Monday 19 February 2018

Guinée

(AFP (eng) 11/30/17)
Twenty-five asylum seekers from Africa arrived safely in Rome Thursday, using a Christian "humanitarian corridor" set up for Syrians fleeing the war in their homeland. "It was just a project but it became THE project, the way of the future," said Mario Morcone of the Italian interior ministry. The 25 men, women and children from Somalia, Eritrea and South Sudan arrived in Rome before dawn on a flight from Ethiopia. They will be moved to centres across the country. "We want to ensure that people do not risk their lives in the desert and at sea," Morcone said. "This is an important turning point in the politics of our country. You are witness to this turning point and we will...
(AFP (eng) 11/29/17)
More than 80 African and European leaders will gather in the Ivory Coast on Wednesday to promote jobs and stability for Africa's exploding population, with some calling for a new "Marshall Plan." The two-day summit in Abidjan opens as the European Union increasingly sees its fate linked to Africa's following the twin shocks of unprecedented migration and terrorist attacks. It comes as China, India, Japan, the Gulf Arab states and others also compete for influence on a continent where the 28-nation EU remains as a whole the biggest economic and political player. European Parliament President Antonio Tajani told parliamentarians from both continents before the summit...
(AFP (eng) 11/28/17)
More than 40 radio stations in Guinea suspended programming for 24 hours in protest at the shutdown of a regional broadcaster for attempting to interview the leader of a teachers' strike. The silent act of solidarity began at 12 pm (1200 GMT) on Tuesday following three hours of broadcasts earlier in the day devoted to the topic of press freedom. The URTELGUI media union told members it expected "strict respect" of the blackout in a statement late Monday, while presenting excuses to the Guinean people for any "inconvenience". Radio is the primary source of news in the West African nation, where the majority of the population is illiterate. The protest relates to the temporary shutdown of the BTA FM radio...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/28/17)
CONAKRY (Reuters) - A two-day skirmish between Guinean and Malian villagers over control of a gold mine that straddles the countries’ joint border killed at least 17 people, a government official in Guinea said on Tuesday. Villagers in both countries lay claim to the zone’s rich underground deposits, which have lured thousands of people to work in unregulated small-scale mines along the border. Artisanal gold mining, conducted with rudimentary tools, is a key source of income in both Mali and Guinea, but poses numerous safety risks, including frequent mine collapses. “There are five dead on the Guinean side and 12 dead on the Malian side,” said Cheick Mohamed Diallo, prefect of the town of Mandiana in eastern Guinea. A witness...
(AFP (eng) 11/28/17)
Hard cash but also the intangible ties of history have kept Europe in pole position as Africa's main partner, even if an influx of Chinese investment is prompting many African countries to look eastward. Successive years of hefty spending, particularly in infrastructure, have propelled China into the continent's top slot when calculated in terms of individual investor nations. But a quite different picture emerges when this is seen through a broader prism -- the ties between Africa and Europe as a 28-nation bloc. "Europe is in front, given the shared history," said Pierre Dagbo Gode, professor of political science at the Felix Houphouet Boigny University of Abidjan. "Europe is the premier trade partner, the top investor, the top donor," a...
(AFP (eng) 11/28/17)
A furore over migrant slave markets in Libya casts a shadow over an AU-EU summit this week that aims to promote Africa's long-term economic growth and stability, spurred by European fears of terrorism and mass migration. The two-day African Union and European Union summit opening Wednesday in the Ivory Coast economic capital Abidjan is focused mainly on the need to create jobs for Africa's rapidly growing population. The summit marks what Europe sees as a potential turning point for broader and deeper ties with a continent it once colonised widely -- while China, Japan, India and Gulf Arab states also compete for influence. However, outrage over the slave trade in Libya looms over the talks in Abidjan, with the scandal...
(AFP (eng) 11/27/17)
Guinea suspended broadcasting by a radio station on Monday after it attempted to interview the leader of a teachers' strike which has drawn thousands of pupils onto the streets in support. Several teachers have been arrested and two teenage protesters killed since the walkout was called on November 13 over salary increases, with President Alpha Conde taking a hard line this weekend on media he described as aiding an "illegal" movement. Alpha Fady Diallo, director of BTA FM in Guinea's second city, Labe, said that broadcasting was interrupted on Monday morning just as an interview began with key union official Aboubacar Soumah. "We were just about to talk to him live," Diallo told AFP. Journalist Oumar Fogo Balde was then...
(Agence Ecofin 11/27/17)
The French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA) has auditioned, between November 15 and 18, in Niger, migrants evacuated from Libya. The process aimed at initiating the procedure to grant asylum to all those that need one after suffering human rights abuses, rape, torture, arbitrary detention in Libya… The audition in Niamey follows another that was conducted in Chad, last October. In Niger, a total of 72 migrants were auditioned. Among those, 47 were selected, in addition to 25 migrants from Sudan and Eritrea also evacuated from Libya (all following the release of the video report showing migrants being sold as slaves in the country). According to Pascal Brice, OFPRA’s director, the first migrants will be...
(AFP (eng) 11/24/17)
Forty people are facing prosecution after police raids in west and central Africa rescued nearly 500 victims of human trafficking, Interpol said on Thursday. Raids were carried out in Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal as part of a German foreign ministry funded initiative targeting organised crime in the region. Of the nearly 500 people rescued, 236 were children, Interpol said in an emailed statement. The operation happened between November 6 and 10, it added later. Those arrested are accused of forcing their victims into begging and prostitution and face charges including human trafficking, forced labour and child exploitation.
(RFI 11/23/17)
France on Wednesday called an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council over slave-trading in Libya as President Emmanuel Macron blasted the auctioning of Africans as a crime against humanity. "France decided this morning to ask for an urgent meeting of the United Nations Security Council to discuss this issue," Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told parliament. "We are doing it as a permanent member of the Security Council. We have this capability and we are using it." Macron said the auctions, captured in shocking footage aired by US network CNN, were "scandalous" and "unacceptable". "It is a crime against humanity," he said after meeting with African Union chief Alpha Condé in Paris. "I hope we can go much further...
(AfricaNews 11/21/17)
The African Union has called for an investigation on the Libyan authorities regarding the ‘slave markets’ of African migrants in the conflict torn nation. The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Professor Alpha Conde, strongly condemned the despicable acts which are at odds with the ideals of the Founding Fathers of the Organization and relevant African and international instruments, including the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. He calls for an immediate end to these practices and other criminal acts of human trafficking. He calls for a swift action to be taken and identify all perpetrators and accomplices, with the view of bringing the criminals to justice. This comes following the release of shocking images showing the sale of...
(AFP (eng) 11/20/17)
Thousands of schoolchildren in Guinea descended onto the streets of the west African country on Monday to support a walkout by their teachers against the government. Students are angry with the administration of President Alpha Conde over the arrest on Saturday of three teachers who called a strike on November 13, and over education standards more generally. The young protesters cried "Alpha Zero" in reference to the Guinean leader and "We want our teachers, no to sabotage and to politicising school!" while erecting barricades and overturning trash cans in the capital. Four people were injured in live fire by security forces on Monday in Dabompa, to the east of Conakry, after eight people were killed in similar clashes after teachers...
