| Africatime
Thursday 23 March 2017
(APA 03/23/17)
The Republic of Congo has issued a license to Sintoukola Potash.SA to run a potash mine in Kouilou department in the west of the country, a senior government official confirmed in Brazzaville on Thursday. Communications minister Thierry Lezin Moungalla who also doubles as government spokesman said the decision granting the Australia-based firm a license was made during a weekly cabinet meeting. Sintoukola Potash S.A is a Congolese subsidiary of Australian company Elemental Minerals Limited. The mine in question known as Dougou with a depth of 600 meters, has deposits of potash estimated at 1.07 billion tonnes and is being projected to produce five million tonnes of the mineral annually.
(Reuters (Eng) 03/23/17)
N'DJAMENA French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen pledged on Wednesday to break with her country's decades-old relationship with Africa known as "Francafrique" and abolish the CFA franc currency policy that binds Paris and its former colonies. Francafrique describes an informal web of relationships Paris has maintained with its former African colonies and its support, sometimes in the form of military backing, for politicians who favor French business interests. Le Pen, one of the frontrunners in the presidential election, spoke at the end of a two-day visit to Chad where she sought to outline her policies regarding the continent, which has long held an important place in French foreign policy. "It was only in coming here and explaining that I...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/22/17)
A court in Congo Republic on Tuesday threw out a challenge to opposition leader Paulin Makaya's prison sentence for his role in protests against a third term for President Denis Sassou Nguesso. Makaya was sentenced to two years in jail last July on four counts including "incitement to disturb public order" during a demonstration in October 2015, when thousands of people took to the streets to protest against a referendum on a third term for Sassou Nguesso. He has repeatedly...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/17)
An appeals court in Congo-Brazzaville on Tuesday upheld the conviction and two-year jail sentence for inciting public disorder handed down last year to opposition leader Paulin Makaya. The charge, stemming from an unauthorised demonstration Makaya organised in 2015, also carried a fine of 2.5 million CFA francs (3,800 euros, $4,100). "The judgement rendered the first time is affirmed," said Christine Tsika Mayanda, president of the country's first correctional division of the court of appeals. Makaya's lawyer Yvon Eric Ibouanga criticised Tuesday's ruling as "disappointing and illegal," reiterating the defence's view that the prosecution had failed to prove "all of the elements" of Makaya's alleged offence.
(AFP (eng) 03/21/17)
Under a cloudless sky in South Africa's northwestern farming region, donkeys still amble along muddy paths, pausing to nibble on grass, oblivious to the threat from a demand for Chinese medicine. The gelatin found in the animals' skin has made them a target, leading to a growing wave of donkey slaughtering in several African countries, as gangs seek to fuel a lucrative, and in South Africa illegal, trade. Animal rights groups say the docile beasts of burden are often cruelly...
(Agence Ecofin 03/20/17)
At the Africa CEO Forum which opened this morning in Geneva, AFD Group – in partnership with the European Union – unveiled the “African Renewable Energy Scale-Up facility”, designed to boost private sector investment in on–grid and off-grid renewable energy production in Africa. In order to meet Africa’s constantly increasing energy requirements, support must be provided for mass development of the renewable energy technologies – especially solar energy – that will play such a key role over the coming years,...
(Voice of America 03/18/17)
Each year, the University of Southern California hosts the African Global Economic and Development Summit, bringing delegations from Africa to meet with business leaders, government officials and others in the U.S. But this year, the African summit has no Africans. All were denied visas. Visa issues are not uncommon for people traveling from African nations. During her prior three summits, Mary Flowers saw a high percentage of her attendees unable to attain visas. "Usually we get 40 percent that get...
(Voice of America 03/17/17)
One of the enduring legacies of the Barack Obama presidency will be the relationship built between the United States and young Africans. As part of Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), each year 1,000 young people from sub-Saharan Africa travel to the United States to spend six weeks at a U.S. college or university. The program will continue this summer. But building enduring relationships is a two-way street, and many in Africa want to see Americans coming to their continent...
(APA 03/16/17)
Congo will produce around 300,000 barrels of oil per day in 2018, more than its current 250,000 bpd, according to projections published by the Ministry of Hydrocarbons in Brazzaville on Thursday. The ministry justified these projections in oil production by the French company Total on Wednesday announcement about the output from the Moho Nord offshore oilfield, some 75 km off Pointe-Noire. The project, in which Total holds a 53.5 percent stake, Chevron Overseas Limited (31.5 percent) and the National Oil Company of Congo (SNPC) (15 percent) was started by Total E&P in 2008.
(Xinhuanet 03/16/17)
China's aid to the education sector in Africa is helping boost teacher training, a key component in skilling the population to fast track development, a UN official has said. Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, Director of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Regional Office for Eastern Africa, in an interview recognized China's contribution to Africa's education sector over the years. "We value the initiative in teacher training in Uganda and other countries in Africa. This will revitalize the teaching profession,"...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
Africa will host a Commonwealth Games one day despite the blow of Durban being stripped of hosting the 2022 edition, David Grevemberg, the chief executive of The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), told AFP. Durban lost the right to host the Games on Monday -- just 18 months after being awarded them -- when it failed to meet criteria laid down by the CGF, primarily over costs. "I wouldn't want to make a judgement call," Grevemberg told AFP on the sidelines...
(AFP (eng) 03/15/17)
French oil giant Total said Wednesday it has started production at the Moho Nord offshore oil field in Congo, the African country's biggest oil development to date. Total, which holds a majority stake in the oil field, said in a statement that it had "started up production from the Moho Nord deep offshore project, located 75 kilometres (46 miles) offshore Pointe-Noire in the Republic of the Congo." The project has a production capacity of 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. "Moho Nord is the biggest oil development to date in the Republic of the Congo,"
(The Wall Street Journal 03/15/17)
Ndalo Media founder Khanyi Dhlomo and Mara Group founder Ashish Thakkar on where the potential is and what’s blocking it How is innovation in Africa different from innovation in Silicon Valley? And how can innovation in Africa be encouraged? Dan Keeler, frontier-markets editor of The Wall Street Journal, discussed those questions with Khanyi Dhlomo, founder and chief executive of Ndalo Media, a publisher based in South Africa, and Ashish Thakkar, founder of Mara Group, a pan-African investment group with operations...
(Agence Ecofin 03/14/17)
The Land Policy Initiative (LPI), a joint programme of the tripartite consortium consisting of the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has launched a pilot project to track progress in implementing in the AU Declaration on land issues in Africa. This was revealed by the ECA in a press statement dated March 7. In collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the project will assess progress...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/13/17)
The United Arab Emirates, one of the Middle East's largest economies, wants to expand trade ties with faster growing nations in Asia and Africa, a senior official said on Sunday. Rich Gulf Arab states are looking at ways to diversify their economies, including who they trade with, after more than two years of depressed oil prices forced a rethink of government spending. The pace of economic growth in Asian and sub-Saharan African economies has made them ideal partners, Abdullah al-Saleh,...
(AFP (eng) 03/10/17)
In the beginning was .com, followed by a host of other .somethings, but on Friday, 32 years after the world's first domain name was registered, the African Union has launched .africa for the continent. Africans who want to register a website will be able to apply for a .africa domain name in the coming months, which outgoing AU commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said would allow the continent's people and businesses to better reach the world. "With .africa, I would say...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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...

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