Sunday 25 June 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 05/27/17)
Leaders of the Group of Seven wealthy nations met African heads of state on Saturday, the final day of their annual summit which has been marked by discord over climate change, but unity on tackling terrorism. Italy had hoped to make Africa the major focus of the annual G7 gathering, holding the discussions on the island of Sicily that has taken in hundreds of thousands of migrants over the past four years as they flee war and poverty back home. However, the two-day meeting got overshadowed by a suicide bombing in northern England on Monday that killed 22 people, and also got bogged down by lengthy discussions on the merit of free trade and the 2015 Paris Agreement to tackle...
(AFP (eng) 05/26/17)
Entertainment | France | film | festival | Cannes | Zambia | witchcraft Cannes, France | AFP | Friday 5/26/2017 - 14:01 UTC+3 | 615 words by Katy Lee Being accused of witchcraft is no laughing matter in Africa -- but movie director Rungano Nyoni decided a dose of humour was just what was needed to tackle a problem rampant in parts of the continent. Set in Zambia, the sharp satire "I Am Not A Witch" has premiered to strong reviews at the Cannes film festival, taking aim at the blatant sexism behind accusations that overwhelmingly target women. White tourists are seen gawping at women detained in a "witch camp" in the movie, taking pictures of them as if they're...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/24/17)
When U.S. President Donald Trump and other leaders of the world's seven major industrialized nations gather in Sicily on Friday, they will enjoy a spectacular view of the Mediterranean Sea, but won't get any glimpse of boats full of migrants. A common sight off Sicily in recent years, the authorities have banned all migrant landings on the island during the Group of Seven Summit for security reasons, telling rescue vessels that pick them up at sea to take them to the mainland during the two-day meeting. Out of sight does not mean out of mind. Italy chose to host the summit in Taormina, on the cliffs of eastern Sicily, to concentrate minds on Europe's migrant crisis and to seek ways...
(APA 05/23/17)
The Mozambican Minister of Mineral Resources, Letícia Klemens, has said South Africa's petrochemical giant Sasol is investing $2.4 million in the construction of a gas processing plant in Mozambique, APA can report on Tuesday. According to local media reports, Klemens made the announcement on Tuesday during a visit to the petrochemical company, and that the new project is to start in 2019. State-controlled daily newspaper Noticias says Sasol is currently investing in the opening of new natural gas wells and in the assembly of new pipelines, and consequently in the increase of production and the infrastructure for the domestic gas processing and light oil.
(Bloomberg 05/23/17)
As China's government sets up farms in developing countries, the nation's food companies are scouring the world for premium products Inside a gated compound patrolled by armed guards, hulking towers and concrete buildings loom over fields where Silva Muthemba once grew maize and fattened his cattle. The granaries and surveillance cameras in this corner of southern Mozambique were part of a wave of Chinese investment in overseas farms and agriculture companies a decade ago that sparked accusations of a land-grab as the Asian country tried to secure enough food for its future. The Mozambique government teamed up with China’s Hubei province to develop the area, hoping to return productivity to levels recorded before the African nation's 16-year civil war. In...
