Friday 15 December 2017
(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...
(APA 09/08/17)
Deprivation and marginalization, underpinned by weak governance, are primary forces driving young Africans into violent extremism, according to a comprehensive new study by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the first study of its kind. Based on interviews with 495 voluntary recruits to extremist organizations such as Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram, the new study also found that it is often perceived state violence or abuse of power that provides the final tipping point for the decision to join an extremist group. “Journey to Extremism in Africa: Drivers, Incentives and the Tipping Point for Recruitment” presents the results of a two-year UNDP Africa study on recruitment in the most prominent extremist groups in Africa. The study reveals a picture of a...
(Bloomberg 09/07/17)
African Rainbow Minerals Ltd., the miner chaired by South Africa’s richest black businessman, will pay a record dividend this year as rising iron-ore and manganese prices boosted earnings at its ferrous unit. ARM will pay investors 6.50 rand a share, almost triple that of the previous year, and its 11th consecutive dividend, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement Thursday. The company benefited from a 45 percent increase in prices received for exported iron ore and 93 percent more for its manganese. While ARM is “confident in the long-term outlook for commodities,” the company said prices will “remain volatile” this year. The rand, in which ARM pays most of its costs, has strengthened against the dollar this year, reducing earnings...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/06/17)
The United Nations Security Council established a Mali sanctions regime on Tuesday that allows the body to blacklist anyone who violates or obstructs a 2015 peace deal, hinders the delivery of aid, commits human rights abuses or recruits child soldiers. Anyone added to the blacklist would be subjected to a global travel ban or asset freeze, according to the French-drafted resolution, which was unanimously adopted by the 15-member Security Council. “We do see the sanctions as an additional tool in order to promote the peace agreement,” French U.N. Ambassador Francois Delattre told the Security Council. “Time is not on our side and the peace agreement in Mali is one of the keys to stabilization of the regional situation in the...
(Xinhuanet 09/06/17)
The United Nations Security Council on Tuesday decided to impose travel ban and asset freeze on individuals and entities responsible for derailing the peace process in the African country of Mali and to set up a sanctions committee for the purposes. The council unanimously passed Resolution 2374, demanding all UN member states prevent the entry into or transit through their territories by individuals designated by the sanctions committee, unless the committee determines on a case-by-case basis that such travel is justified. The resolution also demands all UN member states immediately freeze, with certain exceptions, all funds, other financial assets and economic resources on their territories, which are owned or controlled by the individuals or entities designated by the sanctions committee,...
(Xinhuanet 09/06/17)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday condemned an attack on a convoy of UN peacekeepers in Mali. Tuesday's attack in Kidal region on the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (Minusma) killed two peacekeepers and seriously injured two others. The secretary-general extended his condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims and wished the injured a speedy recovery. He noted attacks against peacekeepers may constitute war crimes under international law, said Stephane Dujarric, Guterres' spokesman, in a statement.
(AFP (eng) 09/05/17)
France unveiled plans on Tuesday to start using armed drones, joining a growing number of countries worldwide to operate the deadly unmanned aircraft. "I decided to begin the process of arming our intelligence and surveillance drones," Defence Minister Florence Parly told a gathering of recruits and lawmakers in the southern port city of Toulon. France currently operates a handful of unarmed Reaper drones as part of its presence monitoring jihadist groups in Africa's Sahel region. Parly said the military planned to equip six unmanned aerial vehicles purchased from the United States with "precision guided"
(Agence Ecofin 09/05/17)
The World Bank has just set aside FCFA 160 million to finance in Mali, a project to establish a land commission in Ségou. Related works for the project began on August 22 in the administrative region which is located in the central part of the country. “This project aims to boost land tenure, facilitate public and private investments, insure equal access to land as well as mitigate and prevent conflicts,” according to Studio Tamani, a daily radio program broadcasted in Mali. Once operational, the land commission will be at the service of the people of Kayes, Koulikoro, Segou and Sikasso.
(Bloomberg 09/05/17)
A surge in agriculture has helped lift Africa’s biggest economies out of their slumps, but the recovery may be weak. Gross domestic product in Nigeria, the continent’s largest crude producer, advanced for the first time in six quarters in the three months ended June from a year earlier, growing 0.55 percent, the statistics agency said. In South Africa, GDP expanded 2.5 percent from the previous quarter, ending the second recession in almost a decade. Both economies had agriculture largely to thank: in South Africa, a bumper corn harvest following the worst drought in more than a century saw the sector surge 34 percent from the prior quarter, while in Nigeria, where farming vies with industries as the second-biggest contributor to...
