Saturday 20 January 2018

RDC

(AFP (eng) 01/19/18)
A general commanding military operations in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo was ambushed, army sources said on Friday, as rebels launched fresh attacks in the troubled region. A convoy that included General Philemon Yav, in charge of forces in the region, came under fire by the Yakutumba militia in Fizi district in South Kivu province late Thursday, a source said. At least one soldier was killed and three were injured. The attack came two days after gunmen in South Kivu abducted two members of the country's powerful domestic intelligence agency, the National Information Agency (ANR), an army officer said. One of the two escaped. In neighbouring North Kivu province, two army positions came under attack...
(AFP (eng) 01/19/18)
US Ambassador Nikki Haley expressed regret on Thursday to African ambassadors who were outraged by President Donald Trump's alleged description of African countries as "shithole" nations, the head of the African Group said. Haley asked to meet the African ambassadors at the United Nations after they released a joint statement on Friday demanding an apology from Trump for his "outrageous, racist and xenophobic remarks." Ambassador Anatolio Ndong Mba of Equatorial Guinea, who chairs the Africa Group, said the US ambassador did not offer an apology during the closed-door meeting, but she did express regret. Haley told the meeting that "she was not there at the White House, she is not sure what was said, but she regretted all this situation...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/18/18)
GENEVA (Reuters) - Militias in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo are uniting in opposition to President Joseph Kabila, a senior U.N. official there told a news conference in Geneva on Wednesday. In 2017, a brutal conflict in Congo’s southwestern Kasai region drew international attention and condemnation because of reports of atrocities by pro-government militias. Less attention was paid to escalating violence by armed groups in eastern provinces bordering Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi and Zambia. “What we hear is that whilst...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/18/18)
LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Hundreds of thousands of people in the Democratic Republic of Congo could soon starve to death with famine looming due to widespread conflict, displacement and a lack of funding, the United Nations said on Wednesday. Militia fighting that broke out in Congo’s central Kasai region in 2016 has left 3.2 million people without enough to eat, three leading U.N. agencies said in a joint statement. Only one in eight people needing food received aid last month amid funding shortages, according to the agencies. “There are signs that donors are beginning to respond, but resources are woefully inadequate given the scale of human suffering,”...
(AFP (eng) 01/17/18)
The United Nations this year will seek more than $1.5 billion to respond to the worsening humanitarian crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), an official said Tuesday, warning the country was at a "breaking point". "The size of the crisis in the Congo is really challenging our collective ability to respond", said the UN migration agency's chief envoy to the country, Jean-Philippe Chauzy. The African giant has been plagued by near-relentless instability since independence from Belgium in 1960. Evem so, "no-one was expecting the humanitarian crisis to expand to such an extent last year," Chauzy told reporters in Geneva.
(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...
(AFP (eng) 01/17/18)
Democratic Republic of Congo's former military chief, who has been accused by Kinshasa of an attempted coup against President Joseph Kabila in 2011, has been arrested in Gabon, sources told AFP. "General Faustin Munene has been arrested since Wednesday, January 10... in Gabon," said a statement from a party created by Munene, the Convention of the People for Progress and Democracy party (CPPD), on Tuesday. The information was confirmed to AFP by a judicial official in the eastern province of Haut-Ogooue. "Faustin Munene was arrested in Moanda and is in the hands of the DGDI in Libreville," the Gabonese capital, the official said, referring to the General Directorate...
(AFP (eng) 01/17/18)
The United Nations announced Tuesday it will investigate the death of 39 Burundian refugees in clashes with soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo in September. The soldiers allegedly opened fire on the refugees in eastern South Kivu province after they protested the detention of a small group of Burundians by Congolese authorities. Nigerian Lieutenant-General Chikadibia Isaac Obiakor will lead the UN investigation of the violence on September 15 in Kamanyola, said a UN statement. The special investigation will look into the response of UN peacekeepers to the violence and provide recommendations, it added.
