Sunday 28 May 2017

RDC

(Reuters (Eng) 05/27/17)
Democratic Republic of Congo opposes an international investigation into the deaths of two U.N. investigators, the foreign minister said on Thursday, amid mounting criticism of the Congolese authorities' own probe. Congolese military prosecutors announced last weekend that two suspected militiamen would soon face trial for the March killings of U.N. investigators Zaida Catalan, a Swede, and American Michael Sharp in the insurrection-plagued Kasai region. Rights groups, however, say they suspect Congolese forces could have been involved in the deaths. A U.N. spokesman on Tuesday cast doubt on the credibility of the Congolese investigation, saying the world body was "taken aback at the rapidity at which it was done." A U.N. board of inquiry is investigating...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/27/17)
Leaders of the Group of Seven wealthy nations met African heads of state on Saturday, the final day of their annual summit which has been marked by discord over climate change, but unity on tackling terrorism. Italy had hoped to make Africa the major focus of the annual G7 gathering, holding the discussions on the island of Sicily that has taken in hundreds of thousands of migrants over the past four years as they flee war and poverty back home. However, the two-day meeting got overshadowed by a suicide bombing in northern England on Monday that killed 22 people, and also got bogged down by lengthy discussions on the merit of free trade and the 2015 Paris Agreement to tackle...
(AFP (eng) 05/26/17)
A documentary about the back-breaking work of a young Congolese coal seller to feed his family has won the top prize at the Cannes film festival's Critics' Week. "Makala" by French director Emmanuel Gras follows Kabwita, who goes door-to-door selling coal on his bicycle in the southern Democratic Republic of Congo. "Makala" means coal in Swahili. "There is something beautiful and dignified in his work," the director told AFP, "earning his living by the sweat of his brow. "I wanted to show a man of action, not someone in (the misery) of poverty but someone who lives their life," he added.
(AFP (eng) 05/26/17)
Entertainment | France | film | festival | Cannes | Zambia | witchcraft Cannes, France | AFP | Friday 5/26/2017 - 14:01 UTC+3 | 615 words by Katy Lee Being accused of witchcraft is no laughing matter in Africa -- but movie director Rungano Nyoni decided a dose of humour was just what was needed to tackle a problem rampant in parts of the continent. Set in Zambia, the sharp satire "I Am Not A Witch" has premiered to strong...
(AFP (eng) 05/24/17)
The United Nations raised questions Tuesday about the Democratic Republic of Congo's probe of the murder of two UN experts investigating mass graves, saying it appeared to have been done in haste. Congolese authorities on Saturday said they had completed a 10-week investigation and that two men will face trial for the murders of American Michael Sharp and Swedish-Chilean Zaida Catalan in central Kasai province. "That seems to have been done with quite a bit of rapidity," said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric, adding that the Kinshasa government had yet to share the findings of its investigation with the United Nations. Following a closed-door meeting on the murders, the UN Security Council expressed
(Reuters (Eng) 05/24/17)
When U.S. President Donald Trump and other leaders of the world's seven major industrialized nations gather in Sicily on Friday, they will enjoy a spectacular view of the Mediterranean Sea, but won't get any glimpse of boats full of migrants. A common sight off Sicily in recent years, the authorities have banned all migrant landings on the island during the Group of Seven Summit for security reasons, telling rescue vessels that pick them up at sea to take them to...
(AFP (eng) 05/23/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo's public prosecutor said Tuesday he has launched a probe into a former minister after a recording emerged allegedly linking him to militia killings in the central Kasai region. The audio recording of former development minister Clement Kanku was discovered among files belonging to UN researcher Zaida Catalan who was shot dead in March while investigating the violence, the New York Times reported Saturday. In a telephone conversation with an alleged militia fighter, Kanku -- now an opposition MP -- seems to be discussing setting fire to a town as well as killing officials, the paper said. Catalan, a Swedish-Chilean dual national, and her American colleague
(Bloomberg 05/23/17)
A revised mining code that the Democratic Republic of Congo’s government will present to parliament is the same draft proposal introduced to legislators in 2015 and opposed by industry, Mines Minister Martin Kabwelulu said. The proposed changes should be presented to parliament this week, but a date has yet to be set, Kabwelulu said Monday by mobile-phone text message from the capital, Kinshasa. “It is the same draft,” he said. A proposed revision of the 2002 mining code was approved...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/23/17)
Conflict has forced at least 1.5 million people to flee their homes within the Democratic Republic of Congo this year - more than triple the number uprooted within Syria and five times the number within Iraq, an aid group said on Monday. The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) warned that ethnic violence was escalating in the central African country, which saw the world's highest level of new displacement last year. More than 922,000 people were driven from their homes by conflict within Congo in 2016, compared with 824,000 in Syria and 659,000 in Iraq, according to the Internal Displacement
(Reuters (Eng) 05/23/17)
Fossils from Greece and Bulgaria of an ape-like creature that lived 7.2 million years ago may fundamentally alter the understanding of human origins, casting doubt on the view that the evolutionary lineage that led to people arose in Africa. Scientists said on Monday the creature, known as Graecopithecus freybergi and known only from a lower jawbone and an isolated tooth, may be the oldest-known member of the human lineage that began after an evolutionary split from the line that led...
(AFP (eng) 05/22/17)
More than 31 million people were displaced in their own countries by conflict, violence and disasters in 2016, with China and the Democratic Republic of Congo among the worst affected, a new report by a monitoring center said Monday. The Democratic Republic of Congo had a spike of 922,000 new displacements caused by conflict last year, more than Syria with 824,000 and Iraq with 659,000, said the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC). Disasters displaced three times more people than conflicts, with most of the 24 million people affected hit by sudden-onset weather
(Reuters (Eng) 05/22/17)
A fourth person has likely died from Ebola in remote northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the World Health Organization said on Sunday, as the overall number of cases rose to 37 from 29. Of the 37 cases of hemorrhagic fever discovered since early May, two have been confirmed as Ebola, three, including the latest death, are considered probable and 32 are suspected, WHO's Congo spokesman Eugene Kabambi told Reuters. Health authorities are monitoring 416 people who came into contact with...
