Monday 25 September 2017

Gabon

(AFP (eng) 06/28/17)
A Gabonese opposition figure who earlier this month threatened violence if President Ali Bongo failed to resign has been placed in preventive custody, the state prosecutor said Wednesday. Roland Desire Aba'a Minko "was placed in preventive detention ... Tuesday night after being charged with threatening state security, inciting rebellion and circulating fake news to undermine public order," prosecutor Steeve Ndong Essame Ndong told AFP. Aba'a Minko had earlier this month issued an ultimatum to Bongo to step down before the arrival of an International Criminal Court team, which wound up its work on June 22. During a public speech in Libreville on June 16, Aba'a Minko told Bongo to quit within 72 hours, threatening to set off explosives that had...
(AFP (eng) 06/28/17)
The generic version of the most advanced drug against HIV has been introduced in Kenya, a first in Africa where more than 25 million have the disease, the NGO Unitaid said Wednesday. The drug, Dolutegravir (DTG) is the anti-retroviral drug of choice for those living with HIV in developed countries, but its high price has put it out of reach for most struggling with the disease in Africa. "The generic DTG has two advantages: on the one hand, it is very good from a pharmaceutical point of view. On the other hand, it is much cheaper," said Robert Matiru of Unitaid, which works to reduce the costs of medicines treating AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria. He described the drug as "the...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/23/17)
DAR ES SALAAM (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Sadick Thenest remembers how his 8-year-old daughter had a narrow brush with death two years ago, when she contracted cholera after drinking contaminated water. “She was so gaunt, weak and had terrible diarrhea,” said the refugee from Burundi. “A slight delay in rushing her to hospital would have meant something else - but with God’s grace she survived.” The father of four, aged 35, is among thousands of refugees grappling with frequent outbreaks of waterborne diseases in the crowded Nyarugusu camp in western Tanzania, due to poor sanitation. “Living in a refugee camp is a constant struggle. You either stick to health rules or contract diseases,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by...
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
WASHINGTON DC — On June 5, Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of funding extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State. In response, Qatar said it was the victim of a policy of “domination and control” by its larger neighbor and that Saudi Arabia was, in fact, the one responsible for backing extremism. So what is the truth? Fundamentalist strains of Islam, including Saudi-born Salafism and Wahhabism, form the ideological bedrock for most terror groups. According to a study by Leif Wenar of King’s College London based on the Global Terrorism Database, three out of four terror attacks in the last 10 years...
(AFP (eng) 06/17/17)
A team from the International Criminal Court (ICC) will visit Gabon next week to look into claims of post-election violence last year, the court prosecutor's office announced Friday, in a move welcomed by rights activists. The ICC has yet to open a formal inquiry into the claims of violence made by defeated presidential candidate, opposition leader Jean Ping and 15 non-governmental organisations. But an ICC spokesman said Friday they would make a two-day visit next week, arriving Tuesday to carry out a preliminary investigation. Ping and the NGOs that filed the complaints have denounced the violence that followed the controversial re-election of President Ali Bongo by a narrow margin in August last year. "It's good news for Gabon," said Georges...
(AFP (eng) 06/17/17)
For several months, electric fences have been put up in Gabon as part of a new programme to stop the country's 40,000 forest elephants from destroying crops. So far three electric barriers have been built but dozens more are required, Professor Lee White, the British-born director of Gabon’s national parks agency (ANPN), told AFP. "I want 500 barriers," said White to emphasise that others methods had failed to stop the huge animals from trampling over villagers' fields in the west African country. "We have already tried putting up chilli and even bee hives (to protect farming areas) but all these methods did not work," said White, who has been compared to Tarzan by the magazine National Geographic due to his...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Extortion, corruption and fear; violence, hunger and sometimes even death: for west African migrants dreaming of reaching Europe, the road to get there can be an absolute minefield. - Departure - Whether it's The Gambia, Ivory Coast, Senegal or Nigeria, everything starts with the "hustlers" -- slang for the middlemen or fixers who organise the trip. Their honesty and prices vary, with the would-be migrant usually deceived about the welcome expected in Europe. Many possess no official documents from their home country, and do not understand illegal status in Europe. Most are ignorant about the extreme difficulties they will encounter en route. "We didn't know we were risking our lives," said Kante Sekou...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Maria gave smugglers all her family savings and crossed three countries and the searing Libyan desert, but when she finally boarded a boat for Europe her dream was swiftly shattered. She was 24 and pregnant with her second child when she left Liberia with her husband and their three-year-old son. The family passed through Guinea and Mali before crossing southern Algeria to reach the Libyan desert. "The smugglers took all our money" -- more than $2,150 (2,000 euros), she said. "We spent four days in the desert. People died of thirst and the sun in the back of the truck." They finally arrived on the beach at Sabrata, 70 kilometres (45 miles) west of Libya's capital Tripoli, a key departure...
