| Africatime
Thursday 23 March 2017
(Voice of America 10/17/16)
Telecom workers in Burkina Faso were on strike again this month, leading to phone and internet interruptions. The country has only one internet service provider, Onatel, but the days of the telecom monopoly in Africa may ending. The Burkina Faso telecommunications authority fined Onatel 5 billion CFA francs ($8.5 million U.S.) in response to the strike, which cut internet access across the country for more than a week. Arouna Ouédraogo, an information technology specialist, said people without access to the internet become desperate. He said he businesspeople rushing to his internet cafe with contracts to sign and documents to send, but he couldn't help them. "People outside this country just cannot imagine that there is no internet" for such an...
(AFP (eng) 10/16/16)
Niger has launched an army operation to hunt down a kidnapped American aid worker, the west African country's interior minister said Saturday. The aid worker -- the first US national to be kidnapped in Niger -- was abducted Friday night in the town of Abalak, in the restive central Tahoua region. "A search is underway. Our forces have been mobilised," Interior Minister Mohamed Bazoum told AFP by telephone. The kidnappers are still in Niger, he added, after a security source told AFP earlier that they had already slipped across the border to Mali.
(AFP (eng) 10/15/16)
Stemming the astronomical losses caused by crime in the oceans surrounding Africa is the focus of a major continental summit on Saturday in the Togolese capital, Lome. "Over recent decades, the accumulated revenue losses resulting directly from illegal activities in the African maritime sector add up to hundreds of billions of US dollars, without counting the loss of human lives," the African Union (AU) said in an online statement about its Protect Our Oceans meeting. Up to 30 African heads of state and government are expected to attend the gathering, whose full title is the AU Extraordinary Summit on Maritime Security and Safety and Development in Africa. The long-term aim, according to the AU, is to "make maritime space the...
(AFP (eng) 10/14/16)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday wraps up a week of Africa diplomacy aimed at slowing the flow of migrants to Europe from a continent battered by conflict and poverty. She will host Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, having also met Chad's head of state Idriss Deby two days earlier following a three-day whirlwind tour of Mali, Niger and Ethiopia, the seat of the African Union. As Germany, Europe's top destination for people fleeing war and misery, looks to chair the G20 next year, it has pledged to step up efforts to help Africa and fight the causes of the mass migration. "I think we will need to take a vastly greater interest in the destiny of Africa," Merkel said at...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/14/16)
About 70 sub-Saharan African migrants forced their way over a barbed wire barrier into Spain’s North African enclave of Melilla Thursday. They ran to a local immigration center where they were met by dozens of migrants cheering “victory, victory” although their legal status in Spain has yet to be determined. Migrants wait weeks and sometimes months at the short-stay immigrant center in the hope of being transferred to a refugee reception center in mainland Spain, said Government Delegation of Melilla spokesperson Irene Flores. Spain has two enclaves in Morocco, Ceuta and Melilla, and both are hot spots for African migrants making their way to Europe either by climbing over the barriers, going around them or swimming along the coastline. After...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/13/16)
When German Chancellor Angela Merkel toured three African nations this week for talks on curbing migration to Europe, the leader of the world's poorest country, Niger, suggested it would take a "Marshall Plan" of massive aid to stop people coming. Merkel politely declined the request, expressing concern about how well the aid would be spent and noting that, at a summit in Malta last year, the European Union had already earmarked 1.8 billion euros for a trust fund to train and resettle migrants. But Niger's President Mahatma Issoufou also proposed something perhaps more significant, in the long run, than a development package - bringing Niger's population growth down from 3.9 percent, the highest in the world. Though he gave no...
(Graphic Online 10/12/16)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has emphasised that Africa will be a priority when her country takes over the G20's revolving presidency at the end of 2016. Speaking in Ethiopia yesterday on the final stage of a three-nation African tour, which also included visits to Mali and Niger, Mrs Merkel pledged development as well as military aid on her trip. She said it was important to stem migration at its source. Germany took in more than one million irregular migrants last year - many from war-ravaged Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, but also many fleeing economic hardship across Africa. Migration is expected to be a key issue in next year's federal elections, though Mrs Merkel has not yet declared whether she will...
