| Africatime
Friday 28 April 2017
(AFP (eng) 01/13/17)
Talks gathering some 30 African states and France begin in Mali's capital Bamako on Friday, with leaders expected to focus on Africa's battle against jihadists and bid to improve its democratic record. The summit, also due to take in the migrant crisis, will see foreign ministers gather first, with heads of state expected to follow Saturday, according to Malian and French conference organisers. Many of the nations taking part were once ruled by France, which in recent years has boosted its military involvement in the continent. Several English-speaking African countries will also be present. In a bid to help crush the growing jihadist threat, France has trained more than 20,000 African soldiers every year since a Paris summit in 2013,...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/10/17)
Ethiopia needs to "consolidate gains" after the deadly unrest last year before it can lift a state of emergency that was imposed in October, the prime minister said on Monday. "As far as the date of lifting the state of emergency is concerned, it should be seen in the perspective that we have to consolidate the gains that we have made so far," Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn told a news conference, noting that the measure had helped restore "normalcy". Rights groups have said more than 500 people were killed in violence that was initially sparked by anger over a development scheme for the capital but which broadened into anti-government demonstrations. The government said the measure would be in place for...
(The Associated Press 01/10/17)
Ethiopia said Monday it will not release a leading opposition figure detained under the country's state of emergency after meeting with European lawmakers in Belgium. Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn told reporters that Merara Gudina of the Oromo Federalist Congress party instead will face justice. "Individuals in the European Parliament who are harboring anti-peace elements cannot save those who trespass the law of the country," the prime minister said. Merara is one of 22,000 people the prime minister said were detained under the state of emergency declared in October after widespread, sometimes deadly anti-government protests. The government has said several thousand have since been released. Merara was arrested immediately after he returned from Belgium, where he met with the lawmakers about...
(Huffingtonpost 01/10/17)
And it’s ironic given the growing consensus that Beijing is the U.S. president-elect’s enemy number one. Eric Olander and Cobus van Staden are the duo behind the China Africa Project and hosts of the popular China in Africa Podcast. We’re here to answer your most pressing, puzzling, even politically incorrect questions, about all things related to the Chinese in Africa and Africans in China. The election of Donald Trump has introduced a new era of uncertainty in global politics, especially in Africa where the president-elect has said little about his foreign policy agenda for the continent. Not surprisingly, Trump’s unpredictable, provocative style is sparking widespread concern across the continent as to whether the United States plans to remain engaged in...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/17)
Gabon witnessed one of the most sensational finishes to an Africa Cup of Nations tournament when no-hopers Zambia stunned the Ivory Coast to win the 2012 final. Zambia failed to qualify this time, but the Ivorians will be among the favourites again when the competition returns to the central African state with the first fixtures scheduled for Saturday. AFP Sport rates the chances of the 16 challengers for the $4 million (3.8 million euros) first prize (last three competitive results in brackets with W denoting a win, D a draw and L a loss): FAVOURITES Egypt (WWW) Back among the elite and in good form. After winning three consecutive Cup of Nations titles, they failed to qualify for the past...
(Agence Ecofin 01/06/17)
Indian firm Aaviskaar Venture Management Services (AVMS) has announced plans to raise between $100 million and $150 million for Africa investments. “We will start the fund-raising around the middle of 2017 and we expect to close it in 2018,” said Vineet Rai, founder of Intellecap-Aavishkaar group. The new African fund will focus on investing on African low-income groups, especially in the agriculture, finance and financial technology sectors. “We will use the sow-tend-reap strategy of multiple round investing and will be an early investor,” Rai told local Indian media Regions targeted are West and East Africa, especially Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania and Ghana. Investments will range from half a million to $5 million. The investment firm’s expansion strategy in Africa...
