Saturday 24 February 2018
(AFP (eng) 11/06/13)
ABIDJAN, November 6, 2013 (AFP) - Fourteen former bosses of Ivory Coast's cocoa sector -- the world's number one producer -- have been sentenced to 20 years in prison in a major embezzlement case, according to the Abidjan court's ruling seen by AFP. Another 13 managers were acquitted in the case involving hundreds of millions of euros (dollars) embezzled between 2002 and 2008. Despite the conviction, the 14 have not been jailed as the prosecutor has not made a formal request for their detention, said Emmanuel Yao, the lawyer representing one of the accused. The fact that it was unclear when they would begin serving their sentence "shows simply that justice is uneasy" and that "the trial is political", said...
(Punch 11/06/13)
The Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said on Monday that the N1.4tn spent by the Federal Government on subsidy covered only petrol because no provision was made for subsidy payment on kerosene. Okonjo-Iweala, who appeared before the Senate Joint Committee on Appropriation and Finance, said questions relating to kerosene subsidy should be directed at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. Records show that N1.4tn has so far been paid to oil marketers as subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit. Meanwhile, the Comptroller-General, Nigerian Customs Service, Mr. Abdulahi Dikko, has said the service incurred revenue loss of N603.2bn between January and September this year. He stated this on Monday, when he appeared before the Senate Joint Committee on Finance and Appropriation. Dikko...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/06/13)
LONDON | Wed Nov 6, 2013 (Reuters) - Three years ago, a trip to the Southern Kenya production facilities of Canadian company Africa Oil attracted only seven potential investors. Two months ago, 60 boarded the flight. The investor trip, described by sales staff at Citi following a recent client conference, is just one illustration of the swelling interest in the most esoteric frontier markets. In a world of low yields and paltry growth, the attraction of frontier markets - the lesser developed emerging markets in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America - is pretty clear. Juicy returns, often huge natural resources and young populations provide a stark contrast to the ageing economic profile in the West. "Everyone...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/06/13)
WASHINGTON | (Reuters) - A former Deutsche Bank unit will pay $12.1 million to harmed borrowers in order to resolve allegations that it discriminated against African-American and Hispanic borrowers seeking mortgage loans, the U.S. housing regulator said on Tuesday. MortgageIT, which was an indirect subsidiary of the German bank, charged higher rates and fees to minority borrowers and denied their loan applications more often than comparable white borrowers, the Department of Housing and Urban Development said. The money will be used to compensate borrowers who were unfairly denied a loan or whose loans violated fair lending laws, the agency said. "It's creditworthiness and ability to pay that matter when you apply for a loan, not your race or where you...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/05/13)
PRETORIA | Tue Nov 5, 2013 (Reuters) - African leaders told Congo's M23 rebels on Tuesday they must publicly declare an end to their 20-month insurgency to allow the signing of a peace agreement with President Joseph Kabila's government. The recommendation was made by heads of state from southern Africa and the Great Lakes region who met through Monday night in the South African capital Pretoria to lend their weight to an international push to end the conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Despite growing calls for peace, the M23 rebels and government forces were involved in artillery clashes on Monday near Congo's border with Uganda. Both sides blamed the other for the shelling. A statement released by the...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/05/13)
MBUZI, Democratic Republic of Congo/PRETORIA | (Reuters) - African leaders and international envoys appealed to Congo's government and M23 rebels on Monday to stop fighting and embrace a peace deal after the two sides bombarded each other near the Ugandan border. The appeals were made as United Nations and U.S. envoys said the elements of an accord to end the 20-month insurgency in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo were broadly agreed and only required public commitments to end the hostilities. A rapid Congolese army advance in recent weeks has driven the M23 rebels from towns and cornered them in the steep, forested hills along the Ugandan border, raising the prospect of peace for Congo's mineral-rich eastern borderlands. But before leaders...
(Voice of America 11/04/13)
Heads of state and governments in both the Southern African and the Great Lakes regions plan to meet in the South African capital, Pretoria, Monday, to review the security situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The summit is organized by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR). It’s the follow-up to an agreement signed between the two groups last February to find ways of addressing the security challenges within the DRC. “This [summit] is a follow up to ensure that there is a full implementation of this framework [and] to review the implementation process and a way forward,” said Tanki Mothae, SADC’s director of politics, defense and security cooperation...
