Saturday 27 May 2017
(The East African 04/03/17)
Nairobi — The 2017 Mo Ibrahim Foundation annual Governance Weekend will be held in Marrakech - Morocco from April 7-9. A press release from the Foundation identifies the Palmeraie Resort as the venue for this year's meeting. The three-day event brings together prominent African and Africa-focused leaders, civil society representatives, multilateral and regional institutions and Africa's international partners to identify policy challenges and possible solutions. Violent extremism The conversation is normally extended to a wider audience through music, art and sport at major public events, showcasing some of Africa's brightest talent. The Foundation has released a report that sets the stage for high-level discussions in Morocco. The priority areas for the Marrakech talks, according to the report, include violent extremism...
(AFP (eng) 04/02/17)
Mali's opposition on Saturday took tentative steps towards ending its boycott of a political summit enshrined in the country's 2015 peace deal after the government extended a deadline to facilitate extra talks. Opposition parties were the last holdout after former rebels who had led several uprisings against the state in Mali's north ended their own boycott on Tuesday to attend a conference designed to ensure the shaky peace accord remains on course. The government and pro-Bamako armed groups are also represented at the event. "It's a symbolic presence to deliver a message, after a request for our presence by a delegation of participants at the conference,"
(AFP (eng) 03/31/17)
The state of emergency in force almost non-stop for 16 months in Mali was extended by 10 days from Friday, the government said. The measure has been renewed several times since jihadists stormed the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako in November 2015, killing 20 people in an attack claimed by Al-Qaeda's regional branch. The fresh extension would allow the government to "further strengthen prevention and counter-terrorism measures, and increase the operational capabilities and processes of the armed forces and security," the statement released late Thursday said. There remained "the threat of terrorism in Mali and in the region, as well as risks to people and goods," it added. The new state of emergency will be extended again if such a...
(Xinhuanet 03/30/17)
The African Union (AU) is extremely appalled by the attacks against African students in Noida and other cities in India. The pan-African bloc has deplored the violence unleashed during the riot that started on Monday targeting Africans of various nationalities, particularly Nigerians, which resulted in loss of innocent lives and serious injuries, the AU said in a statement. The attacks have also resulted in the displacement of many Africans from their normal places of residence, thereby putting their lives in serious danger, it said. AU has expressed heartfelt condolence to the families of the deceased; and it wished speedy recovery to all those who have sustained injuries. AU has called on the Indian authorities to provide all necessary support to...
(AFP (eng) 03/28/17)
Former rebels in Mali on Tuesday reversed a decision to boycott a national reconciliation conference after receiving assurances from the government, a spokesman said. The talks were agreed in a 2015 peace deal signed by Tuareg-led rebels, the government and pro-Bamako militias aimed at ending successive separatist uprisings in Mali's north, most recently in 2012, and to isolate jihadist groups. On Monday, the Coordination of Movements of Azawad (CMA), the former rebel alliance, and Mali's opposition groupings announced they would not attend, saying the planned 7-day meeting was not long enough and its aims were too limited. But CMA representatives were present at the summit on Tuesda
(Voice of America 03/28/17)
The World Health Organization and U.N. children's fund are spearheading a massive immunization campaign across Africa to rid the continent of the last vestiges of polio. Tens of thousands of health workers will fan out across 13 central and western African countries to vaccinate more than 116 million children under age five against the crippling disease. The U.N. agencies report more than 190,000 volunteers, traveling on foot or bicycle, will go house to house across all cities, towns, and villages in 13 countries to vaccinate every child under age five against polio. The synchronized vaccination campaign, one of the largest ever conducted in Africa, will run from March 25-28. Director of Polio Eradication at the World Health Organization Michel Zaffran...
(AFP (eng) 03/27/17)
Former rebels and Mali's opposition parties Monday boycotted a national summit enshrined in the country's 2015 peace deal, laying bare divisions with the government and armed groups it relies on for security. The talks were agreed in the accord signed by Tuareg-led rebels, the government and pro-Bamako militias aimed at ending successive separatist uprisings in Mali's north, most recently in 2012, and to isolate jihadist groups. "We want a united Mali and we are open," said President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita at the conference's opening ceremony, speaking only to his own delegates and commanders supportive of his rule, according to an AFP journalist at the scene. The Coordination of Movements of Azawad (CMA), the former rebel alliance, and Mali's opposition groupings...
