Sunday 22 October 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 09/14/17)
LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Your afternoon chocolate bar may be fuelling climate change, destroying protected forests and threatening elephants, chimpanzees and hippos in West Africa, research suggests. Well-known brands, such as Mars and Nestle, are buying through global traders cocoa that is grown illegally in dwindling national parks and reserves in Ivory Coast and Ghana, environmental group Mighty Earth said. “Every consumer of chocolate is a part of either the problem or the solution,” Etelle Higonnet, campaign director at Mighty Earth, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “You can choose to buy ethical chocolate. Or you’re voting with your dollar for deforestation.” Nestle did not immediately respond to requests for comment while Mars said in an email: “We take a...
(Xinhuanet 09/13/17)
In an effort to promote economic development and solve complex conservation challenges facing world heritage sites, the African World Heritage Fund Patron and former President of Namibia Hifikepunye Pohamba will host a business leader's breakfast event in Namibian Capital, Windhoek on Thursday. The African World Heritage Fund is an initiative of the African Member States of the African Union and UNESCO, launched in 2006. Webber Ndoro, executive director of the African World Heritage Fund, at a media briefing on Tuesday in Windhoek said that the aim of the event is to promote a holistic private sector engagement, raise a sense of ownership and accountability for heritage protection as well as transmission of World Heritage sites in Namibia and Africa. "To...
(Voice of America 09/12/17)
BUDUA, CAMEROON — The head of the multinational task force fighting Boko Haram says the war against the militants is being won, but warned that suicide bombings remain a threat, killing close to 400 people in Nigeria and Cameroon since April. Soldiers from the 7,800-person task force have been stationed in several towns and villages along the Nigeria-Cameroon border since those communities were liberated from Boko Haram a little over a year ago. The force's commander, Nigerian-born General Lucky Irabor, visited four communities along the border on Saturday to reassure local residents and rally the troops.
(Reuters (Eng) 09/12/17)
Olympic boxing’s governing body, AIBA, has banned African confederation head Kelani Bayor for three years for allegedly provoking the crowd at the continental championships in Brazzaville last June. Bayor is an AIBA vice-president and executive committee member as well as chairman of Togo’s national Olympic committee. “The Disciplinary Commission found that a hostile and threatening reaction to AIBA officials by spectators after the result of a bout on the last day of the competition was exacerbated by comments from Mr Bayor,” AIBA said in a statement on Monday. It found Bayor had “committed serious and unacceptable violations of the AIBA Disciplinary Code” at the tournament in Congo Republic. AIBA said the ban was from all boxing activities and responsibilities and...
(Bloomberg 09/11/17)
The South African companies that dominate the U.K.’s growing private hospital industry are counting on more people like Katie Corrie. A children’s party entertainer, Corrie opted to use 13,000 pounds ($17,000) of her savings and inheritance to get a hip replacement rather than spend months on a National Health Service waiting list. Britons like her are forking out almost 1 billion pounds a year to cover their own medical expenses, a trend that’s giving at least one industry the scope to look past Brexit turmoil. “Even if I hadn’t had the money put aside, I would have found a way to pay for it,” said Corrie, 50, who estimates the business she runs with her husband would have lost 10,000...
(AFP (eng) 09/10/17)
The Niger Basin Authority issued a warning Saturday of possible flooding in Benin and Nigeria, two countries downstream on the river, which is currently flooding in Niger. "We appeal to all residents downstream (of the Niger River)... because the water keeps rising," the NBA's Soungalo Kone said late Saturday, speaking on Niger television. The NBA has issued its second-highest alert level of orange, warning that further flooding is highly likely following months of heavy rain in Niger and Mali. "It's a question of hours to get to a red alert -- the waters can rise very suddenly," said Lawan Magadji, Niger's minister of disaster
(APA 09/08/17)
Deprivation and marginalization, underpinned by weak governance, are primary forces driving young Africans into violent extremism, according to a comprehensive new study by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the first study of its kind. Based on interviews with 495 voluntary recruits to extremist organizations such as Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram, the new study also found that it is often perceived state violence or abuse of power that provides the final tipping point for the decision to join an extremist group. “Journey to Extremism in Africa: Drivers, Incentives and the Tipping Point for Recruitment” presents the results of a two-year UNDP Africa study on recruitment in the most prominent extremist groups in Africa. The study reveals a picture of a...
