Monday 22 May 2017
(AFP (eng) 01/04/17)
Italy vowed Wednesday to increase deportations of migrants whose asylum requests have been rejected, after a riot in a reception centre sparked by the death of a young woman. The country, which has been on the frontline of migrants arriving across the Mediterranean from North Africa, is pushing for an agreement with Niger and a renewed deal with Tunisia to facilitate returns. "We have saved many lives but we cannot accept rule-breaking. We need to speed up deportations," Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, the country's former interior minister, said in an interview with La Stampa daily. He was "working to tie up agreements which will reduce arrivals and prevent departures" from the coast of North Africa, he said after a record...
(Agence Ecofin 01/03/17)
Gabonese subsidiary of Singapore group Olam International said it will, in 2017, focus on the Nkok privileged economic region (ZERP) as well as on transport, energy and hydraulic infrastructures. In the Nkok ZERP, the firm plans to develop 1126 ha of multi-sector industrial warehouses, to help diversify Gabon’s economy and make 100% made in Gabon products for both the local and external markets. Regarding infrastructures, besides the 2,300 km of power lines already laid for 450 villages, Olam plans to build 65 km of water pipes between Port-Gentil and Loanda’s beach. The new investments add to a hundred hydraulic standpipes already installed.
(BBC News Africa 01/03/17)
An electricity grid for the whole village Problem: A total of 1.3 billion people worldwide currently don't have electricity, according to Yale Environment 360. Getting people in rural areas on to the national grid is proving too difficult and traditional solar panels generate meagre amounts of energy. Solution: Steamaco makes solar and battery micro-grids which can work for a whole village. They are small electricity generation and distribution systems that operate independently of larger grids. How it works: Micro-grids are nothing new. The new part is that Steamaco's technology automates the regulation of electricity. So, if the system detects there will be a surge in demand for electricity, for example on a Saturday night when people want to start playing...
(Voice of America 12/30/16)
2016 was predicted to be a tough year for African economies, and it delivered. Traditional economic leaders faltered this year amid a storm of falling commodity prices, unpredictable and destructive weather like droughts and floods across large swaths of the the continent. Slow economic growth in China, a major investor and trading partner, only added to their challenges. “This year, you’ve seen the two Africas: the commodity exporters going through tough times, while the non-commodity exporters being more resilient,” Nigerian economist Nonso Obikili, who researches Nigerian and sub-Saharan economic trends for Economic Research Southern Africa, told VOA. He says 2016 has been hard on African commodity giants as oil prices fell to lows not seen since the global financial crisis...
(AFP (eng) 12/29/16)
French border police intercepted 45 African migrants who were trying to enter the country from Italy and arrested the two smugglers involved, local prosecutors said Wednesday. Travelling in two vans, 25 migrants in the first vehicle were stopped while 20 in the second breached a checkpoint at Montgenevre in southeastern France, before later being found. According to the prosecutor's office, the migrants were returned to the border and the two smugglers are to be tried in Italy.
(AFP (eng) 12/28/16)
Borussia Dortmund star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Juventus midfielder Mario Lemina head Gabon's Africa Cup of Nations squad unveiled Tuesday by the hosts' manager Jose Antonio Camacho. Also figuring in the 23-player list for the Jan 14-Feb 5 continental showpiece is Bruno Ecuele Manga, a defender with English Championship side Cardiff City, China-based striker Malick Evouna and Didier Ndong with Premier League strugglers Sunderland. Gabon co-hosted the 2012 Nations Cup with Equatorial Guinea, making it into the quarter-finals. The Panthers are drawn in Group A with Guinea-Bissau, four-time winners Cameroon and Burkina Faso, runners-up to Nigeria in 2013. Gabon captain Aubameyang could lead his team as African Player of the Year should he retain his crown. The 27-year-old French-born forward is...
(AFP (eng) 12/28/16)
Its lower cost has made it popular in commercial food production, but after being blamed for deforestation in Asia, palm oil plantations are now getting a similar rap in Africa. The sheer scale of land required is having an impact in Gabon, Cameroon and the Congo Basin, environmentalists say. With financing coming from American, European and Asian agri-businesses, palm bunches are cultivated then cut from trees and sent to factories where oil is extracted by hot pressing. But the production process accelerates deforestation, contributes to climate change and threatens fauna and flora in vulnerable areas, opponents argue. However the companies say that palm oil is not only less expensive than soya or sunflower oil but requires much less land to...
