Wednesday 28 June 2017
(Voice of America 05/05/17)
As Africa grapples with a severe drought, and famine threatens millions of people, experts at the World Economic Forum on Africa this week in the South African city of Durban say food security needs to be a major part of discussions on advancing the continent economically. The annual World Economic Forum in Switzerland is usually a high-powered event, but at this week’s Africa meeting of the international organization, the continent’s big players are welcoming the humble farmer, now known as the “agripreneur.” Agricultural economist Paul Makube, with South Africa’s First National Bank, told VOA it makes sense to talk about farming when discussing building competitive markets, and boosting innovation and technology. “For business to prosper, you need a situation where...
(AFP (eng) 05/04/17)
A UN peacekeeper killed in a rocket and mortar attack claimed by a powerful jihadist alliance in Mali was identified Thursday by the United Nations as a Liberian soldier. A UN mission known by its acronym MINUSMA has been stationed in the west African country since 2013 and is considered the world body's most dangerous active peacekeeping deployment. MINUSMA said nine others were injured by shelling on its camp in the troubled historic city of Timbuktu on Wednesday afternoon. Liberia had 78 troops serving in the 13,000-strong MINUSMA force which is assisting Malian troops struggling to secure the country.
(AFP (eng) 05/04/17)
Shelling and rocket fire on a UN camp in Mali's troubled Timbuktu killed one yet to be identified person and wounded nine peacekeepers, the United Nations mission said Wednesday. It is the latest attack to hit the mission, known as MINSUMA, stationed in the country since 2013 and considered its most dangerous active peacekeeping deployment. "A mortar and rocket attack was launched against the MINUSMA camp in Timbuktu," a UN statement said. "The provisional toll is nine wounded among the peacekeepers, four seriously who are being evacuated to Bamako. The attack also killed one person, they are still being identified," it added. The UN mission said it had reinforced the camp's defences and deployed air cover to identify where the...
(Xinhuanet 05/04/17)
The World Economic Forum (WEF) Africa Competitiveness Report 2017 released in Durban Thursday called for urgent policy reforms if the continent intends to create more jobs for its growing young population. According to the report issued at the 27th WEF on Africa, fewer than one-quarter of the 450 million new jobs required in the next 20 years will be created if current policies remain unchanged. The report called for structural reforms in the economies to create more jobs for the youth entering the market. African countries have to prioritize improving infrastructure, skills and adoption of new technology and quality of institutions. To improve competitiveness in the short term Africa needs to increase housing construction through investment, better urban planning and...
(AFP (eng) 05/03/17)
Nine Malian soldiers were killed and five wounded Tuesday in an area regularly targeted by jihadist groups, as the commander of France's counter-terrorism force for the region said an operation on the Burkina Faso border was ongoing. "A supply mission for the national armed forces fell into an ambush between Dogofri and Nampala. The initial toll is nine dead and five wounded," commerce minister and government spokesman Abdel Karim Konate said in a statement. He condemned the "cowardly and barbaric act" and said "our commitment, as well as that of our partners, is to relentlessly pursue the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking" in Mali. A Malian military source earlier said eight soldiers were killed and four wounded in the...
(Voice of America 05/03/17)
African military expenditures have finally slowed down after more than a decade of steady increases, according to a new report on global defense spending. The main reason, the report found, is a drop in oil prices. “The sharp decreases in oil prices has affected quite a number of African countries, namely South Sudan and Angola. This has kind of driven almost the entire regional trend,” said Nan Tian, a researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) Arms and Military Expenditure Program, the organization that authored the report. The SIPRI report found military spending in Africa in 2016 was down by 1.3 percent from the previous year and totaled about $37.9 billion. Despite the drop, Africa’s military spending remains...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/02/17)
France has killed more than 20 militants hiding in a forest near the border between the West African countries of Mali and Burkina Faso this weekend, its regional force said in a statement. The operation followed the death of a French soldier nearby earlier this month. It involved both air and ground strikes, the statement said. It did not identify the militant group. Mali has been regularly hit by Islamist militant violence, despite a 2013 French-led operation to drive them out of key northern cities they had seized. It extended a state of emergency by six months this weekend. But violence in its southern neighbor, Burkina Faso
(Bloomberg 05/02/17)
Saudi Aramco is seeking to boost its fuel-trading volume by more than a third as the world’s biggest crude exporter expands its capacity to refine oil to grab a bigger share of growing markets in Asia and Africa. Aramco, as Saudi Arabian Oil Co. is known, is building refineries in the kingdom and in Asia to help it increase sales and purchases of gasoline, diesel and other products to more than 2 million barrels a day, said Ibrahim Al-Buainain, chief executive officer of Saudi Aramco’s trading unit, Saudi Aramco Products Trading Co. Owning refineries gives the unit, known as Aramco Trading Co., options for buying and selling fuel that some of its competitors don’t have. “The key is that you...