(AFP (eng) 05/22/17)
One of the last places in Africa any coach wants to take a struggling side is the Stade des Martyrs in Democratic Republic of Congo capital Kinshasa. When packed to its 80,000 capacity, the venue ranks among the most intimidating football cauldrons imaginable. That is where CAF Champions League title-holders Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa face local outfit V Club Wednesday in a key Group C matchday 2 showdown. With Sundowns held 0-0 at home by Saint George of Ethiopia...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/22/17)
Countries in sub-Saharan Africa need to get their budgets in order, diversify their economies and look after their poorest people. If they do that, there is no reason why the region cannot have the strong growth needed to meet the aspirations of a young and growing population. That, at least, is the three-pillared prescription from the International Monetary Fund as expressed by one of its top Africa researchers, Celine Allard, in an official IMF blog post and podcast. Allard co-authored...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/20/17)
France will step up the fight against resurgent Islamist militants in north and west Africa and will work more closely with Germany to help the tinderbox region, President Emmanuel Macron said on his first trip outside Europe on Friday. Visiting Mali days after taking office, Macron vowed to keep French troops in the Sahel region until there was "no more Islamist terrorism" there. He said operations would be escalated in response to signs that militant groups were regrouping and uniting...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/19/17)
Democratic Republic of Congo's government plans to re-introduce legislation in parliament next week to revise the mining code a year after withdrawing it amid fierce opposition from mining companies, the mines minister told Reuters on Friday. The government of Africa's largest copper producer suspended consideration of the revised code in March 2016 due to low commodity prices. Companies said its increased royalties and shortened stability clauses would make their projects unprofitable. Mines Minister Martin Kabwelulu did not say whether the legislation, aimed at boosting government revenues, would be identical to the earlier proposal. Representatives from the industry-led Chamber of Mines could not be
(Reuters (Eng) 05/19/17)
When rich countries wrote off billions of dollars of African debt in 2005, they hoped governments would think twice about borrowing again in costly foreign currencies. Over a decade later, most sub-Saharan African countries still rely on U.S. dollar-denominated debt to finance their economies. Some investors say this is sowing the seeds of future debt crises if local currencies devalue and make dollar debt repayments more expensive. Aside from South Africa and Nigeria, governments have not yet done enough to...
(AFP (eng) 05/18/17)
An unlicenced Ebola vaccine could soon be tested in a remote region of the Democratic Republic of Congo hit by an outbreak of the virus, the World Health Organization said Thursday. There is no licenced vaccine for the Ebola virus, but a promising candidate vaccine could be deployed within a matter of days if the DR Congo government gives its approval, the WHO said. "The preparations are in place. We could potentially mount a campaign within around a week given all of the conditions... are met," Peter Salama, the agency's health emergencies chief, told reporters during a conference call.
(Reuters (Eng) 05/18/17)
A Norwegian man jailed for life in Democratic Republic of Congo for murder and espionage has been freed and returned to Norway, the Scandinavian country's prime minister said on Wednesday. Joshua French, who also holds a British passport, was convicted along with fellow Norwegian Tjostolv Moland of killing their Congolese driver and spying in 2009 and was initially sentenced to death before his sentence was commuted. The men, both former soldiers, had denied the charges, saying that they had been...
(The Associated Press 05/18/17)
Christian sect members stormed a prison in Congo's capital Wednesday, freeing the leader of their movement and 50 others, Congo's justice minister said. Bundu dia Kongo movement leader Ne Mwanda Nsemi is now on the run after the 4 a.m. attack on Makala prison in Kinshasa, Justice Minister Alexis Thambwe Mwamba told local radio station Top Congo FM. Gunfire could be heard in the morning, but the justice minister said the situation is now under control. "Security force members who...

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(AFP (eng) 05/24/17)
The United Nations raised questions Tuesday about the Democratic Republic of Congo's probe of the murder of two UN experts investigating mass graves, saying it appeared to have been done in haste. Congolese authorities on Saturday said they had completed a 10-week investigation and that two men will face trial for the murders of American Michael Sharp and Swedish-Chilean Zaida Catalan in central Kasai province. "That seems to have been done with quite a bit of rapidity," said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric, adding that the Kinshasa government had yet to share the findings of its investigation with the United Nations. Following a closed-door meeting on the murders, the UN Security Council expressed
(Reuters (Eng) 05/24/17)
When U.S. President Donald Trump and other leaders of the world's seven major industrialized nations gather in Sicily on Friday, they will enjoy a spectacular view of the Mediterranean Sea, but won't get any glimpse of boats full of migrants. A common sight off Sicily in recent years, the authorities have banned all migrant landings on the island during the Group of Seven Summit for security reasons, telling rescue vessels that pick them up at sea to take them to the mainland during the two-day meeting. Out of sight does not mean out of mind. Italy chose to host the summit in Taormina, on the cliffs of eastern Sicily, to concentrate minds on Europe's migrant crisis and to seek ways...
(AFP (eng) 05/23/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo's public prosecutor said Tuesday he has launched a probe into a former minister after a recording emerged allegedly linking him to militia killings in the central Kasai region. The audio recording of former development minister Clement Kanku was discovered among files belonging to UN researcher Zaida Catalan who was shot dead in March while investigating the violence, the New York Times reported Saturday. In a telephone conversation with an alleged militia fighter, Kanku -- now an opposition MP -- seems to be discussing setting fire to a town as well as killing officials, the paper said. Catalan, a Swedish-Chilean dual national, and her American colleague
(Reuters (Eng) 05/23/17)
Conflict has forced at least 1.5 million people to flee their homes within the Democratic Republic of Congo this year - more than triple the number uprooted within Syria and five times the number within Iraq, an aid group said on Monday. The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) warned that ethnic violence was escalating in the central African country, which saw the world's highest level of new displacement last year. More than 922,000 people were driven from their homes by conflict within Congo in 2016, compared with 824,000 in Syria and 659,000 in Iraq, according to the Internal Displacement
(Reuters (Eng) 05/23/17)
Fossils from Greece and Bulgaria of an ape-like creature that lived 7.2 million years ago may fundamentally alter the understanding of human origins, casting doubt on the view that the evolutionary lineage that led to people arose in Africa. Scientists said on Monday the creature, known as Graecopithecus freybergi and known only from a lower jawbone and an isolated tooth, may be the oldest-known member of the human lineage that began after an evolutionary split from the line that led...
(AFP (eng) 05/22/17)
More than 31 million people were displaced in their own countries by conflict, violence and disasters in 2016, with China and the Democratic Republic of Congo among the worst affected, a new report by a monitoring center said Monday. The Democratic Republic of Congo had a spike of 922,000 new displacements caused by conflict last year, more than Syria with 824,000 and Iraq with 659,000, said the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC). Disasters displaced three times more people than conflicts, with most of the 24 million people affected hit by sudden-onset weather
(Reuters (Eng) 05/22/17)
A fourth person has likely died from Ebola in remote northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the World Health Organization said on Sunday, as the overall number of cases rose to 37 from 29. Of the 37 cases of hemorrhagic fever discovered since early May, two have been confirmed as Ebola, three, including the latest death, are considered probable and 32 are suspected, WHO's Congo spokesman Eugene Kabambi told Reuters. Health authorities are monitoring 416 people who came into contact with...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/20/17)
France will step up the fight against resurgent Islamist militants in north and west Africa and will work more closely with Germany to help the tinderbox region, President Emmanuel Macron said on his first trip outside Europe on Friday. Visiting Mali days after taking office, Macron vowed to keep French troops in the Sahel region until there was "no more Islamist terrorism" there. He said operations would be escalated in response to signs that militant groups were regrouping and uniting...