(AFP (eng) 01/17/18)
There's nothing covert about Roxy -- a huge market in Abidjan selling counterfeit medicine, the scourge of Africa and the cause of around 100,000 deaths annually on the world's poorest continent. Located in the bustling Adjame quarter of Ivory Coast's main city and commercial hub, the haven for fake medicine has been targeted time and again by authorities and stockpiles burnt. But it resurfaces every time. "The police hassle us but they themselves buy these medicines," said Mariam, one of...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Catholics in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Saturday called for a fresh rally against "the dictatorship" as they step up pressure on President Joseph Kabila. The call for a demonstration on January 21 came less than two weeks after New Year's Eve protests against Kabila's rule saw six deaths in a crackdown by authorities, according to church and UN sources. Rally coordinators urged believers to march "hand in hand as ever, peacefully with our peace branches, our bibles, our...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Three Democratic Republic of Congo soldiers died on Monday while repelling an attack in the eastern Beni region by ADF Ugandan Islamist rebels, who are suspected of murdering 14 UN peacekeepers last month. The army had on Saturday announced an offensive against the Allied Democratic Forces, one of a number of armed groups acting in North Kivu and South Kivu -- the two provinces which border Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania. "The ADF attacked our position in Muzambay at 4:00 am (0200 GMT)," said army spokesman Captain Mak Hazukay. "Our forces pushed them back after heavy fighting," he said, but denied comment on casualties.
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
People in Kamanyola in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo paralysed the town and faced off against police on Monday, angered by poor security, local sources said. "Residents, mostly angry young people, last night destroyed Kamanyola administrative centre and burned all the files," the administrator of Walungu territory in South Kivu province, Dominique Bofondo, told AFP. The violence erupted after a money-changer was murdered at his home in the town, which lies on the main road linking provincial capital Bukavu and Uvira. Kamanyola came under attack by an armed group last year. By midday Monday, police fired warning shots to disperse demonstrators who were trying to set fire to a police station...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Men armed with machetes killed four soldiers in an attack Sunday near the main Kananga airport in Kasai, an opposition stronghold in the south of the Democratic Republic of Congo, residents said as tensions returned to the restive region. The assailants attacked the soldiers as they were sleeping in their tent, the sources told AFP, adding that they then set fire to the tent. "An army vehicle arrived not far from my house and I saw four bodies of soldiers that they were transporting as well as another soldier with blood all over his body and wounds," one resident said by telephone. The regional army commander, Brigadier General Marcellin Assoumani Issa Kumba...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Democratic Republic of Congo soldiers on Monday repelled an attack in the eastern Beni region by ADF Ugandan Islamist rebels, who are suspected of murdering 14 UN peacekeepers last month. The army had on Saturday announced an offensive against the Allied Democratic Forces, one of a number of armed groups acting in North Kivu and South Kivu -- the two provinces which border Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania. "The ADF attacked our position in Muzambay at 4:00 am (0200 GMT)," said army spokesman Captain Mak Hazukay. "Our forces pushed them back after heavy fighting." "The firing started very early while we were still sleeping but stopped around 6:30 am," said Aimee Makinda...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
The Congolese army on Saturday announced a new operation against armed groups, notably the ADF Ugandan Islamist rebels suspected of murdering 14 UN peacekeepers last month. Army vehicles transported some 300 troops to the operation's headquarters near Beni in the restive eastern province of North Kivu. Tanks and armoured vehicles were also deployed, according to an AFP correspondent, who added that heavy and light weapons fire could be heard. The Democratic Republic of Congo army "has decided to launch an...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
The World Health Organization Monday said there was a high risk of a cholera epidemic after flooding in Kinshasa, the teeming and ramshackle capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. "In a big city like Kinshasa, which has between 10 and 12 million inhabitants, the rains and the floods make the risk of a spread of this epidemic very high," the WHO's Africa director Matshidiso R. Moeti said at a press briefing. Since a cholera outbreak was first reported in...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Burundian refugees living in a transit camp in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Saturday complained of a lack of humanitarian support after their refusal to register on a biometric database, claiming it would violate their religion. "We've had no more assistance from humanitarian organisations since January 1, 2018, still less from the (UN) High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)," spokeswoman for the group Francoise Ndayisenga told AFP. The refugees belong to an obscure Catholic sect that follows a female prophet called Zebiya, who claims to have had several visions of the Virgin Mary in north Burundi...
(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...
(AFP (eng) 01/13/18)
Supported by throngs of worshippers and with western ambassadors in attendance, Catholic leaders in DR Congo hammered home a message of anger toward President Joseph Kabila on Friday at a mass to mourn victims of a crackdown. Police fired a couple of warning shots to disperse worshippers outside Kinshasa cathedral after the highly-charged mass, which was led by prominent government critic Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo, an AFP journalist reported. Police said they fired only teargas, and two people were slightly injured. Armed officers arrived at the cathedral gates as the congregation was leaving a service to commemorate the six fatalities of a crackdown on New Year's Eve marches that demanded Kabila leave office.
