Tuesday 24 October 2017
(Xinhuanet 08/23/17)
China is dedicated to enhancing its cooperation with Africa in human resource development through knowledge and technology transfer, a Chinese diplomat said Tuesday. Liu Tao, Charge d'Affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Ethiopia, made the remarks at the Chinese Government Training Program Fellowship Reception in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. He said China, since the year 2000, has sent over 2,000 agricultural experts and over 7,000 medical personnel to Africa, and has trained more than 80,000 Africans from more than 50 countries. China has pledged that it would, in three years, train 200,000 technicians and provide 40,000 training opportunities in China, and will offer 30,000 government scholarships, he said. Stating that 1,100 Ethiopian candidates are invited this year to attend short-term...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/22/17)
A Moroccan man suspected of stabbing dead two people in Finland was known to Finnish intelligence as a suspected extremist but was not being monitored, authorities said on Monday, as the prime minister urged parliament to fast-track a new security law. Abderrahman Mechkah, an 18-year-old asylum seeker who had no criminal record, was shot in the leg and arrested after Friday's attack in the city of Turku, in which eight other people were injured. Police say they are treating it as the first terrorism-related attack in Finland, which the World Economic Forum has described as the world's safest place to visit. The Finnish intelligence service said in a statement it had received a tip-off earlier this year about Mechkah. "According...
(Xinhuanet 08/22/17)
African officials on Monday called for urgent infrastructural development and regional integration to boost the continent's economy. At the Infrastructure Africa 2017 in Johannesburg, Zambian Minister of Finance Felix Mutati encouraged Africans to speedily address infrastructural deficit. "We have to inject some sense of urgency in ourselves. If we remain captured by business as usual, we are headed for disaster," said Mutati at the opening ceremony of the two-day event. "Competitiveness in Africa is being constrained by infrastructure deficit. We need about 93 billion U.S. dollars every year to address the infrastructure gap in the continent. We need to urgently implement projects," he said. Mutati said Africa has to narrow focus to innovative financing and design, better use of existing...
(AFP (eng) 08/21/17)
Six teenage suspects were arrested in Morocco on Monday after video footage of young men reportedly sexually molesting a woman on a bus caused widespread outrage on social networks. A Moroccan police statement reported the arrests of the six aged between 15 and 17 after the incident in the kingdom's economic capital Casablanca. In the footage posted on Sunday, six bare-chested teenagers are seen assaulting a weeping young woman and laughing as they touch her private parts. The half-stripped victim is seen crying out in distress as no passenger intervenes to help her and the bus fails to come to a halt. Public transport company M'Dina Bus said the incident happened on Friday. The police statement said the 24-year-old woman...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/21/17)
A suspect still at large after the Barcelona van attack began showing more religiously conservative behavior within the past year and refused to shake hands with women during a visit to his birthplace in Morocco in March, family members say. The relatives expressed shock and anger on Sunday after discovering the alleged involvement in the Barcelona attack of Younes Abouyaaqoub, 22, as well as his brother and two cousins, all originally from the small Moroccan town of Mrirt. Abouyaaqoub is one of 12 suspects in Thursday's attack on Las Ramblas, Barcelona's most famous boulevard, in which a van plowed into holidaymakers, killing 13 people. Abouyaaqoub's brother El Houssaine and first cousins Mohamed and Omar Hychami are three of five men...
(The Guardian 08/21/17)
Hundreds of Islamic State fighters have sneaked back into north Africa – and could use it as a base for further attacks. As the hunt intensifies for members of a Moroccan-led cell thought to be responsible for the terror attacks in Spain, attention has turned to the hundreds of returned jihadists across the Strait of Gibraltar who intelligence officials fear pose a large, residual threat on Europe’s doorstep. Up to 1,000 jihadists are thought to have been smuggled back to Morocco and Tunisia from the battlefields of Islamic State’s now crumbling caliphate. About 300 are thought to have returned to Morocco, from where six of the 12 terrorists who carried out the attacks in Catalonia are believed to have hailed...
