Monday 18 December 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 10/23/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - African political leaders, activists, and local chiefs joined forces on Monday to commit to ending child marriage in West and Central Africa, the region with the highest child marriage rate in the world. More than a third of girls in the region are married under the age of 18, with the rate over 50 percent in six countries and up to 76 percent in Niger. Driven by factors including poverty, insecurity and religious tradition, marrying off girls once they reach puberty or even before is a deeply engrained social custom in much of West and Central Africa. The practice hampers global efforts to reduce poverty and population growth and has negative impacts on women’s and...
(AFP (eng) 10/21/17)
The killing of four American special operations soldiers in Niger has highlighted the increasing role elite units are playing across Africa, which is rapidly becoming a major center of US military action. Their mission is to counter the advances of a slew of jihadist movements across the continent, including Al-Shabaab in Somalia, affiliates of the Islamic State group in the Sahel region and Boko Haram in Nigeria. Of the 8,000 special forces "operators" deployed globally this year, more than 1,300 are in Africa, according to officials from the US Special Operations Command (SOCOM), which is based in Tampa, Florida. Another 5,000 or so are in the Middle East. In five years, the number of US commandos in Africa has tripled...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/20/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The #MeToo social media campaign to raise awareness about sexual harassment and abuse has sparked conversation in parts of Africa where domestic violence is rampant but strong cultural and religious taboos prevent women from admitting it. Prompted by sexual abuse allegations against American film mogul Harvey Weinstein, millions of women around the world have been sharing their experiences of harassment and abuse on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #MeToo. The movement has reached only a small part of the population in West Africa, but some women are participating in defiance of attitudes which dictate that being abused brings shame on the family, is a curse, or makes a woman unmarriageable. In Senegal, some women...
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
Rent-a-room giant Airbnb said Tuesday that it had provided accommodation for 1.2 million visitors to Africa over the last year -- double the previous year as tourism expands across the continent. The website now offers more than 100,000 accommodation options in Africa, global public affairs director Chris Lehane said on a visit to Johannesburg. "It's an incredibly rich and diverse continent, an incredibly dynamic place, certainly a big part of our future," Lehane told AFP. Airbnb was founded in 2008 and offers accommodation ranging from single bedrooms to whole homes in 65,000 cities in 191 countries. The company announced Tuesday that it would invest $1 million (850,000 euros) in Africa by 2020 to "promote and support community-led tourism projects". "For...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/17/17)
ACCRA (Reuters) - Ghana and Ivory Coast set up a body on Tuesday to implement an international tribunal ruling on their dispute over a border running through multibillion dollar offshore oilfields, they said in a statement. The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea last month drew an ocean boundary that seemed to favour Ghana in a dispute with its neighbour Ivory Coast, ruling that Accra had not violated Ivorian rights in drilling for oil. “Following last month’s ruling, the two leaders have agreed to work together and this has culminated in the setting up of a joint commission to implement the ruling,” Ghanaian foreign minister Shirley Botchwey said, reading a joint communique. The decade-old row between the West...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
Though its motto is "one Africa, one voice", the reality of "Africa's parliament" could not be more different. Since its creation in 2004, the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) has struggled to make its voice heard, prompting its deputies to ask themselves at a recent gathering: "What are we for?" "Every time we're here, we obsess over the same things. If we are not making laws, then what's the point of being here?" Corneille Padonou of Benin said to his fellow parliamentarians. "This forum is not a parliament, it is just a discussion platform that does not have any legislative powers. This institution is still wobbly," said Floyd Shivambu, a parliamentarian from South Africa. "As it is, it is a waste of...
(APA 10/16/17)
APA-Accra (Ghana) - The Ghanaian capital city, Accra is ready to receive Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara on Monday for a two-day working visit, APA learns here. Prior to his arrival, the Ghana Police Service has announced the closure of some ceremonial roads in the capital city, thereby drawing the attention of the motoring public to the visit of the Ivorian leader. The visit is coming barely a month after Ghana emerged victorious in a maritime dispute with Ivory Coast at the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in Germany and some political watchers see it as a good move to cement the relationship between the two neighbouring countries. President Ouattara is expected to meet with President Nana...