(Bloomberg 09/07/17)
African Rainbow Minerals Ltd., the miner chaired by South Africa’s richest black businessman, will pay a record dividend this year as rising iron-ore and manganese prices boosted earnings at its ferrous unit. ARM will pay investors 6.50 rand a share, almost triple that of the previous year, and its 11th consecutive dividend, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement Thursday. The company benefited from a 45 percent increase in prices received for exported iron ore and 93 percent more for its manganese. While ARM is “confident in the long-term outlook for commodities,” the company said prices will “remain volatile” this year. The rand, in which ARM pays most of its costs, has strengthened against the dollar this year, reducing earnings...
(AFP (eng) 09/05/17)
France unveiled plans on Tuesday to start using armed drones, joining a growing number of countries worldwide to operate the deadly unmanned aircraft. "I decided to begin the process of arming our intelligence and surveillance drones," Defence Minister Florence Parly told a gathering of recruits and lawmakers in the southern port city of Toulon. France currently operates a handful of unarmed Reaper drones as part of its presence monitoring jihadist groups in Africa's Sahel region. Parly said the military planned to equip six unmanned aerial vehicles purchased from the United States with "precision guided"
(AFP (eng) 09/05/17)
A spurt in attacks by Boko Haram Islamists has claimed nearly 400 lives since April in Nigeria and Cameroon, double the figure of the previous five months, Amnesty said Tuesday. The increasing use of suicide bombers -- often young women and girls forced to carry and detonate explosives in crowded areas -- has killed at least 381 civilians in the two countries, the rights group said in a statement. "Boko Haram is once again committing war crimes on a huge scale, exemplified by the depravity of forcing young girls to carry explosives with the sole intention of killing as many people as they possibly can," said Alioune Tine, Amnesty International's director...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/05/17)
LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The number of children suffering from life-threatening malnutrition across the Lake Chad Basin - about 800,000 - has soared since last year, and could spiral further as Boko Haram ramps up attacks in the region, an aid agency said on Tuesday. The jihadists’ brutal eight-year insurgency has forced millions of people to flee their homes, driven farmers from their land and disrupted aid delivery, leading to a “devastating food crisis”, according to the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC). More than 7.2 million people across Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad need food aid, while the number of children aged under five suffering from severe malnutrition in the region has risen by two-thirds since last September, United Nations...
(Bloomberg 09/05/17)
A surge in agriculture has helped lift Africa’s biggest economies out of their slumps, but the recovery may be weak. Gross domestic product in Nigeria, the continent’s largest crude producer, advanced for the first time in six quarters in the three months ended June from a year earlier, growing 0.55 percent, the statistics agency said. In South Africa, GDP expanded 2.5 percent from the previous quarter, ending the second recession in almost a decade. Both economies had agriculture largely to thank: in South Africa, a bumper corn harvest following the worst drought in more than a century saw the sector surge 34 percent from the prior quarter, while in Nigeria, where farming vies with industries as the second-biggest contributor to...
(Bloomberg 09/04/17)
The worst may be over for Africa’s two largest economies as they likely emerged from a slump in the second quarter. Official data on Tuesday will probably show South Africa’s economy expanded in the three months through June, ending its second recession in less than a decade. Nigeria’s gross domestic product probably grew from a year earlier, and came out of its worst slump in a quarter of a century. South Africa and Nigeria together account for almost half of sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP and their recoveries may boost trade and production across the region. The reasons differ: while Nigeria, the continent’s biggest oil producer, is benefiting from a rebound in crude output, stronger retail sales may help drive growth in...
