Sunday 19 November 2017

Gabon

(Bloomberg 08/01/17)
British American Tobacco Plc faces a formal probe by the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office following reports that the maker of Dunhill cigarettes bribed African government officials to influence tobacco legislation. BAT said Tuesday it is running its own investigations, via external legal advisers, into allegations of misconduct and is cooperating with the U.K. prosecutor. A BBC report two years ago said BAT had a lobbyist arrange bribes totaling $26,000 for three public officials in Rwanda, Burundi and the Comoros Islands in 2015. The British broadcaster said the bribery was revealed by a former employee, Paul Hopkins. At the time, BAT said “we do not tolerate corruption in our business, no matter where it takes place.” The SFO investigation adds to...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/28/17)
Barclays reported a 1.2 billion pound ($1.57 billion)attributable first half loss on Friday after taking a 2.5 billion pound hit from the sale of its Africa business and calling an end to its restructuring. The British bank said it had made a 1.4 billion pound loss on the sale of 33 percent of Barclays Africa Group, and took a further 1.1 billion pound impairment charge on the sale. Barclays in June cut its stake in Barclays Africa Group to 15 percent, ending more than 90 years as a major presence in the continent as it shifts its focus back to Britain and the United States. The losses from the sale of unwanted assets including the Africa business showed the costs...
(AfricaNews 07/27/17)
At a time when Africa is going through a difficult situation, the blue economy is emerging as a stepping stone to relaunch the continent in the right economic direction. But this type of economy is seriously threatened by “predators” who do not hesitate to plunder resources. The “cancer of illegal fishing” costs Africa about $ 1.6 million annually based on Economic Commission for Africa’s estimates. This and more on this week’s edition segment on Business on the Morning Call with Jean David Mihamle.
(Voice of America 07/25/17)
European and African ministers are meeting in Tunisia about efforts to regulate the flow of refugees from Africa to Europe, primarily along the deadly central Mediterranean route originating in Libya. In a declaration Monday in Tunis, the capital, the ministers said they agreed on a multi-pronged approach to the crisis, including informing people about the risks of illegal migration and the possibility of voluntarily returning home, addressing why migrants leave home and beefing up actions against human traffickers. Participating in the meetings were interior ministers from Algeria, Austria, Chad, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Libya, Mali, Malta, Niger, Slovenia, Switzerland, Tunisia and Estonia, which currently holds the EU Council presidency. Through the first half of 2017, nearly 84,000 migrants arrived in...
(AFP (eng) 07/21/17)
The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations will expand from 16 to 24 teams and be staged in June and July, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced on Thursday. The tournament has traditionally been held in January and February, with the timing of the tournament a source of frustration to European clubs forced to release players in the middle of the season. The CAF executive committee confirmed the changes to the format following a two-day symposium in Rabat, although the tournament will continue to be held every two years and exclusively on African soil. The decision to increase the number of teams mirrors a similar one taken by UEFA to expand the European Championship, with 24 nations taking part at...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/20/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Africa's major central banks are entering an easing cycle as they try to stimulate growth after months of drought, austerity drives and confidence issues across the continent, a Reuters poll found on Thursday. Much of southern and eastern Africa is still recovering after an El Niño-related drought wilted crops last year. Poor business confidence in South Africa and foreign exchange restrictions in Nigeria have also hampered growth. "We expect that African monetary policy is entering a widespread and protracted period of policy easing. This will provide a boost to growth," said John Ashbourne, Africa analyst at Capital Economics. Ghana, which agreed a three-year fiscal discipline deal with the International Monetary Fund in exchange for aid in 2015,...
(APA 07/19/17)
The legislative elections in Gabon have been postponed to “no later than April 2018,” according to a decision by the Central African country’s Constitutional Court, which was made public on Tuesday. This new postponement leads de facto to the extension of the mandate of the Gabonese MPs, elected for a five-year term, which ended in December 2016. Gabon’s Constitutional Court justifies this decision by the difficulty of “reconciling the necessary time required by the competent authorities to bring about the electoral reforms process agreed upon in the Memorandum of Understanding signed by stakeholders during the political dialogue with the observance of the deadline set by the Constitutional Court for the organization of the elections.” The Gabonese National Assembly is largely...
(Bloomberg 07/19/17)
Vodacom Group Ltd. sees the expansion of mobile-banking services into new markets in sub-Saharan Africa as a top priority following a shareholder vote to rubber stamp its purchase of a 35 percent stake in Safaricom Ltd., Kenya’s biggest company. “We will use Safaricom to enter other markets where neither Vodacom nor Safaricom are,” Chief Executive Officer Shameel Joosub said in an interview at the wireless carrier’s annual general meeting in Johannesburg on Tuesday. The two businesses have a combined 30 million mobile-banking customers, giving them “a very sizeable platform on the continent,” he said. Vodacom’s purchase of the Safaricom stake from U.K. parent company Vodafone Group Plc gives the South African company access to the fast-growing M-Pesa platform, which processed...
(AFP (eng) 07/18/17)
Borussia Dortmund insisted that Chelsea target Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was going nowhere after the Chelsea target scored twice in a 3-1 preseason win over AC Milan in China on Tuesday. The coveted Gabon hitman showed just why Dortmund are so reluctant to part company with their star striker with two confidently taken goals in rain-lashed Guangzhou. "We have decided that Auba will stay with BVB," said Dortmund's sporting director Michael Zorc. "The transfer window is closed for him." Nuri Sahlin opened the scoring for Dortmund after 16 minutes following a period of sustained pressure, finding the net with a tidy side-footed shot after good work from American teen prodigy Christian Pulisic. Aubameyang got on the scoresheet against his former club two...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/18/17)
Borussia Dortmund coach Peter Bosz said on Monday that the speculation surrounding the future of striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was not affecting the Gabon international. Aubameyang trained with his team mates in China ahead of Dortmund’s International Champions Cup match against AC Milan in Guangzhou on Tuesday. Aubameyang has been linked with a transfer away from Dortmund with English cjampions Chelsea reported to be among the clubs interested in signing the 28-year-old striker.
(Reuters (Eng) 07/18/17)
Three years after he risked his life crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Libya to Italy on a small boat crammed with migrants, 22-year-old Sow Muhammed can hardly believe his luck. The former street hawker from Guinea now works as a caterer in Venice, rents his own apartment, and sends money back home regularly to his mother and siblings in the West African nation. "I am happy I came to Europe, and my family is also happy," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation as he packed up leftovers at a training event for people who work with refugees, where he had served a menu which included traditional African dishes. "I talk to my family frequently, ask them their needs, and help...
(Xinhuanet 07/17/17)
Africa is making progress towards the establishment of a trade zone by Oct. 30 that will cover approximately half of the continent's member states. The Common Market for the Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Director of Trade and Customs, Francis Mangeni, said in a commentary published in the Star Newspaper on Monday that so far 19 of the 26 countries involved have signed the agreement. "Three outstanding annexes had meant the tripartite agreement was not complete and this was advanced by some countries as the reason they could not sign or ratify the agreement. However their adoption represented a milestone in the negotiation, as it removed the last obstacle to signing and ratifying the agreement," Mangeni said. The tripartite free...
(Cnbc Africa 07/12/17)
"Africa is an awakening giant," according to the former South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk speaking at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul. The leader who oversaw the transition of his country's power to Nelson Mandela said Tuesday that the future looks bright for a continent previously blighted by war, famine and a lack of infrastructure. "I believe Africa is an awakening giant and, yes, it is not performing according to what we expected soon enough, but it will perform," he said. De Klerk believes that African countries are primed to take advantage of the world's growing size. "If we look at food shortages for the rest of the world with a growing population, Africa is the solution," he...
