| Africatime
Wednesday 22 March 2017
(AFP (eng) 12/28/16)
Its lower cost has made it popular in commercial food production, but after being blamed for deforestation in Asia, palm oil plantations are now getting a similar rap in Africa. The sheer scale of land required is having an impact in Gabon, Cameroon and the Congo Basin, environmentalists say. With financing coming from American, European and Asian agri-businesses, palm bunches are cultivated then cut from trees and sent to factories where oil is extracted by hot pressing. But the production process accelerates deforestation, contributes to climate change and threatens fauna and flora in vulnerable areas, opponents argue. However the companies say that palm oil is not only less expensive than soya or sunflower oil but requires much less land to...
(The Herald Online 12/27/16)
The end of 2016 provides an opportunity to take stock of Africa’s recent economic performance and future prospects. It’s been a tumultuous year for some African countries largely due to a commodities crisis and a global economic slowdown.Yet there were still pockets of good growth which displayed the huge potential of the African continent. And 2017 looks to be the year the countries hardest hit by the crisis seek to recover from the economic reversals of the past few years. Since the start of the new millennium average economic growth across Africa has been stronger than the global growth rate. Growth across the continent averaged 5 percent. This fuelled the “Africa Rising” narrative that permeated public discourse. Among the growth...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/24/16)
A record 5,000 migrants are believed to have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea this year, following two shipwrecks on Thursday in which some 100 people, mainly West Africans, were feared dead, aid agencies said on Friday. Two overcrowded inflatable dinghies capsized in the Strait of Sicily after leaving Libya for Italy, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said. "Those two incidents together appear to be the numbers that would bring this year's total up to over to 5,000 (deaths), which is a new high that we have reported during this crisis," IOM spokesman Joel Millman told a Geneva briefing. The Italian coast guard rescued survivors and had recovered eight bodies so far, he said...
(The Globe and Mail 12/23/16)
The Square Kilometre Array will be the world’s most powerful radio telescope, opening new frontiers in our understanding of the universe. But the builders have to contend with an unforgiving climate and other formidable challenges first, In the desolate rocky plains of the Great Karoo, the dangers are endless. Scorpions and puff adders are underfoot. The harsh sun beats down, interrupted only by occasional lightning storms. Temperatures range from stifling heat to freezing cold. But at night, in the vast empty darkness, the stars are impossibly bright and clear. And it is the stars that have lured a Canadian-backed project to build the world’s most powerful radio telescope, with the potential to unlock the deepest secrets of the universe. For...
(Tanzania Daily News 12/22/16)
Mbeya — Tanzania and Malawi are expecting to implement a joint 180-megawatt electricity project that will enable each country to produce 90mw. The two countries also expect to implement another joint project on irrigation where a total of 600 hectares will be developed, with 3000 farms in each country. The implementation of the projects follow agreement over development for Songwe River Basin (SRBDP), signed by the Minister for Water and Irrigation, Engineer Gerson Lwenge and Malawian Minister for Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Dr George Chaponda. They signed the agreement in Mbeya during a special ministerial meeting by the two countries whereby some of the projects to be implemented will include dam construction, tree planting and irrigation schemes. Speaking after...
(AFP (eng) 12/22/16)
Selma saunters on her stilt-like legs, batting thick lashes as she extends a blackish tongue -- as long as an arm -- to grab pellets offered by an awed tourist. The giraffe is after all, eating for two. Her pregnancy is good news for one of the rarest giraffe species, protected at the Giraffe Centre in the Kenyan capital, but experts warn the outlook for the rest of the world's tallest land mammals is far gloomier. While it is hoped the shocking news that the gentle giants of the African savannah are facing extinction will spur action, conservationists largely have their hands tied as many giraffe live in Africa's most conflict-torn regions. Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan...
(The Citizen 12/21/16)
Tanzania is among some African countries which may see a drop in development aid as the US is likely to expand fiscal stance and cut spending during Donald Trump's presidency, a new report shows. The move by the world's largest economy will affect dependent countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and DRC according to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) latest report released in London yesterday. In its Economic Insight: Africa Q4 2016, the accountancy and finance body points out that signs of an expansionary fiscal stance under the Trump administration coupled with spending cuts to accommodate increased infrastructure expenditure are likely to lead to the decrease in aid. "Aid is one of the main...
