Thursday 22 February 2018

RDC

(AFP (eng) 02/22/18)
KAMPALA (Reuters) - Twenty-six refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo have died in a camp in Uganda from acute diarrhea, and hundreds more cases have been registered, an official from the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR said on Thursday. The East African country’s refugee population has risen sharply recently as people flood in from eastern Congo, where resurgent ethnic and inter-communal violence has uprooted hundreds of thousands. Duniya Aslam Khan, spokeswoman for the UNHCR in Uganda, said health workers from the World Health Organisation, U.N. children’s fund UNICEF and Medecins Sans Frontieres had identified “acute watery diarrhea” in camps in western Uganda. She said the condition had already killed 26 refugees from Feb. 15...
(AFP (eng) 02/22/18)
Authorities in DR Congo on Wednesday unveiled an electronic voting machine that will be used in key elections this year, despite accusations that the technology could skew the outcome. The Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) showed off the machine to reporters, saying it was essential for conducting presidential, legislative and local elections due on December 23. "It's not a cheating machine (but) a machine to simplify... (and) reduce costs," said Jean-Pierre Kalamba, CENI's rapporteur. On February 13, CENI chief Corneille Nangaa declared, "Without voting machines, there won't be elections on December 23 2018."
(AFP (eng) 02/22/18)
In global markets the price of cobalt, a mineral used in batteries for high-tech products from iPhones to Tesla electric cars, has nearly tripled to $81,500 a tonne in two years. But in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which produced two-thirds of the global supply of the coveted metal last year, artisanal diggers called "creuseurs" sell their best-quality ore for about $7,000 a tonne, blissfully unaware of how much the global price has rocketed. In Kolwezi, a mining town in...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/22/18)
KIGALI (Reuters) - Rwandan police fired tear gas on Thursday to disperse at least 3,000 Congolese refugees who had been protesting for two days at a United Nations refugee office in western Rwanda against a reduction in food rations at their camp, witnesses said. “The situation here is bad. They are firing the tear gas,” Pastor Kamanzi, 50, told Reuters from the town of Karongi. The refugees had left their camp in Kiziba, some 15 km from Karongi, to protest...
(AFP (eng) 02/21/18)
Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila has named his party secretary general Henri Mova Sakanyi as the new interior minister and deputy prime minister, state television reported Tuesday. He replaces Emmanuel Ramazani Shadari, who has been in the post since December 2016. "This is no surprise for those who are familiar with the management of state affairs," a presidency source told AFP, without giving any further explanation. "This is not a disavowal" of Shadari, another source said, citing recent reforms to the statutes of Kabila's ruling People's Party for Reconstruction and Democracy (PPRD). The reforms, published last month, include the abolition of the party...
(AFP (eng) 02/21/18)
A Congolese humanitarian worker, kidnapped at the weekend in the troubled east of DR Congo by an armed group that killed two of his colleagues, has been freed, his NGO said Tuesday. "He was freed yesterday (Monday)... We found him with several cuts on his face," said Richard Kahindo, head of the NGO Hydraulique sans Frontieres (HYFRO), which specialises in water purification projects. The release of the abducted aid worker was also confirmed to AFP by local official Francois Bakundakabo...
(AFP (eng) 02/20/18)
Two Congolese aid workers were killed and a third abducted by an unidentified armed group in the troubled North Kivu province of Democratic Republic of Congo, the United Nations said Monday. "We lost two fellow aid workers killed in the line of duty by unidentified armed people," the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement. The three men were employed by the Congolese NGO Hydraulique Sans Frontieres (HYFRO), which specialises in water purification projects, when attacked on Saturday near the village of Mushikiri. OCHA said it "strongly condemns this latest attack" and called for "the immediate and unconditional release of the person held hostage".
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
Five people were killed Saturday in an ambush by suspected Ugandan Islamist rebels in the Beni region of Democratic Republic of Congo's chronically troubled east, officials said. Local official Leon Bahungako said the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) group were behind the attack in which three women and two men were killed and eight people wounded on the road between the towns of Eringeti and Oisha in the North Kivu province. Government forces last month launched an offensive in Beni against...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
About 224 million people are suffering from malnutrition across Africa as climate change and conflicts heighten food insecurity across the continent, a top UN food agency official said Monday. The official, speaking at a conference on Africa organised by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said the situation was a "cause of concern" as the continent's population was expected to reach 1.7 billion by 2030. "Under-nourishment appears to have increased from about 21 percent to nearly 23 percent between...
(AFP (eng) 02/16/18)
Six soldiers died in fighting to repel an incursion by Rwandan troops in eastern DR Congo this week, the army announced on Friday. The Congolese army recorded "a total of six dead and four wounded, two of them with serious injuries," General Bruno Mandevu told a press conference. On Tuesday, heavy fighting broke out "on Congolese soil", close to the Rwandan border at the foot of Mount Mikeno in North Kivu province, the army said. Congolese army patrols exchanged fire...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/16/18)
GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) - Five Congolese soldiers were killed, a senior army officer said on Friday, in a clash with Rwandan forces this week that now risks inflaming tensions between two neighbors with a long history of troubled relations. The two countries dispute which side of the poorly demarcated border the clash took place on, each accusing the other’s forces of violating the frontier. They have called upon the ICGLR, a body representing regional governments, to visit the scene of Tuesday’s clash to investigate. In addition to those killed, six other Congolese soldiers were wounded in the incident, two of them seriously, said General Bruno Mandevu...
