Tuesday 17 October 2017
(AfricaNews 07/27/17)
At a time when Africa is going through a difficult situation, the blue economy is emerging as a stepping stone to relaunch the continent in the right economic direction. But this type of economy is seriously threatened by “predators” who do not hesitate to plunder resources. The “cancer of illegal fishing” costs Africa about $ 1.6 million annually based on Economic Commission for Africa’s estimates. This and more on this week’s edition segment on Business on the Morning Call with Jean David Mihamle.
(Voice of America 07/25/17)
European and African ministers are meeting in Tunisia about efforts to regulate the flow of refugees from Africa to Europe, primarily along the deadly central Mediterranean route originating in Libya. In a declaration Monday in Tunis, the capital, the ministers said they agreed on a multi-pronged approach to the crisis, including informing people about the risks of illegal migration and the possibility of voluntarily returning home, addressing why migrants leave home and beefing up actions against human traffickers. Participating in the meetings were interior ministers from Algeria, Austria, Chad, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Libya, Mali, Malta, Niger, Slovenia, Switzerland, Tunisia and Estonia, which currently holds the EU Council presidency. Through the first half of 2017, nearly 84,000 migrants arrived in...
(AFP (eng) 07/21/17)
The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations will expand from 16 to 24 teams and be staged in June and July, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced on Thursday. The tournament has traditionally been held in January and February, with the timing of the tournament a source of frustration to European clubs forced to release players in the middle of the season. The CAF executive committee confirmed the changes to the format following a two-day symposium in Rabat, although the tournament will continue to be held every two years and exclusively on African soil. The decision to increase the number of teams mirrors a similar one taken by UEFA to expand the European Championship, with 24 nations taking part at...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/20/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Africa's major central banks are entering an easing cycle as they try to stimulate growth after months of drought, austerity drives and confidence issues across the continent, a Reuters poll found on Thursday. Much of southern and eastern Africa is still recovering after an El Niño-related drought wilted crops last year. Poor business confidence in South Africa and foreign exchange restrictions in Nigeria have also hampered growth. "We expect that African monetary policy is entering a widespread and protracted period of policy easing. This will provide a boost to growth," said John Ashbourne, Africa analyst at Capital Economics. Ghana, which agreed a three-year fiscal discipline deal with the International Monetary Fund in exchange for aid in 2015,...
(Bloomberg 07/19/17)
Vodacom Group Ltd. sees the expansion of mobile-banking services into new markets in sub-Saharan Africa as a top priority following a shareholder vote to rubber stamp its purchase of a 35 percent stake in Safaricom Ltd., Kenya’s biggest company. “We will use Safaricom to enter other markets where neither Vodacom nor Safaricom are,” Chief Executive Officer Shameel Joosub said in an interview at the wireless carrier’s annual general meeting in Johannesburg on Tuesday. The two businesses have a combined 30 million mobile-banking customers, giving them “a very sizeable platform on the continent,” he said. Vodacom’s purchase of the Safaricom stake from U.K. parent company Vodafone Group Plc gives the South African company access to the fast-growing M-Pesa platform, which processed...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/18/17)
Three years after he risked his life crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Libya to Italy on a small boat crammed with migrants, 22-year-old Sow Muhammed can hardly believe his luck. The former street hawker from Guinea now works as a caterer in Venice, rents his own apartment, and sends money back home regularly to his mother and siblings in the West African nation. "I am happy I came to Europe, and my family is also happy," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation as he packed up leftovers at a training event for people who work with refugees, where he had served a menu which included traditional African dishes. "I talk to my family frequently, ask them their needs, and help...
(AFP (eng) 07/17/17)
The former head of Eritrea's Orthodox church made his first public appearance on Sunday since being put under house arrest a decade ago, according to a London-based religious rights group. Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) said in a statement that former patriarch Abune Antonios took part in a mass at a cathedral in the Eritrean capital Asmara, his first since the notoriously repressive government of the Horn of Africa nation put him under house arrest in 2007. CSW said the 90-year-old religious leader was stripped of his role as head of the country's Orthodox church in 2006 after he refused to excommunicate 3,000 government opponents and called for the release of political prisoners. His case has attracted criticism from rights groups,...
