Monday 19 February 2018

Guinée

(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...
(AFP (eng) 06/28/17)
The generic version of the most advanced drug against HIV has been introduced in Kenya, a first in Africa where more than 25 million have the disease, the NGO Unitaid said Wednesday. The drug, Dolutegravir (DTG) is the anti-retroviral drug of choice for those living with HIV in developed countries, but its high price has put it out of reach for most struggling with the disease in Africa. "The generic DTG has two advantages: on the one hand, it is very good from a pharmaceutical point of view. On the other hand, it is much cheaper," said Robert Matiru of Unitaid, which works to reduce the costs of medicines treating AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria. He described the drug as "the...
(AFP (eng) 06/23/17)
Red Cross volunteers prevented a significant number of Ebola cases during the 2013-2016 epidemic in west Africa by using safe burial techniques, according to a study released Thursday. The outbreak that killed more than 11,300 people and sickened nearly 29,000 -- mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone -- could have been much worse, according to the study published in the PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases medical journal. Using statistical modelling, the study indicated that the efforts of Red Cross volunteers to properly bury the highly contagious bodies potentially averted as many as 10,452 Ebola cases, decreasing the scale of the outbreak by more than a third. Due to the very high death toll at the beginning of the outbreak, there...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/23/17)
YAOUNDE (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Safe burial practices introduced by the Red Cross likely saved thousands of lives during the world’s worst outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus between 2013 and 2016, researchers said on Thursday. In the first scientific study of Ebola victim burials, researchers found each unsafe burial had the potential to generate more than 2.5 secondary cases of Ebola infection. The virus kills about 50 percent of those it infects on average, according to the World Health Organization. People who treat and bury the bodies of the dead are especially at risk, as corpses are even more contagious than living Ebola patients. The Red Cross safe burial program potentially averted between 1,411 and 10,452 secondary cases of...
(Reuters (Eng) 06/23/17)
DAR ES SALAAM (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Sadick Thenest remembers how his 8-year-old daughter had a narrow brush with death two years ago, when she contracted cholera after drinking contaminated water. “She was so gaunt, weak and had terrible diarrhea,” said the refugee from Burundi. “A slight delay in rushing her to hospital would have meant something else - but with God’s grace she survived.” The father of four, aged 35, is among thousands of refugees grappling with frequent outbreaks of waterborne diseases in the crowded Nyarugusu camp in western Tanzania, due to poor sanitation. “Living in a refugee camp is a constant struggle. You either stick to health rules or contract diseases,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by...
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
WASHINGTON DC — On June 5, Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of funding extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State. In response, Qatar said it was the victim of a policy of “domination and control” by its larger neighbor and that Saudi Arabia was, in fact, the one responsible for backing extremism. So what is the truth? Fundamentalist strains of Islam, including Saudi-born Salafism and Wahhabism, form the ideological bedrock for most terror groups. According to a study by Leif Wenar of King’s College London based on the Global Terrorism Database, three out of four terror attacks in the last 10 years...

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(The Toronto Star 11/11/16)
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said Canada has committed to a three-year deployment in Africa that will be reassessed each year to ensure it has an “enduring” impact. Canadian troops headed to Africa will operate in dangerous territory where peacekeepers have been killed, says Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. In an exclusive interview with the Star from Vancouver Sajjan said Canada has committed to a three-year deployment that will be reassessed each year to ensure it has an “enduring” impact. It will be spread among a number of unspecified African countries, have a major focus on training and increasing “capacity” of the host nation as well as other countries’ troops, and build on existing social, economic and deradicalization programs on the ground...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/08/16)
Germany on Monday pledged a 61-million-euro ($67.44 million) hike in funding for U.N. relief operations in Africa so that fewer of its people undertake perilous odysseys to Europe, which has struggled to absorb an influx of migrants since last year. The extra funding lifts Germany's total contribution to the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR to 298 million euros for 2016, Foreign Ministry officials said. Its total humanitarian budget for 2016 was 1.28 billion euros, up from just 105 million euros in 2012. Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier announced the increase during a meeting with U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi in Berlin. Countries targeted by Germany's move are ridden by chronic conflict, disastrous climate change and poverty. Many of their citizens...
(AFP (eng) 11/05/16)
"The dream becomes reality", "Our son, our hope": the headlines in the Kenyan press in 2008 captured pride and excitement after the election of Barack Obama. Eight years later, enthusiasm for the outgoing president has faded on a continent that he is accused of forsaking. The election of the first black president of the United States on November 4, 2008 sparked scenes of jubilation in Kenya, the homeland of Obama's father. A public holiday was declared in honour of his victory. There were widespread hopes that Obama would do much for Africa, but as he prepares to hand over to either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, he is accused of neglecting the continent. "Africa had unrealistic expectations towards Obama given...
