| Africatime
Sunday 26 March 2017
(AFP (eng) 03/14/17)
Two foreign experts from the United Nations have been kidnapped in the violence-wracked central Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, UN and Congolese sources said Monday. "What we can say for now is that two members of our Group of Experts are missing and MONUSCO is looking for them," UN spokesman Farhan Haq said, referring to the UN peacekeeping mission in the troubled central African country. Haq said one of the victims was American and other Swedish-Chilean. "They were kidnapped at a bridge over the Moyo river and taken to the forest by unknown assailants," Congolese government spokesman Lambert Mende told AFP.
(Agence Ecofin 03/14/17)
The Land Policy Initiative (LPI), a joint programme of the tripartite consortium consisting of the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has launched a pilot project to track progress in implementing in the AU Declaration on land issues in Africa. This was revealed by the ECA in a press statement dated March 7. In collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the project will assess progress made in implementing the key decisions and commitments of the AU Declaration on Land adopted in July 2009 by the General Assembly of the pan-African institution. “We are to a large extent in unchartered waters given many of our Member...
(AFP (eng) 03/13/17)
African club giants TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo stumbled at their first CAF Champions League hurdle Sunday when held 1-1 by CAPS United of Zimbabwe. Abbas Amidu put the visitors ahead inside a minute in southeastern mining city Lubumbashi and Zambian Rainford Kalaba levelled soon after. Intense pressure from the winners of 10 CAF titles failed to produce any more goals and they face the grim prospect of a second successive early Champions League exit. After winning the premier African club competition in 2015, Mazembe failed last year to reach the group phase, where the prize money kicks in. Mazembe must score against CAPS in Harare next weekend in the second leg of the last-32 tie to...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/13/17)
The United Arab Emirates, one of the Middle East's largest economies, wants to expand trade ties with faster growing nations in Asia and Africa, a senior official said on Sunday. Rich Gulf Arab states are looking at ways to diversify their economies, including who they trade with, after more than two years of depressed oil prices forced a rethink of government spending. The pace of economic growth in Asian and sub-Saharan African economies has made them ideal partners, Abdullah al-Saleh, undersecretary for foreign trade and industry at the UAE ministry of the economy, told Reuters in an interview in Dubai. Asia's two largest economies China and India are expected to grow by 6.5 percent and 7.2 percent this year whilst...
(AFP (eng) 03/11/17)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday asked the Security Council to send an extra 320 UN police to the Democratic Republic of Congo after a deal to end a dispute over elections stalled, raising fresh fears of violence. In a report obtained by AFP, Guterres said he was "deeply disturbed by the sharp increase in human rights violations," and argued that the new police units for the MONUSCO force would help protect civilians. Two additional units could be deployed to the DR Congo's second city of Lubumbashi and to Kananga, "which are likely to be electoral hotspots" and where there is no UN police, he said. "Such rapid intervention capabilities in these key urban areas would enhance the mission’s capacity...
(AFP (eng) 03/10/17)
In the beginning was .com, followed by a host of other .somethings, but on Friday, 32 years after the world's first domain name was registered, the African Union has launched .africa for the continent. Africans who want to register a website will be able to apply for a .africa domain name in the coming months, which outgoing AU commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said would allow the continent's people and businesses to better reach the world. "With .africa, I would say Africa has finally got its digital identity," said Dlamini-Zuma, who will next week hand power to Chadian Foreign Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat after four years at the helm of the continental body Sub-Saharan Africa has one of the lowest rates...
(Xinhuanet 03/09/17)
A critical mass of trained and well equipped community health workforce is key to easing the rising burden of infectious and noncommunicable diseases in Africa, experts said on Wednesday at a continental forum taking place in Nairobi. The experts, policymakers and campaigners who attended Africa Health Agenda International Conference agreed that optimal engagement of community health workers is key to revolutionize response to diseases ravaging the continent. Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Health Cleopa Mailu in his opening remarks said that investments in training for community health workers will have multiplier impact on Africa's socioeconomic development. "We require highly skilled and motivated cadre of community health workforce to deal with a high diseases burden in disadvantaged settings in this continent. These...
