Friday 19 January 2018

Gabon

(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...
(Xinhuanet 05/24/17)
China and Gabon have pledged to deepen exchanges and cooperation of their legislative bodies. The commitment was made as senior Chinese legislator Ji Bingxuan visited Gabon on May 21-23, where he met President of the Republic of Gabon Ali Bongo Ondimba, National Assembly President Richard Auguste Onouviet and Senate Speaker Lucie Milebou. Ji, vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, hailed the deep-rooted friendship and fruitful cooperation in multiple areas between China and Gabon. He said the two countries have faced new opportunities since Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Bongo in December last year decided
(Reuters (Eng) 05/24/17)
When U.S. President Donald Trump and other leaders of the world's seven major industrialized nations gather in Sicily on Friday, they will enjoy a spectacular view of the Mediterranean Sea, but won't get any glimpse of boats full of migrants. A common sight off Sicily in recent years, the authorities have banned all migrant landings on the island during the Group of Seven Summit for security reasons, telling rescue vessels that pick them up at sea to take them to the mainland during the two-day meeting. Out of sight does not mean out of mind. Italy chose to host the summit in Taormina, on the cliffs of eastern Sicily, to concentrate minds on Europe's migrant crisis and to seek ways...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/23/17)
Fossils from Greece and Bulgaria of an ape-like creature that lived 7.2 million years ago may fundamentally alter the understanding of human origins, casting doubt on the view that the evolutionary lineage that led to people arose in Africa. Scientists said on Monday the creature, known as Graecopithecus freybergi and known only from a lower jawbone and an isolated tooth, may be the oldest-known member of the human lineage that began after an evolutionary split from the line that led to chimpanzees, our closest cousins. The jawbone, which included teeth, was unearthed in 1944 in Athens. The premolar was found in south-central Bulgaria in 2009. The researchers examined them using sophisticated new techniques including CT scans and established their age...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/22/17)
Countries in sub-Saharan Africa need to get their budgets in order, diversify their economies and look after their poorest people. If they do that, there is no reason why the region cannot have the strong growth needed to meet the aspirations of a young and growing population. That, at least, is the three-pillared prescription from the International Monetary Fund as expressed by one of its top Africa researchers, Celine Allard, in an official IMF blog post and podcast. Allard co-authored the Fund's regional economic outlook, released earlier this month. It found that sub-Saharan economic growth hit only 1.4 percent last year, the lowest level in two decades and well off the 5-6 percent rates normally reached. It was also well...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/20/17)
France will step up the fight against resurgent Islamist militants in north and west Africa and will work more closely with Germany to help the tinderbox region, President Emmanuel Macron said on his first trip outside Europe on Friday. Visiting Mali days after taking office, Macron vowed to keep French troops in the Sahel region until there was "no more Islamist terrorism" there. He said operations would be escalated in response to signs that militant groups were regrouping and uniting. "It is vital today that we speed up. Our armed forces are giving their all, but we must speed up" efforts to secure the Sahel, he told a news conference in Gao, Mali, where he held talks with President Ibrahim...

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(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...
(AFP (eng) 09/29/16)
The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said Thursday she was opening an initial probe into the deadly unrest in Gabon triggered by disputed elections. The news came only days after President Ali Bongo, re-elected by a wafer-thin margin in the August 27 vote over his rival Jean Ping, vowed to form "an inclusive government" for the oil-rich central African country. Chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said Libreville had referred the violence to her office on September 21, asking it "to open an investigation without delay." Violence initially erupted on August 31 after Bongo was first declared the winner of the elections. Opposition demonstrators set parliament ablaze and clashed with police, who made hundreds of arrests. Opposition figures say more...
(AFP (eng) 09/27/16)
Yemeni authorities on Monday deported at least 220 African illegal immigrants, mainly Ethiopians, from the southern port city of Aden, security officials said. The migrants had been rounded up over the past two weeks and were put on a ship bound for Somalia, from where they apparently came, an official in Aden said. The boat left from the port at Aden's refinery. Hundreds of illegal migrants have arrived in south Yemen over the past few weeks despite the ongoing war that has ravaged the country. In Shabwa province, east of Aden, authorities have arrested more than 500 African migrants over the past two weeks, security chief Awad al-Dahboul said. Officials in south Yemen have claimed that some migrants are being...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 09/22/16)
Global conservationists and policymakers meet in South Africa from Saturday to chart a way forward in the fight against escalating wildlife trafficking that could drive some species to extinction. The plight of Africa's rhino and elephants, targeted for their horns and tusks, is expected to dominate 12 days of talks in Johannesburg on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Illegal wildlife trade is valued at around $20 billion a year, according to CITES, and is ranked the fourth largest illicit business in the world after arms, counterfeit goods and human trafficking. The gathering is expected to assess whether to toughen or loosen trade restrictions on some 500 species of animals and plants. "Much of the international attention...
