Friday 15 December 2017
(AFP (eng) 12/02/17)
At least 13 people were killed and more than 50 wounded in a dual suicide bomb attack at a busy morning market in northeast Nigeria on Saturday, according to local sources. The attacks occurred in the town of Biu, about 185 kilometres (115 miles) south of the Borno State capital, Maiduguri, which has been at the epicentre of Boko Haram's Islamist insurgency. "Two female suicide bombers infiltrated and gained entry into Biu," a local police spokesman said. "One of the bombers detonated an IED (improvised explosive device) strapped to her body within Biu's main market, while the other one detonated outside...
(AFP (eng) 12/01/17)
Leaders at an EU-Africa summit called Thursday for the immediate evacuation of nearly 4,000 distressed African migrants in Libya under a new drive to fight slave traders and traffickers. Wrapping up a two-day summit in Ivory Coast's economic capital, a top African Union (AU) official said there could be as many as 700,000 Africans stranded in Libya, where many have suffered atrocities and even been sold into slavery. He said a fact-finding mission had seen one camp in Tripoli where all the residents, numbering several thousand, were "living in inhumane conditions" and were desperate to return home. "We have agreed, along with the EU and the UN, to set up a task force for repatriating at least 3,800 people," Moussa...
(AFP (eng) 11/30/17)
A summit gathering European and African leaders from more than 80 countries drew to a close Thursday with plans for the immediate evacuation of some 3,800 African migrants stranded in Libya. Wrapping up the summit in the Ivorian capital, a top African Union official said there could be as many as 700,000 Africans trapped in Libya, where many have suffered attrocities and even been sold into slavery. The two-day summit of the African Union (AU) and European Union (EU) was showcased as a project to boost development in Africa as it faces a population crunch.
(AFP (eng) 11/30/17)
Three children were killed and a teacher was injured when a man armed with a machete stormed a primary school in northeast Nigeria, two residents told AFP on Thursday. The attack happened at about 9:30 am (0830 GMT) during breaktime at the Jafi Primary School in Kwaya Kusar, in the southwest of Borno state. Kasimu Ibrahim, who lives near the school, said the attacker -- described as being in his 30s and with a neat beard -- headed to the nursery section of the school. "He entered a class and began attacking pupils. He hacked two boys to death, aged about five and seven," he told AFP by telephone. A third victim -- an eight-year-old girl -- died on the...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/30/17)
LAGOS (Reuters) - Nigeria’s president said on Wednesday the government had started bringing stranded citizens home from Libya after a global outcry over reports that migrants there were being sold into slavery. Muhammadu Buhari’s comments came days after CNN aired footage that appeared to show men being auctioned as farm hands in Libya after being smuggled across the Sahara. Libya’s U.N.-backed government has said it is investigating. “The situation in Libya, of people being sold into slavery, is appalling and unacceptable. We will do everything to protect our citizens wherever they might be,” Buhari wrote on his Twitter account. Nigeria had “started bringing back home all Nigerians stranded in Libya and elsewhere,” he added. The U.N.’s International Organization for Migration...
(AFP (eng) 11/30/17)
Blessing wanted to believe the advert on Facebook that promised "a cure for AIDS". Infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), she felt the ad was her only hope -- so against her better judgement, she clicked on the link. The 30-year-old Nigerian had created a fake profile on the social networking site in the hope of contacting a traditional healer who would be familiar with modern technology. For 100,000 naira -- about $280 (230 euros) and more than five times the monthly minimum wage -- she was promised a plant-based potion that would completely eradicate the disease. Sceptical, Blessing asked for more time and a face-to-face meeting. Instead, her would-be benefactor asked for her bank account details. That was...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/30/17)
DAKAR/LIBORE, Niger (Reuters) - Mabingue Ngom, the head of the U.N. Population Fund in West Africa, knows that if he wants to cut birth rates he can’t ignore religion. Population experts like Ngom are worried that if West Africa’s population continues to grow at its current pace - the region has the highest birth rate in the world - it will drive fiercer competition for scarce water and farmland, and fuel malnutrition, conflict and ever more economic refugees. West African governments, U.N. agencies and charities also want to cut maternal mortality rates, which are higher in West Africa than anywhere else in the world, according to U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) figures. But imams who follow the puritanical Wahhabist form of...
