| Africatime
Wednesday 29 March 2017
(The Guardian 11/23/16)
Rulers of the DRC, Burundi, Zimbabwe and others say tide has turned after Obama’s efforts to promote democracy abroad. As the sun rose over Kinshasa on 9 November, Martin Fayulu was awoken by a phone call from a relative in the US telling him to switch on his television – Donald Trump appeared set to become the next US president. Fayulu, an opposition politician at the forefront of recent protests calling for elections to be held on time in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, immediately switched on a French channel. “Many Congolese were watching, and a lot had mixed feelings,” he said. Across Africa the interest was equally intense, with the surprise result prompting fierce speculation about the unexpected...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/22/16)
African states failed on Monday to halt the work of the first U.N. independent investigator appointed to help protect gay and transgender people worldwide from violence and discrimination. The 47-member U.N. Human Rights Council, based in Geneva, created the position in June and in September appointed Vitit Muntarbhorn of Thailand, who has a three-year mandate to investigate abuses against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people. In an unusual move, African states put forward a draft resolution in the 193-member U.N. General Assembly third committee, which deals with human rights, calling for consultations on the legality of the creation of the mandate. They said the work of the investigator should be suspended. However, Latin American countries, supported by Western...
(AFP (eng) 11/21/16)
The number of HIV-infected people taking anti-retroviral medicine has doubled in just five years, the UN said Monday, while highlighting high infection rates among young African women. A new report by UNAIDS said it was on course to hit a target of 30 million people on ARV treatment by 2020. "By June 2016, around 18.2 million people had access to the life-saving medicines, including 910,000 children, double the number five years earlier," UNAIDS said in a statement. But the report showed the huge risks that some young women face. Last year more than 7,500 teenagers and young women became infected with HIV every week worldwide, with the bulk of them in southern Africa. "Young women are facing a triple threat,"...
(AFP (eng) 11/20/16)
Above the sacks of seeds and coal, three kerosene lamps gather dust in the tiny shed that Kenyan chicken farmer Bernard calls home. He prefers to use solar energy to light up his evenings, listen to the radio or watch television, after abandoning a diesel generator he said was expensive to maintain and burned fuel too quickly. "Solar panels are a good, cheap solution," he told AFP. Across the continent, consumers are opting for their own off-grid solar solutions to power homes and small businesses, even as African governments unveil massive new solar projects seemingly every month to expand their grids. According to International Energy Agency projections, almost one billion people in sub-Saharan Africa will gain access to the grid...
(The Guardian 11/19/16)
At COP22, the African Development Bank’s president, Akinwumi Adesina, tells of strategies to improve energy supplies and fight the impact of climate change “We lose 5% of our potential GDP every year, and African industries cannot be competitive without access to electricity,” says Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank. “I believe that’s why we can’t break away from reliance on exporting our raw materials – new industries will only go to where there’s power.” He is speaking on the sidelines of the COP22 climate change conference in Marrakech, which ends on Friday. Adesina and colleagues from the bank have been using the conference to highlight its new initiatives on energy, including the New Deal on Energy for Africa,...
(APA 11/18/16)
A Third Poverty Reduction Support Development Policy Operation (PRSDPO-III) intended to boost economic transformation in Liberia, critical for achieving inclusive growth was approved on Thursday by the World Bank Board of Executive Directors. According to a press statement issued on Friday in Monrovia, the US$40 million International Development Association (IDA) grant will help address governance reforms and human capital development in the country. This Third PRSDPO, which includes US$8 million from the IDA Crisis Response Window (CRW), supports the governments strong policy efforts to adjust to the twin shocks from the Ebola crisis and the slump in commodity prices.
(APA 11/18/16)
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has inaugurated the first transport aircraft specially designed to evacuate patients with infectious diseases to other locations where they can receive treatment. According to an Executive Mansion statement, President Sirleaf described the aircraft as First of its kind. President Sirleaf, who arrived in Monrovia on Friday from Morocco, expressed delight over such medical facility, especially in the aftermath of the fragilities exposed by the Ebola outbreak. She thanked the generous donor for partnering with Liberia in such a magnificent way. As cooperation with Liberia during and after the Ebola epidemic remains exemplary, Liberia was selected for the first test flight of a medical airplane specially designed to transport patients with infectious diseases to other locations...
