| Africatime
Monday 27 March 2017
(AFP (eng) 10/25/16)
Four civilians were killed Monday when protests against United Nations peacekeepers turned violent in the Central African Republic, with gunfire and looting reported across the capital Bangui, the UN said. Five UN peacekeepers were among 14 people injured during the demonstrations called by a coalition of civil society groups to demand the withdrawal of the more than 10,000-strong MINUSCA force over alleged failures to stop the rise of armed militias. The groups also organised a one-day strike in the capital to press demands for a pullout. MINUSCA "intervened from the early hours of Monday in Bangui to dismantle the barricades erected by hostile demonstrators", the UN force said in a statement. The force said it "strongly condemns the incidents that...
(AFP (eng) 10/25/16)
The International Criminal Court on Monday urged member states to seek a consensus with critical African nations, while stressing that South Africa and Burundi's announced departures would not take place for at least year. "Today more than ever, there is a huge need for universal justice," said Sidiki Kaba, president of the assembly of state parties to the ICC founding treaty, evoking "the tragedies which are happening in front of our eyes". Kaba, also Senegal's justice minister, said it was necessary "to engage in dialogue with the nations which want to leave the ICC. For that we must listen to their concerns, their recriminations and their criticism". South Africa dealt a heavy blow to the troubled international court on Friday...
(AFP (eng) 10/24/16)
UN troops fired warning shots on Monday as angry protesters marched through the Central African Republic capital, Bangui, demanding that "passive" UN peacekeepers be sent home for failing to do their job. Shops and banks in several Bangui districts remained shut as irate residents threw up roadblocks in response to an upsurge of militia violence across the country in recent weeks. Angered by the flare-up, a coalition of civil society groups had called for a one-day strike in the city of one million to press demands for a pullout of the UN's 12,000-strong MINUSCA force.
(Reuters (Eng) 10/24/16)
U.N. peacekeepers and armed men exchanged fire on Monday in Central African Republic's capital Bangui, the United Nations said, while hundreds of protesters gathered to call for the mission's departure. Crowds gathered near a major roundabout, carrying anti-U.N. posters, throwing stones and shouting at their troops who responded with warning shots, a Reuters witness said. One injured man was carried onto a police truck but it was unclear how he was wounded. Central African Republic has been in chaos since early 2013 when fighting between mostly Muslim Seleka rebels and anti-Balaka Christian militias prompted the establishment of the MINUSCA mission a year later. Criticism of the 13,000-strong mission has mounted in recent weeks with local people accusing the peacekeepers of...
(This Day Live 10/24/16)
The London Stock Exchange (LSE) has provided $26.1 billion for African companies in the last 10 years, the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Oscar Onyema has said. Onyema disclosed this while speaking at the third “London & Lagos Capital Markets in Partnership’ conference held at the LSE at the weekend. According to him, eight Nigerian companies were among those that benefitted from the international capital raising on the LSE, noting that more African companies (112) are listed in London than any other international exchange. The 112 companies, he said, have a combined market capitalisation in excess of $200 billion, the largest concentration of African quoted companies outside of Johannesburg. Out of these companies, eight companies...
(AFP (eng) 10/21/16)
Demand for homegrown contemporary music is sweeping Africa and driving a creative boom in an industry otherwise battered by falling CD sales and rampant piracy. A recent study of the entertainment sector by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) accountants showed rapid earnings growth in many African countries, fuelled largely by live performances by local artists. "Consumers are increasingly wanting local content," Vicki Myburgh, a PwC director who conducted the study released last month, told AFP. "The Nigerian music market... will (soon) grow at nearly 13 percent annually, which is a fantastic rate." This weekend, African talent will be celebrated in Johannesburg at the annual MTV Africa awards set up in 2008 to recognise those "who have made the most impact on African music...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/20/16)
Encouraged by their success in halting a mass influx of refugees by closing Greek borders and cutting a controversial deal with Turkey, EU leaders are getting tough on African migrants too. A Brussels summit on Thursday will endorse pilot projects to pressure African governments via aid budgets to slow an exodus of people north across the Sahara and Mediterranean. It also wants swift results from an EU campaign to deport large numbers who reach Italy. "By the end of the year, we need to see results," one senior EU diplomat said on Wednesday. Arrivals in Italy so far this year are nearly six percent higher than the same period of 2015. Italy received 154,000 migrants last year and this year's...
