| Africatime
Thursday 23 March 2017
(Voice of America 02/14/17)
U.S. President Donald Trump made his first phone calls to African heads of state Monday, speaking with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and South African President Jacob Zuma. Nigeria and South Africa said the calls were made at the request of the U.S. president, who until now has said little about Africa or African issues since assuming office last month. The Nigerian presidency said Trump and Buhari discussed issues of terrorism, and said Trump assured Buhari the United States is ready to make a new deal to help Nigeria "in terms of military weapons." The statement said Trump also commended Buhari for the strides Nigeria is making against Islamist radical group Boko Haram, and invited Buhari to come to Washington at...
(AFP (eng) 02/12/17)
In crisis-hit Democratic Republic of Congo, people in the capital increasingly turn to street hawkers to feed themselves and their families cheaply, but the makeshift option is often not a hygienic one. From civil servants and students, to construction workers and parents with their children, hungry Kinshasa residents depend on so-called malewas, or street food sellers, whose numbers have grown as the economy has worsened. "Here, I eat my fill for under 2,000 Congolese francs ($1.1, one euro)," said Jose Bangamba, a 29-year-old taxi driver. Leaning over a plate of chicken in gravy
(Voice of America 02/11/17)
The United Nations and Congolese authorities launched an appeal Friday in Congo's capital, Kinshasa, for $748 million to provide lifesaving assistance for 6.7 million people across the conflict-wracked country. The appeal this year is 8 percent higher than last, and reflects a new three-year strategy. In Geneva, where the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, or OCHA, is based, spokesman Jens Laerke said the new action plan involves a more integrated approach in dealing with "two decades of recurring humanitarian crises."
(AFP (eng) 02/10/17)
Plans to bring home the body of longtime Congolese opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi and give him a grand national funeral appear to have run aground, mired in a rumpus between his friends and foes. Almost 10 days after his death at 84 in Brussels, there was no sign Thursday of his coffin's imminent return to Democratic Republic of Congo as had been hoped. Last weekend, thousands of tearful members of Europe's Congolese diaspora turned out in Brussels to pay their last respects to Tshisekedi, who had a three-day funeral wake, his casket on display in a large hall made available by city authorities. But at home, angry words and jockeying for power have snared efforts to give "Tshishi" or "Papa",...
(AFP (eng) 02/10/17)
Up to 18 players at the just-completed Africa Cup of Nations could be involved in the new-look CAF Champions League when it kicks off this weekend. Among them is Georges Bokwe, one of two unused goalkeepers in the Cameroon squad that defeated Egypt in the final last Sunday in Gabon. Bokwe was kept out of the starting line-up by the consistent brilliance of Spain-based Fabrice Ondoa, who was included in the team of the tournament. But Bokwe is the first choice for regular Champions League entrants Coton Sport from northern Cameroon cotton town Garoua. Coton qualified for the 2008 final, losing to Al Ahly of Egypt, but have fared poorly recently with first round exits in the past two seasons...
(AFP (eng) 02/09/17)
Two Congolese working for Al-Jazeera have been freed five days after being abducted during a reporting mission, the Qatar-based broadcaster said Wednesday. The two men were kidnapped last Wednesday near Nyanzale in the south of the restive Nord-Kivu province and were freed on Monday, it said. The zone in the Democratic Republic of Congo's turbulent east is notorious for kidnappings for ransom. Al-Jazeera however said no money was paid for their release, explaining it was secured "through the work of the local authorities". "Al-Jazeera is relieved that all men are safe and sound and would like to thank officials from the FARDC (the Congolese army) and the UN mission in DRC for their support in assisting Al-Jazeera in getting the...
(Standard Digital 02/09/17)
Hundreds of business and political personalities yesterday attended a German-African economic summit in Nairobi, where German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Mueller talked about his “Marshall Plan” for Africa. The plan is “with Africa, not for Africa,” Mueller (pictured) said, stressing that it would be based on cooperation between equals rather than the principles of traditional development aid. The plan, which Mueller presented to the German parliament’s development committee on Wednesday, is based on fair trade conditions, investment and increasing aid for educational projects. One of the goals of the plan, which the German opposition received with scepticism, is to curb migratory flows from Africa to Europe. Mueller called on German companies to focus on Africa, which he...