(Bloomberg 09/04/17)
The worst may be over for Africa’s two largest economies as they likely emerged from a slump in the second quarter. Official data on Tuesday will probably show South Africa’s economy expanded in the three months through June, ending its second recession in less than a decade. Nigeria’s gross domestic product probably grew from a year earlier, and came out of its worst slump in a quarter of a century. South Africa and Nigeria together account for almost half of sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP and their recoveries may boost trade and production across the region. The reasons differ: while Nigeria, the continent’s biggest oil producer, is benefiting from a rebound in crude output, stronger retail sales may help drive growth in...
(AFP (eng) 09/02/17)
A bid for a UN Security Council vote early next week on a French-sponsored resolution that would set up a sanctions regime for Mali gained momentum Friday despite resistance from some countries, diplomats said. Russia and Ethiopia have voiced reservations over the proposal, raising the possibility of a delay of several weeks, but the diplomats said negotiations on holding a vote on Tuesday have accelerated. That would put it just before Security Council ambassadors leave for an annual meeting with the African Union in Addis Ababa. Mali's government and coalitions of armed groups signed a peace deal in June 2015 to end years of fighting in the north that culminated with a takeover of the territory by jihadists in 2012...
(Xinhuanet 08/31/17)
Cooperation between China and Africa has seen remarkable progress in renewable energy, showing the determination of developing countries to harness the huge potential of clean energy and combat climate change. China-Africa Renewable Energy Cooperation and Innovation Alliance, a coalition of financing institutions, smart grid providers and core manufacturers, on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation with Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI). "Africa has the highest potential for renewable energy, but the least access to it," said Seyni Nafo, chairman of AREI endorsed by the African Union Assembly. The MOU will enable the two parties to cooperate in renewable energy generation in Africa, with Chinese smart grid providers and core renewable energy manufacturers providing technological and financial support...
(Bloomberg 08/30/17)
One Thousand & One Voices LLC, a private-equity fund started by the great-grandson of the founder of Coors Brewing Co., said it bought a producer of sushi-quality trout that is the largest such facility in Africa. SanLei’s operations are on the Katse Dam in Lesotho, an enclave surrounded by South Africa, 1K1V, as the fund is known, said in an emailed statement Tuesday. The company didn’t disclose the value of the transaction. SanLei has secured a marketing and distribution agreement with CGC Japan Co., which has more than 4,000 stores and collective revenue of more than $40.5 billion, making it Japan’s largest joint-procurement supermarket chain, 1K1V said. The fund has been hunting for private-equity investments that tap Africa’s growing consumer...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/29/17)
Europe’s “big four” continental powers and three African states agreed a plan on Monday to tackle illegal human trafficking and support nations struggling to contain the flow of people across the desert and Mediterranean sea. The 28-nation European Union has long struggled to reach a coherent answer to the influx of migrants fleeing war, poverty and political upheaval in the Middle East and Africa, and the crisis is testing cooperation between member states. After hosting the leaders of Germany, Italy, Spain, Chad, Niger and Libya, French President Emmanuel Macron said it was time for greater coordination. “We must all act together - from the source countries to Europe and passing by the transit countries, especially Libya - to be efficient,”...
(The Associated Press 08/28/17)
European Union funding is being looked at as a potential tool for ending the dependence of some local economies in Africa on migrant trafficking. Italy's foreign ministry hosted a meeting of interior ministers from Italy, Libya, Chad, Niger and Mali on Monday to discuss strategies for foiling the human traffickers who have sent hundreds of thousands of migrants toward Europe. The migrants are often put on unseaworthy vessels and are brought to Italy when they are rescued at sea. But unlike refugees, economic migrants aren't eligible for asylum.
(Reuters (Eng) 08/28/17)
Getting Europe’s migrant crisis under control will be in focus at a summit of Europe’s “big four” continental powers and three African nations in Paris on Monday, with French President Emmanuel Macron seeking concrete action. The 28-nation European Union has struggled to agree on a coherent answer to the influx of migrants fleeing war, poverty and political upheaval in the Middle East and Africa, and the crisis is testing cooperation between member states. Over the summer, Macron sought to take the initiative on managing the flow of migrants crossing the Mediterranean from Libya, mainly into Italy. He proposed hotspots in Africa to handle asylum requests. The viability of such centers was questioned by European and African allies and on Monday...

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