| Africatime
Tuesday 28 March 2017
(The East African 09/10/16)
The Pan African Federation of Filmmakers (FEPACI) is seeking to raise $200 million from partners over the next two years to fund the continent's audiovisual and cinema sector. The funds will be used to establish centres of excellence in the five regions - East Africa, North Africa, Central Africa, Southern Africa, and West Africa -- and the locations will be decided by the African Council of Ministers of Culture. The money will be used to improve the quality and quantity of films, documentaries and other forms of audiovisual productions and create market channels for selling the films. The funding plan is one of the key planks of the Ambika Afrika Safari Film Festival (AASFF) to be held in Nairobi from...
(AFP (eng) 09/09/16)
Across the rough grasslands of Lesotho, jockeys wearing wool balaclavas and scruffy old helmets urge their horses towards the finishing post as hundreds of spectators cheer from a nearby hillside. Horseracing in the mountain kingdom of Lesotho is not like at Ascot or Longchamp, but it is still highly competitive, involves lots of gambling and is a major social occasion. The course at Semonkong, in the centre of the landlocked nation, hosts races once a month in the winter, with the most prestigious days marking King Letsi III's birthday in July and independence day in October. Before each race, the horses are paraded in front of a crowd that expertly assesses breeding, formation and fitness of runners with such exotic...
(Voice of America 09/09/16)
The organizers of this week's Africa Green Revolution Forum in Kenya say the continent is well on its way to an agricultural renaissance. The forum is wrapping up with a significant boost toward that goal: a pledge of $30 billion during the next 10 years to support smallholder farmers and local African agribusinesses. The donors include African governments, businesses and development partners, many of whom have been present for the Nairobi forum. But significant challenges remain for the continent, and experts have many theories about what it will take to make Africa’s green revolution a reality. Country manager James Craske of Yara, a leading fertilizer manufacturing company in Africa, said quality seeds and fertilizer would make a difference. “I think...
(AFP (eng) 09/04/16)
As Gabon is rocked by violence following the contested re-election of President Ali Bongo, experts says electoral fraud in Africa is becoming harder, thanks to civil society vigilance and spread of mobile technology. Opposition leader Jean Ping on Friday declared himself the rightful president of Gabon and called for a recount, following Bongo’s claim of victory with a razor-thin margin of just under 6,000 votes in the August 27 election. But recent elections in Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Benin and Burkina Faso have all been held largely without dispute, overseen by engaged citizens who assured careful monitoring of the process, said Mathias Hounkpe...
(AFP (eng) 08/27/16)
Japan will pour $30 billion (27 billion euros) in investment in Africa by 2018, including $10 billion in infrastructure development, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Saturday at a summit in Nairobi. "When combined with the investment from the private sector I expect the total real amount to be $30 billion," Abe said at the opening of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD). "This is an investment that has faith in Africa's future," he said. Abe will use the conference to meet dozens of leaders from across Africa, among them Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta and South Africa's Jacob Zuma. It is the first time that the TICAD conference is being held in Africa, with all five previous events...
(AFP 08/19/16)
Maps, road signs, sat navs, Google maps -- it all makes travelling so easy. But how do you get around in a city with few street names, where buildings have no numbers? "Cross 'Death Junction' then after about 500 metres on the left, you'll see a curtain seller. Go up the path until you see a black building -- that's where I live," says Judith Koumis, giving directions to her home in Yaounde, the Cameroon capital. "It's easy," she says, forgetting, like everyone else, that "Death Junction" has an official name -- Friendship Junction. In this west African country, like many other places on the continent, getting around town can be something of a puzzle without a firm grasp of...
(AFP (eng) 08/13/16)
For farmer Mohlakoane Molise, the view of the enormous Katse dam from his smallholding high in the mountains of Lesotho taunts him daily. His country is suffering through its worst drought in 35 years, but the vast and vital water reserves remain out of reach, destined instead for export to neighbouring South Africa. "I am very angry about that water, because it could benefit us, we could use it to water the crops when there is a drought. But that’s not happening," the 65-year-old widower told AFP. Kneeling in front of his round, thatch-roofed hut, he sorted through his maize, examining each grain, one-by-one. The operation didn't take long. His total annual harvest filled just two large sacks, in place...