(APA 10/16/17)
APA - Jacqueville (Cote d’Ivoire) - Meeting in the Ivorian city of Jacqueville, Stakeholders in the agricultural sector, on Saturday, presented agriculture development programs aimed at easing the illegal migration crisis. The presentation took place about 50 km west of the capital city Abidjan, where the 37th edition of World Food Day was celebrated around the theme, “Changing the future of migration: investing in food security and rural development.” According to the Ivorian Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mamadou Sangafowa Coulibaly, “agriculture must help alleviate this phenomenon” of migration hence his advocacy for more means for its development.
(Reuters (Eng) 10/16/17)
ABIDJAN (Reuters) - Four Moldovan citizens were killed and two others were injured on Saturday when a cargo plane chartered by the French military crashed into the sea near the airport in Ivory Coast’s main city, Abidjan, Ivorian and French officials said. Four French citizens were also injured in the crash, which occurred as the Antonov 26 plane, en route from Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou, neared the airport, said Sinaly Silue, director general of Ivory Coast’s civil aviation authority. A witness had earlier told Reuters that the plane crashed shortly after takeoff. “There were 10 people aboard including six crew members, three French soldiers and a French civilian who was working for the (aviation) company,” Silue said at a news...
(APA 10/16/17)
APA-Dakar (Senegal) - The president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, will deliver the Norman Borlaug Lecture on Monday 16 October as part of the World Food Prize events taking place from October 16 to 20, 2017 in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. The Norman Borlaug Lecture under the title: “Betting on Africa to Feed the World”, will be held on World Food Day, October 16, in conjunction with the annual World Food Prize celebration. AfDB President Adesina will receive the 2017 World Food Prize on Thursday October 19, announced a press release issued by the AfDB on October 16, which also said “the prize is to agriculture what the Nobel Prize is to peace, science and literature.” The World...
(AFP (eng) 10/14/17)
An Antonov cargo plane that crashed off Ivory Coast Saturday, killing four, was chartered by the French army as part of the anti-jihadist Operation Barkhane, military sources said. The four dead are Moldovan and six other people, including French nationals, were injured in the crash of the aircraft which had 10 people on board, Colonel Issa Sakho, an Ivorian firefighter, told local television. A French military source said the Antonov was chartered as part of Barkhane, under which France maintains a 4,000-man mission in the region. The operation aims to shore up fragile Sahel countries against jihadists who have carried out a wave of bloody bombings, shootings and kidnappings. The French military base in Abidjan provides logistical support for the...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/12/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - West Africa is most at risk of fatal haemorrhagic fever epidemics, including Ebola, researchers said on Wednesday, calling for greater preparedness to save lives. A study in The Lancet medical journal assessed the likelihood of four viruses - Ebola, Lassa, Marburg and Crimean-Congo - spreading on the continent, charting progress from a first human case through to a potential pandemic. The world’s worst recorded Ebola outbreak ravaged Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone between 2013 and 2016, killing about 11,300 people, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The viruses, which are often transmitted by rodents and bats, can cause fever, vomiting and bleeding, are often fatal. By mapping high risk areas, African nations can better...
(AFP (eng) 10/10/17)
It has been buffeted by the pendulum swing of domestic politics and suffered looting that left it without some of its most precious items. But Ivory Coast's Museum of Civilisations is now back, and determined to recover its place as one of the richest museums of African art in the world -- a place of "incomparable wealth," as Senegal's late poet-president Leopold Sedar Senghor said in a 1971 visit. Looted four decades later during a political and military showdown, the museum shut its doors for a two-year refurbishment, reopening in July with redecorated rooms, modern lighting and a new conference centre, restaurant and garden.
