Friday 23 February 2018
(AFP (eng) 11/30/17)
A summit gathering European and African leaders from more than 80 countries drew to a close Thursday with plans for the immediate evacuation of some 3,800 African migrants stranded in Libya. Wrapping up the summit in the Ivorian capital, a top African Union official said there could be as many as 700,000 Africans trapped in Libya, where many have suffered attrocities and even been sold into slavery. The two-day summit of the African Union (AU) and European Union (EU) was showcased as a project to boost development in Africa as it faces a population crunch.
(Reuters (Eng) 11/30/17)
DAKAR/LIBORE, Niger (Reuters) - Mabingue Ngom, the head of the U.N. Population Fund in West Africa, knows that if he wants to cut birth rates he can’t ignore religion. Population experts like Ngom are worried that if West Africa’s population continues to grow at its current pace - the region has the highest birth rate in the world - it will drive fiercer competition for scarce water and farmland, and fuel malnutrition, conflict and ever more economic refugees. West African governments, U.N. agencies and charities also want to cut maternal mortality rates, which are higher in West Africa than anywhere else in the world, according to U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) figures. But imams who follow the puritanical Wahhabist form of...
(AFP (eng) 11/30/17)
Twenty-five asylum seekers from Africa arrived safely in Rome Thursday, using a Christian "humanitarian corridor" set up for Syrians fleeing the war in their homeland. "It was just a project but it became THE project, the way of the future," said Mario Morcone of the Italian interior ministry. The 25 men, women and children from Somalia, Eritrea and South Sudan arrived in Rome before dawn on a flight from Ethiopia. They will be moved to centres across the country. "We want to ensure that people do not risk their lives in the desert and at sea," Morcone said. "This is an important turning point in the politics of our country. You are witness to this turning point and we will...
(AFP (eng) 11/29/17)
More than 80 African and European leaders will gather in the Ivory Coast on Wednesday to promote jobs and stability for Africa's exploding population, with some calling for a new "Marshall Plan." The two-day summit in Abidjan opens as the European Union increasingly sees its fate linked to Africa's following the twin shocks of unprecedented migration and terrorist attacks. It comes as China, India, Japan, the Gulf Arab states and others also compete for influence on a continent where the 28-nation EU remains as a whole the biggest economic and political player. European Parliament President Antonio Tajani told parliamentarians from both continents before the summit...
(AFP (eng) 11/28/17)
More than 40 radio stations in Guinea suspended programming for 24 hours in protest at the shutdown of a regional broadcaster for attempting to interview the leader of a teachers' strike. The silent act of solidarity began at 12 pm (1200 GMT) on Tuesday following three hours of broadcasts earlier in the day devoted to the topic of press freedom. The URTELGUI media union told members it expected "strict respect" of the blackout in a statement late Monday, while presenting excuses to the Guinean people for any "inconvenience". Radio is the primary source of news in the West African nation, where the majority of the population is illiterate. The protest relates to the temporary shutdown of the BTA FM radio...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/28/17)
CONAKRY (Reuters) - A two-day skirmish between Guinean and Malian villagers over control of a gold mine that straddles the countries’ joint border killed at least 17 people, a government official in Guinea said on Tuesday. Villagers in both countries lay claim to the zone’s rich underground deposits, which have lured thousands of people to work in unregulated small-scale mines along the border. Artisanal gold mining, conducted with rudimentary tools, is a key source of income in both Mali and Guinea, but poses numerous safety risks, including frequent mine collapses. “There are five dead on the Guinean side and 12 dead on the Malian side,” said Cheick Mohamed Diallo, prefect of the town of Mandiana in eastern Guinea. A witness...
(AFP (eng) 11/28/17)
Hard cash but also the intangible ties of history have kept Europe in pole position as Africa's main partner, even if an influx of Chinese investment is prompting many African countries to look eastward. Successive years of hefty spending, particularly in infrastructure, have propelled China into the continent's top slot when calculated in terms of individual investor nations. But a quite different picture emerges when this is seen through a broader prism -- the ties between Africa and Europe as a 28-nation bloc. "Europe is in front, given the shared history," said Pierre Dagbo Gode, professor of political science at the Felix Houphouet Boigny University of Abidjan. "Europe is the premier trade partner, the top investor, the top donor," a...