(AFP (eng) 11/20/17)
srael's cabinet voted on Sunday to close a migrant detention centre, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced an agreement to deport 40,000 Africans who entered the country illegally. Ministers unanimously approved plans to shutter the Holot centre in southern Israel and gave migrants a three-month deadline to leave the country or face deportation, said the interior and public security ministries. "The infiltrators will have the option to be imprisoned or leave the country," the public security ministry said in a statement. Israeli official figures from June 30 show a total of 38,043 African migrants in the country. They include 27,494 Eritreans and 7,869 Sudanese, and their presence in south Tel Aviv has raised discontent among Israelis there and elsewhere. Speaking...
(AFP (eng) 11/18/17)
he African Union on Friday called for Libyan authorities to investigate "slave markets" of black Africans operating in the conflict-torn nation, following the release of shocking images showing the sale of young men. The demand follows the release of CNN footage of a live auction in Libya where black youths are presented to north African buyers as potential farmhands and sold off for as little as $400. Guinean President Alpha Conde, who is also Chairman of the African Union, demanded an enquiry and prosecutions relating to what he termed a "despicable trade... from another era". Meanwhile Senegal's government. commenting on Facebook, expressed "outrage at the sale of Sub-Saharan African migrants on Libyan soil,"...
(AFP (eng) 11/17/17)
Guinea on Thursday won pledges in aid worth $20 billion to fund a five-year development plan at a meeting in Paris with banks, private players and governments. The mineral-rich West African nation is slowly emerging from the Ebola crisis and low commodity price shocks that adversely affected its economy in 2014 and 2015. "I would like to thank investors and donors who revealed their confidence in us today," Guinean President Alpha Conde said at the start of the two-day meeting in the French capital. "We want to show that there is a new Guinea," he said. The country's GDP growth stood at 6.6 percent last year and is projected at 6.7 percent this year, Makhtar Diop, the vice president of...
(Xinhuanet 11/17/17)
Sino-African relations have entered a new development stage of win-win cooperation, according to the fifth Biennial Conference of China-Africa Industrial Forum (CAIF) that opened here Thursday. Supporting Africa's industrialization and capacity cooperation are of vital importance in the next five years and Sino-African trade is likely to total 180 billion U.S. dollars in 2017, said CAIF secretary general Cheng Zhigang in the opening speech. Sino-African economic and trade cooperation has great potential, said Cheng. China has been Africa's largest trading partner since 2009. Chinese investments in Africa exceeded 100 billion dollars in 2016, about 50 times as much as in 2010. China's investments in Africa have also diversified in business areas, from construction and mining to emerging industries such as...
(AFP (eng) 11/17/17)
Africa is making only faltering progress towards food and nutrition security, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned. "Multiple forms of malnutrition coexist, with countries experiencing simultaneously high rates of child undernutrition or anaemia as well as high rates of obesity," it says in a new report, Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition. In sub-Saharan Africa, "progress towards the World Health Assembly global nutrition targets has been generally poor," the Rome-based agency says, referring to goals to end hunger by 2025. The annual document came out Thursday at the start of a two-day food and health seminar in Ivory Coast's economic capital, Abidjan. Around 200 people from 47 African nations are gathered to discuss "sustainable food systems...
(AFP (eng) 11/15/17)
The head of the African Union on Wednesday said the crisis in Zimbabwe "seems like a coup" and called on the military to halt their actions and restore constitutional order. Alpha Conde, who is also Guinea's president, said the AU condemned the actions of top brass in the southern African nation as "clearly soldiers trying to take power by force". "The African Union expresses its serious concern regarding the situation unfolding in Zimbabwe," a statement sent to AFP said, expressing support for the country's "legal institutions". The African body further demanded "constitutional order to be restored immediately and calls on all stakeholders to show responsibility and restraint," it added. The Zimbabwean military took control of the country on Wednesday after...
(APA 11/14/17)
Guinea’s Minister of National Defence Mohamed Diané Tuesday in Dakar urged “tackling the seeds of radicalization, if we want to eradicate terrorism”. “Social inequality, poverty and underemployment of youth are the seeds of terrorism that need to be addressed. If we win the battle for the development and equitable distribution of our resources, we will win this battle imposed on us by terrorists,” said Diané. He was speaking during a panel discussion on “terrorism and violent extremism”, on the second and final day of the 4th edition of the Dakar International Forum on Peace and Security in Africa. The Guinean minister added that the response against terrorism must be adapted to the situation on the ground. “We must also fight...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/14/17)
KIGALI (Reuters) - The global airline industry has $1.2 billion blocked in nine dollar-strapped African countries, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Monday. The global commodities price crash that began in 2014 hit economies across Africa hard, particularly big resource exporters such as Angola and Nigeria. Low oil and mineral prices have reduced government revenue and caused chronic dollar shortages and immense pressure on local currencies. The fiscal slump has meant governments have not allowed foreign airlines to repatriate their dollar profits in full. At an aviation meeting in the Rwandan capital, IATA’s Vice President for Africa, Raphale Kuuchi, said that airlines were in talks with “a few governments to unblock airline funds”. He did not specify the...

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(Reuters (Eng) 09/22/17)
From deadly droughts and destroyed crops to shrinking water sources, communities across sub-Saharan Africa are struggling to withstand the onslaught of global record-breaking temperatures. But the dangers do not end there. Rising heat poses another threat - one that is far less known and studied but could spark disease epidemics across the continent, scientists say. Mosquitoes are the menace, and the risk goes beyond malaria. The Aedes aegypti mosquito, which spreads debilitating and potentially deadly viruses, from Zika and dengue to chikungunya, thrives in warmer climates than its malaria-carrying cousin, known as Anopheles, say researchers at Stanford University. In sub-Saharan Africa, this means malaria rates could rise in cooler areas as they heat up, but fall in hotter places that...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/21/17)
Makers of generic AIDS drugs will start churning out millions of pills for Africa containing a state-of-the-art medicine widely used in rich countries, after securing a multi-million dollar guarantee that caps prices at just $75 per patient a year. Global health experts hope the deal will help address two looming problems in the HIV epidemic - the rising threat of resistance developing to standard AIDS drugs, and the need for more investment in manufacturing capacity. Bill Gates’ charitable foundation will guarantee minimum sales volumes of the new combination pills using dolutegravir, a so-called integrase inhibitor that avoids the drug resistance that often develops with older treatments. In return the drugmakers, India-based Mylan Laboratories and Aurobindo Pharma, will agree the maximum...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/19/17)
CONAKRY (Reuters) - Guinean bauxite miner CBG’s operations were halted again on Tuesday by protesters who blocked roads and train tracks in the town of Kamsar out of frustration at electricity cuts, a company official and a state agency source said. Deadly riots froze mining operations in the town of Boke and surrounding region including Kamsar last week, the latest in a series of protests to grip the West African country this year. CBG’s operations resumed Monday afternoon but protesters again erected barricades overnight, stopping a train that runs between its mine and factory and preventing employees...
(Bloomberg 09/19/17)
Kadi Bah saw people starving in the Sahara desert and drowning in the Mediterranean during her failed six-month odyssey to reach Europe. But as soon as the United Nations plane bringing her back home from Libya to Ivory Coast touched down, she was hatching plans to try again. “I’ll be so proud of myself if I can make it to Europe; I’ll tell everybody I managed to leave,” the 23-year-old hairdresser said. “That’s why I keep trying.” At first glance, Bah’s determination to emigrate is puzzling. She has a four-year-old daughter. She had a job. Ivory Coast is a regional economic powerhouse, with an average annual growth of 9 percent. Ivorians don’t fit the profile of migrants fleeing war and...
