| Africatime
Thursday 23 March 2017
(The Associated Press 07/05/16)
Africa has no better friend than the state of Israel for the practical needs of security and development, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday on the second leg of a four-country tour to pursue better relations with the continent. Netanyahu is the first ruling Israeli prime minister to visit Kenya and the first to visit sub-Saharan Africa in nearly three decades. He met Tuesday with President Uhuru Kenyatta on counter-terrorism, energy and agriculture, amid tight security. Netanyahu is also visiting Uganda, Rwanda and Ethiopia this week. Israel played a prominent role in assisting newly independent African countries in the 1960s, but those relations crumbled in the 1970s, when Arab countries, promising aid, pressured African nations to limit or cut...
(Voice of America 07/04/16)
To the beat of African drums, a few dozen people gathered at Dallas City Hall Friday to officially kick off the three-day African Film Festival. The event showcases films made by Africans, as well as a few made by non-Africans about issues important to different regions of the continent. City officials hailed the new festival as an expression of the increasing ethnic and cultural diversity in Texas’ second-largest city. Regina Hill Onyeibe, the Africa Liaison for the City of Dallas praised the film festival’s organizer and founder, filmmaker Kelechi Eke, not only for bringing this event to Dallas, but for providing an audience for Africans making movies. She said he had created “a portal in which other Africans can follow...
(Voice of America 07/01/16)
The U.S. State Department released its annual Trafficking in Persons report Thursday and again, Africa continues to be a major source and destination for human trafficking of all kinds — from forced labor to sexual slavery. Again this year, not one African nation made the report’s top tier — which is dominated by developed Western nations like the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia. The State Department says the ratings are based more on the extent of government action to combat trafficking than the size of the country’s problem. A significant number of African countries remain at the lowest possible ranking. Migrant crisis Susan Coppedge, a senior advisor to the U.S. secretary of state, said the migrant crisis that...
(The Herald Online 06/30/16)
The blue economy lies at the heart of globalisation. Ninety percent of international trade takes place via the sea and 95 percent of global communication relies on underwater networks. The blue economy encompasses all economic activity in and around rivers, lakes, streams, riverbanks, shorelines, groundwater, freshwater, seas and oceans. The blue economy is mostly unknown, overlooked and underdeveloped in Africa. It could represent a major growth driver. Its potential is not lost on the African Union (AU), which has made the blue economy one of the priority areas for the next 10 years: the blue economy holds immense potential as a key to a prosperous Africa. The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and Seychelles Vice President Danny Faure...
(Voice of America 06/29/16)
The United Nations says a record number of people caught in conflict and natural disasters are in need of humanitarian assistance. At the same time the world body warns the funding response to these crises falls far short of what is needed. The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has just released its 2016 mid-year Global Humanitarian Overview, which says the situation is very worrisome. OCHA reports the number of people worldwide in need of humanitarian assistance has soared to a record-breaking 130 million, nearly 44 million more than when the United Nations launched its annual multi-billion-dollar appeal in December. At the same time, it says funding requirements have increased by $2 billion to $21.6 billion, a sum...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/28/16)
Africa's largest provider of pay-television services Naspers (NPNJn.J) has kept prices on the continent unchanged to halt a decline in subscriber numbers, its chief executive said on Monday. Naspers, the biggest listed firm on the continent, which sells access to popular American series and blockbuster movies in 50 countries in Africa and the Indian Ocean via its Multichoice unit, reported an 18 percent rise in full-year profit on Friday, but flagged pay-TV as a drag on its performance. Weaker currencies and lower economic growth in commodity exporting economies such as Angola, Zambia and Nigeria have hurt business, said Chief Executive Bob van Dijk. "The currency decline has been massive and that really hurts us because we bill in local currency,"...
(Voice of America 06/27/16)
U.S. first lady Michelle Obama is scheduled leave Sunday for Africa and Europe to advocate for girls' education. The six-day trip – to Liberia and Morocco, with a final stop in Spain – will highlight Let Girls Learn, one of Obama's core initiatives. The first lady will be joined in her travels by daughters Sasha and Malia, and the girls’ grandmother, Marian Robinson. Let Girls Learn is a global initiative launched by the president and first lady in 2015. The program addresses obstacles – such as forced marriage, poverty and violence – that keep more than 62 million girls globally out of school. “We believe very strongly that education and the empowerment of young people is going to be critical...