(AFP (eng) 06/13/17)
Uche's real journey had yet to begin but he had already spent four days in the northern Nigerian city of Kano after travelling on public buses and potholed roads from Imo state in the southeast. He planned to go to Agadez, a transit town on the southern edge of the Sahara desert in central Niger, take a truck to Sebha, in southwestern Libya, and from there to the capital Tripoli, and then to Italy or Spain. But his contact, who was supposed to drive him and three women across Nigeria's northern border, was arrested on suspicion of people smuggling. "His house had been under surveillance," explains the 38-year-old electrician in Kano's bustling Sabon Gari district. "The movement of the three...
(AFP (eng) 06/12/17)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will on Monday meet African leaders in Berlin on initiatives aiming to reduce the poverty and conflict driving a mass migrant influx to Europe. The idea is to team up African nations willing to reform with private investors who would bring business and jobs to a continent where instability or graft often scare off foreign companies. Merkel is hosting the initiative as part of Germany's presidency of the Group of 20 powerful economies, whose leaders meet in the northern port of Hamburg a month later. Invited to Berlin are Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and the leaders of Ghana, Ivory Coast...
(AFP (eng) 06/10/17)
A newsreader for Gabon state television has been taken off the air after mistakenly announcing the death of President Ali Bongo, the channel said on Saturday. Journalist Wivine Ovandong made the error during a Gabon Television news bulletin on Thursday when she read from notes saying that Bongo had died in Barcelona. In fact, Thursday was the eighth anniversary of the death of Bongo's father and predecessor, Omar, who did die in Barcelona on June 8, 2009, after more than four decades in power. Current president Ali Bongo is alive and well. Gabon Television director general Mathieu Koumba
(Reuters (Eng) 06/08/17)
More girls are completing secondary school across sub-Saharan Africa as attitudes change and state spending rises, but some of the most marginalized girls — like those married young or forced to work — are still missing out, education experts say. The percentage of girls completing secondary school has risen in all regions of Africa since 2005, said a recent report by the African Development Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the U.N. Development Program. Almost twice as many girls in East Africa and three times as many in Central Africa completed secondary education in 2014 as in 2005, according to the annual African Economic Outlook report, which was published at the end of last month. Yet more...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/07/17)
The West African country of Mauritania, a member of the Arab League, severed ties with Qatar on Tuesday over allegations it "supports terrorists", the state news agency reported, and OPEC member Gabon also condemned the small Gulf Arab state. The Arab world's biggest powers, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, cut diplomatic relations with Qatar on Monday, accusing it of supporting Islamist militants and Iran. Qatar vehemently denies the claims. "The state of Qatar has linked its policies ... in support of terrorist organizations and the propagation of extremist ideas," the Mauritanian ministry of foreign affairs said in a statement published in Arabic by the Mauritanian Information Agency.
(Reuters (Eng) 06/07/17)
Building a network of African women leaders in fields ranging from business to politics could galvanize female leadership across the continent and boost peacebuilding efforts and good governance, the head of U.N. Women said on Tuesday. The African Women Leaders Network, which was launched last week in New York by the United Nations and the African Union Commission, hopes to drive more women into leadership roles, through mentoring, peer learning and harnessing contacts. By supporting women's leadership in Africa, the platform aims to galvanize their contributions to building and sustaining peace, improving political processes and driving social change, and realizing the U.N. global goals, according to U.N. Women. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), adopted in 2015, include targets on...
