Saturday 24 June 2017
(Voice of America 03/17/17)
One of the enduring legacies of the Barack Obama presidency will be the relationship built between the United States and young Africans. As part of Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), each year 1,000 young people from sub-Saharan Africa travel to the United States to spend six weeks at a U.S. college or university. The program will continue this summer. But building enduring relationships is a two-way street, and many in Africa want to see Americans coming to their continent as well. That’s what 26 Americans selected to participate in a Reciprocal Exchange program, a new component of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, are now planning to do. The U.S. Department of State partnered with IREX, a...
(Xinhuanet 03/16/17)
The Ugandan government on Wednesday dismissed a human rights report that called for an independent inquiry into the clashes between government forces and a tribal group in Rwenzori region in the western part of the country. New York headquartered Human Rights Watch in its report issued on Wednesday said the clashes late last year left over 150 people dead, including 15 children. The organization called for an independent, impartial fact-finding mission with international expertise into the killings. According to the government's statement, government troops clashed with a separatist tribal group in Kasese district in November last year, leaving 103 people dead and arresting over 180 people including a local king.
(Xinhuanet 03/16/17)
China's aid to the education sector in Africa is helping boost teacher training, a key component in skilling the population to fast track development, a UN official has said. Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, Director of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Regional Office for Eastern Africa, in an interview recognized China's contribution to Africa's education sector over the years. "We value the initiative in teacher training in Uganda and other countries in Africa. This will revitalize the teaching profession," she said. China through UNESCO donated equipment to three teacher training institutions in Uganda on March 3. Figures from the Chinese embassy here show that 137 tutors were trained and 272 pieces of Information Communication and Technology and studio equipment...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
Africa will host a Commonwealth Games one day despite the blow of Durban being stripped of hosting the 2022 edition, David Grevemberg, the chief executive of The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), told AFP. Durban lost the right to host the Games on Monday -- just 18 months after being awarded them -- when it failed to meet criteria laid down by the CGF, primarily over costs. "I wouldn't want to make a judgement call," Grevemberg told AFP on the sidelines of a briefing by 2018 Games hosts Gold Coast on Wednesday. "Durban has hosted some great events, it is a fantastic city and are wonderful warm hosts with bright ambitions and great aspirations. "However, it takes more than a municipality,...
(Daily Monitor 03/15/17)
Officials of Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) narrowly survived a mob protesting against an operation to close down illegal broadcasters in Luweero town. Recently, UCC directed all "community radios" broadcasting through megaphones to cease operations with immediate effect and pull down their apparatus. UCC explained that the "community radios" were working in contravention of the Uganda Communications Commission Act which prohibits persons from installing or operating radios, television or broadcasting apparatus without license from the body. On Tuesday, UCC officials led by content manager Paul Mukasa, backed by Environment Protection Police Unit officers went to Luweero Town Council to enforce the directive. They successfully closed down Voice of Kasana and Paradise community radios. However, they were attacked by a mob when...
(The Wall Street Journal 03/15/17)
Ndalo Media founder Khanyi Dhlomo and Mara Group founder Ashish Thakkar on where the potential is and what’s blocking it How is innovation in Africa different from innovation in Silicon Valley? And how can innovation in Africa be encouraged? Dan Keeler, frontier-markets editor of The Wall Street Journal, discussed those questions with Khanyi Dhlomo, founder and chief executive of Ndalo Media, a publisher based in South Africa, and Ashish Thakkar, founder of Mara Group, a pan-African investment group with operations in banking, real estate, infrastructure and technology. Edited excerpts follow. MR. KEELER: What about innovation in Africa? Khanyi, what sort of things are you seeing that are inspiring you? MS. DHLOMO:There’s a lot of innovation happening in Africa. But it’s...
