Thursday 14 December 2017
(The Guardian 06/07/16)
Morocco’s ‘gold’ is providing jobs for hundreds of women in a thriving network of co-operatives, and helping to reduce desertification amid climate change. Ripe, yellow argan berries fall to the ground in the courtyard of the Ajddigue women’s argan co-operative in the village of Tidzi, 25km south of Essaouira. Under the argan trees handmade beauty products are on sale. Khaltoum Alta, who has worked at this co-op since 2005, deftly smashes a dried nut shell on a stone, discarding the bitter kernel and picking out the almond heart of the argan fruit. “I’m the sole earner in my family after my father died in 2011,” she says. “My job here has allowed me to look after my mother, sister and...
(The Guardian 06/07/16)
With more than half of Africans expected to live in cities by 2050, we need to turn urban areas into engines of development, African Economic Outlook says. More than half of all Africans are expected to live in cities by 2050, so policymakers must ensure this “megatrend” acts as a catalyst for development and growth, and does not result in millions of people eking out precarious existences in slums, according to the latest African Economic Outlook. The study (pdf), produced by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the UN’s Development Programme, said authorities must create inclusive growth, jobs, better housing and social safety nets, and improve links with rural areas to boost development...
(African arguments 06/06/16)
Beyond the often astronomical figures thrown around when China’s engagement in Africa is described, actual data detailing the financial flows can be quite elusive. This is the problem a new database attempts to address. Launched a couple of months ago by the China-Africa Research Initiative (CARI) at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, the project tracks Chinese loans to African governments and state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Started in 2007 and compiled by a team of 27, the database details a total of $86.9 billion of Chinese loans from 2000 to 2014. Unlike with some similar databases, CARI’s researchers carefully verified these loans on the ground where possible, directly communicated with relevant stakeholders and cross-checked the data in multiple languages. Here...
(BBC News Africa 06/04/16)
The superstitions about albinos in Africa are plentiful and dangerous. In Tanzania last year, a 6-year-old boy had this arm chopped off by witch doctors who believe potions and charms made from the body parts of albinos are guaranteed to bring success. "There is also a belief that having sex with a person living with Albinism can cure HIV; a superstition that has increased cases of rape and infection among Albinos," says Kenyan student Peter Kiprop Koima. He is responsible for the creation of the #AlbinismIsJustAColour hashtag, which trended in Kenya this week. Koima, who lives in Nairobi, told BBC Trending that he first became interested in the issue of albinism when he heard of a woman in a village...
(AfricaNews 06/02/16)
In a bid to strengthen its bilateral ties with other countries, Turkey has signed several development agreements with Uganda on Wednesday. President Tayyip Erdogan and Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni signed agreements in tourism, defense, trade and education with Erdogan assuring that Turkey was willing to share its experience. Speaking at the State House in Kampala, Erdogan said: “Uganda has heavily invested in several projects not only the east African region but also the entire African continent.” He stressed his government’s links to Africa since coming to power in 2002 and added: “In an effort to reinvigorate our long-neglected ties with the continent, Turkey in 2005 launched an African initiative to cooperate more closely with our friends and allies in the region.”...
(BBC News Africa 06/01/16)
The leader of the Western Sahara independence movement has died after a long illness. Mohamed Abdelaziz, 68, was secretary-general of the Polisario Front, which fights for an end to Moroccan rule in Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony annexed by Rabat in 1975. The front has declared 40 days of mourning after which it said a new secretary-general will be chosen. The UN has long been trying to broker a settlement for the region's future. However, the conflict is currently deadlocked over a dispute about a referendum on self-determination. Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika declared a week of mourning for the Polisario leader, who died in hospital in Algeria after leading the group based in the southern Algerian city of Tindouf...
(AL Jazeera 06/01/16)
Turkey looks forward to working more closely with our African friends and allies in a range of areas. Over the next days, Turkey's political and business leaders will embark on a historic visit to Uganda, Kenya and Somalia. We will seek to promote closer cooperation with our regional allies, develop solutions to shared challenges and explore mutually beneficial opportunities. Many people in the world associate the African continent with extreme poverty, violent conflict and a general state of hopelessness. The people of Turkey have a different view. We believe that Africa deserves better. Africa has three core advantages First, the continent has a young and vibrant population at a time when Europe and other parts of the world are rapidly...