(AFP (eng) 10/10/17)
Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is set to accelerate to 3.4 percent next year, the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday, citing Nigeria's recovering oil and agricultural sectors. The IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook report that the region would grow by 2.6 percent this year after 1.4 percent in 2016. "Growth is expected to rise gradually," it said, while noting that the rate would be uneven and "barely above population growth". GDP in the west African powerhouse Nigeria contracted by 1.6 percent in 2016, but is predicted to grow by 0.8 percent this year and 1.9 percent next year. The IMF said Nigeria was benefitting from "recovering oil production and ongoing strength in the agricultural sector", but the...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/05/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (HLT.N) plans to spend $50 million over the next five years to add 100 hotels to its chain in Africa, it said on Thursday, joining other chains keen to tap growing business and international travel on the continent. One property will open in the Kenyan capital Nairobi by the end of this year and another in the Rwandan capital Kigali in 2018, it said in a statement. There was 11 percent growth in Sub-Saharan African tourism in the past year, according to data from the U.N. World Tourism Organisation. Hilton said the remaining additions to its 39 existing African properties would be operational within the next five years. “The model of converting existing...
(APA 10/05/17)
APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) - The African Union (AU) will on Thursday endorse reports and recommendations on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment (ARWE) made by experts and senior officials in a meeting held on Monday and Tuesday. The endorsement will take place during the ministerial session of the AU’s Specialized Technical Committee on ARWE that opened on Thursday in Addis Ababa under the theme “Improve environmental sustainability and transform agriculture to ensure food and nutrition security.” These include policy papers and reports on agriculture, rural development, water and environment and recommendations and guidance on issues in the 2063 Africa Development Agenda, including agriculture, environment, climate change, and youth engagement. Among the points chosen for the discussions are the assessment of...
(AFP (eng) 10/01/17)
Ivory Coast, the world's top cocoa grower, on Sunday set its minimum rate for farmers at 700 CFA francs per kilo for the 2017-18 crop, a steep drop over the previous year, due to falling global prices. Although production increased 28.5 percent to a record 2.15 million tonnes in the 2016-17 season, world cocoa prices have fallen by more than a third. The minimum price guaranteed to farmers was 1,100 CFA francs (1.68 euros, about $1) per kilo at the start of the 2016-17 season. But the Ivorian government had to lower the price to 700 CFA francs in April due to falling prices in international markets, which was linked to overproduction in relation to demand and aggravated by the...
(AFP (eng) 09/29/17)
Government shutdowns of the internet have cost sub-Saharan Africa about $237 million since 2015, according to a study released Friday, as authorities increasingly implement planned disruptions. At least 12 countries have had internet shutdowns, often before elections or when protests erupt, with mobile internet networks most recently suspended in Togo during opposition demonstrations. "Internet disruptions, however short-lived, undermine economic growth, disrupt the delivery of critical services, erode business confidence, and raise a country’s risk profile," the CIPESA report said. The Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) released its...
(Bloomberg 09/28/17)
Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara will propose to his counterpart in Ghana that the two neighboring countries and world’s biggest cocoa producers narrow a gap in producer prices to discourage smuggling of beans, according to a person familiar with the matter. Ouattara will call Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo on Thursday before Ivory Coast announces a new minimum price for cocoa purchases on Oct. 1, said the person, who asked not to be identified because he’s not authorized to speak about the matter. Ivory Coast is proposing payments of 750 CFA francs ($1.31) per kilogram for its farmers for the bigger of the two annual harvests that starts next month, compared with 1,100 francs for the previous main crop, said the...
(AFP (eng) 09/27/17)
Lawyers for tens of thousands of victims poisoned by a 2006 toxic spill in the Ivory Coast on Wednesday called for the company behind the dump to pay compensation at the start of a new legal battle. The multinational firm Trafigura "acted badly in disposing of its waste in the Ivory Coast" and "must pay," lawyer Bojan Dekker told an Amsterdam court. The judges must first decide whether they are capable under Dutch law of hearing the class-action suit brought on behalf of a foundation which says it "represents 107,000 victims".

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