(Xinhuanet 06/06/17)
Delegates of an African conference in solidarity with Cuba on Monday called on the United States to lift its over 50-year economic blockade against Cuba. "We applaud the positive development in this respect and we commend the U.S. government and Cuba for their efforts towards normalizing of ties," said Namibian President Hage Geingob, officially opening the fifth Continental Africa Conference in Solidarity with Cuba here on Monday. "However, there is still much ground left to cover to ensure the complete lifting of the blockage against Cuba," said Geingob. According to Geingob, the conference will lead to the development of the common African strategy in terms of support to Cuba. The delegates also called for the return of the Guantanamo Bay,...
(Xinhuanet 06/02/17)
Fifty-four African Union member states will convene the 5th Continental Conference of Solidarity with Cuba in the Namibian capital from June 5-7, said an Naminian official on Thursday. The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of International relations and Cooperation, Selma Ashipala-Musavyi, said the aim of hosting the conference in Namibia is to intensify solidarity and to strengthen bounds of friendship between the people of Cuba and the progressive peoples throughout the African Continent. Namibia's President Hage Geingob will open and address the conference, which will run under the theme, "Intensifying Solidarity and continuing the legacy of Fidel and Che". The conference, which will also be attended by a Cuban delegation, will also recognize the important work done in support of...
(AFP (eng) 06/01/17)
One in five children born with a twin sibling in sub-Saharan Africa dies before the age of five -- three times the rate among singletons, said a study Thursday. Almost two-thirds die in the first month of life -- often succumbing to the after-effects of a difficult birth or entering the world too early or underweight, according to research published in The Lancet medical journal. And while rates of under-five deaths in the sub-Saharan African region have declined over two decades, the improvement has been much slower for twins than for single-borns. "Twins account for 10.7 percent of all under-five deaths and 15.1 percent of neonatal (newborn) deaths in the region and these percentages are increasing," the study said. "The...
(Washington Post 05/31/17)
The old man’s house had become a camp for the displaced. In the back yard, groups of women boiled water for rice. Small children skittered across the dirt, running into the bedroom, where they careened around the long, skinny legs of Elijah Karama. “Because of the conditions, they are mine to take care of,” said Karama, 57, more tired than proud. By conditions, he meant Boko Haram’s destruction of vast areas of northeastern Nigeria, and the hunger crisis that has followed. This city of about 1 million has absorbed an additional 1 million people who fled the Islamist militants who burned their villages and kidnapped hundreds of children. In Maiduguri, the vast majority of the displaced aren’t living in U.N...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/27/17)
Leaders of the Group of Seven wealthy nations met African heads of state on Saturday, the final day of their annual summit which has been marked by discord over climate change, but unity on tackling terrorism. Italy had hoped to make Africa the major focus of the annual G7 gathering, holding the discussions on the island of Sicily that has taken in hundreds of thousands of migrants over the past four years as they flee war and poverty back home. However, the two-day meeting got overshadowed by a suicide bombing in northern England on Monday that killed 22 people, and also got bogged down by lengthy discussions on the merit of free trade and the 2015 Paris Agreement to tackle...
(AFP (eng) 05/26/17)
Entertainment | France | film | festival | Cannes | Zambia | witchcraft Cannes, France | AFP | Friday 5/26/2017 - 14:01 UTC+3 | 615 words by Katy Lee Being accused of witchcraft is no laughing matter in Africa -- but movie director Rungano Nyoni decided a dose of humour was just what was needed to tackle a problem rampant in parts of the continent. Set in Zambia, the sharp satire "I Am Not A Witch" has premiered to strong reviews at the Cannes film festival, taking aim at the blatant sexism behind accusations that overwhelmingly target women. White tourists are seen gawping at women detained in a "witch camp" in the movie, taking pictures of them as if they're...

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(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...
