Thursday 29 June 2017
(AfricaNews 04/14/17)
A top International Monetary Fund (IMF) official, Ulrich Jacoby, has said the Gambia is at an economic turning point following the transition of power earlier this year. According to him, despite the challenges that lie ahead, concerted policy efforts plus the support from the international community will be key to scaling the hurdles. Ulrich led a mission that spent two weeks in the West African country during which time he met with stakeholders on how to put the economy back on track after the economic mismanagement and massive embezzlement of funds during the Jammeh-led regime.
(AfricaNews 04/14/17)
Fatoumatta Jallow Tambajang, a prominent pro-democracy activist in the Gambia has been named ‘Woman of the Year’ by the New African Woman magazine. She was awarded along with other African women who excelled in their chosen fields. Her award was received by a representative. Tambajang who holds the post of Minister of Women’s Affairs was also nominated by President Adama Barrow as his Vice-President – but constitutional age limit made it impossible for her to hold that post. The award ceremony, in its second year, was held at a Gala Dinner at the Terrou-Bi hotel in the Senegalese capital Dakar on Wednesday 12 April. Winners have been selected by a special panel of judges from 68 shortlisted candidates across a...
(AFP (eng) 04/13/17)
Africa's Matabele ants, fierce predators of termites, rescue their wounded soldiers and bring them back to the nest where they are "treated," a new study showed Wednesday. This helping behavior for the injured is the first to be detected in the insect world, according to an article in the US journal Science Advances by a German research team at the University of Wuerzburg's Biocentre. The ants, formally known as Megaponera analis, are widespread south of the Sahara on the continent. Two to four times a day, they set out in long files on raids to kill worker termites at their foraging sites. But the attacks meet strong resistance from soldier termites guarding the worker termites, which have powerful jaws that...
(AFP (eng) 04/11/17)
El Nino, the cyclical climatic phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean, is linked to shifts in cholera cases in Africa, providing an early warning that could save lives, scientists said Monday. During the years when El Nino is warming the eastern Pacific, East Africa has about 50,000 additional cholera cases a year, new research from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests. By contrast, the years when El Nino is not active, there were 30,000 fewer cholera cases in East Africa, according to the study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers analyzed more than 17,000 annual observations from 3,710 different locations between 2000 and 2014 in Africa, which has the most...
(AFP (eng) 04/07/17)
The Gambia's longtime opposition won an absolute majority in parliamentary elections, easily defeating the party of ousted leader Yahya Jammeh, results announced Friday showed. Official results announced by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) showed the United Democratic Party (UDP) won 31 of the 53 available elected seats in the country's National Assembly. "(I) hereby declare the final results as follows: UDP won 31 seats; APRC (Jammeh's party) won five seats," IEC chairman Alieu Momar Njie declared at the commission headquarters. Five more seats are appointed by the president to give a total 58 seats in the chamber, giving the UDP a two-seat majority. Turnout was low at 42 percent, Njie said, saying more civic education was needed to persuade people...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/07/17)
Access to off-grid solar energy in rural areas of Africa goes beyond lighting up homes - it also enables people to connect to the wider world and boosts their economic prospects, said the head of one of the continent's biggest solar companies. Azuri Technologies' entry level solar system - for which customers pay a one-off installation fee, then use scratch cards or mobile phone payments to top up on a weekly or monthly basis - provides eight hours of lighting each day. Having power at home for the first time encourages customers to also buy mobile phones, radios and televisions, giving them regular access to the media and the internet, said Simon Bransfield-Garth, chief executive officer of UK-based Azuri. "This...
(AFP (eng) 04/06/17)
Gambians voted Thursday in the first ballot since longtime leader Yahya Jammeh left power, electing lawmakers who could make or break a raft of reforms promised by the new president. More than 880,000 Gambians were eligible to vote before polls close at 5:00 pm, with many relishing the chance to express their opinion after 22 years under Jammeh, though turnout was reportedly low. "The only way Gambians can consolidate our newfound democracy is for people to ensure they elect competent individuals that will represent them in parliament and help in making the government's reform agenda a reality," said Fatou Suwareh, who was waiting in line to vote on the outskirts of Banjul. The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) expressed concern around...
(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...

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