Tuesday 22 August 2017
(The Guardian 11/19/16)
At COP22, the African Development Bank’s president, Akinwumi Adesina, tells of strategies to improve energy supplies and fight the impact of climate change “We lose 5% of our potential GDP every year, and African industries cannot be competitive without access to electricity,” says Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank. “I believe that’s why we can’t break away from reliance on exporting our raw materials – new industries will only go to where there’s power.” He is speaking on the sidelines of the COP22 climate change conference in Marrakech, which ends on Friday. Adesina and colleagues from the bank have been using the conference to highlight its new initiatives on energy, including the New Deal on Energy for Africa,...
(AFP (eng) 11/17/16)
African leaders met in Morocco Wednesday on the sidelines of UN climate talks to agree a joint stance to fight global warming on the continent. "Africa is paying a heavy price over the climate issue and is without doubt the continent worst affected," Morocco's King Mohammed VI told the summit attended by 20 African leaders. "These disruptions... greatly hamper Africa's development and gravely threaten the basic rights of tens of millions of Africans," he said. He said the continent needed to "speak in a single voice, demand climate justice". France's President Francois Hollande and UN chief Ban Ki-moon also attended the summit which took place alongside the COP22 climate change conference in Marrakesh. Ban said Africa was at the forefront...
(AFP (eng) 11/16/16)
"Don't go!" That was the heartfelt appeal to African nations as the International Criminal Court opened its annual meeting Wednesday under the cloud of a wave of unprecedented defections. Gambia on Monday formally notified the United Nations that it was withdrawing from the court, following in the wake of South Africa and Burundi. "Don't go," pleaded Senegalese politician Sidiki Kaba, the president of the ICC's Assembly of State Parties meeting in The Hague. "In a world criss-crossed by violent extremism... it is urgent and necessary to defend the ideal of justice for all," he said. The tribunal opened in 2002 in The Hague as a court of last resort to try the world's worst crimes. But in his passionate plea,...
(Forbes 11/14/16)
Africa will have 1-billion mobile subscriptions by the fourth quarter of 2016, while data use will drive the next phase of growth in Africa’s telecoms market, according to researchers Ovum. Mobile subs will reach 1.02-billion by the end of 2016 and will reach 1.33-billion by 2021, says Matthew Reed, Ovum’s practice leader, for the Middle East and Africa. “The take-up of mobile broadband will rise strongly, as operators continue to roll out 3G and 4G LTE networks and as smartphones become increasingly affordable,” says Reed. “There will be 1-billion mobile broadband connections in Africa in 2021, including 157.4-million 4G LTE connections. “Additionally, the number of smartphone connections on the continent will reach 929.9-million at the end of 2021. And non-SMS...
(AFP (eng) 11/12/16)
Across Africa, the approaching presidency of Donald Trump has provoked deep uncertainty over how the United States will pursue policies ranging from counter-terrorism and trade, to aid and climate change. Many African countries had high hopes that Barack Obama would bring transformative benefits to the continent and were left disappointed as he winds down his time in office. But Trump's rise to power poses fresh questions that reveal the lack of concrete detail on his foreign policy plans -- while the president-elect himself has seldom addressed African issues directly. One possible pointer is Trump's often repeated vow to kill "terrorists", which may lead to more aggressive US intervention against Islamist forces such as Nigeria's Boko Haram, linked to the Islamic...
(The Toronto Star 11/11/16)
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said Canada has committed to a three-year deployment in Africa that will be reassessed each year to ensure it has an “enduring” impact. Canadian troops headed to Africa will operate in dangerous territory where peacekeepers have been killed, says Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. In an exclusive interview with the Star from Vancouver Sajjan said Canada has committed to a three-year deployment that will be reassessed each year to ensure it has an “enduring” impact. It will be spread among a number of unspecified African countries, have a major focus on training and increasing “capacity” of the host nation as well as other countries’ troops, and build on existing social, economic and deradicalization programs on the ground...
