Saturday 19 August 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 07/20/17)
Gunfire erupted near several police installations across Ivory Coast's main city Abidjan late on Wednesday, witnesses and a police source said, in what appeared to be a renewed bout of insecurity following months of military mutinies. Shooting broke out at around 9.30 p.m. (2130 GMT) in the Cocody neighborhood near the national police and gendarmes academies and lasted for around an hour, according to one Reuters witness. A second Reuters reporter later heard sustained gunfire near the base of the police anti-riot brigade in the Yopougon neighborhood in northern Abidjan. A local resident also said shooting broke near a police station in another part of Yopougon. "On the radio in the station they were talking about an attack a bit...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/20/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Africa's major central banks are entering an easing cycle as they try to stimulate growth after months of drought, austerity drives and confidence issues across the continent, a Reuters poll found on Thursday. Much of southern and eastern Africa is still recovering after an El Niño-related drought wilted crops last year. Poor business confidence in South Africa and foreign exchange restrictions in Nigeria have also hampered growth. "We expect that African monetary policy is entering a widespread and protracted period of policy easing. This will provide a boost to growth," said John Ashbourne, Africa analyst at Capital Economics. Ghana, which agreed a three-year fiscal discipline deal with the International Monetary Fund in exchange for aid in 2015,...
(AFP (eng) 07/19/17)
Appeal judges Wednesday struck down a decision denying former Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo interim release during his trial for crimes against humanity, and ordered the court to review his situation. Gbagbo, the first ex-head of state to be tried by the International Criminal Court, has appealed a March decision that he must stay behind bars in a UN detention centre until the end of his trial. Gbagbo and his former militia leader Charles Ble Goude, 45, have pleaded not guilty to four charges arising out of the post-election violence which wracked the Ivory Coast in 2010 to 2011. About 3,000 people died in the turmoil that swept Abidjan -- once one of Africa's most cosmopolitan cities -- in the aftermath...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/19/17)
Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara replaced ministers in charge of defense, budget and the interior on Wednesday in a reshuffle of key cabinet positions, a government official announced in a statement. The world's top cocoa producer has endured successive waves of army mutinies this year that have cost it hundreds of millions of dollars in pay-outs to soldiers and tarnished Ivory Coast's image as a post-war success story. Hamed Bakayoko, who had been serving as Interior Minister, took over the defense post, according to the statement read to reporters by Patrick Achi, the secretary-general of the presidency, before the start to a cabinet meeting. Meanwhile Sidiki Diakite, the prefect of Ivory Coast's main city Abidjan, was named Interior Minister. Prime...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/19/17)
"It's not my first time," fireman Patrick Obite said with an air of confidence as, kneeling, he straddled a meter-long crocodile in the carpark of a building site in Ivory Coast's main city Abidjan. "There was a first session yesterday at the zoo when we got used to them," he added, smiling. Africa's fastest growing economy, Ivory Coast, is now in the midst of a construction boom that is changing the face of the lagoon-side city, bringing new hotels, offices and homes ever closer to the water's edge. But Abidjan's 5 million human residents are not the only ones experiencing an urban renaissance and rapid growth risks setting them on a collision course with the area's oldest inhabitants, said American...
(Bloomberg 07/19/17)
Vodacom Group Ltd. sees the expansion of mobile-banking services into new markets in sub-Saharan Africa as a top priority following a shareholder vote to rubber stamp its purchase of a 35 percent stake in Safaricom Ltd., Kenya’s biggest company. “We will use Safaricom to enter other markets where neither Vodacom nor Safaricom are,” Chief Executive Officer Shameel Joosub said in an interview at the wireless carrier’s annual general meeting in Johannesburg on Tuesday. The two businesses have a combined 30 million mobile-banking customers, giving them “a very sizeable platform on the continent,” he said. Vodacom’s purchase of the Safaricom stake from U.K. parent company Vodafone Group Plc gives the South African company access to the fast-growing M-Pesa platform, which processed...
(Agence Ecofin 07/18/17)
France has decided to provide Ivory Coast a financing of €2.125 billion (about FCFA1,394 billion) between this year and 2020. This was revealed by Ivoirian Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, at the end of a visit by a French delegation, from July 12 to 13. According to the PM, the facility will be used to fund projects in “key sectors in line with the 2016-2020 National Development Plan (PND)”. In details, €725 million (FCFA475.5 billion) will be injected into power, road, health, security, education and training projects, while, €1.4 billion (about FCFA918.34 billion) will “complete funding for the first line of Abidjan’s subway”. With this, works for this line should finally commence after being postponed repeatedly due to issues between...
(Agence Ecofin 07/18/17)
Africa’s agricultural sector is mainly driven by Ethiopia and Ivory Coast according to report recently released by Consulting firm Havas Horizons. The survey which assessed the opinions of 55 major financial and banking institutions based on the continent, lists the top five leading African nations in terms of agriculture. While 90% of the population surveyed believe the African agriculture is very promising, 43% of them think Ivory Coast and Ethiopia are best prepared to face the various challenges opposing the sector. These include infrastructure, access to market, processing and industrialization as well. Looking at Ivory Coast, it is one of the major actors of the agricultural sector in Africa. It holds a key position in the commodity supply market. It...
(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 Reuters Foundation as he packed up leftovers at a training event for people who work with refugees, where he had served a menu which included traditional African dishes. "I talk to my family frequently, ask them their needs, and help...
(APA 07/17/17)
Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara is visiting Ouagadougou Monday for a summit meeting between the leaders of Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso, the Presidency has announced. The two states have a Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) under which the summit is being held. Ouattara is expected to land at around 4 pm at Ouagadougou International Airport, where he will be welcomed by his Burkina Faso counterpart, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré. President Ouattara was preceded in the capital of Burkina Faso by the Ivorian Prime Minister, Amadou Gon Coulibaly who landed in Ouagadougou on Sunday afternoon. The two Ivorian personalities will take part in the sixth TAC Summit from July 17 to 18. As a prelude to the bilateral meeting, the...
