Monday 19 February 2018
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
About 224 million people are suffering from malnutrition across Africa as climate change and conflicts heighten food insecurity across the continent, a top UN food agency official said Monday. The official, speaking at a conference on Africa organised by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said the situation was a "cause of concern" as the continent's population was expected to reach 1.7 billion by 2030. "Under-nourishment appears to have increased from about 21 percent to nearly 23 percent between 2015 and 2016," Bukar Tijani, FAO's assistant director general for Africa, said at the regional conference that opened on Monday in Khartoum. "Over the same period, the number of under-nourished rose from 200 million to...
(AFP (eng) 02/10/18)
Villagers in central Ivory Coast are savouring a rare victory after reaching a deal with a Canadian gold mine operator following a four-year battle for compensation that at times turned violent. Since it began operating in 2014, the Agbaou gold mine -- which covers an area of 334 square kilometres (130 square miles), or nearly 10 times that of New York's Central Park -- has been hit by demonstrations by local people angered that they had not received money for the loss of lands used for agriculture. Protesters staged a string of activities that braked activity at the mine, an open-cast facility run by Endeavour Mining that extracts around three tonnes of gold per year. With the authorities keen to...
(AFP (eng) 02/08/18)
The African Union's chairman dismissed during a visit to Beijing on Thursday a French newspaper report alleging that China had spied on the continental body as "lies" intended to derail cooperation. The report published by Le Monde in January claimed technicians at the AU's Chinese-built headquarters in the Ethiopian capital discovered last year that the contents of their computers had been regularly copied to servers in Shanghai since 2012, citing unnamed AU sources. "I don't see it is in the...
(AFP (eng) 02/05/18)
Israel began warning thousands of African migrants Sunday that they must leave by the end of March, officials said, under a plan that could see them jailed if they refuse. On January 3, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced implementation of a plan to deport about 38,000 migrants who had entered the country illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese. The controversial plan gives them until the end of next month to leave voluntarily or face jail and eventual expulsion. Immigration authority spokeswoman...
(AFP (eng) 02/03/18)
Megastar Rihanna vowed she would "never stop fighting" to get millions of children back in school on Friday as French President Emmanuel Macron promised a major boost in foreign aid for education in developing nations. Macron co-hosted a conference in Dakar organised by the Global Partnership for Education with Senegalese President Macky Sall, while Rihanna attended as the organisation's global ambassador. "We have made tremendous progress today but of course our work is never done, we have a long way...
(AFP (eng) 02/02/18)
Rihanna on Thursday used her star power to urge key governments to commit to ensuring education for the world's poorest as she takes part in an international conference in Senegal. The chart-topping singer arrived in the capital Dakar where she on Friday will join the Global Partnership for Education talks co-hosted by Senegalese President Macky Sall and French leader Emmanuel Macron. Rihanna, the fourth most followed person on Twitter with 86 million followers, took to social media to urge Macron,...
(AFP (eng) 01/29/18)
President Donald Trump said the United States "deeply respects" Africans and will dispatch its top diplomat to the continent, in a letter to African leaders seen by AFP on Sunday. The letter sent last week comes after Trump provoked a firestorm of indignation among African nations earlier in January when he reportedly called them "shithole countries" during a meeting with lawmakers in Washington. While Trump has denied the remarks, they are expected to be formally condemned by the 55 member states of the African Union during their ongoing summit in the Ethiopian capital. "I want to underscore that the United States deeply respects the people of Africa, and my commitment to strong and respectful relationships...
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
Michel Gbagbo, son of Ivory Coast's former president Laurent Gbagbo, was sentenced Friday to six months' jail and a fine for "complicity in disclosing false news", his lawyer said. In an interview with the Koaci.com news website in May 2016, Gbagbo said "250 people are still in prison" after a political and military showdown in 2010-11 when his father refused to accept electoral defeat at the hands of Alassane Ouattara, the incoming president. Michel Gbagbo also said 300 other people...
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
US President Donald Trump on Friday asked the African Union chairman to pass on his "warmest regards" to other regional leaders at a summit this weekend, after sparking outrage with a reported slur against Africans. Trump met Rwandan President Paul Kagame at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where some African business leaders say they are planning to boycott Trump's closing speech later Friday. The outspoken US leader congratulated Kagame on taking over as chair of the 55-nation African bloc, which Trump said was a "great honour". "I know you're going to your first meeting shortly. Please give my warmest regards," Trump told Kagame after they held a one-on-one meeting at the forum.
