Wednesday 26 July 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 07/18/17)
Three years after he risked his life crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Libya to Italy on a small boat crammed with migrants, 22-year-old Sow Muhammed can hardly believe his luck. The former street hawker from Guinea now works as a caterer in Venice, rents his own apartment, and sends money back home regularly to his mother and siblings in the West African nation. "I am happy I came to Europe, and my family is also happy," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation as he packed up leftovers at a training event for people who work with refugees, where he had served a menu which included traditional African dishes. "I talk to my family frequently, ask them their needs, and help...
(Agence Ecofin 07/17/17)
Car maker Faurecia just inaugurated a new car seats factory in Morocco. Located in Salé, the infrastructure which cost about €16 million will generate 1,300 jobs. According to L’usine Nouvelle, the plant will produce every day 10,000 leather and textile seat-coverings for 3008 Peugeot and Opel Grandland X models. With the new infrastructure, Faurecia now has two plants in Morocco, including Kenitra’s. Next year, a third will be commissioned, the firm revealed. Faurecia has 103,000 employees worldwide and recorded in 2015 a turnover of €20.69 billion. Aaron Akinocho
(Xinhuanet 07/17/17)
Africa is making progress towards the establishment of a trade zone by Oct. 30 that will cover approximately half of the continent's member states. The Common Market for the Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Director of Trade and Customs, Francis Mangeni, said in a commentary published in the Star Newspaper on Monday that so far 19 of the 26 countries involved have signed the agreement. "Three outstanding annexes had meant the tripartite agreement was not complete and this was advanced by some countries as the reason they could not sign or ratify the agreement. However their adoption represented a milestone in the negotiation, as it removed the last obstacle to signing and ratifying the agreement," Mangeni said. The tripartite free...
(AFP (eng) 07/14/17)
Six people were sentenced to one year in jail for celebrating on Facebook after the December 2016 assassination of Russia's ambassador to Turkey, the official news agency MAP reported Friday. A court in Sale, near the capital Rabat, condemned the six Moroccans late Thursday and also fined them 10,000 dirhams (115 euros) each for "incitement of terrorist acts". Lawyer Abdessamad El Idrissi, a member of the Islamist PJD (Justice and Development Party), criticised what he called the "exaggerated and sorry" sentencing of the young Moroccans who "represent the country's elite". They were convicted for having hailed in comments on Facebook the murder in Ankara of ambassador...
(AFP (eng) 07/14/17)
Morocco's government will make a regional tour to examine development projects, Prime Minister Saad Eddine El Othmani said Thursday after months of protests shook the northern Rif region. Media reports said the tour could begin by next week. It is expected to take in the central Beni Mellal-Khenifra region and "the southern provinces", a reference to Moroccan-controlled Western Sahara. Earlier this month, security forces began withdrawing from the restive northern cities of Al-Hoceima and Imzouren after weeks of unrest. Al-Hoceima, the main port in the neglected Rif, had been rocked by protests since a fishmonger was crushed to death in a rubbish truck in October as he tried to retrieve
(APA 07/14/17)
The Moroccan ambassador in Mozambique, Abdelali Rahhl says his country would like to develop with Mozambique agricultural cooperation in an integrated perspective, APA has learnt. The diplomat said his country's intention is to strengthen business relations with Mozambique in the areas of fertilizer production, training of agricultural engineers and mechanization of agriculture. Advertisment "We would like to develop agricultural cooperation with Mozambique in an integrated perspective, first, with regard to fertilizers, following the training of...
(AFP (eng) 07/13/17)
Morocco's phosphate industry giant OCP on Thursday accused South Africa of "political piracy" by detaining a Moroccan cargo vessel loaded with phosphate from the disputed territory of Western Sahara. The South African judiciary had "passed an eminently political decision and committed a gross abuse of power", Morocco's state-run group said in a statement. The 34,000-tonne ship bound for New Zealand via Port Elizabeth in South Africa has been blocked from sailing since the start of May following a court application seeking that the vessel return its cargo. The application filed by the Polisario Front, which seeks the independence of Western Sahara, asks for the return of the phosphate "removed in contravention of the international principle", said Webber Wintzel, a lawyer...