(The Wall Street Journal 08/09/16)
Deal would mark South African furniture retailer’s entry into U.S. market. Steinhoff International Holdings NV, Africa’s retailing giant but little-known outside the continent, has made its first foray into the U.S., agreeing to pay $2.4 billion for Sleepy’s owner Mattress Firm Holding Corp. Steinhoff, a family-owned furniture seller based outside Cape Town, South Africa, is called “Africa’s IKEA” for its home furnishing retail chains. Until recently, it had trained its sights on expansion in Europe, from Germany and Switzerland to Poland and Bulgaria, and Australasia. Last month, it agreed to pay £597 million ($793.77 million) for British retailer Poundland Group PLC, which sells most of its goods for a pound, or about $1.31 at today’s rates. The company said on...
(The Associated Press 08/06/16)
The World Health Organization and its partners shipped more than 6 million yellow fever vaccines to Angola in February to quash an emerging epidemic, yet when they asked country officials the following month what happened to the vaccines, they discovered that about 1 million doses had mysteriously disappeared. Of the shipments that did make it to Angola, some vaccines were sent to regions with no yellow fever cases, while others arrived at infected areas without syringes. In neighboring Congo, some vaccines weren't always kept cold enough to guarantee they would be effective. This lack of oversight and mismanagement has undermined control of the outbreak in Central Africa, the worst yellow fever epidemic in decades, an Associated Press investigation has found...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/05/16)
In an expanse of sand 60 miles (100 km) north of Senegal's capital, two men set to work digging up tree stumps to clear space for what could soon be the biggest solar plant in West Africa. In less than a year, says developer Senergy PV SA, this shrubby lot will be covered with 96,000 gleaming solar panels from China, injecting up to 30 megawatts into the grid. It is an attractive prospect for a nation with a dire power deficit, and which currently meets most of its needs by burning imported oil in hugely inefficient diesel generators. "The context is favorable," Karim Ndiaye, investment director at French private equity firm Meridiam, which bought out the original Senergy company in...
(Voice of America 08/04/16)
On the eve of President Barack Obama’s 55th birthday, he was greeted in song with "Happy Birthday" Wednesday by about a thousand participants at this year’s Young African Leaders summit in Washington. Obama launched the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) six years ago to support an emerging generation of young African entrepreneurs, activists and public officials. Its flagship program, the Mandela Washington Fellowship, began two years ago with the goal of empowering young Africans through academic coursework, leadership training and networking. "Today's Africa is a place of unprecedented prosperity and opportunities," Obama told the excited crowd, noting that he'd visited sub-Saharan Africa four times, more than any other U.S. president. During his time as president, Obama said, "I've worked to...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/03/16)
Barclays is expected to sell more of its stake in its African subsidiary in the coming weeks to take its holding in the business to less than 50% and strengthen the UK parent bank's capital. A lock-up period following a previous share sale expires on Tuesday, and Barclays is expected to sell more stock in Barclays Africa as part of its plan to deconsolidate the business. Barclays CEO Jes Staley, who took over a year ago, decided in March to sell down the stake in its African operations because the bank's 62% ownership meant it had to fully allocate capital to the business, but got less than two-thirds of its profits. The bank sold a 12.2% stake on May 4,...
(Voice of America 07/30/16)
The president of the African Wildlife Foundation has called on African governments to urgently address the issue of poaching, which he said is depriving the continent of its resources. But Zimbabwe says the international ban on the sale of ivory — which was imposed to discourage poaching — is hurting its interests. Winding up a five-day visit to Zimbabwe on Friday, Kaddu Sebunya said poaching is depleting Africa of its vital natural resources in the same way the slave trade once did. He said animal populations are dropping rapidly around the continent. “We have been losing an average of 30,000 elephants annually. Many African countries in the last 20 years have lost all their rhino population. All. Zero left. It...
