| Africatime
Saturday 29 April 2017
(Bloomberg 04/28/17)
The International Monetary Fund will send a mission to Zambia in May to continue talks over as much as $1.6 billion in aid the government is seeking after they failed to reach a deal in Washington this month. “Progress was made but program discussions have not yet been concluded,” Alfredo Baldini, the fund’s representative in Zambia, said Friday in response to emailed questions. “The authorities and IMF staff have agreed that a mission will return to Zambia at the end of May to continue the discussions.” Finance Minister Felix Mutati had hoped to strike the loan deal to boost Zambia’s foreign exchange reserves while in Washington for the IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings. The...
(Financial Times 04/28/17)
Russia group wants to reclaim $270m after state-backed company failed to complete deal. Norilsk Nickel, the Russian miner, is suing Botswana’s government to recover more than $270m after a state-backed mining company walked away from a deal to buy its stake in a South African mine last year. Notice of the lawsuit was served on Thursday in Gaborone, Botswana’s capital, according to two people briefed on the matter. Norilsk agreed to sell operations including its 50 per cent stake in South Africa’s Nkomati mine to BCL Group, which is owned by Botswana’s government, for $337m in 2014, later reducing its price to $271m. But BCL filed for liquidation in October last year just before the transaction was due to be...
(Voice of America 04/28/17)
Ghana's finance minister says investors were optimistic in meetings with senior government officials who accompanied Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia to the World Bank spring meetings in Washington. In an interview with VOA, Ken Ofori-Atta said investors detected a new energy, and a sense of hope in a team that is focused on getting Ghana out of its current predicament. He also said that with a new government in place, the world is ready to see Ghana shine again in a much more stable West Africa. "We came in on a platform of change and real hope that we will revitalize the economy and create jobs
(Voice of America 04/28/17)
A Burkina Faso court has postponed the start of the trial of ex-president Blaise Compaoré and his former Cabinet. The accused are being tried for their alleged role in the violent crackdown on the 2014 uprising that ultimately ended Compaoré’s nearly three decades in power. The much-anticipated trial of former president Blaise Compaoré and almost his entire former Cabinet was supposed to start Thursday. But instead, it was adjourned before it even began. According to sources within the Ministry of Justice, there was a scheduling conflict. The Lawyers' Association of Burkina Faso is holding its annual reunion.
(Voice of America 04/28/17)
Somalia's ambassador to the U.S., Ahmed Isse Awad, says U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has informed his embassy the agency will no longer arrest illegal Somali immigrants in their homes or at their workplaces. However, federal authorities have not confirmed that there has been any shift in policy. Awad said the agency reached the decision after his embassy expressed concern to immigration authorities regarding the recent arrests of 11 Somalis in Virginia, Minnesota and Georgia. “Once we found out that 11 Somalis were arrested from their homes for removal, we thought
(Voice of America 04/28/17)
When people from across the globe gather on May 3 to recognize World Press Freedom Day in Jakarta, Indonesia, the recipient of the top prize won’t be there. He will be spending his 16th year in a secret prison in Eritrea. The awardee, Dawit Isaak, is an Eritrean-born Swedish journalist and author who worked at Setit, one of Eritrea’s now-defunct independent newspapers. He was arrested during a government crackdown in September 2001 that shut down newspapers and jailed journalists. Isaak has not been seen or heard from for at least a decade, despite repeated requests from
(Washington Post 04/28/17)
A coalition of opposition parties announced Thursday that Raila Odinga, a three-time presidential candidate and former prime minister, would be its standard-bearer in elections in August. The announcement sets up a rematch between Odinga and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who narrowly won the last election in 2013. Odinga contested the results of that race, alleging irregularities in the counting of votes. But Kenya’s Supreme Court rejected the challenge and declared Kenyatta the victor. Odinga is now 72, and this is...
(Voice of America 04/28/17)
South Africans gathered Thursday to celebrate the 23rd anniversary of the country's first post-apartheid elections, but the annual Freedom Day celebrations were mixed with demonstrations calling for President Jacob Zuma to step down. Zuma addressed the main gathering of supporters in his home province of Kwazulu Natal. "This day must be the day on which we are happy to contribute more in building South Africa," he said. "Happy Freedom Day to you all." Speaking in Zulu, Zuma criticized opposition parties,...
(Voice of America 04/28/17)
A bipartisan panel of experts on Egypt-U.S. relations is urging Congress to rethink its annual $1.5 billion aid package to Cairo as the country fails to improve its human rights record. The experts argued Egypt, under President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, is a military-run state, with no respect for human rights and rampant with government-sponsored anti-Americanism. The scholars made their comments at a recent hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Michele Dunne, director of the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment...
(Voice of America 04/28/17)
Kenya and Ethiopia have used excessive force against Somali civilians amid efforts to halt cross-border attacks by al-Shabab, according to an internal report by aid agencies working in Somalia. The report, obtained by VOA's Somali Service, says Kenya has carried out dozens of airstrikes targeting pastoral communities in Somalia's Gedo region since June of 2015. It says Kenyan Wildlife Service personnel pressed into border patrol duty have targeted people with arbitrary arrests and extrajudicial killings. The report says Ethiopia deployed...
