Monday 11 December 2017

Gabon

(Business Day 04/13/16)
Africa's digital revolution has been a long time in the making. For the past decade, internet usage has lagged significantly behind most other parts of the world. And most online activity and infrastructure has been concentrated in just a few countries — SA, Kenya, the North African countries of Morocco and Egypt, and the smaller economies of Mauritius and Seychelles. Fast forward to 2016. The number of Africans online, 29%, is still low compared with the global average of 46%. But Africa is going digital, and fast, with almost half a billion Africans expected to be online by 2020. More Africans online means more opportunities for African businesses and digital entrepreneurs; and, if nurtured right, a growth engine for economies...
(The Wall Street Journal 04/12/16)
Fortune seekers across Africa are clambering down gold shafts closed by some of the world’s biggest miners, fueling dystopian conflicts between companies waiting out a commodity rout and poor villagers with little to lose. The result is a chaotic and often deadly tableau playing out deep underground across the mineral-rich continent. Dozens of miners have been killed in subterranean gunfights over turf ceded by mining companies, many of whom fear the collateral damage to shaft walls and winches could make it impossible to open them again. In Ghana, AngloGold Ashanti Ltd., the world’s No. 3 gold producer, closed shafts at its Obuasi mine in late 2014, as the mine hemorrhaged cash amid sinking metals prices. Early this year, hundreds of...
(News24 04/12/16)
The number of planned hotel rooms in Africa has soared to 64 000 in 365 hotels, up almost 30% on the previous year, according to new figures from the annual W Hospitality Group Hotel Chain Development Pipeline Survey. The increase is largely down to strong growth in sub-Saharan Africa, which is up 42.1% on 2015 and is significantly outstripping North Africa which achieved only a modest 7.5% pipeline increase this year. South Africa ranks in position 9 of the hotel development pipelines in Africa list for 2016, just above Senegal. A major shake-up in the rankings by country saw Angola, never before listed among the top 10, push Egypt out of second place, due to a major deal there signed...
(Voice of America 04/11/16)
A meeting of central African finance ministers and officials of the Bank of Central African States, BEAC, has predicted very difficult times for economies of the six central African nations if they do not diversify their economies. BEAC governor Lucas Abaga Nchama says falling world petroleum prices, insecurity from Boko Haram terrorism and the spillover of the crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR), has led to growing debts and weak financial performances of the private sector in Chad, Cameroon, CAR, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and the Republic of Congo.
(The Guardian 04/11/16)
First the bad news. After fifteen years in the global economic growth fast lane, sub-Saharan Africa is reeling from the effects of falling commodity prices, depressed Chinese demand, and deteriorating financial conditions. The IMF has revised growth forecasts down to 3.5% for 2016, from an annual average rate in excess of 5% since 2000. Now for the good news. Africa’s economic slowdown is a wake-up call and an opportunity to rethink an economic model that is failing. The impressive growth record of the past 15 years has roughly doubled output, but with limited results for poverty reduction, job creation and productivity. Already extreme inequality is rising in many countries. Manufacturing has stagnated. The challenge for policy-makers is to set a...
(Business Day 04/11/16)
There is no evidence to prove bilateral investment treaties signed by African countries have made them more attractive to foreign direct investment, despite it being the main reason to sign them. The private sector tends to be the main beneficiary of treaties, with governments weakened by a lack of negotiating capacity. These are among the findings of an Economic Commission for Africa report looking at issues about, and the consequences of, investment policies and bilateral investment treaties. The report was launched at the African Development Week in Addis Ababa. The decision to do the research was based partly on pressure from SA, which has terminated its bilateral investment treaties, replacing them with legislation that makes the government the guarantor of...
(BBC News Africa 04/09/16)
A mobile insurance scheme to help small-scale farmers in Kenya ensure their agricultural produce against drought and other natural disasters is spreading to other parts of Africa, as Neil Ford explains. A greater proportion of sub-Saharan Africans work in agriculture than anywhere else on the planet but only 6% of the population of Africa and the Middle East have any form of agricultural insurance. "The insurance man" was a feature of many Western countries in past decades. Local agents collected tiny sums on a weekly basis to provide cover against long-term illness, funeral costs and unemployment. Kenya has now adopted this model for the 21st Century via mobile handsets. Farmers with as little as one acre of land can insure...
(Business Day 04/08/16)
As we face the challenges of the 21st century, there is more that unites Africa and Europe than divides us. We share a common history of thousands of years. Today more than ever, we need to work together to build our common future and to work jointly on the defining global issues of our age. We have a shared view of the benefits of co-operation on our continents. Europe’s journey from the devastation of 1945 to a union of more than half-a-billion citizens based on shared values and designed to create peace and prosperity, is well-known. So too is Africa’s liberation from colonial rule to independence and greater integration through the creation of the African Union (AU). Our journeys towards...
(The Guardian 04/07/16)
For Africa and Africans, migration is a way of life and this is also largely true of people of the other continents. To a large extent, the great Trans-Saharan Trade, and the attendant migration, was part of attempts at achieving economic development, boosting cultural exchanges and integration. Thus, migration can be described as an agent of development, which has impacted positively on the Gross Development Products of many African countries, and the economic contributions, in remittances by African Diasporas to their home countries, which is a boost to the annual budgets.