(AfricaNews 04/28/17)
Sub-Saharan Africa’s growth is showing signs of recovery this year after a tumultuous period in 2016. The World Bank estimates that GDP growth will rise to 2.6 percent in 2017 compared to 1.3 percent last year and rise further to 3.2 percent in 2018 and 3.5 percent a year later. “Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to grow at a moderate rate of 2.6 percent in 2017, and somewhat improve towards three percent in 2018. This timid recovery is certainly better than the 1.6 percent we had in 2016, the lowest in a decade, but it is still below population growth in Africa,” said Albert Zeufack, Africa region chief economist at World Bank. Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to grow at a moderate...
(Voice of America 04/28/17)
A low-cost and widely available drug could save the lives of 1 in 3 mothers who would otherwise bleed to death after childbirth, according to a new study. Severe bleeding, known as postpartum hemorrhage, or PPH, is the leading cause of maternal death worldwide, killing more than 100,000 women every year. Even for mothers who survive, it is a painful and traumatic experience. The world's poorest countries, especially in Africa and India, are the worst hit. Drug from 1960s But there is new hope. In the 1960s, Japanese researchers developed a drug called tranexamic acid, which works by stopping blood clots from breaking down. But they could not persuade doctors to try the drug for treating PPH. The London School...
(Xinhuanet 04/27/17)
The West African bloc is seeking to strengthen the role of the private sector in health service delivery in the sub-region as financing sources become increasingly difficult, Dr. Xavier Crespin, Director General of the West African Health Organization (WAHO), disclosed here on Monday. He explained that, for the sub-region to be able to attain its health targets, both public and private sector support would be critical in financing the health delivery needs of the countries. Dr. Crespin emphasized this during the opening of a day’s sub-regional meeting for both public and private sectors organized by WAHO here to develop a strategic framework for Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in the health sector. “We cannot really continue to do ‘Business as Usual’. It...
(Business Day Ghana 04/27/17)
There are currently 960 million mobile subscriptions across Africa – an 80 percent penetration rate among the continent’s population. Internet penetration is at 18 percent with 216 million internet users, according to the latest Jumia mobile trend report for Africa. The 2017 edition of the African Mobile Trends Paper is the third white paper presentation from Jumia delving into mobile trends across Africa and specifically Nigeria. The study takes a look at the how the market has democratised mobile internet use, the consumer behaviours driving increased smartphone adoption and the role of mobile brands, mobile operators and m-commerce in creating a synergy of an enhanced customer experience. This year’s Mobile Africa Study was carried out in 15 African countries which...
(Xinhuanet 04/26/17)
The Belt and Road (B&R) Initiative is a golden opportunity to bring about regional integration and sustainable economic growth for Africa, said Berhane Gebre-Christos, special envoy of the Ethiopian Prime Minister, on Tuesday. The special envoy made the remarks at the opening of a seminar organized on the B&R Initiative in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. Welcoming the initiative, the special envoy said he is looking forward to the expected effects of the initiative. "The B&R is a project that will affect millions of people, and it will be one of the most important issues of the 21st century," he said, adding that the comprehensive approach of China means that the aspirations and development strategies of all countries involved will be...
