Wednesday 20 September 2017
(The Guardian 09/17/13)
EU funds for Morocco help to protect migrants' rights, not to undermine them. Paul Mason writes about illegal immigration into Spain – based on a report he presented for BBC Newsnight – under the headline: "The EU is ignoring the human rights abuses behind Morocco's razor wire" (2 September). This is not correct. The allocation of EU funds to Morocco (roughly €140m) is primarily designed to support social and democratic reforms in the country. This money, and how it is used, is approved by all the member states, including the UK. We are mystified by Mason's claim that a "European commission spokesperson refused to specify the current amounts". My spokesman, in an email exchange with Mason's TV producer in April,...
(The Guardian 09/17/13)
Safe and Inclusive Cities initiative will compare existing approaches as part of drive to tackle urban conflict. Urban violence in 40 cities in sub-Saharan Africa, south Asia, and Latin America will be investigated as part of an ambitious Canadian-British funded research project. The initiative will seek to understand the complex causes of urban violence and find practical solutions. The $11m (£6.7m) Safe and Inclusive Cities initiative, funded by Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and Britain's Department for International Development (DfID), will provide 15 research teams with grants of up to $500,000 each. "Top experts from around the world will analyse the effectiveness of violence prevention strategies and identify successful concrete examples," said John de Boer, a programme leader at...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/16/13)
JERUSALEM | Mon Sep 16, 2013 (Reuters) - Israel's supreme court on Monday struck down a year-old law that meant African migrants could be held in detention for up three years without charge. The law, that came into force in June last year, was meant to deter illegal immigration but was condemned by human rights campaigners as a harsh and illegal way of treating people, especially those fleeing persecution and seeking asylum. A right-wing lawmaker said the court's ruling risked damaging the character of Israel - a state built on Jewish immigration - by opening the door to more Africans. Chief Justice Asher Grunis said the law contradicted Israel's legal guarantees of basic democratic freedoms, and "therefore, it ought to...
(Financial Times 09/15/13)
Future unrest is likely in sub-Saharan Africa if jobs cannot be created for the continent’s growing numbers of young people, the EU’s development chief has warned. Andris Piebalgs, European Commissioner for Development, said Africa contained the world’s greatest social problems. “The magnitude of the problem is immense and the challenges facing sub-Saharan African countries are huge,” he said in an interview with the Financial Times, adding that the region’s population is growing rapidly and half were under 25 years old. Mr Piebalgs, who spoke last week at an international youth job creation summit in London, said sub-Saharan Africa’s relatively low youth unemployment rate of 3 per cent, compared with the 50 per cent in some European countries, disguised the scale...
(The Globe and Mail 09/14/13)
When one of South Africa’s biggest newspaper chains was sold last month, an odd name was buried in the list of new owners: China International Television Corp. A major stake in a South African newspaper group might seem an unusual acquisition for Chinese state television, but it was no mystery to anyone who has watched the rapid expansion of China’s media empire across Africa. From newspapers and magazines to satellite television and radio stations, China is investing heavily in African media. It’s part of a long-term campaign to bolster Beijing’s “soft power” – not just through diplomacy, but also through foreign aid, business links, scholarships, training programs, academic institutes and the media. Its investments have allowed China to promote its...
(National Post 09/14/13)
Africa’s population will more than double to 2.4 billion within 40 years, thanks in large part to better health care, according to a major study. Sub-Saharan Africa’s population is rising faster than the rest of the world because modern medicine and health care on the continent means more babies are surviving birth complications, and fewer adults are dying from preventable diseases. But the number of children being conceived is not dropping, or is doing so very slowly. “This means that population growth rates would naturally rise if birth rates stay as they are,” said Carl Haub, the co-author of the report by the U.S.-based Population Reference Bureau. African mothers currently give birth to an average of 5.2 children, rising to...