(APA 09/18/17)
APA - Conakry (Guinea) - Electricity supply has resumed in some districts of Boke, a mining town in Guinea, where two days of clashes between the police and demonstrators left two people dead and 78 others wounded. There was serious material damage. According to hospital sources, among the 78 injured are seven police officers and 14 gendarmes, and ten young protesters who were shot. However, government officials put the number of dead at two, 40 wounded and many buildings, vehicles and equipment shattered. The headquarters of the local gendarmerie and the premises of the ruling party were vandalized while a private hotel was also attacked and looted. During the first crisis last April over the same grievance, in which three...
(AFP (eng) 09/16/17)
Armed youths in Guinea destroyed the offices of the ruling party and occupied parts of the restive mining town of Boke on Friday, witnesses told AFP, following the deaths of two protesters this week. The youths controlled entire sections of the northeastern city by early evening after erecting barricades, with local officials and soldiers alike sheltering in military barracks, the witnesses and a local official said. "The demonstrators are massing downtown where everything has shut, nothing is operating normally," trader Almamy Conte told AFP by phone.
(Reuters (Eng) 09/15/17)
CONAKRY (Reuters) - Unrest over wages and electricity cuts kept the Guinean bauxite mining hub of Boke partially blocked on Friday after a night of gunfire in which witnesses said youths set up roadblocks and burnt tyres. A 17-year-old boy was shot and killed on Thursday, his grandfather said. The West African state’s Security forces shot dead another man when they intervened to break up riots on Wednesday. A hospital official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said over 50 people had been injured, including some police. “What is happening in Boke is unfortunate,” government spokesman...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/14/17)
At least one person was killed and several wounded when Guinean security forces opened fire to break up a riot in the bauxite mining hub of Boke, witnesses said on Wednesday. Boke has suffered waves of rioting rooted in a perceived failure of mining to raise living standards, despite 15 million tonnes of aluminium ore being extracted annually by the West African nation’s largest mining companies Societe Miniere de Boke (SMB) and Companie Bauxite de Guinee (CBG). Rioters on Wednesday pillaged a gendarmerie post and set fire to a security forces vehicle, before Guinean forces opened fire to push them back. They also blocked streets to prevent mine workers from going to work, although SMB said its basic operations were...
(AfricaNews 09/13/17)
The United States has officially issued new visa restrictions on two African countries – Eritrea and Guinea. The respective embassies in Asmara and Conakry confirmed the order. They added that the directive took effect on Wednesday September 13. The move is believed to be as part of a threat issued by the U.S. State Department last month in respect of ‘recalcitrant nations,’ a term that describes countries that had refused to take back nationals scheduled for deportation from the U.S. Eritrea, Guinea and Sierra Leone – were the African countries penned for the visa sanctions. It is not known why Sierra Leone has been left out of the current directive. The only non-African country on the list was Cambodia. The...
(Bloomberg 09/11/17)
The South African companies that dominate the U.K.’s growing private hospital industry are counting on more people like Katie Corrie. A children’s party entertainer, Corrie opted to use 13,000 pounds ($17,000) of her savings and inheritance to get a hip replacement rather than spend months on a National Health Service waiting list. Britons like her are forking out almost 1 billion pounds a year to cover their own medical expenses, a trend that’s giving at least one industry the scope to look past Brexit turmoil. “Even if I hadn’t had the money put aside, I would have found a way to pay for it,” said Corrie, 50, who estimates the business she runs with her husband would have lost 10,000...
(APA 09/08/17)
Deprivation and marginalization, underpinned by weak governance, are primary forces driving young Africans into violent extremism, according to a comprehensive new study by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the first study of its kind. Based on interviews with 495 voluntary recruits to extremist organizations such as Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram, the new study also found that it is often perceived state violence or abuse of power that provides the final tipping point for the decision to join an extremist group. “Journey to Extremism in Africa: Drivers, Incentives and the Tipping Point for Recruitment” presents the results of a two-year UNDP Africa study on recruitment in the most prominent extremist groups in Africa. The study reveals a picture of a...
(AFP (eng) 08/30/17)
Authorities in Guinea said Tuesday that they had found at least 19 bodies believed to have washed up from neighbouring Sierra Leone following catastrophic flooding and mudslides there. Some 500 people died and more than 800 were reported missing after the disaster that struck Sierra Leone's capital Freetown on August 13-14, when heavy rains swept away everything in their path. Two weeks later, officials in Guinea said bodies had washed up as far away as the capital Conakry, some 250 kilometres (155 miles) from Freetown, as well as further down the coast at the ports of Koba and Kakossa and off the island of Kabak. "Since the catastrophe in Freetown we have recovered a total of 19 bodies off our...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/30/17)
CONAKRY (Reuters) - The bodies of 19 people thought to have perished in a mudslide in Sierra Leone more than a fortnight ago have washed up on Guinea’s shores, the government in Conakry said on Wednesday. The Aug. 14 mudslide at Freetown’s crowded Mount Sugar Loaf killed an estimated 500 people, but hundreds of others are still missing. Sporadic downpours have continued since, flooding parts of the coastal city and washing away more mud containing unrecovered human remains. “The bodies in all likelihood come from Sierra Leone since there have been no alerts about boats that have capsized,” said Guinea government spokesman Damantang Albert Camara. Most of them were in an advanced state of decomposition and were found by fisherman...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/29/17)
Europe’s “big four” continental powers and three African states agreed a plan on Monday to tackle illegal human trafficking and support nations struggling to contain the flow of people across the desert and Mediterranean sea. The 28-nation European Union has long struggled to reach a coherent answer to the influx of migrants fleeing war, poverty and political upheaval in the Middle East and Africa, and the crisis is testing cooperation between member states. After hosting the leaders of Germany, Italy, Spain, Chad, Niger and Libya, French President Emmanuel Macron said it was time for greater coordination. “We must all act together - from the source countries to Europe and passing by the transit countries, especially Libya - to be efficient,”...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/28/17)
Getting Europe’s migrant crisis under control will be in focus at a summit of Europe’s “big four” continental powers and three African nations in Paris on Monday, with French President Emmanuel Macron seeking concrete action. The 28-nation European Union has struggled to agree on a coherent answer to the influx of migrants fleeing war, poverty and political upheaval in the Middle East and Africa, and the crisis is testing cooperation between member states. Over the summer, Macron sought to take the initiative on managing the flow of migrants crossing the Mediterranean from Libya, mainly into Italy. He proposed hotspots in Africa to handle asylum requests. The viability of such centers was questioned by European and African allies and on Monday...
(AFP (eng) 08/26/17)
A former Guinean cabinet minister was sentenced to seven years in a US prison Friday and ordered to pay back $8.5 million for laundering bribes from a Chinese conglomerate in exchange for mining rights. Mahmoud Thiam, 50, learned his fate in a Manhattan federal courtroom from Judge Denise Cote, more than three months after he was convicted on May 3 of money laundering. Thiam, who was minister of mines and geology in Guinea from 2009-10 and is a US citizen, had faced a maximum sentence of 15 years. Arrested in December 2016, prosecutors say he took millions of dollars in bribes from senior representatives of the Chinese conglomerate to facilitate mining rights while serving as a cabinet minister. Thiam was...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/26/17)
A former Guinea government minister was sentenced to seven years in prison on Friday following his conviction of laundering $8.5 million in bribes that U.S. prosecutors say he took in exchange for helping a Chinese conglomerate secure mining rights. The sentence, as imposed by U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan federal court, was less severe than the more than ten years suggested by federal guidelines. Cote said she had considered the good that Thiam, a U.S. citizen, had done for his native country when he returned there to take the government job in 2009. “I find he went to Guinea to help, not to rob it,” the judge said. “I find he did help in many ways.” “He saw...
