| Africatime
Thursday 23 March 2017
(APA 03/23/17)
The Board of Directors of the West African Development Bank (BOAD), has approved new financings estimated at nearly CFA138 billion, a statement from the financial institution seen by APA on Thursday suggests. The board made the decision during its 104th regular session in Dakar, Senegal on Wednesday. "After approving the report of its 103rd meeting held in Bamako, Mali on 14 December 2016, the Board approved BOAD's accounts for the year ended December 31, 2016, submitted for the approval of the Council of Ministers of the West African Monetary Union (UMOA). It also approved 13 new financing valued at CFA 137.75 billion, bringing the total amount of BOAD's commitments since the start of its operational...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/23/17)
N'DJAMENA French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen pledged on Wednesday to break with her country's decades-old relationship with Africa known as "Francafrique" and abolish the CFA franc currency policy that binds Paris and its former colonies. Francafrique describes an informal web of relationships Paris has maintained with its former African colonies and its support, sometimes in the form of military backing, for politicians who favor French business interests. Le Pen, one of the frontrunners in the presidential election, spoke at the end of a two-day visit to Chad where she sought to outline her policies regarding the continent, which has long held an important place in French foreign policy. "It was only in coming here and explaining that I...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/17)
Under a cloudless sky in South Africa's northwestern farming region, donkeys still amble along muddy paths, pausing to nibble on grass, oblivious to the threat from a demand for Chinese medicine. The gelatin found in the animals' skin has made them a target, leading to a growing wave of donkey slaughtering in several African countries, as gangs seek to fuel a lucrative, and in South Africa illegal, trade. Animal rights groups say the docile beasts of burden are often cruelly...
(Agence Ecofin 03/20/17)
At the Africa CEO Forum which opened this morning in Geneva, AFD Group – in partnership with the European Union – unveiled the “African Renewable Energy Scale-Up facility”, designed to boost private sector investment in on–grid and off-grid renewable energy production in Africa. In order to meet Africa’s constantly increasing energy requirements, support must be provided for mass development of the renewable energy technologies – especially solar energy – that will play such a key role over the coming years,...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/18/17)
Niger's lower house of parliament voted unanimously on Friday to investigate accusations that President Mahamadou Issoufou's former chief of staff improperly participated in the state mining company's purchase of 5.5 million pounds of uranium. A Nigerien newspaper published documents last month showing a bank transfer in November 2011 for $320 million from an account belonging to state miner Sopamin to an account controlled by an offshore company called Optima Energy. The bank transfer was signed by Issoufou's chief of staff at the time and current finance minister, Hassoumi Massaoudou, who lawmakers have said had no authority to do so. Local media has dubbed the affair "uraniumgate".
(Voice of America 03/18/17)
Each year, the University of Southern California hosts the African Global Economic and Development Summit, bringing delegations from Africa to meet with business leaders, government officials and others in the U.S. But this year, the African summit has no Africans. All were denied visas. Visa issues are not uncommon for people traveling from African nations. During her prior three summits, Mary Flowers saw a high percentage of her attendees unable to attain visas. "Usually we get 40 percent that get...
(Voice of America 03/17/17)
One of the enduring legacies of the Barack Obama presidency will be the relationship built between the United States and young Africans. As part of Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), each year 1,000 young people from sub-Saharan Africa travel to the United States to spend six weeks at a U.S. college or university. The program will continue this summer. But building enduring relationships is a two-way street, and many in Africa want to see Americans coming to their continent...
(Xinhuanet 03/16/17)
China's aid to the education sector in Africa is helping boost teacher training, a key component in skilling the population to fast track development, a UN official has said. Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, Director of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Regional Office for Eastern Africa, in an interview recognized China's contribution to Africa's education sector over the years. "We value the initiative in teacher training in Uganda and other countries in Africa. This will revitalize the teaching profession,"...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
Africa will host a Commonwealth Games one day despite the blow of Durban being stripped of hosting the 2022 edition, David Grevemberg, the chief executive of The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), told AFP. Durban lost the right to host the Games on Monday -- just 18 months after being awarded them -- when it failed to meet criteria laid down by the CGF, primarily over costs. "I wouldn't want to make a judgement call," Grevemberg told AFP on the sidelines...
(The Wall Street Journal 03/15/17)
Ndalo Media founder Khanyi Dhlomo and Mara Group founder Ashish Thakkar on where the potential is and what’s blocking it How is innovation in Africa different from innovation in Silicon Valley? And how can innovation in Africa be encouraged? Dan Keeler, frontier-markets editor of The Wall Street Journal, discussed those questions with Khanyi Dhlomo, founder and chief executive of Ndalo Media, a publisher based in South Africa, and Ashish Thakkar, founder of Mara Group, a pan-African investment group with operations...