(AFP (eng) 03/08/17)
The UN's top rights official on Wednesday called for a high-level investigation into abuses committed against civilians in the violence-wracked Democratic Republic of Congo following the discovery of mass graves. Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein praised the DR Congo government for quickly investigating the killings and other severe human rights violations in the isolated Kasai and Lomani provinces, but said a UN probe was also needed. "I commend the swift action taken by the government to begin processes of investigation and accountability in some of the alleged killings attributed to soldiers, and offer the assistance of my office," Zeid told the UN Human Rights Council. But, he continued, "in light of recurrent reports of grave violations and the recent discovery of...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/08/17)
Three mass graves have been discovered in central Democratic Republic of Congo, where hundreds have been killed since July in clashes between security forces and a local militia, the top U.N. rights official said on Wednesday. At least 400 people have died and 200,000 have been displaced since the fighting broke out with the Kamuina Nsapu militia. Police killed its leader, Kamuina Nsapu, last August, causing the violence to swiftly escalate. U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein urged the U.N. human rights council in Geneva to set up an inquiry "in light of recurrent reports of grave violations and the recent discovery of three more mass graves". Zeid gave no additional details about the graves during his...
(AFP (eng) 03/08/17)
Lawyers and human rights campaigners launched an initiative for African whistleblowers in Senegal on Tuesday, aimed at providing a secure means of exposing wrongdoing on the continent. African nations such as Somalia, South Sudan, Libya and Guinea-Bissau regularly appear at the very bottom of rankings such as Transparency International's Corruption Index, while none make it into the top 30. The Platform for the Protection of Whistleblowers in Africa (PPLAAF) will provide guidance from legal experts, secure submission of information and a hotline for potential informants, according to its founders. The initiative is the brainchild of Spanish superstar lawyer Baltasar Garzon -- who has defended Julian Assange of whistleblowing website WikiLeaks -- along with French lawyer William Bourdon, who worked on...
(AFP (eng) 03/07/17)
The European Union on Monday warned the Democratic Republic of Congo it faces more EU sanctions if political and military leaders block a deal with the opposition on the country's future. European Union foreign ministers discussed DR Congo amid growing frustration with President Joseph Kabila's refusal to stand aside at the end of his term late last year. "The EU reminds political leaders and members of the security forces that it is ready to adopt new restrictive measures," said the text of DR Congo conclusions prepared for the meeting. The asset freeze and travel ban sanctions would target those "responsible for grave human rights violations, for inciting violence or obstructing a peaceful resolution of the crisis which respects the aspirations...
(The Independent 03/06/17)
Th term was coined by sceptical officials, worried about the importance given to Commonwealth trade deals ahead of Brexit negotiations. Plans by government ministers to boost trade links with African Commonwealth countries are being internally branded “empire 2.0” by sceptical officials who are worried about the importance being placed on such deals ahead of the UK’s negotiations of leaving the European Union (EU). International Trade Secretary Liam Fox is expected to promise to build better links with the whole of the 52 member countries of the Commonwealth when ministers from each country meet in London later this week. But as the UK is prepares itself to leave the European Union, The Times reports that British ministers are planning to talk...
(Reuters (Eng) 03/04/17)
Police in Democratic Republic of Congo said on Friday they had arrested the leader of a separatist Christian cult in the capital Kinshasa following a two-week standoff in which least six of his supporters were killed. Ne Muanda Nsemi, a member of parliament and leader of Bundu dia Kongo (BDK), was arrested at his residence along with his wife, police spokesman Pierre Mwanamputu said in a statement. Nsemi, a self-styled prophet, has a strong following in the southwestern province of Kongo Central, which his supporters want to constitute part of a revived Kongo kingdom, which flourished for centuries around the mouth of the Congo river. The violence has compounded wider tensions across Congo since President Joseph Kabila refused to step...
