Thursday 23 November 2017
(AFP (eng) 11/28/13)
NIAMEY, November 28, 2013 (AFP) - Niger police arrested a man on suspicion of planning two terror attacks against strategic sites in the capital Niamey, the justice minister told AFP on Thursday. "If these attacks had been carried out it would have been dramatic," the minister said, adding that security had been reinforced around the areas that had been targeted. The minister, Marou Amadou, named the male suspect as Beidari Moulid. He did not give details about the date or circumstances of the arrest, nor the age or nationality of Moulid. He said Moulid had tried to transfer the plans of his attacks to Mali on a portable memory device hidden in a pair of trousers, but Niger authorities seized...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/28/13)
AMSTERDAM/NEW YORK---(Reuters) - The International Criminal Court's member states on Wednesday agreed to changes to the court's trial procedures that could help defuse tensions between the court and the African continent regarding the approaching trial of Kenya's president. The changes approved by the court's 122 members will make it easier for suspects to participate in trial proceedings via video link and create a special exemption for top government officials, Western diplomats said. Kenya and its African Union allies have been lobbying hard for the trial of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to be halted or postponed, saying the case threatens to destabilize the East African region. Kenyatta and his deputy, former political rival William Ruto, face charges of crimes against humanity...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/28/13)
Warsaw — For the past 20 years, negotiations on how to combat and adapt to climate change have been led by environmental ministers. But the decisions made affect a country's agriculture, energy and finance systems as well. Now, experts say, it's time for other players to be involved in the process, particularly when it comes to deciding how to most effectively spend available funds. "It is now clear that for effective implementation of projects under climate change finance, the environment, agriculture, energy and finance sectors must work as a team," said Ayalneh Bogale, the advisor for climate change and agriculture for the African Union Commission. At the just-ended UN climate negotiations in Warsaw, developed countries agreed to contribute $100 million...
( 11/28/13)
Kisumu/Kampala — Even as food insecurity continues to afflict impoverished and disaster-affected populations around the continent, African policymakers and consumers remain deeply divided over the potential harms and benefits of genetically modified (GM) foods, which advocates say could greatly improve yields and nutrition. A recent study published in the journal Food Policy, titled Status of development, regulation and adoption of GM agriculture in Africa, shows that heated debates over safety concerns continue to plague efforts to use GM crop technology to tackle food security problems and poverty. Yet results from the four African countries that have implemented commercial GM agriculture - Burkina Faso, Egypt, South Africa and Sudan - suggest an improvement in productivity. In South Africa, a 2008 study...
(AFP (eng) 11/27/13)
NIAMEY, November 27, 2013 (AFP) - Niger has deactivated a third of its mobile phone connections to curb anonymous phone calls used for criminal activity, the country's telecoms regulator has announced. "From today, non-registered SIM cards can no longer be used," said Almoustapha Boubacar, director-general of the regulator on Tuesday. Unattributed phone numbers represented 1.7 million of the west African country's 5.4 million mobile subscribers, Boubacar said at a press conference, appearing alongside bosses from four of Niger's telecoms providers. Niger's authorities demanded in 2012 that subscribers register with their provider in order to safeguard the security of citizens and the state "against increasing levels of criminal behaviour." Mobile phone users were forced to show identity papers to operators during...
(This Day Live 11/27/13)
Member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are planning to raise about $26.416 billion for the completion of various critical electricity generation and transmission projects under its West African Power Pool (WAPP) framework. The projects include the proposed 7,092 megawatts (MW) hydropower, 2,375MW thermal and 800MW renewable power generation mixes and a 16,000km length transmission line that would interconnect all the West African countries to the regional power pool by 2018. This proposal was contained in the revised ECOWAS electricity generation and transmission master plan, which was presented to member countries of the ECOWAS Regional Electricity Regulatory Authorities (ERERA) at its fourth regional meeting in Banjul, capital of the Gambia. The plan seeks to amongst other...
(Bloomberg 11/27/13)
Common vitamins plus selenium slowed illness in HIV patients in the early stage of their disease, according to a study suggesting the supplements may provide an effective, low-cost approach for delaying AIDS. Patients taking a daily combination of vitamins B, C and E along with selenium for two years were able to delay their need for antiretroviral therapies by about half compared with those given a placebo, according to research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study followed 878 HIV-infected adults from Botswana, a nation with one of the highest rates of infection of the AIDS virus. The findings are the first to show that vitamins and selenium can postpone illness in newly diagnosed HIV patients...
