Tuesday 22 August 2017
(AfricaNews 08/21/17)
The Congolese government on Thursday destroyed thousands of decommissioned passports, too old to meet current technological standards. The destruction was ordered by court, that ruled the diplomatic travel documents did not contain a chip that could read information automatically at immigration posts. Most of these passports had been acquired by 2014, a year before the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC), which Congo is a member, introduced the biometric passports. Before French dignitaries, and local authorities, the passports were set up in flames. “It’s not a loss. In any case, these passports do not serve any purpose. As has been indicated on numerous occasions since 2015 the government issued biometric passports that are...
(Bloomberg 08/14/17)
The U.S. will probably maintain its current levels of aid to Africa despite President Donald Trump’s proposals to slash funding, according to Bill Gates, the world’s richest man. Trump said in May his government would no longer allocate funding for family planning, a move that has the potential to undermine aid programs in the poorest countries in the world. However, with Congress in control of the budget, it’s unlikely that all cuts proposed by the Trump administration will go ahead next year, Gates said in an interview in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s commercial capital. “It’s quite clear that they won’t make those drastic cuts,” Gates said. “I’m hopeful they won’t make any cuts at all, but that’s still subject to...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/11/17)
Radio France Internationale (RFI) has resumed services in Democratic Republic of Congo after a 10-month shutdown over what the government said was the station's sympathy for opposition rallies, RFI and the Congolese government said on Friday. RFI, funded by the French government, was jammed on Nov. 5, hours before a banned opposition rally protesting against President Joseph Kabila's plan to stay in power beyond the end of his mandate in December. RFI denounced the move as an infringement of press freedom. "I can confirm that the RFI signal was restored in Kinshasa on Thursday night. We have reached an agreement with the French authorities," said Congolese
(AfricaNews 07/25/17)
Angola has deported 300 Congolese illegal immigrants living in the northern province of Cabinda over the past week. According to the Angolan news agency Angop, the deportees were repatriated through three borders shared with the Democratic Republic of Congo and Congo Brazzaville. Also, 54 nationals of the DR Congo and 8 from Congo Brazzaville are in detention for violation of the Angolan border, the report added. On Friday, the director of the Migration and Foreigners Service (SME) in Cabinda, Firmino de Jesus Samavie ordered illegal immigrants to leave Cabinda immediately or face the penalty. He also warned Angolans against harbouring illegal immigrants and appealed to employers to either desist from offering jobs to illegal...
(AFP (eng) 07/24/17)
Senior politicians in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Saturday called for measures to cut the birth rate in the region in order to bring the population explosion there under control. Deputies of ECOWAS, Mauritania and Chad should be aiming to cut back the birth rate to three children per woman, said Salifou Diallo, Burkina Faso's speaker of parliament. The idea, he said, was to cut the birth rate in half by 2030, in a region that...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/20/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Violence in Congo Republic's Pool region has uprooted tens of thousands of people and left many struggling to eat, yet their needs risk being overlooked due to humanitarian crises in neighboring nations, the United Nations said on Wednesday. At least 165,000 people need aid and about 50,000 have been forced to flee their homes in the southeastern province of Pool, where the government began a military operation in April last year, according to a joint...
(AfricaNews 07/20/17)
The United Nations Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has appealed for emergency aid to support people in the Republic of Congo’s restive Pool Region. A U.N. statement said, OCHA along with the Congolese government and other humanitarian partners needed $23.7 million to aid persons caught in the insecure region. The requested funding – which was made by national authorities, the U.N. along with 16 aid partners – would provide emergency humanitarian aid to 138,000 people for the...
(AFP (eng) 07/19/17)
Congo and several UN agencies have launched a joint appeal for $23.7 million (20.6 million euros) to help 138,000 people hit by fighting and insecurity in the southern region of Pool. "The most pressing humanitarian needs are related to food security, nutrition, living conditions and access to basic health services,” said OCHA, the UN agency that coordinates humanitarian work. They were vulnerable to attacks, threats, sexual violence, loss or family separation, said the statement, issued Tuesday. Deadly violence broke out in the Pool region, which adjoins the capital Brazzaville...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/18/17)
Three years after he risked his life crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Libya to Italy on a small boat crammed with migrants, 22-year-old Sow Muhammed can hardly believe his luck. The former street hawker from Guinea now works as a caterer in Venice, rents his own apartment, and sends money back home regularly to his mother and siblings in the West African nation. "I am happy I came to Europe, and my family is also happy," he told the Thomson...
