Saturday 21 April 2018
(Xinhuanet 01/27/14)
BERLIN, (Xinhua) -- German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen is considering increasing the international engagement of German national defence forces, or Bundeswehr, local media Spiegel reported Sunday. "When murder and rape continue, we can't look away, on humanitarian grounds alone," the minister said in an interview, in which she discussed her aims to bolster the country's peacekeeping missions in Africa. She said the Bundeswehr could provide a helicopter to evacuate wounded soldiers in Central Africa, where "a bloody war between Christians and Muslims unfolds." "We cannot allow that the conflict sets the entire region in flames," said Von der Leyen. The minister also said she was considering increasing the German contingent in Mali. "Currently, the mandate upper limit is...
(AFP 01/26/14)
BERLIN, January 26, 2014 (AFP) - Germany's new defence minister said Sunday her country should engage more strongly in Africa by sending additional military trainers to Mali and supporting the French intervention in Central African Republic. Ursula von der Leyen said she foresaw boosting the training mission in Mali from its current mandate of 180 personnel, with 99 now on the ground, to up to 250, and deploying a medical services airbus to back up the French mission in CAR. Asked by news weekly Der Spiegel whether Germany -- often criticised for its post-World War II reluctance to send troops abroad -- should boost its international military engagement, she said "within the framework of our alliances, yes." In crisis-hit African...
(Washington Post 01/25/14)
When France dispatched troops to the West African nation of Mali a year ago, senior officials said they anticipated an operation of a few weeks — a temporary diversion from a policy of disengaging from “francafrique,” the zone of former African colonies that France informally managed for decades through financial, arms and business deals as well as military interventions. After French forces drove an ­al-Qaeda-linked militia out of Timbuktu, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian rashly declared that “the mission has been fulfilled.” A year later, more than 1,000 French soldiers are still fighting Islamic militants in Mali. Another French intervention force has been dispatched to restore order in the Central African Republic. And Mr. Le Drian is telling a...
(Voice of America 01/25/14)
Yves Le Drian says France will expand its military presence in Africa's troubled Sahel region. During a visit to Washington Friday, Le Drian told VOA's French to Africa service the new plan includes about 3,000 French soldiers to be permanently deployed in the region. He said there will be three main bases, to be located in Mali, Niger and Chad, with a logistics supply platform in Ivory Coast. Le Drian told a press conference Friday in Washington with U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel that the new deployment will allow France to better react to threats in the Sahel. "France has decided to reorganize its posture in Africa in order to have, all over the zone, a larger reactivity, a larger...
(The Guardian 01/25/14)
Many public figures and journalists have no problem describing someone from Botswana and a person from Mauritania as "Africans". They probably wouldn't call them "Americans" if they were from Brazil and the United States, even though the distance between the two is the same – and the economic conditions as different. You don't have a film called Out of Asia and you rarely go to Oceania on holidays (instead you talk of vacations in Australia, New Zealand or another island). Yet for a continent of one billion people three times the size of the US, it's no problem to call it by one single name – "Africa"! This is hugely detrimental to many countries. When a civil war starts in...
(Voice of America 01/25/14)
More than 30 metric tons of ivory stocks are scheduled to be destroyed in Hong Kong. The African Wildlife Foundation says it welcomes the move in a region where a culture of ivory is deep seated. The decision to destroy the ivory stocks was made by the Endangered Species Advisory Committee of Hong Kong's Agricultural, Fisheries and Conservation Department. Because of the huge amount of ivory it will be destroyed in stages. And it won't be crushed as in recent events in the U.S. and China where much smaller amounts were destroyed. Instead, it will be incinerated and turned to ash to ensure no small pieces remain that could be sold. Speaking from Nairobi, African Wildlife Foundation CEO - Dr...
(The Guardian 01/25/14)
The Kenyan writer and graduate student at Harvard Law School Nanjala Nyabola recently caused a bit of a stir with her Al Jazeera article asking "Why Do Western Media Get Africa Wrong?" Reading through the piece, which was both interesting and informative, I couldn't help but wonder: Just who does get Africa right? Is there even such a thing as getting Africa right? First let me say that I agree with many of Nanjala's criticisms of media coverage of events on the continent. As she says, much of it is devoid of nuance and context and seems oblivious to what Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie describes as the "danger of a single story" – the reductio ad absurdum of the...
