| Africatime
Monday 25 May 2015
(Voice of America 05/23/15)
GENEVA— The World Health Organization’s regional director for Africa is urging West Africa nations to prepare now for the likelihood of a future outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus. Dr. Matshidiso Moeti said Friday the current epidemic should serve as a wake-up call to spur regional officials into action. Saying she is pleased to see progress being made in bringing West Africa's Ebola epidemic to an end, she notes that it may be several months before the virus is completely gone from the region. “The Ebola virus is in the environment, [so] another outbreak could happen," she said. "We are hoping to take the initiative of global concern, and the interest of partners to provide...
(Voice of America 05/23/15)
While the West Africa Ebola epidemic is believed to be winding-down, the search for new treatments and vaccines is not. One study is a U.S./Serbian effort to find an effective anti-Ebola drug. Last September, there were some dire warnings that West Africa Ebola cases could eventually number between 500,000 and one and a half million. Fortunately, that did not happen. But the biggest Ebola outbreak ever did infect about 27,000 people and killed more than 11,000. And after more than a year, it’s still not over. While Liberia has been declared Ebola-free, Sierra Leone and Guinea have not. So health and government officials say better ways to prevent or contain another outbreak are very much needed. A number of vaccine...
(Voice of America 05/23/15)
 
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The African Growth and Opportunity Act — a trade provision that allows thousands of products from African countries to enter the U.S. tax-free — is due to expire in September. While the U.S. Senate has recently passed legislation to extend the Act for another 10 years, it still has to go through the House of Representatives. Meanwhile, many say the program has only benefited a few sub-Saharan African countries and needs some revisions. When President Obama visited Africa two years...
(Ipp media 05/23/15)
Harare — Nompumelelo Tshabalala, 41, emerges from her dwarf 'shack' made up of rusty metal sheets and falls short of bumping into this reporter as she bends down to avoid knocking her head against the top part of her makeshift door frame. "This has been my home for the past 16 years and I have lived here with my husband until his death in 2008 and now with my four children still in this two-roomed shack," she told IPS. Tshabalala...
(Xinhuanet 05/22/15)
JOHANNESBURG, May (Xinhua) -- Africa is loosing over 50 billion U.S. dollars each year through illicit financial outflows, the bulk of which are made by multinational companies, former South African President Thabo Mbeki said on Thursday. In his address to the 6th session of the Pan African Parliament (PAP) in Midrand, Johannesburg, Mbeki said multinational companies were illegally moving billion of dollars out of Africa, depriving the continent of the much needed cash. "It is estimated that over the last...
(BBC News Africa 05/21/15)
A plan to restrict West African presidents to two terms in office has been dropped for the time-being by heads of state. They discussed the proposal to impose limits at a regional summit. Togo and The Gambia, both with presidents who have been in power for more than two terms, opposed the idea, diplomats say. The third-term issue has caused a lot of controversy in several African states in recent years. Burkina Faso's President Blaise Compaore was forced out of office last year after trying to change the constitution so he could run for a third term.
(Xinhuanet 05/21/15)
SHANGHAI, May 21 (Xinhua) -- Chinese scientists have succeeded in isolating and cloning heat-tolerant genes from African rice strains, which could help develop rice varieties that can withstand climate change brought by global warming. Lin Hongxuan, an academician with the Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said on Thursday that high heat, normally temperatures above 35 degrees Celsius, reduces rice production. Heat stress can strain rice proteins and cause the plant to wither.
(Reuters (Eng) 05/21/15)
Chinese fishing boats have been illegally fishing off West Africa, Greenpeace said on Wednesday, adding that Chinese companies expanded operations in Africa from 13 vessels in 1985 to 462 vessels in 2013, but the government said they are within the law. One fifth of China's distant water fishing fleet now operated in Africa, Greenpeace said in a report, and was dominated by bottom trawlers, "one of the most destructive fishing gears in the modern fishing industry." Over a 10-year period,...
(AFP 05/20/15)
Guinea's opposition leader said on Wednesday he was "disappointed" by talks with President Alpha Conde aimed at ending a political deadlock which has led to deadly nationwide protests. Cellou Dalein Diallo had been summoned to the presidential palace in Conakry after weeks of clashes between anti-government activists and security forces on the streets of the west African nation's largest towns and cities. "I was the only one who did any talking. I was disappointed that we didn't have a proper...
(Voice of America 05/20/15)
GENEVA— Health ministers and officials at the World Health Organization's decision-making body are urging continued vigilance until the Ebola epidemic is completely stopped in West Africa. The World Health Assembly has called on the international community to maintain its commitment to defeating the deadly virus, which has killed more than 11,000 people in the region. At a WHA conference here, Magaret Chan, WHO’s director-general, kicked off a panel discussion on Ebola with a cheery note – a reminder that Liberia...
