| Africatime
Thursday 23 March 2017
(AFP (eng) 01/09/17)
Gabon witnessed one of the most sensational finishes to an Africa Cup of Nations tournament when no-hopers Zambia stunned the Ivory Coast to win the 2012 final. Zambia failed to qualify this time, but the Ivorians will be among the favourites again when the competition returns to the central African state with the first fixtures scheduled for Saturday. AFP Sport rates the chances of the 16 challengers for the $4 million (3.8 million euros) first prize (last three competitive results in brackets with W denoting a win, D a draw and L a loss): FAVOURITES Egypt (WWW) Back among the elite and in good form. After winning three consecutive Cup of Nations titles, they failed to qualify for the past...
(AFP (eng) 01/06/17)
At least 15 people from DR Congo's Bantu community were killed Thursday in an attack blamed on Pygmies in an area of the southeast that has seen repeated ethnic clashes, local sources said. "Clashes between Bantus and Pygmies in the village of Piana Mwanga have left 15 Bantus dead, 37 injured and 65 houses burned," Paul Kwanga, bishop of the southeastern town of Manono, told AFP. Kamona Lumuna, the interior minister of Tanganyika province where the assault took place, confirmed the attack but said the precise toll was not yet known. "A team will be sent from tomorrow to investigate what really happened in the village," Kamona told AFP by telephone. Local civil society leader Modeste Kubali said 17 people...
(Bloomberg 01/06/17)
Glencore Plc, the commodities trader and miner headed by billionaire Ivan Glasenberg, is considering increasing its stake in the Mutanda copper mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Swiss firm, which already owns 69 percent of the mine, will make a further announcement if appropriate, it said in a statement Thursday, without elaborating. Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler’s Fleurette Group owns the rest of Mutanda. A spokesman for Fleurette Group declined to comment. Glencore last year completed a debt reduction program, reducing borrowings by about $10 billion through a combination of asset sales, reduced spending and the suspension of its dividend. Last month, emerging from the self-imposed era of austerity, it agreed a surprise $11 billion deal with Rosneft PJSC,...
(Agence Ecofin 01/06/17)
Indian firm Aaviskaar Venture Management Services (AVMS) has announced plans to raise between $100 million and $150 million for Africa investments. “We will start the fund-raising around the middle of 2017 and we expect to close it in 2018,” said Vineet Rai, founder of Intellecap-Aavishkaar group. The new African fund will focus on investing on African low-income groups, especially in the agriculture, finance and financial technology sectors. “We will use the sow-tend-reap strategy of multiple round investing and will be an early investor,” Rai told local Indian media Regions targeted are West and East Africa, especially Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania and Ghana. Investments will range from half a million to $5 million. The investment firm’s expansion strategy in Africa...
(AFP (eng) 01/05/17)
Supporters of a militia leader who was killed in August took over a city in central DR Congo for several hours, and one police officer died in clashes, witnesses said Thursday. "On Wednesday morning, nearly 200 supporters of the chief Kamwina Nsapu penetrated and took control of the city of Tshimbulu after killing a police officer," a witness and member of the Catholic clergy told AFP by telephone on Thursday morning. A journalist from a local radio station in the Kasai-Central province added: "The attackers left the town at around 7pm (1800 GMT) after having created great panic.
(AFP (eng) 01/05/17)
The UN Security Council called Wednesday for the rapid and complete implementation of a deal to end the political crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In a unanimous vote approving the measure proposed by France, the 15 members of the council reaffirmed the importance of organizing credible elections before the end of the year. "The Security Council is encouraged by the spirit of flexibility and compromise demonstrated by Congolese political leaders in reaching this agreement, for the stability, peace, development and consolidation of constitutional democracy in the DRC
(AFP (eng) 01/04/17)
DR Congo's ruling coalition said contested President Joseph Kabila should have the right to approve Catholic mediation in the next stage of efforts to end the country's political crisis. The demand touches on a key phase for implementing a historic deal, forged on New Year's Eve, for hauling Democratic Republic of Congo out of a dangerous impasse. Mediated by the Roman Catholic Church, the accord sketches a timetable under which Kabila will stay in office before new elections are held. The coalition said the mediation mandate had to be renewed and approved by Kabila himself in exchange for the government to discuss transition arrangements. "The bishops must first present the report ... to the president, who must reconfirm, using his...
