Tuesday 20 February 2018
(Reuters (Eng) 10/23/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - African political leaders, activists, and local chiefs joined forces on Monday to commit to ending child marriage in West and Central Africa, the region with the highest child marriage rate in the world. More than a third of girls in the region are married under the age of 18, with the rate over 50 percent in six countries and up to 76 percent in Niger. Driven by factors including poverty, insecurity and religious tradition, marrying off girls once they reach puberty or even before is a deeply engrained social custom in much of West and Central Africa. The practice hampers global efforts to reduce poverty and population growth and has negative impacts on women’s and...
(AFP (eng) 10/21/17)
The killing of four American special operations soldiers in Niger has highlighted the increasing role elite units are playing across Africa, which is rapidly becoming a major center of US military action. Their mission is to counter the advances of a slew of jihadist movements across the continent, including Al-Shabaab in Somalia, affiliates of the Islamic State group in the Sahel region and Boko Haram in Nigeria. Of the 8,000 special forces "operators" deployed globally this year, more than 1,300 are in Africa, according to officials from the US Special Operations Command (SOCOM), which is based in Tampa, Florida. Another 5,000 or so are in the Middle East. In five years, the number of US commandos in Africa has tripled...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/20/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The #MeToo social media campaign to raise awareness about sexual harassment and abuse has sparked conversation in parts of Africa where domestic violence is rampant but strong cultural and religious taboos prevent women from admitting it. Prompted by sexual abuse allegations against American film mogul Harvey Weinstein, millions of women around the world have been sharing their experiences of harassment and abuse on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #MeToo. The movement has reached only a small part of the population in West Africa, but some women are participating in defiance of attitudes which dictate that being abused brings shame on the family, is a curse, or makes a woman unmarriageable. In Senegal, some women...
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
Rent-a-room giant Airbnb said Tuesday that it had provided accommodation for 1.2 million visitors to Africa over the last year -- double the previous year as tourism expands across the continent. The website now offers more than 100,000 accommodation options in Africa, global public affairs director Chris Lehane said on a visit to Johannesburg. "It's an incredibly rich and diverse continent, an incredibly dynamic place, certainly a big part of our future," Lehane told AFP. Airbnb was founded in 2008 and offers accommodation ranging from single bedrooms to whole homes in 65,000 cities in 191 countries. The company announced Tuesday that it would invest $1 million (850,000 euros) in Africa by 2020 to "promote and support community-led tourism projects". "For...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/17/17)
ACCRA (Reuters) - Ghana and Ivory Coast set up a body on Tuesday to implement an international tribunal ruling on their dispute over a border running through multibillion dollar offshore oilfields, they said in a statement. The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea last month drew an ocean boundary that seemed to favour Ghana in a dispute with its neighbour Ivory Coast, ruling that Accra had not violated Ivorian rights in drilling for oil. “Following last month’s ruling, the two leaders have agreed to work together and this has culminated in the setting up of a joint commission to implement the ruling,” Ghanaian foreign minister Shirley Botchwey said, reading a joint communique. The decade-old row between the West...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
Though its motto is "one Africa, one voice", the reality of "Africa's parliament" could not be more different. Since its creation in 2004, the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) has struggled to make its voice heard, prompting its deputies to ask themselves at a recent gathering: "What are we for?" "Every time we're here, we obsess over the same things. If we are not making laws, then what's the point of being here?" Corneille Padonou of Benin said to his fellow parliamentarians. "This forum is not a parliament, it is just a discussion platform that does not have any legislative powers. This institution is still wobbly," said Floyd Shivambu, a parliamentarian from South Africa. "As it is, it is a waste of...
(APA 10/16/17)
APA-Accra (Ghana) - The Ghanaian capital city, Accra is ready to receive Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara on Monday for a two-day working visit, APA learns here. Prior to his arrival, the Ghana Police Service has announced the closure of some ceremonial roads in the capital city, thereby drawing the attention of the motoring public to the visit of the Ivorian leader. The visit is coming barely a month after Ghana emerged victorious in a maritime dispute with Ivory Coast at the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in Germany and some political watchers see it as a good move to cement the relationship between the two neighbouring countries. President Ouattara is expected to meet with President Nana...
