| Africatime
Thursday 30 March 2017
(Daily Monitor 02/09/17)
The High Court in Ireland has accepted global social media giant Facebook's plea to conceal self-styled social media activist Tom Voltaire Okwalinga (TVO)'s identity arguing that revealing it to one of Uganda's senior lawyers, Mr Fred Muwema would put his life in danger and expose him to harassment from the government. The decision contained in a landmark judgment delivered on Wednesday is the result of a protracted legal battle between Mr Muwema and Facebook after the outspoken lawyer sued the social media powerhouse following TVO's controversial claims that he had pocketed Shs900 million delivered by former information and national guidance minister Jim Muhwezi to stage manage a break in at his
(Standard Digital 02/09/17)
Hundreds of business and political personalities yesterday attended a German-African economic summit in Nairobi, where German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Mueller talked about his “Marshall Plan” for Africa. The plan is “with Africa, not for Africa,” Mueller (pictured) said, stressing that it would be based on cooperation between equals rather than the principles of traditional development aid. The plan, which Mueller presented to the German parliament’s development committee on Wednesday, is based on fair trade conditions, investment and increasing aid for educational projects. One of the goals of the plan, which the German opposition received with scepticism, is to curb migratory flows from Africa to Europe. Mueller called on German companies to focus on Africa, which he...
(AL Jazeera 02/08/17)
The EU must espouse a transnational approach with a clear development agenda that replaces its current security policy. One year ago, 22-year-old Patrick left Douala, the largest city in Cameroon, to become a football star in Europe. A talented midfielder and an ambitious young man, Patrick felt compelled to reach Europe to help him to realise his dreams. But, as he passed through Agadez in Niger, which has become a major transit hub for migrants taking the Central Mediterranean route, reality proved to be grimmer than he had anticipated. Patrick and two of his male relatives, also travelling from Douala, were beaten, robbed and held captive by organised predatory groups. Finally, their tumultuous journey came to an end in Algeria,...
(Bloomberg 02/06/17)
Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. is expected to raise about $500 million for its new African investment fund, attracting less than its original goal as investor interest in the region proved weaker than anticipated, according to people familiar with the matter. The Toronto-based insurer sought to raise as much as $1 billion at $10 a share for Fairfax Africa Holdings Corp. in an initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange, according to a regulatory filing in December. Fairfax said it had secured as much as $416 million in commitments for the African venture from both its own funds and partners, including the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, a Canadian pension fund and CI Investments Inc., according to the...
(AFP (eng) 02/03/17)
The leader of a Congolese rebel group who had been living under security in Uganda has gone missing, after scores of his fighters escaped their military base, the army said Friday. The leader of M23, a mostly ethnic Tutsi rebel group which fled Democratic Republic of Congo after being defeated by its army in 2013, went missing shortly after about 60 rebels disappeared from a military base where they had been given shelter. "No, we don't know where he is," army spokesman Richard Karemire said of the M23 leader Sultan Makenga. "We communicated that to the DRC government as far back as January 16th this year." He said Makenga had been living in Kampala under security "to protect him against...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/03/17)
Imposing an external "trusteeship" government on South Sudan to try to end a three-year ethnic civil war and potential genocide in the world's youngest nation would only make its security situation worse, Uganda said on Thursday. Patience towards President Salva Kiir's government in Juba has worn thin as the refugee numbers have grown, fuelling talk in international policy circles – including the opinion pages of the New York Times - that "trusteeship" is a viable solution. However, Ugandan Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Okello Oryem rejected the notion, saying such interference would be opposed even by Kiir's sworn enemy, Riek Machar, currently under house arrest in South Africa. "I don't think it's a good idea," said Oryem, the principal...
(Xinhuanet 02/03/17)
More than 4,000 people are believed to have fled from South Sudan's border town of Kajo Keji in Equatoria region, following renewed violence in mid-January between the warring factions, officials said on Friday. A local Commissioner of Kajo Keji, Luka Nyombe David told Xinhua by phone that people fleeing for safety across the Ugandan border. "Generally they are afraid of insecurity due to the presence of rebels (SPLA-in Opposition) in the area," he revealed in an interview. "The situation is really very calm, but they are continuing to go (to Uganda)," he added. According to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees spokesperson in Uganda Charlie Yaxley, over 4,000 South Sudanese arrive on daily basis fleeing violence by armed groups attacking...