(AFP (eng) 10/11/16)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday announced a 27-million-euro aid package for Niger, her second stop in a three-nation Africa tour aimed at fighting terrorism and stemming the migrant influx to Europe. The German leader said the army of the arid west African country, one of the world's poorest, would receive 10 million euros ($11 million) worth of equipment next year. Germany will also build a military base to back up the UN mission in neighbouring Mali, the first country she had visited on the whirlwind African tour. Merkel also promised 17 million euros as development aid for Niger's arid and desperately impoverished
(AFP (eng) 10/11/16)
Raised on the backstabbing intrigue of 1980s American soaps "Dallas" and "Dynasty", and later, the heady drama of South American telenovelas, Africans are enjoying a surge in local TV content they can finally identify with. It took a while, but in the past decade local programming has soared in sub-Saharan Africa's key economies, a rise driven by both foreign satellite networks and television stations on the continent. This growth has delivered up local shows such as Kenya's comedic "Real Househelps of Kawangware" -- a play on the US "Real Housewives" series -- along with talk shows, political satire and continent-wide reality TV such as "Big Brother Africa" and "Project Fame". And demand is set to grow with the number of...
(AFP (eng) 10/10/16)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday warned against Africa suffering from a "brain drain" as she arrived on a three-day tour of the continent focused on security and stemming the migrant influx to Europe. Merkel also underscored the need to "establish coherent cooperation" in development policy and military support in Mali, her first port of call. "The military cannot alone bring security and peace," she said, addressing a news conference with Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. "It is important that Africa does not lose its best minds," she added. The International Monetary Fund this month said skilled workers were leaving sub-Saharan Africa in rapidly increasingly numbers, producing a "brain drain" that causes long-term
(AFP (eng) 10/10/16)
Africa will come together to battle piracy and illegal fishing for the first time at an African Union maritime security summit that kicks off in Togo on October 15. The continent urgently needs to fight "extremely high stakes" piracy and illegal fishing in its waters by joining forces over policy and working to raise necessary funds, Togo's Foreign Minister Robert Dussey told AFP ahead of the meeting. - Why is this meeting being held? - "These are very high stakes for Africa. At least 92 percent of imported goods arrive on the continent across the seas and oceans. Of the 54 countries in the African Union, 33 have a coastline," said Dussey. "During the summit, several issues will be tackled...
(AFP (eng) 10/08/16)
World economic leaders gathered in Washington this week to defend globalization, delivering a single message in unison: Protectionism will not save you. But this glosses over the plight of Africa, which is sinking further into poverty despite years of free trade. According to the International Monetary Fund, which held its annual meetings this week with the World Bank, growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is in free-fall this year, with a growth rate of 1.4 percent, down from 3.4 percent in 2015, its lowest in a quarter century. The regional economy will therefore grow more slowly than the population, at the risk of deepening poverty in a region already home to more than half of the 766 million people on earth who...
(AFP (eng) 10/07/16)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel embarks Sunday on a visit to three African countries before hosting leaders from Chad and Nigeria for talks in Berlin, as she seeks ways to stem a migrant influx to Europe. Merkel will first travel to Mali and Niger before heading to Ethiopia where she is to visit the headquarters of the African Union in the capital, Addis Ababa. Her talks with leaders of all three countries are to focus on migration issues and the battle against jihadist groups. On Wednesday, a day after her return to Berlin, she will host Chadian President Idriss Deby. She will cap off the week by meeting with Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari to discuss the African giant's battle against Boko...
(AFP (eng) 10/07/16)
Twenty-two soldiers have been killed in an attack blamed on jihadists against a camp in Niger sheltering Malian refugees, a security official said on Friday. The attack against the camp in Tazalit, in the Tahoua region some 300 kilometres (200 miles) northeast of the capital Niamey, took place in broad daylight on Thursday. "Some 30 to 40 heavily armed men speaking in Tuareg carried out the attack, killing 22 soldiers," the official, who asked not to be named, told AFP. He said the attack was "probably carried out by jihadists." The UN refugee agency, which confirmed the death toll, said in a statement that five soldiers were also hurt in the attack, while three managed to escape. The assailants "headed...
