Wednesday 17 January 2018
( 11/28/13)
As votes come in following Mauritania's 23 November general and local elections, the party of President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, Union for the Republic, looks likely to emerge the winner, with Islamist party Twassoul in second place. Voter participation estimates range from 46 percent, according to Twassoul, to 60 percent, with many voters describing the elections as being only about candidates' connections rather than policy or real change. While Twassoul took part, other main opposition parties boycotted the elections, having reportedly called them a "masquerade", accusing the ruling party of not giving them enough of a voice. President Abdel Aziz seized power in a military coup in 2008, but then was elected president one year later. The next presidential election...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/28/13)
AMSTERDAM/NEW YORK---(Reuters) - The International Criminal Court's member states on Wednesday agreed to changes to the court's trial procedures that could help defuse tensions between the court and the African continent regarding the approaching trial of Kenya's president. The changes approved by the court's 122 members will make it easier for suspects to participate in trial proceedings via video link and create a special exemption for top government officials, Western diplomats said. Kenya and its African Union allies have been lobbying hard for the trial of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to be halted or postponed, saying the case threatens to destabilize the East African region. Kenyatta and his deputy, former political rival William Ruto, face charges of crimes against humanity...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/28/13)
Warsaw — For the past 20 years, negotiations on how to combat and adapt to climate change have been led by environmental ministers. But the decisions made affect a country's agriculture, energy and finance systems as well. Now, experts say, it's time for other players to be involved in the process, particularly when it comes to deciding how to most effectively spend available funds. "It is now clear that for effective implementation of projects under climate change finance, the environment, agriculture, energy and finance sectors must work as a team," said Ayalneh Bogale, the advisor for climate change and agriculture for the African Union Commission. At the just-ended UN climate negotiations in Warsaw, developed countries agreed to contribute $100 million...
( 11/28/13)
Kisumu/Kampala — Even as food insecurity continues to afflict impoverished and disaster-affected populations around the continent, African policymakers and consumers remain deeply divided over the potential harms and benefits of genetically modified (GM) foods, which advocates say could greatly improve yields and nutrition. A recent study published in the journal Food Policy, titled Status of development, regulation and adoption of GM agriculture in Africa, shows that heated debates over safety concerns continue to plague efforts to use GM crop technology to tackle food security problems and poverty. Yet results from the four African countries that have implemented commercial GM agriculture - Burkina Faso, Egypt, South Africa and Sudan - suggest an improvement in productivity. In South Africa, a 2008 study...
(Bloomberg 11/27/13)
Common vitamins plus selenium slowed illness in HIV patients in the early stage of their disease, according to a study suggesting the supplements may provide an effective, low-cost approach for delaying AIDS. Patients taking a daily combination of vitamins B, C and E along with selenium for two years were able to delay their need for antiretroviral therapies by about half compared with those given a placebo, according to research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study followed 878 HIV-infected adults from Botswana, a nation with one of the highest rates of infection of the AIDS virus. The findings are the first to show that vitamins and selenium can postpone illness in newly diagnosed HIV patients...
(Voice of America 11/27/13)
Douala — A few decades ago, rice was a luxury for rural Africa, a dish reserved for the big occasions like Christmas. The grain is now one of the most consumed staples south of the Sahara and experts predict surging urbanization will drive more demand for the cereal as consumer tastes increasingly tilt towards easy-to-cook convenience foods. Across Africa, rice currently knows no social or class boundaries. Increasingly, the grain ranks high on the menus of both rural and urban households. One consumer on the streets of Douala said, "I often buy a bag of rice for the family that will last about a month." Another added, "Three days out of seven, we eat rice at home. Sometimes, it's up...
(Awoko 11/26/13)
All over the world we all think and believe that democracy, as a model of governance development and statecraft, is the best. Granted. Now wait don’t throw your argument right in my face yet! There was this story about our Salone Independence Talks in the Queen’s land way out there at Lancaster House. A paramount chief representative put up his hands and asked this question: When will it end? At the time everybody looked perturbed and ended up laughing at what they thought was a ludicrous question asked out of sheer naivety. Well 52 years on, I am actually asking the question: When will democracy end? Definitely when all the tenets of Democracy are never realized, we will be looking...