(AFP (eng) 02/16/18)
The UN Children's Fund on Friday said it had recorded 76 cases of people killed in ethnic violence in Democratic Republic of Congo's Ituri province since December, mostly women and children. UNICEF is "very concerned about the situation of more than 46,000 children who are on the run because of the violence" between the Hema herders and Lendu farmers, which flared up during the Second Congo War (1998-2003). "More than 76 cases of murder ... have been documented, among them...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/16/18)
BENI, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) - A humanitarian disaster in eastern Congo is quickly worsening as aid agencies have been forced to pull back due to growing insecurity and slashed budgets, the head of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) said on Wednesday. More than 4.4 million people have been displaced in Democratic Republic of Congo amid rampant violence that has been aggravated by a political crisis sparked by President Joseph Kabila’s refusal to step down at the end of...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/16/18)
DAKAR (Reuters) - Democratic Republic of Congo’s oil minister on Thursday defended the country’s right to explore for oil anywhere on its territory after media reports that President Joseph Kabila approved drilling in Africa’s largest tropical rainforest reserve. Oil minister Aime Ngoy Mukena declined to confirm a report in Germany’s Die Tageszeitung newspaper that Kabila had this month authorized exploration inside Salonga National Park, but he said that no land should be off-limits. Salonga, a UNESCO World Heritage site, covers...
(AFP (eng) 02/15/18)
he United Nations said Wednesday it had registered 18 alleged cases of sexual abuse and exploitation by its peacekeepers and civilian personnel in the Democratic Republic of the Congo last year. Fourteen of the allegations involve paternity cases or complainants seeking "care for children born out of relationships," said Adama Ndao, head of the conduct and discipline unit at MONUSCO, the UN's peacekeeping mission in the country. Some incidents relate to events that date back as far as 2013, she...
(AFP (eng) 02/15/18)
The International Rescue Committee on Wednesday confirmed three cases of sexual abuse under its watch in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, saying police were informed and those involved dismissed. The admission comes with the international aid sector rocked by growing public allegations of sexual misconduct, already implicating British-based charity Oxfam and the French group Doctors Without Borders. On Wednesday, British tabloid The Sun said London initially froze funding to IRC, headed by Britain's former foreign minister David Miliband, over...
(AFP (eng) 02/14/18)
Heavy fighting broke out between the Rwandan and Congolese military in troubled eastern DR Congo after an incursion by Rwandan troops, according to a Congolese army spokesman. Investigations are underway to see if the clashes occurred because of a problem with border demarcation. The fighting occurred on Tuesday "on Congolese soil" close to the Rwandan border at the foot of Mount Nikeno in North Kivu province, Major Guillaume Djike told AFP. A senior officer in the DRC army, on condition of anonymity, told AFP: "There have been deaths on both sides." Congolese army patrols exchanged fire with Rwandan army positions some 100 metres (yards) inside DR Congo...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/14/18)
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Monday asked the Congolese foreign minister to deliver a message to President Joseph Kabila about the killing of two U.N. investigators: “Please ask Mr. Kabila what he did with my list.” The list, which Haley told Kabila about when she met with him in Kinshasa in October, is of verified names of individuals involved in the murders of Zaida Catalan and Michael Sharp in March 2017, said...
(AFP (eng) 02/14/18)
Three soldiers and two civilians were killed and 11 other people injured in an accident involving DR Congo President Joseph Kabila's motorcade, his office said Wednesday. The accident happened on a road in the southwest of the country, 220 kilometres (110 miles) south of Kinshasa, as Kabila was returning to the capital on Tuesday. "Last night, a vehicle in the presidential motorcade was hit on the Matadi highway at Kimpese by a truck carrying cement," communications official Yvon Ramazani told...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/14/18)
DAKAR (Reuters) - The British government said it has frozen 580,000 pounds ($802,894) in assets held by several dozen militia leaders, army officers and private organizations with ties to Democratic Republic of Congo. The freezes were mandated by the European Union as part of a sanctions regime imposed by the United Nations. Economic Secretary John Glen had written on the UK parliament website in response to an MP’s question that the total sum seized was 580 million pounds before his...

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(AFP (eng) 02/22/18)
KAMPALA (Reuters) - Twenty-six refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo have died in a camp in Uganda from acute diarrhea, and hundreds more cases have been registered, an official from the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR said on Thursday. The East African country’s refugee population has risen sharply recently as people flood in from eastern Congo, where resurgent ethnic and inter-communal violence has uprooted hundreds of thousands. Duniya Aslam Khan, spokeswoman for the UNHCR in Uganda, said health workers from the World Health Organisation, U.N. children’s fund UNICEF and Medecins Sans Frontieres had identified “acute watery diarrhea” in camps in western Uganda. She said the condition had already killed 26 refugees from Feb. 15...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/22/18)
KIGALI (Reuters) - Rwandan police fired tear gas on Thursday to disperse at least 3,000 Congolese refugees who had been protesting for two days at a United Nations refugee office in western Rwanda against a reduction in food rations at their camp, witnesses said. “The situation here is bad. They are firing the tear gas,” Pastor Kamanzi, 50, told Reuters from the town of Karongi. The refugees had left their camp in Kiziba, some 15 km from Karongi, to protest against a 25 percent cut implemented last month in rations provided by the U.N. refugee agency.
