Wednesday 22 November 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 09/26/17)
Israel’s Elbit Systems Ltd said on Tuesday it won a contract worth $240 million to provide a wide array of defense electronic systems to an unnamed country in Africa. The contract, which will be carried out over a two-year period, is comprised of Directed Infra-red Counter Measure (DIRCM) systems to protect aircraft from shoulder fired missiles, based on passive infrared systems, and includes missile warning systems, radio and communication systems, land systems, mini-unmanned air systems and helicopters upgrade.
(Reuters (Eng) 09/25/17)
Three United Nations soldiers from Bangladesh were killed by an explosive device that detonated as they were escorting a convoy in northern Mali on Sunday, the West African country’s peacekeeping mission and Bangladesh’s military said. Attacks on peacekeepers in Mali, where Islamist groups continue to operate in the vast desert in the north of the country, have made the U.N. mission there, MINUSMA, the organization’s deadliest. Another five U.N. troops were seriously wounded in Sunday’s explosion, which occurred at around 7 a.m. (0700 GMT) on the main road between the towns of Anefis and Gao, MINUSMA said in a statement. “Our thoughts go firstly to the families and loved ones. We pledge our complete support to them during this painful...
(Voice of America 09/25/17)
African first ladies and activists hailed progress that some governments on the continent are making on gender equality. They met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “We used to have 23 percent female representation in parliament but, with the stroke of a pen it went up to 48 percent. So, we managed to double our female representation with that decision,” said Namibia’s first lady Monica Geingos at a roundtable invitation-only event co-hosted by the Global First Ladies Alliance (GFLA) and Facebook. Geingos credited the quota enacted by the ruling SWAPO party of her husband, President Hage Geingob. But she said a similar quota might be needed for Namibia’s private sector, where only 10 to...
(AFP (eng) 09/24/17)
At least three UN peacekeepers were killed Sunday when their vehicle hit an explosive device in Mali's troubled north, the UN's mission to the conflict-torn country said. MINUSMA said the attack, which also left another five soldiers seriously wounded, took place early Sunday on a road between the city of Gao and a village called Anefis. In a separate statement, the Bangladeshi armed forces said three of its soldiers had been killed and another four wounded when their vehicle hit the explosive device. The blast came a day after Bangladeshi peacekeepers successfully fended off another armed attack, it said.
(Reuters (Eng) 09/22/17)
Rival Tuareg groups said on Thursday they had signed a peace deal in northern Mali, raising hopes of an end to years of fighting and broken ceasefires. Senior members of the separatist CMA and their pro-government opponents known as the Platform said they had settled their differences in the arid region, which is still reeling from a 2012 Islamist insurgency. Past deals have fizzled as goodwill faded - though observers said they were optimistic, as the pact had been signed in Bamako on Wednesday night under the watch of the United Nations, government officials and international mediators. “We assure that in future we will respect all the commitments we have made before you and before the international community,” senior Platform...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/22/17)
From deadly droughts and destroyed crops to shrinking water sources, communities across sub-Saharan Africa are struggling to withstand the onslaught of global record-breaking temperatures. But the dangers do not end there. Rising heat poses another threat - one that is far less known and studied but could spark disease epidemics across the continent, scientists say. Mosquitoes are the menace, and the risk goes beyond malaria. The Aedes aegypti mosquito, which spreads debilitating and potentially deadly viruses, from Zika and dengue to chikungunya, thrives in warmer climates than its malaria-carrying cousin, known as Anopheles, say researchers at Stanford University. In sub-Saharan Africa, this means malaria rates could rise in cooler areas as they heat up, but fall in hotter places that...