(IRIN 05/23/17)
Maputo — Diagnosed HIV-positive two years ago, Kayana Kandagona* suffers regular episodes of dizziness. However, this is not the cause of the 34-year-old's anxiety as she waits for a routine appointment at a faith-based organisation's outpatient clinic in the Mozambican capital, Maputo. Cradling her three-month-old HIV-negative daughter she explains that her 12-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son are always saying: "Mama, we are hungry". The collapse of the single mother's cross-border trading business and her sudden relegation to the ranks of the urban poor was as swift as the sharp slump in Mozambique's macro-economic fortunes. Kandagona, like many Mozambicans, blames former president Armando Guebuza for the financial scandal at the end of his final term in office that has wrecked one...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/23/17)
Fossils from Greece and Bulgaria of an ape-like creature that lived 7.2 million years ago may fundamentally alter the understanding of human origins, casting doubt on the view that the evolutionary lineage that led to people arose in Africa. Scientists said on Monday the creature, known as Graecopithecus freybergi and known only from a lower jawbone and an isolated tooth, may be the oldest-known member of the human lineage that began after an evolutionary split from the line that led to chimpanzees, our closest cousins. The jawbone, which included teeth, was unearthed in 1944 in Athens. The premolar was found in south-central Bulgaria in 2009. The researchers examined them using sophisticated new techniques including CT scans and established their age...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/22/17)
Countries in sub-Saharan Africa need to get their budgets in order, diversify their economies and look after their poorest people. If they do that, there is no reason why the region cannot have the strong growth needed to meet the aspirations of a young and growing population. That, at least, is the three-pillared prescription from the International Monetary Fund as expressed by one of its top Africa researchers, Celine Allard, in an official IMF blog post and podcast. Allard co-authored the Fund's regional economic outlook, released earlier this month. It found that sub-Saharan economic growth hit only 1.4 percent last year, the lowest level in two decades and well off the 5-6 percent rates normally reached. It was also well...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/20/17)
France will step up the fight against resurgent Islamist militants in north and west Africa and will work more closely with Germany to help the tinderbox region, President Emmanuel Macron said on his first trip outside Europe on Friday. Visiting Mali days after taking office, Macron vowed to keep French troops in the Sahel region until there was "no more Islamist terrorism" there. He said operations would be escalated in response to signs that militant groups were regrouping and uniting. "It is vital today that we speed up. Our armed forces are giving their all, but we must speed up" efforts to secure the Sahel, he told a news conference in Gao, Mali, where he held talks with President Ibrahim...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/19/17)
When rich countries wrote off billions of dollars of African debt in 2005, they hoped governments would think twice about borrowing again in costly foreign currencies. Over a decade later, most sub-Saharan African countries still rely on U.S. dollar-denominated debt to finance their economies. Some investors say this is sowing the seeds of future debt crises if local currencies devalue and make dollar debt repayments more expensive. Aside from South Africa and Nigeria, governments have not yet done enough to develop capital markets that would have allowed them to raise more money in their own currencies, investors say. United Nations trade body UNCTAD estimates that Africa's external debt stock rapidly grew to $443 billion by 2013 through bilateral borrowing, syndicated...
(IRIN 05/18/17)
Diagnosed HIV-positive two years ago, Kayana Kandagona* suffers regular episodes of dizziness. However, this is not the cause of the 34-year-old's anxiety as she waits for a routine appointment at a faith-based organisation's outpatient clinic in the Mozambican capital, Maputo. Cradling her three-month-old HIV-negative daughter she explains that her 12-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son are always saying: "Mama, we are hungry". The collapse of the single mother's cross-border trading business and her sudden relegation to the ranks of the urban poor was as swift as the sharp slump in Mozambique's macro-economic fortunes. Kandagona, like many Mozambicans, blames former president Armando Guebuza
(Bloomberg 05/18/17)
Steinhoff International Holdings NV plans to list its African assets separately as the acquisitive retailer seeks a new prize for shareholders following this year’s failed merger talks with Shoprite Holdings Ltd. The company said Wednesday it will seek to list businesses including clothing retailer Pepkor and furniture chain JD Group Ltd. on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, about 18 months after moving its primary listing to Frankfurt from the South African commercial hub. The new business could be worth as much as 60 billion rand ($4.5 billion), said Evan Walker, a money manager at 36one Asset Management in Johannesburg, although the valuation could also be as low as 40 billion rand depending on how much debt Steinhoff puts into the vehicle...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/17/17)
Gay and lesbian Africans who fled abuse in their home countries face a "culture of disbelief" which makes their experience of seeking asylum in Britain traumatic, a Nigerian lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender rights (LGBT) campaigner said. Aderonke Apata, 50, who fled persecution in Nigeria, said the practice of assessing Africans' sexual orientation claims based on Western standards was problematic. "They expect an LGBT person to have used sex toys, to go to gay clubs," Apata, an asylum seeker who founded African LGBT charity, African Rainbow Family, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Apata has been trying to claim asylum in Britain for 13 years, but her case was refused several times after a judge ruled that she was pretending to be...
