Sunday 19 November 2017

Gabon

(Voice of America 05/03/17)
African military expenditures have finally slowed down after more than a decade of steady increases, according to a new report on global defense spending. The main reason, the report found, is a drop in oil prices. “The sharp decreases in oil prices has affected quite a number of African countries, namely South Sudan and Angola. This has kind of driven almost the entire regional trend,” said Nan Tian, a researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) Arms and Military Expenditure Program, the organization that authored the report. The SIPRI report found military spending in Africa in 2016 was down by 1.3 percent from the previous year and totaled about $37.9 billion. Despite the drop, Africa’s military spending remains...
(Bloomberg 05/02/17)
Saudi Aramco is seeking to boost its fuel-trading volume by more than a third as the world’s biggest crude exporter expands its capacity to refine oil to grab a bigger share of growing markets in Asia and Africa. Aramco, as Saudi Arabian Oil Co. is known, is building refineries in the kingdom and in Asia to help it increase sales and purchases of gasoline, diesel and other products to more than 2 million barrels a day, said Ibrahim Al-Buainain, chief executive officer of Saudi Aramco’s trading unit, Saudi Aramco Products Trading Co. Owning refineries gives the unit, known as Aramco Trading Co., options for buying and selling fuel that some of its competitors don’t have. “The key is that you...
(Voice of America 04/28/17)
A low-cost and widely available drug could save the lives of 1 in 3 mothers who would otherwise bleed to death after childbirth, according to a new study. Severe bleeding, known as postpartum hemorrhage, or PPH, is the leading cause of maternal death worldwide, killing more than 100,000 women every year. Even for mothers who survive, it is a painful and traumatic experience. The world's poorest countries, especially in Africa and India, are the worst hit. Drug from 1960s But there is new hope. In the 1960s, Japanese researchers developed a drug called tranexamic acid, which works by stopping blood clots from breaking down. But they could not persuade doctors to try the drug for treating PPH. The London School...
(Business Day Ghana 04/27/17)
There are currently 960 million mobile subscriptions across Africa – an 80 percent penetration rate among the continent’s population. Internet penetration is at 18 percent with 216 million internet users, according to the latest Jumia mobile trend report for Africa. The 2017 edition of the African Mobile Trends Paper is the third white paper presentation from Jumia delving into mobile trends across Africa and specifically Nigeria. The study takes a look at the how the market has democratised mobile internet use, the consumer behaviours driving increased smartphone adoption and the role of mobile brands, mobile operators and m-commerce in creating a synergy of an enhanced customer experience. This year’s Mobile Africa Study was carried out in 15 African countries which...
(Xinhuanet 04/26/17)
The Belt and Road (B&R) Initiative is a golden opportunity to bring about regional integration and sustainable economic growth for Africa, said Berhane Gebre-Christos, special envoy of the Ethiopian Prime Minister, on Tuesday. The special envoy made the remarks at the opening of a seminar organized on the B&R Initiative in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. Welcoming the initiative, the special envoy said he is looking forward to the expected effects of the initiative. "The B&R is a project that will affect millions of people, and it will be one of the most important issues of the 21st century," he said, adding that the comprehensive approach of China means that the aspirations and development strategies of all countries involved will be...
(AFP (eng) 04/24/17)
A new malaria vaccine will be tested on a large scale in Kenya, Ghana and Malawi, the World Health Organization said Monday, with 360,000 children to be vaccinated between 2018 and 2020. The injectable vaccine RTS,S could provide limited protection against a disease that killed 429,000 people worldwide in 2015, with 92 percent of victims in Africa and two-thirds of them children under five. "The prospect of a malaria vaccine is great news. Information gathered in the pilot will help us make decisions on the wider use of this vaccine," said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO's regional director for Africa. The vaccine should be used alongside other preventative measures such as bed nets, insecticides, repellants and anti-malarial drugs, the WHO...
(Bloomberg 04/20/17)
WorldRemit Ltd., a British money-transfer operator, sees revenue from transactions involving Africans doubling by 2020 as more people on the continent access mobile-payment platforms and expatriates send cash home. The seven-year-old company, in which Facebook Inc.-backer Accel Partners LP invested $40 million in 2014, will this year open a regional office in South Africa, its largest market on the continent in terms of money-transfer value, founder and Chief Executive Officer Ismail Ahmed said in an interview. Another site will start operating in Kenya, where the London-based business sees Africa’s highest number of individual transactions. “In the next two years we should be doubling our volume every year,” Ahmed said in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. The continent accounted for half the company’s...
