Monday 25 September 2017

Gabon

(Xinhuanet 03/18/16)
(Xinhua) -- A senior UN official has underlined the need that African economies must be transformed through industrialization. Although Africa has experienced unprecedented growth over the past decade, the continent remains home to the world's highest proportion of poor people, noted Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). Lopes said it is imperative that the continent focuses on the potential offered by industrialization. Lopes was speaking early this week at the conclusion of the African Transformation Forum in Kigali, Rwanda, according to an ECA statement released in Addis Ababa Thursday.
(Voice of America 03/18/16)
United Nations agencies and African governments are meeting to develop strategies to reduce food losses among smallholder farmers. Africa is grappling with higher than normal rates of food insecurity due to drought and flooding caused by El Nino. The United Nations is helping governments from across Africa to find ways to reduce food losses on the continent. A weeklong meeting in Harare is being attended by U.N. agencies such as the Food and Agriculture Organization. The FAO’s Stephanie Gallatova says a third of the food produced on the continent is lost before it is consumed due to poor storage facilities, resulting in it rotting or pests feeding on it. She says meeting participants are prioritizing steps to reduce the waste...
(The Guardian 03/17/16)
More than 36 million people face hunger across southern and eastern Africa, the United Nations has warned, as swaths of the continent grapple with the worst drought in decades at a time of record high temperatures. The immediate cause of the drought which has crippled countries from Ethiopia to Zimbabwe is one of the strongest El Niño events ever recorded. It has turned normal weather patterns upside down around the globe, climate scientists say.
(Voice of America 03/17/16)
People in a number of African countries, including Burundi, Benin, Rwanda, Guinea, Liberia, Tanzania, Madagascar, and Togo, are the least happy people in the world, according to the World Happiness Report 2016. Jon Clifton, managing partner with the U.S.-based global research company Gallup, said the report took into account countries' per capita gross domestic product, life expectancy, corruption, social support and freedom to make life choices as indicators of happiness. “The report actually identifies that there are six things that contribute. The single biggest is actually GDP per capita or income. The other five are trust, life expectancy, social support, freedom, and generosity,” he said. Clifton said the deadly Ebola in West Africa contributed to Liberia’s poor standing in the...
(Arab News 03/16/16)
The rise of Africa is in danger of faltering. After years during which the continent’s economy grew at an average annual rate of 5 percent, global uncertainty, depressed commodity prices and jittery external conditions are threatening to undermine decades of much-needed progress. Ensuring the wealth and wellbeing of the continent’s residents will not be easy; but there is much that policymakers can do to put Africa back on an upward trajectory. First and foremost, policymakers must secure the financing needed to pursue sustainable development in an uncertain global environment.
(Dw-World 03/16/16)
The number of Zimbabweans requiring food aid has risen from 3 million to 4 million as the southern African nation struggles with its worst drought in more than two decades. Public Service, Labor and Social Welfare Minister, Prisca Mupfumira, told the Herald newspaper that the authorities were speeding up grain imports to ensure that no one starves. "Indications are that the figure of vulnerable households requiring food assistance could be as high as four million people," she said. A committee comprised of UN agencies, government officials, and NGO activists, last year concluded that 1.5 million needed food aid. They also appealed for $1.6 billion (1.5 billion euros) in aid to help pay for grain and other food. Mupfumira said government...
(The New Times 03/15/16)
In pursuit of socio-economic transformation, African countries have often tried to either follow into the Western or Asian development footprints, often too, oblivious to the fact that their systems may not be compatible back home. During the first day of the inaugural African Transformation Forum (ATF) in Kigali, yesterday, several economists said Africa does not need to follow anyone’s development model but rather chart its own path to unlock rapid and sustained growth. The two-day meeting is co-hosted by African Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET), one of Africa’s leading think-tanks, and the Government of Rwanda.
(Voice of America 03/15/16)
George Wyndham of Sierra Leone is a force to be reckoned with. He’s been playing table tennis for 14 years, despite being paralyzed by polio as a child. Now, at age 26, he is among the best physically challenged players in Africa. "Whenever I play table tennis, it always makes me happy and forget about my disability," Wyndham said. Having polio has pushed him even harder to make something of his life, he says, especially in a country where there is not much support for disabled people. Having an outlet like table tennis is a way to give other people confidence, he adds. "I feel good, because for [the] past 14 years I was alone, the only disabled [person] playing...
