| Africatime
Wednesday 22 March 2017
(Voice of America 07/19/16)
Dr. Jill Biden, wife of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, is focusing on women’s rights, immigration and education during a visit to three African countries: Ethiopia, Malawi and Niger. During her first stop in Ethiopia, Biden visited a transit center in the capital for refugees at the International Organization for Migration (IOM). There, she met with officials at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and learned more about the refugee screening process for those seeking resettlement in the U.S. One of the refugees accepted for resettlement is Sembetu Buratu, an Eritrean mother of a four-year-old girl, who left her home country to help her family. “I didn’t work, so my brothers used to assist me; when they left the...
(Voice of America 07/18/16)
The African Union summit meeting in Kigali will be voting for a new AU commission on Monday, despite rumors of a call for the election to be delayed. There have been persistent rumors at the summit that the ECOWAS bloc of west African states is unhappy with the choice of candidates offered to succeed outgoing AU commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. There are three candidates, two of them women, former Uganda vice president Specioza Wandira Kazibwe and Botswana Foreign Minister Pelonomi Venson Moitoi, and Equatorial Guinea Foreign Minister Agapito Mba Mokuy. Late Sunday an AU legal counsel, Vincent O Nmehielle, denied the rumors of a delay. "Stop speculating. There is no ECOWAS concern that has made an election to be postponed...
(CNN 07/16/16)
From an Africa-shaped mega solar plant powering Kigali, Rwanda, to a massive geothermal plant harvesting the power of Kenya's hot springs, renewable energy plants are popping up around the continent. Sub-Saharan Africa is desperately short of power and roughly 620 million Africans live without a reliable source of electricity. Africa's population is expected to double by 2050 and the demand for clean energy has never been greater, says Caroline Kende-Robb, executive director, Africa Progress Panel. She believes the continent could soon become a renewables superpower, and that it can leapfrog carbon-centered energy systems and go straight to renewables. "Because what we see is that Africa has got the advantage of coming in now without the heavy old systems that a...
(Voice of America 07/15/16)
The number of new malaria cases in Africa fell 42 percent from 2000 to 2015, according to the World Health Organization. The drop was due in large part to insecticide-treated mosquito nets, indoor spraying and better access to effective treatments. But this progress could be derailed by a new wave of drug-resistant malaria that's currently affecting Asia. Abdoulaye Djimde, head of the molecular epidemiology and drug resistance unit at the Malaria Research and Training Center in Bamako, Mali, said that "we should be concerned. ... Given the frequent interconnection between Asia and Africa — you have direct flights from almost everywhere to several parts of Africa — there is the risk for importing these resistant parasites. [It] is higher today.”...
(The Associated Press 07/13/16)
The International Criminal Court has reported Djibouti and Uganda to the United Nations Security Council for failing to arrest indicted Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir when he was in those African nations in May. The move Tuesday is the latest in a string of such reports by the court targeting countries friendly to Sudan that have refused to arrest al-Bashir during visits to their territory. The court issued an arrest warrant for al-Bashir in 2009 for crimes against humanity and war crimes for allegedly orchestrating atrocities in Darfur. The ICC added genocide to the charges against him in 2010. In June, the court's chief prosecutor criticized the Security Council for failing to act against countries that do not arrest al-Bashir, saying...
(The Wall Street Journal 07/13/16)
This special bond brings back many mutual benefits, both economic and diplomatic. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent visit to Africa signaled Israel’s renewed emphasis on its relationship with the continent. Beyond the mutual economic benefits, this renaissance in Israel-Africa relations is an opportunity, among other things, to bolster support for Israel on the international stage, particularly at the United Nations. In the early years after independence in 1948, Israel enjoyed a unique relationship with many African nations. Recently freed from British rule and newly independent after thousands of years of exile and occupation of our homeland, Israel served as a role model for many African states caught in their own struggles with colonialism. A special bond soon formed between the...