(The Guardian 04/07/16)
As events spiraled out of control, the government of the Central African Republic, in December 2004, requested that the Prosecutor open an investigation into the 2002- 2003 armed conflict within its borders. As a consequence of its investigations, an arrest warrant for Jean-Pierre Bemba Commander-in-chief of MLC was issued in May 2008 based on counts of crimes against humanity (murder and rape), and war crimes (murder, rape and pillaging). Because Bemba did not himself commit these crimes, the charges were founded on the doctrine of command responsibility. In international criminal law, the principle of superior or command responsibility addresses the criminal responsibility of a superior by virtue of his or her knowledge of the acts and omissions of subordinates and...
(The Guardian 04/06/16)
Reeling from external trade shocks, resulting in search for alternative source of funds for financing public expenditures, experts have advised African countries to exercise restraint in sourcing for foreign loans. This is even as the government of Nigeria may have shelved any plan to increase taxes, especially the Value Added Tax (VAT), at least this year.
(This Day Live 04/06/16)
The 18 member countries of African Petroleum Producers Association are considering strategies that will keep them afloat in the wake of the challenging crude oil price environment. Since the prices of crude oil in the international market took an uncertain path, the economies of some key African oil producing countries have received some significant battering, especially those that rely heavily on crude oil export to meet their respective economic and social responsibilities. Over the periods that oil prices have slipped and revenues from sales by producers dipped, the budgets of a number of Africa's top oil pro¬ducers like Nigeria have either impaired significantly with challenging revenue benchmarks or looked quite unconvincing since more than 70 per cent of their revenues...
(Médiapart 04/05/16)
Les mystères qui planent autour de Mr Yves Fernand MANFOUMBI ont plusieurs explications : l'argent et donc la corruption, le sang et les organes humains, le satanisme et l'ésotérisme négro-fasciste, le népotisme et les fausses parentés, les mauvais secrets et la danse mystico-magique ... entre autre ! De nous : Si vous pensez que Manfoumbi a la tête de quelqu'un qui vient de descendre d'Air France en provenance d'Abomey c'est votre problème les enfants ! Accombressi a sorti Manfoumbi de Sans Famille hier vers 14 heures en concertation avec Ali BONGO. Avez-vous bien vu la tête de celui qui était supposé être au Bénin ? Je me moque de votre système. Nous sommes le Gabon d'après. BBM.
(Foreign Policy 04/05/16)
Africa’s petrostates are crashing hard. A cool $115 in the summer of 2014, a barrel of Brent crude, the international pricing benchmark, now fetches below $40. And having failed to build massive foreign exchange reserves like Saudi Arabia or other Gulf monarchies, African oil exporters are now being forced to grapple with depreciating national currencies, mounting inflation, and deep cuts in government spending. Some of these states are now dangerously unstable, staring down popular unrest or domestic insurgencies that left unaddressed could set them back years, if not decades, in development terms.
(Independent Online 04/05/16)
The African Union (AU) Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Integration concludes in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Tuesday with Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the chairperson of the African Union Commission, imploring African countries to improve young people’s skills in science and engineering. The Conference of Ministers is an annual event jointly organised by the Economic Commission for Africa and the African Union Commission. It is being held at the Conference Centre of the Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa. Read: The grim situation facing SA's youth “With an average of over 90 percent of graduates in social sciences, Africa’s innovation and scientific skills lag behind,” said Dlamini Zuma. “There is general agreement on the skills crisis that...
(Vanguard 04/04/16)
Addis Ababa — Africans migrate more from one Africa country to another, contrary to belief that almost every African migrates beyond the continent, a report by United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) has revealed The revelation was made on Saturday by Mrs Takyiwaa Manuh, Director, Social Development Policy Division, UNECA, who gave highlight of the report entitled "Challenges of International Migration in Africa" at ongoing African Development Week in Addis Ababa. Manuh said that the situation contained in the report was contrary to popular belief that Africans migrated more to other continents. "Media coverage and research on irregular migration and high death toll amongst those crossing the Mediterranean have falsely reinforced the belief that Africans migration is essentially directed...
(RFI(EN) 04/02/16)
African countries are becoming the fastest growing economies in the world, with East African nations leading the pack in 2015. But infrastructure still remains a challenge. The United Nations and the African Union are pushing for the continent to industrialize, if it is to reach 1 of the 17 sustainable development goals. Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki is the Chief Executive Officer of the New Partnership for Africa's Development, (NEPAD). He spoke with RFI's Christina Okello about his vision for Africa's future. 1) NEPAD places regional integration at the core of Africa's development, why is that? If you consider the challenge posed by terrorism, regional integration is a good mechanism.
(AFP (eng) 04/01/16)
Nine MPs resigned from Gabon's ruling party on Friday in the latest evidence of deep divisions at the top ahead of a poll in which President Ali Bongo Ondimba will seek reelection. Bongo's bid to secure a second seven-year term in the small, oil-rich nation was formally endorsed by the ruling Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG) earlier this month, but he is facing a growing challenge from a rebel faction which is planning to field a rival candidate. Earlier this month, three party members were expelled for creating a breakaway group which said it would field its own candidate as a result of Bongo's "disastrous track record". On Tuesday the three rebels were stripped of their parliamentary mandate in a move...
(Forbes 04/01/16)
Africa seems to be the only continent today that is regularly referred to as a country. It bristles me every time I hear it said. It’s reminiscent of Ronald Reagan’s chatter with the press aboard Air Force One in late 1982 on his way back to the US from a Presidential visit to Latin America: “I learned a lot down there…You’d be surprised, because, you know, they’re all individual countries.” As a relatively freshly minted PhD in international business economics at the time, I thought a statement like that coming from the President of the United States was more than odd. Just as such an utterance was, of course, grossly naïve, if not insulting, to Latin Americans, so too is...
