Wednesday 23 August 2017
(AFP (eng) 05/26/17)
Crystal Palace "talisman" Wilfried Zaha has signed a five-year contract extension, the club said on Thursday, after they avoided relegation to ensure a fifth straight season in the Premier League. Zaha's new deal comes two days after manager Sam Allardyce, who guided Palace to the safety of 14th after taking over mid-season, quit the club on Tuesday. Zaha, who passed up an England career to play for Ivory Coast, has made 258 appearances in two spells with Palace, either side of an ill-fated move to Manchester United. The 24-year-old has scored 34 goals for the London club and was named their player of the year for the past two seasons. "Palace is in my heart and I don't think the...
(AFP (eng) 05/26/17)
Entertainment | France | film | festival | Cannes | Zambia | witchcraft Cannes, France | AFP | Friday 5/26/2017 - 14:01 UTC+3 | 615 words by Katy Lee Being accused of witchcraft is no laughing matter in Africa -- but movie director Rungano Nyoni decided a dose of humour was just what was needed to tackle a problem rampant in parts of the continent. Set in Zambia, the sharp satire "I Am Not A Witch" has premiered to strong reviews at the Cannes film festival, taking aim at the blatant sexism behind accusations that overwhelmingly target women. White tourists are seen gawping at women detained in a "witch camp" in the movie, taking pictures of them as if they're...
(Bloomberg 05/24/17)
Three ex-rebels in Ivory Coast were killed Tuesday when police broke up a road blockade to end a protest by the former fighters over bonus payments. As many as 19 people, including five police personnel and gendarmes, were injured in the fighting in Bouake, the second-biggest city, Interior and Security Minister Hamed Bakayoko said in an emailed statement. The assault came after the protesters rejected talks to end their blockade of the southern access road to the town, Bakayoko said. The three people died when protesters “pulled the pin out of an offensive grenade which exploded,” he said in the statement.
(Xinhuanet 05/24/17)
China is willing to strengthen cooperation with African countries within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said here on Monday. Speaking at a press conference, Wang said his current visit to four African countries comes right after the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation was successfully held in Beijing. The four countries, i.e. Mauritania, Cape Verde, Mali and Cote d'Ivoire, have all expressed willingness to participate in China's Belt and Road Initiative. Many African countries are at the natural and historical extension of the Maritime Silk Road, Wang said. If they agree with the spirit and concept of the Belt and Road Initiative, they can be cooperative partners. Proposed by Chinese...
(AFP (eng) 05/24/17)
Manchester City's Ivory Coast football great Yaya Toure is to donate along with his agent £100,000 to the victims and their families of Monday's suicide bombing at a pop concert in Manchester that killed 22 people and left more than 60 injured. The 34-year-old four-time African player of the year -- capped 102 times and a member of the Ivory Coast side that ended a 23-year drought in lifting the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations -- is organising through his agent Dimitri Seluk to ensure the money goes to those it is intended for. "We want to help the victims -- the families of the dead or those who are now in hospital," Seluk told the BBC. "I spoke to...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/24/17)
When U.S. President Donald Trump and other leaders of the world's seven major industrialized nations gather in Sicily on Friday, they will enjoy a spectacular view of the Mediterranean Sea, but won't get any glimpse of boats full of migrants. A common sight off Sicily in recent years, the authorities have banned all migrant landings on the island during the Group of Seven Summit for security reasons, telling rescue vessels that pick them up at sea to take them to the mainland during the two-day meeting. Out of sight does not mean out of mind. Italy chose to host the summit in Taormina, on the cliffs of eastern Sicily, to concentrate minds on Europe's migrant crisis and to seek ways...
