| Africatime
Sunday 26 March 2017
(AFP (eng) 12/28/16)
Its lower cost has made it popular in commercial food production, but after being blamed for deforestation in Asia, palm oil plantations are now getting a similar rap in Africa. The sheer scale of land required is having an impact in Gabon, Cameroon and the Congo Basin, environmentalists say. With financing coming from American, European and Asian agri-businesses, palm bunches are cultivated then cut from trees and sent to factories where oil is extracted by hot pressing. But the production process accelerates deforestation, contributes to climate change and threatens fauna and flora in vulnerable areas, opponents argue. However the companies say that palm oil is not only less expensive than soya or sunflower oil but requires much less land to...
(Alarabiya.net 12/27/16)
The picture of former Saudi minister Ahmad al-Khatib visiting the Grand Ethiopian Dam was used by some to debate in media outlets. Close relations between Riyadh and Cairo were thus subjected to a low rhetoric. Even if we assume that the picture and the visit imply more than tourism and investment, raising the issue in the media still remains an old, outdated, failed and harmful means to exert pressure. Ethiopia is an important country for the African economy. The US depends on it to resolve a number of its military and political problems in the continent.
(Daily News Egypt 12/27/16)
Egypt will soon respond to Ethiopia's allegations, says Egypt's Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson. The Ethiopian government is awaiting a response from Egypt to a request that Egyptian authorities take action against alleged Egyptian institutions supporting and funding Ethiopian opposition groups, said Ethiopian foreign affairs minister Workneh Gebeyehu in an interview with Asharq Al-Awsar on Sunday. Despite referring to such allegations, Ethiopia’s foreign affairs minister assured that the two countries remain cooperative and relations are stable. Ethiopia has repeatedly asserted these allegations against Egypt, stating that there are institutions based in Egypt allegedly harbouring, supporting, and funding terrorist groups in Ethiopia. The Egyptian Foreign Affairs Ministry previously commented on the allegations saying that Egypt does not intervene in the internal affairs...
(The Herald Online 12/27/16)
The end of 2016 provides an opportunity to take stock of Africa’s recent economic performance and future prospects. It’s been a tumultuous year for some African countries largely due to a commodities crisis and a global economic slowdown.Yet there were still pockets of good growth which displayed the huge potential of the African continent. And 2017 looks to be the year the countries hardest hit by the crisis seek to recover from the economic reversals of the past few years. Since the start of the new millennium average economic growth across Africa has been stronger than the global growth rate. Growth across the continent averaged 5 percent. This fuelled the “Africa Rising” narrative that permeated public discourse. Among the growth...
(Bloomberg 12/24/16)
Facing its worst drought in half a century, the country thwarted disaster and created a road map to respond to future climate emergencies. For Mitiku Kassa, catastrophe is just part of the daily grind. As Ethiopia’s commissioner of disaster risk management, he has confronted droughts, floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and political upheaval. The trials of the job have helped him develop staunch optimism and resilient nerves, but in the summer of 2015 he was worried. “We were facing the worst emergency in Ethiopia in 50 years,” he says. The harshest drought in that time had begun to cripple the country’s agricultural lowlands. Famine, possibly biblical in scope, loomed. By August, more than 4 million Ethiopians were receiving emergency food rations:...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/24/16)
A record 5,000 migrants are believed to have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea this year, following two shipwrecks on Thursday in which some 100 people, mainly West Africans, were feared dead, aid agencies said on Friday. Two overcrowded inflatable dinghies capsized in the Strait of Sicily after leaving Libya for Italy, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said. "Those two incidents together appear to be the numbers that would bring this year's total up to over to 5,000 (deaths), which is a new high that we have reported during this crisis," IOM spokesman Joel Millman told a Geneva briefing. The Italian coast guard rescued survivors and had recovered eight bodies so far, he said...
(Press Tv 12/23/16)
A high-level Saudi delegation’s visit to a controversial dam in Ethiopia has angered Egypt, dealing a fresh blow to the already strained relations between Cairo and Riyadh. Egyptian media lashed out at Saudi Arabia over the visit to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on Friday, describing it an act of revenge that could deepen tensions between the two countries. The ongoing construction of the 6,000-megawatt power dam on river Nile by Ethiopia has been a source of contention especially from Egypt that considers the River Nile as its lifeline. Ahmed al-Khateeb, a senior adviser at the Saudi royal court and board chairman of the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), visited the site and met Ethiopia's Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn...
