Monday 11 December 2017

Guinée

(Reuters (Eng) 10/16/15)
Guinean President Alpha Conde was on track to win another term in office in the first round of voting in the country's presidential election, results from the National Electoral Commission showed on Thursday. With around 80 percent of the vote counted after Sunday's election in the West African country, Conde was set to win an absolute majority, and the results from regions yet to be declared would not be enough to allow his opponents to catch up. Conde had won around 60 percent of the vote, his main opponent Cellou Dalein Diallo took around 30 percent and another opposition candidate, Sidya Toure, had over 5 percent, the results showed. To avoid a second round, a candidate must win more than...
(Voice of America 10/16/15)
 
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WASHINGTON— For the second week in a row since the most recent Ebola epidemic began in March 2014, the World Health Organization says no new cases of the disease have been reported in West Africa, according to a WHO Ebola Situation Report issued October 14, 2015. Despite the good news, the Ebola epidemic in West Africa is not over yet. Nor have we heard the last of the deadly virus, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci at the National Institutes of Health. "We are going to have other Ebola outbreaks. History tells us that Ebola doesn’t just disappear and go away," Fauci said. To prove his point, Fauci pointed out that there have been 24 outbreaks of Ebola since 1976. But...
(Voice of America 10/16/15)
As the African continent rapidly urbanizes, cities are swelling into megacities and a new problem is rearing its ugly head: traffic. U.N. Habitat, the U.N. agency for human settlements, says urbanization rates reached 40 percent in Africa in 2010, and are projected to reach 60 percent in 2050. Johannesburg taxi driver Abner Mamabolo knows this all too well. In the three years that he’s been driving around the Sandton business district in the heart of Africa’s economic hub, he’s seen the effect of this growth and rising prosperity.
(Voice of America 10/16/15)
JERUSALEM— Israel says it has been negotiating in vain to establish an observer status with the African Union (AU) akin to the one it held with the former Organization of African Unity. Sharon Bar-Li, director of Africa Economic Affairs in Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said establishing observer status with the African Union has been a priority of her government. "Closer dialogue, closer exchange will only benefit our countries on the economic level on the political level on the security level on the development level. Israel is a first world country today, which was a developing country just a few decades ago,” she said. “Africa has a lot to benefit if African Union supports Israel. It does not mean that...
(AFP (eng) 10/15/15)
Early results from Guinea's disputed presidential vote showed incumbent Alpha Conde leading the first round, as his main rival said he would pull out of the election. The opposition has said that Sunday's vote, only the second democratic presidential poll since Guinea gained independence in 1958, was marred by widespread fraud and mismanagement, and have demanded a re-run. Preliminary results from around a quarter of the ballots cast showed Conde comfortably ahead of main rival Cellou Dalein Diallo with the six other candidates trailing behind, the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) said late Wednesday.
(AFP (eng) 10/15/15)
Alassane Diallo, 17, a supporter of presidential candidate Cellou Dalein Diallo, sits on a bed at a clinic after being wounded on his neck by a bullet during clashes between security forces and opposition supporters, in Conakry October 14, 2015. Reuters/Luc Gnago Guinea's main opposition leader Celloun Dalein Diallo withdrew on Wednesday from the presidential election, alleging fraud, and will not recognize the outcome, his campaign director said. The decision came as the national election commission began to announce early results from a vote held on Sunday that is expected to return incumbent Alpha Conde to a second five-year term. Figures from three of the capital Conakry's five communes showed Conde won 55 percent, 60 percent and 49 percent of...
(Voice of America 10/15/15)
CONAKRY, GUINEA— By car and by plane, results from polling stations across Guinea are making their way to this capital city for tallying after Sunday’s election, the second democratic vote in the West African country’s history. President Alpha Conde is running for a second term against seven challengers, including three former prime ministers. Conde, who took office in December 2010, had been elected the previous month. That marked the first democratic balloting since Guinea was freed of French rule in 1958. Guinea’s National Independent Electoral Commission estimated voter turnout for the current election at about 75 percent. But so far, the vote tallies have been slow to reach Conakry. As of Wednesday, the commission had received results from two neighborhoods...