(Bloomberg 10/19/16)
Fifteen years ago, a South African media company invested $34 million in an obscure Chinese Internet developer. Today that stake is worth $88 billion. All Naspers Ltd., now Africa’s most valuable company, has to do is figure out how to make money from its other properties: The whole company is worth only $72 billion, less than its stake in Shenzhen-based Tencent Holdings Ltd. Investors aren’t impressed with Naspers’s operations in pay-TV, newspapers and e-commerce in such countries as South Africa, Russia and India. To win them over, Chief Executive Officer Bob Van Dijk has launched an aggressive push to sell some assets, invest in others and expand operations such as classified advertising into new markets. If it pays off, comparisons...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/18/16)
Dubai - Emirates airline could reduce the frequency of its flights to African cities or cut routes completely if current economic and financial challenges on the continent continue, President Tim Clark told reporters. Foreign airlines flying to Nigeria have started to refuel abroad because jet fuel supplies there have become more expensive and scarce as the country battles a hard currency shortage. Emirates has started a detour to Accra, Ghana to refuel its daily Abuja-bound flight, a spokesperson said last month; the airline had already cut its twice-daily flights to Lagos and Abuja to just one. “In certain African countries, the currencies have really gone down, so we're reflecting on a number of these to look at where it's just...
(Voice of America 10/17/16)
Telecom workers in Burkina Faso were on strike again this month, leading to phone and internet interruptions. The country has only one internet service provider, Onatel, but the days of the telecom monopoly in Africa may ending. The Burkina Faso telecommunications authority fined Onatel 5 billion CFA francs ($8.5 million U.S.) in response to the strike, which cut internet access across the country for more than a week. Arouna Ouédraogo, an information technology specialist, said people without access to the internet become desperate. He said he businesspeople rushing to his internet cafe with contracts to sign and documents to send, but he couldn't help them. "People outside this country just cannot imagine that there is no internet" for such an...
(AFP (eng) 10/15/16)
Stemming the astronomical losses caused by crime in the oceans surrounding Africa is the focus of a major continental summit on Saturday in the Togolese capital, Lome. "Over recent decades, the accumulated revenue losses resulting directly from illegal activities in the African maritime sector add up to hundreds of billions of US dollars, without counting the loss of human lives," the African Union (AU) said in an online statement about its Protect Our Oceans meeting. Up to 30 African heads of state and government are expected to attend the gathering, whose full title is the AU Extraordinary Summit on Maritime Security and Safety and Development in Africa. The long-term aim, according to the AU, is to "make maritime space the...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/14/16)
About 70 sub-Saharan African migrants forced their way over a barbed wire barrier into Spain’s North African enclave of Melilla Thursday. They ran to a local immigration center where they were met by dozens of migrants cheering “victory, victory” although their legal status in Spain has yet to be determined. Migrants wait weeks and sometimes months at the short-stay immigrant center in the hope of being transferred to a refugee reception center in mainland Spain, said Government Delegation of Melilla spokesperson Irene Flores. Spain has two enclaves in Morocco, Ceuta and Melilla, and both are hot spots for African migrants making their way to Europe either by climbing over the barriers, going around them or swimming along the coastline. After...
(AFP (eng) 10/13/16)
Thirty people were killed and 57 hurt when fighters from a mainly-Muslim militia group attacked civilians and clashed with UN peacekeepers in Central African Republic, the UN mission said Thursday. Twelve militia fighters were killed by UN troops in the clashes on Wednesday. The violence in the central market town of Kaga Bandoro began when a member of the mainly Muslim ex-Seleka militia was killed as he and three others tried to steal a generator from a local radio station. "There was a disproportionate response from ex-Seleka people, who attacked civilians including displaced people hiding in church premises," said a statement from the UN mission, MINUSCA. The militia men also looted UN and NGO premises, it added. "Peacekeepers immediately responded,...