(APA 11/17/16)
Liberian President and Chairperson of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has held talks with ECOWAS Commission President Marcel A. De Souza on the margins of COP22 to receive an update and follow-up on the ongoing mediation process involving the political crises in Guinea Bissau. According to a dispatch received here, the Liberian leader and ECOWAS CommissionPresident met on Thursday in an effort to make a follow-up and review progress made as well as assess challenges encountered by the parties involved in order to unlock any prevailing bottlenecks to pave the way for the swift implementation of the 10- Count Conakry Agreement
(APA 11/17/16)
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Wednesday, participated in the She disclosed that the Mount Coffee Hydro Power Plant would be commissioned in December 2016 followed by electricity supply. According to a dispatch, the Liberian leader was speaking at the Africa Action Summit, held on the sidelines of COP22 hosted in the Royal Palace in Marrakech with over 40 African heads of state and Governments including Ministers in attendance at the invitation of King Mohammed VI of Morocco. She told the Summit that Liberia, like most of West Africa, is not only threatened by climate change, but now feels the effects of climate change because according to her excessive rainfall, drought, erosion from raising seas, flood and danger to animals, changing...
(AFP (eng) 11/17/16)
African leaders met in Morocco Wednesday on the sidelines of UN climate talks to agree a joint stance to fight global warming on the continent. "Africa is paying a heavy price over the climate issue and is without doubt the continent worst affected," Morocco's King Mohammed VI told the summit attended by 20 African leaders. "These disruptions... greatly hamper Africa's development and gravely threaten the basic rights of tens of millions of Africans," he said. He said the continent needed to "speak in a single voice, demand climate justice". France's President Francois Hollande and UN chief Ban Ki-moon also attended the summit which took place alongside the COP22 climate change conference in Marrakesh. Ban said Africa was at the forefront...
(AFP (eng) 11/16/16)
"Don't go!" That was the heartfelt appeal to African nations as the International Criminal Court opened its annual meeting Wednesday under the cloud of a wave of unprecedented defections. Gambia on Monday formally notified the United Nations that it was withdrawing from the court, following in the wake of South Africa and Burundi. "Don't go," pleaded Senegalese politician Sidiki Kaba, the president of the ICC's Assembly of State Parties meeting in The Hague. "In a world criss-crossed by violent extremism... it is urgent and necessary to defend the ideal of justice for all," he said. The tribunal opened in 2002 in The Hague as a court of last resort to try the world's worst crimes. But in his passionate plea,...
(APA 11/14/16)
The four County Service Centers (CSCs) currently operating in four of Liberia's 15 counties have reported that a staggering 22,363 persons have obtained services at these centers over a short period. County Service Center (CSC) is a one-stop shop where documentation services relating to permits, licenses and certifications are offered at the same quality and cost as in the capital Monrovia. It is part of the National De-concentration Platform, which is primarily intended to bring services closer to the people. The service centers are currently in Grand Bassa, Margibi, Bong and Nimba counties. An Internal Ministry press statement issued here Monday says except for the Grand Bassa County Service Center which began operations
(Forbes 11/14/16)
Africa will have 1-billion mobile subscriptions by the fourth quarter of 2016, while data use will drive the next phase of growth in Africa’s telecoms market, according to researchers Ovum. Mobile subs will reach 1.02-billion by the end of 2016 and will reach 1.33-billion by 2021, says Matthew Reed, Ovum’s practice leader, for the Middle East and Africa. “The take-up of mobile broadband will rise strongly, as operators continue to roll out 3G and 4G LTE networks and as smartphones become increasingly affordable,” says Reed. “There will be 1-billion mobile broadband connections in Africa in 2021, including 157.4-million 4G LTE connections. “Additionally, the number of smartphone connections on the continent will reach 929.9-million at the end of 2021. And non-SMS...
(AFP (eng) 11/12/16)
Across Africa, the approaching presidency of Donald Trump has provoked deep uncertainty over how the United States will pursue policies ranging from counter-terrorism and trade, to aid and climate change. Many African countries had high hopes that Barack Obama would bring transformative benefits to the continent and were left disappointed as he winds down his time in office. But Trump's rise to power poses fresh questions that reveal the lack of concrete detail on his foreign policy plans -- while the president-elect himself has seldom addressed African issues directly. One possible pointer is Trump's often repeated vow to kill "terrorists", which may lead to more aggressive US intervention against Islamist forces such as Nigeria's Boko Haram, linked to the Islamic...
