Wednesday 18 October 2017

Guinée

(AFP (eng) 07/24/17)
Guinea thrashed Guinea-Bissau 7-0 in Conakry Saturday for a record winning margin for an African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier. The west Africans overtook Tanzania, who walloped Somalia 6-0 in Dar es Salaam during 2011 qualifying. In 15 previous qualifying matches since the competition for home-based players kicked off in 2008, Guinea never won by more than two goals. Sekou Amadou Camara was the destroyer-in-chief for the Guineans at the national stadium, netting four times to equal the individual scoring record for a qualifier. Guinea took 38 minutes to score, through Camara, and led 2-0 at half-time before the floodgates opened during a second half that yielded five more goals. They won the West zone A second round tie 10-1 on...
(AFP (eng) 07/24/17)
Senior politicians in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Saturday called for measures to cut the birth rate in the region in order to bring the population explosion there under control. Deputies of ECOWAS, Mauritania and Chad should be aiming to cut back the birth rate to three children per woman, said Salifou Diallo, Burkina Faso's speaker of parliament. The idea, he said, was to cut the birth rate in half by 2030, in a region that has the highest fertility rates in the world. He called for countries to adopt measures including universal access to family planning, improved education for women and better health care of children, to bring about "a rapid, voluntary decline" in the...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 07/21/17)
The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations will expand from 16 to 24 teams and be staged in June and July, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced on Thursday. The tournament has traditionally been held in January and February, with the timing of the tournament a source of frustration to European clubs forced to release players in the middle of the season. The CAF executive committee confirmed the changes to the format following a two-day symposium in Rabat, although the tournament will continue to be held every two years and exclusively on African soil. The decision to increase the number of teams mirrors a similar one taken by UEFA to expand the European Championship, with 24 nations taking part at...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(Le Jour Guinée 07/10/17)
Publiquement, les responsables des partis membres du Front pour l’Alternance Démocratique (FAD), jurent sur le palpitant que la distance qu’ils prennent de l’UFDG n’a rien à voir avec le budget du chef de file de l’opposition. Mais en réalité c’est tout le contraire. C’est ce que nous confie le président du parti rassemblement pour le développement intégré de la Guinée (RDIG). Au sortir de l’émission »Club de l’actu » de notre confrère Aboubacar Daillo d’espace TV, ce samedi, Jean Marc Telliano est revenu amplement sur le différend entre les partis membres du front pour l’aternance démocratique (FAD) et l’Union des forces démocratiques de Guinée (UFDG. Et le moins qu’on puisse dire, c’est que la composition du cabinet et la subvention...
(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...
(AfricaNews 07/07/17)
Guinean President, Alpha Conde, who is also President of the African Union (A.U.) has been talking sports, specifically football. In a recent interview with the BBC, Conde spoke about a series of issues relating to the game, he touched on the fact that he is the number one fan of the men’s national team, the Syli Nationale. He hailed French international, Paul Pogba on two fronts – for his exploits in the game and also for sending him a shirt. The 79-year-old leader also spoke about the country’s plans towards hosting the continent’s major football showpiece in 2023. The continent’s football governing body, CAF, announced in 2014 that after Cameroon 2019 and Ivory Coast 2021, Guinea will be next to...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The African Union's new chair Moussa Faki Mahamat on Wednesday questioned US commitment to fighting terrorism on the continent after it blocked efforts to get UN funding for an anti-jihadist force in the Sahel. "This is a specific case of a certain number of African states taking the initiative to create a dedicated force to fight terrorism. So, we don't understand how the United States could hold back or not engage in the fight against terrorism," Faki said in an interview with AFP. Faki's January election as chairperson of the AU commission came days after the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, who has proposed slashing US funding for aid projects and multilateral institutions like the UN. The former Chadian...
(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...

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(Xinhuanet 03/16/17)
China's aid to the education sector in Africa is helping boost teacher training, a key component in skilling the population to fast track development, a UN official has said. Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, Director of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Regional Office for Eastern Africa, in an interview recognized China's contribution to Africa's education sector over the years. "We value the initiative in teacher training in Uganda and other countries in Africa. This will revitalize the teaching profession," she said. China through UNESCO donated equipment to three teacher training institutions in Uganda on March 3. Figures from the Chinese embassy here show that 137 tutors were trained and 272 pieces of Information Communication and Technology and studio equipment...
(Agence Ecofin 03/14/17)
The Land Policy Initiative (LPI), a joint programme of the tripartite consortium consisting of the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has launched a pilot project to track progress in implementing in the AU Declaration on land issues in Africa. This was revealed by the ECA in a press statement dated March 7. In collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the project will assess progress made in implementing the key decisions and commitments of the AU Declaration on Land adopted in July 2009 by the General Assembly of the pan-African institution. “We are to a large extent in unchartered waters given many of our Member...
(AFP (eng) 03/13/17)
A Guinean soldier wanted over the massacre of more than 150 people in a Conakry stadium has been extradited, ending years on the run in neighbouring Senegal and paving the way for his trial. Aboubakar Sidiki Diakite, also known as Toumba Diakite, was an aide de camp to Guinean coup leader Dadis Camara when 157 people were killed in September 2009 at an opposition rally. Witnesses reported presidential guards firing on the crowd, beating and arresting opposition leaders, and raping dozens of women in the stadium. Two months later, Diakite shot Camara after a dispute over responsibility for the massacre, then fled.
(AFP (eng) 03/10/17)
In the beginning was .com, followed by a host of other .somethings, but on Friday, 32 years after the world's first domain name was registered, the African Union has launched .africa for the continent. Africans who want to register a website will be able to apply for a .africa domain name in the coming months, which outgoing AU commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said would allow the continent's people and businesses to better reach the world. "With .africa, I would say Africa has finally got its digital identity," said Dlamini-Zuma, who will next week hand power to Chadian Foreign Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat after four years at the helm of the continental body Sub-Saharan Africa has one of the lowest rates...