(Bloomberg 04/01/16)
Trade barriers and poor infrastructure are preventing sugar producers in sub-Saharan Africa from accessing under-supplied regions on the continent as an imminent end to import quotas in the European Union compels them to find new markets. A preferential-access deal with the EU for African, Caribbean and Pacific sugar producers ends in September 2017, potentially depriving the farmers further access to a duty-free market. Exports to the EU account for a fifth of the sub-Saharan region’s current annual output of about 7.5 million metric tons, according to Cooperatieve Rabobank UA. While sub-Saharan Africa consumes more sugar than it produces, growers may struggle to plug this shortfall because insufficient infrastructure makes deliveries between regions difficult and import duties lift the cost of...

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(The New Times 01/07/15)
"I am a black guy from... ... ... " was one introduction during the World Export Development Forum (WEDF) held in Kigali last year, and which I attended. This statement really kept pricking my thoughts. After the meetings concluded, I could not resist the temptation to ask the gentleman the reason for his choice of words in his introduction. He told me that he grew up in an ultra-racist society which stuck, and became a habit to him after some time; I managed to secure a promise that his introduction next time would be different. Be careful... don't venture out alone... avoid travelling at night.... Ebola... . and so on were comments from friends in Delhi when I told them...
(The Observer 01/06/15)
Today, our most beautiful home - Africa - prides in being free from colonisation or, put differently, in being in charge of her destiny. Indeed, whenever our leaders get the opportunity, they never miss to eulogize the sacrifices our forefathers made so we could be free. And the revolutionaries are always keen to sing this hymn and add a stanza of their own distinct heroic contribution to this legend of freedom unconstrained by tyranny and injustice. Yet injustice and tyranny is what we see threatening to drown the continent and deny it a well-prepared and fortified posterity. Today, African children continue to shoulder the load of injustice more than they ever did since our history began to be told. There...
(Xinhuanet 12/31/14)
MADRID, Dec. (Xinhua) -- More than 100 migrants entered Melilla early Tuesday morning after jumping the border fence of this Spanish city located on the north coast of Africa, local media reported on Tuesday. The incident happened at about 6:55 local time (0555 GTM). The group of migrants who entered Spain were part of a larger 200 people group who attempted to cross the border. Meanwhile, about 40 migrants remained on top of the six-metre border fence. The migrants were taken to the Temporary Immigrant Housing Center where they were processed, while one of them had to be attended by an ambulance and was admitted to hospital because of shinbone and fibula fractures. The last attempt to cross the border...
(Pana 12/30/14)
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Africa Regional Office has developed three Regional Initiatives (RI) aimed at speeding up efforts against food insecurity and malnutrition in Africa, with four countries including Angola, as pilot countries. According to a statement from the FAO regional office, made available to PANA here, the three other countries on the Regional Initiative to End Hunger in Africa by 2025 are Ethiopia, Malawi and Niger. The RIs have been designed to add value to existing development actions at country level by strengthening mobilization of resources for investing in agricultural priority programmes.
(Voice of America 12/29/14)
JOHANNESBURG— One baby, many parents say, is a life-changer. Two billion babies can change the world. In the next 35 years, UNICEF predicts that Africa will see a massive baby boom -- so massive, that by the year 2050, four out of 10 people on this planet will be African. Between now and 2050, some 1.8 billion new Africans will be born. Africa is already home to one of the world’s youngest populations -- the African Union says about two-thirds of the continent's 1.1 billion people are younger than 35. Within the next few decades, an unprecedented number of youngsters will reach reproductive age.
(Voice of America 12/27/14)
The Italian Navy says it has rescued about 1,250 migrants from the Mediterranean Sea over the past few days. The Navy said Friday that the migrants were rescued in several different operations this week, most of them off the coast of Sicily. Media reports say at least one migrant was found dead. Italian officials say the condition of the migrants was generally good and that a Nigerian woman gave birth on board one of the rescue vessels. Italy has been struggling to cope with a large increase of African and Middle Eastern migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe. Officials say more than 165,000 people have made the crossing this year, compared to 60,000 last year. The U.N...
(AFP (eng) 12/26/14)
Hassan Ibrahim, both physically and mentally disabled, staggers on his weakened legs as he pushes two huge packs of contraband goods loaded on a wheelchair. He is one of thousands of Moroccans toiling for a living in the Spanish territories of Ceuta and Melilla -- two tiny specks of Europe at the northern tip of Africa which have the only two land borders between the two continents. When he gets his load across the border from Ceuta to Morocco, Ibrahim will earn 30 euros ($37) for his labour. Tolerance of this cross-border trade makes Ceuta and Melilla magnets for those on the Moroccan side of the fence, who jostle in tense queues for their turn to enter. But the borders...
(AL Jazeera 12/22/14)
Gabon's government has moved to reduce simmering tensions in the capital Libreville, a day after three people reportedly died in a demonstration against President Ali Bongo Ondimba. The public protector said on Sunday that one person - a 30 year old male student had died - contradicting an opposition coalition's toll of three deaths following clashes with security forces the previous day. Guy Bertrand Mapangou, the country's interior minister, told a news conference that the student "had died outside the scene of the protests". "An investigation has been launched by the prosecutor of the Republic to determine the circumstances of this tragedy," he said. In response to a peaceful demonstration... the head of state mobilised special units of the gendarmerie...
