Tuesday 27 June 2017
(Bloomberg 05/30/17)
Africa’s corn harvest this year is a tale of two extremes as worries about overflowing silos and rotting crops in the south contrast with the east where supermarkets are running short of the staple food. Zambia and South Africa are both predicting record output of the grain, while Zimbabwe may meet its domestic needs for the first time since it began seizing land from white farmers in 2000. Yet in East Africa, 17 million people may be facing hunger, and concerns about food shortages are driving up prices as governments scramble to secure imports. “It all comes down to weather,” said Wessel Lemmer, a senior agricultural economist at Barclays Africa Group Ltd.’s Absa unit in Johannesburg. “There’s usually an inverse...
(Malawi 24 05/29/17)
Most countries, including Malawi, are not adequately prepared for a pandemic and the world is still doing too little to strengthen pandemic preparedness, according to a report by the World Bank. The report entitled From Panic and Neglect to Investing in Health Security: Financing Pandemic Preparedness at a National Level was released Thursday by the International Working Group on Financing Preparedness (IWG) established by the World Bank. It notes that despite progress made since the Zika Ebola crises, many countries chronically underinvest in critical public health functions like disease surveillance
(Malawi 24 05/29/17)
Over 10,000 teachers who are yet to be recruited will have to continue waiting for posting as the 2017/18 financial year seems not favourable to them. Though the ministry of education received a lion’s share of over K230 billion from the budget, the report does not show whether teachers are to be employed as disclosed by Civil Society Education Coalition (CSEC) executive director Benedicto Kondowe. Kondowe faulted the delay to employ the teachers as the student-teacher ratio is still high in Malawi. He also faulted the decision of training teachers but failing to employ them saying it depicts waste of resources. “We have noted that government is training a lot of teachers but failing to employ many of them and...
(Lusaka Times 05/29/17)
Malawi and Zambia has signed a bilateral agreement on One Stop Border Post (OSBP) at Mwami- Mchinji Border whose main objective is to enhance trade facilitation through efficient movement of goods and people within the COMESA and SADC regions. Malawi’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Joseph Mwanamveka speaking during the signing ceremony in Lilongwe, said the signing of the Bilateral Agreement will take the two nations a step forward in a bilateral economic relationship. “I am convinced that a closer partnership between Malawi and Zambia will not only accelerate economic development and promote the well-being of our people, but also the potential to bring enhanced prosperity to the region,” Mr. Mwanamveka said. Mr. Mwanamveka said the agreement will also...
(Voice of America 05/27/17)
Three years of El Nino-induced drought and flooding left half of Malawi's population dependent on food aid, but this year, the country is reporting a good maize harvest. Malawi’s government banned the export of maize and maize products in 2015 amid food shortages. But now things are changing. Latest crop production estimates by the Ministry of Agriculture show that maize production will rise to 3.2 million tons, up from last year’s 2.3 million tons. The surplus has already sent local selling prices tumbling. The Farmers Union of Malawi said in a statement that “maize prices in the eastern region of Africa range from $300 to $700 per metric ton." Farmers say that is almost triple what local buyers offer. “They...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/27/17)
Leaders of the Group of Seven wealthy nations met African heads of state on Saturday, the final day of their annual summit which has been marked by discord over climate change, but unity on tackling terrorism. Italy had hoped to make Africa the major focus of the annual G7 gathering, holding the discussions on the island of Sicily that has taken in hundreds of thousands of migrants over the past four years as they flee war and poverty back home. However, the two-day meeting got overshadowed by a suicide bombing in northern England on Monday that killed 22 people, and also got bogged down by lengthy discussions on the merit of free trade and the 2015 Paris Agreement to tackle...
(AFP (eng) 05/26/17)
Entertainment | France | film | festival | Cannes | Zambia | witchcraft Cannes, France | AFP | Friday 5/26/2017 - 14:01 UTC+3 | 615 words by Katy Lee Being accused of witchcraft is no laughing matter in Africa -- but movie director Rungano Nyoni decided a dose of humour was just what was needed to tackle a problem rampant in parts of the continent. Set in Zambia, the sharp satire "I Am Not A Witch" has premiered to strong reviews at the Cannes film festival, taking aim at the blatant sexism behind accusations that overwhelmingly target women. White tourists are seen gawping at women detained in a "witch camp" in the movie, taking pictures of them as if they're...