(Bloomberg 07/11/17)
Gabon, Africa’s second-biggest manganese producer, wants to partner with private companies to process most its minerals locally before exporting them, Mining Minister Christian Magnagna said. Local processing will boost the mining industry’s contribution to gross domestic product from the current 2.1 percent to at least 4 percent as the central African nation seeks to make its economy less dependent on oil, Magnagna said in an interview in the capital, Libreville. The country’s main manganese mine in Moanda in the southeast processes about 6 percent of its total output, which stood at 3.8 million metric tons last year.
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
In the past five years, terrorist attacks have killed nearly 20,000 people across Africa. Two groups, Boko Haram and al-Shabab, accounted for 71 percent of reported incidents and 91 percent of fatalities. But, while these and other militant groups remain active, fatal terrorist attacks across the continent are on pace to fall for a second straight year, and the total number of attacks is running far below 2012 highs. These findings are part of VOA’s original analysis of data from ACLED, the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. ACLED tracks political violence, protests and terrorist events across Africa. Their reports include attacks since 1997 based on data collected from local news media, government statements, non-governmental organizations and published research...
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Many cell phone companies are rethinking their headlong rush into the continent. Only Orange is staying the course. Back when African countries were auctioning off mobile licenses by the boatload to serve the region’s young, tech-savvy population, investing in the continent’s fast-growing economies seemed like a no-brainer. Some of the world’s biggest wireless carriers rushed in. Now they’re wondering if they made a mistake. Increasing government and regulatory scrutiny, as well as a lack of expansion opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa, are making it harder for operators such as Vodafone Group Plc, Orange SA and Bharti Airtel Ltd. to grow. Their choice: Pull back or double down. Two companies beating at least a partial retreat are Millicom International Cellular SA, which...
(AFP (eng) 07/08/17)
The leaders of the oil-rich African nations of Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Congo will sue Transparency International over a case in France involving allegedly ill-gotten properties worth hundreds of millions, President Teodoro Obiang of Equatorial Guinea has said. French human rights lawyer William Bourdon instigated the investigation in 2007 by making a formal complaint on behalf of the pressure group Transparency International France (TIF). Obiang's son, Vice President Teodorin Obiang, is currently on trial in absentia in France for embezzlement. French prosecutors are seeking a three-year jail term and a 30-million-euro ($34-million) fine. Prosecutors also asked a court in the capital to seize the six-storey mansion on Avenue Foch, Paris's poshest street, which is valued at 107 million euros, and...
(Business in Cameroon 07/07/17)
(Business in Cameroon) - Agro-industrial member companies of the Association of Cameroonian oilseed refiners of Cameroon (Association des Raffineurs des Oléagineux du Cameroun - ASROC), have imported 2,000 tons of crude palm oil from Gabon, between May and June 2017, we learn from internal sources of this professional grouping. According to our sources within ASROC, the sale price of this Gabonese raw material is much cheaper than that of Malaysian imports, which generally allow Cameroon to bridge the structural deficit in production estimated at 100,000 tons for years now, but which has officially attained 130,000 tons in the last two years. This price advantage, explained by the proximity between Cameroon and Gabon (the region of South Cameroon borders Wolou Ntem...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The African Union's new chair Moussa Faki Mahamat on Wednesday questioned US commitment to fighting terrorism on the continent after it blocked efforts to get UN funding for an anti-jihadist force in the Sahel. "This is a specific case of a certain number of African states taking the initiative to create a dedicated force to fight terrorism. So, we don't understand how the United States could hold back or not engage in the fight against terrorism," Faki said in an interview with AFP. Faki's January election as chairperson of the AU commission came days after the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, who has proposed slashing US funding for aid projects and multilateral institutions like the UN. The former Chadian...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The costs of diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa could double to almost $60 billion annually just 13 years from now, as obesity fuels an explosion of the disease, a report said Thursday. In 2015, the overall diabetes cost in the region was nearly $20 billion (18 billion euros), or 1.2 percent of total economic production, according to research published by The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. This included medication and hospital stays, and loss of labour productivity due to illness or death. About half of all treatment costs were paid for by patients themselves.

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(AFP (eng) 03/10/17)
In the beginning was .com, followed by a host of other .somethings, but on Friday, 32 years after the world's first domain name was registered, the African Union has launched .africa for the continent. Africans who want to register a website will be able to apply for a .africa domain name in the coming months, which outgoing AU commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said would allow the continent's people and businesses to better reach the world. "With .africa, I would say Africa has finally got its digital identity," said Dlamini-Zuma, who will next week hand power to Chadian Foreign Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat after four years at the helm of the continental body Sub-Saharan Africa has one of the lowest rates...
(Xinhuanet 03/09/17)
A critical mass of trained and well equipped community health workforce is key to easing the rising burden of infectious and noncommunicable diseases in Africa, experts said on Wednesday at a continental forum taking place in Nairobi. The experts, policymakers and campaigners who attended Africa Health Agenda International Conference agreed that optimal engagement of community health workers is key to revolutionize response to diseases ravaging the continent. Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Health Cleopa Mailu in his opening remarks said that investments in training for community health workers will have multiplier impact on Africa's socioeconomic development. "We require highly skilled and motivated cadre of community health workforce to deal with a high diseases burden in disadvantaged settings in this continent. These...
(AFP (eng) 03/08/17)
Lawyers and human rights campaigners launched an initiative for African whistleblowers in Senegal on Tuesday, aimed at providing a secure means of exposing wrongdoing on the continent. African nations such as Somalia, South Sudan, Libya and Guinea-Bissau regularly appear at the very bottom of rankings such as Transparency International's Corruption Index, while none make it into the top 30. The Platform for the Protection of Whistleblowers in Africa (PPLAAF) will provide guidance from legal experts, secure submission of information and a hotline for potential informants, according to its founders. The initiative is the brainchild of Spanish superstar lawyer Baltasar Garzon -- who has defended Julian Assange of whistleblowing website WikiLeaks -- along with French lawyer William Bourdon, who worked on...
(AFP (eng) 02/28/17)
The Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership -- the world's biggest individual prize -- drew a blank once again in finding a suitable laureate, it was announced Tuesday. The prize only goes to a democratically-elected African leader who demonstrated exceptional leadership, served their mandated term and left office within the last three years. The award comes with $5 million (4.7 million euros) paid over 10 years and $200,000 annually for life from then on. The prize, founded by Sudan-born telecoms tycoon Mo Ibrahim, has only been given four times in its 10-year existence. The philanthropist has said in the past that making no award sent just as strong a message on African leadership. "A very high bar was deliberately...
(AFP (eng) 02/23/17)
For the first time in Africa, researchers said Wednesday they have detected a malaria parasite that is partially resistant to the top anti-malaria drug, artemisinin, raising concern about efforts to fight a disease that sickens hundreds of millions of people each year. The discovery means that Africa now joins southeast Asia in hosting such drug-resistant forms of the mosquito-borne disease. Malaria infected more than 200 million people and killed some 438,000 people worldwide in 2015, most of them children in Africa. "The spread of artemisinin resistance in Africa would be a major setback in the fight against malaria, as ACT (artemisinin-based combination therapy) is the only effective and widely used antimalarial treatment at the moment," said lead author Arnab Pain,...
