| Africatime
Monday 24 April 2017
(Xinhuanet 01/28/17)
The African Union (AU) has been endeavoring to ensure robust, resilient and long-lasting economic transformation of Africa through promotion of infrastructure and energy development on the continent, noted Elham Mahmood Ibrahim, AU Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy. Speaking at a press conference Friday ahead of the 28th AU leaders' summit here, the commissioner said the pan-African bloc has scored achievements in its flagship projects and programs on the development of energy, transport as well as in the information and communication technology (ICT) areas, which she said are the biggest priorities in Africa's infrastructure sector. In cooperation and coordination with its regional, continental, and international partners, AU has been committed to development of infrastructure on the continent, which facilitates trade, economic...
(Bloomberg 01/27/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo’s state-owned Gecamines received at least $33 million to proceed with the $3.8 billion sale of one of the country’s biggest copper mines to Chinese buyers after blocking a deal for eight months. Freeport McMoran Inc. paid the settlement as its share in an agreement to resolve all claims against the sale in May of its 56 percent stake in the Tenke Fungurume copper and cobalt mine to China Molybdenum Co. The agreement was also signed by Gecamines, China Moly, Lundin Mining Corp. and BHR Newwood Investment Management, Freeport said in a statement published Wednesday. The statement didn’t report the total value of the settlement or the financial share paid by the other parties. Gecamines didn’t...
(Bloomberg 01/27/17)
Barclays Africa Group Ltd. was targeted by protesters who entered one of its branches on Thursday and demanded the bank pay back money from a bailout provided to a company it bought before the end of apartheid. Demonstrators linked to the youth league of South Africa’s ruling African National Congress gathered outside the branch in Durban on South Africa’s east coast, Johannesburg-based Barclays Africa said in an e-mailed response to questions. Police ensured customers and staff were protected during the incident, it said. The protests come after the leaking of a draft report compiled by South Africa’s graft ombudsman that said Barclays Africa, which traded as Absa then, may have unduly benefited from state support when it bought Bankorp in...
(Xinhuanet 01/26/17)
Adopting African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) has been named a major task for the African Union (AU) this year as the 30th session of its Executive Council opened on Wednesday. In her remarks at the opening of the meeting, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the AU Commission, called for member countries' commitment to meeting the first target in Agenda 2063 of commencing the CFTA by end of 2017. She underlines the need "to do what needs to be done on the free movement of persons, so that we unlock opportunities for intra-African trade, studies, business and tourism." In her remarks at the opening of the 33rd session of the AU Permanent Representatives Committee on Sunday, Dlamini-Zuma said the AU's major...
(AFP (eng) 01/25/17)
Junior Kabananga set DR Congo on their way to a comfortable 3-1 win against Togo in Port-Gentil on Tuesday to clinch an Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals spot. Kabananga's opener came just before the half-hour mark and Neeskens Kebano ran through to increase the lead in the 54th minute. Kodjo Fo-Doh Laba pulled one back for Togo but a Paul-Jose Mpoku free-kick with 10 minutes left completed the scoring as an impressive Congolese side secured first place in Group C. They will now return to Oyem in northern Gabon for a quarter-final on Sunday, while Togo are eliminated after failing to win a game. Morocco also go through after a 1-0 win over the Ivory Coast which knocked out the...
(Bloomberg 01/25/17)
Taiwan’s last two African allies have no plans to switch allegiances and break ties with Taipei as Beijing tries to woo the self-ruled island’s diplomatic partners. Burkina Faso won’t cut relations with Taiwan despite people and companies with links to China offering funding in return for recognition of the One-China principle, according to Foreign Minister Alpha Barry. Swaziland said its relationship with Taiwan is based on mutual interests, not on money. “We get outrageous proposals telling us, ‘if you sign with Beijing we’ll offer you $50 billion or even more,’’’ Barry said in an interview in the capital, Ouagadougou, this month. “Taiwan is our friend and our partner. We’re happy and we see no reason to reconsider the relationship.” Competition...
