Monday 23 October 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 09/22/17)
From deadly droughts and destroyed crops to shrinking water sources, communities across sub-Saharan Africa are struggling to withstand the onslaught of global record-breaking temperatures. But the dangers do not end there. Rising heat poses another threat - one that is far less known and studied but could spark disease epidemics across the continent, scientists say. Mosquitoes are the menace, and the risk goes beyond malaria. The Aedes aegypti mosquito, which spreads debilitating and potentially deadly viruses, from Zika and dengue to chikungunya, thrives in warmer climates than its malaria-carrying cousin, known as Anopheles, say researchers at Stanford University. In sub-Saharan Africa, this means malaria rates could rise in cooler areas as they heat up, but fall in hotter places that...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/21/17)
Makers of generic AIDS drugs will start churning out millions of pills for Africa containing a state-of-the-art medicine widely used in rich countries, after securing a multi-million dollar guarantee that caps prices at just $75 per patient a year. Global health experts hope the deal will help address two looming problems in the HIV epidemic - the rising threat of resistance developing to standard AIDS drugs, and the need for more investment in manufacturing capacity. Bill Gates’ charitable foundation will guarantee minimum sales volumes of the new combination pills using dolutegravir, a so-called integrase inhibitor that avoids the drug resistance that often develops with older treatments. In return the drugmakers, India-based Mylan Laboratories and Aurobindo Pharma, will agree the maximum...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/19/17)
CONAKRY (Reuters) - Guinean bauxite miner CBG’s operations were halted again on Tuesday by protesters who blocked roads and train tracks in the town of Kamsar out of frustration at electricity cuts, a company official and a state agency source said. Deadly riots froze mining operations in the town of Boke and surrounding region including Kamsar last week, the latest in a series of protests to grip the West African country this year. CBG’s operations resumed Monday afternoon but protesters again erected barricades overnight, stopping a train that runs between its mine and factory and preventing employees...
(Bloomberg 09/19/17)
Kadi Bah saw people starving in the Sahara desert and drowning in the Mediterranean during her failed six-month odyssey to reach Europe. But as soon as the United Nations plane bringing her back home from Libya to Ivory Coast touched down, she was hatching plans to try again. “I’ll be so proud of myself if I can make it to Europe; I’ll tell everybody I managed to leave,” the 23-year-old hairdresser said. “That’s why I keep trying.” At first glance, Bah’s determination to emigrate is puzzling. She has a four-year-old daughter. She had a job. Ivory Coast is a regional economic powerhouse, with an average annual growth of 9 percent. Ivorians don’t fit the profile of migrants fleeing war and...
(AFP (eng) 09/18/17)
Guinea's government said Sunday that it was sending electric generators to the mining town of Boke to help ease tensions after deadly clashes sparked by protests against water and power cuts. The town's prefect has also been dismissed as officials try to restore order to the town, where shops and markets have been looted and vehicles destroyed during protests which have also seen armed youths set up barricades to take de facto control. Boureima Conde, minister for territorial administration and decentralisation, said in a statement on state TV that the town's prefect, Mohamed Lamine Doumbouya, was fired by President Alpha Conde on Saturday. The president has also instructed Prime Minister Mamady Youla "to take measures designed to shine a light...
(APA 09/18/17)
APA - Conakry (Guinea) - Electricity supply has resumed in some districts of Boke, a mining town in Guinea, where two days of clashes between the police and demonstrators left two people dead and 78 others wounded. There was serious material damage. According to hospital sources, among the 78 injured are seven police officers and 14 gendarmes, and ten young protesters who were shot. However, government officials put the number of dead at two, 40 wounded and many buildings, vehicles and equipment shattered. The headquarters of the local gendarmerie and the premises of the ruling party were vandalized while a private hotel was also attacked and looted. During the first crisis last April over the same grievance, in which three...
