Wednesday 13 December 2017
(African arguments 10/16/13)
African economies are generally growing - we know that and it can be well-documented through trusted economic data. But is African governance also rising? That's the question that the Mo Ibrahim Foundation seeks to answer every year through its Index of African Governance. And the answer is yes. The big number this year's report showcases is that 94 percent of the continent's people live in countries that have experienced overall governance improvement since 2000. So, it's pretty clear that the general trend is up. However, this is a complex index based on large quantities of data, so from it we can determine several different indicators (not all of which are increasing). Broadly, these are classified (by the Index) within 4...
(CNN 10/16/13)
New York (CNN) -- An alleged al Qaeda operative accused of playing a role in the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania pleaded not guilty Tuesday to terrorism charges brought against him in federal court in New York. As Abu Anas al Libi walked into court to face the charges, his hands were shackled, his hair was short, and he sported a red, bushy beard, graying around his face and chin. He moved slowly and appeared unsteady. He told the court he was 49, but he looked 10 to 15 years older. His family told CNN he suffers from hepatitis C. Judge Lewis Kaplan signed a medical order for care. Wearing gray sweatpants, a black, long-sleeved shirt and...
(News Day 10/14/13)
Sub-saharan African economies are expected to register growth in 2014 due to strong growth buoyed by domestic demand in most of the region, the International Monetary Fund has said. According to the recent World Economic Outlook, growth in the region remained robust in 2012-13. “Growth in sub-Saharan Africa remained robust in 2012–13 and is expected to accelerate somewhat in 2014 reflecting strong domestic demand in most of the region,” the IMF said. “Nevertheless, spillovers from sluggish external demand, reversal of capital flows, and declines in commodity prices are contributing to somewhat weaker growth prospects in many countries relative to the April 2013 WEO. Polices should aim to rebuild room for policy maneuvering where it has been eroded, and more broadly...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/14/13)
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - African leaders agreed on Saturday that Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta should not attend trial at the International Criminal Court if the U.N. Security Council did not agree to delay the proceedings, Ethiopia's foreign minister said. Tedros Adhanom said that the African Union would request the trial be deferred under article 16 of the court's Rome Statute that allows a delay of a year subject to renewal and would request a postponement if that demand was not agreed. "If that is not met what the summit decided is that President Kenyatta should not appear until the request we have made is actually answered," Tedros told journalists, explaining decisions of a meeting to discuss Africa's relations with the...
(CNN 10/14/13)
(CNN) -- The African Union urged the International Criminal Court to postpone cases against sitting leaders as accusations of unfair treatment grow against the war crimes tribunal. Leaders from the 54-nation body gathered in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on Saturday to review their relationship with the court based in The Hague, Netherlands. Kenyan and Sudanese presidents face charges at the court, and African leaders have long accused it of unfair treatment. 'Loud and clear'. "Sitting heads of state and government should not be prosecuted while in office and we have resolved to speak with one voice to make sure that our concerns are heard loud and clear," said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Ethiopian foreign affairs minister. The trial...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/14/13)
ADDIS ABABA | (Reuters) - The African Union has backed a call to boost by about a third the number of troops in an African peacekeeping force in Somalia to reinforce a campaign against Islamist militants there who attacked a Nairobi shopping mall last month. The union's Peace and Security Council said 6,235 soldiers and police should be added to the AMISOM peacekeeping force to take its total strength to 23,966 uniformed personnel for a limited period of 18 to 24 months. The council endorsed the recommendations of a review of the force this week and announced its decision on Friday. The decision needs the approval of the U.N. Security Council. AMISOM is made up of troops mainly from Kenya,...
(AL Jazeera 10/14/13)
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation is set to launch the 2013 Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) and announce if there is a winner this year of the world's biggest prize for good leadership. Both the IIAG, which assesses the level of governance of each country on the African continent and the Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, will be announced on Monday. According to the Foundation, the index provides a framework for citizens, governments, institutions and business to assess the delivery of goods and services, and policy outcomes, across every country on the continent. Most observers are curious about whether the Foundation will announce a winner for the prize, which has only found a recipient three times since being...