(Xinhuanet 05/20/15)
ACCRA, May 19 (Xinhua) -- Senegalese President Macky Sall is elected here late Tuesday as new chairman of sub-regional bloc Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). He is expected to chair the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS for a one-year term. The election took place at the 47th Ordinary Summit of the Authority of the Heads of State and Government of the sub-regional bloc which saw 13 sub-regional heads attending. Sall replaces Ghana's President John Dramani Mahama who stepped down at the end of his one-year tenure which ended in March after his election in Yamoussoukro in La Cote d'Ivoire in March 2014. "
(Bloomberg 05/20/15)
Duncan Howes, a foreign exchange trader at Barclays Africa Group Ltd., has been suspended, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The bank process regarding Howes’ suspension isn’t yet completed, the person said Wednesday, asking not to be identified because the matter is confidential. The person declined to say when Howes was suspended or give a reason for the action. Howes, who is based in Johannesburg, said he has sought legal advice and couldn’t comment further when contacted by mobile phone on Wednesday.
(Ipp media 05/20/15)
Speakers from across Africa and around the world will meet on the 20th and 21st May in Dar es Salaam for the 2015 Africa Prosperity Summit, hosted by the Legatum Institute. The Institute is an international think tank whose mission is to spread prosperity around the world through revitalising capitalism and promoting stable democracies. The two‐day Summit at the Hyatt Regency Hotel will be a unique opportunity for those directly involved in driving Africa’s prosperity to share their success stories,...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/19/15)
Guinea’s opposition leader pledged to continue the protests in which at least four people have been killed unless President Alpha Conde allows prompt local elections. Cellou Dalien Diallo said Conde had broken a 2013 U.N.-brokered deal with the opposition to organise long-overdue municipal polls before a presidential vote set for October. The opposition accuses Conde of packing local authorities with his supporters after the five-year mandate of elected officials expired in 2010. Diallo said those officials are campaigning on Conde's behalf, making fair elections impossible. Before talks with Diallo on Wednesday, the president has ruled out holding local
(Bloomberg 05/19/15)
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa appears close to its end. Earlier this month, Liberia was declared Ebola-free, and the World Health Organization reported only seven cases in Guinea and two in Sierra Leone in the first week of May. What's received less notice is that the older and more persistent infectious scourges of Guinea worm and polio are also both disappearing—and may soon follow smallpox (eradicated 35 years ago) into the burn bag of history. Other infections, including measles...
(Voice of America 05/19/15)
Leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) meet Tuesday in Ghana’s capital, Accra, where they will be hosted by President John Dramani Mahama. Foreign Minister Hannah Tetteh told VOA the meeting will consider an array of issues affecting the sub-region, including the threat posed by Boko Haram and the crisis in Mali. The meeting also comes at a time when the Ebola epidemic appears to be on the decline in West Africa. Tetteh said ECOWAS is optimistic the sub-region will soon be able to celebrate a break in transmission of the deadly virus in Guinea and Sierra Leone.
(Daily Maverick 05/19/15)
On 9 May, the World Health Organisation (WHO) made a remarkable announcement. After 14 months and 4 573 deaths, Liberia was formally declared to be free from Ebola. The announcement came after Liberia successfully – albeit nervously – waited 42 days without any new cases. What’s the lesson here? By SIMON ALLISON for the ISS. “Interruption of transmission is a monumental achievement for a country that reported the highest number of deaths in the largest, longest and most complex outbreak...
(Daily Maverick 05/19/15)
This week, delegates from across the world are meeting at the University of Johannesburg to discuss financial transparency and human rights. It sounds boring, but tackling illicit financial flows from Sub-Saharan Africa is gaining attention. If nothing is done the majority of people will likely remain poor while a tiny percentage benefits, and benefits big. Stories on the illicit financial outflows from Africa often focus on the numbers, simply because they are astounding. A Global Financial Integrity report conservatively estimates...
(AFP 05/18/15)
The World Health Organization will dramatically reform its emergency response operations this year, its chief said Monday, after the UN agency faced blistering criticism for its slow Ebola response. WHO Director General Margaret Chan told the agency's decision-making body in Geneva that she had decided to make some "fundamental changes" to help the organisation respond more quickly and efficiently in times of crisis. "I do not ever again want to see this organisation faced with a situation it is not...
(Bloomberg 05/18/15)
Chancellor Angela Merkel urged a faster global response to health crises such as West Africa’s Ebola outbreak, saying the push is on her agenda as Germany presides over the Group of Seven nations. Three weeks before hosting her G-7 peers in Germany next month, Merkel told a World Health Organization meeting Monday that the agency’s unwieldy structures hampered its response. “The Ebola catastrophe in West Africa has been a painful reminder to all of us how urgently we have to...

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