(Voice of America 05/30/16)
Sunday was the annual International Day of U.N. Peacekeepers, honoring the more than 1 Million men and women recognized around the world as "Blue Helmets." U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the Blue Helmets "manifest the best attributes of global solidarity, courageously serving in dangerous environments to provide security to some of the world's most vulnerable." Earlier this month, Ban laid a wreath outside U.N. headquarters in New York in memory of the 3,400 peacekeepers who have lost their lives since the first mission in 1948. U.N. officials say that in the past year, peacekeeping missions have faced many challenges, including sheltering 200,000 civilians in South Sudan fleeing for their lives to U.N. bases, and a peacekeeping team helping the Central...
(Huffingtonpost 05/23/16)
Mobile phones have become ubiquitous in Africa. Among younger users, basic phones are most common. But more pupils are accessing smartphones that can connect to the internet - and taking them along to school. Phones are often used in school whether they’re allowed or not. Although they can enable valuable access to information, they also bring new responsibilities and dangers. It’s remarkably common for classes to be interrupted by both pupils’ and teachers’ phones. Access to pornography as well as bullying and harassment through phones is widely reported. We have conducted a study of young people’s mobile phone use in Ghana, Malawi and South Africa. Our findings emphasise the central place that mobile phones occupy in many young people’s lives...
(The Independent 05/21/16)
The country’s ambassador to Zambia was forced to respond after several news websites helped fuel the rumour. The Chinese government has issued a statement strongly dismissing reports it is packaging human meat as corned beef and sending it to African grocery stores. The government was forced to respond after several African publications reported the allegations, made by Facebook user Barbara Akosua Aboagye in a post which has since been shared 26,168 times. South African websites Msanzi Live and Daily Post even went so far as to speculate the reason behind exporting human meat is due to China’s overpopulation, suggesting the country is unable to find space to bury its dead. Chinese Ambassador to Zambia Yang Youming issued a statement on...
(Cnbc Africa 05/20/16)
The BMW Group South Africa announced the construction of its 26 000 square metre bodyshop in Rosslyn, Pretoria, on Thursday. The bodyshop is part of the $377 million the German manufacturer has invested into the country and it will produce and export the next generation of the BMW X3. “This bodyshop will be a state of the art facility, not only just in South Africa but across the world. It means job creation and it will mean upscaling for our staff as well,” say CEO of BMW South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, Tim Abbott. Abbott says that the company plans to export the BMW X3 into Sub-Saharan Africa, something the company hasn’t been doing. “The X3 is more of a...
(Cnbc Africa 05/19/16)
African business leaders are more hopeful about the business operating environment outlook than their peers globally, according to Taiwo Oyedele, Partner at PwC Nigeria. Oyedele said his organisation’s recent survey demonstrated this trend. “This is a survey we carry every year globally, and now for the 5th year we have a survey where we consulted with African business leaders,” he said. “We ask business leaders across industries in the region about the business operating environment. Even though we see challenges globally with the global economy, African business leaders" where more positive - their glass was half full and not half empty. Oyedele added that recent technological shifts had contributed to Africa’s fortunes. “A lot has to do with technology and...
(Voice of America 05/17/16)
Every year, the World Health Organization reports that some 3 million girls, most under the age of 15, are subject to female genital mutilation. This number adds to the hefty toll of more than 200 million girls and women already living with the harmful consequences of this brutal, inhumane practice. For the first time, WHO is issuing guidelines to help health workers provide better physical and psychological care for these girls and women. Female genital mutilation, or FGM, involves the partial or total removal of external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. The practice is prevalent in 30 African countries, as well as a few countries in Asia and the Middle East. In addition,...