(AFP (eng) 07/12/17)
Egypt and Morocco's airlines have said a ban against carry-on laptops on US-bound flights has been lifted, leaving only two Saudi airports under the restrictions put in place in March. Morocco's Royal Air Maroc said in a statement Wednesday that the ban, imposed amid fears the Islamic State group was developing a bomb concealed in electronics, would be lifted as of Thursday. EgyptAir said late Tuesday that the United States had also lifted the ban for the carrier's flights to New York from Wednesday. The ban remains in place for Saudi Arabia's two main international airports in Riyadh and Jeddah. The original ban affected airports in Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, as well...
(Cnbc Africa 07/12/17)
"Africa is an awakening giant," according to the former South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk speaking at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul. The leader who oversaw the transition of his country's power to Nelson Mandela said Tuesday that the future looks bright for a continent previously blighted by war, famine and a lack of infrastructure. "I believe Africa is an awakening giant and, yes, it is not performing according to what we expected soon enough, but it will perform," he said. De Klerk believes that African countries are primed to take advantage of the world's growing size. "If we look at food shortages for the rest of the world with a growing population, Africa is the solution," he...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/11/17)
Morocco's general prosecutor said he would investigate the leaking of a video of a detained protest leader from the northern Rif region that has sparked widespread anger and accusations he had been abused. Protest organizer Nasser Zefzafi shows his arms, legs and torso to the camera in the video, posted on Monday by a website known for its ties to the security services. The website framed the video as evidence against claims of ill-treatment, but marks and bruises are visible on Zefzafi's face and lower back. Within hours, the site removed the video as Moroccans, including some who usually support the government, expressed outrage on social media. Before his arrest on May 29, Zefzafi led protests against corruption and unemployment...
(APA 07/11/17)
Moroccan peacekeepers deployed in Bria in the north central region of the Central African Republic (CAR) have been withdrawn, MINUSCA announced on Monday. MINUSCA the UN Integrated Multidimensional Mission for Stabilization in the Central African Republic said on a private radio station in Bangui, the nation’s capital, that the decision came at the end of the demonstration staged by inhabitants of Bria last Thursday, demanding the withdrawal of the Moroccan contingent from Bria, for “bias” in their security activities. “Depending on operational requirements, we very often have contingents or parts of the contingents across the country that move from...
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
In the past five years, terrorist attacks have killed nearly 20,000 people across Africa. Two groups, Boko Haram and al-Shabab, accounted for 71 percent of reported incidents and 91 percent of fatalities. But, while these and other militant groups remain active, fatal terrorist attacks across the continent are on pace to fall for a second straight year, and the total number of attacks is running far below 2012 highs. These findings are part of VOA’s original analysis of data from ACLED, the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. ACLED tracks political violence, protests and terrorist events across Africa. Their reports include attacks since 1997 based on data collected from local news media, government statements, non-governmental organizations and published research...
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Many cell phone companies are rethinking their headlong rush into the continent. Only Orange is staying the course. Back when African countries were auctioning off mobile licenses by the boatload to serve the region’s young, tech-savvy population, investing in the continent’s fast-growing economies seemed like a no-brainer. Some of the world’s biggest wireless carriers rushed in. Now they’re wondering if they made a mistake. Increasing government and regulatory scrutiny, as well as a lack of expansion opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa, are making it harder for operators such as Vodafone Group Plc, Orange SA and Bharti Airtel Ltd. to grow. Their choice: Pull back or double down. Two companies beating at least a partial retreat are Millicom International Cellular SA, which...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The African Union's new chair Moussa Faki Mahamat on Wednesday questioned US commitment to fighting terrorism on the continent after it blocked efforts to get UN funding for an anti-jihadist force in the Sahel. "This is a specific case of a certain number of African states taking the initiative to create a dedicated force to fight terrorism. So, we don't understand how the United States could hold back or not engage in the fight against terrorism," Faki said in an interview with AFP. Faki's January election as chairperson of the AU commission came days after the inauguration of US President Donald Trump, who has proposed slashing US funding for aid projects and multilateral institutions like the UN. The former Chadian...
