Sunday 24 September 2017
(AFP (eng) 07/21/17)
The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations will expand from 16 to 24 teams and be staged in June and July, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced on Thursday. The tournament has traditionally been held in January and February, with the timing of the tournament a source of frustration to European clubs forced to release players in the middle of the season. The CAF executive committee confirmed the changes to the format following a two-day symposium in Rabat, although the tournament will continue to be held every two years and exclusively on African soil. The decision to increase the number of teams mirrors a similar one taken by UEFA to expand the European Championship, with 24 nations taking part at...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/20/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Africa's major central banks are entering an easing cycle as they try to stimulate growth after months of drought, austerity drives and confidence issues across the continent, a Reuters poll found on Thursday. Much of southern and eastern Africa is still recovering after an El Niño-related drought wilted crops last year. Poor business confidence in South Africa and foreign exchange restrictions in Nigeria have also hampered growth. "We expect that African monetary policy is entering a widespread and protracted period of policy easing. This will provide a boost to growth," said John Ashbourne, Africa analyst at Capital Economics. Ghana, which agreed a three-year fiscal discipline deal with the International Monetary Fund in exchange for aid in 2015,...
(Bloomberg 07/19/17)
Vodacom Group Ltd. sees the expansion of mobile-banking services into new markets in sub-Saharan Africa as a top priority following a shareholder vote to rubber stamp its purchase of a 35 percent stake in Safaricom Ltd., Kenya’s biggest company. “We will use Safaricom to enter other markets where neither Vodacom nor Safaricom are,” Chief Executive Officer Shameel Joosub said in an interview at the wireless carrier’s annual general meeting in Johannesburg on Tuesday. The two businesses have a combined 30 million mobile-banking customers, giving them “a very sizeable platform on the continent,” he said. Vodacom’s purchase of the Safaricom stake from U.K. parent company Vodafone Group Plc gives the South African company access to the fast-growing M-Pesa platform, which processed...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/18/17)
Three years after he risked his life crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Libya to Italy on a small boat crammed with migrants, 22-year-old Sow Muhammed can hardly believe his luck. The former street hawker from Guinea now works as a caterer in Venice, rents his own apartment, and sends money back home regularly to his mother and siblings in the West African nation. "I am happy I came to Europe, and my family is also happy," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation as he packed up leftovers at a training event for people who work with refugees, where he had served a menu which included traditional African dishes. "I talk to my family frequently, ask them their needs, and help...
(APA 07/17/17)
At least 783 candidates have been declared qualified by the National Elections Commission (NEC) in Liberia to contest the 2017 presidential and legislative elections, scheduled for Tuesday October 10. NEC has issued the provisional list of candidates for the 73 electoral districts throughout the 15 counties, as well as the two top positions – President and Vice President – bringing to 75 the number of seats. According to the NEC, out of the 783 candidates, 637 (71.4%) are male candidates, and 146 (28.6%) are female candidates. The provisional listing will remain progressive (subject to addition) up to the period of “Objections and Appeals on Nominations,” while the final list of candidates will be published on July 31. Going by the...
(Xinhuanet 07/17/17)
Africa is making progress towards the establishment of a trade zone by Oct. 30 that will cover approximately half of the continent's member states. The Common Market for the Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Director of Trade and Customs, Francis Mangeni, said in a commentary published in the Star Newspaper on Monday that so far 19 of the 26 countries involved have signed the agreement. "Three outstanding annexes had meant the tripartite agreement was not complete and this was advanced by some countries as the reason they could not sign or ratify the agreement. However their adoption represented a milestone in the negotiation, as it removed the last obstacle to signing and ratifying the agreement," Mangeni said. The tripartite free...
