| Africatime
Tuesday 28 March 2017
(Voice of America 01/20/17)
By most measures, Africa is safer today than it has been in the modern era: Diseases are less deadly and wars are less frequent. But recent years have also been marked by a rise in radical extremism on the continent, and the terror threat could derail some of the world's fastest-growing economies. Dealing with the spread of radicalization has been a central focus of U.S. President Barack Obama's foreign policy during his time in office. Few areas have been spared over the past eight years, with much of the continent living in the shadow of a violent extremist group: al-Shabab in Somalia and East Africa, Islamic State (IS) in Libya, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in Mali, the Lord's...
(AFP (eng) 01/19/17)
In France it slipped into legend after delighting long-haired teenagers in the seventies and eighties, but in Morocco the tireless moped spurts on despite an invasion of cheaper Chinese scooters. The Peugeot 103 has been around for so long in the North African country that most Moroccans do not notice it. But with its rounded handlebars, spluttering engine and signature exhaust cloud of blue smoke, the Peugeot 103 is to Morocco what the Renault 4L is to Madagascar: almost a national emblem. "We adore the 103," says Mohammed Ngaire, a salesman at a used motorbike and moped market in the capital Rabat, showcasing the most beautiful specimens of the Peugeot 103 still in circulation. "Come and see, we have them...
(AFP (eng) 01/19/17)
French coaches Herve Renard and Claude le Roy loom large over the key Africa Cup of Nations Group C clash between Morocco and Togo in Oyem Friday. Renard, a Cup of Nations winner with Zambia in 2012 and the Ivory Coast in 2015, was hired by Morocco last year and given a mandate to reach the semi-finals. Right now, a last-four place must seem a long way off for the blond, bronzed 48-year-old former Paris rubbish collector who always wears a white shirt on matchdays. Morocco could not translate possession into goals three days ago and a goalkeeping blunder by Munir Mohamedi gifted the Democratic Republic of Congo a 1-0 win. That loss left the Moroccans pointless and bottom of...
(Ghana Web 01/19/17)
Officials of the Casablanca Stock Exchange have commenced discussions with their Ghanaian counterpart to harmonize the operations between the two markets. This is to ensure traders on both sides get access to each other’s market. A business delegation from Morocco is already in Ghana to initiate moves to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Ghana Securities and Exchange Commission to that effect Chief Executive of the Casablanca Stock Exchange, Karim Hajji explains that trade barriers have accounted for their inability to integrate the various markets on the continent but was prepared to engage Ghana on the way forward. “You need also to harmonise listing rules among markets to facilitate listing,” he said. “That is why we are here to...
(AFP (eng) 01/18/17)
The head of one of Morocco's biggest Sufi orders, with tens of thousands of followers at home and abroad, died Wednesday aged 95, an official and local media said. Sheikh Sidi Hamza al-Qadiri al-Boutchichi had been the spiritual leader of the Qadiriya Boutchichiya order since 1972. He died in the northwestern city of Oujda and was to be buried in the nearby town of Madagh where he was born and his order is based, local media reported. Seen as a "living master" by his followers and famed for his wisdom and kindness, he was believed to be descended from the Prophet Mohammed and belonged to a long line of Sufi leaders. Every year hundreds of thousands of pilgrims came from...
(Xinhuanet 01/18/17)
The Chinese government's decision to terminate ivory processing and trade by the end of 2017 marked a critical milestone in the journey toward eliminating poaching and other threats to Africa's elephant species, a conservationist group said on Wednesday. Kaddu Sebunya, president of African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) hailed China for taking bold measures to revitalize global efforts to save African elephants whose numbers had declined this decade due to poaching and climatic stresses. "The recent announcement by the central government of China to ban all domestic ivory trade by the end of 2017 offers a glimmer of real optimism in the fight against elephant poaching," Sebunya said in a statement issued in Nairobi The Chinese authority in December 2016 announced the...
