Tuesday 21 November 2017

Guinée

(Voice of America 09/25/17)
African first ladies and activists hailed progress that some governments on the continent are making on gender equality. They met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “We used to have 23 percent female representation in parliament but, with the stroke of a pen it went up to 48 percent. So, we managed to double our female representation with that decision,” said Namibia’s first lady Monica Geingos at a roundtable invitation-only event co-hosted by the Global First Ladies Alliance (GFLA) and Facebook. Geingos credited the quota enacted by the ruling SWAPO party of her husband, President Hage Geingob. But she said a similar quota might be needed for Namibia’s private sector, where only 10 to...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/22/17)
Hundreds of rioters in the Guinean bauxite mining town of Boke burned down a police and a gendarmerie building on Thursday and clashed with security forces wielding batons, leaving 17 people injured, the local Red Cross said. Guinean authorities managed to avoid the bloodshed of previous days by desisting from using live bullets on the demonstrators in the Boke neighborhood of Kolabounyi, Guinean Red Cross member Oumar Kalissa told Reuters by telephone. Rioting by angry youths - who say bauxite mining has brought constant pollution and noise but no jobs or services like water and electricity - has paralyzed Boke for most of the past week. Despite decades of mining, Guinea, Africa’s top bauxite producer, remains one of the world’s...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 09/18/17)
Guinea's government said Sunday that it was sending electric generators to the mining town of Boke to help ease tensions after deadly clashes sparked by protests against water and power cuts. The town's prefect has also been dismissed as officials try to restore order to the town, where shops and markets have been looted and vehicles destroyed during protests which have also seen armed youths set up barricades to take de facto control. Boureima Conde, minister for territorial administration and decentralisation, said in a statement on state TV that the town's prefect, Mohamed Lamine Doumbouya, was fired by President Alpha Conde on Saturday. The president has also instructed Prime Minister Mamady Youla "to take measures designed to shine a light...
(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...
(The Guardian 09/18/17)
Anna Jones says that, through selling its cocoa cheaply, Africa is exporting its wealth overseas; while Sue Banford claims that the soya moratorium in the Amazon has done nothing to halt deforestation. Only the final paragraph in your article on cocoa farming causing deforestation in Ivory Coast (Forests pay price for world’s taste for cocoa, 14 September) mentioned the most fundamental thing – the farmer’s livelihood, or lack of it. The low value of his (or more likely her) crop is undoubtedly the cause of this problem. But cocoa farming could also provide the solution. Recently, I was in Ivory Coast for the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Abidjan. It united many different parties – governments, the UN’s Food...
(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...
(APA 09/15/17)
APA-Conakry (Guinea) - The Guinean minister of Agriculture, Jacqueline Marthe Sultan, was dismissed by decree published late Thursday, while she was conducting an evaluation tour in the region of Labe, the capital of Middle Guinea. “Jacqueline Sultan who was named minister in January 2014, following the parliamentary elections of September 2013, is appointed to another position,” the decree stated without further specifying the nature of her new function. It merely specified that the Agriculture ministry is now attached to the presidency of the republic. Consequently, the senior minister and permanent secretary at the Presidency, Kiridi Bangoura, is the new overseer.
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
Societe Generale SA, challenged on its home turf by Orange SA’s push into banking, is fighting back with a new mobile lender in Africa. The French lender started YUP, a new app for smartphones, in Senegal and Ivory Coast and plans to begin operating in four other sub-Saharan countries this year and next, the company said on Thursday. The bank aims to double its client base to 2 million in the region within three years. “Telcos have opened the way and they’ve gotten ahead,” Alexandre Maymat, who oversees Societe Generale’s operations in French-speaking Africa, said at a press briefing. “We’re catching up” by redefining the retail strategy and providing a broader offering than telephone companies. Chief Executive Officer Frederic Oudea...
(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...
