Tuesday 26 September 2017

Gabon

(Reuters (Eng) 03/23/17)
N'DJAMENA French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen pledged on Wednesday to break with her country's decades-old relationship with Africa known as "Francafrique" and abolish the CFA franc currency policy that binds Paris and its former colonies. Francafrique describes an informal web of relationships Paris has maintained with its former African colonies and its support, sometimes in the form of military backing, for politicians who favor French business interests. Le Pen, one of the frontrunners in the presidential election, spoke at the end of a two-day visit to Chad where she sought to outline her policies regarding the continent, which has long held an important place in French foreign policy. "It was only in coming here and explaining that I...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/17)
Under a cloudless sky in South Africa's northwestern farming region, donkeys still amble along muddy paths, pausing to nibble on grass, oblivious to the threat from a demand for Chinese medicine. The gelatin found in the animals' skin has made them a target, leading to a growing wave of donkey slaughtering in several African countries, as gangs seek to fuel a lucrative, and in South Africa illegal, trade. Animal rights groups say the docile beasts of burden are often cruelly bludgeoned to death before being skinned in backyards and clandestine slaughterhouses. Around Mogosani village, in South Africa's North West province, residents say syndicates catch the animals in grazing fields and pens. Soon after, skinned carcasses with hooves chopped off are...
(Agence Ecofin 03/20/17)
At the Africa CEO Forum which opened this morning in Geneva, AFD Group – in partnership with the European Union – unveiled the “African Renewable Energy Scale-Up facility”, designed to boost private sector investment in on–grid and off-grid renewable energy production in Africa. In order to meet Africa’s constantly increasing energy requirements, support must be provided for mass development of the renewable energy technologies – especially solar energy – that will play such a key role over the coming years, given the recent drop in prices and the emergence of new innovative business models. The EU’s electrification funding initiative, “ElectriFI”, helps to harness and stimulate private sector investment to enhance access to renewable energy. More specifically, it focuses on poorly-served...
(AFP (eng) 03/18/17)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the Bundesliga's top-scorer, claimed his 23rd goal in as many league games as Borussia Dortmund laboured to a 1-0 home win over strugglers Ingolstadt on Friday. Aubameyang's first-half winner was his 30th goal in all competitions for Dortmund this season. Borussia remain third in the table, narrowing the gap behind RB Leipzig to three points, but 13 adrift of runaway leaders Bayern Munich. Borussia, who have drawn Monaco in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, were missing a host of stars, but there was no disguising a poor display.
(Voice of America 03/18/17)
Each year, the University of Southern California hosts the African Global Economic and Development Summit, bringing delegations from Africa to meet with business leaders, government officials and others in the U.S. But this year, the African summit has no Africans. All were denied visas. Visa issues are not uncommon for people traveling from African nations. During her prior three summits, Mary Flowers saw a high percentage of her attendees unable to attain visas. "Usually we get 40 percent that get rejected but the others come," said Flowers, chair of the African Global Economic and Development Summit. "This year it was 100 percent. Every delegation. And it was sad to see, because these people were so disheartened." Flowers estimated that she...
(Voice of America 03/17/17)
One of the enduring legacies of the Barack Obama presidency will be the relationship built between the United States and young Africans. As part of Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), each year 1,000 young people from sub-Saharan Africa travel to the United States to spend six weeks at a U.S. college or university. The program will continue this summer. But building enduring relationships is a two-way street, and many in Africa want to see Americans coming to their continent as well. That’s what 26 Americans selected to participate in a Reciprocal Exchange program, a new component of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, are now planning to do. The U.S. Department of State partnered with IREX, a...
(Xinhuanet 03/16/17)
China's aid to the education sector in Africa is helping boost teacher training, a key component in skilling the population to fast track development, a UN official has said. Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, Director of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Regional Office for Eastern Africa, in an interview recognized China's contribution to Africa's education sector over the years. "We value the initiative in teacher training in Uganda and other countries in Africa. This will revitalize the teaching profession," she said. China through UNESCO donated equipment to three teacher training institutions in Uganda on March 3. Figures from the Chinese embassy here show that 137 tutors were trained and 272 pieces of Information Communication and Technology and studio equipment...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
Africa will host a Commonwealth Games one day despite the blow of Durban being stripped of hosting the 2022 edition, David Grevemberg, the chief executive of The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), told AFP. Durban lost the right to host the Games on Monday -- just 18 months after being awarded them -- when it failed to meet criteria laid down by the CGF, primarily over costs. "I wouldn't want to make a judgement call," Grevemberg told AFP on the sidelines of a briefing by 2018 Games hosts Gold Coast on Wednesday. "Durban has hosted some great events, it is a fantastic city and are wonderful warm hosts with bright ambitions and great aspirations. "However, it takes more than a municipality,...