(Xinhuanet 03/27/17)
There is need for China and its African allies to kick start a new dialogue aimed at revitalizing wildlife and ecological conservation in the world's second largest continent, a conservationist has told Xinhua in an interview. Kaddu Sebunya, president of African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), told Xinhua that Beijing is an indispensable partner in efforts to protect Africa's iconic wildlife species that are grappling with human and climatic induced threats to their survival. "China is playing a big role in Africa's economic development and would like to see it direct more support towards protection of wildlife and vital ecosystems in the continent," Sebunya said. Sebunya noted that China's growing economic and diplomat clout place it at a vantage position to help...
(Xinhuanet 03/24/17)
A group of non-government organizations (NGOs) on Friday called on African leaders to find practical solutions to protect and assist Somali refugees and asylum seekers facing ongoing conflict and a humanitarian crisis in Somalia. In a joint statement issued on the eve of the regional summit on refugees, members of the Regional Durable Solutions Secretariat (ReDSS), Somalia NGO Consortium and the Inter-agency Working Group (IAWG) expressed hope that the leaders will take practical steps towards the development and implementation of a comprehensive regional approach. "It is hoped that such an approach, developed in the spirit of the New York Declaration, will support countries and communities that host Somali refugees in improving asylum space, integrated access to services, inclusive economic opportunities...
(AFP (eng) 03/23/17)
Eight people have died in violent clashes between two ethnic groups in central Mali, local sources told AFP Thursday, as tensions grow over use of land and food scarcity in the region. Increased availability of arms from Libya has also contributed to intercommunal violence in Mali, experts say, while drought has forced herders into areas traditionally cultivated by farmers. Cattle rustling in the village of Tougou angered traditional hunters who cultivate the land with their animals, a local official told AFP on condition of anonymity, who then carried out reprisals Wednesday against Fulani people they believed had stolen the cows. Clashes in the nearby town of Diabaly "killed eight people", the source said. Fulani people are frequently accused of criminality...
(APA 03/23/17)
The Board of Directors of the West African Development Bank (BOAD), has approved new financings estimated at nearly CFA138 billion, a statement from the financial institution seen by APA on Thursday suggests. The board made the decision during its 104th regular session in Dakar, Senegal on Wednesday. "After approving the report of its 103rd meeting held in Bamako, Mali on 14 December 2016, the Board approved BOAD's accounts for the year ended December 31, 2016, submitted for the approval of the Council of Ministers of the West African Monetary Union (UMOA). It also approved 13 new financing valued at CFA 137.75 billion, bringing the total amount of BOAD's commitments since the start of its operational activities in 1976 to CFA...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/23/17)
N'DJAMENA French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen pledged on Wednesday to break with her country's decades-old relationship with Africa known as "Francafrique" and abolish the CFA franc currency policy that binds Paris and its former colonies. Francafrique describes an informal web of relationships Paris has maintained with its former African colonies and its support, sometimes in the form of military backing, for politicians who favor French business interests. Le Pen, one of the frontrunners in the presidential election, spoke at the end of a two-day visit to Chad where she sought to outline her policies regarding the continent, which has long held an important place in French foreign policy. "It was only in coming here and explaining that I...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/17)
Under a cloudless sky in South Africa's northwestern farming region, donkeys still amble along muddy paths, pausing to nibble on grass, oblivious to the threat from a demand for Chinese medicine. The gelatin found in the animals' skin has made them a target, leading to a growing wave of donkey slaughtering in several African countries, as gangs seek to fuel a lucrative, and in South Africa illegal, trade. Animal rights groups say the docile beasts of burden are often cruelly bludgeoned to death before being skinned in backyards and clandestine slaughterhouses. Around Mogosani village, in South Africa's North West province, residents say syndicates catch the animals in grazing fields and pens. Soon after, skinned carcasses with hooves chopped off are...