(Daily Maverick 11/26/13)
A recent discussion on South Africa's Talk Radio 702 put the practice of eating human placenta on the table (ahem). Whilst there are reports of some people doing it out of curiosity, a host of new mothers say they choose to eat their placenta for health reasons, claiming it speeds their recovery, increases milk production and prevents postnatal depression. Placenta pizza anyone? This was the initial gist of a discussion hosted by Jenny Crwys-Williams on South Africa’s Talk Radio 702 last week. Crwys-Williams read an account by new father and writer for Lifehacker Australia, Chris Jager, who cooked his wife’s placenta and then topped his pizza with it. He did this “for the express purpose” of writing an article about...
(Voice of America 11/26/13)
LONDON — Progress in the battle against AIDS is widely divergent in different African countries, so much so that to talk about “AIDS in Africa” as one epidemic needing a single approach has become an anachronism, campaigners said on Tuesday. In an analysis of the state of the global fight against the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and AIDS, the advocacy group ONE said that while some African countries had reached a “tipping point” against the disease, others lag far behind. More than 35 million people worldwide are infected with HIV, which causes AIDS. Of that 35 million, 25 million are in sub-Saharan Africa. Yet within Africa, rates of HIV and AIDS vary widely. “Our analysis shows major distinctions between leaders...
(Daily Maverick 11/26/13)
Do twelve Africans die of hunger every minute? A senior food and nutrition adviser to Nepad, the African Union development programme, made the claim recently. But the available data suggests the claim is exaggerated. A senior food and nutrition adviser to Nepad, the development arm of the African Union, has claimed that twelve people die of hunger every minute in Africa. If true it would mean that 94,000 people - enough to fill the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg – are dying of hunger every five-and-a-half days. During an interview on SABC’s Morning Live programme which focused on “food insecurity” and widespread malnutrition in Africa, Boitshepo Giyose said: “[A]bout 300-million Africans are undernourished. That is simply unacceptable…Twelve people die of hunger...
(Bloomberg 11/26/13)
Naspers Ltd. (NPN), Africa’s largest media company, said first-half profit fell 25 percent while a plan to increase its investment will hurt earnings and cash flow in the full year. Net income declined to 3.1 billion rand ($310 million) in the six months through September from 4.15 billion rand a year earlier, the Cape Town-based company said in a statement today. Revenue rose 28 percent to 28.8 billion rand. “We expect development spend to exceed 7 billion rand for the full financial year,” Naspers said. “As this investment is largely made through the income statement, it will have a dampening effect on both earnings and cash flows in the second half of the current financial year and, cumulatively, for the...
(AFP (eng) 11/25/13)
NOUAKCHOTT, November 25, 2013 (AFP) - Mauritania's main Islamist party said on Monday the country's parliamentary and local elections had been marred by "ballot stuffing" and other forms of fraud. Tewassoul president Jemil Ould Mansour told a news conference the party had found "serious irregularities" which could discredit Saturday's polls, including "ballot stuffing in some places and the resumption of the vote after the count in others". "We cannot accept this fact in any way and we have sent a delegation to the (election commission) to talk about it," he said. He did not say which parties had benefited from the alleged ballot-stuffing, a form of electoral fraud in which people submit multiple ballots during a vote in which only...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/25/13)
NOUAKCHOTT ---(Reuters) - Voters in Mauritania went to the polls in Saturday in legislative and local elections expected to bring a once-outlawed Islamist party into parliament for the first time.The legislative polls - the first since a 2008 army putsch - are being boycotted by most of the West African nation's opposition parties. They refuse to recognise the authority of President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, who led the bloodless coup claiming the previous President Sidi Mohamed Ould Cheikh Abdallahi was incapable of tackling the economic problems squeezing Mauritania's mostly poor inhabitants. Candidates allied to Abdel Aziz, who won a presidential election in 2009 and is now a key ally of the West in the fight against al Qaeda in the...
(AFP (eng) 11/25/13)
JERUSALEM, (AFP) - The Israeli cabinet approved Sunday measures aimed at deporting thousands of Africans who illegally entered the country and who are perceived by it as a threat to its Jewish character. A statement from the prime minister's office said that beyond the measures, which include a crackdown on employers and financial incentives for home-bound Africans, the interior ministry has drafted a bill that would enable to detain illegal migrants for one year without trial. The new bill, which will be brought before parliament on Monday for an initial hearing and vote, was formulated after a previous law from 2012 allowing the three-year detainment without trial of illegals was overturned by Israel's supreme court in September. According to the...