(APA 09/14/17)
APA-Conakry (Guinea) - The US State Department has decided to stop issuing visas to Guinean officials as of Wednesday 13 September 2017, due to Conakry’s refusal to take back its nationals residing illegally in the United States. According to the US Embassy in Guinea, this decision concerns visas of the B, F, J and M category issued to Guinean officials and members of their immediate families. Shortly after the decision was announced, the Guinean authorities, through the new Foreign Affairs Minister, Mamadi Conde, expressed their “surprise,” adding that todate there is no outstanding issue between the US and the Guinean side. However, Guinea is not the only country targeted by this measure. Countries such as Cambodia and Eritrea are also...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/14/17)
LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Your afternoon chocolate bar may be fuelling climate change, destroying protected forests and threatening elephants, chimpanzees and hippos in West Africa, research suggests. Well-known brands, such as Mars and Nestle, are buying through global traders cocoa that is grown illegally in dwindling national parks and reserves in Ivory Coast and Ghana, environmental group Mighty Earth said. “Every consumer of chocolate is a part of either the problem or the solution,” Etelle Higonnet, campaign director at Mighty Earth, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “You can choose to buy ethical chocolate. Or you’re voting with your dollar for deforestation.” Nestle did not immediately respond to requests for comment while Mars said in an email: “We take a...
(The Associated Press 09/13/17)
The United States will stop issuing certain visas to Eritrean nationals and Guinean officials as of Wednesday, the embassies in those countries announced Tuesday. The new restrictions are aimed at four Asian and African nations that have refused to take back citizens who've been deported. Under federal law, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson can stop all or specific types of visas from being issued to such nations. The U.S. Embassy in Eritrea said in a statement that it will stop issuing business and tourism visas to Eritrean nationals, with "limited exceptions." Eritrean officials were not immediately available for comment. The East African nation is a major source of migrants who say they are fleeing a system...
(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...
(Xinhuanet 09/13/17)
In an effort to promote economic development and solve complex conservation challenges facing world heritage sites, the African World Heritage Fund Patron and former President of Namibia Hifikepunye Pohamba will host a business leader's breakfast event in Namibian Capital, Windhoek on Thursday. The African World Heritage Fund is an initiative of the African Member States of the African Union and UNESCO, launched in 2006. Webber Ndoro, executive director of the African World Heritage Fund, at a media briefing on Tuesday in Windhoek said that the aim of the event is to promote a holistic private sector engagement, raise a sense of ownership and accountability for heritage protection as well as transmission of World Heritage sites in Namibia and Africa. "To...
(AFP (eng) 09/12/17)
Local elections in Guinea, expected since 2005, will not take place before the end of the year, an opposition party spokesman said Monday, a month after demonstrations calling for polls. Opposition spokesman Aboubacar Sylla said the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) had announced the delay at a meeting called to resolve the issue. The CENI's timetable "provides for a 120-day deadline from a date to be determined (...) which brings us to 2018," he added. Local elections should have been held in February under an agreement reached in October 2016 between the government, opposition

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(AFP (eng) 07/21/17)
Two women and a man who slipped past security in northeastern Guinea to pan for gold in the region's mines died Thursday in a landslide, following a week of heavy rains. Guinea's soils are rich in gold, diamonds and bauxite, but it remains one of the world's poorest countries, driving so-called "artisanal" miners to search for minerals alone or in small groups with little safety equipment. Alfamadi Kamara, who oversees security of the mines in the Boure Boukaria area near the city of Siguiri, told AFP they discovered the dead after they entered the premises unnoticed. "We were taken by surprise by these illegal gold prospectors," he said by phone. "They took advantage of the moment we were having breakfast...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/18/17)
Three years after he risked his life crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Libya to Italy on a small boat crammed with migrants, 22-year-old Sow Muhammed can hardly believe his luck. The former street hawker from Guinea now works as a caterer in Venice, rents his own apartment, and sends money back home regularly to his mother and siblings in the West African nation. "I am happy I came to Europe, and my family is also happy," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation as he packed up leftovers at a training event for people who work with refugees, where he had served a menu which included traditional African dishes. "I talk to my family frequently, ask them their needs, and help...
(Cnbc Africa 07/12/17)
"Africa is an awakening giant," according to the former South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk speaking at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul. The leader who oversaw the transition of his country's power to Nelson Mandela said Tuesday that the future looks bright for a continent previously blighted by war, famine and a lack of infrastructure. "I believe Africa is an awakening giant and, yes, it is not performing according to what we expected soon enough, but it will perform," he said. De Klerk believes that African countries are primed to take advantage of the world's growing size. "If we look at food shortages for the rest of the world with a growing population, Africa is the solution," he...