(The Guardian 09/18/17)
Anna Jones says that, through selling its cocoa cheaply, Africa is exporting its wealth overseas; while Sue Banford claims that the soya moratorium in the Amazon has done nothing to halt deforestation. Only the final paragraph in your article on cocoa farming causing deforestation in Ivory Coast (Forests pay price for world’s taste for cocoa, 14 September) mentioned the most fundamental thing – the farmer’s livelihood, or lack of it. The low value of his (or more likely her) crop is undoubtedly the cause of this problem. But cocoa farming could also provide the solution. Recently, I was in Ivory Coast for the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Abidjan. It united many different parties – governments, the UN’s Food...
(AFP (eng) 09/16/17)
Armed youths in Guinea destroyed the offices of the ruling party and occupied parts of the restive mining town of Boke on Friday, witnesses told AFP, following the deaths of two protesters this week. The youths controlled entire sections of the northeastern city by early evening after erecting barricades, with local officials and soldiers alike sheltering in military barracks, the witnesses and a local official said. "The demonstrators are massing downtown where everything has shut, nothing is operating normally," trader Almamy Conte told AFP by phone.
(Reuters (Eng) 09/15/17)
CONAKRY (Reuters) - Unrest over wages and electricity cuts kept the Guinean bauxite mining hub of Boke partially blocked on Friday after a night of gunfire in which witnesses said youths set up roadblocks and burnt tyres. A 17-year-old boy was shot and killed on Thursday, his grandfather said. The West African state’s Security forces shot dead another man when they intervened to break up riots on Wednesday. A hospital official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said over 50 people had been injured, including some police. “What is happening in Boke is unfortunate,” government spokesman...
(APA 09/15/17)
APA-Conakry (Guinea) - The Guinean minister of Agriculture, Jacqueline Marthe Sultan, was dismissed by decree published late Thursday, while she was conducting an evaluation tour in the region of Labe, the capital of Middle Guinea. “Jacqueline Sultan who was named minister in January 2014, following the parliamentary elections of September 2013, is appointed to another position,” the decree stated without further specifying the nature of her new function. It merely specified that the Agriculture ministry is now attached to the presidency of the republic. Consequently, the senior minister and permanent secretary at the Presidency, Kiridi Bangoura, is the new overseer.
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
Societe Generale SA, challenged on its home turf by Orange SA’s push into banking, is fighting back with a new mobile lender in Africa. The French lender started YUP, a new app for smartphones, in Senegal and Ivory Coast and plans to begin operating in four other sub-Saharan countries this year and next, the company said on Thursday. The bank aims to double its client base to 2 million in the region within three years. “Telcos have opened the way and they’ve gotten ahead,” Alexandre Maymat, who oversees Societe Generale’s operations in French-speaking Africa, said at a press briefing. “We’re catching up” by redefining the retail strategy and providing a broader offering than telephone companies. Chief Executive Officer Frederic Oudea...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/14/17)
At least one person was killed and several wounded when Guinean security forces opened fire to break up a riot in the bauxite mining hub of Boke, witnesses said on Wednesday. Boke has suffered waves of rioting rooted in a perceived failure of mining to raise living standards, despite 15 million tonnes of aluminium ore being extracted annually by the West African nation’s largest mining companies Societe Miniere de Boke (SMB) and Companie Bauxite de Guinee (CBG). Rioters on Wednesday pillaged a gendarmerie post and set fire to a security forces vehicle, before Guinean forces opened fire to push them back. They also blocked streets to prevent mine workers from going to work, although SMB said its basic operations were...
(APA 09/14/17)
APA-Conakry (Guinea) - The US State Department has decided to stop issuing visas to Guinean officials as of Wednesday 13 September 2017, due to Conakry’s refusal to take back its nationals residing illegally in the United States. According to the US Embassy in Guinea, this decision concerns visas of the B, F, J and M category issued to Guinean officials and members of their immediate families. Shortly after the decision was announced, the Guinean authorities, through the new Foreign Affairs Minister, Mamadi Conde, expressed their “surprise,” adding that todate there is no outstanding issue between the US and the Guinean side. However, Guinea is not the only country targeted by this measure. Countries such as Cambodia and Eritrea are also...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/14/17)
LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Your afternoon chocolate bar may be fuelling climate change, destroying protected forests and threatening elephants, chimpanzees and hippos in West Africa, research suggests. Well-known brands, such as Mars and Nestle, are buying through global traders cocoa that is grown illegally in dwindling national parks and reserves in Ivory Coast and Ghana, environmental group Mighty Earth said. “Every consumer of chocolate is a part of either the problem or the solution,” Etelle Higonnet, campaign director at Mighty Earth, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “You can choose to buy ethical chocolate. Or you’re voting with your dollar for deforestation.” Nestle did not immediately respond to requests for comment while Mars said in an email: “We take a...
