| Africatime
Monday 27 February 2017
(AFP (eng) 02/27/17)
Polisario separatists have dismissed as "window dressing" Morocco's announcement of a pullback from a zone of the contested Western Sahara that has raised tensions with their Algiers-backed movement. The foreign ministry in Rabat said Sunday that Morocco will "proceed from today with a unilateral withdrawal from the (Guerguerat) zone," in what it said was a decision taken by King Mohamed VI at the request of UN chief Antonio Guterres. It gave no details on the pullback. "The Moroccan decision to withdraw its troops near Guerguerat by a few hundred metres is window dressing," the Polisario Front said in a statement later Sunday. "It barely disguises Rabat's disdain for international legitimacy, its obstinacy and refusal for...
(AFP (eng) 02/27/17)
Morocco said Sunday it will pull back from a zone of the contested Western Sahara that has raised tensions with Algeria-backed Polisario Front separatists. "The Kingdom of Morocco will proceed from today with a unilateral withdrawal from the (Guerguerat) zone," the foreign ministry said in a statement. It said the decision was taken by King Mohamed VI at the request of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. Rabat now "hopes the secretary general's intervention will allow a return to the previous situation in the zone concerned, keep its status intact, allow the flow of normal road traffic and thus safeguard the ceasefire", it said. In a telephone call to Guterres on Friday, the king called on the United Nations to take...
(AFP (eng) 02/27/17)
An African road movie about four women wowed its audience Sunday as it kicked off the Panafrican cinema and television festival (Fespaco), a showcase for the continent's burgeoning film industry. "Borders" ("Frontieres") directed by Apolline Traore, a Fespaco laureate in 2013, sweeps across Africa as its protagonists journey through Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Benin on their way to Nigeria. Along the way the women -- Ivorian, Senegalese, Burkinabe and Nigerian actresses -- are spared nothing as they are beset...
(AFP (eng) 02/26/17)
Morocco's key tourism sector barely grew last year amid security challenges, but operators are hoping Chinese and Russian visitors will boost their fortunes in the coming years. While political turmoil and jihadist attacks have battered the sector in Egypt and Tunisia, Morocco registered 10 million visitors last year, according to the Moroccan Tourism Observatory. That was a barely perceptible rise of 1.5 percent from 2015, it said. But hoteliers in the narrow streets of the capital Rabat's old city were...
(AFP (eng) 02/25/17)
Morocco's King Mohammed VI on Friday asked the United Nations to take urgent measures to end "provocation" by the Algeria-backed Polisario Front threatening the ceasefire in the disputed Western Sahara. Morocco insists that the former Spanish colony is an integral part of its kingdom, but the Polisario is demanding a referendum on self-determination. The two sides fought for control of the Western Sahara from 1974 to 1991, with Rabat gaining control of the territory before a UN-brokered ceasefire took effect...
(Xinhuanet 02/23/17)
Morocco announced on Thursday that its security forces successfully thwarted the attempted smuggling of 3.13 tons of cannabis at the Guergarate crossing point with Mauritania. The cannabis was concealed in cosmetic product bottles aboard a Moroccan-registered semi-trailer, according to the statement issued by the police, which added that the cannabis was destined for export to an African country. The semi-trailer driver, a 48-year-old Moroccan national was also arrested, noted the statement. Despite efforts to crack down on cannabis farming in the last decade, Morocco remains the world's largest cannabis resin harvester. According to the 2016 report by the United Nation's Office on Drugs
(AFP (eng) 02/23/17)
For the first time in Africa, researchers said Wednesday they have detected a malaria parasite that is partially resistant to the top anti-malaria drug, artemisinin, raising concern about efforts to fight a disease that sickens hundreds of millions of people each year. The discovery means that Africa now joins southeast Asia in hosting such drug-resistant forms of the mosquito-borne disease. Malaria infected more than 200 million people and killed some 438,000 people worldwide in 2015, most of them children in...
(AFP (eng) 02/22/17)
Four Moroccan cities, led by Marrakesh, ranked among the top 10 African cities for quality of life in a new survey published Tuesday. Marrakesh, nicknamed the Ochre City for the walls surrounding its old medina district, clinched the top ranking, with three other Moroccan cities -- Casablanca, Rabat and Fez -- in the top 10. "They are cities that are not huge, where real work has been done to improve infrastructure, people's quality of life (and) housing in a stable...
(Agence Ecofin 02/22/17)
Qatar and Morocco signed a partnership agreement to build the Fask hydropower dam on the Oued Sayad 40 km East of Guelmin. The agreement was initialed in Rabat by Abdallah Daoussari, Qatar’s ambassador to Morocco, Charafat Afilal, Morocco’s deputy minister of Water and Mohamed Hassad, the Moroccan minister of interior. Fully funded by Qatar ($150 million), the Fask hydropower dam project will be developed over the 2017-2025 period. The dam will have a retention capacity of 78 million cubic meters...
(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...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 02/20/17)
One early morning last week, Adam's fellow migrants managed to climb over the high border fence separating Morocco from the Spanish enclave of Ceuta. Adam, a 17-year-old from Guinea, failed and suffered a dangerous concussion in the process -- but he has not given up his dream of reaching European Union territory. "It was night-time and I was very scared. I was hit on the head as I climbed the fence and lost consciousness," he said, lying in a hospital...
(AFP (eng) 02/17/17)
Hundreds of migrants stormed into Spain's North African territory of Ceuta from Morocco early Friday, the emergency services and police said, adding that some were injured in the process. "The Civil Guard at Ceuta estimates that 500 people could have succeeded in entering the town," the emergency services said on Twitter. The Civil Guard, or paramilitary police, meanwhile told AFP that "several hundreds" crossed over and many of them were hurt, as were members of the security forces. The last such attempt took place on New Year's Day when more than 1,000 migrants tried to jump a high double...
(Xinhuanet 02/17/17)
A Moroccan court sentenced on Thursday 26 people to up to 7 years in jail in terrorism-related cases. In the first case involving 14 people, the main defendant was sentenced to seven years in prison, while another received a six-year jail sentence and the remaining 12 got four-year jail sentences. The culprits were sued for "forming a gang to commit terrorist attacks within the framework of a collective plot to seriously undermine public order, and praising terrorist acts". In other...
(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...
(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...
(Xinhuanet 02/10/17)
Morocco's 23rd international book fair, which brings together 100,000 books and expects hundreds of thousands of visitors, kicked off on Thursday in the financial city of Casablanca. This year's edition was inaugurated by Morocco's king brother prince Moulay Rachid. Organized by Morocco's Ministry of Culture on Feb. 9-19, the annual book fair is attended by 54 countries. According to the organizers, the fair expects to welcome about 350,000 visitors who will discover titles from 702 publishers. This book fair will...
(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...
(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...
(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,...

Pages