Saturday 27 May 2017
(Xinhuanet 04/28/17)
Morocco's new government is banking on a growth rate of the gross domestic product of 4.5 percent in 2017, following a 1.8 percent in 2016, Minister of Finance and Economy Mohamed Boussaid said on Thursday. This evolution would be due to the amelioration of the agricultural value added by 11.9 percent and the non agricultural one by 3.5 percent in 2017, Boussaid said while presenting the draft budget bill before the parliament. The bill should have been approved by parliament last year, but it was not put for vote due to the six-month-long political deadlock. He also said that the industrial sector would grow by 3.9 percent in 2017, following a 3.5 percent growth in 2016. Morocco's parliament voted on Wednesday in favor of the new cabinet and government program.
(Voice of America 04/28/17)
A low-cost and widely available drug could save the lives of 1 in 3 mothers who would otherwise bleed to death after childbirth, according to a new study. Severe bleeding, known as postpartum hemorrhage, or PPH, is the leading cause of maternal death worldwide, killing more than 100,000 women every year. Even for mothers who survive, it is a painful and traumatic experience. The world's poorest countries, especially in Africa and India, are the worst hit. Drug from 1960s But there is new hope. In the 1960s, Japanese researchers developed a drug called tranexamic acid, which works by stopping blood clots from breaking down. But they could not persuade doctors to try the drug for treating PPH. The London School...
(AFP (eng) 04/27/17)
A Moroccan court has sentenced seven people to between five and eight months in prison over the death of a fish seller crushed in a rubbish truck. Mouhcine Fikri, 31, was killed on October 28 as he protested against the authorities' seizure and destruction of his swordfish, which had been caught out of season. His death in the northern port of Al-Hoceima sparked nationwide protests. The Criminal Chamber of Al-Hoceima handed down the sentences Wednesday after a manslaughter trial of 11 people including officials from the fisheries authority and the interior ministry along with employees of the cleaning company, the local prosecutor said. In a statement carried by the official MAP news agency
(AFP (eng) 04/27/17)
A group of around 50 Syrian migrants have been stranded since last week in the Moroccan-Algerian border zone with neither country granting them access, activists said Wednesday. "Separated into two groups, they are surviving under very difficult conditions thanks to help from some activists and the local community," Moulay M'hamed Ammari told AFP. Ammari said the volunteers were providing some food and blankets "but this is not enough". A woman in the group gave birth on Sunday in the rugged terrain with the sole assistance of activists on the telephone. Morocco last Friday accused Algeria of expelling 55 Syrians across the frontier near
(Reuters (Eng) 04/27/17)
Morocco's Islamist-led cabinet won a vote of confidence in parliament on Wednesday after the country went more than six months without a government, causing delays to public spending and reforms. Prime Minister Saad Eddine El Othmani from the Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD) addressed the lower chamber of parliament late Wednesday, after which the 395-seat chamber voted in favor of the new cabinet and government program. Othmani's government will hold its first meeting on Thursday to examine the 2017 budget, which should have been approved by parliament in 2016. The PJD won elections in October, but the formation of the government was delayed during wrangling with parties who critics
(AFP (eng) 04/27/17)
Moroccan authorities have seized more than 420 tonnes of plastic bags in the year since the entry into force of a law prohibiting their use, the government said Wednesday. With the legislation dubbed "zero mika", or zero plastic in Arabic, Morocco became one of the first countries in Africa to impose a total ban on plastic bags, along with Rwanda. During the year, "more than 421 tonnes of plastic bags, 70 manufacturing machines, 16 vehicles" were seized, and 55 people were arrested, said the interior ministry. In the first three months of 2017, 36 tonnes of plastic bags and 51 machines were seized in operations to dismantle their illegal production, it said in a statement. Since the law took effect,...
(Business Day Ghana 04/27/17)
There are currently 960 million mobile subscriptions across Africa – an 80 percent penetration rate among the continent’s population. Internet penetration is at 18 percent with 216 million internet users, according to the latest Jumia mobile trend report for Africa. The 2017 edition of the African Mobile Trends Paper is the third white paper presentation from Jumia delving into mobile trends across Africa and specifically Nigeria. The study takes a look at the how the market has democratised mobile internet use, the consumer behaviours driving increased smartphone adoption and the role of mobile brands, mobile operators and m-commerce in creating a synergy of an enhanced customer experience. This year’s Mobile Africa Study was carried out in 15 African countries which...