(AFP (eng) 01/04/17)
Italy vowed Wednesday to increase deportations of migrants whose asylum requests have been rejected, after a riot in a reception centre sparked by the death of a young woman. The country, which has been on the frontline of migrants arriving across the Mediterranean from North Africa, is pushing for an agreement with Niger and a renewed deal with Tunisia to facilitate returns. "We have saved many lives but we cannot accept rule-breaking. We need to speed up deportations," Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, the country's former interior minister, said in an interview with La Stampa daily. He was "working to tie up agreements which will reduce arrivals and prevent departures" from the coast of North Africa, he said after a record...
(Bloomberg 01/03/17)
Democratic Republic of Congo’s ruling party and opposition leaders have signed a deal designed to end President Joseph Kabila’s rule and halt the violence that has erupted over his refusal to step down. Under the agreement reached late Saturday, delayed presidential, legislative and provincial elections will be held in December, after which Kabila will leave. Kabila, in power since 2001, has not yet signed the accord, which was mediated by the country’s powerful Catholic Church. “Work must continue, political stability must be safeguarded by implementing every point of this new political roadmap,” the head of the United Nations mission in the Congo, Maman Sidikou, said in a statement e-mailed Sunday, shortly after the agreement was reached. Elections in Africa’s biggest...
(BBC News Africa 01/03/17)
An electricity grid for the whole village Problem: A total of 1.3 billion people worldwide currently don't have electricity, according to Yale Environment 360. Getting people in rural areas on to the national grid is proving too difficult and traditional solar panels generate meagre amounts of energy. Solution: Steamaco makes solar and battery micro-grids which can work for a whole village. They are small electricity generation and distribution systems that operate independently of larger grids. How it works: Micro-grids are nothing new. The new part is that Steamaco's technology automates the regulation of electricity. So, if the system detects there will be a surge in demand for electricity, for example on a Saturday night when people want to start playing...
(AFP (eng) 01/02/17)
Opposing sides in the crisis that has gripped DR Congo will this week hold their first talks on implementing a landmark deal on the country's political future, mediators said Monday. "An initial meeting for deciding on ways to implement the agreement is scheduled for Tuesday," Father Donatien Nshole, the spokesman for National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CECO), which is overseeing the process, told AFP. The hard-fought New Year's Eve agreement aims at defusing a crisis over the future of President Joseph Kabila. Under the constitution, the 45-year-old leader should have left office on December 20 at the end of his second and final
(AFP (eng) 01/02/17)
At least six people were hacked to death in troubled northeastern DR Congo in two attacks last week blamed on Ugandan rebels, a regional official told AFP on Monday. The government and the UN mission in the central African country MONUSCO have accused the shadowy rebel group Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), dominated by hardline Ugandan Muslims, of carrying out a two-year bloodbath in the region. "There have been attacks blamed on suspected ADF members near the border with Nord Kivu (province), which left at least six people dead in Irumu territory," the vice governor of Ituri province, Pacifique Keta, said. Keta added that the death toll was provisional and security had been beefed up. Separately, Gill Gotabo, a civil society...
