Monday 29 May 2017
(Agence Ecofin 03/14/17)
The Land Policy Initiative (LPI), a joint programme of the tripartite consortium consisting of the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has launched a pilot project to track progress in implementing in the AU Declaration on land issues in Africa. This was revealed by the ECA in a press statement dated March 7. In collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the project will assess progress made in implementing the key decisions and commitments of the AU Declaration on Land adopted in July 2009 by the General Assembly of the pan-African institution. “We are to a large extent in unchartered waters given many of our Member...
(AFP (eng) 03/13/17)
A Guinean soldier wanted over the massacre of more than 150 people in a Conakry stadium has been extradited, ending years on the run in neighbouring Senegal and paving the way for his trial. Aboubakar Sidiki Diakite, also known as Toumba Diakite, was an aide de camp to Guinean coup leader Dadis Camara when 157 people were killed in September 2009 at an opposition rally. Witnesses reported presidential guards firing on the crowd, beating and arresting opposition leaders, and raping dozens of women in the stadium. Two months later, Diakite shot Camara after a dispute over responsibility for the massacre, then fled.
(Reuters (Eng) 03/13/17)
The United Arab Emirates, one of the Middle East's largest economies, wants to expand trade ties with faster growing nations in Asia and Africa, a senior official said on Sunday. Rich Gulf Arab states are looking at ways to diversify their economies, including who they trade with, after more than two years of depressed oil prices forced a rethink of government spending. The pace of economic growth in Asian and sub-Saharan African economies has made them ideal partners, Abdullah al-Saleh, undersecretary for foreign trade and industry at the UAE ministry of the economy, told Reuters in an interview in Dubai. Asia's two largest economies China and India are expected to grow by 6.5 percent and 7.2 percent this year whilst...
(AFP (eng) 03/10/17)
In the beginning was .com, followed by a host of other .somethings, but on Friday, 32 years after the world's first domain name was registered, the African Union has launched .africa for the continent. Africans who want to register a website will be able to apply for a .africa domain name in the coming months, which outgoing AU commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said would allow the continent's people and businesses to better reach the world. "With .africa, I would say Africa has finally got its digital identity," said Dlamini-Zuma, who will next week hand power to Chadian Foreign Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat after four years at the helm of the continental body Sub-Saharan Africa has one of the lowest rates...
(Xinhuanet 03/09/17)
Health authorities in West Africa have set up a regional Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Abuja, Nigeria to deal with pandemics such as Ebola, a senior official of Ghana said on Wednesday. The establishment of the CDC is to ensure that "we are more prepared, in terms of early detection, epidemic surveillance, training of our staff and upgrading their capacity and research, so we can combat diseases of the nature of Ebola," Dr. Xavier Crespin, Director-General of the West Africa Health Organization told President Akufo-Addo during a meeting at the Flagstaff House in Accra. He said Ghana is serving as the platform for training of staff as the University of Ghana has been chosen for its Field Epidemiology and...
(Xinhuanet 03/09/17)
A critical mass of trained and well equipped community health workforce is key to easing the rising burden of infectious and noncommunicable diseases in Africa, experts said on Wednesday at a continental forum taking place in Nairobi. The experts, policymakers and campaigners who attended Africa Health Agenda International Conference agreed that optimal engagement of community health workers is key to revolutionize response to diseases ravaging the continent. Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Health Cleopa Mailu in his opening remarks said that investments in training for community health workers will have multiplier impact on Africa's socioeconomic development. "We require highly skilled and motivated cadre of community health workforce to deal with a high diseases burden in disadvantaged settings in this continent. These...
(AFP (eng) 03/08/17)
Lawyers and human rights campaigners launched an initiative for African whistleblowers in Senegal on Tuesday, aimed at providing a secure means of exposing wrongdoing on the continent. African nations such as Somalia, South Sudan, Libya and Guinea-Bissau regularly appear at the very bottom of rankings such as Transparency International's Corruption Index, while none make it into the top 30. The Platform for the Protection of Whistleblowers in Africa (PPLAAF) will provide guidance from legal experts, secure submission of information and a hotline for potential informants, according to its founders. The initiative is the brainchild of Spanish superstar lawyer Baltasar Garzon -- who has defended Julian Assange of whistleblowing website WikiLeaks -- along with French lawyer William Bourdon, who worked on...