(Bloomberg 02/21/17)
Ashish Thakkar, who co-founded Africa banking conglomerate Atlas Mara Ltd. with ex-Barclays Plc head Bob Diamond, lost a ruling over the ownership of family assets in a London divorce case, with a judge questioning Thakkar’s truthfulness. Judge Philip Moor ruled that Thakkar, and not his mother and sister, was the owner of disputed assets in the divorce. He found that the 35-year-old owned 100 percent of Mara Group Holdings Ltd. and other corporate entities. The result will have ramifications in the proceedings where a judge will have to decide how much Thakkar -- described in videos posted on his foundation’s website as "Africa’s Youngest Billionaire" -- is worth. Thakkar says he has assets of 445,532 pounds ($553,000) while his wife,...
(AL Jazeera 02/08/17)
The EU must espouse a transnational approach with a clear development agenda that replaces its current security policy. One year ago, 22-year-old Patrick left Douala, the largest city in Cameroon, to become a football star in Europe. A talented midfielder and an ambitious young man, Patrick felt compelled to reach Europe to help him to realise his dreams. But, as he passed through Agadez in Niger, which has become a major transit hub for migrants taking the Central Mediterranean route, reality proved to be grimmer than he had anticipated. Patrick and two of his male relatives, also travelling from Douala, were beaten, robbed and held captive by organised predatory groups. Finally, their tumultuous journey came to an end in Algeria,...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/02/17)
African leaders have backed a "strategy of collective withdrawal" from the International Criminal Court (ICC), but it came with unspecified reservations, an African Union official said on Wednesday after this week's African Union summit. The official did not give details about the strategy or the reservations, but it highlights broad antipathy towards the court among Africans who feel the ICC unfairly targets them. A document seen by Reuters before the summit proposed a co-ordinated withdrawal unless the ICC was reformed. It included a call for "regionalization" of international law, a reference to proposals for an African war crimes court. Almost a third of the ICC's 124 members are African, and a withdrawal by a large number of them would cripple...
(Voice of America 01/20/17)
By most measures, Africa is safer today than it has been in the modern era: Diseases are less deadly and wars are less frequent. But recent years have also been marked by a rise in radical extremism on the continent, and the terror threat could derail some of the world's fastest-growing economies. Dealing with the spread of radicalization has been a central focus of U.S. President Barack Obama's foreign policy during his time in office. Few areas have been spared over the past eight years, with much of the continent living in the shadow of a violent extremist group: al-Shabab in Somalia and East Africa, Islamic State (IS) in Libya, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in Mali, the Lord's...
(Xinhuanet 01/18/17)
The Chinese government's decision to terminate ivory processing and trade by the end of 2017 marked a critical milestone in the journey toward eliminating poaching and other threats to Africa's elephant species, a conservationist group said on Wednesday. Kaddu Sebunya, president of African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) hailed China for taking bold measures to revitalize global efforts to save African elephants whose numbers had declined this decade due to poaching and climatic stresses. "The recent announcement by the central government of China to ban all domestic ivory trade by the end of 2017 offers a glimmer of real optimism in the fight against elephant poaching," Sebunya said in a statement issued in Nairobi The Chinese authority in December 2016 announced the...
(New Vision 01/17/17)
“I can tell you that rats destroy up to 60% of health equipment in Africa,” Ssali said. Ssali sought to highlight the dangers that exist when biomedical engineers are not consulted in the management of health equipment including x-rays and CT scans. For instance, he narrated, cables of a CT scan installed at one unnamed facility were eaten up by rats, costing the institution over $5,000 to replace. Biomedical engineers are professionals who maintain and repair machines for diagnosing medical problems. They design medical equipment and devices, artificial internal organs or synthetic body parts. In Africa, the profession is relatively new-just about 10 years old in Uganda, it has been in existence in the developed world for nearly half a...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/17)
A powerful former minister and advisor to Gabon's President Ali Bongo has been jailed pending trial for graft in a rare move against corruption in the small oil-rich nation. Magloire Ngambia was placed in custody in a Libreville jail on Tuesday, according to the remand order released by Gabonese media. The 45-year-old former economy minister and advisor to Bongo, who quit the government in 2015, is facing charges of embezzling state funds to the tune of 500 billion CFA francs ($810 million, 760 million euros), news website Gabonreview said. "For the first time a former government minister has been sent to the 'Sans-Famille' (jail) for an affair of embezzling public money," said the daily l'Union, which is close to the...
(AFP (eng) 01/04/17)
Italy vowed Wednesday to increase deportations of migrants whose asylum requests have been rejected, after a riot in a reception centre sparked by the death of a young woman. The country, which has been on the frontline of migrants arriving across the Mediterranean from North Africa, is pushing for an agreement with Niger and a renewed deal with Tunisia to facilitate returns. "We have saved many lives but we cannot accept rule-breaking. We need to speed up deportations," Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, the country's former interior minister, said in an interview with La Stampa daily. He was "working to tie up agreements which will reduce arrivals and prevent departures" from the coast of North Africa, he said after a record...
(AFP (eng) 12/29/16)
French border police intercepted 45 African migrants who were trying to enter the country from Italy and arrested the two smugglers involved, local prosecutors said Wednesday. Travelling in two vans, 25 migrants in the first vehicle were stopped while 20 in the second breached a checkpoint at Montgenevre in southeastern France, before later being found. According to the prosecutor's office, the migrants were returned to the border and the two smugglers are to be tried in Italy.
(Reuters (Eng) 12/24/16)
A record 5,000 migrants are believed to have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea this year, following two shipwrecks on Thursday in which some 100 people, mainly West Africans, were feared dead, aid agencies said on Friday. Two overcrowded inflatable dinghies capsized in the Strait of Sicily after leaving Libya for Italy, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said. "Those two incidents together appear to be the numbers that would bring this year's total up to over to 5,000 (deaths), which is a new high that we have reported during this crisis," IOM spokesman Joel Millman told a Geneva briefing. The Italian coast guard rescued survivors and had recovered eight bodies so far, he said...
(The Globe and Mail 12/23/16)
The Square Kilometre Array will be the world’s most powerful radio telescope, opening new frontiers in our understanding of the universe. But the builders have to contend with an unforgiving climate and other formidable challenges first, In the desolate rocky plains of the Great Karoo, the dangers are endless. Scorpions and puff adders are underfoot. The harsh sun beats down, interrupted only by occasional lightning storms. Temperatures range from stifling heat to freezing cold. But at night, in the vast empty darkness, the stars are impossibly bright and clear. And it is the stars that have lured a Canadian-backed project to build the world’s most powerful radio telescope, with the potential to unlock the deepest secrets of the universe. For...
(AFP (eng) 12/22/16)
Selma saunters on her stilt-like legs, batting thick lashes as she extends a blackish tongue -- as long as an arm -- to grab pellets offered by an awed tourist. The giraffe is after all, eating for two. Her pregnancy is good news for one of the rarest giraffe species, protected at the Giraffe Centre in the Kenyan capital, but experts warn the outlook for the rest of the world's tallest land mammals is far gloomier. While it is hoped the shocking news that the gentle giants of the African savannah are facing extinction will spur action, conservationists largely have their hands tied as many giraffe live in Africa's most conflict-torn regions. Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan...
(AFP (eng) 12/20/16)
When Rose Kariuki first felt a lump on her left breast, the spectre of cancer -- a disease she had only heard of on television -- was the last thing on her mind. "To me, cancer was nowhere near us. It was shocking, I feared death, I feared so many things," the 46-year-old Kenyan school teacher told AFP. Rose is one of a growing number of Africans suffering from cancer, one of the lifestyle diseases -- along with diabetes and heart problems -- proving increasing deadly on the continent. A World Health Organisation (WHO) survey released Tuesday showed that most Africans had at least one risk factor for developing one of these diseases, such as smoking, a lack of exercise,...
