| Africatime
Tuesday 25 April 2017
(Voice of America 10/17/16)
Telecom workers in Burkina Faso were on strike again this month, leading to phone and internet interruptions. The country has only one internet service provider, Onatel, but the days of the telecom monopoly in Africa may ending. The Burkina Faso telecommunications authority fined Onatel 5 billion CFA francs ($8.5 million U.S.) in response to the strike, which cut internet access across the country for more than a week. Arouna Ouédraogo, an information technology specialist, said people without access to the internet become desperate. He said he businesspeople rushing to his internet cafe with contracts to sign and documents to send, but he couldn't help them. "People outside this country just cannot imagine that there is no internet" for such an...
(AFP (eng) 10/16/16)
A Gabonese doctor who compiled a "damning report" on the post-electoral violence that rocked the oil-rich central African nation was released Saturday after more than a week in detention, her lawyer and a civil society group said. "Dr Sylvie Nkoghe-Mbot was released on Saturday at 7:00pm (1800 GMT)," lawyer Eric Moutet and the Dynamique Unitaire civil society group said in two identical text messages. They did not specify if the 56-year-old paediatrician, who heads an NGO named Hippocrate, had been given a conditional release. Violence erupted in Gabon after President Ali Bongo was declared winner, with a wafer-thin majority. of the August 27 vote. Defeated presidential candidate Jean Ping filed a legal challenge but the country's top court dismissed opposition...
(AFP (eng) 10/15/16)
Stemming the astronomical losses caused by crime in the oceans surrounding Africa is the focus of a major continental summit on Saturday in the Togolese capital, Lome. "Over recent decades, the accumulated revenue losses resulting directly from illegal activities in the African maritime sector add up to hundreds of billions of US dollars, without counting the loss of human lives," the African Union (AU) said in an online statement about its Protect Our Oceans meeting. Up to 30 African heads of state and government are expected to attend the gathering, whose full title is the AU Extraordinary Summit on Maritime Security and Safety and Development in Africa. The long-term aim, according to the AU, is to "make maritime space the...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/14/16)
About 70 sub-Saharan African migrants forced their way over a barbed wire barrier into Spain’s North African enclave of Melilla Thursday. They ran to a local immigration center where they were met by dozens of migrants cheering “victory, victory” although their legal status in Spain has yet to be determined. Migrants wait weeks and sometimes months at the short-stay immigrant center in the hope of being transferred to a refugee reception center in mainland Spain, said Government Delegation of Melilla spokesperson Irene Flores. Spain has two enclaves in Morocco, Ceuta and Melilla, and both are hot spots for African migrants making their way to Europe either by climbing over the barriers, going around them or swimming along the coastline. After...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/13/16)
When German Chancellor Angela Merkel toured three African nations this week for talks on curbing migration to Europe, the leader of the world's poorest country, Niger, suggested it would take a "Marshall Plan" of massive aid to stop people coming. Merkel politely declined the request, expressing concern about how well the aid would be spent and noting that, at a summit in Malta last year, the European Union had already earmarked 1.8 billion euros for a trust fund to train and resettle migrants. But Niger's President Mahatma Issoufou also proposed something perhaps more significant, in the long run, than a development package - bringing Niger's population growth down from 3.9 percent, the highest in the world. Though he gave no...
(Graphic Online 10/12/16)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has emphasised that Africa will be a priority when her country takes over the G20's revolving presidency at the end of 2016. Speaking in Ethiopia yesterday on the final stage of a three-nation African tour, which also included visits to Mali and Niger, Mrs Merkel pledged development as well as military aid on her trip. She said it was important to stem migration at its source. Germany took in more than one million irregular migrants last year - many from war-ravaged Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, but also many fleeing economic hardship across Africa. Migration is expected to be a key issue in next year's federal elections, though Mrs Merkel has not yet declared whether she will...