(AFP (eng) 05/18/17)
An unlicenced Ebola vaccine could soon be tested in a remote region of the Democratic Republic of Congo hit by an outbreak of the virus, the World Health Organization said Thursday. There is no licenced vaccine for the Ebola virus, but a promising candidate vaccine could be deployed within a matter of days if the DR Congo government gives its approval, the WHO said. "The preparations are in place. We could potentially mount a campaign within around a week given all of the conditions... are met," Peter Salama, the agency's health emergencies chief, told reporters during a conference call.
(Reuters (Eng) 05/18/17)
A Norwegian man jailed for life in Democratic Republic of Congo for murder and espionage has been freed and returned to Norway, the Scandinavian country's prime minister said on Wednesday. Joshua French, who also holds a British passport, was convicted along with fellow Norwegian Tjostolv Moland of killing their Congolese driver and spying in 2009 and was initially sentenced to death before his sentence was commuted. The men, both former soldiers, had denied the charges, saying that they had been...
(The Associated Press 05/18/17)
Christian sect members stormed a prison in Congo's capital Wednesday, freeing the leader of their movement and 50 others, Congo's justice minister said. Bundu dia Kongo movement leader Ne Mwanda Nsemi is now on the run after the 4 a.m. attack on Makala prison in Kinshasa, Justice Minister Alexis Thambwe Mwamba told local radio station Top Congo FM. Gunfire could be heard in the morning, but the justice minister said the situation is now under control. "Security force members who...
(AFP (eng) 05/17/17)
Two decades after Kinshasa gave itself up willingly to rebel commander Laurent-Desire Kabila, his son Joseph remains at the helm of this vast, conflict-ravaged nation although his rule is mired in political crisis. Back in 1997, the country then known as Zaire was struggling under the authoritarian rule of Joseph Mobutu Sese Seko, who seized power in 1965 and presided over a nepotistic regime steeped in corruption. His rule came to an abrupt end in May that year when Kabila's Alliance troops marched into the capital and the rebel chief declared himself president of the newly named Democratic Republic of Congo.
(AFP (eng) 05/17/17)
Rebels from an outlawed political-religious group attacked Kinshasa's central prison on Wednesday, breaking out their leader and about 50 other prisoners, the Congolese government said. "Followers of the Bundu Dia Kongo (BDK) attacked Makala prison at dawn and broke out around 50 prisoners including their guru, Ne Muanda Nsemi," government spokesman Lambert Mende said, indicating that police had given chase. According to a local resident, the attack began just before dawn when there were "prolonged exchanges of fire".
(Reuters (Eng) 05/17/17)
Supporters of a jailed Christian sect leader attacked the prison holding him in Democratic Republic of Congo's capital, freeing him and about 50 other inmates early on Wednesday, the government said. Ne Muanda Nsemi - a self-styled prophet and leader of the Bundu dia Kongo movement - was arrested in March after a series of deadly clashes between his supporters and police, government spokesman Lambert Mende said. Witnesses said they had heard gunfire near Makala prison at around 4 a.m...
(The Associated Press 05/17/17)
The World Health Organization says a second case of Ebola has been confirmed by laboratory testing amid an outbreak in a remote corner of northern Congo. WHO said Tuesday that among the 20 suspected cases, two now have tested positive for the virus. Ebola was blamed for more than 11,000 deaths in West Africa during 2013-2016. Congo has already experienced seven much smaller outbreaks. So far three people have died in Congo's Bas-Uele province, an area more than 800 miles...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/17/17)
Gay and lesbian Africans who fled abuse in their home countries face a "culture of disbelief" which makes their experience of seeking asylum in Britain traumatic, a Nigerian lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender rights (LGBT) campaigner said. Aderonke Apata, 50, who fled persecution in Nigeria, said the practice of assessing Africans' sexual orientation claims based on Western standards was problematic. "They expect an LGBT person to have used sex toys, to go to gay clubs," Apata, an asylum seeker who founded...
(AFP (eng) 05/16/17)
Thousands of people fleeing troubled Central African Republic have streamed into DR Congo following an outbreak of sectarian violence in the border city of Bangassou, the UN's refugee agency said Tuesday. A UNHCR statement which described the flow as "massive" said at least 2,750 people arrived during the weekend in northern Democratic Republic of Congo. "The flow continued in some areas early this week," the statement added. A UN peacekeeper was killed at the weekend, the sixth in a week, in an attack in Bangassou by the mainly Christian anti-Balaka group from CAR. The UN mission in that country, MINUSCA
(AFP (eng) 05/15/17)
An Ebola outbreak in a remote region in DR Congo's far north poses a logistical challenge for doctors and aid workers although the sheer remoteness could help limit its spread. The latest outbreak of the highly contagious disease, the eighth to date in the sprawling country five times the size of France, has been reported in Bas-Uele province: an equatorial forest zone near the Central African Republic. Nine suspected infections have been reported there, three of which have proved fatal...
(AFP (eng) 05/13/17)
Hundreds of people from Democratic Republic of Congo's central Kasai region have been pouring into neighbouring Angola every day for more than a month to escape violence plaguing their homes. Some 20,000 people who have fled are now in or around three holding camps in Dundo in Angola's far north, living in increasingly dire conditions, according to the UN. And the flow of refugees shows no sign of abating. Patrice Ilunga managed to reach Mussungue with his children after four...
(AFP (eng) 05/13/17)
"It was flee or die," said Jean Makemissi, a refugee from the violence raging in Democratic Republic of Congo who has sought sanctuary in neighbouring Angola. "All of the villages in our region have been occupied by rebels. We left chaotically without taking anything with us. We were truly terrified," he said from the Mussungue camp in the extreme north of Angola, fear visibly etched on his face. "I'm scared for my children, I don't have any news on them...

