| Africatime
Tuesday 21 February 2017
(AFP (eng) 10/08/16)
World economic leaders gathered in Washington this week to defend globalization, delivering a single message in unison: Protectionism will not save you. But this glosses over the plight of Africa, which is sinking further into poverty despite years of free trade. According to the International Monetary Fund, which held its annual meetings this week with the World Bank, growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is in free-fall this year, with a growth rate of 1.4 percent, down from 3.4 percent in 2015, its lowest in a quarter century. The regional economy will therefore grow more slowly than the population, at the risk of deepening poverty in a region already home to more than half of the 766 million people on earth who...
(Nyasa Times 10/07/16)
Rights activist Rafiq Hajat has exprssed concern over the prolonged stay of President Peter Mutharika in US, saying accounts figures he has seen puts the cost of his stay up to K1.3 billion so far. Mutharika went to the US for United Nations general assembly which run from October 19 to 23 but two weeks after the meeting, the President is no where to be seen in Malawi. "This is a matter of concern because of the cost, the tax payers money he is spending," said Hajat. Verified reports indicate Mutharika is on leave but decided to go on leave secretly to avoid a backlash in view of the ever collapsing economy
(AFP (eng) 10/07/16)
Investment into Africa may buck the global downward trend and stage a rebound this year despite low prices hitting the oil and gas sector, a UN agency said Thursday. While foreign direct investment, a key driver of trade and economic growth, is set to drop by 10 to 15 percent this year globally, in Africa it may increase by 6 percent to $55 to 60 billion, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Developments (UNCTAD) said in a report. "This bounce-back is already becoming visible in announced greenfield projects in Africa. In the first quarter of 2016, their value was $29 billion, 25 percent higher than the same period in 2015," said the agency. While north African countries such as...
(Xinhuanet 10/06/16)
Zhou Ping had not seen his father for five years when in primary school. Despite the biting solitude, Zhou always displayed his pride for his father -- he was from a glorious "foreign aid family," and his father was building the Tazara Railway in Africa. Standing on the windy East African plateau, Zhou picked up this childhood sentiment. More than 40 years have passed, and 53-year-old Zhou is now a construction worker for another historic railway connecting the African countries of Ethiopia and Djibouti. The Ethiopia-Djibouti railway, which officially opened service on Wednesday, is another Chinese-built trans-national rail in Africa following Tazara, which links Tanzania's Dar es Salaam with Zambia's Kapiri Mposhi. Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang hailed it as...
(CNN 10/05/16)
Terrorism, human trafficking, and corruption are creating a more dangerous continent, which in turn is preventing better governance, a new report revealed. The results of the 2016 Ibrahim Index of African Governance, published by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, show that two thirds of Africans live in a country where safety and rule of law has deteriorated over the past decade, greatly impacting overall governance in Africa. 15 countries have declined 'quite substantially,' and almost half the countries on the continent recorded their worst score ever within the last three years. The Ibrahim Index of African Governance, the report provides an annual assessment of governance in Africa and is most comprehensive collection of data on governance in the region. The 2016...
(AFP (eng) 10/04/16)
The global conference that governs wildlife trade voted Monday against strengthening the ban on ivory sales, exposing bitter divisions among African countries and experts over elephant conservation. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) rejected a proposal to include all African elephants in its highest category of protection, which bans trade in species facing extinction. A coalition of 29 African countries -- led by Kenya and Benin -- had pressed for African elephants to be put in the CITES "Appendix I" category. But South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe rejected the proposal, saying they should continue to be excluded from Appendix I as they have stable or growing elephant populations. "This is a tragedy for elephants," said Kelvin Alie,...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/03/16)
Governance across Africa has improved very little over the past decade as deteriorating safety and rule of law have held back progress made in other areas such as human rights or economic opportunities, a survey said on Monday. The Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) - the most comprehensive survey of its kind on the continent - rates 54 African nations against criteria such as security, human rights, economic stability, just laws, free elections, corruption, infrastructure, poverty, health and education. Mauritius held onto its top spot, followed by Botswana, Cape Verde, the Seychelles and Namibia while South Africa - the continent's most industrialised country - was in sixth place. While overall the index has improved by just one point over...