(The Toronto Star 11/11/16)
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said Canada has committed to a three-year deployment in Africa that will be reassessed each year to ensure it has an “enduring” impact. Canadian troops headed to Africa will operate in dangerous territory where peacekeepers have been killed, says Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. In an exclusive interview with the Star from Vancouver Sajjan said Canada has committed to a three-year deployment that will be reassessed each year to ensure it has an “enduring” impact. It will be spread among a number of unspecified African countries, have a major focus on training and increasing “capacity” of the host nation as well as other countries’ troops, and build on existing social, economic and deradicalization programs on the ground...
(AFP (eng) 11/10/16)
All CAF competitions will offer increased prize money from 2017, the Cairo-based African football body said Wednesday. The announcement came months after French oil-gas company Total signed an eight-year sponsorship deal with CAF reportedly worth more than one billion dollars (915 million euros). Winners of the biennial Africa Cup of Nations will receive $4 million, up from the $1.5 million pocketed by 2015 champions the Ivory Coast. CAF Champions League title-holders are going to collect $2.5 million -- $1 million more than South African club Mamelodi Sundowns received last month. There is an even bigger percentage increase for winners of the second-tier CAF Confederation Cup with first prize increasing from $660,000 to $1.25 million. Both the Champions League and Confederation...
(Dw-World 11/09/16)
Africans across the continent followed the US presidential election with keen interest. While some fear that a Trump presidency could have disastrous consequences, others remain cautiously optimistic. Tanzania's President John Pombe Magufuli was one of the first African leaders to congratulate Donald Trump on his election victory. "Tanzanians and I assure you of continued friendship and cooperation," he wrote on his Twitter account. Burundi's controversial leader Pierre Nkurunziza - the subject of intense US and international criticism for his decision to stay in power beyond a constitutional two-term limit- followed suit. "Your victory is the victory of all Americans," he wrote on Twitter. Buzz on social media Social media platforms were abuzz with reactions just moments after the poll results...
(Liberian Observer 11/08/16)
The Arab Republic of Egypt has reconfirmed her bilateral relations with Liberia, and has vowed to increase support to Liberia, most especially the security sector. Egypt’s Assistant Foreign Minister for African Affairs, Amb. Mohamed Edrees, told the Daily Observer in an exclusive interview yesterday in their UN Drive office that President Abdel Fattah Saeed Hussein Khalil el-Sisi of Egypt has expressed commitment to remain a ‘true partner’ with Liberia, a partnership that started in 1957. Amb. Edrees announced that most of Egypt’s support is capacity building, and that at least 900 security officers and civilians could benefit. He stated that the Medical Department of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) will undertake a specialized and improved medical training in Cairo,...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/08/16)
Germany on Monday pledged a 61-million-euro ($67.44 million) hike in funding for U.N. relief operations in Africa so that fewer of its people undertake perilous odysseys to Europe, which has struggled to absorb an influx of migrants since last year. The extra funding lifts Germany's total contribution to the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR to 298 million euros for 2016, Foreign Ministry officials said. Its total humanitarian budget for 2016 was 1.28 billion euros, up from just 105 million euros in 2012. Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier announced the increase during a meeting with U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi in Berlin. Countries targeted by Germany's move are ridden by chronic conflict, disastrous climate change and poverty. Many of their citizens...
(APA 11/07/16)
The pledge by the ECOWAS leaders to end crisis in Guinea Bissau and the prediction by Liberian politician that Clinton will win the U.S. presidential polls dominate the headlines of Liberian newspapers on Monday. The Chairperson of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf led a Presidential Mission to Guinea Bissau on 5th November 2016 accompanied by Foreign Minister Marjon Kamara to provide the opportunity that would lead to decisive progress in solving the persisting crisis in Guinea Bissau. The Mission recognized that the current political stalemate puts at risk Guinea Bissau's stability and development, and said it must be overcome by the swift appointment of a consensual Prime Minister without delay who has the confidence...

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