(Voice of America 10/15/15)
Guinea's main opposition candidate, Cellou Dalein Diallo, has dropped out of the presidential election because of what he says is fraud by the government. Diallo's Union for the Democratic Forces of Guinea said Wednesday that he would refuse to recognize the election results. Other opposition candidates have already denounced the election as a "grand deception."
(BBC News Africa 10/15/15)
Ebola persists in the semen of male survivors much longer than previously thought, a study shows. The report in the New England Journal of Medicine found two-thirds of men had Ebola in their semen up to six months after infection, and a quarter after nine. A separate study, in the same journal, reports Ebola being spread through sex with a survivor six months after their symptoms had started. Men who have survived Ebola are being encouraged to wear condoms. Previous outbreaks of Ebola had shown the virus was present in semen for 82 days after the onset of symptoms. However, with huge numbers of Ebola-survivors now in West Africa, there is concern about how long the virus persists and if...
(Ips News 10/15/15)
New Delhi — The third India-Africa Forum Summit to be held in New Delhi later this month - in which 54 African countries will participate - is expected to result in a deeper engagement between India and Africa. This summit takes place at a time when both need each other more than ever before. Both remain bright spots in a bleak and blighted growth landscape. Out of 189 countries, only 63 are expected to grow by 4 per cent and more this year, 36 of which are in Africa. But many countries there are adversely impacted by China's diminishing appetite for commodities and shrinking trade. India is currently one of the fastest growing economies in the world. India wants to...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/15/15)
China slapped a one-year ban on African ivory hunting trophy imports, the state forestry authority said on Thursday ahead of a trip by President Xi Jinping to Britain, where members of the royal family have urged China to crack down on the ivory trade. Conservationists say China's growing appetite for contraband ivory imports, which are turned into jewels and ornaments, has fueled a surge in poaching in Africa. In March, Britain's Prince William urged an end to the trade during a visit to a Chinese elephant sanctuary in the southwestern province of Yunnan. Xi is scheduled to travel to Britain between Oct. 19-23, where he will stay at Buckingham Palace, home to the royal family. China's State Forestry Administration said...
(AFP (eng) 10/14/15)
Partial results were expected later Wednesday from the first controversial round of Guinea's presidential election, which the opposition has demanded be annulled over organisational glitches. "We are going to begin giving partial results, certainly from this evening," Amadou Salif Kebe, spokesman for the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI), told AFP, three days after the vote. The commission hoped to have received results from the country's 14,000 polling stations by late Friday, he added. Once they are in, the commission has 72 hours to tally them. Sunday's election, in which President Alpha Conde is seeking a second term, was only the second democratic presidential vote since Guinea gained independence from France in 1958. In a statement earlier, the commission said turnout...
(AFP (eng) 10/14/15)
Turnout in the first controversial round of Guinea's presidential election this weekend was extremely high at almost 75 percent, the country's electoral commission said Wednesday. The October 11 vote was "characterised by serenity, calm and exceptional enthusiasm", the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) said in a statement. "The turnout rate was around 75 percent, sufficing to prove the interest that voters, that citizens, that all Guineans have for this election," it added. The commission has been slammed by the opposition and by European Union observers for poor organisation of the Sunday poll. There was no news Wednesday on when official results might be announced. EU observer mission chief Frank Engel has said the many logistical and organisational problems that surfaced...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/14/15)
European Union observers gave Guinea's presidential elections a clean bill of health on Tuesday despite protests by opposition supporters who accuse President Alpha Conde of rigging the vote to win a second term. The EU observer team said that logistical problems including lack of voting materials and the late opening of polling stations did not mar the overall outcome of Sunday's ballot in Guinea, which is Africa's largest bauxite producer. Early results announced by radio stations showed Conde with a sizeable lead. Official figures are not expected until the end of the week. Opposition leaders on Monday rejected the results and called for the ballot to be reorganised. After nightfall, residents in outlying neighbourhoods of Conakry, the coastal capital, reported...
(BBC News Africa 10/14/15)
Guinea's presidential election on Sunday was valid but there were severe logistical difficulties, according to EU election observers. This comes after opposition called the vote fraudulent and demanded a re-run. They also threatened to protest, something the observers urged against. The final result is expected in the next few days. It was the country's second democratic presidential election since it gained independence from France in 1958. The EU's chief observer, Frank Engel, said he hoped Guineans remember this as a "milestone" in their "young democratic institutions".
