Wednesday 18 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 03/28/18)
Hundreds of people took to the streets of Accra, Ghana's capital, on Wednesday to protest against a controversial military deal with Washington which was passed by parliament last week. The agreement was approved by President Nana Akufo-Addo's government on Friday but has come under heavy criticism from the opposition who say it undermines the country's sovereignty. Ghana and the United States are working to forge closer ties between their armed forces but both have denied rumours that Washington is planning to set up military bases in the West African nation. "This is an insensitive government," said protestor Yaa Yaa Abban. "We'll resist this deal with the US because it does not favour us."
(AFP (eng) 03/28/18)
A young woman hangs limp in the arms of men bringing her from the ocean to the sand as part of their lifeguard training in Accra, the capital of Ghana. While restaurants and hotels are bracing for the wave of Easter weekend tourists coming to the white sandy beaches along the Atlantic ocean, about 50 volunteers participated in the Ghana National Aquatic Rescue Unit (GNARU) training. Set up in 2016, the unit prepares for responding to drownings and heart attacks. Without official statistics, it's difficult to know how many people die each year from drowning in Ghana. But the waters of the Gulf of Guinea are strong, the currents deadly -- and many people don't know how to swim. A...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/18)
Forty-four African countries have signed an agreement establishing a free trade area seen as vital to the continent's economic development, the head of the African Union said Wednesday. "The agreement establishing the CFTA (African Continental Free Trade Area) was signed by 44 countries," said Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairperson of the AU commission. The creation of a free trade area -- billed as the world's largest -- comes after two years of negotiations, and is one of the AU's flagship projects...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/18)
Ghana and the United States are working to forge closer ties between their armed forces but both countries denied that involved setting up military bases in the West African nation. News reports in Ghana on Tuesday cited leaked documents from a recent cabinet meeting that formed the basis of a request to parliament to approve an agreement between the two governments. Ministers reportedly backed a proposal to allow the US military access to and the use of facilities in Ghana...
(AFP (eng) 03/14/18)
The EU warned African and other countries on Wednesday that their citizens will find it harder to get visas to Europe if they refuse to readmit economic migrants under the bloc's efforts to curb migration. Brussels has been seeking greater cooperation from such countries to take back irregular migrants since Europe was hit in 2015 with its worst migration crisis since World War II. "I cannot understand how a country can refuse to take back its nationals" when they have...
(AFP (eng) 03/09/18)
Opposition groups in Togo said Friday they were suspending upcoming protests against President Faure Gnassingbe at the request of Ghana, which is mediating in the crisis. "The facilitator, Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo, received a delegation from the (opposition) coalition on Wednesday in Accra and asked us to give him a week in order to conduct talks with the government. We accepted," coalition spokesman Eric Dupuy said. "The current regime has never honoured its commitments.
(AFP (eng) 03/09/18)
A Nigerian plane made an emergency landing in Ghana after smoke was detected in the cabin, officials said Friday, in the latest incident to hit domestic and foreign airline operators. The aircraft, owned by Arik Air, was travelling from Lagos to Accra on Tuesday when the fault was detected but no-one was hurt, a company statement said. "Arik Air flight W3 304 from Lagos to Accra on March 6, 2018 declared an emergency in line with standard operating procedures, when...
(AFP (eng) 03/09/18)
A thousand artists from over 50 countries will gather in Ivory Coast on Saturday for a week-long festival of African music, theatre, dance, comedy, slam poetry and storytelling. The 10th edition of the biannual Market for African Performing Arts, known by its French initials as MASA, will mark the 25th anniversary of the event. This year's crop of artists come from all over Africa and the African diaspora in Japan, Haiti and Canada, performing in the economic capital Abidjan and...
(AFP (eng) 03/07/18)
"Sir, we're going to handcuff you," a coast guard from Sao Tome tells a man accused of fishing illegally in the archipelago's waters. But the "fisherman" is really a French navy seaman disguised in a T-shirt, cap and sunglasses -- a member of an unusual multinational training exercise to combat crime in the Gulf of Guinea. Illegal fishing, piracy and hostage-taking haunt the vast bay lying off West Africa, whose coastline runs from Liberia in the west to Gabon in...
(AFP (eng) 03/01/18)
Forty-six UN peacekeepers from Ghana have been recalled from their base in northwestern South Sudan following allegations of sexual exploitation of women sheltering at the site, a UN spokesman said Monday. The 46 police were confined to barracks in Juba on Saturday after a preliminary investigation showed that the Ghanaians were "engaging in sexual activity with women" living at a UN site to protect civilians in Wau, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. "The information received indicates that some members of the formed police unit allegedly engaged in transactional sex," he added. The UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan has a "zero tolerance, no excuses, and no second changes approach to sexual...