(AFP (eng) 12/16/16)
The number of migrants feared to have died this year has soared to nearly 7,200 -- a more than 20-percent increase over 2015 -- with most of the fatalities in the Mediterranean, IOM said Friday. In total, 7,189 migrants and refugees have died or remain missing on migratory routs around the world, the International Organization for Migration said. That number is already 1,449 more than in all of 2015. And since it represents an average of 20 deaths per day, another 200 to 300 people could perish by the end of the year if the trend continues, the Geneva-based IOM warned in a statement. The Mediterranean Sea routes, used so far this year by nearly 360,000 people seeking a new...
(AFP (eng) 12/14/16)
A lawyer for opposition leader Jean Ping thought to have gone missing is hiding in a "friendly" country's embassy, the Gabonese politician said on Tuesday. Ping's party had said on Sunday that Eric Iga Iga, one of two lawyers who represented Ping in a Constitutional Court challenge to President Ali Bongo's controversial election victory in August, had been missing for three days. But Ping said Iga Iga, who fled after feeling "in danger", is safe and well. "Late during the night of Thursday, one of my lawyers, Mr Eric Iga Iga, received a visit from elements presenting themselves as belonging to the defence and security services -- more specifically the military police -- in the most completely illegal way," Ping...

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(Xinhuanet 02/22/17)
Africa Energy Indaba, the continent's premier energy event, kicked off in Johannesburg on Monday with the aim of finding solutions to the continent's energy future. The three-day conference is being attended by the governments' representatives, business and funders. The meeting seeks to unleash the continent's potential by coming up with an energy mix to develop Africa. Dr. Garth Strachan, Deputy Director General and Head of Gas Industrialization Unit in South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry said the recent discoveries of gas in Mozambique, Angola and Tanzania provides a huge opportunity for the continent. He said there is a need for the countries to work together to tap benefits from the gas for the good of the continent. Strachan said...
(AFP (eng) 02/15/17)
Sub-Saharan Africa, where more than a half billion people live without electricity, trails the world in government policies that promote sustainable energy, according to a new World Bank report Wednesday. Much of the rest of the world, however, has made strides toward making energy broadly available, developing renewable power sources and increasing efficiency, the inaugural Regulatory Indicators for Sustainable Energy report said. In a survey of 111 countries, the World Bank found that through 2015 nearly 80 percent had begun to adopt policies to expand electrical grids, connecting them to solar and wind generation, and to help make electric utilities creditworthy and financially viable while keeping energy prices down. More than a third of countries, home to 96 percent of...
(Standard Digital 02/09/17)
Hundreds of business and political personalities yesterday attended a German-African economic summit in Nairobi, where German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Mueller talked about his “Marshall Plan” for Africa. The plan is “with Africa, not for Africa,” Mueller (pictured) said, stressing that it would be based on cooperation between equals rather than the principles of traditional development aid. The plan, which Mueller presented to the German parliament’s development committee on Wednesday, is based on fair trade conditions, investment and increasing aid for educational projects. One of the goals of the plan, which the German opposition received with scepticism, is to curb migratory flows from Africa to Europe. Mueller called on German companies to focus on Africa, which he...
(Bloomberg 02/06/17)
Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. is expected to raise about $500 million for its new African investment fund, attracting less than its original goal as investor interest in the region proved weaker than anticipated, according to people familiar with the matter. The Toronto-based insurer sought to raise as much as $1 billion at $10 a share for Fairfax Africa Holdings Corp. in an initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange, according to a regulatory filing in December. Fairfax said it had secured as much as $416 million in commitments for the African venture from both its own funds and partners, including the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, a Canadian pension fund and CI Investments Inc., according to the...
(Xinhuanet 01/28/17)
The African Union (AU) has been endeavoring to ensure robust, resilient and long-lasting economic transformation of Africa through promotion of infrastructure and energy development on the continent, noted Elham Mahmood Ibrahim, AU Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy. Speaking at a press conference Friday ahead of the 28th AU leaders' summit here, the commissioner said the pan-African bloc has scored achievements in its flagship projects and programs on the development of energy, transport as well as in the information and communication technology (ICT) areas, which she said are the biggest priorities in Africa's infrastructure sector. In cooperation and coordination with its regional, continental, and international partners, AU has been committed to development of infrastructure on the continent, which facilitates trade, economic...
(Bloomberg 01/27/17)
Barclays Africa Group Ltd. was targeted by protesters who entered one of its branches on Thursday and demanded the bank pay back money from a bailout provided to a company it bought before the end of apartheid. Demonstrators linked to the youth league of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress gathered outside the branch in Durban on South Africa’s east coast, Johannesburg-based Barclays Africa said in an e-mailed response to questions. Police ensured customers and staff were protected during the incident, it said. The protests come after the leaking of a draft report compiled by South Africa’s graft ombudsman that said Barclays Africa, which traded as Absa then, may have unduly benefited from state support when it bought Bankorp in...
(Xinhuanet 01/26/17)
Adopting African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) has been named a major task for the African Union (AU) this year as the 30th session of its Executive Council opened on Wednesday. In her remarks at the opening of the meeting, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the AU Commission, called for member countries' commitment to meeting the first target in Agenda 2063 of commencing the CFTA by end of 2017. She underlines the need "to do what needs to be done on the free movement of persons, so that we unlock opportunities for intra-African trade, studies, business and tourism." In her remarks at the opening of the 33rd session of the AU Permanent Representatives Committee on Sunday, Dlamini-Zuma said the AU's major...
(Cnbc Africa 01/24/17)
While Brexit and the U.S. election dominated headlines in 2016, the African continent witnessed major changes of its own. Its two largest economies were destabilized, with Nigeria being driven into recession and the South African political elite grappling for power. Conflict continued to make news, with the continuation of people trafficking across the Mediterranean and violence in South Sudan bubbling over. Macroeconomic concerns Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa fell to 1.5 percent in 2016 according to the World Bank, which deemed this "the weakest pace in over two decades." The slowdown was chiefly blamed on low commodity prices. But, the organization forecasts growth of 2.9 percent in the region for 2017. Africa's two biggest economies have a lot to account for...
(AFP (eng) 01/23/17)
Shell Gabon's 400 staff have returned to work, ending an 11-day walkout after a deal was reached with management over the planned sale of the business, union sources said Monday. "Work has resumed at all sites operated by Shell Gabon," after the government helped mediate a deal regarding workers' compensation, said the ONEP union which had originally organised the open-ended strike. Royal Dutch Shell, one of the two historic operators alongside French group Total, is selling its Gabon oil assets. The planned sale, worth an estimated $700 million, is part of a drive by Shell to spin off a total of $30 billion worth of assets to cut debt. But the sale plans have worried the workforce, with the union...
(AFP (eng) 01/16/17)
Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell will sign a deal to sell its Gabon oil assets to US fund Carlyle this month, a source close to the talks said Monday, as unions threatened further strike action. The expected sale, worth an estimated $700 million, is part of a drive by Shell to spin off a total of $30 billion worth of assets to cut debt. Shell Gabon's 400 staff started striking last week and threatened Monday to toughen their stance. The ONEP union said that Shell's withdrawal from Gabon was detrimental to staff and they should be paid damages.