(AFP (eng) 09/21/16)
Lawyers on Wednesday launched a suit in France claiming the government of Gabon committed "crimes against humanity" during days of violence following the central African country's disputed presidential election last month. The suit claims the Libreville government "plotted to carry out arbitrary arrests and detentions... torture and barbarous acts, attempted murder and crimes against humanity," lawyer William Bourdon told a Paris news conference. The former French colony was plunged into an unprecedented political crisis after incumbent President Ali Bongo was declared the winner of the August 27 election by just 6,000 votes. Three people died in post-election violence, according to the authorities, while the opposition puts the death toll at more than 50. The French lawyers invoked universal jurisdiction, which...
(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...
(AFP 08/19/16)
Maps, road signs, sat navs, Google maps -- it all makes travelling so easy. But how do you get around in a city with few street names, where buildings have no numbers? "Cross 'Death Junction' then after about 500 metres on the left, you'll see a curtain seller. Go up the path until you see a black building -- that's where I live," says Judith Koumis, giving directions to her home in Yaounde, the Cameroon capital. "It's easy," she says, forgetting, like everyone else, that "Death Junction" has an official name -- Friendship Junction. In this west African country, like many other places on the continent, getting around town can be something of a puzzle without a firm grasp of...
(AFP (eng) 08/07/16)
At least 18 people were killed in a collision between a minibus a lorry in western Gabon on Saturday, the government said in a statement. Pictures said to be from the crash scene, shared on social media, showed bloody and dismembered bodies. The accident happened near the town of Kango, 100 kilometres (60 miles) from Libreville, along a stretch of the country's main highway. "The tragic provisional toll is 18 dead," Transport Minister Ernest Mpouho Epigat said, adding that bodies of the victims had been taken to the capital.
(The Associated Press 08/06/16)
The World Health Organization and its partners shipped more than 6 million yellow fever vaccines to Angola in February to quash an emerging epidemic, yet when they asked country officials the following month what happened to the vaccines, they discovered that about 1 million doses had mysteriously disappeared. Of the shipments that did make it to Angola, some vaccines were sent to regions with no yellow fever cases, while others arrived at infected areas without syringes. In neighboring Congo, some vaccines weren't always kept cold enough to guarantee they would be effective. This lack of oversight and mismanagement has undermined control of the outbreak in Central Africa, the worst yellow fever epidemic in decades, an Associated Press investigation has found...
(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...
(Xinhuanet 07/28/16)
Cooperation among China, the United States and Africa can effectively fight maritime piracy in Africa, a UN senior official said here on Wednesday. UN General Secretary special representative Mohamed Ibn Chambas made the remarks on the sidelines of the two-day meeting which kicked off on Wednesday. About thirty diplomats and experts from Africa, China and the United States discussed collective strategies to address maritime security, protect the blue economy in the Gulf of Guinea and promote peace in the Sahel region. The first day of trilateral consultation among Africa, China and the United States has laid the ground for further cooperation on fight against maritime piracy in Africa, he said. "China and U.S., two world powers and members of the...
(Business Day 07/27/16)
The rapid uptake of digital services across the continent requires that the region’s governments urgently release more spectrum for mobile broadband services. This is according to a report by global mobile network operators association GSMA, which was released on Tuesday. The lack of spectrum has hampered the rapid deployment of faster wireless network infrastructure in many parts of Africa, including SA. At the end of 2015, the continent had 557-million unique mobile subscribers, equivalent to 46% of its population. This has made Africa the second-largest, but least penetrated, market in the world. Africa’s three largest national markets — Egypt, Nigeria and SA — together account for around a third of the total subscriber base. However, Africa is barely scratching the...
(AfricaNews 07/25/16)
Security forces in Gabon have charged at demonstrators gathering in the capital, Libreville. The incident came in the lead-up to presidential elections in the country. Hundreds including 15 opposition leaders defied a heavy police presence and took to the streets in protest of President Ali Bongo Ondimba’s candidacy Among many calls, they are opposing the candidature of President Bongo for the August 27 election. The calls has generated widespread tension in the country. Opposition parties say Bongo has done little to improve the fortunes of Gabon, adding he does not also meet the criteria of nationality required to be elected as head of State. Gabon’s National Electoral Commission thinks otherwise. On July 18, it validated the candidature of president Bongo...
