Sunday 10 December 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 11/07/17)
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Ride-hailing service Uber Technologies Inc. [UBER.UL] is growing rapidly in sub-Saharan Africa and considering moves into more markets, despite sometimes violent opposition from metered taxi drivers, a senior executive said on Tuesday. Uber’s service has triggered protests by rivals from London to New Delhi as it up-ends traditional business models that require professional drivers to pay steep licensing fees to do business. “We are bullish on Africa. The growth here is still substantial and we think that given the right regulatory environment, the growth could be even better,” Justin Spratt, head of business development for the sub-Saharan region, told Reuters. “Africa’s growth thus far has been faster than America and a large part of that is...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/06/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Africa’s mobile internet connections are set to double in the next five years, a study showed on Monday, thanks to affordable smartphones and the roll-out of high-speed networks. A report by research and consulting firm Ovum in London estimates that mobile broadband connections will rise from 419 million at the end of this year to 1.07 billion by the end of 2022. “Data connectivity is growing strongly in Africa, and there are also good prospects on the continent in areas such as digital media, mobile financial services, and the Internet of Things,” said Matthew Reed, Practice Leader Middle East and Africa at Ovum. “But as Africa’s TMT market becomes more convergent and complex, service providers are under...
(AFP (eng) 11/03/17)
US politicians are voicing concern over America's growing military presence across Africa, where they worry the Pentagon is getting ever more embroiled in a secretive campaign against a shifting enemy. Last month's killing of four US soldiers in a Niger ambush has thrust the issue into the spotlight, with lawmakers calling for greater transparency on what is going on in Africa. "The footprint in Africa is much bigger than the American public understands," Democratic Senator Tim Kaine said this week. The Niger ambush has also rekindled debate over the legal authorities the Pentagon uses to fight jihadist groups overseas, particularly in Africa where about 6,000 US troops are deployed across the vast continent. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis this week faced...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/31/17)
HARARE (Reuters) - Economic growth is expected to rise to 3.4 percent in sub-Saharan Africa next year from 2.6 percent in 2017, the IMF said in a report on Monday, but warned that rising debt and political risks in larger economies would weigh down future growth. Nigeria and South African are the biggest economies in Africa south of the Sahara, but both nations have been clouded by political uncertainty linked to the tenure of their leaders. The IMF said a good harvest and recovery in oil output in Nigeria would contribute more than half of the growth in the region this year while an uptick in mining and a better harvest in South Africa as well as a rebound in...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/24/17)
WINDHOEK (Reuters) - Namibia’s government on Tuesday rejected accusations by the coordinator of the UN Panel of Experts on North Korea who accused the southern African nation of not complying with UN Security Council sanctions against Pyongyang. Namibia said that it rejected allegations that it had not submitted a report for more than a year to the Security Council’s sanctions committee on North Korea. “The Government of Namibia wishes to categorically state that it has submitted reports to the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee as required, the last having been submitted on 8 April 2017,” Lineekela Mboti, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation, said in a statement. Hugh Griffiths, who is the coordinator of the...
(AFP (eng) 10/24/17)
Elephant poaching in Africa declined for a fifth straight year in 2016 but seizures of illegal ivory hit records highs, the CITES monitor said Tuesday, calling it a "conflicting phenomena". In its latest report, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species also noted that despite the overall fall in poaching, Africa's elephant population has continued to drop "due to continued illegal killing, land transformation and rapid human expansion." Global illegal ivory trade has remained relatively stable for six years, CITES reported. But 2016 saw a full 40 tonnes of illegal ivory seized, the most since 1989, as well as the hightest-ever number of "large-scale ivory seizures", the group said. "The overall weight of seized ivory in illegal trade is...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/23/17)
WINDHOEK (Reuters) - Namibia recorded fewer cases of rhino and elephant poaching this year compared to recent years, the southern African nation’s minister of environment and tourism said on Monday. Namibia has one of the largest black rhino populations in the world; but as in neighboring South Africa, it is under threat from the lucrative market in rhino horn, especially in Asia. So far this year, 27 rhinos were poached compared to 60 last year and 95 in 2015, environment and tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta told reporters. Twenty elephants have been poached since January compared to 101 in 2016 and 49 a year before. “More resources have been allocated to fight poaching, more government agencies, non-governmental organizations, private sector, international...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/23/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - African political leaders, activists, and local chiefs joined forces on Monday to commit to ending child marriage in West and Central Africa, the region with the highest child marriage rate in the world. More than a third of girls in the region are married under the age of 18, with the rate over 50 percent in six countries and up to 76 percent in Niger. Driven by factors including poverty, insecurity and religious tradition, marrying off girls once they reach puberty or even before is a deeply engrained social custom in much of West and Central Africa. The practice hampers global efforts to reduce poverty and population growth and has negative impacts on women’s and...