(Voice of America 01/10/17)
As Gabon gets ready to host this year’s Africa Cup of Nations football (soccer) tournament, local businesses are hoping for a much needed boost to the economy. A song supporting the national team of Ivory Coast, nicknamed the Elephants, blasts through speakers at the Oyem market square in Gabon. The Africa Cup of Nations doesn’t kick off for another week, but diehard supporter Alain Traore is already here, with his music. He says his wish is for the Elephants to understand that they are defending their country, Ivory Coast. He says they should forget the quarreling and squabbles that have always brought misunderstandings to the team. Ivory Coast will play here in northern Gabon alongside the teams from the Democratic...
(Agence Ecofin 01/06/17)
Indian firm Aaviskaar Venture Management Services (AVMS) has announced plans to raise between $100 million and $150 million for Africa investments. “We will start the fund-raising around the middle of 2017 and we expect to close it in 2018,” said Vineet Rai, founder of Intellecap-Aavishkaar group. The new African fund will focus on investing on African low-income groups, especially in the agriculture, finance and financial technology sectors. “We will use the sow-tend-reap strategy of multiple round investing and will be an early investor,” Rai told local Indian media Regions targeted are West and East Africa, especially Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania and Ghana. Investments will range from half a million to $5 million. The investment firm’s expansion strategy in Africa...
(Agence Ecofin 01/03/17)
Gabonese subsidiary of Singapore group Olam International said it will, in 2017, focus on the Nkok privileged economic region (ZERP) as well as on transport, energy and hydraulic infrastructures. In the Nkok ZERP, the firm plans to develop 1126 ha of multi-sector industrial warehouses, to help diversify Gabon’s economy and make 100% made in Gabon products for both the local and external markets. Regarding infrastructures, besides the 2,300 km of power lines already laid for 450 villages, Olam plans to build 65 km of water pipes between Port-Gentil and Loanda’s beach. The new investments add to a hundred hydraulic standpipes already installed.
(BBC News Africa 01/03/17)
An electricity grid for the whole village Problem: A total of 1.3 billion people worldwide currently don't have electricity, according to Yale Environment 360. Getting people in rural areas on to the national grid is proving too difficult and traditional solar panels generate meagre amounts of energy. Solution: Steamaco makes solar and battery micro-grids which can work for a whole village. They are small electricity generation and distribution systems that operate independently of larger grids. How it works: Micro-grids are nothing new. The new part is that Steamaco's technology automates the regulation of electricity. So, if the system detects there will be a surge in demand for electricity, for example on a Saturday night when people want to start playing...
(Voice of America 12/30/16)
2016 was predicted to be a tough year for African economies, and it delivered. Traditional economic leaders faltered this year amid a storm of falling commodity prices, unpredictable and destructive weather like droughts and floods across large swaths of the the continent. Slow economic growth in China, a major investor and trading partner, only added to their challenges. “This year, you’ve seen the two Africas: the commodity exporters going through tough times, while the non-commodity exporters being more resilient,” Nigerian economist Nonso Obikili, who researches Nigerian and sub-Saharan economic trends for Economic Research Southern Africa, told VOA. He says 2016 has been hard on African commodity giants as oil prices fell to lows not seen since the global financial crisis...
(AFP (eng) 12/28/16)
Its lower cost has made it popular in commercial food production, but after being blamed for deforestation in Asia, palm oil plantations are now getting a similar rap in Africa. The sheer scale of land required is having an impact in Gabon, Cameroon and the Congo Basin, environmentalists say. With financing coming from American, European and Asian agri-businesses, palm bunches are cultivated then cut from trees and sent to factories where oil is extracted by hot pressing. But the production process accelerates deforestation, contributes to climate change and threatens fauna and flora in vulnerable areas, opponents argue. However the companies say that palm oil is not only less expensive than soya or sunflower oil but requires much less land to...
(The Herald Online 12/27/16)
The end of 2016 provides an opportunity to take stock of Africa’s recent economic performance and future prospects. It’s been a tumultuous year for some African countries largely due to a commodities crisis and a global economic slowdown.Yet there were still pockets of good growth which displayed the huge potential of the African continent. And 2017 looks to be the year the countries hardest hit by the crisis seek to recover from the economic reversals of the past few years. Since the start of the new millennium average economic growth across Africa has been stronger than the global growth rate. Growth across the continent averaged 5 percent. This fuelled the “Africa Rising” narrative that permeated public discourse. Among the growth...
(AfricaNews 12/24/16)
Leaders of the six countries that make up the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) have agreed they will not devalue the CFA Franc following an extraordinary session in Cameroon’s capital Yaounde on Friday. Although the agenda of the meeting was not clear, reports confirmed that the CFA Franc will not be devalued contrary to rumors from various media reports. The leaders also pledged to enhance more fiscal discipline in the bloc which is currently facing an economic crisis. There has been a growing debate on the use of the currency – which is pegged to the French Franc – and which analysts say needs to be devalued to encourage growth in the region. The CFA Franc was created...
(Bloomberg 12/22/16)
Gabon’s bonds this month have returned more than any other dollar-denominated sovereign notes in emerging markets. The nation’s $1.5 billion bonds due December 2024 advanced as oil, which accounted for more than a third of government revenue last year, rose above $55 a barrel for the first time in about 17 months. Brent crude prices have risen 18 percent since OPEC members agreed to trim output for the first time in eight years. “If oil goes towards the $60 level, then that would help solve the macro context,” and the firm would consider amending its sell recommendation on the bonds, Stuart Culverhouse said, the chief economist at Exotic Partners LLP who downgraded his outlook on Mozambique’s debt less than two...
(The Citizen 12/21/16)
Tanzania is among some African countries which may see a drop in development aid as the US is likely to expand fiscal stance and cut spending during Donald Trump's presidency, a new report shows. The move by the world's largest economy will affect dependent countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and DRC according to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) latest report released in London yesterday. In its Economic Insight: Africa Q4 2016, the accountancy and finance body points out that signs of an expansionary fiscal stance under the Trump administration coupled with spending cuts to accommodate increased infrastructure expenditure are likely to lead to the decrease in aid. "Aid is one of the main...

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(This Day Live 09/14/15)
After running previous 11 editions, as the All Africa Games, the Games has now been renamed the 'African Games,' an official revealed at the weekend. The Games returned to its birthplace, Brazzaville, in 2015, where it was first held 50 years ago in 1965 as the All Africa Games. The Games are expected to be held every four years. However, for one reason or the other, the four yearly cycle has not been maintained. According to the Executive Secretary of Africa Table Tennis Federation (ATTF), Olabanji Oladapo, the decision for the name change was arrived at during the Executive Council meeting of AU held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in January 2012. "The AU executive council meeting endorsed the recommendation of...
(BBC News Africa 08/01/15)
Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has extended his deal with the club until the end of the 2019-20 season. Aubameyang, 26, had been linked with a move to a number of European clubs including Premier League side Arsenal. The Gabon international, who joined from St Etienne, netted 16 goals in 33 Bundesliga appearances last season. "Every part of me wants to be here and I have never wanted to leave," he told the club's website.
(AFP (eng) 07/20/15)
Four-time world player of the year Lionel Messi linked up with Gabonese president Ali Bongo Ondimba on Saturday to lay the first stone at a future African Cup of Nations venue. The Barcelona star, who won a treble of Spanish title, Copa del Rey and Champions League last season, officially started the building process at the Port-Gentil stadium, which will host Africa Cup of Nations matches in 2017. The ceremony took place on a wide sandy ground where the stadium will be built. It was the Argentine forward's first visit to Gabon and he signed autographs on team jerseys worn by his fans, before proceeding with the laying of the first stone, accompanied by the president. "When I was in...
