| Africatime
Thursday 30 March 2017
(Agence Ecofin 03/14/17)
The Land Policy Initiative (LPI), a joint programme of the tripartite consortium consisting of the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has launched a pilot project to track progress in implementing in the AU Declaration on land issues in Africa. This was revealed by the ECA in a press statement dated March 7. In collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the project will assess progress made in implementing the key decisions and commitments of the AU Declaration on Land adopted in July 2009 by the General Assembly of the pan-African institution. “We are to a large extent in unchartered waters given many of our Member...
(AFP (eng) 03/13/17)
A prosecutor allowed Monday for Hosni Mubarak to be released, his lawyer said, after an appeals court acquitted Egypt's ex-president of involvement in the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising. "He can go home now when the doctors decide he is able to," Farid al-Deeb said, adding that Mubarak is banned from leaving the country pending an ongoing graft investigation. Mubarak, 88, has spent most of his time detained at a military hospital in Cairo since his arrest in 2011. Egypt's top appeals court on March 2 acquitted Mubarak of involvement in the killing of protesters during the revolt that toppled him, ending the final trial for the strongman who had ruled for 30 years. He was accused of...
(The Associated Press 03/13/17)
Egypt's president on Monday pardoned more than 200 people convicted and jailed for their participation in illegal protests. The pardon of the 203 prisoners by President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi did not cover any of the iconic, secular activists jailed for violating the 2013 protests law, which has effectively ended street activism in Egypt except for demonstrations by government supporters. El-Sissi has overseen a major crackdown primarily targeting Islamists along with secular pro-democracy activists since he led the military's ouster of President Mohammed Morsi in 2013, ending the Islamist leader's divisive, one-year rule. The retired general took office a year later with a landslide victory in presidential elections. Along with jailing critics, el-Sissi's government has steadily eroded freedoms won in a 2011...
(AL Jazeera 03/13/17)
Public prosecutor orders release of former president as early as tomorrow following court acquittal. Hosni Mubarak, who was overthrown as president of Egypt in an uprising in 2011, will be released from detention in a military hospital after a six-year legal battle over accusations of involvement in the killing protesters. "He will go to his home in Heliopolis," Mubarak's lawyer Farid El Deeb said, adding the ageing former president would likely be released Tuesday or soon after, but would be barred from leaving the country pending an ongoing corruption investigation.
(Reuters (Eng) 03/13/17)
In Egypt women are pushing gender boundaries in a country that ranks ranks low in gender equity. Women are entering into traditionally male-dominated jobs as the nation continues to battle economic hardships. One of the women is Asmaa Megahed who is in the carpentry industry. We are focusing on economic empowerment, to create productive women, in various fields “Firstly, all my siblings are boys, and at the beginning, they were all against me working here, and my mother was against it too, and she used to say, ‘You’re putting yourself through too much trouble. Don’t go out. You’re always out. You’re out all day’, and my brothers would say, ‘Why are you doing this to yourself? Why don’t you stay...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/13/17)
Cairo's population is set to grow by 500,000 this year, more than any other city in the world, adding to the pressure on an Egyptian economy struggling to recover from six years of political turmoil. Greater Cairo, a metropolitan area including the cities of Cairo, Giza and Qalyubia, is home to some 22.8 million people and will gain another half a million in 2017, a Euromonitor International report released last week shows. That represents a quarter of Egypt's 92 million. The national natural population growth of 2.4 percent per year is double the average of other developing countries, said Mohamed Abdelgalil, adviser to official statistics agency CAPMAS. Stinging poverty in southern Egypt leads many families to have several children in...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/13/17)
Egypt’s capital Cairo will be the fastest growing city in the world in terms of population size. According to a recent report released by Euromonitor International, Cairo’s population is set to grow by half a million people in this year, which represents a quarter of Egypt’s 92 million people. The Global Economies and Consumers in 2017 explores the economic landscape around the world in 2017. The report further indicates that most rapidly growing cities are in the Middle East and Africa. The report also noted that the global economy is entering an increased period of political volatility particularly in advanced economies. Meanwhile in Egypt, internal migration is one of the main causes of overpopulation in Cairo. Experts say this will...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/13/17)
The United Arab Emirates, one of the Middle East's largest economies, wants to expand trade ties with faster growing nations in Asia and Africa, a senior official said on Sunday. Rich Gulf Arab states are looking at ways to diversify their economies, including who they trade with, after more than two years of depressed oil prices forced a rethink of government spending. The pace of economic growth in Asian and sub-Saharan African economies has made them ideal partners, Abdullah al-Saleh, undersecretary for foreign trade and industry at the UAE ministry of the economy, told Reuters in an interview in Dubai. Asia's two largest economies China and India are expected to grow by 6.5 percent and 7.2 percent this year whilst...