(AFP (eng) 10/21/17)
The killing of four American special operations soldiers in Niger has highlighted the increasing role elite units are playing across Africa, which is rapidly becoming a major center of US military action. Their mission is to counter the advances of a slew of jihadist movements across the continent, including Al-Shabaab in Somalia, affiliates of the Islamic State group in the Sahel region and Boko Haram in Nigeria. Of the 8,000 special forces "operators" deployed globally this year, more than 1,300 are in Africa, according to officials from the US Special Operations Command (SOCOM), which is based in Tampa, Florida. Another 5,000 or so are in the Middle East. In five years, the number of US commandos in Africa has tripled...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/20/17)
WINDHOEK (Reuters) - Namibia said on Friday that local home owners listed with U.S. short-term rental service Airbnb Inc risk imprisonment if they fail to register with the tourism regulatory body before the end of this year. The southern African nation is a long-haul destination for European, American and Asian tourists and the sector contributes around 15 percent to its gross domestic product. Under Namibian laws, any accommodation establishment with two or more bedrooms is required to register with the tourism board, or face a fine, a two-year jail term or both. “We need to guarantee the health and safety of guests, but we cannot do that if the accommodation is not registered or regulated,” Namibia Tourism Board Chief Executive...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/20/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The #MeToo social media campaign to raise awareness about sexual harassment and abuse has sparked conversation in parts of Africa where domestic violence is rampant but strong cultural and religious taboos prevent women from admitting it. Prompted by sexual abuse allegations against American film mogul Harvey Weinstein, millions of women around the world have been sharing their experiences of harassment and abuse on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #MeToo. The movement has reached only a small part of the population in West Africa, but some women are participating in defiance of attitudes which dictate that being abused brings shame on the family, is a curse, or makes a woman unmarriageable. In Senegal, some women...
(Xinhuanet 10/19/17)
Transit volumes for Zambia via Namibia's Port of Walvis Bay grew by 15 percent over the last financial year, reaching a new high of more than 40,000 tonnes for September 2017, according to Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG) CEO, Johny Smith. Through the recent figures, it is evident of the growing confidence on the Walvis Bay-Ndola-Lubumbashi Development Corridor (WBCNLDC), especially the Zambian market, Smith said Wednesday. According to Smith, since the inception of this route more than a decade ago, the Zambian market has achieved a better balance between imports and exports, which has also reduced the costs on the corridor over time. "A variety of commodities have been established over a period of time to support the balance of...
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
Rent-a-room giant Airbnb said Tuesday that it had provided accommodation for 1.2 million visitors to Africa over the last year -- double the previous year as tourism expands across the continent. The website now offers more than 100,000 accommodation options in Africa, global public affairs director Chris Lehane said on a visit to Johannesburg. "It's an incredibly rich and diverse continent, an incredibly dynamic place, certainly a big part of our future," Lehane told AFP. Airbnb was founded in 2008 and offers accommodation ranging from single bedrooms to whole homes in 65,000 cities in 191 countries. The company announced Tuesday that it would invest $1 million (850,000 euros) in Africa by 2020 to "promote and support community-led tourism projects". "For...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
Though its motto is "one Africa, one voice", the reality of "Africa's parliament" could not be more different. Since its creation in 2004, the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) has struggled to make its voice heard, prompting its deputies to ask themselves at a recent gathering: "What are we for?" "Every time we're here, we obsess over the same things. If we are not making laws, then what's the point of being here?" Corneille Padonou of Benin said to his fellow parliamentarians. "This forum is not a parliament, it is just a discussion platform that does not have any legislative powers. This institution is still wobbly," said Floyd Shivambu, a parliamentarian from South Africa. "As it is, it is a waste of...