(The Associated Press 10/14/15)
European Union observers on Tuesday commended voters in Guinea for their enthusiasm and peaceful conduct during a presidential election despite logistical problems, and called for transparency as the electoral commission finalizes the results of the first round. EU mission chief Frank Engel called for calm as the National Independent Electoral Commission finishes the vote count. Many hope that political violence that killed at least three people in the run-up to the election in this West African nation — and that marred the first democratic election in 2010 — does not resurface. Witnesses said demonstrations broke out in two of the capital's suburbs known as opposition strongholds but they were stopped by anti-riot police. Opposition candidates said Monday they will not...
(The Guardian 10/14/15)
Stakeholders including the African Union Commission (AUC), the Office of the Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on Africa (OSAA), the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), and the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) have voiced strong support for the industrialisation of Africa as a way forward to implement the Sustainable Development Goals. In a joint communiqué issued by the stakeholders, they stated that; "Africa has seen remarkable economic growth since the turn of the millennium.
(African arguments 10/14/15)
The economist celebrated for putting inequality on the mainstream agenda visited the world's most unequal country. French socialist and economist Thomas Piketty was in Johannesburg last week to deliver the 13th Annual Nelson Mandela Lecture. While it's now a huge cliché to refer to him as the 'rockstar economist', there is no denying Piketty's arrival created a flurry of hype among savants and dilettantes alike - united in the fact that few of them had actually read his magnum opus Capital, pretty much like the other famous Kapital*. Piketty was received in Africa as if the Pope or MJ were in town. Attending the lecture at the University of Johannesburg's Soweto camps required facing an epic traffic jam in the...
(AFP (eng) 10/13/15)
EU election observers Tuesday slammed the poor organisation of Guinea's first-round presidential ballot this weekend but urged the opposition to take its complaints to the courts rather than onto the streets. At a highly-awaited press conference after the tense Sunday ballot, the European Union observer mission chief, Frank Engel, said the many logistical and organisational problems that surfaced "confirmed the lack of preparation" by Guinea's Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI). Opposition leaders on Monday called for a re-run of the vote, condemning the ballot as fraudulent even before the results were in and pledging to take to the streets in protest. But Engel, who commended the fact that election day remained peaceful despite
(BBC News Africa 10/13/15)
Guinea's opposition is calling for a re-run of Sunday's presidential election even before the votes have been counted. It alleged widespread fraud, including ballot boxes being stuffed and some 400 polling stations staying closed. This is the country's second democratic presidential election since it gained independence from France in 1958. Several people were killed in clashes during the election campaign. The main opposition leader, Cellou Dalein Diallo, said they will not accept the results, they will not give in and that they will protest.

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(AFP (eng) 12/16/14)
More than 6,800 people have now died from the Ebola virus, almost all of them in west Africa, the World Health Organization said Monday. The UN health agency reported that as of December 13, there had been 18,464 cases of infection from the deadly virus in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and 6,841 people had died. WHO did not provide an update of cases in other countries, but last week said the death toll remained the same: six in Mali, one in the United States, and eight in Nigeria, which was declared Ebola free in October. Spain and Senegal, which have both been declared free from Ebola, meanwhile counted one case each, but no deaths. - Sierra Leone - Sierra...
(AL Jazeera 12/16/14)
A UN commission has asked for more debt cancellations for the three West African nations hardest hit by the Ebola virus. The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa said on Monday that it was crucial the current Ebola health crisis would not become a catalyst for financial distress in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia. Carlos Lopez, a UN under secretary-general and the executive secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa, appealed in Ethiopia on Monday for loan relief.
(The New York Times 12/16/14)
Transmission of the Ebola virus occurs mostly within families, in hospitals and at funerals, not randomly like the flu, Yale scientists said Tuesday, and far fewer cases go unreported than has previously been estimated. That implies, they said, that the epidemic is unlikely to reach the gloomy scenarios of hundreds of thousands of cases that studies released in September had forecast were possible; the most pessimistic one, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, had predicted up to 1.4 million cases by late January. As of Monday, there were 18,464 confirmed cases in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, with 6,841 deaths, according to the World Health Organization, far more than from all the previous Ebola outbreaks combined. The new...
