Saturday 24 June 2017
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
WASHINGTON DC — On June 5, Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of funding extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State. In response, Qatar said it was the victim of a policy of “domination and control” by its larger neighbor and that Saudi Arabia was, in fact, the one responsible for backing extremism. So what is the truth? Fundamentalist strains of Islam, including Saudi-born Salafism and Wahhabism, form the ideological bedrock for most terror groups. According to a study by Leif Wenar of King’s College London based on the Global Terrorism Database, three out of four terror attacks...
(BBC News Africa 06/19/17)
The funeral of Ivorian star Cheick Tiote was held in Abidjan on Sunday following his sudden death in China earlier this month. Tiote died aged 30 after collapsing during training with his Chinese club Beijing Enterprises. The former Newcastle United midfielder was honoured with a military funeral with a host of dignitaries and players in attendance. His body was flown back home to Ivory Coast from China earlier this week. We're all here to show him love and to show him he's always going to be in our hearts Hundreds of people, including former Elephants coach Herve Renard, were at Abidjan's international airport to receive Tiote's body on Thursday. Cheick Tiote won more than 50 caps for his country and...
(Bloomberg 06/07/17)
Festus Ogbonnah used to supplement his teacher’s salary by working as a part-time farmer in southeastern Nigeria until an armed band of herders moved their cattle through his field two years ago and destroyed his crops. He decided to quit working the land. “I had borrowed money to grow corn and cassava, and I lost everything,” Ogbonnah, 40, said by phone from the town of Opanda. “The herdsmen were armed with assault rifles and we couldn’t do anything about it.”...
(Bloomberg 06/01/17)
If you thought Ivory Coast’s record cocoa crop was enough to keep the bear run going, you may need to rethink. Cocoa futures almost halved from July to April on expectations that a bumper crop in top producer Ivory Coast would add to a global glut. But prices have since rebounded 15 percent, with the July contract surging by a record on Tuesday. And there are other signs the recovery may continue. With processing margins at the highest in more...
(Washington Post 05/31/17)
The old man’s house had become a camp for the displaced. In the back yard, groups of women boiled water for rice. Small children skittered across the dirt, running into the bedroom, where they careened around the long, skinny legs of Elijah Karama. “Because of the conditions, they are mine to take care of,” said Karama, 57, more tired than proud. By conditions, he meant Boko Haram’s destruction of vast areas of northeastern Nigeria, and the hunger crisis that has...
(Bloomberg 05/30/17)
A series of mutinies by soldiers in Ivory Coast demanding payments for supporting President Alassane Ouattara humiliated the West African nation, according to National Assembly Speaker Guillaume Soro, who once commanded the troops as a former rebel leader. “I can only note that we are despised,” Soro, 45, said in an interview Sunday at his residence in Abidjan, the commercial capital. “It’s a humiliation for us -- the state, the president, myself and the institutions.” The mutinies were led by...
(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.
(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...
(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...
(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...
(Bloomberg 05/16/17)
Ivory Coast’s government announced it reached an agreement with soldiers to end a four-day mutiny over pay that disrupted cities across the nation, even though some troops said they were unaware of a deal and would continue with their revolt. Military staff and rebel soldiers made a pact after two days of talks, Defense Minister Alain Donwahi said Monday in a broadcast on state television, RTI, without elaborating on details of the agreement. “We call on all soldiers to free...
(Bloomberg 05/15/17)
Gunfire erupted at a key military camp in Ivory Coast’s commercial capital, Abidjan, and its second-biggest city of Bouake as a rebellion over unpaid bonuses entered a fourth day. The West African nation, which wants to issue a Eurobond next month, saw yields on its existing securities jump. Several explosions and sporadic shooting rocked Bouake, a transit hub that links Ivory Coast to its landlocked northern neighbors, from about 2:00 a.m., resident Siriki Koné said by phone Monday. In Abidjan,...
(Fox News 05/10/17)
After five years of no major attacks on merchant vessels, piracy around the Horn of Africa seemed to be on hiatus. Acts of piracy in those treacherous waters have fallen sharply since 2012, according to statistics released by the United States Navy. The Navy credits aggressive patrolling by international forces and increased vigilance by the commercial shipping industry for the decrease. However, in the past month, Somali pirates have intercepted five ships, raising concerns that piracy has returned to the...
(Voice of America 05/05/17)
As Africa grapples with a severe drought, and famine threatens millions of people, experts at the World Economic Forum on Africa this week in the South African city of Durban say food security needs to be a major part of discussions on advancing the continent economically. The annual World Economic Forum in Switzerland is usually a high-powered event, but at this week’s Africa meeting of the international organization, the continent’s big players are welcoming the humble farmer, now known as...
(Voice of America 05/03/17)
African military expenditures have finally slowed down after more than a decade of steady increases, according to a new report on global defense spending. The main reason, the report found, is a drop in oil prices. “The sharp decreases in oil prices has affected quite a number of African countries, namely South Sudan and Angola. This has kind of driven almost the entire regional trend,” said Nan Tian, a researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) Arms and...
(Bloomberg 05/02/17)
Saudi Aramco is seeking to boost its fuel-trading volume by more than a third as the world’s biggest crude exporter expands its capacity to refine oil to grab a bigger share of growing markets in Asia and Africa. Aramco, as Saudi Arabian Oil Co. is known, is building refineries in the kingdom and in Asia to help it increase sales and purchases of gasoline, diesel and other products to more than 2 million barrels a day, said Ibrahim Al-Buainain, chief...
(Voice of America 04/28/17)
A low-cost and widely available drug could save the lives of 1 in 3 mothers who would otherwise bleed to death after childbirth, according to a new study. Severe bleeding, known as postpartum hemorrhage, or PPH, is the leading cause of maternal death worldwide, killing more than 100,000 women every year. Even for mothers who survive, it is a painful and traumatic experience. The world's poorest countries, especially in Africa and India, are the worst hit. Drug from 1960s But...
(Bloomberg 04/27/17)
Ivory Coast plans to sell at least $1 billion in Eurobonds by the end of July to raise funds for infrastructure projects, the country’s first issuance of international debt since 2015, according to two people with knowledge of the plans. The government is negotiating to sell bonds with 10-year maturity and the sale will probably happen in June or July, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because a public announcement hasn’t been made. The West African...
(Bloomberg 04/20/17)
WorldRemit Ltd., a British money-transfer operator, sees revenue from transactions involving Africans doubling by 2020 as more people on the continent access mobile-payment platforms and expatriates send cash home. The seven-year-old company, in which Facebook Inc.-backer Accel Partners LP invested $40 million in 2014, will this year open a regional office in South Africa, its largest market on the continent in terms of money-transfer value, founder and Chief Executive Officer Ismail Ahmed said in an interview. Another site will start...
(Voice of America 04/17/17)
The Italian coast guard says it has rescued nearly 6,000 migrants on the Mediterranean since Friday, underscoring the continued flow of people along this dangerous route. A group of Africans living in Europe visited Cameroon this week to launch a campaign against illegal migration. The group is called “No More Death in the Desert or on the Sea.” Its mission is simple: to educate youth in Africa about the harsh realities of illegal migration. "We want to tell them that...

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