Thursday 19 October 2017
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
Rent-a-room giant Airbnb said Tuesday that it had provided accommodation for 1.2 million visitors to Africa over the last year -- double the previous year as tourism expands across the continent. The website now offers more than 100,000 accommodation options in Africa, global public affairs director Chris Lehane said on a visit to Johannesburg. "It's an incredibly rich and diverse continent, an incredibly dynamic place, certainly a big part of our future," Lehane told AFP. Airbnb was founded in 2008 and offers accommodation ranging from single bedrooms to whole homes in 65,000 cities in 191 countries. The company announced Tuesday that it would invest $1 million (850,000 euros) in Africa by 2020 to "promote and...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
Though its motto is "one Africa, one voice", the reality of "Africa's parliament" could not be more different. Since its creation in 2004, the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) has struggled to make its voice heard, prompting its deputies to ask themselves at a recent gathering: "What are we for?" "Every time we're here, we obsess over the same things. If we are not making laws, then what's the point of being here?" Corneille Padonou of Benin said to his fellow parliamentarians. "This forum is not a parliament, it is just a discussion platform that does not have any legislative powers. This institution is still wobbly," said Floyd Shivambu, a parliamentarian from South Africa. "As it is, it is a waste of...
(APA 10/16/17)
APA-Dakar (Senegal) - The president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, will deliver the Norman Borlaug Lecture on Monday 16 October as part of the World Food Prize events taking place from October 16 to 20, 2017 in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. The Norman Borlaug Lecture under the title: “Betting on Africa to Feed the World”, will be held on World Food Day, October 16, in conjunction with the annual World Food Prize celebration. AfDB President Adesina will receive...
(AFP (eng) 10/13/17)
Soldiers in central Mali killed four suspected jihadists who slit the throat of a civilian they thought was a military informer, the army has announced. "The terrorists slit the throat of a civilian on Wednesday" at Boudjiguire village, suspecting him of "passing information to the Malian army", a military statement said late Thursday. Soldiers pursued the four armed men fleeing in a vehicle which overturned, forcing them "to hide in a forest", where they were killed. None of the soldiers was injured, the statement said. Groups of Islamic extremists linked to Al-Qaeda took control of the desert north of Mali in March...
(APA 10/13/17)
APA-Bamako (Mali) - With only 29.28% of the girls schooled, Mali is the sixth country in the world where girls have the least access to education, according to a study by the NGO ONE seen by APA on Friday. According to the poverty-focused NGO, nine of the 10 countries where girls have the least access to education are located in Africa. South Sudan tops the list, where only one in every four girls is going to primary school. Only 15.93...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/12/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - West Africa is most at risk of fatal haemorrhagic fever epidemics, including Ebola, researchers said on Wednesday, calling for greater preparedness to save lives. A study in The Lancet medical journal assessed the likelihood of four viruses - Ebola, Lassa, Marburg and Crimean-Congo - spreading on the continent, charting progress from a first human case through to a potential pandemic. The world’s worst recorded Ebola outbreak ravaged Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone between 2013 and...
(AFP (eng) 10/10/17)
Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is set to accelerate to 3.4 percent next year, the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday, citing Nigeria's recovering oil and agricultural sectors. The IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook report that the region would grow by 2.6 percent this year after 1.4 percent in 2016. "Growth is expected to rise gradually," it said, while noting that the rate would be uneven and "barely above population growth". GDP in the west African powerhouse Nigeria...
(AFP (eng) 10/05/17)
It is hardly the most inviting place to call home -- a sprawling tent city in a sea of reddish sand in southeastern Mauritania. But for the Malians who eke out a life here, the harsh Saharan desert is a haven compared to the violence and chaos back home. Tens of thousands have fled towns and villages in northern Mali to the safety of Mbera camp, 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the border. And for many of them, the craving...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/05/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (HLT.N) plans to spend $50 million over the next five years to add 100 hotels to its chain in Africa, it said on Thursday, joining other chains keen to tap growing business and international travel on the continent. One property will open in the Kenyan capital Nairobi by the end of this year and another in the Rwandan capital Kigali in 2018, it said in a statement. There was 11 percent growth in...