(AFP (eng) 09/21/17)
A Malian soldier was killed and a number of others were injured Wednesday in an ambush in northern Mali, where gunmen also attacked two military camps, including a UN mission, a military source said. The ambush took place 55 kilometres (34 miles) from Menaka, when one of the unit's vehicles ran over a landmine, the source said. Meanwhile, in the northern region of Kidal, gunmen attacked a camp run by the UN mission in the country, known by the acronym of MINUSMA, and another camp due to host so-called mixed patrols, another security source said. Intended to provide security for the troubled region, mixed patrols comprise regular army soldiers; pro-government armed groups known as Platform; and ex-members of a predominantly...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/21/17)
Makers of generic AIDS drugs will start churning out millions of pills for Africa containing a state-of-the-art medicine widely used in rich countries, after securing a multi-million dollar guarantee that caps prices at just $75 per patient a year. Global health experts hope the deal will help address two looming problems in the HIV epidemic - the rising threat of resistance developing to standard AIDS drugs, and the need for more investment in manufacturing capacity. Bill Gates’ charitable foundation will guarantee minimum sales volumes of the new combination pills using dolutegravir, a so-called integrase inhibitor that avoids the drug resistance that often develops with older treatments. In return the drugmakers, India-based Mylan Laboratories and Aurobindo Pharma, will agree the maximum...
(The Guardian 09/18/17)
Anna Jones says that, through selling its cocoa cheaply, Africa is exporting its wealth overseas; while Sue Banford claims that the soya moratorium in the Amazon has done nothing to halt deforestation. Only the final paragraph in your article on cocoa farming causing deforestation in Ivory Coast (Forests pay price for world’s taste for cocoa, 14 September) mentioned the most fundamental thing – the farmer’s livelihood, or lack of it. The low value of his (or more likely her) crop is undoubtedly the cause of this problem. But cocoa farming could also provide the solution. Recently, I was in Ivory Coast for the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) in Abidjan. It united many different parties – governments, the UN’s Food...
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
Societe Generale SA, challenged on its home turf by Orange SA’s push into banking, is fighting back with a new mobile lender in Africa. The French lender started YUP, a new app for smartphones, in Senegal and Ivory Coast and plans to begin operating in four other sub-Saharan countries this year and next, the company said on Thursday. The bank aims to double its client base to 2 million in the region within three years. “Telcos have opened the way and they’ve gotten ahead,” Alexandre Maymat, who oversees Societe Generale’s operations in French-speaking Africa, said at a press briefing. “We’re catching up” by redefining the retail strategy and providing a broader offering than telephone companies. Chief Executive Officer Frederic Oudea...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/14/17)
NIAMEY, NIGER — Mali and Niger, two of the West African nations hit hardest by jihadist violence, appealed Wednesday for international funding for a regional force they have set up to counter Islamist insurgencies. Mali's President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Niger's Mahamadou Issoufou said the force assembled by the G5 Sahel bloc — Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad — was crucial to fighting a threat that went well beyond their borders. "We bring this combat against terrorism not only to protect our own people and countries but for the whole world," Issoufou said at a news conference in Niger's capital, Niamey. "For terrorism knows no border. It will go to Europe, it will go to the United States,"...
(APA 09/14/17)
APA-Bamako (Mali) - Malian authorities have on Wednesday seized 58 bales of cannabis worth 120 million CFA in Koutiala in the southern region of Sikasso, according to Lieutenant Salikou Traoré, from the regional narcotics department (OCS). “We arrested two drug traffickers who had 58 bales of cannabis, all of them Malians. They were detained at Sikasso Central Prison,” Lieutenant Traore said. When asked about the origin and destination of the seized drug, Lieutenant Traoré replied: “We know that the drug came from Ghana via Burkina Faso. One part was destined for consumption in Mali; the other was to be delivered in Senegal. According to Lieutenant Traoré, his services dealing with a network of international drug trafficking.
(Reuters (Eng) 09/14/17)
LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Your afternoon chocolate bar may be fuelling climate change, destroying protected forests and threatening elephants, chimpanzees and hippos in West Africa, research suggests. Well-known brands, such as Mars and Nestle, are buying through global traders cocoa that is grown illegally in dwindling national parks and reserves in Ivory Coast and Ghana, environmental group Mighty Earth said. “Every consumer of chocolate is a part of either the problem or the solution,” Etelle Higonnet, campaign director at Mighty Earth, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “You can choose to buy ethical chocolate. Or you’re voting with your dollar for deforestation.” Nestle did not immediately respond to requests for comment while Mars said in an email: “We take a...
