Tuesday 23 January 2018
(AFP (eng) 11/08/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo on Wednesday said foreign "greed" for its cobalt lay behind the "malicious" pressures weighing on the country's electoral process. The DRC is in the grip of a crisis over plans to hold presidential elections, which were delayed by President Joseph Kabila's refusal to step down on the expiry of his second and final term last December. Under a compromise deal, the vote was scheduled to take place this year. But on October 12, the country's electoral commission said logistical problems in violence-troubled regions made it impossible to hold the elections before early 2019. After the United States demanded the vote be held next year, the commission last week said the election will take place on...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/08/17)
KINSHASA (Reuters) - Democratic Republic of Congo’s main opposition parties have rejected a new date for elections announced at the weekend to replace President Joseph Kabila, saying it violates the law and a political deal agreed with the government. Originally scheduled for late 2016, the polls have been repeatedly delayed. Following several rounds of deadly protests, Kabila’s camp and his opponents signed an accord last December agreeing to hold the election before the end of this year. On Sunday, Congo’s CENI elections commission announced that the election, which term limits currently bar Kabila...
(AfricaNews 11/08/17)
The United States on Tuesday responded to an announcement by elections body of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) regarding the next presidential elections. National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) over the weekend released a timetable that planned the long awaited presidential elections for December 2018. The U.S. Department of State says it was particularly happy that incumbent Joseph Kabila was also ready to abide by the constitution and willing to step down after his successor is picked. The 46-year-old has yet to publicly stated that he will not be contesting in the next polls.
(APA 11/08/17)
APA-Dakar (Sénégal) - "Les citoyens de la RDC ont soif de démocratie et de leadership et d’autres retards et tentatives de maintien du pouvoir ne serviront qu’à isoler les dirigeants et le gouvernement de la RDC", a déclaré mardi l’ambassadeur des Etats-Unis aux Nations Unies, Nikki Haley. "Après des années de retard, la Commission électorale nationale indépendante (CENI) en République démocratique du Congo (RDC) a publié un calendrier pour les élections attendues depuis longtemps", a déclaré Nikki Haley dans un communiqué dont APA a pu obtenir copie. Haley était récemment en visite en République démocratique du Congo dans le cadre d’une tournée africaine qui l’a également menée en Ethiopie et au Soudan du Sud. Par ailleurs, Moussa Faki Mahamat, Président...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/08/17)
GUANGZHOU, China (Reuters) - China is depending too much on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for cobalt, a crucial component in electric vehicle (EV) batteries, and should take steps to ensure security of supply, delegates said at an industry conference on Tuesday. China, the world’s top cobalt consumer, is “over-reliant” on the African country, which accounts for around half of global cobalt supplies, said Wu Lijue, chairman of Guangdong Jiana Energy Technology Co, a supplier of cobalt salts and other materials for EV battery cathodes. Jiana itself, as well as compatriots including Huayou Cobalt Co and China Molybdenum, have all invested in cobalt-bearing assets in the DRC. Speaking on the sidelines of the China International Nickel and Cobalt Industry...
(AfricaNews 11/08/17)
Egypt, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Ethiopia are the three top African countries who will be affected by a move by the United States to cancel a visa lottery regime. Figures from the Department of State indicates that the three countries had over 2,000 beneficiaries enter the U.S. through the annual lottery program for the year 2016. The document titled, “Immigrant Number Use for Visa Issuances and Adjustments of Status in the Diversity Immigrant Category,” gave an analysis of DV beneficiaries spanning the years 2007 – 2016. For last year, Egypt’s figure of 2,855 was tops followed by DRC’s 2,778 and Ethiopia’s 2,143. Other African countries that managed to stay in the 1000+ bracket were; Sudan, Liberia, Cameroon,...
(AFP (eng) 11/08/17)
Gruelling talks are unfolding in Bonn for implementing the UN's Paris Agreement on climate change, but many kilometres (miles) away, there are fears that any progress may be wiped out by a lurking carbon threat. Scientists and green campaigners say central Africa's peatlands hold gigatonnes of carbon -- a stockpile that poses a grave threat to hopes of limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). The product of vegetation decay that occurred aeons ago, the carbon has been safely locked in the soil for thousands of years, but risks being unstoppered by farming, they say. Released into the air, the gas could add dramatically to greenhouse-gas emissions caused by fossil fuels. "We have a map of the...