(Ventures Africa 03/14/16)
One of the largest mobile telecommunications infrastructure providers in Africa, Europe and the Middle East, IHS Holding Limited (IHS) and the pioneer of tower infrastructure sharing in Africa, Helios Towers Nigeria Limited (HTN), announced Africa’s first mobile infrastructure consolidation. Both companies signed a deal, which will see IHS acquiring HTN’s portfolio of 1,211 diversified tower sites throughout Nigeria. IHS and HTN advised by UBS and Citigroup respectively. did not disclose the value of the deal which is expected to close in Q2 2016
(The Telegraph 03/12/16)
Africa’s population is booming. By 2100, it will be home to 4.4 billion people - four times its current population. Such an increase - far larger than the global population increase of 53 per cent by 2100 - will pose significant challenges. Poverty, conflict, disease and access to education are all issues African governments will continue to face, having to build states that can support ever-increasing amounts of people. Can Africa translate its huge population growth into economic development and improved quality of life?
(Xinhuanet 03/11/16)
LIBREVILLE, March 11 (Xinhua) -- Army chiefs from 11 member states of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) will meet in Gabon's capital Libreville on Sunday over regional security, an official source said Thursday. The army chiefs will examine defense and security mechanisms in the Central Africa region during the meeting of the Central Africa Peace and Security Council, a statement from the regional body said.
(Xinhuanet 03/11/16)
(Xinhua) -- African continent could be home to the highest concentration of ultra rich individuals in the next decade thanks to economic renaissance occasioned by rapid investments, entrepreneurship and innovations, said a report by global real estate firm, Knight Frank, launched in Nairobi on Thursday. According to its 2016 Wealth Report, the population of super wealthy individuals in Africa will increase by 54 percent from 2015 to 2025 when compared to the global average of 41 percent in the same period. Executives were upbeat that wealth creation in Africa will accelerate despite risks associated with insecurity, global inflationary pressures, climate change and political uncertainty. "There is a tremendous inflow of capital from all parts of the world into Africa and...
(AL Jazeera 03/11/16)
Africa's top scientists, policymakers and start-ups have gathered for a landmark conference aimed at stemming the continent's brain drain and encouraging governments to nurture research in fields from virology to maths. The organisers of the first Next Einstein Forum (NEF), concluding on Thursday near Senegal's capital, Dakar, hope to reverse a situation in which Africa's brightest talent feels compelled to move outside the continent to work at the cutting edge of research - and earn a decent salary. "There are more African engineers working in the United States than in Africa," organiser Thierry Zomahoun, chief executive of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, told an audience drawn from more than 100 different countries. 'Challenging universal truths' At least 17 Einstein...
(CNN 03/10/16)
(CNN)Poachers slaughtered a record number of rhinos last year in Africa as demand for their horns skyrockets in Asia. At least 1,338 rhinos were killed last year, the largest number since the poaching crisis intensified nearly a decade ago, according to data compiled by an international group. The number of rhinos killed has gone up in the continent for six years in a row. Despite the grim statistics, there was a ray of hope in South Africa, where the killings decreased slightly for the first time in years.
(New Vision 03/09/16)
A projected slower economic growth in China during the year 2016 will not affect planned projects financed by China in Africa, the country's foreign minister, Wang Yi said on Tuesday. A government performance report presented by the country's premier, Li Keqiang last week shows that China's economy is expected to grow at a rate of 6.5% to 7% this year, slightly slower than the 6.9% growth recorded in 2015. The announcement had raised fears that some of China's large financial commitments made by President Xi Jinping to support Africa would reviewed in light of China's economic situation. "China's relations with Africa date back 60 years. Whatever we have we have promised, we always fulfill," Yi said at a press conference...
(Voice of America 03/09/16)
Climate change is threatening some of Africa's most important crops, including corn, beans and bananas, and scientists warn that the agriculture system there needs some adjustments, and fast. The problem is, as climate change has a greater impact on the continent's crops, some areas currently growing staple crops won't be able to support them. The study was done by the University of Leeds and was released in Nature Climate Change. Staple crops at risk The numbers are startling. A full 30 percent of African farmland currently growing corn and bananas won't support those crops by by the end of the century. And an even more troubling 60 percent of land being used to grow beans won't be able to support...
(The Guardian 03/08/16)
Africa’s challenge is how to create a strong higher education sector to prepare a new generation of leaders in the professions, business and civil society. This is necessary because the continent has long struggled with how to create and deliver quality tertiary education to its young people. Making progress on this challenge is possible now because Africans are stepping up after decades of academic isolation and inadequate support from their own leaders and from the West. There are fewer than 2,000 colleges and universities on a continent with a billion people in 55 countries.
