Wednesday 28 June 2017
(Voice of America 03/17/17)
One of the enduring legacies of the Barack Obama presidency will be the relationship built between the United States and young Africans. As part of Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), each year 1,000 young people from sub-Saharan Africa travel to the United States to spend six weeks at a U.S. college or university. The program will continue this summer. But building enduring relationships is a two-way street, and many in Africa want to see Americans coming to their continent as well. That’s what 26 Americans selected to participate in a Reciprocal Exchange program, a new component of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, are now planning to do. The U.S. Department of State partnered with IREX, a...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
The king of Morocco is to appoint a new prime minister, the royal palace announced Wednesday, after an unprecedented five months of talks on forming a coalition government ended in failure. "To break the current deadlock, the king has decided to appoint another member of the PJD (Justice and Development Party) to lead the government within the shortest time possible," a palace statement said. King Mohammed VI tasked Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane with forming a new government after the Islamist PJD won the most seats in elections in October 2016.
(Xinhuanet 03/16/17)
Morocco and Cote d'Ivoire have called for sustainable and inclusive political solutions for crises facing Africa, a final statement issued following Morocco's King Mohammed visit to Cote d'Ivoire said. The King and Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara reiterated their will to see a more united and solidarity-based Africa, capable of fighting efficiently and victoriously against the new forms of criminality, namely terrorism, cybercrimes, sea piracy and drug trafficking, according to the statement carried by the official MAP news agency on Wednesday. The two leaders also urged the international community to join hands in order to eradicate these scourges for good. Ivorian president welcomed the return of Morocco to the African Union (AU) and underlined the Kingdom's decisive role in consolidating peace...
(Xinhuanet 03/16/17)
China's aid to the education sector in Africa is helping boost teacher training, a key component in skilling the population to fast track development, a UN official has said. Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, Director of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Regional Office for Eastern Africa, in an interview recognized China's contribution to Africa's education sector over the years. "We value the initiative in teacher training in Uganda and other countries in Africa. This will revitalize the teaching profession," she said. China through UNESCO donated equipment to three teacher training institutions in Uganda on March 3. Figures from the Chinese embassy here show that 137 tutors were trained and 272 pieces of Information Communication and Technology and studio equipment...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
Africa will host a Commonwealth Games one day despite the blow of Durban being stripped of hosting the 2022 edition, David Grevemberg, the chief executive of The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), told AFP. Durban lost the right to host the Games on Monday -- just 18 months after being awarded them -- when it failed to meet criteria laid down by the CGF, primarily over costs. "I wouldn't want to make a judgement call," Grevemberg told AFP on the sidelines of a briefing by 2018 Games hosts Gold Coast on Wednesday. "Durban has hosted some great events, it is a fantastic city and are wonderful warm hosts with bright ambitions and great aspirations. "However, it takes more than a municipality,...
(The Wall Street Journal 03/15/17)
Ndalo Media founder Khanyi Dhlomo and Mara Group founder Ashish Thakkar on where the potential is and what’s blocking it How is innovation in Africa different from innovation in Silicon Valley? And how can innovation in Africa be encouraged? Dan Keeler, frontier-markets editor of The Wall Street Journal, discussed those questions with Khanyi Dhlomo, founder and chief executive of Ndalo Media, a publisher based in South Africa, and Ashish Thakkar, founder of Mara Group, a pan-African investment group with operations in banking, real estate, infrastructure and technology. Edited excerpts follow. MR. KEELER: What about innovation in Africa? Khanyi, what sort of things are you seeing that are inspiring you? MS. DHLOMO:There’s a lot of innovation happening in Africa. But it’s...
(AFP (eng) 03/14/17)
A Moroccan court on Monday resumed the trial of 25 Sahrawis accused of killing 13 people, mostly Moroccan security forces, in the contested Western Sahara's Gdeim Izik camp in 2010. The killings allegedly took place during riots that broke out as security forces cleared the camp near the city of Laayoune in November 2010. The Court of Appeal in Sale, near the capital Rabat, was packed with lawyers, relatives of victims and defendants, observers, journalists and security forces for the hearing. The courtroom was dominated by a giant screen broadcasting the hearing. Knives, axes, road signs and hard disks were presented as evidence.