(The Wall Street Journal 10/01/16)
Startups and global corporations alike plumb Africa for scarce software development skills A shortage of software developers in the U.S. has prompted some companies to seek talent in Africa, home to a young and increasingly-tech savvy workforce. International Business Machines Corp. has engaged young software developers in Lagos, Nigeria, to help build a data analytics business the technology giant is trying to ramp up quickly. The combination of an educated population and the proliferation of mobile technology on the continent makes Africa a good incubator of technology talent, said Leon Katsnelson, chief technology officer and director for IBM’s analytic platform emerging technologies group. IBM is building “Big Data University” to train technology professionals in its analytics tools through online training...
(Malawi 24 09/30/16)
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has intensified its efforts to fight food insecurity as it is importing 55,000 metric tonnes of maize which is expected to meet the needs of up to 4.7 million people in drought affected areas of Malawi over the coming months. This follows a major contribution of nearly US$22 million (K16.6 billion) from the government of Malawi. The hunger response is happening following a widespread crop failure which led to a second consecutive national maize deficit and food insecurity in the country. In response to the severity of the situation, relief operations are being scaled up to reach 5.8 million of the estimated 6.5 million people expected to require food assistance during the peak...
(Malawi 24 09/30/16)
Malawi has fallen into the resource-curse trap by failing to protect the rights and livelihoods of people living in budding mining communities, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said. The global human rights body in its latest report observed that families living near coal and uranium mining operations in northern Malawi faced serious problems with water, food, and housing. “They are left in the dark about health and other risks from mining,” said HRW in its 96-page report titled, ‘They Destroyed Everything': Mining and Human Rights in Malawi.’ The report examined the impact of extraction industries on communities in northern Malawi’s border district of Karonga, which was located on the shores of Lake Malawi. “Malawi shouldn’t repeat the mistakes made in...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/30/16)
Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is likely to slip to 1.6 percent this year, its lowest level in two decades, due to continuing woes in the continent's largest economies of South Africa and Nigeria, a World Bank report said Thursday. Africa has been one of the world's fastest-growing region's over the past decade, but a commodities slump has hit its oil and mineral exporters hard, bringing growth down to 3 percent in 2015. However, other countries — including Ethiopia, Rwanda and Tanzania — have continued to record GDP growth above 6 percent, according to "Africa's Pulse," the Bank's twice-yearly analysis of economic trends. The report, which was unveiled in Ivory Coast's commercial capital Abidjan, also singled out Ivory Coast and...
(AFP (eng) 09/29/16)
In a bustling market in Abidjan, women browse through a bewildering array of intricately patterned wax-print fabrics, each of which has a unique and sometimes quirky name. "Eye of my rival" is one which has an eye-like motif, while another is known as "capable husband". Another bale of this brightly coloured fabric is labelled "jealousy". Each print has a name and comes in different colours, so you could have a "capable husband" in red, green or a white and the same for “Eye of my rival". Others have longer, more conversational names: "If you leave, so will I" or "If you divorce, I won't eat sand". Known as a "pagne", this strip of printed cotton cloth can be worn in...
(News24 09/28/16)
A call for behavioural change within the ranks of Malawi's police force has been made following revelations that over 30% of the southern Africa country's police force are HIV positive. According to Nyasa Times, Inspector General of Police Lexten Kachama urged officers to be more careful with their sexual practices as many had contracted HIV through "reckless behaviour". Kachama said this during the launch of Theatre of Change, a sensitisation campaign targeted at police officials. Meanwhile, Finance Director for Theatre of Change Wiseman Msimuko said that some officials demanded sex from prostitutes who would have been placed under arrest, thereby leading to a spread in the virus. "They demand sex from prostitutes when they arrest them, they demand sex in...
