to the French Franc – and which analysts say needs to be devalued to encourage growth in the region. The CFA Franc was created...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/24/16)
A record 5,000 migrants are believed to have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea this year, following two shipwrecks on Thursday in which some 100 people, mainly West Africans, were feared dead, aid agencies said on Friday. Two overcrowded inflatable dinghies capsized in the Strait of Sicily after leaving Libya for Italy, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said. "Those two incidents together appear to be the numbers that would bring this year's total up to over to 5,000 (deaths), which is a new high that we have reported during this crisis," IOM spokesman Joel Millman told a Geneva briefing. The Italian coast guard rescued survivors and had recovered eight bodies so far, he said...
(AFP (eng) 12/23/16)
IMF chief Christine Lagarde on Friday joined a Cameroon summit of central African leaders aimed at tackling economic woes brought on by weak oil prices. "Our foreign exchange reserves have dropped substantially," Cameroon's President Paul Biya said in his opening address. "We need to act and fast, we should act together." Lagarde's presence had not been announced previously, nor had that of French Finance Minister Michel Sapin who also joined the meeting. Some of the foreign exchange reserves of central African nations using the CFA franc are held by the French treasury. Historically, the currency used in much of central and west Africa was pegged to the French franc. It is now fixed to the euro. Cameroon's leader, who has...
(The Globe and Mail 12/23/16)
The Square Kilometre Array will be the world’s most powerful radio telescope, opening new frontiers in our understanding of the universe. But the builders have to contend with an unforgiving climate and other formidable challenges first, In the desolate rocky plains of the Great Karoo, the dangers are endless. Scorpions and puff adders are underfoot. The harsh sun beats down, interrupted only by occasional lightning storms. Temperatures range from stifling heat to freezing cold. But at night, in the vast empty darkness, the stars are impossibly bright and clear. And it is the stars that have lured a Canadian-backed project to build the world’s most powerful radio telescope, with the potential to unlock the deepest secrets of the universe. For...
(Voice of America 12/22/16)
Cameroon says it has intercepted more than 670 kilograms of African pangolin that authorities say were being smuggled from the Central African country to Malaysia. The pangolin is the world’s most trafficked mammal, and conservationist groups are calling for severe sanctions on the three traffickers who have been arrested. Cameroon customs lieutenant, Wara Wara Francois Noel, of the Yaounde-Nsimalen international airport told VOA the recovered pangolin scales were found in several meat packets. He said the three smugglers had bribed their way into the airport, but authorities were mobilized after getting a tip from
(Reuters (Eng) 12/22/16)
The humanitarian catastrophe in Lake Chad basin, where conflict has left over 8 million people destitute with many "teetering on the brink of famine", was the most neglected crisis in 2016, according to a survey of aid agencies. Following Lake Chad in a Thomson Reuters Foundation poll of 19 leading aid groups were Yemen, where children are starving, and South Sudan where U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon fears genocide is about to start. Overshadowed by the wars in Syria and Iraq and the global refugee and migrant crisis, Lake Chad barely made the headlines this year, but aid organizations said the crisis was "on an epic scale" with "terrifying rates of child malnutrition". "Syria broke my heart, but for out and...

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