Saturday 27 May 2017
(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...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/02/17)
African leaders have backed a "strategy of collective withdrawal" from the International Criminal Court (ICC), but it came with unspecified reservations, an African Union official said on Wednesday after this week's African Union summit. The official did not give details about the strategy or the reservations, but it highlights broad antipathy towards the court among Africans who feel the ICC unfairly targets them. A document seen by Reuters before the summit proposed a co-ordinated withdrawal unless the ICC was reformed. It included a call for "regionalization" of international law, a reference to proposals for an African war crimes court. Almost a third of the ICC's 124 members are African, and a withdrawal by a large number of them would cripple...
(Xinhuanet 02/01/17)
Newly elected senior officials of the African Union (AU) Commission, including Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the AU Commission, were sworn in on Tuesday at the conclusion of the 28th AU summit in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. In addition to the two top officials, other officials took the oath for positions including, peace and security; political affairs; trade and industry; social affairs; infrastructure and energy; and rural economy and agriculture. The 28th AU summit also elected Alpha Conde, President of the Republic of Guinea, for a rotating chairmanship of the African Union. In his acceptance speech on Monday, Conde said, "It is with honor and humility that I accept to preside at the destiny of our Organization during the year...
(AFP (eng) 01/28/17)
Malian officials said Friday two suspected jihadists have been arrested after they planned to stage a suicide attack in the capital Bamako during the France-Africa summit earlier this month. "In two separate operations in Bamako on Thursday, Malian special intelligence operatives arrested two jihadists who were preparing to commit a large scale attack in Bamako against foreign targets," a security official told AFP on condition of anonymity. The attack was planned for the France-Africa summit on January 13 and 14, which gathered some 30 African states and France to discuss the fight against extremists
(Xinhuanet 01/28/17)
The African Union (AU) has been endeavoring to ensure robust, resilient and long-lasting economic transformation of Africa through promotion of infrastructure and energy development on the continent, noted Elham Mahmood Ibrahim, AU Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy. Speaking at a press conference Friday ahead of the 28th AU leaders' summit here, the commissioner said the pan-African bloc has scored achievements in its flagship projects and programs on the development of energy, transport as well as in the information and communication technology (ICT) areas, which she said are the biggest priorities in Africa's infrastructure sector. In cooperation and coordination with its regional, continental, and international partners, AU has been committed to development of infrastructure on the continent, which facilitates trade, economic...
(Bloomberg 01/27/17)
Barclays Africa Group Ltd. was targeted by protesters who entered one of its branches on Thursday and demanded the bank pay back money from a bailout provided to a company it bought before the end of apartheid. Demonstrators linked to the youth league of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress gathered outside the branch in Durban on South Africa’s east coast, Johannesburg-based Barclays Africa said in an e-mailed response to questions. Police ensured customers and staff were protected during the incident, it said. The protests come after the leaking of a draft report compiled by South Africa’s graft ombudsman that said Barclays Africa, which traded as Absa then, may have unduly benefited from state support when it bought Bankorp in...
(Xinhuanet 01/26/17)
Adopting African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) has been named a major task for the African Union (AU) this year as the 30th session of its Executive Council opened on Wednesday. In her remarks at the opening of the meeting, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the AU Commission, called for member countries' commitment to meeting the first target in Agenda 2063 of commencing the CFTA by end of 2017. She underlines the need "to do what needs to be done on the free movement of persons, so that we unlock opportunities for intra-African trade, studies, business and tourism." In her remarks at the opening of the 33rd session of the AU Permanent Representatives Committee on Sunday, Dlamini-Zuma said the AU's major...
(Xinhuanet 01/25/17)
The United Nations Security Council Tuesday condemned "in the strongest terms" the attacks targeting peacekeepers in northern Mali, which killed one Chadian blue helmet and injured two others. A camp of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) in Aguelhoc, the Kidal region, was attacked by mortar shells on Monday, leading to casualties among the peacekeepers. In a statement, the council called on the government of Mali "to swiftly investigate these attacks and bring the perpetrators to justice," stressing that "attacks targeting peacekeepers
(Bloomberg 01/25/17)
Taiwan’s last two African allies have no plans to switch allegiances and break ties with Taipei as Beijing tries to woo the self-ruled island’s diplomatic partners. Burkina Faso won’t cut relations with Taiwan despite people and companies with links to China offering funding in return for recognition of the One-China principle, according to Foreign Minister Alpha Barry. Swaziland said its relationship with Taiwan is based on mutual interests, not on money. “We get outrageous proposals telling us, ‘if you sign with Beijing we’ll offer you $50 billion or even more,’’’ Barry said in an interview in the capital, Ouagadougou, this month. “Taiwan is our friend and our partner. We’re happy and we see no reason to reconsider the relationship.” Competition...
(Cnbc Africa 01/24/17)
While Brexit and the U.S. election dominated headlines in 2016, the African continent witnessed major changes of its own. Its two largest economies were destabilized, with Nigeria being driven into recession and the South African political elite grappling for power. Conflict continued to make news, with the continuation of people trafficking across the Mediterranean and violence in South Sudan bubbling over. Macroeconomic concerns Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa fell to 1.5 percent in 2016 according to the World Bank, which deemed this "the weakest pace in over two decades." The slowdown was chiefly blamed on low commodity prices. But, the organization forecasts growth of 2.9 percent in the region for 2017. Africa's two biggest economies have a lot to account for...