(Dw-World 03/08/16)
Poverty is declining and a new middle class is springing up in Africa. This was the mantra that lured global corporations to African markets. But now the hype is losing its gloss. Western corporate belief in a rising African middle class would appear to be fading. Barclays is leaving the continent. The British banking giant is selling its South African subsidiary Absa, which it acquired in 2005. Last year, food giant Nestle shed 15 percent of its workforce in Africa. "We thought Africa was the new Asia, but we discovered that the middle class is extremely small and not growing," Cornel Krummenacher, chief executive for Nestle's equatorial Africa region, told the Financial Times. Not so long ago, Africa was perceived...
(The Wall Street Journal 03/07/16)
A decadelong commodity boom brought sleek shopping malls, tidy brick homes and dozens of private schools to this palm-pocked mining town in the heart of Africa. The population doubled and incomes soared as record copper prices and a flood of Chinese investment and workers transformed a region bordering war-ravaged Congo into a beacon for Africa’s rising middle class. Now the global forces that propelled Kitwe’s rise have reversed, fomenting an economic and social crisis that has interrupted dreams of greater prosperity across Zambia’s copper belt and exposed the fragility of Africa’s commodity-fueled growth model.
(Xinhuanet 03/07/16)
(Xinhua) -- Poaching levels continue to pose an immediate risk to the survival of African elephants with overall poaching trends in 2015 showing the Africa-wide elephant populations still in decline, the secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) said on Thursday. CITES latest figures showed a steady increase in the levels of illegal killing of elephants since 2006, which peaked in 2011, and has now stabilized at levels that remain unacceptably high. According to CITES, the most positive news comes from Eastern Africa, where in 2015 and for the fourth consecutive year, there has been an improvement, with natural births overall now exceeding the levels of illegal killing. However, even within...

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(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...
(Pana 12/02/14)
Diaspora remittances - African countries have taken the bold step to improve measurement and recording of remittances flow, reduce remittance transfer costs and enable beneficiaries to be included in the financial system. This follows the signing of Host Country Agreement by Kenya with the African Union Commission (AUC) to host the Africa Institute for Remittance (AIR) here over the weekend. The signing at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies was presided over by Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Amb. Amina Mohamed, and Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission.
(Pana 12/02/14)
Lagos, Nigeria - As the HIV/AIDS is being marked Monday across the globe, African countries are making appreciable progress in their fight against the disease, but they need to sustain current momentum, medical experts and People Living With HIV (PLWHIV) have said in their messages to continental leaders. “HIV/AIDS is still a big problem in Africa and we are still getting new infection,' Prof. John Idoko, head of the National Agency for Control of AIDS (NACA) in Nigeria, told journalists in an interview, as part of the programmes marking the day. The Theme for this year's celebration is 'Closing The Gap, Say No To Stigma and Discrimination'. From Nigeria to Kenya, South Africa to Algeria and to Cameroon, several other...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/01/14)
(Reuters) - Canadian candidate Michaelle Jean, a former governor general of Canada, was chosen as the next head of the international organization of Francophone nations (OIF) at a summit in Senegal on Sunday, the OIF said in a statement. The 57-year-old Jean, who came to Canada in her childhood as a refugee from her native Haiti, will take over the reins of the organization in January, becoming the first woman to lead it. She is currently the chancellor of the University of Ottawa.
(BBC News Africa 12/01/14)
The winner of the vote for the BBC African Footballer of the Year 2014 will be revealed today at 1735GMT. Those in contention are Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Yacine Brahimi, Vincent Enyeama, Gervinho and Yaya Toure. The list will be trimmed to two players at about 1540GMT online and on Sport Today on the BBC World Service. Your choice of the best footballer on the continent for 2014 will then be revealed across the BBC World Service on TV and radio as well as online. A record number of votes were received from fans in 207 Fifa-registered countries since the nominees were announced three weeks ago. Thanks you to all of you who submitted your vote. Four of the candidates played at...
(Pana 11/29/14)
The President of the Constitutional Council of Algeria, Mourad Medelci, on Monday hailed the evolution of African constitutional law, saying it adds to other achievements in the areas of peace, security and democracy. Medelci made the remark at the opening of the conference on 'The evolution of constitutional law in Africa.” 'These performances have become a tangible reality today and help create significant mobilizing conditions in establishing a culture of human rights,' he said.
