Friday 22 September 2017
(Reuters 07/12/17)
Gambia could become the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to eliminate malaria on its track record of combating the mosquito-borne disease but more donor funds are needed for the "last mile" of the drive, health experts said on Wednesday. The prevalence of the malaria parasite in children under five has plunged to 0.2 percent from 4 percent in 2011, according to the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP). The total number of new malaria cases across the West African nation has fallen by about 40 percent in that time - to 155,450 last year down from 262,000 in 2011, NMCP data shows. Gambia is aiming to achieve the milestone of having no new malaria cases by 2020, but donor fatigue is...
(Cnbc Africa 07/12/17)
"Africa is an awakening giant," according to the former South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk speaking at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul. The leader who oversaw the transition of his country's power to Nelson Mandela said Tuesday that the future looks bright for a continent previously blighted by war, famine and a lack of infrastructure. "I believe Africa is an awakening giant and, yes, it is not performing according to what we expected soon enough, but it will perform," he said. De Klerk believes that African countries are primed to take advantage of the world's growing size. "If we look at food shortages for the rest of the world with a growing population, Africa is the solution," he...
(AFP (eng) 07/11/17)
As West Africa declares war on the market for expired and counterfeit medicines, start-ups are putting quality control in the hands of patients to stop them risking their lives trying to get well. Not only can such drugs fail to treat the diseases they are bought to combat, experts say, but they may encourage resistance to antibiotics and even cause death as diseases continue to course unchecked through the body. At an April meeting in Liberia, the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) announced a region-wide investigation into the trafficking of expired and counterfeit drugs, and a public awareness campaign. Traffickers in bad medicine prey on some of the world's poorest and most in need, who also face...
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
In the past five years, terrorist attacks have killed nearly 20,000 people across Africa. Two groups, Boko Haram and al-Shabab, accounted for 71 percent of reported incidents and 91 percent of fatalities. But, while these and other militant groups remain active, fatal terrorist attacks across the continent are on pace to fall for a second straight year, and the total number of attacks is running far below 2012 highs. These findings are part of VOA’s original analysis of data from ACLED, the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. ACLED tracks political violence, protests and terrorist events across Africa. Their reports include attacks since 1997 based on data collected from local news media, government statements, non-governmental organizations and published research...
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Many cell phone companies are rethinking their headlong rush into the continent. Only Orange is staying the course. Back when African countries were auctioning off mobile licenses by the boatload to serve the region’s young, tech-savvy population, investing in the continent’s fast-growing economies seemed like a no-brainer. Some of the world’s biggest wireless carriers rushed in. Now they’re wondering if they made a mistake. Increasing government and regulatory scrutiny, as well as a lack of expansion opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa, are making it harder for operators such as Vodafone Group Plc, Orange SA and Bharti Airtel Ltd. to grow. Their choice: Pull back or double down. Two companies beating at least a partial retreat are Millicom International Cellular SA, which...
(AFP (eng) 07/08/17)
The head of a West African force maintaining security in The Gambia told AFP Friday that army officials loyal to veteran former leader Yahya Jammeh were plotting against the new government. West African troops were first sent to The Gambia in January to compel Jammeh to relinquish power to his elected successor Adama Barrow, but were retained at the new president's request over fears for his safety. Colonel Magatte Ndiaye, the head of a Senegalese contingent deployed by the the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), told AFP that rebel elements were intent on destabilising the country and working with exiled Jammeh-era top brass. "High-ranking officials of the Gambia Armed Forces that have fled with the former president have...
(AFP (eng) 07/07/17)
Five Gambian high school students denied US visas to attend an international robotics competition were on Thursday finally granted the right to travel, they told AFP. The US authorities' decision to deny access to schoolchildren from Muslim-majority African and Asian nations from participating in the science competition follows the implementation of stricter visa policies since President Donald Trump took power. "All of us in the robotics team were issued visas today by the consular officer at the US Embassy in Banjul," said Kaddijatou Gassama, 17. "We are taking our robots along with us." The group from the tiny West African nation were initially rejected by the US Embassy in Banjul from joining peers from 160 countries at the FIRST Global...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/07/17)
Chinese and French companies are bidding to help Gambia build up its Atlantic port Banjul to be what industry sources say could be a rival to neighboring Senegal's Dakar. It would be one of the first major structural changes in Gambia following the end of President Yahya Jammeh's more than 20-year rule in January. State-owned China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) (601800.SS) says one of its subsidiaries has made a bid for a 140 million euro ($159.91 million) contract Gambia has launched to redevelop the port. France's Bollore Group (BOLL.PA) has also submitted an offer to develop the port for hundreds of millions of dollars, sources told Reuters, and was part of a recent delegation of French investors to the country...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The African Union's new chair Moussa Faki Mahamat on Wednesday questioned US commitment to fighting terrorism on the continent after it blocked efforts to get UN funding for an anti-jihadist force in the Sahel. "This is a specific case of a certain number of African states taking the initiative to create a dedicated force to fight terrorism. So, we don't understand how the United States could hold back or not engage in the fight against terrorism," Faki said in an interview with AFP. Faki's January election as chairperson of the AU commission came days after the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, who has proposed slashing US funding for aid projects and multilateral institutions like the UN. The former Chadian...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The costs of diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa could double to almost $60 billion annually just 13 years from now, as obesity fuels an explosion of the disease, a report said Thursday. In 2015, the overall diabetes cost in the region was nearly $20 billion (18 billion euros), or 1.2 percent of total economic production, according to research published by The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. This included medication and hospital stays, and loss of labour productivity due to illness or death. About half of all treatment costs were paid for by patients themselves.
