| Africatime
Sunday 26 March 2017
(AFP 08/19/16)
Maps, road signs, sat navs, Google maps -- it all makes travelling so easy. But how do you get around in a city with few street names, where buildings have no numbers? "Cross 'Death Junction' then after about 500 metres on the left, you'll see a curtain seller. Go up the path until you see a black building -- that's where I live," says Judith Koumis, giving directions to her home in Yaounde, the Cameroon capital. "It's easy," she says, forgetting, like everyone else, that "Death Junction" has an official name -- Friendship Junction. In this west African country, like many other places on the continent, getting around town can be something of a puzzle without a firm grasp of...
(Xinhuanet 08/10/16)
The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) has received 1,000 tons of foods to help victims of severe food insecurity in southern Madagascar, said Tuesday by a statement from the WFP office in Antananarivo. The foods, including sorghum, maize meal and split peas, were received on Aug. 6 at Ehoala Port in Ford-Dauphin southeast Madagascar from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). These foods will help 88,000 people affected by severe food insecurity for two months, the WFP communication assistant Volana Rarivoson told Xinhua. "For the moment, with all supports that it already has, WFP cannot yet cover half of the 665,000 people severely food insecure in the seven most affected districts," Volana Rarivoson said. Among the 14...
(The Wall Street Journal 08/09/16)
Deal would mark South African furniture retailer’s entry into U.S. market. Steinhoff International Holdings NV, Africa’s retailing giant but little-known outside the continent, has made its first foray into the U.S., agreeing to pay $2.4 billion for Sleepy’s owner Mattress Firm Holding Corp. Steinhoff, a family-owned furniture seller based outside Cape Town, South Africa, is called “Africa’s IKEA” for its home furnishing retail chains. Until recently, it had trained its sights on expansion in Europe, from Germany and Switzerland to Poland and Bulgaria, and Australasia. Last month, it agreed to pay £597 million ($793.77 million) for British retailer Poundland Group PLC, which sells most of its goods for a pound, or about $1.31 at today’s rates. The company said on...
(The Associated Press 08/06/16)
The World Health Organization and its partners shipped more than 6 million yellow fever vaccines to Angola in February to quash an emerging epidemic, yet when they asked country officials the following month what happened to the vaccines, they discovered that about 1 million doses had mysteriously disappeared. Of the shipments that did make it to Angola, some vaccines were sent to regions with no yellow fever cases, while others arrived at infected areas without syringes. In neighboring Congo, some vaccines weren't always kept cold enough to guarantee they would be effective. This lack of oversight and mismanagement has undermined control of the outbreak in Central Africa, the worst yellow fever epidemic in decades, an Associated Press investigation has found...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/05/16)
In an expanse of sand 60 miles (100 km) north of Senegal's capital, two men set to work digging up tree stumps to clear space for what could soon be the biggest solar plant in West Africa. In less than a year, says developer Senergy PV SA, this shrubby lot will be covered with 96,000 gleaming solar panels from China, injecting up to 30 megawatts into the grid. It is an attractive prospect for a nation with a dire power deficit, and which currently meets most of its needs by burning imported oil in hugely inefficient diesel generators. "The context is favorable," Karim Ndiaye, investment director at French private equity firm Meridiam, which bought out the original Senergy company in...
(Voice of America 08/04/16)
On the eve of President Barack Obama’s 55th birthday, he was greeted in song with "Happy Birthday" Wednesday by about a thousand participants at this year’s Young African Leaders summit in Washington. Obama launched the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) six years ago to support an emerging generation of young African entrepreneurs, activists and public officials. Its flagship program, the Mandela Washington Fellowship, began two years ago with the goal of empowering young Africans through academic coursework, leadership training and networking. "Today's Africa is a place of unprecedented prosperity and opportunities," Obama told the excited crowd, noting that he'd visited sub-Saharan Africa four times, more than any other U.S. president. During his time as president, Obama said, "I've worked to...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/03/16)
Barclays is expected to sell more of its stake in its African subsidiary in the coming weeks to take its holding in the business to less than 50% and strengthen the UK parent bank's capital. A lock-up period following a previous share sale expires on Tuesday, and Barclays is expected to sell more stock in Barclays Africa as part of its plan to deconsolidate the business. Barclays CEO Jes Staley, who took over a year ago, decided in March to sell down the stake in its African operations because the bank's 62% ownership meant it had to fully allocate capital to the business, but got less than two-thirds of its profits. The bank sold a 12.2% stake on May 4,...
