Tuesday 21 November 2017

Guinée

(AFP (eng) 05/07/17)
At least 21 people, mostly women, were killed in a head-on crash between a truck and a minibus packed with passengers in Guinea, police said on Sunday. The deadly crash took place on Saturday just north of the capital Conakry, with the minibus crushed by a truck which was carrying sand, authorities and AFP correspondents at the scene said. "The toll from the deadly accident on Saturday near Dubreka is at least 21 dead, including 12 women," said road police official Babacar Sarr, referring to a town some 50 kilometres (30 miles) north of the
(AFP (eng) 05/05/17)
A former Guinean cabinet minister was convicted in New York of money laundering over a scheme to launder $8.5 million in bribes from a Chinese conglomerate in exchange for mining rights. Mahmoud Thiam, 50, who is also a US citizen, was arrested in December 2016 and convicted Wednesday after a seven-day trial, the US attorney's office said Thursday. He was convicted on one count of transacting in criminally derived property, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, and one count of money laundering, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.
(The Associated Press 05/05/17)
The head of the World Health Organization is praising Guineans for their role in helping to develop a vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus. On a visit to the country where the world's deadliest Ebola outbreak emerged in 2013, Dr. Margaret Chan said Guineans had "fought back" by helping scientists. There is no licensed treatment for Ebola, and the outbreak killed more than 11,300 people. Researchers began testing the vaccine as the outbreak was waning. WHO, which has acknowledged shortcomings in its response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, led the study of the vaccine. The vaccine was developed by the Canadian government and is now licensed to the U.S.-based Merck & Co. Chan says the vaccine's impact will...
(Voice of America 05/05/17)
As Africa grapples with a severe drought, and famine threatens millions of people, experts at the World Economic Forum on Africa this week in the South African city of Durban say food security needs to be a major part of discussions on advancing the continent economically. The annual World Economic Forum in Switzerland is usually a high-powered event, but at this week’s Africa meeting of the international organization, the continent’s big players are welcoming the humble farmer, now known as the “agripreneur.” Agricultural economist Paul Makube, with South Africa’s First National Bank, told VOA it makes sense to talk about farming when discussing building competitive markets, and boosting innovation and technology. “For business to prosper, you need a situation where...
(Bloomberg 05/04/17)
A Guinea-born former Wall Street banker was convicted of laundering $8.5 million in bribes that he took while a government minister in the West African country, where claims of corruption and disputes over mineral rights involve some of the biggest mining companies in the world. Mahmoud Thiam was accused in the U.S. of taking illegal payments to help China International Fund Ltd. win exclusive rights to mine Guinea’s iron, gold, diamonds and bauxite deposits and then laundering the money into the U.S. Thiam served as Guinea’s mining minister from 2009 to 2010 after spending 14 years as an international investment banker at Merrill Lynch & Co. and UBS Group AG in New York. The jury in Manhattan federal court delivered...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/04/17)
West African countries have detained seven Chinese ships for fishing illegally and the boats' owners could be subject to millions of dollars in fines, environmental group Greenpeace and government officials said. Inspectors from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Guinea-Bissau boarded the ships off their coasts that they found to be violating regulations on catching protected fish and using nets with small holes to facilitate bigger hauls. The arrests came after a two-month regional patrol on a Greenpeace ship, the Esperanza, that carried inspectors from the West African countries in a bid to supplement national efforts often hamstrung by budget and technology constraints. "This is a surprisingly high amount of arrests, especially considering that the vessels knew about our patrols in advance,"...
(Xinhuanet 05/04/17)
The World Economic Forum (WEF) Africa Competitiveness Report 2017 released in Durban Thursday called for urgent policy reforms if the continent intends to create more jobs for its growing young population. According to the report issued at the 27th WEF on Africa, fewer than one-quarter of the 450 million new jobs required in the next 20 years will be created if current policies remain unchanged. The report called for structural reforms in the economies to create more jobs for the youth entering the market. African countries have to prioritize improving infrastructure, skills and adoption of new technology and quality of institutions. To improve competitiveness in the short term Africa needs to increase housing construction through investment, better urban planning and...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/03/17)
A former Guinea government minister accused of laundering $8.5 million in bribes he took in exchange for helping a Chinese conglomerate secure mining rights told jurors in Manhattan federal court on Tuesday that the money was a personal loan. Mahmoud Thiam, taking the stand near the end of a week-long trial, said Chinese tycoon Sam Pa was a friend who lent him the money to help him take care of his family in New York while he moved to his native Guinea to serve as minister of mines in 2009. Thiam, 50, a U.S. citizen, has pleaded not guilty to money laundering in one of several corruption cases around the world tied to Guinea's mining sector. Thiam testified that there...