(AFP (eng) 11/28/17)
A furore over migrant slave markets in Libya casts a shadow over an AU-EU summit this week that aims to promote Africa's long-term economic growth and stability, spurred by European fears of terrorism and mass migration. The two-day African Union and European Union summit opening Wednesday in the Ivory Coast economic capital Abidjan is focused mainly on the need to create jobs for Africa's rapidly growing population. The summit marks what Europe sees as a potential turning point for broader and deeper ties with a continent it once colonised widely -- while China, Japan, India and Gulf Arab states also compete for influence. However, outrage over the slave trade in Libya looms over the talks in Abidjan, with the scandal...
(AFP (eng) 11/27/17)
Guinea suspended broadcasting by a radio station on Monday after it attempted to interview the leader of a teachers' strike which has drawn thousands of pupils onto the streets in support. Several teachers have been arrested and two teenage protesters killed since the walkout was called on November 13 over salary increases, with President Alpha Conde taking a hard line this weekend on media he described as aiding an "illegal" movement. Alpha Fady Diallo, director of BTA FM in Guinea's second city, Labe, said that broadcasting was interrupted on Monday morning just as an interview began with key union official Aboubacar Soumah. "We were just about to talk to him live," Diallo told AFP. Journalist Oumar Fogo Balde was then...
(Agence Ecofin 11/27/17)
The French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA) has auditioned, between November 15 and 18, in Niger, migrants evacuated from Libya. The process aimed at initiating the procedure to grant asylum to all those that need one after suffering human rights abuses, rape, torture, arbitrary detention in Libya… The audition in Niamey follows another that was conducted in Chad, last October. In Niger, a total of 72 migrants were auditioned. Among those, 47 were selected, in addition to 25 migrants from Sudan and Eritrea also evacuated from Libya (all following the release of the video report showing migrants being sold as slaves in the country). According to Pascal Brice, OFPRA’s director, the first migrants will be...
(AFP (eng) 11/24/17)
Forty people are facing prosecution after police raids in west and central Africa rescued nearly 500 victims of human trafficking, Interpol said on Thursday. Raids were carried out in Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal as part of a German foreign ministry funded initiative targeting organised crime in the region. Of the nearly 500 people rescued, 236 were children, Interpol said in an emailed statement. The operation happened between November 6 and 10, it added later. Those arrested are accused of forcing their victims into begging and prostitution and face charges including human trafficking, forced labour and child exploitation.
(RFI 11/23/17)
France on Wednesday called an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council over slave-trading in Libya as President Emmanuel Macron blasted the auctioning of Africans as a crime against humanity. "France decided this morning to ask for an urgent meeting of the United Nations Security Council to discuss this issue," Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told parliament. "We are doing it as a permanent member of the Security Council. We have this capability and we are using it." Macron said the auctions, captured in shocking footage aired by US network CNN, were "scandalous" and "unacceptable". "It is a crime against humanity," he said after meeting with African Union chief Alpha Condé in Paris. "I hope we can go much further...
(AfricaNews 11/21/17)
The African Union has called for an investigation on the Libyan authorities regarding the ‘slave markets’ of African migrants in the conflict torn nation. The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Professor Alpha Conde, strongly condemned the despicable acts which are at odds with the ideals of the Founding Fathers of the Organization and relevant African and international instruments, including the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. He calls for an immediate end to these practices and other criminal acts of human trafficking. He calls for a swift action to be taken and identify all perpetrators and accomplices, with the view of bringing the criminals to justice. This comes following the release of shocking images showing the sale of...
(AFP (eng) 11/20/17)
Thousands of schoolchildren in Guinea descended onto the streets of the west African country on Monday to support a walkout by their teachers against the government. Students are angry with the administration of President Alpha Conde over the arrest on Saturday of three teachers who called a strike on November 13, and over education standards more generally. The young protesters cried "Alpha Zero" in reference to the Guinean leader and "We want our teachers, no to sabotage and to politicising school!" while erecting barricades and overturning trash cans in the capital. Four people were injured in live fire by security forces on Monday in Dabompa, to the east of Conakry, after eight people were killed in similar clashes after teachers...