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(Bloomberg 05/23/17)
A revised mining code that the Democratic Republic of Congo’s government will present to parliament is the same draft proposal introduced to legislators in 2015 and opposed by industry, Mines Minister Martin Kabwelulu said. The proposed changes should be presented to parliament this week, but a date has yet to be set, Kabwelulu said Monday by mobile-phone text message from the capital, Kinshasa. “It is the same draft,” he said. A proposed revision of the 2002 mining code was approved by the government in March 2015 and introduced to parliament, but never debated. Planned changes include: Increasing profit taxes to 35 percent from 30 percent Raising the government’s free share of new mining projects to...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/22/17)
Countries in sub-Saharan Africa need to get their budgets in order, diversify their economies and look after their poorest people. If they do that, there is no reason why the region cannot have the strong growth needed to meet the aspirations of a young and growing population. That, at least, is the three-pillared prescription from the International Monetary Fund as expressed by one of its top Africa researchers, Celine Allard, in an official IMF blog post and podcast. Allard co-authored the Fund's regional economic outlook, released earlier this month. It found that sub-Saharan economic growth hit only 1.4 percent last year, the lowest level in two decades and well off the 5-6 percent rates normally reached. It was also well...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/19/17)
Democratic Republic of Congo's government plans to re-introduce legislation in parliament next week to revise the mining code a year after withdrawing it amid fierce opposition from mining companies, the mines minister told Reuters on Friday. The government of Africa's largest copper producer suspended consideration of the revised code in March 2016 due to low commodity prices. Companies said its increased royalties and shortened stability clauses would make their projects unprofitable. Mines Minister Martin Kabwelulu did not say whether the legislation, aimed at boosting government revenues, would be identical to the earlier proposal. Representatives from the industry-led Chamber of Mines could not be
(Reuters (Eng) 05/19/17)
When rich countries wrote off billions of dollars of African debt in 2005, they hoped governments would think twice about borrowing again in costly foreign currencies. Over a decade later, most sub-Saharan African countries still rely on U.S. dollar-denominated debt to finance their economies. Some investors say this is sowing the seeds of future debt crises if local currencies devalue and make dollar debt repayments more expensive. Aside from South Africa and Nigeria, governments have not yet done enough to...
(Bloomberg 05/18/17)
Steinhoff International Holdings NV plans to list its African assets separately as the acquisitive retailer seeks a new prize for shareholders following this year’s failed merger talks with Shoprite Holdings Ltd. The company said Wednesday it will seek to list businesses including clothing retailer Pepkor and furniture chain JD Group Ltd. on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, about 18 months after moving its primary listing to Frankfurt from the South African commercial hub. The new business could be worth as much...
(Bloomberg 05/16/17)
When the impoverished West African nation of Niger imposed a ban on donkey exports last year, a small community of traders just over the border in Nigeria was devastated. “Before the ban, you could see thousands of donkeys here,” said Mohammed Sani, a 45-year-old trader in the Nigerian town of Jibiya, as he wiped the sweat off his brow. “Now look at them: there’s no more than 50, crippling the business.” Donkeys are being slaughtered at an alarming pace to...
(Bloomberg 05/08/17)
Rawbank Sarl, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s biggest lender, plans to extend its branch network into all 26 provinces from 12 over the next three years before expanding regionally and eventually listing its shares. "Our first priority is to cover the Congo and then look to expand into the neighboring countries with a listing on a stock market," Chief Executive Officer Thiery Taeymans said in an interview in the capital, Kinshasa. It is considering bordering Republic of Congo as its...
(Voice of America 05/05/17)
As Africa grapples with a severe drought, and famine threatens millions of people, experts at the World Economic Forum on Africa this week in the South African city of Durban say food security needs to be a major part of discussions on advancing the continent economically. The annual World Economic Forum in Switzerland is usually a high-powered event, but at this week’s Africa meeting of the international organization, the continent’s big players are welcoming the humble farmer, now known as...
(Xinhuanet 05/04/17)
The World Economic Forum (WEF) Africa Competitiveness Report 2017 released in Durban Thursday called for urgent policy reforms if the continent intends to create more jobs for its growing young population. According to the report issued at the 27th WEF on Africa, fewer than one-quarter of the 450 million new jobs required in the next 20 years will be created if current policies remain unchanged. The report called for structural reforms in the economies to create more jobs for the...
(Bloomberg 05/02/17)
Saudi Aramco is seeking to boost its fuel-trading volume by more than a third as the world’s biggest crude exporter expands its capacity to refine oil to grab a bigger share of growing markets in Asia and Africa. Aramco, as Saudi Arabian Oil Co. is known, is building refineries in the kingdom and in Asia to help it increase sales and purchases of gasoline, diesel and other products to more than 2 million barrels a day, said Ibrahim Al-Buainain, chief...
(AFP (eng) 04/27/17)
There is no tap water, electricity or shops in Lusanga, a Congolese town once known as Leverville where the Dutch-British conglomerate Unilever long ran a profitable palm oil plantation. But the 15,000 onetime workers living on the land recently found new hope in a stark contemporary art centre called the "White Cube" which stands somewhat strangely on the African skyline. Funded in part by chocolate sculptures and aimed at redressing the wrongs of the colonial past, the project seeks to...
(Business Day Ghana 04/27/17)
There are currently 960 million mobile subscriptions across Africa – an 80 percent penetration rate among the continent’s population. Internet penetration is at 18 percent with 216 million internet users, according to the latest Jumia mobile trend report for Africa. The 2017 edition of the African Mobile Trends Paper is the third white paper presentation from Jumia delving into mobile trends across Africa and specifically Nigeria. The study takes a look at the how the market has democratised mobile internet...
(Xinhuanet 04/26/17)
The Belt and Road (B&R) Initiative is a golden opportunity to bring about regional integration and sustainable economic growth for Africa, said Berhane Gebre-Christos, special envoy of the Ethiopian Prime Minister, on Tuesday. The special envoy made the remarks at the opening of a seminar organized on the B&R Initiative in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa. Welcoming the initiative, the special envoy said he is looking forward to the expected effects of the initiative. "The B&R is a project that will...
(Bloomberg 04/25/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo signed a provisional agreement to import power from South Africa that could boost copper production this year by as much as 20 percent, according to the country’s chamber of mines. Congolese state-owned power company SNEL proposed importing 200 megawatts from South African utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. at meetings in Johannesburg on April 20 and April 21, said Ben Munanga, chairman of the energy commission at the chamber. Eskom has 1,000 megawatts available for export...
(Bloomberg 04/20/17)
WorldRemit Ltd., a British money-transfer operator, sees revenue from transactions involving Africans doubling by 2020 as more people on the continent access mobile-payment platforms and expatriates send cash home. The seven-year-old company, in which Facebook Inc.-backer Accel Partners LP invested $40 million in 2014, will this year open a regional office in South Africa, its largest market on the continent in terms of money-transfer value, founder and Chief Executive Officer Ismail Ahmed said in an interview. Another site will start...
