Thursday 19 October 2017
(The East African 04/03/17)
Nairobi — The 2017 Mo Ibrahim Foundation annual Governance Weekend will be held in Marrakech - Morocco from April 7-9. A press release from the Foundation identifies the Palmeraie Resort as the venue for this year's meeting. The three-day event brings together prominent African and Africa-focused leaders, civil society representatives, multilateral and regional institutions and Africa's international partners to identify policy challenges and possible solutions. Violent extremism The conversation is normally extended to a wider audience through music, art and sport at major public events, showcasing some of Africa's brightest talent. The Foundation has released a report that sets the stage for high-level discussions in Morocco. The priority areas for the Marrakech talks, according to the report, include violent extremism...
(Xinhuanet 03/30/17)
The African Union (AU) is extremely appalled by the attacks against African students in Noida and other cities in India. The pan-African bloc has deplored the violence unleashed during the riot that started on Monday targeting Africans of various nationalities, particularly Nigerians, which resulted in loss of innocent lives and serious injuries, the AU said in a statement. The attacks have also resulted in the displacement of many Africans from their normal places of residence, thereby putting their lives in serious danger, it said. AU has expressed heartfelt condolence to the families of the deceased; and it wished speedy recovery to all those who have sustained injuries. AU has called on the Indian authorities to provide all necessary support to...
(AFP (eng) 03/29/17)
New African football chief Ahmad Ahmad gave his backing on Tuesday to a potential bid from Morocco to host the 2026 World Cup. The north African country has bid to host the global showpiece on four previous occasions but missed out on the 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010 editions. "We are convinced that Morocco could organise this competition just as was done by South Africa in 2010," said Ahmad, who was elected president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) earlier this month to replace Issa Hayatou, at a press conference in Marrakesh. Ahmad's backing comes just a few months after FIFA president Gianni Infantino declared that the country has the necessary "infrastructure and organisational capacity" to host the World...
(Voice of America 03/28/17)
The World Health Organization and U.N. children's fund are spearheading a massive immunization campaign across Africa to rid the continent of the last vestiges of polio. Tens of thousands of health workers will fan out across 13 central and western African countries to vaccinate more than 116 million children under age five against the crippling disease. The U.N. agencies report more than 190,000 volunteers, traveling on foot or bicycle, will go house to house across all cities, towns, and villages in 13 countries to vaccinate every child under age five against polio. The synchronized vaccination campaign, one of the largest ever conducted in Africa, will run from March 25-28. Director of Polio Eradication at the World Health Organization Michel Zaffran...
(AFP (eng) 03/27/17)
Madagascar won successive Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers for the first time since 2007 by defeating Sao Tome e Principe 3-2 Sunday to reach the group phase. The victory in Antananarivo followed a 1-0 away win four days ago in the first leg of a preliminary tie and gave the Madagascans a 4-2 aggregate triumph. Madagascar last won two qualifiers in a row when they defeated the Comoros 6-2 and 4-0 in a combined 2010 World Cup/Cup of Nations eliminator. The Indian Ocean islanders join Senegal, Equatorial Guinea and Sudan in Group A of 2019 qualifying with their first fixture in Khartoum during June. Madagascans playing in north Africa scored the goals that gave long-suffering football followers on the vast...
(Xinhuanet 03/27/17)
There is need for China and its African allies to kick start a new dialogue aimed at revitalizing wildlife and ecological conservation in the world's second largest continent, a conservationist has told Xinhua in an interview. Kaddu Sebunya, president of African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), told Xinhua that Beijing is an indispensable partner in efforts to protect Africa's iconic wildlife species that are grappling with human and climatic induced threats to their survival. "China is playing a big role in Africa's economic development and would like to see it direct more support towards protection of wildlife and vital ecosystems in the continent," Sebunya said. Sebunya noted that China's growing economic and diplomat clout place it at a vantage position to help...
(AFP (eng) 03/24/17)
FIFA president Gianni Infantino said Friday the election of Ahmad Ahmad as Confederation of African Football chief was "a vote for change" after almost 30 years under Cameroonian Issa Hayatou. Ahmad, head of Madagascar's football federation, won the election in the Ethiopian capital this month by 34 votes to Hayatou's 20. "The African confederation needed to decide what it wanted for the future and Africans voted for change," Infantino told journalists on the sidelines of a football congress organised at Estoril, near Lisbon. "Africa is not an easy continent to manage in football terms but Africans have a great passion for the sport and a significant majority wanted a new leader." Infantino, a 47-year-old Swiss-Italian, was elected head of world...