(Xinhuanet 07/30/16)
The executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced the immediate disbursement of 43.5 million U.S. dollar for Madagascar in the framework of Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement, a statement received Friday from IMF office here said. "The IMF executive board approved 304.7 million U.S. dollar under a 40-month ECF arrangement for Madagascar, to help reinforce macroeconomic stability and boost sustainable and inclusive growth", the statement said following the decision taken in IMF headquarter in Washington on Wednesday. "Following the Board's decision, 43.5 million U.S. dollar is available for immediate disbursement; the remaining amount will be available in phases over
(Voice of America 07/30/16)
The president of the African Wildlife Foundation has called on African governments to urgently address the issue of poaching, which he said is depriving the continent of its resources. But Zimbabwe says the international ban on the sale of ivory — which was imposed to discourage poaching — is hurting its interests. Winding up a five-day visit to Zimbabwe on Friday, Kaddu Sebunya said poaching is depleting Africa of its vital natural resources in the same way the slave trade once did. He said animal populations are dropping rapidly around the continent. “We have been losing an average of 30,000 elephants annually. Many African countries in the last 20 years have lost all their rhino population. All. Zero left. It...
(Cnbc Africa 07/29/16)
"One cannot get to the top by being average,” says Noletu Moti, Koeberg Nuclear Plant’s first female chief inspector. Moti who is in her mid-30s, hailing from the outskirts of East London, is taking others with her to the top by assisting young Africans who want to be where she is through Bhongoletu Youth Foundation, which she started in 2012 with the slogan ‘Live The South African Dream’. ‘’Youth development has always been a dream. If I was not doing science, I would be in youth development full time, travelling Africa helping young children in literacy & numeracy. A nation without education suffers immensely,” says Moti The highly fashionable inspector is responsible for the establishment and coordination of Koeberg Nuclear...
(AFP (eng) 07/28/16)
Humanitarian agencies said Thursday that they need $1.2 billion in critical aid for seven drought-stricken countries in southern Africa, as the El Nino weather phenomenon continues to devastate crops across the region. An estimated 12.3 people million are at risk, southern Africa's Regional Inter-Agency Standing Committee said, as their food stocks are exhausted and their access to safe drinking water becomes limited. The hardest hit countries are Angola, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warned that if the agencies failed to raise the funds in time, the consequences of the drought would be catastrophic. "Droughts, like the one caused this year by El Nino, are becoming more frequent...
(Xinhuanet 07/28/16)
Cooperation among China, the United States and Africa can effectively fight maritime piracy in Africa, a UN senior official said here on Wednesday. UN General Secretary special representative Mohamed Ibn Chambas made the remarks on the sidelines of the two-day meeting which kicked off on Wednesday. About thirty diplomats and experts from Africa, China and the United States discussed collective strategies to address maritime security, protect the blue economy in the Gulf of Guinea and promote peace in the Sahel region. The first day of trilateral consultation among Africa, China and the United States has laid the ground for further cooperation on fight against maritime piracy in Africa, he said. "China and U.S., two world powers and members of the...
(Business Day 07/27/16)
The rapid uptake of digital services across the continent requires that the region’s governments urgently release more spectrum for mobile broadband services. This is according to a report by global mobile network operators association GSMA, which was released on Tuesday. The lack of spectrum has hampered the rapid deployment of faster wireless network infrastructure in many parts of Africa, including SA. At the end of 2015, the continent had 557-million unique mobile subscribers, equivalent to 46% of its population. This has made Africa the second-largest, but least penetrated, market in the world. Africa’s three largest national markets — Egypt, Nigeria and SA — together account for around a third of the total subscriber base. However, Africa is barely scratching the...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/26/16)
Thirty nine people, including 16 children, died in Madagascar on Saturday in a fire in a residential compound in a village 500 km (310 miles) south of the capital Antananarivo, a security official said on Monday. Anthony Rakotoarison, a senior police official, told Reuters the fire broke out at around 7 p.m. at a compound where a party to celebrate the completion of a house renovation was underway. Rakotoarison said the fire started at a straw hut that had been erected near a fireplace where meals for the occasion were prepared, before the blaze spread to the main house. "Thirty-nine people were killed by the fire - 38 of them died on Saturday, another victim passed away today," he said...
