Wednesday 13 December 2017
(Bloomberg 08/21/17)
GreenWish Partners, a renewable energy company run by a former Morgan Stanley executive, is planning to invest $800 million on solar-powered telecommunications towers across Africa. The project could fuel economic growth by providing power for essential services. Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest rates of energy access in the world and is home to about half of the world’s 1.2 billion people without reliable electricity, according to the International Energy Agency. The problem extends to businesses as well as households, cutting into productivity and growth. “We reduce the total cost of power by 30 percent,” said Charlotte Aubin-Kalaidjian, the founder and chief executive officer of GreenWish, who was formerly a managing director at Morgan Stanley Investment Management. “Smaller towers can run...
(Bloomberg 08/14/17)
The U.S. will probably maintain its current levels of aid to Africa despite President Donald Trump’s proposals to slash funding, according to Bill Gates, the world’s richest man. Trump said in May his government would no longer allocate funding for family planning, a move that has the potential to undermine aid programs in the poorest countries in the world. However, with Congress in control of the budget, it’s unlikely that all cuts proposed by the Trump administration will go ahead next year, Gates said in an interview in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s commercial capital. “It’s quite clear that they won’t make those drastic cuts,” Gates said. “I’m hopeful they won’t make any cuts at all, but that’s still subject to...
(AFP (eng) 08/10/17)
The skull of an infant ape buried by a volcano 13 million years ago has preserved intriguing clues about the ancestor humans shared with apes -- including a likely African origin, scientists said Wednesday. A previously-unknown creature that shared an extended family with the human forefather, had a flat face like that of our far-flung cousin the gibbon, but did not move like one, its discoverers wrote in the journal Nature. They named it Nyanzapithecus alesi after "ales" -- the word for "ancestor" in the Turkana language of Kenya, where the lemon-sized skull was unearthed. The sole specimen is that of an infant that would have grown to weigh about 11 kilogrammes (24 pounds) in adulthood. It had a brain...
(Xinhuanet 08/09/17)
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) on Wednesday affirmed the commitment of his country to Africa and saw "great potential to grow and deepen trade relationship." Robert E. Lighthizer expressed this in opening speech of the ministerial plenary as part of the 16th Forum of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), on Wednesday here in Togolese capital Lome. "The United States is committed to Africa. We see great potential to grow and deepen our trade relationship, with the goal of establishing a true partnership for the future", Lighthizer said. "By lowering barriers and tackling other constraints that impede trade and investment, we are poised to see U.S.-Africa trade flourish", he said, underscoring that "much more work needs to be...
( FOROYAA Newspaper 08/08/17)
A 2.6 million Euro, equivalent to about D120 million Bio-fortification project funded by the European Union and to be implemented by United Purpose, formerly Concern Universal, has been launched on Tuesday 1 August 2017, at the Regional Education Office in Brikama, West Coast Region. According to the organisers, the Bio-fortification project is a four-year European Union funded project to reduce micro nutrition deficiencies of women and children in The Gambia through sustainable and integrated approaches to food fortification. The Organisers stated that the overall objectives of the project are to reduce under-nutrition and poverty, especially among women and children in
( FOROYAA Newspaper 08/08/17)
The police have reacted in a statement to Foroyaa's Editorial of 1 August 2017, emphasising that they are committed to the instituting of a Coroner's Inquest and that in fact the Chief Justice has appointed "Principal Magistrate Lamin George of Bundung Magistrate court as Coroner to probe into the matter so as to ascertain the circumstances leading to Lamin Krubally's death." This is good news and Foroyaa will give a full coverage to the proceedings of the Inquest. The police statement also stressed that, "The office of the IGP wants to remind the general public that the police never defy any law especially in this new democratic dispensation as insinuated by Foroyaa newspaper. The police are only following a lawful...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/08/17)
Tuesday's action at the World Athletics Championships sees two of the most intriguing races of the program as South Africa's Wayde van Niekerk bids for the first half of his 400/200 meters double and Nigel Amos goes for gold in the men's 800m. World record holder and defending champion Van Niekerk should be unbeatable in the 400m but faces a stiff challenge, not least from Botswanan duo Isaac Makwala and Thebe Baboloki. Another Botswanan, Amos, will also have to be at his best in the 800m, where a clutch of athletes are suddenly dreaming of glory in the absence of Kenya's injured champion David Rudisha. Kenya is expected to continue its dominance of the men's 3,000m steeplechase - though American...