(AFP (eng) 07/13/17)
French judges probing the ruling elite in three African countries over suspected misuse of public funds have charged Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso's nephew and former sister-in-law, sources close to the case said Thursday. Edgar Nguesso and his mother Catherine Ignanga appeared before an investigating judge on Tuesday and were charged with money laundering and misusing public funds, according to the sources. It is the latest development in a wide-ranging probe into the ruling elite in three oil-rich African countries:...
(Cnbc Africa 07/12/17)
"Africa is an awakening giant," according to the former South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk speaking at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul. The leader who oversaw the transition of his country's power to Nelson Mandela said Tuesday that the future looks bright for a continent previously blighted by war, famine and a lack of infrastructure. "I believe Africa is an awakening giant and, yes, it is not performing according to what we expected soon enough, but it will...
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
In the past five years, terrorist attacks have killed nearly 20,000 people across Africa. Two groups, Boko Haram and al-Shabab, accounted for 71 percent of reported incidents and 91 percent of fatalities. But, while these and other militant groups remain active, fatal terrorist attacks across the continent are on pace to fall for a second straight year, and the total number of attacks is running far below 2012 highs. These findings are part of VOA’s original analysis of data from...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The costs of diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa could double to almost $60 billion annually just 13 years from now, as obesity fuels an explosion of the disease, a report said Thursday. In 2015, the overall diabetes cost in the region was nearly $20 billion (18 billion euros), or 1.2 percent of total economic production, according to research published by The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. This included medication and hospital stays, and loss of labour productivity due to illness or death. About half of all treatment costs were paid for by patients themselves.
(Voice of America 07/05/17)
More than 7 million children in West and Central Africa are displaced every year, the United Nations children's agency said in a report released Wednesday. Lack of economic opportunities, wars and climate change are forcing more than 12 million people in West and Central Africa to migrate annually, the report said. "Children in West and Central Africa are moving in greater numbers than ever before, many in search of safety or a better life," UNICEF regional director Marie-Pierre Poirier said...
(Voice of America 07/04/17)
GENEVA — The U.N. children’s fund warns tens of thousands of malnourished children are at great risk in Yemen, Somalia and South Sudan, which are on the brink of famine. UNICEF reports an estimated 4.7 million children in the cholera-stricken countries are malnourished. Of these, UNICEF spokesman Christofe Boulierac tells VOA, more than one million are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. “Let me remind you that a child who is suffering from severe acute malnutrition are nine times more likely...
(RFI(EN) 07/04/17)
New tax rules in Israel could leave hundreds of African migrants worse off than they are. In May, the government introduced a new deposit law, enabling the governemnt to take 20 percent of migrants' salaries each month and place it out of reach. The money can only be accessed once they leave the country. Rights groups say the policy is designed to force them out of the country. "We're not pressuring you to leave but will make your life miserable...
(AFP (eng) 06/28/17)
The generic version of the most advanced drug against HIV has been introduced in Kenya, a first in Africa where more than 25 million have the disease, the NGO Unitaid said Wednesday. The drug, Dolutegravir (DTG) is the anti-retroviral drug of choice for those living with HIV in developed countries, but its high price has put it out of reach for most struggling with the disease in Africa. "The generic DTG has two advantages: on the one hand, it is...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/27/17)
More than 80,000 people have fled their homes in Pool province surrounding Congo Republic's capital since the government began a military operation there last year, a joint U.N. and government statement said. The campaign, involving occasional aerial bombardments, aims to curb what the government says is a resurgent rebellion led by Pastor Ntumi, an enemy of President Denis Sassou Nguesso from the oil-rich country's 1997 civil war. While it has been hard to confirm death tolls and the impact on residents, any clear evidence of escalating violence could be damaging to Sassou Nguesso's ruling party, the Congolese Party of Labour, ahead of legislative elections next month.
(Reuters (Eng) 06/23/17)
DAR ES SALAAM (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Sadick Thenest remembers how his 8-year-old daughter had a narrow brush with death two years ago, when she contracted cholera after drinking contaminated water. “She was so gaunt, weak and had terrible diarrhea,” said the refugee from Burundi. “A slight delay in rushing her to hospital would have meant something else - but with God’s grace she survived.” The father of four, aged 35, is among thousands of refugees grappling with frequent outbreaks...
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
WASHINGTON DC — On June 5, Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of funding extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State. In response, Qatar said it was the victim of a policy of “domination and control” by its larger neighbor and that Saudi Arabia was, in fact, the one responsible for backing extremism. So what is the truth? Fundamentalist strains of Islam, including...

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