(Xinhuanet 02/03/17)
T20 Africa Conference, the meeting for the G20 think tanks and African countries, ended on Friday in Johannesburg with a commitment to accelerate cooperation between the G20 and Africa. The three-day conference aimed to chart a course for the future cooperation between Africa and the G20. The day ended with the formulation of the communique which will be given to the current G20 chair Germany. The communique will also be the reference for further discussion between Africa and T20. T20 comprises of the G20 think tanks. Dr. Christine Hackenesch, researcher at the German Development Institute (DIE) said, "There was an agreement that there must be a continuous and sustained engagement between G20 and Africa because there is a strong dependence...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/02/17)
African leaders have backed a "strategy of collective withdrawal" from the International Criminal Court (ICC), but it came with unspecified reservations, an African Union official said on Wednesday after this week's African Union summit. The official did not give details about the strategy or the reservations, but it highlights broad antipathy towards the court among Africans who feel the ICC unfairly targets them. A document seen by Reuters before the summit proposed a co-ordinated withdrawal unless the ICC was reformed. It included a call for "regionalization" of international law, a reference to proposals for an African war crimes court. Almost a third of the ICC's 124 members are African, and a withdrawal by a large number of them would cripple...
(Xinhuanet 02/01/17)
Newly elected senior officials of the African Union (AU) Commission, including Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the AU Commission, were sworn in on Tuesday at the conclusion of the 28th AU summit in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. In addition to the two top officials, other officials took the oath for positions including, peace and security; political affairs; trade and industry; social affairs; infrastructure and energy; and rural economy and agriculture. The 28th AU summit also elected Alpha Conde, President of the Republic of Guinea, for a rotating chairmanship of the African Union. In his acceptance speech on Monday, Conde said, "It is with honor and humility that I accept to preside at the destiny of our Organization during the year...
(AFP (eng) 01/30/17)
With very little rain in the last weeks and none expected for two months, more than 17 million people face hunger in the Horn of Africa, the UN food agency warned Sunday. Severe drought since the failure of October-December rains is ravaging Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda, the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) said in a statement. "The time to act is now,", said Maria Helena Semedo, a FAO deputy director-general. "The drought situation in the region is extremely worrying, primarily in almost all of Somalia but also across southern and south-eastern Ethiopia, and northern Kenya. "As a consequence, with the next rains at least eight weeks away and the next main harvest not until...
(Xinhuanet 01/28/17)
The African Union (AU) has been endeavoring to ensure robust, resilient and long-lasting economic transformation of Africa through promotion of infrastructure and energy development on the continent, noted Elham Mahmood Ibrahim, AU Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy. Speaking at a press conference Friday ahead of the 28th AU leaders' summit here, the commissioner said the pan-African bloc has scored achievements in its flagship projects and programs on the development of energy, transport as well as in the information and communication technology (ICT) areas, which she said are the biggest priorities in Africa's infrastructure sector. In cooperation and coordination with its regional, continental, and international partners, AU has been committed to development of infrastructure on the continent, which facilitates trade, economic...
(Bloomberg 01/27/17)
Barclays Africa Group Ltd. was targeted by protesters who entered one of its branches on Thursday and demanded the bank pay back money from a bailout provided to a company it bought before the end of apartheid. Demonstrators linked to the youth league of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress gathered outside the branch in Durban on South Africa’s east coast, Johannesburg-based Barclays Africa said in an e-mailed response to questions. Police ensured customers and staff were protected during the incident, it said. The protests come after the leaking of a draft report compiled by South Africa’s graft ombudsman that said Barclays Africa, which traded as Absa then, may have unduly benefited from state support when it bought Bankorp in...
