| Africatime
Monday 27 March 2017
(AFP (eng) 03/08/17)
Journalists in The Gambia on Tuesday urged the country's new leadership to uphold their pledge to respect media freedom after a violent public assault on a reporter by President Adama Barrow's supporters. Kebba Jeffang, a journalist for Foroyaa newspaper, was hit, scratched and insulted at a press conference on Sunday held by ministers from three parties who joined together to form Barrow's new coalition government. Barrow has made press freedom a pillar of his reforms since taking power this year from Yahya Jammeh, whose authoritarian 22-year rule was marked by arrests and intimidation of reporters. "We condemn the attack on Kebba Jeffang and call on the leaders of the three political parties to take appropriate action," said Gambia Press Union...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 03/07/17)
Journalists in The Gambia urged the country's new leadership on Tuesday to uphold its pledge to respect media freedom following a violent assault on a reporter by supporters of President Adama Barrow. Kebba Jeffang, a journalist for Foroyaa newspaper, described being hit, scratched and insulted at a press conference on Sunday held by ministers from three parties who joined together to form Barrow's new coalition government. Barrow has made press freedom a pillar of his reforms since taking power earlier this year from Yahya Jammeh, whose authoritarian 22-year rule was marked by arrests and intimidation
(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...
(AFP (eng) 03/03/17)
Almost 100 prisoners including rapists and robbers have been freed from Gambian jails as the new government struggles to reform an overcrowded system that long relied on strict mandatory sentencing. Even first-time offenders were given sentences without parole under the former regime of Yahya Jammeh, and the new government has vowed to overhaul unsanitary penitentiaries they say are unfit for purpose. A government source told AFP Friday that new President Adama Barrow had pardoned scores of prisoners from three different jails, some convicted of serious violent offences. "The Prison high command Thursday released 98 prisoners who were held at Mile Two, Old Jeshwang and Janjanbureh Prisons. They were discharged on the directive of President Adama Barrow," the source said. Among...
(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)
The Gambia's President Adama Barrow on Thursday arrived in Senegal, which played a key role in his rise to power by helping force his predecessor Yahya Jammeh from office, an AFP journalist said. The visit, which is due to run until Saturday, is Barrow's first official trip abroad as president. Barrow won his nation's presidential election in December, but for six weeks Jammeh refused to concede defeat following 22 years of rule. Fearing for his safety, Barrow took refuge in Dakar from January 15, as Senegal and west African regional bloc ECOWAS launched a diplomatic and military drive aimed at ensuring that Jammeh would step down. Barrow was then sworn in as The Gambia's president at his tiny nation's embassy...
(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) 03/01/17)
The Gambian parliament on Tuesday scrapped the constitutional age limit on presidential election candidates after new President Adama Barrow faced questions over his deputy's eligibility due to her age. Anyone over 65 has been barred from running for The Gambia's highest office under a constitutional amendment that came into force in the west African country in 1997. The new change comes after Barrow -- who took office on February 18 after 22 years of iron-fisted rule by his predecessor Yahya Jammeh -- faced criticism over his decision to nominate 68-year-old Fatoumata Jallow Tambajang as his vice president. According to the constitution, the vice president must fulfil the qualifications required for a president -- which made Tambajang overage. Tambajang was last...
(AFP (eng) 02/28/17)
Gambia's President Adama Barrow has fired the head of the armed forces, General Ousman Badjie, as he continues a clear-out of senior officials linked to the despotic rule of his predecessor, a military and government sources said Monday. Badjie has been replaced by General Masanneh Kinteh, a special military adviser to Barrow since January, according to the military source. Barrow retook his oath of office on February 18, a month after he was sworn in across the border in neighbouring Senegal during a tense power struggle with his predecessor Yahya Jammeh. Jammeh had refused to step down following his defeat in December elections, but agreed to leave for exile on January 21
(Reuters (Eng) 02/28/17)
When Gambian intelligence officers arrested journalist Ebrima Manneh at his newspaper, he asked an office guard to save some tea. "I'm coming right back," he said, according to colleague Alhagie Jobe, who was present in the newsroom. That was on the afternoon of July 11, 2006; since then, neither his colleagues at the Daily Observer nor his family have seen him again. Rights groups say Manneh is one of dozens of Gambians who disappeared without trace during the 22-year rule of president Yahya Jammeh, which ended last month when he fled the country.
