Friday 15 December 2017
(AFP (eng) 10/10/17)
Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is set to accelerate to 3.4 percent next year, the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday, citing Nigeria's recovering oil and agricultural sectors. The IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook report that the region would grow by 2.6 percent this year after 1.4 percent in 2016. "Growth is expected to rise gradually," it said, while noting that the rate would be uneven and "barely above population growth". GDP in the west African powerhouse Nigeria contracted by 1.6 percent in 2016, but is predicted to grow by 0.8 percent this year and 1.9 percent next year. The IMF said Nigeria was benefitting from "recovering oil production and ongoing strength in the agricultural sector", but the...
(APA 10/09/17)
APA-Maputo (Mozambique) - Twelve people Malawians have died in a road accident in the western Mozambican province of Tete, APA can report on Monday. Eleven of the victims were Malawians and one was a Mozambican, according to Mozambican police, who said the accident at midnight on the road between the border district of Tsangano and the Tete provincial capital. The casualties include seven people who were injured, some of them seriously. The accident occurred after one of the rear tires burst, and the mini-bus involved in the accident overturned. State-controlled Radio Mozambique said Mozambican police have confirmed that the victims are illegal immigrants from Malawi, who were suspect to be on their way to neighbouring South Africa, in search of...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/05/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (HLT.N) plans to spend $50 million over the next five years to add 100 hotels to its chain in Africa, it said on Thursday, joining other chains keen to tap growing business and international travel on the continent. One property will open in the Kenyan capital Nairobi by the end of this year and another in the Rwandan capital Kigali in 2018, it said in a statement. There was 11 percent growth in Sub-Saharan African tourism in the past year, according to data from the U.N. World Tourism Organisation. Hilton said the remaining additions to its 39 existing African properties would be operational within the next five years. “The model of converting existing...
(APA 10/05/17)
APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) - The African Union (AU) will on Thursday endorse reports and recommendations on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment (ARWE) made by experts and senior officials in a meeting held on Monday and Tuesday. The endorsement will take place during the ministerial session of the AU’s Specialized Technical Committee on ARWE that opened on Thursday in Addis Ababa under the theme “Improve environmental sustainability and transform agriculture to ensure food and nutrition security.” These include policy papers and reports on agriculture, rural development, water and environment and recommendations and guidance on issues in the 2063 Africa Development Agenda, including agriculture, environment, climate change, and youth engagement. Among the points chosen for the discussions are the assessment of...
(AFP (eng) 10/03/17)
Vigilantes in Malawi have killed six people suspected of trying to obtain and drink human blood as part of magic rituals since mid-September, police told AFP on Tuesday. Malawi, where witchcraft is widely believed and education standards are low, is regularly dogged by rumours of "vampire" activity. The six people were killed in three separate incidents in the area surrounding Mulanje Mountain in the country's south. The most recent attack came on Sunday when an angry mob beat two people to death because they "suspected the two (victims) of being blood suckers", said police spokesman James Kadadzera. The victims were travelling to pray close to the mountain when they were intercepted by a violent crowd on their way through a...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/29/17)
Malawi’s government has given in to mounting pressure to recognize the importance of locally grown and saved crop seeds, as well as commercially produced varieties, as it revises the country’s farm policies. In a meeting in the capital this month, representatives of non-governmental organizations told Erica Maganga, principal secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, that by excluding indigenous seed varieties in a draft seed policy the government was ignoring a sector responsible for feeding a large part of the country. The government is revising its more than 20-year-old policy and laws on seeds, and is developing a bill to protect the commercial rights of plant breeders. In a speech to Parliament in May, President Peter Mutharika...
(AFP (eng) 09/29/17)
Government shutdowns of the internet have cost sub-Saharan Africa about $237 million since 2015, according to a study released Friday, as authorities increasingly implement planned disruptions. At least 12 countries have had internet shutdowns, often before elections or when protests erupt, with mobile internet networks most recently suspended in Togo during opposition demonstrations. "Internet disruptions, however short-lived, undermine economic growth, disrupt the delivery of critical services, erode business confidence, and raise a country’s risk profile," the CIPESA report said. The Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) released its...
