| Africatime
Sunday 23 April 2017
(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...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/17)
Gabon witnessed one of the most sensational finishes to an Africa Cup of Nations tournament when no-hopers Zambia stunned the Ivory Coast to win the 2012 final. Zambia failed to qualify this time, but the Ivorians will be among the favourites again when the competition returns to the central African state with the first fixtures scheduled for Saturday. AFP Sport rates the chances of the 16 challengers for the $4 million (3.8 million euros) first prize (last three competitive results in brackets with W denoting a win, D a draw and L a loss): FAVOURITES Egypt (WWW) Back among the elite and in good form. After winning three consecutive Cup of Nations titles, they failed to qualify for the past...
(AFP (eng) 01/07/17)
Napoli midfielder Omar El Kaddouri was Friday named in the Morocco squad for the Africa Cup of Nations replacing Watford's Noureddine Amrabat who has been forced out of the tournament with an ankle injury. Amrabat, who was hurt playing against Tottenham in the Premier League on January 1, is the latest in a series of injury setbacks for Morocco coach Herve Renard who has already lost Younes Belhanda and Oussama Tannane. El Kaddouri, 27, has spent all of his professional playing career in Italy and joined Napoli in the summer of 2015. Morocco will face defending champions Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo
(AFP (eng) 01/06/17)
South African President Jacob Zuma on Friday held talks in Pretoria with the leader of Western Sahara's Polisario Front independence movement, in a show of support for the territory's struggle against Morocco. Brahim Ghali was making his first visit to South Africa -- a long-time ally of Western Sahara -- since he was elected in July. Morocco insists the sparsely-populated desert region is an integral part of the kingdom, despite UN resolutions to hold a referendum on self-determination. "It is unfathomable that Western Sahara... still remains colonised," Zuma said. "We remain committed to continue to walk with the people of Western Sahara until you are free to live in your own land and able to determine your own future." Morocco...
(AFP (eng) 01/06/17)
Morocco has ordered the closure of schools it says are linked to a US-based Islamic preacher that Turkey blames for a failed coup last year, the interior ministry said. "Investigations on the establishments of the Mohamed Al-Fatih group, linked to Turkish national Fethullah Gulen, showed they use education to spread the group's ideology and ideas contrary to the principles of the Moroccan educational and religious system," a ministry statement said. After a series of warnings from the education ministry, "it was decided all the group's educational establishments would be closed within a delay of one month", it said. The statement did not say how many schools or pupils would be affected but said the government would strive to ensure the...
(Agence Ecofin 01/06/17)
The Central Bank of Morocco announced in a statement released on January 2 it has approved the creation of five new Islamic banks and allowed three already existing lenders to open halal segments. The five applications green-lit by the lenders committee of the Bank Al-Maghrib were submitted by the Crédit Immobilier et Hôtelier (CIH Bank) in partnership with Qatar International Islamic Bank, BMCE Bank of Africa, with Bahrein group Dalla Al Baraka, the Banque Centrale Populaire with Guidance Financial Group (subsidiary of Qatari Barwa), the Crédit Agricole du Maroc with the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD, subsidiary of Islamic Development Bank), and Attijariwafa Bank, which is still in talks to appoint a foreign partner, the...
(Agence Ecofin 01/06/17)
Indian firm Aaviskaar Venture Management Services (AVMS) has announced plans to raise between $100 million and $150 million for Africa investments. “We will start the fund-raising around the middle of 2017 and we expect to close it in 2018,” said Vineet Rai, founder of Intellecap-Aavishkaar group. The new African fund will focus on investing on African low-income groups, especially in the agriculture, finance and financial technology sectors. “We will use the sow-tend-reap strategy of multiple round investing and will be an early investor,” Rai told local Indian media Regions targeted are West and East Africa, especially Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania and Ghana. Investments will range from half a million to $5 million. The investment firm’s expansion strategy in Africa...
(AFP (eng) 01/04/17)
Two Moroccan peacekeepers died after gunmen attacked their convoy in the Central African Republic's remote southeast, the UN mission said Wednesday. The attack Tuesday took place about 60 kilometres (35 miles) from the town of Obo, as the troops were escorting a convoy of fuel trucks sent from Zemio, MINUSCA said. "Two peacekeepers died and two others were injured," it said. "The attackers fled into the bush." Landlocked and chronically poor, the Central African Republic is struggling to emerge from a civil war that erupted in 2013 following the overthrow of former president
(AFP (eng) 01/04/17)
Sofiane Boufal of English Premier League side Southampton will lead Morocco's Africa Cup of Nations bid after being included in the 23-man squad named by coach Herve Renard on Tuesday. Juventus defender Mehdi Benatia, Monaco's Nabil Dirar and Nordin Amrabat of Watford are some of the other key players for the Atlas Lions. However, Morocco are without the influential midfielder Younes Belhanda, who is on loan at French club Nice from Dynamo Kiev, after a fractured toe suffered just before Christmas ruled him out for up to six weeks. Morocco, whose only triumph in the Cup of Nations came in 1976, are in Group C for the tournament that begins in Gabon on January 14. They will open their campaign...
