| Africatime
Thursday 30 March 2017
(AL Jazeera 03/20/17)
Detention of Al Jazeera journalist renewed for fifth time, as recent video footage shows him visibly exhausted. Egyptian authorities have renewed the detention of Al Jazeera journalist Mahmoud Hussein for the fifth time, announcing on Saturday that he will be held for another 45 days. Hussein, an Egyptian who lives in Qatar, was stopped, questioned and arrested by the Egyptian authorities on December 20 after travelling to Cairo for a holiday. Recent video footage of Hussein outside an Egyptian court shows that he has lost weight and looks exhausted due to harsh conditions in detention. Hussein's daughter Zahra said earlier this month that the harsh detention conditions have left her father suffering from shortness of breath, and severe psychological and...
(Agence Ecofin 03/20/17)
At the Africa CEO Forum which opened this morning in Geneva, AFD Group – in partnership with the European Union – unveiled the “African Renewable Energy Scale-Up facility”, designed to boost private sector investment in on–grid and off-grid renewable energy production in Africa. In order to meet Africa’s constantly increasing energy requirements, support must be provided for mass development of the renewable energy technologies – especially solar energy – that will play such a key role over the coming years, given the recent drop in prices and the emergence of new innovative business models. The EU’s electrification funding initiative, “ElectriFI”, helps to harness and stimulate private sector investment to enhance access to renewable energy. More specifically, it focuses on poorly-served...
(Voice of America 03/18/17)
Each year, the University of Southern California hosts the African Global Economic and Development Summit, bringing delegations from Africa to meet with business leaders, government officials and others in the U.S. But this year, the African summit has no Africans. All were denied visas. Visa issues are not uncommon for people traveling from African nations. During her prior three summits, Mary Flowers saw a high percentage of her attendees unable to attain visas. "Usually we get 40 percent that get rejected but the others come," said Flowers, chair of the African Global Economic and Development Summit. "This year it was 100 percent. Every delegation. And it was sad to see, because these people were so disheartened." Flowers estimated that she...
(Financial Times 03/17/17)
Crucial deliveries to resume in sign frosty relations are thawing. Saudi Arabia is to resume crucial oil exports to Egypt in a sign that relations between the two regional heavyweights are thawing, six months after the kingdom abruptly halted the shipments. The Egyptian Petroleum Ministry said it expected deliveries of oil products to restart by the end of this month or early April, adding that it was working with Saudi Aramco, the kingdom’s state oil company, on a timetable. Saudi Arabia agreed in April to provide Egypt with 700,000 tonnes of oil products every month for five years as part of wider aid package to the north African state, which is struggling with a sharp economic downturn. The shipments were...
(Ahram Online 03/17/17)
Egypt’s Defence Minister Sedki Sobhy and Interior Minister Magdy Abdel-Ghaffar met with security forces in North Sinai, the armed forces said on Friday. In an official statement, the army said the two ministers also toured the city of El-Arish accompanied by North Sinai security director and Second Army field commander Nasser Al-Assi. During the meeting, Sobhy passed on President’s Abdel-Fatah El-Sisi regards and appreciation for the forces' defence of the country, honouring a number of army and police officers for their sucess in some security operations. “There has been no slacking in the protection of Egypt's national security and in cleansing Sinai from all forms of extremism and terrorism thanks to the cohesion of the honourable people of Sinai who...
(The Associated Press 03/17/17)
Egypt's Health Ministry says hundreds of schoolchildren have been admitted to hospital in a suspected mass food poisoning this week. The ministry says the outbreak involved 2,262 children in eight schools in the southern province of Sohag. They developed symptoms after eating school meals provided as part of a government food program for schoolchildren. The ministry statement late on Tuesday said most of those admitted to hospital have been released. Samples of the meals were being analyzed to ascertain the cause of the suspected poisoning. The independent Al-Shorouk daily says the Sohag governor suspended the food program pending the outcome of the analysis. In 2013, university students protested after some 160 colleagues fell ill after a tuna meal at the...
