| Africatime
Saturday 29 April 2017
(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...
(AFP (eng) 12/14/16)
Family planning helps people in Africa to be healthier and wealthier, as women without contraceptives become locked in "a cycle of poverty," Melinda Gates told AFP as a conference on the topic was held in Ivory Coast. "When a woman has access to contraceptives she can lift herself out of poverty, and if she doesn't have access to contraceptives, it locks her inside a cycle of poverty for the rest of her life," said the wife of Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Bill Gates, whose foundation is very active in the field. Family planning has "huge health benefits for the woman and for her children, and it has economic benefits," Gates told AFP by telephone from the Ivorian economic capital Abidjan...
(AFP (eng) 12/13/16)
The cocktails keep flowing by the pool on the tourist strip, but in The Gambia's markets many African migrant traders are packing up their businesses and heading home. The international community is piling pressure on President Yahya Jammeh to leave power after 22 years and hand over to opposition leader Adama Barrow, who won an election two weeks ago only for Jammeh to later reverse his original concession of defeat. Of the economy's two main sources of investment from abroad, tourism appears to be weathering the country's political storm far better than the thousands of petty traders who move to The Gambia from the rest of west Africa. President-elect Barrow told AFP on Monday claims that tourist numbers could be...
(Le Monde 12/09/16)
Dozens of politicians, diplomats, military and intelligence chiefs, members of the opposition and leading business figures were wiretapped across the continent. This rare overview of modern satellite espionage could hardly be less technical and abstract, for it not only names the victims of intercepts but also reveals the scale of a surveillance operation spanning an entire continent. That continent is Africa. New documents shown to Le Monde, in collaboration with The Intercept, from the data cache of the former NSA (National Security Agency) operative Edward Snowden, originally given to Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, offer unprecedented insight into information on twenty African countries collected by GCHQ, the British intelligence service, between 2009 and 2010. Dozens of lists of intercepts examined...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/07/16)
As the darkness falls on the plains around Bunambiyu, a remote village in Tanzania's northern Shinyanga region, Elizabeth Julius switches on her solar lantern to finish sewing clothes for her customers. Not long ago, nightfall would have forced her to close her tailoring shop, or use a smoky kerosene lamp. But with the solar-powered lamp, Julius can now sew for as long as she wants. "Solar energy has entirely changed my life. I use it at work and at home, yet it doesn't cost me anything," said the 29-year-old entrepreneur and mother of two. "I often wake up at night to work because I need the money to support my family," she said. Julius and her husband, Zablon, used to...
(APA 12/06/16)
The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) says Africa can yield benefits from commodity-based industrialization and agro-alliance with new policy approaches, according to a statement issued here Tuesday. The ECA has on many editions of its annual Economic Report made a push for the developmental state and a return to planning, arguing that the strong role of the state is key to fostering Africa’s structural transformation. The acting ECA Executive Secretary Abdalla Hamdok spoke on the need for new policy approaches to incentivize agricultural production in activities and sectors with higher returns. In his remarks at the opening of the African Economic Conference on the theme, Feeding Africa: Towards Agro-Allied Industrialization for Inclusive Growth, Hamdok said: “Our desire for structural transformation...
(Agence Ecofin 12/05/16)
Ethiopia signed on December 2, 2016, a financial agreement with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to develop small-scale irrigation systems. Initialing the agreement were Kanayo Nwanze, IFAD’s president, and Mulugeta Alemseged, Ethiopia’s ambassador to Italy and the United Nations. Valued at more than $144 million, the agreement includes a $102 million loan and a grant of $12.5 million from the institution. It should profit 108,750 Ethiopian rural poor households located in the regions of Amhara, Oromia, Tigray and the Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s Region. The facility falls in line with the Participatory Small-Scale Irrigation Development Programme (PASIDP), initiated by the Ethiopian government valued at $145 million. It is co-financed by the government ($18.7 million) and the beneficiaries themselves ($12 million).

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