(Cnbc Africa 07/29/16)
"One cannot get to the top by being average,” says Noletu Moti, Koeberg Nuclear Plant’s first female chief inspector. Moti who is in her mid-30s, hailing from the outskirts of East London, is taking others with her to the top by assisting young Africans who want to be where she is through Bhongoletu Youth Foundation, which she started in 2012 with the slogan ‘Live The South African Dream’. ‘’Youth development has always been a dream. If I was not doing science, I would be in youth development full time, travelling Africa helping young children in literacy & numeracy. A nation without education suffers immensely,” says Moti The highly fashionable inspector is responsible for the establishment and coordination of Koeberg Nuclear...
(AFP (eng) 07/28/16)
Humanitarian agencies said Thursday that they need $1.2 billion in critical aid for seven drought-stricken countries in southern Africa, as the El Nino weather phenomenon continues to devastate crops across the region. An estimated 12.3 people million are at risk, southern Africa's Regional Inter-Agency Standing Committee said, as their food stocks are exhausted and their access to safe drinking water becomes limited. The hardest hit countries are Angola, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warned that if the agencies failed to raise the funds in time, the consequences of the drought would be catastrophic. "Droughts, like the one caused this year by El Nino, are becoming more frequent...
(Xinhuanet 07/28/16)
Cooperation among China, the United States and Africa can effectively fight maritime piracy in Africa, a UN senior official said here on Wednesday. UN General Secretary special representative Mohamed Ibn Chambas made the remarks on the sidelines of the two-day meeting which kicked off on Wednesday. About thirty diplomats and experts from Africa, China and the United States discussed collective strategies to address maritime security, protect the blue economy in the Gulf of Guinea and promote peace in the Sahel region. The first day of trilateral consultation among Africa, China and the United States has laid the ground for further cooperation on fight against maritime piracy in Africa, he said. "China and U.S., two world powers and members of the...
(Business Day 07/27/16)
The rapid uptake of digital services across the continent requires that the region’s governments urgently release more spectrum for mobile broadband services. This is according to a report by global mobile network operators association GSMA, which was released on Tuesday. The lack of spectrum has hampered the rapid deployment of faster wireless network infrastructure in many parts of Africa, including SA. At the end of 2015, the continent had 557-million unique mobile subscribers, equivalent to 46% of its population. This has made Africa the second-largest, but least penetrated, market in the world. Africa’s three largest national markets — Egypt, Nigeria and SA — together account for around a third of the total subscriber base. However, Africa is barely scratching the...
(Los Angeles Times 07/26/16)
Each week, Lucia Thedzi and her five children go one or two days without eating. Some weeks, the family survives on nuts the size of golf balls but with meager flesh inside. Living in a small village on the hot, flat plains of Chikwawa in southern Malawi, they have little choice. In recent months, drought has turned the region into a dust bowl, cutting the Thedzis’ typical seven-bag harvest of millet and sorghum in half. They are now down to food for less than a month. “There was a sense of despair and a real fear about how they might get through the coming months,” said Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, founder and CEO of the humanitarian organization Mary’s Meals, which feeds schoolchildren,...
(Xinhuanet 07/26/16)
Despite Africa's slowdown, property developers and private equity funds continue to pour investment into the continent, but with more focused strategies, organizers of the upcoming Africa Property Investment (API) Summit said on Monday. "Over 1.2 billion U.S. dollars has been raised and allocated to real estate investment in Africa over the past year and we expect this trend to continue," said Kfir Rusin, General Manager of APIS. This year's summit, scheduled for August 18-19 in Johannesburg, will feature various discussions on innovative strategies and collaboration, as well as showcasing new real estate opportunities and projects across Africa. Commenting on the global capital flows making their mark on African real estate, Peter Welborn, Chairman of Knight Franks' Africa business, said the...
(Xinhuanet 07/25/16)
Sub-Saharan Africa remains a fast-growing region in the world despite a relative slow down, multinational professional services firm Ernst & Young (EY) said on Monday. This is reflected in the foreign direct investment (FDI) levels in 2015, where FDI project numbers increased by seven percent, EY said in its 2016 Africa Attractiveness Program, issued in Johannesburg. Although the capital value of projects was down year-on-year, from 88.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2014 to 71.3 billion in 2015, this was still higher than the 2010-2014 average of 68 billion U.S. dollars, the report said. Similarly, jobs created were down year-on-year, but still ahead of the average for 2010-2014, the report showed. "Over the past year, global markets have experienced unprecedented volatility...

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