(Xinhuanet 03/09/17)
Health authorities in West Africa have set up a regional Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Abuja, Nigeria to deal with pandemics such as Ebola, a senior official of Ghana said on Wednesday. The establishment of the CDC is to ensure that "we are more prepared, in terms of early detection, epidemic surveillance, training of our staff and upgrading their capacity and research, so we can combat diseases of the nature of Ebola," Dr. Xavier Crespin, Director-General of the West Africa Health Organization told President Akufo-Addo during a meeting at the Flagstaff House in Accra. He said Ghana is serving as the platform for training of staff as the University of Ghana has been chosen for its Field Epidemiology and...
(Xinhuanet 03/09/17)
A critical mass of trained and well equipped community health workforce is key to easing the rising burden of infectious and noncommunicable diseases in Africa, experts said on Wednesday at a continental forum taking place in Nairobi. The experts, policymakers and campaigners who attended Africa Health Agenda International Conference agreed that optimal engagement of community health workers is key to revolutionize response to diseases ravaging the continent. Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Health Cleopa Mailu in his opening remarks said that investments in training for community health workers will have multiplier impact on Africa's socioeconomic development. "We require highly skilled and motivated cadre of community health workforce to deal with a high diseases burden in disadvantaged settings in this continent. These...
(AFP (eng) 03/08/17)
Lawyers and human rights campaigners launched an initiative for African whistleblowers in Senegal on Tuesday, aimed at providing a secure means of exposing wrongdoing on the continent. African nations such as Somalia, South Sudan, Libya and Guinea-Bissau regularly appear at the very bottom of rankings such as Transparency International's Corruption Index, while none make it into the top 30. The Platform for the Protection of Whistleblowers in Africa (PPLAAF) will provide guidance from legal experts, secure submission of information and a hotline for potential informants, according to its founders. The initiative is the brainchild of Spanish superstar lawyer Baltasar Garzon -- who has defended Julian Assange of whistleblowing website WikiLeaks -- along with French lawyer William Bourdon, who worked on...
(AFP (eng) 02/28/17)
The Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership -- the world's biggest individual prize -- drew a blank once again in finding a suitable laureate, it was announced Tuesday. The prize only goes to a democratically-elected African leader who demonstrated exceptional leadership, served their mandated term and left office within the last three years. The award comes with $5 million (4.7 million euros) paid over 10 years and $200,000 annually for life from then on. The prize, founded by Sudan-born telecoms tycoon Mo Ibrahim, has only been given four times in its 10-year existence. The philanthropist has said in the past that making no award sent just as strong a message on African leadership. "A very high bar was deliberately...
(AFP (eng) 02/23/17)
For the first time in Africa, researchers said Wednesday they have detected a malaria parasite that is partially resistant to the top anti-malaria drug, artemisinin, raising concern about efforts to fight a disease that sickens hundreds of millions of people each year. The discovery means that Africa now joins southeast Asia in hosting such drug-resistant forms of the mosquito-borne disease. Malaria infected more than 200 million people and killed some 438,000 people worldwide in 2015, most of them children in Africa. "The spread of artemisinin resistance in Africa would be a major setback in the fight against malaria, as ACT (artemisinin-based combination therapy) is the only effective and widely used antimalarial treatment at the moment," said lead author Arnab Pain,...
(AFP (eng) 02/22/17)
Schools began to reopen across Guinea on Wednesday after a three-week strike and violent protests that left seven people dead in the capital this week, an AFP journalist and school staff said. The violence in Conakry on Monday and Tuesday capped weeks of protests mainly by young people and students that prompted the government to close schools on February 1. The protests were in support of a strike by temporary teachers demanding full-time government contracts. On Wednesday, students began trickling back into classrooms in the capital and in other cities...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 02/21/17)
At least six people died during violent protests in the Guinean capital Monday, as people demonstrated over teachers' strikes that have closed schools for the past three weeks, government sources said. At least 30 people were also wounded, including members of the police force in Conakry, the government said in a statement. A number of violent protests have rocked the city in the past few weeks, mainly by young people and students who support a teachers' strike. Teachers' unions are demanding that contracted teachers, who are not full time, be fully integrated in the public school system.
(Reuters (Eng) 02/21/17)
At least five people were killed in Guinea's capital of Conakry on Monday in protests sparked by a teacher's strike, the government said, reviving labor tensions in a country where previous strikes have led to dozens of deaths. Government spokesman Damantang Albert Camara later told Reuters that a deal to end the strike was signed with Guinea's main teachers' unions on Monday evening. The unions had launched the strike on Feb. 1 to protest the government's decision to dismiss or cut the salaries of many junior teachers after the latest civil service exams, and many of their students had taken to the streets in recent days to support them. Unidentified assailants on Monday morning attacked a police station and demonstrators...
(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,...
(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,...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/02/17)
African leaders have backed a "strategy of collective withdrawal" from the International Criminal Court (ICC), but it came with unspecified reservations, an African Union official said on Wednesday after this week's African Union summit. The official did not give details about the strategy or the reservations, but it highlights broad antipathy towards the court among Africans who feel the ICC unfairly targets them. A document seen by Reuters before the summit proposed a co-ordinated withdrawal unless the ICC was reformed. It included a call for "regionalization" of international law, a reference to proposals for an African war crimes court. Almost a third of the ICC's 124 members are African, and a withdrawal by a large number of them would cripple...
(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...