(AFP 10/12/13)
ADDIS ABABA, October 12, 2013 (AFP) - African heads of state on Saturday opened a special summit on relations with the International Criminal Court. The African Union meeting is being held to urge the ICC not to prosecute sitting heads of state and defer the trials of Kenya's leadership and Sudan's president. The meeting at the AU headquarters comes amid mounting tensions with the ICC, which has been accused of acting like a neo-colonialist institution that has singled out Africans since being set up as the world's first permanent court to try genocide and war crimes. "The UN security council and the ICC should work with us to enable the elected leadership of Kenya to fulfil their constitutional obligations by...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/11/13)
ADDIS ABABA | Fri Oct 11, 2013 (Reuters) - The International Criminal Court (ICC) has become a "political instrument", Ethiopia's foreign minister said on Friday, opening a meeting at which Africa will review its ties with the Hague-based war crimes tribunal. Friday's ministerial meeting of the African Union (AU) and a summit on Saturday were called to cast a critical eye over the relationship following ICC cases against Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto. Both deny charges that they organized a killing spree after Kenya's disputed 2007 election. Last month, an AU official said the organization would consider a mass withdrawal by the continent's 34 signatories to the court's Rome Statute, though ministers and others have since...
(Bloomberg 10/11/13)
Sub-Saharan Africa’s infrastructure boom will probably draw increased interest from investment banks and commercial lenders, underpinning growth in syndicated loans, the Loan Market Association said. The annual amount of credit in the region organized by groups of lenders grew to $17.7 billion last year from $11.2 billion in 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Syndicated loans total $19.6 billion in the year to date, the data show. African nations are spending $45 billion annually upgrading roads, ports, electricity plants and other infrastructure, according to the African Development Bank. The continent needs to spend $93 billion a year help accelerate economic growth, leaving a financing gap of about $50 billion, the Tunis-based lender said in May. “There is a lot...
(The Associated Press 10/11/13)
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia – An African Union official has urged African foreign ministers meeting in Ethiopia not to allow the International Criminal Court to continue treating the continent and "Africans in a condescending manner." The chairman of the Executive Council of the African Union and Ethiopia's Foreign Minister. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. said Friday that far from promoting justice and peace, the ICC has become a political tool used to target Africans. Foreign ministers have gathered at AU headquarters in Ethiopia to deliberate the continent's relationship with the ICC. The ministers' recommendations may be endorsed by African heads of state meeting Saturday. The ICC has come under strong criticism from some African leaders who say it disproportionately targets Africans. The international...
(Dw-World 10/11/13)
If Kenya were to leave the ICC, the consequences could be dramatic. African heads of state and government meet in Addis Ababa for two days of deliberations over future ties with the court. Kenya's presidential spokesman, Manoah Esipisu, displays his diplomatic skills when talking about his country and the Hague-based International Criminal Court. There had been no attempt to win support for his country ahead of the special African Union summit being held in Addis Ababa this Friday and Saturday (11/12. 10.2013), he said. But Kenya was happy to have the opportunity to discuss a matter of such importance for the African continent. This is something of an understatement. In the days leading up to the summit, the Kenyan government...
(AFP (eng) 10/10/13)
RABAT, October 10, 2013 (AFP) - Morocco's King Mohamed VI appointed a new Islamist-led government on Thursday ending a months-long crisis triggered by the defection of a key coalition partner, a minister told AFP. The king "has just appointed the new government" at a ceremony at the palace in Rabat, said Justice Minister Mustafa Ramid, a member of the moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party whose leader, Abdelila Benkirane, remains prime minister. The cabinet shake-up sees Saad-Eddine El Othmani replaced as foreign minister by Salaheddine Mezouar, who heads the National Rally of Independents and whose agreement to join the government effectively prevented it from collapsing. Six women also take cabinet posts, four of them from the RNI, compared with just...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/10/13)
RABAT | Thu Oct 10, 2013 (Reuters) - Morocco's King Mohamed named 19 new ministers on Thursday after the Islamist prime minister reached a deal to form a new coalition and end months of deadlock in the North African kingdom, the state news agency said. As part of the changes, a new partner in the coalition, the center-right National Rally of Independents (RNI), will replace ministers from the conservative Istiqlal party, which left in July in a dispute over subsidy cuts and other issues. Morocco raised the number of ministers to 39 from 30 in the former government to satisfy all parties in the coalition, but the royal palace placed its allies in key ministries such as the interior and...