(Pana 12/20/14)
Africa’s food safety - The 2nd Pan African Workshop convened to review progress made on the implementation of Codex Alimentarius standards-internationally agreed upon food standards, to improve the safety and quality of the food consumed in Africa, is underway in Kampala, Uganda. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) African region said in a dispatch to PANA here Thursday that participants at the workshop, including African Union (AU) policy makers, noted that food-borne diseases impacted negatively on the continent’s economy. “Codex Alimentarius is about safe, good food for everyone – everywhere.
(AFP (eng) 12/19/14)
A year after vowing to banish buccaneers from their waters, countries in the Gulf of Guinea -- the new epicentre of piracy in Africa -- are struggling to get their act together. The coastal area extending from Senegal to Angola has stolen the limelight from the Gulf of Aden on the piracy front. From hijacking cargo ships and siphoning their fuel to illegal fishing and transporting contraband, seafaring robbers are squeezing the region's economy. Between January and September the Gulf of Guinea recorded 33 incidents of piracy and armed robbery, according to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB). While an improvement on the 47 attacks recorded in the same period last year, the figure still dwarfed the number of incidents recorded...
(Human Rights Watch 12/19/14)
New York — African countries expressed strong support for the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the 13th Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute, the court's founding document, African and international organizations present at the session said today. The governments showed a more positive picture of Africa's relationship with the ICC than is often reflected in public debates, the organizations said. The ICC's Assembly of States Parties met from December 8-17, 2014, at the United Nations headquarters for its regular annual session. ICC members approved the court's budget and elected six new judges to the court, in addition to discussing topics such as cooperation with the court. "While a few vocal African governments are intent on portraying the ICC...
(Voice of America 12/18/14)
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports 2014 is the deadliest year on record for migrants fleeing conflict, political persecution and economic hardship. As the world marks International Migrants Day, IOM is calling for urgent action to save the lives of migrants and to stop smugglers from exploiting these vulnerable, desperate people. Death has always been an unfortunate part of migration. Since 2000, more than 40,000 migrants have died while trying to cross borders around the world. This past year has been particularly bad. The IOM reports some 5,000 people have lost their lives fleeing across seas, remote deserts or mountains. Most of these deaths, two-thirds, have occurred in the Mediterranean. IOM said more than 3,000 people have drowned while...
(The Voice 12/16/14)
DAKAR— France urged African nations on Monday to step up cross-border cooperation to tackle security challenges from Islamist groups in southern Libya to Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria, as it seeks to scale back its military commitments on the continent. Amid budgetary pressures at home, France is looking to reduce security commitments in Africa. It is scaling back the 2,000 troops it deployed a year ago to curb Christian-Muslim violence in Central African Republic, a former colony.
(Ips News 12/15/14)
Lima — Africa is experiencing a revolution towards cleaner energy through renewable energy but the story has hardly been told to the world, says Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Steiner, who had been advocating for renewable energy at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Lima, said Africa is on the right path toward a low carbon footprint by tapping into its plentiful renewable resources - hydro, geothermal, solar and wind. "There is a revolution going on in the continent of Africa and the world is not noticing it. You can go to Egypt, Ethiopia Kenya, Namibia, and Mozambique. I think we will see renewable energy being the answer to Africa's energy problems in the...
(Pana 12/13/14)
The number people dying from malaria has fallen dramatically since 2000 and malaria cases are also steadily declining, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a news dispatch from Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday. This, the UN health agency says, is according to the World malaria report 2014. Between 2000 and 2013, the malaria mortality rate decreased by 47 percent worldwide and by 54 percent in the WHO African Region - where about 90 percent of malaria deaths occur.
(Xinhuanet 12/10/14)
LUSAKA, Dec. (Xinhua) -- Africa's largest trade bloc has expressed concern over the proliferation of small arms and light weapons on the African continent, saying the trend is detrimental to development. The 19-member Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) took up the problem at an African Union (AU) regional steering committee meeting on small arms and light weapons held in Lusaka. "Small arms are cheap, light and easy to handle, transport and conceal," COMESA Secretary-General Sindiso Ngwenya was quoted by the Zambia Daily Mail as saying. "A build-up of small arms alone may not create conflicts in areas in which they are used, but it is the excessive accumulation of these weapons and the wide availability that has...
(Voice of America 12/09/14)
GENEVA— The World Health Organization reports there has been a dramatic fall in the number of malaria deaths since 2000 and the number of cases is also steadily going down. Sub-Saharan Africa bears the brunt of malaria, with 90 percent of global deaths occurring there. But this year’s World Malaria Report says Africa’s population has grown by 43 percent since 2000, with fewer people getting infected. WHO Global Malaria Program Director Pedro Alonso says the number of people infected fell from 173 million in 2000 to 128 million in 2013. He says that is particularly good news for children, who are the biggest victims of this fatal, but preventable disease. “Mortality in children under five, the age group, which concentrates...
(Ips News 12/05/14)
Bonn — So great are the contrasts between the frozen empty expanses of the far north and Africa's baking deserts, steamy rain forests and savannahs that any direct connections between the two seem far-fetched - if they indeed exist at all. In fact, migratory birds provide an environmental tie linking the Arctic and Africa and are the reason why the U.N. Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) and the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF), the biodiversity working group of the Arctic Council, have entered a commitment to cooperate. The Arctic Council is holding its first Arctic Biodiversity Congress in Trondheim, Norway and far from being of marginal interest to AEWA, its deliberations over the fauna...