(AFP (eng) 11/08/17)
A dozen other students look on as Umar Amadu uses a glass pipette to draw a solution from a conical flask as part of a chemistry experiment. It could be a scene from any school laboratory around the world, but until two months ago Amadu and his fellow students had no access to any science equipment. Science subjects at his rural secondary school outside the city of Katsina in northern Nigeria were taught using theory only. But now they have all the kit they need to put theory into practice, thanks to a mobile science lab that tours selected state schools. "It's an exciting experience. We were being taught only the theoretical aspect of science subjects," Amadu, who wants to...
(AFP (eng) 11/07/17)
A pro-democracy group in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Monday urged citizens to stop paying taxes and utility bills in a "civil disobedience" campaign, after authorities announced President Joseph Kabila will remain in power until 2019. The Lucha (Struggle for Change) organisation called on the Congolese to quit paying bills for electricity and water as well as "the taxes, fees, royalties and licences of all the state services." The movement, based in Goma, the capital of the troubled North Kivu province, also announced a "final assault" on November 28 when it hopes people will "completely block the country, and keep it up until the fall of the Kabila regime". Lucha's call came the day after DR Congo's election commission...
(AFP (eng) 11/07/17)
The former anti-graft chief fighting fraud in DR Congo's lucrative eastern mines appeared in court on Monday to face charges of rebellion, a day after his arrest following clashes that left six dead. Abbas Kayonga surrendered on Sunday in the eastern city of Bukavu to United Nations authorities after resisting attempts by Congolese troops to arrest him. Three soldiers and three civilians died in the fighting. Kayonga and 29 others are accused of "rebellion, assassination ... illegally hoarding weapons and ammunition and inciting soldiers to commit unlawful acts," Colonel Roger Wavara told a military court in Bukavu. The former rebel headed a body probing fraud and corruption in the region's highly lucrative mines but was sacked last week for "grave...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/07/17)
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Ride-hailing service Uber Technologies Inc. [UBER.UL] is growing rapidly in sub-Saharan Africa and considering moves into more markets, despite sometimes violent opposition from metered taxi drivers, a senior executive said on Tuesday. Uber’s service has triggered protests by rivals from London to New Delhi as it up-ends traditional business models that require professional drivers to pay steep licensing fees to do business. “We are bullish on Africa. The growth here is still substantial and we think that given the right regulatory environment, the growth could be even better,” Justin Spratt, head of business development for the sub-Saharan region, told Reuters. “Africa’s growth thus far has been faster than America and a large part of that is...
(AFP (eng) 11/07/17)
In 2010, a group of Kinshasa street musicians, several of them left paraplegic by childhood polio, caused a sensation in Europe. Calling themselves Staff Benda Bilili, the penurious band wowed audiences with Congolese rumba, combining pounding rhythms with scintillating melodies and solos. As unique as the group's tale of their rise from the streets was their gritty guitar sound -- all the work of a modest, self-taught Congolese luthier, Jean-Luther Misoko Nzalayala, who goes by the trade name of Socklo. Benda Bilili wielded instruments in eccentric shapes and exuberant colours, their frets, bridges and nuts made from scrap metal that had been cut and bent by Socklo's rudimentary tools, producing an exceptional timbre. "It was powerful, bright, full-bodied and yet...
(AFP (eng) 11/06/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo announced Sunday that much delayed elections to replace President Joseph Kabila would take place in December 2018, but the opposition demanded the longtime leader step down sooner. Elections were due to take place this year under a deal whereby Kabila would leave office but repeated wrangling has hobbled the process. The election commission said "direct voting" will take place on December 23, 2018, covering presidential, legislative, regional and local elections, said Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) official Jean-Pierre Kalamba. But the Congolese opposition said the timeframe was not acceptable, insisting that Kabila quits by the end of this year. "We reject the (CENI) calendar... what interests us right now is the departure of Kabila by...
