| Africatime
Sunday 30 April 2017
(AFP (eng) 01/06/17)
Soldiers demanding more pay and housing rose up in several cities around Ivory Coast on Friday, raiding arms depots and taking control of streets, residents and officials said. The uprising began in Bouake, the country's second city and onetime rebel stronghold, where heavy weapons fire was heard in the streets, before spreading to two other major urban centres. In Bouake, soldiers "broke into the armoury of the 3rd Battalion", arming themselves with rocket-launchers and other weapons mounted on pickup trucks, a military source said. Troops also took to the streets in the large western town of Daloa and at Korhogo in the north of Ivory Coast, Africa's leading cocoa-producing nation, according to residents and army sources. "It's a mutiny by...
(AFP (eng) 01/06/17)
Demobilized soldiers in the town of Bouake, located in central Ivory Coast, have seized weapons from police stations and taken up positions at entry points into the city. A local journalist and a military officer confirmed to Reuters news agency that gunfire erupted as the former soldiers went on rampage overnight. Bouake was once the center of control of rebels after the failed overthrow of Laurent Gbagbo. “The city is under the control of former (soldiers) who fired shots around 2 a.m. (0200 GMT) while taking arms from the city’s police stations,” said the army officers, who spoke by telephone from Bouake
(Reuters (Eng) 01/06/17)
Gunfire erupted overnight in the central Ivory Coast city of Bouake as demobilized soldiers seized weapons from police stations and took up positions at entry points into the city, military sources said on Friday. Heavy shooting was heard at around 2 a.m. (0200 GMT) before later easing, residents said, and sporadic gunfire continued into the late morning. "The city is under the control of former (soldiers)," said an army officer, who spoke by telephone from Bouake. "There are many of them at the north and south entrances to the city. We are on alert and await instructions from the hierarchy." An officer at the West African nation's military headquarters in the commercial capital Abidjan said reinforcements had been sent to...
(Agence Ecofin 01/06/17)
Indian firm Aaviskaar Venture Management Services (AVMS) has announced plans to raise between $100 million and $150 million for Africa investments. “We will start the fund-raising around the middle of 2017 and we expect to close it in 2018,” said Vineet Rai, founder of Intellecap-Aavishkaar group. The new African fund will focus on investing on African low-income groups, especially in the agriculture, finance and financial technology sectors. “We will use the sow-tend-reap strategy of multiple round investing and will be an early investor,” Rai told local Indian media Regions targeted are West and East Africa, especially Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania and Ghana. Investments will range from half a million to $5 million. The investment firm’s expansion strategy in Africa...
(AFP (eng) 01/05/17)
Yaya Toure has challenged Manchester City to put a smile back on Pep Guardiola's face with a dominant display in Friday's FA Cup third-round clash at West Ham. Guardiola was in a tetchy mood following City's 2-1 win over Burnley on Monday as he grumbled about the way officials treat his team and embarked on a series of fractious post-match interviews. Adding to the growing sense that the City boss is struggling to find his feet in English football, in a recent interview with NBC he said he may not stay in management for much longer than his current contract. Although Guardiola won trophies and plaudits by the bucketload during his spells at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, managing those clubs...
(AFP (eng) 01/05/17)
Flying Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha looks set to make his Ivory Coast debut after he was named in their final 23-man squad for the Africa Cup of Nations on Wednesday. The 24-year-old is among several Premier League stars included by coach Michel Dussuyer for the January 14-February 5 tournament in Gabon, where the Ivory Coast are defending champions and among the favourites to retain their crown. Dussuyer last week named a 24-man provisional squad and it is defender Ousmane Viera, who plays in Turkey, who misses out. England manager Gareth Southgate had urged Zaha, who was born in Abidjan but appeared in two friendlies for England under former boss Roy Hodgson, to stick with the country where he grew...
