Saturday 20 January 2018
(The Economist 05/15/13)
ERITREANS are engaging in a popular new pastime on Friday nights. In arguably Africa's most paranoid police state, the quietly rebellious stay home and wait for the phone to ring. The draw is the faint possibility of a subversive voice on the other end of the line. The chosen few will hear a minute of recorded seditious suggestions such as: “Start asking questions”, or “Don't take this lying down”—stirring stuff in Africa's answer to North Korea. The calls are part of a campaign called “Freedom Friday”, which its organisers in the Eritrean diaspora hope will be a small step towards breaking the silence in their country. The effort began two years ago when a brave soul smuggled out a telephone...
(Voice of America 05/14/13)
UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations Security Council pointed Monday to the connection between terrorism in Africa and organized crime, and called for a strengthened global response. The 15-member Security Council unanimously adopted a statement declaring its deep concern for what it calls the increasing violence perpetrated by armed groups, the number of which, it said, are growing in several regions and sub-regions of Africa. The council approved the statement during a discussion of the fight against terrorism in Africa. In expressing its concern about the connection between terrorism and transnational organized crime, and with illicit activities such as drugs, arms and human trafficking, the Security Council urged enhanced coordination to strengthen a global response. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told...
(Capital Eritrea 05/13/13)
In its May 2013 Regional Economic Outlook, Building Momentum in a Multi-Speed World, the IMF said that the near-term outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) remains broadly positive, with growth projected to accelerate modestly to around 5½ percent in 2013–14, following a year of strong growth in 2012. The favorable prospects partly reflect the gradually improving outlook for the global economy with investment in export-oriented sectors being the important driver of growth. “The positive outlook for the region is conditional on the implementation of sound macroeconomic policies, although the necessary policy mix differs across countries,” Ms. Antoinette Sayeh, Director of the IMF’s African Department, said. “Given the presence of risk, fast-growing countries with low policy buffers should give priority to rebuilding...
(Asmarino Independent 05/13/13)
The following is an excerpt of accumulated questions sent by interested Eritreans at various times to the editorial section of the America Team to be answered by Mr. John Stauffer, president of the America Team for Displaced Eritreans. Mr. John Stauffer, 70, is an American who since 2004 has been working continuously to help asylum-seeking Eritreans get refuge and assist them in living a stable life wherever they are relocated. Mr. Stauffer is a retiree after 38 years of honorable work in U.S. industry, and has after retirement dedicated all his time working day and night to help Eritrean refugees and asylum seekers with advocacy and covering pertinent expenses often with his own resources. No wonder, today, many Eritreans call...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/10/13)
Africa's economic development is being held back by a "hemorrhage" of illicit financial flows, which may be getting worse, the African Development Bank said on Friday, calling for reforms to stem the losses. A draft report to be presented at the AfDB's annual meeting in Morocco later this month shows net resource outflows from Africa totaling up to $1.4 trillion over the 30-year period to 2009, far exceeding inflows to the continent. Illicit financial flows were "the main driving force" behind $1.2-1.3 trillion of the three-decade net drain, it said. This is about four times Africa's current external debt and almost equivalent to its current GDP. "The trend is continuing, it could even be increasing," AfDB Chief Economist Mthuli Ncube...
(Haaretz 05/08/13)
Nine Eritrean women and their 10 children were released on Monday from the Saharonim detention center in the south after being detained for between eight and 12 months under the Prevention of Infiltration Law; at least 14 children apparently still in custody. Israel's Interior Ministry on Monday released nine Eritrean women and 10 children, ranging from 18 months to 7-years-old, who had been held at Saharonim Detention Center in the south of the country for the last 8-12 months under the Prevention of Infiltration Law.The Interior Ministry’s Population, Immigration and Border Authority approved the release after the Be’er Sheva District Court, sitting as the Administrative Affairs Court, ordered that another detained mother and her two daughters be freed. Be'er Sheva...