(AFP (eng) 11/02/16)
Stopping the killing of elephants for their tusks could add some $25 million (23 million euros) to Africa's annual tourism income, more than offsetting the anti-poaching spend, a study said Tuesday. While the figure pales in comparison to the estimated value of the black market ivory trade in China, it represents about a fifth of tourist income for game parks in 14 countries, where half of Africa's elephants are located, the study said. "We find that the lost economic benefits that elephants could deliver to African countries via tourism are substantial, and that these benefits exceed the costs necessary to halt elephant declines in east, southern and west Africa," the authors wrote in the journal Nature Communications. The conservation of...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/31/16)
About 220 African migrants forced their way through a barbed wire fence into Spain's North African enclave of Ceuta on Monday, clashing with Spanish police who tried to prevent them from crossing the border with Morocco. Thirty-two migrants were treated in hospital for minor injuries after pushing their way through two gates just before 2 a.m. ET, while three Spanish policemen also needed medical attention, the government said. Several migrants collapsed from exhaustion after crossing into Spanish territory, Reuters photographs showed. Their legal status in Spain has yet to be determined, and police were searching for some who fled into hills inside the territory, it said. Spain's two enclaves in Morocco, Ceuta and Melilla, have been favored entry points into...
(AFP (eng) 10/27/16)
Complex diverse political agendas are driving African nations to quit the International Criminal Court, with leaders seeking to cloak the move by reigniting age-old anger at the West, analysts say. Gambia's announcement that it would be the third country to withdraw from the court is all the more frustrating as it comes at a time when the tribunal is beginning to probe some of the world's most intractable conflicts, in places such as the Palestinian territories and Afghanistan, experts say. Set up in 2002, the ICC's mission is to try the world's most heinous crimes which national governments are either unable or unwilling to prosecute. And most of the ICC prosecutions, such as in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/26/16)
African states unhappy with the International Criminal Court(ICC) should work to reform it from within rather than pulling out, Botswanan foreign minister Pelomoni Venson-Moitoi, a candidate to become the next African Union (AU) chief, said. With the AU increasingly divided over the ICC, South Africa announced last week that it planned to quit, but Venson-Moitoi said she believed an African war crimes court could be beefed up to work alongside its Hague-based counterpart. Although South Africa argued that the ICC's Rome Statutes were at odds with its laws granting leaders diplomatic immunity, other African countries see the tribunal purely as an instrument of colonial justice that unfairly targets the continent. "I don't see why we should be pulling out. The...
(AFP (eng) 10/25/16)
The International Criminal Court on Monday urged member states to seek a consensus with critical African nations, while stressing that South Africa and Burundi's announced departures would not take place for at least year. "Today more than ever, there is a huge need for universal justice," said Sidiki Kaba, president of the assembly of state parties to the ICC founding treaty, evoking "the tragedies which are happening in front of our eyes". Kaba, also Senegal's justice minister, said it was necessary "to engage in dialogue with the nations which want to leave the ICC. For that we must listen to their concerns, their recriminations and their criticism". South Africa dealt a heavy blow to the troubled international court on Friday...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/20/16)
Encouraged by their success in halting a mass influx of refugees by closing Greek borders and cutting a controversial deal with Turkey, EU leaders are getting tough on African migrants too. A Brussels summit on Thursday will endorse pilot projects to pressure African governments via aid budgets to slow an exodus of people north across the Sahara and Mediterranean. It also wants swift results from an EU campaign to deport large numbers who reach Italy. "By the end of the year, we need to see results," one senior EU diplomat said on Wednesday. Arrivals in Italy so far this year are nearly six percent higher than the same period of 2015. Italy received 154,000 migrants last year and this year's...
(Voice of America 10/17/16)
Telecom workers in Burkina Faso were on strike again this month, leading to phone and internet interruptions. The country has only one internet service provider, Onatel, but the days of the telecom monopoly in Africa may ending. The Burkina Faso telecommunications authority fined Onatel 5 billion CFA francs ($8.5 million U.S.) in response to the strike, which cut internet access across the country for more than a week. Arouna Ouédraogo, an information technology specialist, said people without access to the internet become desperate. He said he businesspeople rushing to his internet cafe with contracts to sign and documents to send, but he couldn't help them. "People outside this country just cannot imagine that there is no internet" for such an...