(The Associated Press 03/10/17)
Islamic militants detonated a roadside bomb in Egypt’s northern Sinai, killing two officers and wounding four in the latest attack in the restive peninsula, the Interior Ministry and security officials said Friday. The explosion took place when a security patrol came upon a militant planting the device by a road in the town of el-Arish on Thursday evening. Security forces fired and killed the militant while his accomplices fled, setting off the device, according to the statement. The two slain officers were a lieutenant-colonel and a captain, the officials said. A discarded explosives-laden suicide vest was found at the site of the blast, they added, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media...
(Al-Monitor 03/10/17)
It seems bizarre that only a year has passed since the European Parliament called for a halt to military aid and weapons sales to Egypt following the killing of the Italian student, Giulio Regeni, in Cairo. Member states demanded back then, in March 2016, that Egyptian authorities stop their human rights violations. They also ruled out any new cooperation initiatives from the Egyptian side, saying Egypt’s ongoing repression meant relations could not carry on as normal. But this year, Cairo hosted one of the EU's most powerful figures, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who promised half a billion dollars to support Egypt’s economic program. Germany was not the first European country to offer aid to Egypt: Days before Merkel’s March 2...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/10/17)
Archaeologists have found an eight-metre statue submerged in ground water in a Cairo slum that they say probably depicts revered Pharaoh Ramses II, who ruled Egypt more than 3,000 years ago. The discovery, hailed by the Antiquities Ministry as one of the most important ever, was made near the ruins of Ramses II's temple in the ancient city of Heliopolis, located in the eastern part of modern-day Cairo. "Last Tuesday they called me to announce the big discovery of a colossus of a king, most probably Ramses II, made out of quartzite," Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani said on Thursday at the site of the statue's unveiling. The most powerful and celebrated ruler of ancient Egypt, the pharaoh also known as...
(AFP (eng) 03/10/17)
In the beginning was .com, followed by a host of other .somethings, but on Friday, 32 years after the world's first domain name was registered, the African Union has launched .africa for the continent. Africans who want to register a website will be able to apply for a .africa domain name in the coming months, which outgoing AU commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said would allow the continent's people and businesses to better reach the world. "With .africa, I would say Africa has finally got its digital identity," said Dlamini-Zuma, who will next week hand power to Chadian Foreign Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat after four years at the helm of the continental body Sub-Saharan Africa has one of the lowest rates...
(Bloomberg 03/09/17)
Egypt’s inflation accelerated to 30 percent in February, one of the highest levels across emerging markets, but the data carried signs that the aftershocks of the decision to abandon currency controls may be fading. Consumer prices in urban parts of the most populous Arab country climbed to an annual rate of 30.2 percent from 28.1 percent in January, according to data released by the state-run statistics agency on Thursday. The cost of food and beverages rose 40.5 percent. The pace of monthly overall price gains, however, eased to 2.6 percent from 4.1 percent in January. Prices have soared after decisions on Nov. 3 to float the pound and raise fuel prices, steps that were crucial to clinch a $12 billion...
(Bloomberg 03/09/17)
Egypt’s government on Wednesday partly reversed an earlier move to lower bread subsidies, trying to avert further protests in a country reeling from rising prices. The Supply Ministry said it would raise, but not fully restore, the amount of bread that can be bought under the so-called “gold card” scheme that’s used by a small minority of Egyptians who don’t hold a plastic smart card for purchasing cheap loaves. A day earlier, ministry chief Ali Al-Moselhi had defended cuts to the program as necessary to curb waste and corruption. Hundreds demonstrated outside bakeries in cities this week, fearing bigger cutbacks were planned. “Enough time wasting,” Al-Moselhi said in Tuesday’s televised press conference. “Was it possible to leave the situation like...