(AFP (eng) 12/14/16)
Family planning helps people in Africa to be healthier and wealthier, as women without contraceptives become locked in "a cycle of poverty," Melinda Gates told AFP as a conference on the topic was held in Ivory Coast. "When a woman has access to contraceptives she can lift herself out of poverty, and if she doesn't have access to contraceptives, it locks her inside a cycle of poverty for the rest of her life," said the wife of Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Bill Gates, whose foundation is very active in the field. Family planning has "huge health benefits for the woman and for her children, and it has economic benefits," Gates told AFP by telephone from the Ivorian economic capital Abidjan...
(Le Monde 12/09/16)
Dozens of politicians, diplomats, military and intelligence chiefs, members of the opposition and leading business figures were wiretapped across the continent. This rare overview of modern satellite espionage could hardly be less technical and abstract, for it not only names the victims of intercepts but also reveals the scale of a surveillance operation spanning an entire continent. That continent is Africa. New documents shown to Le Monde, in collaboration with The Intercept, from the data cache of the former NSA (National Security Agency) operative Edward Snowden, originally given to Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, offer unprecedented insight into information on twenty African countries collected by GCHQ, the British intelligence service, between 2009 and 2010. Dozens of lists of intercepts examined...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/07/16)
An internal United Nations inquiry has identified 25 peacekeepers from Burundi and 16 from Gabon accused of sexual abuse and exploitation in the Central African Republic in 2014 and 2015, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Monday. "Responsibility for further investigations lies with Burundi and Gabon," said Dujarric, adding that the United Nations had asked those states to interview the identified troops, who all left Central African Republic before the allegations surfaced. by Michelle Nichols
(Voice of America 12/02/16)
Activists are using the women's Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Cameroon to campaign for the protection of the continent's forests and animal species. The campaign, called “Sports for Nature," is spearheaded by conservationist groups who say some of Africa's natural resources are on the verge of going extinct. In Yaounde, birds sing at a makeshift park near the Ahmadou Ahidjo stadium, one of the sites of the 2016 women's football African Cup of Nations. Conservationist Nevielle Tanyi points toward a crocodile walking nearby and describes the danger it poses to workers trying to maintain a pond. "When we provoke the crocodile to leave the pond area, it goes toward the side where there is no water and it normally...
(Xinhuanet 11/30/16)
Over 250 women security officers from 37 countries across Africa attending Africa Regional Convention of Women in Security Organs here vowed to step up efforts to stamp out gender-based violence (GBV) in the continent. The convention, organized according to the Kigali International Conference Declaration (KICD), was designed to redraw strategies for women officers to play their role in the fight against crimes, especially child abuse and violence against women and girls. At the two-day event that opened Monday, the women officers from police, military and prison services called for more workshops and regular conferences and establishing anti-GBV centers in all member countries of KICD. They also called for prioritizing countries that need more attention in fighting violence against women and...
(Washington Post 11/28/16)
Following his release after 27 years in prison, Nelson Mandela made sure one of his first trips abroad was to Havana. There, in the Cuban capital in 1991, Mandela lavished his host, Fidel Castro, with appreciation. Castro, said Mandela, was a “source of inspiration to all freedom-loving people.” The scene might seem paradoxical in some corners of the West. How could the global symbol of African liberation and democracy say such a thing about a man whose death last Friday provoked exiles who fled repressive Cuban rule to dance in Miami's streets? How could Mandela — imprisoned by South Africa's apartheid rulers — find common ground with Castro, who cleared his way to absolute power in Cuba by jailing untold...
(AFP (eng) 11/26/16)
Back in the 1970s at the height of the Cold War, the small Caribbean nation of Cuba went to war thousands of miles away in the battlefields of Angola and Ethiopia, leaving thousands dead. Cuban leader Fidel Castro, who died late Friday, was convinced that the global stage for the "world revolution" was happening in Africa -- and thus Cuba became the first Latin American nation to go to war outside its own continent. Angola and Ethiopia soon became symbols of the "regional conflicts" of the Cold War, in which Washington and Moscow battled for ideological supremacy and power through proxy wars. But Havana's involvement in the fighting fields far from home was to cost it dear. Some 4,300 Cubans...
