Wednesday 25 April 2018
(Xinhuanet 08/22/17)
African officials on Monday called for urgent infrastructural development and regional integration to boost the continent's economy. At the Infrastructure Africa 2017 in Johannesburg, Zambian Minister of Finance Felix Mutati encouraged Africans to speedily address infrastructural deficit. "We have to inject some sense of urgency in ourselves. If we remain captured by business as usual, we are headed for disaster," said Mutati at the opening ceremony of the two-day event. "Competitiveness in Africa is being constrained by infrastructure deficit. We need about 93 billion U.S. dollars every year to address the infrastructure gap in the continent. We need to urgently implement projects," he said. Mutati said Africa has to narrow focus to innovative financing and design, better use of existing...
(AFP (eng) 08/21/17)
Kenya are to play friendlies against Togo and Mauritania in Morocco as part of their build-up for the African Nations Championships (CHAN) which they are hosting in January 2018. The warm-ups featuring local-based players will be played in Rabat on August 31 and September 4. "Whereas AFCON 2019 qualifiers and the FIFA Rankings remain crucial for us going forward, CHAN 2018, which will be hosted in Kenya is equally important, and we are happy to have secured the two friendlies," Football Kenya Federation (FKF) chief executive officer Robert Githiomi said. The CHAN 2018 championship scheduled to be held between January 11 and February
(Bloomberg 08/21/17)
GreenWish Partners, a renewable energy company run by a former Morgan Stanley executive, is planning to invest $800 million on solar-powered telecommunications towers across Africa. The project could fuel economic growth by providing power for essential services. Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest rates of energy access in the world and is home to about half of the world’s 1.2 billion people without reliable electricity, according to the International Energy Agency. The problem extends to businesses as well as households, cutting into productivity and growth. “We reduce the total cost of power by 30 percent,” said Charlotte Aubin-Kalaidjian, the founder and chief executive officer of GreenWish, who was formerly a managing director at Morgan Stanley Investment Management. “Smaller towers can run...
(AFP (eng) 08/16/17)
Mauritania's President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz has approved a newly drafted law abolishing the senate, the most controversial measure in a package of reforms passed by referendum this month. Government spokesman Mohamed Lemine Ould Cheikh confirmed that the president had given final approval to the law, in comments to reporters on Tuesday evening. The law was passed the same day the constitutional council cleared the results of the August 5 referendum in which 85 percent of those who voted approved the measure. But the official turnout figure for the vote was 53.73 percent...
(APA 08/16/17)
APA-Nouakchott (Mauritania) - The Constitutional Council in Mauritania has announced the final results of the August 5 referendum, confirming victory for the Yes vote. Speaking in Nouakchott on Tuesday, the president of the council, Sghair Ould M'Bareck said the Yes vote won with 85.70 percent, endorsing the proposed amendment to the constitution, which include scrapping the Senate and modifying the national flag and anthem. Ould M'Bareck added that all the appeals they received challenging the validity of the exercise were baseless given that “no convincing evidence was provided to the judges of the council." On 6 August, the Independent Electoral Commission had indicated that the provisional results of the referendum were 85.67 percent in favor of constitutional change with a turnout of 53 percent.
(Bloomberg 08/14/17)
The U.S. will probably maintain its current levels of aid to Africa despite President Donald Trump’s proposals to slash funding, according to Bill Gates, the world’s richest man. Trump said in May his government would no longer allocate funding for family planning, a move that has the potential to undermine aid programs in the poorest countries in the world. However, with Congress in control of the budget, it’s unlikely that all cuts proposed by the Trump administration will go ahead next year, Gates said in an interview in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s commercial capital. “It’s quite clear that they won’t make those drastic cuts,” Gates said. “I’m hopeful they won’t make any cuts at all, but that’s still subject to...
(AFP (eng) 08/10/17)
The skull of an infant ape buried by a volcano 13 million years ago has preserved intriguing clues about the ancestor humans shared with apes -- including a likely African origin, scientists said Wednesday. A previously-unknown creature that shared an extended family with the human forefather, had a flat face like that of our far-flung cousin the gibbon, but did not move like one, its discoverers wrote in the journal Nature. They named it Nyanzapithecus alesi after "ales" -- the word for "ancestor" in the Turkana language of Kenya, where the lemon-sized skull was unearthed. The sole specimen is that of an infant that would have grown to weigh about 11 kilogrammes (24 pounds) in adulthood. It had a brain...