(Xinhuanet 04/19/17)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, will convene Wedesday the first UN-AU Annual Conference. The two leaders will look into how to strengthen the partnership between the two organizations to face common challenges and opportunities in the continent, on issues of peace and security, sustainable development and human rights, said Stephane Dujarric, UN spokesman, at a daily briefing. "They will also sign the Joint United Nations-African Union Framework for an Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security," said Dujarric. It will be the first conference Mahamat will address with the United Nation since he was elected as chairperson of the African Union Commission. Although he had brief talks with Guterres in Addis...
(AFP (eng) 04/18/17)
The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday forecast 2.6 percent growth in sub-Saharan Africa this year, aided by a modest recovery in large economies South Africa, Nigeria and Angola. "Growth is projected to rise to 2.6 percent in 2017 and 3.5 percent in 2018, largely driven by specific factors in the largest economies, which faced challenging macroeconomic conditions in 2016," the IMF said its latest World Economic Outlook report. A slump in commodity price in 2016 and devastating drought had affected growth in several countries in the region, resulting in 1.4 percent growth of gross domestic product (GDP). Nigeria, the continent's most populous nation and a leading oil producer, was expected to return to growth in 2017 after a challenging 2016...
(Voice of America 04/17/17)
The Italian coast guard says it has rescued nearly 6,000 migrants on the Mediterranean since Friday, underscoring the continued flow of people along this dangerous route. A group of Africans living in Europe visited Cameroon this week to launch a campaign against illegal migration. The group is called “No More Death in the Desert or on the Sea.” Its mission is simple: to educate youth in Africa about the harsh realities of illegal migration. "We want to tell them that all the information people give them before they start their journey are wrong," said Nantcha. The group’s leader Sylvie Nantcha was born in Cameroon. She has lived in the German town of Freiburg for 25 years. She arrived as a...
(AFP (eng) 04/13/17)
Africa's Matabele ants, fierce predators of termites, rescue their wounded soldiers and bring them back to the nest where they are "treated," a new study showed Wednesday. This helping behavior for the injured is the first to be detected in the insect world, according to an article in the US journal Science Advances by a German research team at the University of Wuerzburg's Biocentre. The ants, formally known as Megaponera analis, are widespread south of the Sahara on the continent. Two to four times a day, they set out in long files on raids to kill worker termites at their foraging sites. But the attacks meet strong resistance from soldier termites guarding the worker termites, which have powerful jaws that...
(AFP (eng) 04/11/17)
El Nino, the cyclical climatic phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean, is linked to shifts in cholera cases in Africa, providing an early warning that could save lives, scientists said Monday. During the years when El Nino is warming the eastern Pacific, East Africa has about 50,000 additional cholera cases a year, new research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests. By contrast, the years when El Nino is not active, there were 30,000 fewer cholera cases in East Africa, according to the study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers analyzed more than 17,000 annual observations from 3,710 different locations between 2000 and 2014 in Africa, which has the most...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/07/17)
Access to off-grid solar energy in rural areas of Africa goes beyond lighting up homes - it also enables people to connect to the wider world and boosts their economic prospects, said the head of one of the continent's biggest solar companies. Azuri Technologies' entry level solar system - for which customers pay a one-off installation fee, then use scratch cards or mobile phone payments to top up on a weekly or monthly basis - provides eight hours of lighting each day. Having power at home for the first time encourages customers to also buy mobile phones, radios and televisions, giving them regular access to the media and the internet, said Simon Bransfield-Garth, chief executive officer of UK-based Azuri. "This...
(AFP (eng) 04/05/17)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's recent mask-wearing exploits landed him in hot water with Borussia Dortmund's bosses, but his coach Thomas Tuchel has leapt to the defence of the Gabon hot-shot. "Such a sensitive human being like Auba is affected when so much is said and written about him -- even if he has himself to blame," said Tuchel. "The goal in this situation, with it's background, was very important for us and Auba." The goal Tuchel refered to was Aubameyang's 25th in as many league matches which sealed Tuesday's 3-0 win over Hamburg to make him the Bundesliga top-scorer, one ahead of Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski. Tuchel made Aubameyang captain for the night against Hamburg with regular skipper Marcel Schmelzer injured. The...