(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) 10/04/17)
Dutch Defence Minister Jeanine Hennis resigned late Tuesday in the wake of a damning report over the death of two soldiers killed in an accidental mortar explosion in Mali last year. "I am politically responsible and am taking that responsiblity," Hennis told the lower house of parliament in The Hague. "I resign as minister and will ask his majesty the king for my immediate release," she said after more than four hours of parliamentary debate over the deaths of the...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/04/17)
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch caretaker Defence Minister Jeanine Hennis said on Tuesday she was resigning after a report highlighted serious failures by her department during a United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali. The Safety Board last week issued its findings about an incident on June 6, 2016, when a mortar killed two soldiers and gravely injured a third. It concluded that the ministry had let safety and medical standards slip in favor of pursuing strategic goals. Hennis announced her resignation during a parliamentary debate just days before the caretaker government is due to be replaced...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/04/17)
BAMAKO (Reuters) - Mali has allowed informal gold mining to resume after a three-month suspension during which the government restructured the sector to capture more tax revenue, the mines minister said on Wednesday. Africa’s third biggest gold producer behind South Africa and Ghana, Mali’s informal mining sector has exploded in recent years and more than 1 million miners now work on at least 350 sites, according to a chamber of mines estimate. “We decided that, from now on, everyone who...
(AFP (eng) 10/03/17)
Mauritania on Monday called for more support to roll out an anti-jihadist force in Africa's Sahel region where the deployment of 5,000 troops has been delayed by a lack of financing. The new joint force being set up by five countries of the Sahel region -- Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger -- has an annual budget of about $496 million (422 million euros) a year, but only about $127 million has been pledged so far. Khadijetou Mbareck Fall,...
(AFP (eng) 10/03/17)
UN Security Council ambassadors will travel to Mali, Burkina Faso and Mauritania this month to get a close-up view of a new regional force that France is hoping to shore up with financing, the French ambassador said Monday. The Sahel force is set to begin operations this month, tasked with combating Islamic militants, some of whom have links to Al-Qaeda, but a question mark remains over funding. France will use its presidency of the Security Council in October to focus...
(AFP (eng) 09/29/17)
Government shutdowns of the internet have cost sub-Saharan Africa about $237 million since 2015, according to a study released Friday, as authorities increasingly implement planned disruptions. At least 12 countries have had internet shutdowns, often before elections or when protests erupt, with mobile internet networks most recently suspended in Togo during opposition demonstrations. "Internet disruptions, however short-lived, undermine economic growth, disrupt the delivery of critical services, erode business confidence, and raise a country’s risk profile," the CIPESA report said. The Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) released its...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/28/17)
Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, head of a group of five countries in Africa’s Sahel region, has asked the United States to remove a travel ban on Chadian nationals, saying that a failure to do so could affect Chad’s security commitments. Security analysts expressed surprise when Chad, a key U.S. security partner since the Cold War, was named last week alongside North Korea and Venezuela as part of an eight-country the travel ban. Chad’s army acts as a bulwark against...
(Xinhuanet 09/27/17)
The UN Security Council on Monday condemned "in the strongest terms" Sunday's attack by unknown assailants against a convoy of the UN mission in Mali, which killed three peacekeepers of Bangladeshi origin and injured four others. The members of the Security Council, in a press statement, expressed their deepest condolences and sympathy to the families of the victims, as well as to the Bangladeshi government and the UN mission in Mali, or Minusma. They called on the government of Mali to swiftly investigate the attack and bring the perpetrators to justice. They underlined that attacks targeting peacekeepers may constitute war crimes under international law and involvement in planning, directing, sponsoring or conducting attacks
(APA 09/27/17)
The Kingdom of the Netherlands has contributed 200 million fCFA to the Invest-in-Mali Forum scheduled for December 7-8, 2017, and which has an estimated budget of 1.5 billion CFA, APA can report on Wednesday. The financing agreement was signed by Dutch Ambassador to Mali Jolke Oppewal and Investment Minister Konimba Sidibé. The organizers are looking for further funding because the budget of the forum is still not completely funded. Speaking at the signing of the convention, Minister Konimba Sidibé urged...
(Bloomberg 09/27/17)
Studio 189, a label founded by actress Rosario Dawson and fashion executive Abrima Erwiah, is reinvesting in its African roots. It’s hard enough to build a fashion brand, let alone an empire. Rare is the person who makes a mission of using fashion to build communities. Such is the case with Studio 189, a label founded by longtime friends Abrima Erwiah (formerly a marketing executive at Bottega Veneta) and Rosario Dawson (an enduring star most recently seen in Netflix’s Marvel...

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