Thursday 25 May 2017
(AFP (eng) 03/10/17)
In the beginning was .com, followed by a host of other .somethings, but on Friday, 32 years after the world's first domain name was registered, the African Union has launched .africa for the continent. Africans who want to register a website will be able to apply for a .africa domain name in the coming months, which outgoing AU commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said would allow the continent's people and businesses to better reach the world. "With .africa, I would say Africa has finally got its digital identity," said Dlamini-Zuma, who will next week hand power to Chadian Foreign Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat after four years at the helm of the continental body Sub-Saharan Africa has one of the lowest rates...
(Xinhuanet 03/09/17)
The International Women's Day was marked Wednesday in Rwanda with a call to close the gender gap. Speaking at the national celebrations in Nyabihu, in western Rwanda, First Lady Jeannette Kagame said national development cannot be achieved if the biggest percent of the population is excluded. Women make up 52 percent of the about 12 million of Rwanda's population. The First Lady observed that Rwandan women's capacity cannot be doubted because women are already key contributors in national development. Rwandan women are in the public sector, been elected into leadership positions, in private sector business and in security organs
(Xinhuanet 03/09/17)
A critical mass of trained and well equipped community health workforce is key to easing the rising burden of infectious and noncommunicable diseases in Africa, experts said on Wednesday at a continental forum taking place in Nairobi. The experts, policymakers and campaigners who attended Africa Health Agenda International Conference agreed that optimal engagement of community health workers is key to revolutionize response to diseases ravaging the continent. Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Health Cleopa Mailu in his opening remarks said that investments in training for community health workers will have multiplier impact on Africa's socioeconomic development. "We require highly skilled and motivated cadre of community health workforce to deal with a high diseases burden in disadvantaged settings in this continent. These...
(AFP (eng) 03/08/17)
Lawyers and human rights campaigners launched an initiative for African whistleblowers in Senegal on Tuesday, aimed at providing a secure means of exposing wrongdoing on the continent. African nations such as Somalia, South Sudan, Libya and Guinea-Bissau regularly appear at the very bottom of rankings such as Transparency International's Corruption Index, while none make it into the top 30. The Platform for the Protection of Whistleblowers in Africa (PPLAAF) will provide guidance from legal experts, secure submission of information and a hotline for potential informants, according to its founders. The initiative is the brainchild of Spanish superstar lawyer Baltasar Garzon -- who has defended Julian Assange of whistleblowing website WikiLeaks -- along with French lawyer William Bourdon, who worked on...
(Xinhuanet 03/06/17)
Rwanda President Paul Kagame has said that Rwanda is committed to supporting the deepening of integration of the East African Community (EAC) to achieve economic and social prosperity of the citizens within the region. He made the remarks on Monday while addressing a Special Sitting of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) which starts a two-week session at the Rwandan Parliamentary buildings in the capital Kigali. The EALA is the law-making organ of the EAC established under Article 9 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC. Being the legislative arm of the community, members are sworn into five-year terms. The regional parliament is responsible for, among other things, approving budgets of the EAC and debating audit reports. "East...
(The Independent 03/06/17)
Th term was coined by sceptical officials, worried about the importance given to Commonwealth trade deals ahead of Brexit negotiations. Plans by government ministers to boost trade links with African Commonwealth countries are being internally branded “empire 2.0” by sceptical officials who are worried about the importance being placed on such deals ahead of the UK’s negotiations of leaving the European Union (EU). International Trade Secretary Liam Fox is expected to promise to build better links with the whole of the 52 member countries of the Commonwealth when ministers from each country meet in London later this week. But as the UK is prepares itself to leave the European Union, The Times reports that British ministers are planning to talk...
(AFP (eng) 03/04/17)
The wife of a member of Rwanda's opposition in exile who went missing in the central African country two weeks ago, is in police custody accused of ties to a criminal network, her husband said Friday. The Rwandan authorities "have acknowledged that they have Vilette in their custody and appear to be accusing her of working with criminals," said Faustin Rukundo, who is married to Violette Uwamahoro, a dual citizen of Rwanda and Britain. Rukundo told AFP that earlier the Rwandan officials "told the foreign office in the UK that they do not have Violette." He denied the purported charges against his wife and that she was involved in opposition politics, saying "the true thing is that they can never...
(The East African 03/03/17)
Kenya has joined its East African neighbours, Uganda and Rwanda, by launching a cargo tracking system intended to reduce the cost of trade and check tax evasion. The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) on Wednesday launched the Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking System, which enables real time tracking of transit cargo from Mombasa port to its destination through an online platform monitored in the three countries. KRA commissioner general John Njiraini said the new system would be operational by the end of the month to replace the current tamper-prone Electronic Cargo Tracking System. "Unlike the current system where we use multiple vendors to install the tracking and which we can only trace up to the border point, this one allows three countries...
(Bloomberg 03/03/17)
Polar Star Management Ltd., which runs one of the best-performing African and Middle East hedge fund over the past five years, plans to start a private-equity unit that will invest in agriculture to exploit rising demand for food. The Cape Town-based firm plans to use its own money to buy small farms and processing companies in South Africa this year, then increase efficiency through consolidation and better management, said Murray Derksen, a director at Polar Star. It aims to raise 1.5 billion rand ($115 million) for the fund, which may also buy commodities such as grains, while targeting an internal rate of return of 8 percent to 12 percent, he said. “We looked at the increase in corn demand globally,...
(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 the West, criticism of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, and pride in being African. One of 20 feature-length movies on show at the Panafrican Film and Television Festival (Fespaco) in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou, the movie was punctuated...