(AFP (eng) 04/24/17)
A new malaria vaccine will be tested on a large scale in Kenya, Ghana and Malawi, the World Health Organization said Monday, with 360,000 children to be vaccinated between 2018 and 2020. The injectable vaccine RTS,S could provide limited protection against a disease that killed 429,000 people worldwide in 2015, with 92 percent of victims in Africa and two-thirds of them children under five. "The prospect of a malaria vaccine is great news. Information gathered in the pilot will help us make decisions on the wider use of this vaccine," said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO's regional director for Africa. The vaccine should be used alongside other preventative measures such as bed nets, insecticides, repellants and anti-malarial drugs, the WHO...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/21/17)
Mali succeeded in restoring interim authorities to its northern cities of Timbuktu and Menaka on Thursday, ending a standoff with armed Tuareg factions that had prevented the transfer of power. The return of state authority to the north is meant to fill a power vacuum that has turned northern Mali into a launch pad for jihadi attacks across a vast region on the Sahara Desert. Most government posts have been unfilled since ethnic Tuareg separatists and desert jihadists took over northern Mali in 2012, before French forces intervened to push them back. A peace deal signed in 2015 was meant to enable authorities to return. Pro and anti-government Tuareg-dominated factions had finally agreed in February on how this would happen,...
(AFP (eng) 04/20/17)
A state of emergency that has been in force almost non-stop for 17 months in Mali was extended by 10 days from Thursday, 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 west African nation's troubled north has witnessed a spate of jihadist strikes despite the emergency. On Tuesday armed men killed five soldiers and injured 10 others in an attack on an army post in the tense Timbuktu region.
(Bloomberg 04/20/17)
WorldRemit Ltd., a British money-transfer operator, sees revenue from transactions involving Africans doubling by 2020 as more people on the continent access mobile-payment platforms and expatriates send cash home. The seven-year-old company, in which Facebook Inc.-backer Accel Partners LP invested $40 million in 2014, will this year open a regional office in South Africa, its largest market on the continent in terms of money-transfer value, founder and Chief Executive Officer Ismail Ahmed said in an interview. Another site will start operating in Kenya, where the London-based business sees Africa’s highest number of individual transactions. “In the next two years we should be doubling our volume every year,” Ahmed said in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. The continent accounted for half the company’s...
(AFP (eng) 04/19/17)
Suspected jihadists killed five Malian soldiers Tuesday in the restive northern Timbuktu region, the government said, while the French army said it had "neutralised" around 10 fleeing attackers. The attackers made a dawn raid on an army camp in the remote Gourma Rharous area, about 120 kilometres (75 miles) from the ancient city of Timbuktu, a statement from Mali's government said. The assault "by a terrorist group" led to "the deaths of five soldiers and around 10 wounded," the statement said without identifying the attackers. The French army said troops serving under Operation Barkhane, its counterterror operation targeting jihadist groups in the Sahel region, had arrived at the scene after Malian soldiers raised the alarm. They sent a plane and...
(Xinhuanet 04/19/17)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, will convene Wedesday the first UN-AU Annual Conference. The two leaders will look into how to strengthen the partnership between the two organizations to face common challenges and opportunities in the continent, on issues of peace and security, sustainable development and human rights, said Stephane Dujarric, UN spokesman, at a daily briefing. "They will also sign the Joint United Nations-African Union Framework for an Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security," said Dujarric. It will be the first conference Mahamat will address with the United Nation since he was elected as chairperson of the African Union Commission. Although he had brief talks with Guterres in Addis...
(AFP (eng) 04/18/17)
The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday forecast 2.6 percent growth in sub-Saharan Africa this year, aided by a modest recovery in large economies South Africa, Nigeria and Angola. "Growth is projected to rise to 2.6 percent in 2017 and 3.5 percent in 2018, largely driven by specific factors in the largest economies, which faced challenging macroeconomic conditions in 2016," the IMF said its latest World Economic Outlook report. A slump in commodity price in 2016 and devastating drought had affected growth in several countries in the region, resulting in 1.4 percent growth of gross domestic product (GDP). Nigeria, the continent's most populous nation and a leading oil producer, was expected to return to growth in 2017 after a challenging 2016...

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