Sunday 20 August 2017
(Voice of America 07/24/13)
Malaria infections, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa, are responsible for the deaths of some 200,000 newborns and 10,000 new mothers each year. The parasitic illness can also cause miscarriage and premature birth, increasing the risk of death. There are low cost, lifesaving interventions to prevent infection, yet, according to a new study, there are significant barriers to implementing them. For the past 20 years, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended that pregnant women in areas with high rates of malaria receive insecticide-treated bed nets and periodic doses of a cheap drug to prevent the disease. Yet, despite relatively high attendance at clinics for expectant mothers and their newborns throughout sub-Saharan Africa, statistics show that just a little over 21 percent...
(Ghana Business News 07/24/13)
It will cost Africa $4.5 billion over the next ten years in order to bring proper reforms into managing the continent’s ‘rich’ land, says a new World Bank report published July 22, 2013. According to the report, “Securing Africa’s Land for Shared Prosperity,” African countries could effectively end ‘land grabs,’ if the complex land ownership and management is mordernized through governance procedures. The World Bank therefore suggests a number of steps and policies that can bring major changes in the continent’s land governance. “It would cost African countries and their development partners, including the private sector, $4.5 billion spread over ten years to scale up these policy reforms and investments,” said the Bank. The report suggests that Africa could finally...
(AFP (eng) 07/23/13)
Three Congolese army helicopters fired on M23 rebel positions near the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) provincial capital of Goma on Tuesday. "Our helicopters have just bombarded enemy positions," a Congolese officer told AFP journalists on the frontline after they witnessed the attack. "Until now the enemy has not yet responded," he added. The attacks came on the same day as the trial opened in Goma of a soldier and policeman accused of mutilating the corpse of an M23 rebel after clashes last week. Meanwhile Human Rights Watch (HRW) accused Rwanda of continuing its support of the M23 in a report. It also accused the rebels of summary executions and rape. The M23 movement said Monday it was only...
(Voice of America 07/23/13)
M23 rebels in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo are trying to strengthen their grip on areas under their control as they come under attack by the Congolese army. The residents of rebel-held towns in eastern Congo, however, are growing weary of the ongoing conflict. At a church in eastern Congo, the faithful pack the pews in what looks like a regular prayer service. But this is not about religion. It’s a lesson in rebellion taught at the M23 rebel group's military academy. The people here, gathered from nearby towns, are being taught the ideology of this group of disaffected soldiers that has controlled territory in eastern Congo since breaking away from the army last year. M23 rebels are trying...
(Voice of America 07/23/13)
Tree loss in the Congo Basin rainforest is slowing down, according to a new study published Monday. The Congo Basin rainforest is the world's second largest, after the Amazon, and scientists say the study is good news for the global environment. "What we saw is in the 1990s about 285,000 hectares each year removed over Central Africa. And this has declined by over 100,000 hectares in the 2000s. So there was a big drop in deforestation rate in Central Africa between the 1990s and the 2000s, which is quite a surprising result," said Simon Lewis from the University College London. The study, which is based on analysis of satellite images, shows the deforestation rate in the Congo Basin is lower...
(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...
(Voice of America 07/22/13)
GOMA — A leading opposition politician in the Democratic Republic of Congo is seriously ill in prison, his wife says, and not receiving the treatment he needs. Human rights organizations and a worldwide lawmakers union have called for the release of Diomi Ndongala but his wife Patrizia says the authorities are not listening. Last year Diomi Ndongala was the architect of a plan to unite opposition parties behind a common program. On the day this program was due to be signed he disappeared and authorities said he had fled justice. The previous day they had issued a warrant for his arrest on charges of raping a minor. Three months later he was found by the side of a road at...
( 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,”...
(Voice of America 07/20/13)
Aid agencies are rushing food, water and shelter to thousands of Congolese refugees who have fled to western Uganda. They began crossing the border more than a week ago to escape fighting between government forces and the Al Qaeda-linked ADF rebels. Multiple agencies are involved in the humanitarian effort. Adrian Edwards, spokesman for the U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR, said, “We’ve had a very dramatic situation along this border over the last eight days. We saw an estimated 66,000 people fleeing from fighting in the eastern part of Democratic Republic of Congo.” And they didn’t have time to pack any belongings. “When the rebels approached a town, people literally fled for their lives. They brought nothing with them. They ran. They...