(The Wall Street Journal 03/15/17)
Ndalo Media founder Khanyi Dhlomo and Mara Group founder Ashish Thakkar on where the potential is and what’s blocking it How is innovation in Africa different from innovation in Silicon Valley? And how can innovation in Africa be encouraged? Dan Keeler, frontier-markets editor of The Wall Street Journal, discussed those questions with Khanyi Dhlomo, founder and chief executive of Ndalo Media, a publisher based in South Africa, and Ashish Thakkar, founder of Mara Group, a pan-African investment group with operations in banking, real estate, infrastructure and technology. Edited excerpts follow. MR. KEELER: What about innovation in Africa? Khanyi, what sort of things are you seeing that are inspiring you? MS. DHLOMO:There’s a lot of innovation happening in Africa. But it’s...
(Agence Ecofin 03/14/17)
The Land Policy Initiative (LPI), a joint programme of the tripartite consortium consisting of the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has launched a pilot project to track progress in implementing in the AU Declaration on land issues in Africa. This was revealed by the ECA in a press statement dated March 7. In collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the project will assess progress made in implementing the key decisions and commitments of the AU Declaration on Land adopted in July 2009 by the General Assembly of the pan-African institution. “We are to a large extent in unchartered waters given many of our Member...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/13/17)
The United Arab Emirates, one of the Middle East's largest economies, wants to expand trade ties with faster growing nations in Asia and Africa, a senior official said on Sunday. Rich Gulf Arab states are looking at ways to diversify their economies, including who they trade with, after more than two years of depressed oil prices forced a rethink of government spending. The pace of economic growth in Asian and sub-Saharan African economies has made them ideal partners, Abdullah al-Saleh, undersecretary for foreign trade and industry at the UAE ministry of the economy, told Reuters in an interview in Dubai. Asia's two largest economies China and India are expected to grow by 6.5 percent and 7.2 percent this year whilst...
(AFP (eng) 03/10/17)
In the beginning was .com, followed by a host of other .somethings, but on Friday, 32 years after the world's first domain name was registered, the African Union has launched .africa for the continent. Africans who want to register a website will be able to apply for a .africa domain name in the coming months, which outgoing AU commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said would allow the continent's people and businesses to better reach the world. "With .africa, I would say Africa has finally got its digital identity," said Dlamini-Zuma, who will next week hand power to Chadian Foreign Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat after four years at the helm of the continental body Sub-Saharan Africa has one of the lowest rates...
(Xinhuanet 03/09/17)
A critical mass of trained and well equipped community health workforce is key to easing the rising burden of infectious and noncommunicable diseases in Africa, experts said on Wednesday at a continental forum taking place in Nairobi. The experts, policymakers and campaigners who attended Africa Health Agenda International Conference agreed that optimal engagement of community health workers is key to revolutionize response to diseases ravaging the continent. Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Health Cleopa Mailu in his opening remarks said that investments in training for community health workers will have multiplier impact on Africa's socioeconomic development. "We require highly skilled and motivated cadre of community health workforce to deal with a high diseases burden in disadvantaged settings in this continent. These...
(AFP (eng) 03/08/17)
Lawyers and human rights campaigners launched an initiative for African whistleblowers in Senegal on Tuesday, aimed at providing a secure means of exposing wrongdoing on the continent. African nations such as Somalia, South Sudan, Libya and Guinea-Bissau regularly appear at the very bottom of rankings such as Transparency International's Corruption Index, while none make it into the top 30. The Platform for the Protection of Whistleblowers in Africa (PPLAAF) will provide guidance from legal experts, secure submission of information and a hotline for potential informants, according to its founders. The initiative is the brainchild of Spanish superstar lawyer Baltasar Garzon -- who has defended Julian Assange of whistleblowing website WikiLeaks -- along with French lawyer William Bourdon, who worked on...
(The Independent 03/06/17)
Th term was coined by sceptical officials, worried about the importance given to Commonwealth trade deals ahead of Brexit negotiations. Plans by government ministers to boost trade links with African Commonwealth countries are being internally branded “empire 2.0” by sceptical officials who are worried about the importance being placed on such deals ahead of the UK’s negotiations of leaving the European Union (EU). International Trade Secretary Liam Fox is expected to promise to build better links with the whole of the 52 member countries of the Commonwealth when ministers from each country meet in London later this week. But as the UK is prepares itself to leave the European Union, The Times reports that British ministers are planning to talk...
