Saturday 23 September 2017
(AFP (eng) 05/29/17)
Protesters have rallied for a third night running in Morocco's city of Al-Hoceima, in a northern region of the country where there has been growing social unrest. An AFP journalist saw several hundred mainly young demonstrators gathered in two neighbourhoods of the city on Sunday night, chanting "The state is corrupt!" and "Dignity!". They also shouted "We are all Zefzafi!" in reference to protest leader Nasser Zefzafi, who is on the run after authorities last week ordered his arrest. The protesters attempted to make their way to the city's central square but were blocked by security forces. After an hour-long face-off with police the youths dispersed without incident. "We cannot take a single step, the police are everywhere," an activist...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/29/17)
Moroccan authorities have arrested a leading activist who had been organizing protests against official abuses and corruption in the north of the country, a government source said on Monday. Nasser Zefzafi was arrested on Monday after a warrant was issued on Friday afternoon when he protested during a prayer sermon, the source said. Clashes erupted on Friday when authorities tried to arrest him at his home in Al-Hoceima. Political protests are rare in Morocco, but tensions in Al-Hoceima have been simmering since October after the death of a fishmonger who was crushed inside a garbage truck while trying to salvage his fish confiscated by the police. (Reporting by Samia Errazzouki; writing by Patrick Markey)
(Reuters (Eng) 05/27/17)
Leaders of the Group of Seven wealthy nations met African heads of state on Saturday, the final day of their annual summit which has been marked by discord over climate change, but unity on tackling terrorism. Italy had hoped to make Africa the major focus of the annual G7 gathering, holding the discussions on the island of Sicily that has taken in hundreds of thousands of migrants over the past four years as they flee war and poverty back home. However, the two-day meeting got overshadowed by a suicide bombing in northern England on Monday that killed 22 people, and also got bogged down by lengthy discussions on the merit of free trade and the 2015 Paris Agreement to tackle...
(AFP (eng) 05/26/17)
Entertainment | France | film | festival | Cannes | Zambia | witchcraft Cannes, France | AFP | Friday 5/26/2017 - 14:01 UTC+3 | 615 words by Katy Lee Being accused of witchcraft is no laughing matter in Africa -- but movie director Rungano Nyoni decided a dose of humour was just what was needed to tackle a problem rampant in parts of the continent. Set in Zambia, the sharp satire "I Am Not A Witch" has premiered to strong reviews at the Cannes film festival, taking aim at the blatant sexism behind accusations that overwhelmingly target women. White tourists are seen gawping at women detained in a "witch camp" in the movie, taking pictures of them as if they're...
(AFP (eng) 05/24/17)
Ten people have died and six are in a serious condition in hospital after drinking methylated spirits in central Morocco, the official MAP news agency reported on Tuesday. It said some of those affected were homeless but all were from the town of El Hajeb. Some were evacuated to hospitals in the neighbouring cities of Fez and Meknes. An earlier toll announced by the local authorities on Monday said five people had died "after drinking meths", MAP said. It added that the alleged supplier of the methylated spirits had been placed in custody as the investigation got under way.
(Reuters (Eng) 05/24/17)
When U.S. President Donald Trump and other leaders of the world's seven major industrialized nations gather in Sicily on Friday, they will enjoy a spectacular view of the Mediterranean Sea, but won't get any glimpse of boats full of migrants. A common sight off Sicily in recent years, the authorities have banned all migrant landings on the island during the Group of Seven Summit for security reasons, telling rescue vessels that pick them up at sea to take them to the mainland during the two-day meeting. Out of sight does not mean out of mind. Italy chose to host the summit in Taormina, on the cliffs of eastern Sicily, to concentrate minds on Europe's migrant crisis and to seek ways...