(The Associated Press 09/13/17)
The United States will stop issuing certain visas to Eritrean nationals and Guinean officials as of Wednesday, the embassies in those countries announced Tuesday. The new restrictions are aimed at four Asian and African nations that have refused to take back citizens who've been deported. Under federal law, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson can stop all or specific types of visas from being issued to such nations. The U.S. Embassy in Eritrea said in a statement that it will stop issuing business and tourism visas to Eritrean nationals, with "limited exceptions." Eritrean officials were not immediately available for comment. The East African nation is a major source of migrants who say they are fleeing a system...
(AfricaNews 09/13/17)
The United States has officially issued new visa restrictions on two African countries – Eritrea and Guinea. The respective embassies in Asmara and Conakry confirmed the order. They added that the directive took effect on Wednesday September 13. The move is believed to be as part of a threat issued by the U.S. State Department last month in respect of ‘recalcitrant nations,’ a term that describes countries that had refused to take back nationals scheduled for deportation from the U.S. Eritrea, Guinea and Sierra Leone – were the African countries penned for the visa sanctions. It is not known why Sierra Leone has been left out of the current directive. The only non-African country on the list was Cambodia. The...
(Xinhuanet 09/13/17)
In an effort to promote economic development and solve complex conservation challenges facing world heritage sites, the African World Heritage Fund Patron and former President of Namibia Hifikepunye Pohamba will host a business leader's breakfast event in Namibian Capital, Windhoek on Thursday. The African World Heritage Fund is an initiative of the African Member States of the African Union and UNESCO, launched in 2006. Webber Ndoro, executive director of the African World Heritage Fund, at a media briefing on Tuesday in Windhoek said that the aim of the event is to promote a holistic private sector engagement, raise a sense of ownership and accountability for heritage protection as well as transmission of World Heritage sites in Namibia and Africa. "To...
(AFP (eng) 09/12/17)
Local elections in Guinea, expected since 2005, will not take place before the end of the year, an opposition party spokesman said Monday, a month after demonstrations calling for polls. Opposition spokesman Aboubacar Sylla said the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) had announced the delay at a meeting called to resolve the issue. The CENI's timetable "provides for a 120-day deadline from a date to be determined (...) which brings us to 2018," he added. Local elections should have been held in February under an agreement reached in October 2016 between the government, opposition
(APA 09/12/17)
The Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) in Guinea needs 120 days to organize the local government elections in the country, which is supposed to end the transition process in place since in 2010, APA learned from an official source on Tuesday. According to Etienne Soropogui, the director of Operations of the electoral body, the period cannot be reduced and the 120 days is necessary to registers voters, while another period of 30 days is required for the distribution of voter cards. However, the CENI has complained of a lack of financial resources, and revealed that there is a shortage estimated at more than 200 billion Guinean francs (CFAF20 billion). Scheduled to take place since more than ten years ago, the...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/12/17)
Olympic boxing’s governing body, AIBA, has banned African confederation head Kelani Bayor for three years for allegedly provoking the crowd at the continental championships in Brazzaville last June. Bayor is an AIBA vice-president and executive committee member as well as chairman of Togo’s national Olympic committee. “The Disciplinary Commission found that a hostile and threatening reaction to AIBA officials by spectators after the result of a bout on the last day of the competition was exacerbated by comments from Mr Bayor,” AIBA said in a statement on Monday. It found Bayor had “committed serious and unacceptable violations of the AIBA Disciplinary Code” at the tournament in Congo Republic. AIBA said the ban was from all boxing activities and responsibilities and...

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