Sunday 20 August 2017
(AFP (eng) 09/19/13)
NADOR, September 19, 2013 (AFP) - In a forest overlooking the Spanish enclave of Melilla, Diamani nurses fresh wounds from his latest desperate bid, along with hundreds of other African migrants, to scale the heavily guarded border fence. He describes being attacked by Moroccan security forces, who he says fired rubber bullets and hurled rocks. "I managed to get past them, but then cut my leg as I was climbing over the fence," adds the 27-year-old from Gao in northern Mali, showing a bloody gash on his bandaged left leg. Sheltering in the Gourougou forest in northern Morocco, hundreds of fortune seekers like him get ready for the night, the lights of Melilla tantalisingly visible below, less than two kilometres...
(The Wall Street Journal 09/18/13)
When residents sang and danced in this town's dusty streets in August to celebrate the self-declared birth of their new nation, Zambia's police pounced. On Tuesday, 59 people arrested in the sweep appeared at a court in Mongu, located on the marshy banks of the Zambezi River, charged with treason. Many were picked up in the past few weeks for their alleged involvement in a ceremony to select a new regional administrator who would organize elections for a newly independent government. It was the latest sign of separatism taking hold in Africa—both peacefully and violently. Some of the jailed activists now call themselves citizens of Barotseland, a kingdom that before Zambia's independence in 1964 was a British protectorate. When the...
( 09/18/13)
(IRIN) - This year, the two most powerful men on the globe, presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping, both embarked on Africa tours, pledging to increase aid and investment and work with the continent to improve development. While this was Barack Obama's first extended tour of Africa since taking office (he made a one-day stop in 2009 in Ghana), Chinese leaders have been visiting the continent regularly for decades, quietly working on joint development, trade, foreign direct investment and assistance projects. "China is the largest developing country in the world, and Africa is the continent with the largest number of developing countries," Jiang Zemin, then-president of China, said in his opening remarks at the first Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC)...
(The Guardian 09/17/13)
Safe and Inclusive Cities initiative will compare existing approaches as part of drive to tackle urban conflict. Urban violence in 40 cities in sub-Saharan Africa, south Asia, and Latin America will be investigated as part of an ambitious Canadian-British funded research project. The initiative will seek to understand the complex causes of urban violence and find practical solutions. The $11m (£6.7m) Safe and Inclusive Cities initiative, funded by Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and Britain's Department for International Development (DfID), will provide 15 research teams with grants of up to $500,000 each. "Top experts from around the world will analyse the effectiveness of violence prevention strategies and identify successful concrete examples," said John de Boer, a programme leader at...
(AFP (eng) 09/16/13)
CONAKRY, September 16, 2013 (AFP) - Pro-government and opposition supporters clashed on the streets of Guinea's capital on Monday, medical and police sources said, sparking fears over unrest in the west African nation a week ahead of nationwide elections. Guinea's largest market was forced to close and traders fled to safety as rioters pelted cars with stones and looted stores in Conakry's busy Madina district, an AFP reporter on the scene witnessed. "It all kicked off with the posting of election campaign banners by the activists of a political party which their opponents tore up and even tore down the hoardings," a senior police officer told AFP. "They were attacked with sticks and then stones that wounded many on both...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/16/13)
JERUSALEM | Mon Sep 16, 2013 (Reuters) - Israel's supreme court on Monday struck down a year-old law that meant African migrants could be held in detention for up three years without charge. The law, that came into force in June last year, was meant to deter illegal immigration but was condemned by human rights campaigners as a harsh and illegal way of treating people, especially those fleeing persecution and seeking asylum. A right-wing lawmaker said the court's ruling risked damaging the character of Israel - a state built on Jewish immigration - by opening the door to more Africans. Chief Justice Asher Grunis said the law contradicted Israel's legal guarantees of basic democratic freedoms, and "therefore, it ought to...