(Voice of America 08/25/17)
Patients who survive infection with the Ebola virus often continue to face numerous health problems. New research finds 80 percent of Ebola survivors suffer disabilities one year after being discharged from the hospital. Approximately 11,000 people died in the Ebola outbreak that hit West Africa from 2014 to 2016; tens of thousands more who were infected survived. Of those survivors, many battled vision problems and headaches that lasted for months. Researchers at the University of Liverpool and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine are studying what's called post-Ebola syndrome. One of the senior authors of the study, Dr. Janet Scott, says researchers are unsure why survivors experience such disabilities. "I'm not sure we've quite gotten to the bottom of it...
(AFP (eng) 08/23/17)
Eight people died and dozens were injured in the West African state of Guinea on Tuesday when a rubbish dump on the outskirts of the capital collapsed after heavy rain. Five bodies, including those of two children, were taken to a morgue in Conakry, senior police official Boubacar Kasse said. An AFP reporter on the scene later saw three other bodies that were recovered from the landside. Dozens of injured were taken to hospital, police said. The incident happened in Hamdallai, located in the district of Ratoma, after week-long heavy rains. "The rubbish fell onto three homes," said Kasse, the police commissioner for Conakry. "There are still many people buried, and we have to do everything possible to save them...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/23/17)
At least eight people died and others were injured in Guinea when a portion of a rubbish landfill site collapsed on houses on the outskirts of the capital, Conakry, in torrential rain, police and government officials said on Tuesday. The disaster followed landslides in Sierra Leone and Democratic Republic of Congo in which hundreds of people have been killed since early last week. Authorities have said that heavy rain in the region could cause more deaths. Monday's incident in Guinea occurred in the morning in the Dar Es Salam neighborhood after an overnight deluge. The area is filled with wood and tin-roof houses, some of which are situated at the base of a towering mass of refuse. "I saw the...

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(Reuters (Eng) 07/20/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Africa's major central banks are entering an easing cycle as they try to stimulate growth after months of drought, austerity drives and confidence issues across the continent, a Reuters poll found on Thursday. Much of southern and eastern Africa is still recovering after an El Niño-related drought wilted crops last year. Poor business confidence in South Africa and foreign exchange restrictions in Nigeria have also hampered growth. "We expect that African monetary policy is entering a widespread and protracted period of policy easing. This will provide a boost to growth," said John Ashbourne, Africa analyst at Capital Economics. Ghana, which agreed a three-year fiscal discipline deal with the International Monetary Fund in exchange for aid in 2015,...
(Bloomberg 07/19/17)
Vodacom Group Ltd. sees the expansion of mobile-banking services into new markets in sub-Saharan Africa as a top priority following a shareholder vote to rubber stamp its purchase of a 35 percent stake in Safaricom Ltd., Kenya’s biggest company. “We will use Safaricom to enter other markets where neither Vodacom nor Safaricom are,” Chief Executive Officer Shameel Joosub said in an interview at the wireless carrier’s annual general meeting in Johannesburg on Tuesday. The two businesses have a combined 30 million mobile-banking customers, giving them “a very sizeable platform on the continent,” he said. Vodacom’s purchase of the Safaricom stake from U.K. parent company Vodafone Group Plc gives the South African company access to the fast-growing M-Pesa platform, which processed...
(Xinhuanet 07/17/17)
Africa is making progress towards the establishment of a trade zone by Oct. 30 that will cover approximately half of the continent's member states. The Common Market for the Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Director of Trade and Customs, Francis Mangeni, said in a commentary published in the Star Newspaper on Monday that so far 19 of the 26 countries involved have signed the agreement. "Three outstanding annexes had meant the tripartite agreement was not complete and this was advanced by some countries as the reason they could not sign or ratify the agreement. However their adoption represented a milestone in the negotiation, as it removed the last obstacle to signing and ratifying the agreement," Mangeni said. The tripartite free...
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Many cell phone companies are rethinking their headlong rush into the continent. Only Orange is staying the course. Back when African countries were auctioning off mobile licenses by the boatload to serve the region’s young, tech-savvy population, investing in the continent’s fast-growing economies seemed like a no-brainer. Some of the world’s biggest wireless carriers rushed in. Now they’re wondering if they made a mistake. Increasing government and regulatory scrutiny, as well as a lack of expansion opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa, are making it harder for operators such as Vodafone Group Plc, Orange SA and Bharti Airtel Ltd. to grow. Their choice: Pull back or double down. Two companies beating at least a partial retreat are Millicom International Cellular SA, which...
(AFP (eng) 06/15/17)
France's Alliance Miniere Responsable (AMR) signed a deal Wednesday with a Franco-Asian consortium to exploit bauxite in a western Guinean city that was recently the target of deadly protests against mining firms. Societe Miniere de Boke (SMB), a joint French-Chinese-Singaporean venture, has been operating in the city of Boke since 2014, and completed the deal with AMR at a Conakry hotel, an AFP journalist present said. Guinea is the world's leading producer of bauxite, a mineral used to make aluminium. Pollution caused by bauxite mining and a lack of electricity and clean water for the local population led to April protests that killed one and injured dozens in Boke. The death of a Guinean struck by a Chinese mining truck...
(AFP (eng) 06/12/17)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will on Monday meet African leaders in Berlin on initiatives aiming to reduce the poverty and conflict driving a mass migrant influx to Europe. The idea is to team up African nations willing to reform with private investors who would bring business and jobs to a continent where instability or graft often scare off foreign companies. Merkel is hosting the initiative as part of Germany's presidency of the Group of 20 powerful economies, whose leaders meet in the northern port of Hamburg a month later. Invited to Berlin are Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and the leaders of Ghana, Ivory Coast...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/24/17)
Ex-Rio Tinto Speaking at a leadership forum in Brisbane, Walsh sought to address $10.5 million payments Rio Tinto made to a political advisor in Guinea, which he labeled the "elephant in the room", the Australian Financial Review reported on its website. "Some of you no doubt may be asking 'How can this chap lecture us about leadership when he has been caught up in some investigation around mining rights in Guinea, West Africa'," Walsh said. A transcript of the speech was not immediately available. "On this I would just say that, notwithstanding some of innuendo from our friends in the media, the company has not made any accusation against me personally, nor do I expect that there will be," Walsh...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/22/17)
Countries in sub-Saharan Africa need to get their budgets in order, diversify their economies and look after their poorest people. If they do that, there is no reason why the region cannot have the strong growth needed to meet the aspirations of a young and growing population. That, at least, is the three-pillared prescription from the International Monetary Fund as expressed by one of its top Africa researchers, Celine Allard, in an official IMF blog post and podcast. Allard co-authored the Fund's regional economic outlook, released earlier this month. It found that sub-Saharan economic growth hit only 1.4 percent last year, the lowest level in two decades and well off the 5-6 percent rates normally reached. It was also well...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/19/17)
When rich countries wrote off billions of dollars of African debt in 2005, they hoped governments would think twice about borrowing again in costly foreign currencies. Over a decade later, most sub-Saharan African countries still rely on U.S. dollar-denominated debt to finance their economies. Some investors say this is sowing the seeds of future debt crises if local currencies devalue and make dollar debt repayments more expensive. Aside from South Africa and Nigeria, governments have not yet done enough to develop capital markets that would have allowed them to raise more money in their own currencies, investors say. United Nations trade body UNCTAD estimates that Africa's external debt stock rapidly grew to $443 billion by 2013 through bilateral borrowing, syndicated...