(The Voice 12/16/14)
DAKAR— France urged African nations on Monday to step up cross-border cooperation to tackle security challenges from Islamist groups in southern Libya to Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria, as it seeks to scale back its military commitments on the continent. Amid budgetary pressures at home, France is looking to reduce security commitments in Africa. It is scaling back the 2,000 troops it deployed a year ago to curb Christian-Muslim violence in Central African Republic, a former colony.
(AL Jazeera 12/15/14)
WHO official in Cuba blames sanctions for problems in transferring money to doctors fighting the disease in Africa. Cuba had to cover food and lodging expenses for dozens of its doctors fighting Ebola in Sierra Leone after the US embargo delayed payments from the World Health Organisation, according to an official at the UN agency. Jose Luis Di Fabio, the health agency's representative for Cuba, told the Associated Press news agency on Friday it had to request special licences from the US Treasury Department to transfer money to the doctors in Africa. The licences were eventually granted and the government-employed doctors only recently received payments dating as far back as October, he said. "The fact that they're Cubans greatly limited...
(Ips News 12/15/14)
Lima — Africa is experiencing a revolution towards cleaner energy through renewable energy but the story has hardly been told to the world, says Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Steiner, who had been advocating for renewable energy at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Lima, said Africa is on the right path toward a low carbon footprint by tapping into its plentiful renewable resources - hydro, geothermal, solar and wind. "There is a revolution going on in the continent of Africa and the world is not noticing it. You can go to Egypt, Ethiopia Kenya, Namibia, and Mozambique. I think we will see renewable energy being the answer to Africa's energy problems in the...
(Pana 12/13/14)
The number people dying from malaria has fallen dramatically since 2000 and malaria cases are also steadily declining, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a news dispatch from Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday. This, the UN health agency says, is according to the World malaria report 2014. Between 2000 and 2013, the malaria mortality rate decreased by 47 percent worldwide and by 54 percent in the WHO African Region - where about 90 percent of malaria deaths occur.
(The Associated Press 12/12/14)
The U.N. Ebola chief said Thursday it will take several more months before the outbreak in West Africa is under control, an assessment that makes clear the U.N.'s goal of isolating 100 percent of Ebola cases by Jan. 1 won't be met. Dr. David Nabarro said there has been "a massive shift" over the last four months in the way affected governments have taken the lead in responding to the epidemic, communities are taking action and the international community has pitched in. But he said greater efforts are needed to combat Ebola in western Sierra Leone and northern Mali, to reduce the number of new cases in Liberia and to limit transmission to Mali. The World Health Organization conceded that...
(AFP (eng) 12/12/14)
Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has granted $35 million to fight Ebola in an effort to slow a death toll which has reached nearly 6,400, the Islamic Development Bank said Thursday. The grant will provide schools in West Africa with heat sensors and medical equipment to help prevent and treat the illness, Ahmed Mohamed Ali, president of the Jeddah-based IDB, said in a statement. Similar equipment will be provided at airports and other terminals, said the IDB, which will implement the project. It said the funds will also help to establish specialised treatment centres in the most affected countries -- Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia. Another treatment centre will be set up in Mali, where six people have died from Ebola...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/12/14)
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appointed veteran humanitarian official Ould Cheikh Ahmed of Mauritania on Thursday as the new head of its mission to fight an outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa. Ahmed, who has 28 years of U.N. experience in humanitarian and development affairs, will replace Anthony Banbury as leader of the U.N. Ebola Emergency Response Mission (UNMEER) in January, a U.N. statement said. The worst outbreak of Ebola on record has killed 6,533 people in the three West African countries most hit by the disease -- Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea -- and infected 18,118 people, the World Health Organization said on Thursday. France, the United States, Britain, Cuba and other governments have joined the fight...
(CNN 12/11/14)
(CNN) -- Foday Gallah saw the sick child was distressed and felt he had to do something. So he picked the kid up to comfort him. And with that act of kindness, the 37-year-old ambulance supervisor in Monrovia, Liberia, contracted Ebola himself. "Of course, he got vomit all over him and that's how he got Ebola," said photographer Jackie Nickerson, who shot Gallah's image for Time's "Person of the Year" magazine cover, which honors those on the front line of the Ebola epidemic. They're "the ones who answered the call," the magazine said on its website Wednesday morning. Nickerson expanded on why Gallah was chosen for one of the magazine's five covers: "He's the shining example of what the right...
