| Africatime
Thursday 30 March 2017
(Haaretz 02/28/17)
Jibril Rajoub was slated to participate in an Arab League conference in Cairo but was turned away by authorities. Palestinian leader and Fatah Central Committee Chairman Jibril Rajoub was refused entry to Egypt on Monday. Rajoub flew from Amman Jordan to Cairo in order to attend an Arab League conference on extremism, but once he got to passport control, his passport was taken to security and he was promptly informed that he may not enter the country. Senior Egyptian and Arab League officials tried to intervene on Rajoub's behalf to no avail. He was told that the decision was that of the Egyptian intelligence agencies. Rajoub decided not to respond to the incident and just stated that he was boarding...
(The Associated Press 02/28/17)
Security officials say police have arrested 22 people after hundreds went on a rampage in Egypt’s coastal city of Port Said to protest death sentences for 10 residents for their part in a deadly 2012 soccer riot. The officials say protesters set tires ablaze, torched two police cars and pelted policemen with rocks on Monday night in the Mediterranean city’s low-income residential area of Fatimah al-Zahraa. The officials spoke on Tuesday on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to reporters. Egypt’s highest appeals court last week upheld the death sentences against the 10 for murder and other charges. The 2012 riot, which killed at least 70 people, took place at the end of a league match...
(AFP (eng) 02/28/17)
The Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership -- the world's biggest individual prize -- drew a blank once again in finding a suitable laureate, it was announced Tuesday. The prize only goes to a democratically-elected African leader who demonstrated exceptional leadership, served their mandated term and left office within the last three years. The award comes with $5 million (4.7 million euros) paid over 10 years and $200,000 annually for life from then on. The prize, founded by Sudan-born telecoms tycoon Mo Ibrahim, has only been given four times in its 10-year existence. The philanthropist has said in the past that making no award sent just as strong a message on African leadership. "A very high bar was deliberately...
(The New York Times 02/27/17)
The top commander of American military operations in the Middle East said during a visit here on Sunday that the United States wanted to resume a major military exercise with Egypt that President Barack Obama had canceled in 2013 to protest the killings of hundreds of civilian protesters. “It is my goal to get that exercise back on track and try to re-establish that as another key part of our military relationship,” Gen. Joseph L. Votel, the head of the United States Central Command, told an Egyptian television interviewer. General Votel’s comments were made shortly after he met with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and top Egyptian military and Defense Ministry officials. It also comes amid a general warming of relations...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/27/17)
An Egyptian lawmaker started collecting signatures on Sunday for a motion to extend presidential terms and lift restrictions on re-election - a year before general-turned-president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's first term is due to expire. As defense minister, Sisi overthrew elected President Mohammed Mursi, a Muslim Brotherhood official, in mid-2013 following mass protests against his rule and launched a crackdown on Egypt's oldest Islamist movement. Sisi, now 62, went on to win a presidential vote in 2014. He has not said whether he will seek re-election when his current term ends in 2018, but has made much of his popular mandate and promised to respect the will of Egyptians. The move by independent lawmaker Ismail Nasreddine to amend article 140 of...
(AfricaNews 02/27/17)
Egyptian construction tycoon, Samih Sawiris said the country’s decision to float its currency can be declared a success, adding it will take time for investment flows to return and revive its battered economy. The most populous Arab state needs investment from people like the billionaire, who could put millions into the economy and help mobilise foreign investors. The central bank floated the Egyptian pound in November to attract foreign capital. The pound consequently weakened from 8.8 pounds to the U.S. dollar to roughly 20 pounds in December. Let's not be over emotional or over enthusiastic, the flotation has been declared a success literary only last week. “Let’s not be over emotional or over enthusiastic, the flotation has been declared a...
(AFP (eng) 02/27/17)
An African road movie about four women wowed its audience Sunday as it kicked off the Panafrican cinema and television festival (Fespaco), a showcase for the continent's burgeoning film industry. "Borders" ("Frontieres") directed by Apolline Traore, a Fespaco laureate in 2013, sweeps across Africa as its protagonists journey through Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Benin on their way to Nigeria. Along the way the women -- Ivorian, Senegalese, Burkinabe and Nigerian actresses -- are spared nothing as they are beset by customs officers, thieves, murderers and rapists. The film -- the first feature-length film to show at the festival -- deals with "the bravery of women," Traore told AFP at the festival in the Burkinabe capital Ouagadougou. "There is a...