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
Police fired warning shots on Friday to disperse a crowd gathered in front of Kinshasa cathedral after a mass by prominent government critic Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo, an AFP journalist said. Armed officers arrived at the gates of the cathedral as worshippers were leaving a service to commemorate the victims of a crackdown on marches on New Year's Eve that demanded the removal of DR Congo's president, Joseph Kabila. A young man who was slightly wounded in the face told AFP...

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(AFP (eng) 01/19/18)
A general commanding military operations in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo was ambushed, army sources said on Friday, as rebels launched fresh attacks in the troubled region. A convoy that included General Philemon Yav, in charge of forces in the region, came under fire by the Yakutumba militia in Fizi district in South Kivu province late Thursday, a source said. At least one soldier was killed and three were injured. The attack came two days after gunmen in South Kivu abducted two members of the country's powerful domestic intelligence agency, the National Information Agency (ANR), an army officer said. One of the two escaped. In neighbouring North Kivu province, two army positions came under attack...
(Reuters (Eng) 01/18/18)
LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Hundreds of thousands of people in the Democratic Republic of Congo could soon starve to death with famine looming due to widespread conflict, displacement and a lack of funding, the United Nations said on Wednesday. Militia fighting that broke out in Congo’s central Kasai region in 2016 has left 3.2 million people without enough to eat, three leading U.N. agencies said in a joint statement. Only one in eight people needing food received aid last month amid funding shortages, according to the agencies. “There are signs that donors are beginning to respond, but resources are woefully inadequate given the scale of human suffering,”...
(AFP (eng) 01/17/18)
The United Nations this year will seek more than $1.5 billion to respond to the worsening humanitarian crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), an official said Tuesday, warning the country was at a "breaking point". "The size of the crisis in the Congo is really challenging our collective ability to respond", said the UN migration agency's chief envoy to the country, Jean-Philippe Chauzy. The African giant has been plagued by near-relentless instability since independence from Belgium in 1960. Evem so, "no-one was expecting the humanitarian crisis to expand to such an extent last year," Chauzy told reporters in Geneva.
(AFP (eng) 01/17/18)
There's nothing covert about Roxy -- a huge market in Abidjan selling counterfeit medicine, the scourge of Africa and the cause of around 100,000 deaths annually on the world's poorest continent. Located in the bustling Adjame quarter of Ivory Coast's main city and commercial hub, the haven for fake medicine has been targeted time and again by authorities and stockpiles burnt. But it resurfaces every time. "The police hassle us but they themselves buy these medicines," said Mariam, one of...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
People in Kamanyola in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo paralysed the town and faced off against police on Monday, angered by poor security, local sources said. "Residents, mostly angry young people, last night destroyed Kamanyola administrative centre and burned all the files," the administrator of Walungu territory in South Kivu province, Dominique Bofondo, told AFP. The violence erupted after a money-changer was murdered at his home in the town, which lies on the main road linking provincial capital Bukavu and Uvira. Kamanyola came under attack by an armed group last year. By midday Monday, police fired warning shots to disperse demonstrators who were trying to set fire to a police station...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
The World Health Organization Monday said there was a high risk of a cholera epidemic after flooding in Kinshasa, the teeming and ramshackle capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. "In a big city like Kinshasa, which has between 10 and 12 million inhabitants, the rains and the floods make the risk of a spread of this epidemic very high," the WHO's Africa director Matshidiso R. Moeti said at a press briefing. Since a cholera outbreak was first reported in...
(AFP (eng) 01/15/18)
Burundian refugees living in a transit camp in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Saturday complained of a lack of humanitarian support after their refusal to register on a biometric database, claiming it would violate their religion. "We've had no more assistance from humanitarian organisations since January 1, 2018, still less from the (UN) High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)," spokeswoman for the group Francoise Ndayisenga told AFP. The refugees belong to an obscure Catholic sect that follows a female prophet called Zebiya, who claims to have had several visions of the Virgin Mary in north Burundi...