(AFP (eng) 01/24/17)
Congolese opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi headed Tuesday to Belgium for medical treatment -- just as his party is trying to negotiate a power-sharing deal following President Laurent Kabila's refusal to step down. The 84-year-old head of the Union for Democracy and Social Progress (UDPS), a historic heavyweight in DR Congo's opposition movement, took off from Kinshasa's airport aboard a private plane at 6:00 am (0500 GMT), an AFP journalist reported. The departure of the frail leader could complicate negotiations over the timetable for a New Year's Eve deal under which Kabila will stay in office before new elections are held in late 2017. The country's influential Catholic bishops brokered the deal in a bid to prevent more bloodshed in a...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/24/17)
A deal struck last month requiring Congo President Joseph Kabila to step down after elections this year risks unraveling if politicians do not quickly reach compromises on implementing the accord, Catholic bishops mediating the talks said on Monday. The Dec. 31 deal was greeted as a critical step toward averting a slide into anarchy and possibly civil war in Democratic Republic of Congo over Kabila's decision to remain in power when his mandate expired last month. The accord, signed by representatives of Kabila's ruling coalition and the main opposition bloc, bars Kabila from trying to change the constitution to stand for a third term in an election to be held by the end of this year. But talks this month...
(AFP (eng) 01/24/17)
A researcher with US-based Human Rights Watch has been expelled again from DR Congo just days after being allowed to return, the rights watchdog said Monday. "Ida Sawyer, Central Africa director at Human Rights Watch, was obliged to leave the Democratic Republic of Congo on January 20, 2017," HRW said on its website. "Immigration authorities in the eastern city of Goma annulled her visa and escorted her to the border." After being expelled in mid-2016, the US national had returned on January 13 on a three-month multiple entry visa obtained on January 5 at the embassy in Brussels, HRW added. She had been living in Brussels since August when her work permit was cancelled and she was asked to leave...
(Cnbc Africa 01/24/17)
While Brexit and the U.S. election dominated headlines in 2016, the African continent witnessed major changes of its own. Its two largest economies were destabilized, with Nigeria being driven into recession and the South African political elite grappling for power. Conflict continued to make news, with the continuation of people trafficking across the Mediterranean and violence in South Sudan bubbling over. Macroeconomic concerns Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa fell to 1.5 percent in 2016 according to the World Bank, which deemed this "the weakest pace in over two decades." The slowdown was chiefly blamed on low commodity prices. But, the organization forecasts growth of 2.9 percent in the region for 2017. Africa's two biggest economies have a lot to account for...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/23/17)
Uganda said on Monday it had returned dozens of former combatants of a Democratic Republic of Congo rebel group to a military camp after they tried to sneak back to their own country in disguise last week. The former fighters, who have been staying in Ugandan camps after years of fighting in chaotic eastern Congo, were picked up in western Uganda. Congo has welcomed Uganda's recapture of the former combatants. The M23 rebels, who once controlled swathes of territory in eastern Congo, fled to Uganda after a combined United Nations and Congolese force crushed their rebellion in 2013. Arthur Timbaganya, a Ugandan regional military spokesman, said about 30 of the 100 or so people detained had turned out to be...
(AFP (eng) 01/20/17)
Defending champions the Ivory Coast had to come from behind twice to draw 2-2 with the Democratic Republic of Congo Friday in a lively Africa Cup of Nations clash. The result in northern Gabonese town Oyem kept the Congolese top of Group C with four points from two matches followed by the Ivorians with two. Togo have one point and Morocco, their opponents later Friday in the second match of a double-header, are pointless. Neeskens Kebano and Junior Kabananga scored for the Congolese and Wilfried Bony and captain Geoffrey Serey Die were the Ivorian scorers.
(Reuters (Eng) 01/20/17)
Uganda has detained more than 100 former M23 rebels trying to return to neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, breaking a deal to demobilize after their defeat in 2013, the government said on Thursday. The former fighters, who had been staying in Ugandan camps after years of fighting in chaotic eastern Congo, were picked up in west Uganda in the region of Mbarara as they tried to sneak into Congo in disguise, the government spokesman said. Congo's government reported the rebel moves last week amid mounting opposition to Congolese President Joseph Kabila, who has decided to stay in office beyond his mandate that expired last month. Protests have raise fears of a civil war. "The Uganda Security intercepted four vehicles at...