(AFP (eng) 02/21/18)
A Congolese humanitarian worker, kidnapped at the weekend in the troubled east of DR Congo by an armed group that killed two of his colleagues, has been freed, his NGO said Tuesday. "He was freed yesterday (Monday)... We found him with several cuts on his face," said Richard Kahindo, head of the NGO Hydraulique sans Frontieres (HYFRO), which specialises in water purification projects. The release of the abducted aid worker was also confirmed to AFP by local official Francois Bakundakabo...
(AFP (eng) 02/20/18)
Two Congolese aid workers were killed and a third abducted by an unidentified armed group in the troubled North Kivu province of Democratic Republic of Congo, the United Nations said Monday. "We lost two fellow aid workers killed in the line of duty by unidentified armed people," the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement. The three men were employed by the Congolese NGO Hydraulique Sans Frontieres (HYFRO), which specialises in water purification projects, when attacked on Saturday near the village of Mushikiri. OCHA said it "strongly condemns this latest attack" and called for "the immediate and unconditional release of the person held hostage".
(AFP (eng) 02/16/18)
The UN Children's Fund on Friday said it had recorded 76 cases of people killed in ethnic violence in Democratic Republic of Congo's Ituri province since December, mostly women and children. UNICEF is "very concerned about the situation of more than 46,000 children who are on the run because of the violence" between the Hema herders and Lendu farmers, which flared up during the Second Congo War (1998-2003). "More than 76 cases of murder ... have been documented, among them...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/16/18)
DAKAR (Reuters) - Democratic Republic of Congo’s oil minister on Thursday defended the country’s right to explore for oil anywhere on its territory after media reports that President Joseph Kabila approved drilling in Africa’s largest tropical rainforest reserve. Oil minister Aime Ngoy Mukena declined to confirm a report in Germany’s Die Tageszeitung newspaper that Kabila had this month authorized exploration inside Salonga National Park, but he said that no land should be off-limits. Salonga, a UNESCO World Heritage site, covers...
(AFP (eng) 02/15/18)
he United Nations said Wednesday it had registered 18 alleged cases of sexual abuse and exploitation by its peacekeepers and civilian personnel in the Democratic Republic of the Congo last year. Fourteen of the allegations involve paternity cases or complainants seeking "care for children born out of relationships," said Adama Ndao, head of the conduct and discipline unit at MONUSCO, the UN's peacekeeping mission in the country. Some incidents relate to events that date back as far as 2013, she...
(AFP (eng) 02/15/18)
The International Rescue Committee on Wednesday confirmed three cases of sexual abuse under its watch in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, saying police were informed and those involved dismissed. The admission comes with the international aid sector rocked by growing public allegations of sexual misconduct, already implicating British-based charity Oxfam and the French group Doctors Without Borders. On Wednesday, British tabloid The Sun said London initially froze funding to IRC, headed by Britain's former foreign minister David Miliband, over...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/14/18)
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Monday asked the Congolese foreign minister to deliver a message to President Joseph Kabila about the killing of two U.N. investigators: “Please ask Mr. Kabila what he did with my list.” The list, which Haley told Kabila about when she met with him in Kinshasa in October, is of verified names of individuals involved in the murders of Zaida Catalan and Michael Sharp in March 2017, said...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/14/18)
GENEVA (Reuters) - Over 22,000 people fled Congo to Uganda last week following a surge of ethnic violence in the northeast, raising the total number of arrivals to about 34,000 since the start of the year, the U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said on Tuesday. At least 30 people have been killed in fighting between Hema herders and Lendu farmers in the province of Ituri this month, echoing clashes that killed thousands of Hema and Lendu during a civil war that...
(AFP (eng) 02/13/18)
About 200,000 people have been displaced in ethnic clashes since mid-December in the northeastern Ituri province of the Democratic Republic of Congo, a humanitarian source told AFP Tuesday. Another humanitarian source said "on an average 800 people are arriving daily" in Bunia, the main city in the region, due to fighting between the Hema and Lendu communities. Hema herders and Lendu farmers have been locked in violence in Ituri for decades, with tens of thousands killed from 1999 to 2003...
(AFP (eng) 02/13/18)
Over 22,000 refugees have fled fighting in Democratic Republic of Congo to neighbouring Uganda, violence that has left several dead and villages torched, the UN said Tuesday. At least four refugees drowned while crossing the waters of Lake Albert between the two nations, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said. "Last week, over 22,000 Congolese crossed Lake Albert to Uganda in three days, bringing the total number of people from the DRC arriving in the country to about 34,000 since the...
