Tuesday 20 February 2018

Gabon

(BBC News Africa 04/28/16)
The call for better management of sport is heard across Africa - often as a lament, more regularly as an outburst of barely contained frustration. In football, former Ajax and Juventus defender Sunday Oliseh recently quit as Nigeria's national football coach, citing contractual violations and lack of support from his local federation. Months earlier, Zimbabwe were disqualified from the 2018 World Cup qualifying tournament after its football association failed to pay a former national coach. In athletics, Kenya only recently averted the threat of disqualification from the 2016 Olympic Games because of its previously long-standing failure to implement robust drugs-testing procedures - nearly 40 athletes have failed tests in the last four years. And yet Kenya would surely be far...
(Voice of America 04/27/16)
Debate over the CFA franc is once again stirring in West and Central Africa with some experts calling for a reform of the colonial currency. Some say the region has outgrown the CFA franc, arguing it should be unpegged from the euro or just abandoned altogether. Ivorian economist Seraphin Prao Yao wrote a book on the topic in 2012. He says the exchange rate of a country must take into account the weight of its commercial partners. And today, the eurozone is not our only partner anymore. He says member countries should also now be taking into account the U.S. dollar and Asian currencies. Yao says pegging the CFA to the euro makes the currency too rigid and too strong...
(The Guardian 04/27/16)
Barclays has revealed it has received approaches for its African operations – which its former chief executive Bob Diamond wants to buy – as it reported a 25% slump in first quarter profits and losses on oil-related loans. The bank, currently undergoing a restructuring under new chief executive Jes Staley, reported first quarter profits of £793m and a 15% rise in bad debts, largely a result of problems facing clients in the oil and gas sector. Staley, an American banker who took the helm in December after a hiatus in the boardroom, said there had been expressions of interest in the African business, which was put on the market last month. “On Africa, we continue to explore opportunities to reduce...
(Washington Post 04/27/16)
The pejorative phrase “Go back to Africa” made news last month when hurled at protesters at Donald Trump rallies. At the canceled rally on the campus of the University of Illinois–Chicago on March 11, protestor Jedidiah Brown was irate after he was allegedly told to “go back to Africa” by a Trump supporter. A natural-born American citizen, Brown said he had never been to Africa and therefore no one had the right to tell him to go back to a place he is not from. The phrase “Go back to Africa” seems like nothing but an insult. It doesn’t have to be that way, as demonstrated by the historical links between black Americans and the African continent. Many Americans have...
(Huffingtonpost 04/26/16)
The foreign aid arena in Africa has traditionally been dominated by the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. However, over the last three decades non-traditional donors such as China, have emerged. The increasing importance of non-traditional donors has meant that the economic and political stronghold of western countries in sub-Saharan Africa has gradually ebbed. China is now the largest non-traditional contributor of aid to sub-Saharan African countries. In the 1960s Africa provided China with an opportunity to increase its political and diplomatic reach.
(Financial Times 04/26/16)
This is likely to be the first year this millennium when Africa grows more slowly than the rest of the world, the IMF predicts. With the respected Ibrahim Index of African Governance suggesting that standards of governance have declined since the global financial crisis, and the IMF having warned that too few countries used the boom years to improve their public finances, a picture emerges of a continent that has largely squandered its commodity-led windfall. The recent slowdown has also led to the perception that the entire Africa rising phenomenon was driven more by the cyclical upswing in commodity prices than any longer-lasting structural improvements in African economies. However, dramatic rises in life expectancy suggest many governments, aided by external...
(Voice of America 04/25/16)
Foreign policy almost always takes a back seat to domestic concerns during the U.S. presidential campaign season. Candidates rarely win over any voters in diners in New Hampshire or town hall events in Iowa touting their plans for economic investment and security frameworks in Africa. In 1999, then-candidate George W. Bush went so far as to declare Africa “irrelevant” to U.S. foreign policy during his first presidential run.
(BBC News Africa 04/24/16)
The influential Congolese music star Papa Wemba has died after collapsing on stage in Abidjan in Ivory Coast, media reports say. Video from the concert shows the artist, who was 66, slumped on the floor as dancers continue to perform, unaware of what is happening. French broadcaster France 24 confirmed the death, quoting his manager. On the African music scene since 1969, Papa Wemba won a world following with his soukous rock music. The Congolese band leader, whose real name was Jules Shungu Webadio, also inspired a cult movement known as the Sapeurs whose members, young men, spend huge amounts of money on designer clothes.
