| Africatime
Thursday 30 March 2017
(Reuters (Eng) 12/24/16)
A record 5,000 migrants are believed to have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea this year, following two shipwrecks on Thursday in which some 100 people, mainly West Africans, were feared dead, aid agencies said on Friday. Two overcrowded inflatable dinghies capsized in the Strait of Sicily after leaving Libya for Italy, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said. "Those two incidents together appear to be the numbers that would bring this year's total up to over to 5,000 (deaths), which is a new high that we have reported during this crisis," IOM spokesman Joel Millman told a Geneva briefing. The Italian coast guard rescued survivors and had recovered eight bodies so far, he said...
(The Globe and Mail 12/23/16)
The Square Kilometre Array will be the world’s most powerful radio telescope, opening new frontiers in our understanding of the universe. But the builders have to contend with an unforgiving climate and other formidable challenges first, In the desolate rocky plains of the Great Karoo, the dangers are endless. Scorpions and puff adders are underfoot. The harsh sun beats down, interrupted only by occasional lightning storms. Temperatures range from stifling heat to freezing cold. But at night, in the vast empty darkness, the stars are impossibly bright and clear. And it is the stars that have lured a Canadian-backed project to build the world’s most powerful radio telescope, with the potential to unlock the deepest secrets of the universe. For...
(Daily Monitor 12/22/16)
Kampala — Opposition politicians on Wednesday hit at President Yoweri Museveni as they bid farewell to Democratic Party (DP) Secretary General, Mathias Nsubuga who died on Sunday. In his statement, President Museven described the late Nsubuga as "an open, tolerant politician who believed in dialogue. The country will miss him." However, the Opposition leaders countered Mr Museveni's statement saying there was no tolerance in the country's political environment. During the requiem mass at Rubaga Cathedral on Wednesday, the Kampala city Lord mayor Mr Erias Lukwago said he was still reflecting on the president's remarks and wondered whether he was reciprocating the good gesture from people like the late Nsubuga. . "The country needs dialogue that will restore the sovereignty of...
(AFP (eng) 12/22/16)
Selma saunters on her stilt-like legs, batting thick lashes as she extends a blackish tongue -- as long as an arm -- to grab pellets offered by an awed tourist. The giraffe is after all, eating for two. Her pregnancy is good news for one of the rarest giraffe species, protected at the Giraffe Centre in the Kenyan capital, but experts warn the outlook for the rest of the world's tallest land mammals is far gloomier. While it is hoped the shocking news that the gentle giants of the African savannah are facing extinction will spur action, conservationists largely have their hands tied as many giraffe live in Africa's most conflict-torn regions. Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan...
(Daily Monitor 12/21/16)
Parliament has rejected President Museveni's directive on the Income Tax Act seeking to ring-fence oil production sharing from taxes. Mr Museveni on November 23 this year returned the bill to Parliament for the third time, and directed the House to amend Clause 6 of Section 89G, to scrap income tax on oil production, fearing that it would undermine oil production. The section provides that, "in case of a licensee granted a petroleum exploration license after 31st December 2015, the allowable deductions shall be subject to the limitations on deductions specified in the Production Sharing Agreement". But the President fears that taxing shares may compromise and threaten exploration potential of the country's oil reserves. However, the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga upon further...
(AFP (eng) 12/21/16)
When power goes out in the rural town of Soroti in eastern Uganda, store manager Hussein Samsudin can only hope it won't go on so long it spoils his fresh goods. Another shop owner, Richard Otekat, 37, has to pay a neighbour hourly to use his generator during blackouts as he can't afford to buy one himself, while others simply go without. However residents of the town, surrounded by thatched huts, rivers and grasslands, hope a new solar plant, which went into operation last week, will bring an end to their electricity woes. The $19 million (18-million euro), 33-acre solar plant -- the first of its kind in East Africa -- can produce 10 megawatts of power that is fed...
(Daily Monitor 12/21/16)
Kampala — Uganda government says it will be able to reach 25 per cent threshold of absorbing the World Bank (WB) loans by 2018 to be at the same level with other countries accessing the bank loans. On September 13, the WB Group took a decision to withhold new lending to Uganda effective August 22, 2016 while reviewing the country's portfolio in consultation with the government. However, the bank made it clear that all projects that were approved by its board before August 22, are considered part of the portfolio and therefore not affected by this decision, and will continue to be implemented. The move came as result of low absorption capacity by Uganda government due to poor implementation projects...
