Thursday 26 April 2018
(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 to North Africa," Switzerland, which hosted the third meeting of the so-called contact group on the crisis, said in a statement. Thousands of migrants and refugees who attempt to travel along this route "find themselves in catastrophic situations," it said,...
(AFP (eng) 11/08/17)
A dozen other students look on as Umar Amadu uses a glass pipette to draw a solution from a conical flask as part of a chemistry experiment. It could be a scene from any school laboratory around the world, but until two months ago Amadu and his fellow students had no access to any science equipment. Science subjects at his rural secondary school outside the city of Katsina in northern Nigeria were taught using theory only. But now they have all the kit they need to put theory into practice, thanks to a mobile science lab that tours selected state schools. "It's an exciting experience. We were being taught only the theoretical aspect of science subjects," Amadu, who wants to...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/07/17)
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Ride-hailing service Uber Technologies Inc. [UBER.UL] is growing rapidly in sub-Saharan Africa and considering moves into more markets, despite sometimes violent opposition from metered taxi drivers, a senior executive said on Tuesday. Uber’s service has triggered protests by rivals from London to New Delhi as it up-ends traditional business models that require professional drivers to pay steep licensing fees to do business. “We are bullish on Africa. The growth here is still substantial and we think that given the right regulatory environment, the growth could be even better,” Justin Spratt, head of business development for the sub-Saharan region, told Reuters. “Africa’s growth thus far has been faster than America and a large part of that is...
(Reuters (Eng) 11/06/17)
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Africa’s mobile internet connections are set to double in the next five years, a study showed on Monday, thanks to affordable smartphones and the roll-out of high-speed networks. A report by research and consulting firm Ovum in London estimates that mobile broadband connections will rise from 419 million at the end of this year to 1.07 billion by the end of 2022. “Data connectivity is growing strongly in Africa, and there are also good prospects on the continent in areas such as digital media, mobile financial services, and the Internet of Things,” said Matthew Reed, Practice Leader Middle East and Africa at Ovum. “But as Africa’s TMT market becomes more convergent and complex, service providers are under...
(AFP (eng) 11/06/17)
Rwanda scored twice within three minutes to win 3-2 in Ethiopia at the weekend and move closer to qualifying for the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Morocco. Aschalew Girma and Abubakar Sani scored for the hosts in Addis Ababa either side of a Eric Rutanga goal for the visiting "Wasps". Rwanda levelled again on 78 minutes through Muhadjiri Hakizimani and Abeddy Biramahire struck the winner soon after. The result leaves Ethiopia needing to score at least twice in the second leg of the play-off in Kigali this Sunday to overcome the aggregate deficit. "I have very young players who are improving rapidly," said Germany-born Rwanda coach Antoine Hey. "We achieved a good result but cannot take anything for granted."...
(AFP (eng) 11/03/17)
US politicians are voicing concern over America's growing military presence across Africa, where they worry the Pentagon is getting ever more embroiled in a secretive campaign against a shifting enemy. Last month's killing of four US soldiers in a Niger ambush has thrust the issue into the spotlight, with lawmakers calling for greater transparency on what is going on in Africa. "The footprint in Africa is much bigger than the American public understands," Democratic Senator Tim Kaine said this week. The Niger ambush has also rekindled debate over the legal authorities the Pentagon uses to fight jihadist groups overseas, particularly in Africa where about 6,000 US troops are deployed across the vast continent. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis this week faced...
(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 good harvest and recovery in oil output in Nigeria would contribute more than half of the growth in the region this year while an uptick in mining and a better harvest in South Africa as well as a rebound in...
(AFP (eng) 10/30/17)
Ethiopia and Rwanda will meet during November to fill the place at the 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) vacated by Egypt, the organisers confirmed Monday. Egypt withdrew after clubs refused to release players as the tournament for home-based footballers is not staged during a FIFA international window. The Egyptians were eliminated in the qualifying competition by Morocco, who then replaced unready Kenya as hosts, creating a vacancy in the 16-team field. Egypt were reinstated only to pull out, leaving Ethiopia and Rwanda to play each other on November 5 and 12 for a finals place.
(AFP (eng) 10/30/17)
Rwanda's first cricket stadium was inaugurated Saturday by President Paul Kagame as a permanent home for developing the sport in the country. Gahanga Cricket Stadium in the capital Kigali is built on a 4.5 hectare (11 acre) ground and cost $1.3 million (1.1 million euros), the majority of the funds raised by international cricket players eager to see the game take off in Rwanda. The Rwandan Cricket Stadium Foundation was set up by Alby Shale, the son of a late British politician and cricket lover who visited Rwanda to do aid work. "We are very happy to have this cricket pavilion and ground built, and by that we remember Christopher Shale, in whose memory this has been built," Kagame said...