(AFP (eng) 11/10/16)
All CAF competitions will offer increased prize money from 2017, the Cairo-based African football body said Wednesday. The announcement came months after French oil-gas company Total signed an eight-year sponsorship deal with CAF reportedly worth more than one billion dollars (915 million euros). Winners of the biennial Africa Cup of Nations will receive $4 million, up from the $1.5 million pocketed by 2015 champions the Ivory Coast. CAF Champions League title-holders are going to collect $2.5 million -- $1 million more than South African club Mamelodi Sundowns received last month. There is an even bigger percentage increase for winners of the second-tier CAF Confederation Cup with first prize increasing from $660,000 to $1.25 million. Both the Champions League and Confederation...
(Dw-World 11/09/16)
Africans across the continent followed the US presidential election with keen interest. While some fear that a Trump presidency could have disastrous consequences, others remain cautiously optimistic. Tanzania's President John Pombe Magufuli was one of the first African leaders to congratulate Donald Trump on his election victory. "Tanzanians and I assure you of continued friendship and cooperation," he wrote on his Twitter account. Burundi's controversial leader Pierre Nkurunziza - the subject of intense US and international criticism for his decision to stay in power beyond a constitutional two-term limit- followed suit. "Your victory is the victory of all Americans," he wrote on Twitter. Buzz on social media Social media platforms were abuzz with reactions just moments after the poll results...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/08/16)
Germany on Monday pledged a 61-million-euro ($67.44 million) hike in funding for U.N. relief operations in Africa so that fewer of its people undertake perilous odysseys to Europe, which has struggled to absorb an influx of migrants since last year. The extra funding lifts Germany's total contribution to the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR to 298 million euros for 2016, Foreign Ministry officials said. Its total humanitarian budget for 2016 was 1.28 billion euros, up from just 105 million euros in 2012. Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier announced the increase during a meeting with U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi in Berlin. Countries targeted by Germany's move are ridden by chronic conflict, disastrous climate change and poverty. Many of their citizens...
(The Telegraph 11/07/16)
Just a few months after being elected Conservative Party leader, David Cameron flew to Rwanda. It was a high-profile trip so he could see first-hand the development of one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies and launch his party’s review on globalisation and global poverty. On his first day, he visited a textile factory in Kigali, the country’s capital. Above the hum of the silk reels, he chatted to some of the workers and admired the quality of the patterned fabrics. Before he left, the factory owner, Raj Rejendran, asked for a word. Growing the business, he explained, required expanding into overseas markets. He knew there was demand in the UK for his silk fabrics, but he faced heavy import duties. Might...
(AFP (eng) 11/05/16)
"The dream becomes reality", "Our son, our hope": the headlines in the Kenyan press in 2008 captured pride and excitement after the election of Barack Obama. Eight years later, enthusiasm for the outgoing president has faded on a continent that he is accused of forsaking. The election of the first black president of the United States on November 4, 2008 sparked scenes of jubilation in Kenya, the homeland of Obama's father. A public holiday was declared in honour of his victory. There were widespread hopes that Obama would do much for Africa, but as he prepares to hand over to either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, he is accused of neglecting the continent. "Africa had unrealistic expectations towards Obama given...
(AFP (eng) 11/04/16)
As Canada considers where to send troops as part of a commitment to boost UN peacekeeping efforts, its defense minister will visit Mali and Senegal starting Saturday, the government said Thursday. Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan will spend four days in the two countries to assess local security challenges and concerns. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters a decision on where to deploy Canadian peacekeepers would be announced "in the coming weeks, probably." In August, Trudeau pledged Can$450 million (US$350 million) and 600 troops for UN peacekeeping operations around the world. At the time, only 31 Canadians were deployed in a handful of locations -- Haiti, the Jerusalem region, South Sudan, Cyprus, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Korea. That...
(AFP (eng) 11/03/16)
African champions Mamelodi Sundowns won for the first time in the South African Premiership this season Wednesday and climbed off the bottom of the table. The Pretoria club triumphed 2-0 at Polokwane City thanks to goals from Percy Tau and Zimbabwean Khama Billiat, two stars of the 2016 CAF Champions League triumph. Sundowns became African champions for the first time 11 days ago by defeating Zamalek of Egypt 3-1 on aggregate in the final. But a domestic fixture backlog meant they had little time to celebrate only the second South African success in the premier African club competition. They defeated Polokwane in a League Cup tie last Thursday only to lose at home against Cape Town City in their second...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/02/16)
South Africa's dams could take up to five years to recover even if the country experiences normal rainfall following a severe drought, authorities said on Tuesday, increasing the prospects of water rationing. Southern Africa has been affected by a severe drought that has prompted water restrictions by various municipalities, which have warned that water could be rationed if consumers do not heed calls to cut consumption. "We predict that it will take anything from two to three years and even up to five years to recover from the drought we have just come through," said the department of Water and Sanitations deputy director general Trevor Blazer. Blazer said only about 8 percent of rainfall water is captured in dams, with...