(The New Times 04/23/16)
The apparent end to the commodity super-cycle has sent shockwaves across the global economy. It has sparked turbulence in world stock markets, put pressure on currencies, and fuelled major concerns about prospects for growth and the stability of public finances. Africa has not escaped this pessimism. Questions have been asked about the continent's economic future, with widespread fears that the remarkable gains of the last two decades could be reversed. The mood reminds me of the IMF/World Bank meetings I attended at the height of the Asian Financial Crisis nearly twenty years ago, when analysts were predicting the Asian miracle was at an end. They underestimated the potential of Asia then, and I believe the potential of Africa is being...
(AfricaNews 04/23/16)
More than a century after the light bulb was invented most of the African continent is still in the dark after nightfall. School children often cannot read after dusk, businesses cannot grow, clinics cannot refrigerate medicine or vaccines and industries are idled, hampering economic growth, jobs, and livelihoods. Today some 25 countries in sub-Saharan Africa are facing a crisis evidenced by rolling blackouts. Although the African continent is well endowed both with fossil fuels and renewable resources, these are not evenly distributed, creating windfall profits for some countries and exacerbating the crisis in others. APV aims to achieve an 80% residential electrification rate by 2040 and 90% for industry/business, with sufficient energy to deliver to those connected, while also implementing...
(Bloomberg 04/22/16)
Gabon is considering a return to OPEC and trying to rally fellow African nations for a more coordinated response to slumping oil prices, President Ali Bongo Ondimba said. Some members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries have asked the West African nation to rejoin the group after 21 years as producers seek to “fight together" to stabilize prices, Bongo said during an hour-long interview at Bloomberg headquarters in New York. Gabon hasn’t made a decision, he said. While an April 17 meeting in Doha, Qatar, ended with major producers failing to agree on an output freeze, Bongo, 57, said the fact the meeting even occurred was positive and that talks would continue. Gabon, which has cut its budget twice...
(Zimbabwe Independent 04/22/16)
The year 2015 has been an annus horribilis for several economies in Africa. First, currencies across the board have depreciated dramatically against the dollar. Second, prices of almost all major commodities have crashed, which has had huge impact on government revenues. Third, China’s slowdown has put a damper on Africa’s economic growth. As a result, Africa’s economy will grow by 3,75% — lower than the 5% average of the last decade — and is expected to grow slightly higher in 2016 at 4,25%. While certain trends can be seen, recent economic events have affected Africa’s economies very differently with huge variations in economic growth for 2015. The most striking feature of the high growth economies is that except for Côte...
(Standard Digital 04/22/16)
Afrobarometer, a pan-African, non-partisan research network, recently released a report highlighting Africa’s electricity challenges. Power shortages can hamper socioeconomic development, but they also have implications for health and education. The electricity crisis in Africa is serious. One of the most glaring disparities is that across the 36 countries surveyed, 94% of urban dwellers have access to the electric grid, whereas only 45% do in rural areas. The urban-rural divide is most pronounced in Guinea, Mali and Niger. This suggests that major cities, including capitals, have fairly good grid coverage, but the outlying rural areas remain severely wanting. The problem of accessing electricity varies greatly across countries. Many North African and island countries achieve high rates of access. But several countries...
(AFP (eng) 04/21/16)
Defending title-holders Etoile Sahel of Tunisia were paired with Mounana of Gabon Thursday during the CAF Confederation Cup play-offs draw in Cairo. Etoile started the 2016 African club season in the CAF Champions League, but were eliminated Wednesday after the final qualifying round. The only club to win all five CAF competitions staged a dramatic second leg comeback against Enyimba of Nigeria to win 3-0 only to fail in the penalty shootout. Etoile and seven other round-of-16 losers were demoted to the second-tier Confederation Cup
(Business Day 04/21/16)
The apparent end to the commodity supercycle has sent shock waves across the global economy. It has sparked turbulence in stock markets, put pressure on currencies and fuelled concerns about prospects for growth and the stability of public finances. Africa has not escaped this pessimism. Questions have been asked about the continent’s economic future, with fears that the remarkable gains of the past two decades could be reversed. The mood reminds me of the International Monetary Fund-World Bank meetings I attended at the height of the Asian financial crisis nearly 20 years ago, when analysts were predicting the Asian miracle was at an end. They underestimated the potential of Asia then, and I believe the potential of Africa is being...
