Sunday 20 August 2017
(The East African 06/02/17)
A Malawian bank has bought a majority stake in Barclays Plc's Zimbabwean unit. The move by the First Merchant Bank (FMB) of Malawi ends months of speculation after the British financial institution announced it was disposing of its African assets. FMB Malawi's pursuit of the controlling stake had been facing resistance from the management of Barclays Zimbabwe, which had also tabled a bid to take over the iconic financial institution. However, the deal between FMB and Barclays Plc sailed through on Wednesday and was now awaiting regulatory approval, officials said. Barclays Plc and FMB officials were reportedly in Zimbabwe for meetings with local staff and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe on the deal. FMB group managing director Hitesh Anadkat told...
(Nyasa Times 06/02/17)
Minister of Transport and Public Works, Jappie Mhango, has reassured people of Rumphi that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government is committed to implement various development projects to enhance socio-economic life of people in the area and not Alliance for Democracy (Aford) led by Enock Chihana. Mhango, who is Member of Parliament for Rumphi North, said the construction of 80 kilometre Njakwa-Livingstonia Road which is underway is one example of government's commitment to improve people's lives in the country. "I am impressed with the progress that Mota Engil is making on this road which runs from Njakwa at Chipokababoli Bridge on South Rukuru River to the historical Livingstonia Mission up the escarpment. This is a symbol of more development to...
(Xinhuanet 06/02/17)
Fifty-four African Union member states will convene the 5th Continental Conference of Solidarity with Cuba in the Namibian capital from June 5-7, said an Naminian official on Thursday. The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of International relations and Cooperation, Selma Ashipala-Musavyi, said the aim of hosting the conference in Namibia is to intensify solidarity and to strengthen bounds of friendship between the people of Cuba and the progressive peoples throughout the African Continent. Namibia's President Hage Geingob will open and address the conference, which will run under the theme, "Intensifying Solidarity and continuing the legacy of Fidel and Che". The conference, which will also be attended by a Cuban delegation, will also recognize the important work done in support of...
(AFP (eng) 06/01/17)
One in five children born with a twin sibling in sub-Saharan Africa dies before the age of five -- three times the rate among singletons, said a study Thursday. Almost two-thirds die in the first month of life -- often succumbing to the after-effects of a difficult birth or entering the world too early or underweight, according to research published in The Lancet medical journal. And while rates of under-five deaths in the sub-Saharan African region have declined over two decades, the improvement has been much slower for twins than for single-borns. "Twins account for 10.7 percent of all under-five deaths and 15.1 percent of neonatal (newborn) deaths in the region and these percentages are increasing," the study said. "The...
(Washington Post 05/31/17)
The old man’s house had become a camp for the displaced. In the back yard, groups of women boiled water for rice. Small children skittered across the dirt, running into the bedroom, where they careened around the long, skinny legs of Elijah Karama. “Because of the conditions, they are mine to take care of,” said Karama, 57, more tired than proud. By conditions, he meant Boko Haram’s destruction of vast areas of northeastern Nigeria, and the hunger crisis that has followed. This city of about 1 million has absorbed an additional 1 million people who fled the Islamist militants who burned their villages and kidnapped hundreds of children. In Maiduguri, the vast majority of the displaced aren’t living in U.N...
(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...

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