Tuesday 25 July 2017
(Xinhuanet 01/26/17)
Adopting African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) has been named a major task for the African Union (AU) this year as the 30th session of its Executive Council opened on Wednesday. In her remarks at the opening of the meeting, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the AU Commission, called for member countries' commitment to meeting the first target in Agenda 2063 of commencing the CFTA by end of 2017. She underlines the need "to do what needs to be done on the free movement of persons, so that we unlock opportunities for intra-African trade, studies, business and tourism." In her remarks at the opening of the 33rd session of the AU Permanent Representatives Committee on Sunday, Dlamini-Zuma said the AU's major...
(AFP (eng) 01/25/17)
Under a lone baobab tree, a group of Mozambican men tell of their struggles in a new settlement where they were relocated from their village to make way for the country's biggest coal mine. The small community of former subsistence farmers feel robbed of their livelihood since being resettled by Brazilian giant Vale six years ago. Their new neighbourhood, named 25 de Setembro, is a cluster of shoddy houses in a dusty and arid corner of the western coal mining town of Moatize in Tete province. It falls far short of their expectations of "urban living" promised by the firm. "Nobody is happy here," said Arnaldo Chirimba, who heads a committee representing the relocated families. The community claim their dream...
(Bloomberg 01/25/17)
Taiwan’s last two African allies have no plans to switch allegiances and break ties with Taipei as Beijing tries to woo the self-ruled island’s diplomatic partners. Burkina Faso won’t cut relations with Taiwan despite people and companies with links to China offering funding in return for recognition of the One-China principle, according to Foreign Minister Alpha Barry. Swaziland said its relationship with Taiwan is based on mutual interests, not on money. “We get outrageous proposals telling us, ‘if you sign with Beijing we’ll offer you $50 billion or even more,’’’ Barry said in an interview in the capital, Ouagadougou, this month. “Taiwan is our friend and our partner. We’re happy and we see no reason to reconsider the relationship.” Competition...
(AFP (eng) 01/24/17)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday called on Mozambican leader Filipe Nyusi to take action against the exiled cleric he blames for last year's failed coup. Erdogan was echoing the call to arms that he made during a stop in the Tanzanian capital Dar es Salaam on Monday as part of his tour of three African countries. He told a reception in Maputo that "we are aware that Fethullahists have a presence here in Mozambique", referring to Fethullah Gulen's Hizmet movement which is linked to a network of schools across the world, including in Africa. "They have a vast sector of schools and associations all around the world, and they have a wide network here in Mozambique as well,"...
(Cnbc Africa 01/24/17)
While Brexit and the U.S. election dominated headlines in 2016, the African continent witnessed major changes of its own. Its two largest economies were destabilized, with Nigeria being driven into recession and the South African political elite grappling for power. Conflict continued to make news, with the continuation of people trafficking across the Mediterranean and violence in South Sudan bubbling over. Macroeconomic concerns Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa fell to 1.5 percent in 2016 according to the World Bank, which deemed this "the weakest pace in over two decades." The slowdown was chiefly blamed on low commodity prices. But, the organization forecasts growth of 2.9 percent in the region for 2017. Africa's two biggest economies have a lot to account for...
(Voice of America 01/20/17)
By most measures, Africa is safer today than it has been in the modern era: Diseases are less deadly and wars are less frequent. But recent years have also been marked by a rise in radical extremism on the continent, and the terror threat could derail some of the world's fastest-growing economies. Dealing with the spread of radicalization has been a central focus of U.S. President Barack Obama's foreign policy during his time in office. Few areas have been spared over the past eight years, with much of the continent living in the shadow of a violent extremist group: al-Shabab in Somalia and East Africa, Islamic State (IS) in Libya, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in Mali, the Lord's...
(Xinhuanet 01/18/17)
The Chinese government's decision to terminate ivory processing and trade by the end of 2017 marked a critical milestone in the journey toward eliminating poaching and other threats to Africa's elephant species, a conservationist group said on Wednesday. Kaddu Sebunya, president of African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) hailed China for taking bold measures to revitalize global efforts to save African elephants whose numbers had declined this decade due to poaching and climatic stresses. "The recent announcement by the central government of China to ban all domestic ivory trade by the end of 2017 offers a glimmer of real optimism in the fight against elephant poaching," Sebunya said in a statement issued in Nairobi The Chinese authority in December 2016 announced the...