(Bloomberg 05/18/17)
Steinhoff International Holdings NV plans to list its African assets separately as the acquisitive retailer seeks a new prize for shareholders following this year’s failed merger talks with Shoprite Holdings Ltd. The company said Wednesday it will seek to list businesses including clothing retailer Pepkor and furniture chain JD Group Ltd. on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, about 18 months after moving its primary listing to Frankfurt from the South African commercial hub. The new business could be worth as much as 60 billion rand ($4.5 billion), said Evan Walker, a money manager at 36one Asset Management in Johannesburg, although the valuation could also be as low as 40 billion rand depending on how much debt Steinhoff puts into the vehicle...
(Bloomberg 05/16/17)
When the impoverished West African nation of Niger imposed a ban on donkey exports last year, a small community of traders just over the border in Nigeria was devastated. “Before the ban, you could see thousands of donkeys here,” said Mohammed Sani, a 45-year-old trader in the Nigerian town of Jibiya, as he wiped the sweat off his brow. “Now look at them: there’s no more than 50, crippling the business.” Donkeys are being slaughtered at an alarming pace to feed a global trade in donkey hides that’s fueled by soaring demand in China, where the skins are used to manufacture a gelatin believed to have anti-ageing and libido-enhancing properties. The gelatin, known in China as e’jiao, is so popular...
(Voice of America 05/05/17)
As Africa grapples with a severe drought, and famine threatens millions of people, experts at the World Economic Forum on Africa this week in the South African city of Durban say food security needs to be a major part of discussions on advancing the continent economically. The annual World Economic Forum in Switzerland is usually a high-powered event, but at this week’s Africa meeting of the international organization, the continent’s big players are welcoming the humble farmer, now known as the “agripreneur.” Agricultural economist Paul Makube, with South Africa’s First National Bank, told VOA it makes sense to talk about farming when discussing building competitive markets, and boosting innovation and technology. “For business to prosper, you need a situation where...
(Bloomberg 05/04/17)
A Guinea-born former Wall Street banker was convicted of laundering $8.5 million in bribes that he took while a government minister in the West African country, where claims of corruption and disputes over mineral rights involve some of the biggest mining companies in the world. Mahmoud Thiam was accused in the U.S. of taking illegal payments to help China International Fund Ltd. win exclusive rights to mine Guinea’s iron, gold, diamonds and bauxite deposits and then laundering the money into the U.S. Thiam served as Guinea’s mining minister from 2009 to 2010 after spending 14 years as an international investment banker at Merrill Lynch & Co. and UBS Group AG in New York. The jury in Manhattan federal court delivered...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/04/17)
West African countries have detained seven Chinese ships for fishing illegally and the boats' owners could be subject to millions of dollars in fines, environmental group Greenpeace and government officials said. Inspectors from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Guinea-Bissau boarded the ships off their coasts that they found to be violating regulations on catching protected fish and using nets with small holes to facilitate bigger hauls. The arrests came after a two-month regional patrol on a Greenpeace ship, the Esperanza, that carried inspectors from the West African countries in a bid to supplement national efforts often hamstrung by budget and technology constraints. "This is a surprisingly high amount of arrests, especially considering that the vessels knew about our patrols in advance,"...
(Xinhuanet 05/04/17)
The World Economic Forum (WEF) Africa Competitiveness Report 2017 released in Durban Thursday called for urgent policy reforms if the continent intends to create more jobs for its growing young population. According to the report issued at the 27th WEF on Africa, fewer than one-quarter of the 450 million new jobs required in the next 20 years will be created if current policies remain unchanged. The report called for structural reforms in the economies to create more jobs for the youth entering the market. African countries have to prioritize improving infrastructure, skills and adoption of new technology and quality of institutions. To improve competitiveness in the short term Africa needs to increase housing construction through investment, better urban planning and...
(Bloomberg 05/02/17)
Saudi Aramco is seeking to boost its fuel-trading volume by more than a third as the world’s biggest crude exporter expands its capacity to refine oil to grab a bigger share of growing markets in Asia and Africa. Aramco, as Saudi Arabian Oil Co. is known, is building refineries in the kingdom and in Asia to help it increase sales and purchases of gasoline, diesel and other products to more than 2 million barrels a day, said Ibrahim Al-Buainain, chief executive officer of Saudi Aramco’s trading unit, Saudi Aramco Products Trading Co. Owning refineries gives the unit, known as Aramco Trading Co., options for buying and selling fuel that some of its competitors don’t have. “The key is that you...
(Business Day Ghana 04/27/17)
There are currently 960 million mobile subscriptions across Africa – an 80 percent penetration rate among the continent’s population. Internet penetration is at 18 percent with 216 million internet users, according to the latest Jumia mobile trend report for Africa. The 2017 edition of the African Mobile Trends Paper is the third white paper presentation from Jumia delving into mobile trends across Africa and specifically Nigeria. The study takes a look at the how the market has democratised mobile internet use, the consumer behaviours driving increased smartphone adoption and the role of mobile brands, mobile operators and m-commerce in creating a synergy of an enhanced customer experience. This year’s Mobile Africa Study was carried out in 15 African countries which...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/26/17)
Riots have paralyzed a major bauxite mining hub in Guinea, Africa's top producer, as residents erected barricades and burned tires to protest against high pollution levels and power cuts, government and company officials said on Tuesday. The unrest broke out on Monday night in the city of Boke, home to mining companies Societe Miniere de Boke (SMB) and Companie Bauxite de Guinee (CBG) which each export around 15 million tonnes of the aluminum ore annually. "It's a problem with electricity that aggravated the situation. We are working on finding a solution to the problem," said Saadou Nimaga, secretary general at Guinea's Mines Ministry. A police source said anti-riot police had been sent to rein in the protests on Tuesday. Mining...
(Xinhuanet 04/26/17)
The Belt and Road (B&R) Initiative is a golden opportunity to bring about regional integration and sustainable economic growth for Africa, said Berhane Gebre-Christos, special envoy of the Ethiopian Prime Minister, on Tuesday. The special envoy made the remarks at the opening of a seminar organized on the B&R Initiative in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. Welcoming the initiative, the special envoy said he is looking forward to the expected effects of the initiative. "The B&R is a project that will affect millions of people, and it will be one of the most important issues of the 21st century," he said, adding that the comprehensive approach of China means that the aspirations and development strategies of all countries involved will be...
(Bloomberg 04/20/17)
WorldRemit Ltd., a British money-transfer operator, sees revenue from transactions involving Africans doubling by 2020 as more people on the continent access mobile-payment platforms and expatriates send cash home. The seven-year-old company, in which Facebook Inc.-backer Accel Partners LP invested $40 million in 2014, will this year open a regional office in South Africa, its largest market on the continent in terms of money-transfer value, founder and Chief Executive Officer Ismail Ahmed said in an interview. Another site will start operating in Kenya, where the London-based business sees Africa’s highest number of individual transactions. “In the next two years we should be doubling our volume every year,” Ahmed said in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. The continent accounted for half the company’s...