(AFP (eng) 11/30/17)
Twenty-five asylum seekers from Africa arrived safely in Rome Thursday, using a Christian "humanitarian corridor" set up for Syrians fleeing the war in their homeland. "It was just a project but it became THE project, the way of the future," said Mario Morcone of the Italian interior ministry. The 25 men, women and children from Somalia, Eritrea and South Sudan arrived in Rome before dawn on a flight from Ethiopia. They will be moved to centres across the country. "We want to ensure that people do not risk their lives in the desert and at sea," Morcone said. "This is an important turning point in the politics of our country. You are witness to this turning point and we will...
(AFP (eng) 11/29/17)
From the lowest local magistrates all the way up to the supreme court in the capital Abuja, the wheels of justice can turn painfully slowly in Nigeria. Patience is a necessity when cases are frequently adjourned for want of a document, an official, a witness or even a defendant. The lengthy process -- where cases can take years, if not decades, to resolve -- often resembles a maddening, judicial Groundhog Day. But while Nigeria is not alone in having a dysfunctional court system, its ability to cope with a slew of corruption cases is coming under scrutiny as elections approach in 2019. The Chief Justice of Nigeria, judge Walter Onnoghen, said recently there were 1,124 corruption cases before the courts...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/29/17)
LONDON (Reuters) - Nigeria’s state oil firm is looking to set up a $3.5-$5 billion cash-for-crude prepayment with some of the world’s top commodity traders to fund oil and gas upstream projects as well as related infrastructure, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said. Africa’s biggest oil producer and OPEC member was hit hard by the sharp drop in global oil prices in 2014 that pushed it into its first recession in 25 years. The country returned to growth-mode in the second quarter. Already cash-strapped and weighed down by billions of dollars in old debts, NNPC (Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation) has also been looking to bring in outside cash. The sources said Standard Chartered was hired to advise on...
(AFP (eng) 11/29/17)
More than 80 African and European leaders will gather in the Ivory Coast on Wednesday to promote jobs and stability for Africa's exploding population, with some calling for a new "Marshall Plan." The two-day summit in Abidjan opens as the European Union increasingly sees its fate linked to Africa's following the twin shocks of unprecedented migration and terrorist attacks. It comes as China, India, Japan, the Gulf Arab states and others also compete for influence on a continent where the 28-nation EU remains as a whole the biggest economic and political player. European Parliament President Antonio Tajani told parliamentarians from both continents before the summit...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/29/17)
VIENNA (Reuters) - OPEC will debate this week whether to cap oil output from Nigeria and Libya, which have so far been excluded from supply curbs due to falling production amid unrest, two sources with knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday. The 14-member Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries meets on Thursday to decide whether to extend production cuts until the end of 2018. The sources said the idea was to cap Nigerian output at 1.8 million barrels per day and Libyan at 1 million bpd.
(AFP (eng) 11/29/17)
Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr has been given a new two-year contract after guiding the country to the World Cup finals, the country's football association announced on Tuesday. "He has done very well and does not need to go into the World Cup uncertain of his future," said Amaju Pinnick, president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF). The 64-year-old Rohr oversaw the Super Eagles' qualification for Russia in October, when Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory over Zambia. The German coach has been in charge for 12 matches since taking over 15 months ago, recording seven wins, four draws and a defeat. Nigeria, who have not gone further than the round of 16 in five...
(AFP (eng) 11/28/17)
The home of Boko Haram's founder is to be turned into a museum as part of plans to chart the deadly Islamist insurgency in northeast Nigeria, a government official said on Tuesday. Muhammad Yusuf, a charismatic Muslim preacher, founded the group in 2001 from his base in the Railway suburb of the Borno state capital, Maiduguri. His followers at the time were disgruntled young people, who met at Yusuf's "Markaz" (centre in Arabic), which comprised a mosque and his living quarters.
