Sunday 18 February 2018
(The Observer 12/20/13)
An estimated 500 people are now said to have been killed in the sporadic fighting that started on Sunday and has been described as a coup attempt. What is most worrying is that the ethnic dimension of the conflict is beginning to rear its ugly head with reports of ethnic-inspired massacres. A civil war might well be imminent if nothing is done quickly to restore sanity. With thousands of Ugandans working or doing business in South Sudan, Uganda is directly affected by these negative developments. Not only are Ugandans among those killed, many Ugandan traders are counting their losses. Besides, the resulting humanitarian situation could see refugees pouring across the border. It is, therefore, in Uganda's interest to have a...
(Voice of America 12/20/13)
Scientists say climate change will not affect all regions of the world equally – especially when it comes to fresh water. The latest computer models indicate some places will get a lot less, while others get a lot more. Dr. Jacob Schewe and his colleagues say that “water scarcity is a major threat for human development” if greenhouse gas emissions remain unchecked. They’ve published their findings in a special issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “The reason we’re concerned is that it’s a very important issue for a lot of people. We all depend on water for so many different purposes. And water scarcity, where it exists, really impairs many things that people do and that...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/19/13)
ADDIS ABABA Wed(Reuters) - A group of East African foreign ministers will travel to South Sudan on Thursday to seek an end to days of fighting, the first foreign mission to enter the country since the eruption of the conflict that has killed up to 500 people. Clashes between rival groups of soldiers started in the capital Juba late on Sunday and spread on Wednesday to the flashpoint town of Bor, scene of an ethnic massacre in 1991, raising fears of a slide into civil war. South Sudan's President Salva Kiir has accused his sacked deputy Riek Machar of starting the fighting and trying to launch a coup, charges denied by Machar. Kiir said on Wednesday he was ready for...
(Voice of America 12/18/13)
Dakar — Researchers working with the African Development Bank say that African countries have lost as much as $1.4 trillion in cash leakages over the last 30 years. Much of the lost money is a result of illicit cash flows and corruption, and continues to hinder development in the region. The amount of illicit cash flowing out of Africa has nearly doubled over the past three decades. Illicit cash flows refer to funds leaving a country through irregular means, often to skirt local taxes. This can range from a foreign business underreporting its earnings in an African country and then funneling revenue into offshore accounts, corrupt officials embezzling state funds and tucking them away overseas, or organized crime groups just...
(Daily Observer 12/18/13)
Lawmakers on Monday unanimously adopted the Report on the 3rd Ordinary Session of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) during the latter's October session in South Africa. The Report looked at issues relating to enhanced African integration with a view to expediting development vis-à-vis Agenda 2063 adopted by the authority of heads of state during the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Organisation of African Unity/Africa Union. The Report challenged African parliamentarians to play a key role in the continent's integration through sensitisations and dialogue, putting in place legislations for sustainable development in all aspects. Tabling the report before lawmakers, Hon. Bintanding Jarjue of Foni Berefet, informed that the session explored women's rights and violence against women. She said it also...
(Voice of America 12/18/13)
WASHINGTON — About two-thirds of the 8,400 French troops involved in foreign operations are based in Africa, primarily in Mali and the Central African Republic. Meanwhile, French President Francois Hollande said recently that he wants his country to double its trade to Africa over the next five years. Together, the developments could indicate the former colonial power in Africa is again trying to bolster its influence on the continent. France has carried out more than 10 major military interventions on the African continent since the early 1990s, in countries including Chad, Ivory Coast and Libya. This year, France gained international attention for its leading role in intervening in the crisis in Mali and now the Central African Republic. Peter Pham,...
