| Africatime
Sunday 30 April 2017
(Washington Post 11/28/16)
Following his release after 27 years in prison, Nelson Mandela made sure one of his first trips abroad was to Havana. There, in the Cuban capital in 1991, Mandela lavished his host, Fidel Castro, with appreciation. Castro, said Mandela, was a “source of inspiration to all freedom-loving people.” The scene might seem paradoxical in some corners of the West. How could the global symbol of African liberation and democracy say such a thing about a man whose death last Friday provoked exiles who fled repressive Cuban rule to dance in Miami's streets? How could Mandela — imprisoned by South Africa's apartheid rulers — find common ground with Castro, who cleared his way to absolute power in Cuba by jailing untold...
(AFP (eng) 11/26/16)
Back in the 1970s at the height of the Cold War, the small Caribbean nation of Cuba went to war thousands of miles away in the battlefields of Angola and Ethiopia, leaving thousands dead. Cuban leader Fidel Castro, who died late Friday, was convinced that the global stage for the "world revolution" was happening in Africa -- and thus Cuba became the first Latin American nation to go to war outside its own continent. Angola and Ethiopia soon became symbols of the "regional conflicts" of the Cold War, in which Washington and Moscow battled for ideological supremacy and power through proxy wars. But Havana's involvement in the fighting fields far from home was to cost it dear. Some 4,300 Cubans...
(Agence Ecofin 11/25/16)
To conserve biodiversity and enhance socio-economic growth, governments of sub-Saharan Africa must consider a priority the management of their land resources, said environmental experts at the end of the 10th meeting of ministers of natural resources of East and Southern countries in Kigali on November 21 and 22. “The two-day ministerial conference provided a platform for engagement among government officials in the Eastern and Southern African region involved in land administration and spatial planning on challenges and opportunities in land, urban and territorial planning,” Xinhua reported. The forum which focused on identifying means to integrate technologies in land management in order to boost economy, protect the environment and efficiently manage lands in the region, was a wake-up call for officials...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/24/16)
A mother and her four-year-old daughter who were separated after fleeing the threat of female genital mutilation (FGM) in Ivory Coast may be reunited in Italy before Christmas after a stroke of luck allowed police to trace the woman, authorities said. The girl, identified only as Oumoh, is one of at least 20,000 unaccompanied minors who have reached Italy this year from war-torn and poverty-stricken countries mainly in Africa and the Middle East. She arrived on the southern Italian island of Lampedusa on Nov. 5 after being rescued from a rickety boat by the coastguard, police said. "She was quite traumatized, and initially wouldn't speak or communicate," Marilena Cefala, the head of Lampedusa's reception center, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation...
(AFP (eng) 11/23/16)
US rubber giant Firestone, no stranger to controversy during its 90 years in Liberia, is again stoking anger, this time for firing hundreds of workers who now fear for their livelihoods. Firestone has carried out two waves of sackings over the last few months, aiming at a seven percent cut in the workforce because of what it describes as "ongoing significant and unsustainable losses" due to depressed rubber prices. Workers at its plantation around an hour from the Liberian capital, aware of strong competition from Asia and the little respite in sight for the rubber market, fear they have few means of fighting back. "The day we were told, the same day, 189 people had already been laid off," said...
(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...

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