| Africatime
Wednesday 29 March 2017
(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,...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/03/16)
Governance across Africa has improved very little over the past decade as deteriorating safety and rule of law have held back progress made in other areas such as human rights or economic opportunities, a survey said on Monday. The Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) - the most comprehensive survey of its kind on the continent - rates 54 African nations against criteria such as security, human rights, economic stability, just laws, free elections, corruption, infrastructure, poverty, health and education. Mauritius held onto its top spot, followed by Botswana, Cape Verde, the Seychelles and Namibia while South Africa - the continent's most industrialised country - was in sixth place. While overall the index has improved by just one point over...
(AFP (eng) 10/01/16)
Niger's army said Friday that 14 of its soldiers and scores of Boko Haram fighters had been killed during a multi-month sweep operation in the nation's southeast. Defence ministry spokesman Colonel Moustapha Ledru told state television that "123 terrorists" had been killed and "a large quantity of arms recovered from the insurgents." It was not possible to independently verify this number. Ledru said 14 soldiers were killed and 29 wounded in the joint operations with Chad's military took place between July and September 28. They targeted the Diffa region, which lies just across the border from the Islamists' stronghold in northeastern Nigeria. Ledru said the "terrorists" who had been killed had "infiltrated" into Diffa from Nigeria, adding that two fighters...
(Voice of America 10/01/16)
The United Nations warns that conditions in Central Africa's Lake Chad basin are threatening the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, among them many children. Food is short throughout the region, which has been ravaged by the Boko Haram insurgency. Millions of people living in the basin are in the grip of an ever-deepening humanitarian crisis brought on by violent conflict, abject poverty and climate change. More than 20 million people live in areas around the lake in four countries — Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria. The United Nations says nearly half of them are in need of emergency aid. Toby Lanzer, U.N. assistant secretary-general and regional humanitarian coordinator of the Sahel, said an estimated 6.5 million people in...
(The Wall Street Journal 10/01/16)
Startups and global corporations alike plumb Africa for scarce software development skills A shortage of software developers in the U.S. has prompted some companies to seek talent in Africa, home to a young and increasingly-tech savvy workforce. International Business Machines Corp. has engaged young software developers in Lagos, Nigeria, to help build a data analytics business the technology giant is trying to ramp up quickly. The combination of an educated population and the proliferation of mobile technology on the continent makes Africa a good incubator of technology talent, said Leon Katsnelson, chief technology officer and director for IBM’s analytic platform emerging technologies group. IBM is building “Big Data University” to train technology professionals in its analytics tools through online training...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/30/16)
The United States military said on Friday it is building a $100 million temporary base for surveillance drones in Agadez, central Niger, to help the West African country combat militant groups and protect its borders. Niger, a security ally of the West, is grappling simultaneously with incursions from jihadist group Boko Haram across its southern border with Nigeria as well as roaming al Qaeda-linked groups in its vast desert spaces. Security sources have also expressed concern about a possible southern influx of Islamic State fighters into Niger and Chad from Libya where they are retreating from Libyan forces. "At the request of, and in close coordination with, the Government of Niger, United States Africa Command is establishing a temporary, expeditionary...
(AFP (eng) 09/30/16)
Without more donor support the emergency caused by Boko Haram will become the world's worst humanitarian crisis, a top UN official said Friday, as a massive appeal remained just a quarter funded. United Nations assistant secretary general Toby Lanzer said the suffering in northeast Nigeria and surrounding areas was the worst he had ever witnessed. "I have worked in Darfur," Lanzer told reporters, referring to the war-torn Sudanese region. "The scale and the depth of suffering that I have seen (in Nigeria) is unparalleled in my experience." Nigeria-born Islamist group Boko Haram has waged a brutal insurgency
(Reuters (Eng) 09/30/16)
Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is likely to slip to 1.6 percent this year, its lowest level in two decades, due to continuing woes in the continent's largest economies of South Africa and Nigeria, a World Bank report said Thursday. Africa has been one of the world's fastest-growing region's over the past decade, but a commodities slump has hit its oil and mineral exporters hard, bringing growth down to 3 percent in 2015. However, other countries — including Ethiopia, Rwanda and Tanzania — have continued to record GDP growth above 6 percent, according to "Africa's Pulse," the Bank's twice-yearly analysis of economic trends. The report, which was unveiled in Ivory Coast's commercial capital Abidjan, also singled out Ivory Coast and...
(AFP (eng) 09/29/16)
In a bustling market in Abidjan, women browse through a bewildering array of intricately patterned wax-print fabrics, each of which has a unique and sometimes quirky name. "Eye of my rival" is one which has an eye-like motif, while another is known as "capable husband". Another bale of this brightly coloured fabric is labelled "jealousy". Each print has a name and comes in different colours, so you could have a "capable husband" in red, green or a white and the same for “Eye of my rival". Others have longer, more conversational names: "If you leave, so will I" or "If you divorce, I won't eat sand". Known as a "pagne", this strip of printed cotton cloth can be worn in...