(APA 05/23/17)
Morocco is increasingly asserting itself as a leading investor in Africa, with some $8 billion in investments announced in 2015-2016, the 16th edition of the 2017 African Economic Outlook Report indicates on Tuesday. This performance, notes the document, is a sign of the capacity gained by Moroccan firms in financial services, telecommunications and manufacturing. The majority of Moroccan investment in Africa covers Ethiopia, following the signing of an agreement in November 2016 between the Moroccan Office of Phosphates (OCP) and the Ethiopian government for more than $3 billion for the construction of a fertilizer plant. Cote d'Ivoire is the second largest beneficiary of Morocco's Foreign Direct
(Reuters (Eng) 05/23/17)
Fossils from Greece and Bulgaria of an ape-like creature that lived 7.2 million years ago may fundamentally alter the understanding of human origins, casting doubt on the view that the evolutionary lineage that led to people arose in Africa. Scientists said on Monday the creature, known as Graecopithecus freybergi and known only from a lower jawbone and an isolated tooth, may be the oldest-known member of the human lineage that began after an evolutionary split from the line that led to chimpanzees, our closest cousins. The jawbone, which included teeth, was unearthed in 1944 in Athens. The premolar was found in south-central Bulgaria in 2009. The researchers examined them using sophisticated new techniques including CT scans and established their age...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/22/17)
U.S. private equity firm Carlyle Group is suing a group of its insurers over $400 million worth of oil it claims it lost when Morocco's sole refinery went bankrupt two years ago, court documents show. Carlyle claims in a suit filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York that insurance underwriters led by Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Underwriting (now known as MS Amlin) have reneged on their obligations when refusing to cover the losses, according to documents on the court's website. Insurers have said in response to the suit that the nature of Carlyle's dealings with Samir, the refinery's operator, mean that its losses are not covered by the type of insurance it had. They...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/22/17)
Countries in sub-Saharan Africa need to get their budgets in order, diversify their economies and look after their poorest people. If they do that, there is no reason why the region cannot have the strong growth needed to meet the aspirations of a young and growing population. That, at least, is the three-pillared prescription from the International Monetary Fund as expressed by one of its top Africa researchers, Celine Allard, in an official IMF blog post and podcast. Allard co-authored the Fund's regional economic outlook, released earlier this month. It found that sub-Saharan economic growth hit only 1.4 percent last year, the lowest level in two decades and well off the 5-6 percent rates normally reached. It was also well...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/20/17)
France will step up the fight against resurgent Islamist militants in north and west Africa and will work more closely with Germany to help the tinderbox region, President Emmanuel Macron said on his first trip outside Europe on Friday. Visiting Mali days after taking office, Macron vowed to keep French troops in the Sahel region until there was "no more Islamist terrorism" there. He said operations would be escalated in response to signs that militant groups were regrouping and uniting. "It is vital today that we speed up. Our armed forces are giving their all, but we must speed up" efforts to secure the Sahel, he told a news conference in Gao, Mali, where he held talks with President Ibrahim...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/19/17)
Panama authorities have detained a Moroccan phosphate shipment from the disputed territory of Western Sahara after the Polisario independence movement claimed the cargo had been transported illegally, Polisario and officials said on Thursday. The detention of the vessel carrying phosphate rock cargo from Morocco's OCP for Canada's Agrium is the second tanker stopped this month by a Polisario legal challenge, a new tactic the independence movement has been using in its conflict with Morocco. Western Sahara has been disputed since 1975, when Morocco claimed it as part of the kingdom and the Polisario fought a guerrilla war for the Sahrawi people's independence.
(Reuters (Eng) 05/19/17)
When rich countries wrote off billions of dollars of African debt in 2005, they hoped governments would think twice about borrowing again in costly foreign currencies. Over a decade later, most sub-Saharan African countries still rely on U.S. dollar-denominated debt to finance their economies. Some investors say this is sowing the seeds of future debt crises if local currencies devalue and make dollar debt repayments more expensive. Aside from South Africa and Nigeria, governments have not yet done enough to develop capital markets that would have allowed them to raise more money in their own currencies, investors say. United Nations trade body UNCTAD estimates that Africa's external debt stock rapidly grew to $443 billion by 2013 through bilateral borrowing, syndicated...