(AFP (eng) 11/20/17)
srael's cabinet voted on Sunday to close a migrant detention centre, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced an agreement to deport 40,000 Africans who entered the country illegally. Ministers unanimously approved plans to shutter the Holot centre in southern Israel and gave migrants a three-month deadline to leave the country or face deportation, said the interior and public security ministries. "The infiltrators will have the option to be imprisoned or leave the country," the public security ministry said in a statement. Israeli official figures from June 30 show a total of 38,043 African migrants in the country. They include 27,494 Eritreans and 7,869 Sudanese, and their presence in south Tel Aviv has raised discontent among Israelis there and elsewhere. Speaking...
(AFP (eng) 11/18/17)
he African Union on Friday called for Libyan authorities to investigate "slave markets" of black Africans operating in the conflict-torn nation, following the release of shocking images showing the sale of young men. The demand follows the release of CNN footage of a live auction in Libya where black youths are presented to north African buyers as potential farmhands and sold off for as little as $400. Guinean President Alpha Conde, who is also Chairman of the African Union, demanded an enquiry and prosecutions relating to what he termed a "despicable trade... from another era". Meanwhile Senegal's government. commenting on Facebook, expressed "outrage at the sale of Sub-Saharan African migrants on Libyan soil,"...
(AFP (eng) 11/17/17)
Guinea on Thursday won pledges in aid worth $20 billion to fund a five-year development plan at a meeting in Paris with banks, private players and governments. The mineral-rich West African nation is slowly emerging from the Ebola crisis and low commodity price shocks that adversely affected its economy in 2014 and 2015. "I would like to thank investors and donors who revealed their confidence in us today," Guinean President Alpha Conde said at the start of the two-day meeting in the French capital. "We want to show that there is a new Guinea," he said. The country's GDP growth stood at 6.6 percent last year and is projected at 6.7 percent this year, Makhtar Diop, the vice president of...
(Xinhuanet 11/17/17)
Sino-African relations have entered a new development stage of win-win cooperation, according to the fifth Biennial Conference of China-Africa Industrial Forum (CAIF) that opened here Thursday. Supporting Africa's industrialization and capacity cooperation are of vital importance in the next five years and Sino-African trade is likely to total 180 billion U.S. dollars in 2017, said CAIF secretary general Cheng Zhigang in the opening speech. Sino-African economic and trade cooperation has great potential, said Cheng. China has been Africa's largest trading partner since 2009. Chinese investments in Africa exceeded 100 billion dollars in 2016, about 50 times as much as in 2010. China's investments in Africa have also diversified in business areas, from construction and mining to emerging industries such as...
(AFP (eng) 11/17/17)
Africa is making only faltering progress towards food and nutrition security, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned. "Multiple forms of malnutrition coexist, with countries experiencing simultaneously high rates of child undernutrition or anaemia as well as high rates of obesity," it says in a new report, Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition. In sub-Saharan Africa, "progress towards the World Health Assembly global nutrition targets has been generally poor," the Rome-based agency says, referring to goals to end hunger by 2025. The annual document came out Thursday at the start of a two-day food and health seminar in Ivory Coast's economic capital, Abidjan. Around 200 people from 47 African nations are gathered to discuss "sustainable food systems...
(AFP (eng) 11/15/17)
The head of the African Union on Wednesday said the crisis in Zimbabwe "seems like a coup" and called on the military to halt their actions and restore constitutional order. Alpha Conde, who is also Guinea's president, said the AU condemned the actions of top brass in the southern African nation as "clearly soldiers trying to take power by force". "The African Union expresses its serious concern regarding the situation unfolding in Zimbabwe," a statement sent to AFP said, expressing support for the country's "legal institutions". The African body further demanded "constitutional order to be restored immediately and calls on all stakeholders to show responsibility and restraint," it added. The Zimbabwean military took control of the country on Wednesday after...

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