| Africatime
Wednesday 22 February 2017
(AFP (eng) 02/22/17)
Cases of torture in Tunisia are falling but abuses persist in prisons and detention centres, a rights group said Wednesday. The Tunisian Organisation Against Torture (OCTT) reported 153 torture cases in the North African country from January to November. There were 250 cases in the previous year. In a report, it accused authorities of abuses including arbitrary arrest, ill-treatment and threats or attempts at rape. The police were responsible for more than 60 percent of the abuses, followed by prison wardens and the National Guard, it said. "Until now, there has been no real, concrete reform within the security and penitentiary institutions," it said. OCTT president Radhia Nasraoui called for new laws to prevent torture...
(AFP (eng) 02/22/17)
Somalia's new President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed sought to downplay high expectations of his new administration at his inauguration Wednesday, saying it would take decades to fix the nation's many problems. "Our government is facing so many challenges and even though I will be doing my best, I also want to make clear for the Somali public that due to limited resources regarding economy and forces of security, what we could do is going to be limited," he said. The president, widely known by his nickname Farmajo, officially took office last week, but his inauguration was held Wednesday in the presence
(AFP (eng) 02/22/17)
Schools began to reopen across Guinea on Wednesday after a three-week strike and violent protests that left seven people dead in the capital this week, an AFP journalist and school staff said. The violence in Conakry on Monday and Tuesday capped weeks of protests mainly by young people and students that prompted the government to close schools on February 1. The protests were in support of a strike by temporary teachers demanding full-time government contracts. On Wednesday, students began trickling back into classrooms in the capital and in other cities...
(AFP (eng) 02/22/17)
Manchester City's Yaya Toure believes his side must score at least two more goals against Monaco if they are to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League. City twice came from behind to defeat the Ligue 1 leaders in a stunning 5-3 win in the first leg of their last 16 clash at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday, with Sergio Aguero scoring twice for the Premier League club. But given how their defence was tested at home, midfielder Toure said merely trying to defend their lead was not a viable tactic for the second leg in Monaco in three weeks' time.
(AFP (eng) 02/22/17)
Malawi's President Peter Mutharika on Wednesday fired the country's agriculture minister who is alleged to have profited from a $35 million deal to import maize from Zambia. George Chaponda, seen as a close ally and potential successor of Mutharika, was dismissed from his post a day after investigators raided his home where they reportedly found $223,000 (212,000 euros) in cash. In a statement, Mutharika's office said he had decided "to relieve George Chaponda of his responsibilities as minister of agriculture with immediate effect" without saying why. His sacking follows pressure on the government in parliament over its controversial purchase of 100,000 tonnes of maize at high rates from neighbouring Zambia
(Reuters (Eng) 02/22/17)
Malawi's President Peter Mutharika has dismissed the agriculture minister after an investigation into maize procurement, the southern African nation's information minister said on Wednesday. Mutharika ordered an investigation last month into a $34.5 million government maize purchase from Zambia after allegations that the price had been inflated. "The President has removed from Cabinet Hon George Chaponda as agriculture minister with immediate effect following after he was found with millions of money at his residence yesterday," Minister of Information Nicolaus Saudi...
(Agence Ecofin 02/22/17)
In Togo, last Saturday, the people of Bè Massouhouin, angered, are demanding for the lands taken from them in 1977 by the government to be returned. “We, the people of Bè, initially had a total of 900 hectares of lands. However, the State took half of these saying it was for public use. It is on these lands that the State built all infrastructures found in the Lomé II area.” “The airport, the harbor, the University of Lomé, the Kégué...
(Agence Ecofin 02/22/17)
In a circular signed by Samir Taieb and Mabrouk Korchid, respectively Tunisian minister of agriculture and State secretary in charge of public domains and land affairs, it was revealed that 11,000 ha of lands will be given to small farmers in Tunisia’s remote areas. Commenting on the initiative on the sidelines of the Social economy and Solidarity Days, last Feb.20, Taieb said the areas concerned “will be given to young graduates from agriculture schools and small farmers”. However, to benefit...
(Agence Ecofin 02/22/17)
Mali’s and Algeria’s ministers of energy, Malick Alhousseini and Noureddine Bouterfa respectively, are working on ways to implement the energy cooperation agreement established between the two nations in November 2016. The cooperation is to help Mali benefit from Algeria’s experience in terms of construction and management of solar and wind stations as well as in terms of power network development. According to Bouterfa, it should be facilitated by the geographical similarities between the two nations. The partnership will especially be helpful to Mali in the framework of its electrification program which is to benefit remote areas and see the construction of two hybrid power plants of 40 MW each in Gaoua
(Agence Ecofin 02/22/17)
Cote d’Ivoire recently signed with the African Development Bank (AfDB) three funding agreements valued at FCFA70 billion (€107 million) to support three agricultural projects which aim to modernize the nation’s agriculture. In details, the first project focuses on the development of agricultural value chains in the Indénié-Djuablin region which is in the Central-Eastern part of the country. Valued at FCFA4.2 billion overall, the project will get a financing of FCFA3.3bn (€5M) from the Nigeria Special Fund (NSF), one of AfDB’s three entities. It will mainly focus on production, commercialization and processing of the region's main agricultural products.