(Xinhuanet 07/21/16)
The African Development Bank (AfDB) on Wednesday advised African countries to increase funding in water projects in the face of water crisis facing the continent. Mohamed El Azizi, AfDB Director for Water and Sanitation Department, said for Africa to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals there must be political commitment, prioritization of water and sanitation issues, as well as more budget allocation to the water and sanitation sector. El Azizi told a news conference in the east African nation's business capital Dar es Salaam that the AfDB has financed a number of water and sanitation projects in Africa, including Tanzania. He was speaking at the ongoing 6th Africa Water Week which started on July 18 through July 22 whose theme was...
(Voice of America 07/19/16)
Dr. Jill Biden, wife of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, is focusing on women’s rights, immigration and education during a visit to three African countries: Ethiopia, Malawi and Niger. During her first stop in Ethiopia, Biden visited a transit center in the capital for refugees at the International Organization for Migration (IOM). There, she met with officials at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and learned more about the refugee screening process for those seeking resettlement in the U.S. One of the refugees accepted for resettlement is Sembetu Buratu, an Eritrean mother of a four-year-old girl, who left her home country to help her family. “I didn’t work, so my brothers used to assist me; when they left the...
(Voice of America 07/15/16)
The number of new malaria cases in Africa fell 42 percent from 2000 to 2015, according to the World Health Organization. The drop was due in large part to insecticide-treated mosquito nets, indoor spraying and better access to effective treatments. But this progress could be derailed by a new wave of drug-resistant malaria that's currently affecting Asia. Abdoulaye Djimde, head of the molecular epidemiology and drug resistance unit at the Malaria Research and Training Center in Bamako, Mali, said that "we should be concerned. ... Given the frequent interconnection between Asia and Africa — you have direct flights from almost everywhere to several parts of Africa — there is the risk for importing these resistant parasites. [It] is higher today.”...
(AFP (eng) 07/09/16)
Congolese student Arnold Mutumbo Muama refuses to be cowed by a spate of racist violence towards Africans in India's capital New Delhi, defiant after a friend was beaten up by security guards at his apartment block. "The guard called him a 'monster' in Hindi before taking him to the basement and beating him," recalled Muama, 29, who chairs a Congolese welfare association. Racism against Africans in India was thrown into the spotlight following the brutal stoning to death in May of Congolese national Masunda Kitada Oliver in a dispute over an auto-rickshaw. Following the attack, African ambassadors in New Delhi threatened to recommend to their governments that they don't send students to the capital "as their security is not guaranteed"...
(Voice of America 07/08/16)
At a nondescript building in Lagos’ Yaba neighborhood, Startup Andela hires aspiring software developers for a four-year program that teaches them the skills they need to work for IBM, Microsoft and other tech firms. The company won a huge vote of confidence last month, when it received a $24 million infusion of capital, most of it from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a charity fund run by Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife. Andela is the Initiative’s first investment since being created by Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, after the birth of their child last year. "We live in a world where talent is evenly distributed, but opportunity is not. Andela's mission is to close that gap," Zuckerberg said...

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(CNN 07/16/16)
From an Africa-shaped mega solar plant powering Kigali, Rwanda, to a massive geothermal plant harvesting the power of Kenya's hot springs, renewable energy plants are popping up around the continent. Sub-Saharan Africa is desperately short of power and roughly 620 million Africans live without a reliable source of electricity. Africa's population is expected to double by 2050 and the demand for clean energy has never been greater, says Caroline Kende-Robb, executive director, Africa Progress Panel. She believes the continent could soon become a renewables superpower, and that it can leapfrog carbon-centered energy systems and go straight to renewables. "Because what we see is that Africa has got the advantage of coming in now without the heavy old systems that a...
(AFP (eng) 07/07/16)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday kicked off a four-nation tour of Africa, as India scrambles to catch up with its Asian rival China's strong presence on the continent. "My Africa tour, aimed at enhancing ties between India and Africa, will begin from Mozambique in a brief but key visit," Modi tweeted before his arrival, the first by an Indian leader to the southern African country in 34 years. Modi held talks with Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi in Maputo and will also take in South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya during the five-day tour. India has been working to build ties with African nations as it vies for a greater share of the continent's natural resources. Last year, it hosted a...