(Xinhuanet 05/24/17)
Entrepreneurs from East Africa on Tuesday called for increased investments in the power generation so as to develop a strong value-added manufacturing base in the region. Delegates participating in the second high-level East African Manufacturing Business Summit and Exhibition (EAMBS) held in Rwanda's capital city Kigali, said that heavy investments by both private and the public in the energy sector will enhance the production capacity of manufacturing industries in the region. Rwanda hosts the forum from May 23 to 25 dubbed; "Harnessing the Manufacturing Potential for Sustainable Economic Growth". It has brought together top executives in the manufacturing and agri-business sectors, policy and decision makers, as well as key financial institutions from Africa and beyond to dialogue and explore opportunities...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/24/17)
When U.S. President Donald Trump and other leaders of the world's seven major industrialized nations gather in Sicily on Friday, they will enjoy a spectacular view of the Mediterranean Sea, but won't get any glimpse of boats full of migrants. A common sight off Sicily in recent years, the authorities have banned all migrant landings on the island during the Group of Seven Summit for security reasons, telling rescue vessels that pick them up at sea to take them to the mainland during the two-day meeting. Out of sight does not mean out of mind. Italy chose to host the summit in Taormina, on the cliffs of eastern Sicily, to concentrate minds on Europe's migrant crisis and to seek ways...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/23/17)
Fossils from Greece and Bulgaria of an ape-like creature that lived 7.2 million years ago may fundamentally alter the understanding of human origins, casting doubt on the view that the evolutionary lineage that led to people arose in Africa. Scientists said on Monday the creature, known as Graecopithecus freybergi and known only from a lower jawbone and an isolated tooth, may be the oldest-known member of the human lineage that began after an evolutionary split from the line that led to chimpanzees, our closest cousins. The jawbone, which included teeth, was unearthed in 1944 in Athens. The premolar was found in south-central Bulgaria in 2009. The researchers examined them using sophisticated new techniques including CT scans and established their age...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/22/17)
Countries in sub-Saharan Africa need to get their budgets in order, diversify their economies and look after their poorest people. If they do that, there is no reason why the region cannot have the strong growth needed to meet the aspirations of a young and growing population. That, at least, is the three-pillared prescription from the International Monetary Fund as expressed by one of its top Africa researchers, Celine Allard, in an official IMF blog post and podcast. Allard co-authored the Fund's regional economic outlook, released earlier this month. It found that sub-Saharan economic growth hit only 1.4 percent last year, the lowest level in two decades and well off the 5-6 percent rates normally reached. It was also well...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/20/17)
France will step up the fight against resurgent Islamist militants in north and west Africa and will work more closely with Germany to help the tinderbox region, President Emmanuel Macron said on his first trip outside Europe on Friday. Visiting Mali days after taking office, Macron vowed to keep French troops in the Sahel region until there was "no more Islamist terrorism" there. He said operations would be escalated in response to signs that militant groups were regrouping and uniting. "It is vital today that we speed up. Our armed forces are giving their all, but we must speed up" efforts to secure the Sahel, he told a news conference in Gao, Mali, where he held talks with President Ibrahim...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/19/17)
When rich countries wrote off billions of dollars of African debt in 2005, they hoped governments would think twice about borrowing again in costly foreign currencies. Over a decade later, most sub-Saharan African countries still rely on U.S. dollar-denominated debt to finance their economies. Some investors say this is sowing the seeds of future debt crises if local currencies devalue and make dollar debt repayments more expensive. Aside from South Africa and Nigeria, governments have not yet done enough to develop capital markets that would have allowed them to raise more money in their own currencies, investors say. United Nations trade body UNCTAD estimates that Africa's external debt stock rapidly grew to $443 billion by 2013 through bilateral borrowing, syndicated...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/18/17)
Malawi is planning to take its dispute with Tanzania over Lake Malawi, with its potentially massive reserves of oil and gas, to the International Court of Justice in the Hague, the foreign affairs minister said on Wednesday. Malawi, at the west of Africa's third largest lake, claims the entire northern half of the lake while Tanzania, to the east, says it owns half of the northern area. The southern half is shared between Malawi and Mozambique. Gas finds in the region have made the 50-year-old row over territory between Tanzania and Malawi more intense. "The government of Malawi has been committed to the mediation process and peaceful resolution of the dispute through
(Nyasa Times 05/18/17)
The National Aids Commission (NAC) has said HIV and Aids prevalence rate is decreasing in the country. NAC Project Coordinator, Amidu Tung'ande said the decrease among other factors is being necessitated by the fact that Malawians are now aware of how they can prevent the spread of the virus. National Aids Commission HIV and Aids prevalence statistics for 2010 indicate that 10 percent of people in Malawi were living with HIV and Aids while the 2016/17 statistics show that eight percent of people in Malawi are living with the virus that causes Aids. "Death, use of condoms during sex and many other factors are some of the causes for the decrease of the HIV and Aids prevalence rate in Malawi...