(Agence Ecofin 03/20/17)
At the Africa CEO Forum which opened this morning in Geneva, AFD Group – in partnership with the European Union – unveiled the “African Renewable Energy Scale-Up facility”, designed to boost private sector investment in on–grid and off-grid renewable energy production in Africa. In order to meet Africa’s constantly increasing energy requirements, support must be provided for mass development of the renewable energy technologies – especially solar energy – that will play such a key role over the coming years, given the recent drop in prices and the emergence of new innovative business models. The EU’s electrification funding initiative, “ElectriFI”, helps to harness and stimulate private sector investment to enhance access to renewable energy. More specifically, it focuses on poorly-served...
(AFP 03/19/17)
The security situation in Mali "remains worrying" despite recent troop deployments and some progress on the country's peace accord, the head of the UN's peacekeeping force said Saturday in Bamako. "The overall security situation remains worrying. We are all too frequently attacked by armed groups," Herve Ladsous said at a press conference. Deployed since July 2013, the UN's 13,000-strong peacekeeping operation -- known as MINUSMA -- is considered one of the deadliest missions in peacekeeping since the UN deployed to Somalia in 1993, with more than 70 Blue Helmets killed. "The (peace) process is far from being achieved," despite the peace accord of June 2015 signed between Bamako and the groups which support it, and the former Tuareg rebels in...
(Voice of America 03/18/17)
Each year, the University of Southern California hosts the African Global Economic and Development Summit, bringing delegations from Africa to meet with business leaders, government officials and others in the U.S. But this year, the African summit has no Africans. All were denied visas. Visa issues are not uncommon for people traveling from African nations. During her prior three summits, Mary Flowers saw a high percentage of her attendees unable to attain visas. "Usually we get 40 percent that get rejected but the others come," said Flowers, chair of the African Global Economic and Development Summit. "This year it was 100 percent. Every delegation. And it was sad to see, because these people were so disheartened." Flowers estimated that she...
(Voice of America 03/17/17)
One of the enduring legacies of the Barack Obama presidency will be the relationship built between the United States and young Africans. As part of Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), each year 1,000 young people from sub-Saharan Africa travel to the United States to spend six weeks at a U.S. college or university. The program will continue this summer. But building enduring relationships is a two-way street, and many in Africa want to see Americans coming to their continent as well. That’s what 26 Americans selected to participate in a Reciprocal Exchange program, a new component of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, are now planning to do. The U.S. Department of State partnered with IREX, a...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
A nearly week-long strike over pay in Mali's public hospitals has brought services in major cities to a near standstill. The strike, which began on March 9, has affected hospitals and clinics in the capital Bamako and three other cities, sources said. Consultations were cancelled Wednesday at Bamako's Gabriel Toure Hospital, one of the country's largest, although essential services appeared to continue to be available, AFP journalist saw. A couple who had taken their baby to the hospital said the child was unable to get the necessary care. "Our child is sick. He needs blood, but because of the strike, it's difficult," the man said. Union officials and witnesses said the strike was also being observed in the central cities...
(Xinhuanet 03/16/17)
China's aid to the education sector in Africa is helping boost teacher training, a key component in skilling the population to fast track development, a UN official has said. Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, Director of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Regional Office for Eastern Africa, in an interview recognized China's contribution to Africa's education sector over the years. "We value the initiative in teacher training in Uganda and other countries in Africa. This will revitalize the teaching profession," she said. China through UNESCO donated equipment to three teacher training institutions in Uganda on March 3. Figures from the Chinese embassy here show that 137 tutors were trained and 272 pieces of Information Communication and Technology and studio equipment...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
Africa will host a Commonwealth Games one day despite the blow of Durban being stripped of hosting the 2022 edition, David Grevemberg, the chief executive of The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), told AFP. Durban lost the right to host the Games on Monday -- just 18 months after being awarded them -- when it failed to meet criteria laid down by the CGF, primarily over costs. "I wouldn't want to make a judgement call," Grevemberg told AFP on the sidelines of a briefing by 2018 Games hosts Gold Coast on Wednesday. "Durban has hosted some great events, it is a fantastic city and are wonderful warm hosts with bright ambitions and great aspirations. "However, it takes more than a municipality,...

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