(Bloomberg 04/19/17)
A dispute between state-owned Gecamines and its joint-venture partner at a Congolese cobalt mine that supplies Glencore Plc threatens to halt the supply of as much as 4 percent of the metal within two months. Jersey-registered GTL, a joint venture between Gecamines and closely held Groupe Forrest International, has processed the hill of mine waste that looms over the southern Congolese mining town of Lubumbashi since 2001, producing as much as 5,000 metric tons of cobalt a year. The state-owned...
(AFP (eng) 04/18/17)
The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday forecast 2.6 percent growth in sub-Saharan Africa this year, aided by a modest recovery in large economies South Africa, Nigeria and Angola. "Growth is projected to rise to 2.6 percent in 2017 and 3.5 percent in 2018, largely driven by specific factors in the largest economies, which faced challenging macroeconomic conditions in 2016," the IMF said its latest World Economic Outlook report. A slump in commodity price in 2016 and devastating drought had affected...
(Xinhuanet 04/18/17)
Africa's diaspora is playing a big role in the economic transformation of the continent, the UN said on Tuesday. UN Population Fund (UNFPA) Regional Director Dr Julitta Onabanjo told Xinhua in Nairobi that remittances are important source of income for many African families. "The diaspora therefore complements government efforts to lift many families out of poverty," Onabanjo said on the sidelines of the First Africa-China Conference on Population and Development. Onabanjo said that Africans in the diaspora also bring back...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/13/17)
In June 2015, the Belgian company Semlex signed a deal to supply biometric passports to the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to documents reviewed by Reuters. A few weeks later two companies based in the United Arab Emirates made payments totalling $700,000 to private bank accounts held in the name of Emmanuel Adrupiako, a Kabila adviser who helped handle the passport deal, according to bank documents and emails reviewed by Reuters. The two UAE-based companies have connections to Semlex, but...
(Reuters (Eng) 04/07/17)
Access to off-grid solar energy in rural areas of Africa goes beyond lighting up homes - it also enables people to connect to the wider world and boosts their economic prospects, said the head of one of the continent's biggest solar companies. Azuri Technologies' entry level solar system - for which customers pay a one-off installation fee, then use scratch cards or mobile phone payments to top up on a weekly or monthly basis - provides eight hours of lighting...

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(AFP (eng) 05/22/17)
One of the last places in Africa any coach wants to take a struggling side is the Stade des Martyrs in Democratic Republic of Congo capital Kinshasa. When packed to its 80,000 capacity, the venue ranks among the most intimidating football cauldrons imaginable. That is where CAF Champions League title-holders Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa face local outfit V Club Wednesday in a key Group C matchday 2 showdown. With Sundowns held 0-0 at home by Saint George of Ethiopia and V Club losing 3-1 at Esperance of Tunisia this month, both crave speedy recoveries. Add the disqualification of V Club from the competition last season and reinstatement of Sundowns and the pre-match temperature reaches...
(AFP (eng) 04/26/17)
CAF Confederation Cup title-holders TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo will begin their group campaign in May at home to CF Mounana of Gabon. Mazembe and Mounana were placed in Group D with SuperSport United of South Africa and Horoya of Guinea when the draw was made in Cairo on Wednesday. Popularly known as the "Ravens", the club from southern Congolese city Lubumbashi are the second most successful in CAF competitions with 10 titles. Mazembe outclassed Mouloudia Bejaia of Algeria 5-2 on aggregate last year to win the Confederation Cup for the first time after finishing runners-up
(AFP (eng) 04/10/17)
Democratic Republic of Congo club TP Mazembe recaptured Sunday the form that made them African giants to beat JS Kabylie of Algeria 2-0 in the CAF Confederation Cup. The first leg victory margin in Lubumbashi in a play-off should suffice to take the title-holders into the group phase of the African equivalent of the Europa League. In keeping with the multi-national flavour of the team, both Mazembe goals came from foreigners on an artificial pitch at Stade Mazembe. Zambian Nathan Sinkala put the home team ahead after 11 minutes and Malian Salif Coulibaly doubled the lead in the final minute of regular time.
(APA 03/23/17)
The French coach of TP Mazembe, Thierry Froger, has been sacked by the management of the Congolese club, a month into his contract. The two parties agreed to an amicable settlement of the February 13 -December 31 contract after the French technician failed to qualify the club to the next round of the African Champions League. TP Mazembe were eliminated in the last-32 stage of the competition by Zimbabwe side Caps United. The Lubumbashi club dropped into CAF’s second tier...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/17)
Zambia-based trio Jesse Were, David Owino and Anthony Okumu have been called up to the Kenyan squad for upcoming international friendlies against Uganda and DR Congo. Were and Owino were on target for Zesco United when they scored two vital second-half goals against Burundian side, Le Messager de Ngozi in Bujumbura last Saturday, to send the former Zambian league champions into CAF Confederation Cup semi-finals. The trio are among nine foreign-based players head coach Stanley Okumbi has called up as...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/17)
Multiple CAF title winners TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo and JS Kabylie of Algeria were paired Tuesday in the CAF Confederation Cup play-offs draw. Mazembe won the African equivalent of the Europa League last season, comfortably defeating another Algerian club, Mouloudia Bejaia, in the final. The Congolose club from southern city Lubumbashi are the second most successful in CAF competitions with 10 titles, nine less than Al Ahly of Egypt. Kabylie have won six African titles, and...
(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...
(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...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 03/01/17)
Hull's DR Congo striker Dieumerci Mbokani will be sidelined for six weeks after suffering a hamstring injury, dealing a blow to their hopes of staying in the Premier League. Mbokani will miss a significant chunk of Hull's battle for survival after being forced off in the second half of Saturday's 1-1 draw with Burnley. "Dieumerci Mbokani is set to be out for six weeks after suffering a hamstring injury," Hull's website said. Mbokani has yet to score in 12 appearances...
(AL Jazeera 02/16/17)
Against the backdrop of a brutal civil war, millions of Congolese turn to football to cope with the conflict. The decades-long civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) divided communities that had previously coexisted peacefully. But millions of young Congolese still have a lot in common, particularly their love for football. Football is the most popular sport in the DRC and at the grassroots-level interest in it keeps growing. The sport brings together children from different ethnic and...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 01/31/17)
They may be out of the tournament, but the Democratic Republic of Congo's footballers will be forever remembered by Africa Cup of Nations fans for their dance moves on the pitch. DR Congo players danced the "Fimbu" seven times at the CAN 2017 tournament in Gabon -- once for each goal scored -- as their supporters in the stands cheered with delight. After each goal, the players would gather side by side, hold their left arm up and wave their...
