| Africatime
Tuesday 25 April 2017
(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...
(The Herald Online 12/27/16)
The end of 2016 provides an opportunity to take stock of Africa’s recent economic performance and future prospects. It’s been a tumultuous year for some African countries largely due to a commodities crisis and a global economic slowdown.Yet there were still pockets of good growth which displayed the huge potential of the African continent. And 2017 looks to be the year the countries hardest hit by the crisis seek to recover from the economic reversals of the past few years. Since the start of the new millennium average economic growth across Africa has been stronger than the global growth rate. Growth across the continent averaged 5 percent. This fuelled the “Africa Rising” narrative that permeated public discourse. Among the growth...
(AfricaNews 12/24/16)
Moroccan international Younes Belhanda has been ruled out of play for four weeks, after what his French club Nice say is a toe fracture, an injury that means that Morocco will miss his services. The club announced that the 26-year-old attacking midfielder suffered the setback during a match against Bordeaux on Wednesday, a match that ended as a barren draw. The player had also been sent off during the match after a fierce with Bordeaux players. The injury now means that Morocco will miss his services, adding on to the list on Herve Renard’s men.
(Reuters (Eng) 12/24/16)
A record 5,000 migrants are believed to have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea this year, following two shipwrecks on Thursday in which some 100 people, mainly West Africans, were feared dead, aid agencies said on Friday. Two overcrowded inflatable dinghies capsized in the Strait of Sicily after leaving Libya for Italy, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said. "Those two incidents together appear to be the numbers that would bring this year's total up to over to 5,000 (deaths), which is a new high that we have reported during this crisis," IOM spokesman Joel Millman told a Geneva briefing. The Italian coast guard rescued survivors and had recovered eight bodies so far, he said...
(The Globe and Mail 12/23/16)
The Square Kilometre Array will be the world’s most powerful radio telescope, opening new frontiers in our understanding of the universe. But the builders have to contend with an unforgiving climate and other formidable challenges first, In the desolate rocky plains of the Great Karoo, the dangers are endless. Scorpions and puff adders are underfoot. The harsh sun beats down, interrupted only by occasional lightning storms. Temperatures range from stifling heat to freezing cold. But at night, in the vast empty darkness, the stars are impossibly bright and clear. And it is the stars that have lured a Canadian-backed project to build the world’s most powerful radio telescope, with the potential to unlock the deepest secrets of the universe. For...
(AFP (eng) 12/22/16)
Selma saunters on her stilt-like legs, batting thick lashes as she extends a blackish tongue -- as long as an arm -- to grab pellets offered by an awed tourist. The giraffe is after all, eating for two. Her pregnancy is good news for one of the rarest giraffe species, protected at the Giraffe Centre in the Kenyan capital, but experts warn the outlook for the rest of the world's tallest land mammals is far gloomier. While it is hoped the shocking news that the gentle giants of the African savannah are facing extinction will spur action, conservationists largely have their hands tied as many giraffe live in Africa's most conflict-torn regions. Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan...
(AFP (eng) 12/21/16)
The EU's top court on Wednesday overturned a lower tribunal's decision to quash a European trade deal with Morocco, ruling against a group seeking independence for the Western Sahara. Morocco suspended links with Brussels early this year after the General Court of the EU, the bloc's second highest court, annulled the deal on the grounds that it illegally applied to the Western Sahara, which faces an independence fight from the Front Polisario. But in its verdict, the EU Court of Justice said it "dismisses the action for annulment brought by the Front Polisario against the Council's decision to conclude the Liberalisation
(The Citizen 12/21/16)
Tanzania is among some African countries which may see a drop in development aid as the US is likely to expand fiscal stance and cut spending during Donald Trump's presidency, a new report shows. The move by the world's largest economy will affect dependent countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and DRC according to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) latest report released in London yesterday. In its Economic Insight: Africa Q4 2016, the accountancy and finance body points out that signs of an expansionary fiscal stance under the Trump administration coupled with spending cuts to accommodate increased infrastructure expenditure are likely to lead to the decrease in aid. "Aid is one of the main...
(AFP (eng) 12/20/16)
When Rose Kariuki first felt a lump on her left breast, the spectre of cancer -- a disease she had only heard of on television -- was the last thing on her mind. "To me, cancer was nowhere near us. It was shocking, I feared death, I feared so many things," the 46-year-old Kenyan school teacher told AFP. Rose is one of a growing number of Africans suffering from cancer, one of the lifestyle diseases -- along with diabetes and heart problems -- proving increasing deadly on the continent. A World Health Organisation (WHO) survey released Tuesday showed that most Africans had at least one risk factor for developing one of these diseases, such as smoking, a lack of exercise,...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/19/16)
Morocco launched the second phase of a campaign to ‘regularise’ the status of thousands of undocumented migrants on Thursday. The first phase was launched in 2014. The permits will allow them to work, enroll their children in school and have access to medical care. The first phase was launched in 2014. More than 23,000 undocumented migrants have been given resident permits in the pat few years, authorities say. Of those, 23 percent were from Syria, 21 percent from Senegal and 19 percent from the Democratic Republic of Congo, the interior ministry said.
