Thursday 23 November 2017
(AFP (eng) 11/17/17)
Africa is making only faltering progress towards food and nutrition security, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned. "Multiple forms of malnutrition coexist, with countries experiencing simultaneously high rates of child undernutrition or anaemia as well as high rates of obesity," it says in a new report, Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition. In sub-Saharan Africa, "progress towards the World Health Assembly global nutrition targets has been generally poor," the Rome-based agency says, referring to goals to end hunger by 2025. The annual document came out Thursday at the start of a two-day food and health seminar in Ivory Coast's economic capital, Abidjan. Around 200 people from 47 African nations are gathered...
(AFP (eng) 11/13/17)
Ministers from 13 European and African countries on Monday pledged steps to ease the migrant crisis around the Mediterranean, vowing especially to improve conditions for migrants held in Libya. Interior ministers and other representatives from countries impacted by the ongoing wave of migration up through Africa towards Europe, including Libya, voiced deep concern over the "ongoing human tragedy" along the so-called Central Mediterranean route. "The participants intend to address the challenges posed by the alarming situation along the migration route to North Africa," Switzerland, which hosted the third meeting of the so-called contact group on the crisis, said in a statement. Thousands of migrants and refugees who attempt to travel along this route "find themselves in catastrophic situations," it said,...
(AFP (eng) 11/08/17)
A dozen other students look on as Umar Amadu uses a glass pipette to draw a solution from a conical flask as part of a chemistry experiment. It could be a scene from any school laboratory around the world, but until two months ago Amadu and his fellow students had no access to any science equipment. Science subjects at his rural secondary school outside the city of Katsina in northern Nigeria were taught using theory only. But now they have...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/07/17)
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Ride-hailing service Uber Technologies Inc. [UBER.UL] is growing rapidly in sub-Saharan Africa and considering moves into more markets, despite sometimes violent opposition from metered taxi drivers, a senior executive said on Tuesday. Uber’s service has triggered protests by rivals from London to New Delhi as it up-ends traditional business models that require professional drivers to pay steep licensing fees to do business. “We are bullish on Africa. The growth here is still substantial and we think...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/06/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Africa’s mobile internet connections are set to double in the next five years, a study showed on Monday, thanks to affordable smartphones and the roll-out of high-speed networks. A report by research and consulting firm Ovum in London estimates that mobile broadband connections will rise from 419 million at the end of this year to 1.07 billion by the end of 2022. “Data connectivity is growing strongly in Africa, and there are also good prospects on the...
(AFP (eng) 10/26/17)
In Madagascar, ceremonies in which families exhume the remains of dead relatives, rewrap them in fresh cloth and dance with the corpses are a sacred ritual. But an outbreak of plague sweeping the Indian Ocean island nation has prompted warnings that the macabre spectacle, known as the turning of the bones or body turning, presents a serious risk of contamination. On a recent baking hot Saturday in Ambohijafy, a village outside the capital Antananarivo, a "turning" procession snaked through the...
(AFP (eng) 10/25/17)
The death toll from Madagascar's plague outbreak has reached 124, officials said Tuesday, as they cautiously welcomed a slowdown in infections. The highly contagious plague has caused alarm across the poor Indian Ocean island since August, spreading to the capital Antananarivo and other cities. A total of 1,133 people have been infected, the health ministry said. "There is a decrease in the number of people admitted to hospital (and) an increase in cured patients who leave hospital," Manitra Rakotoarivony, a...
(The Associated Press 10/25/17)
Authorities in Madagascar say the death toll from a plague outbreak has reached 124 people as the disease for the first time affects the Indian Ocean island’s two biggest cities. The nation’s disaster risk management office says 1,192 cases have been identified. More than two-thirds of cases are of the more virulent pneumonic form. The office says less than 30 percent of people who have had contact with plague patients can be traced, making it more difficult to control the...
(AFP (eng) 10/24/17)
Elephant poaching in Africa declined for a fifth straight year in 2016 but seizures of illegal ivory hit records highs, the CITES monitor said Tuesday, calling it a "conflicting phenomena". In its latest report, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species also noted that despite the overall fall in poaching, Africa's elephant population has continued to drop "due to continued illegal killing, land transformation and rapid human expansion." Global illegal ivory trade has remained relatively stable for six years,...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/23/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - African political leaders, activists, and local chiefs joined forces on Monday to commit to ending child marriage in West and Central Africa, the region with the highest child marriage rate in the world. More than a third of girls in the region are married under the age of 18, with the rate over 50 percent in six countries and up to 76 percent in Niger. Driven by factors including poverty, insecurity and religious tradition, marrying...