(APA 07/14/17)
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has said since her ascendancy to the Liberian presidency on January 16, 2006, the Kingdom of Sweden has been of significant help to the development processes of Liberia. She cited the rehabilitation of “Feeder as well as Farm-to-Market Roads, through the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Works in Bong, Lofa and Nimba counties. According to an Executive Mansion statement issued in Monrovia on Friday, President Sirleaf made the commendation on Thursday when she received the Letters of Credence of the new Swedish Ambassador to Liberia Geteorist. President Sirleaf also commended the Kingdom of Sweden for its assistance in sustaining the peace, following 14 years of civil war and...
(APA 07/14/17)
The Government of the Republic of Liberia has joined other peace loving peoples in the global community in condemning the launching of a ballistic missile of possible intercontinental range on July 4, 2017 by the Government of the Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK). The launch was DPRK’s 11th missile this year, in total disregard to international outrage and international law. According to a Foreign Ministry statement issued in Monrovia on Friday, the Government of Liberia reiterates its disapproval of this reckless brinksmanship displayed by the DPRK, and views this as a flagrant violation of relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions, which constitutes a perilous escalation of the situation in the Korean Peninsula. Moreover, this action threatens world peace in clear...
(APA 07/14/17)
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has sent a congratulatory message to her colleague, the President of the Republic of France, Mr. Emmanuel Macron, on that country’s 228th National Day on July 14. Bastille Day is the common name given in English-speaking countries to the French National Day, which is celebrated on July 14 each year. The French National Day commemorates the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, a turning point of the French Revolution, as well as the Fête de la Fédération, which celebrated the unity of the French people on July 14, 1790. Celebrations are held throughout France. The oldest and largest regular military parade in Europe is held on the morning of July 14, on the Champs-Élysées...
(Allafrica 07/14/17)
The head of the Muslim Congress in Liberia Imam Ali Krayee has clarified that he has in no way called on Muslims not to vote for Christians that are aspiring for elected offices in the pending October elections. He told UNMIL Radio on Wednesday, 12 July that Muslims must however prioritize Islam in whatever they do, including the upcoming elections. The Liberian Chief Imam clarifies that he is not telling his people to stay back in the elections process on grounds of having no Muslim candidate in the race. Instead, he says "it would be ridiculous and unpatriotic to make statement of such. "We are not ignorant to make our people to stay back from the elections, we just want...
(Cnbc Africa 07/12/17)
"Africa is an awakening giant," according to the former South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk speaking at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul. The leader who oversaw the transition of his country's power to Nelson Mandela said Tuesday that the future looks bright for a continent previously blighted by war, famine and a lack of infrastructure. "I believe Africa is an awakening giant and, yes, it is not performing according to what we expected soon enough, but it will perform," he said. De Klerk believes that African countries are primed to take advantage of the world's growing size. "If we look at food shortages for the rest of the world with a growing population, Africa is the solution," he...
(AFP (eng) 07/11/17)
As West Africa declares war on the market for expired and counterfeit medicines, start-ups are putting quality control in the hands of patients to stop them risking their lives trying to get well. Not only can such drugs fail to treat the diseases they are bought to combat, experts say, but they may encourage resistance to antibiotics and even cause death as diseases continue to course unchecked through the body. At an April meeting in Liberia, the 15-member Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) announced a region-wide investigation into the trafficking of expired and counterfeit drugs, and a public awareness campaign. Traffickers in bad medicine prey on some of the world's poorest and most in need, who also face...
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
In the past five years, terrorist attacks have killed nearly 20,000 people across Africa. Two groups, Boko Haram and al-Shabab, accounted for 71 percent of reported incidents and 91 percent of fatalities. But, while these and other militant groups remain active, fatal terrorist attacks across the continent are on pace to fall for a second straight year, and the total number of attacks is running far below 2012 highs. These findings are part of VOA’s original analysis of data from ACLED, the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. ACLED tracks political violence, protests and terrorist events across Africa. Their reports include attacks since 1997 based on data collected from local news media, government statements, non-governmental organizations and published research...