(The Herald Online 06/30/16)
The blue economy lies at the heart of globalisation. Ninety percent of international trade takes place via the sea and 95 percent of global communication relies on underwater networks. The blue economy encompasses all economic activity in and around rivers, lakes, streams, riverbanks, shorelines, groundwater, freshwater, seas and oceans. The blue economy is mostly unknown, overlooked and underdeveloped in Africa. It could represent a major growth driver. Its potential is not lost on the African Union (AU), which has made the blue economy one of the priority areas for the next 10 years: the blue economy holds immense potential as a key to a prosperous Africa. The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and Seychelles Vice President Danny Faure...
(Bloomberg 06/24/16)
Currencies, stocks and bonds across Africa plunged after the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union triggered a slump in oil and other commodities and sent investors scurrying for safe assets. South Africa’s benchmark stock index fell the most since January, led by shares of banks and diversified mining companies. The rand dropped to a record against the yen and by the most since 2008 against the dollar before paring the decline, while yields on dollar bonds from Ghana to Kenya rose. Gold miners gained the most in four months as the precious metal, seen as a haven in times of turmoil, soared. “We’re going into a very difficult, very volatile time with prices moving in all sorts of directions;...
(AFP (eng) 06/22/16)
Mobile phones and rising connectivity in Africa will give rise to a new market in mobile financial services, creating explosive opportunities for business on the continent, research has found. The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) estimated that in three years, 250 million Africans without access to traditional banking services "will have mobile phones and a monthly income of at least $500". That could translate to projected revenues of $1.5 billion (1.3 billion euros) from mobile financial services, the group said in a report released Tuesday. That's key for a continent where the banking system is as yet hugely underdeveloped, but where strides have already been made in mobile banking. In Kenya, for example, the mobile money system has nearly 18 million...
(Vanguard 06/14/16)
Stakeholders at the World Economy Forum on Africa, recently held in Kigali, Rwanda, have identified inadequate financing, policy inconsitency and bureaucratic bottlenecks as some of the major problems confronting power supply in Africa. . Speaking on the sidelines of Africa’s power sector, which was a major discuss, Vice Chairman, General Electric, GE, John Rice, said that there were some well-intentioned initiatives geared towards meeting the energy gaps, but challenges related to financing, bureaucracy, traditional risk analysis, and decision-making based on election cycles have led to delays. Citing the case of United States-backed Power Africa initiative, which was launched in 2013 by President Barack Obama with a view to “double access to power in sub-Saharan Africa”, he said, “Power Africa, supported...
(Cnbc Africa 06/13/16)
Social entrepreneurs are starting businesses in all the major regions of the world, with the most social entrepreneurship activity being undertaken in the US, Australia, Western Europe, and Africa reports the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM)’s Special Report on Social Entrepreneurship. The report, released last week, is the largest comparative study of social entrepreneurship in the world, based on interviews with 167,793 adults in 58 economies in 2015. “Social entrepreneurship – which GEM defines broadly as any kind of activity, organisation or initiative that has a particularly social, environmental or community objective – is now a significant share of entrepreneurial activity around the world; however, there is a wide variation in rates across economies, ” says GEM Executive Director Mike Herrington,...
(Xinhuanet 06/08/16)
Concerns over a multinational initiative to boost African agriculture were expressed in the European Parliament (EP) on Tuesday. Meeting in Strasbourg, MEPs said projects under the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition (NAFSN), an initiative started by the G8 countries and backed by the European Union, must include environmental protection measures and safeguards against land grabs. Launched in 2012, the NAFSN aims to boost financial support from donor countries and help big companies to invest in African farming. In return, 10 participating Sub-Saharan African states — Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’ Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal and Tanzania — are expected to change their legislation on land, seeds and foreign investments. One in four people in Sub-Saharan...
(The Guardian 06/07/16)
With more than half of Africans expected to live in cities by 2050, we need to turn urban areas into engines of development, African Economic Outlook says. More than half of all Africans are expected to live in cities by 2050, so policymakers must ensure this “megatrend” acts as a catalyst for development and growth, and does not result in millions of people eking out precarious existences in slums, according to the latest African Economic Outlook. The study (pdf), produced by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the UN’s Development Programme, said authorities must create inclusive growth, jobs, better housing and social safety nets, and improve links with rural areas to boost development...