(AFP (eng) 10/14/16)
Idrissa Kallo's expert eyes dart across the waters off Guinea's port capital, Conakry, looking for fish that always seem fewer and far between his nets. As African governments gather for a summit in Togo aimed at cracking down on illegal fishing, Guinea's corrupt officials and lack of resources to prevent the looting of its waters exemplify the problems facing the continent's west coast. The Marine Resources Assessment Group (MRAG) has estimated that over $100 million (90 million euros) in marine products are caught illegally in Guinean waters every year, with the worst offenders being Chinese, South Korean and Spanish trawlers. "They come here during the night and fish until five or six in the morning, then leave our waters," Kallo...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/14/16)
About 70 sub-Saharan African migrants forced their way over a barbed wire barrier into Spain’s North African enclave of Melilla Thursday. They ran to a local immigration center where they were met by dozens of migrants cheering “victory, victory” although their legal status in Spain has yet to be determined. Migrants wait weeks and sometimes months at the short-stay immigrant center in the hope of being transferred to a refugee reception center in mainland Spain, said Government Delegation of Melilla spokesperson Irene Flores. Spain has two enclaves in Morocco, Ceuta and Melilla, and both are hot spots for African migrants making their way to Europe either by climbing over the barriers, going around them or swimming along the coastline. After...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/13/16)
When German Chancellor Angela Merkel toured three African nations this week for talks on curbing migration to Europe, the leader of the world's poorest country, Niger, suggested it would take a "Marshall Plan" of massive aid to stop people coming. Merkel politely declined the request, expressing concern about how well the aid would be spent and noting that, at a summit in Malta last year, the European Union had already earmarked 1.8 billion euros for a trust fund to train and resettle migrants. But Niger's President Mahatma Issoufou also proposed something perhaps more significant, in the long run, than a development package - bringing Niger's population growth down from 3.9 percent, the highest in the world. Though he gave no...
(AFP (eng) 10/11/16)
Two leading rights groups published new accounts on Monday of murder and rape by ruling and opposition party supporters during last year's presidential election in Guinea and condemned the authorities for failing to prosecute anyone. President Alpha Conde was re-elected in October 2015 amid opposition claims of vote-rigging and fraud and several days of violent protests. On the anniversary of the vote, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said the authorities had failed to properly follow up legal complaints related to the deaths of 12 people, several rapes, and widespread looting. "The government has neither investigated any of these cases in depth, nor brought any suspects to justice, nor provided effective remedies to the victims, including full reparations," a joint...
(CNN 10/05/16)
Terrorism, human trafficking, and corruption are creating a more dangerous continent, which in turn is preventing better governance, a new report revealed. The results of the 2016 Ibrahim Index of African Governance, published by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, show that two thirds of Africans live in a country where safety and rule of law has deteriorated over the past decade, greatly impacting overall governance in Africa. 15 countries have declined 'quite substantially,' and almost half the countries on the continent recorded their worst score ever within the last three years. The Ibrahim Index of African Governance, the report provides an annual assessment of governance in Africa and is most comprehensive collection of data on governance in the region. The 2016...
(The Wall Street Journal 10/01/16)
Startups and global corporations alike plumb Africa for scarce software development skills A shortage of software developers in the U.S. has prompted some companies to seek talent in Africa, home to a young and increasingly-tech savvy workforce. International Business Machines Corp. has engaged young software developers in Lagos, Nigeria, to help build a data analytics business the technology giant is trying to ramp up quickly. The combination of an educated population and the proliferation of mobile technology on the continent makes Africa a good incubator of technology talent, said Leon Katsnelson, chief technology officer and director for IBM’s analytic platform emerging technologies group. IBM is building “Big Data University” to train technology professionals in its analytics tools through online training...
(AL Jazeera 09/27/16)
Seven years ago, 156 people were killed at an anti-government rally. Now Guineans want justice and reconciliation. Asmaou Diallo was watching television in her home on the outskirts of Guinea's capital, Conakry, when the shooting began on the morning of September 28, 2009. Her heart sank. Her oldest son, 33-year-old Ali, had left home to join a pro-democracy rally that day, and she had feared the event could turn violent. She dialled his number but got no answer. She called again repeatedly until, eventually, someone picked up. But the voice on the other end was not her son's. "That's when I knew, deep down, that he was dead," she tells Al Jazeera from her living room. "Ali was never without...
(AFP (eng) 09/27/16)
Yemeni authorities on Monday deported at least 220 African illegal immigrants, mainly Ethiopians, from the southern port city of Aden, security officials said. The migrants had been rounded up over the past two weeks and were put on a ship bound for Somalia, from where they apparently came, an official in Aden said. The boat left from the port at Aden's refinery. Hundreds of illegal migrants have arrived in south Yemen over the past few weeks despite the ongoing war that has ravaged the country. In Shabwa province, east of Aden, authorities have arrested more than 500 African migrants over the past two weeks, security chief Awad al-Dahboul said. Officials in south Yemen have claimed that some migrants are being...