(AFP (eng) 10/24/17)
A Rwandan court on Monday refused to grant bail to Diane Rwigara, a prominent critic of President Paul Kagame who has been charged with inciting insurrection against the state as well as other offences. Rwigara was blocked from challenging Kagame in August's presidential election and arrested on September 22, along with her mother and sister, for alleged tax evasion and forgery as well as for inciting insurrection. Her mother Adeline was also refused bail on similar charges by the court in the capital Kigali, but charges against his sister Diane were lifted and she was released from custody. In an interview with AFP just before her detention last month, Rwigara, 35, said she was a victim of political persecution "for...
(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, CITES reported. But 2016 saw a full 40 tonnes of illegal ivory seized, the most since 1989, as well as the hightest-ever number of "large-scale ivory seizures", the group said. "The overall weight of seized ivory in illegal trade is...
(AFP (eng) 10/23/17)
A United Nations torture prevention panel has suspended a trip to Rwanda, citing obstruction by the authorities and fears that interviewees would suffer "reprisals", a statement from the UN rights office said. The move came less that two weeks after Human Rights Watch reported it had confirmed 104 cases of people being illegally detained and tortured in Rwandan military detention centres between 2010 and 2016, a charge denied by Kigali. The UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture had been in the East African country for five days before deciding it could no longer continue its mission "due to a series of obstructions imposed by authorities", the statement said. "We have been barred from completing our work in some places, and...
(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 off girls once they reach puberty or even before is a deeply engrained social custom in much of West and Central Africa. The practice hampers global efforts to reduce poverty and population growth and has negative impacts on women’s and...
(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 are in Africa, according to officials from the US Special Operations Command (SOCOM), which is based in Tampa, Florida. Another 5,000 or so are in the Middle East. In five years, the number of US commandos in Africa has tripled...
(The Herald Online 10/20/17)
TO make a particular point during his address at the swearing-in ceremony at Amahoro Stadium on August 18, President Kagame referred to a gospel song that had been adapted and sung by supporters during the election campaign. “When we are fighting for a just cause, there is nothing to fear whatsoever, because God is always on our side . . .” His voice was drowned out by a chorus from the gathering in the stadium, who spontaneously took up the refrain. Religious leaders — Christian and Muslim — seated in the VIP seats, clapped hands in accompaniment to the crowd’s singing. The moment, as much as any other, symbolised the new Rwanda. To have the leaders of the Islamic faith...
(Xinhuanet 10/20/17)
KIGALI, (Xinhua) -- Rwanda is looking for big investments in renewable energy sources in order to stimulate the country's green economic development, top government officials said Thursday. Rwanda has a lot of untapped investment opportunities in the renewable energy sources, said Claire Akamanzi, chief executive officer of the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) at a renewable energy conference held in Rwanda's capital, Kigali. She said Rwanda is looking for investors in various renewable energy options available across the country. Rwanda has set clear targets in renewable energy and other power generation sources, as it is targeting to achieve 100 percent access to electricity countrywide by 2024. Rwandan Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente in September presented the government's development strategy up to 2024,...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/20/17)
DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The #MeToo social media campaign to raise awareness about sexual harassment and abuse has sparked conversation in parts of Africa where domestic violence is rampant but strong cultural and religious taboos prevent women from admitting it. Prompted by sexual abuse allegations against American film mogul Harvey Weinstein, millions of women around the world have been sharing their experiences of harassment and abuse on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #MeToo. The movement has reached only a small part of the population in West Africa, but some women are participating in defiance of attitudes which dictate that being abused brings shame on the family, is a curse, or makes a woman unmarriageable. In Senegal, some women...
(The Associated Press 10/18/17)
KIGALI, Rwanda — A jailed critic of Rwanda’s government said Monday she was detained because she tried to run against longtime President Paul Kagame in the recent election. Diane Rwigara, who faces charges of inciting insurrection against the state and forgery, spoke out in a courtroom in the capital, Kigali. She said she was charged “because I spoke about crimes committed by this government. Nobody has talked about Rwandans who disappear without a trace.” “The government should address the issues I raised because they are legitimate, instead of persecuting me and my family,” she added. Rwigara’s sister Anne and their mother, Adeline, also face criminal charges. All three women have denied the charges. Rwigara was disqualified from running in the...
(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 and offers accommodation ranging from single bedrooms to whole homes in 65,000 cities in 191 countries. The company announced Tuesday that it would invest $1 million (850,000 euros) in Africa by 2020 to "promote and support community-led tourism projects". "For...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/17/17)
A critic of Rwandan President Paul Kagame asked him to free her and her detained mother and sister as she stood in court on Monday charged with forgery and "inciting insurrection". Diane Shima Rwigara, who was barred from running against Kagame in August elections, moved to comfort her mother Adeline and sister Anne as they cried during the hearing. ”I request the president release me and my family,” she said. She told the court she was “being victimised ... because I have political ambitions”. The 35-year-old accountant is accused of faking the registration papers she filed to stand in the election that Kagame went on to win with 98.8 percent of the vote. Rwigara has regularly said Kagame stifles dissent...

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