(The Independent 03/06/17)
Th term was coined by sceptical officials, worried about the importance given to Commonwealth trade deals ahead of Brexit negotiations. Plans by government ministers to boost trade links with African Commonwealth countries are being internally branded “empire 2.0” by sceptical officials who are worried about the importance being placed on such deals ahead of the UK’s negotiations of leaving the European Union (EU). International Trade Secretary Liam Fox is expected to promise to build better links with the whole of the 52 member countries of the Commonwealth when ministers from each country meet in London later this week. But as the UK is prepares itself to leave the European Union, The Times reports that British ministers are planning to talk...
(Bloomberg 03/03/17)
Rio Tinto Group will withhold some bonus payments to its former chief executive officer as regulators in three countries investigate payments to a consultant on an iron ore project in Guinea. Sam Walsh, who retired in July, has agreed to defer payment of outstanding short- and long-term incentives for a minimum of two years, the company said Thursday in its annual report. The payments are contingent on there being no information related to the Simandou project that would justify canceling, deferring or reducing the awards, Rio said. “The board has determined that it would be inappropriate, while investigations are ongoing, to make any determination about Sam Walsh, our former chief executive
(Vision Guinée 03/03/17)
Le porte-parole de l’opposition déplore la polémique que continue de susciter le point 2 de l’accord du 12 octobre malgré l’adoption du nouveau code électoral. Aboubacar Sylla estime que le débat devrait être clos dès lors que les représentants du peuple se sont prononcés à l’assemblée nationale. ‘’Normalement, ce débat devrait être clos à partir du moment où les représentants du peuple se sont prononcés sur la question en toute légalité. Il faut préciser que ce nouveau code électoral a plus de légitimité que le code électoral auquel certaines personnes tiennent becs et ongles’’, s’efforce de convaincre l’ancien ministre de la communication. Il ajoute que les contestataires du point 2 de l’accord du 12 octobre sont minoritaires par rapportent à...
(Bloomberg 03/03/17)
Polar Star Management Ltd., which runs one of the best-performing African and Middle East hedge fund over the past five years, plans to start a private-equity unit that will invest in agriculture to exploit rising demand for food. The Cape Town-based firm plans to use its own money to buy small farms and processing companies in South Africa this year, then increase efficiency through consolidation and better management, said Murray Derksen, a director at Polar Star. It aims to raise 1.5 billion rand ($115 million) for the fund, which may also buy commodities such as grains, while targeting an internal rate of return of 8 percent to 12 percent, he said. “We looked at the increase in corn demand globally,...
(AFP (eng) 03/02/17)
A film raging against colonialism and the exploitation of Africa wowed viewers at the continent's top cinema festival Wednesday, winning shouts of approval at a screening packed to bursting point. "The African Storm" tells the story of an African president who nationalises businesses run by racist, cynical Western executives. Directed and produced by its Beninese star Sylvestre Amoussou, it tackles several hot-button issues including an exit from the CFA franc currency, closer ties with Russia and China as opposed to the West, criticism of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, and pride in being African. One of 20 feature-length movies on show at the Panafrican Film and Television Festival (Fespaco) in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou, the movie was punctuated...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/28/17)
Guinea's President Alpha Conde fired three ministers, according to a decree read on state television on Monday, following violent protests over a teachers' strike last week in which seven people were killed and dozens more were injured. Ibrahima Kourouma, the minister of pre-university education, and Civil Service Minister Sekou Kourouma were removed along with Environment Minister Christine Sagno, the decree said. Though the decree gave no reason for the dismissals, a senior government official, who asked not to be named, said the sackings of Ibrahima Kourouma and Sekou Kourouma were directly linked to the strike.
