Thursday 23 November 2017
(AFP (eng) 10/10/17)
Engineers in Morocco are preparing to test Africa's first high-speed railway this week with trains reaching 320 kilometres (200 miles) per hour, the country's rail office said Monday. One train reached 275 kph (170 mph) on Monday along a stretch of track between the northern cities of Kenitra and Tangiers, the ONCF said. "This is already the fastest train on the African continent," said French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who was in Morocco to sign a loan deal between the ONCF and the French Development Agency. He said the railway was "emblematic of the Franco-Moroccan bilateral relationship". The link between Casablanca and Tangiers via the capital Rabat will slash journey times between the North African country's economic hubs by...
(AFP (eng) 10/10/17)
Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is set to accelerate to 3.4 percent next year, the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday, citing Nigeria's recovering oil and agricultural sectors. The IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook report that the region would grow by 2.6 percent this year after 1.4 percent in 2016. "Growth is expected to rise gradually," it said, while noting that the rate would be uneven and "barely above population growth". GDP in the west African powerhouse Nigeria contracted by 1.6 percent in 2016, but is predicted to grow by 0.8 percent this year and 1.9 percent next year. The IMF said Nigeria was benefitting from "recovering oil production and ongoing strength in the agricultural sector", but the...
(AFP (eng) 10/08/17)
Morocco's oldest political party Istiqlal has elected former finance minister Nizar Baraka as its new leader, the party said on its website. On Saturday, Baraka won 924 votes, largely beating his predecessor as head of the party Hamid Chabat, who secured 234 votes. Seen as a "man of consensus", Baraka served as finance minister from 2012 to 2013 after years as minister of state for economic affairs. Since 2013, he had been chairman of the official Economic, Social and Environmental Council. His grandfather Allal El Fassi was an emblematic nationalist figure in Morocco who in his time also headed the same party.
(AFP (eng) 10/06/17)
Along the border between Spain's North African enclave Ceuta and Morocco, thousands of women eke out a living lugging back-breaking loads of goods in an "organised trafficking" operation tolerated by officials. Nicknamed "mule women" on the Spanish side of the frontier, the Moroccan women sometimes struggle under burdens heavier than their own body weight, risking their lives for the job. So far this year four porters have been trampled to death in crushes, and activists in both Morocco and Spain have repeatedly complained the work is "humiliating and degrading". In the small hours of a recent night, the women gathered in an orderly queue by a border crossing for pedestrians on a hill overlooking the Mediterranean between the Moroccan town...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/05/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (HLT.N) plans to spend $50 million over the next five years to add 100 hotels to its chain in Africa, it said on Thursday, joining other chains keen to tap growing business and international travel on the continent. One property will open in the Kenyan capital Nairobi by the end of this year and another in the Rwandan capital Kigali in 2018, it said in a statement. There was 11 percent growth in Sub-Saharan African tourism in the past year, according to data from the U.N. World Tourism Organisation. Hilton said the remaining additions to its 39 existing African properties would be operational within the next five years. “The model of converting existing...
(APA 10/05/17)
APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) - The African Union (AU) will on Thursday endorse reports and recommendations on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment (ARWE) made by experts and senior officials in a meeting held on Monday and Tuesday. The endorsement will take place during the ministerial session of the AU’s Specialized Technical Committee on ARWE that opened on Thursday in Addis Ababa under the theme “Improve environmental sustainability and transform agriculture to ensure food and nutrition security.” These include policy papers and reports on agriculture, rural development, water and environment and recommendations and guidance on issues in the 2063 Africa Development Agenda, including agriculture, environment, climate change, and youth engagement. Among the points chosen for the discussions are the assessment of...
(AFP (eng) 10/04/17)
Thirteen Spanish citizens of Moroccan origin have been arrested over a record seizure of cocaine in the North African country, the authorities said Wednesday. Police on Monday seized over 2.5 tonnes of the drug, with a street value worth hundreds of millions of dollars, that investigators believe landed by boat in the far south of the country from Venezuela and was destined for distribution in Europe or the United Arab Emirates. The suspected masterminds of the operation are two Dutch citizens of Moroccan origin who are currently serving jail sentences over a 2014 drug haul in Marrakesh, said Abdelhak Khiam, the head of the country's Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations.
