Thursday 27 July 2017
(AFP (eng) 01/13/17)
France's top diplomat Jean-Marc Ayrault struck a defiant tone at a summit on Friday with foreign ministers from across Africa as he urged them to show confidence and hope despite the deadly jihadist threat. With the battle against extremists, the struggle to improve governance and the migrant crisis high on the agenda, ministers from at least 30 nations met in Mali's capital Bamako ahead of heads of state due on Saturday. Mali called on France four years ago to help force jihadists out of key northern cities. To this day, 4,000 French troops remain in the country and across the Sahel region. "(Choosing) Bamako as the venue is an act of confidence after the intervention," Ayrault told journalists as the...
(AFP (eng) 01/13/17)
Talks gathering some 30 African states and France begin in Mali's capital Bamako on Friday, with leaders expected to focus on Africa's battle against jihadists and bid to improve its democratic record. The summit, also due to take in the migrant crisis, will see foreign ministers gather first, with heads of state expected to follow Saturday, according to Malian and French conference organisers. Many of the nations taking part were once ruled by France, which in recent years has boosted its military involvement in the continent. Several English-speaking African countries will also be present. In a bid to help crush the growing jihadist threat, France has trained more than 20,000 African soldiers every year since a Paris summit in 2013,...
(Huffingtonpost 01/10/17)
And it’s ironic given the growing consensus that Beijing is the U.S. president-elect’s enemy number one. Eric Olander and Cobus van Staden are the duo behind the China Africa Project and hosts of the popular China in Africa Podcast. We’re here to answer your most pressing, puzzling, even politically incorrect questions, about all things related to the Chinese in Africa and Africans in China. The election of Donald Trump has introduced a new era of uncertainty in global politics, especially in Africa where the president-elect has said little about his foreign policy agenda for the continent. Not surprisingly, Trump’s unpredictable, provocative style is sparking widespread concern across the continent as to whether the United States plans to remain engaged in...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/17)
Gabon witnessed one of the most sensational finishes to an Africa Cup of Nations tournament when no-hopers Zambia stunned the Ivory Coast to win the 2012 final. Zambia failed to qualify this time, but the Ivorians will be among the favourites again when the competition returns to the central African state with the first fixtures scheduled for Saturday. AFP Sport rates the chances of the 16 challengers for the $4 million (3.8 million euros) first prize (last three competitive results in brackets with W denoting a win, D a draw and L a loss): FAVOURITES Egypt (WWW) Back among the elite and in good form. After winning three consecutive Cup of Nations titles, they failed to qualify for the past...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/06/17)
Half of all Liberians think their West African nation could plunge back into conflict more than a decade after civil war ended, due to widespread corruption and rows over land, an aid agency said on Thursday. Systemic corruption in the public sector, disputes over land ownership and high rates of youth unemployment were cited by Liberians as the three main factors that could incite violence in a survey carried out by the Catholic Relief Services (CRS). "Liberians are telling the world that the causes of the long civil wars are still there and they have genuine fears of their country returning to violence," Jennifer Overton, regional director for CRS in West Africa, said in a statement. The country is still...
(Agence Ecofin 01/06/17)
Indian firm Aaviskaar Venture Management Services (AVMS) has announced plans to raise between $100 million and $150 million for Africa investments. “We will start the fund-raising around the middle of 2017 and we expect to close it in 2018,” said Vineet Rai, founder of Intellecap-Aavishkaar group. The new African fund will focus on investing on African low-income groups, especially in the agriculture, finance and financial technology sectors. “We will use the sow-tend-reap strategy of multiple round investing and will be an early investor,” Rai told local Indian media Regions targeted are West and East Africa, especially Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania and Ghana. Investments will range from half a million to $5 million. The investment firm’s expansion strategy in Africa...