(Voice of America 09/26/16)
Huge orange flames and plumes of smoke filled the air at Nairobi National Park in April, a sobering image as 105 tons of elephant ivory and 1.35 tons of rhino horn were destroyed. Kenya conducted the event to demonstrate that ivory has no value to anyone except elephants. President Uhuru Kenyatta pledged his country's support for a complete ban of the ivory trade at the conference for the global conservation body known as CITES, which opens Saturday in Johannesburg, South Africa. CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, is expected to make a determination on whether countries in Africa should destroy seized ivory or be allowed to sell it to fund conservation efforts. The question has sparked heated...
(AFP (eng) 09/22/16)
Global conservationists and policymakers meet in South Africa from Saturday to chart a way forward in the fight against escalating wildlife trafficking that could drive some species to extinction. The plight of Africa's rhino and elephants, targeted for their horns and tusks, is expected to dominate 12 days of talks in Johannesburg on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Illegal wildlife trade is valued at around $20 billion a year, according to CITES, and is ranked the fourth largest illicit business in the world after arms, counterfeit goods and human trafficking. The gathering is expected to assess whether to toughen or loosen trade restrictions on some 500 species of animals and plants. "Much of the international attention...

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(Cnbc Africa 04/16/16)
The apparent end to the commodity super-cycle has sent shockwaves across the global economy. It has sparked turbulence in world stock markets, put pressure on currencies, and fuelled major concerns about prospects for growth and the stability of public finances. Africa has not escaped this pessimism. Questions have been asked about the continent’s economic future, with widespread fears that the remarkable gains of the last two decades could be reversed. The mood reminds me of the IMF/World Bank meetings I attended at the height of the Asian Financial Crisis nearly 20 years ago, when analysts were predicting the Asian miracle was at an end. They underestimated the potential of Asia then, and I believe the potential of Africa is being...
(Bloomberg 04/15/16)
Less than two years after International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde heralded Africa for its “remarkable resilience,” some of the continent’s former brightest stars are seeking bailouts. Ghana and Angola have turned to the IMF for help in the past year, as has Mozambique, which Lagarde had said epitomized the new “positive spirit” on the continent. Zambia may soon be forced to follow suit, Kenya took on a $1.5 billion standby facility and Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy, is negotiating a $1 billion loan from the World Bank. Zimbabwe is also engaging with the Washington-based lenders to obtain fresh credit. High yields are shutting nations on the continent out of international capital markets at a time when fiscal and current-account...
(Forbes 04/13/16)
By training one million young Africans with digital skills in the next year, Google GOOGL +0.78% is hoping to grow the continent’s digital economy and change the nature of its media and advertising industries. With 500m internet users expected to be online in Africa by 2020, according to Google, the Digify program will run in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya – where youth unemployment stands at 35%, 13% and 17% respectively, it says.
(The Wall Street Journal 04/12/16)
Fortune seekers across Africa are clambering down gold shafts closed by some of the world’s biggest miners, fueling dystopian conflicts between companies waiting out a commodity rout and poor villagers with little to lose. The result is a chaotic and often deadly tableau playing out deep underground across the mineral-rich continent. Dozens of miners have been killed in subterranean gunfights over turf ceded by mining companies, many of whom fear the collateral damage to shaft walls and winches could make it impossible to open them again. In Ghana, AngloGold Ashanti Ltd., the world’s No. 3 gold producer, closed shafts at its Obuasi mine in late 2014, as the mine hemorrhaged cash amid sinking metals prices. Early this year, hundreds of...
(News24 04/12/16)
The number of planned hotel rooms in Africa has soared to 64 000 in 365 hotels, up almost 30% on the previous year, according to new figures from the annual W Hospitality Group Hotel Chain Development Pipeline Survey. The increase is largely down to strong growth in sub-Saharan Africa, which is up 42.1% on 2015 and is significantly outstripping North Africa which achieved only a modest 7.5% pipeline increase this year. South Africa ranks in position 9 of the hotel development pipelines in Africa list for 2016, just above Senegal. A major shake-up in the rankings by country saw Angola, never before listed among the top 10, push Egypt out of second place, due to a major deal there signed...
(Business Day 04/11/16)
There is no evidence to prove bilateral investment treaties signed by African countries have made them more attractive to foreign direct investment, despite it being the main reason to sign them. The private sector tends to be the main beneficiary of treaties, with governments weakened by a lack of negotiating capacity. These are among the findings of an Economic Commission for Africa report looking at issues about, and the consequences of, investment policies and bilateral investment treaties. The report was launched at the African Development Week in Addis Ababa. The decision to do the research was based partly on pressure from SA, which has terminated its bilateral investment treaties, replacing them with legislation that makes the government the guarantor of...