(Bloomberg 03/03/17)
Polar Star Management Ltd., which runs one of the best-performing African and Middle East hedge fund over the past five years, plans to start a private-equity unit that will invest in agriculture to exploit rising demand for food. The Cape Town-based firm plans to use its own money to buy small farms and processing companies in South Africa this year, then increase efficiency through consolidation and better management, said Murray Derksen, a director at Polar Star. It aims to raise 1.5 billion rand ($115 million) for the fund, which may also buy commodities such as grains, while targeting an internal rate of return of 8 percent to 12 percent, he said. “We looked at the increase in corn demand globally,...
(AFP (eng) 03/02/17)
A film raging against colonialism and the exploitation of Africa wowed viewers at the continent's top cinema festival Wednesday, winning shouts of approval at a screening packed to bursting point. "The African Storm" tells the story of an African president who nationalises businesses run by racist, cynical Western executives. Directed and produced by its Beninese star Sylvestre Amoussou, it tackles several hot-button issues including an exit from the CFA franc currency, closer ties with Russia and China as opposed to the West, criticism of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, and pride in being African. One of 20 feature-length movies on show at the Panafrican Film and Television Festival (Fespaco) in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou, the movie was punctuated...
(AFP (eng) 02/28/17)
The Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership -- the world's biggest individual prize -- drew a blank once again in finding a suitable laureate, it was announced Tuesday. The prize only goes to a democratically-elected African leader who demonstrated exceptional leadership, served their mandated term and left office within the last three years. The award comes with $5 million (4.7 million euros) paid over 10 years and $200,000 annually for life from then on. The prize, founded by Sudan-born telecoms tycoon Mo Ibrahim, has only been given four times in its 10-year existence. The philanthropist has said in the past that making no award sent just as strong a message on African leadership. "A very high bar was deliberately...
(AfricaNews 02/27/17)
The road map of dialogue proposed by Gabonese president, Ali Bongo Ondimba is becoming clearer. After the post electoral violence in August and September last year, the Gabonese president says his doors are open for dialogue. The final report of the preparatory work launched on February 15, was adopted on Monday and is expected to be summited on Wednesday to Ali Bongo Ondimba who will then decide on the date for the opening of negotiations. The dialogue is expected to last for close to a month in three phases. Th population will be interviewed during the first phase before the opening of the second phase which will bring together 75 delegates from the various political camps of the country. Jean...
(AFP (eng) 02/27/17)
An African road movie about four women wowed its audience Sunday as it kicked off the Panafrican cinema and television festival (Fespaco), a showcase for the continent's burgeoning film industry. "Borders" ("Frontieres") directed by Apolline Traore, a Fespaco laureate in 2013, sweeps across Africa as its protagonists journey through Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Benin on their way to Nigeria. Along the way the women -- Ivorian, Senegalese, Burkinabe and Nigerian actresses -- are spared nothing as they are beset by customs officers, thieves, murderers and rapists. The film -- the first feature-length film to show at the festival -- deals with "the bravery of women," Traore told AFP at the festival in the Burkinabe capital Ouagadougou. "There is a...

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(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...
(Voice of America 05/30/16)
Sunday was the annual International Day of U.N. Peacekeepers, honoring the more than 1 Million men and women recognized around the world as "Blue Helmets." U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the Blue Helmets "manifest the best attributes of global solidarity, courageously serving in dangerous environments to provide security to some of the world's most vulnerable." Earlier this month, Ban laid a wreath outside U.N. headquarters in New York in memory of the 3,400 peacekeepers who have lost their lives since the first mission in 1948. U.N. officials say that in the past year, peacekeeping missions have faced many challenges, including sheltering 200,000 civilians in South Sudan fleeing for their lives to U.N. bases, and a peacekeeping team helping the Central...
(Xinhuanet 05/26/16)
African young people have been urged to be patriotic and adopt the spirit of Pan-Africanism on African Liberation Day, which falls on May 25 every year. Protais Musoni, commissioner in Pan-Africanism Movement Rwanda chapter, told hundreds of young people gathered at the University of Rwanda College of Business and Economics in the Capital, Kigali. He was speaking on Wednesday during the celebrations to mark African Liberation Day, an event held to mark the progress of the liberation movement across the continent. African Liberation Day celebrates African nations' hard-fought freedom from European colonial powers and to symbolize the determination of African people to free themselves from foreign domination, influence and exploitation. The day was marked under the theme "women and youth...