(The New York Times 04/28/17)
“Heh, you people, you used to laugh at us. Look at you now. You can’t even buy a bottle of Coke!” It was the early 2000s, during the economic free-fall that had followed Zimbabwe’s Fast Track Land Reform program, which began 20 years after the country had won its political independence from Ian Smith’s settler colonial regime. My parents were visiting Zambia from South Africa and in the town of Livingstone met a woman who, upon discovering that they were...
(Voice of America 04/28/17)
A low-cost and widely available drug could save the lives of 1 in 3 mothers who would otherwise bleed to death after childbirth, according to a new study. Severe bleeding, known as postpartum hemorrhage, or PPH, is the leading cause of maternal death worldwide, killing more than 100,000 women every year. Even for mothers who survive, it is a painful and traumatic experience. The world's poorest countries, especially in Africa and India, are the worst hit. Drug from 1960s But...
(Bloomberg 04/27/17)
Ivory Coast plans to sell at least $1 billion in Eurobonds by the end of July to raise funds for infrastructure projects, the country’s first issuance of international debt since 2015, according to two people with knowledge of the plans. The government is negotiating to sell bonds with 10-year maturity and the sale will probably happen in June or July, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because a public announcement hasn’t been made. The West African...
(Bloomberg 04/27/17)
Mozambique’s parliament ratified a law that provides state guarantees for previously hidden loans of two state-owned companies that sparked a debt crisis in one of the world’s poorest countries. Lawmakers from the ruling Front for the Liberation of Mozambique approved the state accounts for 2015, which included guarantees for loans worth $1.12 billion that ProIndicus and Mozambique Asset Management took out in the prior two years. Opposition members left the legislature in protest when the vote was taken late Wednesday. The approval means the loans are now legal, in spite of a previous ruling by the country’s administrative court
(Bloomberg 04/27/17)
An alliance of Kenyan opposition parties chose former Prime Minister Raila Odinga as its candidate to run against President Uhuru Kenyatta in elections scheduled for August. Odinga’s running mate on the National Super Alliance ticket will be former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, co-principal Musalia Mudavadi said Thursday at a rally in the capital, Nairobi. The two were recommended by a technical committee that also considered former Mudavadi and Senator Moses Wetang’ula as potential candidates. “The one who will fly the NASA flag is engineer, the right Honorable Raila Odinga,” Mudavadi said to the cheers of thousands of supporters at a rally in Uhuru Park in the city center.
(Voice of America 04/27/17)
Ten trucks carrying much-needed food for Burundi are back in Rwanda's capital after authorities denied entry at the border, citing security concerns. The World Food Program in Burundi says the trucks, carrying 300 tons of beans to feed Congolese refugees and other WFP recipients, were stopped at the border last Friday and returned Tuesday to the Rwandan capital, Kigali. Police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye defended the decision to deny entry, saying Rwanda has been the source of crime and "insecurity" for Burundi since 2015. "If today, there are objects or people coming from the same area
(Financial Times 04/27/17)
Zuma failed to secure parliamentary approval for reactor agreement with Putin. Plans to build nuclear power plants in South Africa have stalled after a court ruled that president Jacob Zuma should have sought parliamentary approval for a deal with Russia. The Western Cape high court in Cape Town ruled on Wednesday that the agreement struck between Mr Zuma and president Vladimir Putin in 2014 to co-operate on the reactors was unlawful. The decision could exacerbate tensions in the ruling African National Congress after speculation that Mr Zuma fired Pravin Gordhan, his respected finance
(Financial Times 04/27/17)
Government looks to revive economy via spending on big infrastructure projects. Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria’s president, is seeking approval from lawmakers to borrow nearly $6bn from the Export-Import Bank of China for railway projects, as his government seeks to revive a recession-hit economy through spending on big infrastructure projects. Nigeria’s economy suffered its first contraction in 25 years last year, a sign of its near total dependence on revenues from oil exports. Mr Buhari’s administration hopes capital projects will create jobs...
(Voice of America 04/27/17)
This month saw hundreds of Ugandan shop owners march in Kampala against Chinese traders. Local merchants and some city officials want foreigners barred from petty commerce. The government has promised to address the long standing tensions. Inexpensive Chinese goods are common in the markets of downtown Kampala, where locals operate small businesses selling the imported merchandise. But it has also become increasingly common for Chinese in Uganda to set up shops selling the same items, only cheaper. Local shop owner Everest Kayondo, the Kampala Capital City Traders Association chairman
(BBC News Africa 04/27/17)
Egypt feels badly let down by its ally and partner Britain, according to officials who spoke to the BBC on condition of anonymity. The Egyptian government believes it has complied with every security improvement demanded in the wake of the 2015 bombing of a Russian passenger plane by so-called Islamic State (IS) that killed everyone onboard soon after take-off from Egypt's Sharm el-Sheikh airport in the Sinai Peninsula. Yet 18 months on from the incident, as other European tourists have...

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