(AFP (eng) 02/28/17)
The Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership -- the world's biggest individual prize -- drew a blank once again in finding a suitable laureate, it was announced Tuesday. The prize only goes to a democratically-elected African leader who demonstrated exceptional leadership, served their mandated term and left office within the last three years. The award comes with $5 million (4.7 million euros) paid over 10 years and $200,000 annually for life from then on. The prize, founded by Sudan-born telecoms tycoon Mo Ibrahim, has only been given four times in its 10-year existence. The philanthropist has said in the past that making no award sent just as strong a message on African leadership. "A very high bar was deliberately...
(BBC News Africa 02/27/17)
Hosts Zambia got off to a flying start in the Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations when they beat Guinea 1-0 in front of a packed home crowd at the Heroes Stadium in Lusaka. Austria based Patson Daka put on a match-winning performance as he picked up a split pass before slotting the ball in the net in the 48th minute. Daka, who stars for FC Liefering, had been tormenting the Guinea backline for the better part of the first half but had to wait until the second half to get his reward. The hosts started on a fast-paced note that saw Zambia register the first threat as early as the second minute when Mohammed Camara appeared to trip Daka although...
(AFP (eng) 02/27/17)
An African road movie about four women wowed its audience Sunday as it kicked off the Panafrican cinema and television festival (Fespaco), a showcase for the continent's burgeoning film industry. "Borders" ("Frontieres") directed by Apolline Traore, a Fespaco laureate in 2013, sweeps across Africa as its protagonists journey through Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Benin on their way to Nigeria. Along the way the women -- Ivorian, Senegalese, Burkinabe and Nigerian actresses -- are spared nothing as they are beset by customs officers, thieves, murderers and rapists. The film -- the first feature-length film to show at the festival -- deals with "the bravery of women," Traore told AFP at the festival in the Burkinabe capital Ouagadougou. "There is a...
(AFP (eng) 02/23/17)
For the first time in Africa, researchers said Wednesday they have detected a malaria parasite that is partially resistant to the top anti-malaria drug, artemisinin, raising concern about efforts to fight a disease that sickens hundreds of millions of people each year. The discovery means that Africa now joins southeast Asia in hosting such drug-resistant forms of the mosquito-borne disease. Malaria infected more than 200 million people and killed some 438,000 people worldwide in 2015, most of them children in Africa. "The spread of artemisinin resistance in Africa would be a major setback in the fight against malaria, as ACT (artemisinin-based combination therapy) is the only effective and widely used antimalarial treatment at the moment," said lead author Arnab Pain,...
(AFP (eng) 02/22/17)
Schools began to reopen across Guinea on Wednesday after a three-week strike and violent protests that left seven people dead in the capital this week, an AFP journalist and school staff said. The violence in Conakry on Monday and Tuesday capped weeks of protests mainly by young people and students that prompted the government to close schools on February 1. The protests were in support of a strike by temporary teachers demanding full-time government contracts. On Wednesday, students began trickling back into classrooms in the capital and in other cities...
(AL Jazeera 02/22/17)
At least five people killed and 30 wounded in Conakry demonstrations sparked by a teachers' strike, the government says. At least five people have been killed in Guinea's capital, Conakry, in protests sparked by a teachers' strike, according to the government, reviving labour tensions in a country where previous strikes have led to dozens of deaths. Guinea's main teachers' unions launched the strike on February 1 to protest at the government's decision to dismiss or cut the salaries of many junior teachers after the latest civil service exams. Many of their pupils have taken to the streets in recent days to support them. Beginning early on Monday morning, unidentified assailants attacked a police station and demonstrators clashed with security forces...
(Xinhuanet 02/22/17)
Africa Energy Indaba, the continent's premier energy event, kicked off in Johannesburg on Monday with the aim of finding solutions to the continent's energy future. The three-day conference is being attended by the governments' representatives, business and funders. The meeting seeks to unleash the continent's potential by coming up with an energy mix to develop Africa. Dr. Garth Strachan, Deputy Director General and Head of Gas Industrialization Unit in South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry said the recent discoveries of gas in Mozambique, Angola and Tanzania provides a huge opportunity for the continent. He said there is a need for the countries to work together to tap benefits from the gas for the good of the continent. Strachan said...

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