(BBC News Africa 12/10/14)
The Ebola virus that has killed thousands in West Africa is still "running ahead" of efforts to contain it, the head of the World Health Organization has said. Director general Margaret Chan said the situation had improved in some parts of the worst-affected countries, but she warned against complacency. The risk to the world "is always there" while the outbreak continues, she said. She said the WHO and the international community failed to act quickly enough. The death toll in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone stands at 6,331. More than 17,800 people have been infected, according to the WHO. "In Liberia we are beginning to see some good progress, especially in Lofa county [close to where the outbreak first started]...
(The Associated Press 12/10/14)
When 2-year-old Emile Ouamouno caught a fever, started vomiting, passed blood in his stool and died two days later, nobody knew why. Nor did anyone really ask. Life is unforgiving in this part of the world, and people often lose their children to cholera, malaria, measles, typhoid, Lassa fever and a host of other illnesses that have no name. Now Emile is widely recognized by researchers as Patient Zero, the first person to have died in the latest Ebola outbreak back on December 28 last year. And Meliandou, a small village at the top of a forested hill reached by a rutted red earth track, is notorious as the birthplace and crucible of the most deadly incarnation of the virus...
(Xinhuanet 12/10/14)
LUSAKA, Dec. (Xinhua) -- Africa's largest trade bloc has expressed concern over the proliferation of small arms and light weapons on the African continent, saying the trend is detrimental to development. The 19-member Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) took up the problem at an African Union (AU) regional steering committee meeting on small arms and light weapons held in Lusaka. "Small arms are cheap, light and easy to handle, transport and conceal," COMESA Secretary-General Sindiso Ngwenya was quoted by the Zambia Daily Mail as saying. "A build-up of small arms alone may not create conflicts in areas in which they are used, but it is the excessive accumulation of these weapons and the wide availability that has...
(Bloomberg 12/09/14)
The spread of Ebola in West Africa probably exacerbated the effects of malaria in the region, according to the World Health Organization. An estimated 6.6 million cases of malaria and 20,000 deaths from the disease affected Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in 2013, the Geneva-based WHO said in a report today. This year, as most clinics that aren’t treating Ebola patients remain closed and people fear contracting the disease at health facilities in general, malaria cases aren’t being treated and the situation there is worsening, according to Pedro Alonso, head of the WHO’s Global Malaria Program. The death toll from Ebola currently stands at about 6,331 in the three countries. The Ebola outbreak “has served as a wake-up call for...
(APA 12/09/14)
ECOWAS Member States have pledged to deploy over the next six months, 192 military medical personnel to strengthen the fight against the Ebola epidemic in the region’s most affected countries.A statement by the ECOWAS Commission on Tuesday in Abuja said that at the extraordinary meeting of the Committee of Chiefs of Defence Staff (CCDS) in Accra, Ghana on Monday, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo pledged to contribute eight military personnel each, including two medical doctors and six other health officers to be rotated every two months. The pledges translate to 24 medical personnel per country and 192 in total. It added that the Committee urged ECOWAS to put in place necessary financial and...
(Voice of America 12/09/14)
GENEVA— The World Health Organization reports there has been a dramatic fall in the number of malaria deaths since 2000 and the number of cases is also steadily going down. Sub-Saharan Africa bears the brunt of malaria, with 90 percent of global deaths occurring there. But this year’s World Malaria Report says Africa’s population has grown by 43 percent since 2000, with fewer people getting infected. WHO Global Malaria Program Director Pedro Alonso says the number of people infected fell from 173 million in 2000 to 128 million in 2013. He says that is particularly good news for children, who are the biggest victims of this fatal, but preventable disease. “Mortality in children under five, the age group, which concentrates...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/08/14)
HAVANA/GENEVA (Reuters) - A Cuban doctor who contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone and was cured after experimental treatment in a Swiss hospital vowed on Saturday to return to West Africa and continue treating patients. "I will finish what I started. I am returning to Sierra Leone," Felix Baez, 43, told reporters at Havana's Jose Marti airport shortly after landing, the official website Cubadebate reported. It was not immediately clear if Cuban health officials would allow Baez to go back to Africa. Cuba has won international praise for its contribution to fight the worst outbreak of Ebola on record, which has killed more than 6,000 people. Some 200 doctors and nurses are on standby for an Ebola assignment in West Africa,...