(New Vision 01/17/17)
“I can tell you that rats destroy up to 60% of health equipment in Africa,” Ssali said. Ssali sought to highlight the dangers that exist when biomedical engineers are not consulted in the management of health equipment including x-rays and CT scans. For instance, he narrated, cables of a CT scan installed at one unnamed facility were eaten up by rats, costing the institution over $5,000 to replace. Biomedical engineers are professionals who maintain and repair machines for diagnosing medical problems. They design medical equipment and devices, artificial internal organs or synthetic body parts. In Africa, the profession is relatively new-just about 10 years old in Uganda, it has been in existence in the developed world for nearly half a...
(AFP (eng) 01/16/17)
Mozambique, caught between a scandal over hidden debt that has prompted an aid cut-off and a commodity price slump, said Monday it would miss a $60 million interest payment. The country is currently in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over resuming support that was suspended in April due to the hidden debt scandal. "The deteriorating macroeconomic and fiscal situation of the Republic has severely affected the country's public finances," the finance ministry said in a statement in Maputo. "The resulting debt payment capacity of the Republic is therefore extremely limited in 2017, and does not allow the Republic room to make the scheduled
(RFI 01/14/17)
The 27th Africa-France Summit kicked off on Friday in the Malian capital Bamako with more than 30 African heads of state meeting French officials to discuss the threat of jihadists in the Sahel region and improve democracy in Africa. the meeting is also an opportunity for French president François Hollande to showcase his legacy. The choice to hold the 27th Africa-France summit in Mali is not insignificant. Bamako is where president François Hollande first revealed himself as an international statesman, when France's military launched Operation Serval in January 2013 as jihadists allied to Tuareg rebels took control of the north of the country. "I took the necessary steps and we intervened militarily, and what we did there in terms of...
(AFP (eng) 01/13/17)
France's top diplomat Jean-Marc Ayrault struck a defiant tone at a summit on Friday with foreign ministers from across Africa as he urged them to show confidence and hope despite the deadly jihadist threat. With the battle against extremists, the struggle to improve governance and the migrant crisis high on the agenda, ministers from at least 30 nations met in Mali's capital Bamako ahead of heads of state due on Saturday. Mali called on France four years ago to help force jihadists out of key northern cities. To this day, 4,000 French troops remain in the country and across the Sahel region. "(Choosing) Bamako as the venue is an act of confidence after the intervention," Ayrault told journalists as the...
(AFP (eng) 01/13/17)
Talks gathering some 30 African states and France begin in Mali's capital Bamako on Friday, with leaders expected to focus on Africa's battle against jihadists and bid to improve its democratic record. The summit, also due to take in the migrant crisis, will see foreign ministers gather first, with heads of state expected to follow Saturday, according to Malian and French conference organisers. Many of the nations taking part were once ruled by France, which in recent years has boosted its military involvement in the continent. Several English-speaking African countries will also be present. In a bid to help crush the growing jihadist threat, France has trained more than 20,000 African soldiers every year since a Paris summit in 2013,...
(Huffingtonpost 01/10/17)
And it’s ironic given the growing consensus that Beijing is the U.S. president-elect’s enemy number one. Eric Olander and Cobus van Staden are the duo behind the China Africa Project and hosts of the popular China in Africa Podcast. We’re here to answer your most pressing, puzzling, even politically incorrect questions, about all things related to the Chinese in Africa and Africans in China. The election of Donald Trump has introduced a new era of uncertainty in global politics, especially in Africa where the president-elect has said little about his foreign policy agenda for the continent. Not surprisingly, Trump’s unpredictable, provocative style is sparking widespread concern across the continent as to whether the United States plans to remain engaged in...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/17)
Gabon witnessed one of the most sensational finishes to an Africa Cup of Nations tournament when no-hopers Zambia stunned the Ivory Coast to win the 2012 final. Zambia failed to qualify this time, but the Ivorians will be among the favourites again when the competition returns to the central African state with the first fixtures scheduled for Saturday. AFP Sport rates the chances of the 16 challengers for the $4 million (3.8 million euros) first prize (last three competitive results in brackets with W denoting a win, D a draw and L a loss): FAVOURITES Egypt (WWW) Back among the elite and in good form. After winning three consecutive Cup of Nations titles, they failed to qualify for the past...