(AFP (eng) 01/04/17)
As many African women spend much of their spare time in hair salons, Ivory Coast's chief librarian, also a woman, came up with a brainwave scheme to help them read and learn to read. Crammed on shelves between hair extensions, untangling creams and straightening lotions, a total 23 hair salons now offer customers a range of books on loan from the National Library. "Libraries are practically non-existent in our suburbs and the ones that do exist get very few visitors, and rarely women," said chief librarian Chantal Adjiman, who launched the project in 2012. With little time on their hands between work and childcare, most women simply do not have the opportunity to seek out books. So the library decided...
(AFP (eng) 01/04/17)
Italy vowed Wednesday to increase deportations of migrants whose asylum requests have been rejected, after a riot in a reception centre sparked by the death of a young woman. The country, which has been on the frontline of migrants arriving across the Mediterranean from North Africa, is pushing for an agreement with Niger and a renewed deal with Tunisia to facilitate returns. "We have saved many lives but we cannot accept rule-breaking. We need to speed up deportations," Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, the country's former interior minister, said in an interview with La Stampa daily. He was "working to tie up agreements which will reduce arrivals and prevent departures" from the coast of North Africa, he said after a record...
(BBC News Africa 01/03/17)
An electricity grid for the whole village Problem: A total of 1.3 billion people worldwide currently don't have electricity, according to Yale Environment 360. Getting people in rural areas on to the national grid is proving too difficult and traditional solar panels generate meagre amounts of energy. Solution: Steamaco makes solar and battery micro-grids which can work for a whole village. They are small electricity generation and distribution systems that operate independently of larger grids. How it works: Micro-grids are nothing new. The new part is that Steamaco's technology automates the regulation of electricity. So, if the system detects there will be a surge in demand for electricity, for example on a Saturday night when people want to start playing...
(Voice of America 12/30/16)
2016 was predicted to be a tough year for African economies, and it delivered. Traditional economic leaders faltered this year amid a storm of falling commodity prices, unpredictable and destructive weather like droughts and floods across large swaths of the the continent. Slow economic growth in China, a major investor and trading partner, only added to their challenges. “This year, you’ve seen the two Africas: the commodity exporters going through tough times, while the non-commodity exporters being more resilient,” Nigerian economist Nonso Obikili, who researches Nigerian and sub-Saharan economic trends for Economic Research Southern Africa, told VOA. He says 2016 has been hard on African commodity giants as oil prices fell to lows not seen since the global financial crisis...
(Bloomberg 12/29/16)
Cocoa is piling up at ports and warehouses in Ivory Coast, the world’s biggest producer, after a plunge in futures prices prompted some exporters to suspend purchases. Trucks carrying cocoa are queuing to deliver beans at inland buying stations and the largest ports in Abidjan and San Pedro, according to four shippers familiar with the matter. Some smaller exporters stopped purchasing and their larger peers are running out of storage space, leaving an estimated 125,000 tons of beans without a buyer, said the shippers, who asked not to be named because they aren’t allowed to speak publicly about the matter. “We have been here for five days and still haven’t been able to discharge,” Moussa Doumbia, a truck driver carrying...
(AFP (eng) 12/29/16)
A cluster of Premier League stars including Eric Bailly and Wilfried Zaha was named Wednesday in defending champions the Ivory Coast's 24-player squad for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations. Crystal Palace winger Zaha features in the list released by the team's French manager Michel Dussuyer despite playing two games for England. But as those caps were both in friendlies the 24-year-old remains eligible to line up for the country of his birth. He made it plain to the Ivorian Football Federation in november that he wanted to play for Ivory Coast rather than the Three Lions of Gareth Southgate.
(AFP (eng) 12/29/16)
French border police intercepted 45 African migrants who were trying to enter the country from Italy and arrested the two smugglers involved, local prosecutors said Wednesday. Travelling in two vans, 25 migrants in the first vehicle were stopped while 20 in the second breached a checkpoint at Montgenevre in southeastern France, before later being found. According to the prosecutor's office, the migrants were returned to the border and the two smugglers are to be tried in Italy.