(Pana 11/29/14)
The Africa Regional office of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) has honoured one of the continent's pioneering reproductive health and family planning advocates, Prof. Frederick Torgbor Sai, by naming a research institute after him. “The institute is an exclusive initiative of IPPF Africa region, as a response to filling the gap in data gathering and dissemination. For us it is a tool to strengthen our programmes,” IPPF African Regional Director Lucien Kouakoa said at the colourful launch and award ceremony in honour of the Octogenarian Ghanaian health expert here. Kouakoa said the Institute would focus on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), support research, strengthen IPPF collaboration and generate ideas beyond the 42 countries where the Federation operates...
(Voice of America 11/28/14)
ADDIS ABABA— Most African countries will not reach the Millennium Development Goals set for 2015 because of the gap between economic and human development. That is one of the conclusions in this year’s annual U.N. report on the Least Developed Countries, presented Thursday. Junior Davis, U.N. economic affairs officer for Africa, said African countries have not been able to translate their economic growth into structural transformation. “We think that is the case because these countries have not focused efficiently on building what we call their productive capacities," Davis said.
(SouthAfrica.info 11/28/14)
South Africa's University of the Witwatersrand is now able to offer "massive open online courses" - known as MOOCs - to a global learning audience through its partnership with edX, a non-profit online learning provider founded by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University in the US. While the total number of students pursuing higher education in Africa had tripled between 1991 and 2006, public investment in education had remained the same, Wits said in a statement on Wednesday. "The edX and Wits partnership will help bridge this gap by delivering education opportunities to students on the continent and beyond," Wits said. The more than 200 000 learners edX already has in Africa will now be able to...
(Ips News 11/26/14)
Lagos — Two years ago, Shola* was kicked out of the family house in Abeokuta, in southwestern Nigeria, after testing HIV-positive at age 13. He was living with his father, his stepmother and their seven children. "The stepmother insisted that Shola must go because he is likely to infect her children," Tayo Akinpelu, programme director of Youth's Future Savers Initiative, told IPS. Akinpelu turned to Shola's mother, who had remarried. But she refused, arguing that his father should be responsible for their son. "Shola felt as an outcast," says Akinpelu. Eventually, Shola's grandparents took him in. HIV among teenagers is devastating families in Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa, where AIDS has become the leading cause of death among adolescents. "This...
(The New Times 11/25/14)
African countries must come up with effective ways to control the escalating violence against women and girls on the continent. Oda Gasinzigwa, the Minister for Gender and Family Promotion, made the call yesterday at the opening of the Annual General Assembly of Kigali International Conference Declaration (KICD), that brought together delegates from 34 African countries. The conference, held under the theme; "Turn back crime against women and girls; the synergy of African security organs," was derived from Interpol's global campaign aimed at raising awareness against gender based violence.
(Reuters (Eng) 11/22/14)
Nairobi — Mobile phones and other technological innovations can be "game changers" in securing children's rights, the United Nations children's agency UNICEF said at the launch of its first crowd-sourced report on Thursday. UNICEF's flagship annual report State of the World's Children showcases cutting-edge innovations for children, from urine-powered generators to mobile phone-generated birth certificates, and invites readers to share their own ideas. "There are innovative minds and people all over the world that are coming up with solutions that can be game changers in terms of helping children to stay alive and realise their full potential," Jaya Murthy, UNICEF's Uganda spokesman, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
(Daily Nation 11/21/14)
Pan-African lawmakers are now pushing for the establishment of a standby force to enhance rapid response to deal with conflicts in the region. The move came as Somali MPs at the Pan-African Parliament demanded the immediate withdrawal of Kenyan forces and other Amisom forces from Somalia. An independent force, they said, would reduce the level of suspicion between the countries in conflict and the countries contributing the peace-keeping forces to regional organs such as the Amisom.
(Pana 11/20/14)
Paris, France - The establishment of a civilian transition in Burkina Faso with the appointment on Sunday night of diplomat Michel Kafando as leader of the country should warn African leaders against the tendency of 'president for life'. It also puts an end to the seizure of power through constitutional amendment, Philippe Missassou, a lawyer and analyst of Franco-African relations, said in Paris, PANA reported on Wednesday. 'What happened in recent days in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) will have a domino effect on the rest of the continent. It is now clear that no African leader can seize power indefinitely. Impunity and life presidency are behind us,' the lawyer said in an interview with PANA. Taking the example of Congo Brazzaville,...
