Friday 21 July 2017
(Voice of America 07/21/17)
Ugandan police say they arrested dozens of political opposition activists this week. The arrests coincide with speculation President Yoweri Museveni will act to change the constitution to allow himself to run for another term in 2021. Uganda's constitution stipulates presidential candidates must be younger than 75 when they stand for election. Museveni, who has held power for 31 years, will be 77 by the next election. Forum for Democratic Change official Ingrid Turinawe told AFP she believes the arrest of 56 opposition party members on Wednesday is linked to the issue. Museveni has not publicly communicated his intent to run for another term, telling the Ugandan media on Wednesday not to "waste your time" with...
(Dw-World 07/20/17)
Police in Uganda have arrested at least 53 people including an opposition leader, for demonstrating against a plan to amend the constitution and scrap the presidential age limit. Norbert Mao, leader of the Democratic Party, was arrested alongside his supporters as they protested against the planned constitutional amendment. For days now, a clique of legislators from the ruling party, National Resistance Movement, (NRM), has been clandestinely agitating for the removal of the age limit which would give a leeway for the incumbent President Yoweri Museveni to run for another
(Bloomberg 07/19/17)
Vodacom Group Ltd. sees the expansion of mobile-banking services into new markets in sub-Saharan Africa as a top priority following a shareholder vote to rubber stamp its purchase of a 35 percent stake in Safaricom Ltd., Kenya’s biggest company. “We will use Safaricom to enter other markets where neither Vodacom nor Safaricom are,” Chief Executive Officer Shameel Joosub said in an interview at the wireless carrier’s annual general meeting in Johannesburg on Tuesday. The two businesses have a combined 30...
(Voice of America 07/15/17)
Five countries in East Africa face dire food insecurity after a third poor rainy season in a row, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization said Friday. Areas in five countries - Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda - received less than half of their normal seasonal rainfall. "The current phenomenon encompasses an area of about 1 million square kilometers, which is roughly twice the size of France," FAO economist Alessandro Costantino told VOA's Africa division. The extended drought along with a pest called an armyworm has drastically reduced crop yields, leaving millions in East Africa without
(Voice of America 07/11/17)
In the past five years, terrorist attacks have killed nearly 20,000 people across Africa. Two groups, Boko Haram and al-Shabab, accounted for 71 percent of reported incidents and 91 percent of fatalities. But, while these and other militant groups remain active, fatal terrorist attacks across the continent are on pace to fall for a second straight year, and the total number of attacks is running far below 2012 highs. These findings are part of VOA’s original analysis of data from...
(Bloomberg 07/10/17)
Many cell phone companies are rethinking their headlong rush into the continent. Only Orange is staying the course. Back when African countries were auctioning off mobile licenses by the boatload to serve the region’s young, tech-savvy population, investing in the continent’s fast-growing economies seemed like a no-brainer. Some of the world’s biggest wireless carriers rushed in. Now they’re wondering if they made a mistake. Increasing government and regulatory scrutiny, as well as a lack of expansion opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa,...
(BBC News Africa 07/05/17)
Public servants in Uganda are facing a strict dress code after the government issued a circular warning them to "dress decently". Female staff have been told not to show any cleavage, wear brightly coloured nails, braids or hair extensions, sleeveless or transparent blouses. Men must wear long-sleeved shirts, jackets and ties, while trousers should not be tight-fitting. Staff failing to comply will be disciplined. The guidelines, issued by the Ministry of Public Service apply to all non-uniformed civil servants. But there is a feeling...
(Voice of America 07/04/17)
GENEVA — The U.N. children’s fund warns tens of thousands of malnourished children are at great risk in Yemen, Somalia and South Sudan, which are on the brink of famine. UNICEF reports an estimated 4.7 million children in the cholera-stricken countries are malnourished. Of these, UNICEF spokesman Christofe Boulierac tells VOA, more than one million are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. “Let me remind you that a child who is suffering from severe acute malnutrition are nine times more likely...
(RFI(EN) 07/04/17)
New tax rules in Israel could leave hundreds of African migrants worse off than they are. In May, the government introduced a new deposit law, enabling the governemnt to take 20 percent of migrants' salaries each month and place it out of reach. The money can only be accessed once they leave the country. Rights groups say the policy is designed to force them out of the country. "We're not pressuring you to leave but will make your life miserable...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/03/17)
Men wearing South Sudanese military uniforms have launched two raids on a hamlet over the border in Uganda in recent weeks, residents said, stealing cattle and raising fears that a near four-year-old conflict is spreading. The gunmen also tried to seize refugees from Gbari in the first reported attacks on Ugandan soil since the start of South Sudan's civil war, locals told Reuters. "I am afraid, they may come ... and burn all the houses," said Martin Koma, 44, from...