(AfricaNews 04/21/16)
The World Bank and other development partners have revealed that the total money transfers by African migrants to their region or country of origin surged by 3.4% to $35.2 billion, in 2015. The sum which includes intra-African transfers, represents 6 percent of total transfers by migrants worldwide to their region or country of origin, Ecofin agency reports. The total migrants transfers worldwide, though lesser compared to the previous year is estimated at $581.6 billion. Africa is seen as number one in terms of migration and as such, some European countries have raised barriers thus making it more difficult for Africans to get visas. Over the past four years, transfers by African migrants to their homes reached $134 .4 billion. A...
(Caj News Africa 04/20/16)
Former United Nations Secretary General, Koffi Annan, has urged African leaders to vacate office when their terms elapse. He raised concern some leaders had overstayed their terms resulting in deadly crisis around the continent. "If a leader doesn't want to leave office, if a leader stays on for too long, and elections are seen as being gamed to suit a leader and he stays term after term after term, the tendency may be the only way to get him out is through a coup or people taking to the streets," Annan said at a high level forum on security in Africa. The summit was held in Bahir Dar in Ethiopia. Annan, now an international diplomat, said that while unconstitutional changes...
(Voice of America 04/20/16)
Many parts of Asia, Africa and the Americas are scorching in heat caused by a cyclical phenomenon known as El Niño. The unusually warm waters that come up to the surface in the Pacific Ocean every three to six years cause extreme weather conditions. The resulting drought is especially hard on the poorest people of sub-Saharan Africa. Somaliland is one of the poorest African regions. Its rural population is struggling to make a living in the best of times, but drought makes it impossible. "I am 80. In the 80 years of my life, I've never seen such severe drought. It has killed so many animals and caused so much famine. Our lives are in danger," said Mohamed Omar, a...
(Xinhuanet 04/19/16)
(Xinhua) -- Peaceful elections in Africa, a continent that had been haunted by election-related violence, have started becoming a reality, hence guaranteeing continued stability and development. The latest case is presidential elections in Chad on April 10. Having been in power for 26 years, President Idriss Deby Itno is seeking his fifth consecutive five-year term against 12 opposition challengers. This year alone, over 10 African countries have held various elections, most of which were concluded peacefully. In addition to Chad, those that held presidential elections include Benin, Niger, Uganda, Republic of Congo, Djibouti and Comoros Island.
(Dw-World 04/19/16)
The Munich Security Conference is convening a meeting in Ethiopia to discuss the fight against extremism, crisis prevention and democracy in Africa. This is the first conference of its kind on the African continent. Around 60 senior leaders from Africa, Europe and the US are gathering in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to exchange ideas on how they can work together to fight terrorism and prevent crises in northern and eastern Africa. German diplomat, Wolfgang Ischinger, chairs the Munich Security Conference. He told DW that leaders will also discuss the security risks posed by epidemics and climate change with focus on Africa. Why was Addis Ababa chosen as a venue for the conference? Wolfgang Ischinger: It's the seat of African...

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(The Citizen 02/06/15)
Now, there’s good news for you—especially if you have a smartphone. Very soon, you will be testing your HIV status or that of your partner through your mobile phone. Dar es Salaam. Are you worried about how to tell your HIV status or that of your partner? Are you troubled by the idea of voluntarily visiting a health centre to test your HIV status or that of your partner? Now, there’s good news for you—especially if you have a smartphone. Very soon, you will be testing your HIV status or that of your partner through your mobile phone. You will not have to visit any hospital to know whether you are HIV-positive or negative, thanks to US medical researchers who...
(The Guardian 02/05/15)
Kimani Maruge was 84 when he started school – after the government introduced free primary education. His story inspired a film but was not unique, says Lee Mwiti. Earlier this month Google used its famous doodle to celebrate the anniversary of Kimani Maruge’s first day of school – at the ripe old age of 84. At the time the Kenyan student was the oldest person to start primary school, earning his place in the Guinness World Records. He first attended class in 2004 with two of his grandchildren, taking advantage of his government’s decision a year earlier to introduce free primary schooling. Maruge’s story provided the inspiration for the film The First Grader, starring Oliver Litondo. Maruge died in 2009,...
