Wednesday 18 April 2018

Gabon

(Xinhuanet 07/17/17)
Africa is making progress towards the establishment of a trade zone by Oct. 30 that will cover approximately half of the continent's member states. The Common Market for the Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Director of Trade and Customs, Francis Mangeni, said in a commentary published in the Star Newspaper on Monday that so far 19 of the 26 countries involved have signed the agreement. "Three outstanding annexes had meant the tripartite agreement was not complete and this was advanced by some countries as the reason they could not sign or ratify the agreement. However their adoption represented a milestone in the negotiation, as it removed the last obstacle to signing and ratifying the agreement," Mangeni said. The tripartite free...
(Cnbc Africa 07/12/17)
"Africa is an awakening giant," according to the former South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk speaking at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul. The leader who oversaw the transition of his country's power to Nelson Mandela said Tuesday that the future looks bright for a continent previously blighted by war, famine and a lack of infrastructure. "I believe Africa is an awakening giant and, yes, it is not performing according to what we expected soon enough, but it will perform," he said. De Klerk believes that African countries are primed to take advantage of the world's growing size. "If we look at food shortages for the rest of the world with a growing population, Africa is the solution," he...
(Bloomberg 07/11/17)
Gabon, Africa’s second-biggest manganese producer, wants to partner with private companies to process most its minerals locally before exporting them, Mining Minister Christian Magnagna said. Local processing will boost the mining industry’s contribution to gross domestic product from the current 2.1 percent to at least 4 percent as the central African nation seeks to make its economy less dependent on oil, Magnagna said in an interview in the capital, Libreville. The country’s main manganese mine in Moanda in the southeast processes about 6 percent of its total output, which stood at 3.8 million metric tons last year.
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
In the past five years, terrorist attacks have killed nearly 20,000 people across Africa. Two groups, Boko Haram and al-Shabab, accounted for 71 percent of reported incidents and 91 percent of fatalities. But, while these and other militant groups remain active, fatal terrorist attacks across the continent are on pace to fall for a second straight year, and the total number of attacks is running far below 2012 highs. These findings are part of VOA’s original analysis of data from ACLED, the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. ACLED tracks political violence, protests and terrorist events across Africa. Their reports include attacks since 1997 based on data collected from local news media, government statements, non-governmental organizations and published research...
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Many cell phone companies are rethinking their headlong rush into the continent. Only Orange is staying the course. Back when African countries were auctioning off mobile licenses by the boatload to serve the region’s young, tech-savvy population, investing in the continent’s fast-growing economies seemed like a no-brainer. Some of the world’s biggest wireless carriers rushed in. Now they’re wondering if they made a mistake. Increasing government and regulatory scrutiny, as well as a lack of expansion opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa, are making it harder for operators such as Vodafone Group Plc, Orange SA and Bharti Airtel Ltd. to grow. Their choice: Pull back or double down. Two companies beating at least a partial retreat are Millicom International Cellular SA, which...
(AFP (eng) 07/08/17)
The leaders of the oil-rich African nations of Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Congo will sue Transparency International over a case in France involving allegedly ill-gotten properties worth hundreds of millions, President Teodoro Obiang of Equatorial Guinea has said. French human rights lawyer William Bourdon instigated the investigation in 2007 by making a formal complaint on behalf of the pressure group Transparency International France (TIF). Obiang's son, Vice President Teodorin Obiang, is currently on trial in absentia in France for embezzlement. French prosecutors are seeking a three-year jail term and a 30-million-euro ($34-million) fine. Prosecutors also asked a court in the capital to seize the six-storey mansion on Avenue Foch, Paris's poshest street, which is valued at 107 million euros, and...
(Business in Cameroon 07/07/17)
(Business in Cameroon) - Agro-industrial member companies of the Association of Cameroonian oilseed refiners of Cameroon (Association des Raffineurs des Oléagineux du Cameroun - ASROC), have imported 2,000 tons of crude palm oil from Gabon, between May and June 2017, we learn from internal sources of this professional grouping. According to our sources within ASROC, the sale price of this Gabonese raw material is much cheaper than that of Malaysian imports, which generally allow Cameroon to bridge the structural deficit in production estimated at 100,000 tons for years now, but which has officially attained 130,000 tons in the last two years. This price advantage, explained by the proximity between Cameroon and Gabon (the region of South Cameroon borders Wolou Ntem...