(Agence Ecofin 10/11/16)
In an interview on Gabon television, the new vice-Prime Minister, minister of Urbanism, Social Housing, Bruno Ben Moubamba, said the land issue was one of the “most urgent” he intended to deal with. Announcing an upcoming bill land property, the official’s diagnosis is implacable. “Land is a real problem in Gabon. All landholders must have titles. This project aims to help identify people living lands across the territory,” he said. Let’s recall that Mr. Moubamba promised to deliver 10,000 social housing each year during the recent presidential elections. His determination is more than comprehensible especially since his office faces a gangrene which is spreading all over the African continent. The new bill is expected to be submitted soon to the...
(AFP (eng) 10/11/16)
Raised on the backstabbing intrigue of 1980s American soaps "Dallas" and "Dynasty", and later, the heady drama of South American telenovelas, Africans are enjoying a surge in local TV content they can finally identify with. It took a while, but in the past decade local programming has soared in sub-Saharan Africa's key economies, a rise driven by both foreign satellite networks and television stations on the continent. This growth has delivered up local shows such as Kenya's comedic "Real Househelps of Kawangware" -- a play on the US "Real Housewives" series -- along with talk shows, political satire and continent-wide reality TV such as "Big Brother Africa" and "Project Fame". And demand is set to grow with the number of...
(AFP (eng) 10/10/16)
A Gabonese doctor who compiled a "damning report" on the post-electoral violence that rocked the oil-rich central African nation has been arrested, a civil society group said on Sunday. Sylvie Nkoghe-Mbot, 56, a paediatrician and the head of an NGO named Hippocrate was arrested at the end of last week, the Dynamique Unitaire civil society group said. Violence erupted in Gabon after President Ali Bongo was declared the winner with a wafer-thin majority in the August 27 vote. Defeated presidential candidate Jean Ping filed a legal challenge but the country's top court dismissed opposition claims of vote fraud and upheld Bongo's win. Opposition figures say more than 50 people were killed in the violence but the government has given a...
(AFP (eng) 10/10/16)
Africa will come together to battle piracy and illegal fishing for the first time at an African Union maritime security summit that kicks off in Togo on October 15. The continent urgently needs to fight "extremely high stakes" piracy and illegal fishing in its waters by joining forces over policy and working to raise necessary funds, Togo's Foreign Minister Robert Dussey told AFP ahead of the meeting. - Why is this meeting being held? - "These are very high stakes for Africa. At least 92 percent of imported goods arrive on the continent across the seas and oceans. Of the 54 countries in the African Union, 33 have a coastline," said Dussey. "During the summit, several issues will be tackled...
(AFP (eng) 10/08/16)
World economic leaders gathered in Washington this week to defend globalization, delivering a single message in unison: Protectionism will not save you. But this glosses over the plight of Africa, which is sinking further into poverty despite years of free trade. According to the International Monetary Fund, which held its annual meetings this week with the World Bank, growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is in free-fall this year, with a growth rate of 1.4 percent, down from 3.4 percent in 2015, its lowest in a quarter century. The regional economy will therefore grow more slowly than the population, at the risk of deepening poverty in a region already home to more than half of the 766 million people on earth who...
(AFP (eng) 10/07/16)
Investment into Africa may buck the global downward trend and stage a rebound this year despite low prices hitting the oil and gas sector, a UN agency said Thursday. While foreign direct investment, a key driver of trade and economic growth, is set to drop by 10 to 15 percent this year globally, in Africa it may increase by 6 percent to $55 to 60 billion, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Developments (UNCTAD) said in a report. "This bounce-back is already becoming visible in announced greenfield projects in Africa. In the first quarter of 2016, their value was $29 billion, 25 percent higher than the same period in 2015," said the agency. While north African countries such as...
(AfricaNews 10/06/16)
Sympathizers of Gabon’s opposition are observing a day of national mourning requested by opposition leader Jean Ping. The opposition has called on its supporters to stay at home saying this is intended to show solidarity to those who have died as well as compassion to families in mourning. President Ali Bongo Ondimba has called on Gabonese to carry out their daily activities as usual. Gabon’s government says 4 people were killed during the post electoral riots in Gabon, among whom was one police man.