(Bloomberg 05/13/16)
Cape Town - The year after President Barack Obama extended African nations’ preferential access to US markets by a decade, his administration is re-evaluating its trade relations with the world’s poorest continent. “It’s time to start looking at what comes next,” US Trade Representative Michael Froman said in an interview in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital, where the World Economic Forum is holding its annual Africa summit. “Part of what motivates us is that we are hearing from Africans that they want to move towards a more permanent, reciprocal kind of relationship.” Under the African Growth and Opportunity Act, or AGOA, which was first adopted in 2000, the US eliminated import levies on more than 7 000 products from Africa, ranging from...
(Voice of America 05/11/16)
U.S. lawmakers examining the threat that terrorism poses in Africa expressed concern Tuesday that the United States may be overlooking human rights and governance abuses by leaders in the region who provide assistance on counterterrorism issues. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield told a panel of the senators at a hearing convened by the Foreign Relations Committee that countries in the region have critical vulnerabilities and capacities’ gap that must be addressed. Thomas-Greenfield said that terror groups are recruiting foot soldiers simply by offering money. To counter that, she said that governments must "use every available resource to offer educational and vocational opportunities" to counteract the groups. Counterterrorism and human rights The United States is focused on...
(Cnbc Africa 05/10/16)
The fast-growing economies of Africa face headwinds from the pull-back of international banks from the continent, Barclays' erstwhile-chief executive told CNBC, as the bank moves to sell down its business in Africa. Countries like Nigeria, the continent's biggest economy, received a flurry of international trade finance in the build-up to the global financial crisis of 2007-08. Since then, inflows have slowed, increasing the economic challenge for the continent where many people still struggle to access energy supplies or basic education. "There are headwinds from commodities and international banks pulling out," Bob Diamond told CNBC Africa on Saturday at the London Business School's Africa Business Summit. However, Diamond was optimistic about the medium to long-term prospects for Africa If you look...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/09/16)
Member states of the U.N. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) are not meeting until September, but some African countries have already drawn their battle lines on divisive issues such as the ivory trade. Proposals for the meeting in Johannesburg were made public this week, pitting bids by Namibia and Zimbabwe to open up the trade in elephant ivory, against initiatives led by Kenya for a complete global ban on the coveted commodity. Those seeking to open up the trade of wild animal products argue it will raise badly-needed funds for conservation, but others say it would provide cover to poachers and make products that can endanger species socially acceptable to consumers. "In all of these issues we...
(Voice of America 05/06/16)
Angola is battling a yellow fever outbreak amid a global shortage of the vaccine. Cases have also been reported in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Uganda and China. Health experts worry about further spread. There is no treatment. Mass immunization is the only way to stop yellow fever, but producing more of the vaccine is not easy. Making of a vaccine The Institut Pasteur de Dakar is one of four places in the world that make the yellow fever vaccine. Recording is prohibited inside the institute, but there is nothing to hear. The halls are quiet. Two walls of windows separate us from the sterile labs where technicians work in head-to-toe protective gear. Each week, a carton of special,...
(Bloomberg 05/04/16)
The prices private equity firms pay for stakes in African companies are the highest in six years, driven by record fundraising and competition for the continent’s expanding middle class. The median price for buyouts in 2015 increased to more than seven times the ratio of a company’s value to its earnings before interest, depreciation, tax and amortization, compared with 5.4 times in 2012, Cape Town-based RisCura Solutions (Pty) Ltd. said in a report on the industry released Wednesday. “Industries serving consumer staples and discretionary spending fetch the highest prices because of favorable demographics in the growing middle class,” Rory Ord, head valuations at RisCura, said by phone. “High growth expectations, fierce competition and decreased risk perception contribute to higher sale...
(Euronews 05/03/16)
Morocco’s aeronautics and aviation industry is taking off, with more than 100 European and American companies attracted to the country – according to government figures. A recent trade show in Seattle was chance to further boost the sector, which has grown by 25 percent in recent years. “This is a sector with a thriving business sector,” Moulay Hafid El Alamy, Morocco’s Minister of Industry, Trade, Investment and Digital Economy, told euronews. “We cannot afford, as a country with a strong drive to industrialisation, to be absent from this sector. Investments follow in a very concrete way.” The Aerospace and Defence Supplier Summit in Seattle brings together hundreds of companies from dozens of countries. It is a shop window for Morocco...

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