(Business Day 04/08/16)
As we face the challenges of the 21st century, there is more that unites Africa and Europe than divides us. We share a common history of thousands of years. Today more than ever, we need to work together to build our common future and to work jointly on the defining global issues of our age. We have a shared view of the benefits of co-operation on our continents. Europe’s journey from the devastation of 1945 to a union of more than half-a-billion citizens based on shared values and designed to create peace and prosperity, is well-known. So too is Africa’s liberation from colonial rule to independence and greater integration through the creation of the African Union (AU). Our journeys towards...
(The Guardian 04/06/16)
Reeling from external trade shocks, resulting in search for alternative source of funds for financing public expenditures, experts have advised African countries to exercise restraint in sourcing for foreign loans. This is even as the government of Nigeria may have shelved any plan to increase taxes, especially the Value Added Tax (VAT), at least this year.
(This Day Live 04/06/16)
The 18 member countries of African Petroleum Producers Association are considering strategies that will keep them afloat in the wake of the challenging crude oil price environment. Since the prices of crude oil in the international market took an uncertain path, the economies of some key African oil producing countries have received some significant battering, especially those that rely heavily on crude oil export to meet their respective economic and social responsibilities. Over the periods that oil prices have slipped and revenues from sales by producers dipped, the budgets of a number of Africa's top oil pro¬ducers like Nigeria have either impaired significantly with challenging revenue benchmarks or looked quite unconvincing since more than 70 per cent of their revenues...
(Foreign Policy 04/05/16)
Africa’s petrostates are crashing hard. A cool $115 in the summer of 2014, a barrel of Brent crude, the international pricing benchmark, now fetches below $40. And having failed to build massive foreign exchange reserves like Saudi Arabia or other Gulf monarchies, African oil exporters are now being forced to grapple with depreciating national currencies, mounting inflation, and deep cuts in government spending. Some of these states are now dangerously unstable, staring down popular unrest or domestic insurgencies that left unaddressed could set them back years, if not decades, in development terms.
(Independent Online 04/05/16)
The African Union (AU) Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Integration concludes in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Tuesday with Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the chairperson of the African Union Commission, imploring African countries to improve young people’s skills in science and engineering. The Conference of Ministers is an annual event jointly organised by the Economic Commission for Africa and the African Union Commission. It is being held at the Conference Centre of the Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa. Read: The grim situation facing SA's youth “With an average of over 90 percent of graduates in social sciences, Africa’s innovation and scientific skills lag behind,” said Dlamini Zuma. “There is general agreement on the skills crisis that...
(RFI(EN) 04/02/16)
African countries are becoming the fastest growing economies in the world, with East African nations leading the pack in 2015. But infrastructure still remains a challenge. The United Nations and the African Union are pushing for the continent to industrialize, if it is to reach 1 of the 17 sustainable development goals. Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki is the Chief Executive Officer of the New Partnership for Africa's Development, (NEPAD). He spoke with RFI's Christina Okello about his vision for Africa's future. 1) NEPAD places regional integration at the core of Africa's development, why is that? If you consider the challenge posed by terrorism, regional integration is a good mechanism.
(Forbes 04/01/16)
Africa seems to be the only continent today that is regularly referred to as a country. It bristles me every time I hear it said. It’s reminiscent of Ronald Reagan’s chatter with the press aboard Air Force One in late 1982 on his way back to the US from a Presidential visit to Latin America: “I learned a lot down there…You’d be surprised, because, you know, they’re all individual countries.” As a relatively freshly minted PhD in international business economics at the time, I thought a statement like that coming from the President of the United States was more than odd. Just as such an utterance was, of course, grossly naïve, if not insulting, to Latin Americans, so too is...
(Bloomberg 04/01/16)
Trade barriers and poor infrastructure are preventing sugar producers in sub-Saharan Africa from accessing under-supplied regions on the continent as an imminent end to import quotas in the European Union compels them to find new markets. A preferential-access deal with the EU for African, Caribbean and Pacific sugar producers ends in September 2017, potentially depriving the farmers further access to a duty-free market. Exports to the EU account for a fifth of the sub-Saharan region’s current annual output of about 7.5 million metric tons, according to Cooperatieve Rabobank UA. While sub-Saharan Africa consumes more sugar than it produces, growers may struggle to plug this shortfall because insufficient infrastructure makes deliveries between regions difficult and import duties lift the cost of...