(APA 06/03/16)
African financial experts, on Tuesday in Dakar, proposed, within the framework of the 8th edition of Africa Banking Forum, possible solutions for financing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) on the African continent. Speaking at the Executive Roundtable of the Forum themed “Access to Funding and Banking Services for SMEs,” Jean Luc Konan, the CEO of the Cofina Senegal Group felt that the development of African private institutions tasked with developing SMEs, should be promoted. “Once this ecosystem is set up, we will seek public authorities’ support for the creation of institutions specializing in SMEs guarantee,” he argues. For his part, Mr. Mouhamed Ndiaye, the Managing Director of Senegal Mutual Credit, opined that the issue of resources is a critical one...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/31/16)
Falling commodity prices and slowing global growth have hammered African economies in the past year. Africa is unlikely to fall into the type of unsustainable debt trap seen in the 1990s despite a spike in borrowing and widening budget deficits, the African Development Bank (AfDB) said on Monday. Falling commodity prices and slowing global growth have hammered African economies in the past year, prompting many governments to sharply increase borrowing, drawing comparisons with the crippling debt trap many countries faced in the 1990s. The AfDB said last week that African governments must take urgent steps to ensure they can finance their debt after borrowing heavily when interest rates were low. In 1996, international donors cancelled tens of billions of dollars...
(AfricaNews 05/27/16)
A lot need to be done to ensure access to reliable electricity for African’s citizens. However a number of complications are hindering the achievement of UN sustainable goal. Access rates are expanding in many nations, and technology and design improvement are on the way in offering opportunities for a rapid growth. According to the World Bank, about 1.1 billion people on earth are without access to electricity, from the figure, about half live in Africa. The Bank’s Global Tracking Framework shows progress is being made to deliver electricity to those without, most of it is taking place in Asia, but in Africa, it is a different story. The continent of Africa is barely able to keep up with its population...
(Xinhuanet 05/24/16)
UN Environmental Program (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner has said renewable energy could transform Africa, where almost half of the people worldwide lacking access to electricity live. The UNEP boss was speaking on Sunday during a World Environment Day event in the Mathare slums in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, where a football final between two local under-15 boys teams was played as night fell, under LED outdoor lighting powered by a sustainable solar power unit. Steiner said solar power is a growing source of energy in Kenya with the potential of offering a cost-effective and economically viable solution to power connectivity in homes. "If 70 percent of Kenya's population does not have access to modern electricity services, then renewable energy...
(Huffingtonpost 05/23/16)
Mobile phones have become ubiquitous in Africa. Among younger users, basic phones are most common. But more pupils are accessing smartphones that can connect to the internet - and taking them along to school. Phones are often used in school whether they’re allowed or not. Although they can enable valuable access to information, they also bring new responsibilities and dangers. It’s remarkably common for classes to be interrupted by both pupils’ and teachers’ phones. Access to pornography as well as bullying and harassment through phones is widely reported. We have conducted a study of young people’s mobile phone use in Ghana, Malawi and South Africa. Our findings emphasise the central place that mobile phones occupy in many young people’s lives...
(The Independent 05/21/16)
The country’s ambassador to Zambia was forced to respond after several news websites helped fuel the rumour. The Chinese government has issued a statement strongly dismissing reports it is packaging human meat as corned beef and sending it to African grocery stores. The government was forced to respond after several African publications reported the allegations, made by Facebook user Barbara Akosua Aboagye in a post which has since been shared 26,168 times. South African websites Msanzi Live and Daily Post even went so far as to speculate the reason behind exporting human meat is due to China’s overpopulation, suggesting the country is unable to find space to bury its dead. Chinese Ambassador to Zambia Yang Youming issued a statement on...
(Cnbc Africa 05/20/16)
The BMW Group South Africa announced the construction of its 26 000 square metre bodyshop in Rosslyn, Pretoria, on Thursday. The bodyshop is part of the $377 million the German manufacturer has invested into the country and it will produce and export the next generation of the BMW X3. “This bodyshop will be a state of the art facility, not only just in South Africa but across the world. It means job creation and it will mean upscaling for our staff as well,” say CEO of BMW South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, Tim Abbott. Abbott says that the company plans to export the BMW X3 into Sub-Saharan Africa, something the company hasn’t been doing. “The X3 is more of a...
(Cnbc Africa 05/19/16)
African business leaders are more hopeful about the business operating environment outlook than their peers globally, according to Taiwo Oyedele, Partner at PwC Nigeria. Oyedele said his organisation’s recent survey demonstrated this trend. “This is a survey we carry every year globally, and now for the 5th year we have a survey where we consulted with African business leaders,” he said. “We ask business leaders across industries in the region about the business operating environment. Even though we see challenges globally with the global economy, African business leaders" where more positive - their glass was half full and not half empty. Oyedele added that recent technological shifts had contributed to Africa’s fortunes. “A lot has to do with technology and...