(Bloomberg 05/16/17)
When the impoverished West African nation of Niger imposed a ban on donkey exports last year, a small community of traders just over the border in Nigeria was devastated. “Before the ban, you could see thousands of donkeys here,” said Mohammed Sani, a 45-year-old trader in the Nigerian town of Jibiya, as he wiped the sweat off his brow. “Now look at them: there’s no more than 50, crippling the business.” Donkeys are being slaughtered at an alarming pace to feed a global trade in donkey hides that’s fueled by soaring demand in China, where the skins are used to manufacture a gelatin believed to have anti-ageing and libido-enhancing properties. The gelatin, known in China as e’jiao, is so popular...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/13/17)
Tackling climate change in Africa could help resolve multiple problems ravaging the continent, from drought to refugees and violence, the head of the African Union said on Friday. The mix of global warming with economic woes and political conflicts keeps peace from taking hold, said Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Union's new chairman, at Chatham House, an international think tank. "There is a link between climate change and prosperity, as well as peace, on the continent," Mahamat said in French with an interpreter. "Africa is among the least polluting continents, and yet it is the continent that suffers most," he said. Mahamat, the former foreign minister of Chad, was chosen to chair the 55-member, Addis Ababa-based organization in January. In Africa's...
(Agence Ecofin 05/11/17)
In Mozambique, the clergy denounced the excessive exploitation of rural land by foreign investors. This was revealed in a recently published pastoral letter. “The exploitation of African lands by industrialized countries favors the marginalization and impoverishment of local communities. From 2000 to 2013, 56 million hectares of lands in Africa have been sold or awarded to foreigners. This in a context where, in Mozambique for example, 70% of the population is situated in rural areas and lives on agriculture,” declared the Mozambique Episcopal Conference (MEC). Bishop João Carlos Hatoa Nunes, MEC’s interim secretary general went further, saying: “in all of Mozambique’s provinces, there are conflicts and these are fueled by the fact that too many foreign companies use the land...
(Fox News 05/10/17)
After five years of no major attacks on merchant vessels, piracy around the Horn of Africa seemed to be on hiatus. Acts of piracy in those treacherous waters have fallen sharply since 2012, according to statistics released by the United States Navy. The Navy credits aggressive patrolling by international forces and increased vigilance by the commercial shipping industry for the decrease. However, in the past month, Somali pirates have intercepted five ships, raising concerns that piracy has returned to the Indian Ocean, beginning with the kidnapping of a Sri Lankan crew from the Aris 13 oil tanker on March 13th (they were later released without a ransom). Nobody thinks the problem will end until a stable government is restored in...
(Xinhuanet 05/05/17)
The leader of Renamo, the main opposition party in Mozambique, announced a truce with no limited date on Thursday, clarifying that final peace deal is to be reached between him and the government of Mozambique. The announcement made through a conference call at the party headquarters in Maputo is the 4th renewal of the truce since the first one-week truce announced in December 27 last year. "The truce with no limited date is different from all those I announced before. It is good news for Mozambican people. This truce reveals that I have changed my strategy, I have listened to people particularly businessmen," said Afonso Dlhakama, leader of Renamo. He also said that effective peace is taking shape in the...
(Voice of America 05/05/17)
As Africa grapples with a severe drought, and famine threatens millions of people, experts at the World Economic Forum on Africa this week in the South African city of Durban say food security needs to be a major part of discussions on advancing the continent economically. The annual World Economic Forum in Switzerland is usually a high-powered event, but at this week’s Africa meeting of the international organization, the continent’s big players are welcoming the humble farmer, now known as the “agripreneur.” Agricultural economist Paul Makube, with South Africa’s First National Bank, told VOA it makes sense to talk about farming when discussing building competitive markets, and boosting innovation and technology. “For business to prosper, you need a situation where...
(AFP (eng) 05/04/17)
Mozambique's opposition leader Afonso Dhlakama on Thursday extended indefinitely a unilateral truce he first announced in December, calling it the "beginning of the end" of the war between his rebels and the government. "Today I announce an indefinite truce. It is not the end of the war, but it is the beginning of the end," Dhlakama, whose Renamo party is the main opposition in the country, told journalists. "This is great news for the people of Mozambique," he said, speaking from his hideout in central Mozambique at a news briefing transmitted to the media assembled at Renamo headquarters in the capital Maputo. Dhlakama had retreated in October 2015 to the central Gorongosa mountain range with 800 former fighters demanding a...

Pages