(AFP (eng) 02/13/18)
South African troops serving in the UN peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been accused of beating a 17-year-old boy and sexually exploiting women, a UN spokesman said Monday. UN and South African investigators will conduct a joint probe of the four allegations of misconduct that took place in Kasai province and in North Kivu. The allegations, which surfaced last week, involve a 17-year-old Congolese boy who was subjected to "physical violence" in eastern Kasai, said spokesman...
(AFP (eng) 02/13/18)
The Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo are to jointly seek funds to help them protect their tropical peatlands, a major factor in the issue of climate change. In a joint statement seen by AFP on Monday, the two central African neighbours said they hoped to gain "guarantees, in the form of funding... with the aim of sufficiently offsetting" sacrifices made by their populations if the peatlands are left untouched. The two countries' environment ministers, meeting in...
(AFP (eng) 02/05/18)
At least 23 members of the Hema ethnic group have been killed since Friday in renewed violence in Democratic Republic of Congo's Ituri province, a leader of the group said in a statement Monday. A high-ranking provincial official, who did not wish to be named confirmed the toll since Friday and added that 10 fighters from a rival ethnic group, the Lendu had died. Hema herders and Lendu farmers have been locked in violence in Ituri province for decades, with...
(AFP (eng) 02/05/18)
Congolese police have released a Catholic priest hours after they snatched him this weekend following a mass in Kinshasa, the cleric said Sunday, amid spiralling tensions between the church and the government. Security forces had grabbed Father Sebastien Yebo outside his church on Saturday morning, beaten him and thrown him into a jeep, with witnesses describing the incident as a "kidnapping". Yebo told AFP he was let go in the afternoon after several hours of interrogation over his alleged links with the Kamwina Nsapu militia. The guerilla movement, based in Kasai province, has been leading a bloody rebellion since 2016 against moves by President Joseph Kabila to extend his stay in power.
(AFP (eng) 02/03/18)
Police "kidnapped" a Catholic priest Saturday after mass in Kinshasa, witnesses said, amid spiralling tensions between the church and the DR Congo's government over the president's refusal to step down. "Father Sebastien was taken away by police just after morning mass," a nun of the Saint-Robert parish told AFP in N'sele on the eastern outskirts of the capital. A police vehicle drew up outside the church, officers jumped out and "started to beat the priest," said another nun who had also witnessed the incident. "They threw him in the jeep and drove off with him," she said, adding that an unidentified...
(AFP (eng) 02/03/18)
Megastar Rihanna vowed she would "never stop fighting" to get millions of children back in school on Friday as French President Emmanuel Macron promised a major boost in foreign aid for education in developing nations. Macron co-hosted a conference in Dakar organised by the Global Partnership for Education with Senegalese President Macky Sall, while Rihanna attended as the organisation's global ambassador. "We have made tremendous progress today but of course our work is never done, we have a long way...
(AFP (eng) 02/02/18)
Rihanna on Thursday used her star power to urge key governments to commit to ensuring education for the world's poorest as she takes part in an international conference in Senegal. The chart-topping singer arrived in the capital Dakar where she on Friday will join the Global Partnership for Education talks co-hosted by Senegalese President Macky Sall and French leader Emmanuel Macron. Rihanna, the fourth most followed person on Twitter with 86 million followers, took to social media to urge Macron,...
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
Laden with mattresses, suitcases, solar panels, chairs and plastic buckets, thousands of refugees have crossed into Burundi in the past three days to flee fierce fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi police said Friday. Nearly 7,000 Congolese have crossed Lake Tanganyika and taken refuge in Burundi since Wednesday as clashes raged between DR Congo government forces and rebels in the troubled eastern province of South Kivu. "Yesterday, Lake Tanganyika seemed to be completely covered by hundreds of boats...

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(AFP (eng) 02/22/18)
In global markets the price of cobalt, a mineral used in batteries for high-tech products from iPhones to Tesla electric cars, has nearly tripled to $81,500 a tonne in two years. But in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which produced two-thirds of the global supply of the coveted metal last year, artisanal diggers called "creuseurs" sell their best-quality ore for about $7,000 a tonne, blissfully unaware of how much the global price has rocketed. In Kolwezi, a mining town in southeastern DRC, Chinese entrepreneurs dominate the middle section of the market, purchasing the raw cobalt from miners and selling it on for refining. Transactions in the buying houses depend on the purity of the ore...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
About 224 million people are suffering from malnutrition across Africa as climate change and conflicts heighten food insecurity across the continent, a top UN food agency official said Monday. The official, speaking at a conference on Africa organised by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said the situation was a "cause of concern" as the continent's population was expected to reach 1.7 billion by 2030. "Under-nourishment appears to have increased from about 21 percent to nearly 23 percent between 2015 and 2016," Bukar Tijani, FAO's assistant director general for Africa, said at the regional conference that opened on Monday in Khartoum. "Over the same period, the number of under-nourished rose from 200 million to 224 million in Africa. This...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/16/18)
DAKAR (Reuters) - Democratic Republic of Congo’s oil minister on Thursday defended the country’s right to explore for oil anywhere on its territory after media reports that President Joseph Kabila approved drilling in Africa’s largest tropical rainforest reserve. Oil minister Aime Ngoy Mukena declined to confirm a report in Germany’s Die Tageszeitung newspaper that Kabila had this month authorized exploration inside Salonga National Park, but he said that no land should be off-limits. Salonga, a UNESCO World Heritage site, covers...
