| Africatime
Tuesday 28 March 2017
(AFP (eng) 03/06/17)
At least 10 people were hurt when rival football fans clashed in Morocco over the weekend, the interior ministry said on Monday, vowing a "rigorous" crackdown on hooliganism. The ministry said four members of the security forces were among those hurt in "acts of vandalism" in the northeastern town of Sidi Kacem on Sunday after a second division match between Union Sidi Kacem and Maghreb AS of Fez. Sunday's violence follows a similar post-game altercation on Friday, when 69 people -- including 15 police -- were injured in the northern town of Al-Hoceima. A ministry statement blamed hardcore fans known as Ultras for the latest skirmishes
(The Independent 03/06/17)
Th term was coined by sceptical officials, worried about the importance given to Commonwealth trade deals ahead of Brexit negotiations. Plans by government ministers to boost trade links with African Commonwealth countries are being internally branded “empire 2.0” by sceptical officials who are worried about the importance being placed on such deals ahead of the UK’s negotiations of leaving the European Union (EU). International Trade Secretary Liam Fox is expected to promise to build better links with the whole of the 52 member countries of the Commonwealth when ministers from each country meet in London later this week. But as the UK is prepares itself to leave the European Union, The Times reports that British ministers are planning to talk...
(AFP (eng) 03/04/17)
Fourteen people were injured when rival football supporters clashed in the northern Moroccan town of Al-Hoceima on Friday, the interior ministry said. Footage posted by local residents on social media appeared to show skirmishes between groups of young people in the Mediterranean coastal town. "Two groups of football fans clashed near the stadium" in the city, said the ministry, which reported material damage and 14 people needing hospital treatment. It said the authorities intervened "to reestablish calm" and that arrests were made. The clashes broke out after a game between the first division teams Wydad of Casablanca and Chabab Rif Al-Hoceima. Al Hoceima experienced weeks of protests and social unrest after a fish seller was crushed to death in a...
(Dw-World 03/03/17)
As German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits Tunisia to discuss refugees and terrorism, Morocco is showing its regional neighbors how it's dealing with the latter. Willemijn de Koning reports from Marrakesh. In 2003 and 2011 Morocco was targeted by terrorist attacks in Casablanca and Marrakesh - a shock to the country in the Maghreb region. "Morocco was really surprised by those attacks, especially in Casablanca," says Mohammed Benhammou, an adviser to the Moroccan government on how to fight terrorism. With his help, the North African country has been pouring its resources into fighting radical Islam
(Bloomberg 03/03/17)
Polar Star Management Ltd., which runs one of the best-performing African and Middle East hedge fund over the past five years, plans to start a private-equity unit that will invest in agriculture to exploit rising demand for food. The Cape Town-based firm plans to use its own money to buy small farms and processing companies in South Africa this year, then increase efficiency through consolidation and better management, said Murray Derksen, a director at Polar Star. It aims to raise 1.5 billion rand ($115 million) for the fund, which may also buy commodities such as grains, while targeting an internal rate of return of 8 percent to 12 percent, he said. “We looked at the increase in corn demand globally,...
(AFP (eng) 03/02/17)
A passenger with "mental troubles" tried to enter the cockpit of a commercial flight from Paris to Casablanca in Morocco on Wednesday, Moroccan police said. A police statement, carried by the official news agency MAP, said the 26-year-old man, who was not named, went to the plane's toilets before "trying to make his way into the cockpit" but was prevented by the crew. It gave no further details on the incident or the name of the airline involved. The man was said to be an illegal immigrant in France, where he had suffered "a mental illness" which forced an uncle to accompany him back on the flight to Morocco. After landing in Casablanca, he was taken "to the airport's clinic...
(AFP (eng) 03/02/17)
A film raging against colonialism and the exploitation of Africa wowed viewers at the continent's top cinema festival Wednesday, winning shouts of approval at a screening packed to bursting point. "The African Storm" tells the story of an African president who nationalises businesses run by racist, cynical Western executives. Directed and produced by its Beninese star Sylvestre Amoussou, it tackles several hot-button issues including an exit from the CFA franc currency, closer ties with Russia and China as opposed to the West, criticism of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, and pride in being African. One of 20 feature-length movies on show at the Panafrican Film and Television Festival (Fespaco) in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou, the movie was punctuated...