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The African Union's new chair Moussa Faki Mahamat on Wednesday questioned US commitment to fighting terrorism on the continent after it blocked efforts to get UN funding for an anti-jihadist force in the Sahel. "This is a specific case of a certain number of African states taking the initiative to create a dedicated force to fight terrorism. So, we don't understand how the United States could hold back or not engage in the fight against terrorism," Faki said in an interview with AFP. Faki's January election as chairperson of the AU commission came days after the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, who has proposed slashing US funding for aid projects and multilateral institutions like the UN. The former Chadian...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The costs of diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa could double to almost $60 billion annually just 13 years from now, as obesity fuels an explosion of the disease, a report said Thursday. In 2015, the overall diabetes cost in the region was nearly $20 billion (18 billion euros), or 1.2 percent of total economic production, according to research published by The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. This included medication and hospital stays, and loss of labour productivity due to illness or death. About half of all treatment costs were paid for by patients themselves.
(Voice of America 07/05/17)
More than 7 million children in West and Central Africa are displaced every year, the United Nations children's agency said in a report released Wednesday. Lack of economic opportunities, wars and climate change are forcing more than 12 million people in West and Central Africa to migrate annually, the report said. "Children in West and Central Africa are moving in greater numbers than ever before, many in search of safety or a better life," UNICEF regional director Marie-Pierre Poirier said. Climate change is already a harsh reality in many parts of Africa, where rising temperatures and increasingly erratic rainfall have disrupted food production, fueled widespread hunger and forced farmers to abandon their land. A half-million people have crossed the Mediterranean...
(RFI 07/04/17)
A French judge will investigate alleged crimes against humanity committed in Gabon during post-election violence last year. Violence continued for several days after President Ali Bongo was declared reelected at the end of August. Clashes broke out shortly after the announcement that Bongo had beaten opposition leader Jean Ping and the opposition said more than 50 people were killed by the security forces. The investigation in France started in April 2017, following a legal complaint by a French-Gabonese citizen in September 2016. He was arrested on the night...
(Agence Ecofin 07/04/17)
To insure food security in Gabon, boosting access to land is a must. This was one of the main recommendations that emerged from the conference on agriculture held from June 28 to July 1, in Libreville. It was in this framework that the government decided to identify all agricultural lands in order to secure and later make them accessible to farmers. However, prior to that, a law to restructure the land and agricultural legislation must be adopted, skills in the soil sciences sector must be strengthened, and the agricultural development agency will be created, amongst others. Challenges related to land access are recurring especially under the Graine programme where, according to members of cooperatives, ancestral beliefs are preventing farms’ expansion...
(Voice of America 07/04/17)
GENEVA — The U.N. children’s fund warns tens of thousands of malnourished children are at great risk in Yemen, Somalia and South Sudan, which are on the brink of famine. UNICEF reports an estimated 4.7 million children in the cholera-stricken countries are malnourished. Of these, UNICEF spokesman Christofe Boulierac tells VOA, more than one million are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. “Let me remind you that a child who is suffering from severe acute malnutrition are nine times more likely to die of disease than a well-nourished child," he said. "So, having cholera and diarrhea in countries where so many children are so fragile because of malnutrition among other things because of such a bad access to safe water is...
(RFI(EN) 07/04/17)
New tax rules in Israel could leave hundreds of African migrants worse off than they are. In May, the government introduced a new deposit law, enabling the governemnt to take 20 percent of migrants' salaries each month and place it out of reach. The money can only be accessed once they leave the country. Rights groups say the policy is designed to force them out of the country. "We're not pressuring you to leave but will make your life miserable so you decide to leave," Anwar Suliman, a Darfuri refugee living in Israel since 2008, told RFI . "Every time the state makes a different law, different pressure, but we said we can't go back right now." Suliman fled Darfur...
(Xinhuanet 07/03/17)
The African Union (AU) is mediating to resolve potential electoral disputes in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) and Gabon. Speaking on Saturday at a press conference on the sidelines of the ongoing 29th AU Summit being held from June 27 to July 4 in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, Minata Samate Cessouma, commissioner for Political Affairs at the AU, said resolving electoral disputes is at the heart of ensuring welfare of the continent's youth. DR Congo is facing a protracted political and military crisis mainly triggered by delay of presidential elections slated first to have been held in 2016 to replace outgoing president Joseph Kabila. Meanwhile, parliamentary elections are scheduled to be held in Gabon on July 29, with...
(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...

