Thursday 25 May 2017
(Agence Ecofin 02/22/17)
Mali’s and Algeria’s ministers of energy, Malick Alhousseini and Noureddine Bouterfa respectively, are working on ways to implement the energy cooperation agreement established between the two nations in November 2016. The cooperation is to help Mali benefit from Algeria’s experience in terms of construction and management of solar and wind stations as well as in terms of power network development. According to Bouterfa, it should be facilitated by the geographical similarities between the two nations. The partnership will especially be helpful to Mali in the framework of its electrification program which is to benefit remote areas and see the construction of two hybrid power plants of 40 MW each in Gaoua
(Xinhuanet 02/22/17)
Africa Energy Indaba, the continent's premier energy event, kicked off in Johannesburg on Monday with the aim of finding solutions to the continent's energy future. The three-day conference is being attended by the governments' representatives, business and funders. The meeting seeks to unleash the continent's potential by coming up with an energy mix to develop Africa. Dr. Garth Strachan, Deputy Director General and Head of Gas Industrialization Unit in South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry said the recent discoveries of gas in Mozambique, Angola and Tanzania provides a huge opportunity for the continent. He said there is a need for the countries to work together to tap benefits from the gas for the good of the continent. Strachan said...
(Washington Post 02/21/17)
Since World War II, U.N. peacekeepers have been dispatched to 69 conflicts — civil wars, border disputes and failed states. But now they are confronting an unsettling new threat: al-Qaeda. Here in the vast, lawless desert of northwest Africa, their convoys are being torn apart by improvised explosive devices and their compounds blasted by 1,000-pound car bombs. It is a crisis that looks more like the U.S. ground wars in Iraq and Afghanistan than the cease-fires traditionally monitored by U.N. missions. In the past four years, 118 peacekeepers have been killed — making the U.N. mission in Mali, known as MINUSMA, the world body’s deadliest ongoing peace operation. The bloodshed has raised questions about how an institution developed in the...
(Bloomberg 02/21/17)
Ashish Thakkar, who co-founded Africa banking conglomerate Atlas Mara Ltd. with ex-Barclays Plc head Bob Diamond, lost a ruling over the ownership of family assets in a London divorce case, with a judge questioning Thakkar’s truthfulness. Judge Philip Moor ruled that Thakkar, and not his mother and sister, was the owner of disputed assets in the divorce. He found that the 35-year-old owned 100 percent of Mara Group Holdings Ltd. and other corporate entities. The result will have ramifications in the proceedings where a judge will have to decide how much Thakkar -- described in videos posted on his foundation’s website as "Africa’s Youngest Billionaire" -- is worth. Thakkar says he has assets of 445,532 pounds ($553,000) while his wife,...
(AFP (eng) 02/16/17)
Clashes have forced 600 people to flee their homes in central Mali as traditional herding communities battle with farmers over accusations of jihadist infiltration and land use in areas hit by climate change. Malian television said Tuesday night hundreds had fled villages close to the city of Macina after clashes between Fulani herders and Bambara farmers over the weekend. The death toll from the armed confrontation had risen to 20 from 13, a security ministry communique said Wednesday, while 16 people were injured. Four Malian ministers have visited the area and an enquiry has been announced into the causes of the dispute. The clashes were allegedly triggered by the murder of a Bambara farmer on Saturday named as Cheickna Traore...
