Thursday 19 October 2017
(AFP (eng) 07/21/17)
Police in the northern Moroccan city of Al-Hoceima on Thursday fired tear gas to disperse protesters and stop them marching in defiance of a government ban. Organisers from the Al-Hirak al-Shaabi movement dubbed the demonstration the "million-man march" and said they would go ahead with it despite an injunction. Al-Hoceima, the main port in the Rif region, has been hit by unrest since a fishmonger was crushed to death in a rubbish truck last year as he tried to retrieve swordfish confiscated for being caught out of season. This year has seen waves of protests and bouts of violence in the Rif, where residents have long complained of neglect and marginalisation. Scores of police could be seen around Al-Hoceima since...
(AFP (eng) 07/21/17)
The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations will expand from 16 to 24 teams and be staged in June and July, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced on Thursday. The tournament has traditionally been held in January and February, with the timing of the tournament a source of frustration to European clubs forced to release players in the middle of the season. The CAF executive committee confirmed the changes to the format following a two-day symposium in Rabat, although the tournament will continue to be held every two years and exclusively on African soil. The decision to increase the number of teams mirrors a similar one taken by UEFA to expand the European Championship, with 24 nations taking part at...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/20/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Africa's major central banks are entering an easing cycle as they try to stimulate growth after months of drought, austerity drives and confidence issues across the continent, a Reuters poll found on Thursday. Much of southern and eastern Africa is still recovering after an El Niño-related drought wilted crops last year. Poor business confidence in South Africa and foreign exchange restrictions in Nigeria have also hampered growth. "We expect that African monetary policy is entering a widespread and protracted period of policy easing. This will provide a boost to growth," said John Ashbourne, Africa analyst at Capital Economics. Ghana, which agreed a three-year fiscal discipline deal with the International Monetary Fund in exchange for aid in 2015,...
(AFP (eng) 07/19/17)
A Moroccan court on Wednesday sentenced 23 Sahrawis to prison terms ranging from two years to life over the killing of 11 members of the Moroccan security forces in contested Western Sahara. The verdict in the case, which has been closely followed by human rights campaigners, was delivered at dawn by the Court of Appeals in Sale near Rabat, the official news agency MAP reported. Morocco and the Algeria-backed Polisario Front independence movement have accused each other of provoking the deadly clashes between police and Sahrawi protesters at a camp for displaced people in Gdeim Izik in November 2010. In 2013 a military court sentenced the defendants to jail terms...
(Agence Ecofin 07/19/17)
The FINACTU Group has just finalized the actuarial valuation and certification of the technical commitments for the Mutuelle Agricole Marocaine D'Assurance (MAMDA), the Mutuelle Centrale Marocaine d’Assurance (MCMA), and the Mutuelle Ataamine Chaabi (MAC). Since 2011, FINACTU has conducted an annual audit of the technical commitments of these mutual insurance companies and produced an actuarial certification of the provisions stated on the balance sheet. Actuarial liabilities constitute a major item in the balance sheet of insurance companies. In each of these companies, their valuation is at the heart of the assessment of solvency: in light of their significance, even a seemingly trivial error in their valuation may...
(Bloomberg 07/19/17)
Vodacom Group Ltd. sees the expansion of mobile-banking services into new markets in sub-Saharan Africa as a top priority following a shareholder vote to rubber stamp its purchase of a 35 percent stake in Safaricom Ltd., Kenya’s biggest company. “We will use Safaricom to enter other markets where neither Vodacom nor Safaricom are,” Chief Executive Officer Shameel Joosub said in an interview at the wireless carrier’s annual general meeting in Johannesburg on Tuesday. The two businesses have a combined 30 million mobile-banking customers, giving them “a very sizeable platform on the continent,” he said. Vodacom’s purchase of the Safaricom stake from U.K. parent company Vodafone Group Plc gives the South African company access to the fast-growing M-Pesa platform, which processed...