(Xinhuanet 12/16/16)
RABAT, Dec. 16 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of illegal migrants in Morocco started Thursday to apply for regularization of their status as residents, local media reported on Friday. Prefectural and provincial committees, composed of representatives of local authorities and civil society associations, will examine requests submitted by irregular migrants, Morocco World News website said, citing the National Commission of Illegal Immigrants' Regularization. A monitoring and appeals committee, chaired by the National Human Rights Council, will be set up to review applications rejected by local committees, "in order to optimize the regularization process and increase the number of beneficiaries," the commission said.
(AFP (eng) 12/16/16)
The number of migrants feared to have died this year has soared to nearly 7,200 -- a more than 20-percent increase over 2015 -- with most of the fatalities in the Mediterranean, IOM said Friday. In total, 7,189 migrants and refugees have died or remain missing on migratory routs around the world, the International Organization for Migration said. That number is already 1,449 more than in all of 2015. And since it represents an average of 20 deaths per day, another 200 to 300 people could perish by the end of the year if the trend continues, the Geneva-based IOM warned in a statement. The Mediterranean Sea routes, used so far this year by nearly 360,000 people seeking a new...
(CNN 12/15/16)
In the sleepy, sun-blasted town of De Aar in central South Africa, a mighty force is stirring. The largest solar plant in Africa, Middle East and the Southern hemisphere was inaugurated here earlier this year, a 175-megawatt facility that spreads over almost 500 hectares. The facility is the brainchild of Solar Capital, led by hotel magnate turned solar evangelist Paschal Phelan, which ploughed $400 million into the venture. The plant supplies power to the National Grid, but when the heat is fiercest it produces far more than the Grid can use, and the excess power goes to waste. "It's like you have a Ferrari and you run a small car," says Massimiliano Salaorno, plant manager of Solar Capital De Aar...
(Agence Ecofin 12/14/16)
Morocco plans to issue sukuks before the end of the first half of 2017, minister of economy and finance, Mohamed Boussaid announced on December 8, highlighting that the operation is part of a program to establish the appropriate environment for upcoming Islamic banks in the kingdom. “The new financial instruments should contribute to the growth of the participative bank by, depending on the needs, either being invested as liquid funds, or used for its activities,” Boussaid said at a symposium on economy and Islamic finance. The minister added that sukuks or Islamic bonds are funding alternatives for projects both by the State and the private sector.
(Agence Ecofin 12/14/16)
Crédit du Maroc plans to invest 200 million dirham ($19.96 million at the current rate) in 2017 and 218 in its technological infrastructure. The information, which was disclosed in the note for the bond that the lender is issuing, indicates that 100 million dirham will be invested next year. A fourth of this sum will be used to develop the participative bank. 15 million dirham will be dedicated to projects that fall under its IT master plan; 8 million to improving process and the remaining of 2017’s budget to IT projects. In 2018, Crédit du Maroc will also invest 100 million dirham. However it did not say how it will use it. CDM said the 200 million dirham will be...
(AFP (eng) 12/14/16)
Family planning helps people in Africa to be healthier and wealthier, as women without contraceptives become locked in "a cycle of poverty," Melinda Gates told AFP as a conference on the topic was held in Ivory Coast. "When a woman has access to contraceptives she can lift herself out of poverty, and if she doesn't have access to contraceptives, it locks her inside a cycle of poverty for the rest of her life," said the wife of Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Bill Gates, whose foundation is very active in the field. Family planning has "huge health benefits for the woman and for her children, and it has economic benefits," Gates told AFP by telephone from the Ivorian economic capital Abidjan...
(AFP (eng) 12/13/16)
Trouble is stirring in the remote sands of disputed Western Sahara in an area near the Mauritanian border where moves by the pro-independence Polisario Front have riled Morocco. The Algiers-backed Polisario has set up a new military post in the Guerguerat district on the Atlantic coast, within a stone's throw of Moroccan soldiers. In pictures posted online, its leader Brahim Ghali, in military fatigues and sporting a white moustache, is seen reviewing his troops with all-terrain vehicles parked in the dunes behind.

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