(Xinhuanet 06/25/16)
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is keen to further strengthen its relation with China for partnership on humanitarian operation in Africa, said an ICRC official. Jacques Pellet, Special Envoy of the ICRC President on China Affairs, told Xinhua in an interview in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa Friday that ICRC wants to engage China more on its activities related to humanitarian assistance in Africa, where ICRC spends one-third of its budget. The Special Envoy said his visit to Ethiopia aimed to learn the humanitarian activities in Africa through African Union (AU), and also to discuss ways of strengthening cooperation with China on ICRC humanitarian operation on the continent. "We have already a good relation (with China), but we...
(Bloomberg 06/24/16)
Currencies, stocks and bonds across Africa plunged after the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union triggered a slump in oil and other commodities and sent investors scurrying for safe assets. South Africa’s benchmark stock index fell the most since January, led by shares of banks and diversified mining companies. The rand dropped to a record against the yen and by the most since 2008 against the dollar before paring the decline, while yields on dollar bonds from Ghana to Kenya rose. Gold miners gained the most in four months as the precious metal, seen as a haven in times of turmoil, soared. “We’re going into a very difficult, very volatile time with prices moving in all sorts of directions;...
(AFP (eng) 06/22/16)
Mobile phones and rising connectivity in Africa will give rise to a new market in mobile financial services, creating explosive opportunities for business on the continent, research has found. The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) estimated that in three years, 250 million Africans without access to traditional banking services "will have mobile phones and a monthly income of at least $500". That could translate to projected revenues of $1.5 billion (1.3 billion euros) from mobile financial services, the group said in a report released Tuesday. That's key for a continent where the banking system is as yet hugely underdeveloped, but where strides have already been made in mobile banking. In Kenya, for example, the mobile money system has nearly 18 million...
(BBC News Africa 06/22/16)
Last year, more people fled to Europe from Eritrea than any other African nation. The government in Asmara has recently been accused of crimes against humanity, but when Mary Harper was given rare access to the country she was surprised by what she found. I push back the thick, deep red velvet curtains and find myself in complete darkness. Drops of rain come through the ceiling, and hit the floor - hard. Someone turns on a switch. A dim, flickering bulb does its best to light up the place - I am inside a huge cinema. Slowly, I make out elegant shapes on the walls - leaping antelopes, pineapples and dancing maidens. On the floor, in front of the screen,...
(The Associated Press 06/21/16)
Experts in Malawi will move 500 elephants 185 miles across the country to a sanctuary that will act as a ‘reservoir’. Wildlife experts in Malawi will next month start moving up to 500 elephants to a sanctuary that they hope could eventually serve as a reservoir to restore some elephant populations in other parts of Africa where the threatened species has been heavily poached. The massive relocation, slated for completion next year, will involve darting the elephants from a helicopter, hoisting the slumbering animals by crane and loading them in crates on to trucks for a ride of about 185 miles (300km) to Malawi’s Nkhotakota wildlife reserve. The relocation by African Parks, a non-profit group based in Johannesburg, comes amid...
(AFP (eng) 06/20/16)
A "Miss and Mister Albino" contest, heavy sentences for ritual murder and concrete graves to ward off tomb raiders were all discussed at a UN summit on albinism concluding in Tanzania on Monday. During the four-day meeting people with albinism and advocates for their rights discussed ways to safeguard and improve the lives of those who suffer discrimination, health problems and even murder as a result of the condition that leaves their skin without pigment. It is a particular problem in Africa in general and in Tanzania in particular, which is why the East African nation was chosen to host the summit. "Of all the regions in the world, Africa is the most hostile for people with albinism," said Ikponwosa...