(UN.org 11/19/14)
The United Nations General Assembly and Security Council today elected a fifth judge to a seat on the International Court of Justice (ICJ) - the principal judicial organ of the UN - following the election of four judges earlier this month. After voting this afternoon in the Assembly and the Council, which met independently from but concurrently with each other, Patrick Lipton Robinson of Jamaica was elected to a nine-year term on the ICJ, starting on 6 February next year. On 6 November, the Assembly and the Council elected four judges - Mr. Mohamed Bennouna of Morocco, Mr. James Richard Crawford of Australia, Ms. Joan E. Donoghue of the United States, and Mr. Kirill Gevorgian of the Russian Federation -...
(Xinhuanet 11/19/14)
NAIROBI, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- Eastern and Southern Africa has made great strides in protecting children from abuse, exploitation and violence, yet necessary laws, legal systems and enforcement mechanisms are still lacking throughout the region, said a United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) expert. In an interview with Xinhua, Cornelius Williams, child protection advisor with UNICEF Regional Office for Eastern and Southern Africa, said almost all countries in the region today have ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC). "More and more countries have reformed their law to ensure it is in line with the CRC and ACRWC," Williams told Xinhua ahead of the Universal...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/18/14)
Nairobi — With an El Niño event predicted to hit the Horn of Africa and the Sahel starting in December, potentially bringing worsening droughts and floods, researchers are recommending action now to avoid a food crisis. Effective measure to cut risks might include better water management, planting a more diverse range of crops and sharing weather information, they said. Forecasts by the U.S. National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released this month warn of an El Niño period starting in December and lasting into 2015 - a risk for the two fragile regions prone to extreme weather, experts say. An El Niño event occurs when the surface waters of the Pacific Ocean warm, changing global rain patterns. Recent El Niño...
(Pana 11/17/14)
As the two-day G20 summit rounded off in Brisbane, Australia, Sunday, an African economic expert has canvassed a stronger representation for the continent in the group, which comprises the world’s largest advanced and emerging economies, representing about two-thirds of the world’s population. 'Africa can no longer remain on the margins where global leaders are making decisions on the world economy,' Prof. Emmanuel Nnadozie, Executive Secretary of the Harare-based African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), wrote in an Op-Ed article designed to coincide with the just-ended summit.

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(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...
(Bloomberg 03/11/14)
Japaul Oil & Maritime Services Plc plans to raise $400 million to $500 million this year to allow the Nigerian company to expand its offshore business in Africa. Japaul is studying loans, bonds, stocks or a combination of all three to raise money after appointing a consulting firm a month ago, Chief Executive Officer Jegede Paul said in Lagos. The company, now in Nigeria, the United Arab Emirates and Oman, plans to buy ships and equipment to expand in “about 12 countries in Africa over the next five years,” Paul said in a March 7 interview. It’s looking at nations with viable maritime and oil industries such as Angola, Equatorial Guinea and Ghana. Paul declined to name the firm helping...
(Pana 03/11/14)
The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) is to hold an Agricultural Research for Development (AR4D) Consultative Roundtable and a side event on the Science Agenda in Africa 17-18 March in Durban, South Africa. FARA said in a statement made available to PANA here Monday that former Chairperson of the African Union Commission Jean Ping will be the guest speaker. It said the two events would hold on the sideline of the 10th Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Partnership Platform Meeting in Durban. The theme of the Roundtable is, “Sustaining the CAADP Momentum: Consolidating the AR4D Network for Implementing and Leveraging Investments for the Science Agenda.“ “IAR4D is an innovative approach developed by FARA to enhance the impact...
(APA 03/08/14)
Libreville (Gabon) - Gabon Télécom, filiale du groupe marocain Maroc Télécom a obtenu la licence d’exploitation du réseau de 3ème et 4ème génération à l’issue d’un accord signé vendredi, à Libreville, entre le ministre gabonais de l’Economie numérique, Pastor Ngoua Nneme et le président directeur général du groupe Maroc Télécom, Abdeslam Ahizoune. La mise en place de ce réseau devra intervenir avant la fin de l'année. Le réseau permettra à 1 million d'abonnés que compte aujourd'hui cet opérateur de télécommunication de disposer des services internet Haut débit. Cet accord fait partie des 23 autres qui ont été signés entre les autorités de deux pays au terme du forum économique Gabon-Maroc qui a vu une forte présence des responsables des sociétés...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/02/14)
(Reuters) - The main shareholder in Ecobank (ETI.LG), one of the biggest banks in sub-Saharan Africa, called on Saturday for its Ivorian chief executive Thierry Tanoh to be dismissed immediately. The South African government-owned Public Investment Corporation's (PIC) demand was made in a letter to the interim chairman of the bank, which is headquartered in Togo and is listed in Nigeria and Ghana and on the West African regional bourse BRVM. Four senior executives called several weeks ago for Tanoh to step down, and the letter raises the pressure on him ahead of Monday's extraordinary general meeting of the bank, although his position is not on the official agenda. It lists a series of allegations, including that Tanoh took a...