(AFP (eng) 04/26/17)
The UN Security Council is expected to vote Thursday on a draft resolution backing a UN bid to re-start talks on settling the decades-old Western Sahara conflict, diplomats said. The draft resolution would also put pressure on the Polisario Front independence movement to immediately withdraw fighters from a tense buffer zone after Morocco pulled back its forces in February, according to the text seen by AFP. The United States circulated the proposed resolution to the Security Council on Monday after consulting with France, Russia and Britain on the measure that would also extend the mandate of the UN peacekeeping mission in Western Sahara for a year. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres told the council in a report this month that...
(Xinhuanet 04/26/17)
The Belt and Road (B&R) Initiative is a golden opportunity to bring about regional integration and sustainable economic growth for Africa, said Berhane Gebre-Christos, special envoy of the Ethiopian Prime Minister, on Tuesday. The special envoy made the remarks at the opening of a seminar organized on the B&R Initiative in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. Welcoming the initiative, the special envoy said he is looking forward to the expected effects of the initiative. "The B&R is a project that will affect millions of people, and it will be one of the most important issues of the 21st century," he said, adding that the comprehensive approach of China means that the aspirations and development strategies of all countries involved will be...
(AFP (eng) 04/24/17)
A woman died Monday in a stampede at a border crossing between Morocco and Spain's North African territory of Ceuta, the second such death in weeks, media and activists said. Thousands of people, mainly women, work as porters transporting goods across the border, sometimes making several return trips a day and carrying up to 70 kilos (155 pounds) on their backs. "This morning there was a crush on the Moroccan side," Mohamed Benaissa of the Northern Observatory for Human Rights told AFP on Monday. "A 50-year-old woman died and four others were injured," he said. Moroccan news agency MAP reported that the victim had "fainted as a result of a crush at an entrance gate to the border post". She...
(AFP (eng) 04/24/17)
Algeria's foreign ministry on Sunday summoned the Moroccan ambassador to deny accusations by his country that Algiers had expelled 55 Syrians across their shared border, a statement said. The ministry told the envoy that Morocco's "allegations were categorically rejected" and that such accusations "serve only to undermine Algeria", a statement carried by APS news agency read. The Syrians were sent across the frontier near the desert town of Figuig, Morocco's interior ministry said in a statement late Friday. Rabat condemned its neighbour's "inhumane behaviour" towards the migrants who included "women and children in a very vulnerable situation". The expulsion was "contrary to the rules of good neighbourliness advocated by Morocco", it added. A statement from the Moroccan foreign ministry late...
(AFP (eng) 04/24/17)
A new malaria vaccine will be tested on a large scale in Kenya, Ghana and Malawi, the World Health Organization said Monday, with 360,000 children to be vaccinated between 2018 and 2020. The injectable vaccine RTS,S could provide limited protection against a disease that killed 429,000 people worldwide in 2015, with 92 percent of victims in Africa and two-thirds of them children under five. "The prospect of a malaria vaccine is great news. Information gathered in the pilot will help us make decisions on the wider use of this vaccine," said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO's regional director for Africa. The vaccine should be used alongside other preventative measures such as bed nets, insecticides, repellants and anti-malarial drugs, the WHO...
(AFP (eng) 04/23/17)
Morocco has accused Algeria of expelling 55 Syrians across the countries' shared border, criticising it for "inhumane behaviour" in the latest row between the North African rivals. The Syrians were sent across the frontier near the desert town of Figuig, Morocco's interior ministry said in a statement late Friday. In searing heat and rugged terrain, they had reached the area in several groups before being "surrounded" by Algerian police, according to the Moroccan authorities. Rabat condemned its neighbour's "inhumane behaviour" towards the migrants who included "women and children in a very vulnerable situation".
