Monday 20 November 2017
(AFP (eng) 11/18/17)
From crouching over a small hole with a sheet for privacy to defecating in the open air, for millions of people in the Democratic Republic of Congo going to the toilet is a daily act of misery. The UN has estimated more than 2.4 billion people worldwide are in a similar situation, with Sunday's World Toilet Day planned to raise awareness. The vast majority of DR Congo's more than 70 million residents do not have access to "improved" toilets -- latrines, sewerage or cesspits that hygienically separate human waste from human contact, according to the United Nations children's agency Unicef. The problem has become even more pressing this year as the huge African country wrestles...
(AFP (eng) 11/17/17)
Africa is making only faltering progress towards food and nutrition security, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned. "Multiple forms of malnutrition coexist, with countries experiencing simultaneously high rates of child undernutrition or anaemia as well as high rates of obesity," it says in a new report, Regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition. In sub-Saharan Africa, "progress towards the World Health Assembly global nutrition targets has been generally poor," the Rome-based agency says, referring to goals to end hunger by 2025. The annual document came out Thursday at the start of a two-day food and health seminar in Ivory Coast's economic capital, Abidjan. Around 200 people from 47 African nations are gathered to discuss "sustainable food systems...
(AFP (eng) 11/16/17)
At least 15 people were killed when a lorry tumbled into a river in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, official sources said Wednesday. Four people were also hurt after the vehicle came off the road at Isiro as it returned from a local market, Haut-Uele province governor Jean-Pierre Lola Kisanga told AFP. Kisanga said the incident near the border with Central African Republic and South Sudan was being investigated. Another source said 16 people were injured while the 7sur7.cd news...
(AFP (eng) 11/16/17)
Leading technology and electric car companies have been accused of failing to ensure minerals used in their products are not mined using child labour, Amnesty International said in a report on Tuesday. The report found that firms including Microsoft, Renault and Huawei have taken "no action" into how the batteries used in their products could be linked to human rights abuses. But tech giants Apple and Samsung have made some progress, according to the report, which ranked the progress of...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/14/17)
KINSHASA (Reuters) - About 30 people were killed and more than two dozen injured when a train derailed then caught fire in Democratic Republic of Congo, a provincial governor said on Monday. The freight train was traveling from the southern copper and cobalt mining hub of Lubumbashi to Luena, in Lualaba province, on Sunday when it left the tracks and tumbled into a ravine near the town of Buyofwe. “There’s major damage because the tanker cars caught fire,” Lualaba’s governor...
(AFP (eng) 11/13/17)
Up to 33 people were feared dead Sunday in the Democratic Republic of Congo after a freight train carrying fuel plunged into a ravine. The UN's radio Okapi said there had been 33 fatalities with an unknown number of others injured or burned in the accident in the province of Lualaba. Jean-Marie Tshizainga, the minister of mines of Lualaba province gave a toll of eight dead and several others injured. "The toll could be significantly higher," he told AFP. The...
(AFP (eng) 11/13/17)
Ministers from 13 European and African countries on Monday pledged steps to ease the migrant crisis around the Mediterranean, vowing especially to improve conditions for migrants held in Libya. Interior ministers and other representatives from countries impacted by the ongoing wave of migration up through Africa towards Europe, including Libya, voiced deep concern over the "ongoing human tragedy" along the so-called Central Mediterranean route. "The participants intend to address the challenges posed by the alarming situation along the migration route...
(AFP (eng) 11/11/17)
Eighteen suspected militiamen, including a provincial lawmaker, went on trial Friday in DR Congo's chaotic east for kidnapping and raping some 40 girls. Frederic Batumike and 17 others face charges of "crimes against humanity through rape and murder ... and taking part in an insurrectional movement," Charles Cubaka Cicura, a lawyer representing the victims told AFP. They are appearing before a military court in Bukavu. The suspects are accused of being members of the Djeshi ya Yesu militia, or The...
(AFP (eng) 11/09/17)
Nine children died and another was missing after a canoe capsized on Lake Tanganyika in the southeast of the Democratic Republic of Congo. a local official said Thursday. The motorised boat left the town of Kalemie and was heading for the port of Wimbi when it sank on Wednesday. "Of the 21 passengers aboard, nine were killed, all of them children," provincial official Joseph Lumona told AFP, "Another child is reported missing," he said, adding that the accident happened in...