(Xinhuanet 01/18/17)
The Chinese government's decision to terminate ivory processing and trade by the end of 2017 marked a critical milestone in the journey toward eliminating poaching and other threats to Africa's elephant species, a conservationist group said on Wednesday. Kaddu Sebunya, president of African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) hailed China for taking bold measures to revitalize global efforts to save African elephants whose numbers had declined this decade due to poaching and climatic stresses. "The recent announcement by the central government of China to ban all domestic ivory trade by the end of 2017 offers a glimmer of real optimism in the fight against elephant poaching," Sebunya said in a statement issued in Nairobi The Chinese authority in December 2016 announced the...
(New Vision 01/17/17)
“I can tell you that rats destroy up to 60% of health equipment in Africa,” Ssali said. Ssali sought to highlight the dangers that exist when biomedical engineers are not consulted in the management of health equipment including x-rays and CT scans. For instance, he narrated, cables of a CT scan installed at one unnamed facility were eaten up by rats, costing the institution over $5,000 to replace. Biomedical engineers are professionals who maintain and repair machines for diagnosing medical problems. They design medical equipment and devices, artificial internal organs or synthetic body parts. In Africa, the profession is relatively new-just about 10 years old in Uganda, it has been in existence in the developed world for nearly half a...
(AFP (eng) 01/04/17)
Italy vowed Wednesday to increase deportations of migrants whose asylum requests have been rejected, after a riot in a reception centre sparked by the death of a young woman. The country, which has been on the frontline of migrants arriving across the Mediterranean from North Africa, is pushing for an agreement with Niger and a renewed deal with Tunisia to facilitate returns. "We have saved many lives but we cannot accept rule-breaking. We need to speed up deportations," Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, the country's former interior minister, said in an interview with La Stampa daily. He was "working to tie up agreements which will reduce arrivals and prevent departures" from the coast of North Africa, he said after a record...

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(Reuters (Eng) 12/21/16)
Israeli police arrested a former business associate of mining billionaire Beny Steinmetz on Tuesday in a widening inquiry into allegations of bribery and corruption in Africa. Asher Avidan, ex-president of a company linked to Steinmetz's BSG Resources (BSGR) and a former employee of Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has been placed under house arrest until Jan. 2, police said. The move follows the detention on Monday of Steinmetz, 60, who along with other Israelis living abroad is alleged to have paid tens of millions of dollars to senior public officials in Guinea to advance their businesses, police said. Yuval Sasson, a lawyer for Steinmetz and BSGR in Israel, said on Tuesday that Steinmetz would fight the allegations and prove his...
(The Citizen 12/21/16)
Tanzania is among some African countries which may see a drop in development aid as the US is likely to expand fiscal stance and cut spending during Donald Trump's presidency, a new report shows. The move by the world's largest economy will affect dependent countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and DRC according to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) latest report released in London yesterday. In its Economic Insight: Africa Q4 2016, the accountancy and finance body points out that signs of an expansionary fiscal stance under the Trump administration coupled with spending cuts to accommodate increased infrastructure expenditure are likely to lead to the decrease in aid. "Aid is one of the main...
(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...
(CNN 12/15/16)
In the sleepy, sun-blasted town of De Aar in central South Africa, a mighty force is stirring. The largest solar plant in Africa, Middle East and the Southern hemisphere was inaugurated here earlier this year, a 175-megawatt facility that spreads over almost 500 hectares. The facility is the brainchild of Solar Capital, led by hotel magnate turned solar evangelist Paschal Phelan, which ploughed $400 million into the venture. The plant supplies power to the National Grid, but when the heat is fiercest it produces far more than the Grid can use, and the excess power goes to waste. "It's like you have a Ferrari and you run a small car," says Massimiliano Salaorno, plant manager of Solar Capital De Aar...
(Bloomberg 12/14/16)
A former mining minister in Guinea was accused by U.S. prosecutors of laundering bribes he received as part of a scheme to help a Chinese company win "near total control" of the West African nation’s valuable mining sector. Mahmoud Thiam, a U.S. citizen, was allegedly paid $8.5 million by an unidentified Chinese conglomerate, which was seeking exclusive rights to "a wide range of sectors of the Guinean economy" in addition to control of mining in the country. Thiam was mining minister in 2009 and 2010, federal prosecutors in New York said. Thiam lied about his occupation and nationality to open an account in Hong Kong, which he used to transfer millions in bribe money, prosecutors said. He then moved it...
(AFP (eng) 12/13/16)
The cocktails keep flowing by the pool on the tourist strip, but in The Gambia's markets many African migrant traders are packing up their businesses and heading home. The international community is piling pressure on President Yahya Jammeh to leave power after 22 years and hand over to opposition leader Adama Barrow, who won an election two weeks ago only for Jammeh to later reverse his original concession of defeat. Of the economy's two main sources of investment from abroad, tourism appears to be weathering the country's political storm far better than the thousands of petty traders who move to The Gambia from the rest of west Africa. President-elect Barrow told AFP on Monday claims that tourist numbers could be...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/07/16)
As the darkness falls on the plains around Bunambiyu, a remote village in Tanzania's northern Shinyanga region, Elizabeth Julius switches on her solar lantern to finish sewing clothes for her customers. Not long ago, nightfall would have forced her to close her tailoring shop, or use a smoky kerosene lamp. But with the solar-powered lamp, Julius can now sew for as long as she wants. "Solar energy has entirely changed my life. I use it at work and at home, yet it doesn't cost me anything," said the 29-year-old entrepreneur and mother of two. "I often wake up at night to work because I need the money to support my family," she said. Julius and her husband, Zablon, used to...
(APA 12/06/16)
The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) says Africa can yield benefits from commodity-based industrialization and agro-alliance with new policy approaches, according to a statement issued here Tuesday. The ECA has on many editions of its annual Economic Report made a push for the developmental state and a return to planning, arguing that the strong role of the state is key to fostering Africa’s structural transformation. The acting ECA Executive Secretary Abdalla Hamdok spoke on the need for new policy approaches to incentivize agricultural production in activities and sectors with higher returns. In his remarks at the opening of the African Economic Conference on the theme, Feeding Africa: Towards Agro-Allied Industrialization for Inclusive Growth, Hamdok said: “Our desire for structural transformation...