(The Globe and Mail 12/23/16)
The Square Kilometre Array will be the world’s most powerful radio telescope, opening new frontiers in our understanding of the universe. But the builders have to contend with an unforgiving climate and other formidable challenges first, In the desolate rocky plains of the Great Karoo, the dangers are endless. Scorpions and puff adders are underfoot. The harsh sun beats down, interrupted only by occasional lightning storms. Temperatures range from stifling heat to freezing cold. But at night, in the vast empty darkness, the stars are impossibly bright and clear. And it is the stars that have lured a Canadian-backed project to build the world’s most powerful radio telescope, with the potential to unlock the deepest secrets of the universe. For...
(The Associated Press 12/22/16)
Ethiopia said Wednesday it is releasing nearly 10,000 people detained under its ongoing state of emergency but plans to charge almost 2,500 others accused of destabilizing the country. Deputy government spokesman Zadig Abraha told The Associated Press that 9,800 people were being freed. "They have been given lots of trainings ... so that they won't be part of the destructive trend that we have seen in the past,'' Zadig said. This East African country declared the state of emergency in October after nearly a year of anti-government protests that human rights groups say left hundreds dead.
(APA 12/22/16)
The 25, 155–seater stadium built by an Ethiopian business tycoon Mohammed Al Amoudi will be inaugurated early next month, APA learns here Thursday. The stadium, built at a cost of more than $25 million at the birth place of Sheikh Mohammad Al Amoudi, has a swimming pool as well as basketball, handball, volleyball and tennis courts that reportedly meet the requirements to host Olympic Games. The stadium that took four years and a half for completion also has a track and a guest house. Al Amoudi who was born and raised in Ethiopia is now ranked as the 43rd richest person in the world as published on recent Forbes' Billionaire list.
(AFP (eng) 12/22/16)
Selma saunters on her stilt-like legs, batting thick lashes as she extends a blackish tongue -- as long as an arm -- to grab pellets offered by an awed tourist. The giraffe is after all, eating for two. Her pregnancy is good news for one of the rarest giraffe species, protected at the Giraffe Centre in the Kenyan capital, but experts warn the outlook for the rest of the world's tallest land mammals is far gloomier. While it is hoped the shocking news that the gentle giants of the African savannah are facing extinction will spur action, conservationists largely have their hands tied as many giraffe live in Africa's most conflict-torn regions. Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan...
(APA 12/21/16)
The government of Ethiopia will release 4,035 suspects who were arrested under the nation’s State of Emergency, declared on October 8, 2016, the country’s Prime Minister disclosed here Wednesday. Addressing some of the released suspects at Tolai prison center where they received training, Hailemariam said the government will extend the necessary support to help them return to normal life. Ethiopia’s State of Emergency Inquiry Board a month ago said 11, 607 people had been detained following a wave of violence and protests that hit Oromia and Amhara states of the country. The protesters demanded change of government and the release of prisoners. The premier said those suspects who were civil servants and students will get back to their jobs and...
(The Citizen 12/21/16)
Tanzania is among some African countries which may see a drop in development aid as the US is likely to expand fiscal stance and cut spending during Donald Trump's presidency, a new report shows. The move by the world's largest economy will affect dependent countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and DRC according to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) latest report released in London yesterday. In its Economic Insight: Africa Q4 2016, the accountancy and finance body points out that signs of an expansionary fiscal stance under the Trump administration coupled with spending cuts to accommodate increased infrastructure expenditure are likely to lead to the decrease in aid. "Aid is one of the main...
(Agence Ecofin 12/20/16)
The African Development Bank (AfDB) announced in a statement published on December 15, it has granted Ethiopian Airlines a $159 million loan to fund part of its strategy to grow and modernize its fleet. The statement reveals that the funding comes in two tranches. The first which represents 85% of the funding is covered by the African Trade Insurance (ATI), the African agency for export credit. Ethiopian Airlines is fully owned by the Ethiopian government. The company which currently serves 93 international destinations, plans to increase its fleet to 140 planes by 2045, from 77 now. By the projected year, the firm expects a turnover of more than $10 billion. According to the International Air Transport Association, Ethiopian Airlines is...
