| Africatime
Tuesday 28 March 2017
(Voice of America 10/17/16)
Telecom workers in Burkina Faso were on strike again this month, leading to phone and internet interruptions. The country has only one internet service provider, Onatel, but the days of the telecom monopoly in Africa may ending. The Burkina Faso telecommunications authority fined Onatel 5 billion CFA francs ($8.5 million U.S.) in response to the strike, which cut internet access across the country for more than a week. Arouna Ouédraogo, an information technology specialist, said people without access to the internet become desperate. He said he businesspeople rushing to his internet cafe with contracts to sign and documents to send, but he couldn't help them. "People outside this country just cannot imagine that there is no internet" for such an...
(AFP (eng) 10/15/16)
Stemming the astronomical losses caused by crime in the oceans surrounding Africa is the focus of a major continental summit on Saturday in the Togolese capital, Lome. "Over recent decades, the accumulated revenue losses resulting directly from illegal activities in the African maritime sector add up to hundreds of billions of US dollars, without counting the loss of human lives," the African Union (AU) said in an online statement about its Protect Our Oceans meeting. Up to 30 African heads of state and government are expected to attend the gathering, whose full title is the AU Extraordinary Summit on Maritime Security and Safety and Development in Africa. The long-term aim, according to the AU, is to "make maritime space the...
(APA 10/14/16)
President Ellen Johnson has urged the Auditor General of the General Auditing Commission (GAC), Madam Yusador Gaye, to form partnerships with international accounting firms, including PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in an effort to improve the country's local accounting institutions. Speaking at the launch of the Liberia office of PricewaterhouseCoopers in Monrovia on Thursday, President Sirleaf instructed the Auditor General to ensure that the partner firms meet government's basic accounting requirements. The Liberian leader noted that as the government begins to rollout on collecting income tax, it is going to take a lot of work on the part of accounts and accounting firms, including PricewaterhouseCoopers
(Voice of America 10/14/16)
Twenty-two Liberian girls are in Washington, D.C., as part of the U.S. government’s "Let Girls Learn" initiative. Their trip is a follow-up to first lady Michelle Obama’s visit to Liberia and Morocco in June to highlight girls' education and U.S. support. During their week-long stay in Washington, the girls visited the newly opened National Museum of African American History. The girls also attended workshops and visited the White House to watch the screening of a CNN documentary about girls' education: "We Will Rise: Michelle Obama’s Mission to Educate Girls Around the World."
(Reuters (Eng) 10/14/16)
About 70 sub-Saharan African migrants forced their way over a barbed wire barrier into Spain’s North African enclave of Melilla Thursday. They ran to a local immigration center where they were met by dozens of migrants cheering “victory, victory” although their legal status in Spain has yet to be determined. Migrants wait weeks and sometimes months at the short-stay immigrant center in the hope of being transferred to a refugee reception center in mainland Spain, said Government Delegation of Melilla spokesperson Irene Flores. Spain has two enclaves in Morocco, Ceuta and Melilla, and both are hot spots for African migrants making their way to Europe either by climbing over the barriers, going around them or swimming along the coastline. After...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/13/16)
When German Chancellor Angela Merkel toured three African nations this week for talks on curbing migration to Europe, the leader of the world's poorest country, Niger, suggested it would take a "Marshall Plan" of massive aid to stop people coming. Merkel politely declined the request, expressing concern about how well the aid would be spent and noting that, at a summit in Malta last year, the European Union had already earmarked 1.8 billion euros for a trust fund to train and resettle migrants. But Niger's President Mahatma Issoufou also proposed something perhaps more significant, in the long run, than a development package - bringing Niger's population growth down from 3.9 percent, the highest in the world. Though he gave no...
