Friday 23 June 2017
(AFP (eng) 03/08/17)
Lawyers and human rights campaigners launched an initiative for African whistleblowers in Senegal on Tuesday, aimed at providing a secure means of exposing wrongdoing on the continent. African nations such as Somalia, South Sudan, Libya and Guinea-Bissau regularly appear at the very bottom of rankings such as Transparency International's Corruption Index, while none make it into the top 30. The Platform for the Protection of Whistleblowers in Africa (PPLAAF) will provide guidance from legal experts, secure submission of information and a hotline for potential informants, according to its founders. The initiative is the brainchild of Spanish superstar lawyer Baltasar Garzon -- who has defended Julian Assange of whistleblowing website WikiLeaks -- along with French lawyer William Bourdon, who worked on...
(The Independent 03/06/17)
Th term was coined by sceptical officials, worried about the importance given to Commonwealth trade deals ahead of Brexit negotiations. Plans by government ministers to boost trade links with African Commonwealth countries are being internally branded “empire 2.0” by sceptical officials who are worried about the importance being placed on such deals ahead of the UK’s negotiations of leaving the European Union (EU). International Trade Secretary Liam Fox is expected to promise to build better links with the whole of the 52 member countries of the Commonwealth when ministers from each country meet in London later this week. But as the UK is prepares itself to leave the European Union, The Times reports that British ministers are planning to talk...
(Bloomberg 03/03/17)
Polar Star Management Ltd., which runs one of the best-performing African and Middle East hedge fund over the past five years, plans to start a private-equity unit that will invest in agriculture to exploit rising demand for food. The Cape Town-based firm plans to use its own money to buy small farms and processing companies in South Africa this year, then increase efficiency through consolidation and better management, said Murray Derksen, a director at Polar Star. It aims to raise 1.5 billion rand ($115 million) for the fund, which may also buy commodities such as grains, while targeting an internal rate of return of 8 percent to 12 percent, he said. “We looked at the increase in corn demand globally,...
(AFP (eng) 03/02/17)
A film raging against colonialism and the exploitation of Africa wowed viewers at the continent's top cinema festival Wednesday, winning shouts of approval at a screening packed to bursting point. "The African Storm" tells the story of an African president who nationalises businesses run by racist, cynical Western executives. Directed and produced by its Beninese star Sylvestre Amoussou, it tackles several hot-button issues including an exit from the CFA franc currency, closer ties with Russia and China as opposed to the West, criticism of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, and pride in being African. One of 20 feature-length movies on show at the Panafrican Film and Television Festival (Fespaco) in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou, the movie was punctuated...
(AFP (eng) 02/28/17)
The Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership -- the world's biggest individual prize -- drew a blank once again in finding a suitable laureate, it was announced Tuesday. The prize only goes to a democratically-elected African leader who demonstrated exceptional leadership, served their mandated term and left office within the last three years. The award comes with $5 million (4.7 million euros) paid over 10 years and $200,000 annually for life from then on. The prize, founded by Sudan-born telecoms tycoon Mo Ibrahim, has only been given four times in its 10-year existence. The philanthropist has said in the past that making no award sent just as strong a message on African leadership. "A very high bar was deliberately...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/27/17)
Malawi's maize production may rise a third in 2017 to 3.2 million tonnes despite damage inflicted by the fall armyworm, an alien South American pest that has invaded corn fields from Congo to South Africa. Malawi's maize crop, the staple grain, was devastated last year by a regional drought triggered by an El Nino weather pattern. About 6.5 million Malawians, more than a third of the population, are dependent on food aid until this year's harvest in March, according to the United Nations' World Food Programme. The armyworm outbreak raised concerns about this year's harvest in Malawi
(Malawi 24 02/27/17)
Malawi President Peter Mutharika faces yet another tough time in office with a concerned grouping baying for his blood. In a petition, 36 500 Malawians from Mzuzu want Mutharika to step down saying he has failed and also for contempt of court for delegating former Minister George Chaponda to official duties when court a standing court injunction declared him (Chaponda) not a Minister in the wake of the maize gate scandal . The residents have written the petition to lawmaker Leonard Njikho to bring to parliament a motion to impeach Mutharika. The petition has given Njikho dates from 24 February and 4 March to move the motion in the August House. Njikho has since indicated the demands by the residents...