(The Herald Online 12/27/16)
The end of 2016 provides an opportunity to take stock of Africa’s recent economic performance and future prospects. It’s been a tumultuous year for some African countries largely due to a commodities crisis and a global economic slowdown.Yet there were still pockets of good growth which displayed the huge potential of the African continent. And 2017 looks to be the year the countries hardest hit by the crisis seek to recover from the economic reversals of the past few years. Since the start of the new millennium average economic growth across Africa has been stronger than the global growth rate. Growth across the continent averaged 5 percent. This fuelled the “Africa Rising” narrative that permeated public discourse. Among the growth...
(AfricaNews 12/24/16)
Leaders of the six countries that make up the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) have agreed they will not devalue the CFA Franc following an extraordinary session in Cameroon’s capital Yaounde on Friday. Although the agenda of the meeting was not clear, reports confirmed that the CFA Franc will not be devalued contrary to rumors from various media reports. The leaders also pledged to enhance more fiscal discipline in the bloc which is currently facing an economic crisis. There has been a growing debate on the use of the currency – which is pegged to the French Franc – and which analysts say needs to be devalued to encourage growth in the region. The CFA Franc was created...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/24/16)
A record 5,000 migrants are believed to have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea this year, following two shipwrecks on Thursday in which some 100 people, mainly West Africans, were feared dead, aid agencies said on Friday. Two overcrowded inflatable dinghies capsized in the Strait of Sicily after leaving Libya for Italy, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said. "Those two incidents together appear to be the numbers that would bring this year's total up to over to 5,000 (deaths), which is a new high that we have reported during this crisis," IOM spokesman Joel Millman told a Geneva briefing. The Italian coast guard rescued survivors and had recovered eight bodies so far, he said...
(The Globe and Mail 12/23/16)
The Square Kilometre Array will be the world’s most powerful radio telescope, opening new frontiers in our understanding of the universe. But the builders have to contend with an unforgiving climate and other formidable challenges first, In the desolate rocky plains of the Great Karoo, the dangers are endless. Scorpions and puff adders are underfoot. The harsh sun beats down, interrupted only by occasional lightning storms. Temperatures range from stifling heat to freezing cold. But at night, in the vast empty darkness, the stars are impossibly bright and clear. And it is the stars that have lured a Canadian-backed project to build the world’s most powerful radio telescope, with the potential to unlock the deepest secrets of the universe. For...
(Bloomberg 12/22/16)
Gabon’s bonds this month have returned more than any other dollar-denominated sovereign notes in emerging markets. The nation’s $1.5 billion bonds due December 2024 advanced as oil, which accounted for more than a third of government revenue last year, rose above $55 a barrel for the first time in about 17 months. Brent crude prices have risen 18 percent since OPEC members agreed to trim output for the first time in eight years. “If oil goes towards the $60 level, then that would help solve the macro context,” and the firm would consider amending its sell recommendation on the bonds, Stuart Culverhouse said, the chief economist at Exotic Partners LLP who downgraded his outlook on Mozambique’s debt less than two...
(AFP (eng) 12/22/16)
Selma saunters on her stilt-like legs, batting thick lashes as she extends a blackish tongue -- as long as an arm -- to grab pellets offered by an awed tourist. The giraffe is after all, eating for two. Her pregnancy is good news for one of the rarest giraffe species, protected at the Giraffe Centre in the Kenyan capital, but experts warn the outlook for the rest of the world's tallest land mammals is far gloomier. While it is hoped the shocking news that the gentle giants of the African savannah are facing extinction will spur action, conservationists largely have their hands tied as many giraffe live in Africa's most conflict-torn regions. Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan...
(The Citizen 12/21/16)
Tanzania is among some African countries which may see a drop in development aid as the US is likely to expand fiscal stance and cut spending during Donald Trump's presidency, a new report shows. The move by the world's largest economy will affect dependent countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and DRC according to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) latest report released in London yesterday. In its Economic Insight: Africa Q4 2016, the accountancy and finance body points out that signs of an expansionary fiscal stance under the Trump administration coupled with spending cuts to accommodate increased infrastructure expenditure are likely to lead to the decrease in aid. "Aid is one of the main...