(AFP (eng) 08/03/17)
The Gambia has revoked the diplomatic passports of ex-leader Yahya Jammeh and his associates, the foreign ministry said Thursday, as the new government pursues former regime figures it believes embezzled state funds. Jammeh plundered an estimated $50 million before leaving for exile in Equatorial Guinea in January after 22 years in power, the country's justice minister announced in May, promising a commission would trace the money. The Gambian government revoked "the diplomatic passports of members of the former regime and this includes President Yahya Jammeh, his wife Zeinab Jammeh and cabinet ministers," ministry of foreign affairs spokesman Saikou Ceesay told AFP. "The list consists of 271 people who no longer enjoy diplomatic immunities. They should have returned their passports when...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/03/17)
Former Gambian interior minister Ousman Sonko will remain in a Swiss jail for another three months after the country's attorney general (AG) broadened an investigation into whether he committed crimes against humanity. Sonko has been in pre-trial custody since January after the Geneva-based legal group Trial International filed a criminal complaint accusing him of having personally taken part in torture. The attorney general's office said it had since expanded its probe beyond the original allegations after hearing testimony from witnesses and after additional complaints were lodged against Sonko. Sonko was interior minister from 2006 to 2016, when he fled to Sweden and thence to Switzerland
(APA 08/03/17)
The Gambia government of President Adama Barrow has revoked the diplomatic passport of his predecessor Yahya Jammeh and 270 others, an online news outlet reported Wednesday. Gainako published a list of diplomatic passports issued to Gambians during ex President Jammeh’s 22-year rule which it said have been withdrawn but gave no reason. Gainako claimed that authorities around the world have been notified to reject any of the passports whether they are from Gambians or others. Aside from Jammeh, other prominent names on the published list are his son Mohammed Yahya Jammeh, a former aide Jimbe Jammeh, ex bodyguard Alhagi Martin, and former ministers Fatou Mass Jobe-Njie and Fatou Lamin Faye. Former First Lady Zenab Souma Jammeh is not on the...
(Xinhuanet 08/03/17)
Trade between China and Africa reached 85.3 billion U.S. dollars in H1, surging 19 percent year on year as the two sides strengthened cooperation in a wide range of areas, official data showed Thursday. The data reversed the negative growth trend since 2015, according to Gao Feng, spokesperson with the Ministry of Commerce. During January-June, Chinese imports from Africa, including minerals, agricultural products and fruits, amounted to 38.4 billion U.S. dollars, jumping 46 percent from the same period last year, while exports gained 3 percent to 47 billion U.S. dollars. Transport equipment has become a bright spot in China's exports to African countries, with that of ships, trains and aerospace equipment up 200 percent, 161 percent and 252 percent respectively,...
(AFP (eng) 08/02/17)
Gambian conservationists are suing a Chinese firm they say polluted a lagoon by dumping waste into the sea, their lawyer told AFP Tuesday, after a government agency settled out of court with the company. The residents of Gunjur, a Gambian village an hour south of the capital Banjul, complain that toxic waste dumped into the sea has killed fish and affected the health of their community since the Golden Lead fish meal factory opened in September 2016. "We have filed a civil suit against Golden Lead and are seeking a perpetual injunction against the factory from polluting the atmosphere," Ebrima Jaiteh, lawyer for two environmental
(Reuters (Eng) 08/02/17)
China will offer its new African ally Gambia support in infrastructure, agriculture, tourism and other areas, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his visiting Gambian counterpart, after the nation ditched ties with self-ruled Taiwan. Gambia ended formal relations with Taiwan, claimed by China as a wayward province with no right to diplomatic ties, last year. Gambia's new government, which took over from former long-time leader Yahya Jammeh this year, has pledged to continue relations with Beijing. Wang told Ousainou Darboe at a meeting in Beijing that China was ready "to enhance cooperation with Gambia in infrastructure, agriculture, tourism and other fields", China's Foreign Ministry said late on Tuesday, without giving details. Chinese and French companies are bidding to help Gambia...