(AFP (eng) 05/23/17)
Four people were killed and many hurt when police clashed Tuesday with former rebels barricading the road into Bouake, Ivory Coast's second biggest city, in the spillover from a corrosive army mutiny over pay. The protesters said security forces opened fire to disperse them, but the government denied responsibility. "Security forces deployed conventional measures to maintain order," Interior Minister Hamed Bakayoko said in a statement. "But some of the armed demonstrators pulled the pin out of a grenade that exploded among them," he added. Three bloodied bodies were brought into the main Bouake hospital, an AFP reporter said, shortly after police stepped in to evict protesters who had obstructed the northbound road into
(Reuters (Eng) 05/23/17)
Fossils from Greece and Bulgaria of an ape-like creature that lived 7.2 million years ago may fundamentally alter the understanding of human origins, casting doubt on the view that the evolutionary lineage that led to people arose in Africa. Scientists said on Monday the creature, known as Graecopithecus freybergi and known only from a lower jawbone and an isolated tooth, may be the oldest-known member of the human lineage that began after an evolutionary split from the line that led to chimpanzees, our closest cousins. The jawbone, which included teeth, was unearthed in 1944 in Athens. The premolar was found in south-central Bulgaria in 2009. The researchers examined them using sophisticated new techniques including CT scans and established their age...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/22/17)
Countries in sub-Saharan Africa need to get their budgets in order, diversify their economies and look after their poorest people. If they do that, there is no reason why the region cannot have the strong growth needed to meet the aspirations of a young and growing population. That, at least, is the three-pillared prescription from the International Monetary Fund as expressed by one of its top Africa researchers, Celine Allard, in an official IMF blog post and podcast. Allard co-authored the Fund's regional economic outlook, released earlier this month. It found that sub-Saharan economic growth hit only 1.4 percent last year, the lowest level in two decades and well off the 5-6 percent rates normally reached. It was also well...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/20/17)
France will step up the fight against resurgent Islamist militants in north and west Africa and will work more closely with Germany to help the tinderbox region, President Emmanuel Macron said on his first trip outside Europe on Friday. Visiting Mali days after taking office, Macron vowed to keep French troops in the Sahel region until there was "no more Islamist terrorism" there. He said operations would be escalated in response to signs that militant groups were regrouping and uniting. "It is vital today that we speed up. Our armed forces are giving their all, but we must speed up" efforts to secure the Sahel, he told a news conference in Gao, Mali, where he held talks with President Ibrahim...
(AFP (eng) 05/19/17)
Following a string of mutinies, plummeting cocoa prices, depressed growth and social unrest, Ivory Coast's economic "miracle" has taken a battering and runs the risk of turning into a mirage. Crippled by a decade-long conflict that began in 2002, the world's top cocoa producer has made a spectacular comeback since President Alassane Ouattara took office in 2011. Despite being reelected two years ago, Ouattara faces mounting woes that are threatening his authority, his credibility -- and his efforts to lockdown the nation's economic recovery. - A weakened president - Ouattara has on several occasions admitted to being "hurt" by a string of mutinies by disgruntled troops since January. And after the latest four-day protest, he is once again in a...
(Graphic Online 05/19/17)
History of gold mining in large quantities in Ghana began in the 15th Century when Portuguese traders encountered gold in the country’s soil along the coast. The country derives its name, Gold Coast, from the abundance of gold in the land. Until 1981, known gold deposits in the country were limited to the southern belt. In 1981, the discovery of gold in the country from the coastal parts right to the northern sectors dramatically changed the landscape of Ghana’s gold deposits. The following article written by this writer and published in the International affairs page of January 16, 1981, edition of The Mirror, gives details of Ghana’s miracle gold discovery. Titled Ghana’s Miracle Gold Discovery, the article reads in parts:...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/19/17)
When rich countries wrote off billions of dollars of African debt in 2005, they hoped governments would think twice about borrowing again in costly foreign currencies. Over a decade later, most sub-Saharan African countries still rely on U.S. dollar-denominated debt to finance their economies. Some investors say this is sowing the seeds of future debt crises if local currencies devalue and make dollar debt repayments more expensive. Aside from South Africa and Nigeria, governments have not yet done enough to develop capital markets that would have allowed them to raise more money in their own currencies, investors say. United Nations trade body UNCTAD estimates that Africa's external debt stock rapidly grew to $443 billion by 2013 through bilateral borrowing, syndicated...