(AFP (eng) 11/06/17)
Democratic Republic of Congo has said elections to replace President Joseph Kabila will take place by December 2018, a year later than scheduled. Following is an explanation why the decision is so important for DRC's political crisis: - Election deal - A mineral-rich country a quarter the size of Europe, but mired in poverty and corruption, scarred by ethnic divisions and fighting in its east, DRC is one of Africa's most volatile nations. The present crisis brewed after Kabila refused to step down last December on the expiry of his second and final term in office. The 46-year-old has been president since 2001, taking over from assassinated father, Laurent. As political violence escalated, the Catholic church brokered a deal on...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/06/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Africa’s mobile internet connections are set to double in the next five years, a study showed on Monday, thanks to affordable smartphones and the roll-out of high-speed networks. A report by research and consulting firm Ovum in London estimates that mobile broadband connections will rise from 419 million at the end of this year to 1.07 billion by the end of 2022. “Data connectivity is growing strongly in Africa, and there are also good prospects on the continent in areas such as digital media, mobile financial services, and the Internet of Things,” said Matthew Reed, Practice Leader Middle East and Africa at Ovum. “But as Africa’s TMT market becomes more convergent and complex, service providers are under...
(AFP (eng) 11/04/17)
Some $750 million (644 million euros) in revenue from Democratic Republic of Congo's mines between 2011 and 2014 "cannot be reliably tracked" in the records of the state-owned Gecamines, the Carter Center said Friday. The US foundation, in a report, suggested Gecamines used "its privileged position to generate US$1.1 billion from copper and cobalt deals between 2011 and 2014" yet had failed to reliably account for almost two-thirds of the revenue. Gecamines wields control of the vast nation's "best mining permits", enabling it "to generate substantial revenues from its partnerships, averaging US$262 million per year in royalties...
(AFP (eng) 11/03/17)
US politicians are voicing concern over America's growing military presence across Africa, where they worry the Pentagon is getting ever more embroiled in a secretive campaign against a shifting enemy. Last month's killing of four US soldiers in a Niger ambush has thrust the issue into the spotlight, with lawmakers calling for greater transparency on what is going on in Africa. "The footprint in Africa is much bigger than the American public understands," Democratic Senator Tim Kaine said this week. The Niger ambush has also rekindled debate over the legal authorities the Pentagon uses to fight jihadist groups overseas, particularly in Africa where about 6,000 US troops are deployed across the vast continent. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis this week faced...
(AFP (eng) 11/02/17)
The key hub of Bukavu in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo was widely affected by a strike Wednesday, part of a rolling campaign of protests against President Joseph Kabila, an AFP reporter saw. Banks, schools, petrol stations and other businesses were closed around the city, which is the capital of South Kivu province, and riot police were deployed at key points. The so-called "dead city" protest "calls on the immediate holding of elections in line with the New Year's Eve agreement", the organisers said, referring to the December 31, 2016 deal under which Kabila would leave office. Tensions are running high in the DRC after Kabila failed to step down on the expiry of his second and final term last...
(AFP (eng) 10/31/17)
Police in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo city of Beni said they had arrested nine demonstrators during a march Tuesday against President Joseph Kabila, a day after clashes in the region that left five dead. The nine were "from Lucha," said Lisangi Nkumu, Beni's deputy police chief, referring to a pro-democracy group, Struggle for Change, which is campaigning for Kabila to leave office. "They were demonstrating on the public highway without authorisation," he said. "They are being interviewed and will be handed over to the appropriate authorities." Lucha campaigner Regina Masinda told AFP that the police intervened shortly after the start of the march and "brutally"...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/31/17)
JUBA, South Sudan/KITCHANGA, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) - In a mountainous camp for displaced Congolese, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley wrapped her arm around an inconsolable woman who recounted being raped twice. “It only makes me more passionate, it makes me more determined,” Haley told a small group of reporters traveling with her during her first trip to Africa. “I’ll carry the voices of the women that I met and things that they said.” Dispatched by President Donald Trump to Ethiopia, South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo, Haley’s trip was one of the first tangible signs of interest in Africa by the nine-month old administration.

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