| Africatime
Saturday 25 March 2017
(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...
(The Wall Street Journal 10/01/16)
Startups and global corporations alike plumb Africa for scarce software development skills A shortage of software developers in the U.S. has prompted some companies to seek talent in Africa, home to a young and increasingly-tech savvy workforce. International Business Machines Corp. has engaged young software developers in Lagos, Nigeria, to help build a data analytics business the technology giant is trying to ramp up quickly. The combination of an educated population and the proliferation of mobile technology on the continent makes Africa a good incubator of technology talent, said Leon Katsnelson, chief technology officer and director for IBM’s analytic platform emerging technologies group. IBM is building “Big Data University” to train technology professionals in its analytics tools through online training...
(Voice of America 09/30/16)
Opposition leader and former foreign minister Jean Ping pushed again Thursday for the Gabonese people to reject the authority of President Ali Bongo Ondimba, calling him "an impostor with blood of the Gabonese on his hands." Ping insists he won the Aug. 27 presidential poll and accuses Bongo, the son of Omar Bongo, who ruled the oil-producing Central African nation for over four decades, of rigging the results. Ping said he does not intend to take part in the political dialogue that Bongo called for shortly after he was declared the winner. Bongo was sworn in Sept. 27 as Gabon's president for a second seven-year term. "I will not associate myself to this vain attempt to legitimize the abuse of...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/30/16)
Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is likely to slip to 1.6 percent this year, its lowest level in two decades, due to continuing woes in the continent's largest economies of South Africa and Nigeria, a World Bank report said Thursday. Africa has been one of the world's fastest-growing region's over the past decade, but a commodities slump has hit its oil and mineral exporters hard, bringing growth down to 3 percent in 2015. However, other countries — including Ethiopia, Rwanda and Tanzania — have continued to record GDP growth above 6 percent, according to "Africa's Pulse," the Bank's twice-yearly analysis of economic trends. The report, which was unveiled in Ivory Coast's commercial capital Abidjan, also singled out Ivory Coast and...
(AFP (eng) 09/29/16)
Gabon's new Prime Minister Emmanuel Ngondet pledged Thursday to unveil his "inclusive government" at the weekend while criticising defeated presidential candidate Jean Ping for refusing to concede defeat. "It is an inclusive government, largely open to the nation's active movements... the negotiations are ongoing to this end," said Ngondet at a press conference a day after being nominated by recently re-elected President Ali Bongo. Bongo's wafer-thin victory in the August 27 vote sparked deadly unrest and opposition accusations of voter fraud in the oil-rich country. The International Criminal Court in The Hague said Thursday it has opened a "preliminary examination" of the post-poll violence to determine if there is enough evidence for a probe
(AFP (eng) 09/29/16)
The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said Thursday she was opening an initial probe into the deadly unrest in Gabon triggered by disputed elections. The news came only days after President Ali Bongo, re-elected by a wafer-thin margin in the August 27 vote over his rival Jean Ping, vowed to form "an inclusive government" for the oil-rich central African country. Chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said Libreville had referred the violence to her office on September 21, asking it "to open an investigation without delay." Violence initially erupted on August 31 after Bongo was first declared the winner of the elections. Opposition demonstrators set parliament ablaze and clashed with police, who made hundreds of arrests. Opposition figures say more...
(AFP (eng) 09/29/16)
Gabonese president, Ali Bongo Ondimba, has appointed the current foreign minister, Emmanuel Issoze Ngondet as the new prime minister tasked to form an “inclusive government”. The presidency announced the decision on Wednesday. “The President of the Republic has issued a decree appointing Mr. Emmanuel Issoze Ngondet as Prime Minister, Head of Government and asked him to form an inclusive government,” the presidential communication directorate (DCP) said in a statement released a day after the swearing in of Ali Bongo for a second term. The government could be announced latest by Sunday. Since this is an open government, it takes time for consultations.
(AFP (eng) 09/29/16)
Gabon's President Ali Bongo, newly sworn back into power, on Wednesday appointed a prime minister to form what he called an "inclusive government" following disputed elections. His wafer-thin victory in the August 27 vote sparked deadly unrest and opposition accusations of voter fraud in the oil-rich country. Bongo was installed for a second time as president on Tuesday, three days after the Constitutional Court dismissed his rival Jean Ping's fraud claims. "The President of the Republic issued a decree appointing Mr Emmanuel Issoze Ngondet as Prime Minister... and asked him to form an inclusive government," a statement from the president's office said. Government spokesman Alain Claude Bilie-By-Nze said the make up of the new government might not be announced until...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/29/16)
In the heyday of former President Omar Bongo, Gabon and its oil wealth were a central pillar of "La Francafrique", a shadowy network that enabled France's troops to defend African autocrats in exchange for juicy contracts for French companies. Thanks partly to this web of diplomacy and trade backed by French firepower, Bongo stayed in office for 42 years before his death in 2009. France's energy firms, meanwhile, had undisputed claims to some of the continent's richest oil fields. But the days of France throwing its weight behind a leader for commercial favors may be numbered, which presents a challenge for French businesses in West Africa, a largely Francophone region because of its colonial past Ali Bongo, the son of...
(AFP (eng) 09/29/16)
In a bustling market in Abidjan, women browse through a bewildering array of intricately patterned wax-print fabrics, each of which has a unique and sometimes quirky name. "Eye of my rival" is one which has an eye-like motif, while another is known as "capable husband". Another bale of this brightly coloured fabric is labelled "jealousy". Each print has a name and comes in different colours, so you could have a "capable husband" in red, green or a white and the same for “Eye of my rival". Others have longer, more conversational names: "If you leave, so will I" or "If you divorce, I won't eat sand". Known as a "pagne", this strip of printed cotton cloth can be worn in...