(Agence Ecofin 03/14/17)
The Land Policy Initiative (LPI), a joint programme of the tripartite consortium consisting of the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has launched a pilot project to track progress in implementing in the AU Declaration on land issues in Africa. This was revealed by the ECA in a press statement dated March 7. In collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the project will assess progress made in implementing the key decisions and commitments of the AU Declaration on Land adopted in July 2009 by the General Assembly of the pan-African institution. “We are to a large extent in unchartered waters given many of our Member...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/13/17)
The United Arab Emirates, one of the Middle East's largest economies, wants to expand trade ties with faster growing nations in Asia and Africa, a senior official said on Sunday. Rich Gulf Arab states are looking at ways to diversify their economies, including who they trade with, after more than two years of depressed oil prices forced a rethink of government spending. The pace of economic growth in Asian and sub-Saharan African economies has made them ideal partners, Abdullah al-Saleh, undersecretary for foreign trade and industry at the UAE ministry of the economy, told Reuters in an interview in Dubai. Asia's two largest economies China and India are expected to grow by 6.5 percent and 7.2 percent this year whilst...
(AFP (eng) 03/10/17)
In the beginning was .com, followed by a host of other .somethings, but on Friday, 32 years after the world's first domain name was registered, the African Union has launched .africa for the continent. Africans who want to register a website will be able to apply for a .africa domain name in the coming months, which outgoing AU commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said would allow the continent's people and businesses to better reach the world. "With .africa, I would say Africa has finally got its digital identity," said Dlamini-Zuma, who will next week hand power to Chadian Foreign Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat after four years at the helm of the continental body Sub-Saharan Africa has one of the lowest rates...
(Xinhuanet 03/09/17)
A critical mass of trained and well equipped community health workforce is key to easing the rising burden of infectious and noncommunicable diseases in Africa, experts said on Wednesday at a continental forum taking place in Nairobi. The experts, policymakers and campaigners who attended Africa Health Agenda International Conference agreed that optimal engagement of community health workers is key to revolutionize response to diseases ravaging the continent. Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Health Cleopa Mailu in his opening remarks said that investments in training for community health workers will have multiplier impact on Africa's socioeconomic development. "We require highly skilled and motivated cadre of community health workforce to deal with a high diseases burden in disadvantaged settings in this continent. These...
(Xinhuanet 03/08/17)
World Cross country champion Agnes Tirop of Kenya has endured two years out of competition since her win in Guiyang, China in 2015. A right leg tendon injury, which she picked up on her way to win gold in Guiyang, punctured her sails and derailed what looked to be a promising career for the then 19-year old. She has struggled to regain her fitness and stature in the choking long distance field and World Cross Country Championships in Kampala, Uganda on March 26 will offer her the first major platform, globally, to stamp her authority. "It is true I am nervous. It has been a while since I made the Kenya team. You always wonder if you will come back...
(AFP (eng) 03/08/17)
Lawyers and human rights campaigners launched an initiative for African whistleblowers in Senegal on Tuesday, aimed at providing a secure means of exposing wrongdoing on the continent. African nations such as Somalia, South Sudan, Libya and Guinea-Bissau regularly appear at the very bottom of rankings such as Transparency International's Corruption Index, while none make it into the top 30. The Platform for the Protection of Whistleblowers in Africa (PPLAAF) will provide guidance from legal experts, secure submission of information and a hotline for potential informants, according to its founders. The initiative is the brainchild of Spanish superstar lawyer Baltasar Garzon -- who has defended Julian Assange of whistleblowing website WikiLeaks -- along with French lawyer William Bourdon, who worked on...
(The Independent 03/06/17)
Th term was coined by sceptical officials, worried about the importance given to Commonwealth trade deals ahead of Brexit negotiations. Plans by government ministers to boost trade links with African Commonwealth countries are being internally branded “empire 2.0” by sceptical officials who are worried about the importance being placed on such deals ahead of the UK’s negotiations of leaving the European Union (EU). International Trade Secretary Liam Fox is expected to promise to build better links with the whole of the 52 member countries of the Commonwealth when ministers from each country meet in London later this week. But as the UK is prepares itself to leave the European Union, The Times reports that British ministers are planning to talk...