(24 Tanzania 10/10/13)
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, October 10, 2013 – The African Union (AU) High Representative for the Operationalization of the African Standby Force (ASF), General Sékouba Konaté, today, IN Gaborone, opened the Main Planning Conference of the AMANI AFRICA II Field Training Exercise. (21)EGYPT-SHARM EL-SHEIKH-AU SUMMIT-ASSEMBLY-CLOSING CEREMONYThe three-day Main Planning Conference brings together planners from the AU Commission, the Regional Economic Communities/Regional Mechanisms for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution (RECs/RMs), the European Union (EU), the United Nations and other partners to strategize on the rollout of the remaining activities under the AMANI AFRICA cycle. The overall objective of the Exercise is to validate the capacity of the AU to mandate and employ a Rapid Deployment Capability (RDC) of the African Standby Force...
(Voice of America 10/09/13)
A summit to determine the combat readiness of the African Union’s (AU) standby force will begin in Botswana’s capital, Gaborone Wednesday, says Major-General Samaila Iliya, the director of the AMANI Africa II exercise. “[It] is going to focus on rapid deployment capabilities, which is part and parcel of the African standby force,” said IlIya. “We are looking at the preparations [for the] field training exercise which is going to take place in October hopefully next year, [which] has to do with the African standby force.” Officials from the military, police and other civilian security experts and planners are scheduled to attend the Wednesday planning conference for the training exercise. Senior AU representatives say the standby force is expected to be...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/09/13)
WASHINGTON | (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Tuesday staunchly defended his decision to order commando raids in Libya and Somalia last weekend, saying the United States would keep targeting al Qaeda-linked groups in Africa but had no intention of going to war there. Speaking at a news conference, Obama said the United States was justified in seizing a senior al Qaeda figure in Tripoli and whisking him out of the country, and he made clear that it likely would not be the last operation of its kind. "Where you've got active plots and active networks, we're going to go after them," Obama said. "We're not going to farm out our defense." Nazih al-Ragye, better known by the cover name...
(AFP (eng) 10/09/13)
CAPE TOWN, October 9, 2013 (AFP) - South African Nobel peace laureate Desmond Tutu warned African leaders against leaving the International Criminal Court on Wednesday, saying it would leave the world a "more dangerous place". In an online petition titled "Who will stop the next genocide?", the 82-year-old anti-apartheid hero said that in his lifetime he had seen "great gains made that protect the weak from the strong". He cautioned that "in just two days time, African leaders could kill off a great institution, leaving the world a more dangerous place." The 54-member African Union will meet on Friday to debate a possible withdrawal from the war crimes court over claims that it targets the continent. Adding to growing cautions...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/08/13)
LONDON | Tue Oct 8, 2013 (Reuters) - Two years of turmoil since the Arab Spring and some of the toughest terms in the business have led international oil companies to reassess their role in North Africa, with U.S. firms looking keenest to leave. Libya and Algeria are among Africa's top four oil producers. Together with Egypt, they are major suppliers of gas to Europe and their budgets depend heavily on energy revenues. But Libya has not turned into the bonanza some foreign oil firms had hoped for, while the cost to reward ratio of producing gas in Egypt and Algeria looks less appealing as new finds in more politically stable places like Tanzania offer alternatives. For some U.S. companies,...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/08/13)
LONDON | (Reuters) - British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline will seek marketing approval for the world's first malaria vaccine next year after trial data showed the shot significantly cut cases of the disease in African children. The vaccine known as RTS,S was found, after 18 months of follow-up, to have almost halved the number of malaria cases in young children in the trial, and to have reduced by around a quarter the number of malaria cases in infants. "Based on these data, GSK now intends to submit, in 2014, a regulatory application to the European Medicines Agency (EMA)," GSK, which has been developing the vaccine for three decades, said in a statement. It added that the United Nations health agency, the Geneva-based...

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