(APA 10/16/17)
APA-Dakar (Senegal) - The president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, will deliver the Norman Borlaug Lecture on Monday 16 October as part of the World Food Prize events taking place from October 16 to 20, 2017 in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. The Norman Borlaug Lecture under the title: “Betting on Africa to Feed the World”, will be held on World Food Day, October 16, in conjunction with the annual World Food Prize celebration. AfDB President Adesina will receive the 2017 World Food Prize on Thursday October 19, announced a press release issued by the AfDB on October 16, which also said “the prize is to agriculture what the Nobel Prize is to peace, science and literature.” The World...
(APA 10/12/17)
APA-Windhoek (Namibia) - Namibia’s Ministry of Tourism and Environment and the Department of Veterinary Services on Thursday commenced the process of destroying bodies of hippos and buffaloes that have succumbed to an anthrax outbreak in the Bwabwata National Park along the Kavango River in the east of the country. The ministry said on Thursday that over 100 hippos and several buffaloes have died of anthrax in the Mahango Core Area in the western part of the 6,274 square kilometre long Bwabwata National Park in north-eastern Namibia. Environment and Tourism Minister Pohamba Shifeta said in a statement that his ministry has started the immediate removal of the dead animals from the river and burning them in an efforts to contain the...
(APA 10/11/17)
APA-Gaborone (Botswana) - Authorities in Botswana warned on Wednesday that scores of carcasses of dead hippos suspected to have succumbed to an outbreak in neighbouring Namibia are posing a health hazard in areas along the Okavango River after floating into the country through the river. The river, which flows in the northern part of the country, is shared between Botswana, Namibia and Angola. Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism spokesperson Daniel Moatshe said in an interview that veterinarians have confirmed the cause of death...
(AFP (eng) 10/10/17)
Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is set to accelerate to 3.4 percent next year, the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday, citing Nigeria's recovering oil and agricultural sectors. The IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook report that the region would grow by 2.6 percent this year after 1.4 percent in 2016. "Growth is expected to rise gradually," it said, while noting that the rate would be uneven and "barely above population growth". GDP in the west African powerhouse Nigeria contracted by 1.6 percent in 2016, but is predicted to grow by 0.8 percent this year and 1.9 percent next year. The IMF said Nigeria was benefitting from "recovering oil production and ongoing strength in the agricultural sector", but the...
(AFP (eng) 10/09/17)
Over 100 hippos have died in Namibia in a remote national park in the past week, the country's environment minister said on Monday, warning that anthrax could be to blame. Images from the Bwabwata national park in northeast Namibia showed dozens of lifeless hippos, some flat on their backs, others with just their heads visible above murky water. "Over 100 hippos died in the past week. The cause of death is unknown but the signs so far show that it could be anthrax," Pohamba Shifeta told AFP. He said the toll could be higher as crocodiles might have eaten some of the carcasses. "Our veterinary services are currently working at the area to determine the cause of death. Once we...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/05/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (HLT.N) plans to spend $50 million over the next five years to add 100 hotels to its chain in Africa, it said on Thursday, joining other chains keen to tap growing business and international travel on the continent. One property will open in the Kenyan capital Nairobi by the end of this year and another in the Rwandan capital Kigali in 2018, it said in a statement. There was 11 percent growth in Sub-Saharan African tourism in the past year, according to data from the U.N. World Tourism Organisation. Hilton said the remaining additions to its 39 existing African properties would be operational within the next five years. “The model of converting existing...

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