(APA 10/12/16)
Thirty one farmers from communities near ArAcelorMittal Liberia The training was sponsored by ArcelorMittal Liberia and conducted by Catalyst Liberia Inc. Farmers came from several entities, including local NGOs and churches, as well as the Ministry of Agriculture in the Sanniquellie, Mahn and Yarmein districts in Nimba County to take advantage of this life-changing opportunity. According to a press statement, the training taught farmers how to generate sufficient income to sustain their families. Specifically, farmers gained knowledge in business strategies, planning and managing that will enable them to market their farm products. The Co-facilitator of the training, Alexander Wright, said the programme is unique and timely
(Graphic Online 10/12/16)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has emphasised that Africa will be a priority when her country takes over the G20's revolving presidency at the end of 2016. Speaking in Ethiopia yesterday on the final stage of a three-nation African tour, which also included visits to Mali and Niger, Mrs Merkel pledged development as well as military aid on her trip. She said it was important to stem migration at its source. Germany took in more than one million irregular migrants last year - many from war-ravaged Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, but also many fleeing economic hardship across Africa. Migration is expected to be a key issue in next year's federal elections, though Mrs Merkel has not yet declared whether she will...
(AFP (eng) 10/11/16)
Raised on the backstabbing intrigue of 1980s American soaps "Dallas" and "Dynasty", and later, the heady drama of South American telenovelas, Africans are enjoying a surge in local TV content they can finally identify with. It took a while, but in the past decade local programming has soared in sub-Saharan Africa's key economies, a rise driven by both foreign satellite networks and television stations on the continent. This growth has delivered up local shows such as Kenya's comedic "Real Househelps of Kawangware" -- a play on the US "Real Housewives" series -- along with talk shows, political satire and continent-wide reality TV such as "Big Brother Africa" and "Project Fame". And demand is set to grow with the number of...
(AFP (eng) 10/10/16)
Africa will come together to battle piracy and illegal fishing for the first time at an African Union maritime security summit that kicks off in Togo on October 15. The continent urgently needs to fight "extremely high stakes" piracy and illegal fishing in its waters by joining forces over policy and working to raise necessary funds, Togo's Foreign Minister Robert Dussey told AFP ahead of the meeting. - Why is this meeting being held? - "These are very high stakes for Africa. At least 92 percent of imported goods arrive on the continent across the seas and oceans. Of the 54 countries in the African Union, 33 have a coastline," said Dussey. "During the summit, several issues will be tackled...
(AFP (eng) 10/08/16)
World economic leaders gathered in Washington this week to defend globalization, delivering a single message in unison: Protectionism will not save you. But this glosses over the plight of Africa, which is sinking further into poverty despite years of free trade. According to the International Monetary Fund, which held its annual meetings this week with the World Bank, growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is in free-fall this year, with a growth rate of 1.4 percent, down from 3.4 percent in 2015, its lowest in a quarter century. The regional economy will therefore grow more slowly than the population, at the risk of deepening poverty in a region already home to more than half of the 766 million people on earth who...
(APA 10/07/16)
The release of new Liberian dollar banknotes and the new police administration's 100 days deliverables dominate the headlines of Liberian newspapers on Friday. The Central Bank of Liberia on Thursday, October 6 began the distribution and issuance of the newly printed Liberian dollar banknotes. The new local currency is being distributed through commercial and other financial institutions throughout the country. A spokesperson for the bank told reporters on Thursday that the release of the new banknotes was synchronized with the retrieval of mutilated banknotes from the commercial banks in line with a schedule designed by the Banking Department of the Central Bank. The Daily Observer and Inquirer newspapers published this story as their front page banner headlines, while the News...
(AFP (eng) 10/07/16)
Investment into Africa may buck the global downward trend and stage a rebound this year despite low prices hitting the oil and gas sector, a UN agency said Thursday. While foreign direct investment, a key driver of trade and economic growth, is set to drop by 10 to 15 percent this year globally, in Africa it may increase by 6 percent to $55 to 60 billion, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Developments (UNCTAD) said in a report. "This bounce-back is already becoming visible in announced greenfield projects in Africa. In the first quarter of 2016, their value was $29 billion, 25 percent higher than the same period in 2015," said the agency. While north African countries such as...