(Agence Ecofin 01/06/17)
Indian firm Aaviskaar Venture Management Services (AVMS) has announced plans to raise between $100 million and $150 million for Africa investments. “We will start the fund-raising around the middle of 2017 and we expect to close it in 2018,” said Vineet Rai, founder of Intellecap-Aavishkaar group. The new African fund will focus on investing on African low-income groups, especially in the agriculture, finance and financial technology sectors. “We will use the sow-tend-reap strategy of multiple round investing and will be an early investor,” Rai told local Indian media Regions targeted are West and East Africa, especially Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania and Ghana. Investments will range from half a million to $5 million. The investment firm’s expansion strategy in Africa...
(AFP (eng) 01/04/17)
Italy vowed Wednesday to increase deportations of migrants whose asylum requests have been rejected, after a riot in a reception centre sparked by the death of a young woman. The country, which has been on the frontline of migrants arriving across the Mediterranean from North Africa, is pushing for an agreement with Niger and a renewed deal with Tunisia to facilitate returns. "We have saved many lives but we cannot accept rule-breaking. We need to speed up deportations," Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, the country's former interior minister, said in an interview with La Stampa daily. He was "working to tie up agreements which will reduce arrivals and prevent departures" from the coast of North Africa, he said after a record...
(AFP (eng) 01/03/17)
Mozambican rebel leader Afonso Dhlakama announced Tuesday a two-month ceasefire in the rumbling conflict between Renamo and the government, extending a week-long truce that was welcomed by the president. Worsening clashes between the Frelimo government and Renamo, an armed insurgent group and also an elected opposition party, have revived the spectre of Mozambique's civil war that ended more than 20 years ago. "There have been some minor incidents, but the seven-day truce went well, so I announce the extension of the truce for 60 days, until March 4," Dhlakama said in a telephone press conference. "The truce is intended to build an atmosphere conducive to advancing talks in Maputo in peace and tranquility for both sides." Dhlakama, who lives in...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/03/17)
Mozambique's Renamo opposition party said on Tuesday it had extended a ceasefire by two months to allow talks with President Filipe Nyusi's government, raising hopes for a nascent peace process. Both sides have clashed sporadically since Renamo challenged the results of the southern African nation's 2014 elections. Analysts say competition over natural resources could also be exacerbating unrest - Mozambique is on the verge of developing huge offshore gas reserves which could transform one of the world's poorest countries into a middle-income state. Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama announced a seven-day truce a week ago after what he described as a long and constructive telephone conversation with Nyusi. The ceasefire extension followed another call between the two rivals. "It is reassuring...
(Macauhub 01/03/17)
The national currencies of Angola and Mozambique are among the ten most depreciated currencies over 2016, with the kwanza falling almost 20% and the metical losing more than 30%, according to financial news agency Bloomberg. The currencies of Angola and Mozambique, the two largest Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa are among the ten worst, only surpassed by the currencies of Nigeria, Venezuela, Suriname and Egypt, in the case of Mozambique, which experienced a devaluation of 33.2%. Angola, whose kwanza depreciated by 18.9% over the last twelve months, performed slightly better than Mozambique, ahead of the currencies of Mongolia, the Congo and Sierra Leone. Angola and Mozambique are facing a significant economic downturn due to the fall in commodity prices, particularly oil,...
(Macauhub 01/03/17)
The Mozambique Tax Authority (AT) raised 173 billion meticais (US$2.395 billion) in taxes in 2016, more than the 165 billion patacas it expected, said the president of the institution, cited by the Mozambican press. Amelia Nakhare stressed that tax revenues have exceeded the initially planned amount, “in another year marked by business closures and a deep economic and financial crisis.” The president of the AT acknowledged that the Tax Authority has weaknesses, given that only a minority of Mozambicans pay taxes, “which negatively affects the tax collection capacity of the state.” The challenges of the institution in 2017 are, according to Nakhare, reducing customs clearance time at the port of Maputo and the reduction of alcohol smuggling, which accounts for...

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