Saturday 16 December 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 10/25/17)
KAMPALA (Reuters) - Ugandan legislators have each pocketed 29 million Ugandan shillings ($8,000) as a payout for consultations on legislation to extend the president’s rule, a parliamentary spokesman said on Tuesday, a move opponents denounced as a bribe. The bill would scrap a constitutional age cap preventing President Yoweri Museveni, 73 and in power for 31 years, from standing in the next election. It is likely to pass, given the ruling party’s majority, when it is voted on later this year. A staunch ally of Western powers, Museveni is widely seen as an anchor of stability in the often volatile Great Lakes region after decades of violent Ugandan dictators. Critics say he has evolved into just another African strongman using...
(BBC News Africa 10/25/17)
In a move denounced as a bribe, Ugandan MPs have received a one-off payment of 29 million shillings ($8,000; £6,000) each for consulting their constituents on a bill seeking to scrap the presidential age limit, the Reuters news agency reports. The proposed bill seeks to remove the upper age limit of 75 and is seen as a way of removing constitutional barriers that would prevent President Yoweri Museveni, 73, from running for office gain in 2021. Parliamentary spokesman Chris Obore told Reuters that the one-off payment had been released to the legislators’ bank accounts this week. “It’s to help them to consult with their constituents on this bill,” he said. Lire sur: http://www.bbc.com/news/live/world-africa-41513611?ns_mchannel=social&ns...
(AFP (eng) 10/24/17)
Uganda's opposition on Tuesday expressed outrage at the detention of leader Kizza Besigye, held in custody since a protest last week in which police shot dead one of his supporters. "We are concerned about the detention without trial of Dr. Besigye and his colleagues," Harold Kaija, deputy secretary general of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), told AFP. He complained that police had yet to announce "specific charges" against the party leader and two other officials detained with him. Kaija on Monday visited Nagalama police station outside capital Kampala where the three have been held since their arrest on Thursday. Senior FDC official Mugisha Muntu, a former army chief, said police are "bent on incarcerating them forever." "This is...
(AFP (eng) 10/24/17)
Elephant poaching in Africa declined for a fifth straight year in 2016 but seizures of illegal ivory hit records highs, the CITES monitor said Tuesday, calling it a "conflicting phenomena". In its latest report, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species also noted that despite the overall fall in poaching, Africa's elephant population has continued to drop "due to continued illegal killing, land transformation and rapid human expansion." Global illegal ivory trade has remained relatively stable for six years, CITES reported. But 2016 saw a full 40 tonnes of illegal ivory seized, the most since 1989, as well as the hightest-ever number of "large-scale ivory seizures", the group said. "The overall weight of seized ivory in illegal trade is...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/23/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - African political leaders, activists, and local chiefs joined forces on Monday to commit to ending child marriage in West and Central Africa, the region with the highest child marriage rate in the world. More than a third of girls in the region are married under the age of 18, with the rate over 50 percent in six countries and up to 76 percent in Niger. Driven by factors including poverty, insecurity and religious tradition, marrying off girls once they reach puberty or even before is a deeply engrained social custom in much of West and Central Africa. The practice hampers global efforts to reduce poverty and population growth and has negative impacts on women’s and...
(AFP (eng) 10/21/17)
The killing of four American special operations soldiers in Niger has highlighted the increasing role elite units are playing across Africa, which is rapidly becoming a major center of US military action. Their mission is to counter the advances of a slew of jihadist movements across the continent, including Al-Shabaab in Somalia, affiliates of the Islamic State group in the Sahel region and Boko Haram in Nigeria. Of the 8,000 special forces "operators" deployed globally this year, more than 1,300 are in Africa, according to officials from the US Special Operations Command (SOCOM), which is based in Tampa, Florida. Another 5,000 or so are in the Middle East. In five years, the number of US commandos in Africa has tripled...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/20/17)
KAMPALA (Reuters) - Uganda’s main opposition leader was arrested and charged with murder, police said on Friday, after they broke up a rally organized to protest moves to extend President Yoweri Museveni’s rule. Kizza Besigye, who has contested and lost four elections against long-time leader Museveni, was detained on Thursday. Police blamed Besigye for the deaths of two protesters during Wednesday’s rally, in which officers fired bullets and teargas during clashes with government opponents. “Besigye and his colleagues led these youths who stoned police and caused deaths,” police spokesman Denis Namuwoza told Reuters. Wednesday’s clash in Rukungiri near the Rwandan border was one of several violent anti-Museveni protests that have spread across Uganda since the president last week for the...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/20/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The #MeToo social media campaign to raise awareness about sexual harassment and abuse has sparked conversation in parts of Africa where domestic violence is rampant but strong cultural and religious taboos prevent women from admitting it. Prompted by sexual abuse allegations against American film mogul Harvey Weinstein, millions of women around the world have been sharing their experiences of harassment and abuse on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #MeToo. The movement has reached only a small part of the population in West Africa, but some women are participating in defiance of attitudes which dictate that being abused brings shame on the family, is a curse, or makes a woman unmarriageable. In Senegal, some women...