(Reuters (Eng) 02/14/18)
DAKAR (Reuters) - The British government said it has frozen 580,000 pounds ($802,894) in assets held by several dozen militia leaders, army officers and private organizations with ties to Democratic Republic of Congo. The freezes were mandated by the European Union as part of a sanctions regime imposed by the United Nations. Economic Secretary John Glen had written on the UK parliament website in response to an MP’s question that the total sum seized was 580 million pounds before his...
(AFP (eng) 02/09/18)
The world's biggest producer of cobalt, a key ingredient in modern batteries, plans a five-fold increase in tax on the commodity as part of an overhaul of its mining laws, industrial sources said Friday. The Democratic Republic of Congo would impose a tax of 10 percent on so-called "strategic metals" under the plan, a copy of which was obtained by AFP. The government last year signalled its intention to reform its 2002 mining code, which it considered to favour foreign...
(AFP (eng) 02/05/18)
Democratic Republic of Congo on Monday told Brussels Airlines to reduce by nearly half the number of its weekly flights to Kinshasa, in a ramping up of tensions with its former colonial power Belgium. The move comes after Belgian and EU officials condemned a violent DRC government crackdown on protests against President Joseph Kabila, who has ruled since 2001. The number of Brussels Airlines flights to the capital will be "reduced from seven to four a week from Monday, February...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/25/18)
KINSHASA (Reuters) - Democratic Republic of Congo’s new proposed mining code, which the industry has warned will stifle investment in the copper and cobalt-rich nation, sailed through the Senate without opposition late on Wednesday. A version passed by the National Assembly - Congo’s lower house of parliament - last month would increase taxes and royalties, including potentially more than doubling royalties on cobalt, a key ingredient in lithium-ion batteries. Nearly two-thirds of the world’s cobalt comes from Congo. Demand for...
(AFP (eng) 01/17/18)
As demand for batteries drives a surge in the price of cobalt, the Democratic Republic of Congo is gearing up to overhaul its mining regulations to harvest more profit from the coveted metal. The global boom for smartphones and electric cars has pushed up the price of cobalt, a key ingredient in top-range batteries, to $75,000 (almost 63,000 euros) a tonne -- an increase of 127 percent in one year. DR Congo is the world's leading producer of cobalt, where authorities consider the previous mining code to favour foreign investors at the expense of the economy. The central African country is also the top African producer of copper, currently trading on the London Metal Exchange...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/15/18)
LONDON (Reuters) - The cobalt market will record a supply surplus both this year and next, according to heavyweight commodities research house CRU. This might seem a little surprising, given all the bullish hype surrounding a metal that more than doubled in price last year. CRU itself has drastically revised its original assessment of a sustained supply shortfall due to strong demand growth from the battery sector. What has changed its mind? In short, it’s the return of the Katanga...
(Agence Ecofin 12/15/17)
Katanga Mining has announced this week the coming online of the first train of its new whole ore leach (WOL) processing facility at its KCC’s copper and cobalt mine, in DRC. The first copper cathode was produced on December 11, 2017. In September 2015, the KCC’s copper and cobalt production was halted pending the construction of the WOL project. The firm now affirms that commissioning will continue throughout the next three months, with as goal for the first train to...
(Agence Ecofin 12/12/17)
The parliament of DRC has adopted a new mining code which should boost taxes and royalties paid by mining firms operating in the country. The news which was disclosed this week-end, was relayed by many international media such as Reuters and BBC Africa. The revision project was proposed in 2015 but its adoption process was halted in March 2016 due to various objections from mining firms which complained about the fact that it would impact the profitability of investments made...
(AFP (eng) 12/04/17)
Swiss food giant Nestle announced Sunday that it would close its factory in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, a potential market of 80 million people but one beset by poverty and political instability. "We will close our factory and offices by the end of January and continue developing our economic distribution model through third parties," a spokeswoman for the group told AFP. The decision affects 120 people and Nestle will offer laid-off employees "a series of compensatory...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/29/17)
The electric vehicle (EV) story continues to gather momentum, with even major oil companies scrambling to join the coming green energy revolution. Royal Dutch Shell has just announced a partnership with leading automotive companies to install super-fast chargers on European highways. But as ever more companies sign up to the bright, shiny EV future, there is rising concern about the heart of darkness in this new technology -- you can’t power an EV without a lithium-ion battery and, for now...
(Agence Ecofin 11/27/17)
According to a circular that came into effect on November 20, 2017, Congo’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lumeya-Dhu-Maleghi (photo), has put in place new measures to accelerate procedures to secure land deeds and other related documents, in addition to reduce related costs. “Starting from November 20, 2017, and as it was agreed after assessing the various steps associated with procedures during the file processing, 15 working days, instead of 2 to 3 months, this is the maximum delay set to...