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
The oldest remains of a modern human outside Africa have been dug up in Israel, offering evidence of what genetic studies have already suggested -- that humans migrated out of Africa some 50,000 years earlier than previously thought. Facial fragments, including a jawbone and several teeth, were found at a site called Misliya Cave in Israel, one of several prehistoric cave sites located on Mount Carmel. The bones date to between 174,000 and 188,000 years old, said the report in...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/22/18)
ABIDJAN (Reuters) - Light, patchy showers in a number of Ivory Coast’s main cocoa growing regions last week are expected to aid the development of the upcoming April-to-September mid-crop, farmers said on Monday. Precipitation is rare during the annual dry season running from mid-November to March, and farmers said the sporadic showers had been exceptional. The flowers that will develop into the cocoa of the mid-crop were visible on trees, they said, but more rainfall was needed to transform into...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/22/18)
KLEINARL, Austria (Reuters) - The chilly conditions on an Austrian mountainside belied the warm reception given to people from 15 African countries who took part in an annual luge race aimed at helping migrants integrate into European society. The event over the weekend, dubbed the African Winter Sports Cup, is a luge race contested by people with little or no experience of winter sports. Its aim, over the six years it has been held, is to promote social integration through...
(AFP (eng) 01/19/18)
A former defence chief for the Ivory Coast's ousted leader was sentenced to 15 years on Thursday for conspiring against the government, the latest top aide of the former regime to be jailed. Moise Lida Kouassi, a defence minister under strongman Laurent Gbagbo, was convicted by a court in Abidjan of "conspiring to destroy or change the constitutional system" alongside three other defendants. Gbagbo was forced out after months of violence that followed his refusal to step down when rival...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/19/18)
(Reuters) - A court in Ivory Coast has sentenced a former adviser to ex-President Laurent Gbagbo to 15 years in jail for plotting to overthrow Gbagbo’s successor, President Alassane Ouattara, the defendant’s lawyer said on Friday. Moise Lida Kouassi, who once served as Gbagbo’s defense minister, was arrested in Togo in 2012 for his role in a planned military coup against Ouattara, who beat Gbagbo in a U.N.-certified election in 2010. Gbagbo refused to step down after the election, dragging...
(AFP (eng) 01/19/18)
At the age of 39, Didier Drogba is in the twilight years of a glittering football career that has spanned two decades and six countries and brought him a harvest of trophies. Such moments are typically occasions of nostalgia, even sadness, for many ageing football greats. But, in an interview with AFP, Drogba showed he was brimming with passion -- launching a school project for Ivory Coast's disadvantaged young and fiery about the underperforming state of the national football team...
(AFP (eng) 01/19/18)
US Ambassador Nikki Haley expressed regret on Thursday to African ambassadors who were outraged by President Donald Trump's alleged description of African countries as "shithole" nations, the head of the African Group said. Haley asked to meet the African ambassadors at the United Nations after they released a joint statement on Friday demanding an apology from Trump for his "outrageous, racist and xenophobic remarks." Ambassador Anatolio Ndong Mba of Equatorial Guinea, who chairs the Africa Group, said the US ambassador...
(AFP (eng) 01/17/18)
There's nothing covert about Roxy -- a huge market in Abidjan selling counterfeit medicine, the scourge of Africa and the cause of around 100,000 deaths annually on the world's poorest continent. Located in the bustling Adjame quarter of Ivory Coast's main city and commercial hub, the haven for fake medicine has been targeted time and again by authorities and stockpiles burnt. But it resurfaces every time. "The police hassle us but they themselves buy these medicines," said Mariam, one of...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Rusty debutants Namibia scored in stoppage time Sunday to shock the Ivory Coast 1-0 in Group B during the opening round of matches at the African Nations Championship in Morocco. A lacklustre match in central city Marrakech seemed destined to end goalless until Vetunuavi Hambira got the slightest of touches with his head to a free-kick for the match-winner. Because of a dispute between national association and league officials in Namibia, there has been no top-flight championship football in the...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
A key figure in the security apparatus that underpinned Ivory Coast's ousted leader was jailed for 10 years for taking part in an alleged plot to overthrow his successor. Major Jean-Noel Abehi was a right-hand man to former president Laurent Gbagbo, who was ousted in 2011 after a bloody post-electoral crisis. Abehi was given a 10-year term on Thursday for "plotting against the authority of the state," an AFP reporter at the court in Abidjan saw. According to the charge...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
The African Union said Friday that President Donald Trump's reported description of African nations as "shithole countries" broke with "accepted behaviour" and was "extremely upsetting." Ebba Kalondo, spokeswoman for AU Chairperson Moussa Faki, told AFP that Trump's statement "truly flies in the face of accepted behaviour and practice." "This is not only hurtful, I think, to people of African origin in the United States, but certainly to African citizens," she said. "It's an extremely upsetting statement," she added. The comment was reportedly made during a Thursday meeting with lawmakers about immigration reform...

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