(Bloomberg 08/02/17)
Julien Ochala can’t live without his morning cup of Joe. But not just any coffee will do. For the past five years, the 37-year-old physiology lecturer at King’s College London has visited the same store every week to grab a pack of his beloved Kenyan brew. And he’s not put off by the cost: at 37 pounds a kilogram ($22 a pound), it’s more than double a similar supermarket product. "I take Kenyan coffee every morning," said Ochala, who buys his beans from Monmouth Coffee Company in Borough Market. "I love it because of the relatively higher acidity level. It keeps me active in the afternoons." Customers willing to pay a premium for African brews, known for their floral, fruity...
(Bloomberg 08/01/17)
British American Tobacco Plc faces a formal probe by the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office following reports that the maker of Dunhill cigarettes bribed African government officials to influence tobacco legislation. BAT said Tuesday it is running its own investigations, via external legal advisers, into allegations of misconduct and is cooperating with the U.K. prosecutor. A BBC report two years ago said BAT had a lobbyist arrange bribes totaling $26,000 for three public officials in Rwanda, Burundi and the Comoros Islands in 2015. The British broadcaster said the bribery was revealed by a former employee, Paul Hopkins. At the time, BAT said “we do not tolerate corruption in our business, no matter where it takes place.” The SFO investigation adds to...
(AFP (eng) 07/31/17)
The Gambia is courting Beijing's attention after re-establishing diplomatic relations last year, but villagers and activists say Chinese investment is a double-edged sword as they fight a firm accused of dumping waste. Chinese firms in Africa are frequently accused of polluting the environment to produce materials ready to export back home, in incidents recorded by experts across the mines of Guinea, oil fields of Chad and forests of the Congo basin. The government is nevertheless keen to kickstart direct Chinese investment to turn around the stuttering economy, though its environment agency has made clear it will tackle abuses of the delicate ecosystem in this largely undeveloped west African nation. The residents of Gunjur, a Gambian village an hour south of...
(Foroyaa 07/31/17)
The Ministry of Justice has on Thursday 26th July 2017, held a press release indicating it has on 21st July 2017 obtained order from the High Court freezing additional assets, companies and bank accounts belonging or connected to the former president, Yahya AJJ Jammeh,his family and close associates. The dispatch reveals that the order was made consequent to an application to High Court on the 19th July 2017. This new order contains an additional forty nine (49) properties mostly located within the Greater Banjul area, as well as six (6) Bank Accounts and three (3) companies. The properties have been place under the control of the Registrar General while the companies have been placed under the control of Augustus Prom,...
(AfricaNews 07/28/17)
Gambian president Adama Barrow on Thursday held his second meeting with the media after six-months in office. According to the 52-year-old who beat former strongman Yahya Jammeh in December 2016 polls, the meeting was to better engage the media after decades of crackdown by the former regime. Reports from the engagement saw the president addressing a series of issues fielded by journalists, questions ranged from the economy, human rights, education, health, judicial reforms and other topical issues. The press is already free. And at the moment all radios, newspapers are all free. It's at the top of our priority list. We will reverse those media laws and in practice we are already doing it. That's the most important thing. In...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/28/17)
Barclays reported a 1.2 billion pound ($1.57 billion)attributable first half loss on Friday after taking a 2.5 billion pound hit from the sale of its Africa business and calling an end to its restructuring. The British bank said it had made a 1.4 billion pound loss on the sale of 33 percent of Barclays Africa Group, and took a further 1.1 billion pound impairment charge on the sale. Barclays in June cut its stake in Barclays Africa Group to 15 percent, ending more than 90 years as a major presence in the continent as it shifts its focus back to Britain and the United States. The losses from the sale of unwanted assets including the Africa business showed the costs...
(AFP (eng) 07/27/17)
Six months ago, businessman and political novice Adama Barrow took power in Africa's smallest mainland country after delivering a stunning defeat against ex-leader Yahya Jammeh, who had ruled brutally for 22 years. When Barrow finally took power in The Gambia in late January after a prolonged political crisis, the euphoria soon turned to grim recognition that Jammeh had more or less cleaned out the nation's coffers before leaving for exile in Equatorial Guinea, he tells AFP in an interview. "We inherited an economy that was virtually empty," Barrow recalls. "With one month import cover -- and that is very, very serious -- our domestic and foreign debt was at highest level." The European Union and World Bank swooped in to...

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