(Voice of America 07/12/16)
The 27th assembly of the African Union (AU) has opened in Kigali, Rwanda with the theme: “2016: Year of Human Rights” with a particular focus on the rights of women. The assembly of heads of state will take place between July 17 and 18. Also of interest at this year’s meeting is the fact that current AU commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma of South Africa has decided not to seek a second term. There is speculation that Botswana, Equatorial Guinea, and Uganda will put forward the names of their foreign ministers to succeed Dlamini-Zuma. AU Commission Chair should represent a democratic government But Nigeria-born Chika Onyeani, publisher and editor-in-chief of the African Sun Times newspaper says there should be a democracy...
(Financial Times 07/11/16)
Despite wariness after Brexit, group of 54 countries moves towards pan-Africanism. They are calling it Africa’s answer to Brexit. Even as Britain’s decision to leave the EU threatens the very fabric of the European project, African countries that were once carved up by European colonialists, are seeking to break down borders through closer integration. Next week, the African Union, which groups 54 countries, will issue e-passports that permit recipients visa-free travel between all member states. Beneficiaries will initially be limited to heads of state, foreign ministers and permanent representatives of the member states to the AU’s Addis Ababa headquarters. The ideal is to eventually roll it out to all 1bn Africans, although that might take years, or even decades. Nkosazana...
(AFP (eng) 07/09/16)
Congolese student Arnold Mutumbo Muama refuses to be cowed by a spate of racist violence towards Africans in India's capital New Delhi, defiant after a friend was beaten up by security guards at his apartment block. "The guard called him a 'monster' in Hindi before taking him to the basement and beating him," recalled Muama, 29, who chairs a Congolese welfare association. Racism against Africans in India was thrown into the spotlight following the brutal stoning to death in May of Congolese national Masunda Kitada Oliver in a dispute over an auto-rickshaw. Following the attack, African ambassadors in New Delhi threatened to recommend to their governments that they don't send students to the capital "as their security is not guaranteed"...
(Voice of America 07/08/16)
At a nondescript building in Lagos’ Yaba neighborhood, Startup Andela hires aspiring software developers for a four-year program that teaches them the skills they need to work for IBM, Microsoft and other tech firms. The company won a huge vote of confidence last month, when it received a $24 million infusion of capital, most of it from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a charity fund run by Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife. Andela is the Initiative’s first investment since being created by Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, after the birth of their child last year. "We live in a world where talent is evenly distributed, but opportunity is not. Andela's mission is to close that gap," Zuckerberg said...
(AFP (eng) 07/07/16)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday kicked off a four-nation tour of Africa, as India scrambles to catch up with its Asian rival China's strong presence on the continent. "My Africa tour, aimed at enhancing ties between India and Africa, will begin from Mozambique in a brief but key visit," Modi tweeted before his arrival, the first by an Indian leader to the southern African country in 34 years. Modi held talks with Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi in Maputo and will also take in South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya during the five-day tour. India has been working to build ties with African nations as it vies for a greater share of the continent's natural resources. Last year, it hosted a...
(The Associated Press 07/05/16)
Africa has no better friend than the state of Israel for the practical needs of security and development, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday on the second leg of a four-country tour to pursue better relations with the continent. Netanyahu is the first ruling Israeli prime minister to visit Kenya and the first to visit sub-Saharan Africa in nearly three decades. He met Tuesday with President Uhuru Kenyatta on counter-terrorism, energy and agriculture, amid tight security. Netanyahu is also visiting Uganda, Rwanda and Ethiopia this week. Israel played a prominent role in assisting newly independent African countries in the 1960s, but those relations crumbled in the 1970s, when Arab countries, promising aid, pressured African nations to limit or cut...
(Voice of America 07/04/16)
To the beat of African drums, a few dozen people gathered at Dallas City Hall Friday to officially kick off the three-day African Film Festival. The event showcases films made by Africans, as well as a few made by non-Africans about issues important to different regions of the continent. City officials hailed the new festival as an expression of the increasing ethnic and cultural diversity in Texas’ second-largest city. Regina Hill Onyeibe, the Africa Liaison for the City of Dallas praised the film festival’s organizer and founder, filmmaker Kelechi Eke, not only for bringing this event to Dallas, but for providing an audience for Africans making movies. She said he had created “a portal in which other Africans can follow...