(AFP (eng) 07/06/17)
The costs of diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa could double to almost $60 billion annually just 13 years from now, as obesity fuels an explosion of the disease, a report said Thursday. In 2015, the overall diabetes cost in the region was nearly $20 billion (18 billion euros), or 1.2 percent of total economic production, according to research published by The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. This included medication and hospital stays, and loss of labour productivity due to illness or death. About half of all treatment costs were paid for by patients themselves.
(AFP (eng) 07/05/17)
Morocco's top diplomat said Tuesday that the United Nations is to lead efforts to end a dispute over a partially recognised state in Western Sahara that Rabat considers its territory. Speaking in Addis Ababa at his first African Union summit since Morocco returned to the bloc in January, Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita said the AU had backed the move. Morocco left the AU in 1984 after the latter admitted the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, proclaimed by the separatist Polisario Front in Western Sahara. Bourita said he was "very satisfied" by the AU decision to allow the UN to lead attempts to resolve the Western Sahara question, with a resolution urging "appropriate support" of the UN Secretary General's efforts. "The manoeuvres,...
(AFP (eng) 07/04/17)
Moroccan security forces have begun withdrawing from the restive northern cities of Al-Hoceima and Imzouren, which have been rocked by weeks of social unrest, officials and residents said. A "gradual" pullback from both cities began on Monday at the request of King Mohammed VI, the governor of Al-Hoceima province, Fouad Chourak, told reporters. A resident of Al-Hoceima, who spoke to AFP by telephone Tuesday, confirmed the pullback. "Policemen have withdrawn from the central square in Al-Hoceima," the resident said. "Only a few policemen in civilian clothes are left."
(Reuters 07/04/17)
Morocco's surprise delay in announcing its proposed currency liberalization came only because the government needed "further studies" of the plan, Prime Minister Saadeddine El Othmani said, dismissing speculation that it ran into significant problems. Last week, Morocco's central bank postponed for "a few days" its planned announcement of the first phase of liberalizing the dirham, a key reform backed by the International Monetary Fund. The central back gave no reason for the delay. In a weekend interview on Morocco's two public television channels, Othmani said he met with Finance Minister Mohammed Boussaid and central bank Governor Abdellatif Jouahri to discuss the move to a flexible currency regime and...
(Voice of America 07/04/17)
GENEVA — The U.N. children’s fund warns tens of thousands of malnourished children are at great risk in Yemen, Somalia and South Sudan, which are on the brink of famine. UNICEF reports an estimated 4.7 million children in the cholera-stricken countries are malnourished. Of these, UNICEF spokesman Christofe Boulierac tells VOA, more than one million are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. “Let me remind you that a child who is suffering from severe acute malnutrition are nine times more likely to die of disease than a well-nourished child," he said. "So, having cholera and diarrhea in countries where so many children are so fragile because of malnutrition among other things because of such a bad access to safe water is...
(RFI(EN) 07/04/17)
New tax rules in Israel could leave hundreds of African migrants worse off than they are. In May, the government introduced a new deposit law, enabling the governemnt to take 20 percent of migrants' salaries each month and place it out of reach. The money can only be accessed once they leave the country. Rights groups say the policy is designed to force them out of the country. "We're not pressuring you to leave but will make your life miserable so you decide to leave," Anwar Suliman, a Darfuri refugee living in Israel since 2008, told RFI . "Every time the state makes a different law, different pressure, but we said we can't go back right now." Suliman fled Darfur...

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