(Malawi 24 02/27/17)
Malawi’s rising population is a serious cause for worry for the country’s socio-development, economy and environment, an analyst has said. According to statistics from the 2015-16 Malawi Demographic and Health Survey) (MDHS) conducted by the National Statistical Office (NSO), the country’s population stands at 17,749,826. This statistic shows an increase of the population by 3.11 % from a similar survey carried out in 2010 whose rise was at 2.99% from the preceding survey. According to Economist Dalitso Kubalasa, this poses a great threat to the country. Malawi’s GDP by 2015 according to the economywatch was at MWK 176,997.00. Kubalasa told Malawi24 that over the years, the trend has affected the nation’s economy, development, people’s socio-economic wellbeing and the environment. He...
(AFP (eng) 02/27/17)
An African road movie about four women wowed its audience Sunday as it kicked off the Panafrican cinema and television festival (Fespaco), a showcase for the continent's burgeoning film industry. "Borders" ("Frontieres") directed by Apolline Traore, a Fespaco laureate in 2013, sweeps across Africa as its protagonists journey through Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Benin on their way to Nigeria. Along the way the women -- Ivorian, Senegalese, Burkinabe and Nigerian actresses -- are spared nothing as they are beset by customs officers, thieves, murderers and rapists. The film -- the first feature-length film to show at the festival -- deals with "the bravery of women," Traore told AFP at the festival in the Burkinabe capital Ouagadougou. "There is a...
(AFP (eng) 02/23/17)
For the first time in Africa, researchers said Wednesday they have detected a malaria parasite that is partially resistant to the top anti-malaria drug, artemisinin, raising concern about efforts to fight a disease that sickens hundreds of millions of people each year. The discovery means that Africa now joins southeast Asia in hosting such drug-resistant forms of the mosquito-borne disease. Malaria infected more than 200 million people and killed some 438,000 people worldwide in 2015, most of them children in Africa. "The spread of artemisinin resistance in Africa would be a major setback in the fight against malaria, as ACT (artemisinin-based combination therapy) is the only effective and widely used antimalarial treatment at the moment," said lead author Arnab Pain,...
(AFP (eng) 02/22/17)
Malawi's President Peter Mutharika on Wednesday fired the country's agriculture minister who is alleged to have profited from a $35 million deal to import maize from Zambia. George Chaponda, seen as a close ally and potential successor of Mutharika, was dismissed from his post a day after investigators raided his home where they reportedly found $223,000 (212,000 euros) in cash. In a statement, Mutharika's office said he had decided "to relieve George Chaponda of his responsibilities as minister of agriculture with immediate effect" without saying why. His sacking follows pressure on the government in parliament over its controversial purchase of 100,000 tonnes of maize at high rates from neighbouring Zambia
(Reuters (Eng) 02/22/17)
Malawi's President Peter Mutharika has dismissed the agriculture minister after an investigation into maize procurement, the southern African nation's information minister said on Wednesday. Mutharika ordered an investigation last month into a $34.5 million government maize purchase from Zambia after allegations that the price had been inflated. "The President has removed from Cabinet Hon George Chaponda as agriculture minister with immediate effect following after he was found with millions of money at his residence yesterday," Minister of Information Nicolaus Saudi told Reuters. (Reporting by Mabvuto Banda; Editing by James Macharia)
(Xinhuanet 02/22/17)
Africa Energy Indaba, the continent's premier energy event, kicked off in Johannesburg on Monday with the aim of finding solutions to the continent's energy future. The three-day conference is being attended by the governments' representatives, business and funders. The meeting seeks to unleash the continent's potential by coming up with an energy mix to develop Africa. Dr. Garth Strachan, Deputy Director General and Head of Gas Industrialization Unit in South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry said the recent discoveries of gas in Mozambique, Angola and Tanzania provides a huge opportunity for the continent. He said there is a need for the countries to work together to tap benefits from the gas for the good of the continent. Strachan said...