(AFP (eng) 01/04/17)
Italy vowed Wednesday to increase deportations of migrants whose asylum requests have been rejected, after a riot in a reception centre sparked by the death of a young woman. The country, which has been on the frontline of migrants arriving across the Mediterranean from North Africa, is pushing for an agreement with Niger and a renewed deal with Tunisia to facilitate returns. "We have saved many lives but we cannot accept rule-breaking. We need to speed up deportations," Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, the country's former interior minister, said in an interview with La Stampa daily. He was "working to tie up agreements which will reduce arrivals and prevent departures" from the coast of North Africa, he said after a record...
(BBC News Africa 01/03/17)
An electricity grid for the whole village Problem: A total of 1.3 billion people worldwide currently don't have electricity, according to Yale Environment 360. Getting people in rural areas on to the national grid is proving too difficult and traditional solar panels generate meagre amounts of energy. Solution: Steamaco makes solar and battery micro-grids which can work for a whole village. They are small electricity generation and distribution systems that operate independently of larger grids. How it works: Micro-grids are nothing new. The new part is that Steamaco's technology automates the regulation of electricity. So, if the system detects there will be a surge in demand for electricity, for example on a Saturday night when people want to start playing...
(Voice of America 12/30/16)
2016 was predicted to be a tough year for African economies, and it delivered. Traditional economic leaders faltered this year amid a storm of falling commodity prices, unpredictable and destructive weather like droughts and floods across large swaths of the the continent. Slow economic growth in China, a major investor and trading partner, only added to their challenges. “This year, you’ve seen the two Africas: the commodity exporters going through tough times, while the non-commodity exporters being more resilient,” Nigerian economist Nonso Obikili, who researches Nigerian and sub-Saharan economic trends for Economic Research Southern Africa, told VOA. He says 2016 has been hard on African commodity giants as oil prices fell to lows not seen since the global financial crisis...
(AFP (eng) 12/29/16)
French border police intercepted 45 African migrants who were trying to enter the country from Italy and arrested the two smugglers involved, local prosecutors said Wednesday. Travelling in two vans, 25 migrants in the first vehicle were stopped while 20 in the second breached a checkpoint at Montgenevre in southeastern France, before later being found. According to the prosecutor's office, the migrants were returned to the border and the two smugglers are to be tried in Italy.
(APA 12/28/16)
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has sent a condolence message to her Russian counterpart, Mr. Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, following the death of at least ninety-two persons, who were on board a Russian military aircraft that crashed into the Black Sea on Christmas Day. According to a Foreign Ministry release issued here Tuesday, President Sirleaf, in her message to Mr. Putin, expressed deep sorrow for the tragic event, which occurred on Sunday, December 25, 2016. On board the Tupolev Tu-154 aircraft were 64 musicians from the world’s famous Alexandrov Ensemble, including its conductor, Lt.-Gen. Valery Khalilov; director of the department of culture for the Russian ministry of defense, Anton Gubankov; head of the Spravedlivaya Pomoshch charity, Elizaveta...
(AFP (eng) 12/28/16)
Its lower cost has made it popular in commercial food production, but after being blamed for deforestation in Asia, palm oil plantations are now getting a similar rap in Africa. The sheer scale of land required is having an impact in Gabon, Cameroon and the Congo Basin, environmentalists say. With financing coming from American, European and Asian agri-businesses, palm bunches are cultivated then cut from trees and sent to factories where oil is extracted by hot pressing. But the production process accelerates deforestation, contributes to climate change and threatens fauna and flora in vulnerable areas, opponents argue. However the companies say that palm oil is not only less expensive than soya or sunflower oil but requires much less land to...
(The Herald Online 12/27/16)
The end of 2016 provides an opportunity to take stock of Africa’s recent economic performance and future prospects. It’s been a tumultuous year for some African countries largely due to a commodities crisis and a global economic slowdown.Yet there were still pockets of good growth which displayed the huge potential of the African continent. And 2017 looks to be the year the countries hardest hit by the crisis seek to recover from the economic reversals of the past few years. Since the start of the new millennium average economic growth across Africa has been stronger than the global growth rate. Growth across the continent averaged 5 percent. This fuelled the “Africa Rising” narrative that permeated public discourse. Among the growth...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/24/16)
A record 5,000 migrants are believed to have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea this year, following two shipwrecks on Thursday in which some 100 people, mainly West Africans, were feared dead, aid agencies said on Friday. Two overcrowded inflatable dinghies capsized in the Strait of Sicily after leaving Libya for Italy, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said. "Those two incidents together appear to be the numbers that would bring this year's total up to over to 5,000 (deaths), which is a new high that we have reported during this crisis," IOM spokesman Joel Millman told a Geneva briefing. The Italian coast guard rescued survivors and had recovered eight bodies so far, he said...