(AFP (eng) 10/13/16)
The first Catholic cardinal of the Central African Republic marched for peace on Wednesday as more deadly violence in the war-ravaged country left at least six people dead. The latest violence, in which between six and nine people died, occurred during fighting in the central market town of Kaga-Bandoro, security sources said. The violence broke out when four ex-Seleka militiamen tried to steal a local radio station's generator and launched reprisals after one of their men was killed. "Ex-Seleka" is the term used for remnants of the supposedly disbanded alliance of mainly-Muslim armed groups which seized power in CAR in late 2013 before being chased from the capital
(Reuters (Eng) 10/13/16)
Fighters from Central African Republic's largely Muslim Seleka militia attacked refugees in the country's remote north on Wednesday, stabbing or hacking to death 13 people before U.N. peacekeepers repelled them, killing at least 10, officials said. Several people were also wounded in the attack targeting Kaga Bandoro, a town of dirt roads and thatched mud huts. A Reuters witness saw militiamen stab two refugees to death as people were fleeing. When some tried to fight back with clubs, the militiamen began firing their guns. Hundreds of panicked villagers, already refugees from earlier violence, then fled in the direction of the U.N. base. Central African Republic has been in chaos since early 2013 when the Seleka, which draws mostly from the...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/13/16)
When German Chancellor Angela Merkel toured three African nations this week for talks on curbing migration to Europe, the leader of the world's poorest country, Niger, suggested it would take a "Marshall Plan" of massive aid to stop people coming. Merkel politely declined the request, expressing concern about how well the aid would be spent and noting that, at a summit in Malta last year, the European Union had already earmarked 1.8 billion euros for a trust fund to train and resettle migrants. But Niger's President Mahatma Issoufou also proposed something perhaps more significant, in the long run, than a development package - bringing Niger's population growth down from 3.9 percent, the highest in the world. Though he gave no...
(Graphic Online 10/12/16)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has emphasised that Africa will be a priority when her country takes over the G20's revolving presidency at the end of 2016. Speaking in Ethiopia yesterday on the final stage of a three-nation African tour, which also included visits to Mali and Niger, Mrs Merkel pledged development as well as military aid on her trip. She said it was important to stem migration at its source. Germany took in more than one million irregular migrants last year - many from war-ravaged Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, but also many fleeing economic hardship across Africa. Migration is expected to be a key issue in next year's federal elections, though Mrs Merkel has not yet declared whether she will...
(AFP (eng) 10/11/16)
Pope Francis has brought fresh hopes of peace to the war-ravaged Central African Republic, with Christians and Muslims praising his decision to name Bangui's archbishop a cardinal as a step to ending sectarian violence. Aged only 49, Archbishop Dieudonne Nzapalainga will be the youngest of the 17 new "princes of the church" named by the pontiff Sunday, all of them his potential successors. Nzapalainga, the archbishop of the capital of CAR, met the pope 11 months ago when Francis flew into the country torn by three years of sectarian violence for a visit that helped calm the trouble. "I was not named for myself, I was named for our country," said Nzapalainga, who was instrumental in organising the pope's potentially...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/11/16)
Hunger levels in developing countries have fallen 29 percent since 2000, but efforts to curb hunger must be accelerated in order to meet an international target to eradicate it by 2030, according to an annual index published on Tuesday. Hunger levels are "alarming" in seven countries, with Central African Republic (CAR), Chad and Zambia experiencing the worst levels, according to the 2016 Global Hunger Index. Haiti, reeling from last week's Hurricane Matthew and still recovering from a massive 2010 earthquake, has the fourth highest hunger score. Another 43 countries, including India, Nigeria and Indonesia, have "serious" hunger levels. At the current rate of decline, more than 45 countries - including India, Pakistan, Haiti, Yemen, and Afghanistan - will have "moderate"...
(AFP (eng) 10/11/16)
Raised on the backstabbing intrigue of 1980s American soaps "Dallas" and "Dynasty", and later, the heady drama of South American telenovelas, Africans are enjoying a surge in local TV content they can finally identify with. It took a while, but in the past decade local programming has soared in sub-Saharan Africa's key economies, a rise driven by both foreign satellite networks and television stations on the continent. This growth has delivered up local shows such as Kenya's comedic "Real Househelps of Kawangware" -- a play on the US "Real Housewives" series -- along with talk shows, political satire and continent-wide reality TV such as "Big Brother Africa" and "Project Fame". And demand is set to grow with the number of...

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