(AFP (eng) 02/26/17)
Egypt is pursuing a raft of reforms to try to revive an economy weakened by years of turmoil, but analysts say that wooing foreign investors will take time. Since the 2011 uprising, the Arab world's most populous nation has suffered a slump in key tourism revenues, slowing economic growth and investment, double-digit inflation and falling foreign currency reserves. In November the International Monetary Fund approved a $12 billion loan for Egypt after the government committed to reforms including floating the Egyptian pound, which subsequently plunged against the US dollar. The authorities also pledged a new investment law with tax incentives, a "one-stop-shop" to simplify investment procedures and a new bankruptcy law.
(AFP (eng) 02/26/17)
Egyptian Coptic Christians fled the Sinai for a second day Saturday following a string of apparent jihadist attacks, as President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi instructed his government to help shelter them. A church official said more families arrived in the Suez canal city of Ismailiya, a day after about 250 Copts sought shelter in one church alone there. Three Christians have been shot dead over the past week in the city of El-Arish in the Sinai Peninsula, where Islamic State group jihadists are waging an insurgency. Christians have been attacked before in the Sinai, but there has been an uptick since IS released a video on Sunday calling for violence against the minority. The video included an anti-Christian speech by a...
(AFP (eng) 02/24/17)
A Coptic Christian was shot dead Thursday and his house set on fire in Egypt's North Sinai, a stronghold of the Islamic State group, security officials and medics said. It was the third death this week linked to jihadists in violence against the minority community. The 40-year-old man was shot in the neck at his home in El-Arish, the provincial capital of restive North Sinai, and jihadists set the house on fire, they said. His death comes a day after two Coptic Christians, a father and his son, were found murdered behind a school in El-Arish. IS, which has mostly targeted Egypt's security forces since the army overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, warned on Sunday it would set...
(The Associated Press 02/24/17)
Egyptians are bearing down under their worst inflation in a decade, cutting spending as much as possible as prices surge on basic food items, transportation, housing, and even some essential medicines. Inflation reached almost 30 percent in January, up 5 percent over the previous month, driven by the floatation of the Egyptian pound and slashing of fuel subsidies enacted by President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in November. The move was part of a reform package to secure an IMF bailout loan of $12 billion desperately needed to shore up investor confidence and overhaul the economy. Immediately after the floatation, the pound lost over half its value, making a wide range of Egypt’s many imported goods double in price. Quietly tightening belts In...
(AFP (eng) 02/23/17)
For the first time in Africa, researchers said Wednesday they have detected a malaria parasite that is partially resistant to the top anti-malaria drug, artemisinin, raising concern about efforts to fight a disease that sickens hundreds of millions of people each year. The discovery means that Africa now joins southeast Asia in hosting such drug-resistant forms of the mosquito-borne disease. Malaria infected more than 200 million people and killed some 438,000 people worldwide in 2015, most of them children in Africa. "The spread of artemisinin resistance in Africa would be a major setback in the fight against malaria, as ACT (artemisinin-based combination therapy) is the only effective and widely used antimalarial treatment at the moment," said lead author Arnab Pain,...
(AFP (eng) 02/22/17)
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and King Abdullah II of Jordan agreed Tuesday there could be no concessions on establishing a Palestinian state, the presidency said after talks in Cairo. The meeting between the leaders of the two Arab countries that have signed peace treaties with Israel came after US President Donald Trump's administration suggested it would not insist on a Palestinian state for a Middle East peace agreement. "The two sides discussed ways to push the stagnant Middle East peace process, especially in light of US President Donald Trump's administration coming to power," a presidency statement said.
(AFP (eng) 02/22/17)
Argentinian football star Lionel Messi was in Egypt Tuesday as the face of an initiative to promote the North African country as a medical tourism destination for hepatitis C patients. A blood-borne viral disease, hepatitis C is highly prevalent in Egypt. "Medication against hepatitis C saves lives, let's put an end to the waiting lists," the Barcelona FC superstar said on his official Facebook page. Messi has signed to become the ambassador for Tour n' Cure, the Egyptian initiative said on its website. The programme offers treatment for hepatitis C patients from all over the world "with no waiting time and at a fraction of the cost," it said. It also promoted "the opportunity to take in the beauty of...