(Voice of America 11/27/13)
Douala — A few decades ago, rice was a luxury for rural Africa, a dish reserved for the big occasions like Christmas. The grain is now one of the most consumed staples south of the Sahara and experts predict surging urbanization will drive more demand for the cereal as consumer tastes increasingly tilt towards easy-to-cook convenience foods. Across Africa, rice currently knows no social or class boundaries. Increasingly, the grain ranks high on the menus of both rural and urban households. One consumer on the streets of Douala said, "I often buy a bag of rice for the family that will last about a month." Another added, "Three days out of seven, we eat rice at home. Sometimes, it's up...
(Awoko 11/26/13)
All over the world we all think and believe that democracy, as a model of governance development and statecraft, is the best. Granted. Now wait don’t throw your argument right in my face yet! There was this story about our Salone Independence Talks in the Queen’s land way out there at Lancaster House. A paramount chief representative put up his hands and asked this question: When will it end? At the time everybody looked perturbed and ended up laughing at what they thought was a ludicrous question asked out of sheer naivety. Well 52 years on, I am actually asking the question: When will democracy end? Definitely when all the tenets of Democracy are never realized, we will be looking...
(Daily Maverick 11/26/13)
A recent discussion on South Africa's Talk Radio 702 put the practice of eating human placenta on the table (ahem). Whilst there are reports of some people doing it out of curiosity, a host of new mothers say they choose to eat their placenta for health reasons, claiming it speeds their recovery, increases milk production and prevents postnatal depression. Placenta pizza anyone? This was the initial gist of a discussion hosted by Jenny Crwys-Williams on South Africa’s Talk Radio 702 last week. Crwys-Williams read an account by new father and writer for Lifehacker Australia, Chris Jager, who cooked his wife’s placenta and then topped his pizza with it. He did this “for the express purpose” of writing an article about...
(Voice of America 11/26/13)
LONDON — Progress in the battle against AIDS is widely divergent in different African countries, so much so that to talk about “AIDS in Africa” as one epidemic needing a single approach has become an anachronism, campaigners said on Tuesday. In an analysis of the state of the global fight against the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and AIDS, the advocacy group ONE said that while some African countries had reached a “tipping point” against the disease, others lag far behind. More than 35 million people worldwide are infected with HIV, which causes AIDS. Of that 35 million, 25 million are in sub-Saharan Africa. Yet within Africa, rates of HIV and AIDS vary widely. “Our analysis shows major distinctions between leaders...
(Daily Maverick 11/26/13)
Do twelve Africans die of hunger every minute? A senior food and nutrition adviser to Nepad, the African Union development programme, made the claim recently. But the available data suggests the claim is exaggerated. A senior food and nutrition adviser to Nepad, the development arm of the African Union, has claimed that twelve people die of hunger every minute in Africa. If true it would mean that 94,000 people - enough to fill the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg – are dying of hunger every five-and-a-half days. During an interview on SABC’s Morning Live programme which focused on “food insecurity” and widespread malnutrition in Africa, Boitshepo Giyose said: “[A]bout 300-million Africans are undernourished. That is simply unacceptable…Twelve people die of hunger...
(Bloomberg 11/26/13)
Naspers Ltd. (NPN), Africa’s largest media company, said first-half profit fell 25 percent while a plan to increase its investment will hurt earnings and cash flow in the full year. Net income declined to 3.1 billion rand ($310 million) in the six months through September from 4.15 billion rand a year earlier, the Cape Town-based company said in a statement today. Revenue rose 28 percent to 28.8 billion rand. “We expect development spend to exceed 7 billion rand for the full financial year,” Naspers said. “As this investment is largely made through the income statement, it will have a dampening effect on both earnings and cash flows in the second half of the current financial year and, cumulatively, for the...