(Financial Times 03/31/16)
When Israel faced a resolution at the International Atomic Energy Agency last September demanding that it open its undeclared nuclear facilities to UN inspectors, the measure failed to pass. It foundered in part because several African countries — which normally would have voted in lock-step with Arab states — abstained or voted No. The ballot was just one of many examples of a growing alignment between Israel and sub-Saharan African states: the Jewish state is searching for new allies as its traditionally close ties with Europe cool, and both it and African states face a common threat from radical Islamist groups.
(Usa Today 03/29/16)
Uber is expanding in Africa. The ride-hailing app launched in the cities of Abuja, Nigeria and Mombasa, Kenya on Wednesday. These are the 399th and 400th world cities where the service operates. But just as Uber has butted heads with traditional taxis in Paris, London, Toronto, Sao Paulo and many other places, so it is facing tensions in African metropolises. On the same day that Uber launched in Mombasa, an Uber taxi in the capital Nairobi was set on fire. This was the second Uber taxi torched in the city in a matter of weeks. Kenyan police said that a man hired the Uber and led the driver to a dark alley where the taxi was attacked by four men...
(Xinhuanet 03/26/16)
(Xinhua) -- China has appointed its first envoy to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). Kuang Weilin, who also serves as Head of the Chinese Mission to the African Union (AU) was named to the post and presented his credentials to Carlos Lopes, UNECA Executive Secretary on Monday at the headquarters of UNECA in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.. During their meeting, Kuang said he was glad to be the first Chinese envoy to UNECA, and that China counts on UNECA for fresh ideas on how to best promote Africa's development. UNECA is considered as a top research institute and think-tank in Africa. Lopes expressed his delight with the Chinese government agreeing to formalize its relationship with UNECA,...
(Business Day Ghana 03/25/16)
Africa's private sector will continue to lead the continent towards economic transformation, African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina said Monday at the launch of the fourth Africa CEO Forum in Abidjan. Addressing some 500 CEOs from 43 African countries and 20 more worldwide, he said, "The 'Africa rising' story remains strong. Yes, African economies face economic headwinds from the significant decline in the price of commodities ... but African economies remain resilient.
(Independent Online 03/24/16)
Africa continues to be in the news as it continues to engage with the challenge of electricity supply and access. - Africa demand for electricity is expected to increase by more than two-thirds between now and 2040. - Fossil fuels, especially coal, are expected to remain a significant part of Africa’s power generation assets. - Renewables other than hydro are set to play an increasing role in the energy mix. Of the 1.3 billion people that lack access to electricity globally, an estimated 600 million are in sub-Saharan Africa.
(Bloomberg 03/22/16)
The corn that is a food staple for much of southern Africa is now so expensive it has become a luxury many can’t afford, after the worst drought in three decades damaged crops from Ethiopia to South Africa. In Malawi, one of a dozen nations affected by the dry spell, Meleniya Mateyu says she has to forage for wild water-lily roots called nyika from streams and swamps to feed her two orphaned grandchildren. The small amount of grain she gets from an aid agency is barely enough for them to eat during one meal a day. “We are surviving on nyika,” Mateyu said in an interview at her village in the southern district of Chikwawa, about 50 kilometers (31 miles)...

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(BBC News Africa 01/06/16)
There are well-documented problems about access to education. The Africa Learning Barometer at the US-based Center for Universal Education at Brookings says of the continent's nearly 128 million school-aged children, 17 million will never attend school. There have been improvements, with targets for the millennium development goals widening access to primary school. But many millions, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, never start school or learn so little that it is hardly worth them attending. Against this backdrop, education in Africa, particularly in East Africa, has become a hotbed for e-learning.
(Voice of America 01/04/16)
Guinea and Sierra Leone have been declared Ebola-free, while Liberia is expected to follow in mid-January. Experts say that health care systems need to be rebuilt and that safety practices adopted during the crisis must be maintained to prevent future outbreaks. The epidemic touched many parts of society in the three countries stricken by the virus. Economies declined as quarantines affected cross-border trade, while unsteady health care systems collapsed. The outbreak, which started in March 2014, killed over 11,000 people and infected over 28,000.
(Voice of America 12/31/15)
A Guinean opposition leader is promising to cooperate with President Alpha Conde to improve the country’s economy. Former Prime Minister Sydia Toure of the Union of Republican Forces party has been a critic of Conde’s government. He described the economy during the president’s first term as marred by recession and unemployment. Toure said his decision to collaborate with the government followed a meeting he had with Conde about working together following the president's election to a second term. “I had a meeting with President Conde on the 5th of December and we discussed the possibility to have a new agreement between our two parties to see during the five years coming if we can help our country to have more...