(Voice of America 05/03/17)
African military expenditures have finally slowed down after more than a decade of steady increases, according to a new report on global defense spending. The main reason, the report found, is a drop in oil prices. “The sharp decreases in oil prices has affected quite a number of African countries, namely South Sudan and Angola. This has kind of driven almost the entire regional trend,” said Nan Tian, a researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) Arms and Military Expenditure Program, the organization that authored the report. The SIPRI report found military spending in Africa in 2016 was down by 1.3 percent from the previous year and totaled about $37.9 billion. Despite the drop, Africa’s military spending remains...
(Bloomberg 05/02/17)
Saudi Aramco is seeking to boost its fuel-trading volume by more than a third as the world’s biggest crude exporter expands its capacity to refine oil to grab a bigger share of growing markets in Asia and Africa. Aramco, as Saudi Arabian Oil Co. is known, is building refineries in the kingdom and in Asia to help it increase sales and purchases of gasoline, diesel and other products to more than 2 million barrels a day, said Ibrahim Al-Buainain, chief executive officer of Saudi Aramco’s trading unit, Saudi Aramco Products Trading Co. Owning refineries gives the unit, known as Aramco Trading Co., options for buying and selling fuel that some of its competitors don’t have. “The key is that you...
(Voice of America 04/28/17)
A low-cost and widely available drug could save the lives of 1 in 3 mothers who would otherwise bleed to death after childbirth, according to a new study. Severe bleeding, known as postpartum hemorrhage, or PPH, is the leading cause of maternal death worldwide, killing more than 100,000 women every year. Even for mothers who survive, it is a painful and traumatic experience. The world's poorest countries, especially in Africa and India, are the worst hit. Drug from 1960s But there is new hope. In the 1960s, Japanese researchers developed a drug called tranexamic acid, which works by stopping blood clots from breaking down. But they could not persuade doctors to try the drug for treating PPH. The London School...
(AFP (eng) 04/27/17)
At least 10 people were injured after riots gripped a bauxite mining hub in Guinea, Africa's biggest producer, after a truck carrying the ore crushed a motorcycle taxi driver to death. The rioting broke out on Tuesday and went into a second day with barricades being erected, cars and tyres being set alight and several government offices ransacked in Boke, about 300 kilometres north of the capital Conakry. "We have received 10 injured," a Boke hospital employee said Wednesday. Hospital sources said they were injured by stones thrown in clashes with the police, by tear gas or after being beaten by truncheons.
(Xinhuanet 04/27/17)
The West African bloc is seeking to strengthen the role of the private sector in health service delivery in the sub-region as financing sources become increasingly difficult, Dr. Xavier Crespin, Director General of the West African Health Organization (WAHO), disclosed here on Monday. He explained that, for the sub-region to be able to attain its health targets, both public and private sector support would be critical in financing the health delivery needs of the countries. Dr. Crespin emphasized this during the opening of a day’s sub-regional meeting for both public and private sectors organized by WAHO here to develop a strategic framework for Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in the health sector. “We cannot really continue to do ‘Business as Usual’. It...
(Business Day Ghana 04/27/17)
There are currently 960 million mobile subscriptions across Africa – an 80 percent penetration rate among the continent’s population. Internet penetration is at 18 percent with 216 million internet users, according to the latest Jumia mobile trend report for Africa. The 2017 edition of the African Mobile Trends Paper is the third white paper presentation from Jumia delving into mobile trends across Africa and specifically Nigeria. The study takes a look at the how the market has democratised mobile internet use, the consumer behaviours driving increased smartphone adoption and the role of mobile brands, mobile operators and m-commerce in creating a synergy of an enhanced customer experience. This year’s Mobile Africa Study was carried out in 15 African countries which...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/26/17)
Riots have paralyzed a major bauxite mining hub in Guinea, Africa's top producer, as residents erected barricades and burned tires to protest against high pollution levels and power cuts, government and company officials said on Tuesday. The unrest broke out on Monday night in the city of Boke, home to mining companies Societe Miniere de Boke (SMB) and Companie Bauxite de Guinee (CBG) which each export around 15 million tonnes of the aluminum ore annually. "It's a problem with electricity that aggravated the situation. We are working on finding a solution to the problem," said Saadou Nimaga, secretary general at Guinea's Mines Ministry. A police source said anti-riot police had been sent to rein in the protests on Tuesday. Mining...