(AFP (eng) 07/11/17)
As West Africa declares war on the market for expired and counterfeit medicines, start-ups are putting quality control in the hands of patients to stop them risking their lives trying to get well. Not only can such drugs fail to treat the diseases they are bought to combat, experts say, but they may encourage resistance to antibiotics and even cause death as diseases continue to course unchecked through the body. At an April meeting in Liberia, the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) announced a region-wide investigation into the trafficking of expired and counterfeit drugs, and a public awareness campaign. Traffickers in bad medicine prey on some of the world's poorest and most in need, who also face...
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
In the past five years, terrorist attacks have killed nearly 20,000 people across Africa. Two groups, Boko Haram and al-Shabab, accounted for 71 percent of reported incidents and 91 percent of fatalities. But, while these and other militant groups remain active, fatal terrorist attacks across the continent are on pace to fall for a second straight year, and the total number of attacks is running far below 2012 highs. These findings are part of VOA’s original analysis of data from ACLED, the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. ACLED tracks political violence, protests and terrorist events across Africa. Their reports include attacks since 1997 based on data collected from local news media, government statements, non-governmental organizations and published research...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The costs of diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa could double to almost $60 billion annually just 13 years from now, as obesity fuels an explosion of the disease, a report said Thursday. In 2015, the overall diabetes cost in the region was nearly $20 billion (18 billion euros), or 1.2 percent of total economic production, according to research published by The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. This included medication and hospital stays, and loss of labour productivity due to illness or death. About half of all treatment costs were paid for by patients themselves.
(AFP (eng) 07/05/17)
Leaving behind chic gowns and catwalks to stomp in the mud in heavy work boots, Guinean former fashion model Tiguidanke Camara has made herself west Africa's first woman mine owner. In the small forest village of Guingouine, in the west of Ivory Coast, Camara runs a team of 10 geologists and labourers who are probing the soil for gold deposits. She readily wades into a mucky pond to help take laboratory samples. "When I was a model, I showed off for the jewellers. They have licences in Africa to provide their precious stones," says Camara amid a swarm of gnats, still youthful and trim in her 40s. She does not recall any macho male resistance to her rise in an...
(Voice of America 07/05/17)
More than 7 million children in West and Central Africa are displaced every year, the United Nations children's agency said in a report released Wednesday. Lack of economic opportunities, wars and climate change are forcing more than 12 million people in West and Central Africa to migrate annually, the report said. "Children in West and Central Africa are moving in greater numbers than ever before, many in search of safety or a better life," UNICEF regional director Marie-Pierre Poirier said. Climate change is already a harsh reality in many parts of Africa, where rising temperatures and increasingly erratic rainfall have disrupted food production, fueled widespread hunger and forced farmers to abandon their land. A half-million people have crossed the Mediterranean...
(Voice of America 07/04/17)
GENEVA — The U.N. children’s fund warns tens of thousands of malnourished children are at great risk in Yemen, Somalia and South Sudan, which are on the brink of famine. UNICEF reports an estimated 4.7 million children in the cholera-stricken countries are malnourished. Of these, UNICEF spokesman Christofe Boulierac tells VOA, more than one million are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. “Let me remind you that a child who is suffering from severe acute malnutrition are nine times more likely to die of disease than a well-nourished child," he said. "So, having cholera and diarrhea in countries where so many children are so fragile because of malnutrition among other things because of such a bad access to safe water is...
(RFI(EN) 07/04/17)
New tax rules in Israel could leave hundreds of African migrants worse off than they are. In May, the government introduced a new deposit law, enabling the governemnt to take 20 percent of migrants' salaries each month and place it out of reach. The money can only be accessed once they leave the country. Rights groups say the policy is designed to force them out of the country. "We're not pressuring you to leave but will make your life miserable so you decide to leave," Anwar Suliman, a Darfuri refugee living in Israel since 2008, told RFI . "Every time the state makes a different law, different pressure, but we said we can't go back right now." Suliman fled Darfur...
(AFP (eng) 06/28/17)
The generic version of the most advanced drug against HIV has been introduced in Kenya, a first in Africa where more than 25 million have the disease, the NGO Unitaid said Wednesday. The drug, Dolutegravir (DTG) is the anti-retroviral drug of choice for those living with HIV in developed countries, but its high price has put it out of reach for most struggling with the disease in Africa. "The generic DTG has two advantages: on the one hand, it is very good from a pharmaceutical point of view. On the other hand, it is much cheaper," said Robert Matiru of Unitaid, which works to reduce the costs of medicines treating AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria. He described the drug as "the...