(Voice of America 12/04/14)
Scientists have been making rapid advances in studies of genetic variations in European and East Asian populations. Now, populations in Africa, the cradle of the human race, are getting the same treatment. The African Genome Variation Project set out to discover more about how variations in DNA can help in understanding patterns of disease, ultimately leading to better treatments. Working with other institutions, including partners throughout Africa, the Genome Variation Project has collected and analyzed genetic information from nearly 3,000 individuals representing the diversity of the African experience over many millennia
(BBC News Africa 12/04/14)
Neglecting the health of Africa's soil will lock the continent into a cycle of food insecurity for generations to come, a report has warned. The publication by the Montpellier Panel said the problem needed to be given a higher priority by aid donors. It added that soil degradation was also hampering economic development, costing the continent's farmers billions of dollars in lost income. The study has been published ahead of the 2015 international year of soils. The Montpellier Panel - made up of agricultural, trade and ecology experts from Europe and Africa - warned that land degradation reduced soil fertility, leading to lower crop yields and increased greenhouse gas emissions. "In Africa, the impacts are substantial where 65% of arable...

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(Pana 05/19/14)
One week after the Nigerian capital city of Abuja hosted the much- talked about World Economic Forum on Africa (WEFA), a University teacher, Prof. Olu Okotoni, wants African leaders to make the investment environment more conducive in order for the gains from the Forum to be sustainable. “I think that some of the promises made by foreign investors and development partners will only come to fruition in a peaceful setting,' Okotoni, a Professor of Public Administration, told PANA in an exclusive interview. The senior lecturer at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, South West Nigeria, spoke against the backdrop of the recently-held Forum in Nigeria during which foreign and local investors made several pledges to invest in the critical sector...
(Vanguard 05/17/14)
At the just concluded World Economic Forum held in Abuja, Nigeria, Charles Ding, Huawei global Vice President has said with optimism that mass deployment of fourth generation (4G) mobile broadband can help bring more Africans online, grow her Gross Domestic Product, (GDP) and job creation. The Huawei VP for Africa who spoke to World Presidents, ICT Ministers , Economic experts and resource persons during a panel discussion on new solutions to bring all Africa online at WEF told the gathering that there were several advantages of making building LTE networks a strong case in Africa. Fixed-line infrastructure in Africa limited: Charles Ding, Huawei global Vice President speaking to international audience during World Economic Forum held in Abuja recently "First, fixed-line...
(Pana 05/12/14)
Seven African leaders has reaffirmed their commitment to transforming the agricultural sector across the continent, as part of the process of delivering prosperity to the citizens. The leaders who spoke at the 2014 Grow Africa Investment Forum, taking place in Abuja, Nigeria, as part of the lead-up to the World Economic Forum on Africa (WEFA), agreed that increased private sector investment in agriculture is key to delivering economic opportunity and food security within their countries Building on recent successes of the Grow Africa partnership – a joint initiative of the African Union Commission, the NEPAD Agency and the World Economic Forum, they said “There are huge opportunities in agriculture. This will create jobs and achieve food security.” According to the...
(Pana 05/12/14)
Seven social entrepreneurs were Thursday named Africa Social Entrepreneurs of the Year 2014, at the World Economic Forum on Africa taking place in Abuja, Nigeria. The awards were conferred by Philipp Rösler, Managing Director, World Economic Forum. The seven include Ashifi Gogo of Sproxil (Ghana, Nigeria and India), Martin Kariongi Ole Sanago (Institute for Orkonerei Pastoralists Advancement, IOPA), Tanzania), Patrick Awuah (Ashesi University, Ghana), Jay Kimmelman and Shannon May (Bridge International Academies, Kenya), Gbenga Sesan (Paradigm Initiative Nigeria, Nigeria) and Allen Wilcox, Village Reach, Mozambique. David Aikman, Managing Director at the World Economic Forum and Head of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, explained that “social entrepreneurs are an integral community of the World Economic Forum and an increasingly sought-after...
(Premium Times 05/10/14)
Africa's prosperity could be attained if solutions are urgently found to the issues underlining the inequalities and pervasive poverty undermining the attainment of its potentials. This was the consensus of the panelists on post-2015 development at the 24th World Economic Forum on Africa, WEFA, on Friday in Abuja. The panelists who noted that no fewer than 15 out of the 20 countries that made the most progress in the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, are in Africa, said solutions must be found to the issues of inadequate education, job creation, industrialization and security to accelerate Africa's growth. Even though the discussants, including the Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, agreed that Africa is rising and moving on a fast lane, they noted...
(Xinhuanet 05/09/14)
BEIJING, May (Xinhuanet) -- This year’s theme, for the World Economic Forum on Africa, is "Forging Inclusive Growth and Creating Jobs", two issues that are critically affecting Nigeria, the host country for this year’s meeting. The Nigerian government says, it is working on ways to resolve the unemployment problem. But some analysts say the approach being used is defective. It may be Africa’s largest economy, but the sheer size of Nigeria’s population makes it a daunting challenge to keep the economy running and providing badly needed jobs.
(Reuters (Eng) 05/09/14)
BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang unveiled extra aid for Africa totalling at least $12 billion on Monday, and offered to share advance technology with the continent to help with development of high-speed rail, state media reported. Li pledged the additional funding in a speech at the Organisation of African Union headquarters in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. China will increase credit lines to Africa by $10 billion and will boost the China-Africa Development Fund by $2 billion, bringing it to a total of $5 billion, Li said, according to the official Xinhua news agency. He provided no details of the timeframe. Li "depicted a dream that all African capitals are connected with high-speed rail, so as to boost...
