Monday 25 September 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 05/13/17)
Tackling climate change in Africa could help resolve multiple problems ravaging the continent, from drought to refugees and violence, the head of the African Union said on Friday. The mix of global warming with economic woes and political conflicts keeps peace from taking hold, said Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Union's new chairman, at Chatham House, an international think tank. "There is a link between climate change and prosperity, as well as peace, on the continent," Mahamat said in French with an interpreter. "Africa is among the least polluting continents, and yet it is the continent that suffers most," he said. Mahamat, the former foreign minister of Chad, was chosen to chair the 55-member, Addis Ababa-based organization in January. In Africa's...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/10/17)
Medical samples from four of the victims of a disease in Liberia that initially baffled scientists have tested positive for a type of bacteria that causes meningitis, the minister of health said on Monday. So far a total of 31 cases of the so-called mystery illness have been reported, including 13 deaths in an outbreak linked to the attendance of a religious leader's funeral. While the symptoms are different from Ebola, the sudden deaths nevertheless stirred anxiety about an outbreak of the tropical illness which was often spread through burial rituals in the West African epidemic that ended less than a year ago. Seven specimens from the deceased tested positive for Neisseria meningitidis, a particularly contagious strain of bacteria that...
(Fox News 05/10/17)
After five years of no major attacks on merchant vessels, piracy around the Horn of Africa seemed to be on hiatus. Acts of piracy in those treacherous waters have fallen sharply since 2012, according to statistics released by the United States Navy. The Navy credits aggressive patrolling by international forces and increased vigilance by the commercial shipping industry for the decrease. However, in the past month, Somali pirates have intercepted five ships, raising concerns that piracy has returned to the Indian Ocean, beginning with the kidnapping of a Sri Lankan crew from the Aris 13 oil tanker on March 13th (they were later released without a ransom). Nobody thinks the problem will end until a stable government is restored in...
(Xinhuanet 05/09/17)
The mysterious disease plagued Liberia's southeastern county of Sinoe in the past two weeks appears to be meningitis, a Liberian health official has said. Health Minister Bernice Dahn told reporters here on Monday that laboratory tests carried out on victims' blood specimens had proven that the West African country was "dealing with a probable outbreak of meningitis." The disease that originated from Greenville, the capital of Sinoe county, has spread to other parts of the nation during the past two weeks. A total of 31 cases, including 13 deaths, have been reported so far. "We are taking public health measures so that it will not further spread," said the minster, adding that an investigation is underway to clarify all doubts...
(Voice of America 05/05/17)
As Africa grapples with a severe drought, and famine threatens millions of people, experts at the World Economic Forum on Africa this week in the South African city of Durban say food security needs to be a major part of discussions on advancing the continent economically. The annual World Economic Forum in Switzerland is usually a high-powered event, but at this week’s Africa meeting of the international organization, the continent’s big players are welcoming the humble farmer, now known as the “agripreneur.” Agricultural economist Paul Makube, with South Africa’s First National Bank, told VOA it makes sense to talk about farming when discussing building competitive markets, and boosting innovation and technology. “For business to prosper, you need a situation where...
(AFP (eng) 05/04/17)
A UN peacekeeper killed in a rocket and mortar attack claimed by a powerful jihadist alliance in Mali was identified Thursday by the United Nations as a Liberian soldier. A UN mission known by its acronym MINUSMA has been stationed in the west African country since 2013 and is considered the world body's most dangerous active peacekeeping deployment. MINUSMA said nine others were injured by shelling on its camp in the troubled historic city of Timbuktu on Wednesday afternoon. Liberia had 78 troops serving in the 13,000-strong MINUSMA force which is assisting Malian troops struggling to secure the country.
(Xinhuanet 05/04/17)
The World Economic Forum (WEF) Africa Competitiveness Report 2017 released in Durban Thursday called for urgent policy reforms if the continent intends to create more jobs for its growing young population. According to the report issued at the 27th WEF on Africa, fewer than one-quarter of the 450 million new jobs required in the next 20 years will be created if current policies remain unchanged. The report called for structural reforms in the economies to create more jobs for the youth entering the market. African countries have to prioritize improving infrastructure, skills and adoption of new technology and quality of institutions. To improve competitiveness in the short term Africa needs to increase housing construction through investment, better urban planning and...