(AFP (eng) 10/19/17)
Two people have died from the Marburg virus in eastern Uganda, in the country's first outbreak of the deadly Ebola-like pathogen in three years, the health ministry said Thursday. "Blood samples were taken from two people who have since died and were found positive for Marburg", Uganda's health ministry permanent secretary, Dr. Diana Atwine told AFP. She said a team of experts had been sent to Kween district, near the Kenyan border, to contain the virus. "At moment we don't know if there are other people apart from the dead who have contracted the disease because the health experts are still investigating in addition to sensitising the population about the dangers of Marburg and we call for public vigilance," she...
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
Ugandan police on Wednesday banned what it termed illegal demonstrations over plans to remove presidential age limits, seen as paving the way for President Yoweri Museveni to serve a sixth term in office. A bill removing the age limit for the president was introduced in parliament last month, and MPs are currently holding consultations with ordinary Ugandans to seek their views. "Consultations must not include illegal demonstrations, illegal processions, inciting violence, use of hate campaigns, use of abusive language, acts of hooliganism of any sort, intimidation of any persons perceived to be supporting the removal of the age limit," the assistant inspector general of police, Assuman Mugenyi, said in a statement. In Uganda, opposition demonstrations are routinely denied permission, meaning...
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
Rent-a-room giant Airbnb said Tuesday that it had provided accommodation for 1.2 million visitors to Africa over the last year -- double the previous year as tourism expands across the continent. The website now offers more than 100,000 accommodation options in Africa, global public affairs director Chris Lehane said on a visit to Johannesburg. "It's an incredibly rich and diverse continent, an incredibly dynamic place, certainly a big part of our future," Lehane told AFP. Airbnb was founded in 2008 and offers accommodation ranging from single bedrooms to whole homes in 65,000 cities in 191 countries. The company announced Tuesday that it would invest $1 million (850,000 euros) in Africa by 2020 to "promote and support community-led tourism projects". "For...
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
Though its motto is "one Africa, one voice", the reality of "Africa's parliament" could not be more different. Since its creation in 2004, the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) has struggled to make its voice heard, prompting its deputies to ask themselves at a recent gathering: "What are we for?" "Every time we're here, we obsess over the same things. If we are not making laws, then what's the point of being here?" Corneille Padonou of Benin said to his fellow parliamentarians. "This forum is not a parliament, it is just a discussion platform that does not have any legislative powers. This institution is still wobbly," said Floyd Shivambu, a parliamentarian from South Africa. "As it is, it is a waste of...
(APA 10/16/17)
APA-Dakar (Senegal) - The president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, will deliver the Norman Borlaug Lecture on Monday 16 October as part of the World Food Prize events taking place from October 16 to 20, 2017 in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. The Norman Borlaug Lecture under the title: “Betting on Africa to Feed the World”, will be held on World Food Day, October 16, in conjunction with the annual World Food Prize celebration. AfDB President Adesina will receive the 2017 World Food Prize on Thursday October 19, announced a press release issued by the AfDB on October 16, which also said “the prize is to agriculture what the Nobel Prize is to peace, science and literature.” The World...