(APA 12/23/16)
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Thursday granted Executive Clemency to 34 inmates in prisons around the country including the Monrovia Central Prison as part of her Pre-Christmas and New Year activities. Traditionally, the Liberian leader uses her discretion to grant Executive Clemency prison inmates during the Christmas. "Go in peace, stay on the right path and be law-abiding citizens and keep strong during this festive season. I urge you never again to get involved with what led you to prison," President Sirleaf told the freed inmates. According to an Executive release, the Liberian leader granted Executive Clemency to some thirty four (34) inmates from prisons
(The Globe and Mail 12/23/16)
The Square Kilometre Array will be the world’s most powerful radio telescope, opening new frontiers in our understanding of the universe. But the builders have to contend with an unforgiving climate and other formidable challenges first, In the desolate rocky plains of the Great Karoo, the dangers are endless. Scorpions and puff adders are underfoot. The harsh sun beats down, interrupted only by occasional lightning storms. Temperatures range from stifling heat to freezing cold. But at night, in the vast empty darkness, the stars are impossibly bright and clear. And it is the stars that have lured a Canadian-backed project to build the world’s most powerful radio telescope, with the potential to unlock the deepest secrets of the universe. For...
(APA 12/22/16)
The heads of United Nations missions in West Africa have called on the government of Liberia, the National Elections Commission (NEC), political parties, civil society and the citizens to exert all efforts to ensure peaceful elections in 2017. Speaking on behalf of the mission heads at a press conference in Monrovia on Wednesday, the UN Special Representative for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, urged Liberians to conduct themselves properly to ensure a credible, transparent and fair electoral exercise and subsequently a peaceful transition to a newly elected government. Chambas admonished the government to maintain security and to institute critical reforms to address the root causes of potential conflicts. He noted that the UN West African...
(APA 12/22/16)
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Wednesday received in audience the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA), Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas in Monrovia. According to an Executive Mansion press release, the meeting was in furtherance of the just ended 50th Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government held in Abuja, Nigeria with a view to finding a resolution to the political stalemate in the Gambia, Guinea Bissau, among others. President Sirleaf and Dr. Chambas also discussed the general security situation in the sub-region, including the peace process in Mali, threat of global terrorism and the partnership between ECOWAS and the UN. President Sirleaf thanked Dr...
(AFP (eng) 12/22/16)
Selma saunters on her stilt-like legs, batting thick lashes as she extends a blackish tongue -- as long as an arm -- to grab pellets offered by an awed tourist. The giraffe is after all, eating for two. Her pregnancy is good news for one of the rarest giraffe species, protected at the Giraffe Centre in the Kenyan capital, but experts warn the outlook for the rest of the world's tallest land mammals is far gloomier. While it is hoped the shocking news that the gentle giants of the African savannah are facing extinction will spur action, conservationists largely have their hands tied as many giraffe live in Africa's most conflict-torn regions. Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan...
(APA 12/21/16)
Liberia's Ministry of Youth and Sports has received a grant of US$10 million to empower more than 15, 000 youths from across the 15 counties under its Youth Opportunity Project (YOP) which is expected to last for the next five years. Making the disclosure to reporters at his office in Monrovia Wednesday, Youth & Sports Minister Saah Charles N’Tow said the money is a loan agreement signed between the Liberian government, through his ministry and the World Bank in September. Minister N’Tow pointed out that unlike other youth empowerment programs like the “Youth Empowerment Program” (YEP) organized by the Ministry, which basically provides skills training, YOP is focusing on “livelihood opportunity” for less fortunate youths. According to him, the project...

Pages