Tuesday 12 December 2017
(AL Jazeera 09/23/13)
Guinea's long-delayed nationwide elections, which were due to be held on Tuesday, have been postponed to September 28 after negotiations between the government and the opposition, a UN mediator has said. Said Djinnit, charged with ending a political deadlock in a country that is prone to violent street protests, said on Sunday that all parties had agreed to the delay to let the electoral commission fine-tune its plans. "We are convinced that with this agreement, nothing can hinder the holding of parliamentary elections under free, transparent, and inclusive conditions on Saturday, September 28, 2013 in Guinea and abroad," Djinnit said. "On behalf of the international community, I am pleased to announce to all Guineans that all stakeholders in the electoral...
(CNN 09/23/13)
(CNN) -- Africa is in the middle of an amazing demographic shift. Our continent is the only one where the size of the younger generation is rising significantly. Our population is already 16 years younger than in China, and this is only the beginning. Within less than three generations, four out of ten of the world's youth will live on our continent. This demographic dividend -- and the energy and enthusiasm it brings -- offers us a unique advantage which other continents facing the prospect of a rapidly aging population and dwindling workforce can only envy. In a world changing with breakneck speed, it is young people who are best equipped to identify and deliver fresh solutions to our problems...
(Voice of America 09/21/13)
WASHINGTON, DC — Can the United States take a trade law that’s helping to increase African exports, and make it better? That’s what African and American politicians, economists and policy makers are discussing as they consider the future of the African Growth and Opportunity Act, or AGOA. The legislation, which expires in two years, drops duties and tariffs on thousands of products from the continent. Supporters say it’s generated hundreds of billions of dollars in trade and investment opportunities. Most African development specialists and policy makers would like to see AGOA extended, at least for another ten years. Some would like to add other low income countries outside Africa or include a wider range of products. A new study by...
(BBC News Africa 09/20/13)
The African Union has called a special summit to discuss a mass withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC) in protest at the trial of Kenya's Deputy President William Ruto. A letter sent to the ICC signed by African leaders says Mr Ruto's presence in The Hague will disadvantage Kenya. The AU has previously accused the ICC of "hunting" African leaders and ignoring atrocities elsewhere. The ICC says it is standing up for victims of crimes wherever they are. The extraordinary summit will be held in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on 13 October. Days before the start of Mr Ruto's trial this month, Kenya's parliament voted to leave the ICC. This decision will not affect the trial of Mr...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/20/13)
DAKAR | Fri Sep 20, 2013 (Reuters) - The United States and its allies are clamping down on suspected Hezbollah activity in West Africa, which Washington says is a major source of cash for the Lebanese group as its patron Iran feels the pinch of sanctions. The push coincides with Hezbollah's deepening role in Syria, where it has dispatched thousands of fighters to back President Bashar al-Assad. It also comes in the wake of attacks outside Lebanon linked to Hezbollah that Western experts say are part of global campaign that could soon include Africa. Critics, however, argue that Washington and its allies may be exaggerating the threat and failing to distinguish between different forms of support for various elements of...
(CNN 09/20/13)
London (CNN) -- The girls strutting down the runway in The Savoy Hotel share many features - all are long-limbed, fine-boned and have glowing complexions. A silent army marching to the heavy music, past the front row A-listers peering out from behind their dark glasses. But one girl is different: the only one with black skin in a battalion of white faces. Nadja is one of the few black models lucky enough to make this year's cut for London Fashion Week. The lack of racial diversity in the fashion industry is a serious issue that needs to be tackled, according to supermodels Naomi Campbell and Iman, who this month launched a campaign to raise awareness of racism in the industry...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/19/13)
CONAKRY | Thu Sep 19, 2013 (Reuters) - Guinea's main opposition leader on Thursday threatened to call supporters onto the streets if authorities push ahead with a parliamentary election due on Tuesday without fully addressing complaints over preparations. Cellou Dalein Diallo, leader of the largest opposition party and arch rival of President Alpha Conde, said it would be impossible to fix problems linked to voter lists and polling stations on time so a delay of a few weeks was needed. The poll, meant to cap Guinea's transition back to civilian rule, has been repeatedly delayed since Conde was elected three years ago, sowing doubts amongst Guineans, investors and donors over political progress in the world's top bauxite exporter. Dozens of...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/19/13)
Sept 19 | Thu Sep 19, 2013 (Reuters) - Papua New Guinea's government has taken 100 percent ownership of the controversial Ok Tedi gold and copper mine after a lingering dispute with a development fund with controlled the majority stake on behalf of people in the area. PNG's parliament this week pushed through laws for the government to take full ownership of the giant mine, and also to remove a 12-year old immunity deal for the mine's former owner, BHP Billiton Ltd, for environmental damage in the country's Western Province. "The government in 2001 made a very bad decision in granting immunity to a corporate giant, preventing its own people from exercising their right under law to sue for permanent...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/19/13)
ADDIS ABABA | Thu Sep 19, 2013 (Reuters) - African leaders will meet in the Ethiopian capital on October 13 to take a common stance on whether to join Kenya's planned pull-out from the International Criminal Court (ICC) over the prosecution of its leaders, officials said on Thursday. So far there does not seem to be much support for it, but heads of state from the 54-member African Union (AU) may still discuss the possibility of a pullout by the 34 African signatories to the Rome Statute that created the tribunal. Last week's start of the trial of Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto for crimes against humanity - with President Uhuru Kenyatta's trial due in November - has fuelled a...
(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...

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