(Xinhuanet 11/29/16)
Experts in capital markets are advocating the acceleration of the bourses markets across Africa in order to drive economic growth on the continent. Speaking at the opening of Africa securities exchanges conference in the Rwandan capital Kigali on Monday, experts emphasized that capital markets are becoming more important to African economies because they help raise funds for long term investment which will drive Africa into middle income status. Rwanda hosts the 20th African Securities Exchanges Association (ASEA) annual conference from November 27 to 29 dubbed: "The Road to 2030: Making the African Capital Markets Relevant to the Real Economy." The three-day meeting has brought together more than 300 global and regional experts and stakeholders in capital markets, regulators, law firms...
(AFP (eng) 11/20/16)
Above the sacks of seeds and coal, three kerosene lamps gather dust in the tiny shed that Kenyan chicken farmer Bernard calls home. He prefers to use solar energy to light up his evenings, listen to the radio or watch television, after abandoning a diesel generator he said was expensive to maintain and burned fuel too quickly. "Solar panels are a good, cheap solution," he told AFP. Across the continent, consumers are opting for their own off-grid solar solutions to power homes and small businesses, even as African governments unveil massive new solar projects seemingly every month to expand their grids. According to International Energy Agency projections, almost one billion people in sub-Saharan Africa will gain access to the grid...
(The Guardian 11/19/16)
At COP22, the African Development Bank’s president, Akinwumi Adesina, tells of strategies to improve energy supplies and fight the impact of climate change “We lose 5% of our potential GDP every year, and African industries cannot be competitive without access to electricity,” says Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank. “I believe that’s why we can’t break away from reliance on exporting our raw materials – new industries will only go to where there’s power.” He is speaking on the sidelines of the COP22 climate change conference in Marrakech, which ends on Friday. Adesina and colleagues from the bank have been using the conference to highlight its new initiatives on energy, including the New Deal on Energy for Africa,...
(Forbes 11/14/16)
Africa will have 1-billion mobile subscriptions by the fourth quarter of 2016, while data use will drive the next phase of growth in Africa’s telecoms market, according to researchers Ovum. Mobile subs will reach 1.02-billion by the end of 2016 and will reach 1.33-billion by 2021, says Matthew Reed, Ovum’s practice leader, for the Middle East and Africa. “The take-up of mobile broadband will rise strongly, as operators continue to roll out 3G and 4G LTE networks and as smartphones become increasingly affordable,” says Reed. “There will be 1-billion mobile broadband connections in Africa in 2021, including 157.4-million 4G LTE connections. “Additionally, the number of smartphone connections on the continent will reach 929.9-million at the end of 2021. And non-SMS...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/10/16)
Top Rio Tinto executives discussed payments to a consultant working to smooth relations with Guinea, weeks after it announced a settlement allowing it access to one of the world's largest iron ore deposits, according to internal emails. Rio reported the April 2011 email correspondence on Wednesday after an internal probe. It said it had notified authorities and suspended the senior executive in charge of the project at the time, head of energy and minerals Alan Davies. There is no suggestion that officials or the consultant acted illegally, but the emails, which involve two former chief executives, are a blow to a group that has campaigned for transparency even in complex countries, and in projects as devilishly difficult as Guinea's $20...
(The Telegraph 11/07/16)
Just a few months after being elected Conservative Party leader, David Cameron flew to Rwanda. It was a high-profile trip so he could see first-hand the development of one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies and launch his party’s review on globalisation and global poverty. On his first day, he visited a textile factory in Kigali, the country’s capital. Above the hum of the silk reels, he chatted to some of the workers and admired the quality of the patterned fabrics. Before he left, the factory owner, Raj Rejendran, asked for a word. Growing the business, he explained, required expanding into overseas markets. He knew there was demand in the UK for his silk fabrics, but he faced heavy import duties. Might...
(Cnbc Africa 10/28/16)
The World Bank recently released the Doing Business 2016/17 report. The survey tracks a set of regulatory indicators related to business start-up, operation, trade, payment of taxes and closure, by measuring the time and cost associated with various government requirements. However, the index does not track variables such as macroeconomic policy, currency volatility (an extremely important factor in many emerging market countries) or crime rates, which are also important in investment decisions. According to the most recent rankings, New Zealand has the most accommodative business environment globally, having overtaken Singapore since the previous report. From an African perspective, Mauritius has maintained its title as the most accommodative business environment on the continent followed by Rwanda, Morocco, Botswana and South Africa...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/25/16)
China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) signed a $770 million contract with Guinea's government on Monday to upgrade the port in the capital, Conakry, expanding Chinese economic influence in the West African iron and bauxite producer. Under the contact, CHEC, a subsidiary of China Communications Construction Co Ltd, will construct three docks, roads and other infrastructure in the eastern zone of the port, providing parking for up to 600 trucks. The port in Conakry handles nearly all goods shipped into Guinea, and to some landlocked neighbours like Mali. French logistics giant Bollore Group runs the port's adjacent containers terminal. "With the completion of this project extending the Autonomous Port of Conakry, it will become the largest in the sub-region," the CHEC...
(This Day Live 10/24/16)
The London Stock Exchange (LSE) has provided $26.1 billion for African companies in the last 10 years, the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Oscar Onyema has said. Onyema disclosed this while speaking at the third “London & Lagos Capital Markets in Partnership’ conference held at the LSE at the weekend. According to him, eight Nigerian companies were among those that benefitted from the international capital raising on the LSE, noting that more African companies (112) are listed in London than any other international exchange. The 112 companies, he said, have a combined market capitalisation in excess of $200 billion, the largest concentration of African quoted companies outside of Johannesburg. Out of these companies, eight companies...
