Tuesday 22 August 2017
(The Independent 08/21/17)
The UK's International Development Secretary, Priti Patel, urges the world to do more to help people 'at risk of starving to death as extreme hunger stalks East Africa' Millions of people in Ethiopia require “immediate life-saving intervention” after a severe drought and major flash floods have devastated livestock and crops, the United Nations has warned. At least 7.8 million people have been receiving emergency food aid since April, up from 5.6 million at the start of the year, but a further 700,000 people in the country’s Somali region did not receive supplies “due to resource constraints” and they are now feared to be on the brink of starvation. In July, there were 376,000 severely malnourished...
(Bloomberg 08/21/17)
GreenWish Partners, a renewable energy company run by a former Morgan Stanley executive, is planning to invest $800 million on solar-powered telecommunications towers across Africa. The project could fuel economic growth by providing power for essential services. Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest rates of energy access in the world and is home to about half of the world’s 1.2 billion people without reliable electricity, according to the International Energy Agency. The problem extends to businesses as well as households, cutting into productivity and growth. “We reduce the total cost of power by 30 percent,” said Charlotte Aubin-Kalaidjian, the founder and chief executive officer of GreenWish, who was formerly a managing director at Morgan Stanley Investment Management. “Smaller towers can run...
(Voice of America 08/16/17)
Food insecurity in the Somali region of Ethiopia has worsened, putting 700,000 people on the verge of starvation, according to Oxfam International. The humanitarian organization says that about 8.5 million people across the country face a high risk of hunger, a 30 percent increase since the beginning of the year. Food shortages and hunger have led to displacement and negative coping mechanisms such as increases in child labor, early marriage and school dropouts, according to a recent joint report by...
(Bloomberg 08/14/17)
The U.S. will probably maintain its current levels of aid to Africa despite President Donald Trump’s proposals to slash funding, according to Bill Gates, the world’s richest man. Trump said in May his government would no longer allocate funding for family planning, a move that has the potential to undermine aid programs in the poorest countries in the world. However, with Congress in control of the budget, it’s unlikely that all cuts proposed by the Trump administration will go ahead...
(Voice of America 08/04/17)
The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump announced Thursday it will provide an additional $169 million in humanitarian aid to the drought-stricken African countries of Ethiopia and Kenya. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) said the funds, over $136 million for Ethiopia and almost $33 million for Kenya, would be used for emergency food aid, nutrition supplies and health services. USAID said nearly 8 million Ethiopians are in need of urgent humanitarian aid. Without it, the agency said "food...
(Bloomberg 08/02/17)
Julien Ochala can’t live without his morning cup of Joe. But not just any coffee will do. For the past five years, the 37-year-old physiology lecturer at King’s College London has visited the same store every week to grab a pack of his beloved Kenyan brew. And he’s not put off by the cost: at 37 pounds a kilogram ($22 a pound), it’s more than double a similar supermarket product. "I take Kenyan coffee every morning," said Ochala, who buys...
(Bloomberg 08/01/17)
British American Tobacco Plc faces a formal probe by the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office following reports that the maker of Dunhill cigarettes bribed African government officials to influence tobacco legislation. BAT said Tuesday it is running its own investigations, via external legal advisers, into allegations of misconduct and is cooperating with the U.K. prosecutor. A BBC report two years ago said BAT had a lobbyist arrange bribes totaling $26,000 for three public officials in Rwanda, Burundi and the Comoros Islands...
(BBC News Africa 07/26/17)
Ethiopia says that only a fraction of its citizens working illegally in Saudi Arabia have returned home before today's amnesty deadline. In March, the Gulf state said that those without papers would not be arrested if they left within 90 days. The deadline was extended by another month, but so far only 60,000 out of an estimated 400,000 Ethiopians have left, the Ethiopian government says. Ethiopians make up a large portion of the kingdom's undocumented workers. All those without papers...
(Voice of America 07/25/17)
European and African ministers are meeting in Tunisia about efforts to regulate the flow of refugees from Africa to Europe, primarily along the deadly central Mediterranean route originating in Libya. In a declaration Monday in Tunis, the capital, the ministers said they agreed on a multi-pronged approach to the crisis, including informing people about the risks of illegal migration and the possibility of voluntarily returning home, addressing why migrants leave home and beefing up actions against human traffickers. Participating in...