(APA 07/17/17)
The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) on Saturday adopted a regional biodiversity protocol and related strategies at the conclusion of a two-day meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Executive Secretary of IGAD Mahboub Maalim said the protocol would help to mobilize resources and create much more cooperation on the issue of ecosystem development in the region. IGAD ministers of environment approved the protocol on biodiversity management, which the Maalim described as a milestone achievement. According to Maalim, regional economic integration in the Horn of Africa could be realized through prudent management of natural resources and trans-boundary ecosystems. Recently, Ethiopia and Kenya launched a cross-border program which is the first of its kind. “We are building on that high-level political support to...
(Xinhuanet 07/17/17)
Africa is making progress towards the establishment of a trade zone by Oct. 30 that will cover approximately half of the continent's member states. The Common Market for the Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Director of Trade and Customs, Francis Mangeni, said in a commentary published in the Star Newspaper on Monday that so far 19 of the 26 countries involved have signed the agreement. "Three outstanding annexes had meant the tripartite agreement was not complete and this was advanced by some countries as the reason they could not sign or ratify the agreement. However their adoption represented a milestone in the negotiation, as it removed the last obstacle to signing and ratifying the agreement," Mangeni said. The tripartite free...
(Xinhuanet 07/13/17)
The UN food agency on Thursday called on countries in the Horn of Africa region to embark on radical overhaul of agricultural policies coupled with targeted investments in climate resilience in order to contain endemic food insecurity. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Representative in Kenya Gabriel Rugalema said that robust policy frameworks, increased funding and technology adoption were required to enhance food production in the Horn of African region amid harsh climatic conditions. "The Horn of African region is facing the worst food crisis in recent history but the situation can be reversed if countries explore new policies, technologies and innovations to enhance resilience of farming and pastoralism," said Rugalema. He spoke in Nairobi during a forum on...
(Cnbc Africa 07/12/17)
"Africa is an awakening giant," according to the former South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk speaking at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul. The leader who oversaw the transition of his country's power to Nelson Mandela said Tuesday that the future looks bright for a continent previously blighted by war, famine and a lack of infrastructure. "I believe Africa is an awakening giant and, yes, it is not performing according to what we expected soon enough, but it will perform," he said. De Klerk believes that African countries are primed to take advantage of the world's growing size. "If we look at food shortages for the rest of the world with a growing population, Africa is the solution," he...
(APA 07/11/17)
The visit to Eritrea's capital Asmara by an African Union (AU) High Level delegation has been postponed, according to a statement from the pan-African bloc on Monday. The chairperson of the AU Commission announced on July 3 during the 29th AU summit that the high-level delegation led by the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security, Smail Chergui, would travel to the Horn of African nation. The delegation was to discuss with the Eritrean authorities the developments in the region, and also exchange views on the AU's initiative to develop a Horn of Africa Strategy, said the chairperson. At the request of the Eritrean authorities and due to a conflicting calendar, new dates will be agreed upon through consultations with the...
(The Associated Press 07/11/17)
Africa has several new sites on the United Nations world heritage list, including an old royal capital in Angola, the Eritrean capital of Asmara and a desert area in South Africa that was inhabited during the Stone Age. UNESCO said this weekend at a meeting in Poland that Mbanza Kongo in northwest Angola was the capital of the Kongo kingdom, a largely independent state between the 14th and 19th centuries. The U.N. cultural agency says Asmara, which experienced large-scale construction under Italian rule in the 1930s, showcases "early modernist urbanism" in an African context. And it says the Khomani cultural landscape at South Africa's border with Botswana and Namibia testifies to the way of life of the once-nomadic San people...