(AFP (eng) 01/30/17)
Mahmoud Kahraba's late goal allowed Egypt to beat Herve Renard's Morocco in the Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals on Sunday as they joined Ghana in completing the line-up for the last four. Kahraba came off the bench in the second half in Port-Gentil and stabbed home from inside the six-yard box in the 88th minute, just as extra time looked inevitable. The dramatic finish came after the Ayew brothers, Jordan and Andre, both scored to give Ghana a 2-1 win...
(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...
(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...
(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.
(AFP (eng) 01/14/17)
Democratic Republic of Congo players have refused to train ahead of their opening Africa Cup of Nations match against Morocco in a dispute over pay. Norwich City midfielder Yousuf Mulumbu, the DR Congo captain, said the squad boycotted Friday training in a dispute over match bonuses. "It has been the same for years and years. We prepare well for our matches and in the end there is always a problem over bonuses," he said on Twitter. "Having said that, on...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 12/14/16)
The Democratic Republic of Congo has suspended its top-flight football league for one month over fears of match violence, the sports minister said Wednesday, amid high political tensions. "The suspension of the national football championship from December 15 to January 14 (is justified by fears of) pitch invasions (or) stone throwing" during the match, Youth and Sports Minister Denis Kambayi told AFP, warning of "provocation". "The clubs' leaders seem to be overwhelmed by the task of controlling supporters," he added,...

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(AFP (eng) 05/26/17)
A documentary about the back-breaking work of a young Congolese coal seller to feed his family has won the top prize at the Cannes film festival's Critics' Week. "Makala" by French director Emmanuel Gras follows Kabwita, who goes door-to-door selling coal on his bicycle in the southern Democratic Republic of Congo. "Makala" means coal in Swahili. "There is something beautiful and dignified in his work," the director told AFP, "earning his living by the sweat of his brow. "I wanted to show a man of action, not someone in (the misery) of poverty but someone who lives their life," he added.
(AFP (eng) 05/26/17)
Entertainment | France | film | festival | Cannes | Zambia | witchcraft Cannes, France | AFP | Friday 5/26/2017 - 14:01 UTC+3 | 615 words by Katy Lee Being accused of witchcraft is no laughing matter in Africa -- but movie director Rungano Nyoni decided a dose of humour was just what was needed to tackle a problem rampant in parts of the continent. Set in Zambia, the sharp satire "I Am Not A Witch" has premiered to strong reviews at the Cannes film festival, taking aim at the blatant sexism behind accusations that overwhelmingly target women. White tourists are seen gawping at women detained in a "witch camp" in the movie, taking pictures of them as if they're...
(AFP (eng) 04/30/17)
In the Congolese town once home to the palm oil plantations of Anglo-Dutch conglomerate Unilever, memories of forced labour mingle with nostalgia for its lost decades of prosperity. Formerly known as Leverville, the town is now called Lusanga. Grass grows in the remains of villas, offices are abandoned and factories are in ruin, testament to the tumultuous history of this part of southwest Democratic Republic of Congo. Back in 1911, while a Belgian colony, vast concessions of palm tree forests were granted to English entrepreneur William Lever, whose company Lever Brothers gave birth two decades later to Unilever, an international food and consumer products giant.
(AFP (eng) 04/28/17)
"I haven't once spoken my mother tongue Kilokele in the 62 years I've lived in Kinshasa. None of my nine children speak it," says Charles Tongohala. Tongohala's native tongue is one of 450 spoken in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a sprawling nation of 71 million people whose lingos -- almost all of them spoken, not written -- account for nine percent of the world's 5,000 languages. He was a boy when he moved to DR Congo's capital from a...
(Xinhuanet 04/18/17)
Africa's diaspora is playing a big role in the economic transformation of the continent, the UN said on Tuesday. UN Population Fund (UNFPA) Regional Director Dr Julitta Onabanjo told Xinhua in Nairobi that remittances are important source of income for many African families. "The diaspora therefore complements government efforts to lift many families out of poverty," Onabanjo said on the sidelines of the First Africa-China Conference on Population and Development. Onabanjo said that Africans in the diaspora also bring back...
(AFP (eng) 03/02/17)
A film raging against colonialism and the exploitation of Africa wowed viewers at the continent's top cinema festival Wednesday, winning shouts of approval at a screening packed to bursting point. "The African Storm" tells the story of an African president who nationalises businesses run by racist, cynical Western executives. Directed and produced by its Beninese star Sylvestre Amoussou, it tackles several hot-button issues including an exit from the CFA franc currency, closer ties with Russia and China as opposed to...
(AFP (eng) 02/27/17)
An African road movie about four women wowed its audience Sunday as it kicked off the Panafrican cinema and television festival (Fespaco), a showcase for the continent's burgeoning film industry. "Borders" ("Frontieres") directed by Apolline Traore, a Fespaco laureate in 2013, sweeps across Africa as its protagonists journey through Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Benin on their way to Nigeria. Along the way the women -- Ivorian, Senegalese, Burkinabe and Nigerian actresses -- are spared nothing as they are beset...
(AFP (eng) 12/28/16)
In DR Congo's war-infested Great Lakes region, carpenter-turned-sculptor Sauveur Mulwana has left a trail of monumental statues over the past decade as part of his self-styled mission to revive local history and boost peace. The 42-year-old moved back home to Butembo, a teeming city of more than a million near the borders of Uganda, Rwanda and Uganda, when his carpentry business was razed by the eruption of the Nyiragongo volcano in the city of Goma. Butembo is home to the...
(AFP (eng) 11/16/16)
A public television broadcast journalist was shot dead at his home on Monday night in Mbuji-Mayi, in the central province of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The president of the National Union Of the Congo Journalists (UNPC), Joseph Boucard Kasonga Tshilunde confirmed the death of Marcel Lubala of the RTNC (National Radio and Television of Congo) on Wednesday. “We condemn the death of Marcel Lubala of the RTNC who was coldly slain on Monday night while he was sleeping peacefully...
(AFP (eng) 10/21/16)
Demand for homegrown contemporary music is sweeping Africa and driving a creative boom in an industry otherwise battered by falling CD sales and rampant piracy. A recent study of the entertainment sector by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) accountants showed rapid earnings growth in many African countries, fuelled largely by live performances by local artists. "Consumers are increasingly wanting local content," Vicki Myburgh, a PwC director who conducted the study released last month, told AFP. "The Nigerian music market... will (soon) grow at...