(AFP (eng) 11/21/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo's state-owned mining company Gecamines on Monday accused its foreign partners of "stealing" after its book-keeping was challenged by US and British reports. "For the past 15 years our partners have... cheated us and stolen from us. That must stop," said Albert Yuma, chairman of the board and a close associate of President Joseph Kabila. In July, the British NGO Global Witness described the Congolese mining sector as a "cash machine" for Joseph Kabila's regime, which has been in power since 2001. And in early November American NGO the Carter Center estimated that a total of $750 million (644 million euros), generated by the mining production between 2011 and 2014...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/14/17)
KIGALI (Reuters) - The global airline industry has $1.2 billion blocked in nine dollar-strapped African countries, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Monday. The global commodities price crash that began in 2014 hit economies across Africa hard, particularly big resource exporters such as Angola and Nigeria. Low oil and mineral prices have reduced government revenue and caused chronic dollar shortages and immense pressure on local currencies. The fiscal slump has meant governments have not allowed foreign airlines to...
(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...
(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...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/31/17)
HARARE (Reuters) - Economic growth is expected to rise to 3.4 percent in sub-Saharan Africa next year from 2.6 percent in 2017, the IMF said in a report on Monday, but warned that rising debt and political risks in larger economies would weigh down future growth. Nigeria and South African are the biggest economies in Africa south of the Sahara, but both nations have been clouded by political uncertainty linked to the tenure of their leaders. The IMF said a...
(AFP (eng) 10/18/17)
Rent-a-room giant Airbnb said Tuesday that it had provided accommodation for 1.2 million visitors to Africa over the last year -- double the previous year as tourism expands across the continent. The website now offers more than 100,000 accommodation options in Africa, global public affairs director Chris Lehane said on a visit to Johannesburg. "It's an incredibly rich and diverse continent, an incredibly dynamic place, certainly a big part of our future," Lehane told AFP. Airbnb was founded in 2008...

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(Reuters (Eng) 09/12/17)
Olympic boxing’s governing body, AIBA, has banned African confederation head Kelani Bayor for three years for allegedly provoking the crowd at the continental championships in Brazzaville last June. Bayor is an AIBA vice-president and executive committee member as well as chairman of Togo’s national Olympic committee. “The Disciplinary Commission found that a hostile and threatening reaction to AIBA officials by spectators after the result of a bout on the last day of the competition was exacerbated by comments from Mr Bayor,” AIBA said in a statement on Monday. It found Bayor had “committed serious and unacceptable violations of the AIBA Disciplinary Code” at the tournament in Congo Republic. AIBA said the ban was from all...
(Reuters (Eng) 08/08/17)
Tuesday's action at the World Athletics Championships sees two of the most intriguing races of the program as South Africa's Wayde van Niekerk bids for the first half of his 400/200 meters double and Nigel Amos goes for gold in the men's 800m. World record holder and defending champion Van Niekerk should be unbeatable in the 400m but faces a stiff challenge, not least from Botswanan duo Isaac Makwala and Thebe Baboloki. Another Botswanan, Amos, will also have to be at his best in the 800m, where a clutch of athletes are suddenly dreaming of glory in the absence of Kenya's injured champion David Rudisha. Kenya is expected to continue its dominance of the men's 3,000m steeplechase - though American...
(AFP (eng) 07/21/17)
The 2019 Africa Cup of Nations will expand from 16 to 24 teams and be staged in June and July, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) announced on Thursday. The tournament has traditionally been held in January and February, with the timing of the tournament a source of frustration to European clubs forced to release players in the middle of the season. The CAF executive committee confirmed the changes to the format following a two-day symposium in Rabat, although the...
(AFP (eng) 06/28/17)
Democratic Republic of Congo premier league club FC Renaissance has been relegated to the second division as part of sanctions after violence by its supporters. The decision was taken by the Congolese Football League (Linafoot) after it met on Monday following the violence on Saturday, AFP reports. FC Renaissance was found guilty of the Saturday incident during a championship match between the team and Vita Club at the Martyrs stadium in Kinshasa. FC Renaissance lost to Vita Club, sparking an...
(AFP (eng) 06/27/17)
The training pitches and classrooms are fit for one of Africa’s most illustrious football clubs, but the political battles rife in Democratic Republic of Congo have stopped Tout Puissant Mazembe from using their new academy. The teenagers who are meant to be the future stars of African football are losing weight because food rations have been cut back. Lush grass is starting to grow around the buildings that owner Moise Katumbi, exiled tycoon and key opposition leader, has built on...
(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...
(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...

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(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...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/20/17)
Munyakazi was 14 when she was drugged and raped by an older man in Quartier Birere, a poor, overcrowded neighborhood of Goma in eastern Congo. Her neighbor had asked her to fetch water, she obliged and he thanked her with a bottle of soda. It had been spiked, she believes, and the man raped her. A few months later Munyakazi discovered she was pregnant. She was already at secondary school, but had to drop out of classes as motherhood demanded too much of her time. “I don’t remember anything from what happened later in that day. I was raped, I got pregnant and now here is my baby. Soon she is going to be one year old,” said Munyakazi, now...