(APA 10/16/17)
APA-Dakar (Senegal) - The president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, will deliver the Norman Borlaug Lecture on Monday 16 October as part of the World Food Prize events taking place from October 16 to 20, 2017 in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. The Norman Borlaug Lecture under the title: “Betting on Africa to Feed the World”, will be held on World Food Day, October 16, in conjunction with the annual World Food Prize celebration. AfDB President Adesina will receive the 2017 World Food Prize on Thursday October 19, announced a press release issued by the AfDB on October 16, which also said “the prize is to agriculture what the Nobel Prize is to peace, science and literature.” The World...
(AFP (eng) 10/13/17)
Ghana's government has promised the immediate closure of high-risk fuel stations after a tanker carrying natural gas caught fire and caused an explosion that killed seven. A total of 132 people were also injured in the blaze at the liquefied gas filling station in the Legon area of Accra last Saturday, which spread to a nearby petrol station. Ghana's presidency said it was the ninth such incident in the last three years. The deadliest was in June 2015, when more than 150 died in a fire and explosion, also in the capital. Cabinet ministers met on Thursday to discuss tightening regulations and ensuring strict compliance to protect the safety of workers and the public. "High-risk stations will be immediately closed...
(AFP (eng) 10/13/17)
Forward Eric Ayiah scored twice as Ghana crushed India 4-0 to knock the hosts out of the Under-17 FIFA World Cup in New Delhi on Thursday. Ayiah scored a goal in each half -- in the 43rd and 52nd minute -- to lead the two-time champions into the last-16 stage of the 24-nation event. After Aiyah's dominating show, strikers Richard Danso and Emmanuel Toku piled on the agony for the hosts with goals in the 86th and the 87th minute. Ghana enjoyed 60 percent posession in the game as inexperienced India, playing their first-ever FIFA World Cup in any division, could hardly breach their defence. It was India's third straight defeat in the first round. They lost to the United...
(APA 10/12/17)
APA-Accra (Ghana) - The President of Benin, Mr. Patrice Guillaume Talon, on Wednesday paid a one-day visit to Ghana to help deepen the ties between the two countries. President Talon, who was received on arrival in Accra by Ghanaian leader, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, inspected a guard of honour and later proceeded to the seat of government, where they held a closed door meeting. The Ghanaian Times reported on Thursday that the bilateral meeting proposed a closer collaboration between the two countries in the West African sub-region to find lasting solutions to the growing threat of terrorism. President Akufo-Addo expressed the belief that terrorism can be completely dealt with if the organs of intelligence in the various countries work together...
(AFP (eng) 10/12/17)
Ghana is facing calls to update its laws on wildlife crime after fears the country has become a transit route for the illegal trade in pangolin scales. More than 31,000 kilograms (68,000 pounds) of scales from the nocturnal mammal have been seized across the world this year, according to the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). In May and June, two major seizures were made in Malaysia, with at least 700 kg found to have been shipped through Ghana. Massive hauls of the scales have also been made in Uganda, Cameroon and Ivory Coast. IFAW's Mark Hofberg said most of the scales from Africa were traded to meet demand in Asia, where they are used in traditional medicine. The docile...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/12/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - West Africa is most at risk of fatal haemorrhagic fever epidemics, including Ebola, researchers said on Wednesday, calling for greater preparedness to save lives. A study in The Lancet medical journal assessed the likelihood of four viruses - Ebola, Lassa, Marburg and Crimean-Congo - spreading on the continent, charting progress from a first human case through to a potential pandemic. The world’s worst recorded Ebola outbreak ravaged Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone between 2013 and 2016, killing about 11,300 people, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The viruses, which are often transmitted by rodents and bats, can cause fever, vomiting and bleeding, are often fatal. By mapping high risk areas, African nations can better...