(Xinhuanet 10/06/16)
Zhou Ping had not seen his father for five years when in primary school. Despite the biting solitude, Zhou always displayed his pride for his father -- he was from a glorious "foreign aid family," and his father was building the Tazara Railway in Africa. Standing on the windy East African plateau, Zhou picked up this childhood sentiment. More than 40 years have passed, and 53-year-old Zhou is now a construction worker for another historic railway connecting the African countries of Ethiopia and Djibouti. The Ethiopia-Djibouti railway, which officially opened service on Wednesday, is another Chinese-built trans-national rail in Africa following Tazara, which links Tanzania's Dar es Salaam with Zambia's Kapiri Mposhi. Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang hailed it as...
(CNN 10/05/16)
Terrorism, human trafficking, and corruption are creating a more dangerous continent, which in turn is preventing better governance, a new report revealed. The results of the 2016 Ibrahim Index of African Governance, published by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, show that two thirds of Africans live in a country where safety and rule of law has deteriorated over the past decade, greatly impacting overall governance in Africa. 15 countries have declined 'quite substantially,' and almost half the countries on the continent recorded their worst score ever within the last three years. The Ibrahim Index of African Governance, the report provides an annual assessment of governance in Africa and is most comprehensive collection of data on governance in the region. The 2016...
(AFP (eng) 10/04/16)
The global conference that governs wildlife trade voted Monday against strengthening the ban on ivory sales, exposing bitter divisions among African countries and experts over elephant conservation. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) rejected a proposal to include all African elephants in its highest category of protection, which bans trade in species facing extinction. A coalition of 29 African countries -- led by Kenya and Benin -- had pressed for African elephants to be put in the CITES "Appendix I" category. But South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe rejected the proposal, saying they should continue to be excluded from Appendix I as they have stable or growing elephant populations. "This is a tragedy for elephants," said Kelvin Alie,...
(AFP (eng) 10/03/16)
Gabon's prime minister has unveiled a new cabinet that includes few opposition figures, despite promises by re-elected President Ali Bongo to be more inclusive after disputed elections in August. As part of the shake-up, the defence ministry will also be brought under the control of the office of the president. The 40-strong team promises to be "largely open to the nation's active movements" and is made up of around 30 percent women, Prime Minister Emmanuel Ngondet said at a press conference at the presidential palace after days of negotiations. Very few opposition figures made it into the final team, which is meant to help "reconcile" Gabon after Bongo's wafer-thin victory in the August 27 vote sparked deadly unrest and opposition...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/03/16)
Gabon's prime minister on Sunday named a new government in the wake of disputed elections, but it contained no representatives of opposition leader Jean Ping, who says the vote was rigged. According to a government statement, the only opposition leader named in Prime Minister Emmanuel Issozet Ngondet's cabinet of 40 people is Bruno Ben Moubamba, who came in a distant third in the Aug. 27 vote. Moubamba was chosen as deputy prime minister and minister for urbanization and social habitats. President Ali Bongo was declared the election winner by fewer than 6,000 votes. France called for a recount, and the European Union said it found anomalies in Bongo's stronghold province of Haut-Ogooue, where he won 95 percent on a 99.9...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/03/16)
Governance across Africa has improved very little over the past decade as deteriorating safety and rule of law have held back progress made in other areas such as human rights or economic opportunities, a survey said on Monday. The Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) - the most comprehensive survey of its kind on the continent - rates 54 African nations against criteria such as security, human rights, economic stability, just laws, free elections, corruption, infrastructure, poverty, health and education. Mauritius held onto its top spot, followed by Botswana, Cape Verde, the Seychelles and Namibia while South Africa - the continent's most industrialised country - was in sixth place. While overall the index has improved by just one point over...
(AFP (eng) 10/01/16)
Some 70 people, including several opposition figures, were still in detention nearly a month after a wave of post-election violence erupted in Gabon, a judicial source said on Friday. Thirty-nine people have been charged for their alleged role in rioting and looting that broke out in Gabon after the disputed vote. They are being held pending trial, the source told AFP on condition of anonymity. Some 30 others have been brought before a court and were awaiting sentencing, the source added. Violence erupted on August 31 after President Ali Bongo was first declared the winner of the contested vote. Opposition demonstrators who believed the election had been rigged set parliament ablaze and clashed with police, who made hundreds of arrests...

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