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(CNN 04/27/15)
(CNN)The NBA announced Wednesday that it will play its first ever exhibition game in Africa on August 1 at Ellis Park Arena in Johannesburg, South Africa. Team Africa will tip-off against Team World and will feature two-time NBA All-Star Luol Deng, born in South Sudan, as its captain. The Miami Heat star will lead a roster made up of first and second generation African players. Team World will be led by eight-time NBA All-Star Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers.
(AFP (eng) 03/30/15)
Former France international Luis Fernandez is poised to take over as coach of Guinea in place of compatriot Michel Dussuyer, the Guinean Football Federation (FGF) confirmed on Monday. FGF Secretary General Ibrahima Barry told a press conference that the 55-year-old Fernandez had been in Conakry since Saturday visiting sports venues and holding talks with the country's sport minister. FGF have been looking for a replacement since Dussuyer quit following Guinea's quarter-final exit from the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations. "It's an open discussion. We're at 90 or 95 percent," said Barry. "We have agreement on a certain number of points and there remains the 10 or 5 percent as in all negotiations. "There are administrative issues that have to be...
(BBC News Africa 02/26/15)
Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke says the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations will be postponed from January to June to help move the 2022 World Cup. A Fifa taskforce has recommended the World Cup is played in November and December to avoid Qatar's hot summer. "The African confederation has automatically and nicely agreed it will not organise the Nations Cup in January 2023," Valcke said. "It will have to postpone the Africa Cup of Nations to June." The 2022 World Cup is set to finish in late December and the African Cup had been scheduled to start in mid-January 2023. Valcke said the aim of postponing the continental event was "to avoid there being a release (from their clubs) of...
(Ghana Web 02/04/15)
Guinea Goalkeeper Naby Moussa Yattara has said in plain words that he will not apologise to Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan for injuring him in their quarter-final clash in Malabo last Sunday. The goalkeeper thwarted Gyan’s efforts in the dying minutes of the game, resulting in his eventual sacking, reducing his side to 10 men. To Yattara, apologising to the Black Stars captain suggests his action was deliberate, hence his decision not to apologise. He managed with his sketchy Queens language shortly after his lunch at the team’s hotel – Sofitel Presidential, saying “I won’t apologise. If I apologise, it means it was deliberate. It was not my intention to hurt him; I came out to kick the ball. If I...
(Ghana Web 02/04/15)
Guinea Goalkeeper Naby Moussa Yattara has said in plain words that he will not apologise to Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan for injuring him in their quarter-final clash in Malabo last Sunday. The goalkeeper thwarted Gyan’s efforts in the dying minutes of the game, resulting in his eventual sacking, reducing his side to 10 men. To Yattara, apologising to the Black Stars captain suggests his action was deliberate, hence his decision not to apologise. He managed with his sketchy Queens language shortly after his lunch at the team’s hotel – Sofitel Presidential, saying “I won’t apologise. If I apologise, it means it was deliberate. It was not my intention to hurt him; I came out to kick the ball. If I...
(CNN 02/03/15)
(CNN)Ghana earned a semifinal clash with hosts Equatorial Guinea after dispatching a disappointing Guinea 3-0 in the Africa Cup of Nations Sunday. The comfortable victory lifted the Black Stars into the last four of the competition for the fifth straight time and the result was scarcely in doubt once Christian Atsu had scored the first of his two goals after just four minutes. Atsu connected with Andre Ayew's neat backheel to beat Naby-Moussa Yattara in the Guinea goal. Guinea, who only made the last eight at the expense of Mali after lots were drawn, fell further behind when defender Baissama Sankoh made a horrible hash of a clearance. To the dismay of his teammates and Guinea supporters, he sliced it...
(AFP (eng) 02/02/15)
Frenchman Michel Dussuyer resigned as Guinea coach on Monday following their quarter-final elimination from the African Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea. Guinea were outclassed 3-0 by Ghana in Sunday's quarter-final and had drawn all three of their group matches. Unusually for an African coaching position the 55-year-old had been in the job since 2010, and on Sunday had refused to even mull the question of stepping down. Guinea had made it through to the last eight after a drawing of lots was needed to separate them from Mali, with whom they shared the same points, goals scored and goal difference.
(AFP (eng) 02/01/15)
Christian Atsu scored twice as Ghana beat Guinea 3-0 in Malabo on Sunday to ease into their fifth successive Africa Cup of Nations semi-final. Atsu set the Black Stars on their way to a comfortable quarter-final victory when he opened the scoring in the fourth minute in Equatorial Guinea's capital, before Kwesi Appiah increased their advantage a minute before the interval. And Atsu, the winger on loan at Everton from their English Premier League rivals Chelsea, then saw his cross-cum-shot find the net on 61 minutes to take Ghana through to a last-four showdown with the hosts on Thursday. While Avram Grant's side keep alive their hopes of a first continental crown since 1982, Guinea's Cup of Nations adventure ends...
(AFP (eng) 01/31/15)
Guinea's place in the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals may have ultimately been won in a hotel meeting room, but that they got there at all was in large part down to Ibrahima Traore. Traore was not present when Amara Dabo, the financial director of Guinea's sports ministry, picked out the winning ball to take the Syli Nationale through to a last-eight tie against Ghana at Mali's expense in a drawing of lots at the Malabo Hilton on Thursday. But the 26-year-old winger was a constant menace for Guinea's opponents during the group stage in Equatorial Guinea, thriving on the responsibility that has come with being the stand-in captain in Michel Dussuyer's side. In the absence of injured skipper Kamil...
(CNN 01/30/15)
(CNN)There was nothing to separate Guinea and Mali after the group stage at the African Cup of Nations so lots had to be drawn to decide which team would progress to the quarterfinals. On this occasion, luck favored Guinea, one of the nations in west Africa ravaged by the Ebola virus. It was a rare -- the last time lots were drawn at the continental tournament was in 1988 -- and unfair way to settle second place in Group D according to both managers but ultimately it's Guinea boss Michel Dussuyer and his team that will face Ghana on Sunday in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. Two balls, numbered '2' for second place and '3' for third place, were placed in a...
(AFP (eng) 01/29/15)
Guinea qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals in bizarre fashion on Thursday after a drawing of lots was required to separate them and Mali. They will go through to a quarter-final on Sunday in Equatorial Guinea's capital Malabo against Group C winners Ghana while unfortunate Mali go home. The surreal event took place during a meeting of the tournament Organising Committee at a hotel in Malabo and was attended by AFP. A representative of each team was sent to take part -- each picked out a green ball with the winning one containing a piece of paper marked with the number two inside. Amara Dabo, the financial director of Guinea's sports ministry, picked out the winning ball, with...
(AFP (eng) 01/29/15)
The coaches of Mali and Guinea Wednesday criticised drawing lots to decide which country reaches the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals. A 1-1 draw in Mongomo between the west African countries left them joint runners-up behind Ivory Coast in Group D, level on points, goal difference and goals scored. Who advances to face Ghana in the quarter-finals will be decided Thursday at 1500 GMT by drawing lots in a Malabo hotel. Two balls, with the name of one team inside each, will be placed in a pot. An African Football Confederation (CAF) official will then pick one ball from the pot and the team inside it secures a last-eight place. Mali coach Henryk Kasperczak said: "You have to respect the...
(CNN 01/29/15)
(CNN)Ivory Coast reached the quarterfinals of the 2015 African Cup of Nations with a narrow victory over Cameroon -- but Guinea and Mali now face a drawing of lots on Thursday. The two teams drew 1-1 in Mongomo and cannot be separated by their head-to-head records, goal difference or goals scored. Instead, a random draw will decide which team goes through to play Ghana on Sunday. All four teams could have faced the drawing of lots had there been no winners from the group's final two games. The last time lots were drawn at the Cup of Nations was in 1988, when Algeria went through at the expense of Ivory Coast. Ivory Coast through In Malabo, Max Gradel's goal ensured...
