Thursday 19 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 09/29/17)
Government shutdowns of the internet have cost sub-Saharan Africa about $237 million since 2015, according to a study released Friday, as authorities increasingly implement planned disruptions. At least 12 countries have had internet shutdowns, often before elections or when protests erupt, with mobile internet networks most recently suspended in Togo during opposition demonstrations. "Internet disruptions, however short-lived, undermine economic growth, disrupt the delivery of critical services, erode business confidence, and raise a country’s risk profile," the CIPESA report said. The Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) released its...
(Human Rights Watch 09/28/17)
(Conakry) – Guinea should move ahead to deliver justice, truth, and reparation for the grave crimes committed on September 28, 2009, at a Conakry stadium, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the Association of Victims, Parents and Friends of the September 28 Massacre said today in advance of the massacre’s eighth anniversary. On that day, security forces massacred more than 150 peaceful protesters, and more than 100 women were raped. Hundreds of injuries and widespread looting were also documented. An investigation into the crimes by a panel of Guinean investigating judges, opened in February 2010, has yet to be completed – eight years after the crimes were committed.
(Bloomberg 09/27/17)
Studio 189, a label founded by actress Rosario Dawson and fashion executive Abrima Erwiah, is reinvesting in its African roots. It’s hard enough to build a fashion brand, let alone an empire. Rare is the person who makes a mission of using fashion to build communities. Such is the case with Studio 189, a label founded by longtime friends Abrima Erwiah (formerly a marketing executive at Bottega Veneta) and Rosario Dawson (an enduring star most recently seen in Netflix’s Marvel franchise). “The idea is to produce everything in local markets,” says Erwiah. “Particularly in Africa, particularly in Ghana.” The founders set up the company in partnership with the United Nations’ Ethical Fashion Initiative, which also works with such socially conscious...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/26/17)
Bauxite mining companies have resumed normal operations in Guinea’s Boke region as local authorities try to negotiate a definitive end to unrest that has disrupted production for more than a week, sources familiar with the matter said on Monday. Riots have gripped Boke and surrounding towns several times this year as angry youths have pillaged police posts and blocked trains and railroads to protest against electricity cuts and a lack of jobs and services. Mining companies have had to stop and start operations repeatedly over the past week. Despite decades of mineral extraction, Guinea, Africa’s top bauxite producer, remains one of the world’s least developed countries, a major gripe of young Guineans who want to see tangible benefits from mining...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/26/17)
Israel’s Elbit Systems Ltd said on Tuesday it won a contract worth $240 million to provide a wide array of defense electronic systems to an unnamed country in Africa. The contract, which will be carried out over a two-year period, is comprised of Directed Infra-red Counter Measure (DIRCM) systems to protect aircraft from shoulder fired missiles, based on passive infrared systems, and includes missile warning systems, radio and communication systems, land systems, mini-unmanned air systems and helicopters upgrade.
(AFP (eng) 09/25/17)
Guinea will hold its first local elections since 2005 on February 4 next year, the country's electoral commission said on Monday, tentatively ending years of delays denounced by the opposition. "We have suggested the elections be held on February 4, 2018... the president will make a decree validating our proposal," said Salifou Kebe, the president of the electoral commission known by the French acronym CENI. Local elections should have been held in February under an agreement reached in October 2016 between the government, opposition, civil society and international partners in Guinea. But since then, despite opposition demonstrations demanding President Alpha Conde respect the agreement, the election timetable has repeatedly slipped. Opposition parties were angered when Conde was returned to power...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/25/17)
CONAKRY (Reuters) - Bauxite mining companies have resumed normal operations in Guinea’s Boke region as local authorities try to negotiate a definitive end to unrest that has disrupted production for more than a week, sources familiar with the matter said on Monday. Riots have gripped Boke and surrounding towns several times this year as angry youths have pillaged police posts and blocked trains and railroads to protest against electricity cuts and a lack of jobs and services. Mining companies have had to stop and start operations repeatedly over the past week. Despite decades of mineral extraction, Guinea, Africa’s top bauxite producer, remains one of the world’s least developed countries, a major gripe of young Guineans who want to see tangible...
(Voice of America 09/25/17)
African first ladies and activists hailed progress that some governments on the continent are making on gender equality. They met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “We used to have 23 percent female representation in parliament but, with the stroke of a pen it went up to 48 percent. So, we managed to double our female representation with that decision,” said Namibia’s first lady Monica Geingos at a roundtable invitation-only event co-hosted by the Global First Ladies Alliance (GFLA) and Facebook. Geingos credited the quota enacted by the ruling SWAPO party of her husband, President Hage Geingob. But she said a similar quota might be needed for Namibia’s private sector, where only 10 to...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/22/17)
Hundreds of rioters in the Guinean bauxite mining town of Boke burned down a police and a gendarmerie building on Thursday and clashed with security forces wielding batons, leaving 17 people injured, the local Red Cross said. Guinean authorities managed to avoid the bloodshed of previous days by desisting from using live bullets on the demonstrators in the Boke neighborhood of Kolabounyi, Guinean Red Cross member Oumar Kalissa told Reuters by telephone. Rioting by angry youths - who say bauxite mining has brought constant pollution and noise but no jobs or services like water and electricity - has paralyzed Boke for most of the past week. Despite decades of mining, Guinea, Africa’s top bauxite producer, remains one of the world’s...
(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...

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