Monday 24 July 2017
(AfricaNews 06/01/17)
January 2017 was a year since I arrived in Congo Pointe Noire to assume responsibility as a web journalist with Africanews. Leaving Accra – where I had spent all my life – for a new environment felt strange but I yearned for the challenge ahead. Even though I arrived on an Air Ivoire flight that took me through Abidjan to Pointe Noire, I opted for Ethiopian Airlines for my journey to and from Accra for during my vacation in March this year. The lure of Addis and flying on the continent’s top airliner was at the heart of my choice. A choice that was a no-brainer despite a caution by schedule officer, Natacha that I would have to layover in...
(AFP (eng) 06/01/17)
One in five children born with a twin sibling in sub-Saharan Africa dies before the age of five -- three times the rate among singletons, said a study Thursday. Almost two-thirds die in the first month of life -- often succumbing to the after-effects of a difficult birth or entering the world too early or underweight, according to research published in The Lancet medical journal. And while rates of under-five deaths in the sub-Saharan African region have declined over two decades, the improvement has been much slower for twins than for single-borns. "Twins account for 10.7 percent of all under-five deaths and 15.1 percent of neonatal (newborn) deaths in the region and these percentages are increasing," the study said. "The...
(AFP (eng) 05/31/17)
Ethiopia said Wednesday it had deactivated mobile internet service, but offered no explanation for the countrywide outage that also briefly affected the African Union headquarters and a massive UN facility. This is the second time in recent months that Africa's second most populous country has turned off its mobile data service, which most businesses and consumers rely on for internet access. The country's single telecommunications provider disabled its data service for weeks last year amid fierce anti-government protests which have since been curbed under a state of emergency in place since last October. "Mobile data has been deactivated," deputy communications minister Zadig
(The Guardian 05/31/17)
The country has closed its digital borders to prevent leaks during tests after papers were posted online by activists last year. Ethiopia has shut off internet access to its citizens, according to reports from inside the country, apparently due leaked exam papers for the nation’s grade 10 examinations. Outbound traffic from Ethiopia was shutdown around 4pm UK time on Tuesday, according to Google’s transparency report, which registered Ethiopian visits to the company’s sites plummeting over the evening. By Wednesday afternoon, access still had not been restored. Last year, activists leaked the papers for the country’s 12th grade national exams, calling for the postponement of the papers due to a school shutdown in the regional state of Oromia. Now, the government...
(Xinhuanet 05/31/17)
Ethiopia needs to modernize its livestock sector so as to reduce the devastating impacts of back to back drought incidents that hit the country since 2015, members of the Ethiopian parliament advised. Ethiopia is home to one of the largest livestock populations in Africa. Figures from the Ethiopian government indicated that the East African country is endowed with approximately 50 million heads of cattle, and 50 million goats and sheep. While the livestock sector is an important sub-sector within the country's economy in terms of its contributions to national GDP, recent drought incidents have wrecked havoc on Ethiopia's cattle population. Members of the Ethiopian parliament, reviewing country's livestock and fishery sector on Wednesday, asserted that the loss of cattle lives...
(AfricaNews 05/31/17)
Ethiopian authorities have sanctioned a total internet blackout as means of blocking the leakage of papers for the country’s grade 10 examinations. This is the second straight year that such an action has been taken. The government has yet to officially comment on the development. The privately-owned Addis Standard news portal reports that the nationwide outage started on Tuesday and is the third time in the span of a year that Ethio-Telecom has taken that move. The UK Guardian also reports that Google’s transparency report confirmed that outbound traffic from the East African giant was cut on Tuesday and has yet to be restored. In June 2016, questions for a top examination were posted on social media causing a national...
(Washington Post 05/31/17)
The old man’s house had become a camp for the displaced. In the back yard, groups of women boiled water for rice. Small children skittered across the dirt, running into the bedroom, where they careened around the long, skinny legs of Elijah Karama. “Because of the conditions, they are mine to take care of,” said Karama, 57, more tired than proud. By conditions, he meant Boko Haram’s destruction of vast areas of northeastern Nigeria, and the hunger crisis that has followed. This city of about 1 million has absorbed an additional 1 million people who fled the Islamist militants who burned their villages and kidnapped hundreds of children. In Maiduguri, the vast majority of the displaced aren’t living in U.N...