(AFP (eng) 12/20/16)
When Rose Kariuki first felt a lump on her left breast, the spectre of cancer -- a disease she had only heard of on television -- was the last thing on her mind. "To me, cancer was nowhere near us. It was shocking, I feared death, I feared so many things," the 46-year-old Kenyan school teacher told AFP. Rose is one of a growing number of Africans suffering from cancer, one of the lifestyle diseases -- along with diabetes and heart problems -- proving increasing deadly on the continent. A World Health Organisation (WHO) survey released Tuesday showed that most Africans had at least one risk factor for developing one of these diseases, such as smoking, a lack of exercise,...
(Voice of America 12/16/16)
Malawi's government on Thursday announced Africa's first drone air corridor to provide a controlled platform for drones to deliver needed services to communities. Alfred Mtilatila, director of the Department of Civil Aviation, said the launch of the testing corridor is largely supported by UNICEF-Malawi as a pilot project using unmanned aircraft systems, or UAS, for transporting dried blood samples for the early diagnosis of HIV in infants. "We would like to establish a designated area where we will permit different types of unmanned aerial vehicles so that we will be able to come up with the right type of vehicles which can be used for different purposes," Mtilatila said. In March, UNICEF-Malawi successfully completed its first test flight of the...
(AFP (eng) 12/16/16)
The number of migrants feared to have died this year has soared to nearly 7,200 -- a more than 20-percent increase over 2015 -- with most of the fatalities in the Mediterranean, IOM said Friday. In total, 7,189 migrants and refugees have died or remain missing on migratory routs around the world, the International Organization for Migration said. That number is already 1,449 more than in all of 2015. And since it represents an average of 20 deaths per day, another 200 to 300 people could perish by the end of the year if the trend continues, the Geneva-based IOM warned in a statement. The Mediterranean Sea routes, used so far this year by nearly 360,000 people seeking a new...
(AFP (eng) 12/15/16)
Malawi on Thursday launched Africa's first drone-testing corridor as developing countries explore how drones could be used during humanitarian crises such as floods, or to deliver blood for HIV tests. The project, which will cover up to 40 kilometres (25 miles) around the administrative capital Lilongwe, will be fully operational by April in a collaboration between Malawi and UNICEF. "Our primary purpose is to help children. (Drone) technology has many potential applications," Johannes Wedenig, a UNICEF official, told state officials at the launch in Lilongwe. UNICEF estimates that in Malawi it can take 11 days to get HIV blood samples to a laboratory -- often using motorbikes or ambulances
(Reuters (Eng) 12/15/16)
The U.N. children's agency and Malawi's government are teaming up to test whether drones could make aid delivery faster and more effective during humanitarian disasters, such as floods and droughts which affect millions of people every year. UNICEF said on Thursday that experts would investigate how drones could be used to provide aerial imagery to help governments and aid agencies pinpoint where the most urgent needs are in crises. They will also test the use of drones for making small deliveries such as emergency medical supplies, vaccines and samples for laboratory diagnosis. "This is very exciting. We believe that drones have huge potential to help us respond
(Times Live 12/15/16)
Thirty children who were smuggled into South Africa in the back of a delivery truck‚ which had no windows‚ have been sent back to Malawi. They were found near Rustenburg in the North West in July‚ after having travelled more than 2‚500km from Malawi squashed into the back the truck with adults. The vehicle had been stopped for speeding. "The children flew from (Johannesburg's) O.R Tambo airport early on Wednesday morning‚" the police's Directorate of Priority Crimes Investigation (Hawks) said. "The adults were handed over to the Department of Home Affairs two days ago for deportation and they are expected to leave the country by the end of the week‚" the Hawks stated. Police said the children were aged between...