(Voice of America 05/03/17)
African military expenditures have finally slowed down after more than a decade of steady increases, according to a new report on global defense spending. The main reason, the report found, is a drop in oil prices. “The sharp decreases in oil prices has affected quite a number of African countries, namely South Sudan and Angola. This has kind of driven almost the entire regional trend,” said Nan Tian, a researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) Arms and Military Expenditure Program, the organization that authored the report. The SIPRI report found military spending in Africa in 2016 was down by 1.3 percent from the previous year and totaled about $37.9 billion. Despite the drop, Africa’s military spending remains...
(AFP (eng) 05/02/17)
More people have died following the outbreak of a mysterious illness that began in southeastern Liberia but has spread to the capital, with 12 unexplained deaths so far, health authorities told AFP Tuesday. Liberia's health ministry and the World Health Organization (WHO) both confirmed the revised death toll, while minister Sorbor George said the illness first registered in Sinoe County was now present in Monrovia. "The illness has entered the capital. A man came from Sinoe to attend a funeral in Monrovia and he got sick. He shows the same symptoms, later on he died," George said. "After he died his girlfriend got sick showing the same symptoms, she died also," he added. The Liberian government had given a death...
(The Associated Press 05/02/17)
A Liberian forestry authority says a mob of people have killed two forestry staffers who had arrested 20 people for hunting illegally in Liberia's Sarpo National Park. Forestry Development Authority managing director Darlington Tuagben said Monday that the two staffers found a new base set up by illegal hunters and arrested 20 of them on Thursday in the protected rainforest park which covers more than 100 hectares (247 acres) in Liberia's southeast. He said a mob in support of illegal hunting then formed and attacked, killing the two staffers using shot guns, machetes and sticks. Tuagben said that those monitoring and protecting the park do not even carry pistols. Hunters mainly target wild monkeys and deer that are protected in...
(Bloomberg 05/02/17)
Saudi Aramco is seeking to boost its fuel-trading volume by more than a third as the world’s biggest crude exporter expands its capacity to refine oil to grab a bigger share of growing markets in Asia and Africa. Aramco, as Saudi Arabian Oil Co. is known, is building refineries in the kingdom and in Asia to help it increase sales and purchases of gasoline, diesel and other products to more than 2 million barrels a day, said Ibrahim Al-Buainain, chief executive officer of Saudi Aramco’s trading unit, Saudi Aramco Products Trading Co. Owning refineries gives the unit, known as Aramco Trading Co., options for buying and selling fuel that some of its competitors don’t have. “The key is that you...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/29/17)
Eleven people have died and five are in hospital, Liberian officials said on Friday, after contracting a mystery illness the World Health Organisation (WHO) said was linked to attendance at the funeral of a religious leader. "We are still investigating. The only thing we have ruled out is ... Ebola," said Liberia's Chief Medical Officer Francis Kateh, adding samples from the victims had been sent abroad for further testing. On Wednesday, the WHO said Liberian health authorities were taking rapid precautionary steps after eight people died of a mystery illness, 10 months after the end of a two-year Ebola virus outbreak. "It seems all of these people were attending the funeral of a religious leader," WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib told...
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
Liberia said Friday that samples from people struck down by a mystery illness are being tested abroad after 11 unexplained deaths, though Ebola has been ruled out. The unidentified illness has affected 19 people in Greenville, southeastern Liberia, who began showing symptoms on April 24, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed. Eleven people died in the community and five more have been hospitalised since then, the WHO said in Geneva, with the rest discharged. Liberia's health ministry and the WHO have confirmed the disease is not Ebola, the hemorrhagic fever that killed thousands in a recent west African epidemic, despite some similar symptoms. "We have taken blood samples, and what we are going to do is to send this sample...