(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)
Ousmane Badjie, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) under former President Yahya Jammeh has been redeployed to Foreign Service by President Adama Barrow. This new decision comes a month after Barrow stated in Senegal – where he took his first oath of office – that Badjie will maintain his position as Army Chief of The Gambia. It is not known what exact destination he will be headed to. He is to be replaced by Masaneh Kinteh who previously served as the Chief of Defence Staff between 2009 and 2012. Incidentally, when Jammeh removed him as CDS, he was redeployed to foreign service and served as The Gambia’s Chief
(AfricaNews 02/27/17)
The Gambia is set tor receive $60 million in budget support from the World Bank. This was revealed on Saturday by the Bank’s president for Africa, Makhtar Diop, during a meeting with the newly installed government. Diop told journalists after the meeting that he had pledged to give $40 million before June with the remainder to follow later. we need real help from donors to sustain the country The funds will help fill empty state coffers following allegations that former Gambian leader, Yahya Jammeh, fled into exile with more than $ 11 million. Gambia’s finance minister, Amadou Sanneh, said “ All parastatals especially the National Water and Electricity Company, telecommunications company (GAMTEL) and the Gambia Public Transport are bankrupt”, adding,...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 02/26/17)
The Gambia's new president has fired the head of the national prison system, officials said Sunday, taking aim at a service denounced for alleged abuses under the former regime. President Adama Barrow on Friday "sacked David Colley, the director-general of the Gambia Prison Service", a government source said late Saturday. The prison service confirmed the news on Sunday. Colley had run the penitentiary system nearly non-stop since 1997 under Yahya Jammeh, the longtime leader of the tiny West African state who was forced out of power last month after losing an election. The United Nations and rights groups repeatedly condemned The Gambia's security services under Jammeh
(Xinhuanet 02/26/17)
The government of the Republic of The Gambia fully endorses the one China policy and recognizes that there is only one China in the world, the Gambian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Friday in a press statement. The Gambian government reaffirms "its respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the People's Republic of China," said the press statement. The Government of The Gambia recognizes "the Government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legal Government representing the whole of China, with Taiwan as an inherent part of China's territory," it said. "The Gambia Government undertakes not to establish any official relations or engage in any official contacts with Taiwan," it stressed. "The friendly bilateral relations that so...
(AFP (eng) 02/24/17)
Gambia's dreaded former spy chief -- whose watch was marred by allegations of killings and torture -- and eight subordinates were charged Thursday with killing a leading opposition member in April. Yankuba Badjie headed the National Intelligence Agency, which rights groups say carried out arbitrary detentions, forced disappearances and torture during ousted strongman Yahya Jammeh's 22-year rule. Badjie and the eight others pleaded not guilty to the charges by prosecutors. The nine men, including the NIA's former director of operations, Saikou Omar Jeng, denied killing opposition figure Solo Sandeng of the main opposition UDP. Sandeng was arrested on April 14 last year while leading a demonstration for political reform and died in custody at the NIA headquarters. Two days later,...
(The Guardian 02/23/17)
Ministers say scale of looting by autocratic former leader Yahya Jammeh was much higher than originally thought and that he left country $1bn in debt. The former Gambian president Yahya Jammeh stole far more money from the state than previously thought, the new government has alleged, leaving the country with a “monstrous debt” of more than $1bn. The autocratic former leader of the small west African country siphoned off at least $50m from social security, the country’s ports, and the national telecoms company, according to two senior ministers in new president Adama Barrow’s government. Jammeh’s private jet was bought with $4.5m (£3.6m) taken from the state pension fund, they said. Many Gambian pensioners have been refused their pensions or given...
(AFP (eng) 02/23/17)
For the first time in Africa, researchers said Wednesday they have detected a malaria parasite that is partially resistant to the top anti-malaria drug, artemisinin, raising concern about efforts to fight a disease that sickens hundreds of millions of people each year. The discovery means that Africa now joins southeast Asia in hosting such drug-resistant forms of the mosquito-borne disease. Malaria infected more than 200 million people and killed some 438,000 people worldwide in 2015, most of them children in Africa. "The spread of artemisinin resistance in Africa would be a major setback in the fight against malaria, as ACT (artemisinin-based combination therapy) is the only effective and widely used antimalarial treatment at the moment," said lead author Arnab Pain,...

Pages