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
In the past five years, terrorist attacks have killed nearly 20,000 people across Africa. Two groups, Boko Haram and al-Shabab, accounted for 71 percent of reported incidents and 91 percent of fatalities. But, while these and other militant groups remain active, fatal terrorist attacks across the continent are on pace to fall for a second straight year, and the total number of attacks is running far below 2012 highs. These findings are part of VOA’s original analysis of data from ACLED, the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. ACLED tracks political violence, protests and terrorist events across Africa. Their reports include attacks since 1997 based on data collected from local news media, government statements, non-governmental organizations and published research...
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Many cell phone companies are rethinking their headlong rush into the continent. Only Orange is staying the course. Back when African countries were auctioning off mobile licenses by the boatload to serve the region’s young, tech-savvy population, investing in the continent’s fast-growing economies seemed like a no-brainer. Some of the world’s biggest wireless carriers rushed in. Now they’re wondering if they made a mistake. Increasing government and regulatory scrutiny, as well as a lack of expansion opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa, are making it harder for operators such as Vodafone Group Plc, Orange SA and Bharti Airtel Ltd. to grow. Their choice: Pull back or double down. Two companies beating at least a partial retreat are Millicom International Cellular SA, which...
(AFP (eng) 07/08/17)
The people of Eritrea have long said their capital Asmara is like no other city in Africa, and on Saturday the UN agreed, designating it a World Heritage site. The proclamation ends a long-running quest by Eritrean authorities to have the city's unique architecture, which includes an art-deco bowling alley with coloured glass windows and a petrol station built to resemble a soaring aeroplane, recognised by the UN cultural body, UNESCO. It's also a rare example of positive world recognition for the Horn of Africa nation that is a major source of migrants fleeing across the Mediterranean to Europe due to the country's repressive policies.
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The African Union's new chair Moussa Faki Mahamat on Wednesday questioned US commitment to fighting terrorism on the continent after it blocked efforts to get UN funding for an anti-jihadist force in the Sahel. "This is a specific case of a certain number of African states taking the initiative to create a dedicated force to fight terrorism. So, we don't understand how the United States could hold back or not engage in the fight against terrorism," Faki said in an interview with AFP. Faki's January election as chairperson of the AU commission came days after the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, who has proposed slashing US funding for aid projects and multilateral institutions like the UN. The former Chadian...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The costs of diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa could double to almost $60 billion annually just 13 years from now, as obesity fuels an explosion of the disease, a report said Thursday. In 2015, the overall diabetes cost in the region was nearly $20 billion (18 billion euros), or 1.2 percent of total economic production, according to research published by The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. This included medication and hospital stays, and loss of labour productivity due to illness or death. About half of all treatment costs were paid for by patients themselves.
(AFP (eng) 07/04/17)
Eritrea's ambassador to the African Union said on Tuesday that Qatar must mediate with neighbouring Djibouti over the two countries' disputed border. The Gulf nation brokered a peace deal between the two countries in 2010 over the disputed Red Sea region of Doumeira, which has been the site of disagreements and clashes between Eritrea and Djibouti for decades. Qatari troops withdrew from the contested border last month when the Horn of Africa nations signalled their support for Saudi Arabia after it accused Doha of supporting Islamic terrorism. Djibouti claims Eritrean troops moved into the disputed territory for one day after the Qatari withdrawal, raising fears of an armed confrontation such as the one that broke out in 2008. While Djibouti...
(AFP (eng) 07/04/17)
Djibouti will turn to the African Union to help it resolve a long-running border dispute with Eritrea, the Horn of Africa nation's foreign minister told AFP on Monday. Qatari troops who patrolled the tense frontier pulled out last month after both Djibouti and Eritrea sided with Saudi Arabia when it severed ties with Doha over its alleged ties to Islamic extremists. Djibouti's Foreign Minister Mahamoud Ali Youssouf said that after Qatari troops left the disputed Doumeira region, Eritrean soldiers moved in but left the next day, elevating tensions between the two countries and leading the AU and UN to call for restraint. "As long as this border is not demarcated, it will remain a source of tension ... in the...

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