(Voice of America 04/05/17)
A Red Cross report says African countries are failing their internally displaced people. Reversing that trend was the subject of a high level meeting of the International Red Cross and the African Union that wrapped up Tuesday in Zimbabwe. Africa has about 13 million internally displaced people, a third of the global number of IDPs, and more than double the amount of refugees on the continent. By definition, refugees flee across a national border, while IDPs leave their homes but stay within their own country. African Union Commission head of humanitarian affairs, refugees and displaced people Olabisi Dare says the situation of IDPs in Africa is very critical, dire and worsening. "...The issues that are generating internal displacement [are] multiplying...
(Financial Times 04/04/17)
Countries should develop policies to attract labour-intensive production leaving China. China’s initial wave of investments in Africa focused on natural resource extraction. Their demand for metals and energy was so large that it actually boosted global commodity prices overall, which in turn accelerated growth across the African continent. These times of China propping up global commodity prices are now over, as it has built up excess capacity in many sectors and now faces slow investment growth. This lower demand has contributed to the overall slump in global commodity prices since 2014, making it unlikely that China will again fulfil the role of driving commodity prices. Rather, its position has now shifted to becoming the largest exporter of capital. This provides...
(The East African 04/03/17)
Nairobi — The 2017 Mo Ibrahim Foundation annual Governance Weekend will be held in Marrakech - Morocco from April 7-9. A press release from the Foundation identifies the Palmeraie Resort as the venue for this year's meeting. The three-day event brings together prominent African and Africa-focused leaders, civil society representatives, multilateral and regional institutions and Africa's international partners to identify policy challenges and possible solutions. Violent extremism The conversation is normally extended to a wider audience through music, art and sport at major public events, showcasing some of Africa's brightest talent. The Foundation has released a report that sets the stage for high-level discussions in Morocco. The priority areas for the Marrakech talks, according to the report, include violent extremism...
(Xinhuanet 03/30/17)
The African Union (AU) is extremely appalled by the attacks against African students in Noida and other cities in India. The pan-African bloc has deplored the violence unleashed during the riot that started on Monday targeting Africans of various nationalities, particularly Nigerians, which resulted in loss of innocent lives and serious injuries, the AU said in a statement. The attacks have also resulted in the displacement of many Africans from their normal places of residence, thereby putting their lives in serious danger, it said. AU has expressed heartfelt condolence to the families of the deceased; and it wished speedy recovery to all those who have sustained injuries. AU has called on the Indian authorities to provide all necessary support to...
(AFP (eng) 03/28/17)
Gabonese President Ali Bongo launched a forum Tuesday of political and social groups on resolving a crisis sparked by his re-election last year, but the talks are boycotted by his rival Jean Ping. Ceremonies to launch Bongo's promised "dialogue" took place at the presidential palace, attended by representatives from 1,200 groups from civil society, around 50 political parties and government officials and diplomats. Notable by his absence was opposition leader Ping, who has repeatedly declared himself the winner of last August's election, in defiance of Gabon's constitutional court, which upheld Bongo's victory. In an opening speech, Bongo characterised the country's problems as a post-electoral "family quarrel," of the kind that had
(Reuters (Eng) 03/28/17)
Charles Lekabi lived comfortably as a driver for an oil company in Gabon's industrial town of Port Gentil until he was laid off three years ago. "Today, I struggle to pay my rent," said Lekabi, who worked for French oil company Total for seven years before he was let go for economic reasons. "Since I was laid off, I bought a car to do taxi rides. Atleast with this car I can continue to feed my family." A steep drop in oil prices in 2014 hit the oil industry worldwide. In OPEC member Gabon, production is in decline, the recovery is slow and may not come at all. The oil sector has accounted for 80 percent of exports, 45 percent...

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(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...
(Voice of America 07/01/16)
The U.S. State Department released its annual Trafficking in Persons report Thursday and again, Africa continues to be a major source and destination for human trafficking of all kinds — from forced labor to sexual slavery. Again this year, not one African nation made the report’s top tier — which is dominated by developed Western nations like the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia. The State Department says the ratings are based more on the extent of government action to combat trafficking than the size of the country’s problem. A significant number of African countries remain at the lowest possible ranking. Migrant crisis Susan Coppedge, a senior advisor to the U.S. secretary of state, said the migrant crisis that...