(Xinhuanet 03/09/17)
The Egyptian military and security forces arrested 70 suspects during raids over the past two days in restive North Sinai province bordering Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip, a military spokesman said Thursday. "The forces also killed an extremist during his attempt to plant an explosive device on one of the patrol roads and found and destroyed six other explosive devices prepared to target our forces during their movement," the spokesman, Tamer al-Refaay, said in the statement. During the raids, two main smuggling tunnels, two hideouts of terrorist elements and three motorbikes were also destroyed, he said. On Sunday, security forces killed 11 militants and arrested 34 others in a similar campaign in Central Sinai, the southern part of North...
(Middle East Monitor 03/09/17)
Former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s son Osama is being abused in the notorious Scorpion prison, statement released by his family said yesterday. A security source dismissed the family’s accusations as “false”. The family attributed Osama’s arrest on 8 December to a statement he had published a few days earlier outlining the limitation on family visits to see his father. He had called on the United Nations and other international organisations to intervene to allow the family to see the deposed president. Morsi’s family said that since Osama’s arrest, they have not been allowed to visit him or give him any of his personal belongings, including medicines. They pointed out that Osama complained to his lawyer about mistreatment inside the Scorpion...
(Middle East Monitor 03/09/17)
In a statement to commemorate International Women’s Day, head of the Egyptian Revolutionary Council (ERC), Dr Maha Azzam, said Egyptian women have been at the forefront of the Egyptian revolution, despite the threat of arbitrary arrest, torture, rape and disappearance. Azzam added: “Let us remember that women stood in their thousands in Egypt’s squares to resist tyranny and were harassed and shot dead. They stood in Tahrir in 2011 and they stood in Rabaa in 2013, a peaceful sit-in against the military coup, the worst massacre in the modern history of Egypt and where many were shot dead.” Highlighting a number of abuses specifically targeting women, Azzam said: “There has been no justice for these women from the abuse and...
(CNN 03/09/17)
These were the last words 45-year-old Medhat Saad Hakim heard before he was shot in the head on his doorstep last month. The gunmen dragged Hakim's screaming mother outside the house before going back inside and shooting his father dead. The attackers then looted the house before torching it. His mother, Nabila Halim, survived the attack. Medhat Saad and Saad Hakim are the sixth and seventh Christians killed in the North Sinai town of Al-Arish in just over a month --- all targeted by Al Wilayat Sinai, a local affiliate of ISIS waging a low-level insurgency on the peninsula. The two killings, followed by another killing 48 hours later, prompted Christian residents to flee the coastal town. Over 500 Christians...
(Xinhuanet 03/09/17)
A critical mass of trained and well equipped community health workforce is key to easing the rising burden of infectious and noncommunicable diseases in Africa, experts said on Wednesday at a continental forum taking place in Nairobi. The experts, policymakers and campaigners who attended Africa Health Agenda International Conference agreed that optimal engagement of community health workers is key to revolutionize response to diseases ravaging the continent. Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Health Cleopa Mailu in his opening remarks said that investments in training for community health workers will have multiplier impact on Africa's socioeconomic development. "We require highly skilled and motivated cadre of community health workforce to deal with a high diseases burden in disadvantaged settings in this continent. These...
(AFP (eng) 03/08/17)
Dozens of Egyptians protested across the country on Tuesday because they were unable to get their share of subsidised bread, police said. The protests followed a supply ministry decision to limit the number of subsidised loaves bakeries can sell people who do not yet have digital cards introduced under a new distribution system, Supply Minister Ali al-Meselhy said. The new system, which the government launched in 2014, replaces paper documents, and is designed to allow stricter state control and oversight to ensure no subsidised flour is stolen by bakeries. Protests were reported on Tuesday in the provinces of Alexandria, Kafr el-Sheikh, Minya and Assiut, with a small demonstration also taking place in Cairo, officials said, requesting anonymity because they were...

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