(AFP (eng) 12/20/16)
When Rose Kariuki first felt a lump on her left breast, the spectre of cancer -- a disease she had only heard of on television -- was the last thing on her mind. "To me, cancer was nowhere near us. It was shocking, I feared death, I feared so many things," the 46-year-old Kenyan school teacher told AFP. Rose is one of a growing number of Africans suffering from cancer, one of the lifestyle diseases -- along with diabetes and heart problems -- proving increasing deadly on the continent. A World Health Organisation (WHO) survey released Tuesday showed that most Africans had at least one risk factor for developing one of these diseases, such as smoking, a lack of exercise,...
(AFP (eng) 12/17/16)
Ethiopia on Saturday inaugurated a hydroelectric dam that aims to double the country's electricity output, but which critics say is a threat to locals and a UNESCO-listed lake in Kenya. The Gibe III dam, which reaches 243 metres (800 feet) in height, is the third-largest dam in Africa and the biggest in a series built along the Omo River. When it comes fully online, the Gibe III is expected to produce 1,870 megawatts of power, enough to sell energy abroad including to neighbouring Kenya. The dam has been generating electricity for about a year. "This hydroelectricity plant, with other ongoing projects, fulfils our domestic power needs and will be provided for foreign markets," Ethiopia's Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said in...
(AFP (eng) 12/16/16)
The number of migrants feared to have died this year has soared to nearly 7,200 -- a more than 20-percent increase over 2015 -- with most of the fatalities in the Mediterranean, IOM said Friday. In total, 7,189 migrants and refugees have died or remain missing on migratory routs around the world, the International Organization for Migration said. That number is already 1,449 more than in all of 2015. And since it represents an average of 20 deaths per day, another 200 to 300 people could perish by the end of the year if the trend continues, the Geneva-based IOM warned in a statement. The Mediterranean Sea routes, used so far this year by nearly 360,000 people seeking a new...
(AFP (eng) 12/15/16)
Surrounded by untidy stacks of paper and abandoned half-empty coffee cups, photographer Aida Muluneh chain smokes cigarettes in her Addis Ababa office and rails against the negative portrayals of Africa by foreigners. The 42-year-old came returned to Ethiopia nine years ago after living in Yemen and Canada and set herself the task of changing perceptions of the continent, replacing the outsiders' dominant eye with an African one. The Addis Foto Fest, which she founded and which opens its fourth edition Thursday, is one way of doing this, she said. Muluneh left Ethiopia aged five, but developed a powerful nostalgia for home while living abroad. Her first photography job was with the Washington Post in the United States by which time...
(Agence Ecofin 12/15/16)
The Gibe III hydropower dam in Ethiopia will be commissioned this Saturday, Dec. 17. The 1870 MW infrastructure which has 10 turbines, generating 187 MW each, was developed by Italian Salini Impregilo. Construction took nine years and produced a 243m-long dam with a reservoir of 15 billion cubic meters. It cost €1.5 billion of which the Ethiopian government provided 40% while remaining 60% came from Exim Bank China. Azeb Asnake, executive director of Ethiopian Electric Power said the plant would not be at full throttle once online due to the water level in its reservoirs. Truly, the dam currently generates 900 MW, but this output should increase gradually. With Gibe III coming online, Ethiopia’s total production capacity now stands at...
(CNN 12/15/16)
In the sleepy, sun-blasted town of De Aar in central South Africa, a mighty force is stirring. The largest solar plant in Africa, Middle East and the Southern hemisphere was inaugurated here earlier this year, a 175-megawatt facility that spreads over almost 500 hectares. The facility is the brainchild of Solar Capital, led by hotel magnate turned solar evangelist Paschal Phelan, which ploughed $400 million into the venture. The plant supplies power to the National Grid, but when the heat is fiercest it produces far more than the Grid can use, and the excess power goes to waste. "It's like you have a Ferrari and you run a small car," says Massimiliano Salaorno, plant manager of Solar Capital De Aar...

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