(Voice of America 12/29/15)
Global health authorities are declaring Guinea free of Ebola after more than 2,500 people died from the disease in the West African nation. The designation leaves only Liberia still waiting for an official end to the epidemic. World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim issued a statement congratulating the government and people of Guinea on reaching the milestone. He urged vigilance to “stay at zero cases.” There will be a formal ceremony Wednesday to mark the declaration in Conakry, the capital.
(BBC News Africa 12/29/15)
Guinea is to be declared free of Ebola by the World Health Organization (WHO), two years after the epidemic began there. Guineans are expected to celebrate the landmark with concerts and fireworks. The disease killed more than 2,500 people in the country and a further 9,000 in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Sierra Leone was declared free of Ebola in November, but new cases have emerged in Liberia, which had been declared Ebola-free in September. A country is considered free of human-to-human transmission once two 21-day incubation periods have passed since the last known case tested negative for a second time. "It's the best year-end present that God could give to Guinea, and the best news that Guineans could hope for,"...
(Voice of America 12/21/15)
The United States is expected to add two species of lions in Africa to its endangered list Monday in a move that will make it more difficult for hunters to bring lion trophies back into the country. The Fish and Wildlife Service, which manages the list, is linking the move to declining populations in the wild and the need to ensure those who illegally hunt cannot gain from their actions. One lion species found in central and western parts of Africa, as well as India, has a population estimated around 1,000 and is being classified as endangered. The other species, predominant in eastern and southern Africa, has a population up to 19,000 and will be classified as threatened. The labels...
(BBC News Africa 12/19/15)
Could putting vibrations into the ground be a way to keep elephants from coming into conflict with humans? Already, attempts have been made to scare the animals away from villages using their own very low-frequency alarm calls - with partial success. Now scientists are studying whether even better results could be obtained if this sound in the air is accompanied also by a seismic signal underfoot. The work is being led by Prof Sue Webb from Wits University in Johannesburg. The ultimate goal she said was to try to find a means of keeping everyone safe - both humans and elephants. "Elephants can be incredibly destructive, especially with people's farmlands," she told BBC News. "They come on to the farmland...
(Voice of America 12/16/15)
Africa cannot be left to foot the bill for climate change, so say leaders and specialists from the continent who attended the recent climate conference in Paris. Nearly 200 nations adopted a historic deal December 12 that aims to slow the pace of global warming and provide billions of dollars for climate change remediation to poorer countries. While it's hard to predict the impact the deal will have on Africa, it's significant that there is recognition of the continent's vulnerability, says Edith Ofwana-Adera, a senior program specialist on climate change for the International Development Research Center (IDRC), who attended the summit. "Agriculture is the backbone of many African economies,” she said. “So what's foremost in the minds of African stakeholders...
(Voice of America 12/16/15)
GENEVA— A senior U.N. official warns that increasingly children are being killed, maimed, and recruited as soldiers and suicide bombers in armed conflict. Leila Zerrougui was appointed the U.N. Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict in 2012. She says the plight of children has worsened every year under her watch. 2015 is shaping up to be the worst year of all. The United Nations is tracking the status of children in 20 conflicts in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and one in Latin America. Zerrougui notes six ongoing major crises are putting the lives and futures of children at particular risk. She says tens of thousands of children are being killed and maimed, recruited as child...
(Voice of America 12/09/15)
Developing countries in Africa are battling a host of deadly infectious diseases, from diarrheal conditions to malaria to HIV, and some think India may have a way to help. But complications arise. India's prime minister, Narendra Modi, met recently with the heads of state of more than 50 African countries to discuss ways India — which has become the world's leader in the manufacture and export of generic drugs — can improve the continent's health infrastructure.
(Voice of America 12/07/15)
Ten African countries have committed to restore 31 million hectares of degraded and deforested land, under a new push to make 100 million hectares productive again by 2030. The AFR100 scheme, launched on Sunday in Paris, will be backed by $1 billion from the World Bank and additional funds from Germany, as well as $545 million in private-sector investment. "Restoring our landscapes brings prosperity, security and opportunity," said Rwanda's Minister of Natural Resources Vincent Biruta.
(BBC News Africa 12/03/15)
Sekouba Konate, a former Guinean president and serving African Union general, has pleaded guilty to smuggling money into the US. The 51-year-old tried to sneak in more than $64,000 (£42,600) after arriving on a flight from Ethiopia in 2013. He faces up to five years in jail when he is sentenced next February, said the US Department of Justice. Known as "El Tigre" for his military prowess, he was in the junta which took power in December 2008. Gen Konate handed over power in December 2010, after Guinea's first democratic elections in 50 years. Afterwards he was appointed general commander of the security forces of the African Union, US court papers said. According to the Associated Press agency, Gen Konate,...