(Xinhuanet 02/22/17)
Africa Energy Indaba, the continent's premier energy event, kicked off in Johannesburg on Monday with the aim of finding solutions to the continent's energy future. The three-day conference is being attended by the governments' representatives, business and funders. The meeting seeks to unleash the continent's potential by coming up with an energy mix to develop Africa. Dr. Garth Strachan, Deputy Director General and Head of Gas Industrialization Unit in South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry said the recent discoveries of gas in Mozambique, Angola and Tanzania provides a huge opportunity for the continent. He said there is a need for the countries to work together to tap benefits from the gas for the good of the continent. Strachan said...
(AfricaNews 02/21/17)
Argentinean footballer Lionel Messi will finally visit Egypt on Tuesday for a campaign to fight hepatitis C, a visit that was postponed in the aftermath of Barcelona’s scathing ChampIOns league defeat to PSG on Tuesday last week. The campaign is coordinated by Egypt’s Health and Tourism ministries. Messi’s visit was initially supposed to take place in December, but was postponed after the deadly bombings of two churches in Cairo on December 11. Egypt has been the focus of attention of all countries in the wake of its success in treating around one million Hepatitis C patients. Egypt’s health Ministry says that 942,000 patients with the Hepatitis C virus had been cured by end of January 2017. This is not the...
(AFP (eng) 02/21/17)
Algerian, Egyptian and Tunisian foreign ministers met on Sunday in Tunis, Tunisia to discuss ways of ending the Libyan crisis. The initiative proposed by Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi is meant to tackle the results of consultations the three countries will have with the Libyan rival factions to reach a convergence of views between them and lay the foundations for a consensual political solution to the crisis. Libya is currently divided between two rival administrations: the Government of National Unity of Fayez al Sarraj that is recognised by the international community and the government controlling the eastern part of the country which supports army chief Marshal Khalifa Haftar. Tunisia, Libya and Algeria are concerned about insecurity at their borders with...
(AL Jazeera 02/21/17)
Ten men sentenced to death over violence at Port Said football match, with one additional suspect still at large. Egypt's top court upheld death sentences for 10 men on Tuesday for their part in Egypt's worst violence at a football stadium, in which more than 70 fans were killed in February 2012. Many of the dead were crushed when panicked fans tried to escape from the Port Said stadium after a post-match pitch invasion by supporters of the local side Al-Masry. Others fell or were thrown from terraces, witnesses said at the time. The ruling by the Court of Cassation, which is final, excluded an 11th defendant who remains at large after his death penalty was also confirmed in June...
(Egypt Independent 02/21/17)
A visiting Italian delegation on Sunday called on all remaining European countries to end the travel restrictions they had imposed on Sharm el-Sheikh, Hurghada and other Egyptian destinations. The delegation, which includes MPs, politicians and Italian professors, visited Egypt with the hopes of rebooting Egyptian-Italian relations, stalled since the mysterious murder of Italian student and researcher Guilio Regeni last year. The delegation met with Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, the minister of higher education, and tackled the founding of an Italian university in Egypt, which was welcomed by the minister. Gian Folloni, head of the Egyptian delegation, expressed happiness at his presence in Egypt and stressed the necessity of restoring the strong Egyptian-Italian ties. Folloni indicated that the civilizations of the two...
(The Washington Times 02/21/17)
The Islamic State in Egypt seems to be gaining in strength and notoriety in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt as the group claimed responsibility for more rockets fired into southern Israel Monday. The rockets landed in the Eshkol region in the south of the Jewish state. The rocket fire came after the Israeli Air Force fired a drone at a car carrying four members of the death cult, killing them all near Rafah, near Gaza. Earlier in February, the Islamic State fired rockets at the southern Israeli town of Eliat. Hamas, the Palestinian terror organization that controls the Gaza Strip, has been harboring Islamic State leaders, sheltering them from Israeli and Egyptian security forces. With Islamic State being countered inside...

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