(AFP (eng) 01/04/17)
Italy vowed Wednesday to increase deportations of migrants whose asylum requests have been rejected, after a riot in a reception centre sparked by the death of a young woman. The country, which has been on the frontline of migrants arriving across the Mediterranean from North Africa, is pushing for an agreement with Niger and a renewed deal with Tunisia to facilitate returns. "We have saved many lives but we cannot accept rule-breaking. We need to speed up deportations," Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, the country's former interior minister, said in an interview with La Stampa daily. He was "working to tie up agreements which will reduce arrivals and prevent departures" from the coast of North Africa, he said after a record...
(BBC News Africa 01/03/17)
An electricity grid for the whole village Problem: A total of 1.3 billion people worldwide currently don't have electricity, according to Yale Environment 360. Getting people in rural areas on to the national grid is proving too difficult and traditional solar panels generate meagre amounts of energy. Solution: Steamaco makes solar and battery micro-grids which can work for a whole village. They are small electricity generation and distribution systems that operate independently of larger grids. How it works: Micro-grids are nothing new. The new part is that Steamaco's technology automates the regulation of electricity. So, if the system detects there will be a surge in demand for electricity, for example on a Saturday night when people want to start playing...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/02/17)
At least 800 sub-Saharan African migrants tried to cross into Spain's North African enclave of Ceuta from Morocco on Sunday by storming a border fence, though most were eventually turned back, the Spanish and Moroccan governments said. Dozens of migrants made it to the top of the six-metre barbed wire fence early on Sunday before being lifted down by cranes, footage from local TV station Faro TV showed. Spain said about 1,100 migrants attempted the crossing. Only two were allowed into Ceuta to be taken to hospital while the rest were returned to Morocco, the Spanish government said in a statement. Five Spanish police and 50 from Morocco were injured, the government added, after migrants used rocks and metal bars...
(AFP (eng) 12/30/16)
Morocco has arrested five youth members of the premier's Islamist party who allegedly celebrated last week's murder of the Russian ambassador to Turkey, a party source said Thursday. Authorities arrested the five from the youth movement of Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane's Justice and Development Party (PJD), the source said, after the assassination of Andrei Karlov on December 19. The Akhbar Al-Yaoum daily reported a sixth person had been called in for questioning. The PJD, whose leader has been tasked with forming a new governing coalition after winning October parliamentary polls, has yet to comment on the arrests. But the head of the party's lawyer association, Abdessamad al-Idrissi, said he would be defending those detained. Under Moroccan law, the crime of...
(Voice of America 12/30/16)
2016 was predicted to be a tough year for African economies, and it delivered. Traditional economic leaders faltered this year amid a storm of falling commodity prices, unpredictable and destructive weather like droughts and floods across large swaths of the the continent. Slow economic growth in China, a major investor and trading partner, only added to their challenges. “This year, you’ve seen the two Africas: the commodity exporters going through tough times, while the non-commodity exporters being more resilient,” Nigerian economist Nonso Obikili, who researches Nigerian and sub-Saharan economic trends for Economic Research Southern Africa, told VOA. He says 2016 has been hard on African commodity giants as oil prices fell to lows not seen since the global financial crisis...
(AFP (eng) 12/29/16)
French border police intercepted 45 African migrants who were trying to enter the country from Italy and arrested the two smugglers involved, local prosecutors said Wednesday. Travelling in two vans, 25 migrants in the first vehicle were stopped while 20 in the second breached a checkpoint at Montgenevre in southeastern France, before later being found. According to the prosecutor's office, the migrants were returned to the border and the two smugglers are to be tried in Italy.
(APA 12/28/16)
Le Sénégal a exprimé son souhait de bénéficier de l’expérience et du modèle de gestion marocains dans le domaine de la couverture médicale, a affirmé le Président du Conseil d’Administration de la Mutuelle de Santé des agents de l’Etat au Sénégal, Babacar Ngom. « Nous souhaitons s’inspirer du modèle de gestion marocain en matière de couverture médicale et de s’enquérir des produits qu’offre la Mutuelle au Maroc à ses adhérents dans la perspective de moderniser et de rénover les outils de gestion au sein de la Mutuelle de Santé au Sénégal », a-t-il déclaré à APA à l’issue d’une rencontre, ce lundi à Rabat, avec le Président de la Mutuelle Générale du Personnel des Administrations Publiques (MGPAP), Abdelmoula Abdelmoumni. Selon...
(AFP (eng) 12/28/16)
Its lower cost has made it popular in commercial food production, but after being blamed for deforestation in Asia, palm oil plantations are now getting a similar rap in Africa. The sheer scale of land required is having an impact in Gabon, Cameroon and the Congo Basin, environmentalists say. With financing coming from American, European and Asian agri-businesses, palm bunches are cultivated then cut from trees and sent to factories where oil is extracted by hot pressing. But the production process accelerates deforestation, contributes to climate change and threatens fauna and flora in vulnerable areas, opponents argue. However the companies say that palm oil is not only less expensive than soya or sunflower oil but requires much less land to...

Pages