(Voice of America 02/28/14)
A senior official at the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) says the organization is encouraged by an agreement between heads of state from Uganda, The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Ethiopia to join the group’s free trade program, a decision taken at the just-concluded summit. The heads of state and government that attended the COMESA summit, which ended Thursday, in the DRC capital, Kinshasa, include Joseph Kabila, Michael Sata, Yoweri Museveni, Joyce Banda, Robert Mugabe, Omar Hassan Al-Bashir and Ismail Omar Guelleh. Francis Mangeni, the Director for Trade at COMESA says the region’s relative peace and stability has led to a sharp increase in business activities, which he says could attract foreign investment. “Peace and security...
(Vanguard 02/28/14)
Marc Wegerif coordinates Oxfam's Economic Justice campaign in East Africa, working with partners to bring about fair policies for small farmers, pastoralists and communities affected by climate change. He is based in Tanzania. He was in Nigeria recently as part of his work on Female Food Hero award. Oxfam is working in a number of countries where they are rolling it out as a way of celebrating women's contribution to agriculture and food security. In this interview with JIMOH BABATUNDE, he shares his thoughts on female farmers, smallholder farmers and Africa Union's Maputo declaration on budget for agriculture. Here is an excerpt. On how long the award has been on It started two years ago in Tanzania, Ethiopia and Nigeria,...
(Pana 02/27/14)
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) hold the key to Africa's growth, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), DHL Express for sub-Saharan Africa, Mr. Charles Brewer, said. The private BusinessDay reported Tuesday that the CEO supports the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which forecasts economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa in 2014 to be slightly higher than 2013. “This growth, coupled with the more than one billion consumers on the continent who spend US$600 billion annually, as well as having the fastest growing middle class in the world, and the significant opportunity that connecting with the world represents, provides African small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with boundless opportunities in 2014,? Brewer said. He said the growing Internet user penetration in Africa also provides a...
(The Africa Report 02/27/14)
Many of the continent's largest retailers are dialling back their expansion plans and looking to make smaller advances closer to home. In a year that saw many African retailers pushing ahead with plans to expand on the back of growing consumer demand, 2013 was tempered by tougher conditions for consumers in the continent's biggest market, South Africa. While the honeymoon is not yet over, a degree of reality has certainly appeared in the valuations of retailers listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. As ever, there has been a wide degree of variation in the fortunes of some of the continent's largest retailers. The total turnover of retailers in the Top 500 companies – based on year-end 2012 results – was...
(AFP (eng) 02/21/14)
Beijing (AFP) - China-Africa trade totalled more than $200 billion last year, Chinese President Xi Jinping said Thursday, highlighting the Asian powerhouse's burgeoning trade and investment ties with the continent. "In 2013, Chinese-African trade surpassed the $200 billion mark for the first time, making China Africa's biggest trading partner," Xi told visiting Senegalese President Macky Sall, adding that Chinese direct investment in Africa grew 44 percent. "That all stands witness to the endlessly renewed vitality of Sino-African friendship, to the scale of the potential for co-operation and the excellent outlook for the new kind of Sino-African strategic partnership," Xi said at Beijing's Great Hall of the People. Xi did not give an exact total. But China-Africa trade has boomed in...
(Bloomberg 02/21/14)
Barclays Africa Group Ltd. (BGA) is outperforming its South African peers for the first time in three years after backing out of a chase for market share in unsecured lending helped stem bad loans and boost profit. The bank is the only stock on the six-member FTSE/JSE Africa Banks Index to show gains this year through yesterday’s close, rising 1.5 percent, compared with the gauge’s 7 percent decline. Even so, it’s still the cheapest lender, trading at 8.8 times estimated earnings against an average of 11 times for its three largest competitors, including Standard Bank Group Ltd. (SBK) at 11.4, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Barclays Africa “avoided unsecured lending, so it could be seen as a defensive stock...

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(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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