(AFP (eng) 03/14/17)
Hama Amadou, an opposition leader in the Sahel state of Niger, was sentenced to a year's jail Monday on a charge of baby smuggling after a one-day trial that his attorneys denounced as a fix. Amadou -- who competed against President Mahamadou Issoufou in March elections in 2016 -- had left for France and was tried in absentia. He was one of a group of people accused of smuggling babies from Nigeria via Benin to wealthy couples in Niger. Shortly...
(Agence Ecofin 03/14/17)
The Land Policy Initiative (LPI), a joint programme of the tripartite consortium consisting of the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has launched a pilot project to track progress in implementing in the AU Declaration on land issues in Africa. This was revealed by the ECA in a press statement dated March 7. In collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the project will assess progress...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/13/17)
The United Arab Emirates, one of the Middle East's largest economies, wants to expand trade ties with faster growing nations in Asia and Africa, a senior official said on Sunday. Rich Gulf Arab states are looking at ways to diversify their economies, including who they trade with, after more than two years of depressed oil prices forced a rethink of government spending. The pace of economic growth in Asian and sub-Saharan African economies has made them ideal partners, Abdullah al-Saleh,...
(AFP (eng) 03/11/17)
More than half of schoolchildren have quit class in some parts of Niger due to drought which is forcing entire families of farmers to move to seek better pastures, the UN said Friday. Some 33,000 farmers' children have abandoned class to follow their parents, with the worst hit areas including the central regions of Maradi and Zinder, Agadez in the north and Tahoua in the west. In January the government said there had been a "feed deficit" of over 12...
(AFP (eng) 03/10/17)
Niger has begun the trials behind closed doors of about 1,000 suspected fighters from the Boko Haram jihadist movement, officials said Friday. Chief prosecutor Chaibou Samna told AFP that the trials, on charges of terrorist links, had begun on March 2. Those facing trial are from several countries including Niger and Mali, Samna said, as well as neighbouring Nigeria where Boko Haram's deadly insurgency began in 2009 before spreading abroad. Some of the suspects were "captured during combat" in southern Niger across the border from Boko Haram's stronghold in Nigeria, a security source said. Samna said the trials will last several months and mostly arise from offences
(AFP (eng) 03/10/17)
In the beginning was .com, followed by a host of other .somethings, but on Friday, 32 years after the world's first domain name was registered, the African Union has launched .africa for the continent. Africans who want to register a website will be able to apply for a .africa domain name in the coming months, which outgoing AU commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said would allow the continent's people and businesses to better reach the world. "With .africa, I would say...
(Libya Herald 03/09/17)
The Italian government is looking to seal a deal with Niger that it hopes will dramatically cut back migration from sub-Saharan Africa through Libya and from there across the Mediterranean to Italy and elsewhere in Europe. “After the deal with Libya, the Italian government is now focusing on reaching a deal with Niger – the southern neighbouring country of Libya, and the main transit country for migrants coming from the Horn of Africa,” said Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano at...
(Xinhuanet 03/09/17)
A critical mass of trained and well equipped community health workforce is key to easing the rising burden of infectious and noncommunicable diseases in Africa, experts said on Wednesday at a continental forum taking place in Nairobi. The experts, policymakers and campaigners who attended Africa Health Agenda International Conference agreed that optimal engagement of community health workers is key to revolutionize response to diseases ravaging the continent. Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Health Cleopa Mailu in his opening remarks said that...
(AFP (eng) 03/08/17)
Lawyers and human rights campaigners launched an initiative for African whistleblowers in Senegal on Tuesday, aimed at providing a secure means of exposing wrongdoing on the continent. African nations such as Somalia, South Sudan, Libya and Guinea-Bissau regularly appear at the very bottom of rankings such as Transparency International's Corruption Index, while none make it into the top 30. The Platform for the Protection of Whistleblowers in Africa (PPLAAF) will provide guidance from legal experts, secure submission of information and...
(AFP (eng) 03/07/17)
At least four police officers from Niger were killed in what a security source described Monday as a "terrorist" attack near the west African nation's border with Mali and Burkina Faso. The attack on Sunday struck Wanzarbe, a town located in the western region of Tillaberi -- one of a string of areas where Niger declared a state of emergency Saturday. "The provisional toll is four police officers killed in a clear terrorist attack on Sunday night," the security source said. The assault targeted a police station, he added. Tillaberi and neighbouring region Tahoua have witnessed several deadly attacks on army posts and refugee

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