(AFP (eng) 11/08/17)
Gruelling talks are unfolding in Bonn for implementing the UN's Paris Agreement on climate change, but many kilometres (miles) away, there are fears that any progress may be wiped out by a lurking carbon threat. Scientists and green campaigners say central Africa's peatlands hold gigatonnes of carbon -- a stockpile that poses a grave threat to hopes of limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit). The product of vegetation decay that occurred aeons ago, the carbon has...
(AFP (eng) 11/08/17)
A dozen other students look on as Umar Amadu uses a glass pipette to draw a solution from a conical flask as part of a chemistry experiment. It could be a scene from any school laboratory around the world, but until two months ago Amadu and his fellow students had no access to any science equipment. Science subjects at his rural secondary school outside the city of Katsina in northern Nigeria were taught using theory only. But now they have...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/07/17)
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Ride-hailing service Uber Technologies Inc. [UBER.UL] is growing rapidly in sub-Saharan Africa and considering moves into more markets, despite sometimes violent opposition from metered taxi drivers, a senior executive said on Tuesday. Uber’s service has triggered protests by rivals from London to New Delhi as it up-ends traditional business models that require professional drivers to pay steep licensing fees to do business. “We are bullish on Africa. The growth here is still substantial and we think...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/06/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Africa’s mobile internet connections are set to double in the next five years, a study showed on Monday, thanks to affordable smartphones and the roll-out of high-speed networks. A report by research and consulting firm Ovum in London estimates that mobile broadband connections will rise from 419 million at the end of this year to 1.07 billion by the end of 2022. “Data connectivity is growing strongly in Africa, and there are also good prospects on the...
(Xinhuanet 10/31/17)
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Monday urged the international community to put the refugee crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) high on the agenda as it was degenerating into a humanitarian crisis. UNHCR Country Representative in Zambia Pierrine Aylara called for more assistance to Zambia and other countries hosting DRC asylum seekers. Countries like Zambia require urgent assistance due to the increasing numbers of people being received on a daily basis, Aylara told reporters...
(Agence Ecofin 10/31/17)
Ivanhoe Mines has concluded with Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer du Congo (SNCC), a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to rehabilitate the railway that connects its Kipushi mine to Munama, South of Lubumbashi. Under the MoU, construction works will begin at the end of 2018. Ivanhoe will appoint consultants to conduct front-end engineering study to assess the impact and cost of rehabilitation of this infrastructure which is offline since 2011. According to Robert Friedland (picture), CEO Ivanhoe, reviving the railway...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/31/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Ebola outbreaks tend to occur two years after trees have been cut down or forests cleared in West and Central Africa, researchers said on Monday, suggesting that deforestation data could be used to predict outbreaks of the deadly disease. A study published in online journal Scientific Reports was the first to find a time correlation between deforestation and the onset of Ebola, caused by a virus which humans catch from infected wild animals that can...
(AFP (eng) 10/24/17)
Elephant poaching in Africa declined for a fifth straight year in 2016 but seizures of illegal ivory hit records highs, the CITES monitor said Tuesday, calling it a "conflicting phenomena". In its latest report, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species also noted that despite the overall fall in poaching, Africa's elephant population has continued to drop "due to continued illegal killing, land transformation and rapid human expansion." Global illegal ivory trade has remained relatively stable for six years,...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/23/17)
GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) - Almost half of the 1.5 million people displaced by an insurrection in central Democratic Republic of Congo since last year have returned home as violence has waned in recent months, the United Nations said on Monday. Fighting in central Congo’s Kasai region between government forces and militia fighters demanding their withdrawal from the region has killed up to 5,000 people since August of last year. The violence in the usually peaceful center of...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/23/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - African political leaders, activists, and local chiefs joined forces on Monday to commit to ending child marriage in West and Central Africa, the region with the highest child marriage rate in the world. More than a third of girls in the region are married under the age of 18, with the rate over 50 percent in six countries and up to 76 percent in Niger. Driven by factors including poverty, insecurity and religious tradition, marrying...
(AFP (eng) 10/21/17)
The killing of four American special operations soldiers in Niger has highlighted the increasing role elite units are playing across Africa, which is rapidly becoming a major center of US military action. Their mission is to counter the advances of a slew of jihadist movements across the continent, including Al-Shabaab in Somalia, affiliates of the Islamic State group in the Sahel region and Boko Haram in Nigeria. Of the 8,000 special forces "operators" deployed globally this year, more than 1,300...

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