(Bloomberg 07/19/17)
Vodacom Group Ltd. sees the expansion of mobile-banking services into new markets in sub-Saharan Africa as a top priority following a shareholder vote to rubber stamp its purchase of a 35 percent stake in Safaricom Ltd., Kenya’s biggest company. “We will use Safaricom to enter other markets where neither Vodacom nor Safaricom are,” Chief Executive Officer Shameel Joosub said in an interview at the wireless carrier’s annual general meeting in Johannesburg on Tuesday. The two businesses have a combined 30...
(Voice of America 07/15/17)
Five countries in East Africa face dire food insecurity after a third poor rainy season in a row, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization said Friday. Areas in five countries - Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda - received less than half of their normal seasonal rainfall. "The current phenomenon encompasses an area of about 1 million square kilometers, which is roughly twice the size of France," FAO economist Alessandro Costantino told VOA's Africa division. The extended drought along with a pest called an armyworm has drastically reduced crop yields, leaving millions in East Africa without
(Voice of America 07/14/17)
Thousands of Ethiopians in Saudi Arabia are in a state of limbo as they try to return home after being ordered to leave the Gulf state. On March 29, Saudi Arabia launched a campaign it dubbed "Nation Without Violations," giving all foreign immigrants living there illegally 90 days to leave without incurring a penalty. They were told they could return later after applying and going through the immigration process. As of the beginning of July, 111,000 Ethiopians had agreed to...
(Voice of America 07/14/17)
For 12 years, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has worked in Ethiopia's Somali region, providing medical care during droughts, floods and other types of emergencies that made food scarce and left people hungry. But MSF, also known as Doctors Without Borders, says it has never seen malnutrition levels spike so high in the region as during the current drought. Thousands of acutely malnourished children have been admitted to hastily-established feeding centers in hopes of staving of starvation and death. MSF reports...
(Financial Times 07/12/17)
Government targets private investment to help speed up change, driving rural and urban growth. Often dubbed an “African tiger” after a decade of economic growth averaging 10 per cent a year between 2004 and 2014, Ethiopia is in a state of transformation. In an ambitious bid to achieve the status of a middle-income country by 2025, the government has developed an extensive blueprint for progress — its Growth and Transformation Plan 2015-2020 — which has prioritised the development of agriculture...
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
In the past five years, terrorist attacks have killed nearly 20,000 people across Africa. Two groups, Boko Haram and al-Shabab, accounted for 71 percent of reported incidents and 91 percent of fatalities. But, while these and other militant groups remain active, fatal terrorist attacks across the continent are on pace to fall for a second straight year, and the total number of attacks is running far below 2012 highs. These findings are part of VOA’s original analysis of data from...
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Many cell phone companies are rethinking their headlong rush into the continent. Only Orange is staying the course. Back when African countries were auctioning off mobile licenses by the boatload to serve the region’s young, tech-savvy population, investing in the continent’s fast-growing economies seemed like a no-brainer. Some of the world’s biggest wireless carriers rushed in. Now they’re wondering if they made a mistake. Increasing government and regulatory scrutiny, as well as a lack of expansion opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa,...
(Voice of America 07/04/17)
GENEVA — The U.N. children’s fund warns tens of thousands of malnourished children are at great risk in Yemen, Somalia and South Sudan, which are on the brink of famine. UNICEF reports an estimated 4.7 million children in the cholera-stricken countries are malnourished. Of these, UNICEF spokesman Christofe Boulierac tells VOA, more than one million are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. “Let me remind you that a child who is suffering from severe acute malnutrition are nine times more likely...
(RFI(EN) 07/04/17)
New tax rules in Israel could leave hundreds of African migrants worse off than they are. In May, the government introduced a new deposit law, enabling the governemnt to take 20 percent of migrants' salaries each month and place it out of reach. The money can only be accessed once they leave the country. Rights groups say the policy is designed to force them out of the country. "We're not pressuring you to leave but will make your life miserable...
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
WASHINGTON DC — On June 5, Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of funding extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State. In response, Qatar said it was the victim of a policy of “domination and control” by its larger neighbor and that Saudi Arabia was, in fact, the one responsible for backing extremism. So what is the truth? Fundamentalist strains of Islam, including...
(Voice of America 06/03/17)
Forecasters are warning that Ethiopia could face more rainfall deficits, deepening a drought that has left nearly eight million of the country's people in need of aid. Dr. Chris Funk is a climate scientist at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) whose research focuses on African and Asian countries. He told VOA's Horn of Africa Service that there is a 50 percent chance another El Nino weather event could form in the Pacific Ocean this year. “If it's a moderate or strong El Nino, that would definitely tilt towards odd, below normal rain for northern Ethiopia," he said.

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