Thursday 29 June 2017
(Voice of America 03/09/17)
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned Wednesday that East Africans are facing starvation and that the situation might worsen if nothing is done to avert the crisis. The United Nations estimates more than 17 million people are facing hunger in nine countries. Somalia is facing its second famine in less than six years, South Sudan has declared some parts of the country in famine, and Kenya's government declared the drought there a national disaster. More than 10 million people are going to bed hungry in Ethiopia alone. Guterres, ending a visit to Kenya on Wednesday, discussed the South Sudan political and humanitarian crisis with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta. "We had the opportunity to discuss, to find, identify [a] point of view...
(Xinhuanet 03/09/17)
A critical mass of trained and well equipped community health workforce is key to easing the rising burden of infectious and noncommunicable diseases in Africa, experts said on Wednesday at a continental forum taking place in Nairobi. The experts, policymakers and campaigners who attended Africa Health Agenda International Conference agreed that optimal engagement of community health workers is key to revolutionize response to diseases ravaging the continent. Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Health Cleopa Mailu in his opening remarks said that investments in training for community health workers will have multiplier impact on Africa's socioeconomic development. "We require highly skilled and motivated cadre of community health workforce to deal with a high diseases burden in disadvantaged settings in this continent. These...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/08/17)
Millions of drought-stricken Ethiopians needing food, water and emergency medical care are not receiving it due to funding shortages, the United Nations said, warning the crisis will worsen if spring rains fail as predicted. Some 5.6 million people need food aid in the Horn of Africa nation, which has been hit by a series of back-to-back droughts. "The needs relating to the developing emergency exceed resources available to date," the U.N.'s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Monday. "Each day without food assistance exponentially increases human suffering, lengthens the recovery period of affected people, puts increasing pressure on humanitarian and development systems
(Malawi 24 03/08/17)
Malawi and Ethiopia held bilateral talks on Monday and Tuesday in order to strengthen the relationship between the countries and discuss issues that will help their economies. Among other issues, the two countries discussed long-term solutions to the problem of Ethiopian migrants who illegally enter Malawi when going to other countries. Malawi Kasaila: a bilateral relationship with Ethiopia is beneficial The two nations also discussed issues of infrastructure, diaspora remittances, trade and security. Speaking during the opening of the two day session of the Malawi-Ethiopia Joint Permanent Commission for Cooperation on Monday, minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation Francis Kasaila said a bilateral relationship with Ethiopia is beneficial as it will tackle a lot of areas helpful for both...
(Dw-World 03/08/17)
The Menschen für Menschen charity has said 5.7 million Ethiopians could die of a lack of food. Part of the problem is that other countries are faring even worse and thus getting most of the publicity. Some 6 percent of Ethiopia's population of 98 million suffers from food shortages resulting from a catastrophic drought in the eastern African country. But that doesn't qualify as a risk of famine for the United Nations, which defines the term as 20 percent of a country's population having fewer than 2,100 kilocalories of nutrition per day. The German NGO Menschen für Menschen (People for People), however, is worried that the situation in Ethiopia could deteriorate if Ethiopians' needs are drowned out by news reports...