(AFP (eng) 10/07/16)
Investment into Africa may buck the global downward trend and stage a rebound this year despite low prices hitting the oil and gas sector, a UN agency said Thursday. While foreign direct investment, a key driver of trade and economic growth, is set to drop by 10 to 15 percent this year globally, in Africa it may increase by 6 percent to $55 to 60 billion, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Developments (UNCTAD) said in a report. "This bounce-back is already becoming visible in announced greenfield projects in Africa. In the first quarter of 2016, their value was $29 billion, 25 percent higher than the same period in 2015," said the agency. While north African countries such as...
(Xinhuanet 10/06/16)
Zhou Ping had not seen his father for five years when in primary school. Despite the biting solitude, Zhou always displayed his pride for his father -- he was from a glorious "foreign aid family," and his father was building the Tazara Railway in Africa. Standing on the windy East African plateau, Zhou picked up this childhood sentiment. More than 40 years have passed, and 53-year-old Zhou is now a construction worker for another historic railway connecting the African countries of Ethiopia and Djibouti. The Ethiopia-Djibouti railway, which officially opened service on Wednesday, is another Chinese-built trans-national rail in Africa following Tazara, which links Tanzania's Dar es Salaam with Zambia's Kapiri Mposhi. Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang hailed it as...
(AFP (eng) 10/05/16)
Niger's opposition on Wednesday accused the government of trying to "indefinitely postpone" local elections in the West African country after it delayed them for a fourth time without setting a new date. Prime Minister Brigi Rafini said the municipal polls, scheduled for January 8, had to be delayed to allow time to set up a biometric voters' register. Opposition groups, which boycotted the meeting where the new delay was agreed, said in a joint statement that the move was a tactic to "indefinitely postpone the organisation of these elections". The statement was drafted by the Niger Democratic Movement, a coalition led by former speaker of parliament Hama Amadou. It also criticised the recent appointment of a purportedly pro-government official, Alkache...
(CNN 10/05/16)
Terrorism, human trafficking, and corruption are creating a more dangerous continent, which in turn is preventing better governance, a new report revealed. The results of the 2016 Ibrahim Index of African Governance, published by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, show that two thirds of Africans live in a country where safety and rule of law has deteriorated over the past decade, greatly impacting overall governance in Africa. 15 countries have declined 'quite substantially,' and almost half the countries on the continent recorded their worst score ever within the last three years. The Ibrahim Index of African Governance, the report provides an annual assessment of governance in Africa and is most comprehensive collection of data on governance in the region. The 2016...
(AfricaNews 10/04/16)
Except Cameroon’s Paul Biya, Nigeria hosted presidents of all her surrounding neighbours, Benin, Chad and Niger; who were in the administrative capital of Abuja on Monday for the launch of a biography on President Muhammadu Buhari. ‘‘Presidents of Benin, Chad, Niger joined me at today’s book launch. Our regional partnership is one I value very much,’‘ Buhari said in a tweet accompanied by a picture of him and his guests. President Idris Deby Itno of Chad, Patrice Talon of Benin and Mahammadou Issoufou of Niger joined other political dignitaries at the launch of the book. Nigeria’s former presidents including Olusegun Obasanjo
(AFP (eng) 10/04/16)
The global conference that governs wildlife trade voted Monday against strengthening the ban on ivory sales, exposing bitter divisions among African countries and experts over elephant conservation. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) rejected a proposal to include all African elephants in its highest category of protection, which bans trade in species facing extinction. A coalition of 29 African countries -- led by Kenya and Benin -- had pressed for African elephants to be put in the CITES "Appendix I" category. But South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe rejected the proposal, saying they should continue to be excluded from Appendix I as they have stable or growing elephant populations. "This is a tragedy for elephants," said Kelvin Alie,...

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