(AFP (eng) 02/15/17)
Sub-Saharan Africa, where more than a half billion people live without electricity, trails the world in government policies that promote sustainable energy, according to a new World Bank report Wednesday. Much of the rest of the world, however, has made strides toward making energy broadly available, developing renewable power sources and increasing efficiency, the inaugural Regulatory Indicators for Sustainable Energy report said. In a survey of 111 countries, the World Bank found that through 2015 nearly 80 percent had begun to adopt policies to expand electrical grids, connecting them to solar and wind generation, and to help make electric utilities creditworthy and financially viable while keeping energy prices down. More than a third of countries, home to 96 percent of...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/14/17)
At least 13 people were killed in central Mali at the weekend in inter-ethnic clashes between Fulanis and Bambaras, the interior ministry said on Monday, escalating a conflict over resources in a region increasingly outside state control. Other sources put the death toll much higher, including the head of a Fulani rights group who said that 45 people were killed and that fighting was still going on. The Fulani, or Peul in French, are a cattle-herding people who have long co-existed peacefully with farmers from Mali's largest ethnic group, the Bambaras, but economic pressures and Islamist militant infiltration have stoked
(Agence Ecofin 02/14/17)
Mali’s gold reserves have been scaled up from 800 t to 822 t which can be exploited over 16 years based on actual production levels. This was announced by Mali’s minister of mines who said the increase is due to new discoveries by mining firms since the last estimation. “The increase in reserves is due to new discoveries in various mines, including Rangold’s Loulo-Gounkoto complex and the Morila mine,” said Yaya Djiré, head of mining division at the ministry. In 2016, Mali’s gold production soared to 50.9t from 50.5 t in 2015. Out of this volume, industrial output stood at 46.9 t while artisanal mining counted for 4 t only. Mali is Africa’s third largest gold producer behind South Africa...
(Agence Ecofin 02/14/17)
The Bank of Solidarity of Mali (BMS-SA) secured from the Investment and Development Bank of the ECOWAS (BIDC) a FCFA10 billion credit line last Tuesday. The financing agreement was signed by BIDC’s president, Bashir Mamman Ifo, and Babaly Ba, managing director of BMS-SA, the same day at the ministry of economy and finances. “The FCFA10 billion credit line repayable over nine years (with a grace period of one year) aims to refinance medium term loans of BMS-SA to indiviuals and corporate entities (small and medium enterprises or SMEs, small and medium industries or SMIs), to decentralized financial systems, to cooperatives as well as to various companies in line with government’s objectives,” said Babaly Ba. The new loan brings to FCFA10...
(Voice of America 02/14/17)
U.S. President Donald Trump made his first phone calls to African heads of state Monday, speaking with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and South African President Jacob Zuma. Nigeria and South Africa said the calls were made at the request of the U.S. president, who until now has said little about Africa or African issues since assuming office last month. The Nigerian presidency said Trump and Buhari discussed issues of terrorism, and said Trump assured Buhari the United States is ready to make a new deal to help Nigeria "in terms of military weapons." The statement said Trump also commended Buhari for the strides Nigeria is making against Islamist radical group Boko Haram, and invited Buhari to come to Washington at...
(AFP (eng) 02/13/17)
A dozen people were killed in clashes between herders and farmers from separate ethnic groups over the weekend in central Mali, as jihadist tensions drive conflict in rural communities. Increased availability of arms from Libya has contributed to intercommunal violence in Mali, experts say, while drought has forced herders into areas traditionally cultivated by farmers. The clashes between ethnic Peuls and Bambaras "led to the deaths of 13 civilians and huts were set on fire," a source at the security ministry told AFP on Monday. Local politician Djiguiba Keita put the death toll at 10 while Bekaye Samake, mayor of Macina, the closest major town to the village hit by the violence, said seven bodies had been recovered. The clashes...
(AFP (eng) 02/11/17)
Key provisions of a peace deal signed by the Malian government and ex-rebels in 2015 are finally due to be rolled out imminently, according to an official document obtained by AFP Friday. Tuareg-led rebels led an uprising in 2012 that was hijacked by jihadists, throwing Mali into chaos and triggering a UN-French military intervention the following year, but the rebels later signed an accord without the Islamists. The official document seen by AFP and under consideration Friday by the government, ex-rebels and pro-Bamako militias at a gathering in the Malian capital appeared to show a willingness to overcome several sticking points after months of limited progress. Also present were Algerian foreign affairs minister Ramtane Lamamra, the United Nations' Mali special...