(AFP (eng) 10/11/16)
Raised on the backstabbing intrigue of 1980s American soaps "Dallas" and "Dynasty", and later, the heady drama of South American telenovelas, Africans are enjoying a surge in local TV content they can finally identify with. It took a while, but in the past decade local programming has soared in sub-Saharan Africa's key economies, a rise driven by both foreign satellite networks and television stations on the continent. This growth has delivered up local shows such as Kenya's comedic "Real Househelps...
(AFP (eng) 09/23/16)
A century after the project was conceived in the throes of racial segregation, and a few months before the first black US president leaves office, the African American Museum in Washington opens Saturday. Here are key facts about the first national museum devoted entirely to showcasing African Americans' life, history and culture. - 1915: A project 101 years old The effort to open, in the US capital, a museum dedicated to the history of the black community "began more than...
(The East African 09/10/16)
The Pan African Federation of Filmmakers (FEPACI) is seeking to raise $200 million from partners over the next two years to fund the continent's audiovisual and cinema sector. The funds will be used to establish centres of excellence in the five regions - East Africa, North Africa, Central Africa, Southern Africa, and West Africa -- and the locations will be decided by the African Council of Ministers of Culture. The money will be used to improve the quality and quantity...
(AFP (eng) 07/26/16)
Star Congolese rumba singer Koffi Olomide, who was expelled from Kenya at the weekend after allegedly kicking one of his dancers, was arrested Tuesday at his home in Kinshasa, police said. The city's police chief, General Celestin Kanyama, told AFP he had been arrested early in the morning on "a warrant from the prosecutor who wants to interrogate him". Neither Kanyama nor judicial sources explained why prosecutors sought his arrest. The 60-year-old entertainer, who has recorded 26 albums, was thrown...
(International Business Times 07/26/16)
Rumba star deported by Kenyan authorities after allegedly kicking female dancer on tour. One of Africa's biggest musicians, Koffi Olomide, has been arrested at his residence in the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital Kinshasa. The Congolese rumba star was deported by Kenyan authorities on Saturday (23 July) after he allegedly assaulted one of his female dancers in the country where he had planned a concert. The musician, who has a previous conviction for assault in 2012, denied the allegations after...
(AFP (eng) 07/25/16)
Zambian authorities said on Sunday they had called off a planned show by Congolese singer Koffi Olomide following his deportation from Kenya for kicking one of his female dancers. Olomide was scheduled to perform at the annual agricultural trade show in Lusaka this week. "Following the reported unfortunate incident in Kenya concerning Koffi Olomide, the Agricultural and Commercial Show Society of Zambia has decided to cancel his performance during this year’s show," Ben Shoko, head of the society said in...
(AfricaNews 07/25/16)
After his arrest and subsequent deportation from Kenya after kicking his female dancer, Koffi Olomide’s fate has rippled to Zambia where his performance at an agricultural show was canceled by organisers on Sunday. The Agricultural and Commercial Society of Zambia in a statement on Sunday decided to cancel the famous Congolese’s performance at it’s 90th show next week. “Following the reported unfortunate incidence in Kenya concerning Koffi Olomide, the Agricultural and Commercial Society of Zambia has decided to cancel his...
(AFP (eng) 07/24/16)
Kenyan authorities have expelled Congolese singer Koffi Olomide, a day after he was arrested for kicking one of his female dancers, his lawyer said Saturday. "I can confirm to you that my client Koffi Olomide was expelled this morning and I have just spoken to him," Olomide's Kenyan lawyer George Wajakoyah said, adding he had landed back in Kinshasa. The rumba singer, hugely popular across Africa, had Friday been caught on camera kicking out violently at a dancer in full...
(The Star 07/22/16)
Congolese Rumba maestro Koffi Olomide was on Friday captured on a video assaulting a female dancer when he arrived at the JKIA. Olomide who is in Nairobi for Bomas of Kenya concert, was seen attacking the dancer even kicking her as police watched. The female dancer is part of the six people who have accompanied him to Kenya for the concert. According to reports, the dancer is said to have had an altercation Koffi's wife Cindy. The musician was calmed...
(Voice of America 07/04/16)
To the beat of African drums, a few dozen people gathered at Dallas City Hall Friday to officially kick off the three-day African Film Festival. The event showcases films made by Africans, as well as a few made by non-Africans about issues important to different regions of the continent. City officials hailed the new festival as an expression of the increasing ethnic and cultural diversity in Texas’ second-largest city. Regina Hill Onyeibe, the Africa Liaison for the City of Dallas...

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(Bloomberg 05/23/17)
A revised mining code that the Democratic Republic of Congo’s government will present to parliament is the same draft proposal introduced to legislators in 2015 and opposed by industry, Mines Minister Martin Kabwelulu said. The proposed changes should be presented to parliament this week, but a date has yet to be set, Kabwelulu said Monday by mobile-phone text message from the capital, Kinshasa. “It is the same draft,” he said. A proposed revision of the 2002 mining code was approved by the government in March 2015 and introduced to parliament, but never debated. Planned changes include: Increasing profit taxes to 35 percent from 30 percent Raising the government’s free share of new mining projects to...
(Bloomberg 05/18/17)
Steinhoff International Holdings NV plans to list its African assets separately as the acquisitive retailer seeks a new prize for shareholders following this year’s failed merger talks with Shoprite Holdings Ltd. The company said Wednesday it will seek to list businesses including clothing retailer Pepkor and furniture chain JD Group Ltd. on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, about 18 months after moving its primary listing to Frankfurt from the South African commercial hub. The new business could be worth as much as 60 billion rand ($4.5 billion), said Evan Walker, a money manager at 36one Asset Management in Johannesburg, although the valuation could also be as low as 40 billion rand depending on how much debt Steinhoff puts into the vehicle...
(Bloomberg 05/10/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo announced the appointment of a new government under Prime Minister Bruno Tshibala that left many key ministerial posts unchanged. The ministers of finance, mines, oil, justice, interior and foreign affairs all retained their posts in the new administration, according to a statement read on national television Tuesday in the capital, Kinshasa. Congolese President Joseph Kabila last month named Tshibala, who was expelled in March from the largest opposition party, to head a new power-sharing government...
(Fox News 05/10/17)
After five years of no major attacks on merchant vessels, piracy around the Horn of Africa seemed to be on hiatus. Acts of piracy in those treacherous waters have fallen sharply since 2012, according to statistics released by the United States Navy. The Navy credits aggressive patrolling by international forces and increased vigilance by the commercial shipping industry for the decrease. However, in the past month, Somali pirates have intercepted five ships, raising concerns that piracy has returned to the...