(BBC News Africa 01/29/15)
Lots will decide whether Guinea or Mali reach the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals after a draw in Mongomo. Modibo Maiga's header from Abdoulay Diaby's cross in the second half left Mali and Guinea with identical records, having drawn each of their games 1-1. The drawing of lots has been postponed until Thursday, having originally been pencilled in for Wednesday evening. Guinea had taken the lead when Kevin Constant coolly dinked home a penalty given for handball by Salif Coulibaly. Mali should have levelled immediately but Seydou Keita's penalty was saved, after Baissama Sankoh was penalised for handball. However, neither side was able to find a winning goal on an uneven pitch. How will they draw lots? The all-important draw...
(Xinhuanet 01/23/15)
MALABO, Jan. (Xinhua) -- The Confederation of African Football (CAF) said on Thursday that the hosts for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations will be announced on April 8 in Cairo, Egypt. According to the continental football body's statement, Algeria, Egypt, Gabon and Ghana are competing to replace strife-riven Libya who will not go ahead with their hosting of the finals for security concerns. The CAF also announced that the host nation will play games in the qualifiers, but its matches will be friendlies and won't have points on offer. The qualifiers will begin in June, and the 52 competing countries and regions will go straight into 13 groups of four teams each. The top team in each group and...
(AFP (eng) 01/21/15)
As many as three people died when a grenade went off at a bar in the Guinean capital Conakry where football fans were celebrating their team's goal in a 2015 Africa Cup of Nations game against Ivory Coast, police said. A spokesman for the police, Mamadou Alpha Barry, said "it was an accidental explosion" and that the man who set off the hand grenade had himself been badly injured. The explosion occurred late Tuesday as Guinea opened the scoring in what ended as a 1-1 draw against Ivory Coast. Barry said "three bodies are at the morgue," but General Ibrahima Balde, the head of police, said he could "confirm at least one death" and that the casualty reports "varied between...
(SouthAfrica.info 01/19/15)
Top South African cycling outfit Team MTN-Qhubeka has received an invitation to participate in the 2015 Tour de France - the first African team ever to do so in 101 years. The 22 teams riding in the race were announced by the Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO) last week. Along with the 17 World Tour teams, five wild card teams also issued - including one to the South African team. This year will be the first time in the race's 101 year history that a team from Africa will participate. 'Historic moment' "To receive a wild card for the Tour de France is a dream come true for the entire MTN- Qhubeka p/b Samsung team, while it is also a historic...
(BBC News Africa 01/15/15)
An African-registered team will compete in the Tour de France for the first time this summer. The MTN-Qhubeka outfit from South Africa is one of five teams granted wildcard invitations alongside the 17 World Tour entries. The team has previously stated its desire to mark Nelson Mandela Day on 18 July with a specially-designed kit if it was invited to take part. The 102nd Tour gets under way in Utrecht, Netherlands, on 4 July. Grand Tour stage winners Edvald Boasson Hagen, Matt Goss and Tyler Farrar are part of the rider roster at MTN-Qhubeka, which competes on the second-tier UCI Continental Circuits. Team principal Doug Ryder told BBC World Service Sport that Britain's Kenyan-born former Tour champion Chris Froome had...
(Daily Trust 12/22/14)
Football without superstars is like tea without sugar, like bread without butter, or beans without dodo (fried plantain). We are in the season of celebrating the super stars, the players whose light has shone brightest in the football constellation. Next January, the Confederation of African Football, CAF, will elect its winner of the prestigious African Footballer of the Year Award for 2014. The event has become very significant for the players because it shoots their status and profile sky high, onto a new pedestal of respect and prospect of additional fortune! In the final list of five players for the 2014 African award there are a few surprise inclusions.
(Independent Online 12/09/14)
Monaco – An African bid to stage the Olympic Games for the first time will get widespread sympathy in the IOC after its new reforms, Olympic chief Thomas Bach said. With Durban in South Africa considering a run for the 2024 Games, Bach said in an interview that it was up to Africa to make a “feasible” case. “This depends on Africa,” Bach said when asked when the first Olympics would be held in Africa. Reforms passed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) such as making bidding easier and cheaper and allowing possible joint bids are intended to take the Games to “new regions”, according to Bach, “We will see now,” Bach said. “The next candidature phase is for the...

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(Voice of America 03/18/17)
Each year, the University of Southern California hosts the African Global Economic and Development Summit, bringing delegations from Africa to meet with business leaders, government officials and others in the U.S. But this year, the African summit has no Africans. All were denied visas. Visa issues are not uncommon for people traveling from African nations. During her prior three summits, Mary Flowers saw a high percentage of her attendees unable to attain visas. "Usually we get 40 percent that get rejected but the others come," said Flowers, chair of the African Global Economic and Development Summit. "This year it was 100 percent. Every delegation. And it was sad to see, because these people were so disheartened." Flowers estimated that she...
(Voice of America 03/17/17)
One of the enduring legacies of the Barack Obama presidency will be the relationship built between the United States and young Africans. As part of Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), each year 1,000 young people from sub-Saharan Africa travel to the United States to spend six weeks at a U.S. college or university. The program will continue this summer. But building enduring relationships is a two-way street, and many in Africa want to see Americans coming to their continent as well. That’s what 26 Americans selected to participate in a Reciprocal Exchange program, a new component of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, are now planning to do. The U.S. Department of State partnered with IREX, a...
(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...
(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...
(Bloomberg 03/03/17)
Rio Tinto Group will withhold some bonus payments to its former chief executive officer as regulators in three countries investigate payments to a consultant on an iron ore project in Guinea. Sam Walsh, who retired in July, has agreed to defer payment of outstanding short- and long-term incentives for a minimum of two years, the company said Thursday in its annual report. The payments are contingent on there being no information related to the Simandou project that would justify canceling, deferring or reducing the awards, Rio said. “The board has determined that it would be inappropriate, while investigations are ongoing, to make any determination about Sam Walsh, our former chief executive
(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,...
(BBC News Africa 02/27/17)
Hosts Zambia got off to a flying start in the Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations when they beat Guinea 1-0 in front of a packed home crowd at the Heroes Stadium in Lusaka. Austria based Patson Daka put on a match-winning performance as he picked up a split pass before slotting the ball in the net in the 48th minute. Daka, who stars for FC Liefering, had been tormenting the Guinea backline for the better part of the first half but had to wait until the second half to get his reward. The hosts started on a fast-paced note that saw Zambia register the first threat as early as the second minute when Mohammed Camara appeared to trip Daka although...
(AL Jazeera 02/22/17)
At least five people killed and 30 wounded in Conakry demonstrations sparked by a teachers' strike, the government says. At least five people have been killed in Guinea's capital, Conakry, in protests sparked by a teachers' strike, according to the government, reviving labour tensions in a country where previous strikes have led to dozens of deaths. Guinea's main teachers' unions launched the strike on February 1 to protest at the government's decision to dismiss or cut the salaries of many junior teachers after the latest civil service exams. Many of their pupils have taken to the streets in recent days to support them. Beginning early on Monday morning, unidentified assailants attacked a police station and demonstrators clashed with security forces...