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Many cell phone companies are rethinking their headlong rush into the continent. Only Orange is staying the course. Back when African countries were auctioning off mobile licenses by the boatload to serve the region’s young, tech-savvy population, investing in the continent’s fast-growing economies seemed like a no-brainer. Some of the world’s biggest wireless carriers rushed in. Now they’re wondering if they made a mistake. Increasing government and regulatory scrutiny, as well as a lack of expansion opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa, are making it harder for operators such as Vodafone Group Plc, Orange SA and Bharti Airtel Ltd. to grow. Their choice: Pull back or double down. Two companies beating at least a partial retreat are Millicom International Cellular SA, which...
(APA 07/06/17)
Acting Foreign Minister B. Elias Shoniyin has expressed gratitude to Nigeria for its contribution to the peace and stability that Liberia now enjoys. “Knowing that you all are from Nigeria, a country that is so close to the hearts of so many Liberians, not just at the governmental level, but also the people to people interaction and exchanges. “More importantly, Liberians remain grateful for Nigeria’s contribution during Liberia’s civil war in the 1990s. We remember the blood of Nigerians that was spilled on this soil to enjoy the peace we now enjoy and we recognize that,” Acting Minister Shoniyin said amidst rapturous applauds. According to a Foreign Ministry statement, Mr. Shoniyin made the commendation on Wednesday at the Gabriel L...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The African Union's new chair Moussa Faki Mahamat on Wednesday questioned US commitment to fighting terrorism on the continent after it blocked efforts to get UN funding for an anti-jihadist force in the Sahel. "This is a specific case of a certain number of African states taking the initiative to create a dedicated force to fight terrorism. So, we don't understand how the United States could hold back or not engage in the fight against terrorism," Faki said in an interview with AFP. Faki's January election as chairperson of the AU commission came days after the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, who has proposed slashing US funding for aid projects and multilateral institutions like the UN. The former Chadian...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The costs of diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa could double to almost $60 billion annually just 13 years from now, as obesity fuels an explosion of the disease, a report said Thursday. In 2015, the overall diabetes cost in the region was nearly $20 billion (18 billion euros), or 1.2 percent of total economic production, according to research published by The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. This included medication and hospital stays, and loss of labour productivity due to illness or death. About half of all treatment costs were paid for by patients themselves.
(Voice of America 07/05/17)
More than 7 million children in West and Central Africa are displaced every year, the United Nations children's agency said in a report released Wednesday. Lack of economic opportunities, wars and climate change are forcing more than 12 million people in West and Central Africa to migrate annually, the report said. "Children in West and Central Africa are moving in greater numbers than ever before, many in search of safety or a better life," UNICEF regional director Marie-Pierre Poirier said. Climate change is already a harsh reality in many parts of Africa, where rising temperatures and increasingly erratic rainfall have disrupted food production, fueled widespread hunger and forced farmers to abandon their land. A half-million people have crossed the Mediterranean...
(Voice of America 07/04/17)
GENEVA — The U.N. children’s fund warns tens of thousands of malnourished children are at great risk in Yemen, Somalia and South Sudan, which are on the brink of famine. UNICEF reports an estimated 4.7 million children in the cholera-stricken countries are malnourished. Of these, UNICEF spokesman Christofe Boulierac tells VOA, more than one million are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. “Let me remind you that a child who is suffering from severe acute malnutrition are nine times more likely to die of disease than a well-nourished child," he said. "So, having cholera and diarrhea in countries where so many children are so fragile because of malnutrition among other things because of such a bad access to safe water is...
(RFI(EN) 07/04/17)
New tax rules in Israel could leave hundreds of African migrants worse off than they are. In May, the government introduced a new deposit law, enabling the governemnt to take 20 percent of migrants' salaries each month and place it out of reach. The money can only be accessed once they leave the country. Rights groups say the policy is designed to force them out of the country. "We're not pressuring you to leave but will make your life miserable so you decide to leave," Anwar Suliman, a Darfuri refugee living in Israel since 2008, told RFI . "Every time the state makes a different law, different pressure, but we said we can't go back right now." Suliman fled Darfur...

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