(Bloomberg 10/19/16)
Fifteen years ago, a South African media company invested $34 million in an obscure Chinese Internet developer. Today that stake is worth $88 billion. All Naspers Ltd., now Africa’s most valuable company, has to do is figure out how to make money from its other properties: The whole company is worth only $72 billion, less than its stake in Shenzhen-based Tencent Holdings Ltd. Investors aren’t impressed with Naspers’s operations in pay-TV, newspapers and e-commerce in such countries as South Africa, Russia and India. To win them over, Chief Executive Officer Bob Van Dijk has launched an aggressive push to sell some assets, invest in others and expand operations such as classified advertising into new markets. If it pays off, comparisons...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/18/16)
Dubai - Emirates airline could reduce the frequency of its flights to African cities or cut routes completely if current economic and financial challenges on the continent continue, President Tim Clark told reporters. Foreign airlines flying to Nigeria have started to refuel abroad because jet fuel supplies there have become more expensive and scarce as the country battles a hard currency shortage. Emirates has started a detour to Accra, Ghana to refuel its daily Abuja-bound flight, a spokesperson said last month; the airline had already cut its twice-daily flights to Lagos and Abuja to just one. “In certain African countries, the currencies have really gone down, so we're reflecting on a number of these to look at where it's just...
(AFP (eng) 10/10/16)
Africa will come together to battle piracy and illegal fishing for the first time at an African Union maritime security summit that kicks off in Togo on October 15. The continent urgently needs to fight "extremely high stakes" piracy and illegal fishing in its waters by joining forces over policy and working to raise necessary funds, Togo's Foreign Minister Robert Dussey told AFP ahead of the meeting. - Why is this meeting being held? - "These are very high stakes for Africa. At least 92 percent of imported goods arrive on the continent across the seas and oceans. Of the 54 countries in the African Union, 33 have a coastline," said Dussey. "During the summit, several issues will be tackled...

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(Pana 03/13/14)
The President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Mr. Issa Hayatou, has nudged African teams heading to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil to strive to reach the last four. PANA reports that no African team has ever gone beyond the quarter-final stage of the four-yearly global football extravaganza. But Hayatou said a last-four berth by any of Africa's flagbearers in Brazil would be an icing on the cake for the successes which African football has recorded, especially in the past 26 years of CAF. 'What will make me happy now, after all these achievements will be to get even more successes for African football,' CAF's media outlet quoted Hayatou to have said. 'We continue with massive strides...
(Pana 02/28/14)
Guinea national football team coach, Michel Dussuyer, has called up 22 players to camp in preparation for an international friendly match against Iran on 5 March in Teheran. Iran will play in the 2014 World Cup to be hosted by Brazil. The Guinean delegation will leave Conakry on Saturday for a training stint in German before flying to the Iranian capital, Teheran. Followed is the list of 22 players invited, most of them based abroad: Goalkeepers: Abdoul Aziz Kéita (ASK) and Naby Yattara (France). Defenders: Thierno Bah (France), Babacar Camara (ASK), Abdoulaye Cissé (Fello Star), Paye Djibril Tamsir (Moldavia), Florentin Pogba (France), Baissama Sankhon (France) and Issiaga Sylla (France). Midfielders: Ibrahima Conté (Belgium), Constant Kévin (Italy), Sadio Diallo (France), Mohamed...
(Pana 02/28/14)
The African Football Confederation (CAF) will cover the costs of training, at the CAF Excellence Centre in Mbankomo, for the African teams to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, the continental football governing body said. CAF is also calling on the entire African continent to support the five teams that qualified for Brazil 2014 which kicks off in June. The five countries are Cote d'Ivoire, Algeria, Cameroon, Ghana and Nigeria. In a news dispatch from the CAF headquarters in Cairo, Egypt, the Confederation said it has decided to make it's Excellence Centre in Cameroon available to the five teams and it will cover the cost of their stay. This was among the many decisions made at the recent CAF...
(Pana 02/19/14)
Conakry, Guinea - Guinean national football team coach Michel Dussuyer, whose contract ended on 31 Dec. 2013, has been given an 18-month extension with the objective of qualifying the team for the 2015 African Cup of Nations in Morocco, PANA reported Tuesday. The extension came despite a string of poor results by the coach, including his failure to qualify Guinea for this year African Nations Championship in South Africa and the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Also, the Sily national, as the national team is known, was eliminated in the first round of the 2012 African Cup of Nations, hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. The French coach managed the Guinean national team from 2002 to 2004, and returned...
(AFP 02/02/14)
CAPE TOWN, (AFP) - Libya won their first continental tournament Saturday after beating Ghana in the African Nations Championship 4-3 on penalties when their final ended 0-0 after extra time. Excellent goalkeeping by the Mediterranean Knights' Muhammad Nashnoush and a poorly-aimed attempt that went wide from Ghana's Joshua Tijane clinched the victory following a lacklustre game. A fast-paced start raised expectations of an energetic clash, but play slowed after the first 15 minutes and failed to recover. The match ended goalless after extra time, mirroring the result from both semi-finals. The best goal opportunities appeared in extra time, when play picked up as both teams frantically tried to score in the quarter-full 64,000-seater Cape Town stadium. Having come on the...
(Pana 01/30/14)
Bloemfontein, South Africa - Nigeria's head coach Stephen Keshi has hailed the country's home-based senior national team, the Super Eagles, despite its loss to the Black Stars of Ghana in Wednesday's semi-final of the ongoing 2014 African Nations Championship (CHAN) in South Africa. The teams resorted to penalties after playing goalless in regulation and extra time, with the eventual 4-1 result ending the dreams of African champion Nigeria to also lift the CHAN silverware 'This team has been about six weeks together. I am beginning to fall in love with them. And I know if I stay six months with them, they will become what I want them to be,' Keshi said at the post-match news conference. 'I salute them...