(Voice of America 03/17/17)
One of the enduring legacies of the Barack Obama presidency will be the relationship built between the United States and young Africans. As part of Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), each year 1,000 young people from sub-Saharan Africa travel to the United States to spend six weeks at a U.S. college or university. The program will continue this summer. But building enduring relationships is a two-way street, and many in Africa want to see Americans coming to their continent as well. That’s what 26 Americans selected to participate in a Reciprocal Exchange program, a new component of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, are now planning to do. The U.S. Department of State partnered with IREX, a...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
Saudi giant Aramco is to resume deliveries of oil products to Egypt that have been suspended since last October, the Egyptian petroleum ministry said, amid differences over the Syrian conflict. "It was agreed that the Saudi side will resume shipping Aramco's petroleum products in accordance with the commercial contract between the (Egyptian General) Petroleum Corporation and Aramco," the ministry said late on Wednesday. "Currently the timeline for receiving the shipments is being discussed," it added. During a visit to Cairo by King Salman in April last year, Saudi Arabia agreed to finance
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster has tapped Dina Powell to become his deputy, promoting the Cairo-born banker and policymaker to a key White House role. McMaster appointed Powell as deputy national security advisor with particular responsibility for developing strategy, a senior administration official told AFP. She is expected to play a broad role in coordinating between military, diplomatic and intelligence agencies and implementing US foreign policy. The appointment shows McMaster putting his imprimatur on the National Security Council, which had been run by retired general Michael Flynn until weeks ago. He was forced to resign abruptly amid revelations that he misled the White House about
(Xinhuanet 03/16/17)
The Egyptian authorities moved on early Thursday morning the recently unearthed three-milennia-old statue believed to be of ancient King Ramses II to the Egyptian Museum in downtown Cairo, official MENA news agency reported. The report said that the 8.5-ton colossus was moved by the armed forces in cooperation with the ministry of antiquities to be initially reassembled and restored at the Cairo museum before being transferred to its final destination at the Grand Egyptian Museum near the Great Pyramids of Giza that is scheduled to be soft opened in 2018. The statue was discovered by an Egyptian-German archaeological mission at the Cairo district of Matariya. The first part, weighing about three tons and including large sections of the king's crown...
(Xinhuanet 03/16/17)
China's aid to the education sector in Africa is helping boost teacher training, a key component in skilling the population to fast track development, a UN official has said. Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, Director of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Regional Office for Eastern Africa, in an interview recognized China's contribution to Africa's education sector over the years. "We value the initiative in teacher training in Uganda and other countries in Africa. This will revitalize the teaching profession," she said. China through UNESCO donated equipment to three teacher training institutions in Uganda on March 3. Figures from the Chinese embassy here show that 137 tutors were trained and 272 pieces of Information Communication and Technology and studio equipment...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
Africa will host a Commonwealth Games one day despite the blow of Durban being stripped of hosting the 2022 edition, David Grevemberg, the chief executive of The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), told AFP. Durban lost the right to host the Games on Monday -- just 18 months after being awarded them -- when it failed to meet criteria laid down by the CGF, primarily over costs. "I wouldn't want to make a judgement call," Grevemberg told AFP on the sidelines of a briefing by 2018 Games hosts Gold Coast on Wednesday. "Durban has hosted some great events, it is a fantastic city and are wonderful warm hosts with bright ambitions and great aspirations. "However, it takes more than a municipality,...
(Middle East Monitor 03/15/17)
An Egyptian official military source yesterday denied what he described as “allegations” reported by Western media about the deployment of Russian special forces in an Egyptian airbase near the Libyan border. On Monday, a media report claimed “unnamed” American officials and Egyptian security source had said that Russia has deployed special forces and unmanned drones at Sidi Barrani, about 100 kilometres from the Egypt-Libya border. In response to a question by an Anadolu Agency reporter, the Egyptian official who asked not to be named due to the sensitivity of the subject
(Middle East Monitor 03/15/17)
The Russian Defence Ministry confirmed yesterday it did not have special forces in Egypt after a US official and Egyptian diplomatic sources told Reuters Moscow appeared to have deployed forces to an Egyptian airbase, according to the Interfax news agency. US and diplomatic officials stated that the apparent Russian deployment might have been part of its increasing support for Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar, who also has the backing of Egypt. One official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP that Russia apparently deployed special forces to an air base at Sid Barrani, located about 100 kilometres east of the Libyan border. The official also said the American military is monitoring the situation closely. Another anonymous diplomat, confirmed reports that...