(Bloomberg 05/13/16)
Cape Town - The year after President Barack Obama extended African nations’ preferential access to US markets by a decade, his administration is re-evaluating its trade relations with the world’s poorest continent. “It’s time to start looking at what comes next,” US Trade Representative Michael Froman said in an interview in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital, where the World Economic Forum is holding its annual Africa summit. “Part of what motivates us is that we are hearing from Africans that they want to move towards a more permanent, reciprocal kind of relationship.” Under the African Growth and Opportunity Act, or AGOA, which was first adopted in 2000, the US eliminated import levies on more than 7 000 products from Africa, ranging from...
(AfricaNews 05/11/16)
Countries of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) are facing economic turbulence. This was the conclusion by officials of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) following a 2-week visit to Libreville, Gabon and Yaounde in Cameroon. According to the IMF, the CEMAC region has been severely hit by the twin shocks of lower oil prices and security issues. With the value of oil exports contracting by about one third, the regional fiscal and current account deficits increased to about 7 and 9 percent of GDP in 2015, respectively. In terms of security, the fund said the cost of fighting against Boko Haram has weighed heavily on the region in particular Chad and Cameroon. The IMF estimates that the fight...
(Cnbc Africa 05/10/16)
The fast-growing economies of Africa face headwinds from the pull-back of international banks from the continent, Barclays' erstwhile-chief executive told CNBC, as the bank moves to sell down its business in Africa. Countries like Nigeria, the continent's biggest economy, received a flurry of international trade finance in the build-up to the global financial crisis of 2007-08. Since then, inflows have slowed, increasing the economic challenge for the continent where many people still struggle to access energy supplies or basic education. "There are headwinds from commodities and international banks pulling out," Bob Diamond told CNBC Africa on Saturday at the London Business School's Africa Business Summit. However, Diamond was optimistic about the medium to long-term prospects for Africa If you look...

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(Voice of America 04/30/16)
More than 200 people, including three African presidents, attended the opening of a three-day summit Friday near Mount Kenya, where activists and officials have gathered to discuss the future of Africa’s elephants and their habitats. Poaching has escalated to alarming heights in recent years, as 100,000 African elephants were killed between 2010 and 2012 alone. Tens of thousands continue to be poached every year across the continent. The goal of the event is to find ways to stop the slaughter of Africa’s elephants, protecting at least 50 percent of these animals and their landscapes by 2020. And to do so, conservationists say that government leaders must flex their political muscle in support of the cause. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta gave...
(BBC News Africa 04/28/16)
The call for better management of sport is heard across Africa - often as a lament, more regularly as an outburst of barely contained frustration. In football, former Ajax and Juventus defender Sunday Oliseh recently quit as Nigeria's national football coach, citing contractual violations and lack of support from his local federation. Months earlier, Zimbabwe were disqualified from the 2018 World Cup qualifying tournament after its football association failed to pay a former national coach. In athletics, Kenya only recently averted the threat of disqualification from the 2016 Olympic Games because of its previously long-standing failure to implement robust drugs-testing procedures - nearly 40 athletes have failed tests in the last four years. And yet Kenya would surely be far...
(Voice of America 04/27/16)
Debate over the CFA franc is once again stirring in West and Central Africa with some experts calling for a reform of the colonial currency. Some say the region has outgrown the CFA franc, arguing it should be unpegged from the euro or just abandoned altogether. Ivorian economist Seraphin Prao Yao wrote a book on the topic in 2012. He says the exchange rate of a country must take into account the weight of its commercial partners. And today, the eurozone is not our only partner anymore. He says member countries should also now be taking into account the U.S. dollar and Asian currencies. Yao says pegging the CFA to the euro makes the currency too rigid and too strong...
(Voice of America 04/25/16)
Foreign policy almost always takes a back seat to domestic concerns during the U.S. presidential campaign season. Candidates rarely win over any voters in diners in New Hampshire or town hall events in Iowa touting their plans for economic investment and security frameworks in Africa. In 1999, then-candidate George W. Bush went so far as to declare Africa “irrelevant” to U.S. foreign policy during his first presidential run.
(Bloomberg 04/22/16)
Gabon is considering a return to OPEC and trying to rally fellow African nations for a more coordinated response to slumping oil prices, President Ali Bongo Ondimba said. Some members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries have asked the West African nation to rejoin the group after 21 years as producers seek to “fight together" to stabilize prices, Bongo said during an hour-long interview at Bloomberg headquarters in New York. Gabon hasn’t made a decision, he said. While an April 17 meeting in Doha, Qatar, ended with major producers failing to agree on an output freeze, Bongo, 57, said the fact the meeting even occurred was positive and that talks would continue. Gabon, which has cut its budget twice...