(Voice of America 12/02/15)
An African general who briefly served as the president of Guinea pleaded guilty Tuesday to smuggling tens of thousands of dollars in cash into the U.S. Sekouba Konate, 51, had been scheduled to go on trial Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia on charges of bulk cash smuggling and making false statements. Instead, he entered a guilty plea that could result in a prison sentence of up to five years when he is sentenced in February. Prosecutors say Konate tried to sneak more than $64,000 in cash into the U.S. on a 2013 flight from Ethiopia to Dulles International Airport. Konate had told customs agents he was carrying less than $10,000 cash. Konate, who has family in the...
(Voice of America 12/02/15)
PARIS— France announced it will provide $2 billion to help develop renewable energy in Africa as a second day of climate talks got underway outside Paris as negotiators race to reach a climate deal by the end of next week. About $6.4 billion, over the next four years, is the amount French President Francois Hollande has promised to help with electrification in Africa. Of that, one third is to help the continent develop renewable energy. Hollande’s announcement came during a meeting with about a dozen African leaders to discuss climate threats in their countries.
(Voice of America 12/02/15)
A new study finds the rapid economic development in Africa may have serious social and environmental consequences. Huge investment projects are speeding ahead to address the urgency to expand agricultural production to feed a population that is expected to nearly quadruple this century. At the same time the continent is opening up to extensive mining, largely driven by foreign money. No overall plan or strategy exists to coordinate the many players, both foreign and domestic. “These gigantic proposals will create roads, pipelines, highways, railways and port facilities,” says William Laurance, director of the Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science at James Cook University in Cairns, Australia. “These development corridors are going to penetrate into remote regions of Africa,” he...
(Bloomberg 12/01/15)
Naspers Ltd. plans to increase its exposure to U.S. technology startups as Africa’s biggest company by market value seeks to limit the impact of a U.S. interest-rate rise and identify new Internet growth prospects, Chief Executive Officer Bob van Dijk said. The company invested $100 million in September in Letgo, a U.S. mobile-only classifieds-ads application, and plans further spending on companies based around San Francisco, the CEO said in an interview on Nov. 28. Naspers could base “a number of investment professionals” in the Bay Area to identify the right deals, he said. “We will probably have more focus on the Bay Area than we’ve had previously,” Van Dijk said. “If we see the right opportunities we could see ourselves...
(Voice of America 11/30/15)
Large amounts of seaweed have been washing up on the beaches of Sierra Leone and other countries in West Africa and the Caribbean. Scientists say climate change may be to blame. Local environmental protection authorities plan to bring it up at the U.N.’s climate change summit in Paris, which starts Monday. As Sierra Leone is trying to bounce back from the worst Ebola outbreak in history, it now is turning attention back to other pressing issues, including excessive seaweed on its pristine beaches. The problem has been apparent for the past several years during the country’s rainy season, which can last about six months. The beaches become entirely blanketed with sargassum seaweed. It’s normal to have some of this seaweed,...
(Voice of America 11/26/15)
CONAKRY, GUINEA— The terrorist attack that killed 21 people Friday at a hotel in Mali's capital has heightened security concerns in neighboring West African countries such as Guinea, where President Alpha Conde says he intends to roll out a host of new security measures. Addressing local leaders Tuesday in Conakry, Conde said authorities must submit information on foreigners living the capital area, and that the regional governor has given mayors and area chiefs 72 hours to file the information. Conde also said only Guineans will be allowed to teach in Quranic schools.
(BBC News Africa 11/23/15)
A slow international response and a failure of leadership were to blame for the "needless suffering and death" caused by the recent Ebola epidemic, an independent panel of global health experts has concluded. The panel's report, published in The Lancet, said major reforms were needed to prevent future disasters. More than 11,000 people died in the outbreak, which began in 2013. The World Health Organization has set out plans for reform. Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone were the countries most badly affected by Ebola. The independent group of experts, convened by The Harvard Global Health Institute and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said these countries were unable to detect, report and respond rapidly to outbreaks - something...
(Voice of America 11/18/15)
The last known Ebola patient in Guinea, a 21-day-old baby girl, has recovered at a treatment center in the capital, Conakry, potentially signaling the end of the worst Ebola outbreak in history. Dozens of people in Guinea are still being monitored to see whether they develop symptoms of the virus. But if no other cases are found in the next 42 days, Guinea will be declared Ebola-free, nearly two years after the epidemic began. The incubation period for Ebola is 21 days and, out of an abundance of caution, twice that period of time must pass before the World Health Organization declares the disease is defeated in Guinea. "It suddenly looks like we really could be at an end before...

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