Thursday 20 July 2017
(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,...
(The Wall Street Journal 03/15/17)
Ndalo Media founder Khanyi Dhlomo and Mara Group founder Ashish Thakkar on where the potential is and what’s blocking it How is innovation in Africa different from innovation in Silicon Valley? And how can innovation in Africa be encouraged? Dan Keeler, frontier-markets editor of The Wall Street Journal, discussed those questions with Khanyi Dhlomo, founder and chief executive of Ndalo Media, a publisher based in South Africa, and Ashish Thakkar, founder of Mara Group, a pan-African investment group with operations in banking, real estate, infrastructure and technology. Edited excerpts follow. MR. KEELER: What about innovation in Africa? Khanyi, what sort of things are you seeing that are inspiring you? MS. DHLOMO:There’s a lot of innovation happening in Africa. But it’s...
(Agence Ecofin 03/14/17)
The Land Policy Initiative (LPI), a joint programme of the tripartite consortium consisting of the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has launched a pilot project to track progress in implementing in the AU Declaration on land issues in Africa. This was revealed by the ECA in a press statement dated March 7. In collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the project will assess progress made in implementing the key decisions and commitments of the AU Declaration on Land adopted in July 2009 by the General Assembly of the pan-African institution. “We are to a large extent in unchartered waters given many of our Member...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/13/17)
The United Arab Emirates, one of the Middle East's largest economies, wants to expand trade ties with faster growing nations in Asia and Africa, a senior official said on Sunday. Rich Gulf Arab states are looking at ways to diversify their economies, including who they trade with, after more than two years of depressed oil prices forced a rethink of government spending. The pace of economic growth in Asian and sub-Saharan African economies has made them ideal partners, Abdullah al-Saleh, undersecretary for foreign trade and industry at the UAE ministry of the economy, told Reuters in an interview in Dubai. Asia's two largest economies China and India are expected to grow by 6.5 percent and 7.2 percent this year whilst...
(AFP (eng) 03/10/17)
In the beginning was .com, followed by a host of other .somethings, but on Friday, 32 years after the world's first domain name was registered, the African Union has launched .africa for the continent. Africans who want to register a website will be able to apply for a .africa domain name in the coming months, which outgoing AU commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said would allow the continent's people and businesses to better reach the world. "With .africa, I would say Africa has finally got its digital identity," said Dlamini-Zuma, who will next week hand power to Chadian Foreign Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat after four years at the helm of the continental body Sub-Saharan Africa has one of the lowest rates...
(AFP (eng) 03/09/17)
The former third-in-command of The Gambia's notorious intelligence services has revealed where murdered activist Solo Sandeng was buried, police sources told AFP Thursday, almost a year after his death sparked rare protests. Sandeng led a peaceful opposition march for political reform on April 14, 2016, but died in detention shortly after his arrest by state security agents, unleashing a wave of anger among Gambians who voted out longtime leader Yahya Jammeh eight months later. Saikou Omar Jeng, who was the former director of operations at the notorious National Intelligence Agency (NIA), led police to a grave in Tanje, a small fishing village around 33 kilometres (20 miles) from the capital, according to police. "I can confirm that the remains of...
(Xinhuanet 03/09/17)
A critical mass of trained and well equipped community health workforce is key to easing the rising burden of infectious and noncommunicable diseases in Africa, experts said on Wednesday at a continental forum taking place in Nairobi. The experts, policymakers and campaigners who attended Africa Health Agenda International Conference agreed that optimal engagement of community health workers is key to revolutionize response to diseases ravaging the continent. Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Health Cleopa Mailu in his opening remarks said that investments in training for community health workers will have multiplier impact on Africa's socioeconomic development. "We require highly skilled and motivated cadre of community health workforce to deal with a high diseases burden in disadvantaged settings in this continent. These...
(AFP (eng) 03/08/17)
The ex-head of The Gambia's notorious prison system has been charged over the disappearance of the former spy chief and senior military figures after a coup attempt in 2006. David Colley ran the prisons nearly nonstop from 1997 onward under Yahya Jammeh, the longtime leader of the west African state, who was forced out of power in January after a contested election. "(Colley) is charged with abuse of office, but is yet to appear in court," Gambia Police Force press officer Foday Conta told AFP on Tuesday. Colley was charged and released on bail on Thursday after his arrest in late February, and has been cooperating with an inquiry into the disappearance in 2006 of Daba Marenah, former director of...
(AFP (eng) 03/08/17)
Journalists in The Gambia on Tuesday urged the country's new leadership to uphold their pledge to respect media freedom after a violent public assault on a reporter by President Adama Barrow's supporters. Kebba Jeffang, a journalist for Foroyaa newspaper, was hit, scratched and insulted at a press conference on Sunday held by ministers from three parties who joined together to form Barrow's new coalition government. Barrow has made press freedom a pillar of his reforms since taking power this year from Yahya Jammeh, whose authoritarian 22-year rule was marked by arrests and intimidation of reporters. "We condemn the attack on Kebba Jeffang and call on the leaders of the three political parties to take appropriate action," said Gambia Press Union...
(AFP (eng) 03/08/17)
Lawyers and human rights campaigners launched an initiative for African whistleblowers in Senegal on Tuesday, aimed at providing a secure means of exposing wrongdoing on the continent. African nations such as Somalia, South Sudan, Libya and Guinea-Bissau regularly appear at the very bottom of rankings such as Transparency International's Corruption Index, while none make it into the top 30. The Platform for the Protection of Whistleblowers in Africa (PPLAAF) will provide guidance from legal experts, secure submission of information and a hotline for potential informants, according to its founders. The initiative is the brainchild of Spanish superstar lawyer Baltasar Garzon -- who has defended Julian Assange of whistleblowing website WikiLeaks -- along with French lawyer William Bourdon, who worked on...