(Xinhuanet 07/18/17)
Egyptian Trade and Industry Minister Tareq Qabil said on Tuesday that Egypt and Morocco have agreed to form an action group to promote economic cooperation. The agreement came after Qabil met with his Moroccan counterpart to discuss economic cooperation in several areas to boost integration between the two countries, the minister said in a statement. The two countries will tackle challenges facing trade and seek means of enhancing cooperation, he said. The talks were also about investment opportunities in Egypt, especially those in major national projects such as the Suez Canal development corridor. Trade between Egypt and Morocco surged to 680 million U.S. dollars in 2016 from 475 million dollars in 2013. Moroccan investments in Egypt, which amount to about...
(Agence Ecofin 07/18/17)
The African Development Bank (AfDB) will provide Morocco $200 million for the first stage of its programme to accelerate industrialization. Agreement for the financing was signed last Friday, July 14th, in Abidjan, by the Moroccan ambassador near Ivory Coast, Abdelmalek Kettani, and Célestin Monga, Chief Economist and Vice President, AfDB, in charge of economic governance and knowledge management. Also present at the signing ceremony was Morocco’s representative at AfDB, Abdelmajid Mellouki. Steered by the Moroccan ministry of Industry, the 2015-2020 industrialization acceleration programme aims at stimulating the cherifian kingdom’s economic growth. By 2020, the government aims at bringing processing’s share in the country’s GDP to 23%, against 14% now, and generate about 500,000 jobs in the sector. Let it recalled...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/18/17)
Three years after he risked his life crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Libya to Italy on a small boat crammed with migrants, 22-year-old Sow Muhammed can hardly believe his luck. The former street hawker from Guinea now works as a caterer in Venice, rents his own apartment, and sends money back home regularly to his mother and siblings in the West African nation. "I am happy I came to Europe, and my family is also happy," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation as he packed up leftovers at a training event for people who work with refugees, where he had served a menu which included traditional African dishes. "I talk to my family frequently, ask them their needs, and help...
(Agence Ecofin 07/17/17)
Car maker Faurecia just inaugurated a new car seats factory in Morocco. Located in Salé, the infrastructure which cost about €16 million will generate 1,300 jobs. According to L’usine Nouvelle, the plant will produce every day 10,000 leather and textile seat-coverings for 3008 Peugeot and Opel Grandland X models. With the new infrastructure, Faurecia now has two plants in Morocco, including Kenitra’s. Next year, a third will be commissioned, the firm revealed. Faurecia has 103,000 employees worldwide and recorded in 2015 a turnover of €20.69 billion. Aaron Akinocho
(Xinhuanet 07/17/17)
Africa is making progress towards the establishment of a trade zone by Oct. 30 that will cover approximately half of the continent's member states. The Common Market for the Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Director of Trade and Customs, Francis Mangeni, said in a commentary published in the Star Newspaper on Monday that so far 19 of the 26 countries involved have signed the agreement. "Three outstanding annexes had meant the tripartite agreement was not complete and this was advanced by some countries as the reason they could not sign or ratify the agreement. However their adoption represented a milestone in the negotiation, as it removed the last obstacle to signing and ratifying the agreement," Mangeni said. The tripartite free...
(AFP (eng) 07/14/17)
Six people were sentenced to one year in jail for celebrating on Facebook after the December 2016 assassination of Russia's ambassador to Turkey, the official news agency MAP reported Friday. A court in Sale, near the capital Rabat, condemned the six Moroccans late Thursday and also fined them 10,000 dirhams (115 euros) each for "incitement of terrorist acts". Lawyer Abdessamad El Idrissi, a member of the Islamist PJD (Justice and Development Party), criticised what he called the "exaggerated and sorry" sentencing of the young Moroccans who "represent the country's elite". They were convicted for having hailed in comments on Facebook the murder in Ankara of ambassador...