(Bloomberg 05/08/17)
Rawbank Sarl, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s biggest lender, plans to extend its branch network into all 26 provinces from 12 over the next three years before expanding regionally and eventually listing its shares. "Our first priority is to cover the Congo and then look to expand into the neighboring countries with a listing on a stock market," Chief Executive Officer Thiery Taeymans said in an interview in the capital, Kinshasa. It is considering bordering Republic of Congo as its...
(Voice of America 05/05/17)
As Africa grapples with a severe drought, and famine threatens millions of people, experts at the World Economic Forum on Africa this week in the South African city of Durban say food security needs to be a major part of discussions on advancing the continent economically. The annual World Economic Forum in Switzerland is usually a high-powered event, but at this week’s Africa meeting of the international organization, the continent’s big players are welcoming the humble farmer, now known as...
(Bloomberg 05/04/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo hired an Israeli security firm to lobby the U.S. government after criticism of President Joseph Kabila’s failure to hold elections and hand over power. Congo agreed to pay MER Security and Communication Systems Ltd. $5.58 million between Dec. 8, 2016 and Dec. 31, 2017 for policy advice and support in lobbying senior government officials and members of Congress, according to documents published on the U.S. Department of Justice’s www.fara.gov website April 28. MER, based in...
(Voice of America 05/03/17)
African military expenditures have finally slowed down after more than a decade of steady increases, according to a new report on global defense spending. The main reason, the report found, is a drop in oil prices. “The sharp decreases in oil prices has affected quite a number of African countries, namely South Sudan and Angola. This has kind of driven almost the entire regional trend,” said Nan Tian, a researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) Arms and...
(Bloomberg 05/02/17)
Saudi Aramco is seeking to boost its fuel-trading volume by more than a third as the world’s biggest crude exporter expands its capacity to refine oil to grab a bigger share of growing markets in Asia and Africa. Aramco, as Saudi Arabian Oil Co. is known, is building refineries in the kingdom and in Asia to help it increase sales and purchases of gasoline, diesel and other products to more than 2 million barrels a day, said Ibrahim Al-Buainain, chief...
(Voice of America 04/28/17)
A low-cost and widely available drug could save the lives of 1 in 3 mothers who would otherwise bleed to death after childbirth, according to a new study. Severe bleeding, known as postpartum hemorrhage, or PPH, is the leading cause of maternal death worldwide, killing more than 100,000 women every year. Even for mothers who survive, it is a painful and traumatic experience. The world's poorest countries, especially in Africa and India, are the worst hit. Drug from 1960s But...
(Bloomberg 04/25/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo signed a provisional agreement to import power from South Africa that could boost copper production this year by as much as 20 percent, according to the country’s chamber of mines. Congolese state-owned power company SNEL proposed importing 200 megawatts from South African utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. at meetings in Johannesburg on April 20 and April 21, said Ben Munanga, chairman of the energy commission at the chamber. Eskom has 1,000 megawatts available for export...
(Bloomberg 04/20/17)
WorldRemit Ltd., a British money-transfer operator, sees revenue from transactions involving Africans doubling by 2020 as more people on the continent access mobile-payment platforms and expatriates send cash home. The seven-year-old company, in which Facebook Inc.-backer Accel Partners LP invested $40 million in 2014, will this year open a regional office in South Africa, its largest market on the continent in terms of money-transfer value, founder and Chief Executive Officer Ismail Ahmed said in an interview. Another site will start...
(Bloomberg 04/19/17)
A dispute between state-owned Gecamines and its joint-venture partner at a Congolese cobalt mine that supplies Glencore Plc threatens to halt the supply of as much as 4 percent of the metal within two months. Jersey-registered GTL, a joint venture between Gecamines and closely held Groupe Forrest International, has processed the hill of mine waste that looms over the southern Congolese mining town of Lubumbashi since 2001, producing as much as 5,000 metric tons of cobalt a year. The state-owned...
(Voice of America 04/17/17)
The Italian coast guard says it has rescued nearly 6,000 migrants on the Mediterranean since Friday, underscoring the continued flow of people along this dangerous route. A group of Africans living in Europe visited Cameroon this week to launch a campaign against illegal migration. The group is called “No More Death in the Desert or on the Sea.” Its mission is simple: to educate youth in Africa about the harsh realities of illegal migration. "We want to tell them that...
(Voice of America 04/05/17)
A Red Cross report says African countries are failing their internally displaced people. Reversing that trend was the subject of a high level meeting of the International Red Cross and the African Union that wrapped up Tuesday in Zimbabwe. Africa has about 13 million internally displaced people, a third of the global number of IDPs, and more than double the amount of refugees on the continent. By definition, refugees flee across a national border, while IDPs leave their homes but...
(Financial Times 04/04/17)
Countries should develop policies to attract labour-intensive production leaving China. China’s initial wave of investments in Africa focused on natural resource extraction. Their demand for metals and energy was so large that it actually boosted global commodity prices overall, which in turn accelerated growth across the African continent. These times of China propping up global commodity prices are now over, as it has built up excess capacity in many sectors and now faces slow investment growth. This lower demand has...
(Dw-World 04/03/17)
The UN is considering reducing the number of peacekeeping troops (MONUSCO) in the DR Congo at a time when the nation is engulfed in crisis. The opposition is calling for 'ghost town' protests amid political uncertainty. Congolese President Joseph Kabila has not yet confirmed or denied whether he will run for a third term. There is also uncertainty over whether the elections which are scheduled for December will actually talk place. The main opposition alliance Rassemblement has called for people to stay home on Monday so as to put
(Bloomberg 03/29/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo, the largest country in sub-Saharan Africa and a major producer of natural resources including copper, cobalt, gold and tin, has never had a peaceful transfer of power. The country has had just three leaders since 1965, and if President Joseph Kabila has his way, it won’t have a fourth any time soon. Kabila’s second term -- his last, according to the constitution -- ended Dec. 19, but he’s still in office. Under a Dec. 31...
(Voice of America 03/28/17)
The World Health Organization and U.N. children's fund are spearheading a massive immunization campaign across Africa to rid the continent of the last vestiges of polio. Tens of thousands of health workers will fan out across 13 central and western African countries to vaccinate more than 116 million children under age five against the crippling disease. The U.N. agencies report more than 190,000 volunteers, traveling on foot or bicycle, will go house to house across all cities, towns, and villages...
(Voice of America 03/23/17)
Judges at the International Criminal Court Wednesday sentenced former Congolese vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba to an additional year in prison and fined him $324,000 for bribing witnesses during his earlier trial on war crimes. Four other members of Bemba's legal team also were sentenced by The Hague-based court. They were found guilty back in October of bribing and otherwise influencing 14 defense witnesses to try to tilt the outcome of the first trial, which led to a March 2016 conviction...

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