Thursday 25 May 2017
(AFP (eng) 01/30/17)
African Union leaders meet Monday for a summit that has exposed regional divisions as they mull whether to allow Morocco to rejoin the bloc, and vote for a new chairperson. The two-day summit in Ethiopia comes after several shake-ups on the international stage: the election of US President Donald Trump and a new head of the UN, Antonio Guterres, who will address the opening of the assembly. On Sunday in Addis Ababa, Guterres praised Ethiopia's generosity in welcoming refugees from the region while battling its worst drought in 50 years. It is "an example that I would say needs to be thought about in a world where unfortunately so many borders are being closed," he said in a veiled dig...
(AFP (eng) 01/30/17)
Mahmoud Kahraba's late goal allowed Egypt to beat Herve Renard's Morocco in the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals on Sunday as they joined Ghana in completing the line-up for the last four. Kahraba came off the bench in the second half in Port-Gentil and stabbed home from inside the six-yard box in the 88th minute, just as extra time looked inevitable. The dramatic finish came after the Ayew brothers, Jordan and Andre, both scored to give Ghana a 2-1 win against DR Congo in Oyem that allowed them to advance earlier in the day. Frenchman Renard had been hoping to become the first coach to win the trophy three times with three different countries after triumphs with Zambia in 2012...
(Xinhuanet 01/28/17)
Morocco's interior ministry announced on Friday the foiling of an Islamic State's (IS) terror attack, a new operation that shows the imminent threat the group poses to the country. Morocco has been targeted by terrorist groups. Terror attack in 2011 in the tourist city of Marrakesh claimed the lives of at least 15 people. In recent years, it was the IS group that has been plotting attacks against sensitive spots in the country. According to official figures, in 2016 alone, Morocco busted 19 terrorist cells and arrested of 273 suspects, most of them linked to the group which control large swaths in Syria and Iraq. Friday's operation led to the bust of the seven-member cell in five cities, namely El...
(AFP (eng) 01/28/17)
Herve Renard will be hoping to move a step closer to winning a third Africa Cup of Nations crown when he leads Morocco into a quarter-final against Egypt in Port-Gentil on Sunday evening. The dashing Frenchman eliminated the Ivory Coast, the side he led to the title in 2015, as Morocco made the knockout phase of a Cup of Nations for the first time since 2004. Also the architect of Zambia's unlikely triumph in Gabon in 2012, Renard's aim now is to become the first coach to win the title three times with three different countries. It would be another triumph against the odds, given the number of key players Morocco lost to injury before jetting off to Gabon, but...
(Xinhuanet 01/28/17)
The African Union (AU) has been endeavoring to ensure robust, resilient and long-lasting economic transformation of Africa through promotion of infrastructure and energy development on the continent, noted Elham Mahmood Ibrahim, AU Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy. Speaking at a press conference Friday ahead of the 28th AU leaders' summit here, the commissioner said the pan-African bloc has scored achievements in its flagship projects and programs on the development of energy, transport as well as in the information and communication technology (ICT) areas, which she said are the biggest priorities in Africa's infrastructure sector. In cooperation and coordination with its regional, continental, and international partners, AU has been committed to development of infrastructure on the continent, which facilitates trade, economic...
(AFP (eng) 01/27/17)
The African Union will mull a divisive bid by Morocco to rejoin the bloc at a summit next week where stagnating South Sudan peace efforts will also top the agenda. The AU's 54 member states will gather in Addis Ababa on Monday for a packed two-day meeting in which they will also have to elect a new chairperson -- after failing to do so at a summit six months ago. Analysts say the election is likely to be complicated by fractures over key issues such as membership of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and whether Morocco should be allowed back in the club. Morocco quit the bloc 33 years ago in protest at its decision to accept Western Sahara as...
(Bloomberg 01/27/17)
Barclays Africa Group Ltd. was targeted by protesters who entered one of its branches on Thursday and demanded the bank pay back money from a bailout provided to a company it bought before the end of apartheid. Demonstrators linked to the youth league of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress gathered outside the branch in Durban on South Africa’s east coast, Johannesburg-based Barclays Africa said in an e-mailed response to questions. Police ensured customers and staff were protected during the incident, it said. The protests come after the leaking of a draft report compiled by South Africa’s graft ombudsman that said Barclays Africa, which traded as Absa then, may have unduly benefited from state support when it bought Bankorp in...
(Xinhuanet 01/26/17)
Adopting African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) has been named a major task for the African Union (AU) this year as the 30th session of its Executive Council opened on Wednesday. In her remarks at the opening of the meeting, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the AU Commission, called for member countries' commitment to meeting the first target in Agenda 2063 of commencing the CFTA by end of 2017. She underlines the need "to do what needs to be done on the free movement of persons, so that we unlock opportunities for intra-African trade, studies, business and tourism." In her remarks at the opening of the 33rd session of the AU Permanent Representatives Committee on Sunday, Dlamini-Zuma said the AU's major...