(AFP (eng) 10/21/17)
The killing of four American special operations soldiers in Niger has highlighted the increasing role elite units are playing across Africa, which is rapidly becoming a major center of US military action. Their mission is to counter the advances of a slew of jihadist movements across the continent, including Al-Shabaab in Somalia, affiliates of the Islamic State group in the Sahel region and Boko Haram in Nigeria. Of the 8,000 special forces "operators" deployed globally this year, more than 1,300...
(AFP (eng) 10/20/17)
The death toll from a plague outbreak in Madagascar has risen to 94, with the number of suspected cases jumping to more than 1,100, the World Health Organization said Friday. Officials on the poor Indian Ocean island nation had earlier this week reported 74 fatalities and 805 cases. WHO's director for health emergencies in Africa, Ibrahima Soce Fall, told reporters in Geneva that out of 1,153 suspected cases, 300 had been laboratory confirmed. Fall said WHO has sent 1.3 million doses of antibiotics to Madagascar, enough to treat 5,000 patients and protect another 100,000 people who may have been exposed to the infectious disease.
(Reuters (Eng) 10/20/17)
GENEVA (Reuters) - A plague epidemic has killed 94 people on the island of Madagascar and could spread further, the World Health Organization said on Friday. WHO’s Africa emergencies director, Ibrahima Soce Fall, told reporters in Geneva the organization was racing to stop both the Madagascar plague and an outbreak of the Ebola-like Marburg virus in Uganda that it was confident it could contain. Plague is endemic in Madagascar, but the outbreak that has caused 1,153 suspected cases since August...
(AFP (eng) 10/20/17)
YAOUNDE (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The death toll from the plague which is spreading in Madagascar has risen close to 100, and the Red Cross has warned that growing stigma attached to the disease could undermine efforts to contain the outbreak. While cases of bubonic plague occur in Madagascar nearly every year, this year’s epidemic is “much more dangerous”, said Elhadj As Sy, secretary general of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), from Madagascar. This...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/20/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The #MeToo social media campaign to raise awareness about sexual harassment and abuse has sparked conversation in parts of Africa where domestic violence is rampant but strong cultural and religious taboos prevent women from admitting it. Prompted by sexual abuse allegations against American film mogul Harvey Weinstein, millions of women around the world have been sharing their experiences of harassment and abuse on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #MeToo. The movement has reached only...
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
An outbreak of highly contagious plague has claimed 74 lives in Madagascar over the past two months with the capital particularly affected, according to a new official toll published Tuesday. A total of 805 cases have been reported on the poor Indian Ocean island nation since August, the health ministry said in a statement. Madagascar has suffered plague outbreaks almost every year since 1980 -- typically between September and April -- and are often sparked by rats fleeing forest fires...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/16/17)
ANTANANARIVO (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Safidy is a 17-year-old who lives in Madagascar’s capital, Antananarivo. She and her boyfriend didn’t use contraception, they didn’t know where to find it and didn’t have the money to pay for it. When she became pregnant she sought help to end the pregnancy. Abortion is illegal in Madagascar, but clandestine terminations are performed regularly in the Indian Ocean nation. “The doctor assured me that it will work and we trusted him,” said Safidy, who...
(The Associated Press 10/12/17)
Authorities in Seychelles say a man was diagnosed with pneumonic plague after returning from Madagascar, where a plague outbreak has killed dozens of people. The Seychelles News Agency reported Wednesday that the patient arrived on the main island of Mahe on an Air Seychelles flight on Oct. 6. The airline has since suspended its Madagascar flights. The agency says Seychelles health officials are monitoring 258 people, including passengers and crew from the flight carrying the man who fell ill, as...
(AFP (eng) 10/11/17)
The little footbridge near Justin Rakatoarivony's home is submerged in a murky green liquid the texture of sewage. But he has no choice but to cross it every day on his way to work in Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar. The filthy conditions in his area, the southern Ampefiloha district, make him worry that he will be the next victim of the plague outbreak sweeping the country. His fear is far from unfounded: the disease has already killed 21 people in Antananarivo since August, according to the health ministry. "The plague is a disease that comes from the filth, because the filth attracts rats...
(AFP (eng) 10/06/17)
Authorities in Madagascar Friday announced a ban on prison visits to prevent the spread of a plague epidemic that has killed 36 people in the Indian Ocean island. "In order to protect prisoners from the plague that is spreading outside the prison, we have decided to suspend family visits," prisons administrator Arsen Ralisaona told AFP. The ban covers seven jails in the country's two worst affected regions. The risk of contamination is high in overcrowded prisons, where conditions are usually...

Pages