Monday 23 October 2017
(AFP (eng) 07/23/13)
UN says although genital cutting is on decline, female genital mutilation remains "almost universal" in some countries. More than 125 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation, and 30 million more girls are at risk in the next decade, UNICEF said. Although genital cutting is on the decline, the practice remains "almost universal" in some countries, said the report by the United Nations Children's Fund, released on Monday. The report compiles 20 years of data across 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East. The tradition involves removal of some or all of a female's external genitalia. It can include cutting out the clitoris and sometimes sewing together the labia. Laws are not enough to stop...
(BBC News Africa 07/22/13)
Tree loss in one of the world's largest rainforests has slowed, a study suggests. Satellite images of Africa's Congo Basin reveal that deforestation has fallen by about a third since 2000. Researchers believe this is partly because of a focus on mining and oil rather than commercial agriculture, where swathes of forest are cleared. The work is published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. It is part of a series that is examining the state of Africa's forests. Dr Simon Lewis, from the University of Leeds and University College London, said: "Most of the focus has been on the Amazon and on South East Asian tropical rainforests, and a big bit of the missing picture is what...
( 07/22/13)
African governments must improve their support for agricultural research organisations, Vice President Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur has said. “The need for action on agricultural research is urgent. African Governments must increase funding for agricultural research and extension; farmers’ innovations must find their way into the research agenda to enable Africa achieve its goal of food sufficiency,” Mr. Amissah-Arthur said in Accra at the opening ceremony of the 6th Africa Agriculture Science Week (AASW). AASW, hosted by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) in collaboration with the Government of Ghana, brought together over 1,300 scientific researchers, extension officers, farmers, policymakers, development partners, civil society and NGO groups from across the world to discuss the theme “Africa Feeding Africa through Agricultural...
(The Guardian Nigeria 07/21/13)
DESPITE the fall in productivity of Africa’s agriculture over the years occasioned by seasons of under-investment and an ill-advised structural adjustment, there is yet a lot to be done to feed the continent’s huge and fast-growing population. Global figures in agriculture and research agree, as they met in Accra, Ghana that ‘funding to agriculture, to universities and to research centres fell steadily and steeply,’ leading to a reversal of the many gains of the past. Dr. Kanayo Nwanze, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) President articulated as much when he addressed the Sixth Forum of Agriculture Research in Africa (FARA) summit in the Ghanaian capital during the week. He said, “Our universities lost good people. The quality of education declined,”...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/20/13)
(Reuters) - The African Union will form a new 3,600-strong peacekeeping mission for Central African Republic (CAR) to step up efforts to stabilize the fractious country, officials said on Friday. Admore Kambudzi, secretary of the AU's Peace and Security Council, said an existing regional peacekeeping mission known as MICOPAX would be rolled into the larger new force from August. He said its mandate would be to protect civilians and help stabilize the country and restore the central government in the former French colony, which is rich in gold and diamonds. Central African Republic, a nation of 4.5 million at the heart of the continent, has suffered decades of instability. Seleka rebels toppled the president in March, causing chaos and a...
(Voice of America 07/19/13)
The International Federation for Human Rights [FIDH] says heavily-armed Seleka rebels have murdered at least 400 civilians with near impunity since seizing control of the Central African Republic on March 24. FIDH says it also has documented numerous rapes and forced disappearances connected to the rebels, as well as the continued use of child soldiers, during a research mission to the CAR in July. State prosecutor for the Central African Republic, Alain Tolmo, said Wednesday that he has opened an investigation into the murder of five people whose bodies were found with their hands and feet tied in the Oubangui River in the capital, Bangui, on July 16 and 17. He said two of the bodies have been identified and...
( 07/19/13)
The incorrect use of bulletproof vests during the Battle of Bangui in the Central African Republic (CAR) in March was probably why South African soldiers were killed, according to a report on Friday. Colonel Renier "Doibi" Coetzee, a senior South African Special Forces officer, made this statement on behalf of his superiors at a press conference in Pretoria earlier this week. Coetzee said soldiers who had worn their jackets correctly withstood several bullets and survived the ordeal. He said that after the March 23 battle it had emerged that some of the South African troops had not worn their jackets in the prescribed way. "Some took out the bulletproofing plates, while others just wore breast plates. This left their backs...
(Voice of America 07/17/13)
The Central African Republic's (CAR) rebel leader-turned-interim president, Michel Djotodia, said late Monday that "security has returned' to much of the CAR despite continued reports of disappearances, theft and other alleged abuses against civilians by rebels and other armed groups. Interim CAR president Michel Djotodia visited Burkina Faso Monday to request the support of Burkinabe president and regional powerbroker, Blaise Compaore. Djotodia led the Seleka rebel coalition that toppled CAR's government on March 24. On Monday, he dismissed media reports of "rampant insecurity in the country." He said he does not know what is behind these reports of insecurity. He said the capital, Bangui, is calm now. He said the "big problem" that remains is the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA),...
( 07/17/13)
Africa’s oil and gas industry is poised for momentous growth despite its grappling with severe stresses of a challenging economic and political environment on the continent, fuelled by poor physical infrastructure, corruption, an uncertain regulatory framework, and a lack of skills, according to a review issued by PwC. PwC’s ‘Africa oil and gas review’ of developments in the African oil and gas industry is the third in a series of reviews of the sector by the tax, assurance and advisory solutions firm. Uyi Akpata, PwC Africa oil and gas industry leader/deputy country senior partner, Nigeria, says: “The challenges facing oil and gas companies operating in Africa are diverse and numerous. Political interference, uncertainty and delays in passing laws, energy policies...
(AL Jazeera 07/16/13)
Executive council meets in Nigerian capital to review progress made in combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. The African Union executive council is meeting in the Nigerian capital to take stock of progress made in the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. The conference, which opened in Abuja on Friday, will also address challenges encountered in the campaign against the three diseases. "It is timely that we review the implementation of the various declarations and plans of action adopted in the course of the last decade," Ethiopia's Foreign Minister Tedros Ghebreyesus told the conference, according to the African Union's website. Ghebreyesus said Ethiopia was proposing to establish an "African Centre for Diseases Control and Prevention (African–CDC) or Health Commission for Africa...
(AFP (eng) 07/15/13)
African leaders called for increased funding Monday to contain HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as a continental health summit opened in Nigeria's capital. Among the 10 heads of state in attendance was Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Nigeria is a member of the ICC and has a legal obligation to arrest Bashir but defended the invitation by saying it did not have the authority to bar him from an African Union summit. UN Population Fund executive director Babatunde Osotimehin pointed to key gains made against the diseases over the last decade. In 2001, "HIV treatment in Africa was almost non-existent. Just 11 years later,...
(Sunday Independent 07/15/13)
This week Nelson Mandela celebrates his 95th birthday. Thebe Ikalafeng reflects on this man's. vision for Africa, and how he created an enabling environment for Thabo Mbeki to express our identity on the continent. Throughout its history, South Africa has had a dichotomous relationship and identity with “Africa”. Apartheid South Africa was the pariah that united Africans against the last white rule – the final frontier in the decolonisation of Africa. Post-apartheid, fellow Africans have flooded the most industrialised and wealthiest sub-Saharan African nation in search of a better life, and an expectation of “payback” for the years of support during the apartheid years. But they have not always been met with an expected embrace, mainly because of the perception...

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