(AFP (eng) 01/17/17)
Morocco has offered The Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh asylum in return for accepting election defeat and stepping down, a local news website reported Tuesday. The small west African country has been plunged into political turmoil since Jammeh disputed president-elect Adama Barrow's December election victory and refused to cede power. Deputy Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita and the North African kingdom's foreign intelligence chief Yassine Mansouri have been conducting "a delicate mission in Banjul", the Gambian capital, for several days, Le Desk website reported. Morocco wants Jammeh "to accept his election defeat in return for a golden retirement in Morocco", the website said. The initiative comes after an international outcry over Jammeh's refusal to step down. Even the prospect of military intervention...
(AFP (eng) 01/17/17)
Morocco's parliament elected a new speaker on Monday, three months after elections that left the country, which aims to rejoin the African Union, without a government. Sole candidate Habib el-Malki, a leftist economist who has held several ministerial posts, mustered 198 votes in the 395-seat house, in a plenary session broadcast live online. King Mohammed VI has called on parliament to ratify laws by Friday to clear the way for Morocco's return to the African Union at a summit in Addis Ababa at the end of January, according to legislators. The country, however, is in an unprecedented political deadlock after its Islamist
(AFP (eng) 01/17/17)
Defending champions the Ivory Coast and Morocco on Monday became just the latest strongly fancied teams to fail to deliver at the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon. The Ivorians were held 0-0 by Togo -- 21 places below them in the African rankings -- after a duel that produced little excitement for a small crowd in the northern town of Oyem. Morocco, also considered potential champions under twice Africa Cup-winning coach Herve Renard, paid for a goalkeeping blunder as they fell 1-0 to the Democratic Republic of Congo. DR Congo, whose last of two Cup of Nations triumphs came 43 years ago, surprisingly top Group C after the first round with three points. Ivory Coast and Togo have one...
(New Vision 01/17/17)
“I can tell you that rats destroy up to 60% of health equipment in Africa,” Ssali said. Ssali sought to highlight the dangers that exist when biomedical engineers are not consulted in the management of health equipment including x-rays and CT scans. For instance, he narrated, cables of a CT scan installed at one unnamed facility were eaten up by rats, costing the institution over $5,000 to replace. Biomedical engineers are professionals who maintain and repair machines for diagnosing medical problems. They design medical equipment and devices, artificial internal organs or synthetic body parts. In Africa, the profession is relatively new-just about 10 years old in Uganda, it has been in existence in the developed world for nearly half a...
(RFI 01/14/17)
The 27th Africa-France Summit kicked off on Friday in the Malian capital Bamako with more than 30 African heads of state meeting French officials to discuss the threat of jihadists in the Sahel region and improve democracy in Africa. the meeting is also an opportunity for French president François Hollande to showcase his legacy. The choice to hold the 27th Africa-France summit in Mali is not insignificant. Bamako is where president François Hollande first revealed himself as an international statesman, when France's military launched Operation Serval in January 2013 as jihadists allied to Tuareg rebels took control of the north of the country. "I took the necessary steps and we intervened militarily, and what we did there in terms of...
(AFP (eng) 01/13/17)
Morocco's ban on the sale and production of burqa full-face Muslim veils beloved of Salafists has sharply divided opinions in the North African country. "The burqa is not an item of clothing just like any other... it's an instrument of oppression, a horrific negation of women, an insult to half of humanity," according to award-winning French-Moroccan novelist Leila Slimani. Slimani, in an opinion piece on news website Le360, said the burqa ban signalled that Morocco was moving "towards greater equality between the sexes". Another vocal supporter, Nouzha Skalli, a lawmaker and former family and social development minister
(AFP (eng) 01/13/17)
Faycal Rherras from Scottish club Hearts will replace injured Sofiane Boufal in the Morocco Africa Cup of Nations squad, the tournament organisers said in Libreville Friday. The 23-year-old defender was born in Belgium to Moroccan parents and debuted for the North African kingdom in a drawn friendly international against Albania last year. Southampton midfielder Boufal was the fourth withdrawal from the Atlas Lions squad after Younes Belhanda, Noureddine Amrabat and Oussama Tannane. Morocco are in Group C, based in Gabonese town Oyem, with title-holders the Ivory Coast, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Togo. French coach Herve Renard took charge of Morocco last year after winning the Cup of Nations with Zambia (2012) and the Ivory Coast (2015).