(Bloomberg 05/18/17)
Steinhoff International Holdings NV plans to list its African assets separately as the acquisitive retailer seeks a new prize for shareholders following this year’s failed merger talks with Shoprite Holdings Ltd. The company said Wednesday it will seek to list businesses including clothing retailer Pepkor and furniture chain JD Group Ltd. on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, about 18 months after moving its primary listing to Frankfurt from the South African commercial hub. The new business could be worth as much as 60 billion rand ($4.5 billion), said Evan Walker, a money manager at 36one Asset Management in Johannesburg, although the valuation could also be as low as 40 billion rand depending on how much debt Steinhoff puts into the vehicle...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/17/17)
Gay and lesbian Africans who fled abuse in their home countries face a "culture of disbelief" which makes their experience of seeking asylum in Britain traumatic, a Nigerian lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender rights (LGBT) campaigner said. Aderonke Apata, 50, who fled persecution in Nigeria, said the practice of assessing Africans' sexual orientation claims based on Western standards was problematic. "They expect an LGBT person to have used sex toys, to go to gay clubs," Apata, an asylum seeker who founded African LGBT charity, African Rainbow Family, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Apata has been trying to claim asylum in Britain for 13 years, but her case was refused several times after a judge ruled that she was pretending to be...
(Bloomberg 05/16/17)
When the impoverished West African nation of Niger imposed a ban on donkey exports last year, a small community of traders just over the border in Nigeria was devastated. “Before the ban, you could see thousands of donkeys here,” said Mohammed Sani, a 45-year-old trader in the Nigerian town of Jibiya, as he wiped the sweat off his brow. “Now look at them: there’s no more than 50, crippling the business.” Donkeys are being slaughtered at an alarming pace to feed a global trade in donkey hides that’s fueled by soaring demand in China, where the skins are used to manufacture a gelatin believed to have anti-ageing and libido-enhancing properties. The gelatin, known in China as e’jiao, is so popular...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/13/17)
Tackling climate change in Africa could help resolve multiple problems ravaging the continent, from drought to refugees and violence, the head of the African Union said on Friday. The mix of global warming with economic woes and political conflicts keeps peace from taking hold, said Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Union's new chairman, at Chatham House, an international think tank. "There is a link between climate change and prosperity, as well as peace, on the continent," Mahamat said in French with an interpreter. "Africa is among the least polluting continents, and yet it is the continent that suffers most," he said. Mahamat, the former foreign minister of Chad, was chosen to chair the 55-member, Addis Ababa-based organization in January. In Africa's...
(Malawi 24 05/11/17)
Neighbouring nations of Tanzania and Malawi are still fighting over Lake Malawi with leaders from both nations taking conflicting stands on the matter. Malawi President Peter Mutharika on Monday spoke at the opening the 4th ordinary session of Pan-African Parliament in Johannesburg, South Africa where he called for the need for nations to avoid causing rows over borders. This was in reference to the longstanding row over part of the Lake Malawi which Tanzania claims it owns. Mutharika said: “From the 1890 Heligoland Treaty to the 1964 Resolution on Border Disputes among African States by the OAU

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