Pages

(AFP (eng) 10/27/16)
Complex diverse political agendas are driving African nations to quit the International Criminal Court, with leaders seeking to cloak the move by reigniting age-old anger at the West, analysts say. Gambia's announcement that it would be the third country to withdraw from the court is all the more frustrating as it comes at a time when the tribunal is beginning to probe some of the world's most intractable conflicts, in places such as the Palestinian territories and Afghanistan, experts say. Set up in 2002, the ICC's mission is to try the world's most heinous crimes which national governments are either unable or unwilling to prosecute. And most of the ICC prosecutions, such as in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/26/16)
African states unhappy with the International Criminal Court(ICC) should work to reform it from within rather than pulling out, Botswanan foreign minister Pelomoni Venson-Moitoi, a candidate to become the next African Union (AU) chief, said. With the AU increasingly divided over the ICC, South Africa announced last week that it planned to quit, but Venson-Moitoi said she believed an African war crimes court could be beefed up to work alongside its Hague-based counterpart. Although South Africa argued that the ICC's Rome Statutes were at odds with its laws granting leaders diplomatic immunity, other African countries see the tribunal purely as an instrument of colonial justice that unfairly targets the continent. "I don't see why we should be pulling out. The...
(AFP (eng) 10/25/16)
The International Criminal Court on Monday urged member states to seek a consensus with critical African nations, while stressing that South Africa and Burundi's announced departures would not take place for at least year. "Today more than ever, there is a huge need for universal justice," said Sidiki Kaba, president of the assembly of state parties to the ICC founding treaty, evoking "the tragedies which are happening in front of our eyes". Kaba, also Senegal's justice minister, said it was necessary "to engage in dialogue with the nations which want to leave the ICC. For that we must listen to their concerns, their recriminations and their criticism". South Africa dealt a heavy blow to the troubled international court on Friday...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/20/16)
Encouraged by their success in halting a mass influx of refugees by closing Greek borders and cutting a controversial deal with Turkey, EU leaders are getting tough on African migrants too. A Brussels summit on Thursday will endorse pilot projects to pressure African governments via aid budgets to slow an exodus of people north across the Sahara and Mediterranean. It also wants swift results from an EU campaign to deport large numbers who reach Italy. "By the end of the year, we need to see results," one senior EU diplomat said on Wednesday. Arrivals in Italy so far this year are nearly six percent higher than the same period of 2015. Italy received 154,000 migrants last year and this year's...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/16)
A Gabonese doctor who compiled a "damning report" on the post-electoral violence that rocked the oil-rich central African nation has been arrested, a civil society group said on Sunday. Sylvie Nkoghe-Mbot, 56, a paediatrician and the head of an NGO named Hippocrate was arrested at the end of last week, the Dynamique Unitaire civil society group said. Violence erupted in Gabon after President Ali Bongo was declared the winner with a wafer-thin majority in the August 27 vote. Defeated presidential candidate Jean Ping filed a legal challenge but the country's top court dismissed opposition claims of vote fraud and upheld Bongo's win. Opposition figures say more than 50 people were killed in the violence but the government has given a...
(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...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/14/16)
About 70 sub-Saharan African migrants forced their way over a barbed wire barrier into Spain’s North African enclave of Melilla Thursday. They ran to a local immigration center where they were met by dozens of migrants cheering “victory, victory” although their legal status in Spain has yet to be determined. Migrants wait weeks and sometimes months at the short-stay immigrant center in the hope of being transferred to a refugee reception center in mainland Spain, said Government Delegation of Melilla spokesperson Irene Flores. Spain has two enclaves in Morocco, Ceuta and Melilla, and both are hot spots for African migrants making their way to Europe either by climbing over the barriers, going around them or swimming along the coastline. After...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/13/16)
When German Chancellor Angela Merkel toured three African nations this week for talks on curbing migration to Europe, the leader of the world's poorest country, Niger, suggested it would take a "Marshall Plan" of massive aid to stop people coming. Merkel politely declined the request, expressing concern about how well the aid would be spent and noting that, at a summit in Malta last year, the European Union had already earmarked 1.8 billion euros for a trust fund to train and resettle migrants. But Niger's President Mahatma Issoufou also proposed something perhaps more significant, in the long run, than a development package - bringing Niger's population growth down from 3.9 percent, the highest in the world. Though he gave no...
(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...

Pages

(Xinhuanet 07/25/16)
Sub-Saharan Africa remains a fast-growing region in the world despite a relative slow down, multinational professional services firm Ernst & Young (EY) said on Monday. This is reflected in the foreign direct investment (FDI) levels in 2015, where FDI project numbers increased by seven percent, EY said in its 2016 Africa Attractiveness Program, issued in Johannesburg. Although the capital value of projects was down year-on-year, from 88.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2014 to 71.3 billion in 2015, this was still higher than the 2010-2014 average of 68 billion U.S. dollars, the report said. Similarly, jobs created were down year-on-year, but still ahead of the average for 2010-2014, the report showed. "Over the past year, global markets have experienced unprecedented volatility...
(Voice of America 07/23/16)
The 14th U.N. Conference on Trade and Development ended Friday in Nairobi with delegates adopting a measure giving the organization a central role in meeting U.N. sustainable development goals. UNCTAD said the quadrennial gathering also produced the beginning of an e-trade initiative, the launch of a multiple-donor trust fund on trade and productive capacity, and an agreement involving more than 90 nations on a road map for fisheries subsidies. A report released earlier in the week by UNCTAD, "Economic Development in Africa 2016," noted that African governments should take action to prevent rapid debt growth from becoming a crisis. The report also said the annual average foreign debt stock of Africa from 2011 to 2013 amounted to $443 billion, a...
(Xinhuanet 07/20/16)
The African Development Bank (AfDB) said on Tuesday that it has approved 12.4 million U.S. dollar grant to help empower women in the continent. A statement from AfDB said the funds will be used for a project called "50 million Women Speak" to create a networking platform dedicated to sub-Saharan women entrepreneurs. "Platform users will learn about their rights and the way to obtain financial support," said Salieu Jack, Chief ICT Engineer & Project's Team Leader at the AfDB. According to Jack, the rate of women entrepreneurs with access to banking loans in sub-Saharan Africa could jump from 4 percent to 10 percent by 2022. The grant will be spread between the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA),...
(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...

Pages

(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...

Pages