(Xinhuanet 10/02/17)
Elderly people will exceed 10 million in Morocco by 2050, which will make up 23.2 pct of the country's population, a minister said on Monday. The number of elderly people has more than tripled since 1960, as they increased from 836,000 to 3.2 million, the Minister of solidarity, Women, Family and Social Development Bassima El Hakkaoui said. The elderly people will jump from 1.9 million to 7.6 million in urban areas, and from 1.3 million to 2.5 million in rural areas, she said at the yearly national campaign for the protection of elderly persons. Launched in 2015, the national campaign for the protection of elderly persons aims to strengthen solidarity between generations and reducing the gap between them.
(AFP (eng) 09/29/17)
Morocco's communication minister said Friday that a journalist for Britain's Guardian newspaper was expelled because he had been working in a tense region of the country without a permit. The newspaper said Saeed Kamali Dehghan was sent back to London on a flight from Casablanca on Thursday after having attended a Women in Africa summit in Marrakesh earlier in the week. Kamali Dehghan had travelled on from Marrakesh to Al-Hoceima in the northern Rif region that has been the scene of unrest for several months. "He presented himself as a tourist and not a journalist. In Al-Hoceima, he conducted interviews without authorisation from the ministry of communication," Mohamed Laaraj told AFP. Kamali Dehghan became the fourth foreign journalist to be...
(AFP (eng) 09/29/17)
Government shutdowns of the internet have cost sub-Saharan Africa about $237 million since 2015, according to a study released Friday, as authorities increasingly implement planned disruptions. At least 12 countries have had internet shutdowns, often before elections or when protests erupt, with mobile internet networks most recently suspended in Togo during opposition demonstrations. "Internet disruptions, however short-lived, undermine economic growth, disrupt the delivery of critical services, erode business confidence, and raise a country’s risk profile," the CIPESA report said. The Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) released its...
(Xinhuanet 09/28/17)
The Moroccan Prime Minister Saad Eddine El Othmani and vice-president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Alain Pilloux discussed expansion of bilateral cooperation on Wednesday. The two sides vowed their satisfaction with the current level of cooperation, exploring prospects for cooperation and partnership between Morocco and the Bank, the PM office said in a statement. They examined ways to join forces to develop local currency lending to small businesses and provide affordable loans to Moroccan banks and microfinance organisations. During a visit to Morocco EBRD Vice President Pilloux, signed a Memorandum of Understanding today with Morocco's Ministry of Economy
(Xinhuanet 09/28/17)
The first Women in Africa Club summit closed on Wednesday in the Moroccan city of Marrakech by adopting sectorial roadmaps for improving women leadership. The roadmaps cover six areas, namely agriculture, energy, entrepreneurship, finance, nutrition and water. The meeting launched call for applications for business women in Africa holding projects of over 5 million Euros to offer African women greater opportunities to develop their countries. Held under the theme of "investing for better governance with African women," the event attracted nearly 400 business leaders, from nearly 37 countries, mostly African nations. The The three-day summit aimed at highlighting the importance of women's leadership in African societies, and to promote international and pan-African companies in support of women. The event included...