(Xinhuanet 05/08/14)
ABUJA, May 8 (Xinhua) -- The volume of illicit outflows of financial resources has been estimated to reach 50 billion U.S. dollars annually, said a report released Wednesday during the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa. It said that amount represents almost what the continent might expect to receive foreign direct investments (FDI) in a year. The report called "Africa is Rising: Inequalities and the Essential Role of Fair Taxation," commissioned by the Tax Justice Network and Christian Aid, estimated that Africa lost between 1.2 trillion dollars and 1.3 trillion dollars from these activities between 1980 and 2009. A panel led by Thabo Mkebi, former South African President held a discussion on the issue of illicit financial flows from Africa...
(The Herald Online 05/03/14)
Abuja — African governments should invest in development of laboratory infrastructure to promote agricultural research that addresses food security challenges facing the continent. Agricultural biotechnology experts launched the appeal at the annual meeting of the Open Agricultural Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) in Africa which was held recently in Abuja, Nigeria. Professor Baba Yusuf Abubakar, executive secretary of the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria, said African governments must seriously consider investing in laboratory infrastructure to promote research and ensure that the continent realised its ambition to become an agricultural research hub. "The most expedient way to achieving agricultural development in any nation is by embracing and investing in technology acquisition, development, adaptation and adoption for use by the farmers of...
(This Day Live 04/30/14)
African Ministers of Trade and experts in trade and regional integration have aligned with Nigeria's position on the trade liberalisation deal with the European Union under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), saying it will have a long-term negative impact on the continent's efforts towards industrialisation and job creation. The ministers spoke during the Extra-ordinary Session of the Conference of African Union Ministers of Trade in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia yesterday. The meeting was convened to discuss Africa's common position ahead of the October 1 deadline for signing of the EPA with the EU; the establishment of the Common Free Trade Area (CFTA) by 2015; extension of African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) by the American Government for 15 more years; and...
(Pana 04/29/14)
African agric ministers lay ground for ‘growth-for-jobs’ initiative - African ministers of agriculture are due for a joint ministerial meeting to discuss the key elements of an African agricultural growth and transformation strategy, a senior African Union (AU) official said. The AU Commissioner for Rural Economy, Rhoda Tumusiime, said the ministers would launch efforts to ensure economic growth in Africa is driven by an agriculture sector that relies on the best technology to power industrialisation. “Agriculture must be seen as a viable business. We want women and youth to be part of the growth. Agriculture has been taken for granted for a longtime. We want farmers to access resources to boost productivity,” Tumusiime said Friday. The AU is hosting the...
(Xinhuanet 04/19/14)
JOHANNESBURG, April 18 (Xinhua) -- International logistics group DHL Express said Friday that significant growth in Africa's financial services sector is providing great opportunities to drive the continent's economic growth and development. In a report released in Johannesburg, DHL Express Sub-Saharan ( SSA) Director Sumesh Rahavendra said growing economy, increased political stability and willingness to trade with international partners is making the continent more investor friendly.
(Xinhuanet 04/08/14)
DUBAI, April (Xinhua) -- China has played a positive role in redefining Africa and helped the once despaired continent to get back on track, the president of the Cairo-based African Export- Import Bank Jean-Louis Ekkra said here on Monday. Ekkra made the remarks to Xinhua at the third annual Dubai precious metals conference which is held under the theme "Engaging with Africa," adding that Chinese firms are investing in nearly all countries of the continent. "China provides both financing and know-how to explore the vast opportunities in Africa," said Ekkra. It was also thanks to China' s contribution that Africa has become the second fastest growing region in the world after Asia, Ekkra added. In 2009, at the height of...
(Bloomberg 04/03/14)
Robert Diamond, former head of Barclays Plc (BARC), plans to sell corporate loans in sub-Saharan Africa to international investors through his new financial-services venture, Atlas Mara Co-Nvest Ltd. (ATMA) Securitizing loans will open up one of the fastest-growing regions in the world to institutional investors and provide capital to businesses operating there, Diamond, 62, said in an interview in Johannesburg yesterday. “International investors have already crossed the Rubicon in that they’re interested in Africa,” he said. “Now it’s a question of them getting educated on how they do it.” Diamond, who quit as Barclays CEO in July 2012 after the British bank was fined for manipulating benchmark interest rates, wants spur capital markets growth in a region where a third...
(Premium Times 03/31/14)
The bulk of Africa's losses to illicit financial flows annually were through various schemes by multinational companies to evade and avoid the payment of corporate tax in their areas of operations. Findings by the African Union high-level panel on illicit financial flows showed that what the continent has been losing annually through illicit financial flows is more than what it receives in development aids from abroad or foreign direct investment combined. The panel, chaired by former South African President, Thabo Mbeki, was mandated to make recommendations towards finding an end to the huge capital flight, which has deprived Africa significant funding for its development programmes. The draft report of the panel would be presented to ongoing African Union Finance Ministers'...
(Pana 03/26/14)
Despite important economic progress and agricultural successes, Africa remains the world’s most food insecure continent, with relatively low levels of agricultural productivity, low rural incomes and high rates of malnutrition, FAO said here Monday. As the Organization’s 28th Regional Conference for Africa takes place in Tunis, FAO is calling on African ministers of agriculture for action in priority areas to accelerate increased investment and broad-based transformation in support of smallholder farmers, including rural youth and women. Africa has recorded continuous economic growth since 1999, accompanied by improved governance and human development indicators. Currently, seven out of the top 10 fastest growing economies in the world are situated in Africa, and the International Monetary Fund estimates that economic growth in sub-Saharan...