(Voice of America 02/05/15)
Most young women who are at the highest risk of contracting the AIDS virus do not use drugs designed to prevent HIV infection, even when they're offered. That’s the conclusion of a new study that looked at so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, in thousands of women in Africa. Among those who take PrEP every day, the risk of HIV infection is greatly reduced — up to 92 percent lower compared with those who do not use pre-exposure prophylaxsis. The strategy is also not nearly as effective among people with HIV-positive partners who do not take it consistently. The study of about 5,000 women in Uganda, South Africa and Zimbabwe looked at their use of the antiretroviral tablet Truvada or a...
(Xinhuanet 01/31/15)
BEIJING, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- China-Africa cooperation has long been subjected to vile slanders from the West, even as its nature of mutual benefit has been repeatedly proved and widely acclaimed. In the latest evidence of the win-win feature, the African Union and China signed a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday to boost cooperation on Africa's infrastructure, which has become a bottleneck hindering the development of the promising continent. Yet the deal, which like numerous others is conducive to Africa's sustainable development, did not stop the mud-slinging by biased Western media, which resorted to such terms as "neocolonialism" to smear China's goodwill. Such claims, sensational as they sound, are pure calumny and have no market both in Africa and across...
(The Point 01/31/15)
Dr Jeggan C. Senghor, a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London, shares his views about African icons and regional integration, after recently launching a book he authored on the life and times of the Very Reverend J.C. Faye, one of Gambia's statesmen who struggled to let the country gain political Independence in 1965. An Extract of the interview he had with The Point follows: As someone who has done a lot of research on regional integration in Africa and has written books and articles on the subject, and particularly on Senegambian integration, what is your assessment of African integration? In ECOWAS, for example, are the fundamentals in place? Regional integration...
(Dw-World 01/29/15)
Boko Haram, Ebola, Central African Republic, South Sudan - African leaders have much on their agenda at their summit this weekend. At the top of the list is the creation of an anti-terrorism force. At the beginning of the week, the President of the African Union commission Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, picked Boko Haram as the top issue on the agenda of the AU summit to be held on January 30 and 31 in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. "We are deeply horrified by the tragedy Boko Haram continues to inflict on our people. Kidnapping young girls from school, torching villages, terrorizing whole communities and killing. A localized group, now we see it further into West Africa and into Central Africa. Time to...
(Xinhuanet 01/23/15)
ADDIS ABABA, Jan. (Xinhua) -- African economies will continue to grow in 2015 due to private investment and consumption which have been key drivers of gross domestic product (GDP) over the past years, according to the UN World Economic Situation and Prospects 2015 (WESP). Africa's GDP is expected to accelerate from 3.5 percent in 2014 to 4.6 percent in 2015 and 4.9 percent in 2016. In his presentation on the report on Thursday at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, Adam Elhiraika, Director for Macroeconomic Policy Division at ECA, said rising middle class, improvement in the business environment and decreased cost of doing business are the major contributors to Africa's economic growth. The global...
(Voice of America 01/20/15)
 
00:00
JOHANNESBURG— Economic experts from across the African continent say this may be an exciting year for African economies, which could be ready to move out of their traditional roles and into new sectors. African nations have struggled for decades to go beyond their role as providers of basic raw materials, like oil, gas, minerals and agricultural products. Their efforts have had mixed success. While nations like South Africa and Kenya have managed to diversify their economies, others, like Angola and Nigeria, are largely known to investors as energy sources. But then oil prices fell. And fell. And continue to fall. And while that trend is clearly alarming to those energy producers, economists say this might represent an opportunity for resource-poor...
(Bloomberg 01/17/15)
Niger said four people died in protests over the publication of cartoons featuring the Prophet Muhammad by French magazine Charlie Hebdo just over a week after journalists working for the publication were killed in Paris. Sudan and Mauritania also reported demonstrations, Kenya threatened to close a newspaper for reprinting the cartoon and Benin said the depiction was a provocation. The protests follow the Jan. 7 attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris in which gunmen killed 12 people at the satirical magazine that frequently mocked Islam with its cartoons. In the Nigerien City of Zinder, the west African country’s second-largest settlement, police shot dead two protesters while another died after inhaling teargas and a gendarme was killed, Interior...