(Voice of America 04/28/17)
A low-cost and widely available drug could save the lives of 1 in 3 mothers who would otherwise bleed to death after childbirth, according to a new study. Severe bleeding, known as postpartum hemorrhage, or PPH, is the leading cause of maternal death worldwide, killing more than 100,000 women every year. Even for mothers who survive, it is a painful and traumatic experience. The world's poorest countries, especially in Africa and India, are the worst hit. Drug from 1960s But there is new hope. In the 1960s, Japanese researchers developed a drug called tranexamic acid, which works by stopping blood clots from breaking down. But they could not persuade doctors to try the drug for treating PPH. The London School...
(Xinhuanet 04/27/17)
The West African bloc is seeking to strengthen the role of the private sector in health service delivery in the sub-region as financing sources become increasingly difficult, Dr. Xavier Crespin, Director General of the West African Health Organization (WAHO), disclosed here on Monday. He explained that, for the sub-region to be able to attain its health targets, both public and private sector support would be critical in financing the health delivery needs of the countries. Dr. Crespin emphasized this during the opening of a day’s sub-regional meeting for both public and private sectors organized by WAHO here to develop a strategic framework for Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in the health sector. “We cannot really continue to do ‘Business as Usual’. It...
(Business Day Ghana 04/27/17)
There are currently 960 million mobile subscriptions across Africa – an 80 percent penetration rate among the continent’s population. Internet penetration is at 18 percent with 216 million internet users, according to the latest Jumia mobile trend report for Africa. The 2017 edition of the African Mobile Trends Paper is the third white paper presentation from Jumia delving into mobile trends across Africa and specifically Nigeria. The study takes a look at the how the market has democratised mobile internet use, the consumer behaviours driving increased smartphone adoption and the role of mobile brands, mobile operators and m-commerce in creating a synergy of an enhanced customer experience. This year’s Mobile Africa Study was carried out in 15 African countries which...
(AFP (eng) 04/26/17)
Raj Panjabi, who fled to the United States to escape civil war in his native Liberia, eventually returned to his shattered homeland to find rural communities desperate for adequate health care. The trained physician co-founded Last Mile Health in Liberia, which aims to recruit, train, equip and manage people in communities to serve as local health care workers. He spoke about his organization Tuesday at the TED Conference famous for "ideas worth spreading," sharing his dream of revolutionizing health care. The innovators, entrepreneurs, influencers, and artists known as 'tedsters' picked his innovative health care project as the winner of a coveted million-dollar TED Prize awarded each year to a visionary idea. "It has always been true in history that illness...
(Xinhuanet 04/26/17)
The Belt and Road (B&R) Initiative is a golden opportunity to bring about regional integration and sustainable economic growth for Africa, said Berhane Gebre-Christos, special envoy of the Ethiopian Prime Minister, on Tuesday. The special envoy made the remarks at the opening of a seminar organized on the B&R Initiative in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. Welcoming the initiative, the special envoy said he is looking forward to the expected effects of the initiative. "The B&R is a project that will affect millions of people, and it will be one of the most important issues of the 21st century," he said, adding that the comprehensive approach of China means that the aspirations and development strategies of all countries involved will be...
(AFP (eng) 04/24/17)
A new malaria vaccine will be tested on a large scale in Kenya, Ghana and Malawi, the World Health Organization said Monday, with 360,000 children to be vaccinated between 2018 and 2020. The injectable vaccine RTS,S could provide limited protection against a disease that killed 429,000 people worldwide in 2015, with 92 percent of victims in Africa and two-thirds of them children under five. "The prospect of a malaria vaccine is great news. Information gathered in the pilot will help us make decisions on the wider use of this vaccine," said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO's regional director for Africa. The vaccine should be used alongside other preventative measures such as bed nets, insecticides, repellants and anti-malarial drugs, the WHO...
(Bloomberg 04/20/17)
WorldRemit Ltd., a British money-transfer operator, sees revenue from transactions involving Africans doubling by 2020 as more people on the continent access mobile-payment platforms and expatriates send cash home. The seven-year-old company, in which Facebook Inc.-backer Accel Partners LP invested $40 million in 2014, will this year open a regional office in South Africa, its largest market on the continent in terms of money-transfer value, founder and Chief Executive Officer Ismail Ahmed said in an interview. Another site will start operating in Kenya, where the London-based business sees Africa’s highest number of individual transactions. “In the next two years we should be doubling our volume every year,” Ahmed said in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. The continent accounted for half the company’s...

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