(Xinhuanet 01/26/17)
Adopting African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) has been named a major task for the African Union (AU) this year as the 30th session of its Executive Council opened on Wednesday. In her remarks at the opening of the meeting, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the AU Commission, called for member countries' commitment to meeting the first target in Agenda 2063 of commencing the CFTA by end of 2017. She underlines the need "to do what needs to be done on the free movement of persons, so that we unlock opportunities for intra-African trade, studies, business and tourism." In her remarks at the opening of the 33rd session of the AU Permanent Representatives Committee on Sunday, Dlamini-Zuma said the AU's major...
(Bloomberg 01/25/17)
Taiwan’s last two African allies have no plans to switch allegiances and break ties with Taipei as Beijing tries to woo the self-ruled island’s diplomatic partners. Burkina Faso won’t cut relations with Taiwan despite people and companies with links to China offering funding in return for recognition of the One-China principle, according to Foreign Minister Alpha Barry. Swaziland said its relationship with Taiwan is based on mutual interests, not on money. “We get outrageous proposals telling us, ‘if you sign with Beijing we’ll offer you $50 billion or even more,’’’ Barry said in an interview in the capital, Ouagadougou, this month. “Taiwan is our friend and our partner. We’re happy and we see no reason to reconsider the relationship.” Competition...
(Cnbc Africa 01/24/17)
While Brexit and the U.S. election dominated headlines in 2016, the African continent witnessed major changes of its own. Its two largest economies were destabilized, with Nigeria being driven into recession and the South African political elite grappling for power. Conflict continued to make news, with the continuation of people trafficking across the Mediterranean and violence in South Sudan bubbling over. Macroeconomic concerns Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa fell to 1.5 percent in 2016 according to the World Bank, which deemed this "the weakest pace in over two decades." The slowdown was chiefly blamed on low commodity prices. But, the organization forecasts growth of 2.9 percent in the region for 2017. Africa's two biggest economies have a lot to account for...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/23/17)
Uganda said on Monday it had returned dozens of former combatants of a Democratic Republic of Congo rebel group to a military camp after they tried to sneak back to their own country in disguise last week. The former fighters, who have been staying in Ugandan camps after years of fighting in chaotic eastern Congo, were picked up in western Uganda. Congo has welcomed Uganda's recapture of the former combatants. The M23 rebels, who once controlled swathes of territory in eastern Congo, fled to Uganda after a combined United Nations and Congolese force crushed their rebellion in 2013. Arthur Timbaganya, a Ugandan regional military spokesman, said about 30 of the 100 or so people detained had turned out to be...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/20/17)
Uganda has detained more than 100 former M23 rebels trying to return to neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, breaking a deal to demobilize after their defeat in 2013, the government said on Thursday. The former fighters, who had been staying in Ugandan camps after years of fighting in chaotic eastern Congo, were picked up in west Uganda in the region of Mbarara as they tried to sneak into Congo in disguise, the government spokesman said. Congo's government reported the rebel moves last week amid mounting opposition to Congolese President Joseph Kabila, who has decided to stay in office beyond his mandate that expired last month. Protests have raise fears of a civil war. "The Uganda Security intercepted four vehicles at...
(Voice of America 01/20/17)
By most measures, Africa is safer today than it has been in the modern era: Diseases are less deadly and wars are less frequent. But recent years have also been marked by a rise in radical extremism on the continent, and the terror threat could derail some of the world's fastest-growing economies. Dealing with the spread of radicalization has been a central focus of U.S. President Barack Obama's foreign policy during his time in office. Few areas have been spared over the past eight years, with much of the continent living in the shadow of a violent extremist group: al-Shabab in Somalia and East Africa, Islamic State (IS) in Libya, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in Mali, the Lord's...
(AFP (eng) 01/19/17)
Uganda's government said Thursday that 40 Congolese rebels quartered at a Ugandan military base since 2014 have disappeared, while more than 100 were caught trying to cross into the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Congolese government said Sunday that at least 200 former members of M23, a mostly ethnic Tutsi rebel group which fled the country after being defeated by its army, had arrived from Uganda and occupied a village in North Kivu province. Uganda's military earlier this week denied any rebels had absconded from the Bihanga army camp, 320 kilometres (190 miles) west of the capital Kampala. However, the government said in a statement that some rebels "were stealthily leaving their gazetted place of abode", but "their whereabouts are...

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