| Africatime
Tuesday 25 April 2017
(Voice of America 04/05/17)
A Red Cross report says African countries are failing their internally displaced people. Reversing that trend was the subject of a high level meeting of the International Red Cross and the African Union that wrapped up Tuesday in Zimbabwe. Africa has about 13 million internally displaced people, a third of the global number of IDPs, and more than double the amount of refugees on the continent. By definition, refugees flee across a national border, while IDPs leave their homes but stay within their own country. African Union Commission head of humanitarian affairs, refugees and displaced people Olabisi Dare says the situation of IDPs in Africa is very critical, dire and worsening. "...The issues that are generating internal displacement [are] multiplying...
(Financial Times 04/04/17)
Countries should develop policies to attract labour-intensive production leaving China. China’s initial wave of investments in Africa focused on natural resource extraction. Their demand for metals and energy was so large that it actually boosted global commodity prices overall, which in turn accelerated growth across the African continent. These times of China propping up global commodity prices are now over, as it has built up excess capacity in many sectors and now faces slow investment growth. This lower demand has contributed to the overall slump in global commodity prices since 2014, making it unlikely that China will again fulfil the role of driving commodity prices. Rather, its position has now shifted to becoming the largest exporter of capital. This provides...
(The East African 04/03/17)
Nairobi — The 2017 Mo Ibrahim Foundation annual Governance Weekend will be held in Marrakech - Morocco from April 7-9. A press release from the Foundation identifies the Palmeraie Resort as the venue for this year's meeting. The three-day event brings together prominent African and Africa-focused leaders, civil society representatives, multilateral and regional institutions and Africa's international partners to identify policy challenges and possible solutions. Violent extremism The conversation is normally extended to a wider audience through music, art and sport at major public events, showcasing some of Africa's brightest talent. The Foundation has released a report that sets the stage for high-level discussions in Morocco. The priority areas for the Marrakech talks, according to the report, include violent extremism...
(AFP (eng) 03/30/17)
Morocco is hosting a month-long festival to celebrate African art and culture, featuring some of the continent's most prominent artists. Activities including theatre, exhibitions and concerts are being held around Rabat as part of the Africa in the Capital event. The festival follows a vast diplomatic, political and economic offensive by Morocco across the continent which culminated in its return to the African Union in January. "We wanted to celebrate our Africanity and the return of Morocco to the African Union through the universal language of culture," said painter Mehdi Qotbi, president of Morocco's National Foundation of Museums. Africa in the Capital is giving pride of place to contemporary art
(Xinhuanet 03/30/17)
The African Union (AU) is extremely appalled by the attacks against African students in Noida and other cities in India. The pan-African bloc has deplored the violence unleashed during the riot that started on Monday targeting Africans of various nationalities, particularly Nigerians, which resulted in loss of innocent lives and serious injuries, the AU said in a statement. The attacks have also resulted in the displacement of many Africans from their normal places of residence, thereby putting their lives in serious danger, it said. AU has expressed heartfelt condolence to the families of the deceased; and it wished speedy recovery to all those who have sustained injuries. AU has called on the Indian authorities to provide all necessary support to...
(AFP (eng) 03/29/17)
Moroccan authorities fired a provincial governor after angry protesters clashed with police leaving dozens of officers reportedly injured, an interior ministry source told AFP. The disturbances were the latest to rock the northern province of Al-Hoceima since the death of a local fishmonger in a garbage truck last October sparked nationwide protests. The province lies in the Rif -- a long neglected ethnically Berber region that was at the heart of a 2011 movement for reform that saw King Mohammed VI cede some of his powers. Governor Mohammed Zhar was fired during a visit to Hoceima on Tuesday by Interior Minister Mohamed Hassad, the ministry source said. His dismissal was intended to "clear the air" and "meet residents' expectations for...
(AFP (eng) 03/29/17)
New African football chief Ahmad Ahmad gave his backing on Tuesday to a potential bid from Morocco to host the 2026 World Cup. The north African country has bid to host the global showpiece on four previous occasions but missed out on the 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010 editions. "We are convinced that Morocco could organise this competition just as was done by South Africa in 2010," said Ahmad, who was elected president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) earlier this month to replace Issa Hayatou, at a press conference in Marrakesh. Ahmad's backing comes just a few months after FIFA president Gianni Infantino declared that the country has the necessary "infrastructure and organisational capacity" to host the World...