(AFP (eng) 02/10/17)
Up to 18 players at the just-completed Africa Cup of Nations could be involved in the new-look CAF Champions League when it kicks off this weekend. Among them is Georges Bokwe, one of two unused goalkeepers in the Cameroon squad that defeated Egypt in the final last Sunday in Gabon. Bokwe was kept out of the starting line-up by the consistent brilliance of Spain-based Fabrice Ondoa, who was included in the team of the tournament. But Bokwe is the first choice for regular Champions League entrants Coton Sport from northern Cameroon cotton town Garoua. Coton qualified for the 2008 final, losing to Al Ahly of Egypt, but have fared poorly recently with first round exits in the past two seasons...
(Standard Digital 02/09/17)
Hundreds of business and political personalities yesterday attended a German-African economic summit in Nairobi, where German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Mueller talked about his “Marshall Plan” for Africa. The plan is “with Africa, not for Africa,” Mueller (pictured) said, stressing that it would be based on cooperation between equals rather than the principles of traditional development aid. The plan, which Mueller presented to the German parliament’s development committee on Wednesday, is based on fair trade conditions, investment and increasing aid for educational projects. One of the goals of the plan, which the German opposition received with scepticism, is to curb migratory flows from Africa to Europe. Mueller called on German companies to focus on Africa, which he...
(AFP (eng) 02/08/17)
A Colombian nun has been kidnapped by gunmen in southern Mali, a Malian security source and a local official said Wednesday. The woman was kidnapped late Tuesday near Koutiala, a city some 400 kilometres (250 miles) east of the capital, Bamako, which is in the Sikasso region near the Burkina Faso border. "The Malian army is in pursuit," a security source who asked not to be identified told AFP. A local official said the kidnappers drove away in a vehicle owned by the nun's Franciscan order. The kidnapped woman was one of four living in the village of Karangasso, according to a worker at her church speaking to AFP by phone. Edmond Dembele, the secretary-general of the Episcopal Conference of...
(AL Jazeera 02/08/17)
The EU must espouse a transnational approach with a clear development agenda that replaces its current security policy. One year ago, 22-year-old Patrick left Douala, the largest city in Cameroon, to become a football star in Europe. A talented midfielder and an ambitious young man, Patrick felt compelled to reach Europe to help him to realise his dreams. But, as he passed through Agadez in Niger, which has become a major transit hub for migrants taking the Central Mediterranean route, reality proved to be grimmer than he had anticipated. Patrick and two of his male relatives, also travelling from Douala, were beaten, robbed and held captive by organised predatory groups. Finally, their tumultuous journey came to an end in Algeria,...
(AFP (eng) 02/07/17)
Troops from five Sahel countries plan to set up a new counter-terror force in the region, where alarm over the jihadist threat is mounting, leaders said Monday in Mali's capital. The announcement came as leaders of the Sahel G5 states -- Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger -- that describe themselves as "in the frontline against terrorism", met to discuss the desert zone's perilous security situation. The gathering took place barely three weeks after the worst attack in the region for years, the January 18 suicide bombing in the northern Malian city of Gao that left almost 80 people dead.
(Bloomberg 02/06/17)
Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. is expected to raise about $500 million for its new African investment fund, attracting less than its original goal as investor interest in the region proved weaker than anticipated, according to people familiar with the matter. The Toronto-based insurer sought to raise as much as $1 billion at $10 a share for Fairfax Africa Holdings Corp. in an initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange, according to a regulatory filing in December. Fairfax said it had secured as much as $416 million in commitments for the African venture from both its own funds and partners, including the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, a Canadian pension fund and CI Investments Inc., according to the...
(Xinhuanet 02/03/17)
T20 Africa Conference, the meeting for the G20 think tanks and African countries, ended on Friday in Johannesburg with a commitment to accelerate cooperation between the G20 and Africa. The three-day conference aimed to chart a course for the future cooperation between Africa and the G20. The day ended with the formulation of the communique which will be given to the current G20 chair Germany. The communique will also be the reference for further discussion between Africa and T20. T20 comprises of the G20 think tanks. Dr. Christine Hackenesch, researcher at the German Development Institute (DIE) said, "There was an agreement that there must be a continuous and sustained engagement between G20 and Africa because there is a strong dependence...

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