(AFP (eng) 11/25/13)
JERUSALEM, (AFP) - The Israeli cabinet approved Sunday measures aimed at deporting thousands of Africans who illegally entered the country and who are perceived by it as a threat to its Jewish character. A statement from the prime minister's office said that beyond the measures, which include a crackdown on employers and financial incentives for home-bound Africans, the interior ministry has drafted a bill that would enable to detain illegal migrants for one year without trial. The new bill, which will be brought before parliament on Monday for an initial hearing and vote, was formulated after a previous law from 2012 allowing the three-year detainment without trial of illegals was overturned by Israel's supreme court in September. According to the...
(National Mirror Online 11/25/13)
In spite of the abundance of raw materials at its threshold, industrialisation in Africa, especially in Nigeria has been facing serious challenges with the continued unbridled importation of goods going on around the continent. To tackle the challenges, stakeholders are of the belief that total ban on importation of some goods would go a long way in bringing back the industries. Away from the stereotype that labour unions are mainly concerned with agitations, strikes and protests, the recently trilateral conference involving three major labour unions-the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ghana Trade Union Congress and South Africa Trade Union, gave a glimpse of their resourcefulness in addressing socio-economic issues pervading the African continent. The conference, with the theme, “Working Class Solidarity for...
(Bloomberg 11/23/13)
UBS AG (UBSN), the world’s biggest wealth manager, is targeting millionaire clients in oil-rich Nigeria and Angola as Swiss rival Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) withdraws from some African markets. “The amount of people on the continent that fall within our wealth-management bracket is increasing every day,” Sean Bennett, the Johannesburg-based managing director of UBS in sub-Saharan Africa, said in a Nov. 20 interview. “There’s still tons of opportunities still relatively untapped.” UBS is vying with Swiss banks from Julius Baer Group Ltd. to Pictet & Cie. for emerging market millionaires as a global crackdown on tax evasion forces European and American clients to withdraw funds. While Bennett sees potential to woo super-rich customers in Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and...
(AL Jazeera 11/22/13)
The third Africa-Arab summit has concluded with leaders expressing their commitment to tackling terrorism and a call for closer economic cooperation.The Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah al Ahmed al Sabah, host of this year's event, said on Wednesday, “we have a long way and hard work ahead, requiring doubled efforts, and vigorous follow up, to match the high expectations and various challenges." The Kuwait Declaration presented at the end of the two-day summit said "the leaders call for stronger ties to combat terrorism by criminalising ransom payments to terrorists and confronting transnational crime." The declaration also called for accelerating economic integration in the Arab world, which includes oil-rich Gulf States and investment-thirsty African states. Kuwait, the largest investor from the...
(Voice of America 11/22/13)
A study conducted by Results for Development Institute (R4D), revealed that out-of-school children of primary age significantly impact the economic growth of developing countries. The Washington-based NGO conducted the study in response to what they said is a worrying trend in global education. They found that there are 57 million children of primary school age who are not enrolled – with most living in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. Milan Thomas, a program associate for R4D, stated although promising strides have been made in reducing the number of out of school children, progress has slowed down in recent years. “The benefits associated with primary education are really undisputed at this point because there are countless studies showing that children who...
(Bloomberg 11/21/13)
Ankur Varma, third officer on the oil tanker M/V Cotton, opened his cabin door at five minutes to midnight on July 14 to find two men pointing AK-47s at him. “They just pushed me into the cabin with the guns in my chest and they told me to stay silent,” Varma said in a phone interview from India. “They were threatening, they were showing the guns, pointing at us. They took everything -- everything that we had -- including clothes, toiletries, electronics.” Porters offload goods from a foreign vessel in the sea port in Mogadishu, Somalia. They also took the ship’s cargo. The Maltese-flagged vessel was carrying about 10,000 tons of fuel oil belonging to France’s largest oil company when...
(Voice of America 11/20/13)
The President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) says members of the group will start a one-week annual meeting beginning Wednesday at The Hague. The Assembly of States Parties is a body that administers management oversight over the ICC. Ambassador Tiina Intelmann says high on the agenda will be a discussion on the immunity from prosecution of sitting heads of state. It’s an important issue to some members who say current leaders should not be prosecuted for crimes against humanity. “This year we will focus on how the court addresses and helps victims, also on the issue of cooperation and also on complementarity,” said Intelmann. “African states parties have asked...

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