(Xinhuanet 08/09/17)
The United States Trade Representative (USTR) on Wednesday affirmed the commitment of his country to Africa and saw "great potential to grow and deepen trade relationship." Robert E. Lighthizer expressed this in opening speech of the ministerial plenary as part of the 16th Forum of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), on Wednesday here in Togolese capital Lome. "The United States is committed to Africa. We see great potential to grow and deepen our trade relationship, with the goal of establishing a true partnership for the future", Lighthizer said. "By lowering barriers and tackling other constraints that impede trade and investment, we are poised to see U.S.-Africa trade flourish", he said, underscoring that "much more work needs to be...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/08/17)
Tuesday's action at the World Athletics Championships sees two of the most intriguing races of the program as South Africa's Wayde van Niekerk bids for the first half of his 400/200 meters double and Nigel Amos goes for gold in the men's 800m. World record holder and defending champion Van Niekerk should be unbeatable in the 400m but faces a stiff challenge, not least from Botswanan duo Isaac Makwala and Thebe Baboloki. Another Botswanan, Amos, will also have to be at his best in the 800m, where a clutch of athletes are suddenly dreaming of glory in the absence of Kenya's injured champion David Rudisha. Kenya is expected to continue its dominance of the men's 3,000m steeplechase - though American...
(AFP (eng) 08/05/17)
Mauritanians began voting Saturday on several contentious changes to their constitution sought by President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz but opposed by a wide swathe of opposition lawmakers and civil society groups. Aziz is pushing to abolish the country's Senate and several other state bodies and to make a small alteration to the national flag, measures that have galvanised a boycott movement hoping to sap the vote's credibility by forcing a low turnout. Polling stations opened at 7:00 am (0700 GMT) and were due to close at 7:00 pm (1900 GMT) in the conservative west African nation, where violent clashes have broken out after the authorities banned several rallies planned by opponents of the changes. The president is due to vote...
(AFP (eng) 08/04/17)
The head of a boycott movement opposed to a constitutional referendum in Mauritania accused the country's rulers on Friday of planning "massive fraud" on the eve of the vote, and warned of violence. Saturday's referendum follows a tense campaign punctuated by massive protests that have been at times violently put down by the security forces. Jemil Ould Mansour, head of the Islamic Tewassoul party spearheading the movement against the vote, said President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz and his supporters had fixed "the electoral roll and voting materials to prepare fraud on a massive scale." "Those in power are pushing people to violence by not allowing any kind of protest not in line with their own views," Mansour told reporters. The...
(AFP (eng) 08/04/17)
Police and opposition activists clashed Thursday in Mauritania's capital on the final day of campaigning for a controversial constitutional referendum. The authorities refused to give the green light for protests opposing the constitutional changes in Nouakchott and three regions of the west African country, leading to what activists said was "excessive" use of tear gas in an area to the west of the capital. A coalition drawn from a broad political spectrum including Islamists and anti-slavery activists in the conservative west African nation opposes measures including abolishing the senate and changing the national flag, and some are boycotting Saturday's vote. Saleh Ould Henenna, a spokesman for the protesters, said "we have to inform the authorities of our activities but we...
(AFP (eng) 08/03/17)
The sole Mauritanian political party urging citizens to vote "No" in a controversial referendum on abolishing the Senate complained Wednesday their ability to campaign had been severely restricted. The National Democratic Convergence (CDN) is alone in campaigning for a "No" vote as other opposition parties are either calling for a total boycott of the referendum on Saturday, or joining the ruling party of President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz in calling for a "Yes". "Campaigning is difficult and unequal in terms of time allocated for broadcasting...