(Agence Ecofin 03/24/17)
In a debriefing to the UN special rapporteur on environment and human rights last week, the research and publication centre on relations between the third world and Europe (CETIM) denounced abusive expropriations of Malagasy rural land owners. These expropriations mainly profit international mining companies and precious wood smugglers. “Many farmers are displaced, moved or sacked from their own lands regardless of land legislation which recognizes customary rights. From the North to the South of Madagascar, mining and agro-industrial firms get operating permits to the detriment of biodiversity,” said CETIM. Expressing himself on the matter
(Xinhuanet 03/24/17)
A group of non-government organizations (NGOs) on Friday called on African leaders to find practical solutions to protect and assist Somali refugees and asylum seekers facing ongoing conflict and a humanitarian crisis in Somalia. In a joint statement issued on the eve of the regional summit on refugees, members of the Regional Durable Solutions Secretariat (ReDSS), Somalia NGO Consortium and the Inter-agency Working Group (IAWG) expressed hope that the leaders will take practical steps towards the development and implementation of a comprehensive regional approach. "It is hoped that such an approach, developed in the spirit of the New York Declaration, will support countries and communities that host Somali refugees in improving asylum space, integrated access to services, inclusive economic opportunities...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/23/17)
N'DJAMENA French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen pledged on Wednesday to break with her country's decades-old relationship with Africa known as "Francafrique" and abolish the CFA franc currency policy that binds Paris and its former colonies. Francafrique describes an informal web of relationships Paris has maintained with its former African colonies and its support, sometimes in the form of military backing, for politicians who favor French business interests. Le Pen, one of the frontrunners in the presidential election, spoke at the end of a two-day visit to Chad where she sought to outline her policies regarding the continent, which has long held an important place in French foreign policy. "It was only in coming here and explaining that I...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/17)
Under a cloudless sky in South Africa's northwestern farming region, donkeys still amble along muddy paths, pausing to nibble on grass, oblivious to the threat from a demand for Chinese medicine. The gelatin found in the animals' skin has made them a target, leading to a growing wave of donkey slaughtering in several African countries, as gangs seek to fuel a lucrative, and in South Africa illegal, trade. Animal rights groups say the docile beasts of burden are often cruelly bludgeoned to death before being skinned in backyards and clandestine slaughterhouses. Around Mogosani village, in South Africa's North West province, residents say syndicates catch the animals in grazing fields and pens. Soon after, skinned carcasses with hooves chopped off are...
(Agence Ecofin 03/20/17)
At the Africa CEO Forum which opened this morning in Geneva, AFD Group – in partnership with the European Union – unveiled the “African Renewable Energy Scale-Up facility”, designed to boost private sector investment in on–grid and off-grid renewable energy production in Africa. In order to meet Africa’s constantly increasing energy requirements, support must be provided for mass development of the renewable energy technologies – especially solar energy – that will play such a key role over the coming years, given the recent drop in prices and the emergence of new innovative business models. The EU’s electrification funding initiative, “ElectriFI”, helps to harness and stimulate private sector investment to enhance access to renewable energy. More specifically, it focuses on poorly-served...
(Voice of America 03/18/17)
Each year, the University of Southern California hosts the African Global Economic and Development Summit, bringing delegations from Africa to meet with business leaders, government officials and others in the U.S. But this year, the African summit has no Africans. All were denied visas. Visa issues are not uncommon for people traveling from African nations. During her prior three summits, Mary Flowers saw a high percentage of her attendees unable to attain visas. "Usually we get 40 percent that get rejected but the others come," said Flowers, chair of the African Global Economic and Development Summit. "This year it was 100 percent. Every delegation. And it was sad to see, because these people were so disheartened." Flowers estimated that she...