(AFP (eng) 11/28/17)
Amnesty International on Tuesday called for Shell to be prosecuted for allegedly helping Nigeria's military to commit human rights abuses in the oil-rich south in the 1990s. The London-based global rights watchdog said the oil giant should be tried in Nigeria, as well as Britain and Netherlands where it has its head office. Shell's Nigerian subsidiary strongly denied the charges, calling them "false and without merit". Audrey Gaughran, director of global issues and research at Amnesty, said it was "indisputable that Shell played a key role" in events in Ogoniland in the 1990s. "But we now believe that there are grounds for a criminal...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/28/17)
LONDON/LAGOS (Reuters) - Amnesty International has called for a criminal investigation into the alleged role of Royal Dutch Shell in human rights abuses in Nigeria’s oil-rich Ogoniland in the 1990s, accusations the Anglo-Dutch oil company has denied. The rights group urged the British, Dutch and Nigerian governments carry out probes in a report that it said included evidence showing Shell’s involvement in suppression of protesters by the military government in the 1990s. Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) said the allegations were “false and without merit”. Shell, the largest oil producer in Nigeria, has faced several court cases relating to the turbulent period that culminated with the execution of rights campaigner Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight others in 1995...
(AFP (eng) 11/28/17)
Hard cash but also the intangible ties of history have kept Europe in pole position as Africa's main partner, even if an influx of Chinese investment is prompting many African countries to look eastward. Successive years of hefty spending, particularly in infrastructure, have propelled China into the continent's top slot when calculated in terms of individual investor nations. But a quite different picture emerges when this is seen through a broader prism -- the ties between Africa and Europe as a 28-nation bloc. "Europe is in front, given the shared history," said Pierre Dagbo Gode, professor of political science at the Felix Houphouet Boigny University of Abidjan. "Europe is the premier trade partner, the top investor, the top donor," a...
(AFP (eng) 11/28/17)
A furore over migrant slave markets in Libya casts a shadow over an AU-EU summit this week that aims to promote Africa's long-term economic growth and stability, spurred by European fears of terrorism and mass migration. The two-day African Union and European Union summit opening Wednesday in the Ivory Coast economic capital Abidjan is focused mainly on the need to create jobs for Africa's rapidly growing population. The summit marks what Europe sees as a potential turning point for broader and deeper ties with a continent it once colonised widely -- while China, Japan, India and Gulf Arab states also compete for influence. However, outrage over the slave trade in Libya looms over the talks in Abidjan, with the scandal...
(AFP (eng) 11/27/17)
At least three soldiers were killed and another six others were wounded in a Boko Haram raid in northeast Nigeria, the military said on Sunday, in the latest attack in the restive region. The attack happened on Saturday evening when a large number of jihadists stormed Magumeri, some 50 kilometres (30 miles) north of the Borno state capital, Maiduguri. The town and surrounding area have been attacked before by fighters from the Islamic State-group supported factional leader of Boko Haram, Abu Mus'ab al-Barnawi. In July, at least 69 people -- most of them soldiers and civilian militia members -- were killed in an ambush on a heavily armed convoy escorting an oil exploration team. Colonel Timothy Antigha, a spokesman for...
(Agence Ecofin 11/27/17)
The Finish Wärtsilä will build a 75MW PV solar plant in Nigeria, under an engineering, equipment supply and construction contract (EPC) concluded with Pan Africa Solar Ltd, Engineering News indicated. This infrastructure which will be the country’s largest, will be located in Katsina State, in the North of country. It should help provide power to about 1.1 million Nigerians. The construction of the plant is one of 14 projects developed by independent power producers who have signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) in July 2016. Let’s recall that Nigeria wishes to increase the share of renewable energies in its energy mix to 30%, by 2030.

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