(Xinhuanet 04/26/17)
The Belt and Road (B&R) Initiative is a golden opportunity to bring about regional integration and sustainable economic growth for Africa, said Berhane Gebre-Christos, special envoy of the Ethiopian Prime Minister, on Tuesday. The special envoy made the remarks at the opening of a seminar organized on the B&R Initiative in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. Welcoming the initiative, the special envoy said he is looking forward to the expected effects of the initiative. "The B&R is a project that will affect millions of people, and it will be one of the most important issues of the 21st century," he said, adding that the comprehensive approach of China means that the aspirations and development strategies of all countries involved will be...
(AFP (eng) 04/24/17)
A new malaria vaccine will be tested on a large scale in Kenya, Ghana and Malawi, the World Health Organization said Monday, with 360,000 children to be vaccinated between 2018 and 2020. The injectable vaccine RTS,S could provide limited protection against a disease that killed 429,000 people worldwide in 2015, with 92 percent of victims in Africa and two-thirds of them children under five. "The prospect of a malaria vaccine is great news. Information gathered in the pilot will help us make decisions on the wider use of this vaccine," said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO's regional director for Africa. The vaccine should be used alongside other preventative measures such as bed nets, insecticides, repellants and anti-malarial drugs, the WHO...
(AFP (eng) 04/23/17)
Piles of rubbish and broken-down cars are being removed from the rundown streets of Conakry, and disgruntled hawkers on the main avenues have been told to close their stalls and move on. "We've been working night and day," says truck driver Mamadouba Soumah, who was requisitioned for the cleanup. On ministerial orders, in Soumah's words, the capital of dirt-poor Guinea has been scrubbed and primped to transform it into "the pearl of the world's lagoons." The reason for the transformation has nothing to do with a visit by a foreign VIP or a major sporting event, but with literature.
(Bloomberg 04/20/17)
WorldRemit Ltd., a British money-transfer operator, sees revenue from transactions involving Africans doubling by 2020 as more people on the continent access mobile-payment platforms and expatriates send cash home. The seven-year-old company, in which Facebook Inc.-backer Accel Partners LP invested $40 million in 2014, will this year open a regional office in South Africa, its largest market on the continent in terms of money-transfer value, founder and Chief Executive Officer Ismail Ahmed said in an interview. Another site will start operating in Kenya, where the London-based business sees Africa’s highest number of individual transactions. “In the next two years we should be doubling our volume every year,” Ahmed said in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. The continent accounted for half the company’s...
(Xinhuanet 04/19/17)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, will convene Wedesday the first UN-AU Annual Conference. The two leaders will look into how to strengthen the partnership between the two organizations to face common challenges and opportunities in the continent, on issues of peace and security, sustainable development and human rights, said Stephane Dujarric, UN spokesman, at a daily briefing. "They will also sign the Joint United Nations-African Union Framework for an Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security," said Dujarric. It will be the first conference Mahamat will address with the United Nation since he was elected as chairperson of the African Union Commission. Although he had brief talks with Guterres in Addis...

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(AFP 08/19/16)
Maps, road signs, sat navs, Google maps -- it all makes travelling so easy. But how do you get around in a city with few street names, where buildings have no numbers? "Cross 'Death Junction' then after about 500 metres on the left, you'll see a curtain seller. Go up the path until you see a black building -- that's where I live," says Judith Koumis, giving directions to her home in Yaounde, the Cameroon capital. "It's easy," she says, forgetting, like everyone else, that "Death Junction" has an official name -- Friendship Junction. In this west African country, like many other places on the continent, getting around town can be something of a puzzle without a firm grasp of...
(The Associated Press 08/06/16)
The World Health Organization and its partners shipped more than 6 million yellow fever vaccines to Angola in February to quash an emerging epidemic, yet when they asked country officials the following month what happened to the vaccines, they discovered that about 1 million doses had mysteriously disappeared. Of the shipments that did make it to Angola, some vaccines were sent to regions with no yellow fever cases, while others arrived at infected areas without syringes. In neighboring Congo, some vaccines weren't always kept cold enough to guarantee they would be effective. This lack of oversight and mismanagement has undermined control of the outbreak in Central Africa, the worst yellow fever epidemic in decades, an Associated Press investigation has found...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/03/16)
Farmers in West Africa still reeling from the impact of Ebola, urgently need help or they could be forced to leave their farms to seek work elsewhere, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) said on Wednesday. During the epidemic, many farmers in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia were unable to grow or sell their crops because of measures to contain the virus, including travel restrictions, border closures and quarantines, as well as fear of infection. Rice, cassava and other crops went unharvested. Food production in Sierra Leone's bread basket and epicenter of the epidemic stalled, and weekly markets ceased trading because there was nothing to sell, according to the World Bank. Although the epidemic has ended officially, experts are...