(AFP (eng) 03/08/17)
Lawyers and human rights campaigners launched an initiative for African whistleblowers in Senegal on Tuesday, aimed at providing a secure means of exposing wrongdoing on the continent. African nations such as Somalia, South Sudan, Libya and Guinea-Bissau regularly appear at the very bottom of rankings such as Transparency International's Corruption Index, while none make it into the top 30. The Platform for the Protection of Whistleblowers in Africa (PPLAAF) will provide guidance from legal experts, secure submission of information and a hotline for potential informants, according to its founders. The initiative is the brainchild of Spanish superstar lawyer Baltasar Garzon -- who has defended Julian Assange of whistleblowing website WikiLeaks -- along with French lawyer William Bourdon, who worked on...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/06/17)
Millions of drought-stricken Ethiopians needing food, water and emergency medical care are not receiving it due to funding shortages, the United Nations said, warning the crisis will worsen if spring rains fail as predicted. Some 5.6 million people need food aid in the Horn of Africa nation, which has been hit by a series of back-to-back droughts. "The needs relating to the developing emergency exceed resources available to date," the U.N.'s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Monday. "Each day without food assistance exponentially increases human suffering, lengthens the recovery period of affected people, puts increasing pressure on humanitarian and development
(The Independent 03/06/17)
Th term was coined by sceptical officials, worried about the importance given to Commonwealth trade deals ahead of Brexit negotiations. Plans by government ministers to boost trade links with African Commonwealth countries are being internally branded “empire 2.0” by sceptical officials who are worried about the importance being placed on such deals ahead of the UK’s negotiations of leaving the European Union (EU). International Trade Secretary Liam Fox is expected to promise to build better links with the whole of the 52 member countries of the Commonwealth when ministers from each country meet in London later this week. But as the UK is prepares itself to leave the European Union, The Times reports that British ministers are planning to talk...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/04/17)
An Ethiopian opposition leader from a region hit by deadly anti-government protests last year pleaded not guilty in court on Friday, after prosecutors brought charges against him for inciting unrest. Merera Gudina, leader of the Oromo Federalist Congress from the Oromiya region which was the center of protests against land grabs, was arrested in November after returning from meeting members of the European Parliament in Brussels. On Friday, prosecutors formally charged Merera with a bid to "dismantle or disrupt social, economic and political activity for political, religious and ideological aim ... under the guise of political party leadership," according to a charge sheet brought before a high court in Addis Ababa. Merera was also accused of backing a terrorist group...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/03/17)
A ban on Eritrean refugees working in Ethiopia is hampering efforts to reduce illegal “secondary” migration, with tens of thousands risking violence and drowning in pursuit of a better life, the Overseas Development Institute said on Thursday. "Ethiopia is a vital country of asylum, offering the prospect of freedom and security," said the British think tank, but it added: "Refugees are not allowed to work in Ethiopia, making it hard to build a future in the country." Hence, it said, most Eritrean refugees living in Ethiopian camps wanted to escape to a third country in the hope of winning work, security and a settled life. About 5,000 refugees flee Eritrea each month to escape poverty, political persecution and the prospect...
(Xinhuanet 03/03/17)
A prolonged drought across the East African region and heavy flooding in some southern African countries are compounding the effects of conflicts to make people's lives difficult. Against the global trend of good harvests, Africa, especially its eastern part, faces the challenge of worsening food security due to drought and conflicts. Some 37 countries require external assistance for food, including 28 African countries, as a result of lingering effects of last year's El Nino-triggered drought on harvests, says the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). In South Sudan, nearly half of the population of 11.3 million are in urgent need of food aid as the UN declared famine in the East African nation last week. Tens of thousands of people...
(Bloomberg 03/03/17)
Polar Star Management Ltd., which runs one of the best-performing African and Middle East hedge fund over the past five years, plans to start a private-equity unit that will invest in agriculture to exploit rising demand for food. The Cape Town-based firm plans to use its own money to buy small farms and processing companies in South Africa this year, then increase efficiency through consolidation and better management, said Murray Derksen, a director at Polar Star. It aims to raise 1.5 billion rand ($115 million) for the fund, which may also buy commodities such as grains, while targeting an internal rate of return of 8 percent to 12 percent, he said. “We looked at the increase in corn demand globally,...
(AFP (eng) 03/02/17)
Ethiopia's government has charged three prominent opposition activists with inciting riots, destroying property and plotting a coup, a government spokesman told AFP on Wednesday. The allegations come after months of clashes between police and anti-government protesters that killed hundreds and were only quelled after authorities declared a nationwide state of emergency in October. Those facing charges include Jawar Mohammed, head of the banned Oromia Media Network, and Berhanu Nega, an opposition activist who has already been sentenced to death in a previous trial. Both men are being charged in absentia since they live outside the country, but a third defendant, Chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) Merera Gudina, was arrested in December and will be tried in the capital...