(Xinhuanet 03/29/17)
The director general of the Moroccan tourism office (ONMT) Abderrafie Zouiten said here on Tuesday that the office expects tourist arrivals to grow by 6 percent in 2017. "Despite the difficult international economic and security context, we seek to attract over 600,000 additional tourists compared with last year," Zouiten said during a press conference. While Morocco aims to secure the share in its traditional European markets, it hopes to attract more tourists from China and Russia, the official stressed. To back up this trend, he said ONMT has launched a comprehensive campaign to promote Morocco's destination with a strong focus on innovative and original digital content. He added that the country has set up numerous new air routes linking hot...
(Bloomberg 03/28/17)
Morocco’s new prime minister-designate formed a governing coalition, ending a five-month impasse that has paralyzed decision-making and strained the economy. After barely a week in office, Saaddine El-Otmani of the moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party told reporters late Saturday that he will lead a coalition of six parties including partners his predecessor, Abdelilah Benkirane, had refused to include. High on the new government’s agenda will be “improving the quality of government services, education, health care, creating job opportunities, and fighting corruption,” El-Otmani said. Benkirane’s inability to form a coalition after October elections produced no clear-cut winner forced
(Voice of America 03/28/17)
The World Health Organization and U.N. children's fund are spearheading a massive immunization campaign across Africa to rid the continent of the last vestiges of polio. Tens of thousands of health workers will fan out across 13 central and western African countries to vaccinate more than 116 million children under age five against the crippling disease. The U.N. agencies report more than 190,000 volunteers, traveling on foot or bicycle, will go house to house across all cities, towns, and villages in 13 countries to vaccinate every child under age five against polio. The synchronized vaccination campaign, one of the largest ever conducted in Africa, will run from March 25-28. Director of Polio Eradication at the World Health Organization Michel Zaffran...
(AFP (eng) 03/27/17)
African Football Confederation (CAF) secretary-general Hicham El Amrani resigned on Sunday without giving an explanation. The 37-year-old Moroccan revealed his decision in a letter to African national football associations. His move is probably linked to the defeat of long-serving Cameroonian Issa Hayatou by Malagasy outsider Ahmad Ahmad in the CAF presidential election this month. El Amrani was a Hayatou loyalist, constantly defending his boss, who ruled African football for 29 years, against public and media criticism. He became secretary-general, initially on an interim basis, in 2010 when Egyptian Mustapha Fahmy moved to global football body FIFA. Ahmad, who will serve a four-year term, is scheduled to meet CAF staff on Monday at the Cairo headquarters of the 60-year-old organisation.
(Xinhuanet 03/27/17)
There is need for China and its African allies to kick start a new dialogue aimed at revitalizing wildlife and ecological conservation in the world's second largest continent, a conservationist has told Xinhua in an interview. Kaddu Sebunya, president of African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), told Xinhua that Beijing is an indispensable partner in efforts to protect Africa's iconic wildlife species that are grappling with human and climatic induced threats to their survival. "China is playing a big role in Africa's economic development and would like to see it direct more support towards protection of wildlife and vital ecosystems in the continent," Sebunya said. Sebunya noted that China's growing economic and diplomat clout place it at a vantage position to help...
(Agence Ecofin 03/24/17)
Yesterday, the 5th edition of the forum of currency and digital payment opened at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Casblanca, Morocco. Organized by the communication and events agency Interworld, and VISA, the forum will end today, March 23rd. At the heart of the two-day event are panels, workshops, sharing and training meetings, expositions, etc. The main topic which will be debated at the occasion is “digital banking”, “one of the most significant levers of e-payment”. In details, actors present will focus on the major changes recorded by banks that rely on digital technology to provide services with added value, as well as on the impact of the changes on e-payment. The various panels of the forum will be hosted by...
