Monday 22 May 2017
(AFP (eng) 04/06/17)
Wrap Gambia | vote | politics Banjul, Gambia | AFP | Thursday 4/6/2017 - 07:44 UTC+3 | 572 words by Jennifer O'Mahony and Emil Touray Gambians head to the polls on Thursday for the first time since the departure of longtime leader Yahya Jammeh, with multiple parties poised to enter parliament after 22 years of effective one-party rule. Several opposition parties united to form a coalition in December to oust Jammeh from power and deliver flagbearer Adama Barrow to victory as the new president. But internal tensions caused that coalition to break apart, meaning nine parties will run in Thursday's legislative polls including Jammeh's Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) and the strongest traditional opposition force, the United Democratic...
(BBC News Africa 04/06/17)
Gambians have begun voting for members of their one-chamber parliament in the the first polls since Yahya Jammeh left power after more than 22 years. Under Mr Jammeh, the National Assembly was frequently ignored as the president enacted executive decrees without consultation. Expectations are high that under the new president, Adama Barrow, parliament will play a key part in lawmaking. Mr Barrow has pledged to carry out political, security and media reforms. As part of his proposed reforms, he is setting up a truth and reconciliation commission to investigate abuses committed under Mr Jammeh's rule. Mr Jammeh sparked a political and constitutional crisis by refusing to leave office following his defeat in the December 2016 presidential election. He finally headed...
(AFP (eng) 04/05/17)
Gambian police said Tuesday they were working on more than 30 cases of individuals who disappeared in custody under Yahya Jammeh's former regime, as investigators uncover secret burial sites. Crime management coordinator Babucarr Sarr told media that 33 case files had been opened since January, with several more expected, and 10 people were in custody including members of Jammeh's 'Jungler' death squad. "Thirty-three files have been compiled," Sarr said. "We have about seven cases in which we have a lead so far." It is the first time Gambian police have given a figure for forced regime disappearances since Jammeh left power in January after 22 years of iron-fisted rule. He handed power over to President Adama Barrow following a protracted...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/05/17)
A hundred and sixty nine Gambian migrants returned home on Tuesday, after journeying across the Sahara in harsh conditions only to get stuck in Libya, most in jails far short of their intended destination in Europe. The were mostly young men in their 20s, the main demographic of African economic migrants seeking a better life abroad, but also some women and children. Looking visibly tired, they stepped off a jet at the airport in Banjul, the palm-fringed seaside capital of the tiny West African nation, then filled out forms they had been given for emergency passports. Most of the dozen or so Gambian migrants interviewed by Reuters had been gone for more than a year. The International Organisation of Migration...
(Bloomberg 04/05/17)
Gambians choose a new parliament Thursday in a vote that will likely give new authority to an assembly that was dominated for more than two decades by Yahya Jammeh, the former dictator ousted by West African troops in January. The vote will see 239 candidates from political parties that include the United Democratic Party led by President Adama Barrow, vying for 53 seats in the nation’s national assembly. “These first elections post-Jammeh will cement the country’s democratic transition,” Adeline Van Houtte, a political analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit in London, said in emailed comments. The vote “is crucial to provide the checks and balances that the country lacked for more than two decades and increase governmental and political accountability.”...
(Voice of America 04/05/17)
A Red Cross report says African countries are failing their internally displaced people. Reversing that trend was the subject of a high level meeting of the International Red Cross and the African Union that wrapped up Tuesday in Zimbabwe. Africa has about 13 million internally displaced people, a third of the global number of IDPs, and more than double the amount of refugees on the continent. By definition, refugees flee across a national border, while IDPs leave their homes but stay within their own country. African Union Commission head of humanitarian affairs, refugees and displaced people Olabisi Dare says the situation of IDPs in Africa is very critical, dire and worsening. "...The issues that are generating internal displacement [are] multiplying...
(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...

Pages