(Bloomberg 05/30/17)
Africa’s corn harvest this year is a tale of two extremes as worries about overflowing silos and rotting crops in the south contrast with the east where supermarkets are running short of the staple food. Zambia and South Africa are both predicting record output of the grain, while Zimbabwe may meet its domestic needs for the first time since it began seizing land from white farmers in 2000. Yet in East Africa, 17 million people may be facing hunger, and concerns about food shortages are driving up prices as governments scramble to secure imports. “It all comes down to weather,” said Wessel Lemmer, a senior agricultural economist at Barclays Africa Group Ltd.’s Absa unit in Johannesburg. “There’s usually an inverse...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/27/17)
Leaders of the Group of Seven wealthy nations met African heads of state on Saturday, the final day of their annual summit which has been marked by discord over climate change, but unity on tackling terrorism. Italy had hoped to make Africa the major focus of the annual G7 gathering, holding the discussions on the island of Sicily that has taken in hundreds of thousands of migrants over the past four years as they flee war and poverty back home. However, the two-day meeting got overshadowed by a suicide bombing in northern England on Monday that killed 22 people, and also got bogged down by lengthy discussions on the merit of free trade and the 2015 Paris Agreement to tackle...
(AFP (eng) 05/26/17)
Ethiopian journalist Getachew Shiferaw was sentenced to 18 months in prison Friday for speaking to a dissident, capping a case that rights groups have called an assault on press freedom. Getachew has been in jail since his arrest in December 2015, meaning he could be released from custody as soon as next week, his lawyer Ameha Mekonnen told AFP. "He shouldn't be convicted at all," Ameha said. Getachew was found guilty earlier this week of encouraging revolt for sending a Facebook message to an Ethiopian dissident who had been convicted in absentia of being involved with Ginbot 7, an Eritrea-linked opposition group which has called for the violent overthrow...
(AFP (eng) 05/26/17)
Entertainment | France | film | festival | Cannes | Zambia | witchcraft Cannes, France | AFP | Friday 5/26/2017 - 14:01 UTC+3 | 615 words by Katy Lee Being accused of witchcraft is no laughing matter in Africa -- but movie director Rungano Nyoni decided a dose of humour was just what was needed to tackle a problem rampant in parts of the continent. Set in Zambia, the sharp satire "I Am Not A Witch" has premiered to strong reviews at the Cannes film festival, taking aim at the blatant sexism behind accusations that overwhelmingly target women. White tourists are seen gawping at women detained in a "witch camp" in the movie, taking pictures of them as if they're...
(AFP (eng) 05/25/17)
An Ethiopian court jailed a former opposition spokesman for over six years Thursday as rights groups urged the UN to press for a probe into a crackdown on anti-government protests. Judges in the capital Addis Ababa imposed a jail sentence of six years and six months on Yonatan Tesfaye, the former spokesman for the opposition Blue Party who was found guilty earlier this month of encouraging terrorism. Yonatan was arrested in December 2015 after writing on Facebook that the government had used "force against the people instead of using peaceful discussion with the public."
(AFP (eng) 05/24/17)
The first African to head the World Health Organization, Ethiopia's Tedros Adhanom, says he aims to replicate his success in turning around his country's healthcare system on the global stage. The 52-year-old's campaign focused on overhauling the UN health agency after its much-criticised handling of the west African Ebola epidemic, and speculation that the United States might cut its funding for the agency. "We live in a changing world, and the WHO must be able to change with it," Tedros said in his vision statement, citing new health threats brought about through globalisation, climate change and unhealthy lifestyles. A specialist in malaria with a doctorate from the University of Nottingham in Britain, Tedros was appointed Ethiopia's health minister in 2005...