(National Mirror Online 11/25/13)
In spite of the abundance of raw materials at its threshold, industrialisation in Africa, especially in Nigeria has been facing serious challenges with the continued unbridled importation of goods going on around the continent. To tackle the challenges, stakeholders are of the belief that total ban on importation of some goods would go a long way in bringing back the industries. Away from the stereotype that labour unions are mainly concerned with agitations, strikes and protests, the recently trilateral conference involving three major labour unions-the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ghana Trade Union Congress and South Africa Trade Union, gave a glimpse of their resourcefulness in addressing socio-economic issues pervading the African continent. The conference, with the theme, “Working Class Solidarity for...
(AFP (eng) 11/23/13)
NOUAKCHOTT, November 23, 2013 (AFP) - Mauritanians voted Saturday in nationwide elections overshadowed by a widespread boycott of opposition parties, with all eyes on the performance of an Islamist party allowed to take part for the first time. The mainly-Muslim republic, a former French colony on the west coast of the Sahara desert, is seen by the West as strategically important in the fight against Al-Qaeda-linked groups within its own borders, as well in neighbouring Mali and across Africa's Sahel region. "I think these elections today are a victory for democracy in my country," President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz said after visiting his local polling booth in Nouakchott. Around a third of Mauritania's 3.4 million people are eligible to vote...
(Bloomberg 11/23/13)
Mauritania will hold its first legislative and municipal elections since 2006 tomorrow that most opposition parties are boycotting because they believe the vote won’t be fair. President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz’s Union for the Republic is expected to win a majority of seats because of the boycott by the Coordination of Democratic Opposition. There are 438 candidates competing for 147 seats in the national assembly, while more than 1,000 candidates are taking part in the municipal vote, the independent electoral commission said. The opposition Rainbow party rejects the election because it says a majority of black Mauritanians don’t have voter cards. Police used tear gas to disperse protesters at the office of the electoral commission this week, according to the...
(Bloomberg 11/23/13)
UBS AG (UBSN), the world’s biggest wealth manager, is targeting millionaire clients in oil-rich Nigeria and Angola as Swiss rival Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) withdraws from some African markets. “The amount of people on the continent that fall within our wealth-management bracket is increasing every day,” Sean Bennett, the Johannesburg-based managing director of UBS in sub-Saharan Africa, said in a Nov. 20 interview. “There’s still tons of opportunities still relatively untapped.” UBS is vying with Swiss banks from Julius Baer Group Ltd. to Pictet & Cie. for emerging market millionaires as a global crackdown on tax evasion forces European and American clients to withdraw funds. While Bennett sees potential to woo super-rich customers in Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and...
(Bloomberg 11/22/13)
Mauritania will hold its first legislative and municipal elections since 2006 tomorrow that most opposition parties are boycotting because they believe the vote won’t be fair. President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz’s Union for the Republic is expected to win a majority of seats because of the boycott by the Coordination of Democratic Opposition. There are 438 candidates competing for 147 seats in the national assembly, while more than 1,000 candidates are taking part in the municipal vote, the independent electoral commission said. The opposition Rainbow party rejects the election because it says a majority of black Mauritanians don’t have voter cards. Police used tear gas to disperse protesters at the office of the electoral commission this week, according to the...
(AL Jazeera 11/22/13)
The third Africa-Arab summit has concluded with leaders expressing their commitment to tackling terrorism and a call for closer economic cooperation.The Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al Ahmed al Sabah, host of this year's event, said on Wednesday, “we have a long way and hard work ahead, requiring doubled efforts, and vigorous follow up, to match the high expectations and various challenges." The Kuwait Declaration presented at the end of the two-day summit said "the leaders call for stronger ties to combat terrorism by criminalising ransom payments to terrorists and confronting transnational crime." The declaration also called for accelerating economic integration in the Arab world, which includes oil-rich Gulf States and investment-thirsty African states. Kuwait, the largest investor from the...

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