(CNN 01/25/14)
(CNN) -- Africa's mobile phone adoption curve has been impressive. In a little over a decade, the continent has become the world's second most connected region by mobile subscriptions, has witnessed the fastest growth in mobile subscribers in the world and is on track to hit one billion mobile subscriptions by 2015, according to Informa Telecoms. Rapid smartphone adoption in large mobile phone markets like Nigeria and Kenya is already quickly birthing significant changes in the lives of the continent's tech savvy youth, ushering in revolutions in a myriad of sectors. The first significant revolution has been the swift ushering of the information revolution on the continent. The impact of Internet access via mobile devices on the continent has been...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/25/14)
New Delhi — Pressure is mounting for Delhi's law minister to be suspended after allegations he led a mob which illegally detained and harassed a group of African women on suspicion they were part of a prostitution and drugs racket. Women's rights activists and opposition political parties said Somnath Bharti's attempt to raid an apartment in south Delhi early on Jan. 15 where Ugandan and Nigerian nationals were residing was not only illegal but also sexist and racist. "We have asked the Lieutenant Governor to intervene and direct Delhi police to act according to the law. Whatever legal action is to be taken, should be taken," Arvinder Singh Lovely, a politician from the opposition Congress Party, told reporters after a...
(Dw-World 01/25/14)
The African Union declared 2014 the Year of Food Security. The plan is to eradicate hunger on the continent by 2025. But controversy is brewing over whether genetically modified crops can help countries reach that goal. corn field The UN estimates that 223 million people in sub-Saharan Africa suffer from malnutrition. Long periods of drought have resulted in poor corn and millet harvests. For years, African politicians have called for the introduction of genetically modified (GM) plants as a means to halt the decline in yields. At an African Agriculture Conference in 2012, 24 African countries agreed to allow the use of genetically modified crops. But so far, commercial use of genetically engineered seeds is permitted only in South Africa,...
(Dw-World 01/24/14)
At the African Union (AU) annual summit that begins on Friday (24.01.2014) the crises in South Sudan and Central African Republic may sideline the original main theme of food security. The banner of this year's week-long AU summit shows Africa in its most beautiful colors: in addition to wind turbines, filled granaries and a boomtown skyline, there is also a train, presumably symbolising Addis Ababa's planned light rail project, construction of which has brought traffic in Addis Ababa to a standstill for months, much to the annoyance of residents. The main theme of the annual meeting of African heads of state and government was to have been "agriculture and food security." But once again it is the continent's crises, such...
( 01/24/14)
Unprecedented levels of chronic non-communicable diseases are prompting health experts and indigenous activists to highlight a need to revert to the diets of our ancestors to regain lost nutrients. This would also assist in improving society's relationship with the earth, and to restoring both human and environmental health. "The rise of the industrial model of agriculture has contributed greatly to people being disconnected from the food on their plates," said Sarah Somian, a nutritionist based in Nice, in France. Nutritionists say many traditional and non-processed foods consumed by rural communities, such as millet and caribou, are nutrient-dense and offer healthy fatty acids, micronutrients, and cleansing properties widely lacking in diets popular in high- and middle-income countries. Indigenous diets worldwide -...
(AL Jazeera 01/23/14)
Morocco's parliament has unanimously amended an article in the penal code that allowed a rapist to escape prosecution if he married his underage victim. The amendment to Article 475 of the penal code, first proposed by the country's Islamist-led government a year ago, was amended by lawmakers on Wednesday, parliamentary sources said. The article in question made international headlines in March 2012 when Amina al-Filali, 16, was forced to marry a man who had allegedly raped her. After seven months of marriage to the 23-year-old man, she committed suicide in 2012. Her parents and a judge had forced the marriage to protect the family honour. The incident sparked calls for the law to be changed. The traditional practise of forced...