(Lusaka Times 01/25/17)
Zambia will maintain bilateral ties with both Morocco and Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) as one of the ways through which to help promote cordial relations between the two countries. Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba has said that Zambia will, however, ensure that the interests of the country came first as the country pursued this position. Mr. Kalaba has said that as a member of the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council, Zambia would like to use this as a vehicle that would see the two parties that have been locked in conflict over territorial control, engage in dialogue in order to find a solution to their differences. This is in line with the Constitutive Act of the AU...
(AFP (eng) 01/25/17)
A public television station in Morocco was given an official reprimand on Tuesday for broadcasting a sequence on how to use make-up to conceal the bruises of battered women. It was transmitted last November -- marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women -- by 2M on its morning magazine programme "Sabahiyate". The sequence depicted a woman with a swollen face, with the presenter telling viewers that she was not really injured, and that these were just "cinematic effects". On Tuesday, the country's High Authority for Audiovisual Communication (HACA) said the sequence
(AFP (eng) 01/25/17)
Title-holders the Ivory Coast were dumped out of the Africa Cup of Nations Tuesday after a superb Rachid Alioui goal gave Herve Renard-coached Morocco a 1-0 win in Gabon. Clinching a quarter-finals place was particularly sweet for Frenchman Renard, the coach of the Ivorians when they won the biennial tournament two years ago. The blond, bronzed 48-year-old, wearing his lucky white shirt, hopes to become the first coach to win three Cup of Nations titles with three different countries. He guided outsiders Zambia to glory in 2012 and repeated the feat with perennial underachievers the Ivory Coast three years later. The winning goal came on 64 minutes from France-based Alioui and set up a last-eight showdown against the Group D...
(Bloomberg 01/25/17)
Taiwan’s last two African allies have no plans to switch allegiances and break ties with Taipei as Beijing tries to woo the self-ruled island’s diplomatic partners. Burkina Faso won’t cut relations with Taiwan despite people and companies with links to China offering funding in return for recognition of the One-China principle, according to Foreign Minister Alpha Barry. Swaziland said its relationship with Taiwan is based on mutual interests, not on money. “We get outrageous proposals telling us, ‘if you sign with Beijing we’ll offer you $50 billion or even more,’’’ Barry said in an interview in the capital, Ouagadougou, this month. “Taiwan is our friend and our partner. We’re happy and we see no reason to reconsider the relationship.” Competition...
(Cnbc Africa 01/24/17)
While Brexit and the U.S. election dominated headlines in 2016, the African continent witnessed major changes of its own. Its two largest economies were destabilized, with Nigeria being driven into recession and the South African political elite grappling for power. Conflict continued to make news, with the continuation of people trafficking across the Mediterranean and violence in South Sudan bubbling over. Macroeconomic concerns Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa fell to 1.5 percent in 2016 according to the World Bank, which deemed this "the weakest pace in over two decades." The slowdown was chiefly blamed on low commodity prices. But, the organization forecasts growth of 2.9 percent in the region for 2017. Africa's two biggest economies have a lot to account for...
(AFP (eng) 01/23/17)
Having guided the Ivory Coast to glory at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, Herve Renard is now hoping to end his former side's defence of the trophy when they face his Morocco team on Tuesday. The script could not have been better written, with Renard's Morocco and the Elephants clashing in a winner takes all final Group C showdown in the northern Gabonese town of Oyem, kicking off at 2000 local time (1900 GMT). The Atlas Lions have not made it beyond the group stage at the Cup of Nations since reaching the final in 2004 but a 3-1 win against Togo on Friday put them in a position to progress to the last eight. A draw would also...
(Xinhuanet 01/20/17)
The Moroccan House of Advisors, the upper house, unanimously approved here on Thursday the constitutive act of the African Union (AU). The house also adopted the additional protocol and the bill on the approval of the act to allow the Moroccan government to go on with its bid to rejoin the AU as of its 28th summit scheduled on Jan. 22-31 at its headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The vote of the House of Advisors comes a day after a similar approval by the House of Representatives, the lower house of the parliament. After these votes, the Moroccan government has the green light to rejoin AU.
(Xinhuanet 01/20/17)
Moroccan Foreign Minister Salaheddine Mezouar said on Wednesday that Morocco's return to the African Union (AU) reflects the kingdom's attachment to the continent. This attachment will enable Morocco to strengthen its presence in the continent as well as to contribute to Africa's development, Mezouar told the press on the sidelines of the Moroccan parliament's review of the constituent act of the African Union (AU), its additional protocol and the bill on the approval of the act. Morocco's parliament is expected to adopt the bill this week prior to the start of the AU summit on Jan. 22-31 at its headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The council of ministers approved the draft texts on Jan. 10 as part of its bid...
(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...

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