(New Vision 03/02/17)
Hailemariam Desalegn is accompanied by a high-powered delegation of ministers and high-ranking government officials The Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn has begun a 3-day state visit to Uganda at the invitation of President Yoweri Museveni. Desalegn, who is accompanied by his wife, Roman Tesfaye Abney arrived in the country earlier today and was this afternoon received at State House, Entebbe by his host President Yoweri Museveni and the First Lady Janet Museveni. The two leaders held a joint press conference at State House where they
(Andalou Agency 03/02/17)
13 assailants killed in foiled attack on Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, government spokesman says. Ethiopia has foiled an “Eritrean-sponsored terrorist attack” on the multi-billion dollar Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, an official told Anadolu Agency Thursday. Zadig Abrha, a deputy spokesman for the government, told Anadolu Agency 13 assailants belonging to the Benishangul Gumuz People’s Liberation Movement were killed Tuesday during the attack. Seven other attackers who crossed over into Sudan were later handed back to Ethiopian authorities by the Sudanese government, Abrha said. “They were trained, armed and directed by Eritrea and were heading to the construction site in a bid to attack it on Tuesday,” he said. “We are conducting further investigation and will decide how to respond to...
(The Associated Press 03/02/17)
Ethiopia says it has thwarted a planned attack by an Eritrea-backed group on its massive dam project, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Deputy government spokesman Zadig Abraha told the state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate on Wednesday evening that 20 members of the armed group were “completely annihilated” earlier this week. Zadig says “actions were taken” against 13 members of the Benishangul Peoples Liberation Movement. The spokesman did not give details, but similar statements have meant people were killed. The spokesman says the other members escaped to Sudan, which then handed them over. Ethiopia’s dam project is about halfway complete and has been a source of regional tension. Egypt has long suspected it will reduce its share of the Nile River. Ethiopia...
(AFP (eng) 03/02/17)
A film raging against colonialism and the exploitation of Africa wowed viewers at the continent's top cinema festival Wednesday, winning shouts of approval at a screening packed to bursting point. "The African Storm" tells the story of an African president who nationalises businesses run by racist, cynical Western executives. Directed and produced by its Beninese star Sylvestre Amoussou, it tackles several hot-button issues including an exit from the CFA franc currency, closer ties with Russia and China as opposed to the West, criticism of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, and pride in being African. One of 20 feature-length movies on show at the Panafrican Film and Television Festival (Fespaco) in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou, the movie was punctuated...
(AFP (eng) 02/28/17)
The Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership -- the world's biggest individual prize -- drew a blank once again in finding a suitable laureate, it was announced Tuesday. The prize only goes to a democratically-elected African leader who demonstrated exceptional leadership, served their mandated term and left office within the last three years. The award comes with $5 million (4.7 million euros) paid over 10 years and $200,000 annually for life from then on. The prize, founded by Sudan-born telecoms tycoon Mo Ibrahim, has only been given four times in its 10-year existence. The philanthropist has said in the past that making no award sent just as strong a message on African leadership. "A very high bar was deliberately...
(Dw-World 02/27/17)
The World Mobile Congress gets underway in Barcelona on Monday and one highlight is the reported relaunch of the Nokia 3310. In parts of Africa, simpler phones are coveted because they are robust and cheap. Melaketsehay Melese, a 33 year old resident of Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia, is known among friends and colleagues for being tech savvy. With his two jobs, as graphic designer and computer programmer, he's familiar with all the latest gadgets. He's often to be seen browsing the internet with his wide-screen tablet. But onlookers gasp in astonishment when they see his mobile phone. Unlike his friends and colleagues, he didn't opt for a slim, stylish and lightweight smartphone. His bulky device doesn't even seem to...
(The Guardian 02/27/17)
Bezawit Hailegiorgis says western powers could help free Anania Sorri, one of tens of thousands held in Ethiopia since last year. The wife of a blogger and journalist detained in Ethiopia has called on the international community to pressure local authorities to release her husband, who is among tens of thousands held since a state of emergency was declared in the emerging east African power last year. Anania Sorri, a 34-year-old writer and intellectual, was arrested in November on his way to a meeting at the US embassy in Addis Ababa. He is being held in a high security prison in the Ethiopian capital and has not yet been formally charged with any offence. Bezawit Hailegiorgis, 29, his wife, said...

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