(AFP (eng) 02/28/17)
The Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership -- the world's biggest individual prize -- drew a blank once again in finding a suitable laureate, it was announced Tuesday. The prize only goes to a democratically-elected African leader who demonstrated exceptional leadership, served their mandated term and left office within the last three years. The award comes with $5 million (4.7 million euros) paid over 10 years and $200,000 annually for life from then on. The prize, founded by Sudan-born telecoms tycoon Mo Ibrahim, has only been given four times in its 10-year existence. The philanthropist has said in the past that making no award sent just as strong a message on African leadership. "A very high bar was deliberately...
(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 by customs officers, thieves, murderers and rapists. The film -- the first feature-length film to show at the festival -- deals with "the bravery of women," Traore told AFP at the festival in the Burkinabe capital Ouagadougou. "There is a...
(Xinhuanet 02/24/17)
Rwanda President Paul Kagame has called on the country's army to provide security guarantee and protect territorial integrity for building well-off society. He made the remarks on Thursday while presiding over the pass-out ceremony 478 Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) officer cadets who successfully completed a one-year military training course at the Rwanda Military Academy (RMA) in Gako, Bugesera district, Eastern Province. Among the new cadet officers, 68 are women. Kagame underscored the need to engage the sense of responsibility of security organs as a whole to participate in building and strengthening national defense.
(Xinhuanet 02/24/17)
East African Community (EAC) member states are fast tracking a comprehensive review of the Common External Tariff (CET) in order to protect infant industries, officials said on Friday. Kenya's Ministry of EAC Affairs, Labour and Social Protection Permanent Secretary Betty Maina said the EAC will review the criteria used in classifying goods that enter the EAC. "The intention of the review is to make the rules of trade facility as well as attract investments into the region," Maina said during the third EAC manufacturers' network meeting. "The review will also include reforms of duty remissions and exemptions schemes in order to create a fair play ground for manufacturers in the EAC partner states," she added. The two-day event brought together...
(AFP (eng) 02/23/17)
For the first time in Africa, researchers said Wednesday they have detected a malaria parasite that is partially resistant to the top anti-malaria drug, artemisinin, raising concern about efforts to fight a disease that sickens hundreds of millions of people each year. The discovery means that Africa now joins southeast Asia in hosting such drug-resistant forms of the mosquito-borne disease. Malaria infected more than 200 million people and killed some 438,000 people worldwide in 2015, most of them children in Africa. "The spread of artemisinin resistance in Africa would be a major setback in the fight against malaria, as ACT (artemisinin-based combination therapy) is the only effective and widely used antimalarial treatment at the moment," said lead author Arnab Pain,...
(Xinhuanet 02/22/17)
Africa Energy Indaba, the continent's premier energy event, kicked off in Johannesburg on Monday with the aim of finding solutions to the continent's energy future. The three-day conference is being attended by the governments' representatives, business and funders. The meeting seeks to unleash the continent's potential by coming up with an energy mix to develop Africa. Dr. Garth Strachan, Deputy Director General and Head of Gas Industrialization Unit in South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry said the recent discoveries of gas in Mozambique, Angola and Tanzania provides a huge opportunity for the continent. He said there is a need for the countries to work together to tap benefits from the gas for the good of the continent. Strachan said...
(Bloomberg 02/21/17)
Ashish Thakkar, who co-founded Africa banking conglomerate Atlas Mara Ltd. with ex-Barclays Plc head Bob Diamond, lost a ruling over the ownership of family assets in a London divorce case, with a judge questioning Thakkar’s truthfulness. Judge Philip Moor ruled that Thakkar, and not his mother and sister, was the owner of disputed assets in the divorce. He found that the 35-year-old owned 100 percent of Mara Group Holdings Ltd. and other corporate entities. The result will have ramifications in the proceedings where a judge will have to decide how much Thakkar -- described in videos posted on his foundation’s website as "Africa’s Youngest Billionaire" -- is worth. Thakkar says he has assets of 445,532 pounds ($553,000) while his wife,...
(Xinhuanet 02/16/17)
Former Rwanda's state minister for mining Wednesday appeared in court where he was charged with favoritism and falsifying official documents. Evode Imena appeared before Nyarugenge High Court in Kigali. Imena, who was arrested last January after being fired from cabinet, is accused together with two former officials who worked in former Rwanda Natural Resources Authority. Prosecution alleges that the trio hastily registered a company which was fraudulently awarded a license to conduct mining in Nduba mines on the outskirts of Kigali. Later, the company which prosecution named JDJ fraudulently sold its concession to another company called KNM at 20,000 U.S.dollars with the approval of the minister, according to the prosecution. The charges were committed between 2013 and 2014, prosecution claims...
(Xinhuanet 02/16/17)
The trial of 41 Rwandan Muslims suspected of involvement in terrorism crimes resumed Wednesday at the High Court in Kigali with prosecution praying for the hearing to be conducted in camera over security concerns. The suspects, including five women are accused of multiple counts, including belonging to a terrorist organization, complicity in a terrorist act, formation of a criminal gang and financing terrorism. Prosecution alleges that the suspects committed the crimes in different areas of Rwanda. Defense lawyers however asked court to disregard the prosecution request for the trial to be conducted in camera, arguing the public had right to follow the proceedings. The High Court set March 15 to announce its decision on prosecution request before hearing can continue...
(AFP (eng) 02/15/17)
Sub-Saharan Africa, where more than a half billion people live without electricity, trails the world in government policies that promote sustainable energy, according to a new World Bank report Wednesday. Much of the rest of the world, however, has made strides toward making energy broadly available, developing renewable power sources and increasing efficiency, the inaugural Regulatory Indicators for Sustainable Energy report said. In a survey of 111 countries, the World Bank found that through 2015 nearly 80 percent had begun to adopt policies to expand electrical grids, connecting them to solar and wind generation, and to help make electric utilities creditworthy and financially viable while keeping energy prices down. More than a third of countries, home to 96 percent of...

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