(Bloomberg 08/21/17)
GreenWish Partners, a renewable energy company run by a former Morgan Stanley executive, is planning to invest $800 million on solar-powered telecommunications towers across Africa. The project could fuel economic growth by providing power for essential services. Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest rates of energy access in the world and is home to about half of the world’s 1.2 billion people without reliable electricity, according to the International Energy Agency. The problem extends to businesses as well as households, cutting into productivity and growth. “We reduce the total cost of power by 30 percent,” said Charlotte Aubin-Kalaidjian, the founder and chief executive officer of GreenWish, who was formerly a managing director at Morgan Stanley Investment Management. “Smaller towers can run...
(AFP (eng) 08/19/17)
Finnish police said Saturday that after new information a stabbing spree that left two people dead was now considered a terrorist attack, identifying the suspect as an 18-year-old Moroccan citizen. Police shot and wounded the knife-wielding suspect on Friday, arresting him minutes after an afternoon stabbing rampage at a busy market square in Turku in southwestern Finland. "The incidents were initially investigated as murders, but in light of further information received during the night, the offences include now murders with terrorist intent and their attempts," police said in a statement. The suspect's "identity is known to the police. He is an 18-year-old Moroccan citizen," police said, providing no other details about him. The number of injured in the attack rose...
(AFP (eng) 08/19/17)
Residents of Melouiya, a village high in Morocco's Atlas Mountains, are in shock at the news two of their sons were implicated in terror attacks in Spain. A traditional tent set up on a rocky patch of ground near the rough stone house of the Oukabir family, originally intended for a wedding reception, has been turned into a funeral tent. "Joy has given way to sadness and pain," said Abderrahim, in his forties, an uncle of the Oukabir brothers. Driss Oukabir, 27, was arrested in the Spanish town of Ripoll on Thursday just hours after a van sped into crowds on the busy Las Ramblas avenue in central Barcelona, leaving 13 people dead. His brother Moussa, 17, was one of...
(AFP (eng) 08/19/17)
Spanish police Friday released the names of three Moroccans suspected of deadly terror attacks and who were shot dead overnight by security forces in the seaside resort of Cambrils. Catalonia's regional police identified them as Moussa Oukabir, 17, Said Aallaa, 18, and Mohamed Hychami, 24. Police said they were searching for a fourth suspect, Younes Abouyaaqoub, aged 22. Police on Friday stepped up their investigation into the twin vehicle attacks in Spain that left 14 dead and over 100 more injured in a bustling tourist area of Barcelona and the nearby seaside resort of Cambrils. The attacks claimed victims and wounded from three dozen countries. Of the 12 people police suspect of involvement in the attacks, five were shot dead...
(AFP (eng) 08/14/17)
Morocco on Monday rejected accusations by media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) that it obstructed coverage of months of unrest and protests that have shaken the northern Rif region. In July, RSF issued a scathing statement accusing the authorities in the North African country of preventing journalists from covering events in the Rif, particularly in the main city of Al-Hoceima. "The situation of Moroccan and foreign journalists covering the events in northern Morocco keeps on getting worse," said Yasmine Kacha, the head of RSF's North Africa bureau, at the time. "By trying to prevent coverage of the Rif protests, the Moroccan authorities are gradually turning this region into a no-go zone for independent media." On Monday, the culture and communications...
(Bloomberg 08/14/17)
The U.S. will probably maintain its current levels of aid to Africa despite President Donald Trump’s proposals to slash funding, according to Bill Gates, the world’s richest man. Trump said in May his government would no longer allocate funding for family planning, a move that has the potential to undermine aid programs in the poorest countries in the world. However, with Congress in control of the budget, it’s unlikely that all cuts proposed by the Trump administration will go ahead next year, Gates said in an interview in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s commercial capital. “It’s quite clear that they won’t make those drastic cuts,” Gates said. “I’m hopeful they won’t make any cuts at all, but that’s still subject to...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/11/17)
Morocco has lodged its bid to host the 2026 soccer World Cup, the country's football federation said in a statement on Friday. The offer to host the expanded 48-team tournament will compete with a joint bid from the United States, Mexico and Canada. The North African nation narrowly lost out to South Africa in its offer to stage the 2010 finals. “The Royal Moroccan Football Federation has officially submitted its candidacy on Friday, August 11, 2017 to organize the World Cup in 2026,” the statement on the federation's website ( www.frmf.ma ) said. “The Federation submitted its application to the relevant committees of the Federation Internationale de Football Association - FIFA - to host this global event.” The Confederation of...