(Voice of America 06/18/16)
One hundred and fifty South African schoolgirls have started in a project to design and build Africa’s first private satellite. The satellite will be launched into space later this year as part of a program sponsored by The Meta Economic Development Organization (MEDO) to motivate more teenage girls in African countries to study and work in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics field, widely known by the acronym STEM. The girls kicked off the project Thursday and are tasked with designing the payload for the satellite. They have been trained by satellite engineers on how to build rovers or mini-robots. MEDO's space program manager, Carla De Klerk, said that after that the young women decided to study agriculture and food security...
(The Associated Press 06/17/16)
Once again, there is no winner this year of a $5 million award for African leadership. The Mo Ibrahim Foundation announced Thursday that no former African leader had met the "very high bar'' for one of the world's richest prizes. The Ibrahim Prize has been awarded just four times in the decade since it was established. Candidates are African heads of state or government who have left office in the past three years, been democratically elected and served their constitutionally mandated terms. They must also show "exceptional leadership.'' The award honors role models on a continent where many leaders have stayed in power for decades. "If there is no worthy candidate, the committee chooses not to award,'' the foundation's head...
(AFP (eng) 06/16/16)
Demarte Pena was too young to fight in Angola's civil war, where his family played a major role, but he has fought his way to a mixed martial arts championship. Instead of an AK47, "The Wolf" as he is known in the ring, uses fists, feet and pure muscle to subdue his opponents in what is seen as one of the fastest growing sports in Africa. Pena is bantamweight champion among the new crop of mixed martial arts fighters in Africa's only professional MMA body, the Extreme Fighting Championship (EFC). "Nothing challenges you more than fighting another man," the 26-year-old told AFP during a break from training in a gym north of Johannesburg. "The Wolf" was barefoot in a section...
(Xinhuanet 06/15/16)
The African Union (AU) is prepared to launch the electronic passport (e-Passport) at the next AU Summit due to take place in July this year in Kigali, Rwanda. The first group of beneficiaries will include: AU Heads of State and Government; Ministers of Foreign Affairs; and the Permanent Representatives of AU Member States based at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, according to an AU statement Tuesday. The AU e-Passports will be issued to them in July at the 27th AU Summit in Kigali, noted the statement. Issuance of the e-passport is expected to pave the way for the Member States to adopt and ratify the necessary Protocols and Legislation with the view to begin issuing the much expected African...
(Vanguard 06/14/16)
Stakeholders at the World Economy Forum on Africa, recently held in Kigali, Rwanda, have identified inadequate financing, policy inconsitency and bureaucratic bottlenecks as some of the major problems confronting power supply in Africa. . Speaking on the sidelines of Africa’s power sector, which was a major discuss, Vice Chairman, General Electric, GE, John Rice, said that there were some well-intentioned initiatives geared towards meeting the energy gaps, but challenges related to financing, bureaucracy, traditional risk analysis, and decision-making based on election cycles have led to delays. Citing the case of United States-backed Power Africa initiative, which was launched in 2013 by President Barack Obama with a view to “double access to power in sub-Saharan Africa”, he said, “Power Africa, supported...
(Cnbc Africa 06/13/16)
Social entrepreneurs are starting businesses in all the major regions of the world, with the most social entrepreneurship activity being undertaken in the US, Australia, Western Europe, and Africa reports the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM)’s Special Report on Social Entrepreneurship. The report, released last week, is the largest comparative study of social entrepreneurship in the world, based on interviews with 167,793 adults in 58 economies in 2015. “Social entrepreneurship – which GEM defines broadly as any kind of activity, organisation or initiative that has a particularly social, environmental or community objective – is now a significant share of entrepreneurial activity around the world; however, there is a wide variation in rates across economies, ” says GEM Executive Director Mike Herrington,...
(Times Live 06/11/16)
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of ensuring access to clean water and sanitation for all by 2030 is an ambitious target for Africa. According to new research by non-partisan research network Afrobarometer, nearly half of Africans don’t have access to clean water and two-thirds lack access to sewage infrastructure. Improvements in both of these areas have been made in the past decade, but huge numbers of Africans still live without these basic necessities. The lack of access to water and sanitation has not gone unnoticed by people living in Africa. Almost half of the continent’s citizens are not happy with the way their governments are handling water and sanitation. The global Millennium Development Goals’ target for drinking water was...

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