(Financial Times 09/15/13)
Future unrest is likely in sub-Saharan Africa if jobs cannot be created for the continent’s growing numbers of young people, the EU’s development chief has warned. Andris Piebalgs, European Commissioner for Development, said Africa contained the world’s greatest social problems. “The magnitude of the problem is immense and the challenges facing sub-Saharan African countries are huge,” he said in an interview with the Financial Times, adding that the region’s population is growing rapidly and half were under 25 years old. Mr Piebalgs, who spoke last week at an international youth job creation summit in London, said sub-Saharan Africa’s relatively low youth unemployment rate of 3 per cent, compared with the 50 per cent in some European countries, disguised the scale...
(The Globe and Mail 09/14/13)
When one of South Africa’s biggest newspaper chains was sold last month, an odd name was buried in the list of new owners: China International Television Corp. A major stake in a South African newspaper group might seem an unusual acquisition for Chinese state television, but it was no mystery to anyone who has watched the rapid expansion of China’s media empire across Africa. From newspapers and magazines to satellite television and radio stations, China is investing heavily in African media. It’s part of a long-term campaign to bolster Beijing’s “soft power” – not just through diplomacy, but also through foreign aid, business links, scholarships, training programs, academic institutes and the media. Its investments have allowed China to promote its...
(National Post 09/14/13)
Africa’s population will more than double to 2.4 billion within 40 years, thanks in large part to better health care, according to a major study. Sub-Saharan Africa’s population is rising faster than the rest of the world because modern medicine and health care on the continent means more babies are surviving birth complications, and fewer adults are dying from preventable diseases. But the number of children being conceived is not dropping, or is doing so very slowly. “This means that population growth rates would naturally rise if birth rates stay as they are,” said Carl Haub, the co-author of the report by the U.S.-based Population Reference Bureau. African mothers currently give birth to an average of 5.2 children, rising to...
(Voice of America 09/13/13)
DAKAR, SENEGAL — Opposition leaders in the West African nation of Guinea say they continue to have concerns about the voter list expected to be used in legislative elections scheduled for later this month. A spokesman for a coalition of opposition parties said leaders were considering street protests. Parliamentary elections in Guinea have been postponed repeatedly since initially being scheduled for December 2011. Much of the disagreement has centered on the composition and conduct of the electoral commission. The elections are now scheduled for September 24. They are seen as the final step in Guinea’s transition from military dictatorship to civilian rule. Former opposition leader Alpha Conde of the Malinke ethnic group won a close presidential election in 2010. The...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/13/13)
LONDON | (Reuters) - Swiss police searched the Geneva residence of Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz last month as part of an investigation into mining rights in Guinea, a spokesman for BSG Resources, the mining arm of his conglomerate, said on Thursday. The spokesman said Steinmetz was cooperating with Swiss authorities, who were acting on a request from the government of Guinea. The West African country has accused BSG Resources (BSGR) of paying bribes to obtain its concessions under a previous government. It is reviewing the company's right to mine half of Simandou, one of the world's largest untapped iron ore deposits. BSGR denies it paid bribes for its concession, and has criticised the government for trying to renege on its...
(Voice of America 09/13/13)
GENEVA — A new report says the number of global deaths among children under age five is almost half what it was 22 years ago. A joint report by the United Nations Children’s Fund, the World Health Organization,and World Bank finds about 6.6 million children died before reaching their fifth birthday in 2012 compared to 12 million children who died in 1990. The report calls the progress being made in cutting child deaths remarkable. However, it says this is still not good enough. It says most child deaths are preventable, and that by applying a number of simple, affordable measures, more children’s lives can be saved. Elizabeth Mason, director of the World Health Organization's department of maternal, newborn, child and...
(Voice of America 09/13/13)
NAIROBI, KENYA — In Africa, demand for the cassava plant has grown significantly over the years. The continent produces 60 percent of the crop in the world. But the crop is drastically declining in East and Central Africa due to diseases that reduce production. More than 160 million people in east, central and southern Africa depend on cassava as a stable food and a source of income. Production of the crop has significantly dropped due to the cassava mosaic and cassava brown streak diseases. According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization [FAO], the brown streak disease is worse since it affects the root of the crop. These two diseases are creating havoc in Africa’s agricultural lands.Improvements necessary. The acting...