(AFP (eng) 01/10/18)
Floods and mudslides in the Democratic Republic of Congo's chaotic capital Kinshasa have caused cholera cases to rise over five-fold to more than 100 a week, medical charity MSF said Tuesday. "In past weeks we registered about 20 cases a week on average. At present, we have more than 100 each week," said Jean Liyolongo from Medecins sans Frontieres. He said the spurt began in the first week of January in Africa's third largest city which is home to about...
(AFP (eng) 01/09/18)
DR Congo started two days of national mourning Monday for 48 people killed by floods and mudslides in the capital Kinshasa amid concerns of a cholera outbreak in the vast city of 10 million. The mid-week fatalities following torrential rain wreaked havoc on flimsy homes which were flattened by mudslides. "I am here to survey the damage first-hand," said Prime Minister Bruno Tshibala, visiting the working-class districts of Bandal and Kitambo of the capital of Democratic Republic of Congo. He...
(AFP (eng) 01/08/18)
Hundreds of Sudanese students from the University of Khartoum threw stones at anti-riot police Monday on a third day of protests against soaring bread prices, an AFP correspondent reported. Bread prices more than doubled last week as flour manufacturers raised prices on dwindling wheat supplies after the government decided to stop importing grain and allowed private companies to do so. Sporadic anti-government protests have been held since Saturday in some parts of the country following the price rise. They were...
(AFP (eng) 01/06/18)
The United Nations on Friday set up a special investigation of the attack that killed 15 UN peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo last month and wounded 43 others. The December 7 attack in the Beni territory of North Kivu province was one of the worst to target UN peacekeepers in recent history in the Democratic Republic of Congo. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appointed Dmitry Titov, a Russian national who has worked in UN peacekeeping to lead the special...
(AFP (eng) 01/06/18)
Floods and mudslides killed 44 people in shantytowns in the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital Kinshasa, the third largest metropolis in Africa, an official said Friday. "We have a final toll of 44 deaths," said provincial minister for health and social affairs, Dominique Weloli. An earlier toll put the number of dead at 37. Three-quarters of homes in Kinshasa are slums which have no access to sanitation or electricity, according to Corneille Kanene, former head of UN-Habitat. Torrential rains and...
(AFP (eng) 01/06/18)
The morning light showed a scene of desolation as people in Ngaliema surveyed the wreckage of shanty homes swept away by killer floods and landslips. Among the 44 people who perished overnight Wednesday in Kinshasa, the capital of Democratic Republic of Congo, were a teenager, Brunelle, her sister Gladys, and Gladys' baby. Their home of makeshift yellowish clay bricks, located at the foot of a steep slope literally dissolved after the waters struck, neighbours said. "The emergency services came, but...
(AFP (eng) 01/04/18)
Thirty-seven people died overnight when torrential rain and mudslides swept though shanty homes in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the authorities said Thursday. The provincial minister for health and social affairs, Dominique Weloli, said many of the dead, which included "two or three drowned children," had lived in Ngaliema, a poor hillside community that was particularly hit. "There has been not only flooding but also landslips, and several houses have collapsed," Weloli said. Flooding is a major peril for residents of Kinshasa, a chaotic city with a population of around 10 million people
(AFP (eng) 01/03/18)
Israel on Wednesday began implementing a plan to force tens of thousands of African migrants out of the country by April, threatening to arrest those who stay. "This plan will get under way today," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting. Under the programme, some 38,000 migrants who entered Israel illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese, will have until the end of March to leave. Each will receive a plane ticket and $3,500 (2,900 euros) to...
(AFP (eng) 12/28/17)
A soldier and six Mai-Mai militiamen died in clashes Thursday in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo near the Ugandan border, the Congolese army said. Since the beginning of 2017, Mai-Mai militias have regularly attacked Congolese army positions in the region. The lastest clashes between government forces and the militia began at around 8am (0600 GMT), local residents in Kasindi, in North Kivu province, said. Kasindi houses one of the main customs posts in the eastern DRC and which processes a large flow of merchandise from Uganda.
(AFP 12/21/17)
State employees of the Democratic Republic of Congo helped organise the mission trip of two UN experts to the central Kasai region where they were killed, according to a Reuters and Radio France Internationale (RFI) report. The revelation that "four state agents and associates" may have been involved in the murders appears to contradict the official account by Congolese government officials, who have maintained that no state employees were involved. Officials have also said they did not know the pair were in the area. Zaida Catalan, a Swedish-Chilean national and American Michael Sharp were killed in March while investigating reports...