(Xinhuanet 09/13/17)
In an effort to promote economic development and solve complex conservation challenges facing world heritage sites, the African World Heritage Fund Patron and former President of Namibia Hifikepunye Pohamba will host a business leader's breakfast event in Namibian Capital, Windhoek on Thursday. The African World Heritage Fund is an initiative of the African Member States of the African Union and UNESCO, launched in 2006. Webber Ndoro, executive director of the African World Heritage Fund, at a media briefing on Tuesday in Windhoek said that the aim of the event is to promote a holistic private sector engagement, raise a sense of ownership and accountability for heritage protection as well as transmission of World Heritage sites in Namibia and Africa. "To...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/12/17)
Olympic boxing’s governing body, AIBA, has banned African confederation head Kelani Bayor for three years for allegedly provoking the crowd at the continental championships in Brazzaville last June. Bayor is an AIBA vice-president and executive committee member as well as chairman of Togo’s national Olympic committee. “The Disciplinary Commission found that a hostile and threatening reaction to AIBA officials by spectators after the result of a bout on the last day of the competition was exacerbated by comments from Mr Bayor,” AIBA said in a statement on Monday. It found Bayor had “committed serious and unacceptable violations of the AIBA Disciplinary Code” at the tournament in Congo Republic. AIBA said the ban was from all boxing activities and responsibilities and...
(AFP (eng) 09/11/17)
Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita on Saturday inaugurated the headquarters for a planned five-nation force to combat jihadists in the Sahel region, officials who attended the ceremony told AFP. The HQ is located in central Mali at Sevare, about 10 kilometres (six miles) east of Mopti, in a region that has been hit by a wave of terror attacks in recent months. The five-battalion, 5,000-strong force, decided at a summit in Bamako on July 2, is to comprise troops from Niger, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Burkina Faso. It has an annual budget of about $496 million (423 million euros) a year, although so far only about $127 million (108 million euros) has been pledged. The participating countries rank among the...
(Bloomberg 09/11/17)
The South African companies that dominate the U.K.’s growing private hospital industry are counting on more people like Katie Corrie. A children’s party entertainer, Corrie opted to use 13,000 pounds ($17,000) of her savings and inheritance to get a hip replacement rather than spend months on a National Health Service waiting list. Britons like her are forking out almost 1 billion pounds a year to cover their own medical expenses, a trend that’s giving at least one industry the scope to look past Brexit turmoil. “Even if I hadn’t had the money put aside, I would have found a way to pay for it,” said Corrie, 50, who estimates the business she runs with her husband would have lost 10,000...
(AFP (eng) 09/10/17)
The Niger Basin Authority issued a warning Saturday of possible flooding in Benin and Nigeria, two countries downstream on the river, which is currently flooding in Niger. "We appeal to all residents downstream (of the Niger River)... because the water keeps rising," the NBA's Soungalo Kone said late Saturday, speaking on Niger television. The NBA has issued its second-highest alert level of orange, warning that further flooding is highly likely following months of heavy rain in Niger and Mali. "It's a question of hours to get to a red alert -- the waters can rise very suddenly," said Lawan Magadji, Niger's minister of disaster
(AFP (eng) 09/08/17)
Malian and Burkinabe soldiers have killed, tortured and disappeared civilians while trying to root out jihadists in central Mali, Human Rights Watch said Friday. "Mali and Burkina Faso military operations to counter the growing presence of Islamist armed groups in central Mali have resulted in serious human rights violations," a statement said. "Since late 2016, Malian forces have committed extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture, and arbitrary arrests against men accused of supporting Islamist armed groups". The violations occurred in the Mopti region, near the Burkinabe border, HRW said, between late 2016 and July 2017, and also in Segou, a few miles west. HRW said three graves had been found that contained the remains of at least 14 men executed after...
(APA 09/08/17)
Alain Giresse has resigned from his position as coach of Mali's national soccer team the Eagles, APA learned Thursday from the president of the Malian Football Federation General Baba Diarra. According to the source, “Alain Giresse said he was psychologically weakened and also expressed fears for his own safety.” However, several sources have said Giresse wanted to step down, after the heavy 6-0 defeat which Morocco inflicted to his team on 1st September, during the third round of 2018 World Cup qualifiers. His assistants had talked him out of resigning and asked him to wait for the return leg, played Tuesday in Bamako and which ended in a 0-0 stalemate. The French technician was at the helm of the Eagles...

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