(Xinhuanet 09/13/17)
In an effort to promote economic development and solve complex conservation challenges facing world heritage sites, the African World Heritage Fund Patron and former President of Namibia Hifikepunye Pohamba will host a business leader's breakfast event in Namibian Capital, Windhoek on Thursday. The African World Heritage Fund is an initiative of the African Member States of the African Union and UNESCO, launched in 2006. Webber Ndoro, executive director of the African World Heritage Fund, at a media briefing on Tuesday...
(AFP (eng) 08/10/17)
The skull of an infant ape buried by a volcano 13 million years ago has preserved intriguing clues about the ancestor humans shared with apes -- including a likely African origin, scientists said Wednesday. A previously-unknown creature that shared an extended family with the human forefather, had a flat face like that of our far-flung cousin the gibbon, but did not move like one, its discoverers wrote in the journal Nature. They named it Nyanzapithecus alesi after "ales" -- the...
(RFI(EN) 07/17/17)
French police cancelled a concert by a Congolese singer on Saturday after violent protests around the venue by opponents of Democratic Republic of Congo president Joseph Kabila. Paris's police service said they had called off the event after "unacceptable" overcrowding by demonstrators around the Olympia music venue ahead of a planned performance by Heritier Watanabe - who is viewed as being close to Kabila. Three people were arrested after a car was set on fire on a street near the...
(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) 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...

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(AFP (eng) 12/12/17)
Prosecutors are demanding jail terms ranging from 20 years to life against militiamen accused of raping dozens of children, including a baby, in eastern DR Congo, plaintiffs said on Tuesday. Eighteen men, including provincial lawmaker Frederic Batumike, have been on trial since November 9 in Kavumu, in the troubled eastern province of South Kivu. "The prosecution yesterday demanded punishment ranging from 20 years' jail to life for most of the accused, except for four for whom it requested acquittal," Charles Cubaka Cicura, speaking on behalf of a group of lawyers representing the victims, told AFP. The defendants are suspected of belonging to a militia group called "Djeshi ya Yesu" -- meaning "Army of Jesus" in...
(Voice of America 09/27/17)
In a scathing report to the U.N. Human Rights Council, a senior U.N. official accuses the Democratic Republic of Congo of turning a blind eye to systematic and gross violations of human rights committed by its security forces. The report describes a justice system that shows no independence and allows impunity to flourish, leading to further violence against the people of Democratic Republic of Congo. In her presentation to the Council, U.N. Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights, Kate Gilmore criticized the government of President Joseph Kabila for failing to live up to an agreement to pave the way for presidential elections this year and a peaceful transfer of power.
(Bloomberg 09/27/17)
Studio 189, a label founded by actress Rosario Dawson and fashion executive Abrima Erwiah, is reinvesting in its African roots. It’s hard enough to build a fashion brand, let alone an empire. Rare is the person who makes a mission of using fashion to build communities. Such is the case with Studio 189, a label founded by longtime friends Abrima Erwiah (formerly a marketing executive at Bottega Veneta) and Rosario Dawson (an enduring star most recently seen in Netflix’s Marvel...
(Bloomberg 09/26/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo has made “irreversible” progress in preparing credible and peaceful elections, President Joseph Kabila told the United Nations, without giving a date for the vote whose delay has spurred violent protests. Speaking before the UN General Assembly on Sept. 23, Kabila said that 42 million of an estimated 45 million eligible voters have been registered. An ongoing “series of evaluations of the electoral process” should permit the “forthcoming publication” of the electoral calendar by the election...
(Voice of America 09/25/17)
African first ladies and activists hailed progress that some governments on the continent are making on gender equality. They met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “We used to have 23 percent female representation in parliament but, with the stroke of a pen it went up to 48 percent. So, we managed to double our female representation with that decision,” said Namibia’s first lady Monica Geingos at a roundtable invitation-only event co-hosted by the...
(Voice of America 09/21/17)
U.S. President Donald Trump has told African leaders he will send his U.N. envoy Nikki Haley to South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. "We're closely monitoring and deeply disturbed by the ongoing violence in South Sudan and in the Congo," Trump said in a lunch meeting Wednesday with African leaders on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. "Millions of lives are at risk and we continue to provide humanitarian assistance, but real results in halting this catastrophe...
(The Guardian 09/18/17)
Anna Jones says that, through selling its cocoa cheaply, Africa is exporting its wealth overseas; while Sue Banford claims that the soya moratorium in the Amazon has done nothing to halt deforestation. Only the final paragraph in your article on cocoa farming causing deforestation in Ivory Coast (Forests pay price for world’s taste for cocoa, 14 September) mentioned the most fundamental thing – the farmer’s livelihood, or lack of it. The low value of his (or more likely her) crop...
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
An obscure company’s quest to rebuild a century-old business could lead to the British stock exchange. The equatorial sun pierces the forest canopy as two laborers manipulate a machete at the end of a long pole to cut hard red fruits from the top of a soaring palm. The heavy bunches are collected by hand and trucked to a mill, where palm oil is extracted before beginning its journey down the Congo River. The men work for the local unit...
