Monday 11 December 2017
(The Wall Street Journal 03/04/16)
The Adidas Grand Prix, a world-class track meet held at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island each June, will leave the city and move to Morocco. New York City will no longer host a leg of the world’s premier professional track & field circuit, with the sport’s international governing body deciding to move the meet to Rabat, Morocco, this spring. The annual IAAF Diamond League track circuit comprises 14 meets stretching from May through September, and serves as the highest-tier professional competition outside of the Olympics or World Championships. Past editions of the New York Diamond League, which was known as the Adidas Grand Prix and held at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island each June, included the first 100-meter world record...
(Voice of America 02/11/16)
Resource-poor countries like Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia are experiencing growth, while resource-rich countries like Nigeria and Angola are battling. The former finance minister of Zimbabwe, Tendai Biti, told the Investing in African Mining Indaba annual conference Tuesday that diversification is key, but African leaders in resource rich countries don’t learn. However, he said the silver lining to the current slump is for policy makers to see this as an opportunity, a sentiment also expressed in the National Bureau of Statistics of Nigeria outlook report. The focus for Investing in African Indaba was on mining, rather than crude oil, whether a particular mineral, diamonds, iron or gas. The issue is global commodities are in a slump, and during the boom, leaders...
(Foreign Policy 02/10/16)
In a nod to the growing threat Islamist militant groups pose in Africa, the Pentagon is planning to spend about $200 million on operations targeting the Islamic State in North Africa — thousands of miles from the group’s strongholds in Iraq and Syria — while also making a new push against al Qaeda-linked forces elsewhere on the continent. The money is included in the Defense Department’s new $582 billion budget, which includes $58 billion to fund the wars in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan.
(Voice of America 02/05/16)
Morocco's King Mohammed VI inaugurated the first phase of what will eventually be the world's biggest concentrated solar energy plant Thursday. The project is intended to slash greenhouse gas emissions. The massive plant is located outside the central city of Ouarzazate, on the edge of the Sahara desert. "We can see that it is possible to get energy independence with solar systems and it is a fantastic message for all the African continent and all around the world," French Environment Minister Segolene Royal said at Thursday's dedication.
(Voice of America 01/25/16)
HARARE— Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo say Africa wants to see reforms enacted at the U.N. Security Council and they want the continent to be given at least one spot as a permanent member. The call came at the end of a visit to Zimbabwe by Nguema and ahead of an African Union General Assembly later this month. Mugabe — who is handing over the rotating AU chairmanship — said his Equatorial Guinea counterpart ,Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, was in Zimbabwe because of the upcoming African summit in Ethiopia. "On the event of the meeting of the African Union, he [Nguema] saw it meet to discuss what our position is regarding various matters...
(CNN 01/22/16)
(CNN)This week, the African Union is meeting to discuss human rights, and particularly how the continent can realize the full potential of its women. Naturally, the power of information and communication technologies are on the agenda for discussion. But haven't we been here before? We are more than half way through the "African Women's Decade" launched in 2010. What has happened in the intervening six years? Since 2010, much has been made about Africa's mobile and digital revolution and its ability to propel development. But are women advancing triumphantly into Africa's digital future too? In short, the answer is no. For our recent Women's Right Online study, we interviewed 7,500 women from poor urban areas in 10 cities across the...
(CNN 01/22/16)
(CNN)Fancy a drink of Sparletta Stoney Tangawizi? Or maybe a glass of Krest Bitter Lemon? Those are two of over 100 drinks that Coca-Cola produces in Africa, many tailored to local taste. The approach in each city may differ, but the company's strategy is the same everywhere: a Coke product should always be within reach. "It is very important that as a business we really ensure that we continue to be relevant to consumers and customers," Nathan Kalumbu, President Coca-Cola Eurasia & Africa Group, told CNN. Across the continent, Coke has about 3,000 small distribution centers. "These micro distribution centers are normally run by individuals who live in the community, they employ local people and they distribute to local retailers...
(BBC News Africa 01/19/16)
Attacks by the Islamic State group have led to a dramatic fall in tourism in parts of North Africa, where millions rely on the trade to make a living. New figures from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) show that visits to North Africa fell by 8% in 2015, bucking a global upward trend. International tourism grew by 4.4% overall, to reach a total of 1.18bn arrivals, according to the UNWTO. But countries such as Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco have been hit hard.
(BBC News Africa 01/19/16)
The German government says North African countries cannot expect German development aid if they are unwilling to take back failed asylum seekers. Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said he was sending that message to North African leaders. Migrants from North Africa were blamed for many attacks on women in Cologne on New Year's Eve. Germany may soon list Algeria and Morocco as "safe countries of origin". Police detained 40 North African men in Duesseldorf on Saturday. Police in the city, about 50km (30 miles) from Cologne, targeted North African gangs suspected of pickpocketing, mugging and drugs offences. Nearly 300 people had their documents checked during the six-hour police operation, focused on the "Maghreb" quarter near the main railway station. Police stressed...
(The Wall Street Journal 01/19/16)
Barclays PLC was one the few western banks to blaze a trail into sub-Saharan Africa. Now it is preparing to stage a gradual retreat. Barclays executives have concluded that being the majority owner of a sprawling African business no longer fits with the bank’s strategy, according to people familiar with the matter. The bank is drawing up plans to sell some of its 62% stake in Barclays Africa Group Ltd. , the publicly traded entity that houses most of its African business, these people said. The decision is part of a plan by Barclays’ new chief executive, Jes Staley, to refocus the bank on a narrower range of profitable activities. It comes as lenders world-wide dial back their ambitions, and...