(Xinhuanet 09/27/17)
The first Women in Africa Club summit opened on Monday in the Moroccan city of Marrakech. Under the theme of "investing for better governance with African women," the event attracted 300 business leaders, from nearly 37 countries, mostly African nations. The summit aims to highlight the importance of women's leadership in African societies, and to promote international and pan-African companies in support of women. The three-day meeting will provide attendees with the opportunity to discuss concrete actions in order to offer African women greater opportunities to develop their countries. The event includes conferences, master classes and collaborative laboratories featuring international
(Bloomberg 09/27/17)
Studio 189, a label founded by actress Rosario Dawson and fashion executive Abrima Erwiah, is reinvesting in its African roots. It’s hard enough to build a fashion brand, let alone an empire. Rare is the person who makes a mission of using fashion to build communities. Such is the case with Studio 189, a label founded by longtime friends Abrima Erwiah (formerly a marketing executive at Bottega Veneta) and Rosario Dawson (an enduring star most recently seen in Netflix’s Marvel franchise). “The idea is to produce everything in local markets,” says Erwiah. “Particularly in Africa, particularly in Ghana.” The founders set up the company in partnership with the United Nations’ Ethical Fashion Initiative, which also works with such socially conscious...
(Middle East Monitor 09/26/17)
Mauritania and Tunisia will meet today in the Moroccan capital Rabat to discuss steps to prevent torture in North Africa. The meeting has been organised by the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) and the National Council of Human Rights of Morocco (CNDH). The Mauritanian delegation led by the president of the institution concerned, Mohamed Lemine Ould Haless, left the capital Nouakchott on Monday for Rabat. The Rabat meeting will bring together representatives from the prevention of torture committees in Morocco, Mauritania and Tunisia with the aim of “creating cooperation and exchange links” between the participating countries as well as to uncovering the “main challenges facing these
(Middle East Monitor 09/26/17)
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bahrain Sheikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Al Khalifa has given his country’s full backing for a final solution to the Western Sahara issue under full Moroccan sovereignty. Addressing the UN General Assembly convening in New York, Al Khalifa stressed “the need to support the negotiations aimed at achieving a consensual and final political solution to this problem in the context of Moroccan national sovereignty.” The Bahraini official argued that the final solution should also be based on “relevant Security Council resolutions that confirm the seriousness of Morocco’s self-government initiative” and urged “all parties to fully cooperate with the United Nations in this respect.”
(Middle East Monitor 09/26/17)
Moroccan yesterday hosted a two-day workshop to discuss the establishment of a joint electricity network for North African countries including representatives from the Maghreb region and Egypt. Economic Affairs Officer at the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) Reda El Merini said: “The meeting aims to determine the current status of the electricity grid in North Africa, to get a clear vision ahead of implementing any regional networks to transfer power.” The size of trade in the field of electric power is very weak between North African countries and does not exceed five per cent of the volume of production annually. The North African countries vary in the production and diversification of electric power sources, but Libya is considered the weakest due...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/26/17)
Israel’s Elbit Systems Ltd said on Tuesday it won a contract worth $240 million to provide a wide array of defense electronic systems to an unnamed country in Africa. The contract, which will be carried out over a two-year period, is comprised of Directed Infra-red Counter Measure (DIRCM) systems to protect aircraft from shoulder fired missiles, based on passive infrared systems, and includes missile warning systems, radio and communication systems, land systems, mini-unmanned air systems and helicopters upgrade.
(APA 09/25/17)
Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama has said that the fate of Morocco’s application to formally join the ECOWAS sub-regional group as a full member will be determined in December by the ECOWAS Heads of State. According to a report by the Nigeria Television Authority on Monday, the minister said in an interview that there were currently arguments against and for the admission of the North African country into the West African sub-regional bloc. The report quoted agency report as saying that Morocco’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation had in February announced the plan by the country to join the 15-member sub-regional bloc. “The Kingdom of Morocco has informed President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the former chair...
(Voice of America 09/25/17)
African first ladies and activists hailed progress that some governments on the continent are making on gender equality. They met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “We used to have 23 percent female representation in parliament but, with the stroke of a pen it went up to 48 percent. So, we managed to double our female representation with that decision,” said Namibia’s first lady Monica Geingos at a roundtable invitation-only event co-hosted by the Global First Ladies Alliance (GFLA) and Facebook. Geingos credited the quota enacted by the ruling SWAPO party of her husband, President Hage Geingob. But she said a similar quota might be needed for Namibia’s private sector, where only 10 to...

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