(Voice of America 09/27/17)
Malawi is on the road to recovery after years of drought, floods, poor crops and budget deficits, the country’s president has told VOA. This year, the economy could grow by 5 percent, said President Peter Mutharika, nearly double the 2.7 percent growth recorded last year. And the inflation rate is just over 9 percent – the first time in seven years it’s been a single-digit figure. Malawi remains one of the world’s poorest countries, according to the International Monetary Fund, with half the population living in poverty and a quarter in extreme poverty. Massive floods in early 2015 were followed by two years of drought
(Bloomberg 09/27/17)
Studio 189, a label founded by actress Rosario Dawson and fashion executive Abrima Erwiah, is reinvesting in its African roots. It’s hard enough to build a fashion brand, let alone an empire. Rare is the person who makes a mission of using fashion to build communities. Such is the case with Studio 189, a label founded by longtime friends Abrima Erwiah (formerly a marketing executive at Bottega Veneta) and Rosario Dawson (an enduring star most recently seen in Netflix’s Marvel franchise). “The idea is to produce everything in local markets,” says Erwiah. “Particularly in Africa, particularly in Ghana.” The founders set up the company in partnership with the United Nations’ Ethical Fashion Initiative, which also works with such socially conscious...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/26/17)
Israel’s Elbit Systems Ltd said on Tuesday it won a contract worth $240 million to provide a wide array of defense electronic systems to an unnamed country in Africa. The contract, which will be carried out over a two-year period, is comprised of Directed Infra-red Counter Measure (DIRCM) systems to protect aircraft from shoulder fired missiles, based on passive infrared systems, and includes missile warning systems, radio and communication systems, land systems, mini-unmanned air systems and helicopters upgrade.
(Voice of America 09/25/17)
African first ladies and activists hailed progress that some governments on the continent are making on gender equality. They met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “We used to have 23 percent female representation in parliament but, with the stroke of a pen it went up to 48 percent. So, we managed to double our female representation with that decision,” said Namibia’s first lady Monica Geingos at a roundtable invitation-only event co-hosted by the Global First Ladies Alliance (GFLA) and Facebook. Geingos credited the quota enacted by the ruling SWAPO party of her husband, President Hage Geingob. But she said a similar quota might be needed for Namibia’s private sector, where only 10 to...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/22/17)
From deadly droughts and destroyed crops to shrinking water sources, communities across sub-Saharan Africa are struggling to withstand the onslaught of global record-breaking temperatures. But the dangers do not end there. Rising heat poses another threat - one that is far less known and studied but could spark disease epidemics across the continent, scientists say. Mosquitoes are the menace, and the risk goes beyond malaria. The Aedes aegypti mosquito, which spreads debilitating and potentially deadly viruses, from Zika and dengue to chikungunya, thrives in warmer climates than its malaria-carrying cousin, known as Anopheles, say researchers at Stanford University. In sub-Saharan Africa, this means malaria rates could rise in cooler areas as they heat up, but fall in hotter places that...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/21/17)
Makers of generic AIDS drugs will start churning out millions of pills for Africa containing a state-of-the-art medicine widely used in rich countries, after securing a multi-million dollar guarantee that caps prices at just $75 per patient a year. Global health experts hope the deal will help address two looming problems in the HIV epidemic - the rising threat of resistance developing to standard AIDS drugs, and the need for more investment in manufacturing capacity. Bill Gates’ charitable foundation will guarantee minimum sales volumes of the new combination pills using dolutegravir, a so-called integrase inhibitor that avoids the drug resistance that often develops with older treatments. In return the drugmakers, India-based Mylan Laboratories and Aurobindo Pharma, will agree the maximum...