(Agence Ecofin 11/25/16)
To conserve biodiversity and enhance socio-economic growth, governments of sub-Saharan Africa must consider a priority the management of their land resources, said environmental experts at the end of the 10th meeting of ministers of natural resources of East and Southern countries in Kigali on November 21 and 22. “The two-day ministerial conference provided a platform for engagement among government officials in the Eastern and Southern African region involved in land administration and spatial planning on challenges and opportunities in land, urban and territorial planning,” Xinhua reported. The forum which focused on identifying means to integrate technologies in land management in order to boost economy, protect the environment and efficiently manage lands in the region, was a wake-up call for officials...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/24/16)
A mother and her four-year-old daughter who were separated after fleeing the threat of female genital mutilation (FGM) in Ivory Coast may be reunited in Italy before Christmas after a stroke of luck allowed police to trace the woman, authorities said. The girl, identified only as Oumoh, is one of at least 20,000 unaccompanied minors who have reached Italy this year from war-torn and poverty-stricken countries mainly in Africa and the Middle East. She arrived on the southern Italian island of Lampedusa on Nov. 5 after being rescued from a rickety boat by the coastguard, police said. "She was quite traumatized, and initially wouldn't speak or communicate," Marilena Cefala, the head of Lampedusa's reception center, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/22/16)
African states failed on Monday to halt the work of the first U.N. independent investigator appointed to help protect gay and transgender people worldwide from violence and discrimination. The 47-member U.N. Human Rights Council, based in Geneva, created the position in June and in September appointed Vitit Muntarbhorn of Thailand, who has a three-year mandate to investigate abuses against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people. In an unusual move, African states put forward a draft resolution in the 193-member U.N. General Assembly third committee, which deals with human rights, calling for consultations on the legality of the creation of the mandate. They said the work of the investigator should be suspended. However, Latin American countries, supported by Western...
(AFP (eng) 11/21/16)
The number of HIV-infected people taking anti-retroviral medicine has doubled in just five years, the UN said Monday, while highlighting high infection rates among young African women. A new report by UNAIDS said it was on course to hit a target of 30 million people on ARV treatment by 2020. "By June 2016, around 18.2 million people had access to the life-saving medicines, including 910,000 children, double the number five years earlier," UNAIDS said in a statement. But the report showed the huge risks that some young women face. Last year more than 7,500 teenagers and young women became infected with HIV every week worldwide, with the bulk of them in southern Africa. "Young women are facing a triple threat,"...

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(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...
(CNN 12/15/16)
In the sleepy, sun-blasted town of De Aar in central South Africa, a mighty force is stirring. The largest solar plant in Africa, Middle East and the Southern hemisphere was inaugurated here earlier this year, a 175-megawatt facility that spreads over almost 500 hectares. The facility is the brainchild of Solar Capital, led by hotel magnate turned solar evangelist Paschal Phelan, which ploughed $400 million into the venture. The plant supplies power to the National Grid, but when the heat is fiercest it produces far more than the Grid can use, and the excess power goes to waste. "It's like you have a Ferrari and you run a small car," says Massimiliano Salaorno, plant manager of Solar Capital De Aar...
(AFP (eng) 12/13/16)
The cocktails keep flowing by the pool on the tourist strip, but in The Gambia's markets many African migrant traders are packing up their businesses and heading home. The international community is piling pressure on President Yahya Jammeh to leave power after 22 years and hand over to opposition leader Adama Barrow, who won an election two weeks ago only for Jammeh to later reverse his original concession of defeat. Of the economy's two main sources of investment from abroad, tourism appears to be weathering the country's political storm far better than the thousands of petty traders who move to The Gambia from the rest of west Africa. President-elect Barrow told AFP on Monday claims that tourist numbers could be...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/07/16)
As the darkness falls on the plains around Bunambiyu, a remote village in Tanzania's northern Shinyanga region, Elizabeth Julius switches on her solar lantern to finish sewing clothes for her customers. Not long ago, nightfall would have forced her to close her tailoring shop, or use a smoky kerosene lamp. But with the solar-powered lamp, Julius can now sew for as long as she wants. "Solar energy has entirely changed my life. I use it at work and at home, yet it doesn't cost me anything," said the 29-year-old entrepreneur and mother of two. "I often wake up at night to work because I need the money to support my family," she said. Julius and her husband, Zablon, used to...