(Voice of America 06/29/16)
The United Nations says a record number of people caught in conflict and natural disasters are in need of humanitarian assistance. At the same time the world body warns the funding response to these crises falls far short of what is needed. The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has just released its 2016 mid-year Global Humanitarian Overview, which says the situation is very worrisome. OCHA reports the number of people worldwide in need of humanitarian assistance has soared to a record-breaking 130 million, nearly 44 million more than when the United Nations launched its annual multi-billion-dollar appeal in December. At the same time, it says funding requirements have increased by $2 billion to $21.6 billion, a sum...
(Voice of America 06/27/16)
U.S. first lady Michelle Obama is scheduled leave Sunday for Africa and Europe to advocate for girls' education. The six-day trip – to Liberia and Morocco, with a final stop in Spain – will highlight Let Girls Learn, one of Obama's core initiatives. The first lady will be joined in her travels by daughters Sasha and Malia, and the girls’ grandmother, Marian Robinson. Let Girls Learn is a global initiative launched by the president and first lady in 2015. The program addresses obstacles – such as forced marriage, poverty and violence – that keep more than 62 million girls globally out of school. “We believe very strongly that education and the empowerment of young people is going to be critical...
(Xinhuanet 06/25/16)
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is keen to further strengthen its relation with China for partnership on humanitarian operation in Africa, said an ICRC official. Jacques Pellet, Special Envoy of the ICRC President on China Affairs, told Xinhua in an interview in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa Friday that ICRC wants to engage China more on its activities related to humanitarian assistance in Africa, where ICRC spends one-third of its budget. The Special Envoy said his visit to Ethiopia aimed to learn the humanitarian activities in Africa through African Union (AU), and also to discuss ways of strengthening cooperation with China on ICRC humanitarian operation on the continent. "We have already a good relation (with China), but we...
(BBC News Africa 06/22/16)
Last year, more people fled to Europe from Eritrea than any other African nation. The government in Asmara has recently been accused of crimes against humanity, but when Mary Harper was given rare access to the country she was surprised by what she found. I push back the thick, deep red velvet curtains and find myself in complete darkness. Drops of rain come through the ceiling, and hit the floor - hard. Someone turns on a switch. A dim, flickering bulb does its best to light up the place - I am inside a huge cinema. Slowly, I make out elegant shapes on the walls - leaping antelopes, pineapples and dancing maidens. On the floor, in front of the screen,...
(The Associated Press 06/21/16)
Experts in Malawi will move 500 elephants 185 miles across the country to a sanctuary that will act as a ‘reservoir’. Wildlife experts in Malawi will next month start moving up to 500 elephants to a sanctuary that they hope could eventually serve as a reservoir to restore some elephant populations in other parts of Africa where the threatened species has been heavily poached. The massive relocation, slated for completion next year, will involve darting the elephants from a helicopter, hoisting the slumbering animals by crane and loading them in crates on to trucks for a ride of about 185 miles (300km) to Malawi’s Nkhotakota wildlife reserve. The relocation by African Parks, a non-profit group based in Johannesburg, comes amid...
(AFP (eng) 06/20/16)
A "Miss and Mister Albino" contest, heavy sentences for ritual murder and concrete graves to ward off tomb raiders were all discussed at a UN summit on albinism concluding in Tanzania on Monday. During the four-day meeting people with albinism and advocates for their rights discussed ways to safeguard and improve the lives of those who suffer discrimination, health problems and even murder as a result of the condition that leaves their skin without pigment. It is a particular problem in Africa in general and in Tanzania in particular, which is why the East African nation was chosen to host the summit. "Of all the regions in the world, Africa is the most hostile for people with albinism," said Ikponwosa...
(Voice of America 06/18/16)
One hundred and fifty South African schoolgirls have started in a project to design and build Africa’s first private satellite. The satellite will be launched into space later this year as part of a program sponsored by The Meta Economic Development Organization (MEDO) to motivate more teenage girls in African countries to study and work in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics field, widely known by the acronym STEM. The girls kicked off the project Thursday and are tasked with designing the payload for the satellite. They have been trained by satellite engineers on how to build rovers or mini-robots. MEDO's space program manager, Carla De Klerk, said that after that the young women decided to study agriculture and food security...