(CNN 12/15/16)
In the sleepy, sun-blasted town of De Aar in central South Africa, a mighty force is stirring. The largest solar plant in Africa, Middle East and the Southern hemisphere was inaugurated here earlier this year, a 175-megawatt facility that spreads over almost 500 hectares. The facility is the brainchild of Solar Capital, led by hotel magnate turned solar evangelist Paschal Phelan, which ploughed $400 million into the venture. The plant supplies power to the National Grid, but when the heat is fiercest it produces far more than the Grid can use, and the excess power goes to waste. "It's like you have a Ferrari and you run a small car," says Massimiliano Salaorno, plant manager of Solar Capital De Aar...
(Malawi News Now 12/14/16)
Malawi’s first cashgate convict Treaser Namathanga Senzani died in the theatre operation at Mwaiwanthu Private Hospital in the commercial city of Blantyre on Monday monring, her family confirmed. Phalombe North lawmaker Ms Anna Kachiko who is a sister to Senzani confirmed the death. Senzani’s death comes barely three months after she was set free after serving half of her three year jail term following conviction over stealing of public funds. Upon freed in October, Namathanga avoided granting interviews to media on her new day in the free world. Senzani, the former principal secretary in the Ministry of Tourism was the first person to plead guilty to have stolen money in the infamous cash gate scandal following the 2013 Baker Tilly...
(Nyasa Times 12/14/16)
Malawi courts are getting an increase in the number of women dragging their husbands over the upkeep of children, it has been reported. The increase in the number of maintenance cases has been attributed to a number of factors among them lack of responsibility by men who abandon their families, the general economic situation and greed on the part of some women who, Mbewe said, go as far as seeking child maintenance from as many as three men at once. A majority of women who have opened maintenance cases in court were girlfriends and the "MG2's" - second wives. Mzuzu Child Court Magistrate, George Mbewe, reported that from January to November 2016, 301 cases about child maintenance have been registered,...
(Malawi News Now 12/14/16)
Standard Bank says its role in the recent recapitalization of property firm MPICO through the Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE) demonstrates the bank’s position as a major player in the country’s capital markets. The bank’s Head of Investment Banking Shakil Satar said success of the deal is an indicator in the market that funding requirements do not always need to be met with a debt solution. “There lie alternatives to capital-raising. The MPICO transaction has led to a shift in views around capital raising, opening up an opportunity for the bank to work with a broad range of Malawian companies to restructure their balance sheets through equity funding especially in a prevailing high interest rates environment,” he said. The Investment Head...
(AFP (eng) 12/14/16)
Family planning helps people in Africa to be healthier and wealthier, as women without contraceptives become locked in "a cycle of poverty," Melinda Gates told AFP as a conference on the topic was held in Ivory Coast. "When a woman has access to contraceptives she can lift herself out of poverty, and if she doesn't have access to contraceptives, it locks her inside a cycle of poverty for the rest of her life," said the wife of Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Bill Gates, whose foundation is very active in the field. Family planning has "huge health benefits for the woman and for her children, and it has economic benefits," Gates told AFP by telephone from the Ivorian economic capital Abidjan...
(Nyasa Times 12/13/16)
Firebrand Peoples Party (PP) vice president Kamlepo Kalua has blamed Malawians themselves for the raw deal and poor public services they get from the government, saying they fail to rise up and use lawful means to protest. "Malawians are timid, very passive. They are able to rise up against abortion and same sex laws but not critical issues that affect them every day," he said. He said Malawians should have organised themselves for massive protests against poor public services, corruption and high maize prices in Admarc depots. "We just blame failed leadership, we are just talking on failed leadership but this is just a talk, we cannot do any action and the leadership get away with that," he said. Leader...
(Nyasa Times 12/13/16)
Opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) publicist Jessie Kabwila has accused the ruling Democratic Progressive Party(DPP) operatives of petrol bombing her Fortuner vehicle, saying this is the very reason why the police are failing to trace those behind it five months after the car was torced. However, DPP spokesman has denied the allegations of his party being behind mafia gang. The vehicle was petrol bombed at Lilongwe Golf Club where Kabwila had gone for a meeting. "It is the DPP that petrol bombed my vehicle. This is why the police are failing to investigate the issue," Kabwila said. Kabwila said she has always gone to the police to find out progress on the investigations but the law enforcers are always elusive...

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