(CNN 01/18/16)
As Europe struggles to deal with the arrival of more than a million migrants last year, thousands of refugees from the war in Syria have travelled to the other end of the Mediterranean in search of a safe route into Europe. Some have reached Melilla, an autonomous Spanish enclave on the North African coast. Each week about 200 are given safe passage across the Mediterranean to the European mainland, as Chris Morris reports.
(CNN 01/16/16)
London (CNN)With over 1,000 restaurants in the continent, KFC is the leading fast food chain in Africa. But its dominance is limited to South Africa, home to about 80 percent of them. Despite its success, the company faces many challenges as they try to establish the brand in other regions, for example by making sure its food is relevant and recognizable to Africans. Serving jollof rice, a spicy dish native to West Africa, is one way in which KFC is improvising to win over palates in Africa's largest economy, Nigeria. Doug Smart, Managing Director, KFC Africa, says: "Every Nigerian will tell you that their mother or wife makes the best jollof rice -- and KFC is now making it." From...
(BBC News Africa 01/14/16)
African exports to China fell by almost 40% in 2015, China's customs office says. China is Africa's biggest single trading partner and its demand for African commodities has fuelled the continent's recent economic growth. The decline in exports reflects the recent slowdown in China's economy. This has, in turn, put African economies under pressure and in part accounts for the falling value of many African currencies. Is China a brake on Africa's progress? Presenting China's trade figures for last year, customs spokesman Huang Songping told journalists that African exports to China totalled $67bn (£46.3bn), which was 38% down on the figure for 2014. BBC Africa Business Report editor Matthew Davies says that as China's economy heads for what many analysts...
(CNN 01/14/16)
(CNN)In 2014, 100 million people were using Facebook each month across Africa, over 80% via mobile. That figure has now jumped to over 120 million. Four and a half million of those Facebook users are based in Kenya, 15 million in Nigeria and 12 million in South Africa, in statistics first reported by Reuters. Overall, around 9% of Africans use social media, with South Africans among the world leaders in time spent on social networks with an average of 3.2 hours a day, compared to a global average of 2.4 hours, according to data from marketing consultants We Are Social. "We discuss life, love, politics, philosophy, and all else one would expect," says Mark Kaigwa, founder of African digital strategy...
(BBC News Africa 01/13/16)
The BBC's southern Africa correspondent Karen Allen looks at the areas in which Africa can expect big social change this year, some of which have seen campaign groups turn to the internet to state their case. They say information is power and we've seen that demonstrated in the past year, with the protests about quality and access to affordable education right across the continent. Watch out for more developments in the #Feesmustfall campaign in South Africa, as students prepare to register for the new academic year. The internet was used to rally support for street protests in opposition to a proposed hike in fees in 2015. It seemed to catch the government of President Jacob Zuma off guard as senior...
(CNN 01/09/16)
(CNN) If you've ever been on the receiving end of trolling tweets, you'll know Twitter can be a cruel place. But the social network also provides a platform for disparate voices, helping to amplify them and create online communities. Africans on Twitter have long used 140 characters to celebrate their cultures, air their grievances or just share a good joke and it seems record numbers of people joined in. From #IfAfricaWasABar to #MugabeFalls, here are the very African hashtags of 2015. Twitter got creative after a video of Zimbabwe's then 90-year-old president, Robert Mugabe, falling down stairs started making the rounds in early February. Although the president's security detail apparently attempted to suppress images of the incident by forcing photographers...
(BBC News Africa 01/06/16)
There are well-documented problems about access to education. The Africa Learning Barometer at the US-based Center for Universal Education at Brookings says of the continent's nearly 128 million school-aged children, 17 million will never attend school. There have been improvements, with targets for the millennium development goals widening access to primary school. But many millions, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, never start school or learn so little that it is hardly worth them attending. Against this backdrop, education in Africa, particularly in East Africa, has become a hotbed for e-learning.
(Voice of America 12/21/15)
The United States is expected to add two species of lions in Africa to its endangered list Monday in a move that will make it more difficult for hunters to bring lion trophies back into the country. The Fish and Wildlife Service, which manages the list, is linking the move to declining populations in the wild and the need to ensure those who illegally hunt cannot gain from their actions. One lion species found in central and western parts of Africa, as well as India, has a population estimated around 1,000 and is being classified as endangered. The other species, predominant in eastern and southern Africa, has a population up to 19,000 and will be classified as threatened. The labels...
(BBC News Africa 12/19/15)
Could putting vibrations into the ground be a way to keep elephants from coming into conflict with humans? Already, attempts have been made to scare the animals away from villages using their own very low-frequency alarm calls - with partial success. Now scientists are studying whether even better results could be obtained if this sound in the air is accompanied also by a seismic signal underfoot. The work is being led by Prof Sue Webb from Wits University in Johannesburg. The ultimate goal she said was to try to find a means of keeping everyone safe - both humans and elephants. "Elephants can be incredibly destructive, especially with people's farmlands," she told BBC News. "They come on to the farmland...
(BBC News Africa 12/18/15)
Libya's rival politicians have signed a UN-brokered deal to form a unity government in a nation split by more than four years of conflict. UN envoy Martin Kobler described the deal as historic, saying Libya had "turned a page" in efforts to achieve reconciliation and stability. However, the heads of the rival parliaments failed to sign the deal because of major disagreements. Armed groups which control much of Libya were not part of the talks. Libya has been in chaos since the 2011 overthrow of long-serving ruler Muammar Gaddafi by Nato-backed forces. It has two rival governments, one based in the main city, Tripoli, and the other about 1,000km (620 miles) away in the port city of Tobruk.

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