(Xinhuanet 05/24/17)
The African Union (AU) has congratulated Tedros Adhanom, the former Ethiopian Minister of Health, and Minister of Foreign Affairs, on his historic win as the first World Health Organization (WHO) Director General from Africa. Adhanom emerged victorious in a tough election against two strong candidates; Sania Nishtar from Pakistan and David Nabarro from Britain, noted a statement from the pan-African bloc later Tuesday. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the AU Commission, has warmly congratulated Adhanom on his election as the first ever Director-General of the WHO from the African region. "The world has chosen a consummate global health statesman with a strong track record of embedding global public health and health security as a vital cornerstone of human development," said...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/24/17)
When U.S. President Donald Trump and other leaders of the world's seven major industrialized nations gather in Sicily on Friday, they will enjoy a spectacular view of the Mediterranean Sea, but won't get any glimpse of boats full of migrants. A common sight off Sicily in recent years, the authorities have banned all migrant landings on the island during the Group of Seven Summit for security reasons, telling rescue vessels that pick them up at sea to take them to the mainland during the two-day meeting. Out of sight does not mean out of mind. Italy chose to host the summit in Taormina, on the cliffs of eastern Sicily, to concentrate minds on Europe's migrant crisis and to seek ways...
(AFP (eng) 05/23/17)
The World Health Organization was electing its new leader Tuesday, with the race narrowed to two finalists who have vowed to shake up the fiercely criticised agency. After one round of voting WHO member states eliminated a former Pakistani health minister, Sania Nishtar, several diplomats with direct knowledge of the closed-door result told AFP. That left former Ethiopian health minister Tedros Adhanom and British doctor and UN veteran David Nabarro as the remaining candidates to succeed Hong Kong-born Margaret Chan as the UN's global health boss. A second round of voting was set to begin shortly. Chan's decade-long tenure which ends on June 30 was notably marred by condemnation of the agency's response to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa...
(Bloomberg 05/23/17)
Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki denied his country’s deepening relations with Egypt signify plans to disrupt neighboring Ethiopia’s construction of Africa’s biggest hydropower dam. “The claim by the Ethiopian regime that the relation between Eritrea and Egypt is targeting the millennium dam is unfounded,” the Ministry of Information said on its website, citing a May 21 interview with Isaias in the capital, Asmara. Egypt’s government has claimed Ethiopia’s construction of the hydropower dam on the main tributary of the Nile River contravenes colonial-era treaties that grant it the right to the bulk of the river’s water. Ethiopian officials reject the accords as obsolete and unjust.
(Voice of America 05/23/17)
Ethiopia is battling an outbreak of acute watery diarrhea (AWD) that has affected more than 32,000 people. At the same time, Ethiopia's former minister of health, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, is a candidate to lead the World Health Organization. The two facts are linked in that critics of Tedros say he has tried to minimize the outbreak by refusing to classify it as cholera, a label that could harm Ethiopia’s economic growth. The WHO's 194 member states will gather in Geneva for a 10-day assembly starting Monday. One of their first tasks is to choose the organization’s next director-general. Tedros is one of three top contenders for the position, along with candidates from Britain and Pakistan. Lawrence Gostin, director of the...
(The Ethiopian Herald 05/23/17)
Ethiopia and World Bank yesterday signed financial agreement amounting to 190 million USD in the form of loan and grant to finance the implementation of the Health Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) for Result Program. The program aimed at improving the delivery and use of a comprehensive package of maternal and child health services. The agreement was signed by Finance and Economic Cooperation Minister Dr. Abraham Tekeste and WB Country Director for Ethiopia Carolyn Turk. On the occasion, Dr. Abraham said the agreement is in line with Ethiopia's Health Sector Development Programs/HSDP/ that have always placed emphasis on improving the delivery and use of a comprehensive package of maternal and child health services. The minister indicated that the agreement has also...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/23/17)
Fossils from Greece and Bulgaria of an ape-like creature that lived 7.2 million years ago may fundamentally alter the understanding of human origins, casting doubt on the view that the evolutionary lineage that led to people arose in Africa. Scientists said on Monday the creature, known as Graecopithecus freybergi and known only from a lower jawbone and an isolated tooth, may be the oldest-known member of the human lineage that began after an evolutionary split from the line that led to chimpanzees, our closest cousins. The jawbone, which included teeth, was unearthed in 1944 in Athens. The premolar was found in south-central Bulgaria in 2009. The researchers examined them using sophisticated new techniques including CT scans and established their age...

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