(AL Jazeera 02/08/17)
The EU must espouse a transnational approach with a clear development agenda that replaces its current security policy. One year ago, 22-year-old Patrick left Douala, the largest city in Cameroon, to become a football star in Europe. A talented midfielder and an ambitious young man, Patrick felt compelled to reach Europe to help him to realise his dreams. But, as he passed through Agadez in Niger, which has become a major transit hub for migrants taking the Central Mediterranean route, reality proved to be grimmer than he had anticipated. Patrick and two of his male relatives, also travelling from Douala, were beaten, robbed and held captive by organised predatory groups. Finally, their tumultuous journey came to an end in Algeria,...
(AFP (eng) 02/06/17)
Tears flowed Sunday as thousands of members of the Congolese diaspora paid their emotional last respects to opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi, known affectionately as "papa", who died in Brussels last week. After a three-day funeral wake, Tshisekedi's coffin was put on display for several hours in a large hall made available by city authorities, near the famous Atomium tourist attraction, AFP journalists said. Many waited in line for hours to get in and bow their heads in front of the casket, surrounded by wreaths of flowers and pictures of Tshisekedi, sporting his ever-present beret. They came from across Belgium but also travelled from France, Britain and Germany, to pay a final tribute to "Tshishi", as his supporters called him. "He...
(Bloomberg 02/06/17)
A recent rise in rebel activity in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo threatens to undermine a political agreement for a democratic transfer of power this year, the country’s foreign minister said. The Congolese government wrote to the United Nations Security Council last week requesting its support after the return of members of the former M23 rebellion to eastern Congo, Leonard She Okitundu said Friday by phone from the capital, Kinshasa. A new conflict with M23 would “drain our financial resources” and jeopardize the government’s ability to organize elections this year, as required by the December political agreement, Okitundu said. “This is why we have asked the United Nations Security Council to help us enforce the Addis Ababa agreement” that helped...
(Bloomberg 02/06/17)
Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. is expected to raise about $500 million for its new African investment fund, attracting less than its original goal as investor interest in the region proved weaker than anticipated, according to people familiar with the matter. The Toronto-based insurer sought to raise as much as $1 billion at $10 a share for Fairfax Africa Holdings Corp. in an initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange, according to a regulatory filing in December. Fairfax said it had secured as much as $416 million in commitments for the African venture from both its own funds and partners, including the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, a Canadian pension fund and CI Investments Inc., according to the...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/04/17)
Police in southwestern Democratic Republic of Congo on Friday killed at least eight members of a separatist religious sect, local activists said, escalating tensions in a normally peaceful part of a conflict-ravaged country. The police opened fire on members of Bundu dia Kongo (BDK) as they approached the morgue in the town of Kimpese to recover the bodies of fellow members killed in protests last month, Jonas Lukoki, the provincial coordinator of the New Civil Society, told Reuters. "There were 12 deaths, including three children," Lukoki said. Another local activist in Kimpese said that the police had killed at least eight BDK members. Both activists said the demonstrators were unarmed.
(AFP (eng) 02/03/17)
The leader of a Congolese rebel group who had been living under security in Uganda has gone missing, after scores of his fighters escaped their military base, the army said Friday. The leader of M23, a mostly ethnic Tutsi rebel group which fled Democratic Republic of Congo after being defeated by its army in 2013, went missing shortly after about 60 rebels disappeared from a military base where they had been given shelter. "No, we don't know where he is," army spokesman Richard Karemire said of the M23 leader Sultan Makenga. "We communicated that to the DRC government as far back as January 16th this year." He said Makenga had been living in Kampala under security "to protect him against...