(AFP (eng) 02/28/17)
Geologists in Morocco on Tuesday denounced the planned auction of a 66-million-year-old marine dinosaur skeleton in Paris and demanded that the remains be repatriated. The nearly nine-metre-long plesiosaur, a marine reptile with a long neck and turtle-like flippers, was discovered in a phosphate basin near the Moroccan city of Khouribga. The skeleton is set for auction on March 7 at the Drouot auction house in Paris. "The plesiosaurs were among the most emblematic 'giant primitive beasts' which have intrigued scientists and amateurs for centuries," Drouot said in its auction catalogue, adding that the creatures had likely inspired the legend of the Loch Ness monster in Scotland But the Association for the Protection of the Geological Heritage of Morocco (APPGM) on...
(Xinhuanet 02/28/17)
Zambia has not withdrawn its recognition of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), its Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Monday. Last week, King Mohammed VI of Morocco was in Zambia for an official visit and held talks with President Edgar Lungu. Some local media has reported that one of the issues tackled was for Zambia to cut its diplomatic ties with the SADR, which Morocco considers as part of its territory. But the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that Zambia supports the efforts of the United Nations (UN) to achieve a final solution to the regional dispute on Western Sahara. Zambia is willing to effectively contribute constructively to the efforts by the UN through a position...
(AFP (eng) 02/28/17)
The Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership -- the world's biggest individual prize -- drew a blank once again in finding a suitable laureate, it was announced Tuesday. The prize only goes to a democratically-elected African leader who demonstrated exceptional leadership, served their mandated term and left office within the last three years. The award comes with $5 million (4.7 million euros) paid over 10 years and $200,000 annually for life from then on. The prize, founded by Sudan-born telecoms tycoon Mo Ibrahim, has only been given four times in its 10-year existence. The philanthropist has said in the past that making no award sent just as strong a message on African leadership. "A very high bar was deliberately...
(AFP (eng) 02/27/17)
Polisario separatists have dismissed as "window dressing" Morocco's announcement of a pullback from a zone of the contested Western Sahara that has raised tensions with their Algiers-backed movement. The foreign ministry in Rabat said Sunday that Morocco will "proceed from today with a unilateral withdrawal from the (Guerguerat) zone," in what it said was a decision taken by King Mohamed VI at the request of UN chief Antonio Guterres. It gave no details on the pullback. "The Moroccan decision to withdraw its troops near Guerguerat by a few hundred metres is window dressing," the Polisario Front said in a statement later Sunday. "It barely disguises Rabat's disdain for international legitimacy, its obstinacy and refusal for almost three decades to allow...
(AFP (eng) 02/27/17)
Morocco said Sunday it will pull back from a zone of the contested Western Sahara that has raised tensions with Algeria-backed Polisario Front separatists. "The Kingdom of Morocco will proceed from today with a unilateral withdrawal from the (Guerguerat) zone," the foreign ministry said in a statement. It said the decision was taken by King Mohamed VI at the request of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. Rabat now "hopes the secretary general's intervention will allow a return to the previous situation in the zone concerned, keep its status intact, allow the flow of normal road traffic and thus safeguard the ceasefire", it said. In a telephone call to Guterres on Friday, the king called on the United Nations to take...
(AFP (eng) 02/27/17)
An African road movie about four women wowed its audience Sunday as it kicked off the Panafrican cinema and television festival (Fespaco), a showcase for the continent's burgeoning film industry. "Borders" ("Frontieres") directed by Apolline Traore, a Fespaco laureate in 2013, sweeps across Africa as its protagonists journey through Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Benin on their way to Nigeria. Along the way the women -- Ivorian, Senegalese, Burkinabe and Nigerian actresses -- are spared nothing as they are beset by customs officers, thieves, murderers and rapists. The film -- the first feature-length film to show at the festival -- deals with "the bravery of women," Traore told AFP at the festival in the Burkinabe capital Ouagadougou. "There is a...
(AFP (eng) 02/26/17)
Morocco's key tourism sector barely grew last year amid security challenges, but operators are hoping Chinese and Russian visitors will boost their fortunes in the coming years. While political turmoil and jihadist attacks have battered the sector in Egypt and Tunisia, Morocco registered 10 million visitors last year, according to the Moroccan Tourism Observatory. That was a barely perceptible rise of 1.5 percent from 2015, it said. But hoteliers in the narrow streets of the capital Rabat's old city were cautiously positive. "Last year was better than 2015. And the first two months of 2017 augured an even better year," said Hanane, manager of a local guesthouse. Tourists are easy to spot wandering through Rabat's old city with its craft...