(AFP (eng) 01/13/17)
France's top diplomat Jean-Marc Ayrault struck a defiant tone at a summit on Friday with foreign ministers from across Africa as he urged them to show confidence and hope despite the deadly jihadist threat. With the battle against extremists, the struggle to improve governance and the migrant crisis high on the agenda, ministers from at least 30 nations met in Mali's capital Bamako ahead of heads of state due on Saturday. Mali called on France four years ago to help force jihadists out of key northern cities. To this day, 4,000 French troops remain in the country and across the Sahel region. "(Choosing) Bamako as the venue is an act of confidence after the intervention," Ayrault told journalists as the...
(AFP (eng) 01/13/17)
Talks gathering some 30 African states and France begin in Mali's capital Bamako on Friday, with leaders expected to focus on Africa's battle against jihadists and bid to improve its democratic record. The summit, also due to take in the migrant crisis, will see foreign ministers gather first, with heads of state expected to follow Saturday, according to Malian and French conference organisers. Many of the nations taking part were once ruled by France, which in recent years has boosted its military involvement in the continent. Several English-speaking African countries will also be present. In a bid to help crush the growing jihadist threat, France has trained more than 20,000 African soldiers every year since a Paris summit in 2013,...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/17)
Moroccan author Asma Lamrabet is used to multi-tasking -- mixing her writing with a career in medicine -- but perhaps her most noteworthy balancing act is being both a faithful Muslim and a committed feminist. A tireless advocate for gender equality in a region where women's rights often lag far behind those of men, Lamrabet has accumulated a body of work showing how feminism and Islam can co-exist despite centuries of male-centred dogma. "There's a tendency to conflate models and ideals. But just as there are different models of democracy, there are different types of feminism," she tells AFP in her Rabat offices. "So if Moroccan feminists fight for true equality with men on the ground or against the marriage...
(AFP (eng) 01/10/17)
Morocco has banned the production and sale of burqa full-face Muslim veils, apparently for security reasons, media reports said Tuesday. While there was no official announcement by authorities in the North African nation, the reports said the interior ministry order would take effect this week. "We have taken the step of completely banning the import, manufacture and marketing of this garment in all the cities and towns of the kingdom," the Le360 news site quoted a high-ranking interior ministry official as saying. It said the measure appeared to be motivated by security concerns, "since bandits have repeatedly used this garment to perpetrate their crimes." Most women in Morocco, whose King Mohammed VI favours a moderate version of Islam, prefer the...
(AFP (eng) 01/10/17)
Morocco is facing an unprecedented political deadlock after the Islamist prime minister broke off talks on forming a coalition government following three months of fruitless effort. The impasse -- apparently rooted in a power struggle between the Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD) and figures close to the royal palace -- threatens to provoke a political crisis and possibly even new elections. King Mohammed VI tasked Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane with forming a new government after his PJD won the most seats in October elections. The PJD rose to power after the king relinquished some of his near-absolute power following Arab Spring-inspired protests in 2011, with Benkirane heading a previous coalition government for five years. The PJD faced a serious...
(Huffingtonpost 01/10/17)
And it’s ironic given the growing consensus that Beijing is the U.S. president-elect’s enemy number one. Eric Olander and Cobus van Staden are the duo behind the China Africa Project and hosts of the popular China in Africa Podcast. We’re here to answer your most pressing, puzzling, even politically incorrect questions, about all things related to the Chinese in Africa and Africans in China. The election of Donald Trump has introduced a new era of uncertainty in global politics, especially in Africa where the president-elect has said little about his foreign policy agenda for the continent. Not surprisingly, Trump’s unpredictable, provocative style is sparking widespread concern across the continent as to whether the United States plans to remain engaged in...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/17)
Key midfielder Sofiane Boufal pulled out of Morocco's squad for the Africa Cup of Nations on Sunday because of injury, joining influential playmaker Younes Belhanda on the sidelines. Southampton star Boufal, 23, had been at a training camp in the United Arab Emirates, where Morocco were preparing for a friendly on Monday against Finland. "Sofiane Boufal left the camp in Al-Ain this morning after the confirmation of his injury and his inability to take part in the African Cup," said a statement from the Moroccan football federation, which did not provide details of the injury. "He will be replaced by another player whose name will be announced later." Boufal, who joined Southampton from Lille in France last summer, was seen...

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