(RFI(EN) 06/27/17)
Uganda is hosting the first UN-backed Refugee Solidarity Summit to find support for the over 1.3 million refugees in the country over the next four years. Opening Thursday in Kampala, the two-day summit aims to raise two billion dollars a year for the second largest refugee-hosting country globally after Turkey and to showcase Uganda’s celebrated refugee model. Uganda now has a refugee population of 1.3 million and, with more new arrivals each day than any other country, it has earned...
(Voice of America 06/21/17)
WASHINGTON DC — On June 5, Saudi Arabia and its allies, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, accusing it of funding extremist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State. In response, Qatar said it was the victim of a policy of “domination and control” by its larger neighbor and that Saudi Arabia was, in fact, the one responsible for backing extremism. So what is the truth? Fundamentalist strains of Islam, including...
(The Guardian 06/06/17)
Military pledges zero tolerance after allegations of abuses by Human Rights Watch, but some fear court will not bring troops to justice The Ugandan military has launched investigations into allegations of rape and exploitation by soldiers who have been searching for notorious rebel group the Lord’s Resistance Army in Central African Republic. At least two non-commissioned officers are to appear at a court martial over alleged rapes committed in CAR between 2015 and 2017, the military said. Last month, Human...
(Voice of America 05/31/17)
Last year, Uganda's Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development worked with Parliament to enact and implement the Children Amendment Act, which prohibits corporal punishment in schools. Of 93 recommendations made by the Uganda Human Rights Commission, this is the only one that government departments have fully complied with in the past five years. "If there is no compliance and we keep on making the same recommendations and piling new ones and nothing is being done, that means the violations that we have assessed and recommendations we have made to address those violations are not implemented," said Katebalirwe Amooti
(Washington Post 05/31/17)
The old man’s house had become a camp for the displaced. In the back yard, groups of women boiled water for rice. Small children skittered across the dirt, running into the bedroom, where they careened around the long, skinny legs of Elijah Karama. “Because of the conditions, they are mine to take care of,” said Karama, 57, more tired than proud. By conditions, he meant Boko Haram’s destruction of vast areas of northeastern Nigeria, and the hunger crisis that has...
(Bloomberg 05/30/17)
Africa’s corn harvest this year is a tale of two extremes as worries about overflowing silos and rotting crops in the south contrast with the east where supermarkets are running short of the staple food. Zambia and South Africa are both predicting record output of the grain, while Zimbabwe may meet its domestic needs for the first time since it began seizing land from white farmers in 2000. Yet in East Africa, 17 million people may be facing hunger, and...
(The Guardian 05/22/17)
Dazed and exhausted, Joyce Mori sits on the floor cradling her sleeping daughter as they wait to have their fingerprints taken. One of 1,600 refugees who have arrived at the Imvepi reception centre in the West Nile region of northern Uganda, she has finally made it out of South Sudan’s war but, like many others, is thinking about loved ones left behind. Leaving her village of Mukaya, she travelled to the town of Yei with her four children. From there...
(Voice of America 05/19/17)
Police in Uganda have come under fire for allegedly torturing suspects, with both the president and interior minister publicly recognizing the problem this week and calling for it to end. On March 17, Uganda's assistant inspector general of police was gunned down in Kampala. Five days later, police said they were holding 17 suspects; however, it was a month before those individuals appeared in court. While media was blocked from the proceedings, leaked photos of the inmates appeared to show clear signs of abuse. When the suspects were brought to court for a second time
(Bloomberg 05/18/17)
Uganda, which wants to start building part of a multi-billion-dollar rail line to Kenya, must wait for its neighbor to decide on plans for its portion of the track before the project’s main funder makes money available, the country’s finance minister said. Export-Import Bank of China will arrange financing for Uganda only when it’s sure that Kenya “is willing and able to extend its railway to the border, so that they don’t fund a white elephant,” Finance Minister Matia Kasaija...
(Bloomberg 05/18/17)
Steinhoff International Holdings NV plans to list its African assets separately as the acquisitive retailer seeks a new prize for shareholders following this year’s failed merger talks with Shoprite Holdings Ltd. The company said Wednesday it will seek to list businesses including clothing retailer Pepkor and furniture chain JD Group Ltd. on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, about 18 months after moving its primary listing to Frankfurt from the South African commercial hub. The new business could be worth as much...

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