(Xinhuanet 06/15/16)
The African Union (AU) is prepared to launch the electronic passport (e-Passport) at the next AU Summit due to take place in July this year in Kigali, Rwanda. The first group of beneficiaries will include: AU Heads of State and Government; Ministers of Foreign Affairs; and the Permanent Representatives of AU Member States based at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, according to an AU statement Tuesday. The AU e-Passports will be issued to them in July at the 27th AU Summit in Kigali, noted the statement. Issuance of the e-passport is expected to pave the way for the Member States to adopt and ratify the necessary Protocols and Legislation with the view to begin issuing the much expected African...
(Times Live 06/11/16)
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of ensuring access to clean water and sanitation for all by 2030 is an ambitious target for Africa. According to new research by non-partisan research network Afrobarometer, nearly half of Africans don’t have access to clean water and two-thirds lack access to sewage infrastructure. Improvements in both of these areas have been made in the past decade, but huge numbers of Africans still live without these basic necessities. The lack of access to water and sanitation has not gone unnoticed by people living in Africa. Almost half of the continent’s citizens are not happy with the way their governments are handling water and sanitation. The global Millennium Development Goals’ target for drinking water was...
(Voice of America 06/10/16)
Countries across Africa are actively pushing to integrate more technology into classrooms across the continent. To further this effort, the African Development Bank and the U.N. educational organization UNESCO are hosting a conference in Ivory Coast. Three years after its first edition, the pan-African forum opened this session by highlighting the progress made by countries such as Kenya, and the benefits that have followed. "Five years ago, the government announced that they were going to give laptops to kids,” said Jerome Morrissey, chief executive officer at Global e-Schools and Communities Initiative, or GESCI, one of the forum's organizers. “Everybody started to laugh, saying this is ridiculous, we should be buying books, etc. But what has happened is that it has...
(BBC News Africa 06/09/16)
Microsoft founder Bill Gates has launched a campaign to help extremely poor families in sub-Saharan Africa by giving them chickens. The billionaire and philanthropist says raising and selling the birds can be efficient to tackle extreme poverty. He has promised to donate 100,000 chickens, and the project's page has already been shared thousands of times. The UN estimates that 41% of people in sub-Saharan Africa live in extreme poverty. Mr Gates said a farmer breeding five hens could earn more than $1,000 (£690) a year. The poverty line is about $700 (£484). Will it work? Matthew Davies, BBC Africa Business Report editor: You can't fault the sentiment. Giving away 100,000 chickens in an effort to alleviate poverty is a noble...
(Xinhuanet 06/07/16)
The Gabon National Judges Union (SYNAMAG) on Monday organized street protests against political appointments which, according to them, erodes judicial independence. "The promotion of the former public prosecutor Sidonie Flore Ouwe, a first grade judge, to the position of First President of the Court of Appeal, threatens our independence," the protesting judges said. The position is reserved for judges who have reached grade 5, they insisted. "This decision must be cancelled. We are ready to adopt other measures if our demand is not satisfactorily addressed," one of the judges said. "No to political interference and politicisation of the judiciary, and no to judges who are tainted by corruption," SYNAMAG Secretary General Stanislas Koumba said. On the same day, Gabon's Justice...
(African arguments 06/06/16)
Beyond the often astronomical figures thrown around when China’s engagement in Africa is described, actual data detailing the financial flows can be quite elusive. This is the problem a new database attempts to address. Launched a couple of months ago by the China-Africa Research Initiative (CARI) at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, the project tracks Chinese loans to African governments and state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Started in 2007 and compiled by a team of 27, the database details a total of $86.9 billion of Chinese loans from 2000 to 2014. Unlike with some similar databases, CARI’s researchers carefully verified these loans on the ground where possible, directly communicated with relevant stakeholders and cross-checked the data in multiple languages. Here...
(BBC News Africa 06/04/16)
The superstitions about albinos in Africa are plentiful and dangerous. In Tanzania last year, a 6-year-old boy had this arm chopped off by witch doctors who believe potions and charms made from the body parts of albinos are guaranteed to bring success. "There is also a belief that having sex with a person living with Albinism can cure HIV; a superstition that has increased cases of rape and infection among Albinos," says Kenyan student Peter Kiprop Koima. He is responsible for the creation of the #AlbinismIsJustAColour hashtag, which trended in Kenya this week. Koima, who lives in Nairobi, told BBC Trending that he first became interested in the issue of albinism when he heard of a woman in a village...

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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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