(Gulfnews 03/15/17)
Since the 2011 revolution, advocates have made slow — but steady — progress in raising awareness of violence against women and the pervasive culture of misogyny. Tackling the country’s sexual harassment epidemic was never a priority for the crowds that gathered, in 2011, in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. And yet unlike the largely unmet reforms they did demand, the fight against sexual violence is one area in which Egypt really has made strides in recent years. It’s been a collateral benefit, in that sense, of the momentum and temporary expansion of public space associated with the revolution. Research conducted in 2013 by UN Women found that more than 99 per cent of Egyptian women experienced harassment. Without reliable statistics, it’s impossible...
(The Wall Street Journal 03/15/17)
Ndalo Media founder Khanyi Dhlomo and Mara Group founder Ashish Thakkar on where the potential is and what’s blocking it How is innovation in Africa different from innovation in Silicon Valley? And how can innovation in Africa be encouraged? Dan Keeler, frontier-markets editor of The Wall Street Journal, discussed those questions with Khanyi Dhlomo, founder and chief executive of Ndalo Media, a publisher based in South Africa, and Ashish Thakkar, founder of Mara Group, a pan-African investment group with operations in banking, real estate, infrastructure and technology. Edited excerpts follow. MR. KEELER: What about innovation in Africa? Khanyi, what sort of things are you seeing that are inspiring you? MS. DHLOMO:There’s a lot of innovation happening in Africa. But it’s...
(AFP (eng) 03/14/17)
Moscow has apparently deployed military forces to a base in western Egypt, a US official said Tuesday, a sign Russia could be increasing its involvement in nearby Libya. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP that Russia appears to have deployed special operations forces to an air base at Sid Barrani, which is located about 100 kilometers (60 miles) east of the Libyan border. The official said the American military is monitoring the situation closely. A Western diplomat, who also requested anonymity, confirmed reports that Russian forces are now at a western Egypt army "facility."
(AFP (eng) 03/14/17)
Egypt on Tuesday released 203 prisoners who received a presidential pardon after having been jailed for taking part in unauthorised protests, security and prison officials said. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Monday pardoned "203 youths who had court rulings issued against them in protest cases", his spokesman Alaa Youssef said on his official Facebook page. A 2013 law used to jail activists for up to two years banned all but police-approved protests. The authorities had used the law to prevent anti-government protests after the army overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi earlier that year. A crackdown on Morsi's supporters after his July 2013 ouster saw hundreds of demonstrators killed and thousands jailed, including secular dissidents. Egypt's constitutional court ruled in December...
(AFP (eng) 03/14/17)
The release of Egypt's ex-president Hosni Mubarak approved on Monday ends "talk of the Arab Spring" uprising that toppled him in 2011 after 30 years in power, an analyst said. An Egyptian prosecutor approved a request by Mubarak's lawyer for his release after a top court acquitted him of involvement in the killing of protesters during the popular revolt. Mubarak's expected release comes as many leaders of the 2011 protests that ousted him linger in jail but members of his former regime walk free. Six years on, critics say the abuses they fought under Mubarak have returned with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the former army chief who toppled Mubarak's Islamist successor after just a year in power. "Talk of the...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/14/17)
Russia appears to have deployed special forces to an airbase in western Egypt near the border with Libya in recent days, U.S., Egyptian and diplomatic sources say, a move that would add to U.S. concerns about Moscow's deepening role in Libya. The U.S. and diplomatic officials said any such Russian deployment might be part of a bid to support Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar, who suffered a setback with an attack on March 3 by the Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB) on oil ports controlled by his forces. The U.S. officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the United States has observed what appeared to be Russian special operations forces and drones at Sidi Barrani, about 60 miles (100 km)...

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