(Pana 03/24/14)
The chairman of the Commission of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), Mr Cheik Hadjibou Soumaré, on Friday bemoaned the low level of intra-regional trade saying this is unhealthy for the economies of countries in the union. 'The liberalization of intra-regional trade can be profitable for WAEMU countries by making them less vulnerable, by enabling them to diversify their economies, improve their competitiveness and create jobs,” he said. Speaking in Dakar on Thursday at a conference organised by the Senegalese Union of Customs Officers and Inspectors (AIOD), Mr Soumaré said intra-regional trade, which was estimated at 12% between 1994 and 2014, was 'weak' compared with a healthy 64% of intra-European trade. He said the weakness was due to...
(Bloomberg 03/14/14)
Credit Suisse Group AG is deploying investment bankers to woo African entrepreneurs as the second-biggest Swiss bank tries to build its wealth-management business on the continent. Those bankers offer services from capital raising to trade finance and mergers and acquisitions advice, John Wright, a managing director and market leader for Africa at Credit Suisse, said in an interview in Cape Town. “We have a dedicated group of investment bankers embedded within private banking,” said Zurich-based Wright. “They have the mission to ensure that private bank services that normally would only be offered to platinum-level clients with fee income of $5 million and above are brought to these entrepreneurs.” Credit Suisse is vying with UBS AG (UBSN) and other Swiss banks...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/13/14)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Pan-African lender Ecobank grew too fast in a short space of time, its biggest shareholder said on Wednesday, potentially signaling a slowdown in the rapid expansion that has taken the financial institution to 35 countries. Elias Masilela, chief executive of the Public Investment Corporation, said the bank, whose chief executive Thierry Tanoh was ousted by the board on Tuesday, needed to devote as much attention to governance as to growth. "The institution grew too fast in a short space of time. They needed to have taken stock at some point and thought about internal issues instead of focusing on the expansion program only," he told Reuters in an interview. "It would seem like the expansion program preoccupied...
(Bloomberg 03/12/14)
African Barrick Gold Plc (ABG) slumped the most in 14 months in London trading after its parent, the world’s biggest producer of the metal, sold a 10 percent stake. The unit of Barrick Gold Corp. (ABX) fell as much as 17 percent, the largest drop since Jan. 8, 2013. The parent sold 41 million shares to institutions for $188 million, cutting its stake to 64 percent less than four years after an initial public offering. “This sale confirms that the parent is an ongoing seller and has been a potential seller since the 2010 IPO left it with more shares than it had hoped,” Citigroup Inc. said. “Having a parent keen to dispose of stock does not help with the...

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(Voice of America 08/13/13)
NAIROBI — The United States is keeping a close watch on potential European trade deals with African nations as Washington reviews its own preferential trade initiative with the continent. African ministers and U.S. officials discussed trade relations at a forum Monday in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. The U.S. is considering an extension to the popular African Growth and Opportunity Act, known as AGOA, an American law that allows sub-Saharan African countries to export certain products to the United States duty free. First signed into law in 2000, the act has already been renewed once, and is set to expire in 2015. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman has been meeting with African ministers at an AGOA forum in Addis Ababa...
(CNN 08/12/13)
UN chief Ban Ki-moon says the Central African Republic (CAR) has suffered a "total breakdown of law and order" since rebels seized power in March. He urged the UN Security Council to consider sanctions or to set up a panel of experts to monitor the situation. Seleka rebel group leader Michel Djotodia ousted President Francois Bozize in March. Last month Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said the country's health care system had collapsed. In a report that the Security Council is due to discuss on Wednesday, Mr Ban said infighting among rebel groups had led to widespread abuses. "They included arbitrary arrests and detention, sexual violence against women and children, torture, rape, targeted killings, recruitment of child soldiers and attacks, committed...
( FOROYAA Newspaper 08/07/13)
With its abundance of natural resources and large and growing population , Africa is the next frontier for many global companies. However, while investors are keen to get, there's often a wariness on the part of Africans. The BBC's Vineet Khare travelled to Ethiopia to find out about what can be a tricky relationship and how things are not always so rosy. Watch the video...
(CNN 08/05/13)
African Voices is a weekly show that highlights Africa's most engaging personalities, exploring the lives and passions of people who rarely open themselves up to the camera. Follow the team on Twitter. Mogadishu, Somalia (CNN) -- Inside a brightly painted Mogadishu clinic, Salim (not her real name) sits alongside her seven-year-old son, waiting for a check up. Opposite them, a health professional listens to their nightmarish ordeal. Salim recounts how she was raped and then watched, helpless, as her young son was molested. Too afraid to seek assistance, she did what she thought would help. She washed her son's wounds with hot water and salt for four excruciating days, until they were brought here, the Sister Somalia center. "There are...
(Voice of America 08/03/13)
The U.N. assistant secretary-general for human rights, Ivan Simonovic, is calling for strengthening the regional security force (FOMAC) in the Central African Republic. U.N. Assistant Secretary General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic said ongoing instability since the March 24 rebel coup could intensify ethnic and religious divisions, and that humanitarian aid remains largely insufficient. The humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate following the ousting of former President Francois Bozize by the Seleka rebel coalition. Civilians continue to report widespread human rights violations, including arbitrary arrest, rape, torture, looting and summary executions. During a visit to the country this week, Simonovic said that security in CAR remains "virtually non-existent," particularly outside the capital, and that state institutions are "close to collapse." He...