(AFP (eng) 05/07/13)
Galvanized by the Arab Spring, Eritreans in exile in Europe are mobilizing against the authoritarian regime of President Issaias Afeworki with a new tool — the humble telephone. Every week, members of the diaspora make hundreds or even thousands of automated calls to their compatriots in the eastern African nation, chosing their numbers at random and playing them one-minute recorded messages to spread dissent. “It is time to restore our liberty and dignity,” says one of the messages. In another, the mother of high-profile political prisoner Aster Yohannes recalls the fate of her daughter, who was arrested in 2003 and who has not been heard of since. Such political statements are rarely heard in Eritrea itself, where opposition parties are...
(NPR 05/03/13)
Tucked in the northeast corner of Africa, Eritrea is one of the most closed societies in the world, so much so that it's sometimes dubbed the "North Korea of Africa." President Isaias Afwerki does not tolerate any independent media. The Internet is restricted. Reporters without Borders recently named it 179th out of 179 countries for freedom of expression. It's illegal to criticize the government — which could mean something as simple as complaining about the city power outage. Even gatherings of more than seven people might get you hauled into a police station. "Even asking a question like, 'Where is my father?' if your father is in jail," says Isayas Sium, an Eritrean-American software engineer in San Jose, Calif., who...
(Allafrica 05/02/13)
Addis Ababa — The Ethiopian government on Monday has reiterated its readiness to hold peace talks with Eritrea to resolve their decades-long border dispute. During his meeting with the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York, the Ethiopian Minister of foreign Affairs Tedros Adhanom accused the Eritrean government of refusing to engage in peace talks. Adhanom said his country is ready to sit down for direct negotiations with Eritrea without any preconditions regarding to level, time or venue. But the Ethiopian top diplomat stressed "the belligerent party opposed to these talks has always been the Eritrean side". According to the ministry of foreign Affairs, Tedros expressed solidarity with the people of Eritrea whom he said are continuously suffering due...
(Sudan Tribune 04/30/13)
The United Nations special rapporteur on the human rights situation in Eritrea, Sheila B. Keetharuth, is due to begin an official visit to Ethiopia and Djibouti on Tuesday to collect first-hand information from Eritrean refugees on the situation inside their country. The visit comes as the government of the reclusive Red Sea nation blocked her from entering the country. “Due to lack of access to Eritrea, I will engage with all others concerned by human rights in Eritrea, including those who consider themselves to be victims of alleged human rights violations, human rights defenders and other civil society actors,” Keetharuth said in a statement issued by The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). The visit...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/30/13)
Economic development researchers on Monday unveiled a database of China's aid to Africa in an effort to work around Beijing's secrecy about the numbers, as a debate rages over the intentions and impact of Chinese assistance. The study and database by the Washington-based Center for Global Development and AidData, a research project, includes 1,673 Chinese development finance projects worth $75 billion in 50 African countries from the years 2000-2011. The Chinese figures, using standard measures of Official Development Assistance (ODA) and Other Official Finance (OOF), are roughly on par with U.S. aid to Africa during the same period, the Center for Global Development said. While official ODA from Western countries and some major developing countries is openly reported and easily...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/24/13)
Latest defection from harsh Eritrean regime reported to have sought asylum on trip to collect military jet from Saudi Arabia. A military pilot sent by Eritrea to Saudi Arabia to reclaim a jet stolen by two fellow officers when they flew to seek asylum has herself defected, Saudi media has reported. The pilot, who holds the rank of captain, told the authorities in Jizan province she did not wish to return to the east African country, a single-party state with no independent media and up to 10,000 political prisoners, Arab News reported. The jet has been in Saudi Arabia since October, when it was diverted to the kingdom by its two officers who wanted to seek asylum, the newspaper said...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/22/13)
African finance ministers told their rich nation counterparts at weekend meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank to work harder and faster to kick-start their economies to avoid a prolonged slump that could undermine strong growth in the developing world. "We are concerned," Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said at the meetings of global finance leaders. "If we continue to see slow growth in the euro zone, which provides a large market for many African countries, and is coupled with a slowdown in emerging economies, then we will become more vulnerable," Okonjo-Iweala told a news conference of African finance ministers. "We need to insist that our partners in other parts of the world work harder and faster." Despite...