(AFP (eng) 03/03/17)
International watchdog Global Witness on Friday accused Swiss-based mining corporation Glencore of paying more than $75 million to a scandal-hit Israeli businessman with close links to the Democratic Republic of Congo's President Joseph Kabila. "Between 2013 and 2016 mining giant Glencore paid over $75 million to Dan Gertler, a controversial businessman accused of bribing senior officials in Democratic Republic of Congo to advance his mining interests," Global Witness said in a statement. "These payments were due to be (made) to Congo's state mining company Gecamines under the terms of the original contract it had with Glencore," said the environmental and corruption watchdog. Instead, however, they were made to Gertler, whom
(Bloomberg 03/03/17)
Glencore Plc paid more than $100 million previously owed to the Democratic Republic of Congo’s state mining business to a company controlled by billionaire investor Dan Gertler, according to advocacy group Global Witness. It’s the first time the value of the payments made to Gertler have been made public, after London-based Global Witness reported in November that government-owned Gecamines signed over its royalties from the Kamoto copper project in southeastern Congo to Gertler in January 2015. Gertler’s privately held Fleurette Group said the payments were made on instruction from Gecamines to help repay a loan. Glencore’s Katanga Mining Ltd. made the royalty and contractual bonus
(Reuters (Eng) 03/03/17)
Democratic Republic of Congo's main opposition coalition said it had named the son of its late leader Etienne Tshisekedi to succeed him on Thursday, but some within the opposition rejected the choice. Felix Tshisekedi was chosen to lead the alliance of some of the country's largest opposition parties, which was thrown into crisis by the death of his father in Brussels last month, aged 84. Tshisekedi led the bloc during negotiations in December that resulted in a deal obliging President Joseph Kabila to step down after elections that must happen this year. His death sparked clashes between supporters and security forces in the capital
(Bloomberg 03/03/17)
Polar Star Management Ltd., which runs one of the best-performing African and Middle East hedge fund over the past five years, plans to start a private-equity unit that will invest in agriculture to exploit rising demand for food. The Cape Town-based firm plans to use its own money to buy small farms and processing companies in South Africa this year, then increase efficiency through consolidation and better management, said Murray Derksen, a director at Polar Star. It aims to raise 1.5 billion rand ($115 million) for the fund, which may also buy commodities such as grains, while targeting an internal rate of return of 8 percent to 12 percent, he said. “We looked at the increase in corn demand globally,...
(AFP (eng) 03/02/17)
The Congolese army said Wednesday it had killed 20 fighters from the M23 militia group and lost two soldiers in clashes with the rebels since the end of January. General Leon Mushale told reporters in the eastern city of Goma that a further 25 rebels either were captured or surrendered and that six soldiers had been injured. The clashes occurred in the eastern part of DR Congo, on and near the border with Uganda, on January 31 and also on February 20 to 22, according to the army. Mushale, who heads military operations in North Kivu province, said the rebels fled "some to Uganda, others to Rwanda".
(AFP (eng) 03/02/17)
A film raging against colonialism and the exploitation of Africa wowed viewers at the continent's top cinema festival Wednesday, winning shouts of approval at a screening packed to bursting point. "The African Storm" tells the story of an African president who nationalises businesses run by racist, cynical Western executives. Directed and produced by its Beninese star Sylvestre Amoussou, it tackles several hot-button issues including an exit from the CFA franc currency, closer ties with Russia and China as opposed to the West, criticism of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, and pride in being African. One of 20 feature-length movies on show at the Panafrican Film and Television Festival (Fespaco) in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou, the movie was punctuated...
(AFP (eng) 03/01/17)
The body of Congolese opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi is to be repatriated next week, several weeks after his death, his party said Wednesday, raising hopes of a restart of talks on a deal to end the political crisis. Tshisekedi's death and the delay over repatriating his body from Brussels have blocked the implementation of a December 31 accord between the government and the opposition to end a crisis triggered by President Joseph Kabila's refusal to stand down. The 84-year-old Tshisekedi, head of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), died in Brussels on February 1, eight days after leaving the Democratic Republic of Congo for medical care abroad. His death plunged the vast African country further into uncertainty, as...

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