(Bloomberg 05/18/17)
Steinhoff International Holdings NV plans to list its African assets separately as the acquisitive retailer seeks a new prize for shareholders following this year’s failed merger talks with Shoprite Holdings Ltd. The company said Wednesday it will seek to list businesses including clothing retailer Pepkor and furniture chain JD Group Ltd. on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, about 18 months after moving its primary listing to Frankfurt from the South African commercial hub. The new business could be worth as much as 60 billion rand ($4.5 billion), said Evan Walker, a money manager at 36one Asset Management in Johannesburg, although the valuation could also be as low as 40 billion rand depending on how much debt Steinhoff puts into the vehicle...
(Bloomberg 05/17/17)
Soldiers in Ivory Coast said they halted their protest after the government agreed to pay them bonuses, ending a four-day mutiny that paralyzed several cities and left two people dead. The government will pay each soldier 5 million CFA francs ($8,374) before the end of the week and another 2 million francs at a later date, soldier Tahirou Diarrrassouba said by phone on Tuesday from the second-biggest city and center of the mutiny, Bouake. Troops in other cities that joined the mutiny have also agreed to end the standoff, said Fousseni Cisse, another soldier in Bouake. “We’ve found an agreement with the government, the corridors are open again,” Cisse said. “I think it’s going to be fine this time. We’ve...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/17/17)
Gay and lesbian Africans who fled abuse in their home countries face a "culture of disbelief" which makes their experience of seeking asylum in Britain traumatic, a Nigerian lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender rights (LGBT) campaigner said. Aderonke Apata, 50, who fled persecution in Nigeria, said the practice of assessing Africans' sexual orientation claims based on Western standards was problematic. "They expect an LGBT person to have used sex toys, to go to gay clubs," Apata, an asylum seeker who founded African LGBT charity, African Rainbow Family, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Apata has been trying to claim asylum in Britain for 13 years, but her case was refused several times after a judge ruled that she was pretending to be...
(AFP (eng) 05/16/17)
Rebel troops in Ivory Coast on Tuesday said they were ending a four-day mutiny after coming to an agreement with the government over a pay dispute. "We have found a basis for agreement. We are returning to barracks," Sergeant Cisse Fousseni told AFP as others said all their demands had been met. The government offered an immediate payment of five million CFA francs (7,500 euros) and an extra two million to be paid next month, source among the mutineers said. Defence Minister Alain-Richard Donwahi announced late Monday that an agreement had been struck with the mutineers
(AFP (eng) 05/16/17)
Heavy gunfire rang out Monday in Ivory Coast's two biggest cities as a four-day mutiny by disgruntled soldiers spread nationwide but the government claimed a deal to end the crisis had been reached. Banks, offices and department stores closed in the heart of the economic capital, Abidjan, as shots were fired in San Pedro, the second biggest port in the world's top cocoa-producing nation. Border posts closed, halting road traffic to Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, while Ivory Coast's second biggest city, Bouake, was under the control of mutinous soldiers. The mutiny is the latest in a series of armed protests since January in the West African country, with troops angered by a wage dispute with President Alassane Ouattara's government...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/16/17)
Renegade soldiers in Ivory Coast on Monday rejected a proposed deal to end their mutiny over unpaid bonuses just minutes after the defense minister announced on state-owned television that an agreement had been reached. President Alassane Ouattara's government has been trying to restore order for four days after 8,400 mutineers took control of the second-biggest city, Bouake, and spread their revolt to cities and towns across the country. Heavy gunfire on Monday paralyzed much of Abidjan, the commercial capital, and the western port city of San Pedro, echoing another mutiny earlier in the year and further threatening Ivory Coast's emergence from a 2011 civil war as one of the world's fastest growing economies. Ivory Coast is the world's largest producer...
(Bloomberg 05/16/17)
Cocoa rose, extending last week’s surge in prices, following a failure of talks between army commanders and mutinous soldiers over the weekend in Ivory Coast, the world’s biggest producer. The beans jumped as much as 4.4 percent in London and also gained in New York trading after Ivory Coast’s military was said to have given soldiers an ultimatum on Sunday to drop their pay demands and end a revolt. Special forces will take action against the soldiers should the talks fail, a person familiar with the matter said. There were reports of shooting early Monday at the main army barracks in Abidjan, the commercial capital, and the country’s second-biggest city of Bouake. "There has been a slight pick-up in the...

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