(AFP (eng) 06/23/17)
Red Cross volunteers prevented a significant number of Ebola cases during the 2013-2016 epidemic in west Africa by using safe burial techniques, according to a study released Thursday. The outbreak that killed more than 11,300 people and sickened nearly 29,000 -- mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone -- could have been much worse, according to the study published in the PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases medical journal. Using statistical modelling, the study indicated that the efforts of Red Cross volunteers to properly bury the highly contagious bodies potentially averted as many as 10,452 Ebola cases, decreasing the scale of the outbreak by more than a third. Due to the very high death toll at the beginning of the outbreak, there...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/23/17)
YAOUNDE (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Safe burial practices introduced by the Red Cross likely saved thousands of lives during the world’s worst outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus between 2013 and 2016, researchers said on Thursday. In the first scientific study of Ebola victim burials, researchers found each unsafe burial had the potential to generate more than 2.5 secondary cases of Ebola infection. The virus kills about 50 percent of those it infects on average, according to the World Health Organization. People who treat and bury the bodies of the dead are especially at risk, as corpses are even more contagious than living Ebola patients. The Red Cross safe burial program potentially averted between 1,411 and 10,452 secondary cases of...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/23/17)
DAR ES SALAAM (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Sadick Thenest remembers how his 8-year-old daughter had a narrow brush with death two years ago, when she contracted cholera after drinking contaminated water. “She was so gaunt, weak and had terrible diarrhea,” said the refugee from Burundi. “A slight delay in rushing her to hospital would have meant something else - but with God’s grace she survived.” The father of four, aged 35, is among thousands of refugees grappling with frequent outbreaks of waterborne diseases in the crowded Nyarugusu camp in western Tanzania, due to poor sanitation. “Living in a refugee camp is a constant struggle. You either stick to health rules or contract diseases,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by...
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
WASHINGTON DC — On June 5, Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of funding extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State. In response, Qatar said it was the victim of a policy of “domination and control” by its larger neighbor and that Saudi Arabia was, in fact, the one responsible for backing extremism. So what is the truth? Fundamentalist strains of Islam, including Saudi-born Salafism and Wahhabism, form the ideological bedrock for most terror groups. According to a study by Leif Wenar of King’s College London based on the Global Terrorism Database, three out of four terror attacks in the last 10 years...
(BBC News Africa 06/16/17)
Scottish nurse Pauline Cafferkey has returned to Sierra Leone for the first time since contracting Ebola there in 2014. She went back to fundraise for children orphaned by the epidemic and to close a chapter of her life. The last time Mbalu met Pauline, the teenager was sick with Ebola and fighting for her life. Pauline cared for her while smothered in a personal protection equipment suit (PPE), when working amidst the crisis gripping the country. The nursing staff had their names written on their suits, so they could identify one another and it is for that reason, and not Pauline's face, that Mbalu, now 17, remembers her. "The first time I saw Pauline, she looked like a devil," Mbalu...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Extortion, corruption and fear; violence, hunger and sometimes even death: for west African migrants dreaming of reaching Europe, the road to get there can be an absolute minefield. - Departure - Whether it's The Gambia, Ivory Coast, Senegal or Nigeria, everything starts with the "hustlers" -- slang for the middlemen or fixers who organise the trip. Their honesty and prices vary, with the would-be migrant usually deceived about the welcome expected in Europe. Many possess no official documents from their home country, and do not understand illegal status in Europe. Most are ignorant about the extreme difficulties they will encounter en route. "We didn't know we were risking our lives," said Kante Sekou...
(AFP (eng) 06/14/17)
Maria gave smugglers all her family savings and crossed three countries and the searing Libyan desert, but when she finally boarded a boat for Europe her dream was swiftly shattered. She was 24 and pregnant with her second child when she left Liberia with her husband and their three-year-old son. The family passed through Guinea and Mali before crossing southern Algeria to reach the Libyan desert. "The smugglers took all our money" -- more than $2,150 (2,000 euros), she said. "We spent four days in the desert. People died of thirst and the sun in the back of the truck." They finally arrived on the beach at Sabrata, 70 kilometres (45 miles) west of Libya's capital Tripoli, a key departure...