(Dw-World 09/12/13)
If German Chancellor Angela Merkel were standing for election in Africa in September, she would have a good chance of winning. But it's not all praise for Merkel and the German government. If it were up to the Mozambicans who were once contract workers in the former East Germany or "GDR", Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) would win the upcoming elections. Germany goes to the polls on September 22, 2013. The Mozambican returnees, known as "Madgermanes", are convinced Merkel strengthened the German economy and successfully steered her country through the turmoil of the financial crisis. "Germany has remained Europe's largest economy under the Merkel government, even the global financial crisis did not affect it that badly,"...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/12/13)
JOHANNESBURG, Sept 12 | (Reuters) - Africa's robust economic growth over the past decade has raised hopes the world's poorest continent can reduce reliance on aid. The problem with this scenario is its failure to consider the role aid may be playing in the "Africa Rising" narrative. Looking for a link between aid and growth, an unmistakable pattern emerges from the numbers. World Bank data shows foreign donor aid to Africa from the OECD group of wealthy countries was just under $13 billion in 2000 and soared to $41 billion in 2006, and then slipped, before rebounding and hitting over $46 billion in 2011. Net official development assistance per capita was just $19.50 in 2000 and almost tripled to a...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/12/13)
LONDON | Thu Sep 12, 2013 (Reuters) - BlackRock's exchange-traded funds (ETFs) business iShares has appointed a new fixed income chief in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) as it steps up efforts to meet growing demand for index-tracking bond investments in the region. iShares has appointed Brett Olson, former managing director of Nomura's asset backed securities sales team in EMEA, to lead its burgeoning fixed income product development, sales and capital markets teams. Olson will report to Tom Fekete, who recently joined iShares as head of product development for EMEA and David Heike, Global Head of Fixed Income iShares. "Fixed income ETFs have gathered strong assets over the last three years, but we're now seeing a revolution in demand...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/12/13)
LONDON | Thu Sep 12, 2013 (Reuters) - Gas supplies to Europe will become less reliable as much of its new demand in the coming decade will have to be met with gas from politically unstable countries in Africa. Europe's gas demand is expected to rise by around 20 percent to 580 billion cubic meters (bcm) per year in the next 10 years as economic growth returns and governments plan to switch from coal to gas for power generation. During the same time, supplies to Europe from the North Sea are expected to fall by at least 20 percent as reserves dwindle, while established suppliers such as Russia and Norway will not be able to increase exports by much and...
(Voice of America 09/12/13)
The World Bank has released new reports outlining the health challenges facing six major regions. Those challenges include not only many types of disease, but road accidents as well. The bank says the reports will help policymakers develop evidence-based health programs after the Millennium Development Goals expire. The World Bank has released the reports in conjunction with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. Timothy Evans is the bank’s director of Health, Nutrition and Population. “What we see when we look beyond the global picture is that there’s a lot of regional specificity to trends in the burden of disease. And so the regional focus just allows us more detail and attention to what’s happening in different regions of the...
(Business News (Ng) 09/11/13)
Africa’s vibrant mobile phone market is forecast to increase four fold in size from a value of $60 billion in 2013 to $234 billion by 2020, according to experts at Manifest Mind LLC, a U.S. based research firm. The continent’s mobile phone market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 21.27 per cent between 2013 and 2020, to reach the set target. Africa’s telecoms sector growth has surged in the last 10 years as the continent has overtaken Europe and Latin America to become the second biggest market in the world for handsets after Asia, according to global mobile phone body, the GSMA. Figures from the GSMA also indicate that from 2007 to 2012 mobile connections in Africa...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/10/13)
CONAKRY, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Guinea's opposition parties threatened to call street protests and boycott legislative elections later this month if the country's elections commission fails to publish voter lists within 72 hours, an opposition spokesman said. The voting will be the last step in a transition to civilian rule after the military seized power following the death of long-time leader Lansana Conte in 2008, and are seen as critical to reassuring investors in the mineral-rich West African state. The Guinean government and the opposition reached a U.N.-brokered deal in July to hold the long-delayed elections on Sept. 24 after at least 50 people died in a spate of unrest. A spokesman for the opposition late on Monday accused the...

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