(Bloomberg 09/15/17)
Societe Generale SA, challenged on its home turf by Orange SA’s push into banking, is fighting back with a new mobile lender in Africa. The French lender started YUP, a new app for smartphones, in Senegal and Ivory Coast and plans to begin operating in four other sub-Saharan countries this year and next, the company said on Thursday. The bank aims to double its client base to 2 million in the region within three years. “Telcos have opened the way...
(Bloomberg 09/11/17)
The South African companies that dominate the U.K.’s growing private hospital industry are counting on more people like Katie Corrie. A children’s party entertainer, Corrie opted to use 13,000 pounds ($17,000) of her savings and inheritance to get a hip replacement rather than spend months on a National Health Service waiting list. Britons like her are forking out almost 1 billion pounds a year to cover their own medical expenses, a trend that’s giving at least one industry the scope...
(Bloomberg 09/07/17)
African Rainbow Minerals Ltd., the miner chaired by South Africa’s richest black businessman, will pay a record dividend this year as rising iron-ore and manganese prices boosted earnings at its ferrous unit. ARM will pay investors 6.50 rand a share, almost triple that of the previous year, and its 11th consecutive dividend, the Johannesburg-based company said in a statement Thursday. The company benefited from a 45 percent increase in prices received for exported iron ore and 93 percent more for...
(Bloomberg 09/05/17)
The largest opposition coalition in the Democratic Republic of Congo has criticized the Independent National Electoral Commission, or CENI, for its handling of voter registration. The Rassemblement, a large platform of opposition political parties, “firmly denounces what appears as the preparation by the CENI of a large-scale fraud in the process of building the new electoral register,” the group said in a statement released Sept. 1. No further information was provided to support the claim. On Aug. 31, in a...
(Bloomberg 09/05/17)
A surge in agriculture has helped lift Africa’s biggest economies out of their slumps, but the recovery may be weak. Gross domestic product in Nigeria, the continent’s largest crude producer, advanced for the first time in six quarters in the three months ended June from a year earlier, growing 0.55 percent, the statistics agency said. In South Africa, GDP expanded 2.5 percent from the previous quarter, ending the second recession in almost a decade. Both economies had agriculture largely to...
(Bloomberg 09/04/17)
The worst may be over for Africa’s two largest economies as they likely emerged from a slump in the second quarter. Official data on Tuesday will probably show South Africa’s economy expanded in the three months through June, ending its second recession in less than a decade. Nigeria’s gross domestic product probably grew from a year earlier, and came out of its worst slump in a quarter of a century. South Africa and Nigeria together account for almost half of...
(Bloomberg 08/30/17)
One Thousand & One Voices LLC, a private-equity fund started by the great-grandson of the founder of Coors Brewing Co., said it bought a producer of sushi-quality trout that is the largest such facility in Africa. SanLei’s operations are on the Katse Dam in Lesotho, an enclave surrounded by South Africa, 1K1V, as the fund is known, said in an emailed statement Tuesday. The company didn’t disclose the value of the transaction. SanLei has secured a marketing and distribution agreement...
(Bloomberg 08/28/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo’s chances of holding credible elections are waning due to the government’s repression of the media and civil society, a United Nations official said. “The space required for a credible electoral process is rapidly shrinking,” Georgette Gagnon, field operations director with the UN Human Rights Office, told reporters Friday in the eastern city of Goma at the conclusion of a week-long visit to the central African country. The UN rights-monitoring body has documented violations against 225...
(Bloomberg 08/24/17)
Every African nation that’s sold dollar debt now has at least one junk rating, but it would be hard to tell by looking at the bond market. The average yield on sovereign Eurobonds in Africa has hovered near the lowest level in two years this month, according to a Standard Bank Group Ltd. index, even after Moody’s Investors Service cut Namibia to below investment grade on Aug. 11. The world’s biggest producer of marine diamonds had been the continent’s only...
(Bloomberg 08/23/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo has promised to help Alphamin Resources Corp. to protect the world’s highest-grade untapped tin deposit. Construction of the mine has already started in a remote part of North Kivu, an eastern province, and Alphamin intends to have the $152 million project fully funded by the end of the year, Chief Executive Officer Boris Kamstra said Tuesday. A large part of the project’s success will depend on maintaining security in a region that hosts armed militia...
(Bloomberg 08/21/17)
GreenWish Partners, a renewable energy company run by a former Morgan Stanley executive, is planning to invest $800 million on solar-powered telecommunications towers across Africa. The project could fuel economic growth by providing power for essential services. Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest rates of energy access in the world and is home to about half of the world’s 1.2 billion people without reliable electricity, according to the International Energy Agency. The problem extends to businesses as well as households, cutting...
(Bloomberg 08/18/17)
The Democratic Republic of Congo suspended value-added tax on imports by mining companies after briefly reinstating the duty, the country’s main business chamber said. Customs authorities had resumed collecting VAT on imports including machinery soon after a July 2016 decree halting remittances expired last month, Federation des Entreprises du Congo Managing Director Kimona Bononge said in a letter to Finance Minister Henri Yav Mulang. The minister has subsequently “resolved the problem,” Bononge said by phone from Kinshasa, the capital. “The finance minister has given an instruction to the DGDA to not collect VAT on imports by mining companies,” Bononge said by phone

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