(UKzambians 12/18/13)
TUNIS, Tunisia, December / — The African Development Bank (AfDB) ( http://www.afdb.org ) and the Government of Japan signed on Monday, 16 December, a bilateral Exchange of Notes for a loan of 9.48 billion Japanese yen (about US$ 100 million). This is the fourth loan to the Bank under the Enhanced Private Sector Assistance (EPSA) for Africa Initiative, which supports entrepreneurship, job creation and economic growth in Africa. The Exchange of Notes was signed by Dr. Donald Kaberuka, AfDB President, and His Excellency Mr. Juichi Takahara, Ambassador of Japan to Tunisia. mmediately following the signature of the Exchange of Notes, the relevant Loan Agreement between the AfDB and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) was signed by Mr. Charles Boamah,...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/17/13)
JERUSALEM---(Reuters) - More than 100 African migrants have abandoned an "open" Israeli detention center to try to march on Jerusalem in protest at a law allowing authorities to keep them in custody indefinitely, activists said on Monday. Israel views most of the more than 50,000 Sudanese and Eritrean migrants who have crossed its border on foot from Egypt since 2006 as illegal job-seekers overburdening its low-income areas. It has sought to encourage most of them to leave. Many migrants say they are fleeing persecution, forced military conscription or dictatorship in African countries. The center in southern Israel was opened last week after parliamentary approval of a law allowing the open-ended detention of migrants in the facility pending resolution of their...
(BBC News Africa 12/17/13)
The world should be paying more attention to the sub-Saharan threat from al-Qaeda, a former head of the British armed forces has warned. General Sir David Richards said Britain needed to learn from what it had done "and failed to do". He also questioned whether the Nato operation against Libya in 2011 was the right thing to do, suggesting it may have contributed to the spread of arms in the region. In the past year Islamist groups of stepped up their activities in several African countries. In Somalia, African Union troops have been battling with militants al-Shabab - which came to global prominence with its attack on a Kenyan shopping centre earlier this year. French troops spearheaded the response to...
( 12/17/13)
Cape Town — Are you taking antiretroviral (ARV) drugs and want to know how well you're doing? If you live in a wealthy country, chances are that your progress is regularly checked using the "gold standard" - a viral load test. If you're in a developing country, where more people are on ARV medication and the need is greater, the expensive and complex test is hard to find, making it even more difficult to monitor whether your treatment is failing and you need to change your medication. But as the number of people receiving HIV treatment rises, and more people become eligible for treatment, the prohibitive cost of viral load tests will have to come down, and donors should use...
(Voice of America 12/17/13)
Washington — The developing world needs huge sums of money to address its many problems with health, housing, education, and more. A new report says corrupt practices by multinational companies, their government enablers, and others, however, are depriving people of a better life. A financial watchdog group, Washington-based Global Financial Integrity [GFI], reports astounding sums of money are extracted every year from African, Asian, and Latin American nations. GFI's new report says that in 2011, some $947 billion was taken out of these countries through what it calls illicit capital outflows. GFI Director Raymond Baker said the 10-year total is even more staggering. "Over the decade from 2002 to 2011, we're talking about $5.9 trillion that have moved out of...
(Daily Maverick 12/17/13)
As usual, this year threw up its fair share of bad news, disasters and controversies. SIMON ALLISON explains the stories that have him most worried for the continent's future. There was nothing wrong with the Kenyan elections, aside from a few inconsequential quibbles. They were generally considered free and fair, and turnout was excellent (88.6%). The problem came with the result: with a range of candidates to choose from, the majority of Kenyans plumped for the duo of Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto - two men united by little except their base pragmatism and their shared experience of being charged with crimes against humanity by the world's top court. The pair's shared infamy comes from their alleged involvement in the...
(Voice of America 12/16/13)
QUNU, SOUTH AFRICA — South Africa’s first black president, anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela, has been buried in his home village near Qunu, in Eastern Cape Province. Several thousand family members and close friends attended the funeral. Nelson Mandela was laid to rest Sunday among the hills of his ancestral homeland, eulogized by friends, family and admirers. His longtime friend, Ahmed Kathrada, called Mandela his older brother and moved the 4,500 participants with memories from the decades of struggle against apartheid and prison."The last time I saw Madiba alive was when I visited him in hospital. I was filled with an overwhelming sadness and emotion and I cried. He held my hand and it was profoundly heart-breaking and it brought out...