(Xinhuanet 01/15/15)
NAIROBI, Jan. (Xinhua) -- The world seems to have double standard in dealing with many things, and there is no exception even when it comes to the issue of terrorism. Attacks in a Western metropolis always draw worldwide attention while those in Africa appear to have only limited repercussions. Following the terrorist attacks in France last week which claimed 17 lives, there was an unprecedented outpouring of grief and empathy from all corners of the world. Roughly at the same time, Nigeria lost an estimated 150 lives in Boko Haram's terrorist attack, but the news merely got a passing mention in major networks.
(BBC News Africa 01/14/15)
A whistle-blowing website which aims to expose politicians and businessmen who abuse power in Africa has been launched by media and campaign groups. AfriLeaks will give people a chance to leak sensitive information anonymously. The site's founders say it is an attempt to boost investigative journalism to expose widespread corruption and human rights abuses. It will also help circumvent growing surveillance by governments and corporate firms, they say. Afrileaks, made up of 19 media outlets and activist groups, says it is committed to "speaking truth to power". 'Digital safety' "You will be able to send us documents and select which of our member organisations should investigate it," it says. "We've designed a system that helps you to share these materials...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/12/15)
BEIJING Mon Jan 12, 2015 (Reuters) - China will not follow the path of "Western colonists" in Africa, its foreign minister said during a five-nation tour of the continent, parrying criticism that his country's hunger for resources has led to one-sided policies and damaging projects. China is Africa's biggest trade partner, and has sought to tap the region's rich resources to fuel its own economic growth over the past two decades. But Beijing's involvement has been called "neo-colonial" by some African leaders, who fear projects bring little benefit to local people, with materials and even labor being imported from China. "We absolutely will not take the old path of Western colonists, and we absolutely will not sacrifice Africa's ecological environment...
(Ips News 01/10/15)
United Nations — In a satirical piece titled 'An Unserious Look at the Year Ahead' in the Wall Street Journal last week, Hugo Rifkind predicts the price of a barrel of oil will fall so low that people across the world would start buying oil for the barrel - and throw the oil out. The journalistic spoof about the oil market may be an improbable scenario, but in reality the sharp decline in prices has generated both good and bad news - mostly bad. If Middle Eastern sales flatten out or decrease, arms companies may fight harder for contracts in other parts of the world where military expenditure is still on the increase and less dependent on oil prices, such...
(This Day Live 01/09/15)
Abuja — Former Chief Economist of Goldman Sachs, Dr. Jim O'Neill, has said that although there is currently a high level of entrepreneurship spirit in the African continent, the right policies and attitude need to be put in place for rapid economic transformation to occur. Specifically, he called for an improved level of intra-trading among African countries, pointing out that unlike the Europeans, many African countries don't currently trade with one another but instead maintain a hostile relationship. He said the agricultural sector of the Nigerian economy would have recorded a more spectacular success if the country were to trade its produce with its neighbours. Speaking in Abuja during a panel discussion of the Africapitalism Institute's inaugural Global Advisory Board...
(Voice of America 01/08/15)
The results of a new study published in the medical journal, The Lancet, asks how some of the 12 countries in sub-Saharan Africa will pay to expand efforts to fight the AIDS epidemic as international donor budgets tighten. In South Africa, Botswana and Namibia, for example, AIDS funding comes primarily from domestic resources. But others such as Mozambique and Ethiopia depend heavily on foreign donors. Many countries in Africa most affected by HIV are trying to expand their prevention and treatment activities, says one of the study’s authors, Dr. Robert Hecht, managing director of Results for Development Institute in Washington, D.C. “This is going to cost more money over the next few years, but the question of where the funding...
(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.

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(Xinhuanet 05/21/14)
KIGALI, May (Xinhua) -- The African Development Bank forecasts external financial inflows to rise to as much as 80 billion U.S. dollars this year amid increased tax revenues and regional integration to drive Africa's development and growth prospects. Foreign direct investments to Africa were 50 billion U.S. dollars and 56 billion U.S. dollars in 2012 and 2013 respectively, according to Africa's economic outlook 2014. The report released by the AfDB at the ongoing bank's meetings in Kigali indicates that foreign direct investments have fully recovered from the effects of the economic crisis. The manufacturing and service sectors will continue to attract a big share of the foreign direct investments into Africa, expected to fetch as much as 67.1 billion U.S...
(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...

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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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