(Macauhub 09/19/17)
The governments of Mozambique and Malawi have decided to expand the Nacala Development Corridor, which includes a railway line that crosses the two countries linking Moatize, in Tete province, to the port of Nampula, in Nampula province, under a agreement signed on Friday in Maputo. The agreement, which provides for additional funding of US$2.5 billion for development of the corridor, will allow the corridor to evolve, “as well as fostering economic growth by promoting and coordinating economically viable businesses in the transportation, agriculture , trade, mining and tourism sector,” according to the Mozambican government. The agreement is an addendum to the original agreement between the governments of Mozambique and Malawi on the Nacala Development Corridor, signed on 28 September 2000,...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/18/17)
Three Malawian ministers will testify in court against a former cabinet colleague charged with abuse of office over a maize procurement contract, court documents showed. President Peter Mutharika launched an investigation in January into the government order for 100,000 tonnes of Zambian white maize, after an opposition leader there said he had seen documents showing Malawi had been charged $345 per ton instead of the $215 the consignment was worth. The agriculture minister George Chaponda was arrested in July, sacked and charged with abuse of office and possession of foreign currency without lawful justification.
(The Guardian 09/18/17)
Anna Jones says that, through selling its cocoa cheaply, Africa is exporting its wealth overseas; while Sue Banford claims that the soya moratorium in the Amazon has done nothing to halt deforestation. Only the final paragraph in your article on cocoa farming causing deforestation in Ivory Coast (Forests pay price for world’s taste for cocoa, 14 September) mentioned the most fundamental thing – the farmer’s livelihood, or lack of it. The low value of his (or more likely her) crop is undoubtedly the cause of this problem. But cocoa farming could also provide the solution. Recently, I was in Ivory Coast for the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Abidjan. It united many different parties – governments, the UN’s Food...
(Voice of America 09/15/17)
Women's rights activists in Malawi's capital, Lilongwe, braved hot weather Thursday to protest recent domestic violence in which seven women were slain or disfigured by their partners. The protesters, many of them women, wore black attire, and at one point they lay in the street to symbolize mourning. They carried banners and placards that read: "Violence against women is an offense, not a private issue," "Ending gender violence starts with me, I stand against it;" and "Don't be silent, speak up against intimate partners' violence." Emma Kaliya, national coordinator for an NGO called Gender Coordination Network, an umbrella body of women's rights organizations in Malawi, told VOA that domestic violence is not an isolated occurrence in Malawi, but what is...
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
Societe Generale SA, challenged on its home turf by Orange SA’s push into banking, is fighting back with a new mobile lender in Africa. The French lender started YUP, a new app for smartphones, in Senegal and Ivory Coast and plans to begin operating in four other sub-Saharan countries this year and next, the company said on Thursday. The bank aims to double its client base to 2 million in the region within three years. “Telcos have opened the way and they’ve gotten ahead,” Alexandre Maymat, who oversees Societe Generale’s operations in French-speaking Africa, said at a press briefing. “We’re catching up” by redefining the retail strategy and providing a broader offering than telephone companies. Chief Executive Officer Frederic Oudea...
(Xinhuanet 09/13/17)
In an effort to promote economic development and solve complex conservation challenges facing world heritage sites, the African World Heritage Fund Patron and former President of Namibia Hifikepunye Pohamba will host a business leader's breakfast event in Namibian Capital, Windhoek on Thursday. The African World Heritage Fund is an initiative of the African Member States of the African Union and UNESCO, launched in 2006. Webber Ndoro, executive director of the African World Heritage Fund, at a media briefing on Tuesday in Windhoek said that the aim of the event is to promote a holistic private sector engagement, raise a sense of ownership and accountability for heritage protection as well as transmission of World Heritage sites in Namibia and Africa. "To...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/12/17)
Olympic boxing’s governing body, AIBA, has banned African confederation head Kelani Bayor for three years for allegedly provoking the crowd at the continental championships in Brazzaville last June. Bayor is an AIBA vice-president and executive committee member as well as chairman of Togo’s national Olympic committee. “The Disciplinary Commission found that a hostile and threatening reaction to AIBA officials by spectators after the result of a bout on the last day of the competition was exacerbated by comments from Mr Bayor,” AIBA said in a statement on Monday. It found Bayor had “committed serious and unacceptable violations of the AIBA Disciplinary Code” at the tournament in Congo Republic. AIBA said the ban was from all boxing activities and responsibilities and...

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