(Caj News Africa 07/03/15)
Johannesburg — A number of countries that won their opening matches for the CAF 2017 African Nations Championship (CHAN) are tipped to progress to the next stage while others face an uphill task. Among the highlights of the preliminary rounds is an East African Derby pitting Kenya and Ethiopia with the former expected to sail through after an impressive 2-0 away win in Addis Ababa in the first leg two weeks ago. Down south, Bafana Bafana , as South Africa are know, are also heavily favoured to progress to the next round with the second leg against minnows Morocco seeming a mere formality after they won three-nil at home a fortnight ago. The 2014 hosts are sure to finish the...
(CNN 06/20/15)
(CNN)The insults are crude, but they hit home hard. The players of Koa Bosco have suffered many such racial taunts since their football club was formed in 2013. On occasion, physical violence has even flared on the pitch, says the Italian team's manager Domenico Mammoliti. "The ignorance of some people..." he sighs, revealing a hint of exasperation at the abuse he says his players have endured. Life in the Italian lower leagues is clearly tough. Yet it's nothing compared to the journey undertaken by this team of African immigrants and refugees from countries such as Ghana, Senegal, Gambia, Burkina Faso, Mali, the Ivory Coast, Togo and Sudan.
(Dw-World 06/15/15)
Two African teams are playing in the FIFA Women's World Cup on Friday (12.06.2015): Nigeria and Cameroon. African women's football has performed poorly in previous tournaments. DW's Sam Olukoya finds out why. Some blame the poor state of African women's football in general for the continent's lackluster performance at international tournaments. 20-year-old professional footballer Igmemeka Ike has been playing since the age of 15. She said the main difficultly women footballers face in Nigeria is the shortage of funds caused by a dearth of sponsors. Ike believes that if the women were lavished with the same attention that the men receive then many more girls would take up the sport. "If you watch some tournaments in the game you will...
(Dw-World 06/04/15)
There have been many expressions of regret by soccer fans and functionaries across Africa following Sepp Blatter's announcement that he will step down as as president of FIFA later this year. If there was one thing Sepp Blatter could be sure of during his nearly 18 years as FIFA president, it was that he had the support of African soccer. The continent's governing soccer body CAF, and its individual 54 voting members, has repeatedly expressed thanks and appreciation for Blatter's contribution to the sport in Africa. The CAF website carries an interview with the body's president and senior vice president of FIFA, Issa Hayatou from Cameroon, in which he says: "What made us support Sepp Blatter is that he has...
(RFI(EN) 05/28/15)
The arrest of senior members of Fifa is "quite extraordinary", an expert told RFI Wednesday as two crimininal investigations into corruption within world football's governing body were opened.Seven senior officials were arrested in Zurich on corruption charges at the request of the United States. Two others officials were arrested by the American authorities. Separately, Swiss police also seized files and emails at the Fifa headquarters as part of an investigation into the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar respectively. "We've known for many years of the allegations of corruption," says Gavin Hamilton, the editor of World Soccer Magazine. "We've also known for many years that the FBI was investigating the activities of the central...
(CNN 04/27/15)
(CNN)The NBA announced Wednesday that it will play its first ever exhibition game in Africa on August 1 at Ellis Park Arena in Johannesburg, South Africa. Team Africa will tip-off against Team World and will feature two-time NBA All-Star Luol Deng, born in South Sudan, as its captain. The Miami Heat star will lead a roster made up of first and second generation African players. Team World will be led by eight-time NBA All-Star Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers.
(AFP (eng) 04/08/15)
Gabon won a three-country contest against Algeria and Ghana on Wednesday to host the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations football tournament. The result of a vote among 14 Confederation of African Football (CAF) executive committee members was announced mid-afternoon in a Cairo hotel after the three candidates made short presentations. The Gabonese were co-hosts with neighbours Equatorial Guinea of the 2012 Cup of Nations. A Gabonese Football Federation official said maches would be staged in capital city Libreville, Franceville, Port Gentil and Oyem. Stadiums in Libreville and Franceville were used for the 2012 tournament and the other two venues are expected to be ready by mid-2016...
(Myjoyonline 04/08/15)
 
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Gabon hammered on their legacy of hosting in 2012 to win the rights to host 2017, Joy Sports sources say. The Central African nation were chosen to host the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations finals. The 2012 co-hosts were selected by the Confederation of African Football on Wednesday ahead of Algeria and Ghana. They beat rival bids from Algeria and Ghana in a vote by the CAF executive committee at a meeting in Cairo. CAF did not make details of the voting immediately available. CAF have already designated the hosts of the 2019 (Cameroon), 2021 (Ivory Coast) and 2023 finals (Guinea).
(BBC News Africa 02/26/15)
Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke says the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations will be postponed from January to June to help move the 2022 World Cup. A Fifa taskforce has recommended the World Cup is played in November and December to avoid Qatar's hot summer. "The African confederation has automatically and nicely agreed it will not organise the Nations Cup in January 2023," Valcke said. "It will have to postpone the Africa Cup of Nations to June." The 2022 World Cup is set to finish in late December and the African Cup had been scheduled to start in mid-January 2023. Valcke said the aim of postponing the continental event was "to avoid there being a release (from their clubs) of...
(AFP (eng) 01/26/15)
Gabon captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang blamed a crucial penalty decision as his side exited the Africa Cup of Nations at the expense of hosts Equatorial Guinea on Sunday. Javier Balboa won and then converted a 55th-minute penalty that set the Nzalang Nacional on the way to a 2-0 victory in Bata as they advanced to the last eight. "The penalty killed us. It is not the first time we have had this referee," said the Borussia Dortmund star of Ivorian official Desire Doue Noumandiez. "It's really upsetting because at this level referees should not be allowed to make mistakes like that. "We have to get on with it but people need to know that it's not fair." Gabon started with an...
(Xinhuanet 01/23/15)
MALABO, Jan. (Xinhua) -- The Confederation of African Football (CAF) said on Thursday that the hosts for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations will be announced on April 8 in Cairo, Egypt. According to the continental football body's statement, Algeria, Egypt, Gabon and Ghana are competing to replace strife-riven Libya who will not go ahead with their hosting of the finals for security concerns. The CAF also announced that the host nation will play games in the qualifiers, but its matches will be friendlies and won't have points on offer. The qualifiers will begin in June, and the 52 competing countries and regions will go straight into 13 groups of four teams each. The top team in each group and...
(SouthAfrica.info 01/19/15)
Top South African cycling outfit Team MTN-Qhubeka has received an invitation to participate in the 2015 Tour de France - the first African team ever to do so in 101 years. The 22 teams riding in the race were announced by the Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO) last week. Along with the 17 World Tour teams, five wild card teams also issued - including one to the South African team. This year will be the first time in the race's 101 year history that a team from Africa will participate. 'Historic moment' "To receive a wild card for the Tour de France is a dream come true for the entire MTN- Qhubeka p/b Samsung team, while it is also a historic...
(BBC News Africa 01/15/15)
An African-registered team will compete in the Tour de France for the first time this summer. The MTN-Qhubeka outfit from South Africa is one of five teams granted wildcard invitations alongside the 17 World Tour entries. The team has previously stated its desire to mark Nelson Mandela Day on 18 July with a specially-designed kit if it was invited to take part. The 102nd Tour gets under way in Utrecht, Netherlands, on 4 July. Grand Tour stage winners Edvald Boasson Hagen, Matt Goss and Tyler Farrar are part of the rider roster at MTN-Qhubeka, which competes on the second-tier UCI Continental Circuits. Team principal Doug Ryder told BBC World Service Sport that Britain's Kenyan-born former Tour champion Chris Froome had...