(Pana 12/06/14)
The Africa Solidarity Trust Fund (ASTF) has announced a grant of US$1.5 million in support of the Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) recently launched Regional Response Programmes to tackle food security and agriculture issues related to the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in West Africa. According to a statement from the Rome-based UN organisation made available to PANA in Lagos on Tuesday, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the countries hardest hit by the Ebola epidemic, will each receive $500,000 to help curb the potentially devastating impact of the disease on food security, the livelihoods of farmers and others in rural areas. The grants will be used over a 12-month period to assist 7,500 households - about 45,000 people, in the...
(AFP (eng) 12/05/14)
Dozens of youths in the Guinean capital Conakry staged an angry protest against a new Ebola treatment centre on Thursday, halting the launch of the construction project, according to an AFP reporter on the scene. Prime Minister Mohamed Said Fofana was about to lay the symbolic first stone for the clinic when a crowd appeared, chanting slogans in Susu, a local language. "We do not want Ebola in our neighbourhood! We fear Ebola! Do not pollute our environment," they shouted. Guinean officials tried to talk down the ringleaders as the gathered dignitaries left, but the protesters escalated their demonstration, wrecking a gazebo, and scattering chairs and sound equipment. Representatives from medical aid agency Doctors Without Borders, which was slated to...

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(CNN 08/03/13)
(CNN) -- The African Union on Friday applauded Zimbabwe for holding peaceful elections, and made no mention of rigging accusations by the main opposition candidate. However, its observers added that they noted several shortcomings. Problems included voters getting turned away, late publication of polling stations and media taking sides, the African Union observers said in a statement released Friday. Even so, the continent-wide body said, "The Mission observes generally, that from a historical perspective and in comparison to the 2008 elections, Zimbabwe has made an important transition in the conduct of its elections." Wednesday's vote pitted President Robert Mugabe against his prime minister, Morgan Tsvangirai. Mugabe's party declared victory a day later even though the electoral commission has not released...
(African arguments 08/02/13)
UK Minister for Africa, Mark Simmonds, has stated that the government will not intervene directly in Barclays Bank's decision to withdraw banking services to Money Service Businesses (MSBs) including those that provide remittance services to Somalia, but said he hoped that a 'market-based solution' could be found. Simmonds stated in a letter dated 18th July to SOAS academic Laura Hammond (and shared with African Arguments) that "the government would not be able to intervene on behalf of a particular company or 'remittance corridor'". He was responding to a letter submitted by Hammond on behalf of 105 academics, researchers and practitioners calling on the UK government to intervene to prevent the collapse of remittance flows into poor and fragile states, particularly...
(Voice of America 07/31/13)
Guinea's government has already seen a two percent jump in revenue since President Alpha Conde came to power nearly three years ago. That increase is due to mining activity as well as an increased tax base, according to the International Monetary Fund's Guinea Representative Abdoul Aziz Wane. “When the new government took office in late 2010 - early 2011, that's where we started seeing the increases in the collection of government revenue, and this trend actually has been continuing,” he said. Wane has confidence peaceful legislative elections, scheduled to be held in late September, could stabilize the business environment even more. “We believe that if elections are held peacefully government revenue will increase even more thanks to higher economic activity...
(Voice of America 07/31/13)
JOHANNESBURG — The United Nations’ AIDS agency is hailing what officials describe as significant progress in the fight against the epidemic in eastern and southern Africa. The report says AIDS-related deaths have declined dramatically and that the number of new infections has decreased - a direct result of more available treatment. But, they warned, challenges remain. Top health and aid officials praised the gains in the fight against AIDS in southern and eastern Africa - among them, a nearly 40 percent drop in AIDS-related deaths since 2005, and a 50 percent drop in new infections among children since 2001. The cause, they said was simple: The number of people receiving anti-retroviral treatment has increased tenfold, from 625,000 in 2005 to...