(Sudan Tribune 04/19/13)
April 18, 2013 (ADDIS ABABA) – The Eritrean government said this week that it supports Egypt’s stance over a colonial-era treaty that granted Egypt a right to utilise the lions share of Nile river’s water resources. The Red Sea nation expressed its support in a message sent from the Eritrean president and delivered to Egypt’s president by Eritrean Foreign Minister Osman Saleh and Presidential Adviser for Political Affairs, Yemane Gebreab. The Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi, has highly welcomed Eritrea’s position towards Egypt’s "historic rights" over the sharing of the water of the Nile River. Morsi said that he looks forward to meeting his Eritrean counterpart. Although Ethiopia is the source of 85% of the Nile’s water, downriver countries, Egypt and...
(Tanzania Daily News 04/19/13)
President Mohamed Morsi and Foreign Minister Mohamed Amr met with the Eritrean foreign minister Osman Saleh and the Eritrean presidential adviser for political affairs, Yamani Jabr, in Cairo on Monday to boost bilateral relations between the countries and discuss a number of regional and international issues. According to foreign ministry spokesperson Amr Roshdy, the two dignitaries addressed the growing problem of trafficking in African refugees through Egyptian territories. For the last two years, refugees and asylum-seekers, most of them Eritrean, have been kidnapped from refugee camps in Sudan and transported to the Sinai desert where they are held for ransom by Bedouin gangs, according to a recent Amnesty International report. In the report, Amnesty International called on all the countries...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/15/13)
Sub-Saharan Africa's economic growth should accelerate to more than 5 percent over the next three years, far outpacing the global average, but the region must do more to convert this into reducing poverty, the World Bank said on Monday. In its latest Africa's Pulse analysis of prospects for the region, the bank saw increased investment, high commodity prices and a pick-up in the global economy driving this expected growth surge in the world's poorest continent. It said foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows to Sub-Saharan Africa were projected to increase to record levels each year over the next three years, reaching $54 billion by 2015. This compared to $37.7 billion in 2012, a 5.5 percent increase in a year when FDI...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/10/13)
Carlyle Group (CG.O) is looking at a number of banks in east and west Africa for a potential investment, its Africa co-head said on Wednesday, as the U.S. private equity firm focuses on the continent's growing consumer market. Carlyle, which last year invested in a pan-African grain trading firm, has recently signed a second deal, Marlon Chigwende also told the Reuters Africa Investment Summit. "Banking is very interesting today, and that is the general statement across a lot of sub-Saharan Africa," Chigwende told the Reuters Africa Investment Summit in Johannesburg. "Certainly, there are several opportunities of fast-growing banks, good management teams, interesting market positioning." Although private equity is still at a nascent stage in Africa, investor interest in the fast-growing...
( 04/10/13)
The Africa Development Bank (AfDB) has launched a a multi-country and multi-partner project which seeks to increase food security and improve the income and living standards of small-holder farmers in the 20 African countries by improving the value chains of four important staple crops – maize, wheat, cassava and rice. The project targets to demonstrate by 2016, that it is possible to increase the yields of cassava, maize, rice and wheat by at least 20% on smallholders’ farms, increase the smallholder’s household cash income to $600 from the current $370 and increase food security by at least 20% to 84% from the present 73%. According to media statement from the implementing agency, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), key stakeholders...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/26/13)
"BRICS, Don't Carve Africa" reads a banner in a church hall in downtown Durban where civil society activists have gathered to cast a critical eye at a summit of five global emerging powers. The slogan evokes the 19th Century conference in Berlin where the predominant European colonial states carved up the African continent in a scramble historians see as epitomizing the brash exploitative capitalism of the time. Decades after Africans threw off the colonial yoke, it is the turn of the blossoming BRICS group of Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa to find their motives coming under scrutiny as they proclaim an altruistic-sounding "partnership for development, integration and industrialization" with Africa. Led by that giant of the emerging powers,...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/26/13)
President Barack Obama hosts the leaders of four African nations this week, all of which are cited in a new report for effectively increasing spending on agriculture to combat extreme poverty and hunger. The report by the ONE Campaign, an anti-poverty group co-founded by Irish rockers Bono and Bob Geldof, said Senegal, Malawi, Cape Verde and Sierra Leone either met or were close to meeting targets for increased budget spending on agriculture. All of the countries, except Cape Verde where there is little data, are also on track or close to meeting a U.N. target of halving extreme poverty by 2015, the report said. The African leaders will visit the White House on Thursday to showcase their fledgling democracies, but...

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