(Voice of America 01/20/17)
By most measures, Africa is safer today than it has been in the modern era: Diseases are less deadly and wars are less frequent. But recent years have also been marked by a rise in radical extremism on the continent, and the terror threat could derail some of the world's fastest-growing economies. Dealing with the spread of radicalization has been a central focus of U.S. President Barack Obama's foreign policy during his time in office. Few areas have been spared over the past eight years, with much of the continent living in the shadow of a violent extremist group: al-Shabab in Somalia and East Africa, Islamic State (IS) in Libya, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in Mali, the Lord's...
(AFP (eng) 01/19/17)
Uganda's government said Thursday that 40 Congolese rebels quartered at a Ugandan military base since 2014 have disappeared, while more than 100 were caught trying to cross into the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Congolese government said Sunday that at least 200 former members of M23, a mostly ethnic Tutsi rebel group which fled the country after being defeated by its army, had arrived from Uganda and occupied a village in North Kivu province. Uganda's military earlier this week denied any rebels had absconded from the Bihanga army camp, 320 kilometres (190 miles) west of the capital Kampala. However, the government said in a statement that some rebels "were stealthily leaving their gazetted place of abode", but "their whereabouts are...
(AFP (eng) 01/19/17)
A researcher with the US-based Human Rights Watch said Wednesday she had been allowed to return to the Democratic Republic of Congo which expelled her last year. "I'm very happy to be back .. after I was barred from working here last August," Sawyer said on Twitter. "I hope this reflects a broader effort by the government to respect freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, and that other human rights activists will be allowed to carry out their work freely," she added. Sawyer has been in Goma, capital of the northern Kivu province "for some days", a source close to HRW told AFP.
(Xinhuanet 01/18/17)
The Chinese government's decision to terminate ivory processing and trade by the end of 2017 marked a critical milestone in the journey toward eliminating poaching and other threats to Africa's elephant species, a conservationist group said on Wednesday. Kaddu Sebunya, president of African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) hailed China for taking bold measures to revitalize global efforts to save African elephants whose numbers had declined this decade due to poaching and climatic stresses. "The recent announcement by the central government of China to ban all domestic ivory trade by the end of 2017 offers a glimmer of real optimism in the fight against elephant poaching," Sebunya said in a statement issued in Nairobi The Chinese authority in December 2016 announced the...
(AFP (eng) 01/17/17)
Uganda's military on Monday denied that armed Congolese rebels sheltering in the country had crossed back into the Democratic Republic of Congo, saying they were still in their camp. The DRC government said Sunday that at least 200 former members of M23, a mostly ethnic Tutsi rebel group defeated by the Congolese army three years ago, arrived from Uganda and took over a village in North Kivu province. Government spokesman Lambert Mende told AFP the Congolese army was fighting two battalions installed in Ishasha village "who were supposed to be in Uganda under the responsibility of that country's authorities".
(AFP (eng) 01/17/17)
Junior Kabananga scored to give the Democratic Republic of Congo an upset 1-0 win over Morocco Monday in an Africa Cup of Nations Group C match in Gabonese town Oyem. Victory took the Congolese Leopards to the top of the table after defending champions the Ivory Coast were held 0-0 by Togo in the first half of a dobule-header. Kazakhstan-based midfielder Kabananga pounced on a mistake by goalkeeper Munir Mohamedi to score from close range 10 minutes into the second half.
(Bloomberg 01/17/17)
The Congolese government has dropped objections to Freeport-McMoRan Inc. and Lundin Mining Corp.’s $3.8 billion combined sales of one of the country’s biggest mines to Chinese companies, bringing an end to an eight-month dispute. Minister of Mines Martin Kabwelulu said by text messages that he had written to all parties acknowledging agreements reached by state-owned miner Gecamines to settle objections to the sales and indicating the state had no further opposition. New terms between the parties will allow Freeport and Lundin Mining to exit the copper and cobalt project in the Democratic Republic of Congo without legal challenge, according to two people familiar with the matter. In May, Freeport agreed to sell its 56 percent stake in the Tenke Fungurume...

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