(AFP (eng) 12/31/16)
Fresh problems held up efforts by the Catholic Church to unveil a deal on Saturday for ending the political crisis in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a mediator said. "The agreement is ready, but this morning all the groups came with new demands for details to be included in the accord, which is delaying the signing ceremony," the source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said. Talks between the government and opposition aim to resolve the future of President Joseph Kabila, who is holding onto power although his second and final five-year term ended on December 20. The negotiations, launched on December 8, are taking place under the aegis of the influential Catholic Church, which had initially set Christmas Day as...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/31/16)
Congolese President Joseph Kabila will step down after elections to be held by the end of 2017 under a last-minute deal struck by political parties on Friday, the lead mediator of the talks said. Negotiators spent weeks in tense talks seeking to ensure Democratic Republic of Congo’s first peaceful transfer of power since independence in 1960. But it remains unclear if elections can be organized by the end of next year, or if leading politicians, including Kabila, will keep to the terms. "The government is asked to take all steps so that the elections are organized by the end of 2017 at the latest," said Marcel Utembi, president of Congo's Catholic Bishops' Conference, which has mediated the talks. Under the...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/31/16)
Congolese President Joseph Kabila will step down after elections held before the end of 2017, under a deal struck by political parties on Friday, according to a lead mediator from the Catholic Church. Under the deal, Kabila will be unable to change the constitution to extend his mandate and run for a third term, Marcel Utembi, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference in the Democratic Republic of Congo, told reporters. (Reporting By Aaron Ross, writing by Edward McAllister)
(Voice of America 12/30/16)
2016 was predicted to be a tough year for African economies, and it delivered. Traditional economic leaders faltered this year amid a storm of falling commodity prices, unpredictable and destructive weather like droughts and floods across large swaths of the the continent. Slow economic growth in China, a major investor and trading partner, only added to their challenges. “This year, you’ve seen the two Africas: the commodity exporters going through tough times, while the non-commodity exporters being more resilient,” Nigerian economist Nonso Obikili, who researches Nigerian and sub-Saharan economic trends for Economic Research Southern Africa, told VOA. He says 2016 has been hard on African commodity giants as oil prices fell to lows not seen since the global financial crisis...
(Reuters (Eng) 12/29/16)
A court in Democratic Republic of Congo sentenced a political opposition leader to five years in prison on Wednesday, a human rights advocate said, a judgment that risks imperiling multi-party talks meant to organize a presidential election next year. The court found Franck Diongo, president of the opposition MLP party, guilty of illegally detaining three soldiers during violent protests last week in the capital Kinshasa that killed dozens, said Georges Kapiamba, a lawyer and human rights advocate who attended the trial. Kapiamba told Reuters that Diongo was not able to defend himself because of failing health and called the decision "totally political". The government has denied that the prosecution is politically motivated. The verdict comes as representatives of President Joseph...
(AFP (eng) 12/29/16)
Floods triggered by heavy rains and a river bursting its banks have killed at least 50 people and left thousands homeless in the southwest Democratic Republic of Congo, a provincial governor told AFP on Thursday. Torrential rains caused the Kalamu river, which flows through the city of Boma, to overflow for two hours before the waters receded, washing some of the victims across the border into Angola. "The rains on the night of Monday to Tuesday in Boma have caused at least 50 deaths," Jacques Mbadu, governor of Kongo Central province, told AFP, adding that a search was still going on for "more
(Bloomberg 12/29/16)
Apologists for a despot will invariably mention his ability to maintain stability. Congo’s President Joseph Kabila is falling short of even this dismal standard, which may be the most compelling reason for him to give up his unconstitutional effort to stay in power. Neighboring Burundi, where President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bloody bid for an illegal third term has created more than 300,000 refugees, shows just why Kabila must be persuaded to change course. If anything, the stakes in Congo, Africa’s second largest and fourth most populous country, are much higher. From 1996 to 2003, Congo and its neighbors (along with more than 20 armed groups) were embroiled in “Africa’s World War,” which cost millions of lives. Continuing strife, not least over...
(AFP (eng) 12/29/16)
French border police intercepted 45 African migrants who were trying to enter the country from Italy and arrested the two smugglers involved, local prosecutors said Wednesday. Travelling in two vans, 25 migrants in the first vehicle were stopped while 20 in the second breached a checkpoint at Montgenevre in southeastern France, before later being found. According to the prosecutor's office, the migrants were returned to the border and the two smugglers are to be tried in Italy.

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