| Africatime
Monday 24 April 2017
(AFP (eng) 03/20/17)
Democratic Republic of Congo club TP Mazembe were the major casualties of the CAF Champions League last-32 stage that was completed at the weekend. The five-time African champions from mining hub Lubumbashi could only draw 0-0 with CAPS United of Zimbabwe in Harare and lost the tie on away goals. CAPS caused a first leg shock the previous weekend by drawing 1-1 in the DR Congo after taking a 45-second lead. It is the first time in 14 attempts since the premier African club competition was remodelled in 1997 that Mazembe have fallen at the first qualifying hurdle. CAPS were unexpected giant-killers as they struggled to oust modest Lioli of Lesotho in the preliminary round last month. The Harare-based outfit...
(Bloomberg 03/20/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo warned that proposals by the Trump administration to rollback laws on so-called conflict minerals from central Africa risks stoking violence by armed groups in the region. The suspension of Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act “in the long run, will jeopardize the stability and security of the DRC” by encouraging an “escalation in the activities of non-state armed groups,” Mines Minister Martin Kabwelulu said in a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission dated March 13 and seen by Bloomberg. Kabwelulu confirmed March 18 by text message that he sent the letter, and said a Congolese delegation will meet with the head of the SEC and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday and Tuesday...
(Agence Ecofin 03/20/17)
At the Africa CEO Forum which opened this morning in Geneva, AFD Group – in partnership with the European Union – unveiled the “African Renewable Energy Scale-Up facility”, designed to boost private sector investment in on–grid and off-grid renewable energy production in Africa. In order to meet Africa’s constantly increasing energy requirements, support must be provided for mass development of the renewable energy technologies – especially solar energy – that will play such a key role over the coming years, given the recent drop in prices and the emergence of new innovative business models. The EU’s electrification funding initiative, “ElectriFI”, helps to harness and stimulate private sector investment to enhance access to renewable energy. More specifically, it focuses on poorly-served...
(Voice of America 03/18/17)
Each year, the University of Southern California hosts the African Global Economic and Development Summit, bringing delegations from Africa to meet with business leaders, government officials and others in the U.S. But this year, the African summit has no Africans. All were denied visas. Visa issues are not uncommon for people traveling from African nations. During her prior three summits, Mary Flowers saw a high percentage of her attendees unable to attain visas. "Usually we get 40 percent that get rejected but the others come," said Flowers, chair of the African Global Economic and Development Summit. "This year it was 100 percent. Every delegation. And it was sad to see, because these people were so disheartened." Flowers estimated that she...
(Voice of America 03/17/17)
One of the enduring legacies of the Barack Obama presidency will be the relationship built between the United States and young Africans. As part of Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), each year 1,000 young people from sub-Saharan Africa travel to the United States to spend six weeks at a U.S. college or university. The program will continue this summer. But building enduring relationships is a two-way street, and many in Africa want to see Americans coming to their continent as well. That’s what 26 Americans selected to participate in a Reciprocal Exchange program, a new component of the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, are now planning to do. The U.S. Department of State partnered with IREX, a...
(Xinhuanet 03/16/17)
China's aid to the education sector in Africa is helping boost teacher training, a key component in skilling the population to fast track development, a UN official has said. Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, Director of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Regional Office for Eastern Africa, in an interview recognized China's contribution to Africa's education sector over the years. "We value the initiative in teacher training in Uganda and other countries in Africa. This will revitalize the teaching profession," she said. China through UNESCO donated equipment to three teacher training institutions in Uganda on March 3. Figures from the Chinese embassy here show that 137 tutors were trained and 272 pieces of Information Communication and Technology and studio equipment...
(AFP (eng) 03/16/17)
Africa will host a Commonwealth Games one day despite the blow of Durban being stripped of hosting the 2022 edition, David Grevemberg, the chief executive of The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), told AFP. Durban lost the right to host the Games on Monday -- just 18 months after being awarded them -- when it failed to meet criteria laid down by the CGF, primarily over costs. "I wouldn't want to make a judgement call," Grevemberg told AFP on the sidelines of a briefing by 2018 Games hosts Gold Coast on Wednesday. "Durban has hosted some great events, it is a fantastic city and are wonderful warm hosts with bright ambitions and great aspirations. "However, it takes more than a municipality,...
(The Wall Street Journal 03/15/17)
Ndalo Media founder Khanyi Dhlomo and Mara Group founder Ashish Thakkar on where the potential is and what’s blocking it How is innovation in Africa different from innovation in Silicon Valley? And how can innovation in Africa be encouraged? Dan Keeler, frontier-markets editor of The Wall Street Journal, discussed those questions with Khanyi Dhlomo, founder and chief executive of Ndalo Media, a publisher based in South Africa, and Ashish Thakkar, founder of Mara Group, a pan-African investment group with operations in banking, real estate, infrastructure and technology. Edited excerpts follow. MR. KEELER: What about innovation in Africa? Khanyi, what sort of things are you seeing that are inspiring you? MS. DHLOMO:There’s a lot of innovation happening in Africa. But it’s...
(AFP (eng) 03/14/17)
Rising unrest in central Democratic Republic of Congo threatens to derail voter registration ahead of a high-stakes election, the Catholic Church and the electoral commission said Tuesday. Commission president Corneille Nangaa meanwhile hit out at recent attacks in the central region of Kasai, where four offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) have been set on fire. Kasai has seen a major spike in violence since September, leaving at least 400 dead in an uprising that erupted when government forces killed a tribal chief and militia leader, Kamwina Nsapu, who had rebelled against President Joseph Kabila. The violence took a grim turn Sunday, when two foreign experts from the United Nations and their Congolese staff went missing in the...
(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...

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