(AFP (eng) 05/18/16)
A former number two at the US Department of Homeland Security is forcing the United Nations to confront one of the worst crises in its history: sexual abuse by peacekeepers. Jane Holl Lute, who also served on the White House's national security council, is pushing what she describes as a "get-tough agenda" to end a wave of allegations of child rape and sexual exploitation that has hit UN peacekeeping, in particular the UN mission in the Central African Republic. "It is shocking," she said in an interview on Tuesday. "The things that we find ourselves speaking about in the halls of this house that have gone on in the field: it's stunning." Lute was appointed in February as the UN's...
(Voice of America 05/17/16)
Every year, the World Health Organization reports that some 3 million girls, most under the age of 15, are subject to female genital mutilation. This number adds to the hefty toll of more than 200 million girls and women already living with the harmful consequences of this brutal, inhumane practice. For the first time, WHO is issuing guidelines to help health workers provide better physical and psychological care for these girls and women. Female genital mutilation, or FGM, involves the partial or total removal of external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. The practice is prevalent in 30 African countries, as well as a few countries in Asia and the Middle East. In addition,...
(AFP (eng) 05/12/16)
Rwanda and the Netherlands, two countries embroiled in the UN's worst peacekeeping failures, on Wednesday launched a push at the United Nations for blue helmets to more readily use force to defend civilians in conflicts. The initiative seeks to persuade countries that contribute troops to UN peacekeeping to agree to more robust action and more readily intervene instead of staying behind the high walls of their UN compounds. "The blue flag needs to stand for protection and it doesn't always," Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders told the gathering at UN headquarters in New York. The failure of Dutch peacekeepers to defend Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica in July 1995 has been a source of shame for the Netherlands, which has recently...
(Voice of America 05/11/16)
U.S. lawmakers examining the threat that terrorism poses in Africa expressed concern Tuesday that the United States may be overlooking human rights and governance abuses by leaders in the region who provide assistance on counterterrorism issues. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield told a panel of the senators at a hearing convened by the Foreign Relations Committee that countries in the region have critical vulnerabilities and capacities’ gap that must be addressed. Thomas-Greenfield said that terror groups are recruiting foot soldiers simply by offering money. To counter that, she said that governments must "use every available resource to offer educational and vocational opportunities" to counteract the groups. Counterterrorism and human rights The United States is focused on...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/09/16)
Member states of the U.N. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) are not meeting until September, but some African countries have already drawn their battle lines on divisive issues such as the ivory trade. Proposals for the meeting in Johannesburg were made public this week, pitting bids by Namibia and Zimbabwe to open up the trade in elephant ivory, against initiatives led by Kenya for a complete global ban on the coveted commodity. Those seeking to open up the trade of wild animal products argue it will raise badly-needed funds for conservation, but others say it would provide cover to poachers and make products that can endanger species socially acceptable to consumers. "In all of these issues we...
(Caj News Africa 05/07/16)
RAMPANT poverty and declining natural resources have been cited as the major source of conflict and rising incidents of terrorism in the Sahel region. This region is worst affected by terror extremists have over the years perpetrated, resulting in the deaths of thousands of civilians and the displacement of millions. Ministers from African countries North and South of the Sahara and their development partners are meeting in Dakar, Senegal, at a High-Level conference organised by the African Union to address these challenges. Camilla Nordheim-Larsen, head of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, said among the major challenges characterising the region include the flash floods in Niger, the Boko Haram massacres in the Lake Chad region, food crises in the...
(Voice of America 05/06/16)
Angola is battling a yellow fever outbreak amid a global shortage of the vaccine. Cases have also been reported in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Uganda and China. Health experts worry about further spread. There is no treatment. Mass immunization is the only way to stop yellow fever, but producing more of the vaccine is not easy. Making of a vaccine The Institut Pasteur de Dakar is one of four places in the world that make the yellow fever vaccine. Recording is prohibited inside the institute, but there is nothing to hear. The halls are quiet. Two walls of windows separate us from the sterile labs where technicians work in head-to-toe protective gear. Each week, a carton of special,...
(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...

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(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...
(Bloomberg 05/04/16)
The prices private equity firms pay for stakes in African companies are the highest in six years, driven by record fundraising and competition for the continent’s expanding middle class. The median price for buyouts in 2015 increased to more than seven times the ratio of a company’s value to its earnings before interest, depreciation, tax and amortization, compared with 5.4 times in 2012, Cape Town-based RisCura Solutions (Pty) Ltd. said in a report on the industry released Wednesday. “Industries serving consumer staples and discretionary spending fetch the highest prices because of favorable demographics in the growing middle class,” Rory Ord, head valuations at RisCura, said by phone. “High growth expectations, fierce competition and decreased risk perception contribute to higher sale...