(Voice of America 09/28/16)
Ali Bongo Ondimba was sworn in Tuesday as Gabon's president for a second seven-year term, after winning re-election by a slim margin in a disputed vote. At the swearing-in ceremony, Bongo vowed to defend the constitution and to be fair to all. He called for political dialogue, but opposition candidate Jean Ping rejected the offer, accusing Bongo's ruling party of vote-rigging. Bongo's victory by fewer than 6,000 votes has drawn unwelcome scrutiny of the president, whose family has ruled the oil-producing state in Central Africa for 49 years. His second mandate received a cool reception from the African Union and the United Nations, while the European Union voiced regret that the count had not been transparent. Gabon's Constitutional Court on...
(AFP (eng) 09/28/16)
When farmer Isaac Tondo fell on lean times in Liberia's long rainy season, his brother in the capital sent 8,000 Liberian dollars (US$87) to his Lonestar mobile money account, ensuring his children's school fees would still be paid. Across Africa more and more people -- from urban start-ups to hard-up villagers -- are now spending, saving and planning for the future through banking services offered by mobile phone companies. And experts believe growth and poverty reduction will follow, if certain key risks are managed. Tondo's brother used to entrust cash with contacts passing through their home village in Grand Gedeh county, but the roads are so bad they can no longer access it. "The only means of receiving money from...
(AFP (eng) 09/27/16)
Ali Bongo was sworn back in as Gabon's president Tuesday, calling for unity after a disputed election win that sparked deadly unrest and revealed deep divisions in the oil-rich country. The 57-year-old used the ceremony to appeal for unity after the deadly violence that followed the announcement of his victory last month. He pledged to ensure "equal opportunities" for all in the new government "which I will name in a few days." Government spokesman Alain-Claude Bilie-By-Nze said Bongo wanted to install "a unity government by this week or the start of next week". Cannons were fired during the ceremony in the seafront presidential palace in Libreville, as fears of fresh violence resurfaced. "I pledge to devote all my efforts for...
(Voice of America 09/27/16)
Gabon’s president Ali Bongo is due to be sworn in on Tuesday after the country’s highest court validated his re-election Friday. Opposition leader Jean Ping rejected the court’s ruling and said he "will not retreat" but his next steps are unclear. Bongo has called for political dialogue after this month’s contentious election. Ping also claimed to have won the August 27 poll. He called the Constitutional Court's ruling on Friday "a miscarriage of justice." But his options now are limited, says Paul Melly, West and Central Africa analyst at London-based Chatham House. “Jean Ping is probably realistic. He knows that in the normal constitutional process, it is highly unlikely that there is any possibility for the election results being reversed…So...
(AFP (eng) 09/27/16)
Yemeni authorities on Monday deported at least 220 African illegal immigrants, mainly Ethiopians, from the southern port city of Aden, security officials said. The migrants had been rounded up over the past two weeks and were put on a ship bound for Somalia, from where they apparently came, an official in Aden said. The boat left from the port at Aden's refinery. Hundreds of illegal migrants have arrived in south Yemen over the past few weeks despite the ongoing war that has ravaged the country. In Shabwa province, east of Aden, authorities have arrested more than 500 African migrants over the past two weeks, security chief Awad al-Dahboul said. Officials in south Yemen have claimed that some migrants are being...
(AFP (eng) 09/26/16)
Ali Bongo will be sworn in on Tuesday as Gabon's president for a second seven-year term, his office announced, three days after his election victory was controversially validated by the constitutional court. The ceremony will be held at the seafront presidential palace in Libreville, the presidency told AFP Monday. It gave no details of who had been invited or the time of the event. Bongo's victory in the August 27 vote was confirmed on Saturday by the country's top court, which dismissed opposition claims of vote fraud. Violence erupted on August 31 after Bongo, 57, was initially declared winner. Demonstrators set parliament ablaze and clashed with police, who made a thousand arrests. Opposition figures say more than 50 people were...
(AFP (eng) 09/26/16)
EU monitors said Sunday that Gabon's top court had failed to rectify vote-counting "anomalies" in fiercely-disputed elections in which President Ali Bongo extended his family's rule in the oil-rich nation into a fifth decade. The European Union's electoral observer mission said it "regretted" that Gabon's Constitutional Court, which on Saturday ruled against opposition demands for a recount, "had been unable to satisfactorily rectify anomalies observed during the count". Opposition leader Jean Ping had filed a legal challenge after Bongo was declared the winner by a mere 6,000 votes in the August 27 election. Ping, a career diplomat and a former top official at the African Union, had asked for a recount in Haut-Ogooue province, a stronghold of the Bongo family...
(AFP (eng) 09/26/16)
Gabon president Ali Bongo has insisted that that the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) will go ahead in his crisis-ridden country. The CAN is due to take place from January 14 to February 5 next year but was thrown into doubt after violence broke out following Bongo's controversial re-election in August. "As we speak, there is no reason for this Cup not to take place here," said Bongo in an interview with state TV channel Gabon Television, which was reproduced on Monday by Union newspaper. "The stadiums are ready and we'll have some great matches." Bongo was speaking following Saturday's decision by Gabon's constitutional court to validate the disputed election results. Gabon's opposition claimed Bongo's victory on August 27...

Pages