(CNN 12/16/13)
(CNN) -- With the passing of Nelson Mandela it might be timely to put aside out-of-date and ill-informed views of Africa, and see it the way Africans seem to: With a high level of optimism. Two-thirds of respondents to a CNN survey of more than 9,000 people across South Africa and 19 other African countries say they feel more confident about the future than when Mandela came to power. Corruption tops their list of fears -- particularly in Nigeria -- but generally they believe their leaders are "doing their best." The survey, conducted on smartphones, PCs and web-enabled feature phones, was an attempt to give a sense of the mood of Africans about their future and Mandela's legacy. It suggests...
(Voice of America 12/16/13)
Yaounde — Bad roads, poor storage and weather destroy a fourth of food crops grown on a continent plagued by food insecurity .A new day has just started and I am standing at one of the largest farm markets north of the Cameroon capital Yaounde. Trucks that have journeyed all night are off-loading their cargo of tomatoes, carrots, green beans, bananas, and an assortment of vegetables and grains. Some of the trucks are still loaded. I am told they will soon begin a daylong journey to the border, where traders from Gabon and Equatorial Guinea are waiting. As I look around, it's hard to believe that many people across the continent will go to bed on an empty stomach tonight...
(Voice of America 12/16/13)
ADDIS ABABA — Several United Nations agencies are investing heavily in so-called financial inclusion programs, designed to bring financial services to the poor and make them less aid-dependent. Although the efforts made so far have been sizable, observers are beginning to wonder if the programs can succeed on their own The idea behind financial inclusion is making financial services such as credit, savings and insurance available to everyone - including poor people in Africa’s rural areas who live on just two dollars a day. It is believed that if these services reached the rural poor, their lives could improve tremendously. Ertharin Cousin of the World Food Program said that financial inclusion should not be seen as another aid program. “The...
(Sudan Views 12/16/13)
The summit of the African Ministers of Foreign Affairs or the Executive Council of the African Union is scheduled on 14th of December 2013. The summit will focus on one item in the African agenda against the ICC. The African ministers must answer the question; what is the next step after the refusal of the UN Security Council for the African proposal on the issue of the ICC. The proposal demanded legal one – year postponement for ICC procedures against African Presidents. The African solidarity is getting stronger but the ICC will not stop its campaign to break the African Solidarity. The ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda accused the UN Security Council of prolonging the conflict in Sudan - Darfur by...
(AFP 12/14/13)
PRETORIA, December 14, 2013 (AFP) - Nelson Mandela embarked on the final leg of his exceptional 95-year journey on Saturday, as his remains were flown to his rural childhood home for traditional burial. Sunday's interment will bring down the final curtain on 10 days of national mourning and global tributes for the prisoner-turned-president who transformed his country and inspired the world. Tens of thousands had packed a soaked stadium in Soweto for a memorial service Tuesday and up to 100,000 people filed past Mandela's open-casket for the three days it was displayed at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. The same venue had witnessed his inauguration as South Africa's first black leader two decades earlier. Mandela's flag-draped casket was flown to...
(Voice of America 12/13/13)
Major donors are changing the way they fund health programs in low-income countries. The results in maternal and child health have been so successful that the World Bank and the Global Fund are working together to add programs on AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. The change in financing focuses on motivating health care workers to provide better care and on helping patients obtain it. When pregnant women get good health care and have a trained midwife or doctor at their side when giving birth, mothers and babies are more likely to survive. And when children get vaccinated against preventable diseases and get quality care when they're sick, they're more likely to reach their fifth birthday. The World Health Organization said that...
(BBC News Africa 12/12/13)
The UN children's charity, Unicef, says one in three children under five have not had their births registered. In its report, Unicef says nearly 230 million children worldwide do not officially exist, making them more vulnerable to neglect or abuse. It says a birth certificate guarantees that children are not denied rights or basic services such as education.The countries with the lowest registration levels are in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. "Birth registration is more than just a right. It's how societies first recognize and acknowledge a child's identity and existence," said Geeta Rao Gupta, Unicef Deputy Executive Director. "Birth registration is also key to guaranteeing that children are not forgotten, denied their rights or hidden from the progress of...

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