(CNN 08/03/13)
(CNN) -- The African Union on Friday applauded Zimbabwe for holding peaceful elections, and made no mention of rigging accusations by the main opposition candidate. However, its observers added that they noted several shortcomings. Problems included voters getting turned away, late publication of polling stations and media taking sides, the African Union observers said in a statement released Friday. Even so, the continent-wide body said, "The Mission observes generally, that from a historical perspective and in comparison to the 2008 elections, Zimbabwe has made an important transition in the conduct of its elections." Wednesday's vote pitted President Robert Mugabe against his prime minister, Morgan Tsvangirai. Mugabe's party declared victory a day later even though the electoral commission has not released...
(African arguments 08/02/13)
UK Minister for Africa, Mark Simmonds, has stated that the government will not intervene directly in Barclays Bank's decision to withdraw banking services to Money Service Businesses (MSBs) including those that provide remittance services to Somalia, but said he hoped that a 'market-based solution' could be found. Simmonds stated in a letter dated 18th July to SOAS academic Laura Hammond (and shared with African Arguments) that "the government would not be able to intervene on behalf of a particular company or 'remittance corridor'". He was responding to a letter submitted by Hammond on behalf of 105 academics, researchers and practitioners calling on the UK government to intervene to prevent the collapse of remittance flows into poor and fragile states, particularly...
(Voice of America 07/31/13)
JOHANNESBURG — The United Nations’ AIDS agency is hailing what officials describe as significant progress in the fight against the epidemic in eastern and southern Africa. The report says AIDS-related deaths have declined dramatically and that the number of new infections has decreased - a direct result of more available treatment. But, they warned, challenges remain. Top health and aid officials praised the gains in the fight against AIDS in southern and eastern Africa - among them, a nearly 40 percent drop in AIDS-related deaths since 2005, and a 50 percent drop in new infections among children since 2001. The cause, they said was simple: The number of people receiving anti-retroviral treatment has increased tenfold, from 625,000 in 2005 to...
(CNN 07/31/13)
(CNN) -- A decade after Angola emerged from devastating civil war, the sea front road that winds around the bay of its capital, Luanda, is now dotted with multi-million dollar condominiums, exclusive clubs, and boutique stores catering for the country's elite. Most of Luanda's population, however, live in the nearby slums, where health facilities are non-existent and children must work, not study, to survive. Africa's natural resource wealth has certainly fueled a decade of rapid growth, but most Africans have still not seen the benefits. More urgently, rapid population growth combined with deepening inequality could one day prove explosive. It does not have to be this way, of course. Botswana successfully used its diamond wealth to develop quickly, growing from...
(Voice of America 07/25/13)
CAPITOL HILL — Prospective U.S. diplomats to Africa say President Barack Obama’s recent trip to the continent underscored persistent challenges and vast opportunities that cry out for robust and sustained American engagement. Administration nominees for the State Department’s top Africa post, as well as numerous ambassadorships, testified Wednesday at their Senate confirmation hearing. During his three-nation trip to Africa earlier this month, Obama unveiled initiatives to boost electric service on the continent, increase trade and commercial ties, and help groom Africa’s next generation of leaders. But more must be done, according to Democratic Senator Chris Coons, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on Africa. “President Obama’s recent trip was a positive demonstration of U.S. commitment, and the president’s initiatives...
(Voice of America 07/24/13)
Malaria infections, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa, are responsible for the deaths of some 200,000 newborns and 10,000 new mothers each year. The parasitic illness can also cause miscarriage and premature birth, increasing the risk of death. There are low cost, lifesaving interventions to prevent infection, yet, according to a new study, there are significant barriers to implementing them. For the past 20 years, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended that pregnant women in areas with high rates of malaria receive insecticide-treated bed nets and periodic doses of a cheap drug to prevent the disease. Yet, despite relatively high attendance at clinics for expectant mothers and their newborns throughout sub-Saharan Africa, statistics show that just a little over 21 percent...
(Voice of America 07/23/13)
Tree loss in the Congo Basin rainforest is slowing down, according to a new study published Monday. The Congo Basin rainforest is the world's second largest, after the Amazon, and scientists say the study is good news for the global environment. "What we saw is in the 1990s about 285,000 hectares each year removed over Central Africa. And this has declined by over 100,000 hectares in the 2000s. So there was a big drop in deforestation rate in Central Africa between the 1990s and the 2000s, which is quite a surprising result," said Simon Lewis from the University College London. The study, which is based on analysis of satellite images, shows the deforestation rate in the Congo Basin is lower...
(BBC News Africa 07/22/13)
Tree loss in one of the world's largest rainforests has slowed, a study suggests. Satellite images of Africa's Congo Basin reveal that deforestation has fallen by about a third since 2000. Researchers believe this is partly because of a focus on mining and oil rather than commercial agriculture, where swathes of forest are cleared. The work is published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. It is part of a series that is examining the state of Africa's forests. Dr Simon Lewis, from the University of Leeds and University College London, said: "Most of the focus has been on the Amazon and on South East Asian tropical rainforests, and a big bit of the missing picture is what...
(AL Jazeera 07/16/13)
Executive council meets in Nigerian capital to review progress made in combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. The African Union executive council is meeting in the Nigerian capital to take stock of progress made in the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. The conference, which opened in Abuja on Friday, will also address challenges encountered in the campaign against the three diseases. "It is timely that we review the implementation of the various declarations and plans of action adopted in the course of the last decade," Ethiopia's Foreign Minister Tedros Ghebreyesus told the conference, according to the African Union's website. Ghebreyesus said Ethiopia was proposing to establish an "African Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention (African–CDC) or Health Commission for Africa...

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