(Xinhuanet 10/06/16)
Zhou Ping had not seen his father for five years when in primary school. Despite the biting solitude, Zhou always displayed his pride for his father -- he was from a glorious "foreign aid family," and his father was building the Tazara Railway in Africa. Standing on the windy East African plateau, Zhou picked up this childhood sentiment. More than 40 years have passed, and 53-year-old Zhou is now a construction worker for another historic railway connecting the African countries of Ethiopia and Djibouti. The Ethiopia-Djibouti railway, which officially opened service on Wednesday, is another Chinese-built trans-national rail in Africa following Tazara, which links Tanzania's Dar es Salaam with Zambia's Kapiri Mposhi. Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang hailed it as...
(APA 10/05/16)
The continuing wrangling at the Lower House of Representatives and UN Women commending Liberia and Nigeria for women’s inclusion dominate the headlines in the Wednesday editions of Liberian newspapers. There was another scene of political disagreement at the lower House of Representatives on Tuesday when one of the lawmakers without authority sat in the seat of the Deputy Speaker and presiding officer of the House Hans Barchue. Montserrado County Representative Josephine Francis comfortably sat in the seat of acting presiding officer Barchue who had not arrived as if she were authorized to do so. When Barchue entered the joint chamber, he was shocked to see that the session had begun without him. In an angry mood, Barchue announced that the...
(CNN 10/05/16)
Terrorism, human trafficking, and corruption are creating a more dangerous continent, which in turn is preventing better governance, a new report revealed. The results of the 2016 Ibrahim Index of African Governance, published by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, show that two thirds of Africans live in a country where safety and rule of law has deteriorated over the past decade, greatly impacting overall governance in Africa. 15 countries have declined 'quite substantially,' and almost half the countries on the continent recorded their worst score ever within the last three years. The Ibrahim Index of African Governance, the report provides an annual assessment of governance in Africa and is most comprehensive collection of data on governance in the region. The 2016...
(APA 10/04/16)
Liberia's Finance and Development Planning Minister Boima S. Kamara has expressed gratitude for the warm relationship with the People’s Republic of China. Speaking Monday at the official signing ceremony of a US$50 million loan agreement between the Liberian Government and the EXIM Bank of China for the refurbishing of the runway and terminal of the Roberts International Airport (RIA), Kamara commended the warm relationship existing between the two nations. He said the relationship culminated in the signing of the loan agreement between the Liberian Government and EXIM Bank to recondition the RIA runway and terminal; adding “We are transmitting investment into airports and seaports for exporting; roads and power, better hospitals and flourishing farms.” “We are committed to continuing this...
(AFP (eng) 10/04/16)
The global conference that governs wildlife trade voted Monday against strengthening the ban on ivory sales, exposing bitter divisions among African countries and experts over elephant conservation. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) rejected a proposal to include all African elephants in its highest category of protection, which bans trade in species facing extinction. A coalition of 29 African countries -- led by Kenya and Benin -- had pressed for African elephants to be put in the CITES "Appendix I" category. But South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe rejected the proposal, saying they should continue to be excluded from Appendix I as they have stable or growing elephant populations. "This is a tragedy for elephants," said Kelvin Alie,...
(AFP (eng) 10/03/16)
After almost 200 years of Western influence on their clothes, Liberians are revelling in a style revolution, designing and tailoring their own edgy creations with prints and cuts influenced by their African neighbours. Until 2003, when a peace deal ended 14 years of devastating civil war, tens of thousands of Liberians had been living as refugees in Ivory Coast, Ghana and Guinea. Since then, most of them have returned, bringing with them fashion influences that have translated into a vibrant homegrown industry. Increasingly visible across the country are a wave of unique Liberian creations, which are rapidly eclipsing the once-popular combination of polo shirts, jeans and hoodies. Back home, Liberians began asking tailors
(Reuters (Eng) 10/03/16)
Governance across Africa has improved very little over the past decade as deteriorating safety and rule of law have held back progress made in other areas such as human rights or economic opportunities, a survey said on Monday. The Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) - the most comprehensive survey of its kind on the continent - rates 54 African nations against criteria such as security, human rights, economic stability, just laws, free elections, corruption, infrastructure, poverty, health and education. Mauritius held onto its top spot, followed by Botswana, Cape Verde, the Seychelles and Namibia while South Africa - the continent's most industrialised country - was in sixth place. While overall the index has improved by just one point over...

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