(Daily Monitor 12/21/16)
The Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) through the Swedish Embassy in Kampala has given 35 million krona (about Shs14.3billion) for maternal, new born and child health programmes. According to a press statement by Unicef dated December 16, the support is expected to reach an estimated 135,000 pregnant women and over 300,000 children with key health interventions in West Nile region. Mr Per Lingärde, the Swedish Ambassador to Uganda while handing over the support at Unicef offices in Kampala said the contribution is part of their efforts to improve maternal and child health by strengthening health service delivery in Uganda, indirectly supporting gender equality and women's empowerment. "Unicef plays an important role in supporting the Ministry of Health to end preventable...
(The Citizen 12/21/16)
Tanzania is among some African countries which may see a drop in development aid as the US is likely to expand fiscal stance and cut spending during Donald Trump's presidency, a new report shows. The move by the world's largest economy will affect dependent countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and DRC according to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) latest report released in London yesterday. In its Economic Insight: Africa Q4 2016, the accountancy and finance body points out that signs of an expansionary fiscal stance under the Trump administration coupled with spending cuts to accommodate increased infrastructure expenditure are likely to lead to the decrease in aid. "Aid is one of the main...
(AFP (eng) 12/20/16)
When Rose Kariuki first felt a lump on her left breast, the spectre of cancer -- a disease she had only heard of on television -- was the last thing on her mind. "To me, cancer was nowhere near us. It was shocking, I feared death, I feared so many things," the 46-year-old Kenyan school teacher told AFP. Rose is one of a growing number of Africans suffering from cancer, one of the lifestyle diseases -- along with diabetes and heart problems -- proving increasing deadly on the continent. A World Health Organisation (WHO) survey released Tuesday showed that most Africans had at least one risk factor for developing one of these diseases, such as smoking, a lack of exercise,...
(The Independent 12/19/16)
Egypt will provide a protection force to help South Sudan restore peace, a decision that has been welcomed by Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni. After bilateral talks Sunday with visiting Egyptian leader Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Museveni hailed the decision, saying that unlike Uganda, the north Africans do not share close border ties with South Sudan and would, therefore, not be accused of bias in the situation. Museveni called on the Egyptian government to discourage the United Nations Security Council's policy of putting sanctions on South Sudan, saying that sanctions cause a vacuum in leadership. The UN Security Council on Friday extended the mandate of its peacekeeping mission in South Sudan for a year, demanding an end to the fighting as the...
(Daily News Egypt 12/19/16)
President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi arrived on Sunday morning to Uganda in an official one-day visit. The visit comes after Al-Sisi received an official invitation from his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni, according to a statement issued by the presidency. During the one-day visit, Al-Sisi met with senior Ugandan officials and discussed ways to enhance bilateral relations across all fields, as well as a number of African issues of mutual concern, the statement asserted. Inside the presidential palace located in Uganda’s capital of Entebbe, Al-Sisi and Museveni discussed ways to strengthen cooperation, particularly at the economic and trade levels, as well as establishing more joint projects in Uganda. Moreover, the presidency’s statement highlighted that both presidents would touch upon a number of...
(AFP (eng) 12/16/16)
The number of migrants feared to have died this year has soared to nearly 7,200 -- a more than 20-percent increase over 2015 -- with most of the fatalities in the Mediterranean, IOM said Friday. In total, 7,189 migrants and refugees have died or remain missing on migratory routs around the world, the International Organization for Migration said. That number is already 1,449 more than in all of 2015. And since it represents an average of 20 deaths per day, another 200 to 300 people could perish by the end of the year if the trend continues, the Geneva-based IOM warned in a statement. The Mediterranean Sea routes, used so far this year by nearly 360,000 people seeking a new...