(AFP (eng) 03/01/18)
Ghana midfielder Thomas Partey has extended his contract with Atletico Madrid until 2023, the Spanish club announced on Thursday. It is a one-year extension to his existing deal, which was due to expire in 2022. "For me, it's an honour to play for this club," said the 24-year-old, who joined Atletico's youth set-up in 2011 before making his first-team debut in the 2015-16 season. He has gone on to make 82 top-team appearances for Diego Simeone's side, scoring nine goals.
(AFP (eng) 02/23/18)
Ghana on Friday formally appointed a new special prosecutor to look into corruption claims, a key pledge of President Nana Akufo-Addo's government. Martin Amidu, a former attorney general and justice minister, was officially sworn in as special prosecutor at a ceremony in the capital, Accra. Akufo-Addo said he expected him to work "vigorously, with courage, without fear or favour, ill-will or malice, in accordance with the rule of law". "The establishment of this office is for a high purpose and must not under any circumstances be used as an avenue for persecution or vengeance," he added. Parliament this week approved Amidu, 66, a veteran politician and anti-corruption campaigner, who ran unsuccessfully with John Atta Mills...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
About 224 million people are suffering from malnutrition across Africa as climate change and conflicts heighten food insecurity across the continent, a top UN food agency official said Monday. The official, speaking at a conference on Africa organised by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said the situation was a "cause of concern" as the continent's population was expected to reach 1.7 billion by 2030. "Under-nourishment appears to have increased from about 21 percent to nearly 23 percent between...
(AFP (eng) 02/08/18)
Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo on Thursday hailed the country's economic recovery and said he saw "no reason" to seek further help from the International Monetary Fund. Once hailed as a regional growth model, in 2015 former president John Mahama's administration was forced to turn to the IMF for help amid a global commodities rout. But Akufo-Addo told parliament in the annual state of the union address that his government had buckled down on mismanagement and pledged to stabilise the economy...
(AFP (eng) 02/08/18)
The African Union's chairman dismissed during a visit to Beijing on Thursday a French newspaper report alleging that China had spied on the continental body as "lies" intended to derail cooperation. The report published by Le Monde in January claimed technicians at the AU's Chinese-built headquarters in the Ethiopian capital discovered last year that the contents of their computers had been regularly copied to servers in Shanghai since 2012, citing unnamed AU sources. "I don't see it is in the...
(AFP (eng) 02/05/18)
Israel began warning thousands of African migrants Sunday that they must leave by the end of March, officials said, under a plan that could see them jailed if they refuse. On January 3, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced implementation of a plan to deport about 38,000 migrants who had entered the country illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese. The controversial plan gives them until the end of next month to leave voluntarily or face jail and eventual expulsion. Immigration authority spokeswoman...
(AFP (eng) 02/03/18)
Megastar Rihanna vowed she would "never stop fighting" to get millions of children back in school on Friday as French President Emmanuel Macron promised a major boost in foreign aid for education in developing nations. Macron co-hosted a conference in Dakar organised by the Global Partnership for Education with Senegalese President Macky Sall, while Rihanna attended as the organisation's global ambassador. "We have made tremendous progress today but of course our work is never done, we have a long way...
(AFP (eng) 02/02/18)
Rihanna on Thursday used her star power to urge key governments to commit to ensuring education for the world's poorest as she takes part in an international conference in Senegal. The chart-topping singer arrived in the capital Dakar where she on Friday will join the Global Partnership for Education talks co-hosted by Senegalese President Macky Sall and French leader Emmanuel Macron. Rihanna, the fourth most followed person on Twitter with 86 million followers, took to social media to urge Macron,...
(AFP (eng) 01/29/18)
President Donald Trump said the United States "deeply respects" Africans and will dispatch its top diplomat to the continent, in a letter to African leaders seen by AFP on Sunday. The letter sent last week comes after Trump provoked a firestorm of indignation among African nations earlier in January when he reportedly called them "shithole countries" during a meeting with lawmakers in Washington. While Trump has denied the remarks, they are expected to be formally condemned by the 55 member states of the African Union during their ongoing summit in the Ethiopian capital. "I want to underscore that the United States deeply respects the people of Africa, and my commitment to strong and respectful relationships...
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
US President Donald Trump on Friday asked the African Union chairman to pass on his "warmest regards" to other regional leaders at a summit this weekend, after sparking outrage with a reported slur against Africans. Trump met Rwandan President Paul Kagame at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where some African business leaders say they are planning to boycott Trump's closing speech later Friday. The outspoken US leader congratulated Kagame on taking over as chair of the 55-nation African bloc, which Trump said was a "great honour". "I know you're going to your first meeting shortly. Please give my warmest regards," Trump told Kagame after they held a one-on-one meeting at the forum.

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