(Voice of America 07/30/16)
The president of the African Wildlife Foundation has called on African governments to urgently address the issue of poaching, which he said is depriving the continent of its resources. But Zimbabwe says the international ban on the sale of ivory — which was imposed to discourage poaching — is hurting its interests. Winding up a five-day visit to Zimbabwe on Friday, Kaddu Sebunya said poaching is depleting Africa of its vital natural resources in the same way the slave trade once did. He said animal populations are dropping rapidly around the continent. “We have been losing an average of 30,000 elephants annually. Many African countries in the last 20 years have lost all their rhino population. All. Zero left. It...
(Xinhuanet 07/28/16)
Cooperation among China, the United States and Africa can effectively fight maritime piracy in Africa, a UN senior official said here on Wednesday. UN General Secretary special representative Mohamed Ibn Chambas made the remarks on the sidelines of the two-day meeting which kicked off on Wednesday. About thirty diplomats and experts from Africa, China and the United States discussed collective strategies to address maritime security, protect the blue economy in the Gulf of Guinea and promote peace in the Sahel region. The first day of trilateral consultation among Africa, China and the United States has laid the ground for further cooperation on fight against maritime piracy in Africa, he said. "China and U.S., two world powers and members of the...
(Business Day 07/27/16)
The rapid uptake of digital services across the continent requires that the region’s governments urgently release more spectrum for mobile broadband services. This is according to a report by global mobile network operators association GSMA, which was released on Tuesday. The lack of spectrum has hampered the rapid deployment of faster wireless network infrastructure in many parts of Africa, including SA. At the end of 2015, the continent had 557-million unique mobile subscribers, equivalent to 46% of its population. This has made Africa the second-largest, but least penetrated, market in the world. Africa’s three largest national markets — Egypt, Nigeria and SA — together account for around a third of the total subscriber base. However, Africa is barely scratching the...
(Xinhuanet 07/21/16)
The African Development Bank (AfDB) on Wednesday advised African countries to increase funding in water projects in the face of water crisis facing the continent. Mohamed El Azizi, AfDB Director for Water and Sanitation Department, said for Africa to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals there must be political commitment, prioritization of water and sanitation issues, as well as more budget allocation to the water and sanitation sector. El Azizi told a news conference in the east African nation's business capital Dar es Salaam that the AfDB has financed a number of water and sanitation projects in Africa, including Tanzania. He was speaking at the ongoing 6th Africa Water Week which started on July 18 through July 22 whose theme was...
(Voice of America 07/19/16)
Dr. Jill Biden, wife of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, is focusing on women’s rights, immigration and education during a visit to three African countries: Ethiopia, Malawi and Niger. During her first stop in Ethiopia, Biden visited a transit center in the capital for refugees at the International Organization for Migration (IOM). There, she met with officials at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and learned more about the refugee screening process for those seeking resettlement in the U.S. One of the refugees accepted for resettlement is Sembetu Buratu, an Eritrean mother of a four-year-old girl, who left her home country to help her family. “I didn’t work, so my brothers used to assist me; when they left the...
(Voice of America 07/15/16)
The number of new malaria cases in Africa fell 42 percent from 2000 to 2015, according to the World Health Organization. The drop was due in large part to insecticide-treated mosquito nets, indoor spraying and better access to effective treatments. But this progress could be derailed by a new wave of drug-resistant malaria that's currently affecting Asia. Abdoulaye Djimde, head of the molecular epidemiology and drug resistance unit at the Malaria Research and Training Center in Bamako, Mali, said that "we should be concerned. ... Given the frequent interconnection between Asia and Africa — you have direct flights from almost everywhere to several parts of Africa — there is the risk for importing these resistant parasites. [It] is higher today.”...