(AFP (eng) 02/25/17)
Morocco's King Mohammed VI on Friday asked the United Nations to take urgent measures to end "provocation" by the Algeria-backed Polisario Front threatening the ceasefire in the disputed Western Sahara. Morocco insists that the former Spanish colony is an integral part of its kingdom, but the Polisario is demanding a referendum on self-determination. The two sides fought for control of the Western Sahara from 1974 to 1991, with Rabat gaining control of the territory before a UN-brokered ceasefire took effect. Mohammed VI spoke on Friday with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to deplore "repeated incursion by armed Polisario men" in the Guerguerat district, a royal court statement said. The king said that Polisario "provocation" and "premeditated" action in the region...
(Xinhuanet 02/23/17)
Morocco announced on Thursday that its security forces successfully thwarted the attempted smuggling of 3.13 tons of cannabis at the Guergarate crossing point with Mauritania. The cannabis was concealed in cosmetic product bottles aboard a Moroccan-registered semi-trailer, according to the statement issued by the police, which added that the cannabis was destined for export to an African country. The semi-trailer driver, a 48-year-old Moroccan national was also arrested, noted the statement. Despite efforts to crack down on cannabis farming in the last decade, Morocco remains the world's largest cannabis resin harvester. According to the 2016 report by the United Nation's Office on Drugs
(AFP (eng) 02/23/17)
For the first time in Africa, researchers said Wednesday they have detected a malaria parasite that is partially resistant to the top anti-malaria drug, artemisinin, raising concern about efforts to fight a disease that sickens hundreds of millions of people each year. The discovery means that Africa now joins southeast Asia in hosting such drug-resistant forms of the mosquito-borne disease. Malaria infected more than 200 million people and killed some 438,000 people worldwide in 2015, most of them children in Africa. "The spread of artemisinin resistance in Africa would be a major setback in the fight against malaria, as ACT (artemisinin-based combination therapy) is the only effective and widely used antimalarial treatment at the moment," said lead author Arnab Pain,...
(AFP (eng) 02/22/17)
Four Moroccan cities, led by Marrakesh, ranked among the top 10 African cities for quality of life in a new survey published Tuesday. Marrakesh, nicknamed the Ochre City for the walls surrounding its old medina district, clinched the top ranking, with three other Moroccan cities -- Casablanca, Rabat and Fez -- in the top 10. "They are cities that are not huge, where real work has been done to improve infrastructure, people's quality of life (and) housing in a stable political context," said Swiss urban sociologist Jerome Chenal, who directed the survey. The study of 100 cities, which included all of the continent's capitals and its largest urban centres, was based on criteria including social and living conditions, infrastructure, governance...
(Agence Ecofin 02/22/17)
Qatar and Morocco signed a partnership agreement to build the Fask hydropower dam on the Oued Sayad 40 km East of Guelmin. The agreement was initialed in Rabat by Abdallah Daoussari, Qatar’s ambassador to Morocco, Charafat Afilal, Morocco’s deputy minister of Water and Mohamed Hassad, the Moroccan minister of interior. Fully funded by Qatar ($150 million), the Fask hydropower dam project will be developed over the 2017-2025 period. The dam will have a retention capacity of 78 million cubic meters (m3) and regularize 19 million m3 of water. “The new dam will add to the other hydropower dams of the country, help boost access to drinking water for the people of Guelmim,” said Charafat Afilal. Moreover, it will significantly contribute...
(Xinhuanet 02/22/17)
Africa Energy Indaba, the continent's premier energy event, kicked off in Johannesburg on Monday with the aim of finding solutions to the continent's energy future. The three-day conference is being attended by the governments' representatives, business and funders. The meeting seeks to unleash the continent's potential by coming up with an energy mix to develop Africa. Dr. Garth Strachan, Deputy Director General and Head of Gas Industrialization Unit in South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry said the recent discoveries of gas in Mozambique, Angola and Tanzania provides a huge opportunity for the continent. He said there is a need for the countries to work together to tap benefits from the gas for the good of the continent. Strachan said...

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