(Xinhuanet 05/18/17)
Morocco has received a loan of 350 million U.S. dollars from the World Bank to support wide-ranging financial reforms, local media reported on Wednesday. The loan will support new sources of financing for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) while improving the regulatory oversight of the banking sector, the Moroccan news site said. The operation will also support capital market development by broadening the range of instruments and strengthening the protection of Moroccan investors, it noted, adding that the loan will also address the financial sustainability of the civil service pension fund
(Premium Times 05/18/17)
Nigeria, Morocco sign gas pipelinNigeria and Morocco on Monday strengthened their business relationship by signing two bilateral agreements in Rabat, Morocco. The first agreement was the Joint Initiative on the Morocco –Nigeria Gas Regional Pipeline. Tagged “The Wonder of Africa” the pipeline project has historical significance because it is designed by Africans for Africans with a direct impact on 300 million people through the speeding up of electrification projects in West Africa; thus serving a basis for the creation of a competitive electricity regional market. The scope of the Memorandum of Understanding, which was signed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (ONHYM), was to determine the modalities of undertaking a...
(Bloomberg 05/18/17)
Steinhoff International Holdings NV plans to list its African assets separately as the acquisitive retailer seeks a new prize for shareholders following this year’s failed merger talks with Shoprite Holdings Ltd. The company said Wednesday it will seek to list businesses including clothing retailer Pepkor and furniture chain JD Group Ltd. on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, about 18 months after moving its primary listing to Frankfurt from the South African commercial hub. The new business could be worth as much as 60 billion rand ($4.5 billion), said Evan Walker, a money manager at 36one Asset Management in Johannesburg, although the valuation could also be as low as 40 billion rand depending on how much debt Steinhoff puts into the vehicle...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/17/17)
Gay and lesbian Africans who fled abuse in their home countries face a "culture of disbelief" which makes their experience of seeking asylum in Britain traumatic, a Nigerian lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender rights (LGBT) campaigner said. Aderonke Apata, 50, who fled persecution in Nigeria, said the practice of assessing Africans' sexual orientation claims based on Western standards was problematic. "They expect an LGBT person to have used sex toys, to go to gay clubs," Apata, an asylum seeker who founded African LGBT charity, African Rainbow Family, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Apata has been trying to claim asylum in Britain for 13 years, but her case was refused several times after a judge ruled that she was pretending to be...
(Xinhuanet 05/16/17)
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has decided to maintain its 3.47 billion U.S. dollars' worth of Precautionary and Liquidity Line (PLL) for Morocco, local media reported on Monday. The IMF's executive board completed the first review under the PLL Arrangement and reaffirmed Morocco's continued qualification for the PLL, Morocco's leading financial daily l'Economiste said. In July 2016, IMF approved the two-year PLL arrangement for Morocco to withstand external risks and support the country's program to rebuild fiscal and external buffers and promote higher and more inclusive growth. l'Economiste praised Morocco's solid macroeconomic performance in recent years, saying improving the business
(Bloomberg 05/16/17)
When the impoverished West African nation of Niger imposed a ban on donkey exports last year, a small community of traders just over the border in Nigeria was devastated. “Before the ban, you could see thousands of donkeys here,” said Mohammed Sani, a 45-year-old trader in the Nigerian town of Jibiya, as he wiped the sweat off his brow. “Now look at them: there’s no more than 50, crippling the business.” Donkeys are being slaughtered at an alarming pace to feed a global trade in donkey hides that’s fueled by soaring demand in China, where the skins are used to manufacture a gelatin believed to have anti-ageing and libido-enhancing properties. The gelatin, known in China as e’jiao, is so popular...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/13/17)
Tackling climate change in Africa could help resolve multiple problems ravaging the continent, from drought to refugees and violence, the head of the African Union said on Friday. The mix of global warming with economic woes and political conflicts keeps peace from taking hold, said Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Union's new chairman, at Chatham House, an international think tank. "There is a link between climate change and prosperity, as well as peace, on the continent," Mahamat said in French with an interpreter. "Africa is among the least polluting continents, and yet it is the continent that suffers most," he said. Mahamat, the former foreign minister of Chad, was chosen to chair the 55-member, Addis Ababa-based organization in January. In Africa's...

Pages