(Xinhuanet 03/14/17)
The Inspector General of Morocco's army Fathallah El Ouarrak and the Chief of Staff of the French Army Jean-Pierre Dosser discussed here on Monday means to further develop military cooperation. Talks between the two generals addressed the modalities of strengthening the technical agreements and arrangements that bind the armies of the two countries, the Moroccan Royal Armed Forces (FAR) said in a statement. They reviewed matters of common interest and ways to promote interoperability between the armed forces of the two countries through the exchange of experience and expertise, while affirming their willingness to apply the agreements established a part of this cooperation, and to further develop these relations in the same spirit of friendship and shared trust, the statement...
(Agence Ecofin 03/14/17)
The Land Policy Initiative (LPI), a joint programme of the tripartite consortium consisting of the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has launched a pilot project to track progress in implementing in the AU Declaration on land issues in Africa. This was revealed by the ECA in a press statement dated March 7. In collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the project will assess progress made in implementing the key decisions and commitments of the AU Declaration on Land adopted in July 2009 by the General Assembly of the pan-African institution. “We are to a large extent in unchartered waters given many of our Member...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/13/17)
The United Arab Emirates, one of the Middle East's largest economies, wants to expand trade ties with faster growing nations in Asia and Africa, a senior official said on Sunday. Rich Gulf Arab states are looking at ways to diversify their economies, including who they trade with, after more than two years of depressed oil prices forced a rethink of government spending. The pace of economic growth in Asian and sub-Saharan African economies has made them ideal partners, Abdullah al-Saleh, undersecretary for foreign trade and industry at the UAE ministry of the economy, told Reuters in an interview in Dubai. Asia's two largest economies China and India are expected to grow by 6.5 percent and 7.2 percent this year whilst...
(AFP (eng) 03/12/17)
The World Bank says it has approved $150 million in financing to support small enterprises in Morocco and improve social programmes in the North African country. The funds, approved on Friday, will help the government "modernise its national identification system and provide financing to promote innovative startups and job creation", a statement said. According to the World Bank, almost 5.3 million Moroccans "live under the threat of falling back into poverty due to their socio-economic conditions". Friday's statement said that $100 million will "aim to develop systems to ensure that social programmes are better targeted and reach the most vulnerable Moroccans".
(Xinhuanet 03/10/17)
Morocco has received over 18,000 applications in three months from migrants living illegally in the country, Moroccan Ministry of Expatriates and Migration Affairs said here on Thursday. The applications, filed in 69 prefectures throughout the kingdom, were submitted by migrants from various nationalities, said Anis Birou, the expatriate and migration minister, as he launched the project "Stories without Visas." The project depicts, via digital stories, the experience of eight refugees in search for a better life who have chosen Morocco to settle. Last December, Morocco launched the second phase of the regularization of illegal migrants in the country, especially those belonging to sub-Saharan Africa. Since 2013, the process of regularization of illegal migrants in Morocco has granted some 25,000 migrants...
(AFP (eng) 03/10/17)
In the beginning was .com, followed by a host of other .somethings, but on Friday, 32 years after the world's first domain name was registered, the African Union has launched .africa for the continent. Africans who want to register a website will be able to apply for a .africa domain name in the coming months, which outgoing AU commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said would allow the continent's people and businesses to better reach the world. "With .africa, I would say Africa has finally got its digital identity," said Dlamini-Zuma, who will next week hand power to Chadian Foreign Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat after four years at the helm of the continental body Sub-Saharan Africa has one of the lowest rates...
