| Africatime
Wednesday 26 April 2017
(AFP (eng) 04/04/17)
The Gambia holds its first election Thursday since the downfall of longtime leader Yahya Jammeh, with expectations high that new lawmakers will overhaul a national assembly once derided as a mere rubberstamp. Gambians complain that under Jammeh, who ruled for 22 years, laws were often made by executive decree and buttressed by legislation much later on, if at all. The 239 registered candidates representing nine different political parties on Tuesday end campaigning for the 48 seats up for election in the Banjul legislature. Five seats are also appointed by the president, totalling 53 spots
(Financial Times 04/04/17)
Countries should develop policies to attract labour-intensive production leaving China. China’s initial wave of investments in Africa focused on natural resource extraction. Their demand for metals and energy was so large that it actually boosted global commodity prices overall, which in turn accelerated growth across the African continent. These times of China propping up global commodity prices are now over, as it has built up excess capacity in many sectors and now faces slow investment growth. This lower demand has contributed to the overall slump in global commodity prices since 2014, making it unlikely that China will again fulfil the role of driving commodity prices. Rather, its position has now shifted to becoming the largest exporter of capital. This provides...
(The East African 04/03/17)
Nairobi — The 2017 Mo Ibrahim Foundation annual Governance Weekend will be held in Marrakech - Morocco from April 7-9. A press release from the Foundation identifies the Palmeraie Resort as the venue for this year's meeting. The three-day event brings together prominent African and Africa-focused leaders, civil society representatives, multilateral and regional institutions and Africa's international partners to identify policy challenges and possible solutions. Violent extremism The conversation is normally extended to a wider audience through music, art and sport at major public events, showcasing some of Africa's brightest talent. The Foundation has released a report that sets the stage for high-level discussions in Morocco. The priority areas for the Marrakech talks, according to the report, include violent extremism...
(Xinhuanet 03/30/17)
The African Union (AU) is extremely appalled by the attacks against African students in Noida and other cities in India. The pan-African bloc has deplored the violence unleashed during the riot that started on Monday targeting Africans of various nationalities, particularly Nigerians, which resulted in loss of innocent lives and serious injuries, the AU said in a statement. The attacks have also resulted in the displacement of many Africans from their normal places of residence, thereby putting their lives in serious danger, it said. AU has expressed heartfelt condolence to the families of the deceased; and it wished speedy recovery to all those who have sustained injuries. AU has called on the Indian authorities to provide all necessary support to...
(Xinhuanet 03/28/17)
Gambian police spokesperson Foday Conta confirmed to Xinhua on Monday the detention of seven police officers last Saturday following the death of a Mauritanian national arrested last Tuesday at his resident in EboTown. "Investigation is ongoing as postmortem was conducted on the corpse of the Mauritanian at Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital in Banjul. The autopsy report indicated that the primary cause of his death is Cardiac failure and the secondary cause is chronic heart disease," said police spokesman. The members of the police patrol team that were on duty are urgently detained at KM regional police HQ for the matter to be further investigated, Conta added. A high powered delegation led by the Commissioner of Police KM on Friday...
(Voice of America 03/28/17)
The World Health Organization and U.N. children's fund are spearheading a massive immunization campaign across Africa to rid the continent of the last vestiges of polio. Tens of thousands of health workers will fan out across 13 central and western African countries to vaccinate more than 116 million children under age five against the crippling disease. The U.N. agencies report more than 190,000 volunteers, traveling on foot or bicycle, will go house to house across all cities, towns, and villages in 13 countries to vaccinate every child under age five against polio. The synchronized vaccination campaign, one of the largest ever conducted in Africa, will run from March 25-28. Director of Polio Eradication at the World Health Organization Michel Zaffran...
(Xinhuanet 03/27/17)
There is need for China and its African allies to kick start a new dialogue aimed at revitalizing wildlife and ecological conservation in the world's second largest continent, a conservationist has told Xinhua in an interview. Kaddu Sebunya, president of African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), told Xinhua that Beijing is an indispensable partner in efforts to protect Africa's iconic wildlife species that are grappling with human and climatic induced threats to their survival. "China is playing a big role in Africa's economic development and would like to see it direct more support towards protection of wildlife and vital ecosystems in the continent," Sebunya said. Sebunya noted that China's growing economic and diplomat clout place it at a vantage position to help...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/24/17)
Gambia said on Thursday it would set up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission and offer reparations to victims of former President Yahya Jammeh's government, which is accused of the torture and killing of perceived opponents. Justice Minister Abubacarr Tambadou said in a statement the government will also probe the finances of Jammeh, who fled into exile in January to Equatorial Guinea after a rule that began in 1994 when he seized power in a coup. Jammeh lost an election in December to the now President Adama Barrow but refused to accept the result. He only stepped down after pressure from regional leaders who sent troops to Gambia to force him to leave. Since his departure Barrow's government has taken steps...
(Xinhuanet 03/24/17)
The Justice minister of the Gambia Abubacarr Tambadou announced on Thursday in Banjul that the government is to set up a Truth and Reconcialition Commission in six months to look into crimes allegedly committed by the former public officials under ex-president Yahya Jammeh's government. "A Truth and Reconciliation Commission with appropriate reparations for victims will be set up within the six months and public hearings will be expected to commence by the end of the year," Tambadou explained during a press conference, adding that "we will need to adapt the lessons learnt from other TRCs to our particular context in the Gambia". Tambadou also informed that he will be advocating to remove the death penalty sentence from the Constitution during...
(Xinhuanet 03/24/17)
A group of non-government organizations (NGOs) on Friday called on African leaders to find practical solutions to protect and assist Somali refugees and asylum seekers facing ongoing conflict and a humanitarian crisis in Somalia. In a joint statement issued on the eve of the regional summit on refugees, members of the Regional Durable Solutions Secretariat (ReDSS), Somalia NGO Consortium and the Inter-agency Working Group (IAWG) expressed hope that the leaders will take practical steps towards the development and implementation of a comprehensive regional approach. "It is hoped that such an approach, developed in the spirit of the New York Declaration, will support countries and communities that host Somali refugees in improving asylum space, integrated access to services, inclusive economic opportunities...
(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)
Gambian protesters called Monday for the execution of the former head of the nation's intelligence agency and eight subordinates, as the men appeared in court charged with murdering a political activist. Family members, sympathisers and friends of Solo Sandeng, who died in custody in April 2016 after his arrest for leading a peaceful protest for political reform, made the demand outside the Banjul court where the men's trial opened Monday. "We need a death sentence" the crowd chanted, also shouting "you bastards have killed all our important people," as the courtroom filled to capacity for the case.
(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...
(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...
(RFI(EN) 03/17/17)
The Gambian government has requested that Senegal deploy an extra 1,000 soldiers as part of the regional military force in the country, Gambian President Adama Barrow told RFI in an interview on Wednesday. Barrow met with French President Francois Hollande during a two-day visit to Paris this week that focused on obtaining financial support for Gambia. "We are demanding 1,000 soldiers from Senegal to increase the numbers to make sure we are in a secure position," said President Barrow, in reference to a security treaty the two neighbouring countries recently signed.
(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...
(APA 03/16/17)
France is committed, within the framework of the European Union, UN agencies and the Bretton Woods Institutions (Word Bank, IMF) to boosting the development ambitions of the new authorities in The Gambia, a joint statement on Wednesday said at the end of a two-day official visit to Paris by President Adama Barrow.. To this end, French companies met by President Barrow at the offices of the French Business Association (MEDEF) have been encouraged to explore the Gambian market, and introduce their capital and expertise toward the development of the tiny West African country.
(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,...

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