(CNN 12/15/16)
In the sleepy, sun-blasted town of De Aar in central South Africa, a mighty force is stirring. The largest solar plant in Africa, Middle East and the Southern hemisphere was inaugurated here earlier this year, a 175-megawatt facility that spreads over almost 500 hectares. The facility is the brainchild of Solar Capital, led by hotel magnate turned solar evangelist Paschal Phelan, which ploughed $400 million into the venture. The plant supplies power to the National Grid, but when the heat is fiercest it produces far more than the Grid can use, and the excess power goes to waste. "It's like you have a Ferrari and you run a small car," says Massimiliano Salaorno, plant manager of Solar Capital De Aar...
(AFP (eng) 12/14/16)
A Ugandan tribal king and 151 others have been charged with treason for allegedly seeking to overthrow the government, their lawyer said Wednesday. The Rwenzururu King Charles Wesley Mumbere was arrested in late November during a violent police crackdown on his palace -- from where he is accused of commanding a militia -- which left at least 87 dead. "The king was charged today (Wednesday) together with 151 people with treason," Evans Ochieng a lawyer representing the group told AFP. The charge carries a possible death sentence. "Definitely my clients including the king deny the charges. They are trumped up by the state" he said. "The state claims my clients overtly or covertly uttered statements with political intentions to overthrow...
(Agence Ecofin 12/14/16)
France and Germany signed a financing agreement with the government of Uganda to provide €90 million for the construction of the Muzizi hydropower dam. France through the French Development Agency said it would provide €45 million, a concessional loan. The remaining €45 million will come from the German kfW Bank, a concessional loan of €40 million and a €5 million subsidy. The Ugandan government committed to provide the rest of the funding for the project which is expected to cost about €110 million. “The Muzizi project will increase the current power generation capacity in Uganda by about 5 percent, enough to power 1 million homes,”
(Daily Monitor 12/14/16)
Kampala — The recent depreciation of the Uganda Shilling and its implications to the inflation rates in the country is expected to top the agenda of the final 2016 Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting today. In the last two months, the Uganda Shilling has depreciated, reaching low last seen fourteen months ago. The MPC meeting will seat today at Bank of Uganda (BoU), to set the Central Bank Rate (CBR) for December. The Uganda Shilling depreciated from Shs3,305 in May and reached Shs3,625 by this month. The depreciation has been attributed to global sentiments and the high dollar demand from importers. Recently, Mr Matia Kasaija, the Finance minister, noted that the Shilling could fall further into depreciation with the rising...
(AFP (eng) 12/14/16)
Family planning helps people in Africa to be healthier and wealthier, as women without contraceptives become locked in "a cycle of poverty," Melinda Gates told AFP as a conference on the topic was held in Ivory Coast. "When a woman has access to contraceptives she can lift herself out of poverty, and if she doesn't have access to contraceptives, it locks her inside a cycle of poverty for the rest of her life," said the wife of Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Bill Gates, whose foundation is very active in the field. Family planning has "huge health benefits for the woman and for her children, and it has economic benefits," Gates told AFP by telephone from the Ivorian economic capital Abidjan...
(Daily Monitor 12/13/16)
Mukono — The Environment Police in Mukono District have confiscated several metallic Shisha pots and smoking pipes from a major bar in Mukono town during an operation that was aimed at enforcing the Tobacco Control Act during. The weekend operation was led by the Officer in charge of Mukono District Environment Police, Mr Robert Wowuya together with Mr Moses Talibita, the legal officer of Uganda National Health Consumer's Organisation. At Casablanca bar, a stone throw from Mukono Police Station, police officers pounced on drinkers, mainly students from Uganda Christian University who were smoking Shisha- a water-pipe tobacco. Police officers impounded 15 Shisha pots and pipes although no smoker was arrested. Most of the smokers were drank and staggered as police...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/13/16)
Uganda on Monday started up its first grid-connected, 10 megawatt solar power plant as the east African country moves to tap its renewable energy resources and expand its electricity generation capacity. Funded by Norway, Germany, UK and the European Union, the $19 million plant was developed by Access Power and Eren Re, two energy sector investors based in Dubai and France respectively. Uganda, a prospective crude oil producer of some 34 million people, generates about 850 megawatts of electricity, mostly from hydro power dams. Officials have said they want to increase that capacity to 1,500 megawatts by 2018 and are seeking foreign investors to develop the country's non-traditional energy sources such as solar and geothermal. The plant, a vast field...

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