(APA 12/06/16)
The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) says Africa can yield benefits from commodity-based industrialization and agro-alliance with new policy approaches, according to a statement issued here Tuesday. The ECA has on many editions of its annual Economic Report made a push for the developmental state and a return to planning, arguing that the strong role of the state is key to fostering Africa’s structural transformation. The acting ECA Executive Secretary Abdalla Hamdok spoke on the need for new policy approaches to incentivize agricultural production in activities and sectors with higher returns. In his remarks at the opening of the African Economic Conference on the theme, Feeding Africa: Towards Agro-Allied Industrialization for Inclusive Growth, Hamdok said: “Our desire for structural transformation...
(Xinhuanet 11/29/16)
Experts in capital markets are advocating the acceleration of the bourses markets across Africa in order to drive economic growth on the continent. Speaking at the opening of Africa securities exchanges conference in the Rwandan capital Kigali on Monday, experts emphasized that capital markets are becoming more important to African economies because they help raise funds for long term investment which will drive Africa into middle income status. Rwanda hosts the 20th African Securities Exchanges Association (ASEA) annual conference from November 27 to 29 dubbed: "The Road to 2030: Making the African Capital Markets Relevant to the Real Economy." The three-day meeting has brought together more than 300 global and regional experts and stakeholders in capital markets, regulators, law firms...
(Agence Ecofin 11/25/16)
The head of IMF’s delegation to Gabon, Alex Segura Ubiergo, was received on November 23, 2016 by the head of government, Emmanuel Issoze Ngondet and the minister of economy, Régis Immongault Tatangani. After meeting with the authorities, IMF’s representative said he was optimistic about the growth of the Gabonese economy and the measures implemented by the government. It appears that despite the global crisis and drop in oil prices, Gabon’s economy is still far from being threatened. According to Mr. Ubiergo, efforts made in the agriculture, wood and services sectors helped cushion
(AFP (eng) 11/20/16)
Above the sacks of seeds and coal, three kerosene lamps gather dust in the tiny shed that Kenyan chicken farmer Bernard calls home. He prefers to use solar energy to light up his evenings, listen to the radio or watch television, after abandoning a diesel generator he said was expensive to maintain and burned fuel too quickly. "Solar panels are a good, cheap solution," he told AFP. Across the continent, consumers are opting for their own off-grid solar solutions to power homes and small businesses, even as African governments unveil massive new solar projects seemingly every month to expand their grids. According to International Energy Agency projections, almost one billion people in sub-Saharan Africa will gain access to the grid...
(Agence Ecofin 11/19/16)
Abdellatif Jouahri and Lucas Abaga Nchama, respectively governors of the Bank Al Maghrib (Central Bank of Morocco) and the Bank of Central African States (BEAC), recently signed a revised cooperation convention for banking supervision. The agreement aims to boost bilateral cooperation between the two lenders, mainly in regards to on-field control of the cross-border banks. The move comes amid the expansion of Moroccan banks in Central Africa. According to experts, the expansion could present systemic risks.
(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...

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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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(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...
(Cnbc Africa 07/29/16)
"One cannot get to the top by being average,” says Noletu Moti, Koeberg Nuclear Plant’s first female chief inspector. Moti who is in her mid-30s, hailing from the outskirts of East London, is taking others with her to the top by assisting young Africans who want to be where she is through Bhongoletu Youth Foundation, which she started in 2012 with the slogan ‘Live The South African Dream’. ‘’Youth development has always been a dream. If I was not doing science, I would be in youth development full time, travelling Africa helping young children in literacy & numeracy. A nation without education suffers immensely,” says Moti The highly fashionable inspector is responsible for the establishment and coordination of Koeberg Nuclear...

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