(Xinhuanet 03/24/17)
A group of non-government organizations (NGOs) on Friday called on African leaders to find practical solutions to protect and assist Somali refugees and asylum seekers facing ongoing conflict and a humanitarian crisis in Somalia. In a joint statement issued on the eve of the regional summit on refugees, members of the Regional Durable Solutions Secretariat (ReDSS), Somalia NGO Consortium and the Inter-agency Working Group (IAWG) expressed hope that the leaders will take practical steps towards the development and implementation of a comprehensive regional approach. "It is hoped that such an approach, developed in the spirit of the New York Declaration, will support countries and communities that host Somali refugees in improving asylum space, integrated access to services, inclusive economic opportunities...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/23/17)
N'DJAMENA French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen pledged on Wednesday to break with her country's decades-old relationship with Africa known as "Francafrique" and abolish the CFA franc currency policy that binds Paris and its former colonies. Francafrique describes an informal web of relationships Paris has maintained with its former African colonies and its support, sometimes in the form of military backing, for politicians who favor French business interests. Le Pen, one of the frontrunners in the presidential election, spoke at the end of a two-day visit to Chad where she sought to outline her policies regarding the continent, which has long held an important place in French foreign policy. "It was only in coming here and explaining that I...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/17)
Some 200 Chinese companies are looking to set up shop in Morocco, following an agreement between the Moroccan government and China’s Haite group to launch an industrial park near the city of Tangiers. Moulay Hafid Alami, the Moroccan Minister for Industry and New Technologies said: “As we all know, there are structural changes in China, where economic operators are now looking for competitive platforms. They have chosen Morocco as one of those competitive platforms.” With an initial investment of US$1 billion, the “Mohamed VI Tangier Tech City” aims to generate 100,000 jobs, including 90,000 for employees from the Tangiers area.
(Reuters (Eng) 03/21/17)
Morocco said on Monday that a $10 billion project to build a new industrial and technology hub near the northern city of Tangiers will be financed by Chinese group Haite (002023.SZ), BMCE's Bank of Africa, and the Moroccan government. Morocco and the Chinese government signed an initial memorandum of understanding last year for the 2,000 hectare city, which will provide 100,000 jobs and house 300,000 inhabitants, Industry Minister Moulay Hafid El Alamy said in a presentation. The $10 billion investment will be made over a 10-year period, the minister said.
(AFP (eng) 03/21/17)
Under a cloudless sky in South Africa's northwestern farming region, donkeys still amble along muddy paths, pausing to nibble on grass, oblivious to the threat from a demand for Chinese medicine. The gelatin found in the animals' skin has made them a target, leading to a growing wave of donkey slaughtering in several African countries, as gangs seek to fuel a lucrative, and in South Africa illegal, trade. Animal rights groups say the docile beasts of burden are often cruelly bludgeoned to death before being skinned in backyards and clandestine slaughterhouses. Around Mogosani village, in South Africa's North West province, residents say syndicates catch the animals in grazing fields and pens. Soon after, skinned carcasses with hooves chopped off are...
(Agence Ecofin 03/20/17)
Nigerian Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has announced plans by the National Assembly to put a legal framework expected to actualize the bilateral agreements between Nigeria and Morocco, in place. This he assured during a meeting with the President of the Morrocan House of Councillors, Abdelhakim Benchamach, and the President of Moroccan House of Representatives, Habib El-Malki, last weekend. Let’s recall that Nigeria signed several bilateral agreements with Morocco during the recent state visit by the King of Morocco to the country. These agreements were signed in the areas of agriculture, energy and gas as well as the trans-African gas pipeline project.
(Agence Ecofin 03/20/17)
At the Africa CEO Forum which opened this morning in Geneva, AFD Group – in partnership with the European Union – unveiled the “African Renewable Energy Scale-Up facility”, designed to boost private sector investment in on–grid and off-grid renewable energy production in Africa. In order to meet Africa’s constantly increasing energy requirements, support must be provided for mass development of the renewable energy technologies – especially solar energy – that will play such a key role over the coming years, given the recent drop in prices and the emergence of new innovative business models. The EU’s electrification funding initiative, “ElectriFI”, helps to harness and stimulate private sector investment to enhance access to renewable energy. More specifically, it focuses on poorly-served...

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