(AFP (eng) 02/22/17)
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and King Abdullah II of Jordan agreed Tuesday there could be no concessions on establishing a Palestinian state, the presidency said after talks in Cairo. The meeting between the leaders of the two Arab countries that have signed peace treaties with Israel came after US President Donald Trump's administration suggested it would not insist on a Palestinian state for a Middle East peace agreement. "The two sides discussed ways to push the stagnant Middle East peace process, especially in light of US President Donald Trump's administration coming to power," a presidency statement said.
(AFP (eng) 02/22/17)
Somalia's capital Mogadishu was under security lockdown Wednesday, with roads closed and commercial flights cancelled ahead of the inauguration of President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed. Widely known by his nickname Farmajo, the president will be sworn-in at a ceremony held in the highly-secured airport zone to avoid an attack by the Al-Qaeda linked Shabaab group which has threatened a "vicious war" against the new government. "All major roads and streets inside and outside the capital were closed down last night, movement...
(AFP (eng) 02/22/17)
Angola’s candidate for the next presidential election Joao Lourenço has promised to end corruption. Lourenço made the promise during campaigns for the general elections. The defense minister has been chosen by Angola’s ruling party candidate to take over from outgoing head of state Eduardo Dos Santos who announced last year that he will quit power. Talking to a group of students at Luanda Norte in the north east of the country, Lourenço criticised the collection of bribe especially from companies...
(AFP (eng) 02/22/17)
Clashes between Sudan's government and rebels in South Kordofan province on Tuesday smashed a months-long lull in fighting, the two sides said. Ethnic minority rebels in the southern state who say they are politically and economically marginalised have been fighting the Arab-dominated government since 2011. Fighting there and in Darfur and Blue Nile states have left thousands dead and millions displaced. Khartoum announced a unilateral ceasefire in June, which it extended by six months in January. Army spokesman Brigadier Ahmed...
(AFP (eng) 02/22/17)
Russia's Rosneft oil giant has paved the way for investment in Libya's oil sector by signing a Cooperation Framework Agreement with the National Oil Corporation of Libya, it was announced Tuesday. The agreement was signed Monday on the sidelines of London's International Petroleum Week by NOC chairman Mustafa Sanalla and Rosneft chairman Igor Sechin, according to the NOC. Under the deal, the two state companies will establish a joint working committee to explore possible cooperation in various fields, including exploration and production. Sanalla last month announced plans to encourage investment by foreign oil companies in an effort to boost Libya's
(AFP (eng) 02/22/17)
Burkina Faso's Diebedo Francis Kere will be the first African architect to design a temporary pavilion in London's Hyde Park, a prestigious assignment given to a world-famous architect every year. Kere's design is inspired by a tree in his hometown of Gando that serves as "a central meeting point for life", the Serpentine Galleries said in a statement. "An expansive roof, supported by a central steel framework, mimics a tree's canopy, allowing air to circulate freely while offering shelter against...
(AFP (eng) 02/22/17)
Mozambican former first lady Graca Machel's daughter on Tuesday won a high-profile domestic violence case against her ex-boyfriend, a landmark victory in a country where abuse of women is growing. Josina Machel lost the sight in her right eye in 2015 after she was savagely beaten by a Mozambican businessman Rofino Licuco with whom she had been in a relationship for three years. A court in Maputo on Tuesday sentenced Licuco to a suspended prison sentence of three years and...
(AFP (eng) 02/22/17)
Four Moroccan cities, led by Marrakesh, ranked among the top 10 African cities for quality of life in a new survey published Tuesday. Marrakesh, nicknamed the Ochre City for the walls surrounding its old medina district, clinched the top ranking, with three other Moroccan cities -- Casablanca, Rabat and Fez -- in the top 10. "They are cities that are not huge, where real work has been done to improve infrastructure, people's quality of life (and) housing in a stable...
(AFP (eng) 02/22/17)
Italy's coast guard has rescued about 630 migrants off the coast of Libya who were trying to cross the Mediterranean. The two rescue operations came as the bodies of 74 migrants who drowned trying to reach Europe washed up on a beach west of the Libyan capital, the Red Crescent said Tuesday. The Italian coast guard said it mounted operations to rescue two drifting vessels, a large boat and a rubber raft. In the absence of an army or a...
(AFP (eng) 02/22/17)
The bodies of 74 migrants who drowned in the Mediterranean trying to reach Europe have washed up on a beach west of the Libyan capital, the Red Crescent said Tuesday. Residents of the village of Harcha, outside Zawiya, 45 kilometres (30 miles) from Tripoli, alerted the emergency services after finding a wrecked boat on the beach with bodies inside, the Red Crescent said. More were discovered elsewhere on the beach and still more were feared to be in the sea...

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