(AFP (eng) 07/05/17)
A group of high-flying Gambian schoolchildren were denied visas to attend a robotics competition in the United States, they told AFP Tuesday, following a similar rejection of an all-girls team from Afghanistan. The group of five teenagers from the tiny West African nation were invited to attend the FIRST Global Challenge in Washington DC this month to show off their engineering skills in front of peers from 160 countries. "It is going to be sad if we cannot be in the US to exhibit the robots we built ourselves," said Fatoumata Ceesay, 17, describing the team dedicating "six to seven hours a day on building the robots"...
(Voice of America 07/05/17)
More than 7 million children in West and Central Africa are displaced every year, the United Nations children's agency said in a report released Wednesday. Lack of economic opportunities, wars and climate change are forcing more than 12 million people in West and Central Africa to migrate annually, the report said. "Children in West and Central Africa are moving in greater numbers than ever before, many in search of safety or a better life," UNICEF regional director Marie-Pierre Poirier said. Climate change is already a harsh reality in many parts of Africa, where rising temperatures and increasingly erratic rainfall have disrupted food production, fueled widespread hunger and forced farmers to abandon their land. A half-million people have crossed the Mediterranean...
(APA 07/04/17)
The Gambian President, Adama Barrow has called for proactive action for the realization of the 0.2 percent levy agreed by the union on eligible imports within the continent. He said the decision if realized will serve as a pavement for an ''independent and self-reliant Africa''. Barrow's speech at the summit currently underway in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa made available to APA on Tuesday also attaches great importance the continent's agreed financing mechanism, as a way forward, while emphasizing the need to review the administrative and governance structures the African Union.
(Reuters 07/04/17)
Gambia has ended talks with African Petroleum to extend oil exploration in two of the West African country's most promising offshore blocks and is now in preliminary discussions with new investors, a senior oil official told Reuters. Oslo-listed African Petroleum's share price fell 57 percent after the story was published, prompting the bourse to temporarily suspend trading. The company, founded by Australian-Romanian billionaire Frank Timis, issued a statement denying that its licenses had been terminated. African Petroleum had been seeking to prolong its exploration period, which expired in September 2016, and to that end its chief executive met with new President Adama Barrow, who replaced long-ruling Yahya Jammeh in January.
(Voice of America 07/04/17)
GENEVA — The U.N. children’s fund warns tens of thousands of malnourished children are at great risk in Yemen, Somalia and South Sudan, which are on the brink of famine. UNICEF reports an estimated 4.7 million children in the cholera-stricken countries are malnourished. Of these, UNICEF spokesman Christofe Boulierac tells VOA, more than one million are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. “Let me remind you that a child who is suffering from severe acute malnutrition are nine times more likely to die of disease than a well-nourished child," he said. "So, having cholera and diarrhea in countries where so many children are so fragile because of malnutrition among other things because of such a bad access to safe water is...
(RFI(EN) 07/04/17)
New tax rules in Israel could leave hundreds of African migrants worse off than they are. In May, the government introduced a new deposit law, enabling the governemnt to take 20 percent of migrants' salaries each month and place it out of reach. The money can only be accessed once they leave the country. Rights groups say the policy is designed to force them out of the country. "We're not pressuring you to leave but will make your life miserable so you decide to leave," Anwar Suliman, a Darfuri refugee living in Israel since 2008, told RFI . "Every time the state makes a different law, different pressure, but we said we can't go back right now." Suliman fled Darfur...
(APA 07/04/17)
The reshuffle at the police headquarters in Banjul dominates the headlines of Gambian newspapers on Tuesday. The Daily Observer reported on its front page, the change of positions of police chiefs in Banjul. It said that the Police Commissioner of Interpol Demba Sowe has been appointed Commissioner of Crime Management Coordinator (CMC), while the Commissioner of Operations of the Gambia Police Forces, Landing Bojang has been moved to the position of Commissioner of Banjul Division. It added that while Modou Gaye, Commissioner of Policy and Planning, who previously served as deputy Inspector General of Police during the former government, is now Commissioner of Operations of the Police The shake-up also put Pateh Bah as Police Commissioner responsible for the Airport,...
(APA 06/30/17)
Gambian lawmakers on Thursday adopted the new 2017 revised draft of the revenue and expenditure estimates of The Gambia Government, which was laid before the Assembly in Banjul by the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Mr. Amadou Sanneh. Presenting the revised estimates before the lawmakers, the Finance Minister said the revised budget estimates for the year was necessitated by the country's struggling economy due to huge debts owed government companies, including the National Water and Electricity Company (NAWEC), the alleged financial embezzlement by...
(APA 06/29/17)
Gambia: IDB to spend $15m to improve rearing of livestockGambia’s finance and economic affairs, fisheries and security matters dominated the agenda when President Adama Barrow presided over the forth cabinet meeting on Wednesday. Speaking at the meeting, the minister of Finance and economic affairs, Amadou Sanneh briefed cabinet about the $15 million support to improve rearing of livestock, energy and the promotion of health care service from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) which he said is part of a new strategy to help countries address their challenges. Sanneh said the African Development Bank is also using a similar strategy to support African countries, focusing on five critical areas which dovetails with...
(APA 06/29/17)
The Gambia government will in 2018 liberalise the market for Hajj services available to Muslims in the country. Currently, the Gambia International Airlines, a public enterprise, is the sole company allowed to make arrangements for Muslim pilgrims travelling from The Gambia to Saudi Arabia. This was announced in Banjul recently when President Adama Barrow received members of the national Hajj Commission led by Alhaji Ousman Jah, the Amirul Hajj. Speaking at the meeting, President, Barrow pledged to work with the commission and the Gambia Supreme Islamic Council to provide the support they need in facilitating the annual pilgrimage to Makkah and Medina. Barrow emphasized that members of the Hajj commission should have the requisite experience and qualification in Hajj matters...

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