(CNN 01/10/14)
(CNN) -- Yaya Toure's African reign will stretch into a third year after the Manchester City midfielder was named the continent's best footballer once again. The Ivory Coast star was crowned Footballer of the Year by the Confederation of African Football at a ceremony in Lagos, Nigeria on Thursday. Toure pipped compatriot Didier Drogba, who plays for Turkish outfit Galatasaray, and Chelsea's Nigerian midfielder John Obi Mikel to the crown. The 30-year-old becomes only the second player to win three successive titles, emulating Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o, who now plays for Chelsea. Voted for by African national team coaches and technical directors, Toure needs only one more title to join Eto'o in an elite band of players who have won...
(Leadership 01/10/14)
In less than 24 hours, African football stars will kick off the CHAN tournament, which is meant for footballers plying their trade in the African continent. Africa has always produced some of the finest footballers of different generations, such as Roger Milla, Abedi Pele, Jay Jay Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu, Didier Drogba, Samuel Eto'o, Fredrick Kanoute, Michael Essien, Mikel Obi, Yaya Toure, Vincent Enyeama and the list goes on. These players have graced the European football with African flair, power and strength and have achieved success, fame and fortune. Belowis a list of players from the African continent, which includeone Congolese, one Togolese, one Cameroonian, two Nigerians, two Ghanaians, two Malians, and three Ivoirians, who have been on top of their...
(BBC News Africa 12/02/13)
The winner of this year's BBC African Footballer of the Year award will be revealed at 1735 GMT on Monday. The shortlist of Yaya Toure, Victor Moses, John Mikel Obi, Jonathan Pitroipa and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was announced three weeks ago. African football fans selected their choice for the award, voting online and by text messages. You can find out result later today live on the BBC's Focus on Africa radio and television programmes and on this website. No player on this year's shortlist, drawn up from votes by 44 journalists across Africa, has won the BBC award before and two - Burkina Faso's Pitroipa and Aubameyang of Gabon - are the first nominees from their respective countries. Ivory Coast's Toure...
(CNN 10/26/13)
(CNN) -- Is Sepp Blatter angling for another term as head of world football? The 77-year-old vowed at the 2011 FIFA presidential elections, where he stood unopposed after a bribery controversy ruled out his only rival, that this would be his fourth and final four-year stint in office. However, this week he hinted that he has "a mission" to fulfill and said he feels "young enough to be in this office." And he fueled speculation that he may stand again with comments in Friday's release of the FIFA Weekly magazine, in which he said the African and Asian regions deserved more representation at World Cup finals. Blatter, who has stayed in power since 1998 by vowing to take FIFA's showpiece...
(BBC News Africa 09/06/13)
A total of seven places in the African play-offs for the 2014 World Cup will be decided this weekend. The campaign that has been made all the more dramatic because a number of matches have been overturned by football's world governing body Fifa. Only Algeria , Egypt and Ivory Coast will definitely be in the draw on 16 September for the final round of play-offs for Brazil next year. Ghana host Zambia in the first of the weekend's final group games in Africa. The Black Stars need just a point to advance to the final round of play-offs while Chipolopolo must win to progress. However Kevin-Prince Boateng's return to the Ghana line-up has been put on hold because of a...
(AFP (eng) 08/17/13)
Women's sprinting has entered a new era, declared African duo Murielle Ahoure of the Ivory Coast and Nigeria's Blessing Okagbare after they won the continent's first ever medals in a women's world 200 metres final on Friday in Moscow. Ahoure, 25, took her second silver of the World Athletics Championships, having become the first African woman to win a medal in the world 100m final, in a photo finish with Okagbare behind Jamaica's 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. Both of them may train in the United States and have American accents -- Ahoure has lived in America since she was a child after arriving from the Ivory Coast via a brief stay in France -- but they are Africans to the...
(Ghana Business News 08/05/13)
The draw for the 2014 African Nations Championship (CHAN) will take place on Monday, September 16 in Cairo, Egypt, organizers have announced. According to the Confederation of African Football (CAF), the ceremony will be held at its headquarters in the Egyptian capital. The draw will see 16 teams divided into four groups of four teams each for the tournament billed for South Africa next year from January 11 to February 1. Ghana’s local Black Stars booked their place at the final tournament after opponents, Benin withdrew from the qualifiers. Others are hosts South Africa, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Congo, Ethiopia, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Nigeria and Uganda. The identities of the four finalists will be known after final round of qualifiers...
( 07/22/13)
The 100th edition of the world's most famous cycle race, the Tour de France, which ended in Paris on Sunday, had a distinctly African flavour to it, with Daryl Impey becoming the first South African to pull on the yellow jersey, and overall winner Chris Froome having strong Kenyan and South African connections. Froome, born in Kenya, educated in South Africa and now a British citizen riding for a British team, became the first rider from Africa to win the race since its founding in 1903. Impey made history early in the race when he became the first South African to pull on the maillot jaune after the sixth stage. He held onto it the following day, but conceded it...

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(The Wall Street Journal 08/09/16)
Deal would mark South African furniture retailer’s entry into U.S. market. Steinhoff International Holdings NV, Africa’s retailing giant but little-known outside the continent, has made its first foray into the U.S., agreeing to pay $2.4 billion for Sleepy’s owner Mattress Firm Holding Corp. Steinhoff, a family-owned furniture seller based outside Cape Town, South Africa, is called “Africa’s IKEA” for its home furnishing retail chains. Until recently, it had trained its sights on expansion in Europe, from Germany and Switzerland to Poland and Bulgaria, and Australasia. Last month, it agreed to pay £597 million ($793.77 million) for British retailer Poundland Group PLC, which sells most of its goods for a pound, or about $1.31 at today’s rates. The company said on...