(AFP (eng) 12/20/17)
Security forces and an army-backed militia planned massacres in an opposition stronghold in the Democratic Republic of Congo, human rights activists charged Wednesday, calling the killings "crimes against humanity". The southern Kasai region suffered "one of the worst human rights crises in the world" between March and July, the Paris-based International Human Rights Federation (FIDH) said in a report compiled with partner rights groups in the country. It includes heart-rending testimony such as that of a 27-year-old woman who described...
(AFP (eng) 12/19/17)
Four people were killed and five injured late Monday when a freight train derailed in central Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), officials said. The accident happened at the village of Bena-Kadiebue, 65 kilometres (40 miles) north of Kananga, the capital of Central Kasai province. "The toll is still provisional, because the freight cars are lying on their side," Francois Mutambue, a senior official with the national railway company at Kananga, told AFP on Tuesday. "Sand deposits" on the track were to blame for the accident, he said. Railways accidents in DRC are frequent and often deadly. Decrepit track and ageing locomotives are the most-cited causes.
(AFP (eng) 12/18/17)
France on Monday accepted a first group of 19 refugees who were identified in Africa under an overhauled asylum policy that will also see it expel thousands of economic migrants. While it has drawn little public outcry in France, the policy faces stiff opposition from the left and from charities that shelter migrants, 22 of which called in an open letter for France's rights ombudsman Jacques Toubon to intervene. Djamel, a refugee from the Central African Republic, arrived at Paris's...

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(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 mine after two years of suspended activities. Once fully operational, Katanga will be the “largest cobalt-producing mining project in the world”. (CRU Insight, Jan. 4 2018) Bulls needn’t panic just yet, however. CRU doesn’t expect much of a price reaction...
(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...
(APA 10/16/17)
APA-Dakar (Senegal) - The president of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, will deliver the Norman Borlaug Lecture on Monday 16 October as part of the World Food Prize events taking place from October 16 to 20, 2017 in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. The Norman Borlaug Lecture under the title: “Betting on Africa to Feed the World”, will be held on World Food Day, October 16, in conjunction with the annual World Food Prize celebration. AfDB President Adesina will receive...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/10/17)
ABIDJAN (Reuters) - Congo’s mines minister has ordered a joint venture of Chinese investors to stop exporting raw copper and cobalt before processing because of their low value on international markets. Sinohydro Corp [SINOH.UL] and China Railway Group Limited agreed to build $3 billion worth of roads, railways and other infrastructure, with the investments to be reimbursed by earnings from its majority stake in the Sicomines project. Democratic Republic of Congo’s government presented the $6 billion deal - one of...
(AFP (eng) 10/10/17)
Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is set to accelerate to 3.4 percent next year, the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday, citing Nigeria's recovering oil and agricultural sectors. The IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook report that the region would grow by 2.6 percent this year after 1.4 percent in 2016. "Growth is expected to rise gradually," it said, while noting that the rate would be uneven and "barely above population growth". GDP in the west African powerhouse Nigeria...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/05/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (HLT.N) plans to spend $50 million over the next five years to add 100 hotels to its chain in Africa, it said on Thursday, joining other chains keen to tap growing business and international travel on the continent. One property will open in the Kenyan capital Nairobi by the end of this year and another in the Rwandan capital Kigali in 2018, it said in a statement. There was 11 percent growth in...
(AFP (eng) 09/29/17)
Government shutdowns of the internet have cost sub-Saharan Africa about $237 million since 2015, according to a study released Friday, as authorities increasingly implement planned disruptions. At least 12 countries have had internet shutdowns, often before elections or when protests erupt, with mobile internet networks most recently suspended in Togo during opposition demonstrations. "Internet disruptions, however short-lived, undermine economic growth, disrupt the delivery of critical services, erode business confidence, and raise a country’s risk profile," the CIPESA report said. The Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA) released its...
(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...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/26/17)
Israel’s Elbit Systems Ltd said on Tuesday it won a contract worth $240 million to provide a wide array of defense electronic systems to an unnamed country in Africa. The contract, which will be carried out over a two-year period, is comprised of Directed Infra-red Counter Measure (DIRCM) systems to protect aircraft from shoulder fired missiles, based on passive infrared systems, and includes missile warning systems, radio and communication systems, land systems, mini-unmanned air systems and helicopters upgrade.

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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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