(AFP (eng) 10/10/17)
Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is set to accelerate to 3.4 percent next year, the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday, citing Nigeria's recovering oil and agricultural sectors. The IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook report that the region would grow by 2.6 percent this year after 1.4 percent in 2016. "Growth is expected to rise gradually," it said, while noting that the rate would be uneven and "barely above population growth". GDP in the west African powerhouse Nigeria contracted by 1.6 percent in 2016, but is predicted to grow by 0.8 percent this year and 1.9 percent next year. The IMF said Nigeria was benefitting from "recovering oil production and ongoing strength in the agricultural sector", but the...
(AFP (eng) 10/08/17)
Ghanaians on Sunday pushed the government to improve safety at fuel stations after four people were killed when a tanker truck carrying natural gas caught fire in the nation's capital, triggering explosions. The fire and blasts gutted a liquefied gas filling station and a nearby petrol station in the Atomic Junction area of the Legon suburb of Accra on Saturday night, sending local residents fleeing. President Nana Akufo-Addo tweeted: "The news of last night's gas explosion at Atomic Junc, resulting in the loss of 4 lives & injuries to several others, has left me devastated.
(AfricaNews 10/05/17)
Ghana’s presidency, Flagstaff House and its lawmaking chamber will soon be depending on solar energy as a source of power. Local media portal, Starrfm quotes the Energy Minister, Boakye Agyarko, as confirming the move saying it was the right signal to the rest of the nation. His comments follow the ratification of a framework agreement on renewable energy by the government. “It makes a lot of sense that in order to utilize our solar and produce the necessary demonstration effect for the rest of the country, that significant buildings adopt solar. He added “So the Ministry of energy building, the Parliament House of Ghana and Jubilee House must all go solar to send the right signal to the rest of...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/05/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (HLT.N) plans to spend $50 million over the next five years to add 100 hotels to its chain in Africa, it said on Thursday, joining other chains keen to tap growing business and international travel on the continent. One property will open in the Kenyan capital Nairobi by the end of this year and another in the Rwandan capital Kigali in 2018, it said in a statement. There was 11 percent growth in Sub-Saharan African tourism in the past year, according to data from the U.N. World Tourism Organisation. Hilton said the remaining additions to its 39 existing African properties would be operational within the next five years. “The model of converting existing...
(APA 10/05/17)
APA-Accra (Ghana) - The Ghanaian press on Thursday focuses on finance minister’s directive to various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) on the need to promote good governance. The Daily Graphic says that Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has noted that government will not tolerate corruption and wasteful spending at the various MMDAs in an effort to promote good governance. In that light, government will crack the whip on any assembly found culpable of indulging in any activity that has a negative effect on the economy. He gave the directive in a speech read on his behalf at the launch of the Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) in Northern Region. The Ghanaian Times states that President Nana Addo Dankwa...
(APA 10/05/17)
APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) - The African Union (AU) will on Thursday endorse reports and recommendations on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment (ARWE) made by experts and senior officials in a meeting held on Monday and Tuesday. The endorsement will take place during the ministerial session of the AU’s Specialized Technical Committee on ARWE that opened on Thursday in Addis Ababa under the theme “Improve environmental sustainability and transform agriculture to ensure food and nutrition security.” These include policy papers and reports on agriculture, rural development, water and environment and recommendations and guidance on issues in the 2063 Africa Development Agenda, including agriculture, environment, climate change, and youth engagement. Among the points chosen for the discussions are the assessment of...
(Bloomberg 10/04/17)
Ghana’s banks face a daunting race to meet new capital rules by the end of next year. Lenders will need to raise 9 billion cedis ($2 billion), which the local equity and debt market is too small to supply, according to George Bodo, the head of banking research at Ecobank Capital Ltd. in Nairobi, Kenya. While it may trigger mergers and acquisitions among the West African nation’s 34 banks, many will struggle to meet the requirement or complete deals on time, he said. Accumulating that kind of capital will top the 1.4 billion cedis that has been raised on the Ghana Stock Exchange through initial public offerings, share and rights offers and debt sales since 2012, according to data from...

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