(The Independent 11/04/13)
We start off this week’s news roundup in the Democratic Republic of Congo where the M23 rebels on Sunday declared a ceasefire in their fight with the army, in a move they hope will advance peace talks with the government, France24 reports. “We call on the facilitator of the Kampala peace talks to immediately put in place a mechanism to monitor the ceasefire,” the rebels said in statement. There was no immediate reaction from the army, which has pushed the rebels from all the towns they once controlled during a 20-month rebellion in North Kivu province. Rebel fighters this week abandoned Bunagana, their last stronghold in the eastern province, and have withdrawn into the hills and forests around Congo’s border...
(BBC News Africa 11/04/13)
A rare solar eclipse allowing a view of the Sun that is totally or partially blocked by the Moon has taken place. It was first visible in the southern United States, before sweeping east across the Atlantic Ocean and the African continent. The US space agency, Nasa, said the greatest total eclipse occurred over the Atlantic Ocean. One of the best views was in northern Kenya, where tour companies organised trips to view a total blackout. Local myths there attribute the event to the Moon eating the Sun. Men and women from the Turkana tribe take part in a ceremony in the Sibiloi national Park in the Turkana region Men and women from the Turkana tribe in Kenya took part...
(AFP 11/03/13)
PARIS, November 3, 2013 (AFP) - President Francois Hollande on Sunday held an emergency meeting on the shock abduction and killing of two French radio journalists by armed men in northern Mali. Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, Justice Minister Christiane Taubira and the head of France's external intelligence services agency Bernard Bajolet attended the hour-long crisis talks with Hollande to try and shed light on the double murder. Radio France Internationale (RFI) journalist Ghislaine Dupont and sound technician Claude Verlon had travelled Saturday to the northern city of Kidal to interview a spokesman for the Tuareg separatist group the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), and were abducted outside his home, according to their employer. Dupont, 57, and Verlon,...
(Reuters 11/02/13)
UNITED NATIONS, (Reuters) - Rwanda, Togo and Morocco are set to circulate to U.N. Security Council members on Friday a draft resolution to defer the International Criminal Court trials of Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto for one year. The African Union asked the Security Council last week to postpone the trials of Kenyatta and Ruto so they can deal with the aftermath of the Nairobi mall attack by al Qaeda-linked group al Shabaab, in which at least 67 people were killed in September. Kenyatta and Ruto face charges related to the violence after Kenya's 2007 elections, in which 1,200 people died. Both deny the charges and have tried to have the cases adjourned or halted. Ruto's...
(The New York Times 11/01/13)
The decomposing bodies of 87 migrants from the impoverished West African nation of Niger were discovered in the Sahara this week just a few miles from a well, apparently stranded after a desperate search for water, said the head of a local humanitarian organization who helped bury many of the bodies. Two trucks carrying the migrants — men, women and children — broke down in the northern desert while trying to reach neighboring Algeria, said Almoustapha Alhacen, speaking by telephone from Arlit, where they started their journey on Sept. 26. Responders, himself included, found groups of corpses — 15 here, 11 there — scattered in a wide radius around a well that the victims had tried to reach. Five other...
(Voice of America 10/31/13)
ABUJA — A surge in piracy in the Gulf of Guinea this year has prompted West African leaders to establish a new working group intended to combine maritime law enforcement efforts. Analysts in Nigeria say security forces already have the capacity to slow the attacks, but lack the political will. In the rivers and creeks of Nigeria's Niger Delta, speedboat drivers say piracy in the Gulf of Guinea has frightened some of their customers away, but they continue to carry oil workers to the high seas. The International Maritime Bureau says West African waters are now among the most dangerous in the world - far more dangerous than the waters off Somalia, where pirates have become less active. A report...