(AFP (eng) 07/14/17)
Morocco's government will make a regional tour to examine development projects, Prime Minister Saad Eddine El Othmani said Thursday after months of protests shook the northern Rif region. Media reports said the tour could begin by next week. It is expected to take in the central Beni Mellal-Khenifra region and "the southern provinces", a reference to Moroccan-controlled Western Sahara. Earlier this month, security forces began withdrawing from the restive northern cities of Al-Hoceima and Imzouren after weeks of unrest. Al-Hoceima, the main port in the neglected Rif, had been rocked by protests since a fishmonger was crushed to death in a rubbish truck in October as he tried to retrieve
(APA 07/14/17)
The Moroccan ambassador in Mozambique, Abdelali Rahhl says his country would like to develop with Mozambique agricultural cooperation in an integrated perspective, APA has learnt. The diplomat said his country's intention is to strengthen business relations with Mozambique in the areas of fertilizer production, training of agricultural engineers and mechanization of agriculture. Advertisment "We would like to develop agricultural cooperation with Mozambique in an integrated perspective, first, with regard to fertilizers, following the training of...
(AFP (eng) 07/13/17)
Morocco's phosphate industry giant OCP on Thursday accused South Africa of "political piracy" by detaining a Moroccan cargo vessel loaded with phosphate from the disputed territory of Western Sahara. The South African judiciary had "passed an eminently political decision and committed a gross abuse of power", Morocco's state-run group said in a statement. The 34,000-tonne ship bound for New Zealand via Port Elizabeth in South Africa has been blocked from sailing since the start of May following a court application seeking that the vessel return its cargo. The application filed by the Polisario Front, which seeks the independence of Western Sahara, asks for the return of the phosphate "removed in contravention of the international principle", said Webber Wintzel, a lawyer...
(AFP (eng) 07/12/17)
Egypt and Morocco's airlines have said a ban against carry-on laptops on US-bound flights has been lifted, leaving only two Saudi airports under the restrictions put in place in March. Morocco's Royal Air Maroc said in a statement Wednesday that the ban, imposed amid fears the Islamic State group was developing a bomb concealed in electronics, would be lifted as of Thursday. EgyptAir said late Tuesday that the United States had also lifted the ban for the carrier's flights to New York from Wednesday. The ban remains in place for Saudi Arabia's two main international airports in Riyadh and Jeddah. The original ban affected airports in Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, as well...
(Cnbc Africa 07/12/17)
"Africa is an awakening giant," according to the former South African President Frederik Willem de Klerk speaking at the World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul. The leader who oversaw the transition of his country's power to Nelson Mandela said Tuesday that the future looks bright for a continent previously blighted by war, famine and a lack of infrastructure. "I believe Africa is an awakening giant and, yes, it is not performing according to what we expected soon enough, but it will perform," he said. De Klerk believes that African countries are primed to take advantage of the world's growing size. "If we look at food shortages for the rest of the world with a growing population, Africa is the solution," he...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/11/17)
Morocco's general prosecutor said he would investigate the leaking of a video of a detained protest leader from the northern Rif region that has sparked widespread anger and accusations he had been abused. Protest organizer Nasser Zefzafi shows his arms, legs and torso to the camera in the video, posted on Monday by a website known for its ties to the security services. The website framed the video as evidence against claims of ill-treatment, but marks and bruises are visible on Zefzafi's face and lower back. Within hours, the site removed the video as Moroccans, including some who usually support the government, expressed outrage on social media. Before his arrest on May 29, Zefzafi led protests against corruption and unemployment...
(APA 07/11/17)
Moroccan peacekeepers deployed in Bria in the north central region of the Central African Republic (CAR) have been withdrawn, MINUSCA announced on Monday. MINUSCA the UN Integrated Multidimensional Mission for Stabilization in the Central African Republic said on a private radio station in Bangui, the nation’s capital, that the decision came at the end of the demonstration staged by inhabitants of Bria last Thursday, demanding the withdrawal of the Moroccan contingent from Bria, for “bias” in their security activities. “Depending on operational requirements, we very often have contingents or parts of the contingents across the country that move from...
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
In the past five years, terrorist attacks have killed nearly 20,000 people across Africa. Two groups, Boko Haram and al-Shabab, accounted for 71 percent of reported incidents and 91 percent of fatalities. But, while these and other militant groups remain active, fatal terrorist attacks across the continent are on pace to fall for a second straight year, and the total number of attacks is running far below 2012 highs. These findings are part of VOA’s original analysis of data from ACLED, the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project. ACLED tracks political violence, protests and terrorist events across Africa. Their reports include attacks since 1997 based on data collected from local news media, government statements, non-governmental organizations and published research...

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