(APA 08/11/17)
Morocco has formally submitted its application to organize the 2026 World Cup, the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) announced on Friday. “The FRMF has officially filed its application to the specialized commissions of the International Football Federation (FIFA) to host the World Cup 2026,” the body said in a statement. After four attempts to host the major global football event (1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010), Morocco aspires to be able to clinch the World Cup 2026, the first that will pit 48 teams. Until now, only Morocco and the trio USA-Canada-Mexico (a joint bid) have expressed their wish to host the 2026 edition. Last March, the president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Ahmad Ahmad, said he was convinced...
(Xinhuanet 08/11/17)
Morocco on Friday launched its bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2026. Morocco's football association (RMFF) said in a statement posted on its website that it submitted its application to host the 2026 World Cup to the world soccer governing body FIFA. This will be Morocco's fifth bid to host the World Cups, after its unsuccessful bids for the 1994, 1998, 2006 and 2010 editions of the tournament. The deadline for a country to express their intention to bid to host the tournament is Friday. The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has already given its backing to any Moroccan bid in July.
(Reuters (Eng) 08/10/17)
A British explorer for mineral resources in Africa will on Thursday become the first venture of its kind to be listed on London's AIM market for growing companies, its CEO said. Following the recovery of the mining sector from a commodity price crash in 2015-16, a handful of new companies have listed. But smaller exploration companies known as project generators, which find assets but sell them on or agree joint ventures to develop them, have generally preferred the Canadian or Australian exchanges. "We will be the only listed project-generator business that has a focus on Africa," Steven Poulton, chief executive of Altus Strategies, told Reuters. Poulton had told Reuters in May he planned to list the company's shares. The aim...
(AFP (eng) 08/10/17)
The skull of an infant ape buried by a volcano 13 million years ago has preserved intriguing clues about the ancestor humans shared with apes -- including a likely African origin, scientists said Wednesday. A previously-unknown creature that shared an extended family with the human forefather, had a flat face like that of our far-flung cousin the gibbon, but did not move like one, its discoverers wrote in the journal Nature. They named it Nyanzapithecus alesi after "ales" -- the word for "ancestor" in the Turkana language of Kenya, where the lemon-sized skull was unearthed. The sole specimen is that of an infant that would have grown to weigh about 11 kilogrammes (24 pounds) in adulthood. It had a brain...
(AFP (eng) 08/09/17)
Spanish police have found 30 Moroccan and Algerian migrants, 10 of them minors, hidden in fairground vehicles leaving the Spanish territory of Ceuta after an annual festival, they said Tuesday. Agents used heartbeat detectors and dogs to locate the migrants who had hidden anywhere they could find -- including bumper cars and a ghost train -- as the vehicles carrying them waited to board ferries bound for mainland Spain, the Guardia Civil police force said. "They try to use attractions that are only half covered up to jump in and hide inside," a spokesman told AFP. The funfair takes place every year in Ceuta, a Spanish territory on Morocco's northern coast, as part of annual celebrations in honour of the...
(Xinhuanet 08/09/17)
Morocco's vegetables exports to the European Union increased by 17 percent in the first half of this year compared to the same period of 2016, local media reported on Wednesday. The total value of the exports in the first six months of 2017 stood at 551.8 million euros(648 million USD) compared to 470.6 million euros(553 million USD) a year earlier, the financial daily L'Economiste said, citing figures from Eurostat, compiled by Spanish producer-exporter association Fepex. Morocco remains one of the top suppliers of the EU in terms of fresh vegetables. Tomatoes, potatoes and onions are the principal vegetable products exported from Morocco to the EU. In recent years, Morocco's exports to the EU market accounted for about 60 percent of...
(Xinhuanet 08/09/17)
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) on Wednesday affirmed the commitment of his country to Africa and saw "great potential to grow and deepen trade relationship." Robert E. Lighthizer expressed this in opening speech of the ministerial plenary as part of the 16th Forum of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), on Wednesday here in Togolese capital Lome. "The United States is committed to Africa. We see great potential to grow and deepen our trade relationship, with the goal of establishing a true partnership for the future", Lighthizer said. "By lowering barriers and tackling other constraints that impede trade and investment, we are poised to see U.S.-Africa trade flourish", he said, underscoring that "much more work needs to be...

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