(Sierra Express media 10/31/13)
International football star Yaya Touré today pledged to combat the illegal ivory trade that sees thousands of African elephants slaughtered each year as he was unveiled as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Mr. Touré joins the roster of other Goodwill Ambassadors—Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen, US actor Don Cheadle, Chinese actress Li Binging, French photographer Yann Arthus Bertrand and Indian economist Pavan Sukhdev—to help generate public awareness and understanding of environmental causes. Touré, African Footballer of the Year in 2011 and 2012 and an inspirational figure for Manchester City and his national side Côte d’Ivoire, travelled to the headquarters of UNEP in Nairobi, Kenya—a country that is facing a massive spike in poaching—to accept his nomination...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/31/13)
ABUJA | Thu Oct 31, 2013 (Reuters) - Sub-Saharan Africa's economic growth is expected to increase to six percent in 2014, from five percent this year, supported by investment in infrastructure and production capacity, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Thursday. The IMF had predicted in May that the region would grow 5.7 percent this year and 6.1 percent in 2014. It said the slight downward revisions were due mainly to weaker global economic conditions, while budget delays in oil producer Angola and oil theft in Africa's top crude exporter Nigeria also hurt growth. Inflation on the continent is expected to be less than six percent next year, its third year of decline due to benign prospects for food...
(Sierra Express media 10/31/13)
LAGOS, Nigeria, October 31, 2013/ – The African Innovation Foundation ( http://www.africaninnovation.org ) today announced it will extend the deadline for the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) 2014 ( http://www.innovationprizeforafrica.org ) applications to 30 November 2013. The IPA is an initiative that mobilizes African innovators and entrepreneurs who deliver market-oriented solutions that increase efficiency or cost-saving in Africa. Attending an innovation roundtable in Nigeria, the IPA representative highlighted the need to invest in innovation to accelerate economic growth on the continent. “Africa has experienced one of the fastest economic growths in recent history – 6 per cent on average. Innovation has and will continue to play a vital role in this growth, and with this in mind, the IPA is...
(AL Jazeera 10/31/13)
The bodies of 87 migrants were found in Niger's northern desert after they died of thirst just a few kilometres from the border of Algeria, their planned destination, security officials said. The corpses of the seven men, 32 women and 48 children were in addition to five bodies of women and girls found earlier, a security source said. All died in early October after a failed attempt to reach Algeria that began in late September, the source added. Almoustapha Alhacen, a spokesman of local aid organisation Aghir In'man, confirmed the death toll and gave a graphic account of discovering the bodies. "The corpses were decomposed; it was horrible," he said. "We found them in different locations in a 20km radius...
(UN.org 10/30/13)
International football star Yaya Touré today joined the roster of Goodwill Ambassadors for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), pledging to combat the illegal ivory trade that sees thousands of African elephants slaughtered each year. “Poaching threatens the very existence of the African elephant and if we do not act now we could be looking at a future in which this iconic species is wiped out,” said Mr. Touré, who was African Footballer of the Year in 2011 and 2012 and an inspirational figure for Manchester City and his national side Côte d'Ivoire. “I became a UNEP Goodwill Ambassador to spread the message that this poaching – and other forms of wildlife crime – is not only a betrayal of...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/30/13)
NIAMEY | (Reuters) - Around 10 migrants from Niger have died of thirst and 50 are missing after one of the vehicles they were travelling in broke down in the Sahara, the governor of the Niger's northern region of Agadez said on Tuesday. Although the number of West Africans seeking to reach Europe has dropped in recent years, the route across the Sahara is still used by some migrants from the region and those from farther afield. Hundreds of those who make it to the Mediterranean have drowned trying to cross in recent months. "Two vehicles left for a neighboring country and when one of them broke down, ten people sadly died," Garba Maikido, governor of the desert region of...
(AFP (eng) 10/29/13)
THE HAGUE, October 29, 2013 (AFP) - Former Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo must remain in detention in The Hague pending a possible trial on charges of crimes against humanity, the International Criminal Court ruled Tuesday. "The appeals chamber dismissed the grounds for appeal raised by the defence," against a decision ordering Gbagbo held pending charges for orchestrating post-2010 election violence, the court said in a ruling. The ICC has yet to confirm the charges against Gbagbo for his role in the bloody election standoff nearly three years ago. Judges said in June that they needed more evidence before charging the former Ivory Coast strongman, who has been held by the ICC for almost two years. Gbagbo, 68, is accused...

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