(The Wall Street Journal 04/12/16)
Fortune seekers across Africa are clambering down gold shafts closed by some of the world’s biggest miners, fueling dystopian conflicts between companies waiting out a commodity rout and poor villagers with little to lose. The result is a chaotic and often deadly tableau playing out deep underground across the mineral-rich continent. Dozens of miners have been killed in subterranean gunfights over turf ceded by mining companies, many of whom fear the collateral damage to shaft walls and winches could make it impossible to open them again. In Ghana, AngloGold Ashanti Ltd., the world’s No. 3 gold producer, closed shafts at its Obuasi mine in late 2014, as the mine hemorrhaged cash amid sinking metals prices. Early this year, hundreds of...
(Voice of America 04/11/16)
A meeting of central African finance ministers and officials of the Bank of Central African States, BEAC, has predicted very difficult times for economies of the six central African nations if they do not diversify their economies. BEAC governor Lucas Abaga Nchama says falling world petroleum prices, insecurity from Boko Haram terrorism and the spillover of the crisis in the Central African Republic (CAR), has led to growing debts and weak financial performances of the private sector in Chad, Cameroon, CAR, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and the Republic of Congo.
(BBC News Africa 04/09/16)
A mobile insurance scheme to help small-scale farmers in Kenya ensure their agricultural produce against drought and other natural disasters is spreading to other parts of Africa, as Neil Ford explains. A greater proportion of sub-Saharan Africans work in agriculture than anywhere else on the planet but only 6% of the population of Africa and the Middle East have any form of agricultural insurance. "The insurance man" was a feature of many Western countries in past decades. Local agents collected tiny sums on a weekly basis to provide cover against long-term illness, funeral costs and unemployment. Kenya has now adopted this model for the 21st Century via mobile handsets. Farmers with as little as one acre of land can insure...
(Médiapart 04/05/16)
Les mystères qui planent autour de Mr Yves Fernand MANFOUMBI ont plusieurs explications : l'argent et donc la corruption, le sang et les organes humains, le satanisme et l'ésotérisme négro-fasciste, le népotisme et les fausses parentés, les mauvais secrets et la danse mystico-magique ... entre autre ! De nous : Si vous pensez que Manfoumbi a la tête de quelqu'un qui vient de descendre d'Air France en provenance d'Abomey c'est votre problème les enfants ! Accombressi a sorti Manfoumbi de Sans Famille hier vers 14 heures en concertation avec Ali BONGO. Avez-vous bien vu la tête de celui qui était supposé être au Bénin ? Je me moque de votre système. Nous sommes le Gabon d'après. BBM.
(Forbes 04/01/16)
Africa seems to be the only continent today that is regularly referred to as a country. It bristles me every time I hear it said. It’s reminiscent of Ronald Reagan’s chatter with the press aboard Air Force One in late 1982 on his way back to the US from a Presidential visit to Latin America: “I learned a lot down there…You’d be surprised, because, you know, they’re all individual countries.” As a relatively freshly minted PhD in international business economics at the time, I thought a statement like that coming from the President of the United States was more than odd. Just as such an utterance was, of course, grossly naïve, if not insulting, to Latin Americans, so too is...
(BBC News Africa 03/26/16)
Gabon unveiled the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations mascot, a black panther named Samba, before their match with Sierra Leone in Franceville on Friday. Gabon president Ali Bongo Ondimba, Fifa president Gianni Infantino and Caf president Issa Hayatou were all in attendance at the ceremony. The Mascot sports Gabon's blue and yellow colours and Samba means hello and welcome in local Bantu language. Gabon will be hosting the continental tournament for the second time. They previously co-organised the competition with Equatorial Guinea in 2012.
(Bloomberg 03/22/16)
The corn that is a food staple for much of southern Africa is now so expensive it has become a luxury many can’t afford, after the worst drought in three decades damaged crops from Ethiopia to South Africa. In Malawi, one of a dozen nations affected by the dry spell, Meleniya Mateyu says she has to forage for wild water-lily roots called nyika from streams and swamps to feed her two orphaned grandchildren. The small amount of grain she gets from an aid agency is barely enough for them to eat during one meal a day. “We are surviving on nyika,” Mateyu said in an interview at her village in the southern district of Chikwawa, about 50 kilometers (31 miles)...