(AFP (eng) 03/09/17)
Morocco is "more determined than ever" to develop the Western Sahara, Interior Minister Mohamed Hassad said Wednesday on a two-day visit to the disputed territory. Rabat insists the former Spanish colony is an integral part of its kingdom, but the Algeria-based Polisario Front demands a referendum on self-determination there. 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. "We are more determined than ever to continue to develop the Sahara region," Hassad told AFP. "Unfortunately there are many people who don't like this, particularly the fact that we are building roads," he said, referring to the Polisario. Hassad spoke after Morocco pulled...
(Middle East Monitor 03/09/17)
Algeria rejected calls for Morocco’s return to the African Union to be hailed in the Arab League on Sunday, a diplomatic source said. The diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the Algeria’s Permanent Representative to the Arab League Nadir Arbaoui refused the proposal of his Moroccan counterpart to enlist hailing Morocco’s return to the African Union to the agenda of the upcoming meeting of the Arab League prime ministers. The diplomat told the Anadolu Agency that a verbal skirmish erupted between the two representatives that resulted in ending the meeting and raised the issue to the prime ministers themselves. In January, the African Union officially accepted Morocco’s return after three
(Middle East Monitor 03/09/17)
A Moroccan member of parliament has been shot dead in front of his house in Casablanca yesterday. Abdellatif Merdass, a member of parliament representing the Constitutional Union (UC), was shot dead at the entrance of his home in the district of California in Casablanca, according to news source Alyaoum24. According to reports, an unidentified person knocked on the politician’s door and when Merdass appeared he was shot several times. The politician died immediately. Police have since cordoned off the area with no details of the crime revealed or the motivation behind the attack yet determined.
(Agence Ecofin 03/09/17)
About 23% of Morocco’s GDP in 2016 came from cannabis production. This was revealed by the US State department in a report on global drugs traffic released on March 3rd. “Over the 2015-2016 season, Morocco produced nearly 700 metric tons of cannabis, which represent 23% of its GDP valued at $100 billion,” the report states. The US State department also said Morocco which is the world’s leading producer and exporter of the crop, has become a major transit nation for cocaine coming from South America to Europe. This was proven by a seizure last year of 250kg and 1,230kg of the drug in Oujda and Dakhla respectively. The report also reveals that cannabis is the most widely used drug in...
(Xinhuanet 03/09/17)
A critical mass of trained and well equipped community health workforce is key to easing the rising burden of infectious and noncommunicable diseases in Africa, experts said on Wednesday at a continental forum taking place in Nairobi. The experts, policymakers and campaigners who attended Africa Health Agenda International Conference agreed that optimal engagement of community health workers is key to revolutionize response to diseases ravaging the continent. Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Health Cleopa Mailu in his opening remarks said that investments in training for community health workers will have multiplier impact on Africa's socioeconomic development. "We require highly skilled and motivated cadre of community health workforce to deal with a high diseases burden in disadvantaged settings in this continent. These...
(AFP (eng) 03/08/17)
An official from the Polisario Front fighting for the independence of the Western Sahara on Tuesday blamed Morocco for the resignation of a UN envoy to the disputed territory. Christopher Ross quitting last week was a result of "Morocco blocking negotiations since 2012" on the future of the former Spanish colony, M'hamed Kheddad said. Morocco insists that the Western Sahara is an integral part of its kingdom, but the Algeria-based Polisario is demanding a referendum on self-determination. The two sides fought for control of the territory from 1974 to 1991, with Rabat gaining control of it before a UN-brokered ceasefire took effect. Ross submitted his resignation after spending eight years trying to resolve the dispute. An American who served as...
(AFP (eng) 03/08/17)
Two museums dedicated to the life and work of fashion legend Yves Saint Laurent will open in Paris and Morocco later this year, his foundation said Tuesday. The larger museum in Marrakesh -- where the late designer often retreated to work in the home he shared with his partner Pierre Berge -- hopes to attract up to 700,000 visitors a year. "Both museums are aimed at the general public as well as fashion lovers. Yves Saint Laurent was a major artist of the 20th century," the couple's foundation said in a statement. It holds a collection of more than 5,000 outfits and 15,000 accessories the Algerian-born designer

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