(AFP (eng) 09/13/13)
RABAT, September 13, 2013 (AFP) - Morocco's Islamist-led government has unveiled a charter outlining a raft of long-awaited judicial reforms, including strengthening the independence of the judiciary, that have been a priority of the ruling party. The charter, which was presented late Thursday by Justice Minister Mustafa Ramid, comes two years after the kingdom adopted a new constitution, in the face of the Arab Spring protests, with provisions for judicial reforms. As well as a strengthening judicial independence, the charter proposes bolstering the protection of human rights, improving the effectiveness of the judiciary and expanding its institutional capacities, the official MAP news agency reported on Friday. Other planned measures include reviewing the salaries of judges and the process of recruiting...
(Voice of America 09/13/13)
GENEVA — A new report says the number of global deaths among children under age five is almost half what it was 22 years ago. A joint report by the United Nations Children’s Fund, the World Health Organization,and World Bank finds about 6.6 million children died before reaching their fifth birthday in 2012 compared to 12 million children who died in 1990. The report calls the progress being made in cutting child deaths remarkable. However, it says this is still not good enough. It says most child deaths are preventable, and that by applying a number of simple, affordable measures, more children’s lives can be saved. Elizabeth Mason, director of the World Health Organization's department of maternal, newborn, child and...
(Voice of America 09/13/13)
NAIROBI, KENYA — In Africa, demand for the cassava plant has grown significantly over the years. The continent produces 60 percent of the crop in the world. But the crop is drastically declining in East and Central Africa due to diseases that reduce production. More than 160 million people in east, central and southern Africa depend on cassava as a stable food and a source of income. Production of the crop has significantly dropped due to the cassava mosaic and cassava brown streak diseases. According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization [FAO], the brown streak disease is worse since it affects the root of the crop. These two diseases are creating havoc in Africa’s agricultural lands.Improvements necessary. The acting...
(AFP (eng) 09/12/13)
SKHIRAT, September 12, 2013 (AFP) - Morocco plans to nearly double phosphate output by 2017, despite a fall in global prices, at an estimated cost of 15 billion dollars, its state company said Thursday. The North African country, the third largest producer of phosphates, sits on more than 70 percent of global reserves and is the top exporter of the mineral used in agriculture and industry. "Our annual production of treated phosphate now is 30 million tonnes, and by 2017 it will rise to 50 million tonnes," Mohammed Soual, chief economist at the Moroccan Phosphate Company (OCP), told AFP. He said the state-owned company, which controls the Moroccan phosphate sector, would also raise its downstream fertiliser output from 3.5 million...
(Dw-World 09/12/13)
If German Chancellor Angela Merkel were standing for election in Africa in September, she would have a good chance of winning. But it's not all praise for Merkel and the German government. If it were up to the Mozambicans who were once contract workers in the former East Germany or "GDR", Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) would win the upcoming elections. Germany goes to the polls on September 22, 2013. The Mozambican returnees, known as "Madgermanes", are convinced Merkel strengthened the German economy and successfully steered her country through the turmoil of the financial crisis. "Germany has remained Europe's largest economy under the Merkel government, even the global financial crisis did not affect it that badly,"...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/12/13)
JOHANNESBURG, Sept 12 | (Reuters) - Africa's robust economic growth over the past decade has raised hopes the world's poorest continent can reduce reliance on aid. The problem with this scenario is its failure to consider the role aid may be playing in the "Africa Rising" narrative. Looking for a link between aid and growth, an unmistakable pattern emerges from the numbers. World Bank data shows foreign donor aid to Africa from the OECD group of wealthy countries was just under $13 billion in 2000 and soared to $41 billion in 2006, and then slipped, before rebounding and hitting over $46 billion in 2011. Net official development assistance per capita was just $19.50 in 2000 and almost tripled to a...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/12/13)
LONDON | Thu Sep 12, 2013 (Reuters) - BlackRock's exchange-traded funds (ETFs) business iShares has appointed a new fixed income chief in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) as it steps up efforts to meet growing demand for index-tracking bond investments in the region. iShares has appointed Brett Olson, former managing director of Nomura's asset backed securities sales team in EMEA, to lead its burgeoning fixed income product development, sales and capital markets teams. Olson will report to Tom Fekete, who recently joined iShares as head of product development for EMEA and David Heike, Global Head of Fixed Income iShares. "Fixed income ETFs have gathered strong assets over the last three years, but we're now seeing a revolution in demand...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/12/13)
LONDON | Thu Sep 12, 2013 (Reuters) - Gas supplies to Europe will become less reliable as much of its new demand in the coming decade will have to be met with gas from politically unstable countries in Africa. Europe's gas demand is expected to rise by around 20 percent to 580 billion cubic meters (bcm) per year in the next 10 years as economic growth returns and governments plan to switch from coal to gas for power generation. During the same time, supplies to Europe from the North Sea are expected to fall by at least 20 percent as reserves dwindle, while established suppliers such as Russia and Norway will not be able to increase exports by much and...