(Los Angeles Times 07/26/16)
Each week, Lucia Thedzi and her five children go one or two days without eating. Some weeks, the family survives on nuts the size of golf balls but with meager flesh inside. Living in a small village on the hot, flat plains of Chikwawa in southern Malawi, they have little choice. In recent months, drought has turned the region into a dust bowl, cutting the Thedzis’ typical seven-bag harvest of millet and sorghum in half. They are now down to food for less than a month. “There was a sense of despair and a real fear about how they might get through the coming months,” said Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, founder and CEO of the humanitarian organization Mary’s Meals, which feeds schoolchildren,...
(Xinhuanet 07/26/16)
Despite Africa's slowdown, property developers and private equity funds continue to pour investment into the continent, but with more focused strategies, organizers of the upcoming Africa Property Investment (API) Summit said on Monday. "Over 1.2 billion U.S. dollars has been raised and allocated to real estate investment in Africa over the past year and we expect this trend to continue," said Kfir Rusin, General Manager of APIS. This year's summit, scheduled for August 18-19 in Johannesburg, will feature various discussions on innovative strategies and collaboration, as well as showcasing new real estate opportunities and projects across Africa. Commenting on the global capital flows making their mark on African real estate, Peter Welborn, Chairman of Knight Franks' Africa business, said the...
(AFP (eng) 07/25/16)
Thirty-eight people, including 16 children, were killed over the weekend when fire razed a house during a housewarming celebration in central Madagascar. The tragedy occurred in the village of Ambalavato in the district of Ikalamavony, in central Madagascar and the gendarmerie announced the incident on Monday saying it was an accident. “Of the 39 occupants of the house, 38 were killed, including 16 children,” the communications manager of the gendarmerie in the capital Antananarivo, Commander Herilalatiana Andrianarivosona told AFP. “A celebration was being held in Ambalavato after completing the rehabilitation of an old house with a thatched roof. The roof caught fire early Sunday morning,” he added. Among the victims were several family members of the owner of the house...
(Xinhuanet 07/25/16)
Sub-Saharan Africa remains a fast-growing region in the world despite a relative slow down, multinational professional services firm Ernst & Young (EY) said on Monday. This is reflected in the foreign direct investment (FDI) levels in 2015, where FDI project numbers increased by seven percent, EY said in its 2016 Africa Attractiveness Program, issued in Johannesburg. Although the capital value of projects was down year-on-year, from 88.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2014 to 71.3 billion in 2015, this was still higher than the 2010-2014 average of 68 billion U.S. dollars, the report said. Similarly, jobs created were down year-on-year, but still ahead of the average for 2010-2014, the report showed. "Over the past year, global markets have experienced unprecedented volatility...
(Voice of America 07/23/16)
The 14th U.N. Conference on Trade and Development ended Friday in Nairobi with delegates adopting a measure giving the organization a central role in meeting U.N. sustainable development goals. UNCTAD said the quadrennial gathering also produced the beginning of an e-trade initiative, the launch of a multiple-donor trust fund on trade and productive capacity, and an agreement involving more than 90 nations on a road map for fisheries subsidies. A report released earlier in the week by UNCTAD, "Economic Development in Africa 2016," noted that African governments should take action to prevent rapid debt growth from becoming a crisis. The report also said the annual average foreign debt stock of Africa from 2011 to 2013 amounted to $443 billion, a...
(AFP (eng) 07/22/16)
French petroleum giant Total signed an eight-year deal to become the new sponsor of African football and its showpiece event, the Africa Cup of Nations, on Thursday. The sponsorship of the tournament will start at its next edition in Gabon from Jan 14 to Feb 5, 2017. "This partnership is a major milestone in our ongoing search for additional resources to accelerate African football’s development, bring its governance up to date, upgrade its sports infrastructure and advance its performance globally," said Issa Hayatou, the president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF). "As a leading multinational in its field, with strong ties to Africa, Total will make a significant contribution to CAF’s initiatives to foster personal and professional growth for...

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