(Voice of America 09/28/16)
Schoolgirls in Malawi are learning what to do if someone tries to attack them. A Kenyan NGO started the training in response to a recent study that showed one in five girls under the age of 18 in Malawi has been sexually assaulted. At a school in the Salima district of central Malawi, girls are practicing punches and jabs. But this is not a martial arts class. These girls are learning how to defend themselves. “The curriculum involves both verbal and physical skills. Physical skill is used when it is the best and last option, meaning that we use mainly verbal skills which is how to use their voices to [prevent] the assaults,” said Loveness Thole, the Ujamaa curriculum coordinator...
(Nyasa Times 09/28/16)
Government says it will request the Malawi Defense Force (MDF) to reroute Ruo river in Nsanje which has left its course and get into Mozambique. Commissioner for Disaster Ben Botolo and a team of government officials from both Capital Hill and Nsanje noted that the Malawi/Mozambique boundary has moved seven kilometres into Malawi. In addition, Makhanga, a big village in Nsanje, has been made an island. Botolo said the Malawi soldiers have the expertise to reroute the river so that it takes its old course. "In addition, the government will build a dike to prevent the reoccurence of this," he said. Botolo said the government would immediately send a team of experts to see how best the problems could be...
(Caj News Africa 09/28/16)
Government and relief agencies are scaling up operations to reach 5,8 million Malawians of the estimated 6,5 million people expected to require food assistance during the peak of the lean season. The Southern African country is among the worst hit by drought in the region, having hit by two years of successive unfavourable weather conditions. This is a result of the most intense El Niño weather event in decades. Widespread crop failure has led to a second consecutive national maize deficit and the worst food insecurity in living memory. It is estimated that 40 percent of the population will need humanitarian food assistance by the peak of the lean season during the early months of 2017. WFP requires US$100 million...
(AFP (eng) 09/28/16)
When farmer Isaac Tondo fell on lean times in Liberia's long rainy season, his brother in the capital sent 8,000 Liberian dollars (US$87) to his Lonestar mobile money account, ensuring his children's school fees would still be paid. Across Africa more and more people -- from urban start-ups to hard-up villagers -- are now spending, saving and planning for the future through banking services offered by mobile phone companies. And experts believe growth and poverty reduction will follow, if certain key risks are managed. Tondo's brother used to entrust cash with contacts passing through their home village in Grand Gedeh county, but the roads are so bad they can no longer access it. "The only means of receiving money from...
(AFP (eng) 09/27/16)
Yemeni authorities on Monday deported at least 220 African illegal immigrants, mainly Ethiopians, from the southern port city of Aden, security officials said. The migrants had been rounded up over the past two weeks and were put on a ship bound for Somalia, from where they apparently came, an official in Aden said. The boat left from the port at Aden's refinery. Hundreds of illegal migrants have arrived in south Yemen over the past few weeks despite the ongoing war that has ravaged the country. In Shabwa province, east of Aden, authorities have arrested more than 500 African migrants over the past two weeks, security chief Awad al-Dahboul said. Officials in south Yemen have claimed that some migrants are being...
(News24 09/26/16)
Malawian leader Peter Mutharika has reportedly claimed that former president Joyce Banda and her People's Party (PP) government wanted to kill him during the time when he was in the opposition. According to Malawi24, Mutharika made the claims in New York last week after receiving the African Leadership Award. The southern African country leader was recognised for "exceptional leadership" and for "impacting lives positively" by the African Leadership Magazine Group, reports said. In his acceptance speech, Mutharika recounted the challenges he went through to become Malawi’s leader, saying Banda put his life under threat. "I took over the leadership to my political party soon after the death of my brother Professor Bingu wa Mutharika who mysteriously died while serving as...
(News24 09/26/16)
An Australian pastor has died after he was attacked while ministering in Malawi, Nyasa Times reports. Geoff Freind, a 59-year-old Major with the Salvation Army, was allegedly attacked while on his way to the Chichiri Shopping Mall in the country's business capital of Blantyre. Freind, who was in Malawi on a five-week preaching tour with the Salvation Army, was said to have come under attack on the second week of his stay. The pastor reportedly succumbed to his injuries at a Johannesburg hospital on Wednesday last week, while in the presence of his wife and four sons. Although information regarding the circumstances of his death were minimal, Freind's brother-in-law Peter Walker revealed that the pastor sustained serious head injuries during...

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