(Bloomberg 07/17/17)
A group of mutinous soldiers in the Ivory Coast clashed with security forces in the northern city of Korhogo, a day after after talks with military commanders over bonuses deadlocked. The conflict on Saturday was preceded by shots fired into the air by members of the army group called 2600 in barracks at the capital Abidjan and Korhogo to protest military leaders telling them they won’t be paid bonuses due to unavailability of funds. The situation is “under control and calm,” Minister of Defense Alain Donwahi said by phone. Three soldiers in the group died and two members of security forces were wounded, according to Abidjan-based news website Pole Afrique. Ivory Coast soldiers have mutinied several times this year as...
(Xinhuanet 07/17/17)
Africa is making progress towards the establishment of a trade zone by Oct. 30 that will cover approximately half of the continent's member states. The Common Market for the Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Director of Trade and Customs, Francis Mangeni, said in a commentary published in the Star Newspaper on Monday that so far 19 of the 26 countries involved have signed the agreement. "Three outstanding annexes had meant the tripartite agreement was not complete and this was advanced by some countries as the reason they could not sign or ratify the agreement. However their adoption represented a milestone in the negotiation, as it removed the last obstacle to signing and ratifying the agreement," Mangeni said. The tripartite free...
(AFP (eng) 07/15/17)
Three soldiers died after shooting erupted overnight at a base in Ivory Coast, which has been gripped by tensions within the military, security sources said Saturday. Gunfire was heard coming from the barracks at Korhogo, a city in the north of the the West African country, at around 1:00 am (0100 GMT), Adama Coulibaly, a local carpenter reached by phone said. "There are three dead soldiers," an officer told AFP separately, without giving further details. A source at the local morgue said three bodies in military fatigues and with gunshot wounds had been taken to the facility. In a separate incident, shooting was heard from a former UN base near Abidjan, lasting from about 1.30 am to after 3:00 am,...
(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 perform," he said. De Klerk believes that African countries are primed to take advantage of the world's growing size. "If we look at food shortages for the rest of the world with a growing population, Africa is the solution," he...
(AFP (eng) 07/11/17)
Two former rebel leaders in Ivory Coast were jailed Tuesday after the ex-fighters obstructed a road into the central city of Bouake over a pay dispute, a legal source said. The head of the demobilised forces, Amadou Ouattara, and his main spokesman, Megbe Diomande, were sent to the town's civilian prison after being charged with "disturbing the peace and unauthorised demonstration", the source said, asking not to be named. Both men were detained on Sunday evening, after police dispersed ex-rebels who blocked traffic in their onetime stronghold to claim a bonus of 18 million CFA francs (27,440 euros/$31,300) apiece. The Ivorian rebels first arose in 2002 in a foiled bid to oust then president Laurent Gbagbo, which effectively split the...
(AFP (eng) 07/11/17)
As West Africa declares war on the market for expired and counterfeit medicines, start-ups are putting quality control in the hands of patients to stop them risking their lives trying to get well. Not only can such drugs fail to treat the diseases they are bought to combat, experts say, but they may encourage resistance to antibiotics and even cause death as diseases continue to course unchecked through the body. At an April meeting in Liberia, the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) announced a region-wide investigation into the trafficking of expired and counterfeit drugs, and a public awareness campaign. Traffickers in bad medicine prey on some of the world's poorest and most in need, who also face...
(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 ACLED, the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. ACLED tracks political violence, protests and terrorist events across Africa. Their reports include attacks since 1997 based on data collected from local news media, government statements, non-governmental organizations and published research...
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Many cell phone companies are rethinking their headlong rush into the continent. Only Orange is staying the course. Back when African countries were auctioning off mobile licenses by the boatload to serve the region’s young, tech-savvy population, investing in the continent’s fast-growing economies seemed like a no-brainer. Some of the world’s biggest wireless carriers rushed in. Now they’re wondering if they made a mistake. Increasing government and regulatory scrutiny, as well as a lack of expansion opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa, are making it harder for operators such as Vodafone Group Plc, Orange SA and Bharti Airtel Ltd. to grow. Their choice: Pull back or double down. Two companies beating at least a partial retreat are Millicom International Cellular SA, which...
(AFP 07/07/17)
Le Séwé San Pedro, détenteur du Trophée, a été éliminé lors des quarts de finale de la Coupe de Côte d'Ivoire disputés mercredi et jeudi. Le Séwé a été largement dominé (5-0) par l'ASI d'Abengourou, récent vainqueur de la Coupe de la Ligue. L'AS Tanda a remporté le match au sommet des quarts de finale en battant 1 à 0 Williamsville AC (WAC) Les deux équipes étaient déjà en lutte en Championnat pour la 2e place qualificative pour la Ligue des champions, c'est finalement le WAC, révélation de la saison qui a décroché le sésame pour ses débuts dans l'élite. L'Africa Sports d'Abidjan, s'est qualifié au dépens de l'Alliance Indénié, club de ligue 2 , battu 2 à 0. "Les...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The African Union's new chair Moussa Faki Mahamat on Wednesday questioned US commitment to fighting terrorism on the continent after it blocked efforts to get UN funding for an anti-jihadist force in the Sahel. "This is a specific case of a certain number of African states taking the initiative to create a dedicated force to fight terrorism. So, we don't understand how the United States could hold back or not engage in the fight against terrorism," Faki said in an interview with AFP. Faki's January election as chairperson of the AU commission came days after the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, who has proposed slashing US funding for aid projects and multilateral institutions like the UN. The former Chadian...

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