(AFP (eng) 11/02/16)
Stopping the killing of elephants for their tusks could add some $25 million (23 million euros) to Africa's annual tourism income, more than offsetting the anti-poaching spend, a study said Tuesday. While the figure pales in comparison to the estimated value of the black market ivory trade in China, it represents about a fifth of tourist income for game parks in 14 countries, where half of Africa's elephants are located, the study said. "We find that the lost economic benefits that elephants could deliver to African countries via tourism are substantial, and that these benefits exceed the costs necessary to halt elephant declines in east, southern and west Africa," the authors wrote in the journal Nature Communications. The conservation of...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/31/16)
About 220 African migrants forced their way through a barbed wire fence into Spain's North African enclave of Ceuta on Monday, clashing with Spanish police who tried to prevent them from crossing the border with Morocco. Thirty-two migrants were treated in hospital for minor injuries after pushing their way through two gates just before 2 a.m. ET, while three Spanish policemen also needed medical attention, the government said. Several migrants collapsed from exhaustion after crossing into Spanish territory, Reuters photographs showed. Their legal status in Spain has yet to be determined, and police were searching for some who fled into hills inside the territory, it said. Spain's two enclaves in Morocco, Ceuta and Melilla, have been favored entry points into...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/29/16)
By Michelle Nichols | UNITED NATIONS United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed regret on Friday that South Africa, Burundi and Gambia want to leave the International Criminal Court and said it could "send a wrong message on these countries' commitment to justice." The International Criminal Court, which opened in July 2002 and has 124 member states, is the first legal body with permanent international jurisdiction to prosecute genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. South Africa and Burundi have officially notified the United Nations of their intent to withdraw from the Rome Statute, the 1998 treaty establishing The Hague-based court, which will take effect in October 2017. Gambia said this week that it also plans to withdraw from the court,...
(Cnbc Africa 10/28/16)
The World Bank recently released the Doing Business 2016/17 report. The survey tracks a set of regulatory indicators related to business start-up, operation, trade, payment of taxes and closure, by measuring the time and cost associated with various government requirements. However, the index does not track variables such as macroeconomic policy, currency volatility (an extremely important factor in many emerging market countries) or crime rates, which are also important in investment decisions. According to the most recent rankings, New Zealand has the most accommodative business environment globally, having overtaken Singapore since the previous report. From an African perspective, Mauritius has maintained its title as the most accommodative business environment on the continent followed by Rwanda, Morocco, Botswana and South Africa...
(AFP (eng) 10/27/16)
Complex diverse political agendas are driving African nations to quit the International Criminal Court, with leaders seeking to cloak the move by reigniting age-old anger at the West, analysts say. Gambia's announcement that it would be the third country to withdraw from the court is all the more frustrating as it comes at a time when the tribunal is beginning to probe some of the world's most intractable conflicts, in places such as the Palestinian territories and Afghanistan, experts say. Set up in 2002, the ICC's mission is to try the world's most heinous crimes which national governments are either unable or unwilling to prosecute. And most of the ICC prosecutions, such as in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/26/16)
African states unhappy with the International Criminal Court(ICC) should work to reform it from within rather than pulling out, Botswanan foreign minister Pelomoni Venson-Moitoi, a candidate to become the next African Union (AU) chief, said. With the AU increasingly divided over the ICC, South Africa announced last week that it planned to quit, but Venson-Moitoi said she believed an African war crimes court could be beefed up to work alongside its Hague-based counterpart. Although South Africa argued that the ICC's Rome Statutes were at odds with its laws granting leaders diplomatic immunity, other African countries see the tribunal purely as an instrument of colonial justice that unfairly targets the continent. "I don't see why we should be pulling out. The...

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