(AFP (eng) 01/23/17)
Three Malian soldiers died Sunday and a fourth was seriously injured when their vehicle hit a landmine in the troubled north, the army said. The incident happened near Gossi, the army said, adding that the soldiers were escorting troops headed for Gao, the main city in the sprawling desert north. Mali's north fell under the control of Tuareg-led rebels and jihadist groups linked to Al-Qaeda in 2012. The Islamists sidelined the rebels to take sole control. Although they were largely ousted by a French-led military operation in January 2013, implementation of the peace accord has been piecemeal with insurgents
(AFP (eng) 01/22/17)
A pro-government militia in Mali said that it had lost 14 fighters in an attack blamed on former rebels Saturday, three days after a suicide car bomber left more than 70 dead. Some 77 people were killed and 120 wounded in the suicide blast Wednesday which targeted a camp in northern Gao housing former rebels and pro-government militia -- who are signatories to a 2015 peace accord struck with the government. Hundreds of people gathered in the capital Bamako Saturday to pay their respects to victims of the attack on the last of three days of national mourning called by President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.
(Voice of America 01/20/17)
An al-Qaida linked extremist group claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s suicide attack on a military camp in northern Mali that killed at least 60 soldiers and former rebels and wounded 115. A car packed with explosives penetrated the camp in Gao as hundreds of soldiers gathered for a morning meeting. They belong to the Joint Operational Mechanism, which brings together government forces and former Tuareg rebels who form patrols to enforce the 2015 Malian peace agreement. Al Mourabitoune, which is linked to al-Qaida’s North Africa branch, said it was behind the bombing.
(Voice of America 01/20/17)
By most measures, Africa is safer today than it has been in the modern era: Diseases are less deadly and wars are less frequent. But recent years have also been marked by a rise in radical extremism on the continent, and the terror threat could derail some of the world's fastest-growing economies. Dealing with the spread of radicalization has been a central focus of U.S. President Barack Obama's foreign policy during his time in office. Few areas have been spared over the past eight years, with much of the continent living in the shadow of a violent extremist group: al-Shabab in Somalia and East Africa, Islamic State (IS) in Libya, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in Mali, the Lord's...
(AFP (eng) 01/19/17)
The UN Security Council on Wednesday agreed to consider setting up a sanctions regime for Mali to punish those who are hindering a struggling peace deal, the council president said. The council discussed the faltering peace effort in Mali after a car bomb killed 50 people in the northern city of Gao in an attack on joint patrols set up under the agreement. Condemning the attack, council members said "persistent delays threaten the viability of the agreement" signed by the Malian government and rebel groups 19 months ago, said Swedish Ambassador Olof Skoog, this month's council president. The council discussed ways to shore up the peace deal "including the possibility and implications of establishing a sanctions regime to increase pressure...
(AFP (eng) 01/19/17)
The United States on Wednesday condemned the car bombing that killed 50 people in the northern Mali city of Gao. The attack in the region's biggest city targeted a camp housing former rebels and pro-government militia who were signatories to a 2015 peace accord struck with the government. "The United States strongly condemns the cowardly attack on a military camp in Gao that houses government forces and members of the primary armed groups that signed the Malian peace accord," State Department Spokesman Peter Kirby said. "We are aware of reports that the attack was engineered by a suicide bomber using a truck filled with explosives," his statement said. "We offer our condolences to the victims and their families. We also...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/19/17)
Al Qaeda's North African affiliate said a suicide bomb attack on a military camp in northern Mali that killed up to 60 people and wounded more than 100 others on Wednesday was punishment for groups there cooperating with France. The attack struck at the heart of still-fragile efforts by the government and rival armed groups to work together to quell violence that has plagued the restive desert north for years. The bombers forced their way into the camp shortly before 9 a.m. (0900 GMT), running over several people before blowing up their vehicle just as 600 soldiers were assembling, said Radhia Achouri, a spokeswoman for Mali's U.N. peacekeeping force MINUSMA. "We will fight you. We will defeat you. You will...
(AFP (eng) 01/18/17)
A suicide bomb attack on a camp grouping former rebels and pro-government militia in northern Mali left 37 people dead on Wednesday. The camp is located in Gao, a former bastion for Malian rebels and Islamist fighters who seized control of much of the country's vast arid north in early 2012. The camp was set up under a 2015 peace deal signed between the government and loyalist militias following a French-led international military intervention launched in 2013 and which is still in place. Its implementation has been piecemeal with extremists still active across large parts of the region. "A suicide bomber attacked a camp" housing Tuareg-led former rebels and loyalist militia, said a member of the UN peacekeeping mission MINUSMA,...
(AFP (eng) 01/18/17)
France is considering a UN Security Council draft resolution that would set up a sanctions regime for Mali to target opponents of a peace deal signed 19 months ago, the ambassador said Tuesday. The peace accord signed in June 2015 between the Malian government and rebels ended years of fighting in the north, but its implementation has been piecemeal. Mali regained control of the north after a French-led military intervention in January 2013 drove out jihadists, but insurgents remain active across large parts of the region. French Ambassador Francois Delattre told reporters that a sanctions regime for Mali

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