(Agence Ecofin 02/03/17)
DR Congo’s minister of land affairs, Félix Kabange Numbi, while meeting with his staff reiterated his commitment to curb land conflicts in the country, reports l’Agence d’information d’Afrique centrale. “Each of us must contribute to reducing land conflicts which tarnish the reputation of our ministry. We must make sure to quench all these conflicts across the nation. It is possible if we all work towards that goal,” the official said. However, though he emphasized on a rapid and efficient achievement of that target, the minister insisted on the fact that solutions designed should be strong and sustainable. “We should not rush and design solutions that will serve only the highest bidder. We must proceed to a brainstorming session during which...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/03/17)
The death on Wednesday of Congo's opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi leaves opponents of President Joseph Kabila seriously weakened in their bid to force Kabila to quit power after he defied constitutional term limits to stay on last year. Democratic Republic of Congo has never experienced a peaceful transition of power and Kabila's refusal to stand down when his final term expired in December has raised fears the chronically unstable country could slide back into civil war. Despite his 84 years and failing health, Tshisekedi known as "the Sphinx" for his sparse but profound statements, remained the undisputed leader of the opposition to Kabila. He was expected to head a transitional council to oversee Kabila's exit by the end of this...
(Xinhuanet 02/03/17)
T20 Africa Conference, the meeting for the G20 think tanks and African countries, ended on Friday in Johannesburg with a commitment to accelerate cooperation between the G20 and Africa. The three-day conference aimed to chart a course for the future cooperation between Africa and the G20. The day ended with the formulation of the communique which will be given to the current G20 chair Germany. The communique will also be the reference for further discussion between Africa and T20. T20 comprises of the G20 think tanks. Dr. Christine Hackenesch, researcher at the German Development Institute (DIE) said, "There was an agreement that there must be a continuous and sustained engagement between G20 and Africa because there is a strong dependence...
(AFP (eng) 02/02/17)
Longtime DR Congo opposition chief Etienne Tshisekedi died Wednesday at the age of 84 in Brussels, as talks aiming to end the nation's political crisis were under way in Kinshasa. "President Tshisekedi died today... in Brussels," Bruno Tshibala, an official from his Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS) party, said of the burly figure who had remained largely out of sight in recent years due to frail health. Tshisekedi, who had only flown from Kinshasa to the capital of former colonial power Belgium on January 24, for medical treatment, died at 5:42 pm (1642 GMT), Tshibala said. After two years of medical treatment in Belgium, Tshisekedi had made a triumphant return in July with hundreds of thousands of people...
(AFP (eng) 02/02/17)
Longtime DR Congo opposition chief Etienne Tshisekedi died Wednesday at the age of 84 in Brussels, where he had flown for medical treatment, his political party said. "President Tshisekedi died today... in Brussels," Bruno Tshibala, an official from the UDPS party, said of the burly figure who remained largely out of sight in recent years due to frail health. Tshisekedi, who had only flown from Kinshasa to the capital of former colonial power Belgium on Tuesday, died at 5:42 pm local time (1642 GMT), Tshibala said. A source close to him said Tshisekedi died in Brussels' Sainte-Elizabeth hospital, giving no further details. After two years of medical treatment in Belgium, Tshisekedi had made a triumphant return in July with hundreds...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/02/17)
Democratic Republic of Congo's veteran opposition leader, Etienne Tshisekedi, has died in Brussels aged 84, his party said on Wednesday. Tshisekedi stood up to Mobutu Sese Seko, who ruled the country then known as Zaire, for more than three decades before Mobutu was overthrown by Rwanda, Uganda and other forces. He was also the main civilian opponent of Laurent Kabila, who took power in 1997, and his son, President Joseph Kabila, who has ruled since 2001. Tshisekedi was set to take the top post in a transitional council agreed in December under a deal to pave the way for Kabila to leave power in 2017 and refrain from running for a third term as president. His death deprives the opposition...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/02/17)
Democratic Republic of Congo's veteran opposition leader, Etienne Tshisekedi, has died in Brussels aged 84, his party said on Wednesday. Tshisekedi stood up to Mobutu Sese Seko, who ruled the country then known as Zaire, for more than three decades before Mobutu was overthrown by Rwanda, Uganda and other forces. He was also the main civilian opponent of Laurent Kabila, who took power in 1997, and his son, President Joseph Kabila, who has ruled since 2001. Tshisekedi was set to take the top post in a transitional council agreed in December under a deal to pave the way for Kabila to leave power in 2017 and refrain from running for a third term as president. His death deprives the opposition...

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