| Africatime
Wednesday 22 February 2017
(AL Jazeera 02/22/17)
Spy chief Yankuba Badjie has been accused of overseeing kidnappings, arbitrary arrests, torture, killings and rape. Police in The Gambia have arrested the country's former head of the national intelligence agency and his deputy, both accused of overseeing killings, kidnappings, arbitrary arrests, torture and rape during their time in office. Spy chief Yankuba Badjie and director of operations Sheikh Omar Jeng were detained on Monday and being investigated for potential abuses of power, spokesman Foday Conta told the DPA news agency on Wednesday. The arrests were part of new President Adama Barrow's attempts
(Bloomberg 02/22/17)
Traders increased bets that Nigeria will allow the naira to weaken after the central bank eased some capital controls and President Muhammadu Buhari, who opposes devaluation, extended his sick leave in the U.K. Forward contracts rose to the highest level since November after the Central Bank of Nigeria said it would “increase the efficiency of the foreign-exchange market” and make hard currency available to Nigerians needing to fund business trips and overseas school and medical bills. The regulator also announced the sale of $500 million of forwards. Buhari is in London receiving treatment for an unspecified condition after traveling there for medical tests on Jan. 19. The 74-year-old, who has likened a depreciation of the naira to “murder,” handed power...
(AL Jazeera 02/22/17)
At least five people killed and 30 wounded in Conakry demonstrations sparked by a teachers' strike, the government says. At least five people have been killed in Guinea's capital, Conakry, in protests sparked by a teachers' strike, according to the government, reviving labour tensions in a country where previous strikes have led to dozens of deaths. Guinea's main teachers' unions launched the strike on February 1 to protest at the government's decision to dismiss or cut the salaries of many...
(Bloomberg 02/22/17)
As he marked his 93rd birthday Tuesday, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe signaled that he has no intention of retiring any time soon and voiced support for U.S. President Donald Trump’s policy of putting his country’s interests first. Speaking softly and haltingly in an interview with the state-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corp., Mugabe said he would only heed calls to step down from within his ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front. “They want me to stand for elections,” he said. “If I...
(Dw-World 02/22/17)
For the last two decades, the Ethiopian government has been trumping the country's economic successes , which earned it the title the "African Tiger." However the youth appear to have been left behind. The town of Ambo is located 120 kilometers (75 miles) west of Addis Ababa and is knows as the kicking off point of the protests against the infamous re-zoning plan of the government almost three years ago. Reports show that security forces responded to the protests with...
(The Guardian 02/22/17)
UN agency and other organisations warn that 14 million people need urgent aid, with food shortages in the north-east driven by Boko Haram insurgency. Hundreds of thousands of children under the age of five in north-eastern Nigeria will suffer from severe acute malnutrition this year, with up to 20% dying unless more is done to reach them, according to the UN children’s fund, Unicef, and other aid organisations. The estimated number of affected children is now 450,000 (pdf), with 14...
(Dw-World 02/22/17)
Tanzanian President Magufuli's threat to clamp down on homosexuals is creating a climate of hatred and fear. It is not the first time the government has targeted certain groups, thereby provoking heated debate. In Tanzania President John Magufuli's political style is changing, increasingly showing symptoms of a strongman mentality. In the past he was seen more as a progressive ruler. But recent threats to clamp down on gays in the country are creating a climate of hate and fear. Gays...
(AL Jazeera 02/22/17)
Nigerian community in South Africa calls for protection after reports of renewed 'xenophobic' violence in Pretoria West. Members of Nigeria's community in South Africa have raised concerns over renewed anti-immigrant violence, appealing to authorities to intervene before the situation gets out of control. Nigeria's presidency on Monday called the South African government to step in to stop what it said were "xenophobic attacks" following recent reports of violence against Nigerians and other nationals in the capital, Pretoria. The Nigerian Union...
(Washington Post 02/21/17)
Since World War II, U.N. peacekeepers have been dispatched to 69 conflicts — civil wars, border disputes and failed states. But now they are confronting an unsettling new threat: al-Qaeda. Here in the vast, lawless desert of northwest Africa, their convoys are being torn apart by improvised explosive devices and their compounds blasted by 1,000-pound car bombs. It is a crisis that looks more like the U.S. ground wars in Iraq and Afghanistan than the cease-fires traditionally monitored by U.N...
(Bloomberg 02/21/17)
The International Monetary Fund says creditors may forgive part of Somalia’s outstanding $5.3 billion debt if the strife-torn Horn of Africa state takes concrete steps toward reforming its economy and improving governance. Somalia, gripped by a three-decade civil war, would have to first clear arrears owed to the IMF, the World Bank and the African Development Bank, according to IMF’s country head Samba Thiam. An arrears-clearance plan, a new currency, an effective monetary policy and a “solid track record” on...