(AFP (eng) 07/09/16)
Congolese student Arnold Mutumbo Muama refuses to be cowed by a spate of racist violence towards Africans in India's capital New Delhi, defiant after a friend was beaten up by security guards at his apartment block. "The guard called him a 'monster' in Hindi before taking him to the basement and beating him," recalled Muama, 29, who chairs a Congolese welfare association. Racism against Africans in India was thrown into the spotlight following the brutal stoning to death in May of Congolese national Masunda Kitada Oliver in a dispute over an auto-rickshaw. Following the attack, African ambassadors in New Delhi threatened to recommend to their governments that they don't send students to the capital "as their security is not guaranteed"...
(Voice of America 07/08/16)
At a nondescript building in Lagos’ Yaba neighborhood, Startup Andela hires aspiring software developers for a four-year program that teaches them the skills they need to work for IBM, Microsoft and other tech firms. The company won a huge vote of confidence last month, when it received a $24 million infusion of capital, most of it from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a charity fund run by Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife. Andela is the Initiative’s first investment since being created by Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, after the birth of their child last year. "We live in a world where talent is evenly distributed, but opportunity is not. Andela's mission is to close that gap," Zuckerberg said...
(Voice of America 07/01/16)
The U.S. State Department released its annual Trafficking in Persons report Thursday and again, Africa continues to be a major source and destination for human trafficking of all kinds — from forced labor to sexual slavery. Again this year, not one African nation made the report’s top tier — which is dominated by developed Western nations like the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia. The State Department says the ratings are based more on the extent of government action to combat trafficking than the size of the country’s problem. A significant number of African countries remain at the lowest possible ranking. Migrant crisis Susan Coppedge, a senior advisor to the U.S. secretary of state, said the migrant crisis that...
(Voice of America 06/29/16)
The United Nations says a record number of people caught in conflict and natural disasters are in need of humanitarian assistance. At the same time the world body warns the funding response to these crises falls far short of what is needed. The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has just released its 2016 mid-year Global Humanitarian Overview, which says the situation is very worrisome. OCHA reports the number of people worldwide in need of humanitarian assistance has soared to a record-breaking 130 million, nearly 44 million more than when the United Nations launched its annual multi-billion-dollar appeal in December. At the same time, it says funding requirements have increased by $2 billion to $21.6 billion, a sum...
(Voice of America 06/27/16)
U.S. first lady Michelle Obama is scheduled leave Sunday for Africa and Europe to advocate for girls' education. The six-day trip – to Liberia and Morocco, with a final stop in Spain – will highlight Let Girls Learn, one of Obama's core initiatives. The first lady will be joined in her travels by daughters Sasha and Malia, and the girls’ grandmother, Marian Robinson. Let Girls Learn is a global initiative launched by the president and first lady in 2015. The program addresses obstacles – such as forced marriage, poverty and violence – that keep more than 62 million girls globally out of school. “We believe very strongly that education and the empowerment of young people is going to be critical...
(Xinhuanet 06/25/16)
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is keen to further strengthen its relation with China for partnership on humanitarian operation in Africa, said an ICRC official. Jacques Pellet, Special Envoy of the ICRC President on China Affairs, told Xinhua in an interview in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa Friday that ICRC wants to engage China more on its activities related to humanitarian assistance in Africa, where ICRC spends one-third of its budget. The Special Envoy said his visit to Ethiopia aimed to learn the humanitarian activities in Africa through African Union (AU), and also to discuss ways of strengthening cooperation with China on ICRC humanitarian operation on the continent. "We have already a good relation (with China), but we...
(BBC News Africa 06/22/16)
Last year, more people fled to Europe from Eritrea than any other African nation. The government in Asmara has recently been accused of crimes against humanity, but when Mary Harper was given rare access to the country she was surprised by what she found. I push back the thick, deep red velvet curtains and find myself in complete darkness. Drops of rain come through the ceiling, and hit the floor - hard. Someone turns on a switch. A dim, flickering bulb does its best to light up the place - I am inside a huge cinema. Slowly, I make out elegant shapes on the walls - leaping antelopes, pineapples and dancing maidens. On the floor, in front of the screen,...
(The Associated Press 06/21/16)
Experts in Malawi will move 500 elephants 185 miles across the country to a sanctuary that will act as a ‘reservoir’. Wildlife experts in Malawi will next month start moving up to 500 elephants to a sanctuary that they hope could eventually serve as a reservoir to restore some elephant populations in other parts of Africa where the threatened species has been heavily poached. The massive relocation, slated for completion next year, will involve darting the elephants from a helicopter, hoisting the slumbering animals by crane and loading them in crates on to trucks for a ride of about 185 miles (300km) to Malawi’s Nkhotakota wildlife reserve. The relocation by African Parks, a non-profit group based in Johannesburg, comes amid...