(AFP (eng) 04/22/17)
Moroccan and US forces are among nearly 1,300 troops from across the world taking part in a major military exercise in southern Morocco, the American embassy and military officials said. Military personnel from Britain, France, Germany, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, Spain and Tunisia are also taking part in the joint manoeuvres known as African Lion 2017. The annual exercise began on Wednesday and runs until April 28 around the southern towns of Tifnit and Agadir. It includes land, air and naval elements. They are led by the Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa and sponsored by the US Africa Command. The manoeuvres aim to improve the operational capacities of the US military and "interoperability" with its partners around the world, the...
(AFP (eng) 04/20/17)
Moroccan police said they have arrested a young Ferrari driver who triggered a scandal by posting video footage of himself apparently drunk at the wheel and ridiculing officers. Police have opened an inquiry into the incident involving the man, aged around 20 and reported to be from an influential family, after a public outcry and claims of special treatment. He was arrested on Wednesday evening, two days after he posted video footage on social media he filmed himself of his night out. First he is seen at a nightclub holding a bottle of Champagne, and later at the wheel of his Italian sports car, still with the bottle
(Bloomberg 04/20/17)
WorldRemit Ltd., a British money-transfer operator, sees revenue from transactions involving Africans doubling by 2020 as more people on the continent access mobile-payment platforms and expatriates send cash home. The seven-year-old company, in which Facebook Inc.-backer Accel Partners LP invested $40 million in 2014, will this year open a regional office in South Africa, its largest market on the continent in terms of money-transfer value, founder and Chief Executive Officer Ismail Ahmed said in an interview. Another site will start operating in Kenya, where the London-based business sees Africa’s highest number of individual transactions. “In the next two years we should be doubling our volume every year,” Ahmed said in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. The continent accounted for half the company’s...
(Xinhuanet 04/19/17)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and the chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, will convene Wedesday the first UN-AU Annual Conference. The two leaders will look into how to strengthen the partnership between the two organizations to face common challenges and opportunities in the continent, on issues of peace and security, sustainable development and human rights, said Stephane Dujarric, UN spokesman, at a daily briefing. "They will also sign the Joint United Nations-African Union Framework for an Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security," said Dujarric. It will be the first conference Mahamat will address with the United Nation since he was elected as chairperson of the African Union Commission. Although he had brief talks with Guterres in Addis...
(Xinhuanet 04/18/17)
Morocco's annual International Agriculture Fair kicked off on Tuesday in the northern city of Mekness. Held under the theme "Agribusiness and sustainable agricultural value chains," the 6-day fair, which covers 172,000 sqare meters, opened in Medness with the participation of 1, 230 exhibitors from over 60 countries worldwide. Since its inception in 2006, the International Agriculture Fair has been an opportunity to showcase agricultural products, to promote transfer of latest technologies in the field of agriculture, and to boost cooperation between stakeholders in the Mediterranean and African countries.
(Voice of America 04/17/17)
The Italian coast guard says it has rescued nearly 6,000 migrants on the Mediterranean since Friday, underscoring the continued flow of people along this dangerous route. A group of Africans living in Europe visited Cameroon this week to launch a campaign against illegal migration. The group is called “No More Death in the Desert or on the Sea.” Its mission is simple: to educate youth in Africa about the harsh realities of illegal migration. "We want to tell them that all the information people give them before they start their journey are wrong," said Nantcha. The group’s leader Sylvie Nantcha was born in Cameroon. She has lived in the German town of Freiburg for 25 years. She arrived as a...
(AFP (eng) 04/13/17)
The Moroccan authorities said on Wednesday they had dismantled a "terrorist cell" that was recruiting volunteers for the Islamic State group. The IS-affiliated cell, which was active in the northern city of Fez and nearby town of Moulay Yacoub, had seven members, an interior ministry statement said. They "recruited and sent Moroccan volunteers to Iraq and Syria" where the jihadist group holds territory, it said. Police seized bladed weapons, military uniforms, money and electronic equipment during the raid. The authorities have regularly announced the dismantling of IS cells and arrest of suspected jihadist recruiters in recent months. The kingdom has been spared deadly jihadist attacks since a 2011 bombing in the central city of Marrakesh which killed 17 people, mainly European tourists.

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