(Xinhuanet 08/31/17)
Cooperation between China and Africa has seen remarkable progress in renewable energy, showing the determination of developing countries to harness the huge potential of clean energy and combat climate change. China-Africa Renewable Energy Cooperation and Innovation Alliance, a coalition of financing institutions, smart grid providers and core manufacturers, on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation with Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI). "Africa has the highest potential for renewable energy, but the least access to it," said Seyni Nafo, chairman of AREI endorsed by the African Union Assembly. The MOU will enable the two parties to cooperate in renewable energy generation in Africa, with Chinese smart grid providers and core renewable energy manufacturers providing technological and financial support...
(Bloomberg 08/30/17)
One Thousand & One Voices LLC, a private-equity fund started by the great-grandson of the founder of Coors Brewing Co., said it bought a producer of sushi-quality trout that is the largest such facility in Africa. SanLei’s operations are on the Katse Dam in Lesotho, an enclave surrounded by South Africa, 1K1V, as the fund is known, said in an emailed statement Tuesday. The company didn’t disclose the value of the transaction. SanLei has secured a marketing and distribution agreement with CGC Japan Co., which has more than 4,000 stores and collective revenue of more than $40.5 billion, making it Japan’s largest joint-procurement supermarket chain, 1K1V said. The fund has been hunting for private-equity investments that tap Africa’s growing consumer...
(AFP (eng) 08/29/17)
African and European leaders on Monday backed proposals to screen asylum seekers in Africa as a way to prevent thousands from taking perilous journeys across the Mediterranean. Hosting the talks in Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron suggested setting up "fully safe areas" in Niger and Chad -- key transit points for migrants -- where asylum-seekers would be processed by the UN refugee agency UNHCR. The leaders signed a roadmap on the proposal, though there were as yet few details on how it might work. A joint mission will be sent to Niger and Chad soon, they said in a statement after the mini-summit.
(The Associated Press 08/29/17)
NIAMEY, Niger (AP) -- Niger's government says torrential rains have killed at least 44 people in the capital and other parts of the West African country. Director General of Civil Protection and Disasters Col. Aboubacar Bako said Tuesday that hundreds of homes were destroyed in rains just outside Niamey on Monday. He says the rains began Saturday in the capital and surrounding areas. Saley Abdouhe, the head of Gabougoura village, has appealed to residents in at-risk areas to evacuate and take shelter in schools. He says the main cause of flooding is the obstruction of drainage channels. Some neighborhoods have dug ravines to ease the damage. The government is providing emergency food assistance, and aid organizations are providing shelter and...
(AFP (eng) 08/29/17)
Gaou Moussa stands in front of his family home nestled in the dense vegetation of Chad's Tchoukouli island, where burnt straw and charred wood still litter the ground from a Boko Haram attack three years ago. "They killed my brother and we fled," he said. Tchoukouli -- one of hundreds of tiny interconnected islands about an hour's canoe ride from Lake Chad's northern banks -- is coming back to life. Despite the ongoing threat posed by the Islamist insurgents, fishermen sit mending nets and repaired ones curl in the sun nearby, while farmers guide their cattle into the water and others tend to cornfields in the distance. All of these are activities that have been absent for more than two...
(The Telegraph 08/29/17)
France, Germany, Italy and Spain have offered to support Libyan coastguards and help Chad and Niger with border control to stem migration to Europe at a summit in Paris. They also agreed on a new policy to grant asylum to vulnerable migrants who apply for protection while in Africa instead of their destination countries. President Emmanuel Macron of France, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany met with Italian and Spanish leaders as well as those of Chad, Niger and Libya - all three of them transit countries for migrants. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini also attended. In a joint statement, they said that it was "important to equip and train in an adequate manner Libyan coastguards" while emphasising the importance...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/29/17)
Europe’s “big four” continental powers and three African states agreed a plan on Monday to tackle illegal human trafficking and support nations struggling to contain the flow of people across the desert and Mediterranean sea. The 28-nation European Union has long struggled to reach a coherent answer to the influx of migrants fleeing war, poverty and political upheaval in the Middle East and Africa, and the crisis is testing cooperation between member states. After hosting the leaders of Germany, Italy, Spain, Chad, Niger and Libya, French President Emmanuel Macron said it was time for greater coordination. “We must all act together - from the source countries to Europe and passing by the transit countries, especially Libya - to be efficient,”...

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