(Voice of America 03/17/17)
One of the enduring legacies of the Barack Obama presidency will be the relationship built between the United States and young Africans. As part of Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), each year 1,000 young people from sub-Saharan Africa travel to the United States to spend six weeks at a U.S. college or university. The program will continue this summer. But building enduring relationships is a two-way street, and many in Africa want to see Americans coming to their continent as well. That’s what 26 Americans selected to participate in a Reciprocal Exchange program, a new component of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, are now planning to do. The U.S. Department of State partnered with IREX, a...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
Madagascar's football chief Ahmad Ahmad was elected president of the Confederation of African Football Thursday, ousting veteran leader Issa Hayatou after 29 years in office. Ahmad won the election in the Ethiopian capital by 34 votes to Hayatou's 20, official results showed. Delegates cheered and pumped their fists in the plenary hall after the result was announced. Ahmad, a 57-year-old father of two, had a discreet playing and coaching career before he took the reins of the Madagascar football federation in 2003. His rare and determined bid for "change" at the head of the CAF this year took many by surprise, and the incumbent was seen as the favourite. "When you try to do something, you mean that you can...
(Bloomberg 03/16/17)
The worst tropical cyclone in 13 years to strike Madagascar may push up already record prices for vanilla beans that are used to flavor everything from cafe lattes to ice cream. The storm that killed at least 78 people in the Indian Ocean island nation last week may have damaged as much as 30 percent of the crop, according to David van der Walde, director at Aust & Hachmann Canada Ltd., the world’s oldest vanilla company. The vanilla market, worth about $1.3 billion a year at current prices, was already tight after output slipped and quality suffered over the past two years in Madagascar, which accounts for more than three quarters of global supply. Prices have doubled in a little...
(Xinhuanet 03/16/17)
China's aid to the education sector in Africa is helping boost teacher training, a key component in skilling the population to fast track development, a UN official has said. Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, Director of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Regional Office for Eastern Africa, in an interview recognized China's contribution to Africa's education sector over the years. "We value the initiative in teacher training in Uganda and other countries in Africa. This will revitalize the teaching profession," she said. China through UNESCO donated equipment to three teacher training institutions in Uganda on March 3. Figures from the Chinese embassy here show that 137 tutors were trained and 272 pieces of Information Communication and Technology and studio equipment...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
Africa will host a Commonwealth Games one day despite the blow of Durban being stripped of hosting the 2022 edition, David Grevemberg, the chief executive of The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), told AFP. Durban lost the right to host the Games on Monday -- just 18 months after being awarded them -- when it failed to meet criteria laid down by the CGF, primarily over costs. "I wouldn't want to make a judgement call," Grevemberg told AFP on the sidelines of a briefing by 2018 Games hosts Gold Coast on Wednesday. "Durban has hosted some great events, it is a fantastic city and are wonderful warm hosts with bright ambitions and great aspirations. "However, it takes more than a municipality,...
(AFP (eng) 03/15/17)
A cyclone that slammed into Madagascar last week killed 78 people and affected 400,000, the authorities said on Tuesday as they classed the event a national disaster. A quarter of a million of people were displaced from their homes, 18 are listed as missing and 250 as injured, the National Bureau for Risk and Catastrophe Management (BNGRC) said in a statement. A previous toll, released on Saturday, gave at least 50 people dead and 176,000 affected. Storm Enawo slammed into the northeast of the island on March 7, packing gusts of up to 290 kilometres (180 miles) per hour and delivering drenching rain. It then moved southwards, its winds weakening, before hitting the capital. The cyclone was the most powerful...
(The Wall Street Journal 03/15/17)
Ndalo Media founder Khanyi Dhlomo and Mara Group founder Ashish Thakkar on where the potential is and what’s blocking it How is innovation in Africa different from innovation in Silicon Valley? And how can innovation in Africa be encouraged? Dan Keeler, frontier-markets editor of The Wall Street Journal, discussed those questions with Khanyi Dhlomo, founder and chief executive of Ndalo Media, a publisher based in South Africa, and Ashish Thakkar, founder of Mara Group, a pan-African investment group with operations in banking, real estate, infrastructure and technology. Edited excerpts follow. MR. KEELER: What about innovation in Africa? Khanyi, what sort of things are you seeing that are inspiring you? MS. DHLOMO:There’s a lot of innovation happening in Africa. But it’s...

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