(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...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/19/13)
Hundreds of people protested in Democratic Republic of Congo's eastern city of Goma on Thursday against President Joseph Kabila, accusing him of incompetence in efforts to neutralize rebels who have long plagued the region. Heavy fighting erupted between the army and the M23 rebel group on Sunday 12 km (7.5 miles) northeast of Goma, ending several weeks of relative calm and reviving memories of an attack in November when the Tutsi-led insurgents briefly seized the city of 1 million people. After four days of clashes, during which the army pushed the rebels several kilometers (miles) further from the city, the front line was quiet on Thursday. Police fired tear gas to disperse the crowd from the center of Goma where...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/19/13)
(Reuters) - Hundreds of people protested in Democratic Republic of Congo's eastern city of Goma on Thursday against President Joseph Kabila, accusing him of incompetence in efforts to neutralize rebels who have long plagued the region. The United Nations voiced concerns about recent clashes and said it was prepared to intervene if necessary. Heavy fighting erupted between the army and the M23 rebel group on Sunday 12 km (7.5 miles) northeast of Goma, ending several weeks of relative calm and reviving memories of an attack in November when the Tutsi-led insurgents briefly seized the city of 1 million people. After four days of clashes, during which the army pushed the rebels several kilometers further from the city, the front line...
(AFP (eng) 07/19/13)
The United Nations said Thursday it is ready to send troops into battle against rebels in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo after demonstrators accused peacekeepers of being too weak. UN troops in DR Congo have stayed on the sidelines as M23 rebels have launched a new offensive on government forces around the major eastern city of Goma. The UN mission in DR Congo, MONUSCO, "has not been involved in the hostilities," said UN spokesman Martin Nesirky. "The mission remains on high alert and is prepared to intervene, including through the Force Intervention Brigade, should the fighting threaten civilians, particularly in Goma," the spokesman added. The fighting around Goma eased on Thursday. But demonstrations were held in the city with some...
(AFP (eng) 07/18/13)
The Congolese army on Wednesday stepped up an offensive against M23 rebels in the country's volatile east, shelling positions north of the flashpoint city of Goma. Backed by tanks, mortars and heavy machine guns mounted on gun carriages, the regular soldiers pounded M23 positions on the hills overlooking Kanyarucinya and Kibati in the restive east of the country. As on Tuesday, three army helicopters also targeted rebel positions, an AFP photographer said. Exchanges of automatic weapons fire grew heavier in the late afternoon, suggesting that army soldiers were unleashing a ground offensive. The deadliest clashes in months in the mineral-rich region broke out on Sunday, with at least 130 people killed including 10 soldiers, according to a toll given by...
(Voice of America 07/18/13)
GOMA, DRC — The Democratic Republic of Congo’s army has continued advancing in a fourth day of fighting against M23 rebels near the eastern city of Goma. The scene is a government army position at mid-afternoon Wednesday, just after the M23 had started targeting some nearby tanks. "You men get forward," the sergeant is shouting. "Where are you retreating for? Get in front of the tanks." For a moment, there was a brief panic as mortar bombs started falling, causing some casualties in a commando platoon. "Take that man and get him out of here," an officer shouts, pointing to a soldier who has just been hit. But the incoming fire seemed to be heavily outweighed by the army’s outgoing...
(Voice of America 07/17/13)
The United Nations Refugee Agency, UNHCR, fears for the welfare of tens of thousands of refugees who have fled new violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s North Kivu region. They have moved to western Uganda’s Bundibugyo district and are spread out along the hilly border areas where conditions are tough and access is difficult. Mohammed Ader, a UNHCR spokesperson for Uganda, said refugees from North Kivu have been arriving for the past 18 months. But, he said the new influx of people into the border region which began on July 11 is an entirely new situation in the Bundibugyo area. “The displacement is largely the result of a Uganda rebel force fighting the government itself. So in the last...
( 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...
(AFP (eng) 07/16/13)
UNITED NATIONS, July 16, 2013 (AFP) - The Democratic Republic of Congo government has accused Rwandan forces of joining a new rebel advance in the east of the strife-torn country, in a letter made public Tuesday. The letter sent by the DR Congo's UN ambassador to the UN Security Council said that "specialized units coming from Rwanda" were supporting M23 rebels battling government forces outside the key city of Goma. The letter was part of renewed tensions between the neighbors. Rwanda on Monday accused DR Congo and UN forces of shelling two Rwandan border villages. The M23 rebels launched a new assault outside the North Kivu provincial capital on Sunday and new battles were reported Tuesday. The DR Congo government...

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