(Bloomberg 02/21/17)
Ashish Thakkar, who co-founded Africa banking conglomerate Atlas Mara Ltd. with ex-Barclays Plc head Bob Diamond, lost a ruling over the ownership of family assets in a London divorce case, with a judge questioning Thakkar’s truthfulness. Judge Philip Moor ruled that Thakkar, and not his mother and sister, was the owner of disputed assets in the divorce. He found that the 35-year-old owned 100 percent of Mara Group Holdings Ltd. and other corporate entities. The result will have ramifications in the proceedings where a judge will have to decide how much Thakkar -- described in videos posted on his foundation’s website as "Africa’s Youngest Billionaire" -- is worth. Thakkar says he has assets of 445,532 pounds ($553,000) while his wife,...
(Nyasa Times 02/16/17)
President Peter Mutharika has hailed his Vice, Saulos Klaus Chilima for swiftly responding to floods which hit people of Mtandire in Lilongwe last Friday. Professor Mutharika said Dr Chilima's urgency and swiftness to the disaster ensured that those affected receive assistance in good time. Speaking when he visited people who were affected by the floods which hit parts of Mtandire, Area 47, 49, Nankhaka and Mgona in Lilongwe, the President said all the people who lost their property will be assisted to begin afresh. 'I was pleased to receive a report from the Vice President about the flood situation after I had sent him to assess the situation,' he disclosed. 'That kind of spirit is a spirit of umunthu. When...
(Nyasa Times 02/16/17)
Malawi Police in Blantyre on Tuesday arrested 12 people who were moving around town begging. The arrest comes amid concerns from general public on the influx of streets kids and beggars in the country's cities and towns. Police also arrested five people on the charge of touting. "They were arrested during a sweeping exercise we conducted on Tuesday led by Station Officer, Assistance Commissioner Mercy Msonkho," explained Elizabeth Divala Blantyre police Publicist. Divala said of the arrested 12 will be charged with an offence of gathering arms. "During the exercise our officers came across the suspects who were gathering arms from passersby as well as shop owners. The suspects will appear before Blantyre Magistrates Court." By Maurice Nkawihe
(Nyasa Times 02/16/17)
Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has said investigations over corruption suspicion against Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development George Chaponda were underway on 'Maizegate' scandal was underway. The Presidential Commission into the investigation of the maize scam in a key report the commission presented to President Peter Mutharika at State House this morning. recommended that Chaponda be investigated for the conduct of engaging local firm Trans Globe into the Malawi's questionable procurement of maize from Zambia. And a joint committee of Parliament report presented in the House on Wednesday also called for investigations into the conduct of Chaponda and his alleged interference in the maize procurement as well as suspected flouting of public service regulations. Both ACB deputy director who is...
(AFP (eng) 02/15/17)
Sub-Saharan Africa, where more than a half billion people live without electricity, trails the world in government policies that promote sustainable energy, according to a new World Bank report Wednesday. Much of the rest of the world, however, has made strides toward making energy broadly available, developing renewable power sources and increasing efficiency, the inaugural Regulatory Indicators for Sustainable Energy report said. In a survey of 111 countries, the World Bank found that through 2015 nearly 80 percent had begun to adopt policies to expand electrical grids, connecting them to solar and wind generation, and to help make electric utilities creditworthy and financially viable while keeping energy prices down. More than a third of countries, home to 96 percent of...
(Voice of America 02/14/17)
U.S. President Donald Trump made his first phone calls to African heads of state Monday, speaking with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and South African President Jacob Zuma. Nigeria and South Africa said the calls were made at the request of the U.S. president, who until now has said little about Africa or African issues since assuming office last month. The Nigerian presidency said Trump and Buhari discussed issues of terrorism, and said Trump assured Buhari the United States is ready to make a new deal to help Nigeria "in terms of military weapons." The statement said Trump also commended Buhari for the strides Nigeria is making against Islamist radical group Boko Haram, and invited Buhari to come to Washington at...
(Xinhuanet 02/10/17)
Floods devastated Malawi capital Lilongwe Friday morning displacing residents, forcing the Malawi Defense Force into aero-rescue response using helicopters. A number of rivers that feed into the Lilongwe River through one of the largest rivers in the city, Lingadzi River, burst their banks following heavy rains that fell on Thursday night for over six hours. The floods washed away bridges, crops and submerged homes to hundreds of residents, while children were trapped on their way to school. Eyewitnesses and local media reported that two school pupils from one of the affected

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