(AFP (eng) 03/07/17)
Journalists in The Gambia urged the country's new leadership on Tuesday to uphold its pledge to respect media freedom following a violent assault on a reporter by supporters of President Adama Barrow. Kebba Jeffang, a journalist for Foroyaa newspaper, described being hit, scratched and insulted at a press conference on Sunday held by ministers from three parties who joined together to form Barrow's new coalition government. Barrow has made press freedom a pillar of his reforms since taking power earlier this year from Yahya Jammeh, whose authoritarian 22-year rule was marked by arrests and intimidation
(The Independent 03/06/17)
Th term was coined by sceptical officials, worried about the importance given to Commonwealth trade deals ahead of Brexit negotiations. Plans by government ministers to boost trade links with African Commonwealth countries are being internally branded “empire 2.0” by sceptical officials who are worried about the importance being placed on such deals ahead of the UK’s negotiations of leaving the European Union (EU). International Trade Secretary Liam Fox is expected to promise to build better links with the whole of the 52 member countries of the Commonwealth when ministers from each country meet in London later this week. But as the UK is prepares itself to leave the European Union, The Times reports that British ministers are planning to talk...
(AFP (eng) 03/03/17)
Almost 100 prisoners including rapists and robbers have been freed from Gambian jails as the new government struggles to reform an overcrowded system that long relied on strict mandatory sentencing. Even first-time offenders were given sentences without parole under the former regime of Yahya Jammeh, and the new government has vowed to overhaul unsanitary penitentiaries they say are unfit for purpose. A government source told AFP Friday that new President Adama Barrow had pardoned scores of prisoners from three different jails, some convicted of serious violent offences. "The Prison high command Thursday released 98 prisoners who were held at Mile Two, Old Jeshwang and Janjanbureh Prisons. They were discharged on the directive of President Adama Barrow," the source said. Among...
(Bloomberg 03/03/17)
Polar Star Management Ltd., which runs one of the best-performing African and Middle East hedge fund over the past five years, plans to start a private-equity unit that will invest in agriculture to exploit rising demand for food. The Cape Town-based firm plans to use its own money to buy small farms and processing companies in South Africa this year, then increase efficiency through consolidation and better management, said Murray Derksen, a director at Polar Star. It aims to raise 1.5 billion rand ($115 million) for the fund, which may also buy commodities such as grains, while targeting an internal rate of return of 8 percent to 12 percent, he said. “We looked at the increase in corn demand globally,...
(AFP (eng) 03/02/17)
The Gambia's President Adama Barrow on Thursday arrived in Senegal, which played a key role in his rise to power by helping force his predecessor Yahya Jammeh from office, an AFP journalist said. The visit, which is due to run until Saturday, is Barrow's first official trip abroad as president. Barrow won his nation's presidential election in December, but for six weeks Jammeh refused to concede defeat following 22 years of rule. Fearing for his safety, Barrow took refuge in Dakar from January 15, as Senegal and west African regional bloc ECOWAS launched a diplomatic and military drive aimed at ensuring that Jammeh would step down. Barrow was then sworn in as The Gambia's president at his tiny nation's embassy...
(AFP (eng) 03/02/17)
A film raging against colonialism and the exploitation of Africa wowed viewers at the continent's top cinema festival Wednesday, winning shouts of approval at a screening packed to bursting point. "The African Storm" tells the story of an African president who nationalises businesses run by racist, cynical Western executives. Directed and produced by its Beninese star Sylvestre Amoussou, it tackles several hot-button issues including an exit from the CFA franc currency, closer ties with Russia and China as opposed to the West, criticism of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, and pride in being African. One of 20 feature-length movies on show at the Panafrican Film and Television Festival (Fespaco) in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou, the movie was punctuated...
(AFP (eng) 03/01/17)
The Gambian parliament on Tuesday scrapped the constitutional age limit on presidential election candidates after new President Adama Barrow faced questions over his deputy's eligibility due to her age. Anyone over 65 has been barred from running for The Gambia's highest office under a constitutional amendment that came into force in the west African country in 1997. The new change comes after Barrow -- who took office on February 18 after 22 years of iron-fisted rule by his predecessor Yahya Jammeh -- faced criticism over his decision to nominate 68-year-old Fatoumata Jallow Tambajang as his vice president. According to the constitution, the vice president must fulfil the qualifications required for a president -- which made Tambajang overage. Tambajang was last...
(AFP (eng) 02/28/17)
Gambia's President Adama Barrow has fired the head of the armed forces, General Ousman Badjie, as he continues a clear-out of senior officials linked to the despotic rule of his predecessor, a military and government sources said Monday. Badjie has been replaced by General Masanneh Kinteh, a special military adviser to Barrow since January, according to the military source. Barrow retook his oath of office on February 18, a month after he was sworn in across the border in neighbouring Senegal during a tense power struggle with his predecessor Yahya Jammeh. Jammeh had refused to step down following his defeat in December elections, but agreed to leave for exile on January 21
(Reuters (Eng) 02/28/17)
When Gambian intelligence officers arrested journalist Ebrima Manneh at his newspaper, he asked an office guard to save some tea. "I'm coming right back," he said, according to colleague Alhagie Jobe, who was present in the newsroom. That was on the afternoon of July 11, 2006; since then, neither his colleagues at the Daily Observer nor his family have seen him again. Rights groups say Manneh is one of dozens of Gambians who disappeared without trace during the 22-year rule of president Yahya Jammeh, which ended last month when he fled the country.

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