(Bloomberg 02/21/17)
Ashish Thakkar, who co-founded Africa banking conglomerate Atlas Mara Ltd. with ex-Barclays Plc head Bob Diamond, lost a ruling over the ownership of family assets in a London divorce case, with a judge questioning Thakkar’s truthfulness. Judge Philip Moor ruled that Thakkar, and not his mother and sister, was the owner of disputed assets in the divorce. He found that the 35-year-old owned 100 percent of Mara Group Holdings Ltd. and other corporate entities. The result will have ramifications in the proceedings where a judge will have to decide how much Thakkar -- described in videos posted on his foundation’s website as "Africa’s Youngest Billionaire" -- is worth. Thakkar says he has assets of 445,532 pounds ($553,000) while his wife,...
(Voice of America 02/14/17)
U.S. President Donald Trump made his first phone calls to African heads of state Monday, speaking with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and South African President Jacob Zuma. Nigeria and South Africa said the calls were made at the request of the U.S. president, who until now has said little about Africa or African issues since assuming office last month. The Nigerian presidency said Trump and Buhari discussed issues of terrorism, and said Trump assured Buhari the United States is ready to make a new deal to help Nigeria "in terms of military weapons." The statement said Trump also commended Buhari for the strides Nigeria is making against Islamist radical group Boko Haram, and invited Buhari to come to Washington at...
(AL Jazeera 02/08/17)
The EU must espouse a transnational approach with a clear development agenda that replaces its current security policy. One year ago, 22-year-old Patrick left Douala, the largest city in Cameroon, to become a football star in Europe. A talented midfielder and an ambitious young man, Patrick felt compelled to reach Europe to help him to realise his dreams. But, as he passed through Agadez in Niger, which has become a major transit hub for migrants taking the Central Mediterranean route, reality proved to be grimmer than he had anticipated. Patrick and two of his male relatives, also travelling from Douala, were beaten, robbed and held captive by organised predatory groups. Finally, their tumultuous journey came to an end in Algeria,...
(Bloomberg 02/06/17)
Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. is expected to raise about $500 million for its new African investment fund, attracting less than its original goal as investor interest in the region proved weaker than anticipated, according to people familiar with the matter. The Toronto-based insurer sought to raise as much as $1 billion at $10 a share for Fairfax Africa Holdings Corp. in an initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange, according to a regulatory filing in December. Fairfax said it had secured as much as $416 million in commitments for the African venture from both its own funds and partners, including the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, a Canadian pension fund and CI Investments Inc., according to the...
(Bloomberg 01/27/17)
Barclays Africa Group Ltd. was targeted by protesters who entered one of its branches on Thursday and demanded the bank pay back money from a bailout provided to a company it bought before the end of apartheid. Demonstrators linked to the youth league of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress gathered outside the branch in Durban on South Africa’s east coast, Johannesburg-based Barclays Africa said in an e-mailed response to questions. Police ensured customers and staff were protected during the incident, it said. The protests come after the leaking of a draft report compiled by South Africa’s graft ombudsman that said Barclays Africa, which traded as Absa then, may have unduly benefited from state support when it bought Bankorp in...
(Bloomberg 01/25/17)
Taiwan’s last two African allies have no plans to switch allegiances and break ties with Taipei as Beijing tries to woo the self-ruled island’s diplomatic partners. Burkina Faso won’t cut relations with Taiwan despite people and companies with links to China offering funding in return for recognition of the One-China principle, according to Foreign Minister Alpha Barry. Swaziland said its relationship with Taiwan is based on mutual interests, not on money. “We get outrageous proposals telling us, ‘if you sign with Beijing we’ll offer you $50 billion or even more,’’’ Barry said in an interview in the capital, Ouagadougou, this month. “Taiwan is our friend and our partner. We’re happy and we see no reason to reconsider the relationship.” Competition...
(Bloomberg 01/20/17)
The President of Guinea is disputing public statements made by Rio Tinto Group regarding the firing of a senior executive for a $10.5 million payment made to the president’s friend Francois de Combret. President Alpha Conde said the firing of Alan Davies, who headed Rio’s $20 billion Simandou iron ore project in Guinea, was the result of an internal feud. Rio has said it was because of improper payments to de Combret in 2011 for assisting the company’s negotiations with Conde on the mine. Davies had been seen as a challenger to Jean Sebastien Jacques prior to the Frenchman becoming chief executive officer in July. “In reality, it was a settling of scores because the new CEO wanted to get...
(Voice of America 01/20/17)
By most measures, Africa is safer today than it has been in the modern era: Diseases are less deadly and wars are less frequent. But recent years have also been marked by a rise in radical extremism on the continent, and the terror threat could derail some of the world's fastest-growing economies. Dealing with the spread of radicalization has been a central focus of U.S. President Barack Obama's foreign policy during his time in office. Few areas have been spared over the past eight years, with much of the continent living in the shadow of a violent extremist group: al-Shabab in Somalia and East Africa, Islamic State (IS) in Libya, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in Mali, the Lord's...
(RFI 01/14/17)
The 27th Africa-France Summit kicked off on Friday in the Malian capital Bamako with more than 30 African heads of state meeting French officials to discuss the threat of jihadists in the Sahel region and improve democracy in Africa. the meeting is also an opportunity for French president François Hollande to showcase his legacy. The choice to hold the 27th Africa-France summit in Mali is not insignificant. Bamako is where president François Hollande first revealed himself as an international statesman, when France's military launched Operation Serval in January 2013 as jihadists allied to Tuareg rebels took control of the north of the country. "I took the necessary steps and we intervened militarily, and what we did there in terms of...
(Huffingtonpost 01/10/17)
And it’s ironic given the growing consensus that Beijing is the U.S. president-elect’s enemy number one. Eric Olander and Cobus van Staden are the duo behind the China Africa Project and hosts of the popular China in Africa Podcast. We’re here to answer your most pressing, puzzling, even politically incorrect questions, about all things related to the Chinese in Africa and Africans in China. The election of Donald Trump has introduced a new era of uncertainty in global politics, especially in Africa where the president-elect has said little about his foreign policy agenda for the continent. Not surprisingly, Trump’s unpredictable, provocative style is sparking widespread concern across the continent as to whether the United States plans to remain engaged in...
(BBC News Africa 01/03/17)
An electricity grid for the whole village Problem: A total of 1.3 billion people worldwide currently don't have electricity, according to Yale Environment 360. Getting people in rural areas on to the national grid is proving too difficult and traditional solar panels generate meagre amounts of energy. Solution: Steamaco makes solar and battery micro-grids which can work for a whole village. They are small electricity generation and distribution systems that operate independently of larger grids. How it works: Micro-grids are nothing new. The new part is that Steamaco's technology automates the regulation of electricity. So, if the system detects there will be a surge in demand for electricity, for example on a Saturday night when people want to start playing...
(Voice of America 12/30/16)
2016 was predicted to be a tough year for African economies, and it delivered. Traditional economic leaders faltered this year amid a storm of falling commodity prices, unpredictable and destructive weather like droughts and floods across large swaths of the the continent. Slow economic growth in China, a major investor and trading partner, only added to their challenges. “This year, you’ve seen the two Africas: the commodity exporters going through tough times, while the non-commodity exporters being more resilient,” Nigerian economist Nonso Obikili, who researches Nigerian and sub-Saharan economic trends for Economic Research Southern Africa, told VOA. He says 2016 has been hard on African commodity giants as oil prices fell to lows not seen since the global financial crisis...

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