Thursday 23 November 2017
(AFP (eng) 11/17/17)
Africa is making only faltering progress towards food and nutrition security, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned. "Multiple forms of malnutrition coexist, with countries experiencing simultaneously high rates of child undernutrition or anaemia as well as high rates of obesity," it says in a new report, Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition. In sub-Saharan Africa, "progress towards the World Health Assembly global nutrition targets has been generally poor," the Rome-based agency says, referring to goals to end hunger by 2025. The annual document came out Thursday at the start of a two-day food and health seminar in Ivory Coast's economic capital, Abidjan. Around 200 people from 47 African nations are gathered...
(AFP (eng) 11/13/17)
Ministers from 13 European and African countries on Monday pledged steps to ease the migrant crisis around the Mediterranean, vowing especially to improve conditions for migrants held in Libya. Interior ministers and other representatives from countries impacted by the ongoing wave of migration up through Africa towards Europe, including Libya, voiced deep concern over the "ongoing human tragedy" along the so-called Central Mediterranean route. "The participants intend to address the challenges posed by the alarming situation along the migration route to North Africa," Switzerland, which hosted the third meeting of the so-called contact group on the crisis, said in a statement. Thousands of migrants and refugees who attempt to travel along this route "find themselves in catastrophic situations," it said,...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/08/17)
LUCHENZA, Malawi (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - When Memory Chitsulo was still in school in Malawi she married a man a decade older. But her husband soon left for South Africa, abandoning her with a baby. Desperate for money, the teenager turned to sex work. Charities in the southern African country say child brides are increasingly being pushed into prostitution as growing numbers of early marriages break down. “My parents died in a bus accident when I was 14. I got...
(AFP (eng) 11/08/17)
A dozen other students look on as Umar Amadu uses a glass pipette to draw a solution from a conical flask as part of a chemistry experiment. It could be a scene from any school laboratory around the world, but until two months ago Amadu and his fellow students had no access to any science equipment. Science subjects at his rural secondary school outside the city of Katsina in northern Nigeria were taught using theory only. But now they have...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/07/17)
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Ride-hailing service Uber Technologies Inc. [UBER.UL] is growing rapidly in sub-Saharan Africa and considering moves into more markets, despite sometimes violent opposition from metered taxi drivers, a senior executive said on Tuesday. Uber’s service has triggered protests by rivals from London to New Delhi as it up-ends traditional business models that require professional drivers to pay steep licensing fees to do business. “We are bullish on Africa. The growth here is still substantial and we think...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/06/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Africa’s mobile internet connections are set to double in the next five years, a study showed on Monday, thanks to affordable smartphones and the roll-out of high-speed networks. A report by research and consulting firm Ovum in London estimates that mobile broadband connections will rise from 419 million at the end of this year to 1.07 billion by the end of 2022. “Data connectivity is growing strongly in Africa, and there are also good prospects on the...
(AFP (eng) 11/03/17)
At least 18 Malawian soldiers were killed on Thursday when the truck they were travelling in left the road at a corner and rolled three times, police said. The military truck was carrying more than 60 passengers returning from training in the northern district of Mzimba to a military college in central Malawi. "So far 18 soldiers have been confirmed dead, including the driver of the vehicle and three trainers," Peter Botha, police spokesman for Mzimba district, told AFP. A...
(AFP (eng) 11/02/17)
Under a scorching sun, a team of British soldiers and Malawian rangers sheltered under a tree ready to pounce on their prey: poachers. The combined force, armed with rifles and handcuffs, did not encounter any poachers as it patrolled the 530 square kilometre (240 square mile) Liwonde national park in Malawi's south. But the presence of the highly-trained and well-equipped British forces was reassuring for the rangers who routinely confront gangs of poachers armed with Kalashnikovs. Liwonde, which borders Mozambique,...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/25/17)
LILONGWE (Reuters) - Police in Malawi have arrested 200 suspected members of vigilante mobs that have been killing people they believe are vampires, a spokesman said on Tuesday. Nine people have been killed since mid-September in southern Malawi where there is a widespread belief in witchcraft. The violence has prompted the United Nations and the U.S. embassy to declare some parts of the country no-go zones. The attacks spread last week to Blantyre, Malawi’s second largest city where a 22-year-old...
(AFP (eng) 10/24/17)
Elephant poaching in Africa declined for a fifth straight year in 2016 but seizures of illegal ivory hit records highs, the CITES monitor said Tuesday, calling it a "conflicting phenomena". In its latest report, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species also noted that despite the overall fall in poaching, Africa's elephant population has continued to drop "due to continued illegal killing, land transformation and rapid human expansion." Global illegal ivory trade has remained relatively stable for six years,...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/23/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - African political leaders, activists, and local chiefs joined forces on Monday to commit to ending child marriage in West and Central Africa, the region with the highest child marriage rate in the world. More than a third of girls in the region are married under the age of 18, with the rate over 50 percent in six countries and up to 76 percent in Niger. Driven by factors including poverty, insecurity and religious tradition, marrying...
(AFP (eng) 10/21/17)
The killing of four American special operations soldiers in Niger has highlighted the increasing role elite units are playing across Africa, which is rapidly becoming a major center of US military action. Their mission is to counter the advances of a slew of jihadist movements across the continent, including Al-Shabaab in Somalia, affiliates of the Islamic State group in the Sahel region and Boko Haram in Nigeria. Of the 8,000 special forces "operators" deployed globally this year, more than 1,300...
(AFP (eng) 10/20/17)
Malawian police said Friday that 124 people had arrested after a vigilante mob killed two men accused of being "vampires" trying to obtain human blood for voodoo rituals. The killings bring the death toll to nine as vampire rumours have swept the country's southern region since last month, forcing authorities to impose a night-time curfew. "One person was burned and another stoned to death by angry mobs in incidents on Thursday for being suspected to be blood suckers," police spokesman Ramsy Mushani told AFP. The latest killings took place outside Blantyre, the country's commercial capital, where angry mobs clashed with police and blocked main roads...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/20/17)
LILONGWE (Reuters) - Police in Malawi said they arrested 140 suspected members of vigilante mobs that have targeted people accused of vampirism, clamping down after a wave of attacks that have killed at least nine. The lynch mob attacks began in mid-September in four districts in southern Malawi, where belief in witchcraft is widespread. This week they spread to Blantyre, the country’s second-biggest city, where mobs torched one person and stoned another to death on Wednesday. “We have so far...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/20/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The #MeToo social media campaign to raise awareness about sexual harassment and abuse has sparked conversation in parts of Africa where domestic violence is rampant but strong cultural and religious taboos prevent women from admitting it. Prompted by sexual abuse allegations against American film mogul Harvey Weinstein, millions of women around the world have been sharing their experiences of harassment and abuse on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #MeToo. The movement has reached only...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/10/17)
LILONGWE (Reuters) - The United Nations said on Monday it has pulled staff out of two districts in southern Malawi where a vampire scare has triggered mob violence in which at least five people have been killed. Belief in witchcraft is widespread in rural Malawi, one of the world’s poorest countries, where many aid agencies and NGOs work. A spate of vigilante violence linked to a vampire rumors also erupted in Malawi in 2002. “These districts have severely been affected...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(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...

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