(Voice of America 09/12/13)
The World Bank has released new reports outlining the health challenges facing six major regions. Those challenges include not only many types of disease, but road accidents as well. The bank says the reports will help policymakers develop evidence-based health programs after the Millennium Development Goals expire. The World Bank has released the reports in conjunction with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. Timothy Evans is the bank’s director of Health, Nutrition and Population. “What we see when we look beyond the global picture is that there’s a lot of regional specificity to trends in the burden of disease. And so the regional focus just allows us more detail and attention to what’s happening in different regions of the...
(Business News (Ng) 09/11/13)
Africa’s vibrant mobile phone market is forecast to increase four fold in size from a value of $60 billion in 2013 to $234 billion by 2020, according to experts at Manifest Mind LLC, a U.S. based research firm. The continent’s mobile phone market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 21.27 per cent between 2013 and 2020, to reach the set target. Africa’s telecoms sector growth has surged in the last 10 years as the continent has overtaken Europe and Latin America to become the second biggest market in the world for handsets after Asia, according to global mobile phone body, the GSMA. Figures from the GSMA also indicate that from 2007 to 2012 mobile connections in Africa...
(Tanzania Daily News 09/10/13)
Maputo — The African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) has warned that a Green Revolution cannot materialise in Africa without concerted effort to secure financing for agricultural production. The Forum, which ended on Friday and brought together over 200 delegates from across Africa and the world, focused on the critical role to be played by public-private partnership and inclusive business models in the development of Africa's agriculture. It heard that the global gap in financing for agriculture stood at 450billion US dollars, an issue which was more acute in Africa than anywhere else in the world. Evidence showed that only 10 per cent of African smallholder farmers had access to financing when they needed to expand their production and raise their...
(The Guardian 09/10/13)
Women are increasingly challenging the traditional male monopoly of African politics. In Cameroon, campaigners have worked tirelessly to boost the chances of women standing in the country's pending elections. On a sunny day in early May, in Ndu, northwest Cameroon, a group of women, many of whom have taken the day off from work on their farms, are evaluating the performance of an aspiring politician. One suggests smiling more, another that the candidate project her voice more and not look at her feet while talking. The women are here in the Bishop Shanahan Centre to improve their public-speaking skills and learn more about electoral procedures. There are no party divisions in the room – women from the Cameroon People's Democratic...
(Voice of America 09/09/13)
The Italian coast guard has rescued more than 700 people in the last two days from boats carrying migrants and refugees. Italian officials say four vessels got into difficulty in waters near Sicily. People from Syria, Egypt, Eritrea, Nigeria and Ghana were rescued. The Italian news agency ANSA reported Saturday that more than 207 people were taken to the island of Lampedusa after their rescue by the coast guard and navy. Among them were two women in the late stages of pregnancy. Another boat with 212 people aboard was being towed to Lampedusa. Two other broken-down boats carrying 293 people were taken to Augusta on Sicily's eastern coast. Violence in Syria and Egypt this year has spurred an increased number...
(AL Jazeera 09/07/13)
As Kenya votes to withdraw from this 'court of last resort', we ask if other African nations will follow suit. Kenya's parliament has voted to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC), sending another strong message from the continent against what is perceived to be interference from the West. The motion was passed after an emergency session of parliament was convened - and the timing could not have been more telling. William Ruto, Kenya's deputy president, is due to appear before the ICC on September 10, on charges of crimes against humanity, while Uhuru Kenyatta, the Kenyan president, is scheduled to face similar charges in November. They stem from violence that broke out after disputed elections at the end of...

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