(AFP (eng) 12/29/14)
Marseille midfielder Mario Lemina has rejected his country of birth Gabon's call after being named Sunday in their squad for the Africa Cup of Nations. "I'm not going to the CAN," Lemina announced on his Twitter page. "Everything that's being said at the moment is only rumours, I'm sorry but there's been no agreement between Gabon and me," added Lemina who was born in Gabon but who has represented France at youth level. Lemina was part of the French side that became Under-20 world champions. "For the moment my wish is to play for the France team," he told French radio station RMC last month. "But at the same time I haven't said no to Gabon. It depends on a...
(Daily Trust 12/22/14)
Football without superstars is like tea without sugar, like bread without butter, or beans without dodo (fried plantain). We are in the season of celebrating the super stars, the players whose light has shone brightest in the football constellation. Next January, the Confederation of African Football, CAF, will elect its winner of the prestigious African Footballer of the Year Award for 2014. The event has become very significant for the players because it shoots their status and profile sky high, onto a new pedestal of respect and prospect of additional fortune! In the final list of five players for the 2014 African award there are a few surprise inclusions.
(Xinhuanet 12/15/14)
NAIROBI, Dec. (Xinhua) -- The Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations (CECAFA) Senior Challenge Cup 2014 edition will not be held in 2014 owing to lack of a venue to host the tournament. CECAFA President Leodegar Tenga told journalists on Sunday in Nairobi after the association' s Extra-Ordinary General Assembly that the rising costs of holding the tournament was the sole reason the annual event will not take place. "At this time of the year we hold the annual general assembly to coincide with the tournament. However, this year we are unable to hold the championship because we failed to secure a host who would be able to fund the event by hosting 12 teams in one place,"...
(Independent Online 12/09/14)
Monaco – An African bid to stage the Olympic Games for the first time will get widespread sympathy in the IOC after its new reforms, Olympic chief Thomas Bach said. With Durban in South Africa considering a run for the 2024 Games, Bach said in an interview that it was up to Africa to make a “feasible” case. “This depends on Africa,” Bach said when asked when the first Olympics would be held in Africa. Reforms passed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) such as making bidding easier and cheaper and allowing possible joint bids are intended to take the Games to “new regions”, according to Bach, “We will see now,” Bach said. “The next candidature phase is for the...

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(The Guardian 11/19/16)
At COP22, the African Development Bank’s president, Akinwumi Adesina, tells of strategies to improve energy supplies and fight the impact of climate change “We lose 5% of our potential GDP every year, and African industries cannot be competitive without access to electricity,” says Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank. “I believe that’s why we can’t break away from reliance on exporting our raw materials – new industries will only go to where there’s power.” He is speaking on the sidelines of the COP22 climate change conference in Marrakech, which ends on Friday. Adesina and colleagues from the bank have been using the conference to highlight its new initiatives on energy, including the New Deal on Energy for Africa,...
(Forbes 11/14/16)
Africa will have 1-billion mobile subscriptions by the fourth quarter of 2016, while data use will drive the next phase of growth in Africa’s telecoms market, according to researchers Ovum. Mobile subs will reach 1.02-billion by the end of 2016 and will reach 1.33-billion by 2021, says Matthew Reed, Ovum’s practice leader, for the Middle East and Africa. “The take-up of mobile broadband will rise strongly, as operators continue to roll out 3G and 4G LTE networks and as smartphones become increasingly affordable,” says Reed. “There will be 1-billion mobile broadband connections in Africa in 2021, including 157.4-million 4G LTE connections. “Additionally, the number of smartphone connections on the continent will reach 929.9-million at the end of 2021. And non-SMS...
(The Toronto Star 11/11/16)
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said Canada has committed to a three-year deployment in Africa that will be reassessed each year to ensure it has an “enduring” impact. Canadian troops headed to Africa will operate in dangerous territory where peacekeepers have been killed, says Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. In an exclusive interview with the Star from Vancouver Sajjan said Canada has committed to a three-year deployment that will be reassessed each year to ensure it has an “enduring” impact. It will be spread among a number of unspecified African countries, have a major focus on training and increasing “capacity” of the host nation as well as other countries’ troops, and build on existing social, economic and deradicalization programs on the ground...
(Dw-World 11/09/16)
Africans across the continent followed the US presidential election with keen interest. While some fear that a Trump presidency could have disastrous consequences, others remain cautiously optimistic. Tanzania's President John Pombe Magufuli was one of the first African leaders to congratulate Donald Trump on his election victory. "Tanzanians and I assure you of continued friendship and cooperation," he wrote on his Twitter account. Burundi's controversial leader Pierre Nkurunziza - the subject of intense US and international criticism for his decision to stay in power beyond a constitutional two-term limit- followed suit. "Your victory is the victory of all Americans," he wrote on Twitter. Buzz on social media Social media platforms were abuzz with reactions just moments after the poll results...
(The Telegraph 11/07/16)
Just a few months after being elected Conservative Party leader, David Cameron flew to Rwanda. It was a high-profile trip so he could see first-hand the development of one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies and launch his party’s review on globalisation and global poverty. On his first day, he visited a textile factory in Kigali, the country’s capital. Above the hum of the silk reels, he chatted to some of the workers and admired the quality of the patterned fabrics. Before he left, the factory owner, Raj Rejendran, asked for a word. Growing the business, he explained, required expanding into overseas markets. He knew there was demand in the UK for his silk fabrics, but he faced heavy import duties. Might...
(Bloomberg 10/19/16)
Fifteen years ago, a South African media company invested $34 million in an obscure Chinese Internet developer. Today that stake is worth $88 billion. All Naspers Ltd., now Africa’s most valuable company, has to do is figure out how to make money from its other properties: The whole company is worth only $72 billion, less than its stake in Shenzhen-based Tencent Holdings Ltd. Investors aren’t impressed with Naspers’s operations in pay-TV, newspapers and e-commerce in such countries as South Africa, Russia and India. To win them over, Chief Executive Officer Bob Van Dijk has launched an aggressive push to sell some assets, invest in others and expand operations such as classified advertising into new markets. If it pays off, comparisons...
(Voice of America 10/17/16)
Telecom workers in Burkina Faso were on strike again this month, leading to phone and internet interruptions. The country has only one internet service provider, Onatel, but the days of the telecom monopoly in Africa may ending. The Burkina Faso telecommunications authority fined Onatel 5 billion CFA francs ($8.5 million U.S.) in response to the strike, which cut internet access across the country for more than a week. Arouna Ouédraogo, an information technology specialist, said people without access to the internet become desperate. He said he businesspeople rushing to his internet cafe with contracts to sign and documents to send, but he couldn't help them. "People outside this country just cannot imagine that there is no internet" for such an...
(CNN 10/05/16)
Terrorism, human trafficking, and corruption are creating a more dangerous continent, which in turn is preventing better governance, a new report revealed. The results of the 2016 Ibrahim Index of African Governance, published by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, show that two thirds of Africans live in a country where safety and rule of law has deteriorated over the past decade, greatly impacting overall governance in Africa. 15 countries have declined 'quite substantially,' and almost half the countries on the continent recorded their worst score ever within the last three years. The Ibrahim Index of African Governance, the report provides an annual assessment of governance in Africa and is most comprehensive collection of data on governance in the region. The 2016...