(AFP (eng) 12/28/16)
Its lower cost has made it popular in commercial food production, but after being blamed for deforestation in Asia, palm oil plantations are now getting a similar rap in Africa. The sheer scale of land required is having an impact in Gabon, Cameroon and the Congo Basin, environmentalists say. With financing coming from American, European and Asian agri-businesses, palm bunches are cultivated then cut from trees and sent to factories where oil is extracted by hot pressing. But the production process accelerates deforestation, contributes to climate change and threatens fauna and flora in vulnerable areas, opponents argue. However the companies say that palm oil is not only less expensive than soya or sunflower oil but requires much less land to...
(The Herald Online 12/27/16)
The end of 2016 provides an opportunity to take stock of Africa’s recent economic performance and future prospects. It’s been a tumultuous year for some African countries largely due to a commodities crisis and a global economic slowdown.Yet there were still pockets of good growth which displayed the huge potential of the African continent. And 2017 looks to be the year the countries hardest hit by the crisis seek to recover from the economic reversals of the past few years. Since the start of the new millennium average economic growth across Africa has been stronger than the global growth rate. Growth across the continent averaged 5 percent. This fuelled the “Africa Rising” narrative that permeated public discourse. Among the growth...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/24/16)
A record 5,000 migrants are believed to have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea this year, following two shipwrecks on Thursday in which some 100 people, mainly West Africans, were feared dead, aid agencies said on Friday. Two overcrowded inflatable dinghies capsized in the Strait of Sicily after leaving Libya for Italy, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said. "Those two incidents together appear to be the numbers that would bring this year's total up to over to 5,000 (deaths), which is a new high that we have reported during this crisis," IOM spokesman Joel Millman told a Geneva briefing. The Italian coast guard rescued survivors and had recovered eight bodies so far, he said...
(The Globe and Mail 12/23/16)
The Square Kilometre Array will be the world’s most powerful radio telescope, opening new frontiers in our understanding of the universe. But the builders have to contend with an unforgiving climate and other formidable challenges first, In the desolate rocky plains of the Great Karoo, the dangers are endless. Scorpions and puff adders are underfoot. The harsh sun beats down, interrupted only by occasional lightning storms. Temperatures range from stifling heat to freezing cold. But at night, in the vast empty darkness, the stars are impossibly bright and clear. And it is the stars that have lured a Canadian-backed project to build the world’s most powerful radio telescope, with the potential to unlock the deepest secrets of the universe. For...
(AFP (eng) 12/22/16)
Gerard, a bright-eyed eight-year-old with closely-cropped hair, tucks into his meal, showing no signs of thinking about how very close to death he once came. The jovial little lad is one of Ivory Coast's "cursed" children. Custom dictated that he should not live. Gerard's mother died while she was giving birth -- and the tradition of the Tagbana ethnic group was that her baby, deemed the work of an evil spirit, should be drowned. The child's big break came through a tiny charity -- a home called the Saint Genevieve Welcome and Transit Centre, located in the northern town of Katiola, the only one of its kind in the country. With meagre funds, it works to save "cursed" children from...
(AFP (eng) 12/22/16)
Selma saunters on her stilt-like legs, batting thick lashes as she extends a blackish tongue -- as long as an arm -- to grab pellets offered by an awed tourist. The giraffe is after all, eating for two. Her pregnancy is good news for one of the rarest giraffe species, protected at the Giraffe Centre in the Kenyan capital, but experts warn the outlook for the rest of the world's tallest land mammals is far gloomier. While it is hoped the shocking news that the gentle giants of the African savannah are facing extinction will spur action, conservationists largely have their hands tied as many giraffe live in Africa's most conflict-torn regions. Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan...
(AFP (eng) 12/21/16)
Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara's ruling coalition won 65.75 percent of the vote in weekend polls, strengthening its hold in parliament as the world's top cocoa producer seeks to remain in the economic fast lane. The presidential coalition -- named the Houphouetist Rally for Democracy and Peace (RHDP) in tribute to the country's founding president -- won 167 seats in the 254-seat National Assembly, results showed on Tuesday. Provisional results released by the authorities put turnout at 34 percent, said the head of the Independent Electoral Commission (CEI) Issouf Bakayoko. The ruling coalition was seeking an absolute majority in the face of numerous dissidents and opposition candidates in the country, which was rocked by deadly unrest after the 2010 presidential...

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