(Xinhuanet 08/03/17)
Trade between China and Africa reached 85.3 billion U.S. dollars in H1, surging 19 percent year on year as the two sides strengthened cooperation in a wide range of areas, official data showed Thursday. The data reversed the negative growth trend since 2015, according to Gao Feng, spokesperson with the Ministry of Commerce. During January-June, Chinese imports from Africa, including minerals, agricultural products and fruits, amounted to 38.4 billion U.S. dollars, jumping 46 percent from the same period last year, while exports gained 3 percent to 47 billion U.S. dollars. Transport equipment has become a bright spot in China's exports to African countries, with that of ships, trains and aerospace equipment up 200 percent, 161 percent and 252 percent respectively,...
(AFP (eng) 08/02/17)
French and German support for a regional Sahel force to battle jihadists will persuade other European nations of the benefits of backing the counter-terror measure, Germany's defence minister said Tuesday. Ursula von der Leyen spoke to journalists in Bamako after talks with President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, arriving six days after a helicopter crash in the country's north killed two German crew who were monitoring clashes for the United Nations mission to Mali. Von der Leyen said the discussion had centred on the autumn deployment of the force from the so-called "G5 Sahel" countries (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger)
(Bloomberg 08/02/17)
Julien Ochala can’t live without his morning cup of Joe. But not just any coffee will do. For the past five years, the 37-year-old physiology lecturer at King’s College London has visited the same store every week to grab a pack of his beloved Kenyan brew. And he’s not put off by the cost: at 37 pounds a kilogram ($22 a pound), it’s more than double a similar supermarket product. "I take Kenyan coffee every morning," said Ochala, who buys his beans from Monmouth Coffee Company in Borough Market. "I love it because of the relatively higher acidity level. It keeps me active in the afternoons." Customers willing to pay a premium for African brews, known for their floral, fruity...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/01/17)
Germany on Monday lent support to France's push to make operational a new multinational military force that will tackle Islamist militants in Africa's Sahel region and urged other powers to contribute funds at an Autumn donor conference. On a joint visit to Niger's capital, Niamey, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen and her French counterpart, Florence Parly, said the Sahel force was West Africa's best hope for defeating the militants. Some observers see the G5 Sahel force — comprised of troops from Mali, Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad
(Bloomberg 08/01/17)
British American Tobacco Plc faces a formal probe by the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office following reports that the maker of Dunhill cigarettes bribed African government officials to influence tobacco legislation. BAT said Tuesday it is running its own investigations, via external legal advisers, into allegations of misconduct and is cooperating with the U.K. prosecutor. A BBC report two years ago said BAT had a lobbyist arrange bribes totaling $26,000 for three public officials in Rwanda, Burundi and the Comoros Islands in 2015. The British broadcaster said the bribery was revealed by a former employee, Paul Hopkins. At the time, BAT said “we do not tolerate corruption in our business, no matter where it takes place.” The SFO investigation adds to...
(Le Calame 07/29/17)
Le coup d’envoi de la campagne en vue du referendum du 5 Août a été donné vendredi dernier, à 0h. Partisans et adversaires du scrutin contesté rivalisent d’arguments. Les premiers plaident en faveur d’un « oui massif » aux amendements constitutionnels préconisés par le dernier dialogue politique, entre une partie de l’opposition et la majorité présidentielle, les seconds pour « faire échec » au projet gouvernemental de modifier la Constitution sans passer par les règles promulguées par Celle-ci. Sur le terrain, les uns et les autres usent de moyens disproportionnés. Le gouvernement, qui n’entend, évidemment pas, perdre son pari de faire triompher le oui, a décidé de mobiliser l’administration et tous ses moyens, media public en tête, alors que le...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/28/17)
Barclays reported a 1.2 billion pound ($1.57 billion)attributable first half loss on Friday after taking a 2.5 billion pound hit from the sale of its Africa business and calling an end to its restructuring. The British bank said it had made a 1.4 billion pound loss on the sale of 33 percent of Barclays Africa Group, and took a further 1.1 billion pound impairment charge on the sale. Barclays in June cut its stake in Barclays Africa Group to 15 percent, ending more than 90 years as a major presence in the continent as it shifts its focus back to Britain and the United States. The losses from the sale of unwanted assets including the Africa business showed the costs...

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