(CNN 07/31/13)
(CNN) -- A decade after Angola emerged from devastating civil war, the sea front road that winds around the bay of its capital, Luanda, is now dotted with multi-million dollar condominiums, exclusive clubs, and boutique stores catering for the country's elite. Most of Luanda's population, however, live in the nearby slums, where health facilities are non-existent and children must work, not study, to survive. Africa's natural resource wealth has certainly fueled a decade of rapid growth, but most Africans have still not seen the benefits. More urgently, rapid population growth combined with deepening inequality could one day prove explosive. It does not have to be this way, of course. Botswana successfully used its diamond wealth to develop quickly, growing from...
(The Guardian 07/30/13)
FBI investigating Beny Steinmetz's company BSGR after lucrative deal to extract iron ore from Simandou mountain range. In Conakry, a gleaming hotel looms over the filth of the city. Behind it a small coastal cove acts like a floating rubbish dump, collecting brightly coloured detritus from the murky Atlantic and distributing it in piles in stubbly black rock pools on the beach. A group of gangly young men sit by an abandoned fishing boat, looking despondently out to sea. But in the gleaming, chandelier-lit hotel lobby it is easy to forget the scenery outside. Here, European, Australian and Brazilian mining executives, in jeans and suit jackets, sip rosé as they check emails. African businessmen huddle in groups, discussing shareholdings and...
(The Guardian 07/30/13)
Government efforts to lure foreign investors by reforming Guinea's mining code lack teeth, campaigners warn. There is a saying in Guinea that is popular among those who work in development: "Everything is a priority". It is a wry observation that, in a country in which almost nothing works, it is difficult to work out what to tackle first. The facts are stark. A recent survey showed that 62% of Guineans have no access to running water, 62% have no access to electricity, 65% say they have inadequate access to roads, and 72% think the justice system is broken. The country's human development indicators are well below those of other sub-Saharan African countries – the UN ranks the country's development 178th...
(AL Jazeera 07/25/13)
Clashes between Guerze and Konianke in southeastern city of Nzerekore leave up to 100 people dead, government says. At least 98 people have been killed in three days of ethnic violence in Guinea, nearly double the previous death toll, the government said. The violence happened last week and erupted on July 14 after a man accused of being a thief was lynched. It took place during tense preparations for long-delayed elections meant to restore civilian rule after a 2008 military coup in the West African nation. "We are today at around 100 dead - 76 victims in [Guinea's second-largest city] Nzerekore and 22 others in Koule," Damantang Albert Camara, a government spokesperson, said. The government said on July 18 that...
(Voice of America 07/25/13)
CAPITOL HILL — Prospective U.S. diplomats to Africa say President Barack Obama’s recent trip to the continent underscored persistent challenges and vast opportunities that cry out for robust and sustained American engagement. Administration nominees for the State Department’s top Africa post, as well as numerous ambassadorships, testified Wednesday at their Senate confirmation hearing. During his three-nation trip to Africa earlier this month, Obama unveiled initiatives to boost electric service on the continent, increase trade and commercial ties, and help groom Africa’s next generation of leaders. But more must be done, according to Democratic Senator Chris Coons, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on Africa. “President Obama’s recent trip was a positive demonstration of U.S. commitment, and the president’s initiatives...
(Voice of America 07/24/13)
Malaria infections, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa, are responsible for the deaths of some 200,000 newborns and 10,000 new mothers each year. The parasitic illness can also cause miscarriage and premature birth, increasing the risk of death. There are low cost, lifesaving interventions to prevent infection, yet, according to a new study, there are significant barriers to implementing them. For the past 20 years, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended that pregnant women in areas with high rates of malaria receive insecticide-treated bed nets and periodic doses of a cheap drug to prevent the disease. Yet, despite relatively high attendance at clinics for expectant mothers and their newborns throughout sub-Saharan Africa, statistics show that just a little over 21 percent...
(UN.org 07/22/13)
The United Nations today commended the efforts of the Government of Guinea and its security forces to restore calm amid deadly inter-communal clashes this week, while also reminding them of the need to uphold human rights principles during law enforcement operations. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said that calm seems to have been restored after three days of violence that began on Monday between members of the Guerze and Konianke tribes in Koule, which is 45 kilometres from Nzerekore. “The clashes have resulted in the killing of at least 57 people, three of whom were beheaded with machetes, with others hacked to death or burnt alive,” OHCHR spokesperson Rupert Colville told reporters in Geneva...