(APA 10/13/17)
APA-Kampala (Uganda) - A Ugandan legislator Odonga Otto has written to the president of the governing council of the Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU) to place sanctions on Uganda's speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga over the arrest of 24 Ugandan legislators last month, reports said on Friday. In a letter dated 12th October 2017, the legislator notes that the speaker of Uganda parliament permitted the disrespectful and brutal arrest of the legislators. On 27th September 2017 parliament was besieged by plain clothed security officers who were seen arresting members of Parliament who had been suspended by the speaker for causing chaos in the house. The MPs were protesting the tabling of a motion seeking to amend article 102 (b) of the constitution...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/10/17)
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Nigeria’s Oranto Petroleum has signed two production sharing agreements with Uganda to explore for oil and gas around Lake Albert, the company said on Tuesday. Oranto was among several companies, including Australia’s Armour Energy, that last year bid in Uganda’s first competitive oil exploration licensing round. “We are excited to enter this agreement ... Lake Albert is home to some prime petroleum acreage,” Prince Arthur Eze, chairman of Oranto Petroleum, said in a statement. The deal covers the Ngassa Shallow Play and Ngassa Deep Play exploration blocks located near the southern part of Lake Albert, Uganda’s ministry of energy and mineral development said. Uganda discovered oil in 2006 in the Albertine rift basin along its border...
(AFP (eng) 10/10/17)
Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is set to accelerate to 3.4 percent next year, the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday, citing Nigeria's recovering oil and agricultural sectors. The IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook report that the region would grow by 2.6 percent this year after 1.4 percent in 2016. "Growth is expected to rise gradually," it said, while noting that the rate would be uneven and "barely above population growth". GDP in the west African powerhouse Nigeria contracted by 1.6 percent in 2016, but is predicted to grow by 0.8 percent this year and 1.9 percent next year. The IMF said Nigeria was benefitting from "recovering oil production and ongoing strength in the agricultural sector", but the...
(APA 10/05/17)
APA:Juba (South Sudan) - South Sudan and Uganda have signed an agreement to extend electricity from Uganda to the border areas, reports said on Thursday. According to the agreement, Uganda will extend electricity inside South Sudan border towns of Kaya, Kajo-keji (former central equatoria state, Southern East) and Nimule (formerEast Equatoria, South). Local media reports said both countries will form a joint technical committee to quantify the scope of work. The Minister for electricity, energy and dams says the move is important for socio-economic development in the country. “This can create socio-economic development, can minimize even the rural town migration,” Dr Dhieu on Wednesday...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/05/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (HLT.N) plans to spend $50 million over the next five years to add 100 hotels to its chain in Africa, it said on Thursday, joining other chains keen to tap growing business and international travel on the continent. One property will open in the Kenyan capital Nairobi by the end of this year and another in the Rwandan capital Kigali in 2018, it said in a statement. There was 11 percent growth in Sub-Saharan African tourism in the past year, according to data from the U.N. World Tourism Organisation. Hilton said the remaining additions to its 39 existing African properties would be operational within the next five years. “The model of converting existing...
(APA 10/05/17)
APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) - The African Union (AU) will on Thursday endorse reports and recommendations on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment (ARWE) made by experts and senior officials in a meeting held on Monday and Tuesday. The endorsement will take place during the ministerial session of the AU’s Specialized Technical Committee on ARWE that opened on Thursday in Addis Ababa under the theme “Improve environmental sustainability and transform agriculture to ensure food and nutrition security.” These include policy papers and reports on agriculture, rural development, water and environment and recommendations and guidance on issues in the 2063 Africa Development Agenda, including agriculture, environment, climate change, and youth engagement. Among the points chosen for the discussions are the assessment of...
(Bloomberg 10/04/17)
Uganda’s parliament asked a legislative committee to scrutinize a proposed constitutional amendment that would enable President Yoweri Museveni to extend his three-decade rule. The proposal, introduced by lawmaker Raphael Magyezi on Sept. 27 amid fistfights between opponents and proponents of the bill, was referred to the committee after he presented it for first reading, the Kampala-based legislature said Tuesday on its Twitter account. Bills are sent to committees for scrutiny before they are debated. The bill, backed by the ruling National Resistance Movement, seeks the removal of a constitutional clause that sets the age limit for a presidential candidate at 75. If approved, the change would allow Museveni...

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