(AFP (eng) 06/20/16)
A "Miss and Mister Albino" contest, heavy sentences for ritual murder and concrete graves to ward off tomb raiders were all discussed at a UN summit on albinism concluding in Tanzania on Monday. During the four-day meeting people with albinism and advocates for their rights discussed ways to safeguard and improve the lives of those who suffer discrimination, health problems and even murder as a result of the condition that leaves their skin without pigment. It is a particular problem in Africa in general and in Tanzania in particular, which is why the East African nation was chosen to host the summit. "Of all the regions in the world, Africa is the most hostile for people with albinism," said Ikponwosa...
(AFP (eng) 06/18/16)
Seventeen people were injured, including five with bullet wounds, during clashes Friday in northern Guinea between security forces and people demonstrating over the beating of a truck driver by soldiers, police and hospital sources and witnesses said. "At least 17 people were injured" during the violence in the northern city of Mali, a police officer told AFP. Of those injured, five were shot, including two hit in the "shoulders, two others in the thigh and a fifth in the buttocks", a hospital source told AFP. The violence erupted when the motorcade of Lieutenant Colonel Issa Camara, commander of the Labe military region which includes Mali, was "blocked by a truck", one resident told AFP. To "avenge the insult", the soldiers...
(Voice of America 06/18/16)
One hundred and fifty South African schoolgirls have started in a project to design and build Africa’s first private satellite. The satellite will be launched into space later this year as part of a program sponsored by The Meta Economic Development Organization (MEDO) to motivate more teenage girls in African countries to study and work in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics field, widely known by the acronym STEM. The girls kicked off the project Thursday and are tasked with designing the payload for the satellite. They have been trained by satellite engineers on how to build rovers or mini-robots. MEDO's space program manager, Carla De Klerk, said that after that the young women decided to study agriculture and food security...

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(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)...
(Financial Times 03/19/16)
Since the Arab uprising of 2011 many governments in north Africa have made efforts to attract foreign investment, through political reform and development of infrastructure. But investors seem unconvinced. Data from fDi Markets, a Financial Times service that monitors cross-border greenfield investment, show a persistent gap between FDI targeting north Africa and the rest of the continent. Recently released data for 2015 show that, in terms of project numbers, the gap widened to 421 projects, from 404 in 2014.
(The New Times 03/15/16)
In pursuit of socio-economic transformation, African countries have often tried to either follow into the Western or Asian development footprints, often too, oblivious to the fact that their systems may not be compatible back home. During the first day of the inaugural African Transformation Forum (ATF) in Kigali, yesterday, several economists said Africa does not need to follow anyone’s development model but rather chart its own path to unlock rapid and sustained growth. The two-day meeting is co-hosted by African Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET), one of Africa’s leading think-tanks, and the Government of Rwanda.
(New Vision 03/09/16)
A projected slower economic growth in China during the year 2016 will not affect planned projects financed by China in Africa, the country's foreign minister, Wang Yi said on Tuesday. A government performance report presented by the country's premier, Li Keqiang last week shows that China's economy is expected to grow at a rate of 6.5% to 7% this year, slightly slower than the 6.9% growth recorded in 2015. The announcement had raised fears that some of China's large financial commitments made by President Xi Jinping to support Africa would reviewed in light of China's economic situation. "China's relations with Africa date back 60 years. Whatever we have we have promised, we always fulfill," Yi said at a press conference...

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(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...
(BBC News Africa 11/13/15)
The $1.9bn (£1.2bn) European fund to tackle African migration is not sufficient, several African leaders have said after crisis talks with their European counterparts. It was one of several measures European and African leaders agreed to reduce the flow of people into Europe. The leaders said their aim was to "address the root causes of migration". The Europe-Africa meeting was planned after around 800 migrants died when their boat sank off Libya in April. Senegal's President Macky Sall, who currently heads the West African regional group Ecowas, told journalists on the sidelines of the summit that the money pledged was "not enough for the whole of Africa". Later, at the closing press conference, he said he was pleased with the...
(Dw-World 11/12/15)
Political leaders at an EU-Africa summit in Malta remain divided over conditions for curbing a mass influx of migrants. Merkel said that a relationship with Africa includes aid but also 'clear demands and expectations.' European and African leaders on Wednesday met in the Maltese capital Valletta to hash out a deal that would provide African countries with aid and improved access to the EU in exchange for assistance in curbing migration flows to Europe.

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