(Voice of America 08/04/16)
On the eve of President Barack Obama’s 55th birthday, he was greeted in song with "Happy Birthday" Wednesday by about a thousand participants at this year’s Young African Leaders summit in Washington. Obama launched the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) six years ago to support an emerging generation of young African entrepreneurs, activists and public officials. Its flagship program, the Mandela Washington Fellowship, began two years ago with the goal of empowering young Africans through academic coursework, leadership training and networking. "Today's Africa is a place of unprecedented prosperity and opportunities," Obama told the excited crowd, noting that he'd visited sub-Saharan Africa four times, more than any other U.S. president. During his time as president, Obama said, "I've worked to...
(Voice of America 07/30/16)
The president of the African Wildlife Foundation has called on African governments to urgently address the issue of poaching, which he said is depriving the continent of its resources. But Zimbabwe says the international ban on the sale of ivory — which was imposed to discourage poaching — is hurting its interests. Winding up a five-day visit to Zimbabwe on Friday, Kaddu Sebunya said poaching is depleting Africa of its vital natural resources in the same way the slave trade once did. He said animal populations are dropping rapidly around the continent. “We have been losing an average of 30,000 elephants annually. Many African countries in the last 20 years have lost all their rhino population. All. Zero left. It...
(Cnbc Africa 07/29/16)
"One cannot get to the top by being average,” says Noletu Moti, Koeberg Nuclear Plant’s first female chief inspector. Moti who is in her mid-30s, hailing from the outskirts of East London, is taking others with her to the top by assisting young Africans who want to be where she is through Bhongoletu Youth Foundation, which she started in 2012 with the slogan ‘Live The South African Dream’. ‘’Youth development has always been a dream. If I was not doing science, I would be in youth development full time, travelling Africa helping young children in literacy & numeracy. A nation without education suffers immensely,” says Moti The highly fashionable inspector is responsible for the establishment and coordination of Koeberg Nuclear...
(Voice of America 07/23/16)
The 14th U.N. Conference on Trade and Development ended Friday in Nairobi with delegates adopting a measure giving the organization a central role in meeting U.N. sustainable development goals. UNCTAD said the quadrennial gathering also produced the beginning of an e-trade initiative, the launch of a multiple-donor trust fund on trade and productive capacity, and an agreement involving more than 90 nations on a road map for fisheries subsidies. A report released earlier in the week by UNCTAD, "Economic Development in Africa 2016," noted that African governments should take action to prevent rapid debt growth from becoming a crisis. The report also said the annual average foreign debt stock of Africa from 2011 to 2013 amounted to $443 billion, a...
(Voice of America 07/19/16)
Dr. Jill Biden, wife of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, is focusing on women’s rights, immigration and education during a visit to three African countries: Ethiopia, Malawi and Niger. During her first stop in Ethiopia, Biden visited a transit center in the capital for refugees at the International Organization for Migration (IOM). There, she met with officials at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and learned more about the refugee screening process for those seeking resettlement in the U.S. One of the refugees accepted for resettlement is Sembetu Buratu, an Eritrean mother of a four-year-old girl, who left her home country to help her family. “I didn’t work, so my brothers used to assist me; when they left the...
(Voice of America 07/18/16)
The African Union summit meeting in Kigali will be voting for a new AU commission on Monday, despite rumors of a call for the election to be delayed. There have been persistent rumors at the summit that the ECOWAS bloc of west African states is unhappy with the choice of candidates offered to succeed outgoing AU commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. There are three candidates, two of them women, former Uganda vice president Specioza Wandira Kazibwe and Botswana Foreign Minister Pelonomi Venson Moitoi, and Equatorial Guinea Foreign Minister Agapito Mba Mokuy. Late Sunday an AU legal counsel, Vincent O Nmehielle, denied the rumors of a delay. "Stop speculating. There is no ECOWAS concern that has made an election to be postponed...
(CNN 07/16/16)
From an Africa-shaped mega solar plant powering Kigali, Rwanda, to a massive geothermal plant harvesting the power of Kenya's hot springs, renewable energy plants are popping up around the continent. Sub-Saharan Africa is desperately short of power and roughly 620 million Africans live without a reliable source of electricity. Africa's population is expected to double by 2050 and the demand for clean energy has never been greater, says Caroline Kende-Robb, executive director, Africa Progress Panel. She believes the continent could soon become a renewables superpower, and that it can leapfrog carbon-centered energy systems and go straight to renewables. "Because what we see is that Africa has got the advantage of coming in now without the heavy old systems that a...
(Voice of America 07/15/16)
The number of new malaria cases in Africa fell 42 percent from 2000 to 2015, according to the World Health Organization. The drop was due in large part to insecticide-treated mosquito nets, indoor spraying and better access to effective treatments. But this progress could be derailed by a new wave of drug-resistant malaria that's currently affecting Asia. Abdoulaye Djimde, head of the molecular epidemiology and drug resistance unit at the Malaria Research and Training Center in Bamako, Mali, said that "we should be concerned. ... Given the frequent interconnection between Asia and Africa — you have direct flights from almost everywhere to several parts of Africa — there is the risk for importing these resistant parasites. [It] is higher today.”...
(The Wall Street Journal 07/13/16)
This special bond brings back many mutual benefits, both economic and diplomatic. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent visit to Africa signaled Israel’s renewed emphasis on its relationship with the continent. Beyond the mutual economic benefits, this renaissance in Israel-Africa relations is an opportunity, among other things, to bolster support for Israel on the international stage, particularly at the United Nations. In the early years after independence in 1948, Israel enjoyed a unique relationship with many African nations. Recently freed from British rule and newly independent after thousands of years of exile and occupation of our homeland, Israel served as a role model for many African states caught in their own struggles with colonialism. A special bond soon formed between the...