(AFP (eng) 06/13/17)
Uche's real journey had yet to begin but he had already spent four days in the northern Nigerian city of Kano after travelling on public buses and potholed roads from Imo state in the southeast. He planned to go to Agadez, a transit town on the southern edge of the Sahara desert in central Niger, take a truck to Sebha, in southwestern Libya, and from there to the capital Tripoli, and then to Italy or Spain. But his contact, who was supposed to drive him and three women across Nigeria's northern border, was arrested on suspicion of people smuggling. "His house had been under surveillance," explains the 38-year-old electrician in Kano's bustling Sabon Gari district. "The movement of the three...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/08/17)
More girls are completing secondary school across sub-Saharan Africa as attitudes change and state spending rises, but some of the most marginalized girls — like those married young or forced to work — are still missing out, education experts say. The percentage of girls completing secondary school has risen in all regions of Africa since 2005, said a recent report by the African Development Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the U.N. Development Program. Almost twice as many girls in East Africa and three times as many in Central Africa completed secondary education in 2014 as in 2005, according to the annual African Economic Outlook report, which was published at the end of last month. Yet more...

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(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...
(AFP (eng) 04/18/17)
The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday forecast 2.6 percent growth in sub-Saharan Africa this year, aided by a modest recovery in large economies South Africa, Nigeria and Angola. "Growth is projected to rise to 2.6 percent in 2017 and 3.5 percent in 2018, largely driven by specific factors in the largest economies, which faced challenging macroeconomic conditions in 2016," the IMF said its latest World Economic Outlook report. A slump in commodity price in 2016 and devastating drought had affected growth in several countries in the region, resulting in 1.4 percent growth of gross domestic product (GDP). Nigeria, the continent's most populous nation and a leading oil producer, was expected to return to growth in 2017 after a challenging 2016...
(Xinhuanet 04/18/17)
Africa's diaspora is playing a big role in the economic transformation of the continent, the UN said on Tuesday. UN Population Fund (UNFPA) Regional Director Dr Julitta Onabanjo told Xinhua in Nairobi that remittances are important source of income for many African families. "The diaspora therefore complements government efforts to lift many families out of poverty," Onabanjo said on the sidelines of the First Africa-China Conference on Population and Development. Onabanjo said that Africans in the diaspora also bring back to the continent, the valuable skills and knowledge that they have acquired in the developed world. "This pool of skilled labour can help the continent address challenges that hinder social economic development," she added. The director noted that remittances resulting...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/15/17)
Mining company BSG Resources (BSGR) on Friday filed a lawsuit in federal court in New York accusing financier George Soros of scuttling an iron ore deal in Guinea, claiming $10 billion in damages. BSGR, which is controlled by Israeli billionaire businessman Beny Steinmetz, accused Soros and his controlled entities of manipulating the government of Guinea and elected officials and other misconduct to strip BSGR of mining contracts in Guinea in 2014. Israeli authorities put Steinmetz under house arrest on Dec. 19 after accusations that he paid tens of millions of dollars to senior public officials in Guinea to advance his businesses. He was released in January without being charged.

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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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(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...
(The Globe and Mail 12/23/16)
The Square Kilometre Array will be the world’s most powerful radio telescope, opening new frontiers in our understanding of the universe. But the builders have to contend with an unforgiving climate and other formidable challenges first, In the desolate rocky plains of the Great Karoo, the dangers are endless. Scorpions and puff adders are underfoot. The harsh sun beats down, interrupted only by occasional lightning storms. Temperatures range from stifling heat to freezing cold. But at night, in the vast empty darkness, the stars are impossibly bright and clear. And it is the stars that have lured a Canadian-backed project to build the world’s most powerful radio telescope, with the potential to unlock the deepest secrets of the universe. For...
(Bloomberg 12/19/16)
Beny Steinmetz, the billionaire entangled in a long-running dispute over rights to one of the world’s most valuable mining assets, has been put under house arrest in Israel after being detained on suspicion of bribing Guinean government officials. The 60-year-old, who made his fortune in the diamond trade, was detained on suspicion of bribery and money laundering, Israeli police said. Steinmetz was released to house arrest for two weeks on bail of 100 million shekels ($26 million), court documents show. His Israeli and French passports were confiscated and he was barred from leaving Israel for 180 days. Steinmetz didn’t appear in court. Steinmetz, and other Israelis who live abroad, “are suspected of giving tens of millions of dollars in bribes...

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