(Xinhuanet 01/23/14)
RABAT, (Xinhua) -- Morocco welcomed 27 Syrian refugees deported by Algeria through a border point located near the city of Oujda, official news agency MAP reported Wednesday. The 27 Syrian refugees, including 11 kids, 1 infant and 10 women were driven to a rural commune in Moroccan borders, said MAP, adding that a local association in the city of Oujda provided them with shelter, accommodation, food and health care. More and more Syrians have recently crossed from Algeria into Morocco without visas. Most of the refugees were living in dire straits in Morocco, seeking the opportunity to cross to Europe. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Bureau of Morocco has no figures for the number of Syrian refugees...
(Voice of America 01/23/14)
The White House said U.S. President Barack Obama will invite leaders of nearly 50 African governments to an August summit in Washington. Assistant Press Secretary Jonathan Lalley said Obama will include all African heads of state or governments, with the exception of those who are not in good standing with the U.S. or under African Union suspension. Lalley said AU chairman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma will also be invited to the meeting, which takes place on August 5 and 6. The White House announced the summit on Tuesday, saying it would be used to strengthen U.S. trade and investment ties with the continent. Officials said Obama also hopes to build on progress made since his June 2013 visit to Africa. The White...
(Think Africa Press 01/23/14)
For all the talk of a new approach, it seems France is the only actor able and willing to engage militarily in much of Africa. For the French military, the year 2013 ended as it began - namely, with an intervention on the African continent. In January 2013, Operation Serval was launched to repel militant Islamist groups in Northern Mali. And in December, Mission Sangaris - named after an African butterfly known for its light footprint and short lifespan - was launched in an attempt to curb the escalating conflict in the Central African Republic. In stark contrast to France's persistent vows to disengage, 2013 saw it unable to stay away from its traditional backyard. In an attempt to provide...
(Voice of America 01/22/14)
US President Barack Obama will host a summit with African leaders in August in a bid to strengthen trade and investment ties with the continent. A White House announcement Tuesday said the summit will take place August 5 and 6 in Washington. There was no immediate word on which African leaders will attend the summit, but one report said the leaders to be invited are those currently in good standing with the United States and who are not suspended from the African Union. Gambian-born Sulayman Nyang, senior professor and former chair of the African Studies Department at Howard University in Washington, says the summit will have historical significance because Obama would be the first postwar US president to bring African...
(Xinhuanet 01/22/14)
ADDIS ABABA, (Xinhua) -- South Korean President Park Geun-hye will be a guest of honor at the 22nd African Union (AU) summit to be held at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, announced an AU official on Tuesday. With the theme of "Transforming Africa's Agriculture: Harnessing Opportunities for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development," the AU meetings are set for Jan. 21-31. The 27th ordinary session of the AU Permanent Representatives Committee is being held from Jan. 21 to 23, to be followed by the 24th ordinary session of the AU Executive Council on Jan. 27-28. The summit of the heads of state is arranged for Jan. 30-31. Speaking to the press on the preparation of the summit, Jean Mfasoni,...
(Ips News 01/22/14)
NAIROBI/HARARE, (IPS) - With its two-trillion-dollar economy, recent discoveries of billions of dollars worth of minerals and oil, and the number of investment opportunities it has to offer global players, Africa is slowly shedding its image as a development burden. “While global direct investment has shown some decline, dropping by 18 percent in 2012, in Africa foreign direct investment rose by five percent,” Ken Ogwang, an economic expert affiliated with the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), which has a membership of over 60 businesses, told IPS. Since 2012, Kenya has made a series of mineral discoveries, including unearthing 62.4 billion dollars worth of Niobium – a rare earth deposit. The discovery in Kenya’s Kwale County has made the area among...
(Voice of America 01/22/14)
President Barack Obama will host a summit with African leaders in a bid to strengthen trade and investment ties with the continent. The White House announced the summit Tuesday, saying it will take place August 5 and 6 in Washington. In addition to trade, the White House says Obama will use the session to highlight the U.S. commitment to security and "democratic development" in Africa. There was no immediate word on which African leaders will attend the summit. The White House says the president hopes to build on progress made since his Summer 2013 visit to Africa. Obama made a weeklong trip to the continent that included stops in Tanzania, Senegal and South Africa. During the visit, he highlighted programs...

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