(AFP (eng) 12/20/16)
When Rose Kariuki first felt a lump on her left breast, the spectre of cancer -- a disease she had only heard of on television -- was the last thing on her mind. "To me, cancer was nowhere near us. It was shocking, I feared death, I feared so many things," the 46-year-old Kenyan school teacher told AFP. Rose is one of a growing number of Africans suffering from cancer, one of the lifestyle diseases -- along with diabetes and heart problems -- proving increasing deadly on the continent. A World Health Organisation (WHO) survey released Tuesday showed that most Africans had at least one risk factor for developing one of these diseases, such as smoking, a lack of exercise,...
(AFP (eng) 12/19/16)
Ghana's Daniel Amartey struck late to salvage a draw for Premier League champions Leicester, and African Footballer of the Year Pierre Emerick Aubameyang's 16th Bundesliga goal rescued a point for Bayern Munich. ENGLAND DANIEL AMARTEY (Leicester) The Ghana midfielder capped a thrilling Leicester fightback with the late equaliser that rescued a 2-2 draw at Stoke on Saturday. Amartey had gone 19 games without a goal as he struggled to make an impact with the Premier League champions following his pre-season move from FC Copenhagen. But the 21-year-old is gradually adapting to his new surroundings and he showed his class with a well-timed run to meet Christian Fuchs' cross with a bullet header in the 88th minute at the Britannia Stadium...
(AFP (eng) 12/16/16)
The number of migrants feared to have died this year has soared to nearly 7,200 -- a more than 20-percent increase over 2015 -- with most of the fatalities in the Mediterranean, IOM said Friday. In total, 7,189 migrants and refugees have died or remain missing on migratory routs around the world, the International Organization for Migration said. That number is already 1,449 more than in all of 2015. And since it represents an average of 20 deaths per day, another 200 to 300 people could perish by the end of the year if the trend continues, the Geneva-based IOM warned in a statement. The Mediterranean Sea routes, used so far this year by nearly 360,000 people seeking a new...
(CNN 12/15/16)
In the sleepy, sun-blasted town of De Aar in central South Africa, a mighty force is stirring. The largest solar plant in Africa, Middle East and the Southern hemisphere was inaugurated here earlier this year, a 175-megawatt facility that spreads over almost 500 hectares. The facility is the brainchild of Solar Capital, led by hotel magnate turned solar evangelist Paschal Phelan, which ploughed $400 million into the venture. The plant supplies power to the National Grid, but when the heat is fiercest it produces far more than the Grid can use, and the excess power goes to waste. "It's like you have a Ferrari and you run a small car," says Massimiliano Salaorno, plant manager of Solar Capital De Aar...
(AFP (eng) 12/14/16)
A lawyer for opposition leader Jean Ping thought to have gone missing is hiding in a "friendly" country's embassy, the Gabonese politician said on Tuesday. Ping's party had said on Sunday that Eric Iga Iga, one of two lawyers who represented Ping in a Constitutional Court challenge to President Ali Bongo's controversial election victory in August, had been missing for three days. But Ping said Iga Iga, who fled after feeling "in danger", is safe and well. "Late during the night of Thursday, one of my lawyers, Mr Eric Iga Iga, received a visit from elements presenting themselves as belonging to the defence and security services -- more specifically the military police -- in the most completely illegal way," Ping...
(AFP (eng) 12/14/16)
Family planning helps people in Africa to be healthier and wealthier, as women without contraceptives become locked in "a cycle of poverty," Melinda Gates told AFP as a conference on the topic was held in Ivory Coast. "When a woman has access to contraceptives she can lift herself out of poverty, and if she doesn't have access to contraceptives, it locks her inside a cycle of poverty for the rest of her life," said the wife of Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Bill Gates, whose foundation is very active in the field. Family planning has "huge health benefits for the woman and for her children, and it has economic benefits," Gates told AFP by telephone from the Ivorian economic capital Abidjan...

Pages