(Bloomberg 02/21/17)
The new Ghanaian government’s pledge to provide free secondary education at public schools, less than a month after it said it found a budget hole of 7 billion cedis ($1.5 billion), could compound the nation’s financial trouble. After initial reports, citing Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Maafo, that an oil-savings fund would be used to underwrite free education, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta said in a broadcast on Citi FM on Feb. 17 the government won’t touch the so-called Heritage Fund and that schooling would be funded from the budget. President Nana Akufo-Addo, whose New Patriotic Party won a general election in December
(Bloomberg 02/21/17)
South African President Jacob Zuma’s year-long feud with his finance minister over the nation’s purse strings appears to be coming to a head. When Pravin Gordhan presents his annual budget in Parliament on Wednesday, Gordhan will seek to keep state spending in check and fend off a junk credit rating. Zuma, meanwhile, wants to spend billions of rand on new nuclear plants and embark on “radical economic transformation” to target yawning racial inequality and widespread poverty. Those factors contributed to the ruling African National Congress’s worst electoral performance in a municipal poll in August.
(The Guardian 02/21/17)
Dialogue with Sudan to tackle migrant numbers is putting UK and EU’s reputation for championing human rights at risk, says parliamentary committee. UK and European Union attempts to reduce migration from Sudan risk giving legitimacy to its government, which has been accused of human rights abuses, politicians have warned. The focus on cutting migration from Sudan “is likely to push the UK towards institutions and individuals with whom we differ on principle”, said a report by MPs and peers (pdf) on the all-party parliamentary group for Sudan and South Sudan. Mark Durkan, the APPG’s chairman, said official language, which depicts the efforts as humanitarian engagement to tackle
(Financial Times 02/21/17)
Currency made available at 20% above official rate in president’s absence. Nigeria’s central bank has edged closer to a full devaluation by making dollars available to private individuals at 20 per cent above the official rate. The measure, which is partly a sop to Nigeria’s struggling elite, will allow Nigerians seeking dollars to pay foreign school fees or medical bills or to travel abroad to acquire them at the new rate. The announcement comes while Muhammadu Buhari, the president, who...
(Itweb Africa 02/21/17)
Despite a public outcry, the Zambian government has refused to reverse its decision to award 60% shares of the national broadcaster to Chinese digital television provider TopStar. This follows a joint venture between the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNCB) and TopStar television which will see the rolling out of set top boxes for digital television under the TopStar brand as the country migrates to digital television. Before the deal, ZNBC was 100% owned by the Zambian government. According to the...
(Washington Post 02/21/17)
Dozens of bodies washed ashore on Libya’s western Mediterranean sea coast on Tuesday, the latest tragedy to strike desperate migrants from Africa and elsewhere seeking refuge and jobs in Europe. At least 74 bodies were pulled from a beach near the western city of Zawiya, according to Libya’s Red Crescent, which added that the dead had previously been on a boat. The agency tweeted photos showing rescue workers placing the victims in black-and-white body bags. It was unclear how the...
(AL Jazeera 02/21/17)
Ten men sentenced to death over violence at Port Said football match, with one additional suspect still at large. Egypt's top court upheld death sentences for 10 men on Tuesday for their part in Egypt's worst violence at a football stadium, in which more than 70 fans were killed in February 2012. Many of the dead were crushed when panicked fans tried to escape from the Port Said stadium after a post-match pitch invasion by supporters of the local side...
(Bloomberg 02/21/17)
Kenya is close to signing an $800 million syndicated loan with four banks to help fund infrastructure projects and support the shilling, according to a person familiar with the matter. East Africa’s biggest economy is expected to sign the three-year facility with Citigroup Inc., Standard Bank Group Ltd., Standard Chartered Plc and Rand Merchant Bank by Tuesday, the person said, declining to be identified because he isn’t authorized to speak on the matter. Kamau Thugge, the Treasury’s principal secretary, didn’t...
(Bloomberg 02/21/17)
Rosneft PJSC signed investment and crude-purchasing agreements with Libya’s National Oil Corp. as more international companies return to the North African country to gain access to Africa’s largest reserves. Moscow-based Rosneft agreed to invest in exploration and production in Libya, the state-run NOC said Tuesday in a statement on its website, without specifying the amount or timing of the investment. The companies signed a separate accord for Rosneft to buy Libyan crude. The deals are part of a bigger push...
(The Washington Times 02/21/17)
The Islamic State in Egypt seems to be gaining in strength and notoriety in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt as the group claimed responsibility for more rockets fired into southern Israel Monday. The rockets landed in the Eshkol region in the south of the Jewish state. The rocket fire came after the Israeli Air Force fired a drone at a car carrying four members of the death cult, killing them all near Rafah, near Gaza. Earlier in February, the Islamic...

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