(Voice of America 07/12/16)
The 27th assembly of the African Union (AU) has opened in Kigali, Rwanda with the theme: “2016: Year of Human Rights” with a particular focus on the rights of women. The assembly of heads of state will take place between July 17 and 18. Also of interest at this year’s meeting is the fact that current AU commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma of South Africa has decided not to seek a second term. There is speculation that Botswana, Equatorial Guinea, and Uganda will put forward the names of their foreign ministers to succeed Dlamini-Zuma. AU Commission Chair should represent a democratic government But Nigeria-born Chika Onyeani, publisher and editor-in-chief of the African Sun Times newspaper says there should be a democracy...
(Financial Times 07/11/16)
Despite wariness after Brexit, group of 54 countries moves towards pan-Africanism. They are calling it Africa’s answer to Brexit. Even as Britain’s decision to leave the EU threatens the very fabric of the European project, African countries that were once carved up by European colonialists, are seeking to break down borders through closer integration. Next week, the African Union, which groups 54 countries, will issue e-passports that permit recipients visa-free travel between all member states. Beneficiaries will initially be limited to heads of state, foreign ministers and permanent representatives of the member states to the AU’s Addis Ababa headquarters. The ideal is to eventually roll it out to all 1bn Africans, although that might take years, or even decades. Nkosazana...
(Voice of America 07/08/16)
At a nondescript building in Lagos’ Yaba neighborhood, Startup Andela hires aspiring software developers for a four-year program that teaches them the skills they need to work for IBM, Microsoft and other tech firms. The company won a huge vote of confidence last month, when it received a $24 million infusion of capital, most of it from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a charity fund run by Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife. Andela is the Initiative’s first investment since being created by Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, after the birth of their child last year. "We live in a world where talent is evenly distributed, but opportunity is not. Andela's mission is to close that gap," Zuckerberg said...
(Voice of America 07/04/16)
To the beat of African drums, a few dozen people gathered at Dallas City Hall Friday to officially kick off the three-day African Film Festival. The event showcases films made by Africans, as well as a few made by non-Africans about issues important to different regions of the continent. City officials hailed the new festival as an expression of the increasing ethnic and cultural diversity in Texas’ second-largest city. Regina Hill Onyeibe, the Africa Liaison for the City of Dallas praised the film festival’s organizer and founder, filmmaker Kelechi Eke, not only for bringing this event to Dallas, but for providing an audience for Africans making movies. She said he had created “a portal in which other Africans can follow...
(Voice of America 07/01/16)
The U.S. State Department released its annual Trafficking in Persons report Thursday and again, Africa continues to be a major source and destination for human trafficking of all kinds — from forced labor to sexual slavery. Again this year, not one African nation made the report’s top tier — which is dominated by developed Western nations like the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia. The State Department says the ratings are based more on the extent of government action to combat trafficking than the size of the country’s problem. A significant number of African countries remain at the lowest possible ranking. Migrant crisis Susan Coppedge, a senior advisor to the U.S. secretary of state, said the migrant crisis that...
(Voice of America 06/29/16)
The United Nations says a record number of people caught in conflict and natural disasters are in need of humanitarian assistance. At the same time the world body warns the funding response to these crises falls far short of what is needed. The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has just released its 2016 mid-year Global Humanitarian Overview, which says the situation is very worrisome. OCHA reports the number of people worldwide in need of humanitarian assistance has soared to a record-breaking 130 million, nearly 44 million more than when the United Nations launched its annual multi-billion-dollar appeal in December. At the same time, it says funding requirements have increased by $2 billion to $21.6 billion, a sum...
(Voice of America 06/27/16)
U.S. first lady Michelle Obama is scheduled leave Sunday for Africa and Europe to advocate for girls' education. The six-day trip – to Liberia and Morocco, with a final stop in Spain – will highlight Let Girls Learn, one of Obama's core initiatives. The first lady will be joined in her travels by daughters Sasha and Malia, and the girls’ grandmother, Marian Robinson. Let Girls Learn is a global initiative launched by the president and first lady in 2015. The program addresses obstacles – such as forced marriage, poverty and violence – that keep more than 62 million girls globally out of school. “We believe very strongly that education and the empowerment of young people is going to be critical...
(Bloomberg 06/24/16)
Currencies, stocks and bonds across Africa plunged after the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union triggered a slump in oil and other commodities and sent investors scurrying for safe assets. South Africa’s benchmark stock index fell the most since January, led by shares of banks and diversified mining companies. The rand dropped to a record against the yen and by the most since 2008 against the dollar before paring the decline, while yields on dollar bonds from Ghana to Kenya rose. Gold miners gained the most in four months as the precious metal, seen as a haven in times of turmoil, soared. “We’re going into a very difficult, very volatile time with prices moving in all sorts of directions;...
(BBC News Africa 06/22/16)
Last year, more people fled to Europe from Eritrea than any other African nation. The government in Asmara has recently been accused of crimes against humanity, but when Mary Harper was given rare access to the country she was surprised by what she found. I push back the thick, deep red velvet curtains and find myself in complete darkness. Drops of rain come through the ceiling, and hit the floor - hard. Someone turns on a switch. A dim, flickering bulb does its best to light up the place - I am inside a huge cinema. Slowly, I make out elegant shapes on the walls - leaping antelopes, pineapples and dancing maidens. On the floor, in front of the screen,...
(Voice of America 06/18/16)
One hundred and fifty South African schoolgirls have started in a project to design and build Africa’s first private satellite. The satellite will be launched into space later this year as part of a program sponsored by The Meta Economic Development Organization (MEDO) to motivate more teenage girls in African countries to study and work in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics field, widely known by the acronym STEM. The girls kicked off the project Thursday and are tasked with designing the payload for the satellite. They have been trained by satellite engineers on how to build rovers or mini-robots. MEDO's space program manager, Carla De Klerk, said that after that the young women decided to study agriculture and food security...

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