(Voice of America 07/01/16)
The U.S. State Department released its annual Trafficking in Persons report Thursday and again, Africa continues to be a major source and destination for human trafficking of all kinds — from forced labor to sexual slavery. Again this year, not one African nation made the report’s top tier — which is dominated by developed Western nations like the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia. The State Department says the ratings are based more on the extent of government action to combat trafficking than the size of the country’s problem. A significant number of African countries remain at the lowest possible ranking. Migrant crisis Susan Coppedge, a senior advisor to the U.S. secretary of state, said the migrant crisis that...
(The Herald Online 06/30/16)
The blue economy lies at the heart of globalisation. Ninety percent of international trade takes place via the sea and 95 percent of global communication relies on underwater networks. The blue economy encompasses all economic activity in and around rivers, lakes, streams, riverbanks, shorelines, groundwater, freshwater, seas and oceans. The blue economy is mostly unknown, overlooked and underdeveloped in Africa. It could represent a major growth driver. Its potential is not lost on the African Union (AU), which has made the blue economy one of the priority areas for the next 10 years: the blue economy holds immense potential as a key to a prosperous Africa. The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and Seychelles Vice President Danny Faure...
(Voice of America 06/29/16)
The United Nations says a record number of people caught in conflict and natural disasters are in need of humanitarian assistance. At the same time the world body warns the funding response to these crises falls far short of what is needed. The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has just released its 2016 mid-year Global Humanitarian Overview, which says the situation is very worrisome. OCHA reports the number of people worldwide in need of humanitarian assistance has soared to a record-breaking 130 million, nearly 44 million more than when the United Nations launched its annual multi-billion-dollar appeal in December. At the same time, it says funding requirements have increased by $2 billion to $21.6 billion, a sum...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/28/16)
Africa's largest provider of pay-television services Naspers (NPNJn.J) has kept prices on the continent unchanged to halt a decline in subscriber numbers, its chief executive said on Monday. Naspers, the biggest listed firm on the continent, which sells access to popular American series and blockbuster movies in 50 countries in Africa and the Indian Ocean via its Multichoice unit, reported an 18 percent rise in full-year profit on Friday, but flagged pay-TV as a drag on its performance. Weaker currencies and lower economic growth in commodity exporting economies such as Angola, Zambia and Nigeria have hurt business, said Chief Executive Bob van Dijk. "The currency decline has been massive and that really hurts us because we bill in local currency,"...
(Xinhuanet 06/27/16)
Djibouti Energy Minister Yacin Houssein Bouh on Sunday met with a Chinese delegation to discuss bilateral cooperation in the area of renewable energies, especially construction of a wind farm in the country. The minister reminded his guests that the project which is dear to Djibouti's president, is in line with the government's policy road map of achieving energy independence based on renewable energies. He said his country hopes to become the first African country use 100 percent green energy by the year 2020. The head of the Chinese delegation from China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, Damien Geng, expressed the company's desire to support Djibouti's energy development process. The two parties further agreed to establish a calendar for execution of the...
(Financial Mail 06/27/16)
Mohammed Khaireh understands the transforming powers of a railway better than most. Thanks to the French-built Addis Ababa-Djibouti line, his family rose to prominence in the 20th century. The latest in a line of several generations to work as railwaymen, Khaireh began his career at the Djibouti Railway Company, which has played a role in the development of the nation situated on the Horn of Africa. On a hot afternoon in May, Khaireh drives his air-conditioned 4x4 at full speed on the dusty tracks of a construction site, the location for Djibouti’s railway station. Khaireh, the manager of the US$600m project, points to the cranes and the tracks, emphasising their modern manufacture. He gloats over the new phase that Djibouti’s...
(Xinhuanet 06/27/16)
Djibouti's financial sector "remains fragile despite apparent stability," a new study by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) dubbed "African Economic Outlook" has shown. According to the document, even though Djibouti's financial sector remained stable in 2014 and 2015, it has demonstrated some vulnerabilities as seen in the deterioration of certain indicators. "Non-performing loans reached 16.2 percent in June 2014, against 13 percent in 2013, 11.4 percent in 2012 and 9.4 percent in 2011," the study reveals. The study further revealed that some financial institutions had surpassed the level of exposure to a single borrower. "Access to financial services remains low despite increase in the number of banks. At the same time, access to loans by individuals and businesses also...

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