(CNN 03/21/16)
What makes a country happy? Is it wealth, freedom or a trustworthy government? According to the latest World Happiness Report, compiled by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations, all these factors are key, and measuring happiness is fast becoming a good measure of social progress. Six key factors were measured to establish a global ranking of the happiest countries; GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity and perceptions of corruption. Only five African countries rank among the top 100, and eight of the last ten overall are in Sub-Saharan Africa, having ranked very low on some of the key factors that lead to happiness. Here are the first ten African...
(Voice of America 03/18/16)
The six nations that make up the Central African Economic and Monetary Community wrapped up their eighth annual “CEMAC Days” event with a dismal assessment: Central Africa is failing its efforts to achieve regional integration. CEMAC consists of Cameroon, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Republic of Congo, Gabon and the Central African Republic.The regional bloc was formed in 1994. Since then, CEMAC President Pierre Moussa said, little has been achieved to improve daily lives in the region. He said central African states have been working at regional integration since they gained independence in the 1960s but are still not able to ensure the free movement of people and goods. This has kept the countries among the least developed in Africa. He said...
(The New Times 03/15/16)
In pursuit of socio-economic transformation, African countries have often tried to either follow into the Western or Asian development footprints, often too, oblivious to the fact that their systems may not be compatible back home. During the first day of the inaugural African Transformation Forum (ATF) in Kigali, yesterday, several economists said Africa does not need to follow anyone’s development model but rather chart its own path to unlock rapid and sustained growth. The two-day meeting is co-hosted by African Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET), one of Africa’s leading think-tanks, and the Government of Rwanda.
(Voice of America 03/09/16)
Climate change is threatening some of Africa's most important crops, including corn, beans and bananas, and scientists warn that the agriculture system there needs some adjustments, and fast. The problem is, as climate change has a greater impact on the continent's crops, some areas currently growing staple crops won't be able to support them. The study was done by the University of Leeds and was released in Nature Climate Change. Staple crops at risk The numbers are startling. A full 30 percent of African farmland currently growing corn and bananas won't support those crops by by the end of the century. And an even more troubling 60 percent of land being used to grow beans won't be able to support...
(RFI 02/16/16)
Parents mode d'emploi, la série humoristique qui passionne chaque soir 4,5 millions de personnes en moyenne sur la chaîne de télévision française France 2, vient d'avoir une adaptation africaine. Deux sociétés de production ont obtenu le d'adapter le célèbre programme d'éducation des enfants. Samedi dernier, la version africaine de Parents mode d'emploi a été diffusée à l'Institut français de Libreville. La série met en évidence une famille dont les parents âgés de 40 ans se débrouillent pour éduquer leurs trois enfants. Le père, c'est le parfait Africain qui veut inculquer son éducation à ses enfants. Le père : « Quand je dis non, c’est non ». L’enfant : « Mais papa s’il te plait ». Le père : « J’ai...
(Voice of America 02/11/16)
Resource-poor countries like Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia are experiencing growth, while resource-rich countries like Nigeria and Angola are battling. The former finance minister of Zimbabwe, Tendai Biti, told the Investing in African Mining Indaba annual conference Tuesday that diversification is key, but African leaders in resource rich countries don’t learn. However, he said the silver lining to the current slump is for policy makers to see this as an opportunity, a sentiment also expressed in the National Bureau of Statistics of Nigeria outlook report. The focus for Investing in African Indaba was on mining, rather than crude oil, whether a particular mineral, diamonds, iron or gas. The issue is global commodities are in a slump, and during the boom, leaders...
(Voice of America 01/25/16)
HARARE— Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo say Africa wants to see reforms enacted at the U.N. Security Council and they want the continent to be given at least one spot as a permanent member. The call came at the end of a visit to Zimbabwe by Nguema and ahead of an African Union General Assembly later this month. Mugabe — who is handing over the rotating AU chairmanship — said his Equatorial Guinea counterpart ,Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, was in Zimbabwe because of the upcoming African summit in Ethiopia. "On the event of the meeting of the African Union, he [Nguema] saw it meet to discuss what our position is regarding various matters...
(CNN 01/22/16)
(CNN)This week, the African Union is meeting to discuss human rights, and particularly how the continent can realize the full potential of its women. Naturally, the power of information and communication technologies are on the agenda for discussion. But haven't we been here before? We are more than half way through the "African Women's Decade" launched in 2010. What has happened in the intervening six years? Since 2010, much has been made about Africa's mobile and digital revolution and its ability to propel development. But are women advancing triumphantly into Africa's digital future too? In short, the answer is no. For our recent Women's Right Online study, we interviewed 7,500 women from poor urban areas in 10 cities across the...

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