(IMF 05/03/16)
After a prolonged period of strong economic growth, sub-Saharan Africa is set to experience a second difficult year as the region is hit by multiple shocks, the IMF said in its latest Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa. The steep decline in commodity prices and tighter financing conditions have put many large economies under severe strain, and the new report calls for a stronger policy response to counter the effect of these shocks and secure the region's growth potential. The report shows growth fell to 3.5 percent in 2015, the lowest level in 15 years. Growth this year is expected to slow further to 3 percent, well below the 6 percent average over the last decade, and barely above population...
(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...
(The Guardian 04/27/16)
Barclays has revealed it has received approaches for its African operations – which its former chief executive Bob Diamond wants to buy – as it reported a 25% slump in first quarter profits and losses on oil-related loans. The bank, currently undergoing a restructuring under new chief executive Jes Staley, reported first quarter profits of £793m and a 15% rise in bad debts, largely a result of problems facing clients in the oil and gas sector. Staley, an American banker who took the helm in December after a hiatus in the boardroom, said there had been expressions of interest in the African business, which was put on the market last month. “On Africa, we continue to explore opportunities to reduce...
(Huffingtonpost 04/26/16)
The foreign aid arena in Africa has traditionally been dominated by the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. However, over the last three decades non-traditional donors such as China, have emerged. The increasing importance of non-traditional donors has meant that the economic and political stronghold of western countries in sub-Saharan Africa has gradually ebbed. China is now the largest non-traditional contributor of aid to sub-Saharan African countries. In the 1960s Africa provided China with an opportunity to increase its political and diplomatic reach.
(AfricaNews 04/23/16)
More than a century after the light bulb was invented most of the African continent is still in the dark after nightfall. School children often cannot read after dusk, businesses cannot grow, clinics cannot refrigerate medicine or vaccines and industries are idled, hampering economic growth, jobs, and livelihoods. Today some 25 countries in sub-Saharan Africa are facing a crisis evidenced by rolling blackouts. Although the African continent is well endowed both with fossil fuels and renewable resources, these are not evenly distributed, creating windfall profits for some countries and exacerbating the crisis in others. APV aims to achieve an 80% residential electrification rate by 2040 and 90% for industry/business, with sufficient energy to deliver to those connected, while also implementing...
(Business Day 04/21/16)
The apparent end to the commodity supercycle has sent shock waves across the global economy. It has sparked turbulence in stock markets, put pressure on currencies and fuelled concerns about prospects for growth and the stability of public finances. Africa has not escaped this pessimism. Questions have been asked about the continent’s economic future, with fears that the remarkable gains of the past two decades could be reversed. The mood reminds me of the International Monetary Fund-World Bank meetings I attended at the height of the Asian financial crisis nearly 20 years ago, when analysts were predicting the Asian miracle was at an end. They underestimated the potential of Asia then, and I believe the potential of Africa is being...
(AfricaNews 04/21/16)
The World Bank and other development partners have revealed that the total money transfers by African migrants to their region or country of origin surged by 3.4% to $35.2 billion, in 2015. The sum which includes intra-African transfers, represents 6 percent of total transfers by migrants worldwide to their region or country of origin, Ecofin agency reports. The total migrants transfers worldwide, though lesser compared to the previous year is estimated at $581.6 billion. Africa is seen as number one in terms of migration and as such, some European countries have raised barriers thus making it more difficult for Africans to get visas. Over the past four years, transfers by African migrants to their homes reached $134 .4 billion. A...
(CNN 04/16/16)
Growth in Africa has outpaced most emerging markets in recent years, but that's changing fast as a slew of problems beset its leading economies. Cheap oil, political uncertainty and weak banks are all to blame. Here's what you need to know about sub-Saharan Africa's big four: South Africa The prospects for Africa's most advanced economy are not looking good. The country is set to grow by just 0.6% this year, according to the International Monetary Fund. It's one of the slowest growing countries in one of the world's fastest growing territories. The rand plummeted 30% last year, and not just because of an emerging market sell-off. Political turmoil has also had a big impact. Just this month, South African President...

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(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...
(CNN 01/22/16)
(CNN)Fancy a drink of Sparletta Stoney Tangawizi? Or maybe a glass of Krest Bitter Lemon? Those are two of over 100 drinks that Coca-Cola produces in Africa, many tailored to local taste. The approach in each city may differ, but the company's strategy is the same everywhere: a Coke product should always be within reach. "It is very important that as a business we really ensure that we continue to be relevant to consumers and customers," Nathan Kalumbu, President Coca-Cola Eurasia & Africa Group, told CNN. Across the continent, Coke has about 3,000 small distribution centers. "These micro distribution centers are normally run by individuals who live in the community, they employ local people and they distribute to local retailers...

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