(The Wall Street Journal 10/01/16)
Startups and global corporations alike plumb Africa for scarce software development skills A shortage of software developers in the U.S. has prompted some companies to seek talent in Africa, home to a young and increasingly-tech savvy workforce. International Business Machines Corp. has engaged young software developers in Lagos, Nigeria, to help build a data analytics business the technology giant is trying to ramp up quickly. The combination of an educated population and the proliferation of mobile technology on the continent makes Africa a good incubator of technology talent, said Leon Katsnelson, chief technology officer and director for IBM’s analytic platform emerging technologies group. IBM is building “Big Data University” to train technology professionals in its analytics tools through online training...
(Voice of America 09/30/16)
Opposition leader and former foreign minister Jean Ping pushed again Thursday for the Gabonese people to reject the authority of President Ali Bongo Ondimba, calling him "an impostor with blood of the Gabonese on his hands." Ping insists he won the Aug. 27 presidential poll and accuses Bongo, the son of Omar Bongo, who ruled the oil-producing Central African nation for over four decades, of rigging the results. Ping said he does not intend to take part in the political dialogue that Bongo called for shortly after he was declared the winner. Bongo was sworn in Sept. 27 as Gabon's president for a second seven-year term. "I will not associate myself to this vain attempt to legitimize the abuse of...
(Voice of America 09/28/16)
Ali Bongo Ondimba was sworn in Tuesday as Gabon's president for a second seven-year term, after winning re-election by a slim margin in a disputed vote. At the swearing-in ceremony, Bongo vowed to defend the constitution and to be fair to all. He called for political dialogue, but opposition candidate Jean Ping rejected the offer, accusing Bongo's ruling party of vote-rigging. Bongo's victory by fewer than 6,000 votes has drawn unwelcome scrutiny of the president, whose family has ruled the oil-producing state in Central Africa for 49 years. His second mandate received a cool reception from the African Union and the United Nations, while the European Union voiced regret that the count had not been transparent. Gabon's Constitutional Court on...
(Voice of America 09/27/16)
Gabon’s president Ali Bongo is due to be sworn in on Tuesday after the country’s highest court validated his re-election Friday. Opposition leader Jean Ping rejected the court’s ruling and said he "will not retreat" but his next steps are unclear. Bongo has called for political dialogue after this month’s contentious election. Ping also claimed to have won the August 27 poll. He called the Constitutional Court's ruling on Friday "a miscarriage of justice." But his options now are limited, says Paul Melly, West and Central Africa analyst at London-based Chatham House. “Jean Ping is probably realistic. He knows that in the normal constitutional process, it is highly unlikely that there is any possibility for the election results being reversed…So...
(Voice of America 09/26/16)
Gabon's newly re-elected president, Ali Bongo, said Saturday that he would seek to form a new government based on a national political dialogue that will "most likely" include leading opposition figures. Bongo spoke in Libreville, a short while after the country's Constitutional Court validated his August 27 victory, and just two weeks after opposition leader Jean Ping accused Bongo's ruling party of vote fraud and challenged the outcome. Initial vote tallies had shown Bongo winning by 6,000 votes, but after examining voting records, the court said the incumbent in fact had won by nearly twice that margin — 11,700 votes. Ping accused the court of "bias." "I will not retreat," he said at a news conference in the capital, and...
(Voice of America 09/26/16)
Huge orange flames and plumes of smoke filled the air at Nairobi National Park in April, a sobering image as 105 tons of elephant ivory and 1.35 tons of rhino horn were destroyed. Kenya conducted the event to demonstrate that ivory has no value to anyone except elephants. President Uhuru Kenyatta pledged his country's support for a complete ban of the ivory trade at the conference for the global conservation body known as CITES, which opens Saturday in Johannesburg, South Africa. CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, is expected to make a determination on whether countries in Africa should destroy seized ivory or be allowed to sell it to fund conservation efforts. The question has sparked heated...
(BBC News Africa 09/15/16)
Swiss firms have been criticised in a report for their links to the African trade in diesel with toxin levels that are illegal in Europe. Campaign group Public Eye says retailers are exploiting weak regulatory standards. Vitol, Trafigura, Addax & Oryx and Lynx Energy have been named because they are shareholders of the fuel retailers. Trafigura and Vitol say the report is misconceived and retailers work within legal limits enforced in the countries. Three of the distribution companies mentioned in the report have responded by saying that they meet the regulatory requirements of the market and have no vested interest in keeping sulphur levels higher than they need to be. Although this is within the limits set by national governments,...
(Voice of America 09/13/16)
Representatives of 30 African countries have been working this week to map out ways to stop the continent’s mass rural exodus at the Forum on Rural Development in Yaounde. Emmanuel Afessi works on his desk top at Odja center in Cameroon's capital, Yaounde, where he is training 30 youths on information technologies at the center he created when he returned from the United States a year ago. "Africa needs to produce its own knowledge, its own equipment and that is why we want to train people within the continent," he said. "ICTs help close the gap between the developed and the developing world much faster than any technology including the motor vehicles. It is a large contributor to most African...
(Voice of America 09/09/16)
The organizers of this week's Africa Green Revolution Forum in Kenya say the continent is well on its way to an agricultural renaissance. The forum is wrapping up with a significant boost toward that goal: a pledge of $30 billion during the next 10 years to support smallholder farmers and local African agribusinesses. The donors include African governments, businesses and development partners, many of whom have been present for the Nairobi forum. But significant challenges remain for the continent, and experts have many theories about what it will take to make Africa’s green revolution a reality. Country manager James Craske of Yara, a leading fertilizer manufacturing company in Africa, said quality seeds and fertilizer would make a difference. “I think...
(The Wall Street Journal 08/09/16)
Deal would mark South African furniture retailer’s entry into U.S. market. Steinhoff International Holdings NV, Africa’s retailing giant but little-known outside the continent, has made its first foray into the U.S., agreeing to pay $2.4 billion for Sleepy’s owner Mattress Firm Holding Corp. Steinhoff, a family-owned furniture seller based outside Cape Town, South Africa, is called “Africa’s IKEA” for its home furnishing retail chains. Until recently, it had trained its sights on expansion in Europe, from Germany and Switzerland to Poland and Bulgaria, and Australasia. Last month, it agreed to pay £597 million ($793.77 million) for British retailer Poundland Group PLC, which sells most of its goods for a pound, or about $1.31 at today’s rates. The company said on...
(Voice of America 08/04/16)
On the eve of President Barack Obama’s 55th birthday, he was greeted in song with "Happy Birthday" Wednesday by about a thousand participants at this year’s Young African Leaders summit in Washington. Obama launched the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) six years ago to support an emerging generation of young African entrepreneurs, activists and public officials. Its flagship program, the Mandela Washington Fellowship, began two years ago with the goal of empowering young Africans through academic coursework, leadership training and networking. "Today's Africa is a place of unprecedented prosperity and opportunities," Obama told the excited crowd, noting that he'd visited sub-Saharan Africa four times, more than any other U.S. president. During his time as president, Obama said, "I've worked to...
(Voice of America 07/30/16)
The president of the African Wildlife Foundation has called on African governments to urgently address the issue of poaching, which he said is depriving the continent of its resources. But Zimbabwe says the international ban on the sale of ivory — which was imposed to discourage poaching — is hurting its interests. Winding up a five-day visit to Zimbabwe on Friday, Kaddu Sebunya said poaching is depleting Africa of its vital natural resources in the same way the slave trade once did. He said animal populations are dropping rapidly around the continent. “We have been losing an average of 30,000 elephants annually. Many African countries in the last 20 years have lost all their rhino population. All. Zero left. It...

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