(AFP (eng) 09/28/16)
When farmer Isaac Tondo fell on lean times in Liberia's long rainy season, his brother in the capital sent 8,000 Liberian dollars (US$87) to his Lonestar mobile money account, ensuring his children's school fees would still be paid. Across Africa more and more people -- from urban start-ups to hard-up villagers -- are now spending, saving and planning for the future through banking services offered by mobile phone companies. And experts believe growth and poverty reduction will follow, if certain key risks are managed. Tondo's brother used to entrust cash with contacts passing through their home village in Grand Gedeh county, but the roads are so bad they can no longer access it. "The only means of receiving money from...
(AL Jazeera 09/27/16)
Refugees in the southeastern region of Niger say they no longer fear Boko Haram, but their problems are far from over. As Nigerian forces have progressed against Boko Haram, the cornered terror group has been carrying out more attacks in neighbouring countries. In Niger's Diffa region on the northeastern border of Nigeria, more than 280,000 people have been displaced. Most of the displaced, do not live in refugee camps, but in ramshackle settlements next to a national highway. The situation continues to deteriorate and new families arrive on a daily basis, fleeing violence and hunger in the Lake Chad Basin. Humanitarian aid organisations struggle to reach everyone in need of assistance. Only a few years ago, Diffa was mainly known...
(AFP (eng) 09/27/16)
Yemeni authorities on Monday deported at least 220 African illegal immigrants, mainly Ethiopians, from the southern port city of Aden, security officials said. The migrants had been rounded up over the past two weeks and were put on a ship bound for Somalia, from where they apparently came, an official in Aden said. The boat left from the port at Aden's refinery. Hundreds of illegal migrants have arrived in south Yemen over the past few weeks despite the ongoing war that has ravaged the country. In Shabwa province, east of Aden, authorities have arrested more than 500 African migrants over the past two weeks, security chief Awad al-Dahboul said. Officials in south Yemen have claimed that some migrants are being...
(Voice of America 09/26/16)
Huge orange flames and plumes of smoke filled the air at Nairobi National Park in April, a sobering image as 105 tons of elephant ivory and 1.35 tons of rhino horn were destroyed. Kenya conducted the event to demonstrate that ivory has no value to anyone except elephants. President Uhuru Kenyatta pledged his country's support for a complete ban of the ivory trade at the conference for the global conservation body known as CITES, which opens Saturday in Johannesburg, South Africa. CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, is expected to make a determination on whether countries in Africa should destroy seized ivory or be allowed to sell it to fund conservation efforts. The question has sparked heated...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/24/16)
Investing hundreds of millions of dollars to boost agriculture in Niger by improving water availability, upgrading road networks and developing markets will benefit at least four million Nigeriens, a U.S. aid agency said on Thursday. The U.S. government's Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) announced in June a funding package worth $437 million for the West African nation, where four in five people work in farming and agriculture is the second-largest export after uranium ore. Niger is among the world's poorest countries and consistently ranked bottom of the U.N. Human
(AFP (eng) 09/24/16)
Gabon's disputed election, which culminated Saturday with the constitutional court's confirmation of President Ali Bongo's victory, is the latest in a long list of violence-tinged ballots in Africa: - Ivory Coast - After a five-month-standoff, incumbent Laurent Gbagbo was detained on April 11, 2011 by forces backing rival Alassane Ouattara, who was recognised internationally as the winner of Ivory Coast's October 2010 presidential election. Gbagbo had refused to stand down and some 3,000 people died in the post-election unrest. He is currently on trial before the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity in relation to the clashes. - Kenya - Violence sparked by disputed results in Kenya's December 27, 2007 presidential poll won by Mwai Kibaki claimed some...
(AFP (eng) 09/23/16)
A century after the project was conceived in the throes of racial segregation, and a few months before the first black US president leaves office, the African American Museum in Washington opens Saturday. Here are key facts about the first national museum devoted entirely to showcasing African Americans' life, history and culture. - 1915: A project 101 years old The effort to open, in the US capital, a museum dedicated to the history of the black community "began more than 100 years ago," said the Smithsonian Institution, a public-private complex that runs most of the museums in Washington. The National Museum of African American History and Culture will be the Smithsonian's 19th and newest museum. Former African American soldiers, civil-war...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/22/16)
Health workers in western Niger are racing to contain an outbreak of Rift Valley fever that has killed at least 21 people over the past month, an aid agency said Wednesday. The highly contagious disease, which is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes or close contact with contaminated animals, has infected 52 people in Niger's western region of Tahoua since late August, the country's health ministry said. The Alliance for International Medical Action (ALIMA) and Niger's health authorities have opened an emergency treatment center in the region's hardest-hit district of Tchintabaraden to look after the infected and stop the disease from spreading. "Unfortunately, the 52 severe cases officially registered at present only represent the tip of the iceberg," ALIMA's medical coordinator...
(AFP (eng) 09/22/16)
Global conservationists and policymakers meet in South Africa from Saturday to chart a way forward in the fight against escalating wildlife trafficking that could drive some species to extinction. The plight of Africa's rhino and elephants, targeted for their horns and tusks, is expected to dominate 12 days of talks in Johannesburg on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Illegal wildlife trade is valued at around $20 billion a year, according to CITES, and is ranked the fourth largest illicit business in the world after arms, counterfeit goods and human trafficking. The gathering is expected to assess whether to toughen or loosen trade restrictions on some 500 species of animals and plants. "Much of the international attention...

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