(Voice of America 07/18/13)
The president of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) says the regional bloc is working with its international partners, other stakeholders, and Mali’s government to ensure a successful July 28 presidential election in Mali. Ambassador Kadre Desire Ouedraogo says ECOWAS is committed to help Mali conduct a peaceful and credible election. Ouedraogo’s remarks came during a two-day regional leaders summit that reviewed the political and security situation in Mali. The meeting ends on Thursday. Mamadou Diamountani, chairman of Mali’s electoral commission, has said that carrying out a successful election will be challenging. But, Ouedraogo says the regional bloc is working with the electoral commission to ensure the vote goes ahead. “ECOWAS has committed itself to assist the Malian...
(Dw-World 07/18/13)
Ahead of Mali's July 28 elections,regional body ECOWAS meets to discuss the situation there and in Guinea-Bissau where the absence of a functional government has allowed drug trafficking to flourish. Mali is battling an islamist insurgency, while Guinea-Bissau seeks to recover from a coup. Regional leaders from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) grouping have used diplomacy, sanctions and a plan for military intervention to nudge Mali towards a restoration of constitutional order. The case is much worse for Guinea-Bissau which has been nicknamed the ‘narco state'. ECOWAS needs to commit to a common strategy to help the coup-plagued country implement security, justice and electoral reforms needed to escape its status as a link in drug trafficking to...
(AL Jazeera 07/17/13)
Ethnic violence in West African nation's second-largest city leaves 12 people dead and 50 injured in run-up to polls. President Alpha Conde has appealed for calm after at least 12 people were killed and 50 others injured in two days of ethnic violence in southeastern Guinea. "The town of Nzerekore has witnessed events resulting in a loss of human life, several wounded and important damage to property," Conde said in an address on national television. "Faced with this situation, I call on the population for calm. No one should take [the] law into their own hands." In Guinea's second largest city of Nzerekore, which lies some 980km from the coastal capital Conakry, ethnic gangs prowled the streets for a second...
(Voice of America 07/17/13)
Authorities in Guinea have imposed a curfew in the southern part of the country where ethnic fighting has left about 20 people dead and dozens wounded. Journalist Mamadou Dian Balde of the Independent and Democrat newspapers in Guinea said the violence started when members of the Guerze, or Kpelle, tribe beat to death an ethnic Konianke, or Mandingo, youth after accusing him of stealing gasoline. “It all started Monday in a village about 40 kilometers from Nzerekore (the provincial capital), the home of Moussa Dadis Camara, former military junta leader. The Kpelle accused a young boy of stealing fuel at a gas station. They killed the boy and the parents of the boy decided to seek revenge. They went to...
(Voice of America 07/17/13)
West African regional leaders plan to open an extraordinary two-day summit on Wednesday in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja. Sonny Ugoh, communications director for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), says the leaders will consider the latest political and security situation in Mali in the run-up to that country’s July 28 presidential election. “They will review the political health of the organization and member states, the economic health of the region, and give directive as to what initiative they think we should take, in order to address whatever challenges they determine that we need to address,” said Ugoh. He says Burkinabe President Blaise Compaoré will brief other heads of state about the situation in Mali. Mr. Compaoré mediated talks between...
(AL Jazeera 07/16/13)
Executive council meets in Nigerian capital to review progress made in combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. The African Union executive council is meeting in the Nigerian capital to take stock of progress made in the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. The conference, which opened in Abuja on Friday, will also address challenges encountered in the campaign against the three diseases. "It is timely that we review the implementation of the various declarations and plans of action adopted in the course of the last decade," Ethiopia's Foreign Minister Tedros Ghebreyesus told the conference, according to the African Union's website. Ghebreyesus said Ethiopia was proposing to establish an "African Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention (African–CDC) or Health Commission for Africa...
(Allafrica 04/25/13)
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the signing of a joint declaration by political actors in Guinea to resolve differences over preparations for stalled legislative elections and other contentious issues through peaceful means. "The joint declaration calls on all political parties to refrain from any violent demonstrations and confirms their determination to resolve outstanding issues through peaceful and negotiated solutions," according to a statement released by Mr. Ban's spokesperson. Mr. Ban also welcomed the statement made by President Alpha Condé today expressing his readiness to take measures to guarantee the transparency and the credibility of the electoral process, with the involvement of international partners. In March, protests in the West African nation related to the polls led to several deaths and...

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