(The East African 03/03/17)
Kenya has joined its East African neighbours, Uganda and Rwanda, by launching a cargo tracking system intended to reduce the cost of trade and check tax evasion. The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) on Wednesday launched the Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking System, which enables real time tracking of transit cargo from Mombasa port to its destination through an online platform monitored in the three countries. KRA commissioner general John Njiraini said the new system would be operational by the end of the month to replace the current tamper-prone Electronic Cargo Tracking System. "Unlike the current system where we use multiple vendors to install the tracking and which we can only trace up to the border point, this one allows three countries...
(Bloomberg 03/03/17)
Polar Star Management Ltd., which runs one of the best-performing African and Middle East hedge fund over the past five years, plans to start a private-equity unit that will invest in agriculture to exploit rising demand for food. The Cape Town-based firm plans to use its own money to buy small farms and processing companies in South Africa this year, then increase efficiency through consolidation and better management, said Murray Derksen, a director at Polar Star. It aims to raise 1.5 billion rand ($115 million) for the fund, which may also buy commodities such as grains, while targeting an internal rate of return of 8 percent to 12 percent, he said. “We looked at the increase in corn demand globally,...
(New Vision 03/02/17)
Hailemariam Desalegn is accompanied by a high-powered delegation of ministers and high-ranking government officials The Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn has begun a 3-day state visit to Uganda at the invitation of President Yoweri Museveni. Desalegn, who is accompanied by his wife, Roman Tesfaye Abney arrived in the country earlier today and was this afternoon received at State House, Entebbe by his host President Yoweri Museveni and the First Lady Janet Museveni. The two leaders held a joint press conference at State House where they
(Xinhuanet 03/02/17)
The Chinese government donated over 5,900 tonnes of rice to Ugandan on Tuesday as the East African country warned of food insecurity amid the prolonged dry spell. Zheng Zhuqiang, Chinese ambassador to Uganda, said China has been concerned about the poor harvest in many African countries including Uganda. "I believe that with the effort of the Ugandan government, all these donated food will be distributed to the people very soon," he said. According to a new report National Food Security Assessment, launched by Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, 26 percent of Uganda's population is facing stressed food insecurity, meaning they just have enough food and are unable to afford some essential food expenditures. It also showed that 10.9 million people in...
(AFP (eng) 03/02/17)
A film raging against colonialism and the exploitation of Africa wowed viewers at the continent's top cinema festival Wednesday, winning shouts of approval at a screening packed to bursting point. "The African Storm" tells the story of an African president who nationalises businesses run by racist, cynical Western executives. Directed and produced by its Beninese star Sylvestre Amoussou, it tackles several hot-button issues including an exit from the CFA franc currency, closer ties with Russia and China as opposed to the West, criticism of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, and pride in being African. One of 20 feature-length movies on show at the Panafrican Film and Television Festival (Fespaco) in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou, the movie was punctuated...
(Xinhuanet 03/01/17)
The Ugandan government on Tuesday warned that its population was slipping into the food insecure phase due to the prolonged dry spell that has led to crop failure. In a new report launched here dubbed National Food Security Assessment, an estimated 69 percent of the country's population is minimally food insecure. "These households still have food stocks from the second harvest that are expected to last for the next two to three months," the report launched by Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda said in part. The report also showed that 26 percent of the total population is facing stressed food insecurity meaning that the population just has enough food and is unable to afford some essential food expenditures. It also showed...
(AFP (eng) 02/28/17)
The Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership -- the world's biggest individual prize -- drew a blank once again in finding a suitable laureate, it was announced Tuesday. The prize only goes to a democratically-elected African leader who demonstrated exceptional leadership, served their mandated term and left office within the last three years. The award comes with $5 million (4.7 million euros) paid over 10 years and $200,000 annually for life from then on. The prize, founded by Sudan-born telecoms tycoon Mo Ibrahim, has only been given four times in its 10-year existence. The philanthropist has said in the past that making no award sent just as strong a message on African leadership. "A very high bar was deliberately...

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