(Sudan Tribune 01/04/17)
The Egyptian government has proposed to hold a meeting among Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt Foreign Ministers to complete discussions on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) ahead of the African Union summit this month. The 28th African summit will be held in Addis Ababa from 22 to 31 January. According to the Turkish news agency Anadolu, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry made the proposal during a telephone conversation with his Ethiopian counterpart Tedros Adhanom on Tuesday. The Egyptian Foreign Ministry said the meeting is intended to provide the necessary political support for the technical talks pertaining to the GERD. In March 2015, Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia signed a declaration of principles on the dam project that tacitly approves the dam...
(AFP (eng) 01/04/17)
Italy vowed Wednesday to increase deportations of migrants whose asylum requests have been rejected, after a riot in a reception centre sparked by the death of a young woman. The country, which has been on the frontline of migrants arriving across the Mediterranean from North Africa, is pushing for an agreement with Niger and a renewed deal with Tunisia to facilitate returns. "We have saved many lives but we cannot accept rule-breaking. We need to speed up deportations," Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, the country's former interior minister, said in an interview with La Stampa daily. He was "working to tie up agreements which will reduce arrivals and prevent departures" from the coast of North Africa, he said after a record...
(BBC News Africa 01/03/17)
An electricity grid for the whole village Problem: A total of 1.3 billion people worldwide currently don't have electricity, according to Yale Environment 360. Getting people in rural areas on to the national grid is proving too difficult and traditional solar panels generate meagre amounts of energy. Solution: Steamaco makes solar and battery micro-grids which can work for a whole village. They are small electricity generation and distribution systems that operate independently of larger grids. How it works: Micro-grids are nothing new. The new part is that Steamaco's technology automates the regulation of electricity. So, if the system detects there will be a surge in demand for electricity, for example on a Saturday night when people want to start playing...
(Voice of America 12/30/16)
2016 was predicted to be a tough year for African economies, and it delivered. Traditional economic leaders faltered this year amid a storm of falling commodity prices, unpredictable and destructive weather like droughts and floods across large swaths of the the continent. Slow economic growth in China, a major investor and trading partner, only added to their challenges. “This year, you’ve seen the two Africas: the commodity exporters going through tough times, while the non-commodity exporters being more resilient,” Nigerian economist Nonso Obikili, who researches Nigerian and sub-Saharan economic trends for Economic Research Southern Africa, told VOA. He says 2016 has been hard on African commodity giants as oil prices fell to lows not seen since the global financial crisis...
(AFP (eng) 12/29/16)
French border police intercepted 45 African migrants who were trying to enter the country from Italy and arrested the two smugglers involved, local prosecutors said Wednesday. Travelling in two vans, 25 migrants in the first vehicle were stopped while 20 in the second breached a checkpoint at Montgenevre in southeastern France, before later being found. According to the prosecutor's office, the migrants were returned to the border and the two smugglers are to be tried in Italy.
(Xinhuanet 12/28/16)
Sudan and Ethiopia on Monday agreed to find new mechanisms to develop bilateral ties and continue consultations and coordination on common issues. Ethiopia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Workneh Gebeyehu hailed the bilateral relationship as "exemplary" and vowed to develop it "to the highest peak and to get benefit out of that." He added that the two sides have also agreed to establish a permanent platform to exchange ideas and experiences. Sudanese Presidential Assistant Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid, for his part, assured commitment in pressing ahead with and establishing new mechanisms to develop this strategic relationship.
(APA 12/28/16)
Following his victory in 2014 and third place finish last year, Ethiopia’s Tsegaye Mekonnen Asefa will start as one of the favourites when the 2017 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon gets underway on January 20, APA learns here. According to a statement issued here Wednesday, Mekonnen was just 18 when he became the youngest winner in the history of the world’s richest